I heard that Charlaine Harris was getting death threats from angry fans over how this book ended. As far as I'm concerned, that's completely insane.
T...moreI heard that Charlaine Harris was getting death threats from angry fans over how this book ended. As far as I'm concerned, that's completely insane.
This series was never all that good, even at it's best, but it has always been entertaining in the same way Days of our Lives is. Although, I have to admit the only time I ever really watched that show is way back in 1995 when Marlena was possessed by the devil, but I digress.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I admire Charlaine Harris for being true to the characters within this series. This book, this series, ended in the only rational way possible, and if so many fans didn't see the writing on the wall (several books back), I feel sorry for them. If Dead Ever After had ended any other way, Charlaine Harris would have had to go against canon, would have had to undermine everything about just about every character within this series, especially Sookie. I think Sookie got the ending that not only made sense but also the ending she deserved. Also, (view spoiler)[way to go Sookie for walking into the sunset on her own and being more than okay with that. That's what I call a strong female character. A man isn't the answer to all life's problems. A man isn't the only way for a woman to have a HEA. And honestly? I find the ending Charlaine Harris gave us refreshing. I'm insanely tired of books ending like this: "and then after a passionate night of mind-blowing sex, we fell in love, got married, had a litter of kids and lived happily ever after!!! THE END." (hide spoiler)]
So yeah, I totally respect Charlaine Harris right now.
P.S. (view spoiler)[Even though I knew it was coming, and even though it was so anti-climatic, I full-on started crying during the Eric/Sookie divorce scene. Even though I always knew their relationship had an expiration date, I still loved them together. But it was time, their relationship ran it's course and it had to end. Still...so sad! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Unbreak My Heart. Laaaaame title--I have serious hate for the same-titled Toni Braxton song which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to with this boo...moreUnbreak My Heart. Laaaaame title--I have serious hate for the same-titled Toni Braxton song which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to with this book--great story. 3.5 stars. Review to come. (less)
I started reading this book in June. JUNE! I finally finished reading it last night. Admittedly I liked Imaginary Girls at first--like the first coupl...moreI started reading this book in June. JUNE! I finally finished reading it last night. Admittedly I liked Imaginary Girls at first--like the first couple of chapters--then almost immediately it was all I could do to finish one page every time I picked this book up. The story is not that interesting. The writing-style is irritating and pretentious. It feels as though author goes out of her way to say things in the most roundabout way, in a way that's meant to be artsy and poetic. I wouldn't go so far as say the prose are purple-ish...but...yeah...almost.
Plus, I didn't like the older sister, Ruby, which is sort of a huge problem because a lot of the story has to do with the MC's (Chloe) hero-worship of said older sister. Hate is a strong word, but I'm willing to go so far as say I HATE Ruby. She sucks. And while I can understand Chloe's allegiance to Ruby, I still think she gives her sister way too much control over every aspect in her life. And the worst part is she does so gladly. That wouldn't be so bad if at the end of the novel things had been different. But, no, I didn't get the sense that Chloe was a better person by the end of the novel, if she'd learned some sort of a lesson. If anything, she's regressed. And that's really sad.
So, while I do think the cover is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL, and like the fact that this is a standalone with an original premise, I still do not like this book. I don't know who I'd recommend it to. No one, probably. But if you're wanting to read this, don't let my review stop you. Read Imaginary Girls if you feel compelled to do so. Who knows? It might be just up your alley. 1.5 stars. (less)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the plots from Drop Dead Gorgeous, Austin Powers, Mean Girls, Lost, and Lord of the Flies. Whip unti...morePreheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the plots from Drop Dead Gorgeous, Austin Powers, Mean Girls, Lost, and Lord of the Flies. Whip until nice and fluffy. Stir in equal parts Bollywood, Boy Bands, Pirates, An Evil Corporation, Crappy Parenting, Reality TV, Miss Teen USA pageants, and commercials aimed at teens. Next add 4 cups Teenage Sexuality (all types), 2 cups Feminism, 1/2 cup Identity Issues, 1/2 cup Self-Esteem Issues, 16-Teenage Beauty Queens (all types. Just make sure one is much more intelligent then the others), a handful of henchmen, a handful of open-minded hot guys with British accents, one hot eco-"terrorist", one crazy-go-nuts dictator, copious amounts of satire, and 1-20 oz. bag of Sarah Palin. Stir until well blended. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Pour into cupcake pans (cuz cupcakes are all the rage, yo!) Bake for: 35 minutes. Let cool.
