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In which we learn more about Bethany's "duties" as an angel, and in which she is even more incompetent than before.

*glances at title chapter before singing* Baby, I can see your halo; you know you're my saving grace!

Happy New Year and welcome to chapter 12 everyone! I'm so sorry for the lateness, as I was preoccupied with a lot more things. But here we go! Here is where things get even more appallingly bad, so hold on tight everyone!

We open up the chapter with Bethany telling us about God. She has never seen Him before, but has felt His presence and heard His voice. She then states that God's voice is completely different to how Hollywood shows it.

His voice wasn't what people imagined, booming and reverberating as depicted in epic Hollywood movies. Rather it was as subtle as a whisper and moved through our thoughts as gently as a breeze through tall reeds. 

So God whispers to people. Uh, there's a reason why people like to portray Him as having a deep voice: because it shows His almighty power! Anyways, Bethany continues to say that God saw all the greatest suffering and goes onto say that Ivy has seen God before but hasn't shared this encounter with Gabriel or Bethany.

Okay, where did this come from? Why is this opening the chapter? This feels very random and out of place, it doesn't flow with the story at all. Bethany then states that as much as she loves spending time on Earth, she misses the peace of Heaven. According to her, "there was no conflict, no dissension apart from that one historic uprising that resulted in the Kingdom's first and only eviction. Although it had altered the destiny of humankind forever, it was rarely talked about."

Lucifer wasn't the only one who had been kicked out of Heaven, actually. His followers were also kicked out from three spheres and they were all of different ranks. So there were Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels who were expelled along with Lucifer. But my main question: why is it never talked about? Surely it should be taught to all the new angels about what happens if they go against God and used as an example of blasphemy and disobedience?

Bethany states that she's vaguely aware of the existence of a darker world, but rarely thought about it because she was too busy. Then how can you be aware of it?!

Now then, she continues to describe her duties in Heaven.

In the Kingdom, I looked after the souls of children when they first entered the realm. It had been my job to comfort them, to tell them that in time they would see their parents again if they let go of their doubts. I was a sort of celestial usher for preschoolers.

So, your duty is taking care of children who have died and gone to Heaven? And you reassure them that their parents will join them soon? Well, Bethany... what about the children who died because of their parents? Children who were abused and killed by them? You can't exactly reassure them that their parents will join them, because they'll hate their parents! And what do you say to children who ask why God doesn't love them if they're dead? Who ask why God let them die? You're in for some very awkward and sad Sunday school lessons, Bethany.

And preschoolers are incredibly young, so they won't know anything about God! They're only between the ages of four to six! They're won't understand anything about what happened to them, so they'll be asking questions such as, "why did God let my parents beat me?", "why did God let me have cancer?", "why did God let me die in that crash?".

Also, way to manipulate those children, Bethany! "Oh don't worry, kids! You can only see your parents again if you just shut up and quit asking questions!". And on another note, why haven't we seen anything about this? Oh, right. Because Adornetto was too preoccupied with her imaginary boyfriend to even think about the traits of a character. Dammit!

Moving on, Bethany states that she's glad that she's not a guardian angel, claiming that, "they were usually overworked". Well, it would have made the plot more interesting, to be honest! Like, Bethany being a young guardian angel sent down to come to the aid of Xavier, who was still grieving over his dead girlfriend, or something like that because she's a baby angel who needs experience. That way, the romance would be better developed, Bethany could grow as a character and as an angel, and Xavier would slowly learn to love again. It's sad when a book has potential but never uses it.

I'm gonna move on before this makes me more frustrated. We cut to Bethany sitting with Xavier under a maple tree and eating lunch with him. She notices his hand and calls it "slender but masculine". Right, because men aren't allowed to have feminine features? Screw that!

Xavier asks Bethany if she can proofread a speech he had written, which makes her flattered and blushy like she's a kid and not an angel! He thanks her, says he owes her one and asks her birthday, to which Bethany says that its February 30th. Once she remembers that February has only 28 days, she corrects it to the 30th of April. And then she goes onto say this.

Even when I made a fool of myself, my conversations with Xavier were always engaging.

He could talk about the most mundane of things and still manage to make them fascinating. I loved the sound of his voice and would have been happy listening to him read names from a phone book. Was this a symptom of falling in love, I wondered?

It can, you know. But I'm really not convinced because you're not showing me that Bethany is in love, Adornetto. It's just all talk and no show! You need to show them having conversations that are engaging, such as them getting excited over something they both mutually like or discussing something that they're both studying in class and becoming very involved in it! Besides, Xavier's too much of a Nice Guy™ to make this even cute or sweet to read about.

Bethany tries to eat her "roast vegetable focaccia" but she finds something she doesn't like. And really?! Just how sheltered are you, Adornetto?! Who even eats that for lunch?! Anyways, Xavier offers her his own sandwich, which she turns down, but instead of respecting her wishes, he switches their sandwiches. What a jerkass.

Moving on, Bethany and Xavier come across a commotion in the hallways on their way to class. Apparently, some accident has happened and everyone is heading outside to see what exactly happened, so Bethany and Xavier follow. In fact, the crowd "seemed to part instinctively to let the school captain through", and Bethany actually does something here! Not something that helps, but something, at least!

Basically, there was a head-on collision between two senior students. One of the drivers is fine, albeit disoriented, but the other driver is seriously injured and still inside her car.

While Xavier calls the teachers for help, Bethany rushes to help the girl out of the car. Apparently, "blood was flowing freely from a cut on her forehead, her mouth was open, but her eyes were closed and her body was limp". Why is this being described as a cut? Because it sounds a lot more serious than just a simple cut on the head!

Bethany then decides to move her away from the wreckage onto the sidewalk. While this is a good idea, you should not be handling her so roughly like that. This girl had a head-on collision with another car and got jerked around pretty badly in there, so she probably got some very fatal injuries. I mean, she has a cut on her forehead that's bleeding, right? Her neck could have snapped or some glass would have cut her there. She's about to die, so she needs to be handled with more care than what Bethany is doing right now!

Bleh. Bethany telepathically calls Gabriel to the scene and then concentrates on sending some sort of healing energy into her. Apparently, her soul is almost detaching itself from the body, and Bethany herself is starting to get exhausted from using her energy to heal the girl. Right then, Gabriel comes to the rescue and uses his powers to close up the girl's wounds! And Bethany seems to know what the injuries are as she describes "broken ribs, punctured lung, the twisted wrist that had snapped as easily as a twig". Okay, how do you know all that, Bethany?

The paramedics arrive and by then, the girl is breathing normally and only a few minor cuts are left untouched. And as the girl is lifted away, we learn her name. Her name? Grace.

And so that's what the title is about! *deadpan* To quote the great Skwisgaar Skwigelf, this ams totally dildoes!

After this accident, all the students go back to class and Gabriel helps Bethany up to the front steps, where Ivy has suddenly appeared. Xavier asks Bethany if she's alright, but Gabriel tells him to go back to class. Does Xavier listen? Of course not! And then Bethany faints after mumbling Xavier's name and collapsing into Gabriel's arms.

*sighs* I can do this, I'm almost done... I hope...

Bethany wakes up in her room at seven p.m., with Phantom sleeping on her legs. She decides to get up and after a momentary spell of dizziness from waking up so suddenly, she goes downstairs, "where Schubert's 'Ave Maria' was playing in the background". *Unimpressed* What, so they're gonna start playing Der Hölle Rache next?! Or the Te Deum?! We get it, they're angels!

Anyways, Bethany is greeted by Gabriel and Ivy, and is surprised to see that they're smiling. Why? Because Bethany saved a girl's life today! She tries to brush it off and say that Gabriel saved her, but he says that he just healed her physical wounds. Bethany, on the other hand, "spoke to her; it was [her] voice that called her back and [her] strength that kept her soul from leaving her body".

I don't even have the strength to make it through the rest of their dialogue, so I'm skipping to the end. Why? Because I can.

Later on, Bethany is sitting in a hammock with a freakin' mohair blanket around her, 'cause a regular blanket isn't enough! No, she must have everything special!

Bleh. Almost done! Anyways, she ponders over the afternoon and thinks over the mission.

In one way, I felt I understood the purpose of our mission better than before, but at the same time I'd never been more confused. Today had been a prime example of what I should be doing-- protecting the sanctity of life. Instead I'd been spending my time absorbed in a teenage obsession with a boy who didn't really know anything about me. Poor Xavier, I thought. He would never be able to understand me, no matter how hard he tried. 

Uh, yeah! You've been so obsessed with a boy that doesn't know anything about you and have been forgetting about your mission! Can't believe it took you this long to figure it out!

Bethany continues to lament some more, and with that, we are finally finished chapter 12! I'm so sorry that this was so late, I've been very busy this past while. Let me know what you think, and I'll see you in chapter 13!

PS: I'm planning on taking a new sporking project: For Such a Time by Kate Breslin. It'll be coming soon, so do look forward to it~

Continue to: Chapter 13- His Kiss

Go back to: Chapter 11- Head over Heels
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In which Bethany goes against divine orders and Romeo & Juliet is used as yet another template for a star-crossed romance.

missabnormal: Last chapter, I had had enough of everything that was going on, so I decided that I needed some help. So, I decided to bring back Aoba and Ren to help me out with the sporking of this chapter!

Aoba: *grumbling* I can't believe I have to do this.

Ren: Well, she asked us politely, so we must help her out.

missabnormal: So! We open up the chapter with the front door opening as Bethany returns from her date. Gabriel clearly isn't pleased with Bethany's actions and he's making it clear when Bethany walks in. However, rather than feeling guilty, Bethany is "still remembering Xavier's voice and remembering his strong hand on [her] back as he ushered [her] into Sweethearts, as well as the fresh scent of his cologne". 

Of course! Because as if Bethany has done anything wrong, right? It's not like she should be ashamed for going against her Father's orders!

Aoba: Bethany continues by saying that she knew that Gabriel would have known she had snuck out when she climbed down the balcony, and that he would have known where she went and who she was with. *disbelieving* Well if you knew that he would know, why'd you do it, you idiot?! I swear, this Bethany's a real brat.

"You shouldn't have waited up, I was perfectly safe," I said. The words unintentionally came out sounding too offhand, impudent rather than apologetic. "I'm sorry if I worried you," I added as an afterthought.

Well if you were sorry, you wouldn't have done it! *angry* Jeez, she's annoying! She really sounds more like some bratty teenager instead of an angel!

Ren: Gabriel says something similar, telling Bethany that if she were truly sorry, she wouldn't have snuck out. He's refusing to look at Bethany, which she hates. When Bethany tries to protest, Gabriel stops her and starts to scold her.

"I was apprehensive about having you with us on this mission, and now you have proven yourself to be completely erratic." He looked as if the words left a bad taste in his mouth. "You're young and inexperienced--your aura is warmer and more human than any other angel's I have known, and yet you were chosen. I sensed we would encounter problems with you, but others believed all would be well. But now I see you've made your decision--you've chosen a passing fancy over your family." He rose abruptly.

Gabriel is very much correct in what he's saying. Bethany has been acting unprofessional throughout this mission and is clearly disobeying orders. But I am a little confused. Why hasn't Bethany been recalled from Earth yet? If she's going against orders, then she should not be allowed to do this mission.

missabnormal: *sarcastically* Oh, don't be silly! As if anyone could ever punish little Bethany!

Bleh. Bethany tries to reason with Gabriel, who puts an end to her protests, telling her that she can talk in the morning. Ivy, on the other hand, is looking all sad and worried, so Bethany decides to try and talk to her, telling her that she wishes that Gabriel would do "that prophet-of-doom routine". Well, you know why he's doing it? Because you're being a brat and going against divine orders!

Ivy consoles Bethany and tells her that she will realise that her love for Xavier is no more than an infatuation, and her feelings will pass. And right now, we get one of the most appalling passages. And that's why we need to spork it.

Ivy and Gabriel were talking in riddles.

No, they're not! They're being perfectly clear that you are not following orders and you're just ignoring them!

missabnormal: Damn right! And here you are, acting like they're not giving you an extension on your curfew!

How did they expect me to see a problem when they couldn't even articulate it?

Ren: The problem, which I assume is Bethany dating Xavier, is that it goes against orders, and that she is running the risk of being expelled from Heaven. They understand more than her, so she should be listening to them.

I knew my outing with Xavier was a minor deviation from the agenda, but what was the harm in that?

missabnormal: *angry* That's it. I've reached my limit. *she stands up, picks up the table, and hurls it out the window, making Aoba and Ren jump in surprise.*

*enraged* There is a lot of wrong in what you are doing right now, you twit! You are going against your own Father for the sake of some hot guy, and you're insisting that there's nothing wrong! You are intentionally hindering this mission for your own selfish desires and wants, and you're doing things that will get you kicked out of Heaven! You're not even a friggin' angel, you're just a bratty teenage girl who has been spoiled her whole damn life and now you're throwing a temper tantrum because you're not getting your way! You are so stupid that you don't even understand the rules and even though you have them explained to you a million times, you just won't listen and... Gaaaaaahhhhhh! *continues to rage*

Aoba: *nervously and worried* She just threw out the table... man, Missy must have really seen a lot of stupid in this book.

Ren: At this point, Bethany is intentionally hindering their mission for the sake of Xavier. I can see why Missy here is getting agitated.

What was the point of being on earth and having human experiences if we were going to pretend that they didn't matter?

This is a mission, dammit! And besides, becoming obsessed with some cute guy is not a human experience!

Ren: You are on Earth for a reason, and falling in love is not one of them.

Despite what my siblings thought was best, I didn't want my feelings for Xavier to pass.

This is definitely sounding stubborn.

missabnormal: Bethany, you are just hindering your siblings who are trying to get things done! Get over yourself, for crying out loud!

That made him sound like a cold or a virus that would eventually work its way out of my system.

missabnormal: He is pretty much an obsession of yours, Bethany. So stop trying to deny the obvious.

Never had I experienced such an all-consuming desire for someone's presence.

This is infatuation, not love! And it is certainly not healthy!

An expression I'd read somewhere crossed my mind: "The heart wants what the heart desires." I couldn't remember where it came from, but whoever wrote it had been right.

missabnormal: *annoyed* The quote is actually "the heart wants what it wants" and it's by Emily Dickinson. It was written in a letter to Samuel Bowles, and yes, while someone doesn't have much control over who they fall in love with, they can do things that will help them fall out of love, too!

Don't try and mangle up quotes to justify this sort of crap!

If Xavier was an illness, then I didn't want to recover. If my attraction to him constituted an offense that might incur divine retribution, then so be it. Let it rain down. I didn't care.

*all three are staring in stunned shock*

Aoba: Did... Did Bethany just say that she didn't care whether she gets expelled from Heaven or even destroyed?

Ren: It appears so. It's shocking to see that she is truly indifferent to her mission.

missabnormal: There is no way that Bethany is an angel at this point. Hell, when Phantom comes up to her, Bethany just whines and actually says that "at least one member of the household didn't hate [her]". Yeah, she's a brat.

Bethany has a shower before going to bed, and we get some meaningless prose about letting her wings free and all that. Once she's done, she goes to bed while continuing to angst over Xavier. She says that she doesn't want to hurt Gabriel or Ivy but according to her, "[her] heart seemed to turn to stone whenever [she] thought of never seeing Xavier again". 

Aoba: There's a difference between angst and whinyness, you know? *rolls his eyes* This is just so pathetic.

missabnormal: We haven't seen anything yet, though!

I wished he was in my room right then. I knew what I would ask of him: to escort me from my prison. And I knew he wouldn't hesitate. In my imagination I was the maiden tied to the train tracks, and the face of my tormentor alternated between that of my brother's and sister's. I realized I was being irrational, turning the situation into a melodrama, but I couldn't stop myself. How could I explain to my family that Xavier was much more than a boy I'd developed a crush on? We'd only had a few short encounters and one date, but that was irrelevant. How could I make them see that a similar encounter was unlikely even if I lingered on the earth for a thousand lifetimes? I still possessed my celestial wisdom, and I knew it with the same certainty that I knew my days on this verdant planet were numbered.

*Aoba and missabnormal burst into laughter*

Aoba: *laughing* Did... Did she seriously compare herself to one of those old westerns with the girl tied onto the tracks?! This is just gold, there's no way that she is an angel now!

missabnormal: *giggling* This is just pure Wangst, actually!

Ren: *looking amused* I find it hard to believe that this is supposed to be love. It's coming across as infatuation and pure stubbornness.

missabnormal: You're right. And besides, this is absolutely nothing compared to how Ren loves Aoba in DRAMAtical Murder. Sure, he's part of Aoba's conscience, but he truly loves Aoba and wishes to be there for him forever, which is why he eventually gets his own body so he can continue loving Aoba! Not to mention, they have a lot more romance and chemistry together than Bethany and Xavier ever hope to have!

Whatever. Ren, you go ahead and take over.

Ren: Bethany wonders how Heaven will react upon hearing about her actions. She's aware that the consequences may be severe, but she wonders whether it's too much to ask for some understanding and compassion. And yes, it is. Bethany is going against orders, and willingly so, and I imagine that the authorities up in Heaven are not going to be very approving of what she is doing, especially because it has been mentioned so many times that falling in love with a human is forbidden.

The matter is never brought up again for the rest of the weekend, and we finally skip to Monday morning, after Bethany and Gabriel have arrived at school. Bethany states that Molly and her friends were a good distraction from these events.

Aoba: So Bethany is sitting with the popular rich girls, listening to them making fun of their least favourite teachers' bad fashion sense. Apparently, one teacher "looked as though his hair had been cut by a lawnmower", another teacher "wore skirts that would work better as carpet", and another teacher "with her tailored slacks tucked under her breasts, had been dubbed Harry High-Pants". *appalled* Damn, these are some really shallow brats. Why the hell are they making fun of their teachers' fashion?

missabnormal: *quivering with rage* Here's their justification.

Most of them saw teachers as an alien species, undeserving of common courtesy, but despite their laughter, I knew that there was no real malice intended in their jibes; they were just bored.

That. That is their reason why. Because they don't even see their teachers as human and because they're bored, so it's okay to be rude to them.

*eerily calm* Aoba, Ren, please step back.

Ren: *concerned* Are you okay, Missy?

missabnormal: *venomously, yet with an angry smile* No. I'm really mad now. *she flips over another table*

I absolutely hate people like them! These shallow idiots bully their teachers behind their back, simply because of their fashion sense, and they don't even see them as human beings worthy of respect! These kinds of people are the ones I hate the most! It's one thing to not like a teacher because of their teaching methods, but it's a completely different thing altogether to viciously mock them and treat them as if they're not even human! This sort of crap pisses me off so much, I just want to slap these girls until they learn to respect their poor teachers! Dear God, I hate this sleazy entitlement and smugness that these princesses have, I hate it so so much! *rages on*

Aoba: *stunned* Looks like she's reached her breaking point again. *gets an idea* Hey, Missy!

missabnormal: *still raging* What do you-

*Almost immediately, she is calm and completely lovestruck*

missabnormal: *dreamily* Oh yeah... Now that's the stuff... Oh Ruki, you sexy diva~ Go on and seduce me with those dangerous eyes of yours~

Aoba: *awkwardly* I just found those lying around, actually. Who would've thought those would work... Oh well, that means I have to spork, I guess.

The girls' conversation turns to that of prom shopping. According to a girl called Hayley, they're going to "get the train to the city and check out the boutiques in Punch Lane". 

Guess what? Punch Lane is the name of an actual restaurant in Melbourne, Australia! If she's going to use Australian businesses, why not just set the story in Australia, dammit?!

Ren: And why are all the girls obsessed with buying dresses and makeup? This is something that truly bothers me. And the fact that the author herself is a woman makes this all the more bewildering.

Well, Molly agrees to go shopping before asking Bethany if she's coming. Bethany says that she doesn't know if she's going to prom. This apparently offends Molly so much, who asks her why, and Bethany tells her that she doesn't have a date. But apparently, some boys had already asked her to prom, but Bethany had turned them down in the hopes that Xavier would ask her. Another girl tells Bethany that finding a dress is more important. And then, Xavier shows up.

Aoba: *dryly* Great. *glances back* Hey, Missy! You done over there?

missabnormal: *calmer* Oh yes, I feel so much better. So, what's happening?

Ren: Xavier Woods has just showed up.

missabnormal: Great. *sighs* I'll take over now.

So Xavier, being the cocky ass that he is, asks the girls whether they don't mind if he "[steals] Beth for a minute", to which Molly tells him that they're in the middle of an important conversation. Xavier doesn't care and takes Bethany away to an empty table. God, I hate him!

Bethany asks him about what he's doing and Xavier tells her that he "[seems] to be making a habit of rescuing [her]". I swear, this guy is just oozing arrogance! And stop indulging in her rescue fetish, dammit!

Apparently, both Xavier and Bethany are attracting some attention from others, some looking jealous, and others looking curious. Bethany tells him that and gets uncomfortable, but Xavier simply tells her that people like to gossip and that they can't help that. She asks him why he's not sitting with friends, and he tells her that he finds her interesting. They're soon interrupted by two boys from the swim team, and Xavier praises them for their performance at a swim meet.

After this short bit as well as Bethany getting all blushy over Xavier again, we find out why Xavier wanted to talk to Bethany. Apparently, Bethany's started molting!

He pulled a long, white, iridescent feather, flecked with rose, from the pocket of his blazer. "I found this in my car last night after I drove you home."

I snatched the feather from his hand and slipped it between the covers of my planner. I had no idea how it had ended up in Xavier's car. My wings had been firmly tucked away.

Well, if they were firmly tucked away, why are you molting?! Even more, why haven't your wings been removed before going down to Earth?! This is just ridiculous!

Aoba: Xavier asks her if it's a good luck charm, and Bethany says it's something like that. However, Xavier's noticed that Bethany's looking a little agitated and asks her what's wrong, but Bethany doesn't reply. But rather than leaving her alone, he presses further, telling her that she can trust him, that he's a loyal guy.

Look, you prick! If she doesn't want to talk, don't force her to, dammit!

This so-called flirting goes on a little bit longer before they joke about relationships and all that, and at the end of all this, Bethany has a revelation.

There was nothing I could do about it. My attachment to Xavier Woods was instant and all-consuming. Suddenly my old life seemed far away. I certainly didn't yearn for Heaven as I knew Gabriel and Ivy did. For them, life on earth was a daily reminder of the limitations of flesh. For me, it was a reminder of the wonders of being human.

She really doesn't give a damn about the mission anymore, doesn't she?

Ren: In the next few passages, Bethany is describing how she has started to conceal her feelings for Xavier, and this is has clearly strained her relationship with Gabriel and Ivy. According to her, she senses "a rift between [them] now that hadn't been there before. [Their] relationship seemed more fragile, and there were uncomfortable silences at the dinner table. Every night [she] fell asleep to the sound of their whispered conversations and felt certain that [her] disobedience was the subject of discussion". But instead of feeling guilt over this, Bethany does nothing.

missabnormal: *disgusted* So Bethany really doesn't care about divine orders, doesn't she? She's not even an angel at this point!

Bethany has started looking forward to getting up, and has started getting up without Ivy coming to wake her up! Not to mention, she's started styling her hair a little more in the hopes of Xavier noticing! She's also been thinking about her conversations with Xavier, and has started planning witty remarks to use in the future! *rolls her eyes* Yeah, I am really not convinced that this is love.

We move on, and Bethany starts saying that she's envious of Molly and her group. Why?

What they took for granted, I could never have: a future on this planet. They would grow to have families of their own, careers to explore, and a lifetime of memories to share with the partners they'd choose. I was just a tourist living on borrowed time. For this reason, I knew I should curb my feelings for Xavier rather than allow them to develop. But if I'd learned anything about teenage romance, it was that intensity wasn't dictated by duration. Three months was the norm, six months marked a turning point, and if a relationship lasted a year, the pair was more or less engaged. I didn't know how long I had on earth, but whether it was a month or a year, I wasn't going to waste a single day of it. After all, every minute spent with Xavier would form the basis of memories I would need to sustain me for eternity.

Aoba: You say you need to curb your feelings, but you're not doing anything to stop yourself! You're probably gonna get blasted by your Father with the way you're going!

