Snarking Obsidian: Chapter 5

Previously on  Obsidian, Daemon holds Katy immobile and threatens to keep her under week-long house arrest unless she agrees to strip down and go swimming with him.

Note: all direct quotes are either in bold or block-quotes. If something’s in quotation marks but not bold or block-quotes, it’s paraphrased snark.

Chapter Index


The chapter doesn’t start off gently.

I had to hang out with Daemon today.


Even though I couldn’t stand him, and I actually think he might be the first person I ever hated, he was . . . he was a god. Who knew the kind of girls he was used to seeing in bathing suits.


Even though I wouldn’t touch him for all the money in the world, I was big enough to admit there was a part of me that wanted him to want me.

Okay, I appreciate your honesty and self-awaDON’T GO. JUST DON’T GO.

Having resigned herself to her “fate,” Katy deliberates over her three bathing suit options: Victorian, slightly prudish, and sexy red scraps. “I could have chosen a tent and I’d still feel uncomfortable,” she tells us, seconds before deciding that oh yeah, the red bikini is totally the best choice for this situation.

I wanted to be exciting and bold. Maybe I even wanted to shock Daemon, prove him wrong.

I understand the desire to prove someone’s sneering assessment of you wrong, but not when (a) that assessment is “You’re probably shy about your body,” (b) that assessment is 100% accurate, and (c) that someone is a manipulative, controlling, threatening asshole who uses sex to make you uncomfortable and is literally coercing you into being alone with him in a state of undress. Choosing the bikini isn’t giving him the finger; it’s playing right into his clammy, grasping hands.

Katy covers the “tiny scraps” of her bikini with a modest outfit “to hide [her] audacity” from her mother, who’s lurking in a Nonchalantly Concerned Parent fashion in the kitchen. Mom’s mom-sense tingles at the sight of her, though, prompting a series of delicate questions feeling out whether or not Katy’s emotionally well.

Tell her, I whisper-shout into the book, because I sometimes think that maybe I really can prevent stupidity in novels, tell her the truth.

She took a deep breath. “Are you excited about today?”

My stomach dropped as I faced her. Part of me wanted to throttle her for helping trap me in Daemon’s plans, but she didn’t know any better.

Tell her. She can know better now. 

“Yeah, I guess so,” I lied.


Mom leaves with an implied warning not to wind up pregnant, ha ha, and two seconds later Daemon’s pounding on the front door, ready to whisk her away to a super-secret swimming place so deep in the woods that vehicles can’t reach it and most locals don’t know about it. The swimming hole of choice for local murderers and rapists, I gather.

He marches her into the woods opposite her house, and apparently she does have a smidge of sense, because she’s only half joking when she asks, “Are you taking me out to the woods as a trick?”

He glanced over his shoulder, lashes hiding his eyes. “And what would I do out here to you, Kitten?”

I shivered. “The possibilities are endless.”

“Aren’t they?” He made his way easily around the thick brush and vines tangled together on the floor of the woods.

Just a reminder: Daemon has done absolutely nothing but ridicule, intimidate, manipulate, and threaten Katy. And here he is, casually acknowledging how easily he can perform violence against her once he’s taken her to their remote, unknown destination.

Here’s Katy’s reply:

I was having a hell of a time not breaking my neck on the many exposed roots and moss-covered rocks. “Can we pretend we did this?”

She doesn’t acknowledge or react to his implicit threat at all; it’s as if he’d never spoken, or she hadn’t heard him.

I hate it when books do this, guys: make their female characters ignore the legitimately creepy, threatening, and/or abusive words and actions of male characters. By not reacting, Katy’s telling the reader—teaching the reader—that there was nothing she needed to react to; that what he said wasn’t in the least alarming.

But it is.

It is very fucking alarming.

But they’re still venturing forth into the secluded depths of the forest, him leaping gracefully as a deer and her apparently incapable of putting one foot in front of the other; he extends a hand to help her over a fallen tree, she accepts his hand, and a jolt of static (sexual excitement, alien power?) tingles over her skin.

Half an hour later they arrive at Murder Lake, which is gorgeous. Katy grows momentarily omniscient for our sake, and can “tell from the stiff set of his shoulders [that] this place was special to him,” and she gets all giddy because this super hot guy is taking time out of his day to show her his top-secret assholes-only hideout. (Has she forgotten that Dee blackmailed him into bringing her?) She gently rests her hand upon his arm and thanks him for bringing her here, and WHAT. NO. DO NOT THANK HIM. He coerced you into coming by threatening to lock you inside your house for a week. 

Unsurprisingly, he manages to piss her off twice before he can even shimmy out of his jeans and whip his shirt off (“Dayam,” Katy thinks while air-humping in his direction), and only the sight of his muscles “flexing and stretching” can shake her out of her anger.

Her hand is just beginning its inevitable dip into her pants when Daemon asks why she’s not catwalking her bathing suit around the lake yet, which reminds Katy that oh yeah, the bathing suit she chose consists of just a few crimson threads and that perhaps was a terrible decision. Daemon makes a jab about her being shy, then settles in to enjoy the show.

Good God, he wasn’t going to turn around or anything. And there was a challenge in his stare, as if he expected me to chicken out. Maybe that’s what he wanted—expected.

No, Katy, what he wants is to insult you until your hurt pride demands that you prove his insults wrong; he wants you to seek his approval, put on a little striptease, and get a bikini’s width away from naked with him.

Practical, boring Katy would’ve gone into the lake fully clothed.

I didn’t want to be her. That was the whole purpose of the red bathing suit. I wanted to prove to him I wasn’t easily intimidated. I was determined to win this round.

Aaaugh. This is what losing looks like. Winning would require you to stand up for yourself and do what makes you feel comfortable, regardless of this asshole’s threats and manipulations.

Daemon is literally negging Katy, guys. “I bet you’re gonna wear your grandma’s one-piece,” he’d sneered at her in the last chapter—and sure enough, she decided she needed to dress up extra sexy to gain his approval. “You sure are shy,” he jabs when she doesn’t immediately reveal her bathing suit—and, right on cue, she decides she “wanted to prove to him” that she wasn’t shy at all, to gain his approval.

This manipulation isn’t blatant; a lot of people won’t recognize it when they see it. But just for the record, it’s happening, and it’s disgusting.

As if all this isn’t bad enough, before Katy can start stripping, Daemon opens his fucking mouth again:

Daemon looked bored. “I’m giving you one minute to get in here.”

And then he begins counting down the seconds she has remaining to get into the lake of her own free will. And no, he’s not counting down in a playful way. He’s not smiling, he’s not teasing. His expression is cold, and he’s moving slowly closer to her, ready to grab her and drag her in if she doesn’t obey within his time-limit. What the hell am I reading.

Katy strips quickly and poses for his visual probing before slipping into the water a careful distance away from Daemon, who’s doing his best impression of a hunting crocodile:

Daemon eyed me from a few feet away, his cheeks above the waterline and his breath blowing the occasional bubble to break the surface tension. Something in his gaze beckoned me closer.

“What?” I asked after a stretch of silence.

“Why don’t you come here?”

“NOPE,” Katy intelligently replies, and hauls ass toward some boulders in the middle of the lake. And Daemon, watching her chilling on the rocks, looks “curious, almost confused,” and says, “Well . . . what do we have here?”

This nausea I’m fighting off believes that Daemon just tried to use alien mind-control powers on her, and she’s just special enough to resist them (thank god). What the fuck was he going to do to her, if she did obey him?

“You’re not what I expected,” he said in a hushed voice.

“What does that mean?” I asked as he made a grab for my foot, and I moved my leg out of his reach.

And what the fuck is he trying to grab her foot for? This isn’t a flirtatious date; he’s told her repeatedly that he doesn’t want to be here with her. So why is he grabbing at her? And Katy, why are you placidly avoiding him rather than introducing your heel to his face?

And then he does it again. Katy narrates, “I shifted again as he reached for the other leg,” and then she “scooted back, completely out of his grasp.” And she’s NOT ALARMED. She doesn’t give any sort of emotional reaction to this AT ALL. “This behavior is totally normal for sexy cruel threatening guys, nothing to be worried about,” Katy’s lack of response is telling readers—telling young adults who perhaps don’t know better.

Guys, I’m sorry that this snark is less lolarious than my Throne of Glass one; it’s just that this book is rapidly reducing me to a wraith of feminist fury. Please god let the plot kick in soon so we can get some chortles.

After a cryptic comment about how she’s not like Dee’s Daemon-approved friends, Daemon succumbs to his crocodilian instincts and submerges. Finally, Katy can enjoy a minute of precious, molestation-free silence. A minute that turns into two, and then several, still with no sign of his asshole face surfacing for air.

You’ll have to excuse me if I, unlike Katy, do not immediately swan-dive into a panic at the possibility of his death by drowning.



33 thoughts on “Snarking Obsidian: Chapter 5

  1. I imagine the series would have ended pretty quickly if Daemon ended up drowning in the fifth chapter, there are a few books in this series still to go, not to mention all the chapters left in this book! 🙂
    Still yeah I would need more than one hand to count the times I would have ran as fast as my legs could carry me back to my home if I ended up in the situation Katy is with a guy I barely. How many days has it been since she moved into her new home and met Daemon? Not that many I’m guessing.
    Wow this book is kind of creeping me out a little. I’m half expecting Daemon to murder Katy in the woods and this to turn into a horror story rather than a paranormal/sci-fi/YA one.
    Still great recap. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’d totally be down for reading Katy & Dee’s Grand Alien Adventure! If Daemon disappeared forever in chapter five, I’d have higher hopes for my enjoyment of the rest of the series.

      The fact that you have functional self-preservation instincts is excellent; we don’t want you getting murdered in the woods, please.

      I want to say she’s been living there for about two weeks? And has interacted with him four times, total? Not much time at all.

      YES. Logically I know he won’t be snapping her neck and dumping her body, but I’m still fully expecting it. The book includes three “bonus chapters” told from his perspective, and I’m super curious to see if his narrative includes any mutterings about murdering her face, the way Edward’s narrative included his overwhelming need to drain Bella dry. I can only, uh, hope. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may have read this book ages ago but I’m can guarantee that Daemon, unfortunately, doesn’t disappear in chapter 5. Still Katy and Dee’s Grand Alien Adventure is a book I’d read as well! 😀
        Nope, one a scale of one to ten in terms of my life plans getting murdered in the woods is in the minus figures.
        Yeah, not nearly enough time to go on a mysterious swimming adventure with the boy next door who seems to have homicidal tendencies. Then again how long would you have had to know someone with homicidal tendencies before you’d go into the woods swimming with them?
        Will you do more chapter recaps for the three bonus chapters as well then?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re breaking my heart here, Beth. I was so hopeful for his watery death.

        Ha! Whew, that’s a relief.

        That’s an excellent question. I’d have to say at LEAST a month.

        I’m going to tentatively say that yes, I will recap those bonus chapters. But it’s possible that I’ll be a miserable smudge on the floor by the time I reach those bonus chapters, and find that I don’t have the heart or will to continue. Pray for my strength and we’ll see what happens.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t raise your hopes like that only for you to have them dashed when he survives the next chapter.
        Personally I’d say more than a month, maybe two, before I trusted a homicidal maniac with my life. Gotta make sure you know? 🙂
        Well you are only on chapter 5 at the moment, who knows what the rest of his book will hold for you but either way, if you post about the bonus chapters or not, I’m excited to see what comes next in your recaps for these chapters! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe I just lost the plot or something but I’m totally confused as to why she’s forcing herself to go through all this stuff just to prove him wrong… when he was in fact quite right. This girl has no sense of danger and self-preservation. I just can’t imagine being in a woods with a stranger who has threatened me with violence and not registering that everything is NOT peachy.

    Sad thing is that this kind of scene was from memory veeeery popular during the time this book was published. Daemon is not the first (or last) of his kind: a tall, dark, handsome, brooding, mysterious douche who negs the girl until she falls into his arms. 😫

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh don’t worry, you haven’t lost any plot; so far the plot is “HIS BODY IS A MIRACLE AND I MUST BE NEAR IT.” I’ll definitely point out a plot when it finally arrives.

      And no, I can’t imagine myself or anyone I know behaving the way she is now. There are definitely teens who WOULD do this, just because that’s how the world works, but I can’t fathom who those teens are and why they’d do it.

      Oh man, I’m so glad I missed the fangasming over this scene. Being late to the popular books has its benefits.

      I’m “glad” to receive further confirmation that I’ll have an endless source of rage in my reading life. Hurray.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope the plot will one day arrive! Tbh though I don’t mind some “HIS BODY IS A MIRACLE AND I MUST BE NEAR IT”… as long as nothing else is problematic, and it seems like this one is. 😛

        Do you reckon you’ll be recapping the whole series? It doesn’t seem to be an enjoyable endeavour (for you). 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hm, I at least want to snark three or four other books (hopefully fairly well varied across the fantasy and paranormal genres) before going back and continuing with a series I already started. If there are enough readers who want me to continue this series, though, I’d definitely be up for it! Entertaining you guys makes the whole process worth it. 😄


  3. “This nausea I’m fighting off believes that Daemon just tried to use alien mind-control powers on her, and she’s just special enough to resist them (thank god). What the fuck was he going to do to her, if she did obey him?” –> Same person head canon further accepted because I HAD THE SAME THOUGHTS READING THAT. Also, that would shift this book into Twilight knockoff land which… so help me god if it goes there…

    I’m 55% certain there is no plot.

    Also, LIAM LIAM LIAM “Daemon succumbs to his crocodilian instincts and submerges.” You slay me. And I think I’m seriously starting to creep out anyone who has ever watched me watch my computer while reading your posts. Whoops. Sorry not sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been giving me tons of Twilight vibes so far, not gonna lie. I wouldn’t be shocked if it follows Twilight beat for beat.

      Ha! That seems like a reasonable percentage.

      Aaaaaa your praise of my jokes gives me life. ❤


  4. This chapter hits really close to home because I actually did this exact thing when I was about…15, maybe 16. With a guy I’d met twice, who I thought was beyond dreamy, and who I also thought was just teasing me about being shy about my body (which made me want to prove him wrong by being “bold” and “sexy”) and not at all being a major creep who was all too eager to get into my pants. I got to unpack that when I started dating my current partner, who was like “holy SHIT that is HORRIFYING” and I legitimately had no idea that wasn’t normal.

    There are a lot of 15 and 16 year old girls, younger girls even, who read these books and think the same things I did. I loved characters like Daemon at 15 and thought it was amazing that a dark, brooding, handsome guy a few years older than me would think I was sexy in very little clothing and would enjoy chasing and catching me, even if it made me a little uncomfortable at first. It took far too long for me to realize this is seriously scary, unhealthy, and deeply wrong.

    Don’t stop talking about this. Even if it’s not funny – it’s necessary. And thanks for doing this. I love the snark and the humor, but I am also really grateful that you’re spotlighting the serious issues, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Diana. I’ll be honest, your story hit me hard; I’m terrified for your younger self, and furious, and so glad you made it out safely.

      I really needed to hear this. For all I logically know that there are lots of people–not just teens–who are coerced or manipulated into situations like this, it can be hard for me to imagine that it really happens. Maybe it’s because I’m ace, and genuinely can’t imagine wanting a stranger to find me sexually attractive, much less imagine myself willingly going outside my comfort zone to try to be sexually attractive to someone.

      So thank you for helping make this awful scenario that much more real for me.

      Honestly, I reread this chapter after reading your comment the first time, and I’m no longer happy with the tone I took in it, especially when “talking to” Katy. I think that what I was feeling—frustration at her mentality, and anger at the book for first creating her this way and arranging this scenario, then presenting it all as normal and romantic—might come across as me yelling at and blaming Katy for what happens, and I’m horrified at the possibility of someone reading it that way. Especially if that someone, like you, has lived that experience.

      Do you think I should edit this chapter, to make it clear that my negativity is focused on the book and Daemon, and not on Katy herself?

      Seriously, if I ever write anything that makes you uncomfortable, or crosses a line that I shouldn’t cross, please feel free to let me know. You’re reading this scenario from a different (and more valuable and aware) viewpoint than I am, and I want to do the best I can in calling out what’s awful, without looking like I’m victim-blaming.

      Your comment means so much, and is more helpful than I can express. Thank you ❤


  5. I’m glad that my personal story helps put this scenario in perspective, because I want to keep talking about it if only to help others see where these problems start. Truly, they start in the continued cycling of narratives like these that permeate our social circles and normalize this behavior. This is actually why I’m glad you’re reading + snarking about this: you can call out the scary shit that absolutely smothers whatever plot is trying to crawl out beneath it, while also making it accessible (through humor!) to younger folk by not scaring them off. It’s not coincidence that has kids opening up to more engaging, less lecturing professors (see: Professor Lupin in Harry Potter 3, Hank Green + SciShow on YouTube vs anyone’s science teacher); it’s relatability.

    At the same time, it’s also important to use this platform for real, upfront dialogue and to poke a sharp stick right at the root of the issue. In this case especially, you made it very clear (at least to me) that your anger and frustration isn’t directed at Katy, but at the writer who is normalizing her unassuming responses to actual threats of violence:
    “I hate it when books do this, guys: make their female characters ignore the legitimately creepy, threatening, and/or abusive words and actions of male characters. By not reacting, Katy’s telling the reader—teaching the reader—that there was nothing she needed to react to; that what he said wasn’t in the least alarming.

    But it is.

    It is very fucking alarming.”

    If you want to go back and make an explicit statement that this is not an attack on Katy as a character but instead on the idea that this behavior is acceptable, please do so, but trust that I saw what you meant immediately and I believe others do, too.

    If it helps, I’ve been with my current partner for 3 wonderful years now, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to spend my life with. I don’t blame myself for what happened any more, and I’m in a much healthier and happier place; that’s what matters most for me. Thanks for the kind words. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really does help to know that you’re in a better emotional and mental place now, and surrounded by love and support—and that your partner could call that guy’s behavior out for what it was. (Three cheers for partners who can help us identify and process our traumas and issues!) You’re a wonderful person, and I want only the best for you. ❤

      Even before your comment, I’d been intending to write a separate post explaining the purpose of my snarks (to highlight both the bad writing and the deeper, more problematic aspects of popular books), but I feel even more compelled to do so now. The possibility that potential readers aren’t reading my snark because they assume I’m just doing it to be mean or contrary really bothers me; I feel strongly about the messages I’m trying to relay through these posts, and want as many eyes on them as I can get. Explaining my purpose in detail might help with that.

      I’d especially like to draw in teen readers, but my blog’s so small, and I don’t know the best way to get people’s attention. Rebranding my blog a bit might help. And social media, obviously, but that feels like a pit that’ll suck up all my free time with little to gain for it. (Also, I’m an introvert who’s accustomed to the peaceful life of a hermit. Engaging in several hours of online interactions every day is already a little stressful; increasing that interaction time sounds daunting! Keep your fingers crossed for me.)

      Thank you for the reassurance; it’s a huge relief that you could tell where my anger was directed.

      And thanks for discussing all this at length with me, too. You’re helping me grow into a better and more conscientious snarker. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This book is seriously all kinds of wrong. I hate the way Daemon keeps calling Katy a Kitten… it feels so wrong, especially when he’s acting like a high level douche! It’s condescending!

    I agree with the above comments- your snark doesn’t always have to be for the LOLs, you’re doing a lot more here than just providing entertainment. What Diana said, I can also relate to, very much so and I think it’s the main reason Katy’s ‘behavior’ horrifies me so much as well, it’s kind of like looking into the past. So it is very very important that you drive home the point for YA readers- thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, yes. I really should’ve highlighted the scene (I don’t even remember which chapter it was in) where Katy tells him to stop calling her Kitten, because it makes her so uncomfortable; she specifies that it sounds like something dirty, and Daemon laughs off her discomfort AND KEEPS CALLING HER “KITTEN.”

      There are so many things in this book that I’m getting mad at but not pointing out, because I’m trying to keep each chapter’s word count under 1500. Maybe I should throw my word count to the wind and point out absolutely every infuriating detail.

      Thank you so much for the support, Liz; like I told Diana, as infuriated as I am by the theoretical concept of teens reading and absorbing these terrible messages, realizing that I know people who have lived this experience brings me a whole new level of horror and motivation to continue snarking. Thank you for sharing that, and helping me keep going. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just want to say that you’re fucking awesome and I love you.
    I kind of wish you read all the books on my TBR before me so I could know which to avoid, but that’s too much work and makes me sound really self-centered haha I’m just glad I’m getting the gist of this one here
    P.S. I’ve taken all of JLA books off my TBR, I don’t think she’s for me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll make a note to scan through your TBR pile before starting my next snark, to see if anything leaps out at me.

      It’s always heartbreaking to have to remove an author from your reading list, but it’s definitely necessary sometimes. Here’s hoping her more recent books have less of this damaging bullshit in them–but I don’t think I’ll be sticking around to find out, either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alrighty friend 🙂 I’d love to see what you come up with haha
        There’s just so many too and I tend to like starting with the author’s earlier works before getting to her new ones so I can see the progress but I just don’t have the time haha

        Liked by 1 person

  8. WHY THE HELL IS SHE GOING??! I just cannot for the life of me understand this frickin Katy character!! She’s driving me nuts “I will get my own back on this creepy guy by stripping for him” Where is her head at?? Also why on earth is her mum so on board with this- I’m not gonna blame her for not picking up on Katy’s cues that she doesn’t like him, cos the only evidence of that is in her (frankly mixed) internal monologues- from what I can tell her tongue is practically on the floor around this guy, so her mum’s probably picking up on all those visual cues that she likes him- BUT EVEN THEN no mother of a teenage girl is going to push her daughter to go swimming with the guy who lives next door and has an inability to keep their shirt on!!! I just don’t get either of those characters!!! (I get Daemon’s character- he’s a creepy weirdo jerk- I’m feeling lazy so insert more insults here)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH MAN, YES. Thank you for your capslock, I needed that; this is absolutely a capslock situation.

      I absolutely agree with you about Katy mom not being to blame for not receiving any This Guy Is Awful signals from Katy, because Katy’s not exactly projecting those signals. (Love how you perfectly described her mixed internal monologues, by the way.) And I can also understand that her mom might want to encourage her to get out and make friends, and even flirt a bit with the hot guy next door. But I refuse to believe that she’d force Katy to go against her will, if she knew Katy genuinely didn’t want to go.

      In short: yeah, I don’t get either of these characters either.

      Ha! There are plenty of insults that fit Daemon; it’s hard to know where to start.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES IT IS!!!
        Yeah exactly- maybe Katy should try sending out distress calls like blinking furiously to let her mum know she’s in trouble 😉
        I don’t actually think they’re acting like real people- it’s too weird!
        hahaha yes there are- many of them would get me in spam jail 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. First of all, if someone like him called me kitten, I would knock his teeth out.
    Now off to the swimming suit. I don’t even own one xD But yeah, totally makes sense to pick the tiny red one for the creepy neighbor to ogle you. So the point of this book is to tell girls it’s okay to let guys force you to do things you’re not comfortable with and that gaining their approval is the only thing that matters? Hell no! Wow I’m so angry with this book. Thanks for taking us on this hellish journey but gosh I need chocolate now. I’m frightened for the teens reading that shit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are seriously the role model that all teens need.

      “Hell no!” has been pretty much the only thing coming out of my mouth while reading this book, if you replace hell with fuck and no with this. (Well, the sentiment is the same, at least.)

      It really is horrifying to think that actual readers absorb toxic, dangerous messages like these from their beloved books. It is not okay.

      Yeah, I’m going to go get some fudge, myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Holy shit, Donna, that would be amazing. Instead of CliffsNotes, I could make LiamsNotes. Well, that might be too similar. The idea is brilliant; we’ll just have to give the title some more thought.


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