Little, Brown and Company
498 pages (I listened to it on an 11-disc audiobook)
YA / Paranormal Romance / Vampires
There’s no definitive definition of emotional or psychological abuse, but according to the medical portion of TheFreeDictionary.com, psychological abuse is:
A form of mistreatment in which there is intent to cause mental or emotional pain or injury; includes verbal aggression, statements intended to humiliate or infantilize, insults, threats of abandonment or institutionalization; results in stress, social withdrawal, long-term or recalcitrant depression, anxiety
According to the Conflict Tactics Scale – a scale used to identify harmful relationships – psychological abuse fits within three different categories:
Verbal aggression (e.g., "Your partner has said something to upset/annoy you");
Dominant behaviors (e.g., "I have tried to prevent my partner from seeing/speaking to their family");
Jealous behaviors (e.g., "Your partner has accused you of maintaining other parallel relations").
If I was smart, I would probably stop here, walk away, not offend any readers, but I’m not that smart and I do have other things to say, primarily:
I REALLY HATE THIS BOOK
Do not move forward if you are easily offended. Mild cursing ahead.
I hate the incredibly weak and selfish character that is Bella Swan. I hate the pompous asshat that is Edward Cullen. I hate the oblivious father and the flaky mother. I hate the series of suddenly lovesick teenage boys that fall at Bella’s feet. I hate just about everyone and everything about this book except for Carlisle and Alice, and they are not in the book enough to justify me attempting to sit through the next one. I really just want a book about Carlisle managing to be a doctor and a vampire, and that whole vampire hunter in a previous life thing.
I just don’t get it. I don’t get what people like about these characters. You have an indecisive century old potential serial killer with the maturity level of a 12-year-old constantly saying, “I need you, I love you, you’re my entire world but you must go away or I might KILL YOU but I can’t stay away from you so don’t go away even though I might KILL YOU!” And then you have the stupid teenage girl who says things like, “But you ARE my life” after nearly getting murdered because of something her wonderful, perfect boyfriend inadvertently instigated.
I don’t get it. There was a short portion in the middle where my preteen self could see potential, but then Bella started playing the victim and Meyer started beating me in the face with her “Edward’s vampirism suppression is the same as remaining celibate” message, and I started twitching.
Edward Cullen is a creepy, manipulative asshat, who spends most of this book emotionally abusing the girl he supposedly loves eternally. He puts his eternal love in a number of situations that could potentially end in her grisly death and sort of shrugs the danger away with the fact that, oh, well, I’ll be there so she’ll be safe because I am the best ever since ever was invented.
Bella Swan is a sniveling, selfish teenage girl with no self-worth and no idea she’s in an unhealthy relationship. While she does express concern regarding her family’s safety, that doesn’t prevent her from continuing the activities that could potentially cause them harm. This is the type of girl I would strongly encourage see a therapist. And worst of all, she has absolutely no sense of humor.
Oh yes, and she finds it romantic that Edward is basically stalking her, sneaking into her bedroom every night to watch her sleep. That’s not romantic, that’s freaking CREEPY! People get arrested for that type of thing in real life.
And I got that Edward was perfect from the moment he showed up. He did everything better than everyone and he was the most attractive guy in the history of the universe even though he’s pasty and has creepy eyes. You don’t have to tell me every five minutes. If his face is perfect, I inferred that his nose was perfect and his eyes and his lips and his hair and his… Really, Stephanie Meyer, I got it. You don’t have to keep telling me. I think in the end, the constant repetition of declaring how perfect Edward looked was what nearly caused me to throw the entire audio book out the car window in rush hour traffic.
I won’t even start on the glittery vampire thing. Just… no.
What the hell am I supposed to like about this?
Don’t. If you haven’t by now, just don’t.