In the fifth chapter of Untold, Kami and Angela discuss recent developments, and then Kami finds a common ground with Ash. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Untold.
Chapter Five: As You Wish
Ugh, there’s just SO MUCH HERE to talk about y’all. This is an emotionally dense chapter that brilliantly addresses what happened at the end of the last chapter, as well as giving me MY FAVORITE SCENE IN THE WHOLE SERIES SO FAR. Angela. Angela.
Let’s break this down.
Like Lillian’s appearance at Kami’s meeting, I was shocked that Lillian so quickly agreed to let Kami have access to all the records at the Aurimere House. Surely, there were some secrets buried in there that Lillian wouldn’t want to get out? But, even assuming that’s the case, I think this was a way for Lillian to, once again, demonstrate how much power she had in this situation. She doesn’t care what Kami learns. She’s not afraid of any of it. (Seriously, I get that Lillian is deliberately unlikable, but I dig her refusal to give one single fuck. Life goals. Well, not to be mean, but the other part.)
But it’s not just a matter of demonstrating how little she cares. No, I’d say it’s the opposite, given that she does this to get Kami to try and convince to come home to Aurimere. Lillian won’t explain her “deal” at all because… let’s be real, it’s Lillian. She wouldn’t admit that she misses Jared to Jesus if the Lord came down from heaven and asked her. BUT SHE DOES, DOESN’T SHE? Maybe a little bit? But she could also be doing this for the sake of her family, you know. Perhaps it’s more important that the family stay together, and this has nothing to do with feeling any sort of affection towards her son.
Bah, it’s so fascinating!
Sleepover at Angela’s!
OH MY GOD, I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF THIS. I love that Sarah Rees Brennan uses this to give Kami a chance to talk about her ridiculous kissing disaster and the tension between Angela and her regarding Angela coming out. We finally get a lot more backstory on the Montgomery family, and it seriously helped me understand why Rusty and Angela are they way they are:
Angela and Rusty’s parents, when they were there at all, talked a lot but never about anything that mattered. Rusty was able to replicate their superficial chatter and charm, and Angela rebelled against it by being spectacularly rude to almost everyone she met. But neither of them ever talked about anything that really mattered.
It’s a necessary insight into why Angela waited so long to come out, despite that she didn’t truly doubt that she’d be supported by her friends. If something will be uncomfortable to Angela, she’ll choose to keep it to herself. And that plays into her reluctance to speak openly about what’s happening to her to Kami. It’s not necessarily about Kami, you know? I know that’s the case for me, too, because while I am fairly out and proud about being gay, I still have to navigate how I choose to talk about it or where. Unfortunately, I can’t always hide it, especially if I’m talking because no one thinks I’m straight when I talk. It’s just one of those things I couldn’t ever hide because I’ve always spoken so flamboyantly. Even so, I might tone myself down if I’m in a place I’m not familiar with, or if I’m in a group of strangers. You know, I don’t even think conventions are necessarily unsafe places to be queer, but even when I’m panels, I still have these brief flashes of anxiety when I’m about to reveal that I’m gay to a group of people I’ve never met.
Essentially, I appreciate how Angela is written here because Brennan understands the complexity of revealing one’s sexuality to other people. In Angela’s case, she doesn’t want to deal with it. She’d rather it just exist and not be a spectacle, and I can appreciate that! Plus, Angela genuinely doesn’t like being around people. When I was re-reading Unspoken last week in preparation for this book, I picked up on EVERY SINGLE CUE AND HINT from Angela that she was clearly gay, and one of those involved her disgust every time she talked about boys. However, I think I interpreted those moments wrong:
“Let me make myself clear,” Angela said. “I’m a lesbian who hates people. I don’t want to go anywhere hoping to meet someone, because the idea of mixing with a bunch of strangers makes me want to be sick.”
With this, Brennan avoids the stereotype that lesbians are the way they are because they despise men. Angela just despises everyone, and she doesn’t want her sexuality to become a method by which people can decide they need to talk to her or confront her or be her friend or anything that involves person-to-person interaction. She just wants Kami and Holly to stay in her life, and she wants to protect them. Seriously, I can appreciate this so much! It’s clever, it’s touching, and it allows Kami to open up about her confusing kiss-a-thon from earlier that night in a way that helps her begin to sort out her emotions. I love this because it’s LADIES BEING FRIENDS AND BEING AWESOME and it’s everything I want and I love this.
The Counting Room
Seriously, that name is so ominous. It’s fitting, though, for a room that’s essentially full of the counts of sacrifices and favors offered in the past. I love that this is going to provide us with an opportunity to learn more about Sorry-in-the-Vale, too!
BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT ASH. I’ll repeat what I said in the second video: Everything we see here from Ash is exactly what Kami wishes Jared was doing. He is undeniably sweet, he’s apologetic in a way that’s genuine, and he respects Kami. I think it’s more obvious than before that he was the one in the hallway, though I won’t deny that I still find his refusal to speak up about who he was kind of creepy. Nice or not, that’s not a cool thing to do.
I also appreciate that Kami herself is trying to be sympathetic to what Ash is being forced to go through. This war, which is decades old, has re-ignited with himself right in the middle of it. As we saw before, his desire to please his parents has left him feeling confused and hollow, and Kami does her best to let him know that she’s there to support him, too. That’s something we’ve seen multiple times in these first few chapters: These characters are already preparing for a touch ride ahead of them, and they do so by sticking together. My gods, I love it so much.
Please note that the original text and the videos contain the words “dumb,” “stupid,” “crazy,” and “insane.”
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