Twilight Chapter 8

Jess drove faster than the Chief,

… Chief of what? The Quileutes? A Scottish clan? A member of the New Zealand rugby team? Noel Gallagher?

 
It had been a while since I’d had a girls’ night out, and the estrogen rush was invigorating.

And then I remembered that other girls suck because I am all that is perfect.

So Bawla spends the whole time sneering about the other girls – Jessica plays whiny music and talks constantly about boys (a teenage girl talking about boys! Imagine that! Bella would NEVER talk constantly about boys! She would never drone your ear off with constant descriptions of boys boys boys THIS BOY I LIKE IS SO LIKE CUTE AND HOT AND PERFECT…) and Angela turns out to be as freakishly antisocial as Bella because she doesn’t wanna talk about what her type is. Hmm, maybe she’s a lesbian.

No, wait, sorry. Forgot what series I’m reading. Nobody in the Twilight series can be gay or any shade of bisexual. Everybody must be all straight all the time, even when they’re pederasts who prey on teenage boys or girls ogling other girls.

Bella also damns Port Angeles with faint praise by saying it’s a beautiful little tourist trap, much more polished and quaint than Forks. Yeah, that’s a great recommendation since she’s crapped all over Forks since Day 1, and claimed that having her parents divorce was a GOOD thing because then her exalted majesty wouldn’t have to live there. The way she makes it sound, a malaria-infested swamp full of poisonous snakes would be nicer than Forks.

Also, I have never been to Port Angeles, but “quaint” isn’t the word that springs to mind. Apparently it’s the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula, and has a decent-sized population. So they apparently go to the one big department store in town which definitely sounds condescending, especially written by a woman WHO HAD NEVER BEEN TO THAT AREA IN HER LIFE.

 
Both Jessica and Angela seemed surprised and almost disbelieving when I told them I’d never been to a dance in Phoenix.

Given that Bella is completely antisocial, hates non-Hot-Rich-Vampire boys and claims to be so clumsy she frequently overturns tables, I’m not sure why this is surprising. Apparently Bella is trying not to tell them about her “dancing problems,” which sounds pretty stupid since presumably after a few weeks her classmates would have noticed her crippling inner ear problem.

 
“I’ve never had a boyfriend or anything close. I didn’t go out much.”
“Why not?” Jessica demanded.
“No one asked me,” I answered honestly.

Oh what a crock of steaming fly-covered bullcrap. I somehow doubt that people in Phoenix are vastly different in personality than people in Washington State, so I’m assuming that Bella was equally disdainful and condescending there, and probably shrugged off the “normal” boys on other girls unless they were rich and hot.

Sorry, Smeyer. You can’t have it both ways. Either Bella is wildly Suetifully attractive to all teen boys and they’re all panting to date her, or she’s a social outcast that nobody would EVER ask out to a dance so she can be utterly virginal in all things when she finally bounces into Troo Luv.

In fact, Jessica points out that everybody rushes to date Bawla, and since Smeyers can’t come up with a good excuse for WHY it would be any different in Phoenix, she then blurts out that Tyler is lying about taking Bawla to prom. Apparently that’s the reason Lauren hates her, aside from the annoying snobby bitch thing. Interesting that ALL the girls are interested in only one boy apiece, all conveniently DIFFERENT boys, thus allowing for no possible conflict among the common sheep. Cuz that’s not interesting compared to Bella’s daily grind of chores, studying, studying and lying around being boring.

 
I ground my teeth. “Do you think that if I ran him over with my truck he would stop feeling guilty about the accident? That he might give up on making amends and call it even?”

And the funny thing is, after her past antics I can easily believe she’d do it.

Anyway, since the pathetically backwater store has only a few dresses, the other girls start trying on clothes while Bawla sulks. The whole thing is boring and quickly skimmed over, and Bawla shows no interest in any clothes or shoes – which presumably is meant to show that she’s above such shallow things, but just makes her come across as a sexless slob who only wants to wear grubby jeans and a lumberjack shirt.

The girls’-night high was wearing off in the wake of my annoyance at Tyler, leaving room for the gloom to move back in.

After all, we cannot have the Emo Queen having fun. She must gripe about SOMETHING!

We’re also told for the first time that Angela is tall. I honestly don’t remember this ever being mentioned before.

So after wussing out for awhile, Bawla asks if the Cullens are away from school for awhile, and Angela confirms that they’re “outdoorsy” and go hiking a lot. Of course, this would be a bit surprising if you were talking about secret vampires, because you’d expect them to head for Seattle and snack on a few hookers.

 
She didn’t ask one question, let alone the hundreds that Jessica would have unleashed. I was beginning to really like Angela.

“I only like people who answer MY questions, no matter how stupid or weird, but never bother ME with any of their own.”

Oh, and by the way, Bella is a huge bitch. And lest anybody actually be encouraged to THINK, Smeyers doesn’t tell us a single thing about what Bawla thinks about this revelation. She just reflects on her contempt for Jessica, her liking for people who don’t expect her to be social, and that’s it.

While the others head off to put away their shallow clothes and trinkets, which are only meant for STUPID people who aren’t SMART, Bawla decides to do what Smart And Deep people do… and go to a bookstore. But it turns out to be a new-agey place, which of course is not of interest to a devout Mormon… er, to Bella. So she goes wandering off… without mentioning it to her supposed friends. Yeah, that’s nice, especially since there’s no mention of a cell phone. They might end up panicking and thinking she’s been kidnapped.

