Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wow, it's been awhile

I just sort of got overwhelmed with life duties and never finished this project. Nice to know it's still lumbering on, and hating Twilight is a time-honored tradition. I have a new project now, if anyone is interested. I'm blogging my way through The National Film Registry over at There's not as much vitriol, but I'm having fun with it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chapter 21: The Idiot Plot Tumor Becomes Critical

And this opens just as boring as the last chapter. SMeyer gets bogged down incredibly in mundane bits. Seriously, there is no reason for a scene where a girl watches a psychic vampire sketching visions to be so unutterably dull. She spends numerous words describing exactly what is in every single sketch, but no one is clever enough to put anything together. It's just 'The door was there, the window was there', then Bella announces she knows the place. But since Bella is a nitwit, there's no connection to anything.

"Two pairs of eternal eyes stared at me." I guess this could be a good bit of description, except it's not at all. She has been more interested in describing exactly how outdated Bella's mom's living room is than describing what "eternal eyes" look like.

"Uncharacteristically, Jasper slid closer to me. He lightly touched his hand to my shoulder, and the physical contact seemed to make his calming influence stronger. The panic stayed dull, unfocused." This strikes me as being quite creepy. They're basically drugging Bella to keep her from overreacting. I'm torn on this, since Bella is a ridiculous drama queen, but it still seems like a violation.

""Edward is coming?" The words were like a life vest, holding my head above the flood." Oh GAWD! We've been separated a whole 3 days and I'm DROWNING without him! I'm not a vindictive person, but I honestly don't think most people should put pen to paper until they have experienced real misery. Otherwise, they end up with this sort of overreaction, like it's how they think people really react when bad things happen.

""I can't win, Alice. You can't guard everyone I know forever. Don't you see what he's doing? He's not tracking me at all. He'll find someone, he'll hurt someone I love…Alice, I can't —"" Did it ever occur to any of these people to wonder just how James knows that Bella's mother lives in Arizona? Really, how did he get this bit of information? He couldn't possibly have tracked her by following the car, so how else did he find out? Did he hack the school records? It's implausible that he knows to start looking in Arizona, and even more implausible that he has somehow managed to hit exactly the right address.

"Alice looked meaningfully at Jasper. A deep, heavy fog of lethargy washed over me, and my eyes closed without my permission. My mind struggled against the fog, realizing what was happening. I forced my eyes open and stood up, stepping away from Jasper's hand." So Jasper's magic vampire power is Roofie Hands? I had some hope for Alice not infantilizing Bella, but it seems it's okay for her too.

"I walked to my room and shut the door, slammed it really, so I could be free to go to pieces privately." I'm one of those silent sufferer types, so I would understand the inclination, but she's not talking about privacy. She's leaving so that her vampire babysitters will stop messing with her mind. This is just a whole lot of squick.

"My mind went around in circles, trying to come up with some way out of this nightmare. There was no escape, no reprieve. I could see only one possible end looming darkly in my future." Oh, dear heart, that's just because you're a moron.

"The only question was how many other people would be hurt before I reached it." Only no one has been hurt, except for Charlie, and Bella doesn't care one jot about him. And besides, James didn't hurt him. Didn't even try to hurt him. James actually hasn't tried to hurt anyone yet, so I don't know where she's reaching the conclusion that he's willing to slaughter her family to get to her.

"Maybe, if I could just see his face again, I would also be able to see the solution that eluded me now." Unless the sight of Edward makes you smarter, it won't. And as it's been established that Bella is stupider than ever when Edward is around...

"Just a few more hours to keep breathing till he was here." Because that's not creepy and co-dependent.

"It was a man's tenor voice, a very pleasant, generic voice — the kind of voice that you heard in the background of luxury car commercials." Eh? I mean, I guess this is better description than most of anything we've gotten, but still.

""Now repeat after me, and do try to sound natural. Please say, 'No, Mom, stay where you are.'"" Wait, don't sparklepires have super-hearing? How would Alice not be able to hear what this guy is saying when Bella is in the same room?

""This worked out rather better than I expected. I was prepared to wait, but your mother arrived ahead of schedule. It's easier this way, isn't it? Less suspense, less anxiety for you."" This still makes absolutely no sense. How the blue blazes does this guy know where her mother is, where she was, and where she's supposed to be? And how come it never occurred to Bella to call her mom while she had 3 days of traveling to do it? Don't try to tell me the Cullens don't have cell phones, so why didn't she call her mother on the way, say she couldn't stand it in Forks, and that she's just making a stopover in Phoenix before coming out to Florida? No need to come get her or worry overmuch on her account, she's with friends, she'll see her soon, bye. No drama, no fuss, and no Idiot Plot Tumor.

Following is some banter that seems lifted directly out of a bad cop show. Bella has been told this guy is an absolutely ruthless killer. He's keeping her mother alive as bait, but just how stupid does she have to be to believe that if she dies, her mother will just walk free?

"Next to the phone there will be a number. Call it, and I'll tell you where to go from there."" So Nature Boy has a cell phone, but a minor league baseball player doesn't?

"I knew I had to think, but my head was filled with the sound of my mother's panic." I understand it must be hard to hear your mother's panicky voice, but why didn't Bella demand just another word from her mother? This would ruin the Idiot Plot, I suppose, especially since she already has the information about the video tape and the television, but still. She even asks about Phil, and James doesn't even answer. That should ring at least an alarm bell... and why doesn't she think about calling Phil? Oh wait, Phil doesn't own a phone.

"I pushed the terror back as well as I could." I'm guessing SMeyer wanted to show Bella as being truly self-sacrificing, but she resigns herself to die in an instant. Never thinks about anything else, never tries to think of a plan, never does anything rational at all. Just 'Oh, I've been outmaneuvered, and now I'm going to die'. This is why I say so often that Bella is stupid – she has no imagination, no self-preservation, and logic is anathema to her. She runs on pure emotion at all times, and I really think that is what makes her the worst possible role model for young girls.

"I had to accept that I wouldn't see Edward again, not even one last glimpse of his face to carry with me to the mirror room. I was going to hurt him, and I couldn't say goodbye. I let the waves of torture wash over me, have their way for a time." Boo-fucking-hoo.

""My mom was worried, she wanted to come home. But it's okay, I convinced her to stay away." My voice was lifeless.
"We'll make sure she's fine, Bella, don't worry."" How bad is Alice at reading people that this doesn't set off any alarm bells?

And Bella apologizes for hurting Edward by getting herself killed. She should include a postscript: 'Next time, try to find someone a little smarter. Yrs, B.S.'

"I only hoped he would understand, and listen to me just this once." Keep dreaming, sweet cheeks. The day Edward Cullen deigns to listen to a weak woman thing is the day the Earth goes spiraling off into the sun.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chapter 20: In Which Dull Trivialities Get Duller

"This room was too bland to belong anywhere but in a hotel." Have to give props for a decent sentence, especially since they are few and far between. I think the last one was in chapter 8.

