When last we saw the Cullen family, the sparklepires had gotten together to discuss the situation in Seattle regarding the killing spree committed by baby sparklepires. To show that she has her priorities straight, Alice says that the graduation party that Bella really doesn’t want is still on whether Bella likes it or not. They get to talking about the training for the fight and trying to find allies and, of course, Bella has to twist the conversation back around to the “No, really, I want to be a sparklepire.” topic.
Bella heads over to La Push and spends time hanging out with Jacob as he sleeps. He’s exhausted from staying up so late, spending most of his time guarding the reservation and patrolling around Bella’s house. When he does finally wake up, Jacob is frustrated that he fell asleep because he wanted to tell her something, probably the thing that Edward was getting upset by when Jacob came to pick her up. Jacob’s big deal?
“I’m in love with you, Bella,” Jacob said in a strong, sure voice. “Bella, I love you, And I want you to pick me instead of him. I know you don’t feel that way, but I need the truth out there so that you can know your options. I wouldn’t want a miscommunication to stand in our way.”
Bella goes to leave and Jacob makes her stay. She tries to explain that she doesn’t want him just standing around waiting for her, because she has no intention of ever going there with him, but he doesn’t seem to get that not wanting to never see him again != wanting to be in a relationship with him.
“You’re family. I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
He nodded, unruffled. “But you do want me around.”
“Yes.” I sighed. He was impossible to discourage.
“Then I’ll stick around.”
And now we start down the path labeled “Jacob Black’s Descent into Complete Douchebaggery.”
Let’s start with the first item on the list: ignoring requests for physical boundaries:
…He stroked the tips of his fingers across my right cheek. I slapped his hand away
“Do you think you could behave yourself a little better, at least?” I asked, irritated.
“No, I don’t. You decide, Bella. You can have me the way I am – bad behavior included – or not at all.”
Jacob way, way goes beyond anything reasonable when Bella tells him she loves Edward and Jacob’s response is essentially “I don’t care.” He ignores her when her response to him saying “You’ve got other options” is “But I don’t want any other options”.
And then we go into possible sexual assault (at the very least sexual harassment) space.
Overcome with emotion, Jacob had grabs Bella by her chin. As they talk she notices a look in his eye and tries to tell him no as he leans in to force a kiss on her but he’s too fast and cuts her off.
His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way.
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth.
Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel…just waited for him to stop.
Take out the references to what he’s physically doing and she could be describing her reaction to being raped.
Going completely passive on him causes him to pull back, mostly, and finally he lets her go after a moment.
“Are you done now?” I asked in an expressionless voice.
“Yes,” he sighed. He started to smile, closing his eyes.
I pulled my arm back and then let it snap forward, punching him in the mouth with as much power as I could force out of my body.
There was a crunching sound.
Bella is so upset by what Jacob did she breaks her hand on his face. Bella almost walks back to the border but Jacob convinces her to give her a ride back. We then have this completely creepy exchange.
“I hate you, Jacob Black.”
“That’s good. Hate is a passionate emotion.”
“I’ll give you passionate…[m]urder, the ultimate crime of passion.”
“Oh, c’mon,” he said, all cheery and lookling like he was about to start whistling again. “That had to be better than kissing a rock.”
“Not even remotely close,” I told him coldly.
He pursed his lips. “You could just be saying that.”
“But I’m not.”
That seemed to bother him for a second, but then he perked up. “You’re just mad. I don’t have any experience with this kind of thing, but I thought it was incredible myself…You’re going to think about it tonight. When he thinks you’re asleep, you’ll be thinking about your options.”
“If I think about you tonight, it will be because I’m having anightmare.”
Creepy, right? In college I took a class on the psychology of sexual violence and one study we read about said that a disturbingly high number of children didn’t know what rape was and, when it was described, they had no problem with the actual actions (i.e. the non-consensual parts) of rape because they didn’t understand why it was wrong. Jacob continues with the psycho-lover routine, trying to convince her that he’s the one. We get another disturbing bit with:
“Just think about it, Bella.”
“No,” I said stubbornly.
“You will. Tonight. And I’ll be thinking about you while you’re thinking about me.” [I think he’s managing to out-creep Edward’s watching-you-while-you-sleep bit]
“Like I said, a nightmare.”
He grinned over at me. “You kissed me back.”
“I did not.”
“I think I can tell the difference.”
“Obviously you can’t – that was not kissing back, that was trying to get you the hell off of me, you idiot.”
He laughed a low, throaty laugh. “Touchy. Almost overly defensive, I would say.”
Jacob takes Bella home and Charlie asks what happened. Upon being told that Bella broke her hand because Jacob kissed her, do you think that Charlie was upset? Do you think he was outraged that some guy more or less forced himself on his daughter, that she would be so upset or threatened that she would need to physically lash out to express or defend herself? Do you think he arrested him on the spot or went and got his pistol before ordering Jacob out of his house and to never see his daughter? Do you think he went to comfort her?
