What this chapter should be called: Where in the world is Bella’s red blouse?
Edward creep-o-meter: 5
This chapter is bad. Not bad in the sense that nothing happens, though. This chapter is bad in the sense that it reads like fanfiction. Had I read this chapter out of context, I probably would have assumed it was fanfiction. This is like the fifth circle of hell for a Twilight reviewer.
Anyway, nothing has really happened in the first 200-ish pages of this book. Bella has just bounced around between Edward and Jacob like a grumpy, melodramatic tennis ball, which has just been thrilling. Hell, even twenty pages of Charlie trying not to burn water would be a welcome break. Sadly, the most exciting thing that happens here is Emmett’s return. (He even says words!)
Alice drops Bella off after the “slumber party.” Bella is totes exhausted, from all the toenail painting, I’m sure. (+1 Stupidity) Charlie yells to Bella that she’s got a message from Jacob. Real shocker there.
“Jacob called, Charlie had written. He said he didn’t mean it, and that he’s sorry. He wants you to call him. Be nice and give him a break. He sounded upset.”
Bella “grimaces” at the fact Charlie gave his own opinion on the matter. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Meyer does realize what “grimace” means, right? And no, I’m not talking about the freaky purple thing.
Bella decides that the right thing to do in this situation would be to just let Jacob be upset. I am just really starting to see where all these compliments about Bella being mature are coming from. (+1 Bitch)
“Last I’d heard, they weren’t big on allowing phone calls from the other side. If Jacob preferred me dead, then maybe he should get used to the silence.”
Somewhat off topic, but did Bella even apologize to Jacob for her shenanigans in Italy? Did she so much as offer a simple “sorry” for running off to help a guy who left her in severe depression and tasking Jake with not letting a murderous vampire eat her daddy? If my memory serves correctly, she did not. (+1 Bitch) So, this here is a little too much of the pot calling the kettle black for me to give a damn.
Bella decides not to call Jacob, which Charlie gives her some crap for. Good job, Chuck.
“That’s not very attractive behavior, Bella,” he said. “Forgiveness is divine.” “Mind your own business,” I muttered under my breath, much too low for him to hear.”
Um, you are his business, and seeing as your only real friend has called him up, stressed as hell, I would certainly say that it’s his business. (+1 Bitch)
Bella goes off, brushes her teeth, and then does more house-wifey stuff. She strips Charlie’s bed, goes to grab her dirty clothes, and the mystery gets started.
“Where was my pillow? I turned in a circle, scanning the room. No pillow. I noticed that my room looked oddly tidy. Hadn’t my gray sweatshirt been draped over the low bedpost on the footboard? And I would swear there had been a pair of dirty socks behind the rocking chair, along with the red blouse I’d tried on two mornings ago, but decided was too dressy for school, hanging over the arm. . . . I spun around again. My hamper wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t overflowing, the way I thought it had been.”
Well, okay. It’s no Sherlock novel, but at this point I’ll take what I can get. Bella chalks it up to Alice, seeing as she probably ransacked Bella’s room when planning for the “sleepover.”
“I blushed for my slovenly ways.”
Praise the mother of all overwrought sentences! (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Couldn’t Meyer have just written that Bella was embarrassed that Alice had to dig through her messy room? No, she has to “blush for her slovenly ways.” Gah! Does any character in Meyerland have actual emotions that don’t need to be conveyed in exceedingly purple prose? (+1 Stupidity)
Awkward wording nonetheless, Bella prances off to rescue her shirt from the hamper, but it isn’t there. She goes down to the laundry room, but it’s not there. Bella enters Supreme Paranoia mode, because we’re all just so positive that it’s not just under her bed or something. (+1 Stupidity) Edward shows up seconds later, because we haven’t talked about him in a while.
“Edward’s golden eyes were wide, his nostrils flared, his lips pulled back over his teeth. “Edward?” My voice was sharp with shock as I read his expression. “What —?”
