Monday, August 10, 2015

Twilight Chapter 19

So they get to Bella's house, and now it's time for the BIG EMOTIONAL MOMENT.

Charlie was waiting up for me. All the house lights were on.

This sounds very dramatic... but it would BE dramatic if it were, you know, late. It's MAYBE six pm, assuming it took a long time to get to the baseball game. Like two hours.

My mind was blank as I tried to think of a way to make him let me go. This wasn't going to be pleasant.

... for her. It's pretty obvious she doesn't care about how much she hurts her dad, because she doesn't even TRY to figure out a way around hurting him.

So they pull up to the house and the vampires just sort of sit there, until Edward announces that James is not around. Whoopdeeflippin' doo. Wait, doesn't this mean that James can't possibly hear where Bawla says she's going, thus totally undermining the entire stupid plan because he will probably head for wherever she actually is going?! Like say, her former hometown. DAMN, THIS IS A STUPID BOOK.

"Don't worry, Bella," he said in a low but cheerful voice, "we'll take care of things here quickly."

"We just have to pop off your dad's head and VOILA! No more obstacles to the Big Strong Man's sovereign will!"

I felt moisture filling up my eyes as I looked at Emmett. I barely knew him, and yet, somehow, not knowing when I would see him again after tonight was anguishing. I knew this was just a faint taste of the goodbyes I would have to survive in the next hour, and the thought made the tears begin to spill.

This is almost as heartbreakingly sad as when Bella said her farewells to the cafeteria lady! Or when she bade goodbye to that creepy janitor who looks like Christopher Lloyd in a bad toupee! Or when she wept her leavetaking of the mailman! I have tears pouring down my face because it's all just so SAD!

Seriously, it feels like Smeyers is screaming at us "This is SAD! This is touching! This is emotional! Be moved, dammit!" The problem is that, uh, it's not moving. We've seen Emmett in three scenes, and he only spoke in one or two of them. It's pretty obvious that he tolerates Bawla at best and doesn't give a shit about her well-being. Yet she is SO moved by saying goodbye to him and the thought of not seeing this guy she barely knows for a long time... that she actually starts crying. DOES NOT FUCKING COMPUTE.

"Alice, Emmett." Edward's voice was a command.

Of course it was. Generals do less ordering-around than this douchebag.

They slithered soundlessly into the darkness, instantly disappearing.

They were slightly hampered by the fact that they hadn't opened the doors. THAT made some noise.

So Edward walks her to the door, bosses her around, and Bawla reinforces that abuse and assholery don't matter: "I love you," I said in a low, intense voice. "I will always love you, no matter what happens now."

"I don't care if you treat me like shit, make fun of me, stalked me, tried to kidnap me, want to guzzle my blood and threw a screaming cursing temper tantrum about ten minutes ago! It just turns me on more!"

"Nothing is going to happen to you, Bella," he said just as fiercely.

... Except for two more sequels of contrived peril, followed by rapey sex and a mutant vampire fetus.

"One more thing," I whispered passionately. "Don't listen to another word I say tonight!"

"Especially don't listen to "no," "don't," "stop," "that hurts," or anything like a safety word. Because "girls secretly wanna be raped" is the only offensive anti-feministic anti-woman sentiment that Smeyers hasn't brought up... YET."

all I had to do was stretch up on my toes to kiss his surprised, frozen lips with as much force as I was capable of. Then I turned and kicked the door open.

... as Edward spits the girl cooties on the porch, bathes his face in Purell, and flagellates himself with a mace for having been KISSED by a wanton whore.

Bella runs inside, shrieking at him to go away and howling at Charlie to leave her alone. And she runs to her room. You know, basically she's acting like a selfish emo teen who has suddenly grown a spine and some self-respect. So she and Edward start packing her things while she shrieks at Charlie about how she's going home. I think she means home to ARIZONA, because... otherwise she IS home.

I reached swiftly between the mattress and box spring to grab the knotted old sock that contained my secret cash hoard.

