Category Archives: Twilight – Journey Into the Abyss

Twilight – Journey Into the Abyss (Part Eleven)

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TwilightLicense

Note: Many, many thanks go out to my roommate, Bryan, and his significant other, Anna, for obtaining the wonderful item you see in the above photo for me during a recent trip.  I absolutely adore it.

Chapter Nine (continued)

Shattered Dreams: All right, so you know those myths about vampires? You know, every single vampire myth ever? The thing that makes a vampire a vampire and not a weird shiny thing with superpowers that just happens to drink blood like an overgrown mosquito?

Yeah, throw all of those out the window. They’re not welcome here.

Creatures of the night? Nope.

Burned by the sun? Nope.

Sleep in coffins? Nope.

Apparently the Twilight breed of “vampires” actually do drink blood, but that is the single solitary thing I can find that ties them even somewhat to the mythical creature that the rest of the world has been featuring in other legends and pieces of fiction for perhaps hundreds of years.

Well, okay, that and a long, possibly immortal life span.

There, I found two things. Are you happy now?

It really is enough to make one wonder why Steph chose vampires for this ridiculous story in the first place. I mean, I’ve heard of taking a familiar concept and reinventing it, but usually when that’s done there’s, oh I don’t know, some sort of reason for it.

Here it seems totally arbitrary. Edward might as well be labelled a superhero or a mutant or something for the random mishmash of various qualities that have been slapped on him. There’s no apparent underlying philosophy behind the vampire reinvention. She just seems to tack on whatever features are most convenient for her sappy story.

Beautiful slumber: “He hesitated for a moment, and a peculiar tone entered his voice. ‘I can’t sleep.’

It took me a minute to absorb that. ‘At all?’

‘Never,” he said.’”

Well… I sort of can, but only vicariously. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. You, uh… you might want to close your windows at night.

Those pesky details: “‘You aren’t concerned about my diet?’ he asked sarcastically.

‘Oh,’ I murmured, “that.’”

Yeah, the tiny little part where the boy sitting next to you DRINKS FREAKING BLOOD AND IS A VAMPIRE.

That part.

This should be fun: Now Mr. Golden-Eyed Dreamboat is attempting to explain why, despite all outward appearances, he’s actually still dangerous.

This should be good.

Well, come to think of it, there is the whole part where he’s a schizophrenic, obsessive, psychic, maniac vampire. That might qualify.

Change the game tape, please: “I watched the headlights twist with the curves of the road. They moved too fast; it didn’t look real, it looked like a video game.”

They looked like a video game: the most boring video game EVER MADE.

Adventures in improper usage: I’ve heard of being “terribly afraid” before. I’ve even heard of being “wonderfully afraid”.

This distinctly marks the first time, however, that I have heard of being “hideously afraid”.

Being both hideous and afraid I can understand (a condition which our little Bella just might fulfill – ba dum tish), but being “hideously afraid” is a state I’m afraid I just can’t wrap my head around.

No kidding: “…openly, the walls between us gone for once.”

Yeah, in nine long-ass chapters. Tell me about it. I’m just as relieved as you are, Bella.

Place your bets: “I realized my eyes were wet, and I fought against the grief that was

trying to overpower me.”

I’d like to place $10 on grief, please.

Come on, grief! Go grief! Overpower her! You can do it! We’re all counting on you, little guy!

Disturbingly unfunny: [Referring to feeding off of animals instead of humans] “‘But animals aren’t enough?’

He paused. “I can’t be sure, of course, but I’d compare it to living on tofu and soy milk;

we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke.”

Hahaha.

Haha.

Heh…

Ummm….

*Gulp*

Woah: Bella: “‘Why didn’t you want to leave?’

Edward: ‘It makes me… anxious… to be away from you.’”

Wow. I knew Edward was a freaky stalker, but that’s way beyond weird.

Whuh?: “His eyes were gentle but intense, and they seemed to be making my bones turn soft.”

LOOK OUT! Edward’s stare gives you a degenerative bone disease! Avoid his gaze at all costs lest you melt into a little puddle of skin on the floor.

And gentle, but intense? Really? Those are, quite literally, two completely opposite states at the same time. I know this dude’s got a lot of powers (including the apparent ability to inflict degenerative diseases by looking at people), but I think this is a bit much even for him.

Snicker: “‘Well, you asked if the sun hurt me, and it doesn’t. But I can’t go out in the sunlight — at least, not where anyone can see.’”

Awww, does poor little Edward have self confidence problems?

“‘Why?’

‘I’ll show you sometime,’ he promised.”

Now this is a moment I really and truly can’t wait for. My sunglasses are at the ready.

You know what they say: “‘Don’t you see, Bella? It’s one thing for me to make myself miserable, but a wholly other thing for you to be so involved.’”

Hey, misery loves company, right? You two would be perfect for each other. Trust me. Go for it.

Role reversal: “‘What are you thinking?’ he asked.”

Hey, isn’t that supposed to be her line? At least, that’s what terrible romantic comedies have told me should be the case.

And terrible romantic comedies are never wrong.

Predictable tears: “‘Are you crying?’ He sounded appalled. …sure enough, traitor tears were there, betraying me.”

Damn those traitor tears.

Damn them to hell.

So cute: Man, I can’t tell you how adorable this scene is. Poor Steph is just trying so hard to write a serious scene with lots of building tension and regret and budding romance not to be.

It’s just so cute how hard she tries.

You can’t blame her for lack of effort though, I’ll give her that much. She really is digging deep into shallow pool of emotional depth to try and make this work.

The fact that it doesn’t is not at all surprising, but reading her failure is just so much fun.

Yes, I’m a terrible person.

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Twilight – Journey Into the Abyss (Part Ten)

This is kind of a bite-sized entry (har har), but there’s a reason. A teaser entry, perhaps? Leading into good times for the next entry, you say? Could be, could be. Read, enjoy, and discover for yourselves.

Chapter Nine

A visible warning: “‘One,’ he agreed. His lips pressed together into a cautious line.”

