I kid you not, I think this was actually a chapter from earlier in the book that got pushed forward, and had a cursory mention of Alex shoved in.
The advance copies she had at home didn't hold quite the same allure as the sight of her work in a bookstore display.
"All you idiots, hurry up and buy that book! SHUT UP AND BUY IT."
"Ma'am, we're gonna have to ask you to stops screaming at the customers."
"Don't talk to me like that! Don't you know who I am?"
Why do I have the feeling that Jessica would probably end up unleashing a "Dear negative reader" rant in a few years?
Jessica sighed when she saw Caryn browsing the shelves, but she wasn't about to let the annoying teen chase her away.
I mean, how DARE she turn up at the ONLY bookstore in town, which also happens to be run by her mother! Obviously she's only there to annoy Jessica. The nerve!
"Oh … hi, Jessica," Caryn said, sounding surprised. "You looking for anything?"
"A book. What else would I be in a bookstore for? " Jessica answered crossly.
"But I'm not, like, gonna BUY anything. I'm just one of the assholes who hangs around reading books they don't own, and leave without paying."
Caryn comments that she's read Tiger Tiger, while Jessica decides to.... apparently buy a copy of her own book. Which, since her royalties are only a percentage, means she's basically trying to flush money down the toilet. What, is she hoping the gap on the shelf will cause a riot of frenzied buying? WHY IS SHE DOING THIS?
"I wonder what the author is like," Caryn commented. "Where do you suppose her ideas come from?"
"I wonder if the author is an annoying twerpy bitch who gets all her ideas from flashbacks, and has no actual creative or writing skills of her own."
So Caryn babbles for awhile about the idea that Ash Night's vampires are real, as well as all her characters. Jessica takes the chance to snarl at her for daring to voice a "what if" scenario out loud. THE NERVE.
"Caryn, I've been subtle, rude, and even offensive," Jessica interrupted. "Now it's time for direct."
- Atwater-Rhodes wasn't skilled enough for "subtle." "Subtle" would be Jessica conveniently not hearing Caryn when she talks.
- Also, how can you be rude and not be "direct"?
- And what the hell has she done that's "offensive"? Was there a chapter where she mooned Caryn, and it just got cut out in editing?
- I guess Little Miss Dark And Dangerous has very timid standards for "offensive."
"I don't care if you think vampires exist. I don't want to talk about it, just like I don't want to chat about combination locks or anything else. I don't want to talk to you at all. Do you understand?"
... and we're actually supposed to be sympathizing with this bitch. Sorry, AAR, her antisocial bitchery towards people for daring to converse with her Royal Assness does not make me marvel at how awesome she is. I just want her to die a slow gruesome death appropriate for her Hot Topic vampire-groupie persona.
Caryn nods, and Jessica gloats over her ability to verbally abuse people for the bare minimum of socialization.
Next Jessica just had to convince herself that Alex Remington wasn't the Antichrist, and she could return to the regularly scheduled tedium of her daily life.
- Convince herself that ... the hell? Where the fuck did that come from? She hasn't shown the slightest alarm or worry about Alex so far! She didn't imply that she thought he was evil at all!
- ... or is she implying that she finds the Antichrist sexually attractive? Because that would actually make a lot of sense.
- Given how much she bitched about the "regularly scheduled tedium" (ie normalcy) of her life, you would think she wouldn't be in a rush to return to it.
- Another Bellatastic quality: whatever she doesn't have now is what she wants. That way, she can whine about everything.
So then Alex comes out of nowhere and starts stroking Jessica's overblown ego.
"Maybe I'm paranoid, but I could swear you've been following me."
"Because that is SOOOOOOOOO HOT. Can you sparkle for me now?"
"... for the hundredth time, I don't friggin' sparkle."
"Can you verbally abuse me instead, then?"
The words were out of Jessica's mouth before she had a chance to consider them. Hearing her own tone, she almost choked. If she caught herself flirting, she was likely to become ill.
