Blogging Eclipse: Part 5
Chapter Five: Imprint
Better Title: Sam's Life is a Romantic Comedy Without Laughter
I’m going to need your help on this one, folks. I must be an idiot. Clearly there are hidden words in this chapter (perhaps written in those frustrating invisible letters) that explain imprints. But I haven’t found them yet.
The chapter itself is called Imprint, and Jacob says something along the lines of, “And now I shall define the term imprint.” However, after reading this chapter twice, I still have no idea what the hell the word “imprint” means in this book.
If you held a gun to my head (don’t do it. I have ticklish temples), and asked me to define imprinting as a general term unrelated to Twilight, I would say it had something to do with leaving an impression. But that definition doesn’t hold up in this book. An imprint in the Twilight world means…well, I don’t know what it means.
In this chapter, we learn about Sam’s past. He once loved a girl named Leah, but after he became a werewolf, he fell in love with Leah’s cousin Emily. Jacob says Sam left Leah for Emily because of “imprinting.” And that’s as close to an explanation as we get. So, from this vague bit of info, I’ve had to formulate my own theories about what an imprint actually is:
1. Imprinting is an excuse grownups use when their children ask, “Why don’t you love mommy anymore?”
2. Imprinting is the Native American word meaning “Sam wants to kiss another lady.”
3. An imprint is a soulmate, and it’s about love, and destiny, and eternity, but most of all, it’s about…life. (Insert lovely harp music here.)
4. When a werewolf falls in love with a woman, they imprint, which means they have naked sex.
5. Stephenie Meyer threw this term in at the last moment, after her editor said, “These werewolves are awesome…perhaps too awesome. Maybe you could put them all in dresses, or make them believe in love at first sight. Oh, and the first hundred pages of this book are unnecessary, but we already ordered the paper from the paper company, so we shouldn’t change a thing.”
Whatever the real definition of imprint is, I’m not going to like it. Chances are that in the next few chapters, we’ll get a better understanding of this silly emotional word, and in preparation, I’m tying the book to my wrist. This will make it easier to find after I heave it across the room, as well as prevent costly wall damage. Of course, due to my tiny, infant-sized wrists, and the anger building inside of me at the thought of less-than-amazing werewolf powers, the book will still go flying into the wall, as the kite string will snap my puny, twiggy wrist.
Before we learn about Sam's past, Jacob and Bella talk for a bit on the beach. She senses that he is having a difficult time dealing with her choice of boyfriend. “The Thunder” sits on the wet ground as Bella holds his hand. They do not kiss, and no one says a word. Because the silence is rather awkward, she asks about Jake's friend Quil.
In the last book, Quil was not yet a werewolf. But now he has become part of the wolf pack. (Congratulations, Quil.) Unlike Jacob, Quil loves everything about being a werewolf, and why wouldn’t he? Werewolves have super speed, strength, mind-reading powers, and maybe jetpacks. It begs the question, if you were a werewolf, why would you ever transform back into a human? (I can only think of a handful of reasons, and they all involve being able to ride go-karts.)
Jacob says everyone loves being a werewolf, except for Sam and himself. Sam was the first of this pack to become a werewolf and had a rough time of it. Bella wants to know the whole story, but Jacob says it's a long tale. He’s lying. It’s not a long tale. I can explain the entire story in one paragraph. Do you dare me to do it? Because I will summarize the crap out of it. All right, you asked for it:
Sam didn’t have much of a family, and no one explained Werewolfing 101 to him. He dated a woman named Leah. The Cullens moved back to Forks, and this activated the werewolf gene in the young men of La Push. Sam was the first to transform, and it made him freak out. He ran away for a few weeks, came back home, didn’t tell Leah a thing, and then fell in love with Leah’s cousin Emily. The End.
That’s the entire story. It takes Jacob pages and pages to explain this. I would hate to listen to Jake explain the plot of LOST or the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Instead of getting to the point, Jacob tells Bella it’s a lengthy story and he wonders if Edward will be mad if Bella doesn't come home soon. She laughs and says, “I do what I want, when I want!” I’m just messing with you. She would never say anything so assertive.
She actually says, "He really hates it when I do things he considered…risky." Bella, Bella, Bella. You foolish, ignorant imprint. (Because I don’t know what an imprint is, I’m going to try and use it several different ways until it makes sense.)
