Fiction: “New Moon” by Stephenie Meyer

new moonI … *sigh* I’ve determined that the Twilight series is like Grey’s Anatomy: I really fucking hate it, and yet I can’t help but continue to watch it, like the train wreck it has become. Of course, part of it is that I keep hoping that Katherine Heigl actually is leaving, and maybe the show will be a bit more enjoyable. But the Twilight series isn’t giving me even that smidgen of hope; in this show, the bitch is the narrator, not the annoying friend who makes poor sex decisions.

I return your attention to the second picture in this entry. Here is the final tally of Post-It Flags:

Purple (Bad werewolf/vampire information): 12
Yellow (Really bad writing/grammar mistakes): 12
Orange (Bella is bitchy): eleventy-million 10
Blue (Bella wants to kill herself so she can be a vampire and live forever with Edward): 9
Pink (OMG EDWARD IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD OMG): 8
Green (Bella does something stump-fucking stupid): 8

Hm. I honestly thought I’d have more Yellow and Orange tags. Oh well.

Oh, I should explain the plot of this one. It begins with Bella and Edward so Happy and In Love and Crap, that the Cullens throw Bella a birthday party. She turns 18, and she freaks out, because now she’ll always be older than Edward. Shut up, Bella and embrace your inner cougar. Well, she’s surrounded by vampires and gets a freaking paper cut and bleeds a bit, which sends Jasper into a BLOODLUST OF BLOOD. In order to keep her safe, Edward and his whole family leave Forks, which throws Bella into a horrible depression that Stephenie Meyer can only illustrate by having four pages with the names of months on them to show the passing of time, rather than saying Four months pass, and I was depressed a lot. Way to kill trees unnecessarily, Stephenie.

So Bella finally snaps out of it and starts hanging with her ‘best friend’ from the last book, Jacob Black, of the La Push reservation. And since Edward told Bella to stay safe, she says to him (in her head), Fuck you, Edward, I’m doing something crazy since you left me. So she buys motorcycles and has Jacob fix them for her. And their friendship develops, and then when she rides the motorcycle for the first time, she hears Edward talking to her.

It turns out that when Bella does Stupid Things, she hears Edward talking. That’s where the Green tags come in, but somewhere along the way it also devolved into Green = Bella is A Stump With an Engineering Degree stupid.

Anyhoodle. Oh, right – one of the Evil Vampires from the last book is back, and tracking Bella for revenge or some shit. And all of a sudden Jacob starts ignoring her (I wonder why? It can’t be because she’s whiny and needy and annoying?), and then she finds out that OMG HE’S A WEREWOLF. THAT DOESN’T NEED TO HAVE A FULL MOON TO CHANGE INTO A WEREWOLF, WTF STEPHENIE MEYER, HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE? EVERYONE KNOWS WEREWOLVES NEED FULL MOONS TO CHANGE. It’s like everyone knowing the theme song to Gilligan’s Island, even if you’ve never seen an episode – it’s cultural brain sludge, and the fact that you’re ignoring even THAT is starting to be really annoying.

And apparently a werewolf’s job is to kill vampires, so Jacob and his gang are off hunting the Evil Woman Vampire, and they leave Bella alone for, like, five minutes, and she decides to partake in some cliff-jumping because she’s BORED (I’ll get back to that particular scene later). And then Alice comes back, and Bella’s ohsohappy about it, but then some poor friend of Bella’s dad dies of a heart attack, and Jacob answers Bella’s phone and tells the person calling that Bella’s Dad was ‘at the funeral,’ and all of a sudden Alice goes into spasms because, see, she raced back to Forks because she saw Bella killing herself by jumping off a cliff, and now Edward’s going to the High MucketyMuck Vampires in Italy to kill himself.

So Alice and Bella jump on a plane to Italy, and then they get to Italy and Alice steals a Porsche, and Bella saves Edward from sparkling in the village square (I swear, I am not making ANY of this shit up), and the three of them get sent before the Volturi (the High MucketyMuck Vampires of Italy), and apparently, not only can Edward not read Bella’s mind, but the Grand Poobah can’t read her mind either, and Girl!Voldemort can’t Crucio her either (you guys, I’m not even kidding, this kid Jane can Crucio people without even saying ‘Crucio’ – I don’t think even Regular!Voldemort could do that), so Bella’s INVINCIBLE, and quite possibly, a loony. Then they all get saved because Bella’s so special and sparkly in her own way, they go back to Forks, and then Edward promises to never leave her again. But because the Volturi are going to kill Bella if she doesn’t become a vampire, she goes to the Cullens for a fucking vote to turn her into a vampire, and then – THEN – Edward promises to turn her into a vampire if she marries him first, and she says NO.

Again, I’ll get to that later. Let’s look at some special parts of this book – and by ‘special,’ I of course mean ‘needs to wear a helmet and ride a short bus.’

Anyway. A Green tag:

I panicked, worried that Charlie was about to lay down some kind of edict that would prohibit La Push, and consequently my motorcycle. And I wasn’t giving it up — I’d had the most amazing hallucination today. My velvet-voiced delusion had yelled at me for almost five minutes before I’d hit the brake too abruptly and launched myself into the tree. I’d take whatever pain that would cause me tonight without complaint. [193]

Pink:

“I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton,” I protested. “I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.” [45]

Except that she WANTS to die. But that’s another color.

