Hopefully You Didn’t Want a Climax: Bared to You Chapter Twenty-Two

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be done with this stupid fucking book.

Chapter Twenty-Two

As we enter into the final chapter of Bared to You, Eva just had huge fights with Gideon and Cary. Gideon lied to her about previously being engaged to another woman, Corinne, when he said that Eva was the only person he was ever in love with. Cary threw an orgy in their apartment.

Eva is a woman who is faced with very different types of problems.
Eva is a woman who is faced with very different types of problems.

Gideon explained that he wasn’t in love with the other woman because he could never open up about his mental issues with her, which Eva seemed to accept. Cary just kinda got kicked out the apartment. So what’s going to happen in this last chapter to set up the sequel? Some other kind of fight between Eva and Gideon? Maybe Gideon is really still in love with Corinne? Maybe Cary causes a rift between Eva and Gideon? Maybe Eva and Gideon disagree on which Pixar movie is best? Maybe something happens? Maybe anything happens?

No.

Literally nothing happens in this last chapter.

As in literally nothing.

I'm trying to make this point especially clear.
I’m trying to make this point especially clear.

Before I thoroughly bash this ending, I of course have to actually explain the ending to you. (That’s a real writing tip! Take note!) The entire chapter is just Gideon and Eva talking about their feelings. If you’ve been following along so far, you know that this is not something the novel is short on.

“You feel guilty because [Corinne] still loves you.”

Gideon continues to explain this whole “I lied about never being seriously involved with any other woman ever in the history of history and women and ever” thing that Eva’s surprisingly cool about.

“I couldn’t figure out why he let it get to him. He was married to the girl he wanted, they lived in a different country away from me, so what was his problem? Now, I understand. If you loved someone else, Eva, it’d shred me to pieces, every single day. It’d kill me even if you were with me and not him.”

Which is actually a pretty good shift of perspective for Gideon! Maybe this novel won’t end on such a bad- oh, wait, I just read the next sentence. Gideon learned nothing.

“But unlike Giroux, I wouldn’t let you go. Maybe I wouldn’t have all of you, but you’d still be mine and I’d take what I could get.”

I used this gif like two weeks ago but I really just read Gideon Cross in a Norman Bates voice pretty frequently.
I used this gif like two weeks ago but I really just read Gideon Cross in a Norman Bates voice pretty frequently.

They talk about how other women keep falling in love with him and Eva feels pretty bad for these women.

“Don’t you get it? You drive women off the deep end because you’re the ultimate. You’re the grand prize. If a woman can’t have you, they know they’re settling for less than the best. So they can’t think about not having you. They just think of crazy ways to try to get you.”

Except the only aspect of Eva’s relationship with Gideon that she hasn’t spent half the book complaining about is their sex life, so maybe Gideon’s penis is more so the grand prize/what makes women go crazy. Maybe his penis transfers crazy? Sucks to suck, man.

Eva continues to make things super awkward.

“Answer one question for me, Gideon. Why do you want me, when you can have your pick of perfection instead? And I’m not fishing for compliments or reassurances. I’m asking an honest question.”

Dear all women, men, dogs, cryptozoological creatures, ice cubes, and basically every single person or thing anywhere: this is an uncomfortable question to have to answer! If you’re insecure enough to have to ask this question, you’re not going to get the answer from your partner, but you have to find it in yourself. Holy shit, I totally went into that thinking I was writing a joke and then that was like actual advice! I’m like Dan Savage! Or that one Dinosaur Comic!

Anyway, time to figure out Cary’s shit! Give us some resolution! Set us up for the sequel by suggesting where Cary’s downward spiral is going to go!

“I’ve been down this road with Cary before, Gideon. I can’t just hole up at your place and hope he comes out of it on his own. He needs me to be around more than I have been.”
“Eva.” Gideon brought me my clothes and crouched in front of me. “I know you need to support Cary. We’ll figure out how tomorrow.”

…and that’s it about Cary? Apparently “tomorrow” is the next book, so, uh, fuck you if you cared about Cary? I mean, I don’t care about Cary, but that’s not really the point.

