Tag Archives: Twilight

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

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Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

Meyer, Stephanie. Eclipse. Little, Brown, 2006. 528 pp. ISBN 978-0316328142. $21.99

***

I’m a sucker for a good vampire novel and Meyer makes monsters romantic again in this third episode of the Twilight series. The passion-colored ribbon snaking across the cover of Eclipse is a harbringer of rift and bloodshed to come. Bella Swan, ordinary high school student, is still madly in love with beautiful vampire Edward Cullen, but it’s complicating her friendship with Jacob Black (the one who was there to pick up the pieces when Edward removed himself from her life). Jacob just happens to be a werewolf, and werewolves and vampires are sworn enemies. In addition to the “which boy will she pick” dilemma, a parallel conflict is created when a series of brutal murders in the northwest indicates a rogue vampire pack is on the move, and the Cullens are going to be facing a major showdown soon. Per usual, Bella is wrapped up in the middle of it, and in mortal danger.

The best parts of the book are a long storytelling session in which Billy Black tells the myth of the Third Wife. The attention to detail and careful styling are excellent. A scene in which the love triangle are forced to spend a night in a tent together reveals more character than the previous 500 pages. The allusions to Wuthering Heights elevate the plot and are a nod to the tradition of gothic literature, and may even inspire some teens to pick up a classic.

Frustratingly, Bella remains little more than a pawn in this book, trying to please everyone but herself. Much of this tome is taken up with her obsessing over the events of the backstory, and looking to her future, and whether or not she wants to be married, deflowered, turned, or all three, and when. Although she is a terrible role model for young women (marry young, girls are possessions, let your mate control your life, there is only One True Love, etc), the palpable (and chaste) longing will keep fans of the series swooning.

Eclipse is a must-have for YA collections, in spite of the fact that I personally wanted to throw the book across the room when I finished it. See, I’m holding out hope that in the next book, Breaking Dawn, slated for release next year, Bella snaps out of it and ends up with the RIGHT guy–for the right reasons. The debate on WHICH guy that will be rages on.

Twilight (The Mediator, #6) by Meg Cabot

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Twilight (The Mediator, #6) by Meg Cabot

Cabot, Meg. The Mediator. Harper Teen, 2005. ISBN 978-0060724696 312 pp. $

***

She sees dead people. Talks to them, too. In fact, her boyfriend is one (and he just happens to haunt her bedroom). As a mediator, Suze is a liaison between the world of the living and dead. Her skills are still developing, as are those of her classmate and fellow mediator Paul, who relentlessly pursues Suze in spite of the fact that she is love with Jesse, a 150 year old ghost. When Paul discovers that one talent of mediators is the ability to time travel, he decides to eliminate his competition by going back in time to warn Jesse of his impending violent death, thus preventing his spirit from lingering and meeting Suze. The newly single Suze will then have no choice but to fall in love with Paul, and become his date for the upcoming Winter Ball. Will Suze find a way to stop Paul or to get back to the 1850s before he does?

It’s refreshing to see that Cabot has another voice inside her besides that of Princess Mia Thermopolis. Somehow, this light and entertaining read also addresses issues of moral behavior, teen abstinence, and the nature of life and death. Although I haven’t read other titles in the series, I got the gist of what was going on, and now want to go back and read the other five. The graphic cover art is modern and as appealing as the story within the pages.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

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Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. Little, Brown, 2005. ISBN 978-0316160179. 544 pp. $16.99

****

Anne Rice meets Joss Whedon in this rich sensory tale of a Arizona sun worshipper displaced to dreary Washington state. Teen Isabella is drawn to a mysterious clique of aloof and shiny people who exude power, agility, wealth and beauty. One in particular returns her interest–the seductive Edward who is first angered by her presence, then resigned to it as he reveals his vulnerabilities–and strengths–to the innocently alluring Isabella. Balanced against typical high school drama of school dances, hiking and ball games is a dark and sexy yet chaste story in the gothic tradition of monsters and the women who are compelled to fall for them.

Romantic, angsty and surprisingly real, this tale of a girl and boy, each drawn to the very terrible person who could be their downfall, has “star-crossed” scribbled all over it. Crossing genres of horror and fantasy, Meyers delivers a modern twist that deserves a place of its own in vampire lore.