So this was supposed to be a very monumental, emotional chapter that the reader was supposed to connect with and possibly even cry about because it’s so sad, but…yeah, I got none of that from it at all. It was not touching, it was annoying, and it was very clearly written by someone who thinks she’s got far more writing talent than she actually does. It reeks of trying too hard, and I’m so glad it was short, because it was incredibly lame and not even the slightest bit believable. Ah, let’s just get it over with.
At the end of the last chapter, someone put their hand on Wanda’s shoulder and asked if she was going somewhere, and I guessed it was Jared, which it turns out it is. Wanda apparently shrieks when he touches her, but she is “so terrified” that the shriek is only a “breathless squeal“. Well, that’s not the way I’ve ever heard of things happening in real life; generally when you are legitimately surprised and terrified by something, you scream louder…but hey, whatever. I’m too close to the end of this book to really give a crap.
Jared apologizes for scaring her and puts his arm around her. She asks what he’s doing there, and he says he’s following her, like he has been all night. Okay, that’s a little creepy; at least he was keeping an eye on her while she was with Ian, which is better than no one caring to watch out for her after what happened, but still, the way he did it was creepy.
Wanda doesn’t seem too phased by it, though, as she just tells him to stop following her, and doesn’t say anything about the fact that he was. I guess that’s consistent with how she reacted to Ian, though, so she must just not see when people are doing things that are not completely okay (or are very, very wrong).
Jared doesn’t say anything but he doesn’t move his arm from around her either, so she pulls away from it, and he grabs her wrist tightly, then asks if she’s going to see Doc. Wanda can tell he’s asking in the context of what he knows she’s going to do, so she says she is, then asks what else she can do after what happened with Ian. She’s panicked as she talks, so she’s a bit more of a bitch than she needs to be, but in this scenario that’s understandable.
She tells Jared that things aren’t going to get better and that it’s not Jeb’s decision to make, but is still hurt when Jared says he agrees with her on that. She tries to think about Ian to distract herself from the pain of the moment (yeah, Ian’s definitely a better thing to think about; long for his abuse, Wanda), but Jared is still touching her, and she finds that and his scent too distracting to be overshadowed by Ian. Good. He may have been creepy here, but he’s better than Ian.
Wanda tells Jared to let her go, saying she wants to be alone, but Jared says he should come with her. She was already angry before he said that, so she shoots down the suggestion immediately, telling him that he’ll have Stryder back soon and she’s only asking for a few minutes alone. Jared tries to tell her he would come with her to be with her, but that just makes her cry, so she tells him there’s no point in him coming because it wouldn’t feel like he was coming for her.
Wanda thinks about the truth of why Jared can’t come; because only Doc promised to kill her, no one else knows that’s what she intends, so she can’t risk someone she doesn’t trust to off her to be there while Doc is doing the procedure. She goes on about how she won’t go on to live as another species, always grieving for what she left behind, and how that means that earth is her planet, so she intends to stay in the dirt in a human grave (for the human she has become – hahah), and I’m sorry, but this is really fucking boring and melodramatic already. I’m almost falling asleep just writing about it.
Jared tells Wanda there’s “so much” he needs to say to her, but she says she doesn’t want his gratitude, so he asks what she does want, saying he’d give her anything. What? Since when? Jared was just fighting for Wanda’s removal during the tribunal; why does he suddenly care so much about her that he’d give her anything?
Wanda tells him to take care of her family, which Jared says he, of course, will do, but that wasn’t what he meant; he wanted to know what he could give her. She says she can’t take anything with her, but Jared won’t let up, asking if she could take a memory, and then asking a few more times what he can give her. This is annoying, needy, desperate behaviour that does not fit Jared’s character at all, and I don’t see why it’s even happening. It’s almost like Jared feels guilty, which I could see him doing to a minor extent, but not enough to act like this…
Wanda finally tells him to give her a lie and tell her he wants her to stay, and I’m kind of surprised that’s her request, given that she’s so into Ian now and had, up to now, pretty much ignored Jared for the past while. She made it quite clear the emotions toward Jared were Stryder’s, not hers, so this can’t be about her wanting to be loved by Jared because she loves him; it must be strictly ego that’s making her want that. That’s reasonable, though, given how strongly motivated she’s been by her ego in the past, so okay, go for it, Meyer.
Jared wraps his arms around Wanda and pulls her into his chest, then kisses her forehead, while Stryder apparently tries to make herself not exist for a minute so Wanda can have her ‘freedom’ with Jared. Wanda thinks she’s doing so because she doesn’t want the memory of Jared doing these things to Wanda when Wanda is gone, but even then, I don’t really understand this. It’s still not okay, and it makes me veeeery uncomfortable…
Jared tells Wanda to stay with him and that he doesn’t want her to go because he can’t imagine her being gone. His voice breaks as he talks, which makes it sound like he’s actually fucking upset here, but I both think and hope he’s just a really good liar/actor, because what the fuck if he’s not. Wanda does think he’s just a good liar, but she relaxes into him anyway and thanks him. She tries to pull away after that, but he says he’s not done, and now I’m very sad not because of the moment but because this chapter is going to drag on longer.
He’s lying, Meyer; that doesn’t make this a sweet, emotional moment, it makes it weird, uncomfortable and wrong if anything he says is not a lie. The way Jared has acted in this chapter just does not fit with what he’s been like up to this point at all, and it’s only getting weirder and weirder, which isn’t making me feel the things you want me to feel here. Besides, your wording of things is just so emo, dramatic and over the top that I’ve already grown incredibly tired of it and I’m only halfway through the chapter, so I wish it would just…stop.
“Our faces were only inches apart. He closed the distance, and even here, on the edge of my last breath on this planet, I couldn’t help responding. Gasoline and an open flame – we exploded again.”
See what I mean by dramatic and over the top? It’s just too much, Meyer. You didn’t need to describe things like this, and it doesn’t add anything that you have; in fact, it takes away from the impact this chapter should have had. Not that I think, given what you chose to have happen in it, that it would have had any significant impact, no matter how you’d written it…but writing it like this just makes it feel even more tedious.
I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but it’s not; especially not when it’s between these two. Even if it was written well enough to feel romantic, that would feel wrong and kind of disgusting, because it would feel like Jared was betraying Stryder, and I’m not okay with that, especially not when Stryder is really just right there trying to pretend she doesn’t know it’s happening. It makes me feel a bit sick just thinking of it.
Why do so many readers find this stuff romantic? This book is not romantic; it had one chapter where it seemed like it could be (chapter 8, if I recall correctly), and then after that it was just fucked up, abusive, annoying, and now kind of sickening. And it’s not even well written to get there. I just don’t get why people love it so much.
“It wasn’t the same, though. I could feel that. This was for me. It was my name that he gasped when he held this body – and he thought of it as my body, thought of it as me. I could feel the difference. For one moment, it was just us, just Wanderer and Jared, both of us burning.”
See, yeah, I am not okay with this at all. Again, it’s dramatic and over the top in its writing, and absolutely wrong and uncomfortable in its content. This is not written like Jared is lying, it’s written like Jared has actually fallen in love with Wanda, and I can’t handle that for so many different reasons I can’t even list them right now. Please just be a really good actor, Jared. Please. Please let her ‘feeling the difference’ be all in her head; please don’t let it be true that you really, for any minute particle of a moment, think of Stryder’s body as Wanda’s. Man, I can’t even do this anymore.
Wanda is grateful for how well Jared is able to lie to her, even though she knows she can’t take the memory with her because she’ll be dead. She believes that he’ll miss her, and she’s glad for that even though she knows she shouldn’t be, and that gives her enough peace that she’s able to pull away from him and thank him. I’m skipping the part where she goes on about time, because it’s extraordinarily emo, so for my purposes, that’s all that happens here.
Jared tells her to wait, but she says she can’t bear anymore, which he accepts. She tells him she wants him to let her “do this” (the removal) alone, saying she needs that, so he says he’ll stay and wait. He reminds her that Ian is going to try to kill him for letting her go through with it, and that Jamie will never forgive either of them, then considers that maybe he should let Ian kill him. Is this more of the lie? Again, I hope so.
Wanda says she can’t think about them (Ian and Jamie) and asks him to let her go, so he does, seeming just reluctant enough to do so that it makes Wanda feel a bit better. He tells her he loves her, so she thanks him and tells him she loves him too, with her whole heart, thinking to herself that her heart and her soul are different things now because of being divided for too long. So Ian gets her soul, Jared gets her heart…yeah, okay. I’m not going to delve any deeper into that, or the fact that Jared said he loved her. I just want this book to be over.
Emoness about having to create one whole person even if it excludes her, emoness about the time again and how cold it is walking away from Jared, but that’s in her head because it’s summer and it’ll always be summer for her because emo, and then Wanda decides to ask Jared where the people in the caves sleep when it rains. Yay, this is getting so much more riveting now.
Jared’s teary-eyed answer is that they all sleep together in the game room, so Wanda thinks about that for a bit, wondering what it would be like, before explaining that she only asked so she could imagine how it will be…which, of course, was so she could continue to be emo about how “life and love go on” without her.
She says goodbye to Jared and tells him that Stryder says she’ll see him soon, though Stryder calls her on that being a lie, proving that she was conscious of everything that just happened with Jared but didn’t say anything at all. Obliging girl.
Jared tries to get Wanda to wait for a second, but she takes off down the hall because she’s afraid if she stays, Jared might convince her to stay with his lies, when she knows his happy ending will come if she doesn’t stop running. For that reason, his pain doesn’t hurt her as much as Ian’s did.
She gets to Doc’s and sees Kyle sleeping with one arm around Jodi and one around Sunny’s cryotank, which makes her wish she had some way to tell Sunny how caring Kyle was to her after she was removed. She says hi to Doc, and he looks up, already crying, having set everything for the removal out before she arrived.
Wanda begins to feel brave, knowing the hard goodbyes are over and that she’s been through this procedure many times before, though those times she always came back eventually. She sits on the cot and gives herself some No Pain, then asks Doc his real name, which he says is Eustace.
Wanda tells Doc that Jared is waiting and that she promised him that Doc would tell him when it was over, but asks that he make sure she’s not moving anymore before telling him, because she doesn’t want Jared to have a chance to interfere with her decision. Doc responds that he doesn’t want to do the procedure, so Wanda thanks him for that, but says she’s still going to hold him to his promise.
Doc attempts to beg her to change her mind, but she’s having none of it; she simply tells him to keep his word and let her stay with Walt and Wes. Doc asks if she will be in pain, and she tells him she won’t, but apparently that’s a lie…though I’m not sure how, because I’m pretty sure Doc meant physical pain, but oh well.
“I waited for the euphoria to come, for the No Pain to set everything glowing the way it had the last time. I still didn’t feel any difference.
It must not have been the No Pain after all – it had just been being loved.”
…Seriously? No. It was the No Pain, you just noticed it then because you had been experiencing something unpleasant before taking it, so the pleasant feeling it gave you felt amplified…whereas now, you’re in no physical pain, so the emotional pain you feel is free to overwhelm a drug that’s only there to remove physical pain. I don’t assume Tylenol doesn’t work because I don’t feel it fixing problems I don’t have when I take it without having physical pain; the same would apply here. Stop trying to make everything emo and overdramatic, Meyer. Being loved doesn’t take away physical pain, at least not enough to erase it after you’ve stabbed yourself. So fuck off with that.
Wanda lays down on the cot and tells Doc to put her under, so he does, using the chloroform again (oops, guess Wanda forgot to tell him about the Still; wonder if that’ll come up later -_-), but not until he’s said this:
“‘You are the noblest, purest creature I’ve ever met. The universe will be a darker place without you.’”
No, Doc. No. You should know better than this. Why is everyone in this book so stupid? She is far from the noblest or the purest anything ever. Agggggh, fuck.
More emoness, and then Stryder thanks Wanda and calls her her ‘sister’, saying she’ll never forget her. Wanda tells her to be happy, and to enjoy and appreciate everything for her, which Stryder says she will, and then they say bye to each other. Because that’s a realistic conversation for them to have. Once again, this is too fucking overdramatic! I’m not feeling anything emotional here, I’m just annoyed at how fucking lame, unbelievable and melodramatic it all is!
Blah blah blah, Wanda sees the stars she saw in Ian’s room as she passes out, it’s all very overdramatic again, she drifts into some kind of warm blue, whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean, and then the chapter is over. Yeeeeah, didn’t feel emotional about this one at all. Not even a little bit. Epic fail, Meyer!
The end of this chapter is followed by two completely blank pages, which are probably supposed to signify time passing, but might look like the end of the book to people of lower intelligence (to put it nicely). I wish so badly that it was the end, but no, we all know Wanda must live because how could this actually end in her death, so cue chapter 59. Fuck. Not excited at all.
Well, that’s it for me for this one. There’s really nothing more to say when you’ve just spent the past few pages feeling nothing but annoyed, uncomfortable and disappointed.
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)