The last two chapters had me Pauling out a total of eight times and one instance of glowering like the sky. They were very enraging chapters.
But we’ve no time for that—let’s find out exactly who it was who broke into Bella’s house to wait for her.
Chapter 17 – Visitor
Remember all the purple prose of the previous book about how beautiful and perfect and flawless and gorgeous and marble and cold and attractive and wonderful vampires are, from their hair to their skin to their eyes to their voices to their breath? And that, while she generally describes all vampires like that, she’s particularly bad about doing that with vampires she loves? And remember how we haven’t much of that, because the vampires left after three chapters?
Well, Alice is back. And so’s the purple prose.
Bella nearly collapses at the sight of her and then leaps into Alice’s arms, and then we get a good long description of her marbleness, her whiteness, her eyes, her smell, and all that—told you it was back. Bella bursts into tears and just sits there and sobs like crazy, sticking her body all under Alice’s nose, despite the fact that she’s quite obviously very hungry. Bella apologizes for not noticing sooner, and then Alice glares and demands to know why Bella is still alive. Bella then realizes that must be why Alice came back to Forks, because “[Alice] saw [her] fall”. Alice goes, “Nuh-UH, bitch,” and says it was clearly a jump, not a fall. Then she says that she knew Bella would try to kill herself, The Goddamned Hole™ is brought up when Alice somehow manages to imitate Wardo’s voice precisely, and then she says that, just because she wasn’t actively looking at Bella’s future, they are so “attuned” that she can’t help but see things that happen to her.
Is that so? So…why didn’t she foresee Laurent killing Bella? Why didn’t we have this reunion back in chapter 12 or 13? Why just this particular vision? Care to explain, Meyer? And NO, I don’t want one of your long, drawn-out, half-assed explanations that you usually give to try and hand-wave whatever you’ve fucked up—I want you to say out loud the reason you do everything in your novels, I want you to fess up to the driving force behind every action and thought: BECAUSE IT’S CONVENIENT.
So, Alice continues to exposit and say that, even though she knew she would be too late, she came down here anyway, maybe to help Charlie get through Bella’s death, and then shazam, Bella is there, even though Alice saw her go into the water, but didn’t see her come back up. Alice then asks what Bella was thinking, and how she could even think to do that to everybody, to Charlie, and more importantly, how Wardo would feel about that. Bella decides now would be a good time to drum up an excuse, and, after telling us how beautiful and perfect Alice’s voice is, she claims that she wasn’t committing suicide, that she was just cliff diving because she was bored and thought it would be fun and that she hadn’t been thinking of the water at all when she jumped.
So…you jumped with no thought to what would break your fall at the bottom.
Bella, it’s a suicide attempt. You jumped off of a cliff with no thought to whether or not you would survive when you hit the bottom.
Fortunately, Alice agrees with us, so Bella switches tactics and changes the subject, asking why Alice didn’t see Jacob pull her out of the water. Alice looks all contemplative, and then starts sniffing Bella while asking who’d she’d been arguing with outside before she’d come in. Bella says that she’d been talking with Jacob, and spares a brief thought for him and what their relationship is going to be like now before going right back to concentrating on Alice. Alice then asks how Jacob managed to pull Bella out of the water if the currents had been sucking her under and out. Here’s Bella’s train of thought and reaction:
I gnawed on my lip for a second. Was this a secret, or not? And if it was, then who was my greatest allegiance to? Jacob, or Alice?
It was too hard to keep secrets, I decided. Jacob knew everything, why not Alice, too?
And then she tells Alice all about the werewolves.
So…lemme get this straight. When Jacob obviously knows that the Cullens are vampires and makes it quite clear that he knows all about their secrets, Bella is closed-mouth and refuses to say anything about them, but when Alice briefly wonders how Jacob managed to save Bella, she immediately spills every single one of Jacob’s secrets because keeping his is just too hard.
While I think it’s incredibly stupid that Alice didn’t know about the werewolves at all (the Cullens move back to Forks and neglect to mention to their new members the treaty, along with why and how it was created? That’s just asking for trouble), I just want to smack Bella as hard as I can for that.
Alice accepts the news readily, and says that Bella stinks, but doesn’t really concentrate much on that because she’s rather irritated that she didn’t see Jacob in her visions. Then Alice joins us in the present and registers that Bella said her best friend is a werewolf, and when she expresses disapproval, Bella gets all defensive—it’s supposedly in defense of Jacob, but in reality it sounds like she’s trying to defend the fact that she was daring to hang out with another boy who wasn’t Wardo. Alice continues to berate her, saying that young werewolves are dangerous—and gad, this makes no sense. She didn’t know about the werewolves, and now all of the sudden she’s an expert on the werewolves? And isn’t this a clear case of pot/kettle?
Bella says that “there’s nothing wrong with werewolves”. Yes, unless they’re hating on your precious vampires, right? Anyway, Alice brushes that aside and continues to generally irritate me, because while I appreciate her being the first person in this book to actively tell Bella she’s an idiot and that it’s pretty much her own fault for all the danger she gets into, she’s doing it for all of the wrong reasons and she’s being rather patronizing about it. But Bella doesn’t care about that, and doesn’t want to argue with Alice for she is perfect (no, that’s not a joke). Bella argues anyway, saying that the werewolves were actually protecting her from Laurent and Victoria, and Alice goes all bitchface and demands to hear the whole story. Note that Bella is “a teensy bit alarmed” by Alice’s vampire bitchface, but is always terrified of Jacob’s werewolf bitchface. So, we summarize the entire story Bella tells by simply writing what she did tell and what she didn’t tell. She skips all the parts where she was being a complete moron and trying to get herself killed for the sake of hearing Imaginary!Wardo, and when Alice looks all suspicious, she again changes the subject to Victoria’s Jesus impression. Bella takes another brief moment to think about somebody else for a change, feeling “borrowed grief at Harry’s passing” and wondering how Charlie is. Then Alice speaks again.
