Chapter 1: Party & Preface

13 Nov

I have a terrible confession to make.

I gave Stephenie Meyer my money. I feel very dirty about this, but it had to be done.

I was using a PDF file I downloaded off the intertubes to do my review of Twilight. There were two main problems with this: first, the page numbers were off (my PDF had about 290 pages while Twilight actually has 498) so I couldn’t properly cite anything; secondly, there were some utterly bizarre formatting and spelling mistakes that were probably the fault of the PDF and not the fault of Meyer… although I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I will feel more legitimate reviewing the rest of the series in its true form.

I almost couldn’t find the book, and I hated every moment of searching for it. The first bookstore I went to didn’t seem to have a Young Adult fiction section. After nervously charging around the store for about half an hour (as if I was going to ask somewhere where they keep the sparkling vampires), I gave up and walked a bit further down rue Ste-Cat to the Indigo. I found the YA section… but it was all in French. I live in Montréal, so things are mostly French here, but bookstores are still largely English. I was worried that maybe Indigo thought tweens couldn’t read English yet or something crazy like that (I am so jealous of kids in Montréal, growing up bilingual while I had to bleed through French Immersion).

So there I am, panicking in the bookstore, staring fretfully at “Tentation” and  wishing it would translate itself into New Moon. I mean, I am fluent in French, but I can’t review the book in French for my English blog!

Proof.

I walked through a few more rows and found the English YA section. Crisis averted. I didn’t want the cashier to judge me and think I have poor taste in fiction, so I grabbed George R.R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings which is the sequel to A Game of Thrones, so that I would have an actual kickass fantasy novel to prove that I don’t have bad taste because I am self-conscious.

Alright, enough stalling. Let’s crack open New Moon and see what my best friend in the world, Bella Swan is up to.

Preface & Chapter One: Party

New Moon opens with that Smeyer Vagueness™ we are used to, with a page of Bella running through what she thinks is a dream. It’ll probably show up in the end of the book somewhere.

Smeyer creatively moves onto another dream in Chapter One.

I was ninety-nine point nine percent sure I was dreaming. (pg.3)

Shut up, Bella, that is no way to start the first chapter in a published novel.

Smeyer is doing that annoying thing that authors do in sequel novels where she is recapping was happened in the last book, which involves Bella having a dream, as per usual. Bella thinks she is in heaven with her grandmother, but Edward is there for some reason, sparkling away, and Bella is all, “oh crap, I have to explain to Grandma that I am dating a sparkling douchebag who wants to eat me.”

I didn’t have to look to know who it was; this was a voice I would know anywhere — know, and respond to, whether I was awake or asleep… or even dead, I’d bet. The voice I’d walk through fire for — or, less dramatically, slosh every day through the cold and endless rain for. (pg.4)

THAT IS NOT HOW WE WRITE THINGS, MEYER. I don’t know where to begin with this one. The abuse of punctuation, those dangling prepositions, the dripping hyperbolized romance. Here, my friends, is proof that even a university degree IN ENGLISH LITERATURE does not make one smart. Who gave Smeyer that diploma? Was it the Mormons? It was the Mormons, wasn’t it?

After many wasted pages, Meyer reveals that it was a dream, and we find out that it was an old Bella in her dream, not her grandmother, because Bella is afraid of getting old.

Because today is Bella Swan’s birthday.

Happy birthday, Bella! YOU ARE FINALLY AT THE AGE OF CONSENT CONGRATULATIONS now go kiss your hundred-year-old boyfriend.

Bella’s birthday is the worst day of Bella’s life because she is eighteen but Edward will always be “seventeen.” Bella spends one sentence noting that she had the best summer of her life before running to the mirror to check for wrinkles and launching into her usual list of complaints and incessant whining. Oh Bella. It’s really you. You’re back.

I wasn’t entirely able to avoid my dad, and so I had to spend a few minutes acting cheerful. I honestly tried to be excited about the gifts I’d asked him not to get me, but every time I had to smile, it felt like I might start crying. (pg.7)

You’re lucky Charlie didn’t force you to become homeless after than stunt you pulled in the last book, you ungrateful girl! You should be thankful he even speaks to you, let alone gives you presents.

Bella goes to school, where Alice and Edward are waiting for her. It seems like Alice and Bella are BFFs now. Edward is just as gushed over as ever.

Even after half a year with him, I still couldn’t believe that I deserved this degree of good fortune. (pg.7)

That is some nice self-esteem you are promoting there, Smeyer.

I looked into his liquid topaz eyes, and my heart gave a not-quite-so-gentle squeeze of its own. Hearing the stutter in my heartbeats, he smiled again. (pg.9)

Smeyer, there are two things I would really like from you. First, to take a fucking biology lesson. Or get your ears checked out. Can you actually hear peoples’ hearts beating from several feet away? As well, it’d be great if you stopped using the word topaz. I lost track of how many times you used it just in this chapter. Because it’s not a very good word to use to describe colour.

