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Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Hilary Mantel
250 Things You Should Know About Writing
Chuck Wendig
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Emma Bull
Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) - Stephenie Meyer I'm not as into this one so far. I've only read something like 30 pages, and the others have been slow to warm up. But I'm finding Bella more whiny and annoying this time around. You'd think by book three, the character would start to grow a little. But no.

July 20. I think I finally figured out why I hit a roadblock with this book. I'm picking it up again because I'd like to finish the series before I head over to Forks for Stephenie Meyer Days in September. Yeah, I'm going. And I'm 35. Shut the fuck up.

Anyway, as I was driving back from the gym today, I started thinking about this book and the previous books, and why I devoured those but hadn't gotten into this one as much, and I think the answer, as always, is to be found in my own life.

I liked Twilight because I identified with the intensity of falling in love, especially with someone who's aloof and kind of a douche sometimes. I'm a sucker for those guys. Make him a vampire and I'd be fucking helpless. So Twilight I understood.

Then in New Moon, Bella spent most of the book reeling from rejection and trying to put the pieces back together. Again, something I can relate to. And fuck that, by the way.

But Eclipse opens with Bella and Edward a reunited, happy couple. And that my friends, I cannot relate to. I don't have the first fucking clue what it is to be in a relationship, to both be in love and be loved, and so I find myself unable to put myself in Bella's shoes for this one. I don't like happy Bella. I like angsty, mopey, miserable, angry, holding her guts in, crashing her motorcycle and diving off a cliff Bella. I'm reading this, and I'm hoping something fucked up happens soon, because if I have to swallow any more of this happy shit, I'm going to vomit all over this book. I feel relatively certain it will, because the thing is, like, 4,000 pages long and I'm only on page 39, although I also know from Twilight that Meyer could just write another thousand pages of Bella and Edward talking over breakfast. Which just might make me slit my wrists.

It isn't that happy is boring, it's that what I really want is to be able to read the book and think, "Well, at least my life isn't as fucked up as that." I think that's what I want from every book. Well, that and to fantasize about being a kick-ass monster hunter. Which Bella never is, so whatever. The books would have been 10x better if Bella kicked some sparkling vampire ass, I think.

Pg. 50 My imagination was sadly out of control. I'd taken a perfectly normal afternoon and twisted it until it looked like Edward was going out of his way to keep things from me. I needed therapy.

Okay. Starting to identify with Bella again. *settles in to read*

At pg 112 and realizing Reason No. 2 why I can't identify with Bella in this book. Because I'm not. In the scheme of my own life, I'm not the Bella. I'm not the heroine. I'm not the protagonist. I'm just a supporting player drifting in and out of other people's stories, there to provide them with an obstacle to overcome and a conflict to resolve. I've been trying to identify with the wrong character entirely. So, the question then is, how do I become the star of my own story? Must ponder.

Made it to pg. 195. I'm definitely being pulled in now, even though not much is happening. As with New Moon, I seem to infinitely prefer the parts with Jacob. Those sections seem to have a more natural spark to them, whereas it always feels like Meyer is trying a bit too hard when she's writing the Bella/Edward romance.

Also? I'm finding Edward's overprotectiveness more and more creepy. He actually bribes Alice (with a Porsche?! Where do these perpetual high schoolers who never work get their money anyway?) to hold Bella hostage so that she can't see Jacob. That's fucked up.

And yet, I'm enjoying the book.

July 22. Oh. Hmmm. Now Meyer is straying into that territory in which the plot only works if the characters are stupid. Which they are, or at least they're behaving that way.

Jan. 7. Finally finished the book last night, and I hate, hate, hate the way Stephenie Meyer treats Jacob. At the same time, I also think she made kind of a brave choice with the love triangle story to have Bella realize that she does in fact love Jacob, just not enough to choose a life with him. She even knows Jacob would be the right choice, but she just can't walk away from Edward. Jacob is right when she says Edward is like a drug. So Jacob gets his heart broken, again, and it's completely unjust. I know life is unjust and some people are meant to have their hearts broken, but sometimes I want a little justice in fiction. I rarely seem to get any in real life. I'd like some in my escapist novels, kplzthx.

Meyer is still a shitty writer, which is a pity because I think she has good instincts when it comes to storytelling. There's so much potential there if she could just bring her craft up to a level to match those instincts.

One bad instinct, though? Setting up an epic vampire-werewolf battle and then having it happen offstage. So. Disappointing.

The book REALLY sags in the middle. I'd say it's the weakest entry in the three I've read so far.

Thank god I'm almost done with this series. I feel compelled to finish, but I'm also looking forward to putting it behind me.