Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chapter 5: Unpredictable and Violent Means Sexy

“"Thank you for joining us, Miss Swan," Mr. Mason said in a disparaging tone.” Disparaging just sounds really odd there. It’s like she used the thesaurus on ‘sarcastic’, and just went with the biggest word that came up. Then again, ‘disparaging’ and ‘sarcastic’ don’t really mean the same thing- that’s a sarcastic statement, not a disparaging one.

“But he and Eric both met me at the door as usual, so I figured I wasn't totally unforgiven.” How’s that for not being verbose? ‘I figured they were at least beginning to forgive me’ sounds a lot better.

“That seemed more probable than that I really appealed to him on any level.” I am so totally bowled over by his looks that it doesn’t matter that I’m supposed to be smart. Why would he like a smart girl, when he could have a hot one? Oh wait, there aren’t any pretty girls at this school, which is why the boys made a mad rush on Bella. Because she’s a BYOOTIFUL SPESHUL SNOWFLAKE!!!

“Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plans — Lauren and Angela had asked the other boys and they were all going together — completely unaware of my inattention.” God, why does this girl think I care about her stupid plans? I want to drool over Edward some more! Stop trying to be my friend, it makes this whole misunderstood thing much harder to pull off.

“Disappointment flooded through me as my eyes unerringly focused on his table.” That sentence is terrible, and I can’t believe a reasonably awake editor let it through.

“"Does he mean you ?" Jessica asked with insulting astonishment in her voice.” Yeah, like you’re a princess of a friend. You characterize her excitement over finally going out with the boy she likes as ‘babbling’. Edward has been treating you like garbage, and she warned you on the first day of school that he was a rude snob. I think she’d be astonished if he asked anyone to sit with him.

“It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be real.” Who needs a good personality when they’re awesomely hot?

“"I may not give you back, though," he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.” First hint on how he’s disgustingly possessive. And he laughs at her for the sixth time.

“"Yes — giving up trying to be good. I'm just going to do what I want now, and let the chips fall where they may." His smile faded as he explained, and a hard edge crept into his voice.” It’s hard for me to be good, so I’m going to do what I want. I’m going to scare you, and I really, really want to eat you. Here’s a question: Twilighters say it’s okay that Edward killed people in the past, because he was confused. How about if Edward was a normal guy with supreme beauty- but instead of killing someone, he raped someone? Follow me on this. He raped a girl and got away with it. He regrets it morally, but he really, really enjoyed doing it. And now he finds a girl who is perfectly his type who would let him get away with it. He is not putting himself out there for true love, he is just a weak-willed, selfish brat.

“He grinned. "Well, we can try, I suppose. But I'm warning you now that I'm not a good friend for you." Behind his smile, the warning was real.” I am going to continue to say one thing and do another. Because that’s totally perfect in relationships. I am tempted to hurt you every moment, and I would like nothing better than to drink your blood. But I’m going to keep hanging around you, because I can’t read your thoughts and sneer at you like I do with everyone else. I need to ask some questions before I can sneer at you.

“"I think you've made your opinion on the subject of my intellect clear, too." My eyes narrowed.” So you know he called you stupid. Why are you still trying to be friends?

“"No," I disagreed quickly, my eyes narrowing, "I can't imagine why that would be frustrating at all — just because someone refuses to tell you what they're thinking, even if all the while they're making cryptic little remarks specifically designed to keep you up at night wondering what they could possibly mean… now, why would that be frustrating?"
He grimaced.
"Or better," I continued, the pent-up annoyance flowing freely now, "say that person also did a wide range of bizarre things — from saving your life under impossible circumstances one day to treating you like a pariah the next, and he never explained any of that, either, even after he promised. That, also, would be
very non-frustrating." META-BELLA!!! Too bad I know you’re going to go away in a moment, because your actual personality melts under Edward’s physical beauty.

“"You've got a bit of a temper, don't you?"” That knocked the smug smile off his face. Of course, weak woman things shouldn’t fight with big strong men. That’s unmaidenly.