Oh, whatever. Bethany continues talking about how they spend time together by walking through town and spending time at the Sweethearts café, which has suddenly become their 'place'. They sometimes talk about their day, or they sit in silence. Bethany goes on about how she likes to just look at him, orgasms over his appearance and scent-

missabnormal: *appalled* Aoba!

Aoba: *defensive* What? She is!

missabnormal: Yeah, yeah. But I have to comment on this. I am not convinced that they're in love, because it's all about their physical appearances.

I mentioned this in my sporking of chapter 10. In my original series, Yamini and Ruki fall in love not because of appearances but because they see themselves in each other! They also have similar interests, which they bond over, and when they fall in love, they turn into blushing dorks, despite being badasses! It's absolutely adorable to see a couple become blushing dorks because it's cute, it's sweet, and it's genuine!

Here, they're too smooth with each other! All they talk about is how their love is the greatest in the world, but we don't see them bonding or getting to know one another! There really isn't that much romance at all! So it's just coming across as forced and superficial! In fact, Bethany is going on about how she's become more popular at school because she's going out with Xavier, and so people have started becoming friendly towards her!

It really is not coming across as real, true love. If anything, it's almost as if Xavier's dating the new girl at school just to boost his popularity, or Bethany is going out with the class president just so she can be popular! Basically, it's coming across as really shallow.

*sighs* Whatever. One day, Bethany tells Xavier that literature is her favourite subject and teases Xavier about not knowing what 'enjambment' means.

Aoba: Xavier then asks Bethany why she likes literature so much. According to her, she likes "the way each person can have a completely different understanding of the same word or sentence". When Xavier asks if that frustrates her, she simply says that it's better to stop trying to make sense of things. She then whines a little about Gabriel and Ivy, Xavier says something about changing her world, and soon, it's time for Bethany to go to literature class!

Apparently, Bethany's always happy to go to literature class, which is taught by a woman named Miss Castle. She calls it a "diverse class", despite only consisting of twelve students. There are two goth girls, a group of nerdy girls, and two stereotypical jock boys.

Ren: Miss Castle comes into the classroom and is described as a "tall, slender woman in her early forties with masses of dark curly hair and dreamy eyes". 

missabnormal: Anyone else get this mental image? Because I definitely am.

Seems like Professor Trelawney's found a new job teaching muggles about Muggle Literature!

Ren: Bethany continues to describe her in this passage.

Judging by the way she carried herself and the way she spoke, she would have been more comfortable in a Jane Austen novel, in which women rode in carriages and witty repartee flew across a drawing room like sparks. She was passionate about language, and it didn't matter what text we were studying, she identified vividly with the heroine each time. Her teaching was so animated, people sometimes stopped to look in the classroom, where they'd see Miss Castle thumping the teacher's desk, firing off questions or gesticulating wildly to illustrate a point. I wouldn't have been surprised to walk in one day and find her standing on top of her desk or swinging from the light fixtures.

*raises an eyebrow* It's one thing to have a teacher who is passionate about the subject they're teaching, but it's completely different to portray them in a ridiculous manner.

missabnormal: I love it when teachers are passionate about what they teach. Like my Grade 12 English teacher, who was also the principal of my high school. *smiles* I still have so many fond memories of that class. He'd make some of the most cringe-worthy puns that we still laughed at and it was a genuinely fun class that everyone loved! He made Hamlet, short stories, and The Great Gatsby so much fun to learn!

Anyways, there's something else I need to point out. Miss Castle identifies with 'the heroine'? Sorry to break it to you, but there aren't too many classical literature that focuses on female characters, especially the ones you study in high school. You know who the most popular classic literary heroines are?

  • Elizabeth Bennet, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

  • Jane Eyre, from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre

  • Scarlett O'Hara, from Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind

  • Jo March, from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

  • Anna Karenina, from Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

  • Eponine, from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

  • Anne Shirley, from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

There's a few more, but the point is, you don't study any of this in high school. You know what I studied in high school? Short stories and poems, and the main literary works I studied were the OdysseyLord of the FliesTo Kill a MockingbirdThe Kite RunnerFahrenheit 451The Great GatsbyLife of Pi, and Fifth Business. I also studied four Shakespeare plays: A Midsummer Night's DreamMacbethRomeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. Yeah, I know everyone's high school English classes are different, but there's no way that you're reading books that only have heroines in them!

Speaking of Shakespeare, guess what Bethany's studying?

We'd started the term studying Romeo and Juliet in conjunction with Shakespeare's love sonnets. Now we were assigned the task of writing our own love poems, which would be recited to the class. The studious girls, who'd never had to rely on their own imaginations before, flew into a panic. This wasn't something they couldn't look up on the Internet.

Aoba: What's with the whole obsession about romantic love? What about family and friendship? Oh wait, I forgot, those are unimportant in comparison to romance. *rolls eyes*

Ren: The girls in this class are having trouble getting inspired, so Miss Castle tells them to think about the qualities that they find attractive in a boy.

"Well, I think intelligence is very important," a girl named Bianca volunteered.

"Obviously, he should be a good provider," her friend Hannah piped up.

missabnormal: *scathingly* Right, because men are supposed to provide for the helpless women! God, this pisses me off!

Ren: A goth girl named Alicia says that people who are dark and disturbed are interesting. And then, one of the jock boys named Tyler speaks up.

"Chicks shouldn't talk so much," drawled Tyler from the back of the room. It was the first thing we'd heard him say all term, and Miss Castle was graciously prepared to overlook its derogatory nature.

Aoba: Wait, wasn't he the same guy who called Lady Capulet an MILF? So, Miss Castle calls him a thug and kicks him out of the class for that immature comment, but she's not scolding him for his obviously sexist comment here?! This is just ridiculous!

*sighs* Miss Castle goes on more about falling in love, and a boy named Ben Carter speaks for all three of us when he "[puts] his face in his hands".

And then, Bethany finally gives an idea!

"Great love stories have to be tragic," I said suddenly.

*surprised* What? No, they don't! There's Pride and PrejudiceJane EyrePersuasionAnne of Green GablesNorth and SouthA Room with a View, and The Princess Bride! There's plenty of classic love stories that have happy endings!

Miss Castle encourages Bethany to elaborate, and she immediately brings up Romeo and Juliet!

"Well, take Romeo and Juliet for example: It's the fact that they're kept apart that makes their love stronger."

No, Romeo and Juliet were horny teenagers who were merely infatuated with each other and who committed suicide after three days.

"Big deal--they both end up dead," snorted Ben.

Yes! Thank you, Ben!

Ren: I think he's the only sane character in this book.

"They'd have ended up divorced if they'd stayed alive," announced Bianca. "Did anyone else notice that it took Romeo all of five seconds to switch from Rosaline to Juliet?"

missabnormal: Huh. I'm starting to like Bianca as well.

And this was exactly what my classmates and I liked to point out when we studied this play! That they were just infatuated with each other!

"That's because he knew Juliet was the one from the moment he met her," I said.

"Puh-lease," Bianca retorted. "You can't know that you love someone after two minutes. He just wanted to get in her pants. Romeo is just like every other horny teenage boy."

"He didn't know anything about her," Ben said. "All his praise is for her physical attributes: 'Juliet is the sun' and blah blah blah. He just thinks she's a babe."

Aoba: *impressed* Wow. They're pretty much speaking for us! And all their points are true!

Ren: Well, I'm glad that I'm able to actually agree with some characters for once.

missabnormal: Everything they're saying is absolutely correct. Romeo and Juliet were just infatuated with each other from the very beginning, because they're horny teenagers! And yeah, when I was thirteen, I honestly believed it was an amazing love story, but I grew up and realised that it's not as amazing as these YA authors like to make it out to be!

"I think it's because after he met her everyone else became insignificant," I said. "He knew right away that she was going to be his whole world."

Aoba: Ben groans, which is what we're all doing right now. However, Miss Castle is taking Bethany's side like the hopeless romantic she is.

Miss Castle gave me a meaningful smile. Being a hopeless romantic, she couldn't help but take Romeo's side. Unlike most of the teachers at Bryce Hamilton, who competed to see who could get to the parking lot first after the final bell rang, she wasn't jaded. She was a dreamer. I suspected that if I told Miss Castle I was a celestial being on a mission to save the world, she wouldn't have even blinked.

missabnormal: You're doing jack on this mission, Bethany. And no, she probably would have asked you if you were sleeping well. And on that note, we are finally done!

*she gives Aoba and Ren hugs* Thank you so much for helping me out, you guys! I really appreciate it!

Aoba: *smiles tiredly* No problem. But you owe us big time.

Ren: The pleasure is ours.

*they both take their leave*

missabnormal: Well, I hope you all enjoyed this sporking! I'll see you again in Chapter 12!

Continue to: Chapter 12- Saving Grace

Go back to: Chapter 10- Rebel
missabnormal: (Default)
In which there is even more geographical fail, heteronormativity, and an unconvincing love story!

Hello everyone, and welcome to chapter 10 of Halo! Here, this chapter is going to be quite annoying and frustrating to read, so, let's get going!

We open up with Bethany talking about how she's ignoring Xavier's invitation for a date, and says that it was easier than expected because he's at rowing camp. So she feels more relaxed now. She believes that she wouldn't be able to back out "if he were standing right in front of me, nutmeg hair fringing those limpid blue eyes". 

*sighs* I... I'm not going to even comment on this, otherwise I'd only be repeating myself.

It's currently lunchtime, and Bethany is sitting with Molly and her friends, "listening halfheartedly to their litany of complaints about school, boys, and parents".*rolls eyes* Yeah, the only reason why you're sitting with them is to prove just how much better you are than them, right? According to Bethany, "their conversations mostly followed a set pattern, and I felt I already knew the lines by heart. Today the prom was the subject of discussion-- no surprise there".

Right, because that's all teenage girls talk about, huh? About boys and looking good, right? *seething* I hate it when teenage girls are always characterised as shallow little twits! And also, this all for the sake of showing just how much of a good girl Bethany is and how different she is!

And hey, let's add a dash of slut-shaming while we're at it!

"Oh my God, there's so much to think about," Molly said, stretching out on the asphalt like a cat. Her friends were scattered around her, some on the garden benches, their skirts hitched up to maximize the impact of the early spring sun. I sat cross-legged beside Molly, tugging at my skirt so that it modestly covered my knees.

God, the internalised misogyny is really strong in this book! And Bethany, sitting cross-legged while wearing a skirt isn't exactly the most comfortable thing, you know? Not to mention, not what a Good Girl should do, right? But on a more serious note, this sort of attitude is extremely disturbing, this internalised misogyny among girls. It's encouraging toxic atttitudes in teenage girls, and there's already enough of female rivalry in media! Why can't there just be some valuable, genuine friendships between girls that aren't one girl kissing the ground where her friend walks?

We continue, and we find out that these girls are extremely frivolous in their spending when a girl named Megan Judd pulls out her planner and starts reading her to-do list for prom!

"Book French manicure. Look for sexy shoes. Buy clutch. Decide on jewelry. Find celebrity hairstyle to copy. Decide between Hawaiian Sunset and Champagne spray tan. Book limo. The list goes on..."

"You forgot the most important thing-- find dress," said Hayley.

*fuming* Adornetto, will you just shut up with your preaching about how girls are supposed to behave? This is all excessively feminine, not to mention, extremely costly! Limos? French manicures? Celebrity hairstyles? These girls are clearly from rich and wealthy families, otherwise they would not be talking like this!

Oh, and for those who are curious about a French manicure, and what makes it so special, I just looked it up. There's not much of a difference between an American manicure and a French manicure. According to this website:

  • French manicure: The classic French manicure utilizes a clear base that leaves your nail with a fresh, pinkish style of tone. This is applied over the entire nail, and then when completed a very dense, white tip is painted across the nail.

  • American manicure: The process of the American manicure is the same, but instead of a clear base, multiple colors are available for application. A common form of this manicure is to use a flesh color for the base of the nail and then a bright color is used instead of a dense white color for the tip.

Point is, a French manicure is supposed to give style and sophistication. But of course! It's only worth getting because it's French, and France is the land of haute couture and fashion!

Bethany is baffled at how they're planning for an event that's far away. And we then get this!

"It's going to cost so much." Taylah sighed. "I'm going to end up blowing my budget and spending every dollar I've made working at that crappy bakery."

"I'm cashed up," Molly said proudly. "I've been saving from working at the drugstore since last year."

"My parents are paying for everything," bragged Megan. "They've agreed to pay for the whole thing as long as I pass all my exams-- even a party bus if we want one."

*sighs* I'm going to have to really comment on this. You know, this is where we see just how sheltered Adornetto is.

For all the talk that Bethany does about how much better she is than these girls and how she's an angel and all that, she's still hanging out with the Popular Crowd, which is Molly and her friends. She never attempts to befriend any of the "Nerds". Think about it.

Molly is pretty much the Queen Bee of the school, and all these girls are pretty, popular, and wealthy. Megan's parents are paying for all her expenses for prom, which shows just how rich she is. Adornetto clearly wants to eat her cake and have it as well. She wants Bethany to be a part of the Popular Crowd, but also show just how much better she is than them because they're shallow and materialistic, while Bethany is smart and profound. And it really looks like Bethany's just a fake person who is pretending to be interested in the Popular Crowd so she herself can be popular by proxy. Adornetto, were you a part of the Popular Crowd in school? Because from the way you're writing them, it really seems like you were a part of this crowd in high school.

Also, these girls are spending all of their money from their jobs for one night. So it seems like they only got these jobs so they can pay for all their expensive things for prom. Adornetto, do you not have any idea as to why teenagers get part-time jobs? I've been working since my senior year of high school, mainly to get experience in working with children in order to prepare for university! And some teenagers get these jobs to get extra spending money to buy things they wanted, or to have their own money!

In addition, when I had to get all done up for my school banquet and graduation? Yes, my mom helped me with it, but we never did any of this frivolous spending on pricey things! I sometimes even reused jewelry from previous years or borrowed some of my mom's jewelry! Hell, I wear my grad saree on special occasions, and for grad, I even used some of my mom's jewelry, makeup, and accessories! These girls here, they clearly have no idea about the reality that others live because they're so sheltered!

On a side note, Stephen King did a much better job showing Carrie's preparation for prom. You know what Carrie did? She sewed her own dress from fabric she bought herself, without any support from her mother! It was done so much better in a horror/tragedy novel that had a prom going wrong, than in a YA novel like this!

And what is Bethany doing? She's an angel who's been sent down to help humans. So why isn't Bethany doing anything? She could be encouraging these girls not to spend so frivolously and to donate some of their money to charity, or even save it up for what really matters later in life! Hell, she could even be encouraging them to use their privileges to help others! But no! All she's doing is just listening and then going on about how they're so shallow and how she's better than them. Yeah, some angel you are, Bethany.

*shakes head* Let's move on. *reads ahead* Oh, but it seems like Adornetto hasn't finished pissing me off! Look at this!

"I wonder if Gabriel will go," Molly mused, turning to me. "All the teachers get invited."

Molly is serious about going to prom and having a relationship with Gabriel!

Adornetto, do you not realise how illegal that is? In North America, especially in the U.S., student/teacher relationships are extremely taboo! Sexual relationships between teachers and students are considered immoral because a student-teacher relationship is similar to that of a parent and a child, so this is almost similar to incest! In fact, mutual consent does not matter, because the teacher is in a position of power over the student, and it is often viewed as sexual harassment or even statutory rape!

This is also viewed as an abuse of trust, Adornetto. Students trust their teachers, and if a teacher enters a sexual relationship with a student, the trust that is associated with a professional relationship is destroyed. Teachers are in a position of authority, and they are trusted to foster the intellectual development of their students, so by engaging in a sexual relationship with a student, they are violating that trust.

In addition, this could conflict with classroom behaviour as well, because that teacher could be showing favouritism towards a student they're in a sexual relationship with, or even hostility. And if they get found out, then it'll be a big mess. The teacher will get fired from their job, and possibly arrested, and it may not work out well for the student, because they may be viewed as having slept with their teacher to get better marks, so they may end up as a social pariah!

As a future teacher, this is seriously uncomfortable to read about. It's also prevalent in so many movies and TV shows, like A Teacher, Notes on a Scandal, Pretty Little Liars, and so many others. The point is, this is not healthy, and I really do not like how serious Molly is about this.

I'm going to move on. So, the rest of the girls start debating about different kinds of dresses, and Bethany decides to leave, claiming that, "the conversation became so banal that I needed an escape". The conversation was already banal in the first place, Bethany.

Bethany decides to head off to the library, prompting Taylah to tell her that, "only losers hang out in the library". *rolls eyes* See what I mean? There's also a bit where the rest of the girls make stupid guesses as to where the Middle East is located, and it's all just to show how stupid and dumb they are.

Bethany wants Ivy to give her company, but Ivy's too busy. And we find out that she's already started their mission with this!

She had joined the church group and was already recruiting members. She had made badges promoting fair trade and printing pamphlets that preached about the injustice of working conditions in the Third World. Given her goddess status within Venus Cove, the numbers at the church were growing. The young males in town had taken to seeking her out and buying far more badges than anyone could use in the hopes of being rewarded with her phone number or even just an appreciative pat on the head. Ivy had made it her mission to play Mother Earth at Venus Cove--she wanted to bring people back to nature. I guess you could call it an environmentalist mentality--organic food, community spirit, and the power of the natural world over material things.

Er... there is just so much wrong in this passage.

To start off, Bethany says that Ivy has joined a church group. That, I can buy. But the rest of it? It's all blasphemy. Let me say that again. Ivy, a Seraph, is committing blasphemy. How? Well, the Bible states that people absolutely cannot pray to or worship angels. Prayer and worship should be offered to God only, because only He is worthy of prayer and worship. This is stated in the Book of Exodus, Book of Matthew, and the Book of Luke.

According to my research, prayer is a form of worship to God, because we are asking God to forgive us our sins, to guide us, to help others, and many other reasons. Prayer is a trustful expectation that God is able to hear both our spoken and unspoken prayers in multiple languages, wherever we are, and all at the same time. This belongs to God alone, and to no other creatures. Angels are limited, and to pray to angels is to assume that they have the same ability as God. Worship of angels being forbidden is also made clear in the Book of Colossians and the Book of Revelations! Hell, in Revelations, John almost worships the angel, but the angel stops him, telling him that only God should be worshiped, and that he is just a servant of God.

But the blasphemy doesn't stop there! It continues!

You know how Bethany calls Ivy a "goddess" and "Mother Earth"? Mother Earth is a pagan concept, not a Christian concept! Angels should not be using this at all, because it goes against the creed of the Abrahamic God as the creator of the world! Not only is Bethany using sacrilegious language, Ivy is clearly using her beauty and position to gain more followers! She's doing things that got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven!

Not to mention, these boys that are showing up? They're not there for learning the greater good, they want to get laid with Ivy! She should be at least discouraging this!

And what Ivy is preaching? While she is trying to raise awareness, not everyone is going to take the cause more seriously! And like I said before, these boys are only there because they want to get into Ivy's gates of Heaven! And her encouraging people to go organic?

Organic food is quite expensive! In fact, these are just freaking First World Problems that Ivy is going on about! She's basically being a blasphemous hipster on Earth, and is using God to preach whatever she wants!

Good God, this is just... man, the unintentional heresy that these angels commit is appalling. *thinks* 'Unintentional Heresy'? That'd be an awesome metal band name.

Okay, I'm in desperate need of something sexy. I need some of this!

*pleased* Yep, that's just what I needed. You keep working it, Ruki~ move those hips for me, baby...

Ahem. Back on track now.

Bethany decides to go and hang out with Gabriel instead. Er, he's a teacher, Bethany! He can't just drop his class to give you company!

She goes off to the music wing and interrupts Gabriel's music class, in which he is conducting the choir. However, Bethany just waves and the choir resumes singing their hymn, which Bethany is enchanted by. There's then a time skip to Friday, and Bethany is heading to her locker where she sees a note tucked into it.

The note is from Xavier, who reminds Bethany about their little date tomorrow.

I read it several times. Even via a piece of paper, Xavier managed to have the same dizzying effect on me. I handled the note as delicately as if it were an ancient relic. He wasn't easily deterred; I liked that about him. So this, I thought, is what it feels like to be pursued.

*fuming* Bethany... you are seriously pissing me off right now. First of all, why are you even on Earth if you're going to act like a lovesick teenage girl? And secondly, way to encourage rape culture! You're just giving guys the impression that if a girl isn't interested, then she's only playing hard-to-get!

Not to mention, this is encouraging the kind of attitude I hate the most: that it's okay to string along a guy who clearly likes you! It's cruel and horrible and I hate it so much!

Bleh. Bethany comes home and is clearly in a good mood. Gabriel and Ivy ask her about it, and Bethany lies, saying that she just got a good mark on a French test. And Gabriel is happy that Bethany is in a good mood, and I swear, it's like everyone's walking on eggshells around her! Bethany then states that she doesn't blame Gabriel for his sternness because he's not able to relate to what she is going through!

God, the First World Problems are just so much in this damn book!

Saturday comes and Bethany is wondering whether or not she should go and see Xavier.

I desperately wanted to see Xavier, but I knew it was reckless and selfish. Gabriel and Ivy were my family and they trusted me. I couldn't willingly do anything that might compromise their position.

There's really no point in that crap when you're just gonna do it anyways. After their dinner, both Gabriel and Ivy start playing the guitar and singing together as if they're a perfectly happy Fifties family! *sickened* I feel like throwing up.

And remember how I said the above part was pointless? It is, because Bethany actually sneaks out of the house to go see him because "In my mind's eye I saw him shrug his shoulders, walk out of the cinema, and go on with his life". And apparently, this is painful for Bethany to even think about!

To any aspiring authors: this is not how you make your protagonist sympathetic.

Bethany heads down the dark street, attracting people's attention for some reason. And we get a description of the town on her way to the cinema!

I passed a café called the Fat Cat, which seemed to be full of students. Music was pumping from a jukebox and kids were sitting in deep couches, drinking milk shakes or sharing bowls of nachos.

A throwback to the Fifties, huh? And I looked up Fat Cat café, which is an apparently popular name, because there are a lot of restaurants and cafés called Fat Cat. But really, did Adornetto suddenly become obsessed with Grease or something?

I passed the Terrace, one of the ritzier restaurants in town, set up on the first floor of an old Victorian hotel. The best tables were on the balcony that ran along the front of the building, and I could see candles glinting in their holders.

Just how many ritzy restaurants are there in this town? I wonder just how expensive this place is.

I sped past the new bakery and the general store where I had met Alice and Phantom just weeks earlier.

That was last week, Bethany. Not several weeks ago.

Finally, Bethany arrives at the cinema and gives us a description of the place, which is called the Mercury Cinema.

The cinema dated from the 1950s and had recently been redecorated in keeping with the fashion of that time. It was full of retro memoribilia. The floors were polished black-and-white linoleum; there were sofas in burnt orange vinyl with chrome legs and lights like flying saucers.

You really seem to like the Fifties, Adornetto. You think America was more romantic and wonderful in the Fifties? Well, I guess it was. Only if you were white, though! If you were a person of colour... let's not go there.

On another note, really? Adornetto, what is the point of setting your story in America, let alone Georgia, when you're going to put in a whole bunch of Australian businesses and geography? The Mercury Cinema is an Australian place, located in Adelaide! You could've at least set the damn story in Australia to avoid all this! In my original novel, I namedrop a few places like the Yorkville Village, Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub, Jarvis Collegiate Institute, and Linseed Oil Mill. Because these are actual locations in Toronto! I don't try and claim that it's in Vancouver or New York or whatever, because I've set my story in Toronto! Do some actual research before writing, Adornetto! Your novel is seriously coming across as unprofessional and sloppy!

You know, this is really reminding me of Devil Fish, an Italian rip-off of Jaws set in Florida. All the American characters were drinking beer every other scene, because Americans apparently drink beer all the time!

Moving on now, Bethany doesn't see Xavier and assumes that he went in to see the movie, but no! He's standing before her, being as big of a douchebag as he was in the previous chapter with "his wry smile, navy chino shorts, and a cream polo shirt". 

