I dislike Travis at the very beginning because for me he is a walking curse. I also dislike Abby mainly because her character is very vague, complicat...moreI dislike Travis at the very beginning because for me he is a walking curse. I also dislike Abby mainly because her character is very vague, complicated and irritating at most times. I had high expectations for this book since most of the reviews I've read tagged it as the YA version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Nevertheless I found myself reading it till the very last page. Out of curiosity, I guess.(less)
The book is a living testament of the author's European travels and her fascination with baked eggs. But what struck me the most is her creativity to...moreThe book is a living testament of the author's European travels and her fascination with baked eggs. But what struck me the most is her creativity to inject some historical stuff into a love story. It’s not a lovely love story (if you know what I mean); it’s rather tragic. Oh yes, it reminds me of The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
All throughout the book I was transfixed with the interesting historical details and whatnots. I was fascinated with the places, the transformation of characters and the various dishes. I am always hungry for words and food, and Samantha Sotto’s novel surprisingly cured me from hunger. Yes, both for words and food. If an author does that to me, then I’d be singing praises for her till kingdom come. (less)
I finished reading the trilogy in a span of three days. I blogged about it last May 27, 2012. For review purposes, I merely copied and pasted what's w...moreI finished reading the trilogy in a span of three days. I blogged about it last May 27, 2012. For review purposes, I merely copied and pasted what's written in my blog. Here goes:
I know I had PMS when I first encountered Fifty Shades of Grey. I could raise hell whenever I have sanitary pad down there. All I remember was, I was pissed off by my pantry dinner and was begging my husband to make a quick detour for French fries. To cut the long story short, the most popular food chain can brag about its 24-hour operation near a BPO zone, but still can run out of fries at 11:15 PM! How unfortunate. So I grabbed a Time magazine, with high hopes that the same will bore me and bring me to dreamland immediately.
I did a quick scan and – voila – these words captured my PMS-stricken body and soul: MOMMY PORN! What the… H-E-double-hockey-sticks! Tremendous amount of curiosity followed me until the next morning. I asked Fully Booked thereafter to reserve me a copy. Apparently, all the major bookstores were waiting for the next shipment of this book that time. Although this creature visits me regularly every month, the PMS monster gave me a gut kick, painfully reminding me that patience is not and will never be a virtue (in my case).
The Time article said that the books are selling like hotcakes in Kindle and even in bookstores. Whenever I’m interested about something, I usually match that curiosity with diligent research. I did my fair share of online research why Fifty Shades is a hush-hush among the conservative crowds. Blame BDSM. It led me to google BDSM discreetly in my office table (wi-fi at home could be a pain in the ass sometimes). Two weeks after, I got my own copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (a grateful shout out to Lucy of Fully Booked!) My two-week old hunger manifested right away. I finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey in less than 24 hours. I admit I cringed, I squirmed and I blushed several times. Two days after, I finished reading the Kindle versions of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the second and last book, respectively, of the trilogy. I tell you, I've never been swept away by series reading addiction since Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.
At first, I thought Fifty Shades of Grey borders on a suspense thriller and love story. It is an eye-opener and instant blush-on for me. Chapter by chapter, I could feel my cheeks get warm without warning because of how graphic a storyteller E.L. James is. I could also feel my heartbeat quickened whenever Grey gets angry.
Brushing BDSM aside, Fifty Shades is a love story of Anastasia Steele (Ana) and Christian Grey (Grey). Despite his hectic CEO life, Grey showers Ana with precious time and equally precious gifts as well. From 1stedition of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles to an Audi, Anna just couldn’t say no to those plus the fact that Grey is described as heart-stopping handsome and mysterious. And, Grey is Anna’s hymen conqueror. Please pretend this is highly significant.
Grey and Anna’s relationship got steamier and steamier as each chapter goes on. It progressed from vanilla sex to more graphic BDSM cartwheel acts. Every non-sexual encounter can be likened to a foreplay already. Thanks to their non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Well, it turned out Grey has some conscience not to subject virgin Ana to BDSM during their first night together. Otherwise, female readers would hate him. It’s funny though such NDA is unenforceable in reality.
I dislike Grey in the beginning. Yes, he has stalking tendencies and has commitment issues. I really thought he would kill Ana if the latter will say no to BDSM. I thought he’s a psycho who will eventually end up in an asylum. I thought he would beat Ana and slapped her to death in the Red Room of Pain. I fear for Ana's life. He would force Ana to eat and would not allow Ana to touch him (chest part) during sex. Frustrating? Yes. He is a control freak, a total jerk. But he earns $100,000 an hour. He can fly a helicopter during dates, buy a fruit-and-vegetable painting in a random alley in France at 5,000 euros and could afford to buy a company in a snap. His generosity in giving gifts can be likened to a fairy tale. For Ana, Grey is her fairy tale which came true.
His behaviour was gradually explained throughout the series and the scale of balance tipped in his favour. Grey had a dark past. As a reader, I can’t help but feel pity on him towards the end. And you will eventually forgive him for letting our poor Ana undergo those heavy emotional dramas. It turns out that he loves Ana very much from the start. Ana could give Helen of Troy a stiff competition in the beauty department. As the story progresses, Ana became bolder and bolder. Grey was a great teacher and Anna was a willing, straight-A student.
True enough, it’s highly comparable to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, save for the BDSM part. Anastasia Steele is similar to Bella Swan. She is pale-looking, unassuming and doesn’t think highly of herself when in fact she’s incredibly attractive to male population. And they both have cool moms who had divorce (make it two divorces for Ana’s mom). On the other hand, Christian Grey is handsome, mysterious and oozing with sex appeal and obscenely rich. He is every inch an Edward Cullen, except he's 101% lust-driven human.
But what separates Fifty Shades from all love stories I have read is obviously BDSM. All the steamy Harlequin-esque romance novels I’ve read in senior HS till college seemed to pale in comparison to Fifty Shades in terms of sexual activities. Think red chili pepper kind of hot!
After reading the trilogy, I did not really recommend it to anybody. I wouldn’t dare recommend it to my sister and female cousins. I recommended it to friends whom I know have an open mind, in a mature relationship and Twilight fans as well. I’m quite hesitant since some people have been vocal that the trilogy is actually smut pretending to be a love story. Really, the BDSM part is taboo for some.
Maybe this is just a result of social networking power that propelled Fifty Shades to Kindle stardom. If you trace the history of Fifty Shades, it’s actually a fan fiction.
At this point, I am absolutely hoping that Universal Pictures will be able to make - as E.L. James bluntly said - “kinky fuckery” worth watching in the big screen. I dread that it might come across as cheap sex flick. I am also crossing my fingers (and toes) that Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries fame will be dom Grey and Kristen Stewart as sub Ana.
Lastly, I can never look at Twinings English breakfast tea or Ben and Jerry's ice cream the same way again. May the erotica flames brought by Fifty Shades die down just a little bit so I could enjoy the ice cream. Cheerio!
Zlata's Diary reflects the horrific and damaging stories of war. It's very inspiring too. I was happy to learn that Zlata was way luckier than Anne Fr...moreZlata's Diary reflects the horrific and damaging stories of war. It's very inspiring too. I was happy to learn that Zlata was way luckier than Anne Frank. During shelling and gunfire, her family still managed to make do with what they have. Sometimes they got some bread and tasteless feta cheese! Zlata makes me realize that writing down your memories and anxieties about tragic events can be very rewarding. (less)
I'd say this is an interesting read. Sarcasm and wit are vividly displayed in every chapter. It's amazing how the author lived through a good a academ...moreI'd say this is an interesting read. Sarcasm and wit are vividly displayed in every chapter. It's amazing how the author lived through a good a academic life even with alcohol laced in it.(less)
I classify this as unputdownable! Reading the book was a breeze for me mainly because (a) I'm a fan of Lois & Lane and Desperate Housewives and (b...moreI classify this as unputdownable! Reading the book was a breeze for me mainly because (a) I'm a fan of Lois & Lane and Desperate Housewives and (b) c'mon, who wouldn't admire her for maintaining a goddess figure through the years?
Teri Hatcher is a heck of a funny lady! She's very natural in relating her stories with loads of humor and bits of sarcasm all throughout. I never thought that she's a practical yet classy lady, a strong person who survived two divorces, a healthy eater and a very determined mom to Emerson Rose. I admire her battle against sleazy tabloids and all those paparazzis who spooked her every now and then. And then there's divorce, being a single mom etcetera, etcetera. (Oh wait, did I mention that already?)
I'd say that her life story is certainly common but she somehow made the connection to the readers via her wit and humor. And it all started with a burnt toast! Are you the type of person who will throw away the burnt toast, or smother it up with a fruit jam to hide the burnt taste, or just toast another piece of bread and make it a perfect toast this time? It's very metaphorical! Your choice in dealing with that burnt toast echoes in eternity and that's what motivated Teri to share her lessons in life. (less)
What book review? Let me tell you about me and Linda Howard. You can always grab a Linda Howard from your neighboorhood bookstore and quench your curi...moreWhat book review? Let me tell you about me and Linda Howard. You can always grab a Linda Howard from your neighboorhood bookstore and quench your curious bibliophilic thirst.
This book transports me back to my carefree college days. Back then, Linda Howard was one of my favorite romance authors. Poor, silly me would always fantasize about knight in shining armor type of guys. I've read mega tons of romance no-brainers and I truly believe that reading them actually compensated my zero love life then.
I could still remember saving a few pesos from my daily allowance and buying a Linda Howard every Friday. One or two, it really depends on my peso-saving power and the availability of titles. So, what's the point of this quick tale of mine? Consider this as my way of thanking Linda Howard for giving life to reading career. Muchas gracias, Linda Howard. Not only did you help me jumpstart my "quickie" (no pun!) reading style but you also helped me raise my standards in terms of husband-hunting. Whew. And now I've found my man, my soon-to-be husband.