As per the last one, we must first start off with a not-so-brief summary of New Moon!
The events of New Moon can best be summed up in numerical order, I think.
1) Bella had a nightmare that featured her looking about as old as her grandmother and Wardo looking as young and sparkly as ever. This led to her whining for almost a complete chapter about how she doesn’t want to get oooooooold, and wants Wardo to change her into a vampire because she doesn’t want to get oooooooold, and while she tried to disguise her desire to be changed into a vampire as wanting to be with Wardo forever, we all know she wants to be turned because she doesn’t want to get oooooooold. We aren’t stupid.
2) So, time for Bella’s eighteenth birthday party! Alice’s fortune-telling talent was switched to “Off” for the event, unfortunately, as nobody could foresee Bella getting the Worst Paper Cut Ever and causing Jasper to vamp out and nearly nom on Bella as a result. Wardo saves his Truest of Loves by throwing her into a bunch of glass.
3) Well, the previous event somehow caused Wardo to deduce that he is far too dangerous to be around Bella, even though he had no trouble being close to Bella while she was spurting blood everywhere a la Modern Problems or Dracula: Dead and Loving It—remember, she smells like bacon to him. So, after careful deliberation, Wardo decided to pack up the entire family and move. No, I don’t know why nobody in the family protested. Anyway, the whole goodbye scene was incredibly pathetic, with Bella clinging and shrieking and just making us sick in general, and so, when telling her that he was too dangerous to be her boyfriend didn’t work, Wardo switched tactics and told her that he didn’t love her anymore and off he went.
4) The book went blank.
5) Um, that bears repeating. THE BOOK. IT WENT BLANK.
6) The blank part indicated that four whole months passed with absolutely no mention of what went on in between. While I am grateful that I didn’t have to hear about Bella wandering around as an empty shell because she does not have Her Man anymore, that was the biggest time hiccup ever, and as such, drove me mad. So, we pick up four months later, and Bella goes out with a friend to try and get her father off of her back—GAWD, Charlie, can’t you see she is trying to be angsty? During the little outing, Bella attempted to get herself raped and subsequently the birth of Imaginary!Wardo occurred. That’s right—any time Bella does something dangerous, Wardo’s voice echoes in her head and tells her to be good (sans sparkling glowing finger, though).
7) Bella bought two motorcycles to continue pursuing said voice and then remembered hey, a guy named Jacob Black exists, and he’s poor and ethnic and, as such, knows how to work on cars! A friendship is rekindled, and Jacob helps her put the Deathcycles together. Just as we thought, Imaginary!Wardo is loud and clear as she clumsily and stupidly attempts to ride the Deathcycle.
8) Jacob turned into a werewolf.
9) Laurent showed up on an errand from Victoria, who, it turns out, is quite determined to kill Bella because Wardo killed James—tit for tat, and all that jazz. But then Jacob and his new furry posse showed up and killed Laurent.
10) Bella finds out that Jacob is, in fact, a werewolf, and she goes from Runs-With-Vampires to Runs-With-Werewolves in half a second.
11) Meyer attempted to draw some kind of Romeo and Juliet parallel with Bella as Juliet, Wardo as Romeo, and Jacob as Paris. It failed miserably.
12) Bella decided that her next way to get Imaginary!Wardo to show up would be to cliff dive. She did this without any help or supervision and, as a result, nearly got herself killed. Logic, of course, dictated that she would definitely be killed, but if you’re expecting logic in this universe, you’d best be getting back home. Jacob managed to save her stupid ass, fortunately, and then Harry Clearwater died. If you don’t remember who Harry Clearwater was in the previous books, don’t worry about it—he was an incidental character who existed solely to die to force this stupid “plot” along.
13) Alice returned—as it turns out, she can’t See werewolves, and thought that Bella had killed herself because she didn’t see Jacob rescue her after the cliff dive.
14) Surprise! It turns out Rosalie hunted Wardo down and told him all about Bella jumping off of a cliff and dying, and after hearing that Charlie is “at the funeral” from a disgruntled Jacob, he decides to go to the city of Volterra and get an execution from the Volturi. For the record, Volterra is the Vatican, and the Volturi are Catholics. Edward decides to publicly sparkle.
15) Alice and Bella race to the Vatican and manage to save Wardo’s stupid ass this time.
