So some days have passed, and now it's Conveniently-Timed Spring Break. At least, I assume it's been some days, because Smeyer doesn't really make it clear. She really sucks at conveying the whole "time passing" thing.
Meanwhile, Victoria has not been caught, and Bella has become a Technically Living But Not Life-Having MacGuffin for the werewolves, something that their enemy wants but has no real value herself. Apparently she just hangs around the beach by herself all day while the wolves go off doing… something. I can only imagine the conversations they're having.
"Thank God we're away from that Bella girl. She never talks to anyone, just sits there snuffling and hiding in her hair."
"You said it."
"GUYS, SHUT UP ABOUT BELLA! SHE'S PERFECT!"
"Ignore him. You know, I asked her if she needed anything, and she started mumbling about having holes in her chest. Then she flopped to the ground in front of my car, and mumbled about hearing perfect, incandescent voices."
"What the hell, man!"
"You think she's on drugs?"
"Oh, definitely. You'd have to be on drugs to date a dude who SPARKLES."
"SHUT UP OR I'LL THROW KITCHEN IMPLEMENTS AT YOU!"
When we walked along the beach now, he always held my hand.
And though this bothers me, I would never try to pull away. I'll just keep stringing him along.
In fact, Bella reflects that the whle pack is assuming that they're a couple, and that I shouldn’t let those kinds of assumptions bother me. Yes, we should only care about whether the assumptions bother HER. She's just too passive to bother telling people "no, I'm not his girlfriend," because then maybe they won't bother to help her - and she's making a point of holding his hand when they're alone.
But don't worry, she's not a manipulative bitch! She's sooooo unselfish and never thinks of herself!
Letting everyone think that Jacob is her boyfriend has another fun benefit: she gets to continue screwing with poor Mike, whose entire role in this series is to be the buttmonkey.
“Are you dating that kid from La Push? The sophomore?” He asked, poorly disguising the resentment in his tone.
I shrugged. “Not in the technical sense of the word. I do spent most of my time with Jacob, though. He’s my best friend.”
"But like, I'd never DATE him. He's poor and stuff! But I don't have a problem letting him think he has a chance even though he totally doesn't!"
Mike’s eyes narrowed shrewdly. “Don’t kid yourself, Bella. The guy’s head over heels for you.”
“I know,” I sighed. “Life is complicated.”
"My life is sooooooo hard. I mean, it's so complicated to be best friends with a guy who's totally nuts for me, but I have no romantic interest in, so I have to pretend he has a chance so he'll pay attention to me while also giving him enough discouragement so I won't have to actually do anything. LIFE IS SOOOOOOO COMPLICATED!"
“And girls are cruel,” Mike said under his breath.
I supposed that was an easy assumption to make, too.
Especially since it's an assumption that's true. Pretending that it isn't the truth doesn't make it false.
Yes, Bella is cruel. She IS toying with Jacob. And the fact that she doesn't reclaim her hand or tell the werewolves, "We're not dating" just proves it. Lies by omission are still lies.
So that evening, Chris Brown and Abused Girlfriend drop in at Billy's house, and since Emily is a woman, she baked a cake for the Big Strong Menfolk instead of giving them a mix and telling them to do it themselves. Bella decides to show how NOT a couple she is with Jacob by going off to the garage and sitting in his car in the dark with him . I bet this is another scene that originally had steamy sex in it, and it was excised from a later draft.
He reached over and took my hand. His skin was blazing on mine.
Trembling at the sight of his russet abs, I lay there like a sack of mildewed grain as he ravished me with his throbbing manhood. I was too lazy to say "no."
“Is that one of those wolf things?” I asked him. “The heat, I mean.”
Can someone explain to me why Smeyer even made these people werewolves if they have absolutely no wolf traits? Seriously, if they didn't turn into wolves exclusively, you wouldn't look at ANYTHING they do or experience and think "wolf." They could turn into eagles, beavers, tufted titmice, hamsters, deer or mountain lions, and it WOULD MAKE JUST AS MUCH SENSE.
I mean, look at this:
- ineffectual leadership
- raised body temp
- healing factor
- steroid muscles
- soulmate "imprinting" (though that's only explained in the next book)
- uncontrollable temper
What about those things say "wolf" to anyone? I might be able to swallow it if he said it was a "WEREwolf thing," but he doesn't. He calls it a "wolf thing," even though NONE of those things are characteristic of wolves.
“Yeah. We run a little warmer than the normal people. About one-oh-eight, one-oh-nine. I never get cold anymore. I could stand like this”— he gestured to his bare torso—“in a snowstorm and it wouldn’t bother me. The flakes would turn to rain where I stood.”
- Raised body temperature doesn't make you immune to cold, dumbass. It makes you MORE affected cold.
- Has Smeyer never had a fever?
- Also, having your body temperature elevated by less than ten degrees will not create a rain-melting heat shield. Would the snowflakes melt if they touched him? Yes. But they do that for normal people too.
- Just how far does Smeyer think heat radiates? Subtle hint: most things that radiate enough heat to melt snowflakes at a distance burn much hotter than 109 F.
“And you all heal fast—that’s a wolf thing, too?”
"Yup. So is the tail!"
"You have a tail? THAT'S SO HAWT…"
Jacob wants to show his Wolverine powers by cutting himself with a pocketknife, but party-pooper wuss Bella is all squicked out by the idea of a very small cut that she KNOWS will heal immediately. Dumbass, you could get like a million youtube hits from that. Stop being such a wuss.
I think what it comes down to is, Smeyer thinks that all blood, ickery and even low-scale violence, no matter what for, are things that only boys like. Proper feminine women aren't interested in action and bloody stuff, just in romance, babies and pink frilly stuff. Puh-leez, lady. I made a video homage to a zombie dinosaur! I love well-done action and violence, especially if there's some sick humor in there. One of my favorite popcorn movies of all time is about giant robots beating giant monsters with ships. I KICK ASS FOR THE LORD!
And yes, once again it makes Bella not seem like a vulnerable wittle human, but like a prissy party-pooper with no sense of adventure. Which, you know, she is.
