Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Literate Adult's Return to the Valley of Twilight, Part Ten: Apparently stating your exact plan of escape in front of your enemy is the "perfect ploy."

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

When we last left Bella, she was sneaking away from Alice and Jasper so she could go to her mom’s house and call Psycho Vampire James. He says that he’ll kill Bella’s mom if she doesn’t do this. James hasn’t given us any reason to believe he won’t kill Bella’s mom if Bella DOES do this, but I get that Bella has to try just in case she might be able to save her mother. This relating to Bella thing does not feel awesome—I wouldn’t recommend it.

Bella goes to her mom’s house and uses the key hidden under the eave to get inside. I assume that this is how James got into Bella’s mom’s house as well. Back on Page 292, Edward told Bella that he had been sneaking into her house for weeks to watch her sleep (not creepy at all, nope, nope) by using a key that was also hidden under the eave.

I’m going to ignore the fact that an eave is the “overhang at the lower edge of a roof” and would therefore be very difficult to reach without the help of a ladder. There would be fifty of these Twilight posts if I took the time to harp on every little thing that has bothered me in the reading of this book.

Still, here’s a Google search of “hide key under eave.” One top result has to do with musical keys and the other two are about Twilight because hiding keys under eaves is a thing that literally no one does in real life.

All that aside, why in the fuck would you leave a key hidden outside a house where no one is currently living? That’s like saying, “Hey, burglars, come and take all my shit!” Vampires did not have to use any of their sneaky vampire powers to break into either of Bella’s houses—they just took advantage of the fact that neither of her parents seem to understand the idea of home security very well. Stop being so lazy and carry your keys around with you like everyone else, Swan Family.

Bella calls James and he tells her to go the dance studio and it’s all very anticlimactic. Thanks to Alice’s future-telling, we already knew that was where Bella was headed. So narratively speaking, the trip to Bella’s mom’s was pretty pointless.

But now we’ve reached the dance studio and made it back to the prologue at last! Bella finds a TV playing an old home movie of when she was visiting her grandmother for Thanksgiving when she was twelve. Bella leaned too far over the edge of the pier in the video, causing her mother to cry “Bella? Bella?” So basically it turns out that Bella’s mom is still in Florida, and James used this recording of her voice to trick Bella into thinking she’d come back to Phoenix early.

This twist would be good if I could believe any of the steps James must have taken to get there. First of all, how did James know where Renee’s house was? This is not something Bella ever mentioned in her conversation with Charlie. James does make a vague comment about Victoria finding out more about Bella, but how did she do this? When did these vampires even learn Bella’s last name, which would have at least made a Google search possible?

Even if I decide to believe that somehow James knew where to find Bella’s mom’s house, I simply can’t imagine him chilling on her mom’s couch watching home movies and just hoping he might find a clip of Bella’s mom sounding worried. And why in the hell would Bella’s mom keep a video of Bella almost getting hurt anyway? “Aw, Bella, let’s watch that video where you almost died again and get lost in the nostalgia of a more stressful time.”

James launches into his Evil Explanation of his Evil Plan, and I laughed out loud at this:

“…I’d heard you say you were going home. … And wouldn’t it be the perfect ploy, to go the last place you should be when you’re hiding—the place that you said you’d be.”  

Goddamn it, book. Stop acting like Bella is a ninja spy because Bella gave away exactly where she was going when she knew James could hear her. It wasn’t “diabolical,” nor was it the “perfect ploy.” It was stupid, plain and simple.

We learn that James is hoping Edward will want to avenge Bella after James kills her. Edward reminds him of this other vampire that he knew who loved a human in an insane asylum. And holy coincidence, Batman, that human turns out to have been Alice! Everyone thought Alice was insane because she had psychic visions even as a human and James had planned to kill her. But the vampire who loved Alice turned her into a vampire before James could get to her. So James killed her vampire maker instead.

This whole story of a psychic girl in an insane asylum in the 1920s and the vampire orderly who adores her doesn’t sound like a half-bad book to me. Why didn’t Stephenie Meyer write that book, instead of simply inserting the story as a too-coincidental, too-convenient motivation for James to want to kill Bella in this book?

James beats the living shit out of Bella and films it. He plans to leave dead Bella and the video at the studio for Edward and the other Cullens to find. Even I have to admit that this is pretty chilling. James may give teenage Bella way too much credit for her terrible plans, but he does do psycho quite well.

In the midst of being beaten up, Bella passes out. When she wakes up, James is dead and Carlisle is tending to Bella’s many wounds. Bella’s hand is burning because James bit it, so Edward sucks the poison venom out of Bella’s hand and she passes out again.

James wasn’t in this book for long, but he was still Twilight’s only antagonist. His being after Bella drove the only real action that didn’t involve lingering stares and sexual tension. And yet the big climactic fight where Emmett and Jasper kill James happens off screen. Also, even though seven Cullens didn’t manage to kill James back in Forks, suddenly two of them can in Phoenix.

Fuck this book.

I kind of meant for this to be the last Twilight post since I have in fact FINALLY finished the book. But it turns out I still have quite a bit more left to mock in the book’s final chapter and epilogue. So we’ll wrap this book up next week.

In the meantime have a good weekend! Have a drink, have two, and raise your glasses in the honor of the fact that I don’t have to read about sparkly vampires anymore!  

Read Part Eleven here.


  1. I've always had a problem with the "It's the last place they'll ever look!" idea. In my mind there are like MAX 50 semi-obvious hiding places for a normal person. Contrast this with the billions of non-obvious and uninteresting hiding places in this world. Surely they'll check your house before making the trip out to Baker City Oregon, right? Go to Taiwan, it's the last, last, place they'll ever look.

    1. I know, right? There are literally millions of other places Bella could have gone. But nope, Bella went to the only other place she has ever lived because she's crafty like that.

  2. Congratulations on finishing the disaster! I raise my lemonade to you! Dear lord is the James vs Cullen thing stupid.

    Also... Alice is psychic. I'm pretty sure she could've figured out Bella's plans, y'know? I mean, she can figure out what presents to get people based on the future, and thanks people ahead of time for their gifts. And honestly, Bella's mind is way to empty not to be able to figure out...

    1. Thanks! I'm so excited to read other things again.

      Alice does see Bella in the dance studio in a vision and she and Jasper are extra-wary that Bella's going to run away, but Bella sneaks through a bathroom at the airport. But I agree that Alice's gift changes when it's convenient--her visions are fuzzy and not terribly helpful in this book and yet she's able to predict all kinds of shit in later books.