I've given it 3 stars, but its more a 2.5 star.
I'm torn. I've never come across a book that I loved and loathed at the same time. That I really couldn't put down, then wanted to throw it across the room out of frustration.
It's hard to pin point what I liked - the story flowed, had my attention, and was a page turner - except where it wasn't.....
If I ignored the things that irritated me, just glossed over those details when they were mentioned (and tried to put them out of my mind), I was able to enjoy reading the book.
The things that I didn't like....
The first half of the book is filled with Bella's whininess.
About half way through, where Edward takes Bella to a meadow, in the sun, and sparkles.
I'm sorry. That's just stupid. ANYTHING would have been better - that the myth is true and let him burn in sunlight (though not to death of course), let his skin go translucent to a point - don't let him be something 'unreal' when he is meant to 'fit in'. I literally closed the book at this point and went to sleep.
Of course I wanted to know what happened so I continued to read the next day. I pretended the whole sparkle thing didn't happen (and glossed over it whenever it was brought up again).
I had a problem with the whole 'sitting on his lap like a baby', and for some reason the whole running with her on his back drove me insane as well. That's probably more of a personal thing for me, as I just found it silly. It was so babyish I had trouble picturing her then at the age she was ment to be. It didn't help that she acted like a baby most of the time anyway.
Bella's mother is selfish. Completely. Her daughter has to live in a town she hates because her mother wants to travel around with her new husband. Her daughter Bella nearly dies and all she cares about is to take a call from Phil and that Bella 'be more careful when you walk around'.
The biggest problem I had with Bella was her ability to do nothing right. I can buy the over analysing that she does, its plausible because people are like that. What I couldn't buy was that she didn't look like a Phoenix type person (according to her own analysis), she is pale - yet was missing not being able to wear singles and shorts, didn't play sport like the girls did in Phoenix, trips over herself, faints at the sight of blood, and whines - about everything. I'm not saying people can't be that way - I'm saying it would be a rare person that has so many negative things about themselves. Even if someone was like that - WHY does she have to be the "heroine" of the book? She appears so completely and utterly helpless its annoying. There is nothing portrayed about her that is positive. She isn't ever portrayed as smart - as soon as she 'knows' something about her class subject - its attributed to her having done the class in Pheonix.
In all honesty, if the vampires didn't sparkle, if Bella was written as able to do something right (at this point anything right would be an improvement), I would have given at least 3.5/4 stars. It lost a star alone for the sparkling.