Khanh the Killjoy

God help us all

Vivian Divine is Dead - Lauren Sabel
A line pops into my head, one I repeated dozens of times to get the right balance of hope and desperation that the Zombie Killer is known for. All that stands between me and the end of the a bobby pin.

I have two, motherfuckers.

Vaya con dios, mi amigo.

No, that's not a quote from the book. It's my advice to you, it means "go with god, my friend," and you're going to need that advice should you insist upon reading this book.

It's one of those so-bad-it's-almost-good books.

It's insta-love, and that's pretty much it. We have omg HE'S SUCH AN ASSHOLE and YOU ARE A FUCKING MORONIC PRINCESS and then 5 seconds later I LOVE HIM. What the fuck.

Ok, so here's kind of a spoiler, but not really. The book is entitled Vivian Divine is Dead. I know that this is huge news. Shocking. Absolutely flabbergasting, jaw-dropping, and all of that good shit but Vivian Divine doesn't die.

I wish she had. The book might have been more interesting otherwise.

The Summary:

I try not to think about the day Pierre and I first fell in love. It was a year ago, when we were wrapping up Zombie Killer, my blockbuster about an orphan who saves the human race.

Sure, Vivian Divine may be a famous Hollywood movie star, Oscar-nominated by age 16, with a famous director father and the 3rd most beautiful (and very dead) mother (as chosen by Time magazine), but as far as she's concerned, everything in her life has been about the movie Zombie Killer.

But no really, her life kind of sucks right now because:


2. Daddy tried to kill himself from ZE PAIN

3. Her boyfriend, Pierre, just cheated on her with her much skinner best friend, Sparrow (not much of a best friend anymore!). Her heart is totally, irretrievably broken.

Pierre was the only one who could make me feel better, and the only boy who ever whispered, This is forever.

Oh yeah, and um.

4. Someone's sending her death threats. Hence the title of the book. Vivian Divine really, really thinks she's going to die.

And apparently, shit, it's true! People are trying to kill her! What's the poor Vivian Divine to do? She's never attended school, she's never done a single fucking thing for herself.

I hate asking for help. Luckily, I never have to. A team of specialists is paid to take care of my every need, to anticipate what I might want and have it prepared ahead of time. If they don’t have the right brand of mango lip balm ready for me after a shoot, they’re done.

So Vivian Divine is totally fucked when her only way of escaping CERTAIN DOOM is to escape to Mexico!

Ay, caramba! (I know there's supposed to be another exclamation mark before the Ay, but I'm too tired to look it up in Character Map, ok?)

So with a mysterious, awesome new disguise---you know how when you go incognito, you're supposed to look plain and all that good shit so that you don't attract attention?

I’m normally cute: big blue eyes, pouty lips, long copper curls. But this is gorgeous. My short black hair falls straight and glossy as a waterfall; my eyes are melting chocolate.

Someone forgot to tell Vivian Divine.

But it's ok, because the instant she meets trouble...Vivian Divine falls into insta-love.

Standing in front of me is the sexiest guy I’ve ever seen. His eyes are a rugged green, his black hair shaggy on his shoulders. His cargo pants hang off his slim hips, and a white undershirt clings to his chest. My personal trainer would kill for his body.

“Hola.” I’m completely tongue-tied.

Nick is instantly contemptuous of her. This spoiled little princess who is clearly out of her league in the wilds of México. Such a fool. What could this toughened, experienced, battle-weary boy ever see in Hollywood Royalty Vivian Divine?

“You’re a spoiled brat. You have no problems,” Nick says. “You think your life’s so tough, but your rich mommy and daddy take care of everything for you.” He snatches my orange soda from my hand, takes the last sip, and tosses it into the trash. “You don’t know what real pain is.”

Uh huh! YOU TELL HER, NICK! Don't let that prissy little princess worm her way into her heart. And true to his words, Nick holds steady for all of 5 seconds.

“When I met you on the bus, I thought you were just another rich American,” he continues. “But you’re not. You’re...different.”

OH, NO, NOT THE D WORD!!!!!!!!

But the romance aside, THERE'S STILL PEOPLE TRYING TO KILL VIVIAN DIVINE. Even in Mexico! But it's all good, Vivian Divine was in Zombie Killer, remember? Her experience from Zombie Killer not only helps her endure wearing contacts when she's donning her disguise...

