Edturd is pissed at the idea of anyone else getting to decide what happens to Bawla, so he ties her up and throws her in the closet. Then he murders Charlie so he can guard Bawla day and night, while laughing at how weak and sad she is...
Oh sorry, that's the in-character thing for him to do. In the actual book, he gives her another vampiric piggyback ride, which I think is meant to sound cool. It's not.
As was the night, too, after that terrifying brightness. Like the thick quilt I’d played under as a child, the dark felt familiar and protecting.
Yes, please keep hammering in that sudden liking for the dark that Bella never had until the end of this book. It totally shows that she's meant to be a vampire, and totally contradicts the fact that she hated it through the LAST book.
They have a really boring, awkward conversation that is apparently meant to be flirty, except Stephenie Meyer thinks flirting involves a lot of fishing for compliments.
“Well—” I struggled to find the right way to phrase it. “I don’t trust myself to be...enough. To deserve you. There’s nothing about me that could hold you.”
"Well, you have a vagina, but as a Righteous Man I must get as far away as possible from it!"
They dribble at each other in a sickmaking way for what feels like an eternity, mostly made up of Bella wibbling, "The worst thing ever is if you leave me!" and Edturd wibbling, "I wuvs you always and won't leave!"
I rolled my eyes. “The worst the Volturi can do is kill me.”
Rolling your eyes shows you're for serious. Bella seems to do this a lot.
“You can leave me,” I explained. “The Volturi, Victoria...they’re nothing compared to that.”
"I mean, they'll just kill me. You condemn me to being SINGLE and POOR and OLD, and that's WAY worse!"
He also reveals that he didn't bother to actually steal her crap, so he hid them under the floorboards. In a modern house. With all the subflooring and everything. Um... so he broke into her house, tore up the floor, opened a hole where he could stick her stuff, and repaired the floor so perfectly that nobody noticed... all without making a sound or leaving any trace behind.
Smeyer, this is not the Victorian age. It's not very easy to hide things under floorboards anymore.
“I think,” I said slowly, “I’m not sure, but I wonder... I think maybe I knew it the whole time.”
"And yet for some reason I never checked, or gave any hint that I did. But I totally knew!"
“Some part of me, my subconscious maybe, never stopped believing that you still cared whether I lived or died. That’s probably why I was hearing the voices.”
So basically she never stopped believing her wuvved her trooly, but she still tortured us with several chapters of "Waaaaa you don't love me even thought you keep saying you do and kissing me and groping my boobs..."
So there was no purpose except to torture and manipulate the reader.
There was a very deep silence for a moment. “Voices?” he asked flatly.
This is the point when any actual sane man would run for the hills.
“It’s pretty pathetic.”
For once, I can't disagree.
So Bawla burbles about her extreme-sports hobby. And since Edturd is joyless and acts like a fusty old coot, he gets angry about her being on a motorcycle.
“Motorcycle?” he asked. I knew his voice well enough to hear something brewing behind the calm.
"How dare you go on one of the devil's machines when you should be in the kitchen! Next you'll be drinking coffee and wearing pants!"
“Well, about that...See, I found that...when I was doing something dangerous or stupid...I could remember you more clearly,” I confessed, feeling completely mental.
- No, she couldn't remember him clearly. She HALLUCINATED him when that happened.
- There's a slight difference.
- And you know, if being around your boyfriend is what your subconscious equates with Xtreme sports where you could die... then maybe your subconscious is trying to tip you off.
“And, well, I wonder if the reason I could hear you so clearly was because, underneath it all, I always knew that you hadn’t stopped loving me.”
Or her subconscious connects Edturd with stupid needless danger.
Or her subconscious was trying to placate her conscious mind to avoid dangerous situations,
Or her subconscious knew she was such an idiot that only manipulating her with her ex-boyfriend would make her stop.
Frankly, nothing about this situation says "I knew you wuvved me all the time!" Which is a line worthy of Lifetime.
Again, as I spoke, the words brought with them a sense of conviction. Of rightness. Some deep place inside me recognized truth.
Oh bullshit. Easy for her to pull that card NOW, when he spent the last chapter making me sick.
What if you sincerely believed something was true, but you were dead wrong? What if you were so stubbornly sure that you were right, that you wouldn’t even consider the truth? Would the truth be silenced, or would it try to break through?
It would be silenced.
Stop trying to pretend that you understand anything related to psychology, Smeyer. The human mind doesn't appreciate "truth" - the fact that people CAN and ARE brainwashed, believe in idiotic things (like geocentrism - yes, there are a few of them left!) and delude themselves into accepting all sorts of crap (see every election) proves that people can convince themselves of ANYTHING. Truth is not something important to the mind.
Considering how insane, erratic and self-destructive Bella was being for this entire idiotic book, it's just fucking INSULTING to claim that all her mentally ill behavior was because the "truth" was trying to "break through." No. WRONG. The subconscious does not work that way. Mental illness does not work that way. And I want to pimp slap Smeyer for DARING to suggest something that STUPID and OFFENSIVE
And that's not even talking about self-defense mechanisms. If a person is THAT traumatized by a person or event, the mind takes steps to protect itself. Truth is not something it cares about. It cares about not shattering the mind completely - so the LAST thing it would do is try to bring up the "truth" by hallucinating Edturd. It would be more likely to disassociate her by blocking chunks of her memory.
The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time.
But it could be broken by his secret love of dick.
And no matter how much more special or beautiful or brilliant or perfect than me he might be,he was as irreversibly altered as I was. As I would always belong to him, so would he always be mine.
And he will continue to be an overbearing, abusive asshole and she will continue to be a pathetic manipulative bitch. How romantic.
“Oh. Okay. I see.”
“Your epiphany?” he asked, his voice uneven and strained.
“You love me,” I marveled. The sense of conviction and rightness washed through me again.
You know, a Twilight fan once told me that Smeyer should win a Pulitzer for her writing. They weren't joking. They also misspelled "Pulitzer." And they didn't know the difference between a Pulitzer and a Nobel.
... for dialogue like THIS, which has the subtle intelligence of an episode of Dora the Explorer.
