Monday, August 10, 2015

Twilight Chapter 2

The next day was better… and worse.

Sadly, such is not the case with this chapter. It's just worse and... worse. Bawla manages to not be quite as emo about the horrors of attending a new school and living in a rainy clime, and she even deigns to remember a few names from the common sheep.

But she still whines about how wwaaaaaaaaa she can't sleep because it's windy out, and she got an answer wrong in class, and she hit somebody with the volleyball on the one occasion she wasn't cowering in fear. That sounds like a fairly typical school day to me, but for Bawla it's THE DEPTHS OF MISERY!

And it was worse because Edward Cullen wasn't in school at all.

Maybe he got creeped out by the plain, snotty girl staring at him all the time, and took the week off to file a restraining order.

All morning I was dreading lunch, fearing his bizarre glares. Part of me wanted to confront him and demand to know what his problem was.

If I were in his shoes, I'd do the same. She spends the entire lunch period gawping and drooling at him across the cafeteria, while stalkerishly demanding to know stuff about his personal life. Then she spends an entire biology class sniffing herself and wangsting about how he doesn't like her. She's about five "death lists" away from being declared "Most Likely To Kill A Celebrity."

And really? It's WORSE because he wasn't there... because she was dreading him glaring at her?

While I was lying sleepless in my bed, I even imagined what I would say.

"You smell like freesias. I am overwhelmed by the desire to eat/fuck you."
"Take me like a shoplifter, my bronze-haired marble-skinned studmuffin! Only I am worthy of your marble weenie!"

But I knew myself too well to think I would really have the guts to do it. I made the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator.

I suppose this is supposed to be a moment of self-deprecation to make us think that Bella is humble and so on, but broadcasting that you're a huge pathetic dribbling wuss won't garner you a lot of praise. Especially when that cowardliness usually manifests itself with backstabbing and passive-aggression.

And it's "Terminator." Capitalized. Not that I think Smeyer ever saw those movies. The Wizard of Ozseems a bit hardcore for her, actually.

Then she notices that his siblings are sitting there without him, so she just sits and waits for Edward to come in. It's kind of creepy how much she's obsessing on him because A) he's hot, B) he's rich, and C) he doesn't seem to like her. A NORMAL person would say, "Hey, his problem" and not think of it again.

But no, Bella wangsts and moans and feels Teh Painz because there's a single person in the world who doesn't seem to like her, so instead of ignoring him, she decides to obsess about him. Well, he never shows up, thankfully, so we don't have to hear Bella wangst for six or seven pages about how horrible it is to not have the Hot Rich Guy pant after you like every other guy. HOW DARE YOU NOT LOVE ME, YOU MONSTER?!

Mike, who was taking on the qualities of a golden retriever, walked faithfully by my side to class.

What a loser! You must be a loser if you're a nice polite guy - all the girls will compare you to a dog. You should act like you hate them and that'll make them pant for you! Hooray for unhealthy relationships and girls with no self-esteem!

Seriously, this is another one of those things that really makes me think about how detestable Bella is. She very literally only wants a guy who treats her like crap - a guy who tries to be nice is regarded as unworthy and wanted.

And pretty obviously, Meyer doesn't realize how bad this makes Bella. We're supposed to see Bella as a put-upon victim of all this unwanted attention... but instead, she only wants rich guys and/or assholes to pay attention to her. A better writer would have Bella feeling appreciative of Mike's kindness, but maybe awkward because she doesn't feel a sexual attraction to him.

She continues ignoring poor Mike while he tries to make conversation.

Then he smiled at me wistfully and went to sit by a girl with braces and a bad perm.

Wow, subtle message here: Mike is only worthy of the class's "ugly girl," not the whiny plain sallow klutz who clearly considers herself local aristocracy because she comes from Phoenix.

It looked like I was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn't be easy.

