Monday, August 10, 2015

Twilight Chapter 17

So now, for some reason Edward is driving back to Bella's house... and no, there's no lead in to this. In one scene, they're talking about playing baseball, and in the next they're driving around with no connection between them and no dialogue or narrative to tell us what the hell is going on. It's very disorienting. Would it kill Smeyers to just have Bawla say, "I told him I had to go home and get some pants"?

But HORRORZ! It turns out that Jacob and his dad are already at the house! Imagine that - family friends VISITING HER HOUSE on a weekend! It's just unheard of!

And then I saw the black car, a weathered Ford, parked in Charlie's driveway — and heard Edward mutter something unintelligible in a low, harsh voice.

"Curses! More people who clearly just want to steal my girlfriend! I'll have to kill them too!"

Of course, Jacob and Billy are sitting outside the house. Apparently they're not going outside, because sitting outside in the rain is much more fun.

Edward's low voice was furious. "This is crossing the line."

Yeah, how dare they tell a single dad that his daughter is lying to him and sneaking around with a vampire who is barely able to restrain himself from sucking her dry! Especially since they're so ... so POOR and NOT WHITE!

So Bella is aghast at the horrible devious plan, because heaven forbid her dad actually know any of the dangerous shit she's pulling. Doesn't he know that she's the mature smart one, and he should just let her do whatever the hell she wants because Bella Knows Best?

It's also getting kind of ridiculous how Charlie DOESN'T know she's dating Edward. According to Smeyers, all information in small towns is immediately transmitted to everyone else (for maximum Bella attention). Yet even though EVERY. SINGLE. SOLITARY. TEENAGER at the school knows that Bawla and Edward are dating, somehow this information hasn't gotten to Charlie! Does he actually know, and he's just humoring Bella by letting her think she's stealthy like a ninja?

"Let me deal with this," I suggested. Edward's black glare made me anxious.

Yes, it's not a big deal to date a guy that you think might MURDER people. Just an inconvenience.

To my surprise, he agreed. "That's probably best. Be careful, though. The child has no idea."
I bridled a little at the word child. "Jacob is not that much younger than I am," I reminded him.
He looked at me then, his anger abruptly fading. "Oh, I know," he assured me with a grin.

Wow. So he thinks of her as a child, but he also wants to bone her. And we're supposed to think that this is romantic and not creepy.

Oh well, in this series implicit pedophilia is just another expression of LURV. This IS the series where a guy falls passionately in love with a two-minute-old baby, and the only good relationships are never between peers, but between a subservient woman and a much older man who treats her like a five-year-old.

So Edward orders Bawla to get the Blacks inside and then get rid of them, and later he'll drop by with some lime to dispose of the bodies... er, I mean, pick her up so they can watch baseball. Yeah, that's it.

"Do you want my truck?" I offered, meanwhile wondering how I would explain its absence to Charlie.
He rolled his eyes. "I could walk home faster than this truck moves."

That would be slightly wittier if we didn't know he could move faster than the eye can see. So instead of witty, it sounds.... stupid. Because it's not an exaggeration.

So Edward says he has to go because "you still have to prepare Charlie to meet your new boyfriend." He grinned widely, showing all of his teeth. Yeah, showing all of your teeth is not sexy or alluring, it's creepy. And not in a scary vampire way.

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Edward kisses Bella, and this is stressing out Billy because his best friend's daughter has become a total vampire groupie slut.

"Hey, Billy. Hi, Jacob." I greeted them as cheerfully as I could manage. "Charlie's gone for the day — I hope you haven't been waiting long."

"I was just off slobbering on my vampire boyfriend... I mean, that guy whom I totally don't know and am not dating and he's totally not one of the undead."

It turns out that Billy has a perfectly good reason for coming there, and Bawla and Edward were just being paranoid assholes - he's bringing Charlie his favorite kind of fried fish. Wait... so Edward wasn't reading their minds? He was just ASSUMING that they were ratting her out? FUCKING IDIOT.

"Thanks," I repeated, but with feeling this time. "I was running out of new ways to fix fish, and he's bound to bring home more tonight."

"I was going to put the fish in grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm such a great cook!"

Billy gets rid of Jacob for however long it will take to talk to Bawla, and Bella starts acting like her antisocial bitch self instead of coming up with some kind of conversation to fill up the time. She doesn't even try to talk to him about anything non-Cullen - she just tries to walk away from him.

"Charlie won't be back for a long time." My voice was almost rude.

Yeah, but since that's her default attitude, I doubt Billy noticed.

He seemed to sense that I had given up on small talk.

That's her idea of small talk? I'd hate to see what "being a snotty dismissive bitch" sounds like.

"Bella," he said again, "Charlie is one of my best friends."

