So Bawla wakes up and finds that Edward is sitting in the rocking chair. I don't know why the rocking chair was even there since she apparently never uses it.
"Edward! You stayed!" I rejoiced, and thoughtlessly threw myself across the room and into his lap.
Okay... nobody does that. Nobody leaps into the lap of someone they're sexually attracted to unless they damn well mean it. Of course Bella pulls the "oh, I'm shocked at myself!" card, even as she starts huffing Edward's smell again. Seriously, Smeyers has some kind of odor fetish.
"I was sure it was a dream."
Idiot, you woke up about five seconds ago, and you didn't even seem to remember anything until you saw him!
"You're not that creative," he scoffed.
That much I can agree with. And isn't it just so ROMANTIC when he insults her just to be a dick?
Anyway it turns out that Charlie has left, and apparently he was SO worried that Bawla would sneak out last night that he disconnected her car's battery cables. Again... WHAT. THE. HELL? This is so painfully contrived that it actually burns - we haven't seen ANY actual reason for Charlie to suspect Bawla was sneaking out. And honestly it's been pretty much demonstrated that he lets her do whatever she wants, so why all the Drahmaz?
Answer: there is no tension in this story, especially now that Bawla and Eddie are officially a couple. Seriously, there is not a single obstacle to them living in treacly abusive vampire bliss forevermore, so the author has to trump up excuses.
So Bawla is paralyzed by the fear that she might have MORNING BREATH, and her vampire boyfriend might be smelling it. So she goes off, does hygiene stuff, comes back to play grabby huggy gropey again, and throws a temper tantrum because Edward went out for a little while to change clothes! How dare he! He was supposed to sit there and stare at her stalkerishly all night with no breaks!
And then they blabber about how Bella announced in her sleep that she loved him, and he liked to hear it and a bit of my soul dies every time they compliment each other. Seriously, these conversations are blander than a bad romcom.
"You are my life now," he answered simply.
Yes, from a guy who admitted to stalking her and breaking into her house to watch her sleep in the previous chapter, that is SUCH a romantic statement! Definitely not a statement of ownership!
"Breakfast time," he said eventually, casually — to prove, I'm sure, that he remembered all my human frailties.
So I clutched my throat with both hands and stared at him with wide eyes. Shock crossed his face.
"Kidding!" I snickered. "And you said I couldn't act!"
.... I'm sorry, are we supposed to be charmed by this scene? Especially after a whole chapter of "I want to drink your blood!" "I don't care, cuz you're hot!"? Because sorry, not charming or amused.
And I desperately hope that I'm never trapped in an elevator with Stephenie Meyer, because I would stab myself to death with a pencil after ten minutes. Her sense of humor is.... it's just not funny. Seriously, Dante's Inferno was funnier than that; at least it had satire.
"We're surrounded by the souls of the damned... but at least we aren't reading Twilight."
He frowned in disgust. "That wasn't funny."
"It was very funny, and you know it."
No, actually it was lame and pretty insensitive... like Bella.
But I examined his gold eyes carefully, to make sure that I was forgiven. Apparently, I was.
Apparently true wuv can exist without the wuvvers actually knowing anything about each other's personalities. Ah, shallowness!
So since Edward hasn't been an asshole for a whole page, he suddenly picks Bawla up and flings her over his stone shoulder. Apparently he doesn't immediately rupture her kidneys. She starts complaining about it, but since he's a Big Strong Man and she's a pathetic little woman who can't take care of herself, he just carries her against her will and actually PUTS her in a chair.
So Edward sits there smoldering and staring at her while Bawla eats breakfast. I don't know WHY the hell he keeps doing this - I mean, can't he find ANYTHING more interesting than watching someone chew? Apaprently in the world of Twilight, troo luv means never blinking just in case you miss your Troo Luv doing something.
Hey, Smeyer: staring constantly is not romantic and attentive. It's creepy.
"What's on the agenda for today?" I asked.
"Hmmm…" I watched him frame his answer carefully. "What would you say to meeting my family?"
Holy shit, you've been dating for like five minutes and already you want your new girlfriend to meet your family? Is he hoping to marry her by lunch and have sex before dinner? Aren't there some in-between stages between "getting together" and "meeting family".... like... ACTUALLY SPENDING TIME TOGETHER AS A COUPLE? Doing... ANYTHING?
Right, right. I forgot. I'm thinking of NORMAL dating habits, not those of strange people who think your nuclear family unit is the be-all-end-all.
