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Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 5

October 12, 2011


This chapter starts some new, relatively unfamiliar territory. Pretty much nothing that happens in this chapter happened in the movie at all, so I’m going in blind. And really, after reading it, I can see why it’s excluded. Some of the most bizarre traits of our two leading characters appear here, and it’s mindblowing.

After Bella has been extended the offer from Edward to be given a ride to Seattle the next weekend, she stumbles through class and lunch in a sort of daze. All of her friends keep trying to be nice and inviting, even after she’s turned down all of her male friends’ affections. Even her female friends, who are quite possibly jealous of her unimaginable popularity, are all still trying to be as friendly as humanly possible, while Bella seems to not take notice of any of their courtesy. Ah, just typical old Bella as always.

Edward Cullen is staring at you again,” Jessica said, finally breaking through my abstraction with his name.

You know what, maybe I’ve been all wrong. Maybe I’ve been over reacting this entire time. Maybe this is all just how real teenage girls actually work. Maybe when I was a teenage girl I was doing it all wrong. After all, I actually didn’t make friends nearly as easily as Bella did. Maybe she’s making friends so easily that she takes them for granted, so she can afford to spend all of her free time thinking of nothing but the desirable eyes of Edward gazing upon her. Is that it? Is that what I’ve been missing?

Edward sits by himself in the cafeteria today. That is, until…

Once he’d caught my eye, he raised one hand and motioned with his index finger for me to join him. As I stared in disbelief, he winked.

“Well…” He paused, and then the rest of the words followed in a rush. “I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.”

“I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you.”
“They’ll survive.” I could feel their stares boring into my back.
“I may not give you back, though,” he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.

I don’t care if he’s a vampire or not! All of this is outside of the appropriate comfort zone for two people who have barely spoken to one another. This is ridiculous! It’s totally dangerous just on the creepy psychopath sort of level!

Edward is straining to get Bella to tell him what she’s thinking (spoilers: it’s because he can’t read her mind when he can read everybody elses, but we don’t learn that for quite some time to come). She doesn’t really want to tell him what’s up, but he plays up the fact that he’s deadly gorgeous, gives her googley eyes, and asks her cooingly to spill the beans. And she does. Easily, without further hesitation.

“Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, distracted.
“No.” I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full – of butterflies.


I just wondered… if you could warn me beforehand the next time you decide to ignore me for my own good. Just so I’m prepared.” I looked at the lemonade bottle as I spoke, tracing the circle of the opening with my pinkie finger.

Eugh, what is happening here? Isn’t running your finger around the edge of a glass or bottle like the international sign for, “I’m totally hot for you”? This is disgusting, these characters are seventeen-years-old.

What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.
“Oh,” I said, as several things he’d hinted fell suddenly into place. “I see.”
“Do you?” His face was abruptly severe, as if he were afraid that he’d accidentally said too much.
“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.

No shit! How many times does a man have to repeat to you, “You really should stay away from me”? How many crazy, creepy, bi-polar things has he said to you within the last 24 hours? Well, I’m glad to see you finally understand.

“But not bad,” I whispered, shaking my head. “No, I don’t believe that you’re bad.”

NO, YOU FOOL! What’s wrong with you!? You barely know him, and you’re already like the weak-willed woman in an abusive relationship! Seriously, let’s say for just one second that rather than being a vampire, Edward is just an unstable alcoholic, okay? That’s dangerous, right? Oh, but it’s okay, because he’s not bad. NO! He’s still bad! Danger is bad! Danger is very bad! And if you jump into it, you put yourself in that danger! See, the whole inherent problem with all of this is that Bella has no real idea that Edward is a vampire yet, and so for all she knows he just has this bad streak in him. And I guess girls love a bad boy, right? Well, that’s how so many women get into relationships that are unhealthy for them in the first place. Just accept that he isn’t a good guy! Don’t get wrapped up in it! And DEFINITELY don’t go to another city alone with him! What are you thinking!?

