Archive for the Twilight Category

Extra Credit: The Twilight Saga and domestic abuse

Posted in Twilight with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

This probably won’t be funny, so tl;dr for those of you who want laughs: Bella just fell down the stairs, Edward loves her okay he loves her she just makes him mad sometimes. Also, Twilight is serious business.

I know I make light of this a lot, but I wanted to break it down, point by point. From what I have seen so far, the Twilight series is about abuse, plain and simple. Edward is an emotional batterer, and Bella is constantly and persistently victimized by his actions. What makes it sad is that the author herself seems to have no idea that she was writing about an abusive, codependent teenage relationship. If she knew, I have a feeling she would have at least attempted to address some of the issues caused and raised by her characters and their relationships with each other.

This issue is somewhat personal to me. I have been in relationships with manipulative, and, at times, emotionally abusive people. I, like many people, also have friends who have a history of abuse. Because of this, you would assume that Bella would be a sympathetic character. This would be the case, were I not aware of the intent behind the writing. The relationship, despite its obviously harmful characteristics, is displayed as romantic. Edward, fans of the series say, is chivalrous, protective, and honorable. He opens doors for Bella. He’s sweet and thoughtful. He’s noble and caring. The creepiest part of all of this is that the justifications fans create for Edward and Bella’s actions are eerily similar to what victims of abuse tell themselves while they try to cope with their harmful relationship.

Let’s get a little deeper and dirtier with some examples. The symptoms of abuse are easy to find online, I am referencing the list found on HelpGuide.org.

Abusers use the following tactics to remain in control of their victims:

  1. Dominance. Abusive individuals (for example, Edward Cullen) need to exert control over their partners. By say, making their decisions for them (“Bella, please just do this my way, just this once.” Or, the “memory tampering” in chapter 17 of Twilight. Or dragging her to the prom in the epilogue), and expecting to obey without question (the whole of chapter 18 when Bella attempts to argue with Edward). Further example of this can be found in the fact that Edward refuses to let Bella drive, and their carefully constructed “rules” on what physical conduct is acceptable and unacceptable, rules which often come to Bella’s detriment.
  2. Humiliation. An abuser will do whatever they can to make you feel bad about yourself, or “defective” in some way (i.e. Edward’s conversations with Bella through much of Twilight revolving around the fact that she is an idiot for being with him, she can’t survive without him, etc.) The idea is that you are the crazy one, and if you believe you’re worthless and can’t find someone else, you won’t ever leave. Bella makes comments in Twilight and early on in New Moon to the effect of “I am too plain and boring for Edward, I don’t deserve him.” This is the product of naturally low self-esteem, and, in realistic characters, the fact that her lover calls her an idiot whenever he can.
  3. Isolation. The abuser needs their victim to be dependent on them, and will often try to do this by cutting you off from the outside world. Edward seems to perpetuate this less on his own, as Bella readily throws herself into it. She has no actual friends in the series beyond Edward and his sister, Alice. Her only social activity is working at the local sports store, if you can call that social. She is willing to isolate herself from her parents as well, if it would mean getting to spend eternity with her abuser. You could argue that Edward is manipulating her into this (I mean, really, there’s nothing bad about being a vampire).
  4. Threats. Abusers will threaten violence on their victims in order to exert further control. In the Twilight series, this is a little more subtle and insidious. Edward warns Bella that he could hurt her, that he could lose control at any moment. In chapter 8 of Twilight, he admits to having murderous thoughts regarding the ruffians Bella was accosted by, to further illustrate how dangerous he is. Even more shocking, he tells Bella later that he wanted to kill her when they first met. Every chance he gets, he “warns” her that he could murder her at a moment’s notice. Worse, his attempts at “saving” her often end in physical harm coming to her anyway, such as the James “conflict” and Bella’s birthday party in New Moon. Bella learns to make excuses and quick stories for the bruises, cuts, and broken bones she sustains, in a rather unsettling mirror of an abuse victim’s behavior. That’s not to mention Edward’s vague suicidal threats, should anything happen to Bella.
  5. Intimidation. Abusers will often try to scare their victims into submission. Edward in chapter 13 of Twilight, jumping around, smashing trees, showing off how fast and strong he is, in an attempt to make Bella frightened of him. Do I really need to say more?
  6. Denial and blame. Abusers are very good at making their own excuses for their actions, and shifting the blame. Again, this is a little more subtle in the Twilight series. Edward blames his behavior on being a vampire, on having to resist human blood, and on having buried his humanity for so long. In a supernatural setting, it’s hard to say that these excuses are not justified, but they are still excuses. Bella, again, readily assumes the blame for anything bad that happens to her as a result of Edward’s actions. Edward will occasionally make the token effort to convince her this isn’t the case, but there are a few times where she shoulders the blame unhindered. Edward has also told Bella that if she gets hurt, he’s going to blame it all on her. He also seems to think that if she kisses him too hard and he eats her, that’s going to be her fault as well.

