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Enjoy the Silence: The Awakening Part 6

January 27, 2009

WHERE IS MY NOTEBOOK?

It isn’t like me to lose anything, unlike ~*Elena*~ and her hair ribbon.

All, right, for some reason it was on the floor next to the kitchen table.  I don’t pretend to understand, but maybe I can actually get this post done now.

We begin this chapter with ~*Elena*~ coming down from being in shock.  Unsurprisingly, she’s PISSED.  But since there’s nothing she can really do about Tyler right now, and of course because she’s ~*Elena*~, she’s pissed at Stefan “for his politeness, and for his gallantry, and for the walls around him that seemed thicker and higher than ever.”  Oh, ~*Elena*~.  Priorities again.

She uses the bobby pins from her hair to keep her dress closed.  She’s way girlier than me, then, I can’t even imagine how that would work.  I can’t even get those things to stay in my hair, let alone keep anything TOGETHER.  Anyway, he gives her a cloak to wear.  Dark velvet.  It’s probably twinsies with her journal.  “But she was not mollified by the gift”–huh?–and instead gets in his face and rifles through his things.  Assertive little stalker, isn’t she?  And she knows how to push his buttons, because this is Stefan.  His buttons are so big you can’t help but push them most of the time.  But ~*Elena*~’s being an ass.  I remember thinking that this scene was SUPER DRAMATIC when I first read the book.  It’s filled with Big Pronouncements and stuff.  Oh, me.

She’s touching a “small iron coffer with a hinged lid,” HE’s touching the “small iron coffer with a hinged lid,” and he jerks back rather than touching her, provoking this comment, which I have remembered all these years: “Don’t touch me, or you might get a disease.”  God, she’s bratty.  Did it ever occur to her that this guy might just not like her?  I mean, maybe because she’s a button-pushing brat?

Oh, but in case you fell out of love with this scene ages ago and you’re looking for more reasons to dislike ~*Elena*~, don’t worry, here it is: her superpower kicks in again.  “…[S]he knew, suddenly, what she must look like to him, pale hair spilling over the blackness of the cape, one white hand holding the velvet closed at her throat.  A ravaged princess pacing in her tower.”  Her superpower now includes sentence fragments!

So she looks up, and he’s all “Nom nom nom, dinner–but no, I mustn’t!”–NOT THAT SHE STILL HAS ANY CLUE–and suggests he take her home.  ~*Elena*~ isn’t having that.  After all, she hasn’t gotten what she wanted.  “She was tired of this game,” the book says, but who started the “game”?  It certainly wasn’t Stefan.  Now we can pull aside the bs and get to the point.  She asks him why he hates her, and that “it’s not…not good manners to say it, but I don’t care.”  Seriously, say it with me, readers: OH, ~*ELENA*~.  Her idea of good manners, omg.  Poking at people’s stuff after they’ve saved you from sexual assault doesn’t rate compared to asking a boy why he isn’t trying to get in her pants?  But it gets worse.  “I know I should be grateful to you for saving me tonight, but I don’t care about that, either.”  Look, Pierre!  “I didn’t ask you to save me.”  Noooo, but it sure helped, didn’t it?  But the height of her brattiness comes here, when she says “I tried to be friendly to you and you threw it back in my face.”  This has earned ~*Elena*~ a hearty “FUCK YOU” in my notes, and I have to agree with my notes; they are very smart notes.  She wasn’t trying to be FRIENDLY.  In fact, I’d say she was being the opposite of friendly.  Dishonestly friendly.  Predatory.  She also accuses him of “humiliating” her.  You can’t see my balled fists, but RAR!  Oh yes, he totally freakin’ humiliated her by not responding to her blatant come-ons instead of, say, trying to get to know him.

Come on, ~*Elena*~.  Tell me his middle name.  Tell me his favorite color, his favorite book, his favorite movie.  Tell me anything about him that makes me think you actually like HIM, and not the look and the challenge of him.

He says he doesn’t hate her, but he’s a better person than I, because I would–and do–seriously dislike her at this point.

