All in the Details: I have, to this point, managed to escape noticing that one of the group of
vampires family members is named Jasper.
A vampire named Jasper. That is just all kinds of awesome.
Getting Worried: I’m beginning to wonder if this book is negatively affecting my personal sense of taste. I just passed over the phrase “I couldn’t stop the gloom that engulfed me” and it didn’t even register until I looked over the sentence again.
This is not a good sign.
A Point of Pride: If this story is the kind of thing that captures the hearts of young people today, then I’m glad I’m from a different generation. I don’t want to sound like an old person or anything, but this book is frighteningly full of depression and gloom and moping and sorrow and self-abuse. There’s nary a hint of happy anywhere to be found.
I suppose it’s fairly normal for most young people to go through a phase like this at some point, but I’m fairly sure none of the things I was fascinated by when I was that age wallowed in self-pity quite as much as this book seems to.
I feel a little bit sorry for the people raised by this style. It can’t be good for your health.
Notable Quote: “Of course [Charlie – Bella’s father] knew the names of all the kids going, and their parents, and their great-grandparents, too, probably.”
This has nothing to do with the “living in a small town” thing. He’s just a crazy stalker with a mind for details.
Personalities Made of Cardboard: Seriously, where is Steph’s sense of character? Bella is traveling with a number of other students on some camping trip in a plot device that seemingly only exists to delay the actual story even further and continue the plot’s meandering path to nowhere in particular. Every time Bella starts talking about her fellow students, all I can help thinking is how absolutely shallow they all are. There’s not even the tiniest hint of depth.
Mike is absolutely obsessed with Bella and practically dies in a fit of swooning every time she so much as glances at him.
Jessica/Lauren (two names used for superficially different characters that are, in fact, the exact same personality) is also obsessed with Bella, but seems to hate her for no reason in particular. Or there could have been a reason but it was just too fleeting and stupid for me to bother remembering.
There are a number of other students she mentions by name (Lee, Eric, Tyler, etc.), but they’re so ill-defined I had to look them up to even remember so much as their names.
At least Bella and Edward have some hint of depth to their characters, if only in the form of severe schizophrenia that sends their personalities careening all over the place in a completely unpredictable manner depending on what’s needed for a particular scene.
Hey, it’s a step above all the other characters.
It’s a talent: When Steph does decide that it’s time to actually describe a scene and puts aside her precious exposition for a few moments, she has the remarkable talent to spend two or three paragraphs throwing out descriptive sentences that are so bland that you’re left with perhaps less idea of where the characters are than when she started. It’s pretty amazing, actually. The more you reread them, the more the already vague picture in your head begins to fade away even more.
Which reminds me, I don’t have the slightest clue what any of the characters in this book look like, save for their hair and the occasional person’s eyes. Well, all right, pretty much everyone’s eyes. That’s really not a whole lot to work with.
In all fairness, there could have been plenty of descriptive sections and I just zoned out when they came along. That wouldn’t surprise me either. Steph’s previously mentioned descriptive talents work the same for characters as they do for environments – almost astonishingly ineffective.
Possessive: “[Jessica] turned to [Mike] and claimed his attention.”
My attention! Not yours! Mine! Give it back!
What?: “…some of the boys wanted to hike to the nearby tidal pools. It was a dilemma. On the one hand, I loved the tide pools. On the other hand, I’d also fallen into them a lot.”
I mean absolutely no disrespect with this comment, but I’m beginning to think that Bella might be mildly retarded. This level of clumsiness (and fear of clumsiness) is simply not normal in a person.
She fell into them a lot as a kid and now she’s afraid to go near them? Maybe I’m just missing something, but even for a clumsy person I just don’t see what’s so mortally terrifying about falling into a tidal pool.
What the hell is the bloody point?: Why am I being dragged to this stupid camping trip? Why was this left on the plot outline?
Nothing is happening! Bella is hanging out with her cardboard friends (none of whom she actually likes, of course), they do pointless things for a while, visit some terrifying tidal pools, and Bella sighs and wonders about Edward a bit.