So they're all lovey-dovey and continue not having sex, and I die a little every time they speak.
It was only fear for my soul, for the human things he didn’t want to take from me, that made him so desperate to leave me mortal.
Again, where does this idea he's got about the soul come from? THIS IS A BIOLOGICAL MUTATION. It is not a fucking supernatural event like in Anne Rice's books.
And WHAT HUMAN THINGS? By being with him, she can't have a normal life anyway. What exactly are they talking about?
Let's just admit it: Edturd doesn't want to turn Bawla because if she were as strong, fast and powerful as him, he couldn't constantly mock and intimidate her. She wouldn't "need" and depend on him for protection. He can only pretend to be the big strong thuggish misogynistic man-child that Smeyer idolizes if he has a girlfriend substantially weaker than himself. Without that, he's just another little emo wuss who thinks he's a badass.
“Surviving. You, at least, made an effort. You got up in the morning, tried to be normal for Charlie, followed the pattern of your life. When I wasn’t actively tracking, I was...totally useless. I couldn’t be around my family—I couldn’t be around anyone. I’m embarrassed to admit that I more or less curled up into a ball and let the misery have me.” He grinned, sheepish. “It was much more pathetic than hearing voices. And, of course, you know I do that, too.”
You know, if I were an asexual person, this series would probably be the WORST AD POSSIBLE for sexual attraction or romance. It makes the whole mess sound so unappealing. We're supposed to be dazzled by codependence that leads to MENTAL ILLNESS when you break up with someone, and this is presented as the only kind of romantic relationship with having. And that's before these two have progressed past the "feeding each other ice cream" phase of their relationship.
You know, I understand being upset when you break up or lose a boyfriend/girlfriend. I get it. I understand grieving.
What I don't understand is the attitude that OF COURSE you would completely cease to function, that it's totally NATURAL to just curl up in a corner and cry for the REST OF YOUR LIFE because there is absolutely NOTHING in your life anymore. No family, no friends, no purpose. And of course, you never GET OVER that feeling for even a second because if you had any self-sufficiency, it wouldn't be troo lurv.
If I didn't know anything about Smeyer, I'd assume that she was a 13-year-old girl whose love life consists of kissing her One Direction poster before bed. That's how she writes love. This is not how mature women with ANY romantic experience think, because those women have dated and broken up with guys in the past. They know the pain of a breakup, including breakups with real love involved, and they know that it PASSES. You may not lose the feelings for the person entirely, but it isn't your entire life.
And honestly, this makes me suspect that all those "pretty smart boys" she claims to have dated were pure fantasy, so she wouldn't be seen as a sad hausfrau who married the first guy who proposed so she could spew out lots of babies. If she actually had any REAL love life, she would know this. She wouldn't hold codependency on a pedestal and insist that real love is about THIS, and ONLY THIS, and you only get it ONCE and it takes over your whole life and dwarfs every other emotion or relationship.
And lest anyone argue that it's just Bella and Edturd's relationship that is depicted this way, and that other people experience love differently... no, no they don't. Everyone else in the series experiences romantic love the EXACT SAME WAY. If you aren't codependent and a breakup DOESN'T utterly destroy you and reduce you to a mentally ill blob in the corner, then it's not actually real twoo wuv. I mean, one of the Volturi is still grieving over a woman who died MILLENNIA AGO.
This is the series that has a guy fall in "true love" with a newborn baby still covered in placental muck, and plans to fuck her when she turns seven. There ARE no loving consensual romantic relationships, except those of the people we're not supposed to sympathize with.
And I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I don't think Smeyer loves her husband. Or at least, she doesn't think so. A person who has experienced actual romantic love wouldn't depict it this way - and since she depicts total codependence and obsession as being part of REAL love, she basically is saying, "Yeah, this guy I'm married to? Whatever, it's not as good as Bella and Edturd's relationship."
Then again, her husband isn't super-rich and can't make her a skinny teen immortal for all eternity. So I can see why she wouldn't have those feelings for him.
“I’m just humoring you with this.”
"Haha, you silly little woman. Thinking you have free will or get to make any of your own choices. I'll let you play pretend."
“It doesn’t matter in the slightest what they say.”
Ah, so we now find out why he's "allowing" her to do this. The Man With A Penis has made a decision, and that's the only one that matters. Shut up and obey, you stupid woman!
And wouldn't it be delicious if she announced, "I've decided that I'm going to be a vampire, and Alice has agreed?" He'd just sit there fuming and stamping his little feet because NOBODY would give a shit what he wanted, and because the "power" to turn Bella or not had been taken out of his dainty hands.
So Edturd condescendingly takes her into the house and summons the rest of the cult.
Carlisle was suddenly standing beside me, as if he’d been there all along. “Welcome back, Bella.” He smiled.
I know a lot of people think Carlisle is hot and awesome... but he creeps me out the same way cult leaders do. Especially since he likes collecting pretty teenagers and having them worship him as a "family."
So they go into the dining room, which the Cullens never use for ANYTHING because... I guess they like wasting space. Bella claims it's just a prop, except that we never see anyone visit their house, so exactly are they trying to fool?
“Well,” I paused. “I’m hoping Alice has already told you everything that happened in Volterra?”
“Everything,” Alice assured me.
"Including the part where Edward wet himself and cried like a little girl?"
"Oh yeah. Rosalie and Emmett thought it was hilarious."
And even though we've confirmed that Alice has told them EVERYTHING, Bella starts recounting the details anyway. But she's so boring that Rosalie wanders off and gives herself a manicure, Jasper starts talking to his imaginary friend, and Esme bakes an apple pie because she's a woman and that's what women do, even if nobody will eat it.
“So, I have a problem,” I began. “Alice promised the Volturi that I would become one of you. They’re going to send someone to check, and I’m sure that’s a bad thing—something to avoid."
- Again... Alice told them all this.
- You knew almost nothing about the Volturi a few days ago, and now you're assuming that you know more than they do.
- Someone needs to smack Bella down for speaking down to other people, as if she's smarter than them. I mean, she's explaining what a "bad thing" is like they're a bunch of half-wits.
“And so, now, this involves you all. I’m sorry about that.”
