Friday, 15 May 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 2

Earlier today we started off the Chapter-by-Chapter review of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. I was left wondering why Bella Swan had moved to Forks, why Edward Cullen was disgusted by her and whether or not she would be able to ever stop moaning.

Read on to see what happens in Chapter Two: Open Book.

What Happens?

Bella settles into school and is good at almost everything except Trig and volleyball. We also finally learn just why she’s moved to Forks (Yay!) Edward Cullen disappears for a few days and finally returns with a personality transplant. Apparently he likes Bella now. Or something. Who knows.

Thoughts as I read:

The chapter kicks off with the chilling line ‘The next day was better… and worse.’ What? worse than having to move to live with your dad in Forks and share a bathroom with him?! The horror!

It was miserable because I had to play volleyball, and the one time I didn’t cringe out of the way of the ball, I hit my teammate in the head with it.

Hehe, the thought of her smacking a teammate with a volleyball is pretty funny. I really hope that they include that in the film! I think by this point I’ll be desperately in need of some comic relief.

Included in Bella’s list of bad things about the day is the fact that Edward Cullen is not at school. I would think that this was a reason for the day being better, since the guy clearly hates her guts. I’d be glad if he wasn’t around making faces at me. It appears that this is a bad thing because she’s been fantasising about things she would say to Edward, if she’d actually been brave enough to say it ‘I made the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator.’ I had no idea just how funny these books are.

Considering how much Bella dislikes Edward, she seems to spend an awful lot of time bemoaning his absence. After Edward’s a no-show in Biology she comments ‘It was ridiculous, and egotistical, to think that I could affect anyone that strongly.’ Yes Bella, yes it was. Doesn’t stop her though. She also comes across as a little bit obsessed with the Cullens and Hales, looking out for them when she’s at school.

I’m kind of struggling to actually like Bella. She’s spending so much time whining about things and complaining about how awful her situation is. Then comes the news that she hasn’t actually let her mom know that she arrived safely. At least this kind of reinforces her character; Bella is really self-centred. Got it.

Her mom’s obviously worried about her daughter considering the fact that she’s sent three emails. Seriously Bella and/or Charlie, would it have killed you to pick up the phone? At least these emails finally allow us to learn why Bella is in Forks. Sort of. And it’s not that interesting. Bella’s mom and her step-dad, Phil, are going to Florida.

Bella gets stuck into her homework, reading Wuthering Heights for English. Of course she’s read it before but this time she’s just reading it for fun. As someone who read Wuthering Heights twice for my OU literature course, I cannot like a character who reads it for fun. It was just not fun! Though I’m really curious to know what Bella makes of the Yorkshire dialect in the book.

When Charlies gets home, we get a little bit of information about how his attitude towards gun safety has changed now that Bella is older; he no longer worries about making the gun safe by taking the bullets out of it:

I guess he considered me old enough now not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose.

This probably shouldn’t have made me laugh. But it did.

Confirming my suspicions that Bella is harbouring an obsession with the Cullens and Hales, when Charlie gets home she pushes him for more information about the family. They sound like a really wholesome family; taking in troubled teens, camping weekends, being assets to the local community. They’re just way too good to be true. If I didn’t know that they’re going to turn out to be vampires, I’d be really suspicious of them!

We skip ahead to the end of week now, getting more information about how Bella’s bedtime routine is improving and another glimpse of her in Gym class:

In Gym, the kids on my team learned not to pass me the ball and to step quickly in front of me if the other team tried to take advantage of my weakness. I happily stayed out of their way.

Smart move, kids on Bella’s team. Probably the best way to avoid a concussion.

There’s still no sign of Edward as Bella gets to experience her first snow. True to form, Bella is completely and utterly unimpressed. It’s all cold and wet which just gives her something else to complain about. She does not join in on the snowball fight at school.

The snow fall also brings Edward back to school at last which means we should have something more interesting to read about than how well (or not) Bella is sleeping and what things are currently pissing her off. Apparently Edwards foul mood in the last chapter was just his time of the month or something (do vampires get those or is it just werewolves?) because he’s all nice and friendly now.

Seriously?! Edward was a proper jerk last chapter and now he’s being all nice and charming. Also he has magical, colour-changing eyes. That’s freaky. He’s also ice cold, which is a bit of a shame for Bella since she’s clearly not a fan of the cold and her boyfriend-to-be is made of ice!

And now that Edward is being nice to her, Bella decides to spill all. She volunteered to move to Forks to give her mom and step-dad their space while he travels for work. If I was Bella I think I’d try and find a friend who would let me stay with them for the duration so I could save all the upheaval of moving to a new school. Then again, perhaps Bella doesn’t have any friends, she’s got a bit of a bad attitude.

There’s a conversation that runs over two pages between Bella and Edward and I have no idea what they’re actually talking about. I think they might be flirting so I guess Bella’s gotten over Edwards’s bad attitude really quickly. I suppose a split personality doesn’t matter when a guy is really good looking and has colour-changing eyes!

With Biology over, it’s time for Bella to leave Edward and head off to Gym, where we get to see her playing volleyball again:

Mike was on my team today. He chivalrously covered my position as well as his own, so my woolgathering was only interrupted when it was my turn to serve; my team ducked warily out of the way every time I was up.

I hope we get to hear more about Bella’s crap volleyball skills as the book goes on. They’re really amusing me. It’ll be fun to see whether she improves any during her mandatory P.E. sessions or if she gets worse.

The chapter ends with Bella not concentrating on her driving because she’s distracted by Edward. In fact, she’s so distracted that she almost crashes into another driver, something that Edward seems to find quite funny. That’s… not very normal.

So of our questions from this morning, we can cross off one and add a couple more:

  • 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?
  • What’s the deal with Edward’s eyes?
  • Just where was Edward for all that time?

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