Saturday, January 22, 2011

Twilight Chapter 20: Impatience

1. Things are hazy when Bella wakes up in a cheesy motel room. What? They didn’t hole up in a 5-star hotel? But being as showy and luxurious as possible always worked so well!

“When I woke up I was confused. My thoughts were hazy, still twisted up in dreams and nightmares; it took me longer than it should have to realize where I was.”

Not having Edward around to anchor your fragile universe is rough, huh kid?

One thing she does remember is the vampire kids driving “at more than twice the legal speed.” You mean how they supposedly always drive? Not just Edward, which is why they have such luxurious cars? And how did they never get caught, if they didn’t have their resident telepath around to spot cops?

Also, I love the line “I didn’t have enough emotion left to be surprised that we’d made a three-day journey in one.” Ha! Bella Swan! Emotion! Can’t you just choke on the enormity of that oxymoron!

Or some kind of moron…

2. By the way, the vampires assigned to keep an eye on Bella are Alice and her boyfriend Jasper. If they’re willing to send a pair who are coupled up on a particular job, I wonder again why Edward’s not there too. There’s been so much frakking angst in this book already, I really don’t like that the answer is so they can angst some more over whether the other’s okay.

3. Trying once again to make Bella look sympathetic, she angsts about how she’s supposed to live with herself if any of the Cullens (but especially Edward) get hurt or killed dealing with James and his gal pal. “None of you should be risking yourselves for me--” For once we agree, Miss Swan.

Alice tries to calm her down and forget about her “wholly unnecessary worries.” Even though the one thing Meyerpires are vulnerable to is other Meyerpires. And James and Victoria are actually in practice when it comes to fighting.

Alice goes on to say Edward wandered through life alone for a hundred years before meeting Bella. If he’d been alive that long with no reason to keep living, even one as pathetic as having a girlfriend like Bella, you wonder why he waits until the next book to find a reason to piss off the vampire police so they’ll do him the favor of ending his meaningless existence.

4. Bella does calm down some, but notes she can’t trust her emotions with Jasper around because his power is to control people’s moods. He has good reasons to do so, keeping Bella from freaking out during a trying experience and saving me some anguish by keeping her angsting to a minimum, but man. What’s so great about these people who invade and control the minds of others without permission?

5. “As the afternoon wore on, I went back to bed, simply to have something to do. I hoped that by myself in the dark, I could give in to the terrible fears that hovered on the edge of my consciousness, unable to break through under Jasper’s careful supervision.”

I knew it! I knew it all along!! She does do this to herself on purpose! Look, Bella doesn’t have to be out there, helping them track down James, but she can at least try to have a little faith that her flawless Adonis who’s perfect at everything will be able to do what he says he’s going to do.

This whole frakking chapter is literally Bella sitting in a hotel room, worrying. It takes a hand way steadier than Stephenie Meyer’s to make something like that worth reading.

6. Bella finally stops wallowing in her angst long enough to ask Alice what the others are doing, exactly. She replies that one group--the one with Edward--is going as far north as possible before they have it out with James, while the other is going as far west  as they can to lure Victoria. Wait, wasn’t James supposed to be hunting Bella? Why is he chasing her boyfriend instead of the group that supposedly has her?

Also, wasn’t part of the plan that some of them would stick around Forks so Charlie didn’t think they’d kidnapped his little girl? To hang out in Forks a few days at least to foster that impression. Has it been that long? It said they made a three-day trip in one, and then about a day passed during the waiting before this. Did Meyer forget that part of the plan? Did she forget how she wanted us to think Bella’s special because she came up with a plan even a bunch of natural hunters respect?

7. Because Meyer evidently can’t write anything other than long, droning conversations, Bella asks Alice how people become vampires, figuring she’s got a right to know. I’m sorry, what? She’s been accepted by a group of vampires, but how does it follow that she’s entitled to know how she becomes one herself? If they intended to bring her into the fold, they probably would’ve. Unless she thinks they were lying to her about all the good she’s doing Edward.

Ignoring how Bella has no survival instincts and might do something incredibly stupid with dangerous information like how to become one of them, Alice explains more things about what it means to be a Meyerpire. Such as how “like a carnivorous flower, we are physically attractive to our prey.” Even though Meyerpires, unlike carnivorous flowers, can easily outrun and overpower pretty much any possible prey, so there’s no reason for it.

Plus, how often is anyone besides Bella ever lured in enough by a Meyerpire's unearthly beauty that the Meyerpire could've attacked the person if they'd wanted to? Sounds like just another thing to make the Cullens as awesome as possible.

“We have another fairly superfluous weapon. We’re also venomous.” The venom is carried by the bite (and apparently all of a person’s bodily fluids become this venom after they become a Meyerpire), and it debilitates rather than kills, turning the victim into a Meyerpire themselves if left in the victim's system for a few days.

“As long as the heart keeps beating, the poison spreads, healing, changing the body as it moves through it.” Uh-uh. If it heals, it’s not poison. That’s just stupid.

The problem with biting someone and letting them complete the change into a Meyerpire is that once the victim’s been bitten, the scent of blood is in the Meyerpire’s nose and they’ll be compelled to just keep feeding until the victim’s dead. Yes, I truly believe that will become an actual problem generating real tension.

8. Alice’s power suddenly decides to work, and she sees a room with mirrors and a long bar across them. She also sees James playing a VCR. Only Bella recognizes the room from Alice’s vision as a ballet studio. Not really polishing the Cullens’ reputation here, Meyer…

9. Neither does the part where Edward calls to check in and deliver the news that James seems to have realized they were trying to trap him and slipped away. No the heroes shouldn’t be perfect and automatically able to handle anything in a good story, but this makes it seem like the Cullens are great in everyday situations but when it’s crunch time and they’re up against someone with the same advantages they’ve got, they’re not so hot after all. That is, it's more false advertising than making the characters imperfect.

Also, Victoria’s back in Forks, but Edward assures our heroine that her dad will be safe with Esme and Rosalie looking out for him. Rosalie. The one who hates Bella and thinks it’s stupid that they’re going to all this trouble to protect her. Who said as much to Edward’s face last chapter.

10. Since they know James’s plans somehow involve a dance studio, and there’s one really close to the Swan household in Phoenix where Bella used to go as a kid until she (what else?) whined and got her mom to let her drop out, James might involve Bella's mom.

So yeah, he does want Bella. Why the hell did the Cullens figure he was playing right into their hands when he wasn’t pursuing the group that was supposedly transporting Bella before?

Bella calls home and leaves an urgent message for mom to call her at the number of their motel room. Then she settles in to worry about her mom in addition to the assorted Meyerpires.

Pardon me, but if they're so sure James has been able to find out where Bella’s mom lives (through sneaking into school and looking at her records, they figure), what’s to keep him from breaking into her house, checking her messages to see if Bella called and finding out where they’re hiding her? Maybe she used one of the vampire kids’ cell phones, but all it says is “the phone,” sounding like the one that comes with the room.

And Meyer had been making the Cullens so clueless to let Bella look smart…

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