View "You Are Bella" Playlist
You know, I sometimes think that one of the most amusing parts of what I do is watching the kind of mental gymnastics diehard fans of Twilight perform to excuse the inconsistencies, plot holes, factual errors, etc. I once brought up one of Meyer's bigger errors, the claim that Esme's island is off the west coast of Brazil.
THE WEST COAST OF BRAZIL!
If mental gymnastics were a sport, the twihard in question would have won a gold medal. Long story short, after arguing back and forth, which mainly consisted of me pointing at the map and shouting "DUH!" and her making more excuses, I said "that's like saying that California is the west coast of New York." To which she said, "yes it is."
If there is a definite reason why I write this blog, at least part of the answer would be to observe how people's minds work. I find it a little fascinating to watch people do double back flips in logic to rationalize things that are completely absurd (insert obligatory religion joke here).
Enter You Are Bella, an in depth examination of the Twilight series that highlights its many flaws and attempts to explain why Twihards cling to it despite the series being so damn awful. The series is titled "You Are Bella" because that is basically the answer in a nutshell.
I recently bumped into this series while looking for creative or informative works by other antis. The mere fact that I'm posting it here obviously means I was impressed. Do take a look at the rest of the series of videos.
Introducing a new segment called "Anti Spotlight." You see, I was sitting around and wondering what new stuff I could do with the blog when it occurred to me "hey, I'm not the only one dissing Twilight, so why not give some attention to others who've also done good work?" Which is basically a nice way of saying that I'm a lazy bastard who is shamelessly trying to make this blog more interesting by showcasing the work of others. Muahahahaha!
Wait ... I wasn't supposed to actually write that part. Oh well, I'm too lazy to edit. :p
First up is Melina Pendulum, who has quite a bone to pick with Stephenie Meyer due to some comments the woman made in an interview. I picked this one because it's the funniest IMO, but it is by no means the most insightful thing she's posted. Overall I've found her to be an intelligent young woman with interesting opinions on a wide range of subjects. So do take a look at her other videos; not just the ones pertaining to Twilight (though there are quite a few of them and she has a LOT to say on the subject).
Check out Her Youtube Page
Note: Her recent review of The Host is really worth watching.
Now for something a little different. We're going to play a game. The name of the game is called "Character Development." Here are the rules.
I am going to name characters and you, the player, are going to describe said characters for me. There will be two groups of characters. Group A will consist of characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and group B will consist of characters from Twilight.
Now here is the most important rule. In your descriptions you are forbidden from describing the characters' physical appearances. This includes body attributes, hair styles, clothing, and the like. You also cannot describe their professions, races, or roles, so answers such as "high school student" or "vampire" are not acceptable. You must describe each character as if you are speaking to someone who has never seen Buffy or read Twilight.
Oh, just so you know, this game is blatantly ripped off from Red Letter Media" and I am using it because it seems highly relevant here.
Let us begin.
Round One: Female Protagonist
Round Two: Male Love Interest
Round Three: Werewolf
Round Four: Mystical Friend
Round Five: Wise Mentor
Round Six: Male Mortal
Round Seven: Villain
Round Eight: Female Mortal
You may answer them all if you feel so inclined, but if that would be too boring, then simply answer whichever ones you please. Try to be as in depth and descriptive as possible. The more descriptive you can get, the stronger the character. That is the point of the game. I look forward to seeing your answers.
Again ... WHY!?
And we're back with part two of this duology of suck. You may be wondering how I escaped the clutches of Candlejack. Turns out he spotted my copy of Twilight and immediately went "get that garbage away from me!" So not only am I back, but so long as I keep a copy of Twilight with me I can say his name without being abducted.
Anyway, we still have plenty of chapter to read, so lets get this over with.
Edward crosses the "too much information" line by explaining exactly how close he'd come to murdering Bella when they first met.
"It took everything I had not to jump you in the middle of that class full of children--"
He's not exactly making a good case for himself here. He openly admits the enormity of his struggle to resist killing Bella. Any sane person would take the ... can this even be called a hint? It's not like any effort is being made to soften or disguise the meaning of his words. He's saying, point blank, that he feels the urge to kill her. What more does any rational, thinking person need to be convinced that perhaps going out with him is a bad idea?
This raises some serious questions as well. If the sparklepires must constantly struggle against their murderous urges in the presence of other people, then why do they attend public school; thus ensuring that each and every day they must be surrounded by the very thing they're trying to resist? It's like hiring an alcoholic to do stock duty in a liquor store. That just screams "disaster waiting to happen." What if it hadn't been Edward who'd been attracted to Bella's blood? What if it had been Jasper, the vamp so green that a paper cut sends him into a rampage? What if Edward simply had a bad day that day and was unprepared to deal with the temptation at that particular moment?