Mike was later found weighted down and thrown in the river. When asked about it, primary suspect Bella Swan responded, "Well, he wouldn't stop paying ATTENTION to me, which is like the hugest drag ever because I only like guys who treat me like a lump of crap! I mean, can you totally imagine ANYTHING worse than having boys pay attention to you? I had to DO something about him."

I had never been enormously tactful; I had no practice dealing with overly friendly boys.

Unless they're hot and rich, in which case she's all about stalking them.

But I couldn't get rid of the nagging suspicion that I was the reason he wasn't there. It was ridiculous, and egotistical, to think that I could affect anyone that strongly. It was impossible. And yet I couldn't stop worrying that it was true.

  1. If she's sooooooo sure he detests a person he doesn't know, why does she care whether she's driven him off? Does she care deeply if he fails algebra?
  2. Do we need proof that she's NOT humble if she actually believes that she is so very important to people she has never even spoken to... that she can drive them OUT OF TOWN?

After changing into more clothes that we didn't need to hear about, she evades her "retriever friend" and casts herself once more in the pseudo-parental role.

So I requested that I be assigned kitchen detail for the duration of my stay. He was willing enough to hand over the keys to the banquet hall. I also found out that he had no food in the house. So I had my shopping list and the cash from the jar in the cupboard labeled FOOD MONEY, and I was on my way to the Thriftway.

  1. So because Charlie is a MAN, he has literally no food in the house. None. Seriously, none at all. He's only been living on his own for the past decade-and-a-half, and hasn't even got a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli.
  2. That seems very likely. Even people who can't cook have food in their houses!
  3. I think it's more likely that Charlie just doesn't have food she likes.
  4. In fact, he has SO little food... that he has a jar devoted to designated money for food.
  5. This is such an idiotic detail that they actually had to come up with an excuse in the movie. Yes, in most movies they have to leave out explanations for the stuff you see... but Twilight is such crap that the movies had to MAKE UP non-canon material just so it would sorta kinda make sense.
  6. The simple, easy explanation for Charlie having no food? He eats all his meals at an artery-choking little restaurant, and therefore has no need to keep food at home. It's not a GOOD explanation, but it is an explanation.

I saw the two Cullens and the Hale twins getting into their car. It was the shiny new Volvo. Of course.

... a Volvo? Really? Why not a Porsche or a Mercedes, or even a Rolls? Precisely what has given Meyer the idea that a VOLVO is some sort of luxury vehicle?

See that? THAT is the car that Edward drives in the movie. I mean, is she SO incredibly fucking boring that she couldn't even manage to IMAGINE something more luxe or sporty or cool? It looks like a car owned by a dentist with two kids and a purebred dog.

So, as someone who hates being drooled over and stared at... Bella stares and drools over the Cullens. They're ridiculously gorgeous and wear expensive designer clothes. Of course, they don't NEED expensive designer clothes, because they're so hot they set the wet grass on fire, and it's totally excessive to have good looks and plenty of money (especially when Bella clearly has neither).

But as far as I could tell, life worked that way most of the time. It didn't look as if it bought them any acceptance here.

Ah yes, of course. It is ALL THE FAULT of the people of Forks that these people are totally not accepted and are outsiders just like pooooor Bella. It's just the narrow-minded sheep and their evil nonacceptance of Hot Rich People... it couldn't possibly be that the Hot Rich People are standoffish, secretive, and act like a cult. No! It cannot be their fault, for they are hot and rich! It must be the fault of the mundanes!

No, I didn't fully believe that. The isolation must be their desire; I couldn't imagine any door that wouldn't be opened by that degree of beauty.

Bella's imagination is clearly a very small, very shallow, very bland place that can't imagine that personality sometimes trumps beauty. If you're a beautiful asshole, you're still an asshole and eventually people will ignore your beauty because they can't ignore your assholiness.

Then again, her mass crush on the Cullens seems to be entirely based on "They're hot! And rich!" so it's not surprising she can't imagine that general appeal could be based on something more.

It was nice to be inside the supermarket; it felt normal. I did the shopping at home, and I fell into the pattern of the familiar task gladly.

