http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mars-one-first-private-mars-mission-in-2018 GO FUND THIS! Seriously, only a few days left, do it. Send human beings to MARS. Actual human beings not just robots. DO IT! I’ve been following this company for a while, they’ve been falling short on most of their fundraising goals, so they’re starting to get creative and they’re really pushing to actually pull this off, so you should totally support them. Now onto the chapter!
Wow this one starts off boring. She talks about how Jared always wins until Ian and Kyle team up against him and kick everyone’s asses. And it’s just so goddamn pointless. Oh Jared is soooo awesome (remember, he’s magic), but then Ian is super cool too! The only reason this is here is so we can directly compare Jared and Ian.
For some reason Ian and Kyle are able to move ‘as one’. Because that makes complete and utter sense right? All brothers are just well oiled machines who can read each other’s thoughts? And they can work together seamlessly even after one of them wanted the other to die just a few minutes before? Not to mention the fact that if they spent years on the run from the aliens before the invasion when would they have had the time to play soccer before coming to Jeb’s hole in the ground to develop this miraculous skill? Oh but we can’t have Ian completely out shined by Jared, that would make him look bad in comparison! Because him being able to be that strongly connected with a sociopath the day after that sociopath tried to kill the woman he loves is totally preferable to him getting his ass handed to him in soccer.
Somehow they play like, 5 games of this before they all get tired and Jeb informs them there’s still work to do. The average game of Soccer is over an hour, so they played 5-6 hours without getting exhausted? They got up, got emotionally worked up with the trial, played a game before breakfast, then 4-5 more after that (or more, Meyer is incredibly vague about it, only stating that the losing team would then yank the best players from the other team to try and win the next one instead of just coming up with a strategy to win with the players they had) and only now are they getting tired. And they still have to get their work done for the day. And EVERYONE is in on this game, all 40ish people living in this stupid cave. This book is stupid.
There were a few halfhearted protests and a few moans, but more laughter. No one seemed too upset to have the fun end. From the way a few people sat down right where they were and put their heads between their knees to breathe, it was clear Jeb wasn’t the only one who was tired out.
They were SO TIRED they couldn’t even walk out of the room, but they kept playing anyway. No wonder they couldn’t beat Ian and Kyle!
It had to be past time for lunch though it was hard to mark the hour in this black hole.
And it’s lunch. I suppose if the trial was less than an hour and the sun comes up at around 4 or 5am, that’s reasonable, but stills suggests they were playing sports for at least 6 or 7 hours. What the hell is wrong with these people?
When the game was called, Kyle had raised his hand for a high five, but Ian had stalked past him without acknowledging the gesture. Then Kyle caught his brother’s shoulder and spun him around. Ian knocked Kyle’s hand away. I tensed for a fight–and it seemed like one at first. Kyle threw a punch toward Ian’s stomach. Ian dodged it easily, though, and I saw that there was no force behind it. Kyle laughed and used his superior reach to rub his fist into Ian’s scalp. Ian smacked that hand away, but this time he halfway smiled.
Again with her miraculous ability to see every detail in the dark. Also, seriously, Ian must not really care for Wanderer all that much if he can relatively go back to normal just because they played a fun game. If my brother ever tried to kill the woman I had a crush on I’d never be able to even be in the same ROOM as him again without tearing him to shreds either physically or at the very least verbally. At least not for a long time, certainly not the same day he was in trial for it and said he didn’t regret it! And that’s not because I’m a jackass, it’s because I’m a fucking human being who doesn’t like it when people try and fucking kill someone I love! This does not make him a good person, it means he values his homicidal brother more than he values Wanderer AND his own morals.
“Good game, bro,” I heard Kyle say. “You’ve still got it.”
“You’re such an idiot, Kyle,” Ian answered.
“You got the brains; I got the looks. Seems fair.”
Kyle threw another half-strength punch. This time, Ian caught it and twisted his brother into a headlock. Now he was really smiling, and Kyle was cussing and laughing at the same time.
