What this chapter should be called: Paper cuts are apparently the natural enemies of vampires.
Edward creep-o-meter: 5, we’ll give him a fresh start.
Chapter one is basically a recap chapter, attempting to sum up the glory of Twilight in about 30 pages. We’ve been there, done that, but I’m still going to recap the recap. (If anyone, ANYONE, makes an Inception joke, I swear to God, I WILL END YOU.)
Anyhoo, enter clumsily narrated dream sequence! Bella is dreaming that she’s looking at her dead grandma. Someone calls to Bella off-camera.
“I didn’t have to look to know who it was; this was a voice I would know anywhere—know, and respond to, whether I was awake or asleep… or even dead, I’d bet. The voice I’d walk through fire for—or, less dramatically, slosh every day through the cold and endless rain for Edward.”
Or have his abominable undead baby. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella realizes that things aren’t quite right, and realizes that she’s looking at her reflection in the mirror.
“Edward stood beside me, casting no reflection, excruciatingly lovely and forever seventeen.”
Gack. (+1 Cream Count) Edward wishes Bella a happy birthday and she wakes up. We learn that, in fact, it is her birthday. There’s then thirty pages of her waxing pathetic about how old she is and how unfair it is that Edward hasn’t bitten her yet. I could probably end the review right there and you would still know what was going on next chapter. But I won’t.
“Only a dream, but prophetic enough in one way, at least. Today was my birthday. I was officially eighteen years old. I’d been dreading this day for months.”
As we all know, Bella is one of those people who can’t stand it when anyone pays attention or does something nice for them at all, but if you ignore them, you’re automatically a horrible person. So it’s a reasonable conclusion that Bella hates her birthday because, God forbid, people may notice. (But she loves it that Edward’s obsessed with her, so I say it’s safe to assume that she’s a filthy hypocrite.)
“Every day I got older, but this was different, worse, quantifiable. I was eighteen. And Edward never would be.”
Because everything NOT EDWARD IS NOT GOOD. (+1 Angst)
Bella drives herself to school, and my eyebrows raise here. She actually drove herself to school? That’s like the Bella equivalent of single-handedly organizing the women’s rights movement.
As Bella drives, Meyer employs her favorite words while Bella whines.
“I couldn’t feel anything but despair until I pulled into the familiar parking lot behind Forks High School and spotted Edward leaning motionlessly against his polished silver Volvo, like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty. The dream had not done him justice.”
I couldn’t see anything but a run-on sentence until I remembered that this mind-numbingly stupid sentence was written by Meyer, so it has to be loaded down with piles and piles of glistening, sparkly, fluffballs of strawberry-scented adjectives. (+1 Thesaurus Rape/Cream Count)
Alice is there, and she has a present for Bella. Bella immediately launches into a bitch-rant about how awful it is that her wishes are being ignored.
“I’d told Alice I didn’t want anything, anything, not gifts or even attention, for my birthday. Obviously, my wishes were being ignored. ”
Can you imagine how positively awful this girl’s life is? (+1 Bitch)
Charlie: Happy Birthday, my dear, sweet Bella-Sue. Look, I’ve sculpted a marble statue in your likeness. I thought maybe we could put it in the front yard-
Bella: Ew, Dad, I thought I told you not to get me anything! Ugh, my life is horrible!
Edward: Happy Birthday, my love. I’ve organized a parade in your honor, to celebrate your beautiful Sue-ness-
Bella- Urg, parades totally suck! Why can’t everyone just ignore me like I want!?! God, it TOTALLY sucks to have people that care about you!
Mike: So Bella, I just got off the phone with the President, and today has been declared national Bella-Sue day! Happy Birthday-
Bella: What the hell, Mike? Didn’t I SAY I didn’t want anything? WHY DON’T YOU LISTEN?!? Urg, all these people being nice to me totally suck! Why can’t everyone just leave me alone? Oh, and aren’t I totally selfless? That’s what my fans say.
Anyways, Edward and Alice are there waiting for her, and Edward is just as boring and pretty as he was last book, and Alice is her awesome plot-devicey self, even having gone out of her way to get Bella a present. Bella is totally embarrassed, because OMG she’s 18 and she’ll be getting wrinkles any day now.
Bella drops a hint that is what’s upsetting her so much and Alice tries to cheer her up.
