Friday, January 30, 2009

Chapter 3: Meta-Bella Attempts a Daring Escape!

“But that wasn't the worst part. All the rain from yesterday had frozen solid — coating the needles on the trees in fantastic, gorgeous patterns” Not very consistent, are you? It’s horrible and gorgeous. Maybe that’s a bit of clever foreshadowing on SMeyer’s part, but I kind of doubt it.

Adoraklutz, page 27. Isn’t it so relatable that she’s the clumsiest creature on God’s green earth? It makes her just like me, the awkward teenage reader!

“I threw down a quick bowl of cereal and some orange juice from the carton.” That’s a bad sentence. Bad, bad, bad sentence. Tell me that doesn’t conjure the image of Adoraklutz dropping a full bowl of cereal on the floor- a bowl of cereal with orange juice. Orange juice FROM THE CARTON!

“I knew it wasn't the stimulating learning environment I was anticipating, or seeing my new set of friends.” Because people in small towns are dumb. Also, what friends? Are you counting the people you barely tolerate who sit next to you at lunch, while you make googily eyes at the Cullens? And how is it a new set if you’ve never had friends before?

“If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.” Yes, Meta-Bella! Yes, you realize how dumb it is to want to see a guy who goes between rude and controlling, who laughs at you, and who throws off ‘I’m a bad dude’ signs like fireworks! You know his only attraction is how hot he is, and you’re aware it’s sick that your masturbation fodder is the only reason you want to go to school!

“I should be avoiding him entirely after my brainless and embarrassing babbling yesterday.” -_- And there goes that happy thought.

“I was well aware that my league and his league were spheres that did not touch.” His league? Good-looking douchebags? You start worrying about how hostile he is, and then melt at his pretty face and decide he’ll never speak to you because you’re such a beast. Healthy!

“Clearly, today was going to be nightmarish.” Well, according to you, what day hasn’t been? Every day gets a descriptor like ‘dreadful’, ‘horrible’, ‘disappointing’… it’s not working anymore. I don’t believe you. Every day can’t be as terrible as you describe, unless you just enjoy wallowing in misery.

“Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress.” Meta-Bella again! I kind of like her- she realizes that she’s not in good situations. Of course, SMeyer can’t have that, so immediately Bella goes back to thinking about boys. Mike is all *ew* nice and stuff, and Eric is all *ew* geeky and stuff. So obviously, no one will do but Edward.

“My truck seemed to have no problem with the black ice that covered the roads.” You can’t see or drive on black ice -_- Research won’t kill you, Stephers.

“Something silver caught my eye” Alert is Bella’s middle name!

“I wasn't used to being taken care of, and Charlie's unspoken concern caught me by surprise.” He’s a wonderful guy and an ideal father. Why can’t you ever call him ‘Dad’?

“"That's what I thought." His voice, amazingly, sounded like he was suppressing laughter.” It’s so funny you almost died! I wish I could hit you on the head again, you little scamp!

“There was a flurry of activity around us. I tried to get up, but Edward's cold hand pushed my shoulder down.” Keep lying on the ice until I give you leave to stand up, woman!

“"But it's cold," I complained. It surprised me when he chuckled under his breath. There was an edge to the sound.” Your discomfort amuses Edward. He hasn’t given you permission to stand up, weak woman thing, so don’t.

“He unleashed the full, devastating power of his eyes on me, as if trying to communicate something crucial.” God, who cares that he’s being patronizing and obviously lying to me? He’s sooo hot!

Typo, page 29: “hepleaded”

“"Will you promise to explain everything to me later?"
"Fine," he snapped, abruptly exasperated.” For heaven’s sake, all I did was demand your trust when I haven’t given you even the slightest reason to trust me. How dare you question me?

“To make matters worse, Chief Swan arrived before they could get me safely away.” Why does she treat her father so dismissively? Her attraction to controlling men suggests an Electra complex, but her relationship with her father is characterized by love and attempts at understanding on Charlie’s side, and none on hers.

“Since no one bothered pulling the curtain around to give me some privacy, I decided I wasn't obligated to wear the stupid-looking neck brace anymore.” Who cares about safety? I WANNA LOOK PRETTY!!!

