What this chapter should be called: Let’s get ready to (not) rumble!
Bella like-o-meter: -100
Ugh. I was content to watch 30 Rock reruns until my skull was as soft and porous as a Sara Lee sponge cake, but will the Doctor settle for anything less than a scathing review of the epilogue to this subtext-laden, eyeroll-inducing, sparklemongering piece of literary offal?
Short answer: No.
As I said about a week ago, there is an epilogue to this “story.” (Let’s just assume from now on that anything I put in quotes that’s not an actual story quote should be taken lightly.) It’s pretty much an extra chapter tacked onto the end of what could barely qualify as plot, which is yet another problem I have with these books. It’s like Stephenie thinks, “ohemgee, teh excitin part is totes ovr, nows i can ends the booksy!” To which Kate says, “Bullshit.”
For everyone who has been through eighth grade English, remember those plot diagrams? The ones that looked like a mountain, and you always giggled whenever your teacher labeled the climax? Yeah, do you guys remember what comes after the climax? *giggle* Yes, falling action and the resolution. You’re absolutely right.
This book has neither.
Seriously, for me, as the reader, this is so freaking disappointing. After we get what is supposedly the turning point of the book, there’s some dull conversation and the book ends. It’s like if Rowling was writing the last Harry Potter book and decided that *spoiler* after Harry kills Voldemort, he has a brief conversation with Ron about the weather, and then the book suddenly ends.
So, I’m not sure why Meyer isn’t calling this an actual chapter so that she can work out some of that pesky resolution. Come to think of it, what separates an epilogue from an actual chapter? I don’t know, but that’s okay, because apparently, neither does Meyer. (+1 Stupidity)
Okay, okay, okay. The epilogue. Right.
“Almost everything was back to normal – the good, pre-zombie normal—in less time than I would have believed possible.”
There’s virtually zero negative repercussions for anyone, because, after all, this is a Twilight book. (+1 Stupidity) But things are back to normal, a la a 30 minute sitcom. Edward and Alice are back in school, though it’s never explained how they managed to dupe the school district into letting them return. I bet it involved Alice stealing a car. That seems to solve most of the Cullens’ problems. (+1 Stupidity)
Also, Bella’s grades are suffering, because math is hard and as far as I can tell, she hasn’t attended class since Spring Break. (+1 Stupidity) Bella’s friends still think she’s a loser, too. Good for them.
“Suddenly, college was a priority (college was still plan B, on the off chance that Edward’s offer swayed me from the post-graduation Carlisle option). Many deadlines had passed me by, but Edward had a new stack of applications for me to fill out every day.”
Edward is still forcing her to go to college, for her own good, of course. (+1 Red Flag) Not to mention that this would have had to happen a heckuva lot earlier to fit into any realistic timeframe. Seniors at my school begin filling out college applications as early as mid December. (+1 Stupidity) Course, this could just be because I attend a school with year-round scheduling, but still.
And, we are treated to a small aside about how of course, Edward has already gone to Harvard, so he doesn’t need to go to a particularly prestigious college this year–wonderful for everyone since Bella has no goals whatsoever and will probably end up shuffling her way to community college.
Wait a minute, already been to Harvard? Jesus Christ, why isn’t he finding a cure for AIDS or inventing a machine that allows us to retrieve both socks from the dryer? Why the hell does he even bother with high school? So he can pick up girls 90 years younger than him? (+1 Red Flag)
There’s thinly veiled plot mechanisms, and then there’s Meyer’s writing. (+1 Stupidity)
As mentioned, Bella is pretty much on house arrest. Charlie isn’t speaking to Edward, either. Well, okay. I get the feeling Edward and Charlie never had any deep conversations anyways.
“I wasn’t at liberty to go to La Push, and Jacob wasn’t coming to see me. He wouldn’t even answer my phone calls.”