16) After standing before the Pope, Aro, they get permission to get along home, provided that they change Bella into a vampire to protect their secret—but no hurry. At their leisure. Just, you know, whenever.
17) To guarantee that she gets changed into a vampire, Bella goes to Wardo’s family and has them all vote to change her—she gets a resounding yes.
18) Bella actually has the nerve to ask Jacob to keep being her friend, even after she strung him along like a large-mouth bass and dropped him like a hot potato the instant Wardo returned. Jacob is pretty iffy on that request.
I think that about covers it.
And I’d like to give some counts I should’ve been doing all along, but completely forgot to do. Word counts! The two everybody notices the most are “chagrin” and “ugh”. So, here they are, for all four books in case I forget.
I really don’t see why people always complain about the chagrin. The one that gets me is “ugh”. *looks at Eclipse and Breaking Dawn* …oh, hell.
Now, let’s launch ourselves headfirst into Eclipse!
The book opens up with a dedication—again, it’s to her family, and then we have a quote that nicely foreshadows Breaking Dawn when she dedicates the book to her children: “And also to my children, Gabe, Seth, and Eli, for letting me experience the kind of love that people freely die for.” Yeah, that’s great, Meyer, I know a lot of people would freely die for their children, but…not everybody in the world wants children. But that’s a rant for later.
As usual, Meyer precedes the actual story with a quote—this time, it’s “Fire and Ice”, by Robert Frost. I know why Meyer chose it, too, because I’ve read ahead—she picked it simply because Wardo is cold and Jacob is hot. Never mind the poem’s actual meaning, or anything…
So, the preface is simple—the same thing it’s always been. Bella is going to die. And, of course, it’s sure to happen—no way that it’ll turn out okay for them all, even though it has for two books straight thus far.
Meyer, you really need to learn something—when you promise death every single time and then don’t follow through on it, we stop believing you.
Chapter 1 – Ultimatum
We open up this chapter with a letter—it’s obviously being written by Jacob, and he can’t think of the best way to write this letter. He comes up with a couple of excellent points—like the parts about her obviously having made her choice and she can’t have it both ways, along with pointing out that he’s not answering her calls for a reason—but, unfortunately, strikes them out in favor of writing a perfunctory “Miss you, piss off”. Bella can tell it took him quite a while to get this letter out as well, as the paper is mangled and covered in ink splatters. And, as this letter clearly indicates that Jacob is smarting from Bella’s obvious rejection, the first thing on her mind is how much his pain is causing her pain.
We’re distracted from this by smoke. Bella runs downstairs to discover that Charlie is attempting to cook dinner and has apparently stuck a jar of spaghetti sauce in the microwave, lid and all.
Okay, the “no metal in the microwave” rule has been around for a VERY long time, and Charlie had lived alone for at least sixteen years before Bella came to apparently save him from himself. To have him completely ignorant of the fact that metal in a microwave is bad news is absolutely ridiculous and makes me wonder how the hell he managed to not burn his house down before Bella arrived.
Anyway, after saving Charlie from that particular bout of idiocy from Meyer to show us that lol, men can’t cook, she locates the smoke—there are noodles on the stove, and—wait a second. I am seriously confused about how that’s causing smoke. I understand that if you don’t stir noodles for the first minute or so while they’re cooking, they tend to clump together and be rather sticky, but…they don’t burn. Not like that. They’re in water. There’s nothing to scald. If it’s smoking, then they’ve either boiled dry, or there’s something cooking on the burner. Now you’re just making shit up to bash Charlie and make Bella out to be so awesome, Meyer.
So, Bella demands to know what’s going on and why he’s cooking dinner and why he’s so crabby, and he acts nonchalant. But we’ve gone a page without mentioning Wardo, so Bella finds a way to bring him up.
The word boyfriend had me chewing on the inside of my cheek with a familiar tension while I stirred. It wasn't the right word, not at all. I needed something more expressive of eternal commitment… But words like destiny and fate sounded hokey when you used them in casual conversation.
Newsflash, Bella—they sound hokey in any conversation, including this one. Fail. And so soon, too.
