Last week's chapter had our heroine Bella visiting Port Angeles, almost getting attacked by a group of guys and then being rescued by everyone's favourite vampire, Edward Cullen. She then got to have dinner with him and discusses whether or not he might in fact be something supernatural.
Now the conversation is moving to the car as they travel home in Chapter 9: Theory.
On the drive home, during which Edward is rather irresponsible, Bella gets to ask him lots of questions which means we finally start getting some answers. The main on being, yes, he's a vampire. And he's almost as fixated on Bella as she is on him.
Thoughts as I read:
I know how these chapter titles work now. There's no double meaning here. In a chapter called 'Theory' we will literally discuss Bella's theory about Edward. Let's see how right she is…
"Can I ask just one more?" I pleaded as Edward accelerated much too quickly down the quiet street. He didn't seem to be paying any attention to the road.
Great, so we can add dangerous driving to Edward's list of crimes!
He goes on to tell Bella that he was able to find her because of her scent. Is he saying that Bella smells? Also, does this mean he just had to drive around Port Angeles with the window down, sniffing? Can he smell Bella through his Volvo?
And now it's Bella's turn to ask all my questions:
"How does it work – the mind-reading thing? Can you read anybody's mind, anywhere? How do you do it? Can the rest of your family… ?" I felt silly, asking for clarification on make-believe.
Except he can't hear Bella because they're on different frequencies:
"My mind doesn't work right? I'm a freak?" The words bothered me more than they should – probably because his speculation hit home. I'd always suspected as much, and it embarrassed me to have it confirmed.
To be fair, I have been wondering about Bella since the beginning of this book. She seems completely incapable of being happy for one thing!
Oh and then Edward says the chapter title, just to hammer it in.
And so the subject changes somewhat as Bella realises that Edward's driving at over 100 miles per hour! Edward isn't even concerned about this, he always drives over the limit and without watching the road. That's reassuring.
"Charlie's a cop, remember? I was raised to abide by traffic laws. Besides, if you turn us into a Volvo pretzel around a tree trunk, you can probably just walk away."
So he slows down. To 80 miles per hour. And then starts snapping at Bella. Gee, that's attractive. Does Bella have a mobile phone? I think I'd be getting out and walking by now. Hell, hitchhiking would probably be safer than a joyride in the VampireMobile!
At least the story starts to move along slightly and gets to the whole point of the chapter. Bella's going to elaborate on her theory. It takes a page to get to the point but she comes out with it at last. Shock! Horror! She thinks Edward's a vampire. Or rather, Jacob told her a silly rumour about Edward's family being a bunch of vampires. She comes clean about everything from the last three chapters; the flirting with Jacob, the research online, the Cullens not being allows on the reservation, the works. This page basically exists for Edward and all the people who haven't paid attention up to this point.
Edward appears to be annoyed by what Bella is saying, though I think it's mostly because she says she doesn't care whether or not he's a vampire rather than anything else.
"How old are you?"
"Seventeen," he answered promptly.
"And how long have you been seventeen?"
His lips twitched as he stared at the road. "A while," he admitted at last.
How awful would it be to be perpetually seventeen?! Not able to drink, not able to see the really cool movies in the cinema, stuck at school. Yikes! Maybe that's why Edward's always so grumpy.
Now we've established that he is in fact a vampire, even though he's not actually said it. Edward dispels some myths about his kind, things like going out in daylight and sleeping in coffins. He doesn't sleep at all. I'm guessing that explains some of the mood swings too; I get cranky when I don't get much sleep.
Obviously the most important question Edward wants Bella to ask is about blood but then we get side-tracked by a discussion about Jacob and the Quileutes. Oh, and just in case you weren't paying attention before, Edward is dangerous. Make sure you remember that. I'm sure there'll be a test later.
It's also dangerous for the two of them to be alone together. This is probably for the best, Bella. I'm not sure I'd want to be alone with crazy Mood Swing Boy anyway. Then again, if it's so dangerous for them to be alone together, why did Edward insist on taking her for food and driving her home? He could've dumped her on Jessica and Angela and left it up them to figure out what she was going to eat.
