Blogging Twilight: Part 23
SparkLife contributor Dan Bergstein is reading Twilight and blogging about it.
Catch up on previous installments here.
But wait! There's more! The story keeps going for a chapter-length epilogue. However, all that really happens is that Bella goes to the prom.
All right, there's more to it than that. Bella gets all dressed up for a special occasion, but she doesn't know what that occasion is. Alice makes Bella pretty all day at the Cullen house, and then a tuxedo-clad Edward escorts her to the mystery event. The fact that Bella can't figure out that they're going to prom further proves my brain tumor theory. Poor girl.
One of the reasons Bella doesn't suspect she's going to the prom is that deep down, she was hoping the fancy clothes were part of a vampire ritual that would transform her from a human into a Pretty Night Thing That Bites. So when she finds out that Edward is taking her to a lousy prom, she's disappointed, to say the least. It's like hoping to go to Space Camp, but ending up at Dirt Camp instead.
On the way, Edward receives a phone call from Charlie. It turns out that Tyler has shown up at Bella's house to take her to prom. Charlie puts Tyler on the phone and Edward kindly tells him that Bella is busy tonight and will be busy forever, so Tyler should back off. Presumably, Tyler breaks down crying and Charlie gives him the "There are plenty of other fish in the sea" speech. Then the two bond over a game of Clue. It's the greatest night of Tyler's life.
Bella is really mad at the thought of going to the prom. Her usually clumsiness has been magnified by the cast on her leg, so dancing is out of the question. But the ever-cool Edward says it will be fine and reminds her that Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie are all going to the prom as well.
It hasn't been mentioned in the book (or it was discussed and I don't remember it?), but why do the vampires go to high school? I understand that they want to blend in with society, but at school, they just hang out with each other and stare at the humans. They're not really fitting in at all. Maybe along with blood, vampires need regular doses of Social Studies and morning announcements to survive. Or perhaps they love the smell of those old paperback books on the metal shelf in the English room, the ones that have those hard, Perma-Bound covers that feel like plastic mixed with glue.
Bella is glad that the other vamps will be there, although things are still icy between her and Rosalie. They arrive at the school gym, and Edward gets their tickets. They walk in and see that Emmett and Rosalie are dancing elegantly, as are Jasper and Alice; everyone has formed a circle around the four vampires. Again, they're hardly inconspicuous. A better way to fit in at prom would be to let the women fast dance together, while the guys hang out along the wall telling each other that their date is just a friend. (Even though they all hope it's more than that.)
The vampires look even more amazing dressed up in fancy clothes, and since they've had decades to practice, their dance moves are top notch. Edward wants to dance, but Bella freaks out because she's clumsy and has only one good leg. He lifts her up and takes the lead. Bella loves this. But then Jacob "Dog Dude" Black shows up.
Edward stares him down, reads his mind, and tells Bella that Jacob came to talk to her. Bella tells Edward to be nice as Jacob approaches. Jake asks to cut in, and Edward lets him. Bella says that Jacob had a growth spurt since the last time she saw him, and now he's over six feet tall. (But this may be a joke that I didn't understand. I'm really confused on the timeline of this story.)
Jacob can't (or doesn't) hoist Bella up, so their dancing consists of rocking back and forth. He then comes clean, and says that his dad paid him $20 to come to the prom to talk to Bella. His dad thinks this is the only safe environment for a conversation, because his dad has never heard of a telephone.
Jacob is reluctant to broach the topic, but finally tells Bella that his dad thinks Edward was responsible for her accident in Phoenix. Though she promised not to get angry at anything Jacob said, she's a little ticked off by the accusation.
He acts nervous and says there's more to the message. After some prying, he finally says that his dad wanted him to tell Bella, "We'll be watching." Are all monsters lecherous old men? Despite the fact that I'm not a teenage girl, after reading that, I got grossed out and quickly put on a robe and snow pants, and I recommend you do the same. You never know who's trying to sneak a peek.
