Twilight - Chapter Three

No, please, don't run her over. *yawn*

The chapter begins with Bella getting out of bed and noticing something different about her surroundings. She can't quite place her finger on it, and even I start to wonder what this something is. Usually when a character wakes up sensing something amiss it is a signal that something significant just happened. So, what is this thing that so immediately caught Bella's attention?

It ... snowed.

Yeah ... snow ... again ...

So now Bella ... stands around complaining about snow.

I jumped up and looked outside, and then groaned in horror.
A fine layer of snow covered the yard ...

Every-Fork down in Forksville liked snow a lot ... but the BRINCH did not! The Brinch hated snow, the whole snowy season! Now, please don't ask why; no one quite knows the reason. It could be that her head wasn't screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that her shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that her brain was two sizes too small.

I had enough trouble not falling down when the ground was dry ...

Yet another case of the author telling and not showing. It's mentioned often enough that Bella is a klutz, but so far she hasn't done anything clumsy at all. Oh her ineptitude at volleyball was narrated (not shown), but I'm still waiting to see Bella drop something or fall down like she says she always is. Is she only clumsy when she's off screen or something?

I get the distinct feeling that Bella's clumsiness is as contrived as her hatred for Forks, because it's important that your character have exactly ONE flaw. Wouldn't want her to be accused of being a Mary Sue, now would you? I'll place bets that Bella's supposed clumsiness will only come into play when the plot demands it. Perhaps so Edward can swoop in and help her like a knight on a white horse. I'm watching you, book. Please prove me wrong.

Her fath--dang it, I mean Charlie--had already left for work so Bella goes to fix herself breakfast. Oh goody, we get to watch Bella eat breakfast now. Please stop, book; any more heart-pounding action like this and I may go into cardiac arrest. Over cereal and OJ, Bella comments about how excited she is to go to school. Well, this is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps Bella matured a bit in the past few hours and realized how lucky she is to attend a school where people welcome her with open arms and actively include her in their social groups.

I felt excited to go to school, and that scared me. I knew it wasn't the stimulating learning environment I was anticipating, or seeing my new set of friends.

Or maybe not ...

Is that sarcasm I'm detecting? What did these people do to deserve being snubbed like that? Did they make fun of her? Did they bully her? Did they treat her how high school students in the real world tend to treat the new kid: with indifference? You know what, I'm not even going to bother. At this point there is nothing left to say that I haven't already said. Bella is a pure-bred bitch, plain and simple. (+1 Bitch)

It turns out that Bella is excited to go to school because Edward might be there. You know ... the guy who'd snubbed her when they first met, the sole person in Forks ever to do a single unkind thing to Bella? Treat her with respect and she thinks you're the scum of the Earth. Glare at her angrily and she melts like butter. I'm beginning to sense a touch of co-dependence in Bella Swan.

Bella starts fantasizing about Edward, imagining his "perfect" face. How many times is she going to use that word? Using my Kindle's word search feature, I found that the word "perfect" appears 36 times and the word "perfection" appears twice. Just for fun I found out that the word "angel" appears 15 times, "beautiful" appears 39 times, and "beauty" appears 14 times. Oh, and for you anti-Twilight folk out there, the word "chagrin" appears less than I thought, at 4 instances within Twilight. From what I understand, though, Meyer becomes a chagrin-magnet in later books.

Next we are told the tale of Bella traveling across the icy driveway to reach her truck.

It took every ounce of my concentration to make it down the icy driveway alive. I almost lost my balance when I finally got to the truck, but I managed to cling to the side mirror and save myself. Clearly, today was going to be nightmarish.

On next week's episode of "Bella Swan: Super Bitch," Bella finds the One Garbage Bag and must embark on a perilous journey to the Sidewalk of Doom to toss it into the smelly collection bin from whence it came.

As she drives to school Bella thinks about Mike and Eric and wonders why they have a crush on her. I'm wondering the same thing myself. My guess is that since Bella only snubs them in her narration, they haven't yet seen what a horrendous bitch she is. Therefore, they don't know any better yet.

Bella's theory is as follows:

Perhaps it was because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between. Perhaps my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress. Whatever the reason, Mike's puppy dog behavior and Eric's apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting. I wasn't sure if I didn't prefer being ignored.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. Full stop!

Disconcerting? She finds their carrying her books and walking her to class disconcerting? This coming from the girl who doesn't see anything at all wrong with a man who (and I know I'm jumping ahead a bit here) stalks her, watches her as she sleeps, and disables her truck to prevent her from seeing another man? What if the police thought that way? "Yes, ma'am? You say this man has been stalking you and sneaking into your room at night? Why, that's perfectly normal behavior. What? That other fellow walked you to class? We'll be right there, ma'am. That is abuse!"

