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September 18, 2008 |

By Miscellaneous | Books | September 18, 2008 |

I Need a Goddamn Drink

Imagine Romeo & Juliet, only 563 pages long and severely retarded, with vampires and werewolves and idiots on wheels. That pretty well sums up New Moon, the sequel to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. Oh yes, there are werewolves now. They were, of course, hinted at in Bella’s talk on First Beach with Jacob in the last book, but when that never went anywhere I thought we were granted a reprieve and Meyer forgot all about them. I don’t know what I was thinking, giving Meyer even half an ounce of credit.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself. New Moon is part two in the series about Bella Swan, a teenager living in the tiny town of Forks, Washington, and her relationship with Edward Cullen, a vampire. I’m not going to get too much into the backstory here, because I don’t have the energy, quite frankly. This book did some funny shit to my brain. I’m at least twice as crazy and seven or eight times as stupid as I was before reading it, and somewhere along the way I ended up (against my will, I might add) getting invested in this godawful series, which kinda makes me want to kill myself.

The book opens with Bella dreaming about Edward, because all Bella ever thinks about is Edward. In the dream, Bella sees herself standing with Edward, who is eternally 17, and she’s all wrinkly and decrepit because she’s not immortal. She wakes from the dream, and it’s her birthday, and holy shit you guys, she is turning 18, which is like, SO OLD that she may as well start digging her own grave now because it is ALL OVER. So Bella is depressed about the lost bloom of her youth, and she doesn’t want a birthday party and doesn’t even want anyone to acknowledge her birthday. Naturally, Edward and his family throw her a big-ass party, because Edward never cares about what Bella wants and always does whatever Edward decides is “best” for her.

At the birthday party, Bella gets a papercut while opening a gift, because Bella is like the dumbest person in the history of ever and can’t do a single thing without somehow fucking it up, even opening a box. Anyway, so she gets this papercut, and it sends Jasper into a frenzy and he tries to attack Bella, but Edward stops him, and of course Bella falls the fuck over because she’s got some kind of neurological disorder wherein she is less likely to remain upright than a one-legged blind lady with an inner-ear infection and Parkinson’s. So Bella goes ass over tea kettle and tears up her arm with a bunch of glass and bleeds a lot, and suddenly none of Edward’s family (who are all vampires) can handle it aside from Carlisle, and the others all have to leave the room.

Now, you might be wondering why this spilling of Bella’s blood would make nearly everyone lose complete control of their faculties, when just a few months prior (at the end of the last book) they were in the ballet studio where Bella cracked the back of her skull open and was bleeding all over the place, and they didn’t try to eat her then, so what’s with the feeding frenzy this time? Listen, you can wonder about stuff like that, but just trust me when I tell you that it will only give you a migraine. There are no good answers to such questions. Continuity on that level is far and away beyond the realm of Meyer’s abilities as a storyteller, and we’re only in the opening of the book. We’ve got, like, 500 pages of bullshit to get through yet, so buckle your chin straps and hang the fuck on because I’m gonna cruise through it as quickly as possible or this will turn into a rant longer than the book itself. There are spoilers ahead, so if you don’t like that you can suck my dick and stop reading.

Edward decides that he is too dangerous for Bella to be around, even though he spent the entire last book stalking her every move because he had to protect her from the constant peril wrought by her own idiocy … but again, continuity is an ingredient not used in this recipe; it’s been substituted with equal parts stupidity and schmaltz. Edward and his entire family move away, because what better way to protect Bella than to leave her all alone in what is essentially the biggest North American hellmouth outside of Sunnydale?

Okay, I lied about getting through this quickly and without rants. The whole “hero runs away to protect heroine from his dangerous lifestyle” thing is so annoying. It even annoyed me when Harry Potter did it to Ginny, because if he could haul Ron’s dumb ass with him into the woods, then he could sure as hell take Ginny. I mean, I like Ron, but given the choice between him and his sister as backup in a dangerous situation, I’d pick Ginny in a heartbeat, every time, no hesitations. I understand that Harry was afraid that he would lose focus if he had the distraction of worrying about Ginny, but it would have been nice if he had just up and said that, as opposed to trying to make it sound like some noble sacrifice on his part to keep her safe. Draping weaknesses in a false mantle of chivalry is not endearing. In this case it’s even more annoying, because Bella can’t stand up, sit down, or walk in a straight line without somehow injuring herself, so precisely why Edward thinks she’ll be safer if he and his immortal super-power-having family up and abandon her is beyond me. Oh my God, I don’t even know why I care. Do you see what these books are doing to me? I get dumber with every page I read.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Edward leaves. Bella falls completely apart. Despondent doesn’t really even cover it, because Bella is the personification of codependent, and with Edward gone she barely knows how to function. Guess what begins to bring her out of her depression? I bet you’ll never guess. Unless you guessed “another guy,” in which case, hey — you are a good guesser of things! So Bella becomes BFF with Jacob Black (he of the Quileute tribe, who made the treaty with the Cullens which was mentioned in Twilight). Jacob is a werewolf, by the way, because Bella can’t have normal friends or she might theoretically stop being such a goddamn retard, and then what would the books be about? Bella also becomes an adrenaline junkie, because why not? It’s stupid, so it’s perfectly in character. She courts danger because it helps her hallucinate about Edward, and she thinks this will keep her from losing him or some shit. So she goes cliff jumping, and of course she almost dies, but Jacob rescues her. I would go off about how much it pisses me off that Bella never ever rescues her own damn self, but why waste the energy? I’m already exhausted.

Let’s just get this over with. Through a contrived series of miscommunications, Edward thinks Bella is dead, so he goes to see the Volturi (the biggest, baddest vampires of them all) to try and get himself killed. Bella and Edward’s sister Alice have to bumble their way to stopping him, and (unfortunately for me) they manage to succeed. The Volturi say that because Bella knows about vampires, she has to either become one or die, and (again, unfortunately for me) the Cullens vote against killing her ass and will turn her at some point in the future, because they’re all pathologically stupid.

New Moon is like what would happen if a coven of mentally delayed witches got high as hell and concocted a brew made up of Romeo & Juliet, “Roswell” the series, a random assortment of romance novel clichés, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, and some disjointed vampire and werewolf stories told to them by a seven-year-old with ADHD. Then the witches feed the brew to a grizzled old dog with rabies, wait for the product of the resulting intestinal distress, smear it all over some paper, and have the unmitigated gall to call it a novel.

I hate everything about this book. I hate it even more than I hated Twilight. I hate stupid Bella, who is the limpest of all the world’s wet dishrags, and I hate stupid Edward, who is a whiny and controlling creepazoid, and I hate all their stupid star crossed angst, and I hate the stupid town of Forks and the whole stupid Cullen family and everything with the stupid werewolves and the stupid Volturi and oh holy hell it’s all so overwhelmingly stupid and I hate it so much.

I already Googled what happens in the other two books, and now that I know how stupid THEY are, I must read them. I don’t even understand it, but I am compelled against my own will to suffer every moment of this agonising stupidity. These books are insidious. There is some kind of evil woven into the fibre of the pages, I think, something that has broken me. I hate this series with the fiery intensity of a chemical weapon, and I can’t. stop. reading. it.

I need a goddamn drink.

Sarah Larson is not the scorpion-eating famewhore who once dated George Clooney. She lives in Minnesota, where she is usually up to no good. You can find her monitoring the imminent undead armageddon at Zombie Forecast, or hardly ever updating her woefully neglected blog at Unscheduled.

Books | September 18, 2008 |

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