The Host: The Movie

Man have I not been looking forward to watching this again. I watched this movie a couple of months ago after I actually finished reading the book but long before I decided reading the remaining chapters again was the worst torture I could imagine. It’s every bit as terrible the second time through.

Frustrated Sigh

So I’m sure by now we all picked up on the ever so subtle racism running throughout the book right? The ‘souls’ are very clearly named in the style you would imagine an ignorant white person would imagine Native American names to sound, and they’re all lovers of the Earth and peaceful and all the violent humans are white as the driven snow, but the white people are the ones showing the peaceful naturists that they’re missing out on fun or something. I’m not the only person that picked up on that right? Anyway, the movie clearly did pick up on it, because as far as I can tell they went really far out of their way to make as much of the cast on both sides of the conflict be played by black actors as they could get away with.

That’s not really relevant, I just wanted to point out that the producers validated my cries of racism throughout the whole book (though I tended to be calling Wanderer out for specism I suppose). Though I will highlight that Doc gets played by a Scott Lawrence who I’ve only seen get bit parts in cop dramas and unnamed background character roles in movies. I point this out because despite them only being bit parts I noticed him enough to remember him specifically because I thought he did an exceptional job whenever I saw him, so I was a mix between very pleased to see him get a bigger role and incredibly saddened that it was in The Host… He deserves way better than that.

The actual movie itself is crap. You knew it was going to be crap. I think the studio knew it was going to be crap, which is probably why I was only vaguely aware of its existence when it came out unlike Twilight and the upcoming 50 Shades movie. There was no real push on this because the whole world knew it was going to suck. Somehow it actually manages to suck harder than the book. And that’s saying a LOT.

It starts off the same as the book with Fords Deep Water inserting Wanderer into Melanie. I would like to point out that the size of the alien being inserted into the cranium would without even a shred of doubt murder the fuck out of the host human. There is not a lot of empty space in your skull. Because if there was, every time you stepped on the brakes for a stop sign any faster than coming to a slow crawl your brain would slam so hard into your skull you’d have at least a concussion if not die. There is not enough space for the worms. There just isn’t. They’re the size of your fucking hand! Inserted into the brainstem! Just no! And you can’t even claim that they shrink or they’re like memory foam and just squish up, because they would still displace the same amount of pressure just into different areas, and there is no area in your head or your spine that has enough room to house something the size of your hand without resulting in you dying or at best being paralyzed from the neck down. Sorry, just no.

Blaine_no,_just_no

Actually I lied, it starts off with a really weird narration by Uncle Jeb. He talks about how perfect the Earth is now that humans aren’t in charge, and then tries to build tension about the remaining human’s lives being at stake. It comes off as kind of weird. And then Melanie and Jamie are in a hotel. Melanie gets Jamie to hide, and then the aliens corner Melanie as she distracts them from his location so he can get away. But unlike in the book, the seekers are genuinely unarmed and are calmly talking to her trying to get her to put down her weapon and talk to them. Which goes with the weirdness of the message from the narration. So far while the tone seems to suggest that the humans are the protagonists, the movie itself clearly thinks the humans are evil and the aliens are perfect.

Anyway, back to the insertion. Through the whole thing there is this beautiful violin piece playing music that seems to suggest that this is just the most beautiful scene in the whole wide world. Again, this whole movie doesn’t seem to believe that the humans are in the right.

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When Wanderer wakes up, there’s no sign whatsoever of the confusion or disorientation described in the books. No sign of conflict or adjustment to the body at all except that she speaks… like… this… when she gives herself a name. Which is a whole 3 words. And even the Seeker is calm and respectful. The only thing she does in this scene is say ‘when will she be able to work?’ and Fords responds ‘not now’, and she’s perfectly polite, no sign of sarcasm or annoyance, ‘of course Healer.’ And scene over.

I’m sorry to the actors in this, but my god, most of them are absolutely terrible. I know they have very little to work with, but jesus christ. A few of them are clearly decent actors just given nothing to work with, but most of them (including unfortunately THE MAIN CHARACTER) kind of really do a terrible job. I don’t know if they’re just bad or if they just knew this was going to suck and didn’t care, but they sure as fucking hell do not make this an easy sit. Wanderer comes off as engaging as a 2×4 and Melanie (done entirely in voice over with a filter to make it sound like she’s speaking from the other end of a tunnel) has this bad Southern drawl, and is constantly sounding panicked and angry even when the context doesn’t call for it.

She is constantly acting like this, even when there's no reason to be

She is constantly acting like this, even when there’s no reason to be

When Wanderer first realizes that Melanie is still alive, it happens because Melanie ‘wakes up’ (complete with ‘omg I just had a nightmare and must burst out of bed!’ gasp) and says she’s still alive and declares “This body is mine!” to which Wanderer gets up, looks at herself in the mirror and says, out loud for some reason (probably because having the majority of the movie be internal dialogue would get really confusing. Probably also why Melanie has an accent and Wanderer doesn’t), ‘No… mine…’ in the most non-committal way possible. Then that’s it. Scene over, moving on, nothing to see here!

25 - Nothing-to-see-here-move-along

The next scene Seeker has her in an interrogation room and goes over some expository dialogue about how the Soul’s work as though Wanderer doesn’t already know. The whole time Melanie just keeps randomly piping in to be a bitch. And yeah I know I felt bad for Melanie in the books, but seriously, the movie really really makes the humans look like the assholes. So much so that I have a hard time feeling for her! Not that I like Wanderer either since at this point the two quotes I’ve given you are literally the only things she’s said. I’ve not left out so much as a gasp. Ten minutes in and our lead character has said five words.

They do a flashback to show Melanie’s backstory and it is so goddamn stupid… She literally lives in a swamp in Louisiana. I have never been to Louisiana, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most people in that state do not live in the swamp. Complete with the house being on support beams in the water itself. Her dad shoots himself in the head while Melanie and Jamie hide in plain sight.  Not kidding, they are hiding under the house which we can actually see from the vantage point of some of the oncoming seeker cars, so there’s no reason they wouldn’t have found them, they just don’t for some reason.  And unlike the book, Wanderer learns she has a brother long before she learns she has a lover, again twisting Melanie’s character into something less likeable.

I completely expect to want to use this gif again when talking about Bella...

I completely expect to want to use this gif again when talking about Bella…

After that Wanderer walks home and looks around at all the happy people just living their lives in peace and says to Melanie that she understands where she’s coming from, but they have to think of the greater good. And while it does still reek of hypocrisy, it’s harder to see Melanie’s side of the story in this adaptation. Melanie counters that it’s murder, and I don’t disagree. But it’s harder to think it’s not kind of justified when everything we’ve seen about the humans so far is violence, and the only things we’ve seen from the aliens are technological advancement, peace, and offers to sit down and talk things over like adults.

The scene where Melanie meets Jared is okay. The actor playing Jared does an alright job and they almost have chemistry. Melanie’s manipulation of Wanderer is waaaaaaay more obvious in the movie though than it was in the book though. In the book she kind of just is wallowing in her happy memories and that’s why they keep coming up, but in the movie she’s deliberately trying to make Wanderer fall for Jared to get her to stop giving away their secrets.

God this movie is dull… There’s absolutely no tension. I can’t give a shit about any of the characters at all and it’s not just because I know they all suck because of the book. It’s because they’re all so goddamn bland! Seeker raises her voice at one point but it’s only because Wanderer keeps giving her just enough information to suggest she knows more, but then saying she’s got nothing more, and Seeker is kind of understandably frustrated.  But then she apologizes and calms down and there’s no more emotion at all.  I assume that was intentional given that the souls are supposed to have much more controlled emotions than humans, but it’s soooooo boooooring.

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I’m going to take a moment to talk about the visuals. In the book, everything is basically the same as it was. They keep our cars and buildings. In the movie, all the seekers drive tin foil on wheels. And I don’t mean they just crumple in action scenes, I mean they’re made of hyper reflective aluminum/chrome for some reason. It’s weird. Yet there are regular cars around too. Just the seeker vehicles (also a helicopter and motorcycles, not just cars) are shiny reflective metal.  It is never explained why.  Also all the seekers are always wearing white, and all the humans are always wearing greys and browns.  Again with the aliens are pure and humans are dirty motif muddying who’s in the right here.  Which would be fine in a movie that actually asked that question, but they don’t here.  So making it so much less clear who’s right and who’s wrong just makes it confusing as hell.

Anyway, back to the movie. Melanie attacks Seeker, then they lock Wanderer up to try and do the body switch thing they were going to do in the book. So instead of just driving off on her own, Melanie forces her to escape by jumping from a third floor balcony into a fountain that should not at all be deep enough to break her landing but suddenly turns into a pool when she jumps. Melanie tells her they need to steal a car, so Wanderer walks up to someone driving past, politely asks for his station wagon, and he asks if there’s anything else he can help her with, that it’s a very reliable model, and that the tank is full as she drives off with it. And again I feel like the humans are the jerks.

Jerk-GIF

Wanderer thinks they’re going to see Fords to just get her removed so the Seeker can’t get her memories, but Melanie floods her with flashbacks to distract her while she takes over and leads them to the hideout. Wanderer justifiably gets ‘pissed’ (she kind of sounds annoyed) and turns the car around to head to Fords when she realizes what’s happening, so Melanie fights for control again and ends up flipping the car over. And again the human comes off as the douchebag. Remember how in the book it was Wanderer who CHOSE to go there instead of killing Melanie? Because Melanie had no control at all, causing her to be more sympathetic because she was trapped in her own body with no say whatsoever over what happened to it? Here she seems to be able to take over a decent amount and always does so in a way that gets Wanderer hurt, while Wanderer is trying to do right by her.

They nearly die in the desert like in the books, and Jeb finds them. The scene is actually pretty close to how it goes in the book, so I’m not going to bother going over it.

Kyle is small. In the books I kind of pictured him as being the size of The Undertaker, but instead he’s just kinda lanky I guess. He’s not really small, but I could kick his ass without even trying. This is not how I pictured him at all…

What I expected

What I expected

The actual actor

The actual actor

Actually nothing at all is how I pictured it. Melanie is supposed to be a soccer player, but the actress is so skinny you can see all her bones THROUGH HER CLOTHES. There’s no way in hell she’s athletic. Jared is about the same size as Kyle, Ian is a little skinnier than either of them, and all three guys faces look damn near identical. I have watched this movie more than once and I STILL can’t tell them apart. The cave is MASSIVE. The biggest lava caverns are barely 6 feet tall in real life, but the cave system in this movie is absofuckinglutely MASSIVE. The hole they stuck her in in the books was so small she couldn’t sit up, but here it’s tall enough to stand in and have space left over, and she’s laid out on a cot carved out of the stone on the wall, and there’s electric lights EVERYWHERE.

When they take her in, Jamie is the one who saves her instead of Jeb or Jared, which, fine, whatever. Jared still slaps her silly. Kyle and Ian show up and try and kill her, Jeb comes and stops them, the scene is similar enough to in the books. Ian gets his first lines in the movie shortly after when they have the scene from the book where he expresses questions over Wanderer’s loyalties to the aliens. At this point we have not actually seen WANDERER have questions over her loyalties to the aliens, because until being found by Jeb she was still planning on handing Melanie over to be disposed of, but whatever.

They shove in basically every scene from the books except the ones with Walter (the old man who dies of cancer) and the ones where she discusses the other alien species (thank fucking christ). But they go over them so fast and cut so much that we get absolutely no character development at all. Which is terrifying because I already thought there was none in the books, but somehow they manage to make there be even LESS. I have NO idea why Wanderer is suddenly on their side in the movie. At least in the books she CHOSE to go to them. Here she was forced to and she doesn’t seem to care for them as far as I can tell.

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Anyway Jared goes on his expedition and Jeb shows Wanderer the absolutely huge wheat field. Seeker flies overhead and so Wanderer helps them move the mirrors so they don’t give them away, and that’s how she wins them over. Because she didn’t try and stop them. She’s 80lbs soaking wet and there’s like, 40 of them. So Jeb gives her to Jamie as a pet (that’s kind of how it feels) and she starts to get comfortable, and all through this Ian doesn’t have another line yet. He’s not hanging out with her, they’re not talking, nothing. This is important.

She admits to Jamie that Melanie is in fact still alive while Jamie shows her a glow worm cave I’m not certain actually exists in that part of the world but I don’t care enough to look it up. Everybody cries and we’re supposed to be moved I guess.

Probably never

The movie cuts to Jared and the raiders and they’re going to all the places that they spend a stupid amount of time in the books talking about how they never go to because it’s too dangerous. And then Jared is made out to be a fucking sociopath when he sets a trap for one of the souls and knocks the guy out (who WAS NOT ATTACKING THEM) and stuffs him in their van for experimentation. I was kind of under the impression in the books that they only did this when they had no other way of escaping without hurting the aliens, but nope!  In the movie they just abduct people! In a way that comes off as coldly calculating and massively psychotic!

We switch back to the caves and suddenly Wanderer is crushing on Ian. Again, THEY HAVE NOT SPOKEN EVEN ONCE THAT THE MOVIE HAS SHOWN! NOT ONCE! Not even here!  They’re just making googly eyes at each other!  And Melanie is being a bitch about it too. She’s freaking out and telling Wanderer to stop even smiling at him. In the books the problem was that Ian was getting handsy with her body, here she’s just like ‘you’re not allowed to be friendly, bitch!’ And again, the humans are the assholes in this exchange.

Back to the raiders, the humans are speeding on the highway and thus the seekers try and stop them to inform them they are going over the speed limit and should be safer, and the humans SHOOT THEM WITH SHOTGUNS. Once again, the aliens were not at ALL being aggressive. No weapons, no ‘OMG HUMANS, CALLING BACKUP!’ they were ‘hey, you are speeding and that is dangerous! Please be safe!’ and the humans respond by opening fire and murdering them. And we’re supposed to feel bad for the humans when they’re stopped and then they kill themselves. Yeah, that happens too. They fucking drive into a brick wall at ramming speed and flatten themselves.  This scene is supposed to be tense and sad.  I found it psychotic and unnecessarily violent.

While Jared and Kyle are trying to get away in the second van they intercut the scene with Wanderer telling stories about how peaceful the aliens are while Kyle shoots them with his gun while the seekers continue to not shoot back. They’re about to successfully get away when there’s only one seeker left close enough to catch up, so Jared slams on the brakes and the seekers car gets totaled when he can’t stop in time. The guy lives, but can’t take chase. But instead of just, you know, speeding off like a sane person (and like the character in the book would have done because his priority was keeping everyone safe and alive) this version of Jared gets out of the truck to try and abduct the seeker!