Yeah, I bet you can make a down payment or at least two months rent + damage deposit with... the contents of a SOCK. She's quite old enough to get her own place!

I turned to my dresser, and Edward was already there, silently yanking out armfuls of random clothes, which he proceeded to throw to me.

"... wait, what's with the Spiderman costume? Is this YOURS?"

So Bawla keeps screaming about how she broke up with Edward and her dad is getting more upset and confused. Edward finishes packing and says he'll be out in her truck, then jumps out the window.

So as Bella is storming out, her dad grabs her arm and demands to know what happened.

He spun me around to look at him, and I could see in his face that he had no intention of letting me leave. I could think of only one way to escape, and it involved hurting him so much that I hated myself for even considering it.

... yeah, I'm pretty sure that there isn't much a kid can say that just make their parent go, "Okay, go off alone into the night with hardly any money and a junky truck, because apparently I'm just SO shocked by your dislike for this place!"

Charlie is surprised that she's screaming at Eddie and stomping out of town, since he (DDDDDUUUUUUHHHHHHH) thought she liked him. Which isn't surprising, since Bawla went through this series of emotional transactions in the last few days:

  • Sullen and distracted
  • Hyperactive, evasive and weird
  • Cheerful because SHE IS DATING A CULLEN
  • Crazy, hysterical and bipolar

IN A FEW DAYS. Okay, it's not that unusual for a teenage girl, but come on. This is just stupid. She expects him to believe that all these emotions follow each other naturally?

And since Bawla cannot even bear to slag off Edward AS A LIE, she comes up with the single lamest, most unshocking excuse for wanting to leave Forks... EVER. It is a HORRIBLE lie.

"I do like him — that's the problem. I can't do this anymore! I can't put down any more roots here! I don't want to end up trapped in this stupid, boring town like Mom! I'm not going to make the same dumb mistake she did. I hate it — I can't stay here another minute!"

  1. Wooooowwww. So shocking. I can see why this scintillating argument would be enough to let a man allow his underage daughter to go driving off in a random direction with almost no money in the middle of the night. I mean, who could ever stand against that logic?
  2. She claimed there was only ONE way she could escape, and that this was it. THIS lame "I hate this town and I don't wanna be here!" excuse. BELLA, YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT.
  3. So this is the WORST thing that Bella can think up, so bad that she starts crying because she's being so MEAN? Sorry, bitch, but earlier in the book you said outright that you were GLAD your mother dumped your father and ran away with you, because it meant that you didn't have to grow up in Forks. I'm not buying that suddenly this attitude is the nastiest thing you can come up with.

And for some reason, this just SHOCKS Charlie. I mean, Bella's just made it explicit for YEARS that she hates Forks and everyone in it. She's made it clear that she doesn't give a crap about Charlie, because she wants to live in sunny Arizona with her mom... or rather, she wants to live with whatever parent lives in the climate that meets her approval. So why is he suddenly shocked that Bella hates that town and wants to escape it?

But of course, Charlie is SO shocked by the news that Bella hates Forks and SO hurt that she thinks her mom made a mistake by marrying him, even though she hasn't exactly hidden either. He tries to argue that she can't leave at night, and Bawla claims, "I'll sleep in the truck if I get tired." Yeah, and when a bunch of Deliverance hicks come across a white suburban girl sleeping alone in a truck, they'll just pass on by. I know she's not actually going to do that, but seriously, what parent would take that excuse.

Of course, Charlie actually lets that go instead of challenging it. Because he's a moron, and so is Smeyer.

But sudden shocking twist: he wants her to wait a week because her mom will be back then! Apparently her stepdad hasn't gotten signed onto any baseball teams, so they're going back to Arizona soon.

No, I don't know why the hell he brings this up now, or what it has to do with the rest of the scene. I tell ya, this better actually have something to do with the inevitable arrival of James in Phoenix. If it doesn't, I will set fire to something.

But Bella just... brushes that off, meaning that this shouldn't have been in this scene at all, but inserted somewhere earlier in the book. And the subject is dropped indefinitely. But apparently Charlie hasn't been totally convinced by her whiny shrieks of "I hate Forks! I like Edward too much! This town sucks! You suck!"

