Blogging New Moon: Part 4
Chapter Four: Waking Up
Better Title: Skip This Chapter
Uh-oh. My copy of the book is defective. The first few pages of this chapter are almost completely blank. They just feature the words "October," "November," "December," and "January." If someone out there has a calendar that instead of listing months features a story about a whiny teen who doesn't have any fun, please contact me. I think there was some sort of mixup at the calendar/book publishing house.
Fine, I get it: Author Stephenie Meyer thought it'd be clever to show the passing of time by using an entire page to represent a month. So the first few pages of this chapter include only the name of that month, and nothing else. It's wasted space, and in the interest of "going green," readers should use these pages to make shopping lists, create a short flip-book, or make cootie catchers (also known as "origami fortune tellers" in some neighborhoods and "strange, tiny paper hats" in other areas).
When the story picks up again, it's only for a brief paragraph in which the pretentious Bella compares enduring the passing of time to feeling a pulse beneath a bruise. This is followed by more empty space. (I used this space to practice Tic-Tac-Toe strategies, including the controversial Belvedere Offensive, wherein the player starts by placing an X in the middle-right square.)
The chapter finally begins on the next page with Bella's dad yelling. He's upset that Bella is still in her sad mood after four months. He threatens to send her to her mom's house in Florida, and she fights back, saying she hasn't done anything wrong. Charlie is mad because not only has she done nothing wrong, she's done nothing at all. She should be having fun being a teenager instead of moping around the house trying not to think about Edward. There are movies too see, value menus to try, concert tickets with exorbitant hidden service fees to buy. She's wasting her teenage years.
Bella asks Charlie if he wants her to get into trouble, and he says that getting into trouble would at least show that she was still alive inside. Instead of acting like an emotionless robot, he wants her to do something, anything—which is strange advice coming from a single dad who spends his free time watching TV and eating breakfasts.
They fight for a bit. Charlie says breakups can be hard, but Bella needs to move on. He suggests she see a psychiatrist. She reminds us that she can't see a professional because that would necessitate telling the truth about vampires, and no one would believe her, so it's easier to shut up about the whole mess and feel miserable.
Side note: If you knew that vampires were real, and knew all about their powers and abilities as well as their names, why wouldn't you tell someone? You could make money writing a book on the subject, and you'd probably get your own documentary special on the Sy Fy channel, even if you couldn't provide any evidence.
To appease her dad, Bella says she'll go out with Jessica tonight. But Charlie says that's not enough, and really pushes her to move to Florida. She says she can't just leave high school with only one semester remaining. Finally, her dad gets fed up and says the real reason she's sticking around Forks is because she hopes Edward will come back, but since he hasn't even sent a letter, chances aren't good that he will return. This sets Bella off and she leaves the table to head for school.
By the way, isn't the evil vampire Victoria still on the prowl and hungry for Bella's blood? With no one around to protect Bella, Victoria could strike at any time. Perhaps she's just waiting for the right moment, hoping Bella will expose her neck while looking up at a hot air balloon or will dramatically tip her head to the side while trying to get water out of her ear. Or maybe we're to assume Emmett annihilated Victoria when we weren't looking.
Bella arrives at school. In calculus class, she starts to talk to Jessica. It seems that the months of being depressed have hurt the girls' friendship, and now Jess is a bit snotty towards Bella. Bella tries her best to be friendly, but Jessica acts cold and unfriendly. I thought Jessica was one of the nice ones. Perhaps during the past few months she fell in love with a sea creature, only to have her heart broken when the sea creature decided to go into hiding for no real reason. That would explain her mood.
Bella asks the suddenly evil Jessica if she wants to go to the movies tonight, and after thinking it over, Jessica agrees. They decide to see Dead End, a zombie movie. Bella doesn't want to see anything with romance involved, so a horror movie is probably her best bet, assuming the theater isn't showing a movie about the Vietnam War or Ice Age 9: Follow That 'Dactyl.
Bella arrives at her house after school, though she doesn't remember the drive. She's in such a depressed state that everything is a blur. I've never felt like that over a breakup, but sometimes when I'm watching a show and then change the channel during a commercial, I cannot remember what show I was originally watching. So I feel her pain. In her room, she notices the stereo that Emmett installed in her car. After Edward left, she couldn't stand the sight of the stereo, so she ripped it out of her car with her fingernails. It's a good thing Emmett didn't give her a tongue ring or a puppy.
