Friday, April 29, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 35: Seacrest Out

Guys, I hate to break it to you, but Alice has bailed on us. I can't say I blame her, I mean, I've wanted to give up on this book plenty of times too. In this chapter, we learn that she wasn't just ducking out to avoid Jacob for a few minutes—she was ducking out to avoid whatever is coming the Cullens' way. It's a bizarre, intriguing move, and it works. Bella later notes that Alice and Jasper were the only Cullens not born into this enterprise, so it sort of figures that sooner or later they'd bail. I just wish they'd taken me with them!

Chapter 29: Defection

“We sat there all night long, statues of horror and grief,” Bella says, “and Alice never came back.” Well, you're all standing around, statues of horror and grief! You think that's fun to be around? Way to harsh a girl's mellow! Also, apparently Edward and Bella have been staring into each other's eyes all night, unable to look away, which—I'm sorry—is fucking creepy as shit, you guys are gross. I MISS ALICE AND JASPER SO MUCH ALREADY. Fuck. Anyway, Edward starts to worry that maybe the Volturi did a preemptive strike against Alice and she's lying dead somewhere. Bella thinks of Aro, “who had seen into all the corners of Alice's mind, who knew everything she was capable of.” Hot. Anyway, they freak themselves out talking about it and go in search of her. The trail leads them to Quileute land; Sam Uley pops out of nowhere and tells them that Alice came to them late last night and asked permission to cross into the ocean. Sam escorted them there himself, where they dove in and did not return. (“Alice insisted on swimming in the nude and that I keep her underwear.”-Sam Uley) Damn! Sam gives Carlisle a note she left.

“Alice has decided to leave us,” Carlisle whispered.
“What?” Rosalie cried.

“WHAT?” Zac cried. It's notable that Alice is the one with the agency in the relationship with Jasper, right? SHE decided they were leaving, you know? She is the recognized leader of that couple in every line, in fact, Jasper is usually not even mentioned. A thing like that, huh? Everything about this plot development is cool and complex and interesting, and I would totally love everything about it except Alice is gone! S. Meyer giveth and she taketh away! Alice's note lists the vampires the Cullens should contact, and at the end: “We're so sorry that we have to leave you this way, with no goodbyes or explanations. It's the only way for us. We love you.”

In New Moon, Alice prevents Jasper from coming to Volterra in a move that Bella sees as both selfish and totally understandable. In another nice carryover, it makes a certain amount of sense that when faced with certain destruction, more so than ever before anyway, Alice's patience and courage would finally be weighed and found wanting. I knew I hitched my wagon to the right character.

We like complex people in our novels because we, ourselves, are complex. We have flaws and contradictions and issues, and we identify with characters who suffer like we do and resent the ones who don't. Recently Marc Malkin of E Online complained that Ashley Greene was rude to him at a gala; I found myself hoping, for some reason, that Ashley Greene really was a super bitch in real life. I'm still puzzling through why.

zacharylittle: I have no idea how to feel about Ashley Greene supposedly being mean to Marc Malkin. Good, right? I don't want her to have a reputation for being a bitch, but part of me really hopes that she is like, a huge bitch. Weird, right?
alicewalkington: I don't know about this! Google and Twitter is being surprisingly circumspect. I'd be OK with her being a bitch. That's interesting
zacharylittle: A celeb is an abstract thing. More for me on the Least Coast (my new band name) than you. But I guess it'd just make her more interesting? Like, Kira once said she doesn't watch Mad Men b/c the characters aren't likable. & that is sort of why I like it? I want AG to be Pete Campbell!
alicewalkington: Nah I like celebs that aren't particularly nice, but are interesting. AG is aggressively uninteresting to me, sort of like Pete actually. Which in turn, makes her sort of interesting. She's a weirdo.
zacharylittle: I've recently decided that my theory about her vague education isn't performance art or a joke so much as it is she's trying to obscure that she's a dropout. So she's not as weird as I once thought she was. But I want her to be deeply weird. Like, disturbed. Which is selfish but there you are.

When I read about these characters or see these people I'm not necessarily looking for a real-life friend, I'm just looking to be entertained, you know? (Although I do think Alice and I could be best friends.) There's a way to take this thesis and use it to explain why people liked Charlie Sheen on TV interviews and hated him when he took his shtick on the road, but screw it. The point is, what with the relentless perfection and easy boredom of this book, Alice's act of cowardice is kind of thrilling! I mean, I'm sure something will happen to bring Alice and Jasper back into the fold before we're through, but let's at least pretend for a moment they're NOT coming back, just so we can FEEL SOMETHING. Alice leaving is our Fight Club.

Sam Uley is appalled that Alice would run, and Edward takes understandable umbrage at the “censure in his tone.” Like, nobody picks on my little sister but me, you know? Edward tells Sam that they should save themselves, and Sam says because Jacob will not abandon RNSM, they will not abandon him.

His eyes flickered to Alice's note, and his lips pressed into a thin line.
“You don't know her,” Edward said.
“Do you?” Sam asked bluntly.

Again: whoa! Cool! Finally we have a situation with emotions more complicated than “I love you” and “I don't want to hurt you.” When Sam says he shouldn't have let them pass, Carlisle tells him he did the right thing, and that he wants Alice to do what she will. Meanwhile, Esme cries “tearless sobs” while Bella contemplates just how fucked they must really be.

On the way home everyone detects Alice's scent leading back to Bella and Edward's love shack but concludes it was from earlier, Alice was just leaving Bella her sex toy collection or something. Still, Bella wants to follow it, and Edward tags along. Thing is, Alice's note was written on a page torn out of a copy of The Merchant of Venice Bella recognized as her own, and Bella starts to wonder if there is supposed to be some signal to her in that action. As I recall, there were no lesbian lovers in The Merchant of Venice, so that's out. Shit. (I actually saw a production of Merchant in New Hampshire in which every mention of Shylock being Jewish was played for laughs. The actor would over emphasize it and grin, practically jabbing the audience in the ribs: “I'm a JEWWW!” And people laughed! New Hampshire sucks. We left at intermission.)

Anyway, Bella tells Edward to wait at the door while she goes inside the cottage, and he weirdly obeys her (this is a rough chapter for the patriarchy). Alice left a fire burning in the hearth and a note on the inside cover of the book: a name and address in Seattle and an order to burn the message after reading. Badass! At least Alice left us with some cool spy shit to do, huh? Anyway, Edward comes in when Bella is burning the book, and she passes it off as a “I'm pissed at Alice and her scent was on this book” gesture. Edward's like “yeah, women be dramatic.”

