Oh, and I was psychic, as I so often am, in bringing up Wuthering Heights the other day, because it's apparently a big plot point in Eclipse.
In case it wasn't clear last time, by the way, full sentences in italics are the ones I am totally not making up at all. If it's not fully in italics--even if it's in quotations--it's my commentary.
Preface: Hi, I'm Bella Swan, and I'm totally about to die, just the way I was about to die in the prefaces to the two previous books. Uh, sorry to get your hopes up there.
Chapter 1: The "PREVIOUSLY ON" sentence that will help you decide whether you are prepared for the terrible awesomeness of these books: Ever since my former best friend (and werewolf), Jacob Black, had informed on me about the motorcycle I'd been riding on the sly--a betrayal he had devised in order to get me grounded so that I couldn't spend time with my boyfriend (and vampire), Edward Cullen..._And Bella's dad doesn't like Edward, either. "Why can't you just date the werewolf next door? He's practically family!"
(By the way, Jacob's passhole-aggresshole note to Bella in strikethrough font is hilarious.)
Edward on Wuthering Heights: "The characters are ghastly people who ruin each others' lives. I don't know how Heathcliff and Cathy ended up being ranked with couples like Romeo and Juliet or Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. It isn't a love story, it's a hate story." See, he totally agrees with me. If this is foreshadowing another couple of romaaaaantic suicide attempts, though, I'm going to reach into this e-book and slap both of them.
Bella: "Well, I hope you're smart enough to stay away from someone so selfish. Catherine is really the source of all the trouble, not Heathcliff." _This is probably the most self-aware statement in the entire series so far.
Chapter 2: "And speaking of Italy and sports cars that I stole there, you still owe me a yellow Porsche."_God, I love Alice so much.
Whoa, Bella's trying to initiate tongue action now! Good luck trying to break through Edward's firm (heh) policy on abstinence there.
OH GOD, BELLA'S DAD IS GIVING HER "THE SEX TALK."
I don't know what makes me sicker: the fact that Bella's hellbent on going to see Jacob, whose heart she shredded into itty bitty pieces the last time she saw him, or that Edward's so high-handed about preventing her. Or that Bella forgives him, like, instantly.
Chapter 3: Somehow, a vampire spending the weekend in sunny Florida did not end in catastrophe. (Hey, remember when I said I didn't want my theoretical daughter to be a satellite around a man? It weirds Bella's mom out, too! I... I'm kind of scared that someone's being sensible.)
So then, Jacob (6'7", in a black muscle shirt, on a motorcycle) shows up at Bella's school to rumble with Edward. You'll forgive me if I started humming "Leader of the Pack."
Also hilarious: Edward's plans for how to escape a hypothetically crashing plane: I'd wait till we were close enough to the ground, get a good grip on you, kick out the wall, and jump. Then I'd run you back to the scene of the accident, and we'd stumble around like the two luckiest survivors in history._Somewhere, the entire cast of Lost is giving Edward the finger.
Chapter 4: "But I'm eighteen and I'm getting old! I wanna die and be a vampire now!"_"Well, marry me and it's on." "But I'm only eighteen! I don't wanna be married!"
Aaaand there goes Bella to torment Jacob again. Man, it sucks that you can't throw e-books across the room. By the way, we get a recap here of the climax of New Moon, in which Edward tried to commit suicide by public sparkling because he thought Bella had jumped off a cliff to her death, with the intention that the secret vampire overlords would, obviously, swoop in and tear him to pieces before he could step into direct sunlight. Except that Bella had only gone cliff-diving, and his clairvoyant vampire not-sister had misunderstood her visions, so Bella had to run away to Italy to fling herself in Edward's path, at which point they got in trouble with the secret vampire overlords, but the overlords let them go because their luv was so twu. We also get a recap of what happened while Bella and Edward were in Florida, which basically consists of the Native American werewolf pack and the WASPy vampire coven arguing over broken treaties and then coming to terms over how best to protect Bella from Victoria, the rogue vampire with a grudge from the first book. No, I am not making any of this up.