"I think it's about time we told you the truth. We're in love and planning to get married. Call me Dad."

So Billy brings up that Bawla has been hanging out with one of the Cullens, and he thinks it's a bad idea. Bella continues being a rude bitch to him, which just makes her sound more insecure and defensive instead of making her sound confident. She also sounds like a five year old brat, not the smart mature wise-before-her-time Sue that Smeyers is trying to convince us she is.

"You probably don't know this, but the Cullen family has an unpleasant reputation on the reservation."

"They leave candy wrappers and soda cans everywhere! And those bastards never flush the toilets!"

"Actually, I did know that," I informed him in a hard voice. This surprised him. "But that reputation couldn't be deserved, could it? Because the Cullens never set foot on the reservation, do they?"

"It's all just lies! Lies, I tell you! Anyone who hates them is just a big fat meaniepants! Ur all jst jellus! HATERZ!"

Because only nasty meanies would ever have a problem with a gang of VAMPIRES. It couldn't be that a gang of bloodsuckers who are always on the verge of murdering people for their blood could just have a bad rep by DEFINITION. They frigging drink blood. It's not like this is a minor character flaw - it's a part of who they are. They are hardwired to KILL PEOPLE, and as we see in Midnight Sun, they are ALWAYS almost going berserk because of how yummy human blood is. How dare people give them a bad rep because of that!

Is Smeyers TRYING to make Bella seem like a dumb bitch out of touch with reality? She's just hellbent on thinking that the Cullens are perfect, awesome and flawless in every way, because NO WAY could bloodsucking parasites who frequently come close to murdering people deserve a bad rep. Just impossible.

And the worst part? Her boyfriend just openly admitted to murdering people... but God forbid anyone think he's killed people.

"That's true," he acceded, his eyes guarded. "You seem… well informed about the Cullens. More informed than I expected."

"I assumed you were even stupider than you act."

I stared him down. "Maybe even better informed than you are."

I sincerely doubt it, especially since she discards any information that doesn't line up with this simple equation:

Hotness + Material Wealth + Snotty Attitude = Perfection = ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED. So Eddie murdered people? They deserved it, obviously. Better they die than Edward be seen as anything but perfect.

Billy asks if Charlie knows what's going on, and Bawla just whines that Charlie likes the Cullens. Of course, nobody knows WHY he likes the Cullens, since he knows jackshit about them except that none of them have gotten arrested, which automatically makes them morally perfect. So if he hasn't caught you, you haven't done anything wrong... and he won't catch you, because he won't believe you've done anything wrong because he hasn't caught you.

I think Charlie is just using the sheriff job to avoid doing any work. Bella is her father's daughter.

"It's not my business," he said. "But it may be Charlie's."
"Though it would be my business, again, whether or not I think that it's Charlie's business, right?"

Of course, Billy is floored by Bella's perfect flawless logic, because of course she's the Sue and therefore is ALWAYS right even when she's being stupid. The problem is, that's a moronic idea. So if Billy had seen Bella shooting up heroin and gobbling down various pills, he shouldn't inform Charlie because it's "Bella's business"? BULLSHIT. And let's face it, no actual PARENT would pay any attention to Bawla's squeals of "It's MY business!" - he'd just go ahead and tell Charlie.

And because this is a poorly-written book, Billy doesn't do what an actual parent of a teen would do... which would involve hysterical laughter, followed by phoning Charlie.

I wonder if, when her kids are teenagers, Smeyers will still believe that minors should get to filter whatever information their parents get about them. "So you noticed I was having sex with that convicted murderer and his Rottweiler on the putting green? Well, you don't get to tell my mom, because that is MY business whether I think it's HER business! HAH!"

Seriously, how does a thirtysomething woman have the brain of a witless immature adolescent who thinks that they're smarter than their parents in all things?

"Just think about what you're doing, Bella," he urged.
"Okay," I agreed quickly.
He frowned. "What I meant to say was, don't do what you're doing."

Why is the only smart person in this damn book being demonized? Oh yeah, because logic and brains are the enemy of all Sues, especially ones written by idiot antifeministic losers like Smeyer.

Jacob comes in dripping wet, and Billy decides that they're going to leave. So they leave, and Jacob is disappointed that he doesn't get to hang around and be ignored by Bawla. She just stands there being bitchy for awhile, since someone has dared to say something negative about the perfect and awesome sparklepires... and actually thought about TELLING HER DAD that she's snogging a vampire who wants to kill her. How DARE they! What do they think she is, a minor?

When the tension eventually faded a bit, I headed upstairs to change out of my dressy clothes.

DRESSY CLOTHES? The clothes she described before sounded like they were off a clearance rack. In fact, she even described her khaki skirt as "casual." It's as dressy as a lumberjack's work clothes.