Is it just me, or does Edward’s entire face appear to be sentient? Every time one of his reactions is described, it’s the part of the face that’s reacting, not Edward. His lips are cautious. His eyes are any number of things. His… well, Steph really only mentions lips and eyes, but that still gives me plenty to work with.

I think the reason Edward seems to be so detached is that his facial features have been doing the work for him for so long that he’s just forgotten how to care.

How can lips be cautious? For that matter, what is a cautious line? Is there a bold, daring line with no reservations, just ready to leap into danger at a moment’s notice? How would lips even know the difference between these two lines?

So many questions.

Short-term memory loss: “‘Well… you said you knew I hadn’t gone into the bookstore, and that I had gone south. I was just wondering how you knew that.’”

Remember the part a few paragraphs ago in the last chapter where you guys were casually joking about the fact that Edward was psychic as if it were completely normal dinner conversation?

No? Oh. Ok then.

Almost psychic: “He almost smiled.”

Look kids! It’s a pristine example of what we writers like to call “sloppy writing”.

See, Bella couldn’t know that Edward almost smiled because, well… Bella isn’t Edward. Almost performing a visible action, but not, is something that can only be known to the person not doing the action. Because, see, thoughts aren’t visible.

Unless of course you happen to be psychic or something. Which Edward is, but Bella is, to my knowledge, not (at least not yet…).

Or unless you happen to be a terrible writer. Then your characters can become momentarily psychic at a moment’s notice, just like in the example above! Yay!

Unclean: “‘Fine, then. I followed your scent.’… I couldn’t think of an acceptable response to that, but I filed it carefully away for future study.”

If you can’t think of an acceptable response, I can:

Take a damn shower. You smell bad.

Oh, and also: Apparently Edward has super smelling abilities now. Dude’s like Superman – powers popping out of nowhere every time he turns around.

Way past humorous: “He looked at me, his eyes enigmatic.”

I’m not going to lie here. I think I’ve run out of ways to make her stupid eye comments funny (well, more so than they already are). The fact that she’s still doing them (to the exclusion of every other possible emotional response) is just becoming more and more sad.

Master of subtlety: “‘Why do you think you can’t hear [my thoughts]?’ I asked curiously.

‘I don’t know,’ he murmured. ‘The only guess I have is that maybe your mind doesn’t work the same way the rest of theirs do.’”

That, sir, is a monumental understatement.

Well…: “‘My mind doesn’t work right? I’m a freak?’”

I don’t want to be callous here, so I’m going to try and put this as gently as I can.

Yes.

Just a guess: Quick note here: Edward drives like a complete lunatic. As in, 100 miles-per-hour in the dark lunatic.

I guess he is technically immortal and psychic (and beautiful and cold and distant and weird), but that still seems kind of reckless.

Breaking news: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dramatic status update to report. We go now to Becky in the field. Becky?

Becky: “Thanks Brendan. It has just been reported from a reliable source that Edward’s eyes are now, in fact, honey. I repeat, Edward has honey eyes. We’ll have more as it develops.”

Thanks Becky. Truly an earth-shaking piece of news.

Alert! Alert!: “‘[Jacob and I] went for a walk … and he was telling me some old legends — trying to scare me, I think. He told me one…” I hesitated.
“Go on,” [Edward] said.
“About vampires.”

We have the V-word! We have the V-word! Everyone on full alert! Report to battle stations! Keep on your toes people, this is not a drill. There is a real possibility of actual story development coming our way and we have to be ready. We’ve had nine chapters to prepare for this and we don’t want to screw it up.

Let’s do this.

Maniac at the steering wheel: “He startled me by laughing. I glared up at him. He was laughing, but his eyes were fierce, staring ahead.”

Ummm… yeah, that’s pretty frightening stuff right there. That’s not the way people are supposed to laugh.

That’s the way the scary axe murders in horror movies laugh.

Edward = scary axe murderer?

Hmm….

Down the rabbit hole: “‘You don’t care if I’m a monster? If I’m not human!’”

GRAAAGH!!! EDWARD MONSTER!!! EDWARD SMASH ALL TINY PUNY THINGS!!!

A multitude of nothing: “He was silent, staring straight ahead again. His face was bleak and cold.”

So many meaningless, vague adjectives, so little actual emotional depth.

At long, long, long (long) last:

Dear readers,

Dear patient readers,

Dear patient, wonderful readers,

I think, maybe, just maybe, that possibly we might have finally gotten there.

After ten long (long) installments of this silly sarcastic rant of mine, after over nine chapters of this indescribably atrocious book, the moment that I was truly beginning to think would never come has at last been reached.

I can hardly believe it. The words are right there in front of me, but they don’t seem real, somehow.

Bella knows Edward is a vampire.

I know, right? Like, that’s totally all awesome and stuff!

I feel this is an appropriate milestone to end our tenth session of this Journey Into the Abyss, but there are good times ahead, mark my words.

We may have finally, finally reached an important landmark, one promised in the first two sentences on the back of the book but taking over nine chapters to deliver in what has to be the longest unnecessary stalling tactic ever in a piece of fiction, but there is plenty of fun to come.

Oh yes.

Why, just next time, we tackle all those vampire myths the book has conveniently avoided dealing with up to this point. There’s some history. There’s some backstory. There’s some relationship development.

And as sure as I am sick of reading this damn book, there’s most certainly some laughs to be had at its expense.

We have not yet even begun our descent into the darknesses of Twilight.

Until we meet again, my fellow travelers.


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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Nine)

Chapter Eight

Kill me now: “It had been a while since I’d had a girls’ night out, and the estrogen rush was invigorating. We listened to whiny rock songs while Jessica jabbered on about the boys we hung out with.”

Tell me about it, girl. Estrogen rushes are the freakin’ bomb.

I didn’t even know you could have an estrogen rush. Shows what I know. It’s certainly not a term you hear very often.

For good reason though, I think. It has an odd ring to it.

Bella with the distraction: “Angela was passively happy to be going to the dance, but not really interested in Eric. Jess tried to get her to confess who her type was, but I interrupted with a question about dresses after a bit, to spare her.”