Jacob half-jokingly tells Bella to stay at his house instead of going back to Forks. She says it wouldn't work out because Edward would come looking for her, but Jake likes that idea and seems hungry for a fight with Mr. Lullaby. Jake is one badass imprint.
Bella doesn't like it when Jacob mentions a possible scuffle, and says of her undead boyfriend, "At least he can be a grown-up about this." I imagine her saying these words as she looks over her shoulder, frightened and worried that an angry Eddie will be there, glowering at her with imprintish fury.
Jacob begins talking about Sam’s first time being a werewolf. When he gets to the part about the Cullens returning to Forks, and how this restarted werewolf-fest in Washington State, Bella becomes defensive. She tells him that the Cullens had no clue what triggered the werewolves' reappearance, so Jacob shouldn't blame them for his monstrous curse. But Jacob says he can't be as forgiving as Bella, and even if the Cullens had no idea that they were causing the werewolf gene to activate, it doesn't change how he feels about vampires. Bella tells Jacob to grow up. He says he can't.
Wouldn't you know it? Werewolves, just like vampires, Peter Pan, and Elijah Wood, never grow up. And with that, Bella reacts like a maniac for several paragraphs, ranting and raving about how everyone is immortal except her. Waah waah waah.
Bella, shut up. According to my calculations, you will only be mortal for another month or two. After you graduate, Carlisle promised to transform you into a vampire. You’re weeks away from having the one thing you want above all else. Stop acting like a spoiled brat. There’s no need for this temper tantrum. You’re like a kid who’s next in line for the rollercoaster, but is crying because he’s not on the ride yet. Quit being so crabby. There are people with real problems in the world. For instance, I have little wrists. In college, they called me T-Rex. I’m scared to clap my hands, Bella, for fear that my talon-sized wrists may shatter. Do you know what that’s like, Bella?! Where’s my Carlisle? Where’s my happy ending!? Oh god, here come the tears.
Bella calms down, and Jacob continues with Sam's back story. Bella asks why Sam hates the vampires, and Jacob’s answer is, "Because of love." I'm paraphrasing, but as near as I can tell, this is the only reason Sam dislikes the vampires.
First, Sam loved Leah. Then the Cullens showed up, and Sam became a werewolf and ran away for two weeks. He came back and learned about werewolves, but needed to keep this a secret from Leah…for some reason. (Why is everything a secret?)
Leah was upset because Sam was leaving at night, and coming back exhausted (and probably naked), which is never a good sign in a relationship. But Sam still didn’t tell her the truth. Then Leah's cousin Emily visited.
And at this point in the story, Jacob says, "Have you heard of imprinting?" Bella, of course, says no. How would she know about imprinting? Werewolf life is, foolishly, very secretive. I'm surprised Jacob didn't ask her, "Have you heard of form 884(a), and how it relates to war crimes in Uruguay?"
Naturally, Bella asks, "What is it?" It’s a simple question, right? But it's one that Jacob never answers outright. He could have said, "Imprinting means a werewolf falls in love." Instead, he goes on and on, talking about true love, love at first sight, and soulmates. Not once does he ever answer the damn question. It’s frustrating.
Read this chapter again, and tell me if he makes it explicitly clear what "imprint" means. Go on. I'll wait.
See! He doesn't do it! (By the way, while you were gone, I ate the last Pop-Tart. Hope that’s cool.) This is bad storytelling. And the following paragraphs in the book are so poorly written and convoluted that you need a flow chart to understand them and some Gatorade to keep you hydrated. (I also drank the last Gatorade. Sorry.)
Sam instantly fell in love with Emily the first time he laid eyes on her. And this act of falling in love, I assume, is imprinting. Only werewolves can find their soulmate this way. But Emily is Leah's cousin, so things were kind of…sticky. Emily and Sam really hit it off, and eventually Sam dumped Leah and hooked up with his soulmate, Emily.
According to Jacob, this love triangle is why Sam hates the vampires. Huh? What? That makes no sense. The vampires inadvertently lead Sam to his soulmate, and Sam hates them for it. The vamps showed up, Sam became a werewolf, and used his werewolf imprint power to find his one true love, and in Sam’s mind, this is a bad thing.
Sam, I hate the vampires too, but I have good reasons. (Please see every previous blog for examples.) You should be on your knees, thanking the vampires for not only making you become an astounding werewolf, but also helping your find true love. Yeah, it sucks that Leah's heart was broken. But I'm sure she'll get over it. (She should date Conner!) I guess Sam simply hates things that are good, such as love. Sam probably also hates Snicker Pie because it’s too delicious, and the first 20 minutes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom because they're too awesome.
