Archive for carlisle is a sad sad man

Chapter One

Posted in Eclipse, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Today was quite an adventure. I slept poorly, so I was unhappy and tense all night. I had to wait for my new prescription to fill at Target for thirty minutes–and for the full thirty minutes, a little girl screamed and wailed and kicked and shrieked about something stupid, while her mother gave her half-hearted stop-thats. And then we realized we’d forgotten something, so I, in my tired cranky state, had to walk to the store to pick it up. I picked up a snapple iced tea–my only treat so far in an otherwise bleary day. I then, promptly, dropped it when I got home, scattering fake glass shards everywhere.

Tl;dr — I’m in a foul mood.

The perfect time to start recapping Eclipse, wouldn’t you say?

New Moon left us with several things to ponder.

Would Bella convince herself to settle for Jacob, in an effort to make him “happy”–by which we all assume means she would continue to use and manipulate him, only they’ll totes be getting married and having 2.5 children to go with it?

Would Edward be able to side-step the (hastily cobbled-together) treaty Jacob’s family defends, give Bella her (flamboyantly selfish) wish of becoming one of the beautiful dead? Would Edward even give it an honest try, or hide behind Jacob’s lukewarm threats as an excuse to not give Bella phenomenal supernatural power, so he can continue controlling her life?

Could Stephenie Meyer have possibly been more obvious in her desperate, pathetic wish to be Isabella Marie Swan?

Will Rachel ever forgive herself for remembering what Bella’s middle name is?

I’m fairly certain Eclipse will neatly avoid answering all of these questions. Except for maybe the last two. Ugh, seriously, of all the things to stick in my brain.

So there’s a prologue. The last two books had prologues as well–there’s a very good reason I didn’t recap them, and that is that these prologues accomplish nothing. The preface of New Moon consisted of Bella running dramatically, and the sun being bright, and a clock tolling. I’m not sure why it even exists, other than to express a falsehood–the prologue tries desperately to be exciting, whereas the rest of the book is content to flop languidly somewhere between “dull” and “is there something on the Golf Channel I could watch instead?”

Anyway, this preface vaguely suggests that there’s a fight going on somewhere, and there’s “black eyes” watching Bella, and a wolf howls.

YEAH THAT’S IT. Is she just trying to bump up word count or something? Is this really the only way she knows how to foreshadow?

Forget this, on to the first chapter.

We are greeted by a new font (every time someone hand-writes something, we absolutely must have a new font, so we can know what their handwriting looks like!!), and several paragraphs scratched out.  After a few crossed-out paragraphs of passive-aggression, Jacob finally decides on “Yeah, I miss you too. A lot. Doesn’t change anything. Sorry.”

Why the hell didn’t he just grab a new piece of paper?

Bella cradles the thing like it’s a love letter from her husband in Iraq. Apparently she and Jacob are passing notes via their fathers. Are the injuns too poor for email or something? Bella whines for a while about how Jacob’s pain is her pain, and I find it difficult to feel sorry for her.

Charlie is trying to cook. Apparently he has never, um, read a book, or something, because he put something metal in the microwave. Cue wacky sitcom music and canned laughter! Oh Dad you should know by now to leave the cooking to the women. His attempt at spaghetti is a lumpy mush. How the hell did he even feed himself before Bella arrived if he can’t make freaking spaghetti?

Also, Edward. Bella is still prissy as all get out over using the word “fiancée,” which makes just as much sense as it did in the previous book. Edward is only allowed to see her from seven to nine-thirty, because she is totes grounded. But he also sees her at school. And then sneaks into her room at night. So um, way to go on that grounding, Dad. Somewhere in this explanation is the longest sentence I think I have ever seen–

Ever since my former best friend (and werewolf), Jacob Black, had informed on me about the motorcycle I’d been riding on the sly–a betrayal he had devised in order to get me grounded so that I couldn’t spend time with my boyfriend (and vampire), Edward Cullen–Edward had been allowed to see me only from seven till nine-thirty p.m. [sic], always inside the confines of my home and under the supervision of my dad’s unfailingly crabby glare.

Check it out, kids–seventy-seven words long, two parenthetical asides, one set of hyphens, and two adverbs. This must have been after Stephenie realized she was too good for an editor, and all she needed was a publicist.

Actually, I’m fairly certain the first half of this  chapter could be easily summed up in one big mama run-on sentence.

Back to the dynamic dialogue! Charlie reads the news, and is angry. Seattle had five unsolved homicides in the last two weeks! HORRORS. This is actually because of vampires but we don’t know it yet.

Bella takes a moment to Make This All About Her and thinks about how many different people want to kill her. This makes her tremble in fear, because she is strong and independent.

Charlie finally gets around to the point and talks to her about her friends. Apparently she doesn’t see them. Shocker! Charlie is willing to ease up on her grounded-ness if she promises to actually, you know, go see people, instead of spending every waking moment with her creepy boyfriend. Yeah yeah, whatever, sure, I promise. He says something about how “for a teenager, you’re amazingly non-whiny,” which makes me laugh until I choke.

P.S. The reason Bella has less friends now is because Lauren and Jessica don’t like her, and have an “anti-Bella agenda.” We are supposed to think they are both major bitches because they don’t like Bella. Never mind that they both dislike Bella for very valid reasons.

Um, this goes on for a few pages. I wonder if Stephenie is trying to address complaints that Bella has no life outside her possessive controlling boyfriend? Or if she really just thinks I want to read six pages of Bella’s father going “Make some friends, dammit!”

The conversation finally ends. Bella gets her mail, which includes a letter of acceptance to University of Alaska Southeast–chosen specifically because Juneau has an average of 321 overcast days a year. Ew. Charlie opened it first, which is lol a crime.

