Friday, August 5, 2011

New Moon Chapter 24 - Vote

Sorry this one took so long, I'm still setting up in a new apartment and have yet to see about getting a decent internet connection. Those cartoon reviews I was thinking of doing once I'm done here may have to wait a bit...

1. “He was not pleased,” we’re told, but that’s been the case pretty much every time Bella voiced a thought of her own.

Edward gives Bella one of his super-fast piggyback rides. “Even after all this time, it felt routine. Easy.” Considering all that’s asked of her is to hold on…

“The air was damp; it didn’t burn my eyes the way the wind in the big plaza had, and that was comforting.” She’s doing it with her eyes open? When did she get used to this to the point that she could do it eyes open and not get motion sick? Was it over summer break? Did Edward disapprove?

2. Edward swears he’ll earn back Bella’s trust, which was…lost when? She completely took it to heart when he said he didn’t want her around him anymore. She immediately says she does trust him anyway, she just doesn’t trust herself. Meaning she’s saying once again thinking “I don’t trust myself to be…enough. To deserve you. There’s nothing about me that could hold you.”

Darling we done this dance before and it was tiresome then. Can she still not believe there’s something there that Edward can’t resist? At the very least, can she not believe he thinks there is? When the guys who scare the crap out of him find her so intriguing?

Edward assures her that her “hold is permanent and unbreakable,” but I notice I don’t remember him ever mentioning it’s, as the guidebook says, because vampires mate for life. When they fall in love it’s the only person they’ll ever be in love with. Because that might cheapen the romance driving the story if we learned how necrotic biology plays a part in the strength of his devotion.

Gee, that guidebook’s doing nothing but creating more problems for the series. Even when I could look up the answer to a problem I’ve got, the answer’s usually still silly or “because Steph says so.”

3. Edward mopes a little too and says he’s the greatest threat to Bella, even more than Victoria and the Volturi. Saying they’re scary won’t make it so anymore than saying Edward and Bella are in love makes the way they act seem romantic. As for Victoria, well she repeatedly failed to get past a bunch of werewolves, and the only really competent thing she’s done is outwit Edward, who has yet to do anything to make him seem competent when stacked against his own kind.

Edward opines that he thinks time will be the only way to prove his devotion to Bella. “I liked the idea of time.” Except when it means the passage of time, like when Edward tries to leave her un-vamped and aging still.

4. Remember all of Bella’s birthday presents that disappeared when Edward did? Well, like the car stereo she ripped out, they didn’t actually go anywhere. While Bella was lying catatonic in the woods, Edward apparently snuck into her room one last time, pulled up the floorboards, put everything down there, put the floorboards back and left. Yeah, he can’t follow through on anything unpleasant. A lot like the author.

5. Bella lets slip what she was really doing while Edward was away, crashing motorcycles and tossing herself off cliffs to trick herself into hearing him reprimand her. Explaining it to him, she considers what had motivated her to do so, insanity or wish fulfillment. But then a third possibility occurs.

“Edward loved me. The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time.” Yes folks, we sat through all that crap to arrive at this: the revelation that the ultimate boyfriend really does love the narrator like he says. Was the trip worth it?

“Compared to the fear that he didn’t want me, this hurdle--my soul--seemed almost insignificant.” I could say something about that, but the book’s almost over and Bella’s priorities are nothing new.

6. The feeling that Bella likes Edward more for his looks than his brains gets stronger when he comments on one area where she did better than him during the separation. Which is “surviving.” Sayeth Edward, “I couldn’t be around my family--I couldn’t be around anyone.” When is he around anyone but his family who isn’t Bella anyway? Anyway there were a lot of days where he just curled up and pretended the world wasn’t there after he broke up with Bella.

“You, at least, made an effort. You got up in the morning, tried to be normal for Charlie, followed the pattern of your life.” And strung along a boy who liked her to hold onto her memories of another boy she thought she’d never see again, performed dangerous activities sans any safety measures or basic intelligence…

Oh yes, that’s not just my cynicism talking. When Edward offers to go biking with Bella in the next book, he presents her with a helmet. Something that from the sound of things, she’d never worn before.

7. They meet with the other Cullens. “Carlisle held out a chair for me at the head.” Well of course, where else would Bella Sue sit?

“I’d never seen the Cullens use the dining room table before--it was a prop. They didn’t eat in the house.” Because they’re vampires, something that has never once been brought up in all the 1000+ pages that comprise this series so far.