There’s no point to any of this – no character development, no important revelation, no intriguing twist. It’s just an overly long, totally pointless, expositional recounting of a boring as all hell camping trip with a bunch of non-friends.
Who plots a book this way?
Notable Quote: “ It was relaxing to sit with Angela; she was a restful kind of person to be around — she didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with chatter. She left me free to think undisturbed while we ate.”
Oh great, that’s just what this book needs – more time for Bella to think.
I was plum tuckered out from all of the breathless action that’s been jam-packed into this story so far. I’m not sure I could handle any more. Thank goodness Stephanie Meyer knows when to giver her readers a rest.
Self-important: “However, my positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.
‘You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?’
It was like the first day of school all over again.”
Stupid little freaks getting my name wrong. Who do they think they are!
IT’S BELLA GOD DAMNIT! How many times to I have to tell you ignorant little hick-people? I’m clearly the greatest person in school, how long is it going to take for it to sink into your thick skulls? I can’t take this anymore! This town is filled with ungrateful nimrods who refuse to graciously accept the magnificence of my presence and bow before me. All it takes is remembering one little nickname, but nooooo, that’s just too hard for you isn’t it?
Oh… Uh… I mean…
Hi. Nice to meet you.
Odd insertions: Why, in the middle of a halfway decent conversation (I know, like totally wow, right?), is it necessary to randomly say, “He had a pleasant, husky voice”? What does that have to do with anything and why are you telling me now? Shouldn’t that perhaps have come a little earlier, rather than bringing the conversation to a stop for no reason in the middle of a scene?
Ego inflation: “[New character – Jacob] flashed a brilliant smile, looking at me appreciatively in a way I was learning to recognize. I wasn’t the only one who noticed.”
Ah, it’s so nice to have everyone adore me. I’m just so darn likable. I don’t know how everyone else can stand not being me. It must be miserable.
Also: How does she know that anyone else noticed his smile? Is Edward not the only psychic character in this story?
Very fishy: “‘How nice.’ She didn’t sound like she thought it was nice at all, and her pale, fishy eyes narrowed.”
Fishy eyes? I must say, I think that’s a new one.
It does sound more like a deformity than a description of a pair of normal, human eyes, though.
If the string of terrible eye descriptions must continue, maybe she will at least throw in the occasional gem like this that is not only totally stupid, but also original as opposed to hackneyed, horrible, and beaten to death by countless terrible writers before her.
Gold Star: “‘You mean Dr. Carlisle Cullen’s family?’ the tall, older boy asked before I could respond, much to Lauren’s irritation. He was really closer to a man than a boy, and his voice was very deep.”
Congratulations, Bella! You can tell the difference between a post- and pre-pubescent male! You get a gold star in basic biology.
But wait, there’s more!
You also get a shiny FAIL in not sounding like a doofus when trying to describe other people.
Bella’s Turn to be Creepy: “I had a sudden inspiration. It was a stupid plan, but I didn’t have any better ideas. I hoped that young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn’t see through my sure-to-be-pitiful attempts at flirting.”
I know Bella is technically only two or three years older than Jacob, but I still find something really, really creepy about this situation.
Or it could be the fact that Bella is only seventeen (I think) and already using seduction as a means to get what she wants out of men.
Way to be a role model.
Flirtation Fail: “‘I love [scary stories],’ I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.”
Oh, man. That’s great.
*Wipes tears out of eyes*
Yeah, that’s it. I’m done. There’s more to this chapter, but that does it for me today. That’s all I can take. My ribs hurt. I seriously can’t stop laughing.
Made an effort to smolder at him.
Damn. Just damn.
There’s a plus?: When I do manage to stop laughing and take a breath again, it looks like the chapter might be about to finally get to the point and uncover the reason why the stupid trip was taken in the first place.
Only seven pages or so of totally wasted space, and we’re finally getting to the actual point, which, by the looks of things, could have been made without going on this ridiculous, unnecessary trip at all.
A mini installment will follow this one with the last few pages of this chapter, should I find anything worth making a mini installment for in that short span of pages.
I almost assuredly will.
Once I stop laughing, that is.
Made an effort to smolder at him.
Damn that’s funny.