So Bawla starts whining about how "I'm afraid they won't… like me. Won't they be, well, surprised that you would bring someone… like me… home to meet them? Do they know that I know about them?" Ultimately, who cares? Bella is a Sue, therefore she is as sparkly, speshul and snowflakey as the Cullens are, and it's only a matter of time before she becomes one of them too!
That's not even a spoiler. Let's face it: bad Sues with vampire boyfriends will always be turned so they'll always be young and pretty. And since Bella already has unending contempt for humanity and unhealthy pasty skin, she already fits in.
"Oh, they already know everything. They'd taken bets yesterday, you know" — he smiled, but his voice was harsh — "on whether I'd bring you back, though why anyone would bet against Alice, I can't imagine."
- Sounds like his family is taking his little "romance" VERY seriously, since they're betting on whether he kills her or not.
- Of course if I were them, I wouldn't expect a woman to put up with his shit either. If I were a member of his little pseudo-family, I would expect Edward to be a bitter repressed sourpuss forever.
- Maybe they bet against Alice because her gift is basically useless, since a person abruptly changing their mind can totally sabotage her "visions"?
So they burble about his family and how they don't have any secrets, and good little Bella, pat pat on the head, she actually paid attention to his lectures about his Suepire family.
"So did Alice see me coming?"
His reaction was strange. "Something like that," he said uncomfortably, turning away
"In a word, yeah. She saw you humping my leg like some sort of crazy dog in heat."
"Is that any good?" he asked, turning back to me abruptly and eyeing my breakfast with a teasing look on his face. "Honestly, it doesn't look very appetizing."
"Well, it's no irritable grizzly…" I murmured, ignoring him when he glowered. I was still wondering why he responded that way when I mentioned Alice.
WHY IS BASIC CONTINUITY SO HARD FOR THIS SERIES?
Seriously, this is going past bipolar and into Psycho territory. One minute he's being "teasing" in a playful way, and literally one line later he's "glowering" and being grouchy and angry for no legit reason. I didn't cut any sentences out of that quote - that is how it was laid out in the actual book. Can anyone seriously disagree with Robert Pattinson when he says that Edward is bipolar? Except since he is a Suepire, he's like a bipolar person on fast-forward.
I mean, every single exchange they have is like this:
Bella: Inane babble!
Edward: I am teasing and dickish!
Bella: Inane babble!
Edward: Now you have said something that inexplicably angers me. Glower glower!
Bella: Inane babble!
Edward: Now I'm moody and emo.
Bella: Inane babble!
Edward: I R VAMPIRE, RAWR! FEAR ME!
Bella: So not scared cuz you're hot and nobody hot could ever be dangerous!
Edward: Now I'm back to being teasing.
Bella: I have rocks in my head!
Edward: I'm going to insult you for no reason.
WHY CAN'T HE JUST STICK TO A DAMN MOOD?
Then we get another verbal orgasm comparing Edward to Adonis and referring to his heartbreaking smile. I think, if my liver can take the strain, that I am going to have to go through this steaming pile of purple prose someday and pick out all the gushing descriptions of Edward.
"And you should introduce me to your father, too, I think."
"He already knows you," I reminded him.
"He wants to build a church to your whole family so he and other worshippers can pay you tribute!"
"As your boyfriend, I mean."
I stared at him with suspicion. "Why?"
... WHY? Uh, why NOT? How about so you can stop all this clumsy, ridiculous cloak-and-dagger stuff? How about the fact that your entire school knows about this and sooner or later the information will get to your dad? How about you don't have to deceive him anymore, which you allegedly felt remorse over but don't see any reason to stop doing YOU STUPID WHORE?
"Isn't that customary?" he asked innocently.
"I don't know," I admitted. My dating history gave me few reference points to work with.
You don't have to be some kind of slut to know that you don't keep your romantic partner a secret unless you have a damn good reason. She doesn't. Seriously, what century is this chick living in?
"That's not necessary, you know. I don't expect you to… I mean, you don't have to pretend for me."
His smile was patient. "I'm not pretending."
I just... huh? What?
Pretending to be what? Human? Masculine? Smart? WHAT? It's like a line was cut, and Smeyer was too lazy to edit around that gap. AGAIN.
"Are you going to tell Charlie I'm your boyfriend or not?" he demanded.
