Twilight - Chapter Eleven

In a nutshell: "blah blah, Edward is awesome, blah blah" and NOTHING HAPPENS!

I must admit that when I started this blog I didn't imagine I would get this far into the book. I assumed that by this point the story would have gotten good enough that there would be no point in my panning it. I guess I simply put too much faith that something so popular couldn't be so bad. Well, here we are, so I guess it is.

Bound and determined to drill it into our skulls how awesome Edward is, the very first sentence of this chapter talks about how everyone is staring at Bella and Edward as they sit down in lab class, as if we hadn't gotten enough of random people stopping and staring last chapter. The teacher walks into the class dragging a TV and VCR in a paragraph that completely abuses the use of dashes. He shoves the tape into the "reluctant" VCR. Um ... so VCRs have feelings now? I wonder if this is why Edward can read the minds of radar guns.

By the way, for this chapter I'm going to be taking a dash count. I'm just curious about just how much Meyer abuses the poor dash. 3 Dashes.

Bella goes on about how amazing it is to *gasp* actually be sitting next to Edward in class ... even though they've shared that seat since day one. Electricity flows through her, so suddenly she's the Highlander. She talks about Edward's "perfect" face and blah blah blah. The movie starts, and at this point I don't care if it's a documentary on the mating habits of turtles; anything is better than this insufferable false tension. The screen lights up the room by "a token amount." *rolls eyes*

Edward looks at her and his eyes "smolder." So, Edward is looking at her hatefully? That isn't very nice. That is the definition of smolder most commonly attributed to eyes.

Smolder: to show suppressed anger, hate, or jealousy (eyes smoldering with hate). (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Bella nearly hyperventilates. Apparently out of the many words Meyer has taken from her giant thesaurus, the word "subtlety" is not among them. This ham-fisted attempt at romance strikes me as more comedic than romantic. It's just Meyer picking the most dramatic-sounding words and having her characters overreact to the slightest thing Edward does. I can do it too.

His smoldering eyes held me in a vice-like grip. I was powerless under the inextricable scrutiny of his gaze. He scratched his head, and I had to breath into my lunch bag. He touched me, and my heart stopped. When I awoke in the hospital, several hours later, he smiled at me and I flat-lined. The word "clear!" was the last I remembered hearing.

The funny thing is that Bella's heart actually HAD stopped beating in chapter nine, and Edward hadn't even touched her. If you think the above example is ridiculous, know that it isn't that far removed from what's in the actual book.

Sometimes I can almost imagine Meyer standing over the readers with a giant hammer called "plot" in her hands and whacking her readers over the head with it until they can't think rational thoughts, thus leaving them in the perfect state to swallow this tripe. Another blow of that hammer comes when Bella is so fixated on Edward that she doesn't even know what the subject of the film is. I get the feeling that if Meyer could magically replace every instance of the name "Edward" with a column of light and angel song, she would. 4 dashes.

It appears that Edward is the Highlander, because the lightning bolts are coming from his body.

She goes on and on about wanting to touch him, which makes me wonder at the nature of the relationship. You see, in a normal, healthy relationship, touching is kind of a given. Surely Edward and Bella's "unconditional and irrevocable" twu wuv would allow for touching at the very least.

"Well, that was interesting," he murmured. His voice was dark and his eyes were cautious.

Yeah, those few paragraphs of NOTHING HAPPENING were very interesting. I get so tired of books with real plots, where things actually happen and the characters are 3-dimensional. It gets boring reading about characters with pasts, personal motivations, and personalities of their own.

From now on I hereby dub Bella the "eye psychic," because she seems able to tell a hell of a lot more from people's eyes than is humanly possible.

His face startled me--his expression was torn, almost pained, and so fiercely beautiful that the ache to touch him flared as strong as before.

No real reason for quoting that except to give you a taste of what I'm putting up with. 5 dashes. I'm beginning to wonder if Meyer uses so many dashes because they look like little penises to her. Also, this point is way overdue. (+1 Eye Sex)

The tension Meyer is trying to create rings false because there is no real source for it. She tries to paint this as a forbidden love, where they must resist the urge to even touch each other, but nobody is forbidding them. If they want to they can go ahead and do it. The only thing stopping them is Edward being an ungodly asshole, and that doesn't count. Oh, and don't try that "he's a vampire and might lose control" line, because that ceased to be relevant the moment Edward decided to stalk Bella like the obsessive asshat that he is, completely ignoring that risk.

Bella, the eye psychic, notes the "conflict raging in his eyes" when he tries to touch her. Disregarding that there is no real source for conflict, I find it funny that Edward has such a problem touching Bella when he feels no "conflict" when it comes to grabbing her forcefully (parking lot scene, anyone?) or breaking into her house to watch her sleep.

His skin was as icy as ever, but the trail his fingers left on my skin was alarmingly warm--like I'd been burned, but didn't feel the pain of it yet.

Is Meyer saying that Edward's hands are cold enough to give her frostbite from a light touch? How is that even possible? As I explained in chapter seven, it is physically impossible for Edward's skin to be that cold. Also, if his skin is that cold, how come Bella never had a similar reaction the previous times Edward touched her? (+1 Stupidity)

6 dashes.

Bella is "lightheaded and wobbly" as she enters gym. Is it weird to feel an urge to physically assault a fictional character? I just REALLY want to slap Bella across the face right now. She changes her clothes while in a "trancelike" state, really hamming it up. Then she's handed a racket and ...

Wait, hold on! Are we actually in Gym class? Are we going to actually see it this time? Wow, I must admit this is unexpected. Perhaps we'll finally see some of that famous clumsiness we've been hearing so much about. She notes the other people eyeing her furtively. I'm given to think that Bella is just full of herself, but considering all the staring people have been doing because Meyer is obsessed with having Bella be a super special snowflake, I'm not surprised.

Mercifully, some vestiges of Mike's chivalry still survived; he came to stand beside me.

What is that supposed to mean? Is Bella saying that Mike has turned into a jerk since we last saw him, and only some of his former niceness survived? Did her opinion of him drop that much since he stopped chasing after her ass? There is no way to win with her, is there? Pay attention to her and you're a dog; leave her alone and you're not chivalrous. What a bitch! (+1 Bitch)

Mike volunteers to pair up with Bella for a doubles game, and she says that he doesn't have to do this, as if it is some great burden to play with her. I'm actually interested to see how this turns out. I'm eager to actually SEE some of Bella's clumsiness for once, and not "oh, I dropped something so now Edward has to pick it up."

7 dashes.

Bella grimaces apologetically ... how do you even do that?

Websters defines "grimace" as "a facial expression usually of disgust, disapproval, or pain." How, exactly, does one make an expression of disgust apologetically? (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Bella accidentally hits Mike with the racket and hits her own face with the same swing. Even a clumsy person couldn't manage that. Do you know how hard it is to "accidentally" hit your own face? When I said I wanted to see clumsiness, I expected her to trip over Mike's feet or bump into someone. This is just dumb. If Bella really is that clumsy she should not be driving a truck; She should not leave the house; She should be in a "special" school, learning the alphabet with colorful blocks.

After that she stands back and Mike plays with himself--I mean by himself, BY himself! Um ... where is the teacher? He just lets students walk out of the game during team exercises? As if Meyer realized that she had just went a few whole minutes without mentioning Edward, it turns out that Edward is exactly who Mike wants to talk about.

Bella immediate switches into bitch mode and tells Mike that it's none of his business while simultaneously wishing that Jessica would go to Hell. Woops, I mean Hades. So, let me get this straight: In their "unconditional and irrevocable" love, their relationship not only has a prohibition against touching, but it's taboo to talk about it as well? I should tell the world of this revelation!

Me: Hey guys, Twilight says it's not love if you talk about it. So no showing pictures, smiling whenever her name is mentioned, or slipping her into conversations. Be cold and distant. Don't talk about her; don't even touch her. Bella Swan commands it!

Seriously, what did she expect to happen? If she wanted to keep their relationship (I use the term loosely) a secret, she did a horrible job of it, what with the ditching her friends to sit with him and all. Did she somehow expect them all to just pretend that nothing is happening? If so, then she must not have been around other people for very long. (+1 Bitch)

Mike doesn't like Edward, and he tells Bella why.

"He looks at you like ... like you're something to eat," ...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...

Since it was Meyer's joke and Bella is Meyer, Bella naturally finds this hilarious and rushes off to the locker room. I wonder if it ever occurred to her to find it worrying that Edward is being so creepy that other people are starting to comment on it.

I honestly can't make heads or tails of this next sentence.

I dressed quickly, something stronger than butterflies battering recklessly against the walls of my stomach, my argument with Mike already a distant memory.

So ... her clothes are stronger than butterflies? The act of dressing is stronger than nervousness? How do sentences this sloppy make it past the editor? Was he asleep at the desk or something? (+1 Stupidity)

Did they know that I knew? Was I supposed to know that they knew that I knew, or what?

And by reading this blog you know that I know that you know that I know that I hate this book.

After obsessing over Edward some more, she finds him waiting for her at the gym. After talking about his "breathtaking" face she breathes the word "hi" while smiling hugely ... and she used to call Mike a dog?

Edward's eyes shift focus slightly, which means he looked over her shoulder. Apparently Edward doesn't like Mike and he tells Bella so. Very classy, Eddykins, disliking someone because you can't charm him into doing what you want and he is the sole person, so far, to actively question your actions. Right now Edward is looking a lot like the spoiled kid who cries because he didn't get his own way.

Bella asks if Edward has been listening in again, and when he says yes this pisses her off. She doesn't seem angry because Edward is spying on her, but rather because he saw her in gym. Edward doesn't seem to care. What ... the ... fuck?

8, 9, 10, 11 dashes.

Bella notices a crowd composed entirely of boys surrounding Rosalie's car, because girls can't possibly be interested in cars. No, they're too busy with their knitting needles and selecting which apron to wear while they cook their men dinner. Also, why are they paying that much attention to a car? Has Rosalie never drove it to school before in all these years? Is it their first time seeing it? It's a red convertible, not the Messiah. Sure it would elicit interest from car enthusiasts, but a crowd of people circling it? We get it, Meyer, the Cullens are rich. (+1 Stupidity)

It's like all boys in Meyerland are chimps, distracted by the first shiny new thing they see. When Bella arrived, every human male wanted her (according to Edward), and now they see a car and they're all "ooh, shiny!" It appears that Twilight isn't just sexist towards women.

Edward says it's a BMW M3. He also calls it "ostentatious" again. 12 dashes.

Edward asks if Bella is still mad at him, and she is. He asks if she would forgive him if he apologizes, and she says she would if he meant it and promised not to do it again. A reasonable request.

His eyes were suddenly shrewd. "How about if I mean it, and I agree to let you drive Saturday?" he countered my conditions.

Wasn't that Bella's idea in the first place? How does this sound?

Edward: Forgive me for stalking you in school and using psychic powers to spy on you and I'll give you permission to drive, even though that was your idea in the first place. Pfft. Women drivers. Next thing you know they'll want to vote too.

Edward apologizes, his eyes "burning with sincerity for a protracted moment." My eyes are rolling for a protracted moment. 14 dashes. He says he'll be at Bella's driveway on Saturday, which worries her because she thinks it will make it difficult to hide Edward from her fath--I mean, Charlie. Edward smiles "condescendingly" and says that he won't bring a car. 15 dashes.

Bella brings up the subject of why she can't see Edward hunt. 16 dashes. She presses him for an explanation as to why he reacted as angrily as he had. He explains that it's because they go all primal when they hunt, and if she were there she'd be dinner. After gazing at the clouds "morosely" he looks at Bella, and once again becomes the Highlander, because electricity charges the atmosphere. 17 dashes.

Edward says that she should go inside, and as she leaves he informs her that tomorrow he gets to ask questions. Does this mean he's leaving this scene? Please let him be leaving this scene! His car speeds down the street as he leaves.