Editor? EDITOR? Are you anywhere here? echoes

So Bawla does the typical teen-girl stuff she disdains in other people, trying to figure out the right outfit to wear for... baseball. Damn, this girl is stupid. And since only sluts dress nicely, she eventually gave up quickly on choosing an outfit — throwing on an old flannel shirt and jeans. Yeah, apparently she decides to dress like a lumberjack. Does she have ANY outfits that aren't sexless, boring or incredibly ugly?

The phone rang and I sprinted downstairs to get it. There was only one voice I wanted to hear; anything else would be a disappointment.

"Hi, sweetie! It's Mom!"
"Uh.... I was just calling to see how you were doing, since you've been ignoring me for half of this book."
"Screw you! I only want to hear the voice of the hot rich guy! Get off the line in case he calls!"

But no, it's Jessica who is calling to talk about the dance. Of course, Bella just ignores her - after all, true romance doesn't involve spending time together and getting to know each other, but about sitting in a field sparkling and being emo.

"Did you hear what I said, Bella?" Jess asked, irritated.
"I'm sorry, what?"

"I said this tall guy named Harry Dresden arrived in town, and ten minutes ago he char-broiled Edward Cullen, who turned out to be a vampire. It was the coolest thing ever!"

"I said, Mike kissed me! Can you believe it?"
"That's wonderful, Jess," I said.

Seriously, we're supposed to care about Bella's horny snogging with Sparkling Twat, but not about Mike and Jess's first kiss? Screw that. I am way more interested in seeing Mike and Jess living happily ever after than I am in ANYTHING Bawla or SparkleEmoBoy do. Why?

  1. Because they're not assholes.
  2. Because Mike doesn't constantly want to kill Jess.
  3. Because Jess isn't chasing after a guy who's admitted he wants to kill her, and has already murdered a bunch of people.
  4. Because apparently they are building a real relationship with actual love, affection and friendship, not just going, "You're hot!" "You smell good!" "WE'RE IN LOVE!"

"So what did you do yesterday?" Jessica challenged, still sounding bothered by my lack of attention. Or maybe she was upset because I hadn't asked for details.

And are we supposed to sympathize with POOOOOOOOOOR Bawla, who has to put up with Jessica's vapid descriptions about HER love life, which are just SO uninteresting that POOOOOOOOOOR Bawla can't concentrate? Here is some fun irony: I am being tortured with vapid, minute-by-minute descriptions of Bella's love life (ie how horny she is), and I'm expected to actually care.

Why is nobody bleeding for MY pain?

Just then, Charlie comes home from fishing, and Jess excuses herself.

Seriously, what the hell was the point of that whole scene? It doesn't do anything, Bella pays no attention to it and doesn't react to it at all, and it just adds a half-page of pointless dialogue.

I think Smeyers was trying to contrast Eddie/Bella's PERFECT WONDERFUL ETERNAL LURV with the boring mundane teen stuff of Jess/Mike, but she's failing miserably because their WONDERFUL ETERNAL PERFECT LOVE is just so bland and has no actual romantic basis. Jess and Mike are experiencing the real first stages of genuine love - they're going on dates, kissing, getting to know each other, and basically forming an actual romantic relationship based on REAL STUFF. Bella and Edward? They just want to fuck each other's brains out and/or drink blood. That's it. There's nothing more to their relationship.

"Um." I hesitated, not sure what my story was anymore.

"I've been lying so much that I can't even remember what I'm supposed to be doing. Ain't I a great role model?"

Bella and Charlie talk about fish. Riveting. Then they eat dinner. Again, riveting.

"What did you do with yourself today?" he asked, snapping me out of my reverie.

"I got introduced to a creepy sex predator, his bimbo wife, and a very unquirky quirky person and her weird BF. Also, they're all vampires and I wanna be one too."

She finally drops the bomb: "And this morning I was over at the Cullens'." And even though it sounds like she just dropped by to borrow some sugar, Charlie is SHOCKED, SIMPLY SHOCKED by this news. He even drops his fork and asks what she was doing there. Again, totally excessive reaction that doesn't seem even a little natural. A natural reaction might have been a slight elevation of the eyebrows and a "What for?".

Charlie dropped his fork.
"Dr. Cullen's place?" he asked in astonishment.

"Don't you know that the holy ground must never be sullied by mere mortal feet? Quick, I must sacrifice a goat to atone for this! Please, Great Doctor Cullen, do not strike my daughter down for her insolence!"

"Well, I sort of have a date with Edward Cullen tonight, and he wanted to introduce me to his parents… Dad?"
It appeared that Charlie was having an aneurysm.
"Dad, are you all right?"
"You are going out with Edward Cullen?" he thundered.

