Chapter 35: Tried (it took me like twenty minutes to figure out this is referring to Kyle’s trial in this chapter. Trial may have been a more effective title.)
This chapter opens with Ian giving Melerer his and Kyle’s room. I still really don’t get why he’s fallen in love with her, but okay.
Matthew says: How couldn’t he fall in love with Stephenie Meyer’s archetypical female romantic lead so devoid of character that her only defining trait is selflessness? Who could resist that siren’s call?
Ian says that Kyle’s tribunal is later, and Wanderer insists she wants to speak there to protect Kyle. I fucking hate Wanderer. Her selflessness doesn’t make me like her more, it just annoys the shit out of me. Aw, she’s such a bad liar, but she’s doing it out of the goodness of her heart, and because she’s a terrible liar, everyone in the cave knows she’s so selfless and wonderful. WHAT A GOOD ALIEN!
Matthew says: Swoooon.
Ian brings Melerer some food, and boy, you won’t believe what she gets!
I chewed mechanically and then swallowed , setting the bread down as I waited to see how it hit my stomach.
“Not very appetizing, I know,” Ian said.
I shrugged. “Just testing— to see if the nausea’s really passed.”
“Maybe something more appealing…”
I looked at him, curious, but I couldn’t see his face. I listened to a sharp crackle and a ripping sound… and then I could smell, and I understood. “Cheetos!” I cried. “Really? For me?”
What is this book’s obsession with Cheetos? It’s like when Meyer wrote this book in an hour she had a serious hankering for them that bled into her writing. Or did Cheetos sponsor this book? It’s very unclear.
So they’re gonna fuck now right? Like, that’s the only way this can go.
“Thank you. For more than the Cheetos , you know. For so much.”
“You’re more than welcome, Wanda.”
I stared into his dark blue eyes, trying to decipher everything he was saying with that sentence— there seemed to be something more than just courtesy in the words. And then I realized that I could see the color of Ian’s eyes; I glanced quickly up at the cracks above. The stars were gone, and the sky was turning pale gray. Dawn was coming. First light.
If there’s supposed to be romantic tension here, I’m not really feeling it given how oblivious Melerer is. Wanderer I suppose I can understand, but I’m shocked that Melanie hasn’t chimed in about suspecting Ian’s feelings.
Wait, just kidding, she sort of does on the next page.
I think Ian likes you too much.
I was surprised to hear from Melanie, and so distinctly. Lately, she only spoke up like this when Jared was around.
I’m here, too. Does he even care about that?
Of course he does. He believes us more than anyone besides Jamie and Jeb.
I don’t mean that.
What do you mean?
But she was gone.
I love that Meyer doesn’t even shy away from pointing out that Melanie only shows up when Jared is around. She’s not ashamed of how pathetic she is, damn it! Also, Wanderer doesn’t even give any thought to what Melanie has just said, instead she just starts telling us about the fucking cave again as they head to the tribunal!
Matthew says: I loved that part too. Like Meyer thought not fleshing out her character would be totally okay so long as it was on purpose. If this happened in Star Wars, it would be Obi Wan saying, “I’m surprised Jar Jar Binks did something useful. Lately, he’s only around to irritate the shit out of everyone.”
This is where shit starts to get even more unbelievably fucking ridiculous. Ian gets up and says that if Kyle had actually succeeded in killing Melerer, he’d be calling for Kyle’s death. Since he didn’t succeed, he thinks he should be banished from the cave. I just don’t think anything in this book has happened to warrant this kind of support of Melerer. I could see Ian being upset, but for him to completely turn on his brother just doesn’t make any sense to me. The undying support Wanderer (I specifically don’t include Melanie here because it’s Wanderer’s irritating selflessness that I’m referring to) receives from some of the cave dwellers just makes no sense to me. She’s done chores around the cave and been nice to people. Big whoop.
Jared even speaks up in defense of Wanderer, pointing out that she saved Kyle even though he was a huge dick. This causes some complicated feelings for Melerer.
“Will you speak against him, Wanda?”
I stared at him wide-eyed, stunned that he was speaking for me, that he was speaking to me, that he was using my name. Melanie was in shock, too, torn in half. She was overjoyed at the kindness in his face as he looked at us, the softness in his eyes that had been absent so long. But it was my name he’d said…
The dumbest shit is given huge significance in this book. I should be used to it by now, but I hate it.
Anyway, everyone votes to keep Kyle in the cave and not punish him. Jeb warns that if anyone tries to hurt Wanderer again, he’ll kill them. Then the chapter ends with him suggesting…everyone play a game?
Chapter 36: Believed
I remember in the first Twilight Meyer spent an absurd amount of time explaining how Edward’s family played Vampire Baseball together. Now, she brings this riveting idea back except it’s how the cave dwellers play some sort of cave ball. Seriously.
They start playing mother fucking soccer in the cave. HOW THE GOD DAMN FUCKING FUCK IS THERE ROOM IN THIS CAVE FOR EVERYTHING!??!? And why is there so much time dedicated to who is on what team? Melerer can’t even play because of her messed up leg, so she’s just watching this all happen and not even playing.
Matthew says: On the one hand, I can appreciate the effort novelists take to create verisimilitude. World-building requires a lot of detail, and it might not always be appreciated. On the other hand:
“I nominate Andy for captain,” someone shouted.
“I nominate Lily,” Wes called out, getting to his feet and stretching.
“Andy and Lily.”
“Yeah, Andy and Lily.”
WHO THE FUCK ARE ANDY AND LILY? And why did TWO people need to validate their role as team captains? You know what? Fine. Andy and Lily are my new favorite characters. Why not? They’re just as fleshed out as any other character in this book.
Jared comes over to talk to Wanderer, and he starts asking why Wanderer loves Jamie and how often Melanie talks to Wanderer. Wanderer doesn’t point out that Melanie only speaks up when Jared’s around, for some reason. She won’t even tell Jared that Melanie is pissed because of the kissing incident, which seems like something she should actually explain for Melanie…Whatever.
Jared finally asks if Melanie is around right now, and Wanderer tells him yes. She tells Melanie now is her chance to say anything she wants, and Melanie chooses to ask why Jared suddenly believes Wanderer now.
Matthew says: I feel like we’d be remiss if we didn’t share this part of the conversation:
“She hears you.”
“How… straightforward is the connection?”
“She hears what I hear, sees what I see.”
“Feels what you feel?”
Ian looks jealous, and Melanie starts to point out his unhappiness again, but, yet again, Wanderer pays no attention and instead starts telling us how the game is starting.
The game is played, and then Kyle comes over to tell Melerer he thinks he did the right thing trying to kill her, but because she saved his life he’ll leave her alone. Then he calls Ian out for having a crush on her. Wanderer again doesn’t react to this at all. It’s like nothing has been said! Instead, she just tells Kyle he’s a dick in a really roundabout, lame way.
“I didn’t let you fall because… because I’m not like you. I’m not saying that I’m not… like humans. Because there are others here who would do the same. There are kind and good people here . People like your brother, and Jeb, and Doc… I’m saying that I’m not like you personally.”