Another thing that bothers me is Bella's dismissal of why people like her, writing it off as her being a "novelty." This girl has some pretty impossible standards. There's just no way to win. No matter what anyone does she'll find a way to twist it into the worst possible light. If they really were mean she'd concluded that they hated her, but since they've all been nice she concludes that she's just being used as a novelty.

The only "disconcerting" thing here is that we, the readers, are expected to find her behavior sympathetic! Am I actually supposed to feel sorry for her for acting like a spoiled brat, willfully shutting people out and blaming them for it, and whining every chance she gets? She is selfish, self-centered, and desperately needs to be smacked.

Lastly, I doubt Bella's clumsiness factored much into their opinion of her, since she hasn't done a single clumsy thing in their presence yet, unless she's been tripping while off screen. Stephenie Meyer, folks, the woman who brought us off-screen falling.

So Bella drives to school, having surprisingly little trouble with the icy roads, and when she gets out and looks at her tires she discovers why.

There were thin chains crisscrossed in diamond shapes around them. Charlie had gotten up who knows how early to put snow chains on my truck. My throat suddenly felt tight. I wasn't used to being taken care of, and Charlie's unspoken concern caught me by surprise.

WHY? Why does this surprise you? Let's take stock of Charlie's behavior thus far, shall we? The only bad thing that can really be said is that he and Renee divorced while Bella was a few months old. A marriage can end for any number of reasons, not necessarily through any fault of Charlie's. Since we have no information on the conditions surrounding their marriage, we can't really say who's at fault. Bella obviously blames Charlie, but since she was in diapers at the time, she can't exactly be taken as a credible source.

Let us now look at Charlie's behavior since the divorce. He has obviously made a point of remaining a part of Bella's life, insisting on spending time with her at least once a year. When Bella complained about having to go to Forks to see him, Charlie rearranged his schedule to that he could visit Bella on her terms. I also submit to you the fact that Charlie still keeps pictures of Renee and Bella on his house walls, particularly of Bella, who has pictures of herself throughout her school years on display (which, Bella commented, she wanted to remove). This was described in chapter one. Is this the behavior of a man who doesn't care for his child?

Note that Charlie demonstrated having a clear memory of Renee in chapter two, and also note that after 17 years there is no sign that he has been involved with another woman. He obviously hasn't remarried. This shows that he probably still has some feelings for Renee. Charlie didn't have to agree to allow Bella to live with him; he didn't have to buy her a truck out of his own pocket.

Bella, however, seems to think very little about Charlie. She refuses to call him "dad" unless she has to, she thinks that the man cares more about his job than his family, and gives him absolutely zero credit both as a father and as a human being. So tell me: why is it surprising that this man, given his track record, would care enough about his daughter to help protect her truck from the icy roads?

I know I am dealing with matters that are highly personal in nature, and I can't reasonably expect Bella's perception on the matter to be purely logical. What I am saying is that if Meyer is going to try to play the "daughter from a broken home" card, at least give us some information on that home and how it came to be broken. You want us to sympathize with Bella's situation? Explain the situation! From the information I have at hand I can only conclude that Bella has it pretty good. I've seen men run out on women, who had to be tracked down and dragged into court just so they could provide support money. Clearly there were no such issues with Charlie.

I've said repeatedly throughout these chapters that I wish Meyer would elaborate more on Bella's family situation. This is exactly why I think so.

By the way, there's a van barreling toward Bella that's about to run her over.

Wait ... what?

Edward Cullen was standing four cars down from me , staring at me in horror. His face stood out from a sea of faces, all frozen in the same mask of shock.

Really? Your life is in imminent danger and the first thing you care to point out is where Edward is standing?

*thump* *thump* *thump*

Sorry ... that was just my head hitting the desk.

But of more immediate importance was the dark blue van that was skidding, tires locked and squealing against the breaks, skidding wildly across the ice of the parking lot.

Good that she at least got her priorities straight, but why didn't she point out the van first? No matter how you cut it, including Edward first was just dumb. (+1 Stupidity)

So the van, which I shall call "convenient plot device," is skidding out of control toward Bella while Edward, who I shall call "Deus Ex Machina," watches in horror. Bella stands paralyzed as the convenient plot device struggles for control without success. It looks like it's the end for our whiny protagonist when suddenly the Superman theme music plays and Deus Ex Machina rushes in to stop the convenient plot device. Faster than a locomotive, Deus Ex Machina intercepts the convenient plot device and stops it with his hands while pushing Bella to the ground, out of harm's way.

Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face, the large hands fitting providentially into a deep dent in the side of the van's body.

