WHY!!?? WHY!!?? WHY!!??
Thirteen. An unlucky number. An unholy number. A number so universally dreaded that building architects will purposely omit a thirteenth floor in order to avoid frightening superstitious tenants. How fitting, then, that arguably the most infamous scene of the Twilight series should take place in chapter thirteen. We all knew that it would come to this. I knew it when I started this blog, but it seemed like such a far off thing when I first decided to give that rank amateur, Stephanie Meyer, the verbal beating she deserves.
The scene on which the entire series was based, the very wet dream that first inspired Meyer to raise the romance genre to new heights of mediocrity and butcher the poor vampire in the process. This chapter is the distilled essence of the entire series, and I do not expect to complete this one with my sanity fully intact. Let's move on, then, and get this over with as quickly (if not painlessly) as possible.
Sanity Meter: 100%
The chapter begins with, what else, a description of Edward.
Edward in the sunlight was shocking.
If he were a real vampire, Edward in the sunlight would be burning. If only that were true.
His skin white despite the faint flush from yesterday's hunting trip ...
This has been bothering me for a while. Bella constantly describes the Cullens as pale, and here she describes Edward's skin as white. Not Caucasian white, but pale white. Doesn't anyone ever comment on this? I wonder if all those people who turn their heads and stare at Edward are actually stunned by his supposed beauty, as Bella believes, or if they're simply wondering if the guy is either wearing makeup or has a skin condition.
... literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.
I knew a guy who sparkled once. He wasn't a vampire, he was just gay and liked to wear body glitter.
And so we finally come to this, the moment that began the wussification of the vampires, turning them from mysterious creatures of the night to sparkling pussies who fit better in a Rainbow Brite cartoon than a crypt. Goodbye classic lords of darkness such as Dracula, the underground societies of Vampire: The Masquerade, dashing rogues such as Lestat, tortured heroes such as Angel, and diabolical anti-heroes such as Kain. Make way for this new breed of highly pretentious vampire that sparkles like Tinkerbell and replaces a genuine personality with whining and brooding in a failed attempt to make themselves look "deep."
He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though of course he didn't sleep. A perfect statue, carved in some unknown stone, smooth like marble, glittering like crystal.
Sanity Meter: 87%
WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK WHAT THE FUCK OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS GARBAGE I AM READING? I'M BLIND! MY EYES BURN! ALL I CAN SEE IS PURPLE! (+1 Purple Prose)
And one more. (+1 Eye Sex)
Meyer really fucks the thesaurus here, throwing in as many synonyms for "sparkling" as possible. Let's look at the two worst offenders, shall we?
His chest is described as incandescent. So Edward's chest is either glowing with a bright light and producing intense heat or is simply "OMG IT HURTS MY EYES!" bright. "Incandescent" relates to a bright, brilliant light, not sparkling. The word isn't even a synonym for "sparkling," so I'm not sure where she got it.(+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Next we have Edward's arms, which are described as scintillating. Wow! Not only is Edward's chest emitting a bright light, his arms are witty as well! (Note: A reader cited an entry in a dictionary I had not consulted that contradicts this point. Therefore, the Thesaurus Rape point has been revoked)
Now and then, his lips would move, so fast it looked like they were trembling. But, when I asked, he told me he was singing to himself; it was too low for me to hear.
There are two ways I can take this. Either he is singing in an extremely low volume, or Edward Cullen is an elephant. Given just how far Meyer is willing to go to make Edward super special awesome, I wouldn't put it past her to say that Edward is producing infrasound. The speed at which his lips move indicate that he is "singing" at a speed that would be incomprehensible to humans. In other words, Meyer is once again hinting, with all the subtlety of an anvil to the face, that Edward is oh so special. He can produce and perceive infrasound, and he can sing really fast! Color me impressed. Wait, did I say impressed? I meant bored. This is just more blah blah, Edward is awesome, blah blah. It's getting really old. (+1 Stupidity)
You know what? I'm going to give Meyer the benefit of the doubt and try to assume that she meant he was singing in a really low volume, which is still dumb since their close proximity would mean that he'd essentially have to be making no sound for it not to be audible.
Bella pulls her finger out of Edward's sparkly ass long enough to spend a paragraph describing the sun and the air, and this reprieve from this literary ejaculation is all too short. Faster than you can say vampire dildo she's back to describing Edward.
The meadow, so spectacular to me at first, paled next to his magnificence.
You know what's funny? Back in chapter one Bella said that she was not verbose. Boy did she make a liar out of herself!
What follows has to be one of the most awkward and poorly structured sentences I have ever read.
