Friday, 18 March 2016

Chapter-by-Chapter: New Moon, Chapter 10

I've been putting this off most of the week but I've finally gotten around to reading Chapter 10. Let's see what Jacob's been getting up to.

Onward to Chapter 10: The Meadow

What Happens?

Jacob's still out of action so Bella decides to go walking in the woods without him. Miraculously, she finds the meadow without killing herself, but there's someone unexpected waiting for her. Unluckily for the person waiting for her, there's someone there to see him off too.

Thoughts as I read:

This chapter is called 'The Meadow' so I'm guessing that perhaps they will finally make it to the meadow, that's if Jacob has recovered from his mystery illness. If not, it'll be about Bella whining about her lack of going to the meadow. One or the other.

When we left Bella last week she was waiting for Jacob to call her back to let her know he was feeling better. Well, he doesn't. Bella gets her stalker on and calls him, but only gets to speak to Billy, and when that doesn't get her anywhere, she drives round. Except the house is empty and there's no one around. And their not at the hospital either, because she stalks goes there too.

Eventually Bella gets Charlie to call some guy called Harry Clearwater who lets her know there's been some trouble with the phone lines and that Jacob's got mono. Oh, and he's to have no visitors. That means you, Bella.

So she does what any normal person in this day and age does, and Googles it. And what she reads online doesn't tie up with any of Jacob's symptoms. She's still pretty suspicious and it doesn't get any better when she discovers that mono can last for a month. That means a month of no Jake. Why is he suddenly being called Jake?!

Anyway, she decides to wait a week and then start trying to worm her way in.
And it's a long week. Luckily we don't have to hear about it because Meyer decides to time skip ahead and then just tell us about how awful it was.

Surprisingly, Jacob doesn't try contacting Bella during this time and the phone lines are still down so she can't get through to call him.

The dreams got hard again. I could no longer see the end coming. Just the horrible nothingness – half the time in the forest, half the time in the empty fern sea where the white house no longer existed. Sometimes Sam Uley was there in the forest, watching me again. I paid him no attention – there was no comfort in his presence; it made me feel no less alone. It didn't stop me screaming myself awake, night after night.

And Bella's mood goes downhill again. Charlie really should've gotten her into therapy or something.
Saturday finally rolls around and Billy answers the phone, only to inform Bella that it wasn't mono after all, Jacob's much better. So much better in fact that he's gone up to Port Angeles with some friends, without even giving Bella a second thought. Way to go, Billy, get your son away from Bella before she can mess him up too much!

Of course, this launched Bella into another angst-fest. Jacob's well enough to go out but has decided against wasting his time on someone who can't have feelings for him back. To be honest, I wouldn't blame him. I'd fake mono to get out of seeing Bella for a while!

There's a funny moment where Charlie reveals he's going out fishing with one of his friends, then has a little 'oh crap!' moment when he realises that perhaps he's supposed to offer to spend time with his lonely daughter instead. She lets him know that she'll hang with Jessica and study instead so he doesn't feel as bad. Which reminds Charlie that he needs to make sure she stays out of the woods; there's a missing hiker and more reports of bears. I suspect that he's got a bit of a motive here since he knows that Bella can't resist doing something once she's been told not to. She'll head into the woods, get eaten by a bear and everyone will have a far quieter existence.

I wasn't really listening to his warnings; I was much more upset by the situation with Jacob than by the possibility of being eaten by a bear.

Being the mature, responsible teenager that we've come to know and love, Bella decides to heed her father's warnings, gathers up the map and prepares to go hunting for the mysterious meadow. Alone. Smart plan, Bella.

Funnily enough, she feels somewhat uneasy on her walk. Can't imagine it has anything to do with the risk of a giant maneating bear being out on the loose in the area. But then she stumbles into the clearing and all that is forgotten in a wave of disappointment. She's actually glad she didn't find the spot with Jacob because otherwise he would've seen how crushed she was when they arrived.

