Just one chapter today. Time issues happened and I wanted to put something up at least because I really don’t want to go back to just putting things off till it’s ‘done’ and getting back into not getting anything done at all. But I did make this one a little more detailed since it’s stand alone. Hopefully more than one chapter on Thursday!
Chapter 5: Blood Type
This chapter is nearly twice the length of the last chapter. Whhhyyyyyyy
It wasn’t till class ended that I realized Mike wasn’t sitting in his usual seat next to me. I felt a twinge of guilt. But he and Eric both met me at the door as usual, so I figured I wasn’t totally unforgiven.
Seriously, if you want these guys to leave you alone, you sure as hell aren’t acting like it. She’s bitched and moaned multiple times about how horrible it is that they won’t leave her alone. She goes on about how she wants Mike to stop following her around. These guys just got rejected and probably feel let down and just need some space.
Mike seemed to become more himself as we walked, gaining enthusiasm as he talked about the weather report for this weekend. The rain was supposed to take a minor break, and so maybe his beach trip would be possible. I tried to sound eager, to make up for disappointing him yesterday. It was hard; rain or no rain, it would still only be in the high forties, if we were lucky.
Unless you’re planning to do a new take on the ice bucket challenge, no one is going to the beach at that temperature. Anyone that does is a crazy person.
Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plans — Lauren and Angela had asked the other boys and they were all going together — completely unaware of my inattention.
I asked before why Bella was friends with Jessica since she clearly seems to hate the poor girl, but I think a better question is why is Jessica friends with Bella? As far as I can tell she puts in genuine effort to be nice to this awful excuse for a human being, but all Bella ever does is ignore her and use her. If Jessica could hear the things Bella thinks about her she’d be perfectly justified to punch her in the goddamn face.
Disappointment flooded through me as my eyes unerringly focused on his table. The other four were there, but he was absent. Had he gone home? I followed the still-babbling Jessica through the line, crushed. I’d lost my appetite — I bought nothing but a bottle of lemonade. I just wanted to go sit down and sulk.
“Edward Cullen is staring at you again,” Jessica said, finally breaking through my abstraction with his name. “I wonder why he’s sitting alone today.”
See what I mean? She talks again about how she’s ‘babbling’ but then, suddenly Jessica is saying something about Edward and low and behold she’s worth listening to again. I don’t think Bella understands what being a friend actually means.
Edward invites her to sit with him and Jessica seems shocked. Bella feels insulted by her shock because she takes it to mean someone like him would never want to sit with someone like her, but come on. The entire time she’s been at that school save the one day in biology where they did a lab together, they’ve been at each other’s throats if they’ve even acknowledged each other’s existence. It is not unreasonable for Jessica to find this confusing! BELLA finds this confusing so why the fuck does she think Jessica isn’t allowed to?! Oh right, because she’s a FUCKING BITCH.
I sat down automatically, watching him with caution. He was still smiling. It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be real. I was afraid that he might disappear in a sudden puff of smoke, and I would wake up.
Just so much fuck you. So much.
They start talking, he says he’s putting himself through hell anyway so he might as well go all the way, Bella is confused. Anyone that knows the existence of the series at all knows what this means, and honestly if he were hitting on anyone actually worth hitting on I would actually be okay with this particular exchange. The fact that Bella sucks so goddamn hard makes me wish he would just eat her instead of flirting though.
Maybe this says more about me than the book, but I actually would probably be doing pretty much the same thing he is during this conversation… In fact I’ve had similar conversations where I go back and forth intentionally confusing the hell out of the person I’m talking to with a smug grin on my face the whole time. Basically he’s saying he wants her (in more ways than one) and saying he’s tired of trying to stay away from her, so he’s going to do what he wants to do instead of what he felt he should be doing. And she has no idea he’s inferring he could very well end up murdering her violently. And… yeah, that is totally something I would do in that situation… Given that I know he gets incredibly, disturbingly creepy later in the book I don’t know how I feel about that.
“So, in plain English, are we friends now?”
“Friends…” he mused, dubious.