It involved them all along. They all violated the law along with Edturd, and in a story with LOGIC, they'd be as complicit as he is.
“But, if you don’t want me, then I’m not going to force myself on you, whether Alice is willing or not.”
Or you could have Alice turn you into a vampire, and just LEAVE.
That way, they wouldn't be in trouble with the Volturi, she'd get her wish, and she wouldn't be a tewwible burden on the poor Cullens.
“Please, let me finish. You all know what I want. And I’m sure you know what Edward thinks, too. I think the only fair way to decide is for everyone to have a vote."
No, it's not. People don't get to "vote" about someone's life and how it's going to go. They can vote about whether to accept her as one of them, but the "vampire" thing is entirely up to Bella and the person who volunteers to turn her. That's it.
But hey, we can't have Bella deciding anything for herself. That would imply free will, and free will is EVILBAD.
"If you decide you don’t want me, then...I guess I’ll go back to Italy alone. I can’t have them coming here.”
.... where they will probably NOT kill her, because Aro has already made it clear that he wants her dense skull serving them. So either way, she gets to be a sparklepire.
But Edturd interrupts because he has a cunning plan.
And it's only slightly worse than one of Baldrick's.
“About the danger Bella’s referring to,” he continued. “I don’t think we need to be overly anxious.”
- "I mean, it's just the villains who have their own army and threatened to kill Bella unless I turned her. We don't need to worry."
- And you know, this not only makes Edturd seem like an utter dumbass, but it also makes him seem pretty ungrateful. Aro bent over backwards to make it so everybody would be happy... and Edturd STILL isn't satisfied.
- It also STILL has nothing to do with whether Bella should be a vampire or not.
- He can pretend that the Volturi are the ONLY reason, but the fact is, she wants to be a vampire, and Alice agreed. No more reason is needed.
- Face it, you controlling little turdbucket. You're not needed.
“You see,” he explained, looking around the table while he spoke, “there was more than one reason why I didn’t want to shake Aro’s hand there at the end. There’s something they didn’t think of, and I didn’t want to clue them in.” He grinned.
Isn't it cute when stupid people think they're being smart?
So Edturd's idea is that the Volturi won't be able to find Bella, because their best tracker relies on mild mind powers in order to track people. He assumes that none of the Volturi have figured out this INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS POINT or that they ever will because they're "overconfident, and with good reason."
So... yeah, his whole plan IS basically to put her in a big cardboard box, and figure the Volturi won't look there.
And you know what, Edturd? Even if they didn't figure it out BEFORE, they certainly will soon. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING OBVIOUS. They know Bella is immune to mind-powers except for Jasper's (seriously, I don't get that), so they probably will figure out pretty quickly, "Hey, maybe we need another way of finding her."
“Now, the whole time we were with any of them, I was picking their brains for anything that might save us, getting as much information as possible."
Oh, bullshit. You spent the whole meeting making growly noises and being impotent as Hugh Hefner during a Viagra shortage.
"So I saw how Demetri’s talent works. He’s a tracker—a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. His ability is loosely related to what I do, or what Aro does. He catches the...flavor? I don’t know how to describe it...the tenor...of someone’s mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances.
“But after Aro’s little experiments, well . . .” Edward shrugged.
“You think he won’t be able to find me,” I said flatly.
He was smug. “I’m sure of it. He relies totally on that other sense. When it doesn’t work with you, they’ll all be blind.”
... wow, there is so much stupid in that plan that I am having trouble summarizing how stupid it is.
For one thing, there's the really stupid assumption that they have ONE way of finding people, and one way ONLY. The Volturi still have their five senses. ANY of these would be enough to find Bella, especially since her superspeshul scent is already known to them.
For another... all Demetri needs to do is follow one of the Cullens. Pretty sure that Bella, wherever they hid her, would need FOOD or WATER or OXYGEN eventually. Pretty sure they could follow them easily, even if they aren't great trackers. Hell, a HUMAN could probably find Bella eventually, especially since the Cullens think that ninja-like stealth involves driving at night and holing up in an airport motel room.
“And how does that solve anything?”
“Quite obviously, Alice will be able to tell when they’re planning a visit, and I’ll hide you. They’ll be helpless,” he said with fierce enjoyment. “It will be like looking for a piece of straw in a haystack!”
- ... the phrase is "needle in a haystack." You idiot.
- And that phrase ONLY applies to hiding something in hundreds of other somethings. Just "hiding" is not applicable. YOU IDIOT.
- In case we've forgotten... Alice's foresight is less reliable than the Weather Channel, and even less entertaining. So of course, everybody is relying on it.
- Maybe I'm just a dumb human, but... I suspect that the Volturi, who supposedly see YEARS as DAYS, can afford to hang around and just wait for Bella to emerge. Or does Edturd plan to just lock her in the basement for the rest of her life?
- And here's another idea: maybe Aro could just wander over and TOUCH Edturd. Get two of his guards to immobilize the little wiener, and then touch him. Boom! He now knows where Bawla is hidden, and can either kill or turn her. QED.
This made no sense.
I hate agreeing with her.
“But they can find you,” I reminded him.
“And I can take care of myself.”
Yeah, Edward. You can take care of yourself... which is why your only fight scene involves a prepubescent girl who had you mewling on the floor in two seconds flat. I totally believe that you can stop a small army of vampires who are as strong, if not stronger, than you are.
And this sort of attitude really shows that either Smeyer or Edturd (or possibly both) are not only stupid, but naive.
We've already seen that at least one of the Volturi can inflict agonizing pain for AS LONG AS SHE WANTS. She could do it for days. WEEKS. Since her ability doesn't cause physical damage, and vampires don't pass out, she could do it indefinitely until her victim went gibbering insane. And she's not the only one! There are other Volturi who presumably have powers that would be very useful in torturing people.
And just by having superior numbers, the Volturi are pretty much guaranteed to win. Or is Edturd stupid enough to believe that the Cullens could physically win out against dozens of their enemies? And if they're the evil, ruthless villains who cannot be stopped... it wouldn't take long for them to get Edturd over a barrel.