Naturally, for she is the only grown-up, wise and mature member of her family. Her dad can't boil water, and her mom is a brain-damaged chihuahua. Meyer is really damning Bawla with faint praise, isn't she? She can only seem grown-up and mature if confronted by a hermit and a moron.

The store was big enough inside that I couldn't hear the tapping of the rain on the roof to remind me where I was.

I'm sure they specially insulated the ceiling for the Princess of Phoenix.

She finally goes home, starts cooking food and checks her emails, which of course are endless whinefests from her brain-dead mother. Apparently she had no friends in Phoenix, because nobody else is writing her.

Write me as soon as you get in. Tell me how your flight was. Is it raining?

Don't ask Bella that question, or she'll tell you. At length. In detail.

I miss you already.

I can't imagine anyone missing Bella, including her inexplicably devoted parents. This is only the second chapter, and she's already shown us a vast number of personal defects while demonstrating zero virtues (except maybe the ability to dress herself and read... but then again, those are skills rather than virtues).

In fact, if I were stuck in Charlie's place I probably would have asked Emo Princess to please wait in the car... in the garage... with the engine running. You could tell when she was dead because the droning whine would have stopped.

I'm almost finished packing for Florida, but I can't find my pink blouse. Do you know where I put it? Phil says hi. Mom.

Oh teehee, Bella's mom! What a lovably flaky creature she is! Haha! Shake head at her wacky lack of a brain. She's like a Meg Ryan character with a lobotomy! How charming!

I sighed and went to the next. It was sent eight hours after the first.

Oh moan, imagine someone being worried about her teen daughter traveling across several states all by herself. What a draaaaaaag parental worry is. Never mind that my grandmother has topped ninety and STILL demands that my mom call her whenever she gets home from a trip.

Family dinner, mother holding platter with roast on it

Why haven't you e-mailed me yet? What are you waiting for? Mom.

"Oh nothing, Mom. I'm just busy stalking a Hot Rich Boy, spitting on all the local kids, and reflecting on what a loser I am yet how superior I am to everyone. You know, the usual."

If I haven't heard from you by 5:30 p.m. today I'm calling Charlie.

Bella should be glad that someone actually does care about her, because in real life it would probably require extensive brainwashing.

Everything is great. Of course it's raining. I was waiting for something to write about. School isn't bad, just a little repetitive. I met some nice kids who sit by me at lunch.

School suuuuuuuuuuux because the curriculum isn't tailored to keep me entertained! There are boring people who are like totally not like my woeful outsider supersmart self! And ewwwww boys are paying attention to me! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MY PAIN!

Your blouse is at the dry cleaners - you were supposed to pick it up Friday.

Let's all slap our knees and laugh uproariously at the adorable flakiness of Bella's mom. Clearly this is uproariously funny.

Charlie bought me a truck, can you believe it? I love it. It's old, but really sturdy, which is good, you know, for me.

Because nobody in the history of the world has ever been as klutzy as Bella. She can't walk through a room without tripping on random air molecules. She regularly bonks her head on random mailboxes and lampposts just because they're waiting for her head to make impact. She once had to be sent to the ER after a tragic accident with a dull butter knife and a piece of too-thin bread that claimed the lives of six and left dozens of others injured.

I miss you, too. I'll write again soon, but I'm not going to check my e-mail every five minutes.

It would be no problem if she just checked it daily like most people.

"Bella?" my father called out when he heard me on the stairs.
Who else? I thought to myself.

Maybe he was hoping a friendly burglar had broken in, and he could actually have a conversation with someone.

I guess he considered me old enough now not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose.

Or maybe he lives in hope that both assumptions are incorrect.

He seemed to feel awkward standing in the kitchen doing nothing; he lumbered into the living room to watch TV while I worked. We were both more comfortable that way.