Hesitantly, always afraid, even now, that he would disappear like a mirage, too beautiful to be real ... hesitantly, I reached out one finger and stroked the back of his shimmering hand, where it lay within my reach.
Suddenly, it appears, even now, that Stephenie Meyer has, for one brief moment ... suddenly, she started sounding like William Shatner.
She goes on like this for the rest of the paragraph, which leaves me to wonder if she was typing this part with one hand ... and I just grossed myself out. DAMN MY IMAGINATION! (+1 Purple Prose)
Edward asks Bella if he scares her. She says no and he smiles.
He smiled wider; his teeth flashed in the sun.
MY EYES! MY EYES!!!
After that she starts tracing her fingers over his "perfect" arm and ... alright, that does it. I am going to count how many times the word "perfect" is used in this chapter.
*Goes back and reads*
I count four so far, and we're only at the beginning of the chapter. This, of course, isn't even counting all the synonyms for "perfect" and the allusions to perfection that she's also used. I don't even want to add all of those up. Damn. The Borg waste their time assimilating entire species in order to find perfection when if they only took Edward Cullen they would be ascended to the level of demi-gods. We get it, Meyer, Edward is perfect. Can we PLEASE move on and have your ZOMG PERFECT little sparklepire actually DO SOMETHING? So far he's just lying there and we're getting pages of exposition out of THAT? (+1 Eye Sex)
Edward does something ... sort of. He moves his hand so that it faces palm up, but he does it with super special awesome sparklepire speed! Meyer uses the SUPA KEWL sparklepire effects so often it's like watching a Michael Bay movie. Bella fondles his hand (I am not kidding) and Edward asks what she's thinking.
Blah blah, Bella says she can't believe he's actually real, blah, blah, they talk about how scary he is, blah blah. I'm sorry, but I find it a little hard to find a guy who SPARKLES IN THE SUN to be the least bit intimidating.
Edward sits up ... WITH SPARKLEPIRE SPEED!
More clumsy prose about Edward's angelic face and his mesmerizing eyes. (+1 Eye Sex)
Edward asks what about him scares Bella. This guy is seriously starting to sound like a broken MP3.
Edward: Do I scare you? Are you afraid of me? I'm frightening, you know. Have I asked you within the last ten seconds if I scare you? I lost track.
Eddy, darling, if you ever were threatening that ship sailed the moment you turned into a human disco ball. I don't care how many superpowers you have. You could be kicking my ass this very instant and, rather than fear, the only thing I'd feel is deep, burning shame at being beat up by a care bear.
Also, does this guy get off on girls telling him he scares them? Maybe that's why he resorts to stalking and breaking into houses instead of asking for a date like a normal person. Bella tries to answer his question, but then she smells his breath and spends a paragraph describing how awesome it is. JESUS CHRIST ON A POGO STICK, can we PLEASE move on from describing Edward and get to the actual story?
Sanity Meter: 76%
Edward gets up and walks away ... WITH SPARKLEPIRE SPEED!!! ZOMG OVERUSED!!! He stands in the shade of a tree and strikes an emo pose.
"I'm ... sorry ... Edward," I whispered. I knew he could hear.
I'm sorry that I put my nose all up in your mouth so I could creepily smell your breath. My mommy always tells me to stop doing that. Oh, FYI, I advise you not to fart in my presence.
After "ten incredibly long seconds," sparkledouche goes back to Bella and sits down. Gracefully, of course. He then smiles an apology for being a melodramatic pussy. Can you imagine if Bella described Edward doing something else mundane?
Bella: My heart stopped as I watched Edward gracefully place the toothbrush in his perfect mouth. He stroked with the brush, back and forth, like Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. His elegant fingers teased the shaft of the brush, and the gentle movement of his cheeks as he brushed his molars made me go short of breath. He gently lowered his head and released a stream of foamy saliva into the sink, white like his perfect skin.
Almost makes you wonder how she'd describe him gargling.
Bella decides that now is the time for some false tension, so she thinks she's in danger for no explained reason. Edward then decides that now is the perfect time to remind the readers of how awesome he is.
"I'm the world's best predator, aren't I? Everything about me invites you in--my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I needed any of that!"
EEEW! I'm sorry, but the last thing I want to think about is Edward's inviting smells. Blegh! Also, way to be completely full of yourself, sparkledouche.
Edward shows off his awesomeness by running around the meadow ... WITH SPARKLEPIRE SPEED! "As if you could outrun me," he remarks. He then shows off his super strength by ripping off a tree branch and throwing it at another tree. "As if you could fight me off," he comments. Contradicting everything he's ever told Bella, she tells her not to be afraid ... directly after showing off his superpowers and making veiled threats. Way to set a girl at ease, asshole.