So, is he okay with the Volturi saying, "Hey, Edward? Unless you tell us where Bella is or bring her out here, we're going to start dismembering Carlisle bit by bit and burning the pieces"? Or is he okay with Jane inflicting unspeakable agony on Alice for the next few weeks?
Or see my previous idea: get four or five strong vampires to hold Edturd motionless, have Aro touch him, and then send someone to kill Bella. Easy.
I'm honestly not sure if Smeyer is deliberately making this plan stupid. I'm not sure because... SHE is stupid, and this is the sort of plan that stupid people would come up with when they're trying to seem smart. So it could be that she's a stupid person trying to write a smart scheme, or that she's a stupid person trying to write a stupid scheme. It's full of holes! He accuses the Volturi of being overconfident, but he's grinning and confidently speechifying about a plot that the Volturi can easily deal with in several ways.
The reason I think this is Smeyer being stupid and not just Edturd is.... well, the lack of awareness of death and torture. THAT is the sort of thing that ruthless villains do. And if Edward was just being stupid, SOMEONE ELSE would point that out!
But no one does. This is treated as a valid plan. Smeyer doesn't seem to realize that... bad people DO BAD THINGS. And they're not going to play handsies-offsies your friends and family just because it would be mean to do otherwise. They will torture. They will kill. Hell, even not-so-evil people would do that if it came to the safety of the WHOLE SPECIES.
Here's an example:
That is JRR Tolkien's Dark Lord Morgoth. He wanted the location of a city from a man named Hurin, and Hurin refused to give him the information. So what did Morgoth do? He chained Hurin on a mountaintop and forced him to watch his entire family being destroyed by Morgoth's power, including a dragon manipulating his children into incestuously marrying, so the dragon could kill one and drive the other to suicide while pregnant.
When he finally got loose from that prison and got back to his wife, she immediately died. He went mad, murdered people, helped indirectly destroy at least one great and ancient elf kingdom... and after an angel managed to heal his mind, he committed suicide too.
Consider. The super-evil nightmare villain did all that... because he wanted ONE PIECE OF INFORMATION. Now THAT is a villain, and a damn scary one too. And unlike with the Volturi, we SEE that he's a living nightmare because of his ACTIONS, not just because we're told so.
So if the Volturi are even half as bad as Smeyer claims, why wouldn't they torture or kill the Cullens to uphold their laws, especially if those laws are not only being broken, but openly DEFIED? Answer: they would. They totally would. Even if they were only considered morally gray instead of EVIL EVIL SO VERY EVIL, they STILL would because they would probably worry that the Cullens doing this would inspire other vampires to fuck up the Masquerade.
If evil is banal, then even more banal is Smeyer's IMAGINED evil and misfortune. She can't actually imagine REAL evil or REAL misfortune outside her own middle-class white suburban experience. So she can only imagine a one-on-one fight being the only threat to the Cullens.
What's more, Smeyer doesn't realize how BAD this makes Edward look. He not only looks stupid, but incredibly selfish. He's asking his little cult-family, whom he claims to love, to suffer and possibly die just because he doesn't want his girlfriend to become a vampire, even though she wants to.
And even if the plan WEREN'T really stupid and simple (what, he thinks the Volturi have never encountered such a cunning plan?) and didn't allow them to torture and kill the Cullens, it would STILL be a gamble. I mean, what if the Volturi have a vampire with a super-smeller who isn't there at the moment, but will be when they invade?
And you know what? They have a SURE THING: turning Bella. If they do that, then the Volturi have nothing to complain about. If they do his plan, there's still the POSSIBILITY that they'll find and kill her. Again, he'll let her die rather than have her even CLOSE to being an equal. Why gamble when you have a sure thing?
So we have three possibilities.
- Edturd is an idiot who hasn't considered all the ways the Volturi could and would screw them over.
- Edturd is a selfish ass who is okay with his "family" suffering and/or dying in defense of Bella's humanity, which she doesn't want anyway.
- All of the above.
So no, Edturd. No. You CAN'T take care of yourself. And you will be dragging other people into this if you try.
So do the other Cullens point any of this out? HELL NO. Emmett and Jasper are just dazzled by how smart his plan is, because they're men and all men love fighting. They even fist-bump. Rosalie, Bella and Alice are all insisting that they can't, because they're delicate little women who don't want any fighting and worry so about the Big Strong Menfolk.
I looked toward Edward this time; it would be better to get his opinion out of the way. “Do you want me to join your family?”
His eyes were hard and black as flint. “Not that way. You’re staying human.”
Yeah, he doesn't get to say he WANTS her to stay human. He declares that she IS staying human whether anyone likes it or not.
Smeyer doesn't seem to GET that these sorts of disagreements are why some couples break up. There are issues that no amount of Troo Lurv can overcome, and some of those issues are enough to make daily life unworkable. Again, a sign that she probably did little if any real dating.
So people vote. Alice predictably votes yes, Esme votes yes because she wants another "kid" to fawn over, and Jasper and Emmett vote yes because... um... uh... because Bella needs a majority, and if they voted "no" it might make things awkward among the "perfect" people. Carlisle also votes yes because he had to deal with Edturd being a mopey whiny brat for months.
The only other one who votes "no" is Rosalie, and... it's actually a nice character moment.
“Let me explain,” she pleaded. “I don’t mean that I have any aversion to you as a sister. It’s just that...this is not the life I would have chosen for myself. I wish there had been someone there to vote no for me.”
- Now see, this is a nice hint of character development. Actually, it's more depth than anything else in this entire fucking book.
- And like with Edturd, she doesn't like being a vampire...
- ...but no way would she ever blame Shining Saint Carlisle.
- Here's a better wish: a wish that someone had ASKED her what she wanted instead of figuring, "Hey, she's pretty. I'll make her into a girlfriend for Edturd!"
- It's even weirder because she doesn't say she wishes she had a choice, but that she had someone else to MAKE the choice for her. Oh right, free will bad.
“Hell, yes!” He grinned. “We can find some other way to pick a fight with this Demetri.”
... does Emmett have ANY character traits other than "has a big boner for fighting?" Seriously, what else is there to him?
“Yes, of course, Bella. I already think of you as part of my family.”
