**spoiler alert** My problem with this book is less to do with it being a Twilight ripoff (it is, blatantly and unabashedly), and more to do with it p**spoiler alert** My problem with this book is less to do with it being a Twilight ripoff (it is, blatantly and unabashedly), and more to do with it promoting very unhealthy relationships (and being badly written). And I'm not even talking about the BDSM. That can be healthy between consenting adults who know what they're getting into. That's a huge point that this whole story seems to be missing. Of course, it doesn't help that Ana "researches" the BDSM lifestyle and still doesn't seem to grasp the concept of most sexual things, much less the intricacies of that lifestyle.
The writing style is pretentious, repetitive, and ridiculous. It's an older British woman trying to write like a 20-something American woman - and it's failing. Not only that, the way sex scenes (and there are tons of them) are written made me question whether the author had actually had sex. She's apparently a mother of a couple kids, so either a miracle occurred or she's being painfully, purposefully obtuse about the whole ordeal. Sure, Ana's a virgin and it's written in first person narration, but COME ON.
Oh, and Ana "blushes" and "flushes" a lot. At least 150 times in a 350 page book, by my ctrl+f.
On the relationship front, Christian is controlling and a STALKER (just like the character he's based on), and not only in the way that a Dominant would be. He also has an extensive history of abuse.
Ana is frustratingly dense, argumentative, hypocritical, pretentious, and presumptuous. She's also equally controlling and jealous at the end of the day. The worst - she manipulates and pressures Christian into sharing his history of abuse with her, being extremely insensitive in the process. It's not okay. None of the characters in this book are okay.
I know that it's being sold as Twilight for adults. I get it. But please, people. If you just want some romance and sexiness, there are better, healthier books out there, written by authors with original ideas who didn't just write a fanfic and ctrl find and replace the original characters out of it. Authors who know that the thesaurus is a handy tool, but not a crutch. And authors who know that you probably shouldn't perform fellatio on someone seated in the tub because you might drown....more
There are some really good tips about restoring and mending a marriage that might be on the rocks, and a lot of the questionnaires have the possibilitThere are some really good tips about restoring and mending a marriage that might be on the rocks, and a lot of the questionnaires have the possibility of making most couples feel like things really aren't that bad.
The only downside of this book is that some points come across with kind of a traditional, outdated, and kind of sexist viewpoint. He talks a lot about his "research" but primarily uses anecdotes to back up his points instead of actual statistics or numerical findings from his studies.
However, most of the tips and exercises seem worthwhile and far more useful than the typical "just communicate better!" advice that seems to be handed out. I'd suggest this book (with some minor cautions) to most of my friends in relationships or marriages!...more
I was very disappointed by the book overall. I was hoping for an expose of sorts, something dealing with the realistic pain and struggle of being in tI was very disappointed by the book overall. I was hoping for an expose of sorts, something dealing with the realistic pain and struggle of being in the working-poor class in America. Instead, with every turning page it seemed like our protagonist got whinier and more privileged than she was to begin with.
Blatant racism decorates the book in distracting ways (She snippily says that she didn't want to try her ~experiment~ in California because Latinos "hog the crap jobs"; she believes Eastern Indians have a "lock" on crappy motel housing; she assumes the Indian wife of the motel owner must have answered an ad to get married in India and move to America, "thousands of miles away from family, a temple, a sari shop").
Rather than really living life in poverty, she clearly painted this dichotomy in her head between her 'fake' life being poor and hungry (even though she seems to live better than everyone she meets and this never raises any alarms for her) and her 'real' life, where she is wealthy and privileged. By the end of the book, it seems like she can't wait for this to fail so she can get back to her Real Life and leave this all behind. So what was the point?
Also, she makes MANY privileged decisions in her travels, some of which she owns up to, but they're alarming all the same. Turning down a $10/hour job because she was "too tired" to work the shifts and instead will just ~choose~ to work at Walmart? Complaining about "tummy aches" after breakfast that makes it hard for her to eat -enough- for lunch? Calling a dermatologist she knows when her skin breaks out in hives from her cleaning job? Mischievously risking her job to organize union dreams at WalMart for the good of the people who "really" needed it? None of these are realistic solutions or problems for the poor, and it became insulting by the end of the book that she actually thought she had approximated what it was like to live as a member of the working poor.
Her tone is often privileged, snippy, and full of unasked-for pity when it comes to the people she meets and works alongside. You can tell she was always disappointed that people didn't give her an award for her admirable intentions and performance when she came out to them about not "really" being poor. They mostly were annoyed that they'd have to train someone else, and occasionally would miss the Barb they had come to know. But our author would probably never admit to being the Barb they knew.
The very end of this book, where she cites statistics and information about the working poor in America (though probably outdated by now) made reading the book worth it. I wouldn't suggest this to someone who wanted to know about the working class, though. It's mostly a guide on how to pretend to suffer for entertainment and walk away even more privileged for it. ...more
Clever, very observational, and a breeze to read. Can't wait to pick up the rest of this series. I'm just ashamed that it's taken me this long to getClever, very observational, and a breeze to read. Can't wait to pick up the rest of this series. I'm just ashamed that it's taken me this long to get started with Adams. :)...more