"Our leaving didn't do you any good at all, did it?" Alice murmured.
I laughed once—it was a slightly hysterical sound. "That was never the point, though, was it? It's not like you left for my benefit."
Alice scowled at the floor for a moment. "Well… I guess I acted impulsively today. I probably shouldn't have intruded."
I could feel the blood draining from my face. My stomach dropped. "Don't go, Alice," I whispered. My fingers locked around the collar of her white shirt and I began to hyperventilate. "Please don't leave me."
Hmm. I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw by Gahan Wilson, talking about a new doll called the Weeny Whiny, which clings to the legs of passers-by and, well, whines. “There are damned few that can walk away!” says the manager.
Bet you missed that hyperventilation, didn’t you?
(Bella? What do you mean that wasn’t the point? Oh, wait—you’re a completely braindead bint who still doesn’t know that Wardo was lying when he said he wasn’t interested in you anymore and that he did, in fact, leave you for your own good—which just amuses me, because he prefaced his little “Gotta go, babe” speech with the fact that he was leaving her for her own good, and when that didn’t work, he just told her he didn’t love her anymore.)
Alice says she isn’t going anywhere, and then says that Bella looks awful. Bella says that she’s “doing her best” (she’s not), and goes into nasty bitch mode and tells Alice off for even thinking that she might make an effort to be happy and move on once they left and basically calls her an idiot. That’s when the phone rings, and instead of going to the kitchen alone to answer it, she drags Alice with her because she is clinging, clinging like a little louse. It turns out to be Jacob, who’s just checking in to make sure that Bella’s still alive. He gets confirmation and hangs up. Alice is pretty aware that the werewolves aren’t exactly pleased to have her there, and Bella says that “it’s none of their business”.
*rubs head* Bella? Just what is their business, then? You seem to decide what is and what isn’t pretty much everyone’s business, right down to what your father’s business is regarding your behavior and actions, even though you live under his roof and eat his food and drive a truck that he bought you and spend his money and the fact that he is your legal guardian and your father. And now you can apparently decide that vampires—the entire reason the werewolves and the treaty exist in the first place—aren’t their business. So why don’t you tell us what is their business? Why don’t you tell us what everyone’s business is? You appear to be the authoritaty figure for Forks and the world at large, so let’s get all that out on the table now so we don’t have to go back to it later.
Alice wonders what to do, and says she needs to talk to Carlisle. Bella cliiiiiiiiiings again and begs Alice to stay, and, as even marble sparklepires have spines that turn to so much marshmallow fluff when Bella starts up that harpy whine (and I almost don’t blame them, because GAD, even though I’m only reading it, when she starts whining it’s like she’s driving an ice pick into my ear), she agrees. But Alice does say that she’ll have to get clothes and go chow down on some animals, briefly does her future-thing to See what’s going to happen in the next hour to make sure Bella doesn’t go do something stupid, promises about fifty bazillon times that she’ll be back in an hour because Bella is still in total cliiiiiiiiiiiiing mode, and then probably leaps out the window.
Bella goes through the laundry list for us while we wait—you know, that “I did this. Then I did this. And then I did this. Because this happened, I would need to do this” style of writing that Meyer’s so fond of. I’ll not bore you with the details, because there aren’t any—the hour is summed up in less than half a page before Alice returns ahead of schedule, already sitting on the couch where Bella has set up a little bed for her to pretend to sleep on, and Bella notes that her eyes are “a liquid butterscotch”. Bet you missed that, too. So, Bella and Alice start snuggling, and I seriously expect some “walk-a-chicken” sounds to start up and those two to start totally making out (which, let’s face it, no matter which team you bat for, would be totally hotter than Wardo’s premarital snuggling-through-blankets). Bella then repeats that she’s been “trying [her] hardest” (she hasn’t), before asking if Wardo knows Alice came down here and then starts whining about her pain and all that bullshit.
Alice says that he doesn’t, and that he’s usually off on his own. Bella thinks that “he must still be out enjoying his distractions”. *rolls eyes—like, a lot* Alice then says that she’d flown in from Denali, but all conversation ends quickly when Charlie arrives home.
Question—if Alice flew in from Denali, why does she have Carlisle’s car?
Bella puts on a front, pretending to care about Harry’s demise, and let’s Charlie mourn for about three sentences before bounding back in to show that Alice is home. Alice says that she’s sorry she came at such a bad time, and Charlie unsubtlely asks if Wardo is around, too—Alice denies it. Bella then whines at Charlie for permission to let Alice to stay, and Charlie just kind of “eh’s” at them before going into the kitchen to eat dinner. Alice remarks that Bella still looks pretty shitty, to which she replies, “Near-death experiences do that to me”. Nice thing to say, Bella—especially since Harry’s dead and all. Then we exposit some more about who doesn’t know that Alice is here, which includes pretty much everybody. Bella then thinks about how tired she is, and continually refers to what happened to her today as actual drowning—no, not near-drowning, she says she did drown: “Drowning really had taken a lot out of me”. Hello, Airhead.