Jessica arrives to take Bella to the theater in Port Angeles. The conversation gets off to a rocky start, and it's clear that Jessica is still mad at Bella for being depressed and unsociable. But she perks up when Bella asks about boys. Jessica reveals she went on a date with Eric (way to go E-rock!). But she says she doesn't really like Eric. (Don't worry, E-rock. You're too good for her anyway!)
Jessica gossips all the way to the movie theater. The movie begins like a typical horror film, with a couple walking alone. This brief bit of romance is too much for Bella, and she excuses herself to the lobby to get some popcorn. She returns after the couple has been eaten by zombies. She describes the rest of the flick as gory and scary, and I wish I were watching that movie right now.
During the climax of the movie, when the zombie is chasing a young woman, Bella realizes that she has become a zombie herself—an emotional zombie. She has become a shell of a person without Edward. This realization is too much for her to handle, and she walks out of the theater moments before the movie ends. (Don't you hate people like that?)
After the movie, the girls go look for a place to eat, but their walk to the fast food joint is interrupted when they come across some unsavory men standing outside a bar. Something bad must have happened to Stephenie Meyer in Port Angeles (which is a real place. I looked it up) because whenever the town is brought up in the story, she describes every male inhabitant as scary and/or drunk. Perhaps Port Angeles is located on a pirate ship or inside a wild west saloon.
This is just like Bella's trip to Port Angeles in the first book. Back then, scary dudes cornered her on the streets, but Edward swooped in to save her life. Since he's not around anymore, the situation is much more tense. And by "tense," I mean "long-winded and boring." What follows is a couple pages of Bella being both scared of these men and mystified by them. She thinks they might be the same bad guys from last year and, I guess, she wants to face her fears.
To quickly sum up what happens in these bloated pages, she's drawn to the scary guys, but then hears Edward's voice in her head reminding her to be careful. She still walks towards the guys, and Edward's voice yells at her again. Finally she gets close to the men and realizes these are not the same baddies from last year, but instead are just some typical drunk guys who probably didn't mean her any harm.
Hearing Edward's voice freaks her out, because it means either she's crazy and hearing voices, or her subconscious mind is using Edward's voice to protect her. Other options include: It's just Edward's echo bouncing around the buildings of Port Angeles for the past year, or the mean-spirited Jessica can do a spot-on Edward impersonation and loves to toy with Bella's emotions.
She talks to guys standing outside the bar, and they invite her in, but she refuses. When she turns around, she sees a stunned Jessica. I'm glad she didn't go into the bar, because a drunk Bella is probably worse than a sober Bella, and she would go on and on, blabbering, "And then Eddie was like…pfff. And he left. And I didn't leave. And he left. I was in the woods! And it was sad. It was so sad. I like pretzels. These pretzels…we need more of 'em. OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SONG! We have to dance to this song. Will you touch me on the face?" Then she'd puke, cry, and laugh all at the same time.
Back with Jessica, Bella makes up an excuse for going towards the strange guys, saying she thought they looked familiar. Jessica responds with, "You are so odd, Bella Swan. I feel like I don't know who you are," which is something I say after reading every sentence in this book. (And sometimes I sing it as if I were in a rock opera entitled, "Bella Bella What the Hella.")
The girls eat in silence, and Jessica is very angry with Bella. Why? All Bella did was talk to some older guys. Jessica shouldn't be so upset about that. Perhaps she's really mad because Bella made her leave the movie before the credits ended, and now she'll never know if there was a funny outtake tacked on to the end of the film, or who the second unit director was.
On the ride home, Bella starts to feel something other than depressed numbness. She feels a bit of pain and relief. The slight risk she took by talking with the bar guys, along with hearing Edward's voice, has somehow awakened her. Nasty Jessica drops her off at home in a huff.
Inside, Charlie is waiting for Bella and demands to know where she went. She tells him she just went to the movies with Jessica. He grumbles but then seems glad that she got out of the house.
In her room, she gets very emotional and tries to understand her feelings. It's all very touchy-feely, greeting card crap, and I think much of this chapter could have been avoided if she just drowned her sorrows in ice cream and raw cookie dough.
Prediction: Edward's voice haunts Bella yet again, warning her that women over the age of 30 should take calcium supplements because osteoporosis is no laughing matter. Out of anger towards Edward, Bella tries to defy the warnings, but in the end she cannot risk having low bone density.
Need more Dan? Here you go.