Paul Count: 3.
Chapter 23 – The Truth
Right—this chapter and part of the next are Meyer taking a horse, beating it to death, and then continuing to beat it until it’s pretty much emulsified horse meat and bones. You know that old routine where somebody pinches his/herself to confirm that s/he isn’t dreaming, or when somebody briefly thinks that what is happening is a dream, or something along those lines? It’s sometimes used for comedic purposes.
Well, Meyer apparently thinks it’s the funniest thing in the world, and in her universe, the more you use it, the funnier it is. The thought that it might get real old in a real hurry never crossed her mind. But are you surprised? She hasn’t thus far thought that constant, eternal, endless descriptions of Wardo’s beauty would get old.
So, Bella wakes up, and she gives us a recap of everything as if it were a dream. She makes mention of “plenty of monsters, red-eyed fiends that were all the more ghastly for their genteel civility”. You know, Wardo’s eyes were red for a while. Just throwing that out there. Anyway, Bella continues along the dream vein for a very long time—and don’t think it’s going away any time soon, folks. She finally opens her eyes and prepares to let go of the dream, and, naturally, Wardo’s still there. Her first thought? She’s hallucinating. Wardo asks if she’s okay, and we have more emphasis on how this is nothing but a delusion, because she is a twit. We also have emphasis that he’s extremely hungry—meaning, he didn’t go hunting? He just sat there and watched her sleep, starving himself around the girl who smells like bacon? That was real smart, Wardo.
So, as Bella backtracks, trying to figure out what’s *cough* real and what isn’t, and it finally leads her to one conclusion—now she’s beyond dreaming. She’s actually dead. This goes on for a full page in Word alone, so it probably went on for two or three in the actual book. I shall spare you, because I am kind like that. Finally, we have a sign of hope—that she believes Wardo really is here, and that she “was wasting time being an idiot”. No argument from the audience, numbnuts. Wardo confirms that everything really did happen, and tells her that she’s been out for a very long time—fourteen hours. What? She was awake for three days straight and only slept fourteen hours?
So, Bella’s rather blasé about the whole thing, and apparently now not tired in the slightest. Because, after all, when you first wake up, you are immediately wide awake and coherent and all that—isn’t everybody? Then she finally asks where Charlie is. Let’s hear about Charlie, shall we?
Edward frowned. "Sleeping. You should probably know that I'm breaking the rules right now. Well, not technically, since he said I was never to walk through his door again, and I came in the window… But, still, the intent was clear."
"Charlie banned you from the house?" I asked, disbelief quickly melting into fury.
His eyes were sad. "Did you expect anything else?"
My eyes were mad. I was going to have a few words with my father—perhaps it would be a good time to remind him that I was over the legal age of adulthood. It didn't matter so much, of course, except in principle. All too soon there would be no reason for the prohibition. I turned my thoughts to less painful avenues.
Okay. Few things I need to remind you of, Bella.
- Just because you’re over the legal age of adulthood, you’re still living in his house. And it’s not some kind of financial agreement, either, like some people have with their parents. You live there free of charge, and no, being his cook does not mean you pay some form of rent. You don’t have any kind of mutual agreement worked out—and, as you’re trying to assert that you are some kind of independent now that you are eighteen, you are now officially a squatter.
- You may try to worm your way out of the above by saying that you have a job and that you are earning money. Well, what do you use it for? Do you pay your own insurance on your truck? Did you buy it back from Charlie? Do you use that money to buy all of the groceries in the house? Do you use it to help out in any way? No, as far as I’ve seen, you were at first putting it into your account on the pretense of going to college (which you had no intention of attending), and then decided to use it to help rebuild your Deathcycles.
- What, exactly, construes being an “adult” to you, Bella? Just your age? Does self-sufficiency factor into this at all? Because you have none of that. Your job can’t support you, you show no signs of wanting to go out on your own, you’ve shown no signs of being an independent by any means (if you aren’t leeching off of Charlie, you’re leeching off of Wardo), you have absolutely no skills whatsoever that could define you as a productive member of society—you are, in a word, dependent. So, what, exactly, gives you the right to pull the “I’m An Adult” card on Charlie in order to get your way?
- I agree with Wardo for once—what did you expect, you idiot? Did you think he’d only be mad at you? Did you think he’d welcome you back with open arms? Did you think he’d be as much of a spineless shit as you and harbor absolutely no ill-will towards Wardo, especially considering that he doesn’t know the actual truth regarding him? Of course not—you’re far too concerned with getting what you want.
Oh, and I feel the need to pull a quote from two chapters back, Bella. *clears throat* “Marcus senses relationships. He’s surprised by the intensity of ours.” And after hearing that, you STILL don’t get it.
So, Bella and Wardo make small talk, and asks what story she’ll be telling her father about why she vanished. Wardo’s pretty useless in that regard, not having any kind of explanation, either. Spoiler, folks: Nothing ever really comes of this. We are reminded again that Wardo’s going to leave at any moment because he doesn’t love her anymore, never mind that he sat and watched her sleep for about fourteen straight hours, and then she asks what Wardo had been up to while being gone. He evades the question, and then Bella goes straight back into “This Is All A Dream” mode. You know, I think Bella waking up and finding Wardo in the shower would actually improve the overall story at this point.
So, Wardo decides to try and explain what he was doing to try and convince Bella that he’s not a dream. Turns out that he was tracking, but he refuses to tell Bella what he was tracking and looks distressed. As such, she says what pretty much sums her up: “I don’t understand.” Back to business as usual.
