Round 2! Really got to figure out why my autosave function keeps fucking up and losing my work…
The preface for this book is actually pretty good. It’s, presumably Bella, talking about ways to die. She talks about how she’d never considered how she would go, but that she thinks it’s probably a noble death to die in place of someone you love. It’s an effective opening that draws you in and sets a tone. I really really wish it was the tone of the rest of the book.
Chapter 1: First Sight
Bella is the single most entitled character in fiction I swear. I thought Wanderer was bad…
The chapter begins with Bella being driven to the airport by her mother. She says it’s 75 degrees in Phoenix (where she’s leaving from) and I have to say, I was at the Phoenix airport one day this summer and I would have killed for it to have been only 75 degrees. So I’m assuming that puts this in fall or winter… It’s not explicitly stated anywhere so I’m just using that as a hint.
I was wearing my favorite shirt — sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka.
As a Canadian I find the assertion that she needs a parka for anywhere in the US outside of Alaska insulting. But as someone who wears the same coat in +40 Fahrenheit as I wear in -40 (oddly enough -40 is the same whether you go by Fahrenheit or Celsius), perhaps I’m not the right person to judge that…
She’s going to Forks, Washington. So not even as far north as the main portion of the US gets, and not even on the colder of the two oceans. We learn that her dad’s lived there her whole life, but her mother ‘escaped’ with her when she was only a few months old. From that description you might think she escaped an abusive husband, but no, Bella is just being melodramatic about how awful Forks is.
It was in this town that I’d been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed with me in California for two weeks instead.
This is only paragraph 2 of chapter 1 and already Bella has made it abundantly clear to the reader that she is the most entitled, spoiled, miserable little brat that’s ever been passed off as the protagonist. She ‘put her foot down’ and MADE HER DAD FLY HER TO CALIFORNIA TO VISIT HER! If I were him I would remind her that he is legally entitled to his visitations with her and she is not old enough to get to say where those visitations should be!
It was to Forks that I now exiled myself— an action that I took with great horror. I detested Forks.
Really? I was under the impression you loved it! And no, she doesn’t say WHY she’s going. At least not in this chapter.
I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.
She describes herself as exceptionally pale later in the chapter, so I’m going to have to argue with her assertion that she loves the sun.
Her mom tells her she doesn’t have to leave, then Bella goes on about how useless her mother is:
How could I leave my loving, erratic, harebrained mother to fend for herself ? Of course she had Phil now, so the bills would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost, but still…
She makes her mother sound like she’s incapable of doing anything for herself, even so simple as making sure her bills are paid or she eats. I am not being facetious or mean when I ask if her mother is mentally handicapped. If she actually needs help with all of that, perhaps Bella SHOULDN’T be leaving, no matter her reason. Or perhaps Bella shouldn’t have been in her primary custody to begin with, because how the hell did a woman who is too scatterbrained to feed herself possibly take care of a baby alone?
She lies to her mother that she’s going there because she wants to and her mother buys it. How that’s even POSSIBLE I have no idea. If she’s made it so clear in the past that she detests the place as to refuse to go even for 2 weeks a year, the only 2 weeks a year she ever gets to see her father, then her mother MUST be slow if she doesn’t know that’s bullshit. Or maybe her mother secretly hates her and just doesn’t want to feel bad about seeing her leave. Maybe her mom has been being a tool this whole time trying to get Bella to decide she’d rather live with her dad. Given Bella’s personality I wouldn’t blame her.
“I’ll see you soon,” she insisted. “You can come home whenever you want — I’ll come right back as soon as you need me.”
Come back from WHERE? Meyer, I know you love exposition, this would be the one time that would be okay!
She complains about the trip, and then she complains that Charlie (who she always calls Charlie, not Dad,
“Mom’s fine. It’s good to see you, too, Dad.” I wasn’t allowed to call him Charlie to his face.
and I have no idea why as other than that she’s a bitch and hates where he lives, I can’t see any level of hatred for her father himself. It doesn’t even seem like her parents split because of antagonism, it seems her mother is just constantly leaves men and moves on to a new one when she’s tired of the last one.) will pick her up in the police cruiser. Now; my dad was an RCMP officer when I was in high school. He had an unmarked car. He was not even supposed to drop me off at school on his way to work. The regular cop cars were even MORE off limits. You are NOT allowed to use the police vehicles for personal use because it’s seen as an abuse of power and miss use of government property. So this kind of irritates me… But Bella is bitching that she just doesn’t want him to pick her up because it’s ‘embarrassing’.
She goes on about how she’s going to have to get her own car because she doesn’t want to be seen in his, but when he picks her up he tells her he was already aware that she didn’t like him picking her up in the cruiser, so he bought her a truck. HE BOUGHT HER A TRUCK. And of course she’s not happy. She even gets snippy because he brings up a memory she’d rather forget. Which as far as I can tell is just having been in this town before. She doesn’t elaborate.
She bitches about how much it rains in Forks. Complains about the lack of sun. Complains about the cruiser. Complains about how much maintenance her FREE truck will require. Her dad tells her he’s already got that arranged in an affordable way because he thought of everything and just wants her to not be miserable while she’s there. He has no idea why she’s moved there either because apparently Bella didn’t even bother to explain her reasons to her PARENTS let alone the readers.
She says that her being happy in Forks is an impossibility. What a miserable bitch. It is ALWAYS possible to be happy when your biggest problem seems to be that you don’t like the weather. You just need to suck it up and realize that there’s more to life than sun bathing, which you clearly didn’t even fucking do anyway! She even admits the scenery is beautiful, but then adds that it’s TOO pretty. It’s ‘alien’. This bitch is just TRYING not to be happy.
