Meow-rijuana: Marked Chapter 17

Cat I hate everything

Chapter 17

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?

[Matthew says: Has anyone in this family ever even seen a cat?]
[Matthew says: Has anyone in this family ever even seen a cat?]
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.

Cat I hate everything

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.

Uh, why?

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.]

Unlike when I used this GIF for Kara, I was hoping we'd seen the last of these guys.
Unlike when I used this GIF for Kara, I was hoping we’d seen the last of these guys.

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?

dare lion

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22 comments

  1. scummy48 Reply

    The cast family should have watched the “kittens inspired by kittens” video before attempting cat dialog. I also realized I keep getting Kayla and Kara confused. I’m also confused about how Kayla and Heath were just allowed into the vampire school or why they came or why anything that happens in these books happened. Except for PC casts life lessons, I totally believe that’s her way of making sure her daughter doesn’t doesn’t do shit like smoke or give blowjobs or hang out with people who show off their boobies or drink blood and all that crazy teenage shenanigans.

    I also love the DARE reference. my DARE officer had an affair with my principle, so I’d say it was a successful program all around

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      I love that video! They really should have done their research beforehand.

      Heath and Kayle snuck into the vampyre school somehow. The security there must be terrible, or they were perceived as such a non-threat that vamp-security was like, “Lol, let’s let this thing play out.” But how DARE (hehe) you confuse Kayla and my hero Kara! Speaking of DARE, sounds like the situation at your school was a win for everyone.

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  2. Manny Reply

    ” Kayla liked Heath. Okay, not liked. She liked Heath”.
    Maybe it’s me but… what does this sentence mean?
    Could it be “Kayla loved Heath. Okay, not loved. She liked Heath”?
    Because if it’s not, then anyone should have the right to see their books published, even though they don’t deserve it.

    Also, there are already vampires without fangs: Twilight teaches that their teeth were full of venom which was injected into their victims when they bit them. So maybe also these vamps could work like this…?

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    • Shannon Reply

      I took it to be a poorly worded version of “Kayla liked Heath. Okay, not liked. She LIKE liked Heath”. I kind of can remember having used some words like this in the past, like when I was in the 4th grade:

      Obnoxious BFF 1: “I like Ben.”
      Obnoxious BFF 2: “but do you ‘like him, like him’? or do you just ‘like him’?”
      Obnoxious BFF 1: “I like him like him.” (stars and hearts floating out of eye sockets)

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      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        Yup, Shannon’s right. The Casts could have avoided confusion by adding in that extra word. God, they can’t even get their legitimate teen-speak right!

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  3. Vivienne Reply

    …boobies…sperms…pot is evil…clit piercing is evil…cussing is evil…camisoles are apparently evil…Well, I’m fucked. I bet they think real tattoos are evil. This is opposed to the weird “marks” they get on their heads. Look, I don’t smoke pot (or cigs) and I think it’s not the best decision to do so, but to each his own. This weird lecturing they keep doing is completely distracting from what little story line they might actually have. And don’t get me started on the cat talk…that was just insulting. My cats who aren’t even here are insulted that something like that exists.

    Side note: referencing the DARE program made me love you even more. Even though you STILL haven’t made that mug I want. 🙂

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Don’t you worry, Matt and I had a Very Serious FB Chat Blog Meeting last night in which designs were discussed. A reader poll will be up either tomorrow or early next week to decide on the design for the mug! Because we love you and the idea!

      I’m so glad that people are actually getting the DARE reference, and I hope I explained it adequately enough for people who have no idea what it is. My boyfriend’s from the UK, and he was like, “Wait, tell me everything about this program that made you fill out workbooks about not doing drugs.” And it finally hit me that Zoey acts like someone who has just been brainwashed by those programs and thinks that anyone who so much as glances at pot or a cig is pure evil.

      And I agree, the lectures are SO distracting from the almost nonexistent plot. It’s hard enough to find traces of it without a public service announcement coming along every five minutes.

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    • Shannon Reply

      Crap! I own far more camisoles than I do cardigans. I guess that puts me decidedly on the “evil” side of the Evil Potential Scale (EPS). Abby must be on the angelic side. Oh well, at least I can do math…

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      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        Don’t worry as they’re not flesh colored, it seems like you’re safe. Abby would be on the angelic side if she was still wearing cardigans all the time. Something tells me Zoey wouldn’t approve of most of Abby’s clothing related choices these days.

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  4. future venusian Reply

    Ah, yes, DARE…you know, this book sounds kind of like it was written by someone who just went through that program and got all fired up about it and wrote this book trying to put the “no drugs” message in a cool, easy to read format.

    So now we have “poopie” and “sperms”. If I were a teenager I would be kind of offended that the Casts apparently think teens are so stupid that they not only talk down to them with this kindergarten language, but also stick in the most obvious public service announcements possible. I suppose next the ever self righteous Zoey will witness bullying and be all “Oh my God so not kewl!” and save the day with her amazing super vampire powers.

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      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        Holy fuck balls. That’s exactly what this is!

        Ha, Zoey will probably swoop in to save whoever is being bullied, only to find it’s Elliot and then join in with the bullies. As long as Zoey deems the person to be a loser, they must be.

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  5. Dana Reply

    What is this? Reefer Madness? This book is about just as effective as the DARE program at persuading the young’ns to not do drugs (meaning, not very).

    And as a rabbit owner, I thought I could shed some light on whether or not rabbits somehow blink differently from humans. I ended up staring at my rabbit for five minutes or so waiting to see him blink. Turns out they do it VERY infrequently. So… the more you know… yay…

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Dana, you are officially Field Researcher of the Blog! At least that solves one of the questions I have about this book.

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  6. Dana Reply

    Oh, and I have recently discovered a book that I think would be perfect for this blog. It’s called Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck. Here’s a brief excerpt from the first chapter:

    “‘A tiger, huh? Sounds interesting! Are there elephants, too? Because I have to draw the line at scooping up elephant droppings.’ I giggled quietly at my own joke, but the woman didn’t so much as crack a smile.”

    Introducing the main character…

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      I love it – if you’re on the Good Reads group, add it to the what should we read bookshelf, if not I’ll try to remember to do it ASAP!

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  7. Kehdece Reply

    I read all of your guys posts, but don’t often comment unless I’m particularly frustrated with something in these books…
    So here we go
    And maybe I’m nitpicking, but it anybody else frustrated by the use of the word “clearly” in this quote:

    ““Me-uf,” she said, sneezed, and inched her way along the branch, clearly trying to get closer to me.”

    I hate when the word “clearly” is used by the narrator. Nothing should have to be stated as “clearly” happening, all it does is reinforce that you can’t convey to your audience that something is happening for a particular reason, so you have to explain it to them.
    Maybe this is where the whole “show don’t tell” rule comes into place, I’m not sure..

    You know, I’ve always wanted to do a “what if other books were written this way” lemme give it a shot with LotR:

    “You’d better be hidden, Mr.Frodo,” said Sam anxiously. “You get down in the wagon and cover up with blankets and we’ll send this rider to the rightabouts!” Clearly Sam was concerned with Frodo’s wellbeing and wanted to protect him.

    ..

    Tom put the Ring round the end of his little finger […]. Then [the hobbits] gasped. There was no sign of Tom disappearing! Clearly he was immune to the powers of the Ring, as a testament to him being such a badass.

    Sorry I wrote so much about one misplaced word…
    It just really got to me haha

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Dude, nitpick away! I can’t help but do it all the time on here. The “sperms” thing did it for me. If I hadn’t reigned it in, it could have gone on a lot longer. Just made me so frustrated!

      Also couldn’t agree more. Clearly is such a tricky word in fiction! Everyone should play the “what if other books were written this way game” it is the best, and you nailed exactly when clearly clearly should not be in play (hee). I’m gonna play a round, but I’m going to use an example of when it works using our favorite Beautiful Disaster!

      “Travis was clearly trying to talk to me about his feelings, but I’m going to tell him I have to take plot puppy for a walk instead.”

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