What?? Seriously? This is seriously how this book ends? Well, aside from the epilogue, anyway, but still, REALLY? I mean, I knew it was going to be bad, don’t get me wrong, but…wow. I am honestly almost speechless at the moment. I don’t even know where to begin here.
So this chapter has the same title as chapter 1, and almost the same first line, because Meyer is SO FUCKING CLEVER I CAN HARDLY STAND IT. Surprise surprise, Wanda is waking up in a new body, same as she did at the beginning of the book, and having to go through that body’s final memories. Because anyone actually believed she was just going to die at the end. Come on, Meyer.
Blah blah blah, Wanda is surprised more than she’s ever been, both because she didn’t expect to have any memories since she was supposed to be dead, and because of the nature of the memories, which start out with an entirely pointless paragraph about ruffles and Flowers and how boring Earth flowers are but they smell omgsogood… yeah. Shouldn’t have expected this to start any other way, I guess. It wouldn’t make any sense if the book stopped being terrible now!
Continuing the memory, there’s a mention of Cloud Spinner, and the way that person is referred to, it sounds as though they would be ‘Wanda’s’ (since this is clearly not Wanda’s memory but we don’t know whose it is yet, just that it belongs to whoever’s body Wanda’s in) mother, and it sounds as if ‘Wanda’ is quite young. She says she’s “almost grown“, so Cloud Spinner can’t mother her forever, and makes a comment about her mother following her and how she “doesn’t need a jacket” because it’s warm…and acts very much like a child in thinking “I won’t look at her. Maybe she’ll think I can’t hear and she’ll go home“.
So…the body Wanda’s been put into sounds very much like that of a child, and a child young enough to still have her mother follow her around, at that. Um…wow. Really? Wanda is supposed to be a love interest for Ian, who is older than Stryder is, and she’s being put into the body of a child? Do we really need to add paedophilia to the list of horrible traits Ian has?
‘Wanda’ is interrupted by someone speaking to her, so she turns to look, and doesn’t recognize the person before her. Wanda (actual Wanda) realizes she does recognize the face, though; it’s ‘her’ face, meaning that the person talking to ‘Wanda’ is Melanie (I’m going to call her Melanie now that she’s got her own body back. I don’t know why, but it just feels right), but Wanda is confused, because she doesn’t remember any of this happening.
Melanie introduces herself to ‘Wanda’ and tells her she’s new to town and thinks she’s lost, so ‘Wanda’ asks her where she was trying to go, and offers her a drive there (offering for her mother to do the driving, I assume). Melanie turns down the drive, saying she was just going for a walk but got lost, so her destination can’t be far, and mentions the name of the street she’s attempting to find.
‘Wanda’ is excited to hear the street name because it means Melanie is a new neighbour, and she looooves new friends (yep, definitely a child), and tells Mel that the street she’s looking for is just around the second corner, but there’s a shortcut through an alley nearby that will take her straight there.
Melanie asks ‘Wanda’ if she can show her the shortcut (so if we hadn’t figured out already that she’s planning to kidnap ‘Wanda’, it’s now become super clear), and asks ‘Wanda’s’ name. ‘Wanda’ agrees to show her the way, making me wonder how she has not yet noticed that Melanie is not an alien, and also why the ‘souls’ are so trusting that it makes it this easy to kidnap them (and if they are that trusting and don’t even notice when someone’s human, why the humans haven’t overtaken them yet – or better yet, how the humans ever lost to them in the first place), and tells Mel that her name is Petals Open to the Moon, but she goes by Pet.
…Pet. I’m going to have to call Wanda ‘Pet’. Why do I keep thinking this book has reached its peak in terms of stupidity? There’s always something else. Pet. Fucking Pet. Ugh.
