Hopefully everyone’s enjoying House of Night so far, and hopefully everyone’s enjoying black Friday! Just something you might want to keep in mind for your holiday shopping, we’re releasing a veritable fuckton of new mugs in the very near future. Like… at least four new designs, which is up quite a bit from the one we currently offer. So get excited about capitalism and all that!
The end of the first chapter left Zoey Redbird in tears in the high school bathroom, surrounded by her collapsing life and/or social life, depending on whether Zo’s livelihood or K’s ability to go to high school football games is more important (In this book? KIND OF AMBIGUOUS).
Zo decides that enough time has passed in the bathroom where she can leave inconspicuously. She is, of course, wrong.
“Hey Zo! Didn’t you get my message?”
Oh crap crap crap! It was Heath.
And this is our introduction to YA male love interest #1:
He had a beer in his hand and a goofy grin on his face. Momentarily forgetting that I’d just been Marked and was destined to become an outcast blood-sucking monster, I scowled at Heath.
“You’re drinking at school! Are you crazy?”
Somehow the novel gets even stupider/goofier/stereotyp…ier from this point where a high school football star is drinking beer in the school parking lot right after school.
“Yes I am crazy, ’bout you, baby!”
Heath explains that they got the day off from practice because they’re so awesome at football (to paraphrase/just kinda bask in how delightfully stupid this book is already), and so naturally he and some of his football friends are spending time drinking beers and driving around in the high school parking lot, because that is how the high school football players do. Zo tries to discreetly leave because she doesn’t want people to see she’s Marked/the sunlight is already making her feel ill/Heath sorta kinda sucks, which he then elaborates on when he notices Zo’s flippancy:
“Zo, really. Are you pissed or somethin’? Like, did Kayla say some shit about the party? You know I didn’t really cheat on you.”
Huh? Kayla had not said one solitary word about Heath cheating on me. Like a moron, I forgot (okay, temporarily) about my new Mark. My head snapped around so I could glare at him.
“What did you do, Heath?”
“Zo, me? you know I wouldn’t…” but his innocent act and his excuses faded
You remember how K’s reaction to Zo being marked was concern about her own social life? Of course you do. Who could forget that? Heath reacts somewhat better, but also distinctly like a Young Adult Fiction character.
“But you can’t be Marked. We’re going out.”
Zo shouts back “We are not going out!”. Weirdly enough, I kind of genuinely like that the girl knows this guy is a loser and we don’t have to waste any time with her fawning over him, which is way more than I was expecting from a young adult vampire book. Although we don’t know why they aren’t dating even though she narrates that they’ve been “making out for a year”, so… I dunno. Who’s up for just not caring? Probably all of you right? Well, that’s good, because Marked doesn’t seem to care about explaining what’s going on either.
Heath’s friends notice the Mark too, although Heath defends her (seriously, what’s their deal?). Then… Zo stares really hard at his friends and they get scared? Seriously, this is the sequence of events:
- Drew and Dustin laugh at Zo
- Zo stares at them
- Zo continues to stare at them
- Dustin looks scared
- Zo feels vampire powers?
- Dustin shouts “We’re outta here!” and zooms off [Ariel says: No Dustin, don’t drink and drive!!!]
Apparently her first vampire power is “can stare at people and make them scared”, making the vampyres of House of Night even lamer than the vampires of Twilight, which is an amazing feat. Heath falls out of the car as they drive off, starts bleeding, and suddenly Zo is super attracted to him. There’s some weird tension as Zo stares at his bloody hand and Heath is all “hey, my eyes are up here” before his friends come back to take him away.
So now we’ve seen YA high school boy. Ready for YA high school parents?
[My mom] was in the family room, curled up on the edge of the couch, sipping a cup of coffee and reading Chicken Soup for a Woman’s Soul. […] She used to read exotic romances [Ariel says: Like Fifty Shades of Grey.] and actually wear makeup. Both were things her new husband didn’t allow (what a turd).
Man, I can’t even find my favorite part of that. The heteronormativity? The “what a turd” in parentheses? [Ariel says: I actually thought that was Matt’s addition, and I was all for it.] The word “turd” in general? BUT IT ONLY GETS BETTER, because, guys, I say this with 100% seriousness: this is the greatest mother-teenage daughter fight I will ever read or watch or anything in my entire life.
“Mama.” I used the name I used to call her, back in the days before she married John. “I need your help.” […]
“What is it, baby-” she began, and then her words seemed to freeze on her lips as her eyes found the Mark on my forehead. […]
“Oh, please, no!” she wailed as if I hadn’t said a word. “What is your father going to say?”
I wanted to scream how the hell would any of us know what my father was going to say, we haven’t seen or heard from him for fourteen years!
Oh snap, shit’s getting real! Already! On chapter two! All the tension that’s been building over the entire last page and a half is resolved as Zo thoroughly breaks down EVERYTHING.
“So what you’re saying is that you want me to lie to him [about you being Marked].”
“No, Mom. What I’m saying is that I want you, for once, to put what I need before what he wants. I want you to be my mama.” […]
“I wasn’t aware that I had stopped being your mom,” she said coldly.
She made me feel even more tired than Kayla had. I sighed. “I think that’s the problem, Mom. You don’t care enough to be aware of it. You haven’t cared about anything but John since you married him.” […]
Her eyes narrowed at me. “I don’t know how you can be so selfish. Don’t you realize all that he’s done for us? […] Because of him we don’t have to worry about money and we have this big, beautiful house.”
I LOVE THIS FIGHT! YA daughter says, “You are a bad mom because A”, and then YA mom goes, “A is not true!”, and then YA daughter goes, “Yes, it is and furthermore because B” and guys this is awesome writing. This is the most economical fight I’ve ever read! And so much is finally coming out since these problems first arose on the previous page!
“No, Mother. The truth is that because of him you haven’t paid any attention to your kids for three years. Did you know that your oldest daughter has turned into a sneaky, spoiled slut who’s screwed half of the football team? Do you know what nasty, bloody video games Kevin keeps hidden from you? No, of course you don’t!”
Well, now every single thing that’s wrong with her family is on the table, and my Kindle says we’re not even 6% into the book! And it wouldn’t be a YA parent-YA teenager fight if the latter didn’t threaten to leave forever to WHERE THEY’LL REALLY BE APPRECIATED.
“You know what? I’m so sick of my life that I’m glad the Tracker Marked me! They call that vampyre school the House of Night, but it can’t be any darker than this perfect home!”
And then the whole beautiful scene ends with a disturbingly specific death threat.
I hope they all drown.
The chapter ends with her storming off to her room and her stepdad coming home. Maybe we’ll have another fight! Maybe she’ll vampyre stare at him! I’M SO EXCITED LIFE IS FULL OF SUCH BEAUTIFUL THINGS