Chapter Two: School Fight

The chapter opens with a picture of some girls getting into a tussle in front of the lockers. It’s not particularly well-drawn, and Alana’s torso looks like it’s separated from the rest of her body.

Tesch tells us that every time Maya says something, Alana says something ugly in response. An example would be nice. Maybe just one? No? Okay.

So they’re at lunch, and someone at Maya’s table is talking about Alana. Probably talking trash. Suddenly Alana gets up and walks directly over towards her.

When she finally arrived at the table she said, “If you wanna say somthin’ say it to ma face!” Alana was leaning over the table and then she leaned back, crossing her arms and raising her eyebrows.

Maya looked up and said, “I didn’t say anything about you!” Then Alana’s friends stormed over to Maya’s table and yelled, “Girl, you are jus’ askin’ for it!” (page 14).

Leaning back, crossing your arms, and raising your eyebrows makes you look ridiculous, not even remotely threatening, but Tesch is 13, so I doubt she knows that. Tesch being 13, I also wonder about the creatively spelled (and italicized) dialogue for Alana. It almost sounds like she’s trying to make her into an angry black bully, but that can’t be right, because that would just be racist. Right?

The school administrator shows up and defuses the situation. Maya takes off and hides behind the building until the bell rings, then makes a beeline for her locker. She grabs her books, and then Alana appears, slamming her locker shut.

She smiled in a way that said “I’m better then you” (page 15).

That’s threatening. And that’s ‘than’.

Alana slaps her. And then punches her. Immediately a group of students forms a semi-circle and starts chanting “Fight! Fight!” Because that’s what always happens at school fights.

Maya grabbed Alana’s long dark hair and pushed her down. Maya had never told anybody before in the school that she was a ‘Black Belt’, one of the highest ranked belts in Karate (page 15).

…add another talent to our Mary-Sue’s repertoire. Also, I don’t exactly call myself an expert when it comes to Karate, but grabbing someone by the hair and pushing them to the ground doesn’t really sound like something a ‘Black Belt’ would do.

The world goes all blurry and Maya can only see Alana and suddenly she finds herself on top of her and starts beating the crap out of her until finally she snaps out of it. Alana’s face is ‘red like a lobster’ (quotation marks included) and she starts crying and runs off. Everyone stares at her, stunned, because Maya is just that hardcore.

I find it astonishing that after a mere 16 pages Gloria Tesch has already firmly grasped the title of the worst writer that I have ever had the misfortunate of reading. Every single sentence reeks of pure, undiluted incompetence. Even Robert Stanek isn’t this bad. I honestly cannot fathom how her parents were willing to self-publish this shit, without even going through and fixing the most egregious crimes against the English language. I don’t have anywhere near the patience to go through and point out every single one of these crimes, but my liver is suffering right now.

Maya gets suspended for one day, Alana for three days, and suddenly Maya’s a minor celebrity. Whenever she shows up, everyone whispers that she was the one who ‘wopped’ Alana. Wopped? Really? Who the hell would use that word?

Drinks: 7

Chapter Three: The Party

Joey has a friend named Derrick, and it’s Derrick’s little brother’s and his mother’s birthday. For some reason Derrick invites Joey, and then Joey decides to invite Maya. This sounds thoroughly unconvincing. When my friends’ siblings and mothers had birthday parties, I was never invited. But maybe that was just because I wasn’t popular.

Joey told Maya on their way to the party, that the only reason he invited her was the fight between Maya and Alana which had made him even more popular.

Maya was really disappointed when she heard what Joey’s reason for her invitation was and she said sarcastically, “What a privilege…” but then she said “Okay…I’ll go with you!” (page 18)

This tells me two things: one, Maya is a pretty pathetic person, if she’s still going to this party, and two, Gloria Tesch is an idiot, because Maya wouldn’t agree to go to a party after they were already on their way there.

The party is being held at a hotel, which immediately makes me call bullshit, because there isn’t even an explanatory line about Derrick’s family being extremely rich. Joey tells the hotel doorman that they’re the guests of honor – I can’t remember the last time I was at a hotel that actually had a doorman – and they head inside. Joey exchanges some pleasantries with Derrick, they get some food, and Maya starts feeling awkward so she wanders off and starts wandering around the pool.