Again, there is nothing even slightly logical about Charlie's reactions. I could understand him being a bit freaked out if he had always been shown as an overprotective parent who doesn't want his sullenly antisocially virginal daughter to date anyone.... but he hasn't. In fact, he's been trying to get her to go to the prom with an actual live boy. He's not even that picky. But when she actually says she's dating someone... from a family he is unhealthily obsessed with to the point of picking a fight with someone who doesn't like them... he goes berserk. And it DOESN'T MAKE FUCKING SENSE.

There are only three reasons why this would happen:

  1. Charlie is insane like everyone else in this book.
  2. Smeyers has just destroyed her last reason for having tension in this book, so she's desperately trying to come up with drama.
  3. Smeyers doesn't understand or care about logical character because she can use tired cliched character tropes instead.

Or maybe all of the above.

In fact, this is SO stupid that even Bawla is confused: Uh-oh. "I thought you liked the Cullens." When your idiot protagonist is calling out other characters on irrational, illogical behavior, you know you're screwed.

"He's too old for you," he ranted.

Apparently Charlie also mistakes pretentiousness for maturity.

"We're both juniors," I corrected, though he was more right than he dreamed.
"Wait…" He paused. "Which one is Edwin?"

Haha! Despite being unhealthily obsessed with the Cullens, he apparently can't tell any of them apart! Even though one of them saved his daughter's life only about two weeks ago! It's funny because... wait, it's not funny. Does he just have a crush on Carlisle or something?

"Edward is the youngest, the one with the reddish brown hair." The beautiful one, the godlike one…

The creepy one, the dickish one, the stalkish one, the obnoxious one...

So it turns out that Charlie mixed up Edward and Emmett. Yes, he's so obsessed with the Cullens that he pisses off his best friend in the world because said friend doesn't like them, but he doesn't even know their names. Especially since one of those "E" boys saved his daughter A FEW WEEKS AGO. It is official: Charlie is a dumbass.

So even though he was HORRIFIED by the idea of her going out with someone (supposedly) a year older, he's immediately accepts her going out with Edward. And they have a boring conversation about Bella's love life.

"When is he coming over?"
"He'll be here in a few minutes."

"But he's totally not sneaking in my bedroom window! He never does that!"

"Where is he taking you?"
I groaned loudly. "I hope you're getting the Spanish Inquisition out of your system now. We're going to play baseball with his family."

Yes, I am going to make that joke. Smeyers started it by even mentioning the Spanish Inquisition!

His face puckered, and then he finally chuckled. "You're playing baseball?"

See? Even the resident dumbass thinks it's stupid!

Oh wait, no, he's actually chuckling because HAHAHAHAHA Bella is clumsy. It's funny cuz she can't play baseball. It's funny. Very funny. LAUGH, DAMMIT. LAUGH OR I WILL SMITE THEE!

So Edward shows up, and Bella... immediately starts doing the dishes. Weird reaction. Does she expect Edward to just stand on the doorstep until she finishes rinsing her plate? Anyway, so nothing will stand between her and the sparkling dick, Charlie offers to do the dishes.

"Leave the dishes, I can do them tonight. You baby me too much."

Uhhhhh... she clearly intended to leave you to do YOUR dishes. If she's babying him, she's doing a crappy job.

Edward stood in the halo of the porch light, looking like a male model in an advertisement for raincoats.

See what she did there? See? See? She said "halo" because he's so pretty! SYMBOLISM!

Seriously, Smeyers must be running out of drooling similes to describe how hot Edward is. "Male model"? How incredibly trite.

So Edward comes in and pretends to be a nice, respectful, pleasant person for about two minutes, and joins in on making fun of Bawla with Charlie. HahahahahaFUCKINGHA.

"Don't worry, Charlie, I'll have her home early," Edward promised.

  1. "After all, she's what, five years old? Or is that just how I treat her?"
  2. When did "Chief Swan" become "Charlie"?
  3. This little promise becomes less effective when you know that he's planning to sneak into her bedroom for some romantic stalking.

He didn't look surprised that I'd told my father the truth. He might have been listening, though.

You know how they say that trust is essential to love? Smeyers laughs at that idea.

"So I hear you're getting my girl to watch baseball."
"You take care of my girl, all right?"

Add this to the further treatment of women as objects. After all, Bella belongs to him until he sells her to her future husband.

"She'll be safe with me, I promise, sir."
I stalked out. They both laughed, and Edward followed me.

.... what is so FUCKING FUNNY?

