Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Not-a-Post Post, with Two Links

This isn't a proper post, it's an apology for the lack of proper posts & it's a promise of a Super-Duper The Vampire Diaries Recap Double-Bill within the next few days. For a given value of "few."

In the meantime, here's a link to an excellent Vampire Diaries drinking game (that'll have you completely smashed by the end of each episode) by my new favourite website in all the world, Forever Young Adult (which is for YA readers who are a little less Y & a little more A).

And here's a very cute Vampire Identification poster by artist Ben Douglass (click on the link for a bigger version):

Monday, October 17, 2011

Important Life Lessons & DRAMATIC MUSIC: The Vampire Diaries 3:5 Recap

This week's Vampire Diaries recap is late because I'm just back from Mayo where there is no internet. (True story: there is no internet in the whole of Mayo.) But without further ado...

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries:

Elena & Katherine are identical! But they're not related! They're doppelgängers, & Evil English Klaus, who is evil, & English, has to kill a doppelgänger to break an ancient curse! He thinks he's killed Elena but she's still alive! So he doesn't know what's gone wrong! The only way he can get what he wants is by contacting the Original Witch! But, as the name suggests, she's been dead for centuries! And the only way he can get in contact with the Original Witch is by a Magical Witchy Necklace that used to be hers! Where could this necklace be? Elena, who is the Good Doppelgänger, has it! And Klaus doesn't know it! But wait! Katherine, who is the Evil Doppelgänger, has stolen the necklace! And now she wants to take Damon on a road trip!

Damon & Stefan are vampire brothers! They are both in love with Elena! And Katherine is in love with both of them! But mostly she just loves herself! Stefan used to be the Good Brother & Damon was the Bad Brother, but now Stefan has joined Evil English Klaus & has become a Ripping Killing Off-the-Rails Machine! He even told Elena he doesn't love her any more! But he's just pretending that he doesn't care to keep her safe! And he's the one who gave her the necklace! But now Katherine has it!

Klaus has a sister! Her name is Rebecca! She's an Original Vampire too! Stefan used to be friends with them back in the 20s & he discovered that they were on the run from someone! That someone is a vampire hunter called Michael! Here's what he looks like:

Flashbacks are helpful Bad Guy identifiers. Stefan made the mistake of asking Rebecca about Michael & now the Evil Siblings know he's not on their side! And Klaus wants to know what it is he's been hiding! So he brings him back to Mystic Falls! Which is where Elena lives! This is Very Bad News!

Currently, on The Vampire Diaries, it's time for a cliché! It's a horror movie cliché! It's an empty high school! It's my favourite horror movie cliché! I can tell this is going to be an awesome episode.

The halls are empty! The classrooms are empty! There's a weird clanking sound echoing through the school! It turns out to be Matt, the Sensitive Blond Jock! He's working out after class, because there totally wouldn't be an insurance issue with letting a student use those heavy exercise machines in a completely empty building. Suddenly, he hears a noise! Eerie music begins to play. He steps out of the gym into the empty corridor. Something ghostlike brushes past him! And because this is a horror movie cliché, instead of running screaming from the school as fast as his Sensitive Jock Legs can carry him, he goes towards the ghostly sound! The music intensifies! He follows the screechy-violin music into a dark classroom, where he turns on the light &...

Sets off a floor-full of mousetraps set by his friends because they're preparing for Senior Prank Night! Oh shucks you guys! Matt is not impressed. He'd forgotten all about Senior Prank Night, but gets roped into it anyway, by Caroline, the Bossy Blond Vampire. Also, I suspect they need him to fill the Token Human spot on the team.

(Left to right: Caroline the Bimbo Turned Bossy Blond Vampire, Tyler the Jock-Jerk Turned Nice-Guy Werewolf, Elena the Good Doppelganger, & Bonnie the Good Witch.)

Our gang of lovable misfits are now in Senior Year! They've been Through A Lot! But they've made it! So now it's time for them to make memories that'll last them the rest of their lives, by supergluing teachers' desks shut. Suddenly the school is well-lit & full of students having a lark & some high jinx. Elena is Very Happy.

Until she walks into one of the school's only remaining badly-lit corridors, & you know by the fact that the camera's close to her face & the Lark-&-Some-High-Jinx music has stopped that something bad's about to happen.

That something bad is Klaus! Oh no!

Today's opening scene music is too cool for school! It's Super-Cool Road Trip Music! Know why? Cause Damon & Katherine, the king & queen of Too Cool For School, are on a road trip! Damon is board & Katherine is flirty. I think that's all I really need to say about any scene that contains the two of them. The rest is just banter.

In Mystic Falls, Stefan wakes refreshed from a night of being tortured by Klaus. Rebecca, who is guarding him, knows that he knows that Klaus knows that... hold on, I've lost track. Anyway, Rebecca says Klaus is ripping Elena the Cow's Bloody Head off! Stefan plays it totally nonchalant & badass until...

He slams Rebecca to the ground! (Maybe the dramatic music made him do it.) But Rebecca is jealous! And way, way stronger than Stefan. Vampire fights make the most sickening bone-crunchy noises. It's awesome. Also, Stefan ends up impaled on a metal pole.

Life Lesson #1: Never make a vampire woman jealous.

Back at the high school, Klaus is dragging Elena angrily through the corridors, talking at her about his plan & why it didn't work & what he's going to do now (make sure she can still break the curse & then kill her, but first make her suffer a lot) in typical Bad Guy fashion.

Life Lesson #2: Bad Guys really do like to talk.

It's pop-rock music time! This really is a high school episode! It's like something out of Ten Things I Hate About You, which may well be the greatest teen movie ever. In the gym, those whacky seniors are constructing some sort of elaborate prank involving hundreds of paper cups. But what's this? Klaus storms into the hall, puts on an American accent & tells the kids to leave! All except two poor souls who get singled out to be compelled.

