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 In which there is more pointless filler!

Hello everyone! Today's chapter doesn't really have much going on in it, since it is nothing but filler. And because of that, I have some poutine and mango juice to eat while I do this. So, without further ado, let's get started!

The chapter opens up with dinner being over and all the dishes washed. Meanwhile, Gabriel is out on the veranda and reading a book, while Ivy is cleaning up the house and wiping everything down. And already, I feel like throwing something at this description because look at it! This is like a typical fifties family, with the sweet and domestic housewife and the emotionally distant man of the household!

Bethany remarks on how Ivy is coming across as obsessive in her cleaning, but she claims that "it might have just been her way of feeling closer to home". And Bethany then states that time didn't exist in Heaven so it didn't need to be fulfilled. And then she tries to be profound and deep by stating that "Finding things to do was very important on earth; it was what gave life purpose".

Yeah, I'd be a lot more impressed if you actually acted like an angel, Bethany. Anyways, Gabriel senses Bethany's confusion and suggests that they take a walk and watch the sunset, which Bethany agrees to. She asks Ivy if she's coming, but Ivy says that they'll need to dress warmer. When Bethany points out that neither Gabriel nor Ivy can feel the cold, Ivy states that they want to avoid drawing attention to themselves.

Er... how?! You're already drawing plenty of attention to yourselves!

Oh, whatever. They start making their way down to the beach, and Bethany states that because their house is on a hill, they have to walk single file down some narrow steps. Bethany then whines in her head about how much easier it would be to just fly down there, but doesn't voice it because "of the lecture that would follow if [she] did. Yeah, no duh, Bethany. God, you're just some whiny teenage girl at this point, not even an angel!

They finally reach the beach and Bethany takes off her shoes so she can run around in the sand. She also describes how nice the ocean is before she splashes Ivy. Gabriel hears their laughter, and then Ivy points at Gabriel while looking at Bethany. And what does Bethany do? She jumps on his back! Gabriel runs around a little before getting Bethany off his back, and then there's a seaweed fight!

God... this is worse than anime filler episodes, 'cause at least those have more charm to them! This is boring and tedious and just... there's nothing plot-related going on!

But something else happens to distract me from this pointless seaweed fight! They hear a little girl crying and see her running up to her mother. It appears that the girl got a bug bite and the mother is trying to apply some aloe vera gel but can't because her daughter won't sit still. So Ivy steps in, and the girl is instantly calmed, allowing Ivy to apply the aloe vera gel, along with using magic! And check this out!

The child stared at her in awe, and I saw her eyes flicker to the space above her head, where her halo was. It was usually only visible to us. Was it possible that the little girl, with a child's heightened awareness, may have sensed Ivy's aura?

Wait... so only little children can see halos? This is pretty random, you know? And what, do these angels have the stereotypical golden rings floating above their heads? And then we move on!

The little girl is instantly better and the mother remarks on the gel, and Ivy then states that it's amazing as to what science can do. Ivy? That was the mother's gel you used, not your own! And you even used magic! I thought you weren't even supposed to be using your magic! Gabriel's changed the weather and Ivy is healing wounds through magic, and they're lecturing Bethany on not giving them away? No wonder she does whatever she wants!

They then head into town and we get a description of the main street of Venus Cove!

The town center was a quaint place, full of antique shops and cafés that served tea and iced cakes on mismatched china. The shops had all closed save for the one pub and the ice cream parlor. We had barely walked a few feet when I heard a high-pitched voice calling out, carried over the chords of the banjo-playing busker on the street corner.

Bethany? We call it a 'bar' in North America, not a pub. Again, I ask, what was the editor even doing with this book?!

But on a more serious note, notice how this town is described? It's clearly a rather lavish place like one of those suburban neighbourhoods and is meant to be oh-so-wonderful and sweet and cute and happy! Yet this town apparently thrives on tourism. But what happens when the tourist season is over? There needs to be another industry for this town to survive on, you know, otherwise it would be extremely poor!

