Twilight - Chapter Sixteen

In which Carlisle leaves so as not to distract from Edward.

You know what's worse than suffering a massive seasonal allergy attack? Suffering a massive seasonal allergy attack and reading Twilight.

This chapter is titled "Carlisle". Normally I would assume that this chapter would feature Carlisle, but as we've learned from the last chapter, the chapter titles can lie to you. As such, I really don't know what to expect. Edward hogging the majority of the screen time seems like a fairly safe bet, though.

The chapter opens with Meyer staunchly refusing to use the word "said" in her dialogue tags.

"Come in," Carlisle's voice invited.

Amateur writers do this a LOT. They feel that the word "said" is bland, so they try to spice up their dialogue by replacing it with other words. While this is not bad in and of itself, and can actually add personality to the characters when used sparingly and responsibly, Meyer seems to have an outright phobia of the word "said". Flip to any given page in this book and try to find an instance where she uses the word "said" in dialogue WITHOUT modifiers. Pretty hard to find any, isn't it? Those few you may find are the exceptions that prove the rule.

I could go on and on about Meyer's abuse of "said bookisms" and how they make her look like a complete novice, but that would derail this entire entry, so here's a link instead. Go nuts.

Meyer briefly describes Carlisle's office, and Of course it can't just be a nice office. It has to be a big office with fancy walls and a collection of books that is comparable to a public library. Carlisle is sitting behind a huge desk that's made of MAHAGONY!

Carlisle asks them what they want.

"I wanted to show Bella some of our history," Edward said. "Well, your history, actually."

Oh, you mean the history you infodumped on us at the end of the last chapter? Yippy, I can't wait for this latest lecture. *eyeroll*

Well I'll be damned. Meyer used the word said without an adverb. Now I actually feel a little bad about what I said earlier.

"We didn't mean to disturb you," I apologized.

And now I don't.

Couldn't even wait one sentence before throwing another one at us, eh Meyer?

Edward spins Bella around to look towards the door instead of, I don't know, maybe gesturing to indicate that he wants her to look in that direction. Since Edward touched her, Meyer doesn't miss the opportunity to point out how awesome it is. You know, maybe I should start a drinking game. Every time I use the word "awesome" sarcastically, take a shot. Actually, don't do that. I value my readers too much to kill them off with alcohol poisoning.

Edward pulls Bella aside and stands her in front of one particular painting. Remember what I said earlier about how Bella's refusal to call Edward out on his behavior gives him the impression that he's entitled to manhandle her? Well, we're seeing an example of that now. This is a small example, but it is indicative of Edward's mindset. Want Bella to look at something? Pull her over there. Want her to be someplace? Pick her up and carry her. He treats her like baggage to be toted around. This example may be small, but in a way it's just as bad as some of the other stuff he's pulled. This shows that physically forcing Bella to do things is natural to him now. Since Bella did not establish any boundaries, he doesn't respect them.

The worst part is that Bella had previously made it clear in the narration that she really doesn't appreciated being treated in such a way. Even so, she lets it slide because she considers it such an honor that someone as pretty as Edward is even giving her the time of day. She does not allow Edward's behavior out of love, but out of desperation. What kind of message do you think this sends? If someone is pretty enough you should let them walk all over you, because you should be grateful to even be in that person's presence? Yeah, THAT will certainly help teenage girls with their self-esteem. (+1 Stupidity)

Moving on. Carlisle comments on the picture, which depicts London, and Bella flinches because she hadn't heard him approach. We get it, the sparklepires have ninja powers. Stop pointing out how quiet they are whenever they move.

"Will you tell the story?" Edward asked

Don't see why Meyer felt the word "you" had to be italicized, but who cares? The important part is we're actually going to get some back story about a character from the character himself! Man, after all the Edward infodumping this comes as a welcome change of pace.

"I would," he replied, "but I'm actually running a bit late. ..."



"... Besides, you know the stories as well as I do," he added ...