“Fine. It’s a good thing we heal, though. You can’t go see just any doctor when you’re running a temperature that should mean you’re dead.”
Please! The Doctor's already encountered werewolves!
The topic then switches over to Quil, who is due to turn into a werewolf any day now. Remember Quil? I wouldn't blame you if you forgot, because dude is just a step above Nameless Faceless Extra. MIKE has more presence in this book than he's had, and he's just a pathetic human who exists to be a buttmonkey.
Jacob’s face turned hopeless.
Oh, shut up. We've already established that there aren't any downsides except turning into a pedophile.
“There’s no exact age...it just builds and builds and then suddenly—”
Which raises another question that is never answered: why only teen boys? Wouldn't it make sense to have it happen to grown men, who are more level-headed and reliable? Or is this a transparent excuse for Smeyer to write about hot sexy boys in very little clothing?
Maybe this is another "lycanthropy as puberty" plot, but honestly, there are a lot of people who have handled that idea MUCH better. And with less Bella.
Okay, the Grimm one is stretching it since Blutbaden aren't really werewolves, but they're pretty obviously meant to be the basis of werewolf legends. Of course, I doubt Smeyer would like Grimm. Not only is it a police procedural with lots of darkness, gore and fighting (you know, BOYS-ONLY stuff!), but "true love at first sight" is depicted as being a magical date-rape drug. Or a shallow psychopath's relationship with her wussy hubby.
Anyway, it also turns out that Smeyer's werewolves turn because of… teenage mood swings. WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?!
“Sometimes, if you get really upset or something, that can trigger it early. But I wasn’t upset about anything—I was happy.” He laughed bitterly. “Because of you, mostly."
Oh, irony. He was "happy" because the most miserable bitch in the world kept refusing to tell him the truth.
Then we find out that Jacob randomly shifted after they went to that movie, when Billy said something totally innocuous. This caused Jacob to fly into an instant violent psychotic rage and almost murder his wheelchair-bound father. Fortunately, he's actually ashamed of this because of how HORRIBLE it is, rather than being ashamed because it would mildly disappoint someone.
And no, Bella is not disturbed by this news. Well, she also thought it was super-hot when Edward talked about how close he was to cruelly murdering her, so maybe hearing about brutal violence a turn-on.
Then Jacob starts cuddling Bella… and guess what she does!
- Sits there like a lump
- Sits there like a lump
- Sits there like a lump
- Has steamy sex with him
Wait, there did that last answer come from?
“The hardest part is feeling...out of control,” he said slowly. “Feeling like I can’t be sure of myself—like maybe you shouldn’t be around me, like maybe nobody should. Like I’m a monster who might hurt somebody."
Again, what is Smeyer's ladyboner for guys who could snap and murder her at any moment? It's like she thinks that if a guy has any passionate feelings at all, he's gotta be violent and potentially homicidal. I know that Smeyer probably dated exactly one guy in her life (ie her husband), and he probably is about as exciting as soap, but that doesn't mean that the exact opposite is the romantic ideal.
She also tries again to make us feel so vewy vewy sorry for Sam after he ripped up his fiancee's face, because he was out of control and didn't mean to do it.
Okay. I can stretch my suspension of disbelief that, even in this blatantly misogynistic series, the whole idea is that the werewolves go out of control and will randomly attack anyone who happens to be nearby. But this opens up other problems.
- I can't believe I have to say this, but if someone horribly mutilates you for life… YOU DO NOT MARRY THEM. You should not WANT to marry them. You can forgive them, sure, but imagine looking in the mirror at ugly, disfiguring scars… and then thinking fondly of marrying the person who gave them to you!
- But since Emily is one of the Perfect Domestic Women, she of course holds no grudges against the Big Strong Man.
- Seriously, she's like a Stepford wife. No inconvenient emotions, just a robotic smile.
- Want to see how a strong woman responds to that?
You won't see that kind of reaction in Twilight. At least, not from a woman who isn't dismissed as infertile, and therefore not worth considering as an actual female.
And also there is the problem of these burgeoning werewolves being allowed to just wander around at random. Even though there are several signs of impending werewolfhood, there is NO attempt to either inform these kids what is going to happen, or to restrict their movements before the shift actually happens.
I mean, why don't they tell them? I get that they would be skeptical, but methinks Sam turning into a giant wolf would be very convincing. And by warning them, they have a better chance of NOT KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE.
And wouldn't it make more sense to try to keep them on the reservation, in the company of people who are already werewolves? Imagine if Jacob had been at a grocery store when he first shifted - not only would people have seen it, but HE WOULD HAVE KILLED PEOPLE. He almost killed his own father, Sam almost killed Emily… and yet until the werewolf actually shifts, they make NO effort to isolate them. They just let them wander around normally… until they shift and murder a class of kindergarteners.
WHY THE FUCK IS THIS BOOK SO STUPID?
“Who wants to be a nightmare, a monster?
Bella, apparently. It's her only life goal.
“And then, the way it comes so easily to me, the way I’m better at it than the rest of them—does that make me even less human than Embry or Sam?"
… where did he get that idea? Or does he just get his wangst from the Anita Blake Dummies Guide to How To Be A Monster?
Jacob then reveals that shapeshifting into a wolf actually ISN'T because he's "less human," but because he has two werewolves in his family tree. So… that wangst was totally pointless.
And by the way, Smeyer reveals all this in the most awkward, roundabout way possible. Jacob just keeps spilling facts without bothering to explain any of them, just so Bella will keep asking questions. It's all filler, all the time.
“Because Ephraim and Quil were in the last pack. Levi Uley was the third. It’s in my blood on both sides. I never had a chance. Like Quil doesn’t have a chance.”
OH, STOP WHINING.
And here's a question: why aren't his SISTERS shapeshifters? Why is Jacob the only one who "never had a chance"? Oh right, Smeyer doesn't lust after them.
“The best part,” he said, suddenly smiling again, “is the speed.”
“Better than the motorcycles?”
"What? No, you get amphetamines really cheap."
And since no supernatural creature can be less than awe-inspiring, we find out werewolves can run as fast as vampires.
