Play by Play Review: Twilight, Chapter 1

TwilightWhile making fun of Fifty Shades of Grey should probably classify as an Olympic sport, it seems a little unfair to rip at a slightly reworded fan fiction without taking aim at the source material. Thus enters Twilight by Stephanie Meyers.

I have not read the book. I have not seen the movie.

So begins the end–of what? I guess we'll find out by the time I'm done this. I have no idea if there will be trigger subjects in the book. Honestly, the only thing I know about this novel is that some vampires decide to play baseball and one of them mated with a bottle of glitter for some reason… or something like that.

Honestly, I'm expecting to enjoy this book much more than Fifty Shades of Grey. Don't worry, however. I will strive to ensure my snark is not leashed or restrained during the reading of this book.

In Fifty Shades, Ana is Bella and Christian Grey is supposed to be Whatever-the-hell-the-Vampire's-Name-Is. Scum Sucker is apparently the werewolf.

I am not even sure how that's supposed to work, but whatever. Here I go.

Preface

I hate prefaces, prologues, and things like that. On rare occasion, I enjoy them. This usually happens when the prologue or preface really doesn't have anything to do with the book's events… directly. Take David Edding's introductions to the Belgariad. I enjoyed those.

George R. R. Martin, while I really dislike his writing and I hate the books (and the show,) I have to admit that he got the right idea with his prologue. If you're going to include one, that's the ideal way to go about it.

Shh, don't tell anyone I admitted that. My pride is at stake.

I have no idea what this preface is about. Apparently there is a hunter who is about to kill the unnamed first-person protagonist. Apparently, they are doing so because they want to, for the sake of someone else. I can buy into that, good cause and all.

 Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.

I knew that if I’d never gone to Forks, I wouldn’t be facing death now. But, terrified as I was, I couldn’t bring myself to regret the decision. When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations , it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 46-50). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

I'm not a fan of the writing so far, but it's much better than Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm only judging this from the half a page of Preface, which really rather makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

I hate the gimmicks where the main character dies in the Preface. It annoys me. I don't want to get invested in a character who is just going to keel over and die on me.

This isn't boding well for the protagonist's self-preservation skills. Is Bella as clumsy as Ana? Is it possible to be as clumsy as Ana?

Oh, God. I haven't even read the first real page of the book and I'm already worried.

Chapter 1

And so it begins. My favorite word of the day is trepidation, with which I approach this novel. It comes as a shock, of the pleasant sort, that I am not swallowing nails on the first page. It's a bit telly, rambling over details as inconsequential as the town she's moving to.

Bella is weird. She addresses her Mom as Mom, but her father as Charlie. This threw me off, and kind of made me think Charlie was a molester or something rather than her dad–Police Chief Dad, for that matter.

I have learned more about Forks, Washington than I ever want to know in the first page, and by the time I learned it, she hadn't even left Arizona yet.

At least the narrator doesn't make me want to beat her to death with a flaming riding crop yet. That's something, right?

Anyway, here's a taste of the weirdness of Bella as a narrator:

“It’s good to see you, Bells,” he said, smiling as he automatically caught and steadied me. “You haven’t changed much. How’s Renée?”

Mom’s fine. It’s good to see you, too, Dad.” I wasn’t allowed to call him Charlie to his face.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 80-82). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

Did I mention I really like the automatic kindle crediting thing going on here?

Okay, so, I'm learning more about Forks than I ever wanted to know, and I'm being told exactly what to expect of Bella's relationship with her father. No, I refuse to call him Charlie. It's Dad or Mr. Police Officer Man, or “Oh, fuck, did he see me speeding?” but not Charlie. Nope.

Christian Grey's helicopter is named Charlie Tango. Now I can't get the mental image of Ana riding Bella's father in the air.

Suffer with me, mere mortals.

Bella's dad bought her a cute antique truck. It's red, and it sounds really cute, and she has good tastes in liking it. Thus far, Bella is a far superior human being to Ana. I actually have something in common with Bella–this truck. Old Chevy trucks are adorable, okay? They're kind of like VW Beetles, the old ones. They just exude this sort of primitive charm.

The first chapter of this book, so far, is boring me into a numbed state of acceptance. Perhaps Fifty Shades of Grey beat out my will to live, but after reading that garbage, this really isn't that bad.

Except the whole nothing has really happened in this book so far except exposition. And I really don't want to know another thing about Forks, Washington. Seriously, I don't.

Okay, thanks Twilight. I opened my mouth, and here you go making me eat my words. You couldn't even let me live through one chapter without proving me wrong, could you?

I take back everything I said about Bella that was positive. She ruined it with this line:

I wasn’t in the mood to go on a real crying jag. I would save that for bedtime, when I would have to think about the coming morning.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Location 128). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

Why, why, oh why must she be a crybaby damsel. Why, why, oh why? Why did I get my hopes up for a girl who could actually go to a new school without crybabying over the fact she was going?

Note, in the previous sentence, she was letting herself indulge in a few tears while watching it rain outside of her window.

Sigh.

Oh no, oh no, oh no… she's going to be as bad as Ana, isn't she?

