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270 of 326 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclipse brings us back to Forks and Twilight
Twilight introduced us to Bella Swan and the mysterious Cullen's a family of vampires. New Moon pulled Bella and Edward Cullen apart, and tested their love and introduced us to Jacob and the battle between wolves and vampires. It also left us hanging with a decision about Bella and immortality: when?

Eclipse is different. We return to the town of Forks and find...
Published on August 7, 2007 by Amy Wallace

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121 of 135 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A conversation with Stephenie Meyer
"You gave it three stars?" she asked me, biting her lip and holding her breath.

"Yes," I finally answered with my marble lips, cold yet strangely comforting, even warm. "Stephenie, don't forget to breathe."

"Oh, of course." A storm seemed to rage in her for just a moment.

"I gave it a three. It's good." I would never lie to her, could...
Published on August 10, 2008 by Amazon Customer


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121 of 135 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A conversation with Stephenie Meyer, August 10, 2008
By 
"You gave it three stars?" she asked me, biting her lip and holding her breath.

"Yes," I finally answered with my marble lips, cold yet strangely comforting, even warm. "Stephenie, don't forget to breathe."

"Oh, of course." A storm seemed to rage in her for just a moment.

"I gave it a three. It's good." I would never lie to her, could never lie to her. Yet, somehow, she felt it was a lie and brooded in stillness for a moment that seemed to last an eternity.

Finally, I broke the aching silence. "I gave it a three because the vampire lore was that good -- the extended plotline and the setup for a decent fourth novel were all enjoyable." There, I said it. Would it be enough for her? No, it would never be enough.

"But you absolutely hated the tent scene with the [spoiler removed], and you wanted to send Bella straight to vampire hell for her self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-obsessed self-ness by the end."

We paused and I noticed sobs erupting from deep inside her.

"Stephenie, breathe, and stop biting your lip, it's getting really annoying. Quit with the crying already. Yes, all of those things are true, and if I could release myself from your books, I would. But-"

"But?" she asked longingly, her fingers caressing my face while my fingers caressed her face and somebody else's fingers were somehow caressing both our faces because you can never have too much face-caressing going on -- whose fingers are those, anyway?

"But despite how much I hate Bella by now, I really want to find out more about the Volturi and the process of becoming a vampire and whether Bella is somehow part of an ancient bloodline that stirs up all the vampires and werewolves whenever she's around. That's why I gave it three stars, and that's why-" I gasped, she gasped, we both forgot to breathe and bit our lips, "-why I will be reading the fourth book as soon as it is out."

Finally, I remembered to breathe and stopped caressing her face, looked into her eyes and with my godlike, cool, marble lips, asked, "Satisfied?"

Smiling, she answered, "Yes, very."
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163 of 193 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, such a disappointment, September 7, 2007
By 
Penny (Houston, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Audio CD)
I adored both Twilight and New Moon (gave them both 5 star ratings) and was happily anticipating loving Eclipse as much as I did the first 2 in this series. Unfortunately, the bad things really overshadowed the good for me in this installment.

I think Stephenie Meyer has an amazingly readable writing style; she's definitely one of 3 writers that I budget time to read their latest books in one sitting (Rowling, Charlaine Harris and Meyer). Eclipse was no exception in terms of being a page-turner. This novel really showcases Meyer's great sense of humor as well. Obviously from the amount of time and emotional energy I've invested into the series over the last couple of years, I care very intensely for her characters, and I think having your readers care so much for the characters should be a real tribute to any writer.

I was very pleased that Edward and Bella finally confronted the issue of their sexual relationship. It was tastefully depicted in my judgment, and it was long overdue. I also think it makes perfect sense for Bella to realize that having human sexual experience before sacrificing her humanity is worth exploring.

While I agree with so many other reviewers that the action plot in this book was only ho-hum at best, I did cheer that Bella (and we readers) at long last got to see Edward the Vampire in action. Now she has a better idea what she'll become, and he understands that she doesn't think him a monster for having witnessed him being a full-fledged vampire.

I didn't like the concept of imprinting (which is limited to the werewolves). It eliminates free will entirely, which I found very unsettling. I also found the similarities between imprinting and Bella's relationship with Edward to be more than a bit disturbing (more on that below).

The Cullens and the Wolves are no closer to understanding the core of humanity that resides in each of them. Jacob acknowledges that Edward loves Bella, but he still doesn't understand their love at all and hasn't made any attempt to understand the Cullens generally. Same, of course, holds true for the Cullens not being keen on the wolves at all. I really thought this would have to be the central theme, but I would have expected more progress in Eclipse.

Now for the Ugly .....

I'm shocked and appalled that Ms. Meyer could believe that many of us who disliked or were on the fence about Jacob in previous books would suddenly convert to pro-Jacob fans after reading Eclipse. I'm truly shocked.

After her book-signing tour for Eclipse, Meyer updated her website with some FAQs about Eclipse, and she has this to say about Jacob: "Those who are upset by some of his tactics should consider his youth and the fact that he is, after all, right. Bella is in love with him."

I thought Jacob was absolutely horrid as a person for the entirety of the novel, and it went beyond simple immaturity. Bella defends Edward (and her love of Edward) to Jacob at one point, emphasizing that Edward is decent. And Edward is decent. And good to the core.

Jacob, however, is not. He is so not decent. I truly despised him by the end of Eclipse and quite honestly, I wish he would just never return from his sojourn in the forest.

