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Our first chapter where we get the perspectives of both characters. We also get a brief look at Park's mom. But there's so much offensive crap in this, so trigger warning.

Read more... )
missabnormal: (Default)
In which nothing happens.

*Yamini and Ruki are working out together: Yamini is punching a sandbag while Ruki is lifting some weights. Kala is reading while Wolfgang rests his head in her lap. Meanwhile, Mako is going through her phone. Right then, missabnormal enters the room*

missabnormal: Well everyone, it's time to start sporking chapter 4 of this, so break time is over. As for food and drinks: Yamini, there's murukku and guava juice; Ruki, there's Naga Viper peppers and goat's blood; Kala, there's chaat and sugarcane juice; Wolfgang, there's apfelwein and knödel; and Mako, there's some sake and sushi. As for myself, there's aloo tikki and mango juice. 

Kala: *stunned* Ruki has to drink goat's blood?

Ruki: *nods* Goat's blood and extremely spicy foods are the only Human World foods I can consume. 

Yamini: I'm more surprised at how he can consume whole chilli peppers, honestly.

Wolfgang: It does sound rather painful.

Mako: Thanks for the food.

missabnormal: No problem. Now then, let's get started!

We open up with Eleanor reaching home before her younger siblings, and is happy about it. Why? Because according to her, "[it] had been such a freak show when she'd walked in last night..."


*snappy* Any time you feel like not being so ableist, Rowell? Please let me know. And yes, I'm being mean today because I want to.

Yamini: So, what happened last night? Apparently, she "had spent so much time thinking about what it would be like to finally come home and how much she missed everybody-- she thought they'd throw her a ticker-tape parade. She thought it would be a big hugfest."

However, when she had walked in, it was
"like her siblings didn't recognize her". *angry* So, not even her siblings welcome her home after she had been living in another person's house, courtesy of their jerkass stepfather kicking her out?! You know what?


I gave it three points out of spite. Damn, this book is turning me into a bitch.

missabnormal: Bad literature can turn anyone into a bitch.

Ruki: My turn. *reads ahead* Only one sibling, known as Mouse, had greeted Eleanor. According to Eleanor, "[Mouse] reminded her more of a big, sloppy puppy-- always excited, always trying to jump into your lap."

*frowns* Why is she comparing people to animals, now? Are we really supposed to like her? At this point, I don't really care if she has an abusive stepfather, I really cannot find her sympathetic whatsoever.

So Mouse tries to bring the stepfather's attention to Eleanor, but he pretends not to hear. *clearly annoyed* The stepfather is already making me want to stab him. I absolutely loathe abusive parents with all my heart. 

Yamini: *sympathetic* Me too, Ruki. 

Ruki: We learn a bit more about the other siblings. There's Ben, who is eleven-years-old, Maisie, who is eight, Mouse, who is five, and an unnamed baby who is two years of age and should be called a toddler, not a baby. Eleanor's mother says that they'll have to readjust their sleeping arrangements, despite the room being too small. We get a description of the bathroom, which prompts Eleanor to think that the house was designed by cave trolls before we finally get back to the present.

Kala: *reads* Eleanor enters the house, which she sees to be even more depressing in the daylight. And in a moment that is rather sad, Eleanor thinks how weird it is to see her mother standing in the kitchen like normal. They have the typical conversation of how the first day went, and Eleanor can't help but admire the way her mother looks.

Apparently, when Eleanor was a little girl, "she'd thought her mom looked like a queen, like the star of some fairy tale."

Yamini: I can kind of relate to that. I mean, I've always thought my mother was beautiful, like she was a princess or something.

Kala: But according to Eleanor, "princesses are just pretty". She describes her mother as "tall and stately, with broad shoulders and an elegant waist. All of her bones seemed more purposeful than other people's." Basically, her mother is supposed to be incredibly beautiful and gorgeous.

*bewildered* This all sounds just so... bland. There's no energy in the text whatsoever, it sounds almost like a laundry list. Also, it's just very generic, like "you'd look at Eleanor's mom and think she must be carved into the prow of a Viking ship somewhere or maybe painted on the side of a plane". These are just very weird descriptors.

missabnormal: Also, what kind of plane were you thinking about, Rowell? I looked up pictures of airplanes with women painted on them, and the only ones I could find were fighter planes from World War II. You know, like these!

Also, as for the 'carved into Viking ships' part, are you talking about a figurehead? You know, a carving at the prow of a ship from the 16th and 20th centuries? Yeah, Vikings didn't have beautiful lady figureheads on their boats. These were Viking figureheads:

These sort of figureheads were considered to be protective and warding off evil spirits. So, Eleanor's mother should not look like a figurehead on a Viking longboat.

