No, I’m NFKY.
How to summarize this section…oh, I know, stink, sparkle, sap.
Friday begins with Edward picking Bella up as usual, them sitting through another electrically tense science class, and him revealing that he was going to leave school early to feed so he doesn’t accidentally turn Bella into a snack cake. Bella, of course, gets mopey as well as maintaining her internal consistency by lying like hell to Mike and not shedding a tear but feeling “so guilty for deceiving [Charlie] that I almost took Edward’s advice and told him where I would be. Almost” when it came to telling her father she was spending Saturday with Edward and not in Seattle or at home doing laundry like she said she was.
The next day Edward picks her up to go to their Soopar Sekrit Rendezvous and they have a fight in the car when Edward finds out that Bella has told no one she’s going off alone with him because she might not come back.
I would like to pause this review for a moment to make two statements:
1. Edward is selfish on an order of magnitude that I don’t think even science has created yet a way to measure for putting Bella in danger, if it is true that he could snap at any moment and open Bella up like a can of pop, just because, as stated, he’s “going to do what [he] want[s] now, and let the chips fall where they may.” That’s like saying, “Well, I’m just going to carry around this grenade without a pin all day because I want to and if it just happens to go off, OH WELL.”
2. Bella is an incredibly naive idiot with the self-preservation instincts of the offspring of a suicidal mayfly and a base jumping-enthusiast lemming for enthusiastically continuing to hang out with a person who is warning her all the time that she could be seconds from a bloody and horrible demise.
Why either of these two are people to be admired or even liked is beyond me.
They get to the remote destination in the middle of nowhere and Edward dazzles young Bella by taking off his coat, revealing the perfect perfectness of his beautiful beauty. Meyer actually uses “perfect” twice and “godlike” in a paragraph four sentences long.
They go hiking for several hours until they get to a clearing that, while green, Bella still manages to find pretty. And then she remembers that Edward was going to fill her in on the real secret of why he doesn’t go out in the sun.
Oh, you already know the reason why.
Yes, he sparkles. “Literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface [of his skin].” Meyer has Edward going from stepping into the sun to laying in it without any transition, Bella is struck dumb(er) by the sight of his sparkling beauty and devolves into purple prose the likes of which have never been seen before in this book. Meyer also scrapes the bottom of the “yellow” entry in the thesaurus and manages to come up with “butterscotch” to describe Edward’s eyes.
Edward and Bella stare at each other for a while, not really talking much, before they almost kiss, which causes Edward to get worked up, run across the meadow, and break down in a fit about how, as the perfect predator, he could take her out at any moment based on his looks, voice, and smell (yes, his smell) alone, never mind the super speed and strength. He explains all of this in a slightly hysterical fashion, illustrating said super speed and strength, while Bella watches, eyes wide.
I sat without moving, more frightened of him than I had ever been.
But it’s ok, he’s beautiful and says he’s sorry and, no really, he promises he won’t hurt her despite spending nearly two hundred and seventy pages, and this scene, reinforcing the fact that he could kill her in an instant.
Edward then goes on to explain what it is about Bella that draw him to her so much. If you paid attention to the title of this post, you can probably guess. Yep, that’s right, Bella smells too. Apparently vampires are sometimes drawn to people with particular scents, scents that are intoxicating to them. In an effort to describe what it is like, we have the following exchange:
“So what you’re saying is, I’m your brand of heroin?” I teased, trying to lighten the mood.
He smiled swiftly, seeming to appreciate my effort. “Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin.”
He then reveals that it was pretty much only because he’d spent years “on the wagon” and that they were in a very public place when they first met that he didn’t immediately pounce and tear her throat out, pretty much leveling the mood again, describing that the smell of Bella makes him “deranged”. Edward then goes off on a long tear talking about how her smell pretty much haunted him, caused him to act like such a jerk, and that he eventually decided that he needed to just get over it but no matter what he did “the scent would stun [him] again”. Apparently Bella uses unicorn bath products as well.