Oh, Meyer, you card.
Anyway, Edward tells Bella to stay on the doorstep while he checks out whatever’s caused him to flip out. He makes like Batman a ghost and presumably does the super sparkle run around the house. He is just so awesome that he must literally move at the speed of light, because Charlie doesn’t see him; and he’s also Kitty Pryde, because there are no copious amounts of air displaced by him running. (+1 Stupidity)
“Before I could compose myself enough to count to two, he was back. He put his arm around my waist and pulled me swiftly toward the kitchen.”
And he does all this in about four seconds. Riiiiight. (+1 Stupidity) Sparklepeen reports that someone other than him has been nosing through Bella’s panty drawer, which is unacceptable. Bella swears that there was absolutely no werewolf orgy (great indie band name #19) at her place, so he can go and –
“Not one of them,” he interrupted me quickly, shaking his head. “One of us.” His tone made it clear that he didn’t mean a member of his family. I felt the blood empty from my face. “Victoria?” I choked. “It’s not a scent I recognize.” “One of the Volturi,” I guessed. “Probably.”
So some vampire was nosing around this morning, but took special care to leave Charlie alone. Who, by the way, thinks that there’s some kind of lover’s spat going on in his kitchen. Cool. Edward yanks Bella out, while she freaks about leaving Charlie alone. Seeing that he wasn’t brutally murdered when the mystery guest came calling, I wouldn’t be too worried. (+1 Stupidity)
“But Charlie!” The fear was squeezing my chest, making it hard to breathe. He deliberated for a short second, and then his phone was in his hand.”
Um, Meyer does know that to deliberate means to be careful and slow in deciding, right? To say that he deliberated for a second just contradicts the meaning of the word. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Edward calls Emmett (Yay!) up, and tells him to sweep the woods while he hauls Bella to Chez Cullen. Bella looks at Charlie with “frightened eyes” before Sparklepeen whisks her out the door. Charlie doesn’t do anything. I thought he was a cop? You’d think he’d get off his ass if his daughter was being dragged out the door while looking like she was about to wet herself. (+1 Stupidity)
They fly down the highway to go have a chat with Alice, to see if she saw anything. I doubt it, because the mystery guest would have had to decide to let Alice see him. Or he was just carrying a baby werewolf in his pocket. Either way.
When they get to Chez Cullen, Edward goes off on Alice for not seeing the mystery guest. Bella just stands there and watches. Hmmm, is he going to hit his sister? (+1 Red Flag)
The Cullens stand around and try to figure out who was in Bella’s room. Was it one of the Volturi or was it Victoria? Or, y’know, it could be those vampires running around in Seattle, but no one mentions that because that would be smart. (+1 Stupidity) Or, maybe Mike Newton finally snapped and has taken up stalking Bella as his new pastime. You never know.
All the vamps debate this while Bella sits in the corner with Esme stroking her hair. Aawwkwaard. Emmett busts in, having brought a fern with some scent on it.
“Carlisle took it from him and held it to his face. I saw, as it exchanged hands, that it was a broken fern frond. “Maybe you know the scent.” “No,” Carlisle said. “Not familiar. No one I’ve ever met.”
Well, okay. Still could be Mike Newton wearing cologne. Or a suit made from the skin of his victims.
Bella petitions for the “Big Change” to take place right freakin’ now. Edward actually has to be the voice of reason here, stating that it probably wouldn’t end to well for him if Bella went missing. (+1 Red Flag) Kidnapping charges are no fun.
Nothing really happens for the next few paragraphs. Bella goes home, Charlie tells her to call Jacob back, and she whines about how unfair her life is. Thrills aplenty, here.
The action picks up the next morning when Charlie goes fishing (is that all he ever does?) and Bella uses the alone time to call up Jacob.
