Thursday, December 9, 2010

Twilight Chapter 5: Blood Type

1. As you may recall, in the last chapter Edward offered to accompany Bella to Seattle even though he also said the smart thing was for her to avoid him. Any miniscule progress with this boy deafens Bella to the world, and she barely hears a word of Jessica babbling on about girly stuff like boys and the school dance (does Bella think listening to her go on and on about Edward is any different?). That isn’t too unbelievable in and of itself. What’s unbelievable is how Bella doesn’t notice Edward looking at her until Jessica points it out. Like she’s not always looking at him out of the corner of one eye when they’re in the same room.

2. He invites Bella to sit with him. “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 he might disappear in a sudden puff of smoke, and I would wake up.” See what I mean about listening to her?

3. Our boy Edward explains he’s going to stop trying to be smart and “let the chips fall where they may.” Even if it’s with Bella in a body bag, one presumes. So he’s decided to act like an actual teenager with the feelings of invincibility tempered with the knowledge that he actually is. He says this while continuing to insist he’s not a good friend for her and she’ll stay away from him if she’s smart. I get the feeling he knows she won’t, so he’s kind of insulting her even when he’s welcoming her company.

4. Edward asks what her theories are for him being so fast and strong, and she at first refuses to tell him (she’s drawing from comic books), which he finds “really frustrating.” Bella tells him what a hypocrite that makes him, and while the narration doesn’t say so I’m betting he was amused when he countered with “You’ve got a bit of a temper, don’t you?” Good thing Edward’s pretty enough to make up for him casually shooting her down pretty much any time Bella tries to have a say in their relationship.

5. Edward reiterates his ability to read people when he notes her “boyfriend” Mike is thinking about coming over there, and he’s amused by the thought of Mike trying to put him in his place. Sure the confidence is deserved, on account of being a superhuman vampire if not a believable heartthrob. Still, he’s sounding like a bully. What would he do if Mike actually did come over to tell him off?

6. After being told Edward isn’t Clark Kent or Peter Parker, she promises to figure out his deal eventually. “I wish you wouldn’t try.” Dude, when you opened the door for her, you lost the right to say that.

He goes on to say that maybe he’s not a superhero. Maybe he’s the villain. It finally clicks with her that he’s saying he’s dangerous. Oh…my…lord.  She really didn’t think there was any connection between him saying she should stay away and being superhuman, did she? She was only thinking about his pretty face and his pale muscles, which is what she’s thinking about when she automatically denies there could be anything bad about him. Not even the arrogance or amusement at others’ suffering.

7. Anyway lunch period’s finally over and it’s time for biology, only Edward isn’t going because “it’s healthy to ditch class now and then.” Not Bella. “I was far too big a coward to risk getting caught.” Not a big enough to coward to give a thought to staying away from the guy who constantly warns her he’s bad for her health. I’m getting mixed messages.

. We find out Edward probably wasn’t ditching just because he can get away with it, but because the students are testing their blood type in class. Bella gets nauseous from the smell (that’s what she says it is), and Mike tries to take her to the nurse, but is of course intercepted and relieved by Edward. And not once, not twice, but four times does Bella notice how funny he finds her being too sick to move. The hero of our great love story, ladies and gentlemen.

. Mike wandered back in to check on Bella and remind her of the beach trip. Because he doesn’t like Edward, “his body language made it clear that it wasn’t an open invitation.” SDT, Meyer!

That’s “show, don’t tell” for any readers who aren’t interested in doing any writing themselves. As in, tell us what was hostile about his body language, don’t just say it was so you can go back to droning about the vampire pretty boy.

It doesn’t matter since Edward already has plans to “go hiking” with his family anyway. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

10. Edward gets Bella out of gym by having her pretend to still be sick and convincing the nurse to let him take her home, his eyes “mocking.” Another awesome thing about him: the rules don’t apply if you’re Edward Cullen.

Things get downright disturbing when Bella tries to drive home on her own. Edward grabs her, “outraged,” demanding to know “Do you think I’m going to let you drive in your condition?” She had pretty much recovered, and he sounds like he’s hoping if he says it with enough force she’ll believe she hasn’t. He then hustles her to his car and warns her he’ll just drag her back if she tries to get away. This isn't romantic or protective behavior! He sounds like a kidnapper! To borrow a phrase, I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid her to marry him. And Edward would ask for my permission, too.

Getting back on subject, I’m frankly mortified by how low-key Bella’s reaction is, planning to go so far as to give him the silent treatment the whole ride back. Stick it to him, girl. Even worse, what bad will Bella managed to work up goes away when it turns out they both like Clair de Lune. Yeah, he can’t possibly be a bad guy.

11. They talk a little about how happy Bella’s mom is with the new husband, and how Bella supports them because, well, mom’s happy. In one of the bluntest examples of foreshadowing ever written, Edward asks if mom would be so supportive of Bella’s happiness, regardless of who she picked. Perhaps Meyer was worried some readers still hadn’t clued in to the fact that she was setting Bella up with Edward and not Mike. Then again after that episode in the parking lot, it’s kind of understandable.

He also goes “instantly cautious” when Bella asks about his family. Thought he was letting the chips falls where they may. I might blow some minds by saying this but there are, believe it or not, girls who like to talk AND listen. Granted Bella seems to be the only one within five hundred miles of Forks…

After he drops her off Edward points out how Bella’s a magnet for disaster and asks her not to fall into the ocean or something while away on that beach trip. What I want to know is if her life was as dangerous as it is in this book before she had a vampire around to save her. And if there might not be a connection.

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