Well, that happened. My Eclipse review.

Eclipse
By: Stephenie Meyer
640 Pages
Published by: Little, Brown Young Readers
Synopsis: human girl gets progressively more annoying, which seemed like an impossibility but she somehow pulls it off. Every man she encounters fails to notice that she’s the most high maintenance bitch ever and decides he can’t live without her. Vampires. Werewolves. Fighting. Kissing. Whining.

OK, so, I was trying to finish this series before I returned the books to the family member/book lender on Christmas. I got close, getting in all of them except for Breaking Dawn. And while this series has rapidly gone downhill from guilty pleasure to source of extreme rage for me, I am going to get Breaking Dawn from the library and finish it out.

Edit Note: It was graciously pointed out to me on Twitter by Jessica984 that I actually mean Breaking Dawn and not New Moon. I’m going back to edit but if I miss any, just assume that I know what I’m talking about.

There will be spoilers in this review. And like my other Twilight series reviews, it’ll just be a collection of random thoughts. That’s the best I can do on these.

  • As our delightful tale begins, the lovely and not-at-all annoying Bella once again can’t take a hint when someone has told her to step off. Jacob has the absolute audacity to tell her to stay the hell away from him, probably because she shits all over his feelings time and again. This is unacceptable to Bella. Federal law requires every man who has ever met her to be head over heels crazy in love with her, and this is a law that Bella plans to be sure is enforced. So like any grown ass adult, she gets her dad to pass him notes. It’s the best way she can think of to intrude on his personal boundaries since he sullenly refuses to answer the phone  when she serial calls him.
  • I almost had to quit reading on page 10 when Charlie tells Bella – and I quote – “For a teenager, you’re amazingly non-whiney.”

What in the actual fuck? I’m sorry, is Charlie reading the same book I am? Bella invented whining. She’s like the whiner that other whiners aspire to be. If there was a whining hall of fame, it would be named after Bella Swan.

What is this? A center for ants?

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to re-read it three times, then I literally sat in stunned silence for like 30 seconds. I gently placed the book face down on the coffee table, sat back, and reflected on the universe and our place in it until I could find the strength to go on.