Lunch ends. Biology begins. But Edward has decided to skip class. Oh. That’s too bad.

Wait, no it isn’t. Apparently there’s some blood drive, and the class is being told to prick their fingers with a lancet so that they can learn their blood type… wait a minute, you can do that? They just hand these lancets out to students so they can prick themselves? Now, maybe it’s just my little backwater South Texas high school or something, but I’m pretty positive we wouldn’t have been allowed to handle anything that was designed to make us bleed on purpose. I can guarantee something would have gone wrong, or at the very least some adult somewhere would have been in some kind of an uproar. But, again, maybe that’s just at my old high school.

Bella doesn’t even get the chance to prick her own finger. She gets dizzy and begins to faint. So Mike starts dragging her to the nurse’s office. That’s when our gorgeous Edward shows up, much to the dismay of Mike. He carries her the rest of the way there.

“You scared me for a minute there,” he admitted after a pause. His tone made it sound like he was confessing a humiliating weakness. “I thought Newton was dragging your dead body off to bury it in the woods.”
“Ha ha.” I still had my eyes closed, but I was feeling more normal every minute.

Wait. Go back to that laugh. “Ha ha”? Did you actually think that was funny? Was that forced? Was it sarcasm? Was that actual laughter, or was it literally just the two words, “Ha ha”? There’s really no indication, and past that, there’s no further description. I’m sure glad somebody wrote about it.

“How did you see me? I thought you were ditching.”

“I was in my car, listening to a CD.” Such a normal response – it surprised me.

Why? You don’t know anything about him. Why should something so normal surprise you?

Another woozy kid gets brought into the nurse’s office. Edward suggests that Bella leaves the room. She does.

You actually listened to me.” He was stunned.
“I smelled the blood,” I said, wrinkling my nose. Lee wasn’t sick from watching other people, like me.
“People can’t smell blood,” he contradicted.
“Well, I can – that’s what makes me sick. It smells like rust… and salt.”

No. I vehemently disagree with this. This is so highly improbable that I’m doubting it up and down. The other kid only pricked his finger. He’s likely bleeding very little. Droplets, maybe. And you’re telling me that from across the room you could nearly instantaneously smell that? No. Get out.

Mike invites Bella to the beach one more time, plainly avoiding inviting Edward. Bella accepts. He says he’ll see her in Gym. Bella doesn’t want to go to Gym. Then something else weird happens.

“Bella has Gym next hour, and I don’t think she feels well enough. Actually, I was thinking I should take her home now. Do you think you could excuse her from class?”…
“Do you need to be excused, too, Edward?” Ms. Cope fluttered. …
“No, I have Mrs. Goff, she won’t mind.”
“Okay, it’s all taken care of. You feel better, Bella,” she called to me.

What!? That worked!? Alright, maybe the book is trying to insinuate that Edward used his magic vampire charms to coax the instructor into allowing them to leave campus. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that an old office official like that wouldn’t be that lenient. And you know, the office lady is trying to help Edward out by excusing him, too, but he rejects it saying his teacher won’t mind. I mean, if it were me, I’d definitely want to have the paperwork from the office saying I was excused, you know, just so that I could have that double barrier. And wait a minute, again, maybe Forks High School works differently from my high school, but I know in the case of my educational institution, you were definitely not allowed to leave campus unless you already had a note set up, or a parent called, or a parent arrived at the school early, something completely legit like that with paperwork and stuff. A student can’t just request to LEAVE! Right?

“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.
I was confused. “I’m going home.”
“Didn’t you hear me promise to take you safely home? Do you think I’m going to let you drive in your condition?” His voice was still indignant.
“What condition? And what about my truck?” I complained.
“I’ll have Alice drop it off after school.” He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket.

