Because chapter 16 was incredibly short and completely pointless as its own chapter, you guys are getting a double review with this one. If it works well, I may adopt it for subsequent books so that I can get through this awful series twice as fast. Are you guys ready for some serious wankery? LET’S DO THIS!
Twilight, chapter 16/17: Carlisle/The Game
So chapter 15 left off with Edward tasting Bella’s tears and offering to show her the rest of the house. In chapter 16, Edward shows her…Carlisle’s office? Yeah, he takes her to Dad’s office. For some reason. The office actually sounds kinda cool. It’s full of old photographs and paintings and tons of books. Edward physically moves Bella around the room like a child, because, you know, that’s his thing. But it’s cool because Bella lubes up every time he touches her.
“Every time he touched me, in even the most casual way, my heart had an audible reaction.”
First of all, that’s some really amateurish writing, which I’ve come to accept but I’m still not used to and will never excuse. And second of all, Bella, get a fucking grip. You are sad and pathetic.
I’m still really bothered by how Edward treats Bella. As he shows her around the office, he literally puts his hands on her and moves her to where he wants her to go. Why can’t he just direct her like a normal person? I’m sure she’s more than capable of navigating a single room on her own. Edward, you are a controlling piece of shit. Stop it.
So we’re treated to Carlisle’s backstory, which is actually pretty interesting. I’m not sure what the point of it is, but it’s definitely the most interesting thing in the book so far. He was the son of a pastor and a vampire hunter and was bitten in the 17th century. Knowing what he was to become, he distanced himself from humanity. That’s pretty cool. Of course, Meyer had to find a way of putting her own stupid spin on it by saying that he pursued a career in medicine as penance for being a vampire, despite the fact that she implicitly states that he never fed on humans (and, in fact, tried a number of times to kill himself to keep from feeding on humans) and instead discovered that he could be sustained by animal blood. Already, Carlisle is a more fleshed out and interesting character than both Bella and Edward combined. And even so, there’s really no point to this chapter. Why not spend a chapter going through Edward’s backstory? I mean, he is a main character. But no. We’re given a few throw away lines about how he rebelled after becoming a vampire and left Carlisle for a few years, eating murderers before coming back and turning veggie again. What the fuck, Meyer? Shouldn’t you be saving the good material for your main characters?
One thing that struck me as odd (read: very very stupid) was the fact that Bella seemed completely unimpressed by the fact that Edward admits to having killed people. Now, I know what you’re saying. “But Edward is a vampire. Of course he’s killed people. The important thing is that he’s not killing now.” And you’re right. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s taken human lives and Bella straight up doesn’t give a shit. I find that a little disturbing. And surprisingly, so does Edward, who seems a little freaked out that nothing is freaking Bella out. He asks her if he frightens her at all.
“I don’t think you’re scary at all, actually,” I lied casually.”
Bitch, if you have to lie when you tell your boyfriend you’re not afraid of them, YOU HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM. I mean, seriously, what the hell, Meyer? You aren’t even trying to send a good message with this book. And I get that not all books are about good messages. Some books portray relationships way more fucked up than this. However, usually the author is aware that the relationship they’re portraying is fucked up and they write to highlight that fact. Meyer treats this as the most romantic, amazing, perfect couple ever. And her readers actually go along with it. Ugh.
In what’s probably the most awkward part of the chapter, Edward proceeds to show Bella just how scary he is by attacking her.
Seriously. He shoves her onto his sofa so hard it smashes into the wall and physically dominates her so that she’s crunched into a ball and can’t move. All the commotion draws the attention of Alice and Jasper, who were coming to ask if Edward wants to play baseball on account of the thunderstorm Alice foresaw coming later in the day.
Yes, they want to play baseball because there’s a thunderstorm on the way. I’m sure some of you already know why that is. For everyone else, well you’re just gonna have to wait, because that’s the end of chapter 16.
On to chapter 17!
I’m really getting sick of this crap. At least the last 5 chapters have led one right into the other without any passage of time. This is the most boring writing style. It doesn’t feel like chapters, it feels like one long, continuous, unending story where nothing of substance ever happens. I’m following an obnoxious girl through her boring, pointless life and I wish it would stop.
