Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Moon Chapter 12: Intruder

1. When Bella first sees a “huge, dark shape” outside her window she thinks it's Victoria, even though it “wobbled erratically on the other side of the other side of the glass”. Since when do those vampires you admire so “wobble erratically,” Bella? What happened to everything they do being so graceful it’s another dead giveaway? She worships vampires so much it should be instinctive by now.

As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, this is just Bella being an idiot again. It’s actually Jacob, who asks her to open the window so he can come in. Like a certain someone he jumps in anyway after Bella opens it to talk to him, disregarding her wishes. She’s still dealing with how he’s changed and this isn’t her precious Jacob. “His harsh rejection had punched a painful new hole in what was left of my chest.” Shouldn’t that be “heart” or “soul” or something? At least that way it sounds like emotional turmoil and not that she’s saying she’s walking around with a gaping orifice in her torso. Not to imply Bella’s ever been good at descriptions, giving them or figuring out what’s worthy of one.

Oh, and his midnight visit reminds her of Edward doing the same. Thanks, we got it.

2. Bella’s as big an idiot as ever, as she tells Jacob to get out, “putting as much venom into the whisper as I could.” Maybe he came to talk and smooth things over without his new buddies looking over his shoulder? Oh I forgot, this is Bella Swan we’re talking about. The most negative possibility is the only possibility. Besides, if this reminds her of Edward, shouldn't she probably be reminded of how she's unlikely to win this disagreement?

Also typical Bella, when Jacob apologizes for how he acted before, her earlier resistance melts like the Wicked Witch of the West. “The apology was sincere, no doubt about it”.

He wants to tell her what’s going on, but physically can’t do it. He asks her “Look, Bella, haven’t you ever had a secret that you couldn’t tell anyone?” He knows about the Cullens, doesn’t he already know the answer? Anyway, “Sometimes, loyalty gets in the way of what you want to do. Sometimes, it’s not your secret to tell.”

That does strike a chord with Her Royal Emo-ness. “He was exactly right--I had a secret that wasn’t mine to tell, yet a secret I felt bound to protect. A secret that, suddenly, he seemed to know all about.” So you don’t really have a secret anymore, huh?

3. Jacob gets the idea he can kind of sort of tell Bella what’s going on by just dropping hints. Like reminding her of the stories he was telling her when they met again (or “the first day we met” even though they’d known each other as kids) in the first book. OH YEAH! That thing with the legend about vampires that was totally true! Which you knew was true if you just read the back cover!

It pains me to type this but Bella was so wrapped up in the possibility of learning anything new about Edward, even old tribal legends (“Only one story really mattered”), that she’s completely forgotten the one about the tribe being descended from wolves. Once again, maybe if their love had seemed the least bit believable, Bella would seem like less of an idiot. Notice I said less.

“I protected the Cullens’ secret out of love; unrequited, but true.” There you go with telling us about the true love again, Meyer.

4. She suggests they just run away, even though she just observed that there was something more than personal morals holding Jacob back (“For me, this was all essentially voluntary…For Jacob, it didn’t seem to be that way”). She’s figured out it’s not that simple for him yet she acts like it is anyway.

Maybe it’s got to do with this kind of worldview: “I realized I hated it, hated anything that caused him pain. Hated it fiercely.” For someone so mature, Bella sounds like she sees her ever-complicating world in black and white.

Jacob gets ready to leave, telling Bella to think about his mention of the legends. “I’m going to do what I can to be here for you, just like I promised. It would really help if you could figure this out on your own, Bella. Put some honest effort into it.” Yeah, could you try a little less to be a protagonist that things just happen around? I don’t care what Meyer thinks, you don’t need superpowers to make an impact. Although you probably do need an author who doesn’t think you do.

“He grinned at me suddenly. The grin was not mine, nor Sam’s, but some combination of the two.” What in the fudging hell…???

5. As Jacob goes, he says he’ll try to see her soon and the others will try to talk him out of it, and she says not to listen to them. She also asks why she wouldn’t want to see him even though it’s pretty obvious he can’t answer that question. Dumbass.

“Oh, I can think of a reason,” he replies. Is it being a monster? That didn’t stop her before, and he knows it.

He stresses “I need you to understand. I won’t lose you, Bella. Not for this.” What happened to “I can think of a reason”? In fact, why did he bring that up at all when the purpose of this visit was to try to smooth things over from before and stay in contact with her?

After he goes Bella manages to get back to sleep and has a boring dream where Meyer tries to pretend it’s not obvious the red-brown wolf was Jacob.