“harassed by Tyler 's constant apologies and promises to make it up to me.” What’s with people in this town and them being nice to me? Can’t they see that I’m better than them?

“I glared at him. It wasn't easy — it would have been more natural to ogle.” I’m so mad that all I can do is masturbate furiously.

“I heard a chuckle, and looked over to see Edward's patronizing smile.” Edward, you’re a douchebag.

“"Someone has to spread the good news that we survived," Edward said smugly.” More douchebaggery. He’s probably also five popped collars cool.
“"Actually," Dr. Cullen corrected, "most of the school seems to be in the waiting room."” Because Bella is such a SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE that a school holiday was declared when she was injured.

“"Take some Tylenol for the pain," he suggested as he steadied me.” Product placement!

“I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.” …. Yes, you totally love him for his personality.

Conversation 2, page 32.

“"There's nothing wrong with me," I assured him sullenly. I was still aggravated, not in the mood for chitchat.
"What did the doctor say?"
"Dr. Cullen saw me, and he said I was fine and I could go home." I sighed. Mike and Jessica and Eric were all there, beginning to converge on us. "Let's go," I urged.” How dare all these people be concerned about me? All I want to do is think about how hot Edward is!

“"Um… you'll need to call RenĂ©e." He hung his head, guilty.
I was appalled. "You told Mom!"
I slammed the cruiser's door a little harder than necessary on my way out.” She only BORE me! How could you tell her that I was in an accident that necessitated a hospital trip and X-rays? You inconsiderate prick, it’s no wonder I hate you so much!

“but her pleas were easier to resist than I would have thought. I was consumed by the mystery Edward presented.” Being obsessed with a guy is a perfect reason to stay in a town.

“And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid.” Come on, Meta-Bella. Escape! Do the right thing, and confront your idiocy!

“I wasn't as eager to escape Forks as I should be, as any normal, sane person would be.” Very good showing- Bella thinks her opinions are the only sane ones. She is the center of the universe, and everyone should always think exactly like she does.

Chapter 2: A Stupidly Long Breakdown for a Stupidly Long Chapter

“that was nattering” That word… it doesn’t mean what you think it means. And God, Bella, can you be any more of a bitch about “ugly” people? What’s wrong with Eric, besides the fact that he looks like he plays chess? She’s awfully anti-intellectual for someone so “smart”

“It was worse because Edward wasn’t in school”. You shallow, superficial little girl. Why do you want him around? He’s proven himself to be a total dickweed. He’s the OMG HAWTEST GUY IN SKOOL!!!11, but he’s mean. He’s a snob and a jerk, and acts like you’re covered in garbage. So why are you mooning about him? Did you read the book jacket first and realize that you’re supposed to fall in love with him?

Typo- page 16. The terminator isn’t capitalized
Typo- page 16 Golden Retriever is a proper name

So, you don’t want attention, but you do want people to fawn over you? You look down on Mike for being a nice guy and showing you around, while wondering where the guy who was mean to you could possibly be. There’s an empowering message for young girls- ignore the nice guy, the jerk’s better!

“Overly friendly”? She’s already making plans on how to blow off the person trying the hardest to make friends with her. This after complaining that no one was going to like her- she was going to have no friends, she never fit in anywhere, she was in for a lonely time. I can see why she didn’t have any friends in her old school: Bella is self-centered and self-absorbed, besides being rude. She doesn’t want anyone to be friendly and she certainly makes no effort to be friendly, so how exactly was she expecting to make friends?

So far I know how ugly everyone besides Edward is, and how Mike isn’t too ugly, but she still doesn’t want to be around him, but he’s too good-looking for all the other ugly people in this town. She goes on and on about how ugly people are- proving herself to be the ugliest one of all. It’s the Holden Caulfield of shallow teenage girls.

“pleased to find that I had successfully evaded my retriever friend for the moment.” And she says she wants to have friends? Really, this just reinforces what I was saying before: Bella does not want friends.

“So I requested that I be assigned kitchen detail for the duration of my stay. He was willing enough to hand over the keys to the banquet hall.” More unreliable narrator. She’s told us she isn’t “verbose”.