Chapter 17 picks up as Edward is taking Bella home (though I’m not entirely sure why since she going with the Cullens to play baseball later…) and as they pull up, we see that Jacob and his father are waiting outside. And that’s when Edward gets aggro for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
“Edward’s low voice was furious. ‘This is crossing the line.’”
Hey, fuckface, Billy Black is Charlie’s best friend and has been for years, long before you started dating Bella. If anyone is crossing a line, it’s you. Go suck a mountain lion, Sparkles.
Bella tells Edward that she’ll talk to them and get them to leave, which Edward tells her is a good idea. Because otherwise he might kill them, get it? Get it? Because he’s dangerous. Even though he belongs to a clan of vampires he swears respect human life and he won’t hurt anybody despite admitting that he finds it hard not to kill Bella. Oh, except the Blacks aren’t human, are they (which is a whole ‘nother can of worms I could open up with this series)? And even though there’s a peace accord, Edward hates them and wants to kill them…for reasons.
He tells Bella to be careful about what she says because “the child doesn’t know,” referring to Jacob. When Bella points out that Jacob isn’t much younger than she is, he gives her a creepy smile and says, “Oh, I know.” WOW.
It’s at this point that you have to appreciate the fact that, by this time, Edward is like 105 (he was born in 1901) and Bella is 17. And before you yell at me, yes, I know the age difference between Angel and Buffy was even bigger, but there are three things I have to say in defense of that. First, Buffy was actually good and acknowledged when Angel was mistreating Buffy and she stood up for herself (and murdered the shit out of him in the season 2 finale when he turned evil). Second, I personally never liked the Buffy/Angel thing anyway. I’m a Spuffy shipper. And third, fuck you, that’s why.
Bella invites Billy and Jacob inside and then proceeds to be a massive asshole to Billy. Here’s the thing; no, it’s not really Billy’s place to warn Bella away from Edward. But he knows they’re vampires and he doesn’t know that she does. And Bella is his best friend’s only child. He feels a certain sense of responsibility here. And Bella will just have none of it. She’s flattered that Edward spies on her and watches her sleep every night, but god forbid a family friend shows concern for her well-being. I seriously Bella so much. There are times I can’t tell who is the bigger asshole, her or Edward.
After she finally gets rid of the Blacks, she goes upstairs and tries to find an outfit to wear. It’s exactly as interesting as it sounds. Which is to say that Meyer is a terrible writer and has to fill pages with mundane action in order to have a book. A good 75% of this book so far has been fluff. It’s just mindless description of tedious, everyday routine sprinkled with truly terrible dialogue and a thin film of what could almost be called a story. Almost. There’s still no discernible story here. If I had to summarize the novel, I could do it in nine words: Bella Swan loves Edward Cullen, who is a vampire. That’s literally the whole story so far.
When Charlie gets home, Bella finally shows a bit of backbone and decides to tell him about Edward over dinner. Though I suppose it’s not really her growing a backbone so much as Edward forcing her hand by telling her he was coming over later to pick her up. But whatever, regardless of why, Charlie is finally told. And once again, Meyer decides to portray him as a bit of an imbecile. I don’t get it. Why does she seem to have so much disdain for Charlie? Here, he keeps saying “Edwin” instead of “Edward.” This man is a police officer. So why can’t he remember a simple name like Edward? Because his author is terrible, that’s why. I’m sure Meyer thinks it adds to his character or maybe injects some element of comedy. I’m not sure. But it’s stupid and kind of offensive.
Charlie continues to ask her questions about Edward, such as whether or not he’s her boyfriend. This is how Bella responds.
“I groaned loudly. ‘I hope you’re getting the Spanish Inquisition out of your system now.’”
Bella, you disrespectful fuckbag. Charlie is your father and has every right to grill you about the boys you date. And he’s not even grilling you. This is a perfectly casual conversation over dinner. He’s your father. He wants to know about you and the people you surround yourself with. That’s called being a parent. It’s also called just taking an interest in another human being. Just because you can’t bring yourself to care about anything or anyone but Edward doesn’t mean everyone else is so self-absorbed.
Edward arrives just after they finish dinner and Charlie answers the door. How he keeps himself from throwing himself into Edward’s perfect arms, I have no idea. Get a load of this description.
“Edward stood in the halo of the porch light, looking like a male model in an advertisement for raincoats.”
