Friday, 24 July 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 17

After spending the last couple of weeks running late on these posts, I made extra effort to get this chapter read well in advance of the end of the week to make sure I could get it properly formatted and posted. I'm glad I did because it's a mammoth one!

Last week's last post saw Bella getting to meet the family and learn all about Carlisle's dark past. Then she was, rather bizarrely, invited to a baseball game. Chapter Seventeen is called 'The Game' so I guess we can figure out what will happen here.

What Happens?

Edward takes Bella home where Billy and Jacob are waiting for her. Edward makes a quick get away, leaving Bella alone with Billy who gives her a brief warning about associating with the Cullens. Once Billy and son have left, Charlie comes home and Bella finally comes clean about going out with Edward. He takes it fairly well. Then Edward shows up and takes Bella to the game. It goes well until some other vampires show up.

Thoughts as I read:

We're down to just over 100 pages to the end of the book now! I feel like we're getting through the book really quickly now. This chapter is obviously going to be about the baseball game. Although perhaps 'baseball' is vampire-speak for something else?

Edward takes Bella home where they find Jacob and Billy's car parked outside the house. Edward is kind of annoyed about this. Presumably because Billy has come to warn Charlie that Bella is shacking up with a vampire; obviously the better choice in this dating scenario would be a werewolf.
It comes as a surprise to me when Edward decides to let Bella handle the situation. He just instructs Bella to get the guys inside and that he'll be back later.

"Do you want my truck?" I offered, meanwhile wondering how I would explain its absence to Charlie.
He rolled his eyes. "I could
walk home faster than this trucks moves."


We get to witness a little smooch goodbye between our favourite klutz and her vampire. Billy is not happy to see this

Once she's away from Edward, Billy explains that he's brought food for Charlie. Bella successfully gets the Blacks inside and then tries to bluff her way through stopping Billy from going out looking for Charlie. Obviously it's only right that she tells her father she's dating a vampire before anyone else does. I do have to wonder why, if Edward can read minds, he didn't just get out the car before they pulled into view of Billy and Jacob, so he could get away unseen.

Billy despatches Jacob to the car in search of something. This leaves Billy and Bella alone, so Bella does the most hospitable thing she can think of and starts rudely hinting that Billy might like to leave now. Billy clearly knows what she's playing at because he quite stubbornly refuses to take the bait and go. He then jumps right into warning Bella about the Cullens and how they have a Very Bad Reputation. Of course, Bella's heard all this before and she lets Billy know it. That's a bit of a surprise for him.

From this point onwards the conversation becomes increasingly cyclical:

"Charlie likes the Cullens a lot," I hedged. He clearly understood my evasion. His expression was unhappy, but unsurprised.
"Its not my business," he said. "But it may be Charlie's."
"Though it would be my business, again, whether or not I think that it's Charlie's business, right?"

Even Bella seems confused by this point.

Billy gives in after a while and agrees that ultimately this is all up to Bella. All the same, he still tells her to stop it. There's a moment when he seems concerned but then Jacob comes back and interrupts it. Then it's time for them to go.

Home alone at last, Bella gets changed and then has a phone call from Jessica. The short version is the dance was fab and she kissed Mike. Oh, and Jessica wants the gossip on Edward. Luckily Bella is saved from this by Charlie arriving home.

She has to fill him in on Billy's visit, in as much as he brought fish fry. And then she comes clean about hanging around with Edward and their date later. He takes it pretty well:

It appeared that Charlie was having an aneurysm.

Ironic considering a few chapters back he was pushing to find out why she didn't want to go to the dance and didn't have a boyfriend.

Then it turns out that Charlie doesn't actually know which one of the Cullens Edward is. He keeps calling him 'Edwin' as well. Get it right, Charlie. It's Edweird!

"Edward is the youngest, the one with the reddish brown hair." The beautiful one, the godlike one…

Once the shock of someone actually wanting to date Bella passes, Charlie handles it all quite well. I think he spends more time dwelling on the thought of Bella playing baseball than he did getting outraged about her going on a date. And it's just as well that Bella chose this moment to come clean because they've barely covered the basics before Edward shows up to collect Bella.

Charlie clearly has to resist the urge to interrogate Edward. He does the stern father thing for a moment until Bella gets fed up with it all and leaves. Could've been some awkward conversation there if they hadn't left when they did, what with Edward being about fifty years older than Bella's father!

Edward's car this evening is a monster Jeep, complete with an 'offroading harness'. That sounds a wee bit ominous. It's also not Edward's car. This one belongs to Emmett. I'm seriously curious about how the Cullens afford all these cars. The insurance must be through the roof!

Something Edward said to Bella when she got in the car about not running all the way suddenly strikes Bella. She realises that he apparently intends for them to run at least part of the way to wherever they're going. Edward carefully reassures her that she won't be the one doing the running. This is followed up by another compliment about the way she smells:

"You smell so good in the rain," he explained.
"In a good way, or in a bad way?" I asked cautiously.
He sighed. "Both, always both."

I'm guessing this is because she smells good enough to eat. Nice smell, bad thing to do.

