Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eclipse (The Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer

Posted by Life Explorer at 6:18 PM
Review:To preface this, I'll say up front that I loathe love triangles. They're trite plot devices that are very rarely executed well, and that's just one of the huge problems with Eclipse. It's a love triangle that, according to the author, was designed for Bella to make a choice. Really? Was there any shred of doubt over what option she was going to go with? Unfortunately for Eclipse, about three quarters of the book involved pitting Edward and Jacob against each other in a quarrel over who Bella loves more (and again, really?). Sure, it's great to be loved, but in this instance it just makes everyone look bad. Jacob comes off as too sexually forceful, Edward looks like a lump on a log reciting the same "if it's good for Bella, it's good for me" line, and Bella looks more selfish and whiny than usual. Sure, Bella was whiny and annoying way before Eclipse, but she puts on a grand display here and it makes one long for a point of view change. Anyone. Jessica's point of view would probably be preferable. The rest of the book is about some killings in Seattle that, of course, mean Bella is in danger, which, naturally, means Edward has to act like a psycho boyfriend intent on saving her from herself. Early on he attempts to keep her house bound by ripping the spark plug out of her car, and while I thought that was a little melodramatic and creepy he one ups himself constantly after that. No wonder Bella kept grumbling and sighing whenever he kept swooping in to tell her where not to go and why. Then there's the marriage issue -- he wants to, she doesn't (it's embarrassing, you see...far more than having to tell one's family you intend to become a vampire in the near future because marriage is so much more shocking) -- but it's not like Bella has a say in the day that's supposed to be hers. She literally doesn't. It reminded me a little of an arrangement than a celebration with the amount of groaning and wincing Bella does concerning the upcoming nuptials. What disturbed me more, besides the rickety plot, the endless comparisons to Wuthering Heights (the author studied literature in college, I get it. most of us college educated people did and I still don't see the need for comparisons to Heathcliff and Cathy), and the annoying love triangle, was how self-deprecating Bella was. How she constantly went through the book saying how unworthy she was of everyone, how at fault she was of everything, how clumsy, stupid, selfish (that one I actually don't argue with), immoral, weak, helpless, pathetic, and frighteningly normal she is. Sure, it's hard to have immortal, strong, mostly male friends, but as a woman I'd like to see Bella shed that "oh well, I'm just a little weak girl, woe is me, I'll just sit in the corner and die now" attitude without having to become a vampire. At every turn in Eclipse Bella depicts herself harshly, and the story does nothing to turn that around. She's the one that wants to have sex outside of marriage (which is too immoral for virtuous Edward), she's the one that's too weak to do anything other than be babysat, and for the most part the story agrees with her. The men (with the exception of possibly Alice) are the selfless heroes by the end, and the women are selfish (Bella), shallow (Rosalie), and bitter (Leah). Where have the strong female role models gone?

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