Twilight - Chapter Eight

I'm stalking you and I feel the urge to murder people. It's sexy, not creepy!

It turns out that even Meyer's supporting characters can be super special awesome, because Jessica makes the drive to Port Angeles by 4 o'clock, something that shouldn't be possible unless they got out of school early or something. Bella says it's because Jessica drives faster than her fath--my mistake, the chief, but that is bullshit and Meyer knows it. How do these people drive so fast without ever getting pulled over anyway? Does anyone in Forks ever get a speeding ticket? My own dad happens to be a supervisor in the local traffic division. I'm tempted to show him these instances of wanton speeding and see how many times his eyes roll. (+1 Stupidity)

They listen to whiny rock songs (oh the irony!) while Jessica talks about boys, which Bella describes as "jabber." I see Jessica's talking has been promoted from babbling to jabbering in Bella's mind. The girl's moving up in the world. Jessica says her dinner with Mike went very well. I'm glad for that, since it likely means that Mike will no longer waste his time on the stupid bitch that is Bella Swan.

They go to a department store, and everyone is shocked when Bella tells them that she's never been to a dance. Everyone except the audience, that is, considering the extraordinary lengths she went to in order to avoid going to this dance. Bella's friends are all like, "No, YOU? But you're the Mary Sue. Surely a special snowflake like yourself has won beauty pageants!"

Alright, so they don't actually say that. Jessica asks if Bella ever went with a boyfriend, and Bella says no. She's never had a boyfriend or anyone close, and she also didn't go out much. Jessica asks her why, and Bella says it's because nobody ever asked her.

She looked skeptical. "People ask you out here," she reminded me, "and you tell them no."

Wha wha WHAT? A character in this book actually had something observant to say? First Charlie reminded Bella that, yes, he is an adult, and now this? Have IQ levels risen sharply around here? I'm so surprised that I'm even willing to overlook how Meyer can never seem to use the words "she said" instead of the myriad other words she uses in place of a simple "she said" (which, by the way, is a notorious mark of amateur writing).

Or maybe not. So far in this chapter, the word "said" hasn't been used. Here are the words that have been used in its place so far.

Tried to convince her
Answered honestly
Reminded me
Amended quietly
Informed me with suspicious eyes.

This is part of the reason why these characters are so wooden. In Meyer-Land you're not allowed to get a feel for a character by simply observing his or her behavior. Everything has to be spelled out for you. Meyer, your writing lacks subtlety. You can't just have your characters announce how they feel. THAT MAKES ME FEEL ANGRY!

Where was I? Oh, right. It turns out that Meyer needed Jessica to mention that so she can transition to the subject of Tyler. In a rare bit of actual continuity, Jessica tells Bella that Tyler has been telling everyone that he's taking her to the prom. If you'll recall, when Bella shot Tyler down for the dance in chapter four he had mentioned that there's always the prom. It seems Tyler took Bella's shocked reaction for a yes.

"that's why Lauren doesn't like you," Jessica giggled while we pawed through the clothes.

It's funny how this is the supposed reason that Lauren doesn't like Bella, and yet this hasn't been either mentioned or alluded to until just now. In fact, every word out of Lauren's mouth has been about only one subject: the Cullens. That is the only thing she really talked about. Why doesn't Bella just sit with the Cullens from now on? You invited the Cullens to La Push, didn't you? Stuff like that. Lauren's anger had a very specific focus, and that focus was Bella being too buddy-buddy with Edward at the expense of the rest of her friends.

But I suppose Meyer can't have characters with actual depth, so she chooses to go the stereotypical route and make it all about a man. Forget all that other stuff Lauren said, it's all about a MAN. Never mind that it directly contradicts everything that's already been established. Once again Meyer is telling us that a character is a certain way, with the actual character demonstrating the opposite in the scenes she's actually in. This example is as blatant as if Meyer said Lauren was bad at math after a scene in which she flawlessly did advanced calculus.

Also, why is it Angela who says she didn't believe it was true? You'd think Jessica would have remembered that it was Bella who suggested that Tyler and Lauren go out in the first place. You might also think that Jessica would care to mention this fact to Lauren if that were the real reason. Can't this woman get her story straight? (+1 Stupidity)

This piece of information upsets Bella, who ...

My goodness, how do I even begin to describe this? Any hope I had for Bella actually maturing as a character fled the moment she said these next words. I suppose I should just quote them and get it over with, as much as I hate to have to actually type this out so I can show it to you.

I ground my teeth. "Do you think that if I ran him over with my truck he would stop feeling guilty about the accident? That he might give up on making amends and call it even?"




That is such a HORRIBLE thing to say! I think this may actually be the most mean-spirited, self-centered, downright inhuman thing Bella has said so far. I mean ... can someone be so much of a bitch that she can so carelessly trivialize another person's feelings? The guy ALMOST KILLED HER! I accept that telling people he's taking Bella to the prom was presumptuous and stupid on Tyler's part, but that doesn't excuse saying something like that.

How can she blame someone for wanting to make up for nearly ending her life? It is a natural reaction for anyone to have. I'd have been worried if Tyler DIDN'T feel bad about it. Bella shares the blame for this as well. If she had just let Tyler do something nice for her instead of ignoring him, he may not have been desperate to take her to the prom.


Once again Bella has proven herself to be such a monstrous bitch that I am awarding her double bitch points. (+2 Bitch)

What's worse is that nobody objects to this. Jessica just snickers and says that maybe it would work. Is everyone out of their minds? What disturbs me even more is that, as Meyer's self-insert, it could very well be that Meyer herself agrees with Bella's feelings on the subject. This is one of the many reasons why seeing legions of fans praising Bella as if she's some kind of saint makes me lose faith in humanity.

Bella is now in full bitch mode, fuming as her friends try on dresses. I want to bitch smack this girl so badly that it isn't even funny. Meyer goes on to describe the clothing selections that Angela and Jessica make. I'm actually glad for this overdrawn filler, because it distracts me from my seething anger at Bella for being such a selfish, spoiled brat. It seems Meyer can't even give me that reprieve, because Bella will not ... stop ... whining ... EVER!

The girls'-night-out was wearing off in the wake of my annoyance at Tyler, leaving room for the gloom to move back in.

Room for the gloom? Did Meyer actually think that rhyme was cute? Now Bella's whiny AND angsty! (+1 Wangst)

As if searching for even more ways to piss me off, she moves on to the subject of the Cullens with Angela. You know, that thing that she went on this trip in the first place in order to avoid? She asks if they skip school a lot, and Angela says they do that when the weather is good (meaning sunny). Bella yet again fails to make the connection between sunlight and her vampire research.

After shopping she decides to go to a bookstore. She also chooses to go alone for no adequate reason. Am I the only one who thinks that this screams "contrived plot setup?" She walks over to one bookstore, which turns out to be a new-age store. Even though Bella is not even going to talk to the woman behind the counter, Meyer chooses to describe the book seller's appearance anyway. Um, why? I'm guessing it's solely so Bella can make a snide remark and then go look for a "normal" bookstore.

She wanders around in search of a store. She could, I don't know, maybe ASK someone or call directory assistance, but that would make too much sense. Instead she just walks around in a place she's unfamiliar with on the off chance that she might spot the kind of store she's looking for. Why? Because this is an idiot plot, and the plot requires that Bella act conveniently stupid so that whatever Meyer has in mind can take place. In other words, Meyer is either too lazy or too incompetent to have her story progress from the natural personality and motivations of her characters. Given her track record, I actually think she's both lazy and incompetent.

I wasn't paying as much attention as I should to where I was going ...

A pretty dumb thing to do in a place you're so unfamiliar with that you don't know where the bookstore is. If she knew she was going here and that she might want to shop for books, why didn't she look up an address beforehand? She had even said in chapter two that she needed to look for a bookstore, so it would have made sense for her to do a quick search on the internet or flip through the Yellow Pages. Sorry, I was being logical again.

I was wrestling with despair.

Alright, I get it, she's sad. I understood it the last ten thousand times it was pointed out. Must Meyer constantly beat us over the head with this?

I was trying so hard not to think about him, and what Angela had said ... and more than anything trying to beat down my hopes for Saturday, fearing a disappointment more painful than the rest ...

Oh boo hoo hoo! (+1 Wangst)

If this is what happens when Edward doesn't show up at school for a couple of days, I shudder to think of what might happen if Edward were to go on vacation. I imagine it would look something like this.

When something like this happens in real life it's crazy. When Bella does it, it's romantic. *gag*

Bella spots a silver Volvo--HINT HINT, NUDGE NUDGE. She stomps along in a southerly direction (her words) to look at some more shops. Disappointed at seeing just a repair shop, she decides to turn a few corners and make her way back to the boardwalk. As she reaches the corner she encounters four men who are obviously bad because they're dressed too casually and are dirty. Remember kiddies, you can tell if someone's evil by the style and condition of their clothing alone. Bella tries to avoid them and we get another paragraph describing the sky. Since we'd seen Edward's Volvo already, we also know that this talk about early night and clouds is a setup for our sparkly vampire hero to show up.

Since this whole situation screams plot contrivance, I'll just spill it now. The guys are thugs, which Meyer beats us over the head with by having Bella think about the pepper spray she left at home and the money in her purse. They decide to stalk her for no reason other than because the plot says so and the book needs a setup for Edward to make his grand appearance.

Nothing actually happens, though. Bella is never in any real danger and not one of the men gets to so much as insult her, because heaven forbid that something interesting ever happen in this book. There is an insinuation that something bad is going to happen, but at this point I'm not even sure what that something might have been. The general consensus is that these guys are rapists, but that's never really indicated here. They never insinuate their intentions other than one of them calling Bella "sugar." For all we know they're just muggers, or simply wanted to join the rest of the Twilight hatedom and have a laugh at this dumb girl.

Before anything can even begin to happen, the walking deus ex machina that is Edward speeds into the scene in his Volvo. He pulls an action movie stunt and sends his car to a halt in front of Bella, the passenger door open for her to get inside. She briefly describes how wonderful it is to be rescued like the damsel in distress that she is before she gets in.

That's it? All of that buildup and no payoff? None of the men get to do anything? The situation never escalates to where we actually get to see Bella in peril? We don't even get to see Edward kick some creepy stalker ass, because only HE is allowed to stalk Bella, damn it! Meyer came so close to creating some actual conflict, but she had to go and pour water on the firecracker before the fuse had even been lit. I feel ripped off, and not for the first time reading this book. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella basks a little more in the delight of being rescued and then notices that Edward seems very angry. Well I suppose that's understandable, given what almost happened. Well ... I don't know what almost happened, but it was going to be really bad apparently.