"The engine was almost silent, though we'd raced across the black freeways at
more than twice the legal speed." So Alice doesn't have to look out for cops either? If her visions of the future rely on choices, can she tell if the local highway patrolman had decided to go get a sandwich? Also, Bella describes her memory as being hazy and fuzzy, but for what reason? Is the trauma so great that she can't remember what she did or is doing, or did they slip something into her juice?

"And I remembered Alice sitting with me on the dark leather backseat. Somehow, during the long night, my head had ended up against her granite neck. My closeness didn't seem to bother her at all, and her cool, hard skin was oddly comforting to me. The front of her thin cotton shirt was cold, damp with the tears that streamed from my eyes until, red and sore, they ran dry." Except for the weirdness about the granite neck, this reads as more gentle, loving behavior on Alice's part than Bella has ever gotten out of Edward.

"the dead look in Edward's eyes after he kissed me the last time…" What? They're going to be parted for maybe a week. She's not in any real danger – just an illusion of danger, because they are all much too stupid to work out anything sensible.

"my arm draped over Alice's shoulder and her arm firm around my waist, dragging me along as I stumbled through the warm, dry shadows." Seems like that would be something the people in the hotel would ask about... two teens are dragging a barely conscious girl into a hotel at the break of dawn and demanding a room.

She's still doing the '"Hi." I said' thing. It's annoying. Carry on.

And... this whole scene is weirdly boring and weirdly strange. Alice is tiptoeing around, takes Bella by the hand to lead her into the next room, and then she and Jasper sit like statues and stare at the TV. Why? Is it because Bella eating is tempting? Or because Smeyer couldn't think of anything else for them to do?

""And should he have called by now?" I could see that I was near the mark. Alice's eyes
flitted from mine to the phone on top of her leather bag and back.
"What does that mean?" My voice quavered, and I fought to control it. "That he hasn't
called yet?"
"It just means that they don't have anything to tell us."
But her voice was too even, and the air was harder to breathe." Bella is being an overdramatizing nit again. Lather, rinse, repeat if desired.

""Bella, Bella, stop," he interrupted me, his words pouring out so quickly they were hard
to understand. "You're worrying about all the wrong things, Bella. Trust me on this —
none of us are in jeopardy. You are under too much strain as it is; don't add to it with
wholly unnecessary worries. Listen to me!" he ordered, for I had looked away. "Our
family is strong. Our only fear is losing you."
"But why should you —"
Alice interrupted this time, touching my cheek with her cold fingers. "It's been almost a
century that Edward's been alone. Now he's found you. You can't see the changes that we
see, we who have been with him for so long. Do you think any of us want to look into his
eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you?"" So... this whole obsession with Edward's favorite little flower sandwich is because he'd be unbearably annoying if he lost her? …. Actually, that's kind of reasonable. I'll accept that.

"Alice called down to the front desk and asked them to ignore our maid service for now." Why not just hang the little sign on the door?

"My babysitters handled the suspense better than I did. As I fidgeted and paced, they
simply grew more still, two statues whose eyes followed me imperceptibly as I moved." Edward must've been absolutely impossible to live with before he met her, or why would they go to this sort of trouble for someone as patently unlikable as Bella?

"I was beginning to wonder exactly what sort of instructions
Edward had given her." Said because Alice follows her into the bedroom. I don't know what to say, beyond that would be an excellent opening for a femslash fic. Or that how come Edward gets to order everyone else around?

""Edward doesn't want me to tell you that," she said firmly, but I sensed she didn't agree." Again, why is it his business what Alice does or doesn't say to her? Why is he the most important member of the family?

"She looked at me with her splendid, wise eyes… choosing." It's kind of weird that Alice is the only one with any descriptor of intelligence or wisdom applied to her, when she generally functions as a frivolous Plot-in-the-Box device. But also, why is it a choice? Is Edward's anger that scary?

And Alice explains the magical venom... but it's still a stupid explanation, because there is no reason for any of it. It just plain doesn't make any sense, especially since Smeyer said her vampires were more scientific. She throws around things like 'carnivorous flower', but it still doesn't make sense.

""Just the mirrors, and the gold. It's a band, around the room. And there's a black table
with a big stereo, and a TV. He's touching the VCR there, but he doesn't watch the way he does in the dark room. This is the room where he waits."" This makes Bella's idiotic running off even more idiotic. I didn't know that the VCR and TV were specifically mentioned in the book, but if Bella had one functioning brain cell, she might realize a bit of this "brilliant" plan. But even though we've been told Bella is smart, she runs on pure emotion. She never thinks, or reasons, or discusses. She just does because of how she feels – and her emotions are all too basic to produce good reactions or good decisions. Maybe this is why I hate her so much, seeing as how I'm apparently a Vulcan, but the slightest bit of careful deliberation would improve her vastly as a character.

""Whatever made him get on that plane… it was leading him to those rooms."" How did the Barefoot Contessa there get on a plane? Did he just pretend that he forgot his shoes at security? Also... don't try to tell me that airport security wouldn't be hassling a barefoot guy with red eyes sniffing every person in his immediate vicinity?

""Bella," he sighed in frustration, "I told you not to worry about anything but yourself."" I see you've been disobeying again, weak woman thing. That's at least a week in the closet for you.

"We think he's heading back to Forks to start over."" This is still stupid. Bella hasn't been in Forks for over 48 hours. If it did rain as much as she claimed, there would not be one iota of her scent left anywhere. Even if it didn't, there still shouldn't be much of her scent left at all, and definitely none that could hold up for 1,583 miles, according to Google Maps. Also... earlier Bella said the drive was a 3-day one. I'd estimate two days if you stopped for a rest... which they don't. Apparently they drive all night without stopping for Bella to do her necessaries. I hate to speculate, but is anyone else reminded of the Lisa Nowak case?

""I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It's like you've taken half my self away with you."" Because that's not creepy and co-dependent to say to your girlfriend of maybe three months.

""Could you believe that, despite everything I've put you through, I love you, too?"" *facepalm*Could he be less self-aware? Seriously, even if this was an apology for his despicable behavior, it wouldn't be near enough. Yet she thinks it's sweet.
"As soon as the phone went dead, the cloud of depression began to creep over me again." Right, Bella Swan knows all about depression. She once read a book about it. Well, not so much a book as a paragraph in her Phys. Ed. textbook, but she knows everything about being depressed.

""It's a ballet studio," I said, suddenly recognizing the familiar shapes.
They looked at me, surprised." How come those two couldn't recognize one? I'd know a ballet studio, and I've never been inside one in my life. Or are they surprised that she would state something so patently obvious?

""They don't have a permanent number except at the house — she's supposed to check
her messages regularly."" Well, isn't that convenient. This is supposed to take place in 2003 or 2004, right? How is it that a baseball player wouldn't have a cell phone?