"You know, Jacob, you're awfully self-righteous--considering that you're a werewolf and all."_And yet, Bella decides that Jacob is A Part of Her Omg. I clear off a fresh swath of desk to beat my head on.
Chapter 5: "So, you want me to tell you the back story about Sam, the head werewolf?" "NO! LET'S BITCH AT EACH OTHER FIRST!" And then, at the discovery that Jacob can't age--but wants to!--Bella throws another fit du shit about growing old.
("Did you seriously just stamp your foot? I thought girls only did that on TV."_Okay, I'm liking Jacob again.)
Ohhhhhh shit. Now we're up to that soulmate "imprinting" thing people kept telling me about. Please, please have Jacob imprint on someone other than Bella, just to end my agony. Angela's a nice girl, how about her?
By the way, the Sam/Emily accidental werewolf disfigurement stuff makes me really uncomfortable. It's way too close to "I'm sorry I made you hit me, baby!" for my taste.
Chapter 6: Oh, wait, Angela's already in love with someone. Actually... this kind of increases the odds that Jacob would imprint on her. You know, for maximum angst.
"HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO BOYS OTHER THAN MEEEEE? HE DOESN'T EVEN SPARKLE, BELLA!"
I love Alice so much. "CLAIRVOYANT VAMPIRE SLUMBER PARTY!!!!" Which should totally be a teensploitation B-movie from the '60s, by the way. "Also, my vampire not-brother bought me that Porsche so I'd keep you locked up while he's gone. Did I say 'while'? I meant every single time." And then Alice gives Bella a pedicure.
You know, I was going to say that it would be hard for Bella to make Edward sleep on the couch when that's the only furniture he's got in his room (and... uh... the vampires can't sleep), but then she gets there and sees "the colossal bed that now dominated the central space." I barked out a laugh like a seal.
Chapter 7: Rosalie! People told me that Rosalie gets awesome in this one.
"Oh, Bella. It was the Great Depression, and I was rich and beautiful and perfect. The only thing I didn't have was a baby, because the only thing more important than being married young is having babies. ARE YOU TAKING NOTES ON THIS?" And then her drunken fiancé invites his friends to gang-rape her in the street. WHAT? WHAT?_"And then I started to blame my incredible beauty for my fatal gang-rape. If only I'd had a baby like my unpretty friend!" And then she tells Bella how, as a vampire, she tortured her fiancé and his rapist friends to death. And also, that she's jealous that Edward loves Bella and not her, even though she doesn't want Edward for herself. Like, just on principle. I want to like Rosalie because she's kind of bad-ass, but... she's making it really hard here. "You're too young to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life, Bella! After all, you might want babies."
And then Jacob rides up, vroom vroom!, to steal Bella away from school to hang out in his garage on werewolf territory.
Chapter 8: OH GOD THE TODDLER IMPRINTING. Yes, that's right, Jacob's doofy friend Quil imprints on Wolf Girl Emily's niece. Emily's niece is two years old._I do so admire the books' dedication to showing love as a choice of free will. And then, Jacob informs Bella that Edward making her a vampire will cause WARRRRRR between the two clans, and he would rather see her dead than become a vampire. O THE ANGST.
And then Edward and Bella make out in the Colossal Bed. I think this is what people have called "the dry-humping scene," although it's mostly a lot of rolling. Despite the fact that Bella wants to get her freak on like whoa (but sex before
Chapter 9: Edward and Jacob actually have a civil conversation about how to protect Bella from some mysterious stranger who stole things with Bella's
Chapter 10: Edward and Jacob take turns protecting Bella. Jacob does so shirtless. Also, Edward takes the opportunity to breathe on Bella's hair before he leaves so the scent will piss off Jacob. OH MY GOD WHY DON'T YOU JUST PEE ON HER ALREADY.
On the upside, Edward's decided not to be jealous of the werewolves. That's a start, I guess. Also: motorcycle safety is sexy, kids!
Chapter 11: Werewolf beach bonfire! It'll be a double feature with Clairvoyant Vampire Slumber Party.
It's hard to resist that level of commitment and adoration._Because if a guy loves you, you don't get to decide whether you love him back!