"Is that what you are?" I suppressed my internal cringing at the thought of Edward and Charlie and the word boyfriend all in the same room at the same time.
- Shit, is this what's going to pass for actual tension in this book? No real problems, no differences, no worries, just... "Waaaaaahhh, I want you to say I'm your boyfriend!" "I have a problem with this for some reason!"?
- Also, this is pretty damn pushy. I mean, he's throwing a tantrum because she might be the tiniest bit reluctant (FOR NO REASON) to tell her dad. Controlling much?
- WHY does that make her cringe? I could maybe understand it if Charlie had shown himself to be paranoid about boys but... he hasn't. He's actually ENCOURAGED her to go out with a guy to the dance, and made suggestions! It's like Smeyer has never met this mythical creature called a "father of a girl," and thus has to resort to sitcom cliches instead of logical characterization.
- I'm honestly amazed that Smeyer was willing to use the word "boyfriend" instead of something horribly sappy like "true love" or "sweetheart" or "beloved."
"It's a loose interpretation of the word 'boy,' I'll admit."
Smeyer, people use the word "boyfriend" to refer to a male unwed romantic partner of any age. Stop splitting hairs.
"I was under the impression that you were something more, actually," I confessed, looking at the table.
- Yes, because Demon Vampire Lover is SO likely to get daddy's approval.
- Seriously, WHY are they having this boring-ass conversation? It could be cut out without affecting the scene at all!
- And no, Bella. He is NOT more than a boyfriend. He only barely qualifies as THAT MUCH. You've been officially "together" less than 24 hours, and have done nothing more than make out.
"But he will need some explanation for why I'm around here so much. I don't want Chief Swan getting a restraining order put on me."
Yes, because breaking-and-entering and stalking are nothing to be worried about... as long as you have an excuse.
"Will you be?" I asked, suddenly anxious. "Will you really be here?"
"As long as you want me," he assured me.
"I'll always want you," I warned him. "Forever."
Excuse me, I need to visit an old friend of mine...
So Edward is Emo, and stares into Bawla's eyes and blahblahblah. So Bella goes upstairs and gets dressed, and OH HELL Smeyer uses the word "sweetheart." I knew she couldn't bring herself to say "boyfriend" more often than necessary.
I ended up in my only skirt — long, khaki-colored, still casual.
Remember girls, you must be incredibly dowdy and have really awful fashion sense, or you are a SLUTTY SKANKY WHORE who isn't remaining totally asexual until you meet your trooluv.
A quick glance in the mirror told me my hair was entirely impossible, so I pulled it back into a pony tail.
Yes, because messy tangled hair IMMEDIATELY looks fine if you just put it in a ponytail. Oh wait, no it doesn't.
"Okay." I bounced down the stairs. "I'm decent."
I challenge that statement.
"Wrong again," he murmured in my ear. "You are utterly indecent — no one should look so tempting, it's not fair."
Again, this is not how any men speak or have ever spoken... at least unless they're creepy skeeves planning to have sex with you in about five seconds. This is not how men act. This is how sexually-frustrated over-sheltered women WANT them to act.
Bella is stupid and doesn't understand what he means, assuming that he means her frumpy clothes are too whorey... which is a plausible assumption for this series, where any hint of attractiveness in your clothing choices is a sign of skankiness. Edward implies that she's a dumbass, spews more ridiculous romance-novel crap about how she tempts him, and starts smooching her. And Bella faints. I am not fucking kidding, people - she actually FAINTS because of a single kiss. Why don't you just go all-out and have an angelic choir sing while bluebirds flutter around and lovebirds kiss over their heads? Even DISNEY movies don't get this cheesy!
Another thing: How good can he be if he's a vampire? Why do we keep hearing about his sweet sparkly yummy breath? I mean, blood smells DISGUSTING and it gets more disgusting before the odor dies. And we never hear anything about oral hygiene for these idiots. Oh wait, in the world of Twilight blood has no odor to humans, despite what every woman who's ever had a period has said about it.
"What am I going to do with you?" he groaned in exasperation. "Yesterday I kiss you, and you attack me! Today you pass out on me!"
"Fortunately you are changing into exactly what the Big Strong Man wants you to be - sexual desire is completely evil and only whores feel it!"
"So much for being good at everything," he sighed.
"That's the problem." I was still dizzy. "You're too good. Far, far too good."
Yes, he's gotten a lot of practice kissing his pillow for all those decades while everyone else in his family was having violent furniture-smashing sex. More on that later.
