So to start us back, I recently read the Fifty Shades trilogy by EL James and feel compelled to share my thoughts with you on the subject.
First of all, why do people like these books? I mean the writing is anything but good, the language is repetitive (if someone so much as murmurs the words “inner goddess” in my presence, they’ll be on the receiving end of an angry glare from me), and the sex, honestly, is just ok.
But I guess I should back track a bit before running right into the book bashing. In case you weren’t aware, this whole ordeal started as fan fiction for the Twilight series, which is our first clue as to why these books are bad. For those of you who don’t know, fan fiction is the altering or rewriting of a popular book so that it plays out the way the fan thinks or wishes it did. Sooo……..where does that leave the story you might ask? Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Everything that might have made Twilight tolerable,
It’s just a compilation of a lot of nothing happening.
But really, it does pretty much keep the same cast of characters. We’ve got an Edward (Christian Grey), a Bella (Ana), a large and wealthy adoptive Cullen family (the Greys), and we lose the love triangle but keep our Jacob (Jose). We also lose the vampire/werewolf aspect and replace that with a dominant/submissive sexual relationship…..
So since we made it here, let’s talk about it. I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for, so let’s do it, excuse the pun.
Ok, well the premise of this trilogy is that Christian Grey is a messed up kid who is into freaky sex and contractual relationships. He is intrigued by our less than interesting protagonist, Ana, and decides to recruit her into this dominant/submissive lifestyle. This involves the submissive (Ana), doing whatever the dominant (Christian Grey) wants, when, where, and how he wants it. And he wants it weird; he’s into the whole sadist thing. Beating and inflicting pain when he feels it necessary to get off. And, the weirdest part of the whole thing….she considers entering this weird ass relationship, as a virgin!
And let’s make a couple points about this little tidbit of information. Ana is supposedly 21 years old, and a recent graduate of college….and is the most naive person to ever hit the pages of a sex novel! Even if you’ve never actually had sex, you at least know the basic premise of the act and what it leads to. She plays dumb and confused pretty much the entirety of the book and it becomes increasingly annoying as the story progresses.
Ok, getting back on track. (Spoilers)
So, the two of them end up falling in love and this whole dominant/ submissive relationship pretty much becomes null and void and the following described sex, besides a few little kinky sidebars, stays pretty normal. It’s kind of a bubble buster, but it’s true.
The one redeeming fact about this story is Christian Grey. I really liked him as a character. He’s way less whiney than Edward, and he enjoys his power and wealth as a successful man should, unlike the brooding Edward. His character actually develops quite a bit and you get to learn a lot about his past and what made him the way he is.
I guess to wrap this up, I wouldn’t recommend it, but by all means find out for yourself.
I have been waiting for this thing for soooo long, as I’m sure everyone else has too. March 22nd finally came and I was ecstatic for the night’s events to begin. I took a nap to ensure maximum attention for the festivities and headed out to the movie theater in Bloomington, IN around 9:30pm. First stop, gas station to fill my excessively (and suspiciously) large bag with all the goodies I’ll need to get through the next 2 ½ hours. I arrive at the movie theater, thinking I’m pretty early, thinking I’m the biggest fan, but no, I am the 200th biggest fan, in just Bloomington.
There was a line wrapping around the ENTIRE theater, which I had to work my way around, climbing mountains to finally get to the back of this thing. And, I wasn’t even dressed up! What was I thinking? So now I’m completely embarrassed for my lack of commitment and creativity, sitting on a concrete sidewalk at the very back of a theater, by myself.
We are finally allowed in around 10pm, not bad, and everyone scurries to their respective theaters to find the very best seats. Oh and boy did I score some! Right before the very back, a bit past the middle, and on the end. Remember, in a crowded theater, the end becomes your best friend, easy access to the food, drinks, and bathrooms.
12:01am finally arrives and the screaming begins!! OMG, it was really better than expected truly amazing. I think the best adaptation yet.
These differences really weren’t that annoying, but were noticeable for hard core fans, so here it goes…
First of all, the issue with the Mockingjay. That was given to Katniss by the mayor’s daughter. In the movie, to save space, they decided to cut that out and Katniss found it in a pile of knick knack’s in The Hob. This was fine because really, it’s not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, yet, it is. This transaction between the mayor’s daughter and Katniss is the first time the reader is exposed to this idea that an uprising was inevitable. We see that even parts of the government aren’t on board with the capital, they support Katniss, the future Girl On Fire.
