So the beginning of this chapter is actually semi-decent... mainly because people other than Bella show up. I think I've figured out why Bawla never socializes with anybody: when other non-vampire people who actually have dialogue are interacting, she just... fades into the woodwork.
Charlie goes out to say hi to Billy and Jacob, showing more enthusiasm for both of them than he ever has for his annoying daughter. There's also a bit of dialogue about how Jacob is driving the car even though he's not sixteen yet, mainly because his dad is in a wheelchair and can't get around by himself.
I recognized Billy's resonant voice easily, despite the years. The sound of it made me feel suddenly younger, a child.
... instead of the embittered middle-aged woman I truly am inside!
So Bella stands there being awkward and unhelpful while Charlie and Jacob help Billy into his wheelchair, and they start having a very bland conversation about how the guys are there to watch sports. Because they're male, and that's what all guys do every evening: watch sports.
But of course, Billy gives Bella a Significant Look: His dark eyes flashed up to me again, their expression unreadable. If this book has "inscrutable stone-faced Indian" stereotypes, I may end up setting fire to something. And since the conversation can't stray to things like.... oh I dunno, SPORTS and SPORTS TEAMS and crap like that, Billy reminds us what the REAL reason for visiting his longtime friend is:
"And, of course, Jacob was anxious to see Bella again."
Note the "of course," like it's only natural that all teen boys would be panting after her.
Jacob scowled and ducked his head while I fought back a surge of remorse. Maybe I'd been too convincing on the beach.
"The repercussions of my open manipulation of a person could be horribly inconvenient, and cause even more people to acknowledge my existence! TEH ANGST!"
So Bella starts making grilled cheese sandwiches and Jacob... wait, grilled cheese sandwiches? THAT'S what she's making for DINNER? Bella's been set up as some sort of domestic goddess/grade-A chef, without whom her dad would drop dead from food poisoning because he's a man and therefore inept at cooking. So what does she make? An artery-clogging processed-cheese sandwich that is so simple a lab rat could make it. There are APES who can cook more complex meals WITHOUT A STOVE.
So while Bella is plotting to kill her dad with trans-fats, Jacob comes over and they start talking about cars... and of course, the conversation veers over to Edward, because girls are not allowed to be interested in cars unless it's out of stalkerish devotion to their boyfriends. Jacob asks if anything is wrong with the truck because Bella wasn't driving it.
I stared down at the pan, pulling up the edge of a sandwich to check the bottom side. "I got a ride with a friend."
"He's decided I'm too pathetically helpless to even walk downstairs without assistance. Isn't he DREAMY?"
Bella makes a HUGE show of not talking about Edward while Jacob mentions that, "My dad seemed to know him from somewhere" and eventually admits who he is.
To my surprise, he laughed. I glanced up at him. He looked a little embarrassed.
Are you daring to laugh at the mighty god of sparkliness?! DIE, INFIDEL!
Jacob complains that his father is a "superstitious old man" who doesn't like the Cullens. And if you want a megadose of ridiculousness, get this: apparently Charlie and Billy have been on the outs because of the CULLENS. Yes! These guys who have been friends for at least two decades got in a huge fight and stopped TALKING... because of a bunch of rich snobs that don't talk to anybody. Charlie pissed off his best friend because of the CULLENS.
Seriously, I cannot get over the stupidity of this idea. These men are in their forties. They're fathers of teenagers. One of them is a COP. Yet Smeyers has them bickering like little kids over the CULLENS.
And here's another facet to the ridiculousness: they don't know the Cullens. It's not like Carlisle Cullen is asking Charlie in for tea and scones, and it's not like he saved the life of Charlie's pet puppy. So WHY is Charlie so rabidly defensive of the Cullens, to the point where he screams at his best friend? Is Charlie one of those pathetic groupies who hangs off the "cool kids" in the hopes that he can be one of them? Did we get transported into the middle-aged-man version of Mean Girls?
Okay, rant over. But this really shows how Smeyers doesn't understand anyone who isn't her or her Sue - she insists that fortysomething men act like bitchy little girls. Now rant is REALLY over.
Bawla thinks that Billy is going to blurt out the fact that she was sitting in a car... alone... with a boy... Cullen. So she sits in the living room ALL EVENING to make sure Billy doesn't tell her dad anything. Freak.
"Are you and your friends coming back to the beach soon?" Jacob asked as he pushed his father over the lip of the threshold.
"I'm not sure," I hedged.
"Friends? I have friends? Oh yeah, those people I grace with my presence when Edward isn't around."
So we have a boring farewell after the game, with Bella being antisocial and paranoid. After the Blacks leave, Charlie further burdens her by asking how her day was. Oh, the horror of interaction! Why can't he just accept his place in the world and sit in a corner dispensing money and never talking?
So she rambles about how she played badminton... or rather, DIDN'T play it since we haven't been reminded in the last chapter that she's Sooper-Klutzy. She also mentions that her partner was Mike.
