We’re finally a third of the way through this horrible book! I can’t believe we’ve come this far, and still, pretty much nothing has happened. A third of the way in and we still don’t know a whole lot about any of the characters beyond that Wanderer is a selfish bitch, Stryder is inconsistent, Jeb and Jamie are nice, Ian is inconsistent, and Jared is childish and perpetually angry. We also haven’t even reached the ‘romance’ part of the book yet, beyond that one scene way back when, and we’ve had little to no plot to speak of. This is truly exceptional writing.
After Wanderer cries herself out about Jared leaving, Jeb invites her to come out of the hole, and then there’s a bunch of emo crap that I’ll just skip over. Once she’s out, Jeb starts telling her how it’s going to be okay, and that he wasn’t really telling Jared the truth when he said that Jared had to go get supplies, and that he’s the most awesome ever and the only one capable of doing it and all that. He says he told Jared that because it was what he needed to hear, since he needed a break from the situation.
Wanderer is confused as to how Jeb would know what would hurt her to hear (that Jared needed a break from her), and why he would care about any pain she endured, because she clearly has not been paying attention at all to who is nice to her, and still needs to view him through the eyes of a clueless bitch. She apparently has decided that she prefers Jared’s angry, childish actions toward her, Kyle and Ian’s attempts to murder her, and a very stupid thing I’ll get into in a second, to Jeb’s kindness. She says she feels like that because their actions are logical, and kindness is not, so Jeb must want something from her. God, I hate her so, so much. She is the least believable character ever, and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to be sympathetic to her.
As for the stupid thing, that is that she refers to the doctor’s feelings toward her as “cheerful eagerness to hurt me“…which it wasn’t. He was trying to make her feel calm and at ease, and was very gentle with her. I was going to say more about this, but honestly, I’m incredibly fed up with the fact that everyone who shows her the slightest kindness ends up being described as the worst person ever at some point, so I just need to move on before I snap.
Jeb continues to try to make her feel better and cheer her up, telling her that with Jared out of the way, she can be more comfortable. He then explains that they’ll need the hole she’s been staying in for storage when Jared gets back, so he’ll have to move her to something bigger, with a bed…which, of course, she thinks is just to tempt her so he can hurt her. Because again, she’s learned nothing about him, despite that he’s been one of the only consistent characters in this book so far.
Jeb reassures her that the worst is over and that she doesn’t need to go back in the hole, and she realizes he’s telling the truth (FINALLY; thank GOD), and bursts into tears again. Jeb is apparently awkward about comforting her, because he’s not comfortable with tears (which seems unlikely given how compassionate he is, but meh, it’s possible), but he attempts to anyway, and Wanderer eventually manages to calm herself down again.
When she’s calm, Jeb says that they’ll wait until Jared is gone for sure, and then they’ll have fun…so Wanderer has another goddamn stupid thought:
“I remembered that his idea of fun was usually along the lines of an armed standoff.”
Wtf? Where the hell did she get THAT from? He’s only ever raised his weapon to protect her, he’s never had a ‘standoff’, she’s never seen him even shoot the weapon or so much as scratch someone else, and he’s never once seemed to take pleasure in having to brandish his weapon…this is such BULLSHIT! HE HAS BEEN FUCKING KIND TO YOU; STOP ACTING LIKE HE’S THE DEVIL INCARNATE!
Jeb laughs off Wanderer’s stupidity, thankfully, and then offers to let her take a nap on his ‘skinny mattress’ (which I’m assuming is the sleeping bag mentioned earlier) while he keeps watch, which she does. There’s an excessive description here about her doing so, and more kind words from Jeb, and then he moves away and hums while she falls asleep.
When Wanderer wakes up, she’s aware that she’s slept a long time, and she’s just about to actually be positive about something that’s happened for once in her life, but then she has to go sniffing the damn pillow so she can be emo about Jared again. Ahh, wonderful. Stryder is emo too, and they both apparently stink, and they had another dream about Jared, and blah blah blah, because what else is new?
Jeb greets Wanderer, and then there’s this utterly disturbing description:
“I peeled back my lids to look at him.”
Meyer, sometimes you just do not need to describe things so literally. That’s fucking disgusting to picture; it doesn’t sound like she’s opening her eyes normally, it sounds like her eyes were stuck to the insides of the lids and she had to take her fingers, pry them open and peel the lids back painfully, and I just made this much worse for myself by describing it that much more. Just…it’s fine to say she opened her eyes, Meyer. Let’s stick with that, okay? Though while we’re on the subject, who the hell wakes up and doesn’t open their eyes right away, unless they’re afraid of something immediately upon waking, which she wasn’t?
Wanderer apparently feels guilty for sleeping on the sleeping bag and leaving Jeb up, which makes no sense because she couldn’t very well be the lookout, but hey, at least she’s thinking of someone else for a minute. Jeb tells her that the guys are gone and offers her a tour of the place, which she is shocked by, so he tells her she’ll need to find her way around eventually. Wanderer is again confused by what he’s saying, because she still for some reason thinks he’s planning on killing her, but she takes his hand anyway, and off they go.
Jeb talks to himself for a while about his plan for the tour, and then about carrots, ignoring Wanderer’s fear that she can hear others around, and this is all much the same as was already described before about people’s reactions to Wanderer, except now there are carrots, and maybe spinach.
Meyer describes the people in the room as both regarding Wanderer with hostile eyes and being busy with something else, which is an impressive feat of multitasking on their parts, and then Wanderer sees that the dark area of the big room from before that she couldn’t make out is a garden, and it’s ohhhh so pretty and amazing. Wanderer finally decides to say something out loud, but all it is is asking Jeb questions about the garden and how it works, and all of this, including Jeb’s answers and yet another description of how hot it is, I could have done without.
