What this chapter should be called: Werewolf Soap Opera (or, “Bella gets what Bella wants.”)
Edward creep-o-meter: 5
This chapter is half entertaining werewolf drama and half Bella being a giant bitch. Because, you know, we don’t get that last part nearly enough. I would have rather just had the werewolf drama. At least that has the potential to be mildly amusing.
But, you know, that would require effort to write, so most of this chapter is just Smelly Bella (I dub thee, “Smella”) whining about the fact that she’s got two hot guys willing to risk their lives for her. Fan-fucking-tastic.
The chapter starts with Bella being carried somewhere, as is usual. She wakes up in her bed, with Edward doing the creepy I-watch-you-sleep thing. Sparklepeen says that Bella has been talking in her sleep all day. Yes, Bella has slept through the entire day. She groans and heads down the stairs for a grand Pop-Tart breakfast. I – oh, God. That just made me think of the famous Pop-Tart quote from Thor. Why does my brain use Twilight to try and ruin things I like? We may never know.
“I sat down with my breakfast, and he sat next to me. When I lifted the Pop-Tart to take the first bite, I noticed him staring at my hand. I looked down, and saw that I was still wearing the gift that Jacob had given me at the party.”
Edward asks if he can see, and grabs the wolf charm. Uh, Eddiekins, you see with your eyes, not your hands. Bella is momentarily terrified that Edward is going to crush the wolf charm between his perfect marbley fingers, which probably says oodles more about Bedward’s relationship than I ever could. (+1 Red Flag)
Unfortunately, this is just a convenient segue into Edward’s hissy fit. His problem is that Jacob can give Bella presents without her throwing a fit. Bella says that Edward has already given her soooo much that it just wouldn’t be fair. But, no matter, Edward still wants to be able to give her presents.
“This bracelet.” His finger traced a circle around my wrist. “You’ll be wearing this a lot?” I shrugged. “Because you wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings,” he suggested shrewdly. “Sure, I guess so.”
Whoa! Did anyone else feel like that was incredibly manipulative? Edward suggests that Bella is only wearing Jacob’s bracelet because she doesn’t want to hurt his feelings instead of because he’s her friend, and she just goes along with it. Gah! Could Edward get any more creepy?!? (+1 Red Flag) No, wait, forget I asked. I don’t want to be more disappointed than I already am.
“Don’t you think it’s fair, then,” he asked, looking down at my hand as he spoke. He turned it palm up, and ran his finger along the veins in my wrist. “If I have a little representation?”
Okay, so he thinks that Team Edward needs a little representation. Edward says he wants to put another charm on Bella’s bracelet, and then they gab about how much in love they are. Gack. Suddenly, Alice interrupts their little love powwow with a phone call.
“What is it, Alice?” He listened, and I waited for his reaction, suddenly nervous. But whatever she said didn’t surprise him. He sighed a few times. “I sort of guessed as much,” he told her, staring into my eyes, a disapproving arch to his brow. “She was talking in her sleep.”
Alice has called up to fib on Bella’s little plan of actually being in the clearing when shit goes down. Wow, Alice is such a great person, enabling her brother to keep his girlfriend on a tight leash. (+1 Red Flag) Glitterdick turns and glares at Bella, like he’s caught her with her hand in the candy jar, or daring to make her own life decisions. Something like that. Anyway, this sets us up for a little lover’s spat, which is sadly the most conflict that’s been in this book so far.
“You can’t keep me away,” I threatened. “I’m not going to hide out in the forest while you all take risks for me.”
Bella calls upon her situationally dependent backbone while Edward smirks. He then says that Alice just sees stupid little Bella wandering around the forest being lost. Pfft. I’m more interested as to how Alice knows all this now. Last chapter, Bella was just considering the idea. Now Alice has a full picture, so Bella must have consciously decided to follow through on it, but when exactly did this happen? (+1 Stupidity) Did she subconsciously decide to do it in her sleep? Is Alice even smart enough to see subconscious decisions? If she is, then this whole Victoria fladoodle should have been cleared up a long time ago. Whatever. I hate Alice and her stupid powers.
And here’s another thing that’s been bugging me for awhile: everyone has accepted that there is a mob of newborn vampires coming to kill Bella, but absolutely no one has bothered to ask why. It seems to me that motive would be a rather important detail. (I watch cop shows, I know this shit, okay?) But nooo, everyone is totes cool with not knowing. Idiots. (+1 Stupidity)
But whatever. Bella tries to be all cool and says, “Oh yeah? Well I’ll just make the werewolves take me, you stupid jerk.” and delivers her master plan to Edward so that he can poke holes in it and stop her. I’m starting to see where all these ideas about Bella being highly intelligent come from.