And since we cannot go for a single page without TEH EMOZ about Edward, Bawla is wrestling with despair and wangsting about how he probably won’t show up on Saturday, oh woe! Apparently she thinks he won’t show up on Saturday because… his family is outdoorsy. Yeah, that makes lots of sense. This would be slightly more convincing if she had reacted at all to what Angela said, but instead she has this contrived reaction a whole scene later.

Then she sees a silver Volvo. Have I mentioned what a stupid “luxury car” a Volvo is? It’s like talking about luxurious cotton underwear – it does the job, but it’s not a chic, sleek thing.

So once more, Bawla throws a hissy fit at…. nothing. So she goes shuffling off for… presumably a bookstore, because she isn’t mentioning what the various stores look promising for.

 
I still had too much time to go looking for Jess and Angela yet, and I definitely needed to get my mood in hand before I met back up with them.

Yeah, because they usually see her in such a bright, bubbly, outgoing mood. They’d definitely notice if she was sulking.

Then she realizes that OH NOEZ she’s in the wrong part of town, so instead of going back… she’s gonna meander through it until she can make her way back to the streets. And by “wrong part of town,” she means “working class, probably with some people who aren’t white.” Apparently the dangerous and scary section of any town is the part that has warehouses, which just reinforces yet again that Smeyers is a middle-class white woman who has probably never seen a “bad part” of a city. No passed-out junkies, no prostitutes, no rotting buildings with broken-out windows… just warehouses.

And then OH NO some creepy-looking men show up, and since Bawla is the most desirable girl in the world, they’re just itching to rape her. So she does the first smart think she does in the whole movie and starts walking away as fast as possible… too bad she doesn’t have a CELL PHONE like we in the 21st century do.

They start following her, and Bawla starts melodramatically describing how OH WOES THERE IZ ONLY WAREHOUSES. Apparently she has pepper spray but neglected to bring it along… which just reinforces that Bawla is a raging dumbass. So we get a step-by-step account of Bawla walking away and the men following her, and of course all the guys are rapists who are herding her to a secluded location… so Edward can rescue her.

 
“Don’t be like that, sugar,” he called, and the raucous laughter started again behind me.

…does Smeyers base all knowledge about sexual predators from really bad movies? Really bad OLD movies?

And apparently thinking that it makes Bawla come across as less of a perpetual victim, Smeyers has Bella consider using self-defense moves… which would be slightly more impressive if A) we hadn’t been assured that Bawla can’t do anything except cook without falling over, and B) she ever actually did these self-defense moves, and C) Bawla had shown the slightest shreds of motivation to do ANYTHING, instead of this bland apathy. She never does anything, so why should I assume she would NOW?

And then… musical sting…. Edward’s car makes an action-movie entrance!

I’m sorry, but this is all too hilarious. Not the whole rape thing, but the painfully cliched way that Smeyers is handling all this. Oh no! Our heroine is threatened by STRANGE MEN who want to rape her! Whoever will save her? A dramatic fast-car entrance! A FISHTAIL skid-to-a-stop! The door flies open and he commands her to get in! Is he also gonna whip out a gun and say, “Don’t even think about it, boys! She’s with me”? Or maybe tell her, “Come with me if you want to live”?

Seriously, Smeyer. The cliches are all there, so you just have to select which ones you’re using.

 
“Get in,” a furious voice commanded.

… and why the hell is he angry? I mean, shouldn’t Mr. Awesome Perfect Sweet Soulmate be CONCERNED?

 
It was amazing how instantaneously the choking fear vanished, amazing how suddenly the feeling of security washed over me

Because nothing erases fear and gives a feeling of security like being in an enclosed area with a vampire.

 
even before I was off the street — as soon as I heard his voice. I jumped into the seat, slamming the door shut behind me.

“Yay! I escaped the random rapists and am now alone in a car with a guy who’s already threatened and kidnapped me! I feel so safe!”

 
It was dark in the car, no light had come on with the opening of the door,

I’m pretty sure you can get those bulbs replaced, y’know.

So Eddie starts screeching and spinning the car around, then zooming way too fast and blasting through stop signs. Apparently Smeyers watched The Bourne Identity and thought that crazy car stunts are JUST AWESOME, so she decided to have Edward drive like a maniac. She must not drive much if she thinks TEH VAMPIRE POWAHZ allow him to be that good a driver, because it doesn’t work that way – no matter how great your reflexes, a two-ton hunk of metal is not going to magically turn a corner faster just because you turn the WHEEL faster.

Yes, even the glamorous luxury car that is the VOLVO is subject to basic laws of physics – Edward should have crashed into a bunch of buildings in the last few minutes. Plus, all that screeching and spinning is bad for the car.

 
But I felt utterly safe and, for the moment, totally unconcerned about where we were going.

“Let’s head to a nice vacant lot for a snack… er, I mean a talk.”

 
I studied his flawless features in the limited light, waiting for my breath to return to normal, until it occurred to me that his expression was murderously angry.

Yeah, nice guy. A girl has almost been raped by some thugs, so how does he respond? By being ANGRY at her. Dick. Dick. DICK.