Esme affects me the same way as Hallmark movies and Precious Moments figurines. So aggressively wholesome that it's kind of sickening.
It's also a little creepy how she wants to sort of collect people into her little vampire family so she can play "mommy" to people who were already grown when she met them, and who had their own families.
I was suddenly nervous, wishing I had asked for his vote first. I was sure that this was the vote that mattered most, the vote that counted more than any majority.
... then the voting IS FUCKING POINTLESS. If one person has veto power, with no way of checking that power, then why the hell even bother voting when they're going to decide what happens ANYWAY?
Edward has a massive tantrum because nobody except Evil Blonde is voting his way, and Carlisle is talking to him the same way you would an insane relative who wants you to join the Moon People.
“It’s the only way that makes sense,” Carlisle insisted. “You’ve chosen not to live without her, and that doesn’t leave me a choice.”
Even the other characters agree that this is a selfish, stupid thing to want, and that Edturd's little "I want to be around you but you don't get to be a vampire" idea is ridiculous.
But you notice the total lack of one thing? That would be anyone saying BELLA'S DECISION OR DESIRES means anything. Not ONE of the Cullens, even Alice, says "Hey, you know what? Bella's been around us for a long time and she knows a lot about us now. And she's had plenty of time to think about this, so it's not a snap decision. If she wants to be a vampire, that's her choice."
All of them either vote Bella's way for no reason (Emmett and Jasper) or they vote for purely selfish reasons (Esme, so she can add Bella to her living dolly collection). Rosalie comes closest to being unselfish because she doesn't like her life (thanks, Carlisle) and doesn't want Bella to be unhappy, but it's still selfish because she's basing it on her own experiences (raped and dying, no consent) rather than Bella's own situation (not raped, not dying, consent given HUNDREDS OF TIMES).
Even Carlisle, saintly shining Joseph Smith Carlisle, only votes Bella's way because Edward is being such an anus that even HE can't ignore it. And he'll ignore pretty much anything Edward does!
So what does Edward do? What does the shining paragon of old-fashioned manners and gentlemanly elegance do?
He stomps out of the room in a huff because he didn't get his way, and breaks things like an angry toddler.
Ha! Take that, you misogynistic sack of overripe fertilizer! I guess having a penis doesn't let you decide everything after all, huh?
Sorry, I'm going to just bask in the afterglow of that moment. After putting up with him spending the last chapter being this condescending prick who is just "humoring" Bella and insists that whatever she or anyone else says doesn't matter... it's just so glorious to see him get his comeuppance.
That said, what did he expect? Why would anyone vote his way?! Apparently he just assumed that everybody was going to vote the same way as him, but... why would they? If they all adore Bella so much, and Alice has already volunteered to turn her (which he should know because HELLO MIND READER), why WOULDN'T they want her to be a permanent addition to their cult? What is their motivation to vote against her?
Maybe he figured, "I have a penis and Bella doesn't, so they should all side with me." Because logic.
And this is made doubly stupid because... he didn't give an actual reason why she shouldn't be turned. He came up with a plan for getting around the Volturi demanding it, but he didn't give a reason why Bella shouldn't be turned because SHE wants it. He was given the chance to actually voice his concerns about her not having a human life and his stupid theological issues... AND HE BLEW IT.
He acts like the ONLY reason she would be turned is because of the Volturi, and yes it's a valid concern, but she's been whining about this for the past YEAR. Alice didn't offer to turn her because of the Volturi - she offered it because both she and Edward are being whiny pains in the butt and she's just sick of their drama. I'm pretty sure all the other Cullens feel exactly the same way.
Again, WHY did he think they would vote with him?
And it just occurred to me: why would he think they would vote with him... considering he can READ MINDS? Why is it a surprise to him when they all say "yea"? As soon as the idea of a vote came up, he should have KNOWN it was a lost cause!
Also, to any Twifans who might be reading this: do you really think this guy is sexy? He just had a tantrum like a toddler who wasn't given ice cream when he wanted. What about that behavior says "dream guy"?
I flinched, and spoke quickly. “That’s all I needed. Thank you. For wanting to keep me. I feel exactly the same way about all of you, too.”
"And thank for the access to your bank account, meaning I'll never have to actually work... I mean, access to your family!"
My voice was jagged with emotion by the end.
Yes, she sounds SO emotional up there.
Esme was at my side in a flash, her cold arms around me.
“Dearest Bella,” she breathed.
"Now I can add you to my collection, based on my creepy child-collecting fetish!"
But while they're snuggling, Bella notices that Rosalie is unhappy: I realized that my words could be construed in two ways.
- So... her words could be construed to mean... that she doesn't mind her as a "sister"? What? Huh?
- Did an editor even look at this, or were they already drunk on the floor?
- Does she bother to assure Rosalie that she didn't mean that in a nasty way?
- Nope. That would be the unselfishness people claim Bella has.
- No, our unselfish Bella goes right back to focusing on herself... and so does everyone else.
“Well, Alice,” I said when Esme released me. “Where do you want to do this?”
"How about upstairs on my bed?"
Seriously, is she doing this on purpose?
Alice is horrified by the idea of doing this, and I can see why. She's already said she doesn't know exactly how baby vampires are made, so I'm not sure why she's still Bella's first option instead of... I dunno, Carlisle, who has demonstrated at least three times that he can do this without any complications.
How does Edturd react to the Cullens preparing to do exactly what they said?
“No! No! NO!” Edward roared, charging back into the room. He was in my face before I had time to blink, bending over me, his expression twisted in rage. “Are you insane?” he shouted. “Have you utterly lost your mind?”
Ah, Mr. Perfect. When he doesn't get his way, he verbally abuses you and breaks the furniture.
But on the other hand, it's delicious how EVERYBODY ignores him while he screams and snarls and grabs Bella's head. Even Bella and Carlisle totally ignore everything he says and does. If Smeyer made him look any more impotent, he would be eating handfuls of Viagra.
“I know, but...Seriously, Bella! I don’t have any idea how to not kill you.”
“You can do it,” I encouraged. “I trust you.”
