Fucks I give: 1
Chapters left: 6
Chapter 33 was kinda tolerable. It didn’t talk about baby-dating and only vaguely alluded to condoned homicide. We start off with Bella and taking Renesmee to her grandfather’s house. Chuck hasn’t seen the kid in a while, obviously because of all the vampires residing in Chez Cullen, and is missing her. Bella offers to drive Wonder Kid on over, with Jacob tagging along because his relationship with Renesmee is healthy and not suffocating at all.
“This trip was about more than protecting my father from the twenty-seven oddly matched vampires—who all had sworn not to kill anyone in a three-hundred-mile radius, but still… Obviously, no human being should get anywhere near this group. This was the excuse I’d given Edward: I was taking Renesmee to Charlie so that he wouldn’t decide to come here. It was a good reason for leaving the house, but not my real reason at all.”
Bella’s true plan is to sneak off to Seattle, in order to find this J. Jenks dude. You might be wondering why Bella would venture outside on her own, knowing that the Volturi could strike at any time and would easily destroy her.That’s because you’re smart. Have a cookie. (+1 Stupidity) Let’s just say that the Volturi won’t attack her because of…a magic boombox. There we go.
(Besides, the Volturi are no doubt traveling to America via helium balloon bundles, and won’t arrive until next Arbor Day.)
On the way, Bella tells us a little about the Romanian vampires. The Romanians have weird skin, unlike the other vampires, and Renesmee is the only one with enough balls to ask “what’s up with your skin?” Only not in those words, because the speech of Renesmee is so powerful and beautiful that our mortal minds cannot comprehend the sounds and language. Like a squirrel’s inability to understand a poem, so too are we unable to process the language of Renesmee Cullen. Praise unto her.
“We sat still for a very long time, child,” Vladimir had answered, with Stefan nodding along but not continuing Vladimir’s sentences as he often did. “Contemplating our own divinity. It was a sign of our power that everything came to us. Prey, diplomats, those seeking our favor. We sat on our thrones and thought ourselves gods. We didn’t notice for a long time that we were changing— almost petrifying. I suppose the Volturi did us one favor when they burned our castles. Stefan and I, at least, did not continue to petrify. Now the Volturi’s eyes are filmed with dusty scum, but ours are bright. I imagine that will give us an advantage when we gouge theirs from their sockets.” I tried to keep Renesmee away from them after that.
How cool is that?! Old vampires turning into stone, and now seeking revenge against the Volturi! That’s great! Why isn’t there more vampire lore in this book? I’d much rather read about the old vampire wars than witness Bella contemplate the meaning of a mushroom growing in her back lawn.
Before they arrive at Charlie’s house, Bella tells Jacob that she needs to run an errand while he’s having lunch with Charlie and Sue Clearwater. Are Charlie and Sue having special hugs? Sue’s husband died and Charlie is a sad lonely man, so it makes sense. (+1 Stupidity) Way to go, Charlie! Maybe if you have another kid, you could sell its tasty blood to Edward for, like, a billion dollars.
After a couple minutes of visiting, Bella leaves to go to down to the ghetto part of Seattle, searching for J. Jenks. On the way, she describes her progress on using her shield.
“I was getting better and better with my shield. Kate didn’t feel the need to motivate me anymore — it wasn’t hard to find reasons to feel angry, now that I knew that was the key — and so I mostly worked with Zafrina.”
“I tried to imagine Alice in this place for any reason, and failed. The buildings—all three stories, all narrow, all leaning slightly as if bowed by the pounding rain—were mostly old houses divided up into multiple apartments. It was hard to tell what color the peeling paint was supposed to be. Everything had faded to shades of gray. A few of the buildings had businesses on the first floor: a dirty bar with the windows painted black, a psychic’s supply store with neon hands and tarot cards glowing fitfully on the door, a tattoo parlor, and a daycare with duct tape holding the broken front window together. “
We know this part of town is rough because it not only has a bar, but also a tattoo parlor (and an abundance of psychics). Bella, run! You’re not in a town. You’re in the depths of hell itself! (+1 Stupidity)
Wait. Bella, talking to people? That’s weird. During the last three books, she’s avoided mortals like the plague.
“Perhaps my whistling friend could give me the answers I needed faster than breaking and entering. I opened my big gray umbrella—not that I cared, really, about protecting the long cashmere sweaterdress I wore. It was what a human would do. The man squinted through the rain at my face, and then his eyes widened. He swallowed, and I heard his heart accelerate as I approached. “I’m looking for someone,” I began. “I’m someone,” he offered with a smile. “What can I do for you, beautiful?” “Are you J. Jenks?” I asked.”
Long story short: the mystery man works for Jenks. Bella chats and gets the dude to call up Jenks. When the name “Cullen” is mentioned over the phone, Jenks flips out and has the dude send her to his actual office. Bella’s new body is described in gushing detail because Meyer doesn’t have much else to do.
“No—let me talk, okay? She says you know her sister or something.” Not likely. What does she look like? “She looks like . . .” His eyes ran from my face to my shoes appreciatively. “Well, she looks like a freaking supermodel, that’s what she looks like.” I smiled and he winked at me, then went on. “Rocking body, pale as a sheet, dark brown hair almost to her waist, needs a good night’s sleep—any of this sounding familiar?”