[She] finds me a pair of brown contacts, which I’m used to wearing, thanks to my months of demon-red contacts in Zombie Killer.

And helps her tolerate hunger during her days on the run in Mexico.

I’ve never been this hungry before (except for all-night shoots for Zombie Killer.

But it helps Vivian to prove herself to Nick when he's being an asshat to her.

Anger races through me, and I remember the judo move I learned for the all-night shoot of Zombie Killer. I’ll show you petty problems.

And it helps her to protect herself against the BAD BAD GUYS. Vivian is trapped in a moving car? It's all good. She can jump out of the car if she needs to, thanks to her experience with Zombie Killer.

I’ve done it before. I jumped out of a moving car for a stunt in Zombie Killer.

If someone tries to attack her, it's all good, because she's learned judo on the set of Zombie Killer.

What if someone jumps out and attacks me? What do I do? I try to recall the judo moves I learned for Zombie Killer.

If she needs encouragement...Vivian can just remember her mother's words of advice...for acting in Zombie Killer.

I remember my mom telling me the day before she disappeared, when I was filming the fight scene for Zombie Killer. In that scene, when the zombies had me almost beaten, the Zombie Killer realized that sometimes not fighting is as powerful as fighting.

MEXICO JA JA JA: The Mexico portrayed in this book can best be described in one word: stupid. People can eat rodents if they need to. There are fucking mariachi bands everywhere. They eat tacos every meal of the day. They eat cricket tacos. They speak in complete English sentences...but certain words have to constantly be in Spanish. A guy can speak for an entire paragraph in fluent English, but when he refers to his mother, it's always mi madre . Come on, now.

Divinely Insipid:

Hiding from a killer with an armed stranger in Mexico? Am I crazy?

Yes, yes you are.

Vivian Divine is Hollywood Royalty, which is the synonym for I have no common sense whatsoever outside of what I learned in movies. She has spent her entire life as an actor. She has never been to school. Her parents are famous and wealthy. She has always been waited on hand and foot. She doesn't know what it's like to be in the real world, so when she gets immersed into it, into the wilds of Mexico, of all things, she drowns. It takes a big, strong man to protect her, because Vivian Divine can't do jack shit.

All her experience is gleaned from movies. She sees a fucking house. It looks like a house in [insert movie here] that she's been in. It happens repeatedly. To Vivian, Mexico looks like a movie set.

I’ve seen this church before, I realize, on the studio’s back lot. It’s the “Traditional Mafia Church” set.

To Vivian, everything that happens is the equivalent of a movie scene.

It feels like my story’s ending. It’s a story with a tragic ending, one where the heroine starves to death on the side of a mountain, all alone, with only a lamb to keep her company.

And I must be frank, there's no other way to put it. Vivian Divine, by rights, should have died because she is a fucking moron who wouldn't last 1.5 seconds in downtown LA, much less Mexico.

The Romance: For someone who falls into insta-love so quickly, Vivian Divine can't forget about her ex-boyfriend, Pierre.

His eyes seem to breathe me in, all of me, not just little useful pieces like Pierre’s used to do. But maybe I’m just imagining it.

I expect Nick to look confused, like Pierre did when I told him, but he’s nodding like he understands.

If Pierre was here, he’d pretend he knew how to do it, burn himself, and then make me start the fire.

It’s the complete opposite of Pierre’s bathroom, which is stuffed with expensive colognes and hair gel, but then again, Pierre has more beauty products than I do.

I know all about sleeping pills. Pierre takes them to get a few hours of sleep before his shoots so that he won’t have bags under his eyes.

All this happens throughout the book. She is constantly thinking about Pierre and comparing/contrasting them. Enough already. And then not a few days passes before Vivian Divine realizes...

I see your soul, I want to say, but I bite my tongue, and hope he sees mine.

The insta-love is terrible. Nick hated her in the beginning, and then for no reason at all, they start to fall in love right after she tells him the equivalent of I'M NOT AS SHALLOW AS YOU THINK I AM, without any proof, without any character development whatsoever. And before you know it, this happens.

“Nobody knows,” Nick says. “But when the locals look at them, they see angels.”
“What do you see?”
“Something even better,” Nick says, looking right at me.

God won't help you. Watch a telenovela instead.