I couldn't lose any more time arguing with him. I was going to have to hurt him further.

What, is she gonna say that he kisses Cullen ass? That she hates rain? That it's cold outside? Come on, Bella said the bleedin' obvious already, which she claimed was a devastatingly awful comment.

"Just let me go, Charlie." I repeated my mother's last words as she'd walked out this same door so many years ago. I said them as angrily as I could manage, and I threw the door open. "It didn't work out, okay? I really, really hate Forks!"

  1. Replace "Charlie" with "Smeyer" and "Forks" with "Twilight," and you have my feelings about this foul atrocity of a book.
  2. Wait... her mother left Forks when Bella was a BABY. How the hell does Bella know what her mother said when she dramatically made her soap opera exit?
  3. Does mommy like to tell Bella about how she dumped her ex-husband as a heartwarming bedtime story, right down to the words?

But again, the SHOCKING revelation that she hates Forks - you know, the hate Charlie already knew about - just STUNS Charlie and he doesn't pursue her at all. He just... lets her run off to her truck and drive away. Great dad. Seriously, what's the attitude here? That if your MINOR kid says something mean to you, you just let them run off on a dangerous road trip to who-knows-where?

"I'll call you tomorrow!" I yelled,

Yeah, that totally would reassure a loving devoted dad.

But enough of Charlie! Forget about him, because Bella has her creepy-ass vampire paramour sitting in the truck, so all is well. And since he hasn't been an asshole to her in this chapter, he orders her to pull over. When Bella doesn't do as he says, His long hands unexpectedly gripped my waist, and his foot pushed mine off the gas pedal. He pulled me across his lap, wrenching my hands free of the wheel, and suddenly he was in the driver's seat. A girl doesn't do what you want? Just MAKE her. Good thing Edward hasn't demanded sex and gotten refused. That we know of.

The truck didn't swerve an inch.

BULLSHIT. Has Smeyers ever driven a car? It changes everything if you suddenly yank the driver out of the seat.

Also, how the hell is this maneuvering going on? There is a reason people do not have sex in the front seats of cars: it's a little hard to move around in the front. You can't just lift someone OVER your lap while sliding around.

"You wouldn't be able to find the house," he explained.


So then Alice is... apparently driving behind them. Either that, or she's running behind the car with flashlights. We're also informed that James conveniently showed up JUST IN TIME to hear Bawla's "performance" (which was convincing as that of Kristen Stewart) and is now running behind the truck... except we were just told that ALICE was behind the truck, so where the hell is James? Behind Alice? Between the cars? Off to the side? WHAT IS GOING ON?!

My plan suddenly didn't feel so brilliant anymore.

.... yeah, I could make fun of this, but it's just toooooooooo easy.

So then we get a jump scare when Emmett inexplicably jumps in front of the window. NO, I DON'T KNOW WHY THIS IS HERE. There's no purpose except to establish that for some reason Emmett is outside the cars and Edward failed to mention it.

He released my mouth, and wound his arm around my waist.
"It's okay, Bella," he promised. "You're going to be safe."

"And don't be bothered by the fact that I'm not looking at the road and only steering with one hand at night during the winter on wet roads. It just makes you safer! To make you extra safe, I'm going to steer with my feet and close my eyes!"

"I didn't realize you were still so bored with small-town life," he said conversationally, and I knew he was trying to distract me. "It seemed like you were adjusting fairly well — especially recently. Maybe I was just flattering myself that I was making life more interesting for you."

Sounds less like a diversion than a bruised ego. "What, you're still bored by this boring little town of boredom, even though you have ME to distract you? That just isn't POSSIBLE! I'm so wonderful and interesting AND SCARY AND DANGEROUS that you MUST be interested!"

