After Zoey is done puking, she runs off and winds up finding a cat. If you thought the authors of this book had trouble figuring out how teens speak, have a look at their cat-speak.
Then, from somewhere in the limbs of the oak I heard a meow. Okay, it wasn’t really your normal, average, catlike meow. It was more like a grumpy, “me-eeh-uf-me-eef-uf-snort.”
I looked up. Perched on a limb that was resting against the wall was a small orange cat. She was staring at me with huge eyes and she definitely looked disgruntled. [Matthew says: Much like we are when we read this book.]
“How did you get up there?”
“Me-uf,” she said, sneezed, and inched her way along the branch, clearly trying to get closer to me.
“Well, come on kitty-kitty-kitty,” I coaxed.
“Me-eeh-of-ow,” she said, creeping forward about half one of her
Have Kristen or P.C. Cast ever even encountered a cat before?
This lack of knowledge could have easily been avoided by simply cutting out all of the cat’s dialogue. I guess they could have just cut out all the dialogue from the rest of the book as well to save even more face. At least they didn’t learn cat speak from a rigorous study of LOLcats.
Zoey tries to climb up the tree that the cat’s in so that she can save it or something. While making extended eye contact, Zoey begins to question a lot of things.
We stared at each other for a long time, and I started to wonder if she knew about me.
Could she tell that I’d just tasted (and liked) blood?Did I have blood puke breath? Did I look different? Had I grown fangs? (Okay, that last question was ridiculous. Adult vamps don’t have fangs, but still.)
They don’t have fangs? As far as anything vampire/vampyre related goes, having fangs makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint because that’s how they fucking drink blood. WHAT THE FUCK, BOOK? [Matthew says: More importantly, if Zoey knows this, why does she bother bringing it up? And she does this sort of thing all the time. It’d be like if I asked if the readers ever think I’m weird for having three testicles. Okay, I don’t have three testicles, but still. It’d be weird if I constantly mentioned things and immediately corrected myself afterwards, like I had to that one time I told Barack Obama we’d met before and had to tell him I was making it up when he stared at me funny. Okay, I never met Barack Obama, but still. I’m not making any sense right now. This is so embarrassing I’m going to throw up. Okay, I’m not going to throw up, but still.]
And then things just get…romantic?
“You were in my dream.” And a little happiness pushed through the wall of sickness and fear inside me. “You’re my cat!”
Zoey names the cat Nala, and then the Cast family realizes how fucking boring this scene is, so they…
Zoey does indeed smell a smell, so it’s narrowed down to one of two possible answers now.
A weird smell drifted up to me. It was so odd that I broke off what I was saying. What was that? I sniffed and wrinkled my nose. It was a dry, old smell. Like a house that had been closed up for too long, or somebody’s scary old basement. It wasn’t a good smell, but it also wasn’t so gross that it made me want to gag. It was just wrong. Like it didn’t belong out here in the open at night.
So is it the burrito truck or the ghost thing?
I gasped in shock and felt fear skitter through me. It was Elizabeth! The Elizabeth No Last Name kid who was supposed to be dead.
This better not be a Grey’s Anatomy where Zoey starts sleeping with the ghost and then finds out she has brain cancer! I can’t take that kind of awful again!
When she saw me her eyes, which were a weird, glowing red, widened and then she made an odd shrieking sound before whirling around and disappearing with inhuman speed into the night.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t have sex, but also what the fuck was the purpose of that? She didn’t even do anything! I’m also really curious as to what this is supposed to look like, because in my head it’s pretty hilarious. [Matthew says: I’m pretty sure it’s just supposed to look like shitty CGI. This book is so bad it has visually difficult nonsense written in anticipation of its awful film adaptation.]
If you thought this chapter couldn’t somehow get more random and more boring at the same time, you were wronger than the guy from the Breaking Bad cast who thought it would be hilarious to nazi solute at Bryan Cranston during his speech at the SAG awards. [Matthew says: DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED ACTUALLY WATCHING BREAKING BAD. DON’T, OKAY. SPOILERS. OKAY. I HAVE SOME WORDS TO SPEAK WITH ARIEL NOW.]
Kayla, Zoey’s BFF from the first chapter shows up along with Heath, Zoey’s not boyfriend from the first chapter. [Matthew says: He was her boyfriend. Okay, he wasn’t her boyfriend, but still.]
Zoey repeatedly tells us (and Heath) how she has no interest in him anymore. [Matthew says: Actually, yeah, same. I was genuinely surprised by these characters actually reappearing.] That is, until this happens.