Bella doesn't get much sleep because she's too busy dreaming about Edward being the Highlander. I must say that it certainly would explain why Edward is the way he is. You'd be a douchebag too if you were under constant threat of having your head chopped off.

Her father asks her about Saturday, which makes Bella cringe. He then asks if she's still going to Seattle, which makes her grimace. Does she do it apologetically? He asks about the dance, and then Bella glares. Ugh! What is with all the glaring and the frowning and the grimacing in this book?

Charlie shows some parental concern, worrying that perhaps nobody had asked her out. Oh, if only he knew the truth behind that. Bella isn't about to ruin her street cred by being honest with her father, so she avoids the question. Surprisingly Bella shows some small sympathy for her father, though her reasoning behind that sympathy is a little twisted.

It must be a hard thing, to be a father; living in fear that your daughter would meet a boy she liked, but also having to worry if she didn't.

Living in fear of his daughter finding a boy? Granted there is always the concern that one's child may end up with someone abusive and controlling ... like Edward. However, unless the parent is overprotective or insecure, they probably wish for their children to find their match. It's the fond wish of parents to see their children grow up, move out, and make a life for themselves. Parents want their children to give them grandchildren. Me thinks this quote is simply Meyer projecting her own issues on the rest of the world.

How ghastly it would be, I thought, shuddering, if Charlie had even the slightest inkling of exactly what I did like.

You mean the boy who's family he sung the praises of in chapter two? Alright, so maybe the whole vampire thing wouldn't settle so well with him, but unless Edward grows fangs and starts sucking blood right in front of him, I doubt he'd find out. Wait, I forgot, Meyerpires don't have fangs. Ugh!

Charlie leaves, and Edward arrives in his Volvo seconds later. So, the guy who constantly says "I'm dangerous, you should stay away from me" suddenly can't wait to put himself in the very position he whines about. So much for his constant warnings and preaching about how they shouldn't be together, eh?

He was smiling, relaxed--and, as usual, perfect and beautiful to an excruciating degree.

This is the same girl who looked down on Jessica as shallow for complimenting Edward's looks. Our heroine, ladies and gentleman, Ms. Hypocrite McBitchSnipe. (+1 Eye Sex)

18 dashes. I notice that the dashes are most heavily concentrated when Edward is present. This could mean that ... oh no, oh God! OH MY GOD, THE DASHES ARE EDWARD'S PENIS! Gross! *pukes*

They exchange good mornings and drive off. 20 dashes. Bella asks Edward what he did last night, but he refuses to answer. I suppose "hid in your bedroom while you slept" wouldn't make a very good ice breaker. Edward points out that today he will be asking questions, and Bella's forehead creases. Of all the facial expressions to choose from, Meyer settles on a creasing forehead. *sigh* Bella wonders what kind of questions Edward might ask, what kind of information about her he'd find interesting. Edward, his face grave, asks the question that will rock the very foundation of their relationship.

"What's your favorite color?" he asked, his face grave.


You just got to stop and think about how awesome this is. I mean, just look at this in its proper context.

Bella: Oh Edward is so gorgeous, so mysterious and strong and beautiful. I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Edward: Bella, we shouldn't be together but I can't stand the thought of being away from you. I must stay with you at all times. I watch you sleep at night, I follow you wherever you go, I would do anything to protect you ... well, everything except leave you alone so I don't one day end up murdering you. I have but one question to ask of you, Bella, my sun, my moon, my starry sky!
Bella: Oh, Edward, ask whatever question you want. I will answer anything as long as I get to see your perfect lips move to form the words. Ask. Ask me anything!
Edward: Um ... what's your favorite color? It suddenly occurs to me that we know nothing about each other.

You see what I mean? Oh, this is rich! You can't write a better parody of romance than Twilight manages unintentionally. I also love how Edward gravely asks what color Bella likes, trying to lend the simple question an air of drama. Hahaha! We're nearly halfway through the book, and ONLY JUST NOW are they getting around to actually getting to know each other. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella says her color preference changes from day to day, but today it's brown because it's a warm color. 22 dashes. Edward agrees that brown is warm, and in the time it took for them to talk about the color brown they arrive at school. We now move on to the next question.

"What music is in your CD player right now?" he asked, his face as somber as if he'd asked for a murder confession.

We get it, Edward is a brooding emo vampire. Give it a rest already, Meyer!

I must say I'm loving this discussion. All of the overly-dramatic and overwrought soliloquies about Bella's "unconditional and irrevocable" love for Edward; about how Edward is perfect and beautiful and all things desirable, and after all that we're just now discussing things like favorite colors and musical tastes. This is one of those rare moments when I actually find myself enjoying what I see in this book.

Bella tells Edward about the CD Phil had given her, and by an amazing coincidence it turns out that Edward has the same CD. Um, question. If Edward is so rich, why doesn't he have an MP3 player? For that matter, if they're in love why haven't they exchanged cell numbers yet? Do they even have cell phones? They do come in handy, you know. If Bella and her friend had cell phones when they were in Port Angeles, Bella might have been spared a lot of trouble.

Edward continues asking her basic questions, which seems to irritate Bella, who says he "questioned me relentlessly about every insignificant detail of my existence." It appears that Bella wants to go back to finding new ways to describe Edward's eyes without all that bothersome getting-to-know-you stuff. You know, considering how obsessed Bella is with Edward you'd think she'd welcome the opportunity to learn these things about him as well. In this, Edward is actually acting more human than Bella. At least he is trying to get an understanding of her that extends beyond surface things such as appearance.

Unfortunately we don't get to see most of the answers, as they are glossed over in the narration. This is clearly Meyer's clumsy attempt at character development, but since very few answers to Edward's personality questions are provided in the text, Bella remains as flat and empty a character as ever. What few answers are provided are stuff we already know (Bella likes warmth and Phil gave her a CD).

Edward asks what Bella's favorite gemstone is. She says topaz, and Edward literally commands her to tell him why. 23 dashes. Bella says that it's because Topaz is the color of his eyes. So ... Edward's eyes are clear? They can appear in many different colors such as blue, red, or pink? Does Bella simply not know that topaz is NOT a color?

I'd given more information than necessary in my unwilling honesty, and I worried it would provoke the strange anger that flared whenever I slipped and revealed too clearly how obsessed I was.

Oh, where do I even begin? Bella clearly is not only annoyed at Edward's questions, but doesn't want to give him honest answers. In other words, she doesn't want to share her personal world with him. Is this the behavior one would expect from someone who is "unconditionally and irrevocably" in love (yes, I'm going to keep quoting that)? So far she has shown zero interest in getting to know Edward as a person and merely fixates on his outward appearance. When given the opportunity to engage Edward on a deeper level via this getting-to-know-you conversation, she resists the whole process.

You cannot argue that this is a love story; the evidence to the contrary is right here. Bella narrates that she is so ZOMG IN WUV with Edward, yet she has no interest in moving past Edward's surface qualities. What some people fail to realize is that this is not love just because Meyer says it is. For it to be love, the two characters would have to actually act like they're in love. So far all I see is superficial lust on Bella's part and abusive, obsessive stalking from Edward. That is not love.

Also, the fact that Bella is afraid to share her interests with Edward because he may get angry isn't exactly an atmosphere that is conducive to romance. Given her reaction to Edward, her supposed "twu wuv," I understand a little better why she constantly lies to her father and withholds information. The bitch just lies to people out of habit. Oh, and I find it funny that Bella is worried about freaking Edward out because she notices his eye colors. She is worried that SHE is more obsessed than the guy who is STALKING her. (+1 Stupidity)

Edward asks her what her favorite flowers are and Bella "continued with the psychoanalysis." Is that how she views this? As some kind of clinical drudgery? If she were really "in love" she would have not only given an earnest effort to answer his questions, but she would have had enough interest in Edward to get answers to those same questions from him as well. I swear, it constantly amazes me how many anti-love messages are in this book, which is heralded as some great love story.

Bella: OMG, Edward keeps trying to get to know me better. That is such a chore! Why can't he just shut up and look pretty so I can continue writing descriptions of his perfect face and muscled chest in my notebook? That's what love is, right? I don't have to actually care about him, I just have to think he's hot.

And THIS is what young girls are looking to as an example of true love? God help us all! Oh, and don't think I'm just going to forgive Bella's complete inability to notice or care that someone she supposedly "loves" is making an honest attempt to understand her. She is such a humungous bitch that she can't see beyond what SHE wants. It's just "me me me" with her. (+1 Bitch)

It's TV day in Biology again, and Edward once again becomes the Highlander when the teacher cuts the lights off. Bella again gets all overly-dramatic about longing to touch Edward and blah blah blah. There is one line here that I found interesting.

I leaned forward on the table, resting my chin on my folded arms, my hidden fingers gripping the table's edge as I fought to ignore the irrational longing that unsettled me.

Again with the prohibition against touching. What I find interesting is how Bella finds it "unsettling" to want to touch Edward. That is the opposite of how someone who's in love would think. I may have given her some credit if she'd said that it's because she doesn't think it's appropriate to fondle Edward in class, but that is not indicated here. Even so, young people in love would not be above touching each other or even sneaking kisses, consequences be damned.

Another appropriate reaction would be if Bella welcomed the idea of touching Edward, but was afraid of getting caught and drawing people's attention. Again, this is not indicated. Instead, Bella simply finds the idea "irrational" and "unsettling." Her choice of words implies a certain level of disgust at the notion. Whether or not that is what Meyer meant, this is still sloppy writing on her part. Also sloppy is her use of the same plot device twice to convey the same message. The first TV time was excusable, but essentially writing the same scene a second time is just unnecessary padding to make a point that has already been made.

Bella, the eye psychic, notes that Edward's eyes are "ambivalent," and the word is not given any context as to the source of this ambivalence. The word implies contradictory feelings, but without any stated or implied context the word is not descriptive at all. Is Edward conflicted between desire and disgust at Bella, or is it something else? Meyer, please burn your thesaurus. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

They walk to Gym and Edward once again touches her face with his hand. 25 dashes. Is it just me, or are we having the same day twice? Mike plays with himself--I mean by himself, BY himself! My God, even the jokes are repeating themselves! Bella admits to feeling a little bad about arguing with Mike, but immediately dismisses it because it's not as important to her as what SHE wants. That paragraph ends in a sentence fragment.

Just like Yesterday she rushes off to meet Edward after gym and gets that same dumb smile on her face. You ever get a sense of Deja vu, like you've seen all of this before? Weird, isn't it?

Edward asks more questions as they sit in front of her fath--dang it, I mean Charlie's--house. Bella makes an attempt to answer in the form of a long paragraph describing how awesome Arizona is. Interestingly, Bella describes her room to him. This is interesting because Edward has been breaking into her room at night to watch her sleep, so he's perfectly familiar with what her room looks like.

Just like Yesterday she rushes off to meet Edward after gym and gets that same dumb smile on her face. You ever get a sense of Deja vu, like you've seen all of this before? Weird, isn't it?

Edward notes that her father will be home soon. Bella responds with "Charlie!" before asking what time it is. 27 dashes.

"It's twilight," Edward murmured ...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...

He makes a comment about the end of day and the coming of night, trying to sound deep and mysterious but really just coming off like the pretentious emo brat that he is. He notes that Charlie will be back in a few minutes and offers Bella another opportunity to come clean with her dad and tell him about Edward. Her response is "thanks, but no thanks." Edward opens the car door for her, which causes her heart to go into "frenzied palpitations," and, consequently, causes my eyes to do some frenzied rolling.

Edward stops this time and says that there's "another complication." Oh, I see what Meyer did there, quoting the title name in order to justify it. Har har har. To say "another" complication implies that there had been one previously. Where was this first complication in this chapter? I did not see it. There was a lot of "ooh, Edward is gorgeous," followed by Bella complaining because she doesn't want to actually get to know Edward. No complication there that I can see.

