I have been finished with Twilight for awhile now and I have to admit that the story ended better than I would have thought capable. Although the whole prom dance thing was all sorts of awkward but whatever.
After way to many paragraphs describing how BEAUTIFUL and WHITE and PERFECT Edward is, and in conjunction, how WEAK, PATHETIC, CLUMZY and FRAGILE Bella is, Meyer finally remembers that other books have something called a plot and decides to throw one together. The plot begins during the vampire baseball game. I honestly am not sure what Meyer’s was smoking but I have a couple of client’s that would love to get their hands on it. Apparently, the Cullens can only play baseball when it storms. Why you ask? Because when they run into each other they make loud sounds because they are not only vampires but also hollow and made of metal. I am willing to forgive the vampire baseball game because it allowed the first sign of real conflict, not the “I Love you” “I want to eat you” “I can’t live without you” bullshit of the first half of the book.
Sidebar: If anyone watches Angel: The scene in season 3 when Wesley and Cordelia overdramatically act out Buffy and Angel: That’s what this entire book has been like only it’s supposed to be serious.
So, during this baseball game, the Cullens meet a traveling pack of Vampires and one (James) hones in on Bella’s scent and the fact that Edward is overly protective over her. The Cullen family immediately goes into action to find the best way to hide Bella as Edward is able to read his thoughts and recognizes that this Vampire is a tracker and will hunt her down no matter what. There are some good moments in planning Bella’s getaway where she gets to hold her own. She makes the plan for the getaway and shows hints of not being all about Edward by being determined to protect Charlie to the point of screming and fighting. In fact, throughout this scene and the following ones Bella holds her own, makes some bad decisions, but still manages to manipulate the vampires by being overly aware of their abilities and how she needs to work around them.
Bella, Alice (she of the perpetual dancing shoes) and Jasper (he of the entirely creepy ability to make you feel false emotions) hide out in Phoenix while the others protect Charlie and attempt to hunt James. James has backtracked on them and manages to convince Bella to meet him to protect her mother. Bella falls into the trap and finds herself tricked into being alone with James. When faced with her death Bella prepares to fight, even knowing she can’t win. There is a mildly threatening conversation with James where he reveals the truth of Alice’s origins and that he cares more about destroying Edward than killing Bella because she is just a pawn in the game (I thought about commenting on how Bella was again nothing more than a possession of Edward in this situation but felt that James view of her as inconsequential would make sense to a vampire who viewed humans as food and nothing more).
All and all, not too bad, except for the whole moping about never seeing Edward again but ya know, teenage girl. However, once Bella is attacked by James, Meyer’s manages to drop the ball and ignore the interesting aspects of the story and focus on purity messages and shaming female desire. Apparently there’s a giant fight but noone gets to see it and it involves mostly Emmett and Jasper (not quite willing to taint Edward with what it means to be a vampire by avoiding having him kill James?). Bella was bit on the hand by James and Edward must suck the blood out or let her be transformed. I found the idea of being bit on the hand as an interesting one. Edward always has his lips on Bellas neck and the act of drinking blood is a sensual practice, however Bella is bit on the hand managing to prevent her from being “sexually” violated by James and to allow Edward to drink her blood in a more sanitized way that keeps our abstinence porn message intact.
Edward is worried about doing it and begs Carlisle to but he refuses. It seems like that would be the safer decision but of course Edward is the perpetual saviour so he must do it. He manages to stop before killing her (the vamp version of pulling out) and he is very proud of himself. Now, Bella was in a pretty tense situation where she learns information that noone else has about Alice and her background. Of course, heaven forbid she actually teach the Cullens anything but instead James had taped the entire exchange so Alice learns about her origins through the video tape. (Remember Ladies, proper girls do not advance the story line themselves). Of course, learning how Alice is handling this news isn’t important and is thrown off as a sidebar(my overuse of sidebar can be tracked back to receiving the first season of “How I Met Your Mother” for x-mas)q while Bella is all doped up at the hospital and mooning over Edward. They make up a story to explain her actions and her mother is none the wiser and Bella returns to Forks to be with her beloved.
Seriously, the book should have ended there, but instead Meyer’s goes on in the equivalent of the person who doens’t understand when to end a story and goes on for ten more minutes and destorys any sense of enjoyment people have gotten out of it.(kind of like this sentence). The gist: Bella wants to be a vampire, Edward doesn’t want to make her one, they argue in the hospital, Bella figures out that it will happen eventually based on Alice’s vision and vows to annoy Edward until he does it, while Edward assumes she’s going to come to her senses and realize her desire to be equal to her mate is a stupid one(that crazy bitch!). Oh! and they do this all in prom getup with Bella dancing on Edward’s feet wtih a broken leg (now remember this: Bella HATES dancing and had no desire to go to prom but Edward ignores all this and makes plans and forces her along and then gets mad when she socializes with someone other than him). Also, poor Tyler is embarassed and Edward thinks it’s funny because he’s pissed on Bella’s leg and it amuses him when others try to move in on his property.
So that’s the first book and here is my final thought: I find it interesting that the only place it’s safe for a female to express sexual desire is when she’s partnered with a male who will turn her down. Girls are told that they should be the gate keeprs of male sexuality (hell on Natalia’s most recent post it was claimed men can’t stop). Girls are encouraged to not express their sexuality with someone who is interested in expressing themselves in the same way. They are either the gate keepers or are married to a proper man that keeps them honest. So what? Is sexual desire only appropriate for a women when they can’t act on it? Has anyone else picked up on this message?