If your response was “None of the above” you’d be right.
“Good for you, kid,” Charlie congratulated him.
Aaaaand Charlie joins the list of people who suck in this book by pratically high-fiving this guy for forcibly kissing his daughter. His response when Bella tells him her hand is swelling? “Maybe you should pick on people your own size.” Parent of the year, I’m telling you.
Edard comes to pick her up and is pissed. Insults are thrown back and forth and Edward tells Jacob that he will fight for her. Jacob is skeptical and a dick and Bella leaves to have Carlisle look at her hand.
Fast forward and it is the day of graduation. The day goes by in a blur for Bella. It’s during which the pre-graduation preparations that Bella figures out (somehow) that the sparklepire pilfering her stuff must’ve been a test, a test to see if they could get around Alice’s psychic ability. She freaks out and two pages later forgets all about it (until, again, it’s time for another panic attack). The rest of the scene is full of the typical high school graduation stuff, standing around, the march across the stage, the nostalgic protestations of friendship and the futile pleas to stay in touch. Charlie takes Bella out for a celebratory dinner and gets down on himself a bit about the job he’s done as a parent, even bashing himself over the fact that she hurt her hand punching Jacob (except that he’s not upset that Jacob forced himself on her, she’s upset she threw a punch badly in his opinion and hurt herself). Charlie drops her off at the Cullens’ home and the party kicks off.
Eventually Jacob, Embry, and Quil show up and Bella is upset; you’d think that her punching Jacob in the face (and breaking her hand in the process) would convey “Stay away from me, you handsy asshole” but Jacob’s powers of self-delusion are truly epic. When Bella all but ignores him, Jacob grabs her by the chin, not unlike he did before, and Bella jerks away from him, telling him to keep his hands to himself. Jacob then apologizes and admits what happened.
“I shouldn’t have kissed you like that. It was wrong. I guess…well, I guess I deluded myself into thinking you wanted me to.”
Jacob then tries some emotional blackmail, which works because it’s Bella, and gives her a gift, a bracelet with a wolf-charm on it. Jacob figures out that something is going on (Bella’s revelation from earlier) and demands to be told what’s happening, getting more and more pushy to the point where Bella and Alice try to leave and he physically puts himself in their way.
Jacob threw his long arm out to block our way, bracing his hand against the wall. “Hey, not so fast.”
Alice stared up at him, eyes wide and incredulous. “Excuse me?”
“Tell us what’s going on,” he demanded in a growl.
Jasper shows up with his frowny face on (which is probably pretty terrifying) and Jacob realizes that he may have just crossed a line or two and pulls back his arm before he loses it. Alice saw a vision of the future; the new vampires are coming to Forks for her because one of them has Bella’s red shirt. Jacob offer’s up the packs assistance with taking out the invaders, which causes Bella to shout “No!” a whole lot (because she’s worried giant werewolves, designed to kill sparklepires, might kill sparklepires and be hurt in the process).
The party ends and a cross-species training session starts with the wolves, whose pack has grown to include some new members, watching as Jasper schools (in several ways) the rest of the Cullens on the finer arts of slaughtering baby sparklepires. This ends, most of the pack takes off, and Edward and Jacob discuss plans on what to do with Bella during the fight. Considering how Bella smells, neither of them want to leave her alone in the wilderness out of fear that the invaders could come across her delicious scent and eat her before they could be stopped. Jacob figures out a work-around by masking Bella’s scent with his by carrying her, which would let them take her to some remote place without having her smell give her away. Jasper suggests using Bella as bait, which gets him glared at by both Edward and Jacob, as well as ignored, and Jacob leaves after the rest of the plan gets hammered out.
On the podcast last night we discussed the question of “Who is creepier, Edward or Jacob?” and my response was Jacob. His behavior in this book is so messed up it’s not funny. He goes way past the land of “concerned best friend”, out beyond “interested in dating”, and right to “I’m going to keep you in a pit in my basement. For your own good of course.”
Charlie, likewise, really drops the ball here. I mean, he wasn’t the greatest of parents to start with but you’d think that as the chief of police, even for a small town, he’d show the smallest bit of concern for the fact his daughter felt it necessary to break her hand on her best friend’s face. I don’t know about you, but I reserve my face-punching for people I have serious issue with and he doesn’t even bat an eye that she’d have that kind of response to something Jacob did. Complete parenting fail.
Edward, on the other hand, continues to not act like a douche. I figured that he’d go ape, maybe attack Jacob, but all he did was threaten the guy and then go back to being supportive of Bella in regards to what she wants. I know (since I’ve finished the book) the reason he’s being so good is because he worries that if he gave her an ultimatum and then tried to force a decision she wouldn’t pick him, but his motivations at least make sense and lead toward him not being a jerk.
As with the rest of the books the writing isn’t good and the punctuation is questionably used. I still wouldn’t recommend this series to anyone.