Monday, August 10, 2015

Twilight Chapter 7

I'm presuming that Bawla is now at home, because she's talking about her dad. It's not really clear. Anyway, since Bella is technically female despite her apparent dislike for her own sex, she notes that: There was a basketball game on that he was excited about, though of course I had no idea what was special about it, so he wasn't aware of anything unusual in my face or tone.

Because girls are unable to appreciate sports or have any tolerance for men's fascination with them. Because that is a MAN thing, and there must be no overlap. Women cook and faint and serve the men, and the men sit around like sacks of mildewed grain, watching sports and burping.

Since she is antisocial, Bawla locks herself in her room and starts listening to a CD at top volume. We then get three paragraphs of Bella wanking on about her stupid CD, which she reluctantly admits she likes.

It was one of his favorite bands, but they used a little too much bass and shrieking for my tastes.

Lemme guess... the Stars? Because for the super-sheltered religious types, that would be hard stuff.

Actually, I'm assuming that this band is meant to be Muse, a brilliant Brit-rock band best known for Matt Bellamy's dramatic wailing and their orchestral style. Apparently Smeyers is a big fan of this band, which caused me to rip out large handfuls of my hair and run screaming naked through the streets because I've been a fan of that band for a very long time and now she's tainted it.

I put on the headphones, hit Play, and turned up the volume until it hurt my ears.

... and, why is she doing this? She just whined about how it had too much bass and shrieking, so why is she not only playing it but turning it up to the top?

I closed my eyes, but the light still intruded, so I added a pillow over the top half of my face.

Pull it over the mouth and press down! Press down!

She lies there listening to the CD THREE TIMES, which means she's probably spent at least two hours trying to figure out the lyrics and.... well, not really doing ANYTHING. She decides that she likes the music, and decides to actually thank Phil for the CD.

  1. Who's Phil again?
  2. Grateful bint, isn't she?
  3. She doesn't thank you for gifts unless she actually likes them.
  4. Christmas with her must be fun. "Bella, here's your gift." "WHAT? I don't like this. I'm going to wait until I'm pissy and then listen to it a lot. Get out!"

And it worked. The shattering beats made it impossible for me to think — which was the whole purpose of the exercise.

Come now, I'm sure it wouldn't take anything as drastic as loud music to make Bella not think.

And for that matter, WHY is she trying not to think? We're not being told something vital in this scene, specifically the actual... y'know, REASON for Bawla to be spending the evening with a pillow on her face and very loud music playing over and over.

I listened to the CD again and again, until I was singing along with all the songs, until, finally, I fell asleep.

... so while listening to orchestral hard-rock music at ear-blistering levels and singing along (presumably to "Supermassive Black Hole," which also describes Bella's personality), Bella... falls asleep? Is she a narcoleptic? Because I'm pretty sure that you can't fall asleep like that.

Anyway, she has a WAY PROPHETIC DREAM... which, of course, has significance since Sues can never just have dreams of dancing pink hot dogs inventing cures for cancer. No, she's back in the woods and is trying to find THE SUN BECAUSE SHE'S SOOOOOOOOO DEPRIVED IN THIS LIGHTLESS HOLE OF A STATE, except Jacob is there trying to drag her towards the blackest part of the forest. Verrrrrrry subtle. So, Jacob is trying to drag her away from the "light" of her sparkling kidnapping stalker-soulmate... into the darkness. I'm sure Smeyer thought this was wonderfully subtle, but honestly... it's NOT.

His face was frightened as he yanked with all his strength against my resistance; I didn't want to go into the dark.

"I don't wanna marry a poor Lamanite werewolf! I wanna marry a sexy sparkly white vampire who will give me all the money, sex and luxury I want!"

"This way, Bella!" I recognized Mike's voice calling out of the gloomy heart of the trees, but I couldn't see him.

  1. ... and what's the significance of this?
  2. Is Mike a werewolf, or was he just included for the hell of it as an example of a guy she DOESN'T want?
  3. Also, what is the "heart of the trees"? We're talking about an area that has A RAINFOREST.

Anyway, Bawla keeps frantically trying to pull away because she wants the sun, and I can easily imagine Smeyers wriggling with joy at how subtle she is, equating Eddie with the sun. Except she's not being subtle at all. She's as subtle with her symbolism as a hatchet to the face.

Then Jacob randomly falls over and turns into a giant wolf, and starts growling in the direction of the beach... wow, I do so wonder what THIS means. And then Glowy Radioactive Edward reappears and Jacobwolf starts growling at him.

And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing, his eyes black and dangerous. He held up one hand and beckoned me to come to him.

Okay, how precisely does Bawla know that black eyes = dangerous? Except of course in her prophetic Sue dreams, which are a lazy way of trying to introduce subtext and force her to realize shit that she's too stupid to figure out.

I took a step forward, toward Edward. He smiled then, and his teeth were sharp, pointed.
"Trust me," he purred.

See, a smart heroine would start getting scared at this point. There's a guy with pointy teeth and a creepy voice, as well as those inexplicably "dangerous" eyes... but of course, when Sexy Stalkerboy beckons, Bella comes toward him regardless of personal safety. DAMN, SHE'S STUPID!

Then Jacobwolf leaps toward vampy Edward and the dream ends... but the problem is:

The wolf launched himself across the space between me and the vampire, fangs aiming for the jugular.