"Oh yeah — you said you were friends with the Newton kid." He perked up. "Nice family." He mused for a minute. "Why didn't you ask him to the dance this weekend?"
- "Ewwwwwwww, Mike? He's like, NICE and ATTENTIVE and SWEET and stuff. I don't want a guy like THAT!"
- Again with the weird "family" obsession. You notice he doesn't just say Mike is a nice guy. He has to approve of the FAMILY, and only if he approves of the family does a person pass muster.
Bella groans and whines about how uninterested she is in Mike and how she can't dance. Charlie remarks that he's made plans to go fishing on Saturday... weirdly, not with Billy... and expresses guilt over the fact that he leaves her home alone so often.
"Dad, you're doing a great job." I smiled, hoping my relief didn't show.
This compliment would mean more if she weren't relieved over the fact that he's no longer asking if she has a social life. Apparently he does a great job if he basically lets her do whatever she wants and never puts any kind of restrictions on her. Because remember, she's smarter and more mature than her parents. She may act like a bratty, immature teenage girl, but her parents are useless and/or functionally retarded, so she automatically is better than them.
"I've never minded being alone — I'm too much like you."
... except we've learned that she loves being around other people, as long as those people are immortal, rich and hot.
I slept better that night, too tired to dream again.
Yes, making grilled-cheese sandwiches is truly grueling.
So the next morning, Bawla whistles and skips and tap-dances and kisses fluffy kittens and shines sunlight from her scrawny ass. I can't tell which is worse: her emo whining or her creepy artificial cheeriness.
"You're cheerful this morning," he commented over breakfast.
I shrugged. "It's Friday."
"... which means only one more day until I can prance off secretly with the guy who wants to eat me alive, literally."
So as soon as her dad leaves, she rushes out the door and of course, Edward is already waiting for her even though she literally left the moment Charlie was gone. Apparently he not only manages to silently drive down the street and pull up to her house before she can sprint across her yard, but he also manages to SWITCH OFF THE ENGINE during that time. Suuuuuuuuuure.
He grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart.
If only it were literal.
I couldn't imagine how an angel could be any more glorious. There was nothing about him that could be improved upon.
I think I'm going to take a shot every time she dribbles in rabid hyperbole about how awesome Edward is. I'll be dead before New Moon.
"How did you sleep?" he asked. I wondered if he had any idea how appealing his voice was.
"Fine. How was your night?"
"Pleasant." His smile was amused; I felt like I was missing an inside joke.
... I'd say that sounds like a masturbation joke, but I doubt Smeyer would admit to knowing what masturbation is.
"Can I ask what you did?" I asked.
"No." He grinned.
In a less creepy series, I would assume that Edward meant he had gone off and had sex with someone, since this guy has more bottled-up sexual frustration than a whole conference of evangelical teenagers.
But the reality is even worse. Just wait.
So Edward continues being a creepy stalker, demanding to know all sorts of random details about Bella, including her dating history. A normal girl would say, "Fuck you, I'm not telling you that," but Bella is all too happy to tell him whatever he demands. TROO LUV.
He seemed as surprised as Jessica and Angela by my lack of romantic history.
"I'm a Mary Sue! I can't date anyone other than my Perfect Troo Luv!"
"So you never met anyone you wanted?" he asked in a serious tone that made me wonder what he was thinking about.
"Well, there was that one hot rich guy in Phoenix, but then I found out he didn't want to inherit daddy's vast fortune because he wanted to make his own way in the world. I dumped him like torn underwear."
No, of course she insists that she never met anyone she wanted IN PHOENIX, meaning that HINT HINT she's found someone she wants in Forks. Subtle.
We were in the cafeteria at this point.
Thank you for that graceful and natural transition AFTER their conversation.
"I should have let you drive yourself today," he announced, apropos of nothing, while I chewed.
"But the chance to dominate you and order you around was just too much to resist!"
So Edward mentions that since he's leaving with Alice after lunch, he won't be able to drive Bawla back to her house. I don't know why he doesn't ask his "siblings" to, or just postpone the trip until after school. But apparently he's off to glut himself on the blood of innocent animals so he won't chug Bella's yummy blood on Saturday.
Bella says that she's fine with walking home, but Edward develops a creepy obsession with her NOT walking home, so he informs her that her truck WILL be there at the end of school, with the implication that she WILL drive home because HE DEMANDS IT.
Bella, of course, is fine with this especially since her car keys are apparently still in the dirty laundry. Ah, Bella's such a good housekeeper. But Edward is apparently planning to break into her house and magically find her keys... no, there's no reason why he should be able to find it. What, is he going to read the keychain's mind?
His face grew morose… and pleading. "You can always cancel, you know."
PLEASE DO! PLEASE DO! I don't know if I can stand six chapters of these two dribbling over each other in Seattle. There is no booze potent enough to dull THAT pain!
I refused to be convinced to fear him, no matter how real the danger might be. It doesn't matter, I repeated in my head.