Next, let’s move on to the tribute parade. In the book, Cinna was the one who gave Katniss and Peeta the idea to hold hands during the parade, solidifying his position in the rebellion. In the movie, Peeta thought of this on his own and it kinda bothered me. I mean, how hard would it have been to add a small scene where Cinna motions for the two to hold hands?
Moving on to the games. The biggest annoyance here were the vicious dogs at the end. In the book, Suzanne Collins focuses in on the eyes of these capital beasts, the eyes of the dead tributes. This exemplifies the capitals tactics in mind games and torture, physically and psychologically. The movie didn’t make this connection and was bothersome.
Then, after the games end, the book goes through chapters of post interviews and focuses in on the relationship that starts to form between Peeta and Katniss. The late nights when Katniss wakes up mid nightmare and Peeta is there to comfort her. Don’t get excited about seeing those precious moments brought to life on the big screen, cus it doesn’t happen.
I’m obviously focusing on all the differences here, making the movie sound horrible, but overall the movie was seriously satisfying. Fantastic casting, the plot well told, and the necessary changes to move the story along were well done and didn’t hinder the overall meaning of the story.
Follow The Hunger Games here.
Learn more about books and Suzanne Collins herself here.
So, I’m gonna be honest, I freakin love Chelsea Handler, I even watch her show on E!……I know. But, there are times when I feel like we’re kindred spirits, separated at birth- 15 years apart. She’s incredibly real and honest in her writing, nothing gets held back. She never thinks, “This is going to offend someone” or “Hmmmm, maybe I don’t want anyone to know about this.” This is incredibly respectful and makes you, as a reader, become more invested in this journey.
The best, and by far the most true, is her chapter called Grey Gardens. We all have that lazy seed inside us, no matter how hard and long you work, there are those days when all you want is to be home with a bowl of Reeses Puffs, watching the worst movies ever put on film at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. But the whole time you’re chewing on that chocolate/peanut butter deliciousness, you thinking, “Man, I am so freaking lazy, I should seriously do something.” And then you spend the rest of your day thinking about all the stuff you could/should be doing but not doing any of it cus, really, why? This, in a nut shell, is this chapter- except replace Reeses Puffs with hot pockets (she loves hot pockets).
This woman is seriously funny, I believe she has 4 books now and I’ve read two, this one and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, another hilarity bound into a 5”x 8” little nugget sized rectangle. So basically, you need to read this thing asap.
Check out Chelsea Handler on her website.
Follow her on Twitter.
Ok, so last Friday I went to see the fourth installment in the Underworld movie series and I have an announcement to make…..I want to be Selene! She is such a freakin badass and she’s a vampire, which is pretty cool too. Ok, ok, this isn’t technically a book, but you know how I get when it comes to Vampire/Lycan anything, I’m mildly obsessed.
As some of you know, I interviewed Brian E. Niskala, author of Rhinehoth, and asked him his opinion on the Vampire/Lycan age old hatred, which you can read here. I also talked to a folklorist who gave me a little insight on how the story of Vampires began. Basically, Dracula was far from the first. The idea of vampires actually started with feminist women rebelling against the man’s “ideal” woman. These women were ladies of the night, sexually provocative, and anti-children. And judging from Selene’s history throughout this series, she doesn’t fall far from her blood sucking ancestors.
And these are serious Vampires and Lycans, like, can’t go out during the day, bloodthirsty, superhuman fast and strong type of vampires- no glitter here. In one scene, the best scene ever in my opinion, Selene guts a dead vampire, shocks his heart back to life, and walks out of the room like the baddest bitch around. And, I mean, let’s face it, she is. In another memorable scene, she breaks a man’s arm by breaking his elbow apart and sticking his bone through his skin (did I mention this is all in 3D?).
To break it down for you, Vampires and Lycans have been having a secret war, away from human eyes, for hundreds of years. Humans have caught onto this “underworld” tussle and have started, what they call, “the cleansing,” the elimination of these demon diseases. Our friend, Selene and her lover (Michael), the hybrid, are trying to flee the city and are caught. She wakes up 12 years later in a research lab.
After escaping the lab, she then finds out she has a daughter who is, like Michael, a hybrid. From there, it’s an awesome visual journey to safety and trying to find the possibly dead Michael. To make a long story short, it’s freaking amazing and everybody should watch this movie.