Abusers will also exhibit signs of remorse after periods of abuse, entering the “honeymoon phase” of the cycle. They will make it up to the abused in whatever way they can, in an attempt to keep the victim with them. They may say “I’m sorry I hurt you,” when what they mean is “I’m sorry I hurt you, because I might get caught.” This creates further conflict in a victim who would otherwise leave the relationship–“when he’s not making me feel like garbage, he’s very sweet.” Edward writes songs for Bella, and offers to buy her expensive gifts. Then he refuses to let her drive and warns of the threat of violence if she open-mouth kisses him.

Bella, as well, exhibits signs of someone who is abused. She accepts the blame readily when terrible things happen, especially when it was through no fault of her own. She suffers mysterious injuries, and will have elaborate tales for how she sustained them (“I fell down the stairs and into a window”).  She has incredibly low self-esteem, and considers herself lucky to be with Edward. She is always ready with an excuse when Edward begins to treat her coldly, hurts her, or otherwise emotionally abuses her.

Abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, or sexual, is a real issue. It can be insidious, as the abusers are often very good at hiding their behavior from others, or even convincing others that they should be excused from what they do, due to everything from a bad childhood to a bad day. Emotional abuse is unfortunately the most ignored, as it leaves no obvious bruises or scars. Victims will assume that since their partner has not put them in the hospital, there is no abuse occurring at all. Seeing it occur so blatantly in Twilight, a book that is shoved down the throats of young girls as a model romance, honestly makes me scared. Watching others defend the story with the same reasons and excuses abusers and their victims would use doesn’t just make me scared. It makes me sick.

But it’s just a kid’s novel about vampires. It’s not that big a deal.

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Adverb Round-up

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags on April 29, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Okay guys, here it is.

Twilight has an average of 250 words per page. Actually, the pages surveyed were all a little eerily close to 250. Maybe she really did have a quota. Anyway, there are 498 pages, subtracting 12 for the difference in chapter end and chapter start pages, giving us 486.

According to my counts, there are more than 1360 adverbs in this book, an average of 3 per page. Given that the average page is 250 words long, we would have nearly six pages of just adverbs. One of her actual chapters is shorter than this.

Talk to your kids about adverbs.

Discussion questions

Posted in Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

You’re never going to believe this, guys. There are discussion questions in the back of this book. Like someone is going to suggest this for their local Oprah Book Club.

Let’s have a look…

1. Is the fact that Edward can’t read Bella’s thoughts more important than it seems? Do you think it will serve a larger purpose?

It does serve as a startling way to show the lengths he will go to control and manipulate her. He makes a point of reading the minds of her friends while she’s talking with them, so he knows exactly what she’s saying about him. I guess it’s supposed to have something to do with this “glitch” in her brain Bella talks about earlier, and how they’re totes soulmates and stuff.

And it could also have to do with the fact that if he could read her mind, all he would hear is white noise. Wake up, Eddy, there’s nothing to read in there.

2. Bella faints at the smell of blood. If she were to become a vampire [recapper’s note: LOL], how might this serve as a hindrance? How might it be an asset?

Spoiler time. Because Bella is disgusted by blood, it means that when Edward turns her into a vampire in the fourth book, she is immune to bloodcraze. I am not even joking. So she will get all the good things about being a vampire, and will have nothing to do with the one. single. flaw.

Aren’t we just HAPPY for her???

3. Is Edward selfishly putting Bella in danger, or is Bella being too stubborn for her own good? Is it a little bit of both? What are the threatening factors facing Bella and are there ways to avoid them?

I wouldn’t put it past Edward, in my own mind, to purposely lead her into danger so he can save her time and again to force her to create a dependency on him. I wouldn’t put it past Bella, in my own mind, to consciously put herself in danger so that Edward feels the need to constantly be near her to protect her  (Hell, she actually considers this at some point in Twilight).

