Saturday, September 29, 2007
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
As I waited impatiently for the copy of Eclipse to finally be shipped to my school library by Follett, I read a number of reviews of it by bloggers. Although many of the reviews indicated the readers were disappointed with the path the series is taking, Becky at Becky’s Book Review and Jen Robinson at Jen Robinson’s Book Page both have reviews of it that reflect the way I felt about the book. I’m not going to rehash what they said but I do want to add to it.
Many of the less-than-positive reviews I’ve read focus on the amount of agony Bella goes through as she is torn by her love for both Edward and Jacob (the reviewers say she whines too much). She wants to be a vampire so that she can always be with Edward, but she doesn’t want to hurt people, and she is acutely aware that becoming a vampire will hurt many people, most notably Jacob and her father, Charlie. Like I would, like anyone would, she just wants everyone to be friends – to be able to maintain the relationships that have been so important to her since she moved to Washington. She would be the worst kind of selfish person if she didn’t consider the long-reaching effects of her decision upon the lives of the other people she loves.
I must admit that as I read Eclipse, I kept thinking back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At the end of season 7 Buffy finds herself caring about two vampires, Angel and Spike. While Angel is her soulmate, she does acknowledge that Spike is also in her heart. She won’t deny either of them and she’s mature enough to know that she needs to grow up a bit more (or as she puts it, she’s uncooked cookie dough that needs to finish baking) before she decides upon her place with either of them.
That’s what I want Bella to do (and also what Edward wants her to do). So what if she’s five or even ten years physically older than Edward? She’ll have had plenty of time to make her decision and truly know that it’s the right one. Right now, my personal opinion is that she should choose to not become a vampire. Changing into something that will result in craving human blood forever? Into perhaps killing people? Not for me, and right now I don’t think that it’s for Bella at this point in her life. Meyer will have to do an awful lot of convincing in the next book for me to change my mind.
On a side note, the one thing I found frustrating about the novel is that I didn’t have time to reread the first two books and I needed to in order to understand some of the people that were being referred to. I never liked they way the Nancy Drew books always caught the reader up with who each character was, but I wish Meyer could have given me a little more to go on as I struggled to remember the stories of some of the minor characters.
I do love the way these books are clean reads – I can give them to any child and not worry about its appropriateness. I think I’ll hand them to my younger daughter next – she’ll love them.