Are all these people giving this novella and movie 4 and 5 star reviews morons? I checked out the book AFTER seeing that monstrosity of a movie and I...moreAre all these people giving this novella and movie 4 and 5 star reviews morons? I checked out the book AFTER seeing that monstrosity of a movie and I couldn't get into it. It was so terrible. How in the world did anyone allow this thing to be made into a movie is beyond me?
Don't listen to all of these people recommending the movie either. They have terrible taste in cinema. Long awkward silences by the characters, terrible dialogue and situations, and Ryan Gosling seems to be mentally impaired throughout the whole movie. The only good part throughout the entire thing are the first 10 mins--and then nothing.
I don't mind violence on TV or in movies, but this was just ridiculous and all the while Gosling's face is an emotionless mask that doesn't come across as deep, but you're just waiting for a fist to come out of the side view of the camera and give him a good whack to wake him up.
When I reviewed the movie on Netflix I was convinced that they were being written by family members of the participants of the film, but apparently there are a lot of not so bright people who find a poorly written, directed and acted film that was rejected from the late seventies and eighties and regurgitated last year or somewhere around that time to be entertaining. Who knew?
This is an absolutely delicious read! Starting from the first page you get the sense that the author really loves and enjoys food (desserts in particu...moreThis is an absolutely delicious read! Starting from the first page you get the sense that the author really loves and enjoys food (desserts in particularly) and she writes about it poetically. You can almost smell the cookies and cakes when she's describing them. Not only that, but she describes Twilight, Texas beautifully as well. It's a made up town (as far as I know), but this books makes you want to go and have a visit any time of the year, and it's not just because the people seem friendly either. Lori Wilde paints an amazing picture where the trees are full and green, the lawns are probably lush, and the food is terrific.
But there's gotta be some flaws, right? Mine came in the form of the main character, Sarah Collier. First of all, she's this "big city slicker", fashion forward female and it seems as if she's gone back to Twilight with only one pair of shoes--black knee high stiletto boots. Now, I'm from South Carolina, but a woman is a woman and if I'm going somewhere for more than a day, I'm taking more than one pair of shoes--period! Not only that, but she spent DAYS there and I know must ladies would take 3 pairs MINIMUM if they're going somewhere for a week. And that's just us being practical. I'm not a real fussy or high maintenance person either, but every woman is prepared for any and every situation when it comes to their footwear and she may not have been a resident of Twilight growing up, but she'd stayed there enough times and long enough to learn that she should've taken a pair of Uggs. Has Lori Wilde never heard of a pair of friggin' Ugg boots?! Sarah getting off the plane in a pair of stilettos, fine; but Sarah running around a town, reading to children, and going to sit over at some middle aged women's houses to sit around and drink eggnog in stilettos--not only that, but the SAME pair--yeah, she'd look pretty stupid to me. I don't care where you're from, most women know that life isn't an ongoing episode of Sex and the City and you're not going to want to be in heels constantly. Cause no matter how they look, they hurt like hell, and going back to Twilight I would think that apart of her would feel comfortable enough to want to chill where her wardrobe was concerned at least one or two days during her stay (despite the fiasco that happened all those years ago). That was just ONE issue I had with Ms. Collier.
The second issue was the fact that she was just absolutely too dainty acting as if she'd never been there before. All those times she'd spent there as a little girl i would've thought she would know the virtues of getting her hands dirty and it wouldn't have been that big of a deal. It's not like she spent 2 weeks out of every year with her grandmother in Twilight, she spent the summer months AND the two weeks for the holiday vacation in December. I'm telling you right now, when you spend that much time down south in a small town where everybody knows you and you've been taught how to fish and do this and that, you're not going to be all uptight like she was upon her return. She just seemed like an idiot wanting to wear her stilettos (*eye roll*) while picking out a tree in all that soft mushy soil and also wanting to wear a pair of thin cute little gloves while hauling a tree and resisting putting on the worker gloves claiming they were "icky" or something like it. I kinda wanted to slap her. First of all, you damage the heels of your stilettos when they sink down in soil like that and since they seem to be her favorite and/or only pair of shoes, I would've thought that would cross her thick skull at least once. Secondly, trying to haul a tree with cutesy little gloves on would've probably ripped them or at the very least left them with scratch marks that would render them unattractive. If this was her first time down south, or if she hadn't spent so much time there as a kid, I would've forgiven these things, but there was no excuse for her behavior.