Wait—I think Airhead’s with us even more. Um…when are we? Is it still conveniently spring break? Or did Meyer just forget that there is indeed something such as school in existence, like Airhead did?
So, Bella falls asleep much more peacefully than she ever did when Jacob was trying to chase her nightmares away, because werewolves are losers and vampires totally rule. And then Bella overhears Charlie and Alice talking and we get to experience that classic and clichéd routine where the heroine overhears people talking about her and extolling her virtues even though she has absolutely none.
Alice asks how bad it was, and Bella dimwittedly tries to mislead us by saying she must be asking about the Clearwaters—which is stupid, because Harry’s death was a plot device. People have mourned that particular death for a maximum of one page before going back to Bella. Anyway, Charlie says it was “real bad” and then Alice demands to hear every detail—which is obviously yet another contrivance so that we, the readers, can hear exactly what happened in those four blank months—remember, when the book went blank? Yeah, I’ll bet you were REALLY wanting to know what happened during that particular bout of wangst.
So, Charlie begins by saying he was considering putting Bella in the nuthouse or something, because “she wouldn’t eat or drink, she wouldn’t move”, and that she was basically “catatonic” for an entire week.
Airhead? If I may, again, please?
For the next three days, Ariana continued wasting away. She didn’t eat at all, and she barely drank. She hardly left her bed. She didn’t even go to class. Even though it had only been a few days, she had lost a lot of weight. When Maria and Patty weren’t around, Kitty managed to force Ariana to drink a little. She would try to get Ariana to say something, but she just lay there, silently. Mostly, she slept. At least while sleeping she could escape from everything that had happened. And going for days without food had left her too weak to do much else.
Sprite and Nefertari were with her most of the time, trying in their own ways to comfort her. But every time she would see her rings on the bedside table (Kitty had found them on the floor and put them there) she would start crying again.
Remus and Severus were really worried about her by now. They hadn’t seen her at meals or classes at all. Severus had tried several times to contact her through the journals, but she never replied.
Airhead, Year 7, “Ariana and the Prophesy of Gaea”. That is after she and Neville “break up” for a week. And for that entire week, Airhead does not eat, does not drink, does not go to class, does not speak to anybody. And, of course, doesn’t get in trouble for skipping school.
Charlie then exposits that he’d called Renee and had arranged for her to take her back to Florida pretty much because he didn’t want to deal with Bella anymore—and, while ordinarily I’d be pissed at Meyer for once again flushing Charlie’s character down the toilet, I’m actually on his side at this point. My daughter acted this way over a boy she’d known for less than a year, especially one that treated me the way Wardo treats Charlie (and, for that matter, the way he treats Bella)? I’d kick her ass out, too. Anyway—then the story gets funny. Apparently, the minute Bella saw them packing her clothes and getting her ready to go to Florida, she flipped out and pitched a huge fit, complete with clothes-tossing, screaming, and bawling. Of course, nobody chastised her—because nobody chastises Bella in this story unless Meyer decides to have someone do it without real cause for angst purposes. Anyway—the concept of Bella flinging clothes at her parents and screaming amused me greatly, because…dude, the girl that, according to the text, is older mentally than she is physically, just threw a tantrum worthy of a three-year-old.
Bella breaks in to remind us that she is there listening, and says that she feels bad for hurting Charlie like she did. Oh, AS IF, you bint. Charlie tells some more about what went down with Bella, and we learn that she threw all of her CDs away, refused to read, and would not watch TV—because all of those things remind her of Wardo. And, naturally, Charlie walked on egg shells around her the entire time instead of smacking her upside the head and telling her to grow a goddamned spine. Hey, Bella—I think breathing probably reminds you of Wardo, too—I mean, you noted how you breathed every time he was near you. Why don’t you stop doing that? Charlie then uses an actual zombie comparison and Alice apologizes. Charlie makes it pretty clear that she isn’t the one he wants to apologize for this particular disaster (and I was like, yeah, Bella totally owes everybody some serious booty-kissing for this).
And then he goes on about how awesome Jacob is, and Bella helpfully tells us that he’s hinting that Alice had best pass that little message along to Wardo. He continues to sing Jacob’s praises, and then laments that he truly doesn’t understand Bella’s pain.
Ahem. Excuse me for a moment.
ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME, MEYER, THAT CHARLIE DOESN’T COMPREHEND BELLA’S ETERNAL SORROW????!!!! CHARLIE’S WIFE—WHO HE’S SUPPOSEDLY STILL IN LOVE WITH TO THIS DAY, MANY YEARS LATER—LEFT HIM AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS OF MARRIAGE, INSULTED AND BELITTLED HIM ON THE WAY OUT THE DOOR, AND TOOK HIS BABY DAUGHTER WITH HER!!!!!! OH, I GUESS BECAUSE HE DIDN’T JUST DRY UP AND LAY THERE AND GO CATATONIC, THAT MEANS HIS LOVE JUST ISN’T AS PURE AND SPECIAL AND TRUE AS BELLA’S, BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT IF THE PERSON WHO YOU LOVE LEAVES IN ANY CAPACITY, YOU SHOULD JUST CURL UP AND DIE!!!!!!!
*coughs and straightens her shirt* Anyway.
