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Sparkling vampires. Sparkling. Vampires. You can't bang your head enough after reading that scene, wishing you had read incorrectly and that Edward Cullen had drugged Bella's drink. Vampires who can go out in sunlight? Older Than They Think, a little cliché, but still acceptable. Vampires who sparkle? No. Way.
Even if you can swallow that they sparkle—after all, it actually seems to be a way of luring victims in—the sparkling never serves any real purpose in the story and has no explicit point to it other than making the vampires seem more Sue-ish. It's also played very inconsistently, as the Cullens stay in Forks because of how cloudy it is, but they're shown running around in broad daylight in other areas (including aboard airplanes, which fly above the clouds) without any sparkling whatsoever.
Even better, picture this: You're living in a village and see a person in the woods, sparkling like a disco ball. If you're from an old-time religious village and see this, you might assume "Wow, that must be an angel." This is, in fact, how the Volturi gained their power, by passing themselves off as angels and saints. Or let's say the person is more modern and would simply be very curious as to why that person is sparkling, since people aren't supposed to do that. Once you follow this person into the woods, they tear you to pieces and drink your blood. This could be an honestly frightening take on the vampire, but the story completely fucks it up at every turn by claiming that a person's most natural reaction to seeing a person sparkle the way these vampires do would be abject horror and disgust, not a very good trait for a predator to have, and thus totally negating the only logical and obvious reason why the sparkling trait might exist to begin with.
The way Stephenie Meyer designed her vampires. They're so strong that they can shatter the skull of a human if they aren't careful when they move. They move so quickly that they can outrun cars. They are almost impossible to destroy. To top it off, most of them have little self-control. What do humans have that can combat this? A few people who have the ability to become wolves. That's it. There should be a severe shortage of normal human beings in Washington.
There are no inherent negatives to being a vampire. Most stories give them at least one Weaksauce Weakness, and most of them make sure that there's still the need to drink blood, with the inevitable downward spiral into murder that this causes, making it difficult to be a good vampire. But in this book, that need is immediately dismissed by "Vegetarian vampire" — the need for blood can be satisfied with animals alone. This isn't a new spin on old ideas; it's Mary-Sue-esque "All of the strengths, none of the weaknesses, and they SPARKLE!"
That whole "vampire with no weaknesses" thing springs from a much bigger problem that manifests in other ways. Namely, the author tells and doesn't show. She TELLS us Edward has to fight his vampire nature all the time, but we never really SEE that. We're TOLD the Volturi are implacable monsters that all other vampires rightfully fear, but they seem pretty lax about doing any enforcing. She TELLS us Edward and Bella have a love for the ages, but most of the time they're together one seems annoyed with the other over something, or all they talk about is how in love they are.
The worst one related to the vampire abilities is how we are told that drinking animal blood is haaaaard, and yet we see that the only difference with drinking animal blood is a sligthly off taste. There is NO REASON for a willing vampire not to sustain himself on animal blood, possibly aside for the first year of "crazed newborn hunger", but most of them don't even try.
The sheer excess of Mary Sue in both Bella and Edward's characters is enough to make them a Wall Banger... and there are at least three sentences in the first four chapters of the first book that outright make the English language cry. (Never mind the plethora of sentences that, though grammatically acceptable, suffer from abysmal structure and diction).
Even the rabid fans have noticed the amount of Purple Prose in Twilight and its sequels. "Chagrin" can now be used when someone wants to make their prose all purpley, even if it doesn't make sense.
The only bodily fluid vampires have is venom. The wedding night should have been horribly painful, since semen is a bodily fluid. But no, it isn't; this is a young adult novel, which means that only attempted rape, pedophilia, stalking, and such is acceptable.
Bella is being carried everywhere like she's an infant. Seriously, if she's that clumsy, then she should start a comedy routine and make some money or something.
The failure to provide more of Bella's background or what goals she had before she fell in love. We're only told about her classes so we can see how she's so much smarter than everyone else, and we only learn about her hobbies because Edward has Q&A sessions with her. She doesn't talk about any sort of career she wants before meeting Edward and only gets the desire to be a mother after she gets knocked up.
Wait. Bella is the narrator. We only learn about her hobbies because Edward asks about them — we never get to see her do them? Talk about Informed Attributes...
This is topped off by Meyer making the Cullens an eternal fountain of wealth. They literally buy their way out of everything. What do characters like Esme do all day? She doesn't have to cook or fix meals — humans and animals are pretty much puncture-and-eat for vampires. She probably wouldn't do laundry because the Cullens have more than enough money for dry cleaning; this sort of vampire could probably even get to the dry cleaner before closing time. She never sleeps. All of her "children" are physically and mentally adults. The younger Cullens are shown to be utterly disdainful of almost everyone and everything in the town. Do they just have bed-breaking sex all day? Even that has to get boring eventually... No wonder most vampires are Omnicidal Maniacs.
This is taken Up to Eleven in The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. We know virtually nothing about Bree or Diego. All we find out is that Bree's father was abusive, her mom split, and she lived on the streets before being vampirized. On Diego, we just learn that he was from the ghetto and was nearly killed trying to avenge his brother's murder. On Freaky Fred, we actually learn nothing at all.