I'm starting to worry the director may have issues

I’m starting to worry the director may have issues

The main Seeker with no name making this scene really confusing to discuss this way comes along. She grabs Kyle’s gun which he had dropped in the crash and opens fire, accidentally shooting the other seeker in the head before Jared can make off with him. She killed the seeker and looks horrified at herself and the weapon, hands shaking. And seriously, reread the last two or three paragraphs. HOW ARE THE HUMANS NOT THE VILLAINS IN THIS MOVIE!?

Some other seekers catch up and ask why she would pick up their weapons and use them, and she says they’re at war. The others say that, no, they’re not. The humans are so few in number they can just be left in peace without issue. THE ALIENS JUST WANT TO LEAVE THEM ALONE SO EVERYONE CAN BE HAPPY! If I had written this movie I would have fucking ended it with Wanderer becoming a peace envoy between the species and having the souls give them a city and open up trading between them! Have everyone live in peace, and have them intermingle and everyone gets to be fucking happy. The Earth stays the peaceful and technologically advanced place the aliens made it, and the remaining humans get to remain violent and horrible… I mean human… They get to remain human…

Totally what I meant...

Totally what I meant…

Anyway, finally Wanderer and Ian have some dialogue together and they are already madly in love with each other, and Ian is loving and respectful and kind. So, he’s a completely different character they just happened to give Ian’s name to. And Melanie is once again a bitch about it. To a very unreasonable degree.

Jared and Kyle come back, Jared does the kissing test scene and then just trusts her. But he somehow comes off as an even bigger prick in the movie than he did in the book. Possibly because the last scene we saw him in he was abducting someone who had no desire to hurt him, so he comes off as a sociopath.

The Kyle fight scene happens (yes, the scene changes are basically as abrupt as I’m writing them. I’m literally writing this while watching the movie) and somehow it’s even dumber than in the book. Despite that in the book it was 100% physically impossible. Here it’s just stupid. A probably 150-160lb man trying to toss a, in all seriousness no more than 90lb woman into a rushing river literally less than 3 feet away from where she was standing and she has nothing to grab onto except a wall. Not a pillar she can wrap her arms or legs around, a WALL. She manages to stop him but holding a WALL. And SOMEHOW he manages to basically throw HIMSELF into the water.

nope

She saves him and the ‘tribunal’ is just a fight in the doctor’s office. It’s over in less than 2 minutes. Ian takes Wanderer out of the caves and confesses his feelings to her and of course she returns them completely right away. (Just now while re-reading this for editing/gifing realized that there was no ‘hey we’re back!  WTF why is Wanderer free now?!’ scene… So Kyle’s hatred of her makes even less sense.  Back to editing!) Wanderer has no feelings for Jared at all in this version (which makes sense because he’s a massive dick) and Melanie keeps trying to convince her that she doesn’t love Ian, she loves Jared instead, and stops them from kissing by just yelling at her a lot. Again, in the book this was justified, here it just comes off as cruel. While I understand Melanie not wanting to kiss someone other than Jared and she is stuck there, she doesn’t make a moral argument, she just threatens to hurt him and yells about how she should love Jared instead, which she also flipped out at her over in the kissing Jared scene!

make up your mind

We cut back to Seeker, and she’s clearly struggling to maintain control of her own host body. She still has Kyle’s gun, and is clearly plotting to go find them. Then it’s back to the caves.

Jamie is missing (scene starts and Wanderer wonders where Jamie is, no lead up at all.  It’s incredibly clunky and very woodenly acted on everyone’s part so the entire scene feels weird and out of place, like they were doing a test run, going through a bullet point version of the scene to get the lighting right and just decided they didn’t have time to film the actual scene), then he shows up apropos of nothing and says he’s fine, he cut himself but Doc cleaned him up and sent him away. This is obviously setting up for the dead aliens scene, but in the books this made sense because Jared is just getting back from a second raid. Here, she’s already been to the hospital since they brought the aliens in. Where were they when she was in the hospital earlier? Why are they only just starting to experiment on them now, days or maybe even WEEKS later?  Whatever, she sees the dead baby aliens and freaks out and banishes Melanie from her head and holes up.

In this version Ian gives her her space and leaves her be instead of disobeying her wishes and getting all up in her space. After a few days Jeb comes and gives her the speech and she explains that they’re stupid for trying to take them out that way, that it’ll never work and they’re horrible for trying. And like in the book she doesn’t really forgive them, just moves on because Jamie is more hurt. At no point in this movie does she actually seem to believe that the humans are in the right, she just kind of grows to like certain individuals. In the book Meyer at least TRIED to make it SOUND like Wanderer was starting to see their side of things, but scenes are going by so fast that there’s nothing at all. Whatever.

Whatever

She panics and tries to get Melanie back because ‘I can’t do this without you’, which is, deal with sick Jamie, and does the whole ‘Ian, kiss me!’ thing. Only in this version he doesn’t protest at all, he just kisses her, which is a little worse actually. But moving on. Ian goes to get Jared and Jared gets Melanie back. None of these scenes last more than a minute. Not exaggerating. I am taking longer to write these paragraphs than the scenes are lasting. This is the first time a scene has taken longer to play out than it has for me to write about it, and that’s only because I basically skipped the whole thing since it’s pretty much the same as the book.

Jared kinda starts dry humping her though. That’s a little weird.  This wakes her up and she smacks him and gets mad at Wanderer again.

Wanderer tells them they need alien medicine to save Jamie and the guys just trust her and take her to a hospital. She stabs herself with Jared’s knife and goes into the hospital. Melanie gives her encouragement, but everything goes the same as in the book, meaning there was no reason to be tense or panicked at all because no one is even the tiniest bit suspicious.

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Wanderer finds some empty transport pods on her way out and grabs them. For no reason. None.

They try and make the healing Jamie scene really tense but they’re still playing calm violin music in the background as they have in EVERY scene Wanderer is in and we already saw how fast it worked on Wanderer so how is there any tension? Jamie wakes up, cracks a joke, dissolve cut to Wanderer shopping in a store.

They head back to the caves (seriously, the transition from Jamie waking up, to her shopping, to getting back to the caves was faster than I could type the paragraph before this one) and Seeker is there with Kyle’s gun and shoots someone who didn’t even have a single line of dialogue before getting shot in the shoulder herself.

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Then, again, just as goddamn fast, Wanderer is talking to her in the cell and Seeker exposits her modus operandi and Wanderer then decides to use the cases she picked up at the hospital. Which makes her having picked them up at the hospital apparently an act of precognition.

Up to this point Melanie hasn’t said a single nice thing about Wanderer. Not. One. She has just yelled at her and spat hatred at her. But in the very next scene Wanderer is talking about killing herself and Melanie is all ‘NO! You can stay! I looove you!’ obviously paraphrased.

Apparently the guy who died was named Wes. I was right. Good to know.

No one likes her plan, but they go with it anyway. She teaches Doc how to remove the souls from the hosts. The answer is literally love. LITERALLY. SHE SAYS THAT. IT’S FUCKING LOVE.

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And again the violin orchestra plays the sappy tune that is supposed to make us think they’re all beautiful and wonderful creatures. ARE the humans the villains in this movie? Maybe they are and I’m just misunderstanding.

Seeker’s host’s name is Lacy and she’s so happy she’s free that she cries, talking about how horrible it was to be trapped and screaming when no one could hear here, so I guess the aliens are the bad guys? Fucked if I know.

Jamie tries to talk Wanderer into keeping Melanie’s body, and that comes off as pretty horrible to me, personally. Melanie tells Wanderer he’s right, and that she needs to stay, Wanderer says she can’t. She is suddenly on the side of the humans and thinks that everything the aliens have done is horrible and I don’t really get why… There’s no motivation on Wanderer’s part at all. You can argue that she has one based on the character in the books, but she’s NOT the Wanderer from the books. To anyone that doesn’t know what’s going on, they’re just left to assume she thinks the people are right, except the whole movie makes the people look WRONG. It confirms EVERYTHING Wanderer argues to Melanie at the start of the movie as being accurate. With the exception of the Seeker, all of the aliens we see are 100% non-violent, even to their enemies, and the only person they infect during the course of the whole movie is Melanie who would have died if they hadn’t saved her. And they even say they’ll leave the remaining humans alone because they don’t WANT to fight them!

Anyway, there’s a tearful goodbye to Ian who in the books literally beats her for trying to leave him, but here he just cries and hopes she’ll be happy in her next life. Melanie calls Wanderer her sister. Melanie’s motivation for this change in attitude is as unclear as Wanderer’s… And I really don’t understand why Wanderer wants to die in this version at all. She tells Melanie she doesn’t want to go on without her because she loves her, but WHY?! Melanie has done nothing but yell at her and make her life miserable!

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They put Wanderer in a new body that is somehow even tinier than Melanie’s, which makes no sense because I didn’t think that was physically possible since Melanie is already just a skeleton with skin (seriously, you can literally see the outline of her bones through her not even super tight clothing.  I would be terrified to hug her for fear of snapping her in two). But at least she’s not in a child’s body like she is in the book. Her and Ian go on a date in the rain and then onto the stupid epilogue where they meet other humans/converted aliens. Jeb does a closing monologue about how different humans are from any of the other species the souls have taken over. End of movie. They play Radioactive by Imagine Dragons and I am sad because I like that song.

GOD THAT WAS AWFUL.

So glad it’s done. Never watch this movie. It’s not even fun bad. It’s just BAD. It’s badly written, it’s badly acted, the cg cave looks dumb, and it’s paced so poorly that it feels like a whole 2 hours passed without anything actually happening somehow. Much like the book in that sense… yet somehow actually dumber.

Anyway, Thursday I’m going to try and post an original piece if I can get my ideas to pan out and then next week I’ll post something for the first Twilight book. The Llama posted her first chapter by chapter review of it to show why it’s so boring it’s not worth breaking down that way though so go check that out too.

Till next time!

The Host Review: Chapter Forty-Two: Bait and Switch

Sorry people. I really didn’t want to give up, but after writing the review for this chapter 4 times only to have it get lost through my own stupidity or computer error, I just couldn’t stomach reading it again. So I stopped for a while hoping maybe some distance would make me able to try once more. But then I found myself feeling guilty writing anything own because I felt like I should get this done, which made me resent the book even more, which led to a vicious cycle of not getting a damn thing done ever. Then there were a lot of personal things going on distracting me even more and getting me kind of depressed, but they’re really not things I want to share here. Suffice to say I haven’t forgotten about this goddamn book though.

Which brings me to what I’m going to do with it. I can’t bring myself to review the rest of the book. I just can’t. I need to look at something new. Maybe someday I’ll come back and finish it, but right now every time I open it up to try and write that goddamn chapter a 5th fucking time all of a sudden grass growing is absolutely goddamn FASCINATING. So I won’t be finishing The Host. If you want in depth breakdowns of the rest of the chapters The Llama did finish it (and then set it on fire on her deck) and you can check it out there, but I’ll summarize the rest.

We left off with Wanderer trying to convince Ian to kiss her because Wanderer banished Melanie from her brain and then felt bad (not for Melanie or Jared though, just Jamie. She didn’t feel bad that she killed Melanie, she felt bad that she lied to her brother about it. Because Wanderer is a fucking horrible person. Never forget that) and the whole scene comes off as incredibly dumb, horrible and a lot uncomfortable. Eventually Ian gets her to explain what the fuck is going on, so he goes and gets Jared who fixes everything because of course it’s that easy.

Wanderer wants to go get alien medicine to fix Jamie’s wound (which would have been fine if anyone in this universe had half a brain, but then there would be no drama so whatever) but no one will let her go. Jared kidnaps her in the middle of the night after everyone goes to sleep and takes her to go get alien medicine for Jamie. It goes without any issues whatsoever because of things that are incredibly contradictory and make no sense and plot convenience, and Jamie lives and everyone is happy except Ian who hates that Wanderer has newfound freedom.

Wanderer starts helping the people on raids, which are now simplified to ‘go to a grocery store, walk in, walk back out’, and everyone complains that they’re bored because fuck living comfortably, risking your lives and the future of your species as a whole is so much more fun! Wanderer gets racist some more despite more claims of not being racist while totally being racist, Seeker invades their home and kills one of the humans and injures another. Wanderer talks to her and decides she (Wanderer, not Seeker, though her too) needs to give up her human host and die. For absolutely no goddamn reason whatsoever.

Wanderer uses this decision to finally reveal the tantalizing secret she’s been keeping through the whole book (oooooh, can’t you tell I was riveted?!) and it’s what I called from the beginning, she knows how to take the aliens out of their host bodies. Which, you know, we kind of could have guessed since Meyers says right in the fucking epilogue that ANYONE can remove the fucking things if they have to.

She teaches the people how to do it but makes them promise to not kill the aliens they remove, but instead send them out into space to planets so far away that they’ll not get there for a few centuries. Absolutely no one figures out she plans to remove herself except Jared. When it finally gets out, Ian physically attacks her while everyone just stands around and lets him. Eventually he consents to let her decide what to do with her own goddamn body, despite trying to convince her that Melanie doesn’t need it anymore. And Melanie clearly has stockholme syndrome because she too tries to convince Wanderer that she’s more valuable to them than Melanie is.

Eventually she goes through with it, but instead of killing her like she made them promise, they found a new body to put her in. A child’s body. Not joking. Technically mid-teens, but still. It’s really creepy and there’s some minor pedophilia vibes coming off the ending of the book, and not so subtle hints that Ian gets him some jailbait tail. Like I said, creepy.

The book ends with an epilogue of them finding another band of surviving humans who have connections with other bands of surviving humans, and their own ‘gone native’ alien. And everyone lives happily ever after. The fucking end.

Somehow that takes damn near 20 chapters. 20 chapters of rage and anger. I hate this book. I have never hated a book as much as I hate this book, and I have already read the first 50 Shades book. Which I will be covering by the way. But first things first! I will do a write up on the god awful movie for this stupid book because I fucking watched that thing you are going to have to hear about it goddammit.

As for Twilight, which was the next planned book after this one, The Llama has already read the entire series and said that the entire first book can pretty much be summed up by ‘and the stupid whiney teenager bitches about the weather. And then bitches about the weather some more. And then bitches about the weather some more.’ So there’s really just not enough to talk about. We will both do up reviews for each book as a whole and then it’s accompanying movie. After that we’ll move on to 50 Shades, which at least actually does have things to talk about in every chapter, even if they are almost as rage inducing as the crap in this book, at least it’s different.

