Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chapter 14: Elektra Complexes and Bad Driving and General Squick

“He could drive well, when he kept the speed reasonable, I had to admit. Like so many things, it seemed to be effortless to him. He barely looked at the road, yet the tires never deviated so much as a centimeter from the center of the lane. He drove one-handed, holding my hand on the seat. Sometimes he gazed into the setting sun, sometimes he glanced at me — my face, my hair blowing out the open window, our hands twined together.” This makes no sense. He can read people’s minds, which is how he can drive so fast and never get caught, but what? Is he reading the car’s mind? I would be more scared to have him never looking at the road than I would to have him driving fast. Also… she’s got an old enough truck that it should be manual. He should be using his other hand at least part of the time.

“He had turned the radio to an oldies station, and he sang along with a song I'd never heard. He knew every line.” Is that supposed to be impressive? I know every line to a ton of old music, because I listen to it. Granted, I couldn’t sing you anything that’s on the radio now, but if you need the lyrics to the Andrews Sisters biggest hits, I’m your gal.

“"Music in the fifties was good. Much better than the sixties, or the seventies, ugh!" He shuddered. "The eighties were bearable."” Just a little bit on the music SMeyer doesn’t like, because obviously perfect Edward wouldn’t like it either. I’m also surprised he would dismiss two decades of very innovative music, as if it all sounded the same. Although I see Edward being a huge fan of glam rock. I’ll bet he had the enormous hair and gobs of eyeliner and the skintight Lycra over his scrawny frame. And he stomped around in his big boots looking all sullen and rebellious.

“"I wonder if it will upset you," he reflected to himself.” She just asked his age. Since she’s not upset by the fact that he is a legendary demon creature who murders humans for food, why would she be upset that he’s old? If he looked old, then she’d be totally creeped out, but that’s because old = ugly.

“He sighed, and then looked into my eyes, seeming to forget the road completely for a time.” HOLY SHIT GET YOUR EYES BACK ON THE ROAD

“He looked into the sun — the light of the setting orb glittered off his skin in ruby-tinged sparkles — and spoke.” Puuuuuurrrrrrpppppplllllleeeee. Also, why in the blue blazes is HE NOT EVEN GLANCING AT THE ROAD!?

“"They had already died from the disease. I was alone. That was why he chose me. In all the chaos of the epidemic, no one would ever realize I was gone."” See, that could be a lead-in to a fantastic creepfest of a story. An old vampire with a few wires crossed finds a pretty young orphan boy who is dying and kills him to turn him into his perfect companion. He then re-animates a suicide to play mommy to his golden boy and finds a pretty young dying rape victim and makes her to be the perfect bride for his favorite companion. Carlisle makes my skin crawl.

“"It was difficult. Not many of us have the restraint necessary to accomplish it. But Carlisle has always been the most humane, the most compassionate of us… I don't think you could find his equal throughout all of history." He paused. "For me, it was merely very, very painful."” What’s humane and compassionate about that? He puts a dying kid who has just lost both his parents through unspeakable agony and gives him an everlasting thirst for human blood because he happens to be lonely.

“I suppressed my curiosity, though it was far from idle.” That’s a terrible sentence.
“No doubt his quick mind had already comprehended every aspect that eluded me.” Wait, what? What does that even mean? Does it mean that he’s quick enough to have realized the very big holes in his story or that he’s so much smarter than she is that he’s realized exactly where she is confused, even if she can’t?

“"No, that's just Carlisle. He would never do that to someone who had another choice."” They do have another choice. To die. SMeyer is obviously terrified of death and dying, so she sees only a physical immortal life as being worth striving for. She sees being stuck on this planet forever as a mercy, not a curse. It’s kind of weird to think that a woman who has been promised godhood on her own planet is so afraid of not being on Earth.

“The respect in his voice was profound whenever he spoke of his father figure.” Nothing wrong with respecting your “father”, but I just wanted to point out that he treats Esme with a sort of affectionate condescension, definitely not with respect.

“She was hunting — we were in Appalachia at the time — and found a bear about to finish him off.” I live on the edge of Appalachia. Yes, we do have bears, but bear attacks are extremely rare in this region. Our black bears tend to be smaller and much shyer, so why is he getting mauled by a bear?

