Archive for edward is a sociopath

Chapter Six

Posted in Eclipse, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Sweet salivating savior.

Now, I know some of you are gearing up for the possible excuses I will make. Maybe there have been betting pools. Well, let me set your minds at ease. Here is an exact list of everything I was doing for the last month:

  1. Writing a vampire novel
  2. Doing everything else I possibly could other than read Eclipse

I know, I feel your scorn even now. “This is a recap site,” you are all saying. “It is basically required that you read the books you are actively hatin’ on.”

But riddle me this, dear readers. What better possible statement exists on the quality of Eclipse than “Despite the fact that 40,000 people on the internet wanted me to, I could not bring myself to even look at this book for more than a month”?

I rest my case.

And with that, let me tell you all a little something about Chapter Six.

Edward creep-o-meter: A big ol “Welcome Back” 10.

When we last left off,  Bella was driving home after an unbelievably exciting chat with Jacob. You all remember Jacob, right? Big fellow? Werewolf? A friend Bella isn’t allowed to have, according to Edward?

Bella drives herself home, and out of nowhere, the Volvopire is behind her. He doesn’t honk. He doesn’t insist she pulls over. He just follows her all the way to her mortal friend’s house. Bella is terrified. She thinks briefly on how she’d been hoping to have some time before facing Edward, and how she’d at least wanted to have Charlie around, to “force him to keep his voice down.” Replace those words with “force him to keep from swinging at her,” and this whole scene makes even more unsavory sense.

So Edward continues to just. follow. her. as she drives to Angela’s. When she pulls into the drive, he keeps going. Yep. Just wanted to make sure where she was going. Just wanted to intimidate her. There was no other purpose for that drive. Just wanted to scare the piss out of his girlfriend.

Angela and Bella stuff envelopes. Don’t remember why she agreed to this. But it means we have an excuse for Bella to pretend like she even gives a damn about mortals still. She attempts to try to talk to Angela about what’s happening with Edward v. Jacob, without mentioning any of the werewolf/vampire stuff that would likely get her thrown into a ward. Angela keenly points out that Edward is jealous. Noooooooo Angela you just don’t get it that’s not it at all because Edward is perfect and selfless and wonderful and barf barf barf.

Angela’s boyfriend comes back, and Bella begins to tremble because that means she has to go home and face her insanely jealous, controlling, manipulative — I mean, selfless, perfect, wonderful, protective boyfriend.

Her whole drive home is anxious. And then, this.

“I’m going to go study,” I announced glumly as I headed for the stairs.

“See you later,” Charlie called after me.

If I survive, I thought to myself.

OH MAN YOU GUYS. It is so hilarious having a boyfriend who could kill you at a moment’s notice and is also incredibly emotionally unhinged!

Edward glares at her silently for several minutes. How dare she go see her friends? She finally explains how alive and unharmed she is, to which Edward just whines that he was soooo close to breaking the treaty and starting a war and it would have been all her fault.

They argue over how Bella wants to have friends and Edward won’t let her. They seriously argue about this. He refuses to negotiate on her seeing Jacob because he is “dangerous.” Wow, what a sweet guy. Bella delivers some stupid speech about being Switzerland. They joke about her smelling like dog. Whatever. God, I hate this.

THE NEXT DAY. Edward is going to go hunting again because he had to come back and save Bella from absolutely nothing when he found out she was hanging out with another boy.

We’d come to no agreement on the werewolf issue, but I didn’t feel guilty calling Jake–during my brief window of opportunity when Edward took the Volvo home before climbing back in through my window–to let him know I’d be coming over on Saturday again. It wasn’t sneaking around. Edward knew how I felt. And if he broke my truck again, then I’d have Jacob pick me up.

There is so. much. wrong. with that paragraph, I don’t even know where to freaking start.

Alice picks Bella up from school. This is odd. When Bella asks where Edward is, Alice just says they left early. Then she excitedly announces that ALL the boys have gone and Bella and her are going to have a slumber party which in no way is to be translated as 1st degree kidnapping and house arrest.

Alice is not repentant in the least. Edward bribed her with a porsche, so Bella is now legal hostage. In fact, no one really seems alarmed at this at all. Bella is going to be held at Cullen Manor for two days. She is only allowed to leave for school. She only gets one phone call to Jacob, and that is only to let him know that she won’t be coming over on Saturday after all.

“Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit controlling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?”

Also in the running for Most Obvious Answer: “Alice, don’t you think bears shit in the woods just a little bit? Just a tiny bit of defecation, maybe?”

Alice, of course, thinks nothing of the sort. Edward is just–wait for it

PROTECTING HER

–and there is absolutely nothing wrong with him wanting her safe!

Alice, I loved you once.

Bella uses her one phone call to tell Jacob their plans are canceled. He immediately suspects the bloodsuckers, and for good reason. Bella jokes–she jokes–that she is being held prisoner. Jacob’s immediate response is that he is coming to get her. God, I love this kid.

After this, Bella calls Edward to leave a bunch of half-hearted, lukewarm threats in his voicemail. “You are in trouble. Enormous trouble. Angry grizzly bears are going to look tame next to what is waiting for you at home.”

Ha ha, it’s so funny that he can coerce his family into kidnapping his girlfriend when he’s not in town so he can continue to keep tabs on her every move. You are in BIG TROUBLE, MISTER!

Alice escorts Bella to Edward’s room, where she’ll be sleeping. This is ostensibly to show her the enormous bed Edward moved in there, but it is also probably to keep monitoring her for any signs of rebellion.

Bella, because she is an enormous idiot, refuses to sleep on the bed, and curls up on the couch in “defiance.” You know what else is defiant? Getting your phone and calling the God damn cops.

Rosalie comes into her room in the middle of the night.

Whoa, did it just get a lot more sexy in here, or is it just me?

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Chapter Four

Posted in Eclipse, Recap with tags , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Edward creep-o-meter: Edward is not in this chapter. However, in spite of this, he maintains a steady 6.

I don’t want you guys to think I’m copping out on recapping this crap, but I am being completely honest with you when I say that nothing happens in this chapter.

I will itemize it for you:

  1. Edward is out hunting, so Bella is ever so lonely.
  2. Bella goes to work. They tell her they don’t need her today.
  3. Bella drives to La Push.
  4. Bella and Jacob talk about vampires.
  5. THE END.

I’m not sure how this counted as a full chapter. I also am not sure what Bella’s work schedule is supposed to be like. Does she only work on Saturdays? Or as the plot dictates?

Jacob is super bitter and angry, and takes pot shots at vampires every chance he gets. Bella gets all angry with him for making fun of the Cullens because they are good to the core and she and Edward are in love because he is the most beautiful flawless selfless thoughtful considerate sensitive man who ever lived and she loves him more than Jesus so stop being such a minority Jacob!

Then Jacob’s chin starts to quiver and Bella is all “aww I can’t get mad at you.”

THAT IS THE ENTIRETY OF THIS CHAPTER. This chapter’s whole purpose is to show that Jacob is angry and bitter (like every sixteen year old in existence) and we’re not supposed to like him as much as Edward. Which sucks, because I still think Jacob is freaking rad. It’s about time somebody thought something negative about the Good To The Core Cullens.

Unfortunately, it is because he doesn’t like the Cullens that we are supposed to hate him. Christ.

If it weren’t for the fact that later in this book, Jacob kicks the dog by (spoiler, oh noes!) forcing himself on Bella, I would continue to like Jacob more. Edward is not a lover. Edward is a figure of authority, a warden, a control freak, who’s only excuse for the downright horrible things he does to Bella is “I love you and I want to protect you.” That is never a valid reason, ever. “I love you” is not a get out of jail free card. “I love you” is not an excuse, it is a simple statement of fact and affirmation of devotion. “I love her” won’t fly in court when the woman or her family finally press charges.

Jacob, on the other hand, encourages Bella. He challenges her. They do fun things together. They are stupid together. They are freaking human together, instead of this bizarre circus of emotional manipulation that is Bella and Edward’s relationship. But Jacob doesn’t like the sparkly, impossibly benevolent vampires, due to indoctrination, personal experience, and hard cold fact. As a result, we are expected to dislike and distrust him, because the Cullens are so clearly (unrealistically) good.