So, yeah, sorry about this, I really did want to finish it, and maybe someday I will, but for now I just want to try and get back into writing SOMETHING again, and I can’t do it as long as that book is hanging over my head. And as you can see all you missed was me going ‘WHY WON’T THEY ALL DIE?!’ over and over again while nothing at all happened. Even the parts that sounded like something interesting may have been happening, I assure you nothing interesting happened. The bit where Seeker kills someone happens 100% off screen and all of the characters respect Wanderer too much to even seek revenge, because that’s TOTALLY how that would work. There’s almost an entire chapter with them just watching alien TV and complaining about how boring it is. This book is just so fucking much nothing. And yet I could talk about a problem with damn near every goddamn word choice. It’s fucking ridiculous.

If you do like this book, I’m sorry, but I have no idea how. I can’t imagine how anyone could actually enjoy it. It’s shallow, it’s stupid, the relationships are abusive, the characters are unlikeable, the science makes no sense at all, the plot is paced so slow a snail would look fast by comparison… I just do not get it.

Oh, in case you were curious, the one that dies is the guy we were supposed to feel happy got hooked up with the girl we didn’t know. That’s another big problem with this book, none of the characters outside the main that we were supposed to remember and care about in some way were at all memorable. I had to remind myself who they were on a regular basis and I was doing in depth analysis on this fucking book. How the hell did anyone know who the fuck they were talking about when they WEREN’T analyzing every fucking sentence?! Wess? Was that his name? I think it was Wess. I looked it up because I didn’t want to reread that chapter AGAIN to try and remember, but even the Wikipedia entry didn’t care enough to mention him by name.

Whatever, the book is terrible. I hate it. And I wish I had a physical copy to set on fire like Llama did. I also wish she had recorded it burn to post online.

See you Tuesday with a write up on the worst movie I’ve actually sat through. And not the fun kind of bad, just the bad kind of bad. It’s just terrible. Really really terrible.

Till next time!

The Host Review: Vanished (Ch 41)

Hey look I’m still alive!  It’s a miracle!

Stephen-colbert-celebration-gifAnd now I have to get back to The Host…

Well that took the air out of my... duck.

Well that took the air out of my… duck.

This chapter starts with Wanderer describing how long Ian sits there in silence with her.  Apparently they sit there for 3 days, with Ian only getting up to get food and water that Wanderer never touches.  After Ian finally clues in that she’s not eating on purpose, he joins her little hunger strike.  I have issues with this.

She does state that when he would leave she would ‘relieve herself’ in the sulphur pools, but she doesn’t state that she drinks the water.  Three days is the exact length of time it takes for you to literally die of dehydration.  By day 2 she would have been so thirsty she would drink her own urine if she had to.  Especially since it’s been displayed that Wanderer has practically no self-control.  Mourning would not make her not die from refusing to drink the water.

She goes on about how when she needs to sleep she purposefully makes herself uncomfortable.  This goes back to what I was talking about many chapters ago, how Wanderer seems to display a desire for self-flagellation.  This, as I have said many times in the past, is ridiculous and not something you should strive to emulate.  You cannot punish yourself for the actions of others, and you shouldn’t seek out punishment for your thoughts and feelings (she appears to be punishing herself for having to feel human emotions).  It’s a sign of a deeply ill person (or one who happens to be into kinky sex, no judgement if that’s your thing, I’m talking about the ones who don’t get sexual gratification from being told they’re naughty).

The first night, because Ian is a horrible human being that doesn’t AT ALL understand how Wanderer thinks or feels, she wakes up cradled in his lap and she freaks the fuck out for good reason.  Apparently her reaction was so harsh that he actually DID get the message.  Good for her.

On day three, he begs her to eat, and touches her again, to which she again flinches violently.  Ian does not fucking learn.  I’ve known guys like this.  They think ‘don’t touch me’ just means ‘try harder’.  This is not what it means.  I have never met a girl who says ‘don’t touch me’ when they mean ‘please give me a hug’.  Ever.  And if you have, that still doesn’t mean that that’s what EVERY girl (or even most) means when she says that.  Golly gee, women are people too, with unique personalities and thoughts of their very own!  And when they make it violently clear that they don’t want to be touched, IT USUALLY MEANS THEY DON’T WANT TO BE TOUCHED!

Kindly fuck off

“Please don’t hate me. I’m so sorry. If I’d known… I would have stopped them. I won’t let it happen again.”

Except you DID know.  I know you knew because you tried to stop her from going down there instead of going down there yourself and telling them they’re awful.  You weren’t concerned with the moral implications, you were only concerned with what Wanderer might think if she saw it.  If you cared about the morals you would have gone down there and told them to stop.  You would have told them to go fuck themselves for being insensitive pricks.  You’d have called Doc out on the Hippocratic oath (First do no harm).  You’d have called Jared out on risking Melanie’s life by potentially getting Wanderer to hate them and find a way to turn them all in.  But no, you just used it as an excuse to stay close to Wanderer, because that’s all you give a shit about you selfish douchebag.

He would never stop them. He was just one among many. And, as Jared had said, he’d had no objections before. I was the enemy. Even in the most compassionate, humankind’s limited scope of mercy was reserved for their own.

Oh please, tell that to my cat.  Or the fish I made my parents help me build a coffin for and bury in the yard instead of flushing him down the toilet.  Or the dog my dad was so attached to he spent thousands of dollars in vet bills and took her to a doggy dermatologist when all else failed to try and find out what was wrong with her instead of just putting her down.  Or the police dog in the city I live in that got stabbed in the line of duty and people were calling for the assailant to be tried for full blown murder over the dog’s death.  Tell the people who go out and risk their lives attacking whaling boats that they only care about other human beings (I neither endorse nor support the attacking of whaling boats.  The fact that they’re horrible doesn’t mean they aren’t a good example of empathy and compassion for non-humans).

The average person would lose their shit if someone hurt this baby sloth.

The average person would lose their shit if someone hurt this baby sloth.

I can think of millions of examples of people caring more about pets and wild animals than their fellow man.  The fact is, in this books universe, Wanderer’s species attacked and for all intents and purposes, brutally murdered almost the entirety of mankind.  Sorry if I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the fact that a few of them get killed trying to find a way to save mankind.  And Wanderer can go fuck herself for thinking that means humans lack compassion for anything non-human.  They simply lack compassion for the species that committed genocide against them.

I knew Doc could never intentionally inflict pain on another person. I doubted he would even be capable of watching such a thing, tender as his feelings were. But a worm, a centipede? Why would he care about the agony of a strange alien creature? Why would it bother him to murder a baby–slowly, slicing it apart piece by piece–if it had no human mouth to scream with?

Pretty sure I established that Doc was crying over what was done.  Pretty sure that means he DID care, and it DID bother him.  Though not sure how she expects them to be able to tell what the hell the difference between a baby and an adult is when they can’t see them until they’re extracted and they all act relatively similarly.

“I should have told you,” Ian whispered.

Would it have mattered if I’d simply been told rather than having seen the tortured remains for myself? Would the pain be less strong?

Anyone that genuinely believes there’s no difference between finding out someone died and being there to see it themselves, has clearly never witnessed a death.  There is a massive difference.  Especially when the death is violent as it was in this case.  The pain would still be immense, but it would in no way be comparable.

Ian got up and walked quietly away.

I could make no sense of my emotions. In that moment, I hated the body I was bound to. How did it make sense that his going depressed me? Why should it pain me to have the solitude I craved? I wanted the monster back, and that was plainly wrong.

It’s been several days since the event, he’s been there the whole time without hurting you.  You have had time to absorb the event and the shock is wearing off.  It is in no way unreasonable to not want to be alone when mourning a death, even if you feel like you should be, or that since you’re not talking, it shouldn’t matter.  Humans are a social species, and we long for groups.  Even if we hate the people around us, most people would rather not be alone.  It’s not wrong.  Especially since everything implied about the aliens, they’re a social species as well.  So it would be odd for her to genuinely prefer loneliness to sympathetic company.  She just comes off as a petty child the way she put that.

petty-and-tiny

Shortly after Ian disappears, Jeb comes sauntering in with a lamp that he flashes in her face.  This amuses me because I hate Wanderer and I enjoy seeing her suffer for her stupidity.  He sits down beside her hole in the wall and asks if she plans to starve herself in a non-chalant, almost cheery way.

I glared at the stone floor.

If I was being honest with myself, I knew that my mourning was over. I had grieved. I hadn’t known the child or the other soul in the cave of horrors. I could not grieve for strangers forever. No, now I was angry.

Yes, we gathered that with all your petty comments about monsters.

“You wanna die, there are easier and faster ways.”

As if I wasn’t aware of that.

“So give me to Doc, then,” I croaked.

Jeb wasn’t surprised to hear me speak. He nodded to himself, as if this was exactly what he’d known would come out of my mouth.

Yes, I too expected a childish response that completely ignores their justification for what they did and the knowledge she should reasonably have that he would never do the same to her and why that would be.  It’s pretty easy to tell how a simple person will react to something too complicated for them to understand.

It is surprisingly difficult to not be a condescending dick to Wanderer at this point in the book.

It is surprisingly difficult to not be a condescending dick to Wanderer at this point in the book.

“Did you expect us to just give up, Wanderer?” Jeb’s voice was stern and more serious than I had ever heard it before. “We have a stronger survival instinct than that. Of course we want to find a way to get our minds back. It could be any one of us someday. So many people we love are already lost.

“It isn’t easy. It nearly kills Doc each time he fails–you’ve seen that. But this is our reality, Wanda. This is our world. We’ve lost a war. We are about to be extinct. We’re trying to find ways to save ourselves.”

She may have seen the effect on Doc, but she doesn’t seem to give a shit, so I wouldn’t bother mentioning it.  God forbid you kill the things that killed your kind.  How dare you retaliate and try and get your home back!  How dare you try and find a way to free the people trapped inside their own bodies!  You evil evil people!

For the first time, Jeb spoke to me as if I were a soul and not a human. I had a sense that the distinction had always been clear to him, though. He was just a courteous monster.

Oh for fucks sake, GET A THESAURUS ALREADY!  And go fuck yourself while you’re at it!

I couldn’t deny the truth of what he was saying, or the sense of it. The shock had worn off, and I was myself again. It was in my nature to be fair.

Tom Laughing

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, good one!  Yeah, you were SOOOO fair to Doc earlier, and calling Jeb a monster for essentially doing to your people what they did to his, while believing that your people have a right to have done so, that’s completely fair.  And your behaviour towards the Seeker earlier in the book, that was totally fair right?  And Kathy?  And quitting your job with no notice because you wanted to kill Melanie, that was fair too right?  And constantly not listening to Melanie simply because you didn’t like her, totally fair.  Cutting your hair short to piss her off, telling Seeker about Jamie, all just spectacularly fair.  Reverting to thinking of the humans as awful the chapter after Walt’s death where you admitted your species was wrong, that was justified.  Yup, you’re just so fair!

Some few of these humans could see my side of things; Ian, at least. Then I, too, could consider their perspective. They were monsters, but maybe monsters who were justified in what they were doing.

‘Some few’?  I can’t tell if that’s a grammatical error or just one of those ‘it’s technically right, but…’ situations.  Also, Ian DOESN’T see your side of things, he just doesn’t want you to hate him.  Don’t get sucked in!  It’s too late for that though, isn’t it?  And calling them monsters for doing something you think is justifiable is kind of backhanded and stupid, so you should probably just piss off and accept that maybe you were WRONG.

Of course they would think violence was the answer. They wouldn’t be able to imagine any other solution. Could I blame them that their genetic programming restricted their problem-solving abilities in this way?

EXCUSE me?!  What?!  What the hell else did you expect them to do?!  Open up peace negotiations?!  Your species kills or implants them on sight!  They kill themselves AND their host the second they see a human if they don’t have a means of defense!  HOW EXACTLY DO YOU WANT THEM TO RESPOND!?  Surgery ISN’T violent by nature!  They drugged them and attempted to extract the aliens inside!  You make it sound like they bashed these people over the head, ripped the aliens out and then beat them against the wall!  That is NOT WHAT HAPPENED!

I cleared my throat, but my voice was still hoarse with disuse. “Hacking up babies won’t save anyone, Jeb. Now they’re all dead.”

He was quiet for a moment. “We can’t tell your young from your old.”

“No, I know that.”

What pineapple express

Then why did you make it sound like that makes them so much worse when they had no way of knowing, and you KNOW they have no way of knowing?

“Your kind don’t spare our babies.”

“We don’t torture them, though. We never intentionally cause anyone pain.”

“You do worse than that. You erase them.”

“You do both.”

Really?  You don’t think what you did to Melanie was torture?  I beg to differ.  But if you say you don’t intentionally cause pain, then you should acknowledge that they didn’t either.  They were trying to extract the aliens, not kill anyone.  They failed.  Failure is obviously not intentional.  If you’ll make the distinction for your species you should make it for the humans too.  Otherwise you’re still a massive hypocrite.  Not that I expected anything different.

She goes on about how the threads of the aliens shred the humans’ brains as soon as they try and remove them.  Jeb confirms, and says it’s hard to watch.  Thus showing her that violence is as unpalatable to humans as it is to her, they only do it because they HAVE to.  But of course she doesn’t acknowledge that, and just goes on about how stupid they are for having tried it at all, saying it’s all so simple they should have known.  But how the hell would they know that?  They were trying to save the lives of the humans from the alien species that enslaved them the only way they could possibly have known how, and experimenting in an attempt to get closer to the answer that would solve the riddle. That’s what humans do. That’s what ALL intelligent species do.  Humans, apes, birds, dolphins… This is the process of learning.

We don’t all have the luxury of just getting to steal knowledge from other species that have already gone through all these learning processes. But if I recall correctly, she stated earlier in the book that in order to get medications that cured all ills they abducted humans and experimented on them.  That’s somehow NOT torture?  They never had ONE ‘patient’ that died in that process?  No one ever got so scared they killed themselves to escape the giant spider aliens that were experimenting on them?  Oh, but Wanderer wasn’t there for that!  So while if she actually stopped to think about it for 5 whole seconds she would realize her species is no better, she’s never actually HAD to stop and think about it for 5 whole seconds so it never occurred to her!

the finger

“Jeb, we are relatively tiny creatures, utterly dependent on unwilling hosts. We wouldn’t have lasted very long if we didn’t have some defenses.”

‘Unwilling’ is the important word there.

