Friday, 8 January 2016

Chapter-by-Chapter: New Moon, Chapter 4

We've had a bit of a wait, but I'm getting well and truly back on track with the blog (I've actually started a Bullet Journal this year and my top task for January is to kickstart the blog again, so far I think I'm doing okay). And as things getting going again, that means a return to my Chapter-by-Chapter posts. I'm just planning on doing a chapter a week until I get back into the swing of things, but I hope to increase that later on like I did before because that way we get through it quicker.

Firstly, what has happened so far. Well, not a lot really. The last three chapters can be boiled down into the following three sentences: Bella wanted Edward to turn her into a vampire. He didn't want to so they broke up and he left Forks. Bella is miserable.

Though that last one isn't really a new event in these books.

Anyway, onto Chapter 4: Waking Up

What Happens?

Bella is still miserable but she takes offence when her dad suggests she speak to someone, instead proving to him that she's fine by arranging an awkward trip to see a movie with Jessica. Bella then plays with danger and freaks out her friend, but also freaks herself out when she hears Edward's voice in her head. It's fine though, because Bella's cool with all this.

Thoughts as I read:

Fancy that, a whole chapter called Waking Up. That seems to be what half the chapters start with.

Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.

Actually, I do kind of like that bit. I think we all have moments like that which we can relate to.

Charlie's obviously had enough of Bella's moping around because the chapter properly starts with him deciding that he's had enough and is sending Bella back to her mother in Jacksonville. Bella is confused by this outburst because she hasn't done anything, and that's the problem, Charlie is annoyed because she isn't doing anything. He's fed up with her moping around. Ironically he claims that she is 'lifeless' which is kind of funny because it was her lack of lifelessness that started all of this.

After a bit of back and forth, Charlie suggests that Bella might need some professional help. I'm glad he's finally woken up to this because I've been saying it for the last book and a quarter!

I didn't know much about psychoanalysis, but I was pretty sure that it didn't work unless the subject was relatively honest. Sure, I could tell the truth – if I wanted to spend the rest of my life in a padded cell.

That might be best for all of us, Bella.

Bella tries to come up with reasons why she shouldn't leave Forks, among these reasons are the fact that it's her last semester at school and she wants to give her mum and stepdad some space. The truth is, she'd much rather just hang around just in case Edward comes back and tries to get in touch with her. Honestly, Bella, he's got the whole world at his finger tips and I really think he's over you. It's time to move on, girl.

Anyway, Bella shuts up her father by announcing that she's off to school and she'll make plans with Jessica. And then she's off. Unfortunately, we go with her.

She gets to school early and uses her free time to study, something she's been doing a lot of since the break up. They're now working on Animal Farm in English; I'm looking forward to hearing what she thinks of this one. Things continue in the same sort of bland fashion, until eventually she's in class and Mike wants to know if she's working the following Saturday. She is, as usual.

Bella's behaviour has isolated her from most of her non-vampire friends so she's trying to think up a way to get back in with them to keep Charlie happy. Jessica is less than welcoming when Bella deigns to talk to her but she gradually warms up when it appears that Bella is making an effort. Well that's nice, I do think Bella needs some live friends and to just get on with her life now. At least now Bella has plans to see a movie called 'Dead End' which Jessica thinks is about zombies. My money is on it actually being about vampires and it's going to send Bella into another downward spiral.

One of my thoughts at the end of the last proper chapter was whether or not Edward had taken the stereo from her car when he effectively erased himself from her life. Well, at the end of the day, my question is answered. Bella has a bin bag in her closet and the stereo is in there; she pulled it out of her car dashboard with her bare hands apparently. I'm impressed.

I get that Bella is supposed to be miserable but I'm finding it hard to notice any real difference between her happy with Edward and unhappy without him.

I glanced at myself in the hall mirror before I opened the door, arranging my features carefully into a smile and trying to hold them there.

Jess picks her up and they make awkward small talk together while Jessica drives. Bella goes for the easy option and starts talking about whether Jessica is seeing anyone. I don't think this is a good topic of conversation to keep Bella's mind from Edward, because surely Jess is going to ask whether she's heard from Edward or make some other helpful comment which will just depress Bella again.