Also, Charlie is just as bipolar as everyone else in this story. Not only did he flipflop on the whole boyfriend thing to start with, but in the space of TWO MINUTES he went from going berserk at the idea of Bawla dating Eddie to literally laughing and palling around with him. I think Smeyers must be allergic to actually having a plot or character tension. Look at this series of events:

  • He goes berserk because Bella is dating a boy.
  • A little bit of conversation.
  • Doorbell rings.
  • Edward is invited in.
  • They talk for a minute.
  • Bella and Edward leave.

And even worse, Edward doesn't say or do anything to suddenly deflate Charlie's rage. He just recites the usual cliched shit that he could have gotten from a sitcom. "Yes sir. No sir. Will be back at eight sharp, sir. What a nice car you have, sir. Can I lick your boots for the privilege of boffing your daughter, sir?"

Bella goes out and sees a Testosterone Jeep. You know, one of those giant ridiculous cars that white-collar men with tiny penises buy even though they need a stepladder to climb in and they cause a traffic jam every time they exit a parking lot, and even though the most rough and outdoorsy thing they ever do is buy organic vegetables.

Yes, I'm sure it won't attract attention in a tiny rural town, charging around in that ugly Compensationmobile.

Charlie let out a low whistle.
"Wear your seat belts," he choked out.

"I wouldn't want my chance at that car... I mean, Bawla to get hurt!"

And this jeep is HUGE. Huger than huge! Nobody has ever seen a jeep this huge before! Bawla practically has to pole-vault into the seat even though all large vehicles give you SOME way of getting inside, but of course perfect wonderful Edward has to lift her in like the helpless pathetic female she is.

In fact, even the seatbelts are... well... EXTREEEEEEEEEME. Clumsy helpless Bawla can't even buckle herself in without the assistance of a man. Is she expecting Edward to spoon-feed her and wipe her bottom? Because we're getting to that point! Additionally, it allows for some veiled groping:

he couldn't see how Edward's hands lingered at my neck, brushed along my collarbones. I gave up trying to help him and focused on not hyperventilating.

This sounds like Edward is rubbing her boobs, but Smeyers is way too repressed to actually say so. Or admit her Sue has boobs. Nobody in these books has boobs.

"This is a… um… big Jeep you have."

"It's so big... and... red... and strong... and hard... I bet you're wonderful at pulling it into garages!"

But no it turns out that the Compensationmobile is actually Emmett's. Since he isn't a blond woman, Edward doesn't sneer about his choice of vehicle like he did for Rosalie. Pig.

"I didn't think you'd want to run the whole way."

I can say from experience that you don't need an off-road vehicle to handle rough country roads. It might be a smoother ride, but you don't need it.

And then WAAAAAHHH TINY VIOLIN ALERT. Edward reveals that they're going to be running part of the way, which cases Bawla to whine about how she'll puke if they do. Edward thinks this is funny. Because he's a dick.

"You smell so good in the rain," he explained.

#4,643 on the list of Things Men Never Say But Sad-Sack Sentimental Women Wish They Said...

For a long while conversation was impossible, because I was bouncing up and down on the seat like a jackhammer.

How charming.

What is she, four? There are actual moments in this series where I wonder if Smeyer originally was writing some kind of pedo romance, and later changed Bella's age to her late teens so it wouldn't be banned.

He seemed to enjoy the ride, though, smiling hugely the whole way.

"Wow, this is great! I've never had a girlfriend who would put up with whatever assholish behavior I have, think it's hot when I make fun of her, and ignore her whenever I feel like it. This one is a keeper!"

So having come all that way, Bawla wusses out and insists that she wants to sit in the car because... baseball be scary. At least to antifeminist sacks of shit.

"What happened to all your courage? You were extraordinary this morning."

"It was amazing the way you... walked into a house and... talked about the backstory of a character we've only seen three times. I've never seen anyone so brave! Almost as brave as someone who walks into a mall and talks about a pet we've never seen!"

So since Bawla is showing the slightest hint of free will, Edward decides "It seems I'm going to have to tamper with your memory." And by that he means snog her against the car, because if a woman shows any sign of defying the almight male, she must be sexed into a stupor so she won't get uppity. We can't have them making their own decisions! Next they'll be wanting the vote!

He placed his hands against the Jeep on either side of my head and leaned forward, forcing me to press back against the door. He leaned in even closer, his face inches from mine. I had no room to escape.

Yes, nothing is sexier than using the same kind of language you'd use to describe a rapist. Especially the "forcing" and the "escape."

"Now," he breathed, and just his smell disturbed my thought processes, "what exactly are you worrying about?"

The fact that you're a creepy a-hole with no respect for the girl you allegedly "love"?

So he starts kissing Bawla's neck and face, and I think it's supposed to be sexy. Too bad the sexism of this scene completely kills any sexiness it might have had. They also have a REALLY boring conversation about trees and puking while this is going on.

"Would I let a tree hurt you?" His lips barely brushed against my trembling lower lip.



