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Night World: Secret Vampire Part 6

November 14, 2009

Alana: Okay, let’s start



Alana: In my defense, I’m doing REALLY well in grad school for someone who hates about half of it.

Alana: And I had surgery!

Liss: Exactly

Alana: But I am totally regretting not taking the time out to recap this book, because it is WONDERFUL.

Alana: I want to recap it every day.

Liss: Poppy! James!

Alana: It would’ve been such a nice break from the evils of The Vampire Diaries, which kept weighing on me like…I can’t even think of anything. I was Atlas, I tell you. ATLAS.

Alana: Poppy & James TLA

Alana: I love Poppy, I love James, I love Phil, I totally cried last night catching up on my reading, and I read way past where we were supposed to because I didn’t want to stop.

Liss: Awwww

Liss: It’s just so different from Vampire Diaries

Alana: You mean in that it’s good?

Liss: There’s that, and the tone of the story is so…I don’t know, hopeful?

Alana: There’s less ~*drama*~. It’s more real, too, despite the content. The human relationships make so much more sense.

Alana: If there isn’t a ghostwriter, I’m hoping that she’ll get back to this level of writing.

Liss: We can only pray.

Liss: Because Nightfall or whatever was the worst book of ’09.

Alana: Are there Razzie-esque book awards? We could, like, nominate it.

Liss: There’s that worst sex scenes thing, but I don’t know if they have them for bad books overall.

Alana: We’re going to have to do some research. But for now: Poppy’s feeling the effects of the change. They pretty much make her feel brain-dead and weak, so far.

Liss: She’s eating a lot red things, Popsicles, juice, but they’re not what she really wants.

Alana: James and Phil come to her room and she’s still pissed at James. She has a “primitive, animal” reaction. I cannot help but think of The Forbidden Game and when Smith kept referring that way to the token black character, Dee.

Alana: So at least we don’t have racism here.


Liss: Hey now, I love Forbidden Game.


Alana: Crap Crap Crap Crap Labyrinth rip-off.

Liss: It was my first LJ series

Alana: I’d like to say “Aww, you always love your first,” but mine is TVD. Forget THAT.

Liss: Awwww

Alana: Anyway, James apologizes to Poppy, who is having issues understanding, so he tells her to use her new (OR ARE THEY???) telepathic powers.

Liss: Phil reacts weirdly to the mention of telepathy.

Liss: Hmmmmmmmmmm

Alana: Phil backs him up and James basically rolls his eyes at Phil being the one to cause all this damage they are fixing now

Alana: I want to be there just to grin at James.

Alana: “Alana grins at James.”

Alana: Obviously, my medications are getting to me.

Liss: No fanfic in the recap!

Alana: Or just that I’m recapping a book I enjoy for once.


Alana: Poppy does her telepathy mojo, which is not like sharing blood, but she’s still getting the truth from him. He “cares.” Well, then he’s like “There are two cardinal rules in the Night World. One is not to tell humans that it exists. The other is not to fall in love with a human. I’ve broken both of them.”


Alana: Phil exits discreetly. Good for Phil.

Liss: Phil has some class, which is rare in teen fiction.

Liss: And unlike the books I generally recap, he has no interest in seeing his sister’s personal moments.


Alana: That’s what you get for choosing V.C. Andrews.

Liss: It’s true.

Liss: James realizes that he’s been going on and on while Poppy is sick, and he gives her his blood.

Alana: I love the “Don’t you tell me what to worry about!”/”Don’t you tell me not to tell you–” exchange.

Alana: So cute!

Liss: They’re adorable.

Alana: Poppy realizes this is exactly what her body needs, and then they start having a telepathic conversation, as you do when you’re exchanging blood.

Alana: James tells her that vampires don’t exchange blood.

Liss: Poppy is upset that they won’t be able to share this way once she’s changed, but she’s sure that she’ll think of something.

Liss: I’d like to think she means sex, but this is an LJ Smith book.

Alana: Phil comes back in and James is there to be our King of Exposition. What I like here is how it clearly explains why vampires don’t exchange blood. You see, this pseudo-science states that vampire blood is great and all, but it can’t carry oxygen through the system, so that’s why they need human blood.

Alana: Er, that and some magic stuff too. But never you mind that! SCIENCE!

Liss: Science and magic work perfectly today in my mind. Let’s go with it!

Liss: Phil, of course, is all “So vampire blood is POISON!”.

Alana: Phil is all grossed out, but Poppy finds it all very natural, like symbiosis. James is then like “Enough science for us–we need to make some PLANS.” A man after my own heart. I love plans.

Liss: The next exchange is very important–Poppy might relapse again if they wait too long, but the next one will be the one that brings her over and they have to arrange for it.