“I’m not denying that your kind have a right to those defenses. I’m just telling you that we’re gonna keep fighting back, however we can. We don’t mean to cause anyone pain. We’re makin’ this up as we go. But we will keep fighting.”

We looked at each other.

“Then maybe you should have Doc slice me up. What else am I good for?”

“Now, now. Don’t be silly, Wanda. We humans aren’t so logical as all that. We have a greater range of good and bad in us than you do. Well, maybe mostly the bad.”

I nodded at that, but he kept going, ignoring me.

Oh for fucks sake Jeb!  It’s not ‘mostly the bad’!  The bad is NOT the default!  Kyle is bad.  Ian is bad (though no one in the book will EVER admit that) other than that everyone is just doing what they think is RIGHT.  YOU JUST SAID YOURSELF that you didn’t INTEND to hurt the aliens!  You just wanted those people to have their bodies back!  That’s NOT *bad*!  And Wanderer is a massive bitch for agreeing that they’re evil!

Jeb rambles on about how people put those they know above those they don’t as though that’s some kind of human flaw.  This irritates me.  We do that because you can’t trust someone that’s going to abandon you because you mean no more to them than anyone else.  You can’t build a society in a world where no one values the people around them strongly.  If you can just up and walk away from your family because you decide to give being a part of a different family a try, then bonds can’t be built and societies can’t function.  It’s feeling a strong desire to be with and protect your loved ones that builds communities.  It is a biological imperative to encourage people to raise their kids, and help raise the next generation.  There’s nothing at all inherently illogical about it!  If you’re looking at it from a strictly mathematical view, then yeah, one life is worth one life.  But the system is SO MUCH more complicated than that.

Let me put it this way.  Octopi are incredibly intelligent animals.  They can solve complex puzzles, they can learn from one another, and they can use tools, like humans.  So why haven’t octopi taken over the world?  Because they have no social bonds.  They have to learn everything from scratch, they don’t teach the new generation everything they know like we do, so the next generation can’t expand on the species base knowledge.  They’re capable of learning from one another, experiments have proved that.  But after they hatch out of the eggs, the mother dies and the father doesn’t give a shit about their existence.  So away they go, to learn everything their parents already figured out, starting from scratch.  That’s why bonds matter, from an evolutionary perspective.

He is just one loving parent away from world domination.

He is just one loving parent away from world domination.

Wanderer does actually bring up the only valid point she makes in the entire conversation; that it’s unreasonable of them to expect her to just sit back while they murder her kind.  And since she knows they can’t let her leave, and she can’t sit around while they do that, she says they might as well just kill her and get it over with.

Jeb agrees that her point is valid, but says rather than kill her they’ll just make sure not to do that anymore while she’s around.  He says Doc can’t handle doing it anymore anyway as it upsets him too much.  This of course means nothing to Wanderer as she basically hates Doc now despite what she said about how they have a special connection after Walt’s death and the fact that it wasn’t Doc’s idea, and Doc was by far the most upset by it, but Ian, Jared, Jeb and Kyle she’s fine with, it’s just Doc who gets the stigma attached to him.  Because that makes total sense right?

I took a deep breath, trying to think. I wasn’t sure if we’d come to an accommodation or not. Nothing made sense in this body. I liked the people here too much. They were friends. Monstrous friends that I couldn’t see in the proper light while sunk in emotion.

I hate Wanderer so much.

Jeb finally gets her drinking some water and then Ian comes in, and she complains about feeling guilty for having caused Ian so much pain by ‘hurting herself’.  Because she’s so noble and caring right?  She just has no empathy at all so she can’t understand anyone’s perspective but her own, including the perspective of the person living inside her head whose memories she shares.  She didn’t care he was in pain when she was mad at him, and now he’s still a ‘monster’ but she feels guilty about making him suffer because if she didn’t then the reader might realize she’s not actually selfless and caring at all, she’s actually a self centered bitch.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

He turned his hand up to hold mine. “Don’t apologize to me.”

“I should have known. Jeb’s right. Of course you fight back. How can I blame you for that?”

“It’s different with you here. It should have stopped.”

But my being here had only made it that much more important to solve the problem. How to rip me out and keep Melanie here. How to erase me to bring her back.

“All’s fair in war,” I murmured, trying to smile.

He grinned weakly back. “And love. You forgot that part.”

I find so much wrong with this exchange I’m not even sure I can talk about it…  I’m hoping by now the part of her reaction doesn’t need me to explain why it’s awful, but, that last line?  I think that deserves to be talked about.

Lets get down to business

In this context, he’s implying that it’s fair for him to use her trauma to get her to like him.  It’s fair for him to use this as an opportunity to make himself look better compared to Jared so she will love him instead.  That is what he is saying there.  ‘It’s different with you here, it should have stopped’, followed by ‘all’s fair in love’, he’s literally saying that she should interpret Jared as her enemy and him as her knight in shining armour.  Because he is a selfish dick who just wants to look good to her so he can fuck her.  He does not care AT ALL about her species, only her.  He’s not saying it should have stopped because it was wrong, or they should have realized it wouldn’t work, he is ONLY saying it shouldn’t happen because of her presence.

“Okay, break it up,” Jeb mumbled. “I’m not done here.”

Jeb doesn’t like the way Ian treats her either.

I looked at him curiously. What more was there?

“Now.” He took a deep breath. “Try not to freak out again, okay?” he asked, looking at me. I froze, gripping Ian’s hand tighter. Ian threw an anxious glance at Jeb.

“You’re going to tell her?” Ian asked.

“What now?” I gasped. “What is it now?

Jeb had his poker face on. “It’s Jamie.”

Those two words turned the world upside down again.

For three long days, I’d been Wanderer, a soul among humans. I was suddenly Wanda again, a very confused soul with human emotions that were too powerful to control.

So Ian knew that something was wrong with Jamie this whole time, but intentionally kept it from her.  And doesn’t want her to know, because he only just got her talking to him again and god forbid something distract her from him.  I’m sure his justification would be that she’s still so upset she can’t handle more bad news at the moment, but I’m pretty sure being upset doesn’t make all other bad things in the world stop happening and the average person would feel like shit if they didn’t know their loved one was seriously injured/sick/dying while they were off moping.  There is no justification for keeping it from her, and he’s a massive dick for doing so.

Also, again, go fuck yourself Wanderer.  You have never stopped being Wanderer, a soul among humans.  You have never stopped viewing them with distain, and you have never considered yourself one of them.  You have expressed numerous times how annoyed you are by having to suffer out their emotions and how frustrating it is that you care for them.  You aren’t confused, you’re annoyed.  Big difference.

This big

She freaks out and jumps up but gets woozy as her blood pressure would be quite low at the moment and jumping up suddenly would cause all the blood to rush from her head.  She doesn’t seem to have the other symptoms this would cause like losing the ability to see temporarily and falling into the wall because you can’t stand up straight under your own power, but whatever.

Jeb tells her to calm down, Jamie’s just upset and wants to know where she is and that she’s alright, and no one would let him check on her.  Because everyone in this cave apparently thinks keeping everything from him is the best way to go despite how that has not worked out at all.  He says that the wound on his leg is infected, but that he’ll be okay, and she should get something to eat and get cleaned up before she goes to see him.  Tells her that she’ll just upset him even more if she goes to him in the condition she’s in now, and obviously that’s not a good idea.

Jeb says he was here because Jared was getting impatient, ready to go in and forcibly remove Wanderer from her wallowing because Jamie’s health is more important than Wanderer’s mourning, and stress DOES affect your health, but Jeb wanted to try and get her to come along willingly before dragging her out.  Personally I wouldn’t grant her the kindness, but that’s only because I have to read all of her horrible, horrible thoughts.

“What’s being done?”

Jeb shrugged. “Nothin’ to do. Kid’s strong; he’ll fight it off.”

“Nothing to do? What do you mean?”

“It’s a bacterial infection,” Ian said. “We don’t have antibiotics anymore.”

“Because they don’t work–the bacteria are smarter than your medicines. There has to be something better, something else.”

Fuck Science

‘Don’t work’?!  Tell that to my abscessed tooth from after a filling fell out!  I was 24 hours from death (not exaggerating) by the time I got to a hospital (which was only 18 hours after I knew I was sick) and they put me on the strongest antibiotics available.  Within 24 more hours the infection was nearly gone and I went from high fever, nausea, vomiting, the inability to stand, barely able to breath, and barely able to move, to feeling practically back to normal.  Antibiotics work fucking miracles and you can go fuck yourself for suggesting otherwise.

And of course she’s soooo upset that she gets in ‘a daze’ and wanders off ‘mechanically’.  Because she didn’t just spend the last 3 days calling the whole human race, including Jamie, monsters who she wanted to escape from.  Yeah, yeah, shock wore off, blah blah blah.  She never admitted they weren’t monsters, just that she understood their flawed logic.  She still thinks they’re all awful.  She’s basically just tolerating them because she logically doesn’t have a choice.  She basically admitted she hates them, and only has emotions for them because of the body she’s trapped in.  But if she wasn’t upset over Jamie’s illness (which Jeb has made sound pretty damn minor) she would come off as heartless and the readers wouldn’t like her anymore, and she wouldn’t seem so selfless and perfect.  I hate this book.

“Knew she was gonna overreact,” Jeb grumbled.

“So why did you tell her?” Ian asked, frustrated.

Jeb didn’t answer. I wondered why he didn’t. Was this worse even than I imagined?

I would assume he didn’t answer because that’s a really stupid question.  Just because someone takes bad news badly doesn’t mean you can protect them from it.  As I stated earlier, Wanderer’s feelings matter a LOT less than Jamie’s HEALTH.  But again, Ian is only thinking about Wanderer.  No one else matters at all to him.  But he’s not even thinking about her long term feelings.  How would the supposedly selfless and caring Wanderer react to finding out that Jamie had been sick the whole time she was moping and she hadn’t been there to help?  After she got out of that funk she would probably take that pretty goddamn badly.  And you have no right to keep it from her.  It should have been her decision whether or not that was important enough to stop her mourning process to be with him, not theirs.  If my ward was seriously ill while I was mourning the death of a distant family member, I WOULD WANT TO KNOW!  What the FUCK is wrong with Ian that he thinks anything different?!

what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you

Wanderer heads straight to Jamie’s room instead of the cafeteria to eat like Jeb suggested.  Remember, he suggested she get something to eat and get cleaned up so when she saw Jamie she wouldn’t stress him out and make him worse.  Jeb wanted Jamie to think Wanderer was okay so he wouldn’t panic.  Wanderer ignored that advice because SHE was so upset she HAD to see him for her OWN sanity.  Again, stress DOES affect recovery from illness, and Wanderer is ignoring Jamie’s mental and physical well-being to attend to her OWN needs, YET AGAIN.  I will also remind you that she KNEW he was injured BEFORE she holed up for THREE DAYS.  She didn’t ask how he was, she didn’t even WONDER.  No, she was too absorbed in her own emotions.  And now she’s doing the same thing again.  Her own feelings are the only ones that truly matter.  Everything is about her.

Wanderer has displayed EVERY SINGLE ONE of these behaviours in this chapter.

Wanderer has displayed EVERY SINGLE ONE of these behaviours in this chapter.

Apparently there’s a bunch of people in Jamie’s room crowding around him, which makes no sense to me at all.  Unless they legitimately think he’s dying I can’t understand why they would all be there.  And even if they DO believe he’s dying, they STILL shouldn’t all be there.  As far as I can tell from the description, the room isn’t that big and they do still have to work.  Not to mention the fact that while Jamie does seem to be well liked, it’s kind of weird for a bunch of unrelated adults to all crowd into a room with a dying boy, rather than letting his family and closest friends have a little privacy with him.

I was vaguely aware of Jared, leaning against the far wall with his hands clasped behind him–a posture he assumed only when he was really worried. Doc knelt beside the big bed where Jamie lay, just where I had left him.

Why had I left him?

Because you’re a self centered bitch that doesn’t understand that true empathy requires caring about other people even when you’re upset?

She sees that Jamie is looking sickly and the wound is red, Jamie’s face is red, and he’s not breathing well.

“Jamie, baby, how are you?”

“Stupid,” he said, grinning. “Just plain stupid. Can you believe this?” He gestured to his leg. “Of all the luck.”

Is it just me or does he sound like an old man there?  I don’t know any kids of ANY age that would word the situation like that.  The sentence structure comes off as ‘old man’ but the choice of the word ‘stupid’ seems childish, so maybe he’s just trying to sound older…

After she talks to Jamie a bit and takes back calling him a monster (words I will make her eat later in the book) he asks how Melanie is, hoping she’s not too worried about him.  She says of course Melanie is worried, but this is yet another of the many lies this supposedly terrible liar has successfully told.  She hasn’t spoken to Melanie in 3 days since she yelled at her.

She finally clues into that fact after she says that and realizes she said it by instinct rather than actually hearing it from Melanie.  Which means she actually lied instinctually.  The character who ‘can’t lie’ lies so proficiently that she doesn’t even have to think about it, it just happens.  Yup, she’s just the most perfect, nicest character ever in the history of fiction!

Best Liar Award

She panics over Melanie’s disappearance, and Jamie notices.  He gets worried that she doesn’t look healthy, saying she looks pale and weak, getting worried about her condition.  Just as Jeb warned her would happen.  AGAIN she lies through her teeth (without even having to make up some excuse to herself like she normally does when she lies) telling him that it’s just that she’s tired and hasn’t gotten clean in a while.  He tells her to eat, and she obviously doesn’t want to leave him, so Ian offers to go bring her and Jamie back some food.  She asks Ian to stay though, which justifiably throws him off since the last chapter she was basically telling him to fuck off with her body language.  But he agrees to stay and sends Wes off instead.

She asks Jamie if it’s okay if she goes and gets clean, and he of course assures her that it is.  She gets up and drags Ian off with her.  Everyone watches her, knowing she was up to something but confused as to what the hell it is, including Ian.

When they finally stop, Ian asks what the hell is up, and she asks if he’ll help her with something.  Of course he says he’ll do anything she wants, and she asks him to kiss her.  And that’s how the chapter ends.

I have nothing to say about this for now, because I’m going to save my rage about that for the next chapter.

See you then!

Check out The Llama’s reviews too!

The Host Review: Horrified (Ch 40)

Oh god I am not looking forward to having to actually think about this chapter…  It hurts me just considering considering it.  So much more just awfulness.  This chapter is everything I’ve yelled about in previous chapters all jammed together in one boring, bigoted, personal space invading, emotionally abusive biologically inaccurate and PAINFULLY BORING mess of a plot conflict.  That all but gets COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN by the end of the fucking chapter.  You could cut this chapter and the next one out completely and it would not change ANYTHING.  One line of bridging context to chapter 42 and bam, the book moves along, two chapters shorter.