I couldn’t really see Edward’s point, to be honest. What was so great about mortality? Being a vampire didn’t look like such a terrible thing. (pg.10)

SHUT UP, BELLA

“I thought my birthday was about what I want.” (pg.11)

SHUT UP, BELLA, SHUT UP SHUT UP

We had almost every class together now — it was amazing the favors Edward could get the female administrators to do for him. (pg.12)

SERIOUSLY BELLA STOP PROMOTING MISOGYNY

Attention is never a good thing, as any other accident-prone klutz would agree. (pg.12)

BELLA I HATE YOU

College was Plan B. I was still hoping for Plan A, but Edward was just so stubborn about leaving me human… (pg.13)

SHUT UP BELLA YOU’RE BEING AN IDIOT

But how could I let him give me things when I had nothing to reciprocate with? He, for some unfathomable reason, wanted to be with me. Anything he gave me on top of that just threw us more out of balance. (pg.13)

At lunch, Bella “introduces” all her friends. What I mean to say is she lists their names and we will probably never hear about them again. There are even two names I don’t remember hearing before. It is heartwarming how much Bella values her friendships.

Bella and Edward go to Bella’s house where they watch Romeo and Juliet. Edward whispers Romeo’s lines in Bella’s ear which I find to be very creepy, but maybe that’s what most chicks are into these days.

Edward then talks about how he doesn’t plan on living without Bella, so when he thought James might have killed her in the last book, he was going to go to Italy to “provoke the Volturi.” The Volturi are apparently a group of very old and powerful vampires, so Edward was going to use them to kill himself if Bella died. HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS.

I can see how this was inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Did Shakespeare forget to remind Meyer that Romeo and Juliet was a cautionary tale?

Edward takes Bella to his house because his whole family has been preparing for Bella’s birthday party. They don’t get to celebrate birthdays, so they are really excited about Bella’s, but Bella doesn’t care. Bella just wants to mope and complain that they are paying attention to her and whine about how she begged for them not to get her presents.

You know what sort of people say they don’t want presents?

People who fucking want presents.

Alice, I assumed, had covered every flat surface with pink candles and dozens of crystal bowls filled with hundreds of roses. There was a table with a white cloth draped over it next to Edward’s grand piano, holding a pink birthday cake, more roses, a stack of glass plates, and a small pile of silver-wrapped presents.

It was a hundred times worse than I’d imagined. (pg.25)

Maybe this is just a personal thing for me, but few things bother me more than people who hate their birthday and spend the entire week leading up to their birthday complaining about it and then their whole birthday complaining about it when all I want to do is make them a nice cake to show them I am glad they were born. I love my birthday, and I especially love my friends’ birthdays. When I was a teenager, I had a friend who shared my birthday, and she acted just like Bella on her birthday. I would wish my friend a happy birthday, and instead of saying happy birthday back to me, she would grunt and roll her eyes and storm off. She managed to ruin every single one of my birthdays being so self-centered and sour. So excuse me if I can’t stand Bella complaining about being showered with love and gifts.

SO THEN THIS HAPPENS

Bella is opening a gift from Edward & Alice. She gets a papercut from the wrapping paper and begins to bleed. Naturally, Jasper goes crazy and lunges at her, so Edward pushes her out of the way and Bella goes flying into the table, smashing the crystal plates and glasses. As Edward wrestles with Jasper, Bella gouges her arm open on the broken glass since we all know how much Smeyer loves goring Bella up. Now there is blood pooling everywhere in a room of six vampires.

I really hope they eat Bella.

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10 Responses to “Chapter 1: Party & Preface”

  1. arallyn November 13, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    The most excellent and true (I think- I never bothered to read it :p) quote about this book as a whole:

    “This novel thus teaches two important lessons to young girls everywhere:

    1) If a guy dumps you and says he doesn’t love you anymore, he doesn’t mean it. All you have to do is beg and destroy your life to prove that you really love him, and he’ll come right back and love you even more!

    2) It is perfectly cool to string along innocent but decent guys who are crushing on you and then dump them immediately as soon as your ex-boyfriend reappears, and totally normal if said ex-boyfriend forbids you from seeing your old friend. After all, your love for your ex must be far stronger, because he makes you feel ‘alive’ and ‘dangerous’ since he’s always on the verge of killing you. And stalking you. We can’t really mention that enough.”

    • Amy-jean November 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      Ugh, I really have a lot to look forward to. I know she’s gonna start being a huge jerk to Jacob soon.

  2. Tara November 13, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    I didn’t get a cake for my birthday :'(

    • Amy-jean November 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      I AM GLAD YOU WERE BORN TARA <3

  3. ship November 13, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    i have a picture for you. i’ll send it on fabo. it’s what comes to mind every time smeyer uses topaz to describe edward’s eyes.

    • Amy-jean November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      His topaz eyes. They were PENETRATING.

  4. Li November 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    It’s good to have you back.

  5. daisy November 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Wow!

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