“That’s because Alice didn’t factor in Seth Clearwater,” I said politely. “If she had, of course, she wouldn’t have been able to see anything at all. But it sounds like Seth wants to be there as much as I do. It shouldn’t be too hard to persuade him to show me the way.” Anger flickered across his face, and then he took a deep breath and composed himself. “That might have worked . . . if you hadn’t told me. Now I’ll just ask Sam to give Seth certain orders. Much as he might want to, Seth won’t be able to ignore that kind of injunction.”
Ooh, snap! Bella says she’ll just talk Sam into not giving said orders. Edward says, oh no, gurl, I’ll just tell Jacob, Sam’s second-in-command, to give the same orders. I guess Jacob and Edward are kind of BFFs now. Barring the fact that this sudden development has no reason for happening and the boys have been at each others throats for the rest of the book (+1 Stupidity), that’s nice. Edward suddenly changes subjects, swaying Bella’s resolve with the promise of gossip, which is absolutely not sexist at all. (+1 Stupidity)
“I got a fascinating look into the pack’s mind last night. It was better than a soap opera. I had no idea how complex the dynamic is with such a large pack. The pull of the individual against the plural psyche . . . Absolutely fascinating.”
Shit! Now I’ve got to be on the watch for the DRD. Thanks a lot, Meyer. You’re lucky I’m only a two-time offender. (+1 Stupidity)
Edward goes on about the werewolves, saying that there’s a recent pack scandal. Apparently the small gray wolf in the clearing last night (I went back and checked, he’s telling the truth. I just didn’t care enough to mention it in my review.) is totally a lady. A she-wolf. As in, not a dude. And it’s Leah Clearwater. Awesome! I say this because Leah has the potential to be a total badass, and lord knows there aren’t enough strong female characters in this book.
“Suddenly, I remembered Jacob speaking of Leah and Sam, and the way he acted as if he’d said too much — after he’d said something about Sam having to look in Leah’s eyes every day and know that he’d broken all his promises. . . Leah on the cliff, a tear glistening on her cheek when Old Quil had spoken of the burden and sacrifice the Quileute sons shared. . . ”
Bella is feeling sorry for Leah because Sam dumped her ass for her cousin. Why is Bella so focused on this? For all she knows, Leah could have moved on by now. I mean, she hasn’t, because this is Meyerland and romantic relationships are everything, but still. (+1 Stupidity) Edward then says that Bella shouldn’t feel sorry for Leah, because Leah is being a little bitch to everyone else and bringing up things that no one wants to think about.
“She’s constantly bringing up things they’d rather not think of,” he explained. “For example, Embry.” “What’s with Embry?” I asked, surprised. “His mother moved down from the Makah reservation seventeen years ago, when she was pregnant with him. She’s not Quileute. Everyone assumed she’d left his father behind with the Makahs. But then he joined the pack.”
The fact that Embry is a werewolf means the prime candidates for his father are Old Quil, Sam’s dad, or Billy Black – who were all married at the point Embry would have been conceived. Drama! Now, Jacob, Quil, and Sam are all wondering if they have a half brother. Um, why are they all so certain it’s one of them? Maybe Jared’s dad got around. (+1 Stupidity) Also, why has no one in this book ever heard of a paternity test? (+1 Stupidity)
And this is where things stop. We never get to learn why everyone is pissed at Leah for bringing this up. We don’t even know how Embry feels about the situation. Why are we stopping here?!?! This is freaking interesting! I’m even willing to gloss over the fact that this news is being delivered a la boring exposition rather than by Bella, y’know, having a conversation with Leah or something. (+1 Stupidity) But noo, that would take effort, and Bella and Edward haven’t discussed their undying love enough yet.
“I have to be in that clearing, Edward.” “No,” he said in a very final tone. A certain path occurred to me at that moment. It wasn’t so much that I had to be in the clearing. I just had to be where Edward was.”
Uh-oh, someone is about to be a selfish little bitch.
“Okay, look, Edward,” I whispered. “Here’s the thing . . . I’ve already gone crazy once. I know what my limits are. And I can’t stand it if you leave me again. ”
OH MY LANTA, you little idiot. He is going to be, like, 10 miles away. He is not dumping your ass and running off to Italy. Why are you making this a huge deal? Are your own pathetic needs really more important than eliminating the newborn threat? (+1 Bitch) Good Jesus, I have never hated a fictional character SO MUCH.
“I can’t stand it,” I insisted, still staring down. “Not knowing whether or not you’ll come back. How do I live through that, no matter how quickly it’s over?”
