New Moon Chapter 17

Alas, nobody trying to kill Bella is in the room, because the universe hates me. Instead, it’s Alice. She’s… just sort of standing there, not moving.

Bella promptly pees herself with joy, and body-slams Alice: I’d forgotten how hard she was; it was like running headlong into a wall of cement. Here’s a fun experiment: go to a parking garage, find one of those big cement columns, get a good running start and slam yourself into it at top speed. When you get out of the hospital, tell me how many bones you broke.

But since Bella is a Sue, she remains undamaged. Instead, we have a massive outpouring of UBER-LES-YAY.

I locked my arms around her, gasping to inhale as much of the scent of her skin as possible. It wasn’t like anything else—not floral or spice, citrus or musk. No perfume in the world could compare.

  1. Wow, that is super-gay.
  2. And I don’t mean “gay” as an insult. I mean… wow, we have Bella SNIFFING Alice’s skin because of how she smells. That’s pretty gay.
  3. It wouldn’t be that striking if she said that all vampires smell that way. But nope, this is just Alice.
  4. And of course, she took Alice’s departure harder than any other non-Edward Cullens. And Alice lavishes her with presents and parties and loves to hug her…
  5. Hmm, a perfume that isn’t floral, spice, citrus or musk. So… not like a perfume at all.
  6. Thanks for the vivid description, Smeyer. I now know… nothing about how Alice smells. For all I know, she smells like one of those air freshener plug-ins.

 
My memory hadn’t done it justice.

… so this isn’t the first time Bella has wrapped herself around Alice and sniffed her skin, huh?

I only realized I was sobbing when Alice dragged me to the living room couch and pulled me into her lap. It was like curling up into a cool stone, but a stone that was contoured comfortingly to the shape of my body.

“‘I couldn’t live without you, Bella,’ she whispered sensuously. We were making sweet stony love when Charlie wandered in…”

Seriously, Bella might as well give up on Edturd and just marry Alice. She seems to regard them roughly the same way.

 
“I’m…sorry,” I blubbered. “I’m just…so happy…to see you!”

“… in my pants!”

Alice sighed. “I’d forgotten how exuberant you are,” she said, and her tone was disapproving.

  1. Alice fucking DANCES instead of walking. She’s so twee that she makes Zooey Deschanel looks like Charles Manson.
  2. Who is she to “disapprove” of how anyone else acts?
  3. And “exuberant”? Um, since when has Bella ever been exuberant? She whines about everything
  4. Or maybe it’s another reference to their secret lesbian affair.

Bella then realizes that Alice hasn’t fed lately, so she’s thirsty.

 
And I smelled appetizing.

Insert lesbian joke here. I’m running out.

 
The look she directed at me then was a glare. “Speaking of which, would you like to explain to me how you’re alive?”

“I’m deeply offended by you failing to die! You’ve messed up my perfect track record!

Alice is being kind of a bitch, isn’t she? She thought Bawla was dead, but wheh she finds out she’s not, there are no squeals or hugs or “I’m so glad you’re alive!” Instead she glares and demands explanations. What kind of sick freak is upset because someone else DIDN’T die?

awkward pause

It’s different with me! Bella’s not a real person!

Bella, being a Jane Austen reader, immediately deduces that Alice saw her suicide-attempt-that-wasn’t-because-Smeyer-is-too-much-of-a-wuss-to-write-one. Really? I thought Alice would be rushing back to spend time basking in Bella’s winning personality.

 
I swallowed loudly. “You saw me fall.”
“No,” she disagreed, her eyes narrowing. “I saw you jump.”

Uh, yeah. People don’t deliberately climb to the top of cliffs with nothing on them, and then randomly fall off for no reason. Not unless they have seizures or something.

 
“I told him this would happen, but he didn’t believe me. ‘Bella promised,’” her voice imitated his so perfectly that I froze in shock while the pain ripped through my torso.

Also:

Except Roy thankfully keeps it to one episode instead of the WHOLE FUCKING SEASON. And yes, I just compared Bawla Wan to an unshaven, sloppy, Irish, probably Catholic IT nerd who uses many wonderful four-letter words. I love the idea of the pain that would cause Smeyer.

And Edturd is an idiot. He sounds like a five-year-old. “Bella PROMISED! She made a PROMISE, so she’s GOTTA! It’s not like she’s a pathological liar or anything!”

 
“‘Don’t be looking for her future, either,’” she continued to quote him. “‘We’ve done enough damage.’

“Because clearly looking at her future means ruining her life!”

Just admit you don’t wanna hear the facts. Either she becomes a vampire, or she moves on with her life and dates someone else. Either way, Edturd doesn’t get what he wants: a weak human groupie who will waste her whole life on him while he constantly intimidates her.

Alice says that she wasn’t actually TRYING to keep an eye on Bella’s future, but since Bella is destined to be a sparkly white Mormon Cullen, Alice is “already attuned” to her. Or maybe she was jealously making sure that Bella didn’t date any other girls. Anyway, she saw Bella jumping off a cliff, but didn’t see Bella getting rescued.

So… how come she didn’t see Bella trying to flatten herself against trees? Or being stalked by Victoria and Laurent?

 
“when I saw you jumping, I didn’t think, I just got on a plane.”

Clearly she DIDN’T think, or she would have tried using that newfangled invention called… the phone. You know, those little boxes of metal and plastic that people keep on their persons so other people can call them on other little boxes of metal and plastic?

