Love is Hell

Wow, I wonder if this will be a crappy paranormal story. Oh come on, it’s in a book called Prom Nights From Hell, and since prom-age paranormal crap is what she excels at. Even worse: Stephenie Meyer, having raped vampires, now turns her attentions to demons and angels.

And you know what? This story makes Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny look theologically valid.

I mean, at least Beelzeboss is kinda scary, and he’s threatening to do genuinely horrible things to people! Which he makes clear instead of… not telling us.


Gabe stared across the dance floor and frowned. He wasn’t sure why he’d asked Celeste to the prom, and it was another mystery why she’d said yes.

… thank you. Two lines in and I am already wondering why I’m supposed to read further.

So apparently this guy named Gabe brought a girl to the prom, and now she’s busy grinding all over some other dude on the dance floor.

 
Heath’s hands roamed over Celeste’s glistening white dress in an intimate way.

  1. Did you expect him to grope her in a NON-intimate way?
  2. He’s running his hands over her dress. Not her ass or anything.
  3. Apparently this girl borrowed Kahlan’s magical dress of whiteness.

Or maybe it’s not, since she’s supposed to be an Evil Bitch.

 
“Tough luck, Gabe.”

“If you weren’t so sexually repressed, maybe YOU would be groping her ass instead.”

It turns out that this is Gabe’s best buddy Bryan, who is being a total dick to his friend. Ah, Stephenie Meyer. You can’t go a single page without a character being a pain in the ass.

 
“Hey, Bry. Having a nice night?”
“Better than you, man, better than you,” Bryan answered, grinning.

“Haha, it’s funny that your date is making out with someone else on the dance floor. She’s such a whore, isn’t she? You have such shitty taste in women! IT’S FUNNY!”

It’s established that Celeste and Heath barely even know each other, and neither Bryan or Gabe has ever noticed them interacting before. I think this is how Stephenie Meyer thinks slutty (read: normal) people act – they can’t pass a set of genitals without wanting to take ’em for a ride.

 
Both of them stared at Celeste, who had apparently lost something she needed deep inside Heath’s mouth.

Because she always tries to retrieve lost items with her tongue.

I think that comment sounded wittier in Smeyer’s echo-chamber of a head than it does on paper.

 
“It’s probably just the punch,” Bryan said in an attempt to be encouraging. “I don’t know how many people spiked it, but ouch. She might not even know that’s not you out there.”

  1. I suspect by “spiked” she means dumped a whole can of beer into a giant vat of punch. I mean, this woman thinks Nyquil is on par with actual drugs.
  2. Nah, she’s just a slut. I mean, Gabe didn’t become instantly obsessed with her at first sight, so they’re not soulmates.
  3. I’m not sure, but he might actually be douchier when he’s trying to be nice.
  4. Not that it matters, because Gabe clearly doesn’t give a shit about Celeste. Nor is he even pretending to.

Instead, the two guys hang around awkwardly talking, in a way that confirms that Stephenie Meyer doesn’t know how guys talk to each other. And because lead characters in Smeyer stories are always complaining, Bryan and Gabe start griping about the music and how sucky it is. Come on, sucky mainstream pop music is part of every prom.

But then again, I can guarantee that it’s better than Linkin Park.

 
“I wonder where Clara is. Is there some kind of girl-law that demands they spend a certain percentage of every event in the bathroom together?”
“Yes. Stiff penalties for girls who don’t meet the quota.”

Har har! Stereotypes of women are funny! They’re all obsessed with clothes and boys and fluffy pink things, and they act just like Sex and the City characters minus the sex!

 
“About Clara…” he began.
“You don’t have to say anything,” Gabe assured him. “She’s an amazing girl. And you two are perfect for each other. I would’ve had to be blind not to see that.”
“You really don’t mind?”
“I told you to ask her to the prom, didn’t I?”

“But I promise I’ll always love you first, best and always!”
“I know that, darling. Come here, you sexy beast you!”

Smeyer is clumsily trying to imply that they were an item before (not that it matters, because he’ll probably be swept off his feet by Troo Lurv), but he unselfishly told his friend to ask her out instead. But since these two guys are spending prom talking to EACH OTHER, it ends up sounding homoerotic.

“Yeah, you did. Sir Galahad makes another match. Seriously, man, do you ever think about yourself?”

SUBTLETY IS FOR WIMPS!

After all, Smeyer is just the MASTER of writing likable unselfish characters who never think about themselves and are all about benevolent care of others. And the more she says they’re unselfish and never think of themselves, the more saintly they are!

So we’re clumsily informed that Gabe is a noble defender of Justice, Peace and Puppies, and he’s happy to get detention or get injured if it means defending What Is Right. So he starts intimidating his best friend by threatening to break his nose if he isn’t sufficiently nice to Gabe’s ex-girlfriend. I’m sure he has a long and rewarding career as a mob enforcer ahead of him.

 
There was something about Gabe and his piercing blue eyes that made you feel that way – like doing the best you could at any given task. It got irritating sometimes.

CLUMSY WRITING IS CLUMSY. Ugh, Smeyer is buttraping the first sacred law of writing: Show, don’t tell.

So despite claiming he wanted to get drunk, Bryan adheres to Mormon rules by getting rid of the “spiked” punch. And Gabe belatedly remembers that he’s supposed to have been dumped at the prom by his date, who is now humping all over some dude she barely knows. Seriously, why did she go with him if she finds him as attractive as Bella finds human boys?

 
Gabe wondered again why he’d asked Celeste to this dance.

He should have begged that snotty derpy plain girl who never talks to anyone. She was the only one who was REALLY alluring!

She was a very pretty girl – pageant pretty.

Translation: she’s pretty in a totally ordinary way! Not like Smeyer or her Sues… I mean, heroines!

 
Perfect blond hair – so full it was fluffy – wide-spaced brown eyes, and curvy lips always painted a flattering shade of pink.

Oh wow, a slutty nasty blonde character in a Smeyer book. That’s almost as surprising as a slutty nasty blonde character in a LKH book.

And “so full it was fluffy”? Ugh, my brain hurts. “Curvy” lips?!

 
Her lips weren’t the only things that were curvy. She’d all but shut his brain down with the thin, clingy dress she’d worn tonight.

  1. See? Total slut. People who AREN’T slutty never dress in a sexually attractive manner!
  2. No, people who aren’t sluts are utterly asexual until they meet their Wun Troo Luv, and they dress like off-duty lumberjacks.
  3. And… my gosh, is Smeyer actually having a character experience LUST for someone who isn’t their Wun Troo Wuv? Fan me before I faint!

 
Her looks weren’t the reason he’d noticed her, though.

Yes, teenage boys don’t notice girls who are hot curvy blondes in skimpy clothing because of their LOOKS. They notice them for their MINDS.

Gabe would never, ever tell anyone else about this, but every now and then, he got this weird sense that someone needed help.

Then he donned his colorful spandex suit and flew through the air!

So it turns out that he got that vibe from Celeste. Notice how this absolves Gabe of the horrifying sin of asking a sexy girl to a dance because he found her attractive? No, he was doing it because he’s unselfish and saintly and imagined by a middle-aged woman who understands male psychology as well as she understands quantum physics.

 
“Hey, Bry, did you miss me?” Clara, her dark curly hair full of glitter, bounced free from a herd of females and joined them against the wall. The rest of the herd dispersed.

  1. I never went to a prom, but please tell me that glitter in the hair is not a thing.
  2. Smeyer seems kind of obsessed with glitter, actually. I wonder if she makes her husband put it on.
  3. The nice kind non-bitchy-slut girl is a brunette, and the bitchy-slut is a blonde. I am too shocked to be sarcastic.
  4. “Herd” of “females”? Your misogyny is showing again, Smeyer.

 
Bryan put his arm around her shoulders. “I thought you left. Guess I’ll have to cancel the hot plans I just made with-”
Clara’s elbow caught Bryan in the solar plexus.

Yes, this is how all people on FIRST DATES act.

 
“Mrs. Finkle,” Bryan continued, gasping the words and nodding toward the vice principal glaring from the corner of the room farthest away from the speakers. “We were going to sort failure notices by candlelight.”

HAHA. He’s being wacky. Wacky things happen at proms.

… LAUGH, DAMMIT.

So Bryan and Clara go prancing off to dance with each other, which is the cue for ANOTHER random friend of Gabe’s to show up just to exposit that Celeste is a total hosebeast who will grind all over anything with a dick that ISN’T her date.

Logan was also solo for the moment. Perhaps it was his date’s turn to exhibit girl-herding behavior.

Please, compare all women to animals again, Smeyer. We haven’t gotten the point yet.

