Friday 23 September 2011


I seem to be on a roll with Carl's R.I.P. VI challenge at the moment, making the most of some quiet time, even though I'm very busy intermittently. I've just finished my fourth book for it, Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer.

This is book three of the author's 'Twilight' series and I'll keep this fairly brief I think, partly to avoid spoilers for the first two books, but also I imagine most people who want to read this series probably already have and the rest have no interest whatsoever! Less than no interest in some cases. LOL.

Bella is about to graduate from High school. Her and Edward, a vampire, are still an item but things are complicated by her close friend, Jacob, who is part of a Native American werewolf pack. Bella finds herself torn between the two of them but the uneasy truce which exists between Edward's vampire family and the werewolf pack is close to breaking point.

It's suddenly noticed that Seattle is experiencing a string of grisly murders, too many for the normal run of things. Edward thinks it must be a coven of newly made vampires, running out of control. One night Bella discovers that her room has been searched and items of clothing taken. Are these occurrences linked? Bella knows that the vampire, Victoria is still after her, could she be behind the murders?

Bella's friend Jacob is violently opposed to Bella's plans for the rest of her life, which of course intimately involve Edward. She will eventually have to decide between the two of them, but neither are making it easy. Far from it, they seem determined to make her life as complicated as they can. On the other hand both are sworn to protect her and it looks increasingly like their services may well be required in the very near future.

Well, this series doesn't get the best press. All kinds of accusations of poor writing, clich├ęd plotting, unrealistic morals and goodness knows what else are bandied about. I must be a lot less picky than most as I actually quite like the books. They're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I dislike the way Bella's life is completely ruled by the two men in her life. Her every thought and action revolves around them and that's unhealthy, imo. Girls these days have many options, that of being a girlfriend being just one thing to be included in a well rounded life. That said, her situation is rather unique...

But really, I don't think these books are read by anyone because of their literary merit. They're escapism pure and simple. My youngest daughter is reading them at the moment while she waits for her surgery and they fit the bill very nicely. She's loving the whole series and escaping from a reality that isn't too great just now, so I'm actually very grateful to Stephenie Meyer!

I enjoyed this third book anyway. It was an easy, well paced read, a bit silly but then there's no harm in that as I can tell the difference between a well written, excellent book and one that's just written for escapism. And honestly? I think the vast majority of people can too. Looking forward to reading the fourth and final installment to see what Bella actually does...


Kailana said...

I didn't know you were a Twilight fan. I actually read this, but it was a long while ago. When Twilight first came out and before the insane hype, I read Twilight and didn't hate it, but I often wish I had just read the first book. I had a hard time with the rest, but I did like this book more than New Moon and I never finished Breaking Dawn.

Val said...

Reading is like eating really isn't's best to eat mostly wholesome and healthy but some cake and candy are so nice for a change.. a rattling good read is so nice to escape in ...I'm not really a vampire girl... but then Dick Francis, Jilly Cooper and PG Wodehouse aren't every one else's cup of tea as my Mum said "A little of what you fancy does you good" :0)

Best wishes to your Daughter

Jodie Robson said...

It's difficult writing about a book that's not the first of the series, isn't it! I haven't read any of these - I'm not really sure that I want to, and there's certainly enough else to be getting on with, the TBR pile doesn't get any smaller.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll chime in as a fan of this series. Like you, I found it fun. And I know that teen girls should think for themselves and not be ruled by their boyfriends, but geez, does anyone remember how dramatic everything is when you are a teenage girl? I mean, you feel like you fall in love forever (and maybe you do - I did!) and that you'll die if this or that doesn't happen. I think the author got the teen girl mindset pretty accurately. Anyway, there's more to Bella than it seems. She can be quite stubborn about certain things. Glad you enjoyed ECLIPSE. I've been thinking about doing a re-read of these books before the new movie comes out.

Anonymous said...

I read the first two books and just couldn't finish the series. I think had I become invested in the characters, I would have felt differently, but honestly Bella irritated me and as for team Edward or Jacob, I just didn't care. I have been considering giving the books to my eleven year old though in the hopes that she will find them interesting enough to read.

