In light of my previous review, I feel the need to point out something I have to give Stephenie Meyer credit for: she does manage to portray the mind of an average sixteen year old girl with almost frightening accuracy. Teenagers for the most part are nasty and self-absorbed. I was a teenage girl myself not too long ago, and I know that sometimes if you're forced (or feel you're forced- everyone seems to bend over backwards to please Bella and yet she still thinks everyone's out to make her life hell) to do something you you don't like you will be determined to hate everyone and everything involved with it. It's a teenager's way of saying "Fine, Mum and Dad, you may legally be able to tell me what to do, BUT I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT!" *door slam*
In that respect, Bella's initial attraction to Edward despite, or even because of, his stalker-like behaviour actually starts to make some sense. I mean, explaining your feelings to someone is hard, I get it. Therefore it must be a dream come true when someone 'gets' your feelings without you having to say anything, and then also validates them for you rather than saying "Actually, Bella, you're behaving like a brat." Because not all feelings are justified. Sorry, kids. Feeling creeped out because the boy in Biology knows a little too much personal information about you? Justified. Feeling annoyed at someone just because they come from a town you don't like? Unjustified.
So Bella is a fairly accurate depiction of an average teenager. Does this make her a good role model for teenagers? Not in the current state. It would depend on her character development, but I have it on good authority that Bella's character development (spoilers!) is pretty dismal. Does this make her an interesting character? Well, no. I mean, c'mon, if the biggest problem in your life is the fact that the guy you're vaguely interested in happens to be the one guy in school who doesn't like you, you have a pretty great life.
A character being an average Joan does not automatically make them uninteresting, nor should it. My main problem with the depiction of Bella so far is that everyone, Bella included, seems to act like she's so much better than everyone else, and she's not. She's ordinary. Normal. Bland in the extreme, like an underdone piece of dry toast. So why all the fuss, male population?
Since writing the above I have in fact read up to Chapter 9 of this monstrosity, but I'll still only review two chapters this time and split up the rest, since there's a whole lot of stupid to be discussed.
From now on I will also be keeping a tally of the Foreshadowing Moments (because good God, are there many. Stephenie Meyer is about as subtle as a butcher wielding a cleaver) and the Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moments. Let's see the score for this review.
Chapter 3: Phenomenon
Bella is approached by two of her admirers at school, but all she cares about is the whereabouts of the Cullen's Volvo. That's right, folks, Edward Cullen, supposedly the coolest guy on earth, drives a Volvo. Not a BMW, not a Mercedes, not a Lamborghini or any other car that would make the hosts of Top Gear drool. A Volvo.
But wait! What's this I see here? Could it be- yes! It is! Some action at last!
The action being Edward saving Bella from a skidding car with his Awesome Vampire Powers, and despite being moments from death, Bella still has time to observe how unnaturally fast and strong Edward is. In other words, FORESHADOWING!
Bella gets taken to hospital and somehow still manages to be whiny throughout. She asks to speak to Edward alone and confronts him about how he saved her.
"Hey, Edward, I'm really sorry-" Tyler began.
Edward lifted a hand to stop him.
"No blood, no foul," he said.
I see what you did there, Stephenie Meyer. How witty you are!
"Then why does it matter?"
"It matters to me," I insisted. "I don't like to lie."
But earlier on, Bella was saying that she lied all the time... Consistency, you have none.
"Why did you even bother?" I asked frigidly.
"I don't know," he whispered.
See, this is one of the things I had trouble with in this chapter. Are we supposed to think that had anyone other than Bella been in the way of the car, Edward wouldn't have saved them even though he has the ability to do so with no risk to himself? Because that's sure how it comes across. Dear readers, meet your romantic lead. Isn't he a gem?
Chapter 4: Invitations
This is pretty much a filler chapter, so we'll race through it. Onwards!
Bella has a dream about Edward (FORESHADOWING) and is perplexed as to why. I can tell you, Bella: hormones. They appear during puberty and proceed to fuck up your life, forcing you to make stupid decisions like getting married when you're eighteen.
There's some more stuff about Bella being chased by all the boys and it's all a bit of a yawn. Moving on.
Edward and Bella have a conversation again, and Edward offers to give Bella a ride to Seattle in his car while being creepy. So far the interactions between Bella and Edward have been dull and vapid at best and disturbing at worst (and that, dear readers, is me foreshadowing the next couple of chapters. Take note).
And that's the end of this chapter. Thank God.
Chapter 5: Blood Type
The Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moments begin here!
Edward beckons (no really, beckons. With his finger and everything) Bella over to join him at lunch, and this is where things start to go from mildly creepy to really creepy.
"I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly."
"You know I don't have any idea what you mean."
He wants to jump you, Bella. It's not that hard to figure out.
"I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you."
"I may not give you back though," he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.
He laughed. "You look worried."
"Yes, I'm giving up trying to be good. I'm just going to do what I want now, and let the chips fall where they may."
Edward, please stop what you're doing and read Schrodinger's Rapist. Now.
Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moment number 1.
"I don't like double standards."
Neither do I. A pity this book is full of them.
And now it's Biology class again, and Edward is ditching. How rebellious of him. Oh, they're testing for blood types in class! FORESHADOWING!
Bla bla, Biology, bla. Seriously, this book loves its Biology classes.
Bella feels faint during class, Edward mysteriously appears and takes her to the nurse's office, scooping her up in his arms despite her protests. Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moment 2.
"I smelled the blood," I said, wrinkling my nose.
"People can't smell blood," he contradicted.
I don't know if this is is Edward's mistake or Stephenie Meyer's, because in fact, people can smell blood, and very easily too, so being able to sniff out blood doesn't make Bella a special snowflake. And just in case you forgot, FORESHADOWING!
Bella skips gym class (I can't blame her, I did that all the time too) and wants to go home.
I veered left, toward my truck. Something caught my jacket, yanking me back.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.
He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket. It was all I could do to keep from falling backward. He'd probably just drag me along anyway if I did.
"Let go!" I insisted. He ignored me.
Jesus Christ! Did Stephenie Meyer honestly not realise that having a man drag a woman towards his car against her will was just a little bit problematic?
I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. I had to admit, they weren't good.
"I'll just drag you back," he threatened, guessing my plan.
So after Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moment number three (now with added WTF!), Edward successfully manages to drive Bella home without getting any creepier and we get a bit of exposition *cough* I mean deep conversation.
End Chapter Five! Did you have fun? I know I didn't.
Foreshadowing Moments: 4
Edward Is A Controlling Creep Moments: 3