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.”

“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!?

Hello campers!

We now have our own Facebook fan page, so anyone who wants to share without actually remembering the blog name is free to do so. The blog will be going up soon, but to celebrate, I'm redoing the first chapter.!/pages/What-Went-Wrong-A-Dissection-of-Twilight/115706288455764

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chapter 16: Which is Mercifully Short

“Every time he touched me, in even the most casual way, my heart had an audible reaction.” That’s impossible. Literally physically impossible.

“This one did not stand out among the bigger and brighter pieces; painted in varying tones of sepia, it depicted a miniature city full of steeply slanted roofs, with thin spires atop a few scattered towers.” Since this is supposed to be London in the 1650’s, it shouldn’t be painted. It should be a woodcut. Just a nitpick. Then again, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a reproduction or an original.

“It is amazing that he was able to resist… feeding… while he was still so new. The instinct is more powerful then, it takes over everything.” And this kind of pokes holes in Carlisle the Compassionate. He never ate anyone, but after going through blinding agony and having to fight body and soul to keep from eating everyone he met, not to mention his numerous suicide attempts, why would he inflict it on other people? Specifically on other people that he knew nothing about? Edward could have been a serial rapist or Rosalie could have been a psychotic axe murderer. But no, he just takes pity on a few stories and decides that there’d be nothing better than to make them thirst eternally for human blood!

“He'd always been intelligent, eager to learn.” And yet he apparently knows nothing of Latin or Greek or theology. He never mentions neo-platonic ideals (which was a hot trend in his day) or Petrarchan love. I guess he could have forgotten it, or could have followed the course of the crumble of Petrarchism and Christian humanism. Either way, it seems weird that such a “compassionate” guy never mentions any of this stuff.

“"He swam to France ?"
"People swim the Channel all the time, Bella," he reminded me patiently.” Doesn’t he just drip paternalism? How does this not send shivers of revulsion through every female who reads this?

“"Everything is easy for you," I griped.
He waited, his expression amused.
"I won't interrupt again, I promise."
He chuckled darkly,” Edward likes being reminded that he’s better than his weak woman thing.

“"You don't have to breathe?" I demanded.” Why would he? He’s a reanimated corpse. That’s what a vampire is, sweetcheeks.

“"I know that at some point, something I tell you or something you see is going to be too much. And then you'll run away from me, screaming as you go."” Since she didn’t run screaming when you told her you wanted nothing more than to kill her and explained that you had killed and eaten humans in the past, what exactly is going to be “too much”? Maybe she’ll find out that he likes chess and is thus a geek and unworthy of her super-special specialness.

“By night he studied music, science, medicine” All things he should have studied before. If that cross hung in the vicarage, then his father was one of the vicars of London. That’s a BIG DEAL! Carlisle should have spent at least a bit of time in Oxford or Cambridge, like all other young men from the clergy class did.

“His expression became awed, almost reverent.” I’m just a bit bothered by the fact that he thinks Carlisle can do no wrong, yet he treats Esme with semi-affectionate condescension.

“"He was studying in Italy when he discovered the others there. They were much more civilized and educated than the wraiths of the London sewers."” Just a guess, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that they weren’t living in open ditches filled with:
Sweepings from butchers stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud,
Dead cats and turnips-tops
(Jonathan Swift, “Description of a City Shower”)

Keep in mind that was written about the “sewers” 60 years after Carlisle was finding buried vampires.

“"Solimena was greatly inspired by Carlisle's friends. He often painted them as gods,"” And Smeyer drags a perfectly innocent Baroque painter into the mud.

“Carlisle stayed with them only for a short time, just a few decades. He greatly admired their civility, their refinement, but they persisted in trying to cure his aversion to his natural food source,' as they called it.” Good thing he’s so open-minded. A lot of people would be disturbed to have their closest friends be cannibalistic serial killers, but Carlisle accepts men of all stripes.

“since he couldn't find a companion, he would create one.” This… well, I have nothing against Carlisle deciding that the perfect companion would be a beautiful young boy, but it seems a bit out of place for a strict Mormon.

“When he turned back to me, a gentle angel's smile lit his expression.” I don’t know, but that makes this seem more homoerotic than just the fact that Carlisle’s first choice of companion was a teenage boy.

“Well, I had a typical bout of rebellious adolescence — about ten years after I was… born…created, whatever you want to call it. I wasn't sold on his life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time."” …. I’m not going to touch this one.