She then turns it around so it’s about some flaw in HIM, his walls, etc.  I’m not saying he doesn’t have walls, but I’m definitely saying it’s not her fucking business.

And then the REAL truth comes out: “And what’s wrong with me,” she added, more quietly,” that you can’t even look at me, but you can let Caroline Forbes fall all over you?”  There it is.  It’s not about Stefan’s walls.  It’s about what she can and can’t do.  I HATE that this behavior is rewarded with a boyfriend.

Anyway, he tells her that she reminded him of someone, but less so now because he’s starting to see her as her own person–hey, at least someone here is.  And he says she died, and who knows death better than ~*Elena*~.  I mean, it’s practically her stalker.  So they bond over that.  Then the writing gets all cheesy, with phrases like “the tortured look of unbearable guilt and loneliness” and all that, and then he’s all “You can’t know my pain!”–O RLY?  I’m fairly certain that losing your parents > losing some girl who flirted with your brother.

batmanJust sayin’.

Anyway, suddenly they’re holding hands and then he goes in for the kiss.

I sort of miss my stomach clenching at this scene, but now it clenches for all new reasons, so whatever.

MEANWHILE, Bonnie, Meredith, and Matt (who, without ~*Elena*~ around doesn’t earn the mean nickname) discover Vickie Bennett in the graveyard.  She’s dirty and wearing only a white slip, like a virgin sacrifice.  Only she was seeing Dick, so I don’t know.  But I’m surprised she isn’t blonde, although her hair is “light-brown.”  Maybe that was her sin.  Anyway, she says the same stuff as the old dude–mist, eyes in the dark–and gets more coherent as she interacts with everyone.  It allows everyone to know that she and Dick were attacked and ~*Elena*~ is not with them.  Meredith “interprets” Vickie’s babble.  They then realize that Vickie’s got scratches on her.  Meredith puts the kibosh on them going to figure it all out for themselves, even though Matt’s desperate to rescue ~*Elena*~ (I’m erring on the side of “because he’s a great guy” not “because then maybe she’ll love him again”).  Meredith is the first person here who wants to go to the cops and stuff.  Voice of reason, thankyouverymuch.

Matt angrily drives them all away, “each motion violent.”  In a few years, he will curse the lack of cell phones then that kept him from doing absolutely nothing but maybe putting himself in danger.

Now that’s an interesting thought–will the new stories take place “now,” with cell phones, even though the characters probably won’t be much older than they are in this series?  Anyway, don’t spoil me.  I’ll figure it out soon enough, I guess.

Back to ~*Elena*~ and Stefan.

“She had come home.”  Aww, unreasonable expectations of a first kiss.  That with the “right” person it will be perfect in all ways.  Never mind that all my personal research has led me to believe that the best kissers are often some of the worst people ever.  I bet Damon’s a great kisser.  Er, but I digress.  ~*Elena*~ feels sure that she knows that “[h]e wanted to hold her forever, to protect her from all harm.  He wanted to defend her from any evil that threatened her.”  I cannot figure out which of the dozen or so jokes in my head I want to make here.  Something to do with an army.  Something to do with Edward Cullen maybe.  “He wanted to join his life with hers.”

I always know when someone wants to marry me after the first kiss?

Anyway, when they pull away from the kiss, they get all soft and squishy together, which is sweet but it leaves the rest of the chapter fairly sexless, but I will discuss that in a minute.  First, let me just finish what happens next.  Stefan takes ~*Elena*~ home and he holds her hand.  Nothing about the awkwardness of holding hands with someone who has a manual transmission.  Ah well.  I mean, dude can’t have an automatic, right?  That wouldn’t be cool at all.  It’s a freakin’ sports car.

Anyway, there are cops there, but for a couple pages of infodump you wouldn’t even think they were there.  Everyone BUT the police catch ~*Elena*~ and Stefan up on what’s going on.  I just visualize them standing silent in the background, like extras, because that’s what it seems like.  ~*Elena*~’s superpower kicks in again as she walks into the house–“She had a sudden vision of what she must look like, standing there in the doorway in the sweeping black velvet cloak, with Stefan Salvatore at her side”–and then everyone goes crazy and huggy and infodumpy.