... uh, why would she dream of a vampire having "sharp pointed teeth" overall? Yeah, she's been told that Eddie and his creepy family are vampires, but she apparently hasn't noticed any sharp pointed teeth before. So why would she envision a mouthful of sharp teeth instead of the more typical "I haz big pointy canines!" like Avril Lavigne and the young Celine Dion?

Oh wait, this is a Sue's Prophetic Dream, so everything in it is correct and accurate.

So she wakes up screaming with horror at that Lamanite werewolf trying to attack her precious creepy Edturd, and her CD player falls off the nightstand. Wow, could her dream have possibly been caused by loud music played while she slept? Could this entire horrible series be nothing but Bella's wet dream inspired by Matt Bellamy's emo voice and her obsessive crush on a Hot Rich Boy?

I like to think so. It means that eventually Bella will wake up and discover she's still an insignificant brat.

Since Bawla basically slept all through the night fully-dressed, so we get a detailed description of her removing clothes and braids, and how she cannot possibly get back to sleep. Waaaa, waaaa, she'll actually have to THINK. She might rupture something!

I sat up, and my head spun for a minute as the blood flowed downward.

Nope, too easy.

So she showers (boring) and dries her hair (boring) and checks to see if daddy is home (boooooring) and puts on some sweats (soooooo boring) and makes her bed (BORINGBORINGBORING). And of course, since thinking about this potentially dangerous situation MUST BE PUT OFF AT ALL COSTS, Bawla takes as long as possible to do everything.

And we get to hear about every part of it. Lucky us.

Eventually she does what everyone else in the world would have done the night before: googles it. For some reason apparently her computer is an absolute dinosaur with dial-up... which raises the question, why does her dad buy her spoiled ass a freaking TRUCK but not a computer that doesn't spew dust and cough whenever you hit "Enter"? Are we supposed to believe that in 21st-century America, there's a father who ISN'T AWARE that this is the norm? Hell, most schools require you to have access to a working computer.

But then, if Bawla had wireless internet and a shiny new laptop, she couldn't whine about how slow it is. So she walks off and eats a bowl of cereal REEEEAAAAALLY slowly, and washes the dishes and drags herself slowly up the stairs. Then she carefully sets up her CD player to play while she slogs the web (since "surfing" is too active and fast).

You know, someone needs to tell Smeyers what "filler" means. I've been reading for what seems like eons about how Bella is basically dragging her ass around as slowly as possible, for no apparent reason. We still don't know why, after spending the whole book trying to figure out what Eddie is, she's suddenly decided that "LALALALALA DON'T WANNA KNOW!" has become the mantra of the day. We still haven't been told WHY she doesn't want to think about what she's heard!

With another sigh, I turned to my computer. Naturally, the screen was covered in pop-up ads.

Presumably because she's such a whiny loser, she can't figure out how to BLOCK those ads.

Actually, that might mean it's riddled with viruses. Which is pretty impressive since she's only been here a few days!

Eventually I made it to my favorite search engine. Seriously, why not just include a search engine name?

I shot down a few more pop-ups and then typed in one word. Vampire.

I'm getting the feeling that Smeyers hadn't spent a lot of time online before writing this, because I just googled "vampire" and got a hundred and sixty seven MILLION hits. Anybody with any knowledge of the web is going to know that a basic word like that is gonna get enough hits to make your computer explode.

Is Bella really supposed to be a teenager? Because any non-Amish teenager could TELL you that a popular, oft-used word is going to bring back lotsa results. Once again, evidence that Bawla is a bitter older woman in a kid's body.

It took an infuriatingly long time, of course.

  1. "So I went off and dry-humped my cardboard standee of Edward for a few hours."
  2. Is there an actual REASON why Bawla was given a cyberdinosaur, or is it just so she can whine about something? Same with the pop-ups?
  3. If you removed the whiny bitching and time-wasting filler from this book, it would be sixteen pages long.

Anyway, she apparently has to go through a lot of various irrelevant pages (Buffy, you suck because you occasionally get off your butt and don't whine all the time!), which isn't really how search engines work to my knowledge. Usually the most-traveled pages come up first, and then the shit nobody cares about. Then she finds an online vampire encylopedia:

Finally the screen was finished — simple white background with black text, academic-looking.

That's not "academic-looking." Even academic sites are more complex than that! That's like basic text with no html!

And to lend credence to her book, Smeyers includes some quotes by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Montague Summers, as well as some trivia about mythical vamnpires. Of course, none of them really fit the Sparkly Gods of Forks.

Only three entries really caught my attention: the Romanian Varacolaci, a powerful undead being who could appear as a beautiful, pale-skinned human,

According to the Vampire Encyclopedia (which is a real book), there is nothing about the Varcolaci being beautiful - they could look like pale humans, but they could also look like dragons or many-mouthed monsters. They could also eat the moon. The Russians didn't like vampires much.

Call me a freak, but I'm going to believe that book over a sexually frustrated housewife's knowledge of international lore.

the Slovak Nelapsi, a creature so strong and fast it could massacre an entire village in the single hour after midnight,

According to the same book, the Nelapsi's killing ability was at least partly dependent on SEEING its victims and killing with its gaze. And according to the Monstropedia, speed and strength aren't its distinguishing characteristics... as much as its viciousness, insatiability, and sadism. It also has claws, two-hearts, and is infected with the plague.