Then Joey shoves her into the pool. Because he’s trying to show off for Derrick. Normally, I would question Joey’s sexuality, but in this case I honestly think that he’s just being a little shit.

Maya hits her head and falls into the pool and starts sinking. Then she sees a light and hears a woman asking, in very oversized, bold, italicized text, for her to come and help them.

Within the twinkling of an eye the thought hit her mind, “Who needs my help? I’m the one who needs help and I need the help now because I am at the edge of drowning?” (page 20)

The second sentence doesn’t need a question mark at the end. Also, this is remarkably clear train of thought for someone who is about to drown.

Coincidentally, I nearly drowned when I was younger. Here is an approximate re-creation of my train of thought while it was happening:

AUGH HELP WATER FUCK GARGLE AHH HELP CAN’TBREATHE FUCK ASS SHIT AUGH HELP ME PLEASE GOD GLAGH BLUB AA!!!!

Then there’s another idiotic quote:

The doorman, who was also a life-guard at this hotel complex, jumped into the water. He pulled Maya out of the pool and pressed the remaining water out of her lungs (page 20).

Right, the doorman just happens to also be the lifeguard. So he’s life guarding for a pool that he isn’t anywhere close to and can’t even see. So he has no idea if anyone is drowning or needs help. He’s just the lifeguard. Makes total sense.

Joey laughs and makes jokes about Maya, firmly cementing him into the ‘little shit’ category. Maya opens her eyes, looks up, and sees white doves. She hears the voices again. The bleeding doesn’t stop so they want to call an ambulance, but she refuses and says she wants to go home. When a fifteen-year-old falls down and gashes their head open, people do not ask the fifteen-year-old whether they want to go to the hospital, they call 911.

Maya gets up and the doves fly down and circle around Maya’s head. One of them has a golden tail feather. Wait, this is all coming together! Maya is actually Jesus! She’s just been baptized in the pool by Joey and now Tesch is saying, “This is My beloved creation, in Whom I am well pleased”.

The doorman, however, has something different to say about the birds:

The guard said, “These doves are crazy! They behaved strange, absolutely strange! Three of them attacked me at the same time when I was standing at the bell captains desk, close to the poolside, holding the new guest lists in my hand. I was just greeting one of our distinguished guests, when these birds flew straight through the open doors from the pool area. One of them snatched the guest list out of my hands and the two others pulled me by my hair…and I don’t have too much hair. Anyway, I followed them to the pool because I needed the paper, when I saw you drifting under water. That’s when I jumped and dragged you out of the pool. [snip] I tell you the truth, these birds have saved your life!

It seems to me as if you are very special to them and I have the feeling that they are trying to deliver some kind of message. (page 21).

So much.

Why did the doorman suddenly become a guard? Who is a bell captain and why would a doorman be standing by his desk? What sort of ‘distinguished guests’ would be coming to a birthday party? If some birds started pulling you by your hair, wouldn’t you fight them off instead of following them? Why is the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of hair even mentioned? Why couldn’t he get another copy of his guest list instead of chasing after a bird that has it? Why did he ‘jump’ instead of ‘jump in’? And why is every single character convinced that Maya is Speshul?

This is what it’s like reading this book. And Tesch doesn’t let up for a moment:

When Joey realized Maya’s desperate situation and saw that her new outfit was ruined by the pool water he was not happy at all (page 22).

Really, you arrogant little prick? Not happy at all that you almost drowned your sister and ruined her clothing? Maybe you should have thought of that before you shoved her into the pool. Not to mention that at this point Maya is safe and wrapped in towels, how is this situation even remotely desperate? Maybe he should have realized this while she was…oh, I dunno, drowning?

They walk home. I’m not sure why they have to walk home after one of them almost drowned, but c’mon, this was written by a snot-nosed 13-year-old, what were you expecting, realism? Joey is still worried about what his parents will say and begs Maya to come up with some sort of story to explain her wet clothes. So Maya starts to cry – because she’s so disappointed that Joey will ask her to lie to her parents.