So, Charlie says that when Wardo left, it was pretty much like somebody died, and kind of still is, and Bella helpfully provides that it was she who died, and I believe she is ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMile. Yes, that’s right, focus, focus—now bring it home, Bella: “Because it had been more than just losing the truest of true loves, as if that were not enough to kill anyone. It was also losing a whole future, a whole family—the whole life that I’d chosen…” Bravo, bravo, Bella. I’m pretty sure that’ll win you Best Actress.
Of the Razzies.
Drama aside, I find it pretty amusing (in a wry kind of way) that Bella’s lamenting about that lost life thing. You’d chosen the life of a vampire, huh? Even though pretty much nobody had agreed to change you. I tend to agree with others who’ve said the same thing—you are a perfect Renfield. Your chosen life is to follow around the group of pretty people and worship their every move.
Well, whatever it is, it again makes it pretty clear where her real priorities lie—yeah, it was awful that she lost her One Twu Wub and all, but dammit, she doesn’t get to be pretty and perfect and immortal now!!!
Charlie then laments that he doubts she’ll get over this, because he doesn’t think “it’s in her nature to heal from something like this”, and that “she doesn’t get past things [or] change her mind”. Yeah, no kidding—because she has no personality or ambitions outside of landing her man, and if that fell through, then I guess she’s just boned. Alice then says “she’s one of a kind”.
Erm…no, Alice, she’s not. There are a lot of women like Bella—and every single one of them is absolutely pathetic and they need a dose of the feminist movement in their lives.
Oh, and it feels like Charlie was extolling those particular traits as virtues, rather than flaws.
Charlie says that he’s worried about what effects Alice’s visit will have on Bella. They both worry for a moment, and then Charlie demands to know if Wardo’s gonna show up, too. Alice says he isn’t, because he’s down in South America. Charlie derisively says, “I hope he’s enjoying himself”, and Alice goes bitchface on him and uses those classic Flashing Eyes that no Sue should be without, and basically bullies and frightens Charlie for daring to be angry at Wardo for being a dick.
I’m sorry, but I don’t like you, Alice. Where’s Emmett? I want Emmett back.
Bella decides that she’s heard enough and pretends to wake up. Charlie leaves as soon as she does, because it’s convenient—Bella has no time to deal with her father, because ALICE is here, so Meyer uses any and all contrivances to get him out of the house—this one being a dead guy. How VERY nice, Meyer. So, Alice catches Bella up on what the rest of the Cullens are doing—save Wardo, of course, because we’re still walking on egg shells around Bella’s delicate little psyche—and it turns out that they are pretty much doing what they always do. Carlisle’s being compassionate, Esme is being matronly, Rosalie and Emmett are off having sex, and Jasper is off being vague. Alice, on the other hand, actually did something—she found the asylum she’d previously lived in, and found some info about herself, including her name and living relatives. Turns out her name is Mary Alice Brandon, and that she has a niece in Biloxi. Bella asks if Alice knows how she wound up there, and then goes completely stupid: “What would drive parents to that extreme? Even if their daughter saw visions of the future…”
So, basically, Meyer is saying that Alice wasn’t insane—no, she really was predicting the future, and her parents locked her up because they thought she was a freak—she was otherwise normal, save for the visions.
Anybody else get a “vision” of Alice and Abberline kicking back and chasing the dragon together?
So, then it’s night time again, and now Charlie’s home looking very tired and depressed, because he’s got a funeral for tomorrow. Alice and Bella sleep on the couch together, and damn, I have to wonder if Meyer was catering to her slash fanbase—or maybe she was just angling to get some male readers.
And now it’s morning. DAMMIT. Charlie’s wearing an old suit that’s too small for him now, and, if Meyer had spent more than… *counts* …three sentences on it, that could’ve really been a really poignant moment, a little character development, and maybe some bonding between the Swans. But she doesn’t, and Bella pretends to be asleep as he leaves for the funeral so she doesn’t have to deal with him, and then Alice bounces up and asks what they’re going to do today. Bella decides to clean (being an Emily-in-training, and all); she does so while Alice asks questions about Bella’s life, and is irritated because Bella can’t offer up much about it.
Then the doorbell rings, and, as it surprises Alice, she has a feeling it’s Jacob or some other werewolf who she couldn’t see with her future-thing. So she informs Bella that she’d better hop out of the house to avoid a fight, and Bella stops her in order to inform the audience that Alice can’t See werewolves—you know, because we’re stupid and need everything told to us. Bella tells Alice to stay, because she “was here first” (no, the werewolves were here first, Bella), and Alice declines before leaping out of the window.
And we end our chapter with the doorbell ringing again.
Shall we move on?
Chapter 18 – The Funeral
So, we open up this chapter with Bella’s funeral. It turned out to be Victoria at the door, and she twisted Bella’s head off the instant the door opened.
We should be so lucky.
After Bella tells us how smart Alice is, she opens the door and there’s Jacob. He ain’t happy—in fact, he’s pretty much on the verge of going *poof* right there in front of her, he’s so unhappy about the situation regarding Alice.
Hostility rolled off of him in waves. It brought back that awful afternoon when he'd chosen Sam over me, and I felt my chin jerk up defensively in response.
Jacob's Rabbit idled by the curb with Jared behind the wheel and Embry in the passenger seat. I understood what this meant: they were afraid to let him come here alone. It made me sad, and a little annoyed. The Cullens weren't like that.