Edward asks Bella to talk about something until he calms down. What does Bella decide to talk about? How pissed off she is at Tyler, of course. She spins her theory about how she thinks she should total his car and try to kill him with her truck. Suddenly I almost wish that she were gang raped. (+1 Bitch)

Edward admits that he has anger management issues and is trying not to hunt down Bella's would be ... muggers? Rapists? Name callers? Whatever they were. Edward doesn't seem to know what they were either, because he stops short of describing them. Bella mentions that Angela and Jessica are waiting for them, and Edward speeds down the streets into town. He actually weaves through traffic, and ... why doesn't he get pulled over for speeding through a populated tourist section? Is every cop in Washington on a coffee break or something? (+1 Stupidity)

Also, I highly doubt that Edward can be as nimble with his car as described in the book. I don't care how super special awesome he's supposed to be, superhuman reflexes cannot compensate for things like the momentum created by his speed and the coefficient of friction between his tires and the road. Superman himself couldn't do anything too crazy in a regular car without spinning out of control, and the car wouldn't be able to respond to sudden obstacles as quickly as he could. One unexpected vehicle rounding a corner and it doesn't matter how fast you turn the wheel or stomp on the brake pedal. Even for Edward, driving crazy fast is idiotic!

But this is Meyer-Land, so something as inconvenient as the laws of physics simply doesn't apply.

Edward pulls into a parking space that Bella comments looks much too small for his car. This is supposed to make Edward look impressive, but instead it makes me wonder how they're going to get the doors open. If they have room for the doors then the space can't be that small in the first place, so Bella's observation is wrong. Either way, it's more stupidity from Meyer.

Edward stops at a place called "La Bella Italia" (VERY subtle, Meyer!) and Bella sees Jessica and Angela just leaving. At first Bella starts to ask how Edward knew to go there, but instantly forgets. I am not kidding.

"How did you know where ...?" I began, but then I just shook my head.

And people say she's smart BECAUSE?

Edward continues with the whole "I'm angry" bit and orders Bella to stop Jessica and Angela. While exchange pleasantries, Edward unleashes his girly charm on them. Jessica is wooed instantly, but Angela makes her saving throw vs. spells and remains rational. She apologetically mentions that they ate while waiting for Bella to show up. Since they were late despite Edward's insane speeding, this probably means that Bella took too long walking around like a dumb bitch looking for a bookstore instead of asking for directions. Good job on that, by the way.

"That's fine--I'm not hungry." I shrugged.
"I think you should eat something. Edward's voice was low, but full of authority. He looked up at Jessica and spoke slightly louder. "Do you mind if I drive Bella home tonight? That way you won't have to wait while she eats."

That isn't controlling behavior at all on Edward's part. It's perfectly normal for a man to directly contradict his girl in an authoritative tone and then automatically assume that said girl is going to do exactly what he wants. Some people would call that overstepping one's bounds and take it as the first sign of a controlling boyfriend. Those people are sane, and therefore have no place in Meyer-Land. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)

Not that Bella objects. Jessica found Edward's behavior weird enough to look at Bella questioningly to determine if this is what she really wants; Bella makes it clear that she wants to be alone with Edward. Being the only person with her head on straight, Angela pulls Jessica away before she can start eye humping Edward. Once they're gone, Bella protests Edward's earlier behavior.

"Honestly, I'm not hungry," I insisted, looking up to scrutinize his face. His expression was unreadable.
"Humor me."
He walked to the door of the restaurant and held it open with an obstinate expression. Obviously, there would be no further discussion. I walked past him into the restaurant with a resigned sigh.

Just in case you thought I might have been overreacting earlier. Once again Sparkledouche completely ignores Bella's wishes and insists on getting his own way. He even openly defies Bella, giving her "an obstinate expression" as if daring her to disobey.

Yes, I know Edward wants Bella to eat out of concern, but this is almost as bad as when Edward wanted Bella to ride home in his Volvo instead of her truck. Like in the parking lot, when he dragged her to his car instead of just stating his case, he is now commanding instead of requesting. It is these nuances of intentions that makes the difference between a concerned boyfriend and a controlling one.

What's worse is that Bella just accepts it. Just like the parking lot incident, she simply goes along with whatever Edward wants without putting up much of a fight. People think this is true love? This relationship, if it can even be called that, is founded on power and control, and is currently only progressed with outright stalking. That is not love!

The host who seats them becomes instantly horny at the sight of Edward and Meyer makes it clear that she is jealous that he is with Bella, because that is the only thing a female can possibly have on her mind. She takes them to one seat and Edward doesn't find it satisfactory.

"Perhaps something more private?" he insisted quietly to the host. I wasn't sure, but it looked like he smoothly handed her a tip. I'd never seen anyone refuse a table except in old movies.

My life must be an old movie, because I've refused a seat several times. If the place isn't too crowded and there's a place I'd rather sit, I'll request it. Sometimes I don't want to sit in a crowded spot or I want a window seat. If Meyer thinks that asking for another seat in a restaurant is old fashioned she is dumber than I thought. And what's with the tip? Bella said that the place wasn't crowded, so there are at least several other available seats. A tip isn't required to get reseated. Meyer tries too hard to make Edward come off as cool and suave, even when it makes no sense. (+1 Stupidity)

We get a little more of the host being aroused by Edward before they finally take a seat. I would buy the whole "Edward is charming" thing if it were a bit more subtle. Meyer's heavy-handed writing gives it all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. Sometimes the best way to say something is to not say it. Meyer seems to think that the only way to get a point across is to beat the reader over the head with it until their eyes bleed.

Bella comments about Edward using his wiles to get what he wants, and she actually uses the word "dazzle" to describe it. At least Meyer used the word "said" for this dialogue, the second time in this chapter by my count. Edward plays dumb about his vampire charm, and then we come to a rather infamous line in the book.

"Do I dazzle you?"

There it is, folks, the line that launched a thousand antis. I wasn't quite sure if this was really in the book at first. This line sounded so ridiculous to me that I assumed it was just made up by the Twilight hatedom, or at the very least was a twisted version of something else Edward said. Well, it looks like I was wrong. Meyer really is that stupid.

Can you imagine walking up to a girl and asking her that? The funny thing is, if you ran into a rabid enough Twihard, it might actually work!

Their waitress arrives, and we get to delight in watching the blatant condescension in Meyer's treatment of her female characters. It's almost like watching a train wreck, except FAR less exciting and much more insulting.

And then our server arrived, her face expectant. The hostess had definitely dished behind the scenes, and this new girl didn't look disappointed. She flipped a strand of short black hair behind one ear and smiled with unnecessary warmth.
"Hello. My name is Amber, and I'll be your server tonight. What can I get you to drink?" I didn't miss that she was speaking only to him.

Was Meyer picked on as a child? She seems to hold a real resentment towards women, constantly casting her female characters as shallow Barbie dolls who can do nothing but gossip about boys and drool over anything with a penis, namely Edward. Twilight reads more like a cynical parody of the female gender than an actual romance story. The fact that the bulk of the fanbase consists of females baffles me. It's like they're being slapped in the face and coming back to say "please, sir, may I have another?"

The two start talking, and Edward seems surprised at how well Bella is taking what just happened. I know I should probably be surprised at this too, but it's been drilled into the readers' heads so much by this point how much of a special snowflake Bella is that I kind of expected that a near rape/mugging/whatever experience wouldn't phase her.

"Well, I'm actually waiting for you to go into shock." His face twisted up into that perfect crooked smile.
"I don't think that will happen," I said after I could breathe again. "I've always been very good at repressing unpleasant things."

Things like that awful father of mine who insists on spending time with me. Did I mention the fishing trips? Oh, those were murder!

How does someone's whole face twist up into a smile? For some reason I keep picturing something not nearly as attractive as what Meyer must have meant.

Edward says that Bella should eat, and in that very instant the waitress shows up with drinks and bread. Cue more of the waitress ogling Edward. Bella orders something and then the waitress goes off to touch herself--I mean, fulfill her order.

"Drink," he ordered.
I sipped my soda obediently ...

This is their relationship, folks. Edward orders Bella, and she obeys. She shivers from the drink ... do people do that? Anyway, Edward notices and takes off his jacket. Seeing a perfect eye-hump opportunity, Bella pounces like a bitch in heat. She describes Edward's clothes and notes his muscular chest. She is so blatant about it that she outright describes it as ogling.

He handed me the jacket, interrupting my ogling.

You like what you see, Bella? All those days at the vampire gym really paid off. (+1 Eye Sex)

After more pointless chatter, Meyer once again feels the need to point out what a special snowflake Bella is. Edward comments about how no normal person could take the situation as well as Bella is. After that, Bella steers the conversation back to Edward. She makes a comment about his eyes, and then tells him that she has a new theory about what he is. The waitress interrupts, panting over Edward, because Meyer just can't help but beat us over the head repeatedly with how handsome Edward supposedly is. I wish we would go back to the rapists; they were more interesting characters.

Bella says that he'll tell Edward her new theory if he'll answer some questions. He agrees, and she decides to start off with an easy one.

I started with the most undemanding, or so I thought. "Why are you in Port Angeles?"

It's quite simple, Bella dear. You see, I've been stalking you ever since you arrived in Forks, even though I constantly said that we should stay far away from each other. You had the audacity to go someplace without my express permission, so naturally I followed you. Oh, I hope you didn't notice the camera in the car. I was, um ... doing research. Filthy, filthy research. Mmmm, boobies. Did I mention that I sneak into your room and watch you sleep at night? You have wonderful taste in panties, by the way.

Edward refuses to admit that he was stalking her and demands the next question. Bella decides to move on.

"Okay then." I glared at him, and continued slowly. "Let's say, hypothetically of course, that ... someone ... could know what people are thinking, read minds, you know--with a few exceptions."

Whoa! Hold on!

Where the holy hell did that come from? Yes she thinks he's a vampire, but how did she make the leap to psychic? I know that Edward really is psychic, but how did Bella reach that conclusion? Bella had no previous indication of this, that I can recall, outside of one extremely vague conversation which provided no reason for Bella to think that. Bella never went through any thought process that might have led her to this conclusion. I don't remember her ever speculating that Edward might be able to read minds until just this instant. This, my friends, is called an ass pull.

Bella speculates that Edward used his psychic powers to find her in time to save her ... hypothetically, of course. This backs Edward into a corner and he debates internally about how much he can tell Bella.

"You can trust me, you know," I murmured. I reached forward, without thinking, to touch his folded hands, but he slid them away minutely, and I pulled my hand back.


First Meyer has Edward's eyes narrow "infinitesimally," and now she's having him slide his hands away "minutely." That "minute" happens to be a synonym for "infinitesimal" is not lost on me, either. If Edward had made a movement that small, Bella wouldn't have been able to notice. Someone PLEASE find Meyer's thesaurus and put the poor thing out of its misery with the business end of a shotgun! (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

As if to ease my irritation with laughter, Edward then calls Bella "observant."