“Rosalie smiled at me tentatively.” Again, why can’t we get character development as a result of things we see happen?

8. Bella explains the situation, but Edward, seeming to be speaking straight from the author’s mind, interjects, “I don’t think we need to be overly anxious.”

He explains himself, in that one of the Volturi--I refuse to store another minor character’s name this close to the end of the book--has the power to just find people. However, Edward’s pretty sure that Bella’s imperviousness to vampire mental powers will work against that. With Alice watching for when the Volturi are planning to check up on her, “They’ll be helpless. It will be like looking for a piece of straw in a haystack!” You’re an idiot, Edward. And I say that without even thinking about how that plan leaves the rest of the Cullens vulnerable to the Volturi’s wrath. If humans knowing about the existence of vampires is something they can’t permit, well, harboring fugitives from vampire justice sounds like something the Volturi wouldn’t want either.

Bella points out how they can find him even if they can’t find her, and Edward replies “And I can take care of myself.” Prove it, asshole. This, after all, is coming from the guy who claimed in this here chapter he’d just curl up in a ball when he realized he and Bella weren’t together anymore.

9. The boys start talking about their macho adventures to come of outfoxing the Volturi. “I straightened up in my chair, focusing. This was my meeting.” I guess so, but that everything’s about her so that doesn’t really help Bella earn any sympathy.

She calls for a vote and it’s largely in favor of taking her into the family but I still have yet to understand why. Edward protests at what all she’s giving up, and Bella does stop for a minute to consider how it’ll hurt to abandon her parents, but “I was hurting them more by staying human.” After all, “I was a danger magnet; I’d accepted that about myself.” So that she can be a vehicle for fantasizing about being rescued by the perfect guy. Would it be pedantic of me to point out that for all the “danger” she’s in on a regular basis just being friends with vampires and werewolves and all the massively stupid decisions she’s made all by herself, she’s got nothing to show for any of it? Could we please actually see something to show us the danger Bella’s attracting is real? Something besides a cold scar that gets mentioned once or twice in the whole series?

10. Edward rushes her home, then tries to get Bella to agree to wait on becoming a vampire. For five years, to be exact. She isn’t too happy with those terms. “Yes, but…you’ll use that time to find a way out of it. I have to strike while the iron is hot.” How is this supposed to work if they don’t trust each other and can’t agree on the big things? That just doesn’t sound like the greatest romance ever.

And this sure as hell doesn’t sound like a person wise beyond their years: “No way. Nineteen I’ll do. But I’m not going anywhere near twenty. If you’re staying in your teens forever, so am I.” Whiny little punk-ass. She’s supposed to be all selfless and she won’t give on this at all.

11. Then Edward drops a bomb. He’ll vamp Bella sooner. If she’ll marry him first. She drags her feet on that. “I’m…afraid of Renee. She has some really intense opinions on getting married before you’re thirty.” Well, how does Bella hope to get around that? If she refuses to wait until she’s thirty to become a vampire, which she very clearly does, she’ll never be thirty. Near as I can tell, vampires are frozen physically AND mentally at the age and level of maturity they were at when they were converted (and don’t even try to say Bella already has the mind of a thirty-five-year-old). Edward certainly hasn’t made any strides toward conquering the tendencies of a melodramatic teenager in his century of life.

As for the idea of marrying Edward itself, well isn’t that exactly what she wants? To be bonded with him forever?

“ ‘You’re impossible,’ I groaned. ‘A monster.’ ” Screw you and the sparkly pretty boy you rode in on.

12. Bella complains about how “He was such a cheater” because Edward knows she wants him to be the one to change her and is using it to blackmail her. Yeah, that’s true love all right.

Charlie comes in and demands to hear one reason why he shouldn’t ship Bella off to be a millstone around her mom’s neck instead. “My eyes narrowed. So it was going to be threats, was it?” Fuck you, you self-righteous little twat. He doesn’t know any better than to think you’re crazy, and imagine what he’d say if he had any idea why you were really running out on him all the time.

She says that she’s an adult, the thing with Edward was just a big misunderstanding, and if Charlie tries to put pressure on her she’ll just move in with him. That she says she’d rather not do that doesn’t go too far in undoing the image she created of being indignant that Charlie’s sick of her acting like a lunatic when she doesn’t do anything to explain different.

13. The chapter ends with another secret meeting between her and Edward affirming that yes, they’re in love. Stop talking about it and show it already.

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