But that doesn't fit with the sparklepires, so just ignore that.

Stregoni benefici: An Italian vampire, said to be on the side of goodness, and a mortal enemy of all evil vampires.

This is actually correct. Unsurprisingly, it's the only entry with almost no actual data behind it. Yay for Smeyers' research.

It was a relief, that one small entry, the one myth among hundreds that claimed the existence of good vampires.

... because obviously a parasitic undead subspecies couldn't possibly be BAD.

I'm sure Smeyers will depict people who don't like the idea of vampires as evil bigots, but note how it doesn't even occur to Bawla that hey, maybe there's a REASON why people might consider vampires evil. They suck blood. They kill people. They're animated dead bodies. Nor does it occur to her, "hey, virtually all vampires throughout history have been considered evil and sinister - maybe they are!" No, she's just searching for some tiny shred of justification so she can say, "See?! These are GOOD vampires! I have no reason to believe the Cullens are good, but clearly they are!"

And since traditional vampire legends are unsexy and gross and nonsparkly, Smeyers goes out of her way to mention that all the vampire myths and legends are TOTALLY OFF THE MARK. Got it? None of the myths match the Cullens, so obviously they're all wrong. The only legends that are REAL are the ones that are about hot, morally-perfect underwear models!

So let's recap. All these vampire myths from all across the world CANNOT be true.

And how do we know that all those legendary vampires are wrong? Because they don't fit the Cullens. All legends are wrong except for the ones about them being hot and benevolent. Sure, every legend in the world depicts them as monsters who prey on the innocent... but ONE ENTRY referring vaguely to good vampires is the ONLY one you can trust.

Then Bawla throws a mini-tantrum and switches off her computer (wow, now I can see why daddy hasn't bought her one). Apparently she's embarrassed to be researching vampires which just shows that she has a total disconnect from reality.

I decided that most of the blame belonged on the doorstep of the town of Forks — and the entire sodden Olympic Peninsula, for that matter.

"Damn... I mean, darn you, Forks! Clearly it is the fault of the REGION that I am dumb, gullible and obsessed with the Cullens!"

I had to get out of the house, but there was nowhere I wanted to go that didn't involve a three-day drive.

"Have you figured out yet that I hate Forks? I need to mention that about six hundred mor times."

So in her valiant effort to... run away from the Internet and its insidious vampire webpages, Bawla puts on her rain gear (it's not even raining) and starts walking into the woods. I keep waiting for Meyers to tell us that Bella fell down again because SHE'S SOOPER CLUMSY! but for whatever reason she doesn't. Probably because the ground is muddy, and Bella can't get DIRTY.

There was a thin ribbon of a trail that led through the forest here, or I wouldn't risk wandering on my own like this. My sense of direction was hopeless; I could get lost in much less helpful surroundings.

Ah, another defect that is meant to be a sign of how endearingly helpless she is. Honestly, does Smeyers give her ANY good points at all? Dumb, plain, no sense of direction, antisocial, as alluring as a misfiring nail gun, ungrateful, clumsy and generally just a total waste of oxygen that could be otherwise given to great artists and geniuses.

It snaked around the Sitka spruces and the hemlocks, the yews and the maples. I only vaguely knew the names of the trees around me, and all I knew was due to Charlie pointing them out to me from the cruiser window in earlier days.

"Look! A maple! Look! A yew! Look! A hemlock! Look! Another yew! Look! A spruce! Look! Another yew! Look! Another maple! Look! Another yew! Look! Another hemlock! Look! Another yew! Look! Another hemlock! Look! Another spruce! Look! Another yew!"

There were many I didn't know, and others I couldn't be sure about because they were so covered in green parasites.

"I almost wondered why the trees were covered in green tapeworms, but then I remembered that my problems are much more important than anything else."

I followed the trail as long as my anger at myself pushed me forward. As that started to ebb, I slowed.

"I'm so angry I could WALK THROUGH THE WOODS!"

We get some descriptions of how the forest is A) wet, B) has trees/ferns, C) wet, D) green and E) wet. Yeah, it's pretty much the same shit as before. Bella sits on a fallen tree and stares at the ferns.

Oh, and the birds have decided to be completely quiet because Smeyer really seems to hate animals. Animals only exist in her books to be brutally murdered. You notice that nobody has or has ever had any pets, no animals live in the woods, and even BIRDS are always absent?

This was the wrong place to have come. I should have known, but where else was there to go?

Uh, there's no mention of Bawla coming this way ever before, so why should she have known?

Nothing had changed in this forest for thousands of years,

... except the hiking trail, the eradication of large predators, the decimation of the Native populace, the Twilight tours...

and all the myths and legends of a hundred different lands seemed much more likely in this green haze than they had in my clear-cut bedroom.

Except the idea of sparkling vampires, because that's just SILLY.

So Bawla starts doing something truly shocking... THINKING. Eventually smoke pours out of her ears.

I forced myself to focus on the two most vital questions I had to answer, but I did so unwillingly.

"My brain is so tiny that it huuuuuuuurts when I focus!"

First, I had to decide if it was possible that what Jacob had said about the Cullens could be true.

It's a vampire book, so of course it is. In fiction, anybody who suspects that someone else is a vampire is inevitably right. It's actually very predictible.

