Friday, 7 August 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 20

You know the saying 'better late than never'. I am the living embodiment of that saying! At least I have got this uploaded. And I managed to take the dog for a walk before I did it, so I've hit my step target as well today. I'm such an overachiever.

Anyway, earlier today we had Chapter 19, which saw Bella and Edward faking a break up so that Bella could be whisked away to safety. There was a lot of Bella being carried around by various vampires, as well as a bit of clothes swapping as well. Now we get to see how that plan is playing out in Chapter 20: Impatience.

What Happens?

Bella, Alice and Jasper hang out in a hotel, waiting to hear from the Cullens about what's happening with the tracker. Bella learns a little about how vampires are made as well. Edward reveals that the tracker got away from them and Alice has a vision about where he's going next. And it doesn't look good for Bella's mum!

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter is called 'Impatience' which is kind of how I feel about reaching the end of this book! The next few chapters are mercifully short but the last one looks epic. My guess for this chapter is that Bella will be impatient about something. Who knows what?!

When I woke up I was confused. My thoughts were hazy, still twisted up in dreams and nightmares; it took me longer than it should have to realize where I was.

Ah, starting a chapter with Bella waking up. How original.

She's in a hotel so we have to recap how we got to this point, since when we last saw her she was preparing to leave Forks. Bella's remembering the journey, sitting close to Alice in the backseat. What with all the touching and sniffing and closeness, I'm getting a bit of a vibe from these two. Edward had better watch out. I bet there's some pretty steamy femslash written about Bella and Alice.

They basically drove all night until eventually Jasper asked where the airport was. Umm… where are we now? I actually have no clue because although there are some important geographical features mentioned like 'I-ten' and 'Sky Harbor International', they don't actually mean anything to me. I'm sure people of an American persuasion understand what this means.

Somewhere after this point Bella fell asleep and was relocated to a hotel. Oh, and it's now 3am. At which point Alice stops by and does her best to look after Bella:

She smiled. "I ordered some food for you, it's in the front room. Edward reminded me that you have to eat a lot more frequently than we do."

Aww. I think I'd much rather read a book about Alice.

Now they have nothing else to do but wait, wherever they are, for Carlisle to call. He should've called by now but hasn't. This is clearly Not A Good Thing. To take their mind off this, Jasper asks why Bella is frightened. I'm guessing he means aside from the obvious; having run away from home, spending the night with two bloodsuckers she barely knows, having a murderous tracker after her. Bella isn't actually too concerned about any of these things. She's worried about things going wrong and something happening to one of the Cullens because of her.

Jasper's cool with it all though because they can cope. What does worry them is losing Bella because Edward is so attached to her:

Alice interrupted this time, touching my cheek with her cold fingers. "It's been almost a century that Edward's been alone. Now he's found you. You can't see the changes that we see, we who have been with him for so long. Do you think any of us want to look into his eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you?"

Again with the touching, Alice?! Also, surely he'll lose her sooner or later, there'll be a lot of raised eyebrows if she's forty and still hanging around with someone who looks like a teenager.

Alice doesn't really reassure Bella though. Now she feels guilty as well as ruined. Nice going, guys.

Then they wait. And wait. And wait. Bella amuses herself by looking around the room and memorising it. It's about as thrilling to read as it must've been to actually do. When Bella does get up and leave the room, Alice follows her. This is actually quite convenient because it gives Bella someone to talk to and lets us learn something else about vampires.

But first some speculation on what the others are up to. The plan was to lead the tracker north and then they'd ambush him. They've either not called because there's nothing to tell, because they don't want to be overheard and put the others in danger, or because it's all gone horribly, horribly wrong.

In the meantime, Bella gets more personal with Alice. She wants to know how vampires are made, although this is something that Edward doesn't want Bella to know about. Why? Is he scared she'll want to become one? Alice doesn't want to go against his wishes but Bella plays the friend card and kind of forces her into it. I'm glad of this because this is something I've been wondering myself.

Here it is in a potted version:

Vampires are 'physically attractive' to the people they want to eat. To draw them to them or something. These vampires have venom to incapacitate their victims which causes them terrible pain so that they can't get away. That's… nice.

"It takes a few days for the transformation to be complete, depending on how much venom is in the bloodstream, how close the venom enters to the heart. As long as the heart keeps beating, the poison spreads, healing, changing the body as it moves through it. Eventually the heart stops, and the conversion is finished. But all that time, every minute of it, a victim would be wishing for death."

I'm so glad we've learned all this.

Alice mentions something about vampires being like sharks and being drawn to blood. That's gotta be awkward around women at certain times of the month. Oh, and people are like Pringles for them; once they pop, they just can't stop. One bite can start a feeding frenzy. Alice is lucky enough not to remember anything about her transformation.

Then something happens and Alice is on the alert with Jasper. She's getting a vision of a room, there's something about a decision being made, a room with mirrors and someone watching a video. This makes no sense to Bella and even less to me. Luckily Jasper knows what it means; the tracker's plans have changed and this place Alice has seen is where he's going next.

So the tracker's escaped from the Cullen's hunt. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess he's coming for Bella.

Carlisle phones and after speaking to Alice for a moment Bella and Edward get to have a chat. Charlie is safe but they have no idea where the tracker is going. Weirdly, Charlie has gone to work instead of, y'know, trying to track down his distraught teenage daughter who ran off into the night.

"I miss you," I whispered.
"I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It's like you've taken half my self away with you."
"Come and get it then," I challenged.


Alice sketches the room from her vision and Bella immediately recognises it as a ballet studio. I'm disappointed that there's no clumsy young Bella story about her mum making her have ballet lessons and injuring half the class.

Oh. Wait. She did have dance lessons when she was little. And the room is familiar. Though Bella's got no reason to go back there, as predicted she was an awful dancer. It's weird that the tracker has decided that this is where he's going to go next. But it doesn't take long to figure out the link. The dance studio is just round the corner from Renee's house. And she's coming back from Florida soon. So now Bella's putting her mum in danger too.

So Bella leaves a cryptic voicemail for her mum which is basically just begging her to call when she gets the message. And with that out of the way Bella finally manages to doze off. Once again, Alice carries her to bed.

I bet next chapter begins with Bella waking up. Again.

I did like finding out how these vampires are made. It's always interesting to learn about Twilight!Vampires. But I struggled to take him much more of this chapter because I kept getting distracted by the fact that Alice seems to have a bit of a thing for Bella.

And here's what this chapter has me wondering about:

  • Does Alice fancy Bella? Is the feeling mutual?
  • Where is this hotel?
  • Can we have a whole book about Alice?
  • Why doesn't Edward want Bella to know how vampires are made?
  • Why isn't Charlie trying to find Bella?

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