Friday, 5 June 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 7

Last week we got as far as Chapter 6 of Twilight, which was titled 'Scary Stories' and had Bella hanging out with some teenagers at the beach. One of these teenagers was a guy named Jacob, who told Bella a scary story (see what Stephenie Meyer did there?) about how the Cullens are 'cold ones' or vampires.

Let's see what happens next in Chapter 7: Nightmare.

What Happens?

Bella has a bad dream, arranges to go clothes shopping and not much else happens.

Thoughts as I read:

I'm going to hazard a guess at what will happen in this chapter. My money is on Bella having a bad dream. Possibly about Edward. Or it's really, really rainy in Forks; that'd be a nightmare for Bella as well.

There was a basketball game on that he was excited about, though of course I had no idea what was special about it, so he wasn't aware of anything unusual in my face or tone.

Uh, I'm guessing he's excited because he likes basketball. Perhaps one of his favourite teams was playing. Perhaps you should be a little less self-centred Bella, then maybe people will pay more attention to you.

So she's headed up to her room and is listening to a CD from her step-dad. Except she's complaining about the bass and the shrieking. She's more of a high pitched whining kind of girl. And then she turns it up so it hurts her ears. That's… weird. But it's okay because she starts liking the music and then falls asleep. I'm so glad that we got the build up to her going to sleep but I've got no idea why she's in such a mope.

And oh look, we're getting a dream. Totally called it.

Jacob's there and he's telling her to run. And look it's Mike as well. Then Jacob turns into a wolf. This is clearly a nightmare so I'm guessing we've gotten to the bottom of the title mystery.

And then Edward shows up to join the party. With his luminescent skin and creepy black eyes. Oh and fangs.

The wolf launched himself across the space between me and the vampire, fangs aiming for the jugular.

This is a little clumsy. She's just mentioned that Edward has fangs, but I'm guessing the fangs in this sentence belong to the wolf; otherwise Edward is some sort of walrus-type vampire.

And then she wakes up, mid-attack, and we get another little bit of writing that momentarily confuses me:

I sat up, and my head spun for a moment as the blood flowed downward.

As I read this I thought it meant that Bella was covered in blood. For a moment I thought that someone had bitten her jugular and she was bleeding out. Clearly that's not what this means.

I'm confused as to why Bella needs a 'bathroom bag'. Can she not just leave her stuff in the bathroom? Does she not want her dad to know she showers? Is this an American thing?

Once she's showered, Bella fires up her ancient desktop computer and bemoans the speed of the internet here. I'm not feeling too much sympathy with her since I only have internet on my phone at home (and sometimes the broadband is kind of flaky on the island as well). There have been times when I've set something loaded, taken the dog for a walk and it's still not up by the time I get back. And I'm not talking short walks either!

But you don't hear me moaning about it.


Moving on.

I ate slowly, chewing each bite with care.

As opposed to chewing each bite carelessly? This seems like a strange thing to choose to highlight.

Also Bella makes a point of making her bed, but leaves her CD player lying on the floor where it falls until after she's showered and breakfasted. Surely if you dropped your CD player onto the floor you'd pick it up and check it was still working as soon as you realised it was there. Or is that just me?

When the internet finally gets its act together, she starts searching for info on vampires, complaining about the pop ups the whole time. If she's got that many pop ups I'd suggest she runs a malware scan and possibly switch search engines. I'm also baffled by her search results, there's a few vampires mentioned and the general traits are that they are seductive women or excuses for children dying. Surely a half decent vampire site is going to make some mention of Vlad Tepes or Dracula or Elizabeth Bathory. And I don't even know that much about vampires!

Out of curiosity I did Google Vampires A-Z and it does exist. And none of them get a mention. I'm disappointed.

Bella does find a hint of a good Italian type of vampire though. But none of the stories she reads match Jacob's story; they do all tick the boxes for a description of Edward though. Apart from the whole coming out in sunlight thing. That clearly rules him out.

This annoys Bella so much that she just unplugs the computer instead of shutting it down. What is she annoyed about? Her lack of research skills?

