on 30 July 2008
I have kept up with these characters, Bella, Edward & Jacob, for three books now and I am finding it hard to find my objectivity these days. Was this book good? Yes, they all are. Could I put `ECLIPSE' down once I picked it up? Absolutely not! But this was not my favorite book in the series.
Now before you all start throwing tomatoes (because I know many people think it is the best thus far), this goes back to my objectivity being compromised. There were so many great aspects of this book, for example, the flash backs as to how the rest of the Cullen's became vampires (loved that!), the history of the Quileute tribe and the story line about the newborns (which, in truth, I had higher hopes for but I liked it overall). But in my head there is a certain outcome that I would prefer for Bella, but by the end of `ECLIPSE' it became pretty clear that what I want and what is actually going to happen are two very different things. It is like watching a good friend make a lot of decisions that you know are really bad. It is frustrating.
Also, Bella was a little hard to deal with in this third book. She was whiney and selfish , in my opinion, quite often I wanted to slap her (smile)! I found her treatment of everyone from Edward to Jacob to Charlie off-putting and I often found myself screaming at the book for Bella to "stop being so selfish!!" Nonetheless, this book is just as engrossing as the rest, that point I cannot deny. I found myself reading 'ECLIPSE' faster than I have ever ready any other 600+ page book before. And I am waiting not-so-patiently on the edge of my seat for the fourth and final book in the Twilight saga `BREAKING DAWN'!
This is YA fiction and I'm not even close to the target audience. It's been a lot of years since I belonged in the 'teen' category BUT... despite that, I loved this book! I think it might be because the 17 year old that I once was is still fresh in my mind, and if I squint when I look in the mirror I can still see her (she just got better looking over the last couple of decades *grin*).
A five star book for me is one that I have to tear myself away from and these have to be amongst the better 5 star books I've read recently. I could not put them down, regardless of whether I fit in the target deomographic or not. I have no idea why I was so enamoured with this particular story but it just grabbed me, literally from the first chapter. It has it's flaws, and at times those flaws tried to pull me away from the pages while I wrestled with my beliefs but never did I feel like I couldn't go on. I'm actually mystified why this is such a great series, I wish I could put my finger on it but it escapes me. I am fond of a bit of vampire lit, it's true, but this goes beyond that....I think. I can't say the writing is superlative so it's not that.....but what is it? I wish I knew. Answers on a postcard, please.
Bella is a complete feminists' nightmare and I can see why that would put a lot of people off of her, but at 17 love is blind so I'm willing to forgive Bella on that score. Edward is so uber male that he fairly reeks testosterone and again, that may grate on some readers but lets put things in perspective, he's the ultimate predator and has had nearly a century of dominating his prey so on that score I'm willing to forgive him his overly masculine nature. This nurture/love thing is new for him too......
Ultimitely, lets not forget that this is a tale of vampire love which is aimed at teens/young adults and the usual complexities and concerns that come with real life won't apply here. I for one am glad to slip into Bella and Edward's world and remember what it was to be young and in the throes of first love. If you have an imagination and are willing to suspend your disbelief then you might enjoy this story. It's an enjoyable bit of escapism to while away a few hours/days but if your usual reading material tends to be the classics and nothing more, then you probably will feel the need to return here with you own 1 or 2 star review.
I devoured all 4 books in 4 days and I want to tell everyone to read them as I loved them so much, but I realise that everyone has different tastes so all I can recommend is that you read the reviews and make your own mind up from there.
on 5 June 2008
For me this book had quite a few problems with it and the main one is Bella. Now don't get me wrong I don't dislike Bella, she is humble, hardworking and brave, but there is something about her attitude that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. When somebody attempts to do something nice for her (Alice throws her a party) she acts incrediably ungrateful; Edward damages her car so she cant see Jacob and she cant even remain mad at him and her endless obsession with her age and willingness to end her own life. Is this really a strong heroine? I dont think so.