If only text could convey how much I'm laughing right now. I assure you, I am dying. I am actually typing this between laughing fits. Bella, observant? The girl who did research on vampires and couldn't figure out that the Cullens might not show up for school on a sunny day? Oh please!

Edward further points out how special our snowflake is, saying that any danger within a ten mile radius would invariably be drawn to Bella. Apparently she is so special that bad people are magnetically attracted to her. *coughMarySuecough.*

I get it, Meyer. Edward is special, Bella is special, your self-insert and your creepy boy fetish are oh so special. Judging from what I'm seeing here they don't seem "special" in the way that Meyer intends, if you know what I mean.

Bella asks if Edward counts himself as dangerous, and he replies with a single word: "unequivocally." Yeah, you know what I'm going to do now. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

I stretched my hand across the table--ignoring him when he pulled back slightly once more ...

Why didn't Meyer use the word "slightly" the last time he did that? It makes a hell of a lot more sense than "minutely" and is actually the proper word to use in this situation. What, was the word "slightly" not exotic enough the first time?

Moving along. After thanking Edward for saving her again, Edward decides that THIS is the moment to tell Bella that he's been stalking her. "Awkward" doesn't even begin to describe Edward's timing. I mean, seriously, imagine if you were in this situation?

You: Thank you so much for helping me. I'm so grateful!
Douchebag: I've been spying on you from my Volvo.

See? You see how awkward that is? How does Bella take it? Not how you'd expect. If it were me, my response would be something like "wait, what did you just say?" Instead of a rational response like that, Bella is instead delighted.

I wondered if it should bother me that he was following me; instead I felt a surge of pleasure.

How can Bella be okay with this? She could barely tolerate Mike following her to class, and yet she finds the idea of Edward stalking her across towns pleasurable? This is not only stupid, it's hypocritical. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella asks Edward if perhaps her number was up when she was nearly hit by Tyler's van (if only that were so) and Edward has been interfering with fate ever since. Edward's reply?

"Your number was up the first time I met you."

What the hell? What kind of a thing is this to say to someone you just recently met? First he tells Bella that he's stalking her, and now he's saying disturbing, downright threatening things like this. Edward, might I suggest some nice reading material to help with your complete inability to hold a conversation without being creepy?

If Edward really believes what he's saying, if he is truly convinced that he is too dangerous to be around Bella, why doesn't he just stay the hell away? As I pointed out in chapter five, Edward knows fully well that he could end up killing Bella, yet he insists on stalking her. This is not love by a long shot. This is selfish, self-serving lust. The words "love someone enough to let her go" comes to mind. If Edward really loved Bella he would love her too much to endanger her life, and letting her go would be seen as preferable to someday seeing her dead.

This can even work in the book's favor, with Edward struggling to come to grips with his primal vampire nature and embarking on a journey of self-discovery to reconcile his vampirism with his love for Bella. Such a premise would completely redeem this book and might even make a fan out of me. Of course, such a story would require characters with actual depth and a real plot with genuine conflict. You know, like GOOD books have.

Moving on. Edward's words make Bella recall the first time they met. She immediately dismisses her reaction to the memory because she has an incredible amount of trust in Edward, and so feels completely safe around him. What exactly she's basing this trust on, I have no clue. Edward even asks her why she's still even sitting there, but Bella is completely oblivious. Not that it would have mattered anyway. Given Edward's track record, do you really think he'd just let Bella go if she tried to leave? I don't think so.

Edward confesses that he's psychic and had been using his powers to track Bella, which included reading the mind of Jessica. He describes, at length, the exact methods he'd used to locate Bella. He then says that the only reason he didn't kill the thugs was because Bella was there and that the reason he'd had Bella stay with him is because he was afraid that he'd murder them if left alone. Once again, Bella is just that special.

Admitting that you have trouble resisting the temptation to murder people ... very sexy and not creepy at all. Insert massive sarcasm quotes. After that, Edward pays for the dinner and they leave, but not before the waitress gets one last chance to ogle Edward. After a few more paragraphs describing them walking to, then getting into, the Volvo, the chapter finally comes to an end.

Is it normal to have to take Tylenol for a headache after reading a book? Maybe it is the overwhelming inanity of this story or the sheer dullness of reading page after page in which nothing interesting happens. Most likely, though, it's because of all the facepalming I did as I resisted the urge to scream "WHY IS THIS GIRL SO STUPID?"

There are writers with real talent who either never get published or wallow in obscurity, but a rank amateur like Stephanie Meyer becomes an international sensation? God must really have quite the sense of humor. Twilight's popularity can't be because it's a well-written book, there must be a more deep-seated reason. I'm reluctant to think about that for any length of time because I'm afraid that I might conclude that Twilight's very shallowness is its greatest strength, because people in general are just that shallow. My faith in humanity hasn't quite dipped that low yet.

Maybe it's because the bulk of the audience are young and inexperienced, and the Twimoms use the book as an escape from reality and an indulgence of fantasies. I wonder how many people genuinely love this book, and how many are simply jumping on the bandwagon because it's the thing to do.

Either way, I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+6 Stupidity
+3 Bitch
+2 Wangst
+2 Thesaurus Rape
+1 Eye Sex
+1 Bad Boyfriend

Twilight - Chapter Seven

Edward, Edward, where for art thou, Edward?

I can hardly believe that I'm still reading this. I am WAY past the point where I would normally close this book and toss it into the nearest recycling bin (give back some of the paper that was wasted to print this crap). Okay, so that doesn't really apply to me since I'm reading a digital copy, but the sentiment remains.

The chapter opens with Bella avoiding Charlie, skipping out on dinner with the excuse that she has a lot of homework. Charlie has a basketball game that he wants to watch, so he probably wouldn't have bugged Bella anyway, but she STILL finds cause to bitch about that. There is just no way to win with her, is there? (+1 Bitch)

The homework was a lie. Bella lies quite a bit, doesn't she? Even when it would have been simpler just to give a straightforward answer. Maybe telling Charlie "I'm feeling tired and would like to go to sleep now" would have worked just as well without the need to lie to his face. Hell, since Charlie already had his mind set on watching basketball she didn't really have to say anything at all.

Bella immediately fishes for a CD Phil had given her. I admit that I had forgotten who Phil was and had to backtrack to refresh my memory. You can't really blame me, though, since his name is only mentioned 4 times previously in the book, and is only mentioned 13 times throughout the entire novel (thank you Kindle word search). Bella listens to the CD, but the kind of music that's on it isn't really described. Only that it contains bass beats, drums, and shrieking. So, is it a heavy metal CD or what? At least saying what genre the music was would have been helpful, Meyer.

It turns out that she listened to the music so that she didn't have to think and falls asleep listening to it. You guessed it, this means that we once again get to sit through a dream sequence. Oh goodie, the last dream that featured a shiny Edward was so thrilling that I can hardly wait to see what she'll dream of now (gag). She recognized the green light of the forest, and now I am rolling my eyes. She hears the ocean and walks towards it, but suddenly Jacob appears and pulls her deeper into the woods.

My, my. Only met the guy once and already dreaming about him. She gets attached to guys quickly, doesn't she? Mike is there too and urges her to obey Jacob. Being the stupid bitch that she is, Bella doesn't listen.

Jacob turns into a werewolf. Well, not so much "turned into" as "instantly is replaced by a wolf," as there is no description of the metamorphosis outside of him twitching a little. Mike cries out for her to run, but she still doesn't. Apparently she is such a stupid bitch that not even being suddenly confronted by a snarling, growling werewolf is enough to make her take Mike's advice. I REALLY hope she gets eaten. (+1 Stupidity)

She sees a light approaching her from the beach. Hmm, a moving light. That seems interesting. I wonder what that could be.

And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing, his eyes black and dangerous.


Of course, it could only be sparkledouche. This time he is all EVIL and wants to do terrible things to Bella, not that the stupid bitch cares. She instantly obeys Edward and moves toward him, despite that she herself had noticed that he looked dangerous. Does this girl have a death wish or is she just clinically stupid? Jacob leaps forward to protect Bella, and this upsets her so much that she wakes up screaming "no!"

This dream says a lot about Bella's relationship with Edward. If we take it at face value it shows that she will not listen to those trying to help her and Edward could basically say "I'm going to kill you now," and Bella would helpfully present her neck for him to snap. There are even parallels already set up in the story. She ignores her friends and disrespects her father and will listen to none of them. Also, Edward has already gotten away with some pretty outrageous behavior that no self-respecting girl would stand for. This is beyond unhealthy, Bella needs psychiatric help. Such intensely dependant behavior is not good.

Bella can't go back to sleep, so now we get to see her take her clothes off. Yeah, there is absolutely nothing Freudian about having Bella dream of Edward and then immediately start taking off her clothes. As if that wasn't enough, now we get to see her taking a shower. I just hope she doesn't do anything funny with the shower head. Now she dries her hair and--

Alright, do we really need to see all of this? Writers tend to skip or gloss over personal hygiene in their books for a reason. That reason is because IT'S BORING! Is there really nothing else for Meyer to write except "I woke up, took a shower, and blow-dried my hair?" Who finds this stuff interesting? Go back to the vampires and the werewolves. That, at least, had some semblance of actual dramatic tension.

But that would actually make this book interesting, so instead we get to see Bella get dressed and make her bed. The saying "as interesting as watching paint dry" comes to mind. I'd almost rather be doing that right now. For goodness' sake, somebody throw a pie! Now Bella decides to use her computer. She complains about dial-up being slow and decides to get some cereal as it connects. She chews her cereal slowly and carefully. Yes, Meyer actually chose to describe the method and speed at which Bella eats her cereal.

Shoot me now!

I ate slowly, chewing each bite with care. When I was done, I washed the bowl and spoon, dried them, and put them away. My feet dragged as I climbed the stairs. I went to my CD player first, picking it up and placing it precisely in the center of the table. I pulled out the headphones, and put them away in the desk drawer.

I quoted that just so you can have a taste of the excruciating detail Meyer is subjecting us to. We don't need to see every little thing that Bella does! Where was Meyer's editor? Why wasn't he doing his job?

Bella goes to her computer and it seems that our special snowflake who is supposedly so intelligent has never heard of a pop-up blocker. They're free, you know. Also, since Bella had only just connected to her ISP, with no mention of her opening her web browser, how are there pop-up ads already? Her computer must be infected with some pretty nasty adware, which I'd suggest she have her computer scanned for. She goes to a search engine, and gets more pop-ups. Yeah, definitely adware, unless Bella is so stupid that she actually visits some crappy search engine that has pop-ups on its main page.

