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Total Eclipse of the Heart

One thing you quickly learn in the world of series, sequels and spin-offs is the Art of Waiting. It can be mind-numbingly boring waiting around years and years for books to be released. For example, I have been waiting 5 years (so far) for the SECOND novel in Kingkiller Chronicle, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

To me, it seems like a lot to ask of readers, but not every author can be JK Rowling- popping out books every year or two.

Books I’m currently waiting on:

1. Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
3. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
4. Bayou Moon by Ilona Anderews
5. Bitterblue (who knows when this is coming out) by Kristin Cashore

Some of these are coming out relatively soon– in August, September and December. But, that is still way too long for me to be sitting around, reading nothing. So, I’m doing what I normally do when I am waiting forever for my favorite series to be released: I re-read my favorites.

What is more comforting than reading your favorite stories- whose pages are worn and smooth from overuse? Especially ones that are timeless. For me, my favs are Pride and Prejudice, Jane Erye and Anne of Green Gables. I always seem to go back to them time and again.

This time around though, I decided to re-read Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer to make sure I was starting to feel ready and excited for the midnight movie release June 29th! And, although I love, love, love this series, there were a few things I noticed that I had definitely glossed over my first time reading through these books.

Bella is absolutely un-healthily obsessed with Edward. I’m sure this point has been made before, but I was seriously disturbed re-reading Eclipse with how unnaturally attached she is to her supposed soul mate. I understand that this is “fantasy” and therefore an impossible romance, but still. Young girls are reading these novels and expecting love/romance to be this way. That your boyfriend is supposed to be your world, absolutely everything to you and you’ll die without him. Umm…no. Being your own person and having your own interests/dreams/goals should be a priority for young girls. Not being glued to your significant other, having no friends and no aspirations.

Bella is in love with two men. I personally am very skeptical of this idea. How can someone truly love two people at once? Similarly, I’m a fan of the Bachelorette this season and despite really liking this show, I just don’t believe that you can truly, fully love- with its full definition in place- two people at the same time. It’s too confusing. Again, are these good messages being sent to young women? Probably not the best…

This probably goes along with my first point, but Bella is completely willing to abandon her friends and family for an eternity with Edward. This concept reminds me of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. When you’re young, you really shouldn’t make life-altering decisions when you have no idea of the consequences. You just have no life experience at that point and cannot truly know what you’re getting yourself into. The idea that Bella steps into immortality without ONE backward glance is disconcerting to say the least.

Again, there are many redeeming qualities in this novel: the character development, originality (at the time) and general series progression. I know that this is just a fictional story and all of the points I made are basically moot because it’s not real, but when one series is so tremendously popular, you have to start wondering how reading is shaping the minds of the people (even including those “girls” in their mid-forties) today and in the future.

In the end, what draws most women to these books is the idea of having someone who can totally eclipse everyone and everything else, leaving only passionate, all-consuming love behind. I can understand the appeal–I mean, hey, I’ve read and re-read these books. But who REALLY wants a boyfriend/husband who they can never go to the beach with (…all that glittering), who is as cold as the arctic (maybe here in Florida that would be nice) and who would nickname you SpiderMonkey… (ok, I know, that’s only in the movie)?

What are everyone’s favorite books to re-read? And, what do YOU think about Twilight, New Moon, etc?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kelli

    You are such a good writer, my friend. One day YOU will write a book way better than Twilight that is healthy for young girls to read!!! hehehe.

    Hmm my favorite books to re-read..definitely Harry Potter. And I really want to re-read Redeeming Love. :)

  • http://www.theclassiccloset.blogspot.com/ Patricia

    Lisa, I found your blog via your status update on Facebook. I love it. As per your request: My favorite book to reread (again and again and again etc) is Gone with the Wind. I have a couple copies, including a collectible one I found in a little bookstore in downtown Tampa, but I always read the copy my boyfriend gave me a few years ago for Christmas.

  • Colleen

    Lisa,

    I absolutely love your blog! We should talk about books more, I need a good one to read and you seem fairly educated on the possible selections right now :). Think something witty, sarcastic, tiny love plot, and with a real message. I read this book not long ago called “And then we came to the end,” and I absolutely adored it. It’s super crazy, but a fun read.

    I totally agree with you about Twilight, which is why I can’t ever re-read them. They were fun the first time around, but reading them the second time around you really realize the depth of the girl’s obsession and her loss of identity. The entire time I remember thinking, why would anyone want to date someone they felt so inadequate around? Sometimes I wonder if it’s a love or lust story?

    Oh, and I love re-reading Harry Potter! I guess that’s a given :)lol

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