Plus, theoretically ANYTHING is possible. I mean, you can say it's impossible to have a purple elephant with yellow polka dots, but it IS possible. Highly unlikely, but possible.

It was silly and morbid to entertain such ridiculous notions. But what, then? I asked myself.

They're obviously fairies!

There was no rational explanation for how I was alive at this moment.

I don't understand why she hasn't been lynched either, but what does that have to do with anything?

I listed again in my head the things I'd observed myself: the impossible speed and strength, the eye color shifting from black to gold and back again, the inhuman beauty, the pale, frigid skin. And more — small things that registered slowly — how they never seemed to eat, the disturbing grace with which they moved.

I'm pretty sure that compared to Bella, everybody in the WORLD has grace, speed and strength. She's like a damp noodle.

Also, some of those things are not really considered signs of vampirism. The changing eyes thing? That's something Smeyer is entirely responsible for. "Frigid" skin? Nope. Vampires are generally depicted as colder than human body temperature, but not "frigid."

And the way he sometimes spoke, with unfamiliar cadences and phrases that better fit the style of a turn-of-the-century novel than that of a twenty-first-century classroom.

  1. ... and what cadences and phrases are these? He sounds just the same as Bawla; it's not like he's called her "little maid" or greeted her with "what ho!"
  2. Yo, Smeyers, pull yourself away from your sparkly sex doll long enough to insert some actual PHRASES that sound old-timey.
  3. Assuming you know any, which you probably don't.
  4. And cadences? How would Bella know what THOSE sounded like in the early 1900s?
  5. A cadence is a vocal inflection... which isn't something you find in FUCKING BOOKS.
  6. Also, turn of WHAT century? This may come as a shock to someone whose heroine is still using dial-up, but this is the 21st-century - the last "turn of the century" was... about a decade ago. Language hasn't really changed that much.

He had skipped class the day we'd done blood typing.

Probably his blood sparkles and smells like roses.

He seemed to know what everyone around him was thinking… except me.

  1. Wait... what?
  2. Bawla is unique! Be impressed! She's a speshul snowflake! Hers is the ONLY mind he can't read!
  3. What does mind-reading have to do with vampires? What connection does that have to vampirism?!
  4. Uh, he hasn't done much to indicate that he knows what everyone else is thinking. What exactly makes her think he does... except poorly-written intuition?
  5. This is actually one of the worst-written parts of the entire book, because Bella pulls this completely out of her ass. There haven't been any "oh wow, how did he do that?" moments that could lead her to deduce that, and Smeyer is too awful a writer to have ever included any... despite having written the second half of the book first. Apparently she was too busy masturbating on her keyboard to ever include Edward talking about what other people are thinking about, or establishing that he can't do that with Bella.

He had told me he was the villain, dangerous…

"... and it couldn't possibly be because he wants into my panties and this transparent wannabe-bad-boy act is calculated to do that!"

Anyway, despite having gone stomping off into the woods because she was upset that she was actually thinking about vampires (like a NERD!), Bawla starts entertaining the idea, and decides that the Cullens are obviously supernatural creatures of some sort. Or they might be hardcore RPG fans, but I doubt Bawla would admit to knowing what that is. She may stay indoors and have no life, but she's not a NERD.

And then the most important question of all. What was I going to do if it was true?

Isn't it obvious? She's gonna hump his sparkly leg until he makes her eternally sparkly, pretty and rich. Especially since she's already decided that he and his family are GOOD vampires.

So she decides to wangst about her two options for dealing with vampires.

  1. She avoids him and ignores him, which would be the SMART option. But of course she feels an agony of despair (kind of like Mary Sue indigestion) and automatically dismisses this idea. Of course a Hawt Rich Vampire must have a plain whiny human girl as his love interest, and a Mary Sue must only associate with people as wretchedly pretentious as herself.
  2. Of course, the second option is that he saved her life one time, so he MUST WUV HER.

So because Eddie is hawt, she decides that the sharp-toothed creepy Eddie in her dreams was just because Jacob was talking about vampires, and not because a blood-drinking psycho stalker is actually SCARY. And to reaffirm that Bawla is insanely stupid, she talks about how when Jacobwolf attacked Edward in her dream, she was screaming with fear that her precious sparkly Stu would be hurt.

I'm sure that Smeyers thinks this is wonderfully dramatic and romantic, but the fact is that we still don't know jackshit about either of these characters - and even worse, there's absolutely no indication why they're attracted to each other except that he's hot and rich, and she... uh.... uhh.... anyway, they have no shared interests, no common ground, and pretty much no time spent together when he isn't acting like a massive dick and she isn't acting like a crazy bitch.

And I knew in that I had my answer. I didn't know if there ever was a choice, really.

Add that to the seemingly endless list of "I didn't have a choice!" stuff that Bawla says. Thank you for staking feminism in the heart, Ms. Meyer. Thank you SO much.

I was already in too deep.

... how? I mean, it's not like she cracked their secret code and stole secret vampire... stuff from their wall safe while accidentally dropping her driver's license. All she's done is come up with some ridiculous theories based on an old Indian legend, which are supported by exactly ZERO other folklore. Her only evidence is what she claims to have seen directly before a traumatic head injury, which is supported by nobody and nothing.

