Welcome back everyone! In our last chapter we met Zoey, her ‘friend’ Kayla, who mostly vanished from the plot afterwards, and Zoey was turned into a vampire. In this chapter we are taught that men and fundamentalist Christians are all evil.

How’s that for tolerance?

So after Zoey is through looking at herself in the mirror, she waits around for everyone to be gone and then heads for her car. The moment that she heads outside, the sun starts the bother her.

Now, this isn’t a bad representation of the reason for the stories about why vampires around supposed to stand sunlight. Unfortunately, according to my research, there is actually nothing in folklore that actively talks about this. It’s mostly just there as an explanation for why vampires were only seen at night, but the folklore itself never even mentioned it. \~/

So, yeah. I wrote a Capstone that talked a lot about vampires. I learned stuff.

So, as Zoey is making a break for it, she runs into Heath in a scene that could actually be amusing or interesting if we didn’t have to hammer in the fact that everyone other than Zoey is either stupid or terrible (as long as they’re human).

Also, I’m going to point out something that the Casts do right. Cellphones exist. While this doesn’t seem like such a big deal, a lot of YA writers seem to forget that cellphones do in fact exist. For instance, having Bella Swan not texting Edward in New Moon and saying ‘hey im not ded lol’ or something. So, kudos to the Casts for actually being aware of the existence of cellphones and using them the way that people actually would.

This is going to be one of the few times when I give them credit for anything unironically.

Heath is sitting in the back of a friend’s pickup trunk, drinking with them and for some reason no teacher has noticed this even though there on school grounds and in plain sight. Somehow no one has showed up. I’m pretty sure some teacher would show up and tell them to come with them to the principle. \~/

But, not in Zoey-land.

So, Zoey tells Heath off for being insane enough to drink right outside of the school, and Heath replies that he is “crazy, ‘bout you, baby” (12) which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, and Zoey asks why they aren’t at football practice and is told that it’s canceled due to a victory the night before.

The next question would naturally be if there wasn’t a better place to drink, but Zoey mentions being sick, and Heath suddenly veers the conversation off in a different direction entirely as if he didn’t hear the whole ‘sick’ thing. Possibly so that the Casts can spring this on him in a slightly more dramatic way than noticing that Zoey has a Mark and flipping out.

So, instead, out of nowhere, comes this quote:

“Zo, really. Are you pissed or somethin’? Like, did Kayla say some shit about the party? You know I didn’t really cheat on you.” (12)

I thought that he wasn’t your boyfriend, Zoey? I didn’t realize that ‘almost boyfriends’ had to be exclusive to you even though you clearly aren’t committed. \~/

Since, you know, normal human men do this a lot. Now, if we had any normal human men who were portrayed otherwise, I might not whine, but…well…I’ll go on.

So, Zoey flips out since it’s obvious that he did cheat on her, and in her rage, and her Mark becomes visible. Heath at first reacts normally for a person. He basically is in denial and tries to find a way around it, suggesting that this is something for drama.

Of course, he manages to ruin it when Zoey denies that it’s for drama.

bq “But you can’t be Marked. We’re going out.” (13)

Being that this doesn’t follow anything that any human being with two brain cells to rub together would say, I feel slightly insulted that that is the best that the Casts can do to make me think that Heath is an unworthy candidate for Zoey’s affections. Now, this could be written off as the fact that Heath is both very drunk and panicking so he is just saying stupid stuff, but we know it’s not. \~/ .

Zoey responds that they’re not going out (Then why are you whining about some other girl trying to get his attention or his ‘cheating’? Either you are going out, and thus another people trying to make out with your boyfriend is not acceptable, or you are not exclusive and thus you have no grounds for whining \~/) and starts coughing. The stupid conversation continues since the guys say that she needs to stop smoking. This weird little detour exists for us the readers to know that, as Heath so eloquently puts it: “She don’t smoke. She’s a vampire” (13). \~/

Who talks like this? I mean it. I don’t care how drunk Heath is. No one talks like this. This is a just a really, really awkward infodump that exists to tell us that Zoey is a good girl who doesn’t smoke or drink, so she’s Just Like You. And that Heath isn’t good enough for Zoey.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a heroine who’s a good girl. There really isn’t. What’s wrong with this is how it’s being done.

