Posted in Reviews

Twilight: Chapter Twenty-Four

 

Bella wakes up in a hospital, discovers she’s hooked up to tubes, and promptly tries to remove the breathing tube taped beneath her nose.

Edward stops her from removing the necessary tubing from her face. Bella has conveniently forgotten most of last chapter. Alright, maybe it’s the shock, since she’s going to be able to recall it in just a few minutes.

            “I was almost too late. I could have been too late.” He whispered, his voice tormented.

            Ya know, you could have gotten there sooner. If you hadn’t stopped for gas during a critical rescue mission.

“I was so stupid Edward. I thought he had my mom.”

            “He tricked us all.”

Because you’ve got all the intelligence and personality of a Ken doll!

Edward tells Bella that Renee is in the hospital, and that she stepped out to get food before Bella woke. Their cover story is that Bella tripped down two flights of stairs and went flying out the window.

Which shouldn’t have passed muster for either Renee or Charlie. They’re both smart and capable parents, and should not be treated like or made out to be foolish. And yet neither of them ever expresses any doubt about the situation, the surrounding events, or the fabricated evidence.

Bella apparently broke her leg, four ribs, cracked her skull open, and has bruises everywhere. She had to get some transfusions to replace the blood she lost. Now as I said before, the scene where James is tossing Bella around didn’t actually feel all that violent. I’ve read worse. Meyer’s forte is her worldbuilding and somewhat (often unintentionally) creepy concepts.

Action is not her strong suit. She doesn’t seem to like taking anything of value from her characters, and prefers to leave her narrative on a non-ending. The closest we get to any sort of satisfying resolution to things is in Eclipse. And even that was ruined by Breaking Dawn which has the non-ending to trump all other non-endings.

And yet, I think the Twilight series would have gone over much better as an action or a political drama. The author brings both elements up in the series but doesn’t want to or can’t use these elements effectively.

Just imagine with me if she’d done what I’ve constantly harped on in these reviews, and made three Volturi guards her antagonists. Bring them in earlier in the story. Use action and rising tension to push us towards the climax, where the guards find out the Cullens have broken the law. The Volturi guards act in haste and begin a pursuit.

Yes, the Cullens have superior numbers, but the Volturi have superior strength, training and powers. What’s more, they don’t have a vulnerable element like Bella. James is no threat in this narrative. The only reason he manages to hurt Bella at all, is because of Bella’s own idiocy and other poor choices on the Cullens’ part.

The fight at the ballet studio is no contest. Assuming in this alternate plot they’re caught elsewhere and have to fight, it would be a lot closer match. There is no tension, unless there is something at stake. In this version of Twilight we lose absolutely nothing. Bella loses a lot of blood, that’s it.

In this alternate version they lose their security. They’re on the wrong side of the most powerful vampire group in the whole world. Bella’s insistence to become a vampire would be rational at that point, and a lot less selfish. She’d be doing it to keep her family and theirs safe.

But of course, what Meyer thinks is important is character backstory that will play into absolutely nothing relevant in the series. Alice watched the exposition tapes and found out that she was kept in an asylum for awhile before the transformations. The reason she cannot remember her past is because she was changed shortly after receiving shock treatments.

Then we get to this:

I glanced down to see the IV pulling at my hand.

            “Ugh.” I winced.

            “What is it?” He asked anxiously—distracted, but not enough. The bleakness did not entirely leave his eyes.

            “Needles.” I explained, looking away from the one in my hand.

            Edward thinks that it’s rather ironic that she went running off to meet a vampire who was intent on torturing her to death, but can’t handle a needle. I don’t think it’s ironic or funny. I think it’s dumb and completely out of character. Bella, who has been prone to life-threatening clumsiness in the past, should be used to needles by now. If she’s spent more of her life in hospitals than out of them, she should be used to needles, blood work, etc. This is not funny. It just shows us how much of a wimp Bella is.

Edward has a laugh because Bella’s heartbeat picks up audibly on the monitors when he leans in to kiss her. She’s like “ooh it’s so embarrassing” despite the fact that he can hear your heart’s unruly antics with and without the monitors, so unless you’re going to spend the rest of the series in a state of embarrassment (which considering how it goes, maybe you should) then knock it off with this crap.

Renee arrives back and Edward pretends to be sleeping.

Now if my calculations are correct, since lousy pacing is still very lousy, we learn Bella has been sedated for four or five days. I’ve never gone through major surgery, but I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be out for this long.