Okay, her love for Edward. The scenes between them are very intense and the dialogue is captivating, however, after New Moon, where Bella repeatedly risked her life because she was so heartbroken, she feels uncomfortable about marrying Edward. Huh? Dont get me wrong I am not advocating anybody getting married at that age but she is willing to die for him but does not want to marry him?! I know its a hang up from her mum but, still, a little perspective please.
Now I undersatnd why Bella loves Jacob. New Moon was enough to convince me of that. And I really like Jacob...that is until *Spoiler* he threatens to kill himself unless she kisses him. I'm sorry, but I found this scene so ridiculous. And it really highlights Meyers faults as a writer. Everything is so melodramatic and Bella's constant bouts of feinting or weeping really begin to get on your nerves.
The action was also limited and I find Victoria as the main baddie unelievable. Considering she has been hanging around now for three books we dont really get to learn anything about her.
At the end of the day if you liked the other books in the series the chances are you will like this one too. And, for all my complaints, I did enjoy this book, but I am not blind to its faults. It is definately an entertaining read. I just wish that I knew why Bella and Edward loved each other and I dont. But really I just want Bella to grow a back bone. Give me a heroine I can be proud of.
on 24 November 2009
How did I miss these books?
A girl in my class ( 8 year old!) was reading some sort of comic book 'add-on'about Twilight....upon questioning I found she had read all of the Bella and Edward books, and this explained to me why so much of the writing in school was punctuated with references to people named 'Bella' and 'Edward'. (Such old-fashioned names I had thought...in my ignorance.)
I did a bit of research on Amazon and found that they were aimed at teenagers (female I guess).
At the same time I discovered in an idle moment, on Anytime TV the first film in the series and I was mesmerised by it.
Let me add that I am no teenager....add on another 45+ years!
From this film I managed to borrow a copy from one of my class so that I could see whether it really was the disparaging unreadable 'teenlit' I had read about.
A brief read made it clear to me that you really do need to judge for yourself. Forget the sniffy comments about the lack of literary expertise.....I was delighted and enthralled. You don't read this trilogy for a clever literary fix - that is not the attraction. After the first few pages you simply transport to Bella's world and the entrancing attraction.... I defy anyone female of any age to argue this....of meeting a man who is everything you can possibly want.
The attraction is very simple....Ms Meyer understands the female psyche very well. She has written about an ordinary girl with an ordinary life who expects to spend (as we all do) a perfectly ordinary life carved out in the normal mundane way. In fact she meets a vampire and the rest is a love story that is so fulfilling that it had me breathless, laughing and crying in turns.
It is a while since I have read anything so powerful that held me so captive, and I have been reading widely for years!
I could not put the books down...I read by torchlight while my husband slept and ignored the real-life mundanities of washing and ironing for a weekend so that I could keep reading.
This saga is an absolute page-turner. It is impossible to put down.
Some people have said that Bella is a 'moaner'. I think she is a perfect (human)counterbalance to Edwards perfection. Even at my age I found him the most attractive and beguiling creature ever. Well...he would be! Such devotion and understanding! And I think this is the attraction. We may all have partners, boyfriends and husbands, but do they come close to Edward? I doubt that very much and I have been happily married for nearly forty years!
Who would not want the unerring constancy of a staggeringly beautiful male?
Is such love true to life? I doubt it...putting aside the vampire bit for a moment! But for me, this was the attraction....I know such unworldly love is impossible but within the covers of these books, you will find it both believable and something to hope for.
I have purposefully not written spoilers because it needs to be read...I would hate to put anyone off. I have read that book four is the 'adult one' and I simply cannot wait! I have read all the reviews and I know what is coming but I need to live it....so another weekend of total immersion is unavoidable for me.
Thank God that I have the films of the whole series to look forward to...it is another dimension that just adds to my pleasure and involvement....and for me the casting is faultless. I won't dwell on Robert Patterson, (words are not enough!)but the visual experience just adds to the experience of the book. Whoever was responsible for the casting saw straight to the core of the characters.