So it turns out that she’s now making out with someone new, and Logan is in the same boat because his date is also a bitch.

 
“She’s around here somewhere, glowering at everyone. She doesn’t want to dance, she doesn’t want to talk, she doesn’t want punch, she doesn’t want to take pictures, and she doesn’t want my company.”

“Her name is Ella Wan or something like that. She just sits in the corner with her hair over her face and whines about how I’m not hot, rich and sparkly.”

Nah, that would be silly. Instead she’s a different antisocial bitch who casually uses people for her own ends without giving a shit how they feel: “That new girl, Sheba. She’s a little intense but really gorgeous, kinda exotic. I was too shocked to say anything but yes when she asked me to go with her. I thought that she, well, that she might be… fun…”

Wow, a completely obnoxious and selfish character. I wonder if this is a main character who looks a lot like the author!

And right off the bat Smeyer makes me wonder if this character is meant to be an evil dominatrix, because she’s wearing sexy red leather and ORDERED poor Logan to take her to the dance. Yeah, because the Forces of Generic Evil can’t go STAG.

When he’d gotten a look at her mind-blowing red leather dress, his head had been full of ideas that somehow didn’t feel in the least bit inappropriate while her deep, dark eyes had been focused on him.

Yes, teenage boys think of sexual thoughts as “inappropriate.” Oh wait, they’re not, because they’re too busy staring at boobs.

 
“Night’s bad enough without getting tortured on top of everything else – weren’t they supposed to have a band? This DJ…”
“I know. It’s as if we’re being punished for our sins,” Gabe said with a laugh.

TOO SUBTLE.

“Sins? Like you have any, Galahad the Pure.”

“Well, except for that time when we found you in the janitor’s closet with Bryan…”
“I told you never to mention that!”

So since Smeyer is really, really trying hard to convince us that Gabe rides to the rescue whenever the poor downtrodden commonfolk are in need, we’re told that he punched a math teacher.

 
Everyone at school was wary of Mr. Reese, but there wasn’t much they could do until the math teacher crossed a line he shouldn’t have. All the upperclassmen knew about Mr. Reese, too, but Gabe wasn’t about to stand by while he stalked that clueless freshman kid…

… is he implying that the teacher is a pedophile or something? Because FUCK, if so it should be easy to get the guy removed from his job and turned into a social pariah.

 
“I’d feel bad – if Celeste needs a way home…”
“That girl is not your type, Gabe.” She’s pure evil – and a full-on whore, Logan could have added,

She’s BLONDE and she wears SEXY clothing! That makes her not only a slut but PURE EVIL.

but those just weren’t the kinds of things you wanted to say about any girl while Gabe was in hearing range.

Yes, because Gabe is SO pure-hearted that he’ll attack people for saying mean things about a girl. And he doesn’t mind if you trash-talk a guy, just girls. Clearly he is a saint.

So Gabe insists that he has to check on Celeste rather than just leaving, and they have a debate about what music to bring in to replace the crappy music the DJ is playing. Wow, I wonder what shitty bands Smeyer was thinking of.

 
Logan and Gabe ended up in a mock argument over the best CDs to retrieve – the top five were obvious,

… why? How are they obvious?

And then Gabe belatedly realizes that everybody in the room is having a rotten time, and some people are even crying. Logan immediately sprints after the girl he’s been making doggy eyes after all evening, now that he’s fulfilled his entire role in the short story. Bye, Logan! We look forward to never seeing you again!

So while Gabe is continuing to wander around aimlessly, he has his PSYCHIC VISION OF PLOT CONVENIENCE in which it sounds like someone is screaming for help.

And then he sees…. EVILLY SEXY GIRL.

 
The girl’s hair was black and glossy, with a mirrorlike sheen.

So, her black hair was silver and metallic. Gotcha.

 
She wore a spectacular floor-length dress the color of flames.

Wow. I wonder that symbolizes. It’s so subtle.

Gabe began walking after her in an almost unconscious movement, drawn by the wrenching need that surrounded her.

It was a wrenching need that said, “I need a penis! Meet me in the janitor’s closet!”

So she’s exactly what you’d expect of a Smeyer protagonist: brunette with ultra-pale skin, approximately Smeyer’s height and utterly irresistible. Yawn.

 
he got a glimpse of an unfamiliar pale, aquiline profile – full ivory lips and black slanting brows –

So she’s a Vulcan wearing the worst lipstick in the world. Got it.

 
Gabe was breathing hard with the effort of not following the girl into no-man’s-land. He could feel her need sucking at him like quicksand.

That’s not her “need,” doofus. She’s already got your pants unzipped.

So the girl goes into the bathroom and… never comes out. She’s just suddenly out on the dance floor again, with no mention of her passing Gabe on her way out even though he was right across from the door. So I’m just going to assume she teleported.

 
something about her figure – whip-slender and rod-straight as a fencing foil – made her appear tall.

That’s another check on the Sue list.

 
She was a walking contradiction in more ways than height – both dark and light with her inky hair and chalky skin,

Because NOBODY in real life has that! Just ask Anita Blake!

both delicate and hard with her tiny, sharp features, and both inviting and repellent with the mesmerizing undulations of her body under the hostile expression on her face.

Both dumpy with her too-tight clothes but skinny with her protruding ribs! Both a geek and a jock! Both a lizard and a wombat! Both a man with that jockstrap and a woman with those huge breasts!

 
Bright red tongues of leather flame bared her pale shoulders and licked down her willowy curves until they kissed the floor.

It was SO hot that Gabe just ached to wear it and sweep Bryan off his feet!

 
As she crossed the dance floor, female eyes followed the pathway of the dress with envy and male eyes followed it with lust.

Because gay or bisexual people do not exist in Stephenie Meyer’s world.

So as Sheba is walking through, everybody starts conveniently having little “accidents” – shoes and clothes break, contacts are lost, necklaces snap, and some poor schmuck even has his arm dislocated on the dance floor. You know, I thought the Dark Forces of Hell would do something a little more intimidating than causing minor problems at a prom.

Yes, that’s the big shocking reveal. The sexy nasty girl in a red leather FLAME DRESS is a bona fide demon. The perfect noble selfless guy who can magically sense when people need his help and is named “Gabriel Michael Christensen” is half angel.

My surprised face, let me show you it.

Smeyer was just TOO subtle. Now, I’m planning to post a rant on angel/demon paranormal romance and how much it BUGS THE SHIT OUT OF ME for a variety of reasons, but I’ll just say for the moment that this is hackneyed and obvious even for those sorts of books.

I’m not on the up-and-up on Mormon religious beliefs about angels, but aren’t demons supposed to be more about tempting people to think and do evil things, and not about causing bra straps to break? And aren’t angels supposed to be guardians and intermediaries, and less about getting people dates?

 
The one boy who was watching her face saw a strange red glitter near her earlobes, like shooting red sparks.

…. earlobes? Yes, I imagine all evil power being concentrated there.

 
With her heels ringing sharply against the tile floor, she strode down the hall to the ladies’ room.

Again? You just teleported out of there! If you had to pee, why not do it on your FIRST trip?!

 
Faint moans of pain and chagrin trailed after her.

“Chagrin.” Take a shot!

So of course, all the girls at the prom have nothing better to do than hang out in the bathroom, because Smeyer lives in a world where every TV-inspired stereotype is true. Sheba causes random accidents to befall the girls in there…. just because she apparently thinks demons are all tricksters minus the awesome.

 
She flailed in dismay, striking the full glass of punch in Bethany Crandall’s hand, which then drenched Bethany and stained three other dresses in the most inconvenient places.

Is she trying to imply that they looked like they’d pissed themselves? Because I don’t think a flying cup of punch would JUST HAPPEN to hit that spot on three different people.

Unless… she’s suggesting that someone is wearing three prom dresses at once. Well, it would work THEN.

So Sheba the demon girl decides to… go sit in a bathroom stall. No, there’s no indication why she went in there. And then suddenly hell starts manifesting itself in the lamest way possible.

 
If any of the girls in the ladies’ room had been paying attention, they might have wondered what was causing the red glow that shone dully through the crack between the door and the wall.

“Are you cooking meth in there?”

Also, what, the red glow doesn’t shine UNDER or OVER the door? Look at this:

See that? See? There is a GIANT gap between the floor and the bottom of the door, and another GIANT gap between the ceiling and the top of the door. If something in there was glowing, you could FRIGGING SEE IT.

 
The girl in the red dress clenched her teeth tightly together. From between them, a hot spurt of bright flame shot out and singed black patterns into the thin layer of tan paint on the metal wall.

“Aw damn, I knew I shouldn’t have had Mexican for lunch!”

 
She started to pant, struggling with an invisible weight, and the fire burned hotter, thick fingers of red crackling against the cold metal.