Laughs at her for the seventh time when she makes the very reasonable request that he stop treating her like a mound of garbage.

“"Please tell me just one little theory." His eyes still smoldered at me.” Smoldered? When I say move, you MOVE!

“"You're dangerous?" I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words.” And that turns me on!

Their fifth conversation, he is mentioned smiling, laughing, chuckling, grinning, or snickering 16 times. Why was this not caught by the editor? They sort of fought, kind of, since he’s being jerky.

“Mike looked resentful; Angela looked surprised, and slightly awed.” Like OHMIGOD, Edward Cullen talked to you! You’re obviously the most special person in the history of the world!

“He grabbed Mike's hand and jabbed the spike into the tip of Mike's middle finger.” … what kind of school is this? I guess this is SMeyer’s impression of “primitive” small towns, where teachers are allowed to assault students with sharp objects.

“"The Red Cross is having a blood drive in Port Angeles next weekend, so I thought you should all know your blood type." He sounded proud of himself. "Those of you who aren't eighteen yet will need a parent's permission — I have slips at my desk."” Oh, gross, how can he be proud of encouraging students to selflessly save lives!?!

“Suddenly the sidewalk disappeared from beneath me. My eyes flew open in shock. Edward had scooped me up in his arms, as easily as if I weighed ten pounds instead of a hundred and ten.” Drama queen. Also, why would Edward move a girl who is obviously about to puke? He should have let her sit in the fresh air for a few minutes.

“"You look awful," he told me, grinning.” Your discomfort amuses Edward, weak woman thing.

“"So you faint at the sight of blood?" he asked. This seemed to entertain him. […] "And not even your own blood," he continued, enjoying himself.” It really is hilarious that you are such a weak, fragile little flower that needs a big strong man to protect you at all times.

“He muffled a snicker.” Edward should really be required to wear a sign reading ‘I’m a douchebag’.

Also, finally, women in the school! A receptionist and a grandmother who is the nurse. Why aren’t there any women teachers?

“Edward coughed to hide another laugh.” He has now laughed at her seven times in 48 pages.

Page 48, yet another “get” improperly italicized. Did SMeyer just search the word ‘get’ and replace every instance with italics?

"People can't smell blood," he contradicted.” Okay, Mr. I’ve-Been-To-Med-School-and-Still-Don’t-Know-That-Humans-Can-Smell-Blood -_-

“"Do you need to be excused, too, Edward?" Ms. Cope fluttered. Why couldn't I do that?” Because lonely middle aged women are easily bowled over by a pretty young boy.

“"No, I have Mrs. Goff, she won't mind."” One female teacher in the school… and it’s hinted that she is also bowled over by Edward’s prettiness.

“I couldn't picture him loading up to carpool with the rest of the kids from school; he didn't belong in the same world. But just hoping that he might gave me the first twinge of enthusiasm I'd felt for the outing.” Because his unearthly beauty makes him better than them. And I still don’t see why you are so eager to spend time with someone who you fight with half the time.

“"Let's you and I not push poor Mike any further this week. We don't want him to snap." His eyes danced; he was enjoying the idea more than he should.” I love the idea of you crushing another boy’s heart.

Page 50, ‘I’ is improperly italicized. “I liked it more than I should.” Though maybe that I refers to Meta-Bella, who is attempting to escape again!

“Something caught my jacket, yanking me back.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.” HOW DARE YOU DO SOMETHING WITHOUT MY EXPRESS PERMISSION!

“"Didn't you hear me promise to take you safely home? Do you think I'm going to let you drive in your condition?" His voice was still indignant.” Do you think you have the right to tell me what to do, boy who isn’t even my friend?

“"What condition? And what about my truck?" I complained.” ‘Complained’ is a very telling word on SMeyer’s part. She thinks Edward is being sweet and Bella is being irrational. Not that Edward is being ridiculously controlling and Bella is rightly reacting to it.

“"I'll have Alice drop it off after school." He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket. It was all I could do to keep from falling backward. He'd probably just drag me along anyway if I did.

