What this chapter should be called: Jacob is anti-depressants in human form.
Bella like-o-meter: 6, I hope to God Jacob sticks around.
Well, I was going to waste my evening leveling up my level 50 Blood Elf mage, because according to the twitards, I am a lonely, bitter nerd, but then I realized that if I did, I would never understand the intricacies of vampire devotion, or the complexity of werewolf love, so here I am.
Jacob immediately sets upon taking the bikes apart, while Bella nudges him into a one-sided conversation. Bella strings him along some more, just happy that the new man-candy crutch is filling the void in her broken, bleeding, soul. He mentions his best friends, Quil and Embry (Quil because he’s a Quileute? Oh, Meyer, you literary pundit, you!) and as luck would have it, they magically pop up.
“Both boys stopped short when they saw me. The thin boy glanced swiftly back and forth between Jacob and me, while the brawny boy kept his eyes on me, a slow smile spreading across his face. “Hey, guys,” Jacob greeted them halfheartedly.”
They’re both described, but we never learn which is which, so I’ll just call them the Quilbry from now on. The Quilbry is pretty hot for Bella, much like every other man in this region of Washington. But then Jacob mentions that he’s building motorcycles, and suddenly it’s all testosterone.
“Both boys went to examine Jacob’s project, drilling him with educated questions. Many of the words they used were unfamiliar to me, and I figured I’d have to have a Y chromosome to really understand the excitement.”
Awwww, teehee she’s a girl, silly! She can’t understand mechanics! See how incredibly non-sexist this book is? How cute! This totally make me love Bella just that much more. I mean, I would lovingly drown her. That’s got to count for something, right? (+1 Stupidity)
Bella fills her quota of social interaction for the day, and rushes home to go feed Charlie, because that’s all women are good for, don’t you know? (+1 Stupidity) They agree to go to the dump to look for bike parts tomorrow. The Quilbry snicker and elbow each other. When Bella mentions riding lessons, the Quilbry makes a dirty joke that we don’t actually get to hear because sex is naughty and bad before marriage, never forget!
But hey, describing literal and symbolic gore with as much detail as possible is okay. (+1 Stupidity)
“I giggled quietly. The sound made my eyes widen in wonder. I was laughing, actually laughing, and there wasn’t even anyone watching. I felt so weightless that I laughed again, just make the feeling last longer.”
I guess using someone as your emotional crutch will really do that to you. (+1 Bitch)
Charlie is suspicious, now, of all times, and asks questions about what she did all day. She avoids the whole dangerous motorcycle trying-to-indirectly-commit-suicide thing and just says she hung out with Jacob. Bella goes up to bed, weary, knowing she’ll have her (infamous) screaming nightmare again, and…
Wakes up in the morning with no problems.
Whaddaya know, that Jacob kid is really good for what ails you.
There’s a lot of wordy narrative about how Bella is worried that the numbness will come back.
“I didn’t trust this to last. It was a slippery, precarious edge that I balanced on, and it wouldn’t take much to knock me back down. Just glancing around my room with these suddenly clear eyes—noticing how strange it looked, too tidy, like I didn’t live here at all—was dangerous.”
Fuck, maybe all Bella needed to snap out of her funk was some Claritin. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
Bella gets back on track with her habit of lying to get Charlie out of her way (+1 Bitch) then heads out the door to go meet Jacob.
“I felt self-conscious with the checkbook shoved in my jacket pocket. It was something I never used.”
So, when was the last time any of you fine ladies or gentlemen wrote a check?
Yeah, that’s what I thought too. (+1 Stupidity)
It’s dumping rain outside, which we’ve has already proved to be to frequent of an occurrence for the region and will only happen in Meyer’s crapsaccharine world. (+1 Stupidity)
So they go to the dump, in the rain, to look for car parts. Bella comments on how perpetually cheerful Jacob is.
“It was Jacob himself. Jacob was simply a perpetually happy person, and he carried that happiness with him like an aura, sharing it with whoever was near him. Like an earthbound sun, whenever someone was within his gravitational pull, Jacob warmed them. It was natural, a part of who he was. No wonder I was so eager to see him.”
