Previously: Jacob got on Edward’s douche level. Edward and Bella got engaged.
Marines: Welcome back, dearest of friends. Welcome to the beginning of the end. We hope you made it through the dumpster fire that was 2016 in one piece. I’d say something about starting 2017 off on this terrible foot, but who are we kidding? We are going to laugh ourselves dizzy, and perhaps yell ourselves sad, but… friends and drinks. Welcome indeed.
Kirsti: The first time I read this book, I screamed with rage and disgust and threw it across the room with all my strength. So, like, that might happen too.
Annie: I literally felt sick to my stomach multiple times reading this book and had to stop reading. I wanted to DNF it so badly, but I was reading it with my little cousin, so… I felt I had to read it so she’d have someone to work through the garbage with. Yay?
Mari: On those happy notes…
This book is, unfortunately or fortunately, not dedicated to Pancho’s eating out. Instead, we get a dedication to Meyer’s agent and also to her favorite band Muse “for providing a saga’s worth of inspiration.” So, now that we all know who we can write hate mail to, we move on to the preface.
In this preface, Bella teases the fact that she’s yet again facing death. Like, it’s the fourth time now girl so we care EVEN LESS than we did before.
“Still, this time was so different from the others.”
K: Different on account of Victoria’s dead now so it can’t possibly be her who’s trying to kill Bella? Cool.
Catherine: Wasn’t she dead… before?
Annie: She’s a lying liar that lies. How dare she get our hopes up like that.
Mari: Actually, this near-death experience is so different because it’s someone who loves her who is trying to kill her. Confirmation good and early that Bella definitely isn’t clear on what’s been happening for three books.
We start chapter one with Bella promising herself that no one is looking at her. But because apparently she can’t even lie to herself convincingly (?), Bella looks to see if anyone is looking at her. She’s in a car and when she turns to the right she sees a Mrs. Weber staring at her. Bella can’t believe Mrs. Weber doesn’t even have the decency to look away or ashamed, but then she remembers that she’s got dark tints on her neeeeewwww caaaaaaarrrr!
Catherine: Pretty sure Mrs. Weber is the mother of Bella’s friend Angela, by the way. Please do enjoy her one appearance in this entire series.
Mari: Hi Mrs. Weber. Bye Mrs. Weber.
Besides Mrs. Weber, some random pedestrians are also staring. When the light turns green, Bella tries to escape these very worrisome stares. She hits the gas like she would in the Wow. Free.–
HOLD UP. Does this mean we are done with the Wow. Free. Truck???? I TAKE IT ALL BACK. WE WILL NOT LAUGH. THERE WILL BE NO HAPPINESS.
K: NOPE. NOT OKAY. HOW DARE YOU KILL OFF THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THIS ENTIRE DAMN SERIES, MEYER??? (Also, am I the only one who just thought “Bella floored the pedal to the metal” and then died a little inside??)
Catherine: I’m so upset.
Mari: Bella takes off too quickly and then she tries to slow down, but she slams on the breaks and the car completely stops. Is this a metaphor for the plot in these books? I don’t know what’s happening. Bella is super embarrassed and she tries to gently tap down the gas pedal, but apparently the car takes off again. I had a bit of an adjustment when I purchased a new car this year. It’s a nice car, to be sure, but not like a fancy car. I’m too poor to know what fancy cars drive like and if it really is impossible to get it to just go and not goooooo. Any non-poor people around or something?
K: I know when my mum got a MUCH smaller car like 6 years ago, she did a lot of “Oh fuck, I’m doing 20kph over the speed limit!” because she’d use the same acceleration she usually used, but the car was much lighter. That doesn’t seem to apply in this case…
Mari: My favorite part of this all, though, is that Bella cries “argh!” like a very frustrated pirate. That’s stupid enough, but here’s a little reminder that argh was Ana Steele’s orgasm noise.
