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Jealous Haters Book Club: Crave, chapter 14, “Knock, Knock, Knocking on Death’s Door”

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As it turns out, this chapter’s title does have something to do with the text! The downside is, this chapter is only five pages long, so the recap will be short.

It’s weird, I start to feel guilty that I’m not pumping out these recaps as fast as I possibly can, and then I read the chapter and go, “Well, that wasn’t long. At all. Why didn’t we get this done before?”

The answer is that Abigail Barnette came out of retirement to great demand and I have projects I wish I could tell you more about, but I can’t yet. Just trust and believe that while I want to keep the content rolling here, Abigail suddenly started paying my bills.

So, back to whatever school this is, I forgot the name. We’ll call it Sexy Hogwarts for now. Grace is still suffering from her “altitude sickness,” which we all know was caused by Lia poisoning her. Look, the girl was in a secret room chanting in a strange language. Something’s going on with her.

The altitude sickness has gone on long enough, and the nausea has been severe enough that Macy wants to involve the school nurse, but Grace is insistent upon doing nothing that might cause further attention. Grace promises that if the sickness lasts for another twenty-four hours, she’ll do something about it.

I ride it out, trying to ignore how much I wish my mom were here to baby me a little, and eventually fall into a fitful sleep, one I don’t wake from until an alarm blares at six thirty the next morning.

I very much like how Wolff refers back to Grace missing her parents when it comes to little, non-trauma-related things. Remember when we read Apollonia and the only time we really heard about the dead mom was during PTSD flashbacks to her actual death? It really made it difficult to connect with the character as a whole, entire person, because the loss of her mother only seemed to be important to the character if it was employed at moments of high drama so the reader would think, “Oh, this poor woman, she’s so broken and special.” Grace being sick to her stomach and wanting her mother there to comfort her is more natural, regardless of the trauma involved in losing her parents. She’s thinking about her mother not just when the trauma can be deployed to maximum dramatic effect, and this makes Grace seem like more of a person than…

I can’t even remember that character’s name from Apollonia. Because she was never a person.

Grace does some dry-heaving and ends up achy, but the effects of the altitude sickness have worn off. She’s still not going to go to class, though, even when Macy gets up.

The first thing she does is slap at her alarm until it stops again—something I am eternally grateful for, considering she picked the most grating, annoying sound ever created to wake up to—but it takes her only a second to climb out of bed and come over to me.

If this were basically any other YA genre fiction, we’d hear all about how terrible and annoying Macy is for constantly hovering. It’s so nice to finally read a book in this book club that wasn’t written by a selfish asshole.

Grace tells Macy that she’s fine, but really sore.

“Yuck. That’s probably dehydration.” She crosses to the fridge in the corner of the room and pulls out a pitcher of water.

What the shit? Before, Macy was getting bottled water out of there. Now, she’s got a pitcher, too? How much water does she need?

Oh my god.

Is Macy a mermaid? Are these clues?

Macy tells Grace she’ll come back and check on her between classes, but doesn’t insist on Grace going to class. In fact, she insists that Grace takes it easy:

“Good, then you can consider this a mental health day, of the Holy crap, I just moved to Alaska! variety.”

“There’s an actual mental health day for that?” I tease, moving around until I’m sitting up with my back against the wall.

Macy snorts. “There are whole mental health months for that. Alaska’s not easy.”

And do you know what doesn’t happen? Grace doesn’t think about how much harder she’s had it than everyone and how much tougher she is because she doesn’t need mental health days. She’s like, yeah, that makes sense. And she doesn’t try to prove anything.

Macy tells Grace to stay put, watch tv, eat junk food now that her stomach isn’t upset anymore, and just chill until she feels up to starting classes. Grace is concerned that her uncle won’t be as understanding. There’s a knock at the door, which Macy assumes is Uncle Finn, but it’s not.

Except it’s not Uncle Finn at all. It’s Flint, who takes one look at Macy in her tiny nightshirt and me in last night’s dress and smeared makeup and starts grinning like a dork.

“Looking good, ladies.” He gives a low whistle. “Guess you decided to take the tea party up a notch or four last night, huh?”

Tea party? That has to be intentional. That has to be a reference to the tea thing in Lia’s room, right? Because they weren’t at a tea party with Flint. And it would be weird if the tea in Lia’s room, the sudden nausea, and this comment weren’t connected in some way. Please, please, please, don’t let me down, first actually readable book we’ve done here.

Macy goes to the bathroom and Flint asks Grace why she left the party and where she went.

Because telling him the whole reason involves trying to explain my bizarre reaction to Jaxon—not to mention everything that came after—I settle for part of the truth. “The altitude really started getting to me. I felt like I was going to throw up, so I came back to the room.”

I have this feeling that Flint knows she saw Lia and is stopping by to see if she’ll say, “I saw this weird girl last night and I think she poisoned me.” And I feel that way because of the tea party comment and the fact that we’re seeing Grace actively withhold that information.

But I’m more concerned with the fact that we’ve spent more time with hot, kind, non-love interest Flint and we’re still supposed to be super hung up on and invested in the sexiness of Jaxon. Is this going to end up being a Team Edward/Team Jacob thing? Because if it does, we know she’s not going to pick the guy who isn’t white. That’s the formula for Twilight-esque romance love triangles: she will always pick the white guy.

Flint is glad to hear that Grace feels better now, because he wants to invite her to a snowball fight. It takes some cajoling, because Grace is like, yeah, uh, I don’t know how to make a snowball. He insists that it’ll be fine, it’s not hard to be in a snowball fight, and Macy says:

“Careful, Grace.” Macy comes out of the bathroom, her hair wrapped in a towel. “Never trust a…” She trails off when Flint turns to her, brows raised.

Excuseth me? Never trust a what, Macy? Because while I’m aware that she was about to say “Never trust a dragon,” and stopped herself, we’re talking about a white character saying this about a Black character and trailing off. Never trust a what, Macy?

I find it weirder still that Grace doesn’t think, “Never trust a what, Macy?” San Diego is arguably more diverse than an Alaskan mountain. Grace is going to know about racism and, since she doesn’t know about supernatural creatures yet, why isn’t she thinking, “Holy shit, is my cousin a racist?”

It’s a weird remark to overlook.

Grace figures that since she needs more friends at the school, she might as well participate in this giant, planned snowball war. Which I find disappointing, from a real world standpoint. Everybody knows that spontaneous snowball fights are more fun.

After he convinces Grace to participate, Flint gives her a kiss on the cheek and leaves.

I’m left with a wide-eyed, openmouthed Macy, who is all but clapping her hands in delight over one little peck. And the sad knowledge that no matter how adorable Flint is, he doesn’t make me feel anything close to what Jaxon does.

I mean, on the one hand, Flint is kind of treating her like fresh meat. That can’t be very flattering. But I would rather read about Grace thinking along those lines, about being the new girl and fresh and interesting (the way Bella was soured on the boys in Forks) and how it will wear off than the mindset of, jeez, this guy is so super nice, too bad I’m into the guy who treats me like shit and has been treating me like shit since the moment I walked through the door.

But that’s the end of the chapter. I’m left continually wondering if the chapters are this short because they were intended to be released in serial form. Like, did Entangled think about getting into the Radish/Wattpad/Kiss app game and change direction? There are sixty-five chapters here. That sounds like three seasons of a Radish serial, is all I’m saying. Was Entangled flirting with a serialized app of their own? Or did Wolff just write it this way? The short chapters don’t exactly keep the story moving; remember, we’re on chapter fourteen and it’s only been like thirty hours of story. And the next chapter picks up exactly where the last one left off; we’ve gone through every single moment of Grace being at Katmere. So far, there hasn’t been enough story to support this amount of text.

But hey, at least this chapter title can accurately describe the contents of the chapter. I’ll take it.

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One Comment

  1. Ace Dragon
    Ace Dragon

    Through your recaps I’m starting to really enjoy this book – Grace and Macy are sweet and Grace’s PoV sounds pretty well-written (with the exception of some genre blindness and an awkward romance thing).
    The short chapters remind me of The Summoner (and sequels), a series I picked up because it sounded like sword & sorcery Pokémon and later learned was a Wattpad serial. I didn’t notice the chapter size while reading, but when I paid closer attention I noticed that one chapter could be as little as 2-4 pages long, and I believe also had the “end of chapter cliffhanger that got immediately resolved the beginning of next chapter” issue. I think you might be onto something wondering if Crave was originally meant to be serialized, now I’m wondering that too.

    October 5, 2022

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