Yes, the heat is so incredibly strong that she’s scorching the walls and burning up the metal, but NOBODY NOTICES. Because yes, getting mildly pissed at your friends causes you to not NOTICE the smell of burning, the screaming smoke alarms and the HEAT.

 
Traces of smoke began to seep from her nose and ears.

I suspect that sounded cooler in Smeyer’s head than it is in real life.

 
A shower of sparks popped from her ears as she whispered one word through her teeth. “Melissa.”

… yeah, nothing takes the tension out of a scene like a demon whispering, “Melissa.”

Who is Melissa? She’s some random chick out at the prom, who went with some annoying rich kid named Cooper instead of her ex-boyfriend. Of course, she wants the ex-boyfriend because he’s beautiful, he makes her horny, and he used to punch her in the face. According to Smeyer’s other writings, that makes him “perfect.” So she heads over to her abusive ex-boyfriend and they start making out.

I love how this girl rushing to her asshole ex and treating other boys like shit is depicted as being the involvement of demons. But Bella doing the same thing? THAT’S LOVE.

So then Sheba starts fucking with Cooper’s mind, and for some reason it’s REALLY hard even though people don’t usually need a lot of mental nudging to do stuff they secretly want to do. And what is she tempting Cooper to do? Why, to pull out a gun and kill the asshole ex. Yes, he conveniently brought a gun which just happens to be loaded… as a prank. He didn’t intend to fire it, but he still loaded it with bullets.

There is so much stupid in that that it burns.

But he doesn’t do it just yet, so demon-girl starts plotting how to get him drunker so he WILL shoot someone. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t the forces of evil be off inspiring terrorists to blow innocent people up and hijack planes, not causing relationship drama for a bunch of bratty teenagers?

 
“It’s time my little helper got back to work.” She pressed her fists to her temples and closed her eyes.  “Celeste,” she snapped.

Wow, what a shock. The sexy attractive popular blonde girl is evil enough that she’s referred to as a “little helper” by a demon. My shocked face, let me show you it.

So Celeste thinks the way that Smeyer clearly thinks blonde attractive girls all think: she’s deliberately scheming to ruin prom for everybody else by stealing every other girl’s dates. That might be more effective if Smeyer didn’t have the girls spending ALL THEIR TIME around each other, usually in the bathroom. They probably wouldn’t even notice if Celeste had a gangbang on the dance floor.

 
For a brief second, she remembered her official date – squeaky-clean Gabe Christensen-and she wanted to laugh. What a nice time he must be having tonight! The humiliation she was putting him through almost made it worth coming with him,

Somehow I have the feeling that this is Smeyer’s attempted revenge on all on the gorgeous blonde girls who were deemed more attractive than her in high school.

Seriously, she writes in this girl as having this Evil Master Plan to ruin prom for everyone, merely because she’s blonde and therefore a sadist. Does she have or ever develop any dimensions beyond that? Surely you jest! This is the author of Twilight, you know! She has a reputation for shallowness and stupidity to maintain!

 
In that brief moment, she’d thought about giving up her delicious scheme and just having a nice time at the prom with a nice guy. Wow, she was glad that goody-goody notion had faded.

Here’s the thing: nasty people don’t think of “normal” social interaction as being “goody-goody.” More likely “boring,” not “goody-goody.”

That’s how stupid people like Smeyer think they think, because they’re not smart enough to grasp human psychology.

Celeste had never had more fun in her life than she was having now. She’d ruined prom for half the girls in the room, and had half the boys fighting over her. Boys were all the same, and they were all hers for the taking. It was time the rest of the girls saw that.

You know, it’s a bad sign when an ordinary person in a Smeyer story is even less developed and 3-D than a FUCKING DEMON OF HELL. Who isn’t developed at all.

 
“I’ll be just a sec… Louisa.”
Ha! He could barely remember her name himself!

So what? Half the people at this prom seem to be going with people they don’t know, don’t like and don’t wanna be with.

So for some reason demon girl is now sitting on the floor, shivering. And because she clearly sucks at her job, the fight outside is completely over and new girls have wandered in for no actual reason.

 
The fire-breather composed herself, and then there was another sparkle of red at her ears;

STOP THAT. It sounds STUPID. It makes her sound like she has magic Earrings of Evilness. Sparkly ones.

 
No one noticed her slip out the unorthodox exit.

They did notice when she got stuck halfway out the window like Winnie the Pooh.

The sticky, humid Miami night was as uncomfortable as if it were trying to rival hell.

Yes, because when I see THIS

I think of humidity.

And trust Smeyer to come up with the single most cliched depiction of Hell.

 
She let her body relax against the side of a nearby grimy Dumpster, and leaned toward the open top where the stench of rotting food hung in a heavy cloud. Her eyes slipped closed, then she inhaled deeply and smiled again. Another, even more vile smell-something like rancid, burning flesh, but worse-wafted through the sultry air. The girl’s smile widened as she sucked in this painful new odor like it was the rarest perfume.

facepalm

So much for the devil being a man of wealth and taste. Turns out he’s a teen girl who likes to huff garbage.

And then suddenly another demon appears. Correction: a demonESS. Yeah, apparently all the minions of hell in Smeyer’s short story happen to be sexually alluring females. Interpret that as you wish.

 
The stunning black-haired woman seemed to be clothed in nothing but a lazily swirling black mist. Her legs and feet were invisible – perhaps not even there. High on her forehead were two small, polished onyx horns.

Seriously? We’re even going with the horns here? She’s not even putting a new spin on the traditional demon image like Mike Mignola – this is like someone who flipped through a children’s Christian picture book and thought it was all fact.

Okay, Smeyer? Those horns in traditional depictions of devils? Metaphor. Hell being hot and full of fire? Metaphor. Angels having wings? Metaphor. NONE OF THAT IS MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. It’s meant to convey something intangible and abstract so people can understand what’s going on without needing everything spelled out for them.

 
“Chex Jezebel aut Baal-Malphus,” the girl in the red dress growled. “What are you doing here?”

  1. What kind of demon is named after a breakfast cereal?
  2. Does she have sisters named Cheerio and Applejack? I guess Kix does sound a teeny bit demonic…
  3. And Jezebel? Really? That’s the only name you could come up with for a demon? The chick from the Bible who got thrown out a window and eaten by dogs? You couldn’t have used any of the dozens, nay, hundreds of demon names that have existed for centuries?! You had to use the name of a person who was HUMAN and actually EXISTED?!
  4. If I were a shrink, I could come up with all sorts of delightful theories about why Smeyer sees all demons as sexy females.
  5. Actually, I don’t have to be a shrink. And I don’t need theories. I think her depiction of all demons as alluring women and angels as hot teenage boys speaks for itself.
  6. I need a drink.
  7. Or ten.

 
“So formal, little sister?”

“What do I care for sisters?”

“And what do I care for clumsy exposition?”

 
“Why don’t you just call me Jez, and I’ll skip over the Chex Sheba aut Baal-Malphus and call you Sheeb.”

Awkward dialogue is awkward. Can they cram some more awful exposition in there?

So we’re told that Jezebel works in New York, where she apparently brainwashes people into committing murders. And she’s dropping in on Sheba’s prom because… well, why not?

 
“New York is fabulous – almost as evil as hell, thanks for asking – but even the killers sleep now and then.”

  1. Yes, the zone of eternal torment and horror that the human mind can’t even comprehend… is only slightly more evil than New York.
  2. Fuck, this is stupid. Again, I think that sounded incredibly witty in Smeyer’s head, but to everyone else it sounds… well, not very witty.
  3. Oh look, a joke about how bad New York is. Toss it in the pile with the other ones.
  4. And apparently she’s never heard that NYC is the City That Never Sleeps.
  5. Also, is she seriously suggesting that every person who commits murder in New York City all conveniently sleeps at the same time?! Are they synchronizing their sleep patterns?!

Was Jezebel here to mess with Sheba’s plans?

Was she here to release the lab mice early?!

 
Most middle demons would go miles out of their way to screw over a little leaguer-to the point of doing a good deed, even.

… okay, then it’s not a good dead. It’s a bad deed, because the whole motivation is to screw someone else over.

THINK! FOR ONCE, THINK!

We’re then told that Sheba got screwed over once before by a demon called… Lilith. Seriously, what is up with using names of random Biblical/Talmudic women for demons?! I can sorta kinda understand the use of Lilith because she’s associated with demons, vampires and the sort, but using it is like naming any random Jewish guy “Moses.” It’s cliched. It’s illogical. It feels strange because HEY, this isn’t the Lilith of Jewish lore which ACTUALLY WOULD HAVE BEEN INTERESTING, but someone randomly named after her.