So, Wardo goes on a breast-beating monologue, talking about how he didn’t know Victoria was so madly in love with James and would want to come back and kill Bella, and that he wouldn’t have left like that if he’d have known about Victoria doing that. And then he expresses that he is absolutely appalled that she would “put [her] life in the hands of werewolves, immature, volatile, the worst thing out there besides Victoria herself”.
Yeah, I’ll be getting more into Wardo refusing to let Bella hang out with werewolves because they are supremely dangerous later. Trust me on that.
Anyway, Wardo continues to beat his breast until Bella stops him, and decides that she needs to find the right “words that would free him from this imagined obligation that caused him so much pain”. You know—because he doesn’t do all of this because he loves her. He does it out of some kind of obligation.
I’m not sure in what universe this makes sense, but it happens to be the one Bella lives in, so we’ll just roll with it.
So, off Bella goes, talking about how nothing is ever his fault, and that he shouldn’t feel guilty, saying that it’s in his “nature to shoulder the blame for everything” (yeah, you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Bella?), and that nothing is his fault, blah blah blah, and just about the time I’m about ready to whip out a razor and go up the street, Wardo interrupts and expresses some direct anger about the fact that Bella apparently thinks everything he’s done thus far is out of guilt. Naturally, Bella goes “dur?” and refuses to entertain the notion that he might’ve done it out of love. Or maybe it’s not so much refusal as much as it is outright stupidity. The thought never even enters her head. Because, you know, he doesn’t love her anymore.
*scrolls down and reads—groans* This misunderstanding goes on forever. And I have almost forty pages left to recap! *cracks knuckles* Get it together, Mervin—it’s the home stretch.
Wardo says that he went to the Catholics because he thought Bella was dead and mentions Romeo because of all of the mistakes and odds stacked against them and it’s very tedious and stupid and I still don’t think you’re all intelligent and literary, Meyer. Bella, once again in that probably brain-dead, vapid tone, says, “So?” Because, you know, Wardo doesn’t love her anymore. Wardo reminds her of what he’d said before, and, naturally, Bella’s first thought is that he doesn’t love her anymore. Wardo says she is the dumbest person alive, and if she can’t figure it out for herself, he’s not going to tell her. I wish—actually, he gently tries to explain that he still loves her. Wardo, would you just say “I still love you and lied to you because I was leaving for your safety,” please? I feel old. I feel like I have been recapping this chapter alone for years. I’m ready to just stove my own head in with my transcription recorder, I’m so bored!
Bella once again states the obvious and says that she is “confused”, because, obviously, nothing he’s saying makes any sense. Because he doesn’t love her, remember? I hope you haven’t forgotten that. Wardo says that he is a “good liar” and that he “[has] to be”. Um, no, Wardo, you are not a good liar. I mean, I saw through your lie, and it couldn’t be more obvious that you are at least not human in any capacity. You are a terrible liar—say it like it is, boy. It’s that Bella is an idiot. So, Wardo says that what he said in the forest was pretty much a lie, and wonders out loud why on earth Bella would believe that line of bullshit. I was wondering that myself—come on, would somebody please just come forth and say the truth, that she’s an idiot? I’d feel so much better. So, after saying that, guess what Bella does?
Yep. Right back into “It’s All A Dream” mode, because, after all, Wardo doesn’t love her anymore.
Consider yourself lucky, transcription recorder. If you weren’t worth $500, and that my school would probably sell my remains to get that money back, I’d be smashing you against my face right about now.
So, Wardo insists that she’s awake and alive, and that he loves her, always and forever, and that lying to her in the forest “was the very blackest kind of blasphemy”. Man, Bella and Wardo do belong together. He provides the cheese, she provides the whine. Bella continues to be all in denial about it, because Wardo doesn’t love her anymore, and he asks, “Why can you believe the lie, but not the truth?” BECAUSE SHE’S AN IDIOT, WARDO. Oh, and Meyer needed some drama and a way to drive up her word count. That too. Bella’s response to Wardo?
"It never made sense for you to love me," I explained, my voice breaking twice. "I always knew that."
You know, I completely agree. It doesn’t make sense that Wardo loves you. I mean, you have nothing in common, you never have decent or meaningful conversations, you never laugh together, he never treats you as an equal, and Wardo announced that he was in love with you before he knew a single damned thing about you. This doesn’t make sense, and I’ve been preaching that since the first book. But, I know exactly what Meyer means when she writes you as saying that, and it sickens me, because GAWD, I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Wardo decides to take action and is going to kiss her to prove she’s awake. Bella insists that he not do that, because “when [he leaves] again, it’s going to be hard enough without [that], too”. Because, you know, Wardo doesn’t love her anymore and is going to leave.
Wardo asks the simple question if Bella loves him, she says yes, and then he kisses her. Need to quote this.
His mouth was on mine then, and I couldn't fight him. Not because he was so many thousand times stronger than me, but because my will crumbled into dust the second our lips met.
Well, it’s nice to have it out in the open—she has absolutely no free will whatsoever when Wardo’s around. Good to know, Meyer! *salutes*
So, they have this tender, touching moment, and I’m fortunate enough to have a trashcan beside me so I can retch. Wardo adds that he’s not going anywhere now, never again, and if you guessed that Bella is skeptical about that because Wardo doesn’t love her anymore, you get a prize!
Wardo tries to explain himself again, because, hey, what’s better than long, drawn out chapters of nothing but
“I am not leaving.”
“But you don’t love me!”
“I left for your own good.”
“But you don’t love me!”
“I do so love you.”
“But you don’t love me!”
“Okay, let’s start over: I’m not leaving.”
