When most people find out they’re going to meet a family of vampires, they panic. Not Bella. She’s far in too love to realize the danger that she’s getting herself into.
Bella wakes up to find Edward in her room. Now if you remember (which you probably don’t because it’s almost been a month since the last post), Edward told Bella he likes to watch her when she sleeps. Then he watches her while she sleeps.
I’m going to come out and say this: Bella doesn’t seem herself in this chapter. She’s too giddy, too happy, and I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel like a natural progression. The change is too rapid, too extreme. It’s inconsistent with what we saw in the first 14 chapters.
Just look at this: “‘Edward! You stayed!’ I rejoiced, and thoughtlessly threw myself across the room and into his lap.”
When has Bella ever acted like this? I’ll tell you when: never. It would’ve been hilarious if this had caused Edward to revert to his true nature and the book ends with him crying over Bella’s dead body, but that’s not what happens here.
Instead, he gives her a back rub, she goes into the bathroom to change, and when she comes out, she finds that Edward has changed clothes as well, because “I could hardly leave in the clothes I came in – what would the neighbors think?”
I don’t know, Edward, what would the neighbors think? Probably that the creepy guy who was stalking the Swan house finally got in and did terrible things to the family.
Turns out that Bella told Edward she loved him, albeit in her sleep. Then Bella tells Edward she loves him, awake this time, and he responds with something usually reserved for couples in a very serious relationship: “You are my life now.”
At least we know he’s dedicated. I’m not worried about his commitment. I’m more worried about Bella’s. I don’t think she can be trusted.
Bella eats cereal, and Edward asks her if she wants to meet his family.
Then comes this genius sentence: “I doubted there were any etiquette books detailing how to dress when your vampire sweetheart takes you home to meet his vampire family.”
This is the single funniest line I’ve read in this book. Stephenie Meyer is finally realizing the absurdity of the book’s plot. If the whole novel was like this, that’d be awesome. Unfortunately, I doubt that’s the case. If the whole vampire thing hadn’t already been parodied and satirized in the past seven years, I would write a mock vampire novel.
Bella puts on a skirt and a blouse that she remembers Edward complimented one time. Then she leaps into his arms. Then she faints. On top of Edward.
Of course, when she wakes up, the first thing she does is accuse Edward of making her faint. Then she thinks about it, realizes how stupid that sounds, and says she just forgot how to breathe. I hate it when that happens.
She’s also nervous, not because she’s going to meet a family of vampires, but because she’s afraid those vampires won’t like here. Her priorities are all messed up.
Then they go to Edward’s house. There’s some nice description of the old, magnificent building, but I’m not going to talk about that because I know that’s not why you’re reading this.
Bella first meets Dr. Carlisle Cullen and Esme, who’s his wife or something. They’re wearing clothes that match the color of the inside of the house, which is impressive. Edward’s sister, Alice is friendly. Too friendly, to the point where it’s just weird. She runs down the stairs and hugs and kisses Bella, as if she’s known her forever.
Then there’s Jasper, cold and distant. He says hello but doesn’t offer to shake Bella’s hand. But at least he shows up. Rosalie and Emmett aren’t even there because they hate Bella. The human notices Carlisle and Edward communicating with each other in some telepathic kind of way, which is creepy.
A grand piano catches Bella’s eye, and she flashes back to her dream of winning the lottery and buying her mom a grand piano, because whenever her mom played on their used upright piano, Bella saw a different side of her. But that will never happen, because winning a lot of money from the lottery is pretty difficult. Ambrose Bierce called it “a tax on people who can’t do math.” But realistically, any person is more likely to win the lottery than date a vampire. Unless that person is Bella and unless that world is fictional. Anyway, the one paragraph where Bella talks about her mom and the piano is one of the best-written paragraphs in the book, but unfortunately, it’s overshadowed by bad writing.
It turns out that Edward is very musical, and his family makes him play Bella a song, so he makes her sit next to him as she does. He plays a song that he composed, and it’s inspired by Bella. Once the song’s finished, Bella realizes that they are the only two in the room. Edward says it’s to give them some privacy.
He tells Bella that Rosalie and Emmett don’t hate her. It’s just Rosalie who hates her, because she’s jealous of Bella’s humanness. And Emmett was just trying to reason with Rosalie. I don’t blame her. If I were a vampire and I had to deal with looking fabulous all the time and living for hundreds of years and thirsting for blood, I’d complain too.
Edward then plays another original composition and makes Bella cry. Is it natural to have an emotional reaction to art? Yes, it is. I’m sure millions have cried when they saw Michelangelo’s Pieta or Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950.
So what were Carlisle and Edward talking silently a few minutes before? Well, Alice, the one who can read the future, said there are some curious visitors coming soon, so Edward is going to be extra-protective of his girlfriend.
I think that’s the first time I’ve typed “girlfriend” in the close to 20 posts I’ve written about this book. That makes it official. Edward and Bella are dating. So Thirsty Mike, please, just leave and never come back.
After the concert, the couple go on a tour of the house. There are no coffins, no skeletons, no cobwebs, nothing that you would expect from a vampire’s house. Slightly disappointing. One thing that stands out is a wooden cross, carved by Carlisle’s father, who was a preacher.
Carlisle was born in the 40s. The 1640s, that is, a decade that is widely ignored in favor of the more popular 1770s, 1860s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s…you get the picture. The 1640s don’t get the credit they deserve. Or should it be “get the credit it deserves”? Is it plural or singular? Anyway, Carlisle’s dad was an Anglican pastor who liked to persecute Catholics, and he also hunted werewolves and witches and vampires.
When the man got old, he put his son in charge of the witch hunts, and one day, young, 23-year-old Carlisle was chasing a vampire with some of his vampire hunter friends. Everything was going swell until the vampire turned around and attacked Carlisle. For some reason, the vampire didn’t kill Carlisle, only left him bleeding in the street. The creature killed three other guys, so…seems a bit too convenient. I hope this vampire shows up at some point in the next three books so that we can have this epic showdown.
Carlisle knew that if his dad found out what happened, he would kill him. Lit’rally. So the young man crawled to a cellar, hid himself in some rotting potatoes, and after three days, Carlisle was a changed man. Well, not a man anymore. He went through a transition period and came out of it a vampire.
A man stays in the ground for three days, then comes out. I feel like I’ve heard this story before, but without a vampire. I just can’t put my finger on it.
- Things to say to your future sister-in-law, pt. I
- “You do smell nice, I never noticed before” – Alice
- Things Edward says that could have come out of Bella’s mouth
- You are utterly indecent – no one should look so tempting, it’s not fair.
- Proof Stephenie Meyer has watched Napoleon Dynamite
- “I’ll always want you. Forever.”
- Bella, always and forever mean the same thing. Speaking of which, those two words were used in an iconic 2004 cinematic classic. But don’t take my word for it.
- What’s next?
- I don’t know. I expect the writing will only get worse. The only thing that will save this book is if Bella comes to her senses and falls in love with Jacob. But I have a feeling I’m going to have to wait until at least the next book for that to happen.