She DOES actually seem to like the truck when she finally sees it, but then clarifies that that by no means means she can be happy!
“Wow, Dad, I love it! Thanks!” Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful.
Anyone that likes this character is just wrong. Anyone that sees themselves in this character makes me depressed.
The room was familiar; it had been belonged to me since I was born.
I found a typo.
Charlie also bought her a computer and got the internet for her. Instead of being happy about that she complains that she’ll have to share a bathroom with him. God for fucking bid. I once shared 1 small bathroom with my parents, my sister, her husband, their daughter, AND their obnoxious roommate! And I was HAPPY about getting to stay there! Mind you that situation was temporary while I moved out to this province trying to get set up and my parents were visiting for an extended period of time, and now I have 2 bathrooms despite that it’s just me living here, but I’m also old enough to pay my own goddamn rent. So suck it the fuck up princess.
She says the best thing about Charlie is that he fucks off and leaves her alone. She obviously words it differently, but that’s what she’s saying. This man has been nothing but nice to her. We have ABSOLUTELY no reason to believe he is ever anything but nice to her. He bought her a car and a computer. He’s giving her a home where she is welcome and loved. I know people who would KILL to have loving, supportive parents. Not even ones that gave them free stuff, just ones that actually wanted them.
She starts complaining about how school is going to suck.
I would be the new girl from the big city, a curiosity, a freak.
Maybe, if I looked like a girl from Phoenix should, I could work this to my advantage. But physically, I’d never fit in anywhere. I should be tan, sporty, blond — a volleyball player, or a cheerleader, perhaps
Huh. As far as I know, the only thing the average person who’s never been there associates with Arizona is old white racists, weird new agey things/people, and Canadians who don’t want to winter in Florida… I think she’s thinking of California.
Instead, I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow, obviously not an athlete
Know what it means when you’re skinny but ‘soft’? It means you’ve got almost no muscle definition at all. It means that despite being skinny, your body fat percentage is higher than it should be. Congratulations; you’re what people in gyms like to call ‘skinny-fat’ and also the type of person that tends to end up being really surprised when they’re diagnosed with diabetes later in life, because that’s a fat person disease and you’re skinny! Go for a walk every once in a while.
Is it obvious I hate this girl? I don’t think it’s obvious enough yet.
Maybe it was the light, but already I looked sallower, unhealthy. My skin could be pretty — it was very clear, almost translucent-looking — but it all depended on color. I had no color here.
Translucent skin is a possible indicator of several disorders including Cushings Disease, Cancer, iron deficiency, anemia…
Facing my pallid reflection in the mirror, I was forced to admit that I was lying to myself. It wasn’t just physically that I’d never fit in. And if I couldn’t find a niche in a school with three thousand people, what were my chances here?
First of all; how does not standing out physically mean you won’t fit in physically? Not being what you happen to consider drop dead gorgeous (and personally tanned blonde cheerleader types don’t generally do it for me, but to each his own) means you can’t fit in at all? And maybe if you couldn’t fit in in Arizona, you’ll have a better chance of fitting in somewhere so drastically different. Maybe you could take this as a fresh start. But I suppose that would require being open to the idea of being happy. And we can’t have that.
Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs.
I’m going to guess and say you’re probably right about that! But not for the reasons you want to believe.
I skipped over her going to bed crying over nothing but her self-imposed ‘hell’ because ugh. But in the morning she eats with her dad and comments that all the pictures on his wall are the wedding photo of him and her mother, the photo in the hospital after she was born, and her school pictures. The man really loved her mother, and really loves her. I feel really bad for this guy. Instead of realizing how much her dad loves her and thinking maybe she can be okay with staying with him for the rest of the year before she goes off to college, she thinks about how embarrassing the pictures are and how she wants to try and talk him into putting them away.
She then goes on about how the fact that he never got over her mom makes her uncomfortable and leaves early for school to get out of the house. And complains about the weather. Every single thing this girl does or thinks is a complaint.
The school is a collection of small buildings. Is this normal for small towns in the US? I’ve lived in a couple of small Canadian towns and they either have a regular school or you have to go to a neighbouring town that has a regular school. I’ve never heard of a school that looks like a collection of small houses…
She gets nostalgic for metal detectors. What? Why? How? Then she complains that the head office is too warm. For someone who bitches that it’s not warm enough in that town I find this irritating. She also bitches that there are too many plants.
The desk clerk is very friendly and helpful and she returns that by faking a smile and leaving as fast as she can. She gets to class (taking a whole page of needless descriptions to get there) and whines about the teacher’s response to her presence, and whines about how the students are looking at her, and goes on again about her skin tone. Then she complains that the reading list is boring because she’s already read it all and wonders if her mother will help her cheat by sending her the essays she’d already done on them for old classes and drifts off in class thinking about how to win that argument with her mother.
When the bell rang, a nasal buzzing sound, a gangly boy with skin problems and hair black as an oil slick leaned across the aisle to talk to me.
“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?” He looked like the overly helpful, chess club type.
Hey! I was in chess club, bitch! Chess club is not an insult, don’t use it like one!
He asks what her next class is, she tells him it’s ‘government’, which I call bullshit on. Small town without even a proper school building and less than 400 students would likely not have the funding to have electives like ‘government’.
The guy’s name is Eric and Bella bitches about his helpfulness as he offers to show her where her next class is. I bet she wouldn’t be complaining if she didn’t think he was ugly.
She makes a bad joke and then sighs heavily and thinks that him not getting it means the whole town doesn’t have a sense of humour because she’s horrible. Eric doesn’t catch on that she doesn’t like him or that she’s horrible, so for some reason he hopes they have more classes together and points her towards her building.