“But you don’t love me!”
are just so entertaining. He promises never to leave, and Bella tells him not to promise anything because, after all, Wardo doesn’t love her anymore. She says that he might mean it at this moment, but, hey, who knows, maybe he’ll come up with another reason to leave, eh? Because he doesn’t love her anymore. Wardo says that, hey, he was on the verge of crawling back anyway, and would’ve gladly begged for her to take him back. Bella thinks he’s joking—because he doesn’t love her anymore, right? So, then Wardo goes into a speech that can be summed up thusly as, “And then God said ‘Let there be Bella’ and then there was Bella,” and suddenly Wardo’s morose and black life with the fallen angels crying tears of blood upon his nonsoul was all bright and cheery and la-la and there were bunnies and fairies and sunshine and rainbows. So, when she left, naturally, it went back to the morose and black life with the fallen angels crying tears of blood upon his nonsoul. Bella can’t bring herself to accept this. Why?
But this was my life without him that he was describing, not the other way around.
Bella, you have accepted every single thing he has told you thus far—and will continue to do so—without question. Meyer, you’ve been warping the peripheral characters OOC strictly for the sake of drama, but now, doing it to your SI? That’s just ridiculous.
So, Wardo goes on to say that he too had his own Goddamned Hole™ while he was off camera, and Bella’s like, “ZOMG, I had a Goddamned Hole™, too!” and then Bella beats herself into submission, because she’s hoping he’ll stay, and he won’t, because Wardo doesn’t love her anymore.
Then we find out what Wardo was tracking—turns out he was off hunting Victoria, and has no intentions of stopping any time soon. Bella is perfectly outraged by this, and calls Wardo “so much more durable” than Jacob. Boy, she really loves putting down the werewolves, who were basically made to be vampire killers, doesn’t she? Anyway, Wardo insists that he shall be eliminating Victoria, and that maybe the werewolf pack drove her off, but that she’s “got bigger problems than Victoria”. Wardo thinks she’s talking about the werewolves—how they’re a problem to Bella is beyond me. Bella clarifies and decides to state her second biggest problem rather than the first, and say that it is actually the Catholics. No, they really aren’t, Bella. In case you didn’t notice, they were pretty much, “Yeah, change her, whatever, we don’t care,” about the whole thing. Wardo says that, as vampires are immortal, they think of time differently and will probably wait around until Bella’s thirty before they even thought of her again. Dude, if the Catholics were really that concerned with maintaining secrecy and if vampire memories are complete catch-alls and they never forget anything, how the hell does that even work? Well, no time to worry about that now. Guess what the thought of turning thirty does to Bella?
A) Just about gives her a heart attack at the thought of being ZOMGICKY OLD
B) Obviously is proof that Wardo doesn’t love her
C) Both A) and B)
Yep. It’s C).
And, considering we haven’t had the ZOMGSOOOOOOOOLD!!!!!111!!!111 whining in so long, the sudden reinsertion of it startled me into Pauling out.
So, this whole, “I don’t wanna be OLD!!!” chant continues for a while, interspersed with stuff about how Wardo doesn’t love her anymore, and Bella actually says that old people are repulsive and revolting. Gee, thanks, Bella—and thanks to Meyer, too. I hope your children remember this when you’re old and decrepit and depending on them to change your diapers.
And before anybody comes forth with the argument that Bella is a teenager, and teenagers feel this way…no, that doesn’t work. Me and Hyde never, ever felt this way about ageing. A lot of teens don’t feel this way about ageing. The sheer ridiculousness of this, the fact that Bella is willing to give up everything to become beautiful powerful and immortal and eternally young—that isn’t just typical teenaged “Man, I don’t want wrinkles” crap. That is something else entirely—that is Dorian Gray-esque. It’s sick, is what it is. Come on, Meyer—for all of your smugness in throwing around titles you like to compare your “work” to, why didn’t you bring up that one? It’s the one that is most similar to Bella’s whole attitude—not to mention that Oscar Wilde was totally jerking off to Dorian Gray’s looks, kind of like how you do to Wardo’s. Perfect match, I say.
So, Bella mentions that she’s going to die if she stays human (heaven forbid something natural occur), and Wardo says he’ll die, too. Bella says that is “sick”. Oh, that’s sick, but your desire to give up everything in your life to become a vampire isn’t? Bella then points out that the Catholics aren’t going to forget her, even if they do come for her when she’s thirty (and she just about has another heart attack thinking about that). Wardo says that he’s got some plans regarding that, all ensuring that she stay human. Bella actually calls Wardo’s expression about this “arrogant”. *checks to see if the sky is falling*
So, it’s obvious that she’s decided to take matters into her own hands (for once). She gets up to get dressed and says that she is going over to Wardo’s house. We have “humorous” shenanigans about her trying to figure out the best way to get there until Wardo caves and says that he’ll take her there. She says that’s a good thing, and he asks why. And this stuff can’t be summed up.
"Because you're extraordinarily opinionated, and I'm sure you'll want a chance to air your views."
"My views on which subject?" He asked through his teeth.
"This isn't just about you anymore. You're not the center of the universe, you know." My own personal universe was, of course, a different story. "If you're going to bring the Volturi down on us over something as stupid as leaving me human, then your family ought to have a say."
"A say in what?" he asked, each word distinct.
"My mortality. I'm putting it to a vote."
*takes a deep breath* Okay. Time for another list.
- Bella, you have no right to call somebody else opinionated. No right at all.
- No, Bella. It was never about Wardo. And he was never the center of the universe—yours or otherwise. You are the center of the universe. Meyer has written it so, and you know it. Why else would you be doing this? You apparently think everything revolves around you. And what an amazing coincidence! It actually does in this strange land!
- You are actually calling your humanity “stupid”? Yeah, I think we all know that this has pretty much nothing to do with keeping the Cullens or anybody else safe. This has everything to do with getting what you want. Hasn’t it always been that way?