Because when I thought of him, of his voice, his hypnotic eyes, the magnetic force of his personality, I wanted nothing more than to be with him right now.

"... because I am a blithering idiot with no sense of self-preservation. If you get me horny, I'll trust you completely."

But then after thinking about vampires for several pages, Bawla decides that she cannot bring herself to think about them because it's the woods and it's overcast and rainy. So after apparently thinking that hiking trails vanish when it rains (?!?!?!?!) she goes trotting off into the woods and eventually stumbles back into her house.

It was just noon when I got back inside. I went upstairs and got dressed for the day, jeans and a t-shirt, since I was staying indoors.

I'll give Smeyers some small shreds of credit - she did actually remember what day it was. Yes, I am damning with faint praise.

It didn't take too much effort to concentrate on my task for the day, a paper on Macbeth that was due Wednesday. I settled into outlining a rough draft contentedly, more serene than I'd felt since… well, since Thursday afternoon, if I was being honest.

... so suddenly all that wangst and inner turmoil is just.... gone? I could buy that she pushed all that vampire stuff out of her mind for the moment, but apparently she's just totally unconcerned about ANYTHING now. "Lalala, I'm obsessed with a family of sparkly vampires, tralalala!"

Making decisions was the painful part for me, the part I agonized over.

"Salami or grilled cheese? Salami or grilled cheese? OH THE AGONY OF DECIDING!"

But once the decision was made, I simply followed through — usually with relief that the choice was made. Sometimes the relief was tainted by despair, like my decision to come to Forks. But it was still better than wrestling with the alternatives.

So she's decided.... what? Apparently swept up in her masturbatory fantasies of sparkling teenage hotties, Smeyers forgot to mention what Bawla's oh-so-significant decision was.

This decision was ridiculously easy to live with. Dangerously easy.

I guess for a doughy featureless blob like Bella, this would be living on the wild side. "Oooooo, I know a fellow pale no-life-hacing weirdo who MIGHT be a vampire, so I've decided to fling myself at his undead feet and be just like him."

So anyway, the rest of the day is incredibly boring. Bella apparently spends EIGHT HOURS writing a paper on Macbeth, which strikes me as a ridiculously long time for someone who's so "smart." I could write a longer COLLEGE paper on MacBeth in less time. Charlie catches fish. Bella has chills whenever she thinks about Eddie, but they're apparently not fear chills... and we call those orgasms, Bella.

Oh-so-symbolically, it's sunny the next day and so Bawla is relatively upbeat for once. You'd think she had SADS the way she goes on and on about sunlight and rain.

I opened the window — surprised when it opened silently, without sticking, not having opened it in who knows how many years

In case anyone cares, Smeyers has since revealed that the reason the window is so quiet is because Eddiegirl has been oiling it... so he can sneak in... and watch her sleep... without getting caught doing so. Yeah, that's not creepy at all, if you ask the brain-damaged thirteen-year-olds of the world. Has he also stolen some of her panties?

My blood was electric in my veins.

Add "basic anatomy" to the list of things Smeyers fails at.

Anyway, Charlie is nice and Bawla is actually semi-civil to him, and we get details about how he has a nice smile even though he's balding. Because... those things affect each other.

I ate breakfast cheerily, watching the dust moats stirring in the sunlight that streamed in the back window.

So she has giant defensive water-filled ditches surrounding her house... and they're made of dust?

Seriously, I double-checked this on, and the word is indeed "moats" instead of "motes." This is what happens when idiots use spellcheck instead of actually checking a dictionary, or even their word-a-day calendar.

Don't worry, Bella squishes in some atmospheric emo-ness by heading out, and wangsting about how it would tempt fate if she left her rain coat behind. And by using elbow grease she manages to get her truck windows rolled down, which is a really stupid way to put it because I have never heard a teenager - or even a twentysomething - use the phrase elbow grease unless they had literal grease on their elbow. And then it would probably be, "ewww, get this elbow grease off me!"

Anyway, she goes to school...


... wait, she goes to school? She went to the beach on Friday, went home and fell asleep, woke up early on Saturday and stomped around then went home and did her Macbeth paper, then went to sleep again. So either Sunday just mysteriously went missing, or Smeyers believes that the state of Washington has school days on Sunday.

I now officially retract my congratulations for her actually remembering the days of the week. Apparently basic continuity is too much for Teh SparklePire Author.

My homework was done — the product of a slow social life

Translation: good students are total losers with no life. What a good message to send kids. The only way you can finish your homework is by having no friends at all.

So being the smartest person in all of Forks, Bawla starts checking her trig problems... only to get distracted by a shiny object and start doodling on her homework. Yeah, she's a really good student, isn't she? I bet the longest book she can actually read (rather than just TALKING about reading) is The Poky Little Puppy.

Then Mike appears, and Bella automatically flings rotten tomatoes at him. Apparently a lot of teenagers around there don't have calendars, or they would know that this is Sunday and there is no school on Sunday. Bawla actually breaks out of bitch mode for a whole half second, waving back and feeling happy that he's glad to see her. Amazingly, he hasn't been compared to a dog yet, but I'm sure that will happen shortly.

So they start making abhorrently insipid conversation about Bella's boring-ass hair (apparently it has RED HIGHLIGHTS! How rare and unique!) and how Bawla like sunshine and her incredibly boring life.

