Jealous Hater Book Club “Apolonia” chapter 19

Well, here we are again. Let’s get right down to it. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of lap-sitting and seating arrangements that need sorting out.

They stop the car half a mile from the warehouse, so nobody will hear the engine, and they all get out.

I climbed out of the passenger-side door, and Cy followed, quickly leaning the seat forward for Apolonia and Tsavi to climb out. Benji struggled to help the professor.

“Maybe Dr. Zorba should sit in the front next time?” Benji said.

Told ya there would be seating arrangement discussion.

The warehouse is all lit up, so they don’t know how to get into it without being spotted. While they’re formulating a plan, Dr. Zoidberg continues to be more useless than the real, actual Dr. Zoidberg:

“Rory!” Dr. Z said, almost too loudly. He bend over and put one hand on his forehead. Silver was lying over on her side, wet and muddy. The professor sat her upright and pushed the kickstand down with his boot. “This is unacceptable!”

“Shh!” Cy said, holding out his hands. “I understand you’re upset, but we can’t get caught over a moped.”

“Silver is not just a moped! I saved for months for her. She is garage kept. She’s nearly fifteen and look at her! Perfect condition. That doesn’t just happen, you know.”

Mopeds are usually between three and six hundred dollars. How little is this top scientist, who goes on filed missions to the arctic and who has tenure at a university major enough to have a lab in which super rare space rocks can be studied, making annually that he has to save up for “months” to buy a moped?

Also, remember when I said Dr. Z had outlived his usefulness and should have died a long time ago? This only reinforces my point. Dr. Z has done nothing useful that the others have not been able to figure out for themselves, and now his behavior puts them all at risk of getting caught. Maguire has fallen into the trap that a lot of writers fall into, and that’s assuming that something cute or funny or zany has to happen in every single scene. We’re at 85% into the book; the only things that should be happening right now are things that will advance the story toward its climax. Writing Tip: Don’t keep a character around to provide comic relief once their usefulness to the plot has waned. It usually results in that character slowing the story down as the author attempts to justify the character’s presence with “wacky” behavior incongruous to the plot.

They walk across the field, but before they can get too close to the warehouse, it’s time for another Rory and Cy relationship moment:

He fidgeted. “I need to tell you something.”

“If it’s about Benji–”

“It’s not,” he said, cutting me off. “It’s about you. Thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done since the day I met you up until this moment. Despite the…circumstances…you’ve been a true friend to me, Rory.”

I’m glad we’ve stopped the forward momentum of the plot yet again, this time to rehash a conversation we’ve seen three times already, at least. I was getting whiplash from the break-neck pace the story was moving at.

Because Benji is with them, and because the author is trying to keep the love triangle alive for as long as possible, this happens:

“If we could go back to the beginning, I’d do it all again. I just…I know you can’t stay. I just know what it feels like to miss someone, and I’m not looking forward to it.”

Cy wiped a speck of mud from my cheek with his thumb and flicked it to the ground. “Part of me wishes I could stay.”

I glanced over to Benji, who was failing at pretending not to be watching us.

Underlines are italics, as per always.

I know what’s happening here. Maguire is best known for pioneering the New Adult genre. It makes sense that if she wanted to try out science fiction, she would genre blend it with New Adult to pull in her existing readership. That’s not unusual for an author to do. But she’s so busy trying to cram in all the things that made her New Adult novels popular that she’s sacrificed all the action and the urgency you’d expect a story about a space parasite and a government conspiracy to have. If we just took the science fiction plot, here’s what we’ve got:

  • A mysterious rock lands on Earth.
  • A professor manages to smuggle it back to his lab.
  • An alien arrives to destroy the space rock.
  • The government is looking for the space rock.
  • If the government gets the space rock, a parasite might take over the world, ending life as we know it.
  • The aliens might attempt to destroy the space rock by blowing up Earth, ending life as we know it.
  • The protagonist has to get the space rock away from the government and to the aliens before any of that happens.
  • In doing so, the protagonist will avenge the death of her family by the same government organization that took the rock.

And if we took just the romance plot, here’s what we’ve got:

  • The protagonist has a dark and tortured past and can’t trust anybody.
  • A guy likes her, but she’s not sure she likes him back.
  • She’s also attracted to this other guy, who is engaged.
  • The engaged guy is unavailable, but the guy who likes her might not be trustworthy.
  • And the engaged guy seems to like her, too.
  • Who does she pick?