Wolfgang: While Eleanor's mother is described in very flattering terms, Eleanor herself is not. For example, she "looked like her mother through a fish tank." And at sixteen, "Eleanor was already built like she ran a medieval pub." Basically, she's overweight and unhappy about it.

After this, Eleanor's mother tells her daughter that he has something to show her, and it turns out to be Eleanor's personal belongings in a black trash bag. We also learn that they have to eat dinner around 4:30 because everything has to be settled before Richie comes home. *sighs* This chapter is very boring, was there really a point to it? It's almost like filler right now.

Eleanor finds some paper dolls, several books such as John Irving's The World According to Garp and Richard Adam's Watership Down. But she's not happy to see Erich Segal's Oliver's Story and not Love Story, another novel by him. She also sees Louisa May Alcott's Little Men, but not Little Women or Jo's Boys. *raises an eyebrow* So... she likes classic novels and American literature?

Mako: It's a common cliché in these books. The heroine always seems to like the well-known classic novels to try and seem 'well-read' and 'cultured'.

Yamini: And it all started with Bella Swan from friggin' Twilight. You can't even say that she likes the classics, 'cause she doesn't understand them! She thinks Wuthering Heights is an actual love story! She just likes the school's reading list!


missabnormal: It's so boring. For once, I'd like to see a heroine who likes, I don't know, harlequin romance novels.

Yamini: Me? I like reading foreign horror novels. Europeans and Japanese people are some of the best at writing actually scary horror, but Stephen King is also really good! *smiles* My current favourites are Koji Suzuki's Ring, John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In, and Patrick Süskind's Perfume. Foreign horror is just seriously terrifying and I love it.

Wolfgang: *surprised* Perfume is also one of my favourite novels. Though, I guess I'm into more of the thriller genre. The Millennium Trilogy is one of my favourites. The Swedish are really good at creating thriller novels.

Kala: I'm more into reading classical Indian epics, like the Mahabharata or the Ramayana. They've been my favourites ever since I was a child. But I also like reading romance novels as well.

Ruki: I haven't had much experience with every genre of Human World literature. However, I must confess that I enjoy reading tragic novels. Tess of the d'Urbervilles was one that really stuck with me. I could really relate to the heroine's situation. Doctor Faustus, Anna Karenina, and The Duchess of Malfi are also some of my favourites.

Mako: I love Japanese literature. My favourites are Norwegian Wood, The Tale of Genji, Battle Royale, Sanshirou, and Woman in the Dunes. And those are just a few.

missabnormal: I also like horror, but mainly by Stephen King. Carrie has been my all-time favourite.

Kala: I'd rather be talking about this, honestly.

missabnormal: Don't we all?

Mako: It's my turn now. *reads* So Eleanor starts organizing all her books and papers while wondering about what happened to everyone else's things. She also hopes that her mother's marriage to Richie is just temporary.


She finds a box from her uncle, which is a Fruit of the Month Club box that he used to send to her family every Christmas. This box is used for holding her stationary and markers, promotional cards that smell of perfume, and her old Walkman.

missabnormal: A Walkman?

IT'S THE 80'S!: 4

Also, the box apparently smells like Chanel No.5 and pencil shavings.

To her dismay, there is nothing to do with her recovered belongings after she'd sorted through them. So she sets aside the box and books, puts everything else in the garbage bag, and puts that on a high shelf behind some towels and a humidifier. We then finish the chapter with Eleanor finding a cat sleeping on her bunk before shooing him out of the room.

And we're done!

missabnormal: Dear God, was this pointless.

Yamini: Like, nothing happened at all in this goddamn chapter!

Ruki: There was no character development, no important plot points, nothing!

Kala: Even the writing was just very banal and bland!

Wolfgang: The counts are at quite the standstill right now.

Mako: I'll be honest: about halfway through, I almost fell asleep.

missabnormal: Well, we're done for the day, and we'll see you all in the next chapter!


IT'S THE 80'S: 4

Total= 34

missabnormal: (Default)
In which we find out more about Park, and see that he really is an Edward Cullen 2.0, and that no one gives a damn about bullying whatsoever!

Mako: Are you feeling better, Ruki?

Ruki: *nods* Yeah, I'm fine now. Yamini and I lay down in bed in only our underwear, and I feel a lot better.

Yamini: It really helps him calm down, that kind of physical contact. *blushes slightly*

Ruki: I hope this chapter isn't as trauma-inducing.

*doors open, in walk Kala, Wolfgang, and missabnormal*

Kala: Hey guys.

Yamini: What's up?

Wolfgang: Sorry we're late.

missabnormal: And while this chapter isn't as trauma-inducing as the previous, it's pretty rage-inducing. So yeah, as always, I've got snacks and drinks, and I have an extra button here to put up cute or sexy pictures in case of extreme rage. Anyways, let's get started!

