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?