I hate this book, I hate these characters, I hate their fucking house! I keep hoping for oranges, but they hand me lemons. I'm sick of it! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN! (+1 Stupidity)

Then Carlisle leaves. He fucking leaves! You see what I mean? THE CHAPTER TITLE LIED TO YOU AGAIN! It's called "Carlisle", but Carlisle is barely even in this chapter. Sure it may be about him, but that means little without him actually being here. God forbid someone else should get a non-trivial amount of screen time. Heaven help us if someone else gets some focus besides Edward. That's who this chapter's really about, by the way. This isn't about Carlisle's past so much as it is about Carlisle's past in relation to Edward. He's the one telling the story; he's the one we're expected to admire. Carlisle is awesome, sparklepires are awesome, and by extension Edward is awesome. I really hope you weren't playing that drinking game just now.

Apparently Carlisle was suicidal after he was first turned, but since sparklepires are nigh indestructible he could not self terminate.

"... It is amazing that he was able to resist ... feeding ... while he was still so new. The instinct is more powerful then, it takes over everything. ..."

Of course, anyone who's read Breaking Fail knows that this is a load of bullshit. Oh, I forgot, it didn't bother Bella because she's a super special snowflake. God damn Mary Sues.

Edward tells Bella that Carlisle attempted to starve himself to death. Bella asks if this is possible.

"No, there are very few ways we can be killed."


They can't starve? What the hell is the point of the blood hunger, then? What purpose does it serve? If they're in no danger of starvation if they don't drink blood, then they don't need it. If they don't need to drink blood then they're not really vampires, are they? (+1 Stupidity)

Edward mentions Carlisle getting physically weak from not feeding, but that's not the same. It's not even close. Since sparklepires are several orders of magnitude stronger than humans, "weak" for them could easily mean "on human level." That would mean that they "need" to drink blood because it gives them superhuman abilities and they're addicted to the power. That makes it a drug, not an essential for life. They need blood like an addict needs his heroine (to use Meyer's own comparison).

If you stop eating, you die. That's how it works. The sparkle fairies' life is being sustained by something other than blood, which means that blood serves no purpose other than the "high" it gives them. Meyer has just invalidated any claim she's made to her darlings being vampires. They don't need blood, they have no weaknesses; they're not even undead. Their fairydom is the result of mutation from exposure to sparkle venom, a transformation that happens while they're still alive.

And before anyone shouts "artistic license!" I will point out that even artistic choice has its limits. A thing can only be changed so much until it reaches a point where it really should be called something else. The sparkle fairies have as much in common with the vampire as the owl has with the bat. Just because they have some passing similarities (owls and bats being nocturnal) doesn't make them the same creature. Sparkle fairies and vampires may both drink blood, but there is a world of difference between the two. Sparkle fairies are not vampires for the same reason that humans are not whales just because they're both mammals.

My God, she's not even TRYING! Why do Twifans INSIST that these are vampires when the book itself disproves that claim? The one thing the sparkle fairies had in common with vampires, and Meyer screwed that up too. Every time I think her incompetence can no longer amaze me, she finds some new way to pull it off. It would be impressive, really, if it weren't so incredibly sad.

Edward continues infodumping about Carlisle's past, and, frankly, I am so pissed at the Carlisle bait-and-switch (and amazed at Meyer's incompetence) that I'm tempted to skip this. Blah blah, Carlisle swam to France. Blah blah, sparklepires don't require oxygen.

Edward turns to stone, and his face is replaced by a block of ice. Hey, if Meyer isn't going to put in some effort, neither am I.

Edward takes a moment to be emo. You know what? I actually wish he'd get back to the infodump. It may be boring, but at least it isn't as painful to read as Edward's "oooh, I'm so damaged and brooding and that makes me sexy" lines.

They look at another painting before continuing with the story. You know what would be better than looking at paintings while Edward infodumps on the audience? Talking to CARLISLE about these things and getting his personal reactions to his own past! You know, actually SHOWING instead of just telling? The painting thing is almost as stupid as when a book character looks into a mirror so the author can describe her appearance.

"... Now he is all but immune to the scent of human blood. ..."

If that's the case, then why was he having trouble greeting Bella in the last chapter? Anyway, Edward plays up the blood hunger, which, given that we now know that it is completely harmless (except when Meyer feels the need to be dramatic), and that it's not even a real hunger, it loses much of its impact. Interesting to note that Edward says it took Carlisle centuries of "torturous effort" to control his blood addiction, but apparently Edward can simply will himself not to eat Bella because, as he put it, "mind over matter."