Cath said...

Kelly: It's several years since I read the first two Twilight books so I'm not surprised you didn't know. LOL.

Val: You are so right... well, your mum is... a little of what you fancy really does do you good. Personally I like to read a mix of different types of books. Perhaps I would get bored if I only stuck to one kind.

Thanks for your good wishes.

GeraniumCat: To be honest I don't tend to write about every book in a series any more. But this was for the R.I.P. challenge so I had to make some attempt at a review.

Kay: I agree with you that SM got the teenage mindset spot on. Not just girls but boys too. Jacob is just as irritating as any teenage boy you could name. Funnily enough I was talking to my daughter about the movies and neither of us had any idea if there would be a movie of Breaking Dawn. I just checked and it's out in Nov. She'll be so pleased.

Cath said...

reviewsbylola: I have no problem understanding why Bella irritated you. I think I got quite annoyed with all three of them all through the book. In the end though I decided I was definitely interested enough to read the last book but my three books have now been handed to my daughter as she'll give them a better home than me. (Plus they make a nice big gap on my shelves for more books...)

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I've not read any of the Twilight books and put myself in the less than no interest category LOL! But still read on out of curiosity and discovered that maybe I'm just a tiny bit interested - escaping from reality is good for you now and then.

Best wishes to your daughter.

Cath said...

Margaret: The odd thing about the Twilight series is that it's hard to judge who will like them and who won't. I can name half a dozen intelligent readers (including Kay here and my daughter) straight off who love the series, so it can't be said that Twilight readers only read fluff because that's nonsense. The only way to find out is try for yourself I think.

Thank you for your good wishes.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

I have never read, or been tempted to read this series, I have to admit.

That is purely because there are so many books out there to which I am probably more suited and I haven't got the time to read all those right now.

My niece on the other hand, has read the whole 'Twilight'series on more than one or two occasions and still loves them (more like four or five times actually)!!

I do worry about the speed at which authors are churning out some of the 'fantasy' novels just lately and at the whole host of new authors entering the market.

I only hope that the general standards of writing technique and content don't descend into quickly into 'average' or 'below average' rating, too quickly or disastrously.

I am beginning to think the same way about the 'cozy mystery' market, but perhaps I am just being paranoid??

Hope your daughter is still stable whilst she waits for surgery, any idea how much longer it is likely to be?

Enjoy your weekend,


DesLily said...

strangely enough I don't care for vampire/ or walking dead type books.. I don't mind movies but not big into the reading and haven't seen the movies of this series either.

i've gotten sidetracked w/my also doing a print out of the trilogy i wrote which is taking some time away and good old doctors taking the book I am reading which I should have flown thru as it's short chapters and double spacing is taking me much longer..i wouldn't mind but it's a fairly good read lol

Vintage Reading said...

My daughter has avidly read this series, too. I read the first one and quite enjoyed it. Keep meaning to get around to the others but haven't yet. Thanks for the reminder!

Cath said...

Yvonne: I think perhaps a lot of authors jumped on the Twilight bandwagon after it came out. I can't say what the quality is like as I've read hardly any but, like all genres, I suspect there's a fair bit of dross around.

No we've no idea yet of any kind of timing for her op. Although she's not in a huge amount of pain at the moment because of her meds, she is deteriorating noticably and the op can't come too quickly really.

Pat: Glad you're just busy with the printing out of your novel. Drs? Hope you're okay?

Nicola: It took me ages to get back to this series too. I plan to read the last book soon and then that's another series I can knock off my long list.

Danielle said...

I read the first two books, but I'm not a huge fan of vampire books in general, so that was satisfying enough for me. They were certainly entertaining and I can see how people can get caught up in the stories. I'm all for escapism in books personally--so I'm probably not all that picky either! :)

Cath said...

Danielle: Sometimes I think I'm not very picky at all, other times I think I am. I can be really intolerant of bad writing but people tell me the Twilight books are badly written, but I don't think they are that bad. I'm clearly nothing if not contrary...

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