Then, the moment you’ve all been waiting for arrives–Edward shows up. And he’s miraculous, with perfect pale skin, a square jaw, full lips, sharp cheekbones, a (uh) marbley forehead, and rain-darkened bronze hair.

Also he’s cold and dead, manipulative, and devoid of any personality. But we get three paragraphs describing how beautiful he is, so I guess I’d better respond with ~*he’s so dreamy*~

They touch each other and gaze into their eyes and then Charlie shows up and ruins everything.

Edward has brought a set of college applications as their front. Charlie asks where Edward has been accepted to, and he’s all “Oh, you know. Syracuse. Harvard. Dartmouth. University of Alaska Southwest.”

And Charlie doesn’t even bat an eye dear Lord.

Edward mentions something about going shopping, and Charlie freaks out about Bella going to Seattle. I would make a comment about how big Seattle is and how unlikely it is she’d run into the new vampire serial killer who mysteriously drains every body of blood, but… well, this is Bella we’re talking about here, and she’d probably go wandering unsupervised through back alleys the first chance she got.

Edward wouldn’t have taken her to Seattle anyway. He was thinking Portland. Four and a half hours away. God, it must suck to live in Forks.

Jesus, this just keeps going. Bella decides she doesn’t want to fill out the Dartmouth application, and goes to crumple it up and throw it away. Edward snatches it away from her, and announces that he signs her name better than she does anyway. That’s right. He’s forging her signature on the applications to colleges he wants her to go to. I don’t care if you think it’s sweet that he’s trying so hard to get her into Dartmouth. If you think Edward is chivalrous then you are wrong.

Bella doesn’t even think twice about this, neither about how creepy it is nor controlling he can be. Oh, Edward, you’re just trying way too hard for her sake!

This is also the first time we ever–ever–hear about new vampires. Apparently, they are ravenous beasts with no self-control. That’s funny. I seem to recall Alice’s backstory involving her calmly having visions about Jasper and then going to find him. But maybe we’ll retcon that now that something new has come in and overridden everything.

Anyway, guess what, Edward confirms that the killings in Seattle are being done by a new vampire. But the Cullens, apparently, don’t give a crap–it’s not their territory and it’s not their business. That’s just downright compassionate of Carlisle, wouldn’t you agree?

They talk about going somewhere safe to eat animals, just the two of them. Edward mentions how awesome wolves taste, and Bella gets all panicky. Jacob is having a hard time right now, and it’s all her fault! Edward tries to tell her it isn’t, while the rest of us go “YES IT IS.”

When Bella brings up that Charlie’s condition for her not being grounded is she needs to be friends with Jacob again, Edward throws a fit. It’s “out of the question.” It would “break the treaty.” Does she want to start a war? There’s no point in discussing this.

What just happened?

He tries to change the subject to Wuthering Heights (the first book I’ve ever seen Bella read in the whole of this series), and she changes it back. He absolutely will not let her see Jacob. No discussion. No compromise. He then goes back to his favorite tactic–blaming all the bad things that happen on her, since she is a “trouble magnet.”

And then we get three more pages of him telling her which friends she can and can’t see, culminating in this:

He kissed the top of my head and sighed.

“No werewolves.”

“I’m not going along with that. I have to see Jacob.”

“Then I’ll have to stop you.”

He sounded utterly confident that this wouldn’t be a problem.

I was sure he was right.

WHAT

I mean

Ohhhhh he’s sooooooooo protective of her, trying to save her from the big bad werewolf that has never actually done anything to hurt her and was, in fact, a better friend to her than Edward has ever been. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the misogyny inherent in these amazing, brilliant books. Telling her which friends she can and can’t see certainly isn’t a symptom of abuse, and Edward is really very chivalrous in protecting her from things she doesn’t need protection from, and, in fact, without her even asking!

Edward Creep-o-meter: (Where one is “Take him home to meet Dad Charlie,” and ten is “change the locks, get a pit bull, file a restraining order, and buy a taser”) Seven

Chapter Two

Posted in New Moon, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

When we last left our indomitable heroine weak, spiritless little floozy, she was bleeding on the floor of her boyfriend’s family’s home. Awkward.

Emmett forces Jasper outside. Everyone save Alice, Edward, and Carlisle evacuate, covering their noses. My dad used to be able to clear a room like that too, but more because he’d just had chili and less because his blood was so deliciously tempting. Bella opts to have Carlisle stitch her up right then and there rather than taking her to the hospital, because they would, of course, have questions. Thus begins Bella’s practice at hiding the injuries she sustains thanks to Edward. Speaking of which, the marble bastard is brooding and glowering the whole time, before Alice can shoo him off. Then Alice finally can’t take being in Bella’s presence anymore (she’s like an IQ black hole) and vamooses as well.

Leaving Bella and Carlisle alone in the room.

Now, it’s a well known and proven fact that if you’re a young person, and even just a little bit pretty, and Carlisle is alone with you, he’s basically going to bite you. Because he wants to “save” you. In this case, I think Carl is waiting for Ed to do the job. Maybe he’s hoping that all that time Ed spent alone in his room, listening to classical music, working tirelessly on his hair, showing no interest in girls, was just a phase.

Yes, that’s why the Cullens are so thrilled with Bella. She’s not a boy.

Bella and Carlisle have a nice little chat while he picks shards of glass out of her arm and sews her back up. They end up having a philosophical, semi-religious conversation about whether or not vampires go to hell, or even have souls. Carlisle, it seems, has been working for centuries at deluding himself into think that if he just tries hard enough, he can overcome being damned. Sorry, bud, it really doesn’t work that way.  Especially when your “doing good” is convincing yourself that damning other people along with you–children for that matter–is a swell idea.