“Eighteen isn’t very old,” Alice said. “Don’t women usually wait till they’re twenty-nine to get upset over birthdays?” “It’s older than Edward,” I mumbled. ”
ANYTHING NOT EDWARD IS NOT GOOD. (+1 Angst)
Bella bitches about how Edward won’t turn her into a sparklefairy, and this quote pretty much sums up every problem I have with Meyer’s ungodly creations.
“Edward was dead set against any future that changed me. Any future that made me like him—that made me immortal, too. An impasse, he called it. I couldn’t really see Edward’s point, to be honest. What was so great about mortality? Being a vampire didn’t look like such a terrible thing—not the way the Cullens did it, anyway. ”
And that is why sparklefairies are incredibly stupid.
Edward strokes her face a little, which is a strangely common occurrence in these books. Meanwhile, Alice asks Bella what time she’s coming over, because Alice is throwing her a party. Bella immediately gets all pissy again. (+1 Bitch) NO FUN, BELLA IS VARY GROWN UP, NEVAR 4GET!! She tries to come up with a few lame excuses, such as watching Romeo & Juliet , for English class.
Uh, Meyer does know that it’s usually freshman and sophomore classes that read that book, right? Why the hell is Bella reading it for a senior level class? Unless this is some sort of “special” school, Bella would have read this book a long time ago. Then again, she was taking Biology as a junior, so I think it’s safe to assume Meyer has a very flimsy grasp on the entire concept. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella literally starts to beg that Edward not make her go, but he shuts her up and tells her to deal. (+1 Red Flag) They go to class.
“No one bothered to stare at us as we took our usual seats in the back of the classroom (we had almost every class together now—it was amazing the favors Edward could get the female administrators to do for him).”
Silly women, so easily manipulated. (I guess none of them are lesbians.) Bella then makes an offhand comment that just proves the stupidity of this book.
“Even Mike Newton didn’t bother to give me the glum stare that used to make me feel a little guilty. He smiled now instead, and I was glad he seemed to have accepted that we could only be friends. Mike had changed over the summer—his face had lost some of the roundness, making his cheekbones more prominent, and he was wearing his pale blond hair a new way; instead of bristly, it was longer and gelled into a carefully casual disarray. It was easy to see where his inspiration came from—but Edward’s look wasn’t something that could be achieved through imitation.”
ANYTHING NOT EDWARD IS NOT GOOD. (+1 Stupidity)
There’s then some exposition that provides some insight as to why Bella is such a bitch when it comes to getting gifts. Turns out Bella grew up po’, because her mom was only a kindergarten teacher.
“I’d never had much money, and that had never bothered me. Renee had raised me on a kindergarten teacher’s salary. Charlie wasn’t getting rich at his job, either—he was the police chief here in the tiny town of Forks. My only personal income came from the three days a week I worked at the local sporting goods store.”
Wait, what? Bella’s mom has a job? And so does Bella? What is this? Am I still reading a Twilight Book?
Oh, right, kindergarten teacher is one of those pre-approved jobs for women. I see through your ruse, Meyer. Not to mention that kindergarten teacher would be a very bad job for someone as irresponsible as Bella’s mom. (+1 Stupidity)
Anyway, you guys, Edward is rich. Like, super rich. He and Alice play the stock market because she can see the future, you know? So he’s like, totally loaded. But Bella is just a simple girl from a poor family, so it would be totally unfair for him to buy her things like a new car and a college tuition and a boob job, you know? Because he’s so perfect already and she has so little to offer in return. (And I would probably just start sobbing incoherently if he started buying everything for her too, but that’s besides the point.)
Meyer appears to have looked up “ways not to suck at writing’ on Google, as she just fast forwards to lunchtime.
“A strange kind of truce existed at that table. The three of us—Edward, Alice, and I—sat on the extreme southern end of the table. Now that the “older” and somewhat scarier (in Emmett’s case, certainly) Cullen siblings had graduated, Alice and Edward did not seem quite so intimidating, and we did not sit here alone.”
So the mortals largely ignore the teenpires, because they can subconsciously sense poorly written characters natural predators in their midst.
“People always felt strangely ill at ease with the Cullens, almost afraid for some reason they couldn’t explain to themselves. I was a rare exception to that rule.”
