What was the point of this chapter? I know it’s an epilogue, but I still feel like an epilogue should be worth reading if you’re going to bother to include it in a book, and this really wasn’t. It was just a whole lotta nothing and then an extraordinarily stupid ending. Even worse than the first one, if you can believe it!
It starts with Meyer once again using the “life and love went (goes) on” line, which was incredibly fucking annoying the first time, so you can imagine how I feel about it now that she’s used it in almost every chapter since…then explaining how things were not the same after Wanda decided to stay in Pet’s body, because she was no longer the same.
Before I get into that, though, I want to comment on one part of this first sentence. “The last human outpost on planet Earth” is how Wanda describes the caves, but how the hell can she actually believe that they’re the last human outpost on the planet?? Does she think that every time the aliens were ever scared of humans, it was because of something they (the people in the caves) did? I mean, I knew she had a big ego, but come on; this is just ridiculous. They’re in one small area of a fucking desert; they have no idea how many other people could be hiding out just like them, in all corners of the world! Earth is kind of a big place!
Wanda reveals that this is the first time she’s been ‘reborn’ into a body of the same species as her last host, which is a little weird considering it seems like a lot of the aliens lived many lives as the same species, just in different bodies…but I guess that’s why Wanda is so ‘unique’, right?
She is not fond of the feeling of being in another human body, though, because she already had ideas in place about what it was like to be human from being in Melanie’s body, and being in Pet’s is different…as well as the fact that she doesn’t like some of the things she ‘inherited’ from Pet, like her mourning for Cloud Spinner and the pain she must be going through, and blah blah blah, no joy without equal pain; whatever.
The thing that upsets Wanda most, though, is that she’s also ‘inherited’ Pet’s body’s physical limitations, since she is so much smaller and weaker than Melanie was, and she’s unbearably shy, to boot. As a result, people in the caves have started doing things for Wanda because they know she’s not strong enough to do them, and even when they’ve given her the easiest tasks, they’ve often either taken the work from her in the end anyway, or helped her with it because she needed the help because she would get tired too easily otherwise.
So, wow; Pet really must have some sort of medical abnormality that Meyer is just not readily addressing here, because there is no other good reason why she would be so much smaller in both height and features than someone else her age would be, and so much weaker. Meyer may be trying to play off her weakness as related to her size, but no, that wouldn’t make her too weak to do easy tasks, which I would assume would be things like dishes and food preparation and whatnot. There’s something really wrong here, but of course Meyer doesn’t care about that, because Wanda is pretty now and that’s clearly all that matters.
Wanda goes on to say that people also treat her more gently than the others because of her looks, because as Jared had planned, no one is able to fear, mistrust or hate her despite that she’s an alien, because she’s so goddamn cute. Ugggggh. Yep, good lessons here; it doesn’t matter how dangerous someone could be, if they’re pretty, you should like them. Ahh, but isn’t that just a perfect description of Wanda’s relationship with Ian? He’s too ‘pretty’ to fear or despise, even when he’s abusive. Oh, Meyer, go to hell.
Wanda says people often touch her, so much so that in some ways, she’s stopped noticing when it happens…which is fucking weird to me, and makes her seem even more like a child, making this all even more creepy than it already was. Especially because, y’know, it’s STILL UNWANTED TOUCHING, and now it’s not just Ian that’s doing it. It’s a running theme in this book; getting used to people doing things to you that make you uncomfortable, just because you want them to like you…
Buttt it’s all good, because all this fawning over Wanda means that she finally gets to play with Lucina’s children, which she only cared about that one time when Lacey got to and she didn’t, but Meyer wants us to think it’s important, so hey guys, pay attention. Things are happening.
“Freedom, in particular, crawled onto my lap at every opportunity, burrowing his face in my hair. Isaiah was too big for such displays of affection…”
Wait a minute here; Isaiah, one of the children, is too mature to curl up on Wanda’s lap, but Jamie, who is fucking fourteen, does things like that all the time and it’s perfectly acceptable? What the hell is wrong with this picture? We know Isaiah is young because of the things she mentions him talking about with her, but somehow, Jamie acts like more of a child than him. Yep, Meyer, you definitely knew what you were doing when you wrote these characters, didn’t you?