Edward, it turns out, believes that vampires don’t have souls. Which I guess is why he doesn’t want to bite Bella. I’m not sure how much a bad thing this is for her. She’s been hollowed out completely and the only thing left inside is a note saying “IOU a personality — Stephenie.”

Anyway, Carlisle recalls the story of Edward and his parents dying of the flu back in 19-I don’t give a crap-00. Ed’s mom went first, but before she went, she grabbed Carlisle by the arm and demanded that he save her son. “You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward.” Carlisle convinces himself that she knew about his “gift,” and so, he dragged Edward’s body out through the morgue, while the kid was still barely alive, spirited him off to his sanctum or wherever the hell Carl was living, and bit the crap out of him.

Now, here’s what really happened in my mind. Carlisle has been alive for near 300 years. He’s losing it. He’s a carnivore on a vegetarian diet. He’s lonely as hell. He sees a dying mother with her attractive dying son, and thinks I want one! Mom dies, demanding that Carl save her son, like any mother would, and Carlisle, in his already warped mind, hears her begging him to bite Edward. Well, shucks! She wants him to vamp Ed up. Steal the near-dead body of a young man, chew on him in various places, wait a few days, and bam! Carlisle has his own special family now, just like he always wanted.

See, if it were actually written like that, this would be a very different blog.

Edward comes back, still brooding and stone-like. They get Bella a new, non-blood stained shirt, agreeing that Charlie probably won’t notice. I’d be outraged, but they’re probably right. Charlie is a pretty terrible dad. Jasper is beating himself up for almost killing Bella (dude, I would have given you a prize if you’d pulled it off) and Alice is trying to be there for him. Mama Esme is mopping the floors with undiluted bleach. I’m not so sure that’s good for hardwood flooring, but whatev. She does it with such straight-forward efficiency that I wonder if this isn’t the first bloodbath she’s ever had to mop up.

Esme and Carlisle have a ridiculously sordid life, in my mind. I keep that fanfic idea shelved next to “Bella ditches Edward and explores the forbidden with Alice.”

Someday, ff.net. Someday.

Edward drives Bella home and begins the painful process of breaking up with her. She’s an idiot and completely codependent, so she has no idea that’s what he’s trying to do.

“Mike Newton could have held your hand while they stitched you up–and he wouldn’t be fighting the urge to kill you the whole time he was there. Don’t try to take any of this on yourself, Bella. It will only make me more disgusted with myself.”

“How the hell did Mike Newton end up in this conversation?” I demanded.

“Mike Newton ended up in this conversation because Mike Newton would be a hell of a lot healthier for you to be with,” he growled.

“I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton,” I protested. “I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.”

Oh good Lord.

They finally get to the house and stop freaking talking. Charlie is still watching the game. He actually manages to notice that she’s favoring her arm.

“What happened to your arm?”

I flushed and cursed silently. “I tripped. It’s nothing.”

“I tripped. And fell down the stairs. And hit the doorknob. He loves me okay HE LOVES ME!!

Dad Charlie buys it, Bella goes up to her room, and Edward is… still brooding. Sheesh. He brought the last two presents, one of which is a pair of plane tickets to Jacksonville care of Emse and Carlisle. The other is from Edward, and is a mix-CD of songs he wrote himself. Awwwwww he’s such a sweet tortured beast. He gets her some tylenol. She asks what he’s thinking. This is intense stuff, you guys.

They kiss, because, you know, they’re teenagers in bed. This time, Edward goes for the Forbidden Open-Mouth Kiss, breaking all his carefully established, control-enhancing rules for celibacy preventing Bella from getting nom’d. She’s all “YES YES I WANT TO DO IT WITH A DEAD GUY” when he finally pushes her away. Edward is, if I may, a cockbite. Bella seriously needs a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You.

My personal favorite  chapter is the one about “He’s just not that into you if he won’t have sex with you.” I believe the chapter ends on a picture of a flag, and says “Here’s a flag. Color it red. There’s your red flag.”

Wait, I’m reading New Moon. Uh, let’s see… open mouth kissing, Bella writhes around, Edward disengages. Hmm, for some reason, Edward is breathless after this. Even though he doesn’t need to breathe. That’s a bit odd, wouldn’t you say?

Before Bella falls asleep, she realizes that Edward kissed her like that in the last book, before she was sent off to Phoenix with Alice and Jasper. Oh but he couldn’t possibly be breaking up with her, setting the entire plot for the second book by spinning her off into a whirlwind of self-destruction, clinical depression, and almost getting it on with that native boy, could he?

Hurting her to protect her? That doesn’t sound like Edward at all.

Chapter Twenty, I think the plot was a lie

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

ADVERB COUNT: 36. Come to think of it, Edward wasn’t in this chapter…

This chapter is called “Impatience,” which I’d say is fairly fitting. I’m impatient with how stupid the main character is. I’m impatient that the entirety of this chapter is set in a hotel room where basically nothing happens. I’m impatient that this book isn’t already over.

Bella comes to in a hotel room. Did Edward finally slip her a roofie and–oh wait, no, that’s right, she came up with a stupid plan. Let’s flashback!

Team Get-the-Crazy-Bitch-the-Hell-Out-Of-Town drives like maniacs. I’m not sure how they can pull off going twice the speed limit when neither of the drivers are psychic. Scratch that, I’m fairly certain Jasper is driving since Bella is sitting next to Alice. Women don’t drive in House Cullen.

In the midst of Bella’s angsting, she observes that with how freaking fast they were going, she shouldn’t be surprised that they made a three-day trip in just one. Stephenie, Google maps. Google maps, Stephenie. A vampire driving twice the speed limit, never stopping to eat, sleep, or fill up the car, would make it there in 12 hours. Otherwise, making this trip in three days would require driving for only eight hours a day, like some kind of sissy. And you’re not a sissy, are you?

