I was a late-ish bloomer in the Twilight fanaticism. And actually, I had no intention or even inclination, really, to read them. I'm a big Harry Potter fan, and so, everything I'd heard about Twilight made it sound utterly sub-par to HP; and I didn't think I needed to go around reading every "good" children's book that came out.
Then we were on a beach vacation at Christmas in 2008. The house we rented had a pretty stocked bookshelf - everything from Nabokov to Nancy Drew - and including, naturally, the Twilight series. Jonathan was actually the first one to step foot in Forks when he brought Twilight to the beach with him one day. And even as we were on the beach, I made fun of him while he flew through the book. But I noticed how absorbed he was in it - similar to the way Harry Potter had sucked us both in. He had the first one done by the next morning & urged me to give it a shot - calling it a great "beach read."
That was the first day of a two-week, four-book devouring session, which might or might not have included: closing the door to my office so I could read, going to every. single. bookstore in the C concourse of the Atlanta airport to find book two, and staying in on weekend nights to read more. I was totally hooked - and genuinely enjoyed each one.
The first movie was terrible, in my opinion. And I thought because of some of the fatal flaws in the first, the second was good, but still suffered in the wake of #1. Fatal flaws including: 1) Not showing enough of Bella & Edward falling in love - they have a sweet, genuine love story in the book that includes TONS of talking & getting to know each other; 2) Kristen Stewart maybe being a little too intense? I'm not sure that's the word...maybe surly? Either way, I don't think Bella comes across quite right - she's a lot cooler in the books; 3) Bella & Alice's friendship - they are basically BFF in the books and I don't think you get that enough; 4) Robert Pattinson not being hot enough to be Edwar...oh wait, actually he is really, really hot - scratch that one; 5) But again, Robert Pattinson not quite getting Edward right; Edward is definitely conflicted about loving Bella, but like Kristen, I think the movie shows too much of him being surly and not enough of him being sweet & cute & cool.
Not that I watched the second movie
So the third movie. The glorious third. The third time's a charm. Finally!
Everything about this movie was better than the first two. The special effects were great - really smooth between people and wolves. We got some great back story on some of the major characters. But just generally, all the actors seemed to get their characters more. We saw Bella do something other than scowl and be serious - and actually saw her be a good kid to her parents - because she is a good kid in the books. One thing that's been left out of all the movies is that Bella cooks dinner for her dad every night. And we saw Bella stand up to Edward - you get this in the books, but having her stand up to him in the movie shows that he isn't just controlling everything she does.
So yeah - Edward was better too. To be fair, he doesn't play a huge role in #2, but contrasting Edward in this one to Edward in #1 is night and day. He's a lot more laid back, not showing so much conflict; and he's not so mean or ornery all the time.
I loved some cute/witty one-liners inserted here and there.