An Older Man Creeps on Zoey, But The Casts Don’t See It This Way: Betrayed Chapter 3

We started this book last week (and yet we already hate it so much!), but I completely forgot to share this gem from the acknowledgements with you guys!

I would like to send thanks out to my high school students who 1) beg to be put in these books and then killed off [Ariel says: WUT?], 2) provide constant comedic fodder for me, 3) and will actually leave me alone sometimes so I can write. NOW GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Oh, and expect a quiz.

P.C. CAST IS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER. THE POOR YOUTH OF AMERICA. [Ariel says: I bet she infuses not-so-subtle anti-blowjob rhetoric into every class she teaches.] I hope to god she’s not a literature teacher. I would never do the homework for that class. Can we also take a moment to appreciate that her students request to be killed off in her books? I’m pretty sure she’s interpreting this more enthusiastically than she should. Let’s just think about that for a moment. That is a request to be put in her literature, so they can then die and not be in it. I think these kids know more than they’re letting on.

Chapter 3

Zoey tells Stevie Rae the shocking news that the terrible Aphrodite who is mean to everyone has terrible parents who are mean to her.

You have no idea how funny I think this is.
You have no idea how funny I think this is.

Stevie Rae reminds Zoey that doesn’t change that Aphrodite is a jerk. Zoey tells Stevie Rae that’s true, but at least they understand why. [Ariel says: The sad thing is the Casts probably think that they’ve gone and written a complex villain now that we can blame Aphrodite’s parents for her behavior.] Zoey narrates that they’re walking to class. Zoey corrects her own narration a sentence later and says they’re running to class. Zoey tells us she had two bowls of Count Chocula that morning. No, seriously, is P.C. Cast a literature teacher? I need to know this now. [Ariel says: I need to know if I can take a class with her so that I can request being put in this book only to be killed off a mere sentence later. I want to take one look at Zoey and then stab myself in the face and then not even come back as a zombie ghost vampyre.] [Matthew adds: That’d be totally doable because the Casts barely remember that’s even a subplot.]

In class, Zoey muses on how awesome Neferet is, because at least the Casts understand that they need to make that pending plot twist seem surprising. At the moment, this takes the form of Zoey admiring how beautiful Neferet is. Zoey continues to show us how not homophobic she is.

Okay, I know it’s bordering on weird (or maybe queer is the better word choice) to continually notice how gorgeous a woman is when you’re a woman too

Technically the Casts did use the word “queer” correctly, but I feel like it was on accident.

Zoey tells us about Neferet’s lecture on the Gorgon (why?) and it’s boring as fuck (an actual line of narration is “stones do come from the earth”, I shit you not – this book is taking the time to tell us about rocks). Zoey then asks Neferet if she can leave class early (thank god, I thought we were going to have to learn that sunlight comes from the sun next) to research some ideas she has for the new Dark Daughters.

“Do I need a pass?”
She smiled. “I am your mentor and I have given you permission, what more could you need?”

Maybe a pass? That’s probably why someone would ask if they need one.

retta

Zoey goes to the library, has a conversation with the receptionist about cats for some reason, and then does research on the internet.

Because that is how the kids do.
Because that is how the kids do.

Zoey researches student leadership groups at other old and prestigious schools to model the new Dark Daughters off of (there, I just saved you like five pages of reading). She takes notes in a notebook, which prompts someone to walk up to her and ask if she’s writing poetry, because that person likes to write poetry on paper as opposed to typing it, so therefore that’s a good reason to walk up to people and ask if that’s what they’re doing. Speaking of things that would be ridiculous if everyone behaved that way:

“I’m Loren Blake, Vampyre Poet Laureate.”

[Ariel says: All I currently can contribute at this time is LOL.] What’s going on here? Are there both vampyre and human poet laureates and he’s clarifying he’s the vampyre one? [Ariel says: He was introduced (in the same way) in the last book, and it was just as hilarious then that they had to specify this.] Is he just tacking on his race to his otherwise unrelated title? Could you imagine if everyone talked like that?