He’s keeping you from your car! He’s dragging you by the clothes over to his! Do you KNOW he’s going to take you home? Do you really know? And are you really going to let some other person you’ve never once spoken to in your life drive your car home? And how exactly do you plan on letting her drive the truck home, anyway? She never gives the keys to Alice. She never even gives the keys to Edward. I suppose we’re just meant to assume that Alice later hotwires Bella’s truck to bring it home to her. Yeah, that must be it.

“Let go!” I insisted. He ignored me.

“You are so pushy!” I grumbled.
“It’s open,” was all he responded. …
“I am perfectly capable of driving myself home!” …
He lowered the automatic window and leaned toward me across the seat. “Get in, Bella.”
…I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. …
“I’ll just drag you back,” he threatened, guessing my plan.


But she doesn’t. She rides with him. And she answers more of his inane questions about her boring life, like about what kind of a person her mom is, even how old Bella is. Finally, amazingly, Bella starts asking questions about Edward, about his family, etc. Granted, he doesn’t give answers with much depth to them, but now we start to get a vague idea as to how much he cares for his adoptive family. Just as they pull up to Bella’s house (which happened really quickly, apparently, and Bella barely noticed) Edward makes mention that rather than going out to the beach with Bella and her friends (where he isn’t actually invited, anyway) he’s going to be out camping with his family. That’s cute, I guess.

“Don’t be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So… try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?” He smiled crookedly.
The helplessness had faded as he spoke. I glared at him.
“I’ll see what I can do,” I snapped as I jumped out into the rain. I slammed the door behind me with excessive force.

…Wh… what? What the hell? Out of everything Edward’s said and done to you thus far, this is what you get pissed about? He’s showing genuine concern for your safety now! And now you’re offended? Where on Earth are this girl’s priorities? Where’s her compassion for her fellow man? Doesn’t she recognize human decency when she sees it? I’m gonna assume no.

And thus ends chapter 5, in which an emotionally unstable teenage girl gets herself into an unhealthy relationship with a dangerous man. What sort of thrilling adventures will take place on the beach? Find out tomorrow in Chapter 6, Scary Stories.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2011 2:47 AM

    Oh Marzgurl, you’ve made me happy. The warning and alert graphics were a perfect touch. XD It’s so nice to not be the only girl who finds Twilight disturbing, lol.
    This is Suede’s wife BTW, we met for a bit during the anniversary filming, sorry I was so distant, I’m just really shy around new people! I was only able to build up enough guts to say hi when I could no longer contain myself for the cuteness of your Kirby badge. I look forward to the rest of these posts!

    • October 12, 2011 11:11 AM

      Well, hi there again! Thanks for the comment. We’ll have to do some catching up at some point. 🙂

    • October 27, 2011 6:14 AM

      I agree with the warning signs. They made this post hilarious!

  2. October 12, 2011 7:50 AM

    The thing about bad boys is that you think, here’s a guy that’s going to protect you, but in reality, all that anger and aggression gets turned back on you.

  3. ThatDouche permalink
    October 12, 2011 12:11 PM

    Found this quote and thought it would be appropriate. 😛 “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is how important it is to have a boyfriend.” – Stephen King

  4. Creature SH permalink
    October 12, 2011 4:05 PM

    Holy damn. Your review of this chapter really hits it on the nail, especially the part about abusive relationships. I’m glad that you did point that out.

    In that way, I feel like I almost have to call this book dangerous. If this is how some of the readers begin to think of a perfect romance… who knows what river their bodies wind up in.

  5. That guy permalink
    October 12, 2011 9:31 PM

    Reading this led me to laugh and realize that all youre doing with this simplistic “pick apart” is the same thing the author of Twilight did. Self insertion. Don’t get me wrong, I think Twilight is a blight on the world of novels, but how can one of the most introverted people in existence comment on the actions of others? Especially the whole “this is beyond the boundaries of people who have barely spoken before” How exactly would you know? Maybe I’m being over critical of your writing, but then again youre guilty of the same sin. Yes, I do know you well enough to have made these comments.