Meyer majorly messes up the wildlife. While there are cougars on the Olympic Peninsula (they're more common all over than people think), there haven't been wolves there for almost a century. If someone ran into Jacob and his buddies, they would end up either shot and killed, or tranquilized and unmasqed. Also, while black bears are common in the Olympic mountains (and the Cascades), there are no grizzly bears. They've all been driven up near Canada in that set of mountain ranges.
The Cullens travel a lot to get their meals so they surely can go near Canada to get the bears they like.
Those bears are considered "at risk" in Canada. Which could mean that they're illegally killing them and causing an already small population to shrink more. Nice.
The best part? They're only hunting these endangered top predators because they like the tastes of their blood better. That's right, the Cullens are damaging the environment just so they can have their favorite foods.
Besides, killing top predators to eat them (i.e. killing them on a regular basis, because that's how eating works) is always bad; if they're not endangered already, that kind of hunting will make them endangered. Predators like bears and cougars don't reproduce as fast as prey and can't sustain their population against frequent, systematic hunting. Also, killing off the top predator messes with the whole ecosystem—their prey has a population boom, eats the land clean & starves to death, etc... If they're so "responsible", the Cullens should be hunting deer.
You've got strong, fast vampires with extra senses (such as mind reading or seeing the future). Nothing can kill them unless another vampire rips them to pieces and sets them on fire. Edward has stated that there are few vampires out there. So why are the Volturi so worried about vampires exposing themselves? It's not like humans can harm them in any way.
Meyer tries to handwave this in Breaking Dawn by having Aro talk about how human technology has advanced to the point at which they pose a threat to vampires, hence the need to stay hidden. That still doesn't explain why vampires in the days of yore didn't flat-out dominate and murder any humans in their path. A prime example is the story of how Carlisle was turned - even though the vampire probably could have carried him off and killed him effortlessly, it apparently saw fit to bite him and drop him to run away from a group of townsfolk, wielding eighteenth-century weaponry. Really?
On top of that, Aro never specifies what level of technology is needed to take out a vampire. Muskets? Automatic weapons? Cruise missiles? If human technology is now a danger to vampires, then the Italian police should have had no problem at all dealing with the Volturi after those tourists got massacred.
Apparently vampire venom is extremely combustible. They could theoretically be killed by getting bait (such as blood or a sufficiently palatable human) and packs of flour, and a way to light that cloudof flour on fire. Problem solved. Explanation If they inhale fire (which they should, since they are smelling the bait), the venom will catch on fire, burning them from the inside. Cruel And Unusual Death indeed.
Has anyone noticed that Carlisle runs the town's blood bank? Is it possible to embezzle from a blood bank?
Considering it's a plot point in Breaking Dawn that the Cullens keep a whole bunch of human blood handy at home, the answer seems to be yes.
Pretty much everything about Bella is informed. We're told she's intelligent enough that other students just stare slack-jawed at her when she tells them the topics of her papers, but she doesn't seem actually to understand anything she writes about (or doesn't practice what she preaches at all). We're told she's incredibly mature for her age, but she's probably the most immature character in the story, considering she treats everybody around her, including her parents, like trash and lies to their faces even when there's no apparent reason for her to do so. And on top of that, is unable to accept any unpleasant reality and demands in various ways that anything she doesn't like about her life conform to how she thinks it should be (usually with no or minimal effort on her part). We're told Bella is plain and ordinary, but on her first day of school, there literally isn't anybody who isn't incredibly nice to her or, in a good five cases, doesn't fall in love with her at first sight. Even if "plain and ordinary" is just how Bella sees herself and she really is gorgeous, this still comes off as incredibly whiny.
In fact, there really isn't any official, canon characterization that isn't informed, as almost everything the narrative says about the characters is completely wrong compared to what we actually see them do. Some of this may be justified by Bella being an Unreliable Narrator, but it's a bit hard to believe that was done intentionally. A quick rundown of some.
The problem is actually even worse, as the only official, canon characterization that is shown and not told are Bella's negative traits. All of her positive points are informed or blatantly false compared to the Bella we see in action, but the opposite problem is also true: none of Bella's negative traits, which, in a way, make her so unlikable to many readers, are ever mentioned in the text of the book. Her only canon negative trait is her clumsiness, and even then it's either forgotten about or played so ridiculously that it's a pretty clear attempt to avoid her being completely flawless or just to create opportunities for her to be romantically rescued by a love interest. Even at that, her clumsiness is usually just played as part of her charm.
Edward Cullen is repeatedly mentioned as being the perfect, romantic boyfriend and gentleman, but we never see him do anything really good for Bella. When you hear people who hate the series talk about Edward, the phrase "abusive stalker" gets thrown around a lot; there's many reasons for that, primarily because, by real world standards, that's exactly what he is. Edward's treatment of Bella is extremely abusive. Edward tends to command her more like an adult telling a small child to do something, some of which he only gets away with because Bella is literally too overcome with how hot he looks to disagree. If anything, Edward treats Bella more like she's his possession or pet. The few times where Edward actually expresses anything above cold indifference (although probably showing actual emotions as opposed to being stoic), it's still incredibly immature teenager bullshit, something ridiculous coming from a 107-year-old vampire. Many, many times in the story, Edward makes important decisions for Bella, which she only weakly disagrees with, but seems to think, deep down, that he's right and she should just let him be in charge, bringing up tons of Unfortunate Implications about the whole thing. In fact, we're never really given any reason for Bella and Edward to be together aside from the story wanting them to be.