The more I think about it the more absurd this seems. What happens when a kid has an accident and cuts himself? Scrapes his knees in gym? Now that I think about it, has a male vamp ever had a strong urge to drink the blood of a male human in these books, or vice versa? I'm curious about that. If not, then why the hell not? Unless blood drinking is supposed to be an allegory for sex, gender shouldn't matter. But I digress. Drop a comment if you have any thoughts on this.
Getting back on topic, how many girls are walking around on their period at any given day? To be fair, Meyer did give an explanation for menstrual blood, and assuming you accept the "dead blood" explanation (which makes no scientific sense), there are still plenty of opportunities for students to be walking around bloody. Accidents, fights, injuries, all of which can and do happen in high school.
Why send them to school at all? It's not like they NEED the education. Have they not heard of home schooling? That would allow them to live their lives with far less risk to their secrets. "But if Edward didn't go to school, there'd be no book," you might say. Bullshit. A competent writer can get around that with just a little application of effort and imagination. Wait ... that requires that the writer be competent, put actual effort into her work, and have imagination. Yeah, definitely not Meyer.
That Edward insists on stalking Bella, fully aware of just how much danger he's putting her in, makes him a selfish bastard. That he openly admits that selfishness is his motivation for doing this (see part 1 for a direct quote) compounds the offense. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)
And one for Bella, for staying even with Edward practically having the words "I want to kill you" painted on his sparkly forehead. (+1 Stupidity.)
You know what's really sad? In the hands of a better writer this situation could truly be compelling. If the characters were more developed (meaning, at all), Bella's attraction for a vampire who wants to drink her blood could work as a dramatic focal point. The reason why it doesn't work in Twilight when similar plots have worked in other stories is because the situations here are contrived. The characters do not behave like people so much as puppets going through the motions and reciting dialog.
This is a case of Meyer cutting corners. She wants so much to get straight to the perfect sparkly romance that having her characters act like actual people would be too hard for her to do. As a consequence she just has them say or do whatever is needed to get straight to the Edward body worship, leaving things like character development and an actual story on the cutting room floor. As a direct consequence of this, Bella and Edward rush into a relationship (and I use the word lightly) even though it makes absolutely no sense. The way it is now, Bella is a moron for essentially dating a man with a predisposition towards murder (namely hers) and Edward is beyond selfish and arrogant for pursuing Bella despite the whole wanting to kill her thing.
I think that the meadow scene should not be happening now. It should happen later, after the characters have undergone some development and after Bella and Edward gain an actual rapport. Right now we have what's supposed to be a significant and highly romantic moment between two people whose sole common link is that they happen to own the same music CD. Call me old fashioned but I prefer a couple to have progressed a little further than that before they begin casually risking death (murder, in Edward's case) and expressing their undying love.
Think of the meadow scene as frosting, and right now you are eating the frosting before the cake has even been baked. In my opinion the meadow scene should take place near the end of the book, or even in book two. The first book should be about establishing the characters and building up Edward and Bella's relationship to the point where the meadow scene actually makes sense. Hell, even the "lion and the lamb" line would work better if it was, maybe, established as some kind of in-joke during the course of their character development.
Whoo boy, do I know how to get off track or what? I blame my stream of consciousness writing style. Let's move on.
Edward scowls at a tree before continuing.
"To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin me. ..."
Strangely echoing my own feelings about Bella, Edward, and Stephanie Meyer.
"The fragrance coming off your skin ... I thought it would make me deranged that first day."
So that means you don't even have to be bleeding for the vampire killing urge to kick in. Bella hadn't been bleeding that day, and Edward describes the scent coming from her skin as what provoked him.
In that case, having the Cullens attend school is even more insane! What was Carlisle thinking? What was ANY of them thinking? Remember: these are not kids. Each of the Cullens is probably old enough to be your grandparent or great grandparent. You'd think one of them might actually THINK FOR HIMSELF and conclude that maybe going to public school isn't such a great idea, given their unique urges, and that it makes about as much sense as hiring a man named Mr. BadTouch to privately tutor your 7 year old. (+1 Stupidity)
"In that one hour, I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone."
Who the hell finds this attractive? I mean, how would YOU react if you were on a date and your partner out and tells you "I've been plotting your death ever since I first met you. I would have gotten you alone, and then ..." What kind of twisted mind finds the very real threat of their own murder to be romantic? So far Edward has done nothing but stalk Bella, exhibit controlling behavior, and think of ways to kill her. It's not even a vampire thing, it's a common sense thing. It may be in a mentally damaged person's nature to strangle the girl he's with until she dies, but that doesn't excuse the act, and any girl who sticks with him knowing about his compulsions is a moron.
