Friday, 29 May 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 5

We're getting through Twilight at a fair pace now and this week brings us to Chapter 5 'Blood Type'. A comment on one of last week's reviews made me think about whether I am enjoying this book. The correct response is 'sort of'. I feel like this could have been a really good book if it had been written a little differently. My main issue is that neither of the main characters feels particularly likeable and at times the writing is somewhat clunky and heavy-handed (I realise I can hardly comment, I've never had a story published). It has fantastic potential, but I can't help but feel that it often misses the mark.
But I am trying to remain open-minded.

Last week we saw Bella randomly plan a road trip with Edward, who after avoiding her (and being absent from school) for a while is suddenly back and wanting to talk to her again. This week we pick up right where the last chapter ended, I think this means that we're getting into the real meat of the story now.

What Happens:

Bella and Edward spend their whole lunch break chatting. He skips Biology, she goes, sees blood and nearly faints. Excused from class to go to the nurse, Bella meets Edward again who managed to get her out of Gym and takes her home, being creepy and controlling about it.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter is called 'Blood Type' which makes me wonder if this is where Edward Cullen will come out as a vampire. Ooh, and I wonder if it will be like Tru Blood where it's revealed that different blood groups taste different. I've always thought that was a neat idea. I have so many questions!

As we're picking up where we left off, Bella's still on her way to English class and hanging out with Edward has made her late. I'm kind of disappointed that we don't get to see any of the English lesson. I want to know what Bella thinks of Wuthering Heights or whatever they're studying now.

Mike seems to have gone off Bella now that she's made it clear she's not interested in him. I'm kind of glad because I was struggling to understand why three different guys might be that interested in her. Then again, to an outsider who doesn't have to listen to her whinging all the time she might seem exotic and different.

Bella does seem to be aware that she might be slightly delusional:

The rest of the morning passed in a blur. It was difficult to believe that I hadn't just imagined what Edward had said, and the way his eyes had looked. Maybe it was just a very convincing dream that I'd confused with reality. That seemed more probable than that I really appealed to him on any level.

Come lunch time, not only is Edward eating alone, he's actually summoning Bella over to him. I wonder how long this mood swing in Bella's favour will last. Not only is Edward being friendly towards her, he's smiling. I think I would be getting ready to run, it's only a matter of time before he snaps and starts yelling at her or something!

Quick tip, Bella. If you feel the need to watch your crush 'with caution', he's probably not worth it. Just saying.

"I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly."

Huh? Half the time I have no idea what Edward is on about! So far from this conversation I think that Edward is perfectly happy to accept Mike and Eric giving him evils since he's just going to go on flirting with Bella. At least I think that's what's going on. I'm obviously totally out of touch with the American teenager because I don't really know what these two are saying.

I also still can't understand why Bella doesn't run a mile, since all the things she seems to notice about Edward raise big warning flags with me. Like when she asks if they're friends and he says:

"But I'm warning you now that I'm not a good friend for you." Behind his smile, the warning was real.

So apparently she is aware of the weirdness on some level, she's just choosing to ignore it. This doesn't seem like a smart move.

I definitely think Edwards putting a glamour on Bella. At one point she looks into his eyes and gets 'befuddled'. Also kudos to Stephenie Meyer since 'befuddled' is a great word.

Bella's been trying to work out if Edward Cullen is more like Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker. I think that the subtext of this is clearly that Bella is a geek. I don't know much about Bruce Wayne, but I think he's definitely not a Peter Parker; perhaps more of a Wolverine considering the silent and dangerous thing he has going on… Oops, is my geek showing?

At one point in the conversation Bella seems to be chiding Edward for not telling her stuff. Considering what a big deal she's making out of 'double standards' she should really speak more clearly so I actually know what's going on! I think that Edward might be dropping a clue that he can read people's minds. He says something about her being easy to read (unlike bits of this book, ahem). I'm about ninety percent sure he's reading Bella's mind, she might want to watch that.

By this point I'm begging to get a little bit bored with all the talking. The conversation has been going on for four solid pages by this point. Just shut up and do something already!

Although they do seem to be getting somewhere with this conversation. Edward's agreeing to warn Bella next time he's going to start to ignore her. I guess talking is good then, they're making some progress.

Conversation progresses onto Edward wanting to know what Bella's 'theory' about him is. We then establish that he's not been bitten by a radioactive spider, nor is he worried about kryptonite. Newsflash: He's a geek too! This obviously means that they're destined to be together forever. Except he then hints that he's actually the bad guy. I could believe that.

I stared at him, wondering why I didn't feel afraid. He meant what he was saying – that was obvious. But I just felt anxious, on edge… and, more than anything fascinated. The same way I always felt when I was near him.

Feeling 'anxious' and 'on edge' around your crush = foundations of any good relationship, obviously.

Thankfully, after six pages of near constant talking, lunch is over and Bella and Edward must hurry off to Biology. Except Edward's going to be a rebel and skip class. Perhaps he's had enough of her now.

Today's Biology class seems to involve the students stabbing themselves to draw blood. I'm slightly concerned by this. Is this an actual lesson in some schools? I can't imagine that an adequate risk assessment has been carried out on this lesson plan. Bella is also not enthused by this lesson. It's pretty obvious that she's not a fan of blood; she may wish to reconsider dating a vampire!

And this is why the the chapter title is 'Blood Type'. It's a lesson in learning your blood type. I can't help but be a bit disappointed that the chapters never play out the way I'm expecting. I like titles which are a play on words so I keep on expecting these to have a double meaning. They never have a double meaning.

Bella's not going to learn her blood type though. She's going to faint. She doesn't actually seem too embarrassed about Mike having to escort her to the office, considering a month ago she was mortified at the school seeing her with a neck brace on. Of course this is the perfect moment for Edward to show up. Mike had better watch out, his finger is bleeding and I don't think Edward had much lunch!

Edward's still in 'I like Bella' mode since he takes over the care of Bella, dismissing Mike and carrying Bella to the nurse's office! He starts talking about avenging Bella's murder and stuff here, he's weird. Whatever Edward.

It doesn't take long for another student to come in from Mr Banner's class. This was clearly not a good lesson! The students are dropping like flies! Edward seems kind of freaked out and Bella can smell the blood or something, so they leave, despite the daggers Mike is shooting at Edward. I have to admit, I kind of like the whole Mike hates Edward thing going on here. It's funny.

"I hadn't noticed Edward moving to my side, but he spoke now in my ear. "Go sit down and look pale," he muttered.
That wasn't a challenge; I was always pale, and my recent swoon had left a light sheen of sweat on my face.

Hehe, that is quite funny.

And Edward finally proves that he can be useful (at times other than when there are runaway trucks) by getting Bella out of Gym. This might be the nicest thing he's done so far! He's quite normal for a while and they chat about Mike's beach party, until Bella attempts to get in her truck:

"Where do you think you're going? he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.

Uh, he's really weird and kind of coming across as a bit controlling, no? She's trying to go home and he's suddenly 'outraged' and getting physical with her. Run Bella! While you still have a chance!

I definitely would not get in a car with someone who was behaving the way he was. He's basically dragging her to his car because he doesn't think she's up to driving herself home. Bella's either completely taken over by him, or she's not as concerned as I am because she willingly gets into the car for a ride home.

We finally learn how old Bella is now as well. Edward doesn't think she's seventeen, I don't either. The way she speaks and acts I thought she was about fifteen. They also talk about Bella's mother and step-father, and whether Bella thinks Edward is scary. Uh, yeah!

At least the family talk offers us a little bit of insight into Edwards family situation. It's not really anything new. I'm not sure if it's been mentioned before or if I didn't notice it but his adoptive father is called 'Carlisle'. That's not a name, it's a place!

We also learn that Edward's not going to be around for the weekend since he's off camping. He has Bella make him a promise:

"Don't be offended, but you seem like one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So… try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?"

Perhaps going out with someone as clumsy as Bella appeals to Edward because he can get a bit physical with her and no one will question the bruises, he seriously reads as an abusive boyfriend and they're not even going out!

At least they're at her house now so she heads indoors and he leaves, thus ending the chapter. Phew! It's been a long one!

This chapter's seen a lot of talking and a lot of the time I feel as though I don't know what's going on. I'm also feeling more and more creeped out by Edward Cullen. I can't get over the number of times Bella mentions being scared (or feeling similar emotions) about Edward and yet still gets in a car with him.

As usual, here's our running list of questions raised through the book:

  • 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?
  • Why is Bella so interested in someone who has such crazy mood swings?
  • What's the deal with Edward and how did he move so quickly?
  • Who are Mr Varner and Coach Clapp? Why do they get named and not the six EMTs?
  • Do X-rays show concussions?
  • Do people actually find Mood Swing Boy attractive?
  • Has Edward seen someone about his sudden rages?
  • Do Edwards colour change eyes relate to blood lust or some other vampirey instinct?
  • Are Bella and Edward capable of having a straight conversation?
  • Does Edward have a multiple personality disorder?
  • Who would willingly get in a car with Mood Swing Boy?
  • Will he switch to hating Bella halfway to Seattle and kick her out of the car/leave her behind?
  • Will Edward have to be invited into Bella's house in order to enter it? What about her truck? What about shops?
  • Will this be the chapter where Edward 'comes out' as a vampire?
  • Are blood groups in Twilight like those in the Tru Blood books and TV series, where different blood groups taste different?
  • How long will Edward continue to be friendly towards Bella before switching back to hating on her?
  • Why is Bella not picking up on all of the big red flags that there is something not quite right with Edward?
  • Can Edward glamour people?
  • Can Edward read minds?
  • Is stabbing yourself to draw blood actually on the curriculum in some schools?
  • Am I the only one who thinks Edward is being really controlling?

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