And I guess we can expect to see a lot more seriously boring vampire twit villains in this series. Hooray for monologging.

4. Temptation is a major theme in Twilight–more accurately, resisting one’s temptations. Discuss the subplot of Carlisle’s job as a doctor in relation to this major theme. How well does he handle temptation? What do you feel would be the most difficult part for him in his role? Why does he remain working as a doctor when the Cullens don’t seem to need his income?

Yeah, you know, I would like to discuss the subplot of Carlisle’s job as a doctor. Namely, how he still is one.

Carlisle was born in London, in the 1600s. Before the United States existed, and before we had things like social security cards. What I want to know is how he has managed to fake being a person to the point where he can hold a job as respected and screened as medical practitioner.  Does he have a fake ID? fake SSN? Rosalie and Emmett get remarried every few years, to keep up appearances, but Smeyer never explains if Dr. Cullen has to re-attend medical school every few decades to keep up on the latest methods of treatment. Or does he still use leeches and believe in humorism?

(Hint: The reason she explains the remarriage but not how Carlisle can hold down a job is because marriage is way more important than having a job.)

I’d also like to know how the Cullens “don’t seem to need his income.” Carlisle is the only family member with a job. Come to think of it, none of the women in this book have jobs. Alice and Rosalie are “in high school;” Esme is a stay-at-home vampmom; Bella is a listless, whiny little tramp; Bella’s mom just follows her super-young baseball-playing husband around like a lost puppy…

Here’s my own discussion question. Why does Stephenie Meyer hate women?

She totally doesn’t, you see. She believes that feminism is about choice, and if every single one of her female characters choose to stay at home and have babies and have no life outside of their husband and kids, then, by golly, that’s their choice, and they’re feminist for it! If her main character chooses to dig herself deeper and deeper into a controlling, manipulative relationship characterized by abuse and “hurting to protect,” well, by golly, that’s her choice, and she’s a strong role model for girls everywhere!

5. The Cullens live, act, and care for one another as a family. How much of their ability to do so is dependant on Carlisle’s rule that they live in a manner that contradicts their nature–hunting animals instead of humans? Do you think that they would be able to maintain their bond if they weren’t all committed to this plan?

Oh please.

The only reason they hunt animals instead of Bad People in this book is so Stephenie can have wonderful, perfect, beautiful, caring superbeings as the protagonists. Her attempt to create a conflict in “but just drinking animals is like only eating tofu” falls completely flat. One, Carlisle actually overcomes his bloodlust. Two, Edward, when faced with the tasty, tasty buffet of Bella’s O+, seems to have little to no problem not partaking (and spoiler, he later becomes “immune” to her.) Three, the only person who ever bitches about this lifestyle is Edward, in an attempt to look edgy and brooding. The hunting animals instead of humans aspect of vampirism is an easy out for Stephenie to have characters who are Good In Every Way, instead of, I don’t know, well-rounded, three-dimensional characters, with real flaws. “Too perfect” or “can’t have babies” are NOT FLAWS.

6. Edward saves Bella on more than one occasion. Discuss the different instances and how Bella reacts before she knows what he is and after. Also discuss how Edward reacts after each instance both before and after she learns he is a vampire.

Lord, there was a difference? Let me try to remember.

Bella, before she finds out Edward is a vampire, is less committed to loving him forever and forever. Once she finds out he’s one of the beautiful dead, and can make her one, too, she is immediately caught up in the glamor of faux-suicide and the romance of “dying” for someone you love.

The good news is that before she learns he’s a vampire, she doesn’t expect him to save her. This all dissipates when she realizes that he’s like totally strong and stuff.

I really don’t think Edward gives a damn either way.

7.Alice explains to Bella the theory of how vampires come to exist. She mentions that most have some memories of the transition and their life prior to it. How does what we learn from James about Alice’s past explain her lack of memory?

Uh. Are you serious?

She was a frigging vegetable.

8. Once Edward has tasted Bella’s blood, do you think it will make it harder to resist Bella–specifically her blood? Will the fact that he is able to control himself make Bella want to be changed into a vampire? Do you think that it is fair of her to ask that of him? Do you think it is fair of him to refuse?

Ugh. Again, let’s recap the pros and cons of being a vampire.

Pros:

1. Super power carried over from your natural skills in life (reading minds, seeing the future, loving people will all your heart, etc.)
2. Super strength, speed, and senses.
3. Aphrodisiac breath.
4. Heart-stopping beauty.
5. Don’t need to breathe.
6. Totally immortal, to the point where only chopping you to pieces and lighting the pieces on fire will kill you.
7. Sparkles.
8. An easily-overcome addiction to human blood.