So to sum it up, since gaining a new male companion, Bella’s behavior has done a complete heel face turn. She doesn’t even remember her reasoning for wanting the bikes, because her new emotional crutch is just so fantastic that life is actually good again. God, this girl’s behavior makes me want to slap a ho.
Jacob is even allowed to question about the hole in Bella’s dashboard, where she dug the stereo out, because he’s so nice and happy that Bella feels comfortable around him. Yeah, it’s almost like he’s a normal kid without a crippling social defect like I don’t know being a self-loathing manic-depressive who threatens to kill his girlfriend when she tongue-kisses him. (+1 Stupidity)
This is absolutely riveting, isn’t it?
Jacob finds a few parts down at the dump, then they head down to Hoquiam.
“In my truck, it was more than a two hour drive south on the winding freeway, but the time passed easily with Jacob.”
Not exactly sure what Meyer means, “it was more than 2 hours” because the drive from Forks to Hoquiam is already over 2 hours, I Mapquested it. (+1 Stupidity)
They joke about how it seems like one of the Quilbry likes Bella, and Bella insists he –whichever one he is – is too young. A year and a few months, Jacob points out stiffly, as he is now talking about himself, is not too young. They immediately get into a competition wherein life experience earns you extra years on your age.
“I kept my voice light, teasing. “Sure, but, considering the difference in maturity between guys and girls, don’t you have to count that in dog years? What does that make me, about twelve years older?” He laughed, rolling his eyes. “Okay, but if you’re going to get picky like that, you have to average in size, too. You’re so small, I’ll have to knock ten years off your total.” “Five foot four is perfectly average.” I sniffed.”
Your character might be a Mary-Sue if:
They have the exact same appearance as you, right down to their height. (+1 Stupidity)
So, yeah. Guess who wins this one. I’ll give you a hint–it’s not the person who spent 17 years just lying around waiting to be paired up with a controlling sparkly freak.
They get back to La Push, and Bella decides to get back on track with the supposedly “reckless” behavior.
“I hadn’t forgotten the reason for what I was doing. And, even though I was enjoying myself more than I’d thought possible, there was no lessening of my original desire. I still wanted to cheat. It was senseless, and I really didn’t care. I was going to be as reckless as I could possibly manage in Forks. I would not be the only keeper of an empty contract. Getting to spend time with Jacob was just a much bigger perk than I’d expected.”
So, let’s get this straight: the dumb bitch is still going to try to kill herself because the pain just hurts so so bad even though we’ve seen all evidence to the contrary in the last few pages? I probably wouldn’t care so much if she was doing this to just herself, but now she’s dragged poor Jacob into the whole mess. Basically, she plans to become good friends with Jacob, then kill herself once he’s done with the bikes.
That’s kind of like buying your best friend a puppy, and once they’ve established a close bond, brutally slaughtering the puppy right in front of your friend. Poor Jacob is gonna need years of therapy from this, and Bella, as usual, doesn’t even give a damn. (+1 Bitch)
They’re in the garage when Charlie stops by. He’s surprised to see his daughter happy. I’m surprised he even freaking noticed. It looks like the whole block comes down to have spaghetti. It’s a good old-fashioned Lost Tribe of Israel family dinner.
It’s just so riveting.
Bella and Charlie go home, and Bella starts to get what could be described as withdrawal symptoms from being away from her emotional crutch for too long.
“The warmth of Jacob’s presence was fading and, in its absence, the anxiety grew stronger.”
Bella goes upstairs and checks her email. Oh, hey, look, a message from Mom!
“She wrote that Phil was enjoying his new coaching job, and that they were planning a second honeymoon trip to Disney World. And I noticed that the whole thing read like a journal entry, rather than a letter to someone else. Remorse flooded through me, leaving an uncomfortable sting behind. Some daughter I was.”
Usually, I would blast this part for being the obligatory remorse to make Bella seem like a good character, but I’ll give Meyer a cookie for trying. (+1 Redemption)
Bella writes back to her mom, then goes to sleep. She has one of those horrible, screaming nightmares again, and this time it features Sam Uley.
