We took a one week break and I already forgot the name of this book’s main character.
Speaking of breaks, if anyone got a Bad Books, Good Times mug over the holidays, send us a picture! Ariel and I would love to see these things in the wild, so snap a clever photo of a mug and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature it on the site! At the very least, I’ll just be amused that there are actually people out there who read our blog and think, “Yes, I must drink out of one of their jokes!”
Both Chapter 12 and 13 start with Zoey walking into class and someone calling “Zoey!”, presumably so we don’t forget that everyone loves Zoey, and so I forget what chapter I’m on. [Ariel says: Also so you don’t forget the main character’s name again. I’m guessing a lot of the feedback in the alleged workshop for this book must have just been “Um…well…I forget the main character’s name sometimes.”]
Kristin and P.C. Cast write a longer paragraph describing what their teacher, Neferet, is wearing than the subsequent paragraph about what her lesson plan is. But before we have our first class of vampire school, we get to learn about vampire lockers. I’m not making this shit up. We have like an entire page talking about their goddamn lockers.
“At the House of Night there aren’t lockers, like at regular schools. Here, first hour is our homeroom and we each have a cabinet of our own. The room will always be open, so you come back here to get books and whatever, just like you would go to a locker in the hall.”
Obviously, that paragraph is exactly the sort of thing we’d leave out of our summaries, but I really wanted you to understand how fucking boring this book is. [Ariel says: I think it’s so hilarious whenever this book has to point out how the House of Night isn’t like other schools because of something as mundane as their locker system.]
There is a glimmer of something interesting and possibly menacing in how they don’t have locks because “If someone steals something, the vamps know it”, which leads to Zoey speculating on why everyone seems so terrified of getting into trouble at the House of Night.
I mean, I’m a good kid (we fucking know, Zoey) – okay, not perfect, but still. I’ve only had detention once so far, and that wasn’t my fault. Really. Some turd boy told me to suck his cock. What was I supposed to do? Cry? Giggle? Pout? Umm… no… So instead I bitch-slapped him (although I prefer just using the word smacked)
And yet I can’t help but notice you did use the word “bitch-slapped”. [Ariel says: Also I love how we’re supposed to be like WOAH Zoey is such a tough girl. She didn’t cry, giggle or pout, which are apparently the only possible ways to react to this situation.]
House of Night continues to clumsily try talking about sexism during their lesson about the Amazons, who, in this world, were a vampyre society. I guess this makes the Vampyre Cherokee thing make a little more sense now that we’re accepting this as alternate history, so long as we now choose to ignore how people become vampyres by random genetic chance so it doesn’t make sense how entire past societies were all vampyres. But hey, at least House of Night isn’t maybe-racist by adding vampirism to Cherkokee culture! It’s still being definitely-racist with that black character who said “thank you for appreciating my blackness” though. Let’s not forget about that one. [Ariel says: I’m wondering if Brad Paisley is a vampyre in this book too. Accidental racist could have had totally different, yet just as offensive, lyrics!] [Matthew adds: Maybe instead of the line where he has a black guy rap “If you forgive the gold chains/I’ll forgive the iron chains”, it would say “If you forgive the blood I take/I’ll forgive the wooden stake”. It’s somehow equally stupid.]
Neferet keeps Zoey after class to ask how she’s doing so far and to double-check that she’s comfortable with joining the Dark Daughters who, in case you forgot, are the Vampyre Plastics.
Neferet encourages her to take advantage of the opportunity to join the exclusive organization, but would understand if she wasn’t comfortable with it. Zoey lies, saying she’s not uncomfortable and she’ll do it. That’s pretty much it for that scene. It’s riveting stuff.
Zoey goes to drama class, where they’re starting monologues, as Shakespeare was a famous vampyre playwright, after all. The drama teacher introduces an older student to perform a monologue, and the Casts introduce what might be the novel’s weirdest mis-attempt at teen-speak yet.
The door opened and oh my dear sweet lord I do believe my heart totally stopped beating.
Remember in the book’s introduction, how P.C. Cast wrote, “I also want to thank my fabulous daughter, Kristin, for making sure we sound like teenagers.” Well, I think this is one of those times they just couldn’t find a compromise. I think they were trying to make it sound outdated (and Southern?) on purpose and that was supposed to be the joke, but then there’s that “totally” in there, so it ultimately sounds like… well… a mom trying to sound like a teenager. But don’t worry, it gets EVEN BETTER. Because Zoey realizes that the older student, Erik, is the same boy Aphrodite was giving a vampyre blow job to! She tries to get information about Erik from the girl sitting next to her, and we get THE BOOK’S GREATEST MISUSED SLANG THUS FAR:
“Actually, word has it that he and Aphrodite used to be hooked up, but I’ve been here for a few months and it’s been over between them for at least that long.”
“Used to be hooked up”. Guys, I can’t get over this. They didn’t used to hook up, or used to be hooking up, they used to be hooked up. This is great, because cool cats like me jive better with the lowdown like we do, and it’s not at all pwned but very word. [Ariel says: Hip to the max cool, yo.]
Speaking of the girl sitting next to Zoey (who Zoey goes from thinking is “a smart kid” for saying one thing in her sociology class that morning to calling “Ms. Perfect Student” after… nothing else happens, because if there’s anything we’ve learned about Zoey so far, it’s that she loves labeling people before she really knows anything about them, although it’s bad when anyone else does that) [Ariel says: She’s also totally not homophobic except when she says most gay guys are weird and girly], she has a name, so I guess she’ll be important enough.
“I’m Elizabeth, no last name.”
My face was a question mark.
She sighed. “My last name was Titsworth. Can you imagine?”
Okay, I chuckled at that. You got one, House of Night, and it was by appealing to my inner-twelve-year-old.
Anyway, Zoey thinks about slut shaming, except she’s slut shaming Erik, who is a man, so the Casts of course aren’t aware that it’s slut shaming because men can be slut shamed too ba whaaaa? [Ariel says: What a twist!]
[Erik] had been looking at me. But why? He must have known that it had been me in the hall. (Which was when the vampyre blow job happened, in case for some reason “vampyre blow job” jogs your memory more efficiently than “the hall”.) So what kind of interest in me was he showing? And did I want a guy to like me who had been getting a blow job from the hateful Aphrodite? I probably shouldn’t. I mean, I definitely wasn’t going to take up where she left off.
This is a little tricky, because, yes, for the most part it’s a good starting point to have standards and if sexual promiscuity is a strong turn-off in a potential partner, that’s entirely okay and entirely your prerogative. But at the same time, there is something to be said for not judging people based on who they were in the past. It’ll be interesting to see how this book gets the super-judgmental Zoey together with this boy when it isn’t even self-aware enough to realize that’s a hurdle in getting them together.