Cons:

1. NONE WHATSOEVER.

OF COURSE BELLA WANTS TO BE A VAMPIRE. I still think the only reason Edward is refusing is because if she were just as strong as him he couldn’t order her around. What he fails to realize is that Bella’s supervampire skill will be “obeying everything Edward says,” because she did it so well in life.

And, to address the first part of the question, you would think that tasting the forbidden fruit of Bella’s blood would make him want it more, but no. Sadly, this is not the case. He grows immune to her smell, and while he still appreciates it, eventually gets over his fear of accidentally eating her if she dares to open-mouth-kiss him.

Sigh.

9. Jacob Black tells Bella a story about his tribe and the “cold ones.” He doesn’t believe any of it but says his father clearly dislikes the Cullens. If Jacob’s father believes the Cullens are dangerous, why doesn’t he warn Bella or Jacob? Is he protecting a secret of his own?

Oh God. One, HE DOES WARN BELLA. ALL THE FREAKING TIME. HE PAID HIS KID TO GO TO PROM AND TELL HER TO BREAK UP WITH EDWARD. HOLY FREAKING CRAP.

The secret is that Billy Black has a Myspace and picked up all his social talent on the world-wide web.

10. Stephenie Meyer has noted that each of the novels in the Twilight Saga pays homage to other literary classics.

Sorry, I have to stop here. Are you freaking kidding me?

Okay, continue.

For Twilight, she has said Pride and Prejudice was the key inspiration.

….Are you serious?

Pride and Prejudice is often described as a “romantic comedy.” What parts of Twilight are romantic? What parts are comic? Describe the similarities between Elizabeth Bennet and Bella Swan. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Edward Cullen. What role would Bella’s friends play in a “remake” of Jane Austen’s classic story?

Oh.

My.

God.

I think the world has finally snapped.

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it is utterly ridiculous, insulting to a classic work of actual literature, and only serves to further feed Stephenie’s bloated ego.

Twilight — It’s Pride and Prejudice. With vampires.

I’d much rather read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, personally.

Crap, there’s an epilogue.

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Bella, all dolled up in a fancy dress, with a fancy do, and a fancy leg boot, is being helped into the Volvopire by Edward, dressed in a tux. Alice spent all day prettying her up, which actually is sort of a cute mental image. With how Alice’s hair is described (sticking out in all directions, like she were just shocked–hey!), I’m surprised Bella didn’t come out of this with a fauxhawk or something.

Oh, and, Bella has no idea what’s going on. Not until Edward gets a call from Charlie, informing him that Tyler wants to know why Bella isn’t there to be his date to the prom.

Oh MY GOD Bella throws a fit. I would, too, if I were somehow stupid enough to not know that high school prom was coming. Crap on a stick, how meatheaded and tunnel-visioned do you have to be to miss prom planning, prom signs, guys asking girls out, girls chattering about dresses and shoes and hair, guys chattering about hotel rooms and beer…

Right. Bella.

Well, all the  vampires are there. By the way, Rosalie still hates her and her still-living womb. Everyone is super pretty, and we are treated to paragraphs about just how pretty they are. Edward helps Bella dance by having her stand on his shoes like she’s a toddler.

Suddenly, injuns!

Jacob Black is here, for some unknown reason. He sidles up to the happy mixed-race couple and asks if he can dance. Edward hisses at him, I’m not even kidding, but Bella says it’s fine. There is some awkwardly cute flirting. Jacob calls her pretty. Aww.

He fills her in. Billy the Meddling Indian paid Jacob $20 to come to this prom. Never mind that this won’t even cover gas money (speaking of which.. how did Jacob get here? he’s only 15), seriously dude, your dad had to pay you?

The reason Billy paid Jacob to come to prom was specifically so he could find Bella and tell her that Dad wants her to break up with Edward.

How exactly did Billy expect this to pan out? “Oh! Really? My father’s friend that I barely remember, much less know, wants me to break off with someone I literally cannot breathe without? Sure! Not a problem. Hey, now that I’m single, wanna get down and dirty and make a litter?’

Bella says no. Duh.

Jacob finishes the message with “We’ll be watching,” looking intensely embarrassed the whole time. Poor kid. I can’t believe daddy is sending him on his drama errands. I would have told the old man to stuff it, personally, but Jacob is in love with this idiot and wanted to see her dancing with some gorgeous white kid all night.