Anyway, she also brings up the fact that Wardo requested that they get married before the vamping occurs, and reminds us that the very thought of being married at such a young age repulses her. Being turned into a vampire and giving up everything in her mortal life for her “eternal commitment?” That’s easy. Getting married is absolutely appalling. Then she brings up Charlie cooking again and takes time to jab at his attempt, and Charlie continues to be evasive. Bella makes a lame joke, and in true Sue groupie fashion, Charlie commends her for it. Bella helpfully supplies that Charlie obviously has something to say, but is just taking a while to get there, seeing as we couldn’t figure that out ourselves (actually, we probably couldn’t—Meyer really sucks when it comes to showing us stuff). Well, enough of that. Back to Wardo!
Turns out that he now is only allowed over to Bella’s house for two and one-half hours every day in the evening, a rule Charlie imposed after being informed of the motorcycle stuff from Jacob. I’m…not entirely sure why he would forbid her from seeing Wardo because of that, seeing as it was Jacob who was helping her with that. Actually, Charlie never expresses any sort of ill will towards Jacob for the motorcycles. Hmm. Moving on, we are reminded that Wardo has no respect for Charlie and continues to see Bella anyway, sneaking into her room at night because that sort of thing is just so romantic, right. Not that they talk, or anything—they mostly just cuddle in pure silence. Bella also says that she “endured [her] punishment without complaining”. Yeah, I’m so sure—if you’re enduring it without complaint, why do we have to hear about it? She also says something you might want to keep in mind—she says she won’t move out because she “couldn’t bear to hurt [Charlie]”, not to mention she’ll be vamping out soon enough anyway, so there is no point. Yes, that is indeed important and something you need to keep in mind.
Charlie plops down at the table and starts reading the paper, and he’s obviously pissed off at it. Turns out that Seattle is having a murder problem. What? Something related to the plot so soon? Well, color me surprised. Bella serves up dinner and does everything she can to emphasize how horrible and disgusting it is, because that’s what Suethors do—put everyone around them down to make themselves look better. While she eats, she decides now is a good time to not only show off how LITERARY she is, but also bring up this particular book’s “parallel”—it’s Wuthering Heights! She reads that for a bit, and then Charlie finally gets to the point.
Turns out Charlie wants to talk to her about Jacob and Wardo. Bella gets pissy immediately, and the exchange is pretty disgusting, because it is quite clear who’s in charge here—Bella has no respect whatsoever for her father. She negates her previous comment about suffering silently by bemoaning her sentence, and Charlie says that this conversation is also about her grounding. Then…yeah, this has to be quoted.
"Okay." He sighed, raising his hands as if in surrender. "So I'm thinking maybe you deserve a parole for good behavior. For a teenager, you're amazingly non-whiney."
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.
Charlie, did you somehow just completely forget about the events of New Moon? Or do you live in a world where whining has to be somehow vocalized for it to be classified as whining? Because a person can be a bratty, whining, petulant little turd and still be completely silent.
And Meyer? These are your characters. You can move their mouths and make them say the words. But that’s not going to make us believe them in any way if you don’t back up said words with proof. And while Charlie supposedly doesn’t see the whining that Bella does, we, the readers, do. Here, allow me to make a list of all the things she’s whined about.
- Forks being too wet.
- Not being pretty enough.
- Being too clumsy.
- Her parents not understaaaaaaaaanding her.
- All the boys liking her.
- Not having any friends.
- Having to move (even though it was her choice in the first place).
- Wardo not liking her.
- Wardo confusing her.
- James tracking her.
- Wardo not changing her into a vampire (yeah, we hear that a LOT).
- Rosalie not liking her.
- Wardo leaving her (and that one lasted for an ENTIRE BOOK).
- Wardo not loving her anymore (same as above for length).
- Jacob supposedly abandoning her.
- Jacob liking her.
- Jacob thinking vampires are his enemy.
- Not getting to see Wardo any time she likes.
- The fact that Wardo and Jacob don’t like each other.
- Jacob not taking her abuse like the bitch he’s supposed to be.
That’s a long list, Meyer, and probably incomplete, even up to this point. We haven’t even gotten to all of the stuff she will whine about in the near future. Your character is SUPREMELY whiny—oh, sorry. Whiney. I have no idea why you spelled it that way when “whiny” works just as well.
*reads ahead* Oh, this is great. Charlie calls her “un-whiney”, and look what she does less than five short sentences later.
My voice and eyebrows shot up. "Seriously? I'm free?"
Where was this coming from? I'd been positive I would be under house arrest until I actually moved out, and Edward hadn't picked up any wavering in Charlie's thoughts…
Charlie held up one finger. "Conditionally."