I am now tempted to tear out a page of Twilight and take it to a laboratory for analysis to determine if the pages themselves are made of bullshit. (+1 Stupidity)

This also shows that sparkle fairies don't really need blood at all, not even in the context of addiction. It may have a massive withdrawal phase, but Carlisle proved that it's possible to overcome that. If Carlisle is immune to the blood craving, and if it's the craving that makes them weak, then that would mean that he could literally never drink blood again and be just fine.

I'll admit I'm being a little unfair to Carlisle. His story is actually pretty interesting, which makes me wonder why this book isn't about him. I'd much rather be reading a book about his siring and his consequent struggle to come to terms with his mutated existence as a not-vampire than flip through page after page of descriptions of Edward's physical appearance. Oh, what am I saying? I wouldn't even want to read that, not if Meyer wrote it, because I know she'd find some way to screw that up as well. This woman should not be allowed anywhere near a pen, a typewriter, a word processor, or any other writing implement.

He talks about Carlisle running into other vampires.

"... they were much more civilized and educated than the wraiths of the London sewers."

Let's not even get into the fact that Carlisle's youth takes place over 200 years before underground sewers were even constructed. (+1 Stupidity)

Edward touched a "comparatively sedate" painting on the highest balcony, a sentence that makes me think he stretched out his arm like Mr. Fantastic. The figures in the painting were "looking down calmly on the mayhem below them." Uh ... what mayhem would that be? Is the room damaged? Is there some kind of violence going on? Is there a riot? The word "mayhem" in no way applies to the arrangement of paintings. Good God, Meyer, do you EVER stop to look up the words you pick out of the thesaurus? (+1 Thesaurus Rape)

As if Meyer thought she might be being a little too subtle about how awesome her sparkle fairies are, she has Edward point out that Francesco Solimena, the Baroque-era Italian painter, was so inspired by Carlisle and his buddies that he often painted them as gods.

That's right, people. She just compared her sparklepires to works such as this.

... Hey, what's that whirring noise? Oh, wait, that's just Solimena rapidly spinning in his grave.

I don't mind Meyer being a horrible writer, but I do take offense to her trying to plunder history in an attempt to elevate her works by comparing them to the works of those who much more greatly deserve to be called artists.

Blah blah, he left his buddies because they acted like vampires. Blah blah, he was lonely. Blah blah, and now we're back to when he transformed Edward.

Edward has a brief emo moment, and when that passes Bella describes the "gentle angel's smile" that "lit his expression." Gag me with a spoon! (+1 Eye Sex)

Edward pulls Bella out of the room. I already pointed out what's wrong with this earlier, so I'll move on. Edward then starts talking about himself. Namely, how he once rebelled against Carlisle's "vegetarian" diet.

"Really?" I was intrigued, rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been.

I get it, he's dangerous. Can you PLEASE shut up about it now?

He barked a laugh ...

How do you do that? What would that even sound like?

Edward only rebelled briefly, but quickly returned to the fold because he'd been reading Carlisle's mind and saw his "perfect sincerity," which makes no sense. Someone can be totally sincere in their belief in something and still be wrong. Just ask the May 21st rapture people. If Edward felt strongly enough about his disagreement to openly defy Carlisle, then knowing that Carlisle really believes in what he's doing shouldn't be that persuasive.

Edward says that he at first thought that, due to his psychic abilities, he could only target bad people. He says, for example, that if he fed on a murderer who was targeting an innocent woman, then surely that wouldn't make him so bad. If you've been paying attention, then you know that Edward is making this up. At the very least, he's never used his blood addiction as an excuse to save someone's life. To quote what he said back in chapter 8.

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

Bella takes a moment to reflect on how awesome Edward is.

"... Edward as he hunted, terrible and glorious as a young god, unstoppable.

Whenever I read lines like this I wonder if Meyer typed them one-handed. *shudders*

Edward crawled back to Carlisle due to his guilty conscience. They reach Edward's bedroom, which has a huge window for when Edward decides to go sparkling. Meyer had been trying this whole time to impress us with how filthy stinkin' rich the Cullens are, but here is where it gets truly ridiculous.

