Book Review: The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

The “Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide” is a must have for all Twihards. Stephenie Meyer answers all the questions fans have been dying to know the answer to (Can animals be turned into vampires? If the Cullens are solid like granite, wouldn’t they be really heavy?), as well as spilling all the details on their favourite characters (Just how did they become a vampire? What exactly do they look like? What role do they play in the series?). The illustrations bring the story to life in a way that is more true to the novel than the movie, and allows readers to see another version of what happens. Disappointed with how the Cullen House turned out in the film? Just turn to page 149!
Detailed timelines let us know the entire history of vampire-kind and a handy summary of all four novels reminds us of the key points of each chapter. 
With a 40 page interview with Stephenie, as well as handily chaptered sections on things such as ‘Vampires’ and ‘Inspirations’, fans of Twilight of all ages will not be disappointed by this ultimate companion guide to the series. After reading all 543 pages, you’ll know everything you’ve ever wanted to know, and more, about the wonderful world of Twilight. 

Available now from everywhere Twilight is sold, for $32.99. Published in Australia by Atom (Hachette Australia).

(Click Read More for my personal views on the novel).

As some of my long-term readers will remember, I used to be a Twihard. Not just a regular twihard, I was hardcore (although, it may be argued that the two are one and the same). Toong and I were so in love with Edward, it wasn’t even funny. We’d talk about the series non-stop, relating everything back to it, much to the annoyance of everyone around us. We were in one of the original waves of the fandom, back before talk of a movie, or even the final book. Finally, Breaking Dawn was released. I read it, and threw it away in disgust. My love started wavering until the movie was released and it was so terrible I turned my back on the series forever. The sudden influx of crazy fans may have had something to do with my sudden desire to remove myself from the Twilight equation as well, if I’m being completely honest. 

Fast forward almost three years (or four and a half from when I first discovered it), and I’m a massive twi-hater, which is why when I received ‘The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide’ in the mail yesterday, I will admit I recoiled. Though I do still have all the books somewhere in my overflowing bookcase, I wasn’t exactly keen to add to the collection. Part of me was just wondering why there even needed to be a 543 page, hardcover, illustrated companion book to the series, as it was so horrendously straight forward in the first place. It’s utter lack of plot leaves little that needs explaining. 

Still, I began to flick through it, mainly out of boredom, and was surprised at the amount of detail that Stephenie Meyer goes into. Every character ever mentioned gets a fact file to themselves, detailing things like description, family and personal history. I wonder why no one told her that no one cares? Sure, go into detail for the main characters, but do you really need half a page on the Teachers At Forks High School? I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone who reads it that Coach Clapp is ‘the gym teacher at Forks High School’. 

The illustrations may have been more effective if there hadn’t, you know, been a movie. The things they have illustrated are mainly things that we (yes, I admit to going to all the movies so far) saw in the films, and are therefore bringing nothing new to the table. That said, I’m sure illustrated!Bella has to have more facial expressions than Kstew. Also, I will admit that some of the illustrations are more how I first pictured them to be than what was seen in the movie. Take the Cullen House for example. The illustration for that matches the picture in my head perfectly. 

The most brilliant part, and I say that with dripping sarcasm, is the 40 page time line of key points throughout the four novels. Highlights include “Edward misses school the rest of the week”, “Emmett and Rosalie drag Jasper outside”, and “The happily ever after begins”. Seriously, save yourself the pain of reading all four books and just read this summary. If anything, it still manages to include too many irrelevant details. 

One part I did actually enjoy was the International Cover Gallery. It’s weird to think some fanpires don’t clutch a black book with a hideous red and white illustrations, but with other random colours and pictures. The Japanese covers are my favourite, they look like a comic. 

Another part I found really interesting in an entirely serious way was The Twilight Saga Playlist. I’m big on creating playlists for everything I do, so to see what songs influence Stephenie as she wrote the series was intriguing. Being the musical n00b I am, I only recognised a few of the songs, but the way she way she stated the song title and then a section from the book that it related to made a lot of sense. It’s a more interesting explanation of her inspiration than her cliche “I dreamed about it” story. 

Oh! I’m actually reading as I write this, and I have found a new favourite bit! In the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sections, one question is ‘What is Forever Dawn?’ to which Stephenie Meyer replies, and I quote: “Forever Dawn is the original title of the book that eventually became Breaking Dawn. Initially it was planned as an immediate sequel to Twilight…” Now this is where it gets amazing, “but it was decided the book skipped too much that was interesting in Bella’s last year of high school”. Gosh, Stephenie, have you actually read your own books? You honestly believe the plot, or lack thereof, in New Moon and Eclipse, was too interesting to miss out on? Lucky us. 
I’m disappointed my favourite FAQ wasn’t asked/answered. I just want to know how, when she stated vampires have no bodily fluid, Edward got Bella pregnant. Really. 

I’ll admit I have just flicked through the book, and I could be missing out on something so utterly perfect I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, but I doubt it. This is one book I refuse to devour from cover to cover.

If you want to read this work of genius for yourself, it’s available now from everywhere Twilight is sold (which, uh, would be everywhere). 

RRP: $32.99
Pages: 543
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Atom (Hachette Australia)
Rating: 1/5 (it only gets the one because it made me laugh)

frangipani princess xoxo

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

  1. Hi anon,Yes, I got this book for free. I get many books for free. But just because I got it for free doesn't mean I have to rave about it. I am very thankful to Hachette Australia for sending me books, I love it, but I'm not forced to love every book they send me. Do you think magazines love every book they get sent? Think of it this way. Sometimes you will read a magazine or newspaper and see a terrible review for a film. The person who wrote that review saw the film for free. They are merely giving their opinion on how they found it. That's what I'm doing here.By being sent something you are being asked to give it publicity. I am advertising it on my blog, but I'm not going to lie about whether or not I loved it. fp xo

  2. I didn't say you had to like it, just that you should be more gracious. Professional reviewers give reasons for their negative opinions, and don't just mock the writer.

  3. I will admit this is a biased review. Biased, of course, as when it comes to Twilight no-one can be neutral. I know I probably shouldn't hate on Stephenie Meyer so much, but sometimes she makes it too easy. I probably shouldn't hate on a lot of people, but I'm a 17yr old fangirl who hasn't quite learnt the art of being professional and neutral. I am grateful for receiving the book. I really am. I just couldn't help myself.fp xo AKA : she-who-wants-to-be-an-entertainment-editor-and-should-learn-to-write-professional-reviews

  4. I Love twilight and the series. I have yet to read the "The Official Illustrated Guide" but am so looking forward to it! I am a twilight fan and proud of it :)CheersLisa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s