Too late. Her clumsy flirting is making ME ill.
"On and off," he answered vaguely, and didn't add anything more.
And in response to this, she does... absolutely nothing. Seriously, she apparently doesn't react to this statement at all, especially since he's apparently being SERIOUS. In fact, she only reacts when she realizes that she's following HIM. Wut? Since when?
So since apparently vampires and vampire groupies would NEVER read anything but vampire books, Alex recommends a book by some woman who claims she's a vampire. Does this woman or her book have ANYTHING to do with the rest of the plot? NO! Is she ever mentioned again? ONCE. And just to mention that it made all the little vampires flutter with shock. Why is this book being mentioned? It's just another chance for Atwater-Rhodes to totally rip off Anne Rice, in whose universe her books are nonfiction.
"I know the author," Alex answered matter-of-factly. "She gave me an autographed copy of the manuscript. Right after she tried to slit my throat, but why sweat the details?"
... I'm sorry, why would you give an autographed MANUSCRIPT copy (not even a book!) after trying to kill someone? Are all vampires bipolar?
And again, he is not even trying to hide that he is a vampire. Why is he not trying to hide that he's a vampire? Why fucking enroll in high school and pretend to be human if you're going to constantly mention your vampiriness and drop references to being a vampire and knowing a woman who publicly has declared she is a vampire?
And since he thought that Ash Night/Bitchface knew about him... why would he pretend not to be a vampire... and then drop constant references to being a vampire?
"Does this happen to you often? "
"Fairly frequently," he answered, his tone nonchalant. "Elizabeth and I don't like each other very much, but her book is … interesting. It's the kind of thing you'd like."
- Uh, why would a vampire think another vampire's autobiography is "interesting"? Oh, lemme guess, she's a famous rock star whose vampirism is her gimmick.
- Yes, apparently vampires get into deadly fights all the time, but nobody ever notices.
- Sorry dude, but hack writers usually don't admit to reading their own genre.
- In fact, her bedroom has no books in it, and she only goes to a bookstore to masturbate about the presence of her book. I'd say she wouldn't like it because SHE DIDN'T WRITE IT.
"How do you know what I like to read? "
"I can tell," he answered cryptically, and then he turned to the checkout.
"You seem like a mindless vampire groupie who wants a hot immortal boyfriend to validate your delusions that you're somehow special and unique. In a few years, you'll be a rabid Twishite fan."
Alex and Hasana stare at each other nastily for a few minutes, and Alex randomly mentions that Hasana is Caryn's mom. Yeah, apparently that is supposed to explain why they hate each other. INFODUMP FAIL.
"Watch out for this guy," Hasana warned, nodding toward Alex. "He probably knows more about you than your taste in books."
"But I only like my own books! I don't read anything by anyone else!"
"Yeah, I can sort of see that just by looking at you."
"And how could that be? " Jessica asked dryly.
"I can read your mind, and learn your secret fears and darkest desires," Alex answered.
Did I REALLY just read that line? Wow. I mean, WOW. That is epically cheesy on so many levels. It's the sort of thing only the lowest-budget, cheesiest vampire movies would actually use that sort of line. I can imagine that line coming from the Queen of the Damned MOVIE - that is how cheesy it is.
You think he tries to pick up girls with that line? "Oooooh, I am a vampire, a bad boy with a heart of gold who just needs love to redeem me. I can read your mind, and learn your secret fears and darkest desires! Are you turned on yet?"
Also, it reminds me of this:
... in that both comments imply something wildly sexual and forbidden and dark... but in neither case do we get anything even close to that.
Buuuuuttttt it turns out that Jessica wrote that very same cheesy line into Dark Flame. I'm amazed anybody buys that tripe... but then again, we're talking about a demographic that thinks Edward Cullen's dialogue is romantic and not creepy/cheesy.
She had written those exact words, Aubrey's words, in Dark Flame, the novel that was presently waiting on her editor's desk. She couldn't remember whether she had used them in Tiger, Tiger.