The western wall was completely covered with shelf after shelf of CDs. His room was better stocked than a music store.

Are you fucking kidding me? Are you saying that Edward somehow managed to fit a Virgin Megastore into his bedroom? It was bad enough when Carlisle's office was compared to a fucking LIBRARY, but now Edward's bedroom contains more stock than a music store? Does Meyer have NO sense of scale? Does she not realize how big a library or a music store can be? It's not as if the whole room is filled with CDs either, it's just the one wall. How fucking huge is that wall? (+1 Stupidity)

Also, why is it just CDs? What about audio cassettes? 8-track tapes? Vinyl records? People still collect vinyl records even nowadays, you know. Did Edward not hold on to some of his vintage albums, or is his enthusiasm for music a fairly recent thing? Also, why does no one in this book have an MP3 player? Or a cellphone? Or broadband internet?

Bella admires the music collection, and, I am not kidding, Meyer actually stops to explain how Edward organizes his CDs. Riveting stuff here. Since the word "subtlety" isn't in Meyer's vocabulary, she has her characters flat-out explain to us how they feel about Bella knowing all about Edward.

... his eyes dissected my expression ...

I am tempted to start a charity drive to pay for grief counseling on behalf of Meyer's thesaurus. To dissect means to analyze and interpret something minutely. In general it refers to ideas, as in dissecting a poem or the points of an argument. That is a function of the brain, not the eyes. Eyes cannot dissect anything. Why do people claim that Meyer is some kind of genius writer when she constantly uses her words wrong? {+1 Thesaurus Rape)

Then Bella makes a comment I actually find funny. It wasn't meant as a joke, but I find it humorous because she basically says what I've been wanting to say to Edward ever since he showed up in this book.

"I hate to burst your bubble, but you're really not as scary as you think you are. ..."

Of course, since saying that seriously would threaten to break the "bad boy" image Meyer so thoroughly and repeatedly tried to establish for Edward, she is sure to point out that Bella is lying.

Edward raises his eyes in "blatant disbelief", the word "blatant" being unnecessary in that sentence. As if to say "oh yeah, well I'll show you!", Edward assumes a threatening stance. Bella has enough time to comment on his "perfect teeth" before he tackles her. You read that right. Bella said he isn't scary, and in response he fucking tackles her! It isn't a playful tackle, either. She's becomes airborne, they crash into the sofa, and are knocked into the wall.

How reckless, irresponsible, and immature is this guy? (+1 Bad Boyfriend)

All the while, his arms formed an iron cage of protection around me--I was barely even jostled.


The laws of physics do not work that way. If you were struck by a human-sized stone-like object moving at a speed so great it can't be detected by the naked eye, with so much force that it caused you to go airborne, only to have your flight broken by hitting a nearby wall, you would be seven kinds of fucked. If this happened in reality Bella could be looking at broken bones, punctured organs, a cracked skull, and other injuries depending on where she was struck and the angle at which she hit the object that broke her flight. Edward having his arms around her would do next to nothing to protect her. You fail, Meyer. (+1 Stupidity)

Also, an iron cage? Weren't the sparkle fairies described as stone this whole time? Now they're suddenly made of iron? Good to see some consistency in this book.

Bella is perfectly alright and suffers no ill effects at all, because apparently she's a cartoon. She tries to right herself but Edward doesn't let her.

He wasn't having that. He curled me into a ball against his chest, holding me more securely than iron chains.

This is a perfect metaphor for their relationship, isn't it? Once again Edward decided to do whatever the hell he wanted, and damn how Bella might feel about it. Bella glares at him in alarm, clearly uncomfortable. Edward shows just how much of a bastard he is by finding Bella's reaction amusing.

"You were saying?" he growled playfully.

What the hell did that stunt even prove? That if you do something crazy and dangerous completely out of leftfield, Bella will be startled? You didn't prove that you are scary, jackass, you only proved that you're a stupid, thoughtless prick!

Bella wants to get up, but sparkledouche just laughs it off. Ha ha, silly woman. What's next, will she ask to vote?