Because we all know that if you throw even so much as the suggestion of new clothing anywhere in the vicinity of a woman they will instantly forget what they’re doing and completely change course.

It’s Pavlovian or something.

Disbelief: “‘Really,’ I tried to convince her, not wanting to confess my dancing problems. ‘I’ve never had a boyfriend or anything close. I didn’t go out much.’
‘Why not?’ Jessica demanded.
‘No one asked me,’ I answered honestly.

Awww, poor Bella. I can’t imagine why no one would like her.

Oh wait.

See?: “I was silent, still lost in shock that was quickly turning to irritation. But we had found the dress racks, and now we had work to do.”

And the clothes win again. See? I told you. Works every time.

Same old, same old: This is an entire scene built around little else but shopping and looking at things and description, and yet the only new thing I learn about any of the characters’ appearance is that one of them is tall. She did take the time to kindly repeat hair and eye colors though. It had been a couple of paragraphs, so I guess it was about time.

Seriously Steph, if you can’t squeeze in decent description in a chapter like this you’re just hopeless.

Heavy Sigh: It would appear our absentminded little Bella has gotten herself into another totally contrived pickle. Somehow, when wandering around downtown and looking for a bookstore, she managed to stray so far off the beaten path without noticing that she’s now fearing brutal mugging/theft/attack/rape from the nasty, slimy young hooligans inhabiting every dark corner.

This girl really does lack common sense to a highly dangerous degree.

When the storefronts start to turn into warehouses and the cashiers in the window into gang members, I think it’s safe to say you should stop looking for the damn bookstore and turn the hell around.

Also: If this plot point is used to have Edward swoop in from nowhere and save the day I’m going to hit something.

Question: If you were fearing an attack by a group of people who have been following you for a couple of blocks, would you risk looking backward directly at them just to satisfy your curiosity?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Surprise!: “The street was lined on both sides by blank, doorless, windowless walls. I realized then that I wasn’t being followed.
I was being herded.”

Well my word, who ever would have guessed this was coming?

Crazy insane: “That same pessimistic voice in my mind spoke up then, reminding me that I probably wouldn’t have a chance against one of them, and there were four. Shut up! I commanded the voice before terror could incapacitate me. I wasn’t going out without taking someone with me.”

So Bella’s talking to the voice in her head now. That’s probably not good.

God damnit: “It was amazing how instantaneously the choking fear vanished, amazing how suddenly the feeling of security washed over me — even before I was off the street — as soon as I heard his voice. I jumped into the seat, slamming the door shut behind me.”

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go slam my fist into something very forcefully now. I only hope it isn’t alive.

Or hard.

I totally freakin’ called it though, didn’t I?

Caught up in the excitement: I think Steph was so excited about her brilliant, totally unpredictable, super-exciting, mega-awesome twist of having Edward save Bella that she kind of forgot to mention his name anywhere.

For more than a page.

She just calls him “he” for nigh-on two pages until Bella casually mentions his name talking to one of the non-characters that I can’t be bothered to remember the name of.

Steph really has a penchant for being overly mysterious, doesn’t she?

Cause and effect: “…the snap as the [seatbelt] connected was loud in the darkness.”

Because amount of ambient light and sound volume are totally connected to one another. Did you fail chemistry or something?

Thank you, Captain Obvious: “Edward [still referred to only as ‘he’’]: ‘Sometimes I have a problem with my temper, Bella.’”

Apparently our friend Bella isn’t the only one with a penchant for stating the obivous.

Still, it’s progress. They’re learning to admit their problems. Maybe in a book or two we can start to move past them.

Conveniently omitted for your displeasure: “‘But it wouldn’t be helpful for me
to turn around and hunt down those…’ He didn’t finish his sentence, looking away,
struggling for a moment to control his anger again.”

Here, I’ll finish the sentence for, Mr. Temper Tantrum:

VAMPIRES!

Bloody, blood-sucking vampires! Creatures of the night! (Well, okay, not really true in this case, but I guess we’ll get to that later) Shiny skinned supermen! (That’s more along the lines of things)

Seriously though, just say it already!

Here we go again: “‘I’m taking you to dinner.’ He smiled slightly, but his eyes were hard.”

If his eyes are hard he’s got issues decidedly different than vampirism. Eyes are definitely supposed to be squishy.

And why are you poking his eyes, anyway?

Barf: “I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my perpetual savior.”

Oh no, where’s my barf bag? I think I left it in the other room.

Sorry carpet, this is going to be unpleasant for the both of us.

And now it’s time for- Awkward Dialog!: “You really shouldn’t do that to people,” I criticized. “It’s hardly fair.”
“Do what?” [Edward asked]
“Dazzle them like that — she’s probably hyperventilating in the kitchen right now.”
[Edward] seemed confused. He tilted his head to one side, and his eyes were curious. “I dazzle people? Do I dazzle you?”
“Frequently,” I admitted.

I realize, now that I’ve finally stopped laughing and regained my ability to type, that I seriously don’t even know where to start with this one.

You know what, I think I’ll just avoid belaboring the point. The dialog speaks for itself here.

And it speaks volumes.

All right, fine, one thing: Was the rest of him curious, or just his eyes? I’m trying to get a good mental picture here.

Impossible face physics: “His face twisted up into that perfect crooked smile.”

Is it possible to have something that’s both perfect and crooked at the same time?

Fine, fine, I’ll admit it. I’m nitpicking here. It was just awkward enough of a statement to justify using the title “Impossible face physics” which is something I very much wanted to do as soon as I thought of it.

Sorry.

Way past obsessive: “Edward was shrugging out of his jacket. I suddenly realized that I had never once noticed what he was wearing — not just tonight, but ever. I just couldn’t seem to look away from his face.”

Oh. My. God.

Seriously?

Seriously?

Is this her attempt at justification or something?

Does Steph even realize what an obsessive, absent-minded freak show of a character she’s creating here?

Wow.

Groundhog Day, for the face: “He stared into my eyes, and I saw how light his eyes were, lighter than I’d ever seen them, golden butterscotch.”

Golden butterscotch eyes?

Are you kidding me?

