What this chapter should be called: I wish this was chapter 11
Edward creep-o-meter: 5, he’s actually not too bad here.
As the promise of an epic vampire/werewolf team-up looms on the horizon, I’m actually kind of excited for this chapter. Sadly, I know that this team-up is not going to be nearly as epic as I’m imagining. Sad face. But on the plus side, werewolf parties! Yeah!
We start out with Jacob coming over to check out the scent the panty thief left in Bella’s room. Edward leaves for this; I imagine his cripplingly low self-esteem doesn’t allow him to be in the same room as awesome Jacob. But he’ll be creeping around the forest to make sure Bella’s safe.
“I won’t be far away. You’ll be safe.” “I’m not worried about that .” He smiled, and then a sly look came into his eye. He pulled me close, burying his face in my hair. I could feel his cool breath saturate the strands as he exhaled; it raised goose bumps on my neck.”
Well, that’s kind of creepily territorial. You think he’ll pee on her next? (+1 Red Flag) Wait a minute, can vampires even pee? No, scratch that, I’m sure I’ve talked about this already.
Bella meanders into the kitchen and fills up the sink to wash dishes. I guess they don’t have dishwashers in Meyerland, either. (+1 Stupidity) Jacob eventually shows up and rings the doorbell.
“I was concentrating on piling the dishes into the bubbly water, and I’d forgotten that Jacob moved like a ghost these days. So it made me jump when his voice was suddenly there behind me.”
Sentence fluency is obviously not. One of Meyer’s strong points. (+1 Stupidity)
And what is up with all these people moving like ghosts in these books? Edward and co. are completely silent, despite being made of stone, and Jacob (who is about 6’5” and being all muscle, weighs at least 200 lbs) doesn’t make any sound either. This makes no fucking sense. (+1 Stupidity)
So Bella nearly shits herself, while Jacob stands there in all his shirtless glory. Bella can’t help but wonder if Jacob is the weensiest bit vain about his new muscles. Jacob explains that it’s a giant pain in the ass to carry his entire wardrobe around. He keeps a leather cord around his ankle to tie his jeans to.
“That’s more than just a fashion statement — it sucks to carry jeans in your mouth.”
Preaching to the choir, my man. Preaching to the choir.
Bella points Jacob up towards her bedroom, where the scent is the worst. He goes up there, while we get to see just how fantastic Bella is at cleaning plates. (+1 Stupidity) Relevant details? What’s that?
“Whew!” Jacob said, inches behind me, scaring me again.
Bella forgets that Jacob is somehow super stealthy now. Yeesh, she’s awfully forgetful when it comes to the werewolf deal, don’t you think? We can’t go two pages without being reminded that Edward is a perfect Sparklepire, but there’s some magical hole in Bella’s brain that eradicates all werewolf knowledge. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella: Ahhh! A mountain lion! Run, Jacob, your puny mortal flesh is no match for a terrifying beast like this!
Jacob: Nah, I got this. ~fursplodes and eats mountain lion~
Bella: Oh. Right. Werewolves. Let’s not kiss now.
Jacob complains that Bella’s room stinks of vampire.
“Well, the scent was easy enough to catch. By the way, your room reeks.” “I’ll buy some air freshener.”
Why don’t we get this Bella more? The witty, almost three-dimensional one? See, if Bella was like this all the time these books might actually be tolerable.
Jacob offers to help Bella wash dishes, because he really has nothing better to do. He takes advantage of the time to ask what it’s like to be dating a vampire. Like, do you ever worry about his fangs ripping your tongue off while you kiss?
“I smacked his arm, splashing him with dishwater. “Shut up, Jacob! You know he doesn’t have fangs!”
That sound you just heard was the entire vampire mythos screaming in pain. (+1 Stupidity)
Jacob asks one more question that is actually relevant: when is the set date for Bella’s “Big Change?”
“You said a few weeks. . . . When, exactly . . . ?” He couldn’t finish. “Graduation,” I whispered back, watching his face warily. Would this set him off again?”
Unfortunately, Jacob does not fursplode and smack some sense into Bella. He does tense up and manage to slice his hand open on a knife, though. This makes Bella flip, as there is now blood everywhere. Bella is going to starve to death as a vampire. (+1 Stupidity) Jacob holds his hand under the faucet for a minute, then shows Bella so she doesn’t throw a fit about taking him to the hospital.
“It took me a few seconds. I even flipped his hand over, though I was sure he’d cut his palm. I turned his hand back up, finally realizing that the angry pink, puckered line was all that was left of his wound.”
Bella’s situationally dependent memory forgot that werewolves have Wolverine-esque healing factors. Why didn’t Bella remember this, again? She was there for the Paul/Jacob smackdown, after all. Her excuse is that she didn’t see the healing in action. Note to self: I can commit as many crimes as I want around Bella, as long as she isn’t looking directly at me when it happens. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella scrubs the floor with bleach to clean up any remnants of blood, to avoid Eddie going into a Sharkpire frenzy.
