YOUNG ADULT FICTON, MOTHERF**KERS: The Host Chapters 37 and 38

Posted on August 30, 2013 by

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When Ariel and I decided we were going to start splitting up the chapters, a small, selfish part of me was concerned that this would mean that I would miss out on things I really wanted to talk about. Today, in these chapters, I fear no longer: the love triangle/square/thing FINALLY HAPPENS.

and there was much rejoicing

and there was much rejoicing

Ariel says: I still think it’s hysterical that Matt was worried about missing things in the fucking Host.

Chapter 37: Wanted

Ariel says: Just in case anyone was wondering, Kyle and Ian start jokingly punching each other after the soccer game, and Wanderer is happy that playing soccer together apparently cured all their problems. 

Guys, I’ve been waiting for a long time for the “love triangle involving only two bodies” part of this story to actually happen (even if it makes no sense because, uh, Ian? Is Ian such a Jacob he doesn’t even get mentioned?). According to my Kindle, we’re 57% of the way through this book. That is entirely too long for there to be no young adult fiction love triangle to sit back and semi-sociopathically enjoy. But after the soccer game, both Ian and Jared swoop in, vying for Melerer’s affections and subtly telling the other one to fuck off.

“I’ll get her where she needs to go,” Ian said. […]
“Why don’t you get lunch?” Jared suggested to Ian. “You look hungry. I’ll take here wherever you had planned..”
Ian chuckled, a low, dark sound. “I’m fine. And honestly, Jared, Wanda needs a bit more help than a hand. I don’t know if you’re… comfortable enough with the situation to give her that.” […]
“I can carry her,” Jared finally said in a low voice.
“Can you?” Ian challenged.

And it’s not just two guys fighting over a girl, because there are two girls in the girl’s head fighting over the guys! All of Jared and Ian’s bickering is matched by Melanie and Wanderer’s!

[Wanderer:] What do you want me to do about it?
[Melanie:] He’s not yours.

Jared’s like, “Hey, we’re gonna have a talk” and they walk Melerer through the cave. They also talk about whether or not they believe Kyle but pfffft LIKE I CARE. Get back to fighting over the girl!

Your room? This is your better place?” Jared’s voice was full of skepticism.

Ian brings back the alien possessing Jared’s girlfriend’s body back to his room! Ballsy move there, Ian! That’s like bringing your best friend’s ex back to your room except they didn’t so much “break up” as “a bodysnatching alien possessed her”. Is this a bro code violation? I have no idea! LET’S WATCH THEM FIGHT WHILE THEY TRY TO FIGURE THAT ONE OUT.

“What?” Ian asked (oh by the way they left the room and Wanderer’s hearing all this through the door okay back to their fight). “Is there something you want to say to me, Jared?”
“The girl in there…” Jared said slowly.
“Yes?”
“That body doesn’t belong to her.”
“Your point?”
Jared’s voice was hard when he answered. “Keep your hands off it.”

jackson popcorn

Jared argues that the real issue isn’t their feelings, but Melanie’s, because Melanie is still trapped in a body someone else has control over and it isn’t fair to her.

How would you feel if you were Melanie? What if you were the one… invaded that way?

To which Ian responds:

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Which is, uh, kind of incredibly inconsiderate? And creepy? Jared chews him out accordingly.

“There’s nothing to think about […] The body and the person locked inside it belong to me.”

Okay, uh, I was with you at first, there, Jared, but you kind of just contradicted the fuck out of your actually legitimate point.

Ariel says: At first this line also made me think he was contradicting himself, but then again a second later he says they belong to each other, which is actually how lots of couples talk about one another in a non-creepy way. Granted, Jared says this bit in an aggressive and creepy way as he usually does, but he’s right. That’s his girlfriend in there; it’s not even just that her body is being invaded by someone else…she’s still in there! 

Ian counterpoints, saying that it’s not Wanderer’s fault she’s stuck in that body, which is fair.

“Wouldn’t you deserve a life, too?”

But let’s remember this is in a conversation about whether it’s okay to romantically pursue and/or bang someone while the consciousness of someone else who will not and cannot give consent is trapped inside that body, which is, uh, let’s go with bad. The conversation about whether Ian is being kinda rapey is completely dismissed as kinda moot because, aw shucks, Wanderer doesn’t seem into him anyway. (No, seriously)

Ian interrupted him with a sigh. “Don’t get worked up. Wanda isn’t exactly human, despite the body. She doesn’t seem to respond to… physical contact the same way a human would.”
Now Jared laughed. “Is that your theory?”

Jared tells Ian about how he kissed Melerer a few chapters ago and Ian storms back into his room, where he discovers Wanderer has been listening to the whole thing.

“So…” he finally said. “What do you think?”

I have no idea where the hell Jared went.

Ariel says: Ian kicked Jared out of the room because he got super jealous about Jared having kissed Melerer (as “an experiment”)  and he says that probably messed Wanderer up. 

“Melanie… punched… you?”

“It sure wasn’t Wanda . You should have seen her face…. What? Hey, Ian, easy, man!”

“Did you think for one moment what that must have done to her?” Ian hissed.

“Mel?”

“No, you fool, Wanda!”

“Done to Wanda?” Jared asked, sounding bewildered by the idea.

“Oh, get out of here. Go eat something. Stay away from me for a few hours.”

I had to share that with you all simply because the, “No, you fool” line just gets me. 

