What this chapter should be called: Hurry Up and Show Me Some Damn Vampires
The book opens with Bella’s mother driving her to the airport. Meyer describes her clothes and carry-on item, and then we learn where Bella is going.
“In the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State, a small town named Forks exists under a near-constant cover of clouds. It rains on this inconsequential town more than any other place in the United States of America.”
Oh, Meyer, you poor fool. If you had taken the ten seconds to Google it, you would know that Mt. Waialeale on Kauai in Hawaii receives more rain than any other place in the United States. It’s possible you were thinking of Quillayute, Washington, but that is still not the rainiest place in the U.S. (+1 Stupidity)
I read further and discover that Bella will be going to live with her father, and get this juicy tidbit:
“It was in this town that I’d been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed with me in California for two weeks instead.”
Whoa, let’s back this truck up. This girl can’t even spend one tiny month with her father? And even after she refuses to visit him, he still meets her halfway in California? He sounds like a damn good father to me, so why is this ungrateful brat calling him by his first name? Now, it’s possible I’m missing something, so I’ll hold off on the bitch points for now, but I’m watching you, Bella. Bella goes on and on about how much she hates Forks, and I’m starting to lose sympathy for her. Her mother is described as looking like Bella, but since Meyer has not described Bella in the slightest, mom could be a giant Lego brick for all I care. Some call it leaving it to the imagination, I call it lazy writing. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella leaves her mother at the gate, boards the plane, and begins to tell us a little about Charlie. He seems to be far more interesting than Bella, but there’s something I’m still confused about. Why does Bella even need to go to Forks? The answer: she doesn’t.
“Of course she had Phil now, so the bills would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost, but still…”
So, Bella is leaving because she doesn’t care for mom’s boyfriend? In all essence, I’m starting to feel that Bella is punishing her mother for trying to find a new partner to make her happy. I imagine that Meyer wants us to feel that Bella is being incredibly selfless by giving mom some alone time, but instead Bella comes across as a total bitch. (+1 Bitch) And she doesn’t have other relatives? Bella’s mom did tell her that she could stay home too. So, in a nutshell, this is Bella’s own damn fault. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella rambles on about Charlie, but gives us nothing more than superficial details. All we really learn is that Charlie’s the Chief of Police in Forks, and that Bella needs her own car because she refuses to let Charlie drive her around-because she doesn’t like his car. But Charlie is such an outstanding father that he’s already bought Bella a car!
“I found a good car for you, really cheap, ” he announced when we were strapped in. “What kind of car?” I was suspicious of the way he said “good car for you” as opposed to just “good car. ” “Well, it’s a truck actually, a Chevy. ” “Where did you find it?” “Do you remember Billy Black down at La Push?” La Push is the tiny Indian reservation on the coast. “No. ” “He used to go fishing with us during the summer, ” Charlie prompted. That would explain why I didn’t remember him. I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory. “He’s in a wheelchair now, ” Charlie continued when I didn’t respond, “so he can’t drive anymore, and he offered to sell me his truck cheap. “
So not only is Bella suspicious about what kind of car he got her, she also describes fishing with her da-whoops, Charlie, as a painful memory, and she’s too concerned about the car to note that an old family friend is in a wheelchair. (+1 Bitch) And to drive my point home, Charlie has been nothing but a fantastic father. The worst thing he did was divorce Bella’s mom, which for all we know, may have been for the better. I really hope Bella gives us a reason for why she dislikes Charlie so much. But knowing Meyer, I rather doubt it.
Bella bitches on about, well, pretty much everything. Fuck, she even whines about the scenery at one point. They arrive at Charlie’s house, and Bella says something that motivates me to keep reading
“Those were the only kind of days their marriage had — the early ones.”
A logical writer would take this moment to elaborate on why Charlie and Renee’s marriage fell apart and give Bella an actual reason to dislike Charlie. But that would make too much sense.
Bella actually likes the car, and I almost fall out of my seat from disbelief. She honestly liked something without making it all miserable and angsty!
“Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful.”
Aaaaaand it’s gone. (+1 Angst)
Bella sorta-kinda unpacks and describes herself. I may have been hoping for this earlier, but now I wholeheartedly regret it. I’m treated to all of Bella’s physical insecurities, because pretty people are the only kind of people worth anything, right? She takes a shower and brushes her hair and looks at herself in the mirror and CHRIST ON A POGO STICK WOULD THIS BOOK HURRY UP AND SHOW ME THE DAMN VAMPIRES?
I know someone will send me a death threat for this, but I’m going to reference Harry Potter to preserve some sense of sanity. If you’ve ever read the Harry Potter books, you know that Rowling never makes you watch Harry take a shower or brush his teeth if it doesn’t enrich the story. Meyer crams a buttload of information in, and none of it is really necessary. If all the unnecessary crap had been cut out, this chapter would be a couple nice sentences about airplanes and trees.
Bella moans about, “seeing the world differently” or some other angsty BS and then cries herself to sleep. NO ONE MADE YOU COME HERE, BITCH! (+1 Angst)
She wakes up and starts whining, first thing in the morning. After she’s done, she takes the time to describe the house, which I actually enjoy. Maybe I’ll get some concrete reason as to why Bella dislikes her da-Charlie.
“Charlie left first, off to the police station that was his wife and family.”
Meyer doesn’t disappoint. (+1 Redemption) Personally, I feel this book would be a lot better if it was centered around Charlie.
“First a wedding picture of Charlie and my mom in Las Vegas, then one of the three of us in the hospital after I was born, taken by a helpful nurse, followed by the procession of my school pictures up to last year’s. Those were embarrassing to look at — I would have to see what I could do to get Charlie to put them somewhere else, at least while I was living here.”
So your dad loves you, Bella. Let him keep the pictures, he’s trying to remember a time where you didn’t whine about everything. (+1 Angst) Still enjoying the parts about Charlie, though.
Bella leaves the house, complaining about the rain jacket and boots on the way out. Sweetie, you’d be even more miserable if you were wet, so why don’t you can it? After a completely necessary scene where Bella describes every house in Forks, she gets to school. I better see some asskicking vampires soon, or else I’m gonna lose it. Bella gets a schedule from the lady in the office, while simultaneously taking a jab at the school décor. If complaining was an Olympic event, she’d win gold every fucking time.
“I’m Isabella Swan, ” I informed her, and saw the immediate awareness light her eyes. I was expected, a topic of gossip no doubt.”
Of course you’re expected, your dad-Charlie- you know what, I just don’t give a fuck anymore, he loves you, I bet he talks about you all the time. You think you’re a topic of gossip? Of course, cause Bella is a super-speshul snowflake. (+1 Bitch)
Bella looks at her map, and finds her first class, but not before this gem:
“No one was going to bite me.”
Could that be-foreshadowing? *eye roll*
Bella sits at the back of her first class, which is English, and gets her reading list.
“It was fairly basic: Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner. I’d already read everything. That was comforting… And boring.”
Did…did you…did you just call Shakespeare boring?
My guess is that Meyer wants to make Bella seem smart. It’s not working.
After class, a boy comes over and offers to show Bella to her next class
“When the bell rang, a nasal buzzing sound, a gangly boy with skin problems and hair black as an oil slick leaned across the aisle to talk to me. “You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?” He looked like the overly helpful, chess club type. “Bella, ” I corrected. Everyone within a three-seat radius turned to look at me. “Where’s your next class?” he asked. I had to check in my bag. ” Um, Government, with Jefferson, in building six. ” There was nowhere to look without meeting curious eyes. “I’m headed toward building four, I could show you the way.”
What a weird guy, don’t you think? I think Bella is totally right to judge him on his appearance and completely stereotype him! *eye roll*
Eric takes the time to introduce himself, asks Bella a bit about herself and generally goes out of his way to make sure she knows at least one person in the school. But this is Bella Swan Mary-Sue Super-Speshul Snowflake we’re dealing with here!
