Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finished this abominable book. It’s been a long, hard road, but it’s over. Until I start New Moon…Ugh. This is sort of another triple review. Ish. Chapter 23 was only 6 pages, so obviously I couldn’t just review it on its own. And after chapter 24, there was only an epilogue left, so I decided to just plow through to the end. So here we go. The exciting (not really) conclusion of Twilight.
Twilight, chapter 23/24/Epilogue: The Angel/An Impasse/An Occasion
First thing’s first. I DID IT! PARTY TIME!
This has been a real labor of hate, and I know it’s only going to get worse from here, but I feel that I need this little celebration to reset my brain a little and help me prepare for the wankery to come later in the series. This was so bad, you guys. And I know some of you have told me the books get worse. At this point, I have a very hard time comprehending anything worse and I’m not looking forward to understanding what it means to be worse than Twilight.
Okay, if you’ll recall, chapter 22 ended quite lazily with Bella passing out just as James was about to eat her. Even without knowing there were three subsequent books, I’d know that Meyer would save Bella at the last second because that’s how she operates. She is incapable of writing a story with anything resembling an interesting plot.
Chapter 23 begins inside Bella’s head. There’s the metaphor of floating in water that people love to use when characters are unconscious yet strangely aware of themselves. Bella believes herself to be dead, which sort of proves that she isn’t.
“Through the heavy water, I heard the sound of an angel calling my name, calling me to the only heaven I wanted.”
Gee, I wonder who that could be. God, even unconscious, she’s completely pathetic.
During her unconscious state, Bella can hear the fight going on around her. BUT WE DON’T GET TO SEE IT. It’s exactly what I said it would be. Bella hears some roaring, snarling, and crashing about AND THAT’S IT. She hears Edward freaking out, frantically calling her name and sobbing. I feel I should remind you all of her injuries at this point. She has a cut on her head and a broken leg. That’s pretty much it. But to hear Edward wailing, you’d think the walls were painted with her guts. It’s really over the top, especially given that he’s a vampire and probably knows a thing or two about mortal wounds. Naturally, hearing her precious Edward calling for her wakes Bella up and it’s all very annoying.
Carlisle is there looking over her injuries and trying to treat what he can. It turns out James bit Bella on the palm of her hand (why?) and if they don’t stop the venom soon, Bella will become a vampire. Apparently Edward is the only one who can suck out the venom. Because it’s not like he’s spent half the book telling Bella how the smell of her blood makes him want to slaughter everyone in the room just to get a taste…
But whatever. He sucks out the venom and Carlisle gives her morphine and she passes out, briefly commenting on the smell of gasoline in the room.
Let’s talk about the gasoline smell for a moment, shall we? If you can remember back a few chapters, Edward said the only way to kill a vampire and be totally sure of their death is to rip them apart and burn the pieces. If Bella is smelling gasoline, that means James has already been killed and they’re about to burn him. This means that Stephenie Meyer had the climax of the entire fucking book HAPPEN OFF SCREEN.
This is just…it’s so telling of Stephenie Meyer as a writer. She spends 400 pages doing nothing, making no story progress, making no character progress, introducing no plot whatsoever, then when she does introduce an interesting conflict, she resolves it off screen. Why would she have the most exciting thing in the whole book happen when her narrator, and by extension, the reader, was unable to witness it? I’ll tell you why, though you already know from the 800,000 times I’ve told you before. Stephenie Meyer is a terrible writer. She wrote the climax off screen because she can’t write. If she had tried to write the fight scene, it would have been awful. So in a way, I’m glad she didn’t. But the fact that she didn’t even try just goes to show that she doesn’t care about plot. This plot was convoluted and felt as if it had been dropped into the book as an afterthought anyway. Stephenie Meyer cares about Bella and Edward’s “romance” and nothing else. It’s really bad when the author clearly doesn’t even care about her own book.
Chapter 24 opens up with Bella awaking in a hospital. Edward is there and tells her that her mother has flown in and Bella freaks out a bit because, well, what the hell could they have told her mother to explain why Bella looked like she fell down a flight of stairs?
“But what did you tell her?” I panicked. I had no interest in being soothed. My mom was here and I was recovering from a vampire attack. “Why did you tell her I’m here?
“You fell down two flights of stairs and through a window.” He paused. “You have to admit, it could happen.”
