New Moon and Eclipse
Disclaimer: I am writing this BEFORE I've even finished a cup of coffee (and I can hardly open my eyes before two cups, generally), after having stayed up late so that I could finish Eclipse. I'm debating what sort of verdict to render upon this whole series. Of the three Twilight books, I found New Moon to be the most readable. For one, Edward is gone for most of the book, and we are introduced to a new character. So there's already more action than in the first novel, in which Bella and Edward basically breathe on each other for about three hundred pages. For the record, I like Jacob. Until he phased, I pictured him as a larger version of Noah Hathaway AKA Atreyu from the Neverending Story. He was my first movie-star crush. Which I think just dated me. But it was enjoyable nonetheless.
So New Moon gets a thumbs up. Enjoyable, still somewhat suffocating, but with more action than just watching Edward sparkle in the sunlight.
Now on to Eclipse. As Aunt Linda would say, I give this book an "Oh Brother." It was agonizing to watch Bella and Edward play house. Trust me, I married my high school sweetheart (who I love, but I'm trying to make a point); I KNOW what two teenagers playing house is like. It causes extreme eye-rolling and annoyance. Edward becomes a disturbing combination of father and husband, and is borderline abusive under a facade of keeping the damsel in distress out of too much distress. Meanwhile Bella becomes a contrite whine-fest who spends the whole book playing the field and then wanting others to berate her for it because she's too immature to stop.
Issues of sex and marriage abound, and I really don't know what I thought about the presentation of either. It felt like author Stephenie Meyer was trying to appease too many camps: teens who want to read a good sex scene (don't hold your breath); parents and publishers who don't want the book to be a sex-fest (you'll be pleased); and some kind of moral christian proper order of events that goes love, marriage, lose virginity, become a vampire. In the end, it becomes a contrived tension point that goes absolutely nowhere. So there.
Well written, interesting, but suffocating, contrived, and VERY teenager-ish. I'm glad I read them. I think they're worth it, and I'm glad to see so many people, teens in particular, reading them. It satisfies the teen need to feel that there's something super dramatic going on that the adults are all oblivious to. Also, no matter what you look like or who you are as a person, you might smell good. To vampires and werewolves. Enough to make you the center of a mythical world. And best of all, you might end up with the splendid choice of an overprotective vampire father-husband or a drooling immature werewolf brother-boyfriend. And isn't that what we all secretly desire?
Author: Stephenie Meyers