We find out immediately in this chapter that Eleanor did not talk to Park at all on the bus ride home. Apparently, he'd been trying to think of a way to get away from her, but didn't want to force attention onto himself by asking to switch seats! God, what a dick! What's so bad about sitting next to Eleanor?!

Yamini: *annoyed* I swear, any more of this and I might just destroy this book. I have my sword with me, and I'm not afraid to use it.

missabnormal: But that's not all! We've got ourselves a Pan-Asian Fusion coming right up!

Park had expected Steve to start in on him as soon he let the girl sit down, but Steve had gone right back to talking about kung fu again. Park, by the way, knew plenty about kung fu. Because his dad was obsessed with martial arts, not because his mom was Korean. Park and his little brother, Josh, had been taking taekwondo since they could walk.


So... Park knows about kung fu, but he's been taking taekwondo since he could walk? *bewildered* What the hell?! Kung fu and taekwondo are two completely different styles of martial arts! Yeah, I gave it two for that reason!

First of all, kung fu isn't just a fighting style, actually. In Chinese, it's a term that refers to any kind of study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete. The original meaning can refer to any discipline or skill achieved through hard work and practice, not just martial arts. The first character, 功 (gong), means 'work', 'achievement', or 'merit', and the second character, 夫 (fu) is a particle or nominal suffix with many meanings. Also, there are hundreds of different fighting styles of Chinese martial arts. Ever heard of Tai Chi? Shaolin? Wudang? They're all different styles of Chinese martial arts. And above all, each region in China has its own unique form of martial arts, so it's impossible to know all about kung fu, especially since there's so many different varieties, and the term itself just encompasses all these different styles. 

As for taekwondo? That's a Korean martial art, completely different from Chinese martial arts. That is a mix of Chinese martial arts, karate (which is Japanese), and indigenous Korean martial arts like TaekkyeonSubak, and Gwonbeop. This style developed shortly after imperial Japanese occupation of Korea in 1945 when new martial arts schools called 'kwan' were opening in Seoul by Korean martial artists who had studied in Japan during Japanese rule. These were a ton of different styles and they were merged under the insistence of Syngman Rhee, president of South Korea, in 1952. It was originally called Tae Soo Do, before Choi Hong Hi advocated the change to Tae Kwon Do. This name consist of the hanja 跆 (tae), meaning 'to stomp, trample', 拳 (kwon), meaning 'fist', and  (do), meaning 'way, discipline'. Also, taekwondo is characterised by an emphasis on head-level kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking techniques.

Yamini: In short? Taekwondo is very different from kung fu or Chinese martial arts. It's like saying that you're an expert on karate but have done Muay Thai all your life. They're both completely different fighting styles.

Mako: In addition, what is with Park's brother's name? Why is Park called, well, 'Park', but his brother has 'Josh', a Western name? It makes no sense.

missabnormal: Damn straight! If you're going for a Korean naming scheme, give them both proper Korean names! Also, it is kind of weird, but apparently Josh looks more white while Park looks more Korean. It still doesn't make sense. Methinks that Rowell really doesn't know much about genetics. But I'll save that issue for later.

But as for the mention about his dad (who is white), and his Korean mom? I'm gonna give it this point.


It's gonna go up pretty soon.

Kala: *reads* So Park is wondering how he could switch seats. He's thinking of switching seats and sitting near a freshman but not only would it mean that he was weak, but "he almost hated to think about leaving the weird new girl at the back of the bus by herself".

*frowns* Why is he calling Eleanor 'weird'? Can't he just be nice and let her sit next to him? I can't really support him if he's disdainful of others around him.

Yamini: I'm not even a popular kid like Park, and no one wants to hang out with me because they're instinctively frightened by me. I've been lonely most of my life. But you know what? I still have common courtesy! I'm polite most of the time and I don't just act all superior to other people! Hell, even though my default expression is 'resting bitchface', I still act polite, I don't act like a jackass! Just because you have your own troubles doesn't mean you can just ditch common courtesy!

Wolfgang: You're right. *reads* So Park starts hating himself for thinking like that, noting that, "if his dad knew he was thinking like this, he'd call Park a pussy. Out loud, for once. If his grandma knew, she'd smack him on the back of his head. 'Where are your manners?' she'd say. 'Is that any way to treat somebody who's down on her luck?'"

Mako: *irritated* Right. Because Asian people aren't as strong and powerful as white people, right?


missabnormal: *sourly* I gave that one out of spite.

Wolfgang: *continues* However, Park doesn't have any kind of luck or status to "spare on that dumb redhead". *annoyed* I've done a lot of horrible things, but at least I never denigrated those around me. But it gets even worse. Apparently, Park is "kind of grateful that people like that girl exist". Why? "Because people like Steve and Mikey and Tina existed, too, and they needed to be fed. If it wasn't that redhead, it was going to be somebody else. And if it wasn't somebody else, it was going to be Park". And yet he knows that it's not right to think that way.