“"That doesn't repulse you?"
"Why not?"” Good question. He’s just openly admitted that he got tired of not nomming the Happy Meals with legs and went off and murdered people. So why is she so chill?

“"It took me only a few years to return to Carlisle and recommit to his vision.” Only a few years of wanton murder and mayhem.

“Because I knew the thoughts of my prey, I could pass over the innocent and pursue only the evil.” While that seems rational, isn’t that what caused all the trouble in Death Note?

“The whole back side of the house must be glass.” Which means it wouldn’t be the “balanced” architecture described earlier – which still sounds Georgian, or the supposed age of the house. Whole walls of glass didn’t become the vogue until Frank Lloyd Wright. I guess they could have remodeled extensively, since they’re richer than God, but still. Another thing – why don’t the obscenely rich Cullens give to charity?

“"I hate to burst your bubble, but you're really not as scary as you think you are. I don't find you scary at all, actually," I lied casually.” No girl should ever have to lie about that.

“He stopped, raising his eyebrows in blatant disbelief. Then he flashed a wide, wicked smile.
"You really shouldn't have said that," he chuckled.” No Edward’s going to put the fear of God into you!

“He growled, a low sound in the back of his throat; his lips curled back over his perfect teeth. His body shifted suddenly, half-crouched, tensed like a lion about to pounce.
I backed away from him, glaring.
"You wouldn't."
I didn't see him leap at me — it was much too fast. I only found myself suddenly airborne, and then we crashed onto the sofa, knocking it into the wall. All the while, his arms formed an iron cage of protection around me — I was barely jostled. But I still was gasping as I tried to right myself.
He wasn't having that. He curled me into a ball against his chest, holding me more securely than iron chains. I glared at him in alarm, but he seemed well in control, his jaw relaxed as he grinned, his eyes bright only with humor.” I’m sure this is meant to be charming play-wrestling, but it still made me feel unclean.

“"That you are a very, very terrifying monster," I said, my sarcasm marred a bit by my breathless voice.
"Much better," he approved.” Because you’re no good unless you’re scared of me!

“"It sounded like you were having Bella for lunch, and we came to see if you would share," Alice announced.” So Alice has a little bit of sass. Too bad I know that it’s eventually subliminated by parties and fancy clothes.

“I gathered that Alice was a bit more reliable than the weatherman, though.”
Not really. Her power might as well be Plot in a Box. It only works when the plot requires it to, and when the plot requires it not to, it’s a shambles. Since the men’s powers all work perfectly, only Alice’s unreliable power can cause drama.

“"Do you want to go?" Edward asked me, excited, his expression vivid.” Vivid is totally the wrong word to use in this situation. I believe she was going for ‘bright’ or ‘glowing’, based on what my Microsoft Word thesaurus pulled up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chapter 15: Oh Boy, Fun with Fake History!

“I lay with my arm across my eyes, groggy and dazed.” Okay, so she fell asleep with Edward last night. This… just doesn’t seem healthy. Either she got terrible sleep because she was snuggling a statue, which would make sense, or it’s about to get weirder.

“I moaned and rolled on my side, hoping more sleep would come. And then the previous day flooded back into my awareness.” Remember when Bella told us she wasn’t verbose?

“"Your hair looks like a haystack… but I like it."” That’s a really passive-aggressive compliment. It’s like saying “You’re fat. Good thing I like fatties.”

“"Edward! You stayed!" I rejoiced, and thoughtlessly threw myself across the room and into his lap.” This speaks for itself.

“I laid my head cautiously against his shoulder, breathing in the smell of his skin.” I don’t know, this just seems disturbing paternal. The first thing she wants to do when she sees him is climb into his lap. Thank God this didn’t take place in the late 40’s or early 50’s when girls sometimes called their lovers ‘Daddy’.

“"I was sure it was a dream."
"You're not that creative," he scoffed.” I’m sure this is meant as charming teasing, but instead it comes off as more condescending bullshit, and would earn a swift kick in the shins from any reasonably aware woman.

“"Charlie!" I remembered, thoughtlessly jumping up again and heading to the door.” She used ‘thoughtlessly’ twice in one page. Also, thoughtlessly doesn’t seem like the right word either time.