"For a while, Alice sketched the vague outline of the dark room from her vision, as much as she could see in the light from the TV." Wait, I thought they could see in the dark.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chapter 19: Where the Snarker Waxes Philosophical

“My mind was blank as I tried to think of a way to make him let me go. This wasn't going to be pleasant.” It isn’t going to be sensible, either. Really, this is one of the stupidest plans in the history of stupid plans. There’s a reason why, if being tracked by dogs, one should always head for water. Dogs cannot smell feet in water. So why in God’s name should a vampire be able to smell genetic residue that he couldn’t smell five feet away, if they simply move her for a short time? Yes, we drop huge amounts of genetic material every day, but dumping Bella in a bathtub of tomato juice should be effective against this tracker. Keep her inside for a few days, with Edward, Alice, and Emmett guarding the windows if they’re so worried. Fake a call from Renée, begging Bella to stay with her a couple days and load Bella into an airplane en route to Bermuda. Surely a vampire who couldn’t afford shoes can’t afford a plane ticket, and what do they think he’ll do? Hack flight records on his laptop? Follow the smell of jet fuel? Because every single character in this book is affected with a terminal case of the stupids, Bella is going to crush her father for no good reason at all. Also, out of curiosity, what were they planning on doing when the situation got resolved? Tell Bella to pretend it was all a really bad joke?

“I felt moisture filling up my eyes as I looked at Emmett. I barely knew him, and yet, somehow, not knowing when I would see him again after tonight was anguishing.” Bella is such a twat. Really, she is. She doesn’t give a tinker’s toot about Emmett, it’s just what he represents – eternal youth and sexiness.

“"Fifteen minutes," he warned under his breath.” WHY!?! If James can’t smell her five feet away, there is no way in hell he can find her scent fast enough around town to find her house, especially since she has a car and has been driving everywhere. Last I checked, gas fumes do not smell like freesia.

“"I love you," I said in a low, intense voice. "I will always love you, no matter what happens now."” I could harp on the fact that this is not love by any stretch of the imagination, but instead I am going to call your attention to the blatant Day Time TV of that line. Seriously, it reads like a 12 year old wrote it in her Harry/Draco/Snape slash fic.

“"Nothing is going to happen to you, Bella," he said just as fiercely.
"Just follow the plan, okay? Keep Charlie safe for me. He's not going to like me very much after this, and I want to have the chance to apologize later."
"Get inside, Bella. We have to hurry." His voice was urgent.
"One more thing," I whispered passionately. "Don't listen to another word I say tonight!"” More stilted, awkward dialogue. You know, the interesting thing about the fanfic level writing… it could easily be extrapolated that Bella and Edward talk like they’re in a bad romance film and act so melodramatic all the time is because they are consciously or subconsciously overcompensating for the fact that they are not in love. Bella has been established as a deluded nitwit, and Edward is incredibly lacking in self-awareness, but they could have easily fooled themselves into saying everything just the right way and doing everything just the right way, because without the script, they have nothing.

“"I'm going borne,"” Typo, page 185. Should be “home”

For some context, Bella is acting like a sane woman would towards Edward’s attentions – shrieking at him to leave and slamming the door in his face. Charlie is understandably worried. She acts like it’s his fault… and you would think this extremely oddball occurrence would get mentioned again. As far as I can tell from series synopses, the fact that she re-appears several days later in the hospital, with Edward by her side, is never questioned. If my daughter skipped town because some guy had been being a creep to her, then re-appeared beaten half to hell, with Creepazoid next to her telling me she fell and they’re in love again…

“Edward's capable hands pushed mine away and zipped it smoothly.” Because Edward is better than her, you see.

“I could think of only one way to escape, and it involved hurting him so much that I hated myself for even considering it.” Liar. You’ve had nothing but contempt for him since page one, but we’re supposed to forget all of that because she tells us she feels bad.

“"Just let me go, Charlie." I repeated my mother's last words as she'd walked out this same door so many years ago. I said them as angrily as I could manage, and I threw the door open. "It didn't work out, okay? I really, really hate Forks!"” Poor Chuck, loving crazy, emotionally abusive harridans so much.

“"I can drive," I said through the tears pouring down my cheeks.
His long hands unexpectedly gripped my waist, and his foot pushed mine off the gas pedal. He pulled me across his lap, wrenching my hands free of the wheel, and suddenly he was in the driver's seat.” Obviously, his complete lack of respect for her personal autonomy is love of the most elegant kind.

“"But it won't be all right when I'm not with you," I whispered.” Nobody talks like this.

“"Bella, don't you dare waste time worrying about me. Your only concern is keeping yourself safe and — please, please —trying not to be reckless."” But of course, since Bella is a child and incapable of logical thought, she does something reckless, and by reckless, I mean stupid.

“"You can't bring him down. I've never seen anything like him in my three hundred years. He's absolutely lethal. That's why I joined his coven."” Yes, but they could easily thwart him with modern technology, and yet they don’t. Also, I don’t care how lethal he is. One or possibly two vampires against seven. Really.

“"Don't underestimate James. He's got a brilliant mind and unparalleled senses. He's every bit as comfortable in the human world as you seem to be, and he won't come at you head on…” We have seen no evidence of any of that, and having seen the movie, we won’t see any evidence of that. James is less of a threat than Vinnie from Gargoyles, or the first villain of the week from any superhero cartoon. He’s incompetent and yet somehow magical – we are shown vividly that his brilliance relies on his quarry being idiotic, which is why Bella is right up his ally. Yet everyone talks about how smart and tough he is when there is absolutely no reason for any of it.

“Esme was already moving; her hand touched an inconspicuous keypad on the wall, and with a groan, huge metal shutters began sealing up the glass wall.” Why do they have such a thing? I know they’re richer than God, but why the James Bond Panic Room? It makes no sense.

“"Get her upstairs and trade clothes," Edward commanded. She stared back at him with livid disbelief.
"Why should I?" she hissed. "What is she to me? Except a menace — a danger you've chosen to inflict on all of us."” Good point. Why should she put herself in danger? We’re never given an explanation for why Edward’s happiness is more important than Rosalie’s safety, it’s just assumed that that’s the way it should be and Rosalie is just a selfish bint who only thinks of herself. I would risk my life to save my sister-in-law, but I love my brother and I love my sister-in-law. Rosalie and Edward do not like each other, and Rosalie has met Bella a total of twice, and yet is expected to consider her above herself. For what reason?

“"Esme?" he asked calmly.
"Of course," Esme murmured.” And of course, Esme, who has no combat skill whatsoever, is going to put her life on the line to keep Edward’s precious little hamburger safe. I guess because he’s a man, and his sexual pleasure is more important than her life. Also, the fact that he commanded Rosalie and “asked” Esme is again telling. He considers Rosalie beneath him and treats her like a servant or like a complete bitch. Esme gets the fake politeness of a question, even though it’s not really one.

“I nodded, glancing warily at Rosalie. She was glowering at Carlisle with a resentful expression.” So Carlisle also considers Edward’s sexual pleasure more important than the safety of his wife and pseudo-daughter.

“Rosalie stalked out the front door without another glance in my direction, but Esme touched my cheek as she passed.” I’m still seeing Rosalie’s point.