Providentially? Is Meyer saying that God decreed that there shall be a dent in the side of a van and that there shall be a hand that fits that dent? Is she saying that divine intervention shaped the dent to fit Edward's hands? King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone is a providential occurrence. Edward's hands fitting the dent is not. Perhaps the word could have been used to describe the entire incident of Edward saving Bella, and that would have made more sense. Using that word to describe the shape of the van's dent is just plain idiotic. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Then the hands moved so fast they blurred.

Here's a little experiment. Place your right hand in front of your face. Now, move your hand from side to side as fast as you can. If you need motivation, pretend that your hand is smacking Bella Swan across the face. Yeah, hands tend to blur when they move even at a moderate pace. That's because the human eye can only keep track of so much motion accurately. So to say that his hands moved fast enough to blur isn't saying much at all.

Edward Cullen not only stops the van but he lifts it with one hand, moves Bella out from under it, and lets it drop so hard that the glass pops. Everyone at school just saw Edward lift a van single-handed ... and absolutely nobody noticed. Not a single person asks Edward how the hell he was able to stop a van with his hands. They obviously must have seen it, because there was a "sea of faces" staring at Bella when the van was approaching. What, did they all get stricken with simultaneous amnesia? Now THAT would have been a providential occurrence. This is not a plot hole, it's a plot chasm!

Edward tells Bella that she hit her head, then she says "ow."

"Ow," I said, surprised.

Who writes that? "Ow," I said. That's almost as bad a Christopher Paolini's infamous "Sorry," apologized Brom. It's just silly. You don't need to devote a line of dialogue just to say "ow." Describe the pain she's feeling, make her wince or hiss or something. Anything but "Ow," I said. *facepalm* (+1 Stupidity)

Edward must have thought that line was ridiculous too because it's noted that his voice "sounded like he was suppressing laughter." What a wonderful time to find humor, right when a woman was almost horribly maimed. Must be vampire humor.

Finally Bella proves that she's not a complete idiot by suddenly realizing how improbable it was that Edward could have reached her as fast as he did. I sincerely applaud Bella's insight here, because she has clearly demonstrated more awareness than all the other dunces standing around who didn't think twice about seeing Edward stop a speeding van with his bare hands while standing on slippery ground, so that even if he had the physical strength to stop the van, his feet wouldn't have enough friction to resist that much force.


Edward tells Bella that he'd always been standing right next to her, but since Bella is older than age 5, she doesn't buy that lame explanation. Edward realizes that he's in a real pickle. There is no way that he can adequately explain how he got there so fast. Both Bella and the readers are demanding a satisfying answer, so he does the only thing he can do in this situation.


I looked at his concerned, innocent expression and was disoriented again by the force of his gold-colored eyes. What was I asking him?

Works every time! (+1 Eye Sex)

And then they found us, a crowd of people with tears streaming down their faces, shouting at each other, shouting at us.

What do you mean they "found" you? They were already there! I even quoted it. Edward had been standing in a "sea of faces" that were all "frozen" in a "mask of shock." Obviously there had been a crowd watching the entire incident. Is Meyer saying that they all instantaneously vanished when Edward decided to do his best Superman impression?


The disappearing/reappearing crowd rushes to help Bella, and it turns out the guy in the van had a name. Tyler. Wait, Tyler? That mean's that was Tyler's van? NO WAY! I'm on that team!

Edward instructs Bella to remain where she is. At that moment Bella suddenly remembers that whole "it's impossible for you to get here so fast" thing and asks about it again.

"You were over there," I suddenly remembered, and his chuckle stopped short. "You were by your car."
His expression turned hard. "No, I wasn't."

No I wasn't? That's the best response he can come up with. You know, for a century-old vampire, Edward is pretty slow.

This time Bella refuses to back down. Edward tries eye raping her again but it doesn't work this time, so finally he pleads with her to let this one go, promising to explain everything at a later time. Bella agrees.

It takes the combined effort of 8 people to move Tyler's van far enough to get a stretcher to Bella, and still nobody wonders how Edward managed that feat all by himself. Oh, wait, that "sea of faces" had spontaneously disappeared before they could see that part. Silly me, I'd almost forgotten.


Edward refuses a stretcher for himself, since he's obviously alright. Bella tries to do the same, but Edward tells them of his head injury. Bella calls him a traitor for doing so. Because heaven forbid that someone might need to look at a head injury she sustained during a vehicle collision.

I almost died of humiliation when they put on the neck brace.

OH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! How shallow is this girl? She was just involved in a vehicle accident in which her head was hit. It's possible that she could have a concussion, as Edward pointed out, and her overriding concern is looking bad in a neck brace? What on Earth is wrong with her? Is physical appearance more important to her than her health? More important than her life? (+1 Stupidity)


Then Charlie arrives on the scene. He is understandably distraught when he sees her lying on a stretcher, and this concern for her well-being irritates the hell out of Bella. So much so that she almost slips and calls him "Charlie" to his face.