Frosting: Mix equal parts Sunshine, Love, World Peace, Sparkle Ponies, Sequined Dresses, Cute Shoes, Makeup, GRRRRRRRRRL POWER! a handful of sand, one Lesbian makeout session, and one Sex Tape. Whip until creamy.
Frost cupcakes then sprinkle with way too many unnecessary footnotes. Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry that has been laced with an organic hallucinogen.
Take those cupcakes and dumb them down.
Dumb them down again.
A little more...
One more time...
Okay, there you have it: the recipe for Libba Bray's Beauty Queens (in cupcake form). Enjoy!
2.5 stars. Real review to be posted after the weekend.
I spent the weekend thinking about what I would say in this review, how I would explain my beef with this book. I want to make it clear, I don't hate Beauty Queens, nor do I like it.
It was okay, overall. I mean, sure, it did have it's moments. Not that Beauty Queens caused me to laugh out loud--because it didn't, especially not after the novelty of the "helpful" footnotes and commercial parodies wore off. They were fun for the first few chapters, then they became an irritation.
Also, I don't particularly care for Libba Bray's brand of satire. At times it was so overdone it only inspired sighs of frustration, eye-rolling and thoughts of, "that would have been funny if" or "that could have been more powerful if" from me. I felt as though I was watching one of those really bad (read: not funny) movie parodies, like Dance Flick, or Epic Movie.
Yes, at times Beauty Queens is that much of a punishment, and then some.
But that's not the worst part. My major problem has to do with the fact that Bray's story had a great foundation. I mean, just read this:
“I’ve been thinking about that book about the boys who crash on an island,” Mary Lou said to Adina one afternoon as they rested on their elbows taking bites from the same papaya.
“Lord of the Flies. What about it?”
You know how you said it wasn’t a true measure of humanity because there were no girls and you wondered how it would be different if there had been girls?”
“Maybe girls need an island to find themselves. Maybe they need a place where no one’s watching them so they can be who they really are.”
There was something about the island that made the girls forget who they had been. All those rules and shalt nots. They were no longer waiting for some arbitrary grade. They were no longer performing. Waiting. Hoping.
They were becoming.
Sure, it's all a little contrived, but still it's a great jumping off point. Instead of doing anything worthwhile with it, Bray took that idea and made it into a Very Special Episode of The Facts of Life, except way more condescending and a ba-zillion times more preachier--it's not like the main message Bray is pummeling her audience with is new. Girlfriend is preaching to the choir the entire time. And at no point does this book challenge one to think. Beauty Queens thinks for you, because thinking is hard, y'all.
You wanna sell me on something? Give me a chance to think for myself. Show me both sides of the argument. Present me with questions that don't necessarily have an easy answer. Let me draw my own conclusions. Don't incessantly beat me upside my head with your answers, your way of thinking. See, when that happens I tend to lose interest in what you have to say--even if I happen to agree with you--because you clearly think you're superior, that I'm not intelligent enough to come to the right (read: your) conclusion. Do. Not. Like.
And don't even think of telling me that some teenage girls need a book to do their thinking for them, that they need to be force fed the messages contained within Beauty Queens because their parents, their peers, the media has damaged them, tricked them into thinking otherwise. Even if that is the case with some teenage girls, I fail to see how shoving a message down their collective throats--be it negative or positive--is the way to go about building up self esteem, or fixing identity issues.
I don't fault Libba Bray for wanting to make this book funny, because Beauty Queens would have bombed royally had it taken itself too seriously. But like I said earlier, she took the satire, the tongue-in-cheekiness, way too far. Beauty Queens is obnoxious. Beauty Queens is that know-it-all girl that you sort of want to punch in the face because she isn't as clever as she thinks she is; someone ought to bring her down a few notches.
Anyway, because of Bray's lack of control every character has been reduced to a cardboard cut-out of a stereotype. Beauty Queens has two really stupid blondes from the south, a really slutty girl from the midwest, a super sexually repressed girl from the upper-midwest, two minorities, a crazy pageant-head from Texas, A stereotypical lesbian, and a girl who is hearing impaired. Even Ms New Hampshire--whom, might I add, is this story's Marysue--is feminist to a fault, goes around feeling superior to the other girls on the island because she's "enlightened" and they're just a bunch of "stupid fools".
