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Book Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

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I remember the first time I saw a copy of Twilight at the bookstore. I picked it up and read the jacket but set it down. I ended up walking to the counter with some other book that had caught my eye. But I got home and I realized that I had made a mistake; I should have bought Twilight. It haunted me, there is no other way to describe the feeling and I went to sleep that night thinking about it. The next day I went out and bought a copy.

I didn’t read it right away. It sat on my bedside, waiting. I knew that as soon as I cracked the spine I would not be able to put it down until I had finished. And I was right. Once I finally did pick it up I couldn’t put it down. I was glued to the story of a high school girl, Bella, falling in love with a vampire, Edward. It sounds so simple, diluted into one line like that – but it wasn’t.

The story continued with New Moon, and Stephenie Meyer introduced a werewolf, Jacob — a childhood friend of Bella‘s — into the equation. The simple romance of before had been replaced with something much darker. Edward was absent for most of the book and whereas before Stephenie Meyer had shown us a sweet first love she now showed us the first broken heart. The action from before was there. Bella was still facing a danger from Twilight in the form of a vindictive vampire by the name of Victoria, a threat that follows her into Eclipse.

Which picks up with the final months before Bella’s high school graduation. We are reminded of Carlisle’s promise to turn Bella into a vampire after the big event. Bella does not only want this transformation in order to stay with Edward forever, but must become a vampire because if she isn't Bella faces death at the hands of the Volturi, the ruling group of vampires from Italy. Edward of course is still against her changing; desperate for her to have as normal a human life as possible, he promises to protect her at whatever cost.

Bella also finally forgives Jacob for telling her dad about her motorcycle, something he did in New Moon. She tries to bring together Edward and Jacob — mortal enemies and the two most important people in her life — and in the end they form a sort of truce. Bella gets to spend time down in La Push with Jacob and the rest of the pack. But Jacob isn’t willing just to be Bella’s friend and chooses to fight to make her realize that deep down she loves him just as much as he loves her. 

Meanwhile, in Seattle there has been a rash of unexplainable murders that soon the Cullen family links with vampire activity. As the murder toll goes higher, the Volturi are more likely to make the trip from Italy to investigate – and while they are there check up on Bella as well. But the situation suddenly changes when Bella realizes that the activity in Seattle is linked to her.

In the end Bella must make choices about who she is and who she loves, and with what sacrifices can she make and still live with herself. The tension flows through the book and in the end bursts with both a physical and emotional battle.

One of the things I really enjoyed about Eclipse is the background of the Cullen family. We find out about both Rosalie’s and Jasper’s pasts. The history that formed them and their reactions towards Bella become clear and the characters much more solid because of this knowledge. I think that is part of the appeal of these books – the fact that you do become so wrapped up in the characters, that they touch places deep inside yourself. It isn’t just Bella and Edward that capture your attention but Charlie, Bella’s dad, Jacob, Alice, and the rest.

Stephenie Meyer is so good at painting the emotional image. Not only are you living Bella’s heartbreak – but your own, too. So good at putting into words the fuzzy over powering feeling of that first heartbreak, and of the second, that you are left breathless in the wake of its passing. It is gripping fiction, and Meyer is much more than just a young adult author; she draws from her reader such an emotional reaction, writes so fluidly and propels the reader forward so effortlessly, she truly is a great author for any age range.  

I hit a wide array of emotions while reading Eclipse and once I closed the book I felt emotionally exhausted. When you pick up Twilight, New Moon — and now Eclipse — you must be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster ride of not only being a teenager but a person, with all the thrilling highs and depressing lows that fill everyday life. So, full of trepidation, I’m waiting for the next book and wondering what the future holds for Bella and Edward.

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About Katie T. Buglet

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    I have this book sitting on my shelf now, waiting for me to read it. Having read (and loved) the first two amazing books, I am greatly looking forward to falling back into the story once more. And now, having read this review, it makes me even more excited about getting to read it.

