My excellent friend Lukas has lent me his copy of New Moon. I didn’t ask why he had a copy of New Moon, and he agreed to let me write all over it. It’s a fair trade, I think.
And so, we begin.
Chapter One is a recap chapter, and with it comes all the glories and hardships of trying to sum up Twilight in less than 30 pages. You were all there, you saw what happened, but I’m going to recap the recap anyway.
The chapter starts off with a dream Bella has about being a wrinkly gross old lady and Edward wishing her happy birthday. Old people are disgusting! Bella wakes up and we learn that it is, in fact, her birthday. We are treated to 30 pages of her waxing pathetic about how old she is now that she’s 18 and how unfair it is that Edward hasn’t bitten her yet.
Bella, it turns out, is one of those people who absolutely hates it when people celebrate their birthdays. I know that these people exist in real life–I am dating one, much to my chagrin, and not wanting a birthday is sort of analogous to not liking fun, in my opinion. But we make do. It took a few years for him to even start letting other people know when his birthday was, and it took me a few years to learn that he wasn’t going to want to party hard. Much like my boyfriend, Bella hates attention and people doting on her. Even though she likes that Edward is so super-obsessed with her. I’m sure.
Bella drives herself to school. My eyebrows quirk. She drove herself? What’s going on here? Edward and Alice are waiting for her there, Edward as boring and gorgeous as he was in the last book, and Alice her adorable self, holding a silver box. Bella is like so totally embarrassed. She doesn’t want any presents, you guys! Not to mention she’s in a terrible mood because 18 is like so old and she’s going to be wrinkly any day now. Bella drops the hint that this is what’s upsetting her so much, and Alice tries to lighten the mood.
“Eighteen isn’t very old,” Alice said. “Don’t women usually wait til they’re twenty-nine to get upset over their birthdays?”
“It’s older than Edward,” I mumbled.
ANYTHING NOT EDWARD IS UNGOOD.
But Edward was dead set against any future that changed me. Any future that made me like him–that made me immortal, too.
An impasse, he called it.
I couldn’t really see Edward’s point, to be honest. What was so great about mortality? Being a vampire didn’t look like such a terrible thing–not the way the Cullens did it, anyway.
And, ever so casually, Bella addresses my single greatest complaint about Stephenie’s stupid “vampires.”
Oh well, anyway. Alice asks Bella when she’s going to be up at “the house,” to which Bella immediately gets angry. She didn’t want a party! No party! No birthdays! NO FUN. BELLA IS VARY GROWNUP. She tries to come up with a few excuses for why she can’t come over, finally settling on “I have to watch Romeo and Juliet for class.” Edward agrees, saying he’ll just drag her to Chez Cullen at seven, so Alice has more time to set up.
Bella tries to argue with Edward, but, as usual, he convinces her to shut up and he gets his way.
They go to class. Now they have every class together. Bella makes an offhand comment about how “it was amazing the favors Edward could get the female administrators to do for him.” Silly women, so easily manipulated. I guess none of them are lesbians.
Mike, by the way, has lost some weight, and is purposely trying to style his hair like Edward’s. I grabbed a pencil and wrote “UGH” right next to this sentence. Sorry, Lukas.
We are treated to some exposition about how Bella is not used to getting presents, because she grew up po’, on her mom’s kindergarten teacher salary. Hold up here. Mom has a job, suddenly? And wait, now Bella does too. I’m confused. Am I still reading a Twilight book?
Wait, kindergarten teacher is one of those pre-approved made-for-women jobs. I see through your ruse, Smeyer.
Anyway, you guys, Edward is like so rich. He and Alice play the stock market, cause she can like, see the future, you know? So he’s like totally loaded. But Bella refuses to let him spend money on her. That’s like, so unfair, you know? Because he’s so perfect already, she has so little to offer in return. Never mind that if he started buying everything for her, too, I would probably just start sobbing incoherently.
Edward and Alice and Bella sit at the same long table as her mortal “friends” at lunch. The mortals largely ignore the vampires, because they can sense poorly written characters their predators. The other vamps have, apparently, graduated. Again. Who knows how many times they’ve done this. You know, Forks is exactly one of those small towns someone would end up spending their whole life in. Do the Cullens only come back to Forks after the oldest possible high school classmate has died, to keep the façade?
All right, after being treated to Brief Reminders about how the Cullens are totally vampires and school is sooo boring, Bella attempts to drive herself home. GUESS WHAT HAPPENS.
I folded my arms, and made no move to get out of the rain. “It’s my birthday, don’t I get to drive?”
“I’m pretending it’s not your birthday, just as you wished.”
That’s right. Edward is only letting her drive because it’s her birthday. I laughed so hard I snorted. He bitches for a while about how much her radio sucks, and then tells her to perk the hell up because it’s her birthday, damn it. They kiss.