Could that have been worded any more awkwardly? It’s lines like that that make me refuse to view this as anything more than accidentally published fan fiction. And did you catch the whole halo bit? Because Edward is angelic, remember? Remember how he’s like an angel? REMEMBER? I do love that he’s even perfect at being wet. That takes real skill. Fuck this book.
He and Bella get into his Jeep, which is apparently massive and super complicated because Bella can’t seem to work the seatbelt. Which is fine, because this is another opportunity for Edward to do something for her like she’s a child and for her to have a completely over-the-top reaction to it.
“I gave up trying to help him and focused on not hyperventilating.”
I genuinely don’t understand Bella’s reactions to Edward’s mere existence. She faints when they kiss, just brushing up against her makes her heart explode, and helping her put on a seatbelt causes her to hyperventilate. What the fuck is wrong with this bitch? Jesus Christ. GET A GRIP, BELLA!
They drive through the woods and Edward tells her they have to run the rest of the way. The last time she rode Edward piggyback, she got motion sick (and she was understandably afraid of her face getting torn off by a passing branch), so she’s hesitant to go. In fact, she flat out says she doesn’t want to anymore. Naturally, instead of respecting her, he treats her like a child and once again, exerts his physical dominance over her by grabbing her and pulling her out of the car.
“Before I could react, he pulled me from the Jeep and set my feet on the ground.”
So then Edward says he’s going to tamper with her memory.
He then proceeds to do…absolutely nothing of the sort. I genuinely have no fucking clue what he was talking about, because he doesn’t do shit to her memory. He repeatedly kisses her all over her face and neck and asks if she’s still afraid after each kiss. It’s weird, guys, I’m not gonna lie. I think he was just trying to get her flustered so that she was too distracted to be afraid or something. I DON’T KNOW! It works, but I think just because Bella knew she didn’t have any other choice. They kiss again, this time on the lips, and just like the day before, when Bella starts to get into it and pulls his face in closer to hers, he FREAKS THE FUCK OUT. And I still have no idea, because that’s the second time (the first time was that really awkward moment during their first ever kiss). Meyer never (yet) explains why he keeps reacting this way, but Edward gets PISSED. I’m just going to type out the whole scene for you guys so that you can get an idea what I’m talking about.
“He staggered back, breaking my grip effortlessly.
“Damn it, Bella!’ he broke off, gasping. ‘You’ll be the death of me, I swear you will.’
“I leaned over, bracing my hands against my knees for support.
“You’re indestructible,’ I mumbled, trying to catch my breath.
“I might have believed that before I met you. Now let’s get out of here before I do something really stupid,’ he growled.”
Please bear in mind, THESE ARE TWO PEOPLE WHO SUPPOSEDLY LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Edward acts as though he doesn’t even like Bella. Like, as a person. What the hell? How can anyone think that it’s okay to talk to someone like that and claim to be in love with them? This is the worst love story in the history of ever.
She reluctantly agrees to be worn like a backpack (it really is that unflatteringly described) and Edward runs them through the woods the rest of the way. When they finally get to where they’re going, Bella falls off.
BECAUSE SHE’S CLUMSY GET IT VKJ.MFW;W;MVFW!!!1111!!1
And being the consummate gentleman, Edward laughs his ass off.
“He stared at me incredulously, evidently not sure whether he was still too mad to find me funny. But my bewildered expression pushed him over the edge, and he broke into a roar of laughter.”
Yeah, he doesn’t help her up, he doesn’t ask if she’s alright. He just stands there and laughs at her. And when she heaves herself up and starts to brush the mud off, he just laughs even harder. Let me just reiterate: THIS IS A LOVE STORY.
Bella is justifiably mad at Edward’s reaction and his response is more or less, “Y u mad, bro?” When she brings up the hypocrisy that he’s allowed to get mad at her but she isn’t allowed to get mad at him, we find out that he isn’t actually mad at her.
“You were mad,’ I insisted.”
“But you just said—”
“That I wasn’t mad at you. Can’t you see that, Bella?”
He then goes on to say, “I’m never angry with you—how could I be? Brave, trusting…warm as you are.”
She asks him why, internally justifying his abuse before he even answers.
“Then why?” I whispered, remembering the black moods that pulled him away from me, that I’d always interpreted as well-justified frustration—frustration at my weakness, my slowness, my unruly human reactions…”
This is a serious problem right here. This is exactly how abuse victims justify their own abuse. “I deserved it. I made him angry. I should have been better.” This is complete and utter bullshit. Stephenie Meyer, you disgust me.