Seriously, is Smeyer claiming that sexual prowess is entirely based on mutual obsession? That you are instantly the world's best kisser not depending on things like practice or technique, but... based on how hot you are? I don't know how many men Smeyer has kissed (I'm guessing one... tops), but it doesn't really work that way. Kissing is like everything else: some people may be better at it than others, but practice is required.
So blahblahblah Bawla forgot to breathe because he was so hot WHICH DOESN'T HAPPEN because it's involuntary blahblah Edward thinks she's pretty blahblahblah.
"And you're worried, not because you're headed to meet a houseful of vampires, but because you think those vampires won't approve of you, correct?"
"That's right," I answered immediately, hiding my surprise at his casual use of the word.
He shook his head. "You're incredible."
Yes, that's the word that comes to mind. Here's an array of them from thesaurus.com:
adjective: stupid; comparative adjective: stupider; superlative adjective: stupidest
1. lacking intelligence or common sense."I was stupid enough to think she was perfect"
synonyms: unintelligent, ignorant, dense, foolish, dull-witted, slow, simpleminded, vacuous, vapid, idiotic, imbecilic, imbecile, obtuse, doltish; Moreinformalthick, dim, dimwitted, slow-witted, dumb, dopey, dozy, moronic, cretinous, pea-brained, halfwitted, soft in the head, brain-dead, boneheaded, thickheaded, wooden-headed, muttonheaded, daft "they're rather stupid" foolish, silly, unintelligent, idiotic, scatterbrained, nonsensical, senseless, harebrained, unthinking, ill-advised, ill-considered, unwise, injudicious; inane, absurd, ludicrous, ridiculous, laughable, risible, fatuous, asinine, mad, insane, lunatic; informalcrazy, dopey, cracked, half-baked, dimwitted, cockeyed, lamebrained, nutty, batty, cuckoo, loony, loopy "that was a really stupid thing to do"
I realized, as he drove my truck out of the main part of town, that I had no idea where he lived.
... and this is surprising... why exactly? Does she expect to have psychically absorbed information from him when they kissed?
So we get some boring travel details that honestly make me want to lie down and snore. And then they get to the Cullen house, which is timeless, graceful, and probably a hundred years old. It was painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned. The windows and doors were either part of the original structure or a perfect restoration.
Okay, I'll do my best to avoid mentioning the movie, since I'm doing a movie review as well. But seriously, could they not find any turn-of-the-last-century mansions? Or were they just averse is completely destroying its essence, like Esme has clearly done?
My truck was the only car in sight.
Apparently they also have a batcave.
"You like it?" He smiled.
"It… has a certain charm."
... that's ALL you can say? You sound like one of those whiny bastards on House Hunters who always want more bedrooms, more space, and everything to be totally updated and exactly the way THEY WANT IT... but with charm.
So they babble and Edward treats her like a five-year-old, and they go inside. It was very bright, very open, and very large. This must have originally been several rooms, but the walls had been removed from most of the first floor to create one wide space. Eh, in another twenty years it'll look dated. Individual rooms will be back in by then.
The back, south-facing wall had been entirely replaced with glass, and, beyond the shade of the cedars, the lawn stretched bare to the wide river. A massive curving staircase dominated the west side of the room. The walls, the high-beamed ceiling, the wooden floors, and the thick carpets were all varying shades of white.
- Why bother buying a beautiful century-old mansion... if you're going to rip out all the period charm, details and beauty from it and turn it into yet another McMansion interior?
- Why the hell is Bella noticing the compass directions INDOORS?
- So everything is white. Apparently the blandness is strong with this fake family.
- I mean, God forbid they have COLOR and FLAVOR and some kinds of DECORATION. Or even, imagine this, ART.
- No, we need a sea of bland bland modern blandness.
- I think this is one of the things that people like about Twilight: the vampirism is not threatening. Not just in the sense that sparkly vampires are not scary, or that they're "family-friendly"... but in the sense that it requires no intelligence, no knowledge, no cultural depth, no breaking out of that bland suburban mold into a life that is more exciting and enriching.
Waiting to greet us, standing just to the left of the door, on a raised portion of the floor by a spectacular grand piano, were Edward's parents.
... so they've basically been just SITTING there all morning in the off chance that Edward dragged his new girlfriend in to meet them? Do these people have NOTHING better to do?!