I've read enough reviews and talked to enough other readers to know that I'm not alone in being extremely upset and bothered by the Forced Kiss. No decent man would force himself on a woman, no matter what. His inexperience and immaturity don't excuse it. His goal of forcing Bella to acknowledge the connection between them is not sufficient reason for him to have done that. His apology might have ameliorated the wrong, if he had followed through and stopped trying to force or trick Bella into intimacy with him. I think the Forced Kiss sends a horrible message to Meyer's younger fans too. There are no repercussions from his forcing himself on her. Even Bella's father good-naturedly congratulates Jacob for having kissed Bella against her will! Yes, really.

The second later kiss (the one where he threatens to commit suicide since Bella doesn't care about him, provoking her to ask him to kiss her, henceforth the "Trickery Kiss") also proves unequivocally that Jacob is neither decent, nor a man. He's just a bitter, conniving, dishonorable and immature little boy who will apparently stop at nothing to try and get what he wants. I don't believe for one moment that Jacob is motivated solely by the lofty aspiration to save Bella from a fate worse than death (being turned into a vampire). Jacob wants what will make Jacob happy, and he makes absolutely no attempt to genuinely understand Bella's perspective.

Meyer clearly wants readers to feel Jacob's "pain," but honestly, he's 16 years old (which, remember, apparently gives him license to be a total jerk). But, if he's just an average immature 16 year old kid, then he'll just get over Bella and move on, right? I don't fundamentally understand why Jacob's broken heart is supposed to tug at my heart-strings. At the end of Eclipse, it is late June or perhaps mid-July. Jacob and Bella became best friends in January of the same year. He's really known her well for all of 6 months and he's 16 years old. It's a big shrug, isn't it? And if it isn't, why not? Hmmmm......might it be because Bella is turning into the biggest Mary Sue in all YA literature?

Bella frankly comes off worse than Jacob in this book. I've been a big Bella fan and defender in the prior books, but she left me cold in this one. I think she is selfish, whiny, indecisive, subservient to every male in her universe and generally a terrible role model for younger readers of these novels.

I think that Bella was portrayed in Twilight as an "old soul," and the love that she and Edward have (had?) was meant to transcend the normal love relationship that average teenagers might experience (or even that most adults might have). Their love was painted as something that was a cut above all other romance. Most average love affairs get tested by threats such as what Jacob poses. But, the Bella/Edward love story was, I thought, something different. If you take away the supernatural trappings of the two males, then you're left with a rather humdrum average love story, are you not? Again, what was the point of the New Moon epiphany if Bella just throws it all out the window in the next book and remains convinced that she's not good enough for Edward and starts to have romantic interest in another guy?

Bella did at last agree to marry Edward in this book. She made that promise to him, was engaged and then cheated on him. Just because she is only going through the formality of the wedding and an actual marriage because it's important to Edward is no excuse to treat it as though it isn't a promise. And it just kills me, absolutely breaks my heart, for her to be thinking "How soon can I give him back this ring without hurting his feelings?" when he's so suffused with joy and happiness at seeing it on her finger, at knowing that she's agreed to compromise and make him happy with a marriage that is clearly very important to him. That is heart-breaking. Edward deserves so much better.

Further, her objections to marriage are weak. Since we knew in New Moon that Bella had undefined "issues" with marriage, I expected Eclipse to reveal something more along the clichéd line of "child of divorced parents" than the reality. The "I don't want to be that girl" reasoning is really, really lame when you consider what Bella's ultimate plans are. Why the hell would she care what the kids she graduated with are saying about her, when she's never going to see any of them ever again? Since when did Bella Swan care about gossip or what other kids her own age thought about her? Charlie and Renee might be disappointed and encouraging her to wait until after college, but if Bella said the right things, her parents would accept her decision. I can understand the whole "that girl" argument, really I can -- but it makes no sense for Bella to be making that argument. It's weak and completely out-of-character. As one reviewer noted, it's a manufactured conflict designed to stretch out the storyline by another book.

I'm also growing very weary of Bella's self-esteem problems. I can't help wondering what happened to that great epiphany she had at the end of New Moon? The one where Bella and Edward both realized that they love each other completely and would always belong to each other --- what happened to that? In Eclipse, Bella is right back to viewing her relationship with Edward as "out of balance." As Edward noted once, "the way you regard me is ludicrous." I thought we were past all that, and yet Eclipse drags us right back down into the abyss of Bella's self-esteem issues. It's really growing tiresome and overdone (much like the continued repetitive emphasis on Edward's beauty). Grow up and grow a spine, will you, Bella? Please do us all a favor and get a backbone.

In literature (or movies), the author has an obligation to lay some clues that a love triangle is in the offing. Otherwise, it's just cheating. And I feel cheated, completely and utterly cheated. If Bella is resolute about anything, it's that she loves Edward and has only friendship feelings for Jacob. In her Eclipse FAQ again, Meyer insists that Bella fell in love with Jacob in New Moon and states: "Bella has only fallen in love one time, and it was a very sudden, dramatic, sweep-you-off-your-feet, change-your-world, magical, passionate, all-consuming thing (see: Twilight). Can you blame her for not recognizing a much more subtle kind of falling-in-love?" Well, Bella may not recognize it for what it is, but the readers darn sure should be able to see it. I know I'm not alone in finding no evidence of Bella falling for Jacob in New Moon. I think she grew to love him in New Moon, yes. But, it was always clearly a platonic, even sibling-like, love.