... WOW. I mean, WOW. That was impressive. That was incredible. That was... ONE OF THE WORST ROMANCE LINES I'VE EVER HEARD.

So since Edward has blinded the little woman with his sexiness so she won't bother him with free will, they make out for a little while.

"You see," he said, his lips moving against mine. "There's nothing to be afraid of, is there?"

Except the horrible dialogue. And alcohol poisoning.

Then he took my face in his hands almost roughly, and kissed me in earnest, his unyielding lips moving against mine.

Yes, obviously the awesomest kisses are ones where the lips are literally as hard as rock. Try passionately kissing something "unyielding" and see how much fun it is.

There really was no excuse for my behavior. Obviously I knew better by now.

And what inexcusible, shocking did she do? Why, she kissed him back and tried to French him. Which means she's attracted to him, and Only Sluts Feel Sexual Attraction. The only non-slutty way to be kissed is to stand there and not move anything, and definitely not to indicate that you actually LIKE being kissed.

Of course this shocks Edward, who actually goes bouncing back because OH SHOCKING a girl actually kissed him back, instead of passively sitting there. I guess he subscribes to the Victorian approach to sex, where "good girls" were expected to lie there and tolerate their hubbies porking them, because only hussies enjoyed it.

"Damn it, Bella!" he broke off, gasping. "You'll be the death of me, I swear you will."

"Back, you wanton hussy! Back, temptress! Take your whorish wiles back, for I am a man and therefore morally righteous and NOT slutty and skanky like girls with girl parts!"

"You're indestructible," I mumbled, trying to catch my breath. "I might have believed that before I met you. Now let's get out of here before I do something really stupid," he growled.

Yeah, that makes no sense at all.

  1. Take a good look at that dialogue. Is he saying that Bawla can destroy him? How? With French kissing?
  2. And precisely how can French kissing suddenly make him bloodthirsty? Does she suddenly smell better when she gets turned on?
  3. And can Smeyers hammer the whole "vampirism = sex except when it might be gay" thing a little harder?

So having sexed away any hint of free will, Edward grabs Bawla and does the oh-so-sexy piggyback ride through the woods. Thankfully there aren't many details. Because it's intensely uncool.

I stiffly unlocked my stranglehold on his body and slipped to the ground, landing on my backside.

Nope, sorry, still not funny. This pointless moment is only in the book so Edward can point and laugh at her. Oh how true their luv is.

I picked myself up, ignoring him as I brushed the mud and bracken off the back of my jacket. That only made him laugh harder.

Seriously, this guy is acting like he's hopped up on cocaine. It is not really funny when someone lands on their butt in the mud, and it's not funny when they try to clean themselves off. Does Smeyers just get off on having her fantasy man go "BAHAWHAWHAWHAW! The girl I allegedly love just fell in mud! I'm not even gonna help her up or anything, even though I'm supposedly so old-timey and gentlemanly! I'm just going to laugh at her like the insensitive asshole I am!"?

Annoyed, I began to stride off into the forest.
I felt his arm around my waist.

... so she didn't, you know, stop? She just kept walking and dragging Eddie behind her?

So Bella is pissy because Edward was being a dick, but since Edward Is Always Perfect he doesn't even have to apologize.

"Where are you going, Bella?"
"To watch a baseball game. You don't seem to be interested in playing anymore, but I'm sure the others will have fun without you."

"And then I'm going home to eat Haagen-Dazs and cry over a Jennifer Aniston movie!"

"Don't be mad, I couldn't help myself. You should have seen your face." He chuckled before he could stop himself.

Yeah, he doesn't apologize for being an a-hole and laughing at her. He just orders her not to be mad. Isn't he DREAMY?

"Oh, you're the only one who's allowed to get mad?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"I wasn't mad at you."
"'Bella, you'll be the death of me'?" I quoted sourly.
"That was simply a statement of fact."

NO. IT. FUCKING. WAS. NOT. People only say "you'll be the death of me" as a statement of fact if they actually expect the other person to kill them. Bella couldn't kill anything except through neglect.

"That I wasn't mad at you. Can't you see that, Bella?" He was suddenly intense, all trace of teasing gone. "Don't you understand?"

"I wasn't angry at YOU. I only act like a total asshole and get mad for no reason because the author thinks it's sexy!"

"I'm never angry with you — how could I be? Brave, trusting… warm as you are."

BWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hee hee heeeeeeeeeee... snerk WAHAHAHA hrk hrk hrk chokeWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Seriously, is Eddie that stupid? Bella's demonstrated that she's not so much brave as deliberately blinkered and intentionally stupid. She obviously isn't very trusting except in her belief that Hot Rich Vampires are inherently good. And I've seen glaciers that are warmer than Bella is, emotionally speaking. Seriously, does Smeyers think we're impressed by what a warm good-hearted person she is after showing her being a contemptuous bitch to everyone she meets?