What really bothers me about this book is the wasted potential. There are so many opportunities for genuine conflict that go totally ignored. Take Edward's speech about being the perfect predator, for example. It could have become a major plot point, with Edward questioning whether Bella is truly in love with HIM as a person, or if she's merely infatuated with an illusion. Does Bella really see him for who he is, or has his perfect trap merely ensnared another prey?
The doubt he'd feel could have been a great source of character development, as Edward questions where he ends and the "perfect predator" begins. Instead we just get Edward showing off superpowers and Meyer trying to pass off brooding and whining as character growth.
Anyway, Edward sits back down--sinuously, of course--and apologizes for being disturbed by Bella sniffing his breath.
Wait ... what?
They go back to the topic of how scary Edward is, but Bella is too busy tracing the lines in Edward's palm with her fingertip to pay attention to the conversation. She describes his palm as iridescent, so apparently his palm is rainbow colored.
So let's add up all of these descriptions. Edward sparkles, his body produces a bright light, his arms are witty, and he displays numerous colors like that of a rainbow. I tried finding something that meets all of these descriptions with Google Image, and this is the closest I could find. Just add sparkles. My apologies to the artist for in any way linking his work with this piece of shit book, which already takes a big enough dump on Native Americans as it is.
Most of the absurdities with Edward's (many) descriptions are a result of Meyer not knowing how to use a god damn dictionary, but those same descriptions highlight a major flaw in Edward's character. It all goes back to the same complaint I've been making this entire time. Meyer is obsessed with painting Edward as this godly, larger-than-life character, but she never has him DO anything worthy of the lofty praise she heaps on him. So far all Edward has done is whine, be emo, threaten Bella, and generally act like a jerk, to say nothing of the stalking. We're not close to the end of the book and Edward has already committed crimes that would land anyone in the real world in jail. To think of his behavior as romantic is simply delusional.
You know, I think I finally figured out who Edward really is. Edward Cullen's real name ... is Okona.
For those of you who don't know, Okona is a character from an episode of Star Trek TNG, unfortunately titled "The Outrageous Okona." In that episode we are told an awful lot about this character. Here's an excerpt from the script.
Counselor, can you read him?
His emotions suggest that he is
mischievous, irreverent and
And some other things...
The word that seems to describe
him best is "rogue."
Rogue? Accessing "rogue."
Cad, knave, rake, rascal,
Yes, all of that, but he shows
no malevolence, or ill will.
Of course we see during the course of the episode that he is, in fact, none of those things. The episode tries its best to make him out to be some badass James Bond character who lives on the edge (Riker even gives an impromptu speech about how awesome he is), but the actual character is little more than a one-dimensional idiot who everyone adores for no apparent reason (sound familiar?). Instead of witty, his dialog is awkward. Instead of charming, his attempts to woo the ladies wouldn't even work on a total amnesiac who needs to be told what a penis is. Instead of funny, his jokes just make a little piece of you die on the inside.
It's the same thing here. Just like how the TNG episode focuses so much on EXPLAINING Okona to us that it forgets to actually have him act the part, Twilight relies so heavily on descriptions of Edward that the character as he's described and as he's portrayed are essentially two different people. It's also important to note that, in both cases, the fault isn't in the character concept. In the hands of a competent writer, both Okona and Edward could have been really good characters. The problem is, well, how do I put this gently ... THE WRITERS ARE FRIGGEN MORONS!
Back to the book. To my complete and utter surprise, Bella seems to acknowledge that she may be a little too into Edward. This causes Edward to crank the emo meter up to eleven and go on about how she shouldn't want him and he should leave and blah blah blah. Then we come to this interesting bit. If you think that I'm judging Edward too harshly, take a look at this:
"I don't want you to leave," I mumbled pathetically, staring down again.
"Which is exactly why I should. But don't worry. I'm essentially a selfish creature. I crave your company too much to do what I should."
There! Straight from the asshole's mouth! He outright admits that the only reason he keeps stalking Bella is pure selfishness. You know what's worse? This isn't even the first time he's admitted this. Back in Chapter Five he specifically told Bella that he "got tired" of avoiding her and was just going to do whatever he wanted. In other words he endangers Bella's life ... BECAUSE HE'S LAZY! I went over that part in the summary for that chapter, so read it to get the full "Edward is a selfish prick" experience.
Edward Cullen, there is not a word in the English language that can accurately describe just how big of an asshole you are. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)
This also makes Edward a hypocrite when you consider what he said to Bella in chapter ten.
