I’M BACK! POSSIBLY! HOORAY!
I gotta say, I absolutely did not miss this garbage. Not one bit. But, I’m trying to dedicate myself more to my projects and actually finish them. This is one of my projects and I still have faith in it (in theory). A lot has happened since I last wrote a review, most of it recently. I lost my best friend the day after Christmas and that has made me reevaluate my life. I don’t want to leave things unfinished anymore. Not even this. I committed to this project and dammit if I’m not going to see it through to the bitter end.
In keeping with the spirit of change, I have decided to add a new element to my reviews. From now on, I will record myself reading each chapter. Out loud. I will react to them. You will laugh at me. I’ll be embedding the videos at the beginning of every review. The reviews themselves will remain unchanged for the most part, though may end up a bit shorter since I won’t be able to take notes the way I used to. But you don’t care about that stuff. You just want to see my brains leak out my ears. So let’s get to the review!
New Moon Chapter 11: Cult
As I confessed in my video, I had actually already read this chapter before I went on my extended hiatus, complete with notations for a review which I never wrote. But I honestly only vaguely remembered it even as I reread it, so my reactions were genuine.
Bella is understandably freaked out (though not nearly as much as I think she should be) by the knowledge that Victoria is not only back, but actively seeking her death. She shows uncharacteristic concern for someone other than herself when she considers what it would mean for Charlie if she were to flee and leave him alone, as his house would be the first place Victoria would come looking for Bella. She also dismisses the idea of going to her mother, being unwilling to drag her into this mess, either. It’s strange how Bella seems to yoyo back and forth between being a self-centered asshole and seeming to genuinely care for people other than herself and/or her precious perfect Eddykins. It’s almost as though Meyer periodically realized what an asshole Bella was and felt the need to make her seem more sympathetic. Not that that feeling lasts very long because she immediately reminds us what a creepy fucking stalker Bella is at heart.
Since their disastrous not-a-date, during which Mike became ill and Jacob became a dick, Bella hasn’t heard a word from Jacob. This concerns her, which is understandable. Jacob is her friend—or as close to a friend as Bella really has—and last she saw him, he seemed to be ill himself. After a week with no contact, Bella did what any normal person would do.
“On Wednesday, I called every half hour until after eleven at night, desperate to hear the warmth of Jacob’s voice.”
Jesus H. Christ, Bella! What the fuck is wrong with you?? That’s not just creepy, that’s goddamn harassment. You could be reported to the police for that. If they wanted to talk to you, THEY WOULD CONTACT YOU. She’s like a puppy being left alone for the first time. She’s going ape shit and tearing up the walls. This is…not normal or appropriate behavior. Her severe codependency issues really shine through here. She latches onto dominant male figures and feels completely lost without them. Without Edward, her life had no purpose. Without Jacob, she’s unable to function as a normal person. Again, I feel compelled to equate her relationship to him to that of a drug addiction. Jacob makes her feel good about herself, something she simply didn’t get from Edward. Now, without Jacob, she’s going through withdrawal. I can actually see where she’s coming from and understand, to a degree, why she feels the way she does. But Bella takes things above and beyond what’s normal or appropriate. Bella eventually goes full creeper on the Blacks.
Ever the dramatist, Bella feels that the worry is “eating a hole in [her] stomach,” thinking that “soon [she] would have matching punctures.” This line threw me for a loop at first because of just how insanely stupid it was. I eventually decided that she meant this Jacob situation would leave a metaphorical hole in her the same way Edward leaving did. Jesus, she’s so fucking emo, you guys. For reals, she needs to get a grip.
Eventually, Bella determines, based on literally no evidence, that Jacob has been ensnared by Sam Uley’s “cult” despite that Charlie assures her that Sam has a sterling reputation and is considered by many of the tribal elders to be one of the best things to happen to the reservation. But sure, Bella, he’s totally a cult leader. Bella cites Jacob’s fear of Sam, but can’t really support her argument with much, particularly since Jacob himself didn’t really have anything to go on.
She then hatches a harebrained scheme to rescue Jacob from the “cult”, fearing he’s been brainwashed. Then Meyer writes my favorite line of the chapter.
“I’d once seen a PBS show on deprogramming the brainwashed. There had to be some kind of cure.”
On her super spy brainwashing deprogramming mission and after calling Billy and pressing him for information that was absolutely none of her business, Bella decides to drive to the Blacks’ house and literally just sit outside until she see’s Jacob. Because she’s a goddamn lunatic stalker.