Blah blah blah. (+1 Cream Count) Bella stands in the rain. The guy talks on the phone. One of the “good” vampires kills a man who was on his way to volunteer at a soup kitchen after his shift at an animal shelter. Bella’s clothes change from a sweaterdress to a fitted sheath, because, hey, clothes porn, why not? Bella takes off to the office and brags about her driving ability. I wrote “I do not care” after every sentence of this pathetic chapter.
“At this point, I was ready for almost anything—some kind of James Bond villain’s high-tech lair seemed appropriate. So I thought Max must have given me the wrong address as a test. Or maybe the lair was subterranean, underneath this very commonplace strip mall nestled up against a wooded hill in a nice family neighborhood. I pulled into an open spot and looked up at a tastefully subtle sign that read JASON SCOTT, ATTORNEY AT LAW.”
Whatever. Bella finds the office and finally meets Jenks face to face. And the mystery is revealed! J. Jenks is really Mike Newton, who has been working with the Volturi all along! And the Death Star is fully operational! It’s a trap!
Kidding. Jenks is a lawyer who makes fake legal documents for vampires.
“Papers,” I said, trying to make my voice sound like I knew what I was talking about. “Certainly,” J agreed at once. “Are we talking birth certificates, death certificates, drivers’ licenses, passports, social security cards… ?”
I would say that this is a letdown, but this book has lowered my expectations to the point where Jenks could be a bowl of moldy pudding and I would still be satisfied. Vampires need forged documents, so it makes sense that they have a slimy lawyer in their lists of contacts. Though I wonder why none of the vampires decided to become a lawyer to cut out the middleman and make the documents themselves without running the risk of exposure. (+1 Stupidity)
Whoops – silly me, how could I have thought that! Carlisle is too busy being a doctor, so he couldn’t do it. Jasper and Alice are too busy playing Uno; they couldn’t do it. Rosalie is too busy brushing her hair and Emmett is too busy punishing the guilty. Edward has spent a century in high school, so he obviously couldn’t do it either. Surely, that was time well spent. If the Cullens ever need to know the Pythagorean theorem or how to cite a magazine article, they can turn to super-smart Edward. High school has trained him for the real world.
Whatever. Jenks agrees to provide all manners of identification, from driver’s licenses to Emmett’s “hunt sharks with fists” license. We also find out that Jenks normally does business with Jasper, and is clearly terrified of him. Really? Who would be afraid of Mister Sideways?
“And all the secrecy to keep this out of Edward’s head. Because there was a good chance that everything he knew, Aro would know. If we lost, Aro would certainly get the information he craved before he destroyed Edward. It was as I had suspected. We couldn’t win. But we must have a good shot at killing Demetri before we lost, giving Renesmee the chance to run. My still heart felt like a boulder in my chest—a crushing weight. All my hope faded like fog in the sunshine. My eyes pricked.”
Ugh. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Using huge leaps of logic, Bella figures that Alice wanted her to find Jenks and get Renesmee a fake I.D. so that if the Volturi attacked, she could run away and roam the country under an assumed identity.
Um, hate to be a party pooper, but letting a baby wander the globe on her own is silly. Thankfully, Bella thinks it would be wise to also make a fake I.D. for Jacob so that he could raise Renesmee and keep her safe if Bella and Edward are (hopefully) killed. Hmm. Allowing your baby to be raised by her 17-year-old boyfriend might seem like a good idea on paper, but I’m not sure it would work out so well in real life. (+1 Stupidity)
This whole plan is just a little too convenient for my taste. I mean, a lot of it hinges on Bella’s ability to do smart things (not likely), and Alice’s powers’ ability to be not shitty (also not likely). What the hell was Alice thinking when she made this up?
Jasper: Okay, so explain this plan again. I still don’t get it.
Alice: Fine. Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll leave a cryptic note in one of Bella’s books. Bella will go to the address on the note, speak to a random guy by the address on a whim, and that guy will direct her to Jenks!
Jasper: Hmm. It seems like this plan depends on a lot of coincidence. What if Bella decides to go at a weird time? The guy might not even be there, depending on when Bella goes. And how will she know to stop and talk to him? What if he doesn’t give her the address to Jenks’ office? And even, if by some act of God, that all happens, how will Bella know what to ask Jenks for?
Alice: Aww, silly goose. Bella will figure it out. She’s smart. I mean, she reads Wuthering Heights a lot, and that’s kind of the same thing, right?
The rest of the chapter is five paragraphs of bland chatter. Jenks agrees to have the documents done in a week and Bella misses her husband then drives away. This whole setup was melodramatic and brooding. It failed miserably at being threatening and scary – Bella couldn’t intimidate my mug of tea, let alone a shady lawyer. Please, Meyer: stop trying to write up these ridiculously stereotyped “crime” scenes. Thanks.
Meanwhile, the Volturi are slowly traveling across America in a conga line. They should be here any month now.
Thesaurus Rape: +2
Cream Count: +1
Thesaurus Rape: +36
Cream Count: +17
Eye Rape: +1
Red Flag: Edward: +15 Jacob: +8