“"May I?" she asked.
"You're the first one to ask permission." I smiled wryly.” Alice would be a much better match for Bella – at least she has some respect for her.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chapter 18: Noses Just Don't Work That Way

“Their walk was catlike, a gait that seemed constantly on the edge of shifting into a crouch.” I know they’re vampires and predators and stuff, but this is kind of silly. These are not the traditional skulky vamps, but the kind that gain preternatural beauty which enables them to draw in their victims. Buffy-vamps don’t skulk, because they don’t need to. They look normal, and then WAGH! You’ve got a vamp chomping on you. It doesn’t make sense to have feral vampires when these vampires have no weaknesses and look fully human (albeit extremely gorgeous ones with odd eyes). I also imagine they do that stupid parakeet head bob that actors do when they’re trying to portray a feral character.

“The clothes were frayed, though, with wear, and they were barefoot.” While I have a dear friend who does hike barefoot, most people do a double take when they see barefoot people tromping through the woods. Again, this makes no sense. They may be the equivalent of vampire hippies, living in the woods as opposed to among the livestock, but still. Getting to eat people has a certain hinging on looking normal, or maybe they just move so fast that people don’t even notice when these things come sneaking up on them. Maybe that’s why no shoes?

“Their sharp eyes carefully took in the more polished, urbane stance of Carlisle” Filthy hippie vamps, meet WASP vamp.

Disregarding the movie, black people continue to not exist in Twilight. Laurent, who was played by Foreman from House, is actually Italian in the book. Well, presumably Italian, as he has olive skin, black hair, and solid muscles. So where’d he get that French accent? Maybe he’s from the south of France? Or an Italian descendant born in Quebec?

“His eyes moved appreciatively over Carlisle's refined appearance.” Ho yay!

For all that this is a potentially life or death situation, this scene is awfully bland. Bella’s just like “Ho-hum, here are some vamps that eat people. They’re a bit creepy I guess. Blah-di-blah-di-blah… Carlisle called me family! OMG!!! Oh wait, now they’re trying to eat me.’ The rest is just a conversation about home life habits of Meyerpires.

“My hair ruffled with the light breeze, Edward stiffened” Immature yes, but *snerk*

“A swift rigidity fell on all of them as James lurched one step forward into a crouch.” Just wanted to point out another terrible sentence.

“We reached the Jeep in an impossibly short time, and Edward barely slowed as he flung me in the backseat.
"Strap her in," he ordered Emmett, who slid in beside me.” This is just… I know he’s supposed to be worried for her safety, and it’s understandable, but he’s treating her like a naughty child. First he just throws her onto his back like a backpack, then throws her into the car, raging the whole time. She didn’t ask to get dragged along to vampire baseball after Alice TOLD them that there were feral filthy hippie vamps in the neighborhood. He deliberately put her in danger, and is now acting like she should be punished for not telling him no.

“"Where are we going?" I asked.
No one answered. No one even looked at me.
"Dammit, Edward! Where are you taking me?"
"We have to get you away from here — far away — now." He didn't look back, his eyes on the road. The speedometer read a hundred and five miles an hour.
"Turn around! You have to take me home!" I shouted. I struggled with the stupid harness, tearing at the straps.
"Emmett," Edward said grimly.
And Emmett secured my hands in his steely grasp.
"No! Edward! No, you can't do this."
"I have to, Bella, now please be quiet."
"I won't! You have to take me back — Charlie will call the FBI! They'll be all over your family —Carlisle and Esme ! They'll have to leave, to hide forever!"” Again with treating Bella like a naughty and particularly stupid child. They’re in the car, why can’t he take two seconds to explain the whys and the wherefores before effectively kidnapping her? We already know that he doesn’t need to see the road to drive, because apparently the road has a conscious thought pattern that can be read, so it would hardly divide his attention. He can communicate telepathically with Alice who could easily explain while he drove, even if she was looking out the windows. Or Emmett could explain, since he doesn’t seem to be doing anything but securing the prisoner. And Bella, now that Meta-Bella has long since died for want of sense, can only think about how this kidnapping will make things hard on Edward’s family, not that her father might have a legitimate reason to be worried.

“Alice spoke for the first time. "Edward, pull over."
He flashed her a hard look, and then sped up.
"Edward, let's just talk this through."
"You don't understand," he roared in frustration. I'd never heard his voice so loud; it was deafening in the confines of the Jeep. The speedometer neared one hundred and fifteen. "He's a tracker, Alice, did you see that? He's a tracker!"” Because women shouldn’t speak when the men are doing manly things. Edward doesn’t seem to realize that it might be bad to be dragging Bella away without even a modicum of explanation. Also, the function of a tracker doesn’t really make much sense. What, they get one sniff of blood and decide that they must have that? I know vampires are supposed to be evil, but this is just stupid. Why would a vampire knowingly track down a human that he knows is in protection of SEVEN other vampires, against a truce that has already been settled? Furthermore, why don’t the Cullens just keep Bella with them? A tracker, okay, so he tracks. What, does he have ridiculously strong super-vamp-powers that would enable him to be a fit opponent for seven old vampires with prodigious strength? I mean, it’s nice to have a bit of plot that isn’t ‘I WUV U SOOOO MUUUCH! O WAIT I KILL UUUU!!!!’, but this plot is nonsensical.

“"There are no options," Edward hissed.
"I'm not leaving Charlie!" I yelled.
He ignored me completely.
"We have to take her back," Emmett finally spoke.
"No." Edward was absolute.
"He's no match for us, Edward. He won't be able to touch her."
"He'll wait."
Emmett smiled. "I can wait, too."
"You didn't see — you don't understand. Once he commits to a hunt, he's unshakable.
We'd have to kill him."
Emmett didn't seem upset by the idea. "That's an option."
"And the female. She's with him. If it turns into a fight, the leader will go with them, too."
"There are enough of us."
"There's another option," Alice said quietly.
Edward turned on her in fury, his voice a blistering snarl. "There — is — no — other- option!"” Again, Edward is a grade A asshole. Yeah, I can see being protective, but this is just psychotic. He’s doing this against her will and leaving her father in danger to satisfy himself. He already hangs out in her room every night, so how long would this tracker have to wait? Obsessed with tracking is more like obsessed with stupid.

“I broke it. "Does anyone want to hear my plan?"
"No," Edward growled. Alice glared at him, finally provoked.
"Listen," I pleaded. "You take me back."
"No," he interrupted.” It’s the respect and compassion that really draws me into this relationship.

“"I demand that you take me home." I tried to sound firm.
Edward pressed his fingers to his temples and squeezed his eyes shut.
"Please," I said in a much smaller voice.” More paternalistic squick.

“"You're leaving tonight, whether the tracker sees or not. You tell Charlie that you can't stand another minute in Forks. Tell him whatever story works. Pack the first things your hands touch, and then get in your truck. I don't care what he says to you. You have fifteen minutes. Do you hear me? Fifteen minutes from the time you cross the doorstep."” Weak woman thing’s plan isn’t good enough until I say it’s good enough!