"Don't you see? That's what proves me right. I care the most, because I can do it"--he shook his head, seeming to struggle with the thought--"if leaving is the right thing to do, then I'll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe."
And he follows that, three chapters later, with this:
"... I'm essentially a selfish creature. I crave your company too much to do what I should."
A real class act, he is. Just look at how he so nobly goes back on his word and places Bella's life in danger just because he's selfish. Oh, and if you're thinking that this is supposed to be foreshadowing for New Moon, it's worth noting that New Moon hadn't even been conceived of while Twilight was being written. This is just Meyer being a terrible writer. Edward's actions are proof positive that he doesn't give a shit about Bella. Edward is just doing what's best for Edward, and to Hell with everything else. That he is also risking the safety of his family, as we learned in chapter twelve, only compounds his selfishness.
Edward immediately scolds Bella for reacting positively to his statement, preaching once again that he is dangerous. This time even Bella comments on his sudden mood swings ... after she's finished having an orgasm over his voice, which is apparently "more beautiful than any human voice." Ugh!
Let's go over this, shall we? In Edward's own words, he is too selfish to leave Bella alone. Even if Bella were to follow his advice to the letter and actively avoid him, he'd just keep stalking her anyway. Edward also went out of his way to demonstrate that Bella can neither escape him nor defend herself from him. Where does this leave Bella? Shit out of luck, that's where!
Edward's constant preaching to Bella is emotional manipulation, plain and simple. By constantly harping on how dangerous he is, he is making it out as if it'd be Bella's fault if he ever ended up murdering her, because that'd mean she'd failed to heed his warnings, while leaving himself completely blameless. This is, emotionally and potentially physically, an example of Why Did You Make Me Hit You.
Any normal person exhibiting this behavior would either a) receive a lot of restraining orders, b) find someone just as nutty as he, or c) meet someone who is weak enough to accept his abusive behavior (and maybe even think that she deserves it). The latter two cases would result in an unhealthy relationship based on power and abuse. Woe to any children born into such a house.
Edward's behavior pattern is not that of a person in love, it is the behavior of a stalker. His "need" to be with Bella is not a sign of being "in love," it is merely an unhealthy obsession. In John D. Moore's book, Confusing Love with Obsession, he describes a wheel of obsession with multiple phases. Judging by what I've seen of Bella and Edward so far, I would say they're at the first phase: the attraction phase.
An instant attraction to romantic interest, usually occurring within the first few minutes of meeting.
Bella and Edward. So much!
An immediate urge to rush into a relationship regardless of compatibility.
Exactly how long had Bella been around Edward before declaring her "unconditional and irrevocable" love for him, without so much as knowing what his hobbies are?
Becoming "hooked on the look" of another, focusing on the person's physical characteristics while ignoring personality differences.
The only way anyone could NOT notice this behavior in Bella is if he/she never reads the book, is illiterate, is comatose, or is named Stephanie Meyer.
Unrealistic fantasies about a relationship with a love interest, assigning "magical" qualities to an object of affection.
Bella ... so ... much! I mean, seriously. I've named so many examples in this blog that it would take me too long to list them here.
The beginnings of obsessive, controlling behaviors begin to manifest.
Edward dragging Bella forcefully to his car and threatening her until she got in. Edward stalking her across towns. Edward breaking into Bella's bedroom at night to watch her sleep. Edward breaking into Bella's house to go through her dirty laundry for her keys. Edward developing a jealous dislike of Mike because he also likes Bella. Edward generally ignoring Bella's wishes and ordering her about. Bella becoming upset with Edward whenever he doesn't show up for school on a sunny day (even after learning of his vampirism). Bella idolizing Edward to divine levels, based on nothing but his looks.
But I digress.
Bella asks Edward to explain himself. He makes a food analogy, which turns into a drawn out alcohol analogy in which he compares Bella to the finest 100 year-old brandy in existence (not Mary Sue-ish at all!). He says that an alcoholic would be extremely tempted by that, which only proves that Meyer has never actually seen an alcoholic. It doesn't matter if the brandy is a century-old treasure or something picked up at the local liquor store with pocket money. A booze fiend would go for either equally. This is because ... get this ... THEY'RE ALCOHOLICS! They're after the ALCOHOL to get DRUNK, not to daintily sip with their pinkies in the air and comment on the bouquet. It doesn't matter if what they drink is fancy or cheap, it gives them the same buzz either way.