“What happened? And how could you do that to Charlie?”

Very easily. Not a single thought about him, really.

 
“Did you stop to think what this would do to him?”

No, she didn’t. But don’t forget, she’s totally unselfish.

 
“And my brother? Do you have any idea what Edward—”

I think when you dump someone and leave the country to avoid them, you officially lose any right to be upset about what they do.

 
I’d let her go on, even after I realized the misunderstanding she was under, just to hear the perfect bell tone of her voice.

Again, marvel at what an unselfish person Bella is. She lets somebody rant on incorrectly because she’s busy orgasming over their voice.

 
“Alice, I wasn’t committing suicide.”

Would you like some baloney with that bullshit, ma’am? Yeah, she’s only an emo teen who has been wangsting, having nightmares and contemplating how her life is over and she can’t survive, blah blah blah. But when she jumps off a cliff, it’s NOT to commit suicide.

Again, cowardly. Smeyer wants all the drama and wangst of suicide without actually getting to compromise any morals, so she just retcons Bella’s suicide jump so oh, no, it was just an EXTREEEEEEEEEEEME version of her already-dangerous stunts. It wasn’t meant to KILL her.

Bella keeps babbling about how she was just cliff diving, and she wasn’t trying to hurt herself HONEST. Alice doesn’t buy it, possibly because she has an IQ higher than spinach.

 
“So if you saw me go in, why didn’t you see Jacob?”

“It was the airline food. It was so bad it fogged up my psychic senses.”

Alice finds it a little disturbing that her magical future-seeing abilities didn’t show her that Jacob pulled Bella’s ass out of the water. Of course, that doesn’t explain why she hasn’t seen Bella’s future SINCE THEN, especially since she’s been hanging out at Billy’s house having oh-so-symbolic dreams.

And if she can’t see werewolves or anything having to do with them, wouldn’t her future-seeing of Bella include a lot of dead spots? You know, when she was spending time around the pack? WOULDN’T THAT RAISE SOME SUSPICIONS? Wouldn’t she NOTICE that suddenly Bella’s future has a lot of dead air?!

 
Then she deliberately leaned in and sniffed my shoulder.

“Alice, my darling, not now…”
“Relax, Bella. My super-psychic precognitive powers tell me Charlie won’t be home for hours…”
“I’M HOME!”

No, it turns out that she can smell werewolf on Bella, since Bella has been oozing all over the nearest hot male available. Bella spares a brief thought for Jacon’s feelings, then forgets all about it. After all, there’s a sparklepire to gush over! Who needs those smelly poor ethnic werewolves?!

 
“He was a fool to think you could survive alone. I’ve never seen anyone so prone to life-threatening idiocy.”

“After all, you’re just a woman, so you couldn’t possibly survive without a man!”
“But you’re a woman too!”
“No, I’m an UberMensch SparkleMormon. Also, you’re not really a woman without a working uterus.”

 
I gnawed on my lip for a second. Was this a secret, or not?

If Sam didn’t allow Jacob to tell a vampire groupie about the werewolf thing, I suspect none of them would want you to blurt the information out TO A FUCKING VAMPIRE.

This is one of the biggest problems with this series: this wolf pack not only cares about Bella’s well-being, but they actually go to extreme lengths for her benefit. THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Not only is she in bed with their mortal enemies, but she betrayed them as soon as the slightest bit of pressure was put on her. She told Alice INSTANTLY.

It’s pretty obvious that the werewolves wanted to be a SECRET, since Sam forced all of them to not tell Bella anything, hence that stupid scene where Jacob keeps trying to get Bella to guess it. Since there’s no mention of keeping it secret from other people connected to the wolves, I’m going to assume that Sam just didn’t trust HER. And it turns out, he was right not to trust her. And because she did that, the werewolves just lost the advantage of surprise. Especially since the Volturi have ANOTHER MIND-READER, so soon THEY will get to find out about their species’ sworn enemies. Awesome.

But does betraying the people who had been protecting her (while the Cullens were screwing around somewhere else) have ANY negative repercussions for Bella? OF COURSE NOT.

 
And if it was, then who was my greatest allegiance to? Jacob, or Alice?

It’s pretty fucking obvious who her greatest allegience is to. When Jacob brought up the Cullens and revealed that he knew pretty much everything about them, Bella refused to even admit they were vampires. Alice brings up the Quileutes? She barfs all their secrets in under a second.

FUCK YOU, BELLA SWAN. FUCK YOU WITH A RUSTY SCREWDRIVER.

It was too hard to keep secrets, I decided.

  1. “Oh, my loyalties are so divided! Should I stick with the poor guy I use as human marijuana, or the girl I’m schmoozing so I can bang her rich brother?… well, dilemma over. I’m gonna betray the werewolf.”
  2. And wow, don’t tell Bella anything confidentially. She’ll blurt it out immediately.
  3. As if she couldn’t get any LESS sympathetic, she just betrayed the only likable, selfless characters in this book (except Chris Brown).
  4. And why did she do that? Because it’s haaaaaaaard to keep secrets, waaaaaaa!
  5. This is Smeyer’s pathetic way of trying to make it seem like Bella isn’t betraying anyone, and is just blurting out secrets in general. Funny how she only told the vampires important secrets about the werewolves, and not the other way around.
  6. And no, the vampires’ superpowers are not important. Jasper’s roofie-powers never have anything to do with… ANYTHING. And Alice’s future-seeing powers really don’t matter to the werewolves either, especially since she can’t use her powers on them.