Unfortunately, popular theory states that Stephenie Meyer did, at some point, realize that Jacob was being far more likable than Edward. Hence why later he forces himself on Bella, and in general is completely out-of-character for the whole book. We could write it off as “character development,” but when did Stephenie Meyer ever make use of that?

Jacob is the victim of character assassination via his own author. When she realized her misaimed fandom actually thought Jacob was a better match than her startlingly perfect main character, she did her best to make Jacob seem as slimy and hateful as possible.

Only to give him the consolation prize in the last book, because immaculately happy endings are not at all boring in the least.

You could say that the theory of the Death of the Author applies here, in a weird, juvenile sense. Stephenie tried her hardest to get us to interpret her texts as thus: Edward is perfect and thus the perfect mate; Jacob dislikes Edward and is thus imperfect and far inferior to him by simple fact of choosing to find him monstrous. However, there are still (still) cores of the fandom that insist Jacob was the better match, largely for the reasons I state above. There are also cores of the fandom who, desperate to find some merit in this series (maybe because they don’t want to admit they wasted all those hours of their lives reading this drivel), find unusual and at times brilliant interpretations of the story and characters, interpretations that I can 100% guarantee Meyer herself never actually intended.

Can you say this is the Death of the Author when the author herself was incompetent, at best? Can you really claim Meyer’s interpretation of her work is even as valid as her fans’, when she herself has no right clue how to tell a story, or build a believable setting, or create a fully-fleshed character?

Basically, what I’m saying is that if this chapter had something worthwhile in it, you guys wouldn’t have to read my pseudo-intellectual crap instead of a recap.

One more reason to hate Smeyer.

Chapter Three

Posted in Eclipse, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Oh, God did I have a day at work. They’ve dropped me right in the middle of a Charlie Foxtrot and it’s driving me to drink Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade, for crap’s sake.

But oh, look, a new chapter of Eclipse. Surely this will bolster my mood.

Edward creep-o-meter: 6

Edward and Bella are flying back from Florida.

Wait, huh? Hang on. Did I skip a chapter?

…No, yeah, there’s my end-of-chapter notes from the last chapter, screeching in all-caps about The Truck Incident. So I didn’t miss anything. Well, other than the obvious. Someone taught Stephenie to skip things.

Edward and Bella are flying back from Florida. It’s  convenient that Smeyer skipped all that unnecessary vampire-in-sunlight fodder, because then she’d have to explain how Edward was able to stay out of natural light all day while on vacation visiting his girlfriend’s mother.

My mom would have dragged that boy out with us. Well, and then, sparkling would happen, and my mom would probably say “Is this related to one of those Japanese cartoon things you keep watching?”

Anyway.

Bella’s mother catches on to the fact that Edward and Bella are “serious.” More serious than she thought. Serious is a good word for it. I also like “calamitous.” Or maybe “unpalatable.” Renée makes comments to how protective Edward is and how intense they are and how Bella moves around him like a satellite. No, really.

“The way you move–you orient yourself around him without even thinking about it. When he moves, even a little bit, you adjust your position at the same time. Like magnets… or gravity. You’re like a… satellite, or something. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Bella and Edward are special, okay? And apparently we only came to Florida so that Renée could remind us. Again. Just how special they are.

Again, if my mother saw that behavior in me? She’d start looking for other signs of control and abuse, too. But then, my mother and I don’t know what truest of true loves is like, on account of us thinking Twilight is a crock of cowplop. Frowny face.

Charlie is waiting up for Bella (and Edward, I guess) to return. Edward is stiff and standoffish before they even get in the door. Charlie soon reveals why–Jacob has been calling all night, looking for Bella. Oh, right, her other boyfriend. Before she can reminisce too long on her fond memories of using him as an emotional crutch, the phone rings.

Jacob demands to know if Bella is… going to school tomorrow.

K, bye. Click.

Okay then.

Bella obsesses and worries over why Jacob cares about her attendance for two and a half pages. She eventually comes to the conclusion that she was gone for three days, and becoming a vampire takes three days, so clearly Jacob thought she’d been bitten. Bella’s never ever been wrong so I’m sure that’s what it is.

Actually, I’m having a problem thinking of the last time Bella came to a conclusion that wasn’t wrong. The misogyny runs so deep in these novels it kills me.