But before she can wallow too deeply in self-pity, someone appears on the other side of the clearing. And it's a vampire!

It's also not Edward.

Turns out Laurent, one of the group of vampires who had included the one who wanted to eat Bella. She's quite pleased because it reassures her that the whole Edward-thing was actually real at some point in the past. Laurent on the other hand is surprised to see her here, not as surprised as she is to see him; after all, he was supposed to be in Alaska, not eating people.

"I'm surprised they left you behind. Weren't you a sort of pet of theirs?" His eyes were innocent of any intended offense.
I smiled wryly. "Something like that."

Unfortunately for Bella, it's not until she's in the middle of conversation with him that she realises what's slightly unnerving about the guy; his eyes are black, not golden. And that means that Laurent is feeling peckish. And Bella's all on her own. With a hungry vampire. And haven't we done this before?

Luckily for Bella, and unluckily for us, this is where Edward's voice pops up in the back of her mind, suggesting that she make out like the Cullens are always popping round for tea and biscuits, and of course, to check on how their 'sort of pet' is getting on. So Bella gets babbling about how everyone's doing and how it's best if she doesn't mention this little meeting to Edward because he probably won't take it too well, what with the whole 'James' thing.

By now Laurent is revealing that he occasionally 'cheat's on the programme. That would mean he takes the occasional snack on a conveniently located human, like, say, Bella is right now. All the same, Bella tries to remain conversational while the voice in the back of her head gives her helpful instructions like 'don't move'. Does this mean that Edward is about to show up again? So far this book has been pretty dull and I'm torn between thinking that'll liven things up, and will kill the story completely.

It takes a few pages to get to the point, but eventually Laurent comes clean about his reason for visiting. He intends to kill Bella. Is it really wrong that I gave a little internal cheer at that moment? Laurent needs to do this for Victoria, who was the other vampire in the last book; the one who was James's mate, the vampire Edward killed. Laurent just showed up to track Bella down, but now that she's walked into his hands so easily, Laurent's not about to pass up a golden opportunity, even if it means disappointing dear Vicky when she doesn't get to do the deed herself.

At least Laurent is a bit of a gentleman about it, promising to kill Bella quickly, rather than the way Victoria has planned. That's something I suppose. It's funny how desperate Bella was to end it all, until she's actually faced with death and then she suddenly very much wants to live.

And it's about to happen, when the bear-monster-thing ambles into the clearing. Except it seems to be rather wolfish as well. Whatever it is, Laurent is scared. And with good reason because two more of these wolves have just shown up alongside the first.

We also get a glimpse of what is still to come in the book, because the eyes of one of the wolves remind Bella of Jacob; they're too intelligent to be animal eyes. I wonder if, in fact, the wolf could actually be Jacob.

Side note here, when we're talking to Tara about wolves or werewolves, we call them woofs and werewoofs. It's taking everything in me not to type 'woof' for 'wolf' here right now.

It's all over in a matter of minutes. The wolves chase Laurent off and Bella is left alone again, in the meadow. Bella's a little baffled about the wolves' decision to leave the weaker option alone and go after the fierce scary vampire. Eventually Bella gets it together enough to head home, which takes a while because she's not got a clue where she's going now.

Back home she has to admit to Charlie that she disobeyed and went hiking. But at least she has something useful to pass on; that the bear isn't a bear at all, it's a giant wolf (and that the missing hiker was probably Laurented, but Charlie's unlikely to believe that one).

"Tell me what happened."
"They didn't pay any attention to me. But after they were gone, I ran away and I fell down a lot."

Charlie also gives Bella a bit of news. He saw Jacob in town arguing with some friends. Oh, and he looks bigger again. But Jacob always looks bigger so this isn't really news.

Then Bella goes to bed, but she doesn't sleep, instead she's struck with horror at the thought of what will happen if Victoria or Laurent come back for her. It isn't going to be pretty, whatever happens.

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