Edward reappears, glaring at Jacob until he leaves. He then sighs and says how much that native kid is getting on his nerves. Bella isn’t pretty, what an insult, she’s much more than even beautiful. Ugh.

Anyway, Edward leads her outside, and they get to talking. He took her to prom because he doesn’t want her to miss out on her life because of him. Bella (and I) both argue that she wouldn’t have gone to the prom in the first place, so she’s not really missing anything. Bella confesses that she was sort of hoping all the dolling and dressing up was for her Bite Day, which Edward immediately calls absolutely retarded.

Edward insists that he’s not worth her becoming an immortal perfect absolutely beautiful sparkling creature who is forever young and strong and talented. Why on earth does she want to be a vampire? He makes like he’s going to bite her, right there at prom, and it’s all tense and sexual and crap, until he psychs her out and simply kisses her. Oh, you, pretending like you’re going to inject me with a fatal and excruciatingly painful poison!

I will leave you with the last paragraphs of this stinkfest, this pile of refuse, this hot burning injection of pure misogyny, codependency, abuse and necrophilia.

I touched his face. “Look,” I said. “I love you more than everything else in the world combined. Isn’t that enough?”

“Yes, it is enough,” he answered, smiling. “Enough for forever.”

And he leaned down to press his cold lips once more to my throat.

eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwww

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

Twilight.

Chapter Twenty-Four is the last chapter

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

ADVERB COUNT: 56

Oh God, can it be? The light at the end of the tunnel? The reassuring lack of pages on the right side of this book? Am I really almost done?

Bella wakes up in a hospital. Edward is there, having never left her side. She has a broken leg, four broken ribs, a cracked skull, bruises all over her body, a bite mark on her hand… and do you know what they’ve told her mother?

She fell down the stairs.

Oh. My. God.

Anyway, he fills her in. James is dead, Alice saw the tape, Mom is here somewhere, etc. Bella panics when she sees the IV in her arm, because she hates needles. Ummm they don’t… leave the needle in there. Chill out, sister. Edward makes some comment about how ridiculous it is for her to be afraid of needles when she so bravely stood up to a murderous undead minion of the night intent on draining her blood. That wasn’t exactly bravery, Ed. You didn’t have to read the hotel room chapters with her curled in a ball and staring at the ceiling for hours on end.

The story they’re feeding Mom is that Edward came to Phoenix with Carlisle and Alice to “talk some sense” into Bella. Of course he came with adult supervision, he makes a point of saying, “virtuously.” Bella, being herself, managed to fall down two flights of stairs and through a window.

I’m sure the cop father will totally freaking buy this after how freaking upset she was at Edward. Fell down the stairs MY ASS.

Then there’s this little number:

He leaned in slowly; the beeping noise accelerated wildly before his lips even touched me. But when they did, though with the most gentle of pressure, the beeping stopped altogether.

He pulled back abruptly, his anxious expression turning to relief as the monitor reported the restarting of my heart.

Her heart. Stops. When he kisses her.

I just. There. Her heart. What? I don’t think I have any words for how bleeding stupid this is.

Speaking of that, HOW THE CRAP ARE VAMPIRES IN A HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW WHEN THEY FREAK OUT AT THE SMELL OF BLOOD.

Oh God, my head.

Mom comes in, Edward pretends to be asleep. There’s the page of “you’re okay oh my sweet baby I’m so glad you’re okay,” and then Bella asks where Phil the Husband is. GUESS WHAT, Phil got signed to that baseball team he wanted in Florida and so now they’re moving to Florida oh and Bella you’re going to love it it’s so warm and sunny and the house is just darling and we’re right near the ocean and–

Bella interrupts Self-Centered Mom to inform her that she still has another parent she’s living with in Forks. Mom is aghast. She wants to stay in Forks? Mom may be egocentric, but she isn’t stupid, and soon zeroes in on the fact that it’s because of Edward.

“Well, he seems very nice, and, my goodness, he’s incredibly good-looking, but you’re so young, Bella…”

Wait, what? 17 is too young to have a boyfriend? What rock has she been living under?

Does everyone just automatically assume she’s going to marry him? I mean, she is, but c’mon. At least inject some semblance of reality into this.

Mom starts glancing at the clock. Bella asks if visiting hours are over, and Mom lets her know that Phil is going to be calling soon.