Oh right, I’ve been skipping over the parts where she trips over her own feet on a regular basis. She does that a couple times.
There was always someone braver than the others who would introduce themselves and ask me questions about how I was liking Forks. I tried to be diplomatic, but mostly I just lied a lot.
Pretty sure that’s what diplomacy actually is.
She seems to make a friend whose name she doesn’t bother remembering and she picks on the poor girl’s hair and height while ignoring everything the girl was trying to talk to her about. The unnamed girl invites her to sit with her and her friends for lunch and she accepts, and doesn’t bother to listen to the names of anyone she’s introduced to. Because why even bother TRYING to make friends! She was so set on the idea that she couldn’t that she’s self-sabotaging. Sadly all these people are too dumb to catch on and they all think she’s awesome.
We finally see Edward and his family. They’re all apparently unbelievably gorgeous and she stares at them like a magpie trying to figure out how to steal a piece of tinfoil. They all have food in front of them, but aren’t touching any of it. I know this is because they’re vampires and don’t eat, but if that’s the problem then why draw attention to that fact by having uneaten food on your plates? Why bother going to the cafeteria at all?
Now that the girl serves a purpose to her, Bella can be bothered to remember her name. She gets Jessica to tell her who the pretty people are. They’re the adopted children of the local doctor and his wife. Four of the five are also dating. Which is only not weird because I know their circumstances. To outsiders that would look too much like incest to not make them stand out, so if they want to be ignored why not hide that fact?
Bella bitches that Jessica doesn’t seem to like them so that means she must be a jealous bitch. Can’t possibly be that there’s actually a reason for it. She reiterates that she thinks she must be jealous when Jessica tells her that Edward doesn’t date.
One of my new acquaintances, who considerately reminded me that her name was Angela, had Biology II with me the next hour. We walked to class together in silence. She was shy, too.
You’re not shy, you’re self-absorbed. Big difference.
Edward is in her Biology class and apparently acts like she’s the most repulsive thing he’s ever laid eyes on. The only empty seat is beside him, and he spends the whole class edged as far away from her as his seat will allow with a massive scowl on his face. She justifiably finds this unnerving and tries to hide from him and check that she doesn’t smell bad. For once she’s actually responding in a way I can see a reasonable human respond.
At the end of the class Edward bolts and Bella gets hit on by another guy. This one’s name is Mike and he’s ‘cute’ in a ‘boyish’ way. I’m either going to hate this character or feel massively bad for him. Possibly both. She comments that he was the ‘nicest person she met all day’, to which I have to wonder what was wrong with Jessica. She was nice. Her shy friend Angela was nice. Eric was nice. The desk clerk had been nice. Who wasn’t nice other than Edward?!
Mike hits on her, telling her that he doesn’t get why Edward was acting that way, because he’d have loved to have been the one sitting beside her. She smiles and walks away without responding, thinking he “wasn’t enough to ease my irritation”. Because the people around you are just tools you use to boost your mood and if they’re not good enough then you can just toss them aside right? Glad we’ve established that early.
She gets out of participating in gym and at the end of the day she goes back to the office to drop off some paperwork and there is Edward, trying to get out of their only shared class. He fails, gives her a dirty look, and she’s very confused and feels like crap. And again, that’s actually a completely justifiable response.
Chapter 2: Open Book
The book starts with Mike being assertive and sitting next to her in English, and walking with her to her next class, and she says she’s ‘flattered’ that it made ‘chess club Eric’ (seriously, fuck you Bella) jealous.
She feels like she’s finally making strides with people now that she has a whole table’s worth of people flocking around her at lunch. If this is what she considers ‘doing okay’, what the fuck does she actually WANT? The whole SCHOOL to sit with her at lunch?
She makes a whole list about every little thing bad with the day, and on that list is that Edward isn’t there. He made you feel like shit. He acted like you were walking poison. Him not being there should be a GOOD thing.
Mike, who was taking on the qualities of a golden retriever, walked faithfully by my side to class.
I’m starting to take this personally.
It looked like I was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn’t be easy. In a town like this, where everyone lived on top of everyone else, diplomacy was essential. I had never been enormously tactful; I had no practice dealing with overly friendly boys.
I was relieved that I had the desk to myself, that Edward was absent. I told myself that repeatedly. But I couldn’t get rid of the nagging suspicion that I was the reason he wasn’t there. It was ridiculous, and egotistical, to think that I could affect anyone that strongly. It was impossible. And yet I couldn’t stop worrying that it was true.
You’re right. It is ridiculous and egotistical. But, I actually have to give her some leeway on this. The strength of his reaction to her probably does justify that thought coming up once or twice at least. Though the fact that she’s ‘worried’ it’s true is confusing. She shouldn’t be ‘worried’, she should be happy he’s not there, regardless of the reason. He made her feel like shit. For no reason. If someone does that to you, you should not like them. You should not want them around. And you should definitely not feel like you did something wrong. You are not responsible for how other people react to your very presence. If she had actually done something to him, fine, she can feel bad. But she didn’t. She should understand that his mental state is not her responsibility. No one should ever feel responsible for other people’s problems.
Remember how in the last chapter Bella ragged on Jessica for being jealous of the Cullen’s? Of course you do, I only mentioned it two pages ago. Well when she’s on her way home, she sees them getting into a ‘shiny new Volvo’ and notices that they’re wearing designer clothes, and thinks it’s ‘excessive’ for them to have both good looks AND money. Yet she’s totally better than Jessica. Jessica was jealous! Bella isn’t jealous, she’s just thinking of the balance of the universe! It’s a karma thing!
