Oh yay, we're back to the bitch now. Is this chapter over yet? WHAT? You mean it's just started?!

... at least they're SHORT!

So Jessica's adoptive mother is there when she gets home, and Jessica immediately acts like a snotty bitch. Because we can't expect anything better from this character. Can we switch back to the boring witches, please?

ANNE CONFRONTED JESSICA as soon as she walked in the front door. "You're late."
"Sorry," Jessica answered sardonically. "They love me so much, they asked me to stay a bit longer."
"Jessica … on the first day of school?" Anne's voice was heavy with disappointment.
"Learn the art of sarcasm," Jessica suggested. "I needed to walk off some energy, so I swung by the woods on my way home."

  1. Isn't the point of sarcasm to be witty or biting? Because this is neither.
  2. And I love how "Learn the art of sarcasm" is "suggested," as if Jessica actually means it.
  3. Again, are we supposed to actually LIKE this character? She's as endearing as a nail gun in the mouth.
  4. So they sit there and have really really inept dialogue.

"Thank god." Anne smiled and started to fill out the forms that the school had mailed home. An awkward moment went by in silence.

"By the way, I've decided to sell you to a black market organ smuggling ring, because nobody likes you or cares if you live or die. Enjoy your last night of life."

"Anything interesting happen at school?" Anne asked eventually, though Jessica could tell that her mind was not on the question.
"Nope," Jessica answered absently as she searched through her bag for a letter one of her teachers had given out for parents. She handed it to Anne.
After scanning the letter, Anne asked, "How are your teachers?"
"That's nice."

... because nothing makes an interesting book like boring dialogue that even the characters aren't interested in.

And what is the point of this? Why are we being shown this? Why, to emphasize that NOBODY UNDERSTAAAAAAAANNDDDS Jessica and that parents are totally lame and don't appreciate your awesome speshulness.">

But you know what the problem with that idea is? Well, if the parents are shown as being very nice accommodating accepting people who just want the bare minimum of acceptable social behavior, even though it's obvious that NO amount of acceptance, accommodation or general kindness will make them acceptable to the Brat Sue. I mean, if they're the fucking Dursleys then this "they're lame and can't appreciate my awesome uniqueness" MAKES SOME SENSE. But there is NO REASON for this woman to be so hated.

It's just SO obvious that this was written by a teenager embittered by the fact that daddy won't let her wreck his third car in a year. Even Smeyer, who has the brain and maturity of a 13-year-old brat princess, doesn't make her adult characters like this. And she has the subtlety of a seal-clubber.

As usual, their conversation was more of a mandatory social gesture than a method of communication. Anne and Jessica had learned long before that they had nothing in common and had little chance of ever engaging in a truly two-sided talk about anything.

Bullshit. They live in the same house, in the same town, and they share the same bathroom. You could have two people who didn't even speak the same LANGUAGE in that situation, and they could still find something to communicate about.

Occasionally one actually paid attention to what the other was saying, but such circumstances usually led to arguments.

"Could you pass the gravy, please?"
"FUCK YOU! I'm a dark speshul snowflake! Get the gravy yourself!"

Another moment of silence ensued.

... in which Jessica desperately searched for something else to piss and moan about.

Jessica announces that she's going to her room, and Anne falls to her knees and praises the Lord, since she probably won't see her for another few years. Oooh, who wants to bet that since Jessica is a dark'n'tortured rebel, her room is all black and bleak and sealed off?

Leaving her backpack on the couch, she went upstairs and into the dimly lit cavern she had created for herself.

... and by, "created for herself," she means she constructed with everything the woman she obviously hates bought for her rather than just telling her, "Tough shit, you're getting a pink comforter and you will LIKE IT."

The windows were covered by heavy black curtains, and the shades were down. A small beam of light squeezed underneath the curtains, but that was all.

Because of course, emo outcasts hate the sunlight. You can't be a pretentious wangsty outcast and like the sunlight! It's not allowed! It's in the rulebook!

Rule #90: You must do badly at school. This is, of course, the fault of everyone but you.
Rule #91: You are only allowed to wear makeup if it makes you look horribly unattractive.
Rule #92: You must shun sunlight. The sun is for conformists.
Rule #93: You must buy all your clothes from Hot Topic. This makes you look edgy.
Rule #94: You must deliberately piss off everyone else. This is their fault, because they can't appreciate your awesomeness.

The bed, which was little more than a mattress on wheels, had been pushed into a corner. The sheets and comforter were black, as were all but one of the pillows.

How delightfully predictable. Her stuff is all black, just like all the other noncomformist rebels who follow their own tune and don't listen to anyone else. Just once I'd like to have an angsty rebel who is just fine with pink and lace.

The exception was deep violet and made of fake suede. Anne had bought the pillow for Jessica several years ago, when she had still been attempting to influence the girl's tastes.

She used to advise Jessica to also not buy guns on eBay, and go on killing sprees at her elementary school, but she gave up after the third massacre. Jessica was too awesomely uniquely rebellious to listen to her.

Besides the pillow and Jessica's magenta Lava lamp, there was little else in the room that wasn't black.

... magenta? It was RED two chapters ago!

Also you notice something painfully absent from this book, particularly since this is allegedly the room of a super-awesome prodigy writer? Can you guess what it is?