So of course Carlisle is perfect SEXUAL PREDATOR and Esme is perfect DUMB BIMBO and everything is just perfectly perfect. I may vomit soon, so I'm keeping my barf bag handy!
Something about her heart-shaped face, her billows of soft, caramel-colored hair, reminded me of the ingénues of the silent-movie era. She was small, slender, yet less angular, more rounded than the others.
In other words: Bella thinks she's fat but since she's a vampire she cannot be imperfect, so she's "less angular, more rounded."
They sit there smiling and not moving like a couple of Stepford wives, and Edward introduces her.
"Carlisle, Esme," Edward's voice broke the short silence, "this is Bella."
You know, I think I've figured out why I hate the Cullen family and consider them so fake. The reasons are twofold:
- Nobody in this family actually acts like their fake familial relationships are real. I mean, most of them don't even like each other, it seems. We only ever hear about them fighting and blowing up at each other. And it's pretty obvious that none of them think of each other as brothers, sisters, children, etc.
- There's no real logic to their family arrangement. It feels like a little girl arranged the vampires like dolls: "And this one is the daddy vampire, and this one is the mommy vampire, and these are their children..." I mean, why are Carlisle and Esme the "parents"? Esme's younger than her "son," yet she's inexplicably his "mother"? At what point do vampires get old enough that they count as PEERS? If Edward was 500 and Carlisle was 525, who would fucking care about the difference?
So Bella has a bland boring greeting from Carlisle, and then Esme greets her as well.
"It's very nice to know you," she said sincerely.
... Well, that was weird. Is it supposed to sound more old-timey if she says that instead of "nice to meet you"? Because not only do you not KNOW someone you only met thirty seconds ago, but... it sounds more like something you'd say if someone was about to die. Which, from a vampire, would sound sinister
"Hello, Bella. It's been very nice to know you."
"Uh, we just me-ARGH!"
"Thank you. I'm glad to meet you, too." And I was. It was like meeting a fairy tale — Snow White, in the flesh.
... that's a weird comparison to make. I mean, does she look like Betty Boop? Is she holding a toxic apple? Is she wearing a silly gaudy multicolored dress straight from the thirties? Are there seven cartoonish little men following her?
It doesn't even make sense, because a minute ago we heard that she had "caramel" colored hair. Snow White is one of the few heroines whose hair color is specified: black. Always black. When I look at a pretty chick with medium-brown hair, I do not think "Snow White." Nobody would think "Snow White"... because it's actually specified at the start of the story! According to wikipedia, it begins with the queen saying, "Oh, how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as a rose, and hair black as ebony." Or words to that effect. EBONY IS NOT THE SAME COLOR AS CARAMEL!
Smeyer, why do you suck so much?
So suddenly Alice and Jasper appear and immediately... Alice zooms down and kisses her. Once again, all subtext from this series is generated by Smeyer; I'm just reporting all the times that Alice and Bella snuggle, admire each other's beauty, sniff each other, wrap their legs around each other, fall asleep in each other's arms, and kiss each other. Frankly, more explicitly intimate behavior goes on between THEM than between Bella and Edturd.
But I guess when you refuse to acknowledge that same-sex attractions exist, nothing your characters do with the same gender could possibly point to them being gay or bisexual... even if they totally do. Nope, you only need to think about the way people interact with the opposite gender, because only straight people exist.
For the record, Alice is the only one of the Cullens I really kinda like despite her inexplicable pro-Bella attitude (apparently because she wants all the little vampire dolls to be paired up with someone), because she seems to be the only one with common sense. When there's a crisis, she deals with it. When Bella and Edturd are wangsting, she decides to settle it just to shut them up.
And on cue, Edward starts being dickish again.
No one else seemed to know quite what to say, and then Jasper was there — tall and leonine.
... in what way? Does he have a mane? Does he have a cat face? Does he resemble Ron Perlman in makeup?
Do not use words like "leonine" unless you plan to explain what they mean in context!
Jasper uses his magical emotion-manipulating powers to make Bella feel comfortable, and for some reason this pisses off Edward. Probably because Edward becomes violently jealous whenever ANYONE is around Bella. Don't believe me? He gets pissed off that CARLISLE gave her medical treatment in Midnight Sun, because... it means another man is interacting with her. Even if that man doesn't want anyone but underage boys.
"Thank you," Esme said. "We're so glad that you came." She spoke with feeling, and I realized that she thought I was brave.
