In the seventh chapter of Twilight, all possible literary merit that Stephenie Meyer may have earned in the previous chapter is thrown out of the window as the reader is subjected to the first instance of a glowing Edward Cullen. On top of that, in possibly the most embarrassing technique of all time, Meyer literally writes a passage in which she narrates Bella Swan using the Internet. Combine that with some painfully self-aware commentary and you've got a mess. Intrigued? It's time for Mark to read Twilight.
EDIT: NEW AMENDMENT AT THE END. MUST READ.
Readers, this is a painful, painful day.
CHAPTER 7: NIGHTMARES
I'm quite aware that this project was biased from the start. I didn't like the book and had no real interest in reading it. I made fun of Twi-hards, poked fun at the novel's glaring absurdities, and just felt...better that I hadn't read it yet.
Despite the faults found in Mark Reads 'Twilight': Chapter 6, it was the first time that I felt Meyer possessed any sort of talent. As much as I truly despised the Twi-phenomenon, I also wanted to find something good about the series.
Today is the day I announce that, regardless of anything Meyer writes in future chapters (and the other three books, for that matter), Twilight will eternally remain the World's Worst Book Ever.
Allow me to make three main points as to why Stephenie Meyer will never be able to live past the utter wankery that is the 7th chapter of Twilight.
POINT #1: EDWARD CULLEN SPARKLES/BELLA'S TERRIBLE DREAM
Bella leaves her beach party to immediately go home and subject herself to an inordinate amount of self-harm via music. Again, I so dearly wish what I just typed was just a clever joke or an absurd piece of fiction I'd made up. But no, she does just that:
- I put on the headphones, hit Play, and turned up the volume until it hurt my ears.
Whenever I am confused and frustrated about life, there's nothing quite like guaranteeing I'll be deaf by the end of the year.
She magically falls asleep during this process (!!!!!) and begins to have a nightmare that inspired a similar one of my own.
- I opened my eyes to a familiar place. Aware in some corner of my consciousness that I was dreaming, I recognized the green light of the forest. I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks somewhere nearby. And I knew that if I found the ocean, i'd be able to see the sun. I was trying to follow the sound, but then Jacob Black was there, tugging on my hand, pulling me back toward the blackest part of the forest.
Ok, all right, I'm with you so far.
"Jacob? What's wrong?" I asked. His face was frightened as he yanked with all his strength against my resistance; I didn't want to go into the dark
"Run, Bella, you have to run!" he whispered, terrified.
"This way, Bella!" I recognized Mike's voice calling out of the gloomy heart of the trees, but I couldn't see him.
"Why?" I asked, still pulling against Jacob's grasp, desperate now to find the sun.
But Jacob let go of my hand and yelped, suddenly shaking, falling to the dim forest floor. He twitched on the ground as I watched in horror. "Jacob!" I screamed. But he was gone. In his place was a large red-brown wolf with black eyes. The wolf faced away from me, pointing toward the shore, the hair on the back of his shoulders bristling, low growls issuing from between his exposed fangs.
And now you've lost me. If there was any chance of there being a moment in the book where you could have allowed things to grow naturally, to allow any sort of surprise on my part, or to appreciate the art of subtlety, you've now crushed that possibility, Meyer.
Let me guess: EDWARD CULLEN IS A VAMPIRE AND JACOB BLACK IS A WEREWOLF. Am I right? Do I win a prize?
But even this minor complaint is nothing compared to this:
- And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing...
- I took a step forward, toward Edward. He smiled then, and his teeth were sharp, pointed. "Trust me," he purred.
For the love of all that is holy. Not only does Meyer decide to make Edward a sparkly vampire, thereby removing all possible intimidation, but he fucking purrs. But it only gets worse.
#2: BELLA SWAN USES THE INTERNET
The bar for unintentionally terrible fiction has now been set and I can't imagine a single thing that Meyer could do at this point to ever get worse than this:
- With another sigh, I turned on my computer. Naturally, the screen was covered in pop-up ads. I sat in my hard folding chair and began closing all the little windows. Eventually I made it to my favorite search engine. I shot down a few more pop-ups and then typed in one word. Vampire.
Folks, you are not blind. Stephenie Meyer is, quite literally, narrating her main character going on the Internet.
But before I torture you more with this inane garbage, let's discuss a few glaring problems:
1) It appears that her uncle uses the computer to visit porn sites. Meyer glosses over this detail (which BAFFLES ME, because everything else about this process is described in unnecessary detail), but I know exactly what she is insinuating. Why doesn't Bella just come out and say, "MY DAD IS A SAD LONER WITHOUT MY MOTHER AND HE MASTURBATES TO INTERNET PORN WHEN I'M NOT AROUND"?
(That's real, by the way.)
2) How much you wanna bet these fuckers use Internet Explorer? Bella and Charlie Swan use Internet Explorer, guys. Get with the program, morons, and download Firefox and install the AdBlock Plus plug-in. You'll never be plagued with this problem again. Because it's not 1998, idiots.