I didn’t have the necessary hand-eye coordination to play sports without humiliating myself — and harming both myself and anyone else who stood too close.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 135-136). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

This fills me with complete and total foreboding–the sort where I grab the port bottle without a glass and start drinking to numb away the pain. I'm tempted, but I don't want to go to my friend's house hungover.

Though frankly, I could use a drink or three. A cat jumped out in front of me while I was driving my friends home, and I had to hit the brakes so hard I left rubber streaked on the road. The cat emerged unscathed.

Interlude aside, at least in Bella's opening, she's just crying to herself that she won't make friends because she's Irish pale and isn't allowed to hit the Bailey's yet to numb her to the realities of high school.

So she has an evening of crying, her dad goes to work. He's established as a workaholic. I learned even more about Forks, Washington, and I'm fringing on trying to figure out how to start the zombie apocalypse in the town, seeing as I really don't care about it that much to be subjected to this much rambling from the narrator about it.

I got it about four pages ago that you're not keen on anything to do with this town, your father, or any reminder you might possibly be a human. Sigh.

Your redeeming quality, at this point, is the fact you like your truck. It's cute, girl, I'll give you that much. Too bad your trying-really-hard-when-you're-not daddy bought it for you.

No one was going to bite me.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Location 189). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

That's what you think, Vampire Bait, that's what you think. Dull Girl, Dull Girl, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do, Glitter's Comin' for You…

I stammered, blushed, and tripped over my own boots on the way to my seat.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Location 220). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

Noooooo, oh God, noooo! It's just as bad as Fifty Shades, but instead of falling over her own feet into the arms of a sexy bazillionaire, she does it going to her desk.

Why? Whhhhhy?

Do not make me scold you, novel. I will. I will sit here in this little chair of mine and continuously scold you. I will make you rue and lament your basic existence as I delve into the depths of my vocabulary for words to best describe how much I loathe and abhor you.

At this point in time, I have absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Ana was directly ripped from Bella's basic personality. Bella, at least, has no issues dressing herself or brushing her hair. That makes her far more tolerable, in my not-so-humble opinion.

At this point, she is beginning her first day of school, and it's as you expect: everyone is curious about her. She's awkward as all fuck, too. It's a little cute. If she hadn't been crying in her room the night before for no reason I can really figure out, I'd probably like her.

I don't get along well with protagonists who cry without reason. Nails on chalkboard, okay?

Is this chapter over yet? According to this meter, I'm already 4% into the novel. Oh no, please don't make this one of those books where a chapter is like 20% of the book. I need a chance to give my brain cells CPR.

In good news, the writing is not nearly as terrible as I was expecting. It's actually decent. It's bland, but it's tolerable. I haven't really wanted to subject Earth to cataclysm as a result of reading this title yet.

So far, however, my impression of Bella is that she's completely helpless.

That said, and please don't hate me for saying this, but the actress who played her in the movie is really cute, in that adorable doll sort of way. I think she's pretty. And I prefer thinking of the actress rather than the Irish pale, lose-her-on-a-white-beach complexion described.

One thing that's driving me insane about this book is the description quality. It hurts us, precious. It's stuff like this, in huge, headache-inducing paragraphs:

I stared because their faces , so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine .

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 242-244). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

I have a pair of scissors and a knife and an army of Abyssal Demon Plushies. I can help with your problem, Bella.

Oh, hi inconsistent narrator, we meet again. Hold on, I seem to have run out of matches, and to make matters worse, my spare supply of gasoline is out. Give me a few minutes.

At this point, Bella is talking with an unknown girl, she can't remember names, or purposefully decides they're beneath her. Then, randomly, this comes up:

I sat at the table with Jessica and her friends longer than I would have if I’d been sitting alone.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 286-287). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

So now you suddenly, magically remember their names? Argh, don't just… gah. Oh, whatever. It's still a better story than Fifty Shades of Grey.

It's not nearly as bad as I have been led to believe so far, except for the fact I already dislike Bella. She comes across as helpless, although that's entirely due to the cry babying from moving to Forks–of her own volition.

At this point, Edward has a pretty strong (negative) reaction to her, but everyone else in the school is super nice to her. I mean, if people had been collectively this nice to me in school, I would have gone home and cried out of happiness.

Her? Not so much.

I survived the chapter, but I'm convinced that you could give this woman every good thing in life, and she would cry thinking she'd been given the short straw, and that her life sucked.

Argh.

I'll leave you with the concluding bit of this chapter.

But soon I was cold enough to need the heater, so I turned the key and the engine roared to life. I headed back to Charlie’s house, fighting tears the whole way there.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (Kindle Locations 353-354). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

You have absolutely nothing to cry about, Bella. Grow up. Please. Preferably before I discover some way to reach into your fictional novel world and bitch slap some sense into you.

You had a great day, except for tripping over your feet that one time and Edward being creepy. Geeze.

General verdict after chapter 1: Bella's an annoying emo. Edward looks like an annoying emo with a bad temperament.

They were obviously meant for each other because they have similar skin tones. :chews on her desk:

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
SA Merk says March 1, 2015

Just wait til you watch the movie. It physically hurt me to watch it.
But if you need a good laugh at it…watch “Vampires Suck” a great spoof on Twilight.

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