What Eric Says: Hi there, I’m Eric, do you want me to show you to your next class? I know you’re new here.
What Bella Hears: OMG I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH YOU AND WILL DO ANYTHING FOR YOU! WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO KISS YOUR SHOES?
What a bitch. (+1 Bitch)
One girl sits next to Bella in both Trig and Spanish, but Bella can’t even remember her name. Of course, this girl is short and has really curly hair, so she might just not be pretty enough for Bella-Sue to bother. Anyway, Bella listens to her “prattle” when we meet the vampires.
OH MY GOD IT’S ABOUT TIME LET’S MEET THE FUCKING VAMPIRES ALREADY!
Wait a minute, what?
These are vampires…in high school?
Bella wastes an abnormal amount of time on describing the Cullen-Hale family. All I really remember is there’s a tall muscley dude, a blonde guy and girl, a short girl, and a dude with, “untidy, bronze-colored hair”, I kid you not.
“I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful.”
How did I not guess?
So in Bella’s book, looks rate over personality. Super fun prediction time! Bella thinks that it’s okay to date a complete asshole, long as he’s hot.
Bella turns to the girl from her Spanish class and asks who they are. One of them catches Bella staring and makes her get all embarrassed. (Three guesses on who it is and the first two don’t count.)
Jessica tells Bella that it was Edward Cullen who was looking at her. (Was your guess right? Mine was.) Jessica gives Bella all the dirt on the Cullen family.
“They’re all together though — Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together. ” Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically.”
So Bella’s thing is, “It’s not okay to judge me, but I’m gonna judge the crap out of you”? (+1 Bitch) I mean, if two foster children in the same home were dating, it would be considered kinda weird no matter where you lived.
The Cullens moved from Alaska (or that’s just what they want you to think) and have been in Forks for two years.
“I felt a surge of pity, and relief. Pity because, as beautiful as they were, they were outsiders, clearly not accepted. Relief that I wasn’t the only newcomer here, and certainly not the most interesting by any standard.”
Because how could someone that pretty not be accepted?
“That’s Edward. He’s gorgeous, of course, but don’t waste your time. He doesn’t date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him. ” She sniffed, a clear case of sour grapes.”
There you go Bella, judging people again. This is so boring, I can’t even think up a witty comment. (+1 Bitch) Ugh, I am determined to make it through chapter 1! Anyway, Bella goes to Biology. The teacher’s name is Mr. Banner, and I’m hoping his first name is Bruce and Bella makes him angry so I don’t have to read this shit anymore. And, holy plot-device, Batman! The only seat available is the one next to Edward. Edward seems to be allergic to Bella, as he leans as far away from her as possible. I don’t blame you, Eddie, I wouldn’t want to be near the bitch either.
“Unfortunately the lecture was on cellular anatomy, something I’d already studied.”
We fucking get it, Meyer. Bella’s smart. Edward continues to act repulsed, and when the bell rings, he’s the first one out the door. (Poor Ed, it’s gonna take him hours to get the smell of bitch off him.)
“He was so mean. It wasn’t fair.”
Dude, you flipped a bitch when Eric was nice to you, but you get upset when someone is indifferent towards you? Cry me a river. (+1 Angst)
A guy named Mike then asks Bella if she needs any help finding her next class. Turns out he moved here a couple years ago, so he wants to help her feel a little more at home since he went through the same thing.
“He was friendly and clearly admiring. But it wasn’t enough to ease my irritation.”
What’s wrong with Mike?
Apparently P.E. is required all 4 years at FHS, which is Bella’s nightmare. Oh, you poor thing, imagine having to play…gasp…volleyball! (+1 Angst/Bitch) Gym is her last class, thank the Lord, and she leaves through the office. Along the way, she catches Edward trying to transfer out of Biology. Boo hoo.
“I headed back to Charlie’s house, fighting tears the whole way there.”
Can you say emo, kids? (+1 Angst)
You know I skipped my Algebra 2 homework to write this?