Robert acts as the Voice of Reason and Matt’s the Cranky Stubborn one.  No reaction from Matt on the obvious couple-dom of ~*Elena*~ and Stefan but, quite frankly, since the scene is from ~*Elena*~’s perspective, I didn’t expect it.  After all, since when has ~*Elena*~ noticed anything about what’s going on with Matt?  Especially now that she has her prize toy.

Stefan’s vamp sense is tingling.

Bonnie gets off a snarky comment that I would expect from Meredith.  They really are interchangeable at times.

Then ~*Elena*~ feels a sudden drawing-back from Stefan, “as if she and he were on opposite sides of a rifting, cracking floe of ice.”  Sigh.  He asks a couple of pointed questions and then heads out.  Just when I’m starting to doubt the existence of these “police” who supposedly came in the cars outside ~*Elena*~’s house, ~*Elena*~ speaks to one when her aunt notices her torn dress.  ~*Elena*~ does it again: she acts the “proper” way in the situation and reports her Tyler attack to the police officer behind her.

I’m probably going to start talking shit about Damon soon, but I am very, very happy that Smith is Doin’ It Rite as it pertains to ~*Elena*~’s response to the assault.

End of chapter.

Here’s how I feel about this now: Where are the raging hormones?  (At least Bella Swan has them.)  The post-kiss scene is so MELLOW.  Part of me really likes it–the connection between ~*Elena*~ and Stefan–and part of me thinks that it creates an unhealthy expectation.  Who can sit in comfortable silence with someone they barely know?  ~*Elena*~’s is the only viewpoint we get here, too, so we have that “girls don’t get horny” vibe after the kiss–or maybe “girls don’t stay horny and neither do guys.”  Sexuality is flipped like a switch here.  Well, unless we’re supposed to assume something happened in the gap between the kiss section and the “then they went to ~*Elena*~’s” section, but I don’t think so, and even then you’d have the sort of “fade to black” that does the young reader no good either.  I think we’re supposed to see their love as perfect and pure–NEVER MIND that ~*Elena*~has been fantastically self-absorbed.  Stefan’s poorly-hidden attraction to her is somehow supposed to justify her actions, which is all sorts of wrong.  It’s okay to be a manipulative stalker if he eventually gives in, girls!

But for all its flaws the book is highly readable and easy to visualize.  Stefan and ~*Elena*~ (so far) mesh so well it’s hard to hold a grudge.  Or maybe that’s my nostalgia talking.

Next up: a flashback.  I mean, we went two whole chapters without one, gawd!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. trappedintheattic permalink
    January 28, 2009 9:43 am

    The moral of Pierre is care.

    Bella is a giant ball of hormones. It’s one of the (few) things that I like about her. I remember being 17, and a hot vampire boyfriend would have only made things worse.

    • bookslide permalink*
      January 28, 2009 10:50 am

      Pierre’s a big faker, like Elena.

      Yeah, I appreciated the “look, I am a fairly realistic teenager in that I want the sex and I’m totally annoying” thing. 😀 Not so much for Elena.

  2. trappedintheattic permalink
    January 29, 2009 2:03 pm

    Ljane heroines never want the sex. Except Jenny from “Forbidden Game”, I think she at least thought about it. Once.

    • bookslide permalink*
      January 30, 2009 9:11 pm

      Hmm, I think maybe she did. I can’t remember.

      I’m like halfway through this book. If I can just pick up the pace on my recaps a bit, it should only be a couple weeks till we start Night World…

  3. March 5, 2009 9:11 pm

    Well, Stefan could have had an automatic transmission, as Porsche introduced their Tiptronic auto transmission into the 911 line in 1989, and I’m assuming Stefan’s is a 1991 model. Of course you sacrifice a few mph’s off your top speed, and about a second from your 0-60mph time, with the auto vs. manual, but if he wasn’t a Porsche purist, it’s plausible. However, since he’s European, and they lurve their manual transmissions, I doubt it.

    Yes, I’m a bit obsessed with Porsches. However could you tell? haha

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