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12 June 2010 @ 10:31 pm
Second reading of Bree Tanner  
Welcome to my second part of this book: where we learn that Raoul and Diego want to claw at each other, Meyer can't shut at how special is Riley and Diego relationship is, Diego is a mythbuster, Victoria is him's cousin and sparkling happens.

    Now they are jumping on rooftops because Meyer is trying to move the plot somewhere. Then they see the newborns causing mayhem on the streets-- crashed cars, dead bodies, run over stoplights-- and Diego proceeds to make it look like a car accident by aligning the cars together and blowing them up. And if mythbusters taught me anything is that blown up cars are something we mostly see in movies.
    Bree congrats him on setting up a explosive cover, never mind that the street is deserted, no skid marks, and the cars suffered damage that will prove inconsistent with the crash. Diego gets all cocky about it and asks Bree if they should go home already. She declines and suggests a night of shopping and he gets all exited about it.
    They sneak in a Wallmart and Bree takes a dozen books showing us that she’s the Book-smart/life-dumb kind of person (and how book smart can she be when she’s robbing K-marts instead of actual bookstores? Those places have terrible book selections) Meanwhile Diego is getting the latest Lady Gaga and John Barrowman compilation CD.
    Both of them start talking and Meyer reveals that Bree is able to stand this vampire named Fred who’s special power is to repel people. Because, you know, Bree’s special and whatnot. Diego takes this as an opportunity to gossip. Yes, gossip. It’s describe purple as “leaned toward me conspiratorially” as he says rumors and hush-hush information. What else would you call it?
    Diego then starts hating on Victoria while describing the super secret plot of Eclipse (Victoria wants to create an army of superpowered newborns to destroy the Cullens). And I love how they talk about her and how terrible her is. Because it is just like that: her. It reminds me of this:

    Freaky Fred and now this. Is Meyer a 90’s cartoon fan? XD
     Anyhow, this talk of powers changes the conversation from her, to freaky Fred to Raoul:

“He talked about Raoul,” Diego said, the corner of his mouth twisting down. (Obviously displeased that his rival is not a pile of ashes by now)
“What skill does Raoul have? Super-stupidity?”
Diego snorted.  “Definitely that. [...]” 

    Somebody’s not pleased with Raoul. So the conversation turns to Riley having told Diego that he only kept Raoul for his powers (and it sounds like the kind of thing a boyfriend says to his girlfriend to keep her from jumping at the new girl). Diego infers that something’s coming from that and asks Bree’s opinion on the matter.

I hesitated for half a second before answering. This wasn’t the line of inquiry I would have expected from Riley’s right-hand man. Almost like he was questioning what Riley had told us. Unless Diego was asking this for Riley, like a spy. Finding out what the “kids” thought of him. But it didn’t feel like that. Diego’s dark red eyes were open and confiding. And why would Riley care? Maybe the way the others talked about Diego wasn’t based on anything real. Just gossip. 

</blockquote>      1) So they go around gossiping? Truly these are the blood thirsty savages Meyer promised us. No wonder the Cullens were so petrified they had to employ the super secret fighting technique of being really fast and hitting sideways.
     2) I love the slashy Mata-Hari images that paragraph causes in me.
     3) Given how he talked about her, Bree, and how much he looks out for Riley I would say he’s wondering if Riley’s getting tricked and by that extension all the newborns.
      4) Also Diego would make a terrible spy. He bitch fights with Raoul (the favorite that other vamps like), nobody seems to like him, and follows the rules too closely. Now Raoul would make the better spy. He hates Diego and wants to drive him away, is liked by other vampires, and desperate for being Riley’s #1. I can see him alerting Riley about other vamps, which get eliminated, just to have the relationship he has with Diego.

    So they talk about them being the front line of some attack they have yet to been informed and blah, blah blah (Trust me, the blah is more interesting). Next they raid Target for ziplock bags and backpacks and head down the river. They have a swimming competition, but the house where they were going to stay was destroyed and the sun is coming up. Diego is all “Chill, girl.” and takes her to an underwater cavern.
    They start talking about how smart Bree is and their past and I do have to wonder if I’m supposed to care about Bree’s. I mean, the story starts with -- BOOM!!-- she’s a vampire, and not even a recently turned one. She’s already in control and not so different than any other vampire. It looses any purpose this book could have had and so I’m not invested at all in the story.
    Moving on, Diego tells us that newborns go around tearing each other apart and putting themselves back together. So they are like Mr. Potatohead? I wonder if they exchange limbs. (Hey, if you were a transexual and a vampire, would you exchange bodies with a vampire of the opposite sex?) Bree tells Diego that that happened to her once:

I shrugged and then yanked my left t-shirt sleeve up to my shoulder so he could see the thin, ragged line that circled my arm.
Got this ripped off once,” I admitted. “Got it back before Jen could toast it. Riley showed me how to put it back on.”
Diego smiled wryly and touched his right knee with one finger. His dark jeans covered the scar that must have been there. “It happens to everybody.” 