“Do you have obsessive-compulsive disorder?” he asked when I was done. Huh. Maybe. But at least I had a good excuse this time. “We’re a bit sensitive to blood around here. I’m sure you can understand that.” “Oh.” He wrinkled his nose again. “Why not make it as easy as possible for him? What he’s doing is hard enough.”
Sure, let’s make it as easy as possible for him. Clean up the floor because he doesn’t like blood. Stay away from your friends because he doesn’t approve. Waste your entire life away because he demands it. This is the absolute definition of true love, right here.
Anyway, Jacob asks if Bella would like to hit up a werewolf party tonight. Yeah, werewolf party! How awesome is this going to be?!? Despite the impending karaoke and laser tag, Bella worries she can’t go because Eddie darling won’t let her. Whatever. She can worry about that while the rest of us are setting off the fireworks Sam bought. (The good kind, that you can only get in Mexico and shady parts of New Jersey.)
Oh, and this chapter also has one of the best lines in the book. It’s one of those great moments where Jacob suddenly becomes aware he’s a character in a shitty novel.
“He made a noise in the back of his throat. “Is he your warden, now, too? You know, I saw this story on the news last week about controlling, abusive teenage relationships and —”
He shoots, he scores! Bella tells him to GTFO, now, because deep down she knows he’s right. Bella goes straight back to washing dishes, and Edward returns.
“Seconds after he was gone, Edward walked slowly into the kitchen, raindrops glistening like diamonds set into the bronze of his hair.”
Yack. (+1 Cream Count) Bella immediately rejoices at the return of her one twu wuv, sings his name (no, really) and throws herself at him. (Seriously, that’s how it’s written.) Edward inquires as to why Bella stabbed Jake. Whoopsies, someone forgot to clean off the knife. Bella rushes off to clean the knife, telling Eddie that Jacob was not stabbed, he just cut himself.
“Edward chuckled. “That’s not nearly as fun as the way I imagined it.”
Yes, Edward just admitted he fantasized about his girlfriend brutally stabbing his rival. He’s totally being mature about the whole deal, can’t you tell? (+1 Red Flag)
Edward hands Bella a thick envelope, which is surely her acceptance letter from Dartmouth. Why doesn’t Bella attend just one semester of college? After all, she might even like it. But since Bella has no real aspirations, she declines and says the Big Change will be taking place on schedule. Tough luck, Eddie.
“You know,” I teased halfheartedly, “this whole secrecy and deception thing is kind of a pain.” Edward’s expression hardened. “It gets easier. After a few decades, everyone you know is dead. Problem solved.”
Bella is distraught at the idea that people die, which is actually pretty typical for her. She’s going to need a therapist for years when someone forwards her a Kony 2012 video. (+1 Stupidity)
She asks if Alice could please return all the things she stole politely took from Bella’s room for the “sleepover.” The little hamster in Edward’s head nearly collapses from exhaustion before Eddie puts it together that Bella’s visitor must have been gathering evidence. (Actually, I still think it’s Mike Newton. He probably put all the clothes he stole on a life-size Bella doll made out of animal skulls.) Just then, Carlisle conveniently calls Edward. There’s another conversation where we only hear what Edward says. I’m really starting to love these fill-in-the-blank things.
Carlisle: So, son, what are your plans for going to see Amazing Spider-Man?
Edward: Maybe I’ll go, maybe not. Don’t let Emmett go alone, you know how he gets.
Carlisle: Right, the poor concessions girl would never recover. Know if there’s any good midnight showings?
Edward: At least ask Alice keep an eye on things. We’ll figure this out later.
Carlisle: You got it. And also, if you see any attractive people suffering from papercuts on your way home, make sure to bite the hell out of them. It’ll be hard for them to adjust to life as one of the beautiful undead, but it’s better than suffering from having your pinky finger sliced open by a supposedly harmless piece of paper. Ugh, I shudder just thinking about it. Hey, this is being compassionate, right? Everyone keeps telling me how compassionate I am.
Edward goes out and gets the newspaper, then reads an article about the killings in Seattle. (Meanwhile, the hamster screams in frustration as it’s forced to get back in the wheel.)
“Carlisle’s right . . . yes . . . very sloppy. Young and crazed? Or a death wish?” he muttered to himself.”
That hamster should have resigned and taken up that nice accounting job in Miami.
“It’s getting worse,” I murmured. He frowned. “Altogether out of control. This can’t be the work of just one newborn vampire. What’s going on? It’s as if they’ve never heard of the Volturi. Which is possible, I guess. No one has explained the rules to them . . . so who is creating them, then?”
Edward reaches this point right after the hamster’s tiny heart explodes from stress, because this is only a mystery if you are the world’s worst detective. Let’s list what we know real quick.
1. Victoria wants to kill Bella.
2. There are a bunch of young vampires tearing shit up in Seattle.
3. Someone is obviously creating all these young vampires.
4. A vampire stole some of Bella’s clothes for the sole purpose of knowing the scent on them.
5. The only reason Victoria hasn’t ripped Bella to shreds by now is because she’s severely outnumbered.
Oh, gee, it is just so hard to put all these pieces together! You heard it here first: Vickie, knowing she’s sorely outnumbered, throws together a newborn vamp army to back her up. She probably has some vampire lieutenant, who she told to go steal some of Bella’s panties so that her army knows the scent. She will then use the scent to lead her army to Forks so that she can finally, after 2 ½ books, have her very own speaking line.
