So we open with Edward driving, and he's perfect and his driving is perfect and he's hot and he stares at Bella even though she has the charisma of a wet sponge.
He had turned the radio to an oldies station, and he sang along with a song I'd never heard. He knew every line.
Seems perfectly suited for a guy who still listens to the RADIO instead of an iPod. Edward's like a crusty, perverted old man in a teenager's body... which is how Smeyer thinks all relationships should be.
"You like fifties music?" I asked.
"Music in the fifties was good. Much better than the sixties, or the seventies, ugh!" He shuddered. "The eighties were bearable."
"Ugh, these kids today with their Rolling Stones and their Beatles and their Doors and their David Bowie. Give me some Frank Sinatra and hair metal any day!"
"Are you ever going to tell me how old you are?" I asked, tentative, not wanting to upset his buoyant humor.
"Does it matter much?" His smile, to my relief, remained unclouded.
"No, but I still wonder…" I grimaced. "There's nothing like an unsolved mystery to keep you up at night."
"I wonder if it will upset you," he reflected to himself. He gazed into the sun; the minutes passed.
"Try me," I finally said.
CAN ANYONE IN THIS DAMN SERIES JUST ASK A QUESTION AND GET AN ANSWER? I guess since Smeyers doesn't want to copy LKH's "fill up the gaps with mindless boring sex" approach, she tries to pad her flimsy nonstory by adding in ENDLESS BORING non-answers every time someone asks a question.So while Bella ogles Edward's hawt sparkliness, he starts talking about his origins.... and doesn't even bother to look at the road. Why? Because he's a Hot Rich Vampire, which means he doesn't need to pay attention to basic road safety.
"I was born in Chicago in 1901."
"... which makes me only slightly older than John Glenn, but far less cool."
He paused and glanced at me from the corner of his eyes. My face was carefully unsurprised, patient for the rest.
HE'S A FUCKING VAMPIRE. Why would it be surprising to find out he's a century old?! Most urban fantasy vampires are at least two hundred!
He talks about how he was dying of Spanish flu when he was seventeen, and how Carlisle found him and "saved" him. Hmmm, raises the question: if Carlisle had known what a whiny little bitch Edward would turn out to be, would he have bothered saving him? Anyway, Carlisle chose him to turn into a vampire because his parents were already dead, and it was very painful... although considering that he had the Spanish flu, I don't see why he would have noticed.
There were many things I needed to think through on this particular issue, things that were only beginning to occur to me. No doubt his quick mind had already comprehended every aspect that eluded me.
In other words, like every annoying Sue who falls for a wangsty vampire, Bawla wants to become a vampire too. Yay. An eternity of whining and self-absorption.
"He acted from loneliness. That's usually the reason behind the choice. I was the first in Carlisle's family,"
...Wow, am I the only person who thinks that is really creepy? I mean think about it. There's an adult male vampire who is lonely. There's an entire hospital full of dying people of all ages and both sexes. Yet the only person he selects to turn into his eternal sparkly companion is... a pretty teenage boy with no relatives to stop him.
I'm starting to wonder if there's a different reason for Edward's obsessive adoration of Carlisle.
And so there won't be ANYTHING homoerotic about this story, Smeyers quickly assures us that Carlisle found and vampirized Esme, thus keeping purely heterosexual lurv in the story. He totally isn't a creepy pederast who kidnapped a pretty orphaned boy to be his life companion... well, he isn't a creepy pederast, so there! Straight straight hetero married married heteroness!
"She fell from a cliff. They brought her straight to the hospital morgue, though, somehow, her heart was still beating."
I'm pretty sure that even in the early 1900s, they checked your pulse BEFORE taking you to the morgue.
And so after that, Carlisle made Rosalie into a vampire, because he was hoping Edward would fall in love with her and they could be a happy incesty little pseudofamily together. He didn't do it out of compassion for a young woman we later learn was brutally beaten and raped and left to die in the street. He did it so the pretty teen boy he acquired as his "companion" would have a girlfriend, like a little girl "marrying" her dolls.
But since Rosalie is blond and therefore shallow and bitchy, Edward was totally uninterested in her. Instead she found Emmett being killed by a bear, and carried him MORE THAN A HUNDRED MILES so he could be turned into a vampire.
Thank you, Smeyers. You just made me go "Wow, how romantic" at something in your books.... but not at the characters you want me to! And you also established that Rosalie is more of a strong feminist character than Bella by reversing the usual damsel-in-distress cliche, even though you crap on her for being attractive and blond. Clearly the backstory of Rosalie and Emmett is a thousand times more dramatic, dynamic and interesting than Bella and Edward, yet somehow we're supposed to care about these wet sponges. YOU FAIL!
"She saw something in his face that made her strong enough. And they've been together ever since. Sometimes they live separately from us, as a married couple. But the younger we pretend to be, the longer we can stay in any given place. Forks seemed perfect, so we all enrolled in high school." He laughed. "I suppose we'll have to go to their wedding in a few years, again."
Seriously, is Smeyers trying to piss us off? Despite the use of the dreaded "something" (die!) in this sentence... she's still giving us more reason to care about two characters who have NOT SPOKEN in this novel so far, and who are only acknowledged long enough to jeer at Rosalie's bitchiness and shallowness. It's like she's taunting us with interesting but undeveloped characters, and going "Haha, I'm not going to pay attention to these people! I'm going to talk about Bawla's bathing habits!"