BOOKS! I did not edit out anything in this room - there are no books! WHAT KIND OF A WRITER DOESN'T READ? A shitty one, that's who. I mean, just contemplate the book collection for one of the world's greatest fantasy writers! A writer who READS absorbs information, learns about the right way to tell stories and and is given new insights into the human mind! It means that they are also humble enough to acknowledge that people other than their own worthless asses are worst reading.

A writer who DOESN'T read enough, especially of the type of fiction they want to write, ends up... well, like this:
"I've only read what the public school system forced me to, yet I'm a bestseller. Life is unfair!"

"I'm sexy. Have you noticed I'm sexy? I'm really sexy because I'm showing my stomach. If you show skin, you're sexy!"

It's also worth noting that these authors boast about not reading stuff in the same genre as them, and regularly trash classic authors like Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and William Goldman as being inferior to them. And yet they read about as much as this self-insert Sue.

A laptop computer and printer stood out brightly against their dark surroundings.

Yes, you can just smell the misery and deprivation of Jessica's life. How horrible her mother is to her, giving her a LAPTOP back when desktop ones were still the norm.

They sat atop a black wooden desk, which they shared with a strewn assortment of floppy disks.

... wow, remember floppy disks? I barely do either.

The computer was one of the few things Jessica cherished.

But she would never let it know that. She was cold and icy to her computer, for she was a wangsty rebel and it could never understand her pain!

Seriously, this says a lot about her. She hates all people JUST BECAUSE, and only likes her computer. Why? Because she's an antisocial bitch.

Here, in the shadowed niche she had created for herself, she churned out the novels that had been her escape from the world since she moved to Ramsa.

Yes, because her middle-class life of privilege is SO HORRIBLE and she has to escape from all the misery of her wretched everyday grind.

The twenty-nine manuscripts that she had written in the past five years,

FUCK! Even penny dreadful writers couldn't write that fast, and they were usually churning out multiple cheesy books at the same time on a strict deadline. A workaholic on speed couldn't produce that much. If she's written twenty-nine books in five years WHILE also being a full-time student, those books must be as short as a hamster's tail. Either that, or they are really, really shitty books.

the brown envelopes that held her contracts for two of them, and a few copies of the published book Tiger, Tiger were the only other non-black objects in the room.

I'm shocked she didn't command the publishers to make the covers black with no designs or pictures, or even the TITLE, so they would fit her oh-so-gloomy-outcast-rebel personality. You know, like the Black Album, but pretentious.

It had been only two years earlier that she had first begun the search for a publisher; she could hardly believe how quickly things had gone since.

"Well well, since Twilight won't be published for another six years, there's a gap in the market for plotless books about selfish whiny bitchy teenage girls who are inexplicably obsessed with asshole vampires who worship them despite their horrible personality. Ka-ching!"

Honestly, this is one of the biggest problems with this book, and one of the big problems it shares with Twilight: it appeals to the absolute worst in teenagers. It validates all the immature, bratty, stupid, over-the-top things they feel and says that the problem is the rest of the world not "understanding" what a speshul snowflake they are and how wonderful they are. So all the immature, dim girls who haven't figured out how life works think it's all just like them.

Her first book, Tiger, Tiger, had been released about a week before, under the pen name Ash Night. The second one, Dark Flame, was presently sitting on her editor's desk awaiting the woman's comments.

Dear Jessica Ashley Simpson... I mean, "Allodola,"
Your latest novel is pretty obviously a thinly veiled ripoff of Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, your protagonist is a huge bitch, and the entire story is just an outlet for your cliche teenage angst. Also, since you've written a thinly-veiled ripoff of The Vampire Lestat IN a book that is a thinly-veiled ripoff of The Vampire Lestat, you may have actually ripped a hole in the universe.
Your Underpaid Editor.

Jessica flopped down onto her bed and looked up at the ceiling. Sometimes ideas for her books would strike as she lay like this, staring into oblivion, but usually they came from her dreams.

Yes, because the best books always come from dreams. You can totally get great plots from your dreams, where you are on a starship populated by giant newts who later decide to turn you into a cat in time for you to fight the Balrog.

I mean, just think of the great literature spawned by dreams!

Even while she was writing, it was as if she was in a dream — one which her waking mind did not understand. She never quite knew what was happening in any of the numerous novels that she was working on at any given time.

Sounds like how Laurell K. Hamilton writes. And her books are just the HEIGHT of artistry, aren't they?

But she had learned not to read the manuscripts until they were finished. The only time she had broken that pattern, the flow of words had abruptly stopped. That had been the only story she disliked. The scenes written after she had read it seemed forced and unnatural. Trying to think them up had been a chore.

Yes, this sounds like SUCH a good idea when you don't even think up your own plots or characters - just wing it and don't even THINK about what you've written. Continuity is for LOSERS.

So Anne wakes her up after awhile and tells her that it's time for dinner. Jessica turns on the bitch machine and snarls at her.

"I'll eat later, Anne," she snapped. Normally she would have at least joined Anne for dinner, just to maintain the illusion of a familial relationship.

Yes, because adoption doesn't count as a familial relationship. You're only part of a family if you're born into it.


But when she was in the mood to write, that pull was stronger than her desire to get along with her adopted mother.

Of course, that isn't saying much since she doesn't have ANY desire to get along with her mother. But the chapter's over, so I won't complain.