Blogging New Moon: Part 17
Chapter Seventeen: Visitor
Better Title: Alice and Bella Sitting in a Tree…
Guess what. Carlisle wasn't waiting for Bella. It was Alice. And while I still like Alice's friendly good nature, by chapter's end, she will no longer hold the number two spot on Dan's List of Favorite Twilight Characters. This has nothing to do with her personality and everything to do with her absurd, silly, all-too-convenient power. More on that later.
When Bella first eyes Alice, she gets so excited that she runs over and grabs her. Bella is "gasping to inhale as much of the scent of her skin as possible." Whoa. The Alice/Bella relationship that I only hinted at as a joke may be very real. And things only get more lovey-dovey as the chapter chugs along.
Bella tells us once again how wonderful vampires smell, and the sight of her former vamp-friend makes Bella sob with delight. Alice then pulls Bella to the couch, and Bella curls up in Alice's lap. (See what I mean?) Bella goes on and on about how wonderful it is to see Alice, but Alice is acting a bit cold and distant. Don't worry. Alice didn't take some of Edward's moody pills. She's being unfriendly because she needs to eat, and when she's hungry, it's not easy to be around smelly Isabelly.
Alice is shocked that Bella is still alive. Alice had a vision of Bella jumping to her death from a cliff. She didn't realize that Bella was just having fun and not trying to kill herself. After seeing the vision, the fearful Alice hopped on a plane to Forks so she could check on Charlie. She didn't expect to find Bella safe and sound.
Alice says that she wasn't trying to spy on Bella's future, but her powers have become "attuned" to Bella. So she can't really help but attract visions of Bella's future. Alice is angry that Bella would try to take her own life, and that Bella had so little regard for how that would effect her parents or Edward.
Let's stop here for a minute and discuss Alice's powers of prediction. If she saw Bella jump in a vision, why didn't she also see this conversation that they're having right now? She should have known that Bella didn't die. This is just the tip of the Dan-Doesn't-Understand-Alice iceberg. There are bigger plot problems ahead…
Bella explains that she was cliff diving for fun and while she did almost drown, Jacob saved her life. Alice didn't see Jacob in her vision, and this confuses Alice…and me. Later in this chapter, Alice offers up the explanation that she cannot see the future of a werewolf, and that would explain why she didn't see Jacob. Fair enough. But, Ms. Alice Cullen, I have a few questions for you.
First, why didn't you come back to Forks when Laurent was about to eat Bella? You can clearly get visions of Bella in danger, and that was a pretty dangerous situation. So you should have helped her, or at least sent a warning or fruit basket with a card that reads, "Laurent will kill you. Enjoy the pears." And why didn't you pick up a vision about Victoria?
Second, if you can't see a werewolf's future, what would happen if, in the future, a werewolf would maul Bella? Would you just see Bella getting chewed up by…air?
Third, if I order soup in a bread bowl, is it OK if I eat the bread bowl? Or is that tacky? (Please hurry with this one, because I need an answer now!)
And my final question for the moment is this: Your powers are stupid. Could you please stop having stupid powers?
While Alice tries to sort things out, Bella talks about her new BFF Jacob, but Bella isn't sure if he's still her friend since she ditched him for the vampires a few minutes ago. Sorry Bells, but you made your bed. Now lie in it…with Alice. Alice then mentions how wrong Edward was, and says, "He was a fool to think you could survive alone. I've never seen anyone so prone to life-threatening idiocy." Ouch! Shut your bear-hole, Alice.
I'm not Bella's biggest fan, but it seems that everyone in this entire series always tells her that she's an idiot, or stupid, or going to die unless a strong man is around to help her. Stop treating her like a newborn, and maybe she will impress you with her strength. Hell, Bella not only took care of her mom for years, but now takes care of her dad, and manages to get good grades, and has a part-time job. She's more adult and mature than people give her credit for. I can't believe I'm saying this, but give Bella a break. (Shocking, right? Next I'll tell everyone that vampires are pretty great and jetpacks are far too dangerous to own.)
Bella points out that she was able to survive with Edward. Alice doesn't understand how Jacob could save Bella from drowning, and Bella tells her that Jake is strong. She then pauses and wonders if it's OK to talk about the werewolf secret. But since Jacob knows about the vampires, it only seems fair to tell Alice about the werewolves. So she spills the beans.
Alice says that Bella's friendship with werewolves would explain why Bella smells bad. Alice is filled with compliments today. When she's not calling Bella an idiot, she says Bella smells funky. Soon she's going to tell Bella, "Hey Smelly Belly, what's up with your hair? I mean, if you like it, that's all the matters, right? Also, did you know your butt got bigger? Eating too much lasagna, hmm? But I guess there's more of you to love. Some guys go for…thicker girls."
They talk about werewolves, and Bella says Jacob is a new werewolf. This worries Alice, because young werewolves are "even worse." Bella mumbles that werewolves aren't bad at all. But Alice says things change when a werewolf loses his temper. That's right. They do change. The werewolves become even more amazing, and do astonishing things like eat vampires and slay dragons and win karate fights.
Bella tries to defend the werewolves, saying they saved her from Laurent and are currently her only protection from Victoria. Alice is surprised that Laurent and Victoria are back, because her stupid power is worthless. How could she not "foresee" Victoria and Laurent? Am I the only one who finds Alice's inconsistent future telling abilities to be nothing but silly plot devices?
Of course, chances are I'm wrong about all this. If I paid closer attention, Alice's powers may not be confusing. So if anyone can prove that Alice's abilities do make sense, I promise to make a public apology and contribute a sizeable donation to The National Institute for Plausible Fantasy Storytelling. If I'm right, and Alice doesn't make a lick of sense, then I get twenty extra points.