And the worst part is that it sounds like there's more to Rosalie and Emmett's relationship than mere lust. I mean, she could have seen him being brave and that won her over, or something. Whatever it is, it MUST be more interesting than the shallow vapidity of Bella and Edward's relationship:
"I love you because you're hot and rich!" + "I love you because you smell good." = TROO LURV GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH...
I mean, CAN it actually get any shallower than THAT? These characters aren't even friends; they just want to bang/eat each other.
"Alice and Jasper are two very rare creatures. They both developed a conscience, as we refer to it, with no outside guidance."
As "we" refer to it? If he means that they both developed a moral compass... that's how HUMANS ALSO REFER TO IT, you creepy little discoball man. Stop being so pretentious and pretending that your terminology is somehow "different" from mere mortals. BECAUSE IT'S NOT.
"Jasper belonged to another… family, a very different kind of family."
"An Anita Blake kind of family. Lots of unmarried sex, which was great, but you had to sell your soul and do whatever the whiny bitchy Sue says. He said he got traumatic flashbacks when he saw you."
And after this, we get informed that as well as being Incredibly Quirky As Only Sheltered Boring Housewives Think That Quirkiness Can Manifest, Alice has a superspeshul Suepower. She has the power of.... PLOT CONVENIENCE.
"Like me, she has certain gifts above and beyond the norm for our kind."
... wait... wait one second. Does this mean ALL vampires have some kind of annoying sparkly Suepower? Holy crap, it's like if you crossed Anne Rice with Piers Anthony.
So what is Alice's Quirky Sue-perpower?
"She sees things — things that might happen, things that are coming. But it's very subjective. The future isn't set in stone. Things change."
WOW. Most worthless Sue-perpower ever. So basically she has the amazing ability to see the future if... nobody changes their mind or does anything spontaneously. I mean, if a butterfly flaps its wings over the Amazon, does Alice's weather prediction immediately become as accurate as those of professional meteorologists? And if you take "changes" into account, almost anything could throw off her predictions!
"You're going to meet your true love today!"
"Really? Then I'm going to wear my blue dress."
"Oh wait, that changed everything. Now you're going to die in a car accident."
"Then I'm not going out at all."
"Okay, now you're going to choke on a chicken bone."
"Then I won't eat chicken."
"Now you're going to become president."
Seriously, this is not a great power to have. It's like the Run Lola Run of Sue-perpowers, where the slightest changes have huge repercussions meaning that seeing the future is impossible! I mean, if something goes wrong in Alice's life, does she run around the town, scream periodically, and get to reset her day if she screws up?
"She saw Jasper and knew that he was looking for her before he knew it himself."
Allow this kitten to express my feelings.
In what spacetime continuum does this ridiculous scenario make sense? This isn't POSSIBLE. So are we supposed to believe that Alice can read futures that WILL NOT EXIST because of actions SHE HERSELF will prevent? How could he KNOW he was looking for someone he'd never even fucking met?! And is there a guy alive (or undead) who would be charmed by this encounter:
"Hi, I'm Alice and I'm your destined soulmate. You have no choice but to be together with me forever."
"Oh good! I just realized I was looking for you even though we've never even met."
NO! OF COURSE NOT!
Then we get an infodump on the sparklepires: there aren't a lot of them (more on THAT later), most of them are nomadic, and only speshul ones ever stay in one place... even though a city like New York would not be a problem.
"We've only found one other family like ours, in a small village in Alaska."
- By the way, that other family is the one he stayed with, but of course he left because there was a Slutty Slut Slut who had had unmarried sex.
- Also, it's really weird how he talks about these "families" as if they were actual families... which they're not.
- Not only are these people not related to each other, but their family dynamic is totally artificial. The "siblings" don't actually act like siblings so much as mildly hostile roommates, Esme is younger than her "son," and Carlisle is apparently a sexual predator with a predilection for underage boys. I mean, I could see them calling themselves a "family" for the sake of their outward facade, but why are they pretending to be a family with each other?!
- I can understand people choosing to have family relationships with people they are close to but not genetically related to, or adopting children. But that doesn't work here. Only a couple of the Cullens CHOSE to be in this group (Alice and Jasper); Carlisle just DRAFTED the others for his own selfish ends.
- And they are ALL adults who don't need "raising" by Carlisle and Esme.
- And no, Edward doesn't need to pretend to be a teenager. He's confirmed later to have gone to GRAD SCHOOL. So clearly he can pass for an adult.
By the way, stoney at the mighty and awesome Sparkledammerung actually explained why there's this obsessive focus on family in this story: apparently the Mormon church is very, very big on family stuff, to the point where I would probably go stark raving mad if I were a Mormon because I can't take that much family togetherness. So in a weird way, that explains why:
- The Cullens insist on sticking together in a pseudo-family that is supposed to be legitimate in the reader's eyes, despite the fact that there's nothing really familyesque about them.
- Spending time with nobody except your family, excluding all others, is depicted as being a healthy good thing. Sort of a religious tenet taken to weird freaky extremes.
- Charlie says weird shit like defending the Cullens because they spend all their time together, says "The Newton kid. Nice family" or defends Sam Uley in the second book because he's "a good son." Yes, because he as an individual doesn't matter - just his family!