This series is not a teenage wallow in mediocrity. It is a very skilful portrayal of what most females imagine is going to happen to them in the future. If you are older it is a wistful dwelling on what you have somehow missed.
Of course....no-one will meet a vampire, but this is the skill of Ms Meyer. This huge and magnificent detail very soon becomes secondary...almost a commonplace to what is pivotal and most important and also (sadly!) if we are truthful; unattainable...the unswerving love and understanding of Edward.
Read these books and be transported.
(I understand there is another version of one or more of the books written from Edward's perspective......what absolute joy!
on 17 July 2010
The premise for Eclipse sounds good - a spate of mysterious murders in Seattle lead the Cullens to believe that they are inexplicably linked to Bella, and as such that her life is in mortal danger. However, by page 325, the story still hasn't progressed and instead we're treated to a step-by-step account of Bella's boring life, leading up to her graduation (an event that is over in a matter of pages). Even the moments featuring Jacob can't lift this book out of its own self imposed quagmire, as there simply aren't enough of them. In fact, with Edward now firmly ensconced at Bella's side, Jacob is forced to take a back seat, with Edward now slowly sucking the life out of a story that was barely registering signs of a pulse anyway.
And Edwards little trip away in New Moon, seems to have done nothing for his personality either. In fact it's safe to say that by the middle of Eclipse he has turned into a frightening control freak. He tries to stop Bella from seeing Jacob, claims he isn't jealous of the relationship that she has with him and that it is simply his way of trying to keep her `safe'. But on the one attempt Bella tries to disobey him and see Jacob, he gets Alice to kidnap her and take her hostage so she can't leave. I know the guy is a vampire, but this is truly MENTAL behaviour and certainly not the kind of relationship that should be promoted to teenage girls as healthy or normal. It's not OK if your boyfriend is trying to control every aspect of your life, and it's certainly not OK if he then gets family members to kidnap you and hold you prisoner, claiming it's for `your own good.'
Bella is still a wet sap, incapable of functioning without draping herself off the arm of some male. She manages to do for women's lib, what the Cheeky Girls did for pop music - set it back 50 years, to a time when women were defined by the husbands they chose and the domestic duties they performed. And why do all the men in her life seem to pull her places? Is she completely incapable of walking unaided?! Edward `pulls' her to class at school; Jacob `pulls' her along the beach; Edward `drags' her away from something or other - it's repetitive and just highlights the weakness of the saga's lead character. And she is completely obsessed with looks, particularly Edward and the Cullens. No one should define themselves purely on how they look to others, and yet Bella can't stop harping on about how beautiful they all are compared to herself.
Then there's Alice who seems to have turned into nothing more than a glorified party planner - first with Bella's birthday in New Moon, then Bella's graduation and finally with the wedding. And gone are the days when Alice's visions of the future were hazy - now she has an uncanny ability to predict the future with pinpoint precision.
Which leads me on to the biggest flaw with Eclipse... the introduction of random plotlines and character traits that do nothing to add to the storyline and in fact only serve to confuse the reader. Meyer has now taken to inventing new plotlines and changing the way characters behave, one can only assume so the story can go in the direction she wants, with no messy endings and everyone getting what they want in life (or death). It all blends together to form a story that feels as if Meyer is making it up as she goes along, which given the quality of writing, wouldn't surprise me in the least!
And therein lies another BIG problem - the style and quality of writing in Eclipse is the worst yet. Meyer's use of certain words and phrases are hysterical, my particular favourite being `his eyes tightened.' I lost count of the number of times she used it to describe the look Edward gives Bella, but my question remains - how can anyone's eyes tighten?! Another favourite was `angry moisture.' I have no idea what this is, but it managed to make me laugh (although I'm guessing that wasn't Meyer's intention). And it would appear that Edward has now turned into some kind of mockney geezer, putting `love' at the end of sentences when talking to Bella (e.g. "...well, you do stink, love.") It's not romantic, lyrical writing, it's just plain sloppy!
