Aphrodite, Antihero or Whatever: House of Night, Chosen Chapter 10

I was kinda proud of “Antihero or whatever” until it occurred to me that I could see Zoey actually describing Aphrodite like that. But it’s still better than my first post title: “Aphrodite and Zoey Talk About The Plot – Yes, This Is Our Third Straight Chapter of This”

House of Night: Chosen Chapter 10

While the last chapter was largely Zoey and Aphrodite catching up on what’s going on with Stevie Rae, this chapter is mostly about Zoey and Aphrodite coming up with a plan for what to do about Zoey. This is where we’re dividing our chapters now.

Zoey repeats something Aphrodite just said, to make sure the reader retains the information since that half of their conversation happened a whole chapter ago.

“Crap. Then [Stevie Rae] really can’t go out in the sunlight,” I said.
“You didn’t already know that?” Aphrodite said.

Zoey asks a really good question that the astute reader is probably wondering themselves right about now: why is Aphrodite helping her?

“Okay, you’re going to have to explain why you’re bothering to tell me all this stuff. What’s in it for you?”
Aphrodite widened her eyes in mock innocence and put on a ridiculous Southern Belle accent, “Why, what ever do you mean? I’m helping you because you and your friends have always been so sweet to me.”

Yo, she’s got a good point. Zoey’s friends are way meaner to Aphrodite than Aphrodite has been to them. The best part of House of Night is that it (thus far) has totally not picked up on this, so we get scenes like we did earlier in this book, where Aphrodite so much as walks in a room and starts getting called a “hag” and a “ho”, and then the book is like…

anchorman group jump

As it would turn out, the Casts are really curious what the answer to that question is too, because the answer is basically, “Because the story said so”:

“Let’s just say I have a lot to make up for.”
“To Stevie Rae?”
“To Nyx. […] I might not particularly give a shit about you or Stevie Rae or maybe anyone here at school, but I do care about Nyx.”

Things get really bad when even Zoey points out there’s sort of a huge plot hole here.

Her voice faltered. “I know what it’s like to believe the goddess has turned from me and I don’t ever want to feel like that again.”
I reached out and touched her arm. “But Nyx didn’t turn from you. Those were just lies Neferet told so that no one would believe your visions.”

Don’t worry. There isn’t another word of this chapter about how Zoey just explained that Aphrodite’s reasons for helping her are a logical fallacy, so the plot goes on with Aphrodite deciding to be a good guy for some reason.

avatar ember island players 1

Basically what just happened here.
Basically what just happened here.

We learn that Neferet can’t read Aphrodite’s mind either, although Zoey has to reveal it isn’t a huge comfort since Neferet knows that Zoey knows about what she’s doing with the undead vampyre students. Zoey fills Aphrodite in on Neferet trying to erase her memory, but failing when Zoey summoned the elements, and then threatened each other at the end of the last book. Unfortunately, she leaves out the part where she and Heath subdued the undead vampyres with the power of love, because I doubt Aphrodite would be able to take that part of the plot seriously either.

Zoey explains her theory that Stevie Rae’s earth affinity is what helped her hold onto more of her humanity than the other undead vampyres, and thinks it might be possible to restore her to full humanity. Based entirely on her understanding of a thing she didn’t know about until about a month or two ago, when it was suddenly just given to her. She also tells Aphrodite that she’s meeting Stevie Rae later that night.

“Is she going to show?”
I chewed my lip. “I bribed her with country clothes, so I think so.”
Aphrodite shook her head. “So she dies, un-dies, and still has a shitty fashion sense.”

Stevie Rae becomes a friggin’ zombie and she still impacts the story the most by being a half-assed Southern stereotype.

Aphrodite suggests that they take Stevie Rae to her parents’ place, since they’re off on vacation and the estate conveniently has an unused servants’ quarters. She also solves the “Stevie Rae needs to feed on the fresh blood of struggling human victims” problem (not a quote from the book) by pointing out that, also conveniently, the House of Night keeps blood in the kitchen. Which I guess I just assumed was the case at a vampyre school for vampyres, but it’s cool that they’re covering their bases here.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be a Zoey-Aphrodite scene if they didn’t make out call Aphrodite a bitch.

“Did you ever think that a big part of your problem and why so many bad things have happened to you isn’t Neferet and all the bullpoop she’s up to, but it’s the fact that you have such a bitchy, crappy, attitude?”

Writing Believable Teenagers Tip #1: Have one character ask a mean character if they’ve considered not being mean, like normal humans do

Aphrodite explains her personal philosophy, that “I think most people [are] shitty”, which I would criticize for sounding like every deep, cynical teenager stereotype ever, but then the Casts also have her say that she thinks other people “pretend to be all nicey-nice”, so, uh, never mind.

Also, let’s awkwardly segue to the Spider-Man moral in this scene too, because why the hell not.

“How do you ever trust anyone?”
Aphrodite looked away from me. “I don’t. It’s easier that way. You’ll find out.” She met my eyes again and I couldn’t read the weird expression in them. “Power changes people.”

Zoey has a rare moment of self-awareness at this point

“I’m not going to change.” I was going to say more, but then I thought about the fact that just a few months ago if someone had told me that I’d be making out with a grown-ass man while I had not one but two boyfriends I would have said no f-ing way.

I like how it took Zoey openly juggling two boyfriends and making out with her teacher to come to this realization. That is a lot of things to go very wrong before you pause and reflect on how you got there.

sassy gay friend you're an idiot

So what are you guys reading this weekend? Did I just make you feel guilty about not having any plans to read a book this weekend?

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9 comments

  1. Ro Reply

    You know every time I read you summaries and you talk about Neferet I always pronounce the name in my head like ‘Nafrat’ which means hatred in Hindi. I feel like it fits her character.

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    • Lougoober Reply

      According to some website it means “beautiful woman” in Egyptian but that would be really cool if the Casts had intentionally given her that name because it sounds like a different word meaning “hatred”. I’d guess it was just a coincidence, though.

      It’s still kind of interesting that Neferet chose a name for herself that means “beautiful woman,” though. (Her birth name was Rebecca or Rachel or something, I think).

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      • matthewjulius Reply

        “It’s still kind of interesting that Neferet chose a name for herself that means ‘beautiful woman'”
        Yeah, there’s a character named Aphrodite, so we’re not dealing with lots of subtlety in this book

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  2. Skylar Reply

    Her voice faltered. “I know what it’s like to believe the goddess has turned from me and I don’t ever want to feel like that again.”

    I reached out and touched her arm. “But Nyx didn’t turn from you. Those were just lies Neferet told so that no one would believe your visions.”

    I actually don’t think this is a “plot hole”, IF Aphrodite actually did believe Nyx had turned from her. Because even though it turned out not to be true, she still went down that path of “Oh my gosh, Nyx has gotten rid of me”. It’s like if someone told you your parents died, and let you believe that for a week, you would have experienced that loss. Aaaand then they tell you, “Just kidding! They went on vacation.”. It’s all better now, yes – they’re not dead. Yay! BUT, you still experienced how it felt because you genuinely believed they were dead. So if Aphrodite genuinely thought Nyx left her, then yes, she knows “what it’s like to believe the goddess has turned from me” and “[doesn’t]] ever want to feel like that again”. Sorry if I didn’t explain that well xD

    Looking back though, I’m pretty sure Aphrodite had instead believed that Neferet was lying, when Neferet claimed Aphrodite was lying, and Aphrodite knew Nyx couldn’t have turned from her. Because if she had, then Aphrodite wouldn’t have any visions at all, right? So, there’s basically no way that Aphrodite could have believed that Nyx turned from her for real. Not a way that I see, anyway.

    By the way, what in the world happened to Aphrodite’s friends? I thought she had two, or three?

    I can’t comment on the weekend reading. I absolutely despise reading. There is something about knowing it’s a “book” that will deter me from reading. Yet I’ve written the same book over 4 times, drastically changed it, and pretty much wrote it from scratch, and each version would have more than 800 pages, so… yeah, contradictions xD

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  3. Honey Reply

    My weekend reading has consisted of me making my way through the most recent D&D Player’s Handbook. Going to start playing with a group of friends soon and need to complete my character.

    Obviously I’m not as cool as Zoey’s group of friends. Should have spent my time at IHOP (which doesn’t exist in this country).

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      • Honey Reply

        It’s definitely a commitment! The player’s handbook is just over 300 pages, and I’m still not sure I understand most of it. I have an enthusiastic group of friends, so everyone is very amped up about it.

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