  • Bella’s emotional blackmail of her father is really reprehensible. The poor guy’s daughter  is running all over the planet jumping off of cliffs and riding secret motorcycles – let alone the deadly vampire stalkings he doesn’t even know about – and every time he tries to prohibit her from doing something she threatens to move out in order to get her own way. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a different relationship with my parents now that I’m no longer a teenager but to me, this is one of the most truly shitastic elements of Bella’s personality – even more than her penchant for using people and her perpetual angstiness. But when shit gets real she’s all, “Ohhh, who is going to protect Charlie!” Maybe try not being an asshole to him every now and again if he matters that much to you, yeah?
  • To be fair, Charlie isn’t the only one who Bella emotionally manipulates to the point of mental abuse. She’s perfectly willing to twist the knife into her beloved Edward about the way he left her and to use this manipulation to put everyone’s lives in danger if it means getting her way and being present when the big Babyvamp Battle Royale goes down. In one scene she actually questions whether or not she may be a monster since she is so willing to hurt people to get what she wants. To her credit, she doesn’t exactly deny it. To her detriment, she’s an asshole. She’s perfectly willing to let his entire family AND HER SUPPOSED BEST FRIEND die by forcing Edward to sit out of the fight so he can snuggle up with her instead of, you know, helping them not get killed. I just…I don’t get it. I keep saying this, but I don’t get how all of these men are in love with this self-centered, manipulative pig of a girl. To me, that’s the least realistic part of these books, which is saying something considering that the climax involves a bunch of psychic vampires and teenage werewolves fighting off an army of vampires created to bring down one human girl as a revenge plot. If Bella was awesome in some way I think I’d be better able to understand how every person she meets with a Y Chromosome falls directly at her feet. But she’s the anti-awesome. She is honestly one of the least likeable fictional characters I can think of off the top of my head. And yet, on the rare occasions that she seems to actually have a eureka moment and realize that she’s a self-serving twit, someone with a peen rushes to reassure her that she’s a magical girl with a lot to offer the world. No, she’s not. She’s a self-serving twit with nothing to offer except for a hopefully slow and painful death. Possibly involving fire and gasoline or being dropped from a helicopter into a bathtub filled with piranhas.
  • Eclipse drinking game additions: any time Edward’s eyes smolder or are compared to liquid gold. Any time we are reminded in some way how BEAUTIFUL he is. Do an extra shot if after pointing out how beautiful he is, Bella mentions that she doesn’t deserve him because she’s a total uggo.
  • Why doesn’t anyone ever question that the Cullens never eat? Is there no school social worker who suspects that there’s a family eating disorder at work here?
  • Edward’s behavior began to bug a little in this book and I started to see the complaints about their “abusive” relationship a little better. He certainly is a controlling douchelord, isn’t he? Kidnapping her and having his family hold her hostage so that she can’t go and see Jake? REALLY? Listen, I’m all for knowing that the person I’m in a relationship with is looking out for me but kidnapping is kind of a deal-breaker. It’s also a felony, btw.
  • And though Bella is an extremely immature, self-centered imbecile, Edward is an enabler for her shitty behavior. He tells her who she can and can’t associate with. He hides things from her – very serious things that affect her life and the lives of her family – and sometimes just outright lies to her. I would have a modicum of respect for Bella if once, just one time, she’d kick his nuts up around his neck. But she doesn’t. She acts all pissy and exasperated and then immediately gives in because, OMG, Edward would never hurt her and only wants the best for her. Because why take care of yourself when you can be taken care of? This is where I kind of started warming up to Jacob. Because even though I get the impression that if he and Bella were actually together he’d be the Mussolini of boyfriends to Edward’s Hitler, he’s not with her and so he has no problem pointing out Edward’s creeptastic behavior or Bella’s tolerance of it.
  • When Bella refers to Edward as things like “my personal miracle” and moans about how the few hours a day she has to spend without him are pure torture, I want to toss my cookies all over a kitten. What an example of a seriously unhealthy relationship this is. She has absolutely no life outside of him. None. She can’t even entertain herself for a few hours a day by doing homework, hanging out with her dad, having an actual friend, or even just spending some quality time with herself. I don’t understand this train of thought. I crave alone time. In fact, this is pretty much my response any time I have the house to myself for more than two hours at a time.
  • At one point Bella actually says that she wants to “belong” to Edward. Girl, please. Despite the fact that you spend all your time cooking your father’s meals and stripping sheets off of his bed, this isn’t 1950. Be your own person.
  • [serious business] I think what bothers me most is the possibility that there are young girls out there reading these books and thinking that this is acceptable behavior for teenagers in a relationship. It’s not. It’s the furthest thing from acceptable. Living FOR someone else is not healthy. You need to have friends and interests of your own outside of a relationship. You shouldn’t want to be OWNED by someone. You shouldn’t be miserable when that other person isn’t right at your side for a few hours. You shouldn’t let them dictate who you can and can’t hang out with. You shouldn’t let someone treat you like property. I hate that there are teen & tween girls out there reading this crap and thinking that it’s what romance is. It’s not. It’s low self-esteem and co-dependency. I also don’t like the whole “kiss me or I’m going to kill myself” thing that Jacob pulls, but honestly, that’s something I don’t even want to get into. That’s just so bad and wrong. [/serious business]