In Eclipse, Bella remains clear on this point when talking to Jacob ("I love you, but I'm not in love with you" - page 329) ..... and she's resolute on this point in her own thoughts. Yes, in New Moon, before Edward returns, Bella is debating internally whether she ought to consider giving Jacob what he wants (romance) in order to tie him to her more firmly than just through a friendship that he finds less than enough. But, once Edward is back and through the first ¾ of Eclipse, we don't see any signs that Bella is wavering, having doubts, etc. Jacob was, by the looks of it, her first real close friend in life, and I wrongly assumed that her determination to spend time with Jacob was because she missed her friend.

When Jacob accuses her of being overly defensive about insisting she only cares for him as a friend, we're set up to chalk that up as Jacob's usual cocky arrogance. We've seen nothing from our heroine to make us think that Jacob is onto something. Jacob himself doesn't seem to be consistent on this point either, Meyer's statement that he's "right about Bella being in love with him," notwithstanding. How about the whole "I know you don't feel the same, Bella, but I don't want to chance there being any confusion about how I feel about you." That serves to reinforce to the reader that Bella's feelings for Jacob are clearly not romantic.

What might happen in real life is that Bella could have one of those "Oh. My. God." moments when she is kissing Jacob. But, the author has an obligation to his/her readers to set up a grounding for the character's Oh My God moment so that the reader at least understands what is happening, whether the reader is cheering for said development or not being irrelevant. I won't lie and say that I would have been rooting for Jacob, under any circumstances. But, readers are not psychics. If Bella isn't communicating her inner angst to us in some way, we can't divine it out of thin air. Art imitates life, and in real life, sometimes these things happen out of the blue. But then again, I think that it's rarely completely out of the blue -- it's more that a person has been deluding themselves to some degree or another. But, most of us don't have thousands of bystanders trying to figure out what made us make certain decisions or take certain courses in life. Bella does have an audience though. Her audience deserved more preparation, more clues.

I think the whole angle would have been so much more palatable if Jacob had been portrayed as even remotely likeable. He was so cocky and conniving throughout the entire book, and he seemed completely unworthy of Bella. It would have been so much more bittersweet if Jacob had been persistent but the sweet and charming Jacob of Twilight. I cannot believe that I'm supposed to actually like this guy who forces himself on the heroine with his immense physical advantage, taunts her and her intended family in a steady stream of invective throughout the entire novel and then manipulates and tricks her into asking for a kiss by threatening to go get himself killed in a blaze of noble glory. He's still manipulating her emotions when she is telling him she is choosing Edward; he can't let it go even then. I thought he was absolutely rotten to the core, and I'm flabbergasted that he's supposed to be a "good guy" and that Stephenie honestly felt she'd written him sympathetically enough that fans would finally understand and embrace Jacob Black. I cannot for the life of me understand what she sees in Jacob Black that is so appealing!

I also think that the meat of this love triangle conflict was tossed out with too little build-up and aftermath. Bella changed from "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" to "Oh, I've been so wrong, I can totally see us married and with kids and growing old together" to "Oh well, that part of my heart just broke away" in the space of about 2 paragraphs. It would seem to me that one of the central themes ought to have been about Bella's growing attraction to Jacob (and denial thereof to herself). The reader should have been able to pick up on what she was denying to herself, and the whole crux of the conflict deserves more than a paragraph or two, doesn't it? She has this grand vision pass through her head while she's kissing him because he tricked her into it, and before she's even broken away from the kiss, her heart has severed off that part of itself. No angst, no self-evaluation, no consideration of what all of this means for her and Edward. Just nothing but "woe is me, I must give Jacob up."

I agree with Meyer that it is certainly possible for a person to love more than one person at the same time, and I think it was great for Bella to understand sacrificing her humanity meant more than giving up her parents. I think Bella's friendship love for Jacob would have worked just fine to illustrate this point, but I also would have been fine with Bella developing another romantic love for Jacob to make her choice of Edward that much more lasting, if that had been handled better from a stylistic standpoint. Again, if there's no foundation for the heroine having this revelation, the readers feel cheated.

So, in the end, Bella "chooses" Edward and agrees that they should tell her parents that they are engaged, moving forward with a wedding to be held by mid-August. I should be happy, right? That's what all the folks who loved Eclipse tell me. I got what I wanted in the end or so they say.

Unfortunately, the whole "I can't live without him" thing did nothing to restore my confidence that Bella and Edward are destined, that they are in fact soul-mates. Not being able to live without someone is really not quite the same thing as being in love with that person. I'm starting to wonder if Bella really is just obsessed with Edward, but not truly in love with him. She chose him in the end, yes. But was it a choice made happily and in exercise of her free will? To me, it read almost as if she feels compelled to stay with Edward, even though her heart is telling her something different. That may in fact be the biggest reason I dislike Eclipse so much -- it seems that all the characters are being manipulated by some other power other than their own free will. None of the wolves have any choice with this imprinting concept, and it almost seems as though we're meant to conclude that Edward and Bella have imprinted and therefore she has no choice left either. I don't like that. I want her to choose Edward because she's in love with him and because he makes her happier than anyone else. I don't think she has yet made that choice though, and I'm honestly not sure if choice is truly going to be available to her.

