It’s time for that special chapter I was talking about in the last two updates. What makes Chapter 23 so special? Is it a truly hysterical scenario of fail? Is it the most stupid moment of this book?

Not quite. What’s special about this chapter is that this chapter is actually good, and not only is this chapter good, it’s the first chapter in a series of four chapters spread throughout the book that are actually interesting. It may have something to do with the fact that they don’t involve Tookie and her entourage of idiots.

Granted, these aren’t perfect, as we’ll be seeing. And it just so happens that in the final chapter of the adventure we’ll be getting our first glimpse if now is a very bad moment in this book. In fact, I would consider it to be one of the two worst points in this book—but we’ll handle that when we get to it. Now, to join the Pilgrims!

Chapter Twenty-Three: The Diabolical Divide

Past the sign that marks the entrance into the Diabolical Divide, a group is starting to assemble. In this group is a teenage girl and her mother, a woman in her forties, and our old friend Abigail Goode (DOWN WITH RAZORS!) with her mother Harriet. (facepalm) There’s another person, a hunchbacked man wearing a leather hood.

His kind was unfamiliar to the group, but a certain porcelain-skinned girl named Piper would know them quite well. She’d lived with the daily terror of scores of them threatening to penetrate her homeland’s grand protective dome, after all.

So this guy is a LeGizzârd.

The teenage girl, Jessamine, remarks to her mother about how strange it is for a man to be there, given that “Everyone knows men don’t usually go on these things”. Because men are not as obsessive about being models and have other aspirations in life.

Everyone checks their gear, and the text tells us about how the group is suffering from the Pilgrim Plague and have decided to embark up to Modelland. The last figure is a Raider by the name of Macy Kamata, who swallows a bag of pills and gives each of the Pilgrims a bag of pills. Next, he injects needles into his own and the Pilgrims’ butts. Kamata warns the Pilgrims that their safety and lives are not guaranteed, and takes the Pilgrims’ money. The woman in her forties, Lynne, remarks that she is giving her life savings to Kamata.

Before the group can depart, two more figures come running towards them. After giving Kamata their money, the taller of the two introduces themselves: Creamy and Myrracle. Creamy even tells Myrracle to stop dancing, and Kamata remarks on how Creamy is taking along her doll, Bellissima. After Creamy, Myrracle, and Bellissima get their medicine (yes, Creamy insists on Kamata giving her doll a shot in the butt), the Pilgrims depart.

And to end the chapter, we have a letter from Tookie! Poo. She goes on about how Creamy probably thinks that Myrracle deserves to be at Modelland instead of Tookie, her “friendSSSS”, her classes, how Zarpessa is evil, how she is trying her best, and how she knows that Creamy once loved her. It’s not particularly interesting.

Chapter Twenty-Four: W.O.W.

Our most unusual tale picks up at the start of the next Modelland quadmester, three months and four days into the Bellas’ first year at the unusual, untouchable, and never uneventful fantastical land at the top of the mountain….

Time skip! We got one single class from the first quadmester and now we’re in the second quadmester. And evidently Modelland is “never uneventful” given that nothing of note happened after the first class.

We are told that every morning, Tookie is reminded of her father every time she brushes her teeth. And minutes later, Tookie, Dylan, Shiraz, and Piper are walking near the stadium.

Bravo says hello to Tookie. Tookie thinks about how he pointed out the whipped cream on her nose after her first Mastication class and acts like a jerk towards him:

“Good luck with your manly-man stuff,” she added flippantlly. “And don’t forget to pout your perfect lips and contract your rippling muscles for the cameras.”

Bravo laughs over Tookie’s comment, shaking loose bark and dust from the tree limb he’s carrying, with some of it landing on Tookie. Tookie wonders, “Is it this boy’s mission in life to torment me?” Why are we supposed to like Tookie, again? And as it just so happens, Bravo apologizes for it immediately after she thinks that.

Tookie then notices the salted-caramel colour of Bravo’s eyes (Theophilus had the same colour of eyes) and tells herself not to swoon. Bravo pats off the dust on Tookie, and when his hand brushes against her lips, she locks her lips around his thumb. Bravo asks if he tastes good and Tookie’s friends are “playfully mocking her.” Because they’re her friends and thus allowed to make fun of her. Tookie runs off as Bravo’s friends arrive and start teasing about Tookie’s behaviour.

“Pretty boy kooky over Tookie, and want her nookie,” Shiraz said sexily to Tookie as they jogged away.

“You sound like Chaste,” Tookie reprimanded, not laughing back.

Slut shaming!

And then Tookie wonders if it was all a joke, “Or something more?” Subtle.

The girls eat and then Tookie gets approached by a girl named Bibiana who asks about the clock system in Modelland. We’re told about how the entire class needed a remedial lesson on the colour clock system and how Tookie still doesn’t understand the clocks.

Their next class is W.O.W., War of Words, so they go there together. They arrive at the THE WAR OF WORDS MAGNETOSPHERE, and Piper arrives shortly afterwards. We get mention on how Piper turned the umbrella that appeared out of nowhere when she arrived in Modelland into a couture-like hat and how she looks like an Intoxibella already.