And the ones named Jezebel and Sheba really make no fucking sense. I mean, Jezebel was a bitch, but not demonic. And Sheba? Like the QUEEN of Sheba? I can’t remember her doing anything wrong. I mean, she probably wanted to have sex with Solomon (“royal bounty” = bowchickawowow), but dude had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Clearly he wasn’t averse to a little Biblical knowledge. And why does that make HER bad?

Did she just select random names from the Bible and decide, “They’re women! They weren’t sexy teen boys! They must be evil! I’ll name the minions of hell after them!”

Wow, I wonder what other demon names we’ll hear in this!

Kix Mary von Pazuzu
Jam Rahab de la Hellboy
Cheerio Judith burp Demogorgon
Trix Jael urp Screwtape-Wormwood

The possibilities are just endless!

What was I talking about, again?

Oh yes, infighting amongst bitchy teenage demonesses. TL;DR – Lilith the demon deliberately screwed up Sheba’s assignment at another high school.

the vicious demoness had actually orchestrated three separate instances of true love, just to get Sheba demoted! Lucky for Sheba, she’d pulled off a good betrayal at the last minute that took out two of the romances.

… yes, clearly it was true love if she was able to INSTANTLY wreck those relationships after a whole WEEK.

I thought Smeyer was of the school that thinks TROO LUV involves mutual obsession, codependence, and suicidal behavior if you are parted, and therefore it wasn’t POSSIBLE to break up such a couple because they’re too busy NOT BANGING and gazing into each other’s eyes. So how come “true love” in this story is so breakable by getting two non-dating people to fuck? (I assume that’s the reason)

 
That had been a close one. She could have been bounced back to middle school!

…. wow. So apparently demons have nothing better to do than attend school? That’s… even lamer than vampires attending school. Oh yeah. I went there.

Here’s a question: why don’t they just invisibly go around and tempt people, or pop in whenever evil needs to be done there? WHY ATTEND THE FUCKING SCHOOL?

 
Sheba grimaced at the succulent demoness floating before her now.

Smeyer sure seems suspiciously preoccupied with how sexy these women are…

So because everyone else is miserable, Sheba just sits outside and natters with Jezebel instead of maintaining the misery. I’m starting to see why she’s stuck here.

 
Of course Jezebel was there to cause trouble. That’s what demons did.

In addition to being sexy and female! That’s the evillest part of all!

 
“Poor Sheeb, still locked in half-human form,” Jezebel teased.

WHY?! Why would ANY demons be given human forms?! Nothing she’s done required physical form! It was all supernatural! WHY DOES THIS BOOK SUCK SO MUCH?!

 
“I remember how good everything smells all the time. Ugh. And the temperature! Do the humans have to freeze everything with their wretched air-conditioning?”

  1. Again: the flames of hell are JUST A METAPHOR.
  2. So somehow I doubt that creatures MADE OF PURE SPIRIT and endowed with SUPERNATURAL POWERS give a shit about the temperature.
  3. And is Smeyer suggesting that the best way of avoiding the minions of hell is to head straight for Nunavut?

So Jezebel is impressed that Sheba is inspiring poor Cooper to turn this prom into another Columbine, and that it was her direct intervention that got alcohol in the punch and a gun into the party. Um, alcohol is not inherently evil.

 
“What are you, two, three hundred?”
“Just one-eighty-six at my last spawn day,” Sheba answered brusquely, still wary.

You know, I’m not very up on Mormon religious beliefs. But I know that in most Christian denominations… DEMONS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE BORN. There are no “new” demons! They’re supposed to be corrupted angels! Does she think demons fuck and give birth to little demons?

 
“You’ve ended nearly every promising relationship, broken a few dozen lifelong friendships, made new enemies… three, four, five fights brewing,” Jezebel counted, her mind with the humans. “You’ve even got the DJ listening to you!”

And what is the DJ doing due to her intervention? Is he playing the greatest hits of Miley Cyrus or something?

And here’s another thing that Smeyer gets wrong about demons in this story. According to most Judeo-Christian sources, demons are supposed to TEMPT us… not brainwash us into immediately FOLLOWING those desires. We retain our free will and ability to make choices; we’re not suddenly overcome with overwhelming desires to do something, with no real ability to think for ourselves.

Then again, this is the woman who came up with THIS character

so a conscious decision to resist temptation is not something she knows much about.

 
“Ghastly, Sheeb. Seriously nasty. You do our name proud. If every prom had a demoness like you involved, we’d own this world.”

Yes, because everybody knows that proms are the center of every major world government and the world DEPENDS on them, including countries where they don’t exist. Don’t forget, Rome fell because its proms were corrupted by minions of Satan!

Seriously. Read that line, and just TRY to take it seriously.

So then both of them practically orgasm at how evil Celeste is being, and how all the boys are jealous and all the girls are crying. Wow, I wonder if this will lead to anything. (Big spoiler: it doesn’t)

 
burning with lust, each was determined that Celeste was finishing the night with him.

Just say sex, Smeyer. Nobody thinks you mean anything else, especially on PROM NIGHT.

“What an ironic name! What an evil mind! Is she fully human?”
“I passed her in the hall, just to check,” Sheba admitted. “Pure, clean human scent. Revolting.”
“Huh. I would have sworn she had some demon in her ancestry.”

Wow, I wonder if Celeste is based on someone Smeyer hated in high school because she was prettier and more popular than she was. That would be so shocking to me.

 
it was crude and time-consuming to use one’s human form rather than one’s demon mind. However, it was the results that counted. Sheba’s timely interference had kept Logan from discovering his true love.

… which would be more impressive if she had bothered to notice that HE’S WITH HER NOW, YOU DIPSHIT.

 
“Well, it in no way diminishes your accomplishments here tonight.” Jezebel’s tone was conciliatory. “You pull this one off, and they’ll put you in the baby demons’ textbooks.”

… I give up. This is such, such shit. This is like if shit somehow came to life and produced its own shit.

I mean, baby demons? Textbooks?! UGH.

“A tip, Sheba. Keep them confused in there. If you can get Cooper to pull the trigger, then you might make some of these wannabe gangsters think they’re under fire.”

  1. … gangsters? What is she talking about? Does she think some of them think they’re Al Capone?
  2. Does she mean “gangstas”? Because if it’s possible, Smeyer just managed to make herself the whitest white person in history.
  3. Whiter than her toothpaste-colored vampires, even.
  4. Also, we’ve seen only middle-class white kids in this story, none of whom seem to think they’re “gangsta.” I don’t know WHAT Smeyer is babbling about.
  5. Did I mention she is the tamest, whitest person ever?

So Sheba keeps trying to figure out what evil plan Jezebel has to ruin her attempts at getting promoted. And this scene is GOING ON FOREVER I THINK I’M SO BORED I COULD DIE. Jezebel keeps insisting that she’s so totally being nice, and Sheba keeps not believing her.

 
“You’re certainly helpful tonight,” Sheba said, being deliberately insulting.

If this sounds childish and clueless, just wait. It gets worse. It always gets worse.

 
And again, the way her mists writhed in chagrin made Sheba uncertain.

STOP USING THAT WORD. You’ve ruined it for everybody already!

 
“You handled it better than most. You’re one of the very worst working misery right now, you know.”

Clearly she is, because she’s been condemned to exist in a Smeyer story.

Oh wait, this is supposedly a compliment. Because apparently Smeyer has the little-child-like definition of, “See, demons are BAD, so they are totally opposite stuff that is GOOD. So they wouldn’t say you’re BEST at something, they would say you were WORST at something! Even if it was totally ridiculous and made no sense!”

 
“There’s a bigger picture, though, Sheba. Demons like Lilith can’t see past the evil at hand. But there’s a whole world out there, full of humans making millions of decisions every minute of the day and night.”

Well, if people like these are the best hell has to offer, then we’re in good hands. I mean, they think proms MATTER.

 
“But, Jezebel!” Sheba gasped, shock breaking through her suspicion. “We’re winning. Just watch the news – it’s obvious we’re winning.”

“I mean, Charlie Sheen is still alive!”

 
“I know, I know. But even with all the wars and destruction… it’s odd, Sheba. There’s still an awful lot of happiness out there.”

No, I wouldn’t say there is. But I actually read the news. I just glanced at Yahoo! news, and there was a story about a BUNNY dying. I’m not happy.

Also, I’m not sure why “happiness” is a problem for them. You can get “happiness” from things that are either wrong or bad for you, like the high from a drug or postcoital bliss after an adulterous tryst.

“For every mugging I turn into a homicide, across town some angel has a bystander jumping another mugger to save the day. Or convincing the mugger to give up his wicked ways! Ugh. We’re losing ground.”