That is not an eye color. Eyes do not come in that color. Golden butterscotch is a type of candy. Eyes are not candy. I do not want to eat eyes.

Bella might, but let’s not go there.

Also: That’s four or five sentences crammed into one, decidedly awkward, statement. There are these things called “periods,” Steph. They work well for situations like this.

Overcompensating colors: “That displeased him; his alabaster brow furrowed.”
Oh come on, now you’re just trying too hard.

You had a good thing going with the horrible eye colors. Don’t ruin it with over-saturation of stupid-ass colors. Stick with the eyes. They’re definitely your strong suit.

Oh my horribly obvious heavens: “‘Okay, then.’ I glared at him, and continued slowly. ‘Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that… someone… could know what people are thinking, read minds, you know — with a few exceptions.’
‘Just one exception,’ he corrected, ‘hypothetically.’”

Now even the characters in the book are clearly admitting they know what’s going on!

They so know what’s going that they’re casually joking about it with one another!

The lack of information flow in this story so far has become a joke even to the characters in the story itself. That, dear friends, is not a good situation to be in.

Needs a little encouragement: “His eyes locked with mine, and I guessed he was making the decision right then whether or not to simply tell me the truth.”

Do it! Do it! Do it!

Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!

Fact check: “Edward to Bella: ‘I was wrong — you’re much more observant than I gave you credit for.’”

We are talking about Bella here, right? ‘Cause… I don’t think we’re talking about the same Bella.

Warning bells: “I stretched my hand across the table again — ignoring him when he pulled back slightly once more — to touch the back of his hand shyly with my fingertips. His skin was cold and hard, like a stone.”

Bella, we’ve been through this in an earlier installment, but I’ll try again. This is what we call a “warning sign”.

See, human skin is not supposed to be cold or stone-like. That’s what dead people’s skin is like. Except even theirs doesn’t resemble stone.

You don’t want to date a dead person, do you?

Don’t answer that.

You should run anyway. Or at the very least be slightly unnerved by it. I mean, come on, I don’t care how much you’re infatuated by the guy, I guarantee you that feeling that he has the skin of a stone-cold dead man would freak you out a bit.

It’s all becoming clear: “‘I followed you to Port Angeles,’ [Edward] admitted, speaking in a rush. … He paused. I wondered if it should bother me that he was following me; instead I felt a strange surge of pleasure.

That certainly explains a lot.

Abrupt transition: Okay, so Edward just spent a long block of dialog explaining to Bella that he can read people’s freakin’ minds … and she doesn’t react.

Nothing. She just takes it in like he had just told her his new kitten’s name was Fluffy.

His skin is like a dead statue and he can read minds and still there’s no reaction at all from our inconsistent little protagonist?

Real people respond to crap like this. Real people show emotion or action or at least slight curiosity as a result of life-changingly weird news.

I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s Edward that’s really more human than Bella.


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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Eight)

Hang in there kiddos, we’ve got a longer, epic-er entry than usual this week, featuring both the long-awaited end to chapter six as well as the entirety of chapter seven. Consider it my gift (?) to you after taking last week off to absorb as much information as I possibly could during the gamer’s Christmas of E3. It was a week full of much nerd glee for me. I appreciate your tolerance of the extended wait for this entry, but I can assure you that the wait was worth it. Interesting stuff lies ahead.

Chapter Six (continued)

Bravely, after the progress-stopping stupidity that ended my foray into these dark lands, I solider onward in my valiant attempt to make it deeper into the dank, dark territory of Twilight.

Let’s hope the going is easier from here. I’m not sure I could survive another terror of language quite as bad as “making an effort to smolder at him”.

Shouldn’t have typed that. Started laughing again. Must stop before moving on. Bare with me.

..

There we go. I think we’re good. Let us venture forth before I burst into another giggle fit.

Man, I don’t even have the slightest idea what was going on. Oh well. Probably doesn’t matter.

Whilst recounting legends of yore: “‘Then there are the stories about the cold ones.’”

Well, I know people that have had plenty of beer in their day too, but they don’t make this big of deal out of it.

Sheesh.

Further clarification: “‘You see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the wolf—well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into men, like our ancestors. You would call them werewolves.’”

So Twilight now officially has werewolves before it has vampires. Congratulations, Steph, you have officially missed the point of writing a vampire novel.”

Ok, ok, if you want to get technical, I think “cold ones” is her half-assed special term for vampires, so they did sort of come first, but until she calls them vampires it doesn’t count in my book.

So there.

Extraordinarily confuzzled: So after reading the same set of paragraphs about four times, I think I have finally figured out what Steph was talking about with the whole “cold ones”/werewolves thing. This woman does not have a way with explanatory clarity.

Still waiting: I’m still waiting for the situation revolving around the Cullens (Edward’s group) to make sense. Does everyone know they’re vampires and just doesn’t like talking about it? Does everyone just think they’re weird? What’s the situation?

The fact that no one wants anything to do with them or even to talk about them says that people are in the know.

The fact that others (such as the one telling the story to Bella in the first place) treat it as a joke, says they just think the Cullens are eccentric weirdos. But then, why all the secrecy about the family from so many people?

*Sigh*. None of this crap makes any sense.

At long, long last: “‘And what are they?’ I finally asked. ‘What are the cold ones?’
He smiled darkly.
‘Blood drinkers,’ he replied in a chilling voice. ‘Your people call them vampires.’

Holy mother-loving goombas! We have vampires! Vampires have been had! The magical keyword word has been uttered! Actual vampires have been mentioned in this book about vampires!

It’s a frickin’ miracle. I truly never thought I would see the day.

This is truly a milestone in my great journey. The reaching of my first mention of vampire. I shall remember this day always.

Dangerous in groups: Now there’s four or so of these high-school nobodies in the same scene together. You have no idea how much effort it takes to keep all these people straight. Names just vanish out of my mind the second I’ve passed over them because I don’t actually have a character to attach them to.

This is so much more trouble than its worth.

Chapter Seven

Staying completely with the grain: “There was a basketball game on that [Charlie] was excited about, though of course I had no idea what was special about it, so he wasn’t aware of anything unusual in my face or tone.”