She types in the word "vampire" and describes that she got a lot of junk results with no real information on vampires. If the bitch had used google one of the first results would have been the wikipedia entry on vampires. Problem solved. She constantly complains about her connection speed. I get it, dial-up is slow! I'm assuming her computer is an antique, using a 28.8 modem or something. 56k isn't terribly slow for simple web browsing assuming you avoid sites heavy with graphics or flash animations. This brings back memories of my old days in the mid-90's when I was stuck with a 14.4 modem. Now THAT was slow!

*Fondly pets his new 20 mbps fios modem*

She reaches a promising page, and after describing what it looks like finally gets to actually reading it.

Throughout the vast shadowy world of ghosts and demons there is no figure so terrible, no figure so dreaded and abhorred, yet dight with such fearful fascination, as the vampire, who is himself neither ghost nor demon, but yet who partakes the dark natures and possesses the mysterious and terrible qualities of both.

I did a search on this quote to see if it was made by a real person or if Meyer was just making it up. It turns out that it comes from a classic book called The Vampire: His Kith and Kin by Montague Summers. I'm not sure whether Meyer actually read this book as a form of research or if she just stumbled on it while looking for a good quote.

the Romanian Varacolaci, a powerful undead being who could appear as a beautiful, pale-skinned human ...

That word is misspelled. It's vârcolac (vârcolaci for plural form). Also, that is not its only definition. In Romanian folklore they're known as wolf demons so powerful that they can occasionally swallow the sun and moon, creating an eclipse. Some other legends also describe them as vampires. Appearance-wise they are often described as wolves, other animals and even dragons, but I couldn't find a reference to them being described as beautiful pale humans. She omits this detail, since she's only interested in the parts of these myths that pertain to her vampires.

the Slovak Nelapsi, a creature so strong and fast it could massacre an entire village in the single hour after midnight.

Her description of the Nelapsi is incomplete and glossed over. This may have something to do with the fact that Nelapsi are incredibly evil, soulless, vicious, bloodthirsty monsters. Not only do they savagely slaughter the living to satisfy their insatiable bloodlust, but they actively revel in destruction, death, and desecration. I suppose something like this would clash with Meyer's vision of the romanticized sparkly vampire, so she makes her description of these creatures intentionally vague.

The last one is Stregoni benefici. I had never heard of this creature before, so I did some digging and could find no credible information about it. Turns out that's because this is something Meyer has made up herself. Bella comments that it's such a relief that there exists a myth that validates the existence of good vampires.

A myth that Meyer had to make up ...

Unbelievable! She just selectively picked one or two traits from the myths she encountered and twisted them to make them fit her vision of the beautiful, pale, good vampire. When the established mythos wasn't good enough she proceeded to just make stuff up!

Just look at the above quotes to see what I mean. Vârcolac are pale and beautiful, Nelapsi are fast and strong, and the bullshit vamp Meyer made up is "on the side of good." Meyer is really out to rape the vampire mythos. This isn't so much a case of Meyer getting her facts wrong as it is a case of her covering her ears and screaming "LA LA LA, I AM NOT LISTENING, LA LA LA!" until the myths she read fit her vision of perfect, sparkly, beautiful vampires. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella now says that there is very few vampire myths that match what she's seen in Edward or heard from Jacob's story.

Speed, strength, beauty, pale skin, eyes that shift color; and then Jacob's criteria: blood drinkers, enemies of the werewolf, cold-skinned, and immortal. There were very few myths that matched even one factor.

Really, Meyer? There are "very few" vampire myths that would describe them as drinking blood? There aren't many that describe them as being immortal, even though all myths say they're undead? The book from which Meyer quoted has a whole section on the traits and practices of vampirism. Did she even read that, or just take that one quote (the first words of the book) because it sounded cool? (+1 Stupidity)

I think we've pretty much proven that Meyer has tried to give the illusion that she has done some actual research but is in fact, once again, just making stuff up.

Not liking what she found, Bella starts bitching again, and somehow this situation is everyone else's fault.

Through my irritation, I felt overwhelming embarrassment. It was all so stupid. I was sitting in my room, researching vampires. What was wrong with me?

For someone who is supposed to be so smart, she has a lot of contempt for the seeking of knowledge. Is there something wrong with researching a popular mythological creature? ZOMG I actually had to LEARN something! What kind of FREAK am I? (+1 Stupidity)

I decided that most of the blame belonged on the doorstep of the town of Forks--and the entire sodden Olympic Peninsula, for that matter.

Calm down, bitch! Researching on the internet is not such a horrible thing. Students do it all the time. Now, because Bella feels embarrassed, it is somehow the fault of everyone on the entire peninsula? What kind of crazy, backwards logic is that? This is the person the Twilight fans are in love with? This whiny, angst-ridden bitch who complains about everything, treats others like crap, blatantly uses people when it's convenient for her, and casts blame on everyone and everything for her bad mood.

What ... a ... bitch! (+1 Bitch)

Bella decides to go for a walk, stomping out the door as she leaves. I guess Bella just really hates having to do research, a trait she and Meyer have in common. She describes some of the plants, noting that what she knew of the local plant life was due to Charlie teaching her. She is still angry, and I am still wondering what the bitch's problem is. She notes that this is probably the worst place she could be, given the dream she just had, but she just sits there anyway and makes no attempt to go somewhere less creepy.

Here in the trees it was much easier to believe the absurdities that embarrassed me indoors.

She was embarrassed because the myths she read were absurd? Of course they're absurd, that's why they're myths! In this case Bella should never take a class on mythology or she'd be too embarrassed by the men with heads of animals. For that matter, she shouldn't read the bible either. Why should the mere act of reading those myths be embarrassing? There are college classes on mythology, should that be an embarrassment? While the stories themselves may be absurd, they are part of the history and culture of the civilizations that birthed them. They are important in their own way, because they paint a picture of how people in ages past viewed the world.

And another thing. How is Forks, and the entire peninsula, responsible for the myths of vampires? They didn't write them, so why is she blaming them?

Bella starts thinking about Edward, trying to make sense of everything she's seen and heard so far. She notes the incredible strength and speed which he used to save her life that day in the parking lot, forgetting to mention his ability to make crowds of onlookers conveniently not see him doing those things. Oh, I forgot, he didn't do that, the idiot plot did. She notes his changing eye color, which I'm surprised nobody else noticed. She also mentions his inhuman beauty, which I'm dismissing right now because that's more about Bella's overblown perception of Edward than actual beauty.

She wonders about his pale, frigid skin, which is also bullshit. Skin cannot always be frigid on a vampire, which is essentially a walking corpse. A dead body does get cold since it's no longer generating body heat, but unless Edward is routinely locking himself in a meat freezer and wearing ice packs under his clothes, his skin should be absorbing the ambient heat of his surroundings. At most his body would be room temperature, warmer or colder depending on the temperature of his environment.

She goes on about other things, like his manner of speaking. She describes it as "unfamiliar cadences and phrases that better fit the style of a turn-of-the-century novel than that of a twenty-first-century classroom." Exactly when has he spoken like this at all? Edward could be considered articulate, but he hasn't said a single thing I would consider old fashioned. Once again, Meyer is just making stuff up whenever it suits her.

He had told me he was the villain, dangerous. ...

And yet the stupid bitch doesn't listen. If this had taken place in the real world ... well, a fantasy world with vampires that sticks closely to the conventions of the real world, at least, Bella might as well be wearing a sign saying "all you can eat buffet," because any remotely realistic vampire would eventually end up chowing down on her.

This seems to just get Bella even more horny for Edward, because as we all know, all girls want bad boys. I feel another video clip coming on.

Something outside the possibility of rational justification was taking place in front of my incredulous eyes.

I've spent some time in writers' forums and workshops, and I can tell you that awkward sentences like this get critiqued all the time. It is unnecessarily wordy and takes away from the immediacy of the scene. It simply doesn't flow well with the rest of the paragraph. People write like this to sound sophisticated, but it seldom turns out well. Common advice would be to either cut it or rewrite it so that it fits better within the rest of the paragraph.

To illustrate my point, here is the paragraph proper.

Well, they were something. Something outside the possibility of rational justification was taking place in front of my incredulous eyes. Whether it be Jacob's cold ones or my own superhero theory, Edward Cullen was not ... human. He was something more.

Now here is that paragraph again, with the offending sentence removed.

Well, they were something. Whether it be Jacob's cold ones or my own superhero theory, Edward Cullen was not ... human. He was something more.

Notice how the two sentences flow better with the overwritten part cut out? Those two sentences fit very well with each other, the latter directly referencing and expanding upon the former. That bit in the middle disrupted the flow of thought, distracting the reader from the point Meyer was trying to make. Not only is it poorly worded, it is in the wrong place to begin with.

Here is that paragraph one more time, with the bad sentenced reworded and moved to the end of the paragraph.

Well, they were something. Whether it be Jacob's cold ones or my own superhero theory, Edward Cullen was not ... human. He was something more, something that defied all rational thought.

There you have it. The same thought expressed in fewer words. There wasn't even a need for another sentence. You see what I did there? That is called EDITING! This is something Meyer should have done. I won't bore you with this anymore. I just wanted to point out at least one example of why Meyer's writing is sloppy. The book is littered with instances like this; do I even need to remind you of the bouquets of brilliant anemones undulating ceaselessly?

Now Bella wonders what she should do if it turns out that Edward actually is a vampire. You know, all of this deliberation might have been convincing if the fact that Edward is a vampire weren't advertised on the dust jacket of the book. Also, this revelation is coming much too soon. Any chance at dramatic tension has been wasted by having Jacob flat-out tell Bella that the Cullens are vampires. Even if the audience has this foreknowledge, HOW Bella finds out can still make it an awesome moment in the book. Perhaps Bella could catch Edward in the process of feeding, or he might lose control and try to feed on Bella, stopping just short of doing so.

Having this important element of the story just dropped in our laps, then picked apart and analyzed by Bella, sucks all of the suspense out of it. Meyer has turned what could have been a major turning point in the story and reduced it to a purely intellectual exercise. You might as well be reading Wikipedia. It almost feels as if Meyer simply wanted to give Bella more excuses to daydream about Edward.

Bella considers doing the smart thing and avoid Edward, taking his advice and warnings to heart, listening to Jacob, and taking her recent nightmare seriously. Stupid bitch that she is, though, she immediately rejects that idea.

I was gripped in a sudden agony of despair as I considered that alternative. My mind rejected the pain, quickly skipping over to the next option.