The enthusiasm vanished. "Fantastic," I groaned.
Charlie decides to start letting up on her punishment, but when Bella finds out it’s not complete freedom, like she wanted? She whines. So much for enduring her punishment in silence.
Charlie then clarifies and says he’s actually giving her almost complete freedom, and then starts making sense, saying that she pretty much spends all of her time with Wardo. Bella points out that she spends time with Alice, as she is allowed to do whatever she wants in Charlie’s house because, as Alice is almost as much of a Sue as Bella, she can talk Charlie into anything. Charlie shifts gears and reminds Bella that there are people who aren’t Cullens that she used to be friends with, and I wish Meyer would just have him get to the point—he wants Bella to date the werewolf down the street, rather than the rich vampire, and all of this basically amuses me. Because, as much as people say Wardo has that bad boy “I can change him, Mama!” allure, it’s actually Jacob who’s the traditional greaser bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, not rich upstanding whitey over there, and here’s Charlie, encouraging her to date him. Pfft.
Charlie asks about Angela, and Bella smugly says when she last spoke with her, which was recently. And…that’s when things get entirely too disgusting to sum up.
Before Edward's return, my school friends had polarized into two groups. I liked to think of those groups as good vs. evil. Us and them worked, too. The good guys were Angela, her steady boyfriend Ben Cheney, and Mike Newton; these three had all very generously forgiven me for going crazy when Edward left. Lauren Mallory was the evil core of the them side, and almost everyone else, including my first friend in Forks, Jessica Stanley, seemed content to go along with her anti-Bella agenda. With Edward back at school, the dividing line had become even more distinct.
Edward's return had taken its toll on Mike's friendship, but Angela was unswervingly loyal, and Ben followed her lead. Despite the natural aversion most humans felt toward the Cullens, Angela sat dutifully beside Alice every day at lunch. After a few weeks, Angela even looked comfortable there. It was difficult not to be charmed by the Cullens—once one gave them the chance to be charming.
Who the hell thinks like this? Who the hell thinks that anybody who dares not like them, the clear good, is evil? Who the hell says that a person who doesn’t take their shit and forgive them for anything they do is clearly in the wrong and the bad guy and a total bitch?! Who the hell talks about their supposed friends as if they were minions, talking about loyalty and other shit like that?! If you do think like this, you march your sorry butt straight out of my LJ—I’ll not have you and your arrogance tainting my webspace. Not to mention that it is clear who “us” pertains to—the ones with the Truest of True Loves, the ones who either found a relationship and stuck with it or steadfastly remain abstinent because the one they want for their True Love is taken. The ones that constitute “them” are those whores that date around and actively pursue a man instead of waiting patiently for a man to come along and scoop them up.
And I see Meyer is taking a few swipes at the people who were less than, erm, “charmed” by her precious Cullens—I’m just not giving them a chance, is all. Well, fuck you.
Finally, Charlie gets to the point and brings up Jacob. Bella quickly cuts him off and is impatient and rude to him, even though he is lifting her punishment a bit—so grateful. Charlie once again makes sense: “I don’t think you should dump all your other friends for your boyfriend, Bella.” Unfortunately, Charlie, she will be doing just that soon enough. Sorry she’s not taking any of these words to heart.
Actually, none of it matters—Bella has absolutely no friends. Only minions.
Charlie continues to be awesome by bringing up the events of New Moon, and man, I guess Charlie’s doing his best to stuff in some awesome before Meyer decides to shit all over his character:
"Well," he said defensively. "If you'd had more of a life outside of Edward Cullen, it might not have been like that."
It’s lovely. *basks*
Bella insists that “it would have been exactly like that”, meaning she completely missed the point of what he was saying because…dude, SHE HAD/HAS NO LIFE OUTSIDE OF WARDO. Charlie reminds her not to forget her friends, that’s his only stipulation to freeing her up and letting her outside of the house, and it is seriously getting on my nerves because Charlie won’t just come out and say that he wants her to date Jacob instead of Wardo. Things would be so much easier.
Oh—he heard me. Jacob is brought up. Bella says that Jacob will be “difficult”, prompting Charlie to ask if she even misses him; she confirms that she does, and, as she can’t say it’s a werewolf versus vampire thing, she says it’s because Jacob wants to be more than friends.
"Isn't Edward up for a little healthy competition?" Charlie's voice was sarcastic now.
