Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eclipse


All right you haters. I don't agree. AT ALL. Now, I'll give you that New Moon left something to be desired, and I was prepared, going into Eclipse, to again be disappointed. But I wasn't. I really, really wasn't. Yes, they spend an incredible amount of time staring at each other and convincing one another that it is wuv tru wuv, but whatever. It doesn't change my mind that their worries needed to be addressed. Sometimes, reassurance is needed. Wouldn't you hate it just as much if Bella were unquestioning? What kind of girl would enter into possible UNDEAD ETERNITY without at least SOME KIND of serious analyzing?

We now know that werewolves can 'imprint' upon another, instantly finding their true partner. It seems that Edward & Bella are as close as possible short of imprinting. Is it an animalistic thing, exclusive only to the werewolves? Or those with souls? *raises eyebrow*

The big complaint seems to be that Bella whines. Okay, maybe. The way I look at it, you've got a girl who seems to be ordinary in every way who has been plunged into an environment where she is no longer in control. Everyone around her is far more powerful in every way; endowed with gifts (or curses) no mortal can contend with. Why shouldn't she be irritated at how ineffectual she is? She, in her normal life, is the caretaker. She's confident and capable. Around the vamps and wolves, all of her faults and insecurities come to the forefront; they are, in fact, highlighted by the simple fact that those around her are supernaturally good at what she isn't. It must be beyond frustrating.

People have gone so far as to lament Bella's place as a role model for teen girls, since she constantly needs protecting. Bella is enormously brave, and if this book doesn't prove that, then nothing will. Perhaps some of her courage is motivated by selfish reasons, but it doesn't change the fact that, however improbable the likelihood of her winning, Bella will fight for her love. And that is to be respected in its own way.

Furthermore, they wonder why Bella is such the hot ticket. Well, why doesn't Edward's or the Volturi's power work on her? The two are the same. I think whatever makes this ordinary girl unique among humans, makes her potential irresistible to the extraordinary. We don't know what exactly makes Bella special, but at some point something will unlock her power. I just wonder if it will actually be by her becoming a vampire.


Let's be open about this: Both Jacob and Edward are manipulative and fighting dirty. Neither is more honorable in that fight. Their approaches are just very, very different. People are irritated with the idea that Bella could love both Edward and Jacob. Here's the thing. Bella and Jacob are what would have been. Had vampires not existed and the world not gone mad, THEY would have had a perfect life full of love. And it is that ordinary love that Bella feels. Unfortunately, for Jacob and even perhaps for Bella, it is an extraordinary love she feels for Edward. And ordinary love cannot truly compete.

It all comes down to that. The Ordinary versus the Extraordinary. And which is which. It isn't fair, not to Bella, Jacob or Edward. Or even Charlie. But then? What is?

Have I nothing to complain about? No. Again, but not nearly to the extent in New Moon, Stephenie Meyer's major plot 'twist' is painfully obvious, and a secret to only the characters. But hey, at least she let Bella figure it out and blindside the beasties with it.

Even so, Bated Breath, I have, for Breaking Dawn. But you know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here: I don't think that Bella will end up a vampire. (I'm beginning to feel as confident about this as I was about Snape. That doesn't mean it's rational. But at least I was right about Snape.)

Have at it.

16 comments:

Becky said...

I love your review. It was such a great defense. :)

Sarah said...

You seriously don't think that Bella will become a vampire? Really? I was the one who was flipping out about Bella selling her soul for love. And as much as I'm not happy about it, I think she just might have to become a vampire...I believe the ultimate love story is between Bella and Edward, not Bella in Jacob. So my question is, can Bella and Edward's love last if she DOESN'T become a vampire?

Leila said...

Great review and great defense, even though I'm (obviously) firmly in the 'haters' category.

I agree with you about Bella. I don't think she'll ultimately turn, either.

TadMack said...