 
Jacob knew everything, why not Alice, too?

I dunno. Maybe because Jacob referred to the vampires as THEIR ENEMY?

And the reason Jacob knows everything is because the OTHER WEREWOLVES TOLD HIM. Bella told him almost nothing… but is telling Alice EVERYTHING after she was told nothing by the other vampires.

 
“See, well, he’s…sort of a werewolf,” I admitted in a rush. “The Quileutes turn into wolves when there are vampires around.”

WHAT?!

I’m sorry, how does that work? For one thing, the Cullens were there for a few years, and apparently NO Quileutes turned into werewolves during that time (I guess because all Indian teens are the same ages in Smeyerworld). But one or two vampires dancing around in the vicinity, and suddenly there’s a WHOLE PACK!

And what does she mean “when there are vampires around”? That was never exposited! We never heard that! Nobody said that!

Also, this is another quality that is never explained – at least not satisfactorily.

This would be one of those things that might actually make sense if the werewolves had a decent origin story that EXPLAINED qualities like this, and why they would ONLY transform if vampires were nearby. God. Spirits. Aliens. SOMETHING. A species “made” to hunt and kill another species, who have several unexplained supernatural qualities aiding them in that quest such as being PSYCHIC DEAD SPOTS, could only have been specifically DESIGNED.

But no, we never get a real explanation. The closest thing we get is a description about how some chief got pissed off when his wife was killed in a battle with a vampire, but that doesn’t explain why they don’t transform unless vampires are nearby, or why they’re psychic dead zones to the vampires.

(Yes, we do eventually get an origin story for the Quileute werewolves… and no, they weren’t “made” to hunt vampires. It had nothing to do with anything. So yeah, total fail)

It turns out that Alice hadn’t joined the cult family when Carlisle made the treaty, so she was completely unaware that the werewolves even existed. Wait, WHAT?

  1. So even though they were living in the area, NONE of the Cullens bothered to tell Alice that oh by the way, those Indians living a few miles away are werewolves that could theoretically kill them?
  2. This is especially stupid because they have this tripwire treaty that will lead to open warfare and lots of death if either side screws up – which includes trespassing on tribal land.
  3. So Carlisle didn’t bother to tell Alice to avoid Quileute land?! And WHY? And by the way, EVERYBODY IN THEIR “FAMILY” COULD DIE IF SHE DOESN’T?
  4. I’d like to remind you that the Cullens are depicted as the “perfect” family who love and respect each other, blah blah better than any mere human family etc etc. Yet they don’t inform each other of major important factors like… THIS?!
  5. Yeah, they’re a GREAT family.


They make Odin’s family look functional.

Suddenly, her eyes widened, and she turned to stare at me with a shocked expression. “Your best friend is a werewolf?”

I need to heal myself with some MST3K.

“How long has this been going on?”

“You’ve been cheating on me… I mean, Edward?”

Bella points out that Jacob is a brand-new werewolf, which Alice considers even worse.

 
“Edward was right—you’re a magnet for danger. Weren’t you supposed to be staying out of trouble?”

No, she’s not a magnet for danger. She’s been seeking it out.

 
“There’s nothing wrong with werewolves,” I grumbled, stung by her critical tone.

Really, Bawla?

Yeah, no possible problems there.

 
“Until they lose their tempers.”

Thank you, Alice.

I think Bella is just doing the same thing as Anita Blake: she takes the opposite side of whoever she’s talking to, just so she can seem like she’s above it all.

 
“Leave it to you, Bella. Anyone else would be better off when the vampires left town. But you have to start hanging out with the first monsters you can find.”

“Well, DUH. It’s not like any of the stupid boring humans are worthy of my attention. If there hadn’t been any werewolves, I would have had to go searching for fairies!”

 
I was still trembling with joy that she was really, truly here, that I could touch her marble skin and hear her wind-chime voice

Does Smeyer realize she’s even doing this? I mean, this is actually worse than all the meat in Eragon!

But then Bella tells Alice about Laurent and Victoria, and how the werewolves have been constantly saving her flabby butt from them. For some reason, this comes as a massive shock to Ms. I See The Future. After all, she can’t be expected to see ANY plot points that aren’t dramatically convenient!

And in case somebody points out that she can’t see the werewolves… that still doesn’t explain the lack of Victoria and Laurent. So what, anyone geographically NEAR the werewolves is invisible to her? THEN WHY DID SHE SEE BELLA JUMPING OFF A CLIFF?

 
I pointed at my chest. “Danger magnet, remember?”

And proud of it. It means she’s able to stay the center of the universe. There’s no real reason otherwise why she would be.

Bella tells Alice all about her time with the werewolves, and avoids mentioning the suicidal stunts because… I don’t know. What does she think Alice is going to do if she knows?

And for some reason, she also tells Alice about Harry. Um, why? Alice didn’t know Harry at all, and his death had nothing to do with Victoria or Laurent.

 
Her eyes narrowed almost to slits at that part. It was strange to see her look so…so dangerous—like a vampire.

Even Smeyer thinks her vampires aren’t scary. Or vampirelike.

And I love how the slightest hint of bad temper from Jacob is SO VEWY SCAWY, but Alice being pissy and vampirelike is just “strange.”