And what was there to have surgery on? The leg wasn’t shattered so far as we know, so it wouldn’t need reconstructive surgery. She had a blood transfusion. They would have wrapped her ribs so they could heal, and they might have done something surgical about the skull. All in all, she should have been awake before this. It’s not like she wouldn’t have pain medications to take when she was conscious.

And through all this, we’re supposed to believe that after she “fell down the stairs” a certified doctor okayed taking Bella in his own car, instead of calling paramedics? She could have had a spinal injury for all they knew and they recklessly moved her without stabilizing her neck. That’s incredibly stupid for a doctor to do.

No doctor stopped to think, “huh, that’s fishy. If they were at a hotel nearby, why didn’t they call an effing ambulance?!” No one thought the cops should look into this? Charlie, the freaking police chief didn’t find that all at least a little bit suspicious?!

Or during all this time was Edward just pushing Bella’s medicate button, hoping to shut her up and keep her from doing dumb things for the rest of the week?

Renee gushes about how Phil was signed to a baseball team. It really doesn’t matter at all, because we’ll never see him. Bella refuses to go to Jacksonville.

“Phil will be able to be around so much more now…we’ve talked about it a lot and what I’m going to do is trade off on the away games, half the time with you, half the time with him.”

            Now this is a great offer, and the only reason Bella is blowing it off is to stay with Edward. Of course, Renee isn’t as big an idiot as Bella would have us believes and knows this.

“Is it this boy?” she whispered.

            [….]

“He’s part of it.” I admitted. No need to confess how big a part.

He’s the ONLY reason you want to stay in Forks Bella. The only reason. Don’t give me this BS about how you want to stay for Charlie or your friends. You don’t give a damn about any of your friends, and you didn’t even start caring about your father’s well-being until the last few chapters of the book. And when you get back you will happily ignore both friends and father again.

Renee gives Bella the “don’t date, you’re too young” spiel, and Bella will promptly ignore that when she arrives back home. Renee leaves, saying she’s expecting a call from Phil. Now if it were me, I’d stay by the person’s side until they were ready to sleep again. However, Renee only stays with Bella for ten to fifteen minutes before leaving again.

Gee. I’m starting to see where Bella gets her compassion.

This is only to get Renee out of the room so she and Edward can have an intense conversation. Because God forbid Bella ever have normal human interaction.

Edward asks Bella why she didn’t want to go with her mother to Florida. Bella says it’s because he’d never get to be with her in the daytime there. He then says that she’d be better off if she went someplace where she’s not in danger.

Of course, Bella being Bella can’t be reasonable even once. Her heart rate gets so high the nurse wants to sedate her. Edward swears he won’t leave as long as she wants him there. Of course, he’s also a lying liar who lies, so we’ll see him go back on this in New Moon.

Edward angst so much I can’t even isolate a line to give you an example. Its pages upon pages of angst to the point where I want the nurse to come back and sedate them both.

When Edward is done expositing his guilt about liking the taste of her blood and being afraid he wouldn’t be able to stop, we get this:

“Why you did it. Why didn’t you let the venom spread? By now I would be just like you.”

Then Bella remembers she’s not supposed to know that. Oops. Oh well. Edward makes a completely valid point.

“You don’t know what you’re asking.” His voice was soft; he stared intently at the edge of the pillowcase.

“I think I do.”

No. You don’t. You’re giving up life, the wide-open future, the possibility of children, your family, your so-called friends, and much more for a selfish whim. The only decent thing Edward has done all novel is not steal those things away from you.

“Charlie?” He asked curtly. “Renee?”

Minutes passed in silence as I struggled to answer his question. […]

“Look, that’s not an issue either.”

“You’re wrong.” I insisted. “I’m going to die.”

            “Really Bella.” He was anxious now. “You’ll be out in a few days. Two weeks at most.”

            I glared at him. “I may not die now..but I’m going to die sometime. Every minute of every day, I get closer. And I’m going to get old.

Translation: “Eeew! Thirty!”

Bella, stop being such a whiny ungrateful bitch. You have a life to live, a fantastic family by all accounts. You have friends by some miracle, you have a future and a chance for kids of your own someday.

As a survivor of a suicide attempt myself, I can say that at seventeen you have not lived long enough or done nearly enough things with your life to believe that you’re ready for it to be over. Bella you have achieved absolutely nothing in your short existence. You’ve achieved no goal except to be with Edward Cullen, and that goal will cost you all the rest of your life.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worth throwing your life away.

Edward calls in the nurse and sedates Bella. Bella makes one last parting shot before she is knocked out.

Thank the lord there’s only the epilogue left to do. Bella’s selfishness is truly stomach turning. Why is she our protagonist again?

 

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