The World Revolves Around Zoey
“You’re not caring that people know we don’t hate each other?” she said.I love that in this instance, the fact that Zoey’s friends don’t ever think about anything but her is a fucking plot point.
“Well, I look at it like this: People, especially my friends, will be thinking a whole lot of not-so-nice stuff about the possibility that you and I have suddenly become friends.”
But I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept whirring around and around, focusing on the mistakes I’d made and the people I’d hurt. Had Stark died as some kind of penalty for how badly I’d hurt Erik and Heath.Oh definitely, definitely Zoey. That boy who died definitely died as karmic consequence for your fucking romantic entanglements oh my god you are a monster.
“[…]There’s something more going on with Neferet than just her normal craziness. I know it deep inside me. I can’t remember what I know, but she’s dangerous. Really, really dangerous. Something basic has changed about her, and that change is not a good thing.”“Zoey, dying and being a soulless monster was a really tough experience for me.” “Yeah, but have you ever thought about how terrible it was for ME to SEE YOU like that? God Stevie Rae you’re so selfish.”
“I wish you could remember what all happened to you.”
Stevie Rae grimaced. “I do, too, sometimes. And then sometimes I’m really, really glad I can’t. What happened to me wasn’t good, Zoey.”
“I know,” I said solemnly
I couldn’t help thinking about how awful it had been when Stevie Rae had died in my arms—and then how nightmarish the aftermath of that had been when she was un-dead and struggling not to let her humanity slip completely away.
Gay SharkSo Fangs has coined this term, “Lesbian Shark“, and they define it like so:
There are sharks in nature that cannot stop swimming. If they do, oxygenated blood doesn’t pass their gills and they die – literally drown. And so it is with the lesbian (or gay male) shark. If they stop mentioning that they are a lesbian, fail to refer to it every 5 seconds, then they disappear.This is such a perfect description of the way the Casts’ refer to Damian and Jack, I can’t believe it wasn’t created with them in mind.
“So, what’s up?” I directed the question at Damien, knowing that my gay friend was naturally the weakest link in the don’t-talk-to-Zoey chain.I mean, if you say that all gay people everywhere are naturally sensitive and polite, it’s really just a compliment. I don’t know why you’re getting so upset.
Sadly, it was the Twins who answered me and not gay, and therefore more sensitive and polite, Damien.
Jack and Damien are together. Hello. They’re gay. My friends and I, along with anyone who’s not narrow-minded and utterly judgmental, are cool with that.Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the irony of Zoey condemning judgmental, narrow-minded people here?
“Stark, this is Jack. He’s Damien’s boyfriend.” I decided to get the introductions and the possible Oh, no! He’s a f**! issues out of the way.You know who’s the only one who’s ever brought that up YEAH ZOEY THAT WOULD BE YOU.
“Well, let’s just say that Aphrodite’s visions have converted me. So when you’re done communing with your horse, if you want you can give me a call on your cell. Jack and I will pretend like we’re much more butch than we are and come escort you back.”And in case you guys have forgotten, swishy and fluttery is the unacceptable kind of gay!
“Oh, please. You aren’t what I’d call swishy and fluttery.
“Well, I’m not, but Jack is.”
“No problem, Z.” He smiled at me once more and then, humming “Seasons of Love” from Rent, he disappeared back down the sidewalk.He walks away singing show tunes what even is this life?
“I have to stay here and pretend I’m still a fledgling. I’m not going to leave Zoey alone, and I don’t trust the gay boy and the Dorkamese Twins to do the buddy thing right now. But thanks, Stevie Rae.”
“Ohmigod! Is your grandma okay? I was so upset when I heard!” Jack burst like a little gay tornado into my dorm room, practically choking me in an exuberant hug.A little gay tornado.
Incredibly Forced and Awkward Pop Culture References
“Thank you for that lovely commentary. And now I’ll try asking someone who doesn’t have to answer in a stereo version of hateful Gossip Girl Blair.”Who talks like this?
So to say that they were shocked and not very pleased when Aphrodite walked directly to our booth and sat down beside me was an understatement almost as big as that knight in the Indiana Jones movie saying “He chose poorly” when the bad guy picked the wrong goblet to drink out of and his body disintegrated.Who talks like this?
Aphrodite opened the door to her room, and we walked into what I liked to think of as her palace. I mean, jeesh, the place looked like she’d decorated it out of a Guide to Gossip Girl Design magazine—if there was such a thing. Which, sadly, there probably was. (Not that I don’t adore Gossip Girl!)
WHO TALKS LIKE THIS?
Feeling better now that Nala was working her purr magic on me, I tried to lose myself in the book I was reading, Ink Exchange by my current favorite vamp author, Melissa Marr, but not even her hot fairies could keep my attention from wandering.NO. NO. DON’T YOU DARE BRING HER INTO THIS. DON’T YOU DARE SULLY HER NAME WITH YOUR TERRIBLE MOUTH.
“So what were you saying about some news?” I asked, clicking off the mice she handed me like I was a shooter at one of those back-in-the-day arcade games.BACK IN THE DAY ARCADE GAMES? GUYS, DID YOU KNOW THEY STOPPED MAKING LASER GUN ARCADE GAMES, APPARENTLY???
“Look, I practically transported here with Darius, and that should have been impossible, but I definitely did it.”That was such a stretch I bet Cast strained a fucking muscle.
“Yes, dork, seeing as there is no such thing as Star Trek.”
“You recognized the transporter reference. You’re a dork, too,” I said smugly.
“No, I’m just burdened with geeky friends.
Jack nodded enthusiastically. “I’m ready! The best parts of the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack mixed with something else is what you’re gonna come in to. But I’ll wait and surprise you with the something-else part.
As always, I was a ball of nerves until I started toward the circle and the music filled me. Tonight the soundtrack of Memoirs of a Geisha was haunting and beautiful. I lifted my arms and let my body move gracefully to the orchestra. Then Erik’s voice joined with the music and the night, creating magic.Jesus fucking Christ, who even remembers Memoirs of a Geisha?
Who Fucking Talks Like This?
“I think your dog is pretty,” Jack said, leaning around Damien to get a better look at Duchess. “I mean, she’s big, but she’s still pretty. She won’t bite, will she?”What?
“Not if you don’t bite her first,” Stark said.
“Oh, eew,” Jack said. “I’d get dog hair in my mouth and that’d be nasty.”
“Wow,” Damien said, looking more than a little starstruck. “Shekinah! That was utterly unexpected, and she was even more resplendent than I’d imagined. I mean, I wanted to say something, but I was completely flummoxed.”Dude, nobody. No one. NO OOOOOOONE. People don’t fucking search and replace smaller words with bigger ones when they’re speaking out loud off the cuff NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT.
“Brain-sharers and Vocab Boy—I say a big whatever to you.” She started to move off down the hall in the direction Darius had taken. “Oh, and I also say don’t be all jealous and pissy when Zoey tells you I’m the one she’s taking with her tomorrow,” Aphrodite said, giving me the look, which clearly meant there was a definite reason she had to go with me. Then she tossed her hair and twitched away.NOBODY TALKS LIKE THIS. AND WHY IS SHE TWITCHING AGAIN? IS SHE A ROBOT? IS SHE MALFUNCTIONING? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
“Do tell, Twin? Should we claw her eyes out for Z?” Erin said. “I haven’t done a nice eye-clawing in ages.”
“You two are so banal,” Damien said. “Erik and Zoey are broken up, remember?”
“Yeah, well, your vocab is a ba-pain in our ba-asses,” Erin said.
“Ba-exactly,” Shaunee said
I HATE ALL OF YOU
Weirdly enough, it was sweet Jack who saved me. “You mean this is more stuff you couldn’t tell us ’cause you didn’t want us accidentally thinking about it and having Neferet, who really isn’t one of the good guys, listening in to our minds and finding out that you knew?”HEE HEES.
“Jack, I could kiss you,” I said.
“Oh, hee hees!” Jack giggled, ruffling Duchess’s ears.
PLEASE KILL ME.
“Well, whether they’re really gross or just being class-stereotyped by Gossip Girl, I think we need to keep an eye on them,” Damien said. “We need to know what they’re doing. Who they’re talking to. What they’re thinking. If we know all of that, we’ll also know if this demon guy is trying to contact one of them and use him for his nefarious means.”
“Nef—what?” Shaunee said.
“Arious—who?” Erin said.
“It means ‘wicked in the extreme,’ ” Jack whispered to the Twins.
