Friday, August 7, 2015

Tackling Twilight: Eclipse

Hi guys! So I fiiiiinally got this one up. At least it's still the right week, eh?

I don't think I've ever had such conflicting feelings in one book before. This should be interesting.





The first half of this book I was pretty much back to being mad/yelling/questioning the sanity of every main character. ALSO ALICE. How could my beloved Alice possibly condone this crazy behavior of her brother's, much less participate in it?

Oh right. It's a werewolf thing.


Seriously, that's the whole first half of the book. Jacob and Edward are being all macho and tough and possessive and angry and having showdowns every time they see each other. It gets really bad.

although I'm kinda with Edward on that one

Charlie hates Edward and keeps bugging Bella to spend time with Jacob, who's reportedly 'having a rough time' and 'needs a friend'. Jacob isn't talking to Bella because he can't stand her vampire boyfriend. She decides to track him down and talk in person. Buuuut her truck won't start. Why? BECAUSE HER VAMPIRE BOYFRIEND REMOVED THE SPARK PLUG. What?!? No, Edward, it's not okay to decide/enforce who your girlfriend can and can't see. Not even if you think you're protecting her. Not even if werewolves are involved. Not. Ever. Know what that's called? Abuse.

"Did you do this?"

Bella gets totally justifiably mad, but (of course) forgives him way too easily. Still working on that character development thing, I guess. She lets him come in to spend the night as usual, which generally means singing her to sleep and watching her sleep all night. Still weird, but she likes it and says it's okay, so not creepy like it was in book one. Sometimes it's even kind of sweet. A bit like when Peeta slept with Katniss in Catching Fire because of her nightmares. There are a lot of nightmares and crazy dreams involved whenever Bella's sleeping. I wonder how the poor girl's not exhausted every day... Although come to think of it, that would explain some of her crazy/stupid choices. Especially in New Moon when her nightmares were at their worst. I didn't think about that until now...


Anyway, Edward gets Alice involved in the keep-Bella-away-from-Jacob fiasco. He buys her a freaking car to pay her for kidnapping Bella (while he's off on some trip) and having an extended sleepover and escorting her to and from school and keeping her at their house -- all to ensure Bella and Jacob don't hang. Charlie adores Alice (who doesn't?) and has no idea of the Jacob motive, so he's totally on board. At least the Twilight series handles the YA parent thing better than most books of the genre. Charlie's a pretty active, involved character most of the series, even though he's oblivious to the paranormal activity of the town.


Jacob shows up at Bella's school on a motorcycle to run a rescue operation, which uber-frustrated Bella is completely on board with. They hang out for a while. Bella goes to a tribe elders/wolf pack meeting and learns the tribe's history and folklore. It's really cool. I don't like Jacob much more than Edward does, but I'm totally cool with Bella running off on the motorcycle with him (although she does miss school, which isn't a great idea). Why? Because it's her decision. That's what Edward (and Alice) can't seem to grasp. She may not make great decisions sometimes, especially considering New Moon's events, but they are her decisions.



Edward and Alice think Bella's choice to hang out with werewolves qualifies as choosing to endanger herself, which is one of two reasons a friend can intervene in a person's choices, but this doesn't count. (The other reason being endangering others.) There's absolutely no evidence from their history Jacob would ever hurt Bella, and plenty of evidence he would protect her. I still don't love him, but Edward and Alice's opinion of him is based entirely on prejudice... and, well, species-ism. Just like Jacob's opinion of them as 'filthy blood-suckers.' I am so not down with any of their rampant species-ism.

although I'm kinda with Edward on this one

Sidebar: This is why I love the youngest werewolf, Seth. I adore him! He doesn't display or defend the anger and possessive nature everyone else just assumes are inherent wolf qualities. He doesn't buy into judging someone based on anything but their individual choices and behavior. He refuses to let the Cullens' vampire status affect his friendship with them. He is definitely a model werewolf. The model werewolf. If I could give any character more pagetime/screentime/a bigger role/a sequel it would be this sweet, innocent, loyal little hero.

The first part of the book is entirely stupid vampire vs. werewolf prejudice/feuding. We find out along the way/later on that there's a lot more going on in the background, mostly involving Victoria running around nearby, and mystery new vamps wreaking havoc and breaking Volturi rules in Seattle. Edward and Bella visit her mom in Florida. This gives Bella one last visit with her mother before she turns into a vamp after graduation and has to drop off the human radar forever. Edward's still trying to change Bella's mind on that one, but no cigar so far.

this is actually from the first movie because I can't find the one I want... meh.

OH YEAH and Jacob kisses Bella which makes her totally furious (rightly so, that arrogant pushy jerk) and BREAKS HER HAND PUNCHING HIS FACE. It was AWESOME. See, THIS is what I call character development and a strong female. Go Bella! Stand up for yourself!




Also we learn Rosalie's background and why she's against Bella becoming a vamp. She never actually hated Bella like Bella thought. It's pretty heartbreaking, and anyone who still thinks Rosalie's awful can't possibly hate her after this.

Somewhere along the way (I forget exactly when) Edward makes an odd 180 and has some sort of internal epiphany. He realizes Bella's company is her choice and Jacob probably won't hurt her and she's chosen Edward as the one she can't live without anyway. So he stops being an idiot, and goes back to being... actually a pretty fantastic boyfriend.

Then an unknown vampire's scent is discovered in Bella's room, changing plans entirely. Werewolves and vampires make an uneasy truce to protect Bella, since the Cullens aim to keep Edward's mate safe and werewolves' ultimate goal is protecting humans from vampires in general. Meanwhile, the deaths in Seattle are bound to bring Volturi to the area soon, endangering Bella and the Cullens since they haven't changed her yet like they promised in Italy. And we still haven't figured out who's behind the newborn vamps. Alice is going nuts trying to watch Aro's and Victoria's decisions and see how the future will pan out.