Charlie seems set up like something of an antagonist in the story. The story tries to set him up as a father who will get in the way of the perfect romance, but by real world standards, he'd be perfectly justified in his actions. The story attempts to portray Charlie as a typical dad who just doesn't get the beautiful, ageless romance his child is involved in, who's probably old and bitter. Charlie is concerned and overprotective of Bella, possibly because the guy she's obsessed with is, again, an abuser by real life standards. He's probably concerned because of how bad an influence he is on her, as she pretty commonly manipulates and lies to Charlie to get what she wants or even just because she feels like it, including mimicking her mother leaving him just to screw with his head enough to let her leave. It's short wonder why people who hate the series generally think Charlie is one of the more likable characters; he really wasn't wrong about anything in the story until the writer did some Character Derailment to try and make him less likable.
Made worse in that we see every snide, nasty remark she makes about poor Charlie, while all we see of him is a loving, nurturing, overprotective father. And considering Bella has a habit of leaving the country, going into months-long bouts of depression when her abusive boyfriend leaves her, and only comes out of it by doing dangerous, even suicidal acts with the reasoning being so that she can see a ghostly image of her abusive boyfriend trying to stop her acts, and even the ghostly image does it abusively, it becomes less him being an overprotective monster trying to stop true love and more trying to stop her from hurting herself with her own actions/being hurt by her abusive boyfriend.
By most standards, Charlie can't even be considered overprotective. The protectiveness he has for Bella is the kind that any genuinely concerned parent would have for their teenage daughter who insists on doing suicidally stupid things and staying with an obviously deranged boy who wants said daughter both for love AND food... if anything, he's probably not protective enough as he should have taken her to get some serious mental help after the whole "crashing motorcycles" and "cliff diving" issue. As such, I have to say one of, if not perhaps THE biggest rage-worthy moment in the series where Charlie is concerned has to be in New Moon. His best friend just DIED and his daughter, rather than actually... y'know... BE there for him like the supposedly caring person everyone likes to think she is, goes running off across the world without so much as a note or text message letting him know where she's at. As far as Charlie is concerned, she just disappeared off the face of the Earth at a time when he really needed support, he had NO clue what happened to her, if she was safe or even alive. And what does Bella do when she waltzes back into his house? Disregards his feelings, shuts him out, makes demands of HIM as though she is the adult in the situation, shoots down his perfectly justified anger and attempts to ground her happy little butt with threats to ditch him as though that wasn't something she had every intention of doing ANYWAY. When it came to perfect, sparkly immortality, Bella didn't even give the guy a thought, and if anything, fully planned to let him think she was dead so she wouldn't have to be bothered with him. Honestly, this troper wonders if his sudden character derailment in Eclipse wasn't simply him giving up because clearly Bella likes being a punching bag.
Bella's treatment of her parents is really one of the most damning pieces of evidence against her. Take Eclipse for instance: Bella knows that after graduation, she'll be turned into a vampire, and it's entirely possible that she won't be able to see her parents again. Instead of spending her remaining time as a human with them, she continues to forget and ignore her mother, the way she had been throughout the entire story to that point, and actually seems to go out of her way to be even ruder to Charlie than she previously had been. What does she do? Lay around rubbing Edward's face, the same Edward she's about to throw her parents away to spend eternity with.
Bella's friends, the two most prominent being Mike and Jessica. Mike is portrayed as an overly attached kid who probably just wants to get in Bella's pants, but he actually ends up looking like is a normal teenage boy who has a hopeless and rather open crush on the main protagonist. Even if that's negative, it's still a lot better than Edward's actions generally say. Jessica and her group of girl friends, on the other hand, are mentioned as being shrewish backstabbers, which is a tad ironic coming from Bella. We never see Jessica really be anything but a good friend to Bella, but she hates her for no apparent reason aside from her not being a vampire.
Jessica deserves more merit than she gets in this series. She stuck with Bella despite Bella's "catatonic" phase and the fact that Bella was clearly only using her to get Charlie off her back. Then Bella repays her by trying to run off towards some dangerous looking guys who may or may not have been the same ones who tried to jump her previously simply BECAUSE she thought they were the ones who tried to jump her previously and it reminded her of Edward. Jessica, like any rational person and at least halfway decent friend would do, justifiably tried to stop Bella and ended up getting dragged along and potentially placed in danger. Then afterwards, when Jessica is quite reasonably angry about it, she's handwaved as being the bad guy of the situation for "not understanding" Bella's plight. Note And that's not an exaggeration, either; once Bella starts coming out of her "catatonic" state, she mentally divides her group of supposed friends into two groups, literally describing it as "good and evil", the "good" ones being the ones who loyally threw themselves to Bella's heel the minute she started talking again, and the "evil" ones being the ones who didn't. Nevermind that unlike a certain sparkling stalker, Jessica cannot read minds and did not know Bella's intentions, and unlike Bella, Jessica actually had the sense NOT to run towards something that she was fairly certain may try to kill her.