 
“Are you okay?” I asked, surprised at how hoarse my voice sounded.

“No,” he said curtly, and his tone was livid.

  1. …. so his voice was red?
  2. I assume that since she hasn’t commented on it, the ridiculousness of this whole scenario is lost on Smeyers. Here’s a girl who’s almost been raped asking her RESCUER if he’s okay, rather than the other way round.
  3. And again, victim-blaming. A fun and typical approach for many misogynist pigs.

So eventually Eddie screeches out of town and stops the car…. and no, I’m not sure why he couldn’t just park somewhere safer instead of leaving the CITY.

 
“Are you all right?” He still didn’t look at me, but the fury was plain on his face.

… yeah, this really screams concern.

 
“Yes,” I croaked softly.
“Distract me, please,” he ordered.

Smeyer, when you say PLEASE it’s not an order.

So Bawla babbles incoherently about how she wants to hit Tyler with Das Truck and also total his car in the process, which reinforces that Bella is the worst nightmare of any straight/bi man. Edward is the worst nightmare of gay/bi men, except for the ones who like the sparkle. Seriously, I have asked men what they would think of Bella’s behavior, and they all agreed that they would steer so clear of her that they might end up shipwrecked on the Lost island.

 
“I heard about that.” He sounded a bit more composed.
“You did?” I asked in disbelief, my previous irritation flaring. “If he’s paralyzed from the neck down, he can’t go to the prom, either,” I muttered, refining my plan.

Our heroine, ladies and gents. Yeah, I know that teenagers tend to be kinda bipolar, but Bawla is supposedly Mature Beyond Her Years. She also has an Anita Blakesque lack of humor.

So when she starts plotting to make one of her classmates into a FRICKING PARAPLEGIC with no hint of hyperbole or sarcasm or humor, it’s creepy. Lock-her-up creepy. We’ve already seen that she’ll wreck someone’s car for displeasing her, so why would I assume that a humorless selfish sociopath wouldn’t also paralyze someone for the same reason?

 
“Better?”
“Not really.”

“… I’m still a massive prick.”

Bawla is just sitting there doing nothing, and Edward says that he has temper issues and that he’s trying to convince himself that it wouldn’t help to go murder those thugs. Whatever. This is the closest we’ve seen to Edward actually doing anything even remotely cool, and he has to spoil it by blaming the victim of SEXUAL ASSAULT.

 
We sat in silence again. I glanced at the clock on the dashboard. It was past six-thirty.

It’s MILLER TIME!

No, actually it’s time for her to meet Angela and Jessica, so Eddie starts zooming along at excessive speed, but since he’s a vampire he can violate the laws of physics and not crash…. in a Volvo. Yeah, I’m having trouble thinking of that – when I think of a luxury car zooming along at immense speeds like it’s on the Autobahn, I think of a Lamborghini, a Ferrari or a Jag. Not a friggin’ Volvo. And apparently being a sparklepire means you also have superhuman powers of… parallel parking.

And oh magically he knows exactly where Jessica and Angela were…and no, I don’t know how the hell he knew, since allegedly he cannot read Bella’s boring-ass mind.

 
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m taking you to dinner.” He smiled slightly, but his eyes were hard.

Sooooooo romantic. ASKING a girl out to dinner is SO boring. A perfect flawless Hot-and-Rich Man will TELL you that you’re going to dinner with him, and give you no choice in the matter! THAT is real love! Swoony swoons!

So Bawla goes scuttling after him, and Eddie is “waiting” for her. Which sounds very creepy.

 
He spoke before I could. “Go stop Jessica and Angela before I have to track them down, too. I don’t think I could restrain myself if I ran into your other friends again.”
I shivered at the threat in his voice.

I reaffirm: creepy. And psycho.

I know this is Smeyers’ hyper-repressed Mormon-good-girl fantasy of a bad boy with a heart of gold, but there’s a fine line between “bad boy” and “psychotic asshole.” Edward not only crossed that line, he hopped on a motorcycle and zoomed to the fine line between “psychotic asshole” and “should be eviscerated just on principle.” This is the ROMANTIC HERO. He’s supposed to be someone we at least LIKE even if we don’t admire him, but instead he’s just reaffirming that he’s an amoral psycho asshole (NOT a vampire with ethics).

So not only is he ANGRY at a victim of almost-sexual-assault, but now he’s saying that he’s gonna murder two teenage girls for…. no real reason. He’s just gonna do it because EDWARD IS PEEEERRRRFEEEECT and even if he murders complete innocents, it’s okay.

And no, there is NOTHING to balance out his asshole behavior. Even when he’s not being violently aggressive, he’s a sadistic dick who enjoys mocking Bella and forcing her to do things. His looks are literally the ONLY thing that anyone could conceivably like about him… and Smeyer seems to think that none of his dickish actions could ever be a problem.

So Bawla runs after her friends… who somehow failed to notice the speeding, skidding, spinning silver car heading right to where they are, because they’re teenage girls who are NOT Bella, and therefore are morons. Understandably, Jessica “suspiciously” wants to know where the hell she’s been, and Bella gives a lameass half-explanation that omits the almost-rape and rescue.

 
“Would it be all right if I joined you?” he asked in his silken, irresistible voice.

I’m resisting quite well, thanks.