 
I fell quiet, struck again by the borrowed grief at Harry’s passing.

Borrowed from whom? Jacob dropped the subject so he could fuss about Bella, and she hasn’t even seen Charlie yet.

As for Billy… please, like Bella cares how he feels. He’s Native American. And old. And disabled. And so not hot. And he doesn’t worship at her shrine like every other penis-carrying Y-chromosome-having person in the series.

“Our leaving didn’t do you any good at all, did it?” Alice murmured.

It didn’t do the readers any good either. Actually, it made things even worse.

 
I laughed once—it was a slightly hysterical sound. “That was never the point, though, was it? It’s not like you left for my benefit.”

I hate to agree with the sociopathic bitch, but it’s true. If they actually cared about Jasper going berserk over a drop of blood, they would live far away from humans so a scraped knee wouldn’t send them into a feeding frenzy. Instead, they live in heavily populated areas.

The real reason they left because Edturd is too much of a controlling dick to let his girlfriend become a vampire, not because they actually were worried for anyone.

I’d like to point out that this is yet another instance where massive amounts of trouble (and later on, DEATH) could have been easily avoided if Edturd had just let Bella become a vampire in the previous book, instead of risking her LIFE to keep her human. Which is doubly stupid because she WANTED TO BECOME A VAMPIRE. But no, if Bella became a vampire, Edturd wouldn’t be able to intimidate her with how strong and deadly he is all the time, and force her to do what he wants. So no vampirism for you, Bella!

Bella then grabs Alice’s shirt and has a panic attack at the idea that Alice might leave.

 
“Don’t go, Alice,” I whispered. My fingers locked around the collar of her white shirt and I began to hyperventilate. “Please don’t leave me.”

“Don’t you realize how much I love you?!”

Oh, and…

Alice pretty clearly thinks Bella has lost her tiny mind (I agree), so she humors Bella by agreeing to stay that night at least. She also points out that Bella looks rotten, which gives Bella another opportunity to talk about herself and how tragic her life is.

 
“Alice,” I sighed. “What did you think you were going to find? I mean, besides me dead? Did you expect to find me skipping around and whistling show tunes? You know me better than that.”

“I mean, that would be DOING STUFF. I NEVER do stuff! And I take pride in ALWAYS being the most miserable whiny person around! Happiness is for dumb people who don’t read Jane Austen!”

 
“I do. But I hoped.”
“Then I guess I don’t have the corner on the idiocy market.”

Bitch. Alice should walk out and leave her to flop around like a dying fish. She agrees to hang around and deal with Bella’s lazy ass even though she clearly doesn’t want to, and Bella calls her an idiot. BITCH.

Bella then gets a two-second phone call from Jacob, who was merely confirming that Alice hadn’t killed her. It’s pointless, so I won’t bother riffing it.

 
“They aren’t excited I’m here.”
“Not especially. But it’s none of their business anyway.”

Except for that whole “mortal enemies” thing. And the “protecting people from vampires like your murderous ex-boyfriend who planned to kill a classroom of innocent people” thing.

So actually, it’s their business more than YOURS. Who gave her the idea that she can decide what is whose business anyway? Not only does she constantly horn in on other people’s lives and secrets, but she then turns around and sniffs “It’s not HIS/HER/THEIR business, anyway, so they can go suck a duck!” when she doesn’t want others interfering.

Also, Bella seems to have the idiotic idea that mortal enemies who hate each other with a passion should just get over it if a teenage girl says, “Like, you shouldn’t fight and stuff!”, and seems to believe that there’s no validity in either side’s dislike of each other.

NEWS FLASH: the werewolves are violent and uncontrollable.
OTHER NEWS FLASH: the vampires are also violent and uncontrollable, AND the staple of the vampire diet is HUMAN BLOOD.

 
“So what do we do now?” she mused. She seemed to talk to herself for a moment. “Things to do. Loose ends to tie.”

“Brother’s ex-girlfriends to bury in the woods…”
“What?”
“Nothing, nothing.”

Despite that comment, Alice doesn’t actually know what to do. Wow, it would be REALLY useful if she could see the future right now. Too bad we don’t have a character who does that.

 
“I don’t know for sure… I need to see Carlisle.”

“I’m a mere weak female. I can’t think. I need a man to tell me what to do!”

Hey, here’s an idea: Alice hops back on a plane and takes Bella with her, so she can be hidden away until they can figure out what to do about Victoria. Especially since – NEWS FLASH – Edward isn’t even with the Cullens, and he doesn’t control Alice’s life.

Bella starts sniveling pathetically about how she wants Alice to stay with her, and she guilts Alice into it even though Alice CLEARLY doesn’t want to stay. I wouldn’t either. Imagine this pasty, haggard, crazy-looking creature with salt-damaged hair crawling over, with runny eyes and nose. It’s like having Gollum begging you to stay the night because he needs something to hug instead of the Precious.

Forfucksake, GOLLUM has more dignity after losing the One Ring than Bella does after her boyfriend of six months dumps her. And arguably, he’s a lot less annoying. And less whiny. And I want to kill him less.

So Alice leaves to go get a bite to eat – I bet the ecosystem was just starting to recover – and get some clothes. Um, does she mean getting clothes from the car, or from the abandoned house?

 
she held up one finger and closed her eyes. Her face went smooth and blank for a few seconds.
And then her eyes opened and she answered her own question. “Yes, you’ll be fine. For tonight, anyway.”