In other words, "I think ogling a hot guy is worth possibly dying over." Because you only experience Troo Luv if you don't mind your boyfriend possibly killing you.
"No," I whispered, glancing back at his face. "I can't."
Note that she doesn't say she doesn't WANT to, or that she is going to Seattle whether he comes with or not. No, she says that she CAN'T. No free choice = TROO LUV!
So Edward gets emo, and Bawla asks what time she'll see him tomorrow. At the same time, SHE is getting emo because she'll have to spend A WHOLE TWELVE HOURS without him. Because healthy relationships require that you be constantly joined at the hip, or you'e NOT REALLY IN LOVE! Got it? If you can go even half a day without your spouse/lover/SO, you are NOT TRULY IN LOVE WITH THEM. Dump them now, and wait for someone whom you can obsess over stalkerishly!
Bella then beams with delight because of the memory of how conveniently things had worked out.
His voice turned sharp. "And if you don't come home, what will he think?"
"I have no idea," I answered coolly. "He knows I've been meaning to do the laundry. Maybe he'll think I fell in the washer."
I really, really want Bella to die a horrible gruesome vampiric death. She is SO FUCKING COCKY, and so offensively devoid of any common sense. I mean, Edward keeps dropping hint after hint about killing her. What does she do? She DELIBERATELY puts herself in danger by refusing to believe it's real.
"Hey, how would your dad feel if you didn't come home from your day trip with a vampire?"
"Oh, he'd assume I fell in the washer. I'm not at all scared."
"How would he feel if they found your body ripped into bloody shreds?"
"They'd assume I tripped over my shoelace. Still not scared."
"How could he feel if I slurped every drop of blood from your body and had sex with your corpse?"
"Doesn't matter. I still want your sparkling peen!"
".... what the hell is wrong with you? It's like you've been lobotomized."
"I'm IN LUV!"
He scowled at me and I scowled back. His anger was much more impressive than mine.
Because he's a MAN, and feminine anger is NEVER impressive!
So there's a boring conversation about Edward going hunting and how supportive Alice is. In case you've forgotten, Alice is the one who dances to show how twee she is. Edward's other incesty siblings are weirded out by the fact that he's chasing after a human girl.
Because remember: according to the gospel of Smeyers, humans are pathetic weaklings and vampires are perfect in every way. So why would a superior creature like a vampire EVER be interested in a sad pathetic human? The trick answer is that he wouldn't - he would only date a SUPERIOR human who is destined to be the speshulest vampire of all.
"They don't like me," I guessed.
If you mean the discerning readers, then you're right.
"That's not it," he disagreed, but his eyes were too innocent. "They don't understand why I can't leave you alone."
I grimaced. "Neither do I, for that matter."
Again, the discerning readers also agree.
So Edward takes the chance to stroke Bella's grotesquely overblown ego: "I told you — you don't see yourself clearly at all. You're not like anyone I've ever known. You fascinate me." And the fact that she's the author's Sue has nothing to do with how wildly attractive, unique and fascinating she is. Please, tell me how unique and fascinating I am! I desperately crave it!
"Having the advantages I do," he murmured, touching his forehead discreetly, "I have a better than average grasp of human nature. People are predictable. But you… you never do what I expect. You always take me by surprise."
Here's a shocking idea: if he didn't have magic mind-reading powers, maybe he'd have to learn to read behavior patterns, body language and facial expressions like everybody else in the world has to. Surprising him doesn't mean that Bella is so awesomely unpredictable and unique; it just means that Eddie's social skills are atrophied. EVERYTHING Bella has done is painfully predictable.
Of course, having somebody say how awesome and unique and speshul she is (just how she regards herself, in attitude if not in words), Bella gets embarrassed.
His words made me feel like a science experiment. I wanted to laugh at myself for expecting anything else.
TROO LOVE! Making you feel like a lab rat, but with less dignity.
"But there's more… and it's not so easy to put into words —"
"... I'm in love with Emmett!"
Then Rosalie looks their way, and since she's blond and pretty she's automatically a bitch to poor Bella. Add Rosalie to the list of characters I like better than Bella or Edward. After she looks away, Edward becomes emo about how it's dangerous for all the vampires if his time with Bella "ends... badly," dropping Subtle Hint #3,405 that he might get the munches and guzzle Bella's yummy blood. Bella, of course, deliberately ignores this and gets emo as well because Edward is emo.
Damn, this is just so BORING. Boring boring boring! I'm so BORED. People in this book just stand around and talk forever about the same things over and over.
I realized slowly that his words should frighten me. I waited for that fear to come, but all I could seem to feel was an ache for his pain.
"And then I realized that I'm a blithering idiot with no self-preservation instincts, and it's miraculous that I didn't get myself killed by crawling into a woodchipper long ago."
And frustration — frustration that Rosalie had interrupted whatever he was about to say.