  1. Yeah, how often do you hear about MUGGERS giving up their “wicked ways” without being caught?
  2. Not very frequently, especially since it ranks pretty low on the crime-o-meter.
  3. Also, muggers? Really? That’s all she deals with IN NEW YORK? Why not something like drug deals gone bad? Or domestic violence? Or gangs battling it out?
  4. And who in their right mind looks at New York and figures, “Oh, those people are so full of happiness and goodwill! The devils are losing in THAT city!”
  5. And a minute ago she was orgasming over how incredibly evil NYC was and how it was almost as “fabulous” as hell, and now suddenly they’re “losing ground”? CONSISTENCY! Can we have some, pleez?

 
“But the angels are weak, Jezebel. Everyone knows that. They’re so full of love that they can’t concentrate.”

Yes, the immortal superpowered spirits who are supposed to be God’s messengers and warriors… are such lovey-dovey sops that they can’t actually do anything. I guess Smeyer thinks that God’s army is made of suck.

Yes, he looks paralyzed by lovey-doveyness, doesn’t he?

 
“Half the time the stupid birdbrains fall in love with a human and trade their wings for a human body.”

GET YOUR GRIMY PAWS OFF Wings of Desire.

“Though why even an idiot angel would want this!” Sheba scowled down the length of her human form. So limiting.

Yeah, that’s one of the biggest pet peeves I have with this sort of fiction. Why would any angel WANT to be human?

No, really. Think about it. We have to do disgusting things like sweat, poop and vomit – not to mention eating, which if you think about it is pretty revolting. We get sick pretty frequently. We spend a third of our life unconscious. We spend a good chunk of the remainder having to work unsatisfying and unpleasant jobs just so we can have a place to live. If we don’t get killed by an accident, murder or illness, we can look forward to many years of our bodies simply wearing out until we finally croak.

And on a spiritual level, it doesn’t make sense either. Why would an angel want to be human if it meant spiritual risk? They’ve got it made! They’re ANGELS! No risk! We humans are the ones who are constantly at risk!

So what’s the alleged upside? Well, we have genitals… and we can have sex… and for some reason, a lot of people think that’s REALLY enviable, even though I’d expect angels to not see the point. I mean, wouldn’t being constantly in God’s presence be a bigger high than sex could ever give you? And couldn’t SPIRITUAL BEINGS have greater intimacy with each other than sticking bits of ourselves into someone else’s orifices would give you? Which would probably be kind of gross in the view of SPIRITUAL BEINGS. I mean, sex is pretty gross, unsanitary and undignified, yet a lot of angel fiction would have you believe that the angels wish they could do it.

I also don’t understand why people think that an angel would want to be human for a HUMAN’S sake. Um, why not just wait until they die and go to heaven? Then you can hang around for all eternity. THIS IS A NON-CONFLICT.

/lecture

 
“I’ve never really understood the point of having to wear these around for half a millennium. I guess it’s probably just to torture us, isn’t it?”

“Well that, and we don’t get reality TV in hell. This is the closest thing we have.”

 
“The dark lords must enjoy watching us squirm.”

“Morgoth and Sauron always pop popcorn and sit back to enjoy the show with Voldemort and the Sith.”

Really? She couldn’t come up with a better term than “dark lords”? Also, what happened to Satan? … do Mormons believe in Satan?

googles it

Apparently not only do they believe in Satan, but they believe Satan and Jesus are brothers. No comment. But how come she doesn’t mention him here? Does she think Satan has to delegate evildoing assignment to lesser demons, because he’s got a MOUNTAIN of paperwork on his desk and he just can’t get it all done?

“It’s more than that. It’s to make you really hate them. The humans, I mean.”

I don’t get it. Why would living as a human and among humans make you hate them more? Wouldn’t it be more likely to make you feel like one of them?

 
“Why would I need a reason? Hate is what I do.”

That’s the feeling I’m starting to have.

So then Jezebel reveals the shocking truth: “The angels aren’t the only ones to give it all up. There are demons who’ve traded their horns for a human.” Wow, I wonder if that will happen to Sheba.

Also, again, I don’t know what Mormons believe about demons and hell. But I do know that often hell is regarded as a PRISON for the demons, not just a living place, and that demons are miserable as they are. So… the minions of evil and darkness can opt out of the whole “damned for eternity” thing if they just decide they want to bonk a human. That’s like imprisoning someone for life, but if they make lunch they can walk out free.

 
“You’re exaggerating. Now and then a demon shacks up with a human, but it’s just to torment them. Just a bit of malicious fun.”

“For example, Charlie Sheen.”

So Sheba can’t understand why any demon would do that, establishing quickly that she’s going to do just that. Why? Because Smeyer is a hack and incredibly predictable.

 
Taking all this delicious evil and throwing it away.

Again… this is how a CHILD thinks evil people think.

 
Giving up a hard- earned pair of horns – horns that Sheba would destroy anything to have right now

So it’s basically the reverse of THIS:

… which is really trite. So what, being the incarnation of evil and malevolence is something you have to EARN?! That makes no fucking sense.

 
“Well, hate can be a distraction, too. Look at Lilith and her spiteful good deeds. Maybe it starts out with sticking it to the lesser demons, but who knows where it will lead? Virtue corrupts.”

NO. That is NOT how it works. Motivation counts, people. Good deeds done for the sake of being good deeds COUNT AS GOOD DEEDS. Good deeds as side-effects of a BAD DEED do not count.

That’s like saying that if you deliberately shoot your brother-in-law because you hate him when he’s mugging someone, it counts as a “good deed”! It counts as MURDER, and it’s not going to magically make you a better person just because you happened to save somebody else as an excuse for your actions.

 
“You don’t mess with them-you hear? Even a strong middle demon like me knows better than to lock horns with the feather-backs. They steer clear of us, and we steer clear of them.”

So what Smeyer is claiming is that angels and demons are not part of any kind of cosmic battle, but two groups of pussies who just sort of slink around avoiding each other?

 
“I know that, Jezebel. I wasn’t spawned this decade.”

This dialogue makes me want to hurt someone. Badly.

 
“I just get so frustrated sometimes! Goodness and light on every side!”

“Lolcats are more popular than ever before!”

 
Sheba shook her head. “I don’t see that. Misery is everywhere.”
“Happiness is, too, sis. It’s all over the place,” Jezebel said sadly.

Really? Because I ain’t seeing much evidence of it. Most people are not very happy. I’m pretty sure there are some children starving in cardboard huts in the heart of Africa who aren’t feeling very happy. Or some girls handed off to genital mutilation and pedophilia in the Middle-East. How about shellshocked veterans who are on the verge of snapping or committing suicide? At any given point, there is a LOT of misery in the world, even when things are going pretty well.

Honestly, this reeks of white middle-class suburban housewife whose only knowledge of struggle and misery is watching it on Oprah.

And I think that’s one of the things that pisses me off the most about this. Smeyer has absolutely no knowledge of evil or misery, and she can’t think outside the box of her own privileged life. So she doesn’t touch on really, really evil stuff like child molestation or gang-rape or those dictators who slaughter people en masse – you know, the stuff that is REALLY, GENUINELY EVIL and lasts more than a night. Her idea of an evil evil act is to RUIN PROM for entitled white American teenagers.

And this wouldn’t be a problem if she didn’t pretend that she DOES touch on them.

So Jezebel talks about how since the world is full of bunnies and sunshine, she’s helping Sheba because… she can help the overall evilness of the world, or some shit like that. It better turn out that this is a diabolical plan, or I may have to set somebody on fire.

 
“Get me the Shebas on my side. Get me a thousand Shebas. We’ll win this fight once and for all.”

  1. What fight?
  2. Seriously, what fight? No actual conflict has been mentioned.
  3. All we hear is that they’re on the opposite side of the angels, but apparently both sides are wusses who can’t bring themselves to actually fight.
  4. And it’s clearly not a war with God, because God HAS NOT BEEN MENTIONED OR EVEN HINTED AT.
  5. Neither has Satan.
  6. Also, Smeyer might as well add in the line, “Come here so I can kiss your bottom.”

 
“Well, get back in there and destroy that prom.”
“I’m on it. Go to hell, Jezebel.”
“Thanks, Sheeb. Back at you.”

… that doesn’t make any sense. When you say “go to hell” you mean that you want someone to go to hell. If you want someone to go out there and do something, why would you tell them to go to hell?

 
Jezebel winked once, and then smiled wider until the black of her teeth seemed to envelop her entire face.

… why are her teeth black? Does Hell have a shitty dental plan?

So Sheba finally gets her lazy ass back inside… and no, we’re not told HOW she gets back inside, whether she goes in the door or wiggles into the bathroom through the window. Celeste is being a bitch, all the other girls are crying or making out to attract the boys, and all the boys are busy punching each other over Celeste. Because it’s not like any people have any variation in personality – they all do exactly the same thing.

Hate was blooming alongside lust and rage and despair. A garden straight from hell.

So it’s basically the plot of your basic angsty anime, minus the giant robots?

 
No, she couldn’t force the humans to do anything. They had their innate free will, and so she could only tempt, could only suggest. Little things-high heels and seams and minor muscle groups-she could manipulate physically, but she could never force their minds. They had to choose to listen. And tonight, they were listening.

Uh… bullshit. We’ve seen no evidence that these people have any kind of free will. They all act BRAINWASHED, especially since nobody has any variation of reaction. All the girls do the same thing, all the boys do the same thing.

Yes, I know that teenagers aren’t very good in general at resisting temptation. But think about it: would EVERY boy in the room start punching his friends in the face for the class slut? Would every single guy come to the conclusion that the class slut, who has been grinding on every single guy there, is destined to have sex with only him that night instead of going “Oh well, she’s a total whore, so no big loss”? Would EVERY single girl just sit in the corner and blubber instead of saying, “Fuck the prom. Come on, girls. We’re hitting the Miami clubs!”?

But oh noes, Sheba is horrified to discover that a couple of teen boys are actually having fun with GURLZ!

 
Bryan Walker and Clara Hurst were staring dreamily into each other’s eyes, totally oblivious to the wrath and despair and bad music surrounding them, just enjoying each other’s company.

Yes, because it’s SO much fun to just hang out in the ruined wreck of a prom. They can’t just LEAVE when it ceases to be fun! That would be LAME.

So she plots to waggle her ass in her “date’s” face, making the arrogant assumption that he gives a fuck and would come scuttling back, and send Celeste to break up the other couple. Yawn. You know, this story has actually managed to make demonic manipulation of hormone-addled teenagers BORING. It also manages to make demons bland and stupid, which takes a special kind of anti-talent.

 
There was just one more tiny pocket of peace-not a couple this time; it was a lone boy wandering into the far end of the room from the hall. That annoying Gabe Christensen.

Yes.

He’s named “Gabriel Christensen.”

Wow. I can only wonder what kind of creature Gabe is. It’s just SO subtle, I can’t tell!

 
Sheba scowled in his direction. What did he have to be happy about?

His date with Bryan after the prom?

 
He was rejected and alone. His date was the scourge of the prom.

Why would his date making OTHER people’s lives unpleasant make HIM unhappy? And given how rotten everyone else’s night is, I’m not sure why being alone would be something to be upset about.

So then it’s confirmed that Gabe isn’t actually happy, because he’s fretting about…. somebody. So why is Sheba upset? Because he’s so pure and GOOD, he’s surrounded by a golden halo, bluebirds and frolicking puppies. He’s almost as wonderful and perfect as Bawla Wan!

… yeah, Smeyer is horrible at depicting pure-hearted characters. Almost as bad as her “evil” characters.

So Sheba tries to influence Gabe, but Gabe doesn’t notice OH ME OH MY WHATEVER COULD HE BE YOU’RE JUST TOO SMART AND SUBTLE FOR ME SMEYER! Also, Sheba is sitting behind a potted plant with smoke pouring out of her nose. I thought that everyone there was slobbering with lust/jealousy at the sight of her, so how come now suddenly nobody notices her? Maybe like Edward Cullen, she overestimates how much people notice her.

So without any warning, the perspective changes back to Gabe, who is still aimlessly wandering around looking for the “need,” ie Sheba. It’s a little creepy.

And yes, even though the entire prom is filled with misery and rage, Gabe doesn’t care about ANYONE EXCEPT SHEBA. Wow, total goodness-and-light fail, dude.

 
Gabe’s head jerked up, feeling the desperation he’d been searching for. Where was she?

Was this the night he’d finally get laid?!

So since Sheba can’t fuck with Gabe’s head, she decides to use Celeste… no, fuckit. I don’t care anymore. Celeste doesn’t even deserve to be called by a name, because she’s not even a character. She’s a caricature, and not a very good one either. So from now on, I shall call her Girl Smeyer Was Jealous Of In High School, or GSMWJOIHS for short.

 
It was time the evil girl tormented her own date.

Um, how is she gonna do that? Clearly he gives not a fuck. How can you make someone miserable if you hold no power over them?

 
After all, Gabe was attractive by human standards. Certainly good enough for Celeste, whose standards were hardly rigorous.

Hur hur, take that, slutty GSMWJOIHS! The author of Twilight sure burned YOU!


DEEEEEEERRRRRRPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!

Also, what exactly is Sheba planning to do to torment Gabe? So GSMWJOIHS is going to torment him by… what? Being attracted to him? I’m confused.

We’re also told that Gabe somehow sabotaged her plans to have that math teacher molest some random girl, and even inspired the pedo to think about getting counseling. Ferfuksake, it is SO OBVIOUS what Gabriel is! This is not foreshadowing for a twist – this is just making the demon character look like a blithering idiot.

 
Gabe Christensen owed Sheba some misery. She would get her due.

She WOULD make him watch the entirety of The Room, Birdemic AND I Am Here…. Now! His suffering would be epic!

So Sheba tries to get GSMWJOIHS to go… do something to Gabe. Again, I’m not quite sure what she’s planning. Is she planning to have sex with him, or try to get him attracted to her so she can dump him… or what? I’m confused.

But GSMWJOIHS doesn’t do it! Because she’s so vile and evil that the goodness radiating from Gabe just repulsed her, especially his topaz chagrined golden perfect utterly ordinary blue eyes which apparently have a Superman-like ability to shoot Goodness Lasers. Evil people can’t even stand to look at him!

The only way it could make this LESS subtle is if Smeyer popped out of the book pages and beat you over the head with a bat.

So GSMWJOIHS continues making out with some guy, instead of following Sheba’s evil plan to… do something. But it doesn’t matter, because Sheba instantly gets distracted by Cooper, who is still drunkenly raging because the his date dumped him for the perfectly perfect soulmate of perfection abusive asshole.

So she’s about to get Cooper to shoot Melissa when she realizes that Gabe is staring at her.

 
Here, in the ballroom, that same sucking need, pulling at him-someone drowning, shrieking for help. It had to be the same girl. Gabe had never felt anything so urgent in his life.

Insert joke about unintentional sexual innuendo here. I ran out of them.

Gabriel briefly wonders if he’s going crazy and imagined Sheba, which is pretty stupid since his buddy BROUGHT HER TO THE PROM. He immediately sees her, rendering that scene utterly pointless.

 
At that moment, Gabe’s seeking eyes found what they were searching for.

It was a whole table of club sandwiches!

So then he spots Sheba, whose ears are twinkling in ridiculously un-demonic ways.

 
He didn’t have to think about moving toward her. There was probably no way he could have stopped himself if he’d wanted to.

He realized that it was because he was in a Smeyer story, where free will is evil!

 
Her dark, almond-shaped eyes were composed and careful, but at the same time they cried out to him. They were the focus of the need he felt. He could no more resist their plea than he could tell his heart to stop beating.
She needed him.

You know, Smeyer must be doing this on purpose. I can’t imagine that any author could put out so many unintentional sexual innuendos in all her works without meaning to. Even one raised in a repressed hyper-religious environment.

She saw her own face in his head and realized that the person Gabe had been looking for was… Sheba.

  1. So she can read his mind, but can’t clue in on his nature?
  2. She’s so stupid, hell would probably be glad to get rid of her.
  3. You know, it occurs to me that Smeyer uses mind-reading as a lazy shortcut instead of bothering to have characters NOTICE THINGS.

 
She allowed the brief distraction – knowing that Cooper was hers for the taking, that a few minutes’ time wouldn’t save him now – and rejoiced in the delicious irony. So Gabe wanted to be ruined by Sheba personally? Well, she would oblige him.

Is she talking about sex? I honestly can’t tell, especially since Sheba doesn’t bother to tell the audience what the hell she’s planning. She’s just going to do… something, and we’re never really told what it is.

…. WHAT’S HER EVIL PLAN?! I am so confused!

 
It would make his misery even sweeter knowing that he’d chosen it himself.

He had chosen to watch that Uwe Boll movie himself!

Also, very few teen boys having sex with a supernaturally hot girl would be miserable afterwards. More like swinging-from-the-flagpole-singing-“I-Just-Had-Sex” ecstatic.

I could see a demon doing this in order to make someone sin… but if you want to make a teenage boy miserable by having a hot girl have sex with him, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. It’s like trying to make someone miserable with a slice of rich chocolate cake. Sure, it might be bad for them, but they won’t be miserable.

But the exasperating boy was focused on her eyes.

It was then that she realized that bright green mascara might look a little strange.

 
It was dangerous to look straight into the eyes of a demoness. Humans who didn’t look away fast enough could get trapped there. And then they were stuck, pining after the demoness forever, burning for her…

  1. So avoid those sexually attractive women, pretty teen boys of the world! They just want to ensnare you! Stay with bland, plain, boring girls like Smeyer Bawla Wan!
  2. Note only “demoness,” but no demons. I wonder why THAT is!
  3. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that in some anime somewhere.

So now it’s just the demoness versus the guy who is so totally obviously an angel! One on one! Mano a mano! The forces of ineffectual evil versus the forces of equally ineffectual good! And their battle takes place… by staring into each other’s eyes!

My disappointment, it knows no bounds.

I don’t need a big flashy explosion with angels and demons flinging fireballs at each other, but that has to be the LAMEST battle of good vs. evil I’ve ever heard of. Zero suspense.

So they gaaaaazzzeeeeee into each other’s eyes for what seems like forever to the reader, and then Sheba falls over. Why? Because when a demon looks into an angel’s eyes, it magically evaporates all their evil power. That is HOW LAME the forces of hell are – they just STOP BEING DEMONS if they make eye contact with an angel.

Truly this is an inspiring, hard-won victory for the forces of Goodness and Niceness!

 
Her internal flame died, sucked dry, snuffed like a candle in a vacuum.

I have to go through this story sometime, and find out how many times Smeyer uses the word “suck.” It’s probably about half the number of times I am using it.

So since she’s female in a Smeyer story, Sheba immediately gets all swoony and has to be physically held up by the Big Strong Pretty Male.

 
But she could feel the strong arms of Gabe Christensen holding her up.

And his hand on her ass.

 
“Gabe – Gabriel Michael Christensen,” he elaborated with a grin.

  1. FUCK THIS STORY.
  2. I mean, Gabriel AND Michael? And his surname is Christensen? Because yeah, an angelic teenager couldn’t be called anything but the BEST KNOWN ANGEL NAMES EVER.
  3. I want to set this story on fire. Repeatedly.
  4. Also, “elaborated.” Smeyer clearly doesn’t know what this means. It means to add detail to something you’ve already said… and he’s not doing that. He’s INTRODUCING himself.
  5. It would be “elaboration” if there was a pause or something between him saying “Gabe” and then the rest of his name.
  6. Where is the editor?!
  7. SO I CAN FIND HIM AND TEAR HIM APART!!!!!!!!!!

Then Gabe decides that he randomly wants to dance with the skankette-of-hell that he’s never met before. Why does he do this? Why, because he found out her name. LOGIC. And because Gabe is friggin’ stupid, he only THEN figures out that this was Logan’s date.

For a half second, Gabe worried if it was wrong for him to infringe on his friend’s date. But the worry passed quickly.

He remembered that he was in a Smeyer story, so things like manners don’t exist.

 
For one thing, Logan was happy with Libby. There was no sense in interrupting something that was clearly meant to be.

Meant to be? IT’S THE PROM. It has nothing to do with “meant to be” relationships! It’s a stupid overrated dance for horny teens so they can get drunk, sneak off, have sex and wear overpriced clothes that will be forgotten after that night. REAL relationships come later.

 
For another, Sheba and Logan were clearly not meant to be.

And this intense girl with the deep pools in her eyes – Sheba – did not belong with Logan.

Kind of presumptuous for him to decide this about someone he’s known for all of FIVE SECONDS. Oh, but don’t worry. He hadn’t come to this conclusion because he KNOWS Logan, but because he has a “good instinct” that magically tells him when people are supposed to be together… even if he doesn’t even KNOW them. Gag me with an angel feather.

 
Gabe liked people to be happy.

Really? Then end the story. That would make ME happy.

So since a teenage boy couldn’t possibly be SEXUALLY ATTRACTED to a girl, Gabe is dancing with her because it magically makes her “need” lessen: That desperate sense of need had calmed when he’d touched her…. Gabe was afraid to let her go, worried that the burning need would return.

You know, between Smeyer’s horrible use of suggestive words like “need” and her insanely sexist characters, you could interpret this as the “good” angelic man being desperate to extinguish that horrible female sexuality. After all,women should be utterly sexless until they meet their soulmate. If they aren’t, then they are disgusting sluts that every “good” man should have contempt for.

 
It wasn’t that he’d never had a girlfriend before – girls liked Gabe, and he’d had many casual relationships.

Many of them in the janitor’s closet or the backseat of a car.

Seriously, how can anyone in 21st-century America not know what “casual relationships” usually means?

 
But they never lasted.

Well, “casual” relationships rarely do.

So Gabe thinks about how ORDINARY girls aren’t meant for him except as friends, but somehow he magically belongs with the bitchy vitriolic girl in the sexy dress. Yeah, I’m sure his motives are pure as the driven snow.

And then they have a staggeringly boring conversation about the prom and classes and blahblahblah. You would THINK a conversation between a demon and a SO OBVIOUSLY AN ANGEL would be interesting… but it’s not.

 
Trapped! Like an idiot, like a new-spawned whelp, a novice, a rookie!

If only she hadn’t let Gabe talk her into the janitor’s closet!

 
Sheba leaned into Gabe, unable to resist. Unable to want to resist.

… and check off another typical Smeyer trope.

So Sheba immediately starts beating herself up for not figuring out what has been FRIGGIN’ OBVIOUS for the entire story so far. Yes, the forces of evil are made up of friggin’ dumbasses who can’t even figure out when their immortal enemies are in the same room, right near them. The blinding stupidity of this character is actually making my brain bleed.

Celeste was smarter than Sheba. At least her instincts had kept her away from this dangerous boy. Once she was free of his piercing gaze, she’d kept a safe distance between them.

… WHAT?

Okay, someone needs to tell Smeyer that according to most if not all Christian belief systems, humans and demons are not the same. Demons are supposed to be actual evil embodied, with NO option to go the other way. HUMANS are supposed to have the potential to do either good or evil, and to have both inside their souls. They would NOT have the same reaction as a demon.

I mean, fuck. Even Hitler liked animals! GSMWJOIHS doesn’t get that much credit – she’s actually depicted as having DEMONIC INSTINCTS that make her automatically repelled from good people!

Here’s a tip, Smeyer: a bodiless, forever-damned spirit of pure malice and evil IS NOT COMPARABLE TO ANY HUMAN BEING. No matter how much you hated the girl who was prettier, more popular and thinner than you in high school, IT DOESN’T MEAN SHE’S COMPARABLE TO A DEMON. A saintly person/creature might inspire shame, which might make an evil person feel repulsed – but they wouldn’t have “instincts of evil”!

Ugh, Smeyer’s demons and angels are as fail-y as her “evil”/”good” vampires.

Also, aren’t demons supposed to be in torment? So apparently their torment can be completely eradicated… BY MAKING EYE CONTACT. Then they can be as evil as they want to be all the time, minus all the torment. Yeah, I guess Smeyer thinks God is pretty lazy, because he didn’t bother to create any kinds of safeguards keeping demons from getting out of jail scot-free!

Oh, who am I kidding? God doesn’t even exist in this story. Seriously. Not a single mention or even HINT about God. There are angels and demons who are working on opposite sides, but not actually FOR anybody, and with no origin story.

 
Why hadn’t Sheba understood the reason behind this? And the reason Gabe had chosen Celeste in the first place. Of course he’d been drawn to Celeste! It all made sense now.

Yes! Of course! The saintly speshul boy is automatically drawn to vile soulless bitches! IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!

… except it doesn’t.

 
Tiny, unfamiliar tendrils of happiness twisted their way through her empty core.
No – not that! Not happiness!

Okay, let me explain something to Smeyer, in small words that she can understand. Happiness… is entirely a matter of perspective. Happiness is the sensation of being pleased and/or satisfied by something… which we’ve already seen Smeyer’s demons doing.

See, demons DO want to be happy. Evil people want to be happy. Everybody wants to be happy. The difference is what MAKES you happy. Demons are made happy by humans being miserable or sinning. If they DIDN’T want to be happy, then they would do good deeds to make themselves even more miserable.

Merely because they are demons doesn’t mean that they have the OPPOSITE of normal human emotions. That is how a CHILD thinks. “Oh, they’re all bad which means they hate happiness and fun!”

 
If she was already feeling happy, then better things couldn’t be too far behind. Was there no way to avoid the horrible wonder of love?

LOVE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! FERFUKSAKE, she’s known him for exactly five seconds, and she’s already talking about love?!