I know you all love me too. (K: -__-)
Bella finally gets to the gas station. She’s only out and about in town because she needs gas. She’s run out of other stuff like Pop-Tarts and shoelaces (?) (K: How the eff do you RUN OUT OF SHOELACES?! Like… just wear flip flops, weirdo.) (C: Or just like… get new shoes? Who buys shoelaces on their own?) because she’s too embarrassed by her new car to go acquire Pop-Tarts and shoelaces. And also because she can’t drive it, I’d say. IDK how she ran out of gas. Maybe Edward drives her around in her new car.
Bella starts pumping gas, but she feels like a spotlight is on her, not only because of her new car, but because she’s got that engagement ring on. This is all so self-important that I want to throw up all over her new car. Bella tries to tell herself that it totally doesn’t matter what people are saying about her engagement, her new car, her acceptance into an Ivy League college or about her new black card, but then she’s of course interrupted by the people next to her wanting to know if she’s driving a Mercedes Guardian. Oh my god, all this build-up about this stupid car and IT’S FICTIONAL? IT’S NOT EVEN A REAL FANCY CAR? NO WONDER YOU CAN’T EVEN DRIVE IT. STEPHENIE MEYER MADE IT UP AND SHE CAN’T MAKE UP GOOD THINGS.
As this rando exposits how awesome this made-up car is, so exclusive that it’s not even out in Europe yet, Bella thinks about how weird it is that she has a fiance. Not only is it weird because Bella was raised to hate weddings, apparently, but because Edward is too good, too above being a husband.
“I just couldn’t reconcile a staid, respectable, dull concept like husband with my concept of Edward. It was like casting an archangel as an accountant.”
K: Meanwhile, all I can think of is this. Obviously:
Mari: The boys who were talking to Bella start clearing their throats like ahem ahem, we were talking to you before you dove into your neurosis concerning your boyfriend. She finally tells them she has no idea what she’s driving. The boys want to take a picture of the car anyway.
Catherine: I mean, I know this is hardly a new thing in terrible romances (it was also a huge part of 50 Shades) but this whole, ‘Bella hates being rich’ thing is so irritating to read about. I guess it’s supposed to make us believe that she’s more moral and pure than us because she’s disgusted that she has a brand new car to drive around but it just makes me feel like she’s more out of touch than ever.
Mari: I mean, these heroines should be disgusted about males using money as another means to control and manipulate but that’s not what they are protesting here. It’s just monies because heroines have to be pure, chaste and low maintanence.
Bella is so sad and she misses Wow. Free. Truck. (K: Same, girl.) She thinks it’s super convenient, as in super suspicious, that her truck finally kicked the bucket after she promised Edward he could replace it once it was done for. She’s an idiot if she didn’t think she would wake up the next day to Edward with a crowbar, going to town. Of course, Edward denied doing anything to the truck, like, say, that one time he messed with it so she wouldn’t visit Jacob…
Speaking of Jacob, she can’t even use his free labor now, so her Wow. Free. Truck is really dead and she’s stuck with this Mercedes Fake, which the randos in the background are telling us is flamethrower and tank-proof, because it was made for drug lords and arms dealers. And puny little girls in Forks, Washington who can’t even walk straight or unwrap their own birthday presents without harming themselves. Sure, put that girl in this super fast, heavy car. The boys wonder why you would need missile-proof glass and four thousand pounds of body armor in Forks.
Of course, this is all news to Bella. She had no idea that Edward promised her a car and gave her a fallout shelter on wheels. It’s news to her, but it isn’t a surprise.
“It wasn’t like I hadn’t expected Edward to take advantage of our deal, to weight it on his side so that he could give so much more than he would receive.”
Thas cute, you trying to make the fact that he encased his girlfriend in missile-proof glass romantic. I know this girl gets into a lot of trouble, but this weirds me the hell out.
K: Basically, what I’m getting from all of this is that Bella’s driving A FUCKING HUMVEE. But didn’t realise she was driving a Humvee. LOL, ‘KAY.
