Last week Bella tried to drown herself (by jumping off a cliff) and it wasn't until later in the evening, after someone had died of a non-vampire-related heart attack, that she realised Victoria had been there at the beach with her as well.
Not a huge amount, other than the visitor not being someone we were expecting. And then Bella and that mystery visitor spend a lot of time talking. Seriously. Lot of talking in this chapter!
Thoughts as I read:
If you think that this:
Unnaturally still and white, with her large black eyes intent on my face, my visitor waited perfectly motionless in the center of the hall, beautiful beyond imagining.
is a description of Victoria, you would be wrong. It's Alice!
Yes! That's right! Alice is back. I was not expecting this and I am honestly thrilled! The exclamation marks may be giving that way. Right, breathe, I'm going to calm down.
My one takeaway from the last book is that Alice is the one this series should have been about. She clearly has some sort of crush on Bella (but let's face it, in these books, who doesn't?) and she's way more interesting than anyone else we've met between these pages. If I was writing these books it would basically all be from Alice's point of view and there'd be lots of moaning about her friend and her weird adopted brother. Just saying.
Anyway, Bella pretty much throws herself at Alice. I think the feelings between them are probably mutual. Bella's sort of sniffing her here to try and remember her scent or something because she's forgotten what her friend smells like. Am I weird for not recognising the smells of my friends? I couldn't even tell you what Mr Click smells like and I've been with him for a third of my life!
Bella realises that she's crying and Alice sounds disapproving when she speaks. This is because Bella herself smells amazing and Alice is hungry. Or something. Whatever, Bella. I think she's probably just weirded out over the whole sniffing thing. I think if one of my friends hugged me and then started sniffing me, I'd sound disapproving too. Actually, we all know that would never happen. My friends know better than to try and hug me!
Alice seems to have known that Bella was going to go all suicidal and start jumping off of cliffs and chides Bella for being alive. She's not really sure how Bella survived the fall either. Maybe that's what she sounded disapproving about then.
Alice also promised Edward that she wouldn't go looking into Bella's future, except she can't really help what she sees because she's (and I quote) 'already attuned to [Bella]'. I'm guessing that Alice saw Bella jumping off the cliff and assumed she was killing herself so rushed up to try to save her, not realising that she was a) too late, and b) Jacob had already done it. You've been replaced, girl.
Bella has to then explain that the cliff jumping was 'for recreational purposes only'. Except we all know that's sort of a lie. We get the full thing about how she didn't account for the storm and the currents and the yada-yada-yada. There's obviously something that Alice isn't telling Bella though, because she sniffs her again and asks who Bella was arguing with outside.
Alice proves, once again, that she is both awesome and right:
She rolled her eyes. "He was a fool to think you could survive alone. I've never seen anyone so prone to life-threatening idiocy."
Of course Alice wants to know how Jacob was able to rescue Bella if the currents were so strong. Bella thinks about it for a moment and then decides to totally tell the secret that Jacob trusted her with. I was under the impression that the Cullens already knew this but apparently it's only Carlisle who does. Jacob being a werewolf is news to Bella, but it does help to explain the reason Bella smells funny; it's because she's been hugging Jacob, or something.
The fact that Bella has been hanging around with a young werewolf seems to shock Alice because this is evidence of even more dangerous behaviour. Edward is not going to like this when he hears it.
Bella decides to change the subject by pointing out that technically the vampires having left town yet. Ah, yes. Victoria again. So Bella has to do a recap of everything that has happened in the book so far. It takes a paragraph. That's how little has happened in this book so far. Also, on this page Alice is described as having 'marble skin' twice in the space of about five paragraphs. This grates on me.
After all this Alice pretty much apologises for her rash behaviour in rushing down when she thought Bella was in danger and then makes to leave. Bella demonstrates that their feelings for one another are mutual:
"I could feel the blood draining from my face. My stomach dropped. "Don't go, Alice," I whispered. My fingers locked around the collar of her white shirt and I began to hyperventilate. "Please don't leave me."
Because that's what I always do when my friends prepare to go home, don't you?
It works anyway, because Alice
Then Jacob calls to check up on Bella. Once he's heard she's alive, he hangs up. Obviously he's not happy she's returned to her vampire lovers/friends so quickly when he thought they were making progress together. Poor Jacob. I think he's better off without her.
Bella's all anxious for Alice to stay with her. Mainly for her father's sake. Oh yeah, I forgot about the inappropriate relationship between Bella's father and her gal pal! Having Alice around will definitely cheer up Charlie after he's lost one of his oldest friends. But Alice wants to go back to her own home (and presumably doesn't want to risk being in the building when Victoria shows up to eat Bella). Except, no, she's going to get a change of clothes. Because she loves Bella.
While Alice is gone, Bella showers and tidies up. It's not long before she's back. Apparently her eyes are 'a liquid butterscotch' which sounds messy. I discovered when I made butterbeer that butterscotch is very sticky.
The Cullens have separated and although Edward checks in occasionally, he's not with Carlisle and Esme. Instead of asking 'where is everyone?' Bella has to run through them by name to find out where they've got to and whether they've come down with Alice. We establish that Jasper is also not with her.
Charlie comes home and he's sad. So sad that he doesn't even brighten up that much when he realises Alice is there. I'm kind of disappointed because I always expect these books to go the unintentionally funny route, so I thought he'd completely forget about his dead friend and would go into full-on celebration mode that Alice was visiting.
Once Alice and Bella are alone again, we learn that Carlisle doesn't even know Alice is here. There's no way that this is a bad idea at all, is there?
Bella then goes to sleep, in what would be a perfectly placed chapter ending. But it isn't, there's another six pages to go so something big must be coming up.
Next morning Charlie and Alice are chatting in the kitchen without Bella being there. It's just as well she's not there because it soon becomes apparent that they're talking about her. Charlie had been on the verge of hospitalising Bella after Edward left. I can't help but think he should've just forged ahead and done it really.
After a page of all the weird and crazy stuff Bella did, Charlie switches over to what a good friend Jacob Black is. He clearly wants Alice to feed this back to Edward. I do have to admit, if Edward and Bella weren't both so weird, Bella and Jacob would be a pretty sweet match. I think he can do better though.
Then it's back to what Bella's been through and how she's acting like someone died. Listening in, Bella's rather dramatic response is that it was like she had died. Okay then Bella, not helping your case there really. Charlie's also anxious about Alice's visit causing a set back in Bella's healing. Considering how absent and clueless he can come across at sometimes, Charlie actually knows his daughter pretty well. He should really go with his gut and get her some help instead of relying on a teenage boy to do it for him.
Apparently Edward is in South America, or was the last time Alice heard from him. I wonder if this is true or if Alice is just making it up.
Things sound as though they might be getting a little frosty between Alice and her father, so Bella decides it's time for her to stop eavesdropping and 'wake up'. And Charlie has to leave allowing Alice and Bella a little more alone time.
And they talk. A lot. Mostly about what the other Cullens are up to.
The most interesting part of this is who Alice was before. Originally she was Mary Alice Brandon and she still has surviving family members, a niece, specifically. Apparently she died on the same day she was put into the institution. That's all we find out. I've been waiting a whole book for this and that's all we get! I wonder if we'll get something else from the next book.
And then it's the end of another day.
Next up is Harry Clearwater's funeral. Alice and Bella aren't going, but Charlie is. Bella cleans the house while Alice watches until the doorbell goes and Alice says she'd better leave, after all having Jacob Black and Alice Cullen in the same building isn't a good idea.
I wonder if it will really be Jacob.