“Well, since you’re never wrong, Alice, I’ll just forget about that impending death thing! There’s no chance – OH GOSHDARN IT TO HECK, VICTORIA IS IN THE BATHROOM!”

 
I sniffed my shoulders as I undressed, but I couldn’t smell anything but the brine and seaweed scent of the ocean. I wondered what Alice had meant about me smelling bad.

Ummmm… maybe it was the werewolf smell? She sort of made that clear.

Or maybe Bella just doesn’t care much about hygiene. She did sit in her sand-and-salt-encrusted clothes all night, and hasn’t mentioned that she’s FILTHY. Add another tally to the “Bella is the Mormon Anita Blake” list.

And since all women must be domestic goddesses who make the house satisfactory to the Big Strong Menfolk, Bella immediately starts fixing up a fold-out couch for Alice and microwaving a casserole. Wow, she just made the grilled cheese sandwiches look like haute cuisine. She can’t even bother to make something fresh for Charlie, despite being a Domestic Goddess.

 
I went to go try to watch TV while I waited.

It was a movie called The Doomsday Machine. I loved every minute of it!

 
Alice was already there, sitting on her improvised bed. Her eyes were a liquid butterscotch. She smiled and patted the pillow.

Once more…

“You’re early,” I said, elated.

That’s what she said!

… sorry, I won’t do that again.

 
“Bella. What are we going to do with you?”

I have an idea. It involves several pounds of concrete, an anvil, a river, and a lot of duct tape. Fortunately, Bella never struggles.

Bella asks if Edturd knows that Alice came to see her. Uh, why does she think ANYONE knows Alice is there, since Alice stated earlier that she just jumped on a plane?

But it turns out that… Edward isn’t living with Carlisle and Esme anymore! OH NOES!… for some reason.

 
“He checks in every few months.”

“Mostly when he needs laundry done.”

 
He must still be out enjoying his distractions.

… I don’t know what that means. Is that a euphemism or something?

We’re also told that the other vampires are in Denali, visiting the other Mormon vampires (I refuse to call them “vegetarian”), and Jasper apparently DOES know that Alice is in Forks. Um, if she immediately ran out to fly down to Forks, why did she also stop to tell other people about it?

 
“Charlie thinks you’re wonderful, Alice.”

“I mean, he adores the sister of the boy who turned me into a zombie. BFFs forever!”

Charlie comes up to the house, clearly depressed.

 
I walked forward to meet him; he didn’t even see me until I hugged him around the waist.

HOW TALL ARE THEY?! Bella is eighteen years old. Unless Charlie once played for the NBA or she’s a little person, she shouldn’t be able to hug him around the waist.

I know Smeyer like to infantilize her female characters as much as possible, but DAMN. Why didn’t an editor catch that?

 
“I’m so sorry about Harry, Dad.”

“Thanks, Bella. I-”
“Well, enough about that dead guy I met once and didn’t really care about because he wasn’t hot or a teenager. Alice is inside and she’s all sparkly and stony and I sniffed her perfumed skin and suddenly my life has meaning again and stuff!”

 
“How’s Sue doing?”
“She seems dazed, like she hasn’t grasped it yet.”

Oh, she’ll come to terms with it soon enough. In fact, I suspect she’ll be dating (if anyone dates) before the series is over. Call me psychic.

 
“Those poor kids. Leah’s just a year older than you, and Seth is only fourteen….” He shook his head.

Yes, that poor girl of NINETEEN. She’ll barely be able to understand what’s going on.

And in case you’re wondering, the story of Seth, Leah and the late Harry leads into a much more interesting story than Bella’s, with much more character development. So of course, we will just get an after-the-fact sum-up of it. Another reason to hate Bella: she’s distracting us from characters who are interesting.

Only then does Charlie notice that Carlisle’s car is there, because nobody else in the world has a black Mercedes. Alice comes ducking out to see Charlie, claiming, “I was in the neighborhood.” Yes, because there are so many reasons to be passing through the area of Forks. Lame excuse. Why doesn’t she say she was there to check on the house or handle something local for a friend?

 
“She can stay here, can’t she?” I pleaded. “I already asked her.”

Can she stay in my room? Can we sleep in the same bed?”

There’s a lot of generic dialogue, followed by Bella and Alice doing more suggestive cuddling on the couch. We also find out that Carlisle and Esme are incommunicado, because they’re on a hunting trip. Again, CELL PHONES.

The previous book had a number of cell phones in it, so why do none of the Cullens seem to have them in THIS book? This is the 21st century, and the Cullens have pots of money. There is NO reason for them not to have dozens of phones! Oh right, plot convenience.

Also, Carlisle is a doctor. Why can’t he just STEAL bags of blood and drink them?

 
“You won’t tell him, though…when he checks in again?” I asked. She knew I didn’t mean Carlisle now.

… why would she know that? Bella was talking about Carlisle one sentence again!

 
“No. He’d bite my head off,” Alice said grimly.
I laughed once, and then sighed.

“I wish Edward would bite MY head off! It’s so dreamy!”

Smeyer than runs out of dialogue, so Bella randomly falls asleep like a narcoleptic… even though she just woke up a short time ago. In fact, she’s been sleeping most of the last 24 hours. I rested my head on her stone shoulder, and drifted into a more peaceful oblivion than I had any hope of. Yes, because nothing makes a better pillow than a ROCK.