“Or not,” I muttered.
He grinned. “Well, we can try, I suppose. But I’m warning you now that I’m not a good friend for you.” Behind his smile, the warning was real.
“You say that a lot,” I noted, trying to ignore the sudden trembling in my stomach and keep my voice even.
“Yes, because you’re not listening to me. I’m still waiting for you to believe it. If you’re smart, you’ll avoid me.”
She’s dumb as a post. But seriously, he’s being kind of fair here… He’s not telling her the nature of the risk, but he reasonably can’t. He’s telling her his choice is to be around her, but she should choose to ignore his advances and keep her distance for her own good. He is being clear, consistent, and constant. This is the third or fourth time he’s said it now. He keeps giving her a chance to back away and she keeps walking forward because she’s obsessed with how pretty he is. I don’t know. I know he gets stalkery, and obviously he’s a creeper for doing that, but seriously, when a guy is telling you ‘no, really, it’s in your best interest to avoid me’, you should probably listen.
They come to an agreement, but he asks what she’s thinking. She tells him that she’s trying to figure out what he is, which gets him tense. He asks if she’s got any theories, she says she does, and thinks, but doesn’t say, that she’s been comparing him to Batman and Spiderman in her mind. He asks what her theories are and she won’t tell him because apparently knowing the names of comic book characters is embarrassing (soooo much fuck you, Bella. So much).
“That’s really frustrating, you know,” he complained.
“No,” I disagreed quickly, my eyes narrowing, “I can’t imagine why that would be frustrating at all — just because someone refuses to tell you what they’re thinking, even if all the while they’re making cryptic little remarks specifically designed to keep you up at night wondering what they could possibly mean… now, why would that be frustrating?”
“Or better,” I continued, the pent-up annoyance flowing freely now, “say that person also did a wide range of bizarre things — from saving your life under impossible circumstances one day to treating you like a pariah the next, and he never explained any of that, either, even after he promised. That, also, would be very non-frustrating.”
“You’ve got a bit of a temper, don’t you?”
“I don’t like double standards.”
Nope, trust me, as someone who has one; that’s an anger problem. That’s not just getting pissed at double standards, that’s going from a calm and normal conversation where you seemed fairly relaxed to immediately getting defensively pissed off way faster than most people would. Had this been a more tense scene, or even the one the day before where he asked her to Seattle and she was mad at him at the start, then this reaction would be perfectly normal. But it wasn’t.
Plus, seriously, how many times do I have to discuss the fact that him getting cold after saving her wasn’t unexplained or unreasonable?! YOU WERE BEING A FUCKING BITCH! He is being unreasonable by being frustrated at you for not telling him everything. No argument here on that at all. But not to the point where you should be biting his head off over every single thing that he’s ever done that you didn’t like. It’s not like you guys had been good friends or dating or anything when all of this happened. You’d barely even spoken. Also I highly doubt his cryptic remarks were ‘specifically designed’ to keep you up at night. He doesn’t know you. He has no obligation to tell you all his fucking secrets you self centered little brat!
I have actually skimmed over a few things that Edward has done that I’ve felt were kind of shitty because Bella’s obnoxious shittiness just completely over powers everything else in this goddamn book. So in fairness I will point out some problems with other characters:
Mike, Eric and Tyler have serious boundary issues and need to start picking up on the signals Bella is sending. She’s clearly a hateful bitch and she’s probably putting off some physical signs she doesn’t want them around. Tyler in particular she’s told to stop apologizing to her about the car accident and he’s ignored her requests more than once and that isn’t right. He should respect her wishes and back off, especially if he really is sorry for what he did.
Charlie is not a terribly attentive father. But I have a hard time really faulting him for that since he’s never really had to be one. He’s clearly trying, but just doesn’t know what he’s doing, so I don’t know if I should have even given him a paragraph here.