Is it too much to have a genuinely sweet hero? Bethany tells him that she couldn't make it, so he tells her that she didn't have to run all the way to tell him before offering to take her out for coffee. Bethany accepts, but says that she cannot stay out too long, so he takes her to a café called Sweethearts. And yes, there is one in Australia, but there's two more in Arizona and California!

When they reach there, Xavier guides Bethany into the café, and Bethany gets all warm and tingly before realising that he's unknowingly touching her wings, causing her to shy away. And how does Xavier respond?

"You're a strange girl," he said, looking bemused.

*scowls* Oh, she's strange because she shies away from your touch? Shove it up your ass, Xavier.

They go inside and see a few familiar faces from school in the café before they take a booth seat for privacy. Bethany then describes the café.

The place was inviting and I started to feel more relaxed. The lighting was low, and the walls were lined with old movie posters. On the table were free postcards advertising the work of local artists. The menu offered a variety of milk shakes, coffees, cakes, and sundaes.

Adornetto, local artists do not stand a chance in small towns! They always go to the big city if they want to make it big!

The waitress then comes by to take their order, and Bethany orders a hot chocolate while Xavier gets a latte. And what does the waitress do? She "gave [Xavier] a flirtatious smile as she scribbled on her pad". Why do we always get the obligatory scene where the love interest proves just how wonderful he is by not paying any attention to a flirty waitress? Maybe she was just being polite!

Xavier and Bethany talk a little, with Xavier saying that he comes to the café after training. He then tells Bethany to tell a bit more about herself, specifically why she chose Venus Cove. According to him, "it's not exactly high profile".

Have you seen the damn place?! It's full of fancy restaurants, cafés, French bakeries, everything! It's a pretty wealthy town, so there's no way that it isn't high profile!

Bethany tells him that it was because her family was tired of jet-setting, so they decided to settle down in a quiet place. She then tells Xavier to tell her a bit about himself. Apparently, Xavier is from a family of six kids, and is the second oldest one. Both his parents are doctors, his mother a local GP and his dad an anesthesiologist. The oldest sister is in med school and is already engaged, and has three younger sisters, with the youngest kid being a four-year-old son.

Also, Xavier wants to go into design, but his parents are encouraging him to go for something like medicine, and this is all reading like a teenager's rant about their parents that I refuse to read this any longer.

So! Xavier decides to order some chocolate cake with their drinks, and Bethany eats it all daintily as if she were a Proper Woman. *glares* Shut up, Adornetto. Bethany should not care about this kind of crap!

Afterwards, they head out of the café!

It was only once we were outside that I realized the time.

"I know it's late," Xavier said, reading my face. "But how about a short walk? I'm not ready to take you home yet."

You know, I'm having a hard time believing that this is supposed to be a forbidden romance between a Good Girl and a Bad Boy. I mean, look at Xavier Woods! He's from a well-off family, he's the school president, and is involved in a lot of activities! None of this says 'Bad Boy' whatsoever! Adornetto just couldn't write about the boy who comes from a bad family and has a tattoo and swears and is completely broke, so she decided to make the heroine an angel in order to work around it!

Whatever. Bethany decides to go with him, describing how she feels around Xavier.

I just couldn't bear to tear myself away from Xavier a moment sooner than I had to. When I was around him, I was filled with an overpowering happiness that made the rest of the world fade away to nothing more than background noise. It was like the two of us were locked in a private bubble that nothing short of an earthquake could burst.

Yeah, she says all this, but I don't see it! I really cannot see the chemistry between these two at all! Look, love is a lot more than just this sort of daydreamy happiness. You two are only in love because you're both good-looking!

This was mentioned in the sporking of the previous chapter. In my novel, Yamini and Ruki start off as friends who bond over how they both see a bit of themselves in each other. However, as the series progresses, they start to fall in love because they are both able to relate to each other and that they have similar interests! Not to mention, they both look out for each other, protect each other, and respect each other! In addition, they have fun together!

There's a scene I'm planning on writing before they realise their feelings for one another, where Ruki compliments Yamini's hair, saying how soft it is. This gets Yamini all flustered because she's never received a compliment like that. When Ruki notices, he just starts smiling and giving her several cheesy compliments, which just turns Yamini into a blushing, flustered mess because she doesn't know how to react. And then for fun, Yamini responds by giving Ruki several cheesy compliments in return, which also gets him all flustered and blushing. Basically, as a couple, Yamini and Ruki are dorks in love.

One of the key things to make a love story more convincing is to have them slightly nervous around each other, wondering what they should say, what they should give, how can they ask each other out! Turn them into blushing dorks because it's absolutely adorable and sweet and even more cute than any of this! That is able to convince me that the couple is in love even more than just smooth talking about how their love is the greatest and all that.

Moving on, Bethany and Xavier go on a walk along the beach, where they see a traveling carnival on the boardwalk. Xavier wants to go check it out, but Bethany is reluctant, saying that it looks closed.

"Where's your sense of adventure? We can always jump the fence."

*snorts* That isn't enough to convince me that Xavier's a Bad Boy, Adornetto!

They just decide to stroll in before they come across a woman by a trailer. Turns out that the woman is a psychic!

"Angela Messenger at your service." Her name threw me off somewhat--that it should be so close to angel was unnerving. "Come on in, no charge," she added. "Might lighten up the evening."

Angela- *bursts out laughing* Just how much more unsubtle can you be?! Why not add in a seedy biker and call him Louis Cypher while you're at it, huh?!

The woman decides to read their palms, and the scene indicates that Adornetto hasn't done any research about palm-reading, because it's all about love and finding love and romance and all that. I'll just summarise. According to Ms. Messenger, Xavier is a romantic, thinks directly and doesn't beat around the bush, has heroism in his blood, and is destined to experience a great pain that isn't too far away. And with Bethany, Angela says that she has a great aura and that she will find love only once in her lifetime, and that she doesn't have a lifeline.

Well, after this scene, Xavier and Bethany walk back to Xavier's car. It is "a sky blue 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible. It had been lovingly restored down to the last detail, and made me feel like we'd traveled back in time".

Very Fifties. Again, Adornetto is clearly fascinated by the Fifties.

Xavier introduces Bethany to the car, calling it his 'baby'. I'm no Supernatural fan, but I've heard enough about it to know that this is a clear rip-off of Dean Winchester's Impala.

So they get in and drive off, and Bethany is fascinated by the scent of the car. It isn't long before they pull up in front of Bethany's house and Xavier asks her if she's going to be in trouble. But before Bethany leaves, she asks Xavier about Emily.

Xavier tells her a bit about Emily.

"Emily wasn't just my girlfriend," Xavier said. "She was my best friend. We understood each other in a way that's hard to explain, and I thought I'd never be able to replace her. But then when I met you..." He trailed off.

Xavier says that he felt the same way around Bethany, just like with Emily! He then says that wherever Emily is, she'd want Xavier to be happy after Bethany asks if Emily would mind him feeling that way around her.

They sit in silence for a few more moments before Bethany decides to ask another question.

"Do you believe in God?" I said eventually.

"You're the first girl to ask me that," Xavier said. "Most people think of religion as some kind of fashion statement."

Well, way to insult people who are actually religious, Adornetto!

Xavier states that he believes in a higher power, claiming that life is too complex to be an accident, and Bethany agrees before getting out of the car.

All I could think about as I climbed the steps to the front door was not the lecture that awaited me but how long before I could see him again. There were so many things I wanted to talk to him about.

And with that incredibly cheesy and cliché passage, we finally close this chapter! God, this was a real drag. I'll see you all in the next chapter, where I'll be bringing back some reserves to help me out.

Continue to: Chapter 11- Head Over Heels

Go back to: Chapter 9- No Boys Allowed

missabnormal: (Default)
In which Bethany is a really pathetic angel, and where we find out that Xavier is a Nice Guy™

Yamini: Welcome back everyone! Ruki and I have finished our break, and we're ready to get started on Chapter 9 of Halo! So, let's do this!

The chapter opens up with Phantom the dog growling at the door before going up to it and sniffing it. Almost immediately, Gabriel is furious.

"What's he doing here?" Gabriel muttered under his breath.

"Who is it?" Ivy and I whispered simultaneously.

"Our heroic school captain."

*rolls eyes* Of course, it has to be Xavier friggin' Woods. Bethany is immediately alarmed by this, and do you know what she does? She looks at herself in the mirror and frets over the fact that she's in her pajamas, which amuses Ivy. And what does Bethany do? She then says this!

"Please don't let him in-- I look awful," I begged.

(Yamini is silent for a moment. However, she is unmistakeably annoyed) You know, if I were of legal age, now would be the time for me to get drunk. Because look at this shit! Bethany is supposed to be an angel, right? But right now, it's like she's a thirteen year old girl! Do I get all panicky when Ruki sees me all sweaty and covered in blood and grime after a particularly grueling fight? No! I don't care at all! Because he's also sweaty and grimy, and because I'm more concerned about getting healed and cleaned up! I cannot believe that this girl is seventeen years old! I'm seventeen, and here I am, showing more sense than her!

*sighs* I... Please take over now, Ruki. I really can't take this.

Ruki: *gently pats her shoulder* Of course, Yamini. In all seriousness, Yamini is right. I do not get the impression that Bethany is an angel right now, considering this behaviour. She says that she does not want to even meet Xavier after getting inebriated at Molly's party.

After a minute, Bethany asks Gabriel if he's gone, to which he tells her that Xavier is still there. And according to Gabriel, Xavier "appears to have no intention of going". *raises an eyebrow* He does realise that what he is doing is considered rather disturbing, right? Not to mention, incredibly disrespectful. Anyways, Phantom is still at the door, and Bethany is desperately trying to get him to stop sniffing before she asks Gabriel what Xavier wants.

Gabriel responds by reading Xavier's mind, and what he sees makes him angry.

"Well, I think that's rather presumptuous."

"What is?"

"How long have you known this young man?"

"Stop it, Gabe. That's a breach of privacy!" I snapped.

"Honestly." Ivy got up, shaking her head. "I think he's probably heard us by now. Besides, we can't just ignore him. He recently did Bethany a good turn, remember?"

Now, while his mind-reading does make me raise an eyebrow, I can somewhat understand Gabriel's frustration. And also, I believe that they are perfectly within their rights to not have to answer the door. Xavier is the one who is being disrespectful.

Yamini: And "did Bethany a good turn"? That's Australian, for crying out loud! God, if you're going to use Australian things, at least set the damn story in Australia!

Ruki: Bethany asks Ivy to at least wait for her to go upstairs, but she's ignored in favour of calming Phantom down and answering the door. *frowns* Why is Ivy encouraging this? She's supposed to be at least millions of years old, so she should be just as frustrated as Gabriel is. Xavier comes in, and Gabriel regards him coldly. The reason why he stopped by was to make sure Bethany was doing okay, apparently.

Ivy thanks Xavier for bringing Bethany home before offering Xavier something to drink, to which Xavier declines. However, Ivy tells him to sit down and then takes Gabriel with her to the kitchen, leaving Bethany alone with Xavier.

Left alone with Xavier I was conscious of how ridiculously sedate we must appear, with no television in sight, my siblings making hot chocolate and me ready for bed at eight o'clock.

Again, I ask. Why is Bethany so worried about his opinion? If she's an angel, she should not be showing so much concern about a human's opinion on her life. *sighs* Xavier compliments Phantom, and Bethany half-hopes that Phantom would growl so she'd think that Xavier is not completely flawless. However, to show that he is indeed a gentleman, Phantom nuzzles his hand.

Bethany tells him that she took Phantom in after his owner was moving to a retirement home.

"Oh, he must be Alice Butler's dog."

"How'd you know that?"

"Small town." Xavier shrugged. "You know, I was worried about you last night." His gaze was fixed intently on my face.

So... everyone in this town knows about Phantom the Weimaraner, but none of them knew about the loud party from the previous night? It does not work like that, Ms. Adornetto.

Yamini: Bethany tries to reassure Xavier that she's fine, but her voice is shaky and she feels all giddy like some lovestruck schoolgirl. *rolls eyes* Look, even I never acted that around Ruki, not even when I realized my feelings for him! Yeah, I was a little flustered and shy, but I could still talk to him! Same with him!

Xavier then tells Bethany that she should be careful about who she calls her friends. Excuse me? Who the hell made you the boss?! Yeah, Molly was irresponsible, but it wasn't completely her fault! Bethany says that it wasn't Molly's fault and that she herself should have known better, and then we get this!

"You're very different from the girls around here," he continued.

"How do you mean?"

"You don't get out much, do you?"

"I guess you could call me more of a homebody," I said, trying not to sound defensive.

"That's not a bad thing," Xavier said. "I think that makes a nice change."

*disbelieving* So wait, every single girl in this town is a promiscuous party girl? Dear God, I hope Adornetto realised what she was writing!

But on a more serious note, really? Bethany's only worth looking at because she's a Good Girl, she doesn't party, and she doesn't let guys get into her lady bits, huh? And every other girl does what Bethany doesn't do? Look, this is not realistic! There's no way that every girl in Venus Cove gets around like that! In her attempt to make Bethany look like the Good Girl and the pure heroine, she just exaggerated every other girl into become sex-crazed nymphomaniacs!

And why are you so judgemental about this? Yeah, I don't get around either, but do I judge girls that do it? No!

Ruki: This is exactly what Amestris hates. She herself has slept with several women, especially succubi, and her opponents always like to make jabs at her sexual activity by calling her a harlot or a tart. But Amestris is free to do whatever she feels like, so I do not get involved.

Yamini: Bethany then wishes that she was like the other girls, and Xavier tells her that "there's no point pretending to be something you're not". *rolls eyes* You're one to talk.

"How can I ever repay your kindness?" I said with a hint of what I hoped was flirtation in my voice.

*snorts* Adornetto does realise the double-entendre to that, right? *becomes more serious* But be prepared everyone, for what will happen next will royally piss us all off.

"There is one thing you could do..." His voice trailed off suggestively.

"What's that?"

"Go out with me. How about next weekend? We could catch a movie if you like."

And this is it, people! Xavier is officially a Nice Guy™! *looks furious* So this is who Adornetto considers her ideal man?

Ruki: *confused* Can you explain what a nice guy with a 'tm' means? I'm afraid that's something I have not studied about in the Human World.

Yamini: Sure. To start off, this isn't about a genuinely nice guy. When there's capitals and a trademark, this is the sign of a douchebag. These are the guys who always whine and bitch about how they're so kind towards women, and because of this, they believe they're entitled to sex with women. Basically, they think that being nice to women = sex. But really, just because you do basic acts of human decency doesn't mean that a woman has to go out with you. We're not friggin' vending machines where if you put enough niceness, we'll get laid with you!

Not to mention, when the woman turns them down, the Nice Guy™ lashes out at them, calls them a bitch and says that they were being Nice, so they deserve to touch their lady bits! Also, there are plenty of girls who act like this towards the guy/girl/person they like, so it's also pretty gross when they do it.

Ruki: *disgusted* How deplorable. No one owes you anything for basic decency.

Yamini: I am so pissed off that you won't believe it. You know who Xavier's reminding me of right now? Azazel, from Hell's Army. And Azazel is the worst type of Nice Guy™ there is, it's not even funny! He's a very murderous Nice Guy™, like Elliot Rodger!

When Hell's Army invaded the village that my mother was from in Naraka, a realm of the Netherworld, they killed her entire family and they were about to kill her as well. However, Azazel told them to spare her, since she was a talented blacksmith. So in the end, they forced her to become the blacksmith of Hell's Army, even though she would have rather died. But do you know why Azazel did this? He had a fetish for demonesses from Naraka, and he expected my mother to be all submissive and demure to him so he could make her his own.

Well, too bad for him, because my mother ran away to the Human World the first chance she got, contracted with my father and fell in love with him, and they got married and had me. And that pissed of Azazel. Because according to him, my mother chose to sleep with 'human filth' and have a pathetic 'half-breed child', rather than spreading her legs for Azazel and having 'pure-blooded demon children' just because he spared her. Well, my mother loved my father because he treated her with respect and care!

And guess what? Azazel even tried to kill my mother and I when I was only a month old! And then when I was four, he actually killed my mother! And all because he was pissy that my mother refused to satisfy his fetish.

There's another person worth mentioning, and that is Bellamy, the guy who vandalised my mom's grave. He had a fetish for Indian women, and he acted like I should have gone all submissive and spread my legs for him, the bastard! He'd always call me his 'exotic brown sugar', which was disgusting! Not to mention, he expected my best friend Pascale to be all over him, just because she's French! Even though she's both a lesbian and ace!

Xavier is acting almost exactly like a less murderous version of Azazel, and a less fetishistic version of Bellamy! Which is why I'm just absolutely disgusted and angry and... great, I feel like flipping this table over.

Ruki: *purses his lips* A note for you aspiring authors: if the love interest is on the same level as the demon who killed Yamini's mother, then you need to do some serious revision.

*glances at Yamini* I'll take over now, so you can calm down.

Yamini: *smiles at him* Thanks.

Ruki: *smiles back* You're welcome. *reads on* Well, Bethany is too stunned to respond.

Had I heard right? Was Xavier Woods, the most inaccessible boy at Bryce Hamilton, asking me out? What was the appropriate response? Where was Molly when I needed her? My hesitation lasted a fraction too long and he mistook it for reluctance.

*sighs* If I ask again, I'm only going to be repeating myself. But what in the name of Beelzebub is the purpose of Bethany for this mission? All she's doing is wiling her time away preaching about how a good girl must act and becoming smitten with a boy she hardly even knows. I am not convinced that Bethany is an angel right now, because she is no different from the human heroines of novels like this.

Xavier tries telling Bethany that it's okay if she doesn't want to, but Bethany agrees, so Xavier gives her his phone number. After this, Bethany walks Xavier to the door to see him off, he smiles arrogantly at her with a half-smile, and compliments her sleepwear. And Bethany then goes on to describe his looks.

It would be easy, I thought, to look at his face all day and not get bored. Humans were supposed to have physical flaws but Xavier didn't seem to. I took in his features--his mouth shaped like an archer's bow, his smooth skin, the dimple in his chin--and struggled to believe he was real. He was wearing a casual shirt under the jacket, and I saw around his neck a silver cross threaded onto a leather cord that I hadn't noticed earlier.

I find it incredibly difficult to believe that this is love. Yes, I can understand being absolutely stunned by a person's attractiveness, but this is coming across as infatuation to me.

Yamini: You're right. I mean, when I first saw Ruki, I observed him a little. And yes, I did notice that he is quite beautiful, but I don't go on and on about it. You know what made me fall in love with him? His kindness, his dedication, his sincerity, and his loyalty!

But ultimately, the foundation of our attraction to each other was the fact that we both could see a bit of ourselves in each other! I was struggling to control my powers, and Ruki was still feeling guilt over being brainwashed at eight years of age and being in Hell's Army until he was sixteen! Even though it was two years, and he had worked hard to atone, he still felt a tremendous amount of guilt!

In addition to that, we both like blacksmithing and heavy metal music, so we bonded over that, and we became friends! However, when we fell in love, it was because of our desire to be there for each other and protect one another forever. Also, when I fell in love with him, yes, I started noticing how attractive he is more than usual, but I never obsessed over it. So, love shouldn't be based solely on physical appearances, otherwise it'll be a very shallow relationship.

Ruki: *nods in agreement* In addition, I was patient with her. I didn't force my feelings onto her, and I respect her wishes. She also respects me, so that was how we were able to get along well.

Anyways, after a brief bit of flirtation between them, Xavier goes home. Meanwhile, Gabriel and Ivy are both alarmed after Bethany tells them about how she's going to go on a date next weekend. Gabriel asks Bethany if it is really a good idea.

"Why wouldn't it be?" I challenged. I was relishing the idea of making my own decisions, and I didn't appreciate my independence being taken away from me so quickly.

*stunned* Bethany is really coming across as a spoiled teenager right now.

Yamini: You idiot, this is not about you being independent! This is about how you, an angel of the Lord, are going against your orders and your Father for the sake of a hot guy! I don't know why this is being written as if she's begging for an extension on her curfew or something!

Ruki: Ivy then tells Bethany that she needs to consider the repercussions of her actions, and she looks more serious than usual, which alarms Bethany, since Ivy never usually looks serious.

"There's nothing to consider. You two always overreact." I wasn't convinced myself by my breezy argument but refused to accept there was reason for caution. "What's the problem?"

The problem is that you are an angel, and you are deliberately going against orders, you ignoramus! Gabriel and Ivy have every right to be cautious about this!

Yamini: *snickers slightly* Ignoramus? I should use that someday. Old insults are hilarious.

Ruki: Gabriel tells Bethany that dating was not and will never be a part of their assignment. And Bethany is completely aware that she's making him even more doubtful of her, but she still disobeys him, even when her mind is telling her that a date with Xavier is dangerous, considering their situation.

Ivy tries to defuse the situation by telling Bethany to keep a lower profile and that they should "collaborate on some ideas designed to raise social awareness in the town". I must ask, social awareness of what? And also, I'm glad that someone is finally suggesting that they start doing something for a change.

However, Bethany tells her that those aren't her own ideas, and that she wants to find her own way. I could believe this if her own way did not involve a rendezvous with an attractive boy!

"Let's continue this discussion when you're thinking more clearly," Gabriel said.

"I won't be treated like a child," I snapped and turned away defiantly, clicking my tongue for Phantom to follow.

*shaking his head, appalled* This right here? This is most definitley not an angel. This is a spoiled teenager who is throwing a little tantrum because her parents are not allowing her way. She should be knowing better than to act like this on a mission, in which they have not even accomplished much.

Yamini: I think I'll take over now. So, Bethany and Phantom sit at the top of the stairs to sulk and listen in on Gabriel and Ivy discussing downstairs.

"I find it difficult to believe she would jeopardize everything for a whim," Gabriel was saying. I could hear him pacing. 

"You know Bethany would never deliberately do anything like that." Ivy tried to defuse the situation. She hated any sort of friction between us.

It isn't too hard to believe, Gabriel. She's already doing it. And nice, Ivy's trying to act like a fifties housewife, isn't she? Always trying to play the perfect peacekeeper!

"What is she doing then? Has she got any idea why we're here? I know we must make allowances for her lack of experience, but she's being deliberately rebellious and headstrong, and I don't recognize her anymore. Temptation is always here to test us. We have been here only weeks and Bethany cannot find the strength to withstand the charms of a pretty boy!"

Yes! Thank you for summing it up, Gabriel! This is exactly why Bethany needs to go back to Heaven and stay there, because she is jeopardising their mission for a cute guy!

"Be patient, Gabriel. It will go much further in..."

*snorts* That's what she said. *snickers* But on a serious note, what are you trying to say?

"She tries my patience!" he said, but quickly collected himself. "What do you advise?"

"Put no obstacle in her path, and this will surely die a natural death; obstruct her, and it will give the situation an importance worth fighting for."

*purses her lips* Bad idea, Ivy. Not only will it not go away, but it's essentially telling all impressionable teenage girls that they're free to get into dysfunctional, abusive relationships because no one is going to stop them! Listen, you need to set your boundaries and make them clear to Bethany, otherwise it is not going to go away!

Gabriel comments on how Bethany's emotional depths are unnatural, almost human, and they need to have it contained. And they even call her love more powerful and dangerous! Yeah, I'm not convinced. And then we get Bethany's reaction!

I didn't wait to hear anymore and crept to my room, where I threw myself on my bed on the verge of tears.

*blinks, then bursts into laughter* Oh my God! She actually just typed that with a straight face! *laughing hysterically* Is this now a soap opera or something? Because it sounds like it! *dissolves into a fit of laughter*

Ruki: *chuckles* It is definitely an overreaction to such a situation. And this whole passage is too long, so I'm just going to point out some key lines.

I deeply resented being discussed as if I were nothing more than a laboratory experiment. And their implication that I was doing something wrong, not to mention their lack of faith in me, was disturbing. Why were they so determined to bar me from the human interaction I craved?

You are doing something wrong, Bethany. You are going against divine orders for the sake of a boy, and that is incredibly serious. They do not need to imply it because you are doing it already.