- I see Wardo only prevents Bella from going to places he doesn’t want her to go when it is convenient.
- Yeah. This is enraging enough that it warrants a Paul
So, onto the next chapter. Yeah, like we don’t know what’s going to happen. *rolls eyes*
Chapter 24 – Vote
So, while Wardo ain’t happy about this, he agrees to do it. He puts Bella on his back and off they go. We get a very pointless paragraph about how the dark is comforting, and then Bella says, “The speed was exhilarating. A hundred times better than the motorcycle.”
Yeah. If that ain’t a jab at Jacob, I don’t know what is.
So, Wardo asks if she still thinks she’s dreaming, and OH MY GOD, SHE STILL DOES. Wardo says that he’s going to find someway to “earn her trust back”, so Bella promptly says that it’s not him she doesn’t trust, but herself, because, surely, she doth not deserve the Wardo and his Twu Wub, and that her ugly humanity couldn’t possibly hold Wardo’s interest. *rubs forehead* If they go on yet another “I don’t deserve you!” “No, I don’t deserve you!” tangent again that lasts as long as the last one did, I will commit murder. I will do it, too, do not doubt that. Wardo insists that they will always be together, and then asks what the number one problem is that Bella didn’t mention. She says it’s him, we have another misunderstanding, and Bella says that the Catholics or Victoria killing her are ten times worse than Wardo leaving her. We get more anguish, and then Bella asks for her long-forgotten birthday presents back—you know, the ones Wardo stole when he left? Wardo informs her that they are under her floorboards.
Bella chews on that for a moment, and then decides that some deep, subconscious part of her (Bella, you’re about as deep as a petri dish) knew that they were indeed still there, and that that same part never accepted that Wardo didn’t care about her anymore, which is, obviously, a perfectly reasonable explanation for Imaginary!Wardo. Bet you missed him, didn’t you? Wardo demands to hear the whole story, so Bella launches into it. She mentions the cliff diving and the motorcycles, and Wardo expresses surprise about that last one, seeing as Bella didn’t mention it to Alice. She then explains that when she was out being an idiot, Wardo’s voice would invariably show up, and obviously, his voice was showing up because Wardo still loved her and her subconscious never stopped believing that! Hey, look! Bella’s “having an epiphany”! Imaginary!Wardo is complete proof that Real!Wardo still loves her! He was lying the whole time he said he didn’t love her! He really does love her!
Yeah, that’s great and all, except for two things:
1) It…actually isn’t proof that Wardo still loves you, because of the second point.
2) That still doesn’t explain Imaginary!Wardo.
So, as always—PHAIL, Meyer.
So, it’s all grand and glorious and Wardo really loves her and DEAR GOD, I AM GOING TO EAT HOT SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS IF WE DO NOT MOVE FORWARD AND GET THIS OVER WITH. Meyer ignores me and decides to masturbate instead, as Wardo decides to tell her that she did so much better than he did while they were separated, because he would just curl up into a ball and be miserable and was just “totally useless”.
And you’re trying to tell me Bella didn’t and wasn’t?
Meyer, I can only take so much of all of the characters talking about how great Bella (i.e., you) is.
We get more statements of how Wardo loves Bella, and we finally go inside, saying that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the Cullens say regarding changing Bella into a vampire. He calls the family down, and they arrive, very cheerful and happy as if nothing bad has happened in the slightest. Gawd, the Airhead similarities continue. “Bad thing happened! Bad thing left! Let’s not think about it anymore!” Anyway, Bella says that she’s got to talk to the whole family, and off they go into the dining room, where everybody convenes. Rosalie behaves like a good reforming Scary Sue, and we all get situated, and Bella begins to state her point. Bella says that this whole thing involves all of the Cullens, and so they should all have a say on whether or not she gets changed—which we all know is bullshit. It basically comes down to Wardo. He’s the one who told her about vampires, not the Cullens. But, anything to get her way.
And isn’t it nice of her to just march into their house uninvited, demand they all come to attention, and just insert herself into their lives, and all.
Moving on. Bella states her case, and Wardo quickly inserts himself to state his own plan of how to keep Bella mortal and safe from the evil Catholics.
This ought to be good. *settles in*
So, Wardo mentions that the Catholics are all overconfident and that he plans on using this against them. He brings up Demetri, and says that Demetri is, like, the tracker of all trackers. Normally, there would be absolutely no way possible for them to keep Bella hidden, because he would easily manage to find them. However, because the Catholics are so dependent on their abilities, they won’t know what to do when Demetri’s tracker ability doesn’t work on Bella—you know, because powers don’t work on her. So, using Alice’s future-seeing, it’ll be easy to hide Bella.
Well, as half-assed as this plan is, I think it’s very easy to see the major flaw in this whole plan.
James was a tracker. James tracked Bella. Bella is not immune to tracking. Sorry, Wardo, Meyer—it ain’t flying with me.
Anyway, naturally, Emmett and Jasper think it’s great, all of the girls think it sucks. Bella then goes on the verge of stomping her feet and squealing, “This is about me!” and that is not an exaggeration, and brings the camera back to herself. She puts it all to a vote. It goes thusly:
Wardo: No. Very against it.
Alice: Yes. Naturally.
Jasper: Yes. Surprised to find that out.
Rosalie: No. Because if given another choice, she wouldn’t have chosen a vampiric existence and doesn’t think Bella should choose it, either. We won’t find why out until Eclipse.
Emmett: Yes. Hell yes, to be precise.
Esme: Yes. A gentle and submissive yes.
Carlisle: Yes. Because he knows Wardo will die when Bella does and he doesn’t want to bear that.