Also, this is another very frequent theme of these books. The Cast ladies do not like weed. At. All. They will halt the narrative as a way to tell you how little that they like weed and have a PSA about how smoking pot will ruin your life completely. I don’t really get the fixation, honestly. Regardless of my feelings on the legalization of marijuana, this kind of way of dealing with it is terrible.

Novels are not soapboxes. You cannot use them to preach your world view unless you are very good at it. The Casts, unfortunately seem to think that they are very good. They’re not.

So, moving right along, Zoey, regardless of the fact that she was whining about how Kendra was acting like all the other stupid people and avoiding her, whines about the fact that Heath actively defends her.

Make up your mind, Zoey. \~/

The friends, who have names but aren’t really worth recounting, call Zoey a freak and suddenly all the ‘anger and pain’ from Kendra’s shying away her bubble up and she tells them to go away, dropping a few f-bombs along the way.

Keep that in mind for later.

She flips out and starts screaming at all of Heath’s friends, scaring them, gets a rush of power from essentially tormenting someone who is, canonically, weaker than her, and only Heath serves to snap her out of it.

The dudes in the truck leave and in their hurry, Heath manages to fall out of the truck, making him bleed. Zoey, manages to have the basic human decency to run over to help him, but then she smells.

hot and sweet and delicious. (14)

and she gets the bright idea that it’s cologne, since the Cast ladies don’t want to admit that she’s attracted to blood just yet. Now, later on, the Cast ladies say that most baby vampires aren’t attracted to blood until much later, and Zoey is maturing quickly. However, at this point, she’s just another fledgling. So, this is actually a world building error. \~/

Moving along, the blood is apparently so very sexy that both Heath and Zoey start getting turned on by it, and Heath admits that he’s in love with Zoey and he wants to get back together, and Zoey admits that they’ve been making out together for over a year.

Now, the Casts are being ambiguous about Zoey’s relationship for good reason. For whatever reason, it seems to be an unofficial rule that the heroine cannot have been in serious relationships before the story begins. While never having been in a relationship is the best, having some non-serious ones can be ok. I guess that it’s not true love if you’ve liked someone before. Yet, the Casts also want to show that there is nothing wrong with dating multiple men, so they are…confused.

Since Zoey is about to make out with have sex with eat Heath, Heath’s friends suddenly drive by and get him, call Zoey a freak and vanish from the series, never to be seen again.

Zoey is hurt and goes into her bug. I actually want to mention this. Zoey’s bug is vintage. Most parents would never allow their sixteen year old to drive in a vintage car without airbags particularly not a vintage car that is actually worth a good deal if it is in good condition. This is, while a good attempt to try to give Zoey quirks, not acknowledging the reality of the situation. Particularly not when Zoey is supposed to be ‘abused’. With that kind of car, she sounds like a spoiled rich girl who is complaining that her mommy didn’t buy her enough \~/

So, we get a break, and Zoey has arrived at the house. She wangsts about knowing what’s about to come, and the fact that she suddenly has realized that she was attracted to Heath’s blood and then we get into the joys of Zoey’s family.

Zoey mentions with plenty of spite that Sister is probably at cheerleading practice and brother is playing Delta Force: Black Hawk Down. Amusingly enough, Zoey treats this like it is the most violent game to ever be made when it was rated a T when it came out. At least if the Casts want to take the ‘gaming is evil’ route, they could bring in Grande Theft Auto or something that actively contains content which is questionable rather than the simple
“Um ew” which Zoey seems to think is explanation enough.

Look Zoey, I know that you don’t have hobbies, but there’s no reason to be jealous.

Mommy is sitting in the living room reading Chicken Soup for a Woman’s Soul (which should actually be the Woman’s Soul) like a good stereotypical Christian woman. Zoey whines a little about how her mom used to be cool, read ‘exotic romances’ and wear make-up but now her husband won’t let her.

I’m not sure if Zoey is referring to novels set in exotic places or porn. I’m going to assume porny harlequin romances with the half-naked dude holding the chick on the front, and John basically said that it was trash.

So, she calls her mom, Mommy is busy reading until Zoey refers to her as ‘mama’. Which is probably supposed to be endearing, and she looks up and asks what’s wrong and refers to Zoey as ‘baby’.

This really doesn’t make sense since Zoey is canonically the middle child, but whatever.