Bella, who has the brains of a sea-monkey, asks why they live up North and HOLY SHIT are you for real?! You don't need to be a frigging genius or a fan of 30 Days of Night to connect the damn dots! SMEYER! Stop assuming that your readers are ALL stupid! I know a disproportionate number of them ARE, but you shouldn't ASSUME that they are. It just makes your Sue look even stupider than she ACTUALLY IS.
"It's nice to be able to go outside in the day. You wouldn't believe how tired you can get of nighttime in eighty-odd years."
"Yes, feel sorry for us because we're hopelessly wealthy, physically perfect and immortal.... because we can't go out when it's sunny outside. Oh woe."
"So that's where the legends came from?"
Remember, kids, five thousand years of vampire legend is ALL WRONG. Smeyers got it right! VAMPIRES SPARKLE. And they're perfect, inside and out.
And since literally everybody in the entire fucking world is more interesting and 3-D than the protagonists of this shitty book, we get some information on Alice: "Alice doesn't remember her human life at all. And she doesn't know who created her. She awoke alone. Whoever made her walked away, and none of us understand why, or how, he could."
I KNEW IT! She IS taunting us! She's taunting us with how flat and shitty her Sues are compared to EVERYBODY ELSE in this entire book! She's doing it on purpose!
Seriously, this is an AWESOME possibility. It has so much fucking promise - you've got a vampire who DOESN'T REMEMBER anything about her life OR her undeath, and she now is all alone in the world and must find her own way in it. DAMMIT, that is an AWESOME backstory that just BEGS to be explored in detail, because it gives so much dimension to the character! So what does Smeyers do with it? NOTHING! Nothing at all!
I mean, why does Smeyers think that THIS backstory is actually LESS interesting than "whiny middle-class girl moves to dreary town, complains a lot"? Where did she get the idea that Bella is more interesting than Alice? If she could dream up a semi-interesting backstory for a character, then WHY DIDN'T SHE FUCKING USE IT?
"If she hadn't had that other sense, if she hadn't seen Jasper and Carlisle and known that she would someday become one of us, she probably would have turned into a total savage."
... why? Seriously, why? So if you're abandoned, you're doomed to be a lunatic unless you KNOW you'll have a fake family someday? But of course! Family is the only thing that keeps people from being "savages!"
It was easier to say in the darkness, knowing as I spoke how my voice would betray me, my hopeless addiction to him.
Yes, this entire story is being used as an example in my latest class, Healthy Relationships 101.
So they decide to go inside together, and Bawla dribbles about how he's godlike and dreamlike and blah blah blah vomitous spewings of how perfect he is. And then things get REALLY FUCKING CREEPY: Edward uses the spare key, which was hidden, and when Bella is quizzical about this, he admits that he SPIED ON HER.
WHAT THE HELL? So this guy just openly admitted that he was STALKING her. He has been WATCHING her. This guy whom Smeyers refers to constantly as being "perfect" and "godlike" and depicts as the ultimate wet dream subject... is stalking her!
And what's even worse? Bella's reaction: But somehow I couldn't infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered.
That's right, girls of the world. If a guy sits in the bushes outside your house and watches you through the windows, it means that he LOVES you and you should be FLATTERED. Because it's not creepy, it's a sign of LOVE.
He was unrepentant. "What else is there to do at night?"
How about ANYTHING other than stalking a teenager, you perverted weirdo! Don't you have some innocent animals to murder, or perhaps a vampiric sexual predator to hang out with?
But of course Bella isn't at all bothered by this, so she putters around while Edward treats her home as if he's been there a million times before WHICH OF COURSE ISN'T CREEPY AT ALL. Oh, and he reveals that he comes to her home ALMOST EVERY NIGHT. Yes! And the only thing Bella cares about is HOW OFTEN he's spied on her, not the creepy fact that he has spied on her at all!As if all this wasn't mind-blowing enough, we're treated to Edward's creepy-ass reason for stalking Bella: "You're interesting when you sleep." He spoke matter-of-factly. "You talk."
... so he not only watches her house and goes inside, but he sits and watches her SLEEP? What the hell?
And by the way, this is what he was talking about when he smiled at her and said his night was "pleasant." What he meant was he was lurking over her unconscious body, and probably masturbating on a pile of her dirty laundry. Because that's the kind of sick thing this kind of behavior involves.
Incidentally, I've heard a lot of fans defend this entire scenario with "He loves her so it's okay" and "He only stalks her because he loves her so much." NO. FUCKING NO. That's the sort of shit that stalkers say when they're caught! Here's an idea: replace "stalking" with "rape" in this story, and see if they think that's okay.
Of course, Bella is horrified by this... but not for the right reasons. She's not horrified that he creeps into her bedroom and watches her sleep, but by the fact that EEKS she might have said something embarrassing! Remember kids: stalking is only bad if it EMBARRASSES you. Otherwise, it's a sign of troo lurv.
His expression shifted instantly to chagrin. "Are you very angry with me?"
Of course not, you creepy stalking twit. He could throw a basket of babies to a hungry tiger, and Bella would ignore it because HE'S SO DREAMY.
So Bella throws a fit because she wants to know what Edward heard her say when he was STALKING HER, which is Edward's cue to play Mr. Sensitive and start whining that he doesn't want her to be upset. Hey jackass, if Bella weren't a spineless immature twerp, she would be upset about something real and would dump your sparkling ass on the spot.
