~"Without the dark, we'd never see the stars."~
I just finished reading this book from an objective point of view, and I saw things in it that bugged me more than when I read it for the first time.
Bella is a 17-year-old girl that moves from Pheonix, Arizona to Forks, Washington. Within the first chapter, I had an issue. She is talking about her mom and how much she would love and miss her (understandable). Then she tells us that before her mom remarried, Bella was the one that took care of the groceries, gas, and paying bills on time. Throughout the books there are more comments on this effect.
Then she gets to Forks. I have quite a few issues with Chief Charlie Swan. Below are just a few that stuck with me.
- He leaves her home alone a lot. He never once offers to take her fishing with him. He never offers to go and do anything with her.
- The first day there she does all of the cooking. Okay, so he is a single male that can't cook. But seriously Charlie, she goes to school, has homework, and cooks. I think he does the dishes once in the entire book (yes the author points out when dishes are being done). While she is cooking or cleaning up, he is sitting on the couch watching a game.
- They live in the same house, but their interactions are very limited. It is more like they are roommates rather than father/daughter.
- He is so clueless about what his daughter is feeling it is scary.
Throughout the book, I also started to realize a few things about Isabella Swan that I missed the first time around.
- She has a very low self-esteem - she avoids anything and everything because she isn't good enough, she hates the way she looks and admits several times throughout the book that she is depressed.
- When she and Jacob are walking at First Beach, she manipulates him to get information about the Cullen family.
- She is extremely accident-prone.
- When she loves, she loves hard and fast.
Then there is Edward.... Oh, Edward..... watching girls sleep is creepy! So is eavesdropping in on her conversations with her friends!
With all of that being pointed out. I have to take a step back and look at the book as a whole. The target audience for this book is the Young Adult group (12 - 18). It is a love story about a human girl and an oh-so-gorgeous vampire. He is confused about what it is about her that makes him act the way he does, so he listens in on her conversations with her friends, watches her sleep, then when he still can't figure it out, tries to get to know her.
She falls in love with him. She falls hard and fast. Edward tries to warn her away from him, but that only increases her desire (having a teen daughter this is pretty normal. Tell them they can't do something and they want to do it more). She sees his watching and listening as romantic because it showed interest in her (which from what I know about her parents at least someone is). Edward makes her feel safe, important, and like a priority.
In the first book, I didn't see anything out of character for a teen girl with depression and low self-esteem.