I couldn’t imagine that—the wolves running faster than a vampire. When the Cullens ran, they all but turned invisible with speed.
Bella can't imagine much, can she? Especially since Jacob claimed they were made to kill vampires… so logically they would have to CATCH THEM FIRST.
Again, I think she just can't stand the idea of her beloved Edturd not being the tuffest and scariest creature in the world.
“So, tell me something I don’t know,” he said. “Something about vampires. How did you stand it, being around them? Didn’t it creep you out?”
“No,” I said curtly.
"Seriously, they sparkle. They're not very scary."
- Of course not! Bella is superior to those mere humans who find vampires CREEPY! She is, of course, destined to be just as white and sparkly and rich as they are! Naturally she'd fit in!
- That said, I can totally believe that Bella wouldn't be creeped out by vampires. Honestly, I'd expect THEM to be creeped out by HER.
Jacob then randomly switches over to why Edward killed James, and I CAN'T BELIEVE NOBODY IN THE PACK HAS ASKED THAT YET. Bella gives a bland recounting of what happened, and Jacob is simply shocked that Bella got bitten by a vampire but isn't one. I honestly can't tell the difference.
Here's a bit of humor: What's the difference between Bella Swan and an animated lifeless corpse?
The "animated" part!
His eyes bulged, and his face turned a strange, sallow color under the russet surface. He looked like he was about to be sick.
"EWWWWW! Vampire cooties!"
“But if he bit you...? Shouldn’t you be...?” He choked.
"Shouldn't you now be lame and boring and bland and sparkly… well, you should be sparkly, at least!"
Bella says that Edturd sucked out the venom. I'm sure after ninety years with Carlisle, he's a master at sucking things.
I twitched as the pain lashed around the edges of the hole.
It causes less hangovers than a drinking game. If I said "take a shot every time Bella mentions her hole," people would have two responses:
- Die of alcohol poisoning
- "Haha, you said 'hole'!"
For some reason, this makes Jacob HULK MAD and he starts shaking so violently that the ENTIRE CAR SHAKES. I guess he's supposed to be so enraged that he's about to turn into a werewolf and slash Bella's face open, which (as we know) automatically makes you engaged. So he calms down from his unexplained rage.
So… why did that make him angry? I… don't know. I'm not even sure who he's supposed to be angry AT, Edturd or James. Is he angry at Edturd for daring to keep his girlfriend from becoming a vampire? Maybe he's angry because vampire bites are used by Smeyer to represent sex… only reason I can think of.
“Yeah, almost. Tell me something else. Give me something else to think about.”
"Well, I could tell you at length about my ordinary mundane life and how deep and tormented I am."
"NO, PLEASE! ANYTHING BUT THAT!
Jacob wants to know what mind powers the Cullens have, and Bella hesitates because hey, that sounds like he's pumping her for information… which any smart person would be doing to a dim vampire groupie. I'm going to assume Jacob is faking this whole "WEREWOLF RAGE!" incident just to get her to tell him everything.
But she spills all the beans because she's afraid he'll pull an Emily on her face, and we all know Sues must never have ugly disfiguring facial scars. Yes, she's constantly afraid that her "friend" will lose control and rip her face off, but that just makes him even more attractive!
“Jasper could...sort of control the emotions of the people around him. Not in a bad way, just to calm someone down, that kind of thing. It would probably help Paul a lot,” I added, teasing weakly.
"He's sort of like Valium on legs, which regularly caused me to pass out. Then Edward would laugh at me, and it was so DREAMY!"
"Also, that power is totally not a ripoff of the Spell Gift!"
“And then Alice could see things that were going to happen. The future, you know, but not absolutely. The things she saw would change when someone changed the path they were on....”
"So what you're saying is she could see the future… except if someone changed their mind."
"Yep! So she's infallible."
"Come on, I could do that."
"No! Only Alice can read the future-that-might-happen-if-nothing-changes!"
Like how she’d seen me dying...and she’d seen me becoming one of them. Two things that had not happened. And one that never would.
Boohoo. I have to bring out my tiny violin and play the saddest song in the world. Excuse me while I notify starving AIDS-infected children in third-world countries that they should weep tears of blood for poor wittle Bella, since now she can't be a sparkly immortal leeching off the Cullens for eternity.
BOO. FRIGGIN. HOO. Cry me a fucking river.
Bella promptly has an angstgasm because now she'll never be a sparkly 1%er, which means she gets dizzy and starts gasping again. Jacob mentions her flailing emo convulsions for the VERY FIRST TIME; he's apparently noticed them, but never commented on them. Can you imagine him just sitting there awkwardly while she flops around gasping and clutching at her chest?
I couldn’t seem to pull in enough oxygen from the air. No lungs.
If you had no lungs, you couldn't pull in ANY oxygen. Dumb twat.
So Bella whines about how much it hurts to think about the Sullen family and all that,
It was bizarre how much I could tell Jacob now. We had no more secrets.
Except, you know, the secret that she's just using him as human marijuana, and she has no intention of ever actually getting together with him but is allowing him to think he she does because otherwise he wouldn't hang around her every day.
Funny how she doesn't mention THOSE secrets.
“We’re a pretty messed-up pair, aren’t we?” Jacob said. “Neither one of us can hold our shape together right.”
Yes. She can. She's just melodramatic.
“Pathetic,” I agreed, still breathless.
Yes, you are.
“At least we have each other,” he said, clearly comforted by the thought.
I was comforted, too. “At least there’s that,” I agreed.
You see what I mean? I'm sure Smeyer means for us to think that Bella is such an innocent honest person that she doesn't realize how that sort of remark is perceived… except she KNOWS that Jacob is inexplicably besotted with her flabby ass, and that he takes every possible bit of encouragement.
So yeah, Bella is a horrible person.
But now Bella just lost her last reason to wangst, since Jacob and the pack are trying to kill Victoria. So now, she must create a NEW reason to wangst: social awkwardness! You'd think she'd be used to that.
I felt awkward, always taking up space at Billy’s.