Pet (seriously, that makes me shudder) asks Melanie where she’s from, and Mel asks if Pet means San Diego or the Singing World, so she’s somehow managed to convince Pet that she is an alien, despite that she would not have the eyes for it, because if Wanda doesn’t remember this, it was obviously done after she was removed. So…what? Why would Pet fall for that? Is she that young, or is this going to be another case of Meyer thinking that people act differently at certain ages than they really do? Cause she’d have to be like 2 or 3 not to notice…and even then, my 3 year old would…
Pet tells Melanie that there are two Bats living on her street, so Melanie says she’ll have to say hello, but Pet can tell that Melanie has grown tense when she says it, and notices her glancing toward the alley, where “a man and a boy” are waiting, the boy looking nervous. So…Pet is observant enough to notice a slight tensing of Melanie’s voice, and connect that to what’s made her feel tense, but isn’t observant enough to see that Mel’s a fucking human? How??? THINGS ARE NOT THIS CONVENIENT IN THE REAL WORLD, MEYER!
Pet assumes that “the boy” looks nervous because he’s lost too, so she keeps going toward them with Melanie, at which point Wanda realizes that she recognizes the man and the boy as Jared and Jamie, which makes her heart thump…but it apparently does so ‘wrong’ because it feels too small. Too small? She really is a young child. I’m sorry, but I can’t get over how incredibly fucking wrong this is already.
Melanie introduces Jared and Jamie to Pet as her friends, so Pet says hello and reaches out to shake Jared’s hand, at which point he grabs her hand tightly and pulls her up against him, which (for good reason) scares her because she doesn’t understand what’s going on. Did no one warn her about the danger of humans? Did she really not notice that they’re all human, and think that might be a threat? Can she not figure out what might be going on here??
Jared covers Pet’s face and sprays some kind of mist at her, which I have to assume is Still since it supposedly tastes like raspberries, so they somehow got that since Wanda was removed…which makes no sense, unless I just forgot them getting it previously…but no, they couldn’t have, because Doc wouldn’t have used chloroform on Wanda when he put her under if he had Still on hand, so yeah, this is just another case of nothing really adding up that Meyer surely won’t bother to explain.
Pet passes out, and then that’s the end of the memory and we’re back to the present, with someone ‘familiar’ asking Wanda if she can hear them. Wanda is confused by the fact that they’re referring to her as ‘Wanda’, but also doesn’t feel like Petals Open to the Moon is quite the right name for her either, so she starts to panic. She pictures Pet’s mother and wonders where she is, then gets confused again because she realizes that Pet’s mother isn’t really her mother, before she hears another voice calling her back.
She says this voice sounds familiar but also not, because it sounds like her, and then she sets to trying to find Pet, but can only find Pet’s memories in the end. This confuses me for reasons I’ll bring up later, because at this point in the chapter we technically don’t have enough information for me to be confused by it.
Someone Wanda doesn’t recognize says to use the Awake on her, which is done, and then Wanda feels her mind clear. At that point, she realizes that she’s lying down, but thinks it doesn’t feel right because it feels like she has shrunk. She also realizes that someone is holding her hands, and starts to notice the smell of the place, then has to figure out how to open her eyes because apparently it takes actual effort for her to figure out how to move her eyelids for some reason.
Another familiar voice tells her to open her eyes, and the sound of the voice makes her get all tingly inside, which is nothing her body has ever felt before, so that’s clearly Ian speaking, because only the biggest douchebag in existence could make her feel like that. She wants very badly to see the face that goes with Ian’s voice, and then the colour of his eyes fills her mind and she realizes that her name is, indeed, Wanda/Wanderer.
Someone lightly touches her face, lips and eyelids, so I’d say that’s Ian giving her little kisses that would be totally sweet if they were not from Ian, but from him I continue to just want to stab him…and the kisses on her eyelids help her find her eyelids, so she’s able to open them. How did she find them when she woke up in Stryder’s body? No one kissed or touched them then…
Someone yells out excitedly when they notice she’s waking up, and Wanda realizes that it’s Jamie, which makes her heart jump. When her eyes focus she sees blue, but not the right blue because it’s not Ian’s eyes (though I don’t know what it is), and then a hand touches her face and says her name, so she turns her head toward the voice (and the movement apparently doesn’t feel like it used to, but does feel the way it always felt. I hate you, Meyer. This shit is so fucking stupid) and sees the blue she wanted.
She asks Ian where she is, startling herself with the sound of her own voice, as it’s higher pitched than it was in Stryder’s body…because she’s a child. She then asks who she is, and Ian tells her that she’s herself, and she’s right where she belongs. She pulls her hand free of his, intending to touch her face with it, but then gets confused when she sees a hand moving in front of her for a while, because she’s a complete moron and cannot figure out that she’s getting freaked out by her own fucking hand waving in front of her face. Dear god.
She studies the hand, which she describes as a child’s hand aside from its nails, which are perfectly manicured, and then notices the colour of her skin, which flashes her into a memory of Pet looking at herself in a mirror.
Blah blah blah, she’s thrown off by the memories taking place in civilization because she’s not used to it, except that she is, random description of the room she’s in in the memory and the mirror she’s looking into, then a detailed description of how she looks, which I really could not possibly care less about because of course she’s going to be ohhhh so beautiful because Meyer would not let her be average, and definitely not ugly, especially not with Melanie supposedly being so pretty…but no matter what, she’s described as looking very childlike. She definitely has to be very young to have such small features as Meyer describes here.
Wanda demands to know where Pet is, because she sees Pet as being soooo defenseless and innocent, and Doc tells her that she’s tanked and ready to go, just waiting for Wanda to tell them the best place to send her. He shows her the tank, and seeing him brings back a rush of old memories for Wanda. She starts to yell at him, calling him by his real name, asking him why he broke his oath to her, and the misery she feels is apparently new to the body.
Doc tells her that “even an honest man sometimes caves to duress“, which causes someone to scoff, so Doc responds to the scoff by saying that he thinks a knife to the throat counts as duress; a comment he directs to Jared. Jared says Doc knew he wouldn’t use it, but Doc says he actually didn’t; that Jared was very persuasive.
Why would Jared have done this? How did he know Wanda was going to have Doc kill her? Doc wouldn’t need a knife to the throat to just remove her and put her in a cryotank, which is clearly exactly what he did since they didn’t have Pet’s body then, and that’s all Jared knew was going to happen (and what he wanted to happen)…so why would he ever have threatened Doc? Did he manage to get Doc to tell him he was going to kill her or something? Tune in next time to get absolutely no answer to any of these questions because for Meyer, that would simply involve too much brainwork!
Wanda trembles at the thought of a knife, so Ian tells her it’s okay and asks if she really thought she could just leave the way she tried to, then sighs joyfully (creepy). Wanda feels better knowing that Ian is happy, but still comments that she told him she didn’t want to be a parasite, before being interrupted by Melanie demanding to be let through to see Wanda (with, of course, a description of how Melanie looks, in case we forgot).
Melanie tells Wanda that they know exactly what she doesn’t want to be, but they’re human, so they’re selfish and they don’t always do the right thing, and she might as well deal with it. Thanks, Mel. You’re truly a credit to the human race.
Wanda is excited to see that Melanie is okay, so Melanie smiles and gives her a hug. She says of course she’s okay, and Wanda will be okay too, then reassures her that they didn’t just “grab the first body they saw“. Jamie butts in then, saying he wants to tell Wanda the story, and when she sees him, Wanda grabs his hand and says his name excitedly.
Jamie talks like a kid again about how ‘cool‘ it is that Wanda is smaller than him now, to which she responds that she’s still older because her birthday is in two weeks, stopping herself from saying the truth, which is that she’s only sixteen, about to be seventeen (she tells them she’ll be eighteen on her birthday). She doesn’t want to say her real age because she doesn’t want to go through what Melanie did with Jared in terms of convincing him she’s old enough for him, because “Ian was every bit as honourable as Jared“.
What?!? How is Ian anywhere close to as honourable as Jared?? He backstabs and abuses anyone who doesn’t do exactly what he wants all the time, he is the only one who’s significantly physically hurt her on any occasion aside from Kyle, he would not let up on touching and kissing her even when she directly TOLD him to stop, he didn’t give a shit that he was doing inappropriate things with Jared’s girlfriend, and even seemed to think he was more justified than Jared in his feelings, he took away Wanda’s power to make her own decisions entirely, etc. etc. etc.!
He would definitely sleep with her, even if she was too young, because he’s FUCKING CREEPY AND HORRIBLE, and he’d tell himself and her that it was okay to do that because she, the alien, is not as young as her body is. HE IS IN NO WAY HONOURABLE, AND TO EVEN COMPARE HIM TO JARED IS A HUGE OFFENSE!
Does Meyer actually believe this statement to be true?? I can’t see why she’d put it in otherwise! It scares the shit out of me to think that ANYONE in the world could see Ian as an honourable person, and to know that Meyer is enforcing to young girls that that kind of behaviour is honourable! That is atrocious!
Wanda notices that Melanie and Ian both react to the mention of her age with surprise, because her body looks so much younger than eighteen, so…what is the deal with Pet’s body? Why is it so small? By the age of 16, which she technically is (and definitely by 17), most females have grown to their full adult height, and their facial features have developed into a much closer approximation of what their adult features will be than Meyer described here…so does Pet’s body have some kind of disorder?
Even if it does, though, why would she act so childlike if she was actually in her late teens? This really must be another case of Meyer not knowing how individuals act at certain ages, because she acts even younger than Jamie does, when Jamie is both younger than her and was written too young even before considering that.
And why would Pet’s mother have been following her around? From what Wanda said, when a soul is put into a child’s body (and as we know, this one isn’t even young enough to be a child), the child does not act like a normal human child, it acts like a grown human in a small body. That’s how she was able to tell that the baby in the park was human; because it was acting like a baby, not an adult…so Pet would never have acted as immaturely as she did here, and her mother wouldn’t follow her around, because even if she wasn’t legitimately almost of adult age, she would still be considered to be grown enough that she wouldn’t need her mother watching her constantly. Especially since even human mothers don’t follow their 16/17 year olds around, for the most part, because they can take care of themselves well enough by that age, and humans are supposedly less trusting than aliens are. I can’t make any sense of this.
Wanda realizes that the fact that she lied about her age in order to make sure she wouldn’t encounter any frustration in trying to get Ian to bone her means that she has “claimed” him as her partner, which means that she will be staying on Earth with her ‘family’. She starts to get choked up about that, but then Jamie pats her face (O.o what the fuck? I’ve had that done to me; it’s the most annoying thing ever, and it’s usually only done by YOUNG children) to get her attention.
He tells her that Jared and Melanie let him come with them on the raid to get her body, which she says she knew because Pet remembered it, then glares at Melanie (I assume for tricking Pet the way she did). Jamie goes on to explain that they tried not to scare Pet because she looked so fragile and nice, and then describes how they picked her out.
He says Melanie thought they should get someone who was young so they would have a bigger percentage of their life spent as a soul, but not too young, because Wanda wouldn’t have wanted to be a child. So why go with this one if Melanie herself was surprised to find that Pet was as old as she is? Obviously, Melanie thought that Pet was younger, so did she intentionally pick one out that she thought might be too young, to dissuade Wanda from Ian or Ian from Wanda? I hope so, but I also think that’s a bit too much to hope for…
He goes on to say that Jared picked Pet’s face because no one could distrust it since she doesn’t look even slightly dangerous, so they’d be more apt to try to protect her (I thought the aliens did that anyway? Are they talking about getting humans to protect her? Cause either way, she’s still an alien…), and then he (Jamie) got the final say in who was picked, because he wanted to pick someone who looked like her (meaning her personality, I assume; making the face match the disposition).
“‘And I thought this looked like you. Because she sort of looks like an angel, and you’re good like that. And real pretty. I knew you would be pretty.’”
Yeah, of course she’d be pretty; there’s no room for anything other than prettiness in Meyer’s world, as I mentioned before…but an angel? Really? Damn, Jamie, she’s got you fooled; spend 5 minutes inside her head and you’ll see that she’s far from an angel, and a pretty face would not actually match her personality all that well. This is disgusting to me.
Jamie says that Ian didn’t come with them because he didn’t care what she looked like, so he just stayed with Wanda’s cryotank. Apparently, Ian wouldn’t let anyone else touch the tank, so Jamie wasn’t allowed to help with the removal procedure, but he was allowed to watch it. I can see Ian guarding Wanda’s tank like it would save his life, but I can’t see him not caring what she looks like, given the stuff she asked him before about what would happen if she was in a different body. He would care what she looked like, because he’s not oh so wonderful and only attracted to her personality, as Meyer would like us to believe he is.
On that topic, shouldn’t it be pretty uncomfortable for Wanda to know that Ian has been attracted to Melanie’s body, and that he may still be, if he finds it more his ‘type’ or just generally more attractive than Pet’s body (which I kind of hope he does, because otherwise he IS a paedophile)? She’s been pretty damn jealous before, so I can’t see how that wouldn’t cross her mind at some point. She also knows he’s touched and kissed Mel’s body, and I’d have to think that would be weird/uncomfortable/upsetting too, but of course Meyer won’t get into that because it would be inconvenient. It wouldn’t fit her storyline where everything is great and everyone loves each other.
Ian squeezes Wanda’s hand and tells her that he held her in his hand and she was so beautiful, and that line just sends a shudder right through me. I get what he’s saying, and yes it is the truth of the situation, but it sounds like something a creepy stalker would whisper to their victim, or like we’re about to launch into some kind of horror movie. The fact that I’m supposed to find that line romantic, beautiful and touching is even more disturbing.
Wanda gets teary-eyed over it, though, and then Jamie asks her if she likes the body, and if there’s anyone in there with her. She says she can’t find anybody else, just Pet’s memories, because Pet’s been in there so long that she can’t remember any other name for the body, or a time that Pet wasn’t in it.
But…wait, how does she have Pet’s memories? Did Pet’s memories transfer to the human brain? I mean, I knew the human brain and the alien one could communicate, but does this mean Melanie still has all of Wanda’s memories of her past lives before she was a human? How does that make sense? At the beginning of the book there was discussion of Wanda pretty much ‘uploading’ Melanie’s memories, but does it go the other way as well? That’s the only way I could see the human body retaining the alien’s memories after the alien was removed.
Pet is still alive, with her own brain and memories, in the cryotank, and Wanda took her memories with her into every other body she went to, so Pet obviously would have taken hers with her too…so if Pet’s body has no memories from before Pet, shouldn’t it just have no memories? Why can Wanda access another alien’s memories? I dunno, I’m just going to assume Pet loaded them into the human brain or something, cause otherwise there is zero sense to be made of this.
Melanie pipes up and tells Wanda that she’s not a parasite because though the body didn’t belong to Pet, there was also no one else to ‘claim’ it. She says they waited to make sure, which means they kept the human body alive without an alien in it almost as long as they did with Jodi, waiting to see if the human would wake up.
This comment makes Wanda question what happened to Jodi, and she feels so anxious she decides she has to sit up, so Ian helps her do so. From her new position, she can see everyone that’s in the room, which is Doc, Jeb, Mandy, Jamie, Melanie, Jared…and then we get stuck on Jared, who has his arms around Mel’s waist, which Wanda decides is the only way it would ever feel right to see him; touching her and not wanting anything to ever come between them.
She realizes seeing him like that with Melanie still causes her pain and heartbreak, and she’s upset because that means she still loves Jared, even though she barely seemed to give a shit about him before she left Mel’s body, because she was so distracted by Ian.
Why do we have to see Wanda’s jealousy of Melanie and Jared’s relationship instead of the happy reunion that must have taken place between the two of them when Melanie woke up a human again? That would have made a much better scene, and a story between them would have made a much better book, but instead we’re stuck with this crap, supposed to believe Wanda loves Jared when she spends most of her time fawning over an abusive fuckwad.
Annnd then we get to know who the rest of the people in the room are, but I’ve completely lost interest in that, so moving on. Doc says Jodi never did respond, though they tried as long as they could, and Wanda begins to get upset, thinking that Jodi must have died. She keeps looking around the room at the people there, as Doc describes how they kept the body alive through hydration, but they had no way to feed her so they were worried about atrophy…and then ohhh my god it’s a miracle; Wanda sees Sunny (in Jodi’s body) standing next to Kyle, so everyone gets a happy ending. Realistic book is realistic. And it wasn’t rude at all to completely avoid eye contact with Doc while he was talking about something potentially serious.
Wanda calls out to Sunny, who comments on how she got to stay like Wanda did, and then sadly says she’s still trying to find Jodi, and she’ll keep looking. Doc explains that Kyle asked them to put Sunny back in when it got to the point where they thought they might lose Jodi, and again, I have to ask: How the hell did they know how to perform an insertion? Did Mandy show them?