Of course he feels awkward. Evidently he's managed to survive on his own for the past seventeen years, yet according to his daughter he's a pathetic loser who still pines for his ex wife and can't even boil water. To make matters worse, his daughter is completely antisocial, has no respect for him (she won't even call him "Dad") and views him merely as a dispenser of expensive presents.

We ate in silence for a few minutes. It wasn't uncomfortable. Neither of us was bothered by the quiet. In some ways, we were well suited for living together.

  1. In the sense that neither likes to talk.
  2. But when it comes to whining, disdaining other people, viewing oneself as the center of the universe... no I'd say that they aren't much alike.
  3. Or Charlie's just a LOT better at hiding it.

"So, how did you like school? Have you made any friends?" he asked as he was taking seconds.

Friends? Friends in a place OTHER than Phoenix? Surely you jest!

Seriously, Bella is like those annoying New Yorkers who freak out at the idea of being anywhere except New York... except New York has a lot more to recommend it than "generic Southwestern suburbs." Apparently Stephenie Meyer thinks this is a charming and endearing trait. It's not. It makes me want to give Bella a massage with a chainsaw.

"Well, I have a few classes with a girl named Jessica. I sit with her friends at lunch. And there's this boy, Mike, who's very friendly. Everybody seems pretty nice."

In other words, no, she has made no friends. She basically admits to having acquaintances and a guy who's "friendly" (translation: she can't stand him even though he's being nice). But friends? Yech! How can the lonely outsider weirdo maintain her status if she has FRIENDS? Let alone NORMAL ones!

"Do you know the Cullen family?" I asked hesitantly.

This is a small town, and the Cullen patriarch is apparently the local doctor. HELL YEAH he would know them.

"They… the kids… are a little different. They don't seem to fit in very well at school."

Possibly because they don't interact with anyone.

And then... Charlie actually gets ANGRY on behalf of the Cullens for no discernible reason, other than that they're a family of Mary Sues (and Mary Sues must always be defended from any naysayers!). Apparently Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon and his wife inexplicably wants to live in Forks, and all the kids are supposed to be incredibly mature, polite and all-around wonderful.

Add to that the fact that they're gorgeous, rich, superpowered and are later shown to literally sparkle.... yeah, they're all Sues.

"I haven't had one speck of trouble from any of them."

Because of course delinquency is the only sign of any problems. They could be torturing small animals in their backyards, and apparently they would still be nice super-awesome people because nobody called the fucking cops.

"And they stick together the way a family should — camping trips every other weekend…"

So everything revolves around the Sparkly Speshsul Hot Rich family, and Charlie's definition of "sticking together like a family should" involves basically having no life outside your nuclear family. You have no friends or activities, just focus on them and allow yourself to be smothered socially. Yeah, that's healthy.

There's a better exploration of just what the hell this attitude is about at Stoney321's blog, but in a nutshell Smeyer has apparently absorbed the religious attitude that Family Is Everything. Not that I'm saying family isn't important, but it becomes kind of creepy when you neither want to nor are expected to have any relationships OUTSIDE THEM. It's even creepier that a man who is definitely NOT religious, let alone Mormon, is claiming that that attitude is the best and totally not abnormal!

Or are we supposed to assume that a man who has seen his daughter for maybe a few MONTHS in the past several years just thinks that unhealthy, borderline incestuous closeness is ideal for a family? Uhh....

Yeah, I'm going to abandon this topic before it starts getting really creepy.

"Just because they're newcomers, people have to talk."

And being weirdos who talk to nobody and seem to actively avoid contact with anyone else has nothing to do with it? Anyone would talk about a family that weird and introverted. Especially when they date EACH OTHER, which is not actually incest but seems rather like it when they spend no time around anyone outside the "family" - including dating.

And they've been here for a few years. They're not "newcomers" anymore. Bella is old news by the time she's been there for a year.

"You should see the doctor," Charlie said, laughing. "It's a good thing he's happily married. A lot of the nurses at the hospital have a hard time concentrating on their work with him around."

So Doc is completely normal socially, rather than talking to nobody at work. So how come his "children" act like such freaks?