He turned to the closest EMT to get a second opinion. I tuned him out ...

You know, for a moment I thought she may have actually had a breakthrough when she noticed the nice thing her father did for her truck. For a moment there was the first flicker of the first stray thought in her cavernously empty skull that showed consideration for someone other than herself.

Alas, that was a momentary lapse. Can't have your characters become in any way likable, can you, Meyer? So Bella, of course, tunes out her dad, completely ignoring his concern for her, never once stopping to consider his feelings. Bella, is it any wonder that your best romantic prospects is with a dead guy? Only someone at least as cold and lifeless as yourself could possibly be a viable love interest.

The ambulance rushes Bella to the hospital, all the while she complains about feeling ridiculous. Again, how shallow can this girl get? She's put in a room and as soon as the nurse leaves she immediately removes the "stupid looking" neck brace. What's next, is she going to ride a motorcycle and decide she doesn't have to wear the "stupid looking" helmet? For some reason Bella seems to think she knows better than the doctors who are treating her. Since the laws of the Mary Sue state that a Sue must always be right, I'll assume right now that she is as fine as she thinks she is.

Tyler is wheeled into the room, and we see him wrapped in bloody bandages. Bella notes that Tyler looks a hundred times worse off than her. He's lucid enough, however, and immediately apologized to Bella for nearly killing her in the accident. Bella waves off his concern and they get to talking about the incident. Tyler wonders how Bella managed to avoid the collision.

"How did you get out of the way so fast? You were there, and then you were gone ..."

Bella tells him that Edward pulled him out of the way and Tyler has no idea who she's talking about. Apparently he didn't even see Edward. I'll give Tyler a pass here because his van was spinning out of control, and he was stopped from the side where he probably wasn't looking. Okay, I can buy that.

They wheeled me away then, to X-ray my head. I told them there was nothing wrong, and I was right. Not even a concussion.

What is this presumption, this arrogance, that makes her think she can tell doctors how to do their job? Perhaps nothing is wrong, but she should at least have the sense to see why they needed to at least check to verify if there was any damage. Does she thank them for giving her the care she needs? No, she just smugly states how she was right and they were wrong. That's both arrogant and immature! (+1 Stupidity)

Bella asks if she can leave and the nurse goes to ask the doctor.

So I was trapped in the ER, waiting, harassed by Tyler's constant apologies and promises to make it up to me. No matter how many times I tried to convince him I was fine, he continued to torment himself. Finally, I closed my eyes and ignored him. He kept up a remorseful mumbling.

... Oh ... My ... God ...

This is low, even for her. She is so self-absorbed that she can't even begin to fathom why Tyler may be upset at almost accidentally killing her. She figures that because she's fine, Tyler shouldn't think anything of it. Because everything's fine as long as Bella is fine. Everything revolves around Bella, after all.

Did it not, even for a nanosecond, occur to this monstrous girl that maybe almost taking another human life may have been disturbing, even traumatizing, in and of itself? Maybe her being "fine" isn't the point. Maybe it was the sense of powerlessness as Tyler struggled to control his vehicle, and of the helplessness of knowing that someone was about to die because of him and there was nothing he could do about it.

If this ... this ... BRAT even once stopped to think about other people then maybe a concept like that would penetrate her Edward-horny skull! And what was that last part? The guy is having a breakdown and you just close your eyes and IGNORE him? JESUS TAPDANCING CHRIST!

Charlie can't be her real dad. That guy is too kind and considerate to have begat this hell spawn. Plus, the guy is injured! You can't spare a few moments of your time to let him get his feelings off of his chest? What kind of mentally healthy person considers someone's remorse at nearly killing her ... TO BE AN ANNOYANCE!

Bella Swan is not a normal teenaged girl. She's not even an eccentric teenaged girl. SHE'S A BLOODY SOCIOPATH! This behavior is so horrendous that Bella is awarded two bitch points for this! (+2 Bitch)

Deep, calming breaths ...

Edward walks into the room and Tyler attempts an apology to him.

"Hey , Edward, I'm really sorry--" Tyler began.
Edward lifted a hand to stop him.
"No blood, no foul," he said, flashing his brilliant teeth. He moved to sit on the edge of Tyler's bed, facing me. He smirked again.

This poor boy just can't get a break, can he? The guy loses control of his vehicle on the ice and almost kills an innocent (though extremely annoying) girl, is injured in the aftermath, has his fervent apologies and expressions of remorse IGNORED by Bella, and now he gets a "talk to the hand" from Edward and is promptly ignored so the two can resume having eye sex.

"Oh, Edward, you are so PERFECT! Oh, pay no attention to that horribly injured guy who's bed you're sitting on. His screams of pain and misery are quite soothing, though."