So they’re in a hotel room. Alice and Jasper stare at the TV without watching it. Bella takes turns angsting, moping, eating, and sleeping. We’re all waiting with bated breath for Carlisle’s “ok we killed him lol” call.

During all of this incredibly interesting hotel room action, Bella asks Alice what it takes to become a vampire. Alice hrms about that, saying that Edward wanted her not to say. Edward probably knew that Bella would jump on the first bus to Vampiretown as soon as she could guess how to buy a ticket. Alice relents, because Bella asserts that she has a right to know (I’m not really sure how she figured that), and we are treated to a short dissertation on how vampires are venomous.

“The venom doesn’t kill–it’s merely incapacitating. It works slowly, spreading through the bloodstream, so that, once bitten, our prey is in too much physical pain to escape us.”

1. The venom doesn’t kill… except to make you a FRIGGING VAMPIRE of course.

2. Right, because the only response anything ever has to pain is to lie there and let something eat them. Pain isn’t a motivator or anything.

“It takes a few days for the transformation to be complete, depending on how much venom is in the  bloodstream, how close the venom enters to the heart. As long as the heart keeps beating, the poison spreads, healing, changing the body as it moves through it. Eventually the heart stops, and the conversion is finished. But all that time, every minute of it, a victim would be wishing for death.”

But Carlisle SAAVVEED THEEMMMM!!!1

So Edward, and then Esme, were in the hospital, not dying of an intensely painful poison… for three days. And nobody noticed? Nobody caught on? Or are you going to tell me Carlisle dragged them home for the transformation, and nobody noticed him dragging that pretty dead woman with the dead baby out of the morgue?

Alice suddenly has a vision of Bella’s childhood ballet studio. Oh wow! Something less boring happened to break the already intensely boring narrative! Who had the bright idea of enrolling Bella in a dance class as a child? Is this where she suffered the head injury that led to her crippling inner-ear disorder?

Alice says this means the tracker’s plans have changed, and he’s going to end up eluding Team Kill-Jerkoff. JUST THEN, the phone rings. Carlisle confirms everything Alice just said. So she’s not really handy so much as repetitive.

Anyway, Carlisle gives the phone to Edward and Alice gives the phone to Bella. They manage to keep from gushing all over each other long enough for Edward to mention that the red-haired woman (Victoria) was trolling around Forks, at Bella’s house, the airport, and her school, trying to dig up dirt. Nobody’s hurt though, because that would cause tension. Edward finally hangs up and Bella gets all stupid depressed again.

The ballet studio Bella went to is just down the street from her mom’s house, and suddenly she’s all concerned that the vampire-woman was able to get a hold of her school records. Because Forks is a singularly stupid small town and would certainly give Bella’s records to a crazy red-headed hippy with leaves in her hair. So Bella calls Mom from Alice’s cell, leaving a message to call her back. And uh.. then the vampires stare at the TV some more, and Bella falls asleep, because apparently not even she can take much more of this.

Something had better start actually happening here soon. James, I’m counting on you to kill this little twit.

Chapter Seventeen is the American pasttime

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

My mother is now harassing me for timely, vampirely updates.

Sorry, Mom! Here’s a chapter! Don’t ground me from reading Twilight :(

ADVERB COUNT: 75. At the end of this stinkfest, I’m going to add up all the adverbs, and then try to assemble some statistics. I wonder how many pages there are of only adverbs in this thing.

Edward drives Bella home so she can change. But wait! The injuns Quileute family is waiting at her house! What, did they come just to guilt her for associating with vampires? Edward says he’ll be back so Bella can introduce him to her father Charlie, which irritates her to no end–but of course, she doesn’t try to stop him. I guess she couldn’t, could she? There’s so much potential for abuse here, I could–

Oh, wait! I’m reading “Twilight.”

Bella kisses Edward goodbye and meets Jacob and Billy on her front porch. Billy looks furious and Jacob is.. wet. It’s raining cats and dogs, like it never does in Washington. Look, folks, Washington gets a lot of rain, right, but not all at once. Our “rainstorms” cause maybe 0.8 of an inch–just ask The Weather Channel. If you want a real rainstorm, visit the East coast some time. I digress.

Billy is all suspicious and angry and came by just to drop off some fish fry. Right. Bella quickly makes something up about how her father is fishing, but not in his usual place, so don’t try to go find him there and tell him that his daughter is dating a blood-sucking monster. Billy finds a way to get Jake out of the house so he can harangue Bella properly. Bella not-so-politely hints that maybe everyone should get the hell out of her home.

Old Indian isn’t taking any of that. He mentions that she’s been spending a lot of time with the Cullens, and says “Maybe it’s none of my business, but I don’t think that is such a good idea.” Bella does the second smart thing she has done in almost 400 pages and tells him he’s right, it is none of his business. They argue back and forth, wherein Old Indian tries to scare her, and suggests he’s going to tell Charlie, and Bella stands her ground, insisting that it’s none of Billy’s business who she’s seeing, and it’s certainly not any of his business whether she tells Charlie or not. He finally gets the freaking hint, and leaves when Jacob comes back from his Convenient Excuse to Get Him Out of the Conversation.

Bella’s all “UGH people caring about me I HATE THAT,” and heads upstairs to change. Stephenie is sure we want to know the intimate details of what she’s going to wear, but I will spare you, in my infinite compassion.