“He glared at me in the rearview mirror.”Why is he glaring? Is he that mad that she didn’t want her father slaughtered? I mean, disrespecting him constantly is one thing, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want him dead. Although Edward’s orders really don’t make any sense, since James can’t follow Bella’s scent in a truck, presumably. After all, he didn’t catch her scent until she was upwind of him, which makes him a pretty piss-poor tracker. Also, smell doesn’t work the way Edward (or rather, SMeyer) seems to think. The Earth is constantly in flux- the wind is always blowing, bacteria are always reproducing, insects and animals and other humans are constantly crossing the same paths. Unless Bella is Pepe LePew, her scent is not going to be traceable from a truck, because diesel wipes out blood. It’s established that no one smells blood unless they’re close or are blown in the wind (which still doesn’t make sense, because blood is internal. The unique scents of each body have to do with sweat and skin composition, which is why all perfumes smell different on different people. Skin, not blood). Even allowing that vampires can smell blood that is inside a creature, they would not be able to track it unless the person in question was bleeding. There would simply be too much cross-contamination.

“”Bella, please just do this my way, just this once," he said between clenched teeth.” When does she not do anything his way? This is really where Edward just gets strange – he does not realize that he’s controlling, domineering, manipulative, any of it. He probably thinks himself a most reasonable man.

“Emmett looked at me, insultingly surprised again.” So it’s all right that Edward thinks you’re stupid, but not Emmett?

Two improperly italicized ‘gets’ on page 183: “will [i]get[/i] hurt — she'll[i] get[/i] hurt,”

“"Bella." Edward's voice was very soft. Alice and Emmett looked out their windows. "If you let anything happen to yourself— anything at all — I'm holding you personally responsible. Do you understand that?"
"Yes," I gulped.” I sort of understand this, but he’s still making her out to be the bad guy here. There is no trust and no love in this relationship, just mutual sexual obsession. Even the dearest loves could bear to be parted for a week in exchange for one partner’s safety, but not Bedward.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chapter 17: Wherein Being a Vampire Means That You May Ignore Physics

“And then I saw the black car, a weathered Ford, parked in Charlie's driveway — and heard Edward mutter something unintelligible in a low, harsh voice.” Somehow I get the feeling that he was muttering some nasty slur name on Native Americans and the horrified editor took it out. Then again, we have ample evidence that this book never had an editor…

“Edward's low voice was furious. "This is crossing the line."” How dare that nasty old Injun tell Charlie that Bella is going around with an undead sucker of human blood!

“"Let me deal with this," I suggested. Edward's black glare made me anxious.” Anxious that he would do what? For all that she claims to trust Edward implicitly, she sure seems awfully scared of him a lot of the time.

“I bridled a little at the word child. "Jacob is not that much younger than I am," I reminded him.
He looked at me then, his anger abruptly fading. "Oh, I know," he assured me with a grin.” Charming. In case you weren’t quite getting the creepy father-daughter vibe.

“"Soon," I stressed as I opened the door and stepped out into the rain.” This isn’t the behavior of someone in love. This is the behavior of a drug addict. As such, it is not charming and not romantic – it’s deeply disturbing. Maybe I just had my head screwed on more solidly than the average teen, but I never felt so disgustingly desperate with my first love. And he was everything that Edward is not: kind, loving, well-spoken, intelligent, interesting, and respectful.

“"No," I quickly lied, my face going hard.” You have it here, folks. Twilight encourages lying to paraplegics.

“"Charlie won't be back for a long time." My voice was almost rude.” Oh, I’m sure it was very rude. Tchah, what does this old fart know about the relative wisdom of trying to boink the eternally damned?

“"You're right," I agreed. "It is none of your business."” You know, except for that whole devouring the flesh and blood of the living thing.

“"Actually, I did know that," I informed him in a hard voice.” Between her hard voice and her hard face, Bella is a very hard person. Why is it SMeyer only uses a thesaurus when she doesn’t have to?

“He pursed his thick lips as he considered that.” *wince* Guess SMeyer never read Othello… granted, it could just be considered a piece of description, but considering that “thick lips” has been used as an insult for non-whites for over 400 years, it might be considered an eensy bit insensitive.

“"Though it would be my business, again, whether or not I think that it's Charlie's business, right?"” Well, you know, there is the whole parent thing, and it kind of is his business that his daughter is running around with the friendly neighborhood vampire.

“"Yes," he finally surrendered. "I guess that's your business, too."” Unless he drinks Charlie’s blood. Just sayin’.

“Now that I was removed from Jasper's and Edward's influence, I began to make up for not being terrified before.” Wait, what? Terrified of what?

“I gave up quickly on choosing an outfit — throwing on an old flannel shirt and jeans — knowing I would be in my raincoat all night anyway.” What? Is this about the vampire baseball or that she thinks Charlie might toss her out of the house? Also, why are they bringing Bella to play baseball at night? It’s not like she’d be able to see anything.

“Needing no more invitation than that, she launched into a minute-by-minute account of the previous night. I mmm'd and ahh'd at the right places, but it wasn't easy to concentrate.” Bella Swan, best friend ever!

“"So what did you do yesterday?" Jessica challenged, still sounding bothered by my lack of attention.” Well, yeah. That’s kind of to be expected. If your friend tells you that the boy she’s like for ages finally kissed her and you went ‘Uh-huh that’s nice’, she’d have every right to be offended.

And we continue with Small Talk: A Love Story. Blah blah, Charlie thinks Edward is Emmett and that he’s too old, Bella explains who is who, Charlie goes Oh, and the subject is pretty much dropped.

“"Leave the dishes, I can do them tonight. You baby me too much."” It probably has to do with the fact that Bella thinks you’re an overgrown infant, Chuck.

“Edward stood in the halo of the porch light, looking like a male model in an advertisement for raincoats.” … we’re told twice that Edward looks like an advertisement and three times that he looks like a model. Guess that’s why Robert Pattinson is always doing ‘Magnum’ in his Edward makeup.

“Edward sat down fluidly in the only chair, forcing me to sit next to Chief Swan on the sofa.” Seriously, did Charlie beat her with a nickel-sock when she was a child? Why does she hate him so much?

“"She'll be safe with me, I promise, sir."” Except that he’s going to accidentally set a posse of ugly vampires who want to eat her and nearly beat her to death twice on her… but other than that, perfectly safe.

“I stalked out. They both laughed, and Edward followed me.” Haha, silly little emotional women.

“That meant he couldn't see how Edward's hands lingered at my neck, brushed along my collarbones. I gave up trying to help him and focused on not hyperventilating.” Blah blah cocktease blah. More non-porn pornography.

“"You smell so good in the rain," he explained.” Like wet dog. I eat dogs, you know, so it’s making me hungry.

“"It seems I'm going to have to tamper with your memory."
Before I could react, he pulled me from the Jeep and set my feet on the ground. ” If that doesn’t set off some creep alarms…

Oh God. This next page is just stomach turning. Edward is nuzzling her like a dog looking for the meaty chunks in his Kibble and demanding that she get over her puny fears of smashing into a tree and dying or puking all over him. Why doesn’t he just hit her over the head and drag her off by the hair?

“Now let's get out of here before I do something really stupid," he growled.” Why is this a person anyone would ever voluntarily want to be around? He could look like Marlon Brando and he still wouldn’t be worth this.

