Although this book felt like one big in joke exclusively for people who went to Harvard, I liked it for what it was - but was it anything more than Ne...moreAlthough this book felt like one big in joke exclusively for people who went to Harvard, I liked it for what it was - but was it anything more than New Adult in a fancy wrapper before New Adult was big? Nope.(less)
Not gonna review this since it did come out like 10 years ago and everyone and their mother has read it already, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot fr...moreNot gonna review this since it did come out like 10 years ago and everyone and their mother has read it already, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot from this. That being said, it was definitely biased.(less)
Right now, wavering between a 2 and a 3, because while I appreciate what John Green was going for, this book never resonated with me, and instead...more2.5/5
Right now, wavering between a 2 and a 3, because while I appreciate what John Green was going for, this book never resonated with me, and instead just seemed like some attempt at hitting the ball out of the park when it came to what YA needed years ago. Do I think this should be the lauded, praised book it is today? No. I found it to be good, but far from great, and at times just pat on the back from the author himself for going there and writing a story about a girl our semi-autobiographical MC falls in love with for no real reason, a girl that is a walking trope of tight shirts, weird bookish obsessions, and alcoholism made flesh.(less)
I can't tell you what compelled me to purchase and read porn star (or "anal queen", in Akira's own words) Asa Akira's "Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story". Well, it might have partly been the alcohol flowing through my veins at half past midnight in the lead up to one hell of a Sunday morning. But that's a story for another day and another place. Anyway, when I saw the beautiful cover sitting on my Kindle, I decided to dive in, each page a slow reminder of what I had gotten myself into several nights before.
1.) Who is Asa Akira?
To be honest, I had no idea before I dove into this book. I'm not into porn, nor do I have some boyfriend stuffed away in a dark office that consumes it like candy. Akira is a hardcore porn star, and an award winning one at that. You know all the stereotypes about porn stars? Yes, she fits pretty much all of them, except she's Asian (Japanese to be exact). Fake breasts, skimpy outfits, tiny waist, and very, very into sex of all types with all varieties of people.
2.) What is "Insatiable" about?
Basically, think of a memoir and throw that thought out. Akira's "memoir" is more of a retelling of a lot of events in her porn life. We don't really get to know her beyond her reactions to various scenes, various male performers, her husband (also a porn star) and their D/s relationship, and her strange relationship with a family in Florida when she was a stripper. Oh, and her adventures as an escort and sugar baby. If you were ever wondering what it was like for an older man to dote on you for a lot of money, you can find your answer here.
If you're expecting more than just 75% retellings of porn scenes, this book might not be for you, but if you're interested in the reasons why women get into porn, are empowered by porn, and why women are so into sex, you might consider it.
None of that answers WHY I read INSATIABLE. In fact, I don't think I know that myself. It was a thing that happened that I kind of regret, because it put my mind firmly in the gutter and it was very hard to leave. It's not really a memoir. Think of it more as a porn star's journal of conquests, events, and memorable scenes. It's...different.
There isn't much more to say about it than that. I liked what I read, but more so for the tales than for the substance. There is no substance here. For that, you might want to turn to retired porn star Belladonna's 20/20 special that aired a few years ago that she quickly disowned - if you can find it. Now THAT was eye opening.(less)
Had a few issues, like things not being fleshed out and explained enough, but otherwise, super original, super intere...more4.5/5 (but might round down to 4)
Had a few issues, like things not being fleshed out and explained enough, but otherwise, super original, super interesting, super intriguing, and not really much in the way of romance! Like, NONE almost yessss.
Friends, it's time for an admission. It's a rather big one, one that I am hesitant to make because of the connotations it might bring. It's not an adm...more Friends, it's time for an admission. It's a rather big one, one that I am hesitant to make because of the connotations it might bring. It's not an admission that many readers, much less bloggers, are willing to outwardly make. Ready?
I am not a big fan of historical books.
Gasp! Okay, there, I said it. And really, it's not that big of a deal, but it did make me wonder - what was I doing being so attracted to A MAD WICKED FOLLY by debut young adult author Sharon Biggs Waller? It's cover has the one big gaping issue that makes me so wary of historical books - incorrect period attire, or just anachronisms in general. It's so hard to get a period correct, at least in my eyes. That giant, poofy anachronous yellow dress on the cover was screaming, "Megan, don't read this book! It'll be all wrong! Look at this ugly yellow polyester gown!"