Jessica calls her. Who? Oh, right, her mortal friend. The one we haven’t heard about in over 130 pages. Jessica has stupid boring mortal things to talk about. Not even Bella pretends to care. She gets her off the phone when she hears her father Charlie coming home, and prepares for the most awkward dating ritual of any teen’s life–introducing the parents.

She broaches the subject gently, informing him that she was at the Cullens’ house, and she has a sort-of date with Edward tonight. Charlie nearly has a stroke, roaring about how Edwin is far too old for her. Oh, dad, it’s EDWARD, and they’re both juniors! Silly fathers who don’t pay any attention to their daughters’ lives. Charlie asks her all the usual questions (“Is he your boyfriend? Where is taking you? How long will you be out?”) which brings a lot of sighing, groaning, and eye-rolling from Bella. Good Lord, I hate teenagers.

Edward knocks at the door, standing in a “halo” of porch light, “looking like a male model in an advertisement for raincoats.” Barf barf barf. Charlie manages to resist falling deeply in love with this exquisite creature and invites him in.

“So I hear you’re getting my girl to watch baseball.” Only in Washington would the fact that is was raining buckets have no bearing at all on the playing of outdoor sports.

Uh, actually, that does stop us, from doing a lot of things. It doesn’t “rain buckets” here. It drizzles, it sprinkles, it flat-out rains, and sometimes, sometimes, it pours, and you know what happens then? Everyone stays the hell inside.

So this stunningly beautiful man his daughter has been attempting to hide from him is taking his daughter out to watch a game she has no interest in, out in the middle of nowhere, in the rain.

Of course the cop is completely okay with this. He actually makes some comment about “more power to you” for getting Bella interested in baseball. I’m going to go hit my head against the wall for a little bit. Bella stalks out, totally angry that they’re making jokes about her, UGH I HATE MEN.

Edward brought the jeep. Bella attempts to put on the off-roading harness herself, but since she is a weak, stupid woman, Edward has to help her. He uses this excuse to “linger at her neck” and “brush along her collarbones,” which, of course, makes Bella hyperventilate. Saints preserve us. If they ever had sex, all he’d have to do is stand there naked and she’d climax more times than there are adverbs in this chapter.

Edward hints that they’re going to have to “run” part of the way there, which immediately makes Bella nauseous. Last time he did the Superman Run she nearly passed out. He brushes off her concern, and off they go.

For a long while conversation was impossible, because I was bouncing up and down on the seat like a jackhammer. He seemed to enjoy the ride, though, smiling hugely the whole way.

…I know why he’s smiling and it has nothing to do with the ride. Bella, hypothetical question, how much support would you say your bra gives you…?

The jeep stops, and it’s time for Superman Run. Edward thoughtfully unbuckles her harness for her, like she’s an infant being released from a child seat. Bella flat out refuses to Superman Run it, she remembers what happened last time he did that. Edward replies that he’ll just have to “tamper” with her memory.

What follows is one of the sickest scenes in the book yet. Bella told Edward “no,” so he seduces her into changing her mind. I wish I were exaggerating. He braces her against the Jeep so she can’t escape (even Stephenie describes it this way,) kisses her all over and breathes on her a lot (go go gadget aphrodisiac breath!) all the while asking her if she still doesn’t want to do it. Bella buckles and relents to letting him carry her the rest of the way.

This is incredibly disgusting. I can’t believe a woman would write this scene and continue to bill her novel as a sweet, timeless romance. I can’t believe other women are reading this and sighing in pleasure. Ladies, this is abuse. What else is he going to convince her to do later?

No, don’t tell me. I’ll read it.

Edward kisses her, and Bella, being a teenage girl in love, wraps her arms around him and kisses him back. This is a major no-no in their relationship, because if she moves while he kisses her he might be pushed over the edge. She is supposed to stand completely motionless while lip-locked. He jumps back from her, complete with a “Damn it, Bella!” and is now angry with her.

Oh. My. God.

He’s angry with her for the rest of the run. He’s even too angry to laugh at first when she falls on her ass trying to dismount him (…lol). She gets angry at him when he finally does laugh.

“Don’t be mad, I couldn’t help myself. You should have seen your face.” He chuckled before he could stop himself.

“Oh, you’re the only one who’s allowed to get mad?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.”

GOOD GIRL

“I wasn’t mad at you.”

“‘Bella, you’ll be the death of me’?” I quoted sourly.

That was simply a statement of fact.”

… “You were mad,” I insisted.”

“Yes.”

“But you just said–”

“That I wasn’t mad at you.”

Oh Lord. Edward makes up some bull about how he’s just mad at himself because he can’t seem to stop from putting her in danger. He diffuses her anger by turning the situation towards pitying him, continuing with “Sometimes I truly hate myself. I should be stronger…” Poooooor murderer.

“I love you,” he said. “It’s a poor excuse for what I’m doing, but it’s still true. … Now, please try to behave yourself,” he continued, and he bent to softly brush his lips against mine.

I held properly still. Then I sighed.

God, I just can’t believe poison like this is being paid for. He loves her, ladies, don’t you see that? He can do anything he wants to her because he loves her, and that makes it all okay.

We finally get to the STUPID BASEBALL GAME. It’s in a huge field. The bases are incredibly far apart. The kids run off to play, leaving Bella with mama Esme, who I actually sort of like in spite of myself.

Bella says Esme reminds her of her own mother, to which Esme replies that she really does think of the vamps as her own children. She mentions that she had her own baby once, but he died a few days after birth, so she threw herself from a cliff.

A-ha! I knew it. So Carlisle found a woman lost to grief who just simply wanted to die, and… made her immortal so she would live with her grief forever and ever, constantly looking for the baby she lost in the twisted children Carlisle brings home to her.

I love this family.