Jacob and Bella are totes not BFFs anymore. (Good for him, I say.) The bad news is that he’s not returning her phone calls anymore, and since she’s grounded, she can’t go see him. The good news is that since Eddiekins has returned, she really doesn’t care. (+1 Bitch)
“With Edward near me, it was hard to think about unhappy things—even my former best friend, who was probably very unhappy right now, due to me.”
So Bella sits around wondering “oh noes was it something I did?” To which we all know the answer is “yes yes yes a million times yes.” (+1 Stupidity) Bella either doesn’t realize she’s a tremendous bitch or doesn’t care.
Oh, also, Edward gets angry every time Jacob’s name is mentioned. This is because he wants to protect her, and it has nothing to do with possessiveness or his need to control her. I swear. (+1 Red Flag)
“The fairy tale was back on. Prince returned, bad spell broken. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do about the leftover, unresolved character. Where was his happily ever after? ”
We all know that happy ending doesn’t come until Breaking Dawn, when Jacob risks jail time in a torrid romance with his consolation prize, Bella’s baby. One of the only reasons I have the will to continue reading this crap is to get to the shining paragon of übercrap that is Breaking Dawn.
Some part of Bella still wants to talk to Jacob, so she keeps calling, and he never answers. And why would he? She did leave him to jaunt off to Italy to save the life of someone who was a jerk to her. It’s like if Princess Leia ditched Han Solo and ran off to go save Jabba the Hutt and then still expected Han to make lasagna with her when she got back.
Bella throws a tantrum one afternoon about how mean Jacob is being, even though she’s not exactly one to talk. (+1 Bitch)
“It’s just plain rude!” I vented one Saturday afternoon when Edward picked me up from work. Being angry about things was easier than feeling guilty. “Downright insulting!”
She goes on and on about this. Edward tries to reassure her that it’s not her they hate. Right, no. Of course not. It couldn’t possibly be Bella that’s the problem here. Everyone freaking loves Bella. (+1 Stupidity)
“It’s not you, Bella,” Edward said quietly. “Nobody hates you.”
To which I eagerly yelp, “Ooh, I do! Over here!”
Edward says that Jacob is keeping his distance because the Cullens are back. If Jacob came around, it would only end in violence.
“Bella, we are what we are,” Edward said quietly. “I can control myself, but I doubt he can. He’s very young. It would most likely turn into a fight, and I don’t know if I could stop it before I k—” he broke off, and then quickly continued. “Before I hurt him.”
Edward seems pretty sure of himself doesn’t he? Well, I agree, because we all know Edward is a mighty warrior – oh, wait, no we don’t. The closest thing Edward has done to fighting so far in the entire series has been stopping a van and playing a lullaby. My money’s on Jacob. (+1 Stupidity)
They get back to Bella’s house. Charlie is in a rage, and looky here, there’s Jake’s truck with 2 motorcycles in it.
For those of you who don’t remember, Charlie made it abundantly clear that motorcycles are death traps an Bella is not to have one. Now Jacob has totally busted her ass.
Bella is livid, and, because she is a girl, starts crying. Oh my gosh, Jacob is like so totally mean! Yeah, she more or less says that.
“Jake could be so petty and just plain mean.”
Yeah, well, welcome to breaking someone’s heart, you stupid slut. (+1 Bitch) Is Jacob being petty? Yeah, a little. Does Bella deserve it, though? Absolutely. (+1 Bitch) Besides, why would Jacob want to hang on to Bella’s bike, anyway? It would just be a constant reminder of the fact that he got rejected. Hell, I would probably do the same thing, except I would also send an incredibly passive-aggressive email, with the subject line being, “I’m really happy for you. Really.”
Bella jumps out of the car screaming “traitor” at the top of her lungs. Uh, for the record, when Bella went cavorting off to Italy, Jacob stayed behind, ensuring that Victoria didn’t rip her father’s throat out. He’s also done everything else Bella has asked him to do, teaching her how to ride a motorcycle, helping her find the love meadow, and not eating Alice’s face off. I think “traitor” is a bit of a strong word here. Perhaps “super awesome dude” would be more appropriate.
