I have posted reviews previously of the first two novels in this, the Twilight sequence by Stephenie Meyer, Twilight and New Moon. This book, Eclipse is the third of four (the last part being Breaking Dawn), alongside the novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
Regular readers will know that it is not my favourite series by a long chalk, my review of New Moon being particularly damning.
I am still reading the books because, even in a bad book (and I class these as bad), I need to know what happens, plus, given the amazing popularity of these stories, I do still keep hoping that something will happen to redeem them.
So far, nothing has.
This third novel is not quite as terrible as New Moon, in which the heroine, Bella, takes you to the edge of suicidal, love lorn lunacy and declares that being dead or nearly dead or hoping to be dead is the best thing she can think of next to having the love of a twinkly vampire man.
She is not exactly a role model for the modern woman.
In this book Bella is, once again, conflicted.
She is possibly the most conflicted woman in the history of literature.
This time she knows she loves Edward, but she also loves her friend Jacob who just happens to be a werewolf and mortal enemy to the vampires. Bella tries to bring about vampire/werewolf amity in a series of ill conceived meetings, most of which go horribly awry.
In the process she breaks her thumb, falls over a lot and, naturally, becomes prey to every undead creature in a three thousand mile radius, all the while radiating an aura of sullen petulance that does nothing to endear me to her whatsoever.
In the meantime it takes her nearly five hundred pages to realise something the rest of us got in the previous volume and we end with her, yet again, feeling bad about her lot. i.e. being the most desirable yet clumsy woman on the North West coast of America.
No matter how hard I try, I just can’t figure out what makes these books so appealing to teenage girls, but they are, and they read them in their droves, and swoon over Edward Cullen, who is about as exciting as a dish cloth, and dream of being Bella, the most useless, unempowering lump of female flesh in existence, and I realise how very, very old I am.
On a serious note, these books are not really suitable for girls under about the age of thirteen. Nothing ever happens except a lot of heavy breathing and a bit of kissing, but the intention of having sex saturates the pages and it is a constant spoken and unspoken theme of the series. I cannot imagine it would appeal to boys at all.