So, since we are supposed to hate Mommy, the first words out of her mouth when she sees the mark is

“Oh, God. What have you done now?”

Please note the victim blaming and reference to God’s name in vain. I’m sure the Casts think that this is very clever.

\~/

We get a rather pointless comment from Zoey about how it was done to her, and Mommy is too busy flipping out about what her father is going to say to notice.

This prompts Zoey, rather than to focus on the topic at hand, to give us an info dump.

I wanted to scream how the hell would any of us know what my father was going to say, (comma splice) we haven’t seen or heard from him for fourteen years! But I knew it wouldn’t do any food, and it always just made her mad when I reminded her that John was not my “real” father. So I tried a different tactic—one I’d given up on three years ago. (17)

Then why are you doing it? \~/

This is a very awkward way to tell us that Zoey’s father is gone from her life. One of the reasons for it is because the Casts are trying to give as much information as possible in a very short amount of time, and in doing so, they’re making their dialog and their scenes weak. This information isn’t important to the scene, nor does it really come up much. It should have been given passingly later. We are already aware that Zoey has a stepfather. That is enough at the moment.

The tragic thing that Zoey has given up on asking her mother is simply not to tell her father. Which, when considering the fact that she’s going to die unless she goes to the House of Night, makes no sense whatsoever. Mommy points out that it can’t be hidden, and then Zoey points out just what I did, but lacks the awareness that her absence would likely be noted.

Mommy has no idea what to do, and then we have one decent section in this mess of a scene.

I felt a rush of fear at the panic in her voice. Wasn’t she the mom? Wasn’t she supposed to have the answers instead of the questions? (18)

Now, this is, for YA, a good idea. We have an instability. Zoey is a child and has thus always depended on her mother at some level. Suddenly, she’s dropped in the situation where she has to see that parents are fallible. However, this is weakened by the fact that we’re told from the beginning that Zoey and her mother have problems and that Zoey is fairly independent. This realization should have already happened.

Mommy, who doesn’t have a first name at this point, completely derails the conversation and accuses Zoey of wanting her to lie to Hubby. Again, this is trying very hard to make Zoey sympathetic, but doesn’t follow the path of a human conversation. This isn’t to say that you can’t show tremendous tension between a mother and daughter at the start of a book. For instance Dorothy Must Die gets into a conversation about how the mother sees her daughter as a parasite, but it follows a natural progression. This isn’t. It’s jumping around, Zoey is abandoning her voice as Mama Cast takes over, and it reads off.

So, Zoey says that she wants her mother to “be her mama” (18) and drive her to the school, and her mother gets annoyed about how Zoey is implying that she doesn’t act in the capacity for a mother. I would be getting annoyed by the fact that my sixteen year old daughter calls me ‘mama’.

“I think that’s the problem, Mom. You don’t care enough to be aware of it. You haven’t cared about anything but John since you married him.” (18-19)

Now, this is a heavy accusation, and the natural reaction would be anger on the mother’s part. Even if she was like this, and there’s really no way to tell, since we’re locked in Zoey’s head. Of course, if you actually look through it, it’s all heading back to the fact that John the fundie, is evil. Because he’s a man, and he’s religious.

\~/

But we’re going to meet John later.

Of course, rather than being angry, Mommy gives the most pathetic justification ever, which doesn’t even answer accusation. She’s been able to quit her job at Dillards, and now they have a nice house and bright futures.

This would be great other than the fact that it is the wrong response.

Of course, Zoey’s isn’t much better. She claims that she hasn’t paid any attention to her kids for years and

“Did you know that your oldest daughter has turned into a sneaky, spoiled slut who’s screwed half the football team? Do you know what nasty, bloody video games Kevin keeps hidden from you? No, of course you don’t! The two of them act happy and pretend to like John and the whole damn make-believe family thing, so you smile at them and pray for them and let them do whatever. And me? You think I’m the bad one because I don’t pretend—because I’m honest. You know what? I’m so sick of my life that I’m glad that the Tracker Marked me! They call that vampyre school the House of Night, but it can’t be any darker than this perfect home!”

I’m actually going to take this apart piece by piece.

“Did you know that your oldest daughter has turned into a sneaky spoiled slut who’s screwed half the football team?”