While en route to the Blacks’, Bella finds Quil randomly walking along the road. She picks him up and naturally starts grilling him about Jacob before he’s even gotten into her truck. He confirms that everything Bella thinks is true, because Meyer is very, very lazy. Sam has Jacob and the others and they’ve all seemingly turned their backs on Quil. Bella drops Quil off at his house before continuing on to the Blacks’. She parks in plain sight and gives Billy the shittiest, assholiest grin when he stares out the window at her. Seriously, fuck Bella. She’s such a dick.
She isn’t waiting long before she’s confronted by Jacob and his new friends. Now that he’s a werewolf, he’s sort of a massive asshole. I guess Meyer couldn’t have him looking too much better than Edward. As it is, the book seems only too aware that Jacob is clearly the superior choice. Gotta crush that back down before people start thinking maybe Edward ought to just stay gone.
Bella asks to talk to Jacob privately and, after getting the okay from Sam (which is admittedly weird, but I suspect things aren’t quite the way they seem with him), Jacob agrees. They walk off into the woods and Bella immediately begins accusing Sam of corrupting Jacob and the youth of the reservation. Jacob swears it’s not like that, even admitting that he was completely wrong about Sam the whole time. Naturally, Bella, who is in absolutely no position to actually know anything, doesn’t believe him. She still thinks he’s been brainwashed. Because she’s a fucking moron.
Jacob gets angry, telling her that if she wants someone to blame, she ought to look toward the “filthy, reeking bloodsuckers that [she] loves so much.” While I’m not entirely sure how they’re to blame, I’m more than happy to assume he’s right because I just hate Edward that much.
Bella is taken aback by the outburst.
“I was frozen in place, stabbed through with his double-edged words.”
How his words were double-edged, I have no idea. To me, calling words double-edged implies they cut in two different ways. I really don’t see how what he said has more than just the one meaning. But no one has ever accused Stephenie Meyer of knowing what the fuck she was talking about.
As Jacob’s anger rises, we are reintroduced to Bella’s Edward delusion. Curiously, this time it isn’t insulting or berating her, merely warning her to be wary of Jacob’s temper and not get him too excited. Strangely appropriate advice, all things considered.
The rest of this chapter is just super frustrating because Meyer still won’t “reveal” that Jacob is a werewolf. Or even confirm the existence of werewolves. Like, what the fuck? We know. We all know. Blind nuns in Tibet know. We’ve known since the first fucking book. JUST COME OUT WITH IT YOU HACK.
Bella eventually goes home after Jacob breaks up with her (her words) and she stands pathetically in the rain for like an hour. Then Charlie reminds us again why he’s the best character in this whole wretched series. He meets Bella at her car, knowing she’s going to be upset. He brings her inside, helps her dry off, comforts her. Basically, he’s wonderful. Bella takes a shower to warm up (somehow managing to fail even at that) and when she gets out, she hears Charlie on the phone with Billy. Charlie is angry with Billy for whatever Jacob did to upset Bella. He then tells Billy that he’ll be keeping an eye on Jacob and his friends. And while I absolutely do not condone this pretty blatant abuse of power on his part, it’s such a genuine act of love and loyalty that it’s refreshing. Everyone in this series acts out of selfishness or obsession. Charlie may not be acting rationally, but his motive is love for his daughter and concern for her wellbeing. You can’t fault him for that. Bella really doesn’t deserve him.
Bella decides to go to bed and, as usual, she has to literally bite down on her fist to keep from screaming with pain. She falls asleep crying, has a weird dream about Jacob turning into Edward, then wakes up, still crying. Then she hears a sound at her window, like fingernails scraping across glass. Dear Baby Jesus, please let it be Victoria there to eat her and put me out of my misery.
While not the worst chapter by any means, this one was really just more of the same crap. The writing was bad and Bella was an asshole. Not much to say there. I’m really getting sick of her never-ending grief, though. Like, really sick of it. Like I said at the start of this, my best friend passed away two weeks ago. We’d been best friends for 15 years, since we were 13. It hurt more than I ever thought anything could hurt. It still does. But good fucking Christ, it didn’t turn me catatonic and I don’t feel like I have to bite my fist at night to keep from screaming in pain. I realize people experience grief differently, but fuck. Edward didn’t even die. He just left. And it’s been six months! Having experienced such a big loss myself, I’m now even more annoyed by her inability to move on. Now it feels like it’s just mocking people who are actually feeling grief. Fuck this book and fuck Stephenie Meyer.