Edward had drawn many careful lines for our physical relationship, with the intent being to keep me alive. Though I respected the need for maintaining a safe distance between my skin and his razor-sharp, venom-coated teeth, I tended to forget about such trivial things like that when he was kissing me.
“Be good, please,” he breathed against my cheek.
Women are such base, thoughtless creatures, driven purely by their irrational emotions. It’s a good thing Edward is here to constantly urge her to “be good,” so he can continue to withhold sex as a means of controlling her.
They watch Romeo and Juliet. Edward bitches about what an idiot Romeo is. I find Smeyer’s attempts at irony rather pathetic. At the mutual suicide scene, Edward comments about how lucky Romeo has it, that he can just take some poison to kill himself. We are then treated to about two pages of Edward making light of his own suicidal thoughts. If Bella would have died in that last book (remember, guys? remember how “she fell down the stairs?”), he was planning to kill himself, most likely by going to Italy and pissing off the Volturi, the ruling class family of vampires. Bella is horrified at this, and reminds him that if he had died, he wouldn’t have wanted her to kill herself. Are we sure this is a Twilight book?
Dad Charlie comes home, with pizza. Bella asks, hopefully, if Charlie wants her to stay home for her birthday, and he replies that there’s a Mariners game today so he won’t be good company. Awesome, Dad. Your daughter is turning 18 and you’re all “can’t talk game on.” He tosses Bella her gift, a camera (she almost drops it because she’s very clumsy remember guys she’s clumsy), and tells her… you know what, I’m just going to quote it.
“Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn’t been over in a while.” Charlie’s mouth pulled down at one corner.
“It’s been three days, Dad,” I reminded him. Charlie was crazy about Alice.
EWWWWWW EW EW EW EW EW
A teenage girl who brings her friend over and becomes aware that her parent, her dad, her father, has a thing for said friend, would be grossed. the hell. OUT. MUCH LIKE I AM.
Bella seems to think there’s not really anything wrong with this.
So we are reading a Twilight book, after all.
Edward drives Bella in her truck to Chez Cullen, bitching about her truck the whole way. My word, this man is a whiner. He tells her to try to lighten the hell up, since all the vamps in vamptown are super excited for her birthday (apparently they don’t celebrate them anymore.)
You know, I’m sorry to make this so quote-heavy, but you guys have to got to see this.
“So, if you won’t let me get you the Audi, isn’t there anything that you’d like for your birthday?”
The words came out in a whisper. “You know what I want.”
She’s talking about having a Bite Day, but I’m imagining that they’re talking about sex.
A deep frown carved creases into his marble forehead. […]
“Not tonight, Bella, please.”
“Well, maybe Alice will give me what I want.”
Alice doesn’t give her what she wants (not in this chapter at least), but she does decorate one hell of a party. There are paper lanterns decorating the outside, every flat surface inside the house is covered in pink candles and bowls filled with roses. A table near the piano is draped with white, and covered in yet more candles and roses, and topped with a pink cake and a pile of silver-wrapped presents. Alice is too freaking sweet for words and I think I love her more by the minute.
It was a hundred times worse than I’d imagined.
…God, Bella is an ungrateful bitch.
The first gift is a car stereo, which Emmett is installing at this very moment, so that Bella can’t attempt to take it back. Oh, you. Edward hands her his present, assuring her that he hasn’t spent any money on it. Bella, an idiot, cuts her finger on the wrapping paper.
And all freaking Hell breaks loose as the little twit starts bleeding ever so slightly.
Edward and Jasper slam into each other, knocking Bella into the table. Jasper goes into a blood frenzy. Emmett tries to wrestle with him. Bella realizes that since she fell into a table full of crystal bowls, there is now a huge gash on her arm from all the shattered glass.
So she’s bleeding even more. Oh Lord.
Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm–into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.
All because the little bitch got a paper cut.
Before those of you who are, I don’t know, smart, start to bring up that obviously this means Jasper should be freaking out over any woman who’s on her blooming period, I have some things to enlighten you on.
Stephenie Meyer, it seems, was posed this question several times. If all it takes is a drop of blood from a papercut to send Jasper into a frenzy, how can he, or any of the vamps for that matter, attend a high school where, at best, one in every four girls is menstruating? Instead of just saying “That’s gross and I’m not writing that,” which I would have come to expect and would even have accepted from Stephenie, she said this:
Several girls wanted to know if Edward would have a more difficult time being around Bella when she’s having her period. Answer: Yes, a little bit, but he would never say anything about it–much too much of a gentleman. And Bella would be way to embarrassed to ask. (It’s not the same as a cut, though. It’s sort of “dead” blood, if you get my meaning).
I tried to find this on her website’s FAQ and it seems to have been taken down. Gee, I wonder why. It’s not like you just called nutrient-and-blood-rich uterine lining, the same stuff that is the fuel and fire for the Miracle of Life dead or anything. It’s not like you just proved what a colossal moron you are with that one simple sentence.
This series never fails to deliver.