In the twelfth chapter of Untold, Kami is my favorite, and then NO OH MY GOD, HOW DOES THIS KEEP GETTING MORE UPSETTING? Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Untold.
Chapter Twelve: A Drop of Blood, What You Hold Dear
Good god, everything was undone IN A SINGLE CHAPTER. Can we talk about this?
I’m hoping that the interaction between these two in this chapter is a sign that Jared might be moving towards accepting the realities of his life. His behavior has been erratic, negative, near suicidal, and increasingly violent, but there’s a very raw and quiet moment in this chapter that seems to suggest there might be hope to him. You better believe I’m going to cling to it.
The thing is, I don’t dislike Jared as a person. I hate how he treats Kami, but I’m still interested in his character. I think that’s mostly due to Kami herself, honestly. I want her to be okay with Jared, so I’m inherently interested in Jared’s journey because of this. So, like Ash, I recognized what a huge thing it was for Jared to say this:
“I’m on her side,” said Jared. “If you’re on her side too, then we’re already working together.”
It was a bit shocking to hear him say that he was on Kami’s side. He doesn’t always act like he is, but he’s comfortable enough with Ash to admit they they are on the same team. Now, if only he could say that to Kami!
Holly, Stop It
I also greatly enjoy Holly’s character, but that doesn’t mean I feel okay about her treatment of Angela. Her behavior in this chapter is egregious at best, and sadly, this can be a fairly common experience for folks who’ve just come out. I have met actual human men who would not shower in the same locker room/gym with men they knew to be gay. When I was outed, I experienced exactly what Angela goes through here: people shrinking away from me as if being gay was a contagious disease. Now, we all know this is absurd if you give it half a second of thought, but it’s unfortunately the reality for a lot of visibly queer/out people. So I appreciate that when Ash is quick to not only sexualize Angela and Holly, but to treat Angela’s sexuality as if it his to consume, Kami steps up to be a GENUINELY GREAT ALLY. She shuts Ash down immediately, she doesn’t make it about herself, and she even comes up with a brilliant way to make Ash understand why his behavior is disgusting. (This chapter gave me a new headcanon: Kami secretly writes fanfiction all the time.) I adore you, Kami, and I’m so glad an example of how to behave that’s easy to understand is just sitting there in Untold. THANK YOU.
“Don’t fight, boys,” he remarked mildly. “There’s plenty of Rusty to go around.”
BLESS UR HEART, RUSTY.
Oh gods, let’s talk about this section:
Kami wondered if he was going to try to kiss her again. Did she want him to kiss her? Maybe she did. Maybe it was just about comfort in a time when her town and her home were falling apart.
This is one of the hardest things to decipher, I swear. Isn’t it the worst? Because, ultimately, you do like the person, but you do want to know if this is out of sadness or out of a desire not to be lonely. And it matters why you like a person, you know? So does Kami like Ash because he’s not Jared? Because he acts like she would like Jared to act? Or because she genuinely likes him?
ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
In the moonlight her mother’s face shone, and her mother’s hands gleamed with the same darkness that had touched every door in Kami’s town.
I trust you’re all going to be sensible, Rob had said. I’ll be watching for the signs.
Blood marking their homes, the sign of submission Rob had asked for. The sign that the town would cooperate with the sorcerer’s demands.
OH, GODDAMN IT. Claire just betrayed her daughter again. Part of me understands her desire to protect her family, but isn’t it possible that Rob will ask for Kami as a sacrifice??? Is Claire going to say no then, or will she defer to his power? Oh god, WHEN DID CLAIRE TALK TO EVERYONE? When did this happen? Wait, I suppose it’s possible that Claire did this independent of everyone, signing them up for submission against Lillian’s wishes. Shit, everything was undone. They’re back at square one! GODDAMN IT, Y’ALL. And then, Brennan has to go and punch in the feelings with that final scene where Kami’s father comes home, and the two of them quietly wash away all the blood that Claire smeared on their gate. This book is so haunting, I swear.
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