Study Guide

Doll Bones Chapter 4

By Holly Black

Chapter 4

  • Alice asks Zach and Poppy if they want to play. Guess what? Zach doesn't.
  • Zach claims he doesn't want to play anymore. Alice and Poppy don't understand why he's being weird, so Zach makes a lame excuse about being busy with basketball practice.
  • Poppy is upset. Zach sees in her his own unhappiness, and it's painful for him. Instead of softening, though, he becomes an even bigger jerk and says the game is just for stupid babies.
  • Alice tries to negotiate a compromise: What if they just hang out and do something else?
  • Zach flashes back to three months before, when Alice started playing her Lady Jaye doll. Lady Jaye was really different than the characters that Alice had played before.
  • Meanwhile, Poppy is not having it, and she wants an explanation now. But Zach resists.
  • Alice suggests they go to the mall or something—anything to stop arguing—but Zach says no thanks.
  • Poppy asks Zach for the Questions. He pretends like he lost them, but Poppy is skeptical and also desperate. Couldn't they just play one last time?
  • Zach says no way and calls Poppy a loser. Stay classy, Zach.
  • Poppy makes one last offer: If Zach comes over to play tomorrow, she'll take the Queen out of the glass cabinet.
  • Zach is impressed. He's tempted to take Poppy up on it, but then he remembers that he can't because the game is over. Dead.
  • Back at home, Zach is picking at his dinner. His father is trying to apologize, but he's doing a poor job.
  • The next day, Zach is so aggressive during basketball practice that he's benched. Seems like his plan to bottle up all his negative emotions isn't working out so well.
  • The next few days, Zach hangs out with other friends to distract himself, but it doesn't really work.
  • Finally Alice passes Zach a note saying that something has happened with the Queen, and she wants him to meet her after school. It sounds urgent, so Zach decides to ignore it.