... why? Why would you trust her? She's already said at least twice that she has no idea what she's doing. And the fact that she looks TERRIFIED should tell you something. "Hey Alice, I know you said you can't drive a semi. But don't worry. I trust you!"
So Bella appeals to Carlisle, and Edward grabbed my face in his hand, forcing me to look at him. His other hand was out, palm toward Carlisle.
Yeah, that doesn't say "physically abusive douchebag" at all.
And again, nobody notices or cares what he's doing. Carlisle, who treats Edturd with more "affection" than he treats his WIFE, just keeps talking to Bella like Edturd isn't trying to pop off her head.
“I’m able to do it,” he answered my question. I wished I could see his expression. “You would be in no danger of me losing control.”
"I mean, it's not like I'd get carried away with biting a GIRL. If you were a pretty teen boy, though..."
But wait! Edturd finally says or does something that everyone doesn't deliberately ignore!
“Hold on,” Edward said between his teeth. “It doesn’t have to be now.”
"I can bully a few people into changing their vote! Just give me a few days! I have a penis, so everyone should listen to me!"
So Edward's genius reasons are that soon Charlie's going to come charging out, and will probably involve the police. Because it's not like Bella is a legal adult and can go wherever she likes, and it's not like the police require 48 hours before a person is declared "missing." And if Charlie isn't adhering to that, he's a dirty cop and should die.
Oh, what the hell? We KNOW he's a dirty cop already, since he threatens anyone who displeases him, tries to violate federal law, and refuses to investigate off goings-on if a person is a "good son." I bet he takes protection money.
This was always the hardest part. Charlie, Reneé. Now Jacob, too. The people I would lose, the people I would hurt. I wished there was some way that I could be the only one to suffer, but I knew that was impossible.
Funny how she hasn't worried about them in the past. And you gotta love how Bella is SO detached from anyone who isn't rich, hot and sparkly that there are a whole THREE people she mentions. One of them is a guy she used as an emotional Xanax, one is the dad she shows constant contempt for, and one is the mom she only likes because she's a flaky child-woman who doesn't bother Bella with rules.
But Bella immediately gets over that worry because she's decided that she was putting them all in danger by being human, so no need for guilt!
Putting Charlie in constant danger through my proximity. Putting Jake in worse danger still by drawing his enemies across the land he felt bound to protect. And Reneé—I couldn’t even risk a visit to see my own mother for fear of bringing my deadly problems along with me!
I was a danger magnet; I’d accepted that about myself.
No, you're not. That's just your excuse.
So in a pathetic attempt to buy time because YOU LOST EDTURD YOU LOST HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, Edturd insists that they should wait until Bella graduates from high school and moves out of Charlie's house. Never mind that at eighteen, she can drop out of school and move out WHENEVER SHE PLEASES.
Carlisle immediately takes Edward's side because hey, he won't get any sweet lovin' for MONTHS if he doesn't stop disagreeing with his "son."
I thought about Charlie’s reaction when he woke up this morning, if—after all that life had put him through in the last week with Harry’s loss, and then I had put him through with my unexplained disappearance—he were to find my bed empty. Charlie deserved better than that. It was just a little more time; graduation wasn’t so far away...
I pursed my lips. “I’ll consider it.”
Yeah, she clearly feels SO bad for Charlie, that after thinking about how devastated he would be if she vanished again, this time forever... she only announces that she'll "consider" waiting. Hey, she'll be a total hag after graduation! She can't wait THAT long!
Edward is pretty clearly figuring he now has PLENTY of time to find a way of making sure Bella will never get turned. He also pretty obviously wants her out of there, so he can lock her in that cage he's been building in the woods.
Edward rushed me out of the house before Carlisle could promise me anything else.
Yeah, imagine the Cullens agreeing to actually do what they voted to do. How dare they.
He took me out the back, so I didn’t get to see what was broken in the living room.
Again, are tantrums supposed to be sexy? Because I don't find temperamental child-men sexy.
So Bella gloats on the way home because she's getting her way, and isn't that what Troo Lurv is all about? But when they get back to her bedroom, she realizes that he's scheming for ways to keep her from being turned into a vampire.
Ah, Mr. Perfect. A controlling loser who freaks out if he doesn't get his way, then starts trying to think up ways to get his way anyway.
“If you don’t mind, I’d much rather you didn’t hide your face. I’ve lived without it for as long as I can stand."
Excuse me. The porcelain god is calling my name.
So his genius plan is to... ask her what she wants most in the world. Yeah, I can see why his superior vampire brain took THAT LONG to come up with this.
I could feel the skepticism in my eyes. “You.”
"But I'll settle for Alice if I have to."
"I knew... wait, what?"
“I would want...Carlisle not to have to do it. I would want you to change me.”
- "Is this an obvious enough metaphor for sex? Because it is, ya know. A metaphor for sex. I'm asking that instead of your creepy pedo dad fang-banging me into immortality, that YOU do it because it's so much more romantic to be in blinding agony if YOU are the one inflicting it."
- "Of course, the metaphor falls apart because Carlisle also bit you and Rosalie, meaning he's had sex with half his little 'family.' And it was rape."
- Clearly this doesn't mean THAT much to Bella. Until five minutes ago, she was just fine with Alice or Carlisle doing it while Edward sulked.
- She never even mentioned this before either!
- Honestly, it would make more sense for her to say, "I want to be turned as soon as possible." Oh wait, that wouldn't allow Edturd to "bargain."
- And I don't know why she cares who does it. It's not sexy or intimate.
- I could understand wanting Edward to be the one who turns her if it were one of those series where being bitten is orgasmic or even painless. Or if it creates a special bond between maker and fledgling.
- This series? Instant agony, and no special bond.
- So Bella thinks the only person who should inflict agonizing long-lasting pain on her... is Edward. Hello, microcosm of their sick relationship.
- Hell, there isn't even any sensuality in the making of a vampire. If this is being used metaphorically for sex, then that means Smeyer thinks all sex is painful, and most of it is rape.
Edturd claims he'll do it if she waits five years. Yeah, why? So she can get arrested for being in a relationship with him?