Catherine: I’m not a car person but like… why would an official company be marketing to drug lords and arms dealers?
Annie: Because in Meyer’s world, they’re the ones with all the money. The gangsters. And the vampires.
Mari: It gets even weirder when Bella tells us that Edward actually bought her two cars: a “before” and an “after” car. The Mercedes Fake is just for her to drive until the wedding. It’s a loaner. Now that Bella hears the randos explain that it’s flamethrower proof, she gets that this “before” car is because she’s human and fragile. Bella thinks this is sarcastically hilarious and imagines all the Cullens getting a laugh out of it, but then a voice in her head chastises her and says maybe Edward is just really worried gosh. Maybe he just went a little overboard in protecting her.
Maybe you were right the first time and your boyfriend and his entire family are a fake car load of dicks.
Mari: Bella doesn’t know what her “after” car is yet. She doesn’t want to know, but she’s sure it probably isn’t an armored car because she’ll be an super strong vampire then. She’s more looking forward to that than to the pretty cars and credit cards. (A: My guess is it’s a unicycle.)
Bella drives home and tells us all about the flyers that are all about town. They are missing posters for Jacob because he’s run away from home. The posters are all Charlie’s doing, of course, because he doesn’t know any better. Billy and Bella both told him that Jake will be totally fine, but Charlie doesn’t understand why no one is worried about this. I’m not sure Charlie should be so insistent if Billy is telling him to let it be, but also, I feel bad for Charlie because he’s everyone’s idiot right now.
Catherine: I’m not necessarily a Charlie supporter, but I probably feel bad for him more often than anyone else in this series.
Mari: Finally home, Bella pulls out her “emergencies only” cell phone from the glove compartment. This was published in 2008. I looked it up and like 77% of adults and 71% of teens had cell phones in 2008. Why would you have an “emergencies only” cell phone in 2008? Was it prepaid? Does it have parental controls on it? Did Edward preinstall some kind of Bella tracker on it? I have a lot of questions.
K: SERIOUSLY. I’ve had a mobile phone since 2001? 2002??, and probably half of my graduating class had one in 2000. By 2008, I had one that could connect to the internet. Sure, it was like $10 per minute to access the internet, but it could still do it! Why the hell is her having a mobile phone such a big fucking deal?? OH RIGHT, BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS ACTUALLY SET IN THE 90S MY BAD.
Annie: I got my first cellphone when I was 15 or 16 (so 1998 0r 1999). I got it so boys and my friends could call me late at night without waking my family. It was definitely not an emergency only phone, and I paid for it myself. So. I don’t know why you’d have an ’emergency only’ cellphone in 2008.
Catherine: Also, Bella is 80 years old, so it’s one of those gigantic Jitterbug telephones with the dinner plate-sized buttons.
Mari: Yes. It’s a cell phone for her soul.
Anyway, Bella emergency-only-calls the Clearwater house, hoping Leah doesn’t pick up because she knows Leah will be the hero we all need and just yell at Bella a lot because Bella always deserves it. Seth picks up, though. He knows Bella is calling for an update and there is a joke about being psychic like Alice in here, but the sad truth is probably that Bella only talks to Seth when she’s looking for an update about Jacob. You don’t need to be a psychic for that, Bell-bell.
Seth lets us know that Jacob’s out being a full-time wolf, running around Canada and stuff. He’s never coming home. Becoming a full-time wolf is a really extreme reaction to someone else getting married, especially if they were never your girlfriend. Bella thanks Seth for putting up with her, especially since she has no other fans in La Push. Seth’s like, “yep.” because he’s a star. Also, he tells Bella that Jacob knows she’s calling and he doesn’t like it either. Oh, did I mention that they pack ESP is international? Dat coverage.
K: This makes no sense because didn’t the epilogue of Eclipse finish with Jacob being all “I ran until I couldn’t get in touch with the pack any more and I was all on my own, just me and my unrequited feelings”?? And yet apparently the pack know where he is all the time now? Okay, SURE.