Bethany starts wondering if she's truly becoming human, but instead of being scared, she's even more intrigued.

That night, Bethany has a nightmare. In it, she's being brought before the jury in Heaven, and Ivy and Gabriel are among them, and they will not look at her. The verdict has already been announced, and she's cast out of Heaven into Perdition, and a mysterious figure smiles at her. This is about as much as I can summarise, because it is quite long.

The next morning, Ivy comes into Bethany's room to offer her some coffee.

"I've never heard Gabriel sound so angry," I said, eager to smooth things over with her. "I've always thought of him as... sort of... infallible."

"Have you ever thought that he might be under stresses of his own? If things don't go well, he and I will assume responsibility for it."

Her words struck me like a physical blow, and I felt the sting of tears welling.

Bethany, why are you getting so upset at the truth being pointed out? What she's saying is definitely true.

Yamini: Bethany then says that she doesn't want to lose Ivy's good favour, and Ivy reassures her that she hasn't because how could anyone be mad at little Bethany? Gabriel only wants to protect Bethany, and Bethany says that she doesn't see how spending time with Xavier could be dangerous.

*disbelieving* Are... Are you stupid?! You just had a nightmare about being cast out of Heaven! You're starting to do things that got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven, dammit! I fail to understand just how clueless Bethany is!

Ruki: Ivy tells Bethany that she needs to be careful not to start things that can't be continued. And with that, Bethany starts to cry and laments over how she had been stupid.

I barely knew Xavier Woods, and I doubted he would react with a deluge of tears if he found out he couldn't see me for whatever reason. I was behaving as if we'd sworn ourselves to each other, and suddenly it all seemed a little absurd. Maybe it was Romeo and Juliet rubbing off on me. I felt like there was a deep, unfathomable connection between Xavier and me, but maybe I was wrong. Could it be possible it was all just a figment of my imagination?

*raises an eyebrow* So... she's comparing herself to Romeo and Juliet, even though that "love" story lasted for only three days before they committed suicide. And this is not love at all, this is infatuation. You two do not know each other and there is hardly any mutual affinity between you two.

Yamini: Bethany says that she has to forget about Xavier, and wonders whether she wants to. She then states that they were supposed to be "messengers, harbringers of hope, and nothing more". And we then end this chapter with this!

When Ivy had gone, I fished out Xavier's number from my pocket where it had stayed all night. I unrolled the tight wad of paper and slowly tore it into fragments the size of confetti. I went out onto my narrow balcony and threw the fragments in the air. I watched sadly as they were carried away by the wind.

*dissolves into laughter again* Am... Am I supposed to feel bad? Because this is just so emo and hilarious!

Ruki: *chuckling* With this incredibly amusing passage, we finally end Chapter 9.

Continue to: Chapter 10- Rebel

Go back to: Chapter 8- Phantom
missabnormal: (Default)
In which there is even more filler!

missabnormal: Since I already said at the end of last chapter that I really couldn't do this, I've decided to have two of my original characters from my novel come and spork this chapter. Here they are!

(The theatre doors open. In walks a Tamil-Canadian girl with piercing spring green eyes, wavy and messy black hair, and wearing her favourite black kurtha and jeans. Following her is a demon with the appearance of a young and handsome Japanese man with long black hair, red eyes lined with eyeliner and red lipstick on his lips, pointed ears, and is dressed in a sleeveless maroon turtleneck shirt, black jeans, and combat boots).

(The girl is Yamini Subramaniam, a half-human, half-demon girl with the ability to control shadows. The demon is Ruki, her companion who helps her with her training, and he too, can control shadows)

Yamini: So, what are we supposed to do?

missabnormal: Your job is to spork this chapter of a bad paranormal romance between a female angel and a human male. There's snacks located in the fridge if you get hungry, so good luck!

(she leaves)

Ruki: *looks slightly confused* I don't really understand what she meant by 'spork', but let's get started anyways. *opens up his book* So, we start the chapter with the heroine, Bethany, waking up with a headache and suddenly remembering the events of a party that she went to the previous night.

Yamini: Sounds like she's got one hell of a hangover. She can't remember too much, but she does remember Xavier, the love interest, coming to help her out. And... *reads on* Oh my gosh, she just referred to him as a gallant knight! *disgusted* Sweetie, you're an angel! Why are you acting like the damsel in distress?! Do you have a kink for being rescued?!

And to make this even more pathetic, she starts to whine.

I was overcome with a mix of regret and humiliation. I buried my burning cheeks under the quilt and curled myself into a ball, hoping I could stay that way forever. What must Xavier Woods, the school captain of Bryce Hamilton, think of me now? What must everyone think of me? I had barely been at the school a week and already I had disgraced my family and proclaimed to the world that I was a novice at life. How could I have not realized how powerful those cocktails were? On top of it all, I had proved to my brother and sister that I was incapable of looking after myself outside of their care.

*rolls her eyes* Bethany, you're an angel. Why the hell are you so worried about other people's opinions about you? And why your love interest in particular? And what, you seriously think that you've disgraced your family just because you got drunk? Put on your big girl pants and toughen up!

Ruki: This doesn't seem to sound like much of a big deal as Bethany is making it out to be. *frowns slightly* People your age have things far more severe to give this much amount of worrying.

Yamini: Damn right! Like when I lost control of my powers and beat up a guy for vandalising my mom's grave! I was horrified at myself for that, and you know what I was like? I was terrified that I was seen as a monster by my dad, that my only best friend wouldn't want anything to do with me, and that all attempts at managing my anger had gone to waste! Sure, I might have felt a little bit sorry for myself, but for the most part, I tried to pull through!

Ruki: You're right. Moving on, Bethany can hear Gabriel and Ivy discussing something downstairs, and she then realises that she may have compromised their mission. "Their reputations were on the line as well as mine, and mine was now undoubtedly in tatters. I considered the possibility of us packing up and starting afresh in a new location. Surely Gabriel and Ivy wouldn't expect me to stay in Venus Cove after the spectacle I'd made of myself".

*disbelieving* She just got intoxicated, that's all. So why the hell is she acting like she murdered someone? It's not like they are going to abandon the town to Hell just because Bethany was intoxicated! She is truly making a mountain out of a molehill. *sighs* Look, we demons have had failures in missions in the Human World before, such as attempting to save hybrids in danger, only to be overpowered, or reaching too late. But do you know what we do? We try not to lose hope, we take responsibility, and we aim to save someone the next time.

Yamini: Ya know, when a demon's being more responsible than an angel, there's something wrong.

Well, whatever. Bethany goes downstairs, where she sees Ivy doing some embroidery and Gabriel acting all strict like a Fifties patriarch. And because Ivy's a Seraph, and is supposed to be very powerful, this just angers me. So Bethany goes to the fridge and takes some orange juice, and she's acting all scared of Gabriel because she thinks that he's mad at her. No kidding, it's "I cared too much for Gabriel's regard to lose it. If nothing else, his anger would have helped ease my guilt".

Ivy asks Bethany how she's feeling, and much to Bethany's surprise, she doesn't sound angry or disappointed. Bethany apologises for getting drunk. And how does Gabriel react?

Gabriel turned to look at me, his eyes the color of thunder. But in them I only saw his deep affection for me.

"There's no need to fret, Bethany," he said with his usual composure. "Now that we're human we're bound to make some mistakes."

"You're not angry?" I blurted, looking from one to the other. Their mother-of-pearl skin was incandescent in the morning light.

"Of course we're not angry," said Ivy. "How can we blame you for something that was beyond your control."

*mockingly* Oh Bethany, of course we're not mad! No one can ever be mad at you! *disgusted* If I got drunk, I'd deal with the consequences in the morning. That's what my dad tells me, at least.

Ruki: After some more reassuring, Gabriel makes Bethany a homemade cure for her hangover. It's described to be quite disgusting, but Bethany just takes it. And so today, Ivy suggests that they stay in the home and reflect.

*surprised* You know, I'm a little confused as to what this mission is supposed to be. What the hell are they doing? Because when Amestris and I were doing our mission in the city of Toronto, we had absolutely zero time for things like reflecting. Everyday, we'd go to school, afterwards we'd go for our part-time jobs, and then we'd do surveillance in every single neighbourhood of Toronto to look for hybrids. The only time we stopped was after Yamini chose to train with me, and when Amestris had to train Yamini's best friend after making a contract with her.

However, these angels do not seem to be doing much to help others.

Yamini: Yeah, you're right. Why aren't they making themselves useful and doing some charity work, or working in a soup kitchen, or I don't know, working to spread the word of God!

Oh whatever. Bethany then goes onto describe how they live without any technology whatsoever. And why?

We thought of technology as a sort of corrupting influence, promoting antisocial behavior and detracting from family values. Our home was a place where we spent time with one another, not whiling away time shopping on the Internet or watching mindless television programs.

Are you serious? Look, people have always looked for reasons to avoid talking, way before technology was invented! Why is this author sounding like some sort of old lady?

Ruki: Technology is important for us to use. When we came to the Human World, we had to use devices called cell phones, but they were not filled with distracting applications. Same with computers. We only had those for school assignments.

Apparently, Gabriel hates television, and to emphasise that point, he showed Bethany and Ivy some sort of a reality TV program that made fun of obese people. You know, Gabriel is supposed to be an Archangel, right? Why is he sounding like an old man?

Moving on, rather than using their time wisely to try and help people, they just stay at home, lazing on their deck "reading, playing Scrabble, or simply lost in [their] own thoughts". *frowns* You know, whenever I reflect on my training with Yamini, I often spoke with my mentor, or wrote about it.

Yamini: Bethany also states that fruit has become her favourite food, especially melon. "The clean, sweet freshness of it reminded [her] of home". Is this all that happens in here? Nothing important seems to be happening, you know. It's like these Dark Forces are like, "let's wait so they can relax a little!". Pff, Hell's Army didn't even wait that long before they had one of their members set a manticore on my ass.

After some pointless prose about the sunlight and Heaven and all that, Ivy then shows them a newspaper in which the cover story is about bombings in the Middle East. Er... these angels are Christian, right?

Well, apparently the main reason that this is happening is because "'the forces of darkness are overpowering the forces of light'". Bethany finally shows some sense and asks about what they could do. However, Gabriel tells them that they aren't authorised to act. When Bethany protests, Gabriel says that they've been instructed to watch over Venus Cove, and that's that.

*annoyed* Yeah, sure, a sleepy beach town really needs saving, huh? Well what about Detroit? Caracas? Fortaleza? Baltimore? Acapulco? San Salvador? Those places have high crime rates, so I think that they need the presence of angels even more than this place!

Ruki: In the afternoon, they discover that they're almost out of groceries, so Bethany offers to go grocery shopping. Ivy tells her to get "fruit, eggs, and some bread from that new French bakery that's just opened". 

*raises an eyebrow* They shop from a French bakery? You know, another point I have to make. When Amestris and I arrived in the Human World and we had to buy some food, we just went to the nearest grocery store we could find. Everything there was at a reasonable price. We had to avoid spending frivolously and try and keep our identities concealed. However, with the way these angels are acting, they are going to end up giving themselves away.

Bethany takes her bike to the general store. After chaining it up outside, she sees an elderly woman and a caretaker come out of the shop and sit on the bench. Next to the woman is a "silver-gray dog". It's described as having"an expression so thoughtful it might have been human. Even seated, it held its body upright and had a regal air. Its jowls were slightly droopy, its fur sleek satin, and its eyes as colorless as moonlight".

The old woman is upset because she has to give her dog away to someone else, as she herself is going to a retirement home. The caretaker tries to tell the woman, now known as Alice, that it's for the best. However, Alice says that her dog, named Phantom, will not be able to understand whatever is going on. The caretaker continues to be rather callous, saying that the dog will be fine. After this goes on for a bit, the caretaker goes into the store to get dog treats.

Yamini: Bethany compliments Phantom and asks what breed he is. According to Alice, he's a Weimaraner. *surprised* A Weimaraner is a hunting dog, you know that? They're pretty strong, so I'm a little confused as to why Alice, an elderly lady, would have such a powerful breed of dog.

Anyways, Bethany lets him sniff her before he offers his paw. *rolls eyes* So what, are little birds gonna start flocking to Bethany now? Along with rabbits, squirrels, and deer? What the hell is this, has Bethany suddenly become friggin' Snow White?

Ruki: *chuckling* It sounds ridiculous, honestly.

Yamini: I know, right? *laughing* And what, is Bethany also gonna start singing to them? *quickly becomes serious* Because if she does, I quit.

Alice remarks on how strange it is, saying that Phantom is usually more reserved around strangers. Bethany asks her where she's going, and Alice tells her that she's going to a retirement village where they don't allow pets. And then, Bethany gets an idea!

Perhaps this meeting was Providence offering me an opportunity to make amends for my recent lack of responsibility. Wasn't this what I was meant to be doing after all-- making a difference to people wherever I could rather than focusing on my own egotistical obsessions? There wasn't much I could do about a crisis on the other side of the globe but here was a situation where I might be of use.

So she impulsively adopts the dog without consent from her family to make up for getting drunk! Yeah, no. And won't that add some extra responsibility onto you, when you have a mission that you're totally failing at focusing on?!

Ruki: Alice is happy with this arrangement, and the dog doesn't make a big fuss as her former owner and the caretaker drive away. *shakes his head* Did the author do research before? When I was studying Human World fauna, I had read a little about dogs, particularly the hunting breeds, which includes the Weimaraner.

These dogs were originally bred to be hunters. According to my reading, for the first year or so, you need to do serious training to make sure that they are well-behaved. Yet they are still highly energetic when they grow up. And Yamini is right, it's a little surprising for an elderly woman to have this kind of dog, especially because they tend to jump on people. They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation as well, otherwise they'll become nervous. And because they are hunters, they will chase and kill anything that resembles prey unless properly trained.

In addition, they often have severe separation anxiety. They panic when left alone and have even hurt themselves trying to get out. So it's pretty much impossible for this Weimaraner to suddenly adapt to being with Bethany with no problem whatsoever.

Yamini: Why not just make the dog a Golden Retriever or a Lab? That would probably make more sense.

Ruki: You know, this animal reminds me of Amestris's battle animal, Tuya. She's of a prehistoric feline-esque species known as the Ember Apexia, and those are known to be extremely loyal to their owners that they refuse to be separated. Not to mention, those animals are highly unpredictable, so it's best to train one when they're young. When they're well-trained, however, they are great healing companions as well.

Yamini: So, Bethany takes Phantom home and Ivy starts gushing and cooing over him, even though she forgot to pick up groceries. She tells them how she got Phantom and they allow her to keep him! This is also an opportunity to see Gabriel smiling, since he smiles so rarely.

The chapter ends with a knock at the door, and with that, we're done! Finally!

Ruki: We're going to take a break, since we're in charge of the next chapter as well. We shall see you then.

(They leave the theatre for a break)

Continue to: Chapter 9- No Boys Allowed

Go back to: Chapter 7- Partay
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 In which we're thrown straight into a party that's only thrown in the movies!

*glances at the chapter title* 'Partay'? Really?! Are you serious about this?! You cannot expect me to take this novel seriously with a chapter title like that! Wow, we've barely even started and I already feel like rage-quitting. Everyone, be prepared for the weirdest chapter of your life! Without further ado, let's start chapter 7!

So, we open up with Molly having noticed Bethany's interest in Xavier and decides to give her some advice. And by that, she tells Bethany that she doesn't "really think that he's [Bethany's] type". And who decided you could tell her that?

Anyways, Bethany asks Molly who she's talking about, but Molly is unconvinced. She continues to tell Bethany that while Xavier is one of the hottest guys in the school, "everyone knows he's trouble. The girls that try only end up brokenhearted. Don't say you weren't warned". *purses lips* Sounds like a girl who's been turned down by him, doesn't it?

Bethany says that Xavier doesn't seem cruel, but Molly just tells her that falling for him will only bring her pain. So naturally, Bethany asks if Molly got turned down by him, and apparently she did! But the story about it is going to piss us off even more!

"Well, I liked him for ages and finally got sick of dropping hints, so I asked him out." She said it offhandedly as if it had happened a long time ago and no longer mattered.

"And?" I prompted.

"And nothing." She shrugged. "He turned me down. He was polite about it, told me he saw me as a friend. But it was still the single, most humiliating moment of my life."

I couldn't tell Molly that what she'd described didn't sound so bad. In fact, Xavier's conduct could have been seen as honest, even honorable. When Molly had talked about broken hearts she'd made him sound like some kind of villain. All he'd really done was decline an invitation in the best way he knew how. But I'd learned enough so far about female friendship to know that sympathy was the only acceptable response.

"It's not right," Molly continued accusingly. "He walks around looking gorgeous, being friendly to everyone, but won't let anyone get close to him."

"But does he mislead girls into thinking he wants more than friendship?" I asked.

"No," she admitted, "but it's still completely unfair. How can anyone be too busy for a girlfriend? I know it sounds harsh, but he has to move on from Emily sometime. It's not like she's coming back. Anyway, enough about Mr. Perfect. I hope you can make it to my place on Friday-- it'll take our minds off annoying boys."

Wow. There is so much wrong in this passage that I have to point it out.

Let's start off with Molly claiming that Xavier is a heartbreaker. So one day, she decides to ask Xavier out, but he turns her down in what we assume is a polite manner, and is honest about it. However, it really sounds like she's trying to ruin his reputation just because he turned her down. Imagine if the roles were reversed here, wouldn't it be just as vile?

And Molly is really coming across as an entitled brat, like some of those entitled high school and college boys who like to go after girls who tell them no. It's disgusting, really. It's not good when a guy does it, and it's really no better when a girl does it. And besides, Molly is also sounding very selfish in that she just expects Xavier to drop whatever he's doing and make himself available for her.

It's possible that Xavier is still grieving over his dead girlfriend, you know! After all, he probably never went through such a loss before so it's still affecting him! So to expect him to just move on and forget about his dead girlfriend is extremely callous and selfish and disgusting!

Also, 'how can anyone be too busy for a girlfriend?'? Really?! People have lives, you know! And since Xavier is the class president of the school, he's probably very involved in a whole bunch of activities and clubs, which might make it nearly impossible to date! In fact, I'm not even dating right now because I'm waiting to complete my degree and find out what I really want before pursuing a relationship. After all, I really don't want to end up falling for the wrong guy!

Basically, this entire passage shows just how selfish Molly is, and the double standards that just piss me off to no extent. Yeah, I may not like Xavier, but if he's grieving over Emily, then he had every right to turn down girls who ask him out on dates.

*sigh* I'll move on before I lose it.

We then suddenly cut to the evening, and Bethany is asking Gabriel if she can go to Molly's house for facials. Gabriel tells her no and that the point of them being in Venus Cove "isn't to socialize". Thank you, Gabriel! I swear, I feel like you're the only sane man in this book!

Bethany insists that it would be rude if she didn't go, because it's Friday night. So in the end, Gabriel relents, saying that while he wishes that she was being more productive, he can't stop her. Bethany tells him that she won't make a habit of it, and Gabriel says that he hopes not.

I didn't like the implication behind his words and the subtle suggestion that I was already losing focus. But I didn't let that ruin my mood-- I wanted to experience all facets of human life. After all, it might give me a better understanding of our mission.

Newsflash, honey: you're already losing focus. You've never really been focused on this mission, you keep on mentioning it whenever you feel that the reader is becoming disbelieving! You've been going on about making friends and pondering about love and all that, so you were never really focused in the first place, dammit! So don't give me this nonsense!

Moving on, Bethany has already showered and dressed by seven o'clock.

By seven o'clock I had showered and changed into a fitted green wool dress. I teamed the dress with ankle boots and dark tights and even put on some of the lip gloss Molly had given me. I was pleased with the result; I looked a little less like my usual pale self.

"There's no need to dress up, you're not going to a ball," Gabriel said when he saw me.

"A girl must always endeavor to look her best," Ivy said in my defense and gave me a wink. She might not have been pleased about my plans to spend time with Molly and her gang, but she wasn't the type to harbor a grudge. She knew when to let things go in order to keep the peace.

Man, gotta love the unfortunate implications right there, huh? Of course, girls must always look good, but not for herself, only for Her Man, because he deserves only the most beautiful of girls! *looks sickened* God, I feel like throwing up now. But way to imply that all girls have to dress up and look good! I mean, yeah, I like dressing up and looking good, but that doesn't mean that I shame girls who don't!

And Bethany really sounds like some sort of bratty teenager, with Ivy being the permissive mother. Adornetto, I really hope you don't have kids.

Anyways, Bethany has decided to walk to Molly's house and has promised to call Gabriel to pick her up whenever she's ready to come home. During the walk to her house, Bethany states that she feels "a rush of pleasure", and she describes the scent of the ocean coupled with evergreens, and then goes on to say how privileged she feels to be on Earth as a sentient being. She then states that "looking down from Heaven on the teeming life below was like watching a show. Being on the actual stage might be more frightening, but it was also more thrilling".

However, Bethany becomes more nervous the moment she reaches Molly's house. She thinks she might have gotten the wrong address. Why? Because of this!

The front door was wide open and it seemed like every light inside was on. Music boomed from the front room and scantily dressed teenagers swaggered out onto the front porch... I recognized some faces from school and a few people waved at me. I headed up the steps of the bungalow-style house and almost bumped into a boy retching over the side of the veranda.

Oh, the horror! Loud music? People dressed like hookers? Boys throwing up? *grins evilly* What, you hate loud music? Great! Take this!

*starts playing some GazettE songs loudly*

Bethany then considers going home, which would be a smart thing to do, seeing as it's not really a night for facials, but what does she do? She decides to go inside and tell Molly that she wished to go home. Really? Why not just text Molly 'hey sorry, can't make it!'?

Whatever. We then get a description of a high school party that is only ever thrown in the movies!

There was a crush of bodies in the front hallway, which was pungent with smoke and cologne. The music was so loud people had to shout in each other's ears to be heard. The shaking floor and the lurching dancers made me feel like I was trapped in the middle of an earthquake. The driving beat was so loud it shattered against my eardrums, making me cringe. I could feel hot breath on my cheeks, smell beer and bile in the air. The whole scene was so painfully overwhelming I was almost knocked off balance. But this was human life, I thought to myself, and I was determined to experience it firsthand even if it did make me feel ready to collapse. So I took a deep breath and pushed on.

Sounds like the house doesn't have good foundation if it feels like it's in the middle of an earthquake. But on a serious note, you consider this as being part of human life?

Okay, first of all, what kind of high school did you even go to, Adornetto? What, do you assume that all North American teenagers throw parties straight out of Clueless, or something? And this kind of a party is not an essential part of human life! Yeah, kids at my high school threw parties, but I never even went to any of them! And I can assure you, they are not like what you see in high school movies. Sure, some may serve booze, but not all!

And if this is really a part of real life, then I'm more than happy to miss out on it, thank you very much! I prefer to stay at home with my laptop and my blanket and my music! The only high school party that I ever went to was my graduation after-party, and even then, that was kept strictly PG, not R!

Bethany goes on further and well what do you know?! There's debauchery occurring!

There were young people in every corner and recess, some smoking, some drinking, and others just draped over each other. I wound my way through the crowd and watched in fascination a group playing a game that I heard someone call Treasure Hunt. It involved girls standing in a row while boys aimed marshmallows at their cleavages from an easy distance. Once successful they had to retrieve the marshmallows using only their mouths. The girls laughed and squealed as the boys burrowed their heads into their chests.

Yeah, if this is what high school parties were really like, then I'm glad that I've never been to one. Okay, how many music videos have you watched, Adornetto? Because this? This sounds like a music video for some hip-hop or pop song. I mean, think about it! Scantily-clad women, people drinking and smoking, couples getting it on everywhere or playing sexual games, it sounds like something out of a music video!

Damn, not even the party in the PV of Inside Beast was this bad! The most that we ever saw in that was Kai whipping a naked man, Uruha blindfolded and handcuffed, Aoi dancing the tango with a masked woman, Reita setting wooden frames on fire, and Ruki getting high on a bed surrounded by stuffed animals! *gets dreamy* Ah~ Ruki was sooooo beautiful in that PV...

