Zoey Probably Just Murdered Two Dudes. Also Racism: Chosen Chapter 18

aladdin street rat gif

House of Night, Chosen: Chapter 18

Zoey and Heath continue to discuss what he remembers of the night Zoey rescued him. Matt and I had a long discussion about how Heath just sounds like such a fucking idiot. We’re told he’s a bad boy, but he comes across as this very innocent shmuck. Like a toddler stoner who was written by Adam Sandler.

“Oh, yeah.” He grinned his cute, bad-boy smile. “I really don’t remember much, that’s why I was asking you about it. Just teeth and claws and eyes and such, and then you. It’s all kinda like a bad dream. Well, except for the part about you. That part’s cool. Hey, Z, did you rescue me?”

Translation: Derp. Derp-de-dee-derp derp, and such, Z.

Just picture Heath as Billy Madison from now on. You’re welcome.

I chewed my lip while my mind raced. He didn’t remember hardly anything about Stevie Rae and her pack of undead dead thingies. Neferet’s mind block was obviously still firmly in place with him. And, I suddenly realized, it needed to stay that way. The less Heath knew about what had happened,the less chance that Neferet would give him a second thought and what would amount to a third mindscrewing, which couldn’t be good for him. Plus, the kid needed to get on with his life. His human life. And stop obsessing about me and vamp stuff.

Is the implication here that Neferet’s mind meddling is partly to blame for Heath’s stupidity? I honestly can’t remember if he’s being written any differently than before, but yeah, it sounds like a third mind meddle would make him dumber than Billy fucking Madison.

Smooth as ever, Zoey weaves a beautiful tale:

“There wasn’t much more than the papers said. I dunno who the guy was, just some crazed streetperson.”

THE PREFERRED TERM IS STREET RAT, Z.

aladdin street rat gif

Zoey and Heath go to sit on a nearby bench. In a very public area. That is still, I repeat, public despite being under a “big tree.” Try as she might, Zoey can’t seem to break up with Heath because he is so. Fucking. Stupid. Like unbelievably so.

“Heath, you and I can’t see each other again.”

His forehead wrinkled. He looked like he was trying to figure out a complex math word problem.“Why would you say something like that, Zo? Of course we can see each other again.”

Did anyone else think he was about to be like, “Of course we can see each other again. We’re not blind.”? I really thought that’s where this was headed. Also, why did Zoey need to specify that it wasn’t just a math problem but a “math word problem” as though it makes Heath seem like slightly less of a doofus.

Suddenly it becomes canon that Zoey and Heath have been in love forever and always (footage not found.)

“I won’t forget about you. Not even after I’m dead. And this is normal for me. Loving you is my normal.”

“You don’t love me. You’re just Imprinted with me,” I said.

“Bullshit!” he shouted. “Don’t tell me I don’t love you. I’ve loved you since I was nine years old.This Imprint thing is just another part of what’s been going on between us since we were kids.”

[…]

He was right about so much. [Ariel says: WAS HE RIGHT? Like in what sense of the word?] It had been the two of us for so long—and if I hadn’t been Marked, we probably would have gone to college together and then gotten married after we graduated. We would have had kids and lived in the suburbs and gotten a dog. We would have had fights once in a while, mostly over him being too obsessed with sports, and then we would have made up when he brought me flowers and teddy bears, like he’d been doing since we were teenagers.

I’ve never had the slightest inclination that this was how Zoey saw her life going if she hadn’t been marked. This isn’t Boy Meets World, you don’t get to just rewrite the past and use black magic on us to be like, “These two have been in love since they were babies! Even though when we first started the show this wasn’t the case at all.”

Zoey tells Heath she has a real boyfriend now, but this doesn’t deter him.

“If I have to share you, I will.” His voice had dropped almost to a whisper, and he looked away from me like he was too embarrassed to meet my eyes. “I’ll do whatever it takes not to lose you.”

It made something inside me break, but I laughed at Heath. “Listen to you! You sound pathetic. Do you know what vampyre men are like?”

“No.” His voice had gotten stronger and he met my eyes again. “No, I don’t know what they’re like. I’m sure they can do all sorts of cool stuff. They’re probably big and bad and all that. But I know one thing they can’t do that I can. They can’t do this.”

One thing before I tell you what Heath has done: I thought there were droves of famous vampyre men? Wouldn’t Heath have a pretty good idea of what they do and what they look like? This scene makes me want a male vampyre to come out and start juggling for Heath because I feel like it would blow his mind.

Right. Okay. So Heath pulls out a razor and slashes his neck to drive the ladies wild. Zoey explains that vampyre science dictates that Heath is basically like an unmilked cow right now, and if she doesn’t drink from him, it’ll actually cause him pain.

Zoey climbs on top of Heath – remember, still in a public place – and starts humping him/drinking his blood.

“Yeah, bitch! Ride him! Make him hurt so gooood!”

“That little white boy don’t have nothin’ for you. I’ll give ya somethin’ you can really feel!”

Heath’s grip on my hips changed and he was in the middle of trying to turn my body away from the jeering voices so he could shield me, but the anger that spiked through me was blinding. My fury was impossible to ignore and my response was immediate. I lifted my face from his neck. Two black guys were just a few feet away and getting closer to us. They were wearing the stereotypical ridiculous sagging pants and stupid, oversized down coats and when I bared my teeth at them and hissed, their expressions changed from sneers to shocked disbelief.

My general feeling is that if something makes me feel this uncomfortable and angry, it is pretty fucking racist. What on Earth did it achieve or add to the scene to write that paragraph? I believe 100% that there are gross dudes out there that say gross things. I encounter them a lot! But 1) Zoey and Heath were being REALLY FUCKING GROSS IN A PUBLIC SPACE AND HAVE NO MORAL HIGH GROUND HERE 2) You can write a gross dude without being so lazy you have to explicitly fall back on stereotypes. 3) It feels like the Casts are like, “LOOK. These guys are terrible. Just imagine this specific stereotype and don’t think too deeply about this at all! Relax, we’ve got this.” No, fuck you, Casts.

“Get away from us or I will kill you.” I snarled at them in a voice so powerful I didn’t recognize it as my own.

“She’s a fucking bloodsucker bitch!” the shorter of the two said.

The other guy snorted. “Nah, bitch got no tattoo. But if she wants somethin’ to suck, I’ll give it to her.”

“Yeah, first you and then me. Her little punk boyfriend can watch and see how it’s done.” With a mean laugh, they started walking toward us again.

[…]

“Wind come to me,” I commanded. My hair began lifting in the breeze that swirled restlessly around me. “Blow them the hell outta here!” I flung my hands out toward the two men, letting my anger explode with my words. The wind obeyed instantly, crashing into them with such force that they were swept, yelling and cussing, off their feet and hurled away from me. I watched with a kind of detached fascination as the wind dropped the two men down in the middle of Twenty-first Street.

I didn’t even flinch when the truck hit them.

We’ve been talking a lot about what happens when police officers kill unarmed black men, but we’re not talking enough about what happens when unlikable vampyre idiots kill unarmed black men with the power of wind and bad puns. I don’t mean this to sound flippant, I’m genuinely alarmed and pissed off by this. It might be fiction, but representation is still important. Even though I don’t like to use the word “important” in regards to House of Night. 

You guys, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this scene. This unbelievable scene that was gifted to me by Nyx herself. It’s not every day bloggers who specifically write about bad books chapter by chapter get this kind of scene that is so fucking awful you just gape. It’s so funny you can barely laugh. SHE BLOWS THEM WITH THE POWER OF WIND INTO A ROAD AND A FUCKING TRUCK JUST LIKE HITS THEM.

And then. I shit you not. Heath lectures Zoey on how that was mean and she should be nice. She probably just killed two guys, and Heath is like, “That was mean!”

“You’re changing, Zoey. And I’m not sure what you’re changing into.”

My eyes filled with tears. “I’m becoming a vampyre, Heath. That’s what I’m Changing into.”

He touched my cheek, and then he used his thumb to wipe away the rest of the concealer so that my Mark was completely visible. Heath bent to kiss the crescent moon in the middle of my forehead. “I’m okay with you being a vampyre, Zo. But I want you to remember that you’re still Zoey, too. My Zoey. And my Zoey isn’t mean.”

I feel like “mean” should be swapped out for “murderous psycho.” I get that these two dudes were advancing on them with the implication that they would do something nefarious? But Zoey and Heath were in literally no danger whatsoever. They should have been embarrassed that they were humping and blood sucking on a park bench and just fucked off elsewhere in the park. Like maybe punching one of the guys if the situation escalated more, but using wind for such mean purposes! I mean, I never.

Heath reminds Zoey that they were never in any danger and that “You shouldn’t be mean, Zo. No matter what.” I don’t think Heath quite understands what qualifies as being mean, but I suppose those are fine words to live by.

Zoey can’t breakup with Heath, and they part ways declaring their love and agreeing to meet up in the near future.  I can’t see this coming to bite Zoey in the ass at all!

We have literally no idea if those guys lived or died, but at least two teenagers can continue to love and hump without fear of persecution.

Heath also kind of reminds me of Fry from Futurama. I love Fry, though, so I didn’t want to go down that route. How would you describe Heath? Is there anyone else he reminds you of?

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18 comments

  1. Kaymia Reply

    I’m so uncomfortable. Everything about that scene should never have been a thing.

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    • Honey Reply

      I agree. Just reading the excerpt gave me a really uneasy feeling.

      Did we expect any more thought than that from the authors?

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      • 22aer22 Reply

        I definitely didn’t expect this scene, that’s for sure. I just expected more of the usual, “Did you know Damien is gay! WE ARE OPEN MINDED”

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        • Bellomy Reply

          In other words, the more likely scene would have been two people come in looking like stereotypical caricatures of black criminals – much like the folks already portrayed in the story. They also speak the way the book describes them speaking.

          They are jeered at or something by white folk and Zoe rushes in to defend them, scattering all of the racists with her wind powers. She then gets to talking to the black “criminals” and learns that they’re poor and trying to make a life for themselves, speak the way they do because that’s how they grew up, and are actually quite nice.

          And then for the rest of the series every time we see them again their defining characteristics will be that they talk like stereotypical black people, look like stereotypical black people, and are nice.

          …Which would be problematic in a “Damien is gay” sort of way as opposed to a “Holy fucking shit you just murdered two people SON OF A BITCH” sort of way.

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  2. Jennifer Layton Reply

    This very chapter is one of the reasons I gave up on the series after this book. Wasn’t Zoey about to break up with Heath in the very beginning of this story when she was Marked? And this can’t be Zoey’s first murder if she’s being so casual about it. This writing makes my brain cry.

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      I don’t blame you. Although, after I finished reading this book last I immediately bought the next one to see what happens next…and to start preparing my future jokes of course.

      Zoey was always telling us he was her not-boyfriend and that she needed to end things for good. Progress has been slow.

      SHE IS CHANGING B/C SHE’S A VAMPYRE. So murder is like easy peasy.

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  3. E.H.Taylor Reply

    There is so much wrong with this chapter, I don’t even know where to begin.

    So instead, I’ll just say that I despise the following sentence with every fibre of my being:
    “He didn’t remember hardly anything…”

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      Hahaha I was so distracted by everything else going on I missed that one. Damn it, Zoey, can you get nothing right??

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  4. Bellomy Reply

    “These two have been in love since they were babies! Even though when we first started the show this wasn’t the case at all.”

    Tell you what, when the Cats get writers as good as the folks from “Boy Meets World”, and also they write a sitcom, I’ll let them get away with it. But yeah, no.

    As for the murder scene, didn’t the dude threaten to rape Zoe? But don’t you think you’d still be kind of upset when you hit people with a fucking truck?

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    • Bellomy Reply

      I swear that I saw that I wrote Cats and changed it to Casts. Ah, whatever. Them cats write like crap, man.

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    • 22aer22 Reply

      Boy Meets World also is so good at making jokes about the inconsistencies, so combine that with great writing and I’m all forgiving. NOT SO FOR THE CASTS.

      I felt like it was all bravado from them, “Oh I have a bigger thing for her to suck on.” I’m sure that was the implication, though, that she was in real danger of being raped (which I don’t quite buy.) I’m in no way saying those guys weren’t hassling them or being awful, but yes I do think Zoey would be more upset with causing people to get hit by a truck.

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      • Bellomy Reply

        I mean generally when you kill people, even if you’re forced to or being threatened, it’s kind of a HUGE FUCKING DEAL. Even the “whatever to you” Fifty Shades clone books had a detective come in, and it also actually made a difference in the plot.

        And also, if somebody threatens to rape you and you kill them, that’s normally, like, a traumatic experience for people who actually aren’t evil or crazy?

        So what I’m saying is, Zoey is sociopath.

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        • 22aer22 Reply

          So true! Zoey basically acts like they were a nuisance and now that they’re out of the way it’s no big deal. I’ve read the rest of this book, and she just doesn’t even think about it again. Sociopath indeed.

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    • bookbaron Reply

      Yeah. They were threatening rape but they hadn’t touched them yet and to just up and murder them? It would have made more sense if they had grabbed Zoey and in a panic she accidentally murdered them. More self defense than… Whatever the hell that was. I seriously thought I had misread the hit by a truck comment. I mean, you don’t just walk away from that. Where were the sirens? Did the truck stop or were the just like… Eeeeh? What was that? Probably nothing.

      I still can’t believe no one called the police or anything and those two just walked away.

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  5. Lougoober Reply

    In a better-written series, if the main character straight-up intentionally causes the deaths of two people, that might be some cause for serious reflection later on, right? Also, for sure, specifying that they were two BLACK guys harassing Zoey was pretty racist. Just say it was two guys, that’s it. It’s not like they’re ever going to be important enough that we need to be able to visualize what specific skin tone they have.

    “Did anyone else think he was about to be like, “Of course we can see each other again. We’re not blind.”? ” YES. I was so disappointed that didn’t happen.

    Also I have a weird confession – Heath is like my third favorite character in this series (first is Queen Aphrodite, of course; second isn’t in the books for a while). He’s just so stupid, and ridiculous, but I think he’s the most earnestly and normally ridiculous one. Like, his utter stupidity is intentional, so it’s less annoying that way. I’m gonna agree that maybe in a better-written series, he would essentially be Fry.

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