I’m trying not to be too picky about this chapter, because it is an actual attempt on Meyer’s part at something happening again, and that’s obviously what I’ve been waiting for, but I just find it so unrealistic, especially at the end. Meyer is continuing to draw things out and put her characters in situations that just don’t make any logical sense given everything else that has happened, and it’s impossible for me not to notice that when I read this, even if I try to ignore it. Also, it’s boring.
I mean, come on; we start this chapter with Wanda going exactly where I thought she would in my recap of the last chapter, which, as I stated in that recap, is pretty much the stupidest idea possible. Why? Two reasons: One, because we were told at the time that Jared left and Wanda was liberated from her ‘cell’ that Wanda wouldn’t be able to stay there anymore because it was where the supplies go, so since Jared was on a supply run, that area will obviously be full when Wanda gets there…and two, because if I was someone who was looking to hurt Wanda, and I found out she had disappeared somewhere, that’s one of the first places (if not the first place) I’d look. Especially if I was Jared or Kyle and had never seen her anywhere else, and therefore didn’t know she knew any other path in the cave system beyond the one that took her between the hole and the bathroom, and now maybe between the hole and the kitchen. So if she’s genuinely going away to ‘think’, not just to offer herself up to be killed, it’s a pretty stupid choice.
Regardless, that is where she goes, since she apparently can remember exactly how to get there in the dark, yet can’t remember that she can’t go there because it’s storage now. She says some melodramatic crap about how if she’s alive and Jared’s in the caves, that must be where she belongs, and then she gets there and omg she can’t get into the cell; I’m so surprised.
To draw things out, Wanda needs to trip over a box on the floor so Meyer can spend a few paragraphs pretending we’re all as slow as Wanda is and haven’t figured out yet what’s going on. There’s a whole lot of blah, blah, blah here, as Wanda goes over her path there to make sure she’s in the right place, describes the goddamn heat again, describes in completely unnecessary detail what she’s fallen into, finds more boxes around her, tries to get into the hole because she still hasn’t figured it out yet, finds more boxes again, and then finds an excessively described bag of rice that apparently has a strong, identifiable scent, even though I don’t remember that really being the case with rice to that degree. Oh, and then she finally remembers what Jeb said about using the hole for storage. Yep, it took a bag of rice to do that, not all the goddamn boxes filling the hole just like Jeb said they would.
Now, here’s my question…or series of questions, I guess: Where did the raiders get all the boxes to carry this stuff in? It sounds like they just got grocery store crates worth of stock, but how would they get those without the aliens catching them? I can understand raiding people’s houses when they were out, but can they really do the same in grocery stores without being caught? Do the aliens not have security guards when the stores are closed because they’re so good and trusting? They know they can’t trust the humans, and they know the humans scavenge, so wouldn’t they want to stop that by making sure to guard the areas the humans would try to access…like grocery stores?!
And even if they could raid grocery stores and get that much stuff, how did they get it all back to the cave? Did each raider have a separate car, or do they have some kind of giant truck? I mean, these boxes apparently fill the whole room and are as tall as Wanda is, not to mention that there are also a ton of them shoved into at least that one hole in the wall, if not others…so that’s a lot of shit. It doesn’t seem right to me that they would be able to get that much that easily and bring it all back. There is so much about what goes on in this cave that just doesn’t make any sense at all.
Anyway, now that we’re two pages into the chapter, Wanda has finally figured out why she can’t go back to her hole, but instead of being concerned about that or any of the other shit that’s going on, she instead starts thinking about how delicious junk food would be. I think Wanda has some sort of issue with food, since it seems like she’s always completely led by it when it becomes a possibility, and it totally outweighs reason. At this point, she’s not even hungry since she’s being regularly fed, but she’s still letting food come before reason, at least for a moment or two. She might need some help.
Look, I get it, when you’ve been eating crap for so long, junk food would be delicious, but…still, it seems unrealistic to me that anyone would react the way she does in her position. She may die today, if she doesn’t figure out what to do; delicious food is a little less important than that.
Also, why are the aliens still making junk food, anyway, now that they’ve completely taken over and don’t have to pretend to be human anymore? If they’re so concerned about everyone being healthy and whatnot, why would they bother with it? Just because the humans did? Junk food seems to actually be a priority to Wanda, and I just cannot see why the aliens would bother letting that happen. But whatever; maybe they just keep it around because it makes people happy or some shit, or they got used to eating it when they were pretending to be human.
Wanda snaps back into reality only because of her guilt about thinking of eating the food because it wasn’t gathered for her, it was for the others, and her fear that Jared and the others might bring more stuff down at some point and find her. That’s…not the only scenario in which they could find you there, Wanda. As I said before, that really was a very stupid place to go in such a situation.
Wanda decides to lay against the rice and think instead of trying to go anywhere else, despite the fear she just had, so she and Stryder (who apparently only drifts away when things are good, so we can expect that when the inevitable happens and Jared accepts her, Stryder will be gone completely, which will leave me with just Wanda and my desire to kill myself) have a conversation about their priorities. They decide Jamie is the priority over staying alive, though I’m not exactly sure what they think will benefit Jamie if they don’t stay alive, because no one is going to hurt Jamie, so the only way he can be hurt is by them dying.
I don’t know if that sentence made sense, but I really just can’t be bothered to fix it right now if it didn’t.
So anyway, they discuss whether or not they should try to escape, which they of course decide not to do because they don’t want to deal with the Seeker and having her take Stryder’s body and lead the Seekers to the cave (if that would even be possible; I’m sure Stryder would guard that secret even better than she guarded the other stuff from Wanda before, especially from the Seeker), though I’m not sure how escaping was supposed to be beneficial for Jamie in the first place, since they’d be abandoning him and he’d probably assume they’d die out there anyway.
Then they discuss whether they should just give up and let themselves be killed, or try to hold on to spend more time with Jamie, which would potentially hurt him more in the end because he’d be more attached, and in the end they decide they need to go down fighting so that they die quick, but don’t let Jamie see them give up, because he wouldn’t like that. Sounds good!
…No, wait, that won’t work because Wanda is all nonviolent and shit. -_- So she won’t fight even if it’s for the best for Jamie, because she cares soooo much about him until she has to do something that she doesn’t want to do, and then it’s all “Fuck Jamie”. Stryder tries to convince her she can do it and that it’s ridiculous not to, but Wanda gets bitey about how she is who she is and Stryder should let her be that the way she has let Stryder be who she is (LOL), until they’re interrupted by the sound of someone coming. OH NOES!!!
Stryder tells Wanda to run if she won’t fight, so Wanda gets up to go run (though where she’ll run to, I don’t know; from what I understood there’s only one passageway into and out of this chamber, so she’d have to run directly past whoever is coming), but then she hears Jamie’s voice and realizes that it’s him who’s coming to where she is. See? Even Jamie, who’s been acting like he’s 4 a lot lately, figured out where you went RIGHT AWAY. How did you ever think that was a smart place to go??
Jamie tells Wanda that all of the good guys are looking for her (which begs the question of why they let her run off so easily in the first place, if they feel it’s so important to go looking for her *immediately thereafter*), but they’re not letting anyone know that’s what they’re doing because they don’t want the bad guys to find out she’s missing and go looking for her (because they’d find her way too easily; I’m guessing Jamie and Jeb both knew she’d be stupid enough to go somewhere obvious). He says Jeb has his gun back and Ian is filling Doc in on the situation, and that Doc will talk to Jared and Kyle, because apparently everyone listens to him, though I don’t think that’ll help much in this particular situation. He tells her she doesn’t have to hide anymore, though I’m not sure where he really expects her to go that’ll be any better…he’s outlined that all the good guys are busy, but what about Jared and Kyle? No one knows what they’re doing.
To look tough, Wanda says she’s not hiding, she just needed to think, but Jamie ignores that and continues to try to get her to leave with him. Wanda points out that there’s nowhere for her to go, but she adds that the storage area is where she belongs, which Jamie doesn’t like and disagrees with. He won’t tell her why everyone is busy or what Jeb is doing when she asks, though, so I still don’t see where else he expected her to go.
Wanda tries to convince Jamie to go back with Jeb and tell the others to stop looking for her, then they get into a discussion about her sleeping there, and him staying with her, and blah blah blah, since it inevitably just ends with Jamie deciding to stay there with her anyway. Wanda wants Jamie to get Jeb’s permission, so I guess she also sees him as 4 now, but Jamie says he’s not going to bug Jeb, but as mentioned before, won’t tell her what Jeb is doing or what’s going on.
In her mind, Wanda speculates on what Jamie could be hiding from her, assuming it’s that everyone hates her again (even though she still thought they did even when they were tolerating her and her stories, so what else is new?), but when she asks Jamie again, he still tells her he can’t and won’t tell. He holds her like a lover, not a brother, then tries to comfort her while she tries to comfort him, but he just gets sad, so Wanda goes back to thinking about what he won’t tell her again.
She catches a glimpse of a light coming from down the corridor, so she tells Jamie to get behind the boxes, but he decides to defend her, instead. The person coming is obviously Jared, who also figured out that’s where she’d go because he’s not as stupid as she is, and he apparently weighs far less than Jamie does, since Wanda never seems to hear his footsteps coming, just sees the light, whereas she could hear Jamie coming, and he’s only 14. Jared must be a ninja.
Jamie yells at Jared to go away, so of course Jared comes in the room quicker, and his flashlight reflects off of Wanda’s eyes, which freaks Jamie out. Jared’s angry again, so he yells at Jamie to get away from “it”, but Jamie yells back at him to leave her alone because he doesn’t know her, and that reminds me of a joke I used to do with an old friend of mine where we played off of crappy Jerry Springer episodes, so it amuses me far more than it should.
Jared runs up, grabs Jamie’s shirt and starts shaking him as he screams about what an idiot Jamie is being, so Wanda steps between them, causing Jared to drop his grip on Jamie, and instead of being distracted by the adrenaline of the moment or the desire to protect Jamie or herself, we get Wanda swooning over how Jared smells and how the “contours of his chest” feel under her hands. Gag me.
Wanda tells Jared to leave Jamie alone, but she wishes she could be as strong as Stryder as she says it, and it’s nice to see her finally giving someone else credit for being better than her. Jared isn’t fazed, though, so he grabs her wrists and throws her into the wall, apparently only using one hand to do so. That’s one fucking strong dude. This is also unrealistic, I might add.
Wanda bounces off the wall and into the boxes on the floor, so Jamie screams at Jared to leave her alone because she wouldn’t hurt Jared to save her life, then checks to see if Wanda is okay. She says she’s fine and tells him to run, but Jamie won’t, so Jared starts yelling again and then picks Jamie up, which causes some boxes to fall on top of Wanda, one injuring her between her shoulder blades.
Jamie yells at Jared to stop hurting Wanda, then punches Jared in the nose, tells Jared he’s not the man Jamie thought he was (because that’s not in ALL the movies), and then walks away, out of the room and into the corridor, because he doesn’t want to show weakness in front of Jared. So…he left Wanda, who he was trying to protect, alone in a room with Jared, which should mean her death (under normal circumstances) just because he didn’t want to show weakness. The excessive pride and selfishness in this book is off the charts.
Stryder is sad for Jamie, then Wanda looks at Jared, but she sees that Jared is looking in the direction Jamie went. He calls out to Jamie to come back, but Jamie obviously doesn’t respond, so Jared looks briefly at Wanda, and then…leaves, as he yells to Jamie that he’s sorry.
…Seriously, Meyer? Not only did Jamie leave Wanda alone to what should have been her death, but Jared left her alone when he could have killed her and when there’s no one else to watch to make sure she doesn’t escape (which is a fear he’s always had even if it was clear she wouldn’t try to), all because he thinks he upset Jamie? In the real world, that could wait. If you cared about Jamie, you’d deal with him eventually, but you would not let someone who you genuinely thought was dangerous be alone/go free just to try to mend your relationship with someone who isn’t even actually related to you. It’s just completely unrealistic. 100%. Given how Jared has acted in the past, he would NEVER, EVER do that.
After he’s gone, Wanda relearns to breathe and finds her rice sack again, then thinks about how Jared and Jamie shouldn’t be fighting, instead of thinking about what she should do and where she should go next. Brilliant. She is all happy that she’s only got minor damage because Jared didn’t take his chance to kill her, but she’s not happy because that gives her time to figure out what to do, or just another day of life, she’s happy because whatever damage she did to Jamie and Jared’s relationship must be repairable if he would leave her alive. Because that makes total sense; it’s all about you, all the time, even when you’re trying to pretend you’re putting someone else’s feelings above your own. You’re not fooling anyone, Wanda; we all know you’re not capable of being that selfless.
The chapter ends with Wanda deciding to go to sleep instead of, as I said, figuring anything out, hiding, or going anywhere else, so she falls asleep on the bag of rice, and that’s that. Can you see why I said this chapter was not believable? It’s really not, to me. No one would act the way these people are acting in a situation like this. It just wouldn’t happen.
Sorry this recap wasn’t overly interesting, I just didn’t want to get bogged down by this chapter the way I have the last few, and there really wasn’t much to say except “I don’t buy that” over and over. Maybe I’ll have better luck next time…
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)