This is actually a good counter-example for the point I'm making.

Actually, the episode of Sherlock in that gif is a good counter-example for the point I’m making about the ending of Bared to You. See, while that episode of Sherlock (the second season finale) had an ending that largely set up a sequel, it still offered a resolution to the episode as a self-contained narrative. Whereas Bared To You ends with Eva and Gideon talking about how they’re going to try to help Cary (or “smack some sense into” him), leave for Gideon’s apartment, and then the novel concludes with:

Cupping his nape, I ran my fingers through his silky hair. “I can’t wait to get you back in bed.”
He gave a sexy little growl and attacked my neck with tickling nips and kisses, banishing our ghosts and their shadows.
At least for a little while …

Which would seem to actually end the whole Eva-Gideon thing, yeah? They’re a happy couple now? Except now their biggest problem is Cary (somehow), which feels like a tacked on way to force a sequel into existence.

But back to my Sherlock point. Throughout the aforementioned episode, Sherlock’s reputation is being sabotaged, and it ends in failure. While this sets us up for a sequel in which the story must continue (he has to redeem himself), the impact of his failure offers a resolution to the rising action within the narrative of that particular installment. Cary’s failure in Bared To You, however, lacks this emotional resolution because Cary’s failure has no weight to it, but feels like more of the same. Similarly, Eva and Gideon ending the novel happy with their relationship feels like more of the same too. Neither of these plots had any sense of rising action, but just kept going back and forth between “things are good!” and “things are bad!”, and so there’s no climax and no satisfying resolution.

Which sounds like a sex joke, but it's actually educational!
Which sounds like a sex joke, but it’s actually educational!

Even ignoring that, the resolution of both plots instead becomes about Eva’s need to help Cary, ultimately offering no relevant resolution to either character’s story. It’s an awkward shift away from the main plot (can Eva and Gideon be happy together?) which ends on a high note that is suggested won’t last, and an awkward shift towards the subplot (will Cary’s self-destructive tendencies lead to his downfall?) which ends on an ambiguous note and is now somehow supposed to carry the weight of the entire narrative. No pun intended.

In other words, the novel ends with nothing happening. Although we do get this gem when we find out that Gideon had actually given Eva a key to his apartment when he apparently returned her keys to him:

I’d had the key to being with him all along.

It’s deep because “key” has two meanings.

So, for the final time, we must ask ourselves…

But Is It Better Than Fifty Shades of Grey?

It’s tricky. The prose is better written, but the content itself frequently misses the mark so much that it’s much more offensive. So you have much more painful shit to get through to get to them, but you do get better sex scenes, which is the only reason why a person would actually read either of these books – we tend to forget about that here. So you either have Fifty Shades of Grey‘s barely-even-sex-it’s-so-bad sex scenes and banal story, or Bared to You‘s sometimes disturbing sex scenes and always disturbing story. And what wins out when you have a choice like that?

The Winner This Round: Porn

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0 comments

  1. Bellomy Reply

    You have no idea how happy I am that you mentioned Sherlock. Abso-fucking-lutely BRILLIANT show.

    “The Reichenbach Fall” was one of the most perfectly constructed and executed pieces of fiction I’ve ever seen. It’s not my favorite episode just because in the end it’s pretty damn depressing, but it is undoubtedly a masterpiece. The plot, the dialogue, the structure, the brilliant ending…all of it is flawless. And this is just the storytelling aspect, let alone the acting.

    Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I shed a Man-tear when Watson was talking to Sherlock’s grave. In fact, I think everybody would be lying. It’s a great spambot catcher. http://xkcd.com/233/

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    • Tâmara Reply

      Yesyesyes. This version of Sherlock has one of the best villain/hero relationships I’ve ever seen, as well, and I think the Reichenbach Fall is the very top of that. The entire episode is impressive, but mostly because of that. And although I hate being the annoying fangirl, I really do need series three.

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    • Bellomy Reply

      Also, I’m not sure you can say that Sherlock ended, completely, in failure. Ultimately Moriarty not only wanted Sherlock discredited-he wanted him discredited and dead.