Again, we are seeing the Casts and their weird idea of feminism. \~/ Note, how Oldest Daughter (who I’m going to call Tiffany) doesn’t even have a name? Tiffany is just there to show how good Zoey is. Not only that, but they’re desperately trying to make John and Mom (who doesn’t get a name either \~/ for feminism) into hypocrites, but it comes off as false.

“Do you know what nasty, bloody video games Kevin keeps hidden from you?”

Again, what’s with the video game hate? This just strikes me as Zoey and the Casts demonizing something that they don’t like. \~/ The only game mentioned has been Black Hawk Down, which is, as I said, rated T. If it was higher rated, Mommy or John would have had to show their IDs for the kid to buy anything. This honestly reads like something from the eighties or nineties when people thought that video games caused violence and Satanism rather than the 2000s.

\~/

“No, of course you don’t! The two of them act happy and pretend to like John and the whole damn make-believe family thing.”

Maybe, from the fact that Tiffany and Keven seem to have hobbies and are doing something, they actually are pretty happy with their lives. After all, there is nothing but the word of Zoey to prove otherwise. After all, they took on John’s last name.

It’s not like we ever see either of Zoey’s siblings.

\~/

“so you smile at them and pray for them and let them do whatever.”

As someone who was raised close to a lot of very conservative Christians, this usually doesn’t happen. Particularly not since, later, it’s seen that John is in fact very serious. While I don’t care if they’re going to show problems with ultra conservative families, this is just a strawman argument, made because that Casts don’t like fundamentalist Christians (or maybe Mormons).

(It’s hard to tell just which group the Casts are taking pot shots at.)

\~/

“And me? You think I’m the bad one because I don’t pretend—because I’m honest. You know what? I’m so sick of my life that I’m glad that the Tracker Marked me!”

And know we finally get to the meat of the matter. This is the core of Zoey’s little rant right here. Made so that Zoey can run off to frolick with the vampires with no guilt whatsoever for leaving her family and never thinking about them again. Now, this isn’t always a bad thing, but here, it’s spelled out so clearly that it’s honestly kind of pathetic.

“They call that vampyre school the House of Night, but it can’t be any darker than this perfect home!”

No.

Zoey seems to be under the pitiful impression that growing up with a stepfather who is strict on her makes her abused, and makes this home ‘dark’. I’m sure that we’re supposed to agree and sympathize with her.

In reality all she sounds like is a spoiled, bratty little girl who can’t get over the fact that her mother remarried and life is going fine and this whole rant is a big “He’s not my real dad! How dare you not think about my feelings 24/7 and try to live your own life and be happy, Mom!”

The reason is simple: We have been given, at this point, no concrete thing to make us sympathize with Zoey. There has been no sign that Zoey is deprived of anything. There is no sign that her father has been anything other than strict. Her mother seems content with changing. Regardless of the comment that her husband doesn’t ‘allow’ make-up and porn, it might be a jerk thing to do, she seems to be alright with it, and there is no mention of any fights or anything else around it. Also, unfortunately, we never see him say these things. We just hear Zoey claim it, and Zoey could easily be unreliable. She’s clearly biased.

At this point, Zoey doesn’t really have a leg to stand on, and there is nothing here to show that she is actually abused.

If anything, she seems like she is abusing her mother.

And, to prove this, rather than actually try to work things out, she runs out in a huff, slams the door of her room and listens to emo music wishes her family would all drown.

\~/

Because that’s so much better.

You know, I’d love to see something from the other family members. Like somehow Zoey’s unbalanced or something, and this actually is a happy family, but the point of darkness is actually her.

So, after wishing death on her family for daring to try to be happy by doing things that she doesn’t like, Zoey whines about her mother calling John and calling her ‘hysterical’. I shudder to think what my parents would have done to me if I had behaved like this.

\~/

So, the mood abruptly switches with no mention of what happened, and Zoey starts worrying about the only thing that is actually important: her. I’m starting to believe that Zoey is a psychopath.

She dumps her school bag out, since she’s going to the House of Night and isn’t going to need it, and they probably have classes like “Ripping Peoples Throats Out 101” (19-20) which doesn’t have an apostrophe for some reason, and proceeds to pack, taking two black T-shirts because cliché, two pairs of jeans, one cami, and “tons of bras and thongs and hair and make-up things” (20).

Sounds to me like Tiffany isn’t the only one who gets away with wearing what she wants.