There were a few others who had even less going for them. Ms New Mexico, for example, had a tray table embedded in her skull. That was her only defining quality throughout the entire book. I kid you not. *headdesk*
The only character that I found interesting, that had any sort of depth, was Ms Rhode Island. (view spoiler)[ Ms Rhode Island was born a boy; transgendered (hide spoiler)] She's the only character I truly liked; seemed to have her crap together. She's probably the only reason anyone should read this book. Really. The rest of the ladies? Were really irritating and irrational and totally rubbed me the wrong way--go figure.
You know how every chick flick has at least one painfully ridiculous cringe-worthy scene? The sort of scene that makes you wonder how stupid Hollywood thinks women are. The sort of scene that makes you vow to never see another chick flick again, like that random musical number with synchronized dance moves in My Best Friend's Wedding. Or the 'Bend and Snap' scene from Legally Blonde. Or the entire length of the movie Mama Mia? Yeah, this book has that. It ENDS with one of those scenes.
Read this book or not. It's totally up to you. I didn't like it, clearly, but I'm not pleased with a lot of books these days.
P.S. Why is it books meant to inspire and empower women to be proud of who we are, to stop aiming for an an unattainable level of perfection in the looks/weight/personality department, always have MCs that fall in love with men who are perfect in every way? Like, especially their bodies are super beautiful, and the MC can't shut up about how physically beautiful her love interest is. How come female MCs don't fall in love with guys who have great personalities but are lacking in the looks department? Why can't it just be about a meeting of minds? Why do looks ALWAYS play a part in books written for a female audience? Especially when we go around telling ourselves that looks shouldn't matter, to anyone (especially men). Isn't that more than a little hypocritical?
Oh, yeah, I forgot. No one wants to read about ugly people falling in love. At least one of them (*cough* the guy *cough*) has to be super hot.
P.P.S. I'll have you know, starting when I was 12 years old my parents sent me to a girls camp in Colorado--five summers in a row. No electricity. No cabins. No toilets or showers or mirrors. No boys. Just a bunch of girls forced to sleep in tents with a bunch of other girls their same age. Wanna guess what THAT was like? Hell on earth. Friggin' WWIII broke out every single year! I hated it. Adolescent girls are mean. Like, ridiculously mean, especially when civilization isn't present. You think Lord of the Flies is insane? Take those boys and replace them with teen girls and you'll have a massacre on your hands. At the very least there would be a few violent cat fights. I'm just sayin'.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Okay, I'm completely in the minority with this one. Pretty much everyone and their family loves this book. I, unfortunately, do not. And at this time...moreOkay, I'm completely in the minority with this one. Pretty much everyone and their family loves this book. I, unfortunately, do not. And at this time I'm not capable of writing a fair and thorough review about Hallowed because just thinking about it still makes me ill, as if I'm recovering from food poisoning after eating at my absolute favorite restaurant. The whole thing just makes me so sad and disgusted. That said, I do feel, for the most part, Cynthia Hand ended this book the way it needed to end. Anything else, given the circumstances, would have been completely wrong.
And I need to give Hand credit for writing something that made me, the reader, feel like I was going through the worst break up ever. Like my soul was ripped to shreds in the slowest, most torturous way possible--look, I felt like I had a car resting on my chest when (view spoiler)[Clara drives away from her last date with Tucker, wanting to turn back but not doing it because that would have been wrong. By the way, how great is Tucker? He loved her so much he let her go. In his situation that was so much more difficult than fighting for her. (hide spoiler)]. I had difficulty breathing and I wanted to cry but couldn't. I mean, (view spoiler)[ 'Tucker & Clara' is only YA PNR pairing I've ever believed in. Cynthia Hand wrote their relationship so well in Unearthly I would have been fine if they eventually got married. They just seemed so right for one another, so solid, so genuinely in love. So...yeah...I'm ridiculously angry over how things ended between them, but I'm also glad because, all things considered, it had to happen.
