Insert useless recap about what happened during the last chapter. Hint: Loren and Zoey flirted and Zoey was good at things.
I know most of us have really been longing to read some more of Zoey’s hypocritical speeches because it’s like a day without sunshine when they’re not around.
“Each of you who believes you can uphold the ideals of the Dark Daughters and Sons, and will try your best to be authentic, faithful, wise, empathetic, and sincere—you may continue your membership in this group. But I want you to know that there will be new fledglings joining us, and they won’t be judged on the way they look or who their best friends are. Make your decision, and see me or any of the other Prefects and let us know if you want to stay with the group.”
Oh, barf. Where’s Aphrodite when you need her to come knock Zoey down a few million pegs? Granted, there was that one time when Aphrodite confessed that Zoey was better suited to lead the dark daughters, but she was under extreme duress when she said that. Remember her shitty parents? I sure barely do!
[Matthew says: But wait, Ariel! You missed the best, most hypocritical part of Zoey’s speech:
I caught the eyes of some of Aphrodite’s old buddies and added, “We won’t hold the past against you.”
The current ratio of Zoey referring to Aphrodite as a slut to the number of blow jobs she’s given is roughly 919836452 to 1. And she didn’t even give that one blow job. So I guess Zoey really doesn’t hold the past against people! It is completely irrelevant to how thoroughly she’ll judge you anyway!]
Mercifully, the ritual only lasts a few paragraphs as opposed to the usual few pages – an entire chapter.
As I’m sure you all vividly remember, Zoey and her friends want the new Prefects to leave their handprints in cement because They’re Important & Spechul Fucking Fledglings. How could you possibly forget something as interesting as cement handprints? [Matthew says: Oh man, I totally forgot about when this happened when I was six years old!]
Stevie Rae just wants to get it over with, and the gang can’t understand why she would ever want to get something like this over with quickly. I mean, can you think of anything more fun that listening to Shaunee and Erin call each other twin three times in the span of three very short lines of dialogue while sticking your hands in cement? I can’t. [Matthew says: Oh my God, they’re literally stuck in cement having to listen to the Twins. This is the most horrifying thing that’s happened in House of Night so far, and we’re about to have our fifth dead teenager.]
Zoey suddenly hears some “weird sounds.”
When I realized what the weird sounds were I felt my heart clench.
Stevie Rae was coughing.
Since when is coughing a “weird sound”? Maybe if coughing had been replaced with “excessively farting” or “playing her iPod just loudly enough that you could hear it, but not loudly enough that you could immediately identify what was making that sound” I could get behind this description. [Matthew says: But before Detective Zoey and co figure out what’s going on, they come up with a very logical explanation for everything:
“Clearly she’s having PMS issues,” Shaunee said.
Wait, I just noticed I wrote “logical” when I actually meant to write “THE ONLY THING THAT CAN EVER HAPPEN TO A WOMAN”.]
Zoey tells someone to go get Neferet fast because there’s no way anyone could have a coughing fit in this book without it meaning they’re about to die.
She is right, though, because moments later Stevie Rae starts to bleed everywhere, and Zoey runs over to comfort her (only after Damien tells her to, mind you).
As far as this book goes, it’s actually a pretty nice scene when Zoey holds Stevie Rae and tells her she’s not going to leave her. I think some of its niceness might be attributed to the fact that Stevie Rae is unable to speak, Zoey doesn’t have any actual dialogue, and the twins are too stunned to say anything. [Matthew says: I feel the same way, Twin! There. In case the Casts ever read this, they can now see how fucking annoying that is.]
Damien, and not Zoey again, has the idea to call the upon the Earth element in order to comfort Stevie Rae, and it makes her pain disappear.
Everything in this part of the story is going really well until Stevie Rae goes and starts talking again.
“You don’t really have a mamma or a daddy, so would you tell my mamma that you’re their daughter now? I think I’d worry about them less if I know y’all have each other.”
I get that this is probably supposed to be one of the most emotionally resonating parts of Stevie Rae’s death(?), but unlike all the other things that have been said or done during this event (and that’s including the normal and non-annoying speech Zoey gives when she calls upon Earth to comfort Stevie Rae), it’s incredibly jarring. I don’t recall Zoey even speaking to Stevie Rae’s parents before, so I can’t imagine the conversation going over too well:
Zoey: I’m so sorry your daughter is dead (she was my best friend like Gus and Shawn were from Psych which is a show we sometimes watch on one of the hundred televisions in our common room), but she loved you, and I’m your daughter now. I’m realllly special, so you’re actually pretty lucky.
Mr and Mrs Stevie Rae’s Parents: What? Who even are you? More importantly, even if we did know you, how in the name of holy fuck would that make us feel any better? Our daughter is dead.
Zoey: …Have I mentioned I have an affinity for all FIVE elements? Stevie Rae only had one.
Stevie Rae tells Zoey her mom is totally going to make her chocolate chip cookies (doubtful) and that the rest of the gang should stay by Zoey’s side no matter what, and then she dies. Somehow I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of her. And by somehow I mean because people have pretty explicitly stated this in the comments. [Matthew says: Dammit, guys! You spoiled House of Night for us! You guys spoiled it! That was the only contributing factor!]