*darkly* Goodbye, Charlie. You will be missed.
Bella gives him a Mary Sue Death Glare and says that “there’s no competition”. Yeah, we know—why people thought that there was is beyond me; it was obvious where she was going with this from day one—particularly if you take into account that Meyer has admitted that Jacob really wasn’t anything more than a plot device in the first book, and her editor convinced her to expand him. Anyway, Charlie says that Jacob is having trouble and is extremely depressed and it’s ALL BELLA’S FAULT, so she should drop that zero and get with the hero. He AGAIN reiterates that Jacob is awesome, and then abruptly “[closes] the subject with no attempt at subtlety” and says she’s got mail. Yeah, you’d know all about having no subtlety, wouldn’t you, Meyer? Anyway, turns out it’s an acceptance letter from the University of Alaska Southeast. Bella is pleased, because, hey, it’s gonna be far away and overcast. She also hints that Wardo will probably be joining her. There is some brief discussion about paying for tuition, books, and room and board, but Bella handwaves it and makes it pretty clear that, despite the acceptance letter, she really has no intention of going to college.
Charlie has a brief moment of intuitiveness and inquires as to what Wardo will be doing after he graduates. And speak of the devil—there he is, knocking at the door. Bella races to answer it, smugly ignoring Charlie’s obvious distaste.
I wrenched the door out of my way—ridiculously eager—and there he was, my personal miracle. Time had not made me immune to the perfection of his face, and I was sure that I would never take any aspect of him for granted. My eyes traced over his pale white features: the hard square of his jaw, the softer curve of his full lips—twisted up into a smile now, the straight line of his nose, the sharp angle of his cheekbones, the smooth marble span of his forehead—partially obscured by a tangle of rain-darkened bronze hair…
I saved his eyes for last, knowing that when I looked into them I was likely to lose my train of thought. They were wide, warm with liquid gold, and framed by a thick fringe of black lashes. Staring into his eyes always made me feel extraordinary—sort of like my bones were turning spongy. I was also a little lightheaded, but that could have been because I'd forgotten to keep breathing. Again.
It was a face any male model in the world would trade his soul for. Of course, that might be exactly the asking price: one soul.
Oh, yay. That just makes me feel all tingly.
They have their tender, touching moment, and Wardo spends some time sniffing Bella, and that’s not at all creepy, especially when you take into account that Bella smells like the baconiest bacon ever. Personally, this whole exchange reminds me of the story somebody once related where a girl’s boyfriend was sneaking into her room at night and sniffing her underwear to check and see if she’d had unauthorized arousal.
*pleasantly* Moving on.
Bella marvels at how that “simple gesture” must take a “Herculean effort”. No, it doesn’t. Meyer pretty much dropped the whole “Bella Smells Like Bacon” subplot by New Moon. You keep bringing it up, but we see absolutely no evidence of Bella and Wardo courting disaster by way of a Great Nomming. Anyway, Bella brings up again that she will be vamped soon, and then Charlie stomps his way into the room.
"Good evening, Charlie." Edward was always flawlessly polite, though Charlie didn't deserve it.
Oh, yes. Always polite—never condescending and disrespectful, oh, no. He would never act smug and superior to Charlie, and constantly revel in his ability to read Charlie’s mind along with the fact that Meyer spends most of her time dumbing down Charlie so Wardo can constantly zing him without exerting himself too much.
Wardo has brought more college applications, and Bella expresses displeasure upon hearing that. Wardo also heavily implies that he can probably bribe Bella’s way into pretty much any college if necessary. *sigh*
So, they move into the kitchen to fill out college applications, and for some reason, Wardo and Bella share a significant look when she moves Wuthering Heights out of the way. Yes, they too know that this story will somehow be compared to that one. Charlie interrupts their significant look and, after Meyer again heavily hits us with the CHARLIE DOESN’T LIKE WARDO bat, asks what Wardo’s plans for college are. Wardo is incredibly smug and I am really surprised Charlie doesn’t just pistolwhip him. He talks about his acceptance letters, mostly Ivy League schools, and then the smarm just oozes off of him when he says he got accepted to the University of Alaska Southeast today. Charlie tells him he should go to an Ivy League, because, after all, Carlisle would approve, and… *snarls furiously*
I HATE THESE TWO MOTHERFUCKERS.
