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The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle Part 8: Rippin’ off Laby

July 30, 2009

The girls are hanging out after school, and Bonnie remarks that Vickie ended up in her slip, just like the night at the graveyard.  It would be a clever observation, except that Vickie was going to take more off before ~*Elena*~ stopped her, so instead we the reader quickly realize that it’s a writing device intended to bring us up to speed.  Meredith is “watching Elena closely,” and then ~*Elena*~  lies to her face.  Good going.  Meredith is also the one of the group who’s actually funny; she makes a snarky comment about ~*Elena*~ ‘s note.

The reading of said note, by the way, is”the most humiliating feeling [~*Elena*~]’d ever had.”  Talk about your charmed lives.

The girls conclude that the whole ploy has a chick feel to it, but the handwriting’s pretty masculine.  Hmmm, gee, I wonder who it is.  Meredith accuses Bonnie of wanting to discount Damon, and Bonnie goes off on one of her “Dying is soooo romantic DROO-ids DROO-ids” speeches, and quite frankly, if this book had been written a decade later, she’d be toast (if the writers weren’t wimps) and we’d all agree she brought it upon herself.  ~*Elena*~ is understandably annoyed by Bonnie’s immaturity–Bonnie would’ve LOVED Edward Cullen–but she’s distracted by a crow.  Maybe THE crow.  To Bonnie, it looks like ~*Elena*~’s losing it, and so she apologizes and explains that she’s having a difficult time accepting all the weirdness.  Meredith pushes ~*Elena*~ for more information, but ~*Elena*~ ‘s distracted by the thought that Bonnie’s words can invite Damon in.  She’s also confused by him; he acts differently almost every time he sees her: laughing at her, serious with her, cruel.

Look, it’s not hard: he thought she was a bimbo, he decided he had a thing for her, and then he was acting like a brat because he got rejected.  And he’s still a brat, and going to continue to BE a brat.

She wonders where Stefan is.

Stefan is off having a bromance with Matt.  Actually, he’s asking to borrow Matt’s car to get some vervain, which he says is a flower ~*Elena*~ wants.  To Matt, it looks pretty dickish: the new guy asking the ex for his car to court the girl.  Matt’s not wrong.  But the cops have Stefan’s car, and no one would question Matt’s car leaving town at this point.  Matt’s like “Bitch PLEASE” and Stefan’s like “Oh right, that IS dickish” and then Matt says “Psych–I love you, bro.  Let’s go together” and makes a joke about his poor car.  For Matt is poor.

Look, all the notes are hit.  Therefore, we move on to the next scene.

Back at the homestead, ~*Elena*~’s calling the boardinghouse and getting hangups.  Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around.  Maybe Mrs. Flowers is sick of ~*Elena*~’s obsessiveness, but ~*Elena*~ doesn’t think of that and instead calls her a bitch.  Not on-page, of course; on page we get the cutesy “Did you say she was a witch?” “No, but it rhymes with that.”  Ugh, you’re sixteen.  Go ahead, curse.

~*Elena*~ wants to sleep at Bonnie’s to protect her from what might possibly have been an invitation.  Also, remember, ~*Elena*~ invited Damon in during the dumb supper, so…they’re fucked.  But everyone’s there, Bonnie says.  I’ll be okay!  Noooo, says ~*Elena*~, who sleeps in one of Bonnie’s college-livin’ sisters’ rooms.  So there’s Mary, Bonnie, and…unknown.  Good job there, Smith.  The windows are locked.  There’s nothing to shimmy up.  Should be okay.

~*Elena*~ settles in to sleep, thinking that one day she and Stefan are going to get married.  Uh, how do you plan to do that, ~*Elena*~?  How does THAT license work?  Whatever.  Anyway, she falls into a dream.  Fortunately, this is an L.J. Smith dream, not a Christopher Pike dream, so there are no incest lizards.  Or do I mean UNfortunately?  Probably.  I love Cessy.  Cessy could kick ~*Elena*~ AND Caroline’s asses into the next town, where neither girl has ever been.