"Let go!" I insisted. He ignored me. I staggered along sideways across the wet sidewalk until we reached the Volvo. Then he finally freed me — I stumbled against the passenger door.” And how is this not counted as abuse? He treats her like she’s a naughty two-year-old, does not listen to her direct orders concerning herself, and is being physically forceful.

“"You are so pushy !" I grumbled.” Here’s SMeyer showing her true colors again. She thinks that Edward forcing Bella into his car is sweet and that Bella is being the irrational one.

“I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. I had to admit, they weren't good.

"I'll just drag you back," he threatened, guessing my plan.” Oh. My. God. Bella should be screaming right now, tell her father the minute she gets home, and file a restraining order against him. HE HAS JUST THREATENED HER PHYSICALLY! I don’t care if it’s because he thinks he knows what’s best for her- it’s abuse!

“"I have too much Charlie in me. She's more outgoing than I am, and braver. She's irresponsible and slightly eccentric, and she's a very unpredictable cook. She's my best friend." I stopped.” And I hate my father because he’s kind and responsible. I hate kind, responsible people, they keep me from wangsting.

“"My mom always says I was born thirty-five years old and that I get more middle-aged every year." I laughed, and then sighed. "Well, someone has to be the adult."” This doesn’t make any sense. Bella has shown that she is weak-willed, wishy-washy, rude, self-centered, and easily won over by a pretty face, despite actions. I’d say she’s very much a teenager.

“I was surprised he would remember the name; I'd mentioned it just once, almost two months ago.” According to your own narration, it’s been three weeks.

“The attraction was a mystery to me.” Now, if you could just realize that your attraction to Edward is based solely on his looks…

"No. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early."” How do they manage to not get kicked out of school?

Six conversations, with some random fighting. Meta-Bella does seem to realize it’s only Edwards looks, and be concerned that his mood changes from laughing to scary in a moment. Canon-Bella is thrilled by this. Another great message for young girls: a man with mercurial moods who scares you is the perfect mate.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chapter 4: Why Characters Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read the Book Jacket

“After that, he was in my dreams nearly every night, but always on the periphery, never within reach.” Okay, the symbolism is about as subtle as a boot to the head, but since we’ve read the book jacket we know it’s going to turn out all right. I would argue that Meta-Bella is trying to tell Canon-Bella that Edward is never going to give her emotional intimacy or be her equal, but I don’t think SMeyer is that clever. This establishes their relationship- he is the superior walking ahead of her, and she is the helpless child running behind him, begging for a little bit of his light. It’s actually pretty disturbing and suggests that Bella has an Elektra Complex.

“To my dismay, I found myself the center of attention for the rest of that week.” I could see this being uncomfortable, but after Bella whining about how no one liked her for her, I would think this genuine outpouring of concern would be at least a little touching.

“Mike and Eric were even less friendly toward him than they were to each other, which made me worry that I'd gained another unwelcome fan.” Why are these young men unwelcome? You don’t really know any of them, because you refuse to give them a chance, so for all you know, they’re terrific guys and would be good boyfriends. I understand being shy, but she doesn’t want to give anyone a chance. Also telling is how she refers to these swains as ‘fans’. For all her talking about her low self-esteem, she’s awfully self-important.

“With chagrin, I realized the probable cause — no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was.” The first improper usage of the word ‘chagrin’.

“No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.” Yes, Meta-Bella! Realize how your obsession is unhealthy! He did save your life, and it’s nice of you to be grateful, but you know that he’s a jerk. Stay away from him, he’ll only hurt you!

“Edward was never surrounded by crowds of curious bystanders eager for his firsthand account. People avoided him as usual.” Did you ever really ask why people avoid him? Oh wait, you did, were told that he was a rude snob, and decided that the girl you asked was just jealous because he was so hawt.

“And, overnight, the heat of my anger faded into awed gratitude.” WHY!?! Oh, Meta-Bella, where are you? Be grateful that he saved your life- it would make you a total bitch if you weren’t, but can’t you hold onto a little anger for how badly he treats you? Why are you so overawed by his beauty when it holds such an ugly personality?