Well obviously she wouldn’t know anything about the game. I mean, she’s a girl. Girls don’t know anything about sports. I mean, what planet do we live on, Mars? Get a grip.

Strange Lullaby: So Bella just used a (conspicuously unnamed) band that had, her words, “a little too much bass and shrieking for my tastes” to go to sleep. The odd complexities of this character just never stop coming, do they?

Gutter mind: “His face was frightened as he yanked with all his strength against my resistance; I didn’t want to go into the dark.”

Taken out of context, I find something vaguely dirty about this statement.

That doesn’t say good things about me, does it?

Strange dreams: Bella is describing a dream now that sounds much like a terrible music video. She’s heading toward the beach because she knows she’ll find the sun there. Someone is tugging her toward the darkness of the forest. And, naturally, there are werewolves. And vampires.

Add some shrieking metal guitars, maybe a little too much bass, a hint of violins for good measure, and that dream is pretty much a script waiting to be filmed.

Enter Edward: Edward just appeared in the surreal dream sequence. Let me just give you a quick rundown of the descriptors stuck to him in a remarkably short span of sentences.

His skin was faintly glowing.
His eyes were black.
His eyes were, furthermore, dangerous.
His teeth were both sharp and pointed.
His voice was purring.

That’s one heck of a mishmash.

One the plus side, we have another small milestone on our hands. Edward himself, in all of his shifty-eyed glory, has finally been described, albeit inside of a dream sequence, as a vampire!

Break out the champagne everyone! There shall be much rejoicing.

Seven chapters in and we have finally learned (or at least strongly hinted at in dream form) what was on the first few sentences of the back cover of the book.

I’m not sure whether to be happy or incredibly depressed.

Now how much longer until Steph confronts the issue while Bella is actually awake? Any bets?

Another revelation: Aside from the above, another detail we have been blessed with only seven chapters in is that Bella’s hair is, apparently, braided.

Great. Just great. Now what little mental picture I had to this point has to be completely altered because of this delayed detail that shatters my fragile conception of this character.

Hey, when you have so few details to go on, every little precious bit counts for a lot more than in a situation with an actually, you know, well-formed character.

Bathroom adventures: “The shower didn’t last nearly as long as I hoped it would, though. Even taking the time to blow-dry my hair, I was soon out of things to do in the bathroom.”

Oh, there are always more things to do in the bathroom.

What the hell is wrong with me tonight?

Now it’s personal: I think Steph is trying to personally bore me to tears now. It’s not just a general sense of soul-crushing boredom anymore. It’s starting to really hit home.

Bella is using technology now.

She’s now in a scene where she is turning on her ancient computer, waiting for her outdated modem to – *shudder* – dial up, describing her conspicuously unnamed free Internet service (yeah, because those definitely still exist), detailing the many pop-up ads that she had to close in order to get on with things (Remember when those were still a problem? Good times.), and searching in her favorite search engine (also conspicuously unnamed).

This is a remarkably dated passage for how hard it tries not to date itself by leaving out all the brand names and such.

Nice try, Steph, but not quite.

Now she notices: It has already been well established that Bella is perhaps, shall we say, a little slow. More evidence to that effect: partway into chapter seven, Bella has finally decided to notice and state for herself that it is perhaps slightly odd, a little strange, bloody weird, if you will, that Edward’s eyes happen to shift color every few minutes or so.

Gee, ya think?

Waiting on pins and needles: As part of the long list of vampiric qualities she is researching, Bella happens to consider that vampires, as a general rule, are creatures of the night. Allergic to sun. Killed by the light.

Not exactly morning creatures, to say the least.

A slight issue, one might think.

Boy, I can’t wait to see how Steph deals with this one.

And she was doing so well, too: Just when I thought Twilight had finally gotten some sort of meager groove going, established some sort of light hope that Steph had finally figured out how to tell at least an acceptable chunk of her story through (cheesy, poorly-written) dialog and (weakly constructed, unsatisfying) scenes, she falls off the deep end again.

I’ve been listening to Bella think to herself, research vampires, explain about vampires, think some more, describe things, and other such expository nonsense for at least four or five pages now (since the beginning of chapter seven, in fact) and it shows no signs of letting up.

*Sigh*

Old habits die hard, it would seem. I must have been delirious or something. I actually had myself thinking Steph’s writing was improving in some tiny little way.

Silly me.

Sunuvabitch: Give me a damn break here. How stupid does Steph think I am?

I kid you not, I just finished reading two paragraphs of a slow, detailed listing of every one of the stupendously obvious reasons that Edward might be a vampire that she’s been beating me over the head with for seven chapters now.

OMG his eyes are like all weird and stuff!
He talks all funny-like sometimes!
He’s totally like super strong and pale and pretty and cold and stuff!
Remember when he so totally didn’t show up to that blood testing day in class? You think that could maybe possibly have been important or something?

Gaaaaaaah!!!!

I freakin’ get it already, okay? It’s generally good practice to assume your reader has at least some small degree of intelligence, a rule of etiquette Steph doesn’t seem to be able to grasp. Frankly, the sheer magnitude of recapping being done here is insulting.

I don’t know what insufferable mental condition is keeping Bella from realizing what is going on, but I am able to function on the level of a normal human being and being doled out information like I’m some sort of chimp with a learning disorder is indescribably aggravating.

@#$%#$%&^!!!: “Could the Cullens be vampires?”

YES!
YES YES YES!!!

Yes, you stupid, slow, insufferable, inconsistent, obnoxious, stuck-up, little bitch of a character!

THEY’RE FUCKING VAMPIRES!
GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

Damn it….

Oh no, no, no, please no…: “Well, [the Cullens] were something. … So then — maybe. That would have to be my answer for now.”

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!!

Damn and blast and damn it all again!

You can’t let it slip away. We were so close. We had almost made it.

The realizations. The supreme obviousness of it all. It was right there.

Right there in front of me.

And now it’s gone again.

Gone, like so many hopes and dreams and respect for anyone who says this is even a semi-tolerable book.

