SparkLife contributor Dan Bergstein is reading Twilight and blogging about it.
Not much happens here. Bella goes into the woods alone to debate the existence of vampires for what seems like eighty pages. She finally comes to the conclusion that she should remain friends with Edward, even if he's a vamp. She also tells us that making decisions is not one of her strong suits.
For the sake of argument, let's say a teenager told me monsters are real, and I believed him. I wouldn't go jaunting off alone into the wilderness to contemplate monsters. That's where monsters live! Instead, I'd buy some guns, a helmet, a diamond-edged chainsaw, a whip, whip instructions, neck camouflage, and a smaller helmet (in case I get a haircut and the first helmet no longer fits). Then I'd hide in the basement and wait.
Anyway, Bella goes to school and Mike asks her out...again. And Bella shoots him down...again. Bella notices that the Cullens are absent and she gets sad. Jessica and Angela invite her to go dress shopping. She agrees, and the thought of an entire chapter devoted to dress shopping worries me.
Jessica, Angela, and Bella go to Port Angeles to shop for dresses. Bella isn't going to the dance, but she's still along for the ride and to offer advice. The girls tell her that Tyler is going to ask her to prom. Typical high school drama ensues.
Bella asks Angela if it's normal for the Cullens to miss school. According to Angela, the Cullen clan doesn't come to school when it's sunny outside. Instead, they go backpacking. Add truancy to the list of vampire powers. Or perhaps the attendance policy at Forks High School allows pretty people to skip class.
Jessica and Angela go back to the car to drop off their dresses before dinner, while Bella searches for a bookstore. She doesn't find one, but she does end up in the bad part of Port Angeles, where a group of unsavory men follow her.
She panics, remembering that her pepper spray is at home, and tries desperately to get back to a safe part of town. While being followed, Bella decides not to run, because she is so clumsy that she'll fall. I'm beginning to worry that her clumsiness has less to do with coordination and more to do with brain tumors. Can a person be this clumsy without being either gravely ill or a character in a Ben Stiller movie?
The bad dudes eventually corner Bella near a warehouse, and just when I've assumed the rest of the books are about her funeral, Edward drives up in his Volvo. She gets in the car, and they drive away.
At this point in the book, I can't remember if Bella and Edward are friends. He's acting all scary and tough in the car as they speed away, and demands that she start talking about inane things to help calm him down. He says he sometimes has a problem with his temper.
To soothe the bad boy, Bella tells him about Tyler's prom plan. The chatter eventually cools Edward. They head over to the restaurant, where they meet Jessica and Angela, who are leaving. They're glad that Bella is OK, but they must not have been too worried, because they ate without her. How very rude. Especially since, according to my literary clock, all of thirty minutes have passed. Did the two girls give up waiting after a minute and say to themselves, "Well, Bella's probably OK in this town she's never been to before. And if she was murdered and raped, there's little we could do to help. Besides, I'm starving, and I smell lasagna. I'm totally getting lasagna."
Edward acts like a gentleman and takes Bella to dinner at the restaurant, telling Jessica that he will drive her home. The hostess and the waitress are both dazzled by Edward, and Bella feels a bit jealous.
Edward, of course, doesn't eat, but insists that Bella get some food because she'll likely go into shock after what just happened to her. She sucks down a few sodas, and they start talking. She isn't brave enough to ask, "Are you a vampire?" But she does beat around the bush for the rest of the chapter.
During the course of the conversation, Bella asks if Edward can read minds. During a rather confusing and awkward conversation, he admits that he can read minds, but not her mind. (Brain tumor! I'm telling you!) It's funny that Edward can't read Bella's thoughts. I can read her thoughts just fine. Perhaps I'm a super vampire.
He says that he was reading Jessica's mind, and used that information, along with his keen tracking abilities, to find Bella. It just so happened he arrived in time to save her.
Bella takes the news that Edward can read minds very well. She doesn't seem shocked. Rather, she reacts as if he just admitted he can play the saxophone. I think a normal person would make him prove his ability, or take him to Vegas to clean up at high-stakes poker tournaments. Or, at the very least, scream, "That's so cool!"
Edward says his instincts are telling him to go find those guys who wanted to harm Bella and kill them. He's doing everything in his power to ignore those instincts. He's so tormented. Poor guy. Maybe he needs a hobby to help him relax, like knitting or banana sticker collecting.
They leave the restaurant and head home. There are more questions to be asked, such as, "Seriously, why don't we go to Vegas?" and "Are you a vampire?" and "Wasn't it, like, totally rude of Jessica and Angela to eat without me?" But that will have to wait for the ride home.
Predictions: On the way home, Bella gets stung by a bee. Edward freaks out, and struggles to resist the urge to kill the bee. Finally, he screams and bashes his head against the steering wheel to let out his frustration.
Want more Dan on Twilight? Here you go.