I knew this one was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for the avalanche of nausea Eclipse brought me this go-round. I fully had to stop reading for three days to recover and prep for the final few chapters. Stephanie … this isn’t it.
As a kid, a young little teen, I didn’t realize how toxic Edward and Jacob are—or even Bella. I mostly found them annoying. Overreacting. Jealous. After trudging through the first two Twilight books, though, this was much worse than my memory led me to believe, even after seeing the movie a hundred times.
In the context of the last book, I can see why Edward is being overprotective of Bella. Plus, he knows what dirty things Jacob is thinking about her, and since I kind of hate Jacob, I don’t blame him for being a prick about it. However, the lengths Edward goes to to remove Jacob from Bella’s life are a bit much. He thinks he knows better than her (red flag), but it’s not his life now, is it? It’s Bella’s, and Eddie, you catapulted yourself out of her life without warning, so it’s not your place to make those decisions for her. The lack of trust he has in her, despite Jacob’s crush and persistence, isn’t healthy by any means. The removing of her car battery so she can’t see Jacob is even worse. Let me repeat that: Edward removed her car battery so she couldn’t go see the person she considers her best friend. The person who saved her life after he dipped out. I’m not here to defend Jacob whatsoever, but Ed, gross.
Bella is totally ignorant of how bad this level of control is. When she does finally see Jacob (after sneaking away to do it), she’s adamant that Edward is being the adult between them. Yes, Jacob is being childish and creepy, but Edward isn’t being mature. Not by a long shot.
She does call Alice out for being manipulative and “a tiny bit psychotic,” but it’s dismissed. They think they are protecting Bella by holding her captive. By kidnapping her to keep her in their house so she can’t run off again. Even when Edward does sort of come around to the idea of Bella continuing her friendship with Jacob, there are conditions. Eddie loves his conditions.
He won’t change Bella unless she marries him. Unless she gives him more time. I agree she’s being hasty, but marriage? When he knows that’s not something she wants, maybe ever? I’m not about that. Of course, Bella has her own conditions: sex while she’s still human. This is a whole other conversation for a different book, but at least she’s learning to negotiate.
This book just gets worse when we learn about imprinting. Sure, we knew a bit about it with the Sam-Emily-Leah debacle, but boy, are we in for it. Stephanie really must hate Quil because she left him out of the pack for so long, left him to the same awful depression Bella had about Edward leaving without any remorse. When he finally does join the pack, she had him imprint on a two-year-old. A teenager literally laying claim to a toddler. It’s vile. I don’t care that this might be some kind of foreshadowing to the Nessie thing in the last book, it’s all disgusting, and it shouldn’t have been a plot line.
TW for what comes ahead because I feel sick writing it. Everything about Jacob in this book is just bad. Unforgivable. Atrocious. When Jacob kisses Bella when she doesn’t want him to … I could barely read it. He forced the kiss, forced her mouth open, wouldn’t let her push him away. Until she had to just wait for him to stop. She “pretended [she] was a statue and waited” for it to be over. And then he’s proud of himself and insists the only reason she didn’t like it was because he wasn’t as experienced as Edward. He says that she’ll be thinking about the kiss when Edward thinks she’s asleep. It’s repulsive to say the least. He sexually assaulted her. She did not want the kiss. She tried to push him off. It’s plain and simple.
Oh, and it gets worse. Edward talks about he and Bella getting married so that Jacob can overhear it. One, that’s shitty on Edward’s part, but two, Jacob thinks he can threaten suicide to get Bella to admit that she loves him. In what world is that remotely okay? This one, apparently. The way he says he’ll go into the fight and sacrifice himself because she either doesn’t love him enough or she won’t admit it? And then he smiles like it’s just a tease. Like he knows it’ll sway her into asking him to kiss her. He forces her hand in a nasty way.
So now they kiss “for real,” and what’s most unbelievable is that this is when it dawns on Bella that she does actually love Jacob. This kiss that she didn’t want, that she, again, tried to push him away during. And then it magically occurs to her? No. Nope. Not a fucking chance. Because she only “realizes” it when her “brain disconnects from [her] body” and she can let go of her thoughts. That’s not some signal of burning passion. It’s trauma.
This is where I had to stop reading and decided I would burn my copy of this book. Nobody should read it. I’m sorry, Stephanie Meyer, but this is truly bad. I hope you realize that.
The rest of the book is Bella’s “woe is me” act, thinking she’s the worst person ever for loving (she thinks) Jacob and hurting him by choosing Edward. She absolves Edward and Jacob for any wrongdoing they’ve done because it was her fault for loving them both. Excuse me while I gag.
You can’t even enjoy the “action” in this book because Bella misses most of it. Sure, there’s the Victoria and Riley ambush on the mountaintop, but we get this whole stupid story about Jasper’s cringe and unnecessary Confederate-soldier past and then barely get to see the fighting in action. Why build up that subplot if you’re not going to give us the actual fighting?
Last thing: Bella doesn’t deserve Charlie. He loves her so much, and she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about him. She says she loves him too, but she wouldn’t be putting him through all this if that was true. More telling and not showing. I may be influenced by Billy Burke, a teddy bear of a man, being the perfect casting for Charlie in the film adaptation, but I’m pretty sure I mean it. All Bella does is hurt him, and she barely even feels bad about it.
Will be taking donations of copies of Eclipse for my bonfire. And do yourselves a favor and read about the actual Quileute nation instead of Meyer’s warped and unauthorized version of them as werewolves. A much better use of your time.