(Just so you know, this is from a real site too.)
3) The bolded part. Read it. Read it again. First, that seems to suggest there are so many pop up windows that it's an actual journey for Bella to even get to her browser. She was so busy attacking the hazardous terrain of a 1996 Dell Home Computer that many moons passed before she eventually made it to her favorite search engine.
Read that last part again. "Her favorite search engine." I'm sorry, this book was published in...what? 2005? Unless you still use a Xanga blog or think Angelfire sites are hot shit, EVERYONE'S FAVORITE SEARCH ENGINE IS GOOGLE. IT'S THE ONLY ONE THAT FUCKING WORKS.
I bet the Swans were totally gutted when GeoCities closed.
I seriously despise your existence, Stephenie Meyer.
4) Of everything that Bella could possibly search, she is so ridiculously stupid that she chooses the most vague, non-specific search term possible, guaranteeing that she'll be forced to wade through page after page of nonsense to find what she wants. And guess what? I'm right.
- It took an infuriatingly long time, of course. When the results came up, there was a lot to sift through--everything from movies and TV shows to role-playing games, underground metal, and gothic cosmetic companies.
Bella, let me help you with this. It's seriously not that hard.
What's even worse about this whole affair is that, for the next two pages, Meyer also narrates the entire bout of research Bella does about vampires, mostly in an irritating list form. To further prove that Bella is indeed Meyer herself, the whole process seems to mimic EXACTLY what the author went through when researching the book. Not only is it lazy and uninventive, it's just flat-out boring.
You're killing me here, Smeyer.
#3: BELLA SWAN IS SELF-AWARE OF HER INSANITY, YET IGNORES IT
Everything above this is horrible and severely demeans my attempts to find any joy in this book. This last part, however, actually offends me.
- Through my irritation, I felt overwhelming embarrassment. It was all so stupid. I was sitting in my room, researching vampires. What was wrong with me?
FINALLY. Thank you. This is precisely how I feel.
- I decided that most of the blamed belonged on the doorstep of the town of Forks--and the entire sodden Olympic Peninsula, for that matter.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. The blame solely belongs on YOU AND YOUR INSANE CHARACTERIZATION. What bothers me so much about this is that it feels as if Smeyer herself was aware that people wouldn't believe such a ludicrous idea, so she spends one sentence acknowledging this, as if that one sentence would allay all of my misgivings with this terrible book. She does this again when Bella announces her topic for her Macbeth essay:
- "Whether Shakespeare's treatment of the female characters is mysogynistic."
First off, that's probably the first time Meyer has ever even typed or seen that word. It's as if she realized that she had, thus far, written all her female characters with debilitating, negative characteristics, while all the male ones were perfect. Fearing she might be called sexist, she includes this one sentence, which has virtually nothing to do with Bella's character development at all, as a way to calm our fears about the terrible treatment of gender in the book.
Continuing in Meyer's tradition of picking-and-choosing what she feels is important about the plot, we get this gem:
- After all, if he [Edward] was something...sinister, he'd done nothing to hurt me so far.
You. Have. To. Be. Kidding. Me. Your own book has documented, for seven chapters, what a conniving asshole Edward Cullen is. Just.....WHAT THE FUCK.
The worst offense of the whole chapter? When Charlie is confused as to why Bella is going dress shopping for a dance she already said she wasn't going to:
- "No, Dad, but I'm helping them find dresses--you know, giving them constructive criticism." I wouldn't have to explain this to a woman.
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Fuck this book.
Next up: Chapter 8. Bella spends a night out with Jessica and Angela like a normal human being. Either nothing is going to happen or Bella will ruin it with her useless moaning and whining.
EDIT: HOLY FUCKING SHIT GUYS.
NewAgeAmazon has just given me crucial information that absolutely proves that this is the worst book of all time. If you recall, Bella rushes home to make herself deaf with one of Charlie's records. Here's the passage:
- It was one of his favorite bands, but they used a little too much bass and shrieking for my tastes....I concentrated very carefully on the music, trying to understand the lyrics, to unravel the complicated drum patterns. By the thirds time I'd listened through the CD, I knew all the words to the choruses, at least. I was surprised to find that I really did like the band after all, once I got past the blaring noise. I'd have to thank Phil again.
Clearly, Meyer is specifically speaking of a band that remains unnamed. It bothered me for a second, but I quickly forgot about it after reading about the smash-you-over-your-head-with-obvious-imagery nightmare.
Ashly has pointed out that Meyer revealed exactly who Bella was listening to in chapter 7. I'll let her speak:
- I took that information out because I wasn't sure how long it was going to take to get Twilight published. If it took ten years, would the band still be cool, or would it be embarrassing? Lucky for me, it didn't take that long, and the band is still quite cool (in my eyes, at least). Bella is listening to Linkin Park. As I am at this very moment.
SWEET LORD UP ABOVE. BELLA SWAN GETS EMO VIA LINKIN PARK.
This is, without a doubt, the worst book of all time.