Archive for dramatic reenactment

Chapter Nine

Posted in New Moon, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

God, how did I get so bleeding far ahead? I’m on chapter 18 in my actual reading. I have to find something else to do on my afternoon break.

Okay, chapter nine, let’s see… oh right, this one.

I was like a lost moon–my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation–that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity.

Ow that hurts. Lost moon? Seriously? Are we that unabashedly codependent?

It’s okay, because Bella has Jacob to distract her from all her terrible, horrible problems. Or just the one. Which isn’t even a problem. She’s still too stupid to realize that the Cullens have done her a favor.

Jacob gives Bella a box of candy hearts for Valentine’s Day, and jokes about her being his valentine and slave for life. Oh, but Bella knows he isn’t joking, she knows, and tries ever so hard to think of a way to reestablish their boundaries. She does this by saying she can’t bike on Friday, she’s got to go to a movie with her “friends.” When Jacob’s face falls, she reneges on her steadfast ironclad strong-willed indomitable determination to Just Be Friends, and invites him too.

I’m not sure how she didn’t “accidentally” end up with more boyfriends this way.

Random mortal friend #27: Who’s that guy you’re with, Bella? New boyfriend?
Bella: Oh, no, he just thinks he is.
Random mortal friend #27: Uh. Are you going to tell him he’s not your boyfriend?
Bella: Well I tried! I told him he was too young. But then sort of called him beautiful, shared an overlong hug, and invited him to a movie.

It hurts to know that people like this actually exist.

So Bella invites Mike to a movie, since it looks like she lied about the movie thing to begin with. Lying seems just about as easy as breathing to her. Mike starts to get the Wrong Idea so she quickly orders him to invite everyone else they know, too. Poor Mike. He needs to kill himself or be an injun or something to get this girl’s attention.

Well, as luck would have it, everybody either cancels because they don’t like Bella, or they’re sick with some flu. So it’s just Bella, Jacob, and Mike. Oh, this couldn’t possibly get awkward.

“I remember this guy,” he said in a low voice as Mike parked across the street. “The one who thought you were his girlfriend. Is he still confused?”

Bella: Gee, Jacob, are we talking about Eric, Tyler, Mike, or Edward?

The boys posture needlessly at each other and play “Bella likes me more” for the whole day. Bella has to sneak Jacob into the theater, because he’s ~*so much younger*~ than her. They sit on either side of her and subtly try to hold her hands. Then suddenly Mike gets sick and they go home. Woooo! I think the Golf Channel is probably more exciting than this.

Jacob and Bella wait in the lobby while Mike ralphs in the bathroom. Jacob puts an arm around her, and she protests, leaning away from him. So, he grabs her hand, and asks if she likes him better than Mike, or any of the other guys she knows. Ah, very mature.

“But that’s all,” he said, and it wasn’t a question.

It was hard to answer, to say the word. Would he get hurt and avoid me? How would I stand that?

Uh, I don’t know, like an adult? Oh, I have an idea, why don’t you keep lying and pretending like he’s your boyfriend, so he doesn’t get hurt! I’m sure that’ll work out super for both of you in the end.

Jacob insists he’s okay with her just liking him as a friend. He asks if it’s still “the other one,” and quickly adds that she doesn’t have to talk about it. Good, I really don’t know if I can stand more of this melodrama.

Anyway, they finally address the issue of Jacob liking her more than she likes him, and he insists that isn’t something that bothers him, as long as she’s okay. When Mike finally stumbles out of the bathroom, they drive home. Jacob is burning up now too, but swears he feels fine. Bella immediately assumes the flu, but we know what it is–werewolf puberty.

Bella angsts some about how she’s damaged, empty, broken, wasted, etc., and that Jacob is wasting his time. Booooohoohoo. She justifies her need to use him as a crutch, though. Yet again, we are shown that Bella is more than capable of doing stupid, horrible things (taking cold medicine to sleep, insulting her father, using Jacob), but we are treated to a dissertation on how she would normally never, ever do this. Someone is in denial about their perfect little Mary Sue.

Jacob decides that maybe he is feeling ill, and excuses himself out.

“It’s just that, I know how you’re unhappy a lot. And, maybe it doesn’t help anything, but I wanted you to know that I’m always here. I won’t ever let you down–I promise that you can always count on me. Wow, that does sound corny. But you know that, right? That I would never, ever hurt you?”