Edward has been a dick multiple times. He’s constantly smug, and intentionally vague. The vagueness is understandable, but the smugness is less so. A little smugness can be cute for flirting, too much is clearly an indication of genuinely thinking you’re better than the person you’re talking to. Though he’s always talking to Bella, so maybe that’s justified. He’s also being conflicting with his ‘stay away from me’ message. He’s flirting with her while telling her to back off despite that it’s pretty obvious she finds him attractive, so he’s basically saying ‘I know you’re not going to listen, because I’m playing my pied pipers flute while telling you to walk away, so I can assuage my guilt because I technically gave you fair warning.’ And that’s a pretty massive dick move.
Jessica hasn’t done anything actually wrong and Bella should really piss off and cut that poor girl a break. She seems nice.
Having said that, every single one of those things I have said are things that only came up once or twice in the entire book so far, and are all punctuated on both sides by Bella being terrible. I cannot emphasis that enough. Every. Single. Paragraph. Bella is saying something horrible about someone or over dramatic whining about the weather.
They have some more back and forth, it’s relatively normal and thankfully because of the spacing, takes up a couple of pages so that’s a few fewer pages of Bella’s thoughts I have to read. She asks Edward if he’ll give her fair warning next time he intends to go all radio dead air on her and he says he will. But he asks if she’ll answer a question for him in return and she agrees.
“Tell me one theory.”
Whoops. “Not that one.”
Don’t think too far ahead do you?
He looked down, and then glanced up at me through his long black lashes, his ocher eyes scorching.
That does not sound right… Why does that make me feel gross to read? Oh right…
More back and forth, she complains that his prettiness is hypnotizing and she caves and tells him one of her theories. They have a little super hero origin story nerd off, and again, if I didn’t hate Bella with every fibre of my being this would probably be a conversation I would totally have and that kind of pisses me off.
“What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.
“Oh,” I said, as several things he’d hinted fell suddenly into place. “I see.”
Really? You’re just putting that together now? How fucking dense are you?! What did I say earlier about listening when someone tells you it’s in your best interest to stay away from them?!
“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along. He just looked at me, eyes full of some emotion I couldn’t comprehend.
“But not bad,” I whispered, shaking my head. “No, I don’t believe that you’re bad.”
I’m just going to sit here and bash my head against the wall for a while. Don’t mind me.
“You’re wrong.” His voice was almost inaudible. He looked down, stealing my bottle lid and then spinning it on its side between his fingers. I stared at him, wondering why I didn’t feel afraid. He meant what he was saying — that was obvious. But I just felt anxious, on edge… and, more than anything else, fascinated. The same way I always felt when I was near him.
First thing: anxiousness and feeling on edge are indicators of fear. Also, being fascinated by something doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid of it. I’m terrified of spiders but I know way more about spiders than anyone with a fear of them reasonably should. Second thing: you’re a fucking moron. If someone is telling you they are dangerous, flat out telling you they are a danger, and you should stay away, do not ignore them just because they give you butterflies in your tummy. If you do, I will personally place the Darwin award at your grave.
Bella realizes lunch is almost over and they should be getting to class, but Edward says he’s skipping. She declares she’s going to class anyway, but then hesitates and almost sticks around with him before bolting to class anyway. The teacher gets out a kit and starts pricking people’s fingers. Apparently there’s a blood drive in a nearby city and so he’s decided to take this as an opportunity to show everyone how to type blood. This is clearly why Edward was skipping, but again, we don’t know that yet.
Bella apparently gets sickly at the sight of blood. That’s one phobia I’ve never understood personally, especially for women, but whatever. Anyone who’s seen me kill a spider knows I have no room to pick on anyone for their phobias. The teacher tells someone to take her to the nurse and obviously it’s Mike that does it.
She gets Mike to stop and let her sit on a bench when they’re outside and away from the class. And I’m starting to get why Meyer decided the school was multiple buildings. If it was all one, she couldn’t have her go outside like this to get to the nurse and run into Edward and have him and Mike fight over her. Which is exactly what happens. Mike acts like an obnoxious little brat who doesn’t want someone else to take his toy away and Edward just ignores him completely, scoops Bella up in his arms which she gushes over while also being horrified not wanting to puke on him.