For some reason, Bella was pretending that Carlisle’s vote was some kind of tie-breaker. There is somebody here who can’t count—it’s either Meyer or Bella. Actually, it’s probably both.
So, Wardo has an epic flounce, runs out of the room, and breaks something off camera. Bella makes some supposedly heartfelt speech about them wanting her and how she feels the same, but we all know better—it’s all about being powerful and beautiful. So, after enduring a hug from Esme, she turns to Alice and demands to be bitten right now.
Wardo shits an entire brick house upon hearing that and storms back into the room to protectively hover over Bella. Alice says she is not near ready for that and needs to prepare, but no, Bella’s having none of that, she wants to have her way, and don’t care how, she wants it now. When Alice continues to balk, she moves on to Carlisle and demands it from him instead. And if one keeps in mind the fact that traditionally a vampire’s bite was a sexual metaphor, this scene becomes hilarious.
Anyway, Wardo’s made a little brick city by this point, and says that they shouldn’t do it now. Bella snottily disagrees until Wardo reminds her that a guy named Charlie exists. Bella has a brief crisis—either say goodbye to her entire family or continue to put them in danger by being human because she’s not strong and powerful enough to protect them. I say brief because it doesn’t take her too long to decide quickly upon being immortal and beautiful and powerful as soon as possible—that is clearly the best thing. Wardo insists that they need to wait until Bella finishes high school and is no longer living with Charlie. Bella ponders that for yet another brief moment, and then decides to consider it. She pouts and is a general pill about everything, and Wardo decides to rush to take Bella home—but not before she can get Carlisle’s promise to change her directly after graduation. She smugly allows Wardo to take her home, and good Lord, I just want to deck her.
So, Wardo takes her home, puts her in her bed, and then is obviously thinking of a way to buy some more time for himself. The first thing he asks is, “If you could have anything in the world, anything at all, what would it be?” Bella replies, “You.” Now, there you go, Wardo—there’s your leverage. You want her to stay human? Tell her you won’t be hers unless she stays human. Then you’ll see just how much she doesn’t want you the most out of everything. Guaranteed. But, naturally, this doesn’t cross his mind. So, he asks for the next thing, and her response is that Wardo be the one to change her, rather than Carlisle. He offers to trade with that. She says “anything”, so he asks for five years. She immediately takes it back. Bargaining back and forth, and Bella finally declares that there is no way she is reaching the twenties, because GAWD, that’s as bad as being eighty. Wardo then decides upon a new condition—they have to get married first.
And Bella—who has declared Wardo her Truest of True Loves, the only man she ever wants to be with, somebody she has declared herself to, the one she wants to spend eternity with, the one she is willing to give her soul up for—just absolutely dries up at the very notion of getting married at eighteen.
Um, Bella? You’re going to be eighteen forever. And you’re going to stay with Wardo forever. You said so yourself. So, why the hell does getting married matter?
Anyway, the thought of being married to Wardo at age eighteen sends her into a panic, and she says “marriage isn’t exactly that high on [her] list of priorities”. Pointless backs and forths are exchanged, and it is extremely tiresome. Bella doesn’t want to get married, Wardo does, and I hate them both for it.
I hate Bella’s nonsensical logic for not wanting to get married, simply because it makes no sense whatsoever, and I hate Wardo’s insistence because it’s just one more thing he’s trying to control. They’re both a pair of rotten, dirty, filthy, foul bastards and I hope they die. Like, now.
One thing leads to another and Bella winds up shouting loud enough for Charlie to wake up. Wardo hides in her closet, and Charlie enters the room. Apparently, he does not question what woke him up in the first place. Bella’s extremely care-free about everything, and Charlie finally sits her down and says that she is in trouble, says that she can’t possibly understand what she put him through, and threatens to send her to her mom.
Now, if you thought Bella might have any sort of sympathy for Charlie’s plight or think in any sort of way outside of her own feelings and wants and needs…you probably need to be slapped back to your senses.
So, she snottily informs him that she has no intentions of going back to Jacksonville, and basically sets the terms of how he’s allowed to punish her. No, I am not joking. Charlie finally asks her to explain where she has been. Bella starts giving some vague responses, and I supposed it’s supposed to be humorous, but I sure ain’t laughin’. She gives an extremely unconvincing and very obviously contrived story about where she has been, and then Charlie wheels around and starts going off on Wardo. Rightfully so, I say. He says that he doesn’t think Wardo is good for her and wants her to keep away from him. Then the story gets absolutely disgusting.
Bella declares that she is going to move out upon that particular threat. And, as she knows Charlie wants her to stay, she uses that threat to manipulate him into doing whatever she wants.
Now, if Charlie had any sense whatsoever, he’d say, “Fine. Move out. You’ve obviously chosen Edward over everybody else, including your own family, and you clearly have no intention of living by my rules. Get out of my house.” Because it’s more than obvious that she is only using this “I’ll move out” threat in order to bend Charlie’s will to her own. She wouldn’t make good on it—she isn’t through mooching off of Charlie. Not to mention one other thing, Bella:
IT’S CHARLIE’S GODDAMNED FUCKING HOUSE!!!!!!!!!
IT’S NOT YOUR HOUSE!!! IT’S HIS HOUSE!!! HE HAS A RIGHT TO BAN WARDO FROM IT IF HE WANTS!!! IT’S HIS PROPERTY, IT’S HIS RIGHT!!! YOU DON’T OWN THE HOUSE, AND YOU DON’T ADD A GODDAMNED THING TO IT!!! SO FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
*spits* I despise Bella Swan. I truly and thoroughly do. She is a foul, ill-behaved, monstrous little brat who makes Veruca Salt look like a dainty and considerate angel.