The isolation must be their desire; I couldn’t imagine any door that wouldn’t be opened by that degree of beauty.
Because remember kids; the only thing that matters is being beautiful.
She goes shopping because apparently Charlie has lived alone for nearly 2 decades without learning how to feed himself so Bella must do it. I don’t see how that’s actually possible, but okay. He doesn’t even go with her to get groceries, he just gives her money and she goes on her own and gets supper ready. Her mom’s sent her a bunch of emails wondering why she hasn’t sent her anything letting her know she got in safe, and considering my own mother does the same thing, this is another thing in this book that actually comes off as something real people do.
She tells her mother to relax and realize she’s not going to check her email every 5 minutes, but it’s been more than 5 minutes, it’s been a few days. You are her 17 year old daughter who went alone to the other side of the country and she hasn’t heard whether you actually made it or not for days. My mother would have had a heart attack by that point and I haven’t lived at home in over a decade.
[Charlie] hung up his gun belt and stepped out of his boots as I bustled about the kitchen. As far as I was aware, he’d never shot the gun on the job. But he kept it ready. When I came here as a child, he would always remove the bullets as soon as he walked in the door. I guess he considered me old enough now not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose.
Serious moment here: chances are if that thought occurs to you, whether you realize it or not, you ARE that depressed. Please talk to someone. If it even occurs to you that that is something you could do, there’s a good chance that it occurred to you because part of your brain was considering the viability of the option. This isn’t true for everyone obviously, but I have seen people who didn’t think they were that depressed (or thought they just had no right to be that depressed) who one day found themselves completely breaking down over ‘nothing’ and trying to kill themselves. Please do not let this be you.
“What’s for dinner?” he asked warily. My mother was an imaginative cook, and her experiments weren’t always edible. I was surprised, and sad, that he seemed to remember that far back.
Sad? Why would that be sad? I would be nervous if someone was cooking for me when I knew they probably learned from someone who had a bad habit of making food that I couldn’t eat. Hell, I get nervous when there’s someone new cooking because there are lots of people who think they can cook, who don’t seem to understand what spices are for. Or who think popping a frozen pizza in the oven counts as ‘cooking’.
It seems Charlie has some issues with Bella and her mother leaving. Over supper she tells him about the people she’s been meeting in school, he gives some background into their families, and she obviously asks about the Cullen’s because she’s obsessed with how pretty they are. He gets really mad talking about how the town won’t except them despite that they should be happy to have such a skilled doctor around, and how ‘they stick together, like a family should’. Though he also later talks about how attractive Dr Cullen is so perhaps it’s not resentment over his wife leaving him and taking his only child so much as he’s defensive over his crush.
Bella doesn’t catch on that there may have been a not so subtle dig on her mother there, and just talks about how pretty they are some more.
For some reason Charlie doesn’t help her with the dishes, which I find kind of annoying. She cooked, he should clean. It’s only fair. But apparently Meyer is pushing the more ‘traditional’ role of women in the household. Such a wonderful role model, this one.
Edward is out of school for the rest of the week and Bella obviously notices every single day he’s absent. And instead of dealing with Mike’s unrequited crush on her, she accepts going to the beach with him and his friends. Because that’s exactly how you should handle unwanted attention: just go with it!
Bella uses the word ‘bogus’. Is that a thing kids still say? I thought that was a 90’s thing.
All in all, I was feeling a lot more comfortable than I had thought I would feel by this point. More comfortable than I had ever expected to feel here.
Oh my god! Does that mean you can be, gasp, happy?!
“Wow,” Mike said. “It’s snowing.”
I looked at the little cotton fluffs that were building up along the sidewalk and swirling erratically past my face.
“Ew.” Snow. There went my good day.
…Of course not.
And there’s more than a page of her complaining about how horrible it is that it’s snowing and people are throwing snow balls. And then she goes to lunch and Edward is back and omg you guys, it’s soooo awful! She considers faking sick and skipping their shared class. For someone who says at the start of the book that she’s a terrible liar she has lied a LOT. I am not exaggerating when I say that nearly every single interaction she has with other people something she says is tagged with some variation of ‘I lied’. This one is that her fear over Edward being back gets everyone worried about her so instead of telling them that this guy made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe and she is worried now that he’s back, she’s telling them she’s feeling sick. And again I feel the need to be serious; if someone makes you feel that fearful, you should tell someone. You have a right to feel safe. If someone glares at you like you killed their dog and they’re plotting revenge, you should probably tell someone.
She stares at Edward until he finally looks in her direction and she ducks her head and stares at her table instead. Jessica notices that he’s looking at her and comments on it, Bella considers beating her to get her to stop looking in his direction. This is our protagonist people.
I’ve seen books where the main character was a jackass, but they’re usually intended to be a jackass. Either they learn some kind of lesson, you’re supposed to realize why what they’re doing is awful, or the character has some other redeeming quality that makes them still endearing enough to want to follow along. I know Bella doesn’t learn to be less of a bitch to people, I know we’re not supposed to see her relationship with Edward as a bad thing (unless you’re one of the people who wanted her to get with the werewolf I guess) and Bella doesn’t have any redeeming qualities that would give me reason to want to keep following her to see where she ends up. Remember; when you’re writing from a single perspective, the main character should in some way be likeable. Your readers should give a shit about what happens to them.
She gets to biology and Edward introduces himself, saying he ‘didn’t get a chance to’ last time. Bella starts to wonder if she’d misinterpreted his hate face last time and it hadn’t actually been all about her. If I didn’t already know it was totally all about her, I would think this was room for character growth and a lesson about jumping to conclusions.
