(Hint: There is a party in this chapter.) Bella is 99.9% sure she is dreaming because she is standing in bright sunlight, looking at her deceased grandma, Marie. She describes her grandma, comparing her to shriveled fruits and, suddenly, Edward is calling her name. He walks towards Bella, and she is afraid because of his sparkly abilities and her grandmother’s (already dead) fragile state. Edward puts his arm around Bella’s shoulder as grandma Marie makes funny expressions. Bella then realizes that she is looking in a mirror, and that dear old grandma Marie is NOT there, but it is Bella’s reflection. (Edward, of course, has no reflection at all.) Edward says ‘happy birthday,’ and Bella starts from her dream.
We find out it is September 13, and Bella turns 18 today. We learn she had a WONDERFUL summer (better than ANYONE, ANYWHERE else had had) and that she has been dreading her birthday because it means she’s getting older and Edward’s not. As she drives to school, she keeps thinking about the dream and can’t escape the gloom and doom of despair. UNTIL she sees Edward leaning against his shiny Volvo, waiting for her.
Alice is there too, and has a little present for her. Alice still dances everywhere, and Bella is emo and very anti-birthday celebrations. She finds out the Cullens are planning a party for her later, and she continues to make up excuses as to why she can’t go, but ultimately fails. She goes to class and just so happens to have almost every class with Edward.
We catch up with Meyer’s stellar cast of characters next. Mike and Jessica broke up, but Mike seems finally to accept Edward and Bella’s relationship. However, he has grown out his hair, made it blonde, and lost weight to better imitate Edward. Bella rants on and on and on about what she DIDN’T want for her birthday, and how she is just a simple girl from a poor family. She lists all the things Edward has offered to pay for: a car, college, her breast enhancement, etc. While at lunch, Alice, Edward and Bella sit with Mike and all of those hooligans, but still manage to seclude themselves from the crowd.
The school day ends, and Edward goes to Bella’s house with her where they watch “Romeo and Juliet” and talk about how Edward was thinking of ways to off himself last year if Bella did not make it. Oh, the travesty. They make each other promise that if one dies before the other, they won’t kill themselves (like an anti-suicide pact). Damn. Edward mentions the Volturi for the first time — the family of powerful vampires in Italy that used to hang out with Carlizzle.
They go to the Cullen’s house, taking along the new camera that Charlie bought Bella to go along with the scrapbook Renee gave her. Edward explains how the Cullens are excited because they haven’t celebrated a birthday since 1935. Even Rosalie is excited. We also learn Emmett and Rosalie have been in Africa (ya know, where the sun don’t shine?) since they graduated, and have come back just for this event!
There are a ton of presents, decorations, and a huge cake! Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper give Bella a new radio for her truck (which Emmett installs in minutes), and the next one is from Alice and Edward. It’s a box and, when Bella goes to open it, she gets a papercut that causes her to bleed. Cue pseudo-action?
Jasper immediately tries to eat her, but Edward pushes Bella away and into a glass table, which shatters, causing her to bleed even more. In a room full of vampires. Dun Dun DUNNNNNNN….
Best Worst Lines
“Well, gran, you might have noticed that my boyfriend glitters. It’s just something he does in the sun… Don’t worry about it.” (4)
“Edward stood beside me, casting no reflection, excruciatingly lovely and forever seventeen.” (6)
“I couldn’t feel anything but despair until I pulled into the familiar parking lot behind Forks High School and spotted Edward leaning motionlessly against his polished silver Volvo, like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty.” (7)
“Romeo is one of my favorite fictional characters. Until I’d met Edward, I’d sorta had a thing for him.” (17) (Kinda like Stephenie Meyer, being in love with Edward Cullen.)
“The movie eventually captured my interest, thanks in large part to Edward whispering Romeo’s lines in my ear — his irresistible, velvet voice made the actor’s voice sound weak and coarse by comparison.” (17)
Things That Really Irk Us
The part when she sees her dead grandma and asks what she has been up to for the last six years and how her grandfather is.
The emo-angsty Bella has, somehow, gotten more emo and even angstier. Now she is the pauper worried about age lines at 18. Cry me a fucking river.
Despite the fact alllllll of the Cullen family (but Emmett and Jasper) were in the ballet studio when she was bleeding profusely, Meyers describes six very hungry vampires at the party when Bella bleeds from a paper cut. The rest of the blood came after. We are confused, especially since Carlizzle is supposed to be BA and be totally immune.
Meyers, yet again, adding a little eccentricism with the 1960′s version of “Romeo and Juliet.” You so cool! We wish we were like that.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse. Maybe Bella needs to bleed out a bit and get rid of all that angsty pressure. Maybe someone will eat her this time around, since she can’t kill herself.Go to Chapter 2.