"Don't notice me. I'm just the girl stringing your son along for my own selfish reasons because my vampire boyfriend dumped me!"
When I didn’t have something obvious to do in my hands, I felt like I ought to be making conversation with Billy—the pressure of normal societal rules. But Billy wasn’t one for filling up the long silences, and so the awkwardness continued.
- Since when does Bella care about "normal societal rules"?
- And that sounds like something a sociopath would think. You know, pretending to be normal so they can fit in. The comparisons to Dexter continue!
- Hey, here's a shocking idea: maybe Billy DOESN'T LIKE Bella.
- She is after all a groupie for his tribe's mortal enemies, she's a selfish bitch who played yo-yo with his son's affections, she STALKED Jacob when he stopped paying attention to her for a few weeks, and now the entire pack is devoting their time to fighting vampires who are only there because SHE drew them there.
- And you notice how Bella praised Charlie's inability to have a conversation in the first book? Somehow it's a problem if Billy is awkwardly silent, though!
- And here's a shocking idea, Bawla - if he isn't trying to converse with you, why don't YOU start a conversation?
- Or would that be too close to character development?
So Bella tries hanging out at Emily's. Emily, being a Perfect Woman, apparently has no job or hobby - she does nothing but clean the house, weed the yard, weave things (?!?!) and cook constantly. But don't worry, being an unpaid slave for all the Big Strong Menfolk doesn't bother her. She's all too happy to "take care" of them after they've done all the Manly Violent Stuff.
And no, Bella doesn't help. Doesn't offer. She just hangs out being useless while Emily works.
But waaaa waaaa, her visit is ruined when Sam shows up and he and Emily make googly eyes at each other. The aura of love and contentment that surrounded them was harder to take in concentrated doses, with no one else around to dilute it. Watch me fail to care. I swear, is Smeyer aware that people in REAL LIFE break up from much more committed relationships than Bella will ever have? And THEY can tolerate goopy lovey-dovey stuff?
So that left me wandering the beach, pacing the length of the rocky crescent back and forth, again and again.
"It was wet and cold and I didn't have anyone to listen to me whining. Plus, I was exposed to NATURE instead of the mansion I am destined for. Nature doesn't CARE about me!"
So now Bella is making herself emo again, because WAAAAAAAA she's been thinking about the Cullens cuz of Jacob! Her one conversation is causing her to despair! Oh woe! Oh angst! Oh why should I care?
You know, it really hits home during scenes like this just how small the Twilight series is. Smeyer can call it a "saga" if she likes, but it's no saga. That implies something epic. This series takes everything that could be epic and world-spanning and ENORMOUS, and shrinks it down to the petty concerns of a bratty teenager.
And NOTHING HAPPENS. Ever! Seriously, you could make trading cards from all the types of NOTHING that happen in this series, and you would end up with more cards than Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! combined! I've read a lot of Mary Sue fiction, but usually SOMETHING is happening. Usually it's really badly done, but SOMETHING happens!
But THIS? NOTHING HAPPENS. NOTHING. Even when something happens, we don't see it, SO IT DOESN'T COUNT. The only focus is on boring-ass teenagers having relationship issues! AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN IMPORTANT ISSUES!
And honestly, I gotta wonder if Bella's sudden descent into emo has something to do with Jacob spending all his time with the boys hunting Victoria instead of spending all his time with HER. "Oh no! Jacob isn't spending all his time with me plugging my hole! Suddenly I am collapsing with dramatic emo-ness, and must be looked after! QUIT SPENDING TIME WITH THEM AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME AND MY HOLE!"
I was honestly and desperately worried about Jacob and his wolf-brothers,
Oh, stop pretending she gives a shit about the "wolf-brothers." She doesn't care about them. She only cares about the walking marijuana.
I was terrified for Charlie and the others who thought they were hunting animals,
You can't be "terrified" for someone if your main thought is, "WAAAA, MY BOYFRIEND DUMPED ME AND MY LIFE IS RUINED."
Seriously, Smeyer, stop pretending that Bella gives a shit about anyone else. We know she doesn't. Her actions and the things she's constantly thinking about show that she doesn't. Paying lip service to caring about others doesn't make it so.
I was getting in deeper and deeper with Jacob without ever having consciously decided to progress in that direction
"… mainly because I'm too lazy to make him let go of my hand or stop cuddling with me."
and I didn’t know what to do about it
Here's an idea: sit down with him and talking about it. Instead of expecting him to psychically figure out what the fuck you want, try explaining, "Jacob, I think we need to talk about our relationship. You seem to be getting the idea that we're moving towards a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, and I'm still just not ready for that. But I really want to be friends with you and all the wolves."
Granted it would still be all about how she wants to use him for her personal selfish ends, but at least she wouldn't come across as a passive cowardly bitch who strings men along.
none of these very real, very deserving of thought, very pressing concerns could take my mind off the pain in my chest for long. Eventually, I couldn’t even walk anymore, because I couldn’t breathe. I sat down on a patch of semidry rocks and curled up in a ball.
You see? How are we supposed to buy that she cares sooooo much about the wolves and her dad - who are supposedly in mortal peril - when she always ends up wangsting about her ex-boyfriend and his creepy family, WHO ARE NOT IN DANGER? Basically, all she does is wangst that Edturd isn't going to sweep her off her feet and make her a rich immortal sparklepire. THAT IS WHAT SHE THINKS ABOUT. THAT IS WHAT SHE CARES ABOUT.
In conclusion: Stop pretending that Bella cares about other people. The fact that her own father rates a very distant third behind WAAAAAAA MY BOYFRIEND DUMPED ME shows how much she cares.
Jacob found me like that, and I could tell from his expression that he understood.
"I took the cancellation of Firefly pretty hard too."
Since she's Bella, he has to physically pick her up and prop her upright, so she can burble incoherently about how emo she is.
“I’m ruining your spring break,” Jacob accused himself as we walked back up the beach.
“No, you’re not. I didn’t have any plans. I don’t think I like spring breaks, anyway.”
"I mean, UGH! All those people spending time with other members of the opposite sex, drinking and having non-G-rated fun and enjoying themselves! That's just horrible!"