Has anyone in the books even considered therapy and/or anti-depressants for Bella? Seriously, this is a girl who goes into a months long catatonic state, attempts suicide repeatedly and has a clear lack of socialization with everyone who isn't her moody stalker boyfriend and his family.
Meyer told the fans, over and over again, that Bella would have to struggle with the blood thirst and other negative aspects of being a vampire. When it finally comes... she sees a homeless guy, calmly walks off, and Edward praises her self-control. This one's special in that the fans were utterly enraged by it. Even the notoriously accepting Twilight fanbase wanted to see Bella actually work at something instead of the universe handing it to her.
The incredibly inconsistent way Alice's future-sight powers are treated. Not only do they tend to work differently every time they're used, but people (including Alice herself) tend to swing violently between taking her visions as unavoidable fact or dismissing them as too inaccurate to trust depending on what the plot needs. She trusted her visions enough that she essentially talked Edward into going out with Bella because she had a vision of them being together, then later had another vision of Bella being a vampire and took it as an inevitability, but later complained that everyone trusts her visions too much and that they should know by now that they aren't always accurate.
This series may be the biggest example of an Idiot Plot ever penned, as literally almost everything that happens does so because the characters either did something incredibly stupid, were too stupid to do something incredibly simple and obvious, or are unable to piece together incredibly obvious things until it's explained to them in detail.
In fact, the entire series as a whole can only work if everybody in it is a complete idiot. Even ignoring the fact that any normal person would be terrified of Edward if he acted the way he does toward Bella toward them, the Cullens becoming involved with Bella is probably the dumbest thing they could ever do. By revealing themselves to her, they're breaking the only rule of vampire society, and would be bringing the wrath of the Volturi on them and the area if they do. This interaction, which brings with it the possibility that they would have to turn her, brings the wrath of the Quileute werewolves. The Cullens know about all of this, but still decided to become involved with Bella and potentially start a destructive war with two different factions, all because Edward needed to get laid that badly.
Another issue with this is that it's one of the easier strikes against Edward, as he knew about the problems his relationship with Bella would cause but didn't mention any of it to her until it was already a problem. In fact, it isn't even Edward who explains why the Volturi are a problem, but Alice. This actually could have had potential as an interesting premise, where Edward and Bella need to keep their relationship secret to avoid all the trouble it could cause, but this is totally pissed away by the two of them not only never even attempting to hide their relationship, but going out of their way to flaunt it every chance they get, once again, with Edward already knowing about all the problems it would cause. This in short makes Edward look incredibly stupid and arrogant, clearly not caring about the danger he could be placing this girl in if it means being with her and seemingly thinking that none of their potential enemies can actually threaten him.
This isn't even mentioning the fact that turning Bella would break the treaty with the werewolves and start the war, but none of them (including Bella) seem concerned about this at all, fully knowing this. The Cullens honestly seem to not find the breaking of the treaty to be that big a deal, and Bella herself completely blows it off and just whines about it whenever it's mentioned, acting like it would be unreasonable for the werewolves to try to punish the Cullens for intentionally breaking the treaty that they willingly agreed to.
To be honest, though, in Breaking Dawn Sam acknowledges that the treaty didn't consider the possibility of someone willing to be turned, so he initially decides to keep the treaty standing as long as the Cullen keep under control the neo-turned Bella.
Most protagonist characters in the series are either completely averse to any sort of conflict, or will easily be swayed out of a fight. This isn't such a problem on its face; after all, why get into a fight unless you absolutely have to? The problem is, even when a fight would be inevitable, easy, or both, you'll notice a trend where the big plan the characters come up with for these threats is something like "grab your love interest and run away". This especially makes Edward look like kind of a coward, as he seemingly refuses to fight to defend Bella, and far more often than not prefers to simply hide somewhere with her while everyone else does the fighting for him.
On a related note, a lot of the "conflict" in these books come from Bella being utterly terrified of enemy vampires, even though she spends most of the story under the protection of both a friendly vampire coven and a pack of vampire-slaying werewolves. This is especially silly in the second and third books, where Bella practically wets her pants whenever she thinks of Victoria, even though literally all we know about Victoria is that she's James' mate/wife/girlfriend and that she has red hair. She completely ignores or forgets that she's being protected by the werewolves in the second book, often refusing to believe they stand a chance against her, even after finding out that they killed Laurent with no trouble. It gets even more ridiculous in the third book, where she's still absolutely terrified of Victoria, even though the Cullens have returned and there are more werewolves. She still reacts with absolute dread of the thought of any or even all of them fighting Victoria, for some reason apparently picturing her as being able to slaughter the entire platoon of defenders she has singlehandedly.
One of the many big problems with characterization in this series is the fact that it tends to be insanely inconsistent. Connecting to the above, Bella tends to swing violently between quaking in utter terror at the thought of Victoria and completely forgetting that Victoria exists, which often happens in the span of seconds in-universe. This is why the characters come off as very stupid sometimes; because if the threats they're facing aren't directly in front of them, they usually won't remember that they're in danger at all.
Wall Bangers in Specific Books
In the first book, Edward admits that he was breaking into Bella's house every night to watch her sleep for the last few weeks even though he's constantly tempted to drink her blood. She'spleasedabout his stalking.
