1. Jacob’s fears and Bella’s anger at Sam are forgotten as Jacob tries to give the girl her first lesson at riding a motorcycle. I admit I’m not that familiar with motorcycles myself, but I get the feeling Meyer copied down Jacob’s instructions from somebody at the nearest Harley Davidson dealer.
Bella’s about as assured as I am: “ ‘That doesn’t sound right,’ I said suspiciously.” Doesn’t she trust anyone? Least of all Jacob? She did get all PO’d at the idea that he’d be forced into Sam’s gang, right?
2. Bella tries to get over her fear of riding a motorcycle: “I’d already lived through the worst thing possible. In comparison with that, why should anything frighten me now? I should be able to look death in the face and laugh.”
Wasn’t that what she was supposedly doing by going out with a natural predator in the first place? And maybe she’s lived through it, but she’s not over it. She drove to the Cullens’ house but ran away because the memories were too painful, remember?
3. Jacob: “Are you sure you want to do this? You look scared.”
Bella: “I’m fine,” I snapped.
Screw you, Bella. He’s just trying to help, and this was your (ill-advised, but aren’t they all?) idea. How appropriate the way Jacob describes the importance of holding down the clutch until she’s ready: he tells her it’s like holding down the spoon of a live grenade.
Skimming over this chapter to write the review, I noticed something. Rather, that it didn’t say anything about something. There's this line: "There was wind that wasn't there before, blowing my skin against my skull and flinging my hair back behind me with enough force that it felt like someone was tugging on it." Is Bella riding a motorcycle for the first time without a helmet?
Jacob, the boyfriend who sees her as a human being, permitted this how?
4. Being on a machine she can barely control serves to make Bella hallucinate Edward telling her to stop being an idiot again. “The sheer beauty of it amazed me. I couldn’t allow my memory to lose it, no matter the price.” Okay, it’s official. Bella’s insane. And if the only thing keeping her from being insane is Edward, that’s even worse. And this is when she figures out it’s “adrenaline plus danger plus stupidity,” not déjà vu, that triggers the hallucinations.
Her first crush didn’t work out so she’s playing with death because it’s the only way to hang onto the memory. This isn’t cute anymore. She’s disturbed, and no reader should be supportive of the lengths she goes to to hang onto her Love-In-Name-Only.
5. She crashes because her stupid idea worked and she’s not paying attention to where she’s going. Jacob tells her she’s bleeding from her forehead. She apologizes, and Jacob asks her why in the heck she’s apologizing for bleeding. Exactly. It’s not like she sliced her finger on wrapping paper on purpose. Is it?
I will concede Meyer seems to be paying attention to Bella’s adverse reaction to exposed blood this one time: “I could smell nothing but the damp moss on my face, and that held off the nausea.”
Or maybe not since Jacob pulls off his shirt, “already spotted with blood,” to let Bella use it to stop the bleeding. Yeah, the rampant shirtlessness is in the book, too. He’s still like that when he takes her to the ER.
6. As Jacob rides back to get the truck, Bella marvels at how “athletic and professional” he was…I was sure I hadn’t looked like that on my motorcycle.” Considering it was your first time ever and you were letting yourself be distracted by visions of Edward, probably not.
7. Yeah, Bella can go fork herself (I believe I just made a funny): “I really didn’t feel bad at all as he coaxed my truck to a deafening roar in his hurry to get back to me. My head stung a little, and my stomach was uneasy, but the cut wasn’t serious. Head wounds just bled more than most. His urgency wasn’t necessary.”
Has she had a lot of head wounds then? That would explain a lot. Look, head wounds are too a big deal. Your brain’s in there, and it doesn’t grow back if something happens to it.
8. Bella tries to talk Jacob out of taking her to the ER, saying “I’m an easy bleeder.” Once again I must remind people of the issue with Bella being unable to stand around exposed blood. Is that different if it’s her own? You’d have to think so if she’s indeed “an easy bleeder.” Was that just a fabrication to get Jacob to calm down when it should probably magnify his concerns instead of lessen them? Is she lying to him too?
When she gets home and washes the detritus off herself, Bella was “pretending the blood was paint so it wouldn’t upset my stomach.” Did Meyer just forget how severe a problem that is for Bella?
