…my review for New Moon was slightly more agitated than the one I wrote for Twilight, but I hadn’t progressed into the full-on profanity of my Eclipse review.
Once again, if you love The Twilight Saga, you should probably skip this post. It will only agitate you.
It only took me two weeks or so to sufficiently calm down from my last diatribe, and I am back for the next installment. I’m not sure I remember this one too well, so bear with me.
Just for starters, the McGuffin of this “masterwork” is a papercut. A papercut. A fricking papercut. Edward leaves Bella “for-eh-vurrrr” (I wish) over a papercut. In the first few pages Smeyer makes clear her intent to rip off Romeo and Juliet so that would set this papercut (in context) equal to Tybalt’s death. Wait, what? Romeo, who had only known Juliet for all of three days had to be forcibly driven from Verona after murdering her cousin (to avenge the death of his bestie, no less!), but Edward beats feet after Bella gives herself a minor laceration? This does not scream “love for the ages!” to me.
The even bigger crime is Bella’s response to this. She falls apart. Not the sleep all day, cry and eat ice cream while watching The Notebook and Dr. Zhivago in your jammies all night fall apart. No, when Edward cuts the ties that bind Bella crumples like the newly-stringless puppet she is, lying on the forest floor tempting pneumonia until someone drags her pathetic ass home and puts her to bed.
Then she ceases to exist for five(?) months.
REALLY?! Yes, apparently, really. Five months of book are accounted for with a series of pages blank but for the name of the month they represent. Juliet was twelve and she was still more proactive than this pitiful excuse for a woman. Of course Romeo actually liked Juliet, whereas Edward acts more like someone trying to shake a particularly needy and persistent ex.
When Bella rises out of her stupor enough to be worth narrating she uses her new urges to self-harm (way to model healthy reactions, Smeyer!) to re-kindle a friendship with the boy she used in the first book, Jacob Black. She continues to thoughtlessly and selfishly encourage Jacob’s affections for her own gain: she gets Charlie off her back, she gets a dirtbike, she gets to “hear” Edward through her efforts to injure herself more than she usually would. Jacob gets to be her personal mechanic, soda supplier (would it have killed her to bring the very poor boy a sandwich just once?!), and receptacle for all of her whining. When not trying to ram into a tree or “holding herself together” with one arm (get her a straightjacket, that oughta help!) she allows Jacob to hold her hand and put his arm around her, like a girl who actually liked him might do. Despite her blatantly leading Jacob on, she is still pathetically obsessed with Edward.
When Jacob suddenly has a personal problem and disappears from Bella’s life for a second, she finds a way to make it all about her. How could HE abandon her, HER Jacob, when she NEEDS him to fix things for her and take her places and listen to her whine and save her life?! Jerk. How DARE HE have a problem of his own.
Without Jacob, Bella gets back to the nitty gritty of trying to kill herself and unfortunately does not succeed. She does set up some boring plot point thing for the next book, with some vamp no one gave a crap about from the first book maybe appearing in the next volume. Jacob saves her, Alice returns because she can’t see if Bella actually managed to complete a task under her own steam.
Why can’t Alice see? ‘Cuz Jacob saved her, and he’s a werewolf, which happens to be a psychic blind spot for Alice. A hot (literally, burning hot body temp), tall, interesting, intelligent, funny, mechanically gifted, personable werewolf who likes Bella for whatever gosh darn reason. Who also takes her to the movies, thoughtfully brings her soda, can protect her from vampires, makes great efforts not to lie to her, and can actually hold a conversation with her without speaking to her like she’s a child. He’s even a bit of a bad-boy archetype with his long black hair, dirt-bike riding, and helping Bella hide things from her dad.
You can almost hear Smeyer think “Oh crap!”.
So she swiftly engages in a bit of character assassination, making Jacob suddenly slovenly, inconsiderate, and rough. It wasn’t enough for me to think anyone should pick Edward over Jacob. There is some truly weak dramaz over Bella picking lurv with Edward (who left her because of a PAPERCUT, don’t forget) or friendship with Jacob (because werewolves and vampires are mortal enemies, don’tcha know). Smeyer utterly fails at creating any tension over this because of how pathetically Bella has clung to Edward over a book and a half. You know the sad sack is going back to his abusive, stalkery, cold ass the second he deigns to re-appear.
At some point Bella also “saves” Edward from a public sparkling, and manages to draw the eyes of the most dangerousest, oldesest, meanesest vampires to herself. Because of course she does. They get back together and the world vomits.