But that's besides the point. The real crime here is that nothing is actually DONE with Edward's bloodlust. It's never become an issue so far and it has had no real effect on the plot except for making Edward whine about it and constantly say "I'm dangerous, stay away" while hypocritically following her everywhere she goes. Edward's danger to Bella is not demonstrated. He does not lose control, nor does he undergo any sort of soul searching or character growth in order to reconcile his vampire nature with his attraction to Bella. Edward's bloodlust could have been a great source for genuine conflict, but that potential is ignored in order to make room for more descriptions of Edward's physical appearance.
Speaking of which, Edward's eyes get some more attention here. Apparently they "scorched from under his lashes." The word "scorch" denotes an object being affected by heat, being either destroyed, shriveled, or in some other way altered by heat. It can also denote criticism or sarcasm, like how this blog scorches the shitty Twilight book.
As a metaphor for intense emotions it fails. You don't scorch WITH something (he was filled with burning passion) you are scorched BY something (she was burned by his fiery passion). For this to work his eyes would have to have been scorched by an external stimulus (he was scorched by my frightened response to his creepiness), and even that's pushing it. This is what happens when you let your thesaurus do your writing for you. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
She also described Edward's eyes as "hypnotic and deadly," giving off the definite vibe that we're supposed to find this sexy, because being told by a whiny pale brat the exact method in which he'd planned to murder you is such a turn on. Meyer is trying really hard to give Edward a bad boy image. Oooh, he's so brooding and damaged and even dangerous, but that's okay because of course YOU can heal him. Remember, kiddies, all girls want bad boys.
Edward: You have no idea how close I came to killing you.
Bella: Oh, Edward, tell me more!
Edward: I would have lured you away to someplace private.
Bella: And I would have went!
Edward: I would then have torn open your throat and lapped up the blood. Since Stephenie Meyer didn't give us fangs it's not very easy for us to get at the blood, so it would have been quite messy.
Bella: Yes! Oh yes!
Edward: Then I would have violated your dead body repeatedly until I got bored with it.
Bella: Don't stop!
Edward: I would have then hacked up your remains and burned them to dispose of the evidence.
Edward: Did you ... did you just have one?
Bella: I didn't say stop, Edward! What would you have done with my ashes?
Edward: Uh ... you are WAY more into this than I thought you'd be.
Bella: Threatening my life only makes you more mysterious and sexy!
Edward goes on about how he'd come close to killing her again when they had bumped into each other later, when Edward was trying to get his class schedule changed to avoid Bella. He elaborates on how he'd had to resist the urge to murder not only Bella, but the school faculty member who was also in the room. And people find this romantic BECAUSE?
Deciding that Edward's emo levels are about right, Meyer goes for the melodrama by describing how Edward had chosen to flee the state in order to avoid Bella, and how devastating his departure would have been to his family had he bothered to tell them. This is really starting to sound like a soap opera. Apparently a combination of guilt over upsetting Esme, shame at his cowardice, homesickness, and a downplaying of Bella's temptation made him come back.
You know what's sad? Edward's trip to Alaska is the closest thing this book has to character development so far, but it happened entirely off screen. Stephenie Meyer, you fail at writing.
"I wasn't used to having to go to such circuitous measures, listening to your words in Jessica's mind ... her mind isn't very original, and it was annoying to have to stoop to that."
Geez, Jessica just can't catch a break! Now even her very thoughts are being criticized. I'm surprised that Edward doesn't have super hearing, since he seems to have super everything else. Wait a second, he DOES have super hearing. It was mentioned earlier in this chapter. In that case, why read Jessica's mind when he could have just listened to Bella's words directly? Am I missing something here?
And so the stalking begins. He could have just left well enough alone and resolved to resist Bella by avoiding her, but he had to go snooping on her instead. He then goes on about how ZOMG INTERESTING Bella is and how much he wants to read her thoughts. Considering that Bella's thoughts at the time consisted entirely of "I hate Forks; everyone here sucks for being nice to me, I hate Forks; these boys are so annoying for liking me, I hate Forks; it's too cold and too wet. WAAAH! I HATE FORKS!" I don't think Edward would have been impressed with what he'd have found rattling around in that girl's empty head. I'm beginning to think that perhaps Edward CAN read her thoughts; the bitch just don't have much going on upstairs.