“She carried him back to Carlisle, more than a hundred miles, afraid she wouldn't be able to do it herself. I'm only beginning to guess how difficult that journey was for her." He threw a pointed glance in my direction, and raised our hands, still folded together, to brush my cheek with the back of his hand.
"But she made it," I encouraged, looking away from the unbearable beauty of his eyes.” Rosalie’s struggles remind me how hot Edward is. How horrible for him to have to think of unpleasant things!

“They both developed a conscience, as we refer to it, with no outside guidance.” Actually, I think most people would refer to being bothered by eating humans as having a conscience.

“She sees things — things that might happen, things that are coming. But it's very subjective.” The big point – all the males have reliable powers, while the woman’s is shiftless and unreliable.

“I couldn't picture it, this godlike creature sitting in my father's shabby kitchen chair.” *eyeroll* Because one’s looks totally determine what they will and won’t do. And again, your father isn’t good enough because EDWARD IS HOT AND RICH!

“no longer the fantastic sparkling creature of our sunlit afternoon.” *snerk*

“"The door was unlocked?"
"No, I used the key from under the eave."
I stepped inside, flicked on the porch light, and turned to look at him with my eyebrows raised. I was sure I'd never used that key in front of him.” Ladies, this is a perfect time to start screaming.

“"I was curious about you."
"You spied on me?" But somehow I couldn't infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered.” Bella is insane. Abso-flipping-lutely insane. He openly admitted to breaking into your house and spying on you, and you think that’s flattering? Thank God you don’t have a pet rabbit.

“He was unrepentant. "What else is there to do at night?"” Oh, how about anything other than breaking and entering and stalking? Doesn’t he have scrapbooks to make of her used tissues and chairs she’s sat on to lick?

“I let it go for the moment and went down the hall to the kitchen.” Okay, since I’ve actually been stalked, this is not how a sane woman reacts, even if she liked the guy before she found out he was a crazy stalker.

“He was there before me, needing no guide.” That’s actually pretty rude. When you go to a person’s house, you don’t barge into rooms ahead of them, even if you know where they are. Edward obviously flunked Miss Bluebird.

“I concentrated on getting my dinner, taking last night's lasagna from the fridge, placing a square on a plate, heating it in the microwave. It revolved, filling the kitchen with the smell of tomatoes and oregano.” And filling the novel with tedium and irrelevance.

“I still didn't turn around. "How often did you come here?"
"I come here almost every night."
I whirled, stunned. "Why?"” There is no correct answer for that. None. Why? Because he’s probably stealing your sweat socks to masturbate into and pretend he’s making sweet love to your feet. Hell, that would be the most positive thing that he could be doing.

“"You're interesting when you sleep." He spoke matter-of-factly. "You talk."” See, the thing is, sleep-talking rarely makes sense. I know several sleep talkers, and they may say full sentences, but those sentences make no sense. Bella is more likely to shout out ‘Giraffes are eating my popcorn! I’m going to shoot them!’ than she is to say his name.

“"No!" I gasped, heat flooding my face all the way to my hairline. I gripped the kitchen counter for support. I knew I talked in my sleep, of course; my mother teased me about it.
I hadn't thought it was something I needed to worry about here, though.” Um… what kind of things does she say in her sleep? Conversations with a sleep talker are like talking to a Dadaist. When I’ve revealed to friendsandrelations that they talk in their sleep, they usually respond with laughter when I tell them all the crazy things they’ve said.

“His expression shifted instantly to chagrin.” No it didn’t.

“"Are you very angry with me?"
"That depends!" I felt and sounded like I'd had the breath knocked out of me.
He waited.
"On?" he urged.
"What you heard!" I wailed.” So… now wouldn’t be a good time to tell you I read your diary and your e-mails and listen in on your phone conversations… Seriously, she is perfectly fine with Edward raping her friend’s minds, but this one suggestion that her privacy isn’t sacrosanct sends her into a tailspin. What a bitch.

“"You miss your mother," he whispered. "You worry about her. And when it rains, the sound makes you restless. You used to talk about home a lot, but it's less often now. Once you said, 'It's too green.'" He laughed softly, hoping, I could see, not to offend me further.” SMeyer has obviously never met a single person who actually talks in their sleep. This is Hollywood sleep talking – it’s only present as relevant to the plot.