Back at the house, the Cullens are all packed up to hit the road in search of other vampires, and Jacob has RNSM on his lap. The good news is, they're not leaving her alone with him, but the bad news is, we're not going to hear about any wild adventures in search of vampires, because Edward and Bella are staying behind. Okay, so this whole new plot development is kind of dumb, right? We're going to introduce a whole bunch of new characters and then have a showdown with the Volturi. Presumably we're meeting new characters so S. Meyer can kill them off, yes? And all of this is happening at the very end of the book. I comforted myself with the fact that hey, at least we'd be getting some cool new set pieces: Edward and Bella meeting new vampires in the jungle! In the tundra! Wherever! But instead, Edward and Bella are going to receive their guests for who knows how long as the rest of the Cullens send them their way. Why didn't S. Meyer's copy of Word underline all that, like “passive voice, consider revising”?

Carlisle, Esme, Emmett and Rosalie all leave then, and we're down to three monsters (three of our worst characters!) and a baby. Then something pretty weird happens: the Cullens have a computer. What? Bella starts thinking about the name on the page (J. Jenks) and wishes she had could be “alone with the computer for a few seconds.” Hot. Instead, she takes advantage of an argument between Edward and Jacob and drifts to the back of the room, very quickly tapping out a web search and drumming on the table with her fingers (it doesn't mention that she navigates away from whatever lesbian porn site Alice and Emmett have agreed upon for the browser's home page but she must). She finds a fancy Seattle lawyer named Jason Jenks, but the listed address is wrong. Huh. “One more brush, to delete the history...” Bella says. Fuck, where'd she learn how to do that? Bella's been doing some late-night web browsing she hasn't been telling us about! JK, Bella is totally the kind of girl who nervously Googled “sex” when she was 13 and then freaked out as soon as she saw the hint of a penis and then basically destroyed her hard drive in a fit of paranoia. Do you think Bella and Edward have had oral sex yet? This is a serious question.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 34: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Irina?

Last time, after a long whatever-the-literary-equivalent-of-a-montage-is, Bella ran into Irina, a member of the Alaskan vampire gang (The Snow Spinsters!). Irina took one look at Bella, her baby, and the werewolf accompanying them, and she took off running. Naturally, they didn't catch her; everybody knows you can't catch a Russian when they start running through the forest. Just ask these guys.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Movies Are Hard: Titanic II

If there's one thing we've learned from watching the Twilight movies, it's that making a movie is difficult. Clearly, some people are not up to the task! And I think failure is often more instructive than victory. That is is why I started writing about Twilight and why now, from time to time, I will be watching and reviewing terrible movies. Today: Titanic II. Oh man.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 33: Girl From The North Country

Last time, uh, there was an arm wrestling match. Sarcastic Meow asked me if there was some masturbatory significance to that. I don't really know. What do arm wrestling matches mean in like, dreams?

Chapter 27: Travel Plans

It's funny that I'm posting this on 4/20, becauseI'm pretty sure Bella is high at the beginning of this chapter. “When I looked back over my first three months as a vampire, I imagined how the thread of my life might look in the Fates' loom,” she writes. Then she wonders what color her thread would be now: red or gold? “The tapestry of family and friends that wove together around me was a beautiful, glowing thing, full of their bright, complimentary colors.” Uh-huh.

“Give me the bong back. You've had enough.”-Alice Cullen

But it becomes clear we're fast-forwarding through time. We hear that Quil and Embry have joined Jacob's pack. Of course! Jake and Quil need to exchange molestation tips. We hear that Sue Clearwater has been coming with Charlie to the Cullen house “to smooth [his] transition into the world of make-believe.” That's a pretty weird way to date, you two. Go to a movie! That'll smooth your transition into make-believe, AND you can also touch each other! We also hear that Leah is the second-in-command in Jacob's pack now, but is still a bitch. Bella doesn't care. “Happiness was the main component in my life now,” she says. “So much so” that Jasper hovers around her constantly, which Edward explains is not due to concern, but rather just an eagerness to be in such a good emotional climate. “You're so happy all the time, love, he gravitates toward you without thinking,” he says. I mean, every once in a while you gotta take a break from the non-stop porno extravaganza going on in Alice's brain, right?

Monday, April 18, 2011


I was looking forward to this chapter based on the name alone. And I was kind of right? It's a good chapter. It's light and fun and inconsequential. I think I've said before that my favorite Harry Potter book is Half-Blood Prince. I mean, it's probably not the BEST of the series by a longshot, but it was my favorite to read because the characters we'd all grown to love had a lot of room to run around; there was breathing room in that book. We never seem to get that in Twilight—even though nothing ever happens—but this is an exception to that rule.

Previously: Still Life With Cullens

(My love for HBP might also be because I read the first six books in streak, mostly on the roof of my apartment building in Philadelphia, in 2007. The seventh book wasn't out, so I think I slowed down and took my time when I got to HBP. I've only read the Harry Potter books through once, and yet I've gone over Twilight in detail. Isn't that awful? If God is a YA fan I'm going to hell. Or if God has Tumblr, I guess.)

Chapter 26: Shiny

Late in the day, Charlie is finally leaving Chez Cullen. He's due for dinner with Billy and Sue Clearwater on the Rez. Whoa, what the hell is going on with THAT situation? At the end of Eclipse, we got a minor indication that Billy Black was preparing himself to tap the ass of Harry's widow, but now Charlie's up in that business too. Huh. I knew they were friends, but I didn't know they were like, threesome-level friends. (Sue Clearwater is literally the only single woman we have ever even HEARD OF in this book, so can you blame them?)

Bella lets us know that the rest of the visit went fine, that Charlie had watched the game and that most of Emmett's double (and then single) entendres had sailed over his head. “He was totally oblivious to Emmett's suggestive jokes that got more pointed and less football-related with each aside,” is how she puts it.