And Meyer doesn't stop there. I truly believe that no author should let their personal beliefs bleed into their writing, but Meyer clearly sees things differently. Sex before marriage, Bible references, women portrayed as subservient to men - it's all here, badly written and poorly concealed as teenage fiction. None more so than in chapter 20, when Bella tries to talk to Edward about (whispered tones here) s-e-x, an experience she wants to have whilst she's still human. What's annoying is Meyer never once uses the word, instead choosing all kinds of trite expressions and phrases, skirting the word like some kind of poisonous snake. So, what could have been a good chapter showcasing an awkward but necessary conversation, becomes some flowery, overly wordy rubbish, shrouded in code and culminating in Edward once again getting his own way. It would appear, you see, that the only way Edward will consent to sex with Bella, is if they are married first. So, rather than allow Bella and Edward to experience sex in the same way many normal teenagers would do for the first time, she throws in the complication of marriage. She may as well have written, "Sex before marriage is always BAD, even if the usual rules don't apply and your boyfriend is a fully signed up member of the undead!"
The last few chapters were an absolute chore to read - wading through mounds of dull text to get to the final scenes (which the reader only experiences second hand anyway). Meyer is wonderful at artfully dodging a subject, writing 1000 words to convey her ideas, where 50 would suffice. By the end Bella has become a whiney, morose martyr, banging on about her `pain' and the `pain' she has caused others, particularly Edward and Jacob. In my opinion she should be with Edward - they can be wet and uninteresting together.
Having now read the first three Twilight books, and after reading the reviews of `Breaking Dawn', this is where it ends for me. I don't think I could physically or mentally cope with wading through any more of Meyer's dross.
In this, the third book in the "Twilight" series, writer Stephanie Meyer is showing signs of saga fatigue whilst her publisher is showing signs of contempt for the reading public. At 600+ pages, it is 200 pages longer than the first book in the series with a corresponding fall in quality.
Although we are promised a plot linked to a series of mysterious and increasingly nasty murders in Seattle, it never really takes centre stage. Instead, most of the book is taken up with more of the going-nowhere-fast relationship between Edward-the-Vampire and Bella-the-Teenager.
At the start of the series, Edward is the dream boyfriend: by the third volume, he has become controlling, overbearing and, frankly, sinister. This has a parallel in the standoff between the rival gangs of vampires and werewolves: in "Moonlight", this was about territory and historical enmity, but here it develops into an attempt by members of the rival groups to have control of Bella.
I enjoyed "Twilight", quite enjoyed "New Moon", but having ploughed through "Eclipse", won't be reading any more in the series. Meyer is a gifted storyteller, but the "Twilight" brand seems to have deteriorated into soap and, unfortunately, the plot seems to have been lost in the wash.
on 19 January 2010
I can not believe that I'm really hooked on The Twilight Saga after all I'm 50 years old for goodness sake, but there is just something addictive about them and I'm not the only 'oldie' to feel this way, my friend, a professional person of the same age recommended them to me. Eclipse is my favourite of the series so far its more gritty than twilight and new moon with more action, the love triangle carries on from new moon and you are constantly wondering just who she will pick in the end Edward or Jacob. Granted as others have commented Bella does appear more selfish in eclipse and manages to hurt both Edward and Jacob with her dithering, however she is young and confused so i think she can be forgiven. The book is full of suspense and very hard to put down. I have just started to read breaking Dawn and am disappointed that its the last book in the series but then everything has to end sometime and I'm sure the ending will be happy.
on 27 July 2008
First and foremost I have to admit that from about the third chapter of Twilight I was not able to put these books down, they really do have some unseen grip on the reader (and is my reason for giving this 3 stars), as far as enjoyability goes I'd say I liked Eclipse the best, I loved how it delved into the history of the other vampires and of course the werewolves, but it was by far the most predictable(did Meyer really think we wouldn't connect the dots?), and I found myself more than once with a very sudden urge to strangle Bella.