…Okay, so. Your daughter is broken all over, has been unconscious for days, and after talking to her for maybe 20 minutes you bail because Phil is calling soon.

Between Charlie’s inattentiveness and Mom’s extreme immaturity… I think I can see how Bella sprang into being.

It’s okay, Edward is here. After Mom leaves, he expresses surprise that Bella wouldn’t want to live in Florida. She says that’d be silly–he’d have to stay indoors all day! Bella, unfortunately, has missed the point, and Edward further suggests that perhaps he should live farther from her so he doesn’t, you know, draw more vampires to her and her delicious blood.

Bella has a panic attack, right then and there. So codependent is she, she can hardly imagine what it would be like to live without this marvelous creature. Despite the fact that she was doing great just fine okay for 17 years without him. She makes him swear that he won’t ever leave her, ever, ever.

Oh Godddd.

More “I’m dangerous and could hurt you,” because we certainly haven’t gotten enough of that. Bella wants to know why he didn’t just let the venom run its course and let her become a vampire. UH OH, WHO TOLD YOU. Edward gets pissed. Bella argues, in the clearest burst of logic she has displayed in 500 pages, that she should get to save him sometimes, too, to make things more equal. Edward is having none of that. If she were a vampire, he wouldn’t be able to control her as easily she would be throwing the rest of her life away.

Dude, what life? She has no friends, no hobbies, no goals, no family (her parents are both pretty sub-par so I’m not even counting them), and essentially she just exists to get married to you and have your abominable undead baby. Speed things up here. We could have wrapped this all up in two books. Even Alice has seen this coming.

Edward says no, and that means no. Bella points out that eventually she is going to get old, like 25 old. And then it’s going to be creepy that she’s hanging out with an extremely pretty 17 year old. That actually seems to drive it home for Edward, but he ends the conversation by calling the nurse in to drug Bella up some more. I wish I were joking.

And… done!

Wait. Crap, there’s an epilogue. CRAP.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , on April 24, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

There are only nine adverbs and five pages to this. Why did she even bother making a new chapter?

An “angel” comes out of nowhere to save Bella. Ooooooh we’re all surprised. He cries without actually shedding tears (because that wouldn’t be manly.) Carlisle is attending Bella’s wounds as Edward and Alice off the hunter. We don’t actually get any details on this, mind you, because Bella is hazy from blood loss. I’m just pretty sure that’s what happened since I’ve seen the movie.

Bella snaps to and starts screaming about how her hand is burning. He BIT her! Carlisle is downright shocked. I’m not sure why, given that he was, uh, a vampire. Edward is instructed to suck the venom out of her blood.

BUT WAIT! Doesn’t she smell like the best cheeseburger ever and basically this is like asking him to just pick the onions off with his teeth?

BUT WAIT! Don’t vampires go into blood frenzies when they get anywhere near the smell of blood?

BUT WAIT! All of the above makes Edward hesitate, because he doesn’t want to accidentally eat his girlfriend!

OH GOD, IS THIS TENSION I SEE?

No, wait, never mind. He decides he can do it, puts his mouth to her bite wound, and sucks out the venom.

It’s okay, guys! He got it, no problem. At all. Whatsoever. Everyone is saved and they’re burning the bad guy now.

…Sigh.

We really could have saved a lot of “trouble” by just asking Carlisle to do it, since he doesn’t have a blood frenzy anymore, but oh well. I guess we just really needed that fake dose of not-tension.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

These are short, and I’m sort of motivated by being done with this garbage.

ADVERB COUNT: 47

Alice has a vision, about Bella. It’s ok, Jasper shows up to calm her down. Whatever the vision is, Alice never says, and Bella thinks she knows anyway, so… we never find out.

They go to the airport. Bella is still trying to plot how to get away from someone who can see the future, and someone who can sense her emotions. Alice explains that her power is a little lamer than most people would assume–she only sees the future of the path the person is currently on. As soon as they change their mind, the future changes. So she’s not handy, or repetitive, just more like a weatherman. For the future.

Anyway, she doesn’t see Bella going into the airport bathroom with two exits and making a break for it, which is what’s important to this paper-thin plot.

Bella hops on a Hyatt shuttle. At the Hyatt, she flags a cab to Mom’s house. Mom’s house is locked, for some reason, and, of course, on the whiteboard inside is a 10-digit number. Let’s give it a ring.