So, Klaus does the creepy compulsion thing really well. Today, he compels a girl to stand on one leg, & tells her guy friend that if she touches that leg to the ground he is to beat her to death. It's always the compulsion scenes I find genuinely creepy. That probably says something about my problems with authority.

Far far away, we rejoin the roadtrip, which has paused momentarily since Damon's stopped the car & thrown away the keys. He demands to know what Katherine's up to! He would never have left town with her so willingly otherwise! Katherine tells him she's stolen Elena's necklace because Klaus wants it & she wants to stay two steps ahead of her enemy, but she doesn't say why Klaus wants it. Also, she's kidnapped Jeremy & stuffed him in the trunk. Because nothing inspires a vampire's trust more than the unconscious teenage brother of the woman he loves.

Back in Mystic Falls, we're back in the high school! I've missed Mystic Falls High! Also, I'm glad term's starting again because the second chapter of my thesis, which I'm starting research on next week, is all about high school! So recapping The Vampire Diaries is totally study!

Anyway, in the school, which is suddenly ill-lit & empty again, Caroline & Tyler are having a Moment. Caroline wants everybody to be happy, & she wants this school year to be the best one ever.

Life Lesson #3: If you live in a town in which supernatural shit goes down about every other day, don't say you want this to be the best year ever, even if you're thinking it. You're totally going to jinx it.

Oh look, here comes a jinx! It's Rebecca, & she knows who they are! But who is she, Caroline wants to know. Why, she's the New Girl, & she's got fangs!

In the pool room -

Life Lesson #4: All American high schools have olympic-sized pools in their gyms.

- Bonnie & Matt are TPing the room & talking about Jeremy's sightings of Vicky, Matt's dead sister who is also Jeremy's Drugged-Up-Party-Girl Come Staked-Vampire-Turned-Ghost ex-girlfriend. It's a complicated situation. Bonnie & Matt look back on the year that's past, & muse on the fact that last summer they had no problems except breakups & failing CPR & now Matt's feeling really left out because his ex is dating a vampire, his friend's a witch & his sister's a ghost & he's just a lowly human. Don't worry Matt, it worked out okay for Xander! (Plus or minus an eye.)

He goes off to get more toilet paper & there's no music, so you know something bad's right around the next toilet stall...

I don't think we need a cliché count for this one - this whole episode is based on the high-school-inna-scary-movie trope.

Matt's about to leave with his toilet paper when one of the bathroom stall doors open! But he was just inside, & there was nobody there! The Eerie Violins are back. (That'd be a great name for a band.) He goes to check, & sees graffiti eulogising his dead sister. Then he closes the stall door again & his sister's right behind him!

But he can't hear her! But he might have felt her! It must be so frustrating to be a ghost.

In the gym, Girl Standing on One Leg is clearly no ballerina. She's about to drop her leg when Bonnie & Matt come into the gym. Elena shouts at them to leave but they're exactly who Klaus has been waiting for! (Well, Bonnie is, no one cares about Matt cause he's just a lowly human.) And then Rebecca drags Tyler in too, & Klaus grabs him & explains his Evil Plan.

He forces Tyler to drink some of his blood & tells the assembled (& rather shocked) audience that every time he's tried to turn a werewolf into a werepire hybrid the werewolf dies. So he tells Bonnie she'd better find a way to reverse that, or else it's bye bye Tyler. *Snap* goes Tyler's neck.


On the other side of town, Stefan wakes up - with difficulty - & removes the large metal bar that's sticking through his chest.

Life Lesson #5: Seriously. Never made a lady vampire jealous.

At the gym, Rebecca's being jealous at Elena & Klaus has commanded Bonnie to go fetch her Big Book o'Spells to make sure Tyler comes back to life without bleeding from the eyeballs. Bonnie is worried because the Original Witch spell is over a thousand years old & her Big Book o'Spells doesn't go back that far. She used to be able to contact the Ghosts of Witches Past but they conveniently cut her off after she brought Jeremy back from the dead. I don't understand their problem, I mean it's not like anyone ever stays dead in this show. But Bonnie's figured something out! She may not be able to contact the dead, but you know who can? Jeremy can!

You know who else has figured this out? That's right, it's our favourite scheming doppelgänger, Katherine! Katherine's old friend Pearl from season two once said that she knew of a vampire who could kill Klaus, but she neglected to share the rest of the information with anyone but her teenage daughter, & now she's dead. And so is her teenage daughter. Who is this teenage daughter, I hear those of you who didn't watch season two ask? Why, it's none other than Jeremy's other Staked-Vampire-Turned-Ghost Ex-Girlfriend, Anna! It's all coming together so nicely!

Back at the high school, Stefan seems to have had a change of heart. He comes into the gym to ask Klaus's forgiveness & pledge himself to him. Klaus, unsurprisingly, tells Stefan to kill the human couple, & elbows Elena in the face when she protests.

Life Lesson #6: Never say "he isn't going to hurt me" around an Evil English Werepire. He'll take it as a challenge.

Stefan completely forgets his pledge & turns on Klaus! He tells him he'll do anything once Klaus doesn't hurt Elena! But Klaus doesn’t believe him! Do we honestly blame him? So he compels Stefan to obey him forever!

The music gets so dramatic I can hardly stand it & Evil Compelled Stefan -

- kills those poor defenceless humans! Which is totally different & more dramatic than all the times he killed poor defenceless humans for Klaus without the excuse of having been compelled to do it.

Meanwhile, on a picnic bench somewhere in Road Trip County, Jeremy is talking to Anna but she refuses to help Katherine. So Damon punches Jeremy, which makes Anna a lot more willing to talk. She says that they're looking for Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire, but that it'd be a Very Bad Idea to wake him because he'd kill them all. Damon gets his keys.

Back in Mystic Falls, Rebecca's learning how to use mobile telephones. Apparently holding the phone at arms length & making duck-lips is just instinctive, even to a 1920s girl.

She's definitely got the tapping-to-zoom thing down though, because after going through Caroline's photos & pouting at the ones of Stefan & Elena, she notices that Elena's necklace looks somehow familiar...

Rebecca storms into the gym & demands to know where her necklace is! Stefan looks up from his meal -

Life Lesson #7: Even when compelled, vampires are messy eaters.

- Rebecca shows Klaus Caroline's phone -

Life Lesson #8: Evil English Werepires are also very good with smartphones.

- & she runs at Elena.

Life Lesson #9: 1920s vampire women are very possessive & will rip your throat out if they think you're lying about not having their necklace any more.

Life Lesson #10: When Original Vampires want to know something, they'll play Good Cop Bad Cop.

Klaus kindly asks a bleeding Elena where the necklace is, & when Elena explains that Katherine stole it Klaus decides to make things more fun by giving Bonnie twenty minutes to find the spell. If she fails, he says, Stefan must kill Elena.


Meanwhile, Bonnie still can't get through to Jeremy & something's been throwing Matt's clothes around the workout room! Matt follows a trail of clothes (how many clothes does this boy have?) to the pool room where he finds his car keys at the bottom of the pool. Then Vicky appears behind him! But he can't hear her! So she kicks one of his shoes into the pool! That sure gets his attention. Then, she spots his phone lying on the ground.

Life Lesson #11: Smartphones are the new ouiji boards.

Matt's got a great idea! He knows Jeremy can see ghosts because Bonnie brought him back from the dead, so Matt decides that if Bonnie brings him back from the dead, he'll see ghosts too! She doesn't even need to do magic, cause she never failed CPR! Isn't that handy? I can't see any possible problem with this plan!

Bonnie rushes through the halls! The music is super dramatic! She plunges into the pool & brings now-dead Matt back to the surface!

Back in Road Trip County, Damon gets his phone back from Katherine & sees a bunch of messages from Bonnie. He leaves Jeremy with Katherine to get Anna to tell them more about Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire, & he returns to Mystic Falls to save the day.

At the high school, the CPR isn't working! Matt wakes up in a glowy blue version of the pool room, where Vicky tells him to give Bonnie a message before sending him back to life.

Life Lesson #12: This is the Ultimate Life Lesson I've learned from The Vampire Diaries. Everybody dies horrible violent deaths, usually as teenagers. But, Life Lesson #12a: Nobody, & I mean nobody, ever stays dead.

In the gym, Elena's trying to get Stefan to fight the compulsion & just drink from her without killing her when the timer goes off but Stefan shouts that now he is A RIPPER! And A RIPPER DOESN'T STOP!

A RIPPER is also a tortured soul, which is something that this scene really reminds us about, because this scene is all about how much A RIPPER loves Elena & how she's the only reason he can't turn it all off & how now that he's A RIPPER he's gone all Edward Cullen on us & hears only the sweet sweet beat of her heart every time she speaks & wants her blood (or should I say "blood") more than anything & if he tastes even one drop of that sweet bloody nectar she's dead.


In the science lab, Tyler's woken up. Rebecca kindly explains the impending death situation to him. Oh hey, she's found the countdown function on the iPhone! It took me like a week to figure my one out, & I grew up in this century.

And yes, I know it's not an iPhone, but it's pretty much the same thing.

Back at the pool hall, Matt delivers Vicky's message to Bonnie, which is from the Original Witch herself. As we all suspected, except, apparently, for the characters of this show, Elena is the key. It's because she survived that the curse wasn't broken, & it'll only be broken if she dies. Matt says that Tyler's going to die, isn't he, but Klaus, who's overheard the entire exchange, would like to beg to differ.

Life Lesson #13: When it comes to sensitive information that could get your friends killed, it's best to whisper.

In the gym, the countdown's almost up! Sixteen seconds to go! Stefan implores Elena to run for it but Elena says Stefan must fight! She declares her love for him! He makes this face:

She tells him not to give up! But he can't hold it! He clings to the bleachers! He rushes at her! He tells her to run! RUN!


Elena races down the corridors! Stefan follows! He slams into lockers to slow himself down! Elena runs! Stefan slams! Elena runs! Stefan slams! Elena runs! Stefan slams! (This goes on for a while.) Elena runs! And slams into Klaus!!! There aren't enough exclamation marks for this scene!!!

And they even throw in a cliché! God I love this show! Klaus says "we've got to stop meeting like this" & we cut to Stefan, who's made it to the cafeteria - but wait, what's he doing? He's breaking a sweeping brush in half! Could it be? Is our broody tortured soul going to stake himself? He raises the brush-stake & stabs it through his stomach as Klaus & Elena crash into the room! Klaus applauds Stefan's love for Elena, but he removes the stake & tries to convince Stefan to turn off his humanity. Stefan shoves Klaus & says "NO!!!!!!!!" (There were exactly that many exclamation marks. I counted.)

Klaus throws Stefan to the other side of the room & Super Compels him as the DRAMATIC MUSIC swells & swells. Stefan's eyes roll back in his head! His expression becomes even more vacant than usual. Klaus has won. He decides to test his victory by asking A RIPPER (somewhere, Rupert Giles is crying) if he would like a nice drink from the doppelgänger neck.

I guess that's a yes.


In the science lab, Tyler's dying. Klaus comes in with a test tube of Elena's blood because he doesn't think that the Original Witch told the truth. So instead of killing Elena, he wants Tyler to drink a bit of her blood. Well, that's much better for all involved, now isn't it?

The music gets all dramatic (again)! Tyler starts to thrash around on the floor! Caroline screams! Tyler writhes! He cries out! And then, he turns into this:

Tyler is now a bona fide werepire! Hooray for Klaus!

Later on, Elena wakes up in a hospital bed. She wants to leave but the nurse won't let her because she's lost a lot of blood. But it turns out the nurse is taking her blood for Klaus! Out in the car park, Klaus explains to Rebecca that the Original Witch was a very clever lady who hated Klaus very much so she made it so that he had to kill the doppelgänger to become a werepire, but in killing her would lose the ability to make more werepires, therefore dooming him to an eternity of loneliness. Because he couldn't, you know, make friends with other vampires or werewolves.

So that's what Klaus's whole werepire obsession is about, Rebecca figures out. Poor little Klaus is just afraid of being alone. If I didn't want to be alone, I wouldn't compel my best bro friend to forget all about me & lock my sister in a coffin for ninety years. But maybe that's just me.

Klaus sends Rebecca off to get the truck so they & Elena can get the hell out of this one horse town, when Damon shows up! Yay Damon! Only he can save the day! Look at this face, this is a face that means business:

Klaus goes to kill Damon but Damon tells him Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire knows where he is! And he's coming to get him! So Klaus drops Damon & disappears! He didn't even call his bluff!

Damon finds Elena asleep on the hospital bed & judging by the soundtrack I think it may be time for another Deep & Meaningful emo pop song closing scene! Yay!

This week, the song is about there being too many fights in the world tonight & Elena whispers Damon's name & he carries her out of the hospital. Cut to the high school, where Caroline wants to know if Tyler's all right but he says he feels amazing & twirls her in the air & says this is gonna be the best year ever. Caroline smiles but she's secretly worried & the song is about looking to you & someone stealing someone else's heart. Cut to the workout room, where Matt is troubled & Bonnie tells him to try live his life like a normal person but he knows he can't any more & the music's all electric-guitar instrumental because Matt's too upset for lyrics. Bonnie leaves & Matt hears someone beside him & he looks up & it's Vicky & the song's all about someone staying with someone else. Cut to Damon's house, where the music gently fades & he offers a shell-shocked Elena some bourbon & hands her her necklace, which he stole back from Katherine. Elena is More Than Sad because Stefan's really gone this time & Damon wasn't there to help. He says he shouldn't have left & - one more cliché for the road! - promises he will never leave her again. And he does that weird eye thing.

Their Tender Moment is suddenly cut short, however, when Actually Evil This Time Stefan shows up at the living room door! Is it just me, or has his hair gotten more vertical since the last scene? He pours himself a scotch, cause he's clearly the Bad Boy now (& boy oh boy has he worked on that swagger) & informs Elena that Klaus has asked him to keep an eye on her while he's gone.

Meanwhile, somewhere far away, it's time for this week's post-emo-pop-song-dramatic-montage cliffhanger scene!

Katherine & Jeremy have found Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire's tomb! They break in & throw open the coffin lid! Houdini lies inside!

The music does daba-daba-DUM-daba-daba-DUM-daba-daba-DUM faster & faster as Katherine & Jeremy look down... And the Hunter's eyes open!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lists of Bests & Other Stories

So this list of the top 100 young adult books has been making the rounds of book blogs (I don't know who compiled it, though) & I don't know if I particularly agree with it. By which I mean I don't agree with it. (Sometimes, I try to be diplomatic & fail a little bit. By which I mean I fail miserably.) It looks to me like a list of the most popular contemporary young adult books, but, as anyone who's read the House of Night series can attest to, most popular doesn't always mean best. By which I mean everybody's tastes differ & one person's best may be another person's worst. (Sometimes I do the diplomacy thing backwards.)

Anyway, I've bolded the books I've read & italicised those I've been meaning to read for positively ages.

Top 100 Young Adult Books:
    1. Alex Finn – Beastly
    2. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
    3. Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
    4. Ally Condie – Matched
    5. Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    6. Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
    7. Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    8. Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
    9. Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
    10. Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
    11. Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
    12. Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
    13. Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    14. Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
    15. Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
    16. Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
    17. Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3, 4)
    18. Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
    19. Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
    20. Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
    21. Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
    22. Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
    23. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    24. Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
    25. Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
    26. Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
    27. Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
    28. Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
    29. J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    30. James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
    31. James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    32. Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
    33. Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
    34. Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    35. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
    36. John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
    37. John Green – Looking for Alaska
    38. John Green – Paper Towns
    39. Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
    40. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
    41. Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
    42. Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
    43. Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
    44. Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
    45. Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
    46. Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
    47. Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
    48. M.T. Anderson – Feed
    49. Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
    50. Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    51. Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
    52. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
    53. Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
    54. Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
    55. Mary Ting – Crossroads
    56. Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
    57. Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
    58. Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    59. Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
    60. Meg Rosoff – How I Live Now
    61. Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    62. Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
    63. Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
    64. Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    65. Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    66. Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
    67. Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
    68. Neal Shusterman – Unwind
    69. Neil Gaiman – Coraline
    70. Neil Gaiman – Stardust
    71. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
    72. P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    73. Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
    74. Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
    75. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
    76. Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    77. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    78. Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere Carnal Over 40 Winks
    79. S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
    80. Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
    81. Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
    82. Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
    83. Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
    84. Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
    85. Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
    86. Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
    87. Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
    88. Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
    89. Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
    90. Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    91. Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
    92. Stephenie Meyer – The Host
    93. Stephenie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
    94. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
    95. Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
    96. Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
    97. Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    98. Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
    99. Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
    100. Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped
(I've bolded Melissa Marr's first Wicked Lovely book even though I'm only halfway through it because I'll have finished it by tomorrow. So far I like it, even though it involves fairies & employs that terribly over-used Supernatural Hunky Bad Boy Borderline-Abusive Stalker Who Wins Our Heroine's Heart trope. I'm hoping that if I continue thinking positive thoughts it'll go away.)

How many of these have you guys read? Are there any in particular you'd recommend? Do you agree that this represents the best 100 young adult books?

Also, does The Lovely Bones really count as young adult fiction? I'd consider some of these general fiction (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, for example, & The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), & I'd consider others more children's fiction than essentially young adult (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, A Series of Unfortunate Events & Harry Potter, for example, as well as Coraline, The Graveyard Book, the Tiffany Aching books, & even His Dark Materials). Do you agree? Disagree? A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who studies science fiction told me that she considers Margaret Atwood's The Handmaiden's Tale to be a sci-fi novel. I guess that reading age-groups, like genre, can be slippery things.

Bitch Magazine also compiled a list of young adult books earlier this year, & it looks very different to the list above (& not just because I couldn't figure out the list formatting). Also I know there were all kinds of kerfluffles about the removal of certain books from this list, & while I agree with a lot of what was said on the matter, I'm choosing to ignore that for the sake of staying on topic. Also because it was ages ago. Also also because this post is long enough as it is. 

100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader:
      1. Estrella's Quinceañera by Malin Alegria
      2. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
      3. Choir Boy by Charlie Anders
      4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
      5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

      6. Alt Ed by Catherine Atkins
      7. The Rhyming Season by Edward Averett
      8. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

      9. Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
      10. Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block
      11. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
      12. Forever by Judy Blume

      13. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
      14. Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers

      15. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
      16. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
      17. The Plain Janes by Cecil Castelluci and Jim Rugg
      18. This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers
      19. Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone

      20. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
      21. Magic Knight Rayearth by CLAMP
      22. Celine by Brock Cole

      23. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
      24. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
      25. The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
      26. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
      27. Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

      28. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
      29. For the Win by Cory Doctorow
      30. Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole
      31. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
      32. El Lector by William Durbin
      33. The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake

      34. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
      35. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn
      36. Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

      37. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
      38. The Year They Burned the Books by Nancy Garden
      39. Sticks and Stones by Beth Goobie
      40. Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley
      41. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

      42. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
      43. It’s Not What You Expect by Norma Klein
      44. Uncommon Faith by Trudy Krisher
      45. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
      46. Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson
      47. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
      48. Another Kind of Cowboy by Susan Juby
      49. White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages

      50. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle
      51. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
      52. Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin

      53. Ella Echanted by Gail Carson Levine
      54. Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
      55. Ash by Malinda Lo
      56. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

      57. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
      58. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
      59. Sold by Patricia McCormick
      60. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
      61. Thunder Over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay
      62. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
      63. The Secret Under My Skin by Janet McNaughton
      64. Night Flying by Rita Murphy
      65. Revenge by Taslima Nasrin
      66. A Step from Heaven by An Na
      67. Skip Beat! By Yosiki Nakamura
      68. Simply Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
      69. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
      70. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
      71. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
      72. Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
      73. Luna by Julie Anne Peters
      74. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
      75. Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
      76. What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci
      77. Imani All Mine by Connie Rose Porter

      78. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
      79. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

      80. Beneath My Mother's Feet by Amjed Qamar
      81. The Sweet In-Between by Sheri Reynolds
      82. Flygirl by Sherri Smith
      83. Lucy the Giant by Sherri Smith

      84. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
      85. Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught
      86. Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
      87. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
      88. Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt
      89. Cress Delahanty by Jessamyn West

      90. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
      91. When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune by Lori Aurelia Williams
      92. Blue Tights by Rita Williams-Garcia
      93. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
      94. Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
      95. Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
      96. The House You Pass on the Way by Jaqueline Woodson
      97. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
      98. When the Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright
      99. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

      100. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Interestingly enough, there are no vampire texts on this list... Could it be because the majority of them are not particularly feminist (by which I mean really not feminist at all, *cough*Twilight*cough*)? Although Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy is a refreshing exception to that rule.

Also, Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat books are still my favourite things ever. There aren't many books I was obsessed with as a teen that stayed with me through adult re-readings, but Weetzie Bat is still kinda my hero.

Speaking of which, I think I might have to re-read my old favourite young adult books & make up a little list of my own. What about you guys? What would be on your list of best young adult books?

ETA: Here's a great list of 36 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Adult compiled by the wonderful Rie at Friend of Dorothy Wilde, who constantly expands my Books-To-Read list.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Important Life Lessons & Dramatic Fades to Black: The Vampire Diaries 3:4 Recap

Next week, I promise to write at least one post that has nothing whatsoever to do with The Vampire Diaries, but for now, I'm going to continue recapping each episode. Because if I don't make fun of this show, who will?

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, all this stuff happened, & there were a lot of flashbacks.

This week, the Vampire Diaries team is mixing it up a little, & giving us the title text after the previously on. I'm not sure what this means for the rest of their tried & tested formulae this episode. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting a little worried. There are certain things I expect from The Vampire Diaries each week & I don't appreciate them changing everything up on me now. Am I reading too much into the early title text? Do I have slight OCD tendencies? Have I watched way too much Vampire Diaries? Read on to find out!

This week's opening song is some kind of electro-pop dance thing. It bounces! It's repetitive! It's different! Know why? Cause this week, we open in Chicago! It's the big city! There are buildings! And buses! And multiple places to eat! It's everything Mystic Falls lacks! It even gets its own subtitle to tell us what it is! Mystic Falls never gets a subtitle.

We rejoin our Evilest of Evil Duos in a posh boutique where they are lounging on divans drinking champagne, which is clearly what Evil Duos do best. Don't they know that Damon is supposed to drink in the opening scene of every episode, not Stefan? This is very unsettling. Anyway. Rebecca is trying on dresses & learning about the twenty-first century since she was temporarily murdered by her brother in 1922 & is missing out on a significant chunk of time. Rebecca doesn't like the clothes she's trying on because she got dirty looks when she wore trousers back in the 20s & women today, according to her, dress like prostitutes. Klaus, who totally understands how feminism works, informs her that she wore trousers so that the women of today could wear nothing. Rebecca also hates the music. That, I can agree with her about. Come back, emo songs, all is forgiven!

Klaus is grumpy because Rebecca doesn't have the Magic Witchy Necklace any more. Stefan's definitely not telling them that he knows where it is. He's getting pretty distracted by Rebecca's prostitute dress, though, so decides to go outside & "get some air". But who's that smirking at him from the opposite side of the street? She looks like sweet little Elena but her hair is wavy so you know she's evil: it's Katherine!

In Mystic Falls Elena is in the kitchen, making chilli to bring to a potluck -

Life Lesson #1: In American small towns, even ones infested with vampires or on the brink of disaster, there are always potlucks. No matter what happens, there will always be potlucks.

- & Damon is in the kitchen, criticising her chilli because he's in love with her & that's the only way he knows how to show it.

In this scene, we are reaffirming the normality of Elena & Damon's burgeoning relationship with teasing japes, hip bumps & stupid grins. I'm not buying it. Neither is Alaric. Elena explains that Damon is staying close in case she Breaks. You know, because she spent the whole summer chasing her murdering vampire boyfriend who kept running away & finally realised that maybe he didn't want to be found after all. But she's still wearing the Magic Witchy Necklace he gave her, & that signifies their Unbreakable Bond even though it totally belonged to his vampire ex-girlfriend before he gave it to her. Oops.

In Chicago, Katherine has beckoned & Stefan has followed. Katherine somehow knows that Klaus is looking for Rebecca's necklace, & she also knows that Stefan gave Elena said necklace in season one. But Stefan has a Diabolical Plan! And he won't tell Katherine! Katherine doesn't like that very much but Stefan says to stay out of it because he doesn't need her help. Katherine doesn't like that very much either.

Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy is busy being a Sensitive Artsy Teenage Boy asleep in his clothes surrounded by charcoal & sketchpads. He rolls over & suddenly his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend is lying beside him!

Jeremy gets a bit of a fright. His staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend is glad he can hear her because she's been yelling his name & screaming at him for days, which isn't creepy at all. (Like, even in the shower?) Jeremy says he was dreaming about her, which is probably why she's all corporeal now & Anna just focuses on the fact that he was dreaming about her & stares romantically into his eyes. Didn't you have something important to tell him, Anna?

Downstairs, Caroline has brought Elena chilli (because, remember, Damon joked that everybody brings chilli to a potluck) & Bonnie, Elena's Good Witch Best Friend, who is home after spending the entire summer with her dad's family. Bonnie is also Jeremy's Good Witch Girlfriend, & she probably wouldn't be thrilled to know that he was busy making swoony eyes at his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend as she was coming up the driveway. Anna appears reflected in the hall mirror as Jeremy & Bonnie kiss. Nope, not creepy at all.

Outside City Hall across town, Damon is talking to Caroline's sheriff mom about the whole kidnap-&-torture thing that happened with Caroline's dad & not only do we learn that the sheriff's ex-husband is a torturer, but he's gay, too, which is pretty much just as bad. Damon wants to kill him but the sheriff, while happy being friends with vampires, doesn't "advocate their lifestyle." Damon wittily quips that that's probably what she said to Caroline's dad when they divorced. Yes we see what you did there, Vampire Diaries, you compared gay people to vampires. That's very clever & not offensive at all. Please, carry on.

Life Lesson #2: There is a dark & dank dungeon full of cells & chains under every City Hall in America.

Bill is chained to the same chair he tortured his daughter in. Damon takes a little taste of him to make sure there's no vervain in his system & proceeds to erase his memory & compel him to leave town. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Caroline's Gay Torturer Dad or his heavy-handed allegories about being able to change vampires' natures.

Life Lesson #3: Gay people - they're like vampires, only worse.

Back in Chicago, Gloria is casting a spell to find Rebecca's necklace. Rebecca figures Gloria can probably use her in the locator spell because after all she did wear the damn thing for a thousand years. That necklace looks awfully modern for a thousand & ninety year old piece of jewellery. But anyway.

We cut back to Elena's kitchen, where Elena & Caroline are catching up with Bonnie when the necklace suddenly begins to burn Elena's skin! In Chicago, Gloria can Sense Something! Elena can mostly sense blistered flesh. Gloria does some Witchy Chants while Bonnie asks Elena if she can see the necklace. When she touches it the necklace sends off sparks & burns her too! Gloria looks at Stefan. She does that dramatic X-Factor waiting-for-the-results pause & says ominously: "I've found it." Dun dun dunnnnnn...

When the fade-out fades back in, we learn that, to Stefan's relief, Gloria doesn't actually know where the necklace is, just that there's a girl & her friends & that somehow has something to do with it. Mostly, she needs Klaus to get his Evil English Werepire self outta her face so she can work on the details. The Evil Duo Trio leave the bar & Gloria looks relieved.

Back in Mystic Falls it's Founder's Day at the Lockwood mansion & Bonnie has brought her Big Book o'Spells to the barbecue to try find out what made the Magic Witchy Necklace burn. Caroline is more concerned with finding out if Elena's switching vampire brother boyfriends. Also, she loves her father dearly. *headdesk*

Life Lesson #4: You can decide not to be involved in your daughter's life at all for two seasons & then kidnap her, torture her & try to brainwash her but don't worry, she'll still love you dearly. I'm guessing she doesn't know he's gay, or she'd probably be a lot less understanding.

But enough with the love stuff, Bonnie's found a locator charm in her Big Book o'Spells! Or no, she hasn't, the necklace has just randomly decided to levitate! You can tell it's not supposed to be happening because the music's gone all waily. Because of the burning & the levitation & the waily music, Bonnie cleverly concurs that Elena's necklace must be Witchy & Magical. Doesn't she already know that all jewellery is magical jewellery?

Life Lesson #5: All jewellery is magical jewellery. I know these lessons can get a little repetitive, but they are Very Important & also Very True. So hide those hoop earrings, cause you never know what they're gonna do.

Up at the house, everyone brought chilli to the potluck -

Life Lesson #6: Everyone brings chilli to a potluck

- & Alaric is father-figuring by telling Damon to keep away from Elena. Damon gives Alaric a good look at his Unhappy Eyebrows before following the sheriff away to the council meeting upstairs.

In Chicago, the Evil Trio are snacking on blondes & Rebecca is bratty & bored because that's all female vampires can ever be. She even brattily whinges that she isn't bratty, which amuses our Evil Duo mightily. Stefan drains his blonde (you can almost hear the slurping-at-the-straw-even-when-there's-no-milkshake left sound) & goes off to write her name on his creepy wall.

Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy leaves the Lockwood potluck to hide in one of the mansion's many rooms & talk to his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend. Anna wants to know why he hasn't told his actual girlfriend that he can talk to ghosts yet, but Jeremy just wants to know how this whole Sixth Sense thing is happening. There's a lot of soft music & talk about the Other Side & Anna says that Vicki (the other staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend) is Dark & Dangerous. She warns Jeremy not to let her in (apparently ghosts can only appear to you if you want them to, which pretty much goes against everything horror has taught me about ghosts).

Hey, you know what we haven't had in a while? A cliché! I've really missed those clichés! Here's one though: the Ghost Story Cliché! Ghost comes back to her loved one & tries to touch him but he can't feel it so they raise up their hands & touch & they Feel Something!

Now, we return to Chicago, where Stefan has called in to Gloria's bar. He wants to know what she learned about the whereabouts of the necklace. Gloria heard the girls talking about Stefan but didn't say anything to Klaus because he's a hybrid halfbreed & she wouldn't help him with anything. However, as the Magic Witchy Necklace is actually a Very Important Talisman once owned by the Original Witch herself, Gloria wants it. She threatens to tell Klaus that his sidekick's a liar if Stefan doesn't help her get the Very Important Talisman, & when Stefan turns to attack her she blasts him with a Magical Migraine.

Once the dramatic music has dun dun dunnnnned itself out, we cut back to the bar, but it's dark & littered with witchy paraphernalia & Stefan's lying paralysed & shirtless on a table.

Life Lesson #7: Spells only work on shirtless men.

Also? I don't know about you guys, but this is not the kind of face I make when I'm in pain... Anyway! Moving right along!

Gloria's not one of those modern hippie witches, she likes to keep it old school voodoo, with the slit wrists & the anti-Magical Vampire Healing wound clamps & the vases to collect the blood in. She doesn't even need a Big Book o'Spells, she's that hardcore.

See, now that's a pain face.

Back in the Lockwood mansion, the Vampire Hunters Anonymous Town Council Meeting is in session. This one's short & sweet, as there haven't been any signs of vampire activity all summer. It's all been sunshine, daisies & torturing Dads in Mystic Falls lately. Speaking of which, here's Bill! What a surprise! That mind-control memory-loss really didn't take, did it?

(Oh wow, I've just realised something! Bill is totally Claire's Dad in Heroes! Typecast, much? I'd been wondering why he looked so familiar for the last few weeks. The generic bad guy with a superhuman blond teenage daughter look really should have given it away sooner. Maybe Clark Kent was right & people with glasses are completely unrecognisable when they take them off... Maybe he's actually Superman!)

(It's a simple but convincing equation.)

Meanwhile, in Jeremy's bedroom, Bonnie & Jeremy are looking through a bunch of Big Books o'Spells to find something about the Magical Witchy Necklace. Bonnie can't use the Ghosts of Witches Past to help her like last season because they cut her off after she brought Jeremy back from the dead. You'd think with all this talk of ghosts Jeremy could explain his spectral predicament to his Good Witch Girlfriend, but he pretends everything's just fine instead. That is, until Anna appears behind Bonnie to warn him that The Darkness approaches.

No, not that kind of Darkness, the kind of Darkness that sets Big Books o'Spells on fire! Panic ensues. Bonnie waves her wand & casts a flame-freezing charm says aguamenti something in Latin & the flames go out. Dramatic music plays.

Back in Chicago, Gloria's Topless Stefan Spell is still underway. Gloria puts her hands on Stefan's chest & learns through blurry blue flashbacks that Elena is the girl with the necklace, that Stefan loves her & would do anything for her, & oh yeah, that she's the Doppelgänger & is supposed to be dead & she just happens to be the reason why Klaus's hybrid-making experiment failed in bloody tears. But just as Gloria is basking in this knowledge, Katherine comes up behind her & stabs her in the neck! See Stefan, you did need her help after all!

Back in Mystic Falls, Elena, Caroline & Alaric are ready to leave the party but can't find Damon. Caroline is being mean to Elena by insulting her new favourite vampire brother. Which isn't fair because Damon really doesn't deserve Caroline's scorn. I mean, all he did was compel her for months, date-rape her on several occasions & then kill her & turn her into a vampire. But he's the Good Brother now! God, Caroline, stop being such a kill-joy.

Life Lesson #8: Warning your friend against your abusive ex-boyfriend simply isn't fair & you should just get over yourself & be happy that she's got such a swell fella to protect her now that her boyfriend's become evil.

Damon finds our heroes as they leave the house & tells them that Bill is impervious to compulsion & has threatened to out Damon. Which is Very Ironic because, remember, Bill is gay, & it's gay people that get outed, not vampires. Gay. Remember? Bill is gay. Slightly less importantly, he wants to run the town council & put vervain in the water supply. Elena thinks that's not a bad idea because it will help Damon control himself now that he's the Good Brother & doesn't have an actual Good Brother to keep him in check. Damon really doesn't like this reasoning. He wants to go kill Caroline's dad immediately but Alaric pulls another father-figure & blocks his path. Damon puts on his Bad Boy face, says "your temporary funeral" & breaks Alaric's neck.

Now. Let's talk about his whole "your temporary funeral" business. We all know that Alaric has Elena's Supernatural Protection Ring that means he can't be killed by anything supernatural. Which apparently means he's also immune to regular, snapped-neck killing if it's done by supernatural beings. Not only does that not make sense, but Damon's little quip makes even less sense because even if Alaric's is only a temporary death, there's no such thing as a temporary funeral. Funerals are temporary by nature; you have one, then you go home. Or get buried, depending whose funeral it is. And anyway, they won't give Alaric a funeral because of Life Lesson #9: Nobody ever bloody dies in this show! So it can't be his temporary funeral! I don't know why this bothers me so much! Let's move on!

We move on to Chicago, where Katherine & Stefan are cleaning up their witchy mess & Katherine has figured out Stefan's Diabolical Plan. He knows Klaus will never trust him but Rebecca is a woman, & therefore weak, & an easy mark, so he plans to make her fall even more deeply in love with him than she was ninety years ago. How will he do this? By bonding with Klaus & making her feel left out, of course! That really gets the girls going. Stefan also wants to know who this Hunter that Klaus is so afraid of is because that's how Stefan'll make his move. Katherine wants in on the plan but Stefan is a Lone Wolf now & tells her to find someone else to be her partner in crime.

It's an emo pop song again! And we're back in a bedroom in Mystic Falls with sad characters being sad! Now there's the Vampire Diaries we know & love know. Caroline's hiding out from her dad in Tyler's bedroom when he comes home from football practice. Tyler comforts Caroline, who is Very Upset because through everything, Bill is still her dad & she loves her dad. Tyler raises this episode's Shirtless Count to two when they start smooching, but then Elena calls Caroline because of Alaric's broken neck & that totally ruins the mood.

Downstairs, Bill is drinking Scotch because he does everything in moderation, & explaining his compulsion immunity to Damon. He also thinks Damon's technique is rather sloppy. Hur hur. Then he makes the mistake of telling Damon he's not self-destructive enough to kill the sheriff's ex-husband. Damon, who really doesn't like being underestimated, sticks his fangs in Bill's neck.

When the dramatic fade-out fades back in again (deja vue) Damon's still sucking on Bill (okay, I'm sorry, I'll stop). He isn't going to kill him though, just toy with him a little. However, Caroline's not big on that idea, so she zooms across the room & throws Damon at a wall. And then through a window. And when he comes back while she's healing her dad with her Magical Vampire Blood & tells her to leave, she punches him in the face. I like Caroline.

Damon hits her & holds her down because he's stronger but she breaks his arm & headbuts him off her cause she's angrier. And more awesome. Then she zooms her dad out of the room.

Elena (who ran in when Damon's hands were at her friend's throat) & Damon then have an argument because Elena doesn't want Damon to be what other people think he is & Damon doesn't want to be controlled.

Life Lesson #10: Teenage vampires - they never grow up.

Back at Jeremy's house, Bonnie is vaccuuming up ashes after the Great Spellbook Fire of 2011 & Jeremy is in the bathroom, talking to his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend. Jeremy wants Anna to stop appearing every time he's with Bonnie, but Anna reminds him that she can only appear when he's thinking about her. She realises that he hasn't told Bonnie he can see her because he still cares. But Jeremy does the right thing & says goodbye & as Anna's voice gets more & more echoey he shuts her out for good. Then he goes into the bedroom & tells Bonnie everything & Anna cries echoilly in the doorway & says she's all alone.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, dramatic music plays & Stefan revisits the coffin warehouse where Klaus was keeping Rebecca. He's about to open a coffin when Rebecca herself comes in & stops the music. She won't talk about who's hunting them but they chitchat about Klaus for a bit & then Rebecca pulls Stefan forward & kisses him because she wants him to one day love her like he loved Elena. He says that one day he thinks he will be able to. It's a very tender moment until Rebecca says she can always tell when Stefan's lying. Uh oh! Then Klaus comes in & Rebecca tells him something's wrong because Stefan was asking about Michael the Hunter! Double uh-oh! She says she can sense that Stefan's not with them. The dramatic music is back! Triple uh-oh! Then Klaus runs at Stefan & the screen goes black! I don't think I have enough uh-ohs for this!

And now it's time for one of our favourite Deep & Meaningful emo pop song closing scenes! Yay!

Today's song starts all instrumental & piano-y & Damon prepares drinks for himself & recently-resuscitated Alaric who doesn't want the drinks because Damon's a dick. Cut to the town, where Caroline is trying to get Elena to admit that she's attracted to Damon, which she totally is, but she doesn't want to admit it, but by saying that she pretty much does admit it, & the song's about feelings building up inside. Then Bill appears across the road & Caroline goes over to him & he thanks her for saving his life & she tells him she's going to be okay but he doesn't think so, because she's a vampire, so she'll never be okay & the song is about not knowing where you belong. Cut to the Lockwoods' house, where Alaric is asking the sheriff & the mayor if he can be on the council in order to look after the Real People of the town & the song says it's only love & it's only pain. Cut to Mystic Grill where Elena asks Bonnie for her necklace back & they sit over coffee & talk about Jeremy's Ghosts of Girlfriends Past... until their waitress arrives & Elena disappears!

I think that means it's time for this week's post-emo-pop-song-dramatic-montage cliffhanger scene! It's good to see that some things never change.

Elena knocks at Damon's door. The eerie music tells us everything is not as it seems... Damon quickly picks up on that & when Elena laughs & puts her hand on her hip he realises it's actually Katherine! Because Elena would never do anything so unladylike as putting a hand on her hip.

See? Clearly evil.

Katherine has come to Damon looking for a Partner in Crime. After all, it's what Stefan told her to do. Damon agrees to go on a roadtrip & Katherine holds up Elena's necklace.

Then we cut to some kind of storeroom where Stefan wakes up to find Klaus standing over him. Klaus is determined to find out what Stefan's been hiding so he throws open the rolling garage-type door of what ends up being a lorry & graciously welcomes Stefan back to Mystic Falls. Dun dun dunnnn...