This paragraph made me love Jacob. Edward never did or said anything like this–all he’s ever done is hurt Bella, and then Smeyer shoves in our faces how he really only did it because he loves her. Jacob is a good kid. He actually seems to care about Bella and want her to flourish, have fun, live life, unlike Edward’s whole tepid “no if i made u a vmapire u would miss prom” BS.

However, the fact that later Jacob is just as abusive and manipulative as Edward makes me hate Smeyer even more.

Jacob leaves, promising to call when he gets home. Bella goes inside, wishing Jacob were just her brother. Fun fact, did you know Stephenie’s brother is named Jacob? Self-insertion characters indeed. Bella waits by the phone, but Jacob never calls. When she calls back, it takes eight rings for Billy to pick up and say “Oh, uh, yeah, he’s too ‘sick’ to call. Right, ‘sick.’ No no no, don’t come over here, just stay at your wolf-free home. Uh huh. Yeah. Bye.”

So Bella throws up some (the flu, not the melodrama, this time), and passes out on the bathroom floor. She spends the whole day there sleeping on a towel.

Charlie claimed that he had to work, but I suspected that he just wanted access to a bathroom.

Chica, your father sucks.

So Bella gets better 24 hours later, which is a real drag, because I was really getting into that riveting throwing-up action. Do you guys see why it was hard for me to muster the strength to even recap this? Bella finally gets a hold of Jacob, who still sounds like crap. It’s the werewolf. Flu. Werewolf flu. He’s totally not a werewolf!

And so he hangs up.

Uh, end of chapter.

Wow, I am so wasting my time with this book.

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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-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.

Chapter Eighteen, and we just now have plot

Posted in Recap, Twilight with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

ADVERB COUNT: 46. That’s pretty low for Smeyer.

More than 350 pages into the book, the plot decides to rear its ugly, ill-conceived head.

The other vampires emerge from the forest. Despite all that we’ve heard about vampires up to this point, they are not amazingly mind-blowingly dazzling heart-breakingly thrillingly angelically beautiful. Hmm, I wonder why?

Oh right, because they’re the bad guys so they have to be ugly.

There are three–an olive-toned guy, a woman with messy red hair (leaves and twigs stuck in), and an unassuming guy in the back. They are dressed like the average person where I live, but Bella describes them as “backpackers.” Jeans and button-down shirts in heavy fabric. Backpackers. Okay, sure.

Also, they have red eyes instead of the beautiful amazing wonderful gold we keep hearing so much about. How sinister.

The two parties introduce themselves, Laurent (the swarthy vampire) speaking for his group and Carlisle speaking for his big happy messed-up family. The new group is shocked to hear that Clan Cullen has a permanent residence, and wants to know how they manage that. Carlisle deftly hides the fact that his family has an “alternate lifestyle,” but he does invite the new guys back to their house to talk to them about it.

Sorry, I had to pause here. I know I mention the Mormon thing a lot, but Carlisle’s whole offer reminds me of the Mormons who would stalk us around the country and try to get me to let them into my house to “teach” me. I need to center myself here.

Carlisle asks that the new vamps please don’t hunt in their “territory,” since they are attempting to keep a low profile. Laurent laughs and says “We just ate outside of Seattle, anyway,” and now, only now, in 378 pages, does Bella have the good freaking sense to be frightened.

Unfortunately, the wind starts to blow (why it hasn’t up until now is anyone’s guess) and Bella’s scent is dispersed. The other three vampires immediately go “WHAT?! LUNCH!?” and drop into a crouch, which makes the “good” vampires circle Bella protectively. Edward snarls and it’s totally the most frightening thing ever, you guys, he’s so totally manly and scary.

Laurent is shocked at this new development. “You brought a snack?” he asks, and immediately I love Laurent to undeath. The Cullens insist that the girl-shaped buffet is with them. Laurent, smartly realizing that he is way outnumbered by the seven, completely not-Mormon Cullens, attempts to diffuse the situation and reassures them that of course they won’t eat anybody in the region, even if they smell like freesia or whatever the crap Bella is described as. James, the unassuming guy in the back, gets all pissed. Carlisle splits the group up, so that Edward, Alice, and Emmett can drive Bella home.

Edward flips the hell out. He orders Emmett to strap Bella in, and starts driving them south, away from Forks. Bella demands to know where he’s taking her, and Edward refuses to answer for a while, before finally saying he’s taking her far away.