“Just shove the ball up the middle, am I right Bella?”-Emmett Cullen
“Did you see how hard he hit that, Bella?”-Emmett Cullen
“I know girls like it when the linebacker and the front end swap positions.”-Emmett Cullen
“He just spit! But really, he should swallow, that's just polite.”-Emmett Cullen
“I wonder how old those balls are.”-Emmett Cullen
“The problem with this play is: not enough clitoral stimulation.”-Emmett Cullen

Before he goes, Charlie feels out the possibility that the Cullens will be bailing sometime soon. Bella doesn't paint him a rosy picture—“I can't promise we'll never leave, Dad,” she tells him. But she comforts him, as he holds Renesmee, with the fact that her middle name is (as previously noted by y'all in the comments) Carlie. As in Carlisle plus Charlie. RENESMEE CARLIE. In the margin I wrote: “UGH BELLA YOU DUMB BITCH.” And I really don't anything more to add to my original assessment. But why haven't we heard this before? Did she just decide on it right now?

“Can we, uh, maybe discuss this?”-Edward Cullen

And then he takes one last look around the room; Bella describes the scene for us. Alice is lounging at the foot of the staircase with Jasper's head in her lap (hey now!), Carlisle is reading, Esme is sketching. Edward's at the piano, and Rose and Emmett are building a “monumental house of cards.” SYMBOLIC.

There was no evidence that the day was coming to a close, that it might be time to eat or shift activities in preparation for the evening. Something intangible had changed in the atmosphere. The Cullens weren't trying as hard as they usually did—the human charade had slipped ever so slightly, enough for Charlie to feel the difference.

We hear so often about how sexy the Cullens are that we forget (and Bella forgets) that they are also kind of spooky! As Charlie pulls out of the driveway, Edward congratulates Bella on her control. Emmett sneers that she's not even a vampire, she's “too tame.” Amen, Emmett! All this time I've assumed Alice was me, but am I Emmett? (That's kind of a tongue twister: Am I Emmett? Am I Emmett? Am I Emmett?)

Bella snarls at the implication that she is tame. But you are, girl! Just because you've had sex three times, it doesn't make you Alice all of a sudden! But anyway, Edward reminds her that she made a promise to him about something she would do when she was immortal. (The word “immortal” always sounds ridiculous to me—video gamey, I guess. Am I Immortal, Emmett? Am I Immortal, Emmett? Now it kinda sounds like it should be a palindrome.) That promise, as I recall, was to kick the shit out of Emmett.

After a moment, I remembered and I gasped, “Oh!”
Alice trilled a long, pealing laugh.

So Bella challenges Emmett to an arm wrestling match on the dining room table. No joke: this event is the centerpiece of this chapter.

“Er, Bella,” Alice said quickly. “I think Esme is rather fond of that table. It's an antique.”
“Thanks,” Esme mouthed at her.

(“I found out when Jasper and I tried to fuck on it.”-Alice Cullen) They instead head for the backyard, where a large granite boulder sits near the river. (“Er, Bella, Jasper and I are rather fond of that boulder...”-Alice Cullen) Bella gets nervous as she watches the “thick muscles in Emmett's arm roll” after he's positioned himself. Um, I though vampires were basically made of stone? Their muscles still roll? The bet they make is that if Bella wins the match, Emmett has to stop making sex jokes. Of course that would be all Bella asks for (“I want to end the sexy talk in this book as quickly as I can”-Bella Cullen). Bella wouldn't like this blog very much, eh? Own your sexuality, woman! Just fuck Edward right in front of him, THAT will shut him up! Emmett says if he wins, the teasing will get a lot worse. Good for you, buddy. But you're totally going to lose. Bella feels Emmett shove against her with all his strength (you're welcome), but he doesn't budge her. She thrills at the insane strength she has in a single arm.

His hand shoved against mine with crushing force, but it wasn't unpleasant. It felt kind of good in a weird way.

Well okay then! After a few seconds, she slams Emmett's arm down, breaking a chunk off the boulder when she does. While he stomps away angrily, Bella puts her hand against the rock and digs her fingers into it, coming away with a handful of gravel. “Cool,” she says; this is Bella's “Keanu Whoa” moment. She spins and karate chops the boulder in half, then starts systematically and joyfully pounding it into dust. Bella ignores the laughter behind her until RNSM joins in with a giggle. When she turns everybody is staring at RNSM like “she can laugh, too?”

Then the sun “bursts through the clouds” and Bella sees Edward in the sunlight, as a vampire, for the first time. How many different times can she see him for the first time? This is the fourth! (Also annoying: early in the chapter, Bella makes passing reference to the fact that it looks like they might get a little sun right before it sets. And then this happens. So, Bella accurately predicted the weather, OK. It bothers me that this is S. Meyer's idea of good writing—dropping a vague hint apropos of nothing a few paragraphs before X event in order to make it seem more earned.)

And then Bella has the soliloquy I alluded to last time, in which she talks about what an “average” girl she once was, and how she'd saddled up after “eight years of mediocrity” to the soft bigotry of low expectations. But then she found out what she did best, and along with it came true happiness.

Cool story, right? Except what Bella is good at is being a vampire. Maybe she'll be the best vampire EVER, and that could have some interesting implications for the rest of this book. Maybe that throwaway Matrix joke up there wasn't for naught; maybe Bella is Neo is The One, you know? But this epiphany for Bella is troubling if she's supposed to be a stand-in for her readers. Twilight presents a path to confidence and happiness that it also presents as literally unattainable. Sorry girls, you're shit out of luck!

If by chance there are any girls like that (girls who haven't removed themselves enough from Twilight to avoid being emotionally impacted by it) reading this, I don't actually believe the above. Being a teenager sucks, I know, but stick with it because being an adult is pretty awesome. You don't need a vampire boyfriend or paranormal strength to be happy. One girl's “being a vampire” is another girl's “being a really good blogger,” you know?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blogging Breaking Dawn, pt. 31: Still Life With Cullens

Everybody still alive out there? We're going to get through this, I promise.

Chapter 25 (cont'd): Favor

So Jacob has told Charlie that Bella is a vampire, sort of. He knows she's SOMETHING, and that's all he wants to know. Bella is still worried even though “Jacob's intervention had brought out a better reaction from Charlie than I'd ever hoped.” So yeah, this is the problem we've been having: Edward and Bella living too happily ever after. But this time I'll let this narrative erosion—er—slide, because Charlie is the best and I'm glad he's coming back.

And, it turns out, Charlie knows about Renesmee. Jacob told him the baby is like their ward, that Bella and Edward are adopting her, “like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.” I'm assuming he's referring to when Wayne adopted Grayson and not when they adopted a Chinese baby together in the infamous Frank Miller graphic novel Gay Batman. Apparently Charlie even smiled at the notion that he was now a grandfather. AWWWW this guy, huh? Jacob told Charlie that RNSM was “more special than all of us put together,” to try and head off concerns about her rapid growth.