“I’ll take tomorrow morning off. The others can run without me. We’ll do something fun.”
The word seemed out of place in my life right now, barely comprehensible, bizarre. “Fun?”
See? She's soooooooo emo that she doesn't even understand the word "fun." That's how emo she is! Super-duper-ultra emo! Nobody understands her paaaaaaiiinnn!
I think this is why teen girls who have never actually had a relationship enjoy Twilight so much. When you have your first crush on somebody (I won't dignify it with "love"), it tends to be so ridiculously intense that immature people overreact to any negative fallout. It's natural. It's normal. You eventually gain the maturity to know that your first love is hardly ever your for-reals-rest-of-your-life love, and that being dumped doesn't mean the end of your life. And you go on to have relationships based on more than just hormones.
But Twilight… Twilight panders to those immature feelings. It tells you that YES, your adoration for that hunk in gym class IS true love. It IS deeper than anyone else has felt. Nobody understands you. Nobody has ever suffered the way you have. Nobody understands how DEEP your love is. The boyfriend WILL be sorry when you're dead. And so on and so on and other immature bullcrap.
And of course, it gives tacit approval to self-destructive crap that teen girls do because of such crushes. After all, nobody understands how deep and tragic your love for Guy You Barely Know is, so CLEARLY they don't understand your pain, which is SO much deeper than every other person's! And your pain is SO deep that it drives you to do stupid shit like Bella does, which nobody can understand either because they don't have true love, so there!
“Didn’t I promise to take you cliff diving?”
… Jacob, you are officially too stupid to live.
I was reserving judgement on his intellect, but clearly he IS that dumb. When a person is so emo and mopey that they just lie in a lump on the beach, you do not offer to show them how to leap off of cliffs. What's next? He's going to show her how to juggle chainsaws? How to balance razors on her wrists? How to swallow swords?
Bella isn't thrilled with this idea, especially since it probably involved work. And, you know, it's INTERESTING and she has devoted her life to avoiding anything interesting.
But it had been days since I’d heard Edward’s voice. That was probably part of the problem. I was addicted to the sound of my delusions. It made things worse if I went too long without them. Jumping off a cliff was certain to remedy that situation.
… and now, we have Bella contemplating how she can hear the hallucinatory dulcet tones of her ex-boyfriend… if she jumps off a cliff.
FOR. FUCK'S. SAKE.
Also, according to her, simply TALKING about the Sullens' cuperpowers… I mean, Cullens' superpowers is enough to make her collapse in emo misery. But HEARING Edward's spectral voice? That makes her BETTER!
I didn’t like the way the circles under his eyes were beginning to look permanently etched onto his skin.
Which is not white. Did she mention that his skin is not white? It's russet, which no healthy person's skin is.
So the next morning, Bella gets up and sneaks out to go cliff-diving. What? No torturous description of her prophetic emo dreams? I feel cheated!
The idea of a distraction from all my worries had me almost excited. Maybe it would be fun. A date with Jacob, a date with Edward...
And people hold this fucked-up little ho as a role model. Gag me.
I laughed darkly to myself. Jake could say what he wanted about us being a messed-up pair—I was the one who was truly messed up. I made the werewolf seem downright normal.
"I'm soooooo messed up! So tragically excessively messed up! I'm SOOOOOO exceptionally messed up! Nobody is as messed up as ME!"
But oh noes! When she arrives at the Blacks' house, Jacob isn't there.
“Embry, Jared, and Paul crossed a fresh trail early this morning. Sam and Jake took off to help. Sam was hopeful—she’s hedged herself in beside the mountains. He thinks they have a good chance to finish this.”
“Oh, no, Billy,” I whispered. “Oh, no.”
- "Jacob's off doing something instead of fussing over ME! HORRORS!"
- "Oh no" is my sentiment exactly. That storyline is the closest this fucking series has to a PLOT.
- And again, there's excitement, danger, action… and it's nowhere near the reader, because we're busy paying attention to this lump of moldy dough.
Bella keeps fussing and whining about how scary it is, and Billy just seems to be tolerating her. I can see why, the selfish bitch burst in during his breakfast and is making a huge drama queen fuss about something he KNOWS is not very dangerous.
His ancient eyes were impossible to read. “This one’s tricky.”
Ancient? He's like forty. I know Bella is insanely neurotic about age, but come on.
Oh wait, he's a Native American male who is not a sweaty half-clad hottie with chiseled abs, so clearly he's a Wise Old Man. Even though he's like forty.
“It’s not as dangerous for them as you think it is. Sam knows what he’s doing. You’re the one that you should worry about. The vampire doesn’t want to fight them. She’s just trying to find a way around them...to you.”
"But Billlleeeeee, you know I NEVER think about myself! I'm so very unselfish and pure-hearted! Quit eating your cereal and pay attention to me, you old fart!"
“How does Sam know what he’s doing?” I demanded, brushing aside his concern for me. “They’ve only killed just the one vampire—that could have been luck.”
- Which is exactly one more vampire that Bella the Vampire Expert thought they could.
- And come on, that's the vampire she KNOWS OF. Jacob's "it wasn't even fun" comment implies that they've killed more than one, enough to get a feel for it.
- But I guess since those other vampires weren't after HER, they didn't count.
- And "luck" at killing one of those impossibly strong, fast sparklepires that she claimed were invincible? That's like saying "you took out that Green Beret just by luck! It could never be STRENGTH or SKILL!"
- Bella really is wedded to this idea that NOBODY is a threat to her beloved sparklepires, isn't she? Even when there's a whole pack of werewolves, she's still trying to convince everybody that hey, it was just LUCK that they killed a vampire! They couldn't have done it if Laurent hadn't tripped or something!
But here's the problem: it doesn't make the vampires look OMGSOPOWERFUL for Bella to keep disbelieving that they could POSSIBLY be taken out by a whole pack of werewolves. It makes her look pathetically delusional. It makes them actually look WEAKER because the only person insisting that werewolves can't be that strong is a dim groupie. It's not very convincing!