Despite the inherent danger of associating with Edward, Bella's not ready to let go, so she does what any self-respecting woman would do; she keeps pushing. Now she wants to know why Edward's family hunt animals instead of people. I'm guessing that she means aside from the obvious; animal corpses are clearly going to raise fewer questions than human ones.
Edward's got an answer for everything though. He's a 'vegetarian' vampire. He's not a monster after all. Eating people would be barbaric! I wonder if vampires in this series are born or created. I can understand being put off eating cow if you used to be one, perhaps Edward feels the same way.
Bella's also got her theory about Edward's eyes; black equals hungry and gold equals safe. And it would appear that for all Edward is signed up with the Vampire Temperance League, he still doesn't entirely trust himself not to chow down on Bella. Edward's rather lacking in the trust department because he doesn't trust Bella to be on her own either. I guess that this is the caring Edward that everyone goes wild for, though for me it's coming across as more weird and possessive.
We're learning an awful lot about Twilight vampires in this chapter; they can't really go out in the sunlight after all. Sunlight doesn't hurt them, but it does something else. Oh, this'll be the sparkling. I can't wait to see this. Is that why they have settled in Forks, because it rains so much of the time they don't have to worry about giving themselves away by sparkling in the sunlight? Edward's promised to show Bella when he can (i.e. when Forks sees more sunlight). He's dazzling in so many ways.
When Edward can't seem to comprehend that Bella might actually worry about him I can't help but wonder if there's something not quite right with him. I can't decide if he's a psychopath or sociopath but he definitely ticks the boxes for an antisocial personality disorder:
- Regularly breaks or flaunts the law
- Constantly lies and deceives others
- Is impulsive and doesn't plan ahead
- Can be prone to fighting and aggressiveness
- Has little regard for the safety of others
- Irresponsible, can't meet financial obligations
- Doesn't feel remorse or guilt
Apparently if you tick three of these boxes you have an antisocial personality disorder. In the last two or three chapters alone we've seen numbers one, four and five. I could argue a case for two and three as well.
I'm glad we've got to the bottom of this.
Number seven is kind of sketchy though because after he tells Bella off for being obsessed with him (and makes her cry) he does actually apologise. Looks like he is capable of feeling remorse/guilt. Then again, psychopaths can be fantastic actors so who knows if he's actually sincere.
I do love the conversation where Edward asks Bella what she intended to do when it looked like she was going to be attacked:
"You were going to fight them?" This upset him. "Didn't you think about running?"
"I fall down a lot when I run," I admitted.
Hehe. At least she recognises her limitations.
Considering not a few pages back Edward was warning Bella away from him, he's now promising to save her a seat at lunch and is letting her keep his jacket. Mixed messages much? He also has her promise not to go into the woods alone because there are more dangerous things than perpetual teenagers with antisocial personality disorders. What brings all these things to Forks?
Charlie's got no idea what Bella's been up to and she's got absolutely no intention of telling him. She spins him a tale about lots of walking and is then interrupted by Jessica calling for the gossip, which Bella obviously can't share since her dad is right there.
Which allows the chapter to end in the traditional way; with Bella going to bed and thinking about Edward:
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him – and I didn't know how potent that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
There's been an awful lot of talking in this chapter which made for a quick read. Most of it was just clarifying what we already know but I feel like I'm getting a grip on Edward's character now; he's obviously got issues.
Still don't get why he had to speed like that though.
And so what questions have been raised by this chapter?
- Why is Edward such a dangerous driver?
- Is Edward implying that Bella smells?
- How does this scent thing work? Can he smell her through his car?
- Just why does everyone find Edward so attractive?
- Why has Edward not had his license taken away for reckless driving?
- Does Bella have a mobile phone?
- Is Edward grumpy all the time because it sucks to be seventeen permanently?
- If it's so dangerous for Bella and Edward to be alone together, why did he insist on taking her to dinner and running her home?
- Are Twilight vampires born or created?
- Do the vampires live in Forks because they don't have to worry about the sunshine showing off their sparkles?
- Is Edward a psychopath or a sociopath?
- Why is Forks such a magnet for supernatural creatures?