…Oh, I see what Meyer did here. She had Mandy show Doc how to do an insertion on Jodi’s body to put Sunny in, because otherwise Jodi would have died, so Mandy would be willing to insert an alien to keep her alive…which would mean that Doc would know how to do an insertion, so he could perform one on Pet’s body to put Wanda in, which Mandy might have been less okay with, since they did abduct Pet to use as a host and all. So she made it necessary that Doc do one so she could justify one being done on Wanda. Convenient. I hate it.
Wanda stares at Sunny and Kyle for a minute, then continues looking around the room, which makes Ian a bit nervous, so he asks if she’s okay. She responds that she doesn’t know and that she feels weirder than she expected to, like she does when she switches species, but then she looks into Ian’s eyes and feels all lovey dovey, which makes everything okay.
Ian asks if she thinks she can tolerate staying on Earth, then Jamie squeezes her hand and Melanie and Jared put their hands on top of his, and other people touch her and smile at her. Reassurance, I guess?
Wanda wonders how much No Pain Doc gave her, because everything’s glowing, and I know this is supposed to be like…she’s glowing from happiness or some shit, but given how much medication Doc supposedly gave to the gunshot victims, he probably did give her way too much. And I have no idea why that’s so amusing to me.
Ian brushes Wanda’s hair away and touches her cheek, which causes a jolt of electricity to go through her skin. I had no idea Ian had lightning powers! That’s so cool! Y’know, if Ian is actually a supervillain, I may be able to forgive all the ways he’s been an abusive asshole up to this point, cause that’s kinda how supervillains are supposed to be. If only he could use his lightning powers for good instead of evil! He should just zap all the aliens to death!
…Yeah, I’m clearly losing it, thanks to this book. Sorry about that.
Wanda starts to blush at Ian’s touch, feeling her heart begin to fly (ugh), and finds herself feeling shy, which is new, so it must be a trait the body had or something. She says she supposes she could stay if it will make Ian happy, but Ian says that’s not good enough; it has to make her happy too. Umm…since when do you care if she’s happy? And since when does she actually get a choice in this sort of thing?
Remember, Ian, you’re the one who forced her into a tribunal because you decided she couldn’t make decisions for herself; what is she supposed to do here? If it doesn’t make her happy to stay, are you going to actually let her go? I highly doubt it! Meyer, come on, we’re not falling for it; Ian will never be a nice, caring, considerate guy. He doesn’t give a fuck if she’s happy or not. Stop pretending he does.
Wanda looks at him for a second, but then gets too shy again and looks away, saying she thinks it might make her “very, very” happy. She runs over a list of different emotions in her mind, thinking how she’ll get to feel all of them, and then Ian pulls her face up to his so she’s looking into his eyes again, and says, “Then you will stay.” And Ian has decreed it, so it shall be, right?
Ian kisses Wanda, neither of them caring about the audience they have, and Wanda is pleased with how easy and ‘right’ it feels, because there’s no other person in her head dividing her from him. She tells him she’ll stay, and the chapter ends with her remarking on how this begins her tenth life.
See? It was supposed to be impactful, and the end was supposed to feel like one of those climactic, romantic scenes from movies where everyone cries tears of joy because the characters they wanted to get together got together, and they said all the right scripted lines, and whatever the hell…but that’s not what this feels like. Not at all.
The end feels cheesy, contrived and clichéd, because it is, and these are not characters I wanted to see get together, because Ian is abusive, creepy and horrible, as previously outlined, so I do NOT approve of their little love scene! I’m not happy for them! I might have been happy for Wanda if she had been sent off planet, never to return, as long as she learned to be less of a bitch in her next life…but with regards to Ian, I’d only be happy if he died!
I don’t know why Ian still hasn’t had to deal with any repercussions for what he did, and why no one is concerned about deliberately setting Wanda up to be with him! He could be dangerous.
God, I hated this chapter. There was literally nothing about it I liked, and so much I hated. What a fucking terrible ending. I know there’s an epilogue, but this is technically the last chapter, so…ugh. Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to the epilogue, because I can’t imagine it’s any better than this piece of shit.
At least, though, the next chapter will be my last…then it’s the movie review, and I’m finally done. Thank god for that. I need to figure out what to do with this book after I’m done…any suggestions?
See you next time.
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)