  • “I’m Tom Brady, vampyre quarterback.”
  • “I’m Barry Bonds, vampyre all-time home run record holder.”
  • “I’m Barack Obama, Black President of the United States of America.”
  • “I’m Steven Tyler, Vampyre Lead Singer of Vampyre Aerosmith.”

[Ariel says: Matt, can you honestly tell me you’d be surprised if other vampyres said shit like this? Like fucking obviously James Franco is like, “I’m James Franco. Vampyre actor.” It’s not even a debatable thing.] [Matthew adds: That’s just because your example was James Franco.]

Loren Blake says that he’s heard about how special Zoey is (join the fucking club). Zoey gushes over how attractive he is.

Just another teacher. That’s all. Yeah, right. Just another teacher who looked like every woman’s dream of The Perfect Man.

[Ariel says: Just a chapter ago Erik Night was the hottest vampyre. Make up your mind, Zoey.] Because every single person is attracted to the exact same social constructed notions of beauty given by a gender binary! Hahaha this is why I’m pretty sure the Casts only accidentally used “queer” correctly-ish.

You might remember that Erik Night – the first book’s love interest – is conveniently missing from book #2 thus far, and during this scene we figure out why: so the Casts can have another guy inexplicably go gaga over Zoey – because Zoey is so desirable and special – without actually writing off Erik Night and Zoey’s romantic tension. Because that would take effort and it’d be messy, and it’s way more important we just remind the reader that Zoey is the best and what man wouldn’t want her?

I’m sixteen. Okay, almost seventeen

monica don't wanna get with thisLoren asks Zoey about her plans for improving the Dark Daughters.

“I thought that each of us would have to swear to uphold five ideals representing the five elements. […] The Dark Daughters and Sons should swear to be authentic for air, faithful for fire, wise for water, empathetic for earth, and sincere for spirit.”

Wait, this required research? You didn’t just pull five random adjectives out of your ass? “Authentic” and “Sincere” are the same thing! Of course, Zoey is super special, so Loren is really into this plan. Really into this plan.

He didn’t say anything for a moment. Then, slowly, he reached out and traced one finger over the fluid line of my tattoo. […] “Beautiful and intelligent and innocent,” he whispered.

HOLY SHIT, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? [Ariel says: I feel dirty reading that line. THAT IS GROSS.] This is a school teacher touching an underage students face while telling her she is beautiful and innocent. People get fucking fired for that shit and can never teach again, and that’s a best case scenario where they don’t go to jail, vampyre teacher or not! Aphrodite happens to show up that moment and witnesses the scene. Of course, Zoey doesn’t recognize this as sexual harassment. Not in this chapter or when reflecting on it in the next few chapters. At no point does the novel seem to acknowledge that this is very, very wrong, which is extra unsettling, given how we now know that P.C. Cast is a high school teacher.

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25 comments

  1. E.H.Taylor Reply

    I’m sorry Matthew:
    “P.C. Cast is a bestselling author and teaches English and Creative Writing in Broken Arrow.”

    If it helps, apparently she’s retired now? On second thought, that means enough people have bought these books that she was able to retire… Now that’s a depressing thought.

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      In a way, everyone who has purchased her books has actually done a service, removing this person from the education system.

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    • mbates901 Reply

      that is the most depressing thought I’ve read almost…the other ones are always sales figures and the cost of movie rights for 50 Shades.

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        Another depressing thought (just in case you weren’t sad enough reading this comment thread): Bared to You is coming to the small screen.

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    • Ashley Reply

      I know I’m a year late to this conversation, but wasn’t Broken Arrow the name of the regular school Zoey went to? Did Case seriously set the story in the very school she used to teach at?

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  2. mbates901 Reply

    I thought I was the only person on Earth reading that going “Um???” I have worked with teens as a teacher before and that would get you fired and sued so fast that it makes my head spin and, yeah, it kind of makes you wonder what Mrs. Cast does with her students. I guess since he’s only the visiting professor for a year and only like 22 or 23 they feel it’s okay somehow. I really don’t know. It’s still a person in authority and a teacher currently who is an adult and a sixteen year old child.

