In the fourth chapter of Twilight, we're forced to continue listening to more whining and complaining from Bella, despite the fact that three separate guys ask her to the Spring Dance, she doesn't kill herself while making dinner, and the ever-dreamy Edward Cullen actually asks to hang out with her. We'll also address Bella's disturbing trend of clumsiness. Intrigued? It's time for Mark to read Twilight.
Let's get this out of the way because it's already pissing me off.
CHAPTER 4: INVITATIONS
If you read my review of chapter three of Twilight, you'll know that my biggest peeve with the story was Meyer's use of The IAGTDSSACAIFOPOP,YNOIGTNE(C)TMC Phenomenon. (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, for those who aren't in-the-know.) Edward Cullen magically saves Bella from being crushed by a car by using his bare hands and no one seems to notice this, despite plenty of people who were witness to the accident.
Here's how Stephanie Meyer deals with this:
No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I had explained over and over that he was the hero--how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too. I tried to be convincing. Jessica, Mike, eric, and everyone else always commented that they hadn't even seen him there till the van was pulled away.
I wondered to myself why no one else had seen him standing so far away, before he was suddenly, impossibly saving my life. With chagrin, I realized the probable cause--no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.
No, really. That's it.
As a reader of Meyer's book, I'm offended. I'm offended that Meyer thinks I am so stupid that I will believe that the only reason no one noticed a man running faster than the speed of a normal human is because they are not unhealthily obsessed with Edward Cullen.
I shouldn't be this upset, but this is truly bothering me. It's a symptom of Meyer's writing (and we're only 70 pages into 498 page novel): Meyer seemingly has no respect for the reader. Grammar is unnecessary; proper syntax is for the intellectuals; character development is for the nerds. And plot explanations need not make sense, because clearly, all she's here for is the romance.
Really, though. In order to advance her plot, Meyer forces Bella to be so clumsy that I'm convinced she also possesses a rare mental disorder or a physical disability. In chapter 4, she:
1) Drops all of her books by walking into a doorframe. Or kicking it, I should say, which has nothing to do with her arms, yet she still drops her books.
2) Constantly falls down in gym while playing basketball, though she even admits she stays relatively motionless most of the time. In fact, it actually appears that she cannot think at the exact same time as she tries to move. Her mind is incapable of doing two things at once.
3) Constantly imagines, while making dinner for her father, that she will actually chop her fingers off.
4) Drops her keys in a puddle while performing the simple action of locking a door.
I don't understand why this is part of her character. It clearly doesn't make her unpopular or unlikable. It doesn't add anything to the story except to further support the notion that Bella is a sad young woman who must constantly need someone else to take care of her. Which, of course, is going to be Edward Cullen.
And the beginnings of "one of the greatest love stories of all time" is right here in chapter 4.
We've already been treated to piss-poor character development, a shaky plot, and enough maddeningly awkward dialogue to make this edge kid want to pick up a bottle of vodka. But it was here, in chapter 4, that I came to fully realize just how absurd and ridiculous the "love story" will be between Edward and Bella.
There's a passage of time in the novel (a month) where we're treated to what is essentially a literary montage dealing with the 30 days where Edward Cullen returns to being a pathological jerk towards Bella. This gives us this gem of a sentence:
- When he sat next to me in class, as far from me as the table would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence.
Newsflash, Stephanie Meyer: A person is not unaware of your presence if they always sit as far away from you as physically possible every time you are around.
We're then treated to three separate instances of guys disobeying the rules of a Sadie Hawkins-style dance (where the girls all ask the boys to the event) by these young men requesting that Bella ask them out the following week:
1) Mike. Bella's "puppy dog" (her words). He asks her in class after rejecting his friend Jessica prior to lunch. Bella says no and says she's going to Seattle instead.
2) Eric. Mike's rival. He asks Bella to ask him to the dance, even though he's aware she said she's going to Seattle that weekend.
3) Tyler. He drove the van that nearly killed her. Strangely, Edward Cullen specifically blocks Bella's car so that Tyler has the chance to ask her, which is just so undeniably creepy and weird that I'm not even sure why this is included as a plot device.
So after Bella rejects the three most popular guys in school, littering her path with broken hearts, we're also forced to endure the passive-aggressive disaster that is every conversation that Bella and Edward Cullen have.
After not speaking to her for a month and treating her as if she's got airborne AIDS, Edward finally tries to talk to her. Please revel in this master of human dialogue:
"I'm sorry." He sounded sincere. "I'm being very rude, I know. But it's better this way, really."
I opened my eyes. His face was very serious. "I don't know what you mean," I said, my voice guarded.
"It's better if we're not friends," he explained. [NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN EXPLANATION, STEPHANIE MEYER, JUST A REITERATION OF WHAT HE JUST SAID. FUCK.] "Trust me."
My eyes narrowed. I'd heard that before. "It's too bad you didn't figure that out earlier," I hissed through my teeth. "You could have saved yourself all this regret."
"Regret?" The word, and my tone, obviously caught him off guard. "Regret for what?"
"For not letting that stupid van squish me."
He was astonished. He stared at me in disbelief. When he finally spoke, he almost sounded mad. "You think I regret saving your life?"
"I know you do," I snapped.
"You don't know anything." He was definitely mad.
If I hadn't publicly committed to reading this series, I would give up right here, right now. I'm sorry, Twilight fans, but this book is absolute garbage. This is, without a doubt, some of the worst dialogue I have ever had the displeasure of reading. (Stephanie Meyer, please read any book by Richard Price.) Not only does it all read like two sexless teens aching to strip off their clothes and penetrate every orifice in every way imaginable, it's not even entertaining on a superficial level. We've got Edward, who goes from being such a hardass douchenozzle to being a girl's every dream, yet no one seems to care. Then we've got Bella, who yearns and aches for Edward's penis inside of her, yet when he gives her the time of day, she turns into every sexist pig's exact idea of what women are: flighty, fickle megabitches who are constantly on their rag.
In fact, I'm going to steal a phrase ElRich just told me here at the office: Stephanie Meyer has Rush Limbaugh-ed her main female protagonist. It's as if Meyer somehow obtained every radio show and public appearance that hypocritical dolt has ever done, listened to everything he's ever had to say about why women are inferior, and merged those characteristics with her own physical appearance in order to create Bella Swan.
On topic: We end chapter 4 with Bella agreeing in agony to let Edward drive her to Seattle instead of going to the dance. Which means I'm going to have to tolerate more of this bullshit if I read on.