My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Such a hard book to review because clearly I am not its intended audience. I’ve never been a young girl in the throes of teen love, so I really can’t relate to the heroine. That is the main problem I have with this book: I really can’t relate to Bella. Stephanie Meyer seems to both long to be her in the way she grants her an exquisite wish fulfillment in the form of Edward, but hates her since she makes her clumsy, weak and ALWAYS the inferior to Edward’s “perfection”.
No heroine in history has devolved suffrage and feminism more than Bella. She is pathetic -not for her blind love of an emotional monster like Edward- but because she is always portrayed as powerless, weak, without any redeeming qualities (except being tasty to vampires), and always in need of saving. Not once does she save herself or become empowered in any way. She is as much a heroine as a slab of beef and that’s often how this book portrays her, especially in the climactic chase.
Edward on the other hand is every bit of a monster as the book tries so hard to convince us he is not. He’s aloof, disdainful of the woman that loves him and smug beyond belief. His constant aggravation at Bella and his low opinion of her are clear, despite Meyer’s attempts to gloss that over with his “love of her”.
Truly, this reads less like a teen vampire romance and more like a trainer for being an abused spouse. Replace Edward with the pastured football hero from high school and Bella with a downtrodden mother of three and this book would have garnered outrage instead of applause.