SparkLife contributor Dan Bergstein is reading Twilight and blogging about it.
A few thoughts before we begin:
A couple hundred pages into the book, there's no villain to be found. The preface set up a life-and-death situation that Bella will encounter at some point. But since no bad guys have been introduced (except the thugs in Port Angeles), I'm left wondering if the hunter mentioned in the preface isn't Eric gone berserk, wearing bright orange hunting gear. I hope the baddie shows up soon, because these chapters were a bit boring, repetitive, boring, and repetitive.
On the ride home, Edward admits that he was able to follow Bella's scent in Port Angeles. Strong noses are another vampire power, I suppose. He also says that of all the vampires, he's the only one who can read minds. At this point, I'm not even going to try keeping track of super powers. Let's assume these vampires can do whatever the heck they want.
Bella finally asks a reasonable question: how does mind-reading work? Edward explains that the closer he is to the person, the easier it is to read her mind. Bella asks why he can't read her mind, and he says he has no idea, theorizing that perhaps her brainwaves work on a different frequency than normal people's. Or maybe Bella, like my grandma, thinks in German, and Edward doesn't speak the language.
During this conversation, Edward is flying down the highway (not literally, although I assume he could actually fly if he wanted to). His reckless driving scares Bella, but Eddie says, "I hate driving slow." I'm pretty sure "I Hate Driving Slow" is also the name of a grisly driver's ed film.
Bella finally confesses that she talked with Jacob Black, and that Black told her Edward was a vampire. She tells Edward that even if he is a vampire, it doesn't matter. She still likes him. After all, it's what's on the outside that counts, right?
Edward then confesses he's been 17 for a while now. I've read somewhere that he's really 100 years old, but even if he's just 40, this relationship is beyond gross. I'm guessing vampires maintain the appearance they had at whatever age they were bitten. So if Edward had been transformed into a vampire at the age of 60, he would still be lusting after Bella, but look like your grandfather. Put another way: Despite his appearance, Edward is an old man. At some point in the series, author Stephenie Meyer better explain why this isn't icky, or else I'm getting my "Twilight Makes Sense" tattoo removed.
Bella then goes through the list of vampire myths. Edward says vamps don’t sleep in coffins, because they don't sleep at all. They probably just nap. He also explains that he doesn't feed on humans, though it's difficult to resist them sometimes. This brings up another question I hope gets answered later: If humans are food for vampires, why would Edward be attracted to Bella? It's like a regular guy falling in love with a bowl of soup.
Edward continues to drive like a maniac, and tells Bella that he only hunts animals because he doesn't want to be a monster. If he doesn't want to be a monster, why can't he find a cure? A vampire bite turns a human into a vampire, right? So it stands to reason that if a normal person bites a vampire, the vamp will turn into a normal person. (This is why I bite people who I suspect are vampires, and also why I'm no longer allowed within 50 feet of the quiet, creepy bearded guy from Ace of Cakes).
Also, there are endless supplies of blood around, from used Band-aids to puffy gums. If Ed craves the taste of human blood, I'm sure he could find a harmless way to get some. Or why not go to war? He could serve his country and have a buffet at the same time.
Edward admits that while hunting with his brother, he felt anxious because he was away from Bella. He says he's drawn to her for some unexplainable reason, and feels he must protect her. Not to belabor the point, but even when confronted with the most delicious sandwich or soup, I never felt the need to protect it from harm.
Edward says he misses school on sunny days because the sun affects vampires—although he won't say how, exactly. (I assume the sun gives them headaches. I know how that feels, especially if you're driving. Don't even get me started.)
They talk some more, and I swear I read this exact same conversation a few chapters ago. Edward says he's dangerous. Bella says she doesn't care. And I zone out and begin to wonder if hats or helmets were invented first. (I'm going with helmets.)
They make it back to Bella's house. Edward warns Bella, "Don't go into the woods alone." (No wait…I change my answer to hats. But, like, a really thick hat.)
Throughout the car ride, Bella tells us how wonderful Edward smells, saying, "His breath blew in my face, stunning me." This may give young women unrealistic expectations about how men smell. It's also possible that Bella has never smelled Axe deodorant mixed with the scent of Listerine before, and finds the combination enchanting.
Bella leaves Edward and goes inside. She remembers her jacket is still in Jessica's car, so she calls Jessica and promises to give her all the details of this pseudo-date at school tomorrow. The chapter ends with Bella telling us, "I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him." Really? She hardly knows the dude. She doesn't even know his middle name, his political ideas, his favorite TV show, or his thoughts on the whole helmet/hat debate.
All she knows is that he's a vampire, he's pretty, and he "hates driving slow." Bella is just romanticizing the time she spent with him. It's sort of like saying, "This is the best movie ever" after the first twenty minutes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and then at about the two-hour mark, realizing you should have seen The Dark Knight instead.
Predictions: When not driving fast, bad boy Edward also enjoys jaywalking, saying, "I hate walking along designated areas at intersections."
Want more Dan on Twilight? Here you go.