“"Don't forget to close your eyes," he warned severely.” Again with the paternalism.

“I contented myself with listening to his breath come and go evenly.” Why is he breathing? Also, SMeyer says that vampires can’t get pregnant because their skin can no longer expand. Barring the fact that vampires also wouldn’t be able to get erections if that was the case, it should also be completely impossible for them to breathe.

“He stared at me incredulously, evidently not sure whether he was still too mad to find me funny.” Why is he mad? Also, what kind of a guy would laugh at a girl he has made motion sick falling on her ass?

“I picked myself up, ignoring him as I brushed the mud and bracken off the back of my jacket. That only made him laugh harder.” You have it here, folks. Edward has the worst, nastiest sense of humor ever.

“"That I wasn't mad at you. Can't you see that, Bella?" He was suddenly intense, all trace of teasing gone. "Don't you understand?"” Yeah, don’t you understand that when I yell and scream and sulk and pout and call you names it’s nothing personal?

“"I'm never angry with you — how could I be? Brave, trusting… warm as you are."” And here we get a very delayed description of Bella’s personality… which is totally at odds with everything the book has established. Let’s break it down:

1) Bella does not believe she is in any danger at all from Edward, so her spending time with him is about as brave as me spending time with my declawed cat. She has made it clear that she does not believe Edward is even remotely dangerous, or in those brief glimpses when she realizes he is, she’s so busy trying not to jam both her hands down her pants that she doesn’t care.
2) Bella could be called trusting, I suppose, but blind would be better. She trusts that Edward won’t hurt her, but not because she has put rational thought into it. She trusts him because she has told herself she has no choice.
3) Warm? Is this the Bella who can’t be bothered to listen to anyone, ever, for any reason? She doesn’t even listen to Edward – no matter what he tells her, she just goes ‘You’re wrong because I love you!’. I mean, I guess he’s always wanted unconditional acceptance, but as she believes she doesn’t have a choice in the matter, that’s not warmth or love.

“"Now, please try to behave yourself," he continued, and he bent to softly brush his lips against mine.
I held properly still.” Yes, if you don’t behave yourself Daddy won’t give you a lolly.
“"Bella was being unintentionally funny," Edward explained, quickly settling the score.” She was falling down and getting dirty and acting like she had feelings and stuff. Hilarious.

“"No, I prefer to referee — I like keeping them honest," she explained.” Plus, it would be unseemly for a matron to play ball.

“"No," I murmured, stunned, scrambling to understand what lifetime she was remembering.” I don’t think that would be that hard. She’s dead now, and at one point she wasn’t. That’s when she lost a child.

“”Yes, my first and only baby. He died just a few days after he was born, the poor tiny thing," she sighed. "It broke my heart — that's why I jumped off the cliff, you know," she added matter-of-factly.” This is the worst exposition ever. What kind of person talks like that? I know she’s had a few years to get over her suicide, but seriously, I don’t think SMeyer has ever met a person who has even had suicidal urges, let alone has attempted suicide.

“"That's why I'm so happy that he's found you, dear." The endearment sounded very natural on her lips. "He's been the odd man out for far too long; it’s hurt me to see him alone."” Because obviously Edward being lonely is a much bigger issue than your loss and bleak despair that ended in you taking your own life. I think the reason Rosalie is portrayed as such a bitch is because she’s the only one of the Cullen’s who doesn’t think Edward is more important than she is.

“”You're what he wants.” And Lord knows Edward must have what he wants. He might turn into the Incredible Sulk otherwise. YOU WON’T LIKE ME WHEN I’M POUTY!

“This time the bat somehow made it around in time to smash into the invisible ball. The crack of impact was shattering, thunderous; it echoed off the mountains — I immediately understood the necessity of the thunderstorm.” You know, a lot of study has been done on the physics of baseball. In fact, baseball is used in a lot of introductory physics texts to show how things work. The thing is, baseballs are not sturdy enough to break the sound barrier. They would shatter on impact, as would the bats, because if the force of the bat with the ball is enough to send the ball out with speed exceeding 768 mph, both would just disintegrate. They were never made to withstand that type of pressure… particularly an aluminum bat. Unless it was a specially constructed vampire bat. (I know, and I’m ashamed of myself, but it was begging to be made)

“He sprinted to my side, sparkling with excitement.” Har.

“Alice slapped them dainty high fives.” ???

And the plot will arrive next chapter! Or so we are promised. Only 178 pages in.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Prolofgue and New Chapter 1: Enter the Whinging

“I stared without breathing across the long room” The “without breathing” should be a clause beginning the sentence.
“Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved.” This could be a good lead-in, except it’s only based on her stupidity. She doesn’t die in place of anyone, nor does she even remotely have to. She just kind of randomly decides that she can handle an immortal killing machine and goes skipping tra-la off to meet him, saving no one and accomplishing nothing but putting herself in huge amounts of danger.
“When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.” Which kind of establishes that Bella only defines life by her romantic relationships and is nothing without a man…

The writing is heavy handed, but doesn’t really give an inkling to the true horror that lurks. The problem with it is it attempts to do the epic introduction at the height of action, but kind of fails. We know from reading the book jacket that it’s about a chick who falls in love with a vampire… and we know from the prologue that it isn’t Edward who attempts to kill her, which is what everyone was wondering. The fact that someone else tries to kill the vampire loving girl defeats the tension of the entire premise.

Chapter 1:

“I was wearing my favorite shirt — sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka.” This just doesn’t flow very well.

“It rains on this inconsequential town more than any other place in the United States of America.” No, it doesn’t, and also, first establishing that Bella is a stuck-up little snob. Phoenix = good, Forks = bad.

“It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old.” Escaped? Seriously, she makes it sound like Forks is the Warsaw Ghetto.

“It was in this town that I'd been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed with me in California for two weeks instead.” I think this is supposed to make us sympathize with and like Bella. Instead it makes me want to smack a bitch. She only sees her father two weeks a year, and she has the gall to insist that they can’t see each other in his home town?

“It was to Forks that I now exiled myself— an action that I took with great horror.” And here it is established that Bella is a verbose little nit whose every minor emotion is a cataclysm. But this is still supposed to be making her likable.
“"Bella," my mom said to me — the last of a thousand times — before I got on the plane. "You don't have to do this."” Stephenie Meyer should be fined for over and improperly using dashes. And no, she really doesn’t have to do this, but how could she play the martyr if she didn’t? I also love how all this nastiness about the town correlates to nastiness about Bella’s father.

“My mom looks like me, except with short hair and laugh lines.” And what do you look like? Explain, book, EXPLAIN!

“I felt a spasm of panic as I stared at her wide, childlike eyes.” And sexism rears its ugly head on page 4. Renee wouldn’t be a sexist caricature if she was the only female to be childish and silly, but she’s not. Edward always treats Bella like a child, Alice is described in terms of dancing and chirping and playing, while the men get more dignified movements.

“How could I leave my loving, erratic, harebrained mother to fend for herself ?” How did she manage before you were born? How did she not accidentally bake you into a pie when you were a toddler?