Someone's at the door, no doubt wondering what the loud crashing sound was about. It would be kind of funny if the couch had ended up colliding with his sound system or his CD collection. It's Elf Willow and Jasper. Edward adjusts Bella so that she's on his lap so he can properly display his dominance over her to his family. Douchebag.

... she walked--almost danced, her movements were so graceful--to the center of the room, where she folded herself sinuously onto the floor.

I don't even know what to say to that. The passage speaks for itself; you don't need me to tell you how silly that sounds. Sure, it doesn't quite top Meyer's line about "bouquets of brilliant anemones undulating ceaselessly" (try saying that five times fast) though. Apparently the sparkle fairies can't even walk without a flowery passage to describe how gracefully they walk. They also can't sit down, they have to "fold themselves sinuously."

I get that Meyer thinks that her sparkle fairies are the greatest thing ever created, but can she at least let them perform basic tasks without waxing poetic about how perfect they are? You don't need have the book come to a screeching halt because, oooh, one of the sparkle fairies rang a doorbell and you have to describe how gracefully he pressed the button.

"It sounded like you were having Bella for lunch, and we came to see if you would share," Alice announced.

HAR HAR HAR! It's funny because they're talking about Bella's gruesome murder. Oh, Meyer, you are such a card. (+1 Stupidity)

That joke is in incredibly poor taste, especially given that Bella is sitting right there and might be a little uncomfortable about being in a room with monsters talking about eating her, even if it is a joke. What's more, I think they might actually be serious.

Think about it. They heard a violent crashing sound as the couch struck the wall at super speed, an obvious sign of conflict unless Edward makes a habit of breaking his own furniture. They had no way of knowing what was going on in there, so even if they weren't 100% certain that Edward was eating Bella, the thought must have at least crossed their minds.

And don't give me the bullshit about Elf Willow's psychic powers. For one, it's not mentioned here; and second, Jasper was shocked to see Bella and Edward in the room, which clearly shows that whatever he was expecting to see behind that door, it was not Edward holding Bella on his lap. If Elf Willow really HAD foreseen that Bella was alright, you'd think she'd care to mention this to Jasper. At least one of them was probably expecting a free snack.

Edward is amused.

"Sorry, I don't believe I have enough to spare," he replied, his arms holding me recklessly close.

Again, Bella is right there! You also gotta love how Bella describes them as being "recklessly close", as if there was something wrong with him holding her that near to him. Twu wuv, folks, is apparently code for "get the hell away from me." To be fair, though, he is holding her against her will, so that's likely the reason for the comment. No stupidity point for that.

Oh, it seems that Elf Willow's powers allow her to predict the weather too. At first I thought that she'd just watched the weather report, but then Bella comments about her being more reliable than the weatherman, implying that the prediction comes from Elf Willow and not from the news. Her powers do just about anything Meyer wants them to do, huh?

Turns out there's going to be a storm and they're going to play sparkleball. They invite Bella, who agrees so as not to disappoint Edward. Since there will be a storm, Bella asks if she should bring an umbrella, which they find funny for some reason.

They all three laughed aloud.

Do I even NEED to point out what's wrong with that sentence?

Elf Willow goes to check if Carlisle will go with them, and apparently she runs like a ballerina. Okay, I just can't take it anymore. Every time Meyer describes Elf Willow's movements I laugh at how ridiculous the descriptions are, but I realize that some of you may require a visual aid.

Meyer just compared Elf Willow rushing off to Carlisle to ballet. If you've ever seen a ballet performance you know how silly that is. Take a look at this.

So picture Elf Willow constantly twirling, leaping, and dancing ALL THE TIME, even when doing the simplest of things. Now you see why I keep laughing at these descriptions. (+1 Stupidity)

Jasper manages to "inconspicuously" close the door when they leave, as opposed to how people normally close doors in as attention-grabbing a manner as possible. *eyeroll*

And with that the chapter finally ends.

So there you have it, another filler chapter where absolutely nothing happens. You're probably expecting some witty commentary or a fit of rage here, but this chapter is just so utterly BORING that I don't even have the energy for that.

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

+9 Stupidity
+1 Bad Boyfriend
+1 Thesaurus Rape
+1 Eye Sex

The stupidity count has finally hit triple digits!