A sudden agony of despair? That's the kind of thing you find in bad emo poetry, for crying out loud! (+1 Wangst)

Also, words cannot describe how monumentally stupid and incredibly weak this girl is. For every fangirl who claims that Bella is strong and intelligent, this pretty much disproves that. How long has she known Edward? How many times have they even spoken to each other? They've done far too little of ... well, ANYTHING together for Bella to be gripped by a "sudden agony of despair" at the thought of avoiding him. Also, what does it say about Bella that she gets this obsessed over a guy she doesn't even know? Not "hardly knows," DOESN'T know. Edward hasn't exactly been very helpful on that score, only letting slip that he likes some of the same music as her. (+1 Stupidity)

Here is my theory about why Bella is the way she is.

Bella is overly-dependent and needs counseling. Maybe it's pent-up daddy issues from the divorce that causes her to seek personal validation in the arms of potentially dangerous men. Bella seems to have a narrow but intense cone of dependent behavior, in which she not only needs another person to validate her, but she needs to feel needed.

Think about it. First she latched onto her mother, being utterly dependent in her relationship with her. In the first chapter, one of Bella's chief concerns was that, without her, Renee might not be able to pay the bills, do the groceries, etc. This tells us that Bella assumed a large role in her relationship with her mother before Phil came around. Bella was the "adult," as she put it in chapter five. She felt needed. She had a role to play that defined her as a person and gave her a sense of personal worth. Then along comes Phil, who intrudes upon that role. Suddenly Bella is not so needed anymore.

Unable to get the validation she needs at home, she makes a desperate move and goes away to Forks to live with her father. She is utterly miserable not because Forks is such a terrible place, but because she feels lost without someone to depend on her. She tries to establish a new bond by insisting on cooking for Charlie, trying to make him need her, but it doesn't seem to work out. Charlie had been living as a single, independent man for 17 years. It was too tough of a nut for her to crack.

Then along comes Edward. The beauty is what attracted her at first, then his bad boy attitude reeled her in. Now she can't stop thinking about him, because here is someone obviously brooding and seemingly in some emotional pain, a pain Bella hopes she can heal. As time passes, she becomes increasingly convinced that Edward NEEDS her, and now she needs him to need her, which is even worse. She pushes everyone else away because she needs only one dependency. Everyone else is too well-adjusted, or they remind her too much of the kids she knew back home.

That is what I came up with after observing Bella's behavior. at least.

Bella thinks more about the subject and rationalizes staying with Edward. She even explains away the dream, saying that the "dark Edward" of her dream wasn't a bad person, and that she only screamed "no" because she was afraid that Jacob would hurt him. Meyer really overuses italics in this paragraph as well. She decides that she is powerless, that she has no choice and there is nothing she can do. Never mind that she herself had already pointed out the option of staying away from Edward and simply rejected it out of hand. Dismissing a choice because it displeases you doesn't negate the fact that the choice was there to begin with.

She goes back home and starts working on a school paper for Macbeth. She makes an interesting mention of how making choices is painful for her and how ridiculously easy the end result would be for her to live with. Really, the choice had been being independent or being dependant on Edward. She chose dependency. We get some more mundane details about how Charlie came home with fish he'd caught and now she wants to learn some fish recipes.

She goes to sleep, and the sun is shining the next day. Charlie made breakfast. He smiles at her, which prompt Bella to make a rather strange observation.

When Charlie smiled, it was easier to see why he and my mother had jumped too quickly into an early marriage. Most of the young romantic he'd been in those days had faded before I'd known him, as the curly brown hair--the same color, if not the same texture, as mine--had dwindled, slowly revealing more and more of the shiny skin on his forehead.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did Bella just make a comparison between Charlie's capacity for romance and his receding hairline? I hope she was just making a poetic comparison and was not being serious. Again, I find myself interested to learn more about Charlie and Renee as people, and how their relationship ended up affecting Bella.

Bella goes to school and is, for once, happy. I'm glad she's happy, because it means I'll have to put up with less whining.

My homework was done--the product of a slow social life--but there were a few Trig problems I wasn't sure I had right. I took out my book industriously ...

So ... getting your homework done can only be because of a slow social life? Is it somehow impossible to have friends and do your homework? One of Bella's homework assignments must have been English, because I see that Meyer has been dipping into the thesaurus yet again. Industriously? That is just the wrong word for this sentence. Would it have been so hard to just say "I took out my book" without the unnecessary modifier? (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Bella can't concentrate on double-checking her math, though, and ends up drawing five pairs of Edward's eyes on her homework.

That is not creepy at all. (+1 Eye Sex )

It's like Meyer's thinking "if I show how utterly obsessed they are, everyone will know how perfect their twu wuv is!" All I'm wondering is when the men in the white suits will come to take Bella to a comfy, padded cell.

Mike greets Bella, and she is in too good of a mood to bitch about him. In fact, she even feels gratified when he smiles at her and she notices how delighted he is to see her. She almost seems like a real friend, now doesn't she? Mike gets a bit touchy-feely with her hair, which makes Bella reasonably uncomfortable. They talk about the due essay, which shocks Mike when he realizes his isn't done and its due a day earlier than he thought. he asks Bella what she wrote about.

"Whether Shakespeare's treatment of the female characters is misogynistic."
He stared at me like I'd just spoken in pig Latin.

This comes off as Meyer attempting to make it look like everyone else, besides Bella, is an idiot. Also, I just love how Bella can write an essay on that subject and completely miss how Edward's treatment of her may fall into that same category. (+1 Stupidity)

Mike asks Bella out on a date, which is enough to irritate her. She gets out of it by blatantly telling Mike that Jessica is interested in him. It turns out that Mike had been so moonstruck over Bella that he hadn't even noticed the signals Jessica had been sending. Her asking him to the dance and crowding him during their trip to La Push might have given the guy a clue.

Next she meets Jessica. It turns out that her, Angela, and Lauren are going to Port Angeles to go dress shopping for the dance. Jessica invites her to come along. She tells them maybe, deciding to ask Charlie first.

She's going to ask the guy she didn't want to ask about going to Seattle.

She's going to ask the guy she didn't tell about Edward.

She's going to ask the guy whom she generally doesn't want to ask permission from because it, in her words, "sets a bad precedent." Why do I somehow think that she is not being sincere?

They go to lunch, and Bella is excited to see the Cullens at their table. As we learned from last chapter, the sun only shines in Forks when it is convenient for the plot, and now we see what that convenience is. The Cullens are not at school today, and this makes Bella a saaad panda.

Desolation hit me with crippling strength.
I shambled along behind Jessica, not bothering to pretend to listen anymore.

Gee, I wonder why Lauren could possibly be upset about Bella's obsession with the Cullens. (+1 Wangst)

I get it, Bella is sad. Why must Meyer always choose the most melodramatic words she can find to describe her self-insert's mood swings? (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

They sit at their table, and Mike shows the first sign of reciprocating Jessica's feelings by holding out her chair for her. I really hope this sticks, because Mike is a nice guy and doesn't deserve to be hurt by Bella Megabitch.

Bella is, to quote her, "spiraling downward into misery" as Angela asks her some questions about the Macbeth paper. She also invites Bella to go shopping, and this time she agrees. So much for asking Charlie, huh?

I realized I'd been holding on to a last shred of hope when I entered Biology, saw his empty seat, and felt a new wave of disappointment.

Why is Bella so surprised that Edward isn't there? This isn't the first time that he ditched school, after all. Also, Bella is such a stupid bitch that she fails to put two and two together, remember the research she just did, realize that it's a sunny day, and deduce that they might actually be vampires. Sorry, that would require some actual thought on Bella's part, wouldn't it? (+1 Stupidity)

The rest of the day passed slowly, dismally. In Gym, we had a lecture on the rules of badminton, the next torture they had lined up for me.

Why would they need a lecture on how to play badminton? It's a fairly simple game. A few practice runs is all they really need to pick it up. Also, you'd think she'd like that sport. It's fairly low impact and requires only two people to play rather than a whole team. In school I loved badminton because it wasn't as demanding as basketball. If you can drive a car, you have sufficient hand-eye coordination to play badminton, so Bella-sue's clumsiness is no excuse. Heaven forbid she may have to INTERACT with some of her classmates in any way.

Has Meyer ever even played that game?

Never mind that the day after they would arm me with a racket before unleashing me on the rest of the class.

A melodramatic choice of words does not convince me that Bella is clumsy. Also, she would be "unleashed" on only one other classmate, with the span of the court separating them. There may be a few other people playing depending on the size of the gym. Most of the time she'd simply be sitting around waiting her turn. You'd think she'd like that.

I was glad to leave campus, so I would be free to pout and mope before I went out with Jessica and company

Get a hobby, Bella. Get a god damn hobby! (+1 Wangst)

Does this girl have nothing in her life except Sparkledouche? A normal girl would have been disappointed if someone she had a crush on weren't there, but she'd quickly get over it because there are other things in her life as well. Also, she'd have the sense to know that there's always tomorrow. To look at Bella you'd think it were the End Days. Life comes to a crashing halt if Edward is not at lunch. Her life is over if Edward doesn't show up for Biology. This is NOT HEALTHY! Bella is in desperate need of therapy. She needs to learn that there is more to life than just one boy.

Jessica reschedules their shopping trip to the next day because Mike asked her out on a date. I'm happy he, at least is moving on. Bella is a self-absorbed bitch who is not worthy of breathing the same air as Mike. She marinates some fish, which is funny considering she'd said earlier that she needed to buy a book of fish recipes.

She answers some e-mails from her mother and gets bitchy about that too. Never mind that it's her fault if her mother e-mails her because Bella couldn't be bothered to spend a few minutes out of her day to write to her.

In another shallow attempt to make Bella look intelligent, Meyer has her self-insert read a Jane Austen book. She doesn't get too far, because it reminds her too much of Edward. Now Bella just lies down, with an excruciatingly long paragraph describing just how she decides to lie down. Why are we spending so much time describing Bella lying down?

The bitch falls asleep and wakes up to the sound of Charlie returning home. She also has a sense that someone is watching her. That would be Edward stalking you, dear. She goes inside and tells her fath--I forgot, Charlie, that dinner will be late. He tells her not to worry about it. After all, Charlie never asked Bella to cook for him and he's not a baby. The guy can take care of himself, and has been for most of Bella's life.

After dinner they watch TV, and Bella notes that Charlie seems happy to be spending time with her.

He seemed to be happy, though, to be doing something together. And it felt good, despite my depression, to make him happy.

Depression? Jesus, this girl needs to get a life! The guy didn't show up for school for one day and she's depressed? This is beyond ridiculous. The bitch needs professional help. Why do people find this romantic? So far this book seems to be preaching complete and utter dependence on a man. Nothing matters, so long as you have your man. Your life, your dreams, your ambition, can only be to have a man. If you're not with your man for even one day you should feel like scum.