And then despite her crappy sense of direction, Bella goes for a wander off in the woods. She's trying to figure out if Jacob told the truth about the Cullens. Surely most normal people would just accept Jacob was talking nonsense and was trying to scare her?

Although when she considers the main factors someone needs to be classed as a vampire, she decides that Edward's probably just not human. That's a logical conclusion to draw.

If Edward was a vampire – I could hardly make myself think the words – then what should I do? Involving someone else was definitely out. I couldn't even believe myself; anyone I told would have me committed.

We can live in hope.

Bella figures she's got two options; avoid him or do nothing. I'd go with the former. Quick reflexes or no, he's a scary guy to be around with the crazy mood swing thing he's got going on. But she's so obsessed with him that she can't walk away from him. So she's going for Option Three; stalk him and obsess over him in the hopes of getting a date.

Then it's back to the mundane; writing an essay, cooking for herself and her father, going to sleep. She wakes the next day to find it's her second sunny day in Forks. Aww, that's one for the journal.

It's actually such a nice day that she gets to school early so she can sit outside and review her homework. That's kind of the sort of thing I would've done. Then Mike shows up and tries to flirt with her, which makes Bella uncomfortable and is sort of hilarious to actually read.

She tells him that her essay is questioning whether Shakespeare's treatment of Macbeth's female characters is misogynistic. This completely baffles Mike (though I'm not sure why she uses pig Latin as an example of what she might have spoken it's otnay osay ardhay otay understandway). It baffles me a little too because I wouldn't have thought that there's anything misogynistic in Macbeth so it could be a tricky essay to write. Perhaps that's the point.

But before I can dwell on this too much, Mike's asking Bella out, which causes some awkwardness when she has to spell out the fact that it's Jessica who's interested in him.

Then school stuff starts and Bella gets an invite to go dress shopping with the girls, in preparation for the dance that she's not going to. For all the rain they have in Forks the economic situation must be really good; all the kids have money to burn!

At lunch time Bella discovers that no one's sitting at the Cullen's table:

Desolation hit me with crippling strength.

Wuht? Has this sentence been translated from another language?

This discovery has her so depressed that she actually agrees to go dress shopping with Jessica and the gang. This is serious guys!

But it gets cancelled. So she has no other option but to go home and mope instead. Which she does, checking her emails to find her mother's desperate to hear from her only child. Then Bella moves on to reading one of her favourite books; a shabby old copy of the works of Jane Austen (subtext: Bella is smart, okay?) Unfortunately this only makes her think of Edward even more, so she sleeps until her dad gets home. The girl sleeps an awful lot, doesn't she?

At least she has permission to go dress shopping the next day.

I vowed to myself that I would be in a good mood tonight and not ruin Angela's or Jessica's enjoyment in the dress hunting.

Good luck with that, B. At least she does actually start to feel excited at the prospect of leaving Forks. She seems almost happy. Yay!

This has been a bit of a blah chapter. I feel like there's an awful lot of filler. I know when I'm writing stuff during NaNoWriMo and I don't know what should happen next I'll throw in a dream sequence to keep my momentum going, but they're the sort of thing I'd chop out in editing because it's just for my benefit rather than the story. I'm not a huge fan of big revealing dream sequences in stories, which is what this felt like it was leaning towards.

I guess this was mainly a filler chapter aiming to set up things that are still to come, like (shock! horror!) Edward's a vampire!

Seeing as the list of questions is getting so long, I'm going to just start posting the ones that crop up in the chapter I'm reading, otherwise I have a feeling that the question lists will become longer than the chapter reviews:

  • Why does Bella want to listen to music turned up so loud that it hurts her ears?
  • Why does Bella need a bathroom bag?
  • Are bathroom bags an American thing?
  • Is she unable to leave her bathroom stuff in the bathroom?
  • Is Bella's dad unaware of the fact that his daughter bathes and she wishes to keep the secret from him as long as possible?
  • Why didn't Bella pick up her CD player when it first fell on the floor?
  • Why is Bella so annoyed in this chapter?
  • Why does Bella believe what Jacob told her about the Cullens?
  • Is it just me or does Bella sleep a lot?

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