Claire’s Review of Twilight, Part 3

Apr 18, 2012 | Reviews

Chapter 5: OMG BLOOOOOOD! Are you scared yet?! ARE YOU?!

So Bella talks to the jerk a bit more, and he just comes out and tells her that he’s a jerk and she shouldn’t be friends with him, WHICH OF COURSE SHE DOES NOT LISTEN TO because of him being perfect. (Take a drink!)

Once again, I want to make it clear that at least two or three normal, nice guys are vying for her affections, and all she can think about is Mr. Asshole. And he smiles, and makes nice, and generally acts like he isn’t a colossal jerk, and Bella – in a rare and unexpected flash of insight – actually calls him on his shitty treatment of her. And then…. he says she’s ‘got a bit of a temper’.

Well holy shit, dude. Were you expecting hugs and kisses after you treat someone badly?

From this point on, Edward returns to being creepy, but good god, this just jumped out at me. He starts treating her like a total idiot, or like a child who’s in danger of hurting themselves with a pair of blunt scissors. And then we get to the blood scene.

So Bella can’t take the sight, smell or thought of blood. Just the idea of pricking her finger to get her blood type in a Biology test has her nauseous and dizzy. Okay, maybe I can buy thi- NO I CAN’T, THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. You know what happens to post-pubescent females once a month, if their reproductive organs are working as intended? If you answered ‘a gush of blood, ichor, mucus and other less identifiable substances flows from their nethers’, then congratulations! You win a cookie for stating the obvious. This I cannot square with the notion of a girl who almost faints at the thought of blood. A boy, yes, I’ll accept that, but a menstruating teenager? Now you’re just taking the piss.

So she gets carried to the nurse’s office by Edward, and he gets her out of class, and she has to get home. At which point he basically forces her to get into his car so he can drive her home – now, I’m going to quote from the book here, because I just cannot believe that this is a real thing:

‘”I’ll just drag you back,” he threatened.’

Yes, children, when a girl you hardly know doesn’t want to get into the car with you, and is looking like she’s going to walk to her own car and drive herself, your best course of action (if you’re concerned about her) is to THREATEN her with assault.

And once again, I need to point out that Bella knows bugger all about this guy. He’s mostly treated her like shit even when he saved her life. He’s TOLD her that he’s dangerous and no good for her. He’s been patronizing and completely dismissive of her wishes.

She still gets into the car and shows no indication that she’s worried for her own safety, despite the fact that Edward might as well have a neon sign over his head saying SERIAL KILLER.

Remember what I said about Bella being an abuse survivor? This is how I’m reading her now. Nothing else makes sense, apart from her being very, very stupid or a space alien. My theory is thus: she’s been in a bad relationship, which has not been mentioned, and her sense of self-worth is so damaged that she can’t understand normal relationships, and the whole notion of people being nice to her is repellent. Edward, with the creepy assholish behavior, becomes the target of her affections because that’s normal, for her.

What his deal is, I’m not sure yet, but you can bet the weird ass psychoanalysis will be lengthy.

Chapter 6: Introducing the one and only, Mr. Exposition!

One thing that really gets me about this whole book is why Bella is so unrelentingly pessimistic. It honestly makes no sense that people like her so much – and, again, that at least two normal guys want to be with her – when she pretty much acts like a depressive all the time. She doesn’t smile, doesn’t laugh, and doesn’t take pleasure in things like, say, being around other people.

A case in point is this beach trip. She agrees to go, even though she doesn’t really want to. Her response to the news that it’ll probably be sunny on the day is ‘maybe the outing wouldn’t be completely miserable.’ She gets there, and doesn’t do anything initially bar watch the fire. She seems to be unable to socialize, and the only person she likes to sit beside is a girl called Angela – because ‘she didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with chatter’.

Again, I ask you this: why in all the hells would any average teenager want to hang around with someone so obviously anti-social? It’s not like these people know her very well, and might be concerned for her mental health. So, really, they include her and are nice to her in spite of her shitty attitude for no reason at all. This doesn’t line up with my own experience of being a teenager (and it wasn’t that long ago) or my knowledge of human social behavior.

And then she meets Mr. Exposition, a.k.a. Jacob.

Okay, I’m just going to quote a little here. So she sees Jacob, and we get a little bit about how good looking he is, and then this:

‘My positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth. “You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”‘

Yes, here is a guy she doesn’t know, who’s just clarifying her identity like normal sane people do when they meet someone for the first time, and this is somehow a terrible thing that will make her think badly of him. The logic is not strong with this one.

Anyway, she has something resembling a regular conversation with Jacob, and then it devolves into… I don’t know, honestly. She calls it her ‘sure-to-be pitiful attempts at flirting’, which she uses to get information out of Jacob about the Cullens instead of just asking him like a normal person, and then performs a series of actions that read more like a robot’s attempt at this thing you humans call romance.

And then the exposition happens. Jacob tells this girl he doesn’t know all about how his great-grandfather made this treaty with the Cullens, who are actually vampires (DUN DUN DUN), and how he’s not supposed to tell anyone about it. And then he laughs.

Okay, here’s the thing: I already know that Jacob is a werewolf. Presumably, if he’s not a total moron, he knows that it’s somewhat important that the regular humans not find out about that. He also presumably knows that the vampires are real and anyone finding out about them would be a bad thing, because the vampires know about the werewolves. So you’ve got two paranormal races, both knowing about the other, both in a somewhat uneasy truce for now, and one member has just spilled the beans to a chick who could be ANYONE, despite the fact that he’s been told by the tribal elders to keep quiet about it. So Jacob’s just been won over by the charms of a girl who acts like an antisocial Martian, he’s telling her a story to impress her, and he somehow lacks the imagination to think of anything else. Or, possibly, he’s merely incredibly dumb.

Well, not the first time a guy’s made a stupid mistake on account of his dick. But it does beg the question of whether any character in this book has a functional brain.