This is the kind of messages that people are claiming to be romantic? IT ISN'T! It is delusional, unhealthy, and a sign of a mental disorder. Reading this book makes me wonder sometimes if I'm the only sane person on Earth who sees this for the garbage that it is. Thank goodness I have the internet, so confirmation that there are other people with actual literary taste really do exist is just a mouse click away

Now here a very interesting exchange happens.

Bella asks Charlie if he can go with Jessica to buy dresses (yeah, I'm shocked too!). Charlie questions the logic of Bella going dress shopping for a dance she's not attending, and Bella bitches about that.

... Really?

She claims it's because Charlie is a guy and doesn't understand "girlie stuff." All guys should now be insulted. Just because you have a penis doesn't mean you can't understand the concept of helping other people pick out clothes. This book, it seems, is sexist towards men as well as women. Maybe Meyer simply led a sheltered life or something, I don't know, but I somehow get the impression that she doesn't know that much about the world. Rather, the world of people. Immediately afterward, the two have this exchange.

"We'll leave right after school, so we can get back early. You'll be okay for dinner, right?"
"Bells, I fed myself for seventeen years before you got here," he reminded me.
"I don't know how you survived," I muttered, then added more clearly, "I'll leave some things for cold-cut sandwiches in the fridge, okay? Right on top."

Yeah, because the guy who's been taking care of himself, earning his own money, paying his own bills, and feeding himself since Bella was in diapers is suddenly lost without Bella there to feed him as if he were a child. It's funny how Meyer insists on enforcing these narrow gender roles, even when it makes no sense. It's also funny how Bella is so oblivious that she completely fails to realize that he is right. I considered giving this a stupidity mark, but I think Bella's condescending attitude makes her more bitchy than stupid. (+1 Bitch)

This is yet another sign of Bella's dependant behavior. It may be that she's so used to taking care of her mother that she doesn't know what to do with a responsible, self-reliant adult like Charlie. I also resent how Bella insists on treating the man like he's some helpless kid, even though SHE is the one living under HIS roof rent-free, with Charlie handling all of the expenses. Give the guy some credit! He's not going to starve just because Bella is gone for a day.

It's sunny the next day, so we all know that the Cullens are not going to be there. Bella, stupid bitch that she is, still fails to make the sunlight/vampire connection and hopes that they'll be there. Of course they're not, and this makes Bella a saaad panda. She is a touch less melodramatic about it than before (at least the word "desolation" isn't used), but still more than enough to get on my nerves.

Jessica follows Bella home so they only have to use one vehicle to go on their trip. She leaves a note to Charlie explaining where dinner is, because the man who has been feeding himself for 17 years is suddenly so incompetent that he can neither remember Bella telling him where the food would be, nor understand the proper usage of a refrigerator. I wonder if Bella did this on purpose, because she's in denial that Charlie can be just fine without her.

Finally they go off the Port Angeles, and here the chapter ends.

Reading this book is slow, painful torture. I am fairly convinced that reading passages of these books to POWs would be an effective form of interrogation. They'd be begging for the pain to stop long before we get to this point in the story. Again, WHY are these books so popular? I simply cannot wrap my mind around that. I'm reading it, I'm paying attention, and I cannot find anything redeeming about this crap. When Bella isn't being a bitch she's acting like a moron. When she isn't being a moron she's fantasizing about Edward. I would have been a lot more sympathetic towards the "romance" (and I use the word very loosely) aspect of the book if there were any actual character development.

This book sucks. It's dull, packed with filler, unnecessary adjectives, moves at a glacial pace, and has no plot to speak of. I only use the word "plot" in these summaries out of convenience, because it's certainly not in reference to any significant events in this book. Meyer didn't do research, and what few facts she gives she gets wrong. The only thing this book has, in spades, is a lot of flowery-overwrought descriptions of Edward's perfection, one of the most whiny and bitchy female leads I've ever seen, AND ONE CRIMINALLY ABUSED THESAURUS!

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+7 Stupidity
+3 Wangst
+3 Bitch
+2 Thesaurus Rape
+1 Eye Sex

Twilight - Chapter Six

The part with the werewolves

For this chapter Meyer decided to open by having her self-insert read Macbeth in an attempt to make her seem less like the idiot she'd been acting like for the entire book so far. Much like everything else in this book, it is a shallow attempt that fails miserably. Having a character occasionally read a book doesn't make her smart. If Bella talked about the things she's read or otherwise showed some sign of comprehending what she's reading, then I'd give her points for it.

Bella isn't really paying attention, being more interested in listening for her truck. It turns out that the Meyerpires are so super special awesome that even though the loudness of Bella's truck has been made an issue of in the past, because Alice is driving it this time it is delivered to Bella's driveway with nary a sound, even though Bella was specifically listening out for it.

Meyerpires: even machines are awed into silence by their beauty. (+1 Stupidity)

Because Bella is Bella, it should come as no surprise that she is full of complaints.

I wasn't looking forward to Friday, and it more than lived up to my non-expectations.

I wonder if Bella ever heard of the phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy." Basically if you constantly go "today will suck, today will suck," more than likely your day is going to suck. Nothing bad even has to happen to cause this, because you've already put yourself in the unhealthy mindset to expect to be miserable. Remember those words, because I'm going to be bringing this up at least once more later in this chapter.

This time Bella is upset because some of her friends asked her about her fainting in class. Here Meyer is trying very hard to make Bella's friends out to be gossipy bitches, but once again she fails because she has, in the space of less than a chapter, forgotten her own established cannon. Either that or Bella truly is an idiot, i.e., when Edward spends the latter part of the last chapter making fun of Bella mercilessly for fainting (culminating in dragging her across a parking lot!) it's okay because oooh he's so handsome and pale and he likes classical music! But when her friends talk about it, suddenly it's a mortal sin. (+1 Bitch)

Jessica asks Bella about her conversation with Edward last chapter. Here Meyer attempts to paint Jessica as a nosy bitch, most apparent in her use of the words "she fished" after Jessica asks Bella a question, and having Bella speculate that Jessica must have been disappointed at not getting a good story to pass on. It might have worked except that, in this case, Jessica's curiosity is perfectly reasonable. I wonder if Meyer ever puts herself in the shoes of her characters who aren't named Bella or Edward, or if she simply has a very feeble understanding of human nature.

Imagine Jessica's position: a boy who is a notorious loner, sticking only with his family, suddenly expresses an intense interest in a girl she's recently befriended. That boy is later involved in an incident in which that friend's life was saved from an out of control van, and after that the boy begins actively shunning and ignoring the friend he'd saved. Then, out of the blue, he suddenly wants to talk to her again and they have a heated discussion in the cafeteria where her friend looks so upset about what the guy is saying to her that Jessica's other friends debate whether or not they should intervene.

And when she naturally becomes curious about what is causing all of this, it can only mean that she's just fishing for gossip?

I've said in my summary of chapter two that there is a disconnect between the story and the storyteller, because Meyer tells a lot but shows very little. This is yet another example of this. You can tell that Bella/Meyer doesn't think much of Jessica, and we're supposed to believe that she's this vapid, gossipy Barbie doll. I would buy this if Jessica actually behaved in such a way. So far I've seen zero evidence in the story that Jessica is anything like how Meyer exposits her. If she were shallow, she never would have welcomed Bella with open arms on her very first day of school, nor would she go out of her way to be nice and try to make her a part of her circle of friends.

Could it possibly be that perhaps Jessica is just a teeny bit concerned that a creepy loner boy had, just the previous day, said something to Bella that had obviously upset her? Of course not, because that would require one of Meyer's characters to have some actual depth and motivation. This bitch point is as much for Meyer as it is for Bella. (+1 Bitch)

Bella now goes into emo princess mode when they reach the cafeteria.

The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn't going to be there, I still hoped.

I just love the way he drags me by my jacket, makes fun of me, refuses to tell me the truth, willfully acts against my wishes, and carries me around like a child.

This really is the worst kind of romance book. There is no reason given for why Bella is in love with Edward. I don't count the hand-waved "because he's pretty" reasoning the book gives, and playing the "love at first sight" card is not enough. Even within the context of love at first sight, there still needs to be some kind of follow-up, some reason why they're so good for each other. Without that it becomes a romance version of a wizard did it.

Bella doesn't see Edward at his table, and this makes her a saaad panda.

I couldn't stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn't know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.

Damn this girl is clingy! (+1 Wangst)

Also, Meyer once again fails at continuity. Has she forgotten that Edward offered to drive Bella to Seattle? So yeah, Bella knows EXACTLY how long she may have to wait to see Edward again, since they already have a date scheduled!

Mike and company are talking about the trip to La Push tomorrow, not that Bella cares. She comments about the weather, namely how she has no faith in the weather report that promised sunshine the next day. I'm beginning to wonder if it really does rain as much in Forks as it does in this book.

Lauren, who I can only recall being mentioned once earlier in this book, is giving Bella some nasty looks. Bella overhears Lauren complaining about her, wondering why Bella doesn't just sit with the Cullens from now on. Frankly, I wonder the same thing myself.

I'd never noticed what an unpleasant, nasal voice she had, and I was surprised by the malice in it. I really didn't know her well at all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me--or so I'd thought.


That is EXACTLY the problem, Bella, you DON'T know her all that well, despite having shared a table with her for weeks! Meyer is really trying to make it seem like her friends are turning on poor innocent Bella, but at this point I think Lauren's anger is completely justified and her comment is not unfounded. Bella had been ignoring and ditching these people at every possible opportunity. Just the last day she'd completely ditched them all for Edward, and when Edward commented that he might be stealing her from them, her exact words were "they'll survive." This is the girl who is about to FLEE THE WHOLE TOWN just to avoid them.

This is the epitome of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Bella had previously accused them (namely Jessica) of being gossipy backstabbers, and now that Bella had ignored and mistreated her friends she can now say "I was right!" when one of them has finally had enough of Bella's attitude and expresses her feelings about it. Bella is completely in the wrong here. She has abused the friendship that Jessica extended to her so openly, and has no right to complain that not all of Jessica's friends like being ignored.

"She's my friend; she sits with us," Mike whispered back loyally, but also a bit territorially.

Whoa, hold on a second. Bella can note the slightest hint of a territorial attitude from one sentence Mike speaks, and yet she sees nothing wrong with being picked up and carried to the nurse's office by Edward, and then later being dragged across a parking lot and THREATENED until she got in his Volvo? You just got to love how Meyer constantly tries to paint Mike as possessive and territorial when it comes to Bella, completely ignoring how Edward does FAR worse than just carry her books and invite her to beach trips. (+1 Stupidity)

Bella had dinner with her fath--I mean Charlie, that night and makes this commentary about him.