Thank the heavens I did not listen to my instinct about the cover, because this book is simply amazing, beautiful, powerful, and unique in a sea of dystopian and whiny contemporary novels. It's dystopian of a historical sort, and while the main character does whine, this book made me fall in love with historical novels for the first time in a very, very long time.
Following Vicky, a young artist exiled from her French finishing school for posing nude in her art class (secretly attending with the help of her best friend until discovered by a jealous classmate), we are thrown into a world where women are expected to be mothers and wives and not their own person, where scandal follows you for life, where your worth is determined based on your marriage prospects, and where being outside the box will get you sent away to the darkest parts of England. This is really how things used to be for young women a hundred years ago, mind you. And with Vicky, we are able to see how one girl wakes up from the cloud of being upper middle class and raised with everything she could hope for except freedom and how she bursts forth and realizes that money cannot buy you happiness like freedom can.
It's hard to believe that in 1909, posing nude for an art class of respectful men would risk your entire future. It's hard to believe that your family would disown you for wanting to draw and go to college. Waller navigates this world with graceful prose and tension that by the end left me visibly nervous, shaking where I sat and timid to turn the page and see what happened as Vicky fell further down the rabbit hole of suffragettes, drawing nude policemen, entanglements with a fiance forced upon her as a business arrangement, and above all, applying for art school against the supreme will of her father.
“This is why we all fight so hard. Not just for the vote, but for an equal opportunity in the world. A vote is a voice. I think you underestimate yourself, Queenie. This is your fight, same as it is mine.”
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
This book is feminism for beginners, dropping us into a world where that word is as much a curse word as fuck is today. Going into this you have to put yourself back in time and remember the past before women can vote, before marriage for love was true and universal in the west. And Waller has done amazingly thorough research that puts you right into the time period and refuses to let you go until you've read the last page and left you desperate for more.
Thank you, Ms. Waller, for making me a fan once more of historical fiction, and I hope more people find this book and love it as much as I did. Truly wonderful. (less)
THE SILENT WIFE has some interesting fame – it was highly compared to GONE GIRL when it first debuted last summer from Penguin, and the author, A.S.A....moreTHE SILENT WIFE has some interesting fame – it was highly compared to GONE GIRL when it first debuted last summer from Penguin, and the author, A.S.A. Harrison, died of cancer a few months before her debut book premiered, aged 65. It’s easy to see why all predictions called for this book’s success. It’s a portrait of a failing relationship, about cheating and lies and backstabbing, and it’s mostly well-written. While it never became as successful as GONE GIRL, not achieving the same household recognition or acclaim, it’s still an interesting book worth a read.
But no, it’s not GONE GIRL. Get that out of your head now.
This was the first book I’ve listened on audio to in, well, ever. And I’m quite grateful I started off with a third person past tense book, which provided an entry into the world of audiobooks that eased me in slowly. It was like listening to a story told by friends, not listening to some stranger divulge his or her entire life’s story in one long regurgitation of facts.
THE SILENT WIFE is about man and woman locked in an unhealthy relationship. Oh, and they’re not actually married, which complicates things to the extreme. Todd is a cheater, a 46 year old property developer carrying on with a 21 year old college student who happens to be the daughter of his oldest friend. Jodi is his longtime partner who pretends to be his wife, a psychologist who has become accustomed to being the kept woman – she has everything she could hope for. All until Todd decides to leave Jodi for his pregnant girlfriend that is becoming a possessive nightmare.
It’s a slow burning story about backstabbing, the psychology of relationships, cheaters, and secrets. Don’t expect this to be action-packed, but it moves fast in its own way, with revelations, with twists, with secreted activities that lead to a conclusion spelled out for you in the synopsis.
While GONE GIRL has twists and turns at every corner, THE SILENT WIFE is much stingier with how it doles out plot points. We’re introduced to the cast of characters slowly, we get into their lives slowly, and we find out more and more about them slowly. Even at the end, we still haven’t found out everything about these characters, and there are revelations and tells until the last page. It makes the story a very satisfying read in my opinion.
But can we talk about the ending? I just didn’t buy it, nor did I really understand how it all came together in the way that it did. It seemed too simple and yet far-fetched at the same time. By the last page, I was scratching my head a little. In the end, though, I really did enjoy this one. I couldn’t wait to jump back into the car to keep listening, and it was easy to follow along with the story. It’s saddening that Harrison was unable to follow up this story, but THE SILENT WIFE was the display of a mystery writer waiting to flourish from beginning to end.(less)