Infinity: Chronicles of Nick Respect and Reputation
By Sherrilyn Kenyon
Respect and Reputation
So much for not getting into trouble. But what was he supposed to do? Let the weasel scum insult his mom? (1.87)
Nick will sacrifice himself to protect his mom's reputation, even though Stone doesn't technically say anything that isn't true about her.
From what he'd seen, the kid was a tough little scrapper. He'd give him that. And the boy could take a vicious beating without begging for mercy. There weren't many adults who could have gone through what he had without crying. That alone made him respect the kid. (1.213)
Kyrian has tons of money, so he doesn't seem to care who has it and who doesn't. He is drawn to people whom he respects or admires. And Nick, lucky for him, happens to be one of those people.
If it wasn't the shirt, they'd humiliate him over something else. His shoes. His haircut. And if all else failed, they'd insult his name. […] Didn't matter what he said or did, those who mocked would mock anything. (1.24)
Nick has found himself at the bottom of the social totem pole, and that means that everyone is free to pick on him simply because he's unpopular. And he's unpopular because people pick on him. It's a vicious cycle. But that sure is how it works in high school.
Nicholas "Nick" Ambrosius Gautier
"I am a socially awkward mandork." (1.1)
This is our first line in chapter one, which lets us know right off the bat that having a reputation is important to Nick…and that he doesn't have a good one. Although we can think of several things worse to be than a "mandork."
"If anyone sees me in this, I'll be an outcast relegated to the loser corner of the cafeteria." (1.3)
We wonder if the loser corner of the cafeteria is cordoned off from everyone else. Is it separated by a moat? Who are these losers in the corner? Nick acts like every single person in the school is popular except for himself.
Wow […] he didn't sneer her name. He actually said it like he respected her. (2.93)
Nick isn't used to people treating his mother with respect. She is a stripper, so people generally treat her like nobody, or worse. But Kyrian sees her as a person, either because he's not the type of guy to dehumanize strippers or because he knows she is the mother of Nick, who could one day becomes a powerful being.
His mother sighed. "That man is your father and you're supposed to be asleep, young man." (4.67)
Nick's mom goes back and forth with her attitudes toward Nick's father. Sometimes he's a horrible evil jerk, and she doesn't want Nick to be anything like him. Sometimes she demands Nick respect him, anyway.
Nicholas "Nick" Ambrosius Gautier
"I have enough trouble coping at school. I'm pretty sure killing three members of the football team when we're coming up for a championship would ruin my rep forever." (5.113)
Even when zombies are on the loose, Nick is worried about his reputation at school. When you're a teenager, reputation is everything.
The only respect he wanted was from himself and the people who really mattered in his life. The people who really loved and cared about him. (18.22)
In the end, Nick's decision all comes down to respect. All that fretting about getting the popular crowd to respect him is thrown out the window because Nick realizes he doesn't care about those people's opinions, even if they like him.