She wakes up the following morning and hears Charlie and Alice talking about her in the kitchen. Conveniently, she wakes right at the beginning of the conversation rather than the middle or end.

 
It sounded like Charlie was fixing her breakfast.

What?! A MAN cooking something? Clearly Charlie has forgotten that men are incapable of cleaning and cooking! They are only capable of doing manly tasks like repairing machinery and watching sports!

Alice is asking Charlie just how insane Bella was after Edturd left. Apparently Bella was just sitting there not moving for the first week, so Charlie called his ex-wife Renee to come drag Bella’s diapered ass to Florida. His reason?

 
“I just didn’t want to be the one…if she had to go to a hospital or something.”

Wow. You asshole. So you just shift all the heartbreak and guilt onto Renee, huh? I guess since Renee is a comical flake, she doesn’t have any deeper feelings.

 
“But when we started packing her clothes, she woke up with a vengeance. I’ve never seen Bella throw a fit like that. She was never one for the tantrums, but, boy, did she fly into a fury. She threw her clothes everywhere and screamed that we couldn’t make her leave”

Yeah, that’ll prove that she doesn’t need to be institutionalized. Insane violent tantrums!

So then, Bella went back to her usual life, but she barely talked to anyone and “her eyes were blank.” So… back to normal.

 
“she wouldn’t listen to music anymore; I found a bunch of CDs broken in the trash. She didn’t read; she wouldn’t be in the same room when the TV was on, not that she watched it so much before. I finally figured it out—she was avoiding everything that might remind her of…him.

Oh, so dramatic!

  1. Here’s a thought: she could listen to NEW music. Or is Bella supposed to have heard all the music worth listening to?
  2. Same with books. How about books OTHER than the small list of high-profile, obvious romance classics that Smeyer likes to name-drop? How about Bella tries expanding her horizons instead of eradicating them?
  3. How about some authors like Calvino, Bronte, Wodehouse, Wharton, James, Proust, Fitzgerald, Collins, Cather, Zola, Colette, Gaskell, Dumas, Woolf and others?
  4. Or are we supposed to assume that ALL books Bella has EVER read now remind her of Edward? Yeah, I can’t see books like Cosmicomics, Mrs. Dalloway or The Moonstone reminding her much of him.
  5. When did Bella ever watch TV before?! What are the odds that she’d ever see something that reminded her of Edturd? I think we’ve only heard of her watching one movie with him in this whole series.
  6. Or, again, is so she so VEWY twaumatized that seeing anyone anywhere with a significant other causes her pain?
  7. If so, then fuck her.

 
“We could hardly talk; I was so worried about saying something that would upset her—the littlest things would make her flinch—and she never volunteered anything. She would just answer if I asked her something.”

Again, how is this abnormal? This is Bella. She barely spoke to her father in the entire first book, and she hardly ever brought up any topics unless she was pumping him for information.

“She was alone all the time. She didn’t call her friends back, and after a while, they stopped calling.”

ONCE AGAIN, where is the abnormal behavior? Stop pretending Bella had a non-Cullen social life!

Then Charlie brings up how Bella has been much better and happier since she started spending time with Jacob, and he’s totally in favor of them hooking up because Jacob Iz Wunnerful, unlike Edturd.

 
“He’s a year or so younger than her,”

Gasp! That means that any potential relationship between them is an abomination! Only much-older men and much-younger women must hook up!

“Jake’s old for his years,” he continued, still sounding defensive.

“He looks older than he is, so that counts as being older than Bella! It’s not weird!”

 
“He’s taken care of his father physically the way Bella took care of her mother emotionally.”

So… not at all? Ever?

 
“He’s a good-looking kid, too—takes after his mom’s side.”

Billy doesn’t worship Bella, therefore he is ugly. I love the nuanced characterizations in this series.

But then Charlie wangsts about how much pain poor Bella was in, and how frightening the amount of her pain is. Because NOBODY in the world has suffered as much as poor wittle Bella has! Nobody feeeeeeels love and loss like poor wittle Bella does! She’s just so speshully snowflakey!

 
“Not like someone… left her, but like someone died.”

I hate to break it to you, Charlie, but people DO die. They expire. They cease to live. They pine for the fjords.

And you know what? When people die, other people grieve. They’re sad. Sometimes they break down and need time and counseling to cope with it. But they work through it unless they are Laurell K Hamilton and eventually the grief fades. It may never go away completely, but it does fade to the point where the living can cope with everyday life, laugh, think about the deceased, and generally continue as ever.

Charlie… is implying that if someone dies, you have a complete mental breakdown and effectively cease living. FOREVER.

This is moronic. Charlie has got to at least be in his late thirties or early forties. When a person gets to that age, they have usually lost at least a few loved ones. Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, perhaps cousins or siblings have bitten the big one. Yet he has this ridiculous idea that “someone had died” means you go into a permanent emotional tailspin.

And you know what makes this REALLY fucking insulting? A close friend of Charlie’s died THAT VERY MORNING. He has spent the day comforting the WIDOW, the woman whose love just DIED. He didn’t dump her and head off on a trip like Edturd. HE DIED. He left behind TWO CHILDREN who are also presumably very upset about their father unexpectedly dying (and one suffers from guilt issues), and probably plenty of siblings, cousins, even parents who are also grieved at his passing. Not to mention friends.