Bad Writing is Bad
“Well, la-te-da,” Erin began, but before Shaunee could do her usual chime-in act, a blatantly sexy laugh coming from the door behind us made everyone turn and gawk.WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? WHAT IS A BLATANTLY SEXY LAUGH? HOW DOES SOMEONE TWITCH INTO THE ROOM? IS SHE THE RING GHOST? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Aphrodite twitched into the room, laughing while she batted her eyes at Darius, one of the youngest and hottest of the Sons of Erebus Warriors who protected the House of Night, and did an excellent hair flip.
As I watched him, I realized that what took him from meh to hot was his intensity and his confidence. He moved like everything he did was deliberate, but that the deliberateness was tinged with sarcasm. It was like he was a part of the world, and at the same time he was flipping it off.HOW DO YOU MOVE WITH SARCASM? I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS.
Aphrodite sighed, and with a weirdly slow motion–like movement, she brought the back of her hand up and wiped it across her forehead, causing the outline of the crescent moon to smear and partially rub off.WEIRDLY SLOW MOTION-LIKE. Such evocative prose.
“Okay, that’s majorly freaky!” Jack said.Was that just- was that usage of ‘queer’, in a way nobody uses it, ever, outside of like twenty-year-old books, was that just so you could set up a nudge-nudge gay rights pun?
“It’s totally queer,” Shaunee said.
“And she doesn’t mean that in the gay sense,” Erin input.
I looked at my friends. They all seemed frightened and unsure, and I knew this would not do. We had to be strong. We had to stick together and believe in each other.
“I don’t think it’s scary.” When I started saying it, it was a big fat lie. But the more I spoke, the more I began to believe. “Change can be weird, or even queer.” I grinned at Damien and Jack, and they smiled hesitatingly back at me. “But change has to happen for things to grow—for us to grow.”
CAST YOU ARE EVEN MAKING YOUR CHARACTERS UNCOMFORTABLE PLEASE STOP.
“Well, shit! Slap me and call me impaired, Twin. Jacky’s right!” Erin said.
“Would you get your butt in here? Shit, you are slow as a fat kid on crutches, Zoey.”
“He’s way too good for you,” I told Aphrodite. For as late as it was, Charlie’s was really busy, and sheeplike, we jostled around with the rest of the herd animals, finally getting in line behind an obese woman who had really bad teeth and a balding guy who smelled like feet.
“Oh, cool!” Jack said. “I saw that on Dr. Phil the other day. God, it was just awful. Some horrid and, may I say, fat, poorly dressed nanny was caught by one of them shaking the crap out of some poor little kid.”Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck fat people, amirite?
“You need to bring Merry Maids and a good interior decorating team with you,” Aphrodite muttered. “I’d offer you the services of my parents’ help, but your buds might eat them, and as my mom would say, good illegals are really hard to find.”Oh shit, have we had bigotry against immigrants yet? Do we need to check that one off the list?
“We hate her,” Erin and Shaunee said together.Oh fuck, should we check off ableism, too??
“I know,” I sighed. “But she really was nice to me last night.”
“Probably because she has a serious personality disorder,” Erin said.
“Yeah, I think she’s one of those split-personality people,” Shaunee said. “Hey, maybe she’ll get institutionalized pretty soon!
“I’ll take my homework with me to the hospital. I won’t fall behind.” Aphrodite gave Neferet a big reassuring smile that was as fake as Pamela Anderson’s boobs.This is a book, that was published, by real actual publishers, in this century. This is a real thing. This is real life.
Okay, That Was Actually Pretty Good AKA: I Laughed Twice
Aphrodite said, “You’d think if someone died, at least their shitty non-fashion fashion sense would change. But no. Your bad taste is fucking immortal.”
She sighed dramatically. “It’s really going to piss me off if these damn visions start making me ugly.”Occasionally you really do have to give it up for Aphrodite. She gets way too much of a pass on her shitty bigotry, but sometimes she’s mean to Zoey and her friends and it makes me laugh.
“Aphrodite,” I said, trying to keep my smile out of my voice. “You’re too pretty to ever be ugly. Or at least that’s what you’ve told all of us about a zillion times.”
“You’re right. Even with red eyes, I’m better looking than everyone else. Thanks for reminding me.”