So now we're randomly introduced to Caryn's mother - and this seems like kind of a whiplashy experience in the SECOND chapter of the friggin' book. However, it's a nice break from our repulsive protagonist.
"HOW WAS YOUR FIRST DAY of school?" Caryn's mother asked as soon as the girl entered the kitchen.
"It was fine, except for the gas leak."
Caryn's mother, Hasana Rashida, was a slightly plump, attractive woman with hair of a rich brown, cropped in a serious yet flattering style.
Hi there, character we'll probably never see again and who has no importance to the plot!
Caryn is actually being considerate of her mother and not complaining about how she was treated by Jessica.... and I'm sure Atwater-Rhodes wants us to go "What a loser! She probably has FRIENDS!" So she gets herself some ice cream and thinks about the bitch who snubbed her at school. I smell love!
There was something in Jessica's aura that she hadn't been able to identify—something darker than normal.
Of course, it also might have been the burritos she had at lunch.
Seriously, this has gone beyond foreshadowing and right into clubbing the reader with the frigging obvious. I'm sure it'll turn out she's a dhampir or something.
... except not awesome like this book.
At first, it had almost kept Caryn from approaching. After only one day, she could see that it also kept other students away.
Or it could be the nasty bitch thing.
Of course, that was logical. Caryn wouldn't have been in this town if Jessica had been a normal high-school student.
Cardinal Sue Rule #35: Everything in the plot MUST revolve around the Sue. New girl moves to town? She's there to spy on the Sue. Mysterious hot new boy? Here's there for the Sue. Giant meteorite about to usher us into a new ice age? It was magnetically attracted to the Sue's awesomeness.
Caryn had tried despite her unease to get to know Jessica, more because the girl had seemed so alone than because Caryn had been asked to do so.
"Wraaarrrggghhh, I hate everyone and everything! You all suck! I'm better than all of you.... waaaahhhhh, I'm so alone and nobody loves me!"
So then Caryn asks where someone named Dominique is, and we're told that she was the leader of the oldest living line of witches, and her power was impressive. She was the one who had tracked down Jessica's address and maneuvered Caryn and Hasana into this town, finding a house for them and employment for Hasana in less than two weeks.
EPIC PLOT TWIST!!!!!!!!....??????
Honestly, not that surprising. I mean, we already know that the main character is a self-insert, and she rambled about "her" witches and how "human" they seemed. That wasn't even a mild surprise.
Also, I love how this was just hammered right into a conversation without anything leading up to it. We go from ice cream to "We iz witchez! And here's vague expository dialogue about it."
Either despite this power or because of it, the woman was emotionally cold as ice in almost any situation.
Thank you for showing instead of telling.
She needed to be: Dominique Vida was a vampire hunter.
... of course.
And then Atwater-Rhodes starts rambling about how incredibly scary Dominique is and how she can force Caryn and all the others do to whatever the hell she wants. Dominique could order Caryn to go into the vampires' lairs alone, and Caryn would do so or risk losing her title as a witch. Her title was Grand Poobah, Keeper of the Holy Hand Grenade and the Silver Pencil of the Mighty SATs! HAIL!
Following the same train of thought as her daughter, Hasana asked, "Did you meet Jessica? "
"Yes. She hated me on sight," Caryn answered gloomily. "And considering how she's treated, I'm not surprised."
Proof positive that Atwater-Rhodes isn't trying to make her self-insert Sue an antisocial bitch so she can be developed into something better. Of course, her Sue isn't treated that way because she's an unlikable bitch - it MUST be that she's an unlikable bitch because she's treated that way, and a person who's been there ALL OF ONE DAY can instantly tell that it's the fault of EVERYONE ELSE EXCEPT JESSICA that she's an unlikable bitch.
Caryn had been shocked at the way Jessica's classmates seemed to view her—as if she was a poisonous spider.
... which, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that she treats them like bugs.
One of them, an athletic senior who'd been flirting with Caryn only a few minutes before, had called Jessica a witch. Hurt by his words, Caryn had needed to swallow an argument; Jessica was further from being a witch than the boy who had made the accusation.
... uh, how the hell would she know that? She doesn't even know what Jessica is, but she knows that she's "further from being a witch" than the guy who's talking to her? How would she know that?
Or is this some lame attempt at insulting the boy who said that? In that case, that whole exchange is even stupider because it implies that "witch" is a bad thing, which means that Caryn is insulting HERSELF. Epic fail!
Caryn glanced down at her bowl, her appetite gone. Her ice cream was melting.