“We take what we do very seriously, Bella. Nothing’s been forgotten. Everything they need to know has been passed down from father to son for generations.”
"We just keep it totally secret until our kids spontaneously turn into berserker werewolves. But hey, it's totally passed down!"
The memory of Victoria, wild, catlike, lethal, was too strong in my head. If she couldn’t get around the wolves, she would eventually try to go through them.
Yeah, the fact that she hasn't DONE THAT ALREADY means that she probably can't. And if Bella were half as smart as she thinks she is, she would know that.
So Bella hangs around doing nothing for awhile, while Billy tries to ignore her and finish his breakfast. I can only assume that he sighs in relief when she annonces that she's going to the beach.
The forest seemed strangely vacant as I walked toward the beach. I didn’t see any animals—no birds, no squirrels. I couldn’t hear any birds, either. The silence was eerie; there wasn’t even the sound of wind in the trees.
I'm sure that would be very eerie and atmospheric… except that's how she USUALLY depicts the woods around Forks. No wind, no birds, no animals. I guess those would be too exciting and wild for Bella's life, huh?
The heavy, warm pressure of the atmosphere was perceptible even to my weak human senses,
Yes, because humans aren't the NORM of sentient species. They're abnormal compared to the sparklepires!
See, this isn't how people think. They don't think, "Oh, I can smell the chili with my inferior human nose" just because a dog has a better one. Why? Because you tend to use yourself as a ruler to measure other creatures. And since Bella has never EXPERIENCED life as anything but a human at this point, she wouldn't think of her senses as "weak." She would perceive that as the NORM.
Also, it's a sign of sociopathy to see yourself as "superior" to humans, or part of a group that is. I'm just sayin'.
and it hinted at something major in the storm department.
THE CLUNKY WRITING, IT BURNS!
Smeyer gives us a torturously weird-sounding description of storm clouds, which don't sound like any storm clouds I've ever heard.
The closest clouds were a smoky gray, but between the cracks I could see another layer that was a gruesome purple color.
…. cracks? What cracks? Cracks in the CLOUDS?
The skies had a ferocious plan in store for today.
A "ferocious plan in store"? Can someone please tell me if an actual editor was involved in this?
So Bella wanders around, thinking about the exact same things as before. Presumably since Billy wisely refuses to turn into a hysterical mess or help her do that.
I tried not to think about the danger Jacob and his friends were in. Because nothing could happen to Jacob. The thought was unendurable.
"I need a man to center my life around! I'll die without it!"
I’d lost too much already—would fate take the last few shreds of peace left behind? That seemed unfair, out of balance.
Life IS unfair, you little snot. You're supposed to be so wise and smart, and you don't know that small fact?
And here's a shocking thought: maybe she wouldn't lose EVERYTHING if she had some substance herself. If, you know, she had some LIFE or AWARENESS outside whatever hot male is closest. Then when they choose to spend time OUTSIDE her presence, she wouldn't have a breakdown.
But maybe I’d violated some unknown rule, crossed some line that had condemned me.
Maybe it's being a manipulative cold-hearted selfish bitch? I would think that eventually you'd get hit with some karma for that.
Maybe it was wrong to be so involved with myths and legends, to turn my back on the human world. Maybe...
Expect THAT sentiment to never surface again. Nope, Bella is always right, especially when she turns her back on the human world, because humans are icky and stupid and boring, unlike the rich white sparklepires.
No. Nothing would happen to Jacob. I had to believe that or I wouldn’t be able to function.
What is the difference between "functioning" Bella and "non-functioning" Bella? As far as I can tell, the one difference is that she whines slightly more when she's "not functioning."
I wonder how many mental breakdowns it will take before Charlie clues in that maaaaaayyybeee Bella is kind of nuts.
I’d really been counting on hearing Edward this morning.
"I'm so pissed off that I can't endanger myself just so I can hallucinate about my ex-boyfriend! Life sucks!"
The hole had been festering lately, like it was getting revenge for the times that Jacob’s presence had tamed it. The edges burned.
Smeyer is REALLY banking on this whole "I have a hole in my torso!" thing eliciting sympathy rather than mockery from the audience, isn't she? Well, that and the hope that the audience won't stop and think, "Wait, all this drama is over a teen girl getting dumped by her boyfriend of six months… more than six months ago."
So Bella keeps pacing and whining and complaining, and thinking about how WAAAAAAA her imaginary Hole Of Emo Pain must be satisfied by hearing Edturd's voice.
There had to be some way to quench it. The pain was growing more and more intolerable by the second.
So I decided to lie there like a lump and whine a lot.
No, instead she decides to jump off the cliff.
No, I am not kidding. Now, I am not sure how to react to this. My mood is pretty much split evenly between two different reactions.
First, RAGE. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH STEPHENIE MEYER?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! This is… this is...
Yes, that description will work.
I mean, it was bad enough when Bella responded to being dumped by her boyfriend by going catatonic for AS LONG AS THE RELATIONSHIP LASTED and moping about how her fucking life was over, and it was even worse when she could only keep herself from having another complete meltdown by manipulating a boy into hanging around her because Bella has no reason to live unless she has a male around. And she's spent weeks stringing that boy along by pretending she'll date him, even as she schemes NOT TO.
And now she's decided to JUMP OFF A FUCKING CLIFF.
Yeah, that little scream you just heard? That was the death blow to feminism. Not only do we have a heroine who centers her entire life around whatever man is standing nearby, but she tries to kill herself because her boyfriend dumped her. BECAUSE HER BOYFRIEND DUMPED HER.
And you know the really sad thing? Smeyer is holding Bella up as the sort of person we're all supposed to wish we were. That is INVITING stupid young girls to figure, "Hey, Bella tried to leap off a cliff because her true love dumped her. Since Harry on the soccer team is clearly my true love because I want to bang him, being rejected means I should dramatically kill myself! THEN he'll be sorry!"
I've heard some dipshits insisting that hey, this is just because New Moon is "based" (I use the term loosely) on Romeo and Juliet. Everybody knows that it ends with the two main characters killing themselves in melodramatic, fast-moving ways. Everybody's very sad, feud instantly over, and the play ends.