And I definitely find myself agreeing with a lot of what others here have said, her whole thought process within this book is just completely and utterly wacked, if the guy you are insanely in love with and who you cannot live or breathe without asks you to marry him, you say yes, and her selfishness just seems to grow, and her self conciousness just continues to get on my nerves, Edward loves her, and I think he has proven that on more than one occassion, and yes we all have insecurities but I think it could have been toned down.
And the whole Jacob deal, like what? She only ever saw him as a brother, and knew with certainty that there was nothing more, and then all of a sudden after Jacob FORCES, yes forces himself on her then he seems to be worth ruining her relationship with Edward over, right that makes perfect sense, it's absolutely ridiculous, I mean when he kisses her it actually repulses her, she tries to shove him off, it was quite clear that a line had been crossed. I am just not convinced by the whole her being in love with Jacob as well, it doesn't make sense, and I'm really rather disgusted at her father's reaction, had it been Edward, god forbid, then all hell woud have broken loose, but because it's Jacob, it's ok if he attacks his daughter.
I really believe that the pursuit of tat whole storyline has rather messed things up, but alas I am going to read the next installment to see if Meyer can be redeemed, regardless of its flaws, I am a slave to this newest of obsessions...
on 17 October 2007
Just finished the book last night. I really loved it. The whole love triangle thing was very heart wrenching. I really felt for Bella, she has such a lot to deal with in this book. Read it with an open mind, I read a lot of mixed reviews on Amazon.com but you have to make up your own mind. Does true love prevail in the end... I think so!
on 1 November 2007
Let me start off by saying this. I am a huge fan of Stephenie Meyer's books; Twilight been my favourite. I don't know whether it was because of the mysterious Cullen family (especially Edward), or the sense of mystry and creepiness in the book, or even the sometimes humourous personality of the narrator Isabella (Bella) Swan, but there was something about Twilight that kept me hooked and had me on the edge of my seat trying my hardest not to vulgar language is ugly through the last pages of the climatic last chapters. New Moon was same as well.
The character Bella, the narrator of the story it seems has always been accused of been a weak pathetic heroine who always needs saving by the strong, powerful Edward. Some might see this as sexist. I want to say I completely understand why readers would say this- I after all am a seventeen year old girl. But I don't for one minute think that Stephenie Meyer is doing this. To be honest I never had a problem with the way Bella was in Twilight. Bella was a human girl who suddenly found herself in a world of ridiculously powerful vampires, and by the end of the book was in the clutches of a sadistic vampire. How would you act? I wouldn't be exactly calm headed.
In New Moon Bella fell completely apart because of Edward and his families leaving. Over the top? Yes, but as Stephenie mentioned, what the two had was true love. The point I'm trying to make here is that in the first two books Bella may have been pathetic and weak, but she at least showed bravery and strength that some might not have been able to achieve. In Twilight this is the Bella who went willingly to James knowing that he would hurt her, just to save her mother. And this is the same Bella who in New Moon travelled all the way to the Volturi to save Edward, again knowing that she could be killed.
In Eclipse there is hardly, if not none, of this. Eclipse seems to show so much of the bad of Bella that I wondered if Stephenie Meyer wanted her readers to start disliking Bella. One of this things I never liked about her, was her selfishness and obsession with Edward. Yes she's in love with him, yes he look's perfect, but she thinks about him all the time in Twilight and New Moon! And much to my annoyance in Eclipse, she's upped this and is now saying she'll "die" if Edward leaves her. He certainly had good enough reason after the book. And then there's her selfishness in not considering her family in wanting to become a family. Straight after her attack in Twilight she's bugging Edward to turn her, and is still doing this in New Moon. Thank God, Eclipse shows her considering her family, and the drawbacks of been a vampire.
But in Eclipse Bella is whiny, even more selfish, more pathetic, and just dislikable. By the end of the book, because of her actions, I just wanted to shake her. She is now my least favourite character, I really don't like her anymore.
