The second part of the Twilight review. Part 3 on Friday, where I’ll discuss Steph’s characterization. But now, how about the plot:
The first and most painfully obvious problem with the plot is Bella’s reason for coming to Forks. She incessantly thinks about how much she hates it, and so it is honestly confusing to wonder why she is there at all. It isn’t until fifty pages it (during chapter two), that she explains herself.
Later, in chapter three, Bella almost gets in a car crash, when Edward miraculously saves her, showing off his vampiric super-speed (more on that later). I immediately found myself perturbed by two problems with the plot. First, Bella is completely unharmed by the wreck. Yes, I’m aware Edward got in between to rescue her, but I still find it hard to believe that she came out unscathed. She even has a neckbrace on!
Second, Bella acts as though she she wasn’t hurt. This wouldn’t be so bad, except she goes so far as to take off the neckbrace. There’s a fine line between thinking you’re fine and being stupid, and Bella crossed it. Especially because she merely feels fine – for all she knows, taking off that neckbrace could kill her. Additionally, I don’t know any teenagers that, after almost being in a wreck, would think they were fine. The shock of almost being in a wreck should make a teen compliant enough to trust the doctors and to not do stupid things like Bella does here.
Later, she has a love-triangle dream. While dreaming she is in the woods, Jacob warns her to flee from something, and then turns into a wolf (lol), whereupon Edward appears, baring fangs. Despite its obvious relevance to the plot, it too was unnecessary, because it was too relevant to the plot, basically laying it all out.
Speaking of love-triangles, though, there are precisely four in this novel. Four. Even worse is that they all revolve around Bella. First, and most obvious, is the Edward Bella Jacob triangle. This is the best, and deepest, of the four. The other one, that works as a sort of sub subplot, is the triangle between Bella, Jessica, and Mike. Yeah. Jessica likes Mike, who likes Bella. The other two are one between Bella, Eric, and Lauren, and one about Tyler’s obsession with the girl he almost hit with his car. Granted, the last two don’t play out much, except to give Bella a couple villains in school, but they ultimately add nothing to anything.
The plot of the first half of the story is rather slow. I understand that there is little action in a romance novel – I’ve read Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies), and I’ve seen most of the films made from Jane Austen’s novels, as well as a few other romance films. But in those, they never waste any scenes, and they don’t bring in characters that turn out to be worth nothing to the plot. Unlike Twilight.
The chapter that brings the slowness of the plot, or the bad pacing, was “The Game”. In the last bit of the chapter before that, the Cullens had been talking about playing baseball. But so little of this chapter actually contains baseball. Only about two pages. And all that eventually degenerates into Meyer telling us how it finished. Come on! Esme was telling us how vicious the Cullens can get over a game! I want to see how intense this family can get! But instead, the most intense parts are just glossed over!
Now, I do understand the need to put Billy’s (Jacob’s dad) warning about the Cullens in somewhere (that is, if Bella had cared), and give the Blacks another scene, and that this chapter was probably the best place for it to be – long enough after their last visit, but still before the conflict hits – but it just seems a bit contrived, especially since it’s right in between two scenes with the Cullens.
The only bit of the plot that impressed me was James’ (the evil tracker vampmeyer) plan to capture Bella. But then he just blew it. I understand the need to monologue, to explain one’s genius plan to someone who will get it, but right before one carries out that plan? The most memorable monologue for me was Ozymandias’ in Watchmen. After telling Rorschach and Nite Owl his plans, the great superhero then reveals that he’s already enacted them.
James, however, despite his low view of Bella, explains his entire plot to her, and then partially records it on video. All the while, Monty Python is shouting “Get on with it!”, especially since he only thinks of Bella as food, and hardly as some equal confidante.
Additionally, the idea that James was once after Alice seemed almost too coincidental, to the point of contrivance. Anyway, why would anyone want to kill someone able to see the future? It seems as though Meyer thinks it necessary to explain everyone’s origins, especially those with the most mysterious beginnings. Some things don’t need to be explained, particularly if it’s unimportant to the plot.
Anyway, I’m not convinced James is dead. Jimmy Blevins has more evidence toward his demise than James the vampmeyer. At least he had a gunshot or two. All James had was perhaps an implied decapitation. Yet we never even see his body. All we have is Edward’s word.