31 Days of Twilight, New Moon, Day 4 – Bella the addict and the furry fury

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The similiarity between the two is creepy.

Well, this section started off incredibly dull (as opposed to the general dullness of New Moon so far) but picked up a bit toward the end.

Jacob doesn’t call like he says and we get to watch Bella spiral downward into frantic withdrawal. She calls his house several times a day, she stops by his home without asking, she goes to the hospital to see if he’s there. Bella starts to get paranoid about why he could be out, thinking that Billy was lying to her.

I’d give Billy a week, I decided, before I got pushy. A week was generous.

If she’d pitched a tent under his bedroom window I wouldn’t have been surprised. She couldn’t even make it a week, calling three times but the phone lines weren’t working. All the while her withdrawal continues to ramp up.

I was in the house much too much and much too alone. Without Jacob, and my adrenaline and my distractions, everything I’d been repressing started creeping up on me…The hole in my chest was worse than ever. I’d thought that I’d been getting it under control, but I found myself hunched over, day after day, clutching my sides together and gasping for air…I wasn’t handling alone well.

I have to wonder, how she “clasps her sides together”. Perhaps she’s being literal in her analogy for her pain, that she’s trying to squish the sides of the hole together, or maybe she’s wrapping her arms around herself, which would make more sense than what Meyer wrote..

Finally Bella gets through the week, calls Billy, and finds out Jacob’s doing much better and is seeing some friends in Port Angeles. This has a great impact on the most important person in this situation.

Jacob was better, but not well enough to call me. He was out with friends. I was sitting home, missing him more every hour. I was lonely, worried, bored…perforated (yes, she’s been perforated) — and now also desolate as I realized that the week apart had not had the same effect on him.

Jacobless, Bella decides that she needs to get out of the house and that she’ll go looking for the meadow without Jacob despite her father asking her to stay out of the woods to avoid the bear. Out to the dirt road in La Push, Bella heads into the woods and, while fighting what reads like a panic attack, finds the meadow. Only, big shock, it is just a meadow, just like the Cullens’ home is just a house without them in it. She starts to sink down into depression when a pale figure steps into the clearing. It’s Laurent, the other male of James’ group. Bella greets him warmly, which was probably a mistake, because while Laurent went up to the human-friendly vampires in Alaska, he didn’t stay long and certainly not long enough to stop seeing humans as food. Which is bad news for Bella due to the fact that she hasn’t lost her tasty smell.

But, hey, she gets to hear Edward’s voice so I guess that worked out after all!

Laurent tells Bella how Victoria blames her for James’ death and to punish Edward she was going to kill Bella, mate for mate (something tells me Victoria really wouldn’t care that Bella and Edward are currently not seeing other people). It’s a mercy, you see, Laurent making Bella into a snack, because he’ll do it quick while Victoria, hoo boy!, she was going to have some fun with Bella. So Bella should be thanking Laurent, really, for being so nice to her by murdering her dead, but in a kinder, more humane fashion by tearing her throat out and draining her dry

Only he doesn’t get a chance to. Just as he’s about to leap on Bella, the world’s largest wolf walks out of the forest. How large?

It was enormous — as tall as a horse, but thicker, much more muscular.

This wolf is joined by four other wolves who stare down Laurent. Laurent would’ve shat himself with fear had he the capability and he takes off running with the wolves in hot pursuit, everyone having forgotten about the delicious Bella. Bella’s common sense, frequently absent but present at that moment, suggests that she beat feet out of there and she all but flies home, leaving the forest and racing back to Forks. Once home she realizes she’s pretty much back to where she started a year ago with a murderous vampire after her, one that could potentially follow her to her home and kill her and her father, only this time she has no Cullens family to save her. Bella, quite understandably I think, is terrified.

So what does Bella do?

LOOK FOR THE FIX!

It had been enough to be alone before I was scared silly. (Lies) Now, more than ever, I yearned for his carefree laugh and his infectious grin. I needed the safe sanity of his homemade garage and his warm hand around my cold fingers.