“Of course she had Phil now, so the bills would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost, but still…” First instance of a man being the wise, load-bearing one, while the woman is flighty and silly.

“But I could see the sacrifice in her eyes behind the promise.” What sacrifice? From the terms you’ve described her in, I could imagine your mother forgetting you exist the moment you’re out of her sight.

“Flying doesn't bother me; the hour in the car with Charlie, though, I was a little worried about.” Well, we know nothing about her father, except she apparently hates him for his choice of living location. Maybe he’s a really nasty person who yells a lot, or something else horrible… except that we find out pretty quick that he’s a really decent kind of guy who’s stuck with a doltish daughter.

“Charlie had really been fairly nice about the whole thing.” She now goes on to describe him being extremely nice, but it’s still not good enough for Princess here.

“He seemed genuinely pleased that I was coming to live with him for the first time with any degree of permanence.” Bad phrasing there. Just wanted to point it out.

“Neither of us was what anyone would call verbose” Oh, Bella, you lying bitch. If the only thing I said all day was ‘The rancorous breath of Boreas is markedly gelid this forenoon’, I would not be talkative, but I would be verbose. Talkative and verbose do not mean the same thing.

“and I didn't know what there was to say regardless.” Maybe you could try showing some interest and trying to have a conversation?

“I knew he was more than a little confused by my decision — like my mother before me, I hadn't made a secret of my distaste for Forks.” Considering that you threw a tantrum at age 14 and refused to ever set foot in the city again, I think ‘distaste’ is a rather mild word.

“I'd already said my goodbyes to the sun.” Oh, woe. Overdramatizing brat.

“This I was expecting, too.” ?

“My primary motivation behind buying a car, despite the scarcity of my funds, was that I refused to be driven around town in a car with red and blue lights on top.” Bella refuses to do a lot of things…

“I wasn't allowed to call him Charlie to his face.” And here begins the cycle of her treating Charlie like dirt for no apparent reason. He’s shown as nothing but a kind, considerate, and loving father, and she acts like he keeps her chained up in the basement.

“Most of my Arizona clothes were too permeable for Washington.” I wonder if she’s referring to her Hazmat suit or her deep-sea diving equipment. I think the word she’s going for is ‘light’ or ‘thin’.

“"What kind of car?" I was suspicious of the way he said "good car for you" as opposed to just "good car."” And here she is being an ungrateful little bitch for the first time!

“"Do you remember Billy Black down at La Push?" La Push is the tiny Indian reservation on the coast.” Terrible authorial intrusion there. If someone cared, they could look it up, or they could wait for it to be explained later.

“That would explain why I didn't remember him. I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory.” Because hanging out with Indians is so icky. Almost like getting raped or being stuck in a trench being mortared. How can people not want to smack some manners into Bella?

“"He's in a wheelchair now," Charlie continued when I didn't respond, "so he can't drive anymore, and he offered to sell me his truck cheap."
"What year is it?" I could see from his change of expression that this was the question
he was hoping I wouldn't ask.” Actually, if it were me, I’d be stunned that my own flesh and blood, upon being told that an old family friend was in a wheelchair, only cared about the car. Bella completely lacks even a semblance of human compassion – even if I didn’t know the family friend well or even if I didn’t particularly like them, someone being confined to a wheelchair is a sad thing that deserves at least a question.

“"Well, Billy's done a lot of work on the engine — it's only a few years old, really."
I hoped he didn't think so little of me as to believe I would give up that easily. "When did he buy it?"
"He bought it in 1984, I think."
"Did he buy it new?"” She’s just been told that an old family friend will never walk again and that she’s gotten a free car. And all she can harp on is how old the car is. Seriously, we’re supposed to like her and identify with her?

“"Ch — Dad, I don't really know anything about cars. I wouldn't be able to fix it if anything went wrong, and I couldn't afford a mechanic…"” It’s true she doesn’t know anything about cars, or she would know that a late 50’s – early 60’s pickup truck is way easier to repair than just about anything made since.

“The thing, I thought to myself… it had possibilities — as a nickname, at the very least.” Bella has done nothing but complain from page 2 onward. Since the prologue is supposed to establish her as self-sacrificing and noble, how are we supposed to trust anything the book tells us?

“"Well, honey, I kind of already bought it for you. As a homecoming gift." Charlie peeked sideways at me with a hopeful expression.
Wow. Free.” I can hear your enthusiasm, you ungrateful snot-nosed punk.

“No need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility.” And random switch in tenses!

“He didn't need to suffer along with me.” Maybe, just as a suggestion, you could try not to be so down on everything. Seriously, I get pessimism, but Bella isn’t a “glass half-empty” gal. She’s a “the glass is half-empty with toxic waste that is rapidly draining into the abyss of the 9th circle of hell” gal.

Page 6: Conversation is capitalized randomly. Also, why has she still not asked about the poor guy in the wheelchair?

“Even the air filtered down greenly through the leaves.” I think you mean the sun. Air is only visible in certain large cities.

“It was too green — an alien planet.” No comment, just more complaining.

“To my intense surprise, I loved it.” First thing you haven’t complained about in this book.

“Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful.” …. BAWW SOME MORE!

“I wouldn't be faced with the choice of either walking two miles in the rain to school or accepting a ride in the Chief's cruiser.” Because, gah, can’t let people know who my father is! Ew!

“There was only one small bathroom at the top of the stairs, which I would have to share with Charlie. I was trying not to dwell too much on that fact.” Jesus Christ, could you cool it with the Charlie being a freaky child abuser!

“not to have to smile and look pleased; a relief to stare dejectedly out the window at the sheeting rain and let just a few tears escape.” So you can see how Bella easily won the title of Forks High School Miss Congeniality.

“I would save that for bedtime, when I would have to think about the coming morning.” Not because she thinks the other kids are going to be mean to her, but because there aren’t enough other kids. Wow.

“I would be the new girl from the big city, a curiosity, a freak.” I could understand worrying about that, but when the old kids practically throw a parade in her honor, all she can do is whine about that.

“But physically, I'd never fit in anywhere.” You’d fit in just fine at any Hot Topic in the world.

“Instead, I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow,” This is supposed to establish that she feels awkward and ugly, but why then does she use terms of glowing beauty? Someone who thought their white skin was ugly would call it ‘fish belly white’, ‘dead white’, or ‘pasty’. If she thought she was too thin, she’d say ‘stick-like’ or ‘scrawny’. Instead of soft, she’d say ‘flabby’ or ‘weak’. No one who thinks they’re ugly describes themselves like this.

“Maybe it was the light, but already I looked sallower, unhealthy.” Maybe it comes from being such a sad sack.

“And if I couldn't find a niche in a school with three thousand people, what were my chances here?” Except she’s lying, because when everyone tries to be friendly, she immediately shuts them down, or just thinks nasty thoughts about them.

“Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony with me, never on exactly the same page.” Okay, that would be good telling in a more self-aware book. Bella is the center of the universe: she is a grade A speshul snowflake, and she thinks everyone needs to conform to her.
“You could never see the sky here; it was like a cage.” Bella has the worst case of SAD ever recorded.