That night at dinner, Charlie seemed enthusiastic about my trip to La Push in the morning. I think he felt guilty for leaving me home alone on the weekends, but he'd spent too many years building his habits to break them now.

Habits such as going to work so he can earn money to pay the mortgage, the utility bills, put food in the fridge, and buy Bella a truck? Those are some pretty nasty habits, I must say. Or maybe, just maybe, he might be actually happy that his daughter is making friends and spending time with them? Maybe he's just glad to see her fitting in and being invited to outings with her school mates? Honestly, must Bella try to find ulterior motives to every little thing everybody else does? Heaven forbid she may actually have to admit that some people might actually CARE about her. (+1 Bitch)

Bella wonders if her father would approve of her going to Seattle with Edward Cullen. "Not that I was going to tell him," she notes. First off, where did that even come from? Secondly, what does that have to do with anything? Lastly, this is yet another example of how little faith Bella has in her father. What, did she think he'd disapprove? Has Meyer actually forgot her own canon YET AGAIN?

In chapter two Charlie gave a big, impassioned speech to Bella about how wonderful the Cullens are, how they're lucky to have Carlisle as a doctor, how the Cullen clan has never caused any trouble, and how much it infuriates him that some people say negative things about them. After all of that, what on God's green Earth would give Bella the impression that Charlie might not approve of Edward? It's amazing how often Meyer completely forgets what happened in the book previously. We're only on chapter six and her story structure is already a clusterfuck.

The writing in this book is just incredibly sloppy. Does Meyer even pay attention to what she's writing? Does she proof read at all, or simply send off the first draft and completely forego the editing process? Seriously, I've critiqued writer's workshop material that was more coherent than this. I'm beginning to strongly suspect that the fact that Meyer got this mess published is proof positive that there is no God.

Bella asks Charlie about the place Edward and Emmett are going to make sweet monkey love--I mean, go on a camping trip. Charlie says that people don't camp there because there are too many bears. No, not those kind of bears, you big sillies. Actual bears!

Bella wakes up the next day and the makes a huge fuss over the sun being out. Again I wonder if it actually does rain as much in Forks as it does in the book, or if this all just convenient to the non-existent plot. Bella arrives at the parking lot where the rest of the gang are meeting. Everyone's there, including Lauren and an unnamed girl whom Bella apparently had tripped over off-screen in gym class. Twilight: Bringing you off-screen tripping in place of actual story.

Lauren and the nameless girl Meyer pulled out of the air are unhappy to see Bella. Mike and Jessica, of course, are delighted by her presence. Mike asks if Bella invited anyone, meaning Edward, of course.

"Nope," I lied lightly, hoping I wouldn't get caught in the lie. But also wishing that a miracle would occur, and Edward would appear

Lied lightly? Not only is "lightly" an unnecessary modifier, the two words are also quite a decent tongue twister. I dare you to say "lied lightly" ten times fast. Also, Meyer really needs to learn the proper usage of the word "miracle." She applied that word to Edward showing up in the cafeteria, and now she uses it to describe him coming along on the beach trip. I'm tempted to stop reading this book before Edward starts spitting flowers and farting rainbows.

As if things weren't boring enough, now we have to watch Mike work out the seating arrangement with Bella. Is this really necessary? Mike wants Bella to ride shotgun, which makes Bella go "I hid my chagrin." Ugh! That is just a terrible sentence. After they finally work out who sits next to whom, they get on their way.

Good Lord, no wonder this book is so long. It's not because there is that much story to tell, it's because Meyer is chocking this book with mundane details and useless padding. Do we really need every minute thing that happens described to us? There is such a thing as flashing forward, Meyer! Spare us the useless details, describe what is necessary, and GET TO THE BLOODY POINT!

It was only fifteen miles to La Push from Forks, with gorgeous, dense green forests edging the road most of the way and the wide Quillayute River snaking beneath it twice. I was glad I had this window seat.

Wait a second. Back in chapter one, Bella COMPLAINED about the plant life, how everything was too green, and how it felt like "an alien planet." She even complained about the potted plants in the administrative office. Now suddenly she's into nature? Continuity? What's that? (+1 Stupidity)

Meyer goes on to describe the landscape, going into remarkable detail for a place she's never been to at the time she was writing this. She really piles it on high here, talking about "austere, soaring firs" and "millions of large, smooth stones." Millions? Do I even need to point out what's wrong with that? She talks about the color of the stones: "terra-cotta, sea green, lavender, blue, gray, dull gold." Her prose gets more purple as she progresses. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if she went on to describe the lonely dance of the pearl-gray shark. (+1 Purple Prose)

They finally reach the camp site and set up a driftwood fire. Mike takes this opportunity to try to impress Bella by showing her a driftwood fire. The girls, meanwhile, are "gossiping excitedly," because, as we all know, that's the ONLY thing that girls do when they talk to each other, right? Anyway, Mike lights the fire and Bella looks at the pretty color.

"It's blue," I said in surprise.
"The salt does it. Pretty, isn't it?"

Um ... no, that is not pretty, because that doesn't happen! Sodium chloride (table salt, sea salt) does not turn fire blue. It turns fire yellow. Google image driftwood fires and see how much blue you see. Meyer fails at research. She tries to put in little facts to lend her work realism, but she consistently gets her facts wrong. Don't even get me started on her take on the biology of vampires! I'd be here all night going into everything that's wrong with her explanations of how vampires function. Meyer seriously needs to stay far, far away from science. She fails at it epically.

Some of the boys want to hike out to some nearby tidal pools and Bella debates whether or not she should go. She makes up her mind when it turns out that the majority of her friends opted to stay, most notably Lauren, whom Bella dislikes so much that she makes a comment about her shoes (meow!). Since hiking allows her to avoid the maximum number of people, she decides to go.

Gather around, children, for we will now play a game I like to call "what would a competent writer do?" In this game we will take what Meyer has done so far and pretend that the scene was written by a writer with some actual sense. By exploring how one of Meyer's scenes can be effectively used we will highlight just how poorly written the actual scene is. Ready? Begin!

In this scene Meyer has Bella leave the bulk of her camping group to hike to the tidal pools. How can this scene be effectively used? Since Bella, Mike, and Jessica are now separated from everyone else a number of things can happen. Maybe Mike will take this opportunity to express his feelings to Bella, who will turn him down directly and therefore introduce some much needed tension into the story. Perhaps Jessica will become fed up with the attention Mike is lavishing on Bella and call him out on it. Again, some good tension.

Bella had just been describing how clumsy she is, so perhaps she will have an accident. This would not only demonstrate that she can trip when it isn't convenient that she does so Edward can rescue her, but can also lead to some character development. Perhaps either Mike or Jessica, after helping Bella, would be moved to share something about themselves to make Bella feel better, "You know, I have a sister that falls down like you do." Not only would this demonstrate compassion on the part of the supporting characters, but also give them some back story, personality, and actual depth.

Now that we've explored some possibilities, let's look at how the actual scene plays out as Meyer has written it.

... Absolutely nothing happens.

Nothing, nadda, zippo. All we get is some more purple prose describing the scenery.

The green light of the forest was strangely at odds with the adolescent laughter, too murky and ominous to be in harmony with the light banter around me.

Sentences like these make me wonder if Meyer has ever been in any actual woodlands. Light does not turn green when it shines through trees; certainly not enough to be considered "murky" and "ominous." She did this in chapter one as well, saying "even the air filtered down greenly through the leaves." That doesn't make sense. How does air filter greenly? She must have meant to say light, which is still stupid.

The bouquets of brilliant anemones undulated ceaselessly in the invisible current ...

Read that sentence out loud. Go on, I dare you. Quote that line to someone else and see if you can do it without smirking. Seriously, this is the kind of crap you usually find in vanity published books and amateur works. (+1 Purple Prose)

I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if he were here with me.

Judging from what we know of Edward from previous chapters, I'd say he's probably getting all hot and bothered watching surveillance footage from Carlisle's hospital. I can just imagine him going "yeah baby, you know what I like. Sneeze for me, yeah, sneeze for me baby. Oh, cough some more!"

Oh that's right, he's camping out with Emmett right now ... alone ... in the woods ...

I imagine it would look something like this.

The boys decide to head back, and Bella narrates herself falling a few times. I suppose it's better than off-screen falling, so I'll actually give Meyer some credit here. Meyer can earn bonus points if she were to have Bella be clumsy when it is inconvenient, in a way that causes some sort of problem for her. No, the unnamed girl doesn't count because that happened off-screen. So far Bella's clumsiness is coming off as a "flaw" that is not really a flaw, but a mix of convenient plot device and mild quirk that makes this special snowflake even more special.

And with that, the scene shifts back to the main camp site, and our game of "what would a competent writer do" ends. So how did Meyer utilize this scene? The correct answer: she didn't. Bella just trotted off, looked at some "brilliant anemones undulating ceaselessly," daydreamed about Edward, and went back. Nothing noteworthy happened, and that whole scene was nothing but time wasted. This is the kind of scene that a competent writer would have either cut out or rewrote to make it more useful.

Some Native American kids from a nearby reservation are there when she gets back. I suppose the point of the hike was just so that they could be there, but you don't need Bella to leave the camp for them to arrive. Simply having them approach the group while Bella was there would have worked just as well, and spared us some tedious purple prose. One of the newcomers looks at Bella with inexplicable interest, so you just KNOW this one has to be a significant character, at least one that gets a name. They introduce themselves, but Bella can only pay attention long enough to learn that one of the girls is also named Jessica, and the boy that was looking at her is named Jacob.

Bella wonders some nonsense about how time flows differently in Forks, which is just her roundabout way of saying that the time she spends with Edward is "special." Again, where did this even come from? She shows absolutely no interest in the people who came to visit and instead sits around daydreaming about Edward again. At least she had the good sense to mention it as "disturbing," which is the only thing preventing me from handing out another stupidity point.

During lunch the clouds started to advance, slinking across the blue sky, darting in front of the sun momentarily ...

Slink I can almost buy, since the word denotes slow movement, but clouds DO NOT dart! Picture the clouds moving in a slow, sinuous, provocative manner (slinking) and then suddenly rushing forward to cover the sun with a sudden burst of speed (darting). Clouds don't do that! So not only has Meyer apparently never stood under a tree, she's also never looked up at the sky. (+1 Stupidity)

What is it with all of these leftfield descriptions anyway? I mean, weren't we just talking about the Native American boys who showed up at the camp? Why are we talking about clouds and ruminating about Edward? I, the reader, am not interested in clouds. I'm much more interested in finding out who these visitors are and what their deal is! Get to the bloody point, Meyer!