He was about to admit he's gay, sweetie. Just let it go.
So then Alice shows up, and we get some purple prose about how awesome she is, being hot and rich: ... her short, inky hair in a halo of spiky disarray around her exquisite, elfin face — was suddenly standing behind his shoulder. Her slight frame was willowy, graceful even in absolute stillness.... "Edward," she answered, her high soprano voice almost as attractive as his.
Yeah, this is just the first of many, many, many HoYay moments between Alice and Bella. For all Smeyer's efforts to pretend that bi/gay people don't exist, she makes it abundantly clear that Edward is frightened by vagina, Carlisle and his closest friends are pederasts, and Bella likes girls at least as much as she likes boys. She might want Edward's sparklewiener, but she'll settle for Alice if that falls through.
So since Alice is Artificially Quirky AND a brunette, she's nice to Bawla. Unlike, say, the Hot Rich Blonde who is a nasty jellus bitch.
"Hello, Bella." Her brilliant obsidian eyes were unreadable, but her smile was friendly. "It's nice to finally meet you."
Edward flashed a dark look at her.
Add "creepily possessive" to his long list of defects. He's getting angry at his "sister" for saying that it's nice to meet Bawla? Then again, if you read Midnight Sun you'll find that he got jealous of his "dad" for getting too close to Bella. Very psychologically healthy.
So Alice leaves to wait for Edward in the car, and Bella gets as weird as Edward about it.
She left without another word; her walk was so fluid, so sinuous that I felt a sharp pang of jealousy.
"How come you get to live with that gorgeous girl and I can't? Marry me, Alice!"
"And you try to be safe, please."
"Safe in Forks — what a challenge."
"For you it is a challenge." His jaw hardened. "Promise."
"And if you don't promise to be safe as I have commanded you, I WILL BEAT YOU UP!"
So they have a very boring and prolonged farewell, Edward touches her face, and I promptly die of boredom because honestly, what has actually happened or been revealed in this entire scene except that Edward is a controlling asshole?
I knew that if I disappeared now, Mike and others would assume I was with Edward.
"And they might assume that we're actually having SEX! Not in this series! Scandal!"
And Edward was worried about the time we'd spent together publicly… if things went wrong. I refused to dwell on the last thought, concentrating instead on making things safer for him.
In a better book, Bella would end up being found dead in an alley with a notebook filled with Edward Bella, Bella Edward, Mrs. Edward Cullen, Mrs. Bella Cullen and I Vampires! In this one? Being stupid and self-destructive pays off! I especially love the message that Smeyers is sending to young girls who are only just entering the dating world: If the guy is hot, you can just ignore his abusive and homicidal tendencies. That's love!
Our relationship couldn't continue to balance, as it did, on the point of a knife.
Time to impale yourself on that knife, okay?
My decision was made, made before I'd ever consciously chosen, and I was committed to seeing it through. Because there was nothing more terrifying to me, more excruciating, than the thought of turning away from him. It was an impossibility.
Are you listening, impressionable teenage girls? It's time to play What Warped Lesson is Stephenie Meyer Giving Us?
True love will make you feel...
- A. Completely powerless and manipulated by forces outside your control, particularly by your romantic partner?
- B. Happy yet physically ill?
- C. Elated and emotionally uplifted?
- D. Nervous and excited?
If you answered A, you are CORRECT! And you win the grand prize: An entire lifetime of loveless, abusive relationships that will form a cycle of misery for you and your loved ones!
So Bella spends the rest of the day spacing out, ignoring her studies, and being a bitchy bitch to Mike. Yeah, our heroine repeatedly lies to Mike even though she doesn't have to, because she's a bitch.
... he wished me a good time in Seattle. I carefully explained that I'd canceled my trip, worried about my truck.
See? There's no reason to lie about this. He doesn't know Edward is going, so why lie to him? It makes no sense.
Bella keeps lying about where Edward is going and what she's planning to do, and snarling at Mike for asking if she wants to go with a group to the school dance.
"Laundry, and then I have to study for the Trig test or I'm going to fail."
I'd say she's on her way there anyway, since she no longer pays attention in school because DREAMY EDWARD HOT RICH YUMMY PERFECT EDWARD SO SEXY! And apparently it doesn't matter, because crushing on someone = troo luv and means you will never need to go to college or anything.
And since her truck is parked out front, it means somehow he managed to find the key in her dirty clothes... which sounds really creepy. I'm betting he stole a pair of her panties while he was there. Of course, Smeyers fails to explain HOW Edward would find her keys, since he can't read her mind and I doubt there are any psychic signals coming from her key itself. And no, "it's vampire majik!" is not a good enough explanation for this crap.
There was a piece of white paper folded on my seat. I got in and closed the door before I unfolded it. Two words were written in his elegant script.
"... and if you aren't, I will make your life a living hell! Do as I say, woman!"
The sound of the truck roaring to life frightened me. I laughed at myself.