“All of us put together? Oh please. Though that is a weirdly sexy image.”-Alice Cullen

The problem that I am having is that this next section has a lot of fun stuff in it, but that fun stuff is sandwiched between ugliness. Like sex with a really hot girl during an orgy of mostly unattractive people. I mean I know that there are ugly people at every orgy but sometimes you just wish they'd hang out by the coffee for a while longer you know what I mean? No?

The first thing I'm referring to is Jacob trying to apologize to Bella by again pitching his idea that this is how everything was supposed to work out. “I'll always love you. But I love you the right way now,” he says. As a mother-in-law? “There's finally a balance. We both have people we can't live without.”

When we were talking Sucker Punch, I was aware that the moral part of my brain was conflicting with the libertine part of it. I guess the latter won out, but this is the flip side of the coin. I can see that S. Meyer is sort of presenting this to us as a daring, freaky relationship—challenging us to be OK with Jacob and RNSM being together, trying to show us that our horror was an overreaction. But the lack of two consenting adults is what she is missing. It's a different result from the same mistake Right Wingers make when they say if we allow gay marriage, we'll have to allow men to marry animals. Sorry Rick Santorum, but your dog can't consent to having sex with you. Once again, I invoke the mysterious fanfiction writer Janine who, in The Edge, put Bella in a polyamorus relationship with Jasper and Alice. That was the kind of freaky but acceptable relationship S. Meyer could have employed (if she wasn't so scared of homosexuality).

Anyway, suffice it to say that I hate everything S. Meyer is doing with this Jacob/RNSM thing, and it is awful and evil and getting worse every time it comes up. (I recently learned what the term "ship" meant, when someone told me they "ship" me and my wife. Are there people out there who ship Jacob and Renesmee? And am I the only one who didn't know what that term meant?)

The second thing is that after a series of funny set pieces, Bella sits back and realizes she is special. It's a wonderful moment for her self-esteem, and she rattles off the ways in which she always thought of herself as mediocre. It's a moment that probably resonates with many of the young girls reading, but unfortunately what makes Bella special now is fucking vampire magic, so the inadvertent message to the audience is: you're not special, and there is no way to ever fix it. Or maybe it will be fixed, if the right guy comes along. The symbolic meaning of Twilight is always convoluted like this—this series was an allegory for abstinence, with vampires abstaining from biting, until it was just LITERALLY about abstinence, with vampires abstaining from sex—but either way the message is pretty ugly.

Alice, who bolted from the room when she first heard Charlie was coming (“I need to wear something WAY sexier than this!”), returns and saves us from Jacob and S. Meyer, “her hands full and her expression promising violence.” Team Alice! She orders the wolfpack into the corner and tells them to “commit to being there for a while” so she can “see.” You get the feeling—though it is never really made explicit—that Alice is learning to work around the wolves and half-breed babies in her life. When Bella won't let Jacob hold RNSM (good girl!) Alice tells her to just keep the baby still so she can “see around her.”

She also gives Bella colored contacts to hide her bright red eyes—she says she “was prepared for several possible futures” before they left on the honeymoon.

“If you'd died, I had two weeks' worth of high-caliber prostitutes ready to go for Edward. Didn't get my deposit back, either.”-Alice Cullen

Bella can see the “microscopic scratches and warped sections” of the contact lenses. Gosh, vampire-vision must be pretty tough to take sometimes. Years of blogging has rendered me so nearsighted I can't even read most wall clocks anymore, and it's great, like permanent beer goggles. Anyway, Edward tells Bella she looks gorgeous and Alice mentions that Bella's real brown eyes were much prettier. This is here mostly to set up something that happens in a few minutes, but I like that Alice used to think about how pretty Bella's eyes were.

Alice leaves to stock the bathroom with spare contacts—the venom in Bella's eyes will slowly burn them away—and instructs Esme to teach Bella to move like a human again. What follows is an interesting and funny scene in which all of the Cullens explain the tips and tricks they use to blend in. Esme tells her not to move too quickly. Emmett tells her to sit if the other person does; “Humans don't like to just stand there,” he says. Jasper tells her to let her eyes wander every thirty seconds, Rose tells her to cross and uncross her legs (nice every five minutes). When Bella then practices moving slowly, Alice rolls her eyes at the attempt. I'm picturing Bella doing a super-exaggerated slow-motion walk, like a cartoon character sneaking up on someone.

Edward instructs RNSM not to mind-meld with Charlie, and also not to bite him. Bella is like, “she understands that?” and Edward is like “uh, maybe.” Edward then tries to kick Jacob out, but he claims Charlie needs him there for moral support. “As far as Charlie knows, you're the most repulsive monster of us all,” Edward says.

“Repulsive?” Jacob protested.

YEAH, REPULSIVE! You don't know that? That aside, the page and a half that follows is the funniest moment I have found in this series so far. (Breaking Dawn is really a best-of-times, worst-of-times situation) Bella hears Charlie's car in the driveway and concentrates on calming down. Jasper, monitoring her mood, says, “Well done, Bella.” But Edward gives her an encouragement kiss, which immediately makes Bella super horny.

Jasper felt my mood change. “Er, Edward, you might not want to distract her like that right now. She needs to be able to focus.”

And then there is this:

“Later,” I said, and anticipation curled my stomach into a ball.
“Focus, Bella,” Jasper urged.
“Right.” I pushed the trembly feelings away. Charlie, that was the main thing right now. Keep Charlie safe today. We would have all night...
“Sorry, Jasper.”
Emmett laughed.

Wonderful. It's subtle, it brings back that interplay between the narration and the dialogue from book one, and it's funny and charming. I know the bar is really low, but I was totally floored. Well done, S. Meyer.

And then Charlie shows up. Carlisle answers the door, and Bella watches the doctor instantly change his expression from stressed to welcoming, “like switching the channel on the TV.” S. Meyer is at her best when she's giving us these weird little details. She's not very good at plotting, or dialogue; she doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on morality and basic human decency; she doesn't do a good job of really establishing the over-arching rules of this fantasy world she's constructed. But she's got jokes, and she can do this. Though I am still waiting to hear about whether or not vampires wear underwear. Is that in her FAQ?