    Are you sure it’s wry Bree? Sounds like somebody is reminiscing quite lovingly about something.

Then we go to question why Riley is turning so many people (again). Diego is confused about Riley’s motives and is feeling upset. Bree is starting to doubt Riley and reaches the conclusion that “  It sounded like he didn’t know Riley any better than I did.” but then Diego goes into jealous mode (While praising Bree... again):

“You’re the kind that Riley should be looking for—the smart ones—not just these stupid gang-bangers that Raoul keeps bringing in. 

    Well Diego, I don’t see you bringing anybody in! No amount of hissy fits, name spitting and whining is going to change that. No wonder Riley is starting to look at him over you.
    So we get back story (again) O-kay, is the story running around in circles now? To be fair now it’s really expanded, but again I have to ask if I should care since I didn’t see it. Long story short Diego’s brother was killed by a gang, went to seek revenge and was saved by Riley who turned him into a vamp. Bree was abused, ran away, was famished, Riley turned her into a vampire.
    They both giggle and then start wondering about them being pawns (again). They resolve to deal with things as they come. Then Diego goes to his own world as he remembers Riley and this depresses Bree:

I watched him thinking about Riley, his eyes unfocused as he relived the memory, and I wondered. Diego was my first friend in this life, but I wasn’t his.  (Yeah, friend... about that Bree...)

    Then light gets into the cave freaking Bree out. (YAY!! Something new!)  Diego tells her to relax since he’s been there before and he’s fine. He even flaunts how much Riley trusts him.  This makes Bree think about their views on Riley:

I hesitated, thinking about how different his relationship with Riley was than mine. 

    Meyer is obviously hitting us over the head about how special Riley’s and Diego’s relationship. Diego is the only one Riley talks to versus the others, Diego is the only one that watches out for Riley and his rules, they both trust each (Diego with the information given, Riley with Diego coming back). It’s looking more like a real relationship the more you read.
    So they start wondering if vampire myths are real and after some testing they debunk all but the sun one. No, not going deeper into that. ... ... ... Fine! Look, it’ pretty much like this:

Diego: (grabs giant root) Stake me!
Bree: Eeww!
Diego: No, I meant stab me with it?
Bree: Why?
Diego: Because I watched mythbusters yesterday and I feel I’m better suited to test vampire myths.
Bree: That is random. Don’t we need to use the scientific method before--?
Diego: Silly woman, we don’t need that. And either help me or you don’t get to play.
Bree: Fine, but I won’t help you. I can’t bear the thought of hurting you.
Diego: Fine, I can do this better myself anyway. I was in Juliet in my school play and dazzled the whole audience.
Bree: Juliet?
Diego: It’s was a reverse sex play.  (Well, what else can I put when Meyer describes Diego stabbing himself as “He held the branch away from himself dramatically, arm extended, like it was a sword and he was about to impale himself.”  )

[Diego proceeds to stab himself with a dry root, even though he’s hard as marble. Don’t ask me how the root just went through intact just to be in splinters in the next paragraph. Maybe it’s my ESL coming through, but I don’t get what happened to the root.]

Diego: See? All myths are lies!
Bree: But how can you say that? We haven’t even tested this done by humans, which is what the myth says. Besides, one disproved myth does not disprove the others..
Diego: Oh, hush you silly woman.
Bree: Hushing!

    And that really is a huge leap of logic. He busts one vampire myth and suddenly all myths are wrong. Bad Diego, that’s not how mythbusting works. Oh, but he makes it up to me by going all camp:

“Exactly.” Diego smiled at me. “I’m really glad you came out tonight.”
“Don’t get all gooey on me now.”
“What? You don’t want to be”—he widened his eyes and his voice went up an octave—“BFFs?” He laughed at the goofy expression.
I rolled my eyes, not totally sure if he was making fun of the expression or of me.
“C’mon, Bree. Be my bestest bud forever. Please?” Still teasing, but his wide smile was natural and… hopeful. 