"Carlisle's always fine with whatever I choose to do," Edward told him serenely.
"Guess what, Edward?" I asked in a bright voice, playing along.
I pointed to the thick envelope on the counter. "I just got my acceptance to the University of Alaska!"
"Congratulations!" He grinned. "What a coincidence."
There you go, folks. That right there pretty much sets the whole tone of this goddamned book. Wardo and Bella strutting about, pompously declaring how much better they are than everybody else.
I. AM. GOING. TO. KILL THEM.
Charlie exits to go watch some sports game, declares a time limit on their little session with the apps, and Bella immediately strong-arms him into letting her have an extra hour with Wardo. My gawd, you little creep, what does it matter? He’s going to sneak into your bedroom anyway. Speaking of, Wardo acts all surprised to discover that Bella’s no longer grounded and Charlie essentially tells him to butt out, but he continues to be very smug and condescending to his future father-in-law, seeing as that’s the best way to win over a guy who obviously hates you—treat him like an inferior life form. Wardo mentions Alice taking Bella out to the city, and Charlie pitches a fit and declares Seattle unsafe and that he doesn’t want his daughter there. Bella is extraordinarily disdainful of her father’s concern, and Wardo interrupts and says that he’d intended it to be Port Angeles, not Seattle. Charlie then exits, stage right.
Wardo gives her another application to fill out while reading the newspaper, and Bella says that she’s definitely not Dartmouth material. Wardo is patiently patronizing, insisting that she fill it out, and Bella actually stands up for herself and says that she is not filling out the application. So what does Wardo do?
I reached for the papers, planning to crumple them into a suitable shape for lobbing at the trashcan, but they were already gone. I stared at the empty table for a moment, and then at Edward. He didn't appear to have moved, but the application was probably already tucked away in his jacket.
"What are you doing?" I demanded.
"I sign your name better than you do yourself. You've already written the essays."
You know, I hate her lack of ambition. I hate her lack of goals, save for being beautiful and immortal and powerful and invincible and rich. I hate the fact that she has absolutely no interest in school whatsoever despite the fact that we are constantly being told about how smart and intelligent and literary and yadda yadda yadda she is. I hate all of that. But you know what? I hate Wardo’s controlling attitude much more. As stupid as a choice it is, she has MADE THE CHOICE. And Wardo WON’T LET HER.
I hate that bastard.
Bella says that she doesn’t need to apply anywhere else because what will the point be after she’s changed into a vampire? Wardo is continuing to hem-haw around when it comes to changing her, and Bella says that it’s for safety’s sake that they change her, seeing as she’s got Victoria after her and the Catholics are still probably thinking about her. She’s also rather smug in the fact that she’d already “won this argument”, and—hey, a time reference! It’s apparently a few weeks from graduation.
And then, for some reason, Bella starts thinking about her parents and Jacob and how she’s going to have to say goodbye to them. Dude, she’s given them no consideration thus far, right up to the point of demanding to be changed at the Cullen’s house after the vote, or even on an airplane on the way to Italy—why the sudden consideration for the stupid icky humans and the loser werewolf? Bella says that she is in a hurry to get changed, because she “[wants] to be a monster, too”. Wardo does not take kindly to the joke and shoves the newspaper in Bella’s face, revealing the headline about Seattle’s current murder rate. Bella, being an idiot, doesn’t make the connection until Wardo all but spells it out for her, and he quickly says that these murders are clearly the work of a newborn vampire who’s been let loose in the city. Then Wardo completely contradicts himself:
"Well, it's not our problem. We wouldn't even pay attention to the situation if wasn't going on so close to home. Like I said, this happens all the time. The existence of monsters results in monstrous consequences."
Yeah, uh, Wardo? You’re whole “Oh, we’re monsters” thing loses pretty much all of its remorseful connotations when you declare the situation not your problem, indicating that you pretty much don’t care at all. Which he doesn’t.
Bella then starts mourning the five people dead thus far, because now they’ve become people, seeing as they have names. Because, remember, in the previous two books, she didn’t give people being murdered a second thought, because they didn’t have names. But now that they have names, well, it’s murder and a terrible thing.
…oh my God. It’s Buffalo Bill. Bella Swan is a fucking sociopath.
