Book Reviews Young Adult Books

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

August 31, 2007

So, apparently not all people think the same way I do (this is a bit of a shock to me). Some people do not love Twilight and New Moon; they think the writing is poor, the characters are flat, the storyline is trite, etc., etc. I admit, in the six months between reading Twilight and New Moon, I started to doubt the enthusiastic and rave reviews I gave them in January and February. Maybe they weren’t really that good. Maybe I was just a little drone, reading whatever the NYTimes bestseller list told me to. By the time Eclipse was released, I hardly cared.

Then my friend, the one who lent me the first two books, offered me her copy of Eclipse. And within ten minutes I was sucked back in. And now I will tell you this: I do not care if you don’t like these books. I recognize that they are not the best books ever written. I cannot tell you what exactly I find so addicting about them. But I will not be embarrassed that I like them. I will enjoy them. And I will tell you about them. And I will feel sad for you if you cannot enjoy them.

Also, I think Eclipse is the best of the bunch.

Eclipse picks up just shortly after New Moon ends. Bella is still a human and still dating Edward. And she is still determined that, come graduation, Edward will turn her into a vampire. Unfortunately, Edward has told her that he will not change her until they are married; Bella can’t stand this idea, seeing as it will get her married at 18, which she doesn’t care for at all. The thought of having to tell her parents and friends that she is getting married right out of high school, rather than going to college, does not appeal to her in the slightest. But Edward is resolute (he’s also fond of this plan because it is so distasteful to Bella; he wants her to postpone the change as long as possible, perhaps graduate from college first. He’s in no hurry, of course, seeing as he’s immortal and not exactly going anywhere). Bella is determined to change quickly because not only does she dislike growing older than Edward (she is, by now, already a year older than him), but because both the Volturi and Victoria are after her. The Volturi insist she be made a vampire because she knows about the vampire world, and Victoria wants her dead to get revenge on Edward who killed her partner, James, in the first book. So there’s quite a lot of pressure in every direction.

Worst of all, Jacob, who became her closest friend when Edward left, will have nothing to do with her now, since she is associating with vampires. He is a werewolf, after all, and their primary job is to destroy vampires. So that relationships is obviously a bit strained these days, to say the least, although Bella misses him terribly. Edward won’t let her near Jacob either, as he doesn’t trust the werewolves at all. Despite having the love of her life back at her side, life is a bit grim for Bella.

Bella is also grounded indefinitely because Jacob told her dad about the motorcycle she was riding. Her dad adores Jacob and doesn’t care for Edward at all, so he’s always on her case to repair that relationship. One night, while Edward is out hunting, Bella can’t stand the long silence between her and Jacob any longer and asks her dad if she can go visit him. He agrees and Bella goes to her car, which doesn’t work. Edward has removed the motor (or something) because his sister, Alice, who can see the future, suddenly sees Bella’s future disappear. Apparently, she can’t see the werewolves at all, so when Bella’s future is tied up with theirs, her future disappears as well.

But, now that she’s bent on seeing Jacob, she won’t be thwarted. She makes up her mind suddenly one day and takes off to La Push (the reservation that Jacob lives on). The vampires can’t cross the line because of a treaty they’ve made with the werewolves, so once she crosses the line, she can stay as long as she’d like (which is quite long because she knows how furious Edward will be when he finds out). After a second successful visit (in which Jacob picks her up at school, knowing the vampires can’t see HIS choices), Edward gives in, agreeing that a pack of werewolves can probably protect Bella if the need arrives.

So they are friends again and Jacob, to no one’s surprise (least of all the mind-reading Edward), confesses his love for Bella and tells her to dump Edward and be with him instead. Bella flat out refuses him (when he kisses her, she punches him and breaks her hand, which thoroughly amused me).

I didn’t much care for Jacob in the last book. He was just a page-filler to me; I wanted Edward to come back. But this book? I was pretty torn – I still (two weeks after finishing the book) can’t quite decide who I want her to end up with. One blog I read said this book made her firmly a Team Edward fan. But I went the other way; my devotion to Edward has wavered. I would probably be happiest if she picked Jacob. He was just so fantastic in this book.

Anyway, when some of Bella’s personal items (her pillow, a sweatshirt, etc.) go missing from her room, Edward fears a vampire is out to get her. Alice has been watching Victoria and the Volturi and haven’t seen any signs of them coming for Bella, so they’re sort of at a loss. Eventually, they discover that a HUGE group of vampires (20+) are coming and they decide to team up with their mortal enemies, the werewolves. Dun, dun, dun. . .

I didn’t think the main climax/fight scene in the book was as tense or nerve-wracking as the last two books. When it was over, I was a bit surprised that that was it. But I didn’t care, really, because I think the character development in this book is far superior to the other books; it really was just a better book.

So, I loved it. I may have even cried a little at the end, although I can neither confirm nor deny that. And I will be very excited when the last book, Breaking Dawn, comes out next year.

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  • Reply Karen September 1, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I don’t know. Maybe I will have to break down and read these books. Everyone I know who has has liked them, and your description sounds intriguing. Maybe it is a little like Harry Potter–you just have to read them even though everyone else is (the reason I didn’t read Harry until book 3 was out). It is just a necessary cultural experience.

  • Reply Heather September 4, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Amen to that post. Jacob did become so much more lovable. And if she marries him. they can raise a family together and then rest in peace. Death is not always the worst option. Do you think he “imprinted on her” and his love will be too difficult to resist? Though the premise sounds strange, these books “suck” you in, period. I think I read this one in two days.

  • Reply Megs September 4, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    So I had a really hard time with this one. I think it was because I WAS so torn about Edward and Jacob. On the one hand, Edward is amazing, and although he was a controlling freak for the first little bit, he was pretty awesome later. The relationship with Jacob is more normal and healthy, so I like it and would prefer it for myself, but I don’t want to null the first two books by being in love with Jacob instead, and actually, I don’t think it will be an issue now. I’m pretty sure the choice is made. But I wish I felt better about it. Some of the girly magic was gone for me even if the book was better overall. Bleah. Breaking Dawn cannot come out too soon.

  • Reply Miriam Higginson September 14, 2007 at 1:11 am

    I finally finished – loved it. I’m still pulling for Edward, but love Jacob too..the eternal triangle, makes it exciting.

  • Reply Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    OMG I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK ive read new moon and twilight but my sister is still reading eclipse!! I LUV YOU JACOB!! <3 and i think edward is too obsessive now…

  • Reply Anonymous March 21, 2009 at 2:08 am

    I think eclipse rocked! I have read the saga three times! It gets better every time, Edward is the best. If you are team jacob i hope i dont bother you but, Edward is a lot better!

  • Reply Anonymous May 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    im so going to read read this book i’ve read the other 2 but people say this 1 and the last one is way better than the 1 2 LUV U EDWARD AND BELLA

  • Reply Anonymous December 23, 2009 at 1:21 am

    OMG love this book i read it when i was unwell it took me a day to read the first one because i got so into it and then the next day i got the other three. I read them all in four days they're my obsession at the mo but i cannot wait until midnight sun: Edwards Story comes out! i thinkit all goes to plan but in this book when jacob kisses her it really annoys me because bella n edward are the perfect pair xx 😛

  • Reply Anonymous January 8, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    OMG i love the saga my whole skool is reading them and team EDWARD and team JACOB dont bang heads cuz they are both soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sexy LOL HAHAHAHAH<3 love u Eward and Jacob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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