But this doesn't work for several reasons:
- Juliet didn't kill herself because Romeo was banished or whatever. She killed herself because HE WAS DEAD. Edturd is not dead, he's just not hanging around Forks anymore.
- Juliet killed herself on impulse. Bella has been moping around for MONTHS NOW.
- Smeyer doesn't have the guts to actually SAY Bella's trying to kill herself. She implies it, but is too much of a wimp to admit it.
- Let's face it: Juliet is an immature idiot.
Yes, people like to pretend to killing oneself for love is very romantic and Juliet is the ultimate romantic figure. But when you actually read the play, keep in mind that Juliet is a 13-year-old girl with no romantic experience, who marries a guy she has only met a couple times even thought she KNOWS her family is going to force her to marry somebody else. She's kind of a moron.
Not convinced? Imagine the 13-year-old Belieber down the street who thinks Robert Pattinson is her soulmate. Do you REALLY think that a person who still has baby fat is somebody to see as the romantic ideal?
Also recall that Bella is supposed to be incredibly smart... and wise... and more mature and capable than God. And yet she's taking the idiotic 13-year-old's melodramatic suicide approach, and she doesn't even have fucking IMPULSE to blame for it. She made a deliberate decision, and we're STILL supposed to see her as the superior to all those icky dumb humans.
Tell me, how are we supposed to take her whole intellectually superior, more-mature-than-thou act seriously after this?
Just for some perspective, I just watched The Lord of the Rings for the kajillionth time. Consider this scene.
Frodo and Sam have spent WEEKS traipsing across Middle-Earth with an evil-attracting token of power that has eroded Frodo's sanity to the point of losing EVERYTHING. They have been constantly dogged by the Ringwraiths, orcs, and Gollum. Frodo just had his finger bitten off. He was tortured. They're starved, dehydrated, and both have been savagely beaten up. Some of their comrades have died, and all the others may be dead as far as they know - including two of Frodo's cousins. At the moment they're saying this, they are sitting on the side of an active volcano with lava on every side of them, thinking about how they are definitely going to die because there's nobody who even knows where they are, let alone how to rescue them. Hell, Sam is talking about the girl he wished he could marry, but can't because HE'S GOING TO DIE.
And despite all of that… they STILL don't whine and wangst even a FRACTION of the amount that Bella Fucking Swan does about how her boyfriend of SIX MONTHS ditched her alone in the woods and left town. Tell me, Twishite fans, does that seem even remotely logical to you?!
But there is another reaction I have to this scene.
a very different reaction.
YES! Oh yes, this is the plot development I've been dying to see! Yes, jump off that cliff, you miserable sack of whining putrid air! Hell, find a higher cliff and jump off THAT one! Leap out of a plane with no parachute! TAKE A FATAL PLUNGE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT! And if she isn't quite dead when she hits the ocean, I hope carnivorous mermaids find her and eat her splattered remains.
Excuse me while I perform the dance of joy.
Not many characters evoke SOOOOO much hate from me that I actually thrill at the idea of them dying a horrible death, but Bella is one of them. After putting up with her self-important, bitchy selfishness for the past two books, I just LOVE the idea of this character finally offing herself in a way that is just as melodramatic and stupid as she is.
And yeah, it's a sign of how much of a fail Smeyer is that I feel this way. We're pretty obviously supposed to be oh-so-worried that poor wittle distraught Bella will actually die. Instead, I'm cheering her on.
Jacob was out risking his life? Risking it, in essence, for me. If it weren’t for me, Victoria would not be killing people here...just somewhere else, far away.
So in other words, Bella is acknowledging just how completely irrelevant she is, because either way Victoria is going to kill people.
Or maybe she's just implying that people dying in Forks/La Push is somehow worse, because hey, she doesn't know or care about those people off in OTHER PLACES. So who cares if they die?
If anything happened to Jacob, it would be my fault.
No, it wouldn't. It would be if Bawla had actually killed James or in any way contributed to his death. She didn't. She lay there like a lump while OTHER people did all the work, as usual. So actually, it's the Cullens' fault. And it was Jacob's OWN DECISION to go attack Victoria, so he put himself in danger.
So no, it's not Bella's fault. It's only her fault for STILL FUCKING BEING IN FORKS, because she was too lazy to drive away and hole up in the wilderness until the vampires found her.
Hey Bawla, here's a thought: if you kill yourself now, then probably Victoria will be enraged by not getting her revenge, so she'll retaliate by killing somebody else like Charlie. But hey, who cares if that hapens as long as Bawla Wan can continue hallucinating about the man who ditched her in the woods and left town to avoid her?
It was not hard to convince myself that I didn’t have time to search for another way
Didn't have time before WHAT? If she takes extra time, NOTHING HAPPENS.
I wanted to jump from the top. This was the image that had lingered in my head. I wanted the long fall that would feel like flying.
"I wanted the long, graceful fall as I flew down to the water, only to splatter into a giant screaming mass of blood, torn flesh and broken bones on the rocks below! That was what I wanted"
I knew that this was the stupidest, most reckless thing I had done yet.
This pisses me off for another reason: it's cowardly on the part of the writer. Your boyfriend dumped you and you jump off a cliff? That's a suicide attempt. No other way to see it.
But Smeyer tries to cover this up with the whole hallucinating-Edward's-perfect-scintillating-Adonis-chagrin-voice thing, so Bella can attempt suicide without it really "counting." I guess Smeyer's wholesome Mormon image won't let her acknowledge that her self-insert is actually suicidal, so she just has Bella revel in the suicidal actions while getting to claim, "Oh, she was just being reckless! She wasn't actually trying to kill herself."
Like I said, cowardly. Note that Shakespeare didn't diddle around with whether his characters were committing suicide or not. When they offed themselves, they fucking said it. The only suicide that ever had a grey area was Ophelia, and since she was completely off her nut anyway, it doesn't ultimately matter.
My toes felt ahead blindly, caressing the edge of the rock when they encountered it.
"The rock was cold and hard… it was soooooo hawt!"
