Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Literate Adult's Return to the Valley of Twilight, Part Eleven: I fell down some stairs.

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, Part Nine here, and Part Ten here.

After over two months, I have finally finished reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Why, you might ask, did it take me so goddamn long to read a book targeted at tween girls?

Well, first I would chastise you for your foul language because I am a lady. And then you would call me hypocrite, and you would be right.

Then I would tell you that I read books for a living. I spend my subway rides and weekends reading manuscripts. I’m always reading at least one book for fun, if not two, and work to find time to read them. Twilight cut fun book time in half, and Dune by Frank Herbert happened to be the other book I was reading at the time. If you haven’t read Dune before, let me just tell you that it becomes terribly addicting in its second half and once I reached it, I couldn’t help abandoning Twilight until I had reached the end of Dune.

(I still have several more books to read in the series, which I will get back to as soon as I finish writing this post.)

But now Twilight is over. Bella didn’t die, unfortunately, and we didn’t get to see James die either. Bella did, however, get a broken leg, four broken ribs, some cracks in her skull, tons of bruises, and lost lots of blood—probably because not one, but two vampires bit the fuck out of her hand.

Bella wakes in a hospital room and Edward tells her how the Cullens chose to explain Bella’s injuries to the doctors:

“You fell down two flights of stairs and through a window.”

Yep, they went with the old “fell down some stairs” excuse. That still doesn't explain Bella’s vampire-mangled hand, though. So, really, that story would only work if Bella fell down two flights of stairs and through a window and then got attacked by a ferocious dog with a fetish for attacking hands and nowhere else. But instead Bella’s hand is simply ignored—maybe the doctors think the stairs bit her.

The Cullens should have just said that Bella joined a fight club.

Bella’s injuries were supposedly incurred at a hotel, and Edward assures Bella that Alice has fabricated all the evidence they’ll need to prove this story. Never mind the fact that hotels have security cameras, not to mention employees and guests who would have noticed if a girl fell down two flights of steps and through a fucking window.

Edward kisses Bella and this happens:

He leaned in slowly; the beeping noise [of the heart monitor] accelerated wildly before his lips even touched me. But when they did, though with the most gentle of pressure, the beeping stopped altogether.

A peck on the lips from Edward makes Bella’s heart literally stop beating. That’s just … I can’t even make a joke about it. It’s a joke all on its own—as is this entire book, really.

Bella’s mom shows up and Edward pretends to sleep. Instead of addressing the fact that her seventeen-year-old daughter ran away from Washington to Arizona and is now horribly injured, Bella’s mom all, “Your stepdad and I are moving to Florida—isn’t it awesome? Also your new boyfriend is so cute!” (I’m paraphrasing but not by much.)

Renee’s all excited for Bella to move to Florida but Bella insists that she wants to stay in Forks. Even though she supposedly JUST ran away because of how fucking much she hates Forks. But whatever—all Renee really seems to care about is that Bella’s in looooooove.

In the Epilogue Bella is back in Forks. Alice dressed her up all fancy and Edward is in a tux, and he says he has a surprise for her. Bella’s hoping Edward is planning to turn her into a vampire, because what’s eternity without sunlight, sleep, or food coupled with a dependence on blood to live if you get to have a hot stalker for a boyfriend? But instead he’s taking her to prom.

Bella’s annoyed since she hates dancing and school and humans, but gets over it quickly enough. She studies her classmates while she dances with Edward:

I caught a glimpse of Jessica and Mike dancing, staring at me curiously. Jessica waved, and I smiled back quickly. Angela was there, too, looking blissfully happy in the arms of little Ben Cheney; she didn’t look up from his eyes, a head lower than hers. Lee and Samantha, Lauren, glaring toward us, with Conner; I could name every face that spiraled past me.

Bella’s looking around at these people like she hasn’t spent the previous four-hundred-and-ninety pages ignoring them with all her might. This is the first time half of these people have ever been mentioned—I’m pretty sure Bella is just making their names up.

And so the book ends with Bella really wanting to be made into a vampire, and Edward wanting the opposite of that. Jacob shows up for a minute and it's not important, just like all his other appearances in this book.

And that’s it! It’s finally over! Having finally reached the end, did I ever locate the quality in the book that made me like it so much the first time? No, not really. It’s written better than Fifty Shades of Grey and Bella isn’t quite as stupid or implausible as Ana. But Twilight is still an overlong, tedious story that sells creepy, I’d-kill-myself-if-I-lost-you obsession as true love to teenage girls.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this trip through the valley of Twilight with me. Though reading Twilight again was far from enjoyable on my end, I’m glad I did it. I’m not sure why I liked Twilight the first time around but I’m proud that I seem to have grown out of whatever it was. 

I'll leave you with a crude artistic rendering of the only explanation for Bella's injuries that actually makes sense:


  1. poor Bella... two sets of stairs, a window, AND a dog bite. ..It's.. so.. stupid... It's scary to think about how many people like it. To the point where some people get Edward Cullen eyes tattooed to them and other creepy things. Like book quotes. Full of creepy stalkery things. I loved L. J. Smith back in the day. I might read it with you, honestly, though I haven't read that series.
    I did just read The Bloggess's biography this week. A few places I laughed at such inappropriate things, so much laughing that my family was all "...the hell....?" But I cried too. One time, I laughed, and then promptly cried like ten seconds later. I think it's the first biography I enjoyed.

    1. Ugh, i've seen the weird book quote tattoos! Yaaaay I'm so glad you know who L.J. Smith is. I loved all her books but Forbidden Game was always my favorite. I'm going to be really sad if it doesn't hold up.

      Jenny Lawson is one of my very favorite writers. They just announced Book 2! It's called Furiously Happy.

    2. I saw that! Definitely thrilled.

  2. You're a riot, Jilly!! I love your drawings.

    Your Anonymous Mom

    1. Aw, thanks, Anonymous Mama! I'm happy my terrible drawrings are amusing someone.