I could see from their staggered expressions that he had never unleashed his talents on them before.

… and what talents are those? I thought his superspeshul SueVamp power was to be able to read minds. Or is Smeyer dim enough to think that attractiveness is a “talent”?

It turns out that the girls have already eaten during the apparent HOURS that Bawla was wandering around, getting assaulted and then getting rescued/kidnapped by Eddie. Shock. Bawla says that she doesn’t care because she’s not hungry (is she EVER hungry?), which gives Eddie another chance to be a controlling douche.

 
“I think you should eat something.” Edward’s voice was low, but full of authority.

Hear that sound? That is the sound of Stephenie Meyer gleefully hammering a stake through the heart of feminist thought – and no, I don’t mean rabid feminazi stuff, I mean the very basic concept that women shouldn’t be treated like chattel by men, but like individuals who get to control their own lives. Of course, Edward doesn’t say something like, “You’ve had a shock. You should probably eat something” – he announces what he thinks Bella should do, and screw anything SHE decides for herself.

If you really wanna laugh until you puke, go through http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/bd_faq.html where Smeyers claims that Bella is actually a FEMINIST character because she “makes her own choices.” Or rather, she makes her own choices when Edward lets her, and if she goes against his wishes he’ll just kidnap her.

Feminism: getting to make your own decisions, as long as the big strong man says you can!

He looked up at Jessica and spoke slightly louder. “Do you mind if I drive Bella home tonight? That way you won’t have to wait while she eats.”

Again, note how THE MAN has decided that the girls night out is now officially over, and is assuming that the evening is over for them because they’ve eaten (hey, what about clubs?!). He doesn’t approach the subject of whether Bella would rather stick with him or go home with the girls – he asks Jessica if SHE would mind, but not what BELLA thinks. And logically, it should be the other way around because he can’t even read Bella’s tiny brain.

But while this would bother a woman with a spine, it doesn’t bother Bella. Jessica, being a semi-normal person instead of an arrogant asshole, understandably wants to know if Bawla HERSELF wants to go with Eddie. Which makes her look really nice compared to Bella.

 
I winked at her. I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my perpetual savior.

She wants to be alone with Jesus?

 
There were so many questions that I couldn’t bombard him with till we were by ourselves.

Alone… by themselves… in a crowded restaurant… in a touristy area…. by themselves. All alone.

Angela grabs Jessica and drags her away towards their car so Bella and Edward can be… ALONE. Lucky Bawla. Hoping to boink him in his silver car, Bawla starts whining that she’s not hungry. Apparently she hasn’t figured out the way things work: Eddie gives orders and announces what she’s gonna do, and she’s supposed to meekly do as he says.

“Bella, you’re going to do the dishes.”
“Okay, Edward.”
“Bella, you’re going to use your Powers of Emo to stupefy those cops.”
“Okay, Edward.”
“Bella, you’re going to go have sex with the men on this list here in the Asphyxiating Canary position while dressed in an unflattering leather dress.”
“Okay, Edward.”

Whoops, mixed her up with Anita Blake for a minute there.

“Honestly, I’m not hungry,” I insisted, looking up to scrutinize his face. His expression was unreadable.
“Humor me.”
He walked to the door of the restaurant and held it open with an obstinate expression. Obviously, there would be no further discussion.

Okay, the dialogue is just fine here. The problem is that while Eddie is saying “Humor me,” he’s still making it clear with him opening the door and looking “obstinate” that she’s not getting a choice there. But since having a man boss you around is just a part of TROO LUV, Bella is merely resigned to it.

So they go into the restaurant, and since Edward is SOOOOOOO PRETTYFUL a bunch of nosebleeding women immediately swoon when they see him. No, just kidding, but apparently Bawla now sees the host (how expensive is this restaurant?) and starts being bitchy about her merely because she finds a “perfect” teenage boy attractive.

 
She was several inches taller than I was, and unnaturally blond.

And… Bawla would know this how? Are the roots showing? Is her hair a sort of greeny-blonde or purple-blonde that doesn’t occur in nature? Or is she just assuming that the woman dyes her hair because she is another woman and therefore a vapid selfish bitch?

So anyway, the woman leads them to a biggish table while her nose spurts blood. They he adds that he’d like something more private and Bella thinks he handed the woman a tip… which sounds a bit odd, since you don’t usually have contact with the waiter BEFORE you sit down, meaning the tipping should be obvious. So they go to a booth, and Eddie dazzles her with his big sharp teeth. Because rock-hard fangs are SEXY.

“You really shouldn’t do that to people,” I criticized. “It’s hardly fair.”
“Do what?”
“Dazzle them like that — she’s probably hyperventilating in the kitchen right now.”

Okay, Bawla has an excellent point here. But it’s somewhat undermined by the fact that… I can’t tell what is unfair about this. I mean, he hasn’t tried to finagle a free meal out of the poor woman, or demanded their food get premium speed, and he doesn’t seem to be planning to take sexual or sanguine advantage of her. So…. he’s unfair because she thinks he’s prettyful?

Edward seems to be puzzled by the idea that he can dazzle people… and I can only assume that he’s bullshitting Bella, since he frequently reads people’s minds without any moral qualms about it. If he dazzles people, he knows it.

So he’s either lying, or Smeyer fucked up. Both are equally possible.