      And by the end of the episode, Sherlock and Watson are both alive. Moriarty is not.

      So yeah, Moriarty gained a major victory against Sherlock by destroying his reputation and driving him into hiding. But, despite all of his effort and is brilliance, he still couldn’t get him to commit suicide, meaning that Sherlock still has the chance to redeem himself. Sherlock has outwitted him at the last possible moment, ultimately refusing to be completely outmaneuvered.

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  2. Bellomy Reply

    FYI, as a college Freshman I just got the tiniest sliver of what it must feel like for you both to do your theses and WOW, I feel for you. For my Education class we needed fifteen hours of classroom observation, then we had to write an essay on the classes we observed, fill out an observation sheet on one of the classes, and then fill out a pre-written checklist for every teacher we observed.

    Being an idiot, I observed twelve teachers over 4 grades, none of which even taught the age group I hope to teach (the school I went to was like five minutes away from my house). This meant that I needed to take detailed notes on every single class so I could write a summary of the class and my opinions of the teachers and teaching style in my essay, all the while making connections to things we learned in class.

    I had the observation hours done probably a month or even a little more before the paper was due, so I had plenty of time. Well, the day it was due I walked into class, saw people taking it out, and had a minor panic attack when I realized I had completely forgotten about it.

    I’m not proud of what I did next, but I still did it: I told the teacher I had the essay on my computer at home, and of course would have it e-mailed in later that day. Naturally she wasn’t happy, but there you go.

    So, I went home and spent maybe two hours frantically writing out this essay, knowing I needed to get it in while there was still reasonable doubt on my side for her to believe it was already done. Once again, I’m not proud of what I did, but I lied and told the teacher that I tried to send it in earlier and got an error message. Amazingly, in what can only be described as the irony of God, my e-mail had gotten caught in her spam filter, so she bought it.

    I got a 100 on the paper.

    The moral of the story was not to procrastinate. I didn’t get it. Yesterday ANOTHER major paper was due for the same class, and the exact same thing happened. This time, though, when I saw people taking it out I sprinted out of the room and spent the class period writing the paper, submitting it via e-mail about 20 minutes after class ended. No idea what the grade on that one is yet.

    The moral of the story, besides the opportunity to both brag and self-deprecate at the same time on a blog post that does literary reviews of shit books, is basically to tell you that if I’m like that with two essays, neither of which even needed to be cited, I find it quite plausible to believe that a thesis might literally kill me when I attempt to write the whole motherfucking thing all in one day. Like, the effort and lack of sleeping, drinking, and eating may actually kill me, not to mention my own inability to actually accept that I’m really going to fail, which would make the shock of it all the more painful when it inevitably comes.

    So, congratulations on surviving! I figure the good grade is a bonus at this point.

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    • noemibetancourt Reply

      Another caveat to the moral of your story, email reminders from your computer’s calendar are your friend! I can’t say that strongly enough. There have been so many times when I almost did what you did, even waking up in a cold sweat before realizing I’d already done the assignment, before I set up those reminders.

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  3. Ali Reply

    I love Dan Savage. He is amazing. He would tell Eva and Ana to DTMFA.
    So…do we ever find out Gideon’s deep mental problems?

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      Nope. Just that he has them and they’re bad and probably because of his family. But hey, that’s what sequels are for – holding a complete narrative for ransom.

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  4. milli Reply

    sorry.rant alert
    “He needs me to be around more than I have been.”-fuck this shit.sylvia cannot do relationship, fine, but she cannot even do friendship correctly now.ugh! SPOILERS for those who have not read the remaining three books in this series.eva seems more like an enabler than a friend to Cary and sometimes vice-versa.i mean she never once reprimands him on his douche baggy ways and just worries about him in her head.maybe if she proactively helps him with solutions to his problem then he won’t cut because of stress.she does not even feel compassion for that trey guy.she could just tell him to protect his dignity in this relationship without outright saying leave Cary and let him sort it on his own.maybe she knows that if she points out to Cary then Cary would do the same to her regarding her idiotic ways with Gideon and brett

    rant over.

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