Monday, July 5, 2010

Chapter 19: Where the Snarker Waxes Philosophical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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