In this ongoing feature (*gulp*) I delve into the world of Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, a work that is dreaded by serious writers the world over. I fear what terrible horrors, what mutilations of the English language, what unbelievably poor excuses for story construction await me.
What follows are my thoughts, my color commentary if you will, on the book as I go along.
So, Stephanie Meyer, give me your best shot. I’m all yours.
Notable Quote #1: “When I opened my eyes in the morning, something was different.”
Your entire personality? Please please please?
“It was the light.”
Notable Quote #2: “I jumped up to look outside, and then groaned in horror.”
That sounds really awkward. Groan in horror? Is that like the sound a zombie makes?
“Grrrr, Bella want brains!”
Notable Quote #3: “…I found myself reveling in the aloneness instead of being lonely.”
Reveling in the aloneness… God, she is so freakin’ emo. I mean seriously. Not “enjoying the solitude”. Not “pleased by the extra time I was afforded to be by myself and ponder things”.
No, she “revels in the aloneness”.
Snooze: If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to doze off for a few minutes while Bella obsesses over both Edward and her obsession over Edward for a couple of pages. Back in a few.
Notable Quote #4: “I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise.”
Oh my ever-loving Lord, my father cares about me! Shock of shocks! Horror of horrors! Whatever strange, cruel fate shall befall me next?
Notable Quote #5: “ I was standing by the back corner of the truck, struggling to fight back the sudden wave of emotion the snow chains had brought on…”
You have no idea how long I laughed at that sentence.
I know, I know, I should be more empathetic. I knew a couple that divorced once over snow chains. Their kid was just never the same again. Any time he saw a chain the poor thing just burst into uncontrollable tears.
Fraught with trauma, those snow chains.
Thought: Is Mrs. Meyer ever going to learn how to actually display emotion, rather than simply stating that her character is having one? You know, like when Bella is having her emotional breakdown over snow chains, she has a “wave of emotion”.
How about actually demonstrating one of those emotions for us, huh? Getting us into the character’s head a little? Using a few of the five sense for a change?
Oh, ok then. Have it your way.
Amazement: Wait, so Edward just leapt halfway across a parking lot in an instant, stopped a gorram car skidding across its icy surface, left a giant dent in the side of the thing, saved Bella’s life in the process, and still no one notices that anything is slightly odd about him?
Get on with it already, woman! We’re three chapters into the book and you’re still dancing around the truth like it’s some kind of great secret. It’s printed on the back of the damn cover. Seriously, look:
“About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire.”
See? The marketing people can do it in two sentences. What on Earth is taking you so long? Would it be too much to ask just to set the damn story in motion already?
And how stupid are these small-town, inbred freaks not to have noticed that something is up by now?
Notable Quote #6: “He unleashed the full, devastating power of his eyes on me, as if trying to communicate something crucial.”
First of all: gag.
Secondly, he is trying to communicate something crucial. Namely, he’s not some super-strong vampiric freak with shiny skin, terrific reflexes, and immortal life, and you’re an idiot for suspecting that and stop asking questions and believe what I say instead of your own eyes you silly tart.
Notable Quote #7: “‘Trust me,’ he pleaded, his soft voice overwhelming.”
You know, coming up with some new metaphors probably wouldn’t kill you. Hell, at least reuse some better ones than that.
Notable Quote #8: “It took six EMTs and two teachers — Mr. Varner and Coach Clapp…”
Notable Quote #9: “ I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen — a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.”
But why exclude that which is so obvious?
Notable Quote #10: “No matter how many times I tried to convince him [Tyler, driver of the skidding truck Edward saved her from] I was fine, he continued to torment himself.”
Well, he did kind of almost crush you to death in horribly violent, painful way. I think I can forgive him a little self-torment for that one. If Mr. Perfect McDreamboat hadn’t been there to save you, you’d be little more than a grease stain on the parking lot.
Creeped Out: So Edward’s father just entered the picture, and the description Bella gives of him sounds like an introduction from a bad romance novel straight out of Freud’s worst nightmare. I don’t care how good-looking the man is, you shouldn’t make your young, teenage protagonist describe her love interest’s father in quite so appealing a fashion.
It’s a tad creepy.
Confused: Bella has spent a couple of pages now repeating at every possible opportunity that she is, in fact, “fine” after her close call in the parking lot and refusing help from every direction.
Now I know she’s supposed to be all independent and emo and loner, but she’s clearly showing signs of the possibility of a concussion. What’s really so bad about accepting the tiniest bit of help when you might have just received a brain bruise?
She’s told everyone she’s met fifty gazillion times she’s fine and almost fell on her ass due to dizziness trying to walk out of the hospital room. Is this really a great example to be setting?
“No doctor, I’m perfectly fine. I know it may look like I’m bleeding profusely out of my left eye socket, but I’m just fine. Really. Fine. Absolutely. I SAID DON’T HELP ME YOU RUDDY LITTLE BASTARD, I’M TRYING TO BE EMO HERE!”
Notable Quote #11: “His eyes were cold.”
Ew, you touched his eyes? Gross.
That’s not very polite you know. That feels extremely uncomfortable. Have you ever had someone get all touchy-feely on your eyes?
It’s not a pleasant sensation. Have a little respect for others.
???: “It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.”
What the fuck?
Notable Quote #12: “‘Why did you even bother?’ I asked frigidly.”
Unnecessary adverbs are fun!
Desperate plea: Please, please stop describing Edward’s face. Please stop telling me how many contradicting adjectives it is and how many conflicting emotions it then makes you describe to me.
I get it. You like his face. Can you stop attaching adjectives to it now?
Realization: Bella has been angry a number of times in this chapter, yet I see no inexplicable tears streaming down her face as I was promised a chapter or two ago.
I was looking forward to this particular neuroticism of Bella’s, yet I am now being denied this pleasure.
I’m just looking for a little consistency here. I was promised tears with every outburst of anger, and I’m not getting them. I feel cheated.
Don’t tell me you just came up with that character trait on a whim because it was convenient for the current scene and are not planning on seeing it through, Mrs. Meyer. Surely you wouldn’t pull a trick like that.
Notable Quote #13: “I was consumed by the mystery Edward presented. And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself.”
No kidding, really? I hadn’t noticed.
Maybe you should harp on that fact a little more. You know, make it more obvious in case your masterful subtlety up to this point might have escaped someone’s attention.
Don’t want anyone to miss out.
Farewell: I continue to be amazed by how much of this book has gone by without anything actually happening. It’s kind of remarkable, in a sad sort of way. As I stated in my last farewell, I’m not truly looking forward to the start of the story proper, but at the same time I cling to the faint hope that perhaps once things get going I’ll see fewer awkward paragraphs spent describing Edward’s face.
I think I must also prepare myself for the possibility that, for this book, this may be as “going” as the story gets. I do not yet think I am mentally prepared to accept this as the truth, for fear I may break down in (angry?) tears and lose my will to continue with this project. For now, for my own mental health, I will continue to pretend that there is a possibility things might eventually pick up and get better.