Alice wants to hear everything that happened (Again, why doesn't Alice already know what happened?), and Bella summarizes the first half of the book. Alice takes it all in and says she's sorry for intruding. But before Alice can leave, Bella grabs her by the collar and begs her to stay. Alice gives in and says she'll stay the night. Cue the candle light because it's time for a sexy slumber party. Alice then offers up another compliment, saying, "You look like hell, Bella."
Bella dismisses the insult. And just as I assume Bella and Alice will start slow dancing by moonlight, the phone rings. Bella thinks it's Charlie calling to check in but is shocked when Jacob is on the other end. He was just making sure Bella was still alive, and hangs up on her. Was it bit cold and nasty of him to hang up? Maybe. But I'm still siding with Jacob. Bella was rude and mean to him earlier.
Alice puts her arm around Bella and says, "So what do we do now?" Are you serious? I defy anyone to say those words, under these circumstances, and not make them sound sexy. This is turning into an adult film. All that's missing is some cheesy music and high heel shoes.
Alice says that if she's going to spend that night with Bella, she needs to go hunting first. Before leaving, she asks if Bella can be safe alone for one hour, and then Alice looks into the future and sees that nothing bad will happen in that hour. That's it. I'm giving up on trying to understand Alice's power, just as I gave up trying to grasp the concept of infinity or the idea that yogurt is alive.
She leaves, but not before kissing Bella on the cheek. Bella is filled with happiness. She eats. She showers. She makes a bed for Alice on the couch. Alice returns with golden eyes, meaning she drank some animal blood. And I wouldn't be surprised if she brought a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to help set the mood.
Charlie comes home from the hospital. He's shocked to see Alice. Bella asks him if it's OK for Alice to sleep over. He says it's fine, and in a roundabout way asks if Edward is also back. He's relieved to learn that Alice is alone.
Charlie leaves, and the girls get back to catching up. Alice says Carlisle and Esme are on a hunting trip, and they don't know that Alice came to Forks. Edward has been traveling around South America but checks in with his family occasionally. Alice says that when Edward checks in again, she won't tell him about this slumber party. But I thought Edward could read minds? Argh! This makes no sense! Even if Edward is far away, you can't keep secrets from a mind reader. He'll find out, eventually!
Deep breath. Deep breath. Think about werewolves. Think about werewolves. Deep calming breath. OK, sorry about that. This chapter is frustrating.
The next morning, Bella wakes up and eavesdrops on Alice and Charlie talking privately in the kitchen. Alice asks Charlie how Bella dealt with Edward's departure, and Charlie explains how bad things got. Bella was in such a zombie-like state that Charlie was sure she needed medical attention and tried to force her to move to her mom's house in Florida. What wonderful parenting skills you have there, Charlie. I suppose if Bella was on fire, he would rather send her to Florida than try to deal with the situation himself.
Obviously, Bella refused to go to Florida. Charlie says after meeting Jacob, Bella began to act somewhat human again. Charlie then builds up Jacob, saying how strong and amazing he is, hoping that Alice will get the point that Edward isn't needed around here.
He should have let me do the talking. I'm great at convincing people that Jacob is cool. Just ask my barber. (At first she said, "That vampire guy is alright." But after hearing my 22-minute presentation entitled Jacob: The Man Behind the Legend, she changed her tune. I could tell that I won her over because throughout the haircut she kept saying, "Uh-huh. Yeah? That's nice. Could you stop turning around in the chair, sir?" I'd consider that a win for Team Jacob. Wouldn't you?)
After hearing this, Bella feels awful for putting her dad through such misery. She makes exaggerated sounds to let them know she's awake. Charlie leaves to visit Harry's wife, and the girls get back to catching up and nearly kissing.
Alice says that Carlisle is working in Ithaca and teaching part time. Esme is restoring an old house. Emmett and Rosalie went on a second honeymoon in Europe. And Jasper has been studying philosophy at Cornell. Meanwhile, Alice has been doing some research on her life prior to becoming a vampire. In the last book, we learned from e-vamp James that Human Alice was placed in a mental institution because she could predict the future. Alice was able to track down her birth records and learned that her real name is Mary Alice Brandon and she had a sister named Cynthia. Cynthia had a daughter who now lives in Biloxi.
Instead of trying to remember this, I'm just going to forget all the information. In a future blog, please disregard my anger when I complain, "Mary? Who the fudge is Mary? And who the heck is Cynthia? And in what Mississippi town does her daughter now reside?!"
Alice spends the night again, and the next morning, after Charlie leaves for Harry's funeral, Bella and Alice hang out. The doorbell rings, and Alice can guess that it's Jacob, so she steps out to avoid a confrontation.
Prediction: Everyone will still be overprotective of Bella. Years later, after much fighting and debate, Edward, Jacob, and Alice agree to take the training wheels off of Bella's bicycle. She rides around the block once, screaming, "I'm a big girl. I'm a big girl." But then she falls and gets a nasty scrap on her gigantic knee pads.
Alice screams and shouts at the two guys, "I told you, she wasn’t ready. You know she can't handle things."
Jacob says, "Well, maybe she just needs more practice."
Edward says, "No. No more practice. All of this fresh air might give her a tummy ache. Now help me carry her back to the foam pit. She needs to rest up. Tomorrow we're going to the mall, so you better get her Mall Helmet ready."
Read more Dan! Here's the Blogging Twilight Index Page!