Uh, you live with it by NOT BEING A HORRIBLE BITCH and putting on your big girl panties and not making everyone else feel horrible about what they have to do. (+1 Bitch) Yeesh, this girl is no Hermione Granger, is she?
So, Bella continues to back Eddie into a corner, saying that since he’s told her that the newborn numbers are down, he should be able to sit out and stay with her. Right? Bella finally has the stones to look him in the eyes, saying that her poor tormented soul just won’t be able to handle the pressure. (+1 Bitch/Angst)
“I wondered if I was a monster. Not the kind that he thought he was, but the real kind. The kind that hurt people. The kind that had no limits when it came to what they wanted. What I wanted was to keep him safe, safe with me. Did I have a limit to what I would do, what I would sacrifice for that? I wasn’t sure.”
MY GOD, I hate Bella. I hate Bella like I have never hated another fictional character before. Here, not only is she endangering the Cullens and the werewolves by stealing away one of their best fighters, but she’s justifying it by saying it’s only because she wants to “keep him safe.” This chapter title was right, Bella is a selfish bitch. (+1 Bitch)
And Edward just sighs and says, “Whatever you want, Bella.” The fuck? Is Edward seriously falling for Bella’s bullshit? I thought it was important to him to be there at the fight, but now that Bella has a problem and has thrown in some emotional manipulation, he’s just going to give it up?
This could be such awesome conflict. A fight between Bella and Edward that ends unresolved could be an amazing thing to develop throughout the rest of the crucial points of the story. Why did Meyer have to wrap it up all pretty and perfect? Gah! She keeps having these moments with great potential and THEN SHE FUCKS THEM UP. (+1 Stupidity)
Moving on. Everything from here is completely unimportant. Alice shows up to babysit Bella for a while, then Charlie comes home. Bella is already putting dinner on the table, btw. Why does Meyer constantly mention that Bella does all the cooking? Wait, I take it back, I don’t care. Alice whines to Charlie that everyone has left her at home and who is she going to go shopping with now? Alice lets Chuck come up with the idea that he should make Bella go stay with Alice (the Swans are a sharp bunch, yessiree) which will conveniently allow Bella to do whatever she wants for the next few days.
Edward eventually sneaks up to Bella’s room to take her out to go watch the werewolf training session. Fun times are ahead, I can feel it.
“I enjoyed the trip to the clearing more than I had last night. I still felt guilty, still afraid, but I wasn’t terrified anymore. I could function. I could see past what was coming, and almost believe that maybe it would be okay. Edward was apparently fine with the idea of missing the fight . . . and that made it very hard not to believe him when he said this would be easy.”
Which apparently makes it okay that Bella is intentionally bitchy and manipulative. (+1 Stupidity)
Once they get there, Edward plops Bella’s ass on the ground and tells her not to move. Only three wolves are there tonight (damn!) because technically, only one of them needs to be there for the wolves to get the idea. Hmmn. Bella starts to freak the fuck out again, because the werewolves are gonna get hurt OMG.
“They weren’t monsters, even like this. They were friends. Friends who didn’t look nearly as indestructible as Emmett and Jasper did, moving faster than cobra strikes while the moonlight glinted off their granite-hard skin. Friends who didn’t seem to understand the danger involved here. Friends who were still somewhat mortal, friends who could bleed, friends who could die. . . .”
Oh, thesaurus, you poor thing. (+1 Thesaurus Rape/Cream Count) And, once again, Bella falls victim to the situational knowledge black hole and forgets that the werewolves have freaking Wolverine-style healing factors. Seriously, what exactly is the point of having Bella forget this stuff every other chapter? Are you just trying to make it look like vampires are more awesome than werewolves, Meyer? Please explain. (+1 Stupidity)
Wolf-Jacob comes over and chills with Bella while the vampires get coached by Jasper or something. She starts petting him, and reveals a deep, dark secret: she always wanted a dog but Renee was allergic. Sadly, this has been the closest thing to character development for Bella in the entire series so far. Bella talks about hiking and pets Jacob some more. Jake is probably regretting his decision to keep Bella company.
“It was strange. Even though he was in this bizarre form, this felt more like the way Jake and I used to be — the easy, effortless friendship that was as natural as breathing in and out — than the last few times I’d been with Jacob while he was human. Odd that I should find that again here, when I’d thought this wolf thing was the cause of its loss.”
Well, if there’s one thing I can say, the chapter held true to its name: Bella is a selfish bitch who should go die in a hole.
Thesaurus Rape: +1
Cream Count: +1
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +3
Thesaurus Rape: +34
Eye Rape: +4
Cream Count: +6
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +61 Wolfballs +13