‘Cussing’. God this book is childish. Seriously, how are they this okay with each other right now?! I discussed how Ian’s reaction seems unreasonable, but what about Kyle’s? His brother has a crush on a member of the alien species that took over their planet. Something he thought was so strong a threat he was willing to kill it despite being warned that doing so could be his death as well. And he’s completely fine with this. He has no moral qualms with his brother dating an alien body snatcher he wants dead. Yup, this is all COMPLETELY how real people would act. And you can’t even say they got caught up in the moment and forgot, they CLEARLY didn’t. Ian was still mad at him at the start of the last quote and Kyle knew that and why. It is on both of their minds, and they’re just trying to move past it because a whole 5 hours has passed it’s time to move on. YUP, I’M COMPLETELY OKAY WITH THAT.
Yes, they’re playing, Melanie confirmed. The bonds of brotherhood go deep.
As they should. This is right. If Kyle really doesn’t kill us, this will be a good thing.
If, Melanie repeated morosely.
No one talks like this. Ever. Anywhere. And please note that she’s saying it was a good thing that Kyle tried to kill them and destroyed half of a very important room. Because it brought Kyle and Ian closer together somehow. Except what Melanie was saying was that they were already that close anyway, and thus that never needed to happen. And why the fuck isn’t Melanie pointing out that Ian being buddy buddy with Kyle gives Kyle time and ability to try and turn Ian against her? Remind Ian of why they hate the aliens so much? No? No objections at all? Whatever.
Jared comes over and asks if they’re hungry. Wanderer’s heart goes all aflutter and she has to compose herself before she can tell him she’s just tired, not hungry, and Melanie gets all snippy because Wanderer is getting all shook up when Jared helps her up. Wanderer takes his hand and holds it in a romantic way rather than as the physical support to help her walk that it was meant as. Because that’s going to make Melanie less jealous, right?
And then Ian comes over and plants himself firmly beside her to support her weight. Or to stake his claim like a wild animal pissing all over its territory, take your pick as to which is his biggest priority. Considering what happens next, I’d say it’s definitely about territory, not genuine concern, but I really fucking hate Ian, so I may be slightly biased.
Rather than saying anything to Wanderer, he speaks to JARED, informing JARED he will take her to where she needs to go. Not where she WANTS to go, mind you. Jared gives him a look and then says that he was just discussing with her where that should be. Because Jared actually wanted her input where Ian is just demanding she go where he wants her. Note the difference.
“I’ve got a better place for her,” Ian said. “Those cots aren’t much softer than rock, and she’s got a lot of sore spots.”
Jared still held my hand. Did he realize how tightly he was gripping it? The pressure was starting to get uncomfortable, but he didn’t seem aware. And I certainly wasn’t going to complain.
Ugh. Just ugh.
“Why don’t you get lunch?” Jared suggested to Ian. “You look hungry. I’ll take her wherever you had planned… ?”
Ian chuckled, a low, dark sound. “I’m fine. And honestly, Jared, Wanda needs a bit more help than a hand. I don’t know if you’re… comfortable enough with the situation to give her that. You see –”
Ian paused to lean down and pull me quickly up into his arms. I gasped as the movement tugged at my side. Jared didn’t free my hand. My fingertips were turning red.
“–she’s actually had enough exercise for one day, I think. You go on ahead to the kitchen.”
They stared at each other while my fingertips turned purple
And Jared joins in on the dick waving contest. Wonderful. Now they’re both not thinking about what she wants, who’s help she wants, where she wants to go or whether or not she wanted to be picked up. NOPE! Everything is about these two and their childish territorial jealousy! Fuck I hate this book. I hate these characters. I hate love triangles. I hate people that act like this in real life why would I want to read about it being glorified?!
I do get jealous, but to solve this dispute I would have gone ‘well why don’t we ask what SHE wants?’ and then got smug if I won. And sulk but concede if I didn’t.
“I can carry her,” Jared finally said in a low voice.
“Can you?” Ian challenged. He held me out, away from his body.
Jared stared at my face for a long minute. Then he sighed and dropped my hand.
Seriously. I hate this scene. I would rather read about the cow-spiders than read this scene.
Ow, that hurts! Melanie complained. She was referring to the sudden lance of pain that shot through my chest, not the return of blood to my fingers.
Sorry. What do you want me to do about it?
He’s not yours.
Yes. I know that.
I do not understand this exchange. Why is Melanie saying ow as though she were physically hurt? You don’t say ‘ow’ to a painful emotion. At least not more than once. And why is Wanderer getting snippy back? Melanie just said that that exchange was painful, not that she blamed Wanderer, but then after Wanderer gets snippy Melanie blames her for the pain? Oh god this makes no fucking sense to me at all. WHY DOES SHE SAY OW THE SECOND TIME?! SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME!
On the walk to Ian’s room (it’s not stated that’s where they’re going, but since that’s where Ian took her last night and then creepily watched her while she was unconscious, it’s pretty clear that’s what’s happening) Ian and Jared do more dick waving about which one will protect her harder. I’ve read children’s books more mature than this. Reminder once again, these guys are near/in their 30’s, not their teens. They’re not kids. They’re adults who have had to man up even more, facing the threat of death on a regular basis. They are not living in our society where adolescence can easily get extended thanks to the luxury of not having to grow up. They have instead reverted to dogs fighting over the alpha female for mating rights. And I wish that was hyperbolic, but that’s actually something they fucking discuss later in this chapter. Again, ALL WITHOUT EVEN ASKING HER A GODDAMN THING. They even blatantly ignore her when she tries to talk during their little show off battle. It’s pathetic.
No one spoke again until Ian paused at the red and gray doors that leaned over the entrance to his cave.
“Would you mind getting that?” Ian said to Jared, nodding toward the doors.
Jared didn’t move. Ian turned around so we could both see him; his face was careful again.
“Your room? This is your better place?” Jared’s voice was full of skepticism.
“It’s her room now.”
While I hate Jared less than I hate Ian, I would still like to point out that he was so caught up in his puffery with Ian that he never once asked where Ian was taking her. It did not even occur to him.
“Where’s Kyle staying?”
“With Wes, for now.”
“I’m not exactly sure.”
They stared at each other with appraising eyes.
You just know Ian is planning to share the room with her. He knows she won’t say no.
Wanderer tries to speak up to object but Ian CUTS HER OFF and says how tired she must be. How inconsiderate they’ve been to keep her from getting her rest! He asks Jared if he would be a dear and get the door so Wanderer can rest. Oh yes, he’s so concerned! That exchange was purely just about Wanderer and her needs! FUCK YOU IAN. Guys like this give men a bad name.
Ian doesn’t even let her get comfortable on her own.
Ian set me carefully down on the right mattress, arranging my leg and straightening the pillow under my head. Jared stood in the doorway, facing the passageway.
SHE’S NOT PARALYZED DICKHEAD. SHE CAN DO THAT HERSELF. Fuck I hate this character. And the longer this goes on the more I picture him staring over her while she was unconscious, breathing like a creeper as thoughts of touching her in ways Melanie would never let him touch her entered his mind.
“I’ll bring you food later–don’t worry about anything.”
“Thank you. Ian?”
“This is your room,” I mumbled. “You’ll sleep here, of course.”
“You don’t mind?”
“Why would I?”
He knew this whole time that she would say that. That’s why he specifically avoided finding himself an alternative. He’s a manipulative douchebag who is attempting to use her naiveté against her for his own selfish, horny desires. He’s a date rapist in the making. This is emotional manipulation. He KNOWS she would feel too guilty to kick him out of his room. He KNOWS she doesn’t understand his advances. He KNOWS she won’t tell him to go fuck himself.
“It’s probably a good idea–best way to keep an eye on you. Get some sleep.”
And then he makes it sound like he never even considered it and it’s purely for her safety. And then later it would be ‘oh, I’m a heavy sleeper, we should push the mattresses together so if Kyle comes in in the middle of the night I’ll notice.’ This is what predators DO. This is how they use innocent people. Meyer was trying to write romance and instead she wrote date rape. What the fuck does that tell you?
I spent a large portion of my life hearing my dad talk about the absolute worst humanity had to offer and you know what I took from it? That that was only a small percentage of people. That most people are not trying to hurt you. But that the ones who are, are insidious, and horrible, and they prey primarily on the people who they think can’t defend themselves and take advantage of them and they should all be hit by a goddamn bus so the rest of us can live in peace. Ian needs to be hit by a bus.
What do you think you’re doing? Melanie demanded.
What? What did I do now?
Wanda, you’re… mostly human. You must realize what Ian will think of your invitation.
Invitation? I could see the direction of her thoughts now. It’s not like that. This is his room. There are two beds here. There aren’t enough sleeping areas for me to have my own space. Of course we should share. Ian knows that.
Does he? Wanda, open your eyes. He’s starting to… How do I explain it so that you’ll understand right? To feel about you… the way you feel about Jared. Can’t you see that?
I couldn’t answer for two heartbeats.
That’s impossible, I finally said.
See? Wanderer is incapable of understanding what she just invited Ian to do, and Ian KNOWS THAT. HE knows she’s just being practical. She doesn’t think it’s actually POSSIBLE for Ian to like her. That’s… actually kind of depressing. But not the point. She doesn’t understand that he’s manipulated her into getting into her bed while she’s most vulnerable, putting himself beside her as her bold protector and spending every goddamn minute of every goddamn day with her until she finally lets him fuck her. Or he tricks her into it, which seems more likely.
Ian and Jared talking outside interrupts Melanie from explaining that Wanderer is a sucker. Apparently Aaron and Brandt are cowards who were hoping Kyle would do their dirty work for them, but now that he probably isn’t going to finish her off they may try. So Jared and Ian must protect poor helpless Wanderer. Or, you know, the cave, since that was the only actual casualty in that fight.
Jared finally decides to point out to Ian that the body in the room beside them is HIS girlfriend’s body, not Wanderer’s, and Ian should back the fuck off.
“Wanda seems to be, more or less, cooperating with Melanie. It sounds like they’re almost… on friendly terms. But obviously Wanda’s making the decisions. What if it were you? How would you feel if you were Melanie? What if you were the one… invaded that way? What if you were trapped, and someone else was telling your body what to do? If you couldn’t speak for yourself? Wouldn’t you want your wishes–as much as they could be known–respected? At the very least by other humans?”
“Okay, okay. Point taken. I’ll keep that in mind.”
“What do you mean, you’ll keep that in mind? ” Jared demanded.
“I mean that I’ll think about it.”
And Ian’s response is to be a MASSIVE douchebag about it. You don’t say ‘I’ll think about it’ when being told ‘if you fuck her, you’re RAPING MY GIRLFRIEND’. Even if Wanderer was okay with it, MELANIE WOULDN’T BE! You don’t just ‘consider’ not being a rapist, you just don’t be a fucking rapist! THIS IS NOT THAT FUCKING DIFFICULT! Men are not fucking animals you know! We can control our urges! Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise is a jackass who should be avoided/stabbed in the face.
“There’s nothing to think about,” Jared retorted. I knew how he would look from the sound of his voice–teeth clenched, jaw strained. “The body and the person locked inside it belong to me. ”
“You’re sure that Melanie still feels the –”
“Melanie will always be mine. And I will always be hers.”
IAN’S RESPONSE TRANSLATES TO ‘MAYBE MELANIE WOULD LIKE IT.’ I CANNOT WRITE WORDS AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH FOR THE FEELINGS THAT IS MAKING ME FEEL! I HAVEN’T WANTED TO STAB A FICTIONAL CHARACTER THIS HARD SINCE THE LAST TIME I WROTE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE WANDERER PISSED ME OFF! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS BOOK?!