So of course, Bella starts hallucinating that Edward is there, and Smeyer continues raping the words "velvet," "perfect" and "beautiful."
You wanted me to be human, I reminded him. Well, watch me.
"Uh… when did 'human' start meaning 'suicidal'?"
"Since I realized how pathetic and stupid humans all are! I mean, who WOULDN'T kill themselves if they couldn't be a sparkly vampire?"
"That still doesn't answer my question."
"Love isn't rational or logical! So neither am I!"
“Please. For me.”
But you won’t stay with me any other way.
See? She's willing to KILL HERSELF because otherwise she won't get her boyfriend's hallucination to notice her. Oh, what an enlightened female she is!
making me as wet as if this were my second jump of the day.
No, that's that rocky cliff making Bella wet.
He was angry now, and the anger was so lovely.
And then he punched me in the face, and I swooned at how wonderful it felt.
So Bella jumps off the cliff, and immediately floats on a giant cloud of purple prose.
The wind resisted, trying vainly to fight the unconquerable gravity, pushing against me and twirling me in spirals like a rocket crashing to the earth.
- I have seen footage of people falling from great heights. They don't tend to twirl in "spirals." Or… you know, twirl at all.
- If they did, I suspect Olympic diving would be so much more complicated.
- The way it's written, it sounds like the wind is actually blowing straight UP. Wind doesn't tend to work that way.
- And wind doesn't really fight gravity, you know. It doesn't have to. IT'S AIR.
- Is she seriously suggesting that the WIND ITSELF is trying to save Bella Swan? She's so Suey that FORCES OF NATURE rush to save her!
But sadly, the wind cannot save its beloved Bawla from hitting the water. Amazingly, the water doesn't immediately drain away so she can saunter back to dry land. Unstead, she gets caught in the current while thinking about what a thrill it is to leap off a cliff into icy water.
I’d been so preoccupied by the size of the cliffs, by the obvious danger of their high, sheer faces, that I hadn’t worried at all about the dark water waiting. I never dreamed that the true menace was lurking far below me, under the heaving surf.
Oh good, a convenient peril ready to endanger Bella since Smeyer can't bring herself to actually make her heroine suicidal.
It felt like the waves were fighting over me, jerking me back and forth between them as if determined to share
For fuck's sake, even the water is obsessed with Bawla Wan. Good thing there are no gay people in Smeyer's fantasy world, or we'd be treated to a repeat of Anita Blake.
I knew the right way to avoid a riptide:
- Of course! Someone smart enough to read Jane Austen knows everything!
- And tell me, how does she know this?
- No, seriously, how does she know this? She took great pride in living in Arizona all her life and avoiding all areas with water. There has been no mention of her swimming, learning to swim, or even wanting to swim. Whenever she's shown near the ocean, all she does is stare at it.
- So precisely where has she gotten this oh-so-useful knowledge about riptides?
- And drowning people do not calmly and casually contemplate what they know about ocean currents. They're usually too busy going "GLARGGLLLEBLOOOPP HEEEEELPPP FUCK DROWNING CANTBREATHE ARRRGGGH BLAGGLLE."
- But I forget myself. This is Twilight, so a woman's knowledge and efforts can't possibly save her. Only a man can save a woman; she can never save herself. And certainly not Bella, who has turned being lazy and passive into a lifestyle.
So Bella just sinks down into the oh-so-symbolic dark water with no light anywhere, and FUCK she can't even die without boring me to tears.
This entire scene reminds me of this one episode of Psych where Gus calls a suicide hotline, and the dude on the other end keeps talking about sinking into dark water and how poetic it is to drown yourself. Except that was meant to be funny, and this is meant to be tragic and dramatic and OH SO SERIOUS.
It didn’t surprise me that my delusion of Edward was there. He owed me that much, considering that I was dying.
He doesn't owe you anything, you selfish bitch. Your stupid decisions have nothing to do with your ex boyfriend.
I was surprised by how sure that knowledge was. I was going to drown. I was drowning.
Well, yes. When you jump into very deep water and don't bother to swim, eventually you're going to drown.
And again, when you are actually drowning, you aren't THINKING anymore. You are flailing around on instinct. I think all her knowledge of drowning comes from bad dramas where people drown to the sounds of violins and pretentious narration.
So Edturd keeps bossing her around even in her hallucinations, and Bella keeps being emo and lazy.
“Keep swimming!” Edward begged urgently in my head.
Where? There was nothing but the darkness. There was no place to swim to.
OH-EM-GEE IT'S SO SYMBOLIC! THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOO DEEEEEEEP!
But despite Edturd yelling at her as usual, and even saying (gasp!) a naughty word, Bella just decides that she'll let herself drown because hey, just giving up doesn't REALLY count as suicide. Besides, her life is so empty and meaningless without him, blah blah blah.
I didn’t want to fight anymore.
It was almost like WORK.
I was almost happy that it was over. This was an easier death than others I’d faced. Oddly peaceful.
Again: cowardly. Smeyer wants to use the dramatic suicide trope without actually having the cojones to write a SUICIDE.
Then Bella sneers about how her impending death is soooooo much better than other people's because THEY see their lives flash before her eyes, but SHE gets to see her hot ex-boyfriend furious and yelling at her. You know, the way he usually is.
“No! Bella, no!”
"You haven't TIVOed America's Next Top Model for me!"
Bella just sits there orgasming about how happy she is to be hallucinating her ex-boyfriend before she dies from an obvious suicide attempt, because just seeing the asshole who dumped her and left her alone in the woods is real happiness. I jest not.
Goodbye, I love you, was my last thought.
Goodbye, I hate you, is my last comment.
YES! FINALLY! THE BITCH IS DEAD! DING DONG, THE WHINY BITCH IS DEAD!
Honestly, this is just a beautiful moment. Utterly beautiful. Not because of the prose, which sucks and has a lot of the usual "romantic drowning" cliches that you'd expect from a hack like Smeyer.
No, it's beautiful because that selfish toxic slab of atrophied meat is FINALLY GOING TO DIE! Oh, frabjous day!