Edward then answers, “I infuriate myself.”
So let’s just recap. Edward constantly acts angrily towards Bella. Like, constantly. He’s always growling or speaking harshly or glaring at her. But he’s not mad at her. He treats her like shit because he’s mad at himself. OF COURSE! IT MAKES ALL OF THE SENSE!
Moving on, they step out into a massive field and the rest of the Cullen clan are already there. As was expected, everything the vampires do is described as graceful. I’d pay big money to have Meyer write a scene involving a vampire taking a shit just to see how she could make them do it with all the elegance of a ballerina or something.
Emmett and Alice come over to say hello before running off like gazelles. Meyer actually says this. Twice. Then Edward runs after them and Bella is blown away.
“The grace and power took my breath away.”
She literally says this to describe Edward JOGGING AFTER HIS FAMILY. He runs in a straight line and somehow did it was grace and power. Jesus fucking Christ I hate this book.
The game finally starts and we find out, at last, why vampires play baseball during thunderstorms. And boy is it stupid.
“This time the bat somehow made it around in time to smash into the invisible ball. The crack of the impact was shattering, thunderous (get it?); it echoed off the mountains—I immediately understood the necessity of the thunderstorm.”
I feel I need to make something clear here. The vampires wait until thunderstorms to play baseball to cover up the sound the ball makes hitting the bat because they hit JUST THAT HARD. But they’re using completely ordinary bats and baseballs. Normal human players bust bats and balls all the time. How in the furry purple fuck do they play super baseball and not demolish their equipment with every single hit? Oh, right, because Stephenie Meyer is a worse writer than OJ Simpson is a husband. YES I WENT THERE.
Then something really awesome happens. Carlisle tags Jasper out on first base and they hit one another…with a huge fucking impact.
“When they collided, the sound was like the crash of two massive falling boulders.”
WHO TOLD HER THIS WAS GOOD WRITING?! That’s just so fucking stupid! UGH!
Edward catches the final out of the inning (after a paragraph that makes it apparent that Meyer has probably never actually seen a baseball game in her life) and jogs up to Bella.
“He sprinted to my side, sparkling with excitement.”
Only in this travesty of a series do I have to wonder if Meyer is being literal here. Fuck.
He asks her what she thinks of the game and Bella responds with what might just be the worst line of the chapter, maybe even the last few chapters.
“One thing’s for sure, I’ll never be able to sit through dull old Major League Baseball again.”
“I’m a little disappointed,” I teased.
“Why?” he asked, puzzled.
“Well, it would be nice if I could find just one thing you didn’t do better than everyone else on the planet.”
And not a drop of irony was spilled. Fuck this book.
Even more proof that Stephenie Meyer is a moron: “The score constantly changed as the game continued.” FUCK. THIS. BOOK.
Suddenly, Alice freaks out. Apparently, the vampires they were expecting have been attracted by their game (because they want to play. I’m not kidding.) and Bella being there is a complication. In fact, this is the first complication of the entire book so far AND THERE WAS A WHOLE CHAPTER TITLED “COMPLICATIONS.” I guess they’re concerned that these new vampires will instantly be overcome by their animalistic instinct to hunt if they know Bella is there. I don’t actually understand the issue at all. Presumably, these other vampires live lives around humans all the time. Why would they suddenly go all feeding frenzy on account of Bella? This complication feels really forced, but at least it’s a change from the normal nothing I’m used to.
“Take your hair down,” Edward said in a low, even voice.
“I obediently slid the rubber band out of my hair and shook it out all around me.”
I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea what that was all about. Somehow, Bella’s hair being down will make her look less human? Maybe it’s to cover her neck and make her less…tempting? I don’t even know. But hey, at least Bella did as she was told. Obediently. Like a dog. Ugh.
This chapter was just dumb, guys. It wasn’t until the last three pages that anything even remotely interesting started to happen. The game itself was incredibly dumb and anticlimactic. As with everything else Meyer does in this book, I don’t understand the point of it. And I can’t even really get interesting in this rival group of vampires because I know nothing will come of it. Oh, there might be some sort of lame “epic” fight, but everyone will walk away from it. Everyone who matters, anyway. YAWN