*a sudden crash startles him and everyone else; they turn to see missabnormal flipping over a table and glaring*

Kala: *surprised* Missy...?

missabnormal: *seething in rage*


*grabs an axe and starts cutting the table wildly while screaming incoherently*

Wolfgang: *concerned* Is she okay?

Yamini: *wearily* And that's how you know when someone has seen too many jackass love interests in YA. They do that.

Ruki: How are we going to calm her down?

Mako: *smiles* Don't worry. *presses a button* Missy!

missabnormal: *still raging* WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT-

*immediately, missabnormal calms down and becomed enamoured*

missabnormal: *lovestruck* Ahhhh, Ruki... you make sporking so much better, keep on working those hips~

Kala: *raised eyebrow* Well, that was fast.

Yamini: Okay, looks like it's my turn. *reads* So Park feels bad for swearing at Eleanor and I'm not buying it, considering that him not stopping his bully friends sent Missy into a huge rage. He feels as if her arrival in English class was meant to haunt him, and we get a flashback to the English class!

'Eleanor,' Mr Stessman said. 'What a powerful name. It's a queen's name, you know.'

'It's the name of the fat Chipette,' somebody behind Park whispered. Somebody else laughed.

*angered* Okay, I see where Missy's coming from. In fact, I'm gonna start us up a new count: ZERO TOLERANCE, MY ASS. This is gonna be used for every character who acts like a jackass towards one another, or whenever Eleanor is being bullied. So, how many do we have now, both in this chapter and the previous ones?


Yeah, I started it out of spite.

missabnormal: *significantly calmer* Thank you, Yamini. I believe that this is quite important. I should have started it in the first chapter.

Also, as for Eleanor's name, the teacher is right. However, it's not just a queen's name, a lot of women in high nobility in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages had that name. In fact, the name 'Eleanor' is an Anglicisation of the Old French form of 'Aliénor', an Occitan name, and the most famous person with that name is French Queen consort Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of Louis VII of France and Henry II of England.

Ruki: So, the teacher tells Eleanor that they're reading poetry by Emily Dickinson, and invites her to read out loud.

'I had been hungry all the years,' she read. A few kids laughed. Jesus, Park thought, only Mr. Stessman would make a chubby girl read a poem about eating on her first day of class.

Yet despite that, she reads ahead and is praised by the teacher. We also find out that in history, the teacher references Eleanor of Aquitaine after she introduces herself.

Mako: *raises an eyebrow* Why is everyone making a big deal out of her name? No one even does that these days. *reads* We're almost done, fortunately. So Park can't think of a way to get rid of her or move away from her, so he just turns up his music and listens to it, and is grateful that Eleanor doesn't try to talk to him.

*sighs* And with that, we're done!

missabnormal: Well, this was another bizarre and infuriating chapter to read.

Wolfgang: Does Rowell think that bullying is some sort of rite of passage in high school? It's nothing lke that, it's a very unpleasant experience. I've been bullied before as a child, it's not fun at all.

Kala: *gently places her hand on his shoulder* It's okay, Wolfgang.

Yamini: This is why people who think bullying is no big deal always piss me off.

Ruki: This chapter was indeed very tedious.

Mako: I sincerely hope that Park gets his act together and ditches those so-called 'friends'.

missabnormal: We're done for the day now, and we'll see you all in chapter 4. Now then, let's go and take a break.


IT'S THE 80'S!: 3

Total= 27

Continue to:
 Chapter 4- Eleanor

Go back to: Chapter 2- Eleanor
missabnormal: (Default)
We now have an introduction to Eleanor Douglas!

Kala: So tell me, Yamini. What kinds of powers do you have?

Yamini: It's called Magia Umbra, which means I can control shadows. Ruki has the same kind of powers as me, and so did my mom.

Wolfgang: You know how to use them?

Yamini: Not really, they've been dormant most of my life and they've only been awakened on the first day of school after some guy bragged about vandalising my mom's grave. *winces* It was probably the worst thing I've ever done.

Ruki: It was quite violent, what happened.

Mako: How?

*door opens*

missabnormal: Alright guys, it's time to start chapter two of this dreck! I've stocked up the cabinets and fridge with food, in case any of you get hungry, so let's get started!

Yamini: *unenthusiastic* Yaaaay.

missabnormal: Chapter 2 is from Eleanor's point of view. We open up with Eleanor considering some options! And what are they?

1. She could walk home from school. Pros: Exercise, color in her cheeks, time to herself. Cons: She didn't know her new address yet, or even the general direction to start walking.

