My original thought was to do this 3 chapters at a time, but hey, what can I say besides most of these chapters were really boring so I skipped big chunks of them.
Chapter 7 Melody
Chapter 7 picks up right where chapter 6 left off: Edward gave Bella a ride home after she fainted. He’s getting a little bit more into the possibility off a physical relationship with Bella and shames himself for it. It’s basically all the previous chapters except now he’s horny about it.
The thought vs audible conversations keep being odd. I get why Edward would answer random thoughts and the use for having private conversations with him, but why would everyone just think their conversations? It’s such and odd choice.
I jumped when the passenger door opened.
Ha. Caught you by surprise. There’s a first, Emmett thought as he slid into the seat. “I’ll bet Mrs. Groff thinks you’re on drugs, you’ve been so erratic lately.Where were you today?”
What’s the logic of Emmett mocking Edward in thought and then having him carry on the conversation out loud. it’s so counterintuitive.
We get a bit of Cullen home life, and it’s pretty nice, but I kind of wish everything was more elaborated on so we get more of a nuanced feel for the siblings and Esme. For example, Esme’s designing something and Edward comments “Perhaps she would build this one for our next home, or the one after that”, which a) is just an odd sentence because it’s unclear what ‘this one’ refers to and b) it would be nice to have some insight on how Edward feels towards Esme’s designs or something he loves about them or if she designs all their houses, etc. But we only get that one line about what Esme is doing. We get a throw-away line about Alice doing something fashion related and Emmett and Jasper playing chess with 8 chess boards. I’d loved to have some commentary or background to that, but we don’t get it.
This would also be an excellent moment to give Rosalie some nuance, but it just… doesn’t happen. In this it’s highly implied that her hatred towards Bella has to do with either Bella being prettier or with Edward being attracted to Bella when he’s been ambivalent towards Rosalie. This gets a little more nuance in a later chapter, the “deeper” meaning being that she’s jealous of Bella’s humanity, but that doesn’t really explain why she was so hung ho on killing Bella a couple chapter’s before this one, or why she’s been written as mean, shallow, and without a single compassionate bone in her body. Anyway, this has been Rosalie Defense Squad, 2020.
It’s really saying something that Emmett really is the most sympathethic sibling. He’s just really down for anything as long as he’s been given a good reason to do so.Also he’s the brother Edward has most like actual conversations with. Absolute icon. We love a himbo. This book made me feel kinda sorry for him for how he’s been written to be expendable to Rosalie, in turn making Rosalie seem that more self centered.
All this chapter did was make me realize how sad it is that fans have given the Cullens way more personality than their actual creator.
Also, some of Jasper’s friends are coming to town and Edward is mad pressed about it, except not really because he uses their presence as an excuse to stalk Bella even more.
Chapter 8 : GHost
The days are sunny and the Cullens need to stay out of sight. Edward keeps having muderous thoughts towards Mike for being near Bella and being interested in her.
I accidentally uprooted the young spruce tree my hand was resting on when he pinced a strand of her between his fingers.
The agony and fury of my jealousy was every whit as powerful as it had been last week. I wanted so badly to race across the campus, too fast for human eyes, and snatch er up – to steal her away from the boy I hated so much in this moment I could have killed him for no reason but to enjoy it.
Edward creeps on Bella as he’s hanging out in her garden, reading. It weirds me out that Meyer felt the need to have Edward be present for every plotpoint Bella experienced from her POV. Except for when Bella went to La Push, we see everything that we already know from Bella’s POV, but mirrorred. It just doesn’t make for a good narrative. It takes away all tension to just have Edward be there all the time.
He overhears her plans to go to Port Angeles and naturally, he has to stalk her there.
Chapter 9 : Port Angeles
Chapter 9 is just the Port Angeles trip. that’s it. Edward follows Bella through Jessica and Angela’s thoughts. Jessica keeps being typecast as annoying and two-faced and Angela as Good Girl(tm).
Edward looses track of her through their mind and panics immediately. He looks for her through every mind he passes until he comes across the people that was about to assault her. Not much comments about that. It’s one of the times his murder lust actually makes sense, because he was in the mind of rapists. She talks him down, and they go to dinner.
When they cross Jessica and Angela there’s another jab at Jessica.
Late much? Jessica grumbled to herself but she, too, was thankful that Bella wasn’t lost or her. This made me like her a little more than I had.
If you haven’t noticed the pattern. Women are written to be self-less and good, devoted to Bella’s well-being, or to be self-centered and vain.
Their entire conversation in the restaurant is obviously just the conversation in Twilight, but from Edward’s POV. Even if I hadn’t known that, I would’ve come to the same conclusions, because the dialogue is way more enjoyable than the previous chapters, save from Edwards constant questionning whether or not Bella is witholding information from him. There’s some Hades/Persephony comparing and it’s annoying because it’s truly a stretch. Stop referencing fictional couples to make your romance seem more legitimate.