This chapter makes me like the werewolves less and less. I wonder what Emmett is doing right now. Whatever it is, it probably involves a ramp, a ring of fire, and hungry alligators. Emmett, can you come back to the story? Even if you just want to hang out in the background playing Frisbee Golf, it would be better than this confusing melodrama.
Anyway, Jacobs brings up Emily’s scars and says that after Sam accidentally attacked Emily, everything was fine and dandy between Sam, Emily, and Leah. Leah is even going to be the bridesmaid in Sam and Emily's wedding. Yay! Though I have no idea how Emily's scars resolved things. (To be honest, this section of the chapter confused me. I’m sure it makes sense somehow, and if you could explain it, I’d be very appreciative. Thanks!)
Bella asks Jacob if he has fallen in love like Sam did. But Jake says imprinting isn't common; only Sam and Jared have the power. And Jared lucked out because his soulmate was a girl that already had a crush on him.
Jacob says he knows all of this personal information about Sam because when he and the others are werewolves, they share thoughts. The good news is that reading each other’s minds makes hunting vampires easier. The bad news is that there can be no secrets between the wolves, so my short story “Werewolf Surprise Pajama Party” is filled with logic errors.
The sun peeks out from behind the clouds, and Bella and Jacob enjoy the break from the gloomy weather. The two friends sit in silence, and do not kiss. Bella then asks Jacob about his standoff with Edward at school the other day. She wants to know what Edward read in Jacob's mind that made Edward feel so sad. Jacob tells her he was thinking about the time Sam found her in the woods, after Edward left her to rot.
Let me get this straight: Edward was reading Jacob's mind while Jacob was thinking about a thought he read in Sam's mind. And now Jacob is thinking about Edward thinking about Jacob, so if Edward was here, and reading Jacob’s mind, he would be reading his own mind and then…blood trickles out of my ear and I get a headache.
Bella is angry at Jacob for thinking sad thoughts while Edward was reading his mind. But Jacob enjoyed seeing how the thought hurt Edward. Bella gets up to leave, as Jacob apologizes and promises never to think of sad things again.
Bella says she needs to go anyway, because Alice is probably worried sick. (And Edward is probably glowering so hard in anger that his eyes have melted and dripped down his face like two eggs.) Jake asks when Bella will return, and she says, "I'll come back the next time's he's away."
Jacob makes fun of Edward and Bella becomes angry again and says, "I don't care who's a vampire and who's a werewolf. That's irrelevant. You are Jacob, and he is Edward, and I am Bella. And nothing else matters." I believe a slightly modified version of that statement was used to end the Cold War.
They smile at each other and do not kiss.
Glowers: 2 (Book Total: 7)
Murmurs: 2 (Book Total: 15)
Jacob and Bella watch the sun set. Finally, Jacob speaks up.
JACOB: Hey Bella, want to hear something cool?
JACOB: I just imprinted you. Yeah, I’m imprinting with you right now.
BELLA: Stop that!
JACOB: It’s OK, imprint-mate. We need to get married.
BELLA: But I don’t like you as a boyfriend.
JACOB: I’m not asking to be your boyfriend. I’m asking to be your forever imprinted husband. It’s different. You can’t say no. It’s imprinted. You can’t talk your way out of an imprintmenship. It’s, like, the law.
BELLA: I still don’t know what that word means. And it doesn’t sound grammatically correct.
JACOB: It means you must love me, ‘cause we’re imprint buddies. Imprinting is the best, isn’t it? Three cheers for imprints!
BELLA: Stop saying “imprint.”
JACOB: It’s part of werewolf culture. Imprinting is fun. And I imprinted you real good. I even imprinted your shoes!
BELLA: I’m so confused.
JACOB: Just say that we’re imprints. Say it!
BELLA: Um…OK. We’re imprints.
JACOB: Ha! Now we’re married…sort of.
BELLA: Whatever. I’m going to Edward’s house to play chess and make out.
JACOB: But…the imprint. I imprinted you. (SQUINTS EYES) There, I imprinted you again.
BELLA: (WALKS AWAY) Yeah. Good luck with that.
JACOB: Imprint, come back!? I love you, my Imprint! Imprint!? IMPRINT!
Dan's posts are collected here. Enjoy, imprints!