Summary of the Quileute legends: werewolves rule, vampires drool... fragrantly._Also, the werewolves have been handing down a bag of powdered vampire since time immemorial. Also-also, my foreshadowing bells are going off with the story about the Third Wife, a werewolf matriarch who stabbed herself to distract attacking vampires and save her husband.
Then Bella has prophetic dreams. Again. And Wuthering Heights makes another dread appearance:
[Heathcliff speaking:] And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him. You may look incredulous, if you please! I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out, and drank his blood! But, till then--if you don't believe me, you don't know me--till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!
I'm assuming this is Heathcliff speaking of
Chapter 12: Graduation is nigh... and suddenly Bella is scared of getting vamped._Oh my GOD, you did not just spend two and a half books angsting about this to chicken out NOW.
So then Bella's low self-esteem angsts about whether Edward will still want Bella when she's no longer all warm and meaty, but no, she is his world! And then Edward angsts that Bella doesn't want to be his wife, but no--! "I'm not that girl, Edward. The one who gets married right out of high school like some small-town hick who got knocked up by her boyfriend!"_AND THEN:
And for one second, I could. I saw myself in a long skirt and a high-necked lace blouse with my hair piled up on my head. I saw Edward looking dashing in a light suit with a bouquet of wildflowers in his hand, sitting beside me on a porch swing. I shook my head and swallowed. I was just having Anne of Green Gables flashbacks._BEST CROSSOVER EVER. Although I also cracked up at the idea of an X-Files crossover that someone suggested.
And then Bella, who is a dirty hoor, suggests that "maybe [they] should go with the times" and have premarital vampiring.
I was [trying to hum] the wedding march, but it sort of sounded like a dirge._I usually slip into the Darth Vader theme by accident, myself.
Chapter 13: All aboard for another trip to the Department of Vampire Backstory! Apparently vampires in the South only come out at night and are totally harshing the Northern vampires' buzz by waging, like, gang wars and shit. With an army of heyyyyyyy newborn vampires could this have anything to do with the serial killings in Seattle DO YOU THINK. Also, Jasper was the youngest major
(Oh, sweet God, I'm only halfway through the book.)
But why could there possibly be a newborn vampire army in Seattle? Duh, because they are waging a war over Bella. Keep up, you guys.
P.S. Alice is still awesome.
Chapter 14: IN A WORLD WHERE VAMPIRE ARMIES WAGE WAR, SOME WILL LIVE AND SOME WILL DIE... but first, let's have a graduation party!
(Alice keeps getting more and more awesome, I can't stand it. "Oh, darn, I telepathically sense that someone can't come to the party. And the milk in your fridge is going bad right... now.")
"It was childish, but I liked the idea that his lips would be the last good thing I would feel. Even more embarrassingly, something I would never say aloud, I wanted his venom to poison my system."_You can't see me, but I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen with my mouth hanging open.
"Oh, man! Did I fall asleep? I'm sorry! How long was I out?" "A few Emerils. I lost count."_This is also how we measure time when my sister commandeers the TV, by the way.
"I'm in love with you, Bella," Jacob said in a strong, sure voice. "Bella, I love you. And I want you to pick me instead of him. I know you don't feel that way, but I need the truth out there so that you know your options. I wouldn't want a miscommunication to stand in our way."_Well, at least SOMEONE was paying attention during the Wuthering Heights_unit at school.
Chapter 15: [Jacob] was right. If I wasn't mean--and greedy, too--I would tell him I didn't want to be friends and walk away. It was wrong to try to keep my friend when that would hurt him. I didn't know what I was doing here, but I was suddenly sure that it wasn't good._And it only took you a book and a half to realize this!
His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn't even seem to notice. His mouth was soft, despite the anger, his lips molding to mine in a warm, unfamiliar way.
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open, and I could feel his hot breath in my mouth.
Acting on instinct, I let my hands drop to my side, and shut down. I opened my eyes and didn't fight, didn't feel . . . just waited for him to stop.
OH HELL NO. HELL. NO.
