Friday, November 12, 2010

Chapter 20: In Which Dull Trivialities Get Duller

"This room was too bland to belong anywhere but in a hotel." Have to give props for a decent sentence, especially since they are few and far between. I think the last one was in chapter 8.

"The engine was almost silent, though we'd raced across the black freeways at
more than twice the legal speed." So Alice doesn't have to look out for cops either? If her visions of the future rely on choices, can she tell if the local highway patrolman had decided to go get a sandwich? Also, Bella describes her memory as being hazy and fuzzy, but for what reason? Is the trauma so great that she can't remember what she did or is doing, or did they slip something into her juice?

"And I remembered Alice sitting with me on the dark leather backseat. Somehow, during the long night, my head had ended up against her granite neck. My closeness didn't seem to bother her at all, and her cool, hard skin was oddly comforting to me. The front of her thin cotton shirt was cold, damp with the tears that streamed from my eyes until, red and sore, they ran dry." Except for the weirdness about the granite neck, this reads as more gentle, loving behavior on Alice's part than Bella has ever gotten out of Edward.

"the dead look in Edward's eyes after he kissed me the last time…" What? They're going to be parted for maybe a week. She's not in any real danger – just an illusion of danger, because they are all much too stupid to work out anything sensible.

"my arm draped over Alice's shoulder and her arm firm around my waist, dragging me along as I stumbled through the warm, dry shadows." Seems like that would be something the people in the hotel would ask about... two teens are dragging a barely conscious girl into a hotel at the break of dawn and demanding a room.

She's still doing the '"Hi." I said' thing. It's annoying. Carry on.

And... this whole scene is weirdly boring and weirdly strange. Alice is tiptoeing around, takes Bella by the hand to lead her into the next room, and then she and Jasper sit like statues and stare at the TV. Why? Is it because Bella eating is tempting? Or because Smeyer couldn't think of anything else for them to do?

""And should he have called by now?" I could see that I was near the mark. Alice's eyes
flitted from mine to the phone on top of her leather bag and back.
"What does that mean?" My voice quavered, and I fought to control it. "That he hasn't
called yet?"
"It just means that they don't have anything to tell us."
But her voice was too even, and the air was harder to breathe." Bella is being an overdramatizing nit again. Lather, rinse, repeat if desired.

""Bella, Bella, stop," he interrupted me, his words pouring out so quickly they were hard
to understand. "You're worrying about all the wrong things, Bella. Trust me on this —
none of us are in jeopardy. You are under too much strain as it is; don't add to it with
wholly unnecessary worries. Listen to me!" he ordered, for I had looked away. "Our
family is strong. Our only fear is losing you."
"But why should you —"
Alice interrupted this time, touching my cheek with her cold fingers. "It's been almost a
century that Edward's been alone. Now he's found you. You can't see the changes that we
see, we who have been with him for so long. Do you think any of us want to look into his
eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you?"" So... this whole obsession with Edward's favorite little flower sandwich is because he'd be unbearably annoying if he lost her? …. Actually, that's kind of reasonable. I'll accept that.

"Alice called down to the front desk and asked them to ignore our maid service for now." Why not just hang the little sign on the door?

"My babysitters handled the suspense better than I did. As I fidgeted and paced, they
simply grew more still, two statues whose eyes followed me imperceptibly as I moved." Edward must've been absolutely impossible to live with before he met her, or why would they go to this sort of trouble for someone as patently unlikable as Bella?

"I was beginning to wonder exactly what sort of instructions
Edward had given her." Said because Alice follows her into the bedroom. I don't know what to say, beyond that would be an excellent opening for a femslash fic. Or that how come Edward gets to order everyone else around?

""Edward doesn't want me to tell you that," she said firmly, but I sensed she didn't agree." Again, why is it his business what Alice does or doesn't say to her? Why is he the most important member of the family?

"She looked at me with her splendid, wise eyes… choosing." It's kind of weird that Alice is the only one with any descriptor of intelligence or wisdom applied to her, when she generally functions as a frivolous Plot-in-the-Box device. But also, why is it a choice? Is Edward's anger that scary?

And Alice explains the magical venom... but it's still a stupid explanation, because there is no reason for any of it. It just plain doesn't make any sense, especially since Smeyer said her vampires were more scientific. She throws around things like 'carnivorous flower', but it still doesn't make sense.

""Just the mirrors, and the gold. It's a band, around the room. And there's a black table
with a big stereo, and a TV. He's touching the VCR there, but he doesn't watch the way he does in the dark room. This is the room where he waits."" This makes Bella's idiotic running off even more idiotic. I didn't know that the VCR and TV were specifically mentioned in the book, but if Bella had one functioning brain cell, she might realize a bit of this "brilliant" plan. But even though we've been told Bella is smart, she runs on pure emotion. She never thinks, or reasons, or discusses. She just does because of how she feels – and her emotions are all too basic to produce good reactions or good decisions. Maybe this is why I hate her so much, seeing as how I'm apparently a Vulcan, but the slightest bit of careful deliberation would improve her vastly as a character.

""Whatever made him get on that plane… it was leading him to those rooms."" How did the Barefoot Contessa there get on a plane? Did he just pretend that he forgot his shoes at security? Also... don't try to tell me that airport security wouldn't be hassling a barefoot guy with red eyes sniffing every person in his immediate vicinity?

""Bella," he sighed in frustration, "I told you not to worry about anything but yourself."" I see you've been disobeying again, weak woman thing. That's at least a week in the closet for you.

"We think he's heading back to Forks to start over."" This is still stupid. Bella hasn't been in Forks for over 48 hours. If it did rain as much as she claimed, there would not be one iota of her scent left anywhere. Even if it didn't, there still shouldn't be much of her scent left at all, and definitely none that could hold up for 1,583 miles, according to Google Maps. Also... earlier Bella said the drive was a 3-day one. I'd estimate two days if you stopped for a rest... which they don't. Apparently they drive all night without stopping for Bella to do her necessaries. I hate to speculate, but is anyone else reminded of the Lisa Nowak case?

""I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It's like you've taken half my self away with you."" Because that's not creepy and co-dependent to say to your girlfriend of maybe three months.

""Could you believe that, despite everything I've put you through, I love you, too?"" *facepalm*Could he be less self-aware? Seriously, even if this was an apology for his despicable behavior, it wouldn't be near enough. Yet she thinks it's sweet.
"As soon as the phone went dead, the cloud of depression began to creep over me again." Right, Bella Swan knows all about depression. She once read a book about it. Well, not so much a book as a paragraph in her Phys. Ed. textbook, but she knows everything about being depressed.

""It's a ballet studio," I said, suddenly recognizing the familiar shapes.
They looked at me, surprised." How come those two couldn't recognize one? I'd know a ballet studio, and I've never been inside one in my life. Or are they surprised that she would state something so patently obvious?

""They don't have a permanent number except at the house — she's supposed to check
her messages regularly."" Well, isn't that convenient. This is supposed to take place in 2003 or 2004, right? How is it that a baseball player wouldn't have a cell phone?

"For a while, Alice sketched the vague outline of the dark room from her vision, as much as she could see in the light from the TV." Wait, I thought they could see in the dark.