Nah, just stupid.
And then Bella starts waxing poetic about the piano: I suddenly remembered my childhood fantasy that, should I ever win a lottery, I would buy a grand piano for my mother. She wasn't really good — she only played for herself on our secondhand upright — but I loved to watch her play. She was happy, absorbed — she seemed like a new, mysterious being to me then, someone outside the "mom" persona I took for granted.
Holy shit, is she actually trying to develop the characters NOW? Is that what she's trying to do? More than half the book flushed down the Vapid Toilet, and NOW she's trying to develop the characters with new talents and interests? Not to mention Bella suddenly caring about her mom after WEEKS of not thinking about her?
She'd put me through lessons, of course, but like most kids, I whined until she let me quit.
Yeah, I wouldn't have expected anything else. Bella couldn't possibly have an actual hobby or skills! She has to be an utterly generic and hollow vehicle for the author/reader's fantasies. Which is from the author's own words.
So Esme reveals that Edward is "musical," and apparently he never revealed this to Bawla in the whole DAY they've been a couple. Yes, theirs is truly a troo lurv where they don't share any of their interests or personal hobbies with each other, and would literally know nothing about each other except that Edward spent two days interrogating Bella. Troo luv!
"Edward can do everything, right?" I explained.
Which is kinda stupid since she's seen him do.... not very much. At all. She's seen him DRIVE and... uh... listen to CDs. He can do everything!
Esme starts physically pushing Edward to play the piano, and he makes a huge fuss about it, presumably so he can seem even Stuier when he finally does play. And oh look, he's "perfect" at that too. Barf.
I felt my chin drop, my mouth open in astonishment, and heard low chuckles behind me at my reaction.
"... especially when I started drooling and babbling AGAIN."
And OH NO ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME he starts playing the unbearably sweet "lullaby" he hummed to her before, but apparently it was "inspired" by her. I think I'm going to vomit again from all the cliched sugary-sweetness of this. Ewwwwww.
"They like you, you know," he said conversationally. "Esme especially."
Of course they do: they're "perfect" and she's a Sue, which means they're required to adore her even though they've only had a very banal introductory conversation with her, and she's really got nothing to "like."
"Where did they go?"
"Very subtly giving us some privacy, I suppose."
Yes, very subtle. They all dart out instantly without a word. That's subtle and unlikely to be noticed. "Subtle" would be if they wandered off to the kitchen, puttered around, and gradually left.
So then we get onto the subject of Rosalie and Emmett. Apparently Rosalie doesn't like her, and Bella needs to be TOLD this despite the oh-so-subtle sledgehammer hints that have previously been dropped. The mere fact that someone doesn't worship Bella's pasty ass is apparently worthy of a whole boring conversation.
He frowned. "Don't worry about Rosalie," he said, his eyes wide and persuasive. "She'll come around."
"You're the authorial Sue. Either she starts worshiping you or the author will kill her off."
"Well, he thinks I'm a lunatic, it's true, but he doesn't have a problem with you. He's trying to reason with Rosalie."
Ah, so it's PERSONAL. It's because she's blonde, skinny and gorgeous, obviously.
He sighed deeply. "Rosalie struggles the most with… with what we are. It's hard for her to have someone on the outside know the truth. And she's a little jealous."
"Rosalie is jealous of me?" I asked incredulously.
Excuse me, I have to stick my entire hand down my throat. Yes, we are now solidly in Anita Blake territory - the author desperately wants the hot sexy blonde to be jealous of her frumpy antisocial whiny avatar. If it turns out she hates Bella because she desperately wants to bone Edward but knows nobody would ever choose her blonde self over Bella's awesome hotness, I will set this book on fire. I am not kidding. I will. With gasoline.
I tried to imagine a universe in which someone as breathtaking as Rosalie would have any possible reason to feel jealous of someone like me.
I tried too. I failed. I have a lot of imagination, but I don't have that much.
It turns out that Rosalie is upset because she wishes she were still human, and so Bella's presence is kind of like pouring salt and lemon juice in her sparkly eye. So... we have character development, again of a character who has never spoken onstage. Unlike Bella, who is in every scene but still has no positive character development.
Smeyers, you really suck at this.
"Esme and Carlisle… ?" I continued quickly, to keep him from noticing.
"Are happy to see me happy."
