Before this, there was this
Book 2. Oh, Book 2. The writing definitely improved a bit, and gave the character of Jacob Black (a minor character saddled with some exposition in book 1) something to do, and Bella someone different to hang out with. There is this weird Team Jacob/Team Edward bullshit with some of the Twilight Fans. THEY BOTH SUCK, OK PEOPLE? As I’ve stated before and will again here: I am on Team Buffy, or Team Blade, whichever one kills these fucking characters faster.
Book 2 is almost interesting with the introduction of Werewolves (sorry, Courtney) who have this terrifyingly prison-rapey style draft sequence. After he has become one of The Pack, Jacob has trouble meeting Bella’s eyes and is all rageful and anxious and full of self-loathing, and then his four Bros come walking out of the forest, sans shirts. Mmmm, prison sex on the Rez. Very nice, Stephenie Meyers, classy, very nice.
Oh, and we meet the girl one of the Wolfboys is shacked up with, all scar-faced from “making him angry” because, you know, werewolves are hostile motherfuckers.
It is almost interesting- Meyers obviously understands what the monsters mean in classic literature/folklore. The werewolf as unrestrained id/rage/rape, the Vampire as- oh no wait, SHE MISSED THAT PART. Because her vampires just aren’t. They are the X-Men, each with a different power and a personality that matches it.
But on the werewolf front- she almost, kind of, gets it right. Promptly ruining the only character who seemed vaguely human (snerk), meaning that good-natured Jacob kid who becomes an entitled little beast- I think the semi-infamous Rape-Kiss sequence isn’t until Book 3, but he still turns into a dick the minute he becomes a werewolf. Also? Cocksure- much like Edward, Jacob is suddenly smirking at Bella all the time. Apparently, Men Feeling Superior to the Little Lady is how SM tries to relate attraction and romance.
WEEP FOR THIS POOR WOMAN AND HER SUPERIOR, ASSHOLE HUSBAND.
Also the meta-plot villains of the series, the Vosomething vampires are introduced- they are your standard old fashioned nasty vampires- at least they aren’t the modern euro-trash-ran-through-exploding-latex-factory-hissing vamps. Though I think they do hiss. They don’t really do anything other than hiss, but Edward and his family all kind of resent them for being all evil and shit.
Well, they do massacre a busload of tourists- but c’mon, it isn’t like I can dredge up sympathy for tourists. Besides, they are fucking vampires doing evil shit like killing people and drinking their blood is kind of what they do!
Oh, way before that there is some more lovey crap that culminates in Edward wanting to commit suicide and- it’s just awful. All of the stuff with the vampires in this book is truly bad- the writing might be slightly better on a technical level in this book, but the plotting/story is EVEN WORSE.
So Edward thinks Bella isn’t safe because of his love- see, he is a threat to her or something. So he convinces his entire family to uproot and split, leaving Bella alone. Mind you- they are AWARE that there is at least one non-“vegetarian” (i.e. overpopulated human ignoring, endangered species murdering) vampire that KNOWS about Bella, and even has her scent- and that THE CULLENS are the only reason this vampire isn’t going to try and kill Bella. But they leave anyway, because Edward is so very fucking Emo.
Alice is apparently a huge fan-favorite character. She is supposed to be quirky and weird and funky- we can tell because she has spikey hair. Folks, that is called Lazy Writer’s Crutch #379: “Establish character archetype immediately by describing their hair” LWC #557 is also in evidence: “describe a character’s walk as being like dancing, this will show that they are eccentric!”
Oh, and the leader of the Voturasomethings comes across as a character created by a high school outcast who liked the movie INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE (especially dreeeaaamy Antonio Banderas) but didn’t read the book. Seriously. I can’t remember the characters name but I want to say it was Arlo, which already sounds like a dinner-theater rip-off of Armand.
Poor Meyers MUST bring to our attention how Bella and Edward are star-crossed lovers. Like a certain pair of… oh Christ, you know what I’m saying. Here is the thing: a lot of teenagers probably eat this shit up with a spoon. It is too be expected and acceptable. I remember all too well the incredibly heightened emotions of teenaged “love”- lust/attraction etc. With Bella, it is kind of relatable (kind of sort of maybe a little). She is a teenager.
But Edward is one of those goddamn literary vampires that stopped emotionally aging when he became a vampire- look, fanwank all you want, but unless a writer specifically makes that the fucking POINT, it is RETARDED- so he is nearly 90-some years old AND HE IS STILL AN IMMATURE LITTLE FUCKING PRICK.
Teenagers can flip out over how romantic Baz Lurhman’s Romeo + Juliet is- adults who still do are suspect. People who have lived an entire lifetime (and then some) in their prime- that is just fucking pathetic.
Likewise, anyone who buys into Twilight/Meyers views of romance- seriously buys into, not just enjoys as escapist fantasy- is suspect. Fiction is often escapist- I have no problem with that, romance, horror, sci-fi, what have you. It is the very loud insistence of many of the Twihards defending the series by saying “this is what women WANT, this is REAL romance”- THAT scares me.
When Bella is drawn to Jacob- is essentially using his attention as a way to overcome her grief at being dumped by that donkeyfucker Edward- there is some semi-believable emotion. I’m not saying Meyers has any gift, but she CAN sometimes worm into a realistic or at least understandable teenaged mindset. Her discovery that “taking great risks” makes Edward pull a Jedi Ghost and give her warnings is laughable- but I could almost tolerate it… if Meyers hadn’t been so in love with the Edward/Bella coupling.
Let me put it this way- as I was discussing with Nova- if at the end of the series Bella had matured enough to realize that Edward is controlling/smothering/stalkery, and Jacob was a sweet kid who hormones turned into a raging/brutal/douchebag and she dumped them BOTH and went out with boring Mike, the nice but not too bright human kid- well that would have actually been a pretty interesting commentary on young love.
See, young love is SUPPOSED to be all fucked up and dramatic- it was for ALL of us that experienced it in pretty much any form. All those emotions and hormones and sexual urges and romantic ideals? We were such goddamn messes! But eventually, we (mostly, obviously not SM) grew the fuck up and moved past our idiocy. Had the books ended with, as it were, childhood’s end- that could (in the hands of a better writer) been pretty powerful and kind of awesome.
As it is, the series just gets more batshit at it continues. 2 down, 2 to go.