YMMV: The House of Night


  • Anvilicious:
    • Slightly mitigated by the fact that the books largely are in her point of view, and some of them later prove to be ironic or character developing as Zoey matures, but it still constitutes bad writing when the narrative is suddenly derailed for a few paragraphs to talk about how blowjobs are only something done by skanks and means the girl is being used.
    • Pot usage gets it really bad as well. In Betrayed, there's one point where the conversation about a missing teenage boy is put on hold to talk about how un-cool he is for experimenting with pot.
    • Aphrodite is constantly put down for being a "slut", despite only being involved with two guys in the whole series, the second with whom the relationship is incredibly serious. Compare that to how many boys the main character is stringing along at any given moment...
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In Chosen, Zoey has two guys run down with a truck just because they posed a threat to Heath. It is never mentioned again.
  • Designated Villain: Kayla makes a whopping two appearances and is promptly branded a man-stealing jealous bitch by Zoey as a result. Kayla's crime, really, is hooking up with Heath after Zoey tells her several times, in no uncertain terms, that she's broken up with him. In Betrayed, Zoey acts like Kayla was being horribly spiteful and irrational in going to the police after witnessing Zoey drinking Heath's blood, and then having Zoey threaten to do the same to her. To really hammer this point in, Zoey's friends (who never even met Kayla before) begin referring to her as "skank-bitch Kayla" after learning that she went to the police.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Stevie Rae, Rephaim and Kramisha are quite popular with the Fandom.
  • Escapist Character: The series is filled with these. The vampyre race is persecuted by humans, despite being superior to them both physically and aesthetically (and having superpowers). Because vampyres are more creative and passionate than any human, they are responsible for nearly all intellectual and artistic advancements, ever. They're all incredibly wealthy, and so socially progressive that their society is ruled entirely by women. Most importantly, upon reaching puberty, a human may be chosen by Nyx and taken away to become one of these glamorous creatures of the night. (To be fair, though, this same process may kill them.)
  • Idiot Plot:
    • In Betrayed, Zoey sees red-eyed zombie-like vampires who she knew died as fledglings, hears about multiple students from her old school disappearing/turning up dead and drained of blood in the vicinity of the school (all of said students being people she knew who smoked pot, and whose names she gave to Neferet in the previous book), Neferet repeatedly tells Zoey that humans are worthless and she should cut them out of her life entirely, and Zoey catches Neferet kissing one of the red-eyed vampires. It's not until the last few chapters that Zoey learns that the red-eyed vampires are kidnapping and draining the blood of the humans and that they're under the command of Neferet.
    • Chosen would have ended a lot more quickly if Zoey would have thought to try a simple healing ritual on Stevie Rae. This solution is given as being so obvious that it went unnoticed, but still.
    • Pretty much all of Hunted. For starters, the End of the World as We Know It has just begun, Raven Mockers are potentially everywhere and anywhere waiting for them to venture above ground, the weather outside is blizzard conditions, so what does Zoey do? She goes outside with Heath to say goodbye. It just so happens that a Raven Mocker is outside (waiting for her specifically) and it then goes to attack Heath. Now Zoey could have done many things here. She could have summoned her elements to immediately and attacked the Raven Mocker, or dragged Heath to her and headed back to the Depot, or headed towards Heath's car and used it for cover while she thought of something to do or screamed for help (what with Erik being relatively close by). What she does do is push Heath out of the way and takes the hit for Heath instead and almost ends up nearly dying because of it. Um What? The idiocy is further compounded due to the fact that Zoey has already fought off Raven Mockers before by using her elements.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • While Aphrodite is a gigantic bitch, you have to feel bad for her from having abusive parents. It's also unfair how she's called a slut or hoe, even though she's only has been in two relationships. (And actually serious about the second one!) Not to mention her seizure-like visions, which don't seem to be very pleasant for her (if only because she constantly is forced to watch scenes of death and destruction) and cause her parents to bully her even more into using them to gain leverage and power. She also becomes more pitiable when it becomes more apparent that she is having visions of something very horrific on the way and seems aware to some degree that Neferet is involved and can't be trusted. Oh, and Neferet covers her own ass by ruining Aphrodite's reputation even more than it already is, spreading the word that her visions are fake and telling Aphrodite that she has lost Nyx's favor (more or less the equivalent of a teacher telling a student "You did something so bad that God hates you now).
  • Mary Sue:
    • Zoey is one. While her being chosen by the goddess Nyx for a special mission and having special powers probably wouldn't make her qualify for this title alone (as hero/heroines are typically expected to have some degree of specialness), her other character traits - receiving almost constant attention from other characters (especially those of the opposite sex), being Easily Forgiven, most characters who dislike her being immediately deemed evil (Aphrodite being the only exception, as she hates everyone equally), being of an exotic Cherokee heritage, and having a broken home life that she regularly angsts about - seem like enough to make her cross the line. Then again, some of this perfection can be justified by the sheer amount of training required of fledglings; basically, if you're not doing absurdly well at near everything, you're probably going to fall down coughing by the next chapter.