"You miss your mother," he whispered. "You worry about her."
Yes, we see that SO often in her endless internal monologues... oh wait, her mother hasn't been mentioned in weeks.
"And when it rains, the sound makes you restless. You used to talk about home a lot, but it's less often now. Once you said, 'It's too green.'"
Yes, Smeyers, we HAVE figured out that your dunce of a Sue hates rain and greenness almost as much as I hate her.
"Anything else?" I demanded.
"Well, there were those extremely explicit dreams involving Alice, a bunch of bananas, a goat, and a giant tub of lime Jello..."
He knew what I was getting at. "You did say my name," he admitted.
"You were humping your headboard at the time and shrieking, 'Ooooooohhhhh Edward, you're so hard and icy!'"
I sighed in defeat. "A lot?"
"How much do you mean by 'a lot,' exactly?"
"I mean, do orgasmic shrieks count?"
"Don't be self-conscious," he whispered in my ear. "If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it."
Yes, obviously THAT comment is what he should be ashamed of... not the fact that he's STALKING HER.
At this point, Charlie comes home, and Bella starts dribbling about how she doesn't know if her dad should know about her and Edward. I don't know why she's being so secretive, since her dad has praised the Cullens to the skies and even got into a FIGHT with his alleged best friend over them despite NOT KNOWING them. He'd probably throw a party if his daughter were dating one of the Great And Glorious Cullens. He'd probably rent a hotel room for them and provide free sex toys and condoms.
But since we need artificial tension, she dithers and Edward darts away. And poor oblivious asshole Charlie comes in.
"Bella?" he called. It had bothered me before; who else would it be? Suddenly he didn't seem so far off base.
Here's a thought: maybe he's trying to figure out if you're actually IN the house rather than somewhere else, you dumb bint.
I took my food with me, scarfing it down as I got his dinner.
So... what, is Bella smushing her face into her lasagna and eating like a dog with one hand, and preparing lasagna with the other?
So because the lasagna is too hot, Bella drinks some milk to cool down, and gives the lasagna to Charlie. There's a brief boring conversation which is totally pointless since Bawla is uninterested in actually talking to her father, because she's got a sparkly hottie... whom she somehow knows is waiting in her room even though there's no reason to think so.
Charlie surprised me by being observant. "In a hurry?"
Because Charlie is conveniently DUMB. Bitch.
"Yeah, I'm tired. I'm going to bed early."
"And ignore the loud banging noises and orgasmic screams - I'm going to listen to some ungodly rock music. All night. At top volume."
So Bella continues being a huge bitch internally, while Charlie emphasizes that his daughter has absolutely no life and spends every weekend doing dishes and sniffing disdainfully at the unwashed unsparkly masses.
"None of the boys in town your type, eh?" He was suspicious, but trying to play it cool.
... why would he be suspicious? What's he suspicious OF? Bella's a snotty bitch and none of the boys except Eddiegirl are good enough for her, so what does he have to be suspicious of?
"No, none of the boys have caught my eye yet." I was careful not to over-emphasize the word boys in my quest to be truthful with Charlie.
... because deception is fine as long as you don't TECHNICALLY lie.
"I thought maybe that Mike Newton… you said he was friendly."
"He's just a friend, Dad."
Is there a REASON why Mike keeps being brought up constantly? It just makes Bawla look like she's protesting too much.And seriously, WHY IS SHE KEEPING THIS A SECRET FROM HER DAD? I mean, it's been established that he reveres and worships the Cullens, and isn't afraid to piss off his apparently only friend because the Cullens are Just That Awesome. Does she really think he'd go psycho and turn against the Sue family if she said, "Well, I sort of have a thing with Edward Cullen"? Of course she does! Because there's no fucking tension in this book.
"Well, you're too good for them all, anyway."
I'll let that comment slide since he's her father. If it came from anyone else, I'd be homicidal.
"Wait till you get to college to start looking." Every father's dream, that his daughter will be out of the house before the hormones kick in.
No, I'm pretty sure that every father's dream is to have his daughter not date at all until she encounters a guy who is absolutely perfect by HIS standards, and then they get married. The "every father's dream" she describes is the warped selfish way that Smeyers ASSUMES men think, despite the fact that she clearly understands the male psyche as well as she understands quantum physics.
"'Night, honey," he called after me. No doubt he would be listening carefully all evening, waiting for me to try to sneak out.
.... WHY? Why would he? He's got no reason to assume that! Nothing either of them has said or done actually supports that.
"See you in the morning, Dad." See you creeping into my room tonight at midnight to check on me.
"Be sure to walk loudly so my vampire boyfriend can hear you coming."
So Bawla goes into her boring room and calls for Edward out the window. Of course, he's actually in her room, right behind her and she didn't notice. Oh, how charmingly predictable!
He lay, smiling hugely, across my bed, his hands behind his head, his feet dangling off the end, the picture of ease.
"I've got a 110-year dry streak to break tonight."
But since Bella is an idiot, she is deeply shocked by this.
Then he leaned forward and reached out with his long arms to pick me up, gripping the tops of my arms like I was a toddler. He sat me on the bed beside him.
Maybe I should take a drink whenever Bella is compared to something pathetically helpless. It might dull the gnawing pain of it all.
We sat there for a moment in silence, both listening to my heartbeat slow. I thought about having Edward in my room, with my father in the house.
