I recently read an article featuring Stephen King and his opinion about Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series. Upon being asked what he thinks about the recent success of both Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling, he is quoted as saying, "The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn." Unfortunately, the article did not detail any explanation he may have had for these words, so I can't say whether I would agree with him.
I am more than ready to admit that Stephenie Meyer's writing isn't exactly Pulitzer material. However, I would hesitate to say that she can't write at all. In my humble opinion, she captures teen insecurities and awkwardness quite well and her metaphorical language evokes wonderful imagery. Her characters are reasonably realistic, their personal flaws adding dimension to the overall story.
When I first started reading the Twilight series (back before it was an outrageous teen best seller), I remember being inspired by her ability to take a phenomenally ancient legend and reinvent it in surprising and sometimes beautiful ways. I had been feeling rather hopeless in my efforts to do the same with another ancient legendary creature and felt renewed upon reading her books.
Mr. King goes on to say that Stephenie Meyer's writing was attractive to fans (especially young girls) because she was able to connect love and sex in a safe way. Whether he meant that as a compliment or another dismissive comment on her talent, I'm not sure. I, myself, am glad for her sensitivity with such an intimate subject. The fact Edward insists that he and Bella get married before involving themselves in such a sacred act only endears me to the stories all the more. Mr. King in his own writing, however, has no shame in detailing explicit and, in some cases, disgusting episodes of private behavior.
Mrs. Meyer treats the relationships of the characters in her stories with the respect that "real" people would deserve.
While both Mr. King and Mrs. Meyer are now well-recognized authors in their own rights, I have actually read more from the latter than the former. The fact that she, so far, has only written five books says something for my respect and enjoyment of her abilities.