~by Stephenie Meyer
While still massively popular, the Twilight mania seems to have simmered down a bit--at least for the time being. I'm certain there will be another resurgence when the next movie is released. Personally, I don't completely understand the blind devotion or blind hatred surrounding these books. The mob mentality on both sides can get pretty scary. Granted, there have been some great, thoughtful conversations between lovers and haters, so not all is lost. Eclipse is the third book in the series, picking up a few months after the previous book, New Moon.
Graduation is coming soon. Most seniors are making plans for college, and so is Bella Swan. Except for her, it's just a cover. Her plans for after school are significantly different--to join her boyfriend's family and become a vampire. Edward doesn't want her to change, but neither has a choice at this point. If he or his family doesn't follow through with her wish, the Volturi, an extremely powerful coven, will. The Volturi aren't the only thing Bella has to worry about, her best friend, Jacob Black, is a werewolf--a natural enemy of the vampire. And to makes things even worse, a vampire with a grudge is after her. No matter what happens, someone is going to get hurt.
In general, the writing is much improved over that in New Moon, although there were still a few times I wondered if it was actually English. The references to Wurthering Heights weren't nearly as overplayed as those of Romeo and Juliet in the last book. The hardest thing for me right now is that I really can't stand Bella anymore. This is problematic since the book is told from her point of view. For someone who is rather grown-up in some respects, she can be incredibly immature and extremely slow on the uptake. (And her relationship with her parents is just freakin' weird.) I find her to be rather annoying and irritating now. Whenever someone else took over to tell part of the story, it was great, but I really just wanted Bella to shut up. Meyer even had to cheat in one particular scene and it doesn't quite work. At one point, Jacob and Edward are having a conversation while Bella is supposedly asleep. Except Bella is the point of view character who has to explain the whole thing away as a dream when it is obvious to the reader that it actually does take place and that she is being incredibly dense as usual.
It's somewhat surprising that the Twilight books have so little plot for as long as they are; not much really happens comparatively. But, what little story there is, I enjoyed (more or less). I particularly liked that Bella is finally considering some of the ramifications of becoming a vampire. The legends and character background stories are also quite good. Unfortunately, the characters motivations and even personalities would frequently change for no other reason than it was necessary for the plot, regardless of how the character would actually behave in a given situation. Event Jacob, who had probably been my favorite character up to this point, succumbed and joined the ranks of immature, hormonal, jerk simply for the sake of the story. At least he gets to take over the Epilogue from Bella, which was kinda odd seeing as the entire series has been told from her first person point of view. I do hope this means he'll be a narrator in Breaking Dawn as well, I'm not sure how much more of a human Bella I can take.