Guys, I tried. Honestly. I got as far as Bella meeting Edward's creepy family. I can go no further. I just can't finish Twilight.
It is honestly some of the most god-awful writing I have ever encountered, and that includes crap I've read on Fanfiction.net.
My only conclusion about it is that this is someone's attempt at a love story, having only heard rumors and hearsay about how thinking, feeling humans fall in love. It's got some of the surface elements of love and none, NONE, of the actual emotional depth, for all that Bella goes on about how much she feels for Edward. I didn't believe it for a damn second because at no point does it feel real.
All she does is talk about how beautiful he looks and how much she needs him. Here's a newsflash, Stephanie Meyer - when people fall in love, true love like what you're trying to describe here, it's not because the other person is beautiful. It's because of who they are. We know this, if we have ever experienced love. It's earned, in a hundred small ways, with actions and words. Sure, someone can be attracted because of looks, but that's hormones. It's a starting point, at most, that develops into love.
So what in all the hells did Edward do, to earn Bella's love, over the course of what I read of Twilight? What did she do, to earn his love? Nothing. He did nothing. All he did was be mean to her and stalk her. When she finally decided that she was in love with him, it looked like the product of a deluded mind because she had no damn reason to love him apart from the fact that he was hot. When he finally declared that he was in love with her, it felt utterly false because he had no damn reason to love her apart from the fact that she smelled good to him. They spent all this time talking to each other and not once did I feel like they were getting to know each other in any meaningful way.
Not one sentence of this book felt real and true. I may have said before that I kinda understand the hype, but having read this far into it, I think I can fully plumb the depths of why it's a bestseller.
This is what teenage girls think love is.
That in a nutshell is why it's popular, not because they identify with Bella or because Edward/Jacob is hot. Teenage girls think that being attracted to someone beautiful equals love. They sigh and moon over pop stars or actors, thinking that they love them and why won't he notice me, and Twilight delivers that particular fantasy with a side helping of angst and ego-stroking. I say this as someone who was a teenage girl once, and I know how it works. The difference is that I grew up - and no, the love of my life doesn't look like Edward Cullen, but that does not make one iota of a difference to how much I love him.
The Princess Bride is a love story. Pride and Prejudice is a love story. Brokeback Mountain is a love story. Twilight is not a love story because there is no actual love between Bella and Edward. There's hormones on one side and creepy vampire attraction on the other, but their 'love' is utterly superficial at best.
No one will ever be able to convince me that this book is good, and it is a crying shame that anyone thinks it's worthy of their hard earned cash.