That was a mean move, Steph. Truly a coldhearted tease.

I really don’t know how much more of this I can take.

And now, our regularly scheduled program: “My blood was electric in my veins.”

And now we find ourselves back where we started – back to the daily grind, back to horrible descriptions and awkward passages and never-ending accounts of Bella’s insufferably boring days at school and all the work and thoughts that go along with them.

Somehow, after a touch with what could have been, it all seems so much more depressing than it ever has before.

Okay, fine, I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try and get back in the swing of things. Let’s have one more try at that biting sarcasm I used to love so well.

Relax or die!: “I would think of nothing but the warmth on my skin [from the sun, mind you], I told myself severely.”

Oh, the things I’m going to do to you if you don’t relax… You don’t even want to now.

Now close your eyes and go to your happy place or your going to regret it!

Yeah, all right, that feels better. Maybe I can go on after all.

Farewell: After such an exciting, extended trip through Twilight in this installment, what more do I really have to say to close things up than in the next chapter, Bella and her forgettable not-really-friends are going SHOPPING!

Yay!

Why, golly gee, I just can’t wait to tag along with a bunch of teen girls on a shopping trip. What more could I possibly ask from a book? I just can’t wait.

Until then, dear readers.


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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Seven)

Chapter Six

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?

Gah!

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.

Whew.

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.

Skank.

Flirtation Fail: “‘I love [scary stories],’ I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.”
Hahahahahahaha.

Hahahahahaha.

Hahahahaha.

Hahahaha.

Haha.

Ha.

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.

Hahahahaha.

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.

Goody.

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.


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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Six)

Chapter Five

Notable Quote: “Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plans … completely unaware of my inattention.”

Oh she’s aware of your inattention. It’s just become such an ever-present specter over every conversation you’ve held with another human being that people just take it for granted now.

Why these poor folk don’t find other, less elitist people to talk to continues to baffle me.

Notable Quote: “It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be real. I was afraid that he might disappear in a sudden puff of smoke, and I would wake up.”

First off: *gag*

Secondly, this better not be Stephanie Meyer’s idea of foreshadowing, because if it is, I will personally track her down and punch her in the face.

Notable Quote: Edward: “‘I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you.’”

Bella has friends? When did this happen?

Variety Please: I know as well as any other writer how tempting lame phrases like “I could feel their stares boring into my back” can be, but seriously Steph, this is the third or fourth time you’ve used some variant on that line in a couple of pages. How fast did you write this shlock, anyway?

Follow-up to Above Quote: “‘I may not give you back, though,’ he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.”

Oh give me a break, is this where this book is going? I’ve read more convincing love dialog in Harlequin novels.

Yes, I’ve read Harlequin novels.

It was for a writing class.

Shut up.

He’s got chameleon eyes: What the hell is wrong with Edward’s eyes? They’re ocher now, apparently. They’ve been at least black, gold, and yellow at varying points, and now they’re ocher which, and I looked this up, is close to gold but a decidedly different shade.

Twilight has spent countless paragraphs now describing what Edward looks like, but I still can’t get a mental picture because most of it is either contradicting previous statements or repeating the same two lines about his eyes or mouth ad nauseam.

I think if one were to make a character sheet listing all of Edward’s traits (as some writers do), it would probably be about half a page long and half of that would be about his damn eyes.

Oh, and there would also be a note at the bottom: “Note to self: just for good measure, include all of the opposites of the traits listed above as well. It’ll make him all mysterious and crap.”

Drop the act: Look, we’re five chapters into the book now. This forced mysticism is getting old. You’re trying way too hard to be secretive here and, frankly, you just come off as looking like kind of an idiot. Not to mention the fact that it’s providing for some of the cheesiest dialog I’ve ever read in a piece of fiction.

We all know what’s going on, Steph. It’s really time you just came out and admitted it.

Or, to be fair, it’s entirely possible that you wrote this section before you had even plotted what was going to happen later and were flying totally blind and just never bothered to fix it. That’ wouldn’t really surprise me either.

Hooked?: They told me in writing classes that you’re supposed to hook the reader from the first chapter, nay, the first page, with something amazing so they can’t put your book down.

I’m no expert on the mind of a young person, but I’m five chapters in and I’ve seen nary a hint of anything that would fit that description.

Is this really what young people these days find captivating? Have they gotten that much more gullible? If this book is any indication, I could fascinate an entire audience of tweens for hours by grabbing one of my old yearbooks and systematically telling them the eye colors of everyone inside.

Hold that thought: Edward’s eyes are gold again. Just thought you’d like to know.

Psychic: “‘No,’ I disagreed quickly, my eyes narrowing, ‘I can’t imagine why that would be frustrating at all — just because someone refuses to tell you what they’re thinking, even if all the while they’re making cryptic little remarks specifically designed to keep you up at night wondering what they could possibly mean… now, why would that be frustrating?’”

Once again, Stephanie Meyer shows an uncanny ability to turn the reader’s exact frustrations into a line of dialog.

Notable Quote: “I had to look away from the intensity of his stare. I concentrated on unscrewing the lid of my lemonade.”

Aw, the poor dear has to concentrate just to be able to unscrew her lemonade. I feel sorry for her all of a sudden. It certainly explains a lot, though.

Notable Quote: “‘Aren’t you hungry?’ [Edward] asked, distracted.”
‘No.’ I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full — of butterflies.”

Badum tish!

Nonsensical eyeballs: “His eyes still smoldered at me.”

God, really? What does that even mean?

Indestructible: “He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.”

Bella casually picked up the pencil she had used to complete her biology homework and forcefully jammed it into Edward’s eye socket.

“Yup,” Bella said, “definitely impenetrable. Just as I thought.”

“Ow,” Edward replied.

Bella, Master of the Obvious: “‘You’re dangerous?’ I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.”

For my readers offended by profanity I offer a preemptive apology.

No shit, really?

Wait, wait, wait: What high school does Bella go to that allows her science class to prick the students’ fingers and take a blood sample as part of an in-class experiment? My high school practically needed permission slips for the teacher to talk to us.