Edward starts picking on her for what happened, though he wasn’t actually told, so since Bella seems to pick up on all of his behaviour and immediately build conspiracy theories around it, the fact that she says nothing about that fact is plot convenience at its best. You could say it was because she’s sick at the moment, but she certainly didn’t seem to have any issues keeping track of things while she was being tossed around like a rag doll in the van incident, so I don’t accept that excuse.
Apparently despite Mike following them, he doesn’t actually go into the nurse’s station. This is not explained. There’s a few pages of absolutely pointless back and forth that comes off normal enough. It’s weird to me that so much of the back and forth between these characters when Bella isn’t being angry and Edward isn’t being emo actually comes off as real dialogue. Bella is so hateful in her internal monologue and she has absolutely no conversational rapport with anyone else, but the bits that are just normal talking between these two? They’re genuinely not badly written. They’re not even just decently written, I could actually understand why they might have a thing for each other, if I didn’t know what she actually thought! If this was third person instead of first and we didn’t have to listen to her go on about how much she hates him before she acts like she’s in love with him, this might have been salvageable. Maybe. At least this far into the book anyway.
Basically, just take Bella out of the book and it could be good. Sadly Bella is the entire goddamn book.
Anyway, apparently Mike had gone back to the classroom, and apparently while he was there, another kid had to be taken to the nurse. Edward advices Bella to leave before she sees him and she bolts. He gets confused as to why she’s listening to him and she says she can smell the blood so she knew what was coming.
“People can’t smell blood,” he contradicted.
…Apparently I’m not people. And apparently Bella isn’t either. She describes that it smells like rust and salt and that’s what makes her sick. So she probably shouldn’t be going to a beach on the ocean, but whatever. She has a sad little exchange with Mike where it’s pretty clear he knows she likes Edward, not him, and gets mopey while also making sure she’s still going to the beach with him and his friends which I still think is a massively stupid idea. But she says she’s still going, and then he reminds her she has gym class after this, which, after Mike leaves, Edward helps her lie to get out of. Because, again, she’s totally not a liar you guys. You know, except when it suits her needs. But that doesn’t count.
Edward cons the nurse into letting him take Bella home, and the nurse gets all flirty with him which is creepy on so many levels, but Bella just wonders why she can’t ‘flutter’ like the nurse is. I think she means flirt, or maybe flutter her eye lashes? Never really understood why that was supposed to be attractive though. I’ve always thought it looks like you’re trying to shake something out of your eye lashes… But Bella wishes she could do it instead of thinking about how weird it is that the nurse is flirting with a minor and Edward escorts her out of the building.
Bella invites him to go to the beach with them on the weekend, but I actually think that’s kind of horrible of her to do. Mike made it abundantly clear, and she pointed out how clear it was so she definitely got the message, that Edward was not invited. So she’s doing this knowing how uncomfortable it’s going to make him simply because it suits her. Things like this are why I can’t get passed how horrible she is. She is so consistently self-absorbed as to outright acknowledge that she knows other people have problems with what she does, but then she does them anyway because she wants to, and then complains when everyone doesn’t just think it’s the bestest thing eversies. Why does Meyers seem to be incapable of writing a main character that’s not a bitch? I can see she’s capable of writing characters that don’t suck, so why are her protagonists always bad people? I don’t get it!
Edward, unlike Bella, actually considers Mike’s feelings in all this and says it’d be mean to push the guy since he’s clearly already upset enough over the initial rejection, there’s no need to rub it in his face. Bella thinks he seems amused by the idea of hurting him more, given the context I think he’s just amused that she’s willing to do it to him. Either way it kind of takes away from the positive of him considering Mike’s feelings by making him also be a dick at the same time. Though I suppose he has no connection with Mike so he has no reason to care about his feelings at all save basic human decency so I’ll say it’s only half dickish.
“Mike-schmike.” I muttered
What are you, four?
