Friday, 15 January 2016

Chapter-by-Chapter: New Moon, Chapter 5

How cool is this? I've managed to get a post up every day for a fortnight! Let's just take a moment to celebrate.

Okay. Done.

Moving on to New Moon. Last week's chapter saw Bella's dad calling her on her moping around so she went out with her friend Jess to the cinema. It was awkward to say the least, especially when she decided to go and confront one of the guys who threatened to attack her in the last book. Luckily it wasn't one of those guys, but Jess was thoroughly unimpressed and it put a total dampener on the evening.

Now on with Chapter 5: Cheater

What Happens?

Bella decides to be reckless and acquires a couple of motorcycles; one of her father's least favourite things in the world. Then she recruits her hot young friend, Jacob Black, to help her get them running. Did I mention he's hot? He's hot? This is the start of a new and improved Bella.

Thoughts as I read:

I'm guessing that either Bella's going to throw herself at one of her friends' boyfriends and therefore become a cheater, or she's going to cheat on some important test, thus causing drama. It's going to be a thrilling fourteen pages, I can tell.

Bella's at work but Mike's suggesting she head off early since it's quiet but Bella's happy to stay. She's got nothing better to do with her time, remember.

I still hadn't been able to sink back into my protective shell of numbness, and everything seemed oddly close and loud today, like I'd taken cotton out of my ears. I tried to tune out the laughing hikers without success.

There's two guys still in the store who are sharing mountain war stories. One's seen massive grizzly bears. He's either lying or there are some sort of shape shifters that we're yet to meet in the series. The guy with a beard tries to get Mike on his side about the giant bears. Mike's a pretty good salesperson and starts trying to sell them bear-safe food containers.

Bella leaves before we can hear any more about the bears, or the bear-safe food canisters.
Instead we get about a page more of Bella moaning. She's still in pain and she's struggling to sleep and when she does get to sleep she's having nightmares. And wah wah wah. I'm sorry, Bella, you're not the only one to have broken up with your boyfriend.

I always had nightmares now, every night. Not nightmares really, not in the plural, because it was always the same nightmare. You'd think I'd get bored after so many months, grow immune to it. But the dream never failed to horrify me, and only ended when I woke myself with screaming. Charlie didn't come in to see what was wrong anymore, to make sure there was no intruder strangling me or something like that – he was used to it now.

One, Charlie is right to insist that Bella needs professional help, and two, if she was being strangled, I'm now sure he'd actually hear her screaming. Just saying.

Bella's dream is pretty much nothing. It's dark and she's looking for something and then she can't remember what she's searching for. And she knows that the nothing is all that there will ever be. And this leads to more moping as she drives without really paying attention to where she's going; so now she's endangering other road users as well. Luckily she pulls over and curls up on the seat to cry. It's better than crashing the car or hurting someone.

Jeez, this girl really needs a counsellor.

Next we're onto the fact that despite Edward's insistence that it would be like she'd never been there, even though it really is like he'd been there because she was completely changed inside. And now there's no reason why she shouldn't be totally reckless, even if Edward's told her she can't be stupid, there's nothing really stopping her from being reckless. Perhaps that will mean we'll get to see something interesting instead of all this whining.

To be reckless in Forks would take a lot of creativity –maybe more than I had. But I wished I could find some way… I might feel better if I weren't holding fast, all alone, to a broken pact.

Yeah, Bella, you're really not that creative. Surely if you had any degree of creativity, you'd have found a way to stop all this destructive cycle and move on already.

With this plan of creative recklessness in its embryonic stages, Bella decides to get out and wander. Except her truck is parked in the way of some of their neighbours' driveways. It's while she's looking at this that she notices a sign in front of one of the houses' mailbox. It's a FOR SALE sign. For a motorcyle. Charlie's least favourite mode of transport. What better way for his daughter to be properly reckless.

So she heads up to the door where one of the Marks brothers answers it. He informs her that the bike doesn't work, but Bella doesn't care, I'm sure she knows someone who can help her fix it up. The Marks brother invites her to just help herself and that it's best if she takes both, for free, since she could use parts from one to fix up the other. I was right, she's got plans to get Jacob Black to do it all for her; the other option is to take it to some guy called John Dowling who charges people a fortune for repairs. Poor Jacob.

Back at home she calls her dad at work, instantly sending him into a panic in case there's something else wrong with her. There isn't, she just wants Jacob's address and directions to it. Once there Jacob comes out to see her at the truck and I get the impression that he might just be her new obsession:

His excited grin stretch wide across his face, the bright teeth standing in vivid contrast to the deep russet colour of his skin. I'd never seen his hair out of its usual ponytail before. It fell like black satin curtains on either side of his broad face.

He's not made out of marble or sparkly but he's definitely getting a 'good-looking guy' description. Especially as the description of him goes on for a whole extra paragraph so we know we're definitely talking about Edward Cullen levels of hotness here. The gist of this is that he's now a lot taller than last year, he's six foot five.

Bella's invited in and it's time to say hello to Billy before going back outside to see the car Jacob's working on. Jacob has a little garage where he does his work. I know nothing about cars, but I'm guessing this is some sort of classic Volkswagen. It's as old as I am anyway and it was Jacob's reward for passing on Billy's warning to Bella at the dance last year.

I don't think Bella's really that interested in the car, as soon as she can get the conversation around to it, she tells Jacob about the motorbikes. He thinks this is really cool, he doesn't want paying and he agrees not to tell Charlie. Looks like Bella's really scored here.

Actually, I take it back, she's offering him the second bike so long as he teaches her how to ride. I'd say that's a pretty fair exchange. And then there's the offer of a date too. Run, Jacob! Run as fast as you can!

This makes Bella happy. I suppose that's something. It's probably because she's finally getting her mind off of Edward and focusing on something positive. Motorbikes might be dangerous but at least it's a hobby. Personally I prefer needlework or knitting, but each to their own.

Jacob does point out that it's going to take some money for parts. Bella's got that covered too. She's going to use her college fund. It's not like she needs to go to college anyway after all.

As we skulked back to the makeshift garage, I contemplated my luck. Only a teenage boy would agree to this: deceiving both our parents while repairing dangerous vehicles using money meant for my college education. He didn't see anything wrong with that picture. Jacob was a gift from the gods.

So not only is Bella being reckless, but she's encouraging a younger friend to join her. Way to go, Bella.

And actually, I kind of think that this book is improving now that we're getting slightly less moping over Edward. Long may it continue.

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