Bella awkwardly re-introduces herself to her shocked, stressed father. For the first time we get the sense that her voice is much different than before—Charlie can barely recognize it. What with all the “bell-tone” and “chime” metaphors S. Meyer has used, are they going to just auto-tune Kristen Stewart's voice or something? As Charlie stares, Bella bites her lip. It's been a while since we've had a good lip bite! Remember when I planned on keeping track of them? Bella tries not to breathe around her father, but she needs to inhale in order to speak. So for most of the conversation she keeps us posted on her oxygen levels, which would be an interesting way to build tension if we didn't already know this was going to work out just fine. Bella assures Charlie that she is, herself, just fine, and Edward “smoothly” lies that his long-lost brother died in a car crash which is why he recently inherited his niece. Renesmee. His niece whose name is a portmanteau of his mother's name and his wife's mother's name. Yes, very smooth. Bella points out that Carlisle is a grandfather too, and that should make him feel better about the whole thing, and Charlie laughs because it does. But then RNSM looks at him, and he sees her eyes—“his eyes”—and the truth dawns on him. Bella sees him trying to calculate exactly how long ago she was pregnant, and Edward comes out with a version of the truth. Charlie seems like he's finally about to freak out.

And then Emmett, who has been weirdly central lately, suddenly shouts from across the room. He's watching a football game. “Florida winning?” Charlie asks. Everyone except Emmett freezes in anticipation, and once Emmett tells him the score, Charlie sits down next to him and says, “Well, I guess we should see if they can hold on to the lead.” It's a funny moment that is also very psychologically complex—it's very Matthew Weiner-esque. Can I end on a Mad Men reference two times in a row?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WRITING BREAKING DAWN: Extreme Home Makeover: Vampire Edition

Esme Cullen put her hands on her hips and looked over the decrepit stone cottage before her. She rolled up her sleeves, and while she did she visualized the fruits of her coming labors. She closed her eyes and smiled.
“Why imagine when you can have the real thing?” Alice said suddenly. Esme's adoptive daughter had appeared out of nowhere. As she approached she made a “jerking off” hand gesture for some reason.
“Alice, I didn't hear you coming,” she said.
“Well, I've tried to be quieter ever since you and Carlisle complained,” Alice said.
“That's not what I meant. I mean I didn't hear you coming in the forest.”
“Right,” Alice said as Jasper stepped out of the trees, zipping up his pants. “That's what I thought you meant.”
Esme just shook her head, then turned back to the cottage. “Okay then, out with it. What do you see?” She gestured toward the house.
Alice let her eyes go out of focus as she looked into the future, to what Edward and his new bride would be doing in their home. She frowned. “I don't think you want to hear this, Esme.”
“What?” Esme looked crestfallen. “They don't like it? What do you see?”
“Well Bella's on her back on that antique ottoman you bought at the flea market, and Edward is just pounding—”
“Enough,” Esme said as Jasper chuckled.
“Anyway, you can probably guess why I'm here,” Alice said. “That bitch is not bringing a single scrap of her fucking khaki mujahideen garb onto the property. I simply won't allow it.”
“Alice! Language!” Esme said.
“This is fucking deadly serious,” Alice said, her eyes on fire. “Her fashion sense is an affront to all that is holy. I will literally commit fucking seppuku if I am seen with her in another khaki skirt and sleeveless white sweater. What's next, a fucking bolo tie?”
“Hey now,” Jasper said. “There's a time and a place for those.”
“Yeah,” Alice hissed. “Appomattox fucking Court House!”
“Now that's just mean, baby,” Jasper looked stricken.
“I'm sorry, that was harsh. Anyway, Esme,” Alice turned back to her mother casually, pulling a piece of paper out of her back pocket. “I've taken the liberty of drawing up some plans.”
Esme looked over the blue print. “What are all these leather straps for? Hanging the clothes?”
“Oh shit,” Alice said, snatching the paper out of Esme's hands. “Those are plans for... something else I'm building. This is the one I meant to give you.” She handed Esme another sheet of paper, containing plans for a massive closet.
“Alice, this is enormous,” Esme said.
“That's what she said,” Alice said.
“That's what who said?” Esme asked, suddenly shocked. “You didn't tell Bella, did you?”
“No, I was, uh, referring to Rose,” Alice said. “But listen: it won't be visible from the front, Jasper and I will handle all of the parts and labor, and it will make me really happy. Please? Please? Please?”
Esme looked at her daughter, who was now jumping up and down, hands folded under her chin. “Okay, fine.”
“Yay!” Alice hugged her.
“Honey, you know this won't make Bella love you, right?” Esme said quietly.
Alice broke away. “Now why the fuck would you go and say something like that?”
“Oh, honey, I just didn't want you to be filled with false hope.”
“You don't know that it's false,” Alice said, her voice strained. “There could still be a chance!” Her voice broke, then.
Jasper looked off awkwardly into the trees, shoving his hands into his pockets and whistling a tune to himself.
Alice fell to her knees.
“Alice, dear,” Esme said, lowering herself traditionally to the ground. “She and Edward are dedicated to each other. You know you can't come between them. You've known this for a long time.”
“Fuck, I know,” Alice said, staring at the ground. “I just thought—I don't know. I thought she'd get bored. Edward is so fucking boring.”
“I know, honey. I know,” Esme patted the back of her head. “So I guess we won't worry about the closet then?”
“Oh don't even pull that shit with me, Esme,” Alice said, rising suddenly to her feet. “We're doing this.”

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 30: Napoleon's Battle Plan

LAST TIME, not only did Edward and Bella fuck right there on the page, Edward revealed that the Cullen house is pretty much a non-stop orgy when the sun goes down. Okay, a heteronormative and monogamous fuck-den, actually, and all of the sex happens under the protective auspices of holy matrimony, but you get it.

Related: Moonlight Sex Nada

Surprisingly, Edward says Rosalie and Emmett had the most difficulty keeping their body parts out of each other. Them? Why don't I get that vibe? Edward does of course allude to their passion in the past tense.

“Better to burn out than to fade away, bro.”-Emmett Cullen
“Hey, do you have any, like, single friends? Discreet ones?”-Emmett Cullen

(And we've also heard Rosalie is the second best musician, which means she's had some spare time.) Maybe Alice and Jasper are just sneakier. There have been multiple previous indications that they were fucking—remember that weird moment in Eclipse when Edward was all like, “Uh, I think Alice stepped out”? What was THAT?

Or maybe they've progressed so much that what they are doing now doesn't even count as a sex act yet. They're sexual forward thinkers, like middle schoolers.