Since Edward is determined to recap everything that's already happened, he now moves on to the Tyler's van incident (AKA where the series should have ended). Bella eats all of this up, falling for the "dangerous = sexy" trope. This is supposed to make Bella look selfless, but it really just highlights how stupid and selfish she is. After hearing all of that she is stupid for not being concerned for her own life. Also, it's selfish for her to insist on staying with him knowing how much pain her very presence causes him. Granted he would just keep stalking her, but a true show of selfless compassion would be a willingness to let him go in order to keep him from suffering. Even if that didn't pan out, the mere willingness to let him go for his own sake would be placing the happiness of the one she supposedly loves over her own selfish wants.
Selflessness is another thing that's lacking here. All we ever hear from either Bella or Edward is "me me me." Concern for each other is only given a moment's lip service by Edward and his "warnings" (there aren't sarcasm quotes massive enough for that word) until he basically goes "oh, I'm bored now" and throws that out the window. This story isn't about love as much as it is about instant gratification and wish fulfillment. I suppose that's why it's so popular. It says "you too can have a hot guy fall in love with you instantly, because you're just that special." It takes out all those bothersome things like compatibility, communication, hard work and compromise and promises that you can have your cake and eat it too.
Unfortunately, real love doesn't work that way.
We now move on to the hospital scene. I am simply blown away by this next part. After describing yet again how much he wanted to kill her, Edward describes a fight he had with his family.
"I fought with Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper when they suggested that now was the time ... the worst fight we've ever had. Carlisle sided with me, and Alice." He grimaced when he said her name, I couldn't imagine why, "Esme told me to do whatever I had to in order to stay." He shook his head indulgently.
Yes, every now and then I too like to indulge in a bit of head shaking. Also, WHAT THE FUCK?
Aren't the Cullen's supposed to be the righteous and selfless good guys? Isn't it their vow to not eat humans that they believe separates them from monstrous vampires? That we see ANY of them actually advocating the killing of Bella proves how full of shit they are. At least in the case of Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper, they are only good non-people eaters whenever it's convenient for them. Esme is also guilty for giving Edward the green light to do whatever he wants in this situation. I am particularly surprised by Emmett, considering what we just learned about him. He's obviously learned nothing from either Carlisle or those two times he "fell off the wagon."
They say the true test of a person's character and beliefs is how they stand up to adversity. Well, this shows which of the Cullens are actually willing to stick to their guns the moment things get tough.
Edward describes how he eavesdropped on Bella after the hospital incident. He then says that he'd have been better off if he had killed her in public than in the meadow, where there are no witnesses and no one to stop him. That isn't a creepy thing to say at all. (+1 Bad Boyfriend)
I was human enough to have to ask. "Why?"
WHAT IS THAT EVEN SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
Edward then professes his love for Bella in the hammiest way possible. Trying not to be out hammed (but failing), Bella gives a mercifully shorter declaration of her feelings.
"I'm here ... which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you."
What an idiot.
I frowned. "I'm an idiot."
Indeed you are.
"You are an idiot," he agreed with a laugh.
Then we're all agreed. Bella is an idiot.
Seriously, it's a little too soon to be playing the "I'd die for you" card. When a character reaches a point where she would literally die for the one she loves it is usually after they'd spent a significant amount of time together, endured trial and hardship, got to see each other's flaws and still loved each other; saw each other at their most broken and defeated and gave of themselves to help each other through. It is not something I'd expect to hear from people who only just met, have had barely any real interaction with each other, and are only just now on what could be considered their first date. You could likely count on your hands the number of hours these two have spent in each other's company. A very recent personal conversation involved asking what Bella's favorite color is.
That is why Meyer fails. This entire situation is so improbable that it snaps my suspension of disbelief in half. They have no real reason to be together other than the fact that they're physically attracted to each other. While this is fine for a starting point in a romance story, Twilight doesn't move on from that. What is presented in Twilight instead is a one-dimensional and incredibly shallow view of romance: two attractive people in a scenic location.
That is why I said that the meadow scene shouldn't be happening now; it assumes an intimacy that doesn't exist because the people involved don't even know each other. At this point any intimacy between Bella and Edward exists solely in the mind of the reader with no evidence existing in the actual book. The only way this romance works is if you accept Meyer's words at face value, do no independent thinking, ignore any and all plot holes and inconsistencies, and accept gratuitous descriptions of Edward's physical appearance as a substitute for character development. In other words, it only works if you have faith and don't question it.
Twilight is a romance novel only because Meyer says it is. We only believe there's love because we're told it's there, not because we actually see it. Sure we get significant glances, some touching, and dialog that Meyer assumes to be romantic, but we don't actually see LOVE. At the very most we see lust. This book would make more sense if Bella and Edward simply started fucking like jackrabbits. We're not watching two people in love, we're watching puppets. They are two people with no chemistry who are pretending to be in love because they make each other horny. They are acting the way they do because Meyer says so, not because their actions come naturally to them as people. The word "contrived" doesn't even begin to describe this. The book outright DEMANDS that you don't think, because the writer hasn't put much thought into the story herself.