Well, the thing Bella is most worried about is how she doesn’t want to be like that when she’s turned, and starts going off about where they’ll move to when she gets changed. Selfish bint. Bella then pushes the paper away because she’s tired of looking at the negatives associated with vampirism. We are then reminded of Wardo’s family choices:
He and his "vegetarian" family—all committed to protecting human life—preferred the flavor of large predators for satisfying their dietary needs.
“Preferred”. There it is again—there’s pretty much no sacrifice involved, Meyer. As such, it really doesn’t make your vampires eating animals all that superior to the ones that don’t. It isn’t a hard choice to make, and they really don’t care if they’re protecting people. They’re not making any sacrifice, and they mostly do it so they can consider themselves better than everybody else. That’s pretty much it. And a good deed done for the sake of yourself is not a good deed.
Anyway. Wardo brings up the fact that they can eat polar bears up in Alaska (the endangered species list does not equal the wine list, Wardo), and then he also brings up the wolves. Bella is immediately ALL OFFENDED, and Wardo is briefly confused before he gets falsely apologetic for his “slip up”. Naturally, Bella bears him no ill will, because God forbid she be angry at WARDO. He continues to pretend to be sorry, and then Bella admits that she was doing something Wardo does not permit, and that’s thinking of Jacob. Why, it’s Mr. Charrington of the Thought Police! Off to the Ministry of Love, Bella—can’t have you thinking things that Wardo doesn’t approve of! Big Wardo is watching you! *spits*
Bella then starts saying that it’s her fault that Jacob is hurting at the moment—yeah, we know, Bella. Too bad you’re only saying that so somebody will disagree with you, and Wardo promptly does, mostly to try and dissuade her from wanting to go see Jacob. Bella starts to insist that she go see Jacob, and Wardo immediately cuts across her with A Look and uses a strawman argument by saying that if she goes over to Jacob, it’ll be ALL HER FAULT when war breaks out between the werewolves and the vampires because she HAS to be protected. You know, never mind all those times she was hanging out with the werewolves before. No, no, it’s too dangerous now. Wardo then closes the subject and changes quickly over to Wuthering Heights. Yep, time to draw some parallels, because Meyer is so good at that. Wardo starts bashing it, and it’s pretty clear that, due to the informal way of speaking, Wardo has turned into a mouthpiece for Meyer regarding the novel. He calls it “a hate story”, and then asks why on earth it appeals to Bella. Heaven forbid that somebody like something that he doesn’t, eh?
So, do you think Bella talks about how she thinks the style is good, or that she thinks it’s well-written? Does she maybe talk about characterization, plot, themes, anything like that?
His sincere curiosity disarmed me. "I'm not sure," I said, scrambling for coherency while his gaze unintentionally scattered my thoughts. "I think it's something about the inevitability. How nothing can keep them apart—not her selfishness, or his evil, or even death, in the end…"
There you go—she simply finds a way to somehow relate it to herself and Wardo. Because that’s all Meyer does with the books she tries to compare her own work to.
They banter about how neither one of them have any redeeming qualities, and I just want to shake them both because they don’t have any either and you know, some people like flawed characters—why do you think Pulp Fiction is so damned popular?
Then Meyer decides that we just haven’t had enough sexism in this story yet—I mean, Wardo deciding where Bella goes to college and when she gets turned into a vampire and where she goes just wasn’t enough.
"Well, I hope you're smart enough to stay away from someone so selfish. Catherine is really the source of all the trouble, not Heathcliff."
"I'll be on my guard," he promised.
Yeah, the way Heathcliff did his best to destroy everything in Catherine’s life—that was all her fault. He’s totally faultless. As if a man could be responsible for any kind of bad behavior! No, no, it’s all because a woman somehow tempted him into doing it. For SHAME, you evil harlots!
Bella does not allow Wardo to distract her for long, though—she quickly reiterates her desire to go see Jacob, and Wardo immediately forbids it. She tries to convince him that it isn’t dangerous, but can’t help but think about Paul when he Paul’d out on her and Jacob had to go fight with him to save her, along with Emily’s scarred visage. Wardo is smugly triumphant, because he knows she is lying, and says: “Werewolves are unstable. Sometimes, the people near them get hurt. Sometimes, they get killed.”
Yeah, about that, Wardo…nah, I’ll save it for chapter two.