Having said all that, I hope Christian dies like a stupidly long, drawn out, merciless, torturous death. I really mean that, and it's okay because he's a fictional character. A fictional character whose entire existence ruined the only good thing YA PNR had going for it. (hide spoiler)]
Someday I will write an in-depth review of Hallowed in which I will go into Cynthia Hand's brand of angel lore and what not. But today is not that day. Today I'm still feeling a whole lot of Hatred with an extra serving of Bitter on the side. 2.7 stars*.
* Star-rating subject to change at reviewer's whim.
The 'day after' reaction to this book: I'm going to have to think about this one for a while. Hallowed is well written, that's undeniable, but it makes me really uncomfortable in the sense that had it really been playing out in front of my eyes I'd have to stop watching. I had to put this down several times. At one point I started skimming (something I never do) just to get the whole nightmare over with.
Hallowed is such a depressing follow up to Unearthly. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I wasn't going to read this book. Really, I wasn't. The title of this book alone is enough to make me run screaming in the opposite direction. And the...moreI wasn't going to read this book. Really, I wasn't. The title of this book alone is enough to make me run screaming in the opposite direction. And the cover art? Is even worse--I'm not your stereotypical girl in that I don't dream of visiting Paris, for any reason, ever. Though I can't help but admit that all positive reviews from trusted Goodreaders did make me a little curious. I mean, it sounded like this book was a really fun YA romance. But for me YA & Romance are never a good match. The vast majority of YA romances are gag-worthy and cause me to sigh with frustration and/or roll my eyes a lot until I finally chuck them across the room because I've got a migraine.
This past summer I was vacationing with my stepdaughter and she was looking for a fluff-tastic read. Knowing I read quite a bit she asked if I had any suggestions. Since I don't really do fluff I couldn't think of anything besides Unearthly, which she promptly gobbled up and begged for more. Then I remembered a number of my GR friends seemed to like this book and I figured it would be right up her alley as well, so I purchased it.
That was way back in July. And my stepdaughter never got around to reading this book because she was suddenly too busy text messaging her stupid ex-boyfriend (I'm not kidding. The guy is a freaking moron, though I digress). Since then my copy of Anna and the French Kiss has been gathering dust because I didn't get around to returning it before the 14-day grace period for returning books to Barnes & Noble was up.
Then the tenth anniversary of 9/11 snuck up on me and I fell to pieces--I mean, completely freaked out. See, I typically prepare myself for this time of year, make a point to avoid footage or pictures from that day. But, yeah, without really thinking things through I decided I was ready, that I would be okay. Now that the tenth anniversary has come and gone, I'm fairly certain I'll never be ready for any of that, ever.
Anyway, by Sunday night I was in the midst of having an nasty anxiety attack that was only increasing in it's severity. I needed something--anything!--to divert my attention, so I found refuge within the pages of Anna and the French Kiss, the fluffiest novel I own. I'm not going to lie to you, it helped.
Right away I could tell I was probably going to like it. The first paragraph sucked me right in because it reminded me of a cheeky little game my husband and I play where we name every stereotype we know about other countries (we're lame, I know). I liked the opening paragraph so much I then read it to my husband and it brought a small smile to his weary face as well.
Check it out:
"Here's everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge. The Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, although I have no idea what the function of either actually is. Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and a lot of kings named Louis. I'm not sure what they did either, but I think it has something to do with the French Revolution, which has something to do with Bastille Day. The art museum is called the Louvre and it's shaped like a pyramid and the Mona Lisa lives there along with that statue of that woman missing her arms. And there are cafés or bistros or whatever they call them on every street corner. And mimes. The food is supposed to be good, and the people drink a lot of wine and smoke a lot of cigarettes.
I've heard they don't like Americans, and they don't like white sneakers."
That's just awesome, right? My husband and I particularly loved the bit about mimes. We even added to the list--"Black and white striped shirts", "red scarves", "Berets", "people gnawing on baguettes Regina George style" (see: Mean Girls. And yes, we totally made this one up because we amuse ourselves in the most idiotic of ways), "people pretending they don't speak English", "Escargot!" and so on...
After we finished proving our ignorance to one another I read on.
All-in-all Anna and the French Kiss was a pretty good read. It's not the sort of book I usually pick up, or enjoy, but I liked well enough. It's kind of fun to be inside Anna's head because she's got a quirky personality. Her exchanges with St. Clair are, for the most part, fairly amusing and remind me of the sort of silly and/or ridiculous conversations my husband and I have when we're alone.
That said, I did feel like the story was a tad bit disjointed. The first half of the book is written in such a way that I continuously forgot I was reading a fluffy YA romance, which I really appreciated. The second part of the book is pretty much all fluff, which was alright(-ish). I mean, I could have done without some of the angst (most of which was unnecessary, by the way), and I didn't particularly care for the fact that Anna pretty much becomes a mental patient for the second half of the story, nor did I care much for (view spoiler)[how the whole Bridgette thing works out, or how Anna really didn't give any credit to her father for sending her to France, or how Anna calls St. Clair by his first name when she's in love with him, or how there was a stereotypical mean girl & mean guy out to get Anna, or how St. Clair resolves things with his father, and so forth. (I could nitpick the second half of this novel to pieces, but I won't) (hide spoiler)]
The ending was pretty good, though, which I appreciated. It even has a sweet message, ends on a positive note.
Anyway, because Anna and the French Kiss provided a much needed escape when I needed it most, and because it's much better then most (or even all) fluffy YA romances I've read I'm going to go ahead give it four stars, even though it probably only deserves three. I recommend this to anyone looking for a good fluffy YA romance and/or a quick escape from reality. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Alright ladies, I've got a question: say you're at a scummy dance club that your friends all but forced you to go to. You're not having a good time. I...moreAlright ladies, I've got a question: say you're at a scummy dance club that your friends all but forced you to go to. You're not having a good time. In fact, you're pretty miserable and can't wait to go home. As you sit at the bar nursing your Cherry Coke a good-looking guy comes and sits next to you.
That would be nice, right? A good way to pass the time until your friends decide they've had all the man-handling they can take (for the night).
Well, say the hot guy in question turns out to be the village bicycle--"everybody has had ride!"--the infamous man-whore of your school/town. You're disgusted this vile creature is in your immediate vicinity, don't want him around. So you tell him to go away. And he doesn't. He tells you he needs your help because, in his words:
"You, darling, are the Duff. Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend. No offense, but that would be you. Hey, don't get defensive. It's not like you're an ogre or anything, but in comparison..."
He proceeds to tell you that he's talking to you, the Duff, so your über hot friends will think he's a nice, sensitive guy. He's hoping this will up his chances of getting into their pants.
How would you react to that?
If this happened to the person I am today I'd totally laugh in the a-hole's face and walk away. Because, really, I couldn't care less what a (most likely) STD-infected man-whore thinks of me, regardless of how ridiculously hot he might be. I'm an adult. I stopped caring what other people think of me. All that matters is what I think. (for the record: I'm happy with the way I look). Besides, I'm married.
But if that happened to me fourteen years ago... well, let's just say it would have destroyed--I'm talking completely pulverized--what little self-esteem I had at the time. Back then I was--comparatively speaking--the Duff among my circle of friends. I didn't get attention from guys when I was with my unintentionally hot friends (seriously. And they didn't even know it. They were all long-limbed, willowy, girl-next-door beautiful. I was the average height ethnic girl).
What's my point? My point is I can see why teenage girls would want to read this book. Like I said, I've been there. I get it.
BUT what I fail to appreciate is the way this story plays out.
Bianca Piper, the Duff in question, is a seventeen-year-old girl finishing up her senior year in high school. She has two good friends who really care about her. Parents who, dysfunctional marriage aside, love her. She's intelligent, witty, and successful--for the most part.
Bianca only real major downfall is she is much too cynical, especially when it comes to love, though I can't say I blame her. Bianca was only fourteen when she had her heart stomped on by an upperclassman.
It is her wit and cynicism that comes to her aid the night she's told that she is The Duff. She insults the man-whore, Wesley Rush, and throws her Cherry Coke in his face--**plus twenty points for Bianca, am I right?**--and walks away in a dignity-at-all-times manner.
Unfortunately Bianca doesn't walk away completely unscathed. She is unable to get over the fact that she's the so-called "ugly fat girl" among her friends. It starts eating away at her self-esteem.
And to make matters much worse, her home life begins to crumble.
Instead of dealing with her problems, Bianca masters the art of escapism. Totally understandable. I've been there. But instead of losing herself in a good book, movie or yogalates, she loses herself in the bed of...(wait for it)...Wesley Rush, resident man-whore. The guy she hates with the intensity of a thousand suns.