Can I just, do that?  Can I just make up a bridging line between the end of the last chapter and the start of chapter 42 and just, not go over this chapter or 41?  No?  Dammit.

Sad Batman

The chapter starts off with her hearing voices in the distance.  She doesn’t know what they’re talking about yet.  But there’s one important thing she overhears:

“Doc didn’t want to. It was Jared’s idea this time.”

That comes up later.  I will reference it.  Probably multiple times.  Because Wanderer is a fucking moron and Meyer is a terrible writer.

The characters with names I don’t recall ever reading before here but apparently we’re supposed to remember keep talking about how disgusting something is and Jared’s motivation for doing it.  It’s clear to ME that they’re talking about trying to get the aliens out of people’s brains, but Wanderer hasn’t clued in that the people she’s listening to are implying Jared is trying to figure out how to free Melanie from Wanderer.

I moved cautiously now, putting each foot down with silent care. It was very quiet. For a moment, I wondered if I was wrong and there was no one here at all. Then, as the uneven entrance came into view, throwing a block of white sunlight against the opposite wall, I could hear the sound of quiet sobbing.

The sobbing is relevant to the Doc quote above.  It’ll come up later.

If you read my review for chapter 39 you may recall me just kind of skipping over most of the second half of that chapter because despite that it was actually plot relevant as opposed to the parts I did focus on, it was just a whole lot of words to talk about something that could have just as easily been communicated in only a line or two.  This chapter again, there’s plot relevant information going on, but I’m already a page and a half into it and there is absolutely nothing worth talking about except pointing out quotes that give me fuel to yell at Wanderer for later on.  So far it’s been her describing the sounds of footsteps and people’s voices and her walking pace.  The pointless descriptions of the scenery around her I assume is meant to set the tone but it just bores me to tears.

scott-pilgrim-bored-party

“There, there.” It was Jeb’s voice, thick with some emotion. “’S okay. ‘S okay, Doc. Don’t take it so hard.”

Hushed footsteps, more than one set, were moving around the room. Fabric rustling. A brushing sound. It reminded me of the sounds of cleaning.

Take this for example.  She just heard Jeb say that Doc was crying and clearly upset about something, and instead of wondering what was wrong with Doc that made him cry, she is talking about how the brushing sound sounds like cleaning.  What the fuck does cleaning sound like?  Meyer is trying to establish that the humans are trying to clean up the blood of the dead bodies they’ve got in there, and build tension.  But to do so she has to take her supposedly selfless character and have her not even ACKNOWLEDGE the upset of someone she, in previous chapters, declared an undying respect for due to his strength of character and compassion.  She has been declared as compassionate multiple times, thinking of the needs and feelings of those around her.  She instead thinks about the random sound that reminds her of cleaning.

No, seriously, describe to me the sound of ‘cleaning’.  What kind of cleaning exactly?  Scrubbing right?  That’s what she’s saying it sounds like.  But that’s not what CLEANING sounds like.  That’s what SCRUBBING sounds like.  Cleaning can mean scrubbing, sweeping, dusting, tidying up, organizing, washing dishes…  Meyer just had Wanderer make that association so when the time came you would understand that she had overheard them scrubbing the blood.

Scrubbing blood

There was a smell that didn’t belong here. Strange… not quite metallic, but not quite anything else, either. The smell was not familiar–I was sure I had never smelled it before–and yet I had an odd feeling that it should be familiar to me.

Alien blood.  She’s describing alien blood.  But also, you know, human blood.  She’s trying to express that she’s smelling alien blood but that also describes human blood, so I don’t know why Meyer did that.  It’s CLEAR to me that it’s supposed to be the aliens she’s smelling because why else would she phrase it like that?  But more importantly, she says at the start of this book that she’s never had a sense of smell before (because that always made sense) and now she’s saying she feels like she should have smelled it before.  How would she have smelled it before?  She’s smelled human blood before though, so she should recognize that a kind of metallic quality but not is blood at least.  She’s just trying to explain that Wanderer somehow has some innate instinct regarding the smell of her own blood.  THAT MAKES NO SENSE.

She finally walks into the room and sees Doc sitting with his head on his knees sobbing.  Jared and Kyle are standing over some dead bodies she doesn’t recognize as dead bodies because they’re covered by blankets.  She describes in detail the colours of everything and the shapes of everything and then goes on and on about the ripped up pieces of alien carcass strewn about by the bodies heads.

They finally realize she’s there and she has something resembling a weird panic attack.  I think she’s describing vertigo, but it’s all pretty weirdly put so I’m not sure.

robert_downey_jrs_not_sure_if-40577

“What did she see?”

“Nothing–nothing. The bodies were covered!”

That was a lie! The bodies were hideously uncovered, strewn in obscene contortions across the glittering table. Mutilated, dismembered, tortured bodies, ripped into grotesque shreds…

This is just another one of those things to bring up later.  Just remember, the only bodies she cares about are the alien ones.  Not the dead humans.  It will be important.

I had clearly seen the vestigial feelers still attached to the truncated anterior section of a child. Just a child! A baby! A baby thrown haphazardly in maimed pieces across the table smeared with its own blood…

I’m not entirely certain why her species would have vestigial anything, let alone feelers.  I also think she doesn’t know what ‘vestigial’ means if she’s implying they come off when the babies grow up.  Vestigial appendages are permanent fixtures, not temporary ones.  They’re useless, and outdated at the creature’s evolutionary point, but they aren’t something that the creature grows out of.  But since her species clone themselves to reproduce, they shouldn’t develop vestigial appendages to begin with.

She spends half a page describing everyone panic around her as she throws up the bile in her stomach.  Once she has ‘cleared her throat’ as she puts it, she yells at everyone to get the hell away from her, calling them monsters and torturers.

You're a monster

They restrain her, refer to her as being hysterical and SLAP her to bring her around.  Word of advice, that is the single worst thing you can possibly to do someone who is freaking the fuck out.  Especially if she’s freaking out thinking you’re vicious monsters.

My ears were ringing, but not from the slap. It was the smell–the smell of the silver blood dripping down the walls–the smell of the blood of souls.

No no Wanderer, your ears were ringing because of the slap.  Your head was probably spinning from the smell, but that’s not how anatomy works.  Your ears literally cannot ring because of a smell unless you have synesthesia and we would have known about that by now if you did.

The room writhed around me as though it were alive. The light twisted into strange patterns, curved into the shapes of monsters from my past. A Vulture unfurled its wings… a claw beast swung its heavy pincers toward my face… Doc smiled and reached for me with silver trickling from his fingertips…

This reaction feels unrealistic to me.  I’ve seen things that made me so horrified I nearly threw up, I’ve suffered traumatic over reactions to seemingly harmless things that just so happened to trigger horrible memories of past experiences that overwhelmed me and caused me to freak the fuck out, and I’ve had panic attacks.  None of them were anything like what she’s describing.  This sounds more like a bad acid trip.  I suppose it’s possible that someone could react this way, but I think it’s more likely that Meyer just wanted to over dramatize this and then connect the depressed, sobbing Doc, that, as I pointed out earlier she overheard didn’t even want to be involved with this, to the most horrible memories she can dredge up.

Freak Out

So far Doc is the single most consistent character in this entire book.  That consistency he has displayed is compassion, sympathy, empathy, and basically everything Wanderer is SUPPOSED to be.  And Wanderer is making the association of him being the absolute most heinous person in the caves.  Even though it was JARED’S idea (which I pointed out earlier for this very purpose) and Doc is clearly upset over it, where Jared doesn’t seem to care about even the dead humans, let alone the dead aliens.  But he can’t be the one she’s mad at because that wouldn’t be plot convenient.  He also can’t have objected to this because he was the one that brought them back.

Wanderer passes out, but apparently only for a few seconds.  This also seems incredibly unrealistic and plot convenient.  Apparently Ian is carrying her now.  Apparently this is something he did a LOT while she was healing.  This aggravates me.  See previous reviews for why, because I just do not at all feel like going over that again.

Ian is yelling at Jared about why Wanderer was so upset.  Jared thinks it’s because Wanderer is scared they’re going to do that to her, which is reasonable, but Ian thinks she’s upset about the bodies.  Ian is right, but I hate him, so I will point out that he makes a show of how barbaric the act was to do at all.  I will also point out that he has done this before himself, and even nearly strangled Wanderer to death upon her arrival.  He has no room to talk.

GlareQuinto

“The wrong bodies, Jared. Oh, I’m sure Wanda would be upset by a human corpse–she’s so gentle; violence and death aren’t a part of her normal world. But think what the things on that table must have meant to her.”

And this is where the quote about Wanderer’s reaction was for.  She didn’t give two shits about the human corpses Ian, you’re projecting what you THINK Wanderer is onto her.  She ONLY cared about the dead parasites.  She is NOT that ‘gentle’.

“Yes. If you or I had walked in on a human vivisection, with torn body parts, with blood splattered on everything, it wouldn’t have been as bad for us as it was for her. We’d have seen it all before–even before the invasion, in horror movies, at least. I’d bet she’s never been exposed to anything like that in all her lives.”

Vivisection?  The only other books I’ve ever read that in are HG Wells novels.  No normal person uses that word.

Wanderer finally lets them know she’s awake by insisting Ian let her go.  He refuses at first, so she starts kicking and shoving him.  She gets out of his arms and goes off running.  She couldn’t do these things to save her own life, but she can be violent now after being horrified by all the violence.  Sure.

dr-evil-right

“Let her go.”

“Don’t touch me! Wanda, come back!”

It sounded like they were wrestling behind me, but I didn’t slow. Of course they were fighting. They were humans. Violence was pleasure to them.

NO ONE in that room was happy.  Doc was actively CRYING.  The people walking away were talking about how horrible it was.  No one was ENJOYING it you fucking bitch.  I know you just saw something incredibly traumatizing, but throughout this entire book you have seen over and fucking over again how compassionate these people can be!  You didn’t even ask what the hell was going on!  You just assumed it was torture!  Maybe those people were already dead when they found them, or dying out in the desert.  Maybe the aliens attacked THEM first and they defended themselves then decided to try and learn something from the people they had to kill in self defense.  She makes a point of saying how one is a baby, but Seeker was a fresh soul, so maybe she was under one of those sheets.  Maybe she had seen them, got back up and tried to follow them back to the caves!

But no, Wanderer just automatically returns to assuming that every single human being is completely and utterly horrible and loves to fight.

She spends half a page going on at length in an incredibly drama queen esque way how horrible humans are some more as she heads to a hole in the wall of the game room.

I just really wanted to use this...

I just really wanted to use this…

It wasn’t what we thought. Doc wasn’t hurting anyone on purpose; he was just trying to save –

GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I shrieked.

She just banished Melanie.

I’m sorry so far this review is incredibly short and incredibly uninteresting.  This chapter is just so uninteresting…  Meyer spends so much time trying to set and maintain the mood that it’s just page after page of stupid melodramatic descriptions.  I might care more if I didn’t hate Wanderer so much.  If she hadn’t shown so many times that she’s still racist against humans before this even happened so it’s not even that drastic a change.  I might have cared if this wasn’t completely negating the best part of this ENTIRE book up to this point, the death of Walter.

The entire point of that section was how Wanderer finally changed and realized humans were compassionate.  Especially Doc.  She says there that she forms a bond with him over their shared pain.  That’s COMPLETELY gone now because of this.  And that’s not even an important plot point!  Nowhere in the entire rest of this book does it matter that she now hates Doc!  She just needed to blame someone other than Jared, the only logical character to blame, so it would make sense when she doesn’t still hate Jared later on!

I also might care about this, maybe, if I didn’t know already that it has no impact on the plot whatsoever.  The ONLY thing that actually makes a difference to how the plot progresses from here is her banishing Melanie, and I’m pretty sure if you cut out that little plot cul-de-sac it wouldn’t matter either!  So my claim that this and the next chapter are irrelevant isn’t even accurate, this chapter, the next one, AND the one after that DO NOT AT ALL AFFECT THE PLOT.  There is NO character growth from this.  It does NOT come up later in any way that couldn’t be cut out without even having to put anything in to make up for the cut text.  THIS BOOK COULD BE THREE WHOLE CHAPTERS SHORTER GODDAMMIT!

goddammit

It was only me now. Just me, and the pain and the horror that I would never escape. I would never not have that image in my head again. I would never be free of it. It was forever a part of me.

Until chapter 43 where it almost never comes up again.

She goes on about mourning, and how she’ll grieve in silence like that bats where she lost a friend to a fallen tree.  Except she said early in the book that she’d never had any friends.  So that’s just trying to make you feel bad for her.  I want to sympathize with her dealing with seeing something so horrible, but I have spent too much of this book absolutely hating her.  The descriptions come off as way too melodramatic, specifically designed to try and elicit my sympathy.  It just feels fake.  Obviously it is since it’s a book, but I just mean it feels more like how they would show someone being upset in a comedy, or just a really bad actress in a movie.  You just can’t get into it.

She says that her mourning is ‘stolen’ from her.  She says this before explaining that a few hours later, as she was still just sitting there in her silent mourning, that someone finally found her.  It’s rather jarring because it sounds like she’s just saying that she sits there in silence and that’s how her silent mourning is stolen from her.  It makes no sense the way it’s put and I had to read this section a few times to understand that the ‘stolen’ line is connected to the paragraph under it, not the ones above it.  YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO USE SECTION BREAKS MEYER!

As the people search the room, Wanderer calls them monsters over and over again.  Calls Jamie a monster twice, calls the people who find her monsters, calls Jared a monster when he shows up, calls Melanie a monster… GET A DAMN THESAURUS.  Do you see what I mean about it feeling like a bad actress in a B movie drama?

It's like watching Miley Cyrus pretend to be pitiable.

It’s like watching Miley Cyrus pretend to be pitiable.

He tries to apologize and she refuses to talk, pointing out to the reader that Jared was the one who’d ordered it, but still for some reason she hates Doc more than Jared and I don’t understand why.  She flinches when he touches her shoulder and he backs off, and tells her he respects that she wants to be alone and he’ll keep everyone away from her.

After Jared goes to watch the door, Ian shows up and does the exact opposite by fighting with Jared to be allowed to go talk to her!  He claims moral superiority, ignoring the fact that he knew about it or he wouldn’t have tried to keep her from the hospital, thus making him ‘party to it’ as he claims he wasn’t.