She tries to go to her truck and Edward drags her by her coat to his car, saying he promised to get her home safe so he’s not going to let her drive in her condition. She rightfully gets pissed by this and demands he let her go, but he doesn’t. So the leeway I gave him above disappears and he’s just an ass. So I just get to hate everyone. I’m so excited to keep reading.
She eventually gives in, pouting (her word) about it. He apparently has this
playing, which is a fantastic piece, and I really really wish Meyer would stop making me see myself in Edward because fuck Edward. Classical music is beautiful music and anyone that thinks otherwise is an uncultured charlatan. You do not have to be a broody, sulky ‘older than his years’ person to enjoy classical music.
“What is your mother like?” he asked me suddenly.
I glanced over to see him studying me with curious eyes.
EYES ON THE ROAD!
“She looks a lot like me, but she’s prettier,” I said. He raised his eyebrows. “I have too much Charlie in me.
I really hope she explains at some point what her problem with her dad is. She really seems to not like him and I have absolutely no idea why…
She’s more outgoing than I am, and braver. She’s irresponsible and slightly eccentric, and she’s a very unpredictable cook. She’s my best friend.” I stopped. Talking about her was making me depressed.
If she was really your best friend you’d have finished your school year in Florida with her. Or answered your fucking emails once in a while. Or called her from time to time. Or actually previously expressed any love of her whatsoever outside that she ‘needs’ you to take care of her. This is more of The Host’s problem where the things the character says go completely against the things she thinks, making everyone around her think she’s better than she actually is.
He asks how old she is and the response makes me want to slap her.
“I’m seventeen,” I responded, a little confused.
“You don’t seem seventeen.”
His tone was reproachful; it made me laugh.
“What?” he asked, curious again.
“My mom always says I was born thirty-five years old and that I get more middle-aged every year.” I laughed, and then sighed. “Well, someone has to be the adult.”
You are massively childish. MASSIVELY. You are the definition of the childish teenage brat.
He asks why her mom married Phil, and she basically says her mother is immature and so she went with a guy as young physically as she was mentally. Again, don’t really come off as being too respectful and loving there Bella. But anyway, Edward asks if she approves of him and she says it doesn’t really matter what she thinks, but he makes her mother happy so it’s fine, though she clearly doesn’t actually approve. He asks if her mother would extend her the same courtesy, which is basically him asking if her mother would approve of her dating him.
Edward goes a bit psychopath on her by dropping his smile into a massively serious look and asks if she’s scared of him right now. She says no, and he puts the big grin right back on. And this is yet another warning sign that you’ve gotten in the car of a serial killer and should probably flee. That or he’s just fucking with her for fun since she’d been such a bitch to him a while back and he’s finally getting some pay back. But we all know the real answer is psychopath.
She asks him about his family, he says that his birth parents died so long ago he doesn’t really remember them and Carlisle and Esme are loving, wonderful people and he’s quite happy to have them for parents. She asks about his siblings, and he says that they’re probably getting pissed at him right now for making them wait in the rain. So after a quip about lying to Charlie about what happened, she gets out of the car. He says he’s ‘starting his weekend early’ and heading to where he and his family go camping on a regular basis. She tells him to have fun and he asks her to be careful since she’s an accident magnet. Which is actually a fair observation because so far she has basically tripped over everything you can possibly trip on and a few things I’m not convinced it’s actually possible to trip on.
And that’s how the chapter ends. Glimmers of decent writing buried in a mountain of inner monologued garbage. I hate this book. I hate this book even harder now than before because Meyer is clearly capable of writing something decent. She just needs someone to tell her to tone things down. From what I’ve heard even fans of this series tend to think Bella is a bit of a bitch, so it’s not even just people who hate the series going into it. And I was genuinely prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt! I really thought it was going to be better than The Host! I figured Meyer in an element that required less research and where the protagonist was an author surrogate (apparently the series was a dream she had of her perfect guy and she just had to write it down) with an editor at a time before she had the right to ignore everything the editor said, that it had to be at least better. And aspects of it are… The main character though? If this is supposed to be Meyers’ self-insert fiction then I really never want to meet the woman.
Check out The Llama’s take on this chapter and see you next time!