Random reactions iz random. Why would she be frightened by the car engine, and why would she laugh when she's allegedly frightened?
So when Bella goes home, she checks for any signs of Edward breaking in, and doesn't find any. Creepy. As. Fuckdonkeys. Then Bella calls Jessica up for the purpose of lying to her as well.
When she offered the same wish for my day with Edward, I told her about the cancellation. She was more disappointed than really necessary for a third-party observer to be.
Hey, selfish bitch, maybe she actually wants you to be happy and stop dribbling around the place in a bipolar funk. Nah, that can't be - everyone in the world must be as selfish and antisocial as Bella. If they're at all unselfish, it means they're FAKING.
And to finish things off, Bella makes a point of lying to her father as well, claiming that she'll wait to go until she can bring Jessica or someone else HAHAHAHAHAHA imagine Bella spending time with any of these losers! She claims she'll go shopping and to the library and do Domestic Goddess stuff like setting fire to his sweaty male socks and cooking fried heart-attacks.
Again, I do not understand why Bawla is actually going out of her way to lie to everyone. I might be able to understand if she had broadcast it from every rooftop that Edward is coming with her ALLLLOOOOOOONNNEEEEE to Seattle... but she didn't. If they knew about her trip at all, they thought she was going by herself... meaning that if Edward came along, nobody would know. Why the hell is she lying about canceling it when there's no need? Does she just get a thrill out of lying? Does she love manipulating people? No matter how you spin this, Bella comes across as a nasty bitch.
"Absolutely, Dad. Besides, the freezer is getting dangerously low on fish — we're down to a two, maybe three years' supply."
"You're sure easy to live with, Bella." He smiled.
Haha. Yes, Bella's unfunny remarks are such a joy to live with.
"I could say the same thing about you," I said, laughing.
"I'm glad to have a father who basically does whatever I want in the most convenient way possible. Now get out of my way, you pathetic sad-sack."
I fluctuated between anticipation so intense that it was very nearly pain, and an insidious fear that picked at my resolve.
Yes, that insidious fear of a homicidal sociopath who has already stated multiple times that he wants to kill you and probably will. Ignore the fear! Fear is evil! I must not fear! Fear is the mind-killer! Fear is the little death that brings something something... just keep charging on ahead so he can murder you.
I had to keep reminding myself that I'd made my choice, and I wasn't going back on it.
Because if you make a choice, you can NEVER go back on it. If you ordered vanilla, you canNOT change your mind and get chocolate instead! You can't change your mind! NOT ALLOWED.
He wants me to be safe, I told myself again and again.
Yes, because if you get hit by an organic bread truck, he can't eat you himself.
I would just hold on to the faith that, in the end, that desire would win out over the others.
And if it doesn't... well, the world is deprived of one unlikable bint. On second thought, is there some way we make SURE that that desire won't win out?
And what was my other choice — to cut him out of my life? Intolerable. Besides, since I'd come to Forks, it really seemed like my life was about him.
You know, some Twilight fans actually ask me why this book fills me with raging frothing berserker disgust. Maybe it's the fact that the founding mothers of feminism worked their asses off for MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY so women could do things like... vote, not get raped by their asshole husbands, and live their own independent lives if they want to.
And then... today... we have a book that is being worshiped not only by teenage idiots but by their idiot wannabe-MILF mothers... which is all about how you cannot LEEEEAAAAVE him no matter how badly he treats you, and how your life should revolve around a man and making him happy. This is like that horrible episode of Star Trek where everybody gets a germ from Barclay and devolves into spiders, frogs and cavemen... except that this is about feminism and not evolution. Am I making any sense here?!
And you know what is even worse than that? It inspired books that were even WORSE. It became so acceptable to these women's minds that some of them wrote fanfic that took the violent, disgusting misogyny even further.
But a tiny voice in the back of my mind worried, wondering if it would hurt very much… if it ended badly.
I really, really hope so. Oh well, it's worth it to DIE as long as you go on a date with a douchebag who wants to literally eat you.
I was relieved when it was late enough to be acceptable for bedtime.
"Bella, why are you going to bed at 6:30?"
"Because I have a busy day tomorrow of... minor housecleaning and equally minor errands."
I knew I was far too stressed to sleep, so I did something I'd never done before. I deliberately took unnecessary cold medicine — the kind that knocked me out for a good eight hours.
LOUD THEATRICAL GASP! Wow, Bella's really doing the hard shit, isn't she? She's giving herself a DOSE OF COLD MEDICINE! Good thing she didn't have to stumble out to some bad part of Forks and meet her Nyquil dealer!
Thank God Charlie didn't find out, or I'm sure he would have grounded her. Why don't you just eat a whole bottle full of Xanax and chase it down with undiluted everclear?! It would be less naughty! Ooo, how about some heroin? Heroin is really useful for sleeping.
I normally wouldn't condone that type of behavior in myself,
Yes, it's a lot like shooting up with cheap heroin, only riskier and more addictive.