Seriously. She is crying because he asks her to lie for her. And also because he never said he was sorry for his ‘ugly attitude’. Not that he didn’t apologize for almost killing her, no, Maya wants him to apologize for his attitude problems. And Maya feels pain in her heart.

I guess she’s already forgotten about the weird lights and voices telling her they need her help. That probably happens on a daily basis for her.

Drinks: 2

Chapter Four: At the Pebble Beach

We jump forward a few weeks later to the thanksgiving weekend. No mention of any fallout from the previous chapter. Also, I don’t know why Tesch randomly ‘Capitalizes’ and accentuates words in a sentence, but doesn’t bother to capitalize words that actually need it, grammatically speaking. Like Thanksgiving.

Joey and Maya meet Mr. Perkins on their way to the beach. They only live a few blocks away from the beach. I guess they’re pretty well-off. Funny thing, I used to live near a street named Perkins. I guess it’s my ‘Destiny’ that I spork this book.

Blah blah, Perkins tells them about a ‘Pebbles Beach’. Apparently people have disappeared there, bodies never found, and now trespassing is forbidden. Joey immediately wants to go there and check it out. Maya is hesitant but agrees to go away, because Maya is kind of a sheep.

They go to the south beach and soon they’re completely alone. It’s not that convincing. I’m not certain but I’m guessing the story is set in Florida, since Tesch lives there. Most beaches that are located within walking distance of people’s houses are open, and on nice, sunny days like this one, there are usually a lot of people there.

Maya jumps in and floats around for a bit, relaxing. Then she thinks about the voices, and so she opens her eyes and yells

“Yes, and what about the doves?” (page 25)

Which doesn’t make any sense. Why did she say ‘yes’? Who is she talking to? Why hasn’t she thought about this before?

Joey is off exploring the beach, and Maya can’t see him, so she heads off looking for him. She sees some white doves in the palm trees, which sounds weird. Maya wonders if this is a sign, and since it’s in italics, I’m guessing it is. She keeps walking and thinks about how people have disappeared at this beach and were never seen again.

Drinks: 3

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Comment

  1. Puppet on 2 May 2010, 16:47 said:

    Coincidentally, I nearly drowned when I was younger. Here is an approximate re-creation of my train of thought while it was happening:

    AUGH HELP WATER FUCK GARGLE AHH HELP CAN’TBREATHE FUCK ASS SHIT AUGH HELP ME PLEASE GOD GLAGH BLUB AA!!!!

    This.^^

    I know people say this about pretty nearly every book we spork on ImpishIdea, but this is painful to read. Everything about it is just wrong and I applaud you for your bravery, Kawnliee.

  2. falconempress on 2 May 2010, 17:00 said:

    Which doesn’t make any sense. Why did she say ‘yes’? Who is she talking to?

    The voices in her head. Oh wait, no, that would actually make this book awesome.

    This is simply ‘Too Dumb For Words’.

  3. Chant on 2 May 2010, 17:47 said:

    This sounds like something I wrote when I was – no…. no, I don’t think I’ve ever been capable of writing something this bad. I take my hat off to you, Ms. Tesch.

  4. dragonarya on 2 May 2010, 19:57 said:

    I find it astonishing that after a mere 16 pages Gloria Tesch has already firmly grasped the title of the worst writer that I have ever had the misfortunate of reading.

    What about Jim Theis from THE EYE OF ARGON infamy?

    Ouch, my brain. If I wore hats I would take mine off to you. The rampant quotes and capitalization would drive me nuts after one chapter.

  5. Nate Winchester on 2 May 2010, 22:26 said:

    Tesch tells us that every time Maya says something, Alana says something ugly in response. An example would be nice. Maybe just one? No? Okay.

    Anything at all? For no reason? I mean, if Maya also said something ugly Alana would say something ugly? I’m so confused.

    Maya looked up and said, “I didn’t say anything about you!” Then Alana’s friends stormed over to Maya’s table and yelled, “Girl, you are jus’ askin’ for it!” (page 14).

    Wait! That contradicts what you just said!