So, anyway, the next day they go to school. Whoa, they jump right to the action here. Kudo’s to Smeyer’s editors, whoever they are. Jacob is waiting at school. Edward is pleased to point out to Bella how very wrong she was yet again. Jake and Ed glower at each other for a while. By the way, Jacob, at sixteen, is six foot seven inches tall, and tightly muscled–like, body-builder muscled. Right.

Edward confronts Jacob, after a short bit of pleading with Bella to stay in the car, which she for some reason doesn’t do. I was prepared to have her just follow his orders like always, but I guess it’s just really important to the plot that she hear this.

Edward is like “I can read your mind, and I know what you came here to say, so thanks for showing up to warn us, see you later.” Not suspicious in the least. Bella’s all “Teehee what?” which makes Jacob realize that Edward hasn’t told her anything at all about what’s going on.

It turns out that Emmett crossed the treaty line on Saturday. Paul and him came to words. Yeah, not blows, just words. Despite the fact that werewolves are here specifically to kill vampires, nobody fought, and nobody got hurt.

Bella tries to ask about what’s going on, only to have Edward shush her constantly. Jacob finds it in him to get righteously indignant on Bella’s behalf, which only makes Edward suddenly look all scary and stuff (he’s totes terrifying).

All at once, Bella puts together what we’ve all realized since Alice had that stupid vision.

  1. Edward didn’t want her to know something.
  2. Jacob wouldn’t have kept it from her.
  3. Edward wanted her out of the city to keep her from knowing this something.
  4. Alice had a vision about it and then
  5. EDWARD FREAKING LIED TO HER
  6. Also, vampires are dreamy.

This all adds up to, OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS, VICTORIA IS BACK! Are you scared? Man, me too. There is nothing more terrifying than the vague threat of a redheaded hobopire who is not even important enough to have a single line in the novel she is the supposed villain of. A villain who does not actually accomplish anything except make a lot of grown men run around in the woods like silly pagans, and cause the female character to vomit and cry in turns.

And so, predictably, Bella starts crying.

Edward is all “Now look what you’ve done! She’ll never calm down in time for nappy-bye!” I mean, actually, he defends himself for lying to her and trying to keep something important to her from her.

He was… wait for it…

Protecting her.

Jacob, for his part, plays a total badass, and he’s not taking any of Edward’s crap.

“Do you really think hurting her is better than protecting her?” he murmured.

“She’s tougher than you think,” Jacob said. “And she’s been through worse.”

With that, Jacob begins to remember, as clearly as he can, how depressed and downright pitiful Bella was when Edward left. Specifically so Edward will pick through his mind and find it.

Poor poor Eddie is all pained and stuff as he is forced to invade Jacob’s privacy, read his mind, and find clear memories of Bella suffering. We all feel really bad for him. Jacob just laughs and grins.

Guys, I seriously love this new “asshole” Jacob. It’s about time somebody slapped Edward around.

“Overprotective, isn’t he?” Jacob said, talking just to me. “A little trouble makes life fun. Let me guess, you’re not allowed to have fun, are you?”

Edward glowered, and his lips pulled back from his teeth ever so slightly.

“Shut up, Jake,” I said.

Jacob laughed. “That sounds like a no. […]”

SERIOUSLY guys I like Jacob more now.

A grown-up finally shows up to shoo everyone off to class. Edward and Bella pass notes in English, where Edward describes the whole “yeah your flavorless archenemy is back to kill you and also we argued with some werewolves” debacle. I wonder if it’s more that he’s too embarrassed to have Bella around to see that stuff. “We almost had her! Then we got in a fight with some dogs over who was better at Counter-Strike.”

Bella says that Florida was a bad idea–they wouldn’t have been near Victoria to hear if she was going to come after Charlie. Edward counters, not at all creepily, that he’s not sending her anywhere alone, because who knows what could happen.

You know, the way he keeps harping on her bad luck, it’s almost like he’s purposefully laying the foundation for later, when he actually does hurt her, and can just say “Oh, you know Bella’s luck. She made friends with another werewolf, and he beat the tar out of her.”

For some reason, they pass notes back and forth about the many ways in which Edward would save her from a crashing plane. Yeah, he’s just that perfect and strong. God, this is boring.

