Saturday, July 11, 2009

I read Twilight and Hate it: Chapter 2

Previous: Chapter One

Here's the short version: Edward was gone from school the next couple days, then it snowed, them he came back with new eyes and started acting nice to Bella for no apparent reason. That's basically the gist of chapter two. Except it's drawn out over twenty-two pages and sprinkled with lots of trivial teenage social problems and flowery descriptions of how gorgeous Edward is (something tells me that a lot of the chapters are going to be like that).
It starts with Bella talking about how she's been having fantasies about telling Edward off for not bowing down/paying attention to her, or whatever. She notes that she'd never actually do it, though, because she was a wuss and "made the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator."1 I have no idea why Meyer decided to capitalize "Cowardly Lion," but not "terminator." Some subtle display of her admiration for the Wizard of Oz and disdain for Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, perhaps? Or just a lazy copy-editor. I guess I can't really blame Meyer for that one.
Anyways, all the guys that she met the previous day (except Edward, who doesn't show up to school) are swooning over her and having jealous little almost-fights for her attention. At least that's what she says. Since this is all being related to us by the character of Bella, rather than an impartial narrator, we don't really know that these boys are jealous over here; we just know that she thinks that they're jealous over her. Is this to demonstrate that Bella is self-centered or has a run-away ego? Probably not, because this book doesn't seem that deep.
The helpful guy from the day before (who is named "Mike," by the way) "who was taking on the qualities of a golden retriever, walked faithfully by [Bella's] side to class." She talks about him as though he were a dog for much of the chapter, and notes that she "was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn't be easy."1 Ouch. Nice guys finish last in Meyer's world. Bella makes a third reference to her being bad at volleyball, and leaves school to get groceries, but not before pausing again (in the parking lot) do note how damned sexy the vampire siblings are (even with Edward being AWOL).
After a pointless-seeming explanation that her dad can't cook, she would be taking over the kitchen duties, and explanation of what she was cooking that night, Bella checks her email to find three "OMG, I'm so worried about you" messages from her mom. She replies with an "I'm fine, but angsty. Also, you're worthless without me." Then, more pointless talk about what she's cooking her and her dad for dinner. The whole dinner things seems vestigial to the plot, except for that her dad gives her some information about the Cullens. Their adoptive-father is a very gifted surgeon, and all the kids act really well-behaved and mature (probably because they're so damned old).
The next week or so passes by in a couple paragraphs. Mike is up to his dastardly tricks, like inviting her on a group road-trip, and Edward continues to not show up. Then it snows, and Bella has more angst about that. Grease-boy from before (who's name is "Eric") hits Mike with a jealousy-snowball. Bella then retreats, but at lunch she finds out *gasp* that Edward has returned to school and he's *gasp* no longer acting freaked out by her. Also, he and his posse no longer looked like they were coming down from a three-day high.
Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction: we're going to be told the reason that Edward voided Bella at first but now doesn't, and it's going to be something incredibly stupid; like... she looked so yummy that he could barely hold himself from biting her neck, or... he heard some ridiculous rumor about her and accepted it without question. Something stupid like that. I haven't actually read this book before, so I honestly don't know what the explanation is going to be. Let's see if I'm right as the book pans out.
Anyways, Bella spends lunch freaking out about Edward's presence to her friend, Jessica. Jessica, incidentally, has a crush on Mike. Or, at least, Bella narrated that she has a crush on Mike. Knowing how Bella perceived all the guys to like her, I'm surprised that she didn't narrate that Jessica had a crush on her.
She heads to Biology, where Edward introduces himself to her today in a "quiet, musical voice."1 You can add that to "deep" and "attractive" from the first chapter. They make awkward small talk, and go through the lab, demonstrating how much better they both are at science than every other student (probably because neither of them originally went to the vastly inferior Forks public schools). Bella also notices something different about his appearance:

I vividly remember the flay black color of his eyes the last time he'd glared at me - the color was striking against the background of his pale skin and his auburn hair. Today, is eyes were a completely different color: a strange ocher, darker than butterscotch, but with the same golden tone.1

Seriously, she gave him colour-changing eyes? I guess Meyer just couldn't decide whether she found "dark, piercing eyes" or eyes with a "golden tone" to be more attractive. This is getting to be so fanfictiony, I'm surprised she doesn't give him cat ears.
They continue the small talk and Bella explains her reason for moving to Forks anyways (so her mom would be free to travel around the country with her new husband, a small-time baseball player). Edward, at this point in the conversation, has taken to telling Bella how she feels, rather than asking. To this, Bella says:

"My face is so easy to read - my mother always calls me her open book." I frowned
"On the contrary, I find you very difficult to read."...
"That must mean you're a good reader then," I replied.1

Bella's kind of an idiot, I realized. Let's look at the logic again. Bella is easy to read, and Edward finds her hard to read, so that would make him a good reader? No, it would be the opposite. For example, if you saw an adult reading The Little Engine that Could, and you walked up to them and said "hey, that's an easy to read book," and they said "actually, I find it quite difficult to read," you would think that they were mentally handicapped. The thought that they're a good reader would be the last thing from your mind.
So, Biology ends and Bella walks out with Mike. He gets a jealousy-face when they talk about Edward (and considering how much she narrates about Edward, Bella probably talks about him a lot). They go to P.E. together, and Mike is on her team in Volleyball, covering the week-spot she creates; a fourth reference to her being bad at the sport in half as many chapters. Is this going somewhere?
After school, she catches a glimpse of Edward outside his car in the parking lot and, in her lust-frenzy, almost crashes into a Toyota Corolla, "just the sort of car that my truck would make scrap metal of."1 Take that, foreign car manufacturers! Thus end chapter 2.
Stay tuned for chapter 3.

1Meyer, Stephanie Twilight. “Chapter 2: Open Book” Little, Brown and Co., 2005

1 comment:

  1. shouldn't it be "I'm reading Twilight and I hate it"? Or "I'm finally reading Twilight like everyone else in the world but I'm going to whine about it every single day"?