    • Some readers believe that Stevie Rae is headed this way as well, though she's nowhere near Zoey's level. Yet.
  • Narm: A lot of the dialogue in Dragon's Oath rhymes unnecessarily. So you get sentences like this:
    "You have cut my heart with your sword,
    "Bryan Dragon Lankford!"
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you were a fledgling, you would never know that your body is rejecting the Change, until you start coughing up blood. Then, in about 10 minutes, you would be dead and then there's nothing that anybody can do.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Marked had Zoey get a hot boyfriend and try to fend off her ex-boyfriend, but it was still mostly about Zoey becoming familiar with the vampyre world. Betrayed put more focus on Zoey finding herself having three boyfriends at once, but the vampyre plot still had more attention and importance. Chosen is when this trope fully emerges, with Zoey's juggling of her three boyfriends taking up as much space as the much more interesting plot with Aphrodite and Stevie Rae, if not more. It tapers off for a bit after Zoey finds herself boyfriend-less at the end of Chosen, but is back with a vengeance in Hunted, with Zoey even getting a new suitor to fill the place of the one she lost. It's probably telling that the most highly rated book of this series on Amazon is Untamed, the one where Zoey's love problems don't take up a large part of the plot.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Side character Aphrodite, a snarky yet sympathetic Lonely Rich Kid who begins as an Alpha Bitch but genuinely matures over the story's course, overcoming parental neglect (and the stress of her precognitive abilities) to become a good person and Zoey's Token Evil Teammate.
    • Stevie Rae, a compassionate Wide-Eyed Idealist who is killed early into the story, resurrected through dark magic, and becomes the disillusioned leader of the red fledgings. The glimpses we get of her descent of insanity (and eventual climb out of it) are quite interesting.
    • Speaking of Stevie Rae, a whole novel could be written about the red fledgings (outcast from everything they've ever known, seemingly abandoned by God, yet staying sane and retaining their personalities...).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot - The following subplots have not been/were not really resolved:
    • Zoey and her Christian Fundamentalist mother (her mother was killed by Neferet as of the most recent book).
    • The High Council and the election of a new Vampyre High Priestess
    • The Twins and their respective boyfriends. One stood up against the Raven Mockers, the other didn't.
    • The Rogue Red Fledglings and the secret orders they're receiving from Neferet.
    • The potential war between Humans and Vampyre, which if declared will be The End of the World as We Know It. As the story stands there is still considerable tensions between the two parties due to the recent murders of two professors (see Van Helsing Hate Crimes), which still haven't been solved in-universe.
    • Neferet's motivations for doing the things she's been doing. Broken Bird turned Well-Intentioned Extremist or was it just For the Evulz?
  • Unfortunate Implications: The Extensive and ever growing amount of Unfortunate Implications are covered in this blog, including a book by book rundown of all of the misogyny, homophobia, racism, et cetera that is prevalent in the series. To give some specific examples:
    • Smoking pot makes you a worthless idiot that deserves to die.
    • Giving a blowjob is something only degraded women do when they're being used by their significant others, and it's a sign of suppression and isn't something people with mutual respect for each other would do. Women who do so are evil sluts! The men who receive them aren't judged.
    • Related: If a girl is trying to give a guy a blowjob while he repeatedly refuses her, the bad part is that she's a slutty slut, not that she's trying to force sex on him. In fact, let's just focus entirely on what a whore she is, and completely forget about the other part! (This is a blink-and-miss-it moment, since the authors don't seem to realize what they wrote—in the first book, Zoe comes upon Aphrodite trying to coerce Erik into receiving oral sex from her, he keeps telling her no, so she slashes a cut in his thigh and drinks from it, an action which can be sexual for vampires/fledglings.)
    • It's ok to knock two men under a truck (who are described and mocked as stereotypical black men with low pants) for making lewd suggestions upon seeing you dry humping your not boyfriend in his truck in the middle of a parking lot. Why? Because you're the protagonist, hell you never need to think about it again after that night!
    • Sexually loose behavior is only okay when it's the main character, and she doesn't mean to be a slut. Not like that bitch Aphrodite!
    • It's okay to be gay!... just remember to point it out every time you have a conversation. Heck, you might as well name yourself after one of the cowboys from Brokeback Mountain and save yourself the trouble.
    • Gay men aren't as "manly" as straight men. The more camp a gay man is the less likeable they are.
    • Lesbians are all snooty secret-cult types who shun the real world in favor of each other.
      • Plus, lesbians aren't actually lesbians. They only say that so that they can get attention from men.