    It almost sounds like she’s trying to make her into an angry black bully, but that can’t be right, because that would just be racist. Right?

    What if it was a half asian/half caucasian wearing arabic clothing trying to sound like an angry black bully? Is it more fair to offend everyone you can at once?

    I find it astonishing that after a mere 16 pages Gloria Tesch has already firmly grasped the title of the worst writer that I have ever had the misfortunate of reading. Every single sentence reeks of pure, undiluted incompetence.

    I’ll still put Kenneth Eng against her!
    Still, it’s like Agony Booth said:
    “Uwe Boll breaks rules of drama so obvious that you never knew they existed until you see them not being followed.”
    Also, William Briggs has made the claim that Walter Koenig wrote the worst Sci-Fi novel of all time. (yes I have emailed Mr Briggs about D:LT but not heard much back from him, I think he got distracted by the rest of II).

    Wopped? Really? Who the hell would use that word?

    In minor defense, I have heard people from the south use it.

    I can’t remember the last time I was at a hotel that actually had a doorman

    It would be an extremely rich hotel (I know there’s one not far from my apartment).

    Then Joey shoves her into the pool. Because he’s trying to show off for Derrick. Normally, I would question Joey’s sexuality, but in this case I honestly think that he’s just being a little shit.

    Yeah… I can think of several reasons for a heterosexual boy to shove a girl into a pool that come way before impressing another guy.

    Maya hits her head and falls into the pool and starts sinking.

    But he pushed her into the pool… wait, is it that confusing in the book?

    Right, the doorman just happens to also be the lifeguard.

    Actually that would be pretty funny if he jumped in in his 3 piece suit and little hat.

    This is what it’s like reading this book.

    Yes and you’re inflicting the book upon us! I’m turning you into Brussells for unlawful torture.
    You’ll be seeing a very strongly worded letter in your mailbox!

    saw that her new outfit was ruined by the pool water he was not happy at all

    I dunno… depending on what her outfit was, I’d think he’d be very happy…

    Really, you arrogant little prick? Not happy at all that you almost drowned your sister and ruined her clothing?

    Oh they’re siblings? Oh, disregard what I said earlier.

    Joey is still worried about what his parents will say and begs Maya to come up with some sort of story to explain her wet clothes. So Maya starts to cry – because she’s so disappointed that Joey will ask her to lie to her parents.

    Can you understand my confusion on their relationship to each other? Of course, I’m an only child so I’ll defer to those with siblings on whether this makes any sense.

    Blah blah, Perkins tells them about a ‘Pebbles Beach’. Apparently people have disappeared there, bodies never found, and now trespassing is forbidden.

    No I’m pretty sure Pebble beach isn’t closed off.

  6. Puppet on 2 May 2010, 22:49 said:

    Nate, with the length of your posts, you might as well start your own Maradonia sporks. =P

  7. Nate Winchester on 2 May 2010, 22:53 said:

    Hey, sometimes I just stream of consciousness these things.

  8. Puppet on 2 May 2010, 23:19 said:

    On Amazon.com the average rating for the book is a 1 out of 5 stars. In the “Tags Customers Associate with this Product” section the tags are as follows:

    poor writing(10)
    self-published(10)
    trash(10)
    unedited(10)
    cliche(9)
    glorified fanfiction(9)
    novice(8)
    vanity publishing(7)

    useless crap(6)
    waste of paper(6)
    horrible(3)
    kindling(3)
    poor trees(3)
    dont waste your money(2)
    omg those poor trees(2)
    over indulged children(2)

    poorly written(2)
    toilet paper(2)
    tripe(2)
    door stopper(1)
    scientology(1)
    waste of trees(1)

    Here’s the top review with 26/26 people finding it helpful:

    I tried to read with my younger sister and we were gravely disappointed.

    Here are our reasons:
    1.) The story is cliche and brings nothing new to the table. We have super special kids going to another world to save the day from an “Evil Empire.” (Yes, that is what it is called.) Yawn.

    2.) The grammar and syntax are atrocious. May the literary gods help us if this is how teens are writing these days. Words are used without regard to nuances of meaning and tone. Additionally, it is as if every name is in quotes. Why? The poor ellipses would like to protest their abuse as well.