“"He left an hour ago — after reattaching your battery cables, I might add. I have to admit I was disappointed. Is that really all it would take to stop you, if you were
determined to go?"” Wait, what? Charlie detached her car’s battery cables or did Edward? We have no way of knowing, because nothing was or is ever again mentioned about battery cables. Also, this is really out of character for Charlie, since he seems to want Bella to get out of the house. But maybe he thought he was helping her with her “rebellion” in a sort of *nudge nudge wink wink say no more say no more* sort of way.

“I deliberated where I stood, wanting to return to him badly, but afraid I might have morning breath.” Because Lord knows nothing kills a budding romance like a breath of wake-up stank. But since you smell like juicy freesia burgers I don’t think he’d notice if you had the breath of a camel.

“"You're not usually this confused in the morning," he noted.” Bleh. Just another reminder of the stalking.
“I skipped to the bathroom, my emotions unrecognizable.” The structure of this sentence is terrible. Does she not know how she feels about skipping to the bathroom? Is she not showing her emotions about the bathroom? Does she not know how she feels about bathrooms or skipping or what?

“The face in the mirror was practically a stranger — eyes too bright, hectic spots of red across my cheekbones.” I’m playing a new game with this story – this is Bella’s narrative after Stockholm Syndrome sets in, after Edward has locked her in his basement. In this scene, Edward has obviously given her meth in her sleep.

“"Welcome back," he murmured, taking me into his arms.” I guess young girls would find that romantic, but I’d find it a little creepy if a guy was waiting with his arms outstretched the whole time I was in the bathroom. Being joined at the hip does not denote love.

“He rocked me for a while in silence, until I noticed that his clothes were changed, his hair smooth.
"You left?" I accused, touching the collar of his fresh shirt.
"I could hardly leave in the clothes I came in — what would the neighbors think?"
I pouted.
"You were very deeply asleep; I didn't miss anything."” More disturbing paternalism. Bella is very childish, but does she really need to be described in child-like terms?

“His eyes gleamed. "The talking came earlier."” Of course he wouldn’t leave until he had pried into her private thoughts and feelings. You know, she keeps some things secret because she doesn’t want him to know them. He doesn’t appear to give a sweet bippy what she wants.

“"You said you loved me."” No one in the history of ever sleep talks like that.

“"You are my life now," he answered simply.” That is not romantic. That is creepy. It’s not love, it’s obsession, and why would any person want someone else to be obsessed with them? It’s not fun, and you end up getting badly done poetry and comparisons to cannolis.

“"Breakfast time," he said eventually, casually — to prove, I'm sure, that he remembered all my human frailties.
So I clutched my throat with both hands and stared at him with wide eyes. Shock
crossed his face.
"Kidding!" I snickered. "And you said I couldn't act!"
He frowned in disgust. "That wasn't funny."” I have to admit, that was actually kind of funny on her part. She ruined it by laughing at her own joke, but that’s the sort of thing a normal couple would do. However, Edward is such a ridiculous narcissist that he can’t take any joke that is not made at another person’s expense.

“But I examined his gold eyes carefully, to make sure that I was forgiven.” No one should have to do that.

“He threw me over his stone shoulder, gently, but with a swiftness that left me
breathless. I protested as he carried me easily down the stairs, but he ignored me. He sat me right side up on a chair.” So now she can’t walk unassisted? He doesn’t seem to treat this as a joke, but as her legitimately not being able to walk downstairs without accidentally decapitating herself or sit in a chair without being trampled by a rampaging hippogriph.

“"Can I get you anything?" I asked, not wanting to be rude.
He rolled his eyes. "Just eat, Bella."” He doesn’t even like when she’s trying to be polite?

“"Are you afraid now?" He sounded hopeful.” Oh boy, I scared the weak woman thing!

“"Don't worry." He smirked. "I'll protect you."” Now that he has apparently put the fear of being savagely eaten into her, his good humor is restored.

“"Oh, they already know everything. They'd taken bets yesterday, you know" — he smiled, but his voice was harsh — "on whether I'd bring you back,” O.o And Carlisle’s talent is supposedly compassion? What kind of sick people bet on whether their supposed friend is going to eat his date?

“"Is that any good?" he asked, turning back to me abruptly and eyeing my breakfast with a teasing look on his face. "Honestly, it doesn't look very appetizing."
"Well, it's no irritable grizzly…" I murmured, ignoring him when he glowered.” She’s apparently grown a sense of humor in this chapter, but every time she makes a joke, it just makes Edward madder.

