Blogging Breaking Dawn: Part 22
Chapter Twenty-Two: Promised
Better Title: Look Who's Talking
I want Ms. Meyer to explain Renesmee more clearly, because the baby is a one big contradiction. Bella and Edward go on and on telling us that she is equal parts both of them. She has Edward's facial features, but Bella's eyes. She has a heartbeat, but craves blood. Her skin is warm, yet as tough as vampire hide. She is 50% vampire and 50% human. And she's growing at an alarming rate. How does that work? Why is no once concerned?
Vampires don't age fast. They don't age at all. So part of Optimus Beyonce should have been frozen in time since the moment of conception, right? Perhaps she has the internal organs of a zygote. It would be more accurate, and hilarious, if she had the head of a baby but the body of an adult. Or if the left side of her body remained a fetus, while the right side grew up normally. The point is, Stephenie Meyer's math doesn't add up.
If you take half a banana and stick it in a blender with half an apple, you won't end up with a sludge that tastes like grapes and has the ability to shoot lasers. If you combine two numbers, like five and three, the sum isn't "Super-Twenty." It doesn't work like that. So where is Optimus Beyonce's convenient growth spurt coming from? I have theories:
1. Stephenie Meyer is very, very bad at math to the point where she cannot understand simple fractions.
2. Renesmee is seriously ill with the tragic disease that destroyed her pituitary gland and forces her to age rapidly. It's sad, really.
3. Charlie is a merman. Think about it: Bella never describes his legs in great detail, and he sits often. Plus, we all know that when mer-people genes mix with human/vampire genes, the result is a warm baby that grows fast until the age of 13, when it explodes, unless you have the seven magic crystals and the three magic wigs.
4. Renesmee grows fast because she has the same number of chromosomes as a werewolf, but she isn't a werewolf because she has the same number of eyelashes as a vampire, and she's not a real vampire because she has the same number of freckles as a human. Duh.
5. She ate a Kit-Kat bar without breaking off any of the pieces, and we all know eating the candy like that will curse you to an early death.
6. She ate magic ham.
Perhaps we'll get an answer in the next chapter. And perhaps I will eat olives tomorrow while I get "Alice Cullen 4-Evah!" tattooed on my shoulder, above my dolphin.
Bella wonders why Jacob is still hanging around, and Edward refuses to explain the situation. I can't fault him for that. It's not easy telling your wife that your newborn daughter is dating a 17-year-old werewolf with rock-hard abs and leg muscles that look as though they were forged of metal harvested from inside heaven's volcano.
Edward takes off his shirt and gives it to Bella, because she's still wearing the tattered, bloodstained murder dress. Shirtless Edward and Shirted Bella race to the house and all is happy and lovely with the world.
Wow. This book really doesn't have a point, does it? How can there still be 300+ pages left? There's no conflict. There's no villain. What are the next chapters going to be about?
Chapter 23: Bella Thinks About Things
Chapter 24: Bella Describes What It's Like To Think About Things As a Vampire
Chapter 25: Bella Learns What It Feels Like To Wear a Hat As a Vampire
Chapter 26: Bella Touches Carpet For The First Time As a Vampire
Chapter 27: Bella Thinks About the Moon and Uses the Word "Yearning" For the First Time as a Vampire
Chapter 28: Emmett in Space
Chapter 29: Bella Looks at a Flower
Chapter 30: Bella Looks at a Flower, Again
Chapter 31: Bella Wants Something
Chapter 32: Bella Gets Something
Chapter 33: Twenty Pages Of Blank Space For The Reader to Draw Various Bears
Chapter 34: Bella Thinks About Watching American Idol for the First Time as a Vampire
Chapter 35: Everyone Chuckles
Chapter 36: No One Dies
Chapter 37: Bella Explains What It Feels Like to Smell Raspberries as a Vampire
Chapter 38: Bella Sits
Chapter 39: Bella Reads Her Own Book and Dan Realizes His Life Is In A Hellish Loop Of Pain, All Because He Once Stole A Pack Of Gum from the Store When He Was 10
As they approach the house so Bella can finally see her baby, Bella leaps over the lake, and expects to hear Edward land by her side, but instead senses danger and heartbeats. Wolf heartbeats! Clam down. Nothing happens. Human Jacob, accompanied by Wolf Leah and Wolf Seth, block Bella from going into the house.
Edward doesn't do a thing, and we learn that Jacob is testing Bella to see if she can control her rage and bloodlust. If she doesn't attack Jacob, then she can probably see her baby without wanting to eat it. It's an interesting experiment, and by "interesting," I mean "completely and utterly ridiculous."