Well, at least she punches Jacob in the mouth for it. And BREAKS HER HAND DOING SO: I held up my injured hand. He sighed. "That wasn't my fault. You should have known better." Then they argue as to whether Bella was kissing him back, although she truthfully declares that she was "trying to get [him] the hell off of [her]." FLAMES, FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE, YOU FURRY DOUCHE.
OH GOOD, NOW WE FIND OUT THAT JACOB WAS HANGING AROUND OUTSIDE BELLA'S HOUSE AT NIGHT, JUST LIKE EDWARD. CLEARLY, THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW THAT SOMEONE LOVES YOU.
Okay, I have to repeat this in its entirety, because I need to share this before I burst into flame like a phoenix, fall over, and die:
"Hey, Charlie," Jacob answered casually, pausing. I stalked on to the kitchen.
"What's wrong with her?" Charlie [Bella's dad] wondered.
"She thinks she broke her hand," I heard Jacob tell him. I went to the freezer and pulled out a tray of ice cubes.
"How did she do that?" As my father, I thought Charlie ought to sound a bit less amused and a bit more concerned.
Jacob laughed. "She hit me."
Charlie laughed, too, and I scowled while I beat the tray against the edge of the sink. The ice scattered inside the basin, and I grabbed a handful with my good hand and wrapped the cubes in the dishcloth on the counter.
"Why did she hit you?"
"Because I kissed her," Jacob said, unashamed.
"Good for you, kid," Charlie congratulated him.
And then Edward and Jacob nearly rumble on Bella's front lawn. You know, it's one thing to have a love triangle, but it's another when two of the participants don't want the other one involved. It's to this point now where it's like, "I'll kiss her if I want, even if she doesn't want me to, and you can't stop me!"
Emmett grinned. "Fall down again, Bella?" I glared at him fiercely. "No, Emmett. I punched a werewolf in the face."_Okay, it was almost a teensy bit worth it for that. BUT NOT QUITE.
Chapter 16: "Listen, Alice, don't you see? It's the same! The one who broke in and stole my things, and the new vampires in Seattle. They're together!"_Wait, you people hadn't realized that already?
Yellow graduation robes? Really?
Bella's dad: "No matter what side I'm on, if someone kisses you without your permission, you should be able to make your feelings clear without hurting yourself. You didn't keep your thumb inside your fist, did you?"_Okay, the rage is subsiding now. A little.
Chapter 17: Oh, poor Bella, having to ENDURE a PARTY thrown JUST FOR HER. Also, Alice has turned the house into... a nightclub? A "chic rave"? Which the werewolves then crash. And now Bella's wearing Jacob's homemade werewolf bracelet while Alice and Jacob finally realize that the vampires and werewolves are going to have to put their ancient enmity aside and work together omg to save Bella. Oh, and possibly the entire population of Forks.
Chapter 18: "Hey, Bella, I psychically sense that you're thinking about doing something incredibly stupid. No, I know that doesn't narrow it down much."
And then Jacobwolf licks Bella in front of Edward and, basically, her in-laws. Just pee on her, I swear.
Chapter 19: "Hey, Alice says she psychically senses you're thinking about doing something incredibly stupid. No, something else."
"Hey, also? There's a chick werewolf who keeps stirring up telepathic werewolf paternity drama. It's better than Passions, I swear." God bless Edward and his sparkly mind-reading.
Ah, Bella's been mumbling in her sleep about the
Chapter 20: Oh Lord, Bella's decided that she wants to lose her virginity before she becomes a vampire. But he won't do that if they're not married! But she won't marry him if he won't let her become a vampire! But she won't let him make her a vampire unless he takes her cherry first! Dude, it's like that riddle about the fox and the goose and the bag of wheat trying to cross the river on a boat made for two.
"Stop taking my reluctance to potentially crush you in the missionary position as a personal rejection of your physical attractiveness, Bella! Everyone in town wants to get into your pants! Trust me, I read their minds. You don't even want to know what's going on inside Mike Newton's."
"That's it, isn't it?" The short laugh that escaped me was more shocked than amused. "You're trying to protect your virtue!"_Oh my God, I woke up the dogs laughing.
(Damn, Edward, she's trying to get her freak on! What's all this buzzkill about souls?)