They bump along in the Jeep for a while until Edward announces that it's on foot from here. This means another piggyback run. Remember how Bella felt after the last one? Well, she remembers that and sort of freaks out a bit. Which prompts Edweird to announce that he'll have to do a little memory modification:

"Now," he breathed, and just his smell disturbed my thought processes, "what exactly are you worrying about?"
"Well, um, hitting a tree –" I gulped "- and dying. And then getting sick."

Got your priorities straight there, Bella.

Also, not only does Edweird go poking around in other people's minds where he's not wanted, but he also goes fiddling around in their memories as well! Charming.

There's a bit of kissing as he relieves her fears. By the end of this I'm not entirely sure if he did actually eliminate her fears or if she's just given up protesting and is just going along with it regardless of how she feels. This bit does leave me wondering how, if he can't read Bella's thoughts, he's able to tamper with her mind?

Anyway, by this point she's on his back and they're racing through the forest together. Bella's behaviour before the run has made Edweird angry, for reasons that I don't quite get other than the fact that Edweird often gets angry for no apparent reason. Edweird's attitude has annoyed Bella so when they reach their destination she starts walk off, only to be told that she's going the wrong way. Oops.

"Don't be mad, I couldn't help myself. You should have seen your face." He chuckled before he could stop himself.
"Oh, you're the only one who's allowed to get mad?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.
"I wasn't mad at you."

She does kind of have a point there.

This conversation then descends into an argument about whether or not he was mad, and if he was mad, whether or not he was mad at Bella.

"I'm never angry with you – how could I be? Brave, trusting… warm as you are."

Considering he's never angry with her, he spends an awful lot of time getting angry around her. Turns out he's angry with himself for the danger her being with him puts her in. That probably means he shouldn't do things like taking her to a vampire baseball game. It's quite the confusing conversation, but it's all made okay because he tells her he loves her. Aww. Romance.

And then it's time to go play ball.

Hidden in the middle of the forest is a massive baseball pitch. The rest of the Cullens are all there waiting for them. I still find the idea of a bunch of vampires playing sports together really bizarre. Also, is Bella just going to watch? Because boring!

"Are you ready for some ball?" Edward asked, his eyes eager, bright.

Clearly I am a disgusting human being, but I can't read that without thinking it sounds kind of dirty.

Esme is left to keep Bella company; looks like Edward trusts his family not to eat his girlfriend. Esme's not playing, she's acting as referee which gives us time to learn a little bit more about her (though she's obviously not as interesting as Carlisle seeing as she doesn't get a chapter all about her). She views her fellow Cullens as her family and children. This is a good thing for her because she lost a baby just a few days after he was born, this led to her trying to kill herself by jumping off a cliff. All of this is very matter-of-fact. Can you imagine trying to kill yourself to escape that awful pain and then finding some jerk's made you immortal? You'd have to deal with it or go crazy. Are there vampire therapists?

Esme also lets slip that she's quite pleased Bella has hooked up with Edward. As his surrogate mother, even though he's technically older than she is, she wants to see him happy. This makes me wonder if vampires' emotional development is arrested when they're made immortal, so even though Esme is younger than Edward (chronologically) she's got the emotional experience of being older than him in adult life experiences.

And so they play baseball. A game I know virtually nothing about. From what I can work out vampire baseball is exactly the same as regular baseball except it's playing in fast-forward so most of the time you don't know where the ball is. We do learn that they have to play during storms because the sounds they make hitting the ball (and each other) are just like thunder and lightning. By playing during stormy weather they avoid being discovered.

The game is going well until Alice and Edward suddenly stop. This is because the new vampires Alice had warned them about are on their way a lot sooner than expected. They've heard the game and are coming to investigate. It's immediately clear that Bella will be in danger, since the newcomers might not have the same outlook on eating humans as the Cullens. But there's no time to get away. Alice assures them that there's only three vampires on their way, so the decision is made; they just keep playing.

Edward does swap places with Esme in order to stay close to Bella. He has a bizarre moment where he tries to disguise her smell by letting her hair down; because that's how smells work. Alice is quick to tell him that it makes no difference, Bella is just too smelly.

There's also the danger that the newcomers might be thirsty, which would definitely spell more trouble for Bella. Edward's kicking himself for bringing her here now and all they can do is wait as the new vampires approach.

Haven't we covered a lot of ground in this chapter? I'm surprised it wasn't divided in two, I could see the whole Charlie finding out about Edward and meeting each other for the first time being a chapter in itself, instead it was really short. It took me most of the latter half of Titanic to read it all! The game was almost entirely lost on me, but I imagine it's the sort of thing that will play out well on screen. And I am just a bit curious about what's going to happen with these new vampires.

Today's questions:

  • Does 'baseball' actually mean something else for vampires? Uh, nope. It means baseball.
  • Why didn't Edward read Billy and Jacob's minds, know they were there, and get out of sight before they saw him?
  • Will Charlie find out that Edward is a vampire?
  • How do the Cullens afford these fancy cars, not just buying them, but running them as well?
  • How can Edward tamper with Bella's memories when he can't read her mind?
  • Is Bella just going to watch everyone else play baseball? Yes. Yes she is.
  • Do vampires have therapists?
  • When someone becomes a vampire, is their emotional development frozen at the age they are fixed at?

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