    Of course, I also know where all this is going so I can also sort of understand why they write this…except if there’s any moral here by book’s end they really FUBAR’ed that too. Mostly I remember when I finished this book that they never really made it explicit that student-teacher relationships and statuatory overtures are wrong even if the teacher is zomg totes the sexy!

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    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I’m only two chapters ahead of where we actually are on the blog and I’m already sick of reading this creepy-ass story

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    • Madeline Reply

      An extra level of creepiness is that Zoey is based on Kristin Cast, so in this book’s logic: PC Cast, a teacher, is okay with a young, hot teacher sexually harassing her daughter. It would be just as fucked up if it was based on another high schooler but REALLY!?!?

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        I feel like when it comes to vampyre/vampire stories, writers suddenly find scenes like this completely acceptable. As long as the person in the body looks a certain age, their actual age matters not! If it’s writing I enjoy (Buffy or even The Vampire Diaries), I feel like they can pull it off and even address the issue head on. But in this case we have the whole added element of this guy being a professor or something. The freaking Vampyre Poet Laureate. It just comes off as way creepy, and there is no acknowledgement of how creepy it is!

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  3. Erica Robison Reply

    I think P.C. Cast figured a high school in Oklahoma just wasn’t big enough, and she needed to destroy the English language on a larger scale.

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  4. AJ Reply

    After reading your post, I feel oddly disappointed that I didn’t continue reading this trainwreck of a novel series myself. It’s so horrendous, it’s simply mind-blowing.

    I wonder if the Casts were inspired at any time by My Immortal. Sometimes while reading your posts on the House of Night, I have to stop briefly and remind myself that this is officially published original fiction and not some badfic forced through half-assed editing efforts for publishing.

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    • Judy Reply

      Ariel did a dramatic reading of My Immortal years ago at home for me and her brother. I laughed so hard I cried.

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        I now really want to re-read My Immortal, thanks you guys.

        The summer camp I worked at for the past few years was really strict about the kinds of things we had to confiscate from the campers. At one point I had to confiscate copies of My Immortal that they’d printed because there was some bad language it in. It hurt my heart to have to do that, so I just crossed out some of the bad language and gave it back to them hehe 0:-) .

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  5. Dana Reply

    Loren Blake, “Vampyre Poet Laureate,” is actually how I first heard about the series. I was told something about an annoying MC who SPOILER (… spoiler? Really?) lost her virginity to a teacher while dating two other guys at the time.

    Like, that makes me uncomfortable (especially since Mama Cast is a teacher), and this is coming from someone who often hangs out with her AP World teacher from last year (if you’re wondering why, he’s my older sister’s boyfriend. Yes, I know it’s weird).

    Also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_in_the_House_of_Night_series#Adaptations

    Please let this be a terrible, terrible lie. I don’t think my heart can take it if it is true.

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      OMG WUT. But does she give him a blow job?? Is there any word on that?

      But also I am shocked by this as it seems very un-Cast. And omg EW this guy really?? But what about Erik Niiiiight.

      These next couple years are going to be really rough with the Fifty Shades movie and House of Night movies. But maybe this means more kindred spirits will find their way to BBGT for therapy.

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  6. Kristin Reply

    Let me gets this straight, in the minds of the Casts, blowjobs NOT okay, but sex between teacher & minor aged student IS okay?

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  7. scummy48 Reply

    Ugh that line with the teacher made me cringe. That was on the same level of cringe worthiness as some of the shit Gideon and Christian say

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      My mind is still reeling about the fact that Zoey is gonna lose her virginity to this guy. Seriously, where do the Casts draw the line? We need a new mug design. A no blow jobs allowed sign on one sign but then “Student-teacher sex welcome.”

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  8. Ali Reply

    yeah, the hypocrisy is astounding, and it gets worse (sort of….)…

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