  • http://katiesreading.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    You are going to love it! It is so hard to pick a favorite of the three… but this one comes pretty close. You will have to come back and tell me what you thought of it when your done. I’m dying to talk about it with someone. :)

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    No worries – I’ll be back! :D I just have to finish my current book (shouldn’t take too long), and Eclipse is up next. I really look forward to picking up where it left off. It’s been a while since I’ve read the previous ones, though…hopefully, it’ll all come rushing back.

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com katie mcneill

    I haven’t read the others in awhile either but it was easy to step right into the book and not feel like I’d missed anything.

  • Alw

    hi there, i am about to create a website for book reviews, i was wondering if i could link this site on it, i was greatly impressed by this review and would love others to be able to read it. i havent set up anything yet but as soon as i do i will contact you and let you know so you can see that i havent done anything inappropriate ;-) just kidding

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    Just finished the book! Sorry for the delay – college work has been getting in the way. I easily read 350+ pages today. I couldn’t stop reading! I had that feeling about Jacob in the previous books, but I hadn’t predicted it would affect him to that extent. And for a long time there, Bella seemed quite indecisive – that made it extremely suspenseful. Almost irritatingly so.

  • http://katiesreading.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    I agree. Bella was so… wishy washy! It drove me crazy that it took her so long to realize how she felt. I’m glad she picked Edward but in the end I felt sorry for Jacob. It makes me wonder if he will be in the next book as well. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.

    Did you like it though? I’ve read a lot of people’s thoughts on this one and it seems as if most really liked it or hated it. I guess because a lot of fans were hoping Bella would pick Jacob.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    In a way, you do feel sorry for Jacob, but in a way, you don’t. His force towards the situation didn’t make me a huge fan of Jacob’s, actually. I’m really looking forward to what Alice has planned for the wedding, and hopefully within the next novel, she’ll finally be changed! I’ve been hoping for that since the first book! No, I loved it! Very few books drive me to read 350 pages in one day. The Harry Potter series was the only other books that I have done that with.

  • http://katiesreading.blogspot.com Katie McNeill

    I think she will be changed at the very end of the series. I don’t think that Meyer will really go into too much depth once she is a vampire. Because that is what is really driving this series: the will she or won’t she? I think she will be changed, she has to be, but I also think that Meyer is going to drag it out until the very end.

    Jacob’s force was too much, but I still feel sorry for him. You know he loves her, even if he didn’t go about it the right way, and a broken heart is always sad. But Alice’s plans for the wedding should be great. It’s just going to be so romantic. :)

    Meyer has two more books outlined, one coming out in 2008 which is the sequel to this one (the final one possibly. Her publisher only contracted her so far for the four. But things change all the time so the series could go on) and then one called ‘Midnight Sun’ which is ‘Twilight’ from Edward’s point of view. But she isn’t sure that one will be released. (I hope it is)

    She also has an adult science fiction novel coming out (May 1, 2008) called ‘The Host’

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    Thanks for the information on the future books! I heard about there being a sequel, but knew nothing of ‘Midnight Sun’. Hopefully it will be released, because that would be an extremely interesting accompaniment to the series.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    Does your husband really threaten to call the fire department, by the way?

  • http://www.gpb-katie.blogspot.com katie mcneill

    All the time! :)

  • http://360.yahoo.com/tcrobson T.C.

    That’s pretty funny! I haven’t gotten that bad…yet. I have twenty or so books waiting on my shelves, with a few others I’ve already read on my desk to keep. I’ve only just begun, though!

  • Lightningbarer

    Really…REALLY! Serious, you are seriously putting ‘she can paint an emotional image’ the woman writes in the narrative. Look I’ll get you all pissed off with it now.

    ‘This morning I woke up and got dressed, I jouneyed down the stairs and greeted my mother ‘good morning’ I said and she recprecated. We watched the news for ten minutes until I eventually got up and made my breakfast of pancakes and strawberrys’

    And I’ll bet you stopped reading after the first sentence. When Narrative is used as Meyer uses it, it only demogrates the written word and hastens all the kids rushing away from the book shops and back to their computer screens and game consoles.