She also seems to be pushing ahead with the game-plan without pausing to think about whether she really does need some more time for reflection. And, Edward seemed a bit desperate at the end too, just to be honest. For all his understanding reaction to the whole debacle, it seemed to me that he was suddenly quite anxious to get her changed to a vampire. He's even willing to give up the wedding. It sounds like 2 people who are both plunging head-long into disaster if you ask me. And I hate that I feel that way about one of my favorite fictional couples! I wanted to be happy for them. On the surface, I should be, right? Bella has chosen Edward, they are engaged and planning a wedding and moving ahead with plans for her to change into a vampire. So, why do I feel so unsettled and sad about it all?

I will read Breaking Dawn next year, but I will try to go into it with lower expectations. I hope Meyer can return to the standard of Twilight and New Moon, but I am not confident given where things stand at the end of Eclipse. Sad.
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639 of 768 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ahh...guilty pleasures..., September 14, 2007
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
I wasn't really sure how to rate these books, because in terms of literary quality they're certainly one star. Yet, they're so delightfully cheesy that in terms of entertainment value, they probably rate a 5-star review. Of course, I'm the girl that adores awful monster movies on the SciFi channel, so maybe you shouldn't trust my judgment. :)

But really folks these books are absolutely ridiculous. They're so over the top they read like parodies of supernatural romance novels. The characters' motivations and reactions defy any sort of real world logic. These books just don't make any sense. Like here's my main problem with the series: What in the world do all of these people see in Bella? And I'm not just talking about Edward and Jacob. That also includes Mike Newton, the entire Cullen family, Angela, and even Victoria and James from the first book. The entire Twilight universe revolves around Bella. Everyone is obsessed with this girl. Why? She's whiny, hypocritical, self-obsessed, co-dependent, moody, childish, sulky, I could go on, you get my drift. She has no goals, ambitions, hobbies, dreams, or talents. She shows no interest in the world around her. She basically shows disdain and/or contempt for anyone in her life who isn't impossibly beautiful or superpowered--including her own parents. Her one goal in life is to become a vampire so she can live forever, be impossibly beautiful and strong, and never age. Yes, this is our heroine, people. Was I the only one rooting for Victoria to knock the hell out of her?

Then of course there's Edward. I believe I've read in SM's own words that Edward is her idea of the perfect man. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. And let me just say that I don't care how beautiful and gorgeous and perfect and wonderful a character is--NO ONE deserves to have 300 pages telling us these things. If a character is supposed to be beautiful then I only need to be told that once, and then I'm looking for their more interesting aspects. If their beauty is brought up more than once than I'm going to assume that it's signficant to the story somehow...it relates to the plot, it's an ironic contrast to their not so beautiful inside, it serves as commentary for cultural perspectives on beauty. I don't want to get the idea that I'm reading about Edward's crooked smile, or bronze hair, or perfect chiseled features, or muscular chest over and over again because the author is imagining herself as the object of his affection and likes reminding everyone of how gorgeous he is.

And Jacob...how did he go from a sweet kid to a rapist-in-training? And why is SM so convinced that we're all going to adore this twerp as much as she does? That said, as a character, he's still 1000 times more believable and better developed than Edward.

Basically this book had so many unintentionally hilarious moments that I was imagining it as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. There was Charlie's utterly bizarre reaction to Bella's breaking her hand...(What's that? You tried to sexually assault my daughter? And she injured herself? Way to go tiger!) Bella's stupidity after Rosalie's backstory (Hmm...I think she's trying to tell me something about life and humanity and family, but all I can really focus on is that some hot vampire chick once came onto Edward..WAAAHHHH Edward!) Edward's rather psycho definition of love( He basically says "I don't care about anyone else. I only care about you. Only you matter.") And the vampires' reactions (or rather non reaction) to the murder of the new vampire Bree disturbed me. They basically do nothing and have no reaction when a teenage girl is ripped to pieces right in front of them. Six months ago she was probably a normal teenager and now she's a pile of ashes and not one of the saintly "good" vampires even bothers to say "Poor girl. I wonder if her family is looking for her?" And these are the people that Bella wants to hang with for eternity?

Hey I won't lie, I'll probably be buying the 4th book, but I have no expectations of quality or literary value, only that I'm going to entertained by more cheap melodrama and cheesy, pseudo-sensuality.
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265 of 317 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False Reviews???, August 10, 2007
By 
Olivia (California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
My Original review on Aug. 10:
After finishing this book, I have no idea why it was written other than an excited writer's desire to fulfill a publisher's request as soon as possible. The writing was unevolved, and the sheer number of editorial errors proves how quickly both editor and author worked to release this book. Most of the issues that were brought up in the first two books were dropped in this one. To make matters worse, new issues abound that make the "willing suspension of disbelief" impossible, plot points are picked up and ignored randomly without any real twists or conclusions (except Vicky, of course), and you aren't really left with a character to love: Jake's forceful and annoying, Bella's negative and a martyr, Alice is pushy and superficial, and Edward is far too selfless.

The first and last part of the book is filled with bickering and grumbling which is used to set a stage for Meyer's beautiful and witty sarcasm, but does little to enhance the plot. Without ruining anything, I'll just say that there actually comes a point where Bella has to resign herself to being with Edward. In general, the relationship between them is so obviously codependent and unhealthy, without any basis in a reality, that it's lost all of its original touching reluctance. By the end of the book, Bella's constant victim-stance, her bickering, complaining, whining, and general inability to be happy has ruined the book.