It turns out that the "complication" is Jacob arriving in his car with his dad, followed by Charlie in his squad car. This might have been an actual complication if it in any way impacted Bella or Edward, but being that Edward sped away in his car before any of them could notice, this situation is not complicated in the least. 28 dashes.

Apparently Billy Black must be the werewolf equivalent of droopy dog, because Bella describes his cheeks as being so saggy that they rest on his shoulders. Apparently the man smells vampire on Bella, because he stops smiling upon laying eyes on her. Actually, scratch that, I think it's just bitchiness he smells on her.

And here the chapter finally ends. Good Lord, here I thought I'd seen every way in which a chapter can be needlessly padded, but Meyer has actually managed to surprise me. Writing entire chapters where nothing actually happens apparently wasn't enough this time, so she just put the chapter on a loop and essentially wrote the same day twice. Why? Um, laziness perhaps? The sheer depths to which Meyer will sink amazes me to no end!

*sigh* We all know what's coming up, don't we? We're closing in on the moment I know you've all been waiting for. Chapter twelve leads directly into the infamous "meadow scene." Stay tuned, dear readers, for the dreaded duo is up next.

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+5 Stupidity
+3 Bitch
+2 Eye Sex
+2 Thesaurus Rape

And for our special count:

28 Edward Penises (dashes)

A surprisingly low tally this chapter, but with absolutely nothing happening and the day repeating itself, there wasn't much to work with.

Twilight - Chapter Ten

I, for one, welcome our new cloud overlords.

This chapter is called "Interrogations." Before we begin I will make a guess as to what this title means. Despite it being written in plural form, I predict that this chapter will only involve one interrogation. Since Bella had promised to tell Jessica about her time with Edward last chapter, I assume that Jessica will be doing the interrogating. Bonus points if Jessica is just naturally curious and Bella, as per usual, is overreacting.

Bella wakes up the next morning and is convinced that everything that had happened the previous night had been a dream. I really hate it when she does this. As you'll recall, she'd had this same reaction to Edward offering to drive her to Seattle.

"OMG! Edward actually TALKED to me. Something like that cannot possibly happen; boys don't talk to girls because we have cooties." I know what you're thinking, that the source of her disbelief stems from Edward being a vampire, but considering Bella's usual train of thought when it comes to Edward, I doubt that's it. Remember, Bella isn't exactly a font of common sense. She's probably all dazed because she can't believe that she was in the same car with Edward and his face which is comprised entirely of adjectives.

Speaking of which ...

Logic wasn't on my side, or common sense.

Oh, sweetie, they never were.

Thankfully Meyer decides not to pad the description of Bella's morning ritual this time, so she's quickly out the door and into the foggy day. Apparently the fog (which, in the next sentence, magically turns into mist) is so thick that it completely hid a second car in the driveway, which she didn't notice until she was pulling out in her truck. The car is silver ... dear God, no! Please, Meyer, no! We've already had a whole chapter of that douchebag, I don't think I can take any more! Have mercy on my sanity, please!

I didn't see where he came from, but suddenly he was there, pulling the door open for me.
"Do you want to ride with me today?" he asked ...


God damn glittery stalker. Was he sitting there all night or something? Did he even go home after watching Bella sleep? I'm sure this is how normal people behave. They just arrive at people's houses unannounced, sit in their driveways, and block their cars all the time.

There was uncertainty in his voice. He was really giving me a choice--I was free to refuse, and part of him hoped for that. It was a vain hope.

For the love of all things holy, where do I even begin to describe how utterly messed up that is?

It says a lot that Meyer has to specifically point out that Edward is giving Bella a choice in the matter, because Edward previously hadn't given her a choice. So this is there relationship, where the man letting the woman choose is a noteworthy occurrence. Don't even try to claim that this isn't sexist. Not that Bella has much of a choice anyway. I mean, Edward does have her trapped in the driveway, and this is the same guy who had dragged her across a parking lot and forced her into his Volvo.

Also, which of these two is the one who can read minds? Bella is able to tell an awful lot just from the tone of his voice. If Edward really is hoping that Bella will refuse (again, how does she know this?) then why is he here in the first place? Mister "I'm dangerous, stay away" is once again ignoring his own warnings and forcing Bella to do exactly what he keeps telling her not to do. The word "hypocrite" doesn't even begin to describe him. Edward doesn't really care about Bella, he's just doing whatever the hell he wants. Selfish bastard. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)

Bella, of course, says yes, trying to keep her voice calm. I'm glad that Meyer decided to use the word "calm" instead of "modulated" this time around. She notes that the car is warm, so at least today Edward bothered to turn the heater on. She notes his tan jacket, which had been light beige two chapters ago.

The door closed behind me, and, sooner than should be possible, he was sitting next to me, starting the car.

I get it, Edward is super special awesome. Just look at how fast he an get into a car! Meyer seems to think that having Edward do ordinary things with superpowers makes him special, when it just makes him a showoff. Maybe giving him an actual personality would help, but that takes a level of competence that is beyond her grasp.

Edward says that he brought the jacket so that Bella wouldn't get sick, and never mind that you can't actually catch a cold from cold weather. Sensing another eye hump opportunity, Bella ogles Edward some more.

I noticed that he wore no jacket himself, just alight gray knit V-neck shirt with long sleeves. Again, the fabric clung to his perfectly muscled chest. It was a colossal tribute to his face that it kept my eyes away from his body.

I'm not even going to comment on that. (+1 Eye Sex)

This book spends so much time fixating on people's physical attributes, mostly Edward's. I'm still waiting for it to spend some time, I don't know, perhaps actually developing the characters in ways other than their physical appearances; maybe give them personality and motivation. An actual plot would also be nice.

This book reminds me of another one called Naked Came the Stranger, which, to quote Wikipedia, was "conceived by Mike McGrady of Newsday, who assembled twenty-four journalists to write a deliberately terrible book with a lot of sex, to illustrate the point that popular American literary culture had become mindlessly vulgar." The thing is, that book was wildly successful, proving McGrady's point.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Twilight is a terrible book, but with a superficial mega-hunk as one of the lead characters. The book itself focuses on outward appearances to the exclusion of anything deeper, like an actual story. That this book, too, is wildly successful perhaps proves the point that today's American literary culture has become mindlessly shallow. I'm just putting that observation out there. A part of me wishes that Meyer would some day come forward and say that Twilight was done merely as a cultural critique.

Moving on. Bella says that she is not that delicate as she puts on the jacket, smelling it again and commenting that it smells better than she remembered. At this point I'm wondering when Edward will start walking on water and giving sight to the blind. Edward insists that she is delicate, meaning weak. Lovely relationship dynamic they have here. The man is strong and the woman is weak. The mist is now a fog again as they drive through the streets.

We drove through the fog-shrouded streets, always too fast, feeling awkward.

Let me get this straight. There is a fog out that is so thick that, in Bella's words, the air is "smoky with it," and Edward is still speeding? What, does he have super fog-piercing vision as well? (+1 Stupidity)

Edward asks Bella if she's going to ask questions, and then comments that it bothers him that Bella accepts everything about him so readily. He says, correctly, that it's unnatural. This is meant to paint Bella as a special snowflake, but in reality it just makes her a poorly developed character. Edward wants to know what Bella is thinking, accusing her of editing her thoughts when she speaks them to him ... like every human being on the planet. In short, Edward wants to read Bella's mind. His words give the impression that he thinks he's somehow entitled to know what everyone is thinking at all times, showing no regard for the privacy of others.

Bella says that he doesn't want to hear her thoughts, and there is pain in her voice. Ugh! The chapter's just started and already we have false drama. Her attention whoring was enough to kill the conversation (thank goodness) so they make it to school without subjecting the readers to any more drivel. Surprisingly, Bella thinks of something other than herself for once and asks about Edward's family, noting that they usually went to school in his car. Edward informs her that they took Rosalie's car today.

"They took Rosalie's car." He shrugged as he parked next to a glossy red convertible with the top up. "Ostentatious, isn't it?"


Sorry, I just had a momentary breakdown from the sheer stupidity of that last sentence. Ostentatious? To describe someone's car? What, is the exterior covered in jewels with flowers dangling from the antenna or something? That would be an ostentatious car. What makes this car ostentatious? The fact that it's red? The fact that its a convertible? Is it any more showy than, say, a silver Volvo? This is an ostentatious car.

I just can't get over it. Ostentatious? Not "showy" or "pretentious" or "flashy," or a dozen other more appropriate words? We get it, Meyer, you know how to use a thesaurus. Please give the poor thing a break. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

They make some comments about how OSTENTATIOUS the car is, which prompts Bella to ask why they took Rosalie's car if they're trying to keep a low profile. Yeah, because everyone is going to take one look at that shiny red car and immediately go "ZOMG VAMPIRES!" Edward's response?

"Hadn't you noticed? I'm breaking all the rules now."

Because Edward is a bad boy rebel, applying his rebel hair gel and his rebel lipstick, doing his rebel eyebrows and driving his rebel Volvo. That didn't even address Bella's question. She asked why they took Rosalie's car. Is Edward implying that none of his other vampire siblings have cars?

Edward sticks close to Bella, who monologues that she wanted to touch Edward but was afraid that he wouldn't like that. Some relationship they've got there, huh?

Bella makes an interesting observation. She asks Edward why they own such flashy cars if they're trying to blend in. Edward's reply is "an indulgence," which again doesn't really address the question. Is he saying that they decided to potentially risk their cover in this town because "oooh, those cars are so nice and shiny!" Rather immature behavior for century-old vampires. Not that it realistically matters. As I said before, nobody is going to think they're vampires just because they're rich, which makes this entire discussion pointless.

Edward further says that everyone in his family likes to drive fast. Now THIS is much more dangerous to their cover. They want to blend in, so they speed down the streets like maniacs? Even if we accept Edward's bullshit excuse about mind-reading allowing him to break the law (which I debunked last chapter), what about his other siblings who don't have his power? Did Meyer put ANY thought whatsoever into this? (+1 Stupidity)

They meet Jessica, who's apparently been transformed into a cartoon character with eyes that bug out of their sockets. She returns Bella's jacket and then Edward says good morning, which causes Jessica to fumble her words.

It wasn't really his fault that his voice was so irresistible. Or what his eyes were capable of.

Sentence. Fragment. Detected.

This is basically a repeat of the restaurant incident, with Meyer once again trying to hammer into our heads how perfect Edward is supposed to be by having other females orgasm at the very sight of him. (+1 Eye Sex)

Jessica rushes away, presumably to clean herself off, and Edward asks Bella what she intends to tell her. He says that Jessica will be waiting to ambush her in class. Bella requests help from Edward, again pleading instead of asking. I assume kneeling and clasped hands are involved. Edward, always the douche, refuses to help her because it wouldn't be "fair." The guy reads people's minds on a regular basis, but THIS is unfair?

Bella points out that not sharing what he knows in this situation is also unfair, and after thinking--my bad, "deliberating"--on the subject, he finally says that Jessica wants to know if they're secretly dating, and also wants to know how Bella feels about him. Apparently Edward is so amazing that the people they pass in the hallways are staring at them (gag). He fixes a stray lock of hair on Bella's head, which makes her heart "sputter hyperactively" (double gag).

Edward says that she can tell Jessica that they're dating, and that he'll be listening in on their conversation so he can hear her answer to the second question. That doesn't sound needy at all, eavesdropping on your girlfriend to hear what she thinks of you (sarcasm). He half-smiles, which makes Bella go short of breath. He then tells Bella that he'll see her at lunch, which makes three people in the hallway stop what they're doing and stare at her.