She makes herself look smart to Edward by being really good at the lab they’re doing. She’s only that good at it because she says she’d already done that exact lab in Phoenix. So he’s impressed with her intelligence, and she gets smug about it, when really she’s just cheating. Though in her defense he’s doing the exact same thing. So they’re both smug jackasses. Awesome.
The teacher calls her on her cheating, but Meyer can’t let the readers think she’s not smart so he says that she must have been in an advanced Biology class! Ooooo! We’re supposed to be impressed! I took mostly advanced classes in high school including Biology. Want to know why? BECAUSE THEY’RE EASIER! Funny thing about advanced classes is they tend to be paced differently and more open to discussion. They’re generally for people who actually enjoy the subjects they’re working on and want to cultivate that environment rather than just shoving a bunch of people who just want a science credit into a room and trying to get them a passing grade. It’s an entirely different environment that’s a lot more pleasant to learn in. There are exceptions, obviously. Advanced math classes are harder as there’s not really a lot of discussion to be had on calculus. But sciences and language courses? Much easier.
Anyway, we learn that she moved to Forks because Phil, her mother’s newest husband (who she says is too young for her) is a minor league baseball player and moves around based on what team he’s playing for at the moment and she felt like she was tethering her mother to Arizona. But if she was willing to move why not just move to where Phil was going? It’s not like ball players switch teams mid-season. Yeah he would travel for games but you don’t move every time you have an away game. I’m sure at 17 she can handle her mother going away for a few days at a time if she wants to go with him. There is absolutely no justification for her to move to a place she hates instead of going to a place she’d rather be with her mother (her mom mentioned being in Florida earlier in the emails, and I’m pretty sure Florida isn’t cold and wet).
“She stayed with me at first, but she missed him. It made her unhappy… so I decided it was time to spend some quality time with Charlie.” My voice was glum by the time I finished.
“But now you’re unhappy,” he pointed out.
“And?” I challenged.
“That doesn’t seem fair.” He shrugged, but his eyes were still intense.
I laughed without humor. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you? Life isn’t fair.”
Pooooor baaaaaby. I feel soooooo bad for you! Let me get out my violin!
Edward says he thinks she’s ‘suffering more than she lets on’ as though she’s got actual justification for her perpetual bad mood instead of her just whining that everything isn’t the way she wants it to be because she’s too dumb to realize there was a better choice. She gets snippy at him and he asks if he’s annoying her. She says she’s annoyed that she’s so easy to read, and he says he actually finds her very difficult to read. It’s a really pointless and annoying exchange that I could have done without.
The chapter ends with her whining about Mike some more and then also using the fact that he likes her to get out of doing anything in gym class, because of course. Why would I expect anything else at this point? And then she gets laughed at in the parking lot when she nearly hits another car.
Chapter 3: Phenomenon
This is a thankfully significantly shorter chapter. It’s also really stupid.
She bitches about the weather, because it had the audacity to snow and how dare the weather not take into account that she’s a klutz and never freeze over!
I felt excited to go to school, and that scared me. I knew it wasn’t the stimulating learning environment I was anticipating, or seeing my new set of friends. If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.
Yes, that is very, very stupid. Glad we’re on the same page.
In the last chapter she’d commented that his eyes were a different colour than they had been the first day and he looked at her like she had three heads.
I should be avoiding him entirely after my brainless and embarrassing babbling yesterday. And I was suspicious of him; why should he lie about his eyes?
Perhaps because the fact that you noticed and memorized the eye colour of someone that you only have one class with who never even spoke to you when you couldn’t even remember the names of the people you’d spent three classes talking to is weird? And you’re being obsessive and creepy? And pretty massively presumptuous that you’re right with absolutely no evidence but your memory that’s clearly faulty?
She complains about how covered in ice the driveway is but I find it pretty obvious that Meyer does not come from a place where snow and ice are common. Because if she did she would know that everyone with half a brain in places like that keeps a bag of salt or sand or something on hand to spread on the ice for that very reason. And since Charlie was smart and considerate enough to put chains on her tires for her before he left that morning I would be surprised if he didn’t spread some sand on his driveway to keep her from falling.
My truck seemed to have no problem with the black ice that covered the roads.
…Okay, yeah, definitely not from the lands of ice and snow. Look, black ice and regular ice? Not the same thing. Not exactly anyway. Black ice refers to surprise ice. Ice you didn’t know was there because it’s virtually invisible on the black pavement, hence the name, and you suddenly find yourself unable to stop. Regular ice covered roads are just called ice covered roads.
Charlie had gotten up who knows how early to put snow chains on my truck. My throat suddenly felt tight. I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise.
So maybe you should consider being nicer to him? Just a thought.
For some reason when there’s a van skidding towards her in the icy parking lot about to squish her into a tiny blood flavoured Bella pancake, she takes the time to notice where Edward is standing. Because that’s definitely relevant enough to pay attention to at this specific moment in time. Though she says she ‘doesn’t even have time to close her eyes’ before she’s going to be crushed, so how the fuck she had the time to look around and assess his relative position to her is a little weird. But it’s just a plot point so it obviously had to be mentioned or we wouldn’t know that Edward is a wizard!
Obviously Edward saves her from getting killed but she smacks her head on the pavement anyway. The van keeps coming towards her and Edward stops it with his bare hands, drags her out of the path, and plants the van where people would have expected it to end up so fast that Bella says he was blurry. Obviously though she saw all of it and couldn’t at all chalk it up to head injury or confusion. Nope, she knows exactly what she saw and she must be right.