With Edward constantly stalking, and now an entire werewolf clan peeping, how's a girl ever suppose to let loose in her bedroom and dance to pop songs in her undies? (Girls do that, right?)
Bella isn't mad at Jacob, and the two have a slightly flirty moment when they lock eyes. He asks for another dance, but Edward swoops in, and Jacob leaves. Edward and Bella dance around the gym and head for the back door. She notices her other classmates, but doesn't mention Eric, who I'm worried about. Maybe Eric is at Charlie's house playing Clue with Tyler.
Edward and Bella leave the gym and head for a bench outside. Edward says it's twilight, and that everything has an ending. He says he took Bella to the prom because he wants her to enjoy normal, human things. She then confesses that she thought they were going to a vampire ritual tonight, instead of a boring school function.
Edward is confused by this, and says that transforming a human into a vamp is not a dressy event. (It's probably more of a pool party situation.) Bella says she's ready to become a vampire. His face approaches her neck, and he asks if she's really ready. She says she is, and at the last moment, Edward pulls away, teasing her.
He says he can't do it. But Bella insists that becoming a vampire is what she wants. She says she loves him more than anything in the world, and Edward kisses her neck. The End.
Final Thoughts: The book isn't bad, and it isn't good. Despite what you may think, I didn't hate the story. It just seems very derivative of every other romance/vampire tale out there. I'm shocked that of all the books in the world, this series has connected with people and become a phenomenon. After hearing the hype about Harry Potter, I read the series a few years ago and thought it was really good, especially in the later books, when the stories stopped being Scooby-Doo mysteries.
But Twilight failed to impress. Part of the reason is the total lack of humor or fun. The author gave these characters remarkable abilities and then made them complain about it for 400 pages (the baseball scene being the one exception). I enjoyed the little bits of vampire and werewolf lore, but thought there should have been more. I liked Emmett and Alice, and Jacob showed real promise as a likeable character. But I never cared about Bella or Edward.
Also, there is nothing scary in this book. I wasn't expecting a bloodfest, but if the story is about vampires, there should be at least a few frights. James was moderately spooky, but I never really believed his motivations. Plus he didn't really pose much of a threat. I've seen episodes of The Price is Right that were more tense than Twilight's most harrowing chapters. (Tell me you never watched a game of Plinko on the edge of your seat, and don't even get me started on that nerve-racking mountain climber.)
The good news is that with all the character introductions handled in the first book, the next books have the potential to be more interesting. The bad news is that from what I've heard and read in the comments, this is considered the best book in the series.
Predictions for New Moon:
The moon is blown up after an epic battle between the vampires and the werewolves. Suddenly, when faced with erratic ocean tides, the two enemies join forces to build a new moon out of friendship and sticky rocks. (Hence the title.) Meanwhile:
Bella finally becomes a vampire, but then whines to Jacob that she really wants to be werewolf. Jacob turns her into a werewolf, but then she realizes she wants to be a mummy instead. And after becoming a mummy, she decides she'd rather be a ghost. Then, after becoming a ghost, she demands to be transformed into a goblin. Then she becomes a gnome, a giant spider, a robot, an alien, a living skeleton, a sea hag, and finally some sort of gorilla/tiger thing with wings.
Edward will become infatuated with a new girl who comes to Forks. She is twice as clumsy as Bella (she's blind and wears roller skates) and smells just like Bella but with a hint of lemon. Bella doesn't even stand a chance.
Esme will suddenly realize, around page 300, that e-vamp Victoria is still out there.
Carlisle will create a plan to catch Victoria that involves going into hiding for eighty years.
Jasper will hang out in the background.
Alice will predict the future, but will it be too late? (No, it won't.)
Rosalie will not say a single word in the entire novel.
Charlie will be boring.
Renee will open up a Twitter account and talk frankly about her relationship with Phil, much to the embarrassment of Bella.
Jacob will grow to be 12 feet tall.
Emmett will keep it real, because that's how he rolls.
And none of my burning questions will ever be answered.