Because, after all, NOBODY may choose ANYTHING over you, Bella. After all, you’re the center of this written universe.
And Meyer? I got a little something I wanna tell you. Lean in real close—that’s it…
*screaming* STOP PATRONIZING ME!!!!!
GAWD, I absolutely hate authors who feel the need to explain to me what every single little action anybody does means!!! I CAN READ, YOU KNOW!!!! And it is so INSULTING that Meyer apparently thinks the people who make up her readership are so STUPID that she has to carefully explain what everything means!!! The people who are reading this shit are considerably older that six!!!!
To be fair, though, a whole lot of them have absolutely no reading comprehension whatsoever, and are probably grateful for the little asides of Meyer jumping into the text and saying, “That’s what this means, in case you missed it.”
Back to our story. Bella says hello, and Jacob just keeps looking around, searching for Alice. Bella informs him that she’s absent, demands to know what he wants, and he asks to talk for a bit. Bella invites him in, and Jacob looks behind him for permission, I guess. Bella interprets this as cowardice and voices that opinion.
You know, maybe it’s because there’s a TREATY, Bella. The werewolves agreed that they would stay over on their own lands, so long as the Cullens stayed on theirs and kept away from the reservation.
But, naturally, Bella is derisive and mocking and makes Jacob “march” into the house, Bella gives Jared and Embry the stinkeye, because apparently that’s gonna make them tremble in their shoes, and says, “Did they really think I would let anything hurt Jacob?” Implying that Bella will somehow prevent a vampire from hurting Jacob should said vampire take it into his or her mind to attack him? Yeah. Like I buy that. Bella then shuts the door on the other two, and Jacob immediately starts up the irritable sarcasm, asking if they’d had a slumber party, and Bella tells him to butt out and that she doesn’t “like Jacob when he acted this way”. Right, because Bella only likes Jacob when he’s fawning all over her and agreeing with every little thing she says. The minute he expresses disapproval of something she likes, well, he’s just a grade-A asshole now. Jacob, don’t you know that that’s what friends are for—to nod stupidly and go along with whatever Bella wants and put on a happy face no matter what she does?
And apparently my little rant up there just made Meyer mad, because she proceeds to do this:
He wrinkled his nose again like he smelled something unpleasant. "Where's your 'friend'?" I could hear the quotation marks in his tone.
I think that right there beats out Paolini and his “‘Sorry,’ apologized Brom” line, my friends. Seriously.
Meyer, how dumb do you think I am? Do you honestly think that, even though you put quotations around “friend”, that I wouldn’t be able to know it was sarcasm, so you had Bella tell me it was sarcasm?
Jacob continues to be all evasive, invading the house looking for Alice. Bella demands to know what his dealio is, and Jacob says “[he doesn’t] like having to be here”. You and me both, bro. Bella then gets all weepy and puts on a show to make sure Jacob understands that he hurt her feeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings, because, even though she hurt his, he’s not supposed to, you know, want to return the favor. He’s supposed to take it like a bitch—her own personal bitch, as it were. Bella then says for him to spit it out, and starts acting nasty to disguise the fact that oh, she is hurting inside at how mean he is for daring to be angry, and then randomly throws in that she is aware of the fact that she hurt his feelings.
So, Jacob takes a deep breath, sucks on an imaginary joint (What Would Sam Do, after all), and then suddenly it’s alllllll good, baby. He asks which Cullen it is, Bella tells him, he asks how long she’ll be present, and Bella gets all up in it saying that she can stay as long as she wants to stay because Bella’s in charge and she doesn’t give two shits about treaties, so long as she gets what she wants and she wants a vampire in her house. Jacob then asks Bella to explain to Alice about Victoria, Bella puts on a big show of how much the mere mention of the name Victoria frightens her, and Jacob drops the bomb that he and his boys can’t guard anything but their own lands while Alice is present, so the only thing between Victoria and Bella now is Alice. Bella ain’t too happy to not have her honor guard anymore, but Jacob isn’t offering it or giving in to her pouting. Jacob then asks his final question—and that is to ask if the rest of the Cullens are going to be returning. Come on, Jacob, the Cullens are like rats—you get one, the entire infestation follows. But Bella, in order to be angsty, says no, and then wangsts and bitches some more about how Jacob is acting like Sam in this instance. Bella says, “Well, run along now. Go tell Sam that the scary monsters aren’t coming to get you,” and I tend to think that the werewolves are not scared of vampires—they were extremely excited to get to fight them. But Jacob doesn’t point this out and *cough* “leaves”, and Bella then puts on a huge show of wangsting about how this was the only way anything could’ve been done, and then it turns out that Jacob didn’t leave after all, and watched her entire show, including her “sparkling” tears (have I mentioned before how much I hate hearing people describe themselves as if in third person? How the hell would she know if her tears were sparkling?!).
Jacob laments that he hurt her again, and DAMMIT, BOY, grow some balls and stick up for yourself for a change (yes, I know this comes back to bite me later). Jacob says he’s sorry, and says that he won’t worry about it, as when Alice leaves, everything will just go back to normal and it’ll be fun happy Bella-risking-her-life-to-hear-Wardo’s-v
“I want you to love me and paw after me and be my friend while I string you along. I also don’t want you to have any girlfriends, because they’ll take up your time—time you could be spending pining after me. But I’m not going to be your girlfriend—only your friend, and I’m going to take every opportunity to rub in the fact that I will never, EVER choose you over my sparkly boyfriend, even though he’s not here and supposedly never coming back. And you have to like it and not get mad at me for it.”