“He stood in the middle of the kitchen, the statue of Adonis again, staring abstractedly out the back windows.” Abstractedly is technically correct, but it doesn’t read well.

“His smile was patient.” Because Bella is a toddler, see.

“"Are you going to tell Charlie I'm your boyfriend or not?" he demanded.” And there he goes with the demanding again. What is he going to do if she doesn’t?

“I suppressed my internal cringing at the thought of Edward and Charlie and the word boy friend all in the same room at the same time.” Why?
“"Well, I don't know if we need to give him all the gory details."” Especially that whole part about me wanting to drink your blood and eat your flesh.

“"But he will need some explanation for why I'm around here so much. I don't want Chief Swan getting a restraining order put on me."” Why would he? Seriously, these two are so wrapped up in their fantasy of forbidden love that they simply forget that Charlie has been urging Bella to date since day one and that he’s gay for Carlisle. Seriously, why are they so obsessed with this imaginary persecution?

“"Will you be?" I asked, suddenly anxious. "Will you really be here?"” This is not a normal or a healthy reaction.

“"Okay." I bounced down the stairs. "I'm decent."
He was waiting at the foot of the stairs, closer than I'd thought, and I bounded right into him. He steadied me, holding me a careful distance away for a few seconds before suddenly pulling me closer.
"Wrong again," he murmured in my ear. "You are utterly indecent — no one should look so tempting, it's not fair."” Considering that she’s tempting in the ‘Please eat me’ sense… also, I defy anyone to say that these books are chaste.

“"You are so absurd."” And Edward’s speech makes no sense.

“The smell of his breath made it impossible to think.” Considering his mouth should smell like a charnel house, I could believe that.

“"Shall I explain how you are tempting me?" he said. It was clearly a rhetorical question.
His fingers traced slowly down my spine, his breath coming more quickly against my skin. My hands were limp on his chest, and I felt lightheaded again. He tilted his head slowly and touched his cool lips to mine for the second time, very carefully, parting them slightly.
And then I collapsed.
"Bella?" His voice was alarmed as he caught me and held me up.
"You… made… me… faint," I accused him dizzily.
"What am I going to do with you?" he groaned in exasperation. "Yesterday I kiss you, and you attack me! Today you pass out on me!"
I laughed weakly, letting his arms support me while my head spun.
"So much for being good at everything," he sighed.
"That's the problem." I was still dizzy. "You're too good. Far, far too good."
"Do you feel sick?" he asked; he'd seen me like this before.
"No — that wasn't the same kind of fainting at all. I don't know what happened." I
shook my head apologetically, "I think I forgot to breathe."
"I can't take you anywhere like this."” I know this is a huge quote chunk, but it’s just so disturbing that it bore full quoting. It’s just… disgusting.

“"I'm very partial to that color with your skin," he offered unexpectedly.” I think this is supposed to make him sound old-fashioned, but it really just makes him sound pretentious.

“The trees held their protecting shadow right up to the walls of the
house that rose among them, making obsolete the deep porch that wrapped around the first story.” Again with the pretentious language. Nobody talks like that.

“The house was timeless, graceful, and probably a hundred years old. It was painted a soft, faded white, three stories tall, rectangular and well proportioned.” Actually, a more ornate, asymmetrical style was popular at the turn of the century. Georgian architecture was out of style, so why is their old house a Georgian?

“The inside was even more surprising, less predictable, than the exterior. It was very bright, very open, and very large.” Wait, how could it be very bright? The entire house is completely shaded in by trees, and even if it wasn’t, Georgian architecture rarely has large windows.

“Waiting to greet us, standing just to the left of the door, on a raised portion of the floor by a spectacular grand piano, were Edward's parents.” I guess they’ve just been waiting there all day for Edward and Princess Speshul Snowflake to arrive.

“Something about her heart-shaped face, her billows of soft, caramel-colored hair, reminded me of the ingénues of the silent-movie era.” Except when Esme died in the 1920’s, most women wore their hair short.

Random Alice acting spastic while her very WASPy family looks on disapprovingly.

“you have a very beautiful home," I added conventionally.” I think that was supposed to be “conversationally”.

“She spoke with feeling, and I realized that she thought I was brave.” I guess it’s easier to think that than that you were blinded by lust.