Yes. They told Bella’s mother that Bella fell down not one but TWO flights of stairs AND out a window. OUT A WINDOW. There are no words. I desperately want to make fun of this, to point out how stupid it is, to suggest other, less ridiculous ways she could have been hurt. But I can’t. Because I have been robbed of the ability to think straight after this idiotic scenario. Also, fuck you, Edward, for that little jab you got in there. You’re such a dick. Go fist yourself with fire.
Bella asks Edward about her condition and it’s made clear to me that Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have even the slightest clue of how the human body works.
“You have a broken leg, four broken ribs, some cracks in your skull, bruises covering every inch of your skin, and you’ve lost a lot of blood. They gave you a few transfusions.”
I’m sorry, but WHAT? She gets cut on the head within MOMENTS of her rescue and she managed to lose so much blood that she needed not one but MULTIPLE transfusions? That’s just…what?
He comments that the transfusions made her smell funny for a while, which I’m sure made her feel super great. Then there’s some Grade-A fuckery that happens that made me yell at my book.
“Don’t I taste as good as I smell?” I smiled in response. That hurt my face.
“Even better—better than I’d imagined.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized.
“He raised his eyes to the ceiling. “Of all the things to apologize for.
“What should I apologize for?
“For very nearly taking yourself away from me forever.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized again.”
Let’s not blame the crazy vampire who wanted to kill her, let’s blame the victim for trying to minimize the casualties and save her mother, who she believed had been kidnapped. The thing that really disturbs me here isn’t that Bella apologizes, it’s that Edward accepts her apology. By doing that, he legitimizes her belief that she is to blame. He even tells her straight up what she should apologize for. And you’ll note, it wasn’t for putting herself in danger, it was for nearly losing him his new favorite possession. He twisted it and made it all about him. Completely and utterly without shame.
Next, Stephenie Meyer decides to play with Bella’s heart monitor for a cheap laugh, having it speed up as Edward approaches, touches her, etc. I rolled my eyes but thought it would pretty much end there. I was wrong.
“He leaned in slowly; the beeping noise accelerated wildly before his lips even touched me. But when they did, though with the most gentle of pressure, the beeping stopped altogether.”
You read that right, folks. Her goddamn heart stopped when he kissed her. WHY IS THIS A PUBLISHED BOOK? And why can’t Bella just get a grip already?! If these two are SO close and SO in love, WHY IS SHE LITERALLY FAINTING OR DYING EVERY TIME THEY KISS? This is such an obnoxious device and for some reason, Meyer can’t stop using it. SOMEONE MAKE HER STOP.
Edward hears Bella’s mother coming, so naturally she takes this as a sign that he’s going to leave her forever.
“Don’t leave me,” I cried, an irrational surge of panic flooding through me. I couldn’t let him go—he might disappear from me again.”
The “again” she’s referring to would be the 48 hours they were apart when she was fleeing for her life. God I hate this character.
We meet Bella’s mom a bit longer than we did in the beginning of the book and as it happens, she’s just as shallow and vain as Bella is. The first thing she does after greeting her daughter is comment on how young Carlisle is and how he looks like he should be a model instead of a doctor. She comments on how good-looking Edward is. Because that’s just how women are in Meyer’s world, I guess. All they can think about are good looks. SO far, every female who isn’t a vampire has been portrayed as shallow and susceptible to any attractive male character. No matter what. They go gaga over them.
Bella’s mother leaves and she and Edward have a conversation that makes Bella think Edward might break up with her. Or something. I’m honestly not sure what prompted this response, but she starts freaking out and hyperventilating.
“Don’t leave me,” I begged in a broken voice.”
If Bella isn’t the single most pathetic character ever put in print, I honestly don’t know who is. Maybe Voldemort’s naked baby soul bit that gets blasted away from Harry at the end of Deathly Hallows?
Seriously, how unattractive is this? How can Edward stand such a clingy, codependent BLAH as Bella Swan? I don’t get it. She has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I’m just so tired of her. I’m finding it hard to even defend her when Edward does something horribly abusive or misogynistic. Like, I don’t even care anymore. At this point, SHE DESERVES IT. Okay, maybe not really, but I still hate her until the end of time.
She makes he swear that he’ll never ever leave her and then uses his breath like Vick’s VapoRub. God I wish I were joking.
“The smell of his breath was soothing. It seemed to ease the ache of my breathing.”
