I have finally finished Book 3 of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
I can’t remember the last time I read a book that had me going back and forth between hatred for the main character, boredom and disgust. Now, I’m sure there was a spot here or there that I liked or was tolerable, but it was so overrun by a total disgust with Bella Swan that overshadowed everything else.
In fact, I’m pretty sure any discontent I have with the Twilight series has to deal with Bella Swan. I don’t think I’ve ever found a main character in a book that was this unlikeable. There is nothing I like about her and by now I’m sure you’ve realized this is a rant more than a review.
It took me so long to force myself to finish this book (I kept putting it down and reading each chapter was quite literally a chore) that I barely remember what happened in it. So I’ll have to settle for ranting about what I do remember.
But! We’ll start off on a positive note with a few quotes that I actually quite liked:
“He’s like a drug for you, Bella…I see that you can’t live without him now. It’s too late. But I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun.” – Jacob Black
“The clouds I can handle. But I can’t fight with an eclipse.” – Jacob Black
“I wasn’t about to send you off alone. With your luck, not even the black box would survive.” – Edward Cullen
“If we had happy endings, we’d all be under gravestones now.” – Rosalie Cullen
And from there – we’ll start with subject one:
I like Jacob Black. I think it’s the movie’s influence because they did a good job with him, but even in the books I’ve liked him. He was interesting, down to earth and he’s a werewolf. Can’t go wrong there really. In fact, despite the fact all of her werewolf references and the like are made up and new, its’ actually a concept that works (unlike the sparkling, glittering skin of the vampires). The hive mind thing they have going on is interesting and it helps bring all the characters together.
Eclipse goes out of its way to try and destroy Jacob. I think it became apparent in New Moon that Jacob was probably the better choice out of the two and so it had to demonize him. He’s now screwing with Bella (don’t get me wrong, she’s still a selfish, manipulating brat but even she doesn’t deserve some of what he does) and going so far as to forcefully kiss (molest) her and corner her into choosing either him or Edward by force and guilt. It wasn’t as horrible as it could have been, but it was definitely a character derailment – but I will admit it was funny having the other wolves complain about his thoughts about Bella leaking into all of their heads.
Not to mention when Bella broke her hand trying to punch him I laughed out loud. Physically. I really had needed that.
I feel gipped. They spend a great deal of this book setting up a giant Vampire Battle with Victoria & a crew of new borns she’d recruited…and we don’t get to see it. We hear about it via Seth’s mental link with the pack, but Edward & Bella are separated from the action. We do get a bit of a fight between Edward, Victoria, Seth & a guy named Riley but it was so-so and ended predictably with you guessed it – Edward winning.
Not to mention the Volturi. Talk about a missed opportunity. They show up at the end go “opps, did our job for us” kill some poor sap and leave. Just about the only thing I enjoyed was them mentioning that Aro really wants to see Carlisle again – and that lead to me getting depressed yet again because the storyline with Carlisle and the Volturi would have actually been interesting. Ah well, maybe one day I’ll brave the Twilight Fanfiction section and find something there.
Bella and Marriage
I could tolerate Bella being too dumb to live. I really could. I could even deal with her being a selfish, spoiled brat who couldn’t make up her mind with ‘some people are just like that’ and move on. What I could not tolerate – were Bella Swan’s views on marriage. They just baffled me.
Let’s lay this down – Bella in all of her selfishness wants to become a Vampire before she’s too much ‘older’ (older being relative because she keeps forgetting he’s pushing over 100 years old) than Edward. She’s claiming it’s to avoid the Volturi but let’s face it – she just wants to sex up Edward. Anyway, Carlisle has agreed to change her after graduation but she wants Edward to do it. Edward has one condition – he wants to marry Bella before he turns her into a vampire and gives her the ride of her life. So far, I’m not seeing any problems. She wants to be with Edward for eternity – he’s taking the logical first step.
Bella is instantly disgusted by the idea and she thinks Edward is an old fashioned and joking with her. Bella absolutely does not want to get married and I was flabbergasted. I didn’t understand at all. It made no sense whatsoever. And eventually, Edward drags an explanation out of her and we find out it has to do with her perception of marriage. She’s using her mother’s teenage marriage as a basis and I suppose I can understand that – but her attitude about the entire thing is what gets me. She’s willing to DIE and become a vampire – and somehow that’s better than a teen wedding brought on by unexpected pregnancy?
I want to quote for you Bella’s exact explanation for why she doesn’t want to get married. I’m hoping I’m not the only one who’s confused and disgusted by it.
I’m not that girl, Edward. The one who gets married right out of high school like some small-town hick who got knocked up by her boyfriend! Do you know what people would think? Do you realize what century this is? People don’t just get married at eighteen! Not smart people, not responsible, mature people! I wasn’t going to be that girl! That’s not who I am….”
This is a girl who’s been trying to jump Edward Cullen since she met him. This is a girl who wants to be turned into a vampire (let us recap: dead, immortal, drinks blood, permanent life change) absolutely right now without listening to the people telling her to wait until she’s older. A girl who claims she can not live without Edward Cullen in her life for the rest of her life forever and ever bound to him for eternity and she gets disgusted by the idea he asks her to marry her. She’s disgusted by how other people might look at her for being a teen bride. She was also disgusted by the idea that people would think it weird Edward dating someone so much older than him (I’m sorry, but there isn’t that big of a stretch between 17 and the 20’s with someone as mentally mature as Edward.). But this marriage thing topped the cake for me.
I have never wanted to leap into the pages of a book and slap someone so much in my life. If I give Twilight anything, it is the ability to induce emotion in the reader be it good or bad.
So far of the three books – this has been the most painful. I really hope the movie is better (because we’ll at least get to see the fight scene – there’s no way they could get around skipping it in the film) and by the grounds that I actually enjoyed the other two films, books aside.
And now I start my journey into Breaking Dawn – which just may kill me. Apparently not even the fans can stand that one. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.