 
“You haven’t noticed? Do you think everybody gets their way so easily?”

They do if they’re a Sue.

 
He ignored my questions. “Do I dazzle you?”
“Frequently,” I admitted.

Why do you think she’s panting after you, dumbass? She doesn’t want a man who’s kind, smart, considerate, and has a great personality… she wants a guy who DAZZLES like a DISCO BALL!

Anyway, the waitress comes out and of course she’s nosebleeding over Edward.  Yeah, we get it, Smeyers, your wet-dream boy is hawt and all women want him, but he is only interested in someone as smart and beautiful as YOU… I mean, Bella . Bella is all jealous and bitchy at those EVIL WOMEN for daring to lust after HER DESIGNATED LOVE INTEREST. Hussies! They order two Cokes, and amazingly Edward does not announce what Bella wants.

At this point, apparently even Smeyers realizes that Edward is a massive insensitive dick and any girl with a spine would have socked him into an Anita Blake novel for some magical castration. So suddenly he becomes deeply caring about how Bawla feels and worried about her possibly going into shock. Seriously, does this asshole have multiple personalities, or maybe a twin he frequently switches out with?

 
“Well, I’m actually waiting for you to go into shock.” His face twisted up into that perfect crooked smile.

  1. If his smile is crooked, it’s not perfect. Crooked means that something is lopsided or out of shape from the norm.
  2. Just because you think it’s sexy doesn’t make it “perfect.”
  3. Y’know, this whole scene shows why Stephenie Meyer is such a rotten writer. Now, a good writer would have given the character of Bella at least a little shock and fear after SHE WAS ALMOST RAPED. He/she would have provided some character development by having Edward try to reassure and show concern for Bella, and have them form a bond beyond “He’s hawt and rich! She smells good!”
  4. But since it’s Smeyers, everything is fixed by having Edward be there.
  5. Got that, women of the world? Trauma can be fixed easily… BY THE RIGHT MAN.
  6. I mean, Bella could have actually BEEN raped (heaven forbid, since the heroine must be a virgin!) and I suspect that Smeyers wouldn’t have given her any kind of reaction except a drooling bliss from Edward’s presence. I swear, Bella is the most insensitive lump of a heroine ever – she doesn’t seem to feel anything except contempt!

 
“I don’t think that will happen,” I said after I could breathe again. “I’ve always been very good at repressing unpleasant things.”

… I want to hit this book with a wrecking ball. I want to torch it with a flamethrower. I want to fling it through a doorway to hell so it can suffer eternally. Worst of all, I want to grab the original manuscript and send it to Thursday Next so she can go inside and kill both the protagonists.

Is Smeyers actually suggesting that spending time in a cloudy town for a few weeks per year is comparable to almost being RAPED? Any kind of sexual assault – even if it’s not completely successful – has a profound impact on a normal woman’s psyche, her sense of security, and her attitude towards men. This woman is a complete dumbass, and incredibly insensitive for using attempted rape as a convenient excuse to have Edward rush in to save her instead of, say, a dog attack or just getting lost in a creepy dark place. Instead, this insensitive bitch uses rape as a “disposable peril” with no ill effects.

And by the way, people who “repress” sexual assault don’t tend to turn out well. But I guess since they don’t have a sparklepire to just sit there and BE, they just can’t cope as well as Bella. Sorry, bitches! You’re not pretty and deep enough to have a Perfect Sparkling Man!

 
“Just the same, I’ll feel better when you have some sugar and food in you.”

“So here’s a sack of sugar. Once you’ve finished with that, I’ll actually get around to ordering some food.”

Fortunately, this is a restaurant that provides breadsticks. The waitress is bitchy and nasty for paying attention just to Edward and not to the plain sullen girl at the table with him… even though this is the exact same behavior that Bella has exhibited throughout the WHOLE FRICKING BOOK. Friends? Classmates? Girls who find him attractive? Not interesting to her.

So Bawla orders ravioli, and Edward orders…. nothing. Subtle hint that he’s a vampire. And the waitress gets pissed because he’s looking at the plain sullen girl and not at her… which I can understand.

 
“Drink,” he ordered.
I sipped at my soda obediently,

Excuse me.

“Thanks,” I muttered, still thirsty.

“Yes, thanks for bossing me around like a small child. It would never have occurred to me to actually drink a beverage if you hadn’t ordered me to.”

 
“Don’t you have a jacket?” His voice was disapproving.

This is a continuing attitude in the Twilight series (I refuse to call it a “Saga”) – for no apparent reason, women are treated as the intellectual inferiors of men. Edward is constantly treating Bella as if she’s too dumb to breathe unless he orders her to, and she’s even compared to an “angry kitten.”

Anyway, Edward takes off his jacket for Bella to wear, and she gets the chance to ogle how hot he is. His clothes aren’t revealing – that would be at odds with the whole “perfect” religious-good-girl thing. Instead he’s wearing a supertight… turtleneck sweater. So… this is some sort of porn version of nerdwear? It’s supposed to be SO VERY TIGHT that she can see how muscled his chest is, even though it’s a SWEATER and hides his neck. Sweater knits are not good for that!

And having been given his jacket, she starts sniffing it and wriggling around in it…. freak.

 
“That color blue looks lovely with your skin,” he said, watching me. I was surprised; I looked down, flushing, of course.