In Calculus, which is the only class Bella doesn’t share with Edward–

Wait, hold up. Edward can manipulate the faculty however he wants, and there manages to be one class he doesn’t share with Bella? I call BS.

Well, anyway, in Calculus, the guys are taking bets on either Jacob or Edward in a fight. Mike bets on Jacob.

Uh, the end.

Well, at least her truck still ended intact in this one.

Chapter Two

Posted in Eclipse, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

Edward creep-o-meter: 9

I went to the Significant Other’s folk’s place for our American Independence Day Food and Explosions Extravaganza, wearing my “And Then Buffy Staked Edward, The End” shirt. It turns out that Mikael’s aunt and cousin both feel exactly the same way we here at House Vampirely do. Getting into a very passionate discussion with two accomplished readers/writers from the family was exhilarating. We also got to bore the living daylights out of Mikael and his father.

The perils of living with a woman who has made a career of hating Twilight.

Chapter two is ratcheting up the creepy. And by the end of this recap, you’ll know why.

Bella goes to school. We, of course, want to hear all about this, and how she spends her time with the most perfect person on the planet (her exact words, not mine in the least). Everybody is panicking about this being their last year at high school, except for Alice and Edward. Good Lord, who knows how many times they’ve faked being high school kids. Given that Edward has “done the Dartmouth route” already, I’m not even really sure why he’s bothering with high school at this point. Wait, did I cover this already? I think this book is actively making me stupider.

Angela, her boyfriend B… uh, Bill… no… Ben! Right, another mortal we don’t care about. Angela, her boyfriend Ben, Alice, Edward, and Bella have lunch. They talk about senioritis. Bella mentions she’s free of grounding now. Angela and her should totally hang. Alice wants to party in another country. It’s wacky, completely enthralling hijinx all around.

Alice starts to have a vision in the middle of a conversation. The fact that Alice just completely checks out for minutes at a time doesn’t seem to bother the mortals in the least. Alice just says she was “daydreaming,” and she and Edward discuss things telepathically, without filling Bella in.

Bella enters Supreme Paranoia Mode.

Edward seems to avoid alone time with her for the rest of the day, clearly to avoid her questions. Wait. I’m not sure if I’m even being sarcastic anymore. On the one hand, Bella has to make it all about her, and on the other, Edward is a controlling asshole and I wouldn’t put it past him. He even goes so far as to strike up a conversation with Mike “Nothing Wrong With Him” Newton to avoid conversation with Bella. A conversation about cars. Hmm. That’s not suspicious at all.

I love when relationships are based on subterfuge and evasion.

Alice starts talking a mile a minute about how Edward shouldn’t have offered his services to Mike as a mechanic. Apparently, Ed is just not that good of a mechanic. I nearly dropped the book at this point. Something Edward is not absolutely perfect at? This can’t be possible.

“[…] Though I suppose, for Mike’s car, you’ll do. It’s only within the finer tunings of a good Italian sports car that you’re out of your depth.”

Oh, so… okay, it’s not actually a flaw at all. Edward is still better than the average person at auto mechanics.

Sigh.

Alice and Edward continue to have Silent Mind-Bullet Conversations, leaving Bella completely out of the loop. She spends two paragraphs waiting, hoping, and internally whining over Edward not telling her what’s going on–completely missing the fact that she could solve this very readily by just saying “What was Alice’s vision, why are you guys hiding it from me?”

Bella continues to stress and fret and not just ask what’s wrong. Edward continues trying to distract her by making out a little, and talking about random boring things that don’t matter. P.S. kissing Edward is still like making out with a marble statue. That’s hotttt with like a million Ts.

Bella gets an e-mail from her mother. We are treated to a page of Bella narrating how she’s had to take care of her own mother all her life. This is to prove how intelligent and mature she is. In a well-written character, it would also explain why she is so desperate to find someone (like Edward) to control her own life. But we’re not reading about well-written characters, are we?

This is a segue into the inevitable discussion of marriage again. I still do not get how I can be treated to two, 500-page books about how true their love is and how mated their souls are and how other-halvey Edward is, and be forced to swallow the horse crap that is Bella’s new fear of commitment. It’s completely out-of-character–and for someone with no character, that’s saying a lot.

Mom, apparently, got married right out of high school and immediately had a kid. So now she pressures Bella to go to college and wait until she’s “older” to even THINK about marriage. Don’t do what I did! Is this hypocrisy, or trying to live vicariously through your daughter? Neither, because Renée is Bella’s sweet and scatterbrained mother, and we are not allowed to find fault with people that Bella likes.

She has to write something about Jacob in her email. And then she realizes that Edward is standing over her shoulder. Oh but he’s totally not reading her write this email. That would be controlling. He’s actually staring at something in her closet. Sure.

Edward produces the two plane tickets to Florida Bella got for her birthday in the last book. Apparently they’re about to expire, and Edward is, inconceivably, all about going to Florida. Trying to get Bella out of town, are we? Of course, Bella can’t see through this at all. She’s just worried that Charlie is going to throw a fit. And you know he will.

I sighed. “Not this weekend.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t want to fight with Charlie. Not so soon after he’s forgiven me.”

His eyebrows pulled together. “I think this weekend is perfect.”

I’m just positive he’s not going to try to undermine her decision to not go. He’s very respectful of her wants and wishes–so long as they’re in line with his. Otherwise, it’s Seduce Bella Until She Changes Her Mind time again!

I shook my head. “Another time.”

“You aren’t the only one who’s been trapped in this house, you know.” He frowned at me.

Suspicion returned. This kind of behavior was unlike him. He was always so impossibly selfless; I knew it was making me spoiled.

I laughed out-loud at this part. Edward, selfless? Right, stealing your crap in the last book and leaving you heartbroken was for your own good. Bullying or tricking you into doing things his way is because he’s protecting you.

Also, why the hell is he giving her lip for him being trapped in the house? Did Carlisle ground him to Bella’s bedroom, too?

Bella finally, finally gets around to asking what Alice had seen. It was something to do with Jasper going down south to see the family. Oh. Well. That’s… not at all what Bella or I was expecting. Bella is now chiding herself for being paranoid and assuming the worst. It’s all her fault! It’s not like Edward tried to avoid the subject and still seems to be keeping things from her. No no, she’s the one who needs therapy.

Bella makes Charlie a special dinner to keep him in a good mood with Edward there. Oh my God this is so “beaten housewife” I can hardly stand it. Charlie makes a comment about the Blacks inviting everyone down for some sports party. Bella wonders if Edward will get upset that Charlie is going to be hanging out with werewolves. We all know this is not the case, because Edward has no interest in controlling Charlie.

Edward and Bella get to washing dishes.

“Charlie,” Edward said in a conversational tone.

Charlie stopped in the middle of his little kitchen. “Yeah?”

“Did Bella ever tell you that my parents gave her airplane tickets on her last birthday, so that she could visit Renée?”

Annnnd Edward completely undermines Bella. Are you surprised? Cause I’m freaking surprised.

Charlie seems okay with Bella going to visit her mother, until Edward mentions that he’d be going, too. Charlie shouts, stomps, and does everything but flip a table. (Also, I see my first use of the word “chagrin.” I’ve heard that the misuse of this word gets a little ridiculous, so I’m going to keep track!) Charlie attempts to ground Bella again for… uh, well, nothing at all, actually, and she calls him on it. By threatening to move out.

It’s battle of the nut-jobs!

Bella seems to like this new tactic of “say something shocking and terrible, then immediately follow up with something manipulative and seemingly reasonable.” She drops the “well, when do you want me to move out” card, then, when Charlie’s face turns purple, she sighs and does the whole “Look I’m trying to be reasonable but you can’t just order me around because I’m an adult and I can manipulate you like a pro now.”

Charlie eventually relents. Because he’s a pushover. A big, yelling, gun-toting pushover. She escapes to go to the Cullen Manor.

In the car, Edward insists that Bella has been talking about her mother in her sleep. Worrying about her and such. Bella is surprised at this. I’m just positive Edward isn’t lying in further attempt to get her out of town. But it’s okay if he does it, because he loves her. When she asks him why he had to go and make Charlie mad after she (very reasonably) said she’d have to wait until later, he says this:

“But, clearly, you were too much of a coward to deal with Charlie, so I interceded on your behalf.”

There’s that sweet caring boyfriend we know and love, belittling her so she remembers that she is only so much human chaff, and is, quite frankly, lucky to have such a wonderful perfect guy to hold her hand everywhere she goes.

She asks if this has anything to do with the party at the Black’s place, and he says “Not at all. It wouldn’t matter if you were here or on the other side of the world, you still wouldn’t be going.” Yikes. Bella, miraculously, compares this to how Charlie was talking to her earlier. But she just doesn’t want to fight with Edward :(((

When Bella comes back, sans Edward, Charlie attempts to have The Sex Talk with her. Dad, seriously, the only time sex was even mentioned (and even then, through innuendo and eyebrow-waggling) was in chapter fourteen of Twilight. You have nothing to worry about.

That epic little lols-fest done with, Bella realizes she’s got an hour before Edward will come back to her room. This is just enough time to sneak down to La Push and actually see Jacob.

She is sneaking to La Push to see her friend. She has to sneak to avoid her boyfriend’s wrath. Why do Twilight fans not see the problem with this?

Bella tells Charlie where she’s going, and goes out to her truck, looking over her shoulder the whole way. She puts the key in the ignition, turns it… and nothing happens.

It is at this point that she realizes Edward is sitting next to her in the cab, turning a piece of her engine over and over in his hands.

While he turns this big piece of metal over in his hands in a gesture that isn’t a stretch to describe as threatening, he explains that Alice had a vision wherein Bella’s future disappeared. Naturally, this is because she’s going to go hang out with werewolves.

“Because she can’t see the wolves, you know,” he explained in the same low murmur. “Had you forgotten that? When you decide to mingle your fate with theirs, you disappear, too. You couldn’t know that part, I realize that. But can you understand why that might make me a little… anxious?”

This is not the dialogue of a loving, caring man, who is “anxious” for his lover.

This is the dialogue of a sociopathic creep.

I would expect this in a psychological thriller, in a suspense or mystery novel, something. I would expect this from a sinister person.

But I am expected to believe that this is from the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with.

I am more than a little frightened right now.

He continues to twirl a piece of her truck in his hands, murmuring idly about the nature of werewolves. If I were Bella, I would have started screaming for help at this point, because in not too many novels that engine piece would have ended up embedded in her skull at some point.

“I’ll put your car back together in time for school, in case you’d like to drive yourself,” he assured me after a minute.

Oh well that’s kind of him.

With my lips mashed together, I retrieved my keys and stiffly climbed out of the truck.

“Shut your window if you want me to stay away tonight. I’ll understand,” he whispered, just before I slammed the door.

Whispering it like that means that he won’t understand, and will hold it against her for later. When he can disable her truck and break a leg or two. To protect her, of course.

Bella slams the door to the house and stomps upstairs. She shouts down to Charlie that her truck won’t start. He offers the use of his police cruiser, which is not in accordance with the law, so she declines.

When she gets to her room, she slams the window shut so hard the glass shakes.

Then, five minutes later, she sighs, gets back up and opens it again.

I have no. Freaking. Words. For this.

Chapter Eighteen

Posted in New Moon, Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by Rachel Vampirely

I’m going to be honest with you. I wasn’t sure I could make it through New Moon.

The chapters are so full of utterly nothing. I was beginning to doubt my ability to even make any of it sound funny. Oh, Bella is whining about her hole again. Aw, and Jacob comforts her. Repeat for 400 pages. Yes I have read 400 pages of this crap I hope you’re happy.

The problem is, I am sad to say, that Edward is not in this book. Edward is really the life of this series. He’s flat. He’s uncaring. He’s preposterous. He’s downright offensive. Without Edward to buoy my intense loathing of these “books,” I get very little out of even making fun of it. Look, the werewolves are telepathic, ho hum.

I have news for you, gentle readers.

Edward is coming back. With a vengeance.

Chapter eighteen starts off as exciting as usual–Bella answers the door. Jacob glowers. His friends are sitting back in the car idling in her driveway, also glowering. Jacob asks to talk to her. WOW!! On the edge of my seat here.

Jacob gives her crap for liking vampires, before getting to the point–the treaty means that if a Cullen is over, Jacob can’t be. So he can’t protect her unless she’s back in La Push now. Uh, okay, whatever, totes going to hang out with my vamp BFF now.