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the PV of "Inside Beast" by the GazettE. It's amazing~ ;)

*clears throat* Er... where was I? Oh, right.

Bethany asks someone where Molly is, and it turns out that she's in the hot tub. *purses lips* They sound pretty wealthy, to be honest. And let me ask something, why hasn't anyone called the cops yet? If there's this much noise going on, especially in a small town, surely someone would've called on the cops to put a stop to this party, right?

Anyways, Bethany goes outside, sees teenagers in bikinis and swim trunks, as well as a naked guy run past her and jump into the pool, and she's terrified by this sight. *exasperated* Look Bethany, you shouldn't be horrified by naked guys. Adam and Eve were friggin' naked in the Garden of Eden, after all!

She finally finds Molly in the hot tub surrounded by two boys. And then, when Molly sees her, she"hoisted herself out, stretching like a cat, and lingered long enough for the boys to admire her wet, toned body".

Sure, it says she's showing off for the boys, but who wants to bet that it's for Bethany instead?

Bethany asks Molly if there has been a change of plans, and as it turns out, there has! Apparently, Molly's aunt got sick so her parents went out of town for the weekend, and Molly just "'couldn't pass up the opportunity to partay!'". 

Bethany then tells Molly that she only came to say hello and that she needs to get home. However, Molly convinces her to stay, telling her that Gabriel doesn't have to know. And she promptly tells Bethany to have one drink before going home because she doesn't want her to get in trouble.

Molly, are you for real? If you send her after drinking, it'll be obvious, and Bethany will get into even more trouble! The logic in this book... man, I just don't understand this at all. And regarding the drinking... these guys are all underage. The legal drinking age in Georgia is twenty-one years, but there are only three exceptions for underage drinking, which are:

  • on private, non alcohol-selling premises with parental consent

  • for religious purposes

  • for medical purposes

Otherwise, underage drinking is illegal. Now, I looked up the legal drinking age of Australia, and it turns out to be eighteen years of age. But, Adornetto, you set your book in the southern United States. In fact, you know what? In all of those states, the drinking age is twenty-one years! Yeah, not just in Georgia, Adornetto! It's in Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, all those places!

On another note, Georgia is part of an area known as the Bible Belt, which is a region where socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a stronger role in society and politics. In other words? The American South is highly Christian. The states that make up this region are Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia!

Georgia is a highly religious state as well, and 85% of them are Christians! In addition, 76% of them are Protestant while only 8% are Catholic. Also, Georgia is made up of Southern Baptists. And according to my research, Southern Baptists are intolerant of alcohol, and not just underage drinking. They don't like alcohol, period. So these kids should be the sons and daughters of Southern Baptists who have been raised not to act like... whatever this is! Sure, some of them rebel. But not all of them will.

Adornetto, I really do not understand why you just won't do the research! This is as bad as EL James and the Fifty Shades series where she set her book in Washington but didn't bother to do research and dropped in a whole ton of British things! In fact, what the hell was this editor doing when they received the novel? Were they drunk? Because if I was an editor, I would have sent this back to Adornetto with 'DO SOME GODDAMN RESEARCH' written all over the manuscript.

Let this be a lesson for you aspiring authors: DO. RESEARCH. It doesn't kill you to just look up something on Google!

*sighs* I'm exhausted already... You know, I need something sexy. I need me some of this!

*extremely pleased* You go, Ruki~ Work those hips for me, baby... Damn, I love this classy sassy sexy little diva. *smirks* I wonder how Bethany and these other heteronormative YA heroines like Bella Swan and Zoey Redbird will react when they see Ruki doing his thing? They'd be disgusted and horrified, for sure! But would Ruki care? Nope! And that's what makes him awesome!

Now that I feel better, let's keep going!

Molly takes Bethany into the kitchen, where Taylah is mixing drinks. The alcohol that's there are Caribbean white rum, single malt scotch, whiskey, tequila, absinthe, Midori, bourbon, and champagne. Molly then asks Taylah for two Taylah specials, which are described as "a green brew".

I'm not of age in my province, so I wouldn't really know, but I can assume that this is a Midori cocktail with a lot of Midori in it. Bethany asks what it is, but Molly just tells her that it's a cocktail. Really, Molly? Why can't you just tell her?

Bethany takes a swig, only to regret it. It's clear that this is her first alcoholic beverage, and she describes the taste as "sickly sweet but at the same time burned my throat". Despite the fact that she doesn't like it, what does Bethany do? She drinks it to avoid being called a buzzkill.

My God, you are one stupid angel, Bethany! Not only that, everytime her glass is empty, it keeps getting refilled by strangers! And she keeps drinking! This is so dangerous, Bethany! Someone could have easily roofied you or something!

By now, Bethany's already completely wasted, yet instead of drinking some water, she takes more of the cocktail. She's already on her third and she feels like lying down when someone guides her outside away from the loud music and the crowd. And who is this stranger? None other than Xavier!

Xavier tells Bethany that she needs to take it easy with the drinking because the cocktail is rather strong. Bethany tells him that it's her first time drinking, so Xavier offers to drive her home. Bethany tries to say that she's fine, only to almost stumble. And then Molly comes over to see how Bethany's doing. And Xavier immediately blames Molly for getting Bethany drunk.

"What was Beth drinking?" he demanded.

"Just a cocktail," Molly replied. "Mostly vodka. Aren't you feeling well, Beth?"

"No, she's not," said Xavier flatly.

"I'll make sure she gets home safely," he said, and even in my state I couldn't miss the accusatory tone.

*scowls* Yeah, Molly was irresponsible, but this isn't completely her fault, you idiot! You know, DRAMAtical Murder did this way better in Koujaku's route of the game. Not to mention, it was a lot sweeter. After Aoba got extremely high off the lights in the club at Flame Willow and threw up everywhere, Koujaku just carries him back to their residence to take care of him, and he's still so sweet to Aoba and he made sure that he was okay afterwards!

Moving on, Molly tells Xavier not to tell too much about this to Gabriel. During the car ride back home, Bethany is extremely drowsy and can't keep her eyes open. And when she gets home, Gabriel is rightly concerned upon seeing her in this state.

Gabriel asks what happened, Xavier tells him about the party, which seems to upset Gabriel because he hadn't heard anything about it. Xavier tells him that it isn't Bethany's fault and that she didn't know, and Gabriel helps her inside after saying that they'll take care of her.

Bethany states that it sounded wrong, and that she was most likely in trouble. And she even says that Xavier rescued her! Adornetto, do you have some sort of kink for getting rescued by a knight in shining armour? Because it really sounds like it.

We then close the chapter with Bethany passing out as Ivy rubs her forehead, and with that, we're done for now!

God, this chapter was a real drag! And I am definitely not looking forward for the next one! Which is why I have some special guests in mind for the next chapter~ they'll spork it for me, since I'm not even going to be there. See you next time!

Continue to: Chapter 8- Phantom

Go back to: Chapter 6- French Class
missabnormal: (Default)
 In which there's slut-shaming, double standards, and an obsession with prom! And I get help from a womanising hairdresser who is far more courteous and sweet than Xavier the Douche.

missabnormal: ... This chapter... I don't even know what is wrong with it because there's so much that is wrong! And this is why I had to get in another guest sporker to help me out here. So, here he is!

(The theatre doors open, and a Japanese man in a red kimono enters. He carries his sword on his back, and his hair is tied in a low ponytail. This is Koujaku from DRAMAtical Murder)

Koujaku: *gives a flirty smile* Hello there, missy. It's nice to meet you. (He takes her hand and kisses it before sitting down)

missabnormal: *blushes slightly* N-Nice to meet you too... let's get started!

We open up with someone calling Bethany's name. She tries to ignore it, but she's eventually forced to wake up. Turns out that Ivy's come to wake up Bethany, who upon waking up, describes the sunlight as like "warm liquid gold". Ivy has brought something for Bethany to drink, claiming that it'll help wake her up. What did she bring? Coffee!

And according to Ivy, "a lot of humans think they can't function properly without it". Not everyone drinks coffee, by the way. Plenty of people are able to function well without having to drink coffee.

Koujaku: Like me. I function better when I have some tea in the mornings.

Anyways, this Bethany takes a sip and naturally finds it disgusting, but suddenly feels more alert. Bethany asks her sister Ivy about the time, which she responds with telling her that it's time for her to get out of bed. Bethany also asks about where Gabriel is, and Ivy says that he's gone out for a run.

missabnormal: Bethany whines a little bit more and gets out of bed, brushing her hair and washing her face before heading down for breakfast. Turns out that Gabriel is in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. And then we get something rather creepy here.

Gabriel, back from his run, was cooking breakfast. He had just showered and combed his wet hair back from his forehead, which gave him a leonine look. He wore only a towel wrapped around his hips, and his taut body gleamed in the morning sun. His wings were contracted and looked like nothing more than a rippling line between his shoulder blades. He was standing by the stove, holding a stainless steel spatula.

Bethany, he's your brother. Can you not talk about him like that? It's seriously creepy and weird. God, what is with these authors creating heroines who might have some weird attraction to their siblings or parents? Twilight, House of Night, there are so many series that did this, and it's getting too much! Please, stop with the incestuous vibes. Especially since incest is supposed to be a sin in the Bible!

Koujaku: *confused* Is... Is this common in the book? Whatever... this is?

missabnormal: Unfortunately, yes. Not to mention, the heroine is an angel, and should be stronger than the male love interest when she's just no different from a teenage girl! Not to mention, the love interest is a douchebag, as evidenced in this chapter.

Koujaku: *purses his lips* I see.

Well, Gabriel asks Bethany if she wants pancakes or waffles, and Bethany states that she's not too hungry. Gabriel gets insistent that Bethany eat breakfast, but Bethany insists that she'll be sick and that it's too early, and Gabriel takes offense because he thinks Bethany's implying that his cooking makes people sick. Well, there are some people who can't eat that early in the morning.

missabnormal: Damn straight! Gabriel tries to tell Bethany that the human body needs to be fueled properly and reminds her that she may faint. And what makes Bethany stop protesting? The thought that Xavier would lose interest in her if she faints at school!

*grumbling* If you're so worried about her nutrition, send her to school with a granola bar or something, Gabriel! Or even an apple! Just give her a light snack that'll give her the nutrition she needs! And of course, it all comes back down to Xavier Woods, doesn't it? Why must all of your decisions revolve around him, Bethany? You're an angel, you should be smart enough to make your own decisions!

*sighs* Bethany says that she'll have pancakes, and breakfast is interrupted by the sound of the doorbell ringing. Bethany wonders who could be at the door, then stating that they had been careful to avoid contact with the neighbours, but that they must have appeared aloof to the locals. Yeah, no duh.

Koujaku: There's then a rather random bit about their 'gifts'. Apparently, Gabriel can sense the thoughts of others around him, Ivy has hands that can heal, but Bethany's is unknown. And this feels very out of place.

So the visitor is a woman from next door, and Gabriel tells them to ignore her. However, she doesn't take the hint and just shows up at the window, waving at them. Pretty rude, honestly.

missabnormal: Yes, it is. Them ignoring her should be enough of a hint that they're not in the mood to talk. Also, I know there's the whole Southern Hospitality thing and all, but I highly doubt that this sort of behaviour is even a part of that whole etiquette. This is just invading their privacy.

So Gabriel goes to answer the door, and while he could easily tell her that they're kind of busy, he invites her in. This woman is "somewhere in her late fifties with platinum blond hair and a bronzed face". There should be an 'e' at the end of 'blond', since you're talking about a woman, Adornetto. Well, she's also wearing gold jewelry, lipstick, and a track suit.

The woman greets them and then tells them that they should check their doorbell. Wow, that's rather passive-aggressive, isn't it? Well, the woman's name is Dolores Henderson. Gabriel introduces them to her and Ivy goes to offer her some tea or coffee. And then we get this. "I saw Mrs. Henderson eyeing Gabriel in much the same way as the girls in school had".

*visibly disgusted* You know, if this were some middle-aged man ogling either Bethany or Ivy, it would be seen as totally gross and disgusting. Please stop this, Adornetto. It's creepy when men do it, and it's just as creepy when women do it.

Koujaku: I agree. Mrs. Henderson just stopped by to give them some homemade jam. Meanwhile, Gabriel is getting impatient because they have to leave, but rather than telling her that they need to go to school, they just let her continue talking. She asks Gabriel whether he's the new music teacher at school, to which he replies yes, and she tells him about her niece.

She also asks if they've been around the area, and Ivy states that they've had no time for socialising. To that, Mrs. Henderson tells them that there are some "very hip clubs in townand that she'd like to introduce them to the trio. Ivy then finally decides to tell her that they have to get to school. But because of her little visit, Bethany missed the first part of her morning class and Gabriel's students have started misbehaving.

missabnormal: During Bethany's free period, she goes to greet Molly, who greets her in a way that has a lot of lesbian undertones, honestly. *grins* Man, this would be more interesting to read about. Too bad the love interest is a complete douchebag!

Gah. Moving on, Molly's talking about things that happened on Facebook, but Bethany doesn't know what she's talking about because according to her, "The Agents of Light had cleared our home of any 'distracting' technologies".

I hate to break it to you, Adornetto, but technology can be very useful! Especially considering that Bethany's in school and she may need to use a computer for certain assignments!

Koujaku: Molly then asks Bethany about what the date is, which turns out to be March sixth. Molly is then excited about this and claims that there's only seventy-two days to go. Bethany is confused by this, so Molly tells her that there's only seventy-two days until an occasion called prom. *looks confused* I've never heard of this sort of thing happening in Japan or in Midorijima. Can you tell me what this is, missy?

missabnormal: Of course! Prom is a sort of dance that happens in high school towards the end of the year in North America. It's semi-formal, and there's often a contest for Prom King/Prom Queen, though that title is typically reserved for students in their senior year, which is their last year of high school. Juniors often earn the title of Prom Prince/Prom Princess. It used to be strictly heteronormative in the United States, especially in the 1920s and 30s, but it's started allowing more students to attend without a date. And unfortunately, it's still pretty heteronormative, since LGBTQ+ couples are never allowed into prom. Also, just watch any high school movie and you'll see that almost every high school student is obsessing over prom.

Just like Adornetto does here! When Bethany says that it's a little too early to plan for prom, Molly tells her that people plan for it early. Bethany asks why, and Molly becomes stunned. And this is what she says!

"Are you for real?" Molly's eyes widened. "It's a rite of passage, the one event you'll remember your whole life, apart from maybe your wedding. It's the whole shebang-- limos, outfits, hot partners, dancing. It's our one night to act like princesses." It occurred to me that some of them already behaved like that on a daily basis, but I refrained from commenting.

Koujaku: *surprised* Is this for real? Is prom really that important to be considered as a rite of passage?

missabnormal: *sighs* No, actually. While some teens may view it that way, it's really not as big of a deal as Adornetto is making it out to be. Not everyone goes to prom, and it's not because they don't have dates! My high school didn't even have a prom! The closest thing we had like that was a semi-formal banquet with no dates! Just dressing up nicely, fancy dinner provided by the cafeteria, and student entertainment. And that was plenty of fun for me! And the only other equivalent to dressing up like princesses that we had was high school graduation, which is a lot more meaningful and important than prom!

Look, Adornetto. Prom isn't as exciting as you think it is. To be honest, I really don't understand the whole hype about prom, especially after reading Stephen King's Carrie. I really like the Bloody Prom in that book, honestly. Also, proms are really not the warmest of environments for LGBTQ+ students, just look at the anti-prom, for example. Not to mention, some of the controversies in recent times. Sure, it may be a fun and memorable end-of-the-school-year event for some people, but it's really not worth equating it as a rite of passage or as memorable as a wedding.

Koujaku: *nods* I see. Bethany does seem to think that it's ridiculous and decides to avoid it, also saying that Gabriel would not approve of "such an event, with its emphasis on vanity and all things shallow".

missabnormal: *snorts* Let's see about that, especially considering that it's literally part of the damn plot in this book!

Koujaku: Molly then tells Bethany about some gossip about who's going to ask her out, and after this, marks the date in her planner. Aren't people using phones or Coils for that in this time? Well, anyways, after an unneeded description of her locker, Bethany spends some time with Molly until she has to go to her French class. Bethany stops by at her locker to pick up her books for the class when she hears someone behind her.

"Hey, stranger," said a voice behind me. I was startled and jumped up so fast that I hit my head on the roof of my locker. "Careful!" the voice said.

I spun around to find Xavier Woods standing there with the same half-smile on his face that I remembered from our first meeting. Today he was dressed in a sports uniform-- dark blue track pants, white polo top, and a track jacket in the school colors slung over his shoulder. I rubbed the top of my head and stared at him, wondering why he was talking to me.

*raises an eyebrow* Already I don't like this guy. He seems like the cocky and arrogant kind of man who disrespects women while charming them at the same time. And having a half-smile isn't that charming, to be honest. You need to have a sweet smile in order to charm women. After all, women are the treasures of this world, and they deserve to be treated as such!

missabnormal: *blushes lightly* You're right about that... *clears throat* Anyways, you're right, Koujaku. Xavier is a douchebag and a real ass towards Bethany. And the fact that this sort of guy is what makes Bethany all flustered is really annoying.

Moving on, Xavier apologises for scaring Bethany, who is then dazzled by his looks again. *rolls eyes* Xavier wants to talk to Bethany, who is still unable to meet him in the eye, even though she's a friggin' angel of the Lord and should show a little bit more confidence! Xavier tells her that he's heard that she's lived overseas and asks, "what's a well-traveled girl like you doing in a backwater town like Venus Cove?".

A backwater town has a completely different meaning that what you think, Adornetto. It's used to describe a town that is completely isolated. There is no way that Venus Cove is a backwater town, especially because it has such fine establishments and is near a private school!

Koujaku: Bethany says that she's with her brother and sister and then immediately leaves for French because she's too flustered. She manages to find the classroom and remarks that her French teacher, Mr. Collins, doesn't sound too French to her.

missabnormal: And why's that a problem? You don't have to be French to teach French, you just have to have gotten a degree in teaching it, and be fluent in the language.

Koujaku: When Bethany looks around for an empty seat, she discovers that the only one available is next to Xavier, which gets her all flustered again. Look, I've seen some of my fans getting flustered before, but never to this sort of extent! But what really gets to me is that Xavier apparently "looked mildly amused" as Bethany sat down next to him.

*annoyed* What the hell does this girl even see in him?! He's arrogant, self-absorbed, and extremely cocky around her! Why is he the love interest in this novel?

missabnormal: Because all girls want bad boys, apparently. *rolls her eyes* You're right, Koujaku. He's a cocky little ass, and he doesn't get any better throughout this chapter or this book. He is the complete opposite of you, Koujaku. Sure, you may be a womaniser, but you treat women and girls with respect and care, and you are naturally sweet to them. That's what makes you attractive to so many women. Not to mention, around the one you love, you're naturally nervous and shy, and that's what makes it more real.

Xavier here, he's a douchebag. He's disrespectful to Bethany and likes to think that he's God's gift to women. He's cocky, arrogant, and he expects all women to lust over him if he shows interest in them. And why any girl would like him is beyond me, honestly.

Koujaku: Xavier then tells Bethany that she's going to have a hard time learning, and that's how Bethany realises that she took her textbook on the French Revolution, not her French book. Bethany panics but Xavier gives her his own book to read from after the teacher called on her to read a passage.

missabnormal: Bethany reads out the part that she's supposed to read, and Mr. Collins is apparently impressed. He even tells her that she's "as fluent as a native speaker" and asks her if she's lived in France. How? From reading a few words? Look, I can understand if she had studied various languages before coming to Earth, but this seems kind of shoehorned.

Anyways, this is clearly just to show off how amazing Bethany is in class, to the point where she's considered to be placed in the advanced class! God, I hate Mary Sues.

Mr. Collins tells Xavier to continue where Bethany left off, but then asks where his textbook is. Xavier lies and says that he left his book at home before thanking Bethany for sharing. I'd probably be fine with this if it weren't for this line.

I wanted to protest but Xavier's warning look silenced me.

You ass! *angered* And Bethany, if you're really an angel, stand up to him, for God's sake! You should not be intimidated by him!

Koujaku: *shakes his head* I hate him already and I don't even know much about him. So Mr. Collins tells Xavier to meet him after class. Bethany decides to wait for him outside, believing that she owes him some gratitude. And when he's done, I hate him even more because of this!

When the door opened Xavier strolled out casually as someone taking a walk on the beach. He looked at me and smiled, pleased that I had waited for him. I was supposed to be meeting Molly at morning break, but the thought floated into my head and straight out again. When he looked at me it was easy to forget to breathe.

This guy really seems to have entitlement issues. Not to mention, it really sounds like he's taking advantage of her or even using her, you know? Bethany is definitely a shy girl, and is someone who gets embarrassed easily, which makes Xavier look like an even bigger ass because it's like he's bragging about his looks.

And I genuinely do not understand why Bethany is getting so flustered over him. He's rude and conceited, which makes it even more irritating.

missabnormal: Damn straight! He then pisses me off even more when he tells Bethany that she's welcome, even before she can open her mouth. Bethany gets irritated and says that she might have wanted to scold him. And what does Xavier do? He asks her if she's angry but that's not it!

There was that half-smirk again, playing around his lips, as if he was deciding whether the situation was amusing enough to warrant a full smile.

*appalled* Dear God, he's like one of those jerks in high school who think they're the best and that they deserve to be treated like royalty! *snickers* Well then, it'll be even more amusing once he grows up and reaches the real world, where he'll get that arrogance smacked right out of him!

Koujaku: This guy is truly infuriating.

missabnormal: Well, it's gonna get a whole lot worse very soon! Like right now! Here comes the slut-shaming!

Two girls walked past and looked daggers at me. 

Koujaku: *raises an eyebrow* Why would they glare at a random girl who's just talking to him?

missabnormal: They're supposed to be the mean girls, of course!

The taller one waggled her fingers at Xavier.

"Hey, Xavier," she said in a syrupy voice.

"Hi, Lana," he replied in a friendly but dispassionate voice.

It seemed obvious to me that he had no interest in talking to her, but Lana didn't seem to notice.

missabnormal: You know, it really upsets me when I see girls being absolutely catty to each other in these sorts of books. And it's only going to get a lot worse!

"How'd you do on the math test?" she persisted. "I thought it was sooooooo hard. I think I might need a tutor."

I couldn't help but notice the way Xavier was looking at her-- blankly, like someone might look at the screen of a computer. Lana was chatting away and arching her back so that Xavier could get the full effect of her curvaceous figure. Any other boy would have been unable to resist giving her body an appreciative appraisal, but Xavier's eyes didn't move from her face.

Koujaku: *stunned* So he sees her as no more than an object? And what, is looking at a woman suddenly an insult?

missabnormal: *angry* This whole passage is an insult to men! What, men aren't allowed to just appreciate a woman from afar? There's a difference between catcalling and finding someone attractive, you know! But Adornetto seems to believe that even looking at a woman's body is horrible, and then applies this insult to every other guy out there except the love interest! And I can't even get over the double standards in this book!

Because Bethany goes on and on about how hot Xavier and Gabriel (her friggin' brother!) are, even detailing their chests! I hate the double standards! Guys aren't allowed to even appreciate a woman's body in a non-creepy way, yet women are allowed to objectify and catcall at men all they want! It's disgusting, and as a feminist, it pisses me off! And this isn't even the only one. There are so many stories and fanfics out there that have girls ogling men all they want, and demonising men for just glancing at a woman's figure!

But wait! There's more!

"I think I did okay," he said. "Marcus Mitchell does tutoring; you should ask him if you really think you need it." Lana's eyes narrowed in annoyance at having given so much and received so little.

"Thanks," she snapped before flouncing away.

Koujaku: I agree with missy about the double standards. It's really annoying how even a guy looking at a woman to admire her is considered disgusting, whereas girls who straight up objectify and fetishise a guy is considered okay. Not to mention, I do not understand this sort of attitude between girls. Any girl who has a good body and likes to emphasize it or look attractive is considered a whore, because a good girl does not allow guys to look at her, yet guys are free to walk around in towels or shirtless, and girls will stare all they want.

