Ariel and I both have sections of our senior theses due next week, so we’re taking Monday and Tuesday off. Wish us luck; we have to write smart-sounding things about Fifty Shades and Dr. Seuss.
Where we last left Eva and Gideon, Eva had finally revealed her seriously traumatic past – that her stepbrother had raped her as a child – and it was all done surprisingly tastefully and emotionally. Props to Sylvia Day, guys! Seriously! Maybe I misjudged this book!
“I think you need to digest all this.”
His arms crossed. “We can do that together.”
[…] “Not while you’re looking at me like you feel sorry for me.”
So although during the scene where Eva reveals her past Gideon is nothing but supportive, the chapter ends with Eva worrying that she had lost him. Which didn’t make any sense. Maybe now it will make sense? Maybe Sylvia Day’s going somewhere with this. I might have faith in her now, guys!
“I’m not made of fucking stone, Eva. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t care.”
[…] “I don’t want your goddamn pity.”
Okay, so this one time I was walking with some friends back from a bar and the heel on someone’s boot got caught in something and she fell and sprained her ankle and we tried tried to help support her because she was having a lot of trouble walking on the foot and she drunkenly shouted “I don’t need your pity!” at us and we make fun of this all the time and here it is in Bared To You- how weird is that??? Yeah, guess you had to be there.
Anyway, things were really tasteful, Eva’s worried she lost Gideon for some reason which might be because he cares? Okay, there’s still time to get this back on track. Day has finally hit her stride, guys, I just know it! So next Eva takes off her clothes to… make a point?
“[…]If you don’t want this anymore . . . if you don’t get hard looking at it—”
“Is this hard enough for you?” He broke the drawstring of his pants pushing them down to expose the heavy, thickly veined length of his erection.
Okay, wait, wasn’t this scene actually tasteful last chapter? How did we go from Eva telling an emotional and traumatic secret about being raped to Gideon showing her his erect penis as… as what? As a sign of his sexual desire? Of his emotional connection to her? Why would you use a penis to do that?! What the even fuck just happened?
“Fuck me, Gideon. Fuck me hard.”
Just so we’re clear, we went from a surprisingly tasteful and emotionally devastating story of a rape victim to “Fuck me hard”, the most cliched erotica dialogue in existence, in less than two pages. I mean… it’d be like if Harry Potter went from the murder of Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black:
And immediately went to, I dunno, say…
So they have sex. Twice. Then they talk about Eva’s mental health, and, well, the novel’s gone back to creepy instead of emotional. I would say it was nice while it lasted, but it was someone talking about a four year period of her life where she was regularly raped, so the emotionally-miscalculated shit we have to read feels extra painful now.
“I wish I could’ve never told you. I wish you didn’t have to know.”
He caught my hand and pressed my fingertips to his lips. “I have to know everything, every part of you, inside and out, every detail. […] I’m going to possess you, Eva. It’s only fair since you’ve possessed me.”
“Possess” seems like a terrible choice of words to use with someone who is haunted by years of abuse. It’s especially a shame that it’s, you know, the goddamn tagline.
They go to dinner because Gideon wants to take her on a date and, see, this is the emotional gesture that he should have made that he cares about Eva after she told him about her being a rape victim, not whipping his dick out.
Gideon asks Eva how she met Cary.
“Group therapy.” I set my hand over his to still its upward slide on my leg, smiling at the mischievous glimmer in his eyes. “My dad’s a cop and he’d heard of this therapist who supposedly had mad skills with wild kids […]”
That’s probably the technical term.
They go back after the date and Gideon has another nightmare.
“Get … off …” His hips arched upward with a hiss of pain. He hovered there, teeth gritted, his back bowed as if the bed were on fire beneath him.
And shit gets really weird.
The room lit up in a sudden flare of illumination. I turned toward him …
And found him masturbating with shocking viciousness.
Gideon doesn’t open up about it, which upsets Eva after she told him her past, and she leaves and goes back home where Cary has just slept with another model even though he claims he might be in love with his boyfriend. I just have no idea. I get that this novel’s about people with serious mental illnesses and that this has turned into a blind-leading-the-blind story of self-destructive people trying to help other self-destructive people. And these stories can be good even if you don’t really “like” them in the standard way you’d like something if you get something out of it, but Bared To You is so inconsistent that all I’ve gotten out of it is frustration that I’m not getting anything out of it.
But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?
It feels like apples and oranges at this point, except where Fifty Shades is an apple that just sucks and Bared To You is an orange where some parts are almost ripe and then other parts are actually just human hair and you’re like “Why do I keep buying fruit from this grocery store? This fruit sucks.”
The Winner This Round: Grapefruit. Because grapefruit doesn’t give a shit.