“I gunned my deafening engine to life” She’s going to kill that engine doing that

“It didn’t look as if it had bought them any acceptance here” MAYBE BECAUSE THEY’RE CLIQUISH SNOBS!?!

“I couldn’t imagine any door that wouldn’t be opened by that degree of beauty” and then slammed shut when people realize that the Cullen kids are snobby and mean

“I unloaded all the groceries, stuffing them in wherever I could find an open space.” She said earlier that there was no food in the kitchen. Minor, but consistency, please?

Further establishing her mother as a nitwit- she can’t imagine that her daughter wouldn’t immediately check her e-mail (though it was rather inconsiderate of Bella not to call when she landed safely) and then she can’t remember where her own shirt is. I suppose this is supposed to establish Bella as “mature” and “level-headed”, but it doesn’t make her look more competent when she’s being contrasted with a bubble-brained moron.

Page 18, first mention of Bella actually reading a book. She’s told us she has, but she has yet to show anything that would suggest she has. Then again, she’s hardly spoken to anyone, near as I can figure, which makes me wonder why everyone is still so desperate to be friends.

“Who else, I thought to myself” Why does she act like her father’s an idiot? Can’t this girl have been given one iota of respect for either of her parents?

Her mother being an imaginative cook- "I was surprised, and sad, that he could remember that far back". Not all of us have the attention spans of goldfish, Princess

Minor inconsistency: on page 17 she said she was marinating “a steak”. On page 18, she’s cooking “steaks”. Yeah, it’s nitpicking, but it just seems lazy that no one noticed that.

“A lot of the nurses at the hospital have a hard time concentrating on their work with him around." Um… aren’t there any female doctors? How about male nurses?

“Edward Cullen didn't come back to school.” How does he manage not to get in trouble for truancy? Hell, I got in trouble for truancy after officially transferring to homeschool, so how does he get off just leaving school for weeks at a time? Is it because he’s so goddamned sexy that every woman in the school just winks at his absences? Actually… I don’t think a woman has been mentioned in school, aside from the secretary. There are no female teachers.

“I was invited, and I had agreed to go, more out of politeness than desire” Bella doesn’t want friends: she lied to us right off.

“I did drive to the library Saturday, but it was so poorly stocked that I didn't bother to get a card; I would have to make a date to visit Olympia or Seattle soon and find a good bookstore.” Unless that library had no books at all, then there’s really no excuse not to get a card. In a more self-aware book, this would be good showing. It’s showing us that Bella is pessimistic, unwilling to make an effort, and unwilling to try new things. It shows she is disdainful of “small town hicks” who would be satisfied with a small library, and her longing to go to a big town.

"Ew." Snow. There went my good day.” Bella is awfully closed to new experiences. Maybe that’s why she wants to glue herself as an unchanging corpse to Edward Cullen’s side for eternity- then she would never have to face any sort of change.

"Besides, I thought it was supposed to come down in flakes — you know, each one unique and all that. These just look like the ends of Q-tips." BUT NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE LIKE YOU, BELLA!!!

Typo, page 20: “appatently”
Second typo, page 20: “I waited for them to get their food”. Why is get italicized? Are they supposed to be understanding their food through meaningful conversation?

“Twice Mike asked, with unnecessary concern, how I was feeling.” Yeah, how dare he assume that my sudden change in mood and my announcement that I felt sick means I feel sick? Who does he think he is, my friend or something?

“only they looked more like a scene from a movie than the rest of us.” Get it? Because everyone else is ugly and they're really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

“I raised my head enough to make sure that she did, contemplating violence if she resisted.” Resisted? Who the hell do you think you are, giving orders like that? You aren’t the goddamn Batman, Sweet Cheeks.

“pulled my hood up, secretly pleased.” This is more dopey than anything. If it’s cold enough to snow and that snow to pile up fast enough in one morning to have snowball fights all day, that’s not rain. That’s sleet, and driving is going to be hellish.