When I see a woman with a nice figure, I do not catcall or be lecherous towards her. I just look at her to appreciate her figure, and that's it. I'll admit, I've had some women repeatedly objectify me in the past, and even I've felt uncomfortable with that. This is definitely a double standard, as well as hypocrisy, and it's absolutely infuriating.

missabnormal: Thank you for that, Koujaku. I'm glad to hear your side of things. And we continue, with Xavier apparently not noticing that he offended her, or not caring. I hate this guy so much! And Bethany tries not to be glad at this before remembering his dead girlfriend Emily.

Yeah, the competitiveness between girls pisses me off as well. So much cattiness is annoying, and I hate how every novel does this!

*sigh* Right then, Molly shows up. Xavier greets Molly, and then Molly tells Bethany to come to the cafeteria with her. She then tells Bethany that she wants to bring her to her house after school on Friday because Taylah's sister, a beautician, is going to give them facials. Then Xavier, being the ass that he is, asks when he should come.

Koujaku: She wasn't asking you, stupid. Molly takes the higher ground and ignores him while asking Bethany again, to which she says that she'll have to ask her siblings. And then we get this.

I saw a look of surprise cross Xavier's face. Was it the idea of a night spent having facials or my need to ask my sibling for permission that puzzled him?

Why the hell should it concern Xavier?

missabnormal: Molly then tells Bethany that Gabriel and Ivy are invited as well, but Bethany tells her that they may not be interested. Yeah, because one of them is your teacher, dammit! We're now going to get a really uncomfortable part of this book quite soon.

Molly wants to ask Bethany something in private, so Xavier leaves. She asks Bethany whether Gabriel has said anything about her. And how does Bethany respond?

"Actually, yes," I said, hoping I sounded convincing. There was only one circumstance when lying was permitted: in order to avoid causing someone unnecessary pain. But even then it didn't come easily.

"Really?" Molly's face lit up.

"Of course," I said, thinking that, technically, I hadn't really lied. Gabriel had mentioned Molly, just not in the context she hoped for. "He said it was good to see I'd found such a nice friend."

"He said that? I can't believe he even noticed me. He's so gorgeous! Beth, sorry, I know he's your brother and all, but he is seriously hot."

Koujaku: *stunned* Why the hell are you so concerned about him noticing you? He's your damn teacher, for crying out loud! A teacher-student relationship is extremely inappropriate, you could get into serious trouble for that!

missabnormal: Not to mention, why are you lying, Bethany? You're an angel.

But on a more serious note, this is something that I seriously hate. Molly is seriously in love with her teacher, and thinks that there's nothing wrong with wanting to get into a relationship with Gabriel. Do you know how serious this is? It's illegal! Gabriel is in a position of power, and he could be seen as taking advantage of Molly if she were to pursue him. As someone who is studying to become a teacher, this is really making me uncomfortable, especially because Molly is serious about this.

Look, Adornetto. Student-teacher relationships, especially those of a sexual nature, are illegal in the United States, and it's even considered sexual harassment, regardless of mutual consent. It is seen as an abuse of trust, because teachers are expected to help their students grow. I found this all right here, so check it out. *sighs* I... I can't do this anymore.

Koujaku: *rubs her shoulder soothingly* We're almost done, don't worry. The chapter closes off with Molly taking Bethany to the cafeteria and Bethany thinking about Xavier again. And with that, we're done chapter 6!

missabnormal: Thank you so much for helping me out, Koujaku. I truly appreciate it.

Koujaku: *smiles kindly* You're most welcome. I'm more than happy to help you out with this again sometime, especially when there's such a repulsive hero. *gets up* I'll see you around. *he leaves*

missabnormal: Well, this chapter was exhausting. I am so glad that we're done with this! Now then, I'll see you all in Chapter 7!

Continue to: Chapter 7- Partay

Go back to: Chapter 5- Small Miracles
missabnormal: (Default)
 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
missabnormal: (Default)
 This chapter is so ridiculous, especially because I am studying to be a teacher.

missabnormal: Hello everyone! As promised, I have two new guests with me to help me out here! And they he is!

(The theatre doors open, revealing a handsome shirtless young man with black hair, black tattoos, and yellow eyes. Right next to him is a young man with long blue hair. Both men sit down. They are Ren and Aoba from DRAMAtical Murder)

(This is Ren)

(This is Aoba)

missabnormal: Hello, Ren, Aoba. Sorry to have to call you in like this, but I do appreciate the both of you willing to help me out. .

Ren: I went over the book that we're reading, and it is a little bit confusing for me. I do not have much experience with being a human, so I was confused to the behaviour displayed in this chapter.

Aoba: I threw the book out of frustration because of this chapter.

missabnormal: I completely understand. Well, without further ado! (opens up her book) We start chapter four with the end of the school day, and Bethany being eager to get out. Apparently, Molly had introduced Bethany to her friends, which overwhelmed her, so she's exhausted.

Bethany's now waiting for Gabriel under a tree, where she spouts some more prose. She then states that she's "suffering from information overload", and that she wants to go home. And then, we get this.

I spotted Gabriel making his way down the main steps, closely followed by a small gaggle of admirers, mostly girls. My brother might have been a celebrity for the attention he attracted. The girls lingered several yards behind him, trying hard not to appear conspicuous. Judging by his appearance, Gabe had managed to maintain his composure and poise throughout the day, but I could see from the hard set of his jaw and the slightly ruffled look of his hair that he was ready to go home. The girls stopped speaking mid-sentence when he glanced in their direction. I knew my brother and guessed that despite his apparent composure, he would never welcome such attention. He seemed embarrassed rather than flattered by it. 

Ren: Do girls in real life behave like this if they have a teacher who is attractive?

missabnormal: *rolls eyes* No sensible girl in real life, that is. But we haven't seen anything yet, Ren.

Gabriel was nearly at the gates when a shapely brunette stumbled in front of him in a poorly executed attempt at an accidental fall. In one smooth movement Gabe caught her in his arms just before she hit the ground. There were audible gasps of admiration from the watching students, and I saw some of the other girls bristle with jealousy at not having come up with the idea themselves. But there was little to warrant their envy: Gabriel merely steadied the girl, replaced the items that had fallen from her bag, wordlessly picked up his battered briefcase, and kept walking. He wasn't being unfriendly; he simply wouldn't have seen the need for any exchange of words. The girl stared wistfully after him and her friends crowded around, hoping some of the glamour of the moment might rub off on them.

*All three are speechless, missabnormal is the first one to break the silence*

missabnormal: *explodes with anger* Why the hell must teenage girls always be portrayed as shallow twits who are always enamoured with every attractive guy around them?! What kind of a girl would try and catch her teacher's attention by doing that?! No one does that in real life, dammit! And as someone who's studying to be a teacher right now, this makes me very uncomfortable! Student-teacher romances are NOT okay! I don't care if you watch Pretty Little Liars or not, it's still not okay! And God, why the hell do you have to put an emphasis on her being 'shapely'?! Oh right, because according to you, the promiscuous must burn in the pits of Hell, right?! I hate YA novels, I hate slut-shaming and virgin-shaming, I hate how high schools must always be a carbon copy of Mean Girls, I just... Gaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

(she throws herself on the ground)

Aoba: *also annoyed* She's right, this is stupid. Not even Koujaku's fangirls act like this, and that's saying something! But seriously? Why'd you have to include some girl pretending to faint just to get the attention of her teacher? No girl even does that!

Ren: It appears that this work is a fantasy of the author. But why she would decide to get her own fantasy published is beyond me. *he reads ahead* So Bethany shows some pity for her brother Gabriel as they walk home, and when Gabriel points out that she also had a lot of attention on her, she claims that no one talked to her. However, she decides not to mention her encounter with a boy known as Xavier Woods, who I assume is the eventual love interest.

missabnormal: *sits up* A lying angel? Surely God would not approve of that, right? *snorts* Gotta love the unintentional heresy that Bethany commits.

Aoba: *raises an eyebrow* An angel? Wait, this Bethany girl is an angel?

missabnormal: *nods* Yeah, this is one of the paranormal romance stories that came hot on the heels of Twilight. However, instead of the guy being the supernatural creature, we have the girl as the supernatural. So, it's a love story between a female angel and a human male. Only problem is that our angel doesn't even act like one! In fact, if she were human, nothing much would change!

Aoba: Great. *reads on* Gabriel tells Bethany to be grateful, and we then skip ahead to dinner at their home, where Bethany tells Ivy about the school day. Is Ivy an angel?

missabnormal: Not just an angel, a seraph. Yet she acts like some housewife from the fifties, all domestic and submissive and motherly. *rolls her eyes* That pisses me off!

Aoba: *widens his eyes* Wow. *continues reading* Ivy is amused when Bethany tells her about the girl who fainted, and states that, "teenage girls can be quite lacking in subtlety", and that "the boys, on the other hand, are much harder to read". *bewildered and disbelieving* Wha...? We're hard to read?! Here, let's see if you can read this!

(flips the book off with a sarcastic smile) You can shove this up your ass, author!

missabnormal: Excuse you, Adornetto. Boys aren't that hard to read. You just find them hard to read because your own head is shoved too far up your ass. Well, what's to be expected from a Twilight fangirl? *sighs* Mind taking over, Ren?

Ren: Very well. Gabriel states that they are not hard to read, but that they all seem lost. He also wonders if anyone of them knows what life is about. I have to disagree, actually. Teenagers are not lost and confused because of evil, whatsoever. They are young and they are trying to figure who they are and what they want. Not to mention, they are hormonal, impressionable, and they don't fully understand the consequences from the decisions they make. I've seen all of this when Aoba was a teenager.

missabnormal: Yeah, this is hardly even the work of evil, this is just reality. Look Adornetto, I don't know what you were like as a teenager, but majority of teens are like this. And if this really was evil... then I'm not even impressed. Moving on! Bethany then tells Gabriel and Ivy about what she had heard about two students dying, the outbreak of sickness, and that people are starting to notice.

*raises an eyebrow* Look, there was one freak accident, Bethany. And there have not been multiple outbreaks of sicknesses, there was only one flu outbreak. The factory fires are serious, yet they're blown off as being no big deal. Need I remind you how dangerous those can get?

Bleh. Ivy says that it's good that they came here on time, and Bethany wants to know what their plan of action is. All Gabriel pretty much tells her is that he doesn't know, but that they should sit around and wait! Yeah, no. Aoba, your turn!

Aoba: Well, after such interesting strategies being planned (read: NONE), everyone is silent. Bethany then announces that she made a friend at school in an attempt to lighten up the mood. However, Gabriel and Ivy are disapproving of this, and Bethany whines and asks whether there's a problem with that and that she thought that they needed to blend in. Gabriel then says this:

"Blending in is one thing; but do you realize that friends require time and energy?" said Gabriel. "They'll want to bond." He winced as if the thought was painful to him.

He does have a point, you know. Especially because they're on a supposed mission. Bethany gets confused about bonding, so Gabriel clarifies by telling her that they'll want an emotional connection. Ivy also tells her that friends can be distracting. Overall, the main concern is that friends will start asking questions and wanting to be involved in her life, which is a danger to their own secrecy.

"Well, thanks for the vote of confidence," I replied indignantly. "You know I'd never do anything that might jeopardize the mission. How stupid do you think I am?"

I was pleased to see them exchange guilty looks. I might have been younger and less experienced than they were, but it was no reason to treat me like an idiot.

missabnormal: *she is silent for a moment. Then she promptly breaks into laughter* Oh my God! I cannot believe that you of all people just said that! You're no angel, Bethany! You're just a bratty teenager who's never been disciplined in her life!

*calms down* But on a more serious note, really? That's rich, especially considering that you go gaga over Xavier Woods the douchebag!

Ren: Gabriel becomes more pacifying, stating that he and Ivy trust Bethany, but they want to avoid complications. Yet Bethany just wants to experience teenage life, so Gabriel has to remind her that they're on a mission from God. She sulks a little bit, and then moves onto the next topic.

Bethany states that she feels more relaxed at home, but she does not know what to do with herself, even though Gabriel and Ivy have hobbies that they occupy themselves with after dinner. So to keep herself busy, she does basic domestic chores such as the laundry.

missabnormal: *scathingly* Just like how a good girl should act. But really, why don't these heroines have any hobbies, dammit?! My heroine loves blacksmithing and listening to music and reading horror novels! What, is it too much work to give the heroine an actual personality?! I want to be able to relate to her, dammit!

*shakes her head* Just stay frosty, me. We also get this passage.

It felt strange to be carrying out ordinary tasks when my whole existence was so far from ordinary. I wondered what other seventeen-year-old girls were doing at the moment-- cleaning their bedrooms at the behest of frustrated parents, listening to their favorite bands on their iPods, sending each other text messages to make plans for the weekend, checking their emails when they should be studying?

*quivering with anger* My God, Bethany. Why the hell are you so damn preachy about how teenage girls should behave and act? This is so annoying, and it's not like Bethany's doing any of this.

Aoba: I'll take over for now. *glances in concern at missabnormal* Bethany states that she has homework in three subjects and that she had wrote it down in her school planner, unlike other students who decided to try and memorise it. *frowns* Well, not everyone's Little Miss Perfect like you. She claims that it would hardly take any time for her to do her homework, and that it was too easy, so it seemed like a waste of time.

You know, for an angel, Bethany sure is arrogant. I don't know much about Christianity, but isn't pride considered a Deadly Sin?

Ren: You are right, Aoba. One of the Seven Deadly Sins is Pride, and an angel displaying traits of pride is surely not a good sign. Bethany goes on to describe her bedroom in detail, which makes me wonder whether this is the author's actual bedroom. She then gets out her textbook, which is psychology.

missabnormal: Psychology? You're in high school, Bethany! No one studies psychology in high school! And you're an angel, so you should not understand how human minds work! You're on a completely different level of existence, dammit! She reads about galvanic skin response and she immediately thinks about Xavier. And I swear, if she starts going on about physical chemistry, something is going to get thrown out of this window!

Gah. Bethany then recalls what Molly told her about Xavier and his baggage and then ponders about what it feels like to lose a loved one.

Once Bethany cleans her room, she goes downstairs to help Gabriel with dinner. He's making mushroom risotto, and I'm apparently supposed to be fascinated because OMG, Archangel Gabriel can cook!

Yeah, whatever. Ivy shows up just as Bethany is making tea, and she takes her tea and leaves to write something in a notebook. Apparently, according to Gabriel, Ivy is just starting her mission from God! Bethany laments over how she's envious that Ivy has a sense of purpose already and wonders when she'll discover hers. And then check this out!

"What should I do?" I asked, hating the way I sounded so petulant.

"That will come to you," said my brother. "Give yourself some time."

"And in the meantime?"

"Didn't you say you wanted to experience being a teenager?" He gave me an encouraging smile, and as always, my unease dissolved.

missabnormal: So wait... *appalled* You don't know what you're supposed to do? And you don't have any ideas as to what to do?! You don't know how to help out, how to save this town from evil?! What about volunteering at, say, an animal shelter or a soup kitchen? Or even trying to donate your money to charity? Or spreading the Word of God to others?

I... I just... this is ridiculous! There is absolutely no way that you are angels! What kind of a mission is this anyways?! This is just... I can't. Ren, Aoba, either one of you can take over.

Aoba: *sighs* I'll do it. So now, there's a useless aside regarding porcini mushrooms, Gabriel cuts his finger but washes his finger clean. Bethany eats some celery, does some pointless pondering about humans, health, God, and death, and then Bethany claims that dinner is a success.

Ivy and Bethany compliment the meal, but Gabriel ignores them in favour of discussing the school day. He talks about how he had so many musical students in his class, more than he expected. Ivy correctly points out that it's less about music and more about his good looks. And what does Gabriel say?

"Well, at least it gives me something to work on," Gabe replied. "If they can find beauty in music, they can find beauty in one another and the world too."

*looks disbelieving* Are you stupid? Ivy just told you that they're taking your class because of your good looks, not music! Man, this is just stupid!

Ren: Bethany asks whether Gabriel gets bored in class because he knows everything. She then states that she was bored in chemistry before stating that in her English class, they watched the film version of Romeo and Juliet.

I didn't tell them this, but the love story fascinated me. The way the lovers fell so deeply and irrevocably in love after their first meeting sparked a burning curiosity in me about what human love might feel like.

missabnormal: Oh, great. Another idealistic author who truly believes that Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever told. News flash, it's not. I mean, come on, the story literally takes place in the span of three days! Literally, they met at a party and got infatuated, married the next day, and then killed themselves on the third day!

Ren: You're right. I believe that it was meant to be more of a satire of those kinds of love stories in Shakespeare's day. Not to mention, Romeo and Juliet did not fall in love on their first meeting, it was merely infatuation. I may not be a human, but even I am aware that human love would not feel like that.

Aoba: Damn right! Why is Romeo and Juliet always used as a template for these kinds of stories? What's so amazing about forbidden love anyways? *rolls his eyes* Please tell me we're almost done.

missabnormal: Yep, we're nearly finished!

Aoba: *relieved* Good! So then Ivy asks Bethany what she thought of the story. Bethany claims that it was very powerful, but that her teacher got annoyed when one of her classmates called Lady Capulet an MILF. Because of that, the teacher called the kid a thug and sent him out of the class. *raises an eyebrow* So she calls this kid a thug because he used 'MILF'. Yeah, it's pretty immature, but I don't think it gives an excuse to be sent out of class!

missabnormal: Well, I guess some teachers just don't tolerate dirty humour like that. I remember when I was in my Grade 9 history class, our teacher was writing a list of things to study for a test. Some girl remarked about how the list 'goes a long way down', and then some guy cracked a 'that's what she said' joke. He got sent out for the rest of the period. So I guess some teachers don't like hearing things like that.

Ren: Bethany is confused about the term, so she asks Gabriel about it. He is clearly uncomfortable, but tells her that it's some acronym for a teenage obscenity. When Bethany pushes further, Gabriel describes it as "a term used by adolescent males to describe a woman who is both attractive and a mother". And I do not think teenage males are the only ones who use that term.

In spite of Gabriel's clear discomfort, Bethany insists he explain it further. Ivy cuts in instead.

"I believe it stands for 'mother I'd like to... befriend'," said my sister.

Aoba: *snorts* More than just 'befriend', actually!

missabnormal: Bethany completely buys it and says that the teacher, Miss Castle, needs to chill. Oh Bethany, you naive, ignorant angel. It goes beyond just 'befriending', as Aoba said. And with that, we've finished the fourth chapter! *turns to Ren and Aoba, giving them both hugs* Thank you again for helping me out with this!

Ren: The pleasure is ours.

Aoba: *smiles* No problem! Nice meeting you too! See you around!

(They both depart the theatre)

missabnormal: Next chapter, I'll be alone. I hope you all enjoyed this sporking! See you in Chapter five!

Continue to: Chapter 5- Small Miracles

Go back to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part Two)
missabnormal: (Default)
 In which we meet the love interest and find out that he's a douchebag

missabnormal: Welcome back everyone! Here is part two of chapter three! We had to split this into two parts because Ms. Ripley and Ms. Mori needed the break, and it was becoming a drag. But now that we're refreshed, let's continue right ahead!

So the chemistry teacher, Mr. Velt, is annoyed at Bethany and Molly being late, and he gives them a slight reprimand for their tardiness. Bethany then gets a brief introduction from the class by Mr. Velt before she sits down in her desk, which is located next to Molly. Bethany uses this opportunity to analyse her a little.

I saw now that she wore the top button of her school dress undone and large silver hoops in her ears. She had drawn an emery board from her pocket and was filing her nails under the desk, blatantly ignoring our teacher's instructions.

Oh, so she doesn't wear the top button on her uniform? How scandalous! But really, Adornetto. I did not miss that there, you know? Don't think that I'm unaware of the implications of that. And nice, she's totally ignoring the teacher in favour of doing her nails in class.

Ripley: We've barely even gotten to know Molly and I already hate her. Great. *reads on* So Molly tells Bethany not to worry about Mr. Velt and calls him a stiff who just got divorced and insults him for driving a convertible. *deadpan look on her face* Why is she so shallow and condescending about her teacher? Wouldn't anyone be a little bit bitter if they're going through a divorce?

Mako: I really don't like how Molly disrespects her teacher here. He is most likely going through a rough time, but all she cares about is the fact that he's a bitter old man. It's quite irritating to see how catty these characters are. *starts reading* Molly then compliments Bethany's name, saying that while it's old-fashioned, it's still pretty. Bethany thinks that she shouldn't be talking with Molly during class, but she continues talking anyways.

missabnormal: People who talk during class are the kind of people who I hate the most, by the way.

Mako: I agree, it's very disrespectful and annoying. Molly then asks Bethany about where she's from, so Bethany gives a cover story about living with her older brother who is a teacher, and that their parents are overseas diplomats and that they'll come when they can. *looks puzzled* Surely after a while, people will start asking about their parents, won't they?

missabnormal: Yeah. Again, in my novel, my demons have the cover story of being international students! When demons are able to blend in better than angels, you know that there's something wrong!

Ripley: Molly reacts by saying how she's never been overseas but has been to the city. So she went to Atlanta? That isn't very impressive, honestly. But whatever. Molly then starts telling Bethany about how things are a little weird in Venus Cove as of lately.

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, I've lived here my whole life; my grandparents even lived here and ran a local business. And in all that time, nothing really bad has ever happened; there's been an occasional factory fire and some boating accidents- but now..." Molly lowered her voice. "There's been robberies and freak accidents all over the place- there was a flu epidemic last year and six kids died from it."

Ripley: *disbelieving* "The occasional factory fire"? And that's nothing really bad? There's a reason why factories are never in the middle of a town, Adornetto. Factories are generally very unsafe environments, which is why they are built away from a populated area. And on the subject of factory fires, depending on the kind of factory it is, there's a chance of a fire going from a small one to a huge explosion. Need some examples of deadly factory fires and explosions? Here they are!

Note that four of these are fireworks disasters. As many as two hundred people have died in factory disasters and fires, which goes to show just how deadly it is to work in one or even live near one! Yet there are factories all around this small town with a population of three thousand. Yes, I am aware of towns being built for servicing the factory, but those are situated a good distance away from the factory or mill to avoid those sort of catastrophes! And I really hope that those factories are not manufacturing fireworks or anything flammable, or may God help this town.

Mako: And also, if there were more than one factory for Venus Cove, it should be a big city. If there are multiple factories in a major manufacturing site, then a big city is the ideal location. Also, what kind of factories are these? It's important to be able to know these sorts of things before writing things like this.

missabnormal: You're right about that, Ms. Mori. Anyways, Molly then goes onto say that the weird things happening in Venus Cove are robberies, freak accidents, and a flu epidemic the previous year that took the lives of six kids. And then there's also mention of a 'forbidden incident' that happened six months ago. Apparently, some kid climbed up on the school roof to get a basketball, and slipped and fell. *confused* Wait... how the hell can a basketball land on the roof? Unless they threw it up there on purpose, there's no way that a basketball can end up on the roof like that.

Oh well. Now, Molly and Bethany are caught by Mr. Velt. But before Mr. Velt can get angry with Molly for distracting Bethany, this happens.

I channeled a calming energy toward him and watched with satisfaction as he started looking less harangued.

Oh, so you basically mind-raped him?! *starts to get annoyed* You're an angel, Bethany! You should NOT be doing things like this! Yeah, I can't do this. Please, Ms. Ripley?

Ripley: Why not? *sighs and looks through her book* Well, after being mind-raped into complacency, Mr. Velt gives Molly a "tolerant, almost paternal chuckle, which confuses Molly. After another side jab, in which Molly thinks that Mr. Velt is having a mid-life crisis, Mr. Velt starts to turn on the projector, which makes Bethany panic because... *looks disbelieving* she might start glowing in the dark? These are some awful disguises, you know.

Mako: So Bethany excuses herself to go to the bathroom but just stays outside the classroom until he finishes using the projector. And then, she hears a voice asking her if she's lost.

missabnormal: And what do you know? It's our love interest! *grumbles* The biggest douchebag on the planet!