“"Don't be self-conscious," he whispered in my ear. "If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it."” I would sure as hell be self-conscious if I found out a guy I barely know has been coming into my room at night. I’d be sure he was going through my stuff… which we find out Edward has been doing. After all, he doesn’t need to respect puny humans, because they’re food.

“"Should your father know I'm here?" he asked.
"I'm not sure…" I tried to think it through quickly.” Why shouldn’t he? Charlie thinks Edward is salt of the earth. He may be a bit gruff about the new boyfriend thing, but I think the only way he would be mad would be if Edward had mounted her on the kitchen table.

“"Edward!" I hissed.
I heard a ghostly chuckle, then nothing else.” …. Bleh….

“"Bella?" he called. It had bothered me before; who else would it be?” You disrespectful little puke. Your car is outside, but your father encourages you to have friends. Maybe he hoped that you had gone out with one of them and had just left the lights on. He was just checking to see if you were home.

“He stepped on the heels of his boots to take them off, holding the back of Edward's chair for support.” Everything Edward touches becomes his.

“I took my food with me, scarfing it down as I got his dinner. It burned my tongue. I filled two glasses with milk while his lasagna was heating, and gulped mine to put out the fire.” Why in God’s name would you do that? It makes no sense. Why would you drag around a hot plate of scalding hot lasagna and bolt it down while microwaving another piece.

“Charlie sat in the chair, and the contrast between him and its former occupant was comical.” Now I really want to punch Bella across a room. What’s comical about her father being in his own house? Well, she does have this weird Daddy fetish with Edward, but even so. I obviously find my boyfriend more attractive than I find my dad, but to describe my father as “comical” compared to him would be unconscionable. Then again, I don’t hate my father.

“The words were rushed; I was dying to escape to my room.” There is no excuse for her treatment of her father. He has done nothing but be kind to her… which is probably why she hates him.

Typo page 139: "Ina hurry ?"”

“Why, oh why, did this have to be his night to pay attention?” Because tonight you’re displaying more emotional range than a teaspoon?

“I quickly scrubbed my dishes clean in the sink, and placed them upside down on a dish towel to dry.” I’m surprised we didn’t get a sentence like “I lifted my loaded fork to my mouth. I put the lasagna in my mouth and chewed it slowly. I wondered what Edward’s penis would taste like as I chewed. Like rare gemstones and Chanel no. 5, I decided. That would be delicious, while the lasagna was kind of bland. Microwaving did that. Edward would sparkle like diamonds in a microwave.”

“"None of the boys in town your type, eh?" He was suspicious, but trying to play it cool.” Oh no, he’s trying to be a good father again! Someone stop him!

Typo page 139: "He's Justa friend, Dad."

“"Well, you're too good for them all, anyway. Wait till you get to college to start looking." Every father's dream, that his daughter will be out of the house before the hormones kick in.” Or maybe it’s that he thinks maybe no one has asked you out and he’s trying to be nice. He’s also offering some very sound advice, considering he married his high school sweetheart and ended up getting crushed.

“No doubt he would be listening carefully all evening, waiting for me to try to sneak out.” Why? Why do you have this idea that he’s some sort of Draconian monster father who will shoot any boy right in the face? My father is a Colonel and a former linebacker, as well as being adamant about abstinence. He’s never been even half as paranoid about boys as Bella imagines her father to be.

“See you creeping into my room tonight at midnight to check on me.” If you’re not an undead creature trying to deflower me and then eat me, stay out! Why is it creepy for her father to check on her, but flattering to have Edward breaking into her room?

“He lay, smiling hugely, across my bed, his hands behind his head, his feet dangling off the end, the picture of ease.” Edward Cullen for Fruit of the Loom.

“"I'm sorry." He pressed his lips together, trying to hide his amusement.” He’s just laughed at her twice on one page.

“Then he leaned forward and reached out with his long arms to pick me up, gripping the tops of my arms like I was a toddler.” This whole chapter is making my stomach squirm. She keeps on dissing her father’s attempts to be fatherly, and creaming her panties at Edward being fatherly. What kind of sick complex does this girl have?

“I thought about having Edward in my room, with my father in the house.” I imagine he’d be rather surprised that you snuck a boy in, but what do you think he’s going to do?

“I banged the bathroom door loudly, so Charlie wouldn't come up to bother me.” He might ask if I was okay, or want to talk more about my life. How could he!?!