I huddled myself more tightly together, expecting him to touch me.

Say it with me now, I know you know what’s coming by this point: Ian’s a creep.

There was a quiet sigh, and then the sound of him sitting on the stone, not as close beside me as I would have expected.

With a click, the light disappeared.

I waited in the silence for a long time for him to speak, but he was just as silent as I was. Finally, I stopped waiting and returned to my mourning. Ian did not interrupt. I sat in the blackness of the big hole in the ground and grieved for lost souls with a human at my side.

This is how the chapter ends.  I think it’s supposed to come off as sweet and considerate.  But it comes immediately after her cringing because she KNEW he was going to touch her.  And he WAS going to touch her!  That’s why he sighs, because he understood what that reaction was for!  ‘Aww, isn’t it sweet that he invades her personal space so often she actively expects it, and that he ignored her desire to be alone yet again!  Isn’t it so considerate of him to not touch her after she flinched at even the IDEA of him touching her!  He’s so sweet!’  FUCK YOU.

82716-haha-fuck-you-gif-ken-jeong-ha-ZX5z

The actual plot events in this book are SO BORING!  The crappy filler chapters at least have bits worth talking about, even if that’s only because I would sooner stab myself in the eye than read more about Ian touching Wanderer and cow-spiders.  At least it’s SOMETHING!  Half my word count on this chapter is just me talking about how much nothing there is to talk about!

The next chapter isn’t much better unfortunately.  But I guess it does have one section that would have to be grafted onto the start of chapter 43 if the rest of this was cut out completely.

Oh wait I just figured out why this happened… Meyer had them murder people so she could have Wanderer conveniently displaced so she could be shocked by what happens in the second half of the next chapter.  Hurray.  Fuck I hate this book.

Till next time!  Check out The Llama’s review!

The Host Review: Worried (Ch 39)

This chapter is not less rage inducing than the last one.  So let’s just get this over with shall we?

Perfect, I grumbled to myself. Just perfect.

Ian was coming to join me for lunch, a big smile glued into place on his face. Trying to cheer me up… again.

That’s the first two paragraphs of this chapter.  She’s pissed at Ian because Ian still won’t leave her alone.  We don’t know yet at this point how long it’s been since the end of that chapter, but we do know that Ian is still being a clingy douchebag and it’s actively pissing her off.

I'm pissed off

“Hey, Wanda,” Ian greeted me, hopping up onto the counter beside me. He had a bowl of tomato soup in one hand, still steaming. Mine was beside me, cooled and half full. I was toying with a piece of roll, ripping it into tiny pieces.

I didn’t answer him.

“Oh, come on.” He put his hand on my knee. Mel’s angry reaction was lethargic. She was too used to this kind of thing to really work up a good fit anymore. “They’ll be back today. Before sunset, without a doubt.”

He touches them in an intimate manner SO OFTEN that Melanie can’t even get worked up about it anymore.  She is just resigned to the fact that it’s happening.  That’s depressing, horrible, manipulative, abusive, etc.  Honestly even I’m kind of burnt out on getting worked up over this.

“You said that three days ago, and two days ago, and again yesterday,” I reminded him.

“I have a good feeling about today. Don’t sulk–it’s so human,” he teased.

“I’m not sulking.” I wasn’t. I was so worried I could barely think straight. It didn’t leave me energy to do anything else.

Except that every single thing she’s said and done so far in this chapter implies sulking is exactly what she’s doing.

Sulk:

to be angry or upset about something and to refuse to discuss it with other people

to be moodily silent

So yes, Wanderer, you are sulking like a child.

Sulk

Apparently Jamie and Jared went out on a raid and Wanderer is sulking because she’s worried that they aren’t back yet.  It was supposed to be a short raid, so she figured they’d be back by now.  She continues to be pissy towards Ian, which makes her come off as childish, but at the same time, I can totally understand why she would be pissy to Ian of all people, so I give her a pass on this one.

Ian turns towards his food when he realizes she’s not going to talk to him without biting his head off and she talks about how considerate he is.  Except that he’s not at all considerate, and she even basically says that when she adds at the end of that paragraph how since Jared and Jamie have been gone he’s been pushy and she’s getting pissed.  So he’s a dick.  But whatever.  She goes on at length about how it’s been a month since she moved in with Jared and Jamie and they’ve been gone a week now.  Jared and Wanderer were still awkward around each other when they left, but she had been getting used to it, so now without them there things felt weird again.

Ian speaks up again, because apparently he can’t leave her alone for five minutes.  He asks if she’s tired and she says she’s still not sleeping well without the noise of other people.  He offers to sleep with her.  Not jokingly.  Wanderer cringes and of course Ian assumes immediately that it was because of Melanie, not him.  The fact that he was right is less important than the fact that he has never once at any point we’ve been privy to checked to make sure it wasn’t Wanderer herself.  Wanderer even says he just always knows it was Melanie, not her.  And no, Wanderer, he doesn’t.  He’s presuming because he wants to believe that the only thing stopping him from getting in your pants is her, not that you might actually not like him.

He then tricks Wanderer into going off with him somewhere.  No, seriously, Wanderer even says he looks like he had been hoping she would respond to his leading questions the way she does.

He took my hand as he led me out of the kitchen. Again, this was so common that Melanie barely protested.

Just want to reiterate, Ian is a creep.

“Ian, I’m not in the mood.”

“You said you had plenty of energy.”

“To work. Not to play soccer.”

“But Lily and Wes will be really disappointed. I promised them a game of two-on-two. They worked so hard this morning to free up the afternoon…”

“Don’t try to make me feel guilty,” I said as we rounded the last curve. I could see the blue light of several lamps, shadows flitting in front of them.

“Isn’t it working?” he teased.

A MASSIVE creep.

Creep

 

 

I sighed. “Fine. Fine. Be that way.”

Ian hugged me with what Melanie thought was unnecessary enthusiasm. “You’re my very favorite person in the known universe.”

“Thanks,” I muttered dryly.

This reminds me of when my old roommate used to bug the shit out of me to drive him somewhere since I was the only one of us to have a car (or a license).  He’d wear me down till I was so annoyed with him I’d cave so he’d finally leave me alone, then he’d get this obnoxious overly happy grin on his face, declare me his best friend in the world and I’d just glare at him while I went to get my keys.  That’s not a positive comparison.

Holy crap this chapter is boring.  The next whole PAGE is just her stretching and them taunting and asking about the rules and Melanie talking about how she misses running.  There is so much nothing going on this may very well be my shortest review yet if this doesn’t pick up.  There is just nothing at all worth talking about.

Apparently Wanderer is a master at soccer.  I find this hard to believe.  Even if Melanie was amazing at it, her body has been healing from severe injuries and prior to that she had gotten out of shape.  She shouldn’t be physically capable of kicking the asses of two people that play for fun on a semi regular basis.  Sorry, that’s just not the way it works unless Wes and Lily (you may recall Wes has appeared in previous reviews as ‘the guy who I don’t know who he is but his name keeps appearing’.  Lily I think has been mentioned before?  Maybe?) are really REALLY bad at it.

you just suck

“No one ever said she couldn’t play.”

“No one ever said she was a pro, either.”

I liked that–it made me smile.

You know, last chapter she went on at length about how she didn’t want to be liked because of Melanie’s looks, and she wanted people to separate her and Melanie more than they do.  But here she’s getting complimented for MELANIE’S skill, and MELANIE’S knowledge of the sport.  She never played soccer before.  She never learned the strategies or worked her body.  That was ALL Melanie.  But apparently that only matters when it comes to appearance.  You can take credit for other people’s talent all you want.  Honestly though I think it’s for the same reason she brought up the appearance thing in the last chapter.  She wants people to think good things of HER.  Wes and Lily don’t know Melanie.  They don’t know that knowledge came from her.  They were complimenting WANDERER.  Ian was showing physical interest in her, and that indicated he only cared about Melanie’s body, not Wanderer’s mind, and she wants everyone to love HER and think good things of HER.  So as long as no one tells them that was Melanie, she can take credit for it all she wants and have people love her.

Lily and Wes start flirting and making out.  Apparently this is some shocking revelation to Ian and Wanderer.  Since I already mentioned earlier that I had no clue who they were other than I remember reading Wes’ name before, I kind of just assumed they were probably dating anyway, so I do not find this shocking.  Since the only way I could care less about those characters would be if they were Ian and Wanderer.

Wes goes off to try and get Kyle to help them win, and Lily tells Wanderer it was because Wes treated her well that made her like him.  I don’t remember Wes doing anything one way or another to Wanderer, so I can’t back that information up.  I don’t know why I’m supposed to care…  Meyer, just saying characters names as Wanderer walks past them does not give us tangible, memorable information about them and sure as shit doesn’t make us care about them.  Do not try and make it sound like we’re supposed to already have some kind of emotional connection to these characters who are in no way central to the plot.  They haven’t even been maguffins at any point.  They have served zero plot relevance.  ZERO!  I don’t care!

I don't care that I don't care

I spent more time writing that last paragraph than I have actually thinking about Wes and Lily in the entire book prior.

Anyway, eventually while they’re waiting Ian asks if Wanderer will play one on one with him.  Melanie is excited because she seems to genuinely love this sport and it’s kind of nice to see her actually get to do something fun for HER for a change.  But that gets completely and utterly ruined almost immediately because Ian and Wanderer are both incredibly horrible people.

Ian starts playing badly, so to try and convince him to play at his fullest instead of intentionally letting her win, Wanderer comes up with a plan.  And I want to make it very clear that Melanie objects to this plan, so it’s 100% Wanderer being a manipulative bitch using Ian’s crush on her to get what she wants.  She tells him that he can share her room until Jared and Jamie come back if he beats her.  And then Ian reinforces that he’s also a manipulative bitch by showing that he was clearly losing on purpose in the hopes that she would do just that, and then he kicks her ass.

“Tired?” he asked, the innocence in his tone a bit overdone. Being funny. He stretched. “I think I’m ready for bed myself.” He leered in a melodramatic way.

I winced.

“Aw, Mel, you know I’m joking. Be nice.”

Note here that she in no way indicates to the reader that her wince was due to Melanie in any way shape or form.  Her wince was genuinely her own.  She does not want to share a bedroom with this perverted creep.  His reaction is to just assume it was all Melanie, as usual.  Everything bad that happens seems to get blamed on Melanie in this book.  Melanie certainly isn’t the best character in the world, I’ve called her horrible a fair number of times, but she really seems to just be a punching bag more than an actual character, and despite that sometimes she’s a terrible person, I kind of feel bad for her.

Lily eyed us, mystified.

“Jared’s Melanie objects to me,” Ian told her, winking.

Again, not allowing for the possibility that the reaction was Wanderer, and Wanderer not defending Melanie at all.  But also; ‘Jared’s Melanie’.  Not ‘Wanderer’s host Melanie’, not ‘the body Wanderer is stealing so she can live, depriving Melanie of her own life’, she’s described solely by her relation to a character that has spent less time in the caves than she has considering 90% of this book he’s been out on various raids.

“You know,” he said, “it’s really unfair for Melanie to make you suffer when she’s angry at me.”

“Since when are humans fair?”

“Good point.”

Typewriter Rage

…Seriously?  GO FUCK YOURSELVES!  MELANIE is the one that’s being unfair?!  And, AGAIN I WILL FUCKING REMIND YOU, MELANIE IS NOT THE REASON WANDERER WINCED!  SHE IS LETTING MELANIE TAKE THE BLAME FOR SOMETHING SHE DIDN’T DO BECAUSE WANDERER WANTS IAN’S AFFECTION, EVEN AT THE COST OF HER PHYSICAL COMFORT BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO FEEL LOVED, AND ALL THE CHARACTERS THAT LOVE HER PLATONICALLY AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH BECAUSE THEY LOVE MELANIE TOO.  THAT IS HOW HORRIBLE THIS CHARACTER IS.

AND SERIOUSLY IAN, YOU SUCK FOR THAT JUST AS FUCKING HARD!  IT’S MELANIE’S FUCKING BODY AND SHE CAN’T CONTROL HER REACTIONS TO YOUR PERVERTED HORRIBLENESS!  YOU’RE THE ONE CONTINUOUSLY DOING THINGS THAT YOU *KNOW* WILL MAKE MELANIE REACT THAT WAY AND CAUSING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SHRAPNEL TO HIT WANDERER.  *YOU* ARE THE ONE DOING THIS TO HER, NOT MELANIE, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!

*Ahem* sorry about that.  I lost my composure for a moment.

“Besides, she’d be glad to make you suffer, if I’d let her.”

He laughed.

‘Haha, the owner of the body I’m trying to fuck hates me so much she causes emotional and mental strain on the woman I love by imagining ways to hurt me!’  Fucking hilarious.

“That’s nice about Wes and Lily, don’t you think?” he said.

“Yes. They both seem very happy. I like that.”

“I like it, too. Wes finally got the girl. Gives me hope.” He winked at me. “Do you think Melanie would make you very uncomfortable if I were to kiss you right now?”

I’m not sure I will ever find the words to adequately express how much I hate Ian.

Punch you in the face

Note he didn’t ask whether Wanderer would be okay with him kissing her.

Wes comes charging down the hall to declare that Jared and Jamie are back.  Ian gets depressed and mumbles about how he doesn’t get to sleep with her now because he’s a selfish shithead.

She finds Jamie and everyone is acting all suspicious.  They assure her everyone is fine, but it’s made ludicrously obvious that there’s something up.  My level of fucks I give is just non-existent.  There is nothing this book could do at this point that would make me actually feel tense about the fates of any of these characters.  They could kill Jamie off and I’d be like ‘well, there’s one less annoying character, so we have to spend even more time with the other annoying characters.  Dammit.’  I didn’t realize it was possible for a book to inspire so much bitter rage in me while also BORING ME TO GODDAMN TEARS!  Ugh people.  Ugh.

mrhumphreys

Apparently Jamie managed to accidentally stab himself in the leg.  Because that’s a realistic injury right?  People usually hold knives with the blade facing down?  Pretty sure if you’re holding a knife properly and you trip and fall it’s much more likely to stab you in the upper body/head area.  But that wouldn’t allow him to have a seemingly minor injury that you wouldn’t worry over and a sympathetic limp.  Stabbing himself in the chest or face would be too significant a wound to allow for the scene to focus on the fact that they’re hiding something, the focus would be on Jamie, and Meyer doesn’t want that.