So Bella wangsts for exactly one sentence about how mean she was to her dad, and then just gets over it and changes the topic to Edward's hawtness. She starts whining about how "it won't be all right when I'm not with you," which just makes me want to stab her in the face with a fork. You stupid bitch, you just devastated your father and will probably drive a wedge between you that can NEVER be removed unless you explain the whole "vampire tracker" thing. Stop wibbling about your misogynistic twat boyfriend.

"We'll be together again in a few days," he said, tightening his arm around me. "Don't forget that this was your idea."
"It was the best idea — of course it was mine."

There are two reasons why this "joke" fails.

  1. It's coming from one of the two most narcissistic characters in the story.
  2. There is literally no indication that Bella is kidding. No mention of a teasing tone, or a funny face, or ANYTHING to hint that she isn't dead serious.

... are even sure that this IS a joke?
And since Smeyer can't write any dialogue that isn't full of filler and less than a page long, Bella then turns emo and starts whining about how "whhhhhyyyy MEEEEEEEEEEEE?". The answer, of course, is that the entire series is about putting Bella in peril and having people pay the maximum amount of attention to her. No, actually it's because she smells SO good. Yes, it is. No, it isn't.

"I got a good look at his mind tonight," he began in a low voice. "I'm not sure if there's anything I could have done to avoid this, once he saw you. It is partially your fault." His voice was wry.

  1. So as a comparison, if she got raped, would Edward say that he couldn't have done anything to avoid it, and that it's HER fault because she's just so sexy?
  2. Even as a joke, this is fucking insensitive, uncaring, and not funny at all.
  3. I hope he gets sodomized with a diamond saw.

"If you didn't smell so appallingly luscious, he might not have bothered. But when I defended you… well, that made it a lot worse. He's not used to being thwarted, no matter how insignificant the object."

So basically this entire stupid excuse for a plot is just about pretending to take the kitty-cat's food away. TRULY an epic story!

"He thinks of himself as a hunter and nothing else. His existence is consumed with tracking, and a challenge is all he asks of life. Suddenly we've presented him with a beautiful challenge — a large clan of strong fighters all bent on protecting the one vulnerable element. You wouldn't believe how euphoric he is now. It's his favorite game, and we've just made it his most exciting game ever."

Again, I DO NOT KNOW why the other vampires let this idiot live. He is a huge danger because all he cares about is his own fun and games, and it's pretty obvious that eventually he's gonna end up getting caught or causing mass mayhem or some shit like that. And when that happens, they are SCREWED. It makes NO SENSE that they would just let him do whatever he wants, especially since we later find out that any exposure of vampirism to humans RESULTS IN EXECUTION.

So then Smeyers finally remembers that ooooooh, Bella's blood is only supposed to smell super-yummy and irresistible to Edward. Because blood = vagina in these books, and the only person who should ever want YOURS is your soulmate. It turns out that she still smells super-yummy to other vampires, but not as much as to Edward.

"I don't think I have any choice but to kill him now," he muttered.

... so, why don't you? Seriously, they're doing this whole ridiculous, elaborate plot involving cross-country travel, tricking Bella's father, and going on the lam for... who knows how long. AND THEY DON'T HAVE TO.

And you know what's really sad about this shit? He can't beat them. They KNOW this. Emmett POINTED OUT that they can easily gang up and kill him, thus ending the threat right away! There is no real tension because there's no chance of the bad guy winning! This is one of the worst things you can do in fiction - if the bad guy is outnumbered by people who are as strong or stronger than him, then it's impossible to care what happens because you KNOW the good guys can easily beat him! It's especially bad because HE'S RIGHT THERE. He's not eluding them or working from the shadows.... he is literally right outside the FRIGGING CAR.

And now Edward is saying that he's gonna have to do it anyway.... SO WHY AREN'T THEY DOING IT? Just do it! You could end this shitty book in ten minutes max! Just send in the clowns... I mean, Cullens, have them kill the guy, and send Bella home in time for dinner. Problem solved!

"Carlisle won't like it."