Anyway, it turns out that Edward acts like an angst bipolar asshole because... he's mad at HIMSELF. Bella's so perfect and awesome that he couldn't be mad at her, and instead it makes him mad at HIMSELF.

Smeyers, stop trying to do character development. You suck at it.

"I infuriate myself," he said gently. "The way I can't seem to keep from putting you in danger. My very existence puts you at risk. Sometimes I truly hate myself. I should be stronger, I should be able to —"

  1. Waaaaaaaaaah.
  2. Wasn't his previous excuse that he was hanging around her because she's soooooo in danger because... danger is attracted to her or some lame shit like that? And now he's whining about how HE is putting her in danger? Make up your mind, dolt.
  3. Seriously, this whining doesn't make their Luv Seem So Troo, it just makes Edward sound like even more of a whiny wuss than he already does.

So they burble about how they love each other and it's just as boring as before.

"Now, please try to behave yourself," he continued, and he bent to softly brush his lips against mine.

BEHAVE HERSELF? You're the one who was acting like an asshole, letting her fall in the mud despite your super-speed, laughing at her and not helping her up. All she did was walk away from you.

Or is he talking about the unforgivable sin of French-kissing?

"You promised Chief Swan that you would have me home early, remember? We'd better get going."

... "Chief Swan"? As if it wasn't obnoxious enough that she refers to him as "Charlie," now she won't even call him "my dad"? What the hell is up with this girl? Does she like to give people the idea that she sprang from the head of Zeus?

So they walk into a field, and the various vampires are there marking bases and throwing baseballs. Rosalie, being the designated bitch, ignores them completely. But everybody else worships at the BELLA + EDWARD FOREVAH! altar.

"Was that you we heard, Edward?" Esme asked as she approached.
“It sounded like a bear choking," Emmett clarified.

... uh, if his laughter sounded that weird, wouldn't Bawla have commented on it? "His perfect, beautiful laughter sounded just like a perfect, beautiful purebred cat hacking up a perfect, glistening hairball..."

So Alice dances over, which probably would look even stupider than it sounds...

... and they start running around the field to play ball. I think I'm going to be bored witless by this. And since we can't have a scene with vampires NOT talking to Bawla, it turns out that Esme isn't playing so she can referee... ie sit there and blab to Bawla. Because she's a Perfect Housewife, and they don't do sporty things because... they only cook and clean. Wimmenz are supposed to sit there and applaud!

"No, I prefer to referee — I like keeping them honest," she explained.

So watch as she DOESN'T referee them because she's talking to Bella.

"Do they like to cheat, then?"
"Oh yes — you should hear the arguments they get into!"

Add "cheating" to the vampires' long list of defects.

She laughed, too. "Well, I do think of them as my children in most ways. I never could get over my mothering instincts — did Edward tell you I had lost a child?"

  1. ... uh, why would he do that? Why would he randomly mention, "Oh, and Esme had a kid that died. Coke?"
  2. We've seen you in only one scene, and all the backstory infodumping has centered around your creepy rapey ephebophile husband, you dumb bimbo. Obviously your backstory wasn't very interesting.
  3. Clumsiest. Segue. Ever.

"Yes, my first and only baby. He died just a few days after he was born, the poor tiny thing," she sighed. "It broke my heart — that's why I jumped off the cliff, you know," she added matter-of-factly.

Um, not to sound insensitive, but that was a pretty common occurrence at the time. Lots of babies died before the advent of antibiotics and modern medicine, and it wasn't that shocking then. It was improving, but still pretty high by current standards.

So Esme starts talking about how she thinks of Edward as a son even though he's "older" than her, and she's so happy that he's dating Bawla because nobody in the world can be happy without a romantic partner. And of course, it's no big deal that she's human because "You're what he wants." So if he wanted a pet wolverine, you'd get that for him too?

"You don't mind, then?" I asked, hesitant again. "That I'm… all wrong for him?"

Since she's got a rotten personality, Bawla is all wrong for everybody. But at least by hooking up with a fellow douchebag, she's limited the spread.

So then they play "vampire baseball," which of course is...

It's also really, really boring. Smeyers clearly thinks this is incredibly interesting, but it's basically baseball done at nonsensically fast speeds. And there are so many errors in it - for instance, Smeyers tells us that the sound of the bats and balls hitting "echoed off the mountains." If it's that fucking loud, how come the bats and balls don't shatter? How come the ball's speed doesn't smash trees? How come the LOUDNESS of the sound doesn't deafen Bella? How come the impact of a ball going that fast doesn't send the vampires flying backwards, since they apparently aren't much heavier than humans?