I would probably be remiss if I did not mention that Edward then produces his mother's ridiculously gorgeous engagement ring, gets down on his knees, and proposes to Bella properly. Their solution to the riddle: a quickie wedding in Vegas and then the sexing. Probably four books from now.
Chapter 21: Gee, Bella, what could be bugging Alice? Could it possibly be that she telepathically realized that you and Edward now plan to elope, thus depriving her of an opportunity to throw another
And now Alice has taken Bella aside to guilt-trip her about the elopement. Seriously? You've got an army of vampires rolling into town to kill everyone and you're worried about being deprived of planning her wedding? Alice, you are hereby minutely less awesome.
"Well, even if she does get her way, we can keep it small. Just us. Emmett can get a clerical license off the Internet."_Oh, Edward, have my sparkly vampire babies.
Hey! Let's Bella and Edward and Jacob all go camping! I'm sure that won't be awkward at all!
"Hey, Bella, what's up?" "Nothing much, just tried to get my boyfriend to fuck me but ended up engaged instead."
"But I don't count that as a kiss, Jacob. I think of it more as an assault." _Wow... I... I don't recognize this crazy new world where Bella is making sense and standing up for herself.
And of course it turns out that Jacob is secretly supposed to be the real werewolf chief.
Chapter 22: Ah, of course it's freezing cold, so Jacob, whose temperature runs like 10 degrees higher than normal, is going to get into Bella's sleeping bag and "warm her up." Meanwhile, Edward's having to listen to the "little fantasies" in Jacob's head all night long. You reconsidering that sex thing yet, Sparkleson?
And then we get the girly fantasy of having the two guys out of their minds with love for you discussing that love while they think you're asleep.
Chapter 23: Aww, Bella and Edward discuss the ten best nights of their lives, all of which they spent together. And then Jacob howls a piercing cry of outraged grief as he overhears that they're engaged. Which Edward knew he would. Mmm, Twinkies.
I was selfish, I was hurtful. I tortured the ones I loved. I was like Cathy, like Wuthering Heights, only my options were so much better than hers, neither one evil, neither one weak. And here I sat, crying about it, not doing anything productive to make it right. Just like Cathy._Okay, Bella, just because you're right doesn't mean it's time to do anything stupid--
I couldn't allow what hurt me to influence my decisions anymore. It was too little, much too late, but I had to do what was right now. Maybe it was already done for me. Maybe Edward would not be able to bring him back. And then I would accept that and get on with my life. Edward would never see me shed another tear for Jacob Black. There would be no more tears. I wiped the last of them away with cold fingers now.
But if Edward did return with Jacob, that was it. I had to tell him to go away and never come back.
I... huh. I mean, yes, she should have done this 1200 pages ago and not stomped on the kid's furry little heart, but... the resolution to stop angsting is a step in the right direction.
He couldn't belong with me, could not be my Jacob, when I belonged to someone else._Okay, yeah, see, about this whole "woman defined as belonging to a man, and who then can't have any other friends" thing... we're right back on track, aren't we? Of course, by sending Edward away to look for Jacob, she's also rendered herself nearly defenseless against Victoria the Grudgepire and unable to communicate with him. Only Bella Swan can find a way to turn the right decision into pure stupidity.
Oh... look. They came back. Completely unharmed. Bella didn't even get dead. Huh.
"I won't let you claim all the blame here, Bella. Or all the glory either. I know how to redeem myself."_By... getting himself killed in battle so Bella will feel guilty for the rest of her life. And then Bella begs him to come back, and asks him to kiss her. Which he does. A lot.
Jacob was right. He'd been right all along. He was more than just my friend. That's why it was so impossible to tell him goodbye--because I was in love with him. Too. I loved him, much more than I should, and yet, still nowhere near enough. I was in love with him, but it was not enough to change anything; it was only enough to hurt us both more. To hurt him worse than I ever had.
Sometimes I just hate everyone.
Chapter 24: Edward reads everyone's minds and knows what happened and cheerfully informs Bella that Jacob manipulated her to get some makeout time. I'm to a point where I'm just relieved that they're not going to go on dueling suicide-attempt binges to prove their sparkly love again.