Bella starts phone stalking him, up to calling him once every half-hour from when she gets home from school until eleven at night. Charlie confirms that Billy is still in town with Jacob and Bella comes to the only explanation possible: Jacob has joined Sam’s cult and Sam is standing in the way of Jacob talking to her.

She tries to get the law (i.e. her dad) involved but Charlie pretty much blows her off; Sam, by everyone’s accounts, is a good guy (even Jacob, who didn’t like him, called him a “protector”) and Charlie’s too busy tracking down camper-eating wolves to go have a chat with Sam about Bella’s not boyfriend hanging around with someone almost everyone likes. Bella decides enough is enough and she drives out to La Push where, finally, she meets Jacob.

Only Jacob is different. He’s grown since Bella saw him, he’s cut his hair, and he’s got his rage face on. Jacob is inexplicably angry and drops a lot of hints without saying much except that the Cullens set something in motion that he’s dealing with. Jacob says he can’t be friends with her anymore and Bella asks:

The silly, inconsequential hurt was incredibly potent. [How can it be both “inconsequential” and “potent”? GAH!-Matt] The tears welled up again. “Are you…breaking up with me?” The words were all wrong, but they were the best way I could think to phrase what I was asking. After all, what Jake and I had was more than any schoolyard romance. Stronger.

What, addiction? Bella just spent last book and this book putting Jake in the friend box for crying out loud, doing everything she could to reinforce that they were just friends, and now what they had was more serious than that?

Bella gets desperate and says:

“I’m sorry that I couldn’t…before…I wish I could change how I feel about you, Jacob.” I was desperate, reaching, stretching the truth so far it curved nearly into the shape of a lie. “Maybe…maybe I would change,” I whispered. “Maybe, if you gave me some time…just don’t quit on me now, Jake. I can’t take it.”

Because nothing is more important than Bella, her pain, or her fix. Despite pleading and vague insinuations that she might give him what he really wants, Jacob says it’s over and leaves. Crushed, Bella goes home, climbs into bed, has a scary dream, and wakes up to find someone, or some thing *spooky music*, scratching at her window. It takes her a moment before her common sense comes back into town having found her self-preservation instinct and reminds her that there’s a vampire out there who really wants to do horrible things to her. Bella’s just about to let out a scream when Jacob asks her to let him in. From outside the window.

Jacob was clinging precariously to the top of the spruce that grew in the middle of Charlie’s little front yard. His weight had bowed the tree toward the house and he now swung –his legs dangling twenty feet above the ground – not a yard away from me. The thin branches at the tip of the tree scraped against the side of the house again with a grating squeal.

I think Meyer’s sense of proportion is off here. If Jacob is over six feet tall, and the bottoms of his feet are twenty feet off the ground, then his face is level with a window twenty-six feet up in the air, which would be over two stories tall. Beyond that, if the yard is “little” then I’m curious how a tree that is three stories (well, technically taller than three stories since it’s almost three stories tall curled over from the weight of Jacob’s body) fits inside the yard. More lack of attention to the details, IMO.

Jacob launches himself through the window, which is itself crap since it would be “swinging” since he was hanging by his hands and had nothing to push off of, and Bella tells him to GTFO. Jacob says no, he’s there to apologize and, worn out from the heady emotions and the sight of Jacob, combined with her fatigue from sleepless nights, Bella has a fainting spell, almost, and has to lie down.

Jacob is honestly contrite about his behavior from earlier, making him a little less a douche, but he can’t really explain because he has a secret, a secret he wants to tell but he can’t tell. He can’t even really tell why he can’t tell except that it has to do with loyalty. So, instead, he tells Bella to remember the day they first met on the beach, you know, the one where he told her some lessons, and tells her to think really, really hard about it.