So Sheba suddenly infodump that Gabe isn’t an actual angel, but a HALF angel who inherited his Sue-angel powers from a parent who abandoned his/her angelic nature so they could fuck a human. Because, you know, that’s all angels wanna do.

And you know what that means? Well, not only is Smeyer joining the long line of bad urban-fantasy authors who have raped Wings of Desire

but once again, we’re being told about a much more interesting story happening to much more interesting characters…. and instead we’re watching DumbassHalfAngel and DumbassDemon dance at the prom. Smeyer seems to specialize at that sort of story.

 
Now it was only too obvious to Sheba – this close, she could smell the scent of asphodel clinging to his skin.

Is there any Smeyer Sue-character who doesn’t randomly exude floral scents?!

 
And, clearly, he’d inherited his angel-parent’s eyes. The heaven-blue eyes that should have been a dead giveaway

Yes, because obviously angels would never have any color eyes but blue, since they’re all whiter-than-white. I mean, what else would they be?! Just like vampires!

If ever a demon met an angel’s gaze for too long, pfffffft!-out went the fires of hell and the demon was trapped until the angel gave up on saving him.

Yes, apparently eternal damnation is very easily reversed. I’m learning so much today!

 
Because that’s what angels did. They saved.

Then why isn’t there an angel saving innocent readers from THIS?!

 
Sheba was an eternal being, and she was trapped for however long Gabe decided to keep her.

… yes, she’s trapped by a guy who doesn’t even know he’s trapping her. I’m sure it’s SO hard to trick him into leaving her alone.

 
A full angel would have known what Sheba was at once, and driven her out if he were strong enough, or given her a wide berth if he wasn’t. But Sheba could imagine what her presence would feel like to someone with Gabe’s instinct to save. Innocent of the knowledge he needed to understand, Sheba’s damned state must have been like a siren’s call.

  1. Because I don’t know about all of you, but I simply find evil people IRRESISTIBLE! I’m sure all saintly unselfish caring creatures in this world feel the same!
  2. When I hear someone screaming in agony, I immediately go over and slow-dance with them!
  3. Gabe’s parents are kind of dickish, aren’t they? Apparently they’re too busy having the sex all angels are dying to have to bother telling their son about the creatures he might run into. LIKE DEMONS.
  4. Strong enough? So I guess the BACKING OF ALMIGHTY GOD doesn’t make some angels powerful enough to even kick the ass of a worthless waste of brimstone like Sheba.

She stared helplessly into Gabe’s beautiful face, her body filling with happiness, and wondered how long the torture would last.

  1. If you like it, it’s not torture. Again, this is how a CHILD would write a demon character.
  2. That’s not happiness, you dumb bitch. It’s the only emotion that Smeyer can convincingly write – dribbling hormonal lust.
  3. I’m wondering how long MY torture will last.

So she’s also horrified because the prom – which, as we all know, is the most important event in all of Miami – is no longer evil. No more violence, Cooper pukes instead of shooting people, and suddenly it’s all cuddles, hugs and homoerotic embraces.

Cooper Silverdale gasped in horror as he looked at the gun glistening in his shaking hand. What was he thinking?

And why had he sprayed the gun with glitter?!

 
Cooper’s stomach problems interrupted Matt and Derek’s fistfight, which was just warming up in the men’s room. The two friends squinted through their swollen eyes at each other. Why were they fighting? Over a girl that neither of them even liked? How stupid!

You see? Why the fuck are they supposed to be fighting? THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW. This is not tempting people to do something bad, this is BRAINWASHING THEM. There is a slight difference!

 
With smiles on split lips and arms around shoulders, they headed back to the ballroom.

There, they slow-danced until the dawn, confessing their passionate love for each other.

David Alvarado had given up his plans to jump Heath after the dance, because Evie had forgiven him for disappearing with Celeste. Her cheek was soft and warm against his now as they swayed to the slow music, and there was no way he would hurt her by disappearing again, not for any reason.

“I’ve decided to forgive you for banging the school whore, my darling!”
“But why?”
“Because I’m a doormat!”
“Well, that changes everything! Suddenly I love you and would NEVER upset you-”
“Oh, darling!”
“-unless the school whore offers me five minutes with her love muffin again! Then I TOTALLY would!”
“…”
“And I’ve decided not to savagely beat up some other dude! Everything is great!”

 
the dancers in the big ballroom each moved instinctively toward the person they should have come with in the first place, the one that would transform the night’s misery into happiness.

This was a little upsetting for Matt and Derek’s dates, since their boyfriends were now grinding on the dance floor.

So the lonely sad coach hooks up with the lonely sad vice principal, and love blooms… wait, wasn’t the VP a “Mrs”? So is she supposed to be having an adulterous tryst at the prom? Melissa dumps her abusive ex-boyfriend again, and he beats her to a bloody pulp right in public. Nah, he apparently doesn’t notice or go after her.

 
Like a rubber band that had been stretched too far, the atmosphere at Reed River’s prom now snapped back with a vengeance. If Sheba had been herself, she would have pulled that rubber band until it exploded into pieces.

… rubber bands don’t do that when you pull them. They snap in one location. Simple physics.

 
But now all the misery and wrath and hate vanished.

Except from the reader.

With relief, everyone at the prom relaxed into happiness, grasped at love with two hands.

Yes, because proms are all about LOVE. Not awkward teenage lust and social barriers.

 
All her delicious pain and misery destroyed! Even if she did get free, Sheba was destined for middle school now. Where was the injustice?!

No, INJUSTICE would be this stupid bitch being rewarded for failing miserably. That’s how “injustice” works. JUSTICE is what she wants because she thinks it’s not fair.

Again… HOW A CHILD THINKS.

Sheba also wonders if Jezebel, Evil Mistress of Infodumps, deliberately screwed her over. This would make the story SLIGHTLY more interesting, but Smeyer quickly quashes anything even remotely plot-related by telling us that Sheba won’t be able to find this out because now she can’t see demons. So we’ll never know.

And honestly, it doesn’t matter anyway. If Sheba is so stupid and ignorant that she managed to NOT NOTICE THE GUY WHO IS SO TOTALLY AN ANGEL, she deserves to be screwed over.

 
Disgusted with herself, Sheba sighed in happiness.

Contradictory crappy writing is contradictory.

 
Gabe was just so good. And, in his arms, she felt good, too. She felt wonderful.

Gabe’s arms felt good. His stumbling dance steps felt good. His bulging erection felt good.

And despite the fact that she feels great and is totally happy, for some reason Sheba wants it to stop. Again, I think this is Smeyer figuring “DURRRRRRR, obviously demons hate all happiness even in themselves, so they wouldn’t LIKE feeling good! I iz genius!”

Sheba knew what Gabe would be feeling now.

Intense boredom?

 
Angels were never happier than when they were making someone else happy,

PSSSTTTTT… angels of the universe? Incinerate every copy of this story…. and you’ll make ME happy.

 
and the bigger the lift in that other person’s spirit, the more ecstatic the angel. As perfectly miserable and damned as Sheba had been, Gabe must be flying now – it would be almost as good as having wings. He would never want to let her go.

And the fact that she has the form of a sexy scantily-clad hot girl probably won’t hurt either.

 
There was just one chance left for Sheba, just one way back to her wretched, miserable, burning, stinking home.

… and again, why does she wanna go there? Aside from the fact that she’s currently feeling good, she’s in for a killer demotion whenever she turns up in hell. In her clever decision to invert all demon emotions IN DEFIANCE OF LOGIC, Smeyer seems to have left some details out of the equation.

So what is this chance? Gabe has to tell her to literally go to hell. Wow, that’s lame. Who knew that yelling that at the douche who cut in front of me in traffic would literally make him poof off to hell?!

 
She stared up into his love-filled angel-eyes and smiled dreamily.

This better end soon, or I might puke. There is no possible way this could get any lamer.

 
You’re evil incarnate, Sheba told herself. You have a true talent for misery. You know suffering inside and out.

A mantra I’m sure Smeyer says to herself every morning.

After all, with as much pain and havoc as Sheba was capable of causing, how hard could it possibly be to get this angelic boy to tell her to go to hell?

Considering how annoyingly pathetic she is, not hard at all.

And then… wait, are there pages missing from this book?

skims over the book

Oh boy. There are no pages missing. That is the END. Yes, Smeyer doesn’t give us any kind of actual resolution or idea of what happens next. She just ENDS it.

That is one of the worst endings I’ve seen since The Devil Inside. It’s like this hack just decided to write a novella, got bored, and submitted the unfinished story as a short story. THIS HAS ACTUALLY BEEN MORE UNSATISFYING THAN TWISHITE! RAAAAAGGGGGEEEEEE….

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