There is an astounding amount of stupid within the pages of this book. I can say with absolute confidence that this is the worst book I've read this year.
You could call the main character of this book innocent, sheltered. I could be nice to her, give her the benefit of the doubt, and call her naive.
But no. Nope. I've had it. I've read way too many books lately about stupid girls and their stupid actions and I'm just absolutely fucking fed up with the incomprehensible idiocy of our narrator, Cheyenne. I'm going to call her naive, but I'm going to redefine the word naive to fit my opinion of Cheyenne's absurdity.
Naive: nä-'ēv, adjective 1. so fucking dumb it makes my teeth hurt
You might think, for roughly 0.23 of a second, based on the half-assed excuse of a zombie cover of the pretty girl blond girl made slightly less pretty with the use of some strategically placed rottage that this is a book about zombies, about the zombie apocalypse, about survival, about gritty realism. You have never been more mistaken in your life. This is my theory, the zombie apocalypse thing is but a scheme in order to bring together 14 of the dumbest people in existence together in one place. In that sense, it's a good thing they're within this "Elysian Fields," because I really cannot comprehend how they've managed to get along this far in life, much less survive 2 seconds of the supposed zombie outbreak. It should have set off some sort of alarm within Cheyenne's head when she sees the nature of her companions---in a disaster, one would choose to rescue the most important, vital, prominent members of society. Doctors, scientists, etc. Not 14 shit-faced, trope-filled teenagers with a shared IQ of 110.
But I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. Cheyenne wakes up, disoriented. She's been chloroformed. Chloroform actually smells sweet, not sour, but details, right? Realism--please.
I don’t know this place. I was walking to my bathroom when someone grabbed me from behind and forced a sour-smelling cloth over my face
SHIT. SHE'S BEEN KIDNAPPED. What to do? Scream? Shout for help? Struggle to get the fuck out of here? Oh, wait, no. Teo, Hot Math Teacher. Cheyenne's been having a secret affair with him. They're in luuuuuurve.
It’s Teo, my Teo, standing across from me on the hardwood floor, beaming at me. His ebony eyes shine forth like two onyx stones, and even his olive-toned skin makes me breathe a bit shallower. Choking back a strangled laugh—no one’s here to hurt me—I reach out for the love of my life, too tongue-tied to say anything.
Teo's the kidnapper? Oh, it's all good, then. ^________^ Does he love me?????? He's sooooo hot.
I wish he’d tell me why he brought me here. Maybe he let my mom know, explained what we were actually doing.
My heart flip-flops and it’s hard to say anything. He’s happy to see me. It’s all I can do to keep myself from smiling stupidly.
Oh, girl. No. That shit is not normal. You were Stockholm Syndrome'd long before you were kidnapped.
Teo shows her media clips of people freaking out. The Living Rot has spread across the world from Beijing. It makes people turn into voracious cannibals. It destroyed China, and now it has destroyed the world. And apparently, all this shit has happened within the past few hours or so, since it's not like choloroform can knock you out for a long time. Whatever. TEO IS THE SAVIOR. IT MUST BE TRUE. He makes her wander around the block of houses, in the sweltering heat, in order to pass some stupid sort of vague test that I still can't comprehend.
Teo's started his own human version of Noah's Ark, in which he's recruited the dumbest teenagers in the world to survive with him where the rest of the world has been destroyed. He renames them. Tristan and Isolde. Romeo and Juliet. Pyramus and Thisbe. Cheyenne herself has been rebranded "Persephone." Does she question him? No.
Instead of learning survival skills, they have "evening soirées." They dress up in period costumes. The teens get together the first evening for a dance.
“At night,” Teo prowls around the couples, “shall be our evening soirées. Each couple shall have the chance to host one, and dazzle us with your ability to bring your stories to life.”
Does anyone question this shit? No.
There's some plot in there somewhere, but it is completely lost in the entire book's utter absurdity. I just cannot wrap my head about how foolish everyone in the book acts. NOBODY questions Teo. Nobody acts the way they should in the case of a severe emergency such as this. They buy into everything so completely, so incredibly.
Cheyenne herself is a fool. An absolute fool. She is so wet for teacher that it makes me sick.
At the foot of the stairs, Teo clutches my waist the way I have always dreamed he would. It’s tight, possessive, and I am only too happy to be wanted by someone else.
The world is imploding. Her mother may be dead. She doesn't give a fucking thought to the world outside. It's all Teo. Teo. Teo.
Does he really feel that the time he spends thinking of me is a waste? But that can’t be how he feels, because no one could fake a kiss like that. So maybe he meant that he’s spent a lot of time thinking about me. Which is actually a compliment. I shouldn’t get caught up in overanalyzing everything.
Naive is one thing, but Cheyenne---I can't even describe it, it just makes me so completely angry at how she justifies abuse, how she justifies violence, how she justifies any bad behavior as long as that bad behavior is perpetrated by someone she likes.
Because killing your father turns you into nothing. Nothing but sorrow and pain and numb. So he must be telling it wrong. His dad forced him to drive that car while drunk...
Right, forcible drunk driving: the not guilty defense of every single DUI conviction ever.
Cheyenne takes abuse lying down. She is inexplicably attracted to this sinister (but hot!) man despite all the shit he pulls, despite his obvious cruelty towards others, and only after seeing him actually KILL someone and set a lion loose on a poor boy (yes, a lion), does she finally start to listen to her instincts, which should have been screaming in her ear "YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH A CREEPTASTIC MOTHERFUCKER. RUN AWAY NOW." Her body rebels.
He brings those tender lips to my neck and brushes my skin before kissing my throat.
I should hate it, and I abhor myself that I don’t. My mind shrivels, but there’s this little part of my body that quivers at his touch. Like it hasn’t gotten the memo that Teo’s a deranged killer who enjoys snipping marionettes.
That should be ample evidence of what I think of Cheyenne and this book.
Along with horrible teacher-love, there's also a love triangle between Cheyenne and the teacher's little brother. Because in between all the survival and dances, Cheyenne's got to notice Marcus's totally ripped arms.
There is an ample amount of slut-shaming and fat bashing. The poor fat girl (Ana) is clumsy, constantly munching on vegetables, constantly wanting to burst into tears because she's fat and therefore unlovable by her chosen partner. She also splits her sari's pants because of her legendary fatness. We have Cleo, the slutty girl, who's the object of hatred because she wears tight dresses and she's got big boobs. Which are obviously implants, geez.
A short, black dress hugs her body so tightly, it’s like her curves are about to pop. Two curves in particular—it’s obvious she’s had those puppies enhanced.
We have the idiotic blond cheerleader who is more concerned about the fact that this compound doesn't have a gym than she's worried about the impending doom of the world. We have idiotic boys. Everyone is a moron, everyone is evil besides Cheyenne and the love triangle boy.
Fuck you, book.