2. She could call her mom and ask for a ride. Pros: Lots. Cons: Her mom didn't have a phone. Or a car.

3. She could call her dad. Ha.

4. She could call her grandma. Just to say hi.

So basically, Eleanor is trying to decide how she could get home while staring at her school bus, especially after the disaster on the bus in the morning. She's poor and has an abusive stepfather, so her resources are very limited. I'd feel sorry for her if it were presented in a much more emotional way. This sounds more like a laundry list.

Then- *cracks up laughing* Oh boy, this is too funny.

Her bus was right there. No. 666.

Yamini: Pfftt- *cracks up with laughter* Just look at that symbology! It shows that high school is truly Hell, so that's why the buses have the Mark of the Beast on them! *continues laughing* I'm sorry, but this is just too hilarious!

Ruki: *dryly amused* Does the author expect us to take this seriously?

Mako: *chuckles* This is about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

Kala: *smiles in amusement* I think everyone knows that high school is a hard time, but this is just kind of ridiculous.

Wolfgang: *snorts* So what, is this school going to be named after Lucifer?

missabnormal: *coming down from laughter* Rowell, everyone already knows that high school is generally a rough place. This here? I really can't take this seriously. Look, we understand that high school is not a good place for Eleanor, but there's no need to smash us in the face with... whatever the hell this is!

Oh hey! Looks like we're getting another count!


Yeah, this is for whenever the typical teenage angst comes up.

Kala: *reads ahead* Eleanor wishes to avoid taking the bus, but she knows that she'd still have to deal with these kids the next day, referring to them as "the devil-kids". Given the way they've treated her, I don't blame her for thinking that way.

Ruki: Even demons are more polite than those human kids. At least we see all humans as equal in strength and value, regardless of gender, age, race, or size. *frowns* Don't insult us demons by comparing us to those lowlife kids.

Kala: Eleanor then ponders about the girl named Tina, saying that "[you] could practically see the horns hidden in her bangs. And her boyfriend was possibly a member of the Nephilim".

Wolfgang: Nephilim is a Hebrew word that's often loosely translated to 'giants'. I'm not religious, but I do my research from time to time. I agree with Eleanor. Those two are very odious characters.

Yamini: Damn straight. *reads ahead* Eleanor states that all of those kids hate her as if they'd been hired to kill her in a previous life and- oh! Looks like we've got some stereotypes ahead!

Eleanor couldn't tell if the Asian kid who finally let her sit down was one of them, or whether he was really just stupid. (But not stupid stupid... He was in two of Eleanor's honors classes.)


*surprised* Damn. We're only in the second chapter and the Orientalism is already starting to show.

Mako: *annoyed* Oh, of course Asians are in honour classes! It's because they're smart, and all Asians are smart, right? I don't care whether this is a positive stereotype or not, but it's just insulting to claim that Asians are good at school because they're Asian! Not all Asians are in honours classes or exceeding in school! Not all Asians are bookworms who are obsessed with their grades!

Yamini: It also erases Asian kids who have disabilities. And besides, I've heard of Asian people being told to their face, "Oh, you're not a real Asian" just because they don't exceed in school! It's degrading and offensive to be told that you're smart just because you're Asian!

Ruki: And I really don't like the way she called him 'stupid'. Doesn't that insinuate that Asian people aren't as smart socially?

*starts reading* Apparently, Eleanor's mother had wanted her daughter to be put in the honours classes after seeing how bad her grades were from the previous year. Eleanor seems very indifferent to this whole situation and decides that she may as well stare at clouds during her classes.

Eleanor also can't tell her mother about the situation on the bus because her mother had told her that she didn't have to ride the bus. We then get a flashback to a conversation between the two from the previous night.

'Richie said he'll take you,' her mom said. 'It's on his way to work.'

'Is he going to make me ride in the back of his truck?'

'He's trying to make peace, Eleanor. You promised that you'd try, too.'

'It's easier for me to make peace from a distance.'

'I told him you were ready to be part of his family.'

already part of this family. I'm like a charter member.'

'Eleanor,' her mom said. 'Please.'

'I'll just ride the bus,' Eleanor had said. 'It's not a big deal. I'll meet people.'

*blinks* As it turns out, this 'Richie' is Eleanor's stepfather who has abused her and her family many times. However, the mother is trying to force Eleanor to make peace with him? Make peace with someone who abused her many times? I... Okay, I see that she's also being abused herself, but that does not mean that she should force her daughter to try and make peace, especially if she's trying to make peace in her own way! And for that matter, why the hell is the mother prioritizing her husband over her daughter?! *starts to get upset and agitated*

That... That's like asking me to make peace with... with Empusa of all people! The one who helped Hell's Army brainwash me when I was eight, tortured me as punishment for whenever I did something wrong, and who has been raping me since I was thirteen! No one believed me when I told them, I was slapped and called a liar and put into isolation as punishment! *tears start to fill his eyes* Those who actually listened me just gave me some pathetic excuse to justify her actions and told me to obey and it wouldn't happen again... I can never forgive Empusa for what she did to me! I never will, and anyone who tells me to make peace with her can go straight to Hell! *on the verge of a tearful breakdown*

This is disgusting! I'm starting to get flashbacks all over again, especially after I tried to report her! They told me something similar to this, justified her actions, slapped me, and then put me into isolation as punishment for lying! *worn out and miserable, he buries his face in his hands and starts sobbing*

Yamini: *worried* Ruki! *she hurries over and wraps an arm around his shoulders, speaking to him in a soothing tone* Hey, it's okay. You're not there anymore. She isn't here to hurt you. You're safe now. *tentatively gives him a hug* It's okay, Ruki.

