House of Night Series Review: Tempted Quotespam

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The Twins were still standing in the tunnel. Erin was holding a thick pillar candle so tightly her knuckles were white. Shaunee was standing next to her, so close their shoulders were smashed together. They looked frozen and big-eyed.

“Uh, hi,” I said. “I didn’t know you guys were down here.”

Shaunee thawed first. “Ya think?” She wiped a shaking hand delicately across her forehead and turned to Erin. “Twin, did she scare me white?”

Erin blinked at her BFF. “I don’t think that’s possible.” She squinted at Shaunee. “But no, she didn’t. You’re still a gorgeous cappuccino.” Erin’s hand that wasn’t holding the candle flew up to her thick, golden hair and patted through it frantically.
So I think this is the first installment where Cast hasn’t stopped the action to copy+paste in the same description we’ve read for Shaunee and Erin like six times before, BUT she’ll be damned if that doesn’t keep her from comparing her skin to foodstuff somehow!
I followed them out into the root cellar where Damien was fanning himself and looking gayer than usual, and Sister Mary Angela had just finished crossing herself.
what can you even say?
When I let her go, Heath surprised me by taking my hand. I gave him a question-mark look.
Oh, oh, this is a new thing Zoey does, though! She describes any physical expression of confusion as “question mark”.
I could tell by the question mark in her blue eyes that she was worried about my tone.
I gave him my question mark look.
I was glad to see several faces with question marks on them.
Thanks to Damien, I knew veracity meant truth, so I wasn’t standing there chewing my lip with a big question mark on my face because I didn’t get what he meant. I question marked because I didn’t know how to respond to him.
Not only is it stupid, but it’s weirdly abrupt if you’re looking at the in-book timeline. She might have used the expression in the last book, but definitely not before, and in-world, these books take place over just a few days, maybe a week? So it’s like one day, Zoey and all of her friends woke up and started using this really weird and awkward phrase amongst themselves without even an inciting in-joke or anything.

Oh, Christ, they also do this–
Platters started to clatter our way, and my mouth began to water. I seriously heart me some pancakes.
Everyone “hearts” things. Zoey says she “hearts” Heath, he says the same thing back, Aphrodite “hearts” designer purses, etc, etc. It’s the most fucking awkward attempt to stay abreast of teenage slang I’ve ever seen.
“For a smart guy, he sure makes some stupid choices,” Stevie Rae said softly as she watched his broad back disappear. “’Course me sayin’ that about him is what my mama would say was a hog callin’ a skunk stinky.”
Oh yeah, and this shit. Stevie Rae has a ton of these ridiculous sayings that I’m pretty sure only cartoon characters ever use, if that. She’s always had an absurd accent, but we get EVEN MORE OF IT now that she’s got chapters narrating.
“Seriously, gay boys. Just go back to bed—together—eesh. I need my vamp for the rest of the night.”
Jesus goddamn Christ, Aphrodite, they have names.
So, to throw off Miss Nosy, she lifted one perfect brow and gave him her standard keep-them-guessing sneer. “Who are you, her gay mom?”
Aphrodite really didn’t like hurting Damien and his girl/boyfriend Jack’s feelings, but cutting them short was the only way to keep Damien out of her business…
It’s also like, super fucking adorable when she uses femininity as an insult and misgenders them.
Dallas really was adorable. Not only was he her unofficial boyfriend, but he was also a genius with anything to do with electricity or plumbing or basically whatever you’d find at Home Depot.
I love this quote, because it’s basically just Stevie Rae saying “Yeah, he’s plot handy, whatever”. I wonder if he’s gonna be revealed as having a Repair Man Affinity.
“Uh, I have two words for girls who make out with their boyfriends with other girls in the room: Not okay.”
We’re still real judgy about the sexual activities of consenting individuals, huh? Where’s all that judgeyness when you’re making out with your LITERAL RAPIST BOYFRIEND, ZOEY?
“Stores?” Shaunee called.

“Shopping?” Erin said.

“Perhaps we should reconnoiter with Aphrodikey,” Shaunee said.
You know, for a series that prides itself on how ALLY it is, it has a RAGING problem with lesbians. For real, I know Damian and Jack are garbage examples of inclusion, but at least the Casts and crew go out of their way to be like “U GOT A PROBLEM WITH THE GAYS, BRO?” and pretend they’re not homophobic. But bring up any inkling of lesbianism or a potentially homoerotic situation between women, and the girls jump up and down screaming NO HOMO! Not to mention how cool they think it is to keep tossing around “Aphrodikey” like that doesn’t make them as big a homophobic shit pile as those people they keep acting like they’re protecting Damian and Jack from.

But then, has it ever really been trendy for popular straight girls to have lesbian best friends? GBFs FTW!
Just looking for food. Live food. Wanna join us?

Stevie Rae knew it would do no good whatsoever to remind Nicole they shouldn’t be eating people. No, not even homeless people or bad drivers (who they liked to follow and then grab as they got out of their cars).
Not even homeless people.

NOT EVEN HOMELESS PEOPLE.

NOT EVEN HOMELESS PEOPLE.

Fury
I recognized them as Neferet’s assistants, kinda like the equivalent of nurses, and had to think hard to remember that the tall blonde called herself Sapphire, and the short, Asian one was Margareta.
OH HEY GUYS LOOK, OUR FIRST ASIAN VAMPIRE!
“Really, we have done all that can be done,” Margareta repeated coolly. “Without a High Priestess—”

This time Stark cut her off. “We have a High Priestess, so it’s time for you to step aside and let her, and her circle, help these kids.”

“Yeah, back off,” Aphrodite said, literally getting in the vamp’s face.

The two vampyres backed off, though I could feel their icy, disapproving stares.
Aaaaaaand she’s evil, of course.
“I do,” Damien said softly. “I volunteered in the infirmary my third-former year. They’ve always been dour. I thought it was because they had to deal with fledglings dying.”

“ ‘Dour’?” Shaunee said.

“Translate him, will ya, Stevie Rae?” Erin said.

“Dour means ‘stern and kinda gloomy.’ You know, y’all really should read more.”

“I was just gonna say that,” Stark said.
I hate everything
“Nerd herd, focus. You’re here to help the fledglings. Dour One and Dour Two aren’t important,” said Aphrodite.

“Dr. Seuss reference. I like it,” Stark said, giving me a check-me-out-I’ve-always-read-books hottie grin.
Is this a joke? Is this a fucking joke? Is he noting a Dr. Seuss reference like it’s a sign that Aphrodite is well-read? Is he looking for a smart-boy dog biscuit from Zoey for pointing out a goddamn Dr. Seuss reference?
Rephaim picked up his pace. He’d refill and light the lanterns after he stuffed himself. He’d even drink the bags of blood he’d found one of the refrigerators filled with, though it held no special appeal to him.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Rephaim gets a few perspective chapters. Seriously though, what is this statement? If the blood doesn’t do anything for you, why would you drink it? There’s food in the cabinets, just eat that.
“I don’t know. What if [the red fledglings] hurt you?”

Stevie Rae laughed, and her short blond curls bounced around her shoulders. “Ah, heck, Z! They can’t hurt me. They’re inside the earth. If they try anything with me I can call on my element to kick their butts, and they know it.”

“Maybe they were meant to die, and that’s why they can’t get their humanity back,” I said softly.
Maybe they were meant to die and that’s why they can’t get their humanity back. Wow, Zoey. That’d be PRETTY SHITTY OF NYX, HUH? But we’re just gonna pretend like that’s not a thing.
“Yeah, I saw it when it came out, but I wanted to keep my manly calm, so I decided to move up here and read.” He lifted the book in his lap, which I noticed was called My Losing Season by a guy named Pat Conroy.

[…]

“He’s my favorite author,” Stark said, a little shyly.

“I’ll have to check him out.”

“He doesn’t write chick books,” Stark said.

“That’s a terrible stereotype!” I began, and was getting ready to launch into my lecture about the misogynistic (a word I learned from Damien while we read The Scarlet Letter in lit class) idea that manly books are for guys and frilly, pointless, fluffy books are for girls when the plane gave a little lurch and came to a halt.
what?
All of the High Council were women, but that much I’d known already. Our society is matriarchal, so it figures that its governing council would be female. I knew that they were old, even for vampyres, and they were. Of course you couldn’t tell their age from just looking at them. All you could tell was how incredibly beautiful and amazingly powerful they were. On one hand it gave me a little squee of pleasure to see proof that even though vamps did age and, eventually die, they didn’t get all grossly Shar-Pei–looking and full of wrinkles. On the other hand, the sense of power they exuded was totally intimidating. Just thinking about speaking in front of them, let alone the rest of those in the cathedral, grim, silent vampyres, made my stomach want to turn itself inside out.
FEMINISM, YOU GUYS. Beauty and power, literally the two defining traits of this matriarchal society’s leaders. FEMINISM! *~*~*~*~FEMINISM~*~*~*~
“And when you’re ready to be led by Nyx Incarnate and her consort Erebus, then we will bring the ancient ways to life again, so that we may all stand proud and strong—and not bow to human bondage and prejudice,” Neferet said, looking glorious beside him as she wrapped her arm possessively through his.
WHAT BONDAGE AND PREJUDICE- WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

This fucking book series, you guys. This fucking book series.

 

11 Responses

  1. Katharine

    December 24, 2015 3:07 pm, Reply

    I remember Zoey using the question mark phrase in the first book. She said something along the lines of “My face was a question mark” in one scene, but I forget which. It’s still incredibly dumb though.

    • Cyna Cyna

      January 4, 2016 1:29 am, Reply

      Ah, ok, that’s entirely possible, it’s been goddamn years since I read that one. BUT STILL. I’m pretty sure she didn’t say it like every goddamn chapter.

  2. Haley

    December 24, 2015 7:52 pm, Reply

    Oh my god, now whenever I need a good laugh I know where to come. Your commentary on everything is great, and your points about every horrible thing in these books is perfect.

    Get ready for crappy Scotland soon, and I thought I might share a theory by HowdYAL that I read. Originally in writing this PC really wanted Superman as a boyfriend, then she saw Iron Man and wanted Tony Stark. And now when we get to Scotland we meet her actual boyfriend, I’m not actually sure if they got married.

    Enjoy that.

    • Cyna Cyna

      January 4, 2016 1:31 am, Reply

      Thank you! I did not enjoy that but I appreciate the well-wishes.

      Hmmm, that’s entirely possible. Iron Man was 2008, Hunted was 2009. Still, if she was trying to emulate RDJ as Tony Stark she failed miserably. The only similar thing is the name. She doesn’t even shoot for the Whedon-snippy dialogue.

  3. RayneofCastamere

    December 26, 2015 4:37 am, Reply

    *insert Charlie Brown urgh here*

    This is…this is all just…my brain meats…my poor brain meats…

    Really, Zoey? Going to go off on someone, even someone as awful as Stark, for being misogynistic? A word you did not even know until a few months or weeks ago? And a word you embody? Does anyone else find it hilarious that she finds it offensive that women supposedly only like brainless fluff lit considering what kind of books she’s in?

    Yes, yes, what an enlightened series this is. Look at the matriarchy that still values a woman’s physical looks over all else and still needs teh mens to protect them. And the LGTBQ+ representation that presents lesbians in a negative light, when it’s not outright erasing them, and fetishizes gay men and presents them all as being feminine to the point of calling them women at times. Oh and the polyamorous relationship that did not involve the consent of any of the partners, all of whom believed that they were entering a monogamous one, and who are called possessive and irrational for not accepting the fact that their girlfriend is going out with other people without first informing them of what the relationship was going to be, therefore essentially cheating on them.

    IS CONSENT SUCH A FOREIGN CONCEPT?! If a person did not agree to something while of sound mind, THEN IT IS NOT OK. If they did, THEN DON’T SLUT SHAME. ALWAYS CHECK IN WITH YOUR PARTNER/S TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE OK WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE RELATIONSHIP. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!

    Fuck these books with Freddy Krueger’s glove.

  4. ZeldaQueen

    December 26, 2015 4:54 am, Reply

    The comment about the Evil Red Fledglings being meant to die is even worse considering (A) Elliot (y’know, the kid everyone dumps on) is still one of them and (B) … what happens later.

    ” FEMINISM, YOU GUYS. Beauty and power, literally the two defining traits of this matriarchal society’s leaders. FEMINISM! *~*~*~*~FEMINISM~*~*~*~ ”

    Not to mention, Zoey squees over how ~~beautiful~~ the female vampires are and not-at-all vainly preens about how she won’t get wrinkly, but then says that them being powerful is INTIMIDATING. Just throw in “frigid” while you’re at it, why don’t you?

  5. thereversevampire

    December 31, 2015 4:46 pm, Reply

    ” FEMINISM, YOU GUYS. Beauty and power, literally the two defining traits of this matriarchal society’s leaders. FEMINISM! *~*~*~*~FEMINISM~*~*~*~ ”

    I can imagine Mathew Buck (Film Brain) from Channel Awesome saying this. Because FEMINISM!!!!!!1!!!

    I used to like these books, and then realize that they aren’t worth your money and time to indulge yourself once I read the appalling problems this series has with…everyone, or whatever demographic the Casts are offending, intentionally or not.

    • Cyna Cyna

      January 4, 2016 1:52 am, Reply

      Hahahaha, if there was a clean gif of him doing his SYMBOLISM freakout I might re purpose it, because I have a feeling that FEMINISM!!11!!! is going to come up a lot in these books.

      Yeah I have no idea how books this nasty towards everyone ever got printed tbh. It’s pretty douche.

  6. Heavyrayn

    June 7, 2016 10:36 pm, Reply

    How do you question marked?
    What if question marked was code word for peed?
    Like, “I-I just question marked,” she said in a whisper.
    “You what!?”
    “I told you,” she lowered her voice, “I question marked.”
    Or maybe
    “Ah shiz I got question mark all over my face!”
    (I don’t know what I’m doing)
    Carry on.

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