What is it with Meyer’s gross fascination with Edward’s breath? Is she a breath fetishist? Does she find men’s breaths to be turn-ons? Because it really just grosses me out every time she makes reference to Bella loving Edward’s breath. I guess to each their own, but ew.
I do love, however, that even Edward thinks this bitch needs to cool her tits.
“He shook his head and muttered something unintelligible. I thought I picked out the word ‘overreaction.’”
Once again, Stephenie Meyer deftly highlights exactly what’s wrong with her characters…and then continues to have them act like that because she doesn’t realize that what she’s pointed out is actually a negative trait. Edward thinks Bella is overreacting, which she is BIG TIME. Edward is written by Meyer. But I don’t think Meyer thinks Bella is overreacting. I think Meyer believes that Edward would think Bella is overreacting. I think we’re meant to side against Edward’s conclusion here.
Edward then assures her that her fears are entirely unjustified.
“I don’t seem to be strong enough to stay away from you, so I suppose that you’ll get your way…whether it kills you or not,” he added roughly.”
Yeeeeeeeah, so that’s not creepy or threatening at all. He can’t leave her even if she wanted him to and, oh yeah, it might end up killing her but oh well? Jesus, this is the worst love story of all time.
Bella then asks Edward why he didn’t just let her become a vampire so that then she could be just like him forever and ever. Personally, I think that’s her answer right there, but Edward just gets mad. “Infuriated” is actually the word Meyer uses. Edward seems to spend most of his time angry in this book.
Bella gives possibly the most unintentionally ironic argument of the whole book for why she should have been allowed to become a vampire.
“But it just seems logical…a man and a woman have to be somewhat equal…”
HA! Oh, that’s rich, Meyer! This entire travesty you call a love story has been nothing but gender inequality. The story’s primary message is, “Get a big strong boyfriend to protect you or else you will die.” Several times, she has had Bella speak dialogue like this that directly contradicts the whole rest of the book. That makes me think that Meyer actually thinks Bella is a strong female character and that this book is actually putting out a good message to girls. This means that Stephenie Meyer is fucking DELUSIONAL. It probably has something to do with being Mormon, a faith that strongly advocates male dominance over women. This whole story is a reflection of that principle.
Bella goes on to prove once again that she’s every bit as big an asshole as Edward.
“You are my life. You’re the only thing it would hurt me to lose.”
Well fuck you very much, too, Bella. Fuck your friends and fuck your parents, right? Edward is the only thing in the world that would hurt you to lose. You self-centered bitch. Go die in a fire.
Then Bella argues some more about wanting Edward to turn her into a vampire and somehow deduces from Edward’s facial expression that Alice has seen a vision of Bella as a vampire at some time in the future, even though Alice explained explicitly that her visions only work in the moment and only when the people involved in them have consciously made the decision to perform the actions she see. Once again, Stephenie Meyer proves herself to be a hack writer by not only contradicting her own rules, but spoiling her own fucking series. So now we know for sure that Bella is going to become a vampire at some point.
Edward gets all emo and explains how awful it is to be a vampire and how it’s a curse and blah blah blah. Why does Meyer spend 500 pages telling us how perfect vampires are every chance she gets only to then tell us that they’re not that great? The conversation gets to the point where Edward is just done arguing and he full on drugs Bella to shut her up. Okay, so he doesn’t do it personally, but he presses the call button and gets a nurse to do it for him.
And now, the home stretch. The Epilogue. Which Meyer strangely decided to name. It’s called “An Occasion.” I’ve never encountered an epilogue that had a title before. Generally that’s what “epilogue” is for. But we already knew Meyer was an idiot, so let’s leave this nit unpicked. Or less picked than it could be.
The chapter (epilogue) starts with Bella being helped into his car by Edward. They’re both wearing formal clothing and Bella has no idea what’s going on. And because she’s a moron, she doesn’t figure it out until she’s slapped in the face with it.
Despite being grumpy (Meyer’s word, not mine), Bella has time to reflect on how perfect Edward is for what must be the twelve thousandth time this book.
“Would I ever get used to his perfection?”
We all have, bitch. Get a grip and shut the hell up already.
Edward gets a phone call from Charlie (weird) and something Charlie says makes Edward laugh. Then Charlie apparently puts someone else on the phone to speak with Edward (weirder). Turns out it’s Tyler. Yes, THAT Tyler. What the Jesus fuck is going on here? Edward has a grand old laugh at Tyler’s expense. It turns out, they are going to prom and Tyler was at Bella’s house to pick her up.