… what the hell? A minute ago his jacket was tan or beige, and suddenly it’s BLUE?

 
“Really, I’m not going into shock,” I protested.
“You should be — a normal person would be. You don’t even look shaken.” He seemed unsettled. He stared into my eyes, and I saw how light his eyes were, lighter than I’d ever seen them, golden butterscotch.

  1. He has BUTTERSCOTCH eyes? Wow, that is the unsexiest thing ever. I’m imagining butterscotch discs instead of regular irises.
  2. Bella is soooooooo awesomely speshul that she doesn’t go into shock after someone tries to rape her. She’s just that wonderful. Take a shot.

 
“I feel very safe with you,” I confessed, mesmerized into telling the truth again.

This sort of thing makes me want to rip this book to shreds with my teeth. So, apparently sexual assault victims just need to hang out with the police and their trauma will magically disappear. They won’t have had their entire worldview shifted – apparently post-rape trauma is all about how safe you are at this particular moment.

Is there some way Stephenie Meyer can be legally blocked from ever writing about rapecentric topics again?

Anyway, that upsets Eddie for no particular reason, and he gets even pissier when Bawla announces that he’s crabby when his eyes are black.

 
His eyes narrowed. “More theories?”

No, dumbass. That’s an observation. A theory is totally different.

So he asks if she’s still “stealing from comic books,” and she plays coy by saying she didn’t come up with her own ideas… especially since Bawla has the imagination of a cinder block. To extend this scene as far as possible, Evil Man-Stealing Slut Waitress shows up with the food and immediately starts paying attention to Edward exclusively… just like Bawla does.

 
“Did you change your mind?” she asked. “Isn’t there anything I can get you?” I may have been imagining the double meaning in her words.

They’re not even dating yet and Bawla is already turning into a paranoid freak who thinks every woman is trying to steal Her Lord And Master.

So even though nobody seems interested in their conversation, Bella suddenly decides NOT to talk about her theories until they’re back in the car. And she has some weird questions.

 
I started with the most undemanding. Or so I thought. “Why are you in Port Angeles?”

“I’m here to snack on a few homeless people… er, I mean, I’m here to buy skin glitter.”

Anyway, he refuses to answer her question for no particular reason, and generally acts like a smug asshole.

 
“Okay, then.” I glared at him, and continued slowly. “Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that… someone… could know what people are thinking, read minds, you know — with a few exceptions.”
“Just one exception,” he corrected, “hypothetically.”

I give you but one guess as to who that superspeshulawesomeSue is. And the first several guesses don’t count.

Also, I may have forgotten something, but when did she realize that he can read minds? I can’t remember a single time when it seemed like he COULD. It just comes out of nowhere.

So Bawla starts asking with thinly-veiled third-person pronounces… how he would be able to find Bawla in time to rescue her from danger. And he implies right back that “Joe” (as hypothetical man is called) wasn’t paying attention and had to rush to save her miserable ass.

 
He shook his head, rolling his eyes. “Only you could get into trouble in a town this small. You would have devastated their crime rate statistics for a decade, you know.”

  1. Has Smeyers forgotten that this is Port Angeles, not Forks? This is not a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town, dumbass.
  2. Port Angeles is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula and in 2000 it had a population of 18,397. Not a huge city, but large enough that somehow I doubt that nobody else is ever robbed, beaten, assaulted, dealt drugs or murdered, and a single crime will “devastate” their statistics.
  3. So he doesn’t think that any other woman in a tourist town could get attacked by a gang of rapists, just Bawla?
  4. What, is Smeyers implying that she alone is so devastatingly attractive that no other woman in Port Angeles would get raped by these scumbags?

Anyway, Bella starts bitching about how it’s “hypothetical,” which is pretty ridiculous since she’s the one who brought up the topic to start with. So after he deems her “Jane,” she demands to know how he did it, and he just sits there and waffles for awhile. Mm, waffles would be good.

 
“I don’t know if I have a choice anymore.” His voice was almost a whisper. “I was wrong — you’re much more observant than I gave you credit for.”

Subtle message here: Stalking = being observant.

And honestly, Bella isn’t very observant at all. All the stuff she’s gleaned was either glaringly obvious (the changing eye color, the car-swatting) or it was handed to her on a silver platter by a convenient infodumper. In fact, if it weren’t for the latter she would still be flailing around without a clue.

And wait… are they stupid enough to be suggesting that NO ONE in all of Forks has noted the changing eye color of the rich, snobby weirdos who live there? NO ONE? Even though five of them go to high school, and one of them is head surgeon at the local hospital?!

 
“I thought you were always right.”
“I used to be.”

… said without a trace of irony or sarcasm. Humility SUCKS.

 
“I was wrong about you on one other thing, as well. You’re not a magnet for accidents — that’s not a broad enough classification. You are a magnet for trouble. If there is anything dangerous within a ten-mile radius, it will invariably find you.”

“… which means you’re a helpless little damsel who needs a big strong man to take over her life so he can control… er, protect you. That’s it.”

 
“And you put yourself into that category?” I guessed.
His face turned cold, expressionless. “Unequivocally.”

“I’m soooooo deadly and dangerous! I’m tortured! Stay away from me, because I’m A BAAAAAD BAAAAAD BOY! I totally don’t want into your panties! FEAR ME!”