I spun around to see a boy lounging against the lockers opposite the classroom. Even though he looked more formal with his shirt buttoned, tie neatly knotted, and school blazer, there was no mistaking that face or the nut-colored hair flopping over vivid blue eyes. I hadn't expected to run into him again, but now the boy from the pier was standing right in front of me, wearing that same wry smile.

*raises an eyebrow* A wry smile? Really? And that's supposed to make me go "Eeeeeee! He's soooo hot!"? That just makes me believe he's an ass.

Ripley: Honestly, if Hicks had been giving me a wry smile when we woke up from cryo, I wouldn't have been attracted to him at all. What's wrong with a little bit of courtesy?

Mako: It seems like they believe that being rude is attractive. It's quite annoying, actually.

Well, after Bethany reassures him that he's fine, the unnamed boy teases that it's better to learn in the classroom. Bethany turns around, and she suddenly feels an "instant, gut-wrenching physical reaction". *incredulous* Is this supposed to be some sort of love at first sight?

missabnormal: Pretty much. It's trying to show that they have a connection because "OMG HE'S SO HOT". Look, it's okay to have this reaction of utter shock because of how attractive person is, but you can't just try and pass it off as love!

Bethany goes on and describes how he has "the striking good looks of an actor" and the body of a swimmer. You know, I'm a little exhausted with how the male love interest must always be the epitome of manliness. I mean, in my novel, the male love interest of my heroine is not only a demon, but he's actually got feminine features and he likes wearing makeup! Sure, he's both lean and toned, but he doesn't let anyone try and tell him that he can't wear makeup.

And the boy introduces himself! His name is Xavier!

Ripley: After this brief little meeting, Bethany goes back into the classroom, feeling flustered. And then it's time for her gym class, and Bethany gets nervous because she realises that she has to change in front of the other girls. And, I kid you not, the other girls "peeled off their clothes without a second thought and tossed them into lockers or onto the floor". *sighs* Why must girls demonise other girls simply for being more confident?

Mako: Somehow, Molly gets her bra straps tangled and asks Bethany for help. *smiles in amusement* I really hope Adornetto is aware of the lesbian undertones she's writing. Molly then tells Bethany that her hands are really soft and that she must moisturise every night.

Molly asks Bethany whether she met any boys and Bethany tells her about Xavier. She even says that she's glad that he wasn't "a Peter or Rob".

missabnormal: Oh really? The angel, and a Christian angel, believes that the name Peter is disgraceful? Excuse you, Adornetto. Haven't you forgotten about Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ? Not to mention, the Apostle who is considered to be the first pope by the Roman Catholic Church? Jeez, one would think that an angel would be appreciative of people who are named after angels or saints! But no, Peter is apparently a distasteful and stupid name! I can't believe that of all the things... *starts to get annoyed*

*instantly calm* Oh Ruki~ You're so beautiful...

Ripley: *awkwardly* Well, I guess it's my turn now. Anyways, Molly asks which Xavier she's talking about, and Bethany tells her that he's the one with light brown hair and blue eyes, and Molly confirms that this is the love interest. And his name is Xavier Woods, and he's said to be the "school captain". Er, Adornetto? In America, they're known as the 'School President'. 'School captain' is used in former British Empire colonies, so in places like Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe. You know, why couldn't you set this damn story in Australia, it's not like anything would have changed!

Mako: Why is it that these authors can't do proper research for their stories? It's truly baffling. But anyways, Molly warns Bethany not to go after him. When Bethany asks why, Molly tells her that Xavier has baggage, which makes him turn down nearly every girl who asks him out. As it turns out, he used to have a girlfriend named Emily who died in a house fire two years ago, and Xavier is still in mourning because people kept talking about how they were going to be married, even though they were sixteen.

I hate to break it to you, but I don't think sixteen-year-olds are even thinking about marriage. But apparently, they were so in love that it was obvious that they were going to get married.

missabnormal: So then, after Bethany frets about how short the gym uniform is and explains that it'll risk exposing the fact that she has no navel, she just gets changed. And you know what's even more stupid? These angels don't have V-shaped scars when they come to Earth, their wings are still folded on their back!

Once Bethany changes, she joins Molly in applying makeup. But who wears makeup to gym class? Anyways, Molly gives Bethany some lipgloss, and she's confused. She says that"unlike the other girls, I hadn't been experimenting with my mom's cosmetics since I was five". Damn, will this preaching ever stop?! Yeah, I don't wear makeup either, but that doesn't mean I shame girls who wear it!

Then, Molly smells something. Bethany panics for a moment, but it turns out that it smells like rain, which is apparently the natural scent of angels. Then another friend of Molly's, a girl named Taylah, tells her that it wasn't raining.

Ripley: Taylah? Who spells their kid's name like that? Is this Australian?

missabnormal: Most likely.

And now, we've got the drill sergeant who doubles as a high school gym teacher, straight out of a high school movie! *disgusted* I hate this book. I hate it when books and movies always portray high school as some sort of clique-filled place where everyone drops whatever they're doing and goes to prom or football games. Bethany is able to do the exercises and she doesn't even break a sweat because angels don't sweat.

Mako: Molly notices this and says that Bethany must be very fit. *raises an eyebrow* That's called hypohidrosis, Adornetto. It can lead to people having a heat stroke, or even dying. If people noticed this, they'd probably call an ambulance for Bethany, who should at least pretend to be huffing and puffing.

Ripley: And while we're on that subject, we get this.

...added Taylah, tipping the contents of her water bottle down her cleavage. It attracted the attention of a gaggle of boys nearby, who gaped at her. "It's getting hot in here!" she teased, parading past the boys with her now see-through shirt until the gym teacher noticed the spectacle and charged over to us like a raging bull.

Seriously? *annoyed* Don't think that I didn't see what you're doing, Adornetto. Geez, you could easily make a drinking game based on the amount of slut-shaming in this book! But I wouldn't really recommend it, you'd probably land some serious damage on your liver.

missabnormal: Also, where'd the boys come from? Does this school have co-ed gym classes or something? Gah, whatever, we're almost done!

So, Bethany continues her day, hoping to get another look at Xavier and daydreams about him. She tries to remind herself about the mission and tells herself that she won't let him distract her. It would have been a good place to end the chapter, especially without her saying that she's gonna fail.

And we're finally done!

Ripley: Are we free to go?

missabnormal: Yep! You and Ms. Mori are free to go now! Thank you again for your help! I'll call you again in the future!

Mako: See you around!

(she and Ripley leave)

missabnormal: Now that we're done chapter 3, I'll call in some help for chapter 4. And again, I think I know who to get~ (she smiles happily)

Continue to: Chapter 4- Earthbound

Go back to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part One)
missabnormal: (Default)
 In which we are suddenly thrust into a cliché high school movie! And I receive help from two badass women!

missabnormal: Hello everyone! Remember how I said that I needed some guest sporkers to help me out? Well, here they are!

(The doors to the theatre open. A woman with curly hair and a boiler suit enters the theatre, a polite smile on her face. A Japanese woman with short hair also enters. They are Ellen Ripley and Mako Mori.)


missabnormal: It took a lot of persuasion to get them to help me out with this. But hey, after a while, I managed to get their permission! *turns to Ripley and Mako, barely concealing her excitement* Um... it's nice to meet you, Ms. Ripley, Ms. Mori. My name's missabnormal, but just call me missy.

Mako: *gives a polite smile* It's nice to meet you, missy.

Ripley: *sits down* So, what are we doing?

missabnormal: We're sporking bad literature. Our current work-in-progress is called 'Halo' by Alexandra Adornetto, and it's a love story between an angel and a human.

Mako: *sighs as she sits down* Well, so long as it has nothing to do with the kaiju, I'll be fine. Let's get started.

missabnormal: Yep! So, we open up to Chapter Three with a description of Bryce Hamilton School!

The Bryce Hamilton School was located on the outskirts of town, set on the high peak of an undulating slope. No matter where you were in the building, you looked out to see a view: either vineyards and verdant hills with the odd grazing cow, or the rugged cliffs of the Shipwreck Coast, so named for the many vessels that had sunk in its treacherous waters over the last century. The school, a limestone mansion complete with arched windows, sweeping lawns, and a bell tower, was one of the town's original buildings. It had once served as a convent before it was converted to a school in the sixties.

And we already start off with a geographical fail. Really, Adornetto? The Shipwreck Coast? That's located in Australia, near Victoria! Yeah, there is one in America as well, but that's in Michigan, not Georgia. Seriously, a little research never hurt anyone! How the hell did the editor not notice this?!

Ripley: So wait, is this going to be a common occurrence?

missabnormal: Yeah. Our author is Australian, so she has a habit of sprinkling in some Australian terms, phrases, and the like in this book.

Mako: Well, I guess it's a good thing that I spent enough time with Chuck Hansen. He used a lot of Australian slang in our spare time during training.

missabnormal: According to Bethany, the school had a reputation for moving ahead with the times, and was "favored by progressive parents who wanted to avoid subjecting their children to any kind of repression". Yeah, don't think that I didn't miss that there, Adornetto! I know exactly what you're talking about!

Okay, I'm passing it onto you, Ms. Ripley.

Ripley: Okay then. *opens up her copy* So now, this Bethany girl is standing outside the school gates with her siblings Ivy and Gabriel, and she's feeling nervous about it. She claims that butterflies are "doing callisthenics in her stomach". It's spelled 'calisthenics' here in America, Adornetto. Bethany then states that as an angel, she had "listened in on the prayers of teenage girls and most of them centered on being accepted by the "popular" crowd and finding a boyfriend who played on the rugby team".

*angered* So what, you ignore the prayers of teenage girls who wish for their parents to stop abusing them, who hope to be able to afford a decent education, who pray for their mothers to come back because they don't know what the hell happened to their mother when she went into space?! Amanda probably prayed like hell for a miracle to bring me back to Earth, you know! For fifty-seven years! And she never even lived to see me come back!

(Mako gently rubs Ripley's shoulder in consolation)

missabnormal: I agree, Ms. Ripley. Why is Bethany focusing only on the shallow prayers? And on a side note, rugby is Australian, Adornetto. If you did research, you should know that it's called 'football' here. And college football is BIG in the South! You cannot get it confused like that!

Mako: I'll take over now. *opens her own copy* Bethany starts to describe various cliques in this school, who are all dressed in uniform like her. And it all sounds a little bit, er... strange, I guess? I wouldn't know, since I spent majority of my life in the Jaeger Academy, and even in Japan, there's nothing like this.

missabnormal: It's all out of a high school movie, Ms. Mori. Think Mean Girls, 'cause this is what it sounds like. Nothing like this exists in real high schools, American or Canadian.

The music posse was made up of boys with shoulder-length hair, untidy strands falling over their eyes. They carried instrument cases and had musical chords scrawled on their arms in black felt pen.

Ripley: Where are the girls? And why would they draw on their arms if they can get tattoos?

Mako: I've never heard of musicians drawing chords on their arms. (She reads ahead to the next clique)

There was a small minority of goths who had set themselves apart by the use of heavy eye makeup and spiky hairdos, and I wondered how they got away with it. Surely it must contravene school regulations. 

missabnormal: That sounds more like the punk scene, or even cybergoth.

Those who liked to think of themselves as artistic had accessorized the uniform with berets or hats and colorful scarves.

Mako: *purses her lips* That sounds a little bit arrogant, doesn't it? "Those who liked to think of themselves as artistic"? That basically implies that they're not really artistic, or that they're not true artists.

Ripley: Also, why berets? Isn't that a French stereotype?

missabnormal: Seems like Adornetto combined the two. She must believe that all artists wear berets and the like. I know several art students who don't dress like that. And I have a friend from France, and she doesn't even wear a beret! At this point, it's becoming a really lame high school movie.

Some girls traveled in packs, like a group of platinum blondes who crossed the road with their arms linked.

Ripley: "Traveled in packs"? *snorts dryly* They're people, not wolves. And great, I already see the hatred for blondes coming.

missabnormal: Ah, it's too common in these kinds of stories, Ms. Ripley. Because everyone knows that blondes are EEEEVIL boyfriend-stealers who don't deserve to go to heaven! *looks sickened* I feel sick just saying that.

The academic types were easily identified; they wore pristine uniforms with no alterations and carried the official school backpack. They tended to walk with a missionary zeal, heads down, eager to reach the sanctity of the library. 

Ripley: You serious? No one even picks on the nerds these days, it's more like people are intimidated by them.

Mako: And not all academic students are quiet and timid like that. I was quite the studious one in the Jaeger Academy, but I was also a fighter.

missabnormal: True that.

A group of boys in untucked shirts, loose ties, and sneakers loitered under the shade of some palms, taking swigs from soda cans and chocolate milk cartons. They were in no hurry to move inside the school gates, instead taking turns at punching and leaping on one another. They tumbled to the ground laughing and groaning at the same time. I watched one boy throw an empty can at his friend’s head. It bounced off and rattled on the sidewalk. The boy looked stunned for a moment before bursting into laughter.

missabnormal: I've seen boys doing stupider things than that, honestly. And not all of them were the jocks, actually.

Ripley: Just like my time with the Marines. Like when Bishop did the knife thing with Hudson, even though he could've easily gotten his fingers stabbed.

Mako: *reads on* So, after Bethany receives her class schedule from Ivy, she and Gabriel make their way into the school, and for some reason, everyone is staring at them as they enter the school grounds. I'm pretty sure those students have better things to do than to stare at every new student they receive, right? Is this common in these sort of books?

missabnormal: Not just books, Ms. Mori. It's common in every bad high school movie as well. Anways! Bethany and Gabriel meet the secretary of the school, who laments over how a basketball game will have to be cancelled because of the forecast predicting rain, so what does Gabriel do? He changes the weather so that the game can happen!

Ripley: And like that's not going to have an effect on weather patterns around the world? You'd think that these angels would use their powers sparingly, right? We also get a description of the school building, which sounds more like a college campus than a high school!

In the main wing the corridors were carpeted in a dark burgundy and oak doors with glass panels led to antiquated-looking classrooms. The ceilings were high and some of the old ornate light fixtures still remained. They were a stark contrast to the graffiti-covered lockers lining the corridor and the slightly nauseating smell of deodorant coupled with cleaning agents and the greasy odor of hamburgers coming from the cafeteria. Mrs. Jordan took us on a whirlwind tour, pointing out the main facilities (the quadrangle, multimedia department, science block, assembly hall, gymnasium, and tracks, playing fields, and the performing arts center). She was obviously pressed for time, because after showing me my locker, she blurted some vague directions to the nurse’s office, told me not to hesitate should I have any questions, and took Gabriel by the elbow and whisked him away. He looked back at me apprehensively.

missabnormal: Well damn, Adornetto! Is this the kind of high school that you went to? Because this is definitely more like a college campus! Also, no one even graffitis lockers anymore, they have to pay if they do so.

Once Gabriel is led away by the secretary, Bethany takes a look at her schedule, and she cannot decipher what her first class is. And what is her first reaction? To panic and want to go back home. Again, I'd like to ask God, why should I put my trust in this angel? If this is what Heaven has to offer, then I really don't know if I can trust them.

Mako: Bethany then gets the attention of a girl with "titian curls". Wouldn't it be easier to say 'auburn hair'? But anyways, Bethany asks the girl for help in finding her first class, which turns out to be chemistry, which this girl also has. The girl also asks whether Bethany had spares in her previous school, which Bethany doesn't really understand. She says no, and we finally learn that this girl's name is Molly. And I must say, her description sounds quite... interesting.

The girl was beautiful with glowing skin, rounded features, and bright eyes. Her rosiness reminded me of a girl in a painting I’d seen, a shepherdess in a bucolic setting.

Are you sure that Bethany isn't feeling any sort of attraction towards her?

missabnormal: All this is unintentional, honestly. But still, it's fun to see them describe just how attractive other girls are, even more so than the love interest.

Ripley: I'd want to read a story about Bethany and Molly, honestly. It'd probably be far more interesting than this. So anyways, both Bethany and Molly turn up at Mr. Velt's chemistry class late, and Mr. Velt isn't too pleased at this. God, how much longer is this chapter going to be? This is so boring!

missabnormal: How about we stop here for now? Looks like we'll have to split this into two parts. So, you two can take a break. Thanks for doing this with me!

Mako: You're very welcome.

missabnormal: So, now that this chapter is going to be split up, I look forward to seeing you in the next part of this chapter!

Continue to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part Two)

Go back to: Chapter 2- Flesh
missabnormal: (Default)
 Last time, in chapter one, Bethany, Ivy, and Gabriel move to the sleepy beachside town of Venus Cove (despite the fact that there are a large number of cities that need the presence of angels even more than this town), they move into a grand house that angels should not need to have, and they meet the love interest. In short, nothing much.

Now then! Let's get started with Chapter Two of Alexandra Adornetto's Halo! We open up with Bethany waking up in her room, and she can see sunlight streaming in through her windows, as well as the dust in the air. She also smells the sea and hears the sound of seagulls squawking and ocean waves, which she describes as"yeasty" for some reason. But seriously, who the hell describes the ocean as 'yeasty'? It just sounds weird and out of place. Now, 'yeasty' can mean 'foaming' or 'frothy', but why not describe ocean waves as 'foamy' or even 'bubbly'? 

Gah. Moving on, we get a description of Bethany's bedroom! And man, is it ever so heteronormative!

Whoever had been responsible for decorating my bedroom had done so with some account of its future occupant. It had a girlish charm with its white furniture, iron canopy bed, and rosebud wallpaper. The white dressing table had a floral stencil on its drawers, and there was a rattan rocking chair in one corner. A dainty desk with turned legs stood against a wall beside the bed.

Now, there's nothing wrong with liking girly things and decor. It's only when you imply that all girls should like girly decor when it starts to become annoying and preachy. I was quite annoyed with this, and I am quite the girly-girl, mind you! I love pink and flowers and all that, but I'm not a total girly-girl! And I don't force others to like girly things either! But you should get used to all this lecturing and preaching in this novel. There's quite a lot in this book.

Bethany stretches and describes the crumpled sheets as "still a novelty", and there should be a comma and not a semicolon in that sentence, Adornetto. Moving on from the grammar error, Bethany then describes the Kingdom of Heaven for us.

Where we came from, there were no textures, no objects. We needed nothing physical to sustain us and so there was nothing. 

There's absolutely nothing in Heaven? Geez, it must be boring! No wonder Lucifer decided to get himself cast out of Heaven, there's nothing up there!

Bethany then states that Heaven is not easy to describe, and that humans might see a glimpse of it buried in their unconscious. I think you meant 'subconscience', Adornetto. She says that it's like an expanse of white, an invisible city, with no material objects to be seen. It's also described as "a sky like liquid gold and rose quartz, a feeling of buoyancy, of weightlessness, seemingly empty but more majestic than the grandest place on Earth." ‚Äč 

I thought Heaven was supposed to be a peaceful place with no hunger, death, thirst, or sickness. I mean, that's how it's been described in some parts of the Bible. Not to mention, Heaven is also considered to be a state or a condition of existence, rather than a place in the cosmos. Pope John Paul II himself said that, "The 'heaven' or 'happiness' in which we find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity". So, Heaven should be considered majestic because of how it feels, not how it looks.

Anyways, Bethany is frustrated because the human language is so limited, and that people's thoughts and feelings went unspoken. Oh really now? Says the one who finds plenty of words to judge other people on their lifestyle choices. And the next part is absolutely clichéd.

One of the most frustrating words in the human language was love.

*sighs* So this is how it's gonna be? Man, I am not ready for this.

So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, 

Um, excuse you. Love is so much more than romantic relationships. What about family, friends, and all that? This is something that I've started noticing in these kinds of stories. Love for family and friends is always ignored in favour of romance and relationships. And that's something I'm hoping to change in my novel. My heroine loves her parents and her friend, and she cares deeply about them. Yes, while she does fall in love, she never once puts her love interest above her family and friends! Hell, she couldn't even imagine doing such a thing! If she were to see how Bella Swan and some of these heroines treat their family and so-called friends, she would be appalled.

And on the subject of bandying words around, what about how people carelessly use the name of your father, dammit?! Shouldn't you be more worried about that?

using it to describe their attachments to their possessions,

Like my laptop and my music.


Whoa. Again, excuse you. I love my dog, Rolo, a lot. She's like family to us, and while I may not be much of a dog person, I really can't imagine my life without my dog. If something ever happens to her, I'd be devastated! So don't tell me that loving a pet is careless! Now I'm just starting to get annoyed.

vacation destinations,

Like my love for traveling to India. But really, Adornetto, people love vacation destinations because those places have meaning for them, you know? For me, India is where majority of my family members live, so I love travelling there to visit them. It's also where I was born, so I have an attachment to my home country! I love India for those reasons! Likewise, someone could like travelling to Hawai'i because they got married there, or they love the beach, or whatever. So for some people, vacation destinations have meaning for them.

and favorite foods. 

Like my love for mango juice, Indian sweets, ramen noodles, and potatoes. Again, food can have meaning for some people, Adornetto. Not everything is about romance!

Wasn't that insulting? Shouldn't there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love.

Oh, that's rich! And this is coming from an angel who goes all gaga over a human pretty soon! And not all humans are preoccupied with love, Adornetto. Aromantic people exist, you know? Then again, this book is so heteronormative that there are only male-female pairings.

They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their "other half". It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved's entire world. 

Well, yeah. If you read Twilight, that is. But again, not everyone is so desperate to fall in love or to find their one true love! I mean, yeah, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be in love, but I'm not desperate for it. I just want to figure out who I am and what I want before I fall in love! And I don't think I want to become the entire world of my future boyfriend. That would be very unhealthy.

The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again.

Damn, that's kind of an insult to the partners of soldiers who are deployed overseas, or to people in long-distance relationships! Again, these people don't just become catatonic when their beloved goes overseas. They continue with their lives and get things done! Can you imagine what it would be like if people actually went catatonic if their beloved went overseas? Nothing would get done, we'd still be very much in the Stone Age, Adornetto!

Only when they were together could they really

-*sings* paint with all the colours of the wind!

see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything to a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person's face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been so intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.

Well, not everyone is like you, Adornetto. And really, the last part just sounds like more of the whole 'humans suck' crap that is really becoming annoying. And please, for the love of everything holy, don't project. You're really projecting your thoughts into this story, Adornetto.

Moving forward, Bethany finally gets up from bed after hearing Gabriel and Ivy in the kitchen. And Bethany wraps a "cashmere throw" around her to keep warm. Seriously? A cashmere throw? Why not just a regular throw blanket, huh? Of course, only the very best for Bethany! God, I hate it when Suethors give their precious little Sues luxuries like this. Such as having them offhandedly mention their designer clothing, their silk dresses, their jewelry made from real gold and jewels! *starting to get angry* Because they cannot have anything that is normal and regular, oh no! Only the very best in the world for them!

*immediately calms down* Oh, yeah... now this is what I needed. Oh, Ruki... you really know how to calm me down~

(For those of you who don't know, this is Ruki, the vocalist of the GazettE, a Japanese rock band. They are my favourite band in the entire world, and I am absolutely in love with Ruki for everything he is <3. And yes, he's a dude. But I think he looks beautiful like this, and if he likes wearing makeup and looking feminine, then who are we to judge?)

Um... ahem. Back to sporking. Bethany then states that she is pleased at how she's adjusted to human life, and how she no longer gets headaches or spells of nausea at different scents. She even feels happy when she accidentally stubs her toe on the fridge, as the pain reminds her that she is real and that she can feel. Again, this is interesting, and it's too bad that this wasn't explored more. All this lost potential makes me sad.

Gabriel gives Bethany a mug of tea, and she accidentally scalds her fingers on the mug, and she's reminded that she's not immune to pain, unlike Gabriel and Ivy.

And now, Bethany describes a little bit more about herself. Apparently, she was chosen for this mission because she's more "in tune with the human condition than other angels". How, dammit?! She's a baby angel, she's basically a newbie! If anything, it should be Gabriel and Ivy who are more in tune with humans!

I watched over humans, empathized with them, and tried to understand them. I had faith in them and cried tears for them. Perhaps it was because I was young- I had been created seventeen mortal years ago, which equated to infancy in celestial years.

