Previously, Zoey drank some of Heath’s blood, rubbed his erection over his pants and then returned to school to make a bomb threat. Man, vampyre high school is so cray. We’re really not doing our part to make sure the vampyre youths are leading healthy, happy existences. Before writing this post, Matt informed me I had an extra dumb chapter ahead of me. Given what he’s comparing this chapter to, I believe I have reason to be alarmed, very alarmed.
We open with the gang watching an episode of Dr. Phil. I can only assume in this world, Dr. Phil addresses serious issues about vampyre parenting. Perhaps in this Very Special Episode he’ll be addressing what to do when your vampyre child calls in a fake bomb threat. Speaking of which, Fox News has the scoop:
“This is Chera Kimiko with breaking news. We have learned that shortly after two thirty this afternoon the Oklahoma branch of the FBI received a bomb threat from a terrorist group calling themselves Nature’s Jihad. Fox News has discovered that the group claimed to have planted a bomb on the I-40 Arkansas River bridge not far from Webber’s Falls. Let’s go live to Hannah Downs for an update.”
Seriously, is Fox News sponsoring this book? It would explain its poor quality and heavy-handed, hypocritical sense of morality. Actually, that would make freaking everything make sense about this book. It even explains why no one in the news report laughed hysterically when the words “Nature’s Jihad” came up. Seriously, “Nature’s Jihad” is exactly the sort of thing Fox News would come up with themselves.
Aphrodite shows up to tell Zoey that the bomb threat was a good idea. What has this book done to you, Aphrodite?
“What do you want?” Stevie Rae’s voice was uncharacteristically sharp, and I noticed that several girls who had been busy in their own little TV-watching groups up until then stopped what they were doing to look our way. By Aphrodite’s instant change in expression, she noticed it, too.
“From an ex-refrigerator? Nothing!” she sneered.
I felt Stevie Rae stiffen beside me at the slur. I knew she hated the reminder that she had allowed Aphrodite and her inner group of Dark Daughters to use her blood in the ritual that had gone so totally wrong last month. Being used as a “refrigerator” was not a good thing—and being called one was an insult.
I’m really sorry to encroach on your space, Matt, but this would seriously be like if in Harry Potter this happened:
“No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood!” Draco said.
Being called a “Mudblood” was not a good thing — and being called one was an insult as those with magic powers who come from families where both parents are wizards look down upon those who come from TWO muggle parents.
Like who out there would read this scene and be like, “Huh, it sure sounds like Aphrodite is insulting Stevie Rae, but I just can’t know for certain unless Zoey comes out and tells me.”
“Hey, hag bitch from hell,” Shaunee said in a sweet, friendly tone.
Shaunee’s tone was actually not conveying sweet or friendly words as hag bitch from hell is not a desirable thing to be called.
The twins and Aphrodite fight a bit until Zoey steps in and stops it. She tells everyone they’re all on the same side [Matthew says: Are they?], and Aphrodite storms off. But on the way out she winks at Zoey, which sends her into a tailspin of confusion [Matthew says: So, wait, are they??? Zoey is the only person who thinks they’re on the same side – why is she confused?]. I’m just surprised she didn’t interpret it as Aphrodite hitting on her as that seems to be where every interaction between Zoey and other characters is headed these days.
[Matthew says: But first, Hitler!
“Aphrodite has issues,” I said, and the three of them looked at me like I’d just said Hitler really hadn’t been that bad.
Yes. This teenage girl is probably exactly like Hitler. What an apt comparison, Casts! But why do the not-Zoeys think Zoey is basically Hitler?
“Sorry, Zoey, but that’s bullshit,” Shaunee said. “She’s way too old to be acting a fool because she has a screwed-up mommy.”
Yes, it is a well-known fact that once you’re an upperclassman in high school, suddenly every issue you experienced during your formative years is null and void! Suck it up, Aphro-Hitler!]
Because the bomb threat plot seems to have wrapped up and Aphrodite’s left the room, it’s time to go prepare for another fucking ritual and talking about clothes along the way.
“Oooh, Twin, maybe they’ll go on sale. Those jeans are just too damn cute to give up on.”
“So why don’t you just take your favorite pair of jeans and see if you can reproduce the pattern yourself? I can’t be that hard, you know,” Damien said logically (and very gayly).
SO IS HE OR IS HE NOT GAY??? Why must this book torture us so! [Matthew says: Also importantly is that, yes, “I can’t be that hard” is an actual typo in the book. Wow, Damien. You’re very gay, but you’re also not very hard during a discussion about clothes? I can’t tell if he’s gay or not! Casts, you need to give us more stereotypes and/or hilariously sexual typos!]
It starts snowing and a weird amount of time is spent discussing this until Neferet shows up to let Zoey know she’ll be stopping by the ritual and to introduce a new student. This leads to the greatest passage ever.
He was cute, in a studious kind of a way, with tousled sandy blond hair and really pretty blue eyes. Clearly he was one of those geeky kids who is a dork, but a likable dork with potential (translation: he bathes and brushes his teeth, plus has good skin and hair and doesn’t dress like a total loser).
So he’s obviously not good enough to be one of Zoey’s love interests, but definitely for Stevie Rae! Oh yeah, and remember, Zoey is supposed to be super nice and nonjudgmental! [Matthew says: Or, in her own words, wise for water and empathetic for earth! Immediately labeling a kid a geek and a dork on sight is so empathetic!]
“I’d like all of you to meet Jack Twist. Jack, this is my fledgling, Zoey Redbird, leader of the Dark Daughters, and her friends and Prefect Council members, Erin Bates, Shawnee Cole, Stevie Rae Johnson, and Damien Maslin. ”
I am genuinely shocked Neferet didn’t add, “and Damien Maslin. Who is gay.”
Neferet gestured to each of them in turn, and there were “hi”s said all around. The new kid looked a little nervous and pale, but other than that he had a nice smile and didn’t seem socially inept or anything like that. I was just wondering why Neferet had looked for me to introduce the kid to when she went on to explain.
“Jack is a poet and a writer, and Loren Blake is going to be his mentor, but Loren won’t be back from his trip east until tomorrow. Jack is also going to be Erik Night’s roommate. As you are all aware, Erik is away from school until tomorrow, too. So I thought it would be nice if the five of you would show Jack around and be sure he feels welcome and gets settled in today.”
AHAHAHAH I can’t even tell you how hard I laughed when I read this.
He’s Loren’s mentor AND Erik’s roommate? What are the odds! Honestly, though, as stupid of a “coincidence” this is. It just seems like the book’s way of reminding us that Loren and Erik exist because who the fuck cares that Jack is connected to both of them unless he’s going to pass their secrets along to one another and one of those secrets is that they both totes luv Zoey.
In fact, Zoey doesn’t even react to the news that Jack is working with Loren and living with Erik. She just starts thinking about how Neferet > her own mom. So okay. I find it really odd that the one time it would make sense for Zoey to whine about her Loren/Erik dilemmas she doesn’t react at all.
Apparently, when I said Jack was going to be Stevie Rae’s love interest, I was a bit off:
Shaunee and Erin shared a long-suffering look, then Erin explained. “Jack Twist is yummy Jake Gyllenhaal’s totally gay cowboy character from Brokeback Mountain.”
“And just please! Anyone who chooses that name and who looks all geeky cute like that is totally, completely playing for Damien’s team.”
What a twist! A Jack Twist (feel free to throw tomatoes). [Matthew says: Honestly, Ariel, can you not identify gay people on sight? SOMEONE isn’t being very wise for water.] I think it’s really fucking weird they assume Jack picked his name and not his parents. If I met someone named Peter Parker in real life, I wouldn’t be like, “You guys, clearly this guy secretly has spider powers. Who else would choose to be named this unless they had those kind of super powers!” [Matthew says: This is also the second time the Casts 100% stole a gay characters’ name from a gay character in another film. There are literally two gay characters in this book, both named after gay characters in well-known films. Suddenly it makes so much sense why the Casts have such stereotyped depictions of gay characters. They only saw them in two movies. I can’t wait to meet the novel’s third gay character, Will Andgrace!]
Anyway, good for Damien and all, but 1) gay + gay does not a romance make. [Matthew says: Ariel, this is young adult fiction. That’s all it takes.] 2) I really don’t want to see how the Casts handle a gay relationship. They write about characters who watch Dr. Phil and Fox News, it just can’t end well.