His skin was cold and hard, like a stone.

I like to think that lots of teenage girls might be slightly alarmed if their date had cold hard SKIN.

Also, Anne Rice should sue. Not only did her books suck long before Smeyers even started writing…. okay, the first three were awesome and everything after that was various degrees of suckitude. But one of the things that really stuck with me in Queen of the Damned was that the older a vampire got, the colder and harder their skin got. Really old ones are literally like marble, like Akasha or Enkil or that dude who’s been wandering around in the desert.

In their case, it really brought home that the vampires were no longer humans, and that a supernatural force not only turned them into bloodsuckers but also was slowly transforming their flesh into something else. I love the idea of a vampire’s body evolving, so that really was awesome. In Smeyers’ case… it’s apparently because she has a statue fetish.

…. is there ANYTHING unique about Smeyers’ books? Stay tuned.

 
“Thank you.” My voice was fervent with gratitude. “That’s twice now.”
His face softened. “Let’s not try for three, agreed?”

If we the readers are lucky, the third time will be the charm and Bella will die in a fiery bloody explosion.

… let me fantasize, okay? It’s all I have.

So then Edward admits the shocking truth: HE FOLLOWED BELLA TO PORT ANGELES.

 

 

 

Apparently he’s FOLLOWING her around, day and night, and this is depicted as a GOOD thing. WHAT. THE. HELL.

Yes! Apparently it is the absolute PEAK of romance and troo luv to follow the girl you like to another CITY and skulk around after her, and clearly if a man does that, he is your troo luv! Edward makes some lame-duck excuse about how he’s stalking her so he can keep her alive because normal people don’t manage to get in so much trouble, but does anyone actually BELIEVE IT? Um, she’s had exactly one accident involving a car, and that could happen to anyone! It DOES happen to people! I’ve been present in one of the cars during four fender-benders, so does that mean I’m a trouble magnet?

And to any fans who are screaming, “But he stalks her because he LOVES her so much!”, that is exactly what stalkers say, kiddies. Look it up. That is why they do things like photograph the women at a distance and steal stuff out of their garbage cans.

Yo Smeyers, I know that you’ve apparently got a fetish for bad boys due to never getting to do stuff like have sex, get drunk, steal policemen’s helmets and smoke peyote. But seriously, this creepy-ass antifeministic fantasy in which you only truly love someone if you’re willing to stalk them is nasty. And the worst part is that it was easily avoidable; Smeyers could have pasted in some excuse for Edward to be in Port Angeles. Here’s a scenario: he’s buying one of his weird relatives a present when he noticed Bawla wandering into the wrong side of town, and goes after her to tell her that she shouldn’t go that way when he finds her being menaced by the gang of Generic Rapists.

See? See how easy that was?! But since it isn’t all about Stalking = Love, she wants no part of it.

And since Bawla has the brains of a sea monkey, I wondered if it should bother me that he was following me; instead I felt a strange surge of pleasure. Please mommy, please please please can I set fire to this turd of a book?

 
“Did you ever think that maybe my number was up the first time, with the van, and that you’ve been interfering with fate?” I speculated, distracting myself.

When I saw the lightning hit the roof, you were electrocuted. And when Claire was in the water, you drowned trying to save her. I dove in myself so you never went in. I tried, brother. I’ve tried twice to save you, but the universe has a way of course-correcting, and I can’t stop it forever. I’m sorry – I’m sorry because, no matter what I try to do… you’re gonna die, Charlie.

Oops, sorry, I was having a Lost flashback. Except that subplot made more sense than this shite, and that subplot didn’t make any sense.

And since we’ve got half a minute since Edward played the ooooh-I’m-a-bad-bad-boy-who-is-sexily-menacing-you card, he starts telling Bawla, “Your number was up the first time I met you.” Because nothing is sexier than a guy saying he’s planning to kill you… to your FACE. With no humor or facetiousness. Bawla is actually worried for a whole two seconds, but then she suddenly develops her irrational sense of safety, so no problem. Apparently in Twilightland, nobody ever has any intellectual fear – it’s all about the instincts. Like an insect.

 
“You remember?” he asked, his angel’s face grave.
“Yes.” I was calm.

…. remember WHAT? She remembers that her number was up when she met him? What the hell are they saying? Was there a line removed from this scene?!

“And yet here you sit.” There was a trace of disbelief in his voice; he raised one eyebrow.
“Yes, here I sit… because of you.” I paused. “Because somehow you knew how to find me today… ?” I prompted.

Smeyers is literally deluding herself if she thinks this has any relationship to Jane Austen. I can’t even understand what these dumbasses are talking about; it seems like random phrases are strung together without any relevance to what’s going on.

 
He pressed his lips together, staring at me through narrowed eyes, deciding again. His eyes flashed down to my full plate, and then back to me.

“Hey bitch, I’m paying for your stupid ravioli, so you better eat all of it.”

 
“You eat, I’ll talk,” he bargained.

“… but I don’t promise to say anything interesting.”

So Edward starts talking about how hard it is to keep track of Bawla, and apparently it hasn’t occurred to Smeyer that some readers might not sympathize with Edward’s woes because he’s doing something both illegal and immoral. AND he’s been eavesdropping on Jessica’s mind… which isn’t illegal, but is definitely immoral. Again, Smeyer doesn’t even seem to realize that, or that anyone else might see it that way.