Along comes Bo, the emotionless girl, who just walks near the ball and gets sucked into it. Tookie, Bibiana, and Piper do the same and get sucked into the THE WAR OF WORDS MAGNETOSPHERE, finding themselves in a perfectly round room. As it turns out, Shiraz and Dylan are also there, along with the Likee sisters and Zarpessa. We’re told that Zarpessa’s become even more of a bitch towards Tookie, to the extent of making the image of Tookie on Tookie’s bed try to strangle her. Nice, now the Alpha Bitch is practically trying to kill our protagonist.

Around the room, various metal objects are stuck to the walls. Everyone’s jewelry then starts coming off of them and sticking to the walls—including Tookie’s tooth filling. Tookie’s T O OKE button comes flying off, but the flower brooch ends up sticking to it.

Chaste then says something (to be specific, she’s saying that the teacher’s name is MattJoe Von Megalo and that she’s calling “firsties”), then Guru MattJoe enters and turns out to be ugly. He introduces himself and explains the class:

“You will learn how to use words to convince, to charm, to soothe, and to strike and DESTROY the arguments of anyone standing in your way! And I don’t mean the way thespian dames do, ladies, just reciting lines from cue cards and crying on command. I mean doing so with Modelland CONVICTION!”

Hooray, more actress-bashing! MattJoe says that he’s usually not aggressive and must have learned it from Bravo, whom MattJoe says is a friend of his. Tookie thinks about Bravo again, wondering if she should have acted like Chaste (a slut), Zarpessa (a bitch), or Dylan (an idiot) instead of sucking on Bravo’s thumb.

MattJoe continues explaining the class, about how the girls must learn how to convey love for something even if they detest it, and asks for a frivolous topic to start off with. Dylan complains about how MattJoe keeps saying “yep, yep”, further cementing her as a judgemental bitch.

Then Chaste makes a suggestion: “How about we debate free swing versus firm sling?” MattJoe thinks that she’s talking about hammocks, to which Chaste replies that she’s talking about “Hammocks…for honkers.” And at this point, I want to throw something out of a window because this girl that exists solely to say and do slutty things is really getting on my nerves.

MattJoe has Chaste speak for “free swing” while Shiraz goes for “firm sling”. He has them put a plus and minus sign respectively on their foreheads, prompting a quip from Zarpessa about Dylan’s big butt. This makes Tookie think about how Zarpessa is a “bully strategist” in how she targets Tookie’s friends as well.

When Chaste starts talking, her forehead becomes magnetically attracted to Shiraz’s forehead. Why in the world is this happening? Chaste starts waxing poetic about boobs, which might have turned me on if not for the fact that I can feel nothing but seething rage whenever Chaste says anything.

Next comes Shiraz’s turn. And whereas I felt nothing but hatred for Chaste’s words…

Shiraz cleared her throat, seeming a little knocked off her game. Then she launched into a song. “The boobies high and tight on me.” Everyone laughed. “My knobbies pert and firm, agree? But forever young they will not be. No bra, they’ll sag with grav-i-tee!”

…this actually made me laugh.

MattJoe weighs in on each girl’s presentation, and while it seems like Shiraz is about to be declared the winner, the floor opens up before MattJoe can give his verdict. Two figures emerge from the floor: Persimmon and a bound-and-gagged Ci~L wearing a grey jumpsuit with the words “UGLY ROOM” on the back. Persimmon explains that Ci~L has been delivered to the THE WAR OF WORDS MAGNETOSPHERE (can’t you tell I love that name?) to be a first-year Bella again. She has Ci~L remove her jumpsuit, revealing a Modelland uniform that’s too small on Ci~L. Persimmon states that after Ci~L’s course, she’ll be returned to the Ugly Room. MattJoe expresses pity for Ci~L, noting that Ci~L was far ahead of everyone else in W.O.W. class. Then he sees a BellaDonna bust and immediately takes back his words. Zarpessa makes a snide comment about Ci~L, prompting Tookie to verbally lash out at her. Zarpessa tells her that she’s “only here for a Modelland sacrificial science project” and MattJoe stops them, deciding that they will be next to debate against each other. He assigns both of them a partner: Dylan for Tookie and Ci~L for Zarpessa.

MattJoe’s topic for the two teams is to argue unusual physicality versus defined beauty, with Ci~L and Zarpessa’s side arguing for unusual physicality. The four put on the plus and minus signs and take their places. Zarpessa starts off, insulting Tookie and her group and saying that they deserve to feel attractive despite being “Unfortunate-Lookings—ULs, for short”. MattJoe isn’t pleased at Zarpessa’s argument. Ci~L starts reciting a poem trashing Zarpessa.

Tookie’s turn comes next, and she styles her speech in the form of one of her T-Mail Jail letters, gushing about Ci~L and expressing her worries about Ci~L’s mental health. She goes on about how she’s a Forgetta-Girl while Myrracle is an ideal beauty, and how Ci~L shouldn’t stand up for her.

This provokes Ci~L to start into a rant about how they’ve been brainwashed into believing that beauty is only certain things and says that if they “reprogram our brainwashed-with-extra-strength-bleach minds”, they can conceive beauty in people like Shiraz, Piper, and Tookie.

