It’s graduation day, and Bella has nothing to wear. She’s got the contents of her closet strewn across her bed, and she’s having a hell of a time picking something to go with her favorite khaki skirt. (Really? Isn’t khaki sort of a neutral??) Alice drops in (through the window), bringing with her an outfit for Bella. How convenient. It’s as Bella is thinking of how she misses the red shirt that the “intruder” stole that everything clicks.
Everything, Bella realizes, is connected. The vampire army in Seattle, the careful intruder in Bella’s room – it isn’t two separate coincidences. Clearly, the intruder was just a test — to see if he/she could get in Bella’s house without Alice seeing. They’re using the holes in Alice’s visions to come after Bella. Alice immediately realizes that Bella is right, and Bella is relieved to have finally figured it out. At least she knows nobody is after the Cullens.
Claude interrupts by banging on the door and urging Bella to get a move on. Alice darts off before Edward comes around, because if Ed reads Alice’s thoughts, he’ll freak out about the newbie army on the hunt for his girlfriend. Bella throws her clothes on, and Charlie drives her and Edward to the school in his cruiser — with Edward sitting in the backseat like a criminal (Claude loves this). Bella brushes off her quietness as nerves about graduation and the party, and she’s apparently believable enough.
Claude drops the kids off, and they line up for the ceremony. Jessica is overly excited, and acts as though she and Bella are besties again. Alice is MIA until it’s time for her to dance across the stage to get her diploma, and Edward is confused-looking and suspicious about his sister. The ceremony flies by (thank God), and Bella manages not to trip as she goes to collect her diploma (we’re surprised; we figured Bella tripping would be a given).
After the ceremony, Edward points out that Bella still looks nervous, and Bella asks Edward where Alice danced off to. Apparently, as she skipped across the stage, she was translating the Battle Hymn of the Republic into Arabic and thinking about Korean sign language (would this be any different from normal sign language?). Edward realizes Bella must know what Alice was trying to hide from him, and Bella decides to just come clean. She explains her revelation about the vampy army actually being after her, and Edward is dazed and horrified at the thought. He’s barely able to pull it together in time for Charlie to come and congratulate his daughter.
Bella is rethinking telling Edward, because he seems really freaked out. But she can’t really dwell on it, because Charlie insists on taking her out to dinner to celebrate. They go to The Lodge, and Bella spends dinner hiding bits of food in her napkin and worrying about her Eddie-kins. Edward is waiting for her in the shadows in the parking lot later (not creepy at all), and Bella apologizes for catching him so off guard. Edward apologizes, too (for freaking out), and assures her it’s better that they figured it out.
Bella then has Charlie take her to the Cullens’ in order for her to “help set up for the party.” On the way, Charlie and Bella chat about Charlie’s parenting skills, while Bella begins dreading the rest of her evening. She’s secretly hoping no one will be able to find the house set deep back in the woods, but Alice has taken care of that with thousands of twinkle lights lining the driveway.
Best Worst Lines
“’Stupid, thieving, annoying vampire!’ I growled.” (347)
“Alice wasn’t accustomed to being taking by surprise. She froze, and was still for so long that I started counting in my head as I waited. She didn’t move for two minutes straight.” (Who DOES this?)
“I was through expecting my emotions to make sense anymore. As I processed the fact that someone had created an army of vampires — the army that had gruesomely murdered dozens of people in Seattle — for the express purpose of destroying me, I felt a spasm of relief.” (WTF, Bella? You are so incredibly stupid.)
“Only the two of them could carry off the hideous yellow and still look the way they did. They stood out from the rest of the crowd, their beauty and grace otherworldly. I wondered how I’d ever fallen for their human farce. A couple of angels, standing there with wings intact, would be less conspicuous.” (354) (Hahaha. We had to wear yellow graduation gowns; we don’t believe that even angels could pull them off.)
Things That Really Irk Us
Bella freaking out about having nothing to wear with her KHAKI SKIRT. Since when do you even care about what you look like, Bella?
Bella’s reaction to realizing that the vampire army is really after her. Instead of being freaked out like she should be, she’s just relieved that they’re not after the Cullens. Somehow, we feel like the Cullens could handle that sort of situation much better than Bella will ever be able to.
The play-by-play of the graduation ceremony was unnecessary. Everyone knows how it goes, SMeyer. You really could have spared us the boring details.
Bella is still such a bitch to poor Claude. At least she could do a better job pretending to be appreciative. He’s so excited, and she can’t even fake having fun with him. This makes us feel bad for poor, oblivious Claude.
A vampire army created to destroy Bella? Really? Admittedly, we should have seen that one coming. What would a SMeyer book be like without some ridiculous non-plot point like that? We still can’t grasp what’s so great about Bella. We certainly wouldn’t waste time creating a bunch of newbie vamps on her account.Go to Chapter 17.