“Despite my outright lies, the tenor of my e-mails alerted RenĂ©e to my depression, and she called a few times, worried.” What’s there to be depressed about? You have three guys vying for your attention. Everyone in Forks High School thinks you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Everyone is trying to be your friend. And all you can do is play the Sad Sack because the best-looking guy in school isn’t talking to you. You said yourself in the first chapter that no one ever paid attention to you, so why does it bug you so much that Edward doesn’t?

“"It will be really fun." Her attempt to convince me was halfhearted. I suspected that Jessica enjoyed my inexplicable popularity more than my actual company.” You bitch. Really, I want to smack Bella across the mouth for this. This girl just made sure that you didn’t like the boy she likes before she asked him to the dance. That seems like a really kind thing to do, and the sort of thing a real friend would do. Of course, Jessica is ugly (she has BIG HAIR!) so SMeyer puts a bit in ‘Midnight Sun’ about how Jessica is really the bitch. -_-

“As always, I was electrically aware of Edward sitting close enough to touch, as distant as if he were merely an invention of my imagination.” Yet another mention of this insane obsession.

“I paused for a moment, hating the wave of guilt that swept through me. But I saw, from the corner of my eye, Edward's head tilt reflexively in my direction.” Even when another guy is trying to tell you he really likes you, all you can think about is Edward, even though he’s been acting like you don’t exist for at least a week.

“Did Edward notice how Mike's eyes flickered in his direction?” Oh, please, oh please, Edward, notice that guys are jealous of my mad masturbatory fantasies about you!

“"Yeah, you're right," he mumbled, and turned, dejected, to walk back to his seat. I closed my eyes and pressed my fingers to my temples, trying to push the guilt and sympathy out of my head.” Come on, being human will make me likable.

“There was no question of me looking away. My hands started to shake.” Quoting Robert Pattinson: “Edward was so beautiful I creamed myself”

“I looked down at my book as soon as his eyes released me, trying to find my place.” *ahem* Come again? Released? This is awfully patriarchal language she’s using.

“I couldn't believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me — just because he'd happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks.” Wait, what? The timeline is really fuzzy- first he glares at you, then he disappears for… a week? Then there’s the accident the day after that, and it’s been a week since that. So, according to your narration, you’ve been in Forks for three weeks, not six.

“I couldn't allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.” Yes, Meta-Bella! You realize that there is nothing healthy about obsession with looks and controlling men.

“His lips twitched, fighting a smile. "No, not really," he admitted.” It’s so cute when you whine like a child. It makes me feel like a man, and really makes me want to turn you over my knee and spank you like the naughty little girl you are.

“"Then what do you want, Edward?" I asked, keeping my eyes closed; it was easier to talk to him coherently that way.” Well, then, you realize that it’s just his looks.

“"It's better if we're not friends," he explained. "Trust me."” First warning to stay away from him, page 36. So far his actions haven’t contradicted this.

“"You don't know anything." He was definitely mad.” I know this is supposed to be an angry retort, but it again establishes Edward as better and smarter than Bella.

Adoraklutz strikes again, page 37.

Third conversation- second fight.

More Adoraklutz, page 37. No one is passing her the ball, so how is she continually falling down?

“I heard a low chuckle.” Third time Edward has laughed at her.

“Edward was in his car already, two spaces down, sliding out smoothly in front of me, cutting me off.” Okay, dude, now you’re just being an asshole. You’re also breaking this ‘Stay away from me’ thing, because there’s really no better way to get a girl engaged in conversation than to be a total asshole. At the very least, she should storm up to you and say ‘What the hell, man?’ Also, in his quest to be an asshole to Bella, he’s cuts off everyone else in the parking lot. What a dick.

“Directly behind me, Tyler Crowley was in his recently acquired used Sentra, waving.” Yet another reminder that the people other than the Cullens are poor.