"Because I'm a Stu and my pseudo-parents are required to either treat me like shit 24/7 so I'll seem like a suffering martyr, or worship my backside because I'm so awesome. They are REQUIRED not to have any doubts about anything I do."
"Actually, Esme wouldn't care if you had a third eye and webbed feet."
Nice to see that Esme has such high standards.
"All this time she's been worried about me, afraid that there was something missing from my essential makeup,"
- Since he's been in complete denial about sexual attraction for the past century, I can see why she thought so.
- Then again, Smeyer is implicitly regarding asexual people as "wrong" or "defective."
- But it's clear Edturd is not asexual. He just doesn't have sexual feelings... for people other than Carlisle.
- Seriously, you notice the unsubtle message that if you don't have a boy/girlfriend, you are somehow DEFECTIVE?
"that I was too young when Carlisle changed me…"
"That Carlisle was some sort of sexual predator who likes teenage boys since he targeted me instead of a pretty young woman."
Seriously, if a seventeen-year-old boy isn't feeling sexual attraction by seventeen, he probably isn't going to start at all. He's probably asexual. What, is Esme so dim she believes that people make it to seventeen without hitting puberty?
"She's ecstatic. Every time I touch you, she just about chokes with satisfaction."
"And then she hides in the bathroom and masturbates."
.... yes, that doesn't lessen the weird vibe at ALL, having Edward's "mother" come across as some sort of lesbian voyeur.
"Alice seems very… enthusiastic."
And that's not helping either!
"Alice has her own way of looking at things," he said through tight lips.
"And you're not going to explain that, are you?"
No, because he needs some new dickish behavior to exhibit. Heaven forbid there not be any artificial tension to take the place of REAL tension. Seriously, it'll probably turn out that Alice ate the last woodchuck... I mean, large dangerous predator that Edward was saving for himself.
So then we have the revelation that.... something is happening.
OH NO. Oh fucking no. Do not even TRY to introduce plot at this point! It is TOO LATE for plot. You spent the entire first half of this idiotic book just drooling and dribbling and whining with no plot whatsoever... and you do NOT get to just introduce it whenever the hell you want! That is NOT how it works! Stop it! Stop it!
"So what was Carlisle telling you before?"
His eyebrows pulled together. "You noticed that, did you?"
I shrugged. "Of course."
They weren't exactly subtle, gazing into each other's eyes and nodding. Even Esme probably noticed it, and she doesn't notice ANYTHING.
"... I'm going to be a little… overbearingly protective over the next few days — or weeks — and I wouldn't want you to think I'm naturally a tyrant."
Too late, douchebag. We already think that. What are you planning to do now, seal her in a crate?
"Nothing's wrong, exactly. Alice just sees some visitors coming soon. They know we're here, and they're curious."
"We think they're Jehovah's Witnesses, but we're not quite sure."
"Yes… well, they aren't like us, of course — in their hunting habits, I mean. They probably won't come into town at all, but I'm certainly not going to let you out of my sight till they're gone."
- STOP IT! STOP TRYING TO INTRODUCE PLOT! You had your chance and you wasted it!
- They are SO coming into town.
- And of course, the evil human-sucking vamps are only going to target Bella. Because she's the authorial Sue and the world revolves aorund her.
- They couldn't target the town's elderly librarian, because BELLA MATTERS ONLY.
"Finally, a rational response!" he murmured. "I was beginning to think you had no sense of self-preservation at all."
She doesn't. If these new vampires are hot, she'll decide that they're "perfect" as well.
He followed my gaze. "Not what you expected, is it?" he asked, his voice smug.
Does he EVER pass up an opportunity to be an asshole to her? He really sucks at this "boyfriend" thing.
"No coffins, no piled skulls in the corners; I don't even think we have cobwebs… what a disappointment this must be for you," he continued slyly.
Seriously, asshole, where is this even coming from?
So he plays the stupid piano while Bawla talks about how pretty the house is. And we get another prime cheez moment:
He touched the corner of my eye, trapping one I missed. He lifted his finger, examining the drop of moisture broodingly. Then, so quickly I couldn't be positive that he really did, he put his finger to his mouth to taste it.
I swear, this is the sort of shit that they put on romcom trailers, the stuff that soppy sentimental women think is romantic. Also, how do you "broodingly" examine a WATER DROPLET?
So Edward decides to give her the grand tour of the rest of the house, which of course is perfect. And no, we don't get any descriptions of the various vampires' rooms. He could be gesturing at cardboard boxes for all we know.