UPDATE September 3, 2007: I am now absolutely DISGUSTED with both Meyers and her publisher. As soon as the rating fell below four stars, and almost all of the reviews commented on the same negative attributes, suddenly the reviews are flooded with five star, four sentence reviews from people who have nearly identical reviews on every other books they've posted for - falling in line with the newer trend of buying reviews for books. Shame on you Ms. Meyers for not letting your product stand on its own, and shame on you for disrespecting the loyal followers of your series in such a manner by telling them that their opinions are worth as much as cheaply bought props.
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370 of 445 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars vampires, werewolves, and helpless females, August 17, 2007
By 
Mara E. (Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
To preface this, I'll say up front that I loathe love triangles. They're trite plot devices that are very rarely executed well, and that's just one of the huge problems with Eclipse. It's a love triangle that, according to the author, was designed for Bella to make a choice. Really? Was there any shred of doubt over what option she was going to go with?

Unfortunately for Eclipse, about three quarters of the book involved pitting Edward and Jacob against each other in a quarrel over who Bella loves more (and again, really?). Sure, it's great to be loved, but in this instance it just makes everyone look bad. Jacob comes off as too sexually forceful, Edward looks like a lump on a log reciting the same "if it's good for Bella, it's good for me" line, and Bella looks more selfish and whiny than usual. Sure, Bella was whiny and annoying way before Eclipse, but she puts on a grand display here and it makes one long for a point of view change. Anyone. Jessica's point of view would probably be preferable.

The rest of the book is about some killings in Seattle that, of course, mean Bella is in danger, which, naturally, means Edward has to act like a psycho boyfriend intent on saving her from herself. Early on he attempts to keep her house bound by ripping the spark plug out of her car, and while I thought that was a little melodramatic and creepy he one ups himself constantly after that. No wonder Bella kept grumbling and sighing whenever he kept swooping in to tell her where not to go and why. Then there's the marriage issue -- he wants to, she doesn't (it's embarrassing, you see...far more than having to tell one's family you intend to become a vampire in the near future because marriage is so much more shocking) -- but it's not like Bella has a say in the day that's supposed to be hers. She literally doesn't. It reminded me a little of an arrangement than a celebration with the amount of groaning and wincing Bella does concerning the upcoming nuptials.

What disturbed me more, besides the rickety plot, the endless comparisons to Wuthering Heights (the author studied literature in college, I get it. most of us college educated people did and I still don't see the need for comparisons to Heathcliff and Cathy), and the annoying love triangle, was how self-deprecating Bella was. How she constantly went through the book saying how unworthy she was of everyone, how at fault she was of everything, how clumsy, stupid, selfish (that one I actually don't argue with), immoral, weak, helpless, pathetic, and frighteningly normal she is. Sure, it's hard to have immortal, strong, mostly male friends, but as a woman I'd like to see Bella shed that "oh well, I'm just a little weak girl, woe is me, I'll just sit in the corner and die now" attitude without having to become a vampire. At every turn in Eclipse Bella depicts herself harshly, and the story does nothing to turn that around. She's the one that wants to have sex outside of marriage (which is too immoral for virtuous Edward), she's the one that's too weak to do anything other than be babysat, and for the most part the story agrees with her. The men (with the exception of possibly Alice) are the selfless heroes by the end, and the women are selfish (Bella), shallow (Rosalie), and bitter (Leah). Where have the strong female role models gone?
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106 of 125 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't be the only one..., April 28, 2008
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
Is it just me, or am I the only person out there who is mildly revolted with the thinly-disguised Mormon ethos present in all of Meyers' works?

I read these books because, as an illustrator, I want to know what's going on in the teen lit world, and anytime somebody gets labeled something histrionic ('The Next J.K. Rowling'), I'm curious. Unquestionably, this author has worked very hard to crank out some seriously long novels that are seriously packed with - well, not really plot, or action, and a great deal of thin, meandering dialogue - so I'm not quite sure what's in each book, but I do not doubt for one second that the passion of her romance writing is bizarrely gripping. I read all three of these books faster than whatever book I last read in the airport, and that's saying something. What does it say? Well, she certainly knows how to move at a literary clip.

What does astonish me are the swarms of fans comparing her to Jane Austen (!!) and the utterly irresponsible path the books have taken in embracing what I presume to be a Mormon dictate: get married right out of high school, education is secondary to marriage and love, and never, ever stand up for yourself in front of a man. Women in the church are still subjugated no matter how liberated they may think they are, and this truism is decidedly present in the so-called arc her protagonist takes.

I am also amazed that the author herself can state that her religion defines everything she writes, and yet nobody seems to mind - or know - that these teen romances are then 'defined' by it. They aren't only for sale in Christian bookstores, are they?

I'm always glad when young people get excited to read. I love the statistic about juvenile crime dropping on the days when Harry Potter books are released to the public. How can that not be to the good? But why on earth do young women have to be spoon-fed the idea that sitting around and waiting for a boy to sweep them away is how their life should be defined? It makes me sad that packaging up that notion in a glossy cover fools girls into thinking it's not only great literature, but what they should strive for.

