Ariel made fun of Melerer (apparently we’re calling Wanderer and Melanie that now – sounds good to me!) for having to go to the bathroom really badly in yesterday’s post, but I just experienced having to pee really badly while stuck in the sea of people trying to take the Metro after the Fourth of July fireworks in Washington D.C. for over an hour, so I’m gonna give Melerer a pass on this one.
Chapter 15: Guarded
As the title of this post would suggest, these two chapters are just Melerer as the humans’ prisoner in a cave, and OH MY GOD TOO MANY WORDS ARE USED TO DESCRIBE THIS. I mean, I get it. Wanderer is an alien possessing a human body. Her experiencing things as a human is kind of the point. But there are still – 20% of the way into the novel – just pages and pages of sentences like this:
I was sweating again, the water Jeb had given me finding its way out through my pores.
I’d gulped half the water down when a new scent caught my attention, informing me that water was not the only gift.
Hell, there’s an entire page between “I heard a noise” and “I found what made the noise” that’s just Wanderer describing how quiet Jared is while guarding her. You guys aren’t even losing anything when I skip over entire pages and don’t mention what happened in them at all. It’s so over-detailed.
Wanderer wonders why they’re keeping her alive at all. This is one of the few times I can relate to Wanderer. Melanie wonders why Jared hit her. I have yet to relate to Melanie particularly well.
[Melanie:] I wouldn’t have thought he’d be able to do it, no matter what. I don’t think I could hit him.
[Wanderer:] […] you’d have done the same. You’re naturally violent. I remembered her daydreams of strangling the Seeker. That seemed like months ago, though I knew it was only days.
Well, maybe if you narrated this story was written with fewer unnecessary goddamn words, you wouldn’t have this problem, Wanderer. Although it’s maybe not fair to fault the fictional character when Stephenie Meyer is trying so hard to make this shit really deep.
This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds – the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions… the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.
Really? This isn’t something Wanderer has ever experienced before? Every other lifestyle of every other intelligent creature is all sunshine and rainbows? Or burning other intelligent species alive, that doesn’t constitute a “low”?
Anyway, time to talk about boys. Melanie realizes that she didn’t just trick Wanderer into coming here, but that Wanderer has feelings for her man!
[Melanie:] You’re in love with him, too, separately from me. It feels different from the way I feel. Other. […] How did that happen? […]
[Wanderer:] My body is human […] While I’m attached to it, I’m human, too.
Wanderer’s explanation that being human gives her human feelings independent of her host is then immediately contradicted in the next sentence.
[Wanderer:] And the way you see Jared in your memories… Well, it’s all your fault. […]
[Melanie:] So if you had gone to Tucson and gotten a new body, you wouldn’t love him anymore now?
And then Meyer just kind of gives up on having any idea what’s going on in the next sentence.
[Wanderer:] I really, really hope that’s true.
Then some other people – Kyle and Ian – show up and start fighting Jared because he’s protecting Melerer. Although he’s been told to by Jeb and it’s not really his fault.
Chapter 16: Assigned
The other people – Kyle and Ian – continue to fight Jared because he’s protecting Melerer. Although he’s been told to by Jeb and it’s not really his fault (this goes on for a while). Also Melerer just kind of walks out of her tiny cave-in-a-cave prison to try to protect him, so, uh, see, I thought she was in a much more prison-like prison? Like, one she couldn’t just walk out of?
Kyle and Ian fight Jared for protecting Melerer and Jared’s like “I don’t know what to do”. Uncle Jeb shows up and stops the fight and tells everyone that Jared is now responsible for Melerer’s fate because Melanie was his girlfriend and Jared’s like “I don’t know what to do”. It’s kind of rough having your girlfriend possessed by an alien.
Then they all leave, Uncle Jeb tells Melerer to go to sleep, and then she wakes up and he starts walking her to the bathroom, but the chapter ends during their walk to the bathroom because this story apparently could not be told in one chapter.
This is actually all that happens in this chapter, yet it is just as long – if not longer – than the previous chapter. Seriously. Too many goddamn words. Although this part was pretty hilarious – look for the part where even Stephenie Meyer is like “damn, this is too many unnecessary words, now what?”:
I stared at the hand for a long moment, and then, feeling the urgency in my bladder, I slowly put my hand on his palm, barely touching it – the way I would have touched a snake if for some reason I was ever forced to.
I. Love. This. It’s like halfway through that last modifying clause in that sentence (of which there are many), Meyer was like “wait, why would anyone touch a snake if they don’t want to?” and then was like “so I guess I’ll add that they don’t want to but they’re being made to?” and then was like “why would that happen? for some reason?” and then was like “I better keep all these words in here instead of just deleting them.”