Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Literate Adult's Return to the Valley of Twilight, Part Eight: Kidnapping is never always the answer.

Read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here, and Part Four here, Part Five here, Part Six here, and Part Seven here.

And just like that, after nearly 400 hundred pages, this story suddenly has stakes! I’ve only read the first 50 Shades book, but I’m pretty sure that trilogy never gets there. And so E.L. James is bested by Stephenie Meyer once again in the competition of Which of these mega-bestselling books is slightly less awful?

There are some new vampires in town, and one of them has a huge vampire boner for Bella. It’s similar to Edward’s vampire boner for Bella, but this dude James doesn’t also have a heart boner for her like Edward does. So basically James just really, really wants to kill Bella. (You and me both, James. You and me both.)

Edward’s sister, Alice, can predict the future and Edward can hear people’s thoughts, so between the two of them they know that they absolutely have to get Bella the hell up out of Forks, and fast. So Edward forcibly straps Bella into an off-roading harness in his Jeep then proceeds to drive a hundred-and-twenty miles an hour (seriously, think about how fast that is). When Bella insists that Edward take her home, his brother, Emmett, holds Bella’s hands like handcuffs.

Once again, Bella does not respond appropriately to any of this:

“You have to take me back—Charlie will call the FBI! They’ll be all over your family—Carlisle and Esme! They’ll have to leave, to hide forever!”

Damn it, Bella, these people are kidnapping you. Your chief concern should not be the fact that your disappearance will force the Cullens to come out of the vampire closet.

The Cullens explain that Bella can’t go home because James has her scent and will follow it to her house. Then Bella flips out over Charlie’s safety in a way that almost makes me respect her for a second. Bella suggests that she go home, tell Charlie she wants to go back to Phoenix, and they run. Then the tracker will follow them and leave Charlie alone. They decide that Alice and her brother-husband Jasper will go with Bella to Phoenix while the others stay to get James off Bella’s trail.

There are seven Cullens and one James. James does also have a girlfriend, but that is still seven against two. Why can’t the Cullens just kill James now? If they worked together I’m sure they’d be able kill him in no time. And then this family with this HUGE secret that they’re trying to protect wouldn’t have to kidnap a minor and take her across state lines.

Actually I don’t get why the Phoenix part is necessary at all. James is a tracker. He’s going to follow Bella wherever she goes—we know this. Edward points out that when Bella tells Charlie that she’s going back to Phoenix, James will know that’s where she’s going. This is Bella’s “diabolical” (Emmett’s word) response:

“And you’ll make it look like that’s a ruse, obviously. He’ll know that we’ll know that he’s listening. He’ll never believe I’m actually going where I say I’m going.”

Actually, Bella, there’s a good chance he’ll think that you’re going EXACTLY where you say you’re going. Do you really think that James’ll be like “Hmm, this teenage chick says she’s going to Phoenix. But that’s too simple! She must really be going somewhere else and is just trying to trick me, that clever vixen”? No, Bella. This is what James will think: “Hmm, this teenage chick says she’s going to Phoenix. Whelp, I guess it’s time for a road trip to Phoenix!”

Seriously, Cullen family, just kill James now and be done with it.

But I guess that would be kind of anticlimactic. And then I wouldn’t have nearly a hundred more pages to read, and that would obviously be a terrible, horrible tragedy.

(Stupid Cullens, can’t get together for some family vampire murder so that I can get back to reading Dune…)

Bella tells Charlie that she hates Forks so much that she has to leave RIGHT THIS SECOND. She packs all her stuff to go back to Phoenix by herself even though her mother is not there and Bella is a minor. Charlie makes some half-assed attempts to stop her (“Bells, you can’t leave now. It’s nighttime,” he whispered behind me) but then Bella says this:

“Just let me go, Charlie.”

That’s apparently exactly what Bella’s mom said when she left Charlie back when Bella was little. Is it just me or is this … not a string of words that one would remember for fifteen years? It’s not very specific and I highly doubt that’s the only thing Bella’s mom said when she left.

But these five bland words prove Charlie’s undoing and he lets his daughter who (say it with me) IS A MINOR walk out of the house with all her things late at night with the intention of driving all the fucking way to Phoenix.

Here are a few parting Absurd Adverbs for you grammar nerds out there:

I was hideously frightened of the empty yard.

“Hideous” means “causing horror.” It’s completely unnecessary to imply that meaning twice by saying a person is “hideously frightened.” It’s like when Americans say “paninis” and they’re really saying “sanwicheses” in Italian.

“If you didn’t smell so appallingly luscious, he might not have bothered…

First of all, gross. Second, Edward is ONCE AGAIN blaming Bella for something that could in no way possibly be her fault. This time it’s how she smells. THERE’S NOTHING SHE CAN DO, EDWARD. Third, “appalling” means “causing extreme dismay, horror, or revulsion.” Jamming that adverb up against “luscious” makes no sense.

We stood there, the others looking away from me as the tears streaked noiselessly down my face.

Salt water moving down a person’s face doesn’t make noise—crying does. I may be nitpicking at this point but I am so ready to be done with this book.

Read Part Nine here.


  1. I found the Twilight books to be like a car-wreck; I knew it was horrific, but I couldn't for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy look away.

    1. Yeah, that's a good analogy for it. Good grief.

    2. It is a good analogy! Except for me it's more like this: I'm watching a car crash and would TOTALLY look away--but then I remember that I promised my readers I would watch the whole thing. Because my readers seem to like it when I witness gross, bloody tragedies and report back in detail. One might even say they find it humorous.

      You sick, sick bastards.