1. I suppose “ill at ease” is code for “orgasming at the very sight” in Meyerland. (+1 Stupidity)
2. My Suedar just nearly exploded. (+1 Stupidity)
Meyer skips to the end of the day, and we revisit the Forks High parking lot ( If you were with me on the last book, you know that bad things happen in this parking lot.) Edward is not driving himself home because he wants to assure that Bella complies to his wishes and doesn’t skip out on him. (+1 Red Flag)
“I folded my arms and made no move to get out of the rain. “It’s my birthday, don’t I get to drive?” “I’m pretending it’s not your birthday, just as you wished.”
That’s right, folks, he only lets her drive because it’s her birthday. I just laughed so hard I choked. Sparklepeen bitches a little about how much her radio sucks, then tells her to perk the fuck up, because it’s her birthday, goddammit! (+1 Red Flag) They kiss.
“His mouth lingered on mine, cold and smooth and gentle, until I wrapped my arms around his neck and threw myself into the kiss with a little too much enthusiasm. I could feel his lips curve upward as he let go of my face and reached back to unlock my grip on him.”
I can practically hear middle-aged women everywhere sigh, pour another glass of wine, and start to turn the pages one-handed.
“Edward had drawn many careful lines for our physical relationship, with the intent being to keep me alive. Though I respected the need for maintaining a safe distance between my skin and his razor-sharp, venom-coated teeth, I tended to forget about trivial things like that when he was kissing me. “Be good, please,” he breathed against my cheek. He pressed his lips gently to mine one more time and then pulled away, folding my arms across my stomach.”
What a silly woman, driven by those irrational emotions! It’s a good thing that Edward told her to be good so that he can still use sex as a means of controlling her. (+1 Red Flag)
Bella flips on Romeo & Juliet, and ironically, Edward starts bitching about how little patience he has with Romeo. (This coming from a 108 year-old virgin, I don’t take it too seriously.)
“Well, first of all, he’s in love with this Rosaline—don’t you think it makes him seem a little fickle? And then, a few minutes after their wedding, he kills Juliet’s cousin. That’s not very brilliant. Mistake after mistake. Could he have destroyed his own happiness any more thoroughly?”
Yeah, you only fell in love with your natural food supply. I honestly don’t think you can talk here, Sparklepeen.
Moving on, at the mutual suicide scene, we are treated to several pages of Edward making light of his suicidal thoughts.
“Last spring, when you were… nearly killed…” He paused to take a deep breath, snuggling to return to his teasing tone. “Of course I was trying to focus on finding you alive, but part of my mind was making contingency plans. Like I said, it’s not as easy for me as it is for a human.”
Apparently, if Bella had died, Edward would have wanted to kill himself, most likely by going to Italy and pissing off the Volturi, (Raise your hands if you think that this will be a major plot point later on.) the ruling class family of vampires. Bella is horrified at this, and reminds him that if he had died, he wouldn’t have wanted her to kill herself, displaying one of the clearest bursts of logic I’ve seen in this shitty book.
I find it so amusing that Meyer had to have Bella watch Romeo & Juliet just to get the point across that her abominations are a modernized version of Romeo and Juliet. Well, you know what they say. Some writers leave a trail of literary breadcrumbs, Stephenie Meyer rents literary billboards with literary neon lights. (+1 Stupidity)
Charlie comes home with pizza.
“Hey, kids.” He grinned at me. “I thought you’d like a break from cooking and washing dishes for your birthday. Hungry?”
Bella Swan sets the feminist movement back at least 50 years.
Bella asks if Charlie is okay with her going over to Casa de Cullen, and he’s fine, because there’s a game on. Way to go, dad. Your only child is turning 18 and you’re all, “game on?” What the hell?
He tosses Bella her present, a camera that she almost drops (OMG BELLA IZ SOO CLUMZY NEVARR FORGET!) and tells her to take lots of pictures, and…oh, dear, this is awkward.
“That’s good. Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn’t been over in a while.” Charlie’s mouth pulled down at one corner. “It’s been three days, Dad,” I reminded him. Charlie was crazy about Alice.”
BRAIN BLEACH NOW, PLEASE!
A teenage girl brings her friend over and becomes aware that her parent, her dad, her father, has a thing for said friend, would be grossed. the hell. OUT. MUCH LIKE I AM. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella doesn’t have a problem with this, so I guess we are reading a Twilight book after all.