Bella insists that they aren’t like that, so Wardo pulls the superiority card again by saying that he knows them better than she does because he was here for the first wolf pack so many years ago, randomly bringing up Ephraim Black and how he was the one they made the treaty with, and really words it so that it sounds like the werewolves didn’t want peace at all and goes on about how awesome vampires are. Propaganda, much? So, Wardo goes on for a bit more, saying that he thought the line had died out, then tries to blame it resurfacing on Bella’s bad luck.
Bella quickly informs him that it was actually the Cullens who brought the werewolves back, and Wardo gets all pissy that the werewolves would dare blame him and his family for anything. Bella uses a little something called logic for once and proves that it makes a lot of sense to assume that it’s the vampires that cause the werewolves to pop. Wardo stops being all pissy, and then immediately says that Bella still ain’t going to see Jacob, because he doesn’t approve and he’s in charge and she’s just going to do as he says. Bella easily makes up some excuses for him, saying that he just doesn’t understand.
Yeah, when Charlie tries to exert authority? She bows up and threatens him and cows him into doing as she wants. When Wardo does? Meekly submits and writes off his behavior as perfectly reasonable.
Bella continues to try and beg and plea for an opportunity to see Jacob, because, hey, asserting one’s self is for foul and disgusting feminazis and Meyer frowns upon women like that. Bella insists that she cares for Jacob and that he is hurting, and that she owes him at least a visit because of all he did for her before. Wardo immediately goes into a new tactic—he pulls out the cat o’ nine and starts flogging himself for leaving Bella, because there is nothing like a good guilt trip. That doesn’t work as well as he’d hoped, so he tries the derogatory route—sorry for so many quotes, but you can’t sum this shit up:
"If I'd never left, you wouldn't feel the need to go risk your life to comfort a dog."
I flinched. I was used to Jacob and all his derogatory slurs—bloodsucker, leech, parasite… Somehow it sounded harsher in Edward's velvet voice.
This right here is the last we ever hear of Bella being affected in any way whatsoever to the fact that most of the vampires spend their spare time belittling the werewolves and think they are essentially animals, which is…pretty much racism, I tend to think. The werewolves at least have a somewhat legitimate hatred—the Cullens are pretty much the only vampires they have ever encountered that aren’t murdering bastards, and we later find out that the vampire hatred is very well-founded. The Cullens hate the werewolves…for kind of no reason at all other than the fact that they are arrogant bigots who think werewolves are some kind of lesser species.
And even then, Bella’s dislike of Wardo speaking badly of Jacob isn’t much—notice how she doesn’t dare voice any kind of defense, or say that it is actually wrong? She will, however, berate the werewolves for speaking badly of the vampires.
So, Wardo continues to be a manipulative snake and says that he is only keeping her from seeing Jacob because he refuses to “tolerate anything dangerous” because he has “come too close to losing [Bella] in the past” and he “knows what it feels like to think [he has]”.
Uh…Wardo? I hate to be on Bella’s side in any capacity, but, um…so does she. Remember, she thought you left her, and then you nearly got yourself killed by the Catholics…? Do you see her trying to lock you up in a glass box (yet)?
Bella still won’t go for it, so he tries the worst trick in the book—the good old fashioned “If you loved me, you’d do it” trick. No, he doesn’t phrase it exactly like that, but the sentiment is clearly there.
That strikes a personal chord with me. Eat shit, Wardo. Eat shit and like it. Fuck you up the bum with a saguaro cactus. You are a conniving, self-centered asshole.
And Bella? I hate you almost as much for not calling him out on that bullshit.
After seeing red for a moment, it finally cleared enough where I could see them exchanging loving comments. Because it’s not abuse if he does it out of love. Wardo again lays down the edict of “no werewolves”, Bella tries to stand up for herself again, and Wardo declares that he’ll easily stop her from doing that. Instead of calling her father in and getting some leverage, or deciding right then that she’s go see Jacob and telling him to just try and stop her in front of her father, she meekly goes along with it.
We end with Bella contemplating Jacob’s note—the one that opened this chapter—that is still in her pocket.
Words cannot describe how much I hate Wardo and Bella at this point. I think I hate Wardo more, though. Amazing—I hated Bella so much in New Moon, and all it took was one chapter for me to hate Wardo that much more.
See you guys in Chapter 2 – Evasion.
Paul Count: 1
Stinger: “"Well," he said defensively. "If you'd had more of a life outside of Edward Cullen, it might not have been like that."”
( Chapter 2 - Evasion )