One thing I can't understand about Eclipse is the love triangle with Edward, Jacob, and Bella. Was there ever going to be a chance with this? It seemed to me like an excuse just to have Belle say that she was in love with Jacob. I'm sorry but what?! Where did this come from? I got the impression from New Moon that they had more of a brotherly sisterly relationship. And now Bella's in love with him? And to add to this, Bella sees Jacob as her human `Soul mate', and her and Edwards relationship as a `drug'? For me it ruins everything that they had in the first two books, by implying that the two's relationship is dangerous, addictive and bad, and that Jacob is the good one.
Another thing that left me was how Bella could even consider Jacob over Edward. I liked Jacob in New Moon, and felt sorry for him at the end, because of Bella using him. But in Eclipse he is immature and nasty and despicable. I've lost most of my liking for him, with maybe a little left to feel sorry for him. It was only after the book that I really saw how sad Jacob was, and I did lose some of my anger towards him. I try to remember how he was like in Twilight and New Moon, the happy, confident sweet guy who made everyone around him happy, and had an innocent crush/feelings fro Bella.
Edward I'll admit has seemed controlling in the previous books. And I didn't like him all too much at the end of New Moon. But it's only in Eclipse do I see how wonderful the character is. His descision in New Moon, while saddening for the readers, was very selfless. Edward who declares that Bella is his everything, and wrote music for her Twilight. Edward who would live in misery in New Moon just to make sure that Bella is safe and had a life. And he who went to kill himself because he was so upset at Bella's supposed death. How could Bella even think of leaving him for Jacob?
I agree that Edward was very passive in this book and didn't react much to how horrible Bella was, and her betrayal, but I can understand why. Edward loves Bella more than anything. And when you love someone deeply, you forgive them, because they are everything to you. Of course I am on the other hand a girl, and not in love with Bella, and wanted so much to enter the story and slap her across the face.
There are some good points to Eclipse. Such as the back stories from Rosalie and Jasper and the humour in the book is as good as Twilight. Also the emotion the book makes you feel shows how good the story is, and how talented the author is. You really come to understand the characters and see them mature. Edward really has changed since the days in Twilight when he got jealous at the prom with Jacob Blacks thoughts, and now look- he's ok with them kissing. There were also some lovely moments between Edward and Bella. And I loved the Jasper and Alice moments, I think they're a great couple. While I love Edward (leave's out Bella), I liked Jasper and Alice's relationship more. They really do seem to love each other. Alice, as I read somewhere, is Jaspers world, and he'd do anything for her. I really do think that's romantic Very Happy
Also I wish Emmett would get more time in the books because he's a great character Smile
But I didn't like the love triangle which the books focuses on. Bella comes out of the book even more weak and annoying than the last books, and a manipulative, dislikable character. I wish she's show some backbone and not have to always be the one in danger or scared and upset. There is such thing as holding your head up high and been brave, and showing power even when your up against the odds. Yet she shows none of this.
Thankfully there are better female characters in the books like Alice, Rosalie, Jane, and Angela. They are just as strong as the male characters in the book, if not better. Alice is very important to the Cullen family, probably the most because of her power to see into the future. Rosalie is the imbodemant of innter strength with her never having drunk human blood despite the thirst. Jane is one of the top guards for the Volturi, and it seems Aro's favourite. And Angela shows the good in humanity. Can't say the women aren't portrayed well know can we. Shame that the main character is worse and dislikable than some of the lesser characters. It should be the other way round.
Eclipse all in all was an ok book for me, but a bit of a disappointment. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. There were equal bits I liked, and disliked. The only thing I really didn't like was the love triangle; it just didn't seem real to me. I hope that Meyer redeems Bella and Jacob in some way, because to me, Jacob should find someone else, and Bella doesn't deserve Edward after this book. Frankly Bella can have Jacob, because I'm sure there are plenty of readers who would love Edward.