Friday, 5 February 2016

Chapter-by-Chapter: New Moon, Chapter 8

Friday means it's time for another Chapter-by-Chapter blog post.

Last week we saw Bella and Jacob preparing to take the completed motorbikes out for a spin; we also learned that there are strange things going on amongst the teenage boys on the Reservation, and that Jacob enjoys jumping off of cliffs in his spare time.

Now we're onto Chapter 8: Adrenaline

What Happens?

Not much. Charlie gets suspicious about all the injuries Bella seems to be getting so Jacob suggests they cool it for a while. Bella is disappointed because whenever she goes out on the bike she hears Edward's voice. Then she realises that they could hike to the meadow where she saw Edward sparkling because that'll be a fun way to spend time with her new almost-boyfriend.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter is called 'Adrenaline' which I guess is going to refer to Bella's feelings as she rides the motorbike for the first time. Perhaps she'll also have a run in with Sam and or someone else that Edward would disapprove of, thus giving Bella a burst of adrenaline. Let's read on and find out.

We start off the chapter with Jacob giving Bella a quick overview of the controls of the motorbike. There's a clutch, brakes, throttle and gearshift. Bella confirms that she knows the location of each of them and realises that suddenly riding a motorbike might not be the best of ideas after all:

My stomach was contorting strangely and I thought my voice might crack. I was terrified. I tried to tell myself that the fear was pointless. I'd already lived through the worst thing possible. In comparison with that, why should anything frighten me now? I should be able to look death in the face and laugh.

I've forgotten what the 'worst thing possible' is. I want to say nearly being eaten by a vampire but I suspect that she's talking about Edward dumping her.

We get to watch Jacob starting the bike for Bella because she can't do it without the bike falling over. These few pages are basically a beginners guide to getting started on riding a motorbike, until Bella is suddenly interrupted by a voice telling her that she's being 'reckless and childish and idiotic'. I wonder who that could be.

Bella loses control of the bike and ends up with it on top of her. Instead of worrying about her sanity, she's actually pleased:

More than fine. The voice in my head was back. It still rang in my ears – soft, velvety echoes.

Bella is basically happy that she's found a way to give herself these strange auditory hallucinations. Apparently the motorbike was a good idea because of this. It spurs her on to try again. Sure enough this prompts the voice again, this time asking if she wants to kill herself. Clearly she does because she half ignores it and does what Jacob tells her.

It doesn't take long for her to get the bike moving but unfortunately Jacob hasn't taught her about important things like turning corners. And as one comes up ahead Bella loses control of the bike. Once again she ends up with the bike on top of her until Jacob shows up and rescues her. She doesn't notice the massive cut on her forehead which is gushing with blood until Jacob points it out.

And so Bella needs another trip to the hospital. It's been a while since she was there last, hasn't it?
Except Bella is concerned about her dad finding out about the bikes, so first they have to hide the evidence of the bikes. Jacob is, quite rightly, worried about Bella's head wound but she convinces him otherwise. Meanwhile she's positively thrilled that she's figured out how to get the Edward in her head, or hEdward, to talk to her and is planning more trips out on the bike. Perhaps it might be a good idea to invest in a crash helmet as well as some serious therapy.

I can't really comment on the fact that Bella insists on changing out of her bloody clothes before letting Jacob take her to hospital though, I insisted on changing out of my clothes that I'd spilt dinner down before letting Mr Click take me to hospital when I was was experiencing hyperstimulation and was in excruciating pain. I'll just have to let that one slide.

Bella's clearly concussed or something now because on the way to the ER she finds herself staring at her younger, shirtless companion and musing on just how attractive he is. At first he thinks it's the head injury talking but when Bella assures him it isn't, he takes it as a compliment. I wonder how hEdward feels about Bella's moving on from him. It's like he doesn't want to be in her life but he's happy to be in her head.

She ends up needing seven stitches and having to make up a story about falling over in Jacob's garage, this is highly plausible given how easily she injures herself at the best of times.

A few days later she winds up with a concussion again and this time the hospital calls Charlie, who recommends that perhaps she might be better off out of the garage. So she comes up with a new explanation; now she's hiking with Jacob, which gives Charlie another cause for concern; after all, there's been a big bear spotted out that way.

"Charlie's getting nosy," I complained to Jacob when I picked him up after school Friday.
"Maybe we should cool it with the bikes." He saw my objecting expression and added, "At least for a week or so. You could stay out of the hospital for a week, right?"

Hehe. She'll find that tricky.

Bella's kind of depressed at the thought of not getting to hang out with the auditory hallucination for a while. She really needs to make up her mind about what she wants; either she wants to be with Jacob or she wants to be alone with the voice in her head. It's like she wants Jacob and the voice.

She's desperately trying to come up with new ways to be with Edward or at least the memory of him (and his voice) but all the places she thinks of are too human. She needs something a little bit more vampirish. Then she remembers the field where she first saw him sparkling and thinks that perhaps that's the place she needs to try. So she suggests it to Jacob as a place they could go instead of playing with the bikes.

Surely if all the places she's trying to 'find' a little bit of Edward are too human, taking someone else to one of those places is just going to make that place feel more human too. Jacob is prepared to rise to the challenge though, obviously not knowing why Bella wants to go to the meadow and so it's another date.

Hanging out with Jacob is getting expensive for Bella. Not only has she had to purchase a bunch of motorcycle parts, now she's having to buy hiking boots. Just as well that she gets an employee discount at Newton's. Unlike the motorbikes, Jacob and Bella aren't making any secret of their hiking trip. Even Billy seems enthusiastic about the idea, and not at all concerned at the prospect of the teenagers running into a giant bear. Either he thinks it's all a bit of a joke or he knows something that the rest of us don't.

Out at the trail Bella recognises part of the route to the meadow; it went in the opposite direction to the actual marked trail. She tells Jacob that it's because she's a rebel. There are a lot of things I would have described her as but a rebel's definitely not one of them.

Bella takes advantage of their time walking together to ask Jacob about his friend Embry; Embry's still hanging out with Sam and they're still giving Jacob funny looks. Presumably they know stuff about him that no one else knows yet. I've got a pretty good idea of what it's all about but I'm curious about how the big reveal will be made.

Their first attempt to hike to the meadow is pretty unsuccessful though and in the end they have to admit defeat. But they have a plan for the following Sunday, clearly the hiking is going to become a regular thing.

"Bears don't want to eat people. We don't taste that good." He grinned at me in the dark cab. "Of course, you might be an exception. I bet you'd taste good."
"Thanks so much," I said, looking away. He wasn't the first person to tell me that.

This has been another one of those chapters where not a whole lot has happened. I probably could've skipped this whole chapter and not been any the worse off for it. I hope we get to the bottom of all the stuff with Jacob and Embry and Sam soon.

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