How many times have I said "we get it, Meyer" in these summaries? I've lost count. Well, I'm about to say it again. We get it, Meyer, Edward is a so special that he can stop traffic with a look and make girls orgasm with a yawn. You don't have to constantly have people overreact to his presence for us to get the point. Why don't you try giving Edward a personality outside of "brooding asshole" or "Gary Stu" so he can actually be interesting?

Bella is irritated because Edward hasn't been very helpful. From the text I get the impression that Meyer wants us to think Edward is being cute, when he's really just being a dick. Isn't it in his best interest, as a vampire trying to live among humans, to make sure that Bella has a good excuse to give Jessica? Does he really think that it's a good idea to withhold advice, thus sending Bella to face Jessica unprepared and risk her saying something that could compromise his cover? Apparently, Edward is too busy being a douchebag to realize this. (+1 Stupidity)

Mike says hello to Bella in class and asks how the shopping trip went. Mike, of course, is mostly interested in how Jessica feels about him, and Bella obliges him with the details of what Jessica said about their date on Monday. Personally I'm glad that Mike got with Jessica, even if it was handled in an insulting way that made it look as if Jessica was Mike's runner-up prize because he couldn't have Bella. I'm also willing to set aside how their hooking up was a little too convenient, occurring at just the right time so that Bella would be free to obsess over Edward without any of those pesky human emotions or complicated human friendships getting in the way. As we all know, Meyer hates conflict.

I'm glad because at least this way we're spared from having to watch Bella, the supposedly average every-teen, get drooled over by anyone with a penis. That's how people treat average girls, right? They are loved by all despite never having anything interesting to say, or even treating their new friends with the slightest bit of consideration. I'm sure having popular friends practically knocking each other over in their rush to spend time with you is a problem all normal girls have. Don't you just hate it when everyone loves you for no real reason?

English and Government passed in a blur, while I worried about how to explain things to Jessica and agonized over whether Edward would really be listening to what I said through the medium of Jess's thoughts. How very inconvenient his little talent could be--when it wasn't saving my life.

A problem Bella wouldn't be having if Edward wasn't being an asshole. Also, Edward's psychic powers never saved her life so far. His super speed and super strength saved her from the van, and he followed Bella in Port Angeles by tracking her scent. He did mention randomly reading people's thoughts, but that hadn't helped him. Continuity is your friend, Meyer.

In another instance of thesaurus rape, we learn that in Meyerland clouds have the ability to oppress people.

The fog had almost dissolved by the end of the second hour, but the day was still dark with low, oppressing clouds. I smiled up at the sky.

Meyer describes them as "oppressing clouds." Not "oppressive," but "oppressing." What, are the clouds demanding that Bella sit on the back of the bus or something? Are they forcing slaves to build the pyramids? So THAT'S how Stonehenge was constructed: by cloud-controlled slave labor! Damn you clouds, I'm on to your game!

William Shatner: CLOOOUDD!

First we learned that the sky can glower, and now the clouds can oppress people! (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Edward was right, of course.

Mustn't forget to put in the "of course" so that it's absolutely clear that Edward is always right, because he's perfect.

Jessica's reaction to Bella is described in such a way that we're meant to see her as a nosy bitch, but, when you look at her actual words, she doesn't say anything a normal person wouldn't say in this situation. She starts by asking what happened that night, and then asks Bella how she managed to get home so fast.

The conversation is pretty straightforward, with nothing of note being said. Jessica asks questions and Bella answers honestly. Again, Meyer's choice of words attempts to paint Jessica as nosy, but I don't think it's unreasonable to be curious about a notorious loner suddenly taking an interest in her new friend, going so far as to follow her across towns. If it were me, having heard that this creepy guy is following her around, I'd have given Bella a rape whistle.

Jessica is so blown away that she stretches out the word "wow" into three syllables. How do you do that, anyway? I can see her maybe going "wa-ow," but how do you get an extra syllable in there? "Wa-ah-ow?" Who talks like that? Meyer writes her response as "w-o-w," which implies that she stretched the word out, but that's not the same as giving it extra syllables.

The rest of the conversation lapses into what Meyer presumes to be girl talk. Are Bella and Edward going on a date? Did he kiss her? Will he kiss her? You should have seen that waitress flirting with him! Yes, the waitress was pretty. Like, OH MY GOD, I think my hair is turning blond!

Jessica describes Edward as "intimidating," and as I read that I could almost feel Meyer nudging me on the shoulder and saying "he's dangerous, I want you to think he's dangerous. Isn't he dangerous? Obey me, reader!" Jessica remembers when Edward "turned the overwhelming force of his eyes on her," and at this point I'm thinking that Edward should start wearing ruby quartz glasses to keep his eye lasers from shooting random people.

Cut to more stilted dialogue that tries to disguise itself as being "smart."

"I do have some trouble with incoherency when I'm around him," I admitted.

Note to Meyer: Throwing in random synonyms does not actually make your character intelligent. If Bella would, for instance, make an astute observation about her situation, or at least show a level of competency above that of a grade-schooler, then I may believe she's a smart person. Simply thumbing through the thesaurus for an intellectual-sounding word is a shallow attempt at best. Her behavior has shown an amazing lack of common sense, but, ooh, she used a five syllable word in a sentence. She must be a bloody genius! In addition to failing to make Bella appear smart, it also makes her dialogue sound wooden.

I LOVE this next part. You really have to read and absorb this to truly wrap your mind around how messed up it is.

"Oh, well. He is unbelievably gorgeous." Jessica shrugged as if this excused any flaws. Which, in her book, it probably did.

Says the girl who instantly forgave being dragged across a parking lot, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who instantly forgave being actively stalked, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who instantly forgave being scowled at and repeatedly ignored, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who explained away a nightmare in which Edward tried to kill her, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who has no problem with Edward being a bloodthirsty vampire who may end up murdering her, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who puts up with thinly veiled threats disguised as warnings, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who didn't mind being picked up and carried like a child, her cries of protests ignored, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who had no trouble with being commanded to eat, even though she wasn't hungry, because he's Edward.

Says the girl who, last chapter, professed her "unconditional and irrevocable" love for a guy she doesn't know because OOOH, HE'S SO HANDSOME AND HIS BREATH CONTAINS A PARALYZING AGENT!

And yet she looks down on JESSICA for excusing Edward's flaws because he's pretty? For that matter, the vast majority of the Twilight fandom is guilty of this; including, most ironically, Stephenie Meyer herself. You see why the above quote is so mind-meltingly awesome? She tries to make Bella appear mature by making Jessica out to be vapid and shallow, when that is exactly how Bella herself behaves. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella: Oh, silly Jessica, childishly fixating on Edward's LOOKS. How shallow can you get? Oh, look, there's Edward. My heart stopped beating as I beheld his angelic face with its bone structure that looked like it was carved by the hands of a master. I couldn't stop staring at his perfectly muscled chest, to which the fabric of his sweater clung. My powers of description are so lacking that I must now take out the thesaurus and pick a hundred adjectives to describe his beauty. Oh, he is so handsome, and cool, and mysterious, and ... and ... I just had one. Sorry, what was I talking about again?

Bella responds.

"There is a lot more to him than that."

Funny, I wish we could SEE these fine qualities of Edward's that extend beyond his looks, but all those pages and pages of flowery prose extolling his beauty are a bit of a distraction.

Jessica asks Bella for an example. Bella says that she can't explain it right, meaning AT ALL. What passes for an explanation is as follows.

"... he's even more unbelievable behind the face." The vampire who wanted to be good--who ran around saving people's lives so he wouldn't be a monster ...

Of course, anyone who has been paying attention will know that this is complete bullshit. Here is a quote taken from chapter eight.

"I followed you to Port Angeles," he admitted, speaking in a rush. "I've never tried to keep a specific person alive before, and it's much more troublesome than I would have believed. ..."

Edward is quite the altruist, how he so unselfishly stalks a girl he just met even though that might end with him brutally murdering her and feasting on her blood. How he so nobly stated in chapter five that, despite this risk, he was going to stick with Bella anyway, because as long as he's going to Hell he may as well do it thoroughly. What a guy!

Jessica wonders if it's even possible for Edward to be more amazing than how he looks. Bella ignores her and pretends to pay attention to the teacher. The rest of the conversation can be summed up thusly:

Jessica: Do you like him?
Bella: I like him.
Jessica: Do you like like him?
Bella: I like like him.
Jessica: Do you like him THIS much?
Bella: I like him a whole lot!
Bella: HORRAY!

As if to spare us from more of this drivel, Jessica is called on to answer a question by the teacher. Bella later decides to distract Jessica by waving the subject of Mike in front of her face like she would a ball of yarn in front of a kitten. Jessica immediately takes the bait and they spend their remaining time dissecting everything Mike said. Thankfully this is glossed over and we're not subjected to the actual conversation.

It's time for lunch, and Jessica correctly guesses that Bella won't be sitting with her friends today. Edward is standing right outside her classroom door, an action which, had it been committed by any other boy, would have resulted in Bella snootily labeling the offending party as a dog. Contradicting what Bella had said earlier about Edward's looks, she describes him as "looking more like a Greek god than anyone had a right to." Yeah, and Jessica is the superficial one who excuses Edward's flaws because he's pretty. Bella NEVER does that.

"Hello." His voice was amused and irritated at the same time.

Again, which one of them is psychic? Bella seems able to tell an awful lot from a simple "hello." Bella says "hi," and that is the extent of their conversation. Can't you just feel the unconditional and irrevocable love in the air?

Walking with Edward through the crowded lunchtime rush was a lot like my first day here; everyone stared.

Maybe I should include a "we get it, Meyer" count on this blog? I'd suggest making a drinking game out of it, where every time Meyer needlessly hammers Edward's perfection into our skulls you take a drink, but I like my readership too much to kill them all off with alcohol poisoning.

In the lunchroom, Edward is giving Bella looks. She decides from his facial expression that he's more annoyed than amused, and I assume we're going to hear exactly why shortly. They sit down with their food, where seniors are gazing at them in amazement. If this were the aforementioned drinking game, you'd be taking a shot right now.

Bella is curious if Edward can eat people-food (not people AS food, I mean cafeteria lunch). This causes him to switch to asshat mode. He glares at Bella, takes a bite of pizza, and speaks condescendingly to her. That's not just me interpreting his words, the word "condescendingly" is actually used to describe his tone in the book. He compares eating human food to eating dirt, and Bella says she'd eaten dirt once on a dare.

Edward is distracted by Jessica's thoughts, explaining that she is watching them and analyzing everything he does. The mention of Jessica irritates him further. The subject of the waitress is brought up, and Bella smugly expresses pity for her, saying that she can afford to be generous now. Jealous much? (+1 Bitch)

Edward whines that he didn't like some of the things Bella said to Jessica. Bella points out that that's what he gets for eavesdropping, and that she'd told him he didn't want to know everything she was thinking.

"You did," he agreed, but his voice was still rough. "You aren't precisely right, though. I do want to know what you're thinking--everything. I just wish ... that you wouldn't be thinking some things."

I hadn't really noticed before, but it occurs to me that Meyer REALLY loves dashes.

More importantly, how messed up is that quote? Not only is Edward expressing a desire to invade Bella's private thoughts, he insinuates that he'd like those thoughts to be more to his liking. This would be interesting if this were explored in greater depth, the effects of someone so used to hearing other people's thoughts that what constitutes proper moral conduct in the use of such an ability becomes ambiguous. Unfortunately, Edward's inability to read Bella's mind is just a convenient plot device and a way to make Bella oh so special.

Bella scowls (why is everyone always scowling or glaring or frowning in this book?), offended by the implications of Edward's words, so Edward changes the subject. It turns out that Edward is bothered by how Bella had said that she cares more for Edward that he does for her. They then argue briefly over who loves who more. Edward says that she's wrong, and Bella disagrees.

"What makes you think so?" His liquid topaz eyes were penetrating ...