EDIT: I am gratified to have gotten repeated comments on this review, regardless of negativity. I am also gratified for my judgments to have been corroborated by the author herself in the conclusion to this series, 'Breaking Dawn.' Therefore, my assessment of the subtext was correct.
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203 of 243 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A unique book in the trilogy -- in all a mix between vasting dissapointing and tragically romantic, August 13, 2007
By 
S. Lichens (Redhook, New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
Let me make myself clear that I am an avid reader and a HUGE fan of the Twilight series. I found the first novel, Twilight, to be a beautiful love story so inspiring and unusual that it blew me off my feet. The relationship between Bella and Edward seemed very different, and I found one chapter in particular in the first book allowed me to become entranced by the two lovers. Bella Swan comes to Forks leaving sunny Arizona to find herself on an alien green planet where it rains every day. At her new High School she finds herself perplexed by the Cullen family, which we then discover to be Vampires. Edward Cullen and Bella Swan fall madly in love. A love so passionate it could put Romeo and Juliet to the test.

Eclipse is the third novel in the series. After looking at a few reviews and acknowledging the rating of the novel I began to have my doubts. Many people found the book to be the best of the series or found it entrancing. While some reviewers were immensely disappointed. It is very difficult for an author to create a third novel that will live up to the first novel's expectations and in my opinion Stephanie Meyer did not truly deliver. This is understandable since many authors cannot even write a decent sequel, which Meyer managed to do. The second novel New Moon was almost as good as the first. The middle part, to be quite honest was a little boring, but none the less kept me going. But Stephanie Meyer had so many expectations to live up to it is understandable that it wouldn't be easy.

The third book begins with Bella and Edward discussing college with Charlie , who has just released Bella from the house. The novel continues to mention Bella's choice to join Edward forever and her relationship with Jacob Black. Stephanie Meyer has mentioned many times that she found Jacob to be her favorite character and after reading this novel I found myself disliking him more then I did in the second novel. The Edward-Jacob-Bella love triangle continues to play out through all the 626 pages in which the reader will want to throw the book on the floor because they are so annoyed with how stupid Bella truly is.

I have never personally liked how Bella is always portrayed as the damsel in distress and I found that part of her character a bad influence for young women who might otherwise look up to her. Many feminists would be appalled at how Bella reacts. She makes herself vulnerable and at one point in the book she even says, "IF YOU LEAVE ME I'LL DIE." Which I found to be silly and very sexist. I understand that the traditional love story is that the damsel is rescued by the man but at least one love story should not have that stupid shallow idea. This book was by far the most inappropriate in that sense since Bella is manipulated heavily by Jacob in such I cruel way I wanted to grab Stephanie Meyer and ask her why she took pleasure in writing such a sexist book.

The book is the poorest written of the three books. I have never considered Stephanie Meyer an excellent writer but she does tell a great story that makes the reader want to turn the page to see what is coming next in the story. The whole story seems rushed even though the novel is indeed 626 pages. It seems the publisher may have hurried her to write so it is a little sloppy. I also noticed many typos throughout the novel.

The characters are extremely one dimensional. Even Edward seemed too dramatic and fake with his passion for Bella. I cannot recall a single sentence he spoke to her that didn't have the word love, honey,sweet, darling or something sappy like that. Edward also lost his cocky sexy arrogance that I loved. He was obsessed with Bella in an unnatural way that disturbed me. His character was completely different. Jacob became such a nasty manipulator I was surprised that Edward didn't sink his teeth right into his neck. All Edward ever said was "If you're happy Bella, I'm happy." - please give me a break! Bella became a shallow even more selfish girl. She became so confused with her emotions I almost pitied her because Meyer had robbed Bella of the strength that made her such an interesting character in the first book. Rosalie, Alice, Emmett and Jasper were also turned into different characters all of which seemed out of character from the first two books.

The first two books were amazing and inspiring. The true love that possessed Bella and Edward left after book two. I feel this new book is incomplete. I do not think I will buy the fourth book. I'll borrow it from the library, and if I could I would go return this book. This book is no longer a love affair so deeply passionate between a Vampire and a human. It is now about having to make choices when you should already know what the right answer is.

I started this review with mixed opinions but now as I conclude I find myself so disappointed I shall try to remember the Edward and Bella I know from the first novel, Twilight, keeping those characters who are so deeply in love nothing could tear them apart.

Stephanie Meyer I'm afraid you disappointed a true Twilight fan till the very end. My only hope is that you can rekindle the beautiful story you had with Edward and Bella in Twilight. Good luck on the next book, I hope it's an improvement! If a movie is ever to be made may it only be the movie of Twilight.

Goodbye Edward and Bella. I'll miss you!
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119 of 141 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a shame..., September 12, 2007
By 
N. Johnson (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
As other reviewers have mentioned, the second two books in this series do not compare to the first. I feel obligated to write a review, because I feel as if I wasted my money on them, and would like to warn others away. Read the first book, Twilight, only! It is very unique and I enjoyed it very much, even though I am not what you would call a vampire-are-hot-romance novel reader.
Sadly, things slowly went downhill after Twilight. But I hardly noticed this after I read New Moon. I was still happy with the series. It wasn't until Eclipse that I realized what happened. ALL the characters, it seems like, are immature. Especially annoying to me is Bella's dad. I would expect the adults, at least, to act like adults. And why is Bella constantly cooking?!? (Although at every mention of this, I usually love it, because it makes me laugh.) It seems to me that the author decided to try to push her beliefs on her readers. If you are a teenager, you should not have sex until you are married, go to school and get straight A's, and cook for your irresponsible parents. Oh, and if the love of your life treats you badly, you should become severely depressed and become an automaton. God forbid the main character show she has a backbone (like she did in the first book).
This is such a shame... And there was so much potential here for a great story! The werewolf-vampire thing could have been the best part of the story... and if only SM had kept the friendship of Bella and Jake as a friendship! Imagine the tension if he really was her best friend and just wanted to look out for her. Enough of this love nonsense. Bella really is a nothing character, she doesn't even have the spunk she had in the first book.
Oh well. I am an optimist, so I will look into the 4th installment of this series, but I will definitely not buy it unless I hear that Bella has grown up. Unfortunately, I suspect that the series is beyond saving.
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82 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time there was light in my life..., April 3, 2008
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
Now there's only love in the dark...