“I tried not to think of Edward, sitting in my room, waiting, because then I had to start all over with the calming process.” … guess she has one of those detachable showerheads.

“I rubbed the towel through my hair again, and then yanked the brush through it quickly.” That’s terrible for the hair, you know. I’ll bet Bella has split ends like nobodies business.

“Edward hadn't moved a fraction of an inch, a carving of Adonis perched on my faded quilt.” Yeah, Adonis was beautiful, but he was also an idiot and a jerk. So… I guess it’s an accurate description.

“As if he couldn't know Charlie's mind much more clearly than I could guess.” But if he has even the slightest idea what you’re privately thinking, you flip the fuck out.

“I could no longer hear the sound of his breathing.” Why is he breathing? He’s dead.

“You’re driving me crazy," I explained.
He considered that briefly, and when he spoke, he sounded pleased. "Really?" A triumphant smile slowly lit his face.” Yeah… Edward’s a virgin.

“And then to find, even though it's all new to me, that I'm good at it… at being with you…"” Don’t get too flattered, loverboy. She has orgasms from watching you blow your nose.

“"I'm trying," he whispered, his voice pained. "If it gets to be… too much, I'm fairly sure I'll be able to leave."
I scowled. I didn't like the talk of leaving.” Stay and murder me! Just don’t leave! Talk about your codependence.

“But his long hands formed manacles around my wrists as he spoke.” That’s only sexy if you’re into bondage play, and he’s doing this after telling her that it’s gotten a little bit easier for him not to just tear her throat out.

“He'd laughed more tonight than I'd ever heard in all the time I'd spent with him.” But he’s still laughing at you.

Here Edward goes into a long speech about his totally unreasonable jealousy. He describes feeling fury at other boys asking out a girl who he treated like garbage and more furious at the idea that she might accept. He breaks into her house for the first time, because he wants her as his property. Bella isn’t a person to him, she’s a plaything. A trophy.

“Just now, when Charlie asked you about that vile Mike Newton…"” Vile Mike Newton? Last I checked, Mike hasn’t stalked a girl, threatened her, broken into her house, encouraged her to lie to her parents, and spent all his time laughing at her.

“His teeth gleamed. He drew my trapped hands around his back, holding me to his chest. I kept as still as I could, even breathing with caution.” Just reading this sentence, would you believe she was in love with this guy, or that she was scared to death of him? Fun game – pretend this is Bella’s re-write of her life with Edward after Stockholm Syndrome sets in.

“Why should I get off so easily?"” … never mind.

“I tried to pull back, to look in his face, but his hand locked my wrists in an unbreakable hold.” Remember girls, this is what romance looks like!

“I could feel his cool breath on my neck, feel his nose sliding along my jaw, inhaling.” God, that’s scary.

“"You have a very floral smell, like lavender… or freesia," he noted. "It's mouthwatering."” So she smells like shampoo? What’s mouthwatering about that? Maybe if she smelled like steak or chocolate cake… Next time I see my boyfriend I’m going to take a huge whiff of his neck and inform him that he smells like cedar and it makes my mouth water. He doesn’t and it doesn’t, but hey, if it’s romantic of Edward to love the taste of plants, why not me too?

“"Yeah, it's an off day when I don't get somebody telling me how edible I smell."” Freesia isn’t edible. Nor is it very appetizing.

“I didn't want to make this any harder for him than it already was.” I’m really tempted to count the double entendres that even I can spot.

“"I'm glad you can't read my thoughts. It's bad enough that you eavesdrop on my sleeptalking."” Of course it’s perfectly okay that you read the thoughts of everyone around me. They aren’t as important as I am.

“"That's certainly a problem. But that's not what I was thinking of. It's just that you are so soft, so fragile. I have to mind my actions every moment that we're together so that I don't hurt you. I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident… "If I was too hasty… if for one second I wasn't paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don't realize how incredibly breakable you are. I can never, never afford to lose any kind of control when I'm with you."” So they’re having the sex talk on their first date. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since sex is all they have holding them together.

“"I'm curious now, though," he said, his voice light again. "Have you ever… ?"He trailed off suggestively.” What business is it of his?

“"I know. It's just that I know other people's thoughts. I know love and lust don't always keep the same company."
"They do for me.” At least she’s being honest about the lust, but there’s no love here.