Liquid topaz? How many things have Edward's eyes been in this book? Now his eyes are made of liquid topaz? Last chapter they were made of honey! If Meyer is trying to give Edward's eyes a new exotic color, she has also failed. Topaz is not a color. In fact, pure topaz stones are colorless. In general topazes appear in a wide variety of colors, so just saying "topaz" to describe his eyes is saying that they could be any number of colors.

To answer the question of how Bella can be sure that Edward doesn't know if she cares for him more, I put forward the simple observation that HE CAN'T READ HER MIND! Just saying.

Bella is completely stumped and struggles to think of an answer to Edward's question. Uh, hello, he can't read your mind. That was one of the subjects of your conversation, remember? Bella asks for some time to think. Uh, Bella? He can't read your mind. Do I have to spell it out for you? She says that sometimes it sounds like he's trying to say goodbye when he's saying something else. She describes this as the best way she could sum up the "sensation of anguish" his words cause her. Ugh!

"Perceptive," he whispered.


*wipes tear*

Moving on. Bella had said "aside from the obvious" as part of her answer, and Edward asks what she meant by that. When I read that line I assumed she'd meant "you can't read my mind," because that couldn't be more obvious if you wrote it on a giant billboard with neon lights. Nope, Bella meant something entirely different, and entirely shallow.

"Well, look at me," I said ...

You can tell where this is going, can't you?

"I'm absolutely ordinary--well, except for the near-death experiences and being so clumsy that I'm almost disabled. ..."

Because no ordinary person ever gets hit by an out-of-control vehicle. You NEVER see that sort of thing on the news, and nobody in the whole world ever gets mugged or raped. Crime is nonexistent, after all. And, oh, is she so clumsy; never mind that we rarely ever see that except when it's convenient for the plot.

But aside from that she is completely ordinary. In fact, she is so ordinary that the whole town of Forks had nothing better to do than to await her arrival (chapter two). She's so unremarkable that people rush to be her friend. I'm certain that average girls have several guys fall in love with them at once all the time, and have to deal with the annoyance of turning down invitations to a dance from potential boyfriends. Meyer, you can't have it both ways. You can't have Bella practically worshipped as a goddess and make her out to be a special snowflake, and then later claim that she's completely ordinary.

"... And look at you." I waved my hand toward him and all his bewildering perfection.

And yet JESSICA is the shallow one who judges people's worth by their looks? Remember, kiddies, people who are pretty can't possibly care that much about you unless your looks are on par with their own. Thus speaketh Bella Swan!

Meyer decides that she wants Bella to be a special snowflake again, so she has it mentioned that every human male in the school wants to play "hide the sausage" with her.

I am not kidding.

I am dead serious.

Every human male.

"You don't see yourself very clearly, you know. I'll admit you're dead-on about the bad things," he chuckled blackly, "but you didn't hear what every human male in this school was thinking on your first day."

What's that sound?

Oh no, my Mary Sue meter just exploded!

Apparently Bella is so super special awesome that every male in the school wants her, also proving that there are no such things as gays and lesbians in Meyerland. Personally I'm just glad that he specified "human" males; I'd hate to think that even the animals want her. *shudders* (+1 Stupidity)

Bella expresses disbelief at Edward's words. I should point out that being extraordinarily beautiful and not knowing it is a common Mary Sue trait, most typically found in poorly written fan fiction. Seriously, this book is starting to remind me of some of the Harry Potter fan fiction I've seen. Embarrassed, Bella steers the conversation back on topic, which prompts Edward to say one of the dumbest things he's said so far.

"Don't you see? That's what proves me right. I care the most, because I can do it"--he shook his head, seeming to struggle with the thought--"if leaving is the right thing to do, then I'll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe."

Edward: Oh, Bella, you silly little human thing. Don't you see that your love can't possibly compare to mine? I can leave you if I have to ... never mind that despite constantly saying that we should stay away from each other I keep stalking you, breaking into your house, and even tracking you across towns. Now listen as I use overly-dramatic wording to describe how I'd do anything to protect you ... despite the fact that even though I believe myself to be a genuine threat to you I keep stalking you, thus contradicting my own warnings to stay away. LOOK, I SPARKLE IN SUNLIGHT!

Also, WOW! Meyer REALLY loves dashes!

I glared. "And you don't think I would do the same?"
"You'd never have to make the choice."

Holy Christ, that's messed up!

Judging by Edward's previous actions and his words just now, it's plain that he simply assumes that he controls when the relationship begins and when it will end. Bella would never have to make the choice of when to leave, because Edward would make it for her. How do people claim that Edward isn't controlling when he does things like this?

This is the kind of relationship that Twilight is heralding as the epitome of romance.

Abruptly, his unpredictable mood shifted again; a mischievous, devastating smile rearranged his features. "Of course, keeping you safe is beginning to feel like a full-time occupation that requires my constant presence."

Oh my goodness, how many times have I seen paragraphs like this in online writers workshops? The awkward wording, the dry tone, the attempt to sound intelligent that comes off as sounding wooden. Paragraphs like these make my inner editor go bonkers. I'm re-writing the above quote in my head right now, in fact.

That aside, I also find it insulting how Bella is painted as weak and in need of rescuing. She is treated like a child who requires constant supervision. This is likely just Edward being possessive and controlling, because so far there hasn't been any indication that she is, in any way, as weak as Edward thinks she is. Unfortunately, accidents and crime happen all the time and can happen to anyone. Neither the van incident nor the near mugging/raping means she's a danger magnet. It just means she lives on Earth.

"No one has tried to do away with me today," I reminded him, grateful for the lighter subject. I didn't want him to talk about goodbyes anymore.

Wait ... did she just imply than being in a life-threatening situation is a lighter topic of discussion than possibly breaking up with Edward? Nah, I probably just imagined it.

I supposed I could purposefully put myself in danger to keep him close.

*stares blankly*

What ... the ... FUCK?

I ... I just ... WOW!

I'm at a loss for words here. I thought I'd seen some stupid shit in this book, but this trumps them all by far! I'm not even sure which point I should give this line. Should I mark it for stupidity because of how incredibly idiotic it is, or should I give Bella a bitch point for being so selfish as to consider intentionally putting herself in danger to emotionally blackmail Edward into staying with her? I think I'll read a little further before deciding.

... I banished that thought before his quick eyes read it on my face. That idea would definitely get me in trouble.

Really? She didn't banish the thought because maybe, just maybe, it is WRONG? Because it is morally reprehensible? Because it is selfish and stupid and cruel? No, she just doesn't want to get caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Definitely leaning towards bitch points right now.

"Yet," he added.
"Yet," I agreed; I would have argued but now I wanted him to be expecting disasters.

That does it!

Bella is not right in the head. There is no doubt in my mind that she needs psychiatric help. That she considers intentionally putting her own life in danger just to get Edward's attention to be not only a viable option, but also a preferable one, tells me that there is something wrong with her. She is sick, she is selfish, and she needs help. This behavior is crazy, manipulative, and it shows a wanton disregard not only for her own safety, but for the feelings of others so long as she gets what she wants. Double bitch points for her! (+2 Bitch)

Edward asks Bella if she really needs to go to Seattle or if that's just an excuse to get out of going to the dance with any of the boys that asked her. As you know, Bella had pulled that whole trip out of her ass, spur of the moment, to get out of attending the dance.

Bella, not yet done being a bitch, whines at Edward for giving Tyler the opportunity to ask her to the dance. Edward is amused by this, and you can almost see him savoring the memory of manipulating a boy who'd just got back from the hospital after suffering head trauma. Not that anyone had noticed at the time, because everyone had been too busy fawning over their precious Bella Sue, who didn't even have a headache.

Carlisle: What? That boy suffered head trauma in a car accident? Currently bleeding from the head? I see, this is quite serious. He may be concussed so it's important that we--OH MY GOD, THERE'S A MARY SUE IN THE ROOM! Forget that kid, we must give the Mary Sue all of our attention! I don't care if she's not even hurt. For the love of God, she's a Mary Sue! MARY SUE!

Edward asks if Bella would have turned him down if he'd asked her to the dance. Bella says she'd have said yes but canceled later, pleading illness or a sprained ankle. Edward asks why and she says it's because she's so clumsy. Funny how we never see this clumsiness except when it's convenient for her. It's also funny how her supposed clumsiness is never detrimental to her, at least not on screen.

Clumsiness is supposed to be Bella's one real flaw to balance out her character, because it's important that a character have exactly ONE flaw, lest she be accused of being a Mary Sue. However, clumsiness isn't really a character flaw at all. If she has trouble with tripping over things or tasks that require hand-eye coordination (how she drives her truck, in this case, is a mystery to me) then it is not a flaw in her personality. It is not a vice, it's just bad luck. It may pass as a flaw if it ended up placing her in bad situations or causing misunderstandings, but that doesn't happen here. So far the worst it has done was give Edward an opportunity to pick up her books and fetch her car key. It has only ever worked in her favor, and is clearly meant to make her more lovable rather than introducing any real fault in her character.

She talks about her gym performance, yet we have never actually seen her in gym class. We were TOLD that she fumbled the ball or tripped over another player, but we've never actually seen it happen. We never get to see Bella having a flawed moment, we're merely told about it. A singular flaw that, in practice, isn't really a flaw. That is another Mary Sue trait.

Moving on. Edward changes the subject back to the Seattle trip. He asks if Bella is up to doing something else, and Bella says that she's open to suggestions. She does request, however, that she be the one to drive. Edward asks why and she makes a reasonable case for herself, even if that case does revolve around keeping secrets from her fath--I mean, Charlie.

He rolled his eyes. "Of all the things about me that could frighten you, you worry about my driving." He shook his head in disgust ...

Gee, I wonder why Bella could possibly have a problem with a guy who drives at 100 MPH and doesn't pay attention to the road. Edward asks Bella why she's keeping him a secret from Charlie, and Bella gives a non-answer.

"With Charlie, less is always more."

Personally, I don't understand why Bella doesn't trust her father ... at all. Does she think he'll not approve of Edward, even after that speech he gave in chapter two about how much he loves the Cullens?

Edward says that it will be sunny that day so he'll be in hiding, and he invites Bella to come with him. Meyer once again specifically points out that Edward is letting Bella make a decision, which I find insulting because Meyer treats the occurrence of a man letting a woman choose as being somehow special. Bella gets excited, as this means she'll finally find out why he doesn't go out in sunlight. Oh, I can hardly wait until that scene ... like how I eagerly anticipate cancer.

What follows is an insulting exchange that perfectly highlights how their relationship functions.

"Yes." He smiled, and then paused. "But if you don't want to be ... alone with me, I'd still rather you didn't go to Seattle by yourself. I shudder to think of the trouble you could find in a city that size."
I was miffed. "Phoenix is three times bigger than Seattle--just in population. In physical size--"
"But apparently," he interrupted me, "your number wasn't up in Phoenix. So I'd rather you stayed near me." His eyes did that unfair smoldering thing again.

Notice what went on there? Edward is so convinced that Bella is incapable of taking care of herself that he doesn't trust her to take a trip by herself, much the same as a parent would treat his 10 year old kid. When Bella makes a valid point, that she is no stranger to cities and has, in fact, lived in one for most of her life, Edward dismisses her out of hand and insists that she needs to be under his supervision. Listening to him, you'd wonder how Bella had ever managed to survive without his protection.

Interestingly, Edward's attitude towards Bella mirrors how Bella feels about Charlie. As I pointed out in Chapter seven, Bella treats Charlie as if he is a child incapable of feeding himself, despite the fact that he's been living independently since Bella was in diapers. In that same way Edward treats Bella as if she can't take care of herself, which, if her brief description of her life with her mother is any indication, she essentially has been doing for years. In both cases, the first party refuses to listen to the second.

