Seven chapters in and I am already so done with this book. Ugh. Twenty-Seven more of these babies to go. This book suffers from what I like to call “Anita Blake Syndrome” in which the book begins with an interesting premise and then promptly abandons it until the last three chapters to do pointless nonsense. I don’t want the pointless filler, give me the plot!
So we left off with Violet taking a nap in River’s arms, which she has no reason to do at this point. She doesn’t know him, she doesn’t have any reason to trust him, and she has no idea what his intentions are. She doesn’t even do what most renters would do and run a background check on him.
It doesn’t really make sense with Violet’s character thus far. She’s not a paragon of responsibility to be sure, but she does seem to have a brain in her skull. Her sudden and inexplicable infatuation with River is just frustrating.
Twilight has its fingerprints all over this work, so far as the tropes go. And a main character who is otherwise shown to be reasonably mature for their age as well as intelligent doing incredibly brainless things for or with a man they just met annoys the hell out of me. It’s not consistent with Violet’s character to take to someone instantly. She’s anti-social, snobbish, pretentious and doesn’t get along well with others.
Violet has River pack their picnic basket and goes over to talk to Sunshine. To see if she’s okay after her traumatic incident, you might be thinking. No, it’s to see if she wants to attend the movie. Sunshine asks if Luke will be there, and Violet tells her that he’ll be trying to grope Maddy, so not to get her hopes up about any kissy kissy during the movie.
There’s some pointless banter about what exactly “second base” is anymore. It really depends on the day whether I can find this odd description amusing or just sigh at its absurdity.
Sunshine asks what she’s found out about River. Violet demonstrates once again that she’s willing to make incredibly poor decisions because of River.
“I haven’t asked to see his ID, and I won’t, because it’ll sound stupid now. And he’s terrible at answering questions, so I know almost less than I did before.”
No, no, no! That is not a valid excuse. Now I could make the excuse that you’re seventeen and have no real world experience, but since the book tries to paint you as a mature and very adult, that’s not gonna fly. Even in routine transactions like apartment rentals, most people will request a background check. Why? Because no one wants Norman Bates living in their rental property!
Even dismissing the possibility of violence towards yourself and Luke, which you obviously do, a background check or at least proof of identity covers you in terms of liability. Did you make him pay a deposit if he broke anything? No. If he runs off and leaves your guesthouse trashed, that damage is on you. Because you think it’s “stupid” to ask for his ID.
Not to mention that it’s extremely sketchy that he showed up with a wad of cash and you aren’t even remotely curious how he got it.
She and River go to the movie. She comments in her inner monologue that she is left alone by most of the kids from school.
Everyone knew that our parents had been gone for a long time, but they didn’t know whether to be envious of our freedom or make fun of us for having weird artistic-parent problems. So people left us alone. I guess they thought we were snobs, like Daniel Leap.
Because you are snobs. But that’s beside the point. I wouldn’t be torn between envy and the urge to tease, I’d be clamoring to get child protective services on the phone. You are minors, you can’t legally be on your own. If your parents have left you alone for a long time and the whole town knows it, then someone should have done something about it.
We don’t even have the indication that their parents left someone there to check in on them. They could have asked Sunshine’s parents, since they live nearby. Nope. There is no one there to see that the kids have electricity, running water, or food in the house.
I have a hard time believing that the whole town is seething with resentment at the White family. Enough that they’d let two underage children starve and live in squalor.
River sits down to watch the movie with Violet, only to get up a short while later and wander off. When she catches sight of him again, he’s playing with a couple of kids from town.
She makes sure to point out an auburn haired kid, who will feature prominently in the story, despite his character not contributing a lot in the grand scheme of things.
Violet thinks that this is just so charming. Even though he’s completely blown off the picnic and the movie they’d planned to see. She’s totally okay with this interruption because it gives the author a chance to indulge in some Norman Rockwell style whimsy.
Violet’s mood takes a dip when they return to their picnic and she spies Luke with Maddy.
I spotted Luke making out with Maddy off to the side underneath an oak tree. He had a flask in one hand and was groping her back with the other.
‘Oh Luke, you are such a disappointment.’ I thought. And then realized that it was a stupid thing to say, even in my head.
At least you can admit that it’s stupid. This blatant condescension is sickening. Luke has been dating Maddy. It’s completely consensual on both of their parts. I don’t see how it is any of Violet’s concern what he does or doesn’t do with his girlfriend.
And you’re a hypocrite, because in a few chapters you’re going to be getting physical with River. A man you barely know. I’m not trying to be judgey here. It is a woman’s choice what she chooses to do sexually, but I’m trying to point out there is a double standard here. Violet can make out with River who she just met today, but Luke shouldn’t make out with girlfriend? What the hell is up with that?
It goes back to that weird vibe I get from Violet about sexuality. It seems to make her extremely squeamish about anyone else expressing sexuality, but not about her own. It’s just odd to me. If you are able to talk about and express your own, you should be able to accept the fact that others have the same drive.
So River slips her a twenty that he folded into the shape of an elephant. River says that she should take it, so she can pay for groceries in future.
We get some brief exposition about why she hasn’t crushed on any of the boys in her class. Why? Puberty. She talks about how some boys get gangly and others bulk up before they can fill out. So she’s not only pretentious, she’s also kind of shallow. Heaven forbid you look past the appearance to the personality inside.
River was different from those boys. River made my insides slither and slide in that good way. River was something entirely new.
Because River is hot.
Gratuitous swear words: 2. It’s an all time low. Don’t worry, it’ll go up again in later chapters.