We’re, give or take, 20% into the story. I have no further comment than that. Yet.
Now our heroine is sitting in her room reading Macbeth with rain pouring outside. The Shakespearean centric English major in me had to giggle. She might as well be reading Hamlet when it’s foggy outside. For those of you (poor souls) who are unfamiliar with either play, suffice to say that doom, gloom, and rain / airborne precipitation are in short order. Once again, we have to see how well read Bella is. At least this time she doesn’t make the snide comment that she’s reading it for fun.
The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn’t going to be there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica and Mike, I couldn’t keep from looking at his table, where Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper sat talking, heads close together. And I couldn’t stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn’t know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.
Try Monday morning. That seems like a good start.
As they’re leaving the lunch room, Minor Character Number Four (or Five? I’ve lost count) questions why Bella isn’t sitting with Team Fangtasia. To which Bella replies:
I really didn’t know her well at all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me – or so I thought.
Because she’s a set dressing, that’s why you don’t know her. Duh.
Once she’s home, Bella decides to bring up Edward’s little camping trip to her dad:
“It’s not a very good place for camping.” He sounded surprised. “Too many bears. Most people go there during hunting season.”
And if you’re a vampire, it’s always hunting season. Just wait for duck season. Or rabbit season.
The day of their little jaunt to the beach, it’s sunny. Go Mother Nature. She arrives at the meeting point and all the girls are whispering and gossiping about here. I really don’t understand why. Unless they all have a raging crush on Edward of which the reader is heretofore unaware, I don’t get it. Bella has beaten us over the head with how klutzy and otherwise undesirable she is. Why on earth would the other girls feel at all threatened? Oh right, because Bella is our self deprecating protagonist and there has to be some lame attempt at conflict.
On the drive to the beach, Meyer treats us to a rather positive review of the landscape. It’s completely incongruous with Bella’s previous bitching and moaning. Apparently, a little Vitamin D does just the thing. They get to the beach and there’s two pages worth of Mike trying to flirt with Bella and Jessica giving Bella the stink eye.
I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if he were here with me.
The answers to your questions are “sleeping” and some snide comment about how he’s dangerous and not cut out to be a BFF. Also, your whole mind is small.
Drumroll please, we have now officially met Jacob.
My positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.
“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”
In her mind, Bella is God. You are not allowed to speak her name as it is blasphemy. YOU ARE UNWORTHY!!!! Seriously, bitch, get over yourself. Jacob starts chatting her up:
He had a pleasant, husky voice.
I totally see what you did there.
Meyer tries to continue the girl on girl conflict. Minor Character Number Four (or Five) aka Lauren, apparently has a thing for Jacob & tries to pick a fight with Bella. The Plastics have NOTHING on this chick (Incidentally, a viewing of Mean Girls needs to happen in my near future). What’s problematic about Bella’s interpretation of Lauren’s behaviour is just that. It’s an interpretation. There’s no emotional investment on the part of the reader with the interactions between Bella and the other female characters. Meyer didn’t waste her time on fleshing out those relationships in favor of Bella mooning for pages on end. If she had established Lauren or Jessica or Random Minor Female Character Number Three, the antagonism would be more interesting. Instead, it reads as puzzling at best.
The topic changes in the direction of something vaguely resembling interesting.
I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the dark forest behind us. He’d said that the Cullens don’t come here, but his tone implied something more – that they weren’t allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success.
Wow, your Spidey Sense is really on point.
In the true spirit of emotional manipulation, Bella decides to extract further information from Jacob:
“Do you want to walk down to the beach with me? I asked, trying to imitate the way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes.
Yes, channel the creepy vampire face. That sure does bring all the boys to the yard.
More blah, blah, blah I’m a terrible flirt. Blah, blah, blah, he’s totally falling for it. Blah, blah, blah.
“Do you like scary stories?” he asked.
“I love them,” I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.
Yes, please go ahead and light on fire.
Jacob tells the story of how vampires and werewolves came to a happy agreement to stay off each other’s turf. Of course, the master of the Cullen Clan engineered this 4 generations ago with Jacob’s family. Even better, the Cullens just welcomed two new ones into the family. Mazel tov.
But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be friends with.
Uh oh, here comes the friendzoning.
Then the puny humans are back off again thanks to the rain. At least we get a short break from Bella bitching about the precipitation. Being a weatherman in this part of the world must be stupid easy. And scene.
I’d like to point out that Jacob was introduced in this chapter & has already had a conversation with Bella. Yet the Cullens / Hales were introduced in the second chapter & none of them have spoken a word. Named characters are supposed to talk! If you don’t want them to talk, don’t bother with a name. If you’re trying to amp up tension until they speak, then save the name for when they decide to open their mouths. It must have just been too difficult to say “All those damn pale kids look the same! Except Edward. He’s totally hot. Err, cold. Whatever.”
We finally (FINALLY) get some kind of exposition. It took all of 4 pages to set up the whole plot. Vampires don’t like werewolves. Edward just so happens to be a vampire and Jacob is conveniently a werewolf. Why the hell did it take so long to get there? In case I haven’t beaten the dead horse enough, the pacing is driving me insane. It’s going like a George Romero style zombie pace rather than a vampiric pace. If vampires can move at the rate of virtual teleportation, then the plot should, too. I’m surprised the book hasn’t been trudging around behind me moaning “braaaaains”. What has taken Meyer over 100 pages to set up easily could have been done in half that time. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a very succinct writer. My biggest problem in college was getting the word count necessary for my papers. I could say in 300 words what the professor wanted in 500 words. That was with references and quotes necessary to support my argument. Excessively wordy prose is not my speed. If I were writing the book, I probably could have set up the whole thing in 30 pages. Am I really asking too much? If I am, please speak up. I appreciate honestly from my loyal readers.
Until next time!
Semicolon count: 8
Number of gummy bears I consumed during the creation of this post: Apocalyptic