Calendar Girl (September) Chapter 3:
“I come bearing gifts!” Ginelle strutted into the hospital room.
NO WHY? What have I don’t to deserve this? Haven’t we been through enough lately, Calendar Girl?
There is a really odd interlude where Gin and Mia discuss Sudoku and biker magazines before Gin asks where Wes is. Mia reveals that she’s done a load of off-screen tracking down, and he’s filming on an island with no phone or internet service.
“Yeah, Gin. I think something really bad has happened and nobody knows.”
“Should we call the police or something?”
“It’s too soon to tell. I asked his family, and they don’t want anything hitting the media if a cop leaks the information, but frankly, I don’t give a flying fuck. The more people who know the better, in my opinion, but maybe that’s self-serving. I don’t know enough about the business to know if this is unusual. I’m totally over-reacting. I’m sure everything is fine. Just fine.”
People’s lives could be seriously in danger, but they’re worried about the media finding out about the danger? Wes’ family sounds incredibly stupid.
After this very heavy revelation, there’s another fun interlude where Gin begs Mia to introduce her to Aspen who apparently is Gin’s big ticket into starring in some exciting Vegas shows. Sure. Why not?
“Mia, honey, his team, the entire crew are MIA. Well, not exactly all of them. My intel found out that while they were filming in one of the Southeast Asian islands, three boats filled with men carrying guns arrived. They’re known to be part of a radical and religious extremist terrorist cell. The armed men jumped out, claiming they were purifying their land and were going to make an example of the Americans.”
Sweet Jesus. We’ve gone from Mia finding out that the man who hired her to pretend to be his long-lost sister is actually her brother. Also, her sister is actually her half-sister. Also, she still owes a shit ton of money to Blaine because of her father’s gambling. Speaking of her father, he’s just gone into a coma! Now, terrorism. This will surely be handled with a deft hand and careful attention to the complexities of the situation.
“Honey, they shot nine members of the crew, seven of whom died, stole their equipment, captured the remaining six. The two wounded were medevaced to a hospital where one died during surgery. The other is still fighting for his life now. Mia, the remaining six are being held hostage. Honey… I’m so sorry. Our government is involved. The President is involved.”
This is so off the rails I can’t even pretend to take this seriously. This is Calendar Girl and somehow the president is not involved in a plot-line of this series. We still have this book and three other books left, so what else could possibly happen next in this story? Will Mia go fight the terrorists herself? At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the CIA recruited her because they’d been following her in the tabloids and were impressed by her connections and ability to befriend people within thirty seconds. Also, her modelling skills.
Max steps in to handle the situation and talk to Aspen and her husband:
“What’s being done? I want intel. I need the names of the men who didn’t make it and the two who were treated. I need that information yesterday, Hank. Do you or Aspen have any connections to the executive branch?”
While I watched Max pace, his cowboy boots heavy on the linoleum floor, it dawned on me. I had connections to the government. Warren Shipley. And that man owed me a very big favor since I didn’t put his son into jail for trying to rape me.
Wow it’s so fortuitous Mia didn’t put his son in jail because now she has to use her connection to Warren to find out whether her boyfriend has been killed/injured/kidnapped by terrorists. I can’t believe this is a real sentence I’m typing out.
The book also somehow becomes weird patriotic propaganda:
Having a plan, any plan, helped me believe I could make it through until we got more information. Wes, my beautiful Wes. He could be in the clutches of men who had absolutely no care in the world for Americans, our politics, or our religious beliefs— the type of men who spent all of their time torturing and killing those who didn’t share their beliefs.
Obviously she’s not wrong, it’s just something feels really really off about this whole thing. Like Audrey Carlan needed an easy villain, and she was like, “Whelp. No one can argue with me on this one!” This seems like such a bizarre well to mine for this series, and it’s making me deeply uncomfortable.
Warren immediately agrees to help Mia because of course. He tells her he’ll get back to her as soon as he can with info. In the mean time, Mia has a breakdown in her bathroom, and a creepy moment with her brother that I think is supposed to be platonic, but manages to be super weird:
“Sugar!” Max crouched down. His thighs braced on the sides of my ribs, and he held my hair back. “You’re not alone, Mia. I’m here, Sis. I’ll always be here. You’re not alone,” he whispered against my hairline as my stomach stopped lurching. He covered me with his body like a blanket…
Max closed his eyes then pressed his forehead to mine. “I’ll see to it that you do. Maddy needs you. Your father needs you, and Mia, honey, I need you.”
I licked my lips and rubbed my aching forehead against his.
Super normal, super familial.
We end this wholesome chapter with some good old fashioned love for ‘Merica!
He said we needed to have a little faith in God, in the strength of Pops and of Wes, and that we’d all come out of this smelling like home-baked apple pie.
This is a good Christian, American book y’all! Definitely no weird brother/sister dynamics to see here!