\~/

We get a good detail in the form of Otis the Shish, a stuffed fish that she doesn’t want to sleep without. I honestly really like this detail, since it is the only possession of Zoey’s that gives any indication that she has a personality. Otis is never going to show up again, so don’t worry too much about her having a personality.

At this point John (who is referred to as it by Zoey) has arrived and calls her down.

Zoey “squares her shoulders, coughed again, and went out to face the enemy” (21).

In our next chapter, we will see more tolerance of religions that the Casts do not subscribe to, and…that’s really about it.

Until next time, everyone.

Drinks: 18

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Comment

  1. The Smith of Lie on 14 May 2015, 05:10 said:

    Ok, this is like reading a mirrored version of Maradonia. Casts use their heroine to pass judgment on anything they don’t like – video games, christians, promiscuity (which is pretty strange considering what I know about the books from the reviews posted before…), smoking weed (errryday) and so on. Except Maradonia had the advantage of inane and absurd ice cream koans spouted by characters. Zoey is just full of spite (and on other substance, which also starts with letter “S”).

    I honestly have no idea who could think Zoey is sympathetic character. Granted, I am no longer a teenager and I am of the evil gender, so that makes me automatically biased. But (and I am choosing to trust that Pryotra is accurate and not hiding any significant actions of characters from us) in two chapters we have seen her doing precisely 0 positive things. All I got from the sporks is that Zoey walks around and passes negative jugment on everyone she meets.

    Also, keeping up with theme of pettiness that Zoey so clearly represents, I refuse to get over vampyres. This makes the whole thing sound like something a 12 year old came up because it will be creepy and dark and brooding. No it is not. One of my favourite sources of vampire fiction, old World of Darkness is full of cheesy things, but even so it manages to keep a modicum of atomsphere. And compared to Casts’ vision it is downright gothic horror.

    I sort of with John went Elisha on Zoey’s ass for being such a spoiled brat. (For those not versed in Old Testament and the most awesome miracle desribed therein – when group of children started taunting prophet Elisha for his baldness he cursed them in the name of the Lord and two wild bears appeared to kill a total of 42 youths.)

  2. Juracan on 14 May 2015, 11:00 said:

    “Did you know that your oldest daughter has turned into a sneaky, spoiled slut who’s screwed half the football team? Do you know what nasty, bloody video games Kevin keeps hidden from you? No, of course you don’t! The two of them act happy and pretend to like John and the whole damn make-believe family thing, so you smile at them and pray for them and let them do whatever. And me? You think I’m the bad one because I don’t pretend—because I’m honest. You know what? I’m so sick of my life that I’m glad that the Tracker Marked me! They call that vampyre school the House of Night, but it can’t be any darker than this perfect home!”

    Isn’t it a bit… early in the story for this kind of rant to happen? It just seems like at this point, it’d be better to showcase her family conflicts and how she doesn’t fit it, rather than have her explode and explain to the audience how she hates them all.

    I sort of with John went Elisha on Zoey’s ass for being such a spoiled brat. (For those not versed in Old Testament and the most awesome miracle desribed therein – when group of children started taunting prophet Elisha for his baldness he cursed them in the name of the Lord and two wild bears appeared to kill a total of 42 youths.)

    Oh hellz yes! We just covered the “Miracle of the She-Bears” in my Bible study. If anyone deserved to be attacked by wild bears, it looks like Zoey fits the bill.

  3. Pryotra on 14 May 2015, 14:37 said:

    promiscuity (which is pretty strange considering what I know about the books from the reviews posted before…)

    It’s a really weird thing about the Casts. Other women can’t have sex. Only Zoey. Or at least that’s what I’ve kind of put together. In reality they have as many restrictions on how a woman can behave as the puritans. What gets really nauseating is when she starts whining about it when she’s dating three boys at the same time (two of which thinks that she’s dating them exclusively).

    I honestly have no idea who could think Zoey is sympathetic character.

    Unfortunately, it’s a fallacy of YA. She’s sympathetic because she’s the point of view character and the authors have said that she’s good. Also, she exists for the reader to live through. Personally, even when I was a teenager I would have thought that she was a little turd and probably wouldn’t have read it.

    She really hasn’t done anything particularly positive.

    Then again, I’ve heard a lot of being saying that the world or the secondary characters are interesting, but Zoey is the world’s worst POV character.