Charlie storms out, furious, and Bella pretty much completely brushes the conflict aside. Who cares about Charlie’s feelings, eh? She says that she’ll just move in with Wardo if he kicks her out, and actually hints that she vaguely hopes he does because that’ll mean no graduation deadline for her being changed into an eternally beautiful vampire. Wardo says, “So eager for eternal damnation”, and Bella arrogantly scoffs and says that he doesn’t believe that. She’s got proof, too. Wardo thought they were dead and in heaven when she ran into him in Volterra—absolute proof.
Bella, he did not say he believed it. He expressed surprised that Carlisle was right—surprise, as in disbelief. That does not indicate he believes it, you little nitwit.
This chapter ends on an incredibly sappy note, so I won’t transcribe it.
Onward and upward to the home stretch!
So, in true Airhead style, everything goes back to normal with almost absolutely no repercussions whatsoever. Carlisle goes back to his hospital with absolutely no one resenting it or wondering why he decided to come back or conflict with his position having been re-filled already, Wardo and Alice go right back to school perfectly fine, even though they probably both have absolutely no previous school records for said transfer back into Forks High, Bella missed a Calculus test while abroad and doesn’t think twice about it, and now Wardo is forcing Bella to fill out a bunch of college applications. LORD. While I hate the fact that she is thinking absolutely nothing about college and won’t even entertain the notion of going because all she wants to be is beautiful and powerful rather than be useful or intelligent in any capacity, I equally despise the fact that Wardo is forcing her to consider it. Because she can’t make any sort of choice for herself at all. Ever.
We also learn that Wardo is allowed inside the house again, but only during designated visiting hours. I think we can all assume that Wardo is breaking that rule by sneaking into her window at night. Isn’t it great that he has such respect for Bella’s father? Well, don’t worry—it’s gonna get ten times worse in Eclipse.
Anyway—even though we pretty much haven’t thought of him since Chapter 19 and almost 100 pages, it’s now time to angst about Jacob not being in her life. He won’t reply to Bella’s phone calls, and she’s not allowed to go to La Push because she’s grounded (but they were her terms, remember? She bullied Charlie into doing what she wanted). We get confirmation that Wardo is, in fact, completely ignoring Charlie’s edict and coming to see Bella at night, and then…oh, GEEZ…
I made these calls mostly at night, after Edward had been kicked out—promptly at nine by a grimly gleeful Charlie—and before Edward snuck back through my window when Charlie was asleep. I chose that time to make my fruitless calls because I'd noticed that Edward made a certain face every time I mentioned Jacob's name. Sort of disapproving and wary… maybe even angry. I guessed that he had some reciprocal prejudice against the werewolves, though he wasn't as vocal as Jacob had been about the "bloodsuckers."
So, I didn't mention Jacob much.
*claws at her own face* MY GOD!!! I HATE YOU!!! YOU’LL BRING UP WARDO AND THE CULLENS AND DEFEND THEM VALIENTLY IN THE FACE OF JACOB’S OBVIOUS HATRED BUT OH, HEAVEN FORBID YOU EVEN MENTION JACOB IN WARDO’S PRESENCE, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T APPROVE!!! AND THEN YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE SOME KIND OF INDEPENDENT WOMAN, AND THAT YOU AREN’T JUST A SUBMISSIVE, OBVIOUSLY ABUSED HELPLESS FEMALE WHO WON’T STOP FELLATING WARDO FOR EVEN A SECOND TO CONSIDER YOUR RIGHTS AND DESIRES???!!!!
*viciously tenderizes a steak with her teeth to make herself feel better*
She goes further to call Jacob “leftover, unresolved character”. He’s not the only one, Meyer. You have a TON of them.
Meyer fast-forwards through weeks, because she doesn’t have TIME to transition in a proper and acceptable way to what she considers important action. Bella declares Jacob ignoring her “just plain rude”, because how DARE Jacob be hurt and angry with her leading him on for months and then saying, “Fuck you, MAH MAN is back!” How dare he not grab his ankles and take it like a bitch? How dare he not just smile and nod happily and be pleased about it all? It’s like he’s got feelings, or something!
Bella declares that Billy and Jacob hate her, and YET AGAIN says that “it’s not fair”. Bella, you say that ONE MORE TIME, and I will not only wish for the Goblins to take you away, but I will go so far as to wish you straight into the cornfield. Wardo says that “nobody hates [her]”. *grimaces* Don’t remind me, Wardo.
Bella decides now is a good time to bring up The Goddamned Hole™. Oh, fantastic. Wardo says that Jacob is staying away because he hates vampires and knows that Bella will be with them in some way. Oh, right, Wardo—it’s only the werewolves who have hatred and prejudice. You’re just the patron saint of tolerance and love. And then he decides now is a good time to talk about his own greatness and put down the werewolves.
"Bella, we are what we are," Edward said quietly. "I can control myself, but I doubt he can. He's very young. It would most likely turn into a fight, and I don't know if I could stop it before I k—" he broke off, and then quickly continued. "Before I hurt him. You would be unhappy. I don't want that to happen."
First off—Wardo, you really don’t need to toot the vampire horn in front of Bella. She sucks vampire dick all day long and is happy about it—she even swallows.
Secondly—funny, Wardo. Jacob says the same thing. That means you’re both full of shit.
Bella is SHOCKED that Wardo would try to kill Jacob, but not like she was when Jacob said he might kill Alice or Wardo. She’s only shocked because she has absolutely no doubt that Wardo would kill Jacob if he took it into his mind, as vampires rule and dogs drool AND because, after all Romeo and Juliet declares Paris’s fate to die at Romeo’s hands. Well, can’t argue with that.
