This book starts off with a love triangle. By this point in the series, it is clear that Edward and Bella are head-over-heels in love with each other and that they have become an established couple. It is also obvious that Jacob is in love with Bella, and that she has very strong feelings for Jacob. But, are those feelings love?
Bella’s two suitors decide that they will fight for Bella’s love. I like how Stephenie Meyer had one of them appearing to be the victor, only to have the situation shift to the other boy not long after. It kept me guessing about who Bella would eventually end up with.
Both Jacob and Edward declare they will not “fight fair”. There are limitations, though. Neither one can kill the other because both know how much that would hurt Bella. There’s also the problem of one being a werewolf, the other being a vampire, and the two groups seeing each other as mortal enemies.
When Eclipse first arrived in bookstores, fans of the series split themselves into opposing factions. There was “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob”. Each side had strong opinions on who Bella should be with.
“Team Edward” wanted to see Edward “win” because he loves Bella and only had eyes for her. Bella undoubtedly loves Edward, too. They frequently say “I love you” to each other. Edward is gorgeous, which gives Bella “butterflies” all the time. The chemistry between Edward and Bella is strong. Edward is the epitome of the perfect boyfriend, if you are between the ages of twelve and seventeen.
Those who oppose “Team Edward” have good arguments. Bella and Edward are in a co-dependent relationship (which, obviously, isn’t healthy). Both of them put themselves in danger while they were broken up – in part – to compel the other to return to them. Bella is constantly in danger because she is human and hanging around with vampires. She desperately wants Edward to turn her into a vampire – but he refuses, and this causes tension. Their amazing chemistry probably isn’t going to last forever. Edward, after nearly losing Bella forever, has become a control freak – another dynamic that tends to ruin relationships.
“Team Jacob” wanted to see Jacob “win” because he not only loves Bella, but also has a long history of being close friends with her. Jacob was there for Bella after Edward dumped her. Jacob tried his best to help Bella recover from that loss, and he made her happy again. Jacob also just so happens to be gorgeous, but in a different way than Edward is. Jacob is the epitome of the perfect boyfriend, if you are in your early twenties.
Those who oppose “Team Jacob” point out that he’s not actually a safe choice, either. Jacob is a werewolf, and he could wind up unintentionally causing Bella great harm. Bella can’t become a werewolf. While Jacob knows, for certain, that he is in love with Bella, she’s not quite certain of her feelings for Jacob. Bella is aware she has strong feelings for him, but identifies those feelings as “best friend”.
In addition to the love triangle, Eclipse gives readers detailed information about the background of many of the other characters. I found it fascinating. There is a build up to a dramatic and tense fight scene (that entwines with the “battle for Bella’s heart”). I didn’t want to put the book down without finding out how it ended.
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