Larissa's Reviews > Eclipse

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
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it was ok
bookshelves: vampires, kinder, 2008, english-usa, young-adult, fantastical, series

Stephenie Meyer should be sending handwritten thank-you notes to every sorry teenager (and masochistic adult) who continues to slog through her Harlequin romp of a series. Were it not for what I will generously term my ‘anthropological interest’ in this ever-popularizing series, I for one would certainly be leading a caravan out to the old country to demand that she return the four and half hours that I lost reading New Moon . Even skimming, I felt robbed.

So why continue, you ask? Well, primarily, I’m invested in the phenomenon. Meyers was recently reviewed in The New York Times. I’ve seen no less than six people reading Twilight on the subway lately, and half of these folks were adults (including one businessman, briefcase and all). My Netflix envelopes all have ads for the upcoming flick. Barnes and Noble, The Strand, Amazon, and probably every bookstore owner who knows how to turn a buck are pumping who knows how much ad capital into publicizing the imminent release of the last installment. This is a thing now, a real thing, and it’s interesting to know what the kids are reading these days.

But honestly, the real reason I keep reading? Because I want to know if--after three epically long novels, an abyss of teenage drama and male dependency, a vampire war, and an impending marriage, Bella finally gets to have sex.

Yeah, I know. I sound like a dirty old man. But what do you want to bet that half the Meyers acolytes out there really want to see their heroine lose it, too. Meyers can congratulate herself—half the reading world under the age of 30 is suffering from a major case of vampire-lover-blue-balls right now. Just let Bella get some already.

Bella’s persistent, unabashed, and fanatical insistence on having sex is perhaps the most redeeming thing about this series. So much of Bella’s character is lamentable—she’s selfish and dependent and obsessive and melodramatic and can’t seem to grasp the basic consequences of any of her actions. But when it comes to hormones, Bella is remarkably uninhibited. She verbalizes what she wants—sex—and acts on it (at least tries to) without the least bit of embarrassment or abashedness. She is frank about her desires and ever-so-thankfully, has not once been punished for having them. (She’s also, it bears noting, pretty stringently opposed to the idea of marriage. As she tells Edward when he’s proposing to her, yet again, she never wanted to be That Girl. The girl who runs off and marries her boyfriend after graduating from high school in a small town.)

Bella’s rampant horniness and anti-marriage sentiments seem out of place within the sphere that Meyers has created. After all, Edward doesn’t want to have sex with Bella until they are married and claims that in his 90+ years he hasn’t had sex yet (he was waiting for the right lady, it seems). And eventually, Bella does cave. She agrees to get married, and randomly decides that she wants to wait until after the ceremony to have sex with Edward—even after he finally gives in to whatever hormonal impulses vampires have and tries to seduce her. But kudos to Meyers for allowing her characters to openly discuss sex—and even have Bella’s father urge her to ‘be safe’ when she has sex—without punishing them for doing so.

Bella’s sexuality is the only really interesting thing about her character. Other than that attribute, it appears that she exists solely as a plot device. The ultimate catalyst, she gives—inexplicably—all other characters in the book a purpose. She’s got two magical beings actively ‘fighting for her.’ Whole vampire armies are created solely to destroy her. Why does anyone care so much about this girl? I couldn’t tell you. But I suppose we should be glad that they all do though, because they are all so much more interesting. Even stalkeresque, one-track mind Edward. Eclipse is far more interesting than the previous two installments precisely because so much of the plot has little to do with Bella. We hear about the origins of the Quileute werewolves. Find out about Rosalie and Jasper’s lives before they became vampires. Subplots with minor characters abound.

The way I figure, Meyers has two options when it comes to completing her series—either go for gold and spend half of the book on super-sexy softcorn teen porn, or find someway to deflect the narrative away from Bella. But chances are, with Bella’s impending vampire transition, we’ll be isolated with her for another 500 pages.

Oh, for this to just be over already.

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Reading Progress

July 21, 2008 – Shelved
July 21, 2008 – Shelved as: vampires
July 21, 2008 – Shelved as: kinder
Started Reading
July 28, 2008 – Finished Reading
October 22, 2008 – Shelved as: 2008
June 10, 2009 – Shelved as: english-usa
January 21, 2010 – Shelved as: young-adult
January 21, 2010 – Shelved as: fantastical
June 13, 2016 – Shelved as: series

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

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Mandy Moody Love your review - I agree completely.

Larissa Thank you! I think you make a good point in your Twilight review, too--it would be nice if this series introduced a lot of young women to genre fiction.

It'll be interesting to see how she wraps up this series. I'm so glad I came to it late--I can't imagine stretching out this reading experience over years.

message 3: by Lily (new) - rated it 1 star

Lily I'm sending you a friend request. That's how much I heart this review.

Sage I can't say that I agree there

message 5: by Shomeli (new)

Shomeli Dey i think meyer noting the age group of readers( young teens predominently)used a very stong word "love" in a very cavalier way when describing feelings for jocob by bella....there is aperson u love and there is a person u care and in bella's case she cares for jacob and when they kissed it seems she reacted exactly a normal girl reacts at being with aproper physical stimulation(lust and its a fact that human body reacts to warmth and pressure)...seriously their are many grid of emotions there

Noura I loved her wonderful novel

Dawn Wonder why you read them if you dislike

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