Bella asks if Esme minds that Edward is dating a cheeseburger, and Esme says “No, you’re what he wants. It will work out, somehow,” and manages to look worried. Uh, guys, why don’t you just get Carl to bite her? One, there’s no downside to being a vampire whatsoever, and two, Carl is just messed up enough to do it.

The game starts like a fight in Dragon Ball Z — everything is simply too fast to see, so we’re treated to frames of swooshes, slashes, and vague striking lines in lieu of actual characters interacting. Alice throws so fast you can’t see a ball. Emmett hits it so fast you can’t see it fly. And the impact is so loud that it sounds exactly like the thunder pealing overhead.

Yes, that’s why they can only play during a thunderstorm. I’d like to note that neither the ball nor the bat are harmed during this, at all. They are playing with spent uranium equipment, I guess. Also, apparently when two vampires collide, it also sounds like thunder. I’m… not really sure of the reason for this. I guess vampires are also made of spent uranium.

Edward comes up to ask Bella what she thinks of the game.

“I am a little disappointed,” I teased.

“Why?” he asked, puzzled.

“Well, it would be nice if I could find just one thing you didn’t do better than everyone else on the planet.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Edward is so. incredibly. boring.

The game continues. It’s starting to sink into my mind that I am reading about super-powered sparkling vampires who play baseball in the rain and how incredibly stupid this book has become, when suddenly… plot happens.

Alice gasps, she sees the other vampires coming towards them. Edward cusses, because he can read their minds and know that they want to play too. Everyone panics, wondering what to do to protect the little girl soufflé they brought with them. Carlisle finally decides that they will continue with the game, since it seems like the other vampires are just curious and want to know what’s going on.

Bella is ordered around for a while, as everyone attempts to disguise her and her smell. Edward gets all mad at himself for putting her in danger, oh man won’t somebody pity the poor brooding people-eater. Esme asks Edward something, which he later clarifies was “Are they thirsty?”

Don’t worry, because they’re not.

That would be way too tense for this book.

Chapter Sixteen has a tragic past

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

ADVERB COUNT: 33 (only because most of the chapter is dialogue. That’s right. I haven’t been counting adverbs in dialogue. Think of how ridiculous the counts would be then.)

I am hereby retiring the Bella Like-O-Meter, because there is so little hope for this character, and I am fairly certain I will never actually hold any sort of positive opinion of her.

Edward leads Bella to Carlisle’s office, explaining that he was telling her his history. Carlisle declines graciously, making up some excuse about having to go into work or something. Doctors, am I right? Edward picks up where he left off.

Carlisle, wisely, tries to off himself. Unfortunately for him, blunt trauma, falling from a great height, sunlight, crosses, drowning, and starvation will not kill a vampire. Uh huh. Okay. So Carl gets hungry, and weak, but insists on resisting his urge to eat humans. One night some hapless deer go wandering by and Carl is just so damn hungry that NOM! fresh venison. This is apparently what leads him to the epiphany that he can just drink animal blood and be an evil creature of darkness without the actual evil part.

Now that he’s immortal without all those yucky and believable flaws, he swims his ass to to France.

“He swam to France?”

“People swim the Channel all the time, Bella,” he reminded me patiently.

Well… okay… I guess that’s a good hand-waving.

“Because, technically, we don’t need to breathe.” …

“You don’t have to breathe?” I demanded.

Sweetheart, we are 338 pages into a vampire novel. He has passed on. This boyfriend is no more. He has ceased to be. He’s expired and gone to meet his maker. This is a late boyfriend.

Edward confides to her that he keeps waiting for Bella to realize that all of this is nuts, and run away screaming. If not for my pain tolerance I would have done so by now.

Annnnnyway Carlisle swims to France because he’s dead and doesn’t need to breathe. He studies various classical subjects before deciding that being a doctor would help him repent for having vampirism being forced on him. I’m not sure what he feels he has to repent for, he started the vampire veganism movement. I mean, seriously, we know he’s not Catholic, there’s no place for this guilt to come from.

Edward is described as awed and reverent of his mentor/father-figure, explaining that it took Carl 200 years to get his blood lust under control, to the point where he could actually practice medicine on humans. While in Italy, Carl found civilized vampires, who, while refined and polite in their own right, tried nobly to get Carl to eat people again. Carl got tired of it, I guess, because he left for the New World. No word on if he swam there, too.

When the influenza epidemic that spurned Edward’s undeath occurred, Carlisle decided that if he couldn’t find another likeminded vampire friend, he would just make one. Very compassionate! Despite the fact that he experienced emotional and spiritual anguish over being a vampire, he decides he’s going to make a few of them himself. If Stephenie would just own up and admit that Carlisle is not compassionate but, in fact, insane, this would be so much more interesting.

So Carl bites Edward, bless his loving, unbeating heart. Edward admits that some ten years after being Embraced chomped on, he had a “rebellious” phase, wherein he no doubt realized that Carlisle is flipping insane, and left on his own for a while. To murder some people.

Never fear, teenage romantics–because Edward can read minds, he only murdered bad people. That makes it right. Right?

Even Edward realizes this is bull, and comes back to Carlisle and Esme’s twisted little home. Where we now find ourselves, inside his room. Edward’s room is built like a music store. I guess the guy likes music. Another weak “I’m scary” “but I love you” conversation, good Lord. Edward pounces on her in an attempt to show how manly and frightening he is, and their wrestling is interrupted by Alice and Jasper.

“It sounded like you were having Bella for lunch, and we came to see if you would share,” Alice announced.

Oh… oh God, I love Alice!

ACTUALLY, Jasper says, breaking into my happy lesbo fantasy with his dirty boy parts, Alice saw a storm in the future, and everyone wants to play a game while there’s thunder.

What game you ask?

Baseball.