Bella was right when she said this day would be horrific, but for the wrong person. That Tyler is going to need sooo much counseling after this.

Edward didn't come alone, it seems. Shortly after his arrival, his father, Dr. Cullen, walks into the room. Upon seeing him, Bella is so stricken that she has one right there in her hospital bed. (+1 Eye Sex)

I'm sensing a pattern here. Bella treats average-looking and below guys like they are less than the dirt she walks on, but the moment an attractive person gets within eye-humping distance she falls all over herself to pay homage to their beauty.

Bella is given a clean bill of health and told she can go home with Charlie if he wants. She is immediately repulsed by the notion.

Can I go back to school?" I asked, imagining Charlie trying to be attentive.
"Actually," Dr. Cullen corrected, "most of the school seems to be in the waiting room."
"Oh no," I moaned, covering my face with my hands.

Oh no? The school shows up out of concern for her and Tyler and that's all she can say?

Yeah, definitely a sociopath. So wrapped up in "me me me" that she is oblivious to the care and love others are showing her. I'll be willing to bet that not long after this she will once again lament how nobody cares for her (or cares for her only as a novelty) and complain about feeling like an outsider, having completely forgotten everything about this incident that doesn't have something to do with her horniness for Edward.

Dr. Cullen FINALLY remembers that Tyler is in the room and checks on him, though it's insinuated that he only does this to avoid the subject of Edward's intervention at the accident. Bella drags Edward to the hallway and demands answers from him. Edward flat-out refuses to give a straight answer. Bella reminds him of his promise, and Edward rebuts by saying that she hit her head so she didn't know what she was talking about. Bella is not quite stupid enough to buy that.

The argument goes nowhere so they "scowl at each other in silence." Why is everyone in this book perpetually glaring or scowling or grimacing? It's getting very annoying. It isn't long before Bella starts eye-humping Edward again.

I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.

Aside from being a incredibly cheesy, this line makes no sense. There are a couple of ways one can take Meyer's use of the words "destroying angel." You can take it literally and imagine a Godzilla-esque scene with an angel rampaging across Tokyo, which is funny in and of itself. I prefer my own take on this, though.

A Destroying Angel is a name given to several varieties of poisonous mushrooms of the genus Amanita. You can Google Image it if you like. I think this especially fits because both Edward and this fungus are filled with poison, both are pale, both look like giant dicks, and watching Edward is about as entertaining as watching said fungus grow.

...his stunning face ...

Thump thump thump thump

Must ... violently ... beat ... head ... against ... wall ... must ... control ... rage ...

Bella, super bitch, asks why Edward bothered to save her life. I'm wondering the same thing. Tyler's Van is the most misunderstood character in the series. It was only trying to cut this horrible book down to a merciful length. Now, because of the intervention of McSparklyPants, we now have to sit through 3 more books of this drivel.

Bella goes into the waiting room and discovers that the majority of the students from her school showed up out of concern for her and Tyler. Now, were I in this situation I would be touched that so many people cared enough about me to visit me at the hospital. Even more so when I imagine the school faculty that would have had to consent to lo letting these kids ditch class for the time it would take to do so. A very touching display of compassion and concern for their fellow man.

Bella is annoyed by this.

The waiting room was even more unpleasant than I'd feared. It seemed like every face I knew in forks was there.

You know what? I'm not going to bother this time. I don't feel like continuing to beat this particular dead horse. Bella is a heartless sociopath who can't stand the thought that someone might actually care what happens to her, which is evidenced by how she rebuffs her father's concern for her in this scene and urgently flees from the people who came to see her as if she were trying to escape a colony of angry hornets.

You know who Bella reminds me of?

The similarities are amazing.

Bella flees into Charlie's squad car and successfully avoids all those irritating people who had the audacity to show concern for her health. Later she'll probably end up whining about how nobody cares about her, or something along those lines. Charlie tells Bella that he'd called her mother while she was in the hospital, which utterly pisses Bella off.

I was appalled. "You told mom!"
I slammed the door a little harder than necessary on my way out.

*stares in shock*

This is just too much. In his concern at seeing her only daughter rushed to the hospital on a stretcher Charlie had called her mother, so now Bella is door-slamming mad at him? Unbelievable! (+1 Bitch)

So she talks to her mother on the phone. She begs Bella to go home, but at this point Bella is too obsessed over Edward to do so.

I wasn't as eager to escape Forks as I should be, as any normal, sane person would be.

Oh heavens no! What normal, sane person would want to live in a place where people are (gasp) nice to you and actually (gag) show concern for your welfare. Those pesky humans with their love and their friendship and their emotions. Bah, I say! I need no love that doesn't involve potentially homicidal, supernatural beings who have to constantly resist the urge to kill me.