Bella, showing the first flicker of intelligence, figures out that he just wants more time to back out of it. Which he does. Let's face it - he's not willing to change her, and he's not going to change that opinion. Hell, the only reason he DOES is because of a medical emergency, not because he's honoring any promises. So yeah, he's a honorless little twat.
“Isn’t it worth anything to you at all?”
Why would it? Clearly what she wants most is vampirism.
They bargain for a little while, and Edturd finally comes up with another possibility:
“All right. Forget time limits. If you want me to be the one—then you’ll just have to meet one condition.”
“Condition?” My voice went flat. “What condition?”
"Well, it involves a sex change operation..."
“Marry me first.”
"After all, we've been broken up and emotionally screwed-up for months, and we're not technically even back together. We should totally get married!"
I stared at him, waiting....“Okay. What’s the punch line?”
Ah, romance. Twoo wuv. Soulmates.
And this condition... confuses me. It would make sense if there had been some scene earlier in the book where they discussed marriage, and Bella shrugged off the idea but Edward was for it. Or if she said she never wanted to get married, even though it was really important to him.
So I don't know why he would make that a condition, because there's no reason for him to think she wouldn't say, "Sure! Let's hop over to the courthouse right now!" You might as well say, "I'll only turn you if you eat a whole chocolate pie."
“Oh, c’mon,” I said, an edge of hysteria in my voice. “I’m only eighteen.”
Which means you can start popping out babies ASAP for the Cullens' little cult.
And what exactly is her alternative? She isn't planning on college and she has a crap little part-time job.
I looked away, out the dark window, trying to control the panic before it gave me away.
“Look, marriage isn’t exactly that high on my list of priorities, you know? It was sort of the kiss of death for Reneé and Charlie.”
Because it isn't that one is a clueless, emotionally-distant bent cop and the other is a flake who can't put on her own underwear without help. It isn't that they wanted different things, that she refused to live in Forks and he refused to live anywhere else. It isn't that they clearly didn't discuss any of the IMPORTANT issues before they got married.
Nope. It's only because they got MARRIED that their relationship was doomed.
Again, this comes out of NOWHERE. We've never heard Bella have any reservations about marriage, and in the first book she thought that their split was GREAT because it meant she didn't have to live in Forks. It sure doesn't sound like she was traumatized by a divorce that happened when she was a BABY.
Now even Edward thinks this is stupid, that she'll happily turn into a vampire but is freaked out by the "commitment" of marriage. Bella tries to pretend that this isn't the case, but it obviously is, because... well, if she didn't have this sudden aversion to marriage, she'd accept in a heartbeat and the series would be over. It allows Smeyer to drag this conflict out another two books.
Again, I think the editor may have intervened here, because the idea that Bella freaks out at marriage commitment but is fine with turning into a vampire is... stupid. Really stupid. I hate to break it to Smeyer, but if a marriage doesn't work out, there are always divorces and annulments. Vampirism? Nope, if you change your mind, you're shit outta luck.
And the idea that marriage is a bigger commitment than being a vampire is especially stupid because EARLIER IN THIS CHAPTER we were informed that Rosalie is unhappy being a vampire. And she didn't even get a choice!
Hell, in a better written book, I would be wondering if Bella's reluctance to marry Edturd was a sign that she was just trying to get immortality out of him, and she planned to ditch him once she had gotten what she wants. If she really does want to be with him forever and plans to live with him and his family, then freaking out at the idea of marriage is moronic.
It also shows how shallow Edturd and Bawla's relationship is. Despite supposedly being in twoo wuv and spending all their time together, day and night, they never talked about the future or any important issues.
“That’s not it exactly,” I hedged. “I’m...afraid of Reneé. She has some really intense opinions on getting married before you’re thirty.”
- Bullshit. Since when does Bella care what her mother says?
- Her mom has been established as a useless cornflake who never bothers Bella with any rules or commands. Why does Bella suddenly feel like she has to obey her?
- AT EIGHTEEN.
- But hey, it's pretty obvious that Bella is lying. The "hedging" just shows it.
- Because troo lurv means lies and refusing a proposal for no reason.
“Because she’d rather you became one of the eternal damned than get married.” He laughed darkly.
“You think you’re joking.”
... is she seriously implying that her mom would be okay with vampirism but not marriage? Because if she's not lying, then Renee is even stupider than I thought.
Edward is dazed again by the sheer stupidity of Bella's willingness to become a vampire, but unwillingness to marry him.
“Well,” I interrupted. “What if I did? What if I told you to take me to Vegas now? Would I be a vampire in three days?”
... it doesn't take three days to drive to Vegas. Without sleeping or making many stops, you could be there in 20 hours.
But Bella is just bluffing, and even offers to wait a year and a half before becoming a vampire. And now that Edturd has found out something she DOESN'T want to do, he's determined that it's marriage or nothing. After all, now he can keep her human longer!
Because that's what troo lurv is about: manipulating each other!
“You’re impossible,” I groaned. “A monster.”
You know, if you gave most teen girls a hot, rich guy who perfectly fulfilled their dreams... I don't think they would be horrified at the idea of marrying them.
But I can see why Smeyer is. After all, she got married right out of her teens and started popping out babies right away, and I suspect she's resentful of this. This is really the point in the series when Smeyer starts splattering her weird issues with getting married young and having kids all over it, and the conflict between what she clearly wants and fulfilling the perfect-Mormon-wife/mom role.
“Would this have gone better if I’d had time to get a ring?”
“No! No rings!” I very nearly shouted.
"I have the feminine sexuality of a lumberjack! And I'm proud of that!"
But she stupidly wakes up Charlie, and he checks on her.
Of course, I still had the Carlisle option, but now that I knew there was a chance that Edward would change me himself, I wanted it bad. He was such a cheater.
Why the fuck does she want it? How is it "cheating"? WAS THIS WRITTEN BY A SIX YEAR OLD?
So Charlie comes in and gives her a lecture you would expect him to give a little kid rather than someone who has been a legal adult for several months.
“You know you’re in trouble.”
"Even though you're an adult and can go wherever you want as long as you don't take my money or use my property, you're in trouble!"