There is such a thing as a flawed hero or heroine. But, you see, the thing is this, Meyer…
1) You have to actually intend them to be flaws.
2) Through their flaws, the person has to actually be likeable in some fashion.
You…kind of missed both those points.
But, as Jacob is a weakling, he actually agrees to that, gives Bella a hug, and tells her that she stinks. She gets mad, and Jacob tells her that she smells like a vampire (note how she didn’t care when Alice said the same about Jacob’s scent on her). And how does a vampire smell to a werewolf? “Too sweet—sickly sweet. And…icy.” The sweet part I’d buy—even though it’s just more stupid “everything about vampires is wonderful and perfect and sweet”—because when Bella and Wardo are going on and on about their love for one another? Yeah, that rots my teeth right out of my skull. But…icy? They smell an adjective to describe touch? I’ve heard of synesthesia, but that is ridiculous (actually, it’s just bad writing). But anyway, Bella then informs Jacob that Alice thinks Jacob stinks, too, so it’s even. Then there’s this:
I was going to miss him terribly when he walked out my door. It was a nasty catch-22—on the one hand, I wanted Alice to stay forever. I was going to die—metaphorically—when she left me. But how was I supposed to go without seeing Jake for any length of time? What a mess, I thought again.
Somebody wants to have their cake and eat it, too.
And normally, I’d be blown up onto a Paul-esque rage at Meyer once again gently and patronizingly leading us through her text with that whole “metaphorically” bullshit, but, considering the previous section’s chapters? Yeah, I think clarification of how she’s going to die is needed.
Jacob says he’ll miss her and hopes Alice gets out of dodge as soon as possible. Bella says that things don’t have to be like that, Jacob disagrees, and says that, as he’s not really well-controlled and hates Alice just that much, he’d probably try to and maybe succeed in killing her, and that’s just the way it is. Bella expresses her disapproval of this, because dammit, this is her universe, and she should be able to dictate how things go (don’t worry, Bella—you’ve got two more books to fix all that unpleasantness, so you’ll not only get to have your slice, you’ll be all but handed the whole damned cake, complete with candles and a little party and you’ll get to make everybody else watch as you eat every piece).
That’s when the moment turns tender. Words like “smolder” and “wistful” and “burning” are thrown around, and it’s quite clear that Jacob’s leaning in for a kiss, and I’d imagine it looks kind of like “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid. Let’s see how Bella feels about this.
I stared back at him. He was not my Jacob, but he could be. His face was familiar and beloved. In so many real ways, I did love him. He was my comfort, my safe harbor. Right now, I could choose to have him belong to me.
Alice was back for the moment, but that changed nothing. True love was forever lost. The prince was never coming back to kiss me awake from my enchanted sleep. I was not a princess, after all. So what was the fairy-tale protocol for other kisses? The mundane kind that didn't break any spells?
Maybe it would be easy—like holding his hand or having his arms around me.
Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like a betrayal. Besides, who was I betraying, anyway? Just myself.
See? Even Meyer agrees with me that it’s something straight out of Disney. Only not as deep and meaningful.
Bella’s revealing her true self more and more. She wants Jacob to belong to her—notice that no part of that indicates that she will belong to Jacob. Bella, just come out and say you want a harem already. Everyone would be a lot happier. I mean, the Cullens are Mormons, after all—why can’t you just go the polygamous route?
And stop going on about true love. It’s annoying.
That’s about when the phone rings, and you seriously can hear the skrrrrrrrrrrrrrip! record noise in the background that cuts off the romantic music. Jacob answers, and it’s Flotsam and Jestam. They’ve tipped the boat. Just kidding—judging from Jacob’s reaction, it’s a vampire. Bella reaches for the phone, naturally, because that’s just one more vampire for her to fawn over, but Jacob won’t let her have it. He says “he’s not here” and that “he’s at the funeral”. Bella goes total bitchface on Jacob, demanding to know who Jacob hung up on (and goes total entitlement, talking about how the house and the phone are hers—Charlie, who’s that?), and Jacob says it was Carlisle, and that he didn’t ask for Bella. Then he goes Dramatic Prairie Dog and tries to make an escape, but stops when he sees that Alice is now in the house and damn, but she does look distressed. Bella asks what’s wrong, immediately going to her side, and all Alice says is that it’s Wardo.
And Bella promptly faints.
No, I am not joking. Alice looks upset, says, “Edward,” and Bella passes right out. She has no idea what is wrong, no clue what is happening, but she faints anyway.
My GOD, but this is the STUPIDEST shit I have ever seen in my life.
Jacob catches her and carries her to the couch, cursing the whole way. “I felt a vague disapproval. His new friends were clearly a bad influence.” You’re taking time out of your faint to mentally chide Jacob for his bad language? Jacob threatens Alice, Alice bitchfaces at him, and then Bella demands to know what is going on. Alice decides to be vague, brushing aside her question to call home and ask to talk to Carlisle, who is apparently not in, as Alice gets Rose instead. Oh, and remember how, when vampires speed-talk, it sounds like just a buzz? Well, even though Alice is in a hurry and desperate and all that, she’s being considerate to the audience and speaking slowly enough so we get to listen in on the conversation. Nice of her. Alice continues to converse with Rose, and then she goes all OSHIT and yells at Rose for something we don’t know about, but we can guess. Then she hangs up, and Bella tries to insert herself, and she apparently already knows what’s going on because she talks about Alice’s words “[destroying] what was left of [her] life”, which just serves to annoy me. Bella then tells Alice that Carlisle is back, as he just called half a minute ago—because, obviously, telephones only work on an in-town basis. I mean, the idea of calling somebody from a great distance is just ludicrous. Alice demands to know what was said, and Bella says that Jacob’s the one who did the talking. Alice glares at him, and Jacob actually flinches.
