Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm reading "Twilight," so you don't have to (ch. 9)

Our Story So Far:
Bella is gonna die. (Not really.)
Chapter 1
Bella complains and blushes. Edward has bronze hair. He hates Bella.
Chapter 2
Edward is absent from school. Then he comes back. He has golden eyes. He doesn't hate Bella anymore.
Chapter 3
Edward saves Bella's life with his Beautiful Vampire super powers. He won't explain how three times. He has golden eyes two times. Bella has a crush on Edward.
Chapter 4
Edward ignores Bella. Then he stops ignoring her. Three boys ask Bella to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Edward asks Bella to go to Seattle with him and his golden honey colored gloriously intense eyes and his smoldering voice. She says yes.
Chapter 5
Edward has a crooked smile and ocher-colored/golden eyes that that scorch/smolder/befuddle/burn. Edward ditches biology. Bella faints at the thought of blood. She is like so mature.
Chapter 6
Bella is engulfed in unstoppable gloom because she won't see Edward for three days. She meets an Indian boy named Jacob who (of course) immediately has a thing for her. Bella uses her feminine wiles to get Jacob to tell her that Indians are werewolves and the Beautiful Vampires are vampires who aren't allowed on the Rez.
Chapter 7
Bella decides she wants to be with Edward even if he's a vampire. Edward is absent from school again, so Bella is hit with crippling desolation and spirals downward in misery. He's absent again the next day, which painfully squashes the little sprouts of hope that keep budding in Bella's mind. She leaves on a shopping trip with some girlfriends, which cheers her up exponentially.
Chapter 8
Bella goes shopping with her friends the yokels. She gets lost while looking for a bookstore and wrestling with despair. Four Rapists try to rape her, but Edward rescues her just in the nick of time with his Silver Volvo, because he's been stalking her. But there's nothing creepy about him stalking Bella, because he only does it for her own good.

Here's my synopsis of Chapter 9 of Twilight, by Stephenie [sic] Meyer.

Chapter 9. Theory
Edward and Bella drive back towards Forks in Edward's Silver Volvo. Edward says he can follow Bella's smell. He's the only one in his Beautiful Vampire family who can read minds. Bella worries that there's something wrong with her mind because Edward can't read it.

(OK, I know this is supposed to be a synopsis not a review, but I need a little "meta" digression now and then if I'm ever going to get through this. Bella is apparently supposed to be a little low on self-esteem. Except that's not how she's written. As written, her self-regard is immense. She looks down on just about everyone who isn't a Beautiful Vampire.

This is part of a continuing pattern. Bella's mom is supposed to be her best friend -- except that in all Bella's interactions with her, so far, she finds her annoying. Bella is supposed to be so very mature for her age -- except that her actual behavior is consistently melodramatic and childish.

Of course, there are some books where there's a disparity between what the first-person narrator thinks of himself and what the reader is supposed to think of him. In
American Psycho, for example, it becomes an open question for the reader whether the narrator is the evil serial killer he claims to be, or just a dweeb with a rich but twisted fantasy life. Towards the end of the book, even the narrator begins to wonder.

Until now, though, I've only encountered this as a dramatic device. But with Twilight, that's not the author's intention. Stephenie [sic] Meyer actually seems to believe she's telling a story about an intelligent, grounded, and mature girl whose mom is her best friend and whose self-esteem is a bit low, not a girl who is strikingly immature, melodramatic, shallow, and narcissistic, and who can't stand her mom. I don't think I've ever read another book where the author is just as clueless as the narrator about this kind of disparity. It's kind of bizarre, and pretty damn annoying.

Anyway, back to our story.)

Edward drives the Silver Volvo really fast. But it's perfectly safe, because he has Beautiful Vampire reflexes and he can read cop minds before they can pick him up on radar.

Bella tells Edward that Jacob the Indian said Edward and his family are vampires. She says she doesn't care if Edward's a vampire. Edward says he's been 17 for a long time. He says the sun doesn't burn him, and he can't ever sleep. He wishes he could sleep. He distracts Bella with his golden eyes.

Bella says Jacob the Indian told her that Edward and his Beautiful Vampire family only drink animal blood, not human. Edward says that's true, but he and his family are dangerous anyway. He says being alone with Bella is a mistake.

This sends Bella into full-on sad mode again. She is hideously afraid that she won't have another chance to be with him. She recoils from the idea their relationship will end. She can't waste one minute she has with him. Her voice becomes tinged with desperation as she fights against the grief that tries to overpower her.

Edward says he'd rather drink human blood, but he drinks animal blood because he doesn't want to be a monster. When he was gone for the weekend, he was off drinking animal blood. He felt very anxious because he wasn't able to stalk watch over Bella for three whole days.

Bella says me too. Edward says that makes him feel bad because it's not right to make Bella feel bad. That makes Bella feel even worser. She cries. Edward changes the subject.

They get to Bella's house. Edward tells Bella not to go into the woods alone, cause there's other dangerous things around. Bella promises. Edward looks at her with his glorious face just inches from hers and breathes in her face. Bella is dazed by his dreamy-smelling breath. (Hmm. I'd have thought it would smell like animal blood, since that's his only food. But I forgot that he's a Beautiful Vampire.)

Bella goes inside, blows off her dad when he asks if she had a good time, blows off the yokel her friend who phones her, takes a shower, and goes to bed. Before she falls asleep, she reaches three conclusions: Edward is a Beautiful Vampire. Edward wants to drink Bella's blood sometimes. Bella is unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Edward. (I think Cher has some good advice for her.)

(Check the pull-down menu under "Ongoing Series" in the left side-blog for more Twilight chapters.)


  1. Posting Spoilers to the Sequels So You Don't Have To (do this again, that is . . .)

  2. Even people who liked the first three books hated the last one.

  3. like me. breaking dawn was epic fail. whole jacob section: USELESS


What do you think?