He also joins Edward in the “I want to be around you but being around you puts you in danger because I’m horribly dangerous!” camp. Jacob leaves, Bella goes back to sleep, has a nightmare, and comes to the realization that Jacob is a werewolf, having put two and two together and reached the appropriate number. She then asks what I think is a very sensible question and one that doesn’t get asked often enough in urban fantasy/horror novels by the completely normal people who encounter the supernatural:

What kind of a place was this? Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters?

Bella decides she needs to see Jacob right away and as she’s leaving she runs into Charlie who tells her that he’s going wolf hunting with the rangers because hikers keep disappearing and Bella considers whether or not her friend, and his friends, might be eating people. Doesn’t deter Bella from wanting to see him so off to La Push she goes.

Jacob is sleeping so she goes down to the beach to wait for him. Eventually he joins her and they proceed to talk at each other, totally missing what the other person is saying in the process. Jacob thinks she is there to tell him that she doesn’t really want to be involved with someone who is a dog part of the time and Bella doesn’t get why he doesn’t understand that she’s concerned he’s turned into a hiker-killing monster. Finally they get through to each other and much relief was had. Honestly, I’m not certain what Jacob was worried about, it would seem a bit hypocritical if Bella was ok with sparklepires but not werewolves, unless she hated getting fur in her teeth…oh god, moving on!

It’s about then that it takes several tries for Jacob to get through to Bella that the pack totally, no really, truly, seriously, stop asking if they did it already, killed Laurent. But if Laurent is dead, and more people are going missing, that means…PANIC ATTACK.

Bella clues Jacob in on some info about Victoria and the plot of the last book, managing to make it as unexciting as reading it the first time was, and Jacob decides it’s time that Bella meet the rest of the pack.

You can probably guess how thrilled Bella is by this idea.

And that’s Day 4 of New Moon.

Here are my gripes for this section:
1. SHOW THE STUPID ACTION. God, last book James dies off screen, this time Laurent dies off screen, I’m getting really tired of this series being nothing but Bella angsting about one thing or another and people telling her how dangerous it is for her to be around them. I know this is a bad attempt at tween romance literature but come on, I’m sure in adult romance there are fights on camera. She can write (eventually) about a vampire chewing a baby out of her belly but a pack of Cullens or werewolves tearing a vampire to pieces for main screen viewing? Give me a break!
2. Attention to detail, is it really that difficult? I’m not even talking about inappropriate use of comma and em dash, but stuff like Jacob in the tree that I listed above.
3. Bella is an addict, plain and simple and her risky behavior is an expression of that.
4. So far the only men in this series that aren’t bad examples of what men should be are the grown-ups; the kids, Edward included, are crap. Actually, scratch that, all of the kids are crap, pretty much just wanting to use everyone around them to take care of themselves. Which, now that I think about it, sounds pretty spot on. Still doesn’t change the fact that those people are crap.

Well, more tomorrow. Until then!

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4 Responses to 31 Days of Twilight, New Moon, Day 4 – Bella the addict and the furry fury

  1. headtrip-honey says:

    From Smeyer’s description of “the wolf”, I can’t imagine she’s ever seen a horse in person before. Basically she’s saying the wolf’s back was almost as tall as her.

    Horses are always bigger than you think they’re going to be, unless you’re around them constantly.

    Now a pony….yeah. I’d buy that.

    • mattmarovich says:

      I don’t know. In fairness (I know, being fair to SMeyer wut?), she does say that people who see them from a distance describe them as being “bear”-sized, and if they’re larger than grizzilies (which is mentioned) then they could be taller than a horse. But, still, it seems pretty ridiculous.

      • True, true. I’d forgotten the bear comparison. But I still try to imagine a wolf (even a supernatural one) AS TALL AS A HORSE AND PROPORTIONATELY LARGE EVERYWHERE ELSE and my suspension of disbelief just fails.

        I mean, even direwolves weren’t that big. (either the GRRM kind of the *real* kind)

      • mattmarovich says:

        Oh very true. And the fact that the werewolves can shift form pretty much instantly, going from large teenage boys to wolves larger than bears, adding probably hundreds of pounds of mass, doesn’t do anything for my suspension of disbelief either.

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