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Things bugging me about 'Eclipse'

It's been weeks since I finished reading Eclipse, but some things about it still bug me. First off, let's admit: the fact that I liked some of it. That just makes the annoying parts more annoying. Why couldn't it just all have been good instead of merely certain scenes? And for the record, the main part I think of as a good read was the strange love triangle on the mountain, the night Bella spent with both Edward and Jacob (in of course a totally non-sexual way), and the aftermath the next morning in the form of snogging Jacob for realsies.

However...blegh, it's such a mess. Edward annoyed me royally in early sections of the book, with his borderline abusive relationship behavior (having Bella more or less kidnapped; stalking her; glaring at her when she dared to see Jacob again...). But at least he recanted later, and I hated Bella for crying all over his shirtfront for seriously about 24 hours straight when she decided she couldn't see Jacob anymore. Dude! You don't do that to your boyfriend. You don't fall in love with anyone else, ideally, but if you do, you don't cry to your boyfriend about giving up Guy #2. It's horrible and cruel and selfish and unwise. Yes, teenagers do it, but it's still all of those things. So, that bugged me a good deal.

The other complaint that keeps returning to my mind is the dialogue. This is the kind of thing I wouldn't have noticed if I weren't a writer myself, but when the characters speak, they all sound pretty much alike. There are several monologues in this book, spots where one character or another goes off into their life story or the story of the Quileute werewolves or what have you, and gosh, they all sound 1) like each other, which is also 2) like Stephenie Meyer's narrative voice as Bella. We're lacking idiosyncrasies; there are no traces of personal turns of phrase and speech habits. Writers can get away with this (obviously), but the fiction is flatter for it.

In all, this series strikes me as the type of junk food you know isn't even all that yummy, but you keep eating it anyway. Like those sugar-free wafer cookies that come in pink, beige, and brown, and feel like styrofoam on the tongue.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in contrast, is like Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos. And sometimes it's as good as the best gourmet brownies you ever had. And, once in a while, it's a delicious full-course meal.

But maybe you prefer those wafer thingies. It's okay. To each her own taste.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
polygonia
Sep. 22nd, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Her book the Host is a bit better, I think. She did a good job having two characters in one body in that book with their own voice...

But, at least she doesn't NAG AND LECTURE LIKE ORSON SCOTT CARD! ARG!

Do not get me started on him and his irritating possesing the characters to lecture the reader about marriage and babies! Not that I do not want to get married and have babies or at least live in sin with someone and adopt kids and have them, but I DIGRESS.

Thing is, I don't see Edward as being abusive because the book involves werewolves and vampires. Obviously he doesn't want Bella to get eaten by Jacob's pack, but perhaps he is a bit jealous of the warmness of Jacob and it did crack me up how he said something along the lines of, COULD YOU PLEASE STOP THINKING ABOUT HAVING SEX WITH MY GIRLFRIEND! And it was funny when he told Bella to please stop taking off her clothes.
The last book in the series is weird. I liked it, because all the stuff I wanted to happen happened, but a lot of people was annoyed with it.
The books are entertaining and there's not a lot of naggage so I kind of like them.

Also I must work on novels. I realized a werewolf story I've been playing around with for years may not be a pile of steaming dog crap if I tighten it.
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I did like that bit of the tent conversation too--the "Could you not fantasize so loud please??" As for Bella always trying to strip for him, man, it annoyed me that after begging him all the book to have sex with her, she STOPS him at the end when he decides to give in. I saw her reasoning, sort of, but it's SO MUCH less entertaining that way. Ugh.

I had a b/f in high school who acted the stalkerish way Edward was acting earlier in Eclipse, so I do have some baggage. Especially since my ex didn't have life-threatening werewolf/vampire reasons to act so protective of me. :)

Thenextbigwriter.com has helped me a good deal with novel revision, if you have the time to read others' stuff and comment to help them out...
polygonia
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
ok. i need some help with these novels i'm struggling with too.
maidenjedi
Sep. 23rd, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Mmm, yes. Buffy is often Mint Milanos, or cheesecake brownies, etc. And I'm spoiled, I'd rather leave the sugar-free wafer things on the shelf at the store.

;-)
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
I just got the essay collection Seven Seasons of Buffy--can't wait to dive in. Brownies and high quality cookies all the way!
avari_maethor
Sep. 23rd, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
I'm reading the Twilight series just so I can have an opinion it. So far... the opinion isn't to high. I do like Jacob but that's about as far as the love goes. I haven't made it to Eclipse yet, it's next on my list but I already hate Edward and Bella with a passion. I highly doubt anything can bring them back.

However, let me recommend, Dan's blog. It's the funniest thing ever. It makes Twilight so much easier to swallow. http://community.sparknotes.com/index.php/2009/07/16/blogging-twilight-index-page/
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
Bhaha! That blog is hilarious so far (that is, as far as I started reading). Must visit regularly and get my chuckles. Thank you.
avari_maethor
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Most welcome ^^.
(Deleted comment)
wildecate
Sep. 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with you about the junk food analogy. Or another way of looking at it as almost like a car wreck, you don't want to watch but you can't seem to turn away or close your eyes.
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yes...car/train wreck works too, especially for the relationship factor. :)
notemily
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
Ha, it's funny, because the parts you described as the "good parts" are the parts that seem insanely sexist and awful to me. Jacob basically convinces Bella to make out with him through the time-honored "she says no, but she MEANS yes!" rape-logic, and when she tries to fend him off by punching him, and then breaks her hand, he laughs at her. How respectful of her personal space! @.@
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, Jacob's earlier molestation/kiss wasn't part of the "good" for me--just the later weird cuddling in the tent and Jacob/Edward conversations. (And the later real kiss.) Yeah, Bella was a total helpless victim, and Jacob was a total clueless quasi-date-raper. Nice. She clearly has some masochism issues happening if these guys inspire deep love in her.
soloreader18
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
I think the junk food analogy is perfect because it is the same conclusion to which everyone comes. Exibit A: http://soloreader18.livejournal.com/11605.html
mollyringle
Sep. 24th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, the circus peanuts! Exactly. Or candy corn, for the Halloween theme.
pathvain_aelien
Sep. 26th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
I feel exactly the same way. I read the book a couple of times, and enjoyed it and at the same time kind of hated it. I am a lit major, so there are a lot of things about the series that I just can't stand but at the same time I couldn't put it down! Except that I compared it more to cheese pringles than sugar-free wafer cookies. :) Joss Whedon is still the best when it comes to vampires, in my opinion.
mollyringle
Sep. 27th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
*nods* to all that. I guess it's a bit reassuring that teens ate up this series, though. Surely it means I can write something they'd like, if they find *that* so appealing.
naill_renfro
Oct. 2nd, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
Every few weeks I make another diligent effort. I've started at the beginning of each book, in the middle, at the end -- no matter what, after a page, at most, I find I've somehow stopped reading and am taking an inventory of how much dental floss is left, or something equally fascinating. The wafers are the perfect comparison, because I can't bring myself to eat those, either. (Gosh I'm grumpy today. I'm not a Twilight-hater - equal respect for all fandoms!)

But I secretly like circus peanuts.
mollyringle
Oct. 2nd, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Twilight's a weird case...as I keep saying, I sort of like it and do come back to it from time to time despite all the things I don't like about it. But if it weren't a big fandom that I can slag off with lots of people who are also familiar with it, I probably would have quit and never mentioned it again. Part of the strangeness is how huge it became.

I'll hand one thing to Meyer: she does write the teenage girl obsessive voice pretty well. I looked into my own high school journals and found them frighteningly Twilightish. Without, you know, the vampires and werewolves.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )