Archive for stalking is love

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?

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.

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 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 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.

Chapter Thirteen, new adverb high score

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

ADVERB COUNT: 97. Ninety and seven. 97!!

BELLA LIKE-O-METER: Oh god 1.

Edward does not burst into flames. He does not hiss “No, natural light!!” and melt into a puddle of viscous goo.

He glitters.

This is not a metaphor.

He sparkles in the light, like a frigging suncatcher. His skin looks as though it were embedded with diamonds. Oh God I wish I were joking.

So let’s recap the pros and cons of being a  vampire.

Pros:

1. Super awesome power, chosen at random. (Pick from clairvoyance, telepathy, empathy, and uh, compassion.)
2. Super strength, speed, and senses.
3. Aphrodisiac breath.
4. Heart-stopping beauty.
5. Don’t need to breathe!
6. Uh, totally immortal?

Cons:

1. You have to drink blood They talk a lot about what a pain it is to just drink animal blood, but uh, clan Cullen seems to be surviving just fine, angst notwithstanding. What, are vegans constantly in emotional anguish because they won’t have a steak?
2. Sparkling I don’t know what the hell his problem is. He’s going to be a hit at clubs. Put this back on the pro list.

Pros, continued:

7. Sparkling.

So um, what’s the big deal with being a vampire? Where, exactly, is the downside? I’m not convinced here.

I mean, sure, sparkling is sort of embarrassing when you’re trying to be all manly and impressive, but seriously.

So anyway. Edward freaking sparkles which only makes him prettier and we are treated to pages and pages of angelic beauty, awkward touching (not even sexual touching, just face stroking and hand-holding), and… really incredibly creepy dialogue.

“I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in–my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that! … As if you could outrun me,” he laughed bitterly. … “As if you could fight me off.”

He delivers this line while jumping around the glade and ripping apart huge trees. Bella remains unafraid, because, say it with me, she is a colossal idiot.

Edward explains to Bella that everybody has a specific smell, and for reasons unknown, she smells absolutely amazing to him, which caused him a lot of trouble on that infamous day in Biology. Seriously guys, he almost ate her. Seriously. He’s dangerous and you need to be afraid. He tells Bella she is his “brand of heroin,” which makes me gag ever so slightly. Bella asks if this weird scent-frenzy happens to the other vampires too, and Edward brings up that it has happened twice to his “brother,” Emmett.

“What did Emmett do?” I asked to break the silence.

It was the wrong question to ask. His face grew dark, his hand clenched into a fist inside mine. He looked away. I waited, but he wasn’t going to answer.

“I guess I know, ” I finally said.

HO HUM, YOUR BROTHER IS A MURDERER. LET’S LOVINGLY STROKE EACH OTHER MORE!

Edward continues on this bizarre, messed-up path of the conversation, describing how he had come up with ways to lure her out of school with him alone so he could kill her. How when she saw him in the office that day he was considering killing her and the office lady, since it was just “one other frail human” to take care of.

Even in light of this frankly horrifying testimonial, Bella is unmoved. The best we get is a brief moment of pity for Ms. Cope for almost unintentionally causing her violent death. Oh my God. Does this girl understand that Edward sees her as an Extra Value Meal with breasts?

Anyway, Edward went to Alaska for… some reason, and then came back when he realized he was being a gigantic pussy. Then we begin on whatever  chapter that was when suddenly he was all smiles and friendliness for his future meal.

By the way, he had been listening to her conversations through her friends’ minds since day one. Not creepy at all.

But he loves her.

They touch some more, I wish fervently that the author wasn’t a grossly immature Mormon and I could get a decent love scene at some point to break up the monotony, but no so luck. Edward drops hints that he apparently has never been lusty before. He’s been a 17 year old boy for 90 years, I find this very hard to believe. Bella puts her head to his chest and hears… nothing, and sighs in happiness.

Ugh ugh ew ew ew ew

Edward gives her a piggy-back ride down the mountain, running at Superman speeds. This makes her motion-sick and dizzy, which only sets us up for the swooning at the KISS SCENE:

Edward hesitated to test himself, to see if this was safe, to make sure he was still in control of his need.

And then his cold, marble lips pressed very softly against mine.

EEEEWWWW EW EW EW EW HE’S DEAD YOU STUPID TWIT HE’S DEAD

Anyway she swoons a little and, predictably, he refuses to let her drive.

” … Besides, friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” he quoted with a chuckle. …

“Drunk?” I objected.

“You’re intoxicated by my very presence.”

Aaaugh why does Stephenie Meyer hate me.

Chapter Twelve and Bella is aiming for milk carton mugshots

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

ADVERB COUNT: Eighty-freaking-four

BELLA LIKE-O-METER: What does it matter? She’s going to get eaten anyway.

The Indians attack!

Well, actually, they watch the game.

Jacob is smitten with Bella, and she has the decency to feel guilty about it. Jacob finally figures out that it was Edward she was with earlier, and calls his father a superstitious old man.

Hey, maybe that Edward kid is just a normal controlling creepy stalker, and that’s why Billy doesn’t like him?

Bella goes to sleep. Bella wakes up. Bella puts on clothes and eats food. You know what, Stephenie? I don’t care. There hasn’t been a single meal Bella has that I don’t know the intimate details of. There isn’t a single chore or class I’ve been forced to sit through while listening to her whine and kvetch about how painfully gorgeous Edward is. Why is every little minutia of Bella’s life so crucial that it has to be written down?

Bella goes to school. Edward drives her of course only to say that he maybe shouldn’t have, because he and Alice are leaving early. Alice is his hot sister–possibly the only character I like so far, other than Jacob. I’m sure something stupid will happen to change that. Bella is concerned over having to walk home, and Edward says “Oh, don’t worry. Alice and I are going to break into your house, go into your room, find your keys in the pocket of your jeans, drive your truck to school, and leave it in the parking lot with the keys in the ignition.”

Ugh.

More useless “I’m dangerous” “but I love you!” fluff. Rosalie, the other vampire chick, seems to hate Bella. Edward makes a big deal about Bella not getting hurt while he’s off hunting with Alice. Bella goes to class. Bella watches a movie. Bella talks to people. Ugh ugh ugh.

Also, that bit about Edward breaking into Bella’s room to steal her keys and hijack her car? I wasn’t joking. Bella’s truck is in the school parking lot with the keys in the ignition. Her reaction is simply to go “Oh, you!” and get in her car.

The icing on this creepy cake is that he left her a note that says “Be safe.”

Ugh ugh ugh.

Bella, superior survivor of the species that she is, is now telling all her friends that she’s not going anywhere on Saturday. Yep. No plans. So don’t come looking for her when she doesn’t show up to school on Monday. Nope, everything is fine. Feel perfectly safe with the supernatural monster that eats people. He’s just too pretty to pass up.

Bella makes dinner. Bella eats dinner. Bella does laundry. I am treated to a paragraph of her doing laundry oh my god.

Bella takes cold medicine to sleep better. …Wait, what?

Edward shows up early in the morning, and makes a huge fuss about Bella driving. He gives her orders on where to go, and comments about how slow she is. They should never have given women licenses. He leads out into the woods, where there is no road, and only one trail, and then they don’t take that trail. Bella, sweetie, did you leave a will and testament before you left home?

Edward and Bella hike to someplace he confesses he likes to go to when the weather is nice. I’d like to point out that he hikes with his shirt unbuttoned, which nearly sends Bella into cardiac arrest. But back to the weather–this should bring up an interesting question for those of you who don’t know this fact about Twilight manpires. What happens to them in the sun? Clearly it must be something bad, or they wouldn’t all live in the place with the highest recorded rainfall in the continental US.

Well, you’re in a for a real treat.

It’s going to dazzle you.