Chapter 25: Favor

The next morning, Bella wants to keep boning, but Edward says “Renesmee” which makes Bella want to go tend to her child instead. (“Renesmee” is Edward's “I have a headache.”) Sort of. She stands up, naked, and her head whips back and forth “a half dozen times in a second” from Edward's body to the direction of her baby. Whoa, headrush. Also—and I love a naked woman as much as the next guy—that can't look terribly attractive, what with the blurry head and all.

Bella still has difficulty wrapping her overactive vampire brain around the fact that she is a mother. If this chapter has a theme it is the awkwardness of being a parent, but we'll get to that next time. There's a goofy moment where Bella finally walks into her oversized closet, an addition to the cottage supposedly bigger than the rest of the cottage, and is greeted by dozens of garment bags.

“Alice,” we said together. He said her name like an explanation; I said it like an expletive.

WORDPLAY! Edward tracks the scent of some denim for her (seriously) and then a t-shirt. So do vampires skip underwear? Or did Alice just not provide any?

“No panties and jeans, that's so necessary”-Alice Carter

And then we get to THE BEST SENTENCE IN THE TWILIGHT SAGA. For real, I found it. It is on page 488, and this is how it goes:

If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover.

If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover. If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover. If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover. If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover. If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover. If I hadn't seen him undressed, I would have sworn there was nothing more beautiful than Edward in his khakis and pale beige pullover.

Holy shit, right? That really cuts to the essence of the thing right there. So they get back to the house, and RNSM is awake. The Cullens are, I think, not properly alarmed by RNSM's behavior. Here, she is introduced sitting on the ground in front of a pile of mangled silverware.

As soon as she spied me through the glass, she chucked the spoon on the floor—where it left a divot in the wood—and pointed in my direction imperiously. Her audience laughed.

Nobody is a little concerned? Bella picks her churlish baby up and reassures herself that her growth has slowed. Is that really possible? I'd believe it if Bella'd been pregnant for a while, and then there'd been a surge of growth at the end of the pregnancy, but bitch had a baby bump ten seconds after Edward pulled out, you know? The casino closed for renovations the MOMENT Elvis left the building! How are we supposed to believe anything other than RNSM is going to age super fast and die at like, age ten? I mean, that is almost certainly NOT going to happen, but it makes the most sense. I suppose Edward and Bella could try to vamp RNSM to stop her growth when she hits peak physical condition, but can you vamp a half-vampire? (Suddenly I'm tricking myself into being interested again!)

RNSM mind-melds with Bella and shows her mother that she's hungry; Bella feels a pang of Nancy Botwin-like guilt. Rose says she's only been up a few minutes, and that Esme “sacrificed” a set of silverware to keep her entertained. But she's only been up for a few minutes!? Tell her to chill out! You'll get nothing and like it, Renesmee! Bella asks why they are developmentally screwing her daughter over, and it turns out they were doing it so Edward could keep screwing Bella over. “We didn't want, bother you,” Rose says as Emmett chuckles silently.

Emmett is a man of few words, huh? He even chuckles silently! (Kellan Lutz got a pretty lousy gig. Then again, he's basically the highest paid extra in showbiz, so.) When Emmett speaks a whole paragraph there, it's jarring. Bella tells Esme the house is perfect, and then:

“So it's still standing?” he managed to get out between his snickers. “I would've thought you two had knocked it to rubble by now. What were you doing last night? Discussing the national debt?” He howled with laughter.

Oh ha ha ha. But that is notable as a rather indirect but still very definite acknowledgment of S-E-X, and I'm still resolved to call those out wherever they are. S. Meyer tap-danced around fucking for three books, and even now that fucking is happening, it's almost like she can't quite bring herself to say so. Or maybe that's just the after-effects of the prudishness of the first three books? Am I just having trouble adjusting to the new world order? What is it like walking around after someone finally takes your chastity belt off? Does it feel good or is it a little weird?

Rose feeds RNSM and Bella hears that Jacob took off in a huff (and a puff and a blow your house down) early this morning. No one is quite sure what was up his ass, but quite suddenly Edward and Alice become telepathically aware of whatever he did. Edward growls, and Alice jumps up—something has happened that “erased [her] schedule for the entire day.” One thing I like about Alice as she is ACTUALLY written (as opposed to my alterations and assumptions) is that she is totally selfish but not self-absorbed. Clearly, something is happening that is causing Edward to freak out, but Alice makes the source of her own anguish more clear.

She shot me a tortured glance. “Look at you! You need me to show you how to use your closet.”

She could give a fuck about whatever crisis is coming, she just wanted to have a girly day with Bella! This is the fourth or fifth time Alice's passion for the clothes of others has gotten in the way of whatever she should actually be concerned about. And not only is it funny, it nicely undercuts S. Meyer's terminal low stakes problem. Because whatever this is, it's not going to be a big deal. But let's pretend whatever is coming is serious anyway.

Here's another great part:

And then Edward's hands balled up into fists and he snarled, “He talked to Charlie. He thinks Charlie is following after him. Coming here. Today.”
Alice said a word that sounded very odd in her trilling, ladylike voice, and then she blurred into motion, streaking out the back door.

What do you think the word was? (Top three guesses: 1. “Cocksucker” 2. “Sonofamotherfuck” 3. “Cuntcuntcunt”)

Bella's mind immediately jumps to Charlie getting killed by the Volturi, so she's pretty pissed off when Jacob swaggers in. Turns out that morning he heard Rose and Emmett talking about a planned cross-country move (to Dartmouth and therefore NH—shoutout to the granite state!) and realized he had to do something to enable them to stay in Forks. So he decided to solve the Charlie problem. Bella raises the Volturi issue, but Jacob explains that he just used her old battle plan: try to get Charlie to come to the wrong conclusion. So he showed up at Charlie's and phased in front of him.

First of all: let's talk about why this plan is dumb. The Volturi want to protect the secrecy of vampire existence, right? But it's not as though the specific fact that they are “vampires” is the most important thing. They are trying to hide the fact that they are immortal fantastical creatures. The specific TYPE of immortal fantastical creature is beside the point—it's an undead rose by any other name. So whether Charlie knows the genus and species is not the key to his survival. Jacob and Bella's thoughts is Napoleon.

(Also: the Cullens all graduated and need to be moving on anyway. Bella can't exactly re-enroll at Forks High under another name, can she? “Uh, my name is Stella Brawn...”)