"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb ... ,"
What ... the ... fuck?
After hearing a dozen Twilight fans quoting that line I thought that maybe it's one of those things that sounds a lot more awesome in context, but this is just bad. This whole book is bad. For the love of God, showing this tripe to prisoners in order to break their minds would be cruel and unusual punishment.
"What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
"What a sick, masochistic lion."
Can't ... withstand ... STUPIDITY!
Sanity Meter: 34%
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!
Edward describes himself as masochistic, which proves that Meyer doesn't know what the word means, or does she mean to imply that Edward derives gratification from resisting his vampire urges? If so, then that kind of robs this situation of any of the drama Meyer tries and fails to create. You may be thinking "it's masochism because he stays with Bella even though she causes him pain." No! Masochism is the derivation of pleasure from pain and/or humiliation. For Edward's behavior to be masochistic he'd have to pursue Bella BECAUSE he gets a high off of the emotional pain rather than in spite of it. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Bella asks Edward what she can do to reduce Edward's desire to murder her.
"I'll have to be on my guard, you see, so I better start learning what I shouldn't do ..."
Because the constant threat of death is such a great foundation for a relationship. Does anyone else think that the fact that she needs a guide on what not to do in order to avoid ending up lying in a ditch MIGHT be a bad sign?
"But I want to help, if I can, to not make this harder for you."
You can cut your hair so that your neck is always exposed, and be sure to inflict a fresh cut once every hour on the hour. That would be quite helpful.
"Well ..." He contemplated for a moment. "It was just how close you were. Most humans instinctively shy away from us, are repelled by our alienness. ..."
Oh, that perfectly explains why everyone with a uterus is constantly trying to hump Edward. It's because they're REPELLED by him. I was unaware that "repelled" means "incredibly turned on." Can you say "consistency fail"?
Bella comments that she wishes she could control her pulse because its speed may be bothering Edward. Yeah, good luck with that. What follows is a pretty awkward scene to say the least. Edward puts on his "boob inspector" hat as he rests his cheek on Bella's throat, getting quite a view of the twins. He then places his hands on Bella's shoulders and motorboats her. BBBRRRR!!!
Okay, he doesn't actually do that. Would have been funny, though. Edward decides that he likes one boob more than the other and moves his face for a better look. Oh, and he also listens to her heartbeat.
I don't know how long we sat without moving. It could have been hours.
And as those hours passed it became harder and harder for Bella to hold her bladder.
I knew at any moment it could be too much, and my life would end--so quickly that I might not even notice.
Oh, give it a rest already. I've already covered this topic in exhaustive detail, so I'm not going to bother with it now. I do wish, though, that Meyer would be a little more subtle. Show, don't tell. I'd get way more into this vibe of danger she's trying to create if she demonstrated it instead of explaining it over and over and over until my eyes bleed.
"Was that very bad for you?"
"Not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. And you?"
"No, it wasn't bad ... for me."
You know, there are male enhancement products out there that can help you improve your performance.
Edward puts Bella's hand on his cheek to show her that ... *GASP* ... heat transfers! Wow, what a revolutionary discovery!
Um, question. If his skin can be warmed by skin-to-skin heat transfer, then how is it that he is constantly cold to the point where lightly touching Bella can give her frostbite (chapter 11)? Meyer is a pro at consistency, isn't she? (+1 Stupidity)
But I barely noticed, for I was touching his face, something I'd dreamed of constantly since the first day I'd seen him.
Lines like these make me consider the option of hiring someone to read this book for me.
Bella caresses Edward. In a paragraph so cheesy there aren't enough Frenchmen in the world to consume it, she described his "perfect" and "flawless" features. Edward opens his mouth, and Bella resists the urge to put her nose to his mouth again. (+1 Eye Sex)
Edward goes emo again and says that Bella can't possibly understand the complexity of his feelings. Neither do I, because these so-called complex feelings are not indicated in the book.
Out of all the stories I've seen or read that involves "good" vampires struggling with their natures, this is the worst. I can sympathize with the likes of, say, Angel, because that story actually SHOWS his plight rather than harping on about it. The common writing advice, "show, don't tell" can be likened to the phrase "actions speak louder than words." Both cases demand that you demonstrate your intentions rather than just talking about them.
That's the case here. Because Edward's situation is talked up so much but never demonstrated, Edward's constant brooding comes off as whining, and his words, however eloquent Meyer may try (and fail) to make them, are nothing but empty posturing. I mentioned this in part one when I compared Edward to Okana, but this is such a big issue that it bears repeating. In short, until I actually SEE this vampire struggle of Edward's outside of pretentious throw-away dialog, my response will continue to be as follows.