In the first Twilight book, Bella repeatedly mentioned that she had already read everything on the reading list and done essays on the books. She repeatedly says how she got blank stares from the other students when she tells them her paper topics, and so forth. She might as well jump up and down and say, "Hey look at me! I'm smart and everyone else here is an idiot!" And the narration — oh God. Listen, people are reading the books for the fantasy and the vampires and the romance! No one cares what the temperature is, nor what the weather's like, nor how many clouds are in the sky, nor what Bella's wearing, nor what she's fixing for dinner, nor what her carry-on is.
This is what happens when "Show Don't Tell" goes horribly wrong.
And speaking of her reading, she claims she read all of Shakespeare's works but seems to have no idea what any of them were about, especially her completely fucking up the entire meaning of Romeo and Juliet, in that it's a deconstruction of teenage lovers who think with what's in their pants and not at all a brilliant romance, but Bella (and probably the author) pretty clearly take it at face value. She writes a paper about feminism despite how the attitudes of her and the other characters seem to be the literal antithesis of feminism.
In New Moon, Bella Wangsts over her birthday, of all things. And then she Wangstsmore when the Cullens throw her a birthday party and have the audacity to give her some sweet gifts. What an ungrateful, unlikeable, whiny, self-obsessed brat.
Maybe it's partly because the Cullens threaten to drag her to the party they're throwing for her if she doesn't come and be a good sport of her own volition (and there's little doubt they mean it). Usually only Edward forces her to go along with his whims, but even Alice got in on it. Until Bella finally becomes a vampire, the Cullens treat her more like some kind of prized pet or favorite toy than Edward's One True Love.
Bella whines about everything. In the first book, she whines about her father getting her a car. She whines about the weather. She whines about sharing a bathroom with her father. She whines about people being nice to her. Knowing Meyer, it's a failed attempt to make Bella "humble" and "modest."
What, in the first book, is the deal with Bella whining about her skin tone, specifically her not being tanned? She goes on about how sunny and warm it is in Phoenix; given this (Phoenix is sunny and warm in Real Life, too), she could only be pale and fair-skinned if she stayed indoors a lot. If she did that, then why does she go on about how she feels "caged" in Forks because she can't see the sun? More to the point (since Phoenix gets outright hot) — if it's so cloudy in Forks that the sun rarely comes out, then shouldn't almost everyone else be pale? Wouldn't she blend in?
I'm not going to argue with Bella whining about her skin tone being Wallbangery, but as someone who lives in Arizona, and who goes out regularly and has extremely pale skin, I'm going to take issue with the "she would only have pale skin if she stayed indoors a lot." Trust me, it's entirely possible to burn, peel, and go back to being white again ad infinitum.
Also, when she describes her "negative" physical attributes she says she's "slender" with "ivory skin." In what world does that equal horribly disfigured? Perhaps if she'd described herself as "scrawny" with "sickly, pallid skin" instead, but then that would take away from the "ideal romantic heroine" fantasy Meyer has going.
Forks isn't as cloudy as she describes it. Yeah, it's a rainy place; but it gets its share of sun in the summer, enough so that a sparkly vampire would be at a serious disadvantage. One wonders why they don't all just invest in heavy-duty foundation.
As much as it pains me to defend Twilight, it is entirely possible that Bella is simply of an ethnicity that has a very low melanin content and can't tan. The only reason she's probably never whined about how often she would have gotten sunburned from staying outside too long is because we barely see her in Phoenix as a human.
Jasper goes all crazy because Bella gets a paper cut. Are we to believe that in the four years he's lived in Forks (as well as the decades he's spent in other places), while he went to high school and college and pretended to be a normal person, no one in his general vicinity got a paper cut? Or fell and skinned their knee? Or picked at a scab?
Bella's blood smells delicious in general apparently, just more so to Eddy. In the first book after Alice hugs Bella, she says you do smell nice, I never noticed before
If he goes mad over a paper cut, what does the family do while Bella's on her period?
Oh boy, Meyer was asked that question once and said that it was dead blood and therefore they aren't attracted to it... Steph, you know the whole point of a period is so women can have babies right? If anything, the blood is more "lively" in period form. You've seen what a paper cut can do to vampires, times that until you have about a tablespoon full of paper cut blood and then double that because of the "lively" blood. Yeah, not pretty, though it would be entertaining.
To be fair, period blood contains dead tissue, mucus, and a lot of other things. It's not clean like blood from a papercut is. So maybe by "dead" she meant "contaminated." It's fresh blood but it's also probably revolting.
The plot of New Moon is supposed to be an homage to Romeo and Juliet. Where it primarily fails in this regard is the ending. In R&J, a Contrived Coincidence brings about the tragic ending, so New Moon also "needed" one of those. However, while the ending of R&J is fairly believable, the ending to New Moon completely annihilates the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief with its sheer amounts of Idiot Plot that required all of the (already-stupid) characters involved to lose approximately 80% of their brain cells in order to work. Just a few examples include: Alice deciding that having a slumber party with Bella is more important than letting the Cullens know that Bella didn't die as her powers predicted, Edward throwing away his phone for absolutely no reason upon hearing false confirmation that Bella died, and literally everything about the phone conversation between Edward and Jacob. Literally everything.
