Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twilight Chapter 15: The Cullens

1. When Bella wakes up the morning after her charged night of Q&A, Edward’s still there. She’s so happy she hardly recognizes the person in the mirror as she does her morning ritual, and “It was a miracle he was still there” when she got back to her bedroom. No it wasn’t, I don’t care what she thinks she feels for the guy. He admitted to her face he’s a stalker boyfriend, she was pleased. Nothing miraculous about him still being around. Maybe that he’s not hiding in the bushes anymore.

2. Actually he did leave for a while to change clothes, so anybody who saw him leaving the house in the morning wouldn’t get suspicious. Sure Edward, only someone as with it as Bella could penetrate your airtight act. Keep telling yourself that.

3. Edward mentions it’s time for breakfast, “to prove, I’m sure, that he remembered all my human frailties.” Bella teasingly acts like he means it’s time for him to eat her, which Edward finds to be in horribly poor taste. It’s funny until the joke’s on you, huh?

Edward can’t stay mad at Bella anymore than she can stay mad at him, though, even after what was essentially a racist joke.

4. He carries her down the stairs like a sack of potatoes ignoring her protests the whole way, and is annoyed and tells her to just eat when she, like some kind of unperceptive person, asks if she can get the VAMPIRE anything. How is this supposed to work again, if everything they do to each other draws protests or creates an exercise in restraint?

5. He suggests taking her to meet his family. “ ‘Are you afraid now?’ he sounded hopeful.” I’m sorry, but are we sure this is the girl with whom he’s deeply in love? She is, afraid that is, and he’s amused. At least he seems to be making fun of his earlier hope that he could scare her into staying away from him, because he promises to protect her.

Turns out Bella’s not actually afraid of being alone in a den of vampires. No, she’s afraid they won’t like somebody who’s all unremarkable like her. She’s your pet character Meyer, hiding behind all this denial of her specialness isn’t working. You can stop trying now. And you can stop having Edward think it’s cute that rather than thinking what he expects, she always hates herself or treats her life like she’s in a videogame instead.

According to Edward, his family even took bets on whether he’d bring Bella back to meet them. He thinks the ones who bet against Alice are nuts, and while she does have the most awesome power of anyone in the family, it actually works the crappiest of anyone’s in the family.

6. Edward looks at her breakfast and says it doesn’t look too appetizing, and she fires back that it’s no attacking bear, which annoys Edward again. If he wasn’t going to spend a large portion of the rest of the series refusing to change her diet to match his…

7. Edward asks when she’s going to tell her dad, I mean that guy who owns the house she lives in, that he’s her new boyfriend. “It’s a loose interpretation of the word ‘boy,’ I’ll admit,” he says. That’s all.

8. They drive miles out into the words along a road that almost seems to require superpowers to navigate to Edward’s house. For some reason, Bella’s still amazed by the beauty of his parents, who immediately treat her as if she’s been part of their little unit forever. Aren’t you glad you’re not a woman in Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy world? Because then you would’ve assumed the nicest people in the world wouldn’t like you for no good reason too.

9. It turns out Edward can play the piano really well, and Bella glares at him for not saying so before. Yeah, how dare you not tell her every frakking insignificant detail about yourself? If we actually had some idea of the things Bella had poured out to Edward beyond her favorite color, maybe we would have some grounding to go along with her indignation about him not responding in kind. But probably not. Because it's not a big deal.

It gets even more ridiculous when Bella says out loud that Edward’s good at everything. Well, yeah. He’s the author’s dream guy. Anything that could potentially be useful or she would find romantic, he’s mastered it. And his only flaw’s loving Bella too much for his own good…

Speaking as a writer, being a musician is one of the hardest skills to write in a character. It’s almost required to be an Informed Ability (and Edward has plenty of those already). Let’s just say Stephenie Meyer wasn’t the rare author who pulled it off.

Anyway, Edward plays for Bella. And he's capable of such heart-breakingly touching playing, because he's the most amazing person in the history of amazement. Did we ever tell you?

10. During Edward’s serenade of his squishy inamorata, Carlisle and his wife disappear from the room without Bella even noticing until Edward finishes and mentions them again. “Very subtly giving us some privacy, I suppose,” Edward opines. By leaving the room without even making an excuse. With how overwrought everything in this book you have to wonder if “subtle”’s a word that Meyer thinks means something else.

11. Again it’s mentioned that Rosalie the vampire doesn’t like Bella (can’t imagine why…) and Bella’s again struck completely dumb that someone as beautiful as Rosalie could have any reason to feel jealous of Bella. It’s not working, Meyer. You’d have to be blind not to see Bella’s a Mary Sue. This is even worse than having a character whose perfect or only special because the author says so, when the author seems to be under the delusion we won’t notice.

12. Three hundred and twenty-eight pages in, Edward tells Bella he’s going to be even more protective of her than usual because Carlisle warned him they might be looking at some trouble in the near future. And Meyer couldn’t have made ANY room for this in all the space she dedicated to boring conversations that make our protagonists look like jerks?

“I wouldn’t want you to think I’m naturally a tyrant,” Edward says. There you go with denying what the characters are like again, Meyer.

Bella finally evinces a little fear for her life when warned there are other vampires around and the Cullens don’t know what to think of them. “Finally, a rational response! I was beginning to think you had no sense of self-preservation at all.” Wait til the next book before you say that…

13. Edward relates some of Carlisle’s life story, like how despite having a fire and brimstone pastor for a father, Carlisle was a really nice guy. No, really?? Just like you’ve been saying for ages? Hell, he accepted Bella, didn’t he?

In case it matters, he goes on to say Carlisle’s dad put him in charge of hunting down demons and evildoers, he found some real vampires, one bit him and he became one himself. I'm breezing over this because he's actually a fairly minor character, but as another brave soul who analyzed this book before me points out, it means Carlisle's gotten more character development than either of our supposed protagonists. Put together, actually.

14. Of course, Bella has more questions. Unfortunately, the chapter ends before we get to them. Who are you to interrupt their painfully boring conversations, Meyer?!

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