I read this out of morbid curiosity, but I have nothing to say about it that hasn't been said a zillion times already. The writing is laughably bad. TI read this out of morbid curiosity, but I have nothing to say about it that hasn't been said a zillion times already. The writing is laughably bad. The character development is even worse. The "romance" aspect is pretty repugnant and, at times, kind of insulting. Christian is damaged by his "crack whore" mother and the woman who boned him when he was 15, so he's into kinky sex that hurts women. But he finds himself drawn to Ana in a way that goes beyond the usual BDSM relationship. The result is a controlling, degrading, codependent relationship that calls itself BDSM. The spanking and punishing part of the sex is one thing, but to portray Christian's control over Ana as romantic is...just icky.
The book's sexy in that the characters have quite a bit of sex. But it's nowhere near as explicit as I was expecting. I suppose the sex is shocking if you haven't spent much time on the seedier side of the internet, but really it's 95% just tying each other up and having rough sex over and over. There's a few scenes with spicier stuff, but Ana says no to enough stuff that it stays on the tame side of kinky. Ana also spends a lot of time saying oh my and thinking about down there, which is really more distracting than sexy. I really don't understand how this has reached the levels of popularity that it has. There is some much better smut out there, ladies. ...more
ETA: I know there are some questions about how genuine Lee's desire is to see this published and how involved she actually was in the process. But, I'm willing to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt unless there is evidence to the contrary. I don't want to jump to conclusions either way. Nothing's going to change the fact that I am crazy excited to read this. ...more
What the hell is this and why did I waste my time reading it?
Whoever Zoe Desh is, it's clear that she doesn't actually understand anything about GoodWhat the hell is this and why did I waste my time reading it?
Whoever Zoe Desh is, it's clear that she doesn't actually understand anything about Goodreads, publishing, or marketing. She doesn't seem to understand much about writing either, but this little manifesto is absolutely riddled with incorrect grammar, logical inconsistencies, and outright factual errors. I'd say at least 75% of the claims in this book are patently false.
Soooo...this is basically just one big pile of paranoia and misinformation drowning in a lack of self-awareness.
Consider this a very strong three and a half stars. The writing here is pretty solid. The only reason I came down a star is that the story itself wasnConsider this a very strong three and a half stars. The writing here is pretty solid. The only reason I came down a star is that the story itself wasn't as consistently strong.
Flannery is a climate scientist who has lived in Nigeria for the past five years. When her lab's grant runs out, she leaves her fiancee behind to return home to Texas. The plan is that she will work on her research long enough to find new funding and then go back "home" to Africa. Upon arriving in Texas, however, she realizes that her sister Molly is demonstrating symptoms of Huntington's disease, the genetic disease that killed their mother many years earlier.
The marketing copy for the book suggests that this book is primarily about Flannery's decision to stay in Texas with her sister or return to Africa to be with the man she loves, so I was a little disappointed to realize that's not quite an accurate description. The narration focuses not just on Flannery and Molly, but also several members of their friend group -- Flan's exboyfriend Santiago, college roommate Alyce, and Molly and Alyce's husbands. Including all of these voices in such a relatively short novel (under 300 pages) felt like a little too much. There were times when the plot felt a little lacking in focus -- it didn't hit the thematic elements as hard as it could have, and I ultimately didn't feel as invested in the two sisters as I would have liked to.
(view spoiler)[I also felt like the end kind of came out of nowhere, because we hadn't truly built up to it. This might have been four stars had it not been for the underwhelming final 20 pages. (hide spoiler)]
That being said, I very much enjoyed Specht's abilities as a writer and I hope to read more from her down the line. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more