Deciding that the century-old brandy comparison didn't do Bella justice (coughMarySuecough), he shifts it to a drug analogy (because heroin is so much more dignified than brandy) and then ... *sigh*
Yeah, you know what's coming next.
"Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin."
Oh ... my ... God ...
Sanity Meter: 53%
I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hari-Kiri rock! I NEED SCISSORS! 61!
Um ... what? Did I just say something? I blacked out there for a second.
Anyway, do I even need to point out how messed up that comparison is? Obviously I do, since there are plenty of people who insist that this is one of the greatest romances ever told while completely ignoring disturbing crap like this. Seriously, what was Meyer thinking? Was she even thinking at all when she wrote this? That is just an awful example to give to the impressionable young girls who are this book's target audience. Don't know what heroin is, Little Lucy 13 year-old? After reading Twilight and doing a Google search, now you know! Better save up that lunch money for your first dime bag. (+1 Stupidity)
Oh, and if you think I may be overreacting and that one little mention in a book can't possibly have any real-life consequences, consider the Twilight-themed heroin bags that became popular in 2009.
The heroin analogy, unfortunate implications aside, is actually an apt description of their "relationship," just not in the way that Meyer imagined. Drug abuse is a serious problem that can cause people to do stupid and reckless things. It is unhealthy and destructive, and the best thing an addict can do is seek help. That is Edward and Bella's "relationship" in a nutshell.
If Edward's heroin analogy is to be taken seriously, then it amazes me that he doesn't realize that he's not really in love with Bella. All of his analogies--food, alcohol, drugs--are about her blood. Bella's blood is his ice cream, his cognac, his heroin. He's not in love with Bella, he's in love with her blood. She is just a meat puppet to him. He keeps following her everywhere and is too "selfish" to leave her alone because he really wants to drink her blood. A drug addict doesn't "love" his dealer, he loves the product.
Twilight: you know it's true love when your attraction is likened to the junkie selling back alley blowjobs to support his habit.
Edward belabors the point as he further explains how his brothers reacted to people who's blood was addictive to them, namely Emmett. He then states that, in his century or so of un-life, he has never encountered a human being who's blood was as appealing to him as Bella's. *coughMarySuecough*
Bella asks about Emmett, which causes Edward to go emo again. He says that even the strongest vampire can "fall off the wagon," in reference to how each time Emmett encountered people with appealing blood he had ended up murdering them.
"I mean, is there no hope, then?" How calmly I could discuss my own death!
Remember kiddies, it's okay to have a boyfriend who may murder you as long as he's pretty. If he's ugly, call the police because that would be totally creepy. Seriously, how dumb is this girl? (+1 Stupidity)
Bella: Oh Edward, have I told you how beautiful and god-like you are?
Edward: Yes, you did ... ten seconds ago.
Bella: Being with you is like a dream!
Edward: I eat people.
Bella: You are so handsome, like a supermodel!
Edward: I could very easily kill you at any time.
Bella: Your breath smells like Heaven!
Edward: Every second in your presence is literally a struggle to keep myself from tearing your throat open and feasting on your blood.
Bella: Your muscles are so perfect!
Edward: Read my lips: I ... WILL ... KILL YOU!
Bella: You're like a Greek god!
Edward: Are you even listening?
Bella: Ooh, sparkles!
Contradicting what he said earlier, Edward states that he could NEVER slip like Emmett did twice. Those people were strangers, he says. Wait, so that somehow makes it okay? Also, how long have Bella and Edward been seeing each other? Not bloody long! He also says that it happened a long time ago and that Emmett is more practiced now. Good for him, but what does this have to do with EDWARD'S bloodlust? He's the one in danger of "falling off the wagon," not Emmett. Since this is his first time, that's even more cause for concern!
Even if Emmett is wiser from his experience, it still took him two grisly murders to reach that point. Also, unless he meets someone else with addictive blood there is no way to tell whether he really can restrain himself now. For all we know he could end up doing it again, yet Edward claims that he can accomplish what Emmett cannot? Is he saying he's better than him? Also, Edward just finished saying that even the strongest vampire can slip, and yet he claims that he won't. Is he implying that he is stronger than the strongest vampire? Can he BE any more arrogant? (+1 Stupidity)
Wow. I really have to give Meyer credit here. This chapter actually manages to get worse each time I look at it, as if there were layers of crap that were too subtle to be picked up the first time. No, that's not quite right; nothing about this book is subtle. It's more like there was so much crap when I first read this chapter that it distracted me from the other crap. Each time I think that Meyer's writing couldn't get worse, she manages to find new ways to lower my expectations yet again.
This book is, in fact, so bad that not even Candlejack would touch it with a