"Rosalie and Emmett's room… Carlisle's office… Alice's room…" He gestured as he led me past the doors.
So... Alice and Jasper don't have a shared room, even though they're a couple and, in fact, married? A little weird.
Bella suddenly makes a huge deal out of there being a giant wooden cross on the wall, even though it's established already that Smeyers threw out all the traditional vampire weaknesses in favor of... absolutely nothing. Seriously, I don't think she gives them ANY weaknesses at all. Come on, even SUPERMAN has a weakness, and he's supposed to be so powerful he can fucking move planets. Yet the Sparklepires have... uh... well, they can be set on fire, but not really because THEY SO FAST!
In fact, there's only been the barest of nods to ACTUAL vampire legend, mainly by constantly reiterating that they're all completely wrong. So WHY would Bella react to seeing a cross? Why is Edward talking about coffins and cobwebs? Are these Smeyers' attempts to be witty, or is she just taking a smug steaming shit on the face of vampire lore?
It turns out that this cross isn't there because of any religious beliefs. Wait, that might have been interesting, since few authors are intelligent enough to deal with some actual theological implications of vampirism or how a devout person might react to becoming a vampire. But since this is Twilight, don't expect any deep explorations of this stuff.
No, the cross is there because it belonged to Carlisle's father. I smell an infodump.
"Nostalgia. It belonged to Carlisle's father."
"He collected antiques?" I suggested doubtfully.
There are scenes where I really wish I could smash Bawla in the head with a hammer. Seriously, are you so dumb that you don't equate "vampires" with immortality?! Edturd is over a century old, so wouldn't it make sense that the vampire who made him... IS OLDER THAN HE IS?!
I returned to gazing at the simple, ancient cross
It is NOT ANCIENT. It is a few centuries old! People don't talk about "ancient" Renaissance art!
No, it turns out that Carlisle's dad was an Anglican minister in the mid-1600s, and like all clergy in bad urban fantasy, he's depicted as an evil intolerant bastard who was constantly hunting witches, werewolves and vampires... because that was totally a thing people did then, all over the place, constantly. He must have lived in a super-rural parish, because I don't think they went in for that sort of thing in big cities. And apparently Carlisle was a total disappointment to him because he was a horribly Suey character who didn't burn innocent people like Monty Python.
I'm sorry, why are we being told this again? We've seen Carlisle in two scenes and.... honestly haven't been shown any reason to give a shit about him. Why are we getting backstory on somebody that the author hasn't even bothered to flesh out in the PRESENT?
"He actually discovered a coven of true vampires that lived hidden in the sewers of the city, only coming out by night to hunt. In those days, when monsters were not just myths and legends, that was the way many lived."
Because when you think vampires, you think of THIS:
- Seriously, I don't get why they even STAYED there. I mean, why not go to the countryside or something? Communication was terrible, the people would be harder to band together, and there would be more places to hide like caves and old barns.
- Also.... WHY ARE THEY HIDING? It's quickly established that they can't be killed by humans, so why even bother?
- Waitwaitwait, these vampires are in a city? I'm pretty sure that there weren't a lot of witchhunts/vampirehunts/werewolfhunts in CITIES, where people were easier to regulate and a pastor wouldn't have much legal power.
"The people gathered their pitchforks and torches, of course" — his brief laugh was darker now —
WHY? Why pitchforks? They live in a fucking city! There is no use for pitchforks in a city! It's like having a lawn mower for your apartment!
So then some old hungry vampire came out and got chased by Carlisle, but for some reason he was "weak with hunger" even though they're in a city with lots of people. So he bit Carlisle, killed a few men, and ran for it while dragging off some other guy. Uh, we got some lecture earlier about how shocking it was that Alice's maker just left her behind... so why isn't it shocking for Carlisle?
Also, if the vampire was starving and they have superhuman strength... why didn't he drag Carlisle along? He still obviously had plenty of blood!
So because his daddy is an evil bastard, Carlisle hid in a cellar of rotting potatoes for three whole days so nobody would find him. My question is: who even has a basement full of rotting potatoes? I mean, why would you keep them around?
"It was over then, and he realized what he had become."
He smiled. "I expect you have a few more questions for me."
His smile widened over his brilliant teeth. He started back down the hall, pulling me along by the hand. "Come on, then," he encouraged. "I'll show you."
"And yes, it DOES glitter. Thanks for asking!"