Considering that all of the werewolves up until now have been pretty unafraid of vampires and have been totally into kicking their asses and taking them down and fighting with them, having Jacob suddenly be afraid of a mere look from teensy little Alice is just another classic Suethor moment—having everybody be afraid of the all-powerful Mary Sue Death Glare.
And anybody who’s read the Airhead sporkings knows how I feel about Mary Sue Death Glares.
So, the previous phone conversation is transcribed again, and the “at the funeral” part comes up, prompting Alice to collapse. Bella asks what is wrong, Alice says that it wasn’t Carlisle, it was Wardo, and that he now thinks Bella is dead.
And then Bella reveals her incredible, endless, without-limits stupidity through Meyer’s style of “Well, it COULDN’T be this!” and then it promptly is whatever they said it wasn’t going to be.
She relaxes, because it turns out that Alice isn’t talking about Wardo being dead—yeah, the mere thought of Wardo thinking Bella’s dead makes Alice nearly pass out, apparently. Bella figures out that Rosalie told Wardo about Bella’s leap of…whatever it was (*cough*suicide*cough*), and Alice bashes Rosalie a bit for being callous. I say go Rosalie. I like to imagine that the conversation went something like this…
“Hey, Edward. I’ve put up with your bullshit for months, endured your whining over being “forced” to leave that stupid girlfriend of yours behind. Well, NEWSFLASH, MOTHERFUCKER!!! BELLA’S DEAD!!! AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!!! SO SHUT UP AND STOP WAILING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE IT WAS YOUR IDEA TO LEAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!”
Or something to that effect.
Anyway, Bella realizes that it was Edward who called, and Bella tries to claw at Jacob’s arm in order to make him squeal because she’d been so close to Wardo’s real voice. Meanwhile, Alice looks at her like she’s out of her mind and wants to know why she isn’t upset, and Bella—well, see for yourselves.
"Well, it's really rotten timing, but it will all get straightened out. The next time he calls, someone will tell him… what… really…" I trailed off. Her gaze strangled the words in my throat.
Why was she so panicked? Why was her face twisting now with pity and horror? What was it she had said to Rosalie on the phone just now? Something about what she'd seen… and Rosalie's remorse; Rosalie would never feel remorse for anything that happened to me. But if she'd hurt her family, hurt her brother…
"Bella," Alice whispered. "Edward won't call again. He believed her."
"I. Don't. Understand." My mouth framed each word in silence. I couldn't push the air out to actually say the words that would make her explain what that meant.
The level of stupidity being displayed here is absolutely incredible, isn’t it? I can just hear the vapid, absolutely vacant voice she’s saying all of this in. Brings the “Whose Line” link to mind. Yeah, that voice. And the mental capacity that goes along with it.
Alice then informs Bella that Wardo’s off to Italy. Bella immediately knows exactly what she’s talking about, and gives us a nice C&P’d bit from earlier in this book, the bit about not irritating (irritating? Seriously?) the
*raises hand* Yeah, I’m afraid it’s me in the back again, Meyer. Yes, I know you hate me—well, geez, no need to call me a bitch. Anyway—um, I’d just like to point out that this makes no sense. Wardo thinks Bella is dead—so he calls up Bella’s house and asks for…Charlie? Is he seriously that wrapped up in Project Leave Bella For Her Own Good that he won’t even bother asking for her in person when he thinks she’s dead or going to die? And it isn’t apparent to him that, as she’s jumping off of a cliff, Project Leave Bella For Her Own Good failed miserably, so it probably doesn’t matter if she hears his voice or not? And then he doesn’t even bother to ask whose funeral it is, he just automatically assumes it’s Bella’s? This is not a very thought-out suicide plan.
It is, however—lemme get revved up here, it’s my favorite word to scream while doing these recaps—‘kay, all ready. It is, however, a big, fat, large, flashing-neon sign proudly proclaiming
Then we get more of how incredibly stupid Bella is, along with some more of that “awesome” doormatism she’s so fond of displaying.
"But he… he left! He didn't want me anymore! What difference does it make now? He knew I would die sometime!"
"I don't think he ever planned to outlive you by long," Alice said quietly.
Yep—because Wardo *cough* doesn’t want her anymore, it shouldn’t matter to him or anyone else if she killed herself—and anyway, what would it matter if she died now or years from now? Life doesn’t matter like that, you see, if you don’t have your sparkly vampire boyfriend at your side.
And yes—Bella’s an idiot. It is quite clear at this point that Wardo was lying to her for her own good about not loving her anymore, and yet we have to wait until… *scrolls* …Chapter 24, page 458 for her to actually realize this. We’re on Chapter 18, page 364. So, basically, about 100 pages more of her thinking Wardo doesn’t want or love her anymore, even though upon hearing that she’s dead, he’s going to go kill himself—and that he’d planned on killing himself when she died anyway.