Bella does try to demand sex, though. Fortunately, the battle starts, only we can't see it, so Edward cheerfully gives us the play-by-play. And it was at this point that I knew--well, you had to know, with everyone insisting for fifty pages that the battle would go just fine--that shit was about to go down. Aaaand Victoria catches up with Bella and Edward while everyone else is busy fighting the vampire army over yonder. Ooh, and there's some extra drama with Edward trying to convince Victoria's new vampire boytoy that she doesn't actually love him. And then Edward and Victoria start battle-dancing, and Bella tries to Third Wife it up with a sharp rock but ends up not having to, and Seth the junior lookout werewolf rips the boytoy's arms off, and then Edward tears off Victoria's head and it's all kind of awesome.
Chapter 25: Edward stretched out his arm, his hand curled into a fist. Seth grinned, revealing the long row of dagger teeth, and bumped his [wolf] nose against Edward's hand._They should totally go out for beer now.
Chapter 26: Jacob got crushed, but then he gets better. Oh my God, the HEAD GAMES: Jacob tried to make Edward jealous! But it didn't work because he can read minds! Jacob tells Bella to blame him for tormenting her, too! Bella begs Jacob to make her feel bad! Jacob does, and then feels bad when he makes Bella cry! He'll be her friend and not ask for more! Because of the King Solomon story about the mother who loved the baby too much to cut it in half! This totally means he wins, right? No? No. And then Bella tells him that she could have been happy with him, in a different life, if Edward hadn't existed:
The corner of my mouth turned up in a wistful half-smile. "I used to think of you that way, you know. Like the sun. My personal sun. You balanced out the clouds nicely for me." He sighed. "The clouds I can handle. But I can't fight with an eclipse." Oh, I see what u did thar.
Chapter 27: And then Bella realizes every jerkass thing she did to both guys over the course of three books and cries all night over it. And then she and Edward explain their love through a copy of Wuthering Heights. You know, the hate story.
Aaaaaand Alice already has Bella's designer wedding dress. Not picked out. On hand.
"Why did you decide, now, to give Alice free reign?" Free REIN. The expression is FREE REIN. You know, like not holding a horse back by pulling on the reins? FREE REIN.
"Hey, Bella! It's our sparkly meadow! Let's have sex!" "No, Edward, we have to get married first!" ARGHHHHHHHHH DESKDESKDESK.
Epilogue: And then it ends with Jacob's point of view (he gets a "Thanks for saving my girlfriend" wedding invitation from Edward), just to twist the knife in deeper.
Okay, here's the thing. The first book is all about the sparkly vampire love, which--except for the sudden appearance of a plot near the end--I am totally on board with. But then, Edward disappears for almost the entirety of the second book, resulting in an appalling lack of Twinkieness, IMO. And I'm so dumb that it's only just now occurred to me: that's because the second book is the furry werewolf love book, duh. So then Eclipse is Bella going, "Oh shit, I love both of them! You know, because we had Sparkly Vampire Love Book and Furry Werewolf Love Book! What am I going to do?" Except that, even in New Moon, her
And then there's another issue that comes up in the last chapter or two: Bella thinks of Jacob as someone she could have been perfectly happy loving in "real life," but Edward's her fairy-tale love, and so of course that trumps real life. And then:
"The worst part is that I saw the whole thing--our whole life. And I want it bad, Jake, I want it all. I want to stay right here and never move. I want to love you and make you happy. And I can't, and it's killing me. It's like Sam and Emily, Jake--I never had a choice. I always knew nothing would change. Maybe that's why I was fighting against you so hard."
I'm just going to go have a nice lie-down now.
So Breaking Dawn is apparently the next book. (ETA: Three-part recap here.) I don't know if it's the last (there's also Midnight Sun (first half recap here)--Twilight from Edward's point of view, which I look forward to like Christmas), but I am desperately hoping that it will actually be about Bella becoming a vampire (I'm sure there's plenty of angst to be had there) rather than us sitting around going through the "Sex!" "Marriage!" "Vampire!" "Edward!" "Jacob!" "Edward!" routine again.
(More Twilight recaps.)