Bella spends the rest of the week doing various mundane things, being a hopeless klutz in gym and not trying to remember the other students' names. Oh, and every single day she gawps at the door in hope that the guy who apparently detests her and who has never paid her the slightest bit of positive attention will come back. Wait, got it wrong - she's supposed to be AFRAID he'll appear. Or both. It's not really clear.

By Friday I was perfectly comfortable entering my Biology class, no longer worried that Edward would be there.

Yay. Then she can spend her time in biology class actually doing biology schoolwork, rather than sniffing herself and wangsting about Edward.

I tried not to think about him, but I couldn't totally suppress the worry that I was responsible for his continued absence, ridiculous as it seemed.

Whether she's supposed to be responsible or not... why the hell does she care? She does not know this boy, she doesn't know his family, she's never even exchanged pleasantries with him, he seems to hate her for no reason, and yet she somehow is preoccupied by OH WOEZ MY PRESENCE HAS DRIVEN HIM FROM SCHOOL! ANGST!
A normal girl would probably shrug, say "His problem" and forget about it.

I cleaned the house, got ahead on my homework, and wrote my mom more bogusly cheerful e-mail.

After all, despite throwing a fit if anything doesn't go her way and whining endlessly about the Deep Woez of her lonely life, she's an unselfish saint who doesn't want mama to worry.

I did drive to the library Saturday, but it was so poorly stocked that I didn't bother to get a card; I would have to make a date to visit Olympia or Seattle soon and find a good bookstore.

See what Meyer did there? She showed us Bella is SMART. She is SO smart that she READS, and the local library is like totally unworthy of her massive brains! I mean, they didn't even have the whole collection of this one author's bodice-rippers!

Having found the local populace to be stupid and illiterate, she goes prancing off to school: All in all, I was feeling a lot more comfortable than I had thought I would feel by this point. More comfortable than I had ever expected to feel here. Well we actually have a moment of relative cheer from the Emo Queen of Phoenix, even if it is combined with a few more jabs at Forks.

All this whining about how much Forks sucks is really getting annoying, especially since Bella can easily leave whenever she wants and go to the sunnier climes that she clearly craves. Although I'm sure she'd find plenty to whine about in Florida, it's not as if her mother is dead and she's with her only living relative. So why is she living in Forks? I can only assume it's for the illusion of selflessness and saintly martyrdom she can spin around herself, while demanding shiny new cars and looking down her nose at the locals.

Oh, and this moment of cheer doesn't last. Surprise, surprise.

I looked at the little cotton fluffs that were building up along the sidewalk and swirling erratically past my face.
"Ew." Snow. There went my good day.

Children across the US pray for snow; it's considered one of the highlights of the year, and many people in warmer climes WISH they had some snow, especially in late fall and early winter. But I forget: the paradise that is Phoenix doesn't get snow. Therefore it is icky.

"I wish I were in Arizona."

"No. That means it's too cold for rain." Obviously.

So she hates rain, and she hates snow. And if the sun were shining, she would be hating it because it might burn her corpse-pale skin.

Then some random kid throws a snowball at Bella for no apparent reason, and everybody except Bella is chitchatting about how awesome it is that they're having the first snow of the year. Bella of course whines internally about how it was cold and wet and wah wah wah, because she's too awesome to express excitement about anything..

Then OH HORRORZ they get to the cafeteria and HOT RICH BOY is actually eating there again. She makes a big deal about how she'll just get a soda pop because she feels so sick. I mean, a guy who doesn't like her is actually IN THE ROOM. She'd better go commit seppuku right now because of the sheer social awkwardness.

Then she seriously considers calling in sick so she won't be subjected to the WOEFUL TRAUMAZ of being in the same general area as Edward Cullen.

Overreaction? Pshaw. Bella only has wild overreactions to ordinary things. That's totally natural and normal for dumb immature teenage girls who think they're intellectuals.