Ruki: *wipes away his tears* Th-Thanks... *accepts Yamini's hug*

Kala: *concerned* I... I'm so sorry, Ruki. Is he going to be okay?

Yamini: He will. Eventually, I hope.

Wolfgang: *also concerned* For his sake, how much more of this chapter is there?

missabnormal: *worried* We're almost done. After this, you're all free to take a break. Ruki especially. And as of now, we've got another point.


Mako: I'll spork now. *glances in concern at Ruki*

Eleanor notices that her bus is leaving soon when someone passes by her and accidentally kicks her bag. But before she can apologize, she notices who it was.

--but it was that stupid Asian kid, and he frowned when he saw that it was her. She frowned right back at him, and he ran ahead.


*sighs* You could have just said 'that Asian kid', Rowell. Was there really a need to call him stupid? Anyways, Eleanor decides that it's on, and we finally close this chapter.

missabnormal: *shakes her head* Even though this was short, this sure was quite disturbing. I do kind of feel sorry for Eleanor, but it's gonna disappear pretty fast. And great, Park just started to become Edward Cullen 2.0.

Ruki: I'm... sorry about my rant.

Yamini: Don't apologize. No one blames you for it.

Kala: It's going to get worse, isn't it?

Wolfgang: If one of us has already broken down in only the second chapter, then it's definitely going to get even worse.

Mako: And I have a really bad feeling about some of these counts. They're probably going to start increasing in the next chapters.

missabnormal: And on that somber note, we're done. We'll see you all in Chapter 3. Now then, let's take a break. We all need one, especially after... whatever we just read.


IT'S THE 80'S: 3

Total= 11

Continue to: Chapter 3- Park

Go back to: Chapter 1- Park
missabnormal: (Default)
The official start of the sporking.

(The sporking theatre is empty, save for Yamini Subramaniam, Ruki, and Mako Mori, who are engaged in a conversation together. Right then, the doors open and missabnormal walks in with two newcomers: an Indian woman and a German man. They are Kala Dandekar and Wolfgang Bogdanow)

missabnormal: *claps hands to get everyone's attention* All right, everyone! I have two new sporkers who are going to join us in our sporking of Eleanor & Park. *gestures to the woman* This is Kala Dandekar. *gestures to the man* And this is Wolfgang Bogdanow.

Yamini: *perks up slightly* Kala Dandekar? Whoo, another fellow Desi girl! Yeah! *smiles at Kala* I'm Yamini Subramaniam, a half-demon Tamil Desi from Toronto! It's nice to meet you, Ms. Dandekar, Mr. Bogdanow.

Kala: *smiles* Nice to meet you, Yamini. Just call me Kala.

Wolfgang: And just call me Wolfgang. *smiles politely*

Ruki: *bows slightly with a polite smile* My name is Ruki, and I am a demon from Jigoku. A pleasure to meet you, Kala, Wolfgang.

Mako: *smiles politely* My name is Mako Mori, but you can call me Mako. I'm a Jaeger pilot, and it's a pleasure to meet you two.

Kala: *raises an eyebrow* Half-demon and demon?

Yamini: Don't worry, we're not going to hurt you!

Ruki: I know it may be a bit surprising, but it is true.

Wolfgang: *shakes his head* I don't know if I'm dreaming or...

missabnormal: It's true. Well! Now that everyone's gotten to know each other, let's get started!

Wolfgang: I'm just curious, what is sporking?

Ruki: It's where we analyze poorly written literature and point out all the flaws, the unfortunate implications, and the unlikeable nature of the characters.

missabnormal: And it's also where we sometimes get so angry at the text that we flip tables, throw things out of windows, and just rage on and on while metal music plays in the background. *shakes head* Yeah, a lot of us have some berserk buttons for some of the things we see.

Kala: *surprised* O...kay?

missabnormal: So! We start out the first chapter from the perspective of Park Sheridan! *unimpressed* Park. You named your half-Korean character Park. Rowell, are you serious?

Park is a Korean last name, you fool! What kind of a parent gives a friggin' last name to their child?!