Those are two separate books. They should have stayed separate, because they don’t all fit into one. I’m not saying there’s no room for subplots in a story, just that the biggest, most complex storyline should be treated as though it’s the biggest, most complex storyline. This entire time, the space rock has just been a thing in the background that moves them around from point A to point B while they work out their love triangle. We’re at the college, having a conversation about our relationship. Oh no, something something space rock! We have to move to this second location, where we will have another, nearly identical conversation about our relationship. Oh no, something something else space rock! We need to go on this space ship, to introduce yet another element of this love triangle and have more conversations.

With all that out of the way, Cy tells Rory the plan. The aliens are going to go into the still occupied warehouse alone and wrap up everything on their own, which basically will end up leaving our protagonist nothing else to do. Which obviously can’t happen, because then the story is over and there’s no resolution. But hark! What is that sound I hear upon the horizon? Could it be…

Before he could speak, a loud rumble echoed from miles away, and after a few seconds, the ground shook. Two pillars of fire and smoke snaked up to the sky, looming over the tree line.

No,” Cy whispered, staring at the dark columns.

“What is that?” Benji asked, subdued panic in his voice.

That, Benji, is deus ex machina. Hamech has shown up, and his grand entrance results in the government people leaving the warehouse, making it much easier for the aliens to sneak in:

The warehouse transformed from being a glowing beacon of light to a red-and-blue strobe-covered hub of activity. An alarm sounded, and soldiers rushed out to fill every Jeep. They left the property spinning their wheels.

Okay, but surely not every soldier has left, right? Some people are still behind, guarding things, right?

The armed guards who were walking the grounds had disappeared. They’d all probably left in the Jeeps.

This is so convenient! Because now, Tsavi, Apolonia, and Cy are able to go on ahead and leave the humans waiting.

Yup. The protagonist of this novel is going to sit in a muddy field and wait while someone else does the plot stuff. What is she going to do while she waits?

Have another conversation about her relationships, of course!

“You’re not scared for Cy?” Benji gripped his rifle, keeping his mouth tight in an attempt to conceal how it made him feel to ask that question.

I glanced at him from the corner of my eye. “I think there are more important things…”

So do I, but that’s not going to stop you two.

“No. Not really. Not to me. There’s an alien parasite in front of us and an alien invasion behind us. Things are blowing up. People are dying. I’d kind of like to know.”

“What? Is it you or him? You want me to choose out here in the field?”

“No.”

“Then, what do you want me to say?”

“That you don’t want him to stay.”

“You just don’t get it,” I said, shaking my head. He didn’t know what it was like to lose someone. He had no idea how it felt to say good-bye.

Benji knows exactly what it’s like to say goodbye. He’s just turned his back on his father and his family to help you. He’s straight up betrayed his father for you, and you’re going to say that he doesn’t have any idea what it’s like to lose someone?

Oh, that’s right. No one’s pain can even touch yours, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way. Only you feel things deeply, because you’re. so. dark.

“I see the way he looks at you. I hear the way he talks to you, the things he says. He loves the woman I love. It bothers me,” he said through his teeth.

“He doesn’t love me! I’m different from what he’s used to. I intrigue him. You see how Apolonia behaves. He got confused. But he loves her!”

“And you,” he said, not missing a beat.

Keep in mind that while this is happening, there are explosions in another part of town big enough for them to see, and aliens trying to infiltrate a government black site yards away, we are watching a repeat of the Benji and Rory jealousy hour.

“What about that wouldn’t matter? Because he could decide at any moment to put you on a ship and take you away from here? Away from me? Probably just out of spite because he hates me. He always has. Do you have any idea how that feels? For someone else to have that kind of power…to destroy you?”

“If I left, it would destroy you?” I asked staring at him.

His eyebrows were pulled in, and his entire face was taut with anguish and worry. He did understand, after all, how completely a good-bye could change someone. How it could change everything.

Duh, Rory.

She tells Benji she “kind of” loves him, and then there are more explosions. Dr. Z–because he’s still there, listening to yet another intensely personal conversation about the Rory/Cy/Benji love triangle–notes that the aliens will be at the college soon, and he should head back there to warn everyone. Instead of letting him go and cutting his dead weight from the group, Rory tells him that everyone is home for Thanksgiving, anyway, and they’ll probably hear what’s happening and evacuate on their own. She wants him to see with his own eyes that Brahmberger isn’t in the warehouse. But Dr. Z is adamant, and while even bigger explosions are going off in the city, he leaves.

Benji and Rory decide to go into the warehouse, to help Cy and Apolonia and Tsavi.

It was the same door I’d snuck into when I followed Cy there nearly two days before. I couldn’t believe that only forty-eight hours had passed. It felt as if I’d been running for my life for months.

It’s felt like months for us, too, Rory.

“I feel like we should have gone with Dr. Zorba,” Benji said.

“We can stop this from here.” I touched the knob and pulled open the door, standing rigid when the barrel of a handgun touched my nose.

“Easy,” Benji said. His rifle made a cracking noise as he dropped it to the ground.

The woman holding the gun to my face narrowed her eyes at me and then glared at Benji. “Oh. You are in so much trouble,” she said.

“Shut up, Bryn.”

My face screwed into disgust. “Who is she?”

Benji sighed. “My sister.”

Yes! Absolutely, let’s just introduce a new character 87% into the novel. Why not?

Bryn is, of course, part of the CIA. She pushes her gun into Rory’s temple and says that Benji has ruined his father’s career.

Bryn wore green fatigues and a matching cap, her golden blonde hair shooting out in a short ponytail at the nape of her neck. Her high cheekbones and almond-shaped green eyes made her look more supermodel than soldier. Her perfect teeth reminded me of Benji’s, and I started to wonder if his perfect looks were genetic or if, being second-generation Majestic, they had been engineered.

She has a gun to your head, Rory. Is now really the time for a long description of how hot she is?

Bryn smiled. “You’re nothing. And tonight, it’ll be as if you never were. So, be a good ghost and shut the hell up. You’ve done enough to piss me off today.”

I moved, slapping my hands together and simultaneously grabbing Bryn’s gun and pointing the barrel at her forehead.

“Whoa!” Benji said, barely having time to react. “What was that?”

Selective memory self-defense. It only works when there’s a hot girl in the scene and the reader needs to be reminded that Rory is more tough and special. I’m waiting for the part where Rory manages to disarm Apolonia, because it seems unlikely that such a thing won’t happen.

“What else don’t I know about you?” Benji asked, watching me hold the gun in awe.

You actually already know this. She slammed you into the ground because of her self-defense training, remember?

Bryn tells Benji that their father is being held upstairs, and that she can’t take them to the space rock because she doesn’t have clearance. She thinks Benji has been brainwashed by Rory and the aliens, and they’re just going to kill him when they get what they want.

Bryn’s lips formed a hard line, and she closed her eyes. “You’re going to have to kill me. I’m not taking you to my dad.” She opened her eyes once to look at her brother. “I’ll never forgive you for this, Benji.”

It doesn’t really matter, does it? You’ll be dead. “Never” is a very short amount of time at this point.

He snarled back at her. “You will take us to Dad, so we can get that rock off this planet before it kills us all, or I’m going to kick your ass, you spoiled, close-minded, snotty little bitch!”

Bryn’s eyes popped open, and we both stared at Benji, stunned. I’d never heard him swear or yell, and by Bryn’s expression, she hadn’t either.

I smiled at him. It was kind of sexy.

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the scene where she watches her new college roommate spill ketchup on her sweater. She looks increasingly annoyed as the shot cuts in tighter on her face, then close on her eyes.

It’s sexy for a guy to call his sister a bitch and threaten violence against her? Granted, these are tense circumstances, but we’re talking about one of the romantic leads in the story seeing his sister with a gun to her forehead and using the opportunity to call her a bitch and threaten to beat her. All of that “sexy” assertive aggression could have been conveyed without tacking on the bitch part.

And is it just me, or does this author, much like E.L. James, have a real issue with blonde women? So far, there have been two in this story, they both been called bitches, and Rory has pulled a gun on both of them.

Oh my god, what if it’s the same blonde that wronged E.L. James?

Just then, Benji blanched, and less than a second later, he dived for his sister and slammed her to the ground.

I didn’t have time to react or ask what was going on before I had my answer. Apolonia’s sword his the wall, just on the other side of where Bryn’s neck would have been.

Rory tells Apolonia that Bryn is Benji’s sister, because it’s only okay for Rory to use violence against her, I assume. They run through the building, which is empty.

“Where is everyone? Did they all leave for Nayara?” Benji asked.

“No, some stayed behind, but we corralled them into the courtyard,” Cy said.

Benji and Bryn traded glances. “Did you kill them?”

“Not all of them,” Tsavi said. “But some didn’t give us a choice.

Bryn freaks out and gets all hysterical about whether or not they killed her dad, and Rory tears off on her own for some reason. Probably because she’s so amazing and confident and brave or whatever.

A boom, this time much closer, shook the building. Without a second thought, I bolted out the door and ran down the hallway, opening doors and trying to find an office with a window. Unable to find one, I ran to an exit door on the east side, which led to a metal railing that spanned the length of the building. Each end turned into stairs that led into the courtyard.

Since when do warehouses have courtyards?

The remaining men, most of them in white lab coats, were standing among lifeless soldiers, facing in the direction of Helena, their faces lit by the glowing annihilation.

How are they staring at Helena? They’re in a courtyard. Aren’t they just seeing another wall?

Hamech’s ship is flying over the city, and fighter jets are shooting at it and all is chaos and fire. I’m still stuck on the part where Rory can somehow see the ground and the city and the ship and everything while she’s in a courtyard.

It was overwhelming to see that much destruction and death. Where the earth wasn’t orange with fire, it was red with glowing embers. Wind whipped through the blaze, making the inferno rise in pillars, as if it were reaching out from the pool of flames, trying to climb back into the ship. Fiery debris fell out of the sky like rain, and the early morning clouds were red, reflecting the devastation below. A quiet college town the day before, Helena now rivaled the bowels of hell.

So I mean, clearly she has an unobstructed view of what’s going on, and the guys on the ground have the same view, I guess, from the way they’re staring, so…I mean, is something partially enclosed on three sides actually a courtyard? And again, why does a warehouse even have a courtyard?

I realize that I’m ignoring the overall important part of the plot here, but if the author is allowed to do that, so am I.

Benji runs through the door after Rory:

“My God,” he whispered. “It’s all gone.”

And that’s the end of the chapter.

 

55 thoughts on “Jealous Hater Book Club “Apolonia” chapter 19

  1. Well, I still have no idea what’s going on. I’m staring to think that’s what Mcguire was actually going for, it’s the only thing making sense about this book…

    At least we’re in the home stretch with this train wreck now, right?

  2. Wow. This Bryn woman is guarding a top-secret government project, dressed and armed like she means it. I’m not really seeing the “spoiled” or “snotty” part, here. She seems like one of the most professional people in this whole book, until she’s necessarily plot-hamstrung to show off Rory’s awesomeness.

    And honestly, I could put aside Benji yelling at his sister, losing his temper, and calling her a bitch as an aspect of his character (whether or not it’s a good character aspect) but then Maguire had to ruin the whooooole thing by adding that one sentence at the end: I smiled at him. It was kind of sexy.

    WTF NO. I’m out. Not enough middle fingers in the world.

  3. “… watching me hold the gun in awe.”

    How is the gun in awe?

    And … I still have no idea what exactly is happening in this book or why. Even with your handy, concise breakdown of the plot, none of it makes any sense. And what happened to the other blond whose name I can’t remember anymore? What was her purpose to the story? Just to give Rory someone to sneer at for a while?

    1. Oh thank God I’m not the only one…I had a hard time seeing most of this in my mind’s eye, and I think it’s a bad sign if someone has to read a book more than once to figure out what the hell is going on.

      1. Someone wrote out a whole timeline of the major events on the last chapter’s comments, and despite being very accurate, it still makes no sense. This book just makes no sense.

    2. I think the other blonde was the “cum-burping gutter slut”, or something like that, who was her room mate back in college. I read that so long ago that I might be remembering it wrong though! It just seems like I’ve been reading this book for so long.

      It actually took me a minute to try to remember where that wonderful slut shaming term came from, it seems like it was a completely different book.

      And yes, it does seem like the other blonde was just someone for Rory to hate and she existed for no other reason.

      1. LOL i abuse the term “cum-burping gutter slut” all the time, I must admit (to make fun of slut-shamers, that is, not to do any slut-shaming myself)

  4. About Dr. Z having had to save for his moped “for months,” I’m guessing he must have bought it when he was 13?

    Although then I have to wonder how and why a kid would keep his moped in such perfect condition, because everyone I knew who had one needed it for transportation. Also, if he got the moped as a teen and Silver is now only 15, then Dr. Z is less than 30, which means he too should be throwing himself all over Irresistible Ellie. This is a major Male Character Fail if he’s not, right?

    So never mind. Why am I even trying to make sense out of this book? :D

    1. Well, we already know the author doesn’t understand Grown-Up Science (with the Nobel Prize winning microbiologist turning astrophysicist because he got bored), so maybe she can’t do Grown-Up Money either? And this is just how she thinks adults pay for things like vehicles.

  5. I moved, slapping my hands together and simultaneously grabbing Bryn’s gun and pointing the barrel at her forehead.

    Okay, so…she clapped, and that magically made a gun appear in her hands? Because otherwise I don’t understand how someone can “simultaneously” slap their hands together and grab something large enough to require wrapping their fingers around it. If your hand is holding a gun, you do not have much, if any, palm surface left over with which to slap your other hand. Or maybe Rory has a third arm and this is only being mentioned now? Honestly, given the whole “oh by the way, I’m immortal, or maybe I’m not, or maybe I am again” thing, I wouldn’t even be all that surprised by her suddenly having a third arm which appears only when it’s convenient.

    (And if the “simultaneously” was meant to refer only to the last two actions in that sentence, that also doesn’t make sense, since unless Bryn was already pointing the gun at herself, Rory pretty clearly had to have her hand on the gun before she could point it in a new direction. She could have quickly pointed it at Bryn or immediately pointed it at Bryn, but “simultaneously” doesn’t make sense no matter how I parse the sentence.)

    1. I tried to create a mental image of that line too. She would need an extra set of arms and hands to slap her hands together and grab a gun at the same time.

    2. Have you ever gone to give someone a high five and missed? I imagine this much like that. She tries to clap but can’t get her hands together and one is on the barrel end and one on the handle end and she nearly fumbles and some how in that thing you only ever do once in your life when no one is watching and catch the glass of water as it falls off the table manages to spin it around. The awe of course comes from the surprise at her not like immediately doing the “hey! Did anyone else see me do that? That was awesome!”dance. Because if I did that I’d totally do that dance.

    3. I reread that section over and over and still can’t make the end result physically justifiable from the written actions. If you slap your hands together on a gun how do you get it to turn around completely without some serious contortionism?

    4. Falala, thank you for bringing up the “incidental immortality” business. Every time I read about yet another time Rory “comes face-to-face with death” I wonder why the reader should feel any tension whatsoever.

      1. YES! Now everything she says will be in a Welsh accent in my head.
        “I’m not going to lie to you, Rory but you’re really pissing me off.”

    1. Aw, I have a female Rory and now I feel obliged to change it, haha. XD

      (In my defence it’s short for Aurora and she’s a robot anyway, so maybe it doesn’t count? More importantly, she seems to be turning into the Rory McRoryson from this story a little bit, which is maybe a better reason to change it…)

      1. Rory means ‘red king’ so to those of us familiar with the name it seems like calling a girl Kevin ;) Bryn just means ‘hill’ but it’s definitely a boy’s name too, e.g. the tenor Bryn Terfel.

      2. “Short for Aurora” is a pretty good defence, in my book! Aurora is a very girly name, and if it doesn’t suit it’s recipient then Rory is about the only way of shortening it.

        I’m glad my parents didn’t name me that… I am not so great at pronouncing the letter R :-)

  6. What happened to the cat that was hanging around a couple chapters ago? What about Rory being intensely ill for no reason, then all of a sudden better? Did I miss a recap, or was it not in a recap or even in the story itself.

    1. Think you missed one, they put a tracker they had been bugged with on the cat and then left the hosue to trudge where they are now

  7. Oh gosh, I laughed so hard at that line about the same blonde incurring the wrath of both James and McGuire! It is a weird coincidence to be sure.

    On top of the pointlessness of introducing a new character this far into the story, was it really necessary to give us another villain? Another female villain who is basically exactly the same as the one introduced before? Did the author just want to shit on as many women as possible? The blatant misogyny is so rampant in this book. I know it’s pretty common for male romantic leads to be pointedly disinterested in female characters other than the main protagonist. Even so, I’ve never seen an author actually take that so far as to not only have the male lead harshly insult these women, but to make the protag explicitly think it sexy.

    I’m disgusted and losing my faith in humanity.

    1. It would have been smarter to bring back Elle instead of introducing a new girl – Bryn isn’t even competition for Rory, and being gleeful about the mistreatment of a family member is distasteful, especially since Benji’s the traitor and Bryn hasn’t developed enough to warrant that level of hate. Plus, she loves when Benji’s a jerk to his sister, but then tries to protect her from the aliens? That’s emotional whiplash right there.

    2. Threatening violence toward a woman and calling them names, catch me I’m swooning.

      And as for the blonde thing, it’s very socialized for everyone to think blondes aren’t intelligent, but sexy, and therefore threatening to other women (because you know, we’re all in competition with each other). So in books like these, the authors use it as another excuse for their heroines to be total assholes and make themselves the Extra Special Snowflake that men can fight over. So gross.

      1. + 1 to everybody that “no, calling your sister a bitch and threatening to kill her is NOT SEXY and is in fact ABUSE”. Arguing with siblings is one thing, gendered insults and death threats cross that line for me.

        (Normally I’d be rooting for femslash after Rory basically calling Bryn hot, but Bryn seems to have her shit together too well to wish Rory on her. I would totally like to know all about Bryn, though.)

  8. Oy.

    I’m assuming that this deus ex explosions is the beginning of the aliens destroying the planet to keep the doomsday parasite from killing all known life in the universe (which…it’s a fucking parasite, it can’t possibly infect every single species in the universe. There are parasites ON EARTH that can’t cross species lines. But that’s a whole other plot hole). Are they…destroying the planet town-by-town? When I hear “they’re gonna blow up the planet,” I picture an actual planet buster, like Starkiller Base in the new Star Wars. Just scouring the surface like they’re doing isn’t going to ensure the destruction of the space rock, after all – they’re gonna miss spots.

    But Maguire had to empty the warehouse somehow, I guess.

  9. Like I have no words. Please tell me this is almost over? I mean, I love you dearly, Jen, but this book, this fucking book. It sucks, the characters suck, the author sucks. Just one big circle jerk of suck.

  10. Back when I read Twilight, I found it really frustrating that the big action sequence at the end happened while Bella was unconscious and it was just described to her after it was over and she woke up. I felt like I’d read this kind of long, boring book for very little payoff at the climax.

    …but at least Twilight made some kind of linear sense. “Nothing happens” totally beats “lots of things happen, but not in a way that makes sense or that you can follow.”

  11. Someone posted in a previous recap that there were sure this story started out as a Roswell fanfic, and now I think that’s clearly the case. It just doesn’t make sense unless the reader already has an in-depth knowledge of the TV show in their head, whatever that TV show was. In other words, the reader pastes in everything that is missing from a third-party source.

    1. I wish watching Roswell made this make sense! No Roswell lore is used here, except that now I kind of know what the author is going for with this love triangle? Except that this is technically a love square. So confusing.

  12. “Oh, that’s right. No one’s pain can even touch yours, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way.”

    Buahaha. I enjoyed this reference A LOT. I just re-read the magnificence that is My Immortal.

    Off to put on a dress with corset stuff on it and fishnets and cry bloody tears and masticate goffikly now.

  13. I have never been so simultaneously bored and confused by a book in my life. This is no offense to your recaps, Jenny, which are always great. But this book, man… I feel like the experience of reading these recaps goes like this:

    rory angsts over dude… female character does bitchy thing… more rory angst over other dude… oh hay space rock y’all… more rory angst over dude #1… bitchy female character is bitchy… rory angst over dude #2… oh yeah space rock… rory angsts over dude #1 and #2… random cat

  14. “Oh my god, what if it’s the *same* blonde that wronged E.L. James?”

    ( :-O O.o o.O O-: ) Shocking real-life plot twist!

    (Jenny, don’t claim you’re not thinking about a real-person fic based on this premise now. I won’t believe you.)

    Thanks for the continuing slog through this awful book and the ability to turn it into something hilarious for us Troutians! (Or whatever the inhabitants of Trout Nation are called.)

  15. …I really don’t understand what story this book is supposed to be telling. It’s like a bad mashup of a few different plot lines.

  16. So last night I reread a story I wrote when I was 16 — I clearly had done no research and had no concrete plot; I just kind of wrote the thing and hoped for the best.

    That reminds me a lot of this book tbh.

    Also. I’m still not over it – why is this even called Apolonia? My only guess is that Apolonia sacrifices herself so Rory can have her choice of the leading dudes.

  17. I think you really hit the nail on the head Jenny about why this book is such a stitched-up clusterfuck. The foreground’s in the background and the background’s in the foreground (not that that can’t be done, but it requires a vastly different style than the author is using here).

  18. God damn it. My name shows up so rarely in fiction and THIS is the moment I get? I don’t get a Hermione Granger moment?!?

    I feel cheated.

  19. Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way is less this annoying than Rory. My Imortal is bad on purpose and it’s the so bad it’s funny. This is ridiculous. Thank you for recapping. I needed a laugh this morning.

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