"I mostly worked on my essay." I didn't add that I was finished with it — no need to sound smug.

Since she spent EIGHT HOURS on a HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY while professing herself to be sooper-dooper smart, methinks she has nothing to be smug about. I could dash off a five-page essay on Macbeth in just a couple... and that's including research.

"Wednesday?" He frowned. "That's not good… What are you writing yours on?"
"Whether Shakespeare's treatment of the female characters is misogynistic."
He stared at me like I'd just spoken in pig Latin.

Because obviously nobody except the SUPER-SMART AND INTELLECTUAL people could possibly know what "misogynist" means, even though it's been a common word in the English language for decades now. For someone with such limited education and little knowledge, Stephenie Meyers is quite the intellectual snob... and she does it wrong, like many other things. By accident, she reveals that she is in fact quite stupid.

For one thing, she apparently thinks that studying perceived misogyny in Shakespeare's works is an elite, intellectual topic instead of... well... the most common topic you can FIND about Shakespeare's works. It's the obvious, cheap, I-can-find-a-lot-of-this-shit-online-so-I-don't-need-to-actually-think-about-it choice. Which is what I'd expect from Bella. The equally obvious choices are "was Shakespeare anti-Semitic?" or "was Shakespeare racist?"

And an actual smart person would probably save that theme for The Taming of the Shrew, when Shakespeare wrote about a bitchy woman who DIDN'T commit murder. But I guess Smeyer wasn't forced to read that play in high school.

And finally, this is a really pathetic attempt to depict Bella as someone who has ANY feminist sentiment at all. We've already seen that she'll just swallow whatever mockery or contempt Edward throws at her without complaint, because she wuvs him. Her whole life revolves around thinking about him. Her response to rejection by him is to go psycho harpy.

And it's going to get MUCH WORSE. Almost every sexist attitude I've ever heard of can be found in this series.

Hell, she probably thought that MacBeth was only problematic because LADY MacBeth is calling the shots and making the decisions, and her weaksauce husband is following her ideas. Everybody knows that she should be doing what Smeyer thinks a woman should: blandly smiling at her husband's side and doing whatever he commands.

Anyway, the poor kid was going to ask if Bawla wanted to go out with him, meaning that the poor guy seems to have some basic circuits missing in his head and hasn't noticed Bawla's withering contempt. So she wimps out of giving him the "I think of you like a brother" speech and instead blames the whole thing on Jessica.

"I think… and if you ever repeat what I'm saying right now I will cheerfully beat you to death," I threatened, "but I think that would hurt Jessica's feelings."

"And since she's WAY more popular than me, she could make me even more of a social pariah than I already try to make myself!"

Mike doesn't have the faintest idea what she's talking about, which pretty much assures us that Smeyers has never met a teenage boy. Trust me, their antennae go a mile up if a girl shows even the vaguest interest in them - they may be too terrified to act on it, but they are finely attuned to signs of interest.

So they stalk walking off to the school building... together, even though Bawla just talked about making her escape. Yeah, I don't get it either.

We walked in silence to building three and his expression was distracted. I hoped whatever thoughts he was immersed in were leading him in the right direction.

"I wonder what the cafeteria has for lunch. Hey, a red leaf. I like kittens. Why am I so attracted to Bawla even though she's a megabitch? I wonder what time it is. I like pie..."

Anyway, apparently Mike should not swear by the moon, the fickle moon, because apparently Jessica is very happy when Bawla next sees her. Actually, I'm not sure whether she's supposed to be happy about dress-shopping, the dance, or Mike's possible romantic interest, because honestly Smeyers is not being very clear on that.

For reasons I don't understand, she wants Bawla to come dress-shopping with Angela, Lauren and herself, although I'm not sure why they'd want to bring a sullen girl with no clothes sense who isn't even going to the dance. Smeyers briefly reverses gears by pretending that Bella likes the idea of hanging out with girlfriends, but the fact is she's thought of Jessica as a shallow bitch, she hates Lauren, and the highest compliment she's paid Angela is that she doesn't force Bella to fake social skills. What part of "friends" is there in that?

And who knew what I could be doing tonight…

"Maybe I'll be having bloodsucking rapey sex with a hawt vampire! Squee!"

But that was definitely the wrong path to let my mind wander down. Of course I was happy about the sunlight. But that wasn't completely responsible for the euphoric mood I was in, not even close.

"Yay! I just figured out that the creepy antisocial kidnapping jerkass I've been crushing on is a VAMPIRE! What could make me happier than THAT?!"

So Jessica is chitchatting about the dance whenever they aren't in class, which is presumably to show what a shallow bitch she is compared to Bawla (who prefers to sit there drooling on herself about how sexy Edward is). And Bawla is apparently just DYING (pun intended) to see the killer vampires at her school so she can take notes on how hot and rich they are... uh, I mean, whether they're vampires.

I was painfully eager to see not just him but all the Cullens — to compare them with the new suspicions that plagued my mind.

"Hey Rosalie, why is that creepy girl hiding behind the table next to us and scribbling in her notebook?"
"She's crazy. Ignore her, and maybe she'll go away."
"But she's mumbling about vampires and trying to steal my fork!"

Would they be able to know what I was thinking?

.... uh, why would they?