He concludes all of this by saying that he could never hurt her, that it would hurt him very badly if he killed her, and that she is “the most important thing to [him] now. The most important thing to [him] ever.”
And yet you keep hanging out with her, you powder-keg of vampiric death you.
“You already know how I feel of course,” I finally said. “I’m here…which roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you.” I frowned. “I’m an idiot.”
“You are an idiot,” he agreed with a laugh. Out eyes met, and I laughed too.
Well, at least we all agree.
There’s more conversation and more touching. Edward further explains his behavior, which both makes sense while still not making sense as I’ve talked about. The touching leads to their first kiss in a decently realistic fashion despite the purple prose, considering they’re both virgins who’ve never kissed anyone aside from parents. Edward drives her home and we get some of Edward’s back story and his real age, that he was born in 1901.
A vampire over a century old in love with a seventeen year-old. You know, if he were human and fifty people wouldn’t be carving his face into their bodies, I’m just saying.
We also get some more information on the rest of the Cullens, which was a little interesting. They get back to her house, she invites him in, and he reveals that he’s pretty much been spying on her, watching her sleep, since he met her.
Because nothing says “normal” like watching the sleeping body of someone whose smell makes you want to tear out their throat and roll around in the arterial spray.
Charlie comes home, interrupting their talk, and Edward hides up in Bella’s room. Bella turns in and the two of them have completely non-sexual cuddling and sleep, but not before Edward tells her she smells like lavender or feesia and hinting at the possibility of, as they put it being “…that close”.
Survey say: it would be a bad idea in a similar vein as “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” by Larry Niven.
The next morning they wake up and make with sappiness (“I love you.” “You are my life now”) and Edward’s breath apparently makes it impossible for Bella to think. Edward springs the idea of Bella meeting his family, she nervously agrees, and they depart.
They travel to the Cullens home and we have more examples of “telling and not showing”. The house is “timeless, graceful, and probably a hundred years old.” Ok, what does timeless mean, how is a house “graceful”? What would give you the impression of its age? We know it is a faded white, three stories tall, rectangular in shape and “well proportioned”, whatever that last bit means. Meyer then gives us “The windows and doors were either part of the original structure or a perfect restoration.” Ok, how would you know that AND WHAT ARE THEY A PERFECT RESTORATION OF? Gah!
They go inside and introductions are made. Bella’s already met Dr. Carlisle Cullen when she had her near brush with death Tyler’s van, but she is introduced to Emma, Edward’s “mom”, Alice, and Jasper.
Bella smells so nice that even Alice has to comment on it. Truly, this is the section of smells.
Edward plays some piano for Bella (I like to imagine it’s a soft jazzy number). We are given a tour of the home, learn more about the family and Carlisle in particular (which I thought was the best section I’ve read so far, although that’s not saying much).
Bella continues to make me incredulous about her identity as an actual human being with this exchange, where Edward was talking about his “rebellious” years where he rebelled against Carlisle’s belief of only eating animals:
“…I wasn’t sold on his life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time.”
“That doesn’t repulse you?”
“I guess…it sounds reasonable.”
Yep, totally perfectly normal to go off and eat people rather than not eating people. Totally reasonable. We learn that he only ate bad people so I guess he and Dexter have something in common, sort of.
And there we leave off with me finally caught up.
Edward and Bella continue to be two of the worst written characters I’ve read. They are not consistent which wouldn’t be a problem if their inconsistency made sense. The writing continues to be drivel but at least it gives good snark fodder.
Since my post yesterday did not get the updated adjective count, I’ll have to update it later tonight in a separate post for tomorrow. I’ll also be posting “whiskey updates” to show just how quickly this book is making me motor through that bottle of Irish Whisky that rhymes with Shammesons. Let’s put it this way: it will probably last through Twilight, but it won’t make it through book two.
In ending, I will leave you with this: