Chosen Chapter 4

Yet another chapter about Zoey celebrating her birthday. Things are really starting to take off now. Zoey and grandma go to a local restaurant where grandma has wine and Zoey has a “brown pop” and some devil’s food cake. This is somehow ironic to Zoey and I’m convinced that PCK’s editor killed herself after chapter 2. I don’t see any professional worth their salt letting that slip past. Anywho, now that grandma is liquored up she’s willing to dish on her daughter.

“Your mom’s a weak woman who can only find her identity through a man,” she said as she sipped her red wine. “Unfortunately, she chose a really bad man.”

That’s both rude and presumptuous. How does grandma know that? Maybe Zoey’s mom believes, genuinely, all the same things as Stepdad. Maybe she’s found someone who share her values. Maybe until then she was afraid to express them in front of her mom.

And if Stepdad really is a dividing influence, shouldn’t this bother grandma? This is her daughter she’s talking about so flippantly. I’d be hurt watching one of my relatives come under a bad influence and transform into someone I don’t know. Then again, I’m not an alien wearing the skin of a human I murdered in an alleyway. Instead, grandma talks like Zoey and her in high school and Zoey’s mom is just another bitchy classmate.

Zoey says she loves her grandma because she doesn’t lie. No, she’s a hand puppet of the author and tells you everything you want to hear, Zoey. There’s a bit of a difference. Then Zoey relates her birthday party “disaster” and grandma moves on to the topic of dating.

“You know, you’re going to have to straighten out this boyfriend issue. Heath and Erik are only going to put up with each other for about this long.” She held up her fingers, measuring out roughly an inch’s worth of “this long.”

No they’re not. Heath is under mind control and will accept whatever role Zoey decides to designate him as. As far as Erik goes, he’s just a colossal pussy and will go along with what Zoey wants while grumbling about it. Then Zoey relates the story from the last book in an overly long paragraph. Grandma says that maybe Zoey should go home and sort out the mess, quickly adding that she means the birthday thing and not the boyfriend issue. Because it’s better to string them all along until one of them decides to kill the competition.

With her purpose served, grandma says that it’s time for Zoey to go home. They hug, Zoey gets reminded that she’s special and grandma is proud then Zoey drives back to the school. She talks a bit about the undeadlings from last time and how they’ve become the stereotypical vampires but they smell. Also, their teeth are crooked and most of them have a lazy eye. And it’s all Neferet’s fault which has been making her worry her pants off, which is convenient for Erik. So Zoey drives around “looking” for Stevie for no apparent reason.

I hadn’t really expected any kind of answer, so when the words roll down your window kept drifting around and around my mind, I thought they were the lyrics to a song on the radio. But my radio wasn’t on, and the words had no music with them— plus, they were inside my head and not inside my radio.

So Zoey rolls her window down. What about that voice that keeps telling you kill your parents, Zoey? Why aren’t you obeying that? PCK takes this time to remind us that Oklahoma is awesome but not as much as Zoey. The weather is warm but it doesn’t matter because an advance fledgling like her doesn’t feel cold the same way us squishy humans do.

Zoey smells a stink and that isn’t the name of a book by Seuss. She figures out that stink must belong to one of the undeadlings so she pulls over and locks the car before getting out. She follows the stink to an alley where Stevie is noshing on a nondescript homeless person. Zoey tells her that’s gross and asks her to stop and Stevie turns around and hisses at her.

“Stevie Rae, it’s me. You can turn off the hissing crap. Plus, it’s a ridiculous vampyre cliché.”

So is writing about vampires that are completely different from those in Dracula, Zoey. As is being an author avatar who can do no wrong. In fact, if you were to eliminate all the clichés from this book it would be twenty pages long and be nothing but Zoey whining about cake and presents.

Stevie Rae frowned, which was actually an improvement, because then her lips covered her teeth. “Go away, Zoey,” she said. Her voice was cold and flat, making what used to be a sweet Okie accent sound like rough trailer trash, but she’d said my name, which was all the encouragement I needed.

See kids, those Saturday morning cartoons were right. Bad guys sound and look and even smell bad. People who sound like trailer trash are bad people just waiting to happen and aren’t even people, so says Zoey. Zoey says she’s not going anywhere and that Stevie needs to let go of that “street person” so they can talk. Stevie says she remembers Zoey likes the taste of blood and offers her a nibble of the homeless lady. Zoey says gross, ew gross, she doesn’t know where that lady has been and then tries to tell her no offense. Zoey tells Stevie to stop, Stevie ignores her and then it’s time for a gratuitous display of power.

Zoey makes a “mini tornado” which picks up the homeless lady and carries her out to the street and away from Stevie. Stevie compliments Zoey on it, because even the antagonists must praise her, and we discover that PCK has recently seen X-Men. Zoey says that Stevie could be good with her element if she just practiced, Stevie says the elements have nothing to do with her now, Zoey says that’s not possible because she had earth when she was alive. That’s the kind of air tight logic I expect from you,  Zoey. It’s not possible for my gun to be empty because it wasn’t when it was loaded.

Zoey tells Stevie that she should come back to the dorm and she’ll sneak her in. Her eyes stop glowing red for a second and then she says that no, she’s dirty and disgusting. Zoey also bags on Stevie’s clothes, complaining about her sweat pants and the black trench coat she’s wearing “like the ones those freaky goth kids like to wear”. It’s good to show contempt for your audience, PCK.

Zoey says they’ll clean her up, Stevie says she can’t because she hungers. Stevie also says that she enjoys the kill and doesn’t care how she looks. PCK tries to tempt her with a pair of cowboy boots and a buckle you could beat someone to death with it. This wins her over and Zoey tells Stevie where to meet her, promising to bring clothes, food and blood.

Stevie says that there’s no point and there’s nothing to figure out. Zoey says to leave that up to her. She’s been reading a lot about resurrections and decided it can’t be that hard to perform one and it’s got to be easier if the person is only undead. Stevie says that she’ll come along but that Zoey will be sorry. Just like that time Zoey insisted that they eat at the Budget Taco Buffet even though Stevie was certain she heard they were being shut down.

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