Hopefully I can limit this article to the problems with Bella as a character, but since the story is from her point of view, it will approach on the problems of Twilight. Note, I’ll only be using Twilight as an example, there is no way I’m reading all four books, I’m not a god. If I were a god, I surely would not be reading these books. And who would want to be a god? All that whining and praying…
Well. Let’s bring Twilight to a very, very basic level. Bella falls in love with Edward, who in turn falls in love with her, but is fighting the urge to drink her blood and resist her ‘scent.’ So, Bella is more like an object for Edward to be troubled over, and the book is told from her point of view. It might as well been a camera set on the ‘love Edward’ setting.
Bella is a Sue. A really, really bad Sue. The author even admits that Bella is based on herself. So, being nice, Bella is an insert. Being mean, Bella is one of the worst Mary Sue’s of all time.
Personality (or lack thereof) is one of the major flaws of the book. Bella is nothing, practically an empty vessel. The story is told so plainly, and when adjectives are used, they’re describing how she was cooking, or those ‘smoldering topaz eyes.’ While her life pre-Edward is supposed to be dull and rather boring, it can still have some interesting parts, especially if it’s shown through her eyes. No, being clumsy isn’t personality, not one bit. Everyone is clumsy at some point, some are just more so than others. Being a klutz makes her ‘endearing’ to the other boys at the school, and it’s somehow supposed to pass as a flaw? It’s like saying Edward’s handwriting (which is godly, of course) is bad, and it makes him realistic. Bella’s ‘normal’ attributes also make Edward more god-like, and that desirable man.
The other boys at school. Stereotypes, in essence. They ‘fawn’ over her, another fact the author mentions happened to her when she got to college. The guys are actually kinda nice in their own way, they walk Bella to her classes, offer to help her study, and so forth. She just blows it off and is disdainful at their courting attempts. She even is a brat to Edward for a moment, but then notices those perfect eyes. While her being scornful can be attributed as personality, it’s not befitting of a Sue. Soon after falling (if you want to call it that) for Edward, she becomes more normal around them.
The girls at school are mostly stereotypical as well, and are almost all foils to Bella, to further increase her perfect status. All of them are jealous of her relationship with Edward once it becomes public, which (somehow) raises her staus even further, because she got the angel guy that no one else can.
While the story is supposed to be a take on Romeo and Juliet, two lovers who eventually destroy each other, the Sue-ism ruins what made Romeo and Juliet good – the fact that it was a tragedy. They died. The most that comes out of it is their infatuation with each other, and unfortunately we are stuck with Bella’s point of view. Sculpted face, windswept hair, topaz eyes, sleep gas for breath. If it was mentioned once or twice to remind the reader that this guy looks really good, things might have been okay. But, unfortunately, it happens every time they see each other. It starts descending into icky purple prose as well, which breaks up an already slow paragraph.
Anyways, Bella has a freakishly abnormal infatuation with a stalker 103-year-old virgin. She lacks personality, and simply can’t think for herself. She does whatever ‘sculpted Edward’ tells her to, and she’s glad to do it. Worse, many intelligent teenage girls (some I know, and much smarter than I am) love the book, because they can ‘relate’ to Bella. No one can possibly relate to Bella. Even if you’ve only lived a year of your life you’d have more personality. Personally, I would much like Edward’s view of things, because he seems to have some flaws hinted at, but they got lost among the wastelands of purple prose. Even then, it will be all ‘scent’ this and ‘scent’ that. Maybe not.
I’m sorry I could not go more in depth, I don’t have a copy of Twilight lying around, and so some points might be wrong.