Ridiculous. I shouldn't have to run away.
I decided to permit myself one glance at the Cullen family's table. If he was glaring at me, I would skip Biology, like the coward I was.

Yeah, she's a coward. She shouldn't have to run away one minute, and eeeks! I'll like totally skip biology if like he totally isn't into me!

I kept my head down and glanced up under my lashes. None of them were looking this way.

Why would they? Bella is having an attack of Teh Melo Dramahz all by herself about a group of people she's never spoken to and (realistically) probably wouldn't know she was alive. They have no reason to pay attention to her.

The creepily reclusive family have gotten in a snow fight, and of course they still look more gorgeous than anyone else ever could even when they're wet and cold. Cuz they're Sues, and that's how it works. Bella of course sits there gawping and drooling on herself so openly that one of her totally-not-friends actually asks what she's staring at.

Then... GASP! Edward looks over at Bawla! Teh Shock! Teh Horrorz! Bella, being a world-class wuss, immediately hides in her Ring-esque hair, and her not-friend points out that Hot Rich Boy is staring at her and no he doesn't look angry.

"The Cullens don't like anybody… well, they don't notice anybody enough to like them."

"Aren't they just the awesomest and most adulation-worthy family ever? I totally want to be like the Cullens, ignoring the common sheep because I'm too amazing for them."

Mike announces that they're going to have a snow fight in the parking lot after school, and it's revealed that Jessica has an unrequited crush on him. I guess since Bella is clearly destined for the guy who runs the other way and pukes when she enters the room, Mike will have to settle for the boring dumb ordinary girl who is POPULAR and ATTRACTIVE and has FRIENDS. Loser.

I kept silent. I would have to hide in the gym until the parking lot cleared.

You would think this twit was in the Witness Protection Program. Anyway Bawla then wangsts for the rest of lunch about going to... BIOLOGY CLASS. Where she'll have to.... gasp... sit next to the hot rich guy! NOOOOOOOO!

And then it starts raining and washes away the snow; since this makes everyone else miserable, Bella is delighted.

"Hello," said a quiet, musical voice.

Just once... I would like a fictional vampire to sound like Bullwinkle. Just once.

And it course, it's Hot Rich Boy Edward Cullen, who's being incredibly friendly now and pretending that the last few weeks didn't happen. Oh, and his lips are flawless and his face is dazzling and he looks like a hair gel commercial. Have I mentioned that he's apparently totally perfect? You will hate the word "perfect" by the time this book is over.

"Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town's been waiting for you to arrive."

Because of course they have nothing better to do with their lives than await the arrival of the police chief's surly whiny daughter. Absolutely nothing.

And of course he turns on the charm during the biology lab, which turns Bella into even more of a driveling idiot than she already was. In a good vampire novel, this would be a prelude to Bella being left in a ditch with holes in her neck, but in this one it's just a sign of how irresistible both of them are. Barf.

And of course Bella, being smarter than anyone else in all of Forks, has already done this lab and knows everything. But when Hot Rich Guy wants to look at the microscope...

His fingers were ice-cold, like he'd been holding them in a snowdrift before class.

  1. Wow, what a subtle clue.
  2. Come on, why is she so stupid? This doesn't seem more than MILDLY ODD?
  3. AND, since he's supposed to be rock-hard too, how can she not notice THAT? She only notices the cold, but not the abnormally hard skin?

But that wasn't why I jerked my hand away so quickly. When he touched me, it stung my hand as if an electric current had passed through us.

Oh please, not the electric instant connection. Did sparks also fly? How about a rainbow forming overhead? Maybe some singing cherubs?

Anyway they keep labeling the slides, and for some reason Bawla is disappointed when he actually gets one of the phases right. WHY? No idea.

I looked through the eyepiece eagerly, only to be disappointed. Dang it, he was right.

  1. Somebody's pretty desperate to be the center of intellectual attention if she gets upset because her lab partner knows his stuff.
  2. I guess Bella likes other people to make mistakes, just so she can demonstrate her superiority.
  3. What teenager on planet Earth says "dang it"? Answer: none.
  4. Consarn it, these youngins don't know a danged thing!