Wanda mentions that the kids still won’t go near Melanie, even though she’s human, because of how frightened their mother made them of her, and I have to think that Wanda probably feels pretty damn good about that. It’s fucking stupid, though, because unless she’s a horrible parent, I would think Lucina would teach the kids not to go near aliens, not ‘people in Melanie’s body’, and Wanda is still an alien, and therefore still a threat. But again, it’s okay because she’s cuter than Melanie, because of course she is. Once again, fuck you. Especially because the kids were fine being with Lacey as soon as she wasn’t an alien, despite that she remained an intolerable bitch. This makes all of the sense.
She briefly adds that Maggie and Sharon still won’t look at her, but they’re not as ‘rigid’ in her presence…but then she quickly moves on, because hey, who really gives a fuck, right?
She says the monsoons came late to the desert this year, because that’s just fucking convenient, but at least I was right about the fact that the monsoons would come…and then blah blah blah, descriptions of how things smell when they’re wet which are incredibly weird, a brief mention of the fact that Pet came from Seattle (so they went all the way there to get her, for some reason) and what the weather was like there as compared to in the desert, and how awesome the sky is. Yay. See how important it was to add this epilogue?
Extra conveniently, the fact that everyone needs to move to the game room during the monsoons gives them all the perfect opportunity to change their regular sleeping arrangements, because with so many people, they need to use all the room they have available responsibly. Given this bunch, it seems unlikely that that will happen.
Apparently in the time between the last chapter and the epilogue, Mandy somehow remembered that her name was actually Candy (I have a friend with this name, yet something about it still bothers me; maybe that it’s most likely that Meyer only chose it because it’s both a name and a word that would very likely come up in conversation, so Candy could conveniently make the connection…oh wait, no, it’s because it’s the name of Meyer’s mother -_-), so now that that’s all sorted, she and Lacey can move in together, taking Wes’s old space because everyone else is too sad to.
It is decided that when the rain ends, Jamie will move into Brandt and Aaron’s room so that Jared and Melanie can have their privacy to make some babies…oh wait, no, Jared and Melanie kicked Jamie out before Wanda was even brought back, so it wasn’t his decision, they just decided they had some celebrating to do, I guess. He didn’t question anything, as weird as it must have been for him, he just moved into Ian’s room…but now that Wanda’s back, we know Ian’s going to want to sex her up as soon as humanly possible, so Jamie obviously has to GTFO. So off to Brandt and Aaron’s he goes, because the two of them will obviously be single forever.
Of course, if Jamie can’t stay with Ian, neither can Kyle, so Kyle’s going to widen Walter’s sleeping space so that he and Sunny can stay there together (hardly seems fair; both Ian and Jared’s rooms sounded like they were big enough for more than one bed, yet they get the rooms to themselves and Kyle and Sunny only get a crevice they have to widen…see, they’re already failing at using the space they have responsibly), because Sunny never leaves Kyle’s side, and though he’s not given up on Jodi yet, he still treats Sunny as though he cares about her just the same.
Wanda says that before the rain began, she stayed with Doc in the hospital for some reason…and I was about to say I don’t know why she would when she could easily have gone with Ian and Jamie, since she did that before, buttttt then Meyer started to go on about how well Candy remembers Summer Song’s life (so the human brain does retain the alien’s memories somehow…still not going to say that makes sense, but at least it’s somewhat consistent), so the hospital is so much more interesting to be in because of all the wonderful things she can teach Doc, so her staying with Doc was just a convenient way for her to know about all that.
After the rain, though, Doc won’t be sleeping in the hospital anymore, because while they were all in the games room hiding from the rain, Sharon randomly decided she wanted to sleep next to Doc, and didn’t even ask him if it was okay, she just did it. Wanda thinks she only did so because she was jealous of how attractive Candy is, and that she realized that if she didn’t get Doc back, he’d go with Candy…even though Wanda thinks Doc doesn’t notice Candy’s looks because he’s too fascinated by her knowledge.