Chapter 38: Touched

Melanie considers everything she has to be confused about (which is a lot, to be fair), and eventually responds with “I really don’t know”. Ian understands though, because so long as it doesn’t have anything to do with Melanie’s consent, he’s such an understanding guy!

“I like you very much, Wanda.”
“I’m only just beginning to see that. I guess I’m a little slow.”
“It’s a surprise to me, too.”
We both thought that over.

Costanza Popcorn

Ian tests the waters by holding Melerer’s hand. Melanie is pissed. Wanderer has no idea what’s going on.

“Does that feel good or bad to you?” he asked.
Bad, Melanie insisted.
But it doesn’t hurt, I protested.

Ariel says: What’s even better about this scene is that Melanie has to explain to Wanderer what Ian means by “good” in this situation. It also seemed like this scene was gearing up for Ian to touch Melerer’s boobs and be like, “Does this feel good? How about this? What if I put my penis in you?” 

Wanderer tells Ian it’s hard to think with Melanie being so mad in her head, so Ian asks Melanie if she could give them a minute alone. And as stupid (and rude?) as this sounds, Ariel pointed out a few posts ago that maybe Melanie and Wanderer could just kinda switch back and forth when they were with their respective man, since the rules of body possession are totally being made up as this book goes along anyway. But unfortunately for Ian, Meyer only does this when it’s convenient for the plot, not for her Jacobs. So it’s two girls one body for any and all romance, here, although I guess that still sets us up for literature’s weirdest threesome, if we really want that.

Aw, fuck, it just occurred to me that there’s probably so much fanfiction for this book that is exactly like that.

Ian went on. “I’d like the chance to speak with Wanda privately, if you don’t mind. Is there any way that could be arranged?”
Of all the nerve! You tell him I said no chance in hell! I do not like this man.

It’s a little weird being 100% on Melanie’s side for something, but seriously what the hell, Ian. You are being creepy. And while she doesn’t quite point this out, Wanderer sort of tells him off, telling Ian that he only feels that way because of Melanie’s totes-bangin’ bod (not Wanderer’s words) because, hey, she could have been in an old woman’s body. Or a dude’s! And then the book gets some strangely pro-transgender subtext for a little bit which would actually be really cool if I hadn’t read enough of the rest of the book to know that this was a total accident on Meyer’s part.

“But you’re female – you yourself are.”
“And I always request whatever a planet’s equivalent is. It seems more… right. But I could be put into a man and I would function just fine.”

So naturally the next step for Ian is to go in for the kiss.

I didn’t see it coming the way I had with Jared. Ian was not as familiar to me. Melanie realized what he was going to do before I did, just a second before his lips touched mine.
No!
It wasn’t like kissing Jared. With Jared there was no thought, only desire. No control. A spark to gasoline – inevitable. (Writing Tips With Matthew: Maybe don’t include gasoline in your kissing metaphors?) With Ian, I didn’t even know what I felt.

Ian asks if it felt good or bad, Melanie starts screaming “Bad! Bad, bad!” (this is super uncomfortable, by the way), and Wanderer says “I can’t think,” to which Ian goes “aw yeah” (to paraphrase) and goes in for round two before Wanderer tells him to stop because Melanie is full of anger.

“Well, at least nobody punched me.” Ian grinned.
“She wanted to do more than that. […]”
“Why didn’t she?”
“Because I didn’t lose control. She only breaks free when I’m overwhelmed.”

Wait for it…

“So she can break free? If you’re overwhelmed? […] she broke through before, to punch Jared.”
“Yes.” […]
“Because you were overwhelmed and emotional?”
“Yes.”

Waaait for it…

“When Jared kisses you, you are… overwhelmed by emotion.”

Waaaaaaait for it…

“And when I kiss you… you aren’t sure if you like it. You are not… overwhelmed.”

I know, I know. I’m a dick.

Ariel says: Wanderer also tries to explain to Ian how sometimes she can lock Melanie away and unlock her, but then other times she can’t. 

“So she can break free? If you’re overwhelmed?”

I shrugged. “Sometimes, if she takes me by surprise and I’m too… emotional. Emotion makes it hard to concentrate. But it’s been more difficult for her lately. It’s like the door between us is locked. I don’t know why. I tried to let her out when Kyle—”

The rules of sharing a body just make less and less sense as this book drags on. 

Also, Ian asks if the reason Wanderer loves Jared is because of Melanie. Well, fucking, duh it would have to be. It’s only because of Melanie’s memories and feelings. Had Wanderer just met Jared and Ian without all of Melanie’s feelings, she would have been even more confused about love and feelings. It’s all…alien to the alien. 

Jamie comes back to the room to tell Wanderer that she can move into his and Jared’s room because they’re going to get another bed, and Ian is none too pleased, and, ha, sucks to suck, Ian.

So in conclusion: Melanie likes Jared and Jared likes Melanie and Wanderer likes Jared but Melanie doesn’t like that Wanderer likes Jared but manipulated Wanderer into taking their body to Jared and Ian likes Wanderer who’s possessing Melanie’s body and Melanie and Jared do not like that Ian likes Wanderer in Melanie’s body and Melanie doesn’t know who she likes or if her liking anyone is even fair to Melanie and Ian understands that this is difficult for Wanderer but Ian doesn’t really care about what Melanie wants.

This gif also summarizes the entirety of chapter 38.

This gif also serves as a good summary of Ian’s argument.

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Posted in: The Host