Fuck Carlisle! I'm so sick of all that bleeding-heart no-killing-anybody-no-matter-what-the-circumstances crap. This guy is a murderer by anyone's standards, including vampires, in that he hunts people for the fun of it. And now he's actively trying to kill someone else, and there's no way to stop him except by killing him. WHO GIVES A FUCK WHAT CARLISLE WANTS? I don't see HIM fixing the problem!

So Bella then brings up the No 1. Topic: how does one kill a sparkly vampire? I've been wondering about this question ever since I started this shitty book! Quick, how does one do it?

"The only way to be sure is to tear him to shreds, and then burn the pieces."

... FUCK YOU, CULLEN! So in other words, NOBODY can kill a vampire except another vampire.

This is a horrible idea. One of the defining characteristics of ANY supernatural creature is that there is SOME way for humans to incapacitate, kill, ward off or at least placate it so it won't eat you or your livestock. Like salt, or silver, or a wooden stake, or SOMETHING you can throw at it or spread around your house. But of course Smeyers' vampires are BETTER than humans, so of COURSE she can't give them any weaknesses that humans could exploit!

And contrary to what we said earlier, Edward now claims that Laurent MIGHT fight alongside the other two, but he might not. Apparently he was "embarrassed" by James, which is a perfectly legitimate reason for siding with someone or not.

"Bella, don't you dare waste time worrying about me. Your only concern is keeping yourself safe and — please, please — trying not to be reckless."

  1. "And if you waste time worrying about me I'LL BEAT YOU BLACK AND BLUE!"
  2. Also, be reckless? What the hell has she done that's reckless in this book? STUPID yes, but not reckless.
  3. "Reckless" implies that you do something stupid because you weren't thinking about the situation. "Stupid" is when you carefully consider the situation but do something boneheaded anyway.
  4. Does anyone actually think that Bawla isn't going to leap headfirst into a dangerous situation? Of course she will - otherwise some OTHER characters might be the center of attention, and we can't have that!

"Is he still following?"
"Yes. He won't attack the house, though. Not tonight."

Riiiiight because the whole "vastly outnumbered" thing is going to change during the DAY.

So they get to the Cullen house, and Emmett carries Bawla in because heaven forbid she actually WALK like an independent being. Is Smeyers too lazy to walk and this is her fantasy?

Anyway Laurent is already there with the Cullens, and Edward immediately acts like a bitter little bitch to him. Alice and Jasper dance upstairs, presumably to have house-breaking vampire sex, and Carlisle starts giving Laurent the third degree. It turns out DUN DUN DUN that JAMES is the real leader of the coven... wait, coven? Are we talking about witches or vampires? Well, at least it's not half as lame as a "kiss of vampires." Which is not saying much - a "bubble bath of vampires" is more impressive than "kiss."

Laurent shook his head. "Nothing stops James when he gets started."

Not rain nor snow nor dark of night will keep him from the killing of a Sue!

At this point even Smeyers realizes that having a lameass brainless weakling as the villain might not be very thrilling. So it turns out that not only is James the leader of his coven, but he's also SUPER-TRACKER, and in three centuries Laurent has never seen anyone as awesomely powerful as James.

His coven, I thought, of course. The show of leadership in the clearing was merely that, a show.

WAAAAIIIIIIT adamnminute. Waitwaitwait. Edward has magical mind-reading powers which can read the mind of ANYONE IN THE WORLD, human or vampire, EXCEPT FOR BELLA. He already READ their minds, and referred to Laurent as the leader. And now it turns out he was WRONG?


This makes absolutely no sense. Edward is literally supposed to be able to read every nasty filthy little thought other people have, yet it turns out that in a fight he totally misses what the chain of command is?! So his mind-reading abilities, which are supposed to be 99.99995% reliable, just happens to go on the fritz when he's reading their minds so he neglects to notice that JAMES IS THE LEADER. There is just NO EXCUSE for this!

Laurent was shaking his head. He glanced at me, perplexed, and back to Carlisle. "Are you sure it's worth it?"

NO. No, it's not.

But of course, Edward starts howling like a baby. No, I'm serious, he starts screaming with rage about how a perfect stranger could possibly suggest that his bland snotty little paramour could POSSIBLY not be worth risking all their lives. What is he, two?

