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Uncomplicated, this child's game. He says, "Please?" She says, "Can't." He,"Why not?" She, "I'm not that kind of girl." Then she spends twenty minutes disapproving this theory. (The Rules.1-3)
Since Kristina's never been interested in relationships before, watching Lince basically act like a little tease is a kind of strange experience for her. It's only a matter of time, though, because Kristina exhibits similar behaviors in her own relationships with men.
I wanted him to kiss me with every nerve, every fiber, every molecule of my being.
But I was scared to kiss him. Every nerve, every fiber, every molecule, screamed!
He leaned forward, parted those perfect lips.
At that exact moment, every single thing about my life changed.
Forever. (He Wanted to Kiss Me.2-7)
Kristina's confusion in the brief moment before Adam kisses her is really interesting. It's almost as if she knows that kissing him will send her to a place she won't easily be able to turn back from.
It was gentle persuasion. I can't get enough of you. Sweetest coercion. My beautiful angel. Magnet to metal. I've got to have all of you. It was hands exploring taboo places. Oh, God! You're perfect! Lips and tongue not so far behind. Let me eat you up. (Because It Wasn't That.1-5)
This is one poem where the use of italics to punctuate dialogue is really effective. Here, Adam's words as he and Kristina hide out in the back room combine with her descriptions of their actions to show us her first serious romantic encounter. For more on this, check out the "Writing Style" section.
Hands covered my mouth, rough, held my arms, strong, ripped my clothes, vicious.
Fear danced up my spine, jolted my brain, dripped onto the ground.
No! I screamed into dirty flesh. Not this way!" (Hands.1-3)
Kristina experiences a lot in the space of one night, from getting high for the first time to making out with Adam to almost getting raped by a gang of guys. It seems like this should be enough to tell her that this isn't a good lifestyle for her to be involved in, and now would have been an ideal time to bow out, but unfortunately, she only dives in deeper.
Tangled up in each other, a knot of emotions desperate for release. And the more we kissed, the more we talked, the more confused we became. (We Sat on the Floor.1-2)
It should probably tell Kristina something that her relationship with Adam doesn't make anything about her life any clearer—instead it just seems to make things more complicated. Add in Lince's accident/suicide attempt and the fact that Kristina's days in Albuquerque are numbered, and you get a relationship that's basically not headed anywhere.
The monster-fueled inferno built thigh to belly button. Adam's mouth moved lower, inch by trembling inch. I was ready to do it, oh so ready, right that very instant. (Adam.2)
Kristina certainly goes a long way from saying that Adam's not her type to being ready to have sex with him. It's likely that there's a part of her that still isn't ready and that drug use has just lowered her inhibitions by a lot.
Girls get screwed. Not that kind of screwed, what I mean is, how they're always on the short end of things.
The way things work, how guys feel great, but make girls feel cheap for doing exactly what they beg for.
The way they get to play you, all the while claiming they love you and making you believe it's true. (Girls Get Screwed.1-3)
This observation may not always be true, but it's definitely true for Kristina's relationships throughout the book. Adam and Brendan, as well as Chase to a certain extent, definitely misrepresent their actual feelings for Kristina in order to meet their own sexual needs.
I swear, every guy you kiss is so different. Each has a unique essence, each a significant style. Brendan was eau de lavender, vanilla, Heineken, Crest, and top-notch speed. (We Bumped Up the Road.7-10)
Remember that this statement is coming from a girl who had never kissed a guy just a couple months earlier. She's definitely kicked things up a notch. Or several notches, maybe.
I laid there, sobbing, as he worked and sweated over me. Stoked by the monster, it took him a long time to finish.
Give me a line, I'll give you an encore.
He pulled away, sticky and bloody. Throbbing inside and out, I didn't move, didn't dare look him in the eye. (It Started with a Kiss.9-10)
The scene where Brendan rapes Kristina is one of the most shocking and graphic moments in the book. It's proof that while Chase makes it possible for her to know what sex feels like when both parties want it, Brendan violates and damages her to a degree she'll probably never get over. Especially since he gets her pregnant.
Funny thing, Kristina. Before you, I believed love was making love. Waiting only makes me love you more. (Relief, Disappointment.6)
Chase may have his shady moments as a character, but it's interesting that knowing Kristina changes his view on what love really is. Rather than identifying love and sex as the same thing, he instead sees waiting until Kristina has recovered from being raped by Brendan as a way to express his love for her.
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