And it was while she was giggling and he was hauling that I saw it—the unmistakable way Kayla grinned and giggled and blushed at Heath. I knew it as well as I knew I would never be a mathematician. Kayla liked Heath. Okay, not liked. She liked Heath. Suddenly Heath’s guilty comment about messing around on me at the party I’d missed made perfect sense. […]
So my best friend was going after my boyfriend. Now that pissed me off, and for a second I wished it wasn’t such a nice warm night. I wished it was cold and Kayla would freeze her overdeveloped boobies right off.
Want more proof? Look no further than the camisole that Kayla is wearing. It’s flesh colored and shows off her boobs. I’m sorry, “boobies” is the correct terminology. [Matthew says: Multiple paragraphs are devoted to discussion of this camisole. You have no idea how painful reading this book is.]
So even though Zoey hasn’t expressed any interest in Heath anywhere in this book and has expressed more interest in Erik, this is somehow a plot point.
Just when Zoey thought she’d escaped the evil potheads, more characters turn out to be evil potheads. TWIST!
“Kayla you’ve been drinking and smoking?”
She shivered and blinked at me like a very slow rabbit. [What does that even mean? Do slow rabbits blink in a certain way?] “Just a couple. Beers, I mean. [Matthew says: SEE? Everyone is CONSTANTLY correcting themselves in this book, and over the most inane shit.] And, well, um, Heath had one little bitty joint and I was really, really scared to come here, so I just had a couple tiny hits off it.”
This is pretty much as close to symbolism as this book comes. Kayla smoked pot, thus signifying once and for all how awful she is. [Matthew says: Just in case the boobie camisole didn’t convince you, I guess.]
Heath argues that pot is better than smoking cigarettes.
“Heath,” I tried to sound patient. “They are not safer than cigarettes, and even if they are that’s not saying much. Cigarettes are disgusting and they kill you. And, seriously, the biggest losers at school smoke pot. Besides the fact that you really can not afford to kill any more brain cells.” I almost added “or sperms,” but I didn’t want to go there. Heath would definitely get the wrong idea if I made a reference to his man parts.
The heavy-handed life lessons aside, can we just discuss how “sperms” is written here. I am seriously baffled as to why that’s in there. Did the Casts think Zoey was that stupid? Are they that stupid? [Matthew says: As long as we’re correcting the science in this book, did you know that smoking pot causes tar to build up in the lungs faster than tobacco does? So, yeah, too bad you missed your chance to prove these pot-smoking loserfaces wrong with SCIENCE, Zoey. Guess you have to stick to just telling people you’re better than them.]
Kayla gets defensive and points out that tons of cool people smoke, which leads to this bizarre digression where they gossip about a girl who recently had her clit pierced. [Matthew says: The Casts are apparently on all kinds of social crusades.] This marks (haha get it?) the end of Zoey and Kayla’s friendship, which I’m sure has traumatized you as much as it has me. [Matthew says: I completely forgot who Kayla was until this chapter.]
Kayla leaves, and Heath tries to put the moves on Zoey, which leads to her scratching him, sucking some of his blood, and putting him into a trance-like state. Kayla comes back and yells a lot, so Zoey tells them to leave and never come back.
“I’m not scared of you, Zo.”
“Heath, I’m scared of me enough for both of us.”
“But I don’t mind what you did. I love you, Zoey. More now than I ever have.” [The why here isn’t important. What’s important is that this is young adult fiction, (motherfucker), so we need multiple potential love interests!]
Heath swears he’ll return for Zoey before he leaves, unaware that this is young adult fiction, so the other love interest has to make an appearance in three…two…one.
After what seemed like a long time my sobs turned to hiccups and I wished I hadn’t run out of the rec hall without my purse. I could really use a Kleenex.
“Here. You look like you need this.”
Nala complained as I jumped in surprise at the voice, and blinked up through my tears to see someone handing me a tissue. “Th-thanks,” I said, taking it and wiping my nose.
“No problem,” Erik Night said.
I actually burst out laughing when I read this because the way they add Erik’s last name for dramatic emphasis is just precious. We’re not meeting this guy for the first or even second or third time! His first name would have had the same impact on teenage girls who actually enjoy this book. Ones I’m assuming have never been on a date and have a crush on their D.A.R.E officer*.
Oh, yeah, and the ghost thing is just completely dropped. [Matthew sort of clarifies: Zoey thinks about it, but decides not to tell Erik about it, officially making it one of the novel’s new MYSTERIES, like why Nyx gave Zoey a filled-in mark, or how this got published.]
*For those of you who have never experienced D.A.R.E, it means Drug Abuse Resistance Education. A police officer comes in to tell you how bad drugs are. I filled in workbooks and stuff; it was boring. Also, for some reason their mascot is a lion who doesn’t wear pants. It’s like, I’m supposed to take advice from a lion who is civilized enough to put on a shirt but no pants? Really?