Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Telling (the New Moon Walkthrough Pg. 145-158)

Telling (the New Moon Walkthrough Pg. 145-158)

 I began this project with an open mind. I realized that the detractors of this series were usually disgruntled nerd types who tend to hate anything popular by its virtue of being popular. It’s like Yogi Bera once said, “the place is so popular no one goes there anymore.” So throughout these posts I have made strides to point out the sections where the writing is well done rather than just focus on the purely negative as so many others have done. The problem is that in doing this, we hit a section where the characters are unlikable and the writing is bad. One without the other isn’t a good thing, but both together? Not a good sign. Furthermore, given that this is the second book in the series you expect improvement. However in order to do that we would need a drastically different main character.

Bella and Jake are working on the bikes, which means that it’s time for some pointless monologuing from Bella about why she isn’t completely miserable. It could be that, I don’t know, she’s out amongst the people instead of something magical but no, “It was Jacob himself. Jacob was simply a perpetually happy person and he carried that happiness with him like an aura, sharing it with whoever was within his gravitational pull.”

First off, is it an aura or a gravitational pull? One radiates while the other pulls in; it’s a mixed simile and doesn’t work at all. Secondly, those perpetually happy people? They usually make depressed people miserable. Maybe though he is an exception, although I somehow doubt it. Thirdly, and finally, we haven’t seen an instance of Jacob being a perpetually happy person. He seems in good spirits around Bella but that’s because he has a crush on her. Other than that he’s kind of a typical 16 year old.

Charlie shows up and there’s an impromptu party at the Black’s house. They eat spaghetti out sprawled throughout the house because the kitchen is too small for all eight or nine people that are there. She actually gives the impression that some of them are outside through the open doors, but this is January so that doesn’t make much sense. Charlie eyes Bella and Jacob throughout the dinner. Which makes sense given that he’s her father, but Bella has of course some snide comments about him doing it. Again, the relationship she has to her father is extremely odd. What’s even more odd is the relationship that Bella has with every other woman that appears in the story. The first thing that Bella notices about any female is how attractive they are. Leah, a girl we’ve just met who is a senior (but we aren’t told where), is described as having beautiful bronze skin. Every other woman in the story, if they are noticed at all, is introduced as being an object of desire or at least envy. Remember that in the last book, Bella could never shut the hell up about how gorgeous Edward’s sisters were. If a woman warrants a description in this book she’s always an object of desire. I’ve Cinemax movies that are less objectifying.

Once home we have a curious case of violating the “show don’t tell” rule of writing. Bella checks her email and receives word from her mother, “She wrote about her day, a new book club that filled the time slot…a second honeymoon trip to Disney World.” It’s a case of unnecessary information. Nothing in the email is of any importance, only to remind us that she has a mother. Then we get to the rule violation as Bella thinks about the email she has just read two paragraphs earlier, “I really must have worried her.”

Bella calls herself a bad daughter. I’ll agree with that, but only in reference to Charlie. Meyer has told us that Bella’s mother is upset with Bella. She should have shown us it, with the actual text of the email, but in this case it would have been useless anyway. Since nothing in that email even remotely hints at Renee being upset with Bella, Meyer instead just tells is that this is the case. It makes absolutely no sense for this to either happen or for it to be told to us. In fact if Renee was entirely dropped from the story would it be any different? Maybe she’s never there because she’s not hot.

The next day is Monday. Which is important because we are back to school. After another awkward exchange with Charlie she’s at school lamenting how no one notices her. Which is total bullshit as we explained in during the last novel Bella wants to be unpopular because she wants to be popular. It’s the long way around, people will view her as the loner and thus she will be special. Her eyes will be permanently fixed in an upward sarcastic fashion while she talks about foreign “films” and smokes cloves in three years. She’s way beyond unreliable narrator because she’s inconsistent. All of the times where she’s enjoyed the freedom and the privilege of being a Cullen now all she wants is anonymity? Bullshit, because the first thing she does is wonder if everyone has been talking about her.

The larger issue is that she hasn’t been gone. She’s been in school, at work, at home. We’re supposed to be under the impression that this is her first day back after the break up, but it clearly isn’t. Perhaps psychologically it might be, but that’s a complete stretch. Her claim is that she wants to, “fade into the wet concrete of the sidewalk like an oversized chameleon.

It’s another simile butcher but this time it only fails for two reasons: the first is that the word “oversized” is superfluous. If she wanted to hide it would be better for her to hide like a regular sized chameleon, because they are smaller thus easier to miss. If she really wanted to hide she wouldn’t be starting conversations with people like she does at lunch with Jessica. The second reason the simile fails is because unless that concrete is blue and she wants to be cold it makes no sense. Chameleons don’t change color to hide, they don’t have to, they are green and live in trees. The color change is merely a stimulus response to temperature. Do some research instead of going off everything that you’ve been told and you’ll be a better writer.

The not wanting to be noticed Bella strikes up a conversation with Jessica, “she looked at me with suspicious eyes. Could she still be angry? Or was she just too impatient to deal with a crazy person?” Jessica responds with a one word answer and then later asks two of the other women at the table how their weekend went giving us this observation by Bella, “Jessica asked, not sounding as if she cared about the answe. I’d bet this was just an opener so she could tell her own stories.”

I never picked this up before, but it has to do with Bella’s relationship with Jessica, and thus Jessica’s relationship with the author. To be honest I have to throw credit where it’s due (someone else has decided to torture themselves with these books too), and this person “Kate” made it perfectly clear why something is always off about Jessica. It’s not her, it’s the author. I think someone like Jessica, a pretty blonde, made life hell for our author because she wants us to hate Jessica, but we are never given any reason for not liking her. She’s a gossip, sure, but she’s also a 17/18 year old girl so that’s not really worthy of despising. Also she’s the center of her social circle so it makes sense that she would be a gossip, but other than that Bella just hates her and then through her eyes we are supposed to hate her as well. However nothing Jessica does has ever been unjustified to Bella. At first Jessica was a little jealous because of Mike which makes sense. Then she was made to see Bella abandon the only friends she had at Forks HS to sit with the Cullens, but that makes sense as well. Now, she’s giving Bella one word answers and ignoring her, and you know what? That makes sense as well given the events of Friday night. We are supposed to hate Jessica but i have no idea why. Either she’s a stand in for someone the author doesn’t like, or we are supposed to not like her because she isn’t attached to a man, which seems to be the only virtue worth having in this world.

Finally we get a third mutilating, “the figure of speech cold shoulder seemed to have some literal truth to it. I could feel the the warm air blowing off the vents, but I was still too cold.” What in the living fuck am I supposed to do with that? Cold shoulder is what you give someone you are ignoring or angry with. Like Jessica is doing to Bella right now, justifiably. It has nothing, at all, to do with the temperature in the air. Now if the cold air was metaphorically coming off of Jessica and Bella got a chill from her cold reaction, that would make sense. Then, however, we would be in a different book. A shitty book, but at least one that understands what exactly a cliche is. At this point I think I want to take a week off and watch the first movie.

Finally we get Angela, at the end of lunch, thanking Bella for standing up for her. Which we not only never learn why she did it but we also never learn when it happened because it wasn’t during this lunch period. Telling not showing seems to be the theme of this series. We also learn that the reason that Bella doesn’t hang out with Angela is because she’s too smart, she probably isn’t pretty enough either.

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