This is where one of my favorite bits comes in. When the Cullens think things through and realize the newborns in Seattle are an army someone's building -- and, being the only coven nearby, presumably to attack the Cullens -- we learn Jasper's backstory. I adore Jasper. He has such a dark, tortured past as a general of a Spanish vampire woman's newborn army. Then the story of how he went from that to part of the Cullen clan (all thanks to Alice!)... It's just such a beautiful little side story.



Oh, and everyone graduates high school. Almost forgot that. It's kinda skimmed over in the book, but in the movie they made Bella's friend Jessica valedictorian and she gave a speech and everything. It was cute and perfect and more than a little ironic, comparing Jessica's speech to Bella's vampire decisions.



Alice finally sees what's going to come: they have only a few days before the newborn army -- which Bella's figured out is led by Victoria and a mystery sidekick -- attacks. Jacob finds out, so the other wolves find out. The pack joins the Cullens in a new, greater alliance to bring down the army before it can destroy the Cullens and move on to terrorizing the humans of Forks. Commence epic training scenes led by Jasper and super cool battle strategies.


Edward and Bella have this sort of weird, sort of sweet pre-battle sleepover while the other Cullens prepare for battle. Their engagement is finally agreed upon, finalized. Bella is still way weird about it, but at least in the movie it was super sweet. Then comes the crazy, hilarious, strange scene where Edward, Jacob, and Bella spend the night in a tent on a mountain. As far as the love triangle goes, this is probably the most (in)famous scene of the whole series. Jacob has to sleep with Bella to prevent actual frostbite, which is just as tense as it sounds. While they think Bella's asleep, the guys have this really unique conversation that reveals a lot about their character and reinforces my Team Edward alliance. How they talk about each other and Bella when they think she isn't listening... well, like I said, revealing.


BUT. If Jacob had somehow made me stop hating him during this book, his totally manipulate behavior with Bella the next day steams me up again. Right after he learns about the engagement (via a sort of jerk move on Edward's part. He's still got a ways to go.) and right before the battle is this bizarre Bella/Jacob kiss he goads her into by threatening to kill himself. They totally changed that scene in the movie to make it seem all sweet and romantic for Team Jacob fans. I hated hated hated it. He was arrogant and manipulate and presumptuous and I was angry and Bella was angry and this is why he and Bella are so not ever going to work.



The book and movie culminate in a fantastic wolves and vamps vs. newborn vamps battle, plus an equally nail-biting battle between Victoria, the mystery sidekick, and Edward (with the help of Seth, while Bella watches).

Nobody messes with Jasper's mate.

One of Jacob's tribe's stories plays in here and totally makes me cry as Bella steps up and displays her subtle character development stunningly. She may be human, but she's proving she's on equal footing with her vampire fiance and future family.



Then there's this touching scene between Edward and Bella I wish they hadn't skimmed over in the movie, with a discussion about Edward's image as a monster.



We also have Jacob getting injured, which even though I'm mad at him is super sad, followed by a Cullen/Volturi showdown. The Volturi that show up are Jane, her brother Alec, and two guards, which explains a few questionable things that would not have gone over well with Aro or Caius, and explains why Alice couldn't see Aro deciding anything. There's a tragic moment when the one newborn vamp who surrendered has to face Jane. Finally, after the discussion between Cullens and Volturi, the action is over and everyone goes home.

bree! </3 we'll get to her later

Jacob and Bella work out their pre-battle drama; Jacob finally accepts the way things are. The wolves and vampires finally let go of (most of) their prejudice after their great alliance/teamwork in and after battle. Edward and Bella have a semi-adorable little scene discussing wedding plans. It would seem the drama and enemies are finally gone, and this human/vampire pair are on their way to a perfect happily-forever-after.


"This wasn't a choice between you and Jacob. This was a choice between who I should be... and who I am."
 Two more books left to go!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome post! I'm still Team Jacob, but you mentioned a lot of things I didn't notice about the series when I first read it as a 12/13 year old: Jacob certainly had some growing up to do, lol. I don't think he was a jerk necessarily, just occasionally immature, stupid, and also a little desperate. :p Then again, he was also just 16, so that sort of behavior is kind of to be expected.

    AND YES ASDFGHJKL YES! I ADORE SETH TOO <3 SWEET LITTLE ADORABLE PUPPY-CHILD. FORGET EDWARD AND JACOB. I'M TEAM SETH.

    Ahem *clears throat and controls fangirl self* Anyway. You put a lot of thought into these posts. Kinda makes me want to reread to see how I'd feel about it all now.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I wasn't exactly a typical sixteen-year-old, but I can say I wasn't at all like Jacob at sixteen. Plus, he's supposed to be older than his actual birth age, right? Wolf thing? If we use that excuse to make him a legitimate choice for Bella, then his behavior is inexcusably immature. If we excuse his behavior by his age, then he seems too young for Bella. But I do know that I adored him originally so I can see why people would root for him. I just can't abide his later actions.

      AOIFAODIFJS TEAM SETH FOREVER <3

      You should! You can do your own Tackling Twilight series! From the perspective of someone who read them at the original target age/during the hype and is re-reading now instead of someone jumping on the bandwagon late like me.

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    2. I don't think he was supposed to act older. But I could be wrong; like I said, it's been a while since I've read them.
      And I'm not saying I'd excuse it by his age, only that his age is a factor in his behavior. No, really, the behavior is inexcusable regardless.

      That's a really good idea. You know, I just might do that... once I get through my already impossibly long to-read list. :p

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    3. Alas, the book blogger's TBR is never truly vanquished.

      Delete

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