Also, I'll admit, because I'm Canadian, I do not know much about Georgia and the southern United States. However, the descriptions here do not even sound like Georgia! If anything, Venus Cove sounds more like a town along the California coast! Hell, it's more like Adornetto took a small Australian town and tried to paint it off as American! das_mervin gave a much more in-depth explanation of Georgia and the portrayal of the American South in her sporking of this book, which I recommend you check out. However, I will state this. You need to include the things that make a place the way it is if you're going to set a story there, Adornetto!

My novel, for example. I'm setting it in Toronto, even though I don't live there (I have visited there a couple of times, though). Now, Toronto is an incredibly large and diverse city. It's got several ethnic enclaves and neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Little India, Greektown, Koreatown, Little Italy, Portugal Village, Little Poland, Little Malta! It also has a large LGBT community! So all my characters are of different ethnicities and different sexualities and orientations! My heroine is a pansexual Tamil-Canadian, her best friend is an asexual French lesbian, a teacher of theirs is a black transgender woman, two guys and a girl are in a polyamourous relationship, and even my heroine's dad is bisexual! Even the demon characters have different orientations! The love interest of the heroine is a pansexual and metrosexual/gender non-conforming male demon, and the love interest of the best friend is a bisexual female demon!

Sorry if I went off on a tangent. But the point is, I'm making sure that there is diversity in my novel because of the setting. Adornetto has not included things that make Georgia, well, Georgia. It would be like setting a novel in Hawai'i with only white characters (like that movie Aloha, with Emma Stone playing a native Hawaiian!), or even setting a novel in Baltimore and St. Louis while failing to mention race tensions and the crime rates!

But having one banjo in there isn't going to make me believe that this is Georgia. And on that note, why is he even there? If he's dreaming of making it big, then he should go to one of the bigger cities, not try and make it big in this small town!

*sighs* Let's just get back to the story. As it turns out, Molly was calling over to Bethany, or 'Beth', as she calls her. This surprises Bethany, who states that, "there was an intimacy about 'Beth' that I liked".

I'll admit, this is a little nice. It shows that Bethany is slowly forming a connection. But in a better novel, this would be a lot more profound, since the only 'connection' we see between Bethany and Molly is the slut-shaming. Such as right now!

When I turned back, I saw Molly with a group of friends sitting on a bench outside the ice cream parlor. She was wearing a backless halter dress, which was completely inappropriate given the weather, and was perched on the lap of a boy with sun-bleached hair and tropical board shorts. His broad hands were stroking over her bare back in long strokes.

Board shorts? They're called 'swimming trunks' in North America. Board shorts are what girls wear over their swimsuits. Again, why couldn't you just set this story in Australia, Adornetto?

Whatever. Rather than stopping Bethany from greeting Molly, Ivy and Gabriel encourage Bethany to introduce her to them, even though they didn't do the same in chapter one with Xavier! So anyways, they go over to Molly, who gets off the lap of the now-disgruntled surfer, who quickly becomes slack-jawed after seeing Ivy. And when Molly sees Gabriel and Ivy, she's promptly rendered speechless by their appearances. Bethany introduces them to her, and Molly just stammers out a greeting.

And then we get this.

This was something of a surprise. I had watched her all day talking freely with the boys at school, luring and teasing them with her charm, then flitting away like an exotic butterfly.

*scowls* Don't you dare drag butterflies into your slut-shaming, Bethany. So Gabriel then greets Molly stiffly while Ivy is a bit more polite. But before anything else can happen, there's a fight breaking out in front of the bar. And some people who are drinking coffee for some reason see this and run inside. Who drinks coffee at a bar?

Well, Gabriel then makes sure that Molly, Bethany, and Ivy are behind him, because he's The Man and he must protect the fragile women. *rolls eyes* Please. Stop with the heteronormativity, dammit!