You know what? I think I’ll just stab myself in the brain with this handy ice pick as to eradicate any memory of that last paragraph. Lets see *squish* almost *squish* there *squish*…
Goddammit, now I’ve forgotten what vinegar smells like.
So Edward escorts her to her truck, forcing her into the passenger seat, because it’s insulting to his manhood when she drives. (+1 Red Flag) He starts speeding down to Chez Cullen, bitching all the way. He tells her to buck the hell up, because the last time any of the Sparklefairies celebrated a birthday was in 1935. Apparently Bella is so special that all the vamps have come home for this occasion.
“Everyone?” I choked. “I thought Emmett and Rosalie were in Africa.”
Yeah, you know, Africa, where the sun don’t shine. (+1 Stupidity) The conversation turns to what Bella wants for her birthday, because she won’t let Edward buy her an Audi.
“So, if you won’t let me get you the Audi, isn’t there anything that you’d like for your birthday?” The words came out in a whisper. “You know what I want.”
I know that they’re talking about the whole ordeal of becoming a sparklepire, but this book is much more fun to read if you imagine it’s about sex.
It felt like we’d had this argument a lot today. “Not tonight, Bella. Please.” “Well, maybe Alice will give me what I want.”
Alice doesn’t give her what she wants (Not in this chapter, at least.) but she does know how to throw one hell of a party. Unfortunately, the cost of Alice’s awesome party is that the new thesaurus is being forced to do quite unsavory things.
“Bright light shined from every window on the first two floors. A long line of glowing Japanese lanterns hung from the porch eaves, reflecting a soft radiance on the huge cedars that surrounded the house. Big bowls of flowers—pink roses—lined the wide stairs up to the front doors.”
There ought to be a law. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Bella walks inside, and a table near the piano is draped with white, and covered in yet more candles and roses, and topped with a pink cake and a pile of silver-wrapped presents. Alice may be a tremendous plot device, but she is too freaking sweet for words.
“It was a hundred times worse than I’d imagined.”
What an ungrateful bitch. (+1 Bitch)
We are treated to paragraph after paragraph about how pretty everyone is,(+1 Cream Count) and we learn that apparently, Emmett can smell Mary-Sues, and takes the time to make fun of Bella accordingly. Seriously, could we just have a book with Emmett? I would read that.
Alice takes Bella over to open presents, and the first gift is a car stereo, which Emmett is installing so that she can’t return it. Edward hands her his present, assuring her that he hasn’t spent any money on it. Bella, an idiot, cuts her finger on the wrapping paper.
And all hell breaks loose as the little idiot starts bleeding ever so slightly. Edward throws Bella backwards, and he and Jasper slam into each other. Jasper goes into a sharkpire frenzy. Emmett tries to wrestle with him. Bella realizes that since she fell into a table full of crystal bowls, there is now a huge gash on her arm from all the shattered glass. ( I can’t help but Imagine the sharks from Finding Nemo. “Mortals are friends, not food. Intervention!”)
“Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm—into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.”
All because the little bitch got a paper cut.
For those of you who are, I don’t know, SMART, think about the fact that this means that Jasper should freak out every time a girl is on her bloody period (No pun intended.) I have some things to enlighten you on.
It seems that Meyer was posed this question several times. If all it takes is a drop of blood from a fuckin’ paper cut to send Jasper into a sharkpire frenzy, how can he, or any of the vamps for that matter, attend a high school where, statistically, one in every four girls is menstruating? Instead of just saying “That’s gross and I’m not writing it,” which I would have come to expect and would even have accepted from Meyer, she said this:
“Several girls wanted to know if Edward would have a more difficult time being around Bella when she’s having her period. Answer: Yes, a little bit, but he would never say anything about it– too much of a gentleman. And Bella would be way to embarrassed to ask. (It’s not the same as a cut, though. It’s sort of “dead” blood, if you get my meaning).”
Oh, Google, my friend. So, since I like to DO RESEARCH, I tried to find this on Meyer’s websites’ FAQ and found that it had been taken down. GEE, I WONDER WHY? It’s totally not like you called the nutrient and blood rich uterine lining, the same stuff that is responsible for life DEAD or anything. Yeah, you totally didn’t prove what a colossal idiot you are in that single sentence. (+2 Stupidity)
This book never fails to deliver, does it?
Thesaurus Rape: +2
Cream Count: +3
Red Flag: +5