I would have written it while he looked, but his clear, elegant script intimidated me. I didn't want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl.

Yes, we get it, he's utterly perfect in every way. Good thing Bella hasn't seen him in the bathroom, or we'd be hearing about his "elegant arcs of golden water" from his "sparkling love-sword."

And because Edward is there and because Bella is smarter than Einstein, they finish their lab while Mike and the Common Sheep are still struggling and cheating off each other. So Bella goes back to gawping at the perfect perfection of Mr. Perfect, noticing his eyes are different. Apparently they used to be black, but now... they're yellow.

And no, she doesn't think that this is REALLY REALLY WEIRD. Nor has a single person in the entire town noticed the color-changing eyes.... in the past few years. Not a single person. Ever. ONLY Bella.

Then the teacher saunters by and is condescending to both of them until he realizes that Bella is, of course, better qualified for his job than HE is.

"Have you done this lab before?" he asked.

Of course. Bella, being from Phoenix, has done everything that this backward little school has to offer. They'd graduate her right away, except that might draw attention to her, and attention is like totally the worst thing EVAH.

Mr. Banner nodded. "Were you in an advanced placement program in Phoenix?"

Naturally. After all, people who read anything at all must be supersmart and talented in every area of life. If you can read, you must be a scientific genius. If you can read, you must be great at math. That's how intelligence works!

Edward then tries to be nice to the drooling girl by making small talk about the snow. Bella of course starts freaking out because EEEEEKS obviously NOBODY else is talking about the snow and it like means he TOTALLY heard her at lunch! SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS = SEPPUKU!

It's honestly getting a little boring reading about Bella freaking out with Teh Social Horrorz every time he opens his oh-so-flawless mouth. Yes, I know that teenage girls do that sort of idiotic thing a lot, but here's the thing - she's supposed to be Super-Mature and Wise Beyond Her Years. These things don't connect.

"It's too bad about the snow, isn't it?" Edward asked. I had the feeling that he was forcing himself to make small talk with me. Paranoia swept over me again. It was like he had heard my conversation with Jessica at lunch and was trying to prove me wrong.
"Not really," I answered honestly, instead of pretending to be normal like everyone else.

Presumably we're supposed to be deeply impressed by how honest and frank she is, and how no merely normal girl would DARE to gripe in front of such a gorgeous guy blah blah blah.

Instead, she sounds pretty much like what she is - a teenage girl who is resolutely bland and devoid of positive personality, and who thinks that being displeased by everything equals being smart and cooler-than-thou... unlike the NORMAL kids. And by trying so hard not to be normal... she becomes entirely normal, because that is a perfectly normal thing for teenagers to do.

"You don't like the cold." It wasn't a question.
"Or the wet."
"Forks must be a difficult place for you to live," he mused.
"You have no idea," I muttered darkly.

If she's trying to impress this guy, then she's doing a rotten job. Nobody wants to hear your petty whines in the first minutes they've ever bothered to converse with you.

But then, Bella is so winningly honest that her whining can enchant any man.

He looked fascinated by what I said, for some reason I couldn't imagine.

For once, I agree with Bawla.

Then he basically asks her straight out why she lives here if she's going to lie around whining about it 24/7, and Bella of course is amazed that someone has finally asked her. Hey, maybe nobody else cares, bitch. Of course, it's pretty obvious that Edward could be wearing a beer helmet and belching the national anthem, and she would still be swooning with how hawt and elegant he is.

So she blurts out that her mommy got married to a younger man whom she actually gets along with (shock!), but since he's a minor leagues baseball player he travels around. And of course her mom wants to be with her new hubby, but she's got Bawla dragging her down. Particularly since she apparently refuses to stay anywhere except Phoenix without whining... and given that she takes special pride in being an antisocial weirdo, I doubt life there was such a paradise.

