I read this book for the first time in 2008. I remember bawling my eyes out in the middle of the night as I got to the iconic scene which sets the stage for the rest of the book. Then, whenever I reread the series, I would skip this book. It was my least favorite. I just reread it to completion for the first time in seven years. I completely underrated this novel and I'm glad I didn't write a review the first time I read it. I love how this book completely changes the dynamics of Bella's world. I adore Jacob and in reading it a second time, I feel I didn't appreciate him the first time around.
The series: Let's face it, it's not particularly well written, the plot is questionable and the characters overly dramatic. The true brilliance of this series is the creation of a character (Edward Cullen) that many of us women, no matter our age, secretly want for ourselves. He's beautiful, intense, extremely intelligent, principled, strong, and loves his 'mate' to an almost obsessive level (some of these characteristic of his vampy nature). His world revolves around her. She (Bella Swan) is decidedly normal and somewhat underwhelming - which most women identify with, even though most of us have plenty going for us ;).
The book: 2nd of 4, it's not my favourite of them all but is definitely enjoyable. A touch sad for much of the book it introduces new and important characters for future plot development. A much faster read than it looks. Fluffy fiction.
I wouldn't recommend this book at all if you're a literature elitist in any way. If you're just looking for something fun and pointless to divert you, this book is great no matter your age. You don't have to be a teenager to enjoy it. Beware, they're addictive!