Yes, my friends, just like the song, we've reached a new level of cheese. The melodrama of this third installment of the Twilight series is over the top, outrageous, and at times difficult to stomach. But I'm not going to lie - I loved Twilight. New Moon made me sob. And I read Eclipse in a matter of days. Still on a high from Twilight, I was initially only mildly disappointed in Eclipse and overall pretty forgiving. But as time has passed, and particularly as I've picked up the book again to re-read it, my opinion is less favorable.

---WARNING SPOILERS---

Generally, I found the premise of the Seattle killings obvious and not all that interesting - a newborn vampire army is just cheeseball to me. I'd much rather read about the Volturi.

In terms of character development, I was disappointed all the way around. I found Edward's overly-controlling "protectiveness" disrespectful and hugely unattractive. While it may not have been out of character in the sense that he was always controlling, it was disappointing for this to be the side of him expounded upon. Gone was the Edward we loved - cool and sexy - instead, replaced by an icky control freak. Only to then be replaced by martyr-boy who lets his fiance make out with another guy and only complains with "I wish you hadn't asked him to kiss you." Hunh? I guess we can chalk this up to him being traumatized by the mess he created in New Moon and dealing with it in a myriad of stupid and dysfunctional ways. But waaaah! I miss the Edward of Twilight - snarky, cocky, arrogant, warm-hearted, vulnerable, loving.

As I re-read this book, I found Bella's tolerance of his condescension extremely frustrating. If any guy bribed his sister into kidnapping me, physically disabled my car so I couldn't go anywhere, and made constant snide remarks about my predisposition towards clumsiness and attracting danger, I'd get pissed. Maybe the teasing was cute in the beginning, way back in Twilight, but it goes beyond teasing in Eclipse and at some point any self-respecting girl would get mad.

Bella... well there's much to be said there. Mainly, what on earth is she doing? I grasp that she's a teenager and still learning/growing but rather than relating to her like I did in Twilight and somewhat in New Moon, I felt so aggravated with her this time around that I couldn't fathom what Edward even loved about her anymore. It didn't bother me in Twilight that her hobbies or outside interests weren't discussed - I assumed she had some and that we'd find out more about them in later books. Since Twilight was about her falling in love, it made sense to me that it was all about Edward. In New Moon she was devastated and nothing sounds good when you're that depressed so I was willing to overlook the fact that she was mourning and not interested in anything. But what the heck is her excuse this time? I realize that by making her as non-descript as possible, more readers can inject themselves into the character and vicariously makeout with a couple of hot guys, but is that really the only reason Bella is so bland? The only character points that even stood out in this book were her reluctance to get married, her inability to stand up to Edward (except by passive aggressive means) and her obsession with Jacob.

The marriage issue irritated me to no end. She's perfectly content to spend eternity with Edward but doesn't want to get married? I would think that her love for Edward, so sweeping and all-encompassing in Twilight, would supersede something as silly as her fear of appearing irresponsible to others. Since when does Bella care so much about what others think that she'd alienate the person she's willing to give up her life for? If you're willing to give up your humanity, family and friends, why balk at marriage? I realize that extending the series requires the creation of new complications, but I just don't find the reason for her reluctance to marry Edward a believable one.

And the love triangle... I could see a certain amount of sexual tension between Bella and Jacob in New Moon. Edward screwed things up by leaving and left her suffering. Jacob helped her heal and just happened to be good looking on top of it. I never got the impression that on Bella's end it was anything more than friendship love with a mild physical/emotional attraction. Not anywhere near the same ballpark as the aforementioned sweeping and all-encompassing love with Edward. If she had developed deeper feelings for Jacob, her internal dialog right before he was about to kiss her in New Moon would have been very different.

Yet this is the backdrop for the realization at the end of Eclipse that she's in love with Jacob too? I just didn't find enough of a draw between her and Jacob on her end. Jacob is obviously in love with her, but I don't see where she's in love with him. Her only reasons for seeking him out were because she missed her friend and hated to see him suffer; not because of romantic feelings. Maybe they would have gotten together if Edward never came back, but he did come back so there's no question of who she's going to be with. Therefore, what is she doing kissing Jacob and realizing she's "in love" with him? Especially after he manipulated her into this epiphany. And if she was willing to let him manipulate her, then how serious could her love and commitment be to Edward? While she was making out with Jacob she knew she loved Edward more, so what the heck was she doing? Exploring other possibilities? How is that justifiable when you're already in a relationship and engaged????