    • Having Cherokee blood makes you exotic and means you'll be more in-tune spiritually than everyone else.
    • If you are a important historical figure of any kind, odds are that you are a vamp. Because there is no way a lowly mortal could achieve anything even remotely extraordinary (or cool) without supernatural aid.
    • Oh, you suffer from a potentially life-threatening disorder that causes you to despise your reflection, have zero self-esteem, and starve yourself to skin and bones/force yourself to puke up every meal? Ugh, what a freak. And you probably only got one because of how vain you are.
    • Loren's out-of-nowhere courtship of Zoey (who is a student and underage) is treated as respectable and romantic and not worthy of any reason for suspicion at all. While he does turn out to be taking advantage of her, Zoey and Stevie Rae apparently can't think of any reason why an of-age teacher suddenly romantically pursuing an underage student would be inappropriate, besides it being considered culturally unacceptable.
    • Oh, you say you're Christian/Jewish/Muslim? Well, now that you're a vampyre you worship Nyx. This will not be debated. Besides, Nyx is so much better than that stupid male God, you won't miss a thing!
    • And let us not forget one of the biggest, the authors were very open about how Zoey was based off of Kristin Cast, and how she would act in the various situations. Now, look at the questionable tropes associated with Zoey and her behavior. Yeah...
    • Erik's treatment of Zoey after she sleeps with Loren is treated as if ZOEY is the victim. Given, Erik could have been a touch bit more mature about it, but Zoey defends herself so passionately it's ridiculous.
    • It seems that whenever Heath and Zoey get into an argument, he cuts it short by telling her to drink his blood and possibly cutting himself to tempt her to do so. Keep in mind that drinking blood is erotic to both vampyre and human. So this is basically the equivalent of a boyfriend and girlfriend getting into an argument and the boyfriend dragging his girlfriend into the bedroom to stop it.
    • Zoey's mother is portrayed as weak and submissive to her husband, something which Zoey constantly degrades her for and blames her for the family's problems just as much as her husband. Thing is, it's supposed to be an emotionally abusive relationship. So what's being said here is that victims of abuse are as much to blame for what happens to them and their family because they're spineless and weak and deserve contempt.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • There's the briefly-shown Kayla. She was Zoey's friend when Zoey was human, and supposedly "betrays" her by dating Zoey's boyfriend, Heath, unfairly sending the police to investigate Zoey in the wake of several murders, and forming a "Bitch Posse" with a group of not-nice female classmates. Thing is, Kayla began dating Heath after Zoey repeatedly said how she had dumped him, her going to the police was logical since Zoey openly threatened to drink Kayla's blood (and Kayla saw her drinking Heath's blood), and the alleged "Mean Girls" she befriended are never introduced, so there's nothing to go off of, save Zoey's word that they're "hateful sluts".
    • In Chosen, Erik's reaction to finding out that Zoey slept with Blake is over-the-top, with him repeatedly calling her a slut and a two-timer, while she cries about how he's so different and hurting her so much. Later, Aprodite accuses him of hating on Zoey just to boost his own ego, which is treated as her rightfully calling him out. The thing is, after Zoey spends the past book and all of Chosen sneaking around with two other men, Erik being angry with her comes across as pretty justified. Not to mention that everything he tells her (that Blake didn't actually love her, that he was obviously using her, that he'd dump her the instant he was tired of her, and that Zoey was kinda stupid not to notice) turned out to be true.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Zoey and her friends. The group as a whole are supposed to be outcasts known as "the nerd herd", but it's hard to see them as that when all of them are given extra-special powers directly from the vampire goddess. All of them have a tendency to be pretty rude to each other (most often it being the Twins constantly making gay jokes at the expense of Damien and Jack), which is meant as friendly ribbing but doesn't really come across as such. Zoey herself is extremely judgmental, dubbing many female characters (including ones we never even see in the series) as "sluts" and "hos", constantly making disparaging comments about the behaviors or appearances of people in various groups (this includes, but is not limited to, goths, emos, chess club members, cheerleaders, people who use too much eyeliner, people who smoke marijuana, women who give blowjobs, people with bright red hair, girls who take dance class, and homeless people). She's incredibly shallow, constantly focusing on outward appearance first and foremost. She constantly complains about suffering stress from the various hardships she has to deal with, but she herself does virtually nothing to solve the problems herself. Instead, she waits until the end of the book, when Nyx magically tells her what to do and gives her the powers to do it. We're also supposed to pity her terrible home life, except that ridiculous stepfather aside, her complaints about her siblings are that her sister is having lots of sex, and her little brother plays violent video games. When we see her meeting her mother on her birthday, she constantly reacts in a condescending manner, and makes no effort at all to reach her mother halfway on any attempts made to bond with her.