Bella says some mean things and Jacob leaves. Because Bella is the frailest little thing on the planet, she immediately starts crying. Jacob comes back and hugs her, apologizing for breaking his promise again. Annnd for three pages there’s more “character development” consisting of how much life sucks since Jacob can’t fill the hole in her chest while Alice is here, but Alice is feeding her addiction so she can’t chase Alice off. Good FREAKING GOD, this girl has no ability to stand on her own whatsoever.

Uh, let’s see. Jacob and Bella share an overlong hug, and then Jacob makes like he’s going to kiss her, which wasn’t part of Bella’s plan so she panics a little. Thankfully for just about everybody, the phone rings. Jacob takes it upon himself to answer for her. When he tenses up, she guesses there’s a vampire on the other end. What, can Jacob tell just by their voice now?

I recovered myself and held out my hand for the phone. Jacob ignored me.

“He’s not here,” Jacob said, and the words were menacing.

There was some very short reply, a request for more information it seemed, because he added unwillingly, “He’s at the funeral.”

Jacob hangs up, Bella gets pissed because he just hung up on one of her totally cool vampire friends. Jacob insists that Dr. Carlisle Cullen hung up on him.

Now, at this point, I bust up laughing. He’s at the funeral, he says. Oh, I’m sure a misunderstanding couldn’t possibly arise from this.

So Jacob bitches about vampires a little bit before suddenly up and leaving. Too late, Alice is on the stairs! Before the Mortal Kombat theme can queue up, Alice is struck with a vision. All she says is “Edward,” and of course Bella swoons and nearly faints as the world lurches around her.

My body reacted faster than my mind was able to catch up with the implications of her reply. I didn’t at first understand why the room was spinning or where the hollow roar in my ears was coming from. My mind labored, unable to make sense of Alice’s bleak face and how it could possibly relate to Edward, while my body was already swaying, seeking the relief of unconsciousness before reality could hit me.

We have reached a new low for Bella: she’s fainting and she doesn’t even know why.

Jacob gets all pissed again, Alice tries to calm him down, and calls Cult Cullen on her cellphone. The general gist of that conversation is Rosalie picks up, tells her Carlisle isn’t back yet, and then says a few things that somehow infuriate Alice. Bella chooses now to mention that Carlisle is back because he just called.

Jacob relays what he said to Carlisle, including the “He’s at the funeral” bit after prompting from Bella. Alice freaks out, because that was Edward calling, OH NOES HE TTLY THINKS BELLA IS DEAD.

Rosalie told Edward about Alice’s vision of Bella jumping from the cliff. No, it’s more than that, actually–Rosalie tracked Edward down, since he isn’t with the family anymore, specifically to tell him that Bella was dead. I love Rosalie.

So anyway now Edward is going to kill himself.

Yes, gentle readers, bereft of his incompetent, “charmingly” clumsy, weak-willed, easily-spooked cheeseburger girlfriend, Edward is flying himself to Italy to piss off the Volturi.

I’m not sure why he doesn’t just come down here and intercept Victoria. Or try to find any other number of angry vampires. Or maybe throw himself into the ocean and let the pressure crush him. No, he’s got to go to Italy, and he’s got to piss off a specific set of vampires.

Bella rightly wants to know why Edward is killing himself now over her death when he knew she’d have to die someday. Why, Bella, then we wouldn’t have seven whole chapters of rip-roaring plot.

Alice’s plan is to drag Bella to Italy, to hopefully stop Edward. Edward plans to go to the Volturi and first ask politely if they’ll kill him. If they say no, out of respect of Carlisle, his backup plan is to…

…Let me re-read this.

His backup plan is to go on a rampage through their city. Wow. What a noble guy. Going to involve as many innocent people’s lives as he can in his senseless quest for suicide. He’s SO passionate for the useless main character!

Bella writes Charlie a note that basically says “Edward needs me bbl.” I’m not sure why Charlie hasn’t tried to have this “kid” arrested yet. Alice and Jacob help her pack, while Jacob pleads, pathetically, tearfully even, for Bella to stay. Sorry, kiddo, you’ve got a pulse, and you treat her right–you never really stood a chance.

They drive off and the last glimpse Bella catches of her house is the shred of a shoe.

Jacob’s going to go have an emo-fursplosion jag now.

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.

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.