We are treated to a few pages of Bella shrieking and screaming and demanding that Edward take her home, and Edward either ignoring her, denying her, or telling her to shut up. He even enlists the help of his brother to restrain Bella so she doesn’t attempt to let herself out of her harness. Only Alice seems to take issue with this, but it’s in a very Alice way.

Edward continues to insist that they get Bella as far away as possible, because of James, the unassuming guy who got all pissed.

“He’s a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He’s a tracker!”

Oh NO! Not a TRACKER! What the hell is that and why do we care?

A tracker, it seems, is someone who decides to eat someone no matter how far away she runs, and no matter how many vampires she has trying to protect her. An idiot, essentially. Edward is trying to save Bella by taking her away from the seven vampires who want to protect her because he is the man and knows what he’s doing.

Bella continues to shriek and Edward continues to ignore her, because he knows what’s best. When Alice and Bella both try to come up with alternate plans, Edward snarls at them. Bella eventually talks over him to explain that her plan is to go to Phoenix, and… uh.

Hang on, let me re-read it.

Well, the plan is to have her scream about going to Phoenix so that the tracker hears, and will follow her there so he doesn’t eat Charlie. Then, she says, the vampires can take her wherever they want to protect her.

Isn’t this… basically what Edward is doing, except now we have to backtrack and have a really awkward scene with her father?

Edward says no, because he’s the man and knows best. Then he restates her plan. … Okay. He ORDERS her to go back home and tell Charlie what she needs to. Then pack whatever she can and get in her truck. She has FIFTEEN minutes, do you hear me, FIFTEEN MINUTES.

This is a serious situation, so Edward gets to be a dick, apparently.

FIFTEEN MINUTES.

Alice tries to help him refine the plan.

“What are we going to do with the Jeep?” she asked.

His voice had a hard edge. “You’re driving it home.”

“No, I’m not,” she said calmly.

The unintelligible stream of profanities started again.

How dare this woman try to defy him!

“We can’t all fit in my truck,” I whispered.

Edward didn’t appear to hear me.

“I think you should let me go alone,” I said even more quietly.

He heard that.

“Bella, please just do this my way, just this once,” he said between clenched teeth.

As opposed to all the other times you have ordered her around, manipulated her, and even flat out seduced her into doing things you way? When has this girl ever done something her way other than when she wandered aimlessly through bad parts of a town she’d never been to?

This chapter confuses and infuriates me.

Every time Bella comes up with a new thing they haven’t thought of, Emmett acts all surprised. We’re supposed to feel bad for Bella being insulted like this, but I’d probably be surprised too if she had an original thought.

So the plan is, Bella is going to go in, yell at Charlie, tell him she’s going to Phoenix, and hopefully the tracker will hear all of this. Then Edward is going to make it look like that’s a fake out, uh, somehow. Then Alice and Jasper are going to drive her to Phoenix. Then Edward is going to meet them down there so they can come back home.

This is completely fool-proof and I’m just positive the vampire won’t meet her down there. Five states away. So he can eat her. This one person. When there are five states of other, more interesting people he could hunt.

I’m imagining this scene:

Editor: So, Stephenie, I got your manuscript.

Stephenie: what did u think isn’t it liek ttlly romantic

Editor: Right. Well. There’s 450 pages of… caressing and whispering devotion, but no actual conflict. You know that novels need that, right?

Stephenie: what do u mean hes dangrous and might eat her. conflict

Editor: …Yeah. So why don’t you try something with other vampires? Maybe have them try to eat her?

Stephenie: o like haev evil vmapires? ok I will rite that

Three weeks later she knocks out the last seven chapters of the book. This is completely tacked on. There was no foreshadowing, nothing. The best we had is a three paragraph prologue about a sauntering, smirking hunter. That’s it. The movie got it right and at least interspersed the “sexual tension” with cutscenes involving vampires that actually eat people. FORESHADOWING. It shows the author actually put some thought into their train-wreck rather than writing it stream-of-consciousness style and selling it based purely on juvenile “romance” merit.

I digress.

“Bella.” Edward’s voice was very soft. Alice and Emmett looked out their windows. “If you let anything happen to yourself–anything at all–I’m holding you personally responsible. Do you understand that?”

“Yes.” I gulped.

My goodness. If she gets hurt, bitten, eaten, killed, Edward is saying it’s all her fault?

And she just sits there and takes it?

I’m really running out of words for this tripe.