Mari: Bella tells Seth she’ll see him at the wedding. Seth is very gracious and thinks it’s super cool that Bella asked. Of course, Bella never actually does nice things for other people, and it was Edward’s idea to invite the Clearwaters. Seth and Edward have formed a bit of a friendship. Bella is happy Edward thought of it because it’ll be next best since her best man is missing in full-time wolf action.
Seth hangs up suddenly because Leah got home. Leah’s anger is probably going to be my never favorite thing.
Bella prepares herself to go inside where Charlie is waiting, dealing with many emotions over the missing Jacob no one seems to care about and the fact that his 18-year-old daughter is getting married in a couple of days. Bella flashes back to the night they told Charlie. Bella is sweating bullets when Charlie gets home. They tell him they have great news and Charlie immediately thinks Bella is pregnant. Bella assures him that she’s not and he calms down and apologizes.
K: You guys, the language in this scene is SO VIOLENT. It’s really weird. “you’re not confessing to a murder here.” “the ominous sound of my father’s boots” “that part of the horror movie when the victim realises she’s forgotten to lock her deadbolt.” “I flinched like I’d been Tasered.” “Wait till he hangs his gun up!” Steph. Girl. Calm down…
Catherine: What a happy occasion!
Mari: After an awkward silence, Edward says that he knows he’s gone about this out of order, but he’s asked Bella to marry him and she’s said yes, so instead of asking for Bella’s hand, he’s asking for Charlie’s blessing. Charlie’s face turns lots of angry colors. He calms himself down and says he kind of expected this anyway. I mean, honestly though, that’s true. I can’t imagine most people consider getting married that young the best of ideas, but these two are always breathing each other’s recycled air and stroking each other and professing their soul shattering love. Just go get married and leave everyone alone.
Charlie asks Bella if she’s sure about this and she says she’s sure about Edward. Charlie is like yeah, but how about marriage. Bella reminds us that she’s going to turn 19 eventually and her boyfriend is forever 17 and ew ew ew, imagine if people would look at them and notice that eternal 2 year difference. So gross, am I right. Bella can’t explain this to Charlie, so instead Edward says that they are going to Dartmouth together and Edward doesn’t want to live in sin. Charlie has no comebacks so he just starts laughing as he tells Bella that she’s the one who has to tell her mom.
K: In the words of Buffy Summers, “I hope it’s a funny aneurysm.” Like… that’s the only explanation for Charlie’s hysterical laughter, right?? Because it’s really not funny.
Mari: We cut to that conversation and of course Renee is completely fine with it because of true love reasons, or whatever. Bella tries to argue Renee into disapproving, but no cigar. (C: For fucks sake.) Renee is all for teenage marriage, mostly because Bella has “never been a teenager.” Uh, what. Surely she has. Like right now. And if not in her soul, surely she was a teen when she was 6 or something. Surely.
So, now Renee and Esme are planning the wedding and Bella doesn’t have to be at all involved in the wedding she doesn’t want. Hooray. Inside, Bella calls out to her father and he tells her to hold on. Alice is there too and we soon know why: she’s fitting Charlie with his tux. Bella actually asks him what the special occasion is, because she’s an idiot.
Alice has also come to fit Bella with her dress one last time. Bella has to close her eyes and go to her mental happy place the whole time it’s happening because she hates it that much. Yay weddings!
Bella starts thinking about how Edward wanted to have lots of human experiences, like prom. But Bella only wants one human experience before she becomes a blood thirsty baby vamp: sex! So, Alice is fitting Bella with her dress and she’s thinking about that sparkle peen.
Sounds about right. We are back.
K: Is it too late to change our minds?? O.o
Annie: I feel like the answer is yes… I mean, the worst of this is behind us, right?
Mari: Why’d you have to go and say a thing like that?
Next time on Breaking Dawn: Edward’s bachelor party in Chapter 02.