Sam kissing the scars he left on Emily's face, when he attacked her for trying to tell him that she didn't want to be with him even if he'd imprinted. It's not romantic, it's creepy, as if he's glorifying what he did to her. Especially since she likely only stays with him because she's scared of what else he'll do if she doesn't.
The book actually talks about suicide as if it was romantic and as if you will always survive if someone loves you. As someone who has been involved in suicide prevention, this isn't a wallbanger. It's a dealbreaker. There's nothing romantic or happy about it. It's not painless, as Meyer makes it out to be. To survive is a human instinct, and jumpers who have survived reported that they regretted jumping, not that it was a happy experience. I can accept the series as a story about a young girl who gets trapped in an abusive relationship and completly loses her personality in the process. But this in a book aimed at impulsive teenagers? Meyer breaks just about every rule on how to handle the subject.
How about when Jacob kisses Bella despite her most definitely saying 'no'? She 'breaks her hand' punching him. And then Jacob takes her home and tells her father, who was previously established as overprotective and is a police officer to boot. What is Charlie's response? "Good on you, kid." Aargh, your daughter's just been sexually assaulted, and your response is to congratulate the guy? What is wrong with you?!
Given how Edward's stalking and obsessive behavior is supposed to be Meyer's epitome of romance, the sudden change in Jacob's behavior could be her molding him into someone she thinks is better. Perhaps Meyer thinks his forcibly kissing Bella, and her realizing she loves him once he forcibly kisses her, is sweet and romantic.
This was probably because Charlie has grown to hate and distrust Edward so much that he'll pick Jacob, who is acting almost as bad, if not worse, in this scene over him. Considering the huge amounts of Character Derailment that's hit both of them by this point, you could probably chalk it up to the writer destroying two unintentionally likable characters with one stone.
Turning this one on its head, Charlie could be trying to encourage the kid who he's known for years, knows is a pretty good kid, and is the son of his best friend to try and save his daughter from a lifetime with an abusive albino. A teenage boy kissing a girl and getting slapped for his trouble isn't unheard of, and Bella is so clumsy she requires a 4-man team in order to walk down a flight of stairs. While Edward is blatantly abusive, Jacob could easily be seen by Charlie as slightly misguided in his approach but otherwise a normal decent kid seeking the attention of a girl.
One of the things that is so damning about this is the fact that many people previously considered Charlie to be the best character in the series. Him having this type of reaction to his daughter being assaulted (not even grilling her or Jacob on what happened or anything) came off as intentional Character Derailment to make the audience like him less.
Even worse is when he threatens to kill himself towards the end of the book to try and make Bella stay with him. That kind of emotional manipulation is a pretty common thing for abusers to do to keep a person with them, out of fear that if they break off the (again, abusive) relationship, they'll be responsible for the other's death.
In Breaking Dawn,Jacob imprints on Bella's newborn daughter. The implications aren't romantic; they're creepy. The werewolf is basically brainwashed into being devoted to someone just because they're the best person to have his children. The girl is technically allowed to reject him; but if she does, she'll end the bloodline, irritating both Jacob's family and his pack. Leah is seen as a total harpy for being upset that her boyfriend is suddenly running off with her cousin. And imprinting on children is basically child grooming.
Continuing on the topic of imprinting - Jacob has an anti-imprinting rant in the last book. Then what does he do? After imprinting on Bella's newborn child, he becomes close to obsessed with her and even gives her a promise bracelet. Ick. Renesmee's supposed to have an adult mind and such, but iiiiiick.
The only thing about imprinting that might redeem it somewhat is the fact that the only people who ever truly talk about it positively are the people who are already imprinted on somebody. Even then, this is wasted in that almost nobody else seems to find anything particularly wrong with what is essentially natural, inexplicable brainwashing. Everybody who isn't imprinted seems pretty indifferent about the whole thing; at worst people who find out about it are disgusted at first, but readily accept it as not being unusual after the initial shock.
Oh, and the bit about the girl technically being able to refuse? The last person to do that was Leah's aforementioned cousin, Emily. She tried to tell Sam no, she didn't want to be with him, and he lost it, wolfed out, and mauled her face so badly they had to say she was attacked by a bear as a cover story. It's very probable she only stays with him out of fear. Even worse, the other werewolves aren't very sympathetic at all: when Bella first meets her, they tell her not to stare at the scars, because it bugs Sam.
The idea that a vampire could give someone a proper c-section with their teeth. Even if we accept that Edward's teeth are sharp enough, the angle he would be doing it at should make it impossible. Those fangs don't even show...
Edward gets Bella preggers. This is after Meyer explicitly stated that her vampires were sterile and could never bear children no matter what. She had also written an excruciating amount of prose in the first three books about how devastating it would be not to have children and how everyone but Bella would just love to have kids. And yet, Bella's the one who gets knocked up. Also, Rosalie doesn't fly into a screaming jealous rage; this was so incredibly Out of Character, it's painful.
She stated that vampires can't get pregnant. Bella was human when she became pregnant. The readers never imagined that they will have sex before the transformation. She misled with a word play but never stated they were sterile.