For one of the Cullens, I'm sure he'd give his blessing. "Get out of here, kid! I have a gun and... wait, you're one of the Cullens? Please forgive me my impudence! I ask that you stay in my house for as long as you wish. Please bang my daughter - it would be such an honor! You can bang me too if you want!"
So Bella wants to go shower, brush her teeth, and put on her pajamas. Smeyers, when I mentioned that we would hear more about Bawla's bathing habits than about the INTERESTING characters, I DIDN'T MEAN IT LITERALLY.
"Stay," I said, trying to look severe.
"Yes, ma'am." And he made a show of becoming a statue on the edge of my bed.
Haha, see? Bawla gives Edward orders too... except when she does it, he treats it like a joke. When HE does it, she's all "Yes master, I must obey!"
I banged the bathroom door loudly, so Charlie wouldn't come up to bother me.
... does he usually bother her when she's in the bathroom?
I meant to hurry. I brushed my teeth fiercely, trying to be thorough and speedy, removing all traces of lasagna.
But does it remove all traces of glitter? Because that's the telltale sign...
I pulled on my holey t-shirt and gray sweatpants. Too late to regret not packing the Victoria's Secret silk pajamas my mother got me two birthdays ago, which still had the tags on them in a drawer somewhere back home.
- I love how she makes a point of mentioning that the pajamas are Victoria's Secret, aka Home of The Cliched Sexy Underwear For People Who Don't Really Care About Quality. They're not just silk pajamas, they are silk pajamas from SEXY UNDERWEAR STORE.
- Is Smeyers even PRETENDING that Bella isn't trying to get some sparklepeen tonight?
- Also note the subtle suggestion that girls shouldn't even THINK about being sexually attractive until they meet their Wun Troo Luv. Lipstick, pretty dresses, attractive hair, anything at all that's remotely feminine should be ignored, and you should be as dowdy and unattractive as Bawla until you meet your Designated Love Interest. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
- And of course, a normal mom buys her fifteen-year-old daughter sexy stuff from Victoria's Secret. THAT is normal.
Then I dashed down the stairs so Charlie could see that I was in my pajamas, with wet hair.
"'Night, Bella." He did look startled by my appearance. Maybe that would keep him from checking on me tonight.
Perhaps he's startled because she's acting like a freak. When he gets home, she's gobbling down piping-hot lasagna, claims to be exhausted and going right to bed, then she runs down just to say goodnight when she's made a point of ignoring him whenever possible. She really sucks at the whole "getting laid in my room without my dad noticing" thing.
Edward hadn't moved a fraction of an inch, a carving of Adonis perched on my faded quilt.
Adonis was gored to death by a wild pig. Is it too much to hope that Edward will meet the same fate?
And since Edward's secondary purpose in this story is to tell the author's Sue that nobody is more attractive than her, he praises her yucky droopy old PJs because they actually look GOOD on her. Yeah, that's not the sort of thing a guy says when he wants into your panties. It MUST be heartfelt.... because he's hot.
"What was all that for?"
"Charlie thinks I'm sneaking out."
"Oh." He contemplated that. "Why?"
Yes, WHY? What has Charlie done that actually makes her think he's going to do this, especially since she hasn't even stayed in his house for YEARS?! Apparently she came to this conclusion because he... asked her the same damn questions as usual, and sat downstairs watching TV!
Does anyone think that all the manufactured drama and wild hyperbole in this book is just inside Bella's head? Actually that would make a lot of sense.
So the tow of them cuddle and HAVE ANOTHER BORING CONVERSATION, while Bella sits there thinking about how horny she is, and Edward feels her up and acts like making her horny is some kind of special accomplishment. Except of course, Smeyers has her say that he's making her "crazy," but I think anybody with functioning hormones knows what she means. I guess "horny" is too vulgar and modern.
"I'm just pleasantly surprised," he clarified.
"I didn't think I'd ever be able to get it up again for anybody who wasn't playing 'doctor' with me."
"In the last hundred years or so," his voice was teasing, "I never imagined anything like this. I didn't believe I would ever find someone I wanted to be with… in another way than my brothers and sisters."
... Ewwww. Did he just admit that he has sex with his "siblings"? Because unless he's switching definitions of "to be with" in mid-sentence, he's suggesting that he has sex with his "siblings."
"And then to find, even though it's all new to me, that I'm good at it… at being with you…"
Wait until you actually start having sex before you start praising your prowess.
Or was there another sex scene deleted from here? There are honestly a LOT of scenes in this series that feel like porn with the porn removed.
"You're good at everything," I pointed out.
Except for being a decent love interest. You suck at that. Or a decent person. Or a vampire. Or a menacing figure. Should I go on?
So they have another BORING POINTLESS conversation while Edward huffs Bella's scent and claims that "mind over matter" is the sooper-easy Sue method to overcoming temptation. Shaddup, you sparkling dickbag.
"Mind over matter," he repeated, smiling, his teeth bright even in the darkness.
Phosphorescent teeth. It would be impossible for me to be LESS turned on than I am right now.
So Bella asks Edward to stay, which causes him to be creepy again.
"That suits me," he replied, his face relaxing into a gentle smile. "Bring on the shackles — I'm your prisoner." But his long hands formed manacles around my wrists as he spoke.