I dried my clean hair till it was impeccably straight, and fussed over what I would wear tomorrow.
Yes, she's so different from those shallow girls like Jessica who care what boys like and pay attention to clothes and stuff.
Bella somehow manages to not bore herself to sleep, and ends up listening to Chopin while she passes out. Because she's smart and mature, remember, and smart mature people listen to classical music. They don't listen to indie music or anything like that!
I woke early, having slept soundly and dreamlessly thanks to my gratuitous drug use.
Does Smeyers realize that if Bella were any squarer, she'd be a cube? She's supposed to have gone to HIGH SCHOOL in a major American city, yet she thinks of Nyquil as a DRUG? It may be a drug in the pharmaceutical sense, but come on! Nobody calls it that. This stuff makes weed look like meth.
I dressed in a rush, smoothing my collar against my neck, fidgeting with the tan sweater till it hung right over my jeans.
Let's all remind ourselves that Bella barely tolerated the shallow bitches who would go shopping for clothes so they can go to a dance... with YUCKY ORDINARY BOYS. Yet we've being tormented with details about what clothes Bella is wearing for her hot date with Rich Hot Guy. I hate to break it to you, Smeyers, but just because he's your personal wet dream doesn't mean that we wanna hear about Bella draping her sweater.
So Bella crams down some breakfast, brushes her teeth, and practically flings herself out the window when Edward knocks.
I had a little trouble with the simple dead bolt, but I yanked the door open at last,
I wonder how many bathroom stalls she's locked herself in for hours and hours, because that little sliding bolt going into the little metal thingy is SO complicated.
Yep. I can see why something that complicated would be hard for Bella to deal with.
All the agitation dissolved as soon as I looked at his face, calm taking its place. I breathed a sigh of relief — yesterday's fears seemed very foolish with him here.
.... mere seconds before Edward sprang forward and ripped out her throat with his... not-fangs.
"Good morning," he chuckled.
"Well nothing, except you're trailing that whole roll of toilet paper from your panties. Also, there's a mustard stain shaped like Jesus on your sweater."
I glanced down to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything important, like shoes, or pants.
That actually might have made this torturous scene interesting.
"We match." He laughed again. I realized he had a long, light tan sweater on, with a white collar showing underneath, and blue jeans. I laughed with him, hiding a secret twinge of regret — why did he have to look like a runway model when I couldn't?
Oh, how perfectly perfect in a perfect way! Clearly these two are destined to be together! Not only do they own the same CD, but they have similarly bland taste in clothes!
He waited by the passenger door with a martyred expression that was easy to understand.
"I'm a hot rich guy! I can't possibly drive at under 100 MPH. It would make me less bad-boyish"
"We made a deal," I reminded him smugly, climbing into the driver's seat, and reaching over to unlock his door.
"Where to?" I asked.
... what do these two consecutive lines have to do with each other? It's like there's a line missing between them
"Put your seat belt on — I'm nervous already."
... and we have an unintentionally ironic moment that Smeyers isn't smart enough to realize IS ironic.
I gave him a dirty look as I complied.
"How dare you expect me to obey the law, especially since I make such a fuss about how clumsy I am!"
So they start driving, and Edward stays creepy by staring at Bella the whole time instead of looking around like a normal person. HE MUST WUV ME! He wuvs her SO MUCH he's trying to kill her by not paying attention to the road. And so we have a... dramatic, riveting scene involving traffic directions. Is there a reason why this whole scene where Edward tells Bella where to do drive to couldn't be summed up?
"And what's there, at the pavement's end?" I wondered.
Maybe... the PLOT? Yeah, it's wishful thinking.
But no, it's a hiking trail and apparently Edward didn't bother to tell her this in advance so she could be SURE to wear dorky shoes. It's also five miles to wherever the hell they're going, which gives Bella another chance to freak out over how insanely klutzy she is, because it will have treacherous roots and loose stones, trying to twist my ankles or otherwise incapacitate me. I swear, whenever Bawla starts rambling about how the world is trying to kill her, I start tuning it out. I can't even read right now - all I hear is the Charlie Brown adult voices squawking at me.
We drove in silence for a while as I contemplated the coming horror.
I still maintain that Bella is just lazy, and doesn't want to walk that far.
So they have another BORING BORING BORING conversation about the weather and who Bella has and has not told about this little outing. Which gives Eddie another chance to be a tantrum-throwing jackass:
"But Jessica thinks we're going to Seattle together?" He seemed cheered by the idea.
"No, I told her you canceled on me — which is true."
"After all, she might assume that we're having sex, which is absolutely NOT true even though take off your pants."
So Edward has a floor-kicking tantrum about how nobody knows where she is, because if he loses control and chugs her like a pint of chocolate milk, he wants to make sure that his entire family suffers for it. Seriously, I wish Blade or Van Helsing or Buffy would show up and kick his whining ass.
"Are you so depressed by Forks that it's made you suicidal?" he demanded when I ignored him.