How is this even close to difficult to figure out? I would think, that between seven vamp-Sues, six werewolves, and the one Sue to rule them all, someone would have realized this. (+3 Stupidity)
Edward frowns and suggests that maybe Carlisle could head down to Seattle and talk it out with the newborns over a nice cup of tea. Real nice, Sparklepeen. It’s not your problem until your slave girlfriend is threatened. Cool. (+1 Red Flag)
Eddie says that at least Jasper is an expert on newborn vampires, and right here is when I thank the lord and bless Meyer’s part-time editor, who must have told her that having character backstories clumsily relayed through another character was just a bad idea. (+1 Redemption)
They talk about how it life would be so much easier if they didn’t love each other, a paragraph which is actually a little painful to read. Edward reveals that he was eavesdropping on Bella’s conversation; isn’t she supposed to ask him permission to attend a werewolf soiree?
“He put his hand under my chin, and held my face so that he could read my eyes. “Would you like to go?” “It’s no big thing. Don’t worry about it.” “You don’t have to ask my permission, Bella. I’m not your father — thank heaven for that . Perhaps you should ask Charlie, though.”
Edward actually encourages Bella to have a life, much to my shock and awe. He tells her if she does want to go, he’ll have to give her a cell phone and drive her to the boundary line. Okay, feels like the first time I went to a concert, but question: why doesn’t Bella just have a cell phone all the time? She is eighteen years old, for chrissakes. Hell, half the problems in this book would have been solved if Bella had a cell phone. This is like writing a world war II period novel and forgetting to give the soldiers guns. (+1 Stupidity)
So all is good, Bella asks Charlie to hit up the werewolf block party, she goes over to Edward’s house to get her motorcycle, blah blah blah fuckety fuck. Get to the good part, already! Anyhoo, they pull into the Cullen garage.
“Next to my little antique motorcycle, overshadowing it, was another vehicle. To call this other vehicle a motorcycle hardly seemed fair, since it didn’t seem to belong to the same family as my suddenly shabby-looking bike. It was big and sleek and silver and — even totally motionless — it looked fast.”
Edward has bought his own bike with money he could have spent on researching a cure for cancer so that he could ride motorcycles with Bella if she never spoke to Jacob again. I’m not sure how I feel about this, guys. On one hand, it’s a sort of sweet, sincere gesture. On the other, Edward is kind of acting like that one friend’s parent who tries too hard to be “cool” and is just really, really annoying. Hmmm.
“I stared at the beautiful machine. Beside it, my bike looked like a broken tricycle. I felt a sudden wave of sadness when I realized that this was not a bad analogy for the way I probably looked next to Edward.”
We are reminded for the eight bajillionth time how gorgeous Eddiekins is and how plain Bella is, which causes Bella to be sad. Gimme a break. (+1 Angst) Once the wave of angst recedes, Bella asks Edward a series of trick questions, which make him realize that he’s being that parent again. Okay, so this is something you do with Jacob, no big deal. But take these, will you?
“He came back with one object that was black and shapeless, and another that was red and easily identifiable. “Please?” he asked, flashing the crooked smile that always destroyed my resistance. I took the red helmet, weighing it in my hands. “I’ll look stupid.” “No, you’ll look smart. Smart enough not to get yourself hurt.”
Edward hands Bella a riding jacket and a helmet, which I can honestly say I find sweet. It’s not one of the heavy-handed, dramatic, over the top declarations of love that have filled the rest of these books, which is probably why I like it. I don’t even think Meyer was trying to be romantic here, which makes it work even more. (+1 Redemption)
Moving on, Bella’s first instinct is to whine about how the helmet will make her look stupid. Bella really seems to have a problem with personal safety, doesn’t she? (+1 Bitch) Also, the fact that he just dropped somewhere between $200 – $900 on gear for her just slides right by her. WTF, I thought Bella didn’t like getting expensive presents? (+1 Stupidity)
Bella suits up and then asks how she looks.
“No, no, Bella. Actually . . .” he seemed to be struggling for the right word. “You look . . . sexy.” I laughed out loud. “Right.” “Very sexy, really.”
And so the s-bomb is dropped for the very first time. I can’t help but feel that Meyer had to really grit her teeth when she wrote this, as it feels quite forced. How is she going to ever be able to write a sex scene? (+1 Stupidity) This is a vampire book, after all. Had I been reading a Charlaine Harris novel, there would have been fifty sex scenes by now. Where’s the hot vampire sex, Meyer? Inquiring minds want to know.
This is where the chapter’s actual content ends. If you really need to know the rest, Edward ferries Bella over to the injun border, Jacob picks her up, and they go to eat outdoor spaghetti. Boom.
I can’t get rid of the sinking feeling that this werewolf party is going to be a lot less epic than I imagined.
Cream Count: +1
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +3
Thesaurus Rape: +14
Eye Rape: +3
Cream Count: +3
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +46 Wolfballs +2