Vampires hate the smell and taste of werewolves. Offering himself is like conducting a similar experiment on a hungry kid and saying, "Well, the kid didn't eat the broccoli covered in cat urine, so I think the plate of jelly donuts is safe."
Though she's thirsty for blood, and the sound of heartbeats is appetizing, one whiff of werewolf stank is enough for Bella to lose her hunger. Her disgusted response makes Emmett laugh.
Emmett's there? Hi, Emmett! Hey, Emmett, which star are you going to look at in tonight's sky? Let me know, because I want to look at it at the same time. Even though we're on opposite sides of the country, we can still be star-buddies, right? I wrote a song about it. It's similar to that other song about looking at the sky, and the lyrics are the same, but I call my song, "Star Buddies (Soaring To Space on the Friend-Ship)."
After passing this silly test, Bella is allowed to see her baby. She's nervous, but all the vampires and werewolves are there to make sure she doesn't devour Optimus Beyonce. Rosalie is holding the baby when Bella first locks eyes on the world's most perfect being. She describes Optimus Beyonce in her typical flowery speech, likening her to goddesses and dreams and all that crap. She notices how large Optimus has become, but just like everyone else in the book, she doesn’t see this as cause for alarm.
In a few days, the baby may be stricken with osteoporosis. She will have gray hair. Her perfect skin will become wrinkled and covered with liver spots. She will have arthritis, and complain about the cold when it's 60 degrees outside. She will wear a plastic granny hood when it rains to keep her grandma-hair in check. She will carry a purse filled with gross hard candies and dusty tissues. For baby's first Christmas, you can get her a chair for the shower, some hearing aid batteries, and a gift card to The Home Shopping Network. (Old people love The Home Shopping Network more than they love their ratty, slip-on shoes.)
Babies shouldn't grow this fast. It's not healthy. There's something wrong with your baby!
Bella remarks that the baby's heart beats faster than normal. Do you know what else has a faster heartbeat that that of a human? Dogs. And do you know how long dogs live? 15 years, if you're lucky. This poor kid doesn't need to be held out over a mountain cliff like the Lion King and praised. She needs medical help. There's something wrong with your baby!
Bella loves her diseased, soon-to-be-dead offspring. Everything about her is wonderful, and the fact that she's growing up fast makes Bella and Edward double-happy. How fast is she growing? During the course of this chapter, Optimus completes middle school and plays the harp at a 10th grade level. She also has articulate thoughts regarding the global economy and appreciates the early work of the Coen brothers.
Even the child's odor is a perfect mix of Edward and Bella. Bella says, "Renesmee's fragrance was perfectly balanced right on the line between the scent of the most beautiful perfume and the scent of the most delicious food."
I've smelled babies. Most of them smell vaguely of urine and feces, and those that don't, smell strongly of urine and feces. But not Optimus. She's so perfect that her laughter cures sunburn and her vomit tastes like cherry pie filling. Her breath will make a simple housefly turn into a delicious, majestic eagle. Her hair can be used as a clean energy source. Her saliva can give a homeless man a second chance.
I hate this kid.
I've asked this before, but if the baby drinks blood like a vampire, and smells delicious, aren't Mom and Dad worried she will eat her own body? Sucking your thumb takes on a whole new meaning. This kid has many, many issues.
The other vampires aren't sure how Bella will react when she gets closer to the baby. Edward, ever the jokester, notices their fear and says Bella found some unlucky hikers during their hunt, implying that she killed them.
The others are stunned that Edward let Bella get so close to innocent people. The two paragraphs that follow are hilarious. Go to page 440 and read the last two paragraphs on the page. Before Edward can reveal the joke, Bella describes how each vampire reacted with descriptions such as, "Emmett shrugged," and "Esme gasped." I wanted her descriptions to keep going to draw out the tension in this horribly wordy, melodramatic scene, such as:
Esme grunted. Alice made soup. Carlisle dressed up as a penguin. Jacob thought about candy. Jasper tried to make shadow puppets. Emmett did a handstand. Rosalie pretended to be a chicken. Edward downloaded "Whip My Hair." Seth knitted a scarf. Charlie played the saxophone as Angela bought an egg. Jessica went to the zoo. E-rock wept. Mike Newton mocked a squirrel. Tyler drove a van. Conner rehearsed his one-man show. Ben watched Avatar.
Once all the characters react, Edward tells them he was joking: Bella didn't attack the hikers at all. In fact, she was a good girl and ran away from their delicious human blood.