Bella declares that nothing like that will occur and says to get her home (Wardo had picked her up from work at the beginning of this chapter), and then Wardo goes dramatic prairie dog and says that Bella is in serious trouble. She leaps to a bunch of conclusions until Wardo says that she is in serious trouble with Charlie. Bella finally notices her motorcycle. Yep. Jacob revealed that Bella was riding around the countryside on a motorcycle. Reaction?
"No!" I gasped. "Why? Why would Jacob do this to me?" The sting of betrayal washed through me. I had trusted Jacob implicitly—trusted him with every single secret I had. He was supposed to be my safe harbor—the person I could always rely on. Of course things were strained right now, but I didn't think any of the underlying foundation had changed. I didn't think that was changeable!
What had I done to deserve this? Charlie was going to be so mad—and worse than that, he was going to be hurt and worried. Didn't he have enough to deal with already? I would have never imagined that Jake could be so petty and just plain mean. Tears sprang, smarting, into my eyes, but they were not tears of sadness. I had been betrayed. I was suddenly so angry that my head throbbed like it was going to explode.
*is struck completely dumb by the level of selfishness, hypocrisy, and idiocy being displayed*
*storms off to destroy downtown Tokyo*
Anyway. Bella confirms from Wardo that Jacob’s still there and waiting for them, and she leaps out of the car, ready to beat Jacob’s ass for daring to do something she didn’t want him to do. Wardo says that Jacob has come to see him, not Bella, and she quotes Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet again to remind us of this Paris/Romeo/Juliet thing she’s been so subtly trying to thrust in our faces. After batting it angrily away, we learn that Jacob is acting as a spokesperson for the rest of the pack. Oh, THAT was smart, Sam.
So, there’s Jacob, and he’s sneering. Wardo keeps Bella directly behind him because Jacob is ZOMGDANGEROUS. Bella demands to know why he would do this, and then REALLY pisses me off:
"…Do you want Charlie to strangle me? Or did you want him to have a heart attack, like Harry? No matter how mad you are at me, how could you do this to him?"
*slaps Bella* BITCH.
Wardo informs Bella that Jacob did this to try and prevent her from seeing him. Jacob is reasonably angry that Wardo’s pretty much just pulling information out of his head and being a real bastard about it, and then we find out that Jacob didn’t know Bella was grounded and thought it was Wardo keeping her from going to La Push. No, that’s not until Eclipse. So, he’s immediately sorry. And then…Wardo decides that the way to win this is to get the high ground.
"Thank you," Edward said, and his voice throbbed with the depth of his sincerity. "I will never be able to tell you how grateful I am. I will owe you for the rest of my… existence."
Jacob stared at him blankly, his shudders stilled by surprise. He exchanged a quick glance with me, but my face was just as mystified.
"For keeping Bella alive," Edward clarified, his voice rough and fervent. "When I… didn't."
"Edward—" I started to say, but he held one hand up, his eyes on Jacob.
Understanding washed over Jacob's face before the hard mask returned. "I didn't do it for your benefit."
"I know. But that doesn't erase the gratitude I feel. I thought you should know. If there's ever anything in my power to do for you…"
What a patronizing, smug little shit.
Jacob thinks that Wardo should get his bitch-ass out of town, and Wardo says he isn’t doing that unless Bella orders him away. They have a tender moment, and Jacob speaks for the audience by gagging. Then Jacob gets down to business, saying that the main reason he’s here is to remind Wardo of a few key points of the treaty, saying that the treaty is history if any Cullens bite a human. Bella’s response: “That’s none of your business.”
Sometimes, there is really only one thing you can say.
Jacob goes nuts, almost wolfing out, and Edward is all protective and shit. Jacob lobs a very nice volley: “I would never hurt her.” Wardo gets defensive and looks about ready to charge, and then Charlie reminds them all that he’s present and screams for Bella to get inside the house.
Wardo stops Jacob from leaving and asks about Victoria. Jacob says that they found her trail in La Push and were closing in when she got Alice’s scent and vanished and hasn’t been seen since. Wardo smugly says that she’s not the werewolves’ problem anymore and that the clearly superior Cullens will take care of her. Jacob insists that the werewolves have dibs, and then Charlie screams again. Jacob says goodbye to Bella, and she ACTUALLY WANTS TO STILL BE FRIENDS. Bella, you only became friends with him because Wardo wasn’t around—you really expect him to just blithely be friends with you now that he’s back? I think he’s very aware of where he stands in your twisted little universe. He says no, and then we have a moment that I’m sure Meyer was imagining in her head—I’m sure there, it looked very Lifetime Network-ish and poignant, but in written form, it just looks stupid. They reach for each other, and Bella takes a step forward…
Edward pulled me back again, his arms restraining instead of defending.
"It's okay," I promised him, looking up to read his face with trust in my eyes. He would understand.
His eyes were unreadable, his face expressionless. Cold. "No, it's not."
"Let her go," Jacob snarled, furious again. "She wants to!" He took two long strides forward. A glint of anticipation flashed in his eyes. His chest seemed to swell as it shuddered.
I know his motives make this conversation silly, but Jacob’s still right—she should have a right to go to her friend. Wardo’s just being the same, controlling asshole we’ve always known, and I want to kill him.
Charlie screams again, and then Bella lists down all of the problems she’s got at the moment. They’re pointless. And then she and Wardo go back to face Charlie and all of his fury—and it’s quite clear that she’s only bringing Wardo with her so that he can bully Charlie into doing whatever she wants.
And on that note, the book ends.
Biggest complaint: THIS. WAS. POINTLESS.