Vampires love baseball.

Chapter Fifteen, part two

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

I think I’m okay to keep going.

Bella is understandably nervous about meeting Edward’s family. I’ve been there, done that. I would also however be worried that all seven of them would rip me to pieces and drain the blood from my hot fresh organs. Bella, however, has the brain activity of a radish, and is just worried they won’t approve of her.

House Cullen is way out in the boonies. It is the house of a rich person. Considering that Carlisle is probably ancient and… a doctor, this is not shocking. Hey, it’s not like they have to pay heating bills, or go grocery shopping, right? HA.

There are large windows on every wall. The house is very… open. And… bright. Hmm.

Later it is explained that they welcome the light here because “it’s the only place we don’t have to hide.” I have a charming mental image of a room full of dazzling vampires blinding each other unintentionally.

Dr. Carlisle Cullen, as we remember him, is young, blond, and fabulous. Esme, his wife, looks like a silent movie star. They are perfect Aryan breeding stock. Edwards “parents” are reserved, friendly and cautious around this potential meal. Alice, on the other hand, comes bounding down the stairs, kisses Bella on the cheek, and declares that she does smell good.

Holy crap I think I love Alice.

Jasper comes down and suddenly everybody feels mellow. His superpower is not getting people baked (as awesome as that would be)–he is simply manipulating emotions. Right. Awesome. Now Bella can have someone tell her how to feel too. It’s not like she has an original thought in her head to begin with.

Edward and Carlisle have a psychic conversation as Bella stares at their house. It’s like, so totally big. She spies a grand piano, Esme asks if she plays. When Bella says no (because she has no hobbies in life other than mooning over brooding murderers), Esme drops that Edward plays. Of course he does. Bella isn’t even surprised at this point, saying “Edward can do everything, right?” Oh god.

Edward plays a little number he wrote himself. Of course he writes his own music. And, surprise, he’s a genius pianist. He plays a song he wrote specifically for Bella, and his “parents” vacate. I am seriously holding in my lunch.

Bella asks why Rosalie and Emmett don’t like her. Emmett just thinks Edward is crazy for falling in love with a casserole. Rosalie, however, is jealous, because Bella is human, and Rosalie wants to be human.

I thought Carlisle saved you–

You know what, never mind. I’m just going to have to accept that Carlisle’s “compassion” doesn’t make any God damn sense.

“Alice seems very… enthusiastic.”

“Alice has her own way of looking at things,” he said through tight lips.

“And you’re not going to explain that, are you?”

A moment of wordless communication passed between us. He realized that I knew he was keeping something from me. I realized that he wasn’t going to give anything away. Not now.

*crosses fingers* C’monnnn lesbian vampire. C’mon!

Edward mentions that Carlisle told him with mental morse-code that Alice has seen visions of other vampires coming to visit. Holy freaking crap–is this a plot I see forming?  Edward assures Bella that he won’t let the new vamps eat her because he’s saving her for later. He finishes his song (which is not, much to a friend’s chargin, “B is for Bella, that’s good enough for me,”) and Bella cries a single tear. Quick as anything, Edward catches it on his finger and… tastes it.

He tastes her tears! Good God. Do tears sustain him too?

Edward takes her on a brief tour, which happens to pass by an enormous old cross. Bella questions it (I guess it is sort of ironic) and Edward begins telling the beginning of Carlisle’s background story.

Carlisle was born in the 1600s, in London, to an Anglican pastor who enjoyed hunting witches. Carl, somehow, had a talent for finding real witches, werewolves, and vampires, which of course leads him to his undeath. He assembles a mob (complete with pitchforks) to corner a vampire, and the vampire, predictably, eats a bunch of them. Carl is bit and left for dead. When he comes to, he realizes what he’s become.

Could this be the start of his bizarre need to play house with young people? I have to start another chapter before I can find out!

Chapter Fourteen watches you sleep

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

ADVERB COUNT: 52, back to normal.

BELLA LIKE-O-METER: I think it’s politically incorrect to make fun of her at this point.

Let’s talk about vampires.

The head of House Cullen, a manpire named Carlisle, found Edward dying of the Spanish influenza in 1918. Edward was 17 at the time. Edward’s parents were already dead, and Edward himself on the way out. So Carlisle takes a bite. Edward says he saved him.

This Carlisle vamp is described as very humane, the most compassionate of all of them. Being turned into a vampire is left at being “very, very painful.” Edward also divulges that Carlisle acted out of loneliness–he chose Edward because no one would miss him were he to become an immortal creature of the night, and, well, Carlisle wanted a son.

I’m not really sure how to take this. Carlisle, a vampire, was lonely, so he made a 17-year-old boy go through the painful process of vampirization, and also possibly damning him to eternal suffering and torture in the darkest pits of Hell for being one of the Devil’s black army. That’s, uh, that’s really noble of you, Carl. I’m sure Heaven would have blown anyway.

Esme, Edward’s “mom,” supposedly fell from a cliff. She was brought to the morgue even though her heart was still beating. There’s so much wrong here I’m not sure where to start. She “fell” from the cliff? Right. And people couldn’t find pulses at the beginning of the 20th century? Okay. Carlisle chomps her and now he has a wife.

Rosalie was meant to be Edward’s girlfriend. That’s right. Carlisle specifically bit her so Edward could have a playmate. This is reaching epic levels of sick and wrong. I’m supposed to respect and adore this manpire for playing God with people’s lives, because he just really wanted to play house?

Emmett was rescued by Rosalie. Apparently a bear was about to eat him. Irony! They fell in love and get married every few years. I don’t get that either.