Blood Test – ur doin it wrong: “‘Put a small drop of blood on each of the prongs.’ [The teacher] demonstrated, squeezing Mike’s finger till the blood flowed.”

Ummm, yeah, I don’t think blood is supposed to “flow” out of a finger when pricked with a small pin. That’s… something’s wrong there. I hope this guy’s not tenured, because I don’t think he needs to be working there much longer.

Strange Reactions to Fear #3: “I closed my eyes, trying to hear through the ringing in my ears.”

Now fear make’s Bella’s ears ring.

Sure, that makes sense. Why not?

Bad Omen: Now we find out Bella nearly faints at the sight of a tiny drop of blood.

Great. Just great. She’s getting more neurotic by the second and she’s being carried to the nurse’s office for her blood sighting fainting spell by a vampire.

This is going to be a weird book.

Creepy: Edward: “‘Honestly — I’ve seen corpses with better color.’”

I imagine you probably have, Edward.

*Backs away slowly*

Bella, this is what we call a “subtle hint”. Take the vampire’s advice and get away from him.

Before he gets hungry for Bella blood.

Awkward: “‘I smelled the blood,’ I said, wrinkling my nose.
‘People can’t smell blood,’ [Edward] contradicted.
‘Well, I can — that’s what makes me sick. It smells like rust… and salt.’

What’s unfathomable is how terrifically awkward this conversation is. I don’t even know for sure which one of them is right (I haven’t gotten the opportunity to sniff any blood lately), but based on a tiny bit of research, I think it might be the vampire, which just makes this situation all the weirder.

Just bite her on the neck (or wherever the fruity vampires in this universe bite people) and get it over with, man. Nobody’s going to miss her.

Also: What in the ruddy hell is an unfathomable expression? Another favorite yet totally meaningless phrase of Steph’s.

Notable Quote: “Fainting spells always exhausted me.”

Oh yeah, those bloody fainting spells. Tell me about it. Such a pain.

Woah: After the previously mentioned fainting spell, Edward gets Bella out of gym class and offers to drive her home. When they get to the parking lot and Bella goes for her car to drive home (feeling well enough to do it herself), this is the response from Edward:

“‘Where do you think you’re going?’ he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.”

He proceeds to threaten her and basically all but shove her into his car as she contemplates running away just to escape his angry outburst of pushiness.

Truly the attack of the schizophrenic love interest.

What is wrong with this guy? No tact at all.

I think Edward really might be dangerous, and not just because he’s a vampire. Talk about control issues.

Something’s Not Quite Right: “I stood by the car, fuming. It was raining harder now, and I’d never put my hood up, so my hair was dripping down my back.”

Is it the water that’s running down your back or is your hair actually dripping? I think those are two very different things that we should probably get clear. One is perfectly normal, while the way it is phrased above would seem to indicate a serious medical condition.

Run Away from the Creepy Man: Edward and Bella are together in Edward’s car after Edward’s outburst from moments ago. This is a question Edward decides to ask:

“‘How old are you, Bella?’”

You’re an underage girl trapped in a car with someone who just physically forced you to come along with him instead of go home by yourself and then he asks you how old you are while you have no hope of escape.

What would your reaction to this situation be?

If you’re a healthier person than Bella, hopefully to scream and make some attempt, however futile, of running away.

Edward just gets creepier and creepier.

It only gets better: Shortly after Edward’s jailbait check, he asks her whether she thinks he could be scary and follows that up with, “‘Are you frightened of me now?’”

Apparently Bella isn’t, but I sure am.

Farewell: I don’t really have anything more to add this time. This crap is exhausting. I have no more thoughts left. See you next week.


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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Five)

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.

Chapter Four

Notable Quote: “No one seemed concerned about Edward… With chagrin, I realized the probable cause — no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did.”

So Bella likes Edward.

The sheer scale of this revelation is simply shocking.

Notable Quote: “Edward was never surrounded by crowds of curious bystanders eager for his firsthand account. People avoided him as usual.”

That’s because he’s shiny freaky stalker creep! I can’t really say I blame them. I think you have a screw or two loose from wanting to go anywhere near him.

Though he did kind of stop you from getting flattened by a car. I hear women have this strange attraction to people that save them from certain death. Weird. Well, I guess she has an excuse now, in any case.

Observation: Bella keeps making a big deal about how the vampires emo kids in the corner never eat anything. She also repeats constantly how beautiful they all are.

Hmmm….

Eating disorder?

Notable Quote: “When he sat next to me in class, as far from me as the table would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence.”

Yes. Totally unaware. Except for the fact that he’s cramming himself against the edge of the table to get away from you.

Other than that, yeah, totally oblivious.

Frustration: Just when I had thought we might have been making a little progress with Bella and Edward becoming slightly less schizophrenic and the story inching ever so slightly toward actually going somewhere, the characters now appear to be even more erratic than ever.

I’m starting to get the sinking feeling that this problem won’t go away. I’m beginning to think Edward and Bella will bounce back and forth from one awkward nonsensical emotion to the other for the rest of book.

I so, so hope I’m wrong.

I’m so not.

Notable Quote: “…now and then, when his fists would suddenly ball
up — skin stretched even whiter over the bones…”

Um, ewww.

Notable Quote: “He wished he hadn’t pulled me from the path of Tyler ‘s van — there was no other conclusion I could come to [for Edward’s deliberate avoidance of Bella in class].”

That or he thinks you’re repulsive and is trying to push his beautiful, superior self as far as humanly (vampire-ly?) possible away from your ugly, psychotic waste of an existence.

Memory problems: Bella is apparently growing depressed at Edward’s continued silent treatment.

I don’t care. That’s not really anything new.

Bella is growing increasingly obsessed with everything Edward does and is unable to stop herself from watching his every move at every opportunity. She is even dreaming about him.

I still don’t care. This is also not new.

What is new is that someone named Renée has apparently noticed her depression through Bella’s emails and phone calls.

Reading this, it dawned on me that I was supposed to know who Renée was.

Oops.

Her brilliant characterization must have somehow escaped my notice. Darn.