Last but not least, she exhibited some of those fatal flaws that i always see in female "heroines". The weak woman that the author is trying to make come off as strong variety. Also, the dumb woman who is trying to be portrayed as intelligent. Sarah Collier was both of these. Sarah snapped at Travis whenever he tried to help her out or suggest some things to her and her reply was in the area of "I'm a woman who can do anything and I think I know it all, I'm not a princess from a fairy tale who needs rescuing..." That's not verbatim, but that's the gist of what the reader gets from the way Sarah talks to him. Really? Seriously, Ms. Collier? It's funny because Travis was ALWAYS coming to her rescue! The dummy drops her cell phone in the water while she's out on a pedal boat sans jacket where nobody knows where she is. I can understand anybody being tempted to go out on the water during that time of day but a grown woman also knows that anything can happen and I don't appreciate it when authors dumb women down like this just for the sake of putting them in a compromising situation. We can all get in compromising situations without being stupid first, but when it's something so basic as seeing virtually no one around, no one knowing where she's going, and then going out in the middle of nowhere we're charting moron territory here. Is she trying to tell women that if they turn their brains off and do something reckless that their "Prince Charming" is going to rescue them? I can imagine how many women have tested guys this way after reading romance novels like this and have either gotten killed or been left hanging out to dry in the process after reading some stupid romance novel like this, and I'm not going to blame the guy for their stupidity. And as usual she's wearing those damn stilettos. While she's debating how strong she was as a woman after noticing she was in trouble and resisting calling people for help, that's when she lost her phone. But then she returns to Twilight STILL without a cell phone the second time which I thought was just unbelievable. I'm actually not a phone person myself, so I can understand how she wouldn't have one on some points, but realistically it's very naive to walk around without one at all nowadays and I'm talking for needful purposes. I have one right now that I wasn't using, but I keep 911 on it and carry it around in my purses or pockets when I go out and I just keep my home phone on. Simple. And also common sense. Sarah isn't a person who can't afford a cell phone she's just so whimsical and brainless she's traveling from state to state without one. How do people get in touch with her? Leaving messages at the front desk of the bed and breakfast she's staying in? Do they still do that??? That part of the story would probably work in the 1990s, but by the time this story was published it's just ludicrous.
Also, in Sarah's purse she rattled off a list of her possessions: "Makeup, money, credit cards, driver's license, breath mints, tissues. What else do you need?" That is directly from the book itself and I wanted to punch her for it. Why on earth did she even take that purse with her when she went to help Travis get the tree?! She has nothing that would be of value where she went except the driver's license to be honest. I don't know about anybody else, but if I'm going out in the middle of nowhere I'm taking a big Luella Bartley type bag with me and I'm going to have not only what she has, but a bottle of water, a book (or a kindle), a friggin' snack, a cell phone, gloves and whatever else I think I might need at a moment's notice that can be stuffed in there. And what I just listed are the things I take with me on a daily basis almost or at the very least that stuff is in the back of my car somewhere. Travis was carrying everything they needed, it's just that his battery in his phone was dead or something like that, and she's going on about how she's not the type that needs rescuing. Please, she sounded like the type of woman who needs someone to hold her hand if she wants to cross the street.
Now off Sarah, and onto Travis's Aunt Raylene.
Before I finished reading the book, I hated that woman. What she did was not only selfish and irresponsible, but just plain EVIL! It would've been different if she hadn't been one of the people orchestrating Sarah's return to Twilight, but she calls back Jazzy's birth mother into all their lives when she sees that Travis seems to be getting serious with Sarah. She didn't take into account anyone's feelings but her own in this matter and seemed to not even consider the fact that if Travis wasn't pursuing her in any way that maybe there was a reason. There was a little girl to take into account, that could have her world not just disrupted, but torn apart by this, but Raylene throws caution to the wind and does something that horrible to them all.