Hey douchebag, if you care so much, why didn't you stay home?
By the way, this is another classic sign of an abusive relationship: the abuser ALWAYS makes anything bad that HAS happened or WILL happen into the victim's fault. The abuser punched you in the eye? Well, it's your fault because you made him so angry he couldn't control himself. Treats you like crap in public? Well, it's your fault because you must have somehow goaded him into it. Sucks your blood and leaves you a lifeless corpse in the woods? Well, it's your fault because you didn't tell anybody.
Don't you wish you had an Edward of your very own to criticize, degrade and abuse you too?! TROO LUV!
Bella reminds him that he said that it would cause trouble if they were known to be together, so Edward continues raging at her. "So you're worried about the trouble it might cause me — if you don't come home?"
"HAVE I MENTIONED LATELY THAT I'M A BAD BOY WHO MIGHT KILL YOU?! OOOOOOOOO, BE SCARED BE SCARED BE SCARED!"
Edward keeps bitching and muttering for the rest of the trip, and they start walking into the woods. And since we haven't been told how perfect he is, he takes off his sweater and gives Bella a chance to do a Gillian Key number.
His white shirt was sleeveless, and he wore it unbuttoned, so that the smooth white skin of his throat flowed uninterrupted over the marble contours of his chest, his perfect musculature no longer merely hinted at behind concealing clothes.
And the worst part is that when she says "marble contours," she means it. The author has some kind of creepy obsession with marble, and apparently thinks that being hard, cold and the color of toilet paper is the sexiest thing ever. I hope she doesn't go to museums with classical statuary, or they might have to peel her off of the life-size marble statues of the Greek gods. All those naked marble penises are going to waste!
"Ooooh, Stephenie likes! Screw the security guards, I'm all over that pretty teen boy with the marble wee-wee!"
Also, this is a total ripoff of Anne Rice, whose vampires become hard, white and marble-like. Of course, they only become that way when they're about SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS OLD, and it's not depicted as being sexy or alluring. Plus, almost everybody old enough to be that way is evil, insane or kind of confused about what the hell is going on.
Finally, that description reminds me a little too much of this guy:
Yeah, the picture of sexual allure, isn't he? Marvel at his creepily rocklike muscles! His pasty skin! His effeminate brooding face! His bulging cantaloupe-sized crotch! Just paste some red hair on him, and he'd be a perfect Edward.
He was too perfect, I realized with a piercing stab of despair. There was no way this godlike creature could be meant for me.
... because of course, real love and healthy relationships are based on physical appearance.
He stared at me, bewildered by my tortured expression.
"Do you need to go to the bathroom again? I have some Ex-lax in my glove compartment."
"Do you want to go home?" he said quietly, a different pain than mine saturating his voice.
"Because I find it SO painful to.... not go on a hike!"
So they have ANOTHER boring conversation about how Bella's a crappy hiker HAVE YOU NOTICED SHE'S CLUMSY YET? and how Edward MIGHT plan to take her home and HOLY CRAP this is soooooo dull. This entire chapter has been nothing but three long boring conversations with some littler conversations in between... and while a talented author coughJRRTolkiencough could make that interesting, this is just numbing my brain. If you fill whole chapters with conversation, they need to be ABOUT something! You can't just have endless repetitions of:
"I'm a vampire, and I want to eat you."
"That's so hot!"
"You should be scared."
"But I'm not! You're hot!"
"I'm also a douchebag."
"I don't care, because you're hot!"
I knew he thought it was fear that upset me, and I was grateful again that I was the one person whose mind he couldn't hear.
Right, because that is the ONLY reason a teenage girl would want a guy to not be able to read her thoughts.
So then Bella befuddles Edward by being as assholic as he is, and then they start walking
It wasn't as hard as I had feared. The way was mostly flat, and he held the damp ferns and webs of moss aside for me.
... how do you hold aside things that are on the GROUND? Seriously, does he scrape the moss off the ground for her?
And yes, even though we're told about fifty times that Bawla can fatally injure herself by walking across a flat floor, she somehow manages to NOT FALL ONCE on the actual ground. Convenient!
His cold touch on my skin never failed to make my heart thud erratically.
Yes, it feels just like the toilet seat on your face when you're puking up everything you've eaten for the last six months due to food poisoning.
Twice, when that happened, I caught a look on his face that made me sure he could somehow hear it.
"Hmm, what is that incredibly melodramatic and pretentious sound I hear?"
Each time, his beauty pierced me through
That's what his last girlfriend said about his "beauty."
I'd like to pierce her through with this:
Occasionally he would ask a random question that he hadn't gotten to in the past two days of interrogation.
"Is your ferret-face natural, or is that just Kristen Stewart?"
"Do you use pads or tampons?"
"So what do you think of marital rape? After all, that was common in the time I was born into. I think it gets a bad rap these days."