Charlie watches her with some concern, and Bella comments how that is getting on her nerves. She storms to her room in a huff, takes some Tylenol, and goes to bed. Thus the chapter ends, but not before Bella mentions that she dreamed about Edward Cullen.

At this point I have no idea what anybody sees in this book. The protagonist is a whiny, spoiled devil-spawn and the love interest is a vapid and uninteresting emo kid who's one talent seems to be standing around and letting Bella describe his physical attributes. This is what people are getting obsessed over? What a load of garbage!

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

Bitch: 4
Thesaurus Rape: 1
Stupidity: 4
Eye Sex: 2

Surprisingly little wangsting, but more than made up for in stupidity and sheer unadulterated bitchery.

Twilight - Chapter Two

She hates rain, plant-life, and now snow.

The chapter starts off with Bella immediately complaining about how much her day sucks. She had to put up with such torments in her next school day. Boys paid attention to her, she had a big group of people to sit with at Lunch who were interested in her. Everyone was nice to her. The horror! Even worse, a teacher actually called on her to answer a question. She had to play VOLLYBALL! And the worst of all: the one boy who was ever mean to her yesterday didn't attend class that day. Someone call Child Protective Services, this girl is trapped in a living nightmare. (+1 Wangst)

Here's one of the main problems I have with this book. There is a general rule of thumb about writing which states "show, don't tell." Now, this is not something that every writer must do all the time, but Meyer could definitely stand to do more showing and less telling. You see, we, the readers, are being told that Forks is awful, that Bella's life sucks, that Edward is God-incarnate (that last bit will be happening fairly soon). However, we never see why Forks is so bad, why Bella's life is awful, and why Edward is supposedly so impressive.

In fact, what we actually do see tends to be the opposite. The people of Forks, in general, act pretty nice in the scenes in which they're included. Bella, despite having separated parents, is shown to have a life that is actually quite privileged, and the fact that she spurns the people trying to be nice to her and complains so much about everything just makes her out to be a spoiled bitch. We are told that Edward is such a great guy, but from what I've read of him Edward has all the personality of a turnip. The author expects us to simply take her word for it. The world of Twilight is as it is because Bella says so and none of Bella's overwrought, blanket statements about the people and world around her need to be backed up by examples or evidence.

Meyer tells but she does not show, and sometimes what the narrative actually does show directly contradicts what the narrator (Bella/Meyer) says. This disconnect between story and storyteller is a sign of bad writing.

Back to the chapter. Mike walks Bella to class, and Bella's immediate response is to compare him to a dog. Gosh, it almost makes me think back to last chapter when Bella was wangsting about how afraid she was of other people judging her. Now that I think about it, didn't she insult Eric's appearance last chapter? I believe I even quoted it. I'm sure that isn't hypocritical behavior on Bella part at all. (+1 Bitch)

Then he smiled at me wistfully and went to sit by a girl with braces and a bad perm.

Shallow much? Bella is just sniping at everyone today, isn't she?

It looked like I was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn't be easy. In a town like this, where everyone lived on top of everyone else, diplomacy was essential. I had never been enormously tactful; I had no practice dealing with overly friendly boys.

There are a couple of things wrong with this statement. I'll start with the obvious. Did Bella, or did Bella not, whine about feeling like an outcast in the previous chapter? Now she has a boy who is kind and expresses interest in her, and now she's complaining that he's too friendly? There is just no pleasing this girl. First it's "Wah! Nobody will like me! I shall cry myself to sleep now." and then it's "Oh no, a boy likes me! Woe is me!"

The second thing I wish to address is Bella's blanket statement about Forks, about how everyone lives on top of everyone else. This is another case of the author telling us rather than showing us or giving examples. That sentence paints Forks as a place filled with people who are merciless cutthroats who enrich themselves off the suffering of others. Have we seen a single example of this? No! Bella couldn't have been treated better by the people of Forks so far if she were Jesus reincarnated. The boys are falling for her, the girls want to befriend her. Everyone Bella has met so far has instantly taken a liking to her. Yeah, these are some real dastardly folk alright. Ironically the one and only person thus far to give Bella a hard time is Edward, the designated love interest of this series.

What gives Bella the right to sit in judgment of Forks anyway? The only time she lived there was when she was in diapers, and the full extent of her experience comes from once a year month-long vacations with her father when they would go fishing (the horror!). According to her own words in chapter one she hasn't even set foot in Forks since she was 14. It's been three years since she'd last set foot in Forks. Also, if you discount the time which she was probably too young to remember (let's say ages 0-4), that brings her total experience with Forks to less than one year spread out over a decade. And it is this limited experience on which she is basing her sweeping generalizations about Forks and all who reside there?