Bella wants more details, so Jacob gives her the full account. His story of what happened is compelling, and makes me miss him as a narrator. He phased in front of Charlie, changed back, and was basically like, “You think it's one way, but it's the other way.”
I gotta give Jacob credit: he knew exactly how little to say. He tells Charlie that Bella really WAS sick, and had to “change a little” to get better. That she is “more like Esme” now than Renee. He uses details about the wolf pack to get Charlie to say he'd “rather not know the specifics” before he ever has to tell him much about the Cullens. Charlie, who we have seen in the past knows more than he usually lets on, also knows exactly what and what not to ask.

“Then he asked if you'd known what you were getting yourself into when you married Edward, and I said, 'Sure, she's known all about this for years, since she first came to Forks.' He didn't like that very much. I let him rant till he got it out of his system. After he calmed down, he just wanted two things. He wanted to see you, and...his main request is that he be told as little as possible about all of this.”

In S. Meyer fashion it unfolds rather conveniently, but you buy it now because it works for Charlie to react this way. You get the feeling that he's understood something about the Cullens for a long time, but chose not to look into it. Perhaps because he didn't care, but more likely because he knew the Cullens didn't want him to know. Charlie is Bert Cooper, hearing about Don Draper's identity from Pete Campbell. Go back to work, Pete. I mean, Jacob.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


[I might be the only one who didn't know about it, but if you haven't read this already, go do it it's amazing]


Edward Cullen closed his eyes and let the melody carry him away. His fingers cascaded over the keys. It was automatic now, muscle memory. He grinned, despite himself, as he listened to the music. The old pros sure knew how to write a sonata.
A loud cracking sound, like a whip, snapped him out of his reverie. Did he break another string? These upright pianos were so sensitive. He wished there was room in his family's condo for something a little more grand. He chuckled at his little joke as he tested each key. Another cracking sound.
Another crack. Edward groaned and let his head fall onto the keys. He'd asked Jasper earlier that evening to please keep it down. Alice had replied “that's what she said,” so he'd assumed Rose or Esme was on his side too. But maybe they'd forgotten.
“COULD YOU TWO PLEASE BE QUIETER?” Edward called, head still on the piano keys.
Silence then, and a door opening. Alice sat down gingerly next to him on the piano bench. She'd had the decency to put a robe on this time, though it was shorter than Edward thought it ought to be. She started to gently massage his shoulders.
“You know Edward, I don't know how much you know about American history,” Alice said in a low voice, “but there weren't a lot of uptight vampires shouting about noise levels in antebellum Missouri. Fucking with our roleplay is a real bonerkiller, you know.”
“It's so distracting, Alice. Not to mention sinful.”
“Hey, we got hitched, didn't we? We did that for your sake. Now everything we do in there is holy.”
“A Vegas chapel while high on amphetamines is hardly what I had in mind for a wedding. Plus it doesn't excuse what you did before you were married.”
“I went to confession!” Alice giggled. “I aired my dirty laundry before God.”
“And that turned out just fine and dandy, didn't it?” Edward said sarcastically.
“That priest had a prior heart condition. But this isn't about us Edward. This is about you. You should be doing what we're doing. Well, not exactly what we're doing until you've had some practice, but you get it.”
“I just haven't found the right girl.”
“Maybe you should be looking for a boy,” Alice suggested tentatively.
“Not you, too.”
“Keep an open mind.”
“Open minds are the devil's playground.”
“That's not the expression, Edward.” Alice fiddled with the keys at her end of the piano, a brief, playful melody. “You know, your predicament reminds me of an episode of a situation comedy I was watching the other day while Jasper was...well, never mind that. A boy wanted money to buy a new RC car. So he set up a lemonade stand and borrowed money from his father. But he couldn't recoup the costs! And we all learned a valuable lesson about capitalism.” Alice laughed softly to herself and sighed.
“What does that have to do with me?” Edward said, annoyed.
“What does what have to do with what?” Alice asked. She stared blankly at him for a few moments.
“Alice, are you drunk?”
“It's possible,” she said. She made a jerking off hand gesture for some reason.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BLOGGING BREAKING DAWN, pt. 29: Last Tango In Forks

The Cullens are still discussing how remarkable it is that Bella has adapted to vampire life so easily, when Edward proposes that maybe Bella's power is like, super adapting-to-life-as-a-vampire capability. Aw man, for real? Bella is briefly disappointed she won't be “shooting lightning bolts” from her eyes (I feel you gurl), but then she has the realization we all had two to three chapters ago. “What if I didn't have to be a newborn?” she says. Well, uh, this would be happening. The stuff that is happening right now would be happening. WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT IF.

And then Carlisle mentions his friend Siobhan, who apparently had a similar power. (“Your friend in that Irish coven?” Rosalie asks, not at all awkwardly. Don't vampires have perfect recall?) Can we have a discussion with S. Meyer about what having a super power means?

“Yes, Siobhan...has this way of deciding her goals and then almost...willing them into reality.”

We're going to do THAT? Seriously? Someone has the super power of willing goals into reality? Holy shit. Has S. Meyer even SEEN a comic book? I hope the next vampire we meet can predict peoples NAMES. Or maybe he or she will have like, extraordinary essay-writing abilities! The Cullens sit down and start chatting, presumably about how retarded Siobhan's power is, while Bella holds Renesmee and the baby continues to use her distinctly less lame but rather impractical ability to project her memories into her mother's head. Eventually the images start to blur around the edges, and RNSM falls asleep. Awwww. That's (sort of) cute. I was hoping RNSM would recall every event of her day up to and including this one and then there'd be like, a glitch in The Matrix. (Do you think once some stoners were watching The Matrix and then there was a glitch on the DVD and their brains just EXPLODED?) Bella holds RNSM's hand to her cheek and realizes she can actually see her daughter's dreams. Heavy. However, she apparently dreams in screen-savers—“just colors and shapes and faces.” What kind of drugs did Carlisle give Bella while she was pregnant, incidentally?
Renesmee's Dream

As Bella observes the Cullens sitting and talking, she notices they deliberately fidget, crossing and uncrossing their legs, touching their hair, and that sort of thing. She realizes that she feels no need to shift her weight or even sit, and that the Cullens are obviously very well practiced at human-like behavior. Does that proclivity toward standing perfectly still really square with the fact that vampires still breathe all the time? (Also, you just KNOW Alice's humanizing gesture is a “jerking off” hand motion.)