Anyway, “when I realized that you weren’t with her anymore, I went looking for you at the bookstore I saw in her head. I could tell that you hadn’t gone in, and that you’d gone south…” And precisely how did he know either of these things? Is he supposed to be Sherlock Holmes in addition to being a sparkly Mormon vampire d-bag supergenius?

 
“and I knew you would have to turn around soon.”

… except she turned out to be a blithering idiot. Yo, Smeyer, being a trouble magnet doesn’t make your Sue any more likable equal being a drooling moron who is too stupid to actually stay in safe areas. But apparently the only way she can put Bella is peril is by having her be a moron, and she then has to excuse away the idiocy by claiming that ooooooo, it totally isn’t her fault! She just attracts random rapists!

 
“So I was just waiting for you, randomly searching through the thoughts of people on the street — to see if anyone had noticed you so I would know where you were.”

Apparently Bella has almost as little presence as Eddie-boy does (see Midnight Sun for more details on how little people notice him). Take her out of Forks, and literally nobody notices her. Then again, when you look like Kristen Stewart I guess it’s easy for people to overlook you.

“I started to drive in circles, still… listening. The sun was finally setting, and I was about to get out and follow you on foot.”

Honestly, that makes absolutely no sense for two reasons.

  1. Okay, he doesn’t know where she is except for a vague southerly direction, which she could have easily changed just by going in ANOTHER direction. Yet he’s going to follow her?
  2. Why does he want to follow her on foot? Is he planning to leap from rooftop to rooftop like a manga character?

Then Eddie starts hulking up at the table about how he saw Bawla’s face in the mind of a would-be rapist, and it was SOOOOOOOOO hard to not kill those guys. Okay, I have no problem with wanting to kill a rapist, but I honestly don’t see why he didn’t. I mean, he’s a frickin’ VAMPIRE. Vampires are supposed to kill people, so why not people who deserve it?

 
“It was very… hard — you can’t imagine how hard — for me to simply take you away, and leave them… alive.” His voice was muffled by his arm. “I could have let you go with Jessica and Angela, but I was afraid if you left me alone, I would go looking for them,” he admitted in a whisper.

This could actually be good character development but for two things.

  1. We still don’t know WHY he didn’t, especially since his morals tend to be quite selective, especially in Midnight Sun. Killing innocent schoolkids? Fine. Killing rapists? MUST NOT.
  2. Bawla just sits there like a bland lump of dough, saying and doing nothing. Edward could literally be saying anything, and it would have no impact because BLAND LUMP OF DOUGH.

 
I sat quietly, dazed, my thoughts incoherent.

Which is apparently an excuse to not actually have to write any emotions, since heaven forbid Bella have any kind of worries, anxiety or even doubts about her precious Eddiekins.

 
He still had his face in his hand, and he was as still as if he’d been carved from the stone his skin resembled.

“I’m hot for boys who look like The Thing!”

Finally he looked up, his eyes seeking mine, full of his own questions.
“Are you ready to go home?” he asked.

“Yes! And I DO give it up on the first date!”

 
“I’m ready to leave,” I qualified, overly grateful that we had the hour-long ride home together. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him.

“I need to spent some quality time with my kidnapper/stalker!”

 
The waitress appeared as if she’d been called. Or watching.

How sinister! Even though waitresses are EXPECTED to keep an eye on the tables they wait! Seriously, can we just all agree that Bella is a paranoid possessive freak?

After that, the waitress gives them the check, and Eddie gives her a bill and leaves her with the change. And while the SLUTTY SLUT SLUT waitress, who still dares to flirt with him. Bella snickers at her because being an ordinary sheeplike hoomin, she doesn’t have a chance with Edward because personality doesn’t matter – only looks matter!

 
I remembered what Jessica had said about her relationship with Mike, how they were almost to the first-kiss stage. I sighed.

Smeyers, this scene might be more moving if we had the faintest idea what Bella was feeling. And if the characters didn’t live in a parallel dimension where first-kisses are a big deal to people who are almost legal adults.

Then as evidence that Edward is from old-timey-times, he opens the door for her, and Bawla ogles how pretty his walk is. If he puked, she would rhapsodize about how graceful his retching is. And she starts burbling that, I probably should have been used to that by now — but I wasn’t. I had a feeling Edward wasn’t the kind of person anyone got used to. I guess Smeyers is bored by non-fantasy men who sweat, scratch, leave the toilet seat up and laze around on Sunday afternoons, like oh, say, her husband. Edward would NEVER do those things. I almost feel sorry for the guy, because she seems more interested in her imaginary boyfriend than in him. Sad.

Once inside the car, he started the engine and turned the heater on high. It had gotten very cold, and I guessed the good weather was at an end.

Because it’s SO unusual for it to get cold in the winter at night.

 
I was warm in his jacket, though, breathing in the scent of it when I thought he couldn’t see.

These two deserve each other. They’re both unspeakably creepy.

 
Edward pulled out through the traffic, apparently without a glance, flipping around to head toward the freeway.
“Now,” he said significantly, “it’s your turn.”

“Yes, let’s have an intense and detailed conversation while I zoom around at top speed on the freeway.” Maybe they’ll crash and die… hey, let me dream!

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