Edward says he’d been standing next to her when the car hit when she asks how he moved to her side so quickly, but she doesn’t except this. The students start swarming and someone shouts to get Tyler (the driver) out of the van. DO NOT DO THAT! If you see a car accident where there may be serious injury particularly to the head or neck, DO NOT MOVE THE PERSON YOURSELF UNLESS THERE IS IMMINENT DANGER! If you are not a trained medical professional just call the ambulance. For the love of god you will probably kill or paralyze them! DON’T DO THAT!
She fights with Edward some more about his location prior to the crash and he promises to explain later if she’ll just piss off about it now. When the EMT’s arrive she gets mad at him for telling them she probably has a concussion. And at no point in any of this has she said ‘thank you for saving my life’. Instead she gets mad that her dad showed up. Because how DARE your father be concerned that you ALMOST DIED!
Actually I need to think about this for a moment. You know, most cars in parking lots, especially after a fresh snow/ice, aren’t going more than… what the hell is the equivalent in MPH, 10? Probably 10MPH. That’s enough that getting pinned between the van and her truck would definitely have done some damage, but she made it sound like it was careening towards her at highway speeds. How could she possibly not have had time to move on her own?
She bitches that Edward gets to go to the hospital without a stretcher. She bitches that her dad is there in the waiting room. She bitches that there are other kids in the waiting room. And, wait, why ARE the other kids in the waiting room? What the hell is up with that?
Apparently Tyler is in ‘rough shape’. And again I point out the speeds he was going he’d maybe have whiplash (if he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt) and could have some bruises (if he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt). Beyond that he should be fine. But he goes on and on about how sorry he is for nearly hitting her and he confirms her theory that Edward wasn’t there by asking how she got out of the way and being confused when she says he saved her.
They wheeled me away then, to X-ray my head. I told them there was nothing wrong, and I was right. Not even a concussion.
Is she implying that you test for a concussion with an X-Ray or just saying that the X-Ray confirmed no cranial fractures and they also independently confirmed she doesn’t have a concussion? If the latter; that’s poorly worded. If the former, you don’t check for concussions with X-Rays. Hell, the fact that she remembers the accident in such vivid detail practically rules out a concussion anyway. Also the way she puts that she’s making a concussion seem like the mild possibility. A mild fracture is a lot less potentially harmful than a concussion. A concussion can kill you. It can screw up your memory, it can screw up your ability to speak… There is nothing not serious about a concussion.
So I was trapped in the ER, waiting, harassed by Tyler ‘s constant apologies and promises to make it up to me.
How dare he be upset about nearly killing another human being! Suck it up, you’re annoying the center of the universe!
Edward comes and smiles as he tells her he’s there to free her from the prison that is the hospital and his dad comes in behind him. Obviously he’s the prettiest of the pretty people. She gets snippy when Dr Cullen suggests she should go home and rest for the day because Edward gets to go back to school. She sounds like a petulant little child.
“It sounds like you were extremely lucky,” Dr. Cullen said, smiling as he signed my chart with a flourish.
“Lucky Edward happened to be standing next to me,” I amended with a hard glance at the subject of my statement.
“Oh, well, yes,” Dr. Cullen agreed, suddenly occupied with the papers in front of him. Then he looked away, at Tyler, and walked to the next bed. My intuition flickered; the doctor was in on it.
If this were any other book she would be a crazy person. Yes, the fact that he doesn’t jump for joy that his son jumped in front of a car careening towards him to save a stranger totally means there’s a cover up going on. Can’t possibly be that he’s concerned that his son could have died and it makes him uncomfortable to think about. She gets Edward alone and gets petulant again.
“You owe me an explanation,” I reminded him.
“I saved your life — I don’t owe you anything.”
I flinched back from the resentment in his voice. “You promised.”
You still haven’t said thank you. Mind your own courtesies before you expect others to.
“Nobody will believe that, you know.” His voice held an edge of derision now.
“I’m not going to tell anybody.” I said each word slowly, carefully controlling my anger.
Surprise flitted across his face. “Then why does it matter?”
“It matters to me,” I insisted. “I don’t like to lie — so there’d better be a good reason why I’m doing it.”
Every single interaction she’s had has included a lie. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
“Can’t you just thank me and get over it?”
“Thank you.” I waited, fuming and expectant.
…Nope. That doesn’t count.
We scowled at each other in silence. I was the first to speak, trying to keep myself focused. I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.
“Why did you even bother?” I asked frigidly.
He paused, and for a brief moment his stunning face was unexpectedly vulnerable. “I don’t know,” he whispered.
Neither do I!
When Charlie takes her home he tells her she has to call her mother and she gets so mad that he had the AUDACITY to tell her her daughter was in the hospital that she slams the door shut like a toddler having a temper tantrum. FUCK I hate this character SO MUCH!
She bitches some more about Charlie being a concerned parent and then goes to bed early and dreams of Edward because of fucking course she does.
Chapter 4: Invitations
She describes her dumb dreams about Edward which are dumb so I’m not going to go over them. She goes on about how annoying Tyler is over the next month, not at all considering that what happened was clearly traumatic for him and maybe she should suggest he seek counseling to deal with his guilt issue and help him moved past the incident instead of just getting mad at him for bothering her.
She also assumes he must have a crush on her because Mike and Eric don’t like him so apparently he’s another rival for them to fight with. And again at no point has she told them she’s not interested and perhaps they should stop fighting with each other and realize she’s not a prize for the victor in their rivalry. She just continues to be annoyed by their affection while also completely abusing it for personal gain.
For some reason everyone in the school is obsessed with her instead of Tyler or Edward. If this were any of the many schools I’ve been to (I moved a lot) the people getting all the attention would be the one that nearly did the killing and the one that did the saving. Especially since the saviour was the mysterious loner everyone thinks is attractive, and especially since every single witness says he wasn’t actually there until she was on the ground. This is not how reality works.