Apparently Meyer is not very interested in talking about the new visitors, so she meanders even more. This time Bella sits around as some people go to the store and others go on a second hiking trip. Lauren and Tyler are sharing a CD player, proving that they either can't afford an MP3 player, or Meyer doesn't know what one is. Considering that this is the same story in which Bella can check her e-mail on the computer but somehow can't order books with it, I'm inclined to believe the latter.

So Jacob FINALLY walks over to Bella. Since Edward is not around and she is just dying to do some eye-humping, she decides that Jacob would make a decent substitute.

His skin was beautiful, silky and russet-colored ...

Russet? RUSSET?

So THAT's where Lady Sybilla got the title of her plagiaristic book from! I was wondering about that one.

However, my positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.

Wow. Whatever he said, it must have been incredibly rude to have so offended her. Wait, what am I saying? This is BELLA we're talking about. I wouldn't be surprised if she snapped at him for saying "hello."

"You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?"

That's it? That's the sentence that has Bella's knickers in a twist? Good Lord, this girl is a bitch. I mean, she couldn't even be bothered to take a few minutes of her time to introduce herself like a civilized human being when the group first arrived, and she now has the nerve to criticize Jacob for wanting to confirm her name? This is something that could have been easily averted if she'd been polite earlier and said "hello, my name is Bella," and maybe thrown in a handshake for good measure. Would that have been so hard? (+1 Bitch)

So Jacob introduces himself and mentions that Bella's dad bought his dad's truck. Bella is relieved to hear this and shakes his "sleek hand."

So ... many ... unnecessary ... adjectives!

I took a gay stroll down the cracked cement streets looking with dubious eyes at the austere road, watching metallic cars speed by with ominous thunder. I met an aged gent outside the local glossy pub with its glossy windows and walked through the glossy door to partake in a distilled beverage of questionably bitter flavor ... in a glass that was glossy.

Sorry, just working the adjectives out of my system.

Bella admits that she doesn't remember him, and Jacob mentions that she'd probably remember his sisters better. And then we get this.

"Rachel and Rebecca," I suddenly recalled. Charlie and Billy had thrown us together a lot during my visits, to keep us busy while they fished. We were all too shy to make much progress as friends. Of course, I'd kicked up enough tantrums to end the fishing trips by the time I was eleven.

Another glimpse of our protagonist's bratty personality. So she threw tantrums as a kid about going fishing with her dad. Charlie was, in turn, nice enough to listen and give up fishing with her because Bella didn't like it. Three years afterward she would throw ANOTHER tantrum about visiting her dad at all, which would then cause Charlie to rearrange his schedule so that he could visit Bella on her own terms.

While throwing tantrums when you're 10 or 11 is not unusual, it would have shown some character on Bella's part if she'd noted, in hindsight, that that probably wasn't very good behavior. Nope. Instead she prefaces that statement with "of course," as in of course throwing a hissy fit and forcing her dad to cancel family outings such as fishing is the right thing to do. Charlie puts up with her tantrums, makes concession after concession to her demands, and then Bella tries to paint him as a bad father? Wow! (+1 Bitch)

Bella's relationship with her father is starting to remind me of a certain someone.

Bella asks about Jacob's sisters, and Jacob says that one is studying at Washington State and the other is married to a surfer. Bella is surprised that one of them got married, since they're only a little more than a year older than she is. They then talk about the truck.

"Yeah, but it's really slow," he laughed. "I was so relived when Charlie bought it ... .

Relived, huh? So Jacob relived a lot of moments when Charlie bought the truck. This is why Meyer really should edit her own work. Writer's rule of thumb: do NOT trust spell-check or you end up with mistakes like this. Sometimes a misspelled word won't be detected because it is actually a proper word. It is necessary to go over your work with your own eyes so you can catch things like this.

They talk more about the truck, and I'm actually a bit surprised at how this is turning out. Jacob is actually coming off as a likeable character. His dialogue feels natural, Meyer has so far managed to bring out his personality without describing it with unnecessary adjectives or flowery prose. I'd even point this out as an example of how to properly write a character. Meyer would get brownie points for this if I wasn't convinced that this is a fluke.

After this admirable display of good character development, we immediately get an example of how NOT to flesh out a character.

"You know Bella, Jacob?" Lauren asked--in what I imagined was an insolent tone--from across the fire.

Notice how Meyer feels the need to point out and expand upon Lauren's tone; basically explaining Lauren's intentions rather than having it be apparent from her actions.

"We've sort of known each other since I was born," he laughed, smiling at me again.

Note how Jacob's reaction is, comparatively, rather understated. It isn't flat-out explained to us what he's feeling, but you can tell from his choice of words, his laugh, and his smile that he thinks fondly of Bella.

"How nice." She didn't sound like she thought it was nice at all, and her pale, fishy eyes narrowed.

Again Lauren's every intention is explained to us, making her a flat, 2-dimensional character. Also note how Meyer decides to throw in some not so subtle adjectives that all but declare that she expects us to not like this character, stopping just short of having Lauren wear a top-hat and twirl her curly moustache as she ties Bella to a railroad track going "nyeh heh heh!"

In essence we're being told what to think of Lauren, rather than observing her personality and behavior and making our own judgments. Lauren is just a puppet, dancing to the pull of strings with a bright red audience cue telling us when to laugh or jeer. This is NOT how you write a compelling character.

Because the plot says so, Lauren brings up the Cullens, her every action peppered with descriptions to beat the reader over the head with how bitchy Meyer wants us to think she is until we finally believe her. Things such as "unconvincing concern" and looking at one of the Native American boys "condescendingly." Never mind that Lauren is only upset with Bella because Bella herself has been a gargantuan bitch to her and all of her friends since day one.

It's interesting when you think about how when Meyer tries to paint a character as a bitch she fails because she tried too hard to "cue the audience." Meanwhile Bella, a character Meyer really wants you to love, comes off as a stuck-up bitch because despite all of the audience cuing Meyer has done on her behalf, she ACTS like a stuck-up bitch towards the people who care about her and try to be her friend.

The older boy says that the Cullens "don't come here," which sparks Bella's curiosity.

He'd said that the Cullens didn't come here, but his tone had implied something more--that they weren't allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success.

And with that statement, Meyer now becomes an official member of the Department of Redundancy Department. If they're not allowed, that also means they're prohibited. It is redundant to say both of those things at the same time.

Jacob interrupted my meditation.

Meditation? How was she meditating? Yeah, she'd done some thinking about it but she herself said that she was attempting to ignore it. That is not in any way meditation, contemplation, or any manner of deep thought. Thesaurus, if you need an attorney to help you file a rape charge against Meyer, I know a few good names. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Meyer chooses this opportunity to slip in yet another insult against Forks, followed by Bella coming up with a way to get more information about the Cullens' disallowance/prohibition against going to La Push. Given the circumstances you may think she'd try simply asking Jacob what that's all about, but that would be using logic. Instead she decides to flirt with him and string him along like a plaything.

I am not kidding.

Instead of simply asking she is going to use feminine wiles to seduce an answer out of Jacob.

This is in no way sexist.

I hoped that young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn't see through my sure-to-be-pitiful attempts at flirting.

Why, oh why, didn't I think to add a "sexism" counter to this blog? (+1 Stupidity)

"Do you want to walk down the beach with me?" I asked, trying to imitate that way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes. It couldn't have nearly the same effect, I was sure, but Jacob jumped up willingly enough.

And Bella thinks that JESSICA is a manipulative user? (+1 Bitch)

Through the power of eye rape, the two head off to be alone together. Bella asks Jacob how old he is, fluttering her eyelids like the girls she'd seen on TV. Remember kids, toying with other people's feelings by leading them to believe that you're interested in them is perfectly alright. Am I the only one disturbed that Bella didn't even consider just asking Jacob and went straight to flirting? If she'd at least said something like "I thought about asking, but he probably would just say no" it would make this a tiny bit more realistic. It would still be inexcusable behavior, but it would be at least somewhat understandable.

Really, I am truly disgusted to be reading this. It's not even good flirting, because Meyer constantly explains everything that Bella is doing.

"Who was that other boy Lauren was talking to? He seemed a little old to be hanging out with us." I purposefully lumped myself in with the youngsters, trying to make it clear that I preferred Jacob.

See what I mean? Flirting is supposed to be subtle (or brazen, if the object of the flirtation prefers it that way). Explaining everything Bella is doing takes what could have been an interesting exchange and makes it as dull as reading a spreadsheet. It's like a boxer telegraphing his punches by saying "now I'm going to do a right hook so don't block that, okay?"

After a little more of this moronic conversation, Bella gets around to asking Jacob about the Cullens. He is hesitant at first, but more flirting from Bella makes him crack like a peanut shell. He asks if Bella likes scary stories, and Bella continues the degredation of her gender by feigning intense interest.

Here Jacob all but goes "hi, I'm Jacob, and I'll be your offensive stereotype for the evening." He spouts some mythology about how his people tied their canoes to trees to survive Noah's flood, and how they're descended from wolves. The Quileutes, it should be mentioned, are a REAL tribe that was chosen for this story simply because they lived near Forks. Meyer is, in essence, making up a mythology for REAL people. Meyer fails at research forever! (+1 Stupidity)

Jacob now flat-out tells Bella that his tribe are werewolves. He also says that the Cullen family members, who he describes as "the cold ones," are the same people that his great-grandfather made a truce with. The terms of that truce is that the Cullens stay away from the Quileutes, and they don't expose to the world that the Cullens sparkle in sunlight. At this point Jacob flat-out tells Bella that the Cullens are vampires. He also tells Bella not to tell Charlie.

Because, you know, THAT is how you reveal a shocking truth. You just out and tell it to the audience. Think of how much more dramatic Star Wars would have been if Obi Wan had told Luke that Darth Vader is his father in the first movie. Oh, the suspense that could have been had!

Mike and Jessica arrive, and Mike jealously calls out to her. This prompts Jacob to ask his he's her boyfriend. Bella continues to flirt with Jacob, winking and saying definitely not. At least the bitch has the decency to feel guilt for using him after she was done. Mike says they're packing up because it is, of course, going to rain soon. Twilight: where the sun only shines when it is a convenient plot device.

We all looked up at the glowering sky.


So now the sky is glowering. What's next? Will it suddenly be that the sea is smirking, the dirt is grimacing, and the trees are laughing? (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

They all pack up and rush to the car, and on that note this chapter comes to an end.

So what have we learned? Jacob is a werewolf, the Cullens are vampires, Meyer wants you to think that Lauren is a bitch, except she's not really, and Bella is a manipulative hussy. We also learn that Meyer, as Stephen King once said, really can't write worth a damn. Also, the sky can glower. To sum it all up: Meyer is on drugs.

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+6 Bitch
+6 Stupidity
+2 Purple Prose
+2 Thesaurus Rape
+1 Wangst