Then Dylan starts ranting about how she’s fat, prompting Ci~L to get pissed off and tell her to “look in the damn mirror”, to which Dylan disagrees. Ci~L calls Dylan a “coward” and tells her that she has to defend her body, to which Dylan simply tells Ci~L to shut up. Dylan storms out of the classroom. MattJoe says that despite Dylan’s poor behaviour, Tookie has “won” her first War of Words.

Then Persimmon pops up, scolding MattJoe for allowing Ci~L to spout her poetry. She puts Ci~L back in the Ugly Room jumpsuit. Tookie retrieves her T O OKE button and leaves the THE WAR OF WORDS MAGNETOSPHERE. Tookie, Shiraz, and Piper see Dylan running into a plaid cube, so they follow her, chasing her into a hallway that smells of wet fur. They hear hissing sounds, and Shiraz realizes where they are: the Catwalk Corridor.

And that was when the first set of claws ripped into Tookie’s flesh.

DUN DUN DUUUN!

Chapter Twenty-Five: One Bee-yotchhh

As it turns out, the claws just scratched Tookie’s ankle. Yes, that last chapter’s cliffhanger was overdramatic. She does end up getting scratched in the face, then sneezes.

At which point a voice with a “TooLip” accent starts speaking. In the darkness, the girls can see hundreds of eyes staring at them—cat eyes. Two of the cats even have painted claws. Tookie tries to run, but a massive gate cuts off her escape. Then she comes across a Persian with a human face who wants her to comb its hair. Tookie starts thinking that the cat resembles an Intoxibella named Anka. A bunch of cats tell Piper to take a pill to colour her blank skin, and Tookie notices that a tabby cat looks like another Intoxibella, Fiona (from Icylann). Next comes a Siamese cat that looks like an Intoxibella named Phara, and the cat says that it is the Intoxibella Phara. Tookie asks how they’re cats.

Then Zarpessa and Chaste wander in. One of the cats pees on Zarpessa’s foot, causing Zarpessa to run away. Why are Zarpessa and Chaste here, other than to get peed on? Why did Dylan come into this building? Why in the world is this happening?

The cats start pouncing on Tookie, who says that they have to find Dylan and leave. They reach the end of the corridor, where Zarpessa and Chaste are staring at a bunch of cats seemingly praying before a massive lion face. The lion face speaks in the BellaDonna’s voice, expositing that the Catwalk Corridor is a correctional facility for Intoxibellas, saying “There. Is. Room. For. Only. One. Bee-yotchhh” and ordering the cats back to their pens. One of the cats that bit Tookie has this delightful tidbit:

“Watch out, De La Crème. This kitty-cat got a taste of your sweetness and wants more of your cream!”

Saying that the lesbian overtones are the best part of this book is an exaggeration…but not by that much.

The lion face’s mouth opens, and the girls walk through the mouth, coming out in the D (for Dorm) building. The passageway disappears behind them as the chapter comes to a close.

This chapter is revolves around one of the greatest flaws of this book: Tookie ends up in places for contrived reasons simply for the sake of exposition. Whether it’s sleepwalking or her friend running into a random building, Tookie conveniently stumbles upon causes for exposition, whether it’s just worldbuilding like when she comes upon her father practising and here in the Catwalk Corridor, or dramatic revelations like Chris-Crème-Crobat’s plan to send Tookie away and seeing Ci~L acting crazy. And this is going to come up again, quite soon in fact, and in an even more stupid manner.

In the next installment: we learn what a self-centered and vain bitch Piper is, get zome zreally ztupid zialogue, and our suspension of disbelief gets smashed to bits with a massive freaking hammer.

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Comment

  1. Taku on 6 April 2013, 03:10 said:

    and our suspension of disbelief gets smashed to bits with a massive freaking hammer.

    Wait, we still have that? I lost mine halfway through the opening paragraph.

    I have nothing I can say about this chapter, except to quote The Simpsons:

    Drugs!? Everything is drugs! Banana made of drugs, monkey made of drugs. Look. All market made of drugs!

  2. Brendan Rizzo on 6 April 2013, 14:28 said:

    Hahahahahahaha!

    But for a while, I was getting worried that the site had a problem since there were no updates for two weeks. Good to see stuff again.

  3. swenson on 6 April 2013, 18:57 said:

    This makes Tookie think about how Zarpessa is a “bully strategist” in how she targets Tookie’s friends as well.

    Dear goodness, it’s sounding like something out of Maradonia. Actually, most of this, with the stupid names and things happening just because they happen, kind of reminds me of Maradonia… except Glo is a teenager with overenthusiastic parents while Tyra Banks is an adult with a professional career.

    So do tell, does anything actually happen in this book? Chapter 23 hints at some interesting upcoming storyline, but back at the school, it’s just “LOL RANDUM CLASSES AND CI~L IS BEING PUNISHED IF YOU DIDN’T NOTICE ALREADY”.

  4. Brenda on 11 October 2013, 14:30 said:

    ….Somehow, I’m lead to believe that ALL THIS really came from inside her own crazy model head and not drugs, like I previously thought.