The sheer logic of Bella's pregnancy fails completely. When a person becomes a vampire, all of their bodily fluids become the vampire venom. Edward's sperm have not only been dead for over a century, his semen should have turned Bella into a vampire the moment it entered her.
Not to mention his saliva would be the venom too, so she should have become a vampire the first time they kissed.
Not to mention, how could Renesmee develop so fast? Vampires are a part of the undead (though Meyer probably forgot about that bit when she made her vampires), dead being the key word here. Even if, by some miracle, Edward was able to conceive, Renesmee shouldn't be developing so quickly. If anything, shouldn't it be the other way around with her taking twice as long to develop?
Especially considering that becoming a Meyerpire means you're "frozen in time" from the moment you became sparkly. You'll never grow and mature from the point you were at for the rest of eternity. Your hair won't even grow back if anything happens to it. How could a child of a creature like that grow extra fast... or even grow at all?
Even giving Meyer the benefit of the doubt and agreeing that she never said that vampires couldn't mate with humans (and ignoring all the biological mess outlined above), it still makes no sense that none of the vampires even know that it's possible and that there's only one or two other half-vampires running around. Most of the vampires are bad people—you can't tell me that not one vampire ever raped a human and wanted the resulting child or even that Edward is the only vampire to ever fall in love with a human and vice versa. And even if we go with the idea that most of the human victims either aborted the pregnancies or died from them, the vampire community should still know that mating with humans is possible as long as vampires are around to restrain the mothers and perform teeth C-sections.
Hell, the resolution of Breaking Dawn centers around an adult half-vampire showing up and mentioning his vampire father's building a half-vampire army! But that opens an entirely different barrel of rotten fish...
He sucked out the vampire venom. Ouch.
There is NO FIGHT at the end of Breaking Dawn. The Volturi just WALK AWAY. The vampires that all other vampires are afraid of don't fight. There should have been a bloodbath, dammit.
It might not have been so bad if there hadn't been a huge set-up describing all the different vampires showing up to help and how they all had X-Men powers and how they were all training — and then, in the end, all they needed was for Bella to mind-protect them almost effortlessly.
The whole golden eyes thing never made sense. It was stated that vampires had red eyes because of the blood they drank from humans. The Cullens drink animal blood and have golden eyes. Does Meyer believe that animals have golden blood?
As noted above, it's a plot point in Breaking Dawn that the Cullens keep a whole bunch of human blood handy at home, but don't bother storing any animal blood. This is like a vegetarian keeping nothing in their freezer but steaks.
In fact, this could be justified as stockpiling human blood in the event that a non-"vegetarian" vampire visits their house and doesn't want animal blood (and most of the Cullens' other vampire friends don't share their diet), if not for the fact that when such vampires actually do visit, they're lent cars to go hunt humans, the same humans the Cullens claim to care about. The fact that Edward's only condition is that they hunt outside of Forks so only people Bella's never heard of will die so she doesn't get upset only makes it worse.
DasSporking pointed out that Jacob, on Bella's request, was going to take Renesmee and run. The whole twisted plan was that the two of them would bail while the rest of the vampires and werewolves stayed behind as a distraction. The problem is that other werewolf pups were staying behind with the rest of the pack, and Jacob never gave a second thought to this at all. Bella just asked him to abandon his entire pack, children and all, for the sake of his imprint, and he is wholly on board. It's clear from the writing that Bella never thought of this possibility (then again, why would she?), and Meyer never thought about it either. To quote Das Sporking: "Our destined leader, folks."
Not to mention, Jacob is the Alpha. Alpha werewolves can issue "Alpha Commands" that HAVE to be followed by the pack. Not only he's abandoning his pack, expecting it to delay the Volturi long enough to make his getaway, he can order them to stay in place as meatshields.
The fire amulet thing the Volturi use to kill the vampire from the Denali clan. Up to that point we have NEVER seen magic in any form beyond that which could (theoretically) have some kind of scientific explanation. A necklace that shoots fire just seems needlessly dramatic, especially since a) you could just as easily light her on fire with some gasoline and a match, and b) why are they killing her in the first place? It's like shooting someone for accidentally calling 911!
It's heavily implied to be a portable flamethrower the size of a big Zippo. Nowhere as dangerous as a real flamethrower, unless you're really flammable and/or a vampire. As for killing Irina, the in-story reason is that Caius executed her for falsely accusing the Cullens of creating an immortal child (even though it was a mistake- she mistook Renésmee for a full vampire child), while he hoped to provoke the other Denalis into starting a fight.
Emily cheerfully deciding to marry Sam. After he hacked up her face. When she told him "No". And she fell in love with him by comforting him after he hurt her. Wrong on so many levels.
It's less of that though, and more that she agreed to marry him only after he pretty much dominated her, implying that she had the will and desire to refuse him before, and her attempt to do so lead to her being injured and hospitalized. And after that, we only see her cooking and caring for the wolves, with no mention of any hopes or ambitions beyond that or from her life before meeting Sam. In short, it reads more like she only agreed to marry him out of fear or resignation.
Edward and the other vampires go to high school over and over again. Granted, they appear to be in the high school age range, but why not pretend to be homeschooled and go do cool vampire stuff instead? Or maybe go to college, where there are more options? You can get away with being a perpetual college student - plenty of people would kill for the opportunity to study every subject available. Being a perpetual high-school student will make the adults in the system think you are dumber than a brick.