    3.) The author chooses to use exposition to describe events that are intended to be tense and exciting. The lack of actions makes it, in my sister’s words, “boring.”

    4.) The formatting distracts from the writing as the lines are very short, only several words long. The text is not justified and the ragged edges detract from the presentation.

    Every one is going crazy over child prodigy authors and this one doesn’t deserve your hard earned money. In case you just think I “dont kno a good book” or am “jelous,” I suggest you go to the author’s website and download the first 40 pages to read. That would have saved me the embarassment of my 7 year old sister telling me, “This book is so bad. I could write it better.” She’ll never let me live this down.

    The Amazon.com link leads to the Maradonia book for those of you who want to confirm that all of the above is true.

  9. Danielle on 3 May 2010, 00:59 said:

    Leaning back, crossing your arms, and raising your eyebrows makes you look ridiculous, not even remotely threatening.

    Threatening? Not really? Incredibly rude and like you have a queen-of-the-universe complex? Absolutely. It makes me think of a snotty coworker I used to work with. If I saw her again, I would have a hard time not punching her in the face.

    Right, the doorman just happens to also be the lifeguard. So he’s life guarding for a pool that he isn’t anywhere close to and can’t even see. So he has no idea if anyone is drowning or needs help. He’s just the lifeguard. Makes total sense.

    Of course. Haven’t you ever been a lifeguard? :P

  10. Kawnliee on 3 May 2010, 01:09 said:

    I almost was thinking that Nate was trying to one-up me here. ;)

    However, I do think that it’s just more proof at just how much is wrong with this series. If I really wanted to, I could be pointing things out about literally every single sentence – because every single sentence has something wrong with it, whether it’s unnecessary italics, bold, quotation marks, poor grammar, unreadable grammar, using one word when she should have used another – but that would just get very tiresome and boring to read, very very quickly.

    I would also say that this is worse than The Eye of Argon, because while TEOA is filled with horrible, over-written purple prose within every single sentence, at least it doesn’t flatly ignore the common, simple laws of English grammar that most people learn to avoid by junior high.

  11. dragonarya on 3 May 2010, 07:41 said:

    I would also say that this is worse than The Eye of Argon, because while TEOA is filled with horrible, over-written purple prose within every single sentence, at least it doesn’t flatly ignore the common, simple laws of English grammar that most people learn to avoid by junior high.

    Then, like Nate said, Kenneth Eng must be on the same level as “Gloria Tesch”, considering he not only doesn’t know what “alas” means (alas!), his writing is riddled with Argon-type purple prose.

  12. falconempress on 3 May 2010, 14:33 said:

    Yes and you’re inflicting the book upon us! I’m turning you into Brussells for unlawful torture.

    If you want I can write an official petition to the Brussels court for you XD

  13. kawnliee on 3 May 2010, 16:49 said:

    I would love that, falconempress. As long as I can get a copy of the petition. :)

  14. Asahel on 3 May 2010, 16:57 said:

    Also, I don’t know why Tesch randomly ‘Capitalizes’ and accentuates words in a sentence, but doesn’t bother to capitalize words that actually need it, grammatically speaking. Like Thanksgiving.

    I do, and now that all the events regarding it are past, I can divulge the secret. It’s a cipher. Gloria Tesch doesn’t even exist; she was invented by her alleged parents as a cover for a series of secret messages they were sending to a handful of foreign embassies. The books are a cipher for decoding the messages. This is not only the reason for the apparently random capitalizations and single quotation marks, but also for purported typos (such as then instead of than; that one would’ve screwed up the meeting time for the Iranian official).

  15. Nate Winchester on 3 May 2010, 17:02 said:

    Wait… the Iranians are involved? Dammit Asahel, you know that throws off my theories and I gotta rework everything from the ground up. How are the Canadian prime minister and cucumber growers association involved? HOW?

  16. Asahel on 3 May 2010, 17:40 said:

    Nate, I could’ve sworn you realized it was the Canadian prime minister that the Iranian official was meeting with. You must’ve read “That’s when I jumped in and dragged you out of the pool.” instead of “That’s when I jumped and dragged you out of the pool.”