Alana: Maybe it’s just because I’ve been away from the book for so long, but there’s such a sense here that we’ve gotten far, far from Poppy’s human death, that it’s been completely eclipsed by her “vampire” death. I almost forgot for a second about her cancer, and I think we were SUPPOSED to have. We’re focused on this “cure” but it certainly comes at a price, one the ghostwr–er, the author doesn’t want us to forget.

Alana: Poppy’s speech about her death is really, really effective.

Alana: And Phil’s response is a little cheesy, but effective as well. Kind of heartbreaking, if you love the characters (AND I DO).

Liss: I do too. And, Poppy is, for once (hee), being the practical one. Even if she dies and wakes up a vampire, she can’t do that with their mother and Cliff around. They have to talk about this, they have to deal with it.

Alana: They make a plan: Get the adults out of the house. There’s some good foreshadowing here where James points out that being resistant to his mind control might be genetic, so getting Poppy’s mom out of the house is imperative.

Liss: Poppy and James will finish the change, and then he and Phil will watch TV and wait. It’s important for James to be around for the entire event, particularly when the people from the funeral home arrive.

Alana: Poor Phil. He’s struggling with this reality.

Alana: What’s upsetting is that James and Phil have to become buddies in front of Cliff and their mom, and WE DON’T GET TO SEE IT. It’s totally off-screen!

Alana: er, page

Liss: I was just writing that!

Alana: Hee!

Alana: Cuz it’s important to us! The Phil/James interactions are hilarious!

Liss: I bet it was awkward, and there was one of those man hugs that start as a handshake.

Alana: Hee, manhugs!  Poor Poppy too: “Tomorrow is that day I die.”

Alana: I love Poppy saying good-bye to her life.

Alana: It’s so sad

Alana: I think this is where I started getting all choked up, although I didn’t start crying till the next chapter.

Liss: It reminds me of Our Town.

Alana: Well, it’s supposed to, I guess, since she references it. I think I read Our Town, but I also read so much about it in other books beforehand that it was almost surreal. I should read it again. It would probably feel like the firs time, at this point, because I don’t have all the references in my head. There’s a YA book where they do it, and then there’s a book–maybe a Pike?–where it gets referenced a lot? I don’t even think it’s Remember Me?

Alana: I could be getting my Pikes confused

Alana: Because I feel like I’m confusing Remember Me with Last Act plus something else.

Liss: I’m not sure, though I know what you’re talking about.

Liss: I got it because I did Emily

Liss: *Emily’s monologue*

Liss: lol

Alana: Our readers are going to have to let us know. YA book, they put on Our Town. Help us out, guys. [Also, ’80s TV shows that did it?]

Alana: Uh-huh.


Liss: Hey, I was a great Emily. I’m just a bad typist.

Alana: Poppy basically lists the little things. You know which one I love the best?

Alana: The desk.

Alana: Because it talks about how she was putting sealing wax on her letters. That is SO Poppy.

Liss: It really, really is.

Liss: I wonder if she had a stamp?

Alana: Also, if I were Phil, I’d make sure that James “inherited” Poppy’s stereo and CDs. I guess it wouldn’t be TOO difficult to get a lot of her stuff to her later?

Alana: Oh, she totally had SOME stamp.

Liss: Aw, it was probably a poppy.

Alana: Wouldn’t you?

Liss: I do, actually.

Liss: It’s an M.

Alana: I meant a poppy, but yeah.

Alana: I was thinking “M for Melissa–no wait, that’s not your name.” I am so bad at this.

Liss: Oh! haha

Liss: Well, the hardest part is saying goodbye to people.

Liss: Namely, Poppy’s mother.

Alana: She can’t REALLY do it, because it would seem suspicious.

Alana: Except that not, because she IS dying.

Alana: So she’s gotta be subtle about it; saying good-bye without saying good-bye.

Liss: She calls her friends, thanks them for flowers and cards, tries to catch up a little.

Alana: She can’t find her dad, which is so sad.

Alana: She also thinks about how she wasted her time at school. I think about that a lot now too, now that I’m older. Of course, I’m kind of wasting my time in grad school, in a way, because I’m starting with doing the bare minimum and trying to shove the rest in IF IT FITS INTO MY LIFE, but I don’t have the sort of open lives that teenagers have. All that free time, God. Remember?

Liss: Oh, I do.

Liss: And I did nothing with it, seriously.

Alana: But there is a funny line jammed in there, which I appreciate, where she thinks Phil may have gotten it right–by playing the game, really, but because of playing the game, he got more out of life–and she shivers as she thinks about how much she must’ve changed to believe that Phil’s the right one for once. Hee.

Liss: Aww, Poppy.

Alana: And then she refers to her death as “the play” when James arrives.

Liss: Oh, Cliff scene…

Alana: Oh oh wait, here’s where I started to lose it, when Poppy “finally forgave [Cliff] for not being her dad.” WAHHHHHHH

Liss: She realizes that he is a good guy, he takes care of her mom, and he’ll be the one that her mother needs…after. WAAAHHH

Alana: They smile at her as they head out to dinner. Okay, I’m crying again.

Alana: Ugh, all that “Mom, I’m fine, go out, you need a night out, I’m not going to die TONIGHT” stuff…heart-freakin-breaking.

Alana: It’s better that it’s related in a paragraph than in dialog.


Liss: The guilt that caregivers feel is really well done, too. Poppy’s mom doesn’t feel like she *deserves* to go out, since, after all, her daughter is sick.

Alana: Ugh, I don’t even wanna do the next chapter now. I’m so wrecked.

Alana: I love this book so much.

Liss: These are the sentences that I seldom get to type, but I like vampire stories that address the fact that (most) vampires were once people with lives and homes and families.

Liss: Things that can’t just be swept under the rug now that someone is a fabulous vampire.

Alana: Yeah, it’s not all orphans. Sometimes it’s families.

Liss: Even when someone dies and it’s expected (like Poppy’s death is), things have to happen. Doctors and coroners and funerals happen.

Alana: Like, if Bill Compton had been made into a vampire in another time, maybe his family wouldn’t have had to live without him–although I guess with Jessica, they sort of showed that it didn’t work. But that’s rather unfair, and also I’m way behind.

Liss: Now I want James to declare that “He. Is. Vampahr.”

Alana: Did you see that comment in Andy’s journal about Halloween costumes, where someone said they wanted their husband to paint himself sparkly to be Edward Cullen, but he said no, so she asked instead if he’d just glare at her a lot so they could be Sookie and Bill?

Alana: God, I cracked up.

Liss: Oh Beel.

Liss: He’s both better and worse in the books.

Alana: I don’t even know how that’s possible.

Alana: But I will find out!

Liss: 😀

Liss: They’re good fun, if not great lit.

Liss: Ohhh…you are gonna have issues with Book Sookie, I can’t wait.

Alana: Okay okay, let’s wrap this up. I have papers to write, unfortunately. Um, so, yeah, Poppy’s going to die and Alana’s a big weepy mess. That’s all folks! Tune in next time when Poppy kicks the bucket, Alana cries EVEN MORE, and Smith actually mentions real world music bands, which I appreciate.

Liss: Even if they are all bands from Pure Moods compilation albums.

Alana: Hee, true enuff.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie permalink
    November 14, 2009 3:23 pm

    Omg I love you guys!!!! Dude, seriously, this book is genius. It’s amazing and perfect IN EVERY WAY. I hope and pray she gets back to this level of writing. This book is just awesome and impossible to snark but I love your recaps. LOVE!

    • bookslide permalink*
      November 14, 2009 6:18 pm

      Yeah, it’s a reach to say anything nasty, but there are times we can say things that are funny…I hope?

  2. November 14, 2009 9:35 pm

    Oh, yeah, you’re still hilarious as always! I’m alternating between gushing at how great the book is and LOLing at your comments and asides. I hope you’ll do the entire series or at least the first three books.

    • bookslide permalink*
      November 15, 2009 6:56 am

      Well, it’s harder to do these because Liss and I have to be free at the same time, but I love doing it so much that I hope she and I can t least keep recapping weekly. I know her life’s probably even more busy than mine, but we do what we can, and also one day we WILL video blog this instead of AIMing it up. Heheheheh. There are just a couple of states standing between us and hilarity.

      • November 16, 2009 11:42 am

        You guys SO need to video blog it!

      • bookslide permalink*
        November 16, 2009 2:14 pm

        MAYBE SO. If so, we can also tape ourselves playing the Sweet Valley High board game, which is so good in theory (play as Lila! date Bruce Patman! find Mr. Collins! steal boyfriends!), so boring in practice.

  3. bob permalink
    November 16, 2009 8:05 pm

    EEEEE!!!!! A Forbidden Game mention! :DD I love that series so bad, even if it is a horrible Labyrinth rip-off (but hey, I love Labyrinth lots, too).
    I love the recaps you guys do– sooo funny. They make me wanna pick up the books again. 😉 Have you guys thought about doing all the L.J. Smith novels? That would be ~*hilarious*~!

    • bookslide permalink*
      November 16, 2009 9:07 pm

      Every single one would be quite the commitment. I just finished The Struggle and am taking a break before moving on to The Whatever. (Yeah, yeah, I know what it is.) I never even really liked Dark Visions, but I don’t think I’d mind revisiting Secret Circle. I think I’d kill myself recapping Forbidden Game, because of the racism and the rip-off.

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