About the book:
Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob---knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?
It's finished. At least until the next, highly anticipated book. That book that is the beacon of hope to every disillusioned, silly, teenage girl who believes Edward really exists. Here's a bit of education for you: he doesn't. And even if he did, he wouldn't be interested in a selfish, self-absorbed, teenage girl.
My reviews of Twilight and New Moon still stand. Neither one was stellar, let alone worth the hype. I also think it's as if she wasted two books to get to this one. Eclipse was enjoyable to read. Twilight and New Moon failed to fulfil their potential.
Eclipse wasn't stellar either, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. I could actually see myself re-reading this one. The writing improved dramatically. I think Stephenie Meyer suddenly remembered some of her college-learned writing techniques and realized what was missing in her previous work. I'd like to say she found a better editor, but I don't think so. Although, while the editing is still lacking, it is leaps and bounds above Twilight, which didn't seem to be edited at all. I appreciated the detail she finally provided. It was nice to see real conversations of substance. I appreciated the discussions and explanations. It was nice to see some back history provided for several of the characters. Although, the Cullen family is so involved with each other that it's still frustrating to see that even with the stories of Rosalie and Jasper explained, they remain one-dimensional characters. And any detail or substance to Esme is practically non-existent.
I still think Bella is a selfish, self-absorbed teenager and it's still hard for me to see why Edward loves her. Lusts after her, sure. And, I find the whole "I can't live without you" scenario annoying. I firmly believe that personal happiness is dependent on one person: yourself. Your life is enriched and blessed when you have the love and devotion of another, but they are not responsible for your happiness.
I liked the interaction between Jacob and Bella when he tells her that he was right for her and the natural path her life would have taken. Jacob let Bella be Bella, he didn't try and control her. And had Edward not come back in New Moon, Bella would have been happy with Jacob. And just for the record, I'm not pro-Jacob anymore than I'm pro-Edward. They're just characters in a book.
I also find Edward's ultimate control over Bella disturbing. He orders and forbids. He acts like he owns her. And she lets him. This is not healthy. Nor is her ultimate submission to his family and what they want. She isn't her own person, but one who tries to be the girl she thinks each man wants. Is this typical of an 18-year old girl? Possibly. She's probably most like her true self when she's with Jacob. Also, in her relationship with Edward, she is prepared to give up everything: friends, family and children. And for what? An eternity as a vampire with a man whose most compelling attraction is his beauty, dangerous potential and the forbidden.
I do like Edward. I think that Meyer finally fleshed out his character quite a bit in this novel and I just wish she had done so earlier. I find it interesting though that even though he's 100 (give or take a few) years old, she has him act more like he's a teenager. He may look like one, but theoretically he wouldn't act like one after all the life experiences he's had, even with the high school student charade they play.
Meyer has crafted a compelling story and characters with great potential. I have to give her that credit. Even though I was harsh in my criticism of the first two books, I continued reading them. I hope that the next book improves the series as this one did and not the reverse. I hope that we find more realistic substance to Edward and Bella's relationship as well.
* * *