“It was an odd, unexpected alteration. The man’s dark eyes had been surprisingly unfriendly, filled with some secret he didn’t seem inclined to share. I’d stared at him as often as my frantic searching had allowed; it made me uncomfortable, under all the usual panic, to have him there.”
If the point of this dream only serves to nudge along the plot, I swear-
“Maybe that was because, when I didn’t look directly at him, his shape seemed to shiver and change in my peripheral vision.”
HOLY FUCKING FORESHADOWING, BATMAN!
Jesus, this has all the subtlety of a frying pan to the face. Is Meyer really so incompetent that she can’t even foreshadow without resorting to something as clichéd and overused as a dream? (+1 Stupidity)
And why does Bella even have these incredibly prophetic dreams, anyways? Is there any real reason? Is this going to become her super sparkle power later on (You can spoil me on this one, guys.) or is it just astoundingly bad writing? (+1 Stupidity)
So she wakes up and eats breakfast and goes to school and crap the running commentary on every daily event is back. I’m not sure which I would rather go with–the melodramatic description of her broken heart, or the “Then I did this. Then I did this. Then this happened” style narrative.
Bella tries to socialize with a few people, but gives up once she realizes that she’s part of the scenery.
“It was like I wasn’t there. Even my teachers’ eyes slid past my seat as if it were empty.”
WAAAH! (+1 Angst)
At lunch, Bella realizes things like some of her friends are now single, some of them have changed their hair, and other things that would have been obvious to people were they not wrapped up in their own self-created drama consisting largely of “WAAAH WHO’S GOING TO DRIVE ME EVERYWHERE NOW.” Meyer’s pulled a few more new characters out of her butt, and Bella starts to get annoyed that she’s no longer the center of attention, even though for the last four months she’s been about as lively as a stalk of broccoli. (+1 Angst)
“No one looked up when I sat down next to Mike, even though the chair squealed stridently against the linoleum as I dragged it back.”
Oh, dear Lord. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
“I barely recognized Lauren. She’d cut off all her blond, corn-silk hair—now she had a pixie cut so short that the back was shaved like a boy. What an odd thing for her to do. I wished I knew the reason behind it. Did she get gum stuck in it? Did she sell it? Had all the people she was habitually nasty to caught her behind the gym and scalped her?”
So, I guess people in Meyerland aren’t allowed to change their hairstyles. (+1 Stupidity)
The conversation turns somehow to the bear/wolf/wolfman people keep seeing. Lauren, the bitch from last book (she was a bitch because she didn’t like Bella), is making fun of people who think they’ve seen it. Bella jumps in with “No, these crusty guys at work were talking about it yesterday.”
And everybody just stares at her.
They try to recover–Mike quicker than the others–and include her in the conversation. Hey guys, Bella’s back! Yaaaaay.
After the conversation, Angela thanks Bella for jumping in for her, and then says it’s good to have her back.
You know, here’s a thought. Maybe my circle of friends is somehow paranormal, but if one of us was depressed and refusing to leave the house, for whatever reason (say, “my parents have divorced and in only a few months remarried to people I’ve never even met,” or “I just found out my ex-boyfriend is a psychotic dick and I’m terrified everyone believes what he said and now hates me,”) we march over there, demand that they answer their phone or the door, and we drag them out of the Goddamn house. We don’t just sit and watch them suffer silently, hoping that maybe if we just ignore their depression it will go away. (+1 Stupidity) Then again, I’m not sure they would really care, seeing how Bella shunned them mercilessly for the better part of the first book.
And to be fair, maybe her ‘friends’ DID try to drag her out. Who knows what hat happened in those four months we totally skipped? Maybe her friends did try to pry her out of her shell and just fucking gave up – watching someone determined to drown themselves in their own misery for months would make me give up, too.
Meyer tries to paint Lauren as a bitch for awhile, and Bella realizes that she came to the illustrious FHS for the first time exactly 1 year ago.
“Nothing’s changed much,” Angela muttered, looking after Lauren and Jessica. “I know, I agreed I was just thinking the same thing.”
BACK TO SQUARE ONE, PEOPLE.
Thesaurus Rape: +2
Thesaurus Rape: +15
Cream Count: +3
Red Flag: +13