.... from a guy who constantly mocks her and treats her like shit while STALKING HER AT HER HOUSE, this is unspeakably freaky.
"Isn't it supposed to be like this?" He smiled. "The glory of first love, and all that. It's incredible, isn't it, the difference between reading about something, seeing it in the pictures, and experiencing it?"
... WHO FUCKING TALKS LIKE THIS? People who are experiencing first love don't CALL it "first love"! Trying to all cool and ironic doesn't cover up the fact that this is a crappy teen romance.
And for that matter, I would be suspicious of ANY sexually mature male who had gone DECADES and never had a single relationship. I mean, why would that happen? Does Smeyer live in some sort of strange surreal alternate universe where teenagers don't date, don't have crushes, and never fall in love with more than one person - and if they do, they're hopeless sluts who will never find Troo Lurv? Does she think that you should just be ALONE forever until you experience instant lust for someone hot and rich enough? What the hell is wrong with this woman?
And then Edward starts prattling about how he's jealous because Mike DAAAARRREEED to ask her out to the dance, and how he was pissed that he couldn't eavesdrop on her thoughts so he could make SURE she was the dowdy sexually-repressed dolt of his dreams.
"That was the first night I came here. I wrestled all night, while watching you sleep, with the chasm between what I knew was right, moral, ethical, and what I wanted."
... WHILE HE FUCKING STALKED HER. So apparently he's sooooo concerned with doing the right thing, even as he breaks into her house and stalks her. Nope, sorry. Feeling mildly bad about doing something wrong DOESN'T MEAN it isn't still wrong.
So he natters on about how OH HORRORZ if he doesn't get together with her, sooner or later she will go on a date with.... SOMEONE ELSE. That cannot be allowed, because in this warped world, you only date one person in your whole life or you are a slut, which means that if Bawla had dated Mike, she would have married him. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
But then, conveniently she said his name in her sleep, which TOTALLY justifies him breaking into her house.
"But you rolled over restlessly and mumbled my name once more, and sighed."
"And that's when you started humping the headboard."
"The feeling that coursed through me then was unnerving, staggering."
"And then I got an erection."
And then Edward twits on for awhile about how jealous he got whenever the "vile Mike Newton" was mentioned, which is really stupid because you would expect a guy who's 110 years old to be slightly more mature than a ten-year-old. No, apparently when you become a vampire you just stay annoyingly immature and emo for all eternity. Because reasons.
"But honestly," I teased, "for that to bother you, after I have to hear that Rosalie — Rosalie, the incarnation of pure beauty, Rosalie — was meant for you. Emmett or no Emmett, how can I compete with that?"
"There's no competition."
"After all, she is a BITCHY SHALLOW BLONDE, and you are the author's personal Sue! No one could or would ever truly love a blonde, for they are blonde and shallow and blonde and bitchy and blonde. No, every guy would prefer to have a drab, sloppy, scowling little plain-Jane, because there's just no competition between HER and a hot chic blonde!"
"Of course Rosalie is beautiful in her way,"
"You know, if you like BLONDES. Which no smart tortured artistic guy would! Only STOOPID guys like blondes!"
"but even if she wasn't like a sister to me, even if Emmett didn't belong with her, she could never have one tenth, no, one hundredth of the attraction you hold for me."
Excuse me, I'm having traumatic flashbacks to the epic shitspewing suckfest that was Danse Macabre, in which all the men only notice the tall gorgeous SIREN blonde because she's making out with a dumpy sullen brunette with no fashion sense. It's all about assuring the insecure author that the hottest women alive could never compare to her. BARF.
"For almost ninety years I've walked among my kind, and yours… all the time thinking I was complete in myself, not realizing what I was seeking. And not finding anything, because you weren't alive yet."
- That is so soppy that my keyboard is dripping. It may be crying, but I'm not sure. That may be the soppiest line I've ever read in a book... and I read a lot.
- So Smeyers is a thirtysomething woman who actually believes that people have Wun Troo Lurv in ALL THE WORLD and ALL TIME, and that you can never have romantic feelings for anyone else because you were "destined" for that person? Does she also believe in unicorns and fairies?
- This reminds me of a similar concept done far better in another series, specifically the graphic novel series Elfquest. In this series, every elf has ONE SPECIFIC PERSON that, when they encounter them, they are compelled to have sex and procreate with. But the difference is: "recognition" is a biological compulsion, designed to create the best offspring possible. And realistically enough, it does not mean that the person you have a kid with is your soulmate, and it doesn't mean you'll stay together. It sometimes turns out that way, but lots of people fall in love with people they are NOT genetically destined for, and stay with them instead of whoever happened to have good genetic traits.
- A small side-note: if you google the subject... or just check Sparkledammerung again. Apparently this ties into some kind of Mormon belief that you actually selected your family and loved ones BEFORE coming into physical existence. Which... in Smeyers' strange little mind, apparently means that everybody in the world has just one person they will ever date, fall in love with, or marry, and they should ignore everyone else.
- Now, I actually don't mind religious OVERTONES in a book, as long as it doesn't screw up the actual story. Lord of the Rings is a good example of this - people of all creeds (or no creed at all) love this book and can appreciate its storytelling, the characterization, and the richly imagined world. And yes, this is still true if you AREN'T a Catholic (which was a shaping force on the book, along with a sort of Christianized Nordic mythology and love of language).
