Everyday Tidbits...

Fall, where are you? I get teasers of cooler weather, but you haven't arrived yet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Eclipse...Review

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.

Read 2/08

* * *
3/5 Stars

5 comments:

Tristi Pinkston said...

It also drives me nuts how both Jacob and Edward are always touching her face. I'd be slappin' some hands away, if it was me!

Ronnica said...

This is not a series that I think I could stomach. I've heard a lot of gushing...but that just makes my disgust with it worse. I can't say it's bad since I've never read them, but I'm certainly not interesting in being able to say for sure one way or the other.

Dapoppins said...

I love the look of your page...that is some of my favorite scrapbook paper...now I just skimmed your reviews, cause I really agree with your statment: Not worth the hype.

Why do you think these books sell?

Holly said...

I think they sell because a lot of people just like to read escapist fiction. They simply want to be entertained and they don't care about quality. I admit that I have read certain books for that same reason.

I also think they sell because of the hype. Good or bad, they certainly get a lot of press/publicity and they generate a lot of discussion and arguments. People love them and can't understand why they can't convince you to love them too. Others hate them and don't understand why anyone would love them. And then there are those who recognize that they are simple, escapist fiction

They are also geared towards teenage girls who often are, as a rule, overly romantic. They have romantic, often unrealistic, fantasies about their lives and these books play right into that.

I probably would have enjoyed them a lot more if I had simply found them on a bookshelf. But because there was a lot of hype, I thought they would be good, well-written books. I was wrong about that. I've read Harlequin novels that had better character development. Are they entertaining? Yes. And, unfortuntately, I read them with the intent that they would be more than simply entertaining. That was my mistake.

mumple said...

After reading all three books, I have to say that while, as a 40-year-old who has read a lot of tripe, this one isn't that bad, as teen romance/horror goes.

It's a better read than some of the Oprah-promoted books I've read, too.

For me, I don't like Edward all that much--he's eye-candy, and too *much*, you know? He's not real--and he doesn't seem real.

Bella is a brat--a spoiled, lazy, ragdoll brat. You're right--Edward does some serious controlling and she TAKES it. I like my women (well, literarily, if that's a word) with more backbone and gumption. She's cardboard; vanilla; tapioca bland.

The most intense part of the three books, for me, was in the first--that part where they're sitting in science class supposedly watching the movie? That was "grown up intense" for me, and I suppose, the part that got me hooked. I'm a sucker for suspense (although, the movie Jurassic Park totally wigs me because of the suspense).

It bothers me most that Bella's attachments seem to be on the unattainable. What kind of message is that to send to teenagers? None of the characters (her mother, her father, her friends) seem to hold her attention, or affection, for long; but in walk the frigid family of vampires, and viola! She's immediately attached and desperate for their love. She'll go anywhere and do anything...as long as they love her.

It's escapism at it's best, to me, though: take the worst "legends" and "myths" and make them "human" and not evil. It calls to mind all the "what ifs" of childhood.

I do like the contrast between Jacob and Edward--Jacob is red hot, burning up--threatening to take everyone with him, while Edward is cold and aloof, to the point of untouchableness. (How much Bella and Edward touch creeps me out--she keeps saying how cold and "marble-like" he is--creepy.)

What I don't understand is how Stephanie Meyer being LDS makes a difference in whether or not these books are a "good read" or not. I personally find a book "good" or "horrid" based on the book itself, not the personal facts about the author. (Feel free to email me if you've got some insight for me on that point! I just don't get it--and that was very prominent in the hype I caught about this book)