    BFFs? Be honest with me people, how many guys do you know say BFF seriously? And it is serious, look at that hopeful right there. I know only one person who uses BFF and he likes to kiss boys.  And now it gets silly:

The smile on my face felt a little lopsided. “Count me in.”
“Excellent. Our own private club.”
“Very exclusive,” I agreed.
He still had my hand. Not shaking it, but not exactly holding it, either. “We need a secret handshake.”
“You can be in charge of that one.”
“So the super-secret best friends club is called to order, all present, secret handshake to be devised at a later date,” he said. “First order of business: Riley. Clueless? Misinformed? Or lying?

    Truly these are psychotic man-eating monsters!  What horrors have fallen to the unsuspecting city of Seattle.
    Bree then handles another “Riley and Diego special buddies” notice with:

His eyes were on mine as he spoke, wide and sincere. There was no change as he said Riley’s name. In that instant, I was sure there was nothing to the stories about Diego and Riley. Diego had just been around more than the others, nothing more. I could trust him. 

    Yeah, right. That’s why Meyer feels like writing every three pages how wonderful they are together, how long they trust each other, and how fierce Diego is defending Riley and his rules.

    And I don’t exactly trust Bree’s judgement here. Why? Because she’s not a good observer. That has been her constant trait: she keeps her head down, wonders nothing and acts even less. She, by her own bipolarity, has shown that she can’t read feelings well.
    We’ve also seen how needy she is of affection. As soon as she sees a crumb of friendship in Diego she throws herself full force at it. Following his movement, even when they don’t please her, following his logic even when she feels differently (like is the case of Riley) and goes along with his experiments, even when they are not thought out. Furthermore, she constantly needs to remind herself that there’s “a relationship between them”, even when she also realizes that she doesn’t really know him at all.
    Diego then proceeds to bust the next myth, “Does the sun kill vampires”, without tests or science behind it.

(Mythbusting: you are doing it wrong)

    He pretty much punches a hole to let light in. Bree thinks this is insane and pushes Diego out of the way. Then she has a drama moment because she’s now doomed to the sun (even though it doesn’t hurt), bound to blow up at any moment (even though she hasn’t yet), and doomed forever (even though she’s still thinking quite clearly). Diego is amazed and she states how doomed she is, since she must look horrible as she lays there dying.
    He tells her to look, but she can’t bear it. Eventually she does and we get sparkles. They are both amazed at this, Diego even jokes that they look like disco balls. Bree brings up some doubt about Riley and why he has been lying to them, but her BFF is not sure about anything and instead focuses on the matter at hand. Diego runs out, thrilled to sparkle rainbows, as Bree is unsure .

And that's my stop for now. Tune in next time when Diego is bound to sparkle rainbows.
Feeling: chipperchipper
aikateriniaikaterini on June 15th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
You're right; Meyer's characterizations of Bree and Diego so far really don't match up with her descriptions of newborns in "Eclipse." They're supposed to be wild, uncontrollable, and bloodthirsty, yet Bree and Diego act like regular teenagers (well, up until the moments where they feed). They don't seem feral at all. I understand that Meyer wanted to humanize them in order to make the reader identify with them, but the tone still seems inconsistent.
OverlordMikeyoverlordmikey on November 29th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
Welcome to my second part of this book: where we learn that Raoul and Diego want to claw at each other

Mikey: Love makes you crazy! Only one of them can have the love of Riley! It's sorta like gay angst!

Now they are jumping on rooftops because Meyer is trying to move the plot somewhere

Mikey: Bwhahahahaha~ you suggested their was a plot!

She declines and suggests a night of shopping and he gets all exited about it

Mikey: Gee could it be anymore obvious?
Bree: I wanna go to the mall.
Diego: Weeeee! I love the mall!
Bree: He is sooooo~ manly!
Diego: I better call Riley-whily first and tell him I’ll be late!
Bree: Okay so he’s just a tiny bit camp. He’s still totally Heterosexual!
Diego on the phone: Hey baby I’ll be home like uber late tonight! If you pateint I’ll get you something nice well I’m out~ hee-hee!
Bree: Yep totally~ straight!

and how book smart can she be when she’s robbing K-marts instead of actual bookstores? Those places have terrible book selections

Mikey: I know the only crap they sell is stuff that Twilight!

Freaky Fred and now this. Is Meyer a 90’s cartoon fan? XD

Mikey: Don’t give her to much credit.

So they are like Mr. Potatohead?

Mikey: Still waiting on my Twilight Themed Mr. Potatohead.

Diego runs out, thrilled to sparkle rainbows, as Bree is unsure .

Diego: I’m a rainbow weeeee~ I’m totally queer!
Bree: Is he really~ hetero? O-of course he is hee-hee~ [eye twitching]
Mikey: Keep telling’ yourself that honey!