Where exactly does Bella's perception of Forks as one of the Circles of Hell come from? If there is some underlying reason for Bella's irrational hatred of Forks we aren't seeing it, because to do so would require back-story and character development, the hallmarks of good books. Bella fears being judged, yet she has been judging everything in sight from her father to her school mates, to Forks and everything in it, her opinions based on absolutely nothing. This, ladies and gentlemen, is our protagonist.

I hurried from the girl's locker room, pleased that I had successfully evaded my retriever-friend for the moment.

As I pointed out earlier, everyone (with the exception of Edward) has been nothing but nice to her, and how does she repay their kindness? By belittling them. Calling them gangly, insulting their hair, likening them to dogs. All for having the audacity to try to be her friend. What a lovable character this Bella Swan fellow is. (+1 Bitch).

So Bella gets in her truck and is off to go food shopping when she notices the Cullens and Hales. Rather, she notices their expensive car and designer clothes. She stops for a moment both to gawk at their beauty and their money, and ponder their status as outsiders.

The isolation must be their desire; I couldn't imagine any door that wouldn't be opened by that degree of beauty.

Remember kids: physical looks and money are all that matter in life. Thus is one of the life lessons taught in Twilight. Feel free to add the massive sarcasm quotes yourselves.

She does her shopping, slipping in a not quite subtle Forks insult along the way, then goes home and makes dinner. Riveting plot point, isn't it. Bella Swan buys the groceries. What indispensable narration. Not filler at all. Oh look! Bella is now telling us where she put the steak in the fridge. Oh and now she's taking her book bag upstairs. Isn't this exciting? Oh wow, and now she's checking her email. I'm sure glad I spent money on this, I sure am!

Bella receives an e-mail from her mother, who is understandably anxious to know how her daughter is doing and worried that she hadn't e-mailed in the two days she'd been there. Bella, of course, resents this. Afterward, just to show that Bella is "smart", Meyer has her self-inserted avatar read Wuthering Heights.

Her fath--I mean, Charlie, comes home and asks what's for dinner. Bella makes this comment about her parent's marriage.

My mother was an imaginative cook, and her experiments weren't always edible. I was surprised, and sad, that he seemed to remember that far back.

Bella doesn't seem to give her father any credit at all as a human being. Again, I am interested in how Charlie and Renee's relationship came to end, and the effect it may have had on Bella. I think there is a story here that would be much better than anything I've seen in this book. However, writing about such a subject would require characters with depth and feeling, who grow as the story progresses. In other words: it requires a far better writer than Stephenie Meyer.

Over dinner Bella finally admits that the people at school had been nice to her. She brings up the Cullens and asks what their story is. We learn that they are a subject of gossip and Charlie is angered by this fact. This is when Charlie becomes Meyer's megaphone, allowing her to shout how wonderful the Cullen family is, as if we needed another character singing their praises.

The week goes on and Bella continues to obsess over Edward, even though she'd only seen him once and he hadn't been around for the entire week. I suppose I should take notes. All one need do is glare at a woman angrily and disappear for a week, then he'll be all she'll think about. You listening guys? Nothing heats a girl's oven like an angry and neglectful man.

Guess what folks? Even more filler! Yay! Thrill as Bella comments about the local library and thinks about finding a good bookstore in Olympia or Seattle. Apparently she can check her e-mail but hasn't yet discovered Sit at the edge of your seat as Bella wonders how much gas mileage her truck gets and quiver with delight as Bella does her homework and e-mails her mother. Riveting entertainment, this!

Even more filler describing every minute detail of Bella's school day. It's as if Stephenie Meyer couldn't think of anything to write so she simple decided to follow Bella around during an average day until she could come up with something. And come up with something she did. What new and exciting thing has Meyer's boundless imagination concocted this time?

She ... made it snow.

Yeah ... snow.

So ... now Bella and Mike stand around talking about snow.

"Ew." Snow. There went my good day.

Did I mention that Bella hates snow? Not surprising. She does, after all, hate everything.

So after they stand around talking about snow, Bella goes inside where everyone is talking about the snow. People are happy, so naturally Bella is hating every moment of it.

Finally they go to the cafeteria and something actually happens. It's not a big something, but at this point I'm glad for any sign of a pulse in this rapidly-dying story. You see, Edward came back to school and Bella acts as if the sky is falling.

Bella takes a paragraph to ogle the Cullens, especially Edward. Bella comments to Jessica that she doesn't think Edward likes her, and you can practically see her pouting. Yes, folks, this is the high point of the chapter: Bella trying not to stare at Edward. Isn't this exciting?


They talk about snow some more, then they go outside and discover that the snow has melted. Everyone else is disappointed. Bella, perhaps feeding off others' misery like a succubus, is pleased.