Heh. Having not yet read Eclipse, Jac, I'm not firmly in either camp - but Bella was getting on my nerves in New Moon so I was thinkin' with regards to Eclipse... "Nah."

Still thinkin' "Nah," just because I'm annoyingly resistant to things that everyone else just LOVES, just because I hate being like everyone else (Yes. It's dumb. Whatev.), but I WILL pick it up and read it if it's just lying around somewhere. And I will hate no longer. At least no longer without the evidence of having read it myself. I shall go mum. Silent. Quiet. Hushed.

'Kay? We cool?

Sara said...

Arg!!! I'm still waiting on my copy from the library!!!

I did think Bella was way too whiny in New Moon... but I'm still really looking forward to Eclipse!

celerysoda said...

All right, I'm sold. I'm putting it back on my reserve list.

~Crimson said...

Fantastic review. You were somehow able to coherently sum up all the things that've been floating abstractedly around my head. Bravo!
Yay Eclipse!!!

Kidlitjunkie said...

Okay fine, maybe I’ll give you that. But my main niggling issue still remains: who is Bella Swan? We know that she’s clumsy. We know that she makes dinner for her dad, and was the dominant parental figure with her mom. And we know that she loves Edward and Jacob. But what else? What is she like? What does she like?

If Bella whining about her situation was my only problem with her character, I would be okay with that. But that’s the only character development we see. We have no sense of what Bella Swan is like, no personality, nothing that makes her likeable or interesting. And the same can be said for Edward.

Sonia said...

Such a great review Jackie! Still haven't read it (#1 on the holds list though) I'm curious to see how I feel about Eclipse. Not sure how Meyer managed to make me care about these books when I don't like Bella or Edward very much.. But your point about ordinary vs extraordinary love is *so true*. Nicely done.

Becky said...

Jackie,

I don't know if you're one for challenges or not. But I've started an Orson Scott Card challenge. (I noticed Ender's Game is listed as one of your favorite books.) It's ongoing. So there are no deadlines. No pressure. No stress. To find out more you can go to this site:

http://cardathon.blogspot.com/

gayle said...

I started but I can't finish Eclipse. I've turned into a Hater although I loved Twilight. I am thouroughly enjoying the online discussion between your and Leila. Awesome!

Jackie Parker said...

Well, for Edward, I think we learned *A LOT* about him in this last book. At least, we learned about his human life, and I think that informs many of his current outlooks.

As for Bella. We know that she's an incurable romantic, with a penchant for the tragic. She reads Romeo & Juliet and Wuthering Heights until her copies are battered and broken. I think this tells us that she is that girl you knew in high school who dropped everyone when she had a boyfriend. Love, for her, even as an idea, is an all-consuming thing. Little else matters in the shade of love.

This also feeds into my suspicion that she won't be turned. If she were an Austen fan, things might be rather different. Both for her personality, and for the outcome.

Jen Robinson said...

Great review, Jac. I agree with most of your points, and I also enjoyed Eclipse a lot (more so than New Moon, if less so than Twilight). I'm less sure about the Bella as a Vampire question, but I am interested to see what happens.

BryceBeattie said...

I have no idea how it's all going to go down, but my bet is that both Bella and Edward die at the end. (Shades of Romeo & Juliet)

That's the correct ending for a tragic romance, right?

Jackie Parker said...

Brycebeattie,

Yes, that would be the correct ending, but like with Harry Potter, I believe that audience outcry would be far to great for BOTH of them to die. Something has to happen to keep them apart forever, as it is most definitely a tragic love.

Josette said...

I thought Edward and Bella were kind of imprinted on each other too.

Like what Bella's mom mentioned, Bella and Edward act in a certain way when the other is around. For example how Bella positions herself when Edward moves, etc. I don't think she's like that with Jacob. He's just her very good friend that's all.

I enjoyed reading Eclipse. A definite page-turner and simply exciting. Can't wait to read the next book.

Here's my review of it.