    That’s the precise reason that preposition was left out.

  17. Nate Winchester on 3 May 2010, 18:25 said:

    Of course! That and I see now my calculations I forgot to carry the 1. And with 2012 approaching… it’s so obvious now.

  18. fffan on 4 May 2010, 02:21 said:

    Ah. I see. I see. It’s so C lear n O w. The entire boo K is just a vessl E for subliminal messages.

  19. Charlotte on 5 May 2010, 18:43 said:

    Dear God, that’s terrible, but please continue. There’s something so fascinating about the horribleness- like watching a car accident.

    Also, as an Alana in real life, I am ashamed to find my name in a book like this, even as a one dimensional bully. (cries)

  20. swenson on 4 June 2010, 19:23 said:

    On the chanting “fight” thing… that’s actually true in some places. At least, it happened once or twice at my high school.

  21. Rayquazakid on 14 June 2010, 19:50 said:

    When Joey realized Maya’s desperate situation and saw that her new outfit was ruined by the pool water he was not happy at all

    What? Is this really a sentence?

  22. leafbreeze on 15 August 2010, 18:49 said:

    Shouldn’t Maya be the one suspended for three days, since she was the one beating the crap out of Alana?

    Wait, Maya is SPESHUL. Never mind.

  23. Tundra on 3 September 2010, 08:46 said:

    Has this woman never stepped foot inside a school or seen teenagers, or … anything?

  24. nanayoung on 2 February 2015, 17:39 said:

    Here’s how it should have gone:

    It was just supposed to be a joke, you know? No one was supposed to get hurt. Sure Maya would get a little wet and she’d probably be angry, but she would get that he was just messing around. They messed with each other all the time; it was kind of like a game, to one up each other. Last time she dyed his hair pink while he was asleep, so this time he would push her in the pool.

    When she didn’t come up, Joey thought she was messing with him. That she was trying to scare him into coming close to the pool, and then she would pull him in. It was when seconds past and she still didn’t come up that he started to get worried. He got even more worried when the lifeguard dove in to get her. But a part of him still thought she was messing with him, that she was trying to get him scared.

    It was only when the lifeguard came out of the pool with his sister in his arms, when he saw the blood on her head, that he panicked. He felt as if his throat was closing up, and saw darkness at the edge of his vision. He payed no attention to the panicked shouts behind him; all he could focus on was his sister as she lay there on the ground.

    God, she looked so small. So frail, just laying there. She wasn’t moving, wasn’t breathing, and it was all his fault. Joey never hated himself more than that moment.

    Then she coughed. And he was at her side, almost as if he teleported, paying no attention to the people around him. All he saw were those beautiful brown eyes as they slowly opened up. She tried talking but she ended up coughing up a load of water instead, and he put a comforting hand on her back.

    “J-Joey?”

    He didn’t answer. he was too busy crushing her to his chest as he shook, burying his face into her shoulder. He never wanted to let her go.

    He felt her pat his back, and he pulled her in tighter. He murmured apologizes into her neck and she whispered back that it was okay, that she was okay, and he had nothing to feel bad about.

    But he did feel bad. He hurt his sister, she was bleeding because of him, if that lifeguard hadn’t pulled her out then—-

    He didn’t realize he was crying until she pulled back and wiped the tears from his face with shaky fingers. “Joey, it’s alright, it’s alright. I’m fine. Everything’s okay.”

    “I almost—”

    “It was an accident. You were just joking, okay? I don’t blame you, it was just an accident. Calm down.” Maya gave him a smile and he wondered why he never noticed how beautiful she could be. “If anyone should be acting hysterical, it should be me.”

    Joey choked out a laugh and brought her in for another hug. She rolled her eyes, but comfortably rubbed circled on his back. Her brother could be so sensitive sometimes.

    Unwillingly, her eyes strayed to the pool and she shuttered, hugging her brother a bit tighter. That was a bit too close for comfort.

    In the distance, sirens sounded. The two siblings payed it no attention and continued to comfort one another, neither one letting the other go.

    /This is how Joey should have reacted. Hope you like it./