Gabriel is absolutely offended so he goes over to try and break up the fight. Everyone is confused, as if it's weird that someone would try and stop a fight from escalating, and instead of getting confused, the two men get even more angry. And they even put their own fight on hold to take down Gabriel! However, "they swung wildly at him, but every punch failed to find its mark. Yet, Gabriel had not moved. Eventually both men tired and slumped to the ground, their chests heaving from the effort".

*cracks up laughing* This image looks so stupid in my head. But why isn't anyone else finding this ridiculous? They should at least be suspicious! And again, Gabriel is using his magic out in the open again!

Molly praises Gabriel, which he brushes off. And- oh, this is just too funny. Gabriel calls himself a pacifist and states that there's no honour in violence! Oh really? What a contradiction against Biblical canon, in which he is said to be the angel who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and who is a warrior angel! Hell, I'm no Christian, but I know this stuff from my Christian Ethics class in high school! And not to mention, research!

Well, moving on now, Molly offers Bethany some ice cream, and by that, she force-feeds it to her. Bethany says that it tastes good and Molly offers to buy her some. However, Gabriel decides that it's time to go home, even though they're just harmlessly interacting with the locals! Molly's disappointed, but she then says she has something for Bethany. And it's the lip gloss that Bethany had borrowed in gym class!

Again, this is a rather sweet and thoughtful gesture, to be honest. Bethany is touched by the gift and then she and her siblings head home. When they get home, Bethany goes to her room to get ready for bed. And she then decides she hasn't described herself enough, so she gives another description, this time comparing herself to the other girls in Venus Cove!

Compared with the other girls at Venus Cove, I knew I must look strange. My skin was alabaster pale while they still sported tans from the summer. My eyes were wide and brown, my pupils hugely dilated. Molly and her friends looked as if they never tired of experimenting with their hair, but mine was simply parted in the middle and fell in natural chesnut waves. I had a full, coral-colored mouth, which, I was later to learn, could give the impression that I was sulking.

How many more times are you going to describe yourself, dammit?! This is just pure filler, I tell you! We don't need another description of how you look, especially since you use a lot of flattering terms to describe yourself! You know how I describe my heroine? I try and use simple terms that aren't too flattering!

Adornetto decides that she hasn't fully annoyed me, so she has Bethany change into flannel pajamas and uses even that to make herself sound more unique, claiming that the other girls would never dream of wearing something so unglamorous. So what, you assume that the girls of Venus Cove dress like Victoria's Secret models when they go to bed? Like this?

Nightwear doesn't determine how special you are, Bethany. And you know, you're really coming across as judgmental right now. It's getting annoying.

Bethany talks about her room a little more, saying that she loves the simple elegance. Oh, like the French doors, the balcony, and the muslin canopy? Doesn't sound very simple to me. Just how sheltered is Adornetto from the real world?

Well, anyways, we're almost done this chapter! Bethany starts to go to sleep and then we get this... whatever it is...

As I drifted in and out of sleep, I imagined a stranger coming quietly into my room. I felt his weight as he sat on the edge of my bed in silence. I was sure he was watching me as I slept, but I didn't dare open my eyes because I knew he would prove to be a figment of my imagination and I wanted the illusion to continue a little longer. The boy lifted his hand to brush a wisp of hair out of my eyes and then leaned to kiss my forehead. His kiss was like being touched by butterfly wings. I felt no alarm; I knew I could trust this stranger with my life. I heard him get up to close the doors to the balcony before turning to leave.

"Good night, Bethany," the voice of Xavier Woods whispered. "Sweet dreams."

"Good night, Xavier," I said dreamily, but when I opened my eyes I found the room empty. Then my eyelids were too heavy to keep open, and the dim lamplight and the sound of the sea faded away as a deep and peaceful sleep overcame me.

... I don't even know what the hell that was? Was she hallucinating? This was just incredibly out-of-nowhere that I don't know how to react.

But with that, we finally finish chapter 5! And man, was this so exhausting to read through! So much filler was in here, and I'm just glad that it's finished. I'll see you all in Chapter 6!

Continue to: Chapter 6- French Class

Go back to: Chapter 4- Earthbound


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