More cheesy dialog and Bella imitates Edward with the whole ear-on-chest thing, sans motorboating. Meyer then comments on Edward making the "very human gesture" of putting his arm on Bella. Edward says that he has human instincts, however deeply buried they may be. Considering that Edward has not once demonstrated behavior that could be considered alien, this just falls flat.
Meyer's problem is that she relies a lot on informed attributes. I'm sorry to bring up Okana AGAIN, but the quote from that page just jumps out at me as "this is so Edward Cullen!"
Picard asks Troi for her opinion, and in the most shameless example of Informed Attributes I think I've ever seen, Troi outlines, describes, and explains the entire character of Okona for us. ... How you will feel about this character! Live it, love it, learn it! Okona: The Freshmaker! Keep in mind, none of this will turn out to be true about Okona. At least, not from anything we'll actually see.
That's the last time, I swear! Meyer's use of informed attributes is especially egregious because she seems to be pulling new character attributes out of her ass whenever it's convenient. These are not integral parts of the characters or things that develop over time. No, it's more like "in this chapter Lauren is upset because Bella spends time with the Cullens. Now in this chapter she'll be mad because Tyler's attracted to her. Why? Because it's convenient."
It's a particular wall-banger when certain attributes are brought up when it's convenient and then never mentioned again, like Bella's hemophobia. Remember that? It only came up once as an excuse to have Bella conveniently be in the right place for Edward to ride in on his white horse and rescue the damsel.
There is one part I'm having a little trouble figuring out.
"You have to go."
"I thought you couldn't read my mind."
"It's getting clearer." I could hear a smile in his voice.
If that was meant as a joke, I don't get what the punch line is supposed to be. If this is supposed to be serious, did Meyer just suggest that Edward now has a limited capacity to read Bella's thoughts? Kind of defeats the purpose her being unique because he can't read her thoughts if that's the case.
"Can I show you something?" he asked, sudden excitement flaring in his eyes.
NO! NO NO NO! OH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NO!
"I'll show you how I travel in the forest."
Oh thank sweet merciful God. I thought he meant his penis.
Edward smiles, which nearly sends Bella into cardiac arrest. Meyer then jokes about him turning into a bat to demonstrate that her vampires are different, as if the sparkling hadn't already made that fact abundantly clear.
"Come on, little coward, climb on my back."
Make sure you're wearing that strap-on dildo I gave you. You're not quite Emmett, but with a little practice you'll do just fine.
Bella comments that though Edward can't hear her thoughts, he can hear her pulse. I wonder how that would work. I mean, if someone's hearing is so acute that he can he a person's pulse from a few paces away, just imagine all the other sounds he can hear. Good Lord, I wouldn't want to live in Manhattan with that ability.
Anyway, Bella is nervous about this idea so Edward calmly assures her that it is safe and gives her some time to act on her own initiative. Oh, I'm sorry, that isn't what he does at all. Nope, he just grabs Bella and slings her onto his back. You will do as Edward commands, you pathetic human creature!
He then starts running WITH SPARKLEPIRE SPEED, in a scene which I suspect is trying to rip off the flying scene from the Superman movie, just replace "flying over a city" with "running through a forest."
He streaked through the dark, thick underbrush of the forest like a bullet ...
So he charged in a straight trajectory until he either hit something or ran out of momentum?
... like a ghost. There was no sound, no evidence that his feet touched the earth.
There wasn't even the sound of the wind rushing through her ears from traveling at high speed? It's also very considerate of Edward to stop his running long enough for Bella to inspect his path for signs of his footfalls.
His breathing never changed, never indicated any effort.
We get it, Edward is super special awesome. Please stop reminding us!
But the trees flew by at deadly speeds, always missing us by inches.
Very safe indeed. Nothing could POSSIBLY go wrong in this situation. Lucky for Bella, Edward also has x-ray vision, which allows him to see obstacles and hazards that would normally be hidden. Also, I do hope that Bella isn't prone to motion sickness.
I was too terrified to close my eyes, though the cool forest air whipped against my face and burned them.
Ah, the rushing air that Bella somehow can't hear.
I felt as if I were stupidly sticking my head out the window of an airplane in flight.
Has Meyer ever flown on an airplane before? Unless she means a small craft that doesn't go very high or very fast, the windows on an airplane don't open, and they don't for a reason. It's a little thing called decompression. The pressurized air would be sucked out of the craft, everything not bolted down would be sucked into the window, including body parts, and many people would be quite unhappy and possibly dead. Why couldn't she have just said "car on the road" instead of "airplane in flight"?