I didn't think it was all that sappy, but I did feel more frustration reading about these people dancing around one another pretending not to have feelings or fighting for over 300 pages of the book. It reminded me why I don't pick up a lot of romance novels, but this one was worth buying for the cover alone. It truly is a beautiful book and I'm talking about the picture on the outside of it. Then I read the first page and the description on the back and went for it. It's a nice little story, and given the chance I'd read it again, but the characters Sarah and Raylene did get on my last nerves. Just because a woman doesn't express emotions doesn't make her "strong", nor does it make her seem strong; what it does is make her seem like a potential sociopath when it's done the way that this book did it. Lots of authors have the ability to use this characteristic to their character's advantage, but that's not what happened here.
In all fairness, this book has lots of redeeming qualities and I would recommend it, but it's far from being perfect. I'm also very glad that more girls have better female protagonists to look up to in literature like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and the character in Ada Legend of a Healer than this kind of drivel in the form of Sarah Collier and Raylene Pringle. Although I would buy this book again without hesitation, I don't think I would ever buy another one by this author. I couldn't deal with reading about women behaving this way in a book that takes more than a day to read--no common sense, weak, and not seeming to know what they want even though they're adults and should know better. All that back and forth head case stuff about telling the man you know you really want that all you want is sex from him is just plain childish and using the excuse that the girl is 24 or whatever isn't going to fly. I'd rather put myself out there and get knocked down and know where I stand than lower myself and have meaningless sex (or tell him that) with a guy that I know I truly want more from.
Overall, this book is a lovely read if you don't look too much into it, and go into it with the idea that it's a flimsy little read with nice descriptions then you should be okay. (less)
Judging by some of the reviews I don't think a lot of people really grasp the idea of what fiction really is, therefore they're trying to relate the P...moreJudging by some of the reviews I don't think a lot of people really grasp the idea of what fiction really is, therefore they're trying to relate the PLL series to their own lives. What teenage girls do you know actually live like this? None. These books are meant to be entertaining and filled with drama and they are. Does some of this stuff happen? Of course it does, but come on, how many truly interesting teen girls do you actually know that would be the center of this much intrigue? How many truly interesting teens do you even know? This is taking the lives of teens and bumping it up a notch. Maybe you didn't try drinking or smoking when you were younger, but lots of young people do and did. A lot of young people have secrets, a lot of young people have parents that are willing to buy them insanely expensive things so they wouldn't have to deal with them and so on. I don't understand all the people that are saying that a lot of this isn't true to life. I seriously doubt that you'll walk into a mall and see two 14 or 15 year olds sipping glasses of red wine, but I'm pretty sure you know that they deal with knowing about a parent's extramarital affair or they have bulimia, besides, I think Shepard did a wonderful job of adding quirky little details that made the reader scrunch up their face like having the characters drink wine openly in the mall or having one of the others knit a bra for all her friends. Who knits bras? But I thought that was unique touch she added. I loved the little details and the way you're able to just read right through these books not wanting to stop. I love this series. (less)
A lot of people actually hail Howard as an innovative author, but from this book I didn't see it. The main character, Blair Mallory, seems like a self...moreA lot of people actually hail Howard as an innovative author, but from this book I didn't see it. The main character, Blair Mallory, seems like a self centered flake. I read another review a while back that stated, "when Blair's apartment burns down and she loses all of her possessions she doesn't seem to be phased so why should the reader be phased if the main character isn't? Not only that, but this book doesn't even make you care about any of the characters." And I'd have to agree with that reviewer. It's done in first person free associative prose and that can either work for the story and for the author, or against the story and the author--in this case it was against, in my opinion. By the way, I never read any other books by Howard, so I can't compare it to anything else. (less)