Oh, it gets better. He lovingly nicknames her 'Duffy'. That's right, as in The Duff. And Bianca has a bevy of insults to hurl at Wesley whenever it pleases her. Neither of them them pretend their relationship is based on anything other then sex. Call it what you will: escapism sex, hate sex, cheap sex, a hook-up, sex buddies, booty call...I could go on. Regardless of the label, this is where the author starts to lose me.
I hope I'm not coming across as 'holier then thou', because, seriously it's not like I was an angel when I was a teenager. I had a wild streak back then, I made mistakes. Lots of them. It's just my mistakes involved less sex. Okay, sex was never involved. Neither was nudity. But I kissed (read: had total make-out sessions with) a bunch of guys. Sometimes with the sole intention of getting my mind off my problems. So really, I understand Bianca's motives. I even understand how in a twisted way she felt pretty, more desirable afterward.
That being said, I can't understand why/how she's able to repeatedly hop into bed with a guy who makes her skin crawl. She's with him as much as five times a week. Not that I'm a sexpert (see what I did there? I combined sex and expert. Hee.) but I'd wager to say that's a lot of sex for a couple of teenagers who are using each other. Especially considering how cheap and dirty Bianca claims to feel afterward.
While reading this novel I was all, "Stop it. Stop having sex with the guy you hate. Just STOP! Go talk to your friends or a counselor. You need help." But clearly, she didn't stop. It wouldn't have been so bad had she felt more guilty or ashamed afterward. And I could understand her need had it been described as some sort of an addiction. Or perhaps the author could have described Bianca's home life much worse, making her incessant need to escape that much more plausible.
But yeah, my point is: I just couldn't relate. Not entirely. And so this story fell apart for me. Okay, that's a lie. It didn't fall apart--the story was still in one piece when I finished this book, but just barely.
The only real redeeming thing about The Duff is the conclusion Bianca comes to near the end of the novel, about what it means to be a Duff. And she realizes how stupid she and Wesley were by having so much sex, regardless of how much protection they used (for the record: condoms and the pill).
And though it pains me to do so, I'll admit that I'm sappy enough to like how this book ended. (Kill me.) It wraps up so neatly with a giant bow on top, Pretty Woman style. Three stars but just barely, and if I were I being totally fair I'd have to give it just two stars (waaaaaaaaay too much swearing going on in this book. It's completely out of control). But I liked this book, despite all it's faults, so yeah, three stars. (less)
Whoa, folks. Not this 1% (although how awesome would that be? Owning attack hounds. Rocking a monocle. Wearing titanium...more
I'm among the 1%.
Whoa, folks. Not this 1% (although how awesome would that be? Owning attack hounds. Rocking a monocle. Wearing titanium shoes. Using fancy words like 'indubitably' and 'mustachioed'. I'd be the best billionaire evah.)
I'm talking about the other 1%. You know, the people who read One for the Money and didn't like it. People such as:
The Church Lady
Grumpy Old Man
(I guess this means I'm officially old and boring or whatever.)
But yeah, I totally do not like this book unlike 99% of the GoodReads population. As far as I'm concerned One for the Money is a dated, exceptionally lame version of The Jersey Shore in which everyone is sporting spandex, big hair, and sexist attitudes.
So basically it's almost exactly the same as every episode of The Jersey Shore. Except with more guns.
Not these guns...
Now that's more like it.
Exactly like the Jersey Shore with lots of real guns. And a really dumb grown woman who cannot be bothered to learn how to shoot a gun even though she's carrying one with her at all times.
Why, you ask?
Because she's being stalked by a rapist. A really violent, super-dangerous raping-rapist who totally wants to rape her. A lot.
But that's not all, folks. There is also a really mysterious mystery. (A rape-y mystery.)
This really attractive MENSA candidate wrapped in spandex who can't shoot a gun to save her life is named Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is trying to solve a mystery so she can help clear the name and reputation of the guy who sexually assaulted her when they were children the smoosh-worthy skeevy man-whore love interest. All so she can haul him into jail for jumping bail and collect the $20,000 bounty on his head, or whatever.
In the meantime sexual tension is building between the two. They're tripping over all the innuendo. It's sexy and mysterious. And full of (dumb-)damsel-in-distress like situations.