Wanderer asks why he walked all the way to the…foyer?  Whatever their big central gathering place is that’s rather vaguely possibly by the garden, instead of staying in the hospital.  He and Trudy (the female Wes as far as I’m concerned.  I recall seeing her name before, but I’ll be damned if I can tell you what she did that got her mentioned) get all sketchy and even the dumbest person on the planet would know they’re trying to hide something.  To bring my point home, Wanderer realizes they’re hiding something.

But not until after Ian comes over and laughs about Jamie’s gaping leg wound.  Because I needed more reasons to hate that character apparently.

Melanie guides her through the process of lying to figure out what’s going on since everyone is being really goddamn terrible at hiding that there’s something going on.  Seriously, they’re stuttering and making bullshit excuses that they pause part way through saying to choose their words.  It’s so painfully, unbelievably obvious.  It’s kind of irritating.  Couldn’t just have Melanie tell her she thinks they’re lying, Meyer has to make it super goddamn obvious.  Anyway, they take Jamie back to his room, Ian of course follows because of fucking course he does, but she gets him to get them food instead of sticking around.  He hesitates, clearly indicating he’s in on whatever they’re hiding from her and he’s trying to prevent her from finding out about it.  This will be relevant later, but not today.  Try and remember it in case I don’t.

Wanderer lies to Jamie saying she needs to tell Ian something and runs off.  She heads down to the hospital area since that seemed to be what they were trying to keep her from going to, but had they just been casual and said ‘Jamie was sent to go lay down because he didn’t want to sleep on those uncomfy cots, and he decided to try and find you instead of going straight to bed’, Wanderer never would have even thought to go to the hospital area because she hates it.  I thought of that excuse as I typed this.  They had the entire walk from when the boys arrived, taking Jamie to see Doc, and then walking back to the common area, which as far as I can tell is a significant walk.  And they could not come up with a lie they could tell without hesitating on how to word it.  Totally believable.

Suuuure

She describes the people she passes in the halls like she does EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN TIME SHE GOES FOR A WALK because apparently we’re supposed to know who these people are and give a shit about them or their reaction to her.  I will just point you to what I said earlier about Wes and Lily for how I feel about that.

The chapter ends with Wanderer and Melanie walking down the tunnel being mortified thinking someone’s dying again.  There’s an actual low level of tension here in the writing that I can detect, but I do not feel any personally.  Mostly because as I mentioned earlier, they could kill the kid and I wouldn’t care.  Jared could be in the hospital dying and I wouldn’t care.  Ian could be dying and I would shout for joy.  There is nothing this book can do at this point to make me care.

I didn’t talk much about the part of the chapter where something plot driving actually happens.  That’s because it was nothing but people going ‘ummm… obvious lie?  Yeah!  Obvious lie!’ over and over again.  There was nothing to discuss.

I feel nothing

Next time there will be more to discuss!  With probably more capslock fun on my part!

Till then!  Check out The Llama’s review of this chapter!

The Host Review: Touched (Ch 38)

Fair warning, this chapters title isn’t about feeling emotionally touched.  It’s about Ian physically touching Wanderer in increasingly unwelcome and disturbing ways.  If my previous rants about Ian coming off rapey made you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this one.  Because that’s the entire chapter.  It’s just Ian being rapetastic.  As Wanderer tells him that Melanie wants him to fuck off and she (Wanderer) feels uncomfortable.  The whooooole chapter.  This is supposed to be romantic people.  Kill me now.  Please?

Please please please

The chapter starts literally at the same place the last one left off.  She actually restates the question that was the very last line of the last chapter.  ‘What do you think?’  She’s clearly absorbed absolutely nothing of Melanie’s information because she has no idea what he means by that, unsure what part of the conversation he’s talking about. It’s obvious to everyone that’s not an idiot that he wants to know what she thinks about him having a horrible creepy crush on her and hoping he won points with her over the whole ‘you have more of a right to exist than the human who’s body you stole’ part of the conversation.

He knew what I was. He knew I was just a tiny creature fused into the back of Melanie’s brain. A worm, as Kyle had said. Yet even Kyle thought Ian had a “crush” on me. On me? That wasn’t possible.

You know, I kind of thought this line of thinking was depressing in the last chapter, but he admitted it, Kyle pointed it out, Melanie pointed it out, and she’s still going on and on about how it’s not possible.  I actually think it gets pretty insulting by this point that she still refuses to accept it.  It’s not just low self-esteem, it’s also telling someone else how they’re supposed to feel.  If she were just going on about why it makes no sense that would be fine, but she’s saying everyone else, including Ian, is wrong about how Ian feels.  Apparently because she doesn’t understand it that means it can’t happen.

She goes on for multiple paragraphs about what Ian’s question could possibly be referring to and it doesn’t matter at all because we JUST read the conversation the chapter before.  We don’t need to be reminded of what happened in it, because she doesn’t actually say what she thinks of anything, just goes over what parts of the conversation she could possibly have a thought about.  In the end she just says she doesn’t know what she thinks, without actually figuring out what part he was talking about, so he thinks she’s saying she doesn’t know how she feels about him, when she’s just saying she’s confused, period.

“I really don’t know,” I said.

He nodded. “That’s understandable.”

“Only because you are very understanding.”

Forehead smack

They go back and forth for a full page about how weird it is. And I mean they literally just say ‘I know it’s weird’ ‘yeah, it’s weird to me too’ ‘it’s so weird it’s impossible’ ‘I’m just as surprised as you are!’.  Literally.  A full page.  And then Ian gets creepy.

“Tell me something,” Ian said after a moment.

“If I know the answer.”

“It’s not a hard question.”

He didn’t ask it right away. Instead, he reached across the narrow space and picked up my hand. He held it in both of his for a moment, and then he trailed the fingers of his left hand slowly up my arm, from my wrist to my shoulder. Just as slowly, he pulled them back again. He looked at the skin of my arm rather than my face, watching the goose bumps that formed along the path of his fingers.

“Does that feel good or bad to you?” he asked.

For anyone that doesn’t know, that is an incredibly suggestive, fairly sexual gesture.  It’s a build up to foreplay.  This is not a tender, sweet moment, or a merely slightly intimate one, it is a very intimate gesture and considering they just talked at length about how confused Wanderer is by all of this, a pretty fucking horrible one for him to do.  The entire purpose of that gesture is to try and get you in the mood for sex.

Bad, Melanie insisted.

But it doesn’t hurt, I protested.

That’s not what he’s asking. When he says good… Oh, it’s like talking to a child!

I’m not even a year old, you know. Or am I now? I was sidetracked, trying to figure out the date.

YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ALL OF MELANIE’S MEMORIES!  ALL OF HER KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LANGUAGE, TONE, INFERENCE!  IF MELANIE GETS IT SO SHOULD YOU YOU GODDAMN DUMBASS!

Melanie was not distracted. Good, to him, means the way it feels when Jared touches us. The memory she provided was not one from the caves. It was in the magic canyon, at sunset. Jared stood behind her and let his hands follow the shape of her arms, from her shoulders to her wrists. I shivered at the pleasure of the simple touch. Like that.

Oh.

“Wanda?”

“Melanie says bad,” I whispered.

First of all, Melanie should not have to provide that memory.  Wanderer has access to all her fucking memories for fucks sake!  God this pisses me off.  Second, you now understand Wanderer.  Why are you saying only MELANIE’S side of this?!  Why can’t you tell him that it doesn’t make you feel what you KNOW he WANTS you to feel, since it CLEARLY doesn’t!  Is it because that might hurt his feelings so you’re instead going to put it on Melanie so it’s not your fault?  At least that would be consistent with your character…

Resigned

“What do you say?”

“I say… I don’t know.”

When I could meet his eyes, they were warmer than I expected. “I can’t even imagine how confusing this all must be to you.”

THEN WHY ARE YOU DOING IT TO HER?!  If you KNOW you’re just confusing her why the FUCK did you think it would be a good idea?!?  YOU JUST YELLED AT JARED FOR DOING THE SAME FUCKING THING YOU SELFISH PRICK!

It was comforting that he understood. “Yes. I’m confused.”

He doesn’t understand Wanderer.  Or at least if he does, he doesn’t care.  How do I know that?  Well, HE’S STILL FUCKING DOING IT!

His hand traced up and down my arm again. “Would you like me to stop?”

YES YOU GODDAMN CREEPY LITTLE SHIT!

I hesitated. “Yes,” I decided. “That… what you’re doing… makes it hard for me to think. And Melanie is… angry at me. That also makes it hard to think.”

I’m not angry at you. Tell him to leave.

Ian is my friend. I don’t want him to leave.

Wow Wanderer doesn’t understand what’s happening here AT ALL.  She can literally read Melanie’s thoughts and Melanie CLEARLY understands what’s happening here, yet Wanderer, apparently willfully so thanks to the aforementioned ABILITY TO READ MELANIE’S THOUGHTS, remains completely ignorant.  But she HAS at least told Ian to stop because she can’t think with him doing that and Melanie being pissed at him.  It’s too difficult for her to distinguish her own genuine emotions from the physical distraction of Ian’s rapey caress and Melanie’s anger.  If he were a decent human being that would be the end of that.  But he’s not.

Sad Reality

He leaned away, folding his arms across his chest.

“I don’t suppose she’d give us a minute alone?”

Instead of accepting that Wanderer said she found his actions distracting and SHE wanted him to stop, he puts all the blame on Melanie so he can continue to claim that Wanderer wants his affection, Melanie is just a selfish bitch for not wanting him to RAPE HER.

I keep using that word, and I know he hasn’t actually tried to do that (yet), but he sure as hell has made his intentions known.  He very clearly wants to sleep with her, and he is blatantly ignoring her statement that she specifically said SHE would like him to stop, not just that MELANIE would like him to stop which in and of itself should be enough since it’s Melanie’s goddamn body.  He touched her in a sexual, suggestive way, she wanted him to stop, and he doesn’t want to.

Wanderer laughs and says she doubts it, which Ian apparently thinks is Melanie speaking directly.  He really does seem to be pushing the idea that it’s only MELANIE that doesn’t feel that way about him and she’s just being a cockblocker.  But no, that was all Wanderer.

“Melanie Stryder?” he asked, addressing her.

We both started at the name.

Ian went on. “I’d like the chance to speak with Wanda privately, if you don’t mind. Is there any way that could be arranged?”

Why would he ask MELANIE that?!  As though Melanie is the one in control!  Again, he is BLAMING MELANIE for the fact that Wanderer doesn’t want him to touch her and thinks that if he can just get her to fuck off, Wanderer will be all over him.  Or maybe he just thinks that if Melanie isn’t getting mad Wanderer will just not protest.  When, for the millionth time, WANDERER SAID *SHE PERSONALLY* WANTED HIM TO STOP!

And just for good measure one more reminder that THIS IS MELANIE’S BODY, NOT WANDERER’S, SO HE IS ASKING MELANIE TO LEAVE HER OWN BODY SO HE CAN FUCK IT!

TakaiDouchebag

I know there are some guys that are actually really sensitive and don’t think about sex that often or even at all, but to be completely honest when talking to a girl he’s attracted to, just about every guy in existence at least has sex in the back of his mind somewhere.  The good ones just don’t let it be the ONLY thing on their minds.  So, yes, I feel pretty goddamn confident every time I say Ian is after Wanderer for sex more than companionship, because he already gets companionship from her and there is only one reason to do what he did already, and it gets so much worse…

Of all the nerve! You tell him I said no chance in hell! I do not like this man.

My nose wrinkled up.

“What did she say?”

Again he is attributing her response to a reaction to Melanie.  She couldn’t possibly find it distasteful that he would try and banish her host body’s consciousness, the only reason she’s there at all.

“She said no.” I tried to say the words as gently as they could be said. “And that she doesn’t… like you.”

Ian laughed. “I can respect that. I can respect her. Well, it was worth a try.” He sighed. “Kind of puts a damper on things, having an audience.”

Someone please, PLEASE tell me a way to interpret that that ISN’T Ian saying it’ll be creepy to sleep with her while someone’s watching.  I have tried, I have asked other people, I CANNOT see that as anything OTHER than REALLY FUCKING CREEPY!  Not to mention the fact that he’s saying he respects Melanie, while also saying in the next breath that he’s going to ignore her wishes and do whatever the fuck he wants to her body, it’s just going to be weird having her watch.  IN WHAT UNIVERSE DOES THAT QUALIFY AS RESPECT?!

Ron-Burgundy-That-Doesnt-Make-Any-Sense

What things? Mel growled.

I grimaced. I didn’t like feeling her anger. It was so much more vicious than mine.

Get used to it.

Even Melanie understands that Ian is not going to fuck off no matter what either one of them do. THIS BOOK KNOWS HE’S A CREEP AND IT’S SAYING HE’S THE LOVE INTEREST ANYWAY!

Ian put his hand on my face. “I’ll let you think about things, okay? So you can decide how you feel.”

She specifically wanted you to stop touching her so she could do that.  This is you doing the exact opposite of that.  GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I tried to be objective about that hand. It was soft against my face. It felt… nice. Not like when Jared touched me. But also different from the way it felt when Jamie hugged me. Other.

Basically, it’s not motherly love or romantic love.  There’s a third option.  It’s called PLATONIC LOVE.

I realized, when he smiled then, that I wanted him to like me. The rest–the hand on my face, the fingers on my arm–I still wasn’t sure at all about those. But I wanted him to like me, and to think kind things about me. Which is why it was hard to tell him the truth.

And this is the part where I switch from wanting to stab Ian in the crotch to wanting to stab Wanderer in the face.  That is a MASSIVELY horrible thing to do.  She WANTS TO CULTIVATE HIS CRUSH ON HER DESPITE NOT RETURNING IT BECAUSE SHE LIKES THAT HE WANTS HER!  Basically she wants to lead him on so he’ll keep being so nice to her thinking he has a chance with her.  Wanderer is a horrible person.

bad-person

For the record though, that still doesn’t justify what Ian does to her.

“You don’t really feel that way about me, you know,” I whispered. “It’s this body.… She’s pretty, isn’t she?”

He nodded. “She is. Melanie is a very pretty girl. Even beautiful.” His hand moved to touch my bad cheek, to stroke the rough, scarring skin with gentle fingers. “In spite of what I’ve done to her face.”

They’re BOTH being manipulative douchebags here.  This is literally the first thing Wanderer says to him after thinking that quote above.  She’s trying to get him to say nice things about her personality.  Trying to get him to think about what he likes about her to reinforce the feeling.  And Ian is trying to get her to feel bad for him for feeling guilty.  Since he wasn’t the one to damage her face, he just wants Wanderer to think he’s gentle and kind and guilt ridden and she should pity him.