“even so, he looked like he'd just finished shooting a commercial for hair gel. His dazzling face was friendly, open, a slight smile on his flawless lips.” Again with the description of how insanely beautiful she is. She was scared to death of him 10 minutes ago because he was so mean to her. She was considering skipping class to not have to sit next to this jerk. And here she is describing his beauty. Not shallow at all.

"Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town's been waiting for you to arrive." Say what, now? Even in small towns, that doesn’t happen. I’m surprised SMeyer didn’t say that the town held a parade in her honor.

"But I think Charlie — I mean my dad — must call me Isabella behind my back” Well, not like you have a right to complain about the behind-the-back-name-calling. Also, did she not clarify during her first roll that she prefers ‘Bella’?

“I looked up to see him smiling a crooked smile so beautiful that I could only stare at him like an idiot.” *sigh* So completely based on his wonderful personality!

"Do you mind if I look?" he asked as I began to remove the slide. His hand caught mine, to stop me, as he asked” I see that as being kind of sexist on his part. He’s assuming that she has no idea what she’s looking at- if he thought she was right, he’d just ask if he could look too, not grab at her.

“His fingers were ice-cold, like he'd been holding them in a snowdrift before class” He’s a corpse. He should be room temperature.

“glanced at it cursorily” That last word… couldn’t she have found a better one? Why not say ‘briefly’?

“I would have written it while he looked, but his clear, elegant script intimidated me. I didn't want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl.” Early establishment- EDWARD IS BETTER THAN ME!!!
Also, this scene where they finish labeling slides really fast does not show that Bella is good in school or smart. She’s already studied this material. So has Edward. It shows that they don’t have lousy memories, but it doesn’t show that they’re smart.

“a strange ocher, darker than butterscotch, but with the same golden tone.” Those are all different colors. Pick one.

“Or maybe Forks was making me crazy in the literal sense of the word” What have you had to complain about? Everyone in school adores you!

“Mr. Banner looked at me now; his expression was skeptical.” Because girls aren’t good at science. According to SMeyer, this guy wants to jump Bella too.

"Well," he said after a moment, "I guess it's good you two are lab partners." Don’t most teachers like pairing up a weaker student with a stronger one, so they can both learn something?

“"Why did you come here, then?"
No one had asked me that — not straight out like he did, demanding.” Establishing dominance early in the relationship.

"And you don't like him," Edward surmised, his tone still kind.
"And your mother sent you here so that she could travel with him." He said it as an assumption again, not a question.” Edward likes telling, not talking. It’s clear he’s being thrown off by getting even a detail wrong.

"You put on a good show," he said slowly. "But I'd be willing to bet that you're suffering more than you let anyone see.” Suffering? What does this coddled brat know about suffering?

"I didn't think so," he murmured smugly.” I’m in charge here, after all.

"Am I annoying you?" he asked. He sounded amused.” Yeah, it’s funny to make all kinds of assumptions about a girl you’ve never spoken to and annoy her.

“But my thoughts were unmanageable.” What?

“Mike skipped quickly to my side and picked up my books for me. I imagined him with a wagging tail.” How dare he be nice? He’s not GORGEOUS!

“stung by his assumption.” So, it’s okay for Edward to think that you can’t do the work, but not for Mike?

“I stared straight ahead as I passed the Volvo, but from a peripheral peek, I would swear I saw him laughing.” Watching you nearly kill other students with your clumsiness is funny!

In chapter 2, Edward and Bella have one conversation. I'm keeping a tally.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

For my first trick: Chapter 1: Enter the Whinging

Chapter 1: Enter the Whining
Preface: Juvenile, heavy-handed. Immature writing, telling, not showing. “I stared without breathing across the long room” 0-0

Chapter 1:
Bella: is a spoiled, whining bitch. Seriously. Escaped? Oh, woe. It’s cloudy up there.

Erratic, harebrained mother? Wide childlike eyes? How did this ditz get custody if her witless, clumsy beyond reason teenage daughter takes care of her?

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

“Charlie, to his face”- disrespectful little punk. What's Charlie ever done to her, beyond living in a small town? Oh, right, that's a sin, because Bella needs to be a princess in a sunny castle.

“My clothes were too permeable”- Unless she's talking about her Hazmat suit or her deep sea diving equipment, how about “My clothes were too light”? How’s that for not being verbose?