Then there's the whole Jacob pushing himself on her. I get that he's young and a werewolf and his emotions/hormones are out of control, but having him physically force himself on her in the middle of the book and then emotionally manipulate her at the end is just not okay. I want to like Jacob - I want to sympathize with him - but I can't like or sympathize with a character who sexually assaults another character. (Yet Bella's own father was totally fine with it? Charlie was an idiot in this book.)

I think if SM really wanted to create a compelling love triangle, it should have been handled differently. We can clearly see who Bella's going to choose and the fact that Jacob hasn't imprinted on her is an obvious sign that they'll never be together. So there's really no mystery or lure to this triangle. It was just an aggravating side-bar that caused me to lose respect for all three characters - Jacob for forcing himself, Bella for tolerating it (and exploring other options while committed to Edward), and Edward for being such a martyr.

Overall, I found the characters frustrating in this book. I suppose my three-star rating is a result of it being the Twilight series. If this were a stand-alone book that I read without the previous two, I might have given it one or two stars.

I still credit SM with creating a story compelling enough that I'm taking the time to write this long of a review. She obviously did something right. But at this point the series is gliding on the magic wrought by Twilight and I'd love to see more depth and growth in these characters in the next book. I do enjoy her writing style - the flow of action, dialog and descriptions of setting (though I was less impressed with the dialog in this book). I am eagerly awaiting Midnight Sun and will gladly read Breaking Dawn and anything else she writes for this series because, aggravated as I was with this book, I still want to know what's going to happen.
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183 of 219 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bella Bore, August 30, 2007
By 
TKelly (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eclipse (Twilight) (Hardcover)
I think one other person finally brought this up, but I must agree. What does everyone in the book see in Bella? It's rather unbelievable that two strong, "hot" men of any age (human or not) would find a weak, seemingly talentless, and "plain" girl so compelling. I loved Twilight. Bella and Edward had an energy I haven't seen in characters in a very long time. I was willing to overlook Bella's damsel in distress deal, because I figured she would grow as a character. As a writer myself, I prefer to write about realistic heroines. Not all of them start off strong, but many grow and learn to love themselves more. It doesn't matter if the book is fantasy or reality; it's the realistic human element that allows readers to connect to the characters.

That being said, what does Bella have to offer? She's not particularly smart. She has no goals in life outside of loving Edward and being with him forever and ever. Blah. She scoffs at the idea of going to Dartmouth. Empowering the mind through education??? Psh, she's too girly to do that! Has anyone ever noticed that she has no real hobbies? I love a main character with quirks and passions in life. Bella spends her days being rescued and, well, that's about it. It's the 21st century and women still have to struggle to be taken seriously. Let's get with it by presenting female characters that, sure, make mistakes, but reflect the incredible strength that most women have. I know I do.

That being said, there was a flicker of hope when Bella had second thoughts about marriage. I'm quite surprised at the amount of reviewers who supported Edward on the 'let's get married' view. Am I the only one who would find a guy manipulating me into marrying him extremely unattractive? When I was 17, I would have laughed in the guy's face at such a ludicrous suggestion. Gone is the sarcastic, deliciously arrogant and slightly mysterious Edward. He's been replaced by a needy sap who hasn't had a date in the 100 years he's been around? Come on, ladies. If he's as smoldering as Meyer suggests (I haven't counted, but I'm guessing there is a reference to it on every page), surely he would have had a few dates under his belt by now. I was hoping that the whole storyline with Rosalie suggesting there had been women in Edward's life before would play out as a secret he'd been keeping from Bella. That would have made him more real to me. Hey, I've made a few mistakes, but I love you now, honey puff (gag). What he comes off as, instead, is a naive female fantasy boy. I find that pretty boring, but I've always preferred the male love interest to be a bit rough around the edges. I find imperfections endearing, and more importantly, REAL.

Which brings me to Jacob. Aside from his unrealistic obsession with Bella, he is the most realistic character in the series at this point. For one thing, he acts like a 16 year old boy, right down to the barrage of immature comments and sloppy kisses. I can't really say he's a likable character for me, simply because he reminds me too much of the really bad dates I had in high school. Needless to say, I found their "hot embrace" towards the end more vile than anything else. I also don't understand why either character has any feelings for the other one at all? What do they have in common?

Alice was an interesting character in the first book. I like her little fashion quirks, but I cannot understand her patience with Bella. Since she's not in love with Bella, it makes little sense that she's put up with as much as she has. When Bella was making snotty comments at their little slumber party, I was waiting for Alice to become disgusted.

Disappointment is an understatement for me. I admit that I'm extremely picky when it comes to characters. I find most to be 2D and underdeveloped or just plain boring. Twilight had a magic above and beyond the books I've read in the last few years. I was excited to finally be drawn in by something again. When New Moon came out, I didn't like it nearly as much, but I still had some hope that Bella would develop as a character. Eclipse sealed the deal for me. I'll be happy not to read another page of Bella's self-deprecating and mundane blather. I'm sorry this is so harsh, but sometimes the author needs to hear the truth. My suggestion would be to forget your own morals, and think about what the characters in your book would realistically do. Stop forcing them to be so virtuous (ahem Edward). And please, pump some life into Bella.

At this point the only thing that redeem this series is if Breaking Dawn went a little like this: Bella ditches Edward and pursues a career as an FBI agent, joins the marines, decides to become a professional bum or something else completely unlike her. Oh, and Edward and Jacob hook up. Was I the only one that noticed the sexual tension between those two? It couldn't have all been about Bella.
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Eclipse (Twilight Saga Book 3)
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