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432 pages, Kindle Edition
First published May 26, 2011
I looked down to my plate, letting the long strands of my caramel hair create a curtain between us.and mangles grammar like:
Kara was reading ahead in her brand-new books, grimacing at America and I when we walked in.
He had tattoos on opposite sides of his chest, and black tribal art covering each of his bulging shoulders.Since tribal tattoo = douchebag, the fact that he's a misogynist asshole didn't surprise me too much:
“I don’t promise anyone anything, Pidge. She didn’t stipulate a relationship before she spread eagle on my couch.”Nice sex negative message there, don't you think? Abby the virgin is a good girl. All of Travis' past one night stands are referred to as "sluts," "bimbos," "whores" and "Barbie dolls." Abby joins right in with Travis on the slut shaming, making it plain that the sexual double standard isn't just a character flaw of Travis', it's an assumption that drives the narrative. Women who enjoy sex are dirty sluts who don't deserve respect in this story's world, and that's some sad internalized misogyny.
I stared at the couch with revulsion. “She’s someone’s daughter, Travis. What if, down the line, someone treats your daughter like that?”
“My daughter better not drop her panties for some jackass she just met, let’s put it that way.”
“He took a swing at Shep when he found out we helped you leave. Abby! Please tell me!” she pleaded, her eyes glossing over. “It’s scaring me!”He's possessive, even after Abby's broken up with him:
The fear in her eyes forced only the partial truth. “I just couldn’t say goodbye. You know it’s hard for me.”
“It’s something else, Abby. He’s gone fucking nuts! I heard him call your name, and then he stomped all over the apartment looking for you. He barged into Shep’s room, demanding to know where you were. Then he tried to call you. Over, and over and over,” she sighed. “His face was…Jesus, Abby. I’ve never seen him like that.
“He ripped his sheets off the bed, and threw them away, threw his pillows away, shattered his mirror with his fist, kicked his door…broke it from the hinges! It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life!”
“I love you. I can’t let other guys dance with you.”He's quick to violence when he feels he's been insulted:
Travis lifted Finch’s tray off the table and swung it into Chris’ face, knocking him off his chair. Chris tried to scramble under the table, but Travis pulled him out by his legs, and then began to wail on him.And, most importantly, he sees nothing wrong with his behavior. I'm not a sheltered delicate flower. I'm a hockey fan who has been in her fair share of scraps over the years. I don't think a violent temper necessarily makes someone a predator. What makes Travis a predator, to my mind, is how his violent attacks on people outside the fight ring aren't treated as a personality flaw. These actions are not only not condemned by the characters or narrative, they're actually held up as examples of his love for and devotion to Abby. Viciously bloodying an innocent bystander's nose is treated as a heroic act.
Chris curled into a ball, and then Travis kicked him in the back. Chris arched and turned, holding his hands out, allowing Travis to land several punches to his face. The blood began to flow, and Travis stood up, winded.