How could I not love this book, you ask? I just don't. Although, I think I just proved I'm old and boring. If you're not old or boring, and you really love the Jersey Shore, One for the Money might just be the book for you.
Anyone who has a kid has probably, at one point or another, battled with them at bedtime. That's what I do, every night. There is much yelling, crying...moreAnyone who has a kid has probably, at one point or another, battled with them at bedtime. That's what I do, every night. There is much yelling, crying, begging and pleading. It's horrible.
Kid #3 is out like a light, so she's not part of the problem. Kid #2 puts up a good fight, whining and tantrum throwing, but eventually she succumbs to her sleepiness. Kid #1, however... well, she's another story altogether.
At night, she's afraid of everything and feels that if she sleeps something will get her. But she's not invincible, she has to sleep sometime. So after being assured that she's safe, she'll lay down and relax--this can only happen in the master bedroom, because in her mind the master bedroom is safe from everything.
Once she's been lulled into blissful unconsciousness either me or my husband will move her to her room. Typically this goes off without a hitch. But every once in a great while she wakes up and totally freaks out, because she realizes she was tricked. By her own parents, no less. She feels betrayed. She doesn't believe us when we swear that we won't move her again (because we will and she knows it). And so, because of her her general mistrust, her fear of everything, not to mention all the sobbing, she is awake for another couple of hours, at least. The whole situation is very dramatic and it totally sucks.
How does this relate to My Sister's Keeper? It doesn't--not exactly but I do have a point. Let me explain. I spent years avoiding Jody Picoult's books like the plague. They frightened me. I don't know why. Perhaps it's the fact that every woman over thirty can't stop raving about Jody Picoult books, which means they're probably not my 'cuppa tea'. It may even have something to do with the fact that the woman has the ability to crank these insanely thick books out like she's some sort of writing machine from hell. I don't know, it just doesn't seem natural. Besides, no author is capable of writing so fast. At least, no good author can do such a thing, amirite?
But finally, after being assured that Jody is actually quite talented, that her books are intriguing and worthwhile, I relented and picked up Nineteen Minutes. And you know what? It wasn't horrible. Actually, I kind of liked it. Alright, I admit it--I liked it a lot. It wasn't the best book ever, but it was the sort of book that makes you think, stays with you after you're finished reading it. *shrugs* I happen to like that sort of thing.
So I immediately picked up My Sister's Keeper. And I liked it too. In fact, I was only half way through the book when I was positive I'd be giving it four stars. Sure the sub-plot about the lawyer and the child advocate falling in love was incredibly stupid, but could I blame Jody for throwing it in? No. I'm sure her target audience expects that sort of thing to be in every book they ever read. So I was willing to forgive it. I even forgave all the cheesy cliches.
Because sometimes I'm able to ignore stupid subplots, ridiculous cliches, irritating characters (and by irritating I mean 'so monstrous they deserve to die a horribly drawn-out and painful death'. Yes, I'm talking about the mother in this book), formulaic--that's a word, right?--writing and even the lack of good editing when a story has peaked my interest. It happened when I was reading Twilight and it happened while I was reading this book.
Besides, I'd already come to the conclusion that I'd like this book because I liked Nineteen Minutes. I even had visions of myself adding Jodi Picoult to my list of favorite authors, adding the whole of Jodi Picoult's published works to my TBR list, happily reading said books on the beach over summer break--it was going to be so awesome!
But then, when I was nearly finished with this book, Jodi Picoult went and ruined everything. EVERYTHING! I don't even have the desire to finish this book. I feel manipulated, betrayed, lied to, cheated, and totally violated! I also feel incredibly stupid for thinking that Jodi Picoult was a good writer. Because she's not. She totally sucks and I hate her.
So. Even though I've wasted hours of my life reading, and thinking about, Jodi Picoult novels, it hasn't been all bad. I've learned two things from this whole experience. First, I should trust my initial instincts when it comes to books. Second, I'm an a-hole for lying to my kid. It's no wonder she doesn't trust me, and she'll probably need years of therapy because of it. I wouldn't blame her if she threw me in a really bad nursing home someday.
I gave this book two stars because it isn't horrible until the end. That's when Picoult whips out the most manipulative, unnecessary twist, and thus ruins the whole experience.