In ~*Elena*~’s dream, Stefan’s got her diary and he’s trying to tell her something, but he’s outside so she can’t hear him.  On one side of her are the windows through which she’s seeing him; on the other there are mirrors.  This is pretty good, actually; it follows along with the whole “you’re the mirror” thing that admittedly didn’t make any sense at the time but I guess was a set-up for this Stevie Nicks Total Eclipse of the But I Won’t Do That video.  Stefan drops the book and ~*Elena*~ is disheartened as he disappears.  So of course she walks down this imaginary hall, where one of her reflections is kind of weird.  Sly.  Hungry.  The reflection stops doing what she’s doing and starts doing her own thing, which sets off a chain reaction of reflections going on with their bad selves, and ~*Elena*~ runs for the end of the hall, where she goes through a door to Renaissance Italy.  She’s now wearing the dress Sarah wears in Labyrinth–wait no, she’s wearing her Halloween dress, but it’s red instead of “iced violet” and she’s wearing rubies in her hair and belt.  Damon comes toward her and then Sarah something bubble–COME ON.  I vastly prefer incest lizards over this rip-off.  Like Sarah in Laby, ~*Elena*~ falls into the dreamlogic that the cute guy must be a good guy, and they start a little cat and mouse game.  Damon cuts his finger and ~*Elena*~ licks off the blood.  Then they dance together.  Then he bites her.  But then it isn’t fun anymore, because she thinks of the crow, or maybe the crow is in the bedroom, and she wakes up screaming.

Well, that part was slightly better.  It IS pretty atmospheric.  I’m sure I loved the hell out of it when I was younger.

Anyway, she’s screaming and there’s a crow, and Bonnie’s family rushes in and shoos the crow out and asks why she hadn’t locked the windows, but she swears she did.  Bonnie suggests maybe ~*Elena*~  was sleepwalking, and ~*Elena*~ remembers the dream.  Uh-oh.  She goes to the bathroom, afraid of her reflection, but finds only herself, with blood on her face.  She lifts her hair to find vamp bites.

Uh-ohhhhhhhhhh.

Next up: More road trippin’ with Matt & Stefan and the diary thief is revealed!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2009 7:10 pm

    “For Matt is poor.”

    lmaooooooo omg you rule.

    • bookslide permalink*
      July 30, 2009 7:34 pm

      I am continually shocked by how often Smith references Matt’s poverty. It seems like an underhanded way to get us to sail a ship in S/E’s direction.

      But I think Matt is GOING PLACES. (Probably to a nearby state college, but still.) I’ll stick with him. He’s the least annoying person in the books.

  2. July 30, 2009 7:12 pm

    Oh, and your posts explain exactly why I didn’t like this series. I read it for the first time a few months ago thinking “Yay it’s LJ!” so therefore it must be good. But I’m also 24 so yeah. I was rolling my eyes about a thousand times per chapter, and I haven’t been able to re-read it since.

    • bookslide permalink*
      July 30, 2009 7:35 pm

      I think the books go to my kid when I’m done. I will be so through with them.

      Of course, starting a new generation on them doesn’t seem very clever, either…

  3. August 5, 2009 4:06 pm

    I do wonder what the new generation will think of them, especially since TV execs obviously thought that the series was good enough to turn into a show. And I’m not surprised they changed Elena a bit. From the trailers it seems like they’re going for the “popular but nice girl” instead of the “popular but dumb as rocks and conceited girl” that Elena truly is.

    • bookslide permalink*
      August 5, 2009 6:36 pm

      I don’t think execs care about “good” so much as “marketable.” I haven’t watched any of the trailers yet, purposely. If they do make Elena popular and nice, they’re basically doing what Smith THINKS she did with Elena. I don’t get any sense that the author has any clue how truly awful the character is.

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