I can’t really imagine how these books could get any more dull at this point.
Actually, I suppose it could be worse. Bella could start a garden, and we’d literally have to read about grass growing.
(And you can be sure that we’d be given every. fucking. detail. “Bella went to the store to buy flowers. Bella found some pretty flowers that reminded her of Edward’s eyes. Bella went back home. Bella dug a hole in the garden. Bella put the flower in it. Bella filled it up with dirt. Bella watered the Edwardflower. But alas, James the dandelion moved in. And resisted all attempts at weeding. So she bought weed killer…..”)
Oh, God, I’m losing it.
Turns out, Jacob is here to act as a spokesperson for the werewolves. No idea why. He’s waiting for them when they get up the path.
“I leaned around him to stare at Jacob—to accuse him with my eyes. I would have thought that seeing his resentful, cynical expression would only make me angrier. Instead, it reminded me of the last time I’d seen him, with tears in his eyes. My fury weakened, faltered, as I stared at Jacob. It had been so long since I’d seen him—I hated that our reunion had to be like this.”
Bella somehow manages to “accuse” Jacob using solely her eyes, though I’m fairly certain that isn’t possible. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) There’s some obligatory remorse on Bella’s part, which pretty much goes, “I never would have done that to Jacob if I didn’t have to!” Bella the has the brass balls to ask how Jacob could do this to her. (+1 Bitch)
“The sneer vanished, but his face stayed hard and rigid. “It’s for the best.” “What is that supposed to mean? Do you want Charlie to strangle me? Or did you want him to have a heart attack, like Harry? No matter how mad you are at me, how could you do this to him?”
Bella accuses Jacob of wanting Charlie to have a heart attack just like Harry – there’s the manipulative girl we’ve come to know and love. (+1 Bitch) Edward does the floundering plot a favor and reads Jacob’s mind – Jacob turned in the bikes and tattled on Bella in the hopes that she would get grounded from seeing Edward. This impressive leap of logic brought to you by: teenagers.
Edward glowers at Jacob. Jacob glowers at Edward. Edward murmurs in Bella’s ear. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Godammit, that does it. Know that game where you guess how many jellybeans are in the jar? Well, I’m going to do the same thing with Eclipse. Instead of jellybeans, you have to guess how many glowers and murmurs are in the book.
Hell, this is gonna happen. Here’s how it’s going to work: You guess a number for both “glower” and “murmur.” (All forms of the words count, glowering, murmured, etc.) “Mutter” does not count. You can start putting guesses down right now, just head over to the page I created for the contest.
Write your guess down in the comments on that page. (ex: glower: 17 murmur: 10,235) If you’ve already read the book, just guess. NO COUNTING. I’ll keep a running tally as I read, and at the very end of the book, we’ll see who’s guess was closest to the actual amount. If for some reason, two people end up with the same number (cheaters!) the names will be placed into a hat and drawn at random. I’ll close off comments immediately after I post the first Eclipse review, so I’d say you have about a month and a half to enter your numbers. The person who guesses closest to the actual number, WITHOUT going over, will win.
There will be two winners: One who was closest to the number of actual murmurs, one who was closest to the number of actual glowers. If someone manages to guess the correct number for either words, I’ll also include a runner up for that word.
What will you win? I have no fuckin’ clue. Some worthless prize, most likely. Perhaps I’ll send you a voucher for a free Peanut Buster Parfait at Dairy Queen, or a handmade t-shirt from my soon-to-be shop. The lottery, this ‘aint.
Back to the story. Bella whines that she’s already grounded, which is why she hasn’t come to La Push to complain at him for not taking her calls. Jacob is all “oh, uh, oops,” and Edward, once again, violates the poor kid’s privacy by reading his mind. (+1 Red Flag)
“He thought I wouldn’t let you, not Charlie,” Edward explained again.