“I’m no good for you, Bella.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” I wanted to sound angry, but it just sounded like I was begging. “You’re the very best part of my life.” [69]

Blue:

I couldn’t really see Edward’s point, to be honest. What was so great about mortality? Being a vampire didn’t look like such a terrible thing — not the way the Cullens did it, anyway. [10]

(College was Plan B. I was still hoping for Plan A, but Edward was just so stubborn about leaving me human…) [13]

“But you said thirty,” I whispered. The tears leaked over the edge. “What? You’re going to stay, but let me get all old anyway? Right.” [518]

Orange:

A predictable war ensued. I watched them hand the camera around the table, giggling and flirting and complaining about being on film. It seemed strangely childish. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for normal human behavior today. [64]

“You’re the first person I think of when I want girl time.” I smiled, and hoped the smile looked genuine. It was probably true. She was at least the first person I thought of when I wanted to avoid Charlie. It amounted to the same thing. [101]

And it wasn’t a lie. I was enjoying myself — how strange. [140]

I smiled and nodded as if I cared what my other friends thought. [231]

Yellow:
This one came from Carlisle Cullen telling his story to Bella.

“‘Save him!’ she commanded me in the hoarse voice that was all her throat could manage.” [39]

Bella narrating again: Carlisle saw it all again, his memory unblurred by the intervening century. [40]

If this is actually written in first person, Bella CAN’T SEE WHAT CARLISLE IS SEEING.

When Edward leaves, Stephenie explains the title of the book:

Not tonight. Tonight the sky was utterly black. Perhaps there was no moon tonight – a lunar eclipse, a new moon.

A new moon. I shivered, though I wasn’t cold. [74]

And some more…

It reminded me so clearly of my first months in Forks. I’d come full circle, and now everything felt like an echo — an empty echo, devoid of the interest it used to have. [167]

I was like a lost moon – my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity. [201]

And because it’s not a Twilight novel without at least one missing word in a sentence:

Illogical or not, I brooded over the memory his peaceful face, trying to come up with some answer, some way to shelter him, while the sky slowly turned gray. [304]

Is it just me, or is that sentence missing an ‘of’?

And then, there’s the werewolf/vampire lore section. Apparently, vampires can be photographed [65]. And let’s not forget the etreeeeeeme foreshadowing about Jacob being a werewolf that Bella just can’t get. There’s the panting [284], the fever, the disappearing, the blatant appearance of a pack of big fucking wolves just when one of the Evil Vampires show up, and it still takes her just about seventy-five pages to figure it out. God. Green Post It Smack.

I’ve already mentioned that, in Stephenie Meyer’s little world, werewolves turn into wolves when they get angry – it has nothing to do with a full moon. Jacob even rolls his eyes at the idea that werewolves are ruled by the moon.

And let’s talk about how werewolves ‘phase’:

Paul seemed to fall forward, vibrating violently. Halfway to the ground, there was a loud ripping noise, and the boy exploded.

THEY EXPLODE INTO WEREWOLVES. GOD. IDIOT WOMAN.

Before I get into a couple of side-rants, let’s mention the two things that actually amused me.

When Bella learns that Jacob’s a werewolf, she asks him, “Could you … well, try to not be a … werewolf?” [306] Which is hilarious when you realize a) this is exactly what Joyce asked Buffy when she finally tells Joyce that she’s the slayer (“I mean, have you tried not being a slayer?”), and b) Stephenie Meyer has never watched Buffy, so it’s a completely unplanned reference.

And then, there’s the part where they finally escape the Volturi (seriously, it took longer for Bella to realize Jacob was a fucking werewolf than it took to reveal the Evil Big Bad for this book) and Bella slips into hysterics. Alice suggests, “I think she’s having hysterics. Maybe you should slap her.”

OMG YES PLEASE SLAP HER SLAP HER A LOT.

And yeah, Bella’s ready to die and be a vampire forever, but when Edward refuses to bite her before they get married and she balks? Immortality is forever, but what if something better comes along, she doesn’t want to have to go to the Volturi and ask for an annulment?! What the everloving fuck?

Again, I understand that this entire fucking saga is just one big metaphor for “don’t have sex before marriage” where “vampirism=sex”, but COME THE FUCK ON.

And so, the cliff-diving scene. You have to read the scene first, and then the clip. Because yes, there’s a clip.

I stepped out to the edge, keeping my eyes on the empty space in front of me. My toes felt ahead blindly, caressing the edge of the rock when they encountered it. I drew in a deep breath and held it … waiting.

“Bella.”

I smiled and exhaled.

Yes? I didn’t answer out loud, for fear that the sound of my voice would shatter the beautiful illusion. He sounded so real, so close. It was only when he was disapproving like this that I could hear the true memory of his voice — the velvet texture and the musical intonation that made up the most perfect of all voices.

“Don’t do this,” he pleaded.

You wanted me to be human, I reminded him. Well, watch me.

“Please. For me.”

But you won’t stay with me any other way.

“Please.” It was just a whisper in the blowing rain that tossed my hair and drenched my clothes — making me as wet as if this were my second jump of the day.

I rolled up onto the balls of my feet.

“No, Bella!” He was angry now, and the anger was so lovely.

I smiled and raised my arms straight out, as if I were going to dive, lifting my face into the rain. But it was too ingrained from years of swimming at the public pool — feet first, first time. I leaned forward, crouching to get more spring…

And I flung myself off the cliff.

Now, call me crazy – I know I do all the time – but doesn’t that passage remind you of the scene from The Great Muppet Caper where Miss Piggy is in the Busbee Berkeley number, standing at the top of a water fountain, with cameos of Kermit and Charles Grodin singing to her over her shoulders?  Because that’s all I could think about when I read that.

EDITED I SHIT YOU NOT FOUR YEARS LATER: YOU GUYS!!  SOMEONE FINALLY POSTED THE VIDEO OF THAT MUPPET CAPER SCENE ONLINE!!

Grade for New Moon: Twilight Stars

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