Twilight - Chapter Ten

I, for one, welcome our new cloud overlords.

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

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

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

Speaking of which ...

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

Oh, sweetie, they never were.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sentence. Fragment. Detected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Shatner: CLOOOUDD!

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

Edward was right, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bella responds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Perceptive," he whispered.


*wipes tear*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am not kidding.

I am dead serious.

Every human male.

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

What's that sound?

Oh no, my Mary Sue meter just exploded!

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

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

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

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

Also, WOW! Meyer REALLY loves dashes!

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

Holy Christ, that's messed up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*stares blankly*

What ... the ... FUCK?

I ... I just ... WOW!

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

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

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

Definitely leaning towards bitch points right now.

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

That does it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"With Charlie, less is always more."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need a drink.

Final Tally:

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