  1. "Mind-reading" isn't really something most people associate with vampires.
  2. SHAPESHIFTING and FLIGHT are more associated with vampirism than mind-reading.
  3. There really hasn't been anything Edward has done to make her think he can actually read minds. Bella simply pulled this from her ass... and because this book is terribly written, this is totally correct.
  4. ... she's been staring vacantly at them and drooling since her first day. I'm sure they're used to it by now.

And then a different feeling jolted through me — would Edward be waiting to sit with me again?

"Maybe he'll even hold my hand! Oooooh, does he like me? Does he hate me? SQUEAL!"

Despite Smeyers' pitiful efforts to make us think Bawla is super-mature and grown-up, stuff like this just proves that she's painfully immature and will presumably be that way... well, forever. Mature adult women don't act like this.

So she looks at the Cullens' table and...

A shiver of panic trembled in my stomach as I realized it was empty.

And then she triggered the fire alarm because clearly this is a panic-worthy situation.

So she looks around, assuming that Eddie will be waiting for her because she's the only other person there as awesome and nonsheeplike as him. But no, nobody from his incesty little family is there.

Desolation hit me with crippling strength.

Can I hit her with crippling strength? Why does Desolation get all the fun?

I shambled along behind Jessica, not bothering to pretend to listen anymore.

Whatta bitch. "The guy I'm stalking isn't here today! Who cares about any of YOU if I can't ogle his sparkly hawtness? You all suck!"

So Bawla sits next to Angela because Angela is practically mute, and Bawla - like any emancipated enlightened woman of the 21st century - sits there spiraling downward in misery because she doesn't have a man there to treat her like crap and make fun of her. That faint whirring sound you hear is Susan B. Anthony spinning in her grave.

She continues being ridiculously emo through the rest of school, and whining about everything that happened at school and what an unholy klutz she is. Fortunately the dress-shopping gets postponed for a Jessica/Mike date, so Bawla can spend the entire evening cutting herself and listening to songs about death.

Y'know, either Smeyers has a very unhappy marriage or she doesn't really think she loves her husband, because apparently she thinks that true eternal lasting love means being completely codependent, stalkerish and falling into a huge emo funk if you go a weekend without seeing each other.

I tried to be happy that Mike had asked her out to dinner — I really was relieved that he finally seemed to be catching on

"I'm so glad that they will live happily ever after in sheeplike ignorant bliss, because it's more convenient for ME that way!"

Bawla, after several days, apparently gets around to talking to her mother - which just makes her look like even more of a bitch. She claims her mother is her best friend and that she loves her, but she then ignores her when they're apart and treats her only means of communication as a HUUUUUUGE hassle. Once again, telling instead of seeing - what she SAYS is that Bawla luvs mommy and that they're best buds, but what she SHOWS is that Bella loathes her mother the way she does everyone else.

And not in a teen-girl way either - more of a narcissist sociopath way.

Sorry. I've been out. I went to the beach with some friends. And I had to write a paper.

And then I went walking in the woods and sat on a log thinking about vampires and today I started cutting myself because LIFE IS MEANINGLESS AND OH WOE I CANNOT SEE MY HOT RICH VAMPIRE LURVE!

It's sunny outside today - I know, I'm shocked, too - so I'm going to go outside and soak up as much vitamin D as I can. I love you,

"Well, I've done my mother-daughter communication for the year, so I'm gonna go outside and expose my clammy fish-belly skin to the sun and pray for a vampire attack."

I had a small collection of books that came with me to Forks,

So much for the attempt to convince us that Bawla is Teh Awesome Smart Reeder. I'm considered an unusually proficient reader and I have so many books I have to periodically purge the deadwood... and even then I don't have much space! I suspect Smeyers doesn't read much at all - claiming that Bawla is a great reader is just a shortcut to make the idiots of the population think she's smart.

the shabbiest volume being a compilation of the works of Jane Austen.

Everyone gasp in awe, for the great and mighty Queen of Phoenix reads OLD BOOKS! She's too smart to read anything but the classics.... and she reads them for FUN! Seriously, big deal. I have one of those in blue leather, and I read it semi-frequently. I just don't use it as a barometer for my intellect so that I can look down on others.

So Bawla goes outside and lies down on a quilt, and starts flipping through her book but she ends up NOT reading it because one book has a love interest called Edward, and another was called Edmund and OH WOE IT REMINDS HER OF THE SPARKLY GUY SHE WAS STALKING ONLY HOURS AGO! Heaven forbid she be reminded of the name of the guy she's obsessed with! Apparently she doesn't read the books as often as Smeyers wants us to think, or she would have REMEMBERED that the main love interests happen to be Eddies.

So of course, Bawla gets all bitchy about this and takes a nap... because that's what you do outside on a wet lawn. You take a nap. Yeah. And we then get vaguely erotic descriptions of how the sunlight feels on her, suggesting to me that Smeyers has some sort of creepy temperature fetish. Bawla acts like she's a sex addict stuck in an abandoned building throughout the whole book.

Eventually Charlie comes home and Bawla wakes up. Damn, I was hoping she would be stabbed by a wandering junkie.

I looked around, muddled, with the sudden feeling that I wasn't alone.

Of course you aren't, dolt. Your dad just got home. Oh wait, I'm sure this is a subtle hint that Eddie is sitting in the bushes salivating over her... how romantic!