Not exactly a stretch, considering later Edward does just exactly this. And – holy shit, wait a minute – How is Edward reading Jacob’s mind? Is there some overly contrived loophole for his bypassing the werewolf immunity thing that I missed/forgot due to lack of interest or is it another glaring plot hole? Inquiring minds want to know. (+1 Stupidity)
Before the fight begins, Edward decides that he has something to say. He decides to do the chivalrous thing and thank Jacob for taking care of Bella while he was gone.
“Thank you,” Edward said, and his voice throbbed with the depth of his sincerity. “I will never be able to tell you how grateful I am. I will owe you for the rest of my… existence.”
See, every once in a while Edward does something like this that makes me think, “Gee, that was mighty decent of him.” (+1 Redemption) Then I remember how he’s a douche for no reason, didn’t want to fight James for no reason, and acts like an emo kid despite the fact that he has freakin’ superpowers, and all the hate rushes back faster than you can say “Team Emmett.”
Though personally, I would be pissed as hell – I don’t need a man to “take care of me,” and neither, for that matter, should Bella. But since she is a character written by Stephenie Meyer she absolutely depends on men to rescue her from something as mundane as a god damn paper cut, so I guess chivalry is alive and well after all. (+1 Stupidity)
Oh, and Jacob sends Edward a brainwave telling him to GTFO. Edward says he’s not going anywhere as long as Bella wants him, and follows up with a good ol’ eye rape so that Bella doesn’t really get a say in the matter. (+1 Eye Rape)
Jacob is here to remind everyone about the peace treaty. More specifically, some key points.
“Jacob still glowered at Edward, but he answered me. “The treaty is quite specific. If any of them bite a human, the truce is over. Bite, not kill,” he emphasized. Finally, he looked at me. His eyes were cold.”
Whatever numbers you just guessed for the murmur/glower contest, you might want to go ahead and double it. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Bella accidentally lets it slip that she’s hopping on the first train to Sparkletown after she graduates. Jacob starts convulsing, Bella tries to approach him, but Edward yanks her away, for her own good, I’m certain.
Charlie yells and the boys fight over who gets to kill Victoria. Who has disappeared. And despite being one of the main antagonists of the first three books, has yet to speak a single word. (+1 Stupidity)
Before Bella runs off to accept her punishment, she makes puppy dog eyes at Jacob and asks “bestest fwiends fowever wight?”
“Jacob shook his head slowly, and the lump in my throat nearly strangled me. “You know how hard I’ve tried to keep that promise, but… I can’t see how to keep trying. Not now…” He struggled to keep his hard mask in place, but it wavered, and then disappeared. “Miss you,” he mouthed.”
He is the man. He is the mystery. He is the thunder. He is… Mr. Black. (Cue epic thunderclap.)
See, that was how this book should have ended.
But nooo, now we have to talk about emotions and crap.
“Jake…” I took a step toward him. I wanted to wrap my arms around his waist and erase the expression of misery on his face. Edward pulled me back again, his arms restraining instead of defending.”
It must be bad if even Bella notes that it’s restraint. What a jerk Edward is. What’s he afraid of, that Jacob will pour cola down Bella’s throat? (+1 Red Flag)
Everybody shouts for a while. Then Bella goes to Charlie. Uh, okay.
“I knew that last glimpse of his face would haunt me until I saw him smile again. And right there I vowed that I would see him smile, and soon. I would find a way to keep my friend.”
Are there really two more books full of this? Ugh! Part of me hopes that the next book is so dull that I can just skim through it. Part of me also hopes that the next book chronicles Jacob’s adventures as he rides his motorcycle across the country, killing any vampires that get in his way while he struggles to find himself on the open road. But that would be far too interesting.
This book was possibly a bigger letdown than Twilight.
Thesaurus Rape: +3
Eye Rape: +1
Red Flag: +5
Final Book Count:
Thesaurus Rape: +52
Eye Rape: +2
Cream Count: +7
Red Flag: Sparklepeen- +38 Wolfballs- +2