    This makes the whole thing sound like something a 12 year old came up because it will be creepy and dark and brooding.

    Pretty much yeah.

    I sort of with John went Elisha on Zoey’s ass for being such a spoiled brat.

    That would have been hilarious. I would love an AU where John turns out to be some kind of prophet and has the kind of power.

    Isn’t it a bit… early in the story for this kind of rant to happen? It just seems like at this point, it’d be better to showcase her family conflicts and how she doesn’t fit it, rather than have her explode and explain to the audience how she hates them all

    It really, really would have. The problem was that the Casts didn’t want to show Zoey’s family life because it would have taken time away from the vampires. So we get this, and because there’s nothing there to make this explosion, it looks like the tantrum of a spoiled brat.

  4. UnicornHat on 14 May 2015, 14:56 said:

    I can’t even with this series. I only read about 6 pages of the first book before I had to stop reading because I just couldn’t stand Zoey.
    And why were her brother and sister even mentioned if they never show up? Were they there just to give the Casts a reason to preach? To show how pure and innocent Zoey is? Well instead they made her look shallow and petty. I got the impression here that Mommy was giving out to her and Zoey pretty much just went; “But the other two did this and that but you’re not saying anything to them. Why do you always pick on me? That’s so unfair!” God, I hate it when siblings pull that card.

  5. swenson on 14 May 2015, 15:27 said:

    The she-bears is one of my favorite Bible stories ever. (my absolute favorite is Deborah and Jael, because Jael is a BOSS, but the she-bears has gotta be number two or three at least)

  6. The Smith of Lie on 14 May 2015, 16:16 said:

    That is terribly petty and immature of me, I know, but… Am I the only one who thinks that House of Night sounds more like the name of a brothel than a vampire hangout? (On the other hand, as From Dusk Till Down taught us, one does not exclude the other.)

    That would have been hilarious. I would love an AU where John turns out to be some kind of prophet and has the kind of power.

    Ask and ye shall be given.

    Voice came from downstairs. It was John calling her. “Girl, come down here this instant!” He wasn’t shouting, but she heard the iron in his tone. He would not tolerate defiance. She sighed, squared her arms getting ready to confront him and slowly walked downstairs.

    There he stood, light shining on his bald head. She smirked when she saw his eyes widen at the sight of her mark. It made her feel warm inside to think he’d feel discomfort. The smirk turned into grimace as John made the sign of the cross. She could almost hear some sort of thrumming from him, not a real sound but a specter of it. Like the one of high voltage live wire, just infinitely more subtle. “So it is true. You have been marked by the Beast.” She couldn’t exactly read his emotions, but in doubt she chose to believe he was looking at her with hate. After all he was a devout Christian, so what else could he feel?

    John turned and beckoned to her. “Come child, we must pray.” And that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “Fuck you and fuck your prayer!” Zoey screamed at the top of her lungs. “I am not your brainwashed puppet, you won’t do to me what you did to mother!”

    He didn’t move particularly quickly, but Zoey somehow missed the slap till the very moment John’s palm hit her cheek. The blow threw her against the wall, leaving her with a burning sensation. “You spoiled brat. I don’t care what you think about me, but you will not speak like this about your mother under my roof.” He slapped her again, her vision swam. “And you won’t use such language when talking about Lord’s prayer. Am I understood?” She nodded weakly, more from surprise than real assent.

    He dragged her to the living room. Tiffany and Jake were already there. Slut and little psycho more like. “Sit girl.” Her mother entered, her eyes were red and puffy. From crying crocodile tears over her daughter’s fate no doubt. John started the prayer, asking God for guidance and strength of spirit to do what was necessary. Zoey bit back a comment about not needing any of that to go to House of Night. Finally once he finished, and there it was this almost-kinda-like thrum, he said. “You will not go to the House of Night.” He swallowed loudly, she could almost swear that his voice broke a little as he continued. “It is better for you to be killed by your mark than to become an undead abomination.” “LIKE HELL I’LL AGREE TO THAT!” Despite still feeling stinging form his slaps she exploded, ignoring a new fit of crying from her mother. “I. WILL. GO.” She stood up ready to leave. John moved as if to physically restrain her, but this time she was ready. She broke to the doors and darted out.