Then Edward notes the rest of the family returning. Bella looks out the window and sees Alice swinging from tree branches like a trapeze artist. Esme makes a “traditional leap” over the river, and Emmett just runs right through the water. LADIEZZZ. (Is that supposed to be indicative of sexual technique? Alice is playful and creative, Esme is traditional, and Emmett just dives right in.) Jasper comes back too, so obviously Alice talked him down. And by talked him down I mean... well, you know by now.

Chapter 24: Surprise

Alice comes in and wishes Bella a happy birthday and Bella is all “shut yo mouth cunt!” but seriously, it's Bella's human birthday, she's technically nineteen.

“No, this doesn't count. I stopped aging three days ago. I am eighteen forever.”
“Whatever,” Alice said, dismissing my protest with a quick shrug. “We're celebrating anyway, so suck it up.”

I didn't even make that quote up, it's a real one! Anyway, Alice and Edward both have keys with ribbons on them. Wait, how do key parties work? Is that what this is?
One of the keys is obviously to the “after car.” Well, shit, here I have been criticizing Breaking Dawn for wrapping up all of the loose ends to early, and I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT WHAT CAR BELLA IS GOING TO GET TO DRIVE! And S. Meyer isn't going to give us that one so easily, we don't find out anything more about it in this chapter because of what the other key does SO NOW I HAVE TO KEEP READING I GUESS.

There is a funny moment when Alice returns to the comic relief role she filled throughout Eclipse; she insists that her birthday surprise come first (Edward's being the car), because it apparently concerns clothes. As in birthday suits? “Look how she's dressed,” Alice moans. “It's been killing me all day.” Edward pushes back.

“I know—I'll play you for it,” Alice suggested. “Rock, paper, scissors.”
Jasper chuckled and Edward sighed.
“Why don't you just tell me who wins?” Edward said wryly.
Alice beamed. “I do. Excellent.”

Bella hands off her baby to Rose and asks if she has a crib; Alice informs her that RNSM usually sleeps in Rose's or Esme's or Jacob's arms. Gross. That kid's going to get vertigo or something. Anyway, everyone is really cagey about coming along with Edward, Alice and Bella to wherever they're going off to. Don't get too excited.

On the way, Bella dreads getting whatever gift she's about to get, and then expresses relief that she brought her wet blanket of a soul into her afterlife. She says it's a “revelation to discover how much of my essential core traits had come with me into this new body.” That she hates gifts is one of her “essential core traits”? Okay, you guys are right: Bella is a poorly drawn character.

“Don't attack me,” [Alice] warned, and sprang at me.
“What are you doing?” I demanded, squirming as she scrambled onto my back and wrapped her hands around my face.

Again, don't get too excited! Alice reveals to Bella a stone cottage in the woods. It's old and covered in honeysuckle and lined with roses. Turns out Esme has been renovating it so that Bella and Edward could have a place to spend some time alone. Meaning fuck. Literally, that's what they intend it for; Bella wonders why Esme and the rest of them didn't come, and Edward explains that the alone time is the other part of the gift. So it's a little weird when we get inside and the cottage isn't full of whips and chains and leather swings with dildos mounted on the walls and stuff. I mean, that just seems obvious, right? The stone walls make sense, though.

I continued staring, mouth gaping like a fish.

Sure. Anyway, Alice briefly panics at Bella's silence, but she loves the place. When Edward makes a remark about its size she tells him, “No knocking my house.” That she refers to it as her house is kind of huge, right? I like that. Alice won't come inside (damn! Are you sure? Just to use the shower or something? Fix the cable for them?) and says she'll “stop by... later.” So they go inside, and Bella thinks about her day and her mind is just a little bit blown when she realizes her day will literally never end. That's a concept that is worthy of further exploration, right? But not now: it's FUCKING time. I'm not even kidding.
Because then, we get a sex scene. Really? Yes, really! Sort of. Bella and Edward fuck, in so many words. Seriously, I mean literally in SO MANY words, and none of the normal ones like “penis” or “vagina” and none of the expected abnormal ones either, like “swollen member” and that weird thing where “my sex” refers to vagina sometimes? What is with that? But yeah, this is the most sexually explicit scene we have had.

(It's still not THAT explicit. I was a little surprised by the reactions I saw online to the leaked scenes from the Breaking Dawn film. “How is this PG-13?” someone asked. It's a damn shot of Edward's back while he thrusts. How is that NOT PG-13? Have these people seen Eyes Wide Shut?)
Edward and Bella tear each other's clothes off and then fuck on the floor because they don't have the patience to make it to the bed. Really!

He was all new, a different person as our bodies tangled gracefully into one on the sand-pale floor. We could love together—both active participants now. Finally equal.

Hey, that's nice! EQUALITY. FUCKING. This is all I have been asking for! But I have a serious question: do orgasms exist in this book? Bella realizes as they go at it that she's not going to get tired, “and neither was he.”

We didn't have to catch our breath or rest or eat or even use the bathroom; we had no more mundane human needs...So, in such a situation, how did we ever stop?

There's a pretty clear stopping point, right? I mean, for ten minutes at least, you know? DO vampires cum? And if they DON'T, how did Bella get pregnant? Is that something S. Meyer, you know, understands? And even if venom-semen is a thing, is the female vampire orgasm a myth? Not to be indelicate, but there is nowhere in this scene that Bella appears to get off. Which is kind of troubling.

In the morning, Bella asks Edward if he misses her human body.

It wasn't the first time we'd spoken, but we weren't exactly keeping up a conversation, either.

So just one of them, is a talker. I'm guessing Bella.

Then he pulled his fingers very slowly down my face, lightly tracing from my jaw to my throat and then all the way down to my waist. My eyes rolled back into my head a little.

ALL THE WAY DOWN, baby! But again: the horse is being led to water, but we don't hear if she was quenched or not. A while later, Bella asks Edward how the rest of his family keeps from fucking all the time. He unexpectedly replies that it IS kind of a struggle for them to keep it in their pants all day, but:

“There's a tremendous amount of time left over when you don't have to sleep. It makes balancing your...interests quite easy. There's a reason why I'm the best musician in the family.”

He's a very good solo musician, if you know what I mean. But seriously, is she just saying he had a lot of spare time or is she saying he played the piano to block out the throes of passion coming from everywhere else in the house? What does Chez Cullen sound like around midnight?