Play by Play Review: Twilight, Chapter 2

TwilightAfter a long break caused by work, work, and more work, I am back to reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. I'm actually eager to be reading again, mainly because I've been so busy doing work things that I haven't had a lot of time for play things. This is play and fun for me, as is my Play by Play of Fifty Shades of Grey. (That'll be back tomorrow, folks!)

I will be rotating chapters of Twilight and Fifty Shades; I simply don't have enough time to do readings of both each day. Squeezing in a chapter of one is already pushing my luck, considering my insane work schedule, which is entirely self-imposed.

One of these days I'll learn. Really.

Where I last left off, I've decided I really don't like Bella, as I view her as a waste of air. That said, we have an agreement on what classifies as an awesome truck–the one her Police Chief father acquired for her.

I've also decided that I really like this book cover. Seriously, it's stupid how much I like it, because it's so honest that it's going to be a romance between pretty people and a boy who wears copious amounts of makeup.

Obviously, he'll sparkle because of all that makeup, yo.

Anyway, onto the reading!

Chapter Two

This chapter is entitled Open Book. I am amused, seeing as it's been the first time in almost two weeks I have had time to open any book, and in the interest of murdering my brain cells through excessive gigglesnorting, I have chosen to open Twilight.

You win, book! I have indeed opened you!

In the first page of Chapter Two, I have received a summary of what to expect from the rest of the series: Bella's already fixated on Edward, and that she's clumsy. Apparently she tried to kill someone with a volleyball on her second day when she wasn't busy getting hit with the thing.

She's pretty self-deprecating as well; this isn't necessarily a bad thing in a main character, but it's something I noticed in Chapter One's narrative; the girl just doesn't view herself as anything other than, well, a crybaby with no prospects.

I like a girl with goals, yo. And a boy with goals. I just like goals.

As the story continues, Bella relates what she does during her day, which primarily focuses on why Edward isn't around and her trying to convince herself she's glad he's gone. It doesn't work, of course. This is the cheesy love/hate at first sight romance that makes me sigh–and I don't mean in the wistful way.

I know, I know, I got engaged after two weeks to the man who is currently my spouse, but we, at least, founded our relationship on 5-6+ hours a day of talking to each other by phone and every method available to us. Not lust at first sight, friendship on first chat.

We're not the type who dingbats around.

So, after school, she goes home and discovers her stereotypical single father is hopeless in the kitchen, so she goes to save the roost by taking over the cooking duties. They have a meal, and Bella's dad vehemently defends the honor of the Cullen family, much to Bella's surprise. Her mother emails, which left me giddy with relief that Bella is not nearly so useless as Anastasia Trent.

There is hope!

Dear Bella,

What the actual fuck?

Edward is in school today, and it's the first snowfall you've seen. You're so… something… over Edward you're ready to puke on Jessica. What is the matter with you?

Yours,

RJ

What really surprises me is, at this stage in the game, I actually like Edward. He's treating Bella like a lady at this point; respectful, inquisitive, and looking to be genuinely interested in her and her situation. Bella I still don't like, but Edward? Yeah, I don't mind him as a character at all. I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be reading this book to see what Edward does, while I simultaneously desire to burn Bella to a crisp.

Maybe the lure of this book isn't in Bella at all, but rather the keen desire to eliminate her so that a more suitable female might be found for the drop dead gorgeous, sparkly vampire.

I am supposed to be making fun of this book, but honestly, if Bella wasn't such an annoyance, I'd like this story a lot. Bella is the only thing ruining the book for me so far.

I guess that's a pretty notable complaint, seeing that the entire book is founded around her. Maybe I don't like Bella, but the side characters are all pretty interesting, even her Police Chief father. She has a good life going on for her, and I feel that she's too stupid (or something ruder…) to be able to take advantage of all of the good things she has. The moral of the story so far is absolutely terrible, and totally hits in on what I think is a modern knock at self-entitlement for an absolutely perfect life.

That pisses me off. It makes me want to breed an army of baby weasels and set them on Bella. Have you ever seen a baby weasel? They're freaking adorable. Death by baby weasel, now that's where the money is at, baby.

I'd like to see a strong female character in a battle of wits against Edward; give Edward something to work for, rather than having to coax the self-deprecating Bella into any form of good self-esteem.

That said, I like you, Edward. I know, I'm being irrational. It's okay, though. Don't tell anyone this dark, dirty secret, but I do want to find something I enjoy about these stories I'm Play by Play reading.

The end of Chapter Two involved Edward playing psychologist for Bella as they worked together in a science lab. Bella certainly needs a shrink, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Poor Edward. You need a hug.

General verdict: It's almost shameful that I am enjoying this book to a certain degree. Will it make my list of favorite books? Hell no. But is this a bad book?

No, it isn't. Meyers isn't going to win any awards for floral writing, for beautiful prose, or staggering dialogue… but she's easy to read, the book is not littered with errors, and while I feel Bella is a complete and total waste of space, she has characterization. She's a person.

There was one questionable bit in this chapter, and I only call it questionable because I would have used Luckily instead of Lucky.

I swiftly looked away and threw the truck into reverse, almost hitting a rusty Toyota Corolla in my haste. Lucky for the Toyota, I stomped on the brake in time.

Meyer, Stephenie (2007-07-18). Twilight (The Twilight Saga Book 1) (p. 52). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition.

Anyway, back on subject, Bella's characterization is admirable, in the sense she's consistent. She's not a person I like, but she's a person. More importantly, those with her are also people.

Maybe it isn't ‘quality' writing, but as a gateway book into the world of fantasy? Yes, this is a perfectly fine book, written for a young teenager crowd, but one that also touches on adults as we take a walk back in time through what high school was like. This book probably resonates really well with every single student ever who has moved and transferred schools. I understood Bella; I transferred in high school once. I remember the feelings.

Unlike Bella, however, I didn't fit in quite so well–but that's me. I'm not the type to flutter into a new scene and become liked by many people. I liked my books. Reading was my thing, as was art, and that just doesn't relate well to the social scene.

In a way, I'm almost envious of Bella, as she instantly found a circle of friends who seem to genuinely like her. I think that's something that touches so many of us, whether or not we want to admit we have something in common with Bella.

For that alone, I give the nod to Meyers, and I totally get why so many might like to read this sort of book with this sort of character. It hits on something so many girls want; acceptance, and the attention of someone who genuinely seems like a nice guy, even though he has a dark side to him too.

If Edward abuses her, I'm gonna be pissed. Like, throw shit pissed.

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
Candii says March 16, 2015

I have mixed feelings about the Twilight series of books. I liked them well enough, but I felt like Stephanie Meyer wrote the way I did when I was 15. I have a site that I used to read that goes through all the grammar mistakes. If you have a chance to read some of it, it’s pretty snarky, but kind of funny. http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/ And I’ve learned quite a bit about comma use and what not. 😀

Reply
    RJBlain says March 16, 2015

    I feel Stephanie Meyer’s writing reflects her target audience–it’s for those between 13-15 really; I feel Bella is right at the age where kids in that age group look up to others in, well, Bella’s situation…. and it’s totally hit on the whole teen angst thing, although to frightening levels.

    What I like about Meyer’s style is that it is invisible; I don’t really notice it while reading, which is a good thing, especially in a book like this.

    Reply
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