    “Zoey! Wait!” She heard him calling after her but she had no intention of stopping. The tyrant won’t decide her life or death. In spite of herself she looked back at him, if only to get some satisfaction at the sight of his frustrated face. But he did not look frustrated, he was crying. She slowed down astounded. His next words came as a whisper, but she still heard them. “I am sorry Zoey… I… I failed you.” He closed his eyes. “Please forgive me.” She wanted to laugh in his face. She never had a chance, as a wild bear closed its jaws around her head with a sickening crunch.

  7. Pryotra on 15 May 2015, 06:42 said:

    That was…very satisfying. Particularly with what’s coming.

    That is terribly petty and immature of me, I know, but… Am I the only one who thinks that House of Night sounds more like the name of a brothel than a vampire hangout? (On the other hand, as From Dusk Till Down taught us, one does not exclude the other.)

    Heh. It kind of does.

  8. The Smith of Lie on 15 May 2015, 09:10 said:

    That was…very satisfying. Particularly with what’s coming.

    Glad to be of use. I’ll make you a deal – keep throwing inspiring tidbits at me (after all you are the one to blame for me developing taste for human blood… err, I meant for creating terrible spitefics ) and I’ll keep the silly and spiteful graphomania coming.

  9. Castor on 16 May 2015, 03:19 said:

    All I got from the sporks is that Zoey walks around and passes negative jugment on everyone she meets.

    You’ve just summed up the entire series with one sentence. I think the only people that escape this (mostly) are the hot male love interests, but even then she’s not very nice to them.

  10. Apep on 16 May 2015, 10:56 said:

    Well, them and her “friends” (read: flunkies).

  11. Pryotra on 16 May 2015, 17:25 said:

    Well, them and her “friends” (read: flunkies)

    It’s ‘benevolent condescention’ rather than outright hatred. Same thing with her various lovers.

    But she really does pretty much do nothing but judge everyone and everything.

  12. Scarlet Specter on 16 May 2015, 19:36 said:

    Unfortunately, it’s a fallacy of YA. She’s sympathetic because she’s the point of view character and the authors have said that she’s good. Also, she exists for the reader to live through.

    The weird part is whiny brats like Zoey wouldn’t be so bad as main characters if their awfulness were at least intentional. In the hands of good writers these characters could even be entertaining and sympathetic. But, not only is this borderline sociopathy almost never intentional on the author’s part, the character still ends up being a cardboard cutout anyway.

    I still can’t wrap my head around why this happens so often in these books; lazy writing and protagonist centered morality be damned.

    On a brighter note: Great review!

  13. Pryotra on 17 May 2015, 21:05 said:

    The weird part is whiny brats like Zoey wouldn’t be so bad as main characters if their awfulness were at least intentional.

    This is true. If this was treated right, it would actually hint at deeper emotional problems. It’s funny, the real problem with Marked isn’t the ideas. It’s how they’re being applied.

    “Normal girl with slightly abusive (or neglectful) parents gets turned into a vampire, makes new friends and has adventures all while learning that she has a particular destiny” is a fine idea. The Casts just don’t seem to be able to handle it.

  14. Finn on 22 May 2015, 13:14 said:

    “So, she calls her mom, Mommy is busy reading until Zoey refers to her as ‘mama’. Which is probably supposed to be endearing, and she looks up and asks what’s wrong and refers to Zoey as ‘baby’.

    This really doesn’t make sense since Zoey is canonically the middle child, but whatever.”

    I have a friend who’s the oldest and her Mom calls her baby.

    The thing with there being no evidence that her stepdad is abusive reminds me of when me and my friends were watching a movie (Boyhood, it was all clever and stuff but I found it way too long and uninteresting) a while ago. In it, the MC’s mother marries a strict guy who becomes a violent alcoholic. It was one of the few points in the movie where I actually felt invested in the story. Later, after the mother(who is pretty awesome) gets them out of that dangerous situation, she lives with a strict military man, who is sometimes a bit rude to the MC. As we were watching, one of my friends made a casual remark that this guy was just as bad as the last one, and I felt the need to point out that there is a big difference between having lots of rules and being actually physically abusive.

    Because being a jerk and being abusive are not the same.

    (Also it’s been way too long since I commented here, how do we quote things again?)

  15. swenson on 22 May 2015, 14:24 said:

    Stick “bq. “ in front of the quote.

  16. Finn on 22 May 2015, 14:27 said:

    Right. I remember now. Thanks!