Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 11
Everyone watched us as we walked together to our lab table. I noticed that he no longer angled the chair to sit as far from me as the desk would allow. Instead, he sat quite close beside me, our arms almost touching.
Aww, that’s cute. They can almost show that they like each other. Dah-hurr.
There’s several paragraphs of the two of them in Biology watching a movie and tensely wanting to touch one another but holding themselves back. I’unno, I’m a woman, and I’m into romance to a certain extent, so why does this all just sound so… eww?
Bella goes to gym. She plays tennis with Mike.
“Don’t worry, I’ll keep out of your way.” He grinned. Sometimes it was so easy to like Mike.
“So,” he said as we walked off the court.
“You and Cullen, huh?” he asked, his tone rebellious. My previous feeling of affection disappeared.
You know, Mike is probably the nicest guy thus far presented in this book. And a moment ago, it almost sounded like Bella was actually bothering to give him the time of day. Nope, nevermind. Good one, Meyer! You almost had me going there!
Mike says he doesn’t like that they’re together. Bella doesn’t care. Edward meets Bella after class, who admits he overheard things with Mike via Mike’s thoughts. Bella’s pissed.
He sighed. “Will you forgiveme if I apologize?”
“Maybe… if you mean it. And if you promise not to do it again,” I insisted.
His eyes were suddenly sherwd. “How about if I mean it, and I agree to let you drive Saturday?” he countered my conditions.
I considered, and decided it was probably the best offer I would get. “Deal,” I agreed.
“Then I’m very sorry I upset you.” His eyes burned with sincerity for a protracted moment – playing havoc with the rhythm of my heart – and then turned playful. “And I’ll be on your doorstep bright and early Saturday morning.”
Lesson to be learned, girls: It’s okay to compromise on details like your personal privacy when the man makes short term deals with you. Besides, just how sorry can Edward actually be if he’s planning on checking in on her in that fashion again in the future? If you’re truly sorry, you make attempts to not repeat what upset the person. Doesn’t sound like that’s an option for him, does it? So, that’s right, when the man is pretty and is making other decent deals with you, cave in!
A couple pages go by. Edward finally explains that Bella can’t watch him hunt because the vampires give themselves over to feeding frenzy entirely while hunting, making it dangerous to be in the area. The next day happens. Edward gives her a ride to school again.
A couple more pages pass, and it feels like there’s a pretty largely missed opportunity to learn more about Bella as a character. Instead, what we get is something that feels more fill-in-the-blank, either in an attempt to put the reader in a position where she can see herself identifying as the main character, or because Meyer simply didn’t have the time or the ability to actually flesh out a character with real human interests and back story.
“What’s your favorite color?” he asked, his face grave.
I rolled my eyes. “It changes from day to day.”
“What music is in your CD player right now?” he asked, his face as somber as if he’d asked for a murder confession.
I realized I’d never removed the CD Phil had given me. When I said the name of the band, he smiled crookedly, a peculiar expression in his eyes. …
It continued like that for the rest of the day. While he walked me to English, when he met me after Spanish, all through the lunch hour, he questioned me relentlessly about every insignificant detail of my existence. Movies I’d liked and hated, the few places I’d been and the many places I wanted to go, and books – endlessly books.
What’s your favorite color? Oh, what a coincidence, Bella likes that, too! What’s your favorite band? Hey, what do you know, it’s highly likely that Bella might be interested in that same one! What movies do you like? Where have you been? Where do you want to go? What books do you like to read? Why, it’s possible that you might share those exact same interests with the lead character in Twilight! I mean, we don’t actually know. The name of the CD Bella’s been listening to is never mentioned, and even though Edward is asking Bella all kinds of crazy questions, we never get to hear ANY of the answers. We just know he’s asking her. Can’t you just imagine Edward asking you all these questions? Can you imagine your answers to them?
“What kinds of flowers do you prefer?” he fired off.
I sighed in relief, and continued with the psychoanalysis.
But you don’t actually answer the question for your readers! You ALMOST tell me everything I could ever wish to know about what makes Bella a special, unique young woman, but then you avoid it entirely. I’m almost inclined to believe that she doesn’t even HAVE any interest in anything – colors, flowers, movies, vacation spots, anything. You haven’t actually given me reason to believe otherwise.
A few more pages happen. Biology. Gym. Edward takes Bella back home. They apparently sit in front of her house for hours talking, but all we ever learn about Bella is that she likes different things about Arizona. Duh, we already knew that. Thanks for describing the whole one thing you’re actually interested in yourself, Meyer.
“It’s twilight,” Edward murmured, looking at the western horizon, obscured as it was with clouds.
OH! OH! HE SAID IT!
“It’s the safest time of day for us,” he said, answering the unspoken question in my eyes. “The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” He smiled wistfully.
(If it isn’t already cued up for you guys, just skip to the 21 second mark.)
Oh no! Charlie’s coming home! Edward tears out of the driveway. But as it turns out, it’s more than just Charlie! Also there was Jacob and his father, Billy.
Billy still stared at me with intense, anxious eyes. I groaned internally. Had Billy recognized Edward so easily? Could he really believe the impossible legends his son had scoffed at?
The answer was clear in Billy’s eyes. Yes. Yes, he could.
And so we end the chapter on the threat that the werewolves are aware of some bad business between a human girl and a vampire boy. And now Bella sees Jacob again for the first time since she used him on the beach! Will there finally be some tension in this novel somewhere? I’ll believe it when I see it, because thus far, I haven’t seen it anywhere.
Next up, chapter 12, Balancing.