*blinks* Wow. We've barely even started the chapter and I'm already raging over the main character's name. It took me to Chapter 3 of Halo to start raging, yet I'm already raging over the chapter title in this book! What, am I gonna start raging in the dedications when I spork For Such A Time?!

Moving on, the first sentence tells us what Park Sheridan is like!

XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.

*shocked, but quickly becomes disgusted* Are you serious? This is how you start the book? By becoming Edward Cullen 2.0? *throws her hands up* How many more times am I gonna have to see a reincarnation of that fairy asshole?!

Yamini: *equally disgusted* This is more like if Edward Cullen had good taste in music. But he's still an asshole.

Ruki: *confused* What's XTC?

Wolfgang: They're an English rock band from the late 70's, early 80's, part of the new wave movement.

missabnormal: And with that, we've already gotten ourselves a new count: IT'S THE 80'S!. This will show up whenever there's a reference to a band that was part of the many different movements in music during the 80's. So we have one point now.

IT'S THE 80'S!: 1

Now then, Kala, would you like a turn at sporking?

Kala: Sure. *opens up her book* So Park plans to bring some more music, mainly by "Skinny Puppy or the Misfits". He wishes to make a special bus tape of music. *confused* Who are those bands?

Wolfgang: Skinny Puppy is a Canadian band, and they're considered one of the founders of the electro-industrial genre. I remember hearing about them performing at the Doomsday Festival in Dresden in 2000. They were pretty big during the 80's. The Misfits are an American punk band, and they were a key part of the hardcore punk movement in the 80's. They're also considered the creators of the horror punk genre.

Kala: *impressed* You really know a lot about this, Wolfgang.

Wolfgang: *smiles slightly* Felix and I grew up listening to these bands.

So it seems like we have two more points.

IT'S THE 80'S!: 3

I guess I'll take over now. *opens up his book*. Park decides to go back to New Wave after getting his driver's license, as his parents told him that he could have his mother's Impala. He believes that "[once] he started driving to school, he could listen to whatever he wanted or nothing at all, and he'd get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes".

 To be honest, that does sound kinda relatable, I'll give Rowell that.

missabnormal: Mako, would you like to go?

Mako: Sure. *starts reading* Right then, an argument starts up behind Park.

"That doesn't exist!" somebody shouted behind him.

"It so [f***ing] does!" Steve shouted back. "Drunken Monkey style, man, it's a real [f***ing] thing. You can kill somebody with it..."

"You're full of shit."

You're full of shit." Steve said.

*surprised* This is... quite a bit of profanity.

missabnormal: I'll give her that, since that does kinda sound like how a lot of teenagers speak.

Also, about the Drunken Monkey, it's a real thing. It's a form of Kung Fu and a variation of the Monkey style. The whole drunken aspect comes in the middle when the practitioner plays the movements of a monkey drinking stolen wine. Visually, however, it's incredibly beautiful and agile. But being drunk doesn't improve this movement, 'cause it's about the concept of imitating being drunk, as actually being drunk will impair the ability to perform complex movements.

Mako: So then this 'Steve' character, who we don't know about, starts calling for Park's attention, but Park ignores him.

Sometimes, if you ignored Steve for a minute, he moved on to someone else. Knowing that was 80 percent of surviving with Steve as your neighbor. The other 20 percent was just keeping your head down....

Which Park had momentarily forgotten. A ball of paper hit him in the back of the head.

*annoyed* We're barely even into the chapter and we don't know who this Steve is, and I already don't like him. He just sounds so obnoxious. But Park is no better either. Is Steve considered to be his friend? Because that really does not sound like how one would treat their friends.

Yamini: You're right about that. *reads on* So then, some girl named Tina gets angry at Steve for throwing the ball of paper, which happened to be her Human Growth and Development notes. Okay, who the hell is Tina? Is she one of Park's friends? *shakes head* Steve then apologizes and promises to "teach [her] all about human growth and development", and I just threw up in my mouth. I'm out now. *disgusted*

Ruki: My turn. *reads* Someone tells him to teach her this Drunken Monkey style, and Steve calls out to Park again, which makes him take off his headphones and turn to face him. We get a description of how Steve looks like a grown man with a full beard, and that Tina is his girlfriend. Apparently, in middle school, Steve had punched a guy in the face for making fun of him. These paragraphs are quite lengthy so I'm doing my best to summarize them.

Steve finally asks Park about this Drunken Monkey style.

"Park," Steve said, "tell Mikey about Drunken Monkey karate."

"I don't know anything about it." Park shrugged.

"But it exists, right?"

"I guess I've heard of it."

Yamini: *stunned* Drunken Monkey's a form of Kung Fu, you idiot! It's part of a Chinese martial art, named after Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, in Journey to the West, which is a classical Chinese novel! Geez, we're barely into the story and we're already witnessing the blend of different Asian cultures!

