My youngest son's birthday was sunday. My oldest son's birthday is thursday. And no, it wasn't planned that way. :) We had a small party for both of them on saturday, with just close family and friends. I made their birthday cakes, topped with their favorite action figure/movie character, and we've still got leftover cake. It's going to be a year before I want to look at frosting again, much less eat it.
And so I was sitting in a mess of wrapping paper, drooping balloons, and suffering from sugar coma when I picked up ECLIPSE by Stephanie Meyer.
I read TWILIGHT because it was recommended by friends with taste in books similar to my own. It had that rough around the edges quality that sometimes comes with first-time-authors, but I found it very enjoyable. Even difficult to put down. When I picked up NEW MOON, I was excited to see where the story was going. I loved the first half, with all the character development that Bella struggled through. She was becoming her own woman, working through all the pain and heartache Edward had caused her, and becoming stronger as a result.
Then, Edward returns. All that strength and self-reliance went out the window. I can understand still loving him. I can understand not wanting harm to come to him. But I can't understand how she takes him back as though nothing has happened. If it were me, I'd be livid with Edward. I'd have saved his life, then screamed at him until either his ear drums burst or I didn't have a voice left. And I would do this because of how much I still loved him, and because of all the pain and heartache he had put me through, and was still putting me through. I would have made him earn back my trust, proving that he would never put me through all that again. But Bella doesn't do this. She simply wipes away her suffering like it was chalk on a blackboard. In doing so, it makes her pain seem more like a minor inconvenience instead of the life-shattering misery described in those early chapters.
But I digress. I'm here to talk about ECLIPSE.
It was with a mixture of trepidation and curiosity that I picked up this book. I was curious where the author was going to take Bella's character. I wanted to see Bella regain that self-reliance and self-respect, basically all the positive development she'd made while with Jacob. I expected her to walk away in a huff each time Edward treated her like a child. I expected her to put him in his place when he got overprotective. But, sadly, she didn't. She remains blindly agreeable to Edward, never gets mad at him for anything, and thinks it's okay to have to ask permission (!) to visit her friends.
I understand that Bella and Edward are supposed to have this amazing, larger-than-life bond, but I really don't like Bella's character when she's around him. She's too meek and subservient, and their relationship seems one-sided and unhealthy. But when she's with Jacob, she's spunky, firey, and keeps Jacob in line. She's a completely different person, and I like her much better. Split personality? Or was this on purpose? If so, I would have liked some kind of explanation.
Based on interviews with the author and such, I think Bella and Edward will ultimately remain a couple. Because of this (as well as the long line of strong, iron-willed, work-horse women in my family), Bella is not a role model I'd want for my daughters. That is, if I had any. :) But I don't, and it's likely to stay that way.
This review is likely going to make me unpopular with the fans of the series. But that's okay - free speech and all that. :) So let me have it if you so choose, or simply tell me why you love the story. I'd love to hear it.