She (Wanda) considers that maybe Sharon is not jealous, she actually just wants to ‘forgive and forget’, but no, that’s not good enough; she was in the wrong here, she acted like a bitch, so she should damn well have to apologize and make amends before just waltzing back into Doc’s life. Of course, Wanda doesn’t give a shit about that, and neither will Doc, because everyone here is okay with being treated like shit as long as the person who treats them poorly claims to love them, so fuck you all.
After all that talk, Wanda makes her big reveal: That she will not be sleeping in the hospital anymore either. OMG SO SURPRISING! No wait…we already knew that, because why the hell else would Jamie be moving out of Ian’s room? Come on now, Meyer; this is sad, even for you. Ian and Wanda are supposed to be in love, so we already knew they’d end up bunking together, even before you went on and fucking on about all this, but if you’d wanted to even try to keep us in suspense over whether or not it would happen, you shouldn’t have mentioned where Jamie was going before talking about anybody else. I still cannot get over how poor the writing is in this book. I know I should be used to it, but it’s just so much worse than I expected it would be when I started, and than I’ve seen most anywhere else.
After said reveal, Wanda explains how it came to be that she and Ian officially decided to bunk up, and apparently it was allllll because of Jamie. Poor Jamie, getting bounced around from room to room, and it being partially his fault that it happens…
Wanda goes on about how nervous she would get every time she thought of talking to Ian about sharing a room with him, because she was sooooo unsure if she imagined the moments she had with him after waking up, and didn’t know if he would even still love her since Melanie (“the body he’d fallen in love with“) was still around (seeee, I knew that would be a problem! It would have to have at least been weird, trying to love someone in a totally different body than they were in before, and not love the person that is in that body now!).
She then goes on about putting her jealousy toward Melanie and the “echoes of love” she felt for Jared behind her, because Ian was “the right partner” for her, but that that wasn’t really all that successful, because she’d see Jared and feel confused and whatever. She mentions that she saw Melanie touch Ian’s arm or hand at times, and then jerk away “as if she’d suddenly remembered who she was“, but that doesn’t make sense to me; whether she had Wanda’s memories or not, she knew them to be two very separate people when they were still both inside the same head, so there’s no way in hell she’d forget who she is and what Ian is to her now. I would hope especially not after how Ian has acted, but I do accept that this book is so fucked up that even Melanie is never going to hold Ian accountable for his actions.
Wanda also says that sometimes Jared would look at her with a searching gaze, and that makes even less sense to me, because Jared never loved Wanda (at least I hope not, or this is ABSOLUTELY fucked up), so there’d be no reason for him to be searching for her in her new body. He has Melanie, that’s what he wanted, so stop flattering yourself, Wanda, and accept that Jared does not love you and he never did. Move on. But preferably not to Ian, because he’s a douchebag.
Wanda says that she and Ian were together nearly as much as Kyle and Sunny, but she knew it must have been confusing for him to get close to her in her new body, so she assumed that was why he didn’t invite her to come live in his room…but that just makes me think he’s actually not so sure he’s attracted to her new body, since her being in Melanie’s body was certainly fucking confusing, yet he took every goddamn opportunity he could find to get her into his room then. I’m sure Meyer will give some fucking bullshit ‘romantic’ reason why he didn’t ask her when she was staying in the hospital, but I’d be willing to bet that’s the real reason. And if it is, in a way I’m kind of glad, because maybe he isn’t a pedophile, and he just had to convince himself that Wanda is not a child just because of her body.
I put way more hope into this book than it could ever deserve, sometimes.
Further proof of my hypothesis, though, is that Wanda says that while they were together, Ian would touch her the way everyone else did, because of how cute she was, but that he wouldn’t kiss her. So he would touch her platonically, but not romantically/sexually…so yeah, the physical attraction most likely was not there, so yay a little bit. It made Wanda sad though, because it made her think he could never love her in her new body, and that weighed on her heavily as he took her cot to the game room, and then section break. Wheee section break. That means this book will be done soon, yes?!
Oh wait, there’s still like 7 goddamn pages left. Well, fuck.
…And I’m not sure why that section break was there, because Meyer ended the last section talking about Ian carrying Wanda’s cot into the games room because of the rain, and started after the section break talking about Jamie waving her over to where he put his mattress in the games room (next to Ian’s). So…uh…great job, Meyer. Useless again.
But wait, this section starts with Wanda saying it’s raining for the first time in more than six months…hasn’t she been there longer than six months? That’s how I understood the things she said before about how much time had passed. She made it sound like she’d been there for nigh on a year, at least. So is she saying it rained before during her time there, and therefore she knew the answers to her questions about what they do when it’s raining, so it was pointless to ask them…or is she saying it rained at some point after she was put in Pet’s body, then more than six months passed before the subject was ever broached about her sharing a room with Ian? This doesn’t make sense either way. I can’t imagine Wanda holding out that long without figuring things out; she’s never been patient enough for that before.
Anyway, Wanda’s walking in with her cot, people are laughing and complaining, Sharon is with Doc and Wanda is happy about that because she doesn’t see how horrible they are for each other, for obvious reasons…Jamie calls her over, we find that he still treats her how he did before she was put into Pet’s body, aside from dealing with her strangely small body differently, blah blah blah.
Jamie tells her that she shouldn’t sleep on her cot, and that they should all just push their mattresses together and sleep in one big bed (her, Ian and himself), because that’s a normal request for a 14 year old to make to his sister…and then he just goes ahead and starts making said big bed before even waiting for her answer, because why should Wanda ever consent to anything? Especially anything weird? That would be ludicrous.
He tells Ian that he’s going to move in with Brandt and Aaron (which we already knew), then says he’s tired and lays down to go to sleep, leaving Wanda and Ian to talk, I guess. Wanda panics, thinking that Ian’s silence means he’s trying to find a way to get out of the situation, because he knows she knows what it means if he’s not sharing a room anymore…and then Jeb tells everyone it’s time to go to sleep, so the lights go out.
Ian reaches for Wanda’s hand, then gets down on the mattress and pulls her down with him so that she’s lying in the seam between the mattresses. Uh, what? Why would Meyer add this, if not to make it clear that Wanda is uncomfortable, like she always seems to be when things happen between her and Ian? Why not let her lay on the actual mattress? If you want us to be in support of their relationship, Meyer, you might not want to add subtle clues that it’s not a good relationship, like this one. I do not at all understand why this would have been done in this situation.
Ian keeps holding her hand as they lay there, and asks Wanda if that’s okay. She says it is, even though she must be uncomfortable lying in that crease, and then Jamie rolls over, accidentally knocking himself into Wanda. He apologizes, but Wanda moves anyway, accidentally rolling into Ian because he’s closer than she thought he was. Ahhh, clichés.
Wanda tries to move away to give Ian his space, but he ‘suddenly’ wraps his arm around her instead, and pulls her against him. Yaay. Apparently, being held ‘non-platonically’ by Ian makes Wanda feel as euphoric as the No Pain did, though Meyer of course says that in the most dramatic way possible…and it also takes away Wanda’s shyness, allowing her to feel bold enough that she rolls to face Ian, causing him to tighten his arm around her. Well, that’s not exactly how shyness works in the real world, most of the time, but sure, Meyer, why not?
Wanda asks him if it’s okay that she’s facing him (really? Do you need permission for everything, when he needs permission for nothing?), so he kisses her forehead and tells her it’s “better than okay“, then they go quiet for a few minutes until he gets the balls to ask her if she wants to share his room with him. Well, actually, no, he just tells her it’s “not right” that he has a room to himself now, and that he doesn’t want to be alone, trying to get her to say what he wants to say for him…but she doesn’t, she just keeps leading him to ask by agreeing with him.
Instead, he ends up asking if she’s had enough time to sort things out, because he knows it’s confusing for her with Jared, and I’m just going to say right now that this is fucking bullshit. There’s no way in hell Ian was keeping his distance from her so she could sort things out about Jared, when before she was put in Pet’s body, he wouldn’t keep his fucking hands off her even though he knew she was in love with Jared. Dear god, Meyer, how stupid do you think we are? We’re not going to suddenly believe, after everything Ian has done, that he’s some wonderful, thoughtful, respectful person! He has NEVER acted that way before; that is NOT the legitimate reason he acted the way he did now! I gave you my thoughts on why he really kept his distance from her, and I’m holding to that, because I will NEVER, in ALL MY LIFE, believe that it was because he wanted to give her time to figure things out about her feelings for Jared. FUCK THAT.
But Wanda giggles when she realizes what he’s saying, because apparently Pet does that (of course she does, she’s small and cute, right? She MUST have the stereotypical personality of someone that fits that description), and tells Ian that she was giving him time to sort things out, because she knew it was confusing for him with Melanie! Oh, tehehe, isn’t that fucking hilarious; both of them were just sooooo respectful that neither of them was willing to say what they really wanted! Isn’t that so fucking cute?
No. No, it’s not. It’s annoying. Thanks for that, Meyer.
Ian is surprised and tells her that Melanie isn’t her, so he wasn’t confused, and she replies with a smile that Jared isn’t him. Cheesy. He responds that Jared is still Jared, and she loves him, which pleasantly surprises Wanda because she thinks he’s jealous again, but she tells him that Jared is her past, and he is her present. Wow, even more cheesy. This is actually kind of sickening.
Oh, but it gets worse, as Ian responds that he’s her future too, if she wants that, his voice “rough with emotion“. Ugggggh, this book. Fuck. And Wanda responds “yes, please“, and I’m just so, so done. This is really, really terrible writing. You have not succeeded at writing a sappy scene from a romance movie, Meyer, you have failed yet again. Congratulations. This attempt is even worse than the last.
“And then he kissed me in the most unplatonic way possible under the crowded circumstances, and I was thrilled to remember that I’d been smart enough to lie about my age.”
Ewwwwwwww. Oh god, I so did not need to read that line. Thanks for that image, Meyer; fuck. I need to go scrub my brain now.
Blah blah blah, Wanda and Ian will be “partners in the truest sense” when the rains end (I assume that just means they’ll have sex, given that last line), and she feels a bunch of things about that that make her feel “human” (italics mean it’s important)…and then we have another section break.
Wait a minute, section break? Why isn’t that the end of the book? All of this was entirely unnecessary, because she could have just left it at Ian and Wanda being in love at the end of the last chapter; we didn’t need to tie up all the loose ends with Jared since this didn’t really actually tie them up anyway, it just went from Wanda still feeling things for him to saying she doesn’t at all cause he’s not Ian with nothing in between, which is the same thing that happened when she was in Melanie’s body…yet we went over all of it, and we’re still not done somehow. What the fuck.
So after the section break, she and Ian are more inseparable than ever (ugh), so he goes on a raid with her to “test her new face on the souls“. She goes on again about how weak and useless she is, as if we didn’t already know that, and then whines about how frustrating it was that no one wanted her to go on a raid when Jared had picked her face just because the aliens would trust it.
Of course, she ends up getting what she wants, because she always does, so this was all more pointless annoyance, so I’m just going to skip over all the crap about considering Sunny and whatever the hell because I do not know why we need any of this stuff in the last few pages of the book.
Useless talk about dwindling supplies and who did and did not decide to go on the raid, they’re going north, Wanda’s new body is too excitable so she’s bouncing around when they get to where the van and moving truck are hidden and Ian is laughing at her and holding her hand while they load stuff into the van, which sounds pretty inconvenient. Hard to move too much with only one hand.
“Was I too loud? Too oblivious to my surroundings? No, of course that was not it.”
No, of course not, because that would imply that something was your fault, and we all know that nothing is ever your fault, because you’re the most perfectest thing ever in the universe. Hate.
Beams of light shine into Jared and Melanie’s faces, but Wanda’s is obscured by Ian’s back, so there are no alien eyes to reflect in the light, and then Wanda sees a group of Seekers that outnumber them standing with guns pointed at them.
One is, of course, pointed at Ian, so Wanda goes all woe is me about why she “let” Ian come with her, and then gets super melodramatic in saying she doesn’t know why life and love go on when there’s no point, when nothing has even fucking happened yet. God, this is annoying. And once again, not romantic at all!
Her “fragile little heart” shatters as she tries to get her suicide pill, but then one of the Seekers tells them all to be calm and not to swallow anything. So I guess others in her group must have gotten their pills out too? Cause they apparently didn’t see Wanda, and she’s the only one that it’s mentioned pulled out a pill…
The man shines his flashlight on his own face, so we get a description of him as though that’s going to matter with like 3 pages left, but the point is that he doesn’t have alien eyes, so they’re clearly not Seekers. He tells them he won’t shoot them if they don’t shoot him, and all his guys put their weapons down, and then he explains that he found their cache and decided to wait there to “make their acquaintance“. Odd tactic in a post-apocalyptic world; most people would just take the stuff and go…but of course, everything is wonderful in Meyer-verse, so we couldn’t have that, now could we?
The guy laughs at the surprise that must be showing on the faces of Wanda’s group, and then they all start talking amongst themselves until Jared asks who they are. Blah blah blah, introductions we’re never going to need to have had, and then Wanda notices someone at the back who doesn’t get introduced, but he’s looking at her, so she looks away.
The man (Nate) shakes Jared’s hand, and Jared introduces himself and everyone else, though Ian tries to obscure Nate’s view of Wanda even more after she’s introduced, because she could be a threat for obvious reasons.
Nate is surprised by how many people Jared says live at the caves with them, because he’s never found a group so big before, and then Jared is surprised because that implies that Nate has found others before. So yeah, as I said, there was no way in hell the people in the caves were the only human survivors. It was a stupid thing to say, and this doesn’t make it better.
Nate tells Jared about the other cells of humans he’s found, and how they trade and whatnot, and then starts into gossip about the blossoming relationships between camps, because this book wasn’t inane enough, before looking to the guy in the back that he didn’t introduce and deciding he might as well deal with him.
La la la, buildup and more buildup, I am so fucking bored, and then it is finally revealed that the guy that wasn’t introduced is named Burns, and he’s an alien who was Nate’s best friend when he was human, so he helps them all out, like Wanda does, so they don’t want anyone to kill him.
Burns points out that Wanda’s an alien too, and says it looks like he’s not the only one who’s “gone native“, and I must say, I find that to be a pretty offensive term to use here, but maybe that’s just me. Wanda likes the term, of course, so she goes up to Burns, they shake hands and introduce themselves, he’s from the Fire World…fuck, I don’t care about any of this shit.
Burns is surprised that he’s not one of a kind, which Wanda thinks is funny since they also have Sunny, and then he says maybe there’s some hope for the world after all, and she says it’s a strange world, so he agrees, and that’s FINALLY the end of the book.
And I really have no idea why we needed this epilogue at all, as I said. None of this was useful or interesting information, and who gives a fuck that there are more groups of humans, and some that have aliens in them too? We knew Wanda couldn’t be as unique as that, because of Jodi/Sunny, so was this really supposed to be some kind of great revelation?
Why did Meyer spend so much of this book going on and on about how special and different Wanda was, if she intended to introduce characters just like her near the end? Is this supposed to make it seem like she fits in more now? Because it’s really just very stupid, and seems to defeat the point of the entire character.
Also, if so many aliens do this, why hasn’t it become a bigger problem by now? Why haven’t the humans been able to take over again? Uggh I don’t want to think about this book anymore, so I’m not going to bother with that.
I’m done, finally, and that’s good enough for me. There is a ‘bonus chapter’ in my book that’s written from Melanie’s perspective, which I will read, but I’m not going to recap it because I know Mike doesn’t have it in his ebook, and because fuck that, I’ve done enough with this book.
So on Thursday I’ll post the movie review, and then that will be it for The Host. Thank god!
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)