Bella admits that she did bare her teeth and growl at Edward, and Emmett is impressed. Then the baby cries, and everyone freaks out. Jacob rushes in and takes the baby. Bella says, "Renesmee went to Jacob willingly enough, pushing her tiny hand against his cheek."
Not only was the baby's first word a murmur, but she's also a face-toucher. I don't like this kid, and if she came trick-or-treating to my house, she'd wouldn't get candy, but some heavy batteries to weigh down her stupid pumpkin pail.
Once in Jacob's arms, the baby tries to get a better look at Bella. Again, everyone is nervous about Bella being this close to the baby. The scene drags on and on. Finally the baby looks up at Bella and smiles, showing her teeth. Yes, the two-day-old baby has a full set of teeth. You should start hugging her now, Bella, because your super child only has a few days left before it will die of old age.
Optimus Beyonce touches Bella and then the book becomes so confusing and mind-bending that reading it will make your nose bleed and you will begin to taste numbers.
I read this part several times, and here's what I think happened. The baby has a super power (duh), and when she touches someone, that person can see what the baby is thinking. When she touched Bella, Bella saw a vision of herself moments after giving birth. This means the baby remembers Bella from the day it was born, and acknowledges that she is "mommy." Yep. That makes sense.
It takes a few pages of crazy sentences to sort this out. Sentences such as, "My memory face was twisted, ravaged, covered in sweat and blood." Don't you hate when your memory face gets twisted? This is why I keep my memory face in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. That keeps it nice and firm.
How can this baby remember being born, and have the cognitive capacity to link this moment with her mother? Edward can't explain Optimus' ability to be super smart, but answers the question with more questions, asking, "How do I hear thoughts? How does Alice see the future?"
Edward would make a lousy dentist.
PATIENT: My tooth hurts when I eat cold things. What could be the cause?
EDWARD: I don't know. How do airplanes work? What makes bridges so strong? How do elevators fly? It's all a mystery. Here, I wrote a lullaby about it…
Jacob thinks Bella has seen enough of the baby and doesn’t want to push things. Bella, still in the dark about Jacob's love life, is angry that he being a total jerk. And then she puts it all together and realizes that Jacob is dating her daughter (who, during the course of this chapter, has probably learned to drive and landed a part-time job working at Foot Locker).
She screams and yells at Jacob for imprinting on her baby. Jacob tries to defend himself, saying it was beyond his control, but Bella isn't listening to reason. Strike that. Bella, for the first time in this entire series, is listening to reason, and doesn’t want her child dating a baby-dater.
Bella chases Jacob around the house. When she gains some composure, she tells Jacob to leave before she rips his throat out. Then Jacob says, "C'mon Bells! Nessie likes me, too." Yep, Jacob's nickname for the baby is Nessie.
Bella was going to let Jacob go, despite the fact that he is dating her two-day-old baby (who by this point in the chapter is probably already retired and living in Florida). But what really sends her over the edge is that she hates Jacob's nickname for the baby.
I kind of like it, if only because Bella hates it. Upset that Jacob would name her child after the Loch Ness Monster, Bella leaps for his throat and the chapter ends. If she gets that angry with Jacob, she's going to hate me for calling her baby "Dumb Face Idiot Turd."
Murmurs: 7 (Book total: 57)
Mutters: 3 (Book total: 34)
Bella, Edward, and Optimus Beyonce have some quiet family time to bond.
BELLA: Isn't it great that our child is growing up fast?
EDWARD: Ten minutes ago she couldn't even walk, and now she's teaching yoga at her community center. It's wonderful.
BELLA: Do you worry that her rapid growth will cause her to die in a year?
EDWARD: You're such an idiot, lamb. She won't die.
BELLA: Why not?
EDWARD: Because [loud airplane flies overhead, making it impossible to hear Edward clearly]
BELLA: So you're saying that the secret cave [deafening lawnmower drowns out Bella's voice] and the monkey heart will [fireworks obscure Bella's voice] with the potion concocted by the great wizard Todd?
EDWARD: Exactly. Now, let's [a loud cloud overhead drowns out Edward's voice] with our bodies!
QUIL: My girlfriend lacks the coordination needed to manage a helium balloon unless I tie it to her wrist or belt loop.
JACOB: My girlfriend can properly use the word "dignify" in a sentence.
QUIL: Shut up. No on cares, Jacob. No one!
OPTIMUS: Lover, I was wondering if perhaps you could take me to the cinemas this afternoon. I'm just dying to see the new documentary about our failing education system.
CLAIRE: Chicken nuggets!
OPTIMUS: Indeed, Claire. Chicken nuggets, indeed.
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