6. After Bella wakes up (screaming, of course), she does indeed remember the stuff about lupine heritage and puts it all together. It gets her to thinking just what the heck’s going on. “Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters?” That’s a clunky way to put it, and what exactly is so insane about this so long after she found out vampires were real? And was so accepting of that fact she wanted to be one? I mean, if I found an honest-to-God gremlin in my house, and then later I got attacked by zombies, I’d probably be scared but I don’t think I’d be disbelieving to run into for real zombies. Once the door's been opened like that, like by going out with a vampire and knowing it, well isn't that the kind of thing that would get you to questioning what else might be real? Not if you're Bella Swan. Who I'll remind you all is supposed to be really smart and literate and stuff. Too busy obsessing over Edward's sparkly perfection to question any of it, eh?

I’m even more confused because Bella thinks that too. “Hadn’t I already accepted the existence of vampires long ago--and without all the hysterics?” Oh, so you really are just a huge drama queen.

She thinks it’s mainly because of the circumstances behind this revelation, that she knew Jacob as a normal person before this happened. After all, “there’d never been one moment that I wasn’t completely aware that Edward Cullen was above and beyond the ordinary.” And there wasn’t a moment you let us forget it, either.

Wondering what being attracted to monster guys says about her, Bella thinks “It said there was something deeply wrong with me. Why else would my life be filled with characters from horror movies?” Is she seriously saying it’s got something to do with her that the Cullens and Quileutes lived in that area? If by “her” we mean Meyer, sure, but aren’t we talking about Bella?

And by the way, it’s only after all this that Bella finally puts the pieces together and realizes Sam’s cult is a pack.

7. Bella decides to pay Jacob another visit and hears from her dad that volunteers are getting together to go into the woods and do something about the wolves. She’s terrified, but surprisingly, more for Charlie and the hunters rather than the wolves. She tries to talk him out of going, “It’s too dangerous!” Yeah, who do you think you are? The police chief?!

“I’ve got to do my job, kid. Don’t be such a pessimist--I’ll be fine.” Pardon me for thinking he’s right, on the grounds of Meyer being too flaky to have any actual tragedy in her books despite all the attempts to pretend otherwise.

8. Notice how I said “more” worried about Charlie? She adds onto her itinerary for the trip out to see Jacob to warn him about all those gun-packing rednecks. “Jacob was my best friend; I needed to warn him.” Best friend? Thought it was stronger than any schoolyard romance. Then again, that’s what sets Jacob apart from Edward: he actually gets along with the girl he’s in love with.

9. Then again Bella starts wondering if Jacob’s buddies really need to be warned. “Should I warn him, if he and his friends were…were murderers?” Kind of weird, with how quick she was to ignore Edward’s warnings. Are the Quileutes not hot enough to earn that same myopia from her?

“It was inevitable that I would have to compare Jacob and his friends to the Cullens.” I suppose, but how is she comparing them? Edward seemed to earn her faith automatically. There was no crisis of trust like the one she’s going through here.

“I didn’t know anything about werewolves, clearly. I would have expected something closer to the movies.” And look how off-base those were about the Cullens. “So I didn’t know what made them hunt, whether hunger or thirst or just a desire to kill. It was hard to judge, not knowing that.” Ah, but it isn’t hard to judge if they flat-out tell you and also mention it’s a fight against their internal cravings every second you’re around. Hell, Bella tried to take the blame for everything that happened when Jasper attacked her.

She goes on to think about whatever Jacob’s going through can’t be harder than the Cullens fighting those cravings. “It couldn’t be harder than that…Nothing could be harder than that.” And yet you swept it under the rug faster than anyone ever has with anything.

“The werewolves had chosen a different path.” Really? Now that she knows they’re werewolves, well, my first thought for why the boys on La Push suddenly join Sam's gang, with the way Jacob described it last chapter (that the gang was good, he just couldn't see it before), would be it’s something that just happens to them at a certain point. And that’s what it turns out to be. Remember how Jacob was all sick when his change hit? And I didn't mention it, but there was a time when it was pretty obvious Jacob had crossed some kind of line and his brain just disconnected from his mouth, indicating some kind of outside power really was keeping him from just telling Bella what's happening. There’s no choice involved.

I’m sorry, this all probably makes sense to the fans, but Bella’s reactions to the two mythical species just confound me.

Screw this book, I’m gonna go watch some Garo.

1 comment:

  1. I assure you, Bella makes no sense to anyone.