Friday, 15 May 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 1

As I mentioned last week, I’ve selected Twilight as the next book to review Chapter-by-Chapter. It’s a set of books that I bought during my trip to Oban last year so I’ve been planning this for quite a while.

You may have noticed that I’ve only been posting a single blog post a day since we reached the end of A Series of Unfortunate Events, well I’m not planning on posting a chapter review of Twilight each day but I have decided to continue my habit of posting two chapter reviews on a Friday. This book has twenty-four chapters (not counting the Preface and Epilogue) so hopefully we won’t draw this out any longer than the end of July).

What Happens?

Bella Swan moves to Forks, for some reason, but she doesn’t want to be there so she complains quite a bit. Her dad gives her a truck and she starts school, where Edward Cullen is physically repulsed by her. I’m worried I’m relating to Bella a little too well, not impressed with Edward, and I really want to know what the deal with Bella moving is all about.

Thoughts as I read:

I’ve got so used to checking out the dedications in the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, that I had to have a peek at this one:

For my big sister, Emily,
without whose enthusiasm this story might still be unfinished.

So this is all big sister Emily’s fault.

We’ve also got a quote from Genesis (the book of the Bible, not the band) about eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Clearly the biblical apple reference was lost on me when I was looking at the front cover, though in my defence I don’t know if it’s actually stated in the Bible that the fruit was an apple. I know there’s at least one religion that suggests it was actually a banana. Perhaps that’s what the bendy letter ‘L’ on the cover is a reference to…

As this is the start of the book we’ve also got a Preface before we get on to the meat of the story. It’s only five paragraphs long and seems to be someone saying that even if they knew they were going to die, they would still go to the place that would cause their death.

I think if I knew not going to a place would prevent my death then I would regret going there. I’m concerned about why this girl, who I’m assuming is Bella, is so calm about her imminent death. Then again, this isn’t a bad hook to suck you into a story.

Now it’s time for the actual first chapter of this book, called First Sight.

The opening kind of reminds me of how we used to write stories at primary school; describe exactly what a character is wearing. For those of you who are wondering, Bella’s wearing her ‘favourite shirt – sleeveless, white-eyelet lace’. No word on what’s on her bottom half.

So Bella’s at the airport, saying goodbye to her mom and heading off to stay with her dad. She’s somewhat reluctant to leave. I’m curious about Bella’s reason for her self-imposed exile. High school drama? Scandal? Bad break up? Affair with a zombie? My money’s on the former, but I’d totally read a book about the latter.

We don’t get to hear much about the flight, except that it’s not that long. Bella calls her dad ‘Charlie’ which I’m sure is significant. I still have no idea why she is having to move to live with him in Forks, especially as she seems to hate it so much. Also, she calls him ‘Charlie’ when she talks about him, but then ‘Dad’ to his face. Why Bella? Why?!

I’m impressed that Bella was all set to buy a car. She’s a teenager, right? I’m almost thirty and I’ve only just bought a car for the first time! Still can’t drive it though. Really need to work on that!

“I don’t mind. I want you to be happy here.” He was looking ahead at the road when he said this. Charlie wasn’t comfortable with expressing his emotions out loud. I inherited that from him. So I was looking straight ahead as I responded.
“That’s really nice, Dad. Thanks. I really appreciate it.” No need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility. He didn’t need to suffer along with me.

So why are you there, Bella? Why?!

Also, clearly your dad isn’t suffering if he’s perfectly happy living and working there. It can’t be that bad there.

Her dad’s just given her a car, which she is about as happy about as Bella is capable of getting:

Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful. I wouldn’t be faced with the choice of either walking two miles in the rain to school or accepting a ride in the Chief’s cruiser.

Girl needs to take some positivity pills!

But you do have to have to feel sorry for her. Now she’s had to move in with her dad, she’s having to share a bathroom with her father. The poor girl. I can understand why this is all so upsetting to her.

Despite not really liking Bella, I do kind of like the description of her, especially the lack of hand-eye coordination. I can definitely relate to that. I can also relate to her not relating to people, which I think is something of an oxymoron.

I’m finding the hardest part to believe here is the fact that she’s just made a massive move across the country and is expected to start school the very next day. When I moved from England to Scotland I had a couple of weeks (admittedly partly because of the holidays, but also because of my old school not sending my details to the new one). Wouldn’t you want some time to settle in and get your bearings?

Charlie still has a wedding photo up. He’s apparently been separated for many years and Renee is with some guy called Phil?! Dude really needs to move on already!

Finding the school wasn’t difficult, though I’d never been there before. The school was, like most other things, just off the highway.

So no one even checked to make sure she knew where the school was? Great parenting there, Charlie. Just as well she was able to figure it out. Mind you, I’m not feeling too sympathetic towards Bella right now, she’s moved on to complaining about the plants now. Jeez Bella!

There are some really clunky lines in this book. Like as she goes into the school Bella mentions something about some of the other girls having really pale skin too, so her skin won’t stand out here. I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean. One of the girls offers to help her so that she doesn’t have to walk around by herself and Bella isn’t even happy about this. She seriously needs to stop complaining because you can bet that if she’d had to walk around alone with her little map she’d be whining about that as well!

Bella goes to classes and in between complains that people don’t get her sarcasm. Perhaps it just wasn’t that funny, Bella.

At least now things are getting interesting. Bella goes to lunch and sees five creepy pale people. And now we finally get to see Edward. He’s beautiful and lives in some sort of weird, semi-incestuous family. I hope we learn something about these people later that makes this sound okay because right now it’s crazy weird.

In Bella’s next class there’s no one sitting beside Edward, so guess where Bella gets to sit? Unfortunately this makes Edward become randomly angry. I’m not sure why and whether his anger is directed at Bella, at the class or at the fact that he’s a vampire and he’s having to spend his time at school instead of sucking on virgins’ throats like those Tru Blood vampires. His anger does make things somewhat awkward for Bella, considering her lab partner seems to be revolted by her.

I’m wondering if perhaps Edward has a strawberry allergy and that’s why he seems revolted by Bella’s smell. I know if I sat next to someone who smelt of tomatoes I’d probably look pretty disgusted with them.

At least Mike seems somewhat okay. He’s nicer than Edward Cullen at least. Then again, that doesn’t seem to be too hard!

Okay, I’m finally feeling a little more sympathy for Bella. Mandatory P.E.! Yikes. That would not be my favourite thing. Ever!

And so Bella’s first day at school in Forks ends and she’s able to go home, thus ending the chapter and leaving me with a whole host of questions:
  • Just why is she in Forks anyway?
  • What’s Edward Cullen’s problem?
  • Will Bella ever be able to get through a day without whinging about something?
  • Why the hell did she have to get all of her teachers to sign a slip?

Check back later this afternoon to see if any of these questions are answered.

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