So Bella makes her way to Biology class and it turns out Edward shows up and sits next to her. Bella proceeds to do what she does best: describe, at length how Edward is perfect perfectness of perfect perfection.

He looked like he'd just finished shooting a commercial for hair gel.

Loreal ... because I'm worth it.

It turns out that Bella is even more popular than we were let on before, as if the boys crushing on her and girls falling over themselves to befriend her weren't enough. Bella asks Edward how he knows her name, since she hadn't introduced herself, and Edward replies thusly.

"Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town's been waiting for you to arrive."

Really? Are we to believe that Bella is such a special snowflake that an entire town of people had nothing better to do than talk about her and await her arrival? I'm beginning to wonder if I should include a Mary Sue score to add to. I'll settle for giving this a mark for it's sheer stupidity. (+1 Stupidity)

Class begins, and Meyer takes this opportunity to point out how smart Bella and Edward are by having them ace that day's assignment with no trouble at all. It is hand-waved later by stating that Bella had already done that assignment at her previous school, however. The whole time Bella starts to practically foam at the mouth at how devastatingly handsome Edward is. Apparently everything about him is perfect.

... his clear, elegant script intimidated me. I didn't want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl.

Even his handwriting ...

OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ALMIGHTY! This reads like a fan-fic gone horribly wrong. Awkward girl moves to a small town and is loved by all for no adequately explored reason and falls in love with a god-like male figure with no discernible flaws? This couldn't be a worse example of fan-fic writing if it took place at Hogwarts and Bella turned out to be Harry's long-lost sister.

Mary Sue and Gary Stu finish their assignment before everybody else (perfectly, of course). With nothing else to do, Bella makes commentary on Edward's eyes and insult Forks again. In the time it takes to read that paragraph I looked up the proper way to tie a noose on Google. The teacher comes along and the fact is casually dropped that Bella, our special snowflake, was actually in advanced placement classes. Of course. Nothing less for our dear Mary Sue.

... instead of pretending to be normal like everyone else.

Lines like these are supposed to paint Bella as this quietly suffering outsider who is alienated from everybody else, when in fact the exact opposite is what we see from the actual events of the book. Everyone has pretty much accepted her with open arms despite her quirks ... so, what's the problem? There is no reason for this level of angst.

Rather than making Bella's character likable, it makes her come off as a spoiled emo princess who doesn't know what a real problem is.

"Forks must be a difficult place for you to live," he mused.
"You have no idea," I muttered darkly.

Oh, that does it! (+1 Wangst)

Cry more, princess. While you're cutting your wrists with razor blades I'll go take a survey of teenaged girls who would love to inherit your "problems," I'm sure that number would be in the millions.

So Edward asks Bella for her backstory and she explains that her mother married a baseball player who travels a lot, so she moved in with her father to make things easy on her mother. She says all of this in a tone one might expect from someone who was just asked "so what are you doing time for?"

"But now you're unhappy," he pointed out.
"And?" I challenged.
"That doesn't seem fair." He shrugged, but his eyes were still intense.
I laughed without humor. "Hasn't anyone every told you? Life isn't fair."

Yes, because there is no hell greater than having to live with a father who loves you and attend a school where everyone adores you. Life can be SO unfair!

My God! Does this girl ever ... stop ... whining? This book is literally pissing me off. Just a few chapters in and already I want to jump into my Amazon Kindle and strangle Bella Fucking Swan while screaming "DIE! DIE! DIE!" In fact, only the fact that I am reading this on a $360 electronic device keeps me from throwing this garbage out the window. Well, at least I can delete this when I'm done. No physical copy to cluttering my bookshelf.

"You put on a good show," he said slowly. "But I'd be willing to bet that you're suffering more than you let anyone see."

... ... ... *stares dumbly* ... ... ...

You mean ... there's more angst? We haven't even seen the worst of it?


To think that somewhere inside of this whiny, angst-ridden girl is a deeper pool of even more angst! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS GIRL? WHY IS SHE NOT IN THERAPY? This is too much, I am literally losing lucidity. For a moment I felt such intense disgust that I felt physically nauseous. This book has just promised that this whiny girl may become even more whiny.

Deep, calming breath ...

He smiled widely, flashing a set of perfect, ultrawhite teeth.

Don't look directly into Edward's teeth or the brilliance my blind you!

After this terrible scene is finally over, Mike walks Bella to her next class, then finally goes to her truck. She notices Edward leaning on his Volvo and looking at her, which causes instant orgasm for Bella. As a result she nearly crashes into a Toyota. (+1 Eye Sex)

The chapter ends on that note, and I breathe a heavy sigh of relief that it is finally over. My God, it took an act of will to finish reading that garbage. I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+2 Wangst
+2 Bitch
+1 Stupidity
+1 Eye Sex