silhouette of man and woman facing each other during golden hour

Twilight will always have a special place in my heart because I remember reading and discussing it with my friends when I was 13 and 14. After all of the books came out, my mom mentioned that if she had read all of them first, she would have made me wait until I was older. That conversation sparked the idea for The Book Nanny and made it possible almost ten years later. Keep reading for the Twilight Parent Guide parents should have had 15 years ago!

Summary of Twilight

When Bella Swan shows up in the small town of Forks, her plan is to endure high school for two years and get out. Instead, she discovers that vampires are real and not a nightmare. One of those vampires craves her blood above all others.

Twilight Parent Guide

Language: 7 biblical swear words; 1.4% of pages contain language;
Adult Content: PG-13 a couple of heated kisses and allusions to sex;
Violence: PG-13 for the boss fight at the end, and thematic elements

Judging a Book by the Movie

Everything has both pros and cons. However, when it comes to Twilight, I just hear the bad. There is a bad stigma around the Twilight series from the movies, book critics, and relationship experts criticism. Let just start by saying the books were way better than the movies.

While I was reading, I pictured Kirsten Stewart as Bella but with a completely different personality. If you base your ideas of Twilight on the movies, you got the main story. But it’s hard to represent the inner thoughts of characters on film. So I suggest at least reading the first book (or half of the first book) before forming your opinion.

Critics of Stephenie Meyer

As for the criticism from readers and relationship experts, yes, the book isn’t perfect. Stephenie Meyer tried her best when writing it. I can’t fault her for accomplishing something that I only dream of someday. She has written not just one book but nine. Plus, she has more than made up for her shortcomings by rewriting Twilight twice! Once as a gender-flipped novel and again from Edward’s perspective. Is Stephenie Meyer’s writing perfect? Nope, but no one’s writing ever is. For more about Stephenie Meyer and her writing journey, check out this author spotlight.

Is Twilight Abusive?

One of the biggest criticisms of Twilight and later books in the series is the characteristics of a toxic relationship in Bella and Edward’s relationship. Some critics argue that Twilight romanticizes abusive traits and holds them up as a standard for ideal relationships. I can understand why they would say Bella and Edward’s relationship is toxic. They recognize and acknowledge this is the series and then work to change it. As long as you realize that it isn’t a perfect relationship and don’t try to copy it, you’ll be good.

This would be a great topic to discuss with your teen or young adult while reading the books. Books are great conversation starters. You could talk about what a healthy relationship looks like and the warning signs of a toxic or abusive relationship. Talking about touchy topics in a book can provide a natural setting for hard but necessary conversations.

Twilight Parent Guide Recommendations

Twilight has some sexual innuendos. In later books, there is making out, an attempted seduction, and a honeymoon. There aren’t any sex scenes, but I recommend waiting until at least 16 to start the series, so you can read all of them at once. I appreciate that only biblical profanity is used and is relatively low compared with similar books.

If you enjoyed Twilight, here are some other books you might enjoy: City of Bones, Vampire Academy, Marked, A Kiss of Deception, Everless, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Right now, I’m working on a long post with lots of fantastic fantasy reads. Keep an eye out or join our email list to get blog updates.

Happy Reading!
Emily