So then Carlisle pulls the Dubya shit with "you're either with us or against us!" He doesn't actually SAY that, but it's implied. Laurent is smart enough to not get strong-armed into joining the Hearts And Flower Sparkly Vampire Brigade, and refuses to take anyone's side. He says he'll go up to Denali so he won't have to deal with James OR the Cullens. I like you, Laurent.

"Don't underestimate James. He's got a brilliant mind and unparalleled senses."

... which we haven't been shown. He hasn't actually SHOWN any intelligence above that of your average pitbull (he hasn't even talked!), and his senses can't be that great if he can't tell that people inside the cars he's tracking are TALKING ABOUT HIM.

"He's every bit as comfortable in the human world as you seem to be,"

... which is why he doesn't wear shoes, doesn't talk and dresses worse than Chester A Bum.

He bowed his head, but I saw him flicker another puzzled look at me.

"Seriously, what is WRONG with these twits? They're all risking their lives for this plain, dead-eyed chick who just sits there droning about how hot that bratty vampire is. I don't get it."

"Go in peace," was Carlisle's formal answer.

And now we're supposed to think Carlisle is Jesus? Let's see, he heals the sick, he's incredibly nice and understanding, he's the most moral and perfect vampire there is, and now he tells Evil People-Chugging vampires to go in peace and sin no more (implicit, since he's going off to Denali). Just have him walk on water, okay?

So Laurent escapes from this shitty book, and Bella just sits there and drools on herself while the others talk about their incredibly simple strategy.

"About three miles out past the river; he's circling around to meet up with the female."
"What's the plan?"
"We'll lead him off, and then Jasper and Alice will run her south."

I literally could not understand what the fuck he was saying here at first, because it sounds like they're changing the plan and having Jasper and Alice (who are STILL absent) chasing after the female vampire. Except "she" ISN'T the female vampire, but Bella. Way to abuse pronouns, Eddie.

Edward's tone was deadly. "As soon as Bella is clear, we hunt him."
"I guess there's no other choice," Carlisle agreed, his face grim.

Well, it's nice to know that there was so much conflict for this morally dubious choice, what with Carlisle being Vampire Joseph Smith and everything. But apparently being Vampire Joseph Smith means just agreeing with Eddie.

Then, since he hasn't been misogynistic in the last fifteen seconds, Edward starts being a prick to Rosalie, ordering her to drag Bawla upstairs and trade clothes with her. Again, nobody talks to Bawla about this - she might as well be a fucking statue for all the attention they pay to her. Followed by Rosalie asking a damn good question: "Why should I?" she hissed. "What is she to me? Except a menace — a danger you've chosen to inflict on all of us."

GASP! How dare she speak so of the divine Bawla and Eddie! Imagine NOT LIKING THEM! What a horrible selfish bitch, not wanting a total stranger to put her entire family in danger!

Except that, since I have a brain, I'm on Rosalie's side here. Edward is endangering his entire family, whom he allegedly loves, for a chick he's known for a few weeks. He isn't even THINKING about what James might do to any of them, just about the passive little bitch he's hoping to bonk. He hasn't expressed ANY concern about what will happen to them, even though they've been TOLD that James is super dangerous.

And what the hell is HER motivation to risk her life for Bawla? She doesn't know her, like her, or have any reason to help her? This IS a dangerous situation and Edward doesn't even care, because it's basically understood that everybody is supposed to adore and protect Bella just because she's been dating Edward for A SINGLE FUCKING DAY.

And not wanting to risk her life for some chick who's putting them all in danger makes her a horrible bitch? HELL NO. It means that Edward is a huge dick for putting his family in danger, assuming that they will be happy to do so, and he doesn't even give them the option of saying "No, don't wanna. You want her, YOU protect her." I FUCKING HATE THIS GUY.