And, for the first time in my life, I felt the dizzy faintness of motion sickness.
Yeah, taking her on this high speed run was a smashing idea, wasn't it?
They reach the truck in minutes, despite them having hiked for hours to reach the meadow. Let's have a look at this. Since Meyer has been vague on the exact times, I'll have to go with an approximation. Let's assume that they'd hiked for 2 hours at least (she said "hours" after all). The average walking speed is roughly 3 miles per hour, so that would mean they'd traveled about 6 miles, give or take. So Edward traveled roughly 6 miles in a few minutes. Again, Meyer is vague, but let's assume that it took Edward 6 minutes. That's one mile per minute, or 60 miles per hour.
I was unaware that among Edward's powers is the ability to transform into a blue hedgehog. Since this is just an approximation I'm not going to hold this against Meyer. My completely bullshit calculations above were just meant to give you an idea of the kinds of speeds it takes to traverse in mere minutes what takes hours of walking. Edward might have been going that fast or faster, considering Bella's motion sickness, the wind burning her eyes, and her sensation of sticking her head out an airplane.
So, yeah, he just took a girl who'd had panic attacks at his driving too fast on a high speed run at speeds rivaling that of cars. Do I even need to point out how reckless and stupid Edward's actions are? It's amazing that Bella didn't get whiplash from the g-forces created from his course corrections to avoid trees and other obstacles, which he'd have to make pretty damn rapidly and suddenly at those speeds.
I'm sure this is all meant to be impressive and Meyer is trying to blow our minds with how perfect Edward is supposed to be, but ... how do I put this ... HE FUCKING SPARKLES! I'm sorry, but there just isn't much more I can say than that. He fucking sparkles.
Anyway, Bella is having some trouble moving due to her shock at what just happened. Smooth move, sparkledouche. Bella expresses a desire to lie down, a clear indication of either discomfort or physical illness from the sudden high speed run. Need I remind you that she'd gotten motion sick along the way. Edward's response? He laughs. That's right, he subjected a human to his super speed power without warning, and the fact that she became sick from the sudden speed amuses him. Isn't he charming? (+1 Bad Boyfriend)
"I guess that wasn't the best idea," he mused.
GEE, YOU THINK? *facepalm*
Despite Edward's blasé treatment of the situation Bella tries to be positive, a clear attempt to spare his feelings. In response, Edward mocks her.
"Hah! You're as white as a ghost--no, you're as white as me!"
Because girls LOVE it when you kick them while they're down. *sigh*
I suppose what really matters is that he's learned that Bella + sparklepire speed = sick Bella, and will think twice before subjecting her to that again. Mistake made, lesson learned.
"I think I should have closed my eyes."
"Remember that next time."
"Next time!" I groaned.
He laughed, his mood still radiant.
You have GOT to be kidding me! You are not making it easy for me to like you, Edward. You are not making it easy at all.
Meyer spends a short paragraph gushing over Edward's physical appearance, followed by Edward bragging about how running at those speeds is so easy he doesn't even have to think about it. Then they kiss, or rather he kisses her and then is surprised when she reciprocates. I just have to shake my head and chuckle at this. Two people in twu wuv, expressing their unconditional and irrevocable love for each other, one expressing a casual willingness to die for the other, and they hadn't even kissed yet.
I gather from the writing that Edward was testing to see if he'd murder her if he got too excited from their kissing. He has no trouble with it, reining in his bloodlust so neatly that we don't even see a hint of it. For something that has been talked up so much as this huge, dangerous thing, it's a surprising non-factor here. From what I see in this book so far, the vampire bloodlust only exists to supply Edward with angst so that Bella and Edward's "relationship" can be made out to be this forbidden and dangerous thing. The problem is that we're not dealing with actual danger, but rather the promise of danger. Again, we are told but not shown.
Edward offers Bella a hand to help her up, which she finds strange, commenting on how she's used to their "careful non-contact." I already described in chapter eleven how ridiculous it is that these two people who are supposedly in twu wuv don't even casually touch each other, so I won't go into that again here. I still find it funny.
More gushing about Edward's appearance, talking about his "seraphic" face and how it would cause her physical pain to be separated from him. Ugh! I think a little bit of my lunch just came up there. (+1 Eye Sex)
They then talk about who is going to drive.
"I can drive better than you on your best day," he teased. "You have much slower reflexes."
God you're such a douche.
"I'm sure that's true, but I don't think my nerves, or my truck, could take it."
A valid point. She's already sick from Edward's impulsive sparkle run, so being subjected to him flagrantly breaking the speed limit would be a bit much at this point. He argues, but she says no.
He raised his eyebrows in disbelief.