So what's the difference between these two books?
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You even need to ASK?
No, seriously, the relevant difference here is that Tolkien told a good story INDEPENDENT of his religious beliefs. Frodo's quest to destroy the Ring and the war against Sauron can be appreciated in the moral context of Catholicism, or it can be appreciated outside it. You can appreciate Tolkien's world-building as a sort of fantastical version of the Judeo-Christian cosmology, complete with "unfallen" Elves... or you can appreciate it as a brilliantly complex imagined universe that came out of one man's brain.
Twilight? This includes concepts that are NOT universal like "good vs. evil" and "little guy tries to save the world," but like "you have one person who is predetermined for you, and you're not supposed to romantically love anyone else EVER." It makes no logical sense and cannot be appreciated OUTSIDE the context of Smeyers' religious beliefs. You cannot appreciate this whole romance APART from it representing Smeyers' beliefs... unless you're a thirteen-year-old girl who just thinks that reality works that way without the whole religious aspect to make it make sense.
And this isn't because she's Mormon or anything - there are writers like Richard Paul Evans, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson and Anne Perry who have become famous for writing books that have universal themes and/or universal appeal. I think they're good writers. Smeyers, on the other hand, sucks ass.
And while this idiocy MIGHT be tolerable in a subplot or sideplot... this is the WHOLE FUCKING STORY. This is the whole plot. There is nothing else here! So there's nothing else we can focus on except a creepy-ass romance centering on a religious tenet that quite a few people don't know about! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH...
"You only have to risk your life every second you spend with me, that's surely not much. You only have to turn your back on nature, on humanity… what's that worth?"
"Very little — I don't feel deprived of anything."
I mean, will this shitty dialogue EVER end?!
And his voice was abruptly full of ancient grief.
He's a century old! He's not that ANCIENT!
So then Edward orders her to lie down, and Bawla immediately does as he orders just in time for Charlie to check on her for... no adequately explained reason.
He paused. "Should I sing you to sleep?"
"Right," I laughed. "Like I could sleep with you here!"
- Yes, please further emphasize that Wimmenz iz Li'l Children by having him offer to sing her a lullaby.
- Do you really not get the idea that SHE WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU?
- I mean, do you need instructions? Landing lights? A giant arrow pointed at her vagina?
"So if you don't want to sleep…" he suggested, ignoring my tone. My breath caught.
"If I don't want to sleep… ?"
He chuckled. "What do you want to do then?"
I couldn't answer at first.
.... so all that lame buildup where she's wishing she had sexy silk jammies, rushing up to her bedroom because Sparkleboy is there, and the two of them lie on her bed and paw at each other was all... just for nothing? What was the POINT of Bella working herself up into a state of horniness if she's gonna be all "uhhhhhh, I dunno" when the time comes?!
"I'm not sure," I finally said.
"Tell me when you decide."
.... Smeyers, this "teehee they wanna do it, but they aren't gonna" thing is not charming. Especially since it means we're going to be subjected to three more books of this shit.
"Just because I'm resisting the wine doesn't mean I can't appreciate the bouquet," he whispered. "You have a very floral smell, like lavender… or freesia," he noted. "It's mouthwatering."
Just when I think Smeyers can't pussify vampires any more than she has, she manages to surprise me. Let's consider them:
- They don't drink from humans.
- They wangst about everything.
- They sparkle.
- Their main ambition is to go to high school repeatedly.
- They drive VOLVOS.
- They sparkle.
- They're horrified by sexual attraction and French-kissing.
- And now... they apparently like to eat flowers. I'm serious. Apparently the smell of FLOWERS makes them ravenously hungry! I mean, smells that make you hungry are produced by things that you might actually want to eat, like a nice juicy steak, or a lasagna, or a cake. This logically means that Sparklepires WANT TO EAT FLOWERS.
Seriously, what is she gonna do next? Are they going to grow unicorn horns or several feet of pastel pink hair? Are they going to frolic with the singing forest animals?
"I've decided what I want to do," I told him. "I want to hear more about you."
"Ask me anything."
Why are you such a creepy asshole?
"But you see, just because we've been… dealt a certain hand… it doesn't mean that we can't choose to rise above — to conquer the boundaries of a destiny that none of us wanted. To try to retain whatever essential humanity we can."
This would be more convincing if I hadn't read the opening chapters of Midnight Sun, which is basically all about how humanity sucks, Edward considers himself way better than all of them, and how all the "sheep" (his words!) are only worthy of his contempt. So I'm betting this is another get-into-the-panties line.
"Did you fall asleep?" he whispered after a few minutes.
No, but I wish I had. I wish I had slept through this whole damn chapter.
So Bella asks why they have their Sue-perpowers, and Edward basically says that nobody knows, but Carlisle thinks it's an enhanced version of whatever little skills they might have had in life. I don't know how the hell that would work, but whatever.
"Carlisle brought his compassion."
That's not a special talent like mind-reading; it's a character trait, and thus changeable.
"Esme brought her ability to love passionately."
"Emmett brought his strength, Rosalie her… tenacity. Or you could call it pigheadedness."
Hahahaha, let's all jeer at the sexy blonde again, because she's not as awesome as Bawla.
"Jasper is very interesting. He was quite charismatic in his first life, able to influence those around him to see things his way. Now he is able to manipulate the emotions of those around him — calm down a room of angry people, for example, or excite a lethargic crowd, conversely. It's a very subtle gift."