Ignorant hicks: I was about to chide Bella’s male classmates for trying to go after such a stuck-up, psychotic, obsessive freak show of a teenager, but you know, with the pickings as slim as they appear to be in their poor excuse for a town I guess I can’t really blame them.

At least she’s a novelty.

I still think they should really know better by now though.

Notable Quote: “And Edward was staring at me curiously, that same, familiar edge of frustration even more distinct now in his black eyes.”

Edward’s eyes are black now? I hate to break it to you Steph, but you’ve spent a nice chunk of this chapter so far, and most of the story to this point as a matter of fact, describing how stunningly golden his eyes are. Must you take even this small consistency away from me?

Notable Quote: “I couldn’t believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me — just because he’d happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks. I couldn’t allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. More than pathetic, it was unhealthy.”

And the truth shall set you free!

Or, you know, doom you to an endless cycle of repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again because you’re too much of an obsessive weirdo to actually change anything or make good on your words.

Yeah, I’m going to go with that last one.

But seriously, it’s at least nice to know how much time has passed. Thoughtful of Steph to mention that at some point.

Sonofa…: JUST ADMIT YOU LIKE THE FREAK ALREADY!!!

Stop dancing around the truth, stop pretending you’re angry or something, stop trying to make sense of it, and just admit that you’re desperately, stupidly in love with this complete jerkass freak who has done nothing but show contempt for you and start learning to deal with it.

Damn.

Notable Quote: “‘You don’t know anything.’ [Edward] was definitely mad.”

Why, thanks for telling me Edward’s emotional state. That’s a good thing to know.

Next time, perhaps try to be a tad less blunt. Try a little description.

Not much, not much. I know it’s hard.

But just try throwing in a blip or two about how his face looks. I know you like talking about his face. Work with that. Give me an angry facial feature or two.

Don’t push yourself too hard. We can work on mannerisms or other complex things later. Let’s just take this slowly and see where things go.

A Challenger New Trait Approaches!: Apparently Bella is clumsy now. This seems fitting somehow, yet is something that Steph just now decided to grace me with actually demonstrating. Bella ruined a perfectly good angry exit after a chat with Edward by dropping her books all over the floor and apparently trips all over herself in gym class even though she doesn’t do anything and no one ever throws her the ball.

So she’s a very determined klutz, then.

“When nothing stands in her way, when she isn’t doing anything at all, when adversity is taking a smoke break out back, Bella will find a way…”

“A way to look like a complete asshat for no reason at all.”

“Bella Whateverthehellherlastnameis is: The Klutz. Coming this summer.”

Notable Quote: “Today I was worse than usual because my head was so filled with Edward.”

Oh God he’s in my head! Get him out! Get him out! It hurts!

Oh dear God the pain!

Three people?: Three separate people, and I might be forgetting someone, have just asked Bella to the spring dance within a very short span of time.

You know what? Forget what I said earlier. What the hell is wrong with these people? Get away from this girl! She’s obviously too full of herself to want anything to do with you.

Some seriously masochistic young men in this town, lemme tell ya.

Notable Quote: “I drove home slowly, carefully, muttering to myself the whole way.”

Oh man, she’s talking to herself now.

Definitely not a good sign.

Progress?: While chopping chicken (long story) Bella thinks to herself that perhaps Edward is being so dismissive because he wants her to go the hell away and he’s not interested in her and please leave me along you neurotic wacko.

I’m paraphrasing.

While this is still clearly far from the truth, this is at least a more logical reaction to the situation. Perhaps we’re making some progress?

Notable Quote: “I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and
mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with
one hand.”

No comment here. That is just, quite simply, the best fawning-over-someone sentence I think I’ve read in my entire life and I thought I should pass it along.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Notable Quote: “Seattle is a big city — you could get lost,” [Charlie] fretted.”

And you could learn how to properly use italics for emphasis if you plan to keep on using this annoying trick.

Notable Quote: [Bella to Edward] “‘Do you have a multiple personality disorder?’ I asked severely.”

Huh? Well that’s interesting.

Bella might be more observant than I thought.

Yes, dear. Yes he does. I’m glad you’ve finally noticed.

Also: Stop it with the unnecessary adverbs, Steph. It’s just getting silly. We both know your dialog is terrible, but these tacked-on words aren’t doing you any favors in that department.

Notable Quote: “[Edward] enunciated every syllable, as if he were talking to someone
mentally handicapped.”

Ummmm…..

Nah, too easy.

Word usage amusement: Bella has just been asked by Edward if she would like a ride to Seattle. She was going there anyway and is soon going to get all dreamy and accept. That’s not the part that caught my attention.

He offers because he has a Volvo that he says will get much better gas mileage than her truck. Aside from sounding like a Volvo ad, my question is this:

When Bella thinks to herself, “Stupid, shiny Volvo owner,” is she calling him a shiny owner of a Volvo or the owner of a shiny Volvo?

Both happen to be true in this case, but it piques my curiosity all the same.

Adventures in Awkward Description, Episode 47: “His eyes were gloriously intense as he uttered that last sentence, his voice smoldering.”

His voice, his voice, his voice is on fire!

Farewell: So the slow, excruciating snail’s pace of progress continues, but there is still progress to be had. The two lovebirds are now talking to each other again and have even finally, FINALLY managed to sort of/kind of almost acknowledge that there is something between them.

I thought the day would never come.

And apparently they’re even going to Seattle together. Should the book ever decide to progress far enough to actually show me this point, I will try not to be too bored by a trip to a city I have no interest in taken by two people that I despise.

Good times are coming, I can feel it in my bones.

I will reluctantly admit, however, that after analyzing the chapter once I had finished reading it, the amount of boring narration has been significantly reduced. It didn’t really strike me as I was reading it, as the pace is still glacial, but while it remains almost completely devoid of traditional scene structure or in-the-moment action, there is a lot more dialog in this chapter to help prop things up.

See, I even acknowledged a positive. I just hope it keeps up.

I mean, I think the dialog is terrible, but it’s better than Bella prattling on to herself and revealing the whole story via poorly written diary entry.


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