Stevie Rae's Dead For Some Reason: Betrayed Chapter 23

Attention, Bad Books, Good Times fans who are mildly interested in the goings-on of the people who run this blog: Ariel just visited the States and we hung out in real life last weekend!

In case you wondered if we were still friends.
In case you wondered if we were still friends.

We even went to a nice rooftop bar in Brooklyn so we could take a fun picture for you guys with the Manhattan skyline in the background, but some goddamn bro refused to move for our picture. So we tried again later… only to have the skyline obscured by an incredibly tiny tree somehow.

berry park 2
I bet that tree never felt so important in its life.

This is why we’re not professionals.

Chapter 23

So! After Zoey’s successful first Dark Daughters ritual, Stevie Rae suddenly dropped dead for some reason. Pop quiz!

Zoey’s friends – who have now been reduced to “the two who aren’t even one character” and “the one who’s gay” – try to get Zoey out of shock by summoning Nyx, the vampyre goddess, by using their affinities for the elements.

Because now that there are elemental powers, every single chapter must contain the opening sequence to Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Because now that there are elemental powers in this book, every single chapter must contain the opening sequence to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It works, since the book is 100% making up the rules for what vampyres can do with their affinities for the elements as it goes.

Stevie Rae looked peaceful. She was too pale, and her lips were turning blue […] and part of my mind realized that it smelled wrong – stale, old, dead. Almost like mold.

Didn’t she just die? [Ariel says: What a great twist it would be if it turned out she’d been dead all along. It would make about as much sense as anything else going on around here.] 

Neferet tries to get the others to take Zoey back to her room, and they give her something to give her to drink to “help her sleep without nightmares”. I guess we can give Zoey a pass since she’s in shock over Stevie Rae dying, but Zoey doesn’t make a single comment on how suspicious it is that Neferet, who is a secretly evil supervillain and/or just sort of a jerk, gives her an unidentified thing to drink.

Although, actually, I don't think there are two words more antithetical to Zoey's character.
Although, actually, I don’t think there are two words more antithetical to Zoey’s character.

You may have noticed I haven’t pulled many quotes from this chapter, because even when it’s done by a crappy writer, it’s kind of hard to make fun of the writing in a chapter where someone gets killed off.

Ha, just kidding!

“I’m sorry Stevie Rae died. I didn’t want her to,” Aphrodite said.

This dialogue is about as stiff as Stevie Rae’s body.

Thank you for reading my internet jokes, internet.
Thank you for reading my internet jokes, internet.

[Ariel says: I love how Aphrodite’s words of comfort meet the bare minimum of kindness standards. It’s like a half-step away from saying, “Well, I didn’t not not want her to die, but I didn’t exactly want her to die, so, sorry, I guess.”] 

“Don’t say shit to us, you fucking hag!” Shaunee snarled. She and Erin stepped forward, looking like they wanted to beat the crap out of Aphrodite.

So Shaunee and Erin are behaving like they always do, then.

Zoey tells them to back off, and that she needs to talk to Aphrodite, where the dialogue becomes even more amazing:

“Did you know about what was going to happen to Stevie Rae?” I asked […] “Did you have a vision about her?”
Aphrodite shook her head slowly. “No. I just had a feeling.”

OH FUCK, FEELINGS?!?! I think Zoey has those!

“I get them, too,” I said softly.
“Feelings about things or people?”
I nodded.

What the fuck.

This is real dialogue in this book. Not only has House of Night surpassed overly dependent on “character just has a feeling about what to do instead of actual reasons”-shitty writing… not only has House of Night surpassed using a character just having a feeling about what to do as an actual recurring plot device… but House of Night has now hit the point where it has two actual characters exchange actual dialogue about how they “get” “feelings about things or people”, as though this were a particularly unusual human phenomenon.

BUT WHAT IF OTHER BOOKS WERE WRITTEN THIS WAY?

  • “I get them, too,” Harry said softly.
    “Letters in the mail?” Ron asked.
    Harry nodded.
  • “They’ve got you, too?” Winston said softly.
    “The social contract as an abstract form or a more tangible form such as government?” O’Brien asked.
    Winston nodded.
  • “I get them, too,” Christian said softly.
    “Orgasms?” Ana asked.
    Christian nodded. [Ariel says: I really thought you were going to write “erections” here for some reason.]

The irony is that having feelings about other people is rather unusual for Zoey.

Zoey mentions that looking back on it, there were signs that something was wrong with Stevie Rae – like when she kept coughing all the time and Zoey got mad at her and thought about how she looked like shit. Aphrodite tells Zoey not to drink what Neferet gave her, proving once again that Aphrodite is the only character in this book paying any attention to what’s going on in this book. [Ariel says: Which is even more significant because she’s barely even been in it. Has she just been watching from the shadows (or behind an ornamental hedge?)]

Zoey’s friends get her back to her room, and the Casts continue to try desperately to convey the loss of a character they were never able to give any dimension to whatsoever:

“No!” I gasped. “They’ve taken her stuff! They can’t do that!” Everything that was Stevie Rae was gone – from the cowboy boot lamp and the Kenny Chesney poster, to the gyrating Elvis clock.

I don’t even need to write a joke. The Casts are literally saying that all that Stevie Rae was was a cartoonish Southern caricature. [Ariel says: Wait, Stevie Rae was southern? Next you’ll be trying to tell me Damien is gay or something.] 

Maybe they can tastelessly work in a reminder into this scene that all that Damien is is a cartoonish gay caricature too:

“I’d stay, but it’s past curfew and I can’t be in the girls’ dorm,” Erik said. […]
“I want to stay, too, but, well, I’m not actually a girl,” Damien said

Maybe the Casts can even work in a reminder that all that they are are cartoonish caricatures of people who can use words to convey stories and emotions!

I got in the shower and stood there for a very long time, letting my tears mix with the water and the blood and wash down the drain.

Oh, phew. I was worried they wouldn’t be able to.

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