They all appear old enough to go out and hold regular jobs, actually. So why not just enter the workforce, continue to add more capital to their holdings, and only be responsible to a boss rather than the entire school system? Relocation is easier, too, since nobody's looking for school records. A missed opportunity... but then again the folks behind Highlander would probably sue Meyer for screwing up Immortals along with vampires and werewolves.
Not to mention the fact that interacting with the school system by being repeatedly absent on days when it's sunny and risking being exposed as vampires if the sun ever does come out puts them at a huge unnecessary risk of being exposed to humans or having humans investigate the Cullens when someone at school notices their constant absences. And they're potentially risking taking out their vampire urges on children. Cullens being good guys or not, it is still shown that there is a risk of them attacking people, especially if someone accidentally cuts themselves. And they're doing this in a town where they risk being in conflict with the local werewolves who are the protectors of the community. All told, it makes no sense whatsoever that they decide to keep up this facade in Forks Washington, especially when one considers that the Cullens actually own an island where they could freely live in peace and face ZERO risk of exposure. They could socialise with humans at the resort if they desired that, but they would be free to do whatever the hell they wanted with the rest of their time. But, no, instead they decide to stay in a part of Washington that is inhabited by werewolves who consider them a threat, all because it's far more important that the younger vampires attend high school for the 20th time.
The books' treatment of Leah Clearwater. Her fiancé left her for the maid of honor because he imprinted. Instead of sympathizing with her over what a dick move that is, everyone hates her for not simply being happy for them. Everyone gets mad because her continued pining for Sam is affecting the rest of them, but she's brushed off when she reveals that Jacob's feelings for Bella are causing Leah to have sex dreams about her. Jacob gets injured because he interrupts Leah's fight with a newborn, but everyone blames Leah even though the text makes it clear that she was doing just fine and she was uninjured. She's treated as in the wrong for musing on things like the implications of Embry's ability to shift, but no one has any problem mentally gossiping about her inability to let go of Sam. The books outright say that her infertility make her "less female" than she should be and it's implied that it's the only reason that she can shift and that it's why her fiancé left her for her presumably fertile cousin. Her brother tells her to her face that she ruins everything. She chews out Bella for leading Jacob on, yet everyone gets mad at her for making Bella feel bad. And through all this, Leah is unilaterally presented as the bad guy.
As noted by Das Mervin in her blog, DasSporking, we are supposed to see the Volturi as tyrants of all vampires. Yet, the vampire hatred towards them is justified only because they are trying to impose some order period, nevermind if it's for the vampires' own sake. The South America wars with all the casualities, both vampire and human? Stopped. Uncontrollable yet irresistible vampirized babies? Taboo. Every coven so active it becomes a threat to The Masquerade? Put back in line or eliminated. The Romanians, who wanted to rule the world? Their army was annihilated and they were exiled. And, to add even more Wall Banging, all of these ultimately ensure the survival of humanity, since a vampire explosion would drain all of the planet's resources. And that's supposing it didn't lead to the extinction of vampires, since even the book admits at the end that mankind has weaponry advanced enough to threaten them now.
The other side of the Volturi's Designated Villain coin is the fact that they absolutely suck out loud at being villains. They find out that the Cullens have broken the only concrete rule of vampire society (not exposing the existence of vampires to humans) by letting Bella know what they were, and their reaction is to essentially just let them go and politely ask them to turn her at their leisure. There is the unstated threat that they'll kill all of them if they don't, but if they were that serious about it, why would they let Bella leave as a human at all? Sure, it could be that they're showing favoritism toward the Cullens, after all, Carlisle is an old friend of theirs, but they completely turn that on their head in the last book by showing that they're desperate to massacre the Cullens and will do so for any reason, and they're interested in getting Edward and Alice to join the Volturi, thinking their mind reading and future sight abilities could be valuable. If that's the case, why wouldn't they just kill or turn Bella and forcibly brainwash Edward and Alice to their side while they had the chance?
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: Bree, who's only just past the "insane and violent" stage of being a newborn, is perfectly able to just hold her breath and run away from a bleeding person instead of going into the hunger frenzy that newborns are canonically supposed to be constantly prone to. It's not just Bella who's a special snowflake.
Again, Das Sporking provides an in-depth explanation on how the Volturi's continued survival is actually beneficial to the Cullens - for as much as the Volturi are portrayed as nasty, they're holding back worse threats, the Romanians and the Southern wars amongst them. That the Cullens think they can so easily eliminate the Volturi despite this shows how incredibly short-sighted they, and by extension Meyer herself, actually are - amongst the ways they could fall from grace include the Romanians and Egyptians collecting talented vampires and killing the rest, the South America wars erupting into an unstoppable inferno, an even worse coven swooping in to fill the void in ways that would make the Romanians seem cuddly, the unstoppable spread of once-taboo vampire babies, the rapid exhaustion of the vampire food supply, or humanity dropping the Idiot Ball Meyer saddled them with and collectively firebombing vampirekind back into the Stone Age! If they were to fall, the vampire race would be left to wonder if rule under the Volturiwas truly worse than the hell they are now confined to...