To recap chapter 1, Carrie was attacked by a vampire. That’s it. Also, I might have an extra post for this story over the weekend so it can catch up with The Selection, which I started reading first.
A month goes by in the first paragraph of chapter 2. She’s interviewed a few times by detectives, and describes the vampire to them. Fangs and all. Then she jumps to this conclusion for no reason whatsoever:
Whatever John Doe was [you’ve already called him a vampire several times, Carrie], he was probably smart enough to evade capture.
What evidence is there of this? Why does this just come out of nowhere? He spent all of their 5 seconds together beating the shit out of her, so… Carrie thinks that makes him smart?
Dr. Fuller stops by to make Carrie uncomfortable by looking at her chart and saying she’s probably going to die. She does, technically, so I hate him less now. She also starts to experience strange symptoms and for some reason, doesn’t connect them to vampirism.
The first malady to show itself was a body temperature of one hundred and four degrees. […] My fever broke and my body temperature lowered beyond the normal range, leaving me a cool 92.7 degrees.
The second symptom was my incredible appetite. […] I ate astonishing amounts of food and, when I was sent home, smoked nearly a carton of cigarettes a day.
The third sign […] searing pain that burned my skin when I stepped, blinking and disoriented, into the blazing white sunlight.
She decides she’s losing her mind, and seems to have forgotten that a vampire attacked her and its blood got into her mouth. If she has forgotten already, it really is possible something is wrong with her brain.
Then she goes back to work and feels judged for her weirdness. Duh, Carrie. You’ve become a sunglasses-inside douche who chain smokes and requested the night shift because you literally can’t go out in the day anymore. Like, I’m judging her for not knowing what she is, but I’m also judging her co-workers for not connecting the dots, either.
We’re given some insight into Carrie’s upbringing as she paces in front of her computer.
My Jungian-analyst father considered [flights of fancy] a warning sign of an underdeveloped animus and they were a red flag to my career-feminist mother who taught these things would lead me to become another foot soldier in the unicorn-lover’s army.
She’s talking about not being allowed to watch Dark Shadows, and I think she’s pacing in front of her computer because she’s about to do a Google search for “vampire.” First of all, what does that have to do with feminism and gender? If she likes vampires and fiction, the masculine side of her feminine mind is underdeveloped? (Not being a Jungian psychologist, I had to look this up. In this context, the animus is the “masculine” part of a woman’s brain.) She’ll become a “foot soldier” who likes what, glitter and rainbows? Things that are inherently feminine in our society, and therefore bad? What does any of this mean, and why is it being brought up now???
I don’t understand how any of this is connected. I don’t know why Carrie is telling us this before researching vampires. (And I don’t know why she has to research them in the first place. It’s such a cop out, plot-wise. If your plot can’t move along without your MC Googling something, rethink what you’re doing.)
I typed vampire into a search engine and held my breath.
Yes, we’re all sitting here with bated breath wondering what kind of info you’re going to dig up that we don’t already know.
Marginally more reliable than tea leaves or a magic eight ball, the Web offered possibility and anonymity, two crucial components to my quest for knowledge.
I can excuse this, but only because this book is 10 years old (and thus my You’ve Got Mail joke is acceptable, so don’t make fun of me).
She finds a forum and requests help for someone recently attacked by a vampire. Someone messages her with an address, telling her to meet them after sundown whenever she can. She decides to go, because who wouldn’t trust someone with an email address of Zigmeister69@usmail.com?
She goes, and makes a random observation when she parks and sees the other people in the neighborhood.
I stepped onto the sidewalk and tried to ignore the stares of the ultrahip art majors huddled behind the steamy windows. I must have looked like a mascot for the capitalist culture they all gathered to complain about.
Sidetracked much? Focus, Carrie, you’re here for a mysterious back alley meeting with the Zigmeister! Don’t get all caught up in appearances, especially when you don’t back this up by explaining, say, your appearance.
Okay, the meeting isn’t in a back alley. Sorry to trick you! It’s in a bookstore, aptly named “The Crypt: Occult Books and Supplies” because where else would you meet Zigmeister69? (I’ll stop bringing up his email address when it stops being funny to me.) Carrie goes inside and is attacked by an ax murderer. She does some stuff that’s “like something out of an action movie” and then faces Zig so we get our first good look at him.
The tattoo on the back of his hand and his multiple ear and eyebrow piercings told me he must have been at least eighteen. His long, greasy-looking hair was shaved into a thin strip down the middle of his head […so a mohawk? Wouldn’t that be easier to write?]
Carrie runs, and is saved by who is UNDOUBTEDLY our love interest. Why else would she stop at a time like this to observe how attractive someone is?
He’d stopped the axe that was just centimeters from striking his very broad chest
[1 paragraph later] The man was sex walking. Wide shoulders, flat stomach, wavy, dark hair…
I’d like to point out that this guy has already been described more than our main character. Then Sex Walking helps her to her feet, and it gets worse.
I took the hand he offered, nervous electricity zinging up my arm at his touch
I HATE THIS TROPE. The “ooh I feel electricity when we touch, the air is charged with it when our eyes meet” just makes no sense. It’s yet another cop out, implying a deep connection without the characters actually knowing each other. Is it so hard to have them get to know each other, give them a connection that way? Instant attraction is fine (I’m only making fun of it here because that is NOT what Carrie should be focused on) but instant “electricity” is not something that happens in real life.
We learn that Sex Walking’s name is Nathan Grant, which isn’t nearly as good as Sex Walking so I’m going to continue referring to him that way. Carrie continues paying too much attention to SW (yes, I’ve already gotten too lazy to say the entire nickname I gave him.)
Nathan cocked his head to the side and regarded me with sparkling gray eyes.
[1 paragraph later] His voice was deep and seductively masculine
Okay, Carrie, we get it. Can we talk about
Bob Ziggy and his attempt to murder you now? SW orders Zig to leave the room so they can talk about him behind his back. Zig considers himself a vampire hunter, and we learn that he lured Carrie to the bookstore through a website called Nightblood.com… C’mon, Carrie, you should be way smarter than this.
Sex Walking tells Carrie the cardinal rule of vampirism. (I’m making a list because I assume we’ll be told other rules at some point.)
- Don’t go in public
Carrie’s all, “What’s a vampire? It’s so random that you called me that! I haven’t been paying any attention to my life in the last month, ever since I drank that guy’s blood–you know, the guy who died and came back to life fully healed, then backhanded me across the room like I weighed nothing!”
She interrupts with another unnecessary description of how God-like SW is:
He moved up the stairs with a grace I’d thought reserved for animals
Take a cold shower, Carrie. The man is just walking up a staircase.
Nathan/SW tells us that “We can, uh, tell our own kind,” and Carrie realizes he’s a vampire. This makes no sense, because if Carrie is a vampire, she should be able to “tell” that Nathan is one, right? Anyway, his sexy walking skillz have swayed her and she goes into his apartment, which I think is above the bookstore. The chapter ends with her wondering why this is happening to her.
Previous Chapter: The Turning: Chapter 1
Next Chapter: The Turning Chapter 3