How much do you wanna bet that we will NEVER see this gift in action except as a sort of vampire Xanax?
Also, this is a really bizarre and weird way of giving Sueperpowers to your characters, especially since most people have more than one character trait. For example, a person who is smart may also be arrogant. A person who is timid may also be patient and reliable. A person who is bitchy can also be passive. If you're a generous person who also has a bad temper and a friendly disposition, which character trait becomes their Sueperpower? It just makes no sense unless your characters are all 2-D... oh wait, that's why she did it.
Also you notice how only SOME of the vampires get Sueperpowers? Rosalie, for example, gets shafted with "tenacity" - what is a "pigheadedness"-based superpower? In a better-written book, I'd say that it would mean she has extraordinary mental strength... but since this is a Twilight book, I assume it means "haha blonde bitch, you don't get any awesome powers!"
"So where did it all start? I mean, Carlisle changed you, and then someone must have changed him, and so on…"
Stop trying to bring logic into Twilight. It's like mixing bleach with ammonia.
"Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn't we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or, if you don't believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?"
For your information, Smeyers, George RR Martin came up with that idea a LONG time idea in the awesome novel Fevre Dream, where his vampires are actually a parallel species descended from Adam and Eve's son Cain, and their vampirism was a curse caused by his sin. THAT was an awesome book, because Martin could actually make you believe that the vampires were created as a rare predator species APART from humanity. They had different biology, they had defined powers, and NO HUMAN could become a vampire no matter what they did!
See, that actually made sense. If vampires are a separate species apart from humanity... whether evolved or created... then logically humans could not become vampires! Vampires would have to be BORN vampires. No creature on earth can BECOME another species! But in this series, humans CAN become vampires. So logically they are not another species!
Maybe they are a viral contamination, or a supernatural presence (such as in Queen of the Damned), or some kind of weird mutant strain of humanity.... but they cannot be another species! Stop assraping biology!
"Let me get this straight — I'm the baby seal, right?"
"Right." He laughed
Take another shot for totally randomly referring to Bella as something pathetically helpless.
So another boring conversation hits us between the eyes. This entire chapter is only supposed to cover an HOUR or so... but it takes so damn long for ANYTHING to happen. Or in this book's case, NOT happen.
It turns out Bella wants to know if vampires have sex, which pretty much sums up her interest in Edward. And he says that no no, they can't have sex because she's soooooo fragile and he's just sooooo strong and his manly penis of vampire strength would kill her when he ejaculates glitter. Cue the tiny violins.
"That's certainly a problem. But that's not what I was thinking of. It's just that you are so soft, so fragile. I have to mind my actions every moment that we're together so that I don't hurt you. I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident." ... "If I was too hasty… if for one second I wasn't paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don't realize how incredibly breakable you are. I can never, never afford to lose any kind of control when I'm with you."
I swear, this book makes me want to set fire to something. We have already SEEN Edward lose control and not mind his actions, mainly when he got Bawla out of the way of Van O' Death. In fact, he cracked her head against the street... and that's all. THAT IS ALL. He didn't even manage to give her a concussion!
What's more, if it took round-the-clock vigilance to not destroy stuff and people like that, there is no way these sparklepires could live in human society. They would be outed in two, three days tops, because nobody can be THAT careful ALL the time. I mean, do the people around them just not NOTICE the smashed walls, the crumpled tables, the shattered concrete of sidewalks?
So between the logistical errors and the continuity errors, I'm gonna say this is more of Edward's "I'm such a scary scary strong predator!" bullshit. He's not actually that strong or tough, but he'd come across as a sad-sack loser if he admitted that he isn't that strong.
Of course, hearing that she's a woman of kleenex doesn't bother Bawla at all - she still wants to bone Edward even if it kills her. I never thought I'd write those words LITERALLY, and I want to cry now that I have. Edward wants to know if SHE'S ever screwed anybody, and since people who have unmarried sex are hopeless sluts, Bawla immediately denies it.
"Of course not." I flushed. "I told you I've never felt like this about anyone before, not even close."
"I know. It's just that I know other people's thoughts. I know love and lust don't always keep the same company."
"It do for me. Now, anyway, that they exist for me at all," I sighed.
So... apparently Bawla, a seventeen-year-old girl, was NEVER attracted to a man, woman, farm animal, store mannequin.... ANYTHING. There's a name for that, Smeyer, and it's not "awaiting the arrival of your true love." You don't just spontaneously "get over" a lack of attraction to anybody or anything because a guy who sparkles comes along. Seriously, does Smeyers think that being asexual for your teen years - let alone a CENTURY - and then spontaneously changing into a horny hormone machine is not only NORMAL but desirable?!
Sexual attraction is a perfectly normal human reaction. It does not make you a slut, it is not alarming in and of itself, and it's a natural normal part of maturation and self-discovery. But of course in Smeyers' little world, you should be COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY sexless and loveless until you meet your destined soulmate, when suddenly your sex drive will kick into overdrive.
And since heaven forbid Bawla never find out what it's like to screw a frozen popsicle, Edward assures her that he wants to bang her too.
"I may not be a human, but I am a man," he assured me.
"... and I may also be interested in guys."
So he starts humming and she thankfully falls asleep, ending this crapgasm of a chapter. Thank you God!