Charlie points out that Jacob couldn't tell him anything about where Bella went or why, and Bella was so unselfishly considerate that she couldn't bother to pick up a phone and TELL him where she was. Hey, good point. She had HOURS on the plane, airports and car, and she never picked up a fucking cell phone and sent him a message, "Hey Charlie, there was an emergency in Alice's family, and I'm with her. I'll be back soon."
“Can you give me one reason why I shouldn’t ship you off to Jacksonville this second?”
- I can give him several, including school and her job.
- Another is that shipping off another adult person without their consent IS KIDNAPPING YOU FUCKING BENT COP.
- Because Bella IS AN ADULT.
- Yes, she has been a selfish asshole who didn't bother to tell him what was going on, but that is not something punishment-worthy because SHE CAN GO WHERE SHE WANTS.
- Infantilize those women more! They're never REALLY adults - they're just sold off from one man to another! A man must always control them!
My eyes narrowed. So it was going to be threats, was it? Two could play at that game. I sat up, pulling the quilt around me. “Because I won’t go.”
- You call THAT a threat?
- On second thought, she's threatening to keep inflicting her presence on him... so yeah, a threat.
- Nothing says "assertive" like huddling in a quilt.
- Another sign of the kind of power Smeyer wishes she had had in her teens, but nobody actually has.
“Now just one minute, young lady—”
"Don't make me use my position to intimidate and manipulate even more people!"
So Bella "threatens" him by declaring that "you have the right to ground me for as long as you want" (no, he doesn't, because leaving unexpectedly IS NOT WRONG) and that she'll do all the chores and cleaning until he decides otherwise and can even kick her out of the house, but he can't make her go to Florida. Uh, I don't think Bawla knows how threats work.
Also, she ALREADY did all the chores and cleaning, because she's a woman. Charlie just sat on the couch and ate chips.
Well, Bella saying that he can punish her in almost any way possible is just too intimidating for Charlie, and he starts asking where she went. So Bella starts off with, “See, Alice told Rosalie about me jumping off the cliff....” Yes, she is that stupid - she just blurted that out, despite Charlie having had NO IDEA that she had done that.
So she BSes about how she was just swimming with Jacob and she TOTALLY WASN'T TRYING TO KILL HERSELF, and Rosalie told Edward about this and he got upset.
How would Rosalie know this? Why would Edturd be "upset" and think she was trying to kill herself if she was "swimming"? Charlie doesn't ask, because that would expose Bella as a massive liar.
Charlie’s face was frozen. “Were you trying to kill yourself, Bella?”
“No, of course not."
"The author would never write me as doing something SHE wouldn't do! So even though we're constantly told that I'm like Juliet, I'd never attempt suicide! Even if I keep trying to do things to kill myself."
“What’s it to Edward Cullen anyway?” he barked. “All this time, he’s just left you dangling without a word—”
I interrupted him. “Another misunderstanding.”
Considering how much Bella lies, you would think she'd be better at it. Yeah, they had a "misunderstanding" that involved him ditching her alone in the woods and moving away.
Yo, Smeyer. At some point Bella is either going to not be able to wallpaper over this sort of shit, or Charlie will just stop caring because clearly all these "misunderstandings" are blown out of proportion.
“I want you to stay away from him, Bella. I don’t trust him. He’s rotten for you. I won’t let him mess you up like that again.”
"Because for some reason I have control over who you see even though you're an adult and can do whatever you want and see whoever you want!"
So does Bella tell him that she's a grown woman and can see whom she likes? Nope. She says that she'll move out, like a pissy five-year-old.
In fact, the only reason she doesn't flounce out and yell "I hate you!" on her way out is that she literally thinks Charlie is about to drop dead. Even someone as monstrously self-absorbed as Bella can't shrug that off... well, not permanently.
“Dad, I don’t want to move out,” I said in a softer tone. “I love you. I know you’re worried, but you need to trust me on this. And you’re going to have to ease up on Edward if you want me to stay. Do you want me to live here or not?”
So... Charlie just said he didn't want her seeing Edturd, and her instant response is, "Fine! I'll move out! You're forcing me to!"
Except without an ultimatum, it just makes her sound like a brat who threatens to storm out whenever she doesn't get her way.
“That’s not fair, Bella. You know I want you to stay.”
- I have no idea why, though.
- I guess the free housekeeping, since Charlie seems to be pretty lazy when there's a woman to serve him.
- Guess how you can spot a bad author: all the characters have the same verbal tics and phrases. Like "not faaaaaaaiiiirrr!"
Bella just sneers about how she and Edward are totes together forever, and then "politely" tells Charlie to get out. If I were Charlie, I'd be busy wondering how the hell they went from "he left me forever and my life is destroyed" to "we're back together forever!" in the space of two days.
Either that, or I'd figure, "If she gets back together with him, she's bringing the inevitable suffering on herself. My sympathy is worn out." Maybe I'm being cold-hearted, but I refuse to bestow sympathy on people who keep reviving their toxic relationships and then whining when they break up.
Then again, if I were Charlie, I'd tell the ungrateful little bint to leave if she wants.
I threw off my quilt, and Edward was already there, sitting in the rocking chair as if he’d been present through the whole conversation.
And for some reason, his hand was down his pants.
“Don’t worry about it,” I breathed as I gathered up my bathroom things and a set of clean clothes. “I will start exactly as much as is necessary, and no more than that."
Because nothing says "I make my own decisions and control my own destiny" like "breathing" your words like Marilyn Monroe.
"Or are you trying to tell me I have nowhere to go?” I widened my eyes with false alarm.
Being presumptuous is charming.
His jaw tightened. “So eager for eternal damnation,” he muttered.
- So full of pompous dialogue.
- Also, Edturd doesn't seem to know the difference between being soulless and being damned.
- You can't be both at the same time.
In fact, Bella then challenges his stupid theological worldview by pointing out that if he truly believed this, he wouldn't have assumed they were both dead in Volterra. Edturd can't come up with a reply to that, because he's super-smart.
“So let’s both just be hopeful, all right?” I suggested. “Not that it matters. If you stay, I don’t need heaven.”
Well, good. Because there's no way either of you were going there anyway.
Then they say sappy things and make out, and I pray that my liver will survive to the end of this.