But since Edward can't threaten Rosalie into doing what he says, he ignores her instead. Funny, I would have expected a temper tantrum, but I guess he thinks it's better to shrug off the Evil Blonde than to actually give her a chance to explain herself. Duh. He looked away from Rosalie as if she hadn't spoken, as if she didn't exist. See, guys of the world? Act like blondes don't exist! Only clumsy brunettes are worth acknowledging! NOTICE MEEEEEEEEE!

So because she's a brunette, Esme follows her pseudo-son's orders and drags Bawla upstairs. Of course, she picks Bawla up and carries her because God forbid Bella actually drag her own lazy ass around the house. It just allows her to reach maximum passivity - if she got any more passive, she would become a singularity and the entire planet would be sucked into a Bland Hole.

Bawla and Esme switch clothes.... and for some reason they do it in a pitch-black room, presumably so Bella and Esme can't see each other in their underwear. Because nudity always = sex, and only sluts have sex, therefore nudity = sluttishness. Even with your prospective MOTHER-IN-LAW. Smeyers' attitudes about sex are so completely weird.

Then Bawla gets dragged to the stairs, where Alice and Esme then carry her DOWN the stairs because otherwise clumsy wittle Bawla will probably fall down the stairs and break her neck.

It appeared that everything had been settled downstairs in our absence.

.... and again, nobody bothers to ask Bawla anything. She just follows the Big Strong Man's orders.

Carlisle was handing something small to Esme. He turned and handed Alice the same thing — it was a tiny silver cell phone.

And it fit their charm bracelets perfectly! Seriously, this book was published in 2005. By then it was pretty much assumed that everybody would have a cell phone somewhere on their person if they could afford it. I don't know why we have to be TOLD.

Oh, and Rosalie is now inexplicably going along with the plan, but since she's an Evil Blonde, she's glowering at Carlisle with a resentful expression. Because she's blonde, therefore she's a selfish bitch who has to be FORCED to help the glorious Bawla Wan. Boo at her! Boo at her like the old crone in Princess Bride, for she is blonde! BOO! BOO!

"Alice, Jasper — take the Mercedes. You'll need the dark tint in the south."

I still don't get why they're going to Phoenix, since they have TWO HUGE CONTINENTS they can drive to. In fact, Smeyers left an important detail out of the beginning of the chapter - Bawla NEVER MENTIONS PHOENIX. All she does is say she wants to go "home," but she never once mentions Phoenix, so how the hell could James know she was from there? Is he supposed to know because she's just SO famous that simply EVERYBODY knows?

So everybody continues ignoring Bella and making plans without even looking at her. Our heroine: remaining totally passive and helpless at all times!

I was surprised to see that Carlisle intended to go with Edward.

And then I became jealous, because of the long hot man-loving glances exchanged between them!

I realized suddenly, with a stab of fear, that they made up the hunting party.

Red alert! Red alert! The stupid-meter is reaching NINE THOUSAND! It's at Anita Blake levels! ANITA BLAKE LEVELS!

And even though Alice's stupid visions got them INTO this whole mess, heaven forbid they not ask her if their plan will work. After all, Alice is NEVER wrong and NEVER overlooks important stuff.

Everyone watched Alice as she closed her eyes and became incredibly still.

"Sorry, that wasn't a vision. It was just gas."

So Alice predicts that the Evil Vampires will go chasing after the decoys, because despite James' "brilliant mind and unparalleled senses," he's too stupid to figure out that the Cullens might start screwing with him. Either that, or Alice just screwed up again. Either is possible.

But Edward was at my side at once. He caught me up in his iron grip, crushing me to him. He seemed unaware of his watching family as he pulled my face to his, lifting my feet off the floor.

Yes, Edward Cullen - the guy who would freak out and zoom across a FIELD if a girl actually enjoyed a kiss - is now snogging Bawla in front of his FAMILY. While they watch.

Also, does anyone else notice how incredibly rapey this whole scene is? I mean, what if Bawla hadn't wanted to kiss him? Tough tits, he wants a snog in front of his creepy faux-incesty family!

For the shortest second, his lips were icy and hard against mine. Then it was over. He set me down, still holding my face, his glorious eyes burning into mine.