    • October 12, 2011 11:35 PM

      Did you not see my first post in this series where I specifically said that I was doing this for myself? Yes, this is blatantly for my own selfish reasons. Now, riddle me this – why are you afraid to maybe tell me who you are? I can safely say I don’t know anyone on the Sprint network from the New York region. There have been times in my past when I haven’t had confidence in myself, sure. It’s good to be critical of oneself every so often (yeah, I do it a lot). Introverted, however? I’d say I’m pretty far from that. There may have been a time years ago when this was the case, but this is far from true now. How would I know about boundaries of people who have barely spoken? Because I speak to people…? Frequently…? I’m not sure what you’re getting at here.

      • October 17, 2011 9:52 AM

        Wow. At least the dicks who want to ruin me at least give their names…

      • October 17, 2011 9:54 AM

        (Realizes that he said “at least” twice in one sentence, and proceeds to go wake himself up)

    • October 13, 2011 7:46 AM

      You don’t need to be introverted to see that this is not a healthy relationship. It’s not based on any sort of respect or trust. There is little to no communication, and that which there is is based mostly around the fact that Edward is “dangerous”.

      “Hi, I’m Edward, I’m dangerous. You shouldn’t be around me. Want to hang out?”

      Which just perpetuates the bad boy myth.

      If you can provide evidence that this is how real, healthy relationships work, I’d like to hear it.

  6. October 13, 2011 8:55 PM

    We actually did the whole prick your finger test your blood type thing in junior high. Course I live in Canada.

  7. October 13, 2011 10:07 PM

    I did the blood typing test in my Anatomy class in high school and I live in Oregon. So the only thing that makes sense to me in this book is the blood typing thing.

  8. October 16, 2011 5:41 PM

    I am finally getting a chance to read this recap. Great work so far, I have enjoyed so much of it.

    This chapter (so far) really sums up everything that is wrong with these people. If Meyer comes out and says this is a warning sign for bad relationships, I would buy it in a second, except she isn’t smart enough for that.

    Bella Swan is an awful role model and just lives in a world of teenage angst. “Everything and everyone is hell.” It reminds me of Todd In The Shadow’s comments on I Die Young. It’s about glamourizing things that really shouldn’t be. They exist and should be known and dealt with by not glamourized.

  9. October 16, 2011 11:03 PM

    1) Blood typing in High School is common, though it sucks.
    2) If you are allergic/ sensitive to smells, it *is* possible to smell small quantities at a distance.

    3) You need to pick apart Midnight Sun (what exists of it) when you’re done with the published series.

    • December 6, 2011 9:22 PM

      Oh gods, why do you hate Marzgurl?

      (Of course, I’d also would love to see her analyze that as well, just someone had to make the obvious joke.) 😉

  10. Lieju permalink
    November 20, 2011 12:58 PM

    They are in high school, after all, so the school could allow some freedom with them.

    Maybe it’s totally different here in Finland, but the high school I went to had no problem with the high school students leaving the school grounds during the day, unless they missed class.

    And we had a certain amount of hours you could be absent without any explanation. It was a small school in a little town, though.
    Someone the teachers knew was good at school would have gotten away with much more too. Like I did.

    Missing a class because you went to help a sick friend would have been easily overlooked.

  11. Toxin permalink
    November 20, 2011 1:41 PM

    I just wanted to mention that when I was about 12-13, in biology class we did indeed check our blood types with a kit of some sorts, though the teacher did the poking with the needles part and it was, of course, voluntary.
    There was one guy who, when teach pricked his finger with the needle, turned all pale and nearly fainted. He was laid on the ground, where he kept repeating “what” and “why” in a feeble voice and looked kind of confused (though mostly he looked deathly ill – he was white as a sheet).
    Either he didn’t know he had problems with seeing needles and/or blood or he simply didn’t have the guts to admit it when teacher asked if anyone wished to leave the class for exactly such a reason…

    • Toxin permalink
      November 20, 2011 1:55 PM

      Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m from Finland.

