1. Bella. About the most Mary-sue character I think anyone could have pulled off. I mean... "I'm oh so average, but seventeen guys have fallen in love with me on my first day of school". Her only "flaw" is that she is clumsy, but really, that just serves in making her more adorable and all the better for everyone to swoop in and save through all-too-convenient mishaps. Not to mention, people are saying she's a great role model? She is a teenage girl who wants to give up everything, her family and friends (whom she treats like scum), her life, for a boy whom she "loves" only because he's so freaking sparkly gorgeous (see #2). She has no dreams, turns down a great college to marry said disco ball and conceive demon spawn at age 18, right before she dies a horrific death after begging new husband to sleep with her for six thousand monotonous pages.
2. Edward. Somehow, he even surpasses Bella in the perfection department, which we are not permitted to forget...ever. I didn't know there were so many words for perfect, sexy, hawt and amazing and shiny and wonderful and amber. Dear. Lord. And to be honest, he's creepy. Even at age 16, if a boy watched me sleep, dismantled my car, declared his eternal love, and yanked me around and "overruled" my opinions in just about everything (cause he's perfect, so he always knows better)...I'd freak and probably call the police. This is stalking and abuse, children. Not love. Also... I realize his body is seventeen. However, he is 100 years old, and I don't get the impression that his mind stalled at 17. What about an "average" teenage girl could possibly interest him besides the fact that she smells like chocolate cake wrapped in bacon or something? Also... couldn't she just say she created some new race? This man is not a vampire! He has an urge to drink blood, which is surpressed. No fangs. No deadly allergy to sunlight. I can understand reinventing vampires... but taking away every single flaw they have while playing up the greatness makes for a very boring read (this bit of advice could have been applied to the characters, as well).
3. I'm all for kids reading. In fact, my teenage siblings are given gift cards for holidays that they don't receive til they read a book of their choosing and then describe it to me. I'm a huge reader, I read everything, from young adult novels to Stephen King to textbooks I stole from high school and keep from college. And I am about as against censorship as it gets. But I would have serious issues with my 12 year old sister reading these. The messages about their "love" is stalkerish and and disturbing. Not to mention the demon seed baby that Eddy boy EATS out of her after it breaks her back and kills her. I understand these are silly, poolside books, but the people who really think it's an epic love story, with beautiful prose (which is has, in SPADES) and perfect everything... really? The only action in anything takes place at the very end (p. 452 or so) and is wrapped up in all its predictable glory in about five pages.
And before the Twilight lackeys start freaking out on me... yes, I have read them all. And yes, a part of my tween self loved that someone as sexy as Edward could fall in love with me (because I'm sure we can all admit..It’s written from Bella's POV to make us feel like the star). But if you stop drooling long enough to really think about it, it's almost kind of laughable.
I'll admit it, apart from the creepy imprinting on the baby thing (which I found incredibly sexist, actually: "What if they refuse?" "Why would they do that?". End of discussion) I sort of liked Jacob. He had some depth, at least.
Anyway, excuse any typos and such.