Oh, so she's basically seventeen-years-old? And that's basically infancy for angels? Why the hell is she on Earth then? She should not be able to relate to humans whatsoever if she is that young! She has zero experience in divine duties, so she should not be going on this mission, dammit!

Gabriel and Ivy had been around for centuries; they had fought battles and witnessed human atrocities beyond my imagination. They'd had all of time to acquire strength and power to protect them on Earth. They'd both visited Earth on a number of missions so they'd had time to adjust to it and were aware of its perils and pitfalls. 

See, Gabriel and Ivy being on Earth actually makes sense, because they're practically millions of years old. They have more experience with fighting and visiting Earth, whereas Bethany is practically a baby and has had zero experience with anything! Bethany's just going to drag them down on their mission!

But I was an angel in the purest, most vulnerable form. I was naïve and trusting, young and fragile. I could feel pain because years of wisdom and experience did not protect me from it. It was for this reason that Gabriel wished I had not been chosen, and it was for this reason that I had.

Ohhhh, and there it is! See, Bethany isn't just pure because she's an angel. She's pure because she's a virgin. It's pretty obvious that this is also what she's referring to. I mean, just think about it, especially in regards to what's coming up soon.

After a brief little conversation in regards to breakfast, Bethany starts to describe Gabriel, Ivy, and herself, and she starts off with Gabriel.

In his physical form, Gabriel might as well have been a classical sculpture come to life. His shoulder-length hair was the color of sand and he often wore it pulled back in a loose ponytail. His brow was strong and his nose arrow straight. Today he was wearing faded blue jeans worn through at the knees and a crumpled linen shirt, both of which gave him a disheveled beauty. Gabriel was an archangel and a member of the Holy Seven. Although his clique ranked only second in the divine hierarchy, they were exclusive and had the most interaction with human beings. In fact, they were created to liaise between the Lord and mortals. But at heart Gabriel was a warrior- his celestial name meant "Hero of God"- and it was he who had watched Sodom and Gomorrah burn. 

You mean the Seven Archangels, right? And yes, Gabriel is a member of them. The Seven Archangels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Camael, Jophiel, and Zadkiel. Also, Gabriel means 'God is my strength' in Hebrew, not 'Hero of God'. And there is no confirmation as to which angel watched the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now, she moves onto Ivy!

Ivy, on the other hand, was one of the wisest and oldest of our kind, although she didn't look a day over twenty. She was a seraphim, the order of angels closest to the Lord. In the Kingdom, seraphim had six wings to mark the six days of creation. A gold snake was tattooed on Ivy's wrist as a mark of her rank. It was said that in battle, the seraphim would come forward to spit fire on the earth, but she was one of the gentlest creatures I'd ever met. In her physical form, Ivy looked like a Renaissance Madonna with her swanlike neck and pale oval face. Like Gabriel, she had piercing rain gray eyes. This morning she wore a white flowing dress and gold sandals. 

Surely, you meant to call her a seraph, right? Seraphim is plural, and indeed, they are the caretakers of God's throne, and in the Book of Isaiah, they are said to be winged celestial beings with a fiery passion for doing God's good work. However, their six wings were covered with eyes, you know? Also, way to make this seraph look like a mix of a Renaissance Madonna and Aphrodite. Sounds a little weird, if you ask me. Also, there should be a dash between 'rain' and 'gray'.

And now, Bethany!

I, on the other hand, was nothing special, just a plain, old, transition angel- bottom of the rung. I didn't mind; it meant I was able to interact with the human spirits that entered the Kingdom. In my physical form, I looked ethereal like my family, except my eyes were as brown as river stones and my chesnut brown hair fell in loose waves down my back. I'd thought that once I was recruited for an Earth posting I'd be able to choose my own physical form, but it didn't work that way. I was created small, fine boned, and not especially tall, with a heart-shaped face, pixielike ears, and skin that was milky pale. 

 I don't know why, but the only image I get of her is of Juliet from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet. Specifically, like this:

Anyone else get that mental image, or is it just me?

But on a serious note, why in the world is Bethany in the body of a seventeen-year-old? That's not gonna help her through battle whatsoever! No wonder Gabriel didn't want her to accompany them on this mission! And I really cannot believe God allowed Bethany to go on this mission either.

Bleh, whatever. Ivy gets up to put her plate in the sink and she's described as if "she were dancing rather than walking". Well, of course! We can't have her walking like a normal person!

Bethany asks Ivy about the news, and she sees that the front page is filled with stories of bombings, natural disasters, and economic collapse. How does Bethany react to this? She feels "immediately defeated". 

Seriously?! This is who I'm supposed to count on to keep humanity safe and restore faith in miracles?! Bethany, you can't just feel defeated from the news! You're an angel, it's your job to help people in times of trouble! Dear goodness, why in the world were you chosen for this mission?!

Ivy laments over how people have no faith in one another, so Bethany asks what they can do. However, Gabriel says that change takes time, and Ivy then says that they need to focus on saving their little portion of the world. Uh, yeah, a sleepy beach town that seems to be managing fine!

"You mean this town?"

"Of course." My sister nodded. "This town was listed as a target of the Dark Forces. It's strange the places they choose." 

Yes, Ivy, I have to agree. Especially since we don't see much evidence of any Dark Forces in Venus Cove!

After Gabriel repeats their objective again, Ivy then suggests that they try to blend in. And then, Bethany tells us how they are different. And this needs to be sporked.

There were several things that made us conspicuous. For starters, human beings were flawed and we weren't.

Already going on the 'Humanity Sucks' train, aren't we? But seriously, how am I supposed to have faith in supernatural creatures that bash on humanity? If this is who I'm supposed to look to for protection, I'd rather get eaten by a demon or a hellbeast, thank you very much. At least hellbeasts are supposed to look down on humanity.

If you saw one of us in a crowd, the first thing you'd notice was our skin. It was so translucent you might be persuaded into believing that it contained actual particles of light. 

So what, they're glow-in-the-dark?

This became even more evident after dark when any exposed skin emitted a faint glow as if from some inner energy source.

So they are glow-in-the-dark! And what's the point of that, if they're trying to stay concealed from humans?

Also, we never left any footprints, even when we were walking on something impressionable like grass or sand. 

Wow, so much for trying to blend in. Seriously, these disguises suck!

And you'd never catch any one of us in a tank top- we always wore high-backed tops to cover up a minor cosmetic problem.

The V-shaped scars, I assume? But really, these disguises are just terrible! There's no way that they'll be able to blend in! The demons in my novel do this way better, Adornetto! They don't glow or anything, the only things they have are pointed ears and sharper canines, that's all! Damn, if demons are able to disguise themselves better than your angels, you know that there's something wrong.

The next part, Bethany tells us about how the locals interact with them, and refers to Venus Cove as a sleepy backwater town. According to her, some people think that they're tourists and others think that they're celebrities. Well, so much for blending in, huh? Again, my two demon characters blend in way better than your angels, Adornetto.  And a backwater town has a different meaning than what you think, Adornetto. It's used to refer to a really small town.

Bethany describes how there are so many awful things happening in the world, like murder, kidnapping, and war. Well, if that's the case, why don't you go to a place that is actually experiencing some of those things?!

If I continue, I'm probably going to end up repeating myself, so I'll move on. Bethany states how fortunate they are to have ended up in Venus Cove, describing it as "a breathtaking place of striking contrasts". Yes, be grateful that you ended up in a small beach town with no troubles whatsoever, instead of an actually dangerous place like Caracas, or Baltimore, or Detroit, or even...!

Oh Ruki... you're just what I need right now... *sighs dreamily*

Back to sporking. For once, I actually agree with Gabriel, who also thinks that their accommodations are a little bit excessive and that he'd rather have something less grand! Thank you, Gabriel! However, Ivy and Bethany love it, of course. And Bethany even does some lampshading with this!

I suspected the house might not help achieve our goal of blending in, but I kept quiet. I didn't want to complain when I already felt too much like a liability on this mission.

Well, no duh! Of course the house isn't going to help you blend in! It's too fancy on its own!

Bethany then describes the town of Venus Cove for us in the next passage. According to her, Venus Cove has a population of about 3000 people, but this number doubles during the summer break when tourists came to the town. So it's like a resort town as well, huh? Only problem, what is the main industry of this town, besides tourism? A town has to have another industry to rely on besides tourism!

At this moment, Bethany and Gabriel are getting ready to start school at the local high school, Bryce Hamilton. According to Bethany, she's a student and Gabriel is the music teacher. And I can actually buy Gabriel being a music teacher, because of the Horn of Gabriel. Also, Bethany states that "It had been decided that a school would be a useful place to begin our work of countering the emissaries of darkness, given that it was full of young people whose values were still evolving". 

Oh, I don't know, maybe it's because they're young and inexperienced, maybe that's why their values are still evolving!

Anyways, Ivy doesn't get to go to school on the account of being too "unearthly", so she's instead helping them get ready like a good old fifties mother and housewife!

Ivy's a Seraph. And here she is, acting like a domestic housewife! This pisses me off to no extent. I hate seeing strong female characters being reduced to nothing more than a housewife!

Gabriel then tells Bethany not to say anything that may make others suspicious, and Bethany then makes a crack at wishing to fly through the hallways, which Gabriel is totally unamused at.

It seems like this school requires the students to wear uniforms! Look, Adornetto, I don't know if all schools in Australia require a uniform to be worn, but in North America, a uniform is usually an indicator of a PRIVATE SCHOOL. But of course! They have to go to a private school, since public school is for losers!

*deep breath* I'm almost done this chapter. Stay frosty.

Gabriel is disgruntled about his outfit, claiming that it's uncomfortable and limiting. Meanwhile, Bethany states that the school uniforms are stylish, which makes me think that this is Adornetto's ideal uniform. Bethany starts fretting over school, and Gabriel reassures Bethany that he'll fix whatever she screws up. However, Bethany isn't worried about physical dangers! This is what she's worried about!

What worried me was the seduction of all things human. I doubted myself, and I knew that could lead to losing sight of my higher purpose. After all, it had happened before with dire consequences- we'd all heard the dreadful legends of fallen angels, seduced by the indulgences of man, and we all knew what had become of them.

They shouldn't be legends to you, Bethany. You're an angel so they should be real for you! And way to foreshadow what will happen in the future! And you won't even suffer many consequences for it, of course!

With one more line about how Ivy and Gabriel observe the world around with a trained eye, we close this chapter.

*sighs* Finally! It's over! And man, was this a long chapter! You know, I'm going to be calling in some guest sporkers for the next chapter. I'm going to need it. See you in chapter three, everyone!

Continue to: Chapter Three- Venus Cove (Part One)

Go back to: Chapter One- Descent 
missabnormal: (Default)
 In which nothing really happens. Let's do this!
We start off with the first-person narrative, as it is all too common in these kinds of novels, YA or not. Our heroine, Bethany, states that it was almost dawn when they first landed, and they hoped that they would be unnoticed. However, unfortunately for them, there is a thirteen-year-old boy, "doing a paper round". 

First of all, 'paper route' is what it's called in North America, Adornetto. This isn't Australia. Be ready to see a lot of Australian slang and phrases in this book, since our author is Australian and has no clue of what America is like. Hell, I'm Canadian, and I know a little bit about how America works!

Anyways, how does Bethany know that the boy was doing the paper route? Shouldn't she not know these sorts of things? And how does she know that he "seemed to be playing a mental game with himself to estimate where exactly he could get each paper to land"? Dammit, this is why third-person is better for this kind of thing!

Moving on, the boy sees the three new strangers and is understandably startled at the sight. However, Bethany decides to tell us that he's scared because of how they look. No, honey, I can assure you that it's not because of how you look. However, when the three new strangers try to be reassuring, they don't know how to smile, so they just "contort" a smile out of their faces, sending the boy running with his tail between his legs.

On another note, I looked up the name of our heroine to see if there is anything Biblical about it. Apparently, the name is Biblical in origin, and it comes from the name of a town in the New Testament. The town of Bethany is the home of Saint Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha. So... I guess I could give it a pass? But still, one would think that Adornetto would give the names of actual angels for her protagonists.

Anyways, we are now treated to a rather interesting passage as Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy make their way down Byron Street.

Already, our sense were being assaulted from all directions. The colors of the world were so vivid and so varied. We had come from a pure white world to a street that looked like an artist's palette... The wind brushed against my fingertips, and it felt so alive that I wondered if I could reach out and catch it. I opened my mouth and tasted the crisp, sharp air. I could smell gasoline and burning toast mingled with pine and the sharp scent of the ocean. The worst part was the noise. The wind seemed to howl, and the sound of the sea beating against the rocks roared through my head like a stampede. I could hear everything that was happening in the street, the sound of a car ignition, a slamming screen door, a child crying, an old porch swing creaking in the wind.

Wow. I'm quite impressed, actually. This passage really makes sense when you think about it from Bethany's perspective. Here she is, a young angel who is new to Earth, and she is experiencing a lot of different sensations at once. Clearly, it would come as a shock to her, especially since she isn't used to being in a human body, so she's clearly overwhelmed and agitated by everything that's going on, to the point that she's in pain. Kudos to you, Adornetto.

Moving on, Gabriel tells Bethany that she'll learn how to block it out, which startles Bethany, since they "communicated without language" back in Heaven. And sadly, all good things come to an end when Bethany describes their voices. Gabriel's is"low and hypnotic" and Bethany's is "as melodic as a flute".

Of course it has to be as melodic as a flute! Heaven forbid it sounds as screechy as an out-of-tune violin, or as high-pitched as an oboe! But at least it wasn't something like "as gentle as a harp" or something like that.

Now, the three of them finally reach their new house and Ivy cheerfully points out that it has a name. And we are now treated to a lavish description of the house that I think deserves a sporking.

The house had been named after the street and BYRON was displayed in an elegant script on a copper plaque.

Byron, huh? You mean after Lord Byron, the poet who wrote the very bawdy Don Juan? May I also add, a poet who is also well known for sleeping around with a lot of men and women?

We would later discover that the adjoining streets were named after other English Romantic poets: Keats Grove, Coleridge Street, Blake Avenue. 

John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Blake are the names of these poets. And of course, why don't you name-drop different famous poets in order to try and make your work deep and 'profound'? Honestly, it'd be a bit more interesting if these streets were named after people like Elizabeth BathoryGilles de RaisDelphine LaLaurie, or even Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova. That'd be quite interesting.

Byron was to be both our home and our sanctuary while we were earthbound. 

Well, let's see how this sanctuary is described, shall we?

It was a double-fronted, ivy-clad sandstone house set well back from the street behind a wrought-iron fence and double gates.

What, you mean a house like this?

Looks a bit too posh for angels of the Lord, doesn't it?

It had a gracious Georgian façade and a gravel path leading to its flaking front door. 

Oh, Georgian façade? I looked up 'Georgian house' on Google, and take a look at what I found.

A little bit fancy, isn't it? You sure that angels should be living in such a nice house?

The front yard was dominated by a stately elm, wrapped in a tangled mess of ivy. Along the side fence grew a profusion of hydrangeas, their pastel heads quivering in the morning frost. I liked the house- it looked like it had been built to weather any adversity.

But clearly not to allow them to live in secrecy, huh? One would think that an angel would choose to live in a smaller house that wouldn't really draw any attention.

After a brief moment with Bethany giving the house key to Gabriel, they step inside and- oh no...

Everything about the house suggested light. The ceilings were lofty, the rooms airy. Off the central hallway were a music room to the left and a living room to the right. Farther along, a study opened onto a paved courtyard. The rear of the house was an extension that had been modernized and was made up of an expansive marble-and-stainless steel kitchen that spilled into a large den with Persian rugs and plump sofas. Folding doors opened onto an extensive redwood deck. Upstairs were all the bedrooms and the main bathroom with its marble vanities and sunken bath. As we walked through the house, its timber floors creaked as if in welcome. A light shower began, and the rain falling on the slate roof sounded like fingers playing a melody on a piano.

And here I thought that the outside was a bit much. This is clearly on the end of luxurious, and it contradicts the whole purpose of their mission! They're supposed to be fighting against evil and help out the poor and the weak. And it would be a lot better if they were to live in a place that's a little bit more subtle to avoid notice from Georgian locals! This makes no sense! They should live in a simple house that looks ordinary, not a place filled with timber floors, Persian rugs, marble vanities and sunken baths!

See, I'm currently writing a novel about demons and all that. Two of the main characters are demons who have come to the Human World on a mission, and do you know what their accommodations are like? It's simple and cheap! They don't buy some huge mansion in the wealthier neighbourhoods of Toronto, they rent out a small apartment that university students normally reside in! No Persian rugs, no timber floors, none of that! It's small, but fairly comfortable, and that's all they need!

Also, how do these angels know about Persian rugs and other instruments?

Bleh, whatever! The next passage is about how the first few weeks of their stay are mainly for them to get used to having physical forms and getting used to being on Earth. Again, I kind of like how Bethany explains their fascination of being on solid ground, as well as how everything feels limited because of physical barriers and all that. Sadly, this is never really explored, which is too bad. It sucks when there's good things in a novel that are never really explored.

Bethany also says that they are visited by a "faceless, white-robed mentor", who most likely is God. We also learn that there are other angels on Earth, and that some of them are already in battle with the Agents of Darkness. During this conversation, Bethany randomly asks why toothpaste gives her a headache, which I'm guessing is supposed to be an attempt at comedy, but it falls kind of flat because of how out-of-place it is.

And now! We learn that Gabriel cooks for Ivy and Bethany! Damn, for real? I can't believe that the archangel Gabriel, one of the strongest angels, has become the chef of the family! This is too funny.

Bethany continues to say that they kept their human contact to a minimum, and that they do all their shopping in the nearby town of Kingston, which is said to be slightly larger. Er... I looked up the town of Kingston in Georgia, and it doesn't really look that large to me. It'd make more sense if they went to somewhere like Atlanta, and I don't know why Adornetto chose Kingston.

Moving on, Bethany says that the only human they introduce themselves to is a man known as Father Mel, the priest at Saint Mark's chapel. So, he's aware of angels on Earth? Anyways, Bethany says that they hope to restore faith in the people of this still-unnamed town, and to teach them to believe in miracles. And we finally get the name and description of our town!

Venus Cove was a sleepy beachside town, the sort of place where nothing ever changed. We enjoyed the quiet and took to walking along the shore, usually at dinnertime when the beach was mostly deserted. One night we walked as far as the pier to look at the boats moored there. They were so brightly painted they looked like they belonged in a postcard. 

So they were sent to a sleepy beach town, huh? Where nothing really happens? Gee, that's just the place that needs to be saved from evil and surely not a place like DetroitBaltimoreSt. Louis or any other place that happens to have a high crime rate! Hell, why not even some other cities with high crime rates around the world, like Caracas in Venezuela, Fortaleza in Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa, Acapulco in Mexico, or anywhere like that? Those places need a hell of a lot more restoration of faith and miracles even more than a sleepy beach town in Georgia! I just... I don't even know anymore...

You may be asking what the purpose of this walk is. Why, to meet the love interest of course! And we get our description of him right now!

We reached the end of the pier before noticing the lone boy sitting there. He couldn't have been more than eighteen, but it was possible to see in him the man he would someday become. He was wearing cargo shorts that came to his knees and a loose white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His muscular legs hung over the edge of the pier. He was fishing and had a burlap bag full of bait and assorted reels beside him. We stopped dead when we saw him and would have turned away immediately, but he had already seen us.

*snorts* The man he would someday become? Sounds a little bit awkward there.

Anyways, the boy comes and says hi to Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy. How do Gabriel and Ivy respond? By just standing still and nodding, like that doesn't look weird or anything. However, Bethany decides to talk to him, even though she knows that she's not supposed to befriend any humans whatsoever. Hell, she even says, "Already, I was disregarding the rules of our mission." So you know you're breaking the rules? Nice. And yet you continue to break them.

Geez, why are you even here, Bethany?

A brief conversation ensues, and Bethany takes note of his physical appearance.

The boy's light brown hair was the color of walnuts. It flopped over his brow and had a lustrous sheen in the fading light. His pale eyes were almond shaped and a striking turquoise blue in color. But it was his smile that was utterly mesmerizing. So that was how it was done, I thought: effortlessly, instinctively, and so utterly human. As I watched, I felt drawn to him, almost by some magnetic force. Ignoring Ivy's warning glance, I took another step forward. 

Honey, that's infatuation you're feeling. You can't be suddenly drawn to him because of his looks, and you sure as hell cannot feel a connection with him because of his looks! Geez, I know this is supposed to show off their instant attraction, but this just feels like infatuation!

The boy asks if Bethany wants to try fishing, but Gabriel intervenes and says that it's time for them to go home. And Bethany notes that his speech pattern is more formal and that his words "sounded rehearsed, as though he were performing a scene from a play. He probably felt like he was. He sounded like a character in one of the old Hollywood movies I'd watched as part of our research."

So they did research by watching old Hollywood movies? Well, no wonder they suck at blending in!

But really? Watching movies as research? Again, the demons in my novel did this completely different! They didn't watch old movies, they read books and took courses on humans to try and act like them!

Gah, I'm almost done. As they walk away, Bethany tells Gabriel that he was rude, to which Gabriel scolds her as if she were a child. Dude, Bethany is pretty much a child. And while Ivy reminds Bethany that they're not yet ready for human contact, Bethany insists that she is. She then gives one final glance at the boy and notices that he's smiling.

And with that, we conclude the first chapter! Dear God, that was a drag. I hope I can make it through the next chapter before I start to call in guest sporkers!

Previous: Summary 

Next: Chapter Two- Flesh
missabnormal: (Default)
Hello everyone! This is missabnormal, and I have decided to go ahead with the sporking of the Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto! I remember reading this book when I was thirteen and liking them at the time (I know, I was an idiot...). Now that I'm eighteen, I've realised just how many unfortunate implications are in the books, so I decided to try and give it a nice sporking. This is also my first time sporking, so I'm really looking forward to it.

While I admit, I do like paranormal romances in which the girl is the supernatural/paranormal creature instead of the guy (because it's quite refreshing, to be honest, I cannot say the same for this story. Our heroine is supposed to be an angel, and yet she acts more like a damsel in distress even though she is supposed to be stronger than the dude!

Here is the cover, and to be honest, the cover is rather enticing. Now then, let's move ahead to the summary!

An angel is sent to Earth on a mission.
But falling in love is not part of the plan.

See, just from the summary, I can tell this is going to be a forbidden romance. And I know for a fact that there's going to be analogies to Romeo & Juliet as well, and calling it the greatest love story ever. *rolls eyes*

Three angels- Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer;

Wait a minute... there's an angel named Ivy? Gabriel, I can buy ('cause Archangel Gabriel). But Ivy? I looked up the name for any meanings, and it turns out that in addition to the plant name, Ivy means 'faithfulness' in English. But still, you'd think that there'd be a more grander name for her.

Anyways, moving on.

and Bethany, the youngest and most human-

Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?! 'The youngest and most human'?! This is supposed to be some sort of divine mission, isn't it? And how is Bethany, 'the most human' if she's the youngest angel? Shouldn't Gabriel and Ivy be considered 'more human', since they're more experienced? Also, why are they sending a baby angel on a mission with a warrior angel and a healer angel, she's only going to drag them down!

are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness.

And I wonder what kind of darkness? If by 'darkness', they mean 'sex, drugs, and rock n roll', then that's not really a mission, isn't it?

They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments. 


Yeah, right. Let's see how long that lasts!

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. 

Of course. And shouldn't it be 'neither of them are'?

Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong. 

It's always like that in these kinds of stories. And let's see how they 'intervene' exactly. It's more like they're a little disapproving of the fact that an angel of the Lord is falling in love with a human!

The angel's mission is urgent,

But not urgent enough if there's time for the youngest angel of the group to go all gaga over a human boy, huh?

and dark forces are threatening.

Well, if the dark forces are threatening, then how is there time for a love story?!

Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

Ha! This is just too clichéd!

And there you have it, folks! The summary of Halo by Alexandra Adornetto! I'll see you in the first chapter!

Next: Chapter One- Descent


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May 2017

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