      Also, as a response to Lieju’s comment, that could depend on the school too. Not to mention Finnish school system if very different.
      I was in comprehensive school when I was 12-15, and it was a joined school with a gymnasium school (ages 15-18). That one was pretty easy going, my brother attended it trough 12-18. I changed into a different one at age 14, and attended a MUCH stricter gymnasium (it had much higer standards than the previous in general, starting from the grades you are required to have when applying).

      Leaving between classes wasn’t forbidden either, but with only around 15 minutes to get to the next class, sometimes in a different building (not located far though) there really was no time to slack around – as being late too many times or not attending classes did have consequences unless you had a valid reason and preferably had asked for a permission beforehand. In the bigger gymnasium school – the one I attended – your record didn’t really matter. Good student or not, they didn’t really approve of tardiness… Though there was some variability between the teachers too. One guy was super strict and another one didn’t seem to care too much, depenging on the case.

  12. November 22, 2011 3:17 PM


  13. enchanted_hats permalink
    November 25, 2011 1:27 PM

    What they are doing in biology is called Blood Typing. My father did it in school when he was a kid. And just fyi, it’s illegal in most of the United States. It’s one of the big epic fails of this first book. Blood Typing was outlawed because the needles weren’t always cleaned and there was a danger of the spread of AIDS. So good job, Smeyer. Good job doing absolutely no research again.

    You can do Blood Typing in Highschool but I’m pretty sure there’s like a thousand permission forms, wavers, legal consent forms you have to sign. I don’t think it can be just sprung on you. Bella would have been aware. And she would have every opportunity to just opt out. I remember when I was in Biology dissecting frogs that kids were allowed to just skip it if they were against it.

    I’m deathly scared of needles and blood. I pass out when I get pricked by needles. Or if I see a lot blood. Smell has nothing to do with it. I’m not sure where she got the idea that you can smell blood and pass out. How odd. I can smell blood when I have a bloody nose… but… yeah what?

    I pass out when I get a shot at the Doctor’s. And speaking from experience as a person who’s actually passed out around blood before, Bella’s fainting fit pisses me off. She comes off as faking the whole thing. When I pass out, I’m completely out. There’s no consciousness of someone else picking me up or all that. And when I do come back to my senses, my first instinct is pure panic. Being in an unfamiliar place in a guys arms would almost guarantee him getting a black eye.

    I almost struck my mom once after having woken up from fainting. I can’t speak for others, but when I wake up from fainting I’m in pain (irregardless if someone caught me before I fell and usually they don’t) and don’t recognize where I am. So my mind immediately tells me I’m in danger and my first instinct is to fight (rather than flight). That’s why when you are watching over someone who’s fainted and notice they are coming back to their senses, you calmly tell them where they are and what happened to them. Otherwise you risk them panicking.

    My sister has passed out a number of times too. She’s pretty much said along the same lines as me. It’s painful. You wake up and want to cry most of the time. It’s terrifying and by no means would you be aware enough to know who was carrying you.

  14. December 4, 2011 6:26 AM

    Heya Marzgurl! New to this site (and Texas), and just giving you kudos for something a mortal man can’t do and is red Twilight without looking like a victim in the Grudge movies. Hopefully I’m introduced with open arms as I’m pretty skeptical about this book as well.

    I’m a guy, and I always…ALWAYS hate books (geared towards teenaged girls) that have a weak female protagonist. I love Joan of Arc, she was strong without being a jerk, she wasn’t a bitch, hell even in the novel I’m working on has a strong female protagonist, I should tell you the premise soon…

    Anyways, what I’m trying to say without rambling is that Bella is an obvious bad influence for girls, what was Stephanie Meyer’s goal here besides being a marketing genius?

  15. December 23, 2011 8:38 PM

    When he isn’t being abusive I have to admit that Edward is the kind of douche bag I enjoy reading about.

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