So being a suffering saint who cares only about others' happiness and never about herself, she exiled herself to the rainy hell of Forks. And of course she's spent all her time since then whining and moaning about the horrorz of her life, as if she were being sent to a gulag.

"That doesn't seem fair." He shrugged, but his eyes were still intense.
I laughed without humor. "Hasn't anyone ever told you? Life isn't fair."

Swoon at how deep and angsty she is! Because no other teenager has made such a wise and deeeeeep pronouncement before. Oh, how mature she is! How wonderfully unique! I bet nobody understands her and she thinks her butt is fat too.

Oh, and the "life isn't fair" thing is even more obnoxious when you consider that in the first chapter, she bleated that "it wasn't fair" that Edward would avoid her. "Not fair" is one of Bella's pet phrases throughout the series.

His gaze became appraising. "You put on a good show," he said slowly. "But I'd be willing to bet that you're suffering more than you let anyone see."

  1. He is so trying to get laid.
  2. Yes, Bella suffers SO MUCH because she lives in a town she DOESN'T LIKE! Weep tears of blood for her, you insensitive bastards! WEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
  3. Oh no! My mom didn't lend me the car! I SUFFER SO! WHAT A MARTYR AM I!

Anyway, he keeps poking and prodding for no real reason, while Bella gets all prickly like a porcupine with a crowbar up its butt. There's no way to win with this snotty brat - if you don't inquire if she hates Forks then you're uncaring and/or stupid and she will have to selflessly lie to you, and if you DO ask you're meddling in her business.

I glanced at him without thinking… and told the truth again.

What a shock! Bella Swan TELLING THE TRUTH instead of casually lying as she usually does!

"Not exactly. I'm more annoyed at myself. My face is so easy to read — my mother always calls me her open book."

Well, when you have a continuous wrinkle-nosed scowl on your face, it does tend to be easy to tell what you're thinking. That's like dressing all in bright pink, and being annoyed because someone else guesses your favorite color.

Mr. Banner called the class to order then, and I turned with relief to listen. I was in disbelief that I'd just explained my dreary life to this bizarre, beautiful boy who may or may not despise me.

No, she didn't. She whined about how she hates Forks and hates snow and how mommy married a younger dude, and that's basically it. Is she claiming that angst and whining are her entire life? Wait, don't answer that. OF COURSE IT IS.

Anyway even though he's asking nice questions and being all friendly, Edward is still leaning away from her and he heads out as quickly as he can once the bell rings. WHAT CAN IT MEAN?!

Mike skipped quickly to my side and picked up my books for me. I imagined him with a wagging tail.

What a nice person Bella is. Let's all sit and admire her pleasant attitude towards others. Can we set her on fire now?

"That was awful," he groaned. "They all looked exactly the same. You're lucky you had Cullen for a partner."
"I didn't have any trouble with it," I said, stung by his assumption.

Naturally! He, being a happy person who is friendly and pleasant to others, must be stupid and inept. Bella, who actually reads books ("See Spot run. Run Spot run. See Spot bite the emo girl. Bleed, emo girl, bleed") and whines about everything under the sun, must be smart. That's how intelligence works, you know.

Mike is a bit POed that Eddie was being so friendly to Bella, although it's hard to see why he's jealous. Bella still hasn't shown any positive points except being able to cook dinner without burning the house down (although given that she's supposed to be fatally clumsy, I don't see how it would be avoidable).

So anyway, she has Mike cover her skinny-fat, pasty backside during gym (Reason #457 why Mike is way too good for her), and then wanders out to her huge ugly truck, almost causing a car accident in the parking lot. Wait, if she's supposed to be fatally clumsy, why the hell are they letting her drive? Shouldn't she be tied to the front of a bus or something like that?

Oh yes, and Edward is in his chic Volvo...

I bet he even has fuzzy dice in it! What a sophisticated man of the world!

... watching her almost kill people on her way out to the road. Not stalkery at all.... riiiight.

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