Mako: *just as surprised* Exactly. Karate, on the other hand, is Okinawan. It was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom but became popular in mainland Japan thanks to Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate.

missabnormal: So now we've got ourselves a new count: PAN-ASIAN FUSION. This will come up everytime Asian cultures are blended together and mixed up.


My turn now! *reads* So Steve goes 'I told you so' to this Mikey person and- Oh my God, we have ableism, fetishization, and racism straight ahead at twelve o'clock!

"What the [f***] does Sheridan know about kung fu?" Mikey said.

"Are you [r*tarded]?" Steve said. "His mom's Chinese."

Mikey looked at Park carefully. Park smiled and narrowed his eyes. "Yeah, I guess I see it," Mikey said. "I always thought you were Mexican."

"Shit, Mikey," Steve said. "You're such a [f***ing] racist."

"She's not Chinese," Tina said. "She's Korean."

And that is as much as I'm going to show you because I'm nice. So Park's mom is apparently Tina's hairdresser since grade school. Steve then comments about how hot Park's mom is. *annoyed* As such, we've already got us some more points!




Mako: *angered* That comment just rubbed me the wrong way. No matter how old we are, East Asian women are fetishized and degraded in so many different ways. We're always hypersexualised into being submissive and delicate, and they never see us as people. They only see us as porn stars.

missabnormal: Also, this story's set in Omaha, right? During this period, there weren't that many Asian people in Nebraska. There was a small community of Chinese laborers in the early 20th century, and the first Japanese people in Omaha had arrived to work in the stockyards. There were hardly any Korean people in Omaha, and I honestly can't find anything about when Korean people first came to Omaha. And since this is 1986, I'm willing to bet that Park and his mom are the only Korean people living in Omaha.

Also, Omaha has had many periods of racial tension throughout its history, since this is Nebraska, one of the midwestern states. This resulted from the high numbers of southern and eastern European immigrants, and African-American migrants from the Deep South. There was a lot of competition for jobs in the early 20th century, and the instance of anti-Asian racism I found was in 1905, when 800 school students had protested the presence of the Japanese students in their school.

There was also a huge riot in Greek Town after a Greek man shot an Irish policeman who tried to arrest him for an apparent relationship with a "white" woman, when he was actually taking English lessons from her. Then there were several anti-German sentiments in the years after World War I, when many German immigrants were forced to learn English in schools. This was after a law was passed in 1919 that enforced the teaching of English in public schools.

Then there was Red Summer, when an African-American man was lynched after being accused of raping a white woman. That sparked up a huge riot where a lot of white men tried to attack the African-American neighbourhood. There was also severe anti-Black racism throughout history, especially during the Civil Rights-era.

The point is, I don't think that Park would have had many friends in the 80's, especially white friends. Interracial marriage was still a very touchy issue during that time, but we'll be focusing on that much later. Either way, Park is half-Korean, so he'd probably be facing a lot of discrimination and prejudice from his white classmates, and he'd probably have more friends who were Chinese-American or Japanese-American. But no! He's all fine and dandy with white people!

Kala: *surprised* Sun Bak would hate this novel. *reads ahead* So Steve and Mikey go back to talking about Drunken Monkey when Park notices a new girl on the bus. When the girl tries to sit down next to a freshman kid, he blocks the seat with his bag and looks the other way, and so does everyone else.

*disgusted* What is wrong with these kids?

Wolfgang: *scowls* Park's friend Tina also laughs because apparently "she lived for this stuff".

Why is he friends with this kind of a girl?

missabnormal: I wanna slap Tina already. I'm getting really unpleasant flashbacks to middle school when everyone was a whole bunch of jackasses.

Yamini: We then get a description of the new girl. She's a redhead, overweight, and dressed strangely. A few more kids get on and push past her, claiming their seats. The bus driver tells the girl to sit down, so she goes to the back of the bus. Park is rather alarmed and wants her to turn around because it's like walking into a lion's cave.

*frowns* So why is Park friends with a whole bunch of jackasses? Doesn't he have any sort of dignity to stay away from those kinds of people?

Ruki: The girl tries to sit down next to Tina, only to be rudely brushed off.

Yamini: *muttering* Jeez, what a bitch.

Ruki: Park finally decides to let the girl sit next to him. But he does it quite rudely, yet she decides to sit down next to him. *surprised* We're barely even into the story and I already don't like these characters two much.

Kala: I have a really bad feeling about this.

Yamini: I'm really close to saying the Eight Deadly Words.

Wolfgang: I can already see the raging that's gonna happen in later chapters. And it's not going to be pretty.

Mako: I hope that we can get through this.

missabnormal: If this is how the first chapter has gotten us, then I fear what the next chapters will have in store. We'll see you all in the next chapter.


IT'S THE 80'S: 3

Total= 7

Continue to: Chapter 2- Eleanor

Go back to: Prologue
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
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