So we get more details about Bawla's incredibly boring everyday life - she starts cooking, she and daddy watch TV out of sheer boredom, and she gets around to asking if she can go with her non-friends to go look at dresses she doesn't want to buy for a dance she won't go to. I can see why her classmates want to bring her along. Maybe her personality can stupefy the clerks, and they can just walk out without paying.

There wasn't anything on I wanted to watch, but he knew I didn't like baseball, so he turned it to some mindless sitcom that neither of us enjoyed.

If Bawla's TV habits are anything like her reading habits, I'm sure she name-drops classic movies, Masterpiece Theatre and Jane Austen adaptations so people will know she's Wise Beyond Her Years and Way Smarter Than You. But I doubt she ever actually watches any of them, mainly because they don't center on her or her fantasies.

He seemed happy, though, to be doing something together. And it felt good, despite my depression, to make him happy.

Yup, what a selfless wonderful person Bella is - she makes people feel good and happy, as long as it doesn't require her to get off her ass and there's nothing else she felt like doing. What a saint.

And depression? Kiss my ass, you bitch. You're not depressed. You're just emo because the boy you're stalking didn't come to school. Why don't you obtain his address and stalk him properly?

So she asks if she can go to Port Angeles to be the fashion advisor for Jessica and Angela, even though her clothing choices thus far are painfully mundane.

"Jessica Stanley?" he asked.
"And Angela Weber." I sighed as I gave him the details.

Aka Lesser Bitch and Antisocial-Support-Girl.

And since Charlie is depicted as not being able to make Cheerios for himself, he's deeply confused by this concept - so confused he has to sit in the corner of his cage and chirp to himself. Bawla explains it for him in words of two syllables or fewer, and sneers inwardly that I wouldn't have to explain this to a woman. Yeah, but women are all birdbrains or bitches, so it's not as if she'd actually like dealing with a woman better.

"Well, okay." He seemed to realize that he was out of his depth with the girlie stuff. "It's a school night, though."

Or maybe it's not. Maybe tomorrow is Sunday, since today apparently wasn't. It's like being trapped in a Christopher Nolan movie, where space is warped and time is bendable.

So Bawla assures him that she'll be back early, unless she stumbles across some random rape gangs patrolling the streets and has to be rescued by a Hawt Rich Vampire. And since she apparently thinks that both her parents have the intellectual capacity of an unusually smart dust bunny, she questions whether her dad can slap together a sandwich for himself.

"Bells, I fed myself for seventeen years before you got here," he reminded me.
"I don't know how you survived," I muttered, then added more clearly, "I'll leave some things for cold-cut sandwiches in the fridge, okay? Right on top."

"Seriously honey, I can make filet mignon with delicately spiced potatoes and asparagus spears while you're off shopping-"
"No no, you're a totally pathetic cook and you'd be utterly lost without my awesomeness. After all, being female means I'm the one who cooks."
"Honey, I can cook for myself. I'm known as the Iron Chef of Forks-"
"No you're not. You'd be lost without me, because men can't cook due to having penises. Now I'll set out some simple sandwich stuff, since the effort of microwaving a frozen meal might overtax your tiny brain..."

Seriously, can we please reaffirm here that Bella is a massive bitch?

  1. Her dad apparently HAS survived for quite a few years before his bitch daughter deigned to come live with him. Since there's no live-in housekeeper in evidence, and he hasn't died or been hospitalized yet, it can be assumed that he's a pretty decent cook.
  2. We don't have any reason to assume that he's a bad or inept cook. And neither does Bawla, since it's not like she arrived to find molding food splattered on the ceiling and walls, and there hasn't been any mention of him cooking poorly. So what the hell?
  3. Maybe it's just yet another way for Bawla to be Way Better Than Everyone Else. Not only is she supposed to be their intellectual superior, but she's way better at anything nonathletic than anyone ELSE is.
  4. Or perhaps this is another example of Smeyers' sexism - men are completely and pathetically incapable of basic household tasks and/or cooking for themselves. They need a woman to do it for them, because housework is a purely feminine job in the chauvinistic societies of the world, even if that woman is incapable of picking up a corkscrew without giving herself a mortal wound.

I had planned my arrival at school so that I barely had time to make it to class.

After all, such an exalted personage must make a grand entrance after all the commonfolk.

Anyway, Bawla keeps wanking on about the Cullens, and she apparently spends her entire school day stalking through the school, hunting for them. Maybe they've been ordered to stay away from school until the restraining order kicks in. So Bawla is emo and whiny, and wants to get out of Forks just so she can stop expecting Hawt Rich Guy to sweep her off her feet and make her his undead bride.

I refused to think that I might be shopping alone in Seattle this weekend, no longer interested in the earlier arrangement. Surely he wouldn't cancel without at least telling me.

Heaven forbid! After all, a sadistic parasitic bloodsucking murderous prick of a vampire would never be so... IMPOLITE.

So Bawla briefly goes home and keeps Jessica waiting while she brushes her hair, writes a note to tell her idiot dad that food is located in the fridge which is the kitchen (and probably a map to find it), and picks up a purse (femininity! Imagine that in our scruffy boring sexless heroine).

My excitement increased exponentially as we actually drove out of the town limits

... and crashed into a tree, killing Bella instantly because she was too emo to buckle up. Everybody lived happily ever after without her. The end.

Just let me dream, okay?

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