Seriously. This book was nothing but a vehicle to introduce the werewolves, the dumbass love triangle, and the Volturi—nothing that couldn’t have been done in Eclipse. What, was it supposed to show how much Wardo and Bella love each other? We already knew all about that (but only because Meyer tells us that, not because she ever actually shows it). This was COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY POINTLESS. This book served NO. PURPOSE. It had no plot, it had no reason for anything, and it was nothing but a 492-page whining festival. Nobody had any character development, there was no general plot arc, there was NOTHING. It only serves to establish some characterization—characterizations that Meyer promptly changes and shits all over in the next two books.
This book shouldn’t have been written. That is all there is to it.
Also, I have to say, it’s gonna be hard for any other book in this series to outdo all of the plotholes this one presented. I cannot even remember how many I found and pointed out. Some of them were small, yes, but there were so many. I can MAYBE ignore one or two tiny plotholes—I can’t ignore a million little ones and a few hundred BIG ones. That’s impossible.
And, the one complaint that is maybe as big as the plotless one…
She was built up and talked about and dreaded and feared and anticipated for the entire novel. Did we ever see her?
Wow. Talk about completely and utterly anticlimactic. I have to say, on terms of anticlimax, I think this one is ten times worse than Breaking Dawn. At least we actually saw the Catholics and one person died. This one? Nothin’. Absolutely nothing. Victoria was in this novel for pretty much no reason whatsoever. Not to mention the fact that I know that by the next book, she’s pretty much forgotten. Seriously—here they know she’s out there, coming after Bella and all—and yet it takes them until the middle of Eclipse to make the connection that she’s, you know, after Bella.
In short—it sucks. It sucks wet ass. PHAIL.
Final Paul Count: 5
As a special treat, you get one more thing from me—an actual sporking! I’m going to spork the acknowledgements.
So much love and thanks to my husband and sons for their continuing understanding and sacrifice in support of my writing
I have to admire her husband, too—putting up with his own wife writing about what she’d rather have in life? Man, that has to hurt.
At least I'm not the only one to benefit—I am sure many local restaurants are grateful that I don't cook anymore.
That’s right, Meyer. Flaunt your wealth—wave it if you got it, and all.
Thank you, Mom, for being my best friend and letting me talk your ear off through all the rough spots.
I wonder if Meyer actually acts like her mother is her best friend—unlike Bella here, who says her mother is her best friend and then thinks about her once about every six or seven chapters—and it’s usually to talk about how much Renée irritates her, or to use her in a fashion that makes herself look good.
Thanks, also, for being so insanely creative and intelligent, and bequeathing a small portion of both into my genetic makeup.
…dude. Don’t even.
Thanks to all my siblings, Emily, Heidi, Paul, Seth, and Jacob, for letting me borrow your names. I hope I didn't do anything with them that makes you wish you hadn't.
Let’s see, she made one into a submissive, horribly-scarred doormat, one into a tarted-up evil Catholic, one into a fursploding, temper-tantruming werewolf, one into a panting sycophant, and…had her own brother be madly in love with her.
I feel sorry for her brother Jacob.
A special thanks to my brother Paul for the motorcycle riding lesson—you have a true gift for teaching.
Meyer, if you used your own experience as a basis for what happened in this book, you are very, very incompetent.
I can't thank my brother Seth enough for all the hard work and genius he put into the creation of www.stepheniemeyer.com. I'm so grateful for the effort he continues to expend as my Webmaster. Check's in the mail, kid. This time, I mean it.
Is he the one who screens her mail?
Thanks again to my brother Jacob for his ongoing expert advice on all my automotive choices.
Because doing something called “research” is absolutely out of the question.
A big thank you to my agent, Jodi Reamer, for her continued guidance and assistance in my career. And also for enduring my craziness with a smile when I know she'd like to use some of her ninja moves on me instead.
Well, as you can see, this page of Acknowledgements has now turned into a typical Suethor A/N. Airhead kind of wrote like this. Meyer, you are a professional writer. You are expected to have some level of professionalism. I am all for a rather loose and friendly tone of writing in prefaces and that sort of thing, but this chattiness is just a sign of immaturity and inexperience. Yeah, I said it, bitch.
Love, kisses, and gratitude to my publicist, the beautiful Elizabeth Eulberg, for making my touring experience less a chore and more a pajama party, for aiding and abetting my cyber-stalkery,
Ah, so no wonder Wardo’s a stalker—she herself displays it as a form of affection.
for convincing those exclusive snobs in the EEC (Elizabeth Eulberg Club) to let me in, and, oh yeah, also for getting me on the New York Times bestseller's list.
*wryly* Might want to slow down a little, Meyer—you might start chafing if you do that too much.
A huge vat of thanks to everyone at Little, Brown and Company for their support and their belief in the potential of my stories.
Good LORD, this isn’t an Acknowledgement—this is just her masturbating to her own brilliance!
And, finally, thank you to the talented musicians who inspire me, particularly the band Muse—there are emotions, scenes, and plot threads in this novel that were born from Muse songs and would not exist without their genius.
Shit. I like a few Muse songs—now I feel dirty, wondering if the ones I like were used to “inspire” this twit.
Also Linkin Park, Travis, Elbow, Coldplay, Marjoric Fair, My Chemical Romance, Brand New, The Strokes, Armor for Sleep, The Arcade Fire, and The Fray have all been instrumental in staving off the writer's block.
I’d buy that. This book was incredibly emo, after all.
And with that, I am done. Done with the book that broke Hyde and that sent me into a froth of murdering, pants-wetting rage!
Stinger: “"Let her go," Jacob snarled, furious again. "She wants to!"”
( Eclipse: Preface )