“I’m going to let Jacob off the hook,” I warned Edward after I’d eaten breakfast. “I knew you’d forgive him,” he said with an easy smile. “Holding grudges is not one of your many talents.” I rolled my eyes, but I was pleased. It seemed like Edward really was over the whole anti-werewolf thing.”
While it’s great that Edward is choosing not to be a tremendous douchecraft carrier, why has he suddenly decided to drop the anti-werewolf agenda? People don’t (and characters shouldn’t) change their entire ideology overnight. Harry Potter didn’t end with Voldemort saying, “Well, maybe muggle-borns aren’t so bad. What’s up with my nose, anyway?” World War II didn’t end with Hitler realizing that maybe he was just being a jerk. So, why has Edward magically rearranged his priorities? Nobody knows. *coughMeyerwroteherselfintoacornercough* (+1 Stupidity)
So Bella calls Jacob, who answers on the first ring, and jumps at the chance to apologize to Bella.
“Oh, Bella, I’m so sorry!” he tripped over the words as he hurried to get them out. “I swear I didn’t mean it. I was just being stupid. I was angry — but that’s no excuse. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever said in my life and I’m sorry. Don’t be mad at me, please? Please. Lifetime of servitude up for grabs — all you have to do is forgive me.”
Bella forgives Jacob, but declines his invitation to come down to La Push and let him make it up to her. Jacob’s bright enough to realize that Sparklepeen is probably not too happy with him. Edward demands asks politely to speak to Jacob. This is going to be so good. There’s a long passage where Edward speaks to Jacob, but we don’t actually hear what Jacob is saying. You know what this means: super fun fill-in-the-blanks time!
Edward: Hello, Jacob.
Jacob: Hey, dickbreath. How’s life in the crypt?
Edward: Someone was here — not a scent I know. Has your pack come across anything new?
Jacob: Bitch, I’m running around the forest, all furred out, every night. Last night I found these mushrooms and ate them. You don’t know how much weird shit I’ve seen.
Edward: Here’s the crux, Jacob. I won’t be letting Bella out of my sight till I get this taken care of. It’s nothing personal —
Jacob: No, here’s the crux, crux-boy. I can name all the state capitals.
Edward: You might be right —
Jacob: Damn straight I’m right. Say I’m not right and I’ll cram a lit match in your eye.
Edward: That’s an interesting suggestion. We’re quite willing to renegotiate. If Sam is amenable.
Jacob: Of course he’s amenable. Do you even know what that means? That was a compliment, by the way.
Edward: Thank you.
Jacob: Whatever. Say, are you taking Bella to go see Dark Knight Rises?
Edward: I’d planned to go alone, actually, and leave her with the others.
Jacob: You would, you fanboy. Think it’ll be better or worse than Avengers?
Edward: I’ll try to consider it objectively. As objectively as I’m capable of.
Jacob: You better, or I’ll use your Christian Bale poster as training paper. You wouldn’t believe how big a mess baby werewolves make.
Edward: That’s not a half-bad idea. When?
Jacob: Don’t ask me questions. Go look at the stupid trail that the stupid Seattle vampires left.
Edward: No, that’s fine. I’d like a chance to follow the trail personally, anyway.
Jacob: Now say, “ten minutes, certainly.”
Edward: Ten minutes . . . Certainly.
Jacob: Good. Now put Bella back on the phone. I’ve been debating sexual assault for a while now.
Sadly, the actual exchange is nothing like this and is mainly about rearranging some boring boundary lines. Woo. Jacob tries to sell Bella on coming down to the reservation, where she can be constantly surrounded by a pack of supernatural strongmen to protect her. Bella tells Jake not to do anything stupid or she will absolutely die of fright. (+1 Stupidity)
“Jake, I really don’t like the idea of you tracking —” “Oh please, Bella,” he interrupted. Jacob laughed, and then hung up.”
Fuck yeah, Jacob.
Thesaurus Rape: +3
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +2
Thesaurus Rape: +14
Eye Rape: +3
Cream Count: +2
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +43 Wolfballs +2