Wanderer finally asks how the ceiling lighting system works, and Jeb explains that it’s a system of hundreds of mirrors, and I have to wonder how the hell he got hundreds of mirrors out into a cave in the desert, and put them all the way up as high as this cave ceiling supposedly is, but I like Jeb, so I’m going to stop questioning that. He’s a genius; that’s all there is to it. The end.
…If only it was the end.
Jeb and Wanderer keep going on their tour, with Wanderer tense and paranoid as ever, and Meyer needlessly describes a bunch of things (needlessly because I doubt they’ll be important at all later on) while Jeb shows Wanderer the bedrooms, telling Wanderer to take note of the directions to…drumroll please…her own room!
Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen; I know you’re shocked because Jeb hasn’t already brought this up multiple times, but Wanderer gets her own room! Or, rather, someone else’s who’s out on the raid with Jared. Meh, that’ll work. Until they come back, anyway, at which point she’ll need a new room, so they probably should have just set one up for her in the first place.
Wanderer is finally starting to enjoy herself and Jeb by this point, so maybe she can stop thinking so horribly about him…but no, the best compliment it seems she’s able to give him is that he’s “interesting company”. So yeah, she’s still a bitch.
Blah, blah, blah, more description of stuff that we don’t care about, Jeb’s explanation as to why she has to stay in that room and not a new one of her own, more description of things – namely the room – that we still don’t care about, and more ungratefulness on the part of Wanderer about the room. Surprise, surprise. She decides she won’t sleep in the bed even if it means sleeping on the floor, just because it’s someone else’s. I’m sure this is meant to come off as her being respectful, but it really doesn’t; it just comes off as her denying a gift, which is rude. Especially when Jeb’s tried to make her feel better about it.
Jeb decides to keep moving on, probably because he’s noticed she’s not as grateful or happy as she should be, and I’m sure that annoys him, though he’d never show it…and then there are more descriptions of them travelling to their next destination, and more of Jeb basically talking to himself about his surroundings, with, of course, more descriptions of the heat. We just haven’t had enough of those yet.
Wanderer hears more voices ahead, and then has this thought:
“I tried to steel myself against the inevitable reaction. If Jeb insisted on treating me like…like a human, like a welcome guest, I was going to have to get used to this.”
…”insisted”? My god, you ungrateful little bitch. BE HAPPY FOR ONCE.
Jeb decides to take Wanderer to the kitchen, so we get even MORE descriptions of the cave’s architecture, because there have only been four of five of those per page since Wanderer got there, and then there’s a whole bunch of stuff about how they interrupted breakfast/lunch, and how people are looking at her again, and then MORE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DAMN CAVE. Oh my god, is this chapter NOTHING but descriptions of people looking at Wanderer and what the cave is like? This is more boring than the chapter called “Bored”!
Meyer actually goes on for an ENTIRE FUCKING PARAGRAPH (and it’s not a short one, either) to describe a goddamn countertop/table. How is that even POSSIBLE? I really cannot stand this book…
Blah blah blah, descriptions of how people are fucking STANDING, as though we care, Wanderer recognizing the doctor, Sharon and Maggie, and then inevitably getting bad feelings from the doctor for looking at her with “friendly curiosity”, because she’s a fucking idiot…and then there’s Ian. Wanderer is freaked out that Ian is there, because she thought he’d go with his brother, but at least she realizes he’s not all bad, though her wording of that realization is just as infuriating as ever.
Jeb has a brief, sarcastic exchange with Maggie, then asks Wanderer if she’s hungry. She says she isn’t, not because she isn’t but because she’s afraid to eat in front of anyone, so Jeb gets himself a roll while Wanderer stays frozen in place.
Jeb makes another sarcastic comment toward the group and decides to head back out on the tour, but Jamie suddenly stands up from the crowd and comes over to them. Stryder gets upset about the look on Jamie’s face, and Wanderer decides she must be more upset by his expression than Stryder, because she put it there, and she deserves more stabs for that, but instead just has an exchange with Stryder about how they wish they could take the look off his face. They both try to find a way that they can, but come up short, and then Wanderer refers to the tour as “asinine” and MY GOD I NEED TO KILL HER. She is the WORST, most ungrateful person ever. I can’t handle reading this shit anymore!!
Only one more page to go…only one more page to go…and…40 more chapters…oh, god…
Jeb questions Jamie about what he needs, and they talk for a minute about how Jeb is giving her a tour like he would anyone else, and then Jamie asks if he can join them. Jeb tells him that he can, and Wanderer starts to long to touch Jamie’s hair, but realizes it wouldn’t go well, so she doesn’t.
The three of them take off on the tour again, with Wanderer and Jamie acting like schoolkids with a crush, and then they realize that Ian and the doctor are following them. When Wanderer notices this, she swoops in to protect Jamie, since she doesn’t know who it is at first, and Jeb raises his gun. The two only want to join the tour, though, and promise they can “mind their manners”, then Wanderer goes off on another spiel about the doctor being the “resident torturer” that I just can’t bear to get into, because it’s so poorly written.
Jeb is wary about Ian and the doctor joining them, but with a threat, he agrees. The threat causes Wanderer to gasp, which everyone thinks is hilarious, and now this feels like a sitcom. Great. Real improvement, Meyer.
Jamie reassures Wanderer that Jeb’s threat was a joke, and off they go again. The chapter ends there.
…I really, really hated this chapter. I actually didn’t realize how much I hated it until I had to write this. It was just filled with more of Wanderer’s outrageously annoying bitchiness, Meyer’s useless, drawn out descriptions, and a complete lack of action or plot of any sort. This book needs to end. Now. It’s sucking all the life out of me. Maybe Mike had better luck with this chapter.
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)