Happy October, readers! As we begin to wrap up The Host (last chapter and epilogue next week!), I’m certain that a bunch of you are wondering what we’re reading next, and we can offer you a little hint. It’s October and we’re a month away from Halloween, so, reader, you know, beware.
Eva and Gideon return from their weekend away and go to sleep in separate bedrooms in Eva’s apartment because of Gideon’s atypical sexual parasomnia, and it’s actually one of the few times the book handles the situation like a sad source of tension in their relationship, although this is somewhat muted by the immediate reminder that Eva somehow can afford an apartment with a guest room in New York City.
I wondered how long we’d be sleeping apart from each other. Months? Years?
Hating to think of it, I closed my eyes and started to drift.
The story continues to be sad with the news that Cary was attacked last Friday and is in the hospital! This is only sad for the characters of this novel, however, because I fucking hate Cary and I’m really upset that he got the shit beaten out of him and we missed it because we had to spend the weekend with the happy fucking couple (literally). I don’t mean to sound like a sadist, but can I tell you how much I would have preferred – nay, loved – reading about the character in this novel I hate the most getting beaten up?
Okay, before you judge me too much, let’s go visit Cary in the hospital and remember what an awful character he is.
He relaxed with a sigh. “You’re a sight for sore eyes, baby girl.”
“What the hell happened?” I set the empty cup down and grabbed his hand again.
“Fuck if I know.” His voice was weak, almost a whisper. “Got jumped. With a bat. […] Teaches me. Don’t stick my dick in the wrong chick.”
Well, uh, then it sounds like you do know what happened? Seriously, no new information is relayed to Cary between “Fuck if I know why I got jumped” and “I got beaten up for sleeping with the wrong woman”.
“You didn’t tell me about Brett and Six-Ninths.”
“Oh yeah…” A bit of his old sparkle came back into his eyes. […]
“Why didn’t you tell me Captive Soul (note for people who are paying less attention than I am: Six-Ninths’ name when Eva was involved with Brett) had signed with a major label?”
“I didn’t want you to hear their first single if it could be helped.”
But then you learned Eva was going to their concert, so you thought, “Ah, fuck it; this is gonna be hilarious” instead? We can only assume that’s what his thinking was, because this gap in his logic is never addressed.
“Gideon’s making arrangements to get you home with a private nurse.”
“Ooh… that’s a fantasy of mine. Can you make sure the nurse is hot? And single?”
My brows rose. Inside, though I was so relieved to see him looking and sounding more like himself.
“Relieved” is a word. Also, wait, isn’t Cary trying to get back together with his ex, Trey?
“I can’t be faithful like he wants. Just him and me. I like women. Love them, actually. I’d be cutting off half of who I am. Just thinking about it makes me resent him. […] I get it, I do. If he told me he wanted to bang some other guy while seeing me, it’d bother the fuck out of me.”
“But not if it were a woman?”
“No. I don’t know. Shit. […] Would it make a difference to you if Cross were banging another man? Or just another woman?”
Ariel mentioned yesterday that Cary’s just an awful stereotype that bisexual people are attracted to everyone and are just kind of sex monsters.
But even taking away the awful stereotype (which – let me tell you – is pretty difficult, because an awful sex stereotype is pretty much all Cary is), Cary is just an awful person. Yes, settling down with one person means you can’t sleep with other people regardless of whether you’re straight or gay or bi. Not being able to pursue sex with other people isn’t “cutting off half of who I am”, it’s being a fucking adult. If I – a straight male – were to say something like, “I like women with big tits and women with small tits! I can’t be faithful with someone with small tits, just her and me! It’d be cutting off half of who I am!”, would that sound like a legitimate complaint to you? What would your reaction be?
And then Eva’s mom shows up to compete for the title of Worst Sylvia Day Character.
“Are the police investigating?” I asked.
“Yes, of course, but I don’t know how much good it will do.” She dabbed at the corners of her eyes. “I love Cary dearly, but he’s a tramp. I doubt he can recall all the women and men he’s been with.”
This is… weird? Awful? Insulting? Rubbing salt in the wound? Vaguely relevant at best? Useless?
I could go on.
I knew [Gideon’s] thoughtfulness had to come at a price – literally. After a weekend away, he should be digging his way out of a small mountain of work worth millions, not running around taking care of me. “God, I love you.”
“Eva!” My mother’s startled exclamation made me wince. She advocated withholding the words I love you until the wedding night.
Okay, wait. Sex before marriage is totally fine, but saying I love you to someone before you marry them is crossing the line? That is just an awful sense of priorities. No wonder Eva’s so incapable of behaving like an adult.
“He’s going to marry you,” my mother said, coming up to stand beside me. “You know that, don’t you? […] I don’t care if you listen to me because I’m your mother and you have to – […] You’ve got everything you need to be the perfect wife for a man of his stature, but you’re still replaceable, Eva.”
Oh my God, what a clusterfuck of heteronormativity, objectification of women, and emotionally abusive parenting! It’s like how the mother kept trying to get her daughter to fit into her role as a princess in Brave, except replace “role as a princess” with “gold digging woman who marries a man for his money because women can’t take care of themselves”.
Anyway, someone finally thinks to tell Trey that his sort of ex-boyfriend, Cary, is in the hospital.
“Who else do I blame for the fact that he’s screwing around with another guy’s girl” […]
“Would you consider counseling? With both of you, I mean.”
He looked at me with haunted eyes for a long minute; then his shoulders slumped. “I don’t know. I think I have to decide if I can live with him cheating.”
OH MY GOD, is there not a single not-fucked-up character in this book? Even the boyfriend that Cary cheated on has somehow become someone I can’t empathize with. Does every single character in this story have completely alienating views on sexuality and relationships? Fucking Megumi is the only character I can still relate to. Megumi.