“But what if it were you?” Ian asked in little more than a whisper. “What if you were stuffed in a human body and let loose on this planet, only to find yourself lost among your own kind? What if you were such a good… person that you tried to save the life you’d taken, that you almost died trying to get her back to her family? What if you then found yourself surrounded by violent aliens who hated you and hurt you and tried to murder you, over and over again?” His voice faltered momentarily. “What if you just kept doing whatever you could to save and heal these people despite that? Wouldn’t you deserve a life, too? Wouldn’t you have earned that much?”
You know what? NO. No she hasn’t earned that! That is supposed to be the nature of her ENTIRE species. The species that TOOK OVER THE FUCKING PLANET. Doing what comes natural to her should NOT mean she deserves Melanie’s body! It does NOT mean that Melanie’s feelings can just be ignored! She doesn’t get to live a full life while Melanie is trapped just because she’s nice! Even if I DIDN’T know the crap Wanderer says behind people’s backs I STILL wouldn’t think that just because she’s done nice things for these people she should get to take over Melanie’s body completely! JUST NO! And I can’t believe I have to fucking explain this!
Also I would like to point out at this point that Ian has still not actually checked to see if WANDERER wants that either!
Of course Jared is not as able to think of a response to this because Meyer can’t have anyone reminded that allowing Wanderer a life literally steals Melanie’s in a very horrible way. To be told that your feelings don’t matter because Wanderer is nicer than you. To be told that you should just give up control, accept another man’s touch other than the one you love because you physically can’t say no. To have people look at your face and see someone else, have them love someone else. Have them not even acknowledge your presence, your desires. Have no control over your life at all. To have to watch your life get lived without you in it, without anyone even knowing your there. All because the alien that invaded your body is nicer than you.
Ian gets smug that Jared can’t refute his response. Jared wasn’t smug about pointing out that Ian can’t have a physical relationship with Wanderer, but Ian is being a dick about pointing out that Wanderer deserves to have a relationship with him. As though he just won their dick measuring contest and Wanderer is the prize. I fucking hate men like this. In part because I have to constantly remind myself that the things I have in common with them don’t make me that kind of evil. I am competitive, but I could never feel smug about explaining why someone’s right to exist should be outweighed by someone else’s. I feel disgusting just by proxy.
Ian explains that it doesn’t really matter anyway though since Wanderer doesn’t respond to physical affection. So I’ve been right that this whole time every time he’s been unreasonably handsy he’s been thinking about more than just holding her hand and hugging her. This adds validity to my previous arguments. But more importantly it gives Jared an opportunity to be a smug douchebag right back and laugh about how Wanderer responds just fine. So she just doesn’t like Ian. (It’s been a while, so for anyone who’s forgotten, Jared kissed Wanderer several chapters ago to test her reaction and got punched in the face by Melanie for cheating on her)
“Melanie… punched… you?”
“It sure wasn’t Wanda. You should have seen her face.… What? Hey, Ian, easy, man!”
“Did you think for one moment what that must have done to her?” Ian hissed.
“No, you fool, Wanda!”
“Done to Wanda? ” Jared asked, sounding bewildered by the idea.
“Oh, get out of here. Go eat something. Stay away from me for a few hours.”
‘No, you fool,’ Meyer watches way too many bad movies.
I personally don’t really give a shit what that might have done to Wanderer, but that’s because I know her and Melanie already hashed that out. And in the end it’s the main reason Jared trusts them now, so Wanderer would do it again in a heartbeat despite the pain it caused her. Plus I don’t think Ian’s concern has anything to do with Wanderer’s feelings aside from the whole ‘omg she’s gonna think Jared likes HER and then she won’t love me! Oh noes!’ selfish bullshit.
Ian goes to sulk in his room. When he notices that Wanderer is still awake and was clearly listening in, he asks what she thinks and that’s how the chapter ends.
This chapter left me feeling angry, disgusting, and depressed.
Buckle in for the next one, it’s going to be an rougher ride.
Till next time. Check out The Llama’s review!