“He was unquestionably shaking with laughter, as if he'd heard every word Tyler had said.” Fourth time Edward laughs at Bella. Why is it so funny to him that other guys like her? Is it because he already knows she’s too obsessed with him to even look at another guy?

“I was almost afraid to answer it, but it might be Charlie or my mom.” Why does she hate her parents so much? Really.

But my head was spinning, trying to analyze every word Edward had spoken today.” I would be trying to figure out why he was going out of his way to be a dick.

“He must see how absorbed I was by him; he must not want to lead me on… so we couldn't even be friends… because he wasn't interested in me at all.” Now you know what it feels like, you standoffish bitch. I found it ironic that you referred to Lauren as ‘standoffish’ when you can barely be bothered to speak to people who aren’t Edward.

“Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.” He’s an asshole. He’s mean, rude, snobby, and he laughs at you all the time. Sure, he’s physically perfect, BUT HE’S A TOTAL DICKWEED! You know nothing about anyone else in the town, because you don’t care enough to ask, so I’d say everyone else is pretty mysterious. But you only care about Edward, because A) he’s really hot, and B) you’ve read the book jacket and realize that you’re supposed to fall in love with him.

“But he was a cop, even if just a small-town cop,” Could you be more disrespectful and close-minded? Seriously, try.

I didn't want to ask permission — it set a bad precedent — but I felt rude, so I tacked it on at the end.” A bad precedent? A non-emancipated teenager asking her legal guardian for permission? To make a road trip in the car that that guardian bought for her?

Page 39: "Seattle is a big city — you could get lost," he fretted.” Get is improperly italicized again. Does she not know what italics are for?

“I tried to be crafty as I hid my horror.” Oh, ick, this man who is responsible for half my genetic makeup wants to spend time with me and make sure that I’m safe. HOW AWFUL!

“Only in a town this small would a father know when the high school dances were.” Because men don’t care about their children. That there be women’s work.

“Edward Cullen was right next to me, leaning casually against my truck.” So, you know how I told you yesterday that we should never spend any time together at all?

""That was for Tyler 's sake, not mine. I had to give him his chance." He snickered.” It’s so funny watching you break other guy’s hearts! I get a big kick out of making you uncomfortable… and laughing at you, which I have done five times now.

“"Bella, you are utterly absurd," he said, his low voice cold.” I think this is supposed to be an example of his speech being old-fashioned, but it’s not. Also, why are you so mad that she pointed out that you’re being a major league douchebag?

"I wanted to ask you something, but you sidetracked me," he chuckled. He seemed to have recovered his good humor.” It’s so funny when the weak woman thing tries to do what’s best for her. He has now laughed at her six times.

“"You're doing it again."” Doing what again? You’re acting like a crazy person- ‘We can’t ever be friends’, ‘I’m going to be rude’, ‘I’m going to act hurt that you called me on my dickish behavior’, ‘I’m going to laugh at you again’, ‘I’m going to insult you’, ‘I’m going to be surprised that you’re mad at me’.

“"Myself, obviously." He enunciated every syllable, as if he were talking to someone mentally handicapped.” I’m much smarter than you, weak woman thing.

“"Honestly, Edward." I felt a thrill go through me as I said his name, and I hated it. "I can't keep up with you. I thought you didn't want to be my friend."” Meta-Bella, come on. For God’s sakes, he’s about as jerky as you can get without actually hickory-smoking him. Buy a vibrator or something.

“"I said it would be better if we weren't friends, not that I didn't want to be."” And here he is, really. Saying one thing and doing another. Great trait in a love interest.

Page 41, two typos in two sentences. First, the closing quotation marks are misplaced, and then “so I could more easily look at is face”

“I couldn't speak yet, so I just nodded.” Why are you so bowled over by a pretty face? Girl, I really must say it- learn how to masturbate properly, and all of this burning tension should ease up a bit.

“"You really should stay away from me," he warned. "I'll see you in class."” But rather than be the good guy and control myself, I’m just going to warn you to stay away from me while pushing you to spend time with me.

Four conversations, three fights.