Not too much happened last time, which I know takes everyone by surprise. Basically Jared gets to decide Melerer’s fate, and the rest of the survivors have begrudgingly accepted Jeb’s decision on this. Also, Melerer really had to pee and so Jeb is taking her to their restroom. The end of chapter sixteen had them headed into a mysterious new room…
Melerer is disoriented when they walk into this new room (like she is every time anything seems to happen in the book), and after a page and a half of thinking they’re surrounded by voices, she realizes that all the noises she’s hearing are actually sounds produced by the rivers that are flowing through the cave. It’s so fucking stupid because she keeps saying, “Jeb is talking like we’re alone,” and then she’s like, “Jeb is talking like we’re alone because we are alone.” Just in case you as a reader are too dumb to understand that.
It’s kind of like the last chapter of Fifty Shades Freed when Ana is like, “He says it like it’s a dark confession…because frankly it is.” You can really tell where James got her inspiration from I guess. I wonder if James and Meyers hang out and laugh about how much money they have and how they can get away with writing shit like that.
Jeb has some insightful input about this convenient cave/river situation:
“Mighty convenient, how it’s laid out. Couldn’t have planned it much better if I’d sculpted it myself out of play dough.”
The allusion to play dough just makes no sense to me here. Why not just if he’d designed it himself? Who is sculpting useful shit out of play dough? When I have a good pasta dinner I’m not like, “Oh, I couldn’t have made this better if I’d used one of those play dough machines for making pasta.”
Insert exceedingly long description of the rivers and the “rooms” they have set up for bathing and using the “toilet.” I’m reading this so you don’t have to, and I am not going to fucking copy/paste or explain this river/cave bull shoop to you, because I love my readers. If any of you out there are dying to know about this, I’ll be happy to copy/paste it in the comments. BUT ONLY IF YOU REALLY REALLY WANNA KNOW!
When they return to their little prison, Jamie is waiting for them. Wanderer has to stop Melanie from running over to him, and she tells Melanie she’s her friend. Omg awww. Just kidding, I feel no emotional connection to these two or the friendship they began when they almost died together in the desert. I do kind of like that Wanderer realizes that Jamie’s just had his fourteenth birthday, and when the birthday happened Melanie was trying so hard to hide her memories (and that was the day Wanderer e-mailed the Seeker about her dreams). She’s like, “Oops, I was a bitch.”
Jamie understands that Wanderer has all of Melanie’s memories, so he asks how Melanie was captured. Well, fucking finally!
My voice was soft as breathing. “Someone saw her go into a place that was off-limits. They knew something was wrong. They called the Seekers.”
He flinched at the title.
“The Seekers tried to get her to surrender. She ran from them. When they had her cornered, she jumped into an open elevator shaft.”
Do you know how easy that would have been to tell us earlier? I never understood how they’d realized something was up with Melanie, that she didn’t have a soul in her. If everyone’s acting normal and all that, it seems like it would be really easy to blend in. Knowing she went somewhere off-limits makes that a lot easier to understand. Why wait until page 167 to reveal that? It’s not a particularly interesting reveal!
Jamie continues to ask good questions that you’d think the other humans would want to know like, “Why did you keep her body alive?” and “Where are you from?” We already know they kept her alive to get answers, but I wanted to know where the souls are from and how they started doing this shit in the first place! Melerer doesn’t reveal anything too interesting, though, but she does explain she had nothing to do with deciding to inhabit Melanie’s body. Then Jared shows up and ruins the fun. Fuck off, Jared.
From this scene, I learn I hate Jared and really like Jamie. Jamie points out that even though Melanie isn’t in there (or so they believe), it still is pretty messed up that Jared didn’t mind hitting her and leaving bruises on a body he supposedly loves. I guess I can see both sides of it. Jamie and Jared face off for a bit, and finally Jamie listens and leaves, and then Jared tells Jeb to leave as well.
Then it’s kind of creepy when this happens at the end of the chapter:
“Jeb?” Jared called after him.
“If I asked you to shoot it right now, would you do it?”
Jeb kept walking slowly, not looking at us, but his words were clear. “I’d have to. I follow my own rules. So don’t ask me unless you really mean it.”
Melerer curls up, frightened in a corner, and the chapter is over. I like the actual uncertainty we see here; Jared could make a snap decision like that and regret it later. I mean, we know it’s not actually going to happen, but for a moment I was actually intrigued.
I don’t normally talk about the chapter titles, but this one is called “Bored,” so I’m assuming Meyers realized how boring this book was and was trying to subtly apologize to us.
True to form, this chapter is very boring. Jared continues to be mean to Melerer and either ignore her or yell at her to hurry up when he takes her to the bathroom. Then when Jeb shows up and is nice, he gets mad at him. Jeb correctly points out that he wouldn’t treat a dog like this, but to be fair, dogs don’t invade your loved ones bodies and take over your planet. They just love you! Well, I guess Melanie loves Jared, but you know what I mean.
A week goes by, and Jared is still being a dick. A childish dick! When he gets special food delivered to him, he acts so stupid about it:
I didn’t expect him to share— of course not— but I wondered sometimes if he thought I was hoping he would. One of my few entertainments was hearing him eat his treats, because he always did so ostentatiously, perhaps rubbing it in the way he had with the pillow that first night.
Ug, if I were Melanie, I’d be starting to question the behavior of this dude. He’s like twenty-six or something, isn’t he? Dude, just stop. Eat your Red Vines like an adult. Melerer at least starts laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, which seems to annoy him enough to get him to move away. I just want a conversation to happen between someone that isn’t Melanie and Wanderer in their heads! I want new information!
Ian shows up to talk to Jared (Ian is one of the guys who tried to kill Melerer when she first arrived at the cave), and he informs Jared that the Seekers seem to have given up looking for Melerer. Hilariously, coyotes attacked their little camp because they left trash out, and one seeker got dragged away by them. I hope it was the one Melerer hates! She was the worst. I mean, she’s not dead, the other Seekers saved her, but LOL!
Oh! But then Ian does mention the Seeker Melerer hates. Apparently, this Seeker stands out from the rest because of what a huge throbbing dick she is:
“Anyway,” Ian continued, “when they called off the search, this one wasn’t happy with the decision. You know how the parasites are always so… very pleasant? This was weird— it’s the closest I’ve ever seen them come to an argument. Not a real argument, because none of the others argued back, but the unhappy one sure looked like it was arguing with them. The core group of Seekers disregarded it—they’re all gone.”
“But the unhappy one?” Jared asked.
“It got in a car and drove halfway to Phoenix. Then it drove back to Tucson. Then it drove west again.”
“Or very confused. It stopped at that convenience store by the peak. Talked to the parasite that worked there, though that one had already been questioned.”
God damn it, Seeker, go away! Why is this one such a weirdo? What the hell crawled up her ass?
Melerer literally starts spassing out because she’s so scared, and Jared and Ian notice, so the chapter ends with them being like, “What’s the delio?”