Alice and Jasper are by far the most interesting. All we get on Jasper is that he belonged to another “family,” a different kind of family. I guess he means either another vampire clan that actually ate people like they’re supposed to or maybe Jasper was a crackbaby? Who knows. Jasper got randomly depressed and wandered on his own, something I’m sure Bella sympathizes with, and Alice found him. Alice is a clairvoyant, it seems, and she knew to seek out Jasper, and then the Cullens. Alice’s visions are “most sensitive to non-humans.” Remember that. It’s going to be important and really stupid in the second book.

Alice, for some reason, has no memory of her life before she was Embraced chomped on. She woke up alone. This–this is interesting! Why don’t we have a book about Alice? I’m tired of reading about Swoony McFallsalot.

Vampires, we learn, are nomads. Makes sense. Apparently most of them prefer the north, because of the constant cloud cover. Again, the sparkling. Edward is worried about causing traffic accidents and spontaneous Pride Parades.

I am actually a little disappointed when they reach Bella’s house and stop the discussion of other vampires. I want to know more about Cullen’s Stepford vamps! This family puts the “fun” in “dysfunctional.” Edward lets himself in, which is just weird enough for Bella to actually notice.

“The door was unlocked?”

“No, I used the key from under the eave.”

I stepped inside, flicked on the porch light, and turned to look at him with my eyebrows raised. I was sure I’d never used that key in front of him.

Ruh-roh.

“I was curious about you.”

“You spied on me?” But somehow I couldn’t infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered.

She was flattered. She was flattered. She was flattered that he broke into her home, snuck into her room, and stared at her, at night.

HARE FRICKING KRISHNA, WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH THIS GIRL?

“How often did you come here?”

“I come here almost every night.”

I whirled, stunned. “Why?”

“You’re interesting when you sleep.” He spoke matter-of-factly. “You talk.”

“No!” I gasped, heat flooding my face all the way to my hairline.

She doesn’t call the cops. She doesn’t order him off her property. She doesn’t change her locks, ask her father how to use a pistol, get a dog, get a restraining order, she doesn’t even cuss.

She’s embarrassed that he’s heard her talking in her sleep.

There is absolutely and completely no. hope. for this character. I hope she dies of exsanguination and nobody freaking cares. I hope she is brutally murdered by a cougar-emulating vampire before she can freaking breed.

I’m trying not to just sob at this point, because I know this doesn’t happen. I know she breeds.

Dad Charlie comes home, and Edward vacates. Charlies asks why Bella isn’t going to the dance with that nice Mike Newton kid. The audience just sighs and shakes their heads. Bella rushes upstairs after telling her father that she’s going to bed DON’T CHECK ON ME see you tomorrow SERIOUSLY DON’T COME UPSTAIRS. Edward is waiting for her, of course, on her bed, naturally. She orders him to stay put while she showers. Oh, goody, a paragraph about Bella brushing her teeth, showering, brushing her hair, and oh god oh god I’m having an aneurysm.

Edward and Bella, two teenagers in love and totally hot for each other, keep each other up all night, in her bed… talking.

They talk. Yep. No kissing. No petting. They don’t have sex. They talk.

Has Stephenie ever been a teenager?

Bella gets around to asking Edward why he bothers with eating animals, if it’s so hard to resist human blood. He responds with this:

“… But you see, just because we’ve been… dealt a certain hand… it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to rise above–to conquer the boundaries of a destiny none of us wanted.”

Hold up, I thought Carlisle saved you? You know, from dying a natural death? And now you’re in a wonderful happy family that totally loves you and stuff?

I’m so freaking confused.

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of everyone’s super vampire powers:

  • Edward can read minds.
  • Alice can see the future (sort of.)
  • Emmett is super strong.
  • Jasper has empathy manipulation–he can make people feel certain emotions.
  • Rosalie is… uh… super stubborn, apparently.
  • Esme loves passionately. Wait, these are getting sort of lame.
  • Carlisle is incredibly compassionate. What?

Okay, I guess they can’t all be winners? I think my vampire superpower would be the ability to read Twilight and not puke all over it!

Wait, there’s more. Where do vampires come from? They have to have started somewhere.

“Well, where do you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn’t we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or, if you don’t believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?”

Um. Yes. Yes, that is hard to believe. Considering that you are Satan’s children, unclean spirits residing in desecrated bodies, that your very existence is a mockery of the light of God’s creations, yes, yes it is bloody well hard to believe that a loving, divine being created you.

Also, creationist vampires? What the hell, SMeyer?

Bella questions Rosalie and Emmett getting married, and finally asks if it’s “the same as it is for humans.” Edward answers yes, it is much the same.

“Was there a purpose behind your curiosity?”

“Well, I did wonder… about you and me… someday…”

He was instantly serious, I could tell by the sudden stillness of his body. I froze too, reacting automatically.

“I don’t think that… that… would be possible for us.”

Edward awkwardly tries to explain that he’s just so strong and powerful and dangerous that he could totally accidentally kill her. He has to focus on controlling himself to keep from crushing her skull in. I empathize with you, man, I feel a powerful urge to crush her skull myself. But what does this have to do with marrying her? Also, wouldn’t the more pressing concern be that you are going to be 17 forever?

He seemed to deliberate for a moment. “I’m curious now, though,” he said, his voice light again. “Have you ever…?” He trailed off suggestively.

…Been married? What?

She blushes and immediately denies it. Oh. Ohhhhh wait! They’re talking about sex. Why the hell didn’t they say “sex?”

“Edward, will we ever have sex?” “No baby, I’m sorry, I’ll accidentally cave your skull in.”

I guess vampires wait until marriage. Because they’re really concerned with upholding God’s law after, you know, being willingly embraced into the life of a blood-sucking light-abhorring monster.

Good Lord, I hate this book.