“Blocking painful, unnecessary things”- because hanging out with Indians is soooo icky. Almost like getting raped.

“Wow. Free.”- I can hear your enthusiasm, you little snot. Your father is bending over backwards for you, and all you can do is complain that there's too much greenery about.

Typo page 6- Conversation capitalized incorrectly

“Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful”- Drama queen. I was a pessimist at 16 too, but honestly? She’s laying it on way too thick.

“I tried not to dwell too much on that fact”- because sharing a bathroom is much like being sent to work in the salt mines.

“Ivory-skinned, slender, but soft”- yeah, right, you’re an ugly hag. A girl who really thought she was ugly would have said ‘fish-belly white’, 'scrawny', or ‘flabby’

“Never in harmony with me”- 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.

How dare my own father display pictures of me! A whole mantel full of pictures of his only child, like he was *EW!* related to me or something!

“Jacket, biohazard suit” *eyeroll*

Grammar mistakes on describing the school

Yes, Bella, everyone in town is talking about you, because you’re so speshul

“She brought several sheets to the counter to show roe” ???

“No one was going to bite me” I see what you did thar

Ugh, how dare this boy be friendly!? He’s all ugly and stuff. There's actually a bit of good description of him physically- "hair like an oil slick". That's good- you can see that it's black and get the feeling that it's also greasy. But good God, does she have to judge him on what he looks like the second she meets him? SMeyer keeps telling us that Bella's so mature, but then contradicts herself constantly.

What sense of humor? That wasn’t being sarcastic, that was being bitchy (She makes a crack about being half albino, because she's so unnaturally pale)

And Adoraklutz strikes! On page 10, where she shows herself to be a close-minded bitch again. Yawn, English is boring. Man, I hate math and anyone who teaches it.

God, how come these people are so pushy? They keep trying to talk to me! And ew, they’re all ugly. I mean, this girl has BIG HAIR!

And the Cullens sit there, totally ignoring everything, looking as sullen and rebellious and James-Dean-like as possible

“Unpopular names”? Seriously?

“Jealousy” because everyone is jealous and spiteful towards pretty people. It has nothing to do with them being mean and snobbish. You totally understand that, because you're totally the hot shit in this school, despite being so ugly and woefully misunderstood.

“A clear case of sour grapes” Yeah, nothing to do with them being snobs

Adoraklutz, page 12

Typo page 13 “The phra seif”

Oh, he’s thrilled, anyone would be to walk next to YOU!

“Forks was literally my personal hell on Earth”

“He didn’t appear to notice the sound of my entrance”. How about "He didn't seem to hear me come in". Man, Bella, you take verbose to new levels.

“He argued in a low, attractive voice” -_-

Random insert on how crazy handsome he is and how is voice is like velvet. His personality has already made him ugly

Current counter: Three mentions of how hot Edward is, average 1 typo per five pages. Zero conversations.

Introduction to What Went Wrong

As many of you know, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer has surpassed 'craze' levels. It seems every female between the ages of 9 and 45 is reading with fanatical devotion. Fansites praising Edward Cullen's beauty and his and Bella's "everlasting true love" have sprung up like mushrooms in the much touted rainy forest of Forks, Washington.

But what is in these books? Harmless fluff? Deep romance? I'd say there's something much more sinister. Bella is shallow, self-obsessed, and so scared of change that her only ambition is to become an unchanging corpse and glue herself to another unchanging corpse for eternity. Edward is controlling, rude, and obsessed with Bella for no reason other than that he can't casually pry into her thoughts like her does with everyone else. Bella loves his beauty, he loves how delicious her blood smells.

Sadly, the series has potential, where a drug-like lust messes with the heads of two deeply flawed individuals. Instead, we are given 2000 pages of purple descriptions of Edward's beauty. The format this blog will take is as follows: my notes from each individual chapter, until the entire book is noted. What will follow will be a true scholarly analysis. My notes are rather snarky, and some strong language will be used. I'm posting them mainly for a laugh.

If you think Twilight is the best thing ever, feel free to flame me. Be warned, I shall be laughing.