  • Ladies? Never beg a man to have sex with you. No matter how hot he is or how much you think you love him. Getting laid is small potatoes in comparison to keeping your dignity. Don’t be that girl.
  • So Edward is trying hard to take Beyonce’s advice. He likes it and he’s trying to put a ring on it. But yet while she wants to become a vampire and give up her entire family, friends, and freaking LIFE to be with him, being married is just too much to ask? She doesn’t want to be the hick girl who got married right out of high school, but she’s got no problem being the animated corpse girl who just tried to eat the neighbor’s cat? Ok then. Good plan.
  • This book was just so much creepier than the others, and I don’t mean that in a “ooh, scary vampires!” way. I mean it in a “kind of borderline date rape-y” way. Jacob forcing Bella to kiss him was a douche move. No doubt about it. Mixed signals or no, forcing yourself on someone is deserving of a good blast of pepper spray directly to your ocular nerves. But honestly, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this, I was more irritated by her than I was by him. Her COMPLETELY SHOCKED reaction after knowing that he was in love with her and continuing to send him mixed signals was just over the top. And then? Her smug smile while she stood in the kitchen and tattled to Edward on the phone made me wish that she was corporeal so that I could have punched her face down the drain. There are many reactions that are acceptable after being forcibly kissed: anger, shock, disappointment, sadness, etc. Smugness really isn’t one of them.  And let’s not even touch the imprinting thing with a teenage boy and a two year old. Not even close to necessary.
  • So wait, she kisses Jacob’s face off and then yells at Edward – who is trying to be noble and do the right thing – to FIGHT FOR HER. FIGHT, damn it! The man has already tried to end his life for her (no small feat for an immortal) and put a ring on her finger, but she still demands more. More fighting for her! There is a word for Bella, but it’s one of the few words that I’m too ladylike to type in a review.
  • And drink! because Bella continues to whine that she is nineteen and Edward is seventeeeeen. She’s practically the crypt keeper! She also mentions that she will NOT see twenty. She just refuses, flat-out, to get that ancient. Probably because twenty is the age where you start farting dust. Seriously, though, why is this bitch so hung up on minor age differences? My boyfriend is eight years older than me. EIGHT. I guess that makes us Hefner & whatever bimbo he’s currently shacking up with, except that he’s not rich and my boobs are real. I never notice a difference in our ages at all unless I’m purposely going out of my way to make fun of him about it. I can’t remember ever even having a relationship with someone who was the EXACT same age as me. It never really occurred to me that it should be an issue.
  • What exactly happens when your eyes “tighten?” Because it’s always happening to people in Forks and it sounds incredibly painful. Also, if I may point out the most egregious thing ever – at one point, Meyer uses the word “retarded” to describe something. Seriously? I don’t care if you’re trying to write with the voice of a teenage boy or not, there are a billiongajillion adjectives you can pick instead of that one. If you’re over the age of 12 there’s no excuse for that. None. And I’m one of the least politically correct people I know. It’s just cruel. I was waiting to see one of the characters refer to something as “totally gay.”
  • I feel like these books are getting painfully repetitive. Editor, please. Someone gently stroking someone else’s jawline, Bella being picked up in someone’s arms (drink!), she doubts her beauty compared to his, someone glares at someone, etc. For 600+ page books, I have to say…not that much actually happens. It’s like 30 pages of action and the rest is just people gazing at one another.

I’m dreading Breaking Dawn. Dreading. But I will soldier on, because I will not let this series beat me. Do you hear me, Twilight? YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME.

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3 Comments

  1. I have to admit, I did enjoy this series. But, I will say, you’re basically right about a of it.
    What bothers me most is the fact you mentioned about girls reading it and thinking the relationships portrayed are the ideal. No way. I’m a grown and married woman and it made me doubt myself for a while. Ridiculous. The emotional manipulation and control issues are not a good example.
    Still, I enjoy the books. I can’t help it.
    Great review.

    Reply
  2. Excited for you to read Breaking Dawn! It’s the best (read: worst!) of the series. *evil chuckle*

    Reply
  3. This series has already defeated me before the battle between us has even begun. I picked up Twilight around the time of it’s release and another book as I was going to be going on a relativity long plane flight. I choose to read the other book at the time and since than I have heard several things about the series from both people who loved it and from people who didn’t. I find myself going back and forth on giving it a chance, usually deciding there is much more out on the shelves that I would rather pick-up and read. I may give the first book a try in the next year or so, but after hearing about the character relationships I don’t think it is for me.

    I loved the movie ‘Vampires Suck’ though, which is a parody of the Twilight series. 🙂

    Reply

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