At the cinema Bella is horrified to find the film opens with a couple at a beach. Romance, just what she was hoping to avoid.

"I thought we picked the zombie movie," I hissed to Jessica.
is the zombie movie."
"Then why isn't anyone getting eaten?" I asked desperately.

I bet it's because it's a vampire movie!

We don't get to find out right away though as Bella heads out to get popcorn to avoid any of the slushy scenes that might be coming up. By the time she gets back almost everyone is a zombie according to Jess. I'm disappointed. I was looking forward to Bella discovering she was watching a vampire movie and having the inevitable freak out. In the end, it comes anyway, when she realises that she bears more than a passing resemblance to the zombie attacker out to get the last survivor. So she runs out.

That's a bit of a disappointment really. All that time that she wanted to be turned into a vampire, and Edward managed to turn her into a zombie instead. Bummer.

Jessica thinks that the reason Bella left was because she was scared and Bella doesn't see any reason to correct her. Jessica just assumes that all is right with the world and Bella returns to her previously scheduled moping. Getting out with a friend was such a good idea.

The night goes from bad to worse when Jessica leads Bella off in the direction of McDonald's, taking a route down a poorly lit street which involves passing a bar called 'One-Eyed Pete's'. You can imagine the unsavoury characters they'll be likely to meet along here. It doesn't take long for Bella to recognise a guy from a year ago when Edward saved her from being attacked. Bella obviously does the logical thing and starts walking towards these menacing looking men.

Bizarrely, Bella doesn't feel afraid, she's actually enjoying whatever emotion it is that she's feeling right now. I wonder if it's because these guys might just recognise her and remember her as the girl who got them beaten up by a teenage boy, so know better than to get involved this time. Or perhaps deep down she's hoping Edward will swoop in from nowhere to save her like he always promised to. Jess tries to stop her, but Bella heads on towards the bar.

And then Bella starts hearing voices. Well, one voice in particular and I think we can all guess whose voice she's hearing. Turns out Edward is keeping his promise to keep her safe, as he orders to her return to Jessica. Except he's not actually there, he's just in her head somehow. That's, um, not normal.

Bella realises this and decides that he somehow knows that she is in danger and is projecting his voice into her head. They're connected somehow and dear god, does this mean that she's never going to get over him because he's going to be in her head all the time? Man, that's going to make this into a long book!

Unfortunately by the time Bella makes the decision that what she was planning to do was a very bad idea, even though I'm not entirely sure just what it was she was planning. Was she going to walk past the guys? Speak to them? Attack them? Who knows. These guys aren't the ones who attacked her the previous year. Oops. And they actually seem quite nice. Oh well.

Jessica is understandably a little miffed at Bella's behaviour and it kind of kills the mood. It's okay though, because Bella's over the whole evening as well.

I waited for the numbness to return, or the pain. Because the pain must be coming. I'd broken my personal rules. Instead of shying away from the memories, I'd walked forward and greeted them. I'd heard his voice, so clearly, in my head. That was going to cost me, I was sure of it. Especially if I couldn't reclaim the haze to protect myself, I felt too alert, and that frightened me.

Bella is just a barrel of laughs at the moment, isn't she?

It appears that she doesn't really need Edward, she just needs to know that he was there. If that was truly the case, then she should be able to move on, compartmentalise that as being part of her life which is now behind her and get on with whatever is yet to come. Instead she's acting more like an addict who is trying to get by until her next fix; she knows it's out there and sooner or later she'll be able to get some more, until then she just has to get by in whatever way she can, when she gets it everything will be okay.

And that's why she has to stay in Forks, because here she knows it was real and if she goes somewhere else she might feel like it never happened. Okay, I can sort of see what she means by this, but all the same, coupled with her current outlook, it doesn't seem like a healthy way to move forward.

Jessica still isn't really talking to Bella when she gets dropped off at home. Charlie is confused because he didn't believe Bella was actually going out. And so Bella heads up to bed and we get another full page of her hopelessness. But it's all okay really because she's now been 'woken up' and who knows what will happen next.

I bet there's going to be more of the same. I wish Bella could just get over Edward. I get being sad and depressed after your first serious relationship but it's been four months and she's still in this funk. She seriously needs professional help. I doubt whether she's going to get it any time soon.

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