Bella gets all screamy and cliiiiiiiiings to Alice, asking what to do about this, as they apparently can’t call Wardo and tell him to get his pasty butt back home and to stop overdramatizing, because Bella’s still alive, no thanks to her own stupidity, as he’s thrown his phone in a trashcan
So, Bella’s still impatient, and Alice continues to exposit and says that if the Volturi refuse Wardo, they’ll maybe have time to stop him from doing that.
Minor question regarding Alice’s little visions here. How does she know exactly when this will happen? It’s never been established that she knows exactly when the things she sees will occur. So how does she know whether or not they can save him in time?
Bella insists that they go immediately, and finally Alice gets around to the part that made her hesitate—if they don’t succeed in stopping Wardo, Alice will be considered an accomplice and Bella will be lunch, because she “smells too good”. Dude, I can understand the whole Wardo bit regarding Bella’s tastyful blood, that some people just smell that awesome and all to a specific vampire—but her smelling that way to everybody? Come off it, you damned dirty Sue. Bella says that ain’t keeping her in Forks, Alice expresses fear of getting Bella killed, to which Bella replies, “I almost get myself killed on a daily basis!” No comment.
Okay, fine, a comment.
Alice tells Bella to write a note to Charlie while she calls some airlines and books them some flights. Bella takes a brief moment to show concern for Charlie being all by himself around Victoria, and Jacob says, “Yeah, I’m here, too,” and says that he’ll protect Charlie, treaty or no. And that right there could’ve been good character development and foreshadowing. Jacob saying, “Fuck that noise!” and doing what is right rather than what is easy and starting to TEAR DOWN THAT WALL between the werewolves and the vampires of Forks. But, as we see in later books, it is nothing of the kind and is pretty much just more convenience so Bella can spend all of her time worrying about Wardo rather than spare a thought for Charlie. So, Bella writes her note, which is pretty much along the lines of, “Yeah, I know you’ll be looking for comfort when you get home from that funeral and I didn’t ask permission or anything, but screw you, dad, MAH MAN is in trouble, and he takes precedence over you ANY day! xoxoxox Bella.”
That’s when Jacob starts begging Bella not to go. Bella ignores him and orders him to take care of Charlie. Alice has apparently made the flight arrangements in two minutes, as she’s already waiting at the door. AIRLINES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!!! She reminds Bella that she needs ID and a passport, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, Bella conveniently has one! There’s a whole lot of convenience coming out here, I notice. Bella throws a couple of things into a bag and then comes back, raring to go, and interrupts a vampire vs. werewolf face-off between Alice and Jacob. Jacob isn’t exactly pleased that Alice is risking Bella’s life like this, a legitimate concern from somebody who honestly cares for her. So, what’s Alice’s response to this concern?
"Yes. You're right, dog." Alice was snarling, too. "The Volturi are the very essence of our kind—they're the reason your hair stands on end when you smell me. They are the substance of your nightmares, the dread behind your instincts. I'm not unaware of that."
So, Jacob being worried for Bella’s welfare and safety makes Alice spout off a bunch of purple prose worthy of Gethsemane Butler regarding the Volturi, call Jacob a derogatory term, and say that he’s afraid of vampires and therefore afraid of her and so he’d better just back off.
Want proof of the purple prose similarities? Well, here’s, coincidentally, Edward Turpin describing Victoria Todd’s birth in her fic "Haunted".
"Stormy, violently so, the rain pounding at the side of the brothel viciously as your mother lay in the bed, drenched with the sweat of labor. With every contraction, lightning flashed and thunder roared."
And then Alice kicks it up a notch when Jacob calls her out on basically taking Bella up there as a snack, and Alice totally bitchsmacks him and calls his entire pack worthless because they apparently can’t even catch a lone vampire and that she’ll be killed either way, because the werewolves are just a bunch of loser bitches.
And thus, I do not understand why people like Alice.
Jacob threatens to go totally wolf on Alice for that comment, and Bella takes that particular moment to tell them to knock it off (you know she was talking to Jacob only, because God forbid she speak to a vampire like that) and that they have to get out of there. Alice vanishes to the car, and Jacob grabs Bella and begs her again to stay, and reveals that he’s transforming into the BFD by ostensibily saying that she needs to stay and thus stay alive for Charlie, but it’s pretty clear that he wants her to stay so that Wardo will die and he’ll get Bella all to himself. Way to go, Meyer—in just one single conversation, you officially turn Jacob Black, one of the only even remotely decent characters in your entire series, into a complete and utter douche.
Bella, naturally, does not respond at all to his entreaties, turns tail, and flees, asking Jacob would he please, you know, make sure Charlie doesn’t get killed, because she doesn’t have time for that, and Jacob goes *poof* and runs off into the woods.
And that’s all she wrote for this section.
Just one minor point I’d like to make…
Distance from Forks to Volterra: 5579 miles (8978 kilometers)
Distance from Rio to Volterra: 5709 miles (9187 kilometers)
Not to mention that Wardo is in a major tourist location and, best I can tell, it’s still spring break, so Rio and the flights to and from will be packed…
So, um…why it’s going to be a very near thing for them to catch him even with the extra time they’ll get should the Volturi refuse Edward death due to the wasted time of his asking? It seems to me more likely that they’d beat him there.
Anyone care to explain?
See you guys in Chapter 19 – Hate.
Stinger: “"I almost get myself killed on a daily basis! Tell me what I need to do!"”
( Chapter 19 - Hate )