He asked about my birthdays, my grade school teachers, my childhood pets — and I had to admit that after killing three fish in a row, I'd given up on the whole institution.
- Having pets is not an institution.
- An institution is a societal practice or structure of social order, which is why people talk about the "institution of marriage."
- Society could perform quite well without pets, and last time I checked people don't marry their pets. Most people don't, anyway. Sane people don't.
- Is there supposed to be some... importance to Bawla killing fish? I mean, is her ridiculously over-the-top clumsiness supposed to somehow make her a pet-killer?
- Ha. Ha. Ha. Funny. Killing fish. Hilarious. Ha. Am I supposed to be amused?
- And yes, another fun mention of how animals only exist in this series to be killed. They just don't exist unless they turn into hot boys or are food for those hot boys.
He laughed at that, louder than I was used to — bell-like echoes bouncing back to us from the empty woods.
I've never heard of a man having "bell-like laughter." Only women. Isn't he MANLY?
The hike took me most of the morning, but he never showed any sign of impatience.
"I can wait a few hours for lunch."
So we get some descriptions of the woods, in which Smeyers pores over the thesaurus to find as many synonyms "green" as possible. And when they finally start talking, Edward takes the chance to be a dick again:
"Do you see the brightness ahead?"
I peered into the thick forest. "Um, should I?"
He smirked. "Maybe it's a bit soon for your eyes."
"Time to visit the optometrist," I muttered. His smirk grew more pronounced.
I'm sure Smeyers thinks this is cute romantic banter, but... it's not romantic, it's not cute, and given that Edward has been an asshole for the whole book, why should I assume that the smirking jerk is bantering?
Once again, I'd like to apologize if these snarks are getting a little repetitive but... the book is really repetitive. I mean, say what you will about the Sword of Truth series or Christopher Paolini's crazy stew of every fantasy cliche EVER, but at least the characters don't do the same shit over and over and over. I mean, Eragon is a huge asshole with a bloated ego and a tiny brain, but he at least finds new ways to show this to the readers. Bella just does the same stuff over and over!
Then Bella notices the "yellow" light up ahead, and because she's a sunlight junkie she goes running over to it.
I reached the edge of the pool of light and stepped through the last fringe of ferns into the loveliest place I had ever seen.
Y'know, somehow her descriptions of how incredibly pretty this place is don't touch me. Maybe that's because if Edward hadn't brought her here, Bawla would be screaming, "Ewwww! Green stuff! Moisture! This isn't like Phoenix! Gross!"
The meadow was small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers — violet, yellow, and soft white.
Uhhhhhh... not to nitpick but meadows aren't "small" by definition. They're fields. Fields aren't really "small." And if it's small enough to be "perfectly round," it's not a meadow. Got it? GOT IT?
Somewhere nearby, I could hear the bubbling music of a stream.
... and yes, yes, it sounds like they're playing, "Supermassive Asshole." Uh, I mean Supermassive Black Hole." The pebbles play bass, the weeds play keyboard, and the water does those high-pitched vocals.
The sun was directly overhead, filling the circle with a haze of buttery sunshine.
Fortunately, I had a bunch of dinner rolls in my pocket.
I walked slowly, awestruck, through the soft grass, swaying flowers, and warm, gilded air.
Gilded means that something is covered with actual gold leaf, gold powder or gold-colored paint. It does not mean something that is yellow-golden the way sunshine is. When you say the air is gilded, you are saying that it actually has gold on it.
In case this is too hard for Smeyers to comprehend, observe. This is gilded:
And this is golden light:
See? There's a difference! They don't look anything alike! Is it SO hard to use the word "golden"? Stop raping the thesaurus, Smeyers! Stop raping the thesaurus! What did the poor thesaurus do to you?!
So after gawping at Ferngully and painting with all the colors of the wind, Bawla looks around for Edward. He's standing in the shade, so Bella tries to get him to come out into the sunlight, so Edward dramatically pauses beforehe stepped out into the bright glow of the midday sun. And then he burned to a crisp and turned into a little pile of sparkly ashes. Bella was unable to cope with the loss of her only chance at entering the elite circle of Hot Rich people, and became a street junkie and prostitute. The end!
No, seriously, it ends on a cliffanger that actually isn't very suspenseful, making us wonder what will happen when Edward steps into the sunlight. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will suck.
And HOLY SHIT we are now officially halfway through this book, which has twenty-four chapters, a prologue and an epilogue. Halfway through the book! Halfway! Approximately 50% of the book is now behind us! And NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. There is still no sign of a plot, most of the characters are 2-D cardboard cutouts and the ones that aren't suck, and even this half-baked abusive romance is going by SO DAMN SLOWLY. I mean, it took them ALL THIS TIME to just go on a walk together!
You know, I can handle books that don't have solid plots - in fact, I love some books that wander around being random. But there needs to be SOMETHING that makes you want to keep reading. And there's nothing here! It's a giant puff pastry with nothing inside!
Finally, I have this to say: