We’re back reading House of Night after a year of reading other books, and it’s throwing so much of its ridiculous shit at us, it’s like we’ve never left! Damien is gay! Zoey slut shames like a motherfucker! Damien is gay! And the end of the last chapter promised the return of one of the best parts yet: the high school teacher that’s been hitting on Zoey!
House of Night, Chosen: Chapter 6
The hottest teacher-vampyre in the world walks in on Zoey getting to second base with the hottest student-vampyre in the world, which is definitely a situation that needs to be described with fitting gravitas.
Oh. My. God. I wanted to die.
Just in case you thought I wasn’t being serious about all that “HOTTEST IN THE WOOOORLD” stuff, once again, there is fitting gravitas:
Loren Blake, Vampyre Poet Laureate and the Best-Looking Male in the Known Universe, was standing there with a smile on his classically handsome face.
As you might know, Zoey is dating Erik Night, has – er – bloodlust with Heath, and has been flirting with her teacher/poet laureate/vampyre poet laureate. However, throughout the last two books, none of these men actually knew anything about any of this, and they moved in fairly different narrative circles anyway. Naturally, since these two have no knowledge of this, much less have ever interacted, it’s about time for Erik and Loren to start having a pissing match over Zoey anyway.
“So how was Europe?” Calm and collected, Erik draped an arm nonchalantly around my shoulders.
Although, to be fair, maybe it’s not so much a continuity snafu as it is how men actually are.
Loren’s smile got wider and he looked from Erik to me. “Not as friendly as it is here.”
Erik, who seemed to be having fun, laughed softly. “Well, it’s not where you go, it’s who you know.”
Loren lifted one perfect brow. “Obviously.”
Even taking the general pettiness of masculinity into account (which could probably be this blog’s tagline by this point), the nonsense of this exchange immediately escalates when the Casts attempt to write dialogue:
“It’s Zoey’s birthday. We were just doing the birthday kiss thing,” Erik said. “You know Z and I are going out.”
House of Night just made the idea of kissing your significant other on their birthday somehow sound like the most alien thing ever with “doing the birthday kiss thing”.
Loren wishes Zoey a happy birthday and sulks off, and Zoey lets Erik have it for actually so chill about being caught in a fairly compromising position.
“You were kissing. I was sucking your blood.” I looked sideways at him. “Oh, and there’s that little your-hand-up-my-shirt detail. Better not forget that.”
He took the lavender plant from me and grabbed my hand. “I won’t forget that, Z.”
“It’s embarrassing. I can not believe Loren saw us.”
“It was just Blake, and he’s not even a full professor.”
I love the idea that somehow it’s less embarrassing because the person who walked in on them making out isn’t tenured.
Erik suddenly wins the award for being the first person in the House of Night series to point out that, hey, has anyone noticed that Zoey’s teacher is hitting on her and this is kinda fucked up? Three books to get here, people. Three books.
“I don’t like the way he looks at you. […] Like you’re not a student and he’s not a teacher.” He paused. “So you haven’t noticed?”
“Erik, I think you’re crazy.” I carefully didn’t answer the question. “Loren doesn’t look at me like anything. […] There’s no reason for you to be jealous. There’s nothing going on between me and him. Promise.”
Man, if there were ever a sentence that could make someone suspicious, it might be saying “nothing is going on between me and him” in response to “huh, did you notice that way he looks at you?”
Zoey narrates about how stressful her situation is between Imprinted Heath and how “the last thing I needed was a secret affair with someone who was even more off limits”, and then points out that “Sadly, it seemed like the last thing I need is usually the first thing I get”, which my Kindle helpfully informed me is a commonly underlined passage among readers of these books, which makes me super nervous about what’s going on in the life of the average House of Night fan.
His masculine insecurities assuaged, they move on to discussing other matters. Like how Zoey needs a replacement for Stevie Rae in the Dark Daughters, because she represented earth in their rituals. Thankfully, Erik is willing to take her place, which Zoey agrees to, thus ensuring that none of the other students presumably at this school ever get involved in anything going on at it. This prompts Zoey and Erik to make out again, which prompts one of the few times I’ll ever agree with the Twins:
“Twin, I may vomit. How about you?” Shaunee said.
“Definitely. As in projectile,” Erin said.
I mean, I agree with the sentiment, which is buried beneath layers of how nobody in real life talks.
Having been suddenly joined by Shaunee, Erin, Damien, and Jack, the book takes the opportunity to totally naturally pair up the main characters who are currently lacking significant others.
“you wouldn’t be interested in what Cole and T. J. wanted me to pass along to you?”
“Cole Clifton?” Shaunee said.
“T.J. Hawkins?” Erin said.
“Yep and yep,” Erik said.
I watched the twinly cynical Shaunee and Erin instantly change their negative attitudes.
Do Cole and T.J. also operate as a unit, like Shaunee and Erin? And both have to get Erik to ask out a girl for them? I know I wasn’t especially social adept in high school, but, Jesus, even I think this is super weird.
After another round of nobody-actually-talks-like-this (“Does this mean you two are actually interested in some lovey-dovey stuff?”), we get some details about this absurdly convenient group date everyone’s about to go on, that will somehow appease everyone in this scenario.
“What are we gonna see?” Jack asked.
Erik paused for dramatic effect, then said, “300 is rerunning as a special holiday IMAX event.”
It was Jack’s turn to fan himself.
It does not get more believable from this point.
“You know, 300 may be the perfect movie. It has something in it for everyone,” I said. “Man titties for those of us who like that. And girl boobies for those of us who like that. Plus a very large dose of heroic guy action, and who doesn’t like that?”
I’m terribly sorry to have to do this, but I think it’s really important we break down just how stupid Zoey’s explanation of 300 is. I know we don’t want to spend any more time thinking about it, but I think we just really have to process this one.
- “300 may be the perfect movie” – no
- “Man titties for those of us who like that. And girl boobies for those of us who like that.” -this is the first qualification for why this is a perfect movie? Following this logic, these kids should just all go to someone’s dorm and watch some porn. For their group date.
- “Man titties” – also, “man titties”
- “And girl boobies for those of us who like that” – I get that this book is trying to be cute and observe how, hey, it’s a great movie because it objectifies both sexes! Tee hee! But this is still a seriously depressing notion that the only way anyone could be interested in going on this date is if they can set up some good, old fashioned male gaze for their men.
- “Plus a very large dose of heroic guy action, and who doesn’t like that?” – I mean, props for House of Night for not gendering action movies as a “guy thing’, but I don’t think holding up action movies as the universal genre EVERYONE LIKES is a much better statement
- “a very large dose of heroic guy action” – furthermore, this is also every movie
- Not an excerpt from this quote, but I just read this quote to my roommate and her response was, “I just… I don’t know… How are you still reading this book?”
After they all agree to go on this date, they start… talking about how expensive Zoey’s birthday presents are?
“Yeah, you’ll be wearing those totally hot boots we spent $ 295.52 on?” Erin added. […]
“The cashmere scarf wasn’t exactly cheap, either,” Damien said haughtily. “Did I mention it’s cashmere?”
Again, why are these characters so loaded? I know, I know, they just happen to come from wealthy families, but seriously. Actually why are all of them loaded? Why are all the main characters teenagers from financially privileged backgrounds who won’t think twice about dropping a few hundred bucks on a friend’s birthday and then harping on how much money they spent? Why is this book suddenly so classist now on top of being homophobic, racist, and sexist? Maybe it’s playing bingo?