“I thanked him, knowing his hope was wasted.” Except it isn’t, but you still pretend it is.

“then one of the three of us in the hospital after I was born, taken by a helpful nurse, followed by the procession of my school pictures up to last year's. Those were embarrassing to look at — I would have to see what I could do to get Charlie to put them somewhere else, at least while I was living here.” HOW CAN MY OWN FATHER DISPLAY PICTURES OF ME!? Oh the humanity!

“It was impossible, being in this house, not to realize that Charlie had never gotten over my mom.” Well, maybe you should try talking to him about it. Except you don’t, and he’s stuck loving the two most inconsiderate women on the planet.

“I donned my jacket — which had the feel of a biohazard suit — and headed out into the rain.” Blah-de-blah, Bella is a brat. Lather, rinse, repeat.

“The engine started quickly, to my relief, but loudly, roaring to life and then idling at top volume.” Quick question. If Bella isn’t coordinated enough to walk down a hallway, how is she coordinated enough to drive stick?

“Inside, it was brightly lit, and warmer than I'd hoped.” Yes, because it’s cold and rainy outside in Forks, the people keep the inside lights dim and the A/C on all year.

“Plants grew everywhere in large plastic pots, as if there wasn't enough greenery outside.” Maybe these people have learned to live in harmony with nature, rather than hating it for existing.

“"I'm Isabella Swan," I informed her, and saw the immediate awareness light her eyes.” Someone was using a thesaurus without bothering to use a dictionary.

“I was expected, a topic of gossip no doubt.” Or it could be because your father registered you at school already. Just a wild guess.

Typo, page 8: “She brought several sheets to the counter to show [b]roe[/b].”

“No one was going to bite me.” Har.

“My plain black jacket didn't stand out, I noticed with relief.” Why would it? Were you expecting the other kids to show up in neon?

“At least my skin wouldn't be a standout here.” Since you’ve been complaining since page one that the sun never shines in Forks, were you really expecting this to be a problem?

“He gawked at me when he saw my name” Meyer’s opinion of small town people is showing.

“It was fairly basic: Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner. I'd already read everything.” Except this is never really mentioned again. She never thinks about anything she’s ever read, unless she can twist it to be about Edward. This also shows that SMeyer thinks already having done the work makes a person seem smarter. Hint: it doesn’t.

“He looked like the overly helpful, chess club type.” Ew! How dare he be nice to me! He’s all ugly and stuff!

“"I'm headed toward building four, I could show you the way…"Definitely over-helpful.” Wait, a page ago you were worried about having to wander around with your nose stuck in the map. So someone being nice is automatically a burden.

“"You don't look very tan."
"My mother is part albino."” This is supposed to be her making a joke, but instead it comes off as rude and snippy for no reason.

“He studied my face apprehensively, and I sighed. It looked like clouds and a sense of
humor didn't mix.” Maybe because that wasn’t funny.

“My Trigonometry teacher, Mr. Varner, who I would have hated anyway just because of the subject he taught, was the only one who made me stand in front of the class and introduce myself. I stammered, blushed, and tripped over my own boots on the way to my seat.” Because girls don’t like math!

“I tried to be diplomatic, but mostly I just lied a lot.” And she was so worried that she would have no friends. All day people try to make friends with her, but she just dismisses them.

“I couldn't remember her name, so I smiled and nodded as she prattled about teachers and classes.” And here’s Jessica of the Big Hair, trying to be nice, while Bella completely ignores her. Why can’t she tell that Bella is just better than she is?

“I forgot all their names as soon as she spoke them.” But she doesn’t care enough to try to remember them. Why would she? After all, she was lying through her teeth when she said she wanted friends and acceptance.

“The boy from English, Eric, waved at me from across the room.” Is anyone else bothered that only the boy gets a name?

“They weren't talking, and they weren't eating, though they each had a tray of untouched food in front of them.” Why do they bother buying and wasting food? It’s not a very good façade, that every day they buy lunch and then don’t touch it. It would actually make them stand out less if they just didn’t buy any food. Let everyone assume this rich snobs thought they were too good for pleb fare. Also, they just look even more suspicious by sitting around looking as sullen and rebellious and James Dean-like as possible.

“Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me, the albino. They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes — purplish, bruiselike shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night, or almost done recovering from a broken nose.” Now that’s attractive. They might as well be wearing signs that proclaim ‘Hi, we’re vampires!’

“They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel.” Because the two look so similar. Also, good establishing that Bella cares nothing about friendliness, conversation, camaraderie, or kindness. She cares about beauty.

“she dumped her tray” WHY!? Why, with people starving all over the world, do the Cullens waste food?

“My eyes darted back to the others, who sat unchanging.” Is this supposed to make them look normal and not suspicious? They’re glaring in every direction, not moving and not communicating, then one dances away, and they all continue glaring in random directions, not moving.
“In that brief flash of a glance, his face held nothing of interest — it was as if she had called his name, and he'd looked up in involuntary response, already having decided not to answer.” Meet Edward: snobby douchebag.

“Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically. But, if I was being honest, I had to admit that even in Phoenix, it would cause gossip.” Finally, she admits that this is something that’s a bit weird, not just that Forks does everything wrong.

“With the glances she was throwing at their adopted children, I would presume the reason was jealousy.” Or maybe it’s because they’re a bunch of creepy snobs.

“"I think that Mrs. Cullen can't have any kids, though," she added, as if that lessened their kindness.” Or maybe she’s explaining why there are five adopted teenagers.

“Pity because, as beautiful as they were, they were outsiders, clearly not accepted.” Maybe because they’re jerks.

“he was still staring at me, but not gawking like the other students had today” It’s okay for him to stare, because he’s gorgeous, and no one else is.

“"That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date.
Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." She sniffed, a clear case of sour grapes. I wondered when he'd turned her down.” Obviously nothing to do with them being rude snobs.

“She was shy, too.” Except Bella is not shy. She’s whiny, self-aggrandizing, and has a martyr complex, but she’s never shy.

“Was this his normal behavior? I questioned my judgment on Jessica's bitterness at lunch today. Maybe she was not as resentful as I'd thought.” Finally, a rational reaction not based off of stereotypes and snark.

Typo page 13: “He was glaring down at me again, his black eyes full of revulsion. As I flinched away from him, shrinking against my chair, the phra[b] seif [/b]looks could kill suddenly ran through my mind.” Except she inexplicably finds this a turn on. He terrifies her at their first meeting, and that makes her fall head over heels in love with him Healthy!

“"That's my next class, too." He seemed thrilled, though it wasn't that big of a coincidence in a school this small.” But instead of talking with the nice boy, she instead thinks of him dismissively and fixates on why didn’t Edward like her? She told us that at her old school, nobody liked her, so why does she find it so weird that Edward doesn’t?

“Forks was literally my personal hell on Earth.” http://www.xkcd.com/725/

“He was arguing with her in a low, attractive voice.” -_-

“his face was absurdly handsome” You’ve just found out that he’s a nasty jerk who hates you for no reason. Why are you still focusing on how good he looks!?