9. Bella, of course, is ecstatic that she’s found the key to the hallucinations and plans to verify her findings as soon as she can. And she continues to be so melodramatic she thinks of the time Edward gave her a piggyback ride through the woods as “a past life.”
10. After getting cleaned up Bella drinks in Jacob’s appearance. He “really did look older than sixteen--not quite forty, but maybe older than me.” Oh good, that idiotic age game returns.
More than that, she asks him, “Did you know, you’re sort of beautiful?” And she’s still exploiting him the way she does everyone else, eh?
11. Bella does in fact have to get seven stitches in the gash in her forehead. “Jacob held my hand while Dr. Snow was sewing, and I tried not to think about why that was ironic.” Yeah, don’t explain things to your adoring fans, Meyer. You’ve so got something the romance writers of years past didn’t. She's probably talking about how Edward left while she was getting stitches before, but if that's so why is she trying not to think about it, yet so glad she's found out what the trigger for her delusions might be?
Herr Doktor calls her dad and warns him to take steps to make sure she doesn’t have a concussion, and Bella’s anxious that Charlie not, you know, express any concern for his daughter’s safety so she doesn’t *wink wink* fall down in Jacob’s garage again. After all, “I’d had the most amazing hallucination today. My velvet-voiced delusion had yelled at me for almost five minutes before I’d hit the brake too abruptly and launched myself into the tree. I’d take whatever pain that would cause me without complaint.”
“Charlie’s getting nosy,” indeed.
12. With Charlie not putting his foot down yet, Jacob promises to do “What ever you want.” Meyer’s writing, not mine.
What does Bella do with a nice, good-looking guy giving her carte blanche like that? Has him help her find the clearing where Edward revealed his sparkles (why? I thought the recipe for a delusion was adrenaline plus danger plus stupidity). Even though “it might be dangerously painful.” Even though there’s word going around about a bear eating hikers.
Jacob’s dad hears about their plans to go hiking and rather than trying to put a stop to it like Charlie would, he laughs and says maybe they should take some honey in case they run into the bear. Gee, could this mean anything? Does Meyer really think she needs to spend four chapters getting to the explanation? I wouldn’t mind if something else was actually going on to fill the time besides Bella being an insane twat. For such long books, so little happens in them.
Anyway, “Charlie was not a hard person to live with, but it looked to me like Jacob had it easier than I did.” There’s only problems when Bella wants to casually endanger her life and deepen her own sickness. Other than that, Charlie’s easy to live with.
13. They begin an organized search, Jacob whistling “an unfamiliar tune.” It’s been intimated Bella has an interest in music, but that was only brought up for the sake of conversation with Edward and pretty much forgotten as soon as the next one began. I’m not terribly surprised she doesn’t recognize a piece of music.
Anyway Jacob really is intelligent about their search (I hate to play the race card but it’s not like Meyer’s shown herself to be too mature for that kind of thing). Bella thinks about complimenting him, “but I caught myself. No doubt he’d add another few years to his inflated age.” Is she tired of that little game, or is she just a bitch? The evidence is a lot more compelling for the second possibility.
But because what they’ve got to go on is so vague they don’t find the clearing on the first day. Jacob remarks Bella’s kind of slow, and she reacts: “I yanked my hand back and stomped around to the driver’s side while he chuckled at my reaction.” That sounds oddly familiar.
He asks her if she wants to try again the next day, and born-thirty-five Bella answers “Sure. Unless you want to go without me so I don’t slow you down to my gimpy pace.” If she’s supposed to be a huffy teenager with no concept of reality I’d be okay with that (well, more okay), but that’s not what the other characters would have me believe.
14. Jacob brings up the bear and his disappointment at not seeing it (got my sympathies there. Who wants to spend all day walking around the woods with Bella?). Bella sarcastically says maybe it’ll eat them next time, and Jacob jokingly counters people don’t taste good. “Of course, you might be an exception. I bet you’d taste good.”
Just so you don’t miss the symbolism, Bella points out “He wasn’t the first person to tell me that.” Yes Miss Swan, we get it. You’re an empty wreck after the person who used to tell you that removed themselves from your life. And if there’d been any discernible reason for you to be receptive of that person’s attentions besides their hotness, I might be a little more charitable for your loss. And by “a little more” I of course mean “at all.”