In the third chapter of Twilight, Bella continues to whine about things that are absolutely positive to her life, as Edward comes to her rescue and saves her life. This inspires even more frustratingly awkward conversation between the two main characters as PanasonicYouth ponders literary suicide. Intrigued? Then it's time for Mark to read Twilight.
I'm jumping right into this today.
CHAPTER 3: PHENOMENON
This chapter is rightly named "Phenomenon" because it deals with a horror/thriller movie cliche that's so overused and angering that all writers who use it should be blacklisted from the industry:
The "I Am Going To Do Something Spectacular And Clearly Attention-Grabbing In Front Of Plenty Of People, Yet No One Is Going To Notice Except (Conveniently) The Main Character" Phenomenon
Phew. That's a mouthful.
But let's first deal with Bella's always-constant whining. While slowly driving the ice-laden roads to school, Bella has to spend a moment complaining, yet again, about being pretty, popular, liked, and accepted:
- Driving to school, I distracted myself from my fear of falling and my unwanted speculations about Edward Cullen by thinking about Mike and Eric, and the obvious difference in how teenage boys responded to me here.
Wait, let me just point out that Bella is worried about falling...while driving. She is not standing. I know she's referring to falling on the icy ground outside, but Stephanie Meyer cannot even construct a sentence to properly convey such a simple notion. Anyway, carrying on:
- I was sure I looked exactly the same as I had in Phoenix. Maybe it was just that the boys back home had watched me pass slowly through all the awkward phases of adolescence and still thought of me that way.
Holy shit, an intelligent and coherent thought? Bravo, Meyer. I'm impressed.
- Perhaps it was because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between.
Even better. I'm sold so far.
- Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress.
Uh....wait, you were doing so good. Please don't go there, Smeyer!
- Whatever the reason, Mike's puppy dog behavior and Eric's apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting. I wasn't sure if I didn't prefer being ignored.
UGH GOD DAMN IT. WHINING AGAIN. WHY WHY WHY DO YOU RELY ON THIS AS A LITERARY TECHNIQUE FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT? Is this how you are in real life, Meyer? If so, please never have a conversation with me.
So let's deal with the IAGTDSSACAIFOPOP,YNOIGTNE(C)TMC Phenomenon I brought up earlier.
As Bella gets out of her car, another vehicle slides across the ice in her direction at a speed that will surely crush her. Here's how she describes it:
- Edward Cullen was standing four cars down from me, staring at me in horror. His face stood out from a sea of faces, all frozen in the same mask of shock. But of more importance was the dark blue van that was skidding, tires locked and squealing against the brakes, spinning wildly across the ice of the parking lot. It was going to hit the back corner of my truck, and I was standing between them. I didn't even have time to close my eyes.
At this point, the heroic douche Edward pushes Bella out of the way and then stops the skidding car with his bare hands. Fine, I'm willing to suspend belief. It's a vampire story. I have no problem with this.
There is a glaring issue, however, which I've bolded. There were a sea of faces watching what happened, yet, for the remainder of the chapter, the only two people who make reference to Edward stopping a car with his bare hands are Edward and Bella.
If this isn't addressed in chapter four, I'll be pissed.
Before I finish this off with the grating conversation between Edward and Bella in the hospital, I have to fume about this line. Bella is complaining AGAIN (surprise!) about having to ride in an ambulance (despite that you just hit your head in a NEAR CATASTROPHIC CAR ACCIDENT) and deal with a police escort as well when she says this:
- Naturally, the ambulance got a police escort to the county hospital. I felt ridiculous the whole time they were unloading me. What made it worse was that Edward simply glided through the hospital doors under his own power. I ground my teeth together.
Bella, I don't know if you're aware of this, but most hospitals throughout the world feature a new piece of technology that allows people to glide through doors seemingly as if they controlled them via magic: motion sensitive automatic doors.
We meet Dr. Cullen next, who, surprisingly, resembles a movie star or a model.
There is no way a man that young fathered any children.
Bella spends the next 10 minutes being a raging asshole to the man who just saved her life and the man responsible for her well-being. She, understandingly, demands to know how Edward stopped a car when he clearly wasn't anywhere near her.
At the hospital, we're introduced to the equally-dazzling Dr. Cullen, Edward's father. (That's my own use of dazzling; Meyer's only used it once so far. I kind of expected more.) Dr. Cullen is nice, yet Bella is quite snappy with him, constantly doubting his training as...well...a qualified doctor.
She further embarrasses herself with a stiltifying conversation with Edward. Here's a summary:
Bella: How did you save me? I DEMAND TO KNOW
Edward: It doesn't matter. GO AWAY.
Bella: Yes it does. Tell me now.
Edward: What do you think happened?
Bella: I'm going to tell you what actually happened and you're going to act like I'm crazy.
Edward: [acts like Bella is crazy.]
Bella: I'm not going to give up.
Edward: In that case...I hope you enjoy disappointment.*
And that's where Meyer has completely lost me: Chapter 3. I am trying so hard not to be a Negative Nancy, but either Stephanie Meyer hates women or she hates herself. I cannot understand why she is making Bella out to be such an uncaring, unsympathetic asshole. This isn't a great existential novel, and you're not Albert Camus or Dostoevsky. You do not possess the skill, desire, or literary talent to craft unlikable characters that work.
Chapter 3 ends with this single line:
- That was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen.
I'm not looking forward to Chapter 4.
*This is an ACTUAL QUOTE FROM THE BOOK. What kind of egocentric fuckbag says something like that to someone else?