So she can remember those words EXACTLY in one book, but she can't remember whether they were used in another. Somehow it doesn't seem likely to me.
"Do you always talk like that?" she asked, unnerved.
He looked at her challengingly as he said, "Don't you know?"
... AUBREY, YOU FAIL AS A VAMPIRE. Why even bother enrolling in high school if you're not even going to PRETEND you're not a vampire, and drop dozens of hints?! Why don't you just wander over and say, "Hi, I'm a vampire bishie. Start crushing on me now"?
And yes, apparently Jessica is only mildly "alarmed" rather than being completely freaked out that some dude dresses like Aubrey, talks like him, and is apparently following her. Apparently she thinks that mentally-ill stalkers are people you should totally flirt with because they might turn out to be vampires.
As Alex paid for his book, Jessica realized that she was still holding Tiger, Tiger. She placed it on the counter, not intending to buy it; she had plenty of copies at home.
Why did Alex buy a copy of a book he already has?! And why did she tote the stupid book up to the counter where you BUY things if she doesn't plan to buy it?! WHY ARE THESE CHARACTERS DOING RANDOM THINGS?!
Alex's gaze drifted to the cover, and his expression leapt immediately from amusement to anger. He spun away and, without another word, stalked out of the store. Jessica was left staring after him, too shocked to react.
"Wow, he's like a Hot Topic version of Edward Cullen, bipolar mood swings and all!"
So while Alex stomps out like a brat, Hasana tells Jessica to avoid Alex. Since Jessica is a bitch, she decides to be sarcastic on a serious topic.
"Why? Is he going to hurt me?" Jessica's sarcasm was sharpened by her confusion regarding Alex.
Ever seen Misery, you dumbshit? Not something to be sarcastic about.
Either that, or AAR doesn't know what "sarcasm" really is or when it should be used. She seems to think that sarcasm is something that can be used appropriately in everything you say.
"Pass the salt."
"Oh YEAH, I'll pass the salt."
"These mashed potatoes are a little lumpy."
"Yeah, they have a LOT of lumps. SURE."
"Unless you keep away from him, he most likely will," Hasana answered seriously. "He has a temper."
"One time he threw himself on the floor and had a tantrum because I wouldn't give him some free bookmarks."
Jessica was out of sharp remarks.
Thank God. Either that, or AAR couldn't think of another faux-sarcastic response that really shouldn't be sarcastic.
Instead, Jessica announces that she's going to put the book away, and Hasana says one of the dumbest lines in the whole book: "If you want it, just keep it," Hasana answered softly. "You are the author."
So not only is the vampire a total loss at pretending to NOT be a vampire, but the witch just totally destroyed her whole fucking cover by revealing that she, a lowly bookstore owner, knows exactly who Jessica is. Holy shit, why doesn't she just wear a sweater saying, "I'm a witch secretly tracking a person who I totally shouldn't know the identity of"? Actually, why don't BOTH she and Alex/Aubrey do that?!
Also, what kind of dumbshit business owner GIVES AWAY books?! Especially new books that aren't remaindered or anything?!
Of course, Jessica is shocked by the fact that Hasana knows who she is.
"How did you know? " Jessica interrupted, annoyed to learn that this woman had connected her to Ash Night. She had used a pen name to avoid recognition.
Because egotistical bitches crave total anonymity. I know this, because Twilight told me so.
Of course, Hasana can't come up with a legit explanation like, "My cousin works at the publishing company" or anything. She is so full of fail it actually burns.
"I've read it, and I … recognized you as the author," Hasana fumbled. "You just have a look about you …"
"A snotty, self-absorbed vampire-groupie bitch look. You write the same way you act."
So Hasana just drops the subject and Jessica leaves. Brilliant. Both the vampires and witches are completely inept and can't effectively stalk a teenage girl without having giant blinking neons signs saying, I STALK, I STALK. Please tell me they all die in a fiery explosion.