And yet we’re supposed to think that POOOOOOORRRR WITTLE BELLA is suffering sooooo much more than Sue, Seth or Leah. But hey, they’re poor and non-white, and Sue’s love for her husband of many years wasn’t as true as Bella and the sparklepire she dated for six months.

FUCK. YOU. SMEYER.

It was like someone had died—like I had died. Because it had been more than just losing the truest of true loves, as if that were not enough to kill anyone.

Except, you know, people DO survive that. Frequently. And sometimes they even get someone NEW later on.

 
It was also losing a whole future, a whole family—the whole life that I’d chosen….

Yes, she’s emo and despairing and miserable because she won’t get to be a rich hot sparkly immortal. BOO. HOO. Allow me to whip out my tiny violin to show how sad I am that Bella Swan won’t get to be an immortal 1%er when she had her cold wittle cast-iron heart set on it.

 
“I don’t know if she’s going to get over it—I’m not sure if it’s in her nature to heal from something like this. She’s always been such a constant little thing. She doesn’t get past things, change her mind.”

  1. Charlie, she’s like that because she’s a creepy stalker who has a meltdown if she doesn’t get her way.
  2. That doesn’t make her “constant.” It makes her greedy and bratty.
  3. And if she’s incapable of “healing” from the trauma of being dumped by her boyfriend, then she needs psychiatric help. In a padded cell. Preferably with a nice warm jacket.
  4. Charlie can try to make this seem normal all he likes, with his warped ideas of grieving and his “oh, it’s in her NATURE” attitudes. It doesn’t erase the fact that when you boil it down, it’s just: Bella wanted something, didn’t get it, and had a complete mental breakdown when it went away.

 
“She’s one of a kind,” Alice agreed in a dry voice.

Thank God for that.

And I love how even Alice is clearly not impressed. She’s not aghast at poor wittle Bella’s suffering, she’s just sort of “Yeah, she’s a total lunatic, isn’t she? FML.”

“Now, you know how fond I am of you, and I can tell that she’s happy to see you, but…I’m a little worried about what your visit will do to her.”
“So am I, Charlie, so am I. I wouldn’t have come if I’d had any idea. I’m sorry.”

If only Alice could see the future!

And I’m still loving this. Upon seeing what a pathetic clinging harpy Bella is being, Alice really wishes she hadn’t come here. And she’s obviously DYING to leave.


“Edwaaaaaaaaaard!”

There was a long break while forks scraped plates and Charlie chewed. I wondered where Alice was hiding the food.

I’m pretty sure we don’t want to know. And small question: if the vampires ARE capable of “hiding” food, then how come they didn’t do it at the cafeteria at the high school?

Charlie then asks Alice if “he” (ie Edturd, since the name must never be mentioned within six miles of Bella’s precious ears) is also coming back to Forks. Alice says he’s not, and that he’s currently romping through South America. Not a specific country or anything, just “South America.” Like Africa, it is all one homogeneous blob to the enlightened White SparkleMormons.

 
Charlie snorted. “Well, I hope he’s enjoying himself.”

Silly Charlie. Smart cultured people NEVER enjoy themselves. They’re too busy being tormented.

This makes Alice bitchy for a split second, and since Sparklepires are always right, Charlie doesn’t say anything. The sound of her “beloved” father getting bitchslapped by a sparklepire is Bella’s cue to pretend to wake up. Add “eavesdropping” to the miles-long list of her character defects.

And since Bella doesn’t want Charlie around, he magically has to go somewhere else, so she and Alice can sit around and make out talk all day long. And no, it never occurs to Bella that maybe Alice has OTHER stuff she’d rather be doing.

Charlie had to leave then—he was helping Sue Clearwater with the funeral arrangements.

She was thinking about a Tim Burton theme.

 
She never spoke about leaving, and I didn’t ask her.

I just chained her ankle to the couch.

So when Alice isn’t trying to wriggle out the window, she tells Bella about the Cullens sans Edturd, who are all basically doing the same ol’ same ol’. Carlisle is being saintly and healing the sick with his vampire halo, Esme is beaming maternally at nothing, Jasper is doing… something, and Emmett and Rosalie have been sexing their way through Europe.

I love how Bella has been wangsting about their loss all these months, and the loss of HER hasn’t affected them at all. They couldn’t give a fuck. And despite darling Edturd being soooooo important to his family, they sure don’t seem to care that he’s run off to mope in the great country of South America.

 
Carlisle was working nights in Ithaca and teaching part time at Cornell.

“He kept trying to turn the beautiful male students into vampires, so he had to give up that job.”

 
Esme was restoring a seventeenth century house, a historical monument, in the forest north of the city.

Is Smeyer aware that when you “restore” a historical monument, you have strict guidelines about what you’re NOT allowed to do? As in, you’re not allowed to rip out all the period detail and turn it into a sterile white box with glass walls, like she seems to think the best homes are?

You notice how Esme has no job or occupation outside of the house? Even if she’s too filthy rich to ever be a proper housewife like Emily, she shows her proper place by doting on people who aren’t her kids and spending all her time fussing around the house.

Emmett and Rosalie had gone to Europe for a few months on another honeymoon, but they were back now.

They were in a great mood now that Edturd wasn’t doom-and-glooming the place with his sexual frustration.