“She was happy, absorbed — she seemed like a new, mysterious being to me then, someone outside the "mom" persona I took for granted. She'd put me through lessons, of course, but like most kids, I whined until she let me quit.” This is actually kind of sad. Her mother apparently has one skill and one joy in life, and Bella shot it down the second she tried to share it. Then again, our image of Bella in childhood is a spoiled little brat who cries and whines to get her own way in everything.

“"No," she laughed. "Edward didn't tell you he was musical?"
"No." I glared at his suddenly innocent expression with narrowed eyes.” Wait, what? Why would she act like this was some rudeness on his part? She’s never actually asked him about his interests or what he does in his spare time beyond be gorgeous and break into her bedroom.

In this next chunk of dialogue, 10 different words are used instead of ‘said’. Seriously, it reads like a Mad Lib.

“He gave me a long, exasperated look before he turned to the keys.” Why is the only thing Edward is willing to show off how easily he could murder her?

“his eyes wide and persuasive.” I’m not sure what one has to do with the other…

“"I told you he was the most recent to try our way of life. I warned him to keep his distance."
I thought about the reason for that, and shuddered.” So the whole blood drinking thing bothers you when it’s not Edward. I guess because she knows full well that Jasper doesn’t want to sexxorz her.

“Every time I touch you, she just about chokes with satisfaction."” That’s…. really disturbing. Even a fundamentalist discovering the son she thought was gay and going to hell has a girlfriend would not be this happy. It’s just weird.

“"Alice has her own way of looking at things," he said through tight lips.” I’m going to pretend the reason he just got snippy is because Alice saw herself and Bella running away to share passionate lesbian vampire love.

“"I have to, because I'm going to be a little… overbearingly protective over the next few days — or weeks — and I wouldn't want you to think I'm naturally a tyrant."” Except that he is. If he doesn’t think his behavior has been tyrannical or overbearing and he thinks he’s about to behave badly, then he’s even less self-aware than I thought.

“"Yes… well, they aren't like us, of course — in their hunting habits, I mean. They
probably won't come into town at all, but I'm certainly not going to let you out of my sight till they're gone."” Screw everyone else, though. A few dead people don’t bother me if you’re fine!

“I shivered.
"Finally, a rational response!"” He goes on to explain that it’s her self-preservation, but I’d be shivering in fear if Edward Cullen decided he wasn’t going to let me out of his sight for weeks. Also, the plot has arrived – sort of – on page 155 out of 235. That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

“He touched the corner of my eye, trapping one I missed. He lifted his finger, examining the drop of moisture broodingly. Then, so quickly I couldn't be positive that he really did, he put his finger to his mouth to taste it.” He just licked her tears. And she still is not disturbed by this guy. Just… wow.

And here we’re getting into the history fail.

“"Carlisle was born in London, in the sixteen-forties, he believes. Time wasn't marked as accurately then, for the common people anyway.” Except as the son of a prominent minister, Carlisle would have known when he was born. If his father had his own vicarage, he would have known the year. Carlisle should also speak and read Latin and Greek, like all educated boys of his time.

“As the Protestants came into power, he was enthusiastic in his persecution of Roman Catholics and other religions.” First off, what? The Protestants were already in power and had been for over 100 years at that point, and Catholics had been persecuted for over 100 years. As for other religions, what other religions? The Jews were expelled in the 13th century and there sure as hell weren’t any Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus in England at that time. I think she means the Puritans or perhaps the Presbyterians, but an Anglican pastor would not be so happy about that. After all, it was the Church of England – a Royalist institution. Anglican pastors were often thrown into prison.

“"They burned a lot of innocent people” NO THEY DIDN’T! Witches haven’t been burned in England since at most the 1400’s. The last person burned for heresy (not witchcraft) was in 1612. Witches and other supernatural beings were hanged.

“He actually discovered a coven of true vampires that lived hidden in the sewers of the city, only coming out by night to hunt.” Considering the underground sewer system in London wasn’t built until the 1860’s, and the sewers were open ditches running into the Thames, I’m sure it wasn’t that hard. Perhaps she’s thinking of catacombs, but they didn’t have those in London.

“He hid in a cellar, buried himself in rotting potatoes for three days.” That doesn’t make any sense. Partially because potatoes were not frequently consumed as human food until about 1720, and partially because who leaves a cellar full of rotting potatoes?