So yeah, they’re going to prom. And somehow Bella couldn’t figure it out. Honestly, I don’t understand how. If her high school is anything like every other high school in the universe, prom would have been the only thing anyone was talking about for weeks. Even if she didn’t want to go, she’d definitely know WHEN it was. So when the day comes, Edward makes her get all gussied up and she still can’t put the pieces together until she remembers that Tyler wanted to take her to prom.
She gets understandably upset. She didn’t want to go to prom and it really wasn’t fair of Edward to spring this on her without her consent. But he’s Edward, so he can just do whatever he wants. She’s mad and she starts crying and Edward, ever the gentleman, just gets annoyed.
“This is completely ridiculous. Why are you crying?” he demanded in frustration.
“Because I’m mad!
“Bella.” He turned the full force of his scorching golden eyes on me.
“What?” I muttered, distracted.
“Humor me,” he insisted.”
That’s all I have to say about that.
Moving on, they get to the school and Bella refuses to get out of the car, which puts Edward into an uncomfortable position.
“He couldn’t remove me forcibly from the car as he might have if we’d been alone.”
Here we go again. Meyer is pointing out that what Edward does when he physically dominates Bella would be seen as wrong in other people’s eyes. If she didn’t think it was wrong, she wouldn’t have said he’d only do it if they were alone. Meyer recognizes that other people would see it as abuse. And yet she clearly doesn’t herself see it as abuse because she uses it throughout the whole goddamn book. This woman is so disconnected from reality that it’s scary. It’s like she’s implying that everyone else has the problem. UGH!
Edward eventually convinces her to come out and they buy their tickets at the door (is that normal?) and they go inside. They dance a bit before Bella notices that Jacob is there. Edward promptly SNARLS at him. For reals. He snarls.
Jacob walks over and is super nice and polite and friendly and Edward gets all broody and angry. Jacob asks to cut in and Edward somehow lets him. He goes off to skulk somewhere while Jacob and Bella talk. It turns out that Billy paid Jacob to go to prom in order to warn Bella away from Edward. Jacob is super uncomfortable relaying the message, but Bella is actually more understanding than I would have expected. She even tells Jacob to genuinely thank Billy for his concerns.
I gotta say, there’s more chemistry between Bella and Jacob in this one scene than there is between Bella and Edward in the whole book. I have no idea why Meyer wrote Jacob and Bella like this if they weren’t meant to be together. Unless what I’m perceiving to be a nice, healthy relationship is what Meyer perceives as completely unattractive. That’s probably it.
Edward comes back and Jacob leaves and Edward shows just what a possessive dickweed he is by badmouthing Jacob.
“I’m not mad at Billy,” he corrected in a clipped tone. “But his son is irritating me.”
FUCK YOU, EDWARD!
They head outside to speak privately and Bella admits that she thought they had gotten dressed up so that Edward could turn her into a vampire. Jesus, she really is too stupid to live, isn’t she? She tells him she loves him and wants to be with him forever and ever and ever and then the book ends with Edward pressing his lips against Bella’s throat and I threw up because it was just too much for me.
And so ends Twilight. It was a long road, and I’ve really only just begun the greater journey. I know some of what to expect in the coming books, but there’s probably a great deal that I am just not prepared for. I’m sure those of you who have read the books already are evilly rubbing your hands together in anticipation for my reactions to upcoming events. I don’t blame you. I’m the same way. I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to it.
This book has been easily the worst book I’ve ever read. It’s full of disturbing themes like sexism, misogyny, racism, and abuse. But while lots of books possess these themes, few fail to address them the way Twilight has. In Twilight, these themes are not shown in a negative light. They’re integrated with how these character act and think and behave and are treated as perfectly normal and acceptable. The relationship between Bella and Edward is said to be about love, but shown to be about little more than mutual obsession. Bella is obsessed with perfect, beautiful Edward and Edward is fascinated by silly little Bella. There’s no love between them but the words they speak. As the great George R. R. Martin would say, “Words are wind.” It’s our actions that show the world how we really feel. And the actions of these characters show anything but romantic love.
As of this moment, I am declaring Twilight the worst book ever written. I’m confident that claim will only stand for as long as it takes me to begin New Moon, but you have to start somewhere. For now, let me just rejoice in the fact that I have finished this book and am a quarter of the way through this truly, spectacularly awful series.