When he sat next to me in class, as far from me as the table would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence. Only now and then, when his fists would suddenly ball up — skin stretched even whiter over the bones — did I wonder if he wasn’t quite as oblivious as he appeared.
He wished he hadn’t pulled me from the path of Tyler ‘s van — there was no other conclusion I could come to.
Yes. That is totally the most logical explanation. It’s that he wishes he had let you die. Totally can’t be that he’s just hoping you’ll drop the whole thing and fuck off. Can’t be that he doesn’t care for you as a person what with how ungrateful you were to him. Nah, it’s that he wishes you were dead! Obviously! I know I do!
She gets super depressed because Edward doesn’t like her. She’s surrounded by friends (not just the clingy guys, she says her table at lunch is full of people) she’s in a loving home with a supportive and caring father, free truck, doing well in school, but because the attractive guy doesn’t like her, nothing else matters.
She says her emails to ‘Renee’ (apparently she calls her mother by her first name too instead of ‘mom’. Why? What purpose does this serve? What is the point?) ‘alerts’ her to her depression. She calls and is concerned, but Bella lies to her some more about how it’s nothing, it’s just the weather. I wouldn’t bother pointing out all the lies if she hadn’t said in every single chapter so far how she hates lying or how bad she is at it. Don’t bring attention to your characters hypocrisies if you don’t want them noticed!
For some reason they’re still planning a trip to the beach. It snowed and froze over. Unless this beach is several hours south then I am very confused as to how they think this is beach weather. Do you have any idea how cold that water would be?!
Jessica made me aware of another event looming on the horizon — she called the first Tuesday of March to ask my permission to invite Mike to the girls’ choice spring dance in two weeks.
…Wait… oh man am I ever confused as fuck… okay… if the upcoming dance is the middle of March, that means… everything prior to this was happening in February? I thought baseball season was in the summer. Why would her mom need to follow Phil around in the middle of hockey season? Why was it surprising to everyone that there was snow in February? Why was this the first snow of the new year? Why would she move part way through the school year if she already did all the shopping and bill paying and her mother wasn’t getting rid of the house? Why not just finish up the school year in Arizona and have her mom send her money? Why are they going to the beach in MARCH in a northern state?! Why does my head hurt?!
“Are you sure you don’t mind… you weren’t planning to ask him?” she persisted when I told her I didn’t mind in the least.
“No, Jess, I’m not going,” I assured her. Dancing was glaringly outside my range of abilities.
“It will be really fun.” Her attempt to convince me was halfhearted. I suspected that Jessica enjoyed my inexplicable popularity more than my actual company.
Or perhaps she just recognizes that the guy she likes has a massive crush on you and she knows she has no chance to get him to go with her if you’re going to the dance. You really don’t like this girl do you? Why would you hang out with someone you clearly don’t like? You’ve said nothing nice about her at all! You wonder why you had no friends in Phoenix? It was because they all knew what a bitch you are while everyone here hasn’t figured it out yet!
The next day, I was surprised that Jessica wasn’t her usual gushing self in Trig and Spanish. She was silent as she walked by my side between classes, and I was afraid to ask her why. If Mike had turned her down, I was the last person she would want to tell.
Well, that is, unless she actually thought you were her friend and wanted someone to comfort her and make her feel better. But that would imply you were her friend and I probably shouldn’t make such assertions.
Mike talks to her at the start of Biology, says he told Jessica he would ‘think about it’ when she asked him and asks if Bella had intended to ask him to the dance. Instead of taking this perfect opportunity to make it clear that she doesn’t like him so he can move on and maybe her friend can have a chance, she continues to string him along by saying that the only reason she’s not asking him is because she’s going out of town that day so he should just go have fun with Jessica. She is hurting two people by doing this while also continuing the trend of attention she does not want. Everyone loses by her not just saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not interested in asking anyone to the dance.’ That’s it. That’s all she had to do.
“Bella?” His voice shouldn’t have been so familiar to me, as if I’d known the sound of it all my life rather than for just a few short weeks.
It’s not even a few short weeks, you’ve talked to him three times and outside of that he never speaks.
“It’s better if we’re not friends,” he explained. “Trust me.”
My eyes narrowed. I’d heard that before.
“It’s too bad you didn’t figure that out earlier,” I hissed through my teeth. “You could have saved yourself all this regret.”
“Regret?” The word, and my tone, obviously caught him off guard. “Regret for what?”
“For not just letting that stupid van squish me.”
He was astonished. He stared at me in disbelief.
Again; not wanting to be someone’s friend, and finding someone annoying, is not the same as wishing they were dead. The fact that Bella thinks that way suggests to me that she would rather everyone she doesn’t like die horribly. Just saying.
When he finally spoke, he almost sounded mad. “You think I regret saving your life?”
“I know you do,” I snapped.
“You don’t know anything.” He was definitely mad.
Can’t imagine why! I totally wouldn’t be mad that someone thinks I’d be okay with letting a virtual stranger die just because she kinda bugs me. That’s a perfectly reasonable thing to assume.
Gym was brutal. We’d moved on to basketball. My team never passed me the ball, so that was good, but I fell down a lot. Sometimes I took people with me. Today I was worse than usual because my head was so filled with Edward. I tried to concentrate on my feet, but he kept creeping back into my thoughts just when I really needed my balance.
Chances are if you need all your attention to not fall over, you probably have an inner ear issue you should really see someone about. You should probably also see someone about your obsession issues.