Normally, I would have denied that automatically. Reminded him that the wounds on my face weren’t his fault. But I was so confused that my head was spinning and I couldn’t form a coherent sentence.

Why should it bother me that he thought Melanie was beautiful?

I’m sure people that LIKE this book probably think the answer to that is that she likes Ian so the idea that he’s attracted to Melanie, not her, is upsetting.  I have a different interpretation given the context and that’s that she specifically stated she wants him to think good things about her.  She wants him to talk about how good SHE is.  She wants to cultivate his attraction to her so he will be loyal to HER, not Melanie.

“But, pretty as she is, she’s a stranger to me. She’s not the one I… care about.”

That made me feel better. Which was even more confusing.

See?

“Ian, you don’t… Nobody here separates us the way they should. Not you, not Jamie, not Jeb.” The truth came out in a rush, more heated than I’d meant it to be. “You couldn’t care about me. If you could hold me in your hand, me, you would be disgusted. You would throw me to the ground and grind me under your foot.”

His pale forehead creased as his black brows pulled together. “I… not if I knew it was you.”

I laughed without humor. “How would you know? You couldn’t tell us apart.”

Oh don’t get so high and mighty.  You couldn’t tell people apart at first either.  Said we all looked too similar.  How the hell are you claiming a moral high ground here?!  And yeah, he probably WOULDN’T be attracted to her in bug form, but to be fair he couldn’t communicate with her in that form either.  So it’s not just that he wouldn’t want/be able to have sex with her.  I don’t really think that’s a terribly fair accusation on her part.

not fair

“That’s not true at all,” he disagreed. “It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful.”

He moved forward as he spoke, kneeling beside the bed where I lay and taking my hand again in both of his.

Yes, because physical affection is DEFINITELY how you tell someone that you love them for their personality, not their appearance.

She goes on to ask if he’d feel the same if she’d come there in the body of an old woman or a man, and Ian says SHE is a woman, I think to question why she would ever take a man’s body, but it’s not terribly clear since he’s definitely NOT saying he would switch teams for her.  Wanderer says that he’s right, she does consider herself female and makes a point of always taking a female host.  But she says she could be in a male body and it wouldn’t make a difference.  Again though, I don’t think this is an entirely fair statement on her part.  While some people are able to fall in love with just anyone, there IS a physical component to the emotion for 99.5% of people.  Specifically because the emotion’s biological origin is about finding a mate, not just someone to hang out with.  But it’s not purely physical either.  While he may not be attracted to Wanderer in a man’s body, he may not be attracted to Melanie in HER OWN body either.  So it IS just as much about Wanderer as it is her host body.

“I wouldn’t want it without you.”

“You wouldn’t want me without it.

This is harder to retort, but I would still like to say that that’s only a half truth.  He could still have fallen for her in the body of a less attractive female.

He touched my cheek again and left his hand there, his thumb under my jaw. “But this body is part of you, too. It’s part of who you are. And, unless you change your mind and turn us all in, it’s who you will always be.”

Again with the touching… But again, also only partially true.  She could just as easily decide to simply let herself die and give Melanie back her life.  Or take over the body of someone else.

Ah, the finality of it. Yes, I would die in this body. The final death.

And I will never live in it again, Melanie whispered.

It’s not how either of us planned our future, is it?

No. Neither of us planned to have no future.

This is actually a relatively effective conversation.  But I would still like to point out that Wanderer could just have her ‘final death’ and let Melanie have her life.  The options here are that Wanderer never has a normal life anywhere ever again and dies in this body, and Melanie dies never regaining control over her body, or Wanderer gives up her host body and Melanie gets to live her life as herself.  Wanderer has no future either way, so personally it’s kind of selfish of her to not even consider that, whether she has the guts to actually DO it or not is one thing, but to not even think about it?  Again, apparently Wanderer’s existence is more important than Melanie’s.  This book is pretty mean to Melanie.

“Another internal conversation?” Ian guessed.

“We’re thinking of our mortality.”

“You could live forever if you left us.”

“Yes, I could.” I sighed. “You know, humans have the shortest life span of any species I’ve ever been, except the Spiders. You have so little time.”

“Don’t you think, then…” Ian paused and leaned closer to me so that I couldn’t seem to see anything around his face, just snow and sapphire and ink. “That maybe you should make the most of what time you have? That you should live while you’re alive?”

AGAIN, Ian is stating here that she should let him fuck her since time is fleeting.  This is jackass pick up artist levels of awful right here.  He’s also presuming, again, that Wanderer wants to be with him and only isn’t because of Jared and Melanie, which is not even close to anything she has actually stated at any point.  AND he’s saying that living means fucking.

And then the creep kisses her.  I WILL POINT OUT ONCE MORE THAT WANDERER ALREADY TOLD HIM THAT HIM TOUCHING HER MADE HER CONFUSED AND SHE WANTED HIM TO STOP.  WHY DOES HE THINK KISSING HER WOULD NOT MAKE THAT A MILLION TIMES WORSE?!  NOT TO MENTION THAT HE YELLED AT JARED FOR DOING THIS EXACT SAME GODDAMN THING!

jackass_large

It wasn’t like kissing Jared. With Jared, there was no thought, only desire. No control. A spark to gasoline–inevitable. With Ian, I didn’t even know what I felt. Everything was muddled and confused.

And what she’s saying here is that she doesn’t feel like she wants to respond to the kiss.  She doesn’t like it.  It doesn’t make her feel desire or loving like kissing Jared did, it only makes her feel weird and uncomfortable.  Probably in part because Ian is constantly ignoring her wishes and taking advantage of the fact that she won’t make him back off.

His lips were soft and warm. He pressed them only lightly to mine, and then brushed them back and forth across my mouth.

…What the hell kind of kiss is that?  Fucking eskimo kiss only to her lips instead of her nose?  Is that supposed to be romantic?

“Good or bad?” he whispered against my lips.

Bad! Bad, bad!

“I–I can’t think.” When I moved my mouth to speak, he moved his with it.

“That sounds… good.”

His mouth pressed down with more force now. He caught my lower lip between his and pulled on it gently.

I CANNOT STRESS AT ALL HOW HORRIBLE THIS IS!  His reaction to her uncertainty is to ASSUME THAT MEANS SHE LIKES IT SO HE SHOULD DO IT AGAIN!  I WILL ALSO POINT OUT THAT SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE EXHAUSTED AND SEVERELY INJURED RIGHT NOW SO HE IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HER WHILE SHE IS WEAK!

Melanie wanted to hit him–so much more than she’d wanted to punch Jared. She wanted to shove him away and then kick his face. The image was horrible. It conflicted jarringly with the sensation of Ian’s kiss.

“Please,” I whispered.

“Yes?”

“Please stop. I can’t think. Please.”

This section just makes me feel depressed.

He sat back at once, clasping his hands in front of him. “Okay,” he said, his tone cautious.

I pressed my hands against my face, wishing I could push out Melanie’s anger.

“Well, at least nobody punched me.” Ian grinned.

She just literally begged him to stop kissing her and he’s acting fucking PROUD of himself!  MY GOD this guy is a douchebag!

She explains that Melanie was certainly angry enough to do more than punch him, and that she was so angry it was hurting Wanderer’s head.  But that since she wasn’t overwhelmed Melanie couldn’t take control.  Awful convenient, these rules.

how_convenient

Calm down, I begged her. He’s not touching me.

Has he forgotten that I’m here? Doesn’t he care? This is me, it’s me!

No Melanie, he does not care.  He basically said so earlier in the chapter.

Melanie is so deeply upset by this violation that she tries to remind Wanderer that she has a crush on Jared to get her to tell Ian to fuck off.  She’s trying to remind Wanderer that Wanderer is in love with her boyfriend because she would rather deal with jealousy towards Wanderer’s crush than have Ian keep trying to have sex with her.  That is how violated she feels right now.

“She’s talking to you.”

“Yelling at me,” I corrected.

“I can tell now. I can see you concentrate on the conversation. I never noticed before today.”

“She’s not always this vocal.”

“I am sorry, Melanie,” he said. “I know this must be impossible for you.”

Remember, Ian was mad at Jared because his kissing Melanie might fuck up Wanderer.  He apparently does not think that he shouldn’t be allowed to kiss Wanderer based on what it does to Melanie.  This is a massive double standard based solely on his desire to be with Wanderer and his jealousy towards Jared.  It’s terrible, and he is a horrible man.  He is a horrible love interest.  He is a horrible human being in general.

Tell him I don’t want his apologies.

I winced.

Ian half smiled, half grimaced. “She doesn’t accept.”

Good.

Ian asks about Melanie taking over, she says it’s harder and harder and that she tried to let Melanie take over against Kyle but failed.  That ‘the door seems to be locked’ unless she’s completely emotionally overwhelmed.  Ian asks if all Jared did was kiss her and Wanderer confirms.  This makes him flinch and I admit I take joy from his pain at this point.

“What?” I asked. “What’s wrong?”

“When Jared kisses you, you are… overwhelmed by emotion.”

I stared at him, worried by the expression on his face. Melanie enjoyed it. That’s right!

He sighed. “And when I kiss you… you aren’t sure if you like it. You are not… overwhelmed.”

“Oh.” Ian was jealous. How very strange this world was. “I’m sorry.”

Apparently Melanie does too.

“Don’t be. I told you I’d give you time, and I don’t mind waiting for you to think things through. I don’t mind that at all.”

If that was true you wouldn’t have kissed her you fucking prick!

He wants to know how much of her love for Jared is her and how much is Melanie.  Wanderer doesn’t know why it matters, and frankly neither do I because it doesn’t change the fact.  He’s the one that said the body is a part of who she is, so what she feels because of the body is too.  But again, this is him trying to justify his shitty behaviour.  He holds her hand again because he doesn’t seem to take ‘please stop’ very seriously.

It was very quiet for a minute. Even Melanie was still. That was nice.

Then, as though a switch had been flipped, Ian was his normal self again. He laughed.

“Time is on my side,” he said, grinning. “We’ve got the rest of our lives in here. One day you’ll wonder what you ever saw in Jared.”

I cannot adequately express how deeply, deeply terrible this is.  He’s telling her that eventually Stockholm syndrome will kick in and she’ll be his.  He’s not accepting that she has feelings for someone else and he should move on like a FUCKING adult, he’s saying she’ll eventually cave because she’s fucking STUCK WITH HIM.  It’s CREEPY, it’s HORRIBLE, and it makes me hate this book more than I already did which I didn’t think was even POSSIBLE!

I hate you phone

Jamie interrupts thankfully so there can be no more creepiness.  He asks if she’s hungry and she says she’s fine and asks about school and blah blah stuff that doesn’t matter at all.  Until he gets to the part about Jared.  And I find myself so happy about what comes next I kind of wonder if that wasn’t the point to this whole chapter and Meyer actually pulled this off effectively.  But I won’t get my hopes up too high that we were actually SUPPOSED to find Ian creepy.  Though I would give props if that’s where it ended up.

“Guess what? Jared was saying at lunch that he didn’t think it was fair for you to have to move out of the room you were used to. He said we weren’t being good hosts. He said you should move back in with me! Isn’t that great? I asked him if I could tell you right away, and he said that was a good idea. He said you would be in here.”

“I’ll bet he did,” Ian murmured.

“So what do you think, Wanda? We get to be roomies again!”

“But Jamie, where will Jared stay?”

“Wait–let me guess,” Ian interrupted. “I bet he said the room was big enough for three. Am I right?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“Lucky guess.”

Oh don’t be such a sore loser Ian.  You WERE just kissing his girlfriend.  And you’re not even dating the other occupant of the body, so it really was completely fair of Jared to pull this stunt.  You were being a douchebag, he retaliated in kind.  And I find myself liking Jared again in this moment.

The implication that Jamie wants MELANIE there, not Wanderer, comes across, but unintentionally so on Jamie’s part.  Simply so Wanderer could feel lonely and ‘woe is me’ again.  Jamie apologizes and corrects that he wants the FOUR of them to be together as a family.  All the while coming off as a naïve 6 year old.

Jamie crawled up the mattress, worming his way around Ian, to put his arms around my neck.

He’s a teenager.  This doesn’t feel like something a teenager would do.

“Sorry. Don’t be sad.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“You know I love you, too.”

So sharp, so piercing, the emotions of this planet. Jamie had never said those words to me before. My whole body suddenly felt a few degrees warmer.

gag

“Will you come back?” Jamie begged against my shoulder.

I couldn’t answer right away.

“What does Mel want?” he asked.

“She wants to live with you,” I whispered. I didn’t have to check to know that.

“And what do you want?”

“Do you want me to live with you?”

“You know I do, Wanda. Please.”

Jamie, like Jared in the last chapter, makes a point of actually asking what both women want.  Rather than Ian simply trying to force what HE wants on both women.  I just like making comparisons at this point so you all understand without a doubt that Ian is a massive douchebag.

When Wanderer concedes, Jamie shouts his excitement and bounces around.  He says he’ll go get her something to eat and wants to know if Ian wants anything as well.  Ian tells him to tell Jared he’s shameless.  Hypocrite.

Ian rolls his eyes and Wanderer feels the pang that she’s not the one wanted again because she can’t accept that Jamie now sees her as part of his family.  Because then she couldn’t feel depressed and garner pity.  She wants Ian to keep liking her because he’s the only one that likes JUST her.  He doesn’t give a SHIT about Melanie.  Jamie loves them BOTH and that’s not good enough.

This chapter made me feel like I was at a party watching a guy feel up a drunk chick only without the ability to go over and punch him in the face and call her a cab.

You know what sucks

Till next time.  Check out The Llama’s review of this chapter!

The Host Review: Wanted (Ch 37)

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!

spaaaace

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?

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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.

Replace suicidal with homicidal and yeah, pretty much.

Replace suicidal with homicidal and yeah, pretty much.

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.

Ugh ugh and 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.

An offer.

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.

I hate you

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.

Ow.

Sorry.

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.

OHMYGOD

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.”

“And you?”

“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.

Watching you sleep

“I’ll bring you food later–don’t worry about anything.”

“Thank you. Ian?”

“Yeah?”

“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.”

“Okay.”

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.

JulietHubbieBusHit-1

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.

back 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.”

Always.

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?!

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“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.

“Mel?”

“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.

I feel like shit

Buckle in for the next one, it’s going to be an rougher ride.

Till next time.  Check out The Llama’s review!