Hell, how does the EQUIPMENT not simply shatter into bits? I don't think bats and baseballs are meant to hit each other THAT hard or fast!

The answer of course is that NONE OF IT MAKES LOGICAL SENSE, but in the Twilight universe it doesn't need to because it sounds cool to Smeyers. Physics? Pshah, we need no physics! It sounds cool!

It's also a great way of sucking what tiny shreds of coolness the vampires MIGHT have had. They drive boring cars, they go camping, they live in small towns, they go to high school, they play baseball... the only way she could make them even more unimaginatively bland is if they were big fans of Roland Emmerich movies.

Carlisle ran into the ball, and then raced Jasper to first base. When they collided, the sound was like the crash of two massive falling boulders. I jumped up in concern, but they were somehow unscathed.

Boulders make the sounds they make because they are SOLID stone all the way through. I'm pretty sure the vampires aren't meant to be solid. Also, I'm pretty sure that in an area with MOUNTAINS, people wouldn't get suspicious of the sound of boulders.

Good Lord, why is this woman so STUPID?

— when Edward caught the third out. He sprinted to my side, sparkling with excitement.

... wow, that is the unmanliest thing I have ever read in my life.

So the baseball game continues to be tedious, Bella continues to be horny, and Edward continues to be a "perfect" asshole.

"Well, it would be nice if I could find just one thing you didn't do better than everyone else on the planet."

I could name a few. Hundred. Thousand.

So we get more boring descriptions of their sonic-boom-causing baseball game, which is pretty boring no matter how exciting Smeyers tries to make it sound. Just inserting "they went sooper-fast!" and "the ball made a boom noise!" doesn't make a baseball game in a book interesting, especially when it's making vampires seem lame.

He played intelligently, keeping the ball low, out of the reach of Rosalie's always-ready hand in the outfield, gaining two bases like lightning before Emmett could get the ball back in play.

And pray, how does lightning gain bases?

Even apparently Smeyers gets bored with baseball, because suddenly Alice has an Epic Vision Of Plot Convenience. Yes! We are in chapter seventeen, and she's ONLY NOW getting around to having something happen besides fake tension and Edward and Bella drooling all over each other.

Their eyes met and something flowed between them in an instant.

"I think it was maple syrup."

It turns out that the Evil Vampires Of Evil Transparent Two-Dimensional Evilness are coming a lot faster than Alice thought, because she made a mistake. Because she can see the future... except when she fucks up. And when they got out there and started playing, there was NO WAY the person who sees the future could possibly have foretold that them being there... would cause anything.

Apparently for some totally inexplicable reason, The Evil Vampires heard the baseball game, somehow figured out that it was a baseball game, and - get this - they wanna play too.

"Less than five minutes. They're running — they want to play." He scowled.

Wow. They sound SO menacing, wanting to rush in and play sports with the local vampires. I'm totally unafraid of them already!

So they... decide to keep playing baseball. Total anticlimax. When the Evil Vampires arrive, Edward - for some reason - orders Bawla to let her hair down even though he KNOWS this won't make her any less vulnerable. Thanks, idiot. You're as useful as always.

And if you're wondering why they don't rush Bella out of the area so the evil vampires won't kill Bella, the reason is... there are several more chapters to fill, and Smeyer has run out of boring stuff for the Cullens to do. I mean, what else can they do? Show Bella their expensive bread-maker? Go out for sundaes? Have a movie night?

"What did Esme ask you?" I whispered.
He hesitated for a second before he answered. "Whether they were thirsty," he muttered unwillingly.

They're Evil Vampires of Evil Transparent Two-Dimensional Evil. They're required to be thirsty! It's part of the cliche!

So they... still are playing baseball, even though nobody's interested in it anymore because EEEEKS Evil Vampires are about to target the wondrous Bawla! She's in danger! And of course, they all care SO MUCH about the random sulky girl they just met because... she's a Sue! But they can't be bothered to stop playing and zip one of their number back to the car with Bella, then drive her somewhere safe. I guess they don't care THAT much.

Seriously, I still don't know why they're all so on edge about this. She is a total stranger to them! The only one who DOESN'T like her is Rosalie. I was aware of Rosalie's eyes on me. They were expressionless, but something about the way she held her mouth made me think she was angry. Wow, ya think, Einstein? Maybe it's because ever since you came to down, you've been causing trouble for her little pseudo-family? That would make ME angry.

"I'm sorry, Bella," he muttered fiercely. "It was stupid, irresponsible, to expose you like this. I'm so sorry."

Yes it was, now stop being annoyingly emo.

And then they hear something in the woods and... the chapter ends. I think Smeyers got tired and ended it at a random place.

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