Smeyers is a woman with some really weird fetishes. Now, I try to avoid judgements on people who have odd fetishes, unless their fetishes are illegal, immoral or fattening. But come on, who thinks "OH SO SEXY RAVISH ME NOW!" when it comes to ICE CUBES? In fact, you would expect someone kissing something cold and hard to be LESS turned on, and more thinking, "Shit, I think my lips are getting ground to paste! I can't tell, because they're NUMB!"

His eyes went blank, curiously dead, as he turned away.

... just like a serial killer. How romantic.

What do you think Edward would use to kill people? His diamond-studded fingernails? His rock-hard biceps? He'll blind them with his sparkles and trick them into walking off a cliff?

We stood there, the others looking away from me as the tears streaked noiselessly down my face.

"I think he knocked my teeth out with that kiss. Quick, Alice, do I still have lips?"

So then Esme gets a phone call, she and Evil Blonde Bitch leave, and we have another Ho Yay moment:

but Esme touched my cheek as she passed.
"Be safe." Her whisper lingered behind them as they slipped out the door.

"And don't forget, sweetie, we keep it 'all in the family!'"

Then Edward calls Alice even though he has literally only been gone for SIX SECONDS, and confirms that the Evil Vampire Slut is dumb as dirt because she ACTUALLY MISTOOK Esme in Bella's clothes for Bella. DUMB. And while Alice is getting the car, Jasper has a Touching Moment to establish that Bella is not a huge albatross and that she is so WONDERFULLY speshul that the Cullens are GLAD to risk their family's lives to save hers.

"You're wrong, you know," he said quietly.
"What?" I gasped.
"I can feel what you're feeling now — and you are worth it."

No she's not. Seriously, I can be as unselfish as anyone else, but if you gave me the choice between risking a total stranger's life and risking the lives of ALL my family members... I'd let the stranger drown in a puddle of his own blood.

Why the hell would Jasper, who has met Bella a grand total of THREE TIMES and basically didn't interact with her at all, be claiming that she's "worth" it? He doesn't even KNOW her! Why would he give a damn whether she lives or dies?The only explanation is that Edturd has been so awful to live with for the LAST CENTURY that the other vampires will do ANYTHING to make him stop being such an ass. "You're worth all the trouble, because otherwise we'll have to put up with an eternity of Edward's whining, griping and sexual jealousy."

"I'm not," I mumbled. "If anything happens to them, it will be for nothing."

... wait, so Bella is whining that if anything happens to the others, she won't be protected. Sensitivity!

But since Bella is Smeyers' Sue, she is immediately assured that she is totally worth it. And then Alice comes back.

"May I?" she asked.
"You're the first one to ask permission." I smiled wryly.

"So I hate it! I hate it! Tell me I'm dumb! Tell me I'm pathetic! I'm a bad, bad girl! Treat me like shit! Spank me! Spank me hard!"

And since Bella can't POSSIBLY walk to the car by herself, Alice has to pick up Bawla and carry her out of the house. Wow, she's a lazy bitch.

A parting thought for this chapter: it's funny how NOBODY even considers the possibility of turning Bawla into a vampire. I mean, obviously nobody in this whole family gave their consent to be made into a vampire, so they don't have a lot of scruples about it. And if they turned Bawla into a vampire, the entire threat would be neutralized, because she wouldn't be any fun to chase if she was a vampire, and she'd be stronger than James anyway. Are they planning to spend the rest of Bawla's life batting away any vampires who meander into Forks?

And since we're later told that the punishment for revealing vampiric nature to a human who will not be killed or turned IS DEATH... it makes their decision even more baffling. They could deal with the whole disastrous situation NOW and all possible clashes with the vampire ruling class IN THE FUTURE. Yet nobody even says, "Hey, we should turn Bella into a vampire, because we'll have to do it anyway!"

Actually, the other books of this series could have been ENTIRELY GOTTEN RID OF and some dead people could have survived if they had just turned Bawla into a vampire to start with. Congratulations, Smeyer. You win for stupid.

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