Edward sees Bella as weak, incompetent, and incapable of fending for herself. He doesn't respect her at all, he merely patronizes her. In his mind there is no balance of power in their relationship, because all of the power is his. He thinks he is the one who must make the decisions, as evidenced by an earlier quote in this chapter, and he offers her non-choices as an afterthought. Their relationship is not that of a partnership, it is a master/slave relationship with Edward controlling everything. That is NOT true love. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)

Also note the last sentence of the above quote, where Edward attempts to "dazzle" Bella in order to get his own way. Add blatant manipulation to his list of offences this chapter.

I couldn't argue, with the eyes or the motivation, and it was a moot point anyway. "As it happens, I don't mind being alone with you."
"I know," he sighed, brooding.

He knows. Edward knows that Bella isn't going to refuse to spend time with him. So far Edward has given Bella exactly two choices, and both of them have been whether to spend time with him or not. It's not giving her a choice if he only gives her the ones to which he already knows the response. To truly give someone a choice is to open yourself to refusal, which Edward never risked. Therefore, as I stated earlier, Edward has only given Bella non-choices, which only further proves how controlling he is. The illusion of choice is no choice at all.

"You should tell Charlie, though."
"Why in the world would I do that?"
His eyes were suddenly fierce. "To give me some small incentive to bring you back."

On a scale of one to ten, the level of creepiness of Edward's response ranks at "I'm filing a restraining order." It's also telling how Bella thinks so little of her father that she wonders why in the world she would want to fill him in on what's going on in her life.

If someone had said something like that to me I would slowly back away and keep my hand on my cellphone in case I needed to dial 911. The implication here is that Edward may decide to never let Bella go back home, which would be kidnapping.

I gulped, but after a moment of thought, I was sure. "I think I'll take my chances."

Edward has just implied that he might kidnap her, and she finds this preferable to telling her father where she's going. How dumb is this bitch? (+1 Stupidity)

Edward is angered by this, so Bella decides to change the subject. She asks Edward why they went to Goat's Rock, figures out that they went there to hunt bears (after an "isn't it obvious" look from Edward), and points out that bears are out of season.

"If you read carefully, the laws only cover hunting with weapons," he informed me.


The inconvenient thing about the Internet is that it allows access to information on an unprecedented scale, so that if an amateur author who didn't do research tries to bullshit you, you can do the research she didn't and call her out on it. In this case, a quick Google search on Washington laws brought me to this document which defines hunting thusly:

(53) "To hunt" and its derivatives means an effort to kill, injure, capture, or harass a wild animal or wild bird.

I have also cross-referenced this definition with the official pamphlet on Washington state hunting regulations, which can be found here. In both documents, the definition of "to hunt" is the same.

Do you see any mention there about weapons? No? Edward is full of shit! His supposed loophole is made up, as ANY attempt to harm a wild animal is considered hunting in Washington state law, weapons or no.

Edward takes a moment to bask in his own awesomeness as Bella marvels at how he kills bears with his (no pun intended) bare hands. He says that Grizzly is Emmett's favorite. He fails to mention that Emmett prefers to hunt bears in their natural habitat, in dimly lit nightclubs full of men dressed in leather. Emmett is, according to the terminology, a pig. He may also be defined as a "power bottom."

Bella takes a moment to absorb this, then she asks what Edward's favorite is. This wasn't the reaction he was expecting, and he frowns in disapproval before saying "mountain lion." I guess he really does like the pussy.

Edward informs Bella that they try to lessen their impact on the environment by focusing on areas with an overpopulation of predators ... something that does not occur in the natural world unless something happened to radically decrease the amount of available prey. Edward continues to try to impress Bella by talking more about bears and how they're best hunted when they're irritable. Bella doesn't respond with the gushing praise and awe he's expecting, so he finally demands to know what she's really thinking. Bella wants to know how they hunt bears without weapons.

"Oh, we have weapons." He flashed his bright teeth in a brief, threatening smile. I fought back a shiver before it could expose me. "Just not the kind they consider when writing hunting laws. If you've ever seen a bear attack on television, you should be able to visualize Emmett hunting."

Yes, you can certainly visualize Emmett with a mouth full of meat, working his lips over the throbbing organ in order to make it surrender its precious fluid. GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!

How does that work anyway? Meyerpires don't have fangs, so they can't easily pierce the flesh to get at the blood (the human canine was not designed for piercing). Simply tearing at the flesh with their teeth would be terribly inefficient, as that would result in splatter and wasted blood. I just started and already I'm putting more thought into this than Meyer has.

Also, as I pointed out, Edward is full of bullshit about the hunting laws. They cover ANY attempt to harm wild animals, so teeth also count. Also, if he considers his teeth to be a weapon, wouldn't that technically violate his own made-up loophole? More importantly, this shows that Edward has absolutely no respect for the law. There is a word for what he does. It's called "poaching," and that makes him a criminal. You can be jailed for that.

Bella asks if she could see them hunt someday, which causes Edward to go batshit crazy and snap at her furiously, so much so that Bella is frightened by his reaction. Yeah, that "unconditional and irrevocable" love is simply palpable, isn't it?

Bella asks if seeing them hunt would be too scary for her, and Edward cuttingly responds that she needs a good dose of fear. Bella asks why, and Edward just glares at her and changes the subject entirely. That's how loving boyfriends behave, right? They snap at you angrily and then change the subject rather than explain themselves. A hint to the impressionable young girls out there: IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT AT ALL! If your boy behaves in such a manner it is not romantic, it makes him a jerk!

Bella realizes that the lunch period is over, and on that note the chapter finally ends.

I'm normally a patient person when it comes to books. You may not guess it from these summaries, but I still hold out some hope that something will happen to redeem this book. Ten chapters in, and nothing yet. I am not actively out to hate this book, there is simply nothing in it so far for me to like. I don't expect any avid fans to believe this, as they tend to think that only someone with an agenda could possibly dislike their precious book, but I'm fairly certain that the majority of the Twilight antis are of a similar mind as I am and can understand where I'm coming from.

Oh, and remember that prediction I made at the beginning of this summary? I was right, bonus points and all.

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+6 Stupidity
+3 Bitch
+2 Eye Sex
+2 Bad Boyfriend
+2 Thesaurus Rape

Twilight - Chapter Nine

This book is unconditionally and irrevocably boring.

Ugh! This is going to be painful. You see, this is an Edward-heavy chapter. I've made no secret of my intense dislike of Sparkedouche, so the thought of having to plow through a chapter of him and Bella talking promises to be an assault on the senses. Well, no use bitching about it. May as well just jump in and get this over with.

The chapter begins with Bella pleading with Edward to let her ask one more question. "Plead" is an unnecessarily strong word to use in this case, but this is Twilight so this kind of thing is par for the course. Edward, meanwhile, is portrayed to be so cool that he can drive crazy fast and doesn't even have to pay attention to the road. Reckless endangerment FTW!

He agrees to an additional question and Bella asks how Edward knew that she hadn't gone into the book store. Edward says that he followed Bella's smell. How exactly does that work anyway? The human sense of smell isn't strong enough for that, and I don't see how being undead can help. I know this seems like a small nitpick, and in another vampire story I wouldn't think twice about it, but Twilight is different. You see, Stephanie Meyer herself has claimed that HER vampires are based on science rather than mysticism. That claim changes the entire game.

It's one thing to write a story with magical, follows-its-own-rules vampires, but when you try to bring science into the equation it raises a ton of questions that you'd better be able to explain. I could sit here and describe all the ways that Meyerpires are a scientific impossibility but I don't have to. Much of the work has already been done in this brilliantly detailed essay on how Meyer's "scientific" vampires are complete bullshit.

Moving on. Bella decides, and rightfully so, to keep pressing Edward now that he is finally giving her answers. She points out that he hadn't answered one of her earlier questions, the one about the mind-reading. You know, the question that Bella had just pulled out of her ass last chapter?

"How does it work--the mind-reading thing? Can you read anybody's mind, anywhere? How do you do it? Can the rest of your family ...?" I felt silly, asking for clarification on make-believe.

Wait! Hold on one bloody second! Make-believe? As I pointed out last chapter, Bella had pulled the mind-reading question out of thin air, with no explanation given for how she came to that conclusion about Edward. After all, she'd never previously thought of Edward as psychic and no real clue had been given to point her in that direction. It came straight out of her ass. Given this, I am likely to believe that when Bella says "make-believe" she means "I made the whole thing up" as well as "psychic powers do not exist."

There are several ways this can be taken. Bella is either so super special awesome that she deduced Edward's psychic abilities with zero evidence to work with, that she took a random guess and got lucky (again, because she's so super special awesome), or, and I think this one is most likely, Meyer messed up and had her self-insert ask about mind-reading, forgetting that the characters in her book aren't supposed to automatically know everything she knows. In either case, this is more sloppiness from Meyer. (+1 Stupidity)

Edward gripes that that is more than one question, but answers. He explains that only he can read minds and that he has to be "fairly close" to someone in order to read his or her thoughts. However, the more "familiar" one's mental voice is, the further away he can hear it. Even so, no more than a few miles ... a few miles isn't "fairly close" so I assume that only applies to familiar voices.

Edward makes a fairly believable case for how his psychic powers work, describing it as being in a room full of people talking at once. I have no complaints here, though how psychic powers are possible in a "scientific" vampire is beyond me. I'll just go with it, since I don't want to be here all day pointing out the implausibility of that. Why on Earth did Meyer have to claim to base her vamps on science when they have superpowers? What, vampires burning in the sun sounds too mystical to Meyer (she's said so herself) but mind-reading doesn't?

Bella asks Edward why he can't read her mind, which makes this even more ridiculous when you consider that not only had Bella concluded that Edward is psychic, but also correctly guessed a very specific limitation to his power. All of this with no real evidence to work with and no deliberation on the matter that we've seen. Move over Sherlock Holmes, Bella "Mary Sue" Swan makes you look like a novice.

Edward isn't sure why, but speculates that perhaps Bella's mind works differently from an average person's, which is Sue talk for "because you're just that special!" While there is no real explanation for this in the books, Meyer has gone on record as saying that it's because Bella has a "private mind," whatever that's supposed to mean. I think a more likely explanation is that Bella's mind can't be read because girlfriend ain't got nothing going on upstairs.

Because Bella cannot resist the urge to make everything about her, she then proceeds to whine that she's a freak because her mind can't be read. In a rare moment when I actually agree with Edward, he comes back with this.

"I hear voices in my mind and you're worried that you're the freak," he laughed. "Don't worry, it's just a theory. ..." His face tightened. "Which brings us back to you."

Edward begins to press Bella to answer his question, but then Bella looks at the speedometer and curses ... at least, she utters what passes for a curse in this book.

"Holy crow!" I shouted. "Slow down!"

Holy crow? HOLY FUCKING CROW? Dear God, that's lame. I would have even settled for a "holy cow" out of her, but "holy crow?" I have nothing against authors who don't want their characters to swear, especially in young adult literature, but if you're going to put in a substitute for an expletive I expect something that doesn't sound like Ned Flanders should be saying it. (+1 Stupidity)

The source of the sacred crows is the fact that Edward is driving at 100 MPH. Factor in how, as has been established earlier, Edward is not really paying attention to the road and you can see why Bella is not exactly thrilled by this. One silly paragraph later, in which the wilderness is likened to a wall of steel (so stupid!), and Edward treats Bella like a child, rolling his eyes at her for having a problem with being in a car driving at 100 MPH with a guy who's not even paying attention to the road.

"Relax, Bella." He rolled his eyes, still not slowing.
"Are you trying to kill us?" I demanded.

And now I'm agreeing with Bella. I don't care how super special awesome Edward is supposed to be, driving crazy fast is just plain idiotic, to say nothing of the danger he is introducing to himself and everyone around him. Aren't Edward and his family trying to blend in with the locals? Yeah, because nothing says "inconspicuous" like speeding through the streets like a maniac.