Bella has obviously figured it all out. Edward immediately confesses about following her around, and she’s way too chill about it. It is wholly irresponsible to portray stalking as something acceptable as long as you’re attracted to the person and that’s that on that.
Chapter 10 : Theory
The drive from Portland to Forks, basically. Bella explains how she figured it all out and we get the vamp exposition we’re all familiar with.
The majority of the chapter is just dialogue. It’s not exceptional, I had a good time reading it, mostly out of nostalgia. I really did love this books when I was younger, so it was easy to place myself in my 15 year old shoes again.
At the end Edward does go to Carlisle to help and get the rapist he encountered arrested, which is a nice touch, I suppose.
Chapter 11: Interrogations | Chapter 12: COmplications
Chapters 11 and 12 are basically Edward and Bella playing 20 questions while Rosalie shouts at them from the background and it’s boring as all hell.
Edward “rewards” Angela for being a good person by getting her a date for the prom. That was nice, I suppose. Angela’s credentials for being a good person are not hating her family and “have what she wants and having what she wants.” So, if you’ve ever wanted something material in your life, so sorry, Edward thinks your a shallow shell of a being.
There’s a line of thinking that really annoyed me when I read it and I later figured out why.
Bella cared for me, too.
I knew it could be nothing in comparison how I loved her.
“Do you truly believe that you care more for me than I do for you?” I asked.
“Yes, I really think that,” she said without looking up.
“That’s where you’re wrong though-” I began, […] “Don’t you see? That’s what proves me right. I care the most, because if I can do it…” […] “If leaving is the right thing to do…” […] “Than I’ll hurt myself to keep from hurting you, to keep you safe.”
“And you think I wouldn’t to the same?” She demanded furiously.
So furious – so soft and fragile. How could she ever hurt anyone?
“You wouldn’t have to make the choice,” I told her.
This reminds me an uncomfortable amount of a gaslighting technique. It minimizes the other person’s feelings and therefore their perceived effort in the relationship, which guilt trips them into wanting to prove that their feelings match by pleasing the abuser even if it’s unhealthy to do so.
Side note: absolutely hate that whenever she gets angry or annoyed he’s like: “Awww. adorable.”
The last part of of chapter 12 is a short confrontation with Rosalie that leads to nothing.
Chapter 13: Another Complication
Even more 20 questions. I skipped most of this because it’s just Bella listing her favorite movies and books for the better part. If you’re wondering what these are, just channel your inner “I’m not like other girls, I have thoughts” and you’ll have a pretty good idea. How Edward is so surprised by Bella having a Linkin Park CD is beyond me, since they’re a pretty mainstream band, especially in the ’00s. I’m sure this all happens in Twilight and I must have skipped it then, too, because holy hell is it boring and lazy character writing.
Last couple of pages is Edward being at home, which brings me to my next issue with how the Cullens are written.
Esmee is written so dull! Her only emotion is characteristic is loving Edward. I also really dislike how she and Carlisle are supposed to be parental figures but both of them just enable his stalking behaviour. Like, there is no concern about his sudden obsession, no concern for Bella’s wellbeing, honestly. She’s just a sure thing to them so all the break ins are just par for the course, I’m guessing. They’re just like “You’ll make the right decision, son.” and leave it that. Edward’s come close many times to killing Bella so I don’t really know what they would do if he would all of the sudden snap. Give a dissapointed head shake and say it’s not his fault? Probably.
How Esmee talks/thinks? Infuriating:
Nor will you dissappoint me, Edward, Oh, my son, how I do love you. When the hard part is over… Im’ going to be very happy, you know. I think I will love this girl.
You know, how in Hannibal everyone talks in methaphors and in a way no one really talks IRL, but it fits because it matches the whole vibe of the series? This is not that.
Who thinks like that. Honestly, it annoys me to death, because it is so different from how everyone else is written and how the narrative is written.
Also, repeating this again:
No matter how much a person likes you, breaking into their home to watch them sleep is obsessive stalking. And also, just because you awknowledge that this is obsessive stalking behaviour while doing the obsessive stalking doesn’t mean that it somehow nullifies the obsessive stalking.
I feel that, as a romance author, you need to be able to detatch yourself from you’re romance to see whether or not you’re just projecting or if you’ve actually written a decent story, and that’s where Meyer fails. She’s too involved.
Thank you for reading if you’ve reached this point. In general, I do still enjoy the dialogue and the story for what it is, but the narrative is just really aggravating, repetitive and boring. I don’t think Meyer knows how to think past her main characters and create a whole for them to fit in.