 
Jasper was at Cornell, too, studying philosophy this time.

Yawn. Next boring character, please.

The only one doing anything interesting is Alice herself. Remember how at the end of the previous book, James dropped some blatant exposition about how he totally tried to kill Alice when she was human, and this revealed some stuff about her Mysterious Past? For no reason at all? Well, since then she’s been figuring out where the hell she came from.

TL;DR, her original name was Mary Alice Brandon, she found out very little information about her family, and she has a living niece living in Biloxi.

 
“Did you find out why they put you in…that place?” What would drive parents to that extreme?

How about days of catatonic staring, screeching violent tantrums, followed by months of suicidal behavior over being dumped by a boyfriend?

 
Even if their daughter saw visions of the future….

Why would you assume that, idiot?! Last time I checked, correctly predicting “The 12:45 train from Nashville is going to derail!” doesn’t make you mentally ill.

Hell, since vampirism seemed to hit a reset button on Alice’s brain, maybe she actually WAS mentally ill. Certainly her dancing flower pixie act isn’t the sort of thing that most sane people do.

“My family wasn’t mentioned often; they weren’t part of the social circle that made the papers.”

“WAAAAAHHHHHH JUST LIKE MY PATHETIC HUMAN FAMILY! I’LL NEVER BE A SPARKLY VAMPIIIRREEEEE…”
“I think I need to go now.”

 
“My birth was announced…and my death. I found my grave.”

Um… if a person went missing from a mental hospital, and their body was never found, would there be a definite death announcement? I could see declaring them dead after a certain period had passed, but this makes it sound like everybody KNEW she was “dead” once she became a vampire.

 
“I also filched my admissions sheet from the old asylum archives. The date on the admission and the date on my tombstone are the same.”

… so she was admitted AFTER she died and… WHAT? This whole conversation is so poorly written!

So then we’re infodumped about how the Cullens are currently vacationing in Alaska with the other Mormon vampires, except Edturd who is still sulking in South America and refusing to spend any time with his “family.” Yeah, all that talk about how much they love each other and are close-knit? Total bullshit. Once Edturd gets a bit pissy, he flounces off without a second glance.

 
I listened too eagerly to even the most trivial news.

“And then Emmett scratched his butt, and then he burped, and Tanya said ‘You’re like, so gross,’ and I doodled a smiley-face on the place mat…”
“Tell me more! Tell me more!”

 
It was enough to listen to the stories of the family I’d once dreamed of belonging to.

… so I could leech off them for all eternity.

Charlie comes back later that day, and we’re informed that the funeral is the next morning. Whoa, wait. I’m pretty sure it takes more than 24 hours to arrange a funeral, especially if the death was unexpected. For one thing, wouldn’t they want to do an autopsy to rule out foul play? Wouldn’t they need to get all kinds of permissions? Can you even buy a coffin, tombstone and plot in that amount of time?!

The answer is no. No, you can’t.

so he turned in early. I stayed on the couch with Alice again.

Yes, I bet you did.

Charlie comes down in an old too-small suit that he clearly hasn’t worn in years, and it’s kind of a sad scene. It’s especially sad because Charlie is actually being very unselfish here. Even though he’s grieving the loss of his friend, he’s emotionally supporting the widow and kids and helping them cope during this awful time.

Meanwhile, Bella shows her support by pretending to be asleep so she won’t have to speak to her dad.

 
“So, what are we doing today?” she asked.

“I was going to drill holes in my skull so Edward would yell at me!”

 
“I don’t know—do you see anything interesting happening?”
She smiled and shook her head. “But it’s still early.”

Alice doesn’t actually have superpowers, does she? She just guesses and gets it right occasionally.

So since Bella’s will to live has been revived by the presence of a sparklepire, what fun wacky hijinks will they get up to? She’s gonna clean the house!

I wish I were kidding. I’m not. I guess Bella wants to show Alice that like her idol Emily, she too can be a domestic drudge serving the Big Strong Menfolk. After all, isn’t that everything in life that a woman should want?

But then… the doorbell rings! And according to Alice, it’s… JACOB!

 
“Bella,” Alice said with a trace of frustration in her voice, “I have a fairly good guess who that might be, and I think I’d better step out.”

“You mean it’s a werewolf?”
“Worse. Door-to-door missionaries!”

 
Since when did Alice have to guess anything?

Only ALL THE FUCKING TIME. She even admitted earlier that she didn’t know if anything would happen that day.

 
“If this is a repeat of my egregious lapse in foresight yesterday, then it’s most likely Jacob Black or one of his…friends.”

Yes, because werewolves can’t have friends. LOGIC.

 
I stared at her, putting it together. “You can’t see werewolves?”

Thanks for joining the rest of us, moron. Why again is Bella supposed to be so fucking smart if she can’t figure ANYTHING out? Oh right, she reads Jane Austen.

“You don’t have go anywhere, Alice. You were here first.”

“So if you get in a life-and-death battle with a werewolf, it’s SO not your fault!”

 
“Trust me—it wouldn’t be a good idea to have me and Jacob Black in a room together.”

… WHY?

She didn’t even know the werewolves existed until the day before. Nobody told her ANYTHING. And now for some reason, she’s decided that she hates them?

The doorbell keeps ringing, and DAMMIT, doesn’t Jacob have anything better to do than sit there for hours ringing the bell? Has it occurred to him that maybe she’s not home?

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