Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer | Rating: ★★★☆☆
“And the sound of your heart," he continued. "It's the most significant sound in my world. I'm so attuned to it now, I swear I could pick it out from miles away. But neither of these things matter. This," he said, taking my face in his hands. "You. That's what I'm keeping. You'll always be my Bella, you'll just be a little more durable.”
Upon finishing my reread of the entire Twilight Saga, I have come to the conclusion that the series is incredibly dull and I can’t understand how I was so into it way back when. While Twilight was a solid introduction to Stephenie Meyer’s supernatural romance, New Moon was thoroughly horrendous. I had little hope for improvement while going into Eclipse regardless of the fact that it was at one time my favorite in the series.
What frustrates me most about the book is that Stephenie has a great grasp on human emotions. She does wonderful describing it; letting you into her characters minds. Meyer’s is also good at creating a new take on supernatural creatures as well as painting us a clear image of what the world her characters live in is like. It’s only when she tries to put it all together and make the story go a certain way when things get a bit wobbly.
Eclipse improves on a lot of things, in particular what New Moon failed. Bella is happy to have Edward and the Cullen’s back in her life and is now certain that one day soon she will become a vampire and live happily ever after with her friends. Blah-blah-blah. Her only struggle is trying to maintain a friendship with Jacob, her shifter best friend who is openly in love with her.
This installment is action packed by the hand of the return of Victoria–the mate of Twilight’s very first villain James. It’s also heavy on the romance as Edward and Bella are back together; the topic of marriage comes up frequently. But there is also hints of Bella’s feelings for Jacob, who becomes increasingly pushy in his pursuit for her heart.
While all of this serves more to the plot than the previous installment, it still seems rushed and lacks a level of thrill for me this time around. Eclipse is fine, don’t get me wrong, and it’s a decent lovestory for a younger crowd but as an adult it’s just lacking a lot. It felt rushed, it continued to feel unhealthy and at times bizarre.
As for its pros: I really enjoyed getting to know some of the other characters better. Rosalie and Jasper share their stories with us; allowing us to know them on a more intimate level. While I enjoyed getting to know both of them, their lives before they were changed, only one stuck out to me in a heartbreaking manner.
Rosalie Hale’s story is beautiful and tragic and just overall well thought out. And truth be told, I think I care more about Rosalie’s story than everything else in the series. It’s true that Rosalie isn’t the lead character in the Twilight Saga, but it’s even more true that she is hands down the best developed one.
Stephenie took great care to crafting everyone’s favorite and at times bitchy blonde vampire. Rosalie’s life was normal in her human years. She was beautiful, and that’s what really counted for her in the decades she lived. She openly acknowledges that she was shallow in her youth.
And Rosalie’s goals were simple: stay beautiful, marry and have a family of her own. It was one of her more prominent wishes: she longed to have a child. As we grow closer to her wedding in the story, things take a dark turn and her fiance betrays and abuses her in a way that will bring tears to your eyes.
Luckily (and unluckily) for her Carlisle happens to find her and rescues her from her fate. His hope is to give Edward a mate but instead it sets them on the path to where they all are present day.
Overall, her desires were undeniably outdated and naive but that adds a dimension to her character that was not there in the first few novels. It’s these things that haunt her. Her strength and dark humor is visible in how she handles the men who left her for dead and it’s by far my favorite part of the entire series.
I loved seeing this side of her that explains why she is so vocal about not wanting Bella to join the family. Yes, Rosalie Hale is by far the most interesting character in this world – and I truly, without a doubt, love her.
After we hear Jasper’s back story, as well, we see the action packed plot come to life. Jasper’s story is useful to help him coordinate and train the others for battle. This battle with the newborn vampire army is drawing near–danger lurking just around the corner as the vampires align themselves with Jacob’s pack to protect the area.
And we do see more of the mythology involving the shifters, the wolves, history. I’ve always loved the campfire story vibe to each story and that shines in Eclipse as Bella splits her time with the Cullen clan and Jacob.
Bella’s feelings grow for Jacob as the realization dawns on her: she does love him as more than her best friend. It comes about in a weird way due to Mr. Black’s pushy nature an it just feels weird. We get a little closure of why their relationship would never work and we rush on into the plot that Edward and Bella will marry.
Also the Volturi make an appearance once more around the time of their defeat of the newborn army. With Victoria and her army officially dead, the story moves on to the fact that Bella will be changed at some point after her wedding to Edward.
I don’t know what to really say about it all. It’s a yawn, for me. I will always have a fondness for this series but the thing is, after I finish this, I’m probably never going to read it again.
Eclipse’s only saving grace, the only reason for such a high rating from me, is Rosalie’s story and the part where Emmett asks Bella if she fell down again, but she calmly responds with: “No, Emmett, I punched a werewolf in the face.”