Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Literate Adult's Return to the Valley of Twilight, Part Five: Stabby Sadness

Read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here, and Part Four here.

It’s worth noting that I read The Host by Stephenie Meyer much more recently than my first reading of Twilight and really enjoyed it. I grew quite attached to the two protagonists: Melanie is one of the few humans who managed to survive an invasion of alien parasites, and Wanda is the alien who took control over Melanie’s body after Melanie was captured. The book delves into this Invasion of the Bodysnatchers idea in a cool, very un-black-and-white way and the bond that develops between these two women stuck in one body is fascinating to watch.

So, there, Stephenie Meyer. I don’t think you're incapable of writing well, or of creating female characters that I can respect. I just don’t think you did either of those things in the Twilight books.

Speaking of female characters I don’t respect, let’s see what Bella’s been up to these days! The whole book has been building up to Bella and Edward hanging out alone on this one Saturday when there’s a dance that neither of them are attending. They were supposed to go to Seattle but end up deciding not to do so. Seriously, who needs to watch The Wire when Meyer is serving up gripping plot points like these?

Anyway, the day before Bella and Edward’s first real date, Bella feels rightfully afraid about the whole He might murder me thing. She assures herself that Edward wants her to be safe—so much so that he broke into her house to get the keys to her truck so she wouldn’t have to walk home from school alone. After all, everyone knows that if your boyfriend will commit a B&E on your behalf, he most definitely would never murder you.

After cooking up that bit of questionable logic, Bella thinks this:

Besides, since coming to Forks, it really seemed like my life was about him.

Yes, Bella. Through no fault of your own, your entire life has been about Edward since you arrived in Forks. It’s not like you have been ignoring the many, many humans who seem quite interested in being friends with you. It’s not like you can’t go a page without ogling Edward so much that I feel like the boy should file for sexual harassment.

Your life is about Edward because you make it about Edward, Bella. So unless you’re gonna go all meta on us and start blaming Stephenie Meyer, you can’t put the blame for that on anyone but yourself. And you definitely can’t use it as one of your reasons to justify going off alone to an unknown location with a guy who’s made it abundantly clear that he might try to kill you when you get there.

Edward’s reaction to the fact that no one—not Bella’s father or friends—knows that Bella is out with Edward makes me like him a lot more:

“Are you so depressed by Forks that it’s made you suicidal?” he demanded when I ignored him.

“You said it might cause trouble for you … us being together publicly,” I reminded him.

“So you’re worried about the trouble it might cause me if you don’t come home?” His voice was still angry, and bitingly sarcastic.

Damn straight, Edward! That bitch is crazy. Why do you like her so much, again?

Actually, I totally get what Edward sees in Bella: She’s hot, and he can’t hear her thoughts. That’s really enough. Imagine, for a moment, that you have spent a century reading the thoughts of everyone around you. Then, suddenly, you meet a chick whose mind you can’t read and whose face also does not look like an ass. You would fall in love with this lady by default. No matter how boring she actually is, this chick would seem like the most interesting, mysterious person in the world to you.

So you could say I was feeling a bit more sympathetic toward Edward than usual. But then this happened:

He turned then, with a mocking smile, and I stifled a gasp. His white shirt was sleeveless, and he wore it unbuttoned, so that the smooth white skin of his throat flowed uninterrupted over the marble contours of his chest, his perfect musculature no longer merely hinted at behind concealing clothes.

They’re going hiking. What guy, in the history of the world, has ever worn a button-down sleeveless shirt unbuttoned to go hiking?

Real hiking is nowhere near that sexy.

You might expect otherwise, but the sight of Edward’s beautiful vampire-chest sends Bella into an instant depression:

He was too perfect, I realized with a piercing stab of despair. There was no way this godlike creature could be meant for me.

Bella, Edward is walking around in a sleeveless, unbuttoned shirt for no reason. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that he likes you (and possibly also doesn’t understand proper hiking attire). Still, Bella spends the next few pages being all “Woe is me, my boyfriend is beautiful.” By the time she said this…

I tried to keep my eyes away from his perfection as much as possible, but I slipped often. Each time, his beauty pierced me through with sadness.

…I had started doodling again from boredom:

I originally thought I would be done with this book in four posts, max. But I greatly underestimated how little time I would have for non-work reading. Since I started reading Twilight I have read five books for work, and also half of Dune while I was on vacation. So basically I’ve read about nine books.

What do you say, guys? Are you up for a few more posts of Twilight adventures? (Say no, please say no. Then I won’t have to finish.)

Read Part Six here.


  1. For a moment "Real hiking is nowhere near that sexy." looked like a link that would (presumably) lead to a horrific story of a bear slaughtering some poor souls,..... or the story of Goat-Man! Who was a hunter, not a hiker, but at least he was properly attired.
    The Twilight posts are good though, keep em coming if you can bear it. <------ see that :p

    1. Yeah, that was my fault for bolding the caption, which I've since fixed. Though now I kind of feel like I should find a bear mauling to link to ... :) Thank you--I'll toil onward as long as you guys are enjoying it.

  2. I have to say.. it's far more enjoyable from this side of things than from yours. Bella is such a weird little soul... What girl goes around thinking "I don't want to look at my really hot boyfriend. It's too sad!" Edward clearly must think he's a stud, to wear such a dumb hiking outfit. A dumb shirt, really. I only see weird construction guys wearing sleeveless button-ups. I almost want to send you to the Midnight Sun draft... Edward's perspective is even scarier in its epic "I am a freaky stalker". Also, have you noticed that Stephenie Meyer is also a pale-skinned brunette with brown eyes as well?

    1. She is a weird soul indeed. I am kind of curious about Midnight Sun now ... but I am going to be so done with Twilight once this book is over. I try not to read too much into it when authors look like their protagonists. Charlie in UR has red hair and green eyes too and yet she and I have very little in common personality-wise :)

    2. I'm jealous of your coloration. I got stuck with.. mouse brown hair.

  3. If all rereading Twilight accomplishes is inspiring such hilarious doodles, then, in my opinion, you owe to the world to continue . . .your anonymous mom

  4. Funny.... I thought The Host pretty much confirmed that Meyer's writing was horrid! I liked the concept, but not the execution.

    1. Fuck, I didn't notice this at the time! I thought the writing in The Host was markedly better than the Twilight series--but I did also get a little annoyed when the book often abandoned its intriguing concept in order to focus on a weird three-person love square.