"We're not going to crash."
I tried to modulate my voice. "Why are you in such a hurry?"

I see that the thesaurus is still getting a good anal reaming. Technically "modulate" is not the wrong word, but in this context it is ridiculous. Meyer's problem is that she selects words without regard for context. If I were in a car with a speeding maniac I would not try to "modulate" my voice, I would try to "calm" my voice or "control" my tone. Those words work because by attempting to "calm" or "control" my voice it implies that it is neither calm nor controlled, which reflects the panic I'd naturally be feeling in that situation.

The word "modulate" does not work because it has no such connotation. Modulating is more commonly something you do to an instrument or a frequency, or to your own voice in the context of singing. It is a technical term which is out of place in an emotional situation. The way Meyer uses it here, it makes Bella sound like a robot. Got that? Great. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

"I always drive like this." He turned and smiled crookedly at me.
"Keep your eyes on the road!"

Yes, Edward, keep your eyes on the road and off of Bella's breasts. I was going to ask, once again, where the police are, but now Meyer attempts to explain why nobody in this book gets pulled over.

"I've never been in an accident, Bella--I've never even gotten a ticket." He grinned and tapped his forehead. "Built-in radar detector."

I said that Meyer ATTEMPTS to explain, not that she does so successfully. I am now going to list all of the things that are wrong with that statement.

1. Radar detector? Last time I checked, machines don't have minds. Psychic powers would do no good against a radar gun.

2. Even if Edward meant that he can detect cops, that still doesn't work. Police don't stand around thinking that they're police. Their thoughts would be indistinguishable from that of an average person's. In a populated area, where he'd be hearing everyone's thoughts at once, he'd have a hard time picking out a cop's thoughts from the flood of voices in his head.

3. Even if he catches the odd cop thinking about doing cop things, Edward stated that his powers have a limited range and that he has to be "fairly close" in order to hear a stranger's thoughts. Therefore he would not have enough time to react before being detected, especially if he's going 100 MPH. He wouldn't have enough time to slow down to the current speed limit.

4. Inanimate objects also don't have minds. Even for Edward, taking his eyes off the road while speeding is incredibly stupid. One unexpected obstacle such as a fallen tree, a damaged road, etc, and he'll have one hell of a repair bill on his hands.

5. Even with psychic powers, it takes only one moment of distraction to cause a fatal car crash or run over a pedestrian. Just one moment in which he notices too late and lives will be lost. It doesn't matter that he has super special awesome sparklepire reflexes. The ability of his car to react to his input would be the limiting factor, so even with all his super speed he would not be able to stop his car in time. Pesky laws of physics.

6. Given how often we've seen Edward not paying attention and taking his eyes off of the road, numbers 4 and 5 are looking increasingly likely to happen.

As you can see, Meyer is so full of bullshit that her blood should be packaged and sold as fertilizer. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella point out that her father is a cop and that she was raised to obey traffic laws. Given her feelings towards her father, this is less of a sign of respect for Charlie and more of an excuse to get Edward to slow down. She further says that if they do get into a car crash, Edward could probably walk away. Edward agrees and realizes that Bella, puny human that she is, would not be able to do the same. He finally slows down, but only to 80 MPH. Edward complains that he hates driving "slow."

Remember kiddies, traffic laws are for losers. It's cool to do 100 MPH while barely paying attention to the road. God will give you a beer when you meet him in Heaven. Get it? Because you'd be dead. Har har har!

Edward snaps at Bella for commenting on his driving and asks her to tell him her latest theory. He looks at her with eyes made of honey.

I bit my lip. He looked down at me, his honey eyes unexpectedly gentle.

Where's Winnie the Pooh when you need him? Get it? Eyes made of honey? Pooh loves to eat honey? HAR HAR HAR!


Ow! Okay, I'll stop explaining the jokes now.

Bella says that she's afraid that Edward will be angry with her if she tells. Considering that Bella had just told Edward that he has psychic powers, I don't think vampirism is that big of a stretch. I mean, if this were a "I must kill you because you know too much" kind of situation, Bella's mangled body would be lying in the woods by now. Edward coaxes Bella into starting her story from the beginning, and this gets Bella started. Get comfy, folks, because this is the part where we get to recap the events of La Push in excruciating detail.

Gee golly, nonsense conversation and a re-treading of an event that happened a short while ago. ISN'T THIS EXCITING?

"We went for a walk--" I edited all my scheming out of the story ...

Indeed. Can't have your boy toy know that you've been flirting with other boys behind his back. I don't know why Bella bothers. Given Edward's track record, the story of how Bella manipulated an innocent boy's feelings and used him to get information would probably just make him laugh. Did I mention that Bella is a bitch? (+1 Bitch)

Bella tells Edward about the stuff Jacob told him, even though Bella had promised him that she would keep it a secret. Here is a small excerpt from that chapter to prove it.

"Don't worry, I won't give you away."
"I guess I just violated the treaty," he laughed.
"I'll take it to the grave," I promised, and then I shivered.

The above quote was taken from chapter six. OH, HAR HAR HAR! I see what Meyer did there! Get it? The Cullens are vampires? Bella says she'll "take it to the grave" and shivers? Oh, Meyer, you are such a card. HAR HAR HAR!


OW! Okay, I'll really stop it this time. I promise. I'll take this promise ... *winks* ... TO THE GRAVE! HAR HAR HAR!


I needed that. I think this book is actually starting to drain away my sanity.

Anyway, Bella is a lying liar who tells lies. Suddenly developing a conscience, Bella tries to protect Jacob by telling Edward of all the trickery she'd used to get the information out of him. If she was really worried about Jacob she should have, I don't know, actually kept the secret she'd promised to keep.

Hearing that she's tricked Jacob into spilling the beans, Edward laughs. I so totally called that. Didn't I call it? God, Edward is a douchebag. He asks Bella how she tricked him, and she admits that she flirted the information out of him. Still in douche mode, Edward is amused.

"I'd like to have seen that." He chuckled darkly. "And you accused me of dazzling people--poor Jacob Black."

Poor Jacob Black indeed. First he's used and manipulated, and now the tale of how he was used has become Edward chuckle fodder. I bet Edward was that one guy in the theater who laughed when Bambi's mother died. Does this guy spend his days sitting around and dreaming of new ways to be a douche? This is what so many girls think of as perfect boyfriend material?

Edward asks what Bella did after that, and she tells him that she did research on the Internet.

"And did that convince you?" His voice sounded barely interested. But his hands were clamped hard onto the steering wheel.

Isn't that where his hands should be? Also, nice sentence fragment there, putting the "but" after a full stop even though the clause it was introducing doesn't stand on its own. She should have used a comma.

"No, nothing fit. Most of it was kind of silly. And then ..." I stopped.

Really? Nothing fit? We've went over her research in chapter seven, but to spare you from having to go back and read through that again, I'll give you the gist of it.

Here we have Edward, who is pale, beautiful, fast, and strong. In Bella's research (which was a complete bastardization of the vampire mythos) she came across descriptions of vampires that characterized then as "beautiful, pale-skinned humans" and also as "strong and fast." Ring a bell?

I suppose that Bella's completely wrong statement does fall into line with what she'd thought before. When she was doing the research she claimed that nothing fit her criteria for vampires, even though things like "blood drinking" and "immortality" were on her list of vampire attributes. This is also the same girl who, after researching vampires, was shocked when the Cullens didn't show up for school on a sunny day. Bella really is Meyer's self-insert; they both fail epically at research. (+1 Stupidity)

Even Edward is surprised at her stupidity.

"I decided it didn't matter," I whispered.
"It didn't matter?" His tone made me look up--I had finally broken through his carefully composed mask. His face was incredulous, with just a hint of the anger I'd feared.
"No," I said softly. "It doesn't matter to me what you are."
A hard, mocking edge entered his voice. "You don't care if I'm a monster? If I'm not human?"

Please, please, PLEASE let this just be a ploy to get Edward to come out of his shell. I beg you, Stephanie Meyer, don't make Bella THAT stupid! (+1 Stupidity)

As I said, even Edward thinks this is stupid. He calls Bella insane, and this is the third time I find myself agreeing with one of the characters. This is a new record for me. Bella asks him about his age, and Edward admits that he's been seventeen years old for "a while." The next part of the conversation is all about establishing that her vampires are different.

Bella is taking this a LOT better than she should. The real problem I have with this whole chapter is that it is sucking any possibility of an actual plot out of this book. I mentioned earlier (chapter seven) that how Bella learns of Edward's vampirism could have been a major driving force for this book. Imagine Bella suspecting that Edward is a vampire and searching for proof to back her up, knowing that she should probably leave it alone but unable to resist the dark allure of this mysterious stranger. THAT would make a damn good read. Instead, here is how it went.

Jacob: The Cullens are totally vampires, and I will now not-so-subtly hint that my tribe are werewolves. I shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm a male, and in this book men have the brains of chimps and would sell their very souls for the slightest promise of boob. Oops, I just broke my tribe's sacred treaty that I am sworn to uphold. Oh, butter fingers!

Bella: I will now do research on the internet, somehow blame Forks for the research not being what I wanted it to be, and then have an emo moment in the forest.

Edward: Yes, I am totally a vampire, and also I have psychic powers. I should probably try to deny this, but you did research on the internet and listened to a story told by some kid you haven't seen in years. How can I possibly fight that? Oops, I just broke my family's pact to protect our terrible secret. Oh, butter fingers!

With such epic secret-keeping skills, it's a wonder that Forks hasn't received a social call from Van Helsing.

This book's true crime is that it has so much potential to be a good book, possibly even a great book, but it shoots its narrative load in the first few chapters so that there's nothing left to carry the story through the rest of the book. It squanders and ignores any chance to make the story the least bit interesting. Meyer is not a writer, she is a no-talent amateur who wouldn't know a good story if it sodomized her at a cocktail party.

Moving on. Edward points out that Bella hasn't yet asked the most important question. It should be fairly obvious to anyone over the age of 10, but Bella is stumped.

"You aren't concerned about my diet?" he asked sarcastically.
"Oh," I murmured, "that."
"Yes, that." His voice was bleak. "Don't you want to know if I drink blood?"

And people say this girl is smart BECAUSE? (+1 Stupidity)

Meyer constantly searches out the strongest, most dramatic-sounding words to describe even the simplest of things. Bella is never just sad, she is "spiraling down into misery." She is never merely disappointed, she is "trapped in desolation" or some such. In this case, Edward isn't merely sad or nervous, he is "bleak." Words like these are so overused that, for me at least, they lose their impact. Now everything that happens in this book fails to elicit much more than a "meh" from me. The closest I get to feeling anything about this book is irritation at Bella's stupidity and general bitchiness, and outrage at Edward's abusive behavior. Does soul-crushing boredom count as an emotional reaction? I get plenty of that, too.

Bella is not done ratting out Jacob, because she now tells Edward about how he'd told her that the Cullens don't hunt humans. Sensing the perfect opportunity to play up his bad boy persona, Edward goes on about how he is dangerous and, ooh, it is such a mistake for him to be alone with her.

Really, he says that.

"We try," he explained slowly. "We're usually very good at what we do. Sometimes we make mistakes. Me, for example, allowing myself to be alone with you."

Allow? ALLOW!?

*bangs head on desk*

I apologize for the caps lock rape to follow.


"This is a mistake?" I heard the sadness in my voice, but I didn't know if he could as well.

I find it funny that Bella rags on Mike for escorting her to class and inviting her on trips, calling him a dog, and then she turns around and acts even worse when it comes to Edward. Hypocrite, much?

"A very dangerous one," he murmured.