James tells Bella that Mom is perfectly fine (“I have no quarrel with her. Unless you didn’t come alone, of course.”) and gives her instructions to the ballet studio Bella already knew she was going to. Bella runs. And falls down a lot. And runs some more.

The ballet studio is closed for spring break, and unlocked. Bella lets herself in, and immediately starts to hear her mom call her name.

“Bella? Bella?” That same tone of hysterical panic. I sprinted to the door, to the sound of her voice.

“Bella, you scared me! Don’t you ever do that to me again!” Her voice continued as I ran into the long, high-ceilinged room.

I stared around me, trying to find where her voice was coming from. I heard her laugh, and I whirled to the sound.

There she was, on the TV screen, tousling my hair in relief. It was Thanksgiving, and I was twelve.

PSYCHE Mom’s fine, the tracker lured you here with a VHS tape! We couldn’t actually put your Mom in danger, that would cause tension.

This is probably the most boring hunter ever.

James appears with the remote, apologizing, but positing that it’s better if Renee wasn’t involved in this. Bella agrees, flooded with relief. James pauses at this.

“You don’t sound angry that I tricked you.”

“I’m not.” …

“How odd. You really mean it. … I suppose you’re going to tell me that your boyfriend will avenge you?” he asked, hopefully it seemed to me.

“No, I don’t think so. At least, I asked him not to.”

James: THIS IS THE MOST BORING HUNT EVER. >:(

He bitches about how this was too easy and he wanted a little more of a challenge. That’s funny, I wanted a little more from THIS PLOT. His bitch turns into a full-blown monologue, I am not even joking. He goes on for the next two pages describing his Diabolical Plan. Victoria found out where Bella’s mom lived, James went there to wait for her, heard her message for her mom (HA I knew she’d left that on the house phone PLOT HOLE), and when he heard Edward had gotten on a plane to Phoenix, knew that it was All According to Plan.

So anyway, he’s going to beat the crap out of Bella, probably kill and eat her, and videotape it to enjoy later when he’s alone. I mean, to torture Edward with. Now that he’s recording, he continues his enormous monologue, bitching some more about how once this vampire totally stole his kill.

“You see, the vampire who was so stupidly fond of this little victim made the choice that your Edward was too weak to make. When the old one knew I was after his little friend, he stole her from the asylum where he worked–I never will understand the obsession some vampires seem to form with you humans–and as soon as he freed her he made her safe. She didn’t even seem to notice the pain, poor little creature. She’d been stuck in that black hole of a cell for so long. A hundred years earlier and she would have been burned at the stake for her visions.”

WAIT WHAT

“In the nineteen-twenties it was the asylum and the shock treatements. When she opened her eyes, strong with her fresh youth, it was like she’d never seen the sun before. The old vampire made her a strong new vampire, and there was no reason for me to touch her then.” He sighed. “I destroyed the old one in vengeance.”

“Alice,” I breathed, astonished.

WHAT

Okay. Let me get this straight.

Stephenie Meyer is capable of coming up with a plot twist so sublime, concerning a character I actually like, so brutal and interesting as “she was a victim of 1920’s mental health care,” and yet, the rest of this 500 page book is full of steaming, hissing mind-poison.

I feel freaking CHEATED. Finding something like this in Twilight ONLY MAKES ME MADDER.

I HATE STEPHENIE MEYER.

I digress.

James bitches some more, because waahhh I didn’t get to eat Alice. He figures letting Clan Cullen keep her in exchange for him eating Bella is a fair deal. I am forced to agree with him. I’m already wondering why the hell we don’t have a book about Alice, who is clearly the product of the inifinte monkey theorem given the quality of Smeyer’s other characters.

Yes, I’m comparing Stephenie Meyer to a million monkeys with typewriters.

After whining and whining like a teenager girl, James decides to get on with it and gets to beating up Bella, who only runs as soon as he finishes his monologue. Breaks a leg, cuts her head on some mirror glass, etc. Then she starts to bleed. Here we go!

Vampires, we were explained earlier, and I didn’t feel like writing it down, vampires have a shark-like blood frenzy. As soon as they see it, smell it, taste it, they go nuts and have to make a frenzy check resist the urge to drain the person dry. As soon as Bella starts bleeding, she knows what’s coming, so she lays there in a haze, and tries to shield her face with her hand. Like that’s going to stop a sharkpire.

Oh God oh God I hope he drains her dry.

…I know he doesn’t.

I’m trying not to weep.