So, I’ve taken a while to write this blog post because once this is posted, I will have to move on with my life without any Cassandra Clare books for five months. Ugh, I hope I make it. Well, let’s get this over with…
A few weeks ago, I posted a review about City of Fallen Angles, the fourth and most recent installment in the Mortal Instruments series. Since then, I discovered another series by Cassandra Clare, the Infernal Devices. This series is also in the world of Shadowhunters and features the same families, but is set in 19th century London. In the first installment, Clockwork Angel, Tessa is our new heroine, who comes to London to live with her brother after the death of her prime caretaker, her aunt. She is quickly intercepted by the Dark Sisters of the Pandemonium Club. These women torture our Tessa by forcing her to use her previously unknown talent called the Change. The Change is another word for shape shifting, being able to turn into anyone and to take on their personality. This is obviously a hot commodity in any fantasy driven plot, so Tessa is in trouble. She is saved by the young Shadowhunter, Will Herondale, and taken to the London Institute. Now Tessa is bent on saving her brother, Nate, from the wrath of the Dark Sisters and who they call, the Magister.
Will and Jem are parabatai, warrior brothers, and they both love Tessa. Tessa has feelings for both, but Will is having an inner struggle with his past, so he takes any chance he can to be incredibly rude to Tessa. Tessa and Jem start to get close, and then Will figures out the answer to his inner struggle, and then………….oh gosh, I just can’t tell you, but it’s seriously amazingly torturous for everyone involved, you’re going to love it!
Now, at the end of Clockwork Angel, Nate is found but there is a bit of a twist, which leads us to Clockwork Prince. Now in this book, we learn much more about the Magister, who likes to think of himself as the Clockwork Prince- a master of clockwork devices. He has created an army of “robots,” you might say, to wipeout the Shadowhunter race.
Now, as you know, demons are my weird and demented interest. Cassandra seems to take the idea of demons incredibly literally. They are an actual species from other realms of the universe that come to Earth and suck all the life and resources from our planet. This interests me because most stories feature demons to be a very abstract or ghost like creature. These are things that enter into the human body to use that body for evil, like the new movie, The Devil Inside. So anyway, I liked this less Catholic, more liberal idea of what a demon is and how they spread evil throughout our world.
Beyond this interesting tidbit, another theme throughout this series is trying to find out exactly what Tessa is. No one’s ever seen anything like her and no one is exactly sure how she even exists. We find out that she was created by who we come to know as the Magister. Her creation was a long time in the making and the big question is……why?
Well, hopefully we’ll find out in Clockwork Princess, due in 2013!
Read more about the Infernal Devices here.
Follow Cassandra Clare here.
As you all are well aware, I’m obsessed with Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series. I have been waiting and waiting to get a little more information about the fifth book in the series, City of Lost Souls.
Well, I have finally gotten some answers, she has just posted the cover of the newest installment as well as, get this, …………………….AN EXCERPT!!!!!
I just got done reading it and I can already tell this book is going to seriously deliver!!! It comes out May 8, 2012 and I am counting down the days.
See for yourself at mortalinstruments.com.
Ok, I know this is a little off the deep end for me guys. You know me as the fictionally obsessed girl who can’t get enough of the everlasting stories featuring the timeless tales of good vs. evil. Well, I do have a different side to me, I am……get ready for it……..
A business major.
I know, I know, I’ve shocked you all- I go to class with all the cookie cutter youth of our time. I do have an interest in our corporate run country and I do want to understand how our capitalist economy world goes round. I try to do it as unbiased as one can and I think I found the perfect book. Ladies and gentleman, I give you…….
Deficit: Why Should I Care?
There’s been a lot of talk on our favorite news stations about the national debt and the deficit that has us mere mortals exhausting our TiVo. We know we should care, but it’s hard when every time the news station brings an expert on to explain the issues, they start throwing in words like, “treasuries” and “securities.” Your mind then wanders to, “Isn’t the national debt and the deficit the same thing?” By the time you straighten all this information out in your head, the “expert” is gone and you feel deflated.
Marie Bussing-Burks, a Master of Business Administration and Doctorate of Arts in Economics, has given us Deficit: Why Should I Care? In 98 pages, Marie takes a massively complicated topic and makes it easy to understand by giving straight forward definitions and relatable examples. When you walk away from this book, you will have a working understanding of;
- How to calculate deficits and the national debt
- The history of U.S debt
- How and why the government borrows money
- How to balance the budget
- When and why debt can be good or bad
- How interest rates and inflation are influenced by debt
- Why debt affects the value of the dollar
Why You Should Care
As a book that helps provide understanding to one of the most important issues in our history, it is a must read for anyone from a concerned parent worried about their children’s futures to a college professor stressing the importance of economics to a room full of students. No matter if you’re reading over a hot cup of coffee or cramming before exams, you’ve got to check this book out!
Deficit: Why Should I Care? is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble Booksellers. To learn more, go to aprèss.com.