Posted in Reviews

Twilight: Chapter Nineteen

Charlie is waiting for Bella to return home. Despite Meyer trying to paint Charlie as an absentee father who couldn’t possibly understand his daughter, her narrative just makes him more and more sympathetic. Charlie clearly cares about his daughter and wants to make sure she is safe and happy. If he were the sort of dad Meyer wants to paint him as, he’d be drunk off his ass and barely look up from the sports game when she comes home.

But of course, Bella cares more about someone she doesn’t know.

I felt moisture filling up my eyes as I looked at Emmett. I barely knew him, and yet, somehow, not knowing when I would see him again after tonight was anguishing.

Bella, you barely know this person. You’ve had all of one conversation, and it was during a stressful life or death situation. You don’t know Emmett well enough to make a judgment on his character. Let alone to call this parting “anguishing.” Precision in language please.

Bella and Edward squabble outside the door for a minute. Bella kisses Edward then tells him not to listen to her ruse. Which you think he’d be smart enough to know was a ruse.

Bella bursts into the house and screams at Edward to leave her alone. She is crying and demanding to go home to Phoenix.

Charlie makes the completely logical assumption that maybe Edward hurt her. This is brushed over in the narrative, but I’d like to pause on it for a moment. Considering when Charlie sees Bella next, it’s a wonder he didn’t murder Edward. Without knowing the real scenario, the context clues all point to Edward beating Bella. Charlie, as a cop, has to have dealt with abuse scenarios before. What’s a classic one? “Oh, I fell. I tripped on the stairs. It was an accident.” This should really set Charlie’s alarm bells off.

Back in the story Bella tells Charlie that she broke up with Edward. Edward is zooming about the place, gathering all her belongings and packing her bags for her. Charlie stops Bella from leaving.

He spun me around to look at him, and I could see in his face that he had no intention of letting me leave. I could think of only one way to escape, and it involved hurting him so much that I hated myself for considering it. But I had no time, and I had to keep him safe.

This is completely pointless. Bella doesn’t have to hurt Charlie to make him let her go. She could storm out, and leave. The laws in most states put seventeen year old runaways in a fuzzy grey area. On the west coast, if she were spotted and stopped by an officer she could be delivered back to Charlie, as he is her legal guardian. She would be listed as a youth-in-crisis and could be taken in without a warrant. However, considering how quickly the Cullens spirit her away, she’d be long gone before Charlie could start a pursuit. Bella could leave without hurting Charlie. Of course it’s Bella, so she has to spread misery around.

“I do like him—that’s the problem. I can’t do this anymore! I can’t put down any more roots here! I don’t want to end up trapped in this stupid boring town like mom! I’m not going to make the same dumb mistake she did. I hate it—I can’t stay here another minute!”

Despite the fact that Bella just went for the jugular, Charlie still tries to convince her to stay. He tells her to wait just a week, and Renee would be home in Phoenix. Bella is sidetracked by this, but not for long. Bella decides to hammer the nail in a little harder.

“Just let me go, Charlie.” I repeated my mother’s last words as she’d walked out this same door so many years ago. I said them as angrily as I could manage, and I threw the door open. “It didn’t work out, okay? I really, really hate Forks!”

My cruel words did their job—Charlie stayed frozen on the doorstep, stunned, while I ran into the night.

First off, why the hell did your mother tell you her parting shot to your father? Does Renee routinely tell Bella things that are none of her business to know? It sort of speaks to the sort of emotional dependency issues that Bella must have gone through with her mother. However, it’s not ever addressed, therefore this just comes off as Renee bragging about how she left Bella’s father. Bella has no reason to know this, and even less reason to say it to Charlie. Charlie has been nothing but kind to Bella, and she has the gall to bring up one of the most painful moments in his life, where he lost the only woman he’d ever loved.

And then there’s this:

“The tracker followed us. He’s running behind us now.”

My body went cold.

“Can we outrun him?”

            “No.” But he sped up as he spoke. The truck’s engine whined in protest.

            My plan didn’t feel so brilliant anymore.

            No shit. You don’t say. What a brilliant deduction Sherlock.

Bella comments on something we already know. That she was hitting below the belt. Edward assures Bella that he’ll forgive her. He shouldn’t. The fact that he’d be willing to says he’s a better character than Bella ever has been or ever will be. Why isn’t he our protagonist again?

“Bella, it’s going to be all right.”

            “But it won’t be alright when I’m not with you.” I whispered.

“We’ll be together again in a few days.” He said, tightening his arm around me. “Don’t forget his was your idea.”

“It was the best idea—of course it was mine.”

Go to hell Bella. Just…just go to hell.

Edward broods and says that it’s his fault Bella is in danger. And I agree. It is his fault that he didn’t even attempt to get her out of the danger zone when he knew more vampires were coming. Especially when it was fully within his capabilities to do so. So this weaksauce villain plot is all Edward’s fault. He explains why James chose to go after Bella.

“He thinks of himself as a hunter, and nothing else. His existence is consumed with tracking, and a challenge is all he asks of life. Suddenly we’ve presented him with a beautiful challenge—a large clan of strong fighters all bent on protecting the one vulnerable element. You wouldn’t believe how euphoric he is now. It’s his favorite game, and we’ve just make it his most exciting game ever.”

Meyer says that all her books are based loosely on classical literature. Twilight is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. So why the hell is Meyer trying to throw her faux Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy into The Most Dangerous Game? It’s idiotic, it doesn’t gel well, and it’s just frankly a very weak conclusion. It adds little to the series as a whole, and the concepts she wants to use could be incorporated into the plot in a more creative way.

When they arrive at the house, Laurent is waiting for them. He doesn’t want to fight. However this is sort of interesting.

“You can’t bring him down. I’ve never seen anything like him in my three hundred years. He’s absolutely lethal. That’s why I joined his coven.”

Um. No. We see in Laurent’s bio that he tried to find a place with the Volturi. So he’s at least met Demitri, making this whole aside false and pointless.

Laurent leaves with Carlisle’s blessing. He’s off to join the Denali coven. However long that lasts.

The Cullens try to take every precaution to lead the tracker astray, including changing Bella’s clothes.

Edward turned to Rosalie.

“Get her upstairs and trade clothes.” Edward commanded. She stared back at him with livid disbelief.

“Why should I?” She hissed. “What is she to me? Except a menace—a danger you’ve chosen to inflict on all of us.”

Rosalie has a damned good point. Edward has been putting their entire family in danger of discovery, and now of actual bodily harm and death. She has every right to be angry that he’s done so. This will be played off as “Oh, Rosalie is such a bitch.” While Rosalie’s point is harsh, it’s accurate. She has every right to be angry. Does Bella deserve to die for Edward’s mistakes? No, but I understand why she’s angry at them both.

Esme switches clothing with Bella instead, and the Cullens take separate vehicles. She’s stuffed in the Mercedes with Jasper and Alice. Bella is feeling senselessly guilty for something she couldn’t possibly control, and which is largely Edward’s fault.

“You’re wrong you know.” He said quietly.

            “What?” I gasped.

            “I can feel what you’re feeling now—and you are worth it.”

            “I’m not.” I mumbled. “If anything happens to them, it will be for nothing.”

            I hate this. I hate this so much. A lot of Meyer’s main characters are so damned “altruistic” that they feel like literally every other life on the planet is worth more than their own. This is just plain insulting when you think about the fact that Bella isn’t even being grateful that someone is trying to save her life.

They drive off, Bella is sad. That’s the end of this chapter. What a craptastic one it was.

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