How DARE this HOO-MAHN not do exactly what I say? Think about this for a second. Edward fully expects to get exactly what he wants in this "relationship," so much so that Bella saying no to him is a source of disbelief. He literally cannot believe that she told him no. How fucked up is that?
Edward agrees to let Bella rest up a little, then either let her drive when she feels up to it or drive the truck himself with a promise not to go too fast so she doesn't get sick.
Oh, I'm sorry, that's exactly what he DOESN'T do. He just insists on getting his own way, saying that he's not going to let her drive drunk. She asks what he means by that.
"You're intoxicated by my very presence." He was grinning that playful smirk again.
A certain song comes to mind when I read this line.
Also, how do you grin a smirk? What next, will Edward laugh a chuckle?
There was no way around it; I couldn't resist him in anything.
Sentences like these make me want to pull my hair out. I stare at my e-reader, unbelieving, thinking "oh, COME ON! How can people NOT see what is wrong with that sentence?" *sigh*
I don't know what's worse, the fact that Bella is so weak-willed that she can't say no to Edward and stick to her guns, even over something as relatively minor as this, or the fact that THIS is what young girls are trumpeting as one of the greatest romances in recent history. As I have pointed out in previous chapters, namely chapter ten, Bella lets Edward get away with a ton of shit. He belittles her, condescends to her, threatens her (parking lot incident anyone?), ignores her wishes, emotionally manipulates her, stalks her, and breaks into her house without her knowledge (though I'll let that last one slide for now since she doesn't know it yet). Generally he is a brash, reckless jerk who is convinced that HE knows what's best for Bella without any input from her and insists that she WILL do what HE wants whether she likes it or not. All of this while knowing her for all of ... gosh, how long has it been so far? Weeks?
He is a control freak, a manipulator, and a hypocrite. She puts up with all of this, and why? Because he's pretty. Because he is physically attractive he can do no wrong. This behavior is not even restricted to the characters in the book; the fans themselves will defend Edward to the death for similar, if not the same, reasons. What irritates me is when they chime in "he does it for her own good, he loves her, he means well so it's okay."
No. No it is not.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, folks. It does not matter if he genuinely means well, though whether or not he does is debatable. If you were locked in a room and told you could never leave, would it matter if the furniture was nice and you were fed well? No. Regardless of the conditions you would still be a prisoner. To use another phrase, a gilded cage is still a cage.
That is exactly what Edward is, a gilded cage. They both look nice and shiny, but they keep you prisoner all the same. Does it matter if you're locked in because your jailer thinks that's what's best for you? No. What I find truly disturbing is how close the "good intentions" argument comes to the testimony of some abused women who actually defend their assailants. "He only hits me because he loves me!" Ugh!
Just like how it is never okay to beat your spouse, even if you're psychotic enough to honestly believe you're doing it for her own good, Edward's behavior cannot be excused merely on the grounds that "he means well." I'd be willing to lay odds that if Edward were ugly he wouldn't get away with nearly as much crap as he does. Just putting that out there.
I just noticed that in part one I kept referencing Star Trek, and now I'm referencing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I guess my little way of coping with the sheer amount of suck in Twilight is to think of other, better fiction.
I held the key high and dropped it, watching his hand flash like lightning to catch it soundlessly.
Uhhhhh hhahaha hahahahahahahah!!!
Sanity Meter: 12%
Later that day Edward went home to do his math homework. He solved equations with his right hand and wrote names with his left. He took a potato chip ... AND ATE IT!.
Seriously, can Edward do a single thing without Meyer trying to make it sound epic? If this is what happens when he catches keys, I wonder if O Fortuna plays in the background when he enters his ATM code. Now I get what Robert Pattinson meant when he said that Meyer was mad and that reading this book felt voyeuristic. I'm getting this definite sense that I am trapped in an insane woman's wet dream about a fantasy guy who is idealized to such an extent that he literally cannot do the smallest thing without it looking like a scene out of the movie 300. (+1 Stupidity)
"Are you not affected at all?" I asked, irked. "By my presence?"
Hmm, is Edward affected at all by Bella's presence? That's a good question. If only a large chunk of this chapter had been devoted to explaining the answer to that question in drawn-out, overly-dramatic detail. Oh, wait, IT HAS!
And so the chapter ends with an awkward paragraph involving Edward's lips and Bella's jaw line.
Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster, this chapter is finally over! It's over! I have overcome the meadow scene! Hahaha! aaahahahahaha!!!!! I AM DA MAN!
... I just realized that this book isn't over yet. *cries*
Sanity Meter: 0%
But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!
+2 Purple Prose
+4 Bad Boyfriend
+4 Thesaurus Rape
+5 Eye Sex