And yet HE KEEPS STALKING HER! I would be much more sympathetic if Edward had actually tried to protect Bella from himself but she refused to leave him alone. It's the opposite here. For all of Bella's whining whenever Edward doesn't come to class, she at least keeps her obsession to herself. Edward follows her around, sneaks into her bedroom at night, becomes possessive and abusive whenever they're together, and then he turns around and acts as if it's not his fault. He stalks Bella and then says "stay away" as if that somehow makes him conscientious. IT DOESN'T! It makes him a low-life hypocritical stalker who has absolutely no control over his undead penis. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)

Bella describes the headlights in a way that makes absolutely no sense.

I watched the headlights twist with the curves of the road. They moved too fast; it didn't look real, it looked like a video game.

Has Meyer ever actually played a video game? Also, how can light move too fast? It's LIGHT! Nothing in the known universe moves faster than light.

Bella becomes desperate when she realizes that their conversation might actually end. With all the composure of a crack addict begging for another fix, she begs Edward to say something else.

His words hinted at an end, and I recoiled from the idea. I couldn't waste one minute I had with him.
"Tell me more," I asked desperately, not caring what he said, just so I could hear his voice again.

And MIKE is the pathetic dog? Even Edward is surprised by this outburst.

He looked at me quickly, startled by the change in my tone.

Bella is so desperate that she actually starts shedding tears and getting depressed.

The creepiness levels are rising sharply. I can understand wanting to spend time with someone, but this is how serial killer movies start. Really, Meyer, this is not romantic. People get psychiatric help for this kind of overly dependant behavior.

She asks why the vampires feed on animals instead of people. Edward says it's because they don't want to be monsters. Not exactly the mentality one would expect from a vampire, an undead being who is not human. To a vampire, humans ARE animals. They are food, and you don't fall in love with your dinner.

I weep for the fate that has befallen the vampire. They went from dark and deadly creatures of the night to "vegetarian" emo kids that sparkle. They went from hanging out in castles and crypts to attending high school and shopping at Hot Topic. Why is it that our horror monsters are being wussified? Vampires are sparkly sex objects, and you can't call a zombie a zombie; they prefer to be called "the infected." What's next, will they have Freddie Krueger talk out his issues over tea and crumpets?

I digress. Speaking of vegetarians, Edward explains the reference here. I have to say, the way he puts it does make sense to me. I still think applying the term "vegetarian" to vampires is idiotic, but as a joking analogy for how animal blood doesn't satisfy them it does make sense. I just wish Meyer had chosen an analogy that didn't make vampires look like pussies.

Edward tries to keep up his bad boy image, including veiled threats in his answers to Bella. Okay, I get it, he's dangerous, even though he hasn't done a single thing to prove how dangerous he is outside of acting like a creepy stalker dickhead. Just give it a rest, Meyer. You don't have to say "he's dangerous" several times a page to make the point.

"But you're not hungry now," I said confidently--stating, not asking.

How much of an amateur is Meyer? Of course we know that she's making a statement and not a question. You'd think that the absence of a question mark in that sentence would have been a dead giveaway. Get it? "Dead" giveaway ... because she's talking to a ... *sigh*

I'm too tired of this book to even do that joke.

Edward once again calls Bella observant, and it is no less funny now than it was last chapter. Edward had to bring up blood drinking in this conversation about vampires, and Bella is the observant one? Edward laughs, and Bella commits his laugh to memory. That is not obsessive at all.

Bella asks if Edward is going "hunting" with Emmett again. Yes, they're going to have a gay old romp through the wilderness, grasping hold on that meat and sucking the precious fluid from their conquest. That meat will be hard to pursue. They will have to pound that meat furiously before it surrenders its fluid and goes limp.

What? I'm talking about hunting and drinking the blood of animals. GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER!

Edward says that he didn't want to leave Bella, but that he had to feed in order to maintain control around her. Bella asks why he didn't want to leave.

"It makes me ... anxious ... to be away from you."

This from the person who constantly says that it's such a big mistake for them to be near each other and that they should stay away. Does this guy have a split personality or something? Clearly he has no intention of taking his own advice, or of allowing Bella to take his advice. Even if she did try to stay away as recommended, Edward would just stalk her anyway.

What does it say that the female lead, at least in Edward's mind, is so completely helpless that he must constantly watch over her as if she were an infant? Oh no, Bella is trying to cross the street all by herself. I must rescue her! Edward points out the muggers/rapists/whatever and the scrapes on Bella hands she got when she tripped as proof. Never mind that both of those things could happen to just about anyone and are not proof of someone being especially clumsy or a danger magnet.

However, this is Twilight so this means that Bella is such a special snowflake that anything bad that could happen will automatically zero in on her, but only in those times when Edward or some other man are within rescuing distance.

Edward says that he got back from having wild monkey sex--I mean, "hunting" with Emmett on Sunday. Bella doesn't like this.

"Then why weren't any of you in school?" I was frustrated, almost angry as I thought of how much disappointment I had suffered because of his absence.

Note the possessiveness of Bella's response, as if the Cullen family are beholden to her and what she personally feels is all their fault. And she thinks MIKE is territorial? It's not their fault that she got depressed because they skipped school. It's Bella's fault for not having a fucking life!

Edward says that they don't go out in the sunlight where people can see. Bella asks why, and he says "I'll show you sometime." Oh, how I dread THAT scene.

"You might have called me," I decided.

With the phone number that she didn't give him? Who am I kidding, Edward probably read their phone bills while he was sneaking into their house.

What is this presumption she has that Edward is obligated to call her anyway? They had barely even spoken to each other at that point, and suddenly Edward has to call her? Moving a little fast aren't you, Bella? (+1 Bitch)

Bella whines that she didn't know where he was, again being overly possessive and dependant.

"What?" His velvety voice was compelling.

JESUS CHRIST ON A UNICYCLE! Even one word replies get the adjective treatment. Sometimes less is more, Meyer. Not everything needs flowery descriptions.

Bella spills her obsessive guts, telling Edward that she can't stand being away from him. This does not please the sparkledouche, because only HE is allowed to be obsessive, damn it!

"Ah," he groaned quietly. "This is wrong."
I couldn't understand his response. "What did I say?"

*opens mouth and raises hand*

Where do we even begin, Bella? I won't go over it now because we've already covered where Bella went wrong.

Edward says that it's one thing for him to be an obsessive stalker douchebag, but he can't have Bella acting the same way. In other words, it's okay for Edward to do things like follow her across town and break into her house at night, but it's wrong if Bella actually starts to reciprocate his feelings.

"It's wrong. It's not safe. I'm dangerous, Bella--please grasp that."

I'm dangerous, Bella (applies hair gel). I'm not safe (puts on mascara). This is wrong (attends pedicure appointment). I'm no good for you (performs in poetry slam). THIS IS THE SKIN OF A KILLER (does fingernails)! Can't you see how intimidating I am? Why aren't you intimidated? I'm a metrosexual vampire. If I lose control I might ... I might ... redecorate your house, and I would SO mess up the feng shui. The horror!

Bella throws a tantrum and she and Edward argue a bit over how dangerous he is.

"Are you crying?" He sounded appalled.

As am I. Appalled, I mean. Not just with the crying, but with this whole book. When will this chapter end already? I've never been so bored in ages. Bella checks her eyes and, I shit you not, the following words are written.

... traitor tears were there, betraying me.

It takes a special kind of bad to unintentionally write a line that sound like it should be an internet meme. (+1 Stupidity)

Oh, and one more for crying. (+1 Wangst)

Edward asks what Bella was thinking about just before he arrived. You know, when she was about to be raped/mugged/bullied or whatever those guys were going to do. What kind of a question is that? How did he notice her expression when he was doing stunts in his Volvo anyway? You'd think that in such a situation he would have bigger things on his mind than what Bella's expression looked like.

After talking a little about the incident they finally reach Forks and Bella wants to know if she'll see Edward tomorrow. He says yes, causing Bella to launch into flowery prose. She returns Edward's jacket, but not before smelling it again. Edward offers her the jacket, but she says that she doesn't want to have to explain it to her fath--I mean, Charlie.

Edward asks for Bella to promise him something, and she agrees.

"Yes," I said, and instantly regretted my unconditional agreement. What if he asked me to stay away from him? I couldn't keep that promise.

I get it, you're obsessed. Can we move on now? Also, I'd hardly think that he would ask that considering that he, just a second ago, promised to save her a seat at lunch. Edward wants Bella to not go into the woods alone. She asks him why.

"I'm not always the most dangerous thing out there. Let's leave it at that."

At this point I find squirrels more threatening than this douchebag. I would more easily buy the whole "I'm dangerous" thing if Meyer actually demonstrated it. Perhaps have Edward momentarily lose control and nearly hurt someone. Just repeating "I'm dangerous" ad nauseam does not make him dangerous. You need to show some evidence. Edward talks a lot of shit, but he doesn't actually DO anything!

It's time for Bella to leave, but not before Edward can get the last word.

"Bella?" I turned and he was leaning toward me, his pale, glorious face just inches from mine. My heart stopped beating.

You have got to be kidding. Her fucking heart stopped beating? Shouldn't she be on the floor suffering from cardiac arrest? (+1 Eye Sex)

"Sleep well," he said. His breath blew in my face, stunning me.

So ... he has chloroform breath?

It was the same exquisite scent that clung to his jacket, but in a more concentrated form.

Are you saying that Edward breathes onto his clothes until they smell like his breath? Or is it that he gargles with cologne? Damn this book is disgusting.

Bella acts as if she'd been drugged as she approaches her house. When she goes inside her fath--damn it, I mean Charlie--comments that she's back early. Apparently it isn't even 8 o'clock yet. Considering that they'd arrived at Port Angeles at 4 that means Bella went dress shopping, wandered around aimlessly (which, if you read back, you'd know took more than an hour by itself), had dinner, and got home (making an hour and a half drive in 20 minutes, by the way) in under 4 hours. That makes perfect sense! (+1 Stupidity)

Charlie asks about the trip, and Bella tries to remember "all the way back" to the dress shopping, even though that had only happened a couple of hours ago. Charlie shows some parental concern, and Bella answers his questions. She goes into the kitchen and describes how exhausted and dizzy she feels, which makes no sense because she hadn't been that physically active for the past couple of hours.

She receives a call from Jessica, and Bella informs her that she left her jacket in her car. Jessica wants to know what happened between her and Edward, but Bella brushes her off with the promise to tell her at school the next day. Meyer describes Jessica as impatient, even though Jessica speaks no words that could be described as such.

She goes upstairs and gets ready for bed. Even though she describes her shower water as so hot that it burns her skin, she is freezing and "shudders violently" for several whole minutes. Being that she'd just spent the last 20 minutes in Edward's car, we can only assume that she's so cold because the douchebag couldn't have been bothered to turn the heater on. She struggles to keep warm, hugging herself to preserve body heat. Wow ... Edward must have turned the air conditioning on instead of the heater. Asshole.


And now comes one of the parts of this book that I've been dreading. The chapter ends with the biggest "fuck you" to sanity and common sense yet.

I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Let's get this out of the way first. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Now that we've done that ... WHAT THE FUCK?

I'm sorry, that's just about the only thing I can think of to say right now. What the fuck? Despite the fact that they do not know each other, know next to nothing about each other, and despite the fact that the total amount of time they spent together is about the time it would take to roast a ham, she is now "unconditionally and irrevocably" in love with him? No gradual build up? No getting to know each other? Just BAM, and she's in love? Again, what the fuck? (+1 Stupidity)

God, this book is awful. How does this book get away with being so terrible? That people consider this good writing makes me weep for how low standards have sunk. Words cannot describe my disgust with this book. I keep holding out some hope that this will get better, that something will happen to redeem this book. No such luck.

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+9 Stupidity
+2 Thesaurus Rape
+2 Bitch
+1 Wangst
+1 Eye Sex
+1 Bad Boyfriend