And this is where shit gets real.
Bella is upset by the snow outside, and that the previous day’s rain has frozen. I could understand why this would be scary for someone who has never had to deal with ice. As I said in the last chapter, I regularly have to deal with ice in the winter and I don’t like it any better than Bella does. Bella has an easier time of it than she should on the road to school, and she finds out why after she pulls into the school parking lot.
Bella investigates and is rather touched by the fact that Charlie was thoughtful enough to put snow chains on her car. As an aside before we get to the major events of this chapter, I’d like to point out that Charlie is a fantastic father.
If I had to guess, Charlie is not unaware of Bella’s plight. He’s a cop. He’s supposed to be observant, and we see that he’s not as unintelligent as Bella likes to think. Charlie is people-savvy most of the time. He knows enough about his own daughter to realize what’s going on. He’s not comfortable expressing his feelings about having Bella back. Knowing her as he does, he must be aware that she didn’t want to come, but did so out of a feeling of obligation to Renee. Charlie is trying his best to make Bella feel at home.
He bought her a car so she wouldn’t have to feel embarrassed about riding in the police cruiser. He’s offered to spend time with her. He puts snow chains on her car so she doesn’t find driving in inclement weather difficult. He’s not uncaring, distant, or foolish the way that Bella implies in the text. Charlie does a lot for Bella, and what does she do? Treat him like a child. Is there anyone in this book that Bella doesn’t condescend to? Oh right. It’s Edward, because he’s the only thing in the world that matters now. What a twat.
Charlie Swan is one of the best characters in Twilight, in my opinion. Jacob was a close second until his character assassination in Eclipse, but more on that in a later review.
Bella looks up when her brain registers the sound of screeching tires. She stares horrified at a van that is skidding across the icy parking lot. It’s going to hit her. She registers she cannot get out of the way in time.
What? Why not? I mean yeah, maybe you can’t get out of the way of it entirely. Maybe it hits your legs, and you have to walk in a cast. That’s nothing new for Bella “Klutzy is cute somehow” Swan. Why doesn’t she move? She can at least save herself from a full body impact. Yes, she might have frozen in shock, but if her brain is registering how fast it’s going, she’s got some of her mental faculties on line. Why doesn’t she try to escape?
This complete resignation to her fate is not right. Why is our protagonist so resigned when she comes face to face with death time and time again? Even against insurmountable odds your fight or flight instinct should kick in. Bella should be trying to do something, even if that something is futile.
Inexplicably Edward is there, and he’s stopping the car from hitting Bella. The logistics of the crash confuse me with each reading. It’s confusing and hard to visualize, at least for me. I won’t put the entire thing here, since the paragraph is fairly long.
Bella proceeds to argue with the man that just saved her life.
“You were over there.” I suddenly remembered, and his chuckle stopped short. “You were by your car.”
His expression turned hard. “No I wasn’t.”
“I saw you.” All around us was chaos. I could hear the gruffer voices of adults arriving on the scene. But I obstinately held onto our argument; I was right, and he was going to admit it.
Way to be ungrateful Bella. Edward just saved you from being a pancake and you’re already trying to make him regret it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask, but why are you insisting that you need to question him now?
More people arrive and move the van off of them. Bella realistically should be going into shock by this point, but instead she complains about the neck brace and the ambulance ride.
Edward avoids both, and infuriates Bella by walking into the hospital under his own power. Despite this she lies to everyone and says that Edward was next to her and pulled her out of the way.
Once released Bella demands an explanation.
“I saved your life—I don’t owe you anything.”
Edward has a point Bella. If anything you owe him one and would be doing him a favor by dropping the entire affair. Of course it’s Bella, and as you’ll come to learn in these books, Bella is never allowed to be wrong.
Oh and in the midst of the argument, Meyer feels the need to remind us that Edward is still hot, you know, figuratively speaking. There is not a chapter in this book where she doesn’t talk about how gorgeous Edward is. Sigh. I could do without the purple prose.
Bella becomes angry when she finds out that Charlie told Renee what had happened. Cause lord forbid your parents inform one another about changes in your health and safety status. It’s almost as if they care about you or something. But I suppose your mother’s real worry for your physical well being is a nuisance to you.
Bella takes Tylenol and goes to sleep. And next chapter I’ll get into the problems with the dream sequences in this book and other books in the series.
Honestly, I had forgotten that this was so close to the beginning of the book. I was sure this was at least a chapter five event. I think part of this perception was because it does take Bella an irritatingly long time to puzzle everything else out in this book.
If it had been my choice, I’d have moved this event up. I might even have made it Alice who breaks the rules, not Edward. Considering Alice and Bella’s eventual friendship, and her visions concerning Bella, I think she’s the next logical choice.
Thus far we’ve had little to no conflict, and we still have no stakes. The only thing keeping Bella here is her obsession with Edward, which is frankly baffling with how he has acted up to this point.
Having Alice rescue Bella would put tension between Alice and Edward, who have always been at odds about the issue of Bella’s mortality. It would also give us an opportunity to flesh Alice out before the end of the book. In this storyline we learn very little about Alice until the climax of the book. I think that’s a bit late as far as character building goes. I’ll get more into that when I break down the characters.
This chapter was vital to the book, and it would probably still need to be there regardless. Still, this chapter was full of a bunch of Bella being ungrateful and Edward being an ass about her demand for an explanation after she witnessed something impossible.
These two really do deserve each other.