Apparently Tyler’s van had been completely totaled and ended up being sold for parts. Even if he’d been going 20mph instead of the more expected 10, I can’t imagine how he could have received THAT MUCH damage. I just don’t get it.
Eric finds her after school and asks her to the dance, she says she’s flattered but she’ll be in Seattle that day, so maybe next time. So it’s not just Mike she’s keeping on the hook. Seriously; if you want a guy to STOP asking you out, don’t say ‘maybe next time’. They will take that literally.
When she’s trying to leave, Edward blocks her exit long enough for Tyler to come up and ask her to the dance too, and she says the same thing to him she said to Mike and Eric. Bella considers rear ending Edward’s car because she believes he’s laughing at her. This girl is massively self-absorbed. And surprisingly violent.
Jessica calls her while she’s making supper to get giddy over Mike saying yes to going with her and Bella uses her to try and get the other two off her back as well by getting Jess to set them up with her other friends. Jess doesn’t realize she’s being used so she does exactly that. If you want to know the difference between using someone and being nice to them, think about it this way: why are you doing the thing? Is it because the thing would genuinely benefit the person you’re doing it for, or are you doing it because the thing benefits you and the possibility of them enjoying it is just a bonus? If the latter; congratulations, you suck.
She goes back to making supper and thinks about Edward some more.
What did he mean, it was better if we weren’t friends?
My stomach twisted as I realized what he must have meant. He must see how absorbed I was by him; he must not want to lead me on… so we couldn’t even be friends… because he wasn’t interested in me at all.
Why are you upset by this? Other than how pretty he is, you have expressed nothing but disdain for him. It’s not because he saved your life, since you kind of seem to hate him for that. An hour prior to this you were considering ramming his car because you thought he was a jackass. WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?! This is what you WISH would happen with the other three guys! But woe is Bella. So horrible that the guy she hates doesn’t love her.
Of course he wasn’t interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging — a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.
Your only evidence of his intelligence is that he kept up with you in biology. So by that logic he’s no smarter than you are. Everything else you list there is basically ‘omg he’s hot and he won’t talk to me, I NEED HIM’.
“Dad?” I asked when he was almost done.
“Um, I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to Seattle for the day a week from Saturday… if that’s okay?” I didn’t want to ask permission — it set a bad precedent — but I felt rude, so I tacked it on at the end.
…I’m sorry, what? How does asking your father for permission to go to a big, dangerous city, alone, that you’ve never been to before, set a bad precedent? He’s your dad. He KIND of has a say in that. Especially since legally speaking that’s his truck you’re taking. And he’s a cop so he knows better than you what trouble you can get yourself into.
“Are you going all by yourself?” he asked, and I couldn’t tell if he was suspicious I had a secret boyfriend or just worried about car trouble.
Or, you know, maybe he’s your dad, and a cop, and worries about how the big city is dangerous and easy to get lost in and end up in a bad neighbourhood alone and in a beat up old truck that could break down. She doesn’t seem to have a cell phone to call if something goes wrong and even if she did she makes it sound like it’s a pretty long drive so he would struggle to get to her if she needed him.
“Seattle is a big city — you could get lost,” he fretted.
“Dad, Phoenix is five times the size of Seattle — and I can read a map, don’t worry about it.”
‘Daaaaad, the city I’ve lived in for years and had time to get used to with other people around making sure I was okay all the time is sooooo much bigger, so that TOTALLY means I won’t get lost at all!’ Anyway, he eventually caves after she bitches some more.
The next morning, when I pulled into the parking lot, I deliberately parked as far as possible from the silver Volvo. I didn’t want to put myself in the path of too much temptation and end up owing him a new car.
Ahhh, true love ❤ You know it’s strong when expressed through a desire for property damage.
I fumbled with my key and it fell into a puddle at my feet. As I bent to get it, a white hand flashed out and grabbed it before I could. I jerked upright. Edward Cullen was right next to me, leaning casually against my truck.
“How do you do that?” I asked in amazed irritation.
“Do what?” He held my key out as he spoke. As I reached for it, he dropped it into my palm.
“Appear out of thin air.”
“Bella, it’s not my fault if you are exceptionally unobservant.” His voice was quiet as usual — velvet, muted.
No commentary, I just think that’s a fantastic burn.
Anyway, she confronts him about blocking her last night and he admits that was so Tyler could ask her out. She asks if he’s trying to irritate her to death since the van didn’t do the job, and again he gets completely justifiably pissed. She should really suck it the fuck up and piss off.
My palms tingled — I wanted so badly to hit something. I was surprised at myself. I was usually a nonviolent person. I turned my back and started to walk away.
Really Bella? Really? You’re non-violent? Shall we recount how many times you’ve thought about hurting people so far in this book?
Edward asks if she’d like a drive to Seattle since he overheard her. This rightfully confuses Bella since he said they shouldn’t be friends and that’s kind of the antithesis of that statement. But he says it’s because he was planning to go anyway and her truck didn’t look like it would make it all the way there.
“It would be more…prudent for you not to be my friend,” he explained. “But I’m tired of trying to stay away from you, Bella.”
Oh yeah, you tried so hard. I can tell.
“Will you go with me to Seattle ?” he asked, still intense.
I couldn’t speak yet, so I just nodded.
He smiled briefly, and then his face became serious.
“You really should stay away from me,” he warned. “I’ll see you in class.”
And that’s how the chapter ends. With Edward being a confusing dick.
So yeah, this is now way too long so I guess this is the end of part one and I’ll see you next week with part two of Twilight. It’s just riveting so far, I know you want to see what Bella whines about next!
Check out The Llama‘s posts on these chapters! Till next time!