10 things wrong with 50 Shades of Grey

Yes, the next craze has hit the stores: 50 Shades of Grey. I was really excited to read this at first because I thought “Oh, an erotic novel! It should be good.”

I was wrong.

1. Anastasia Steele: don’t tell me that at 22, you have never been attracted to a man before you met Christian Grey. It is completely natural, get over yourself. On top of that, stop being so desperate, needy, confused, clumsy, and overall stupid.

2. Christian Grey is domineering, controlling, condescending, abusive, and self absorbed. Basically, he is satan re-incarnated.

3. Nobody refers to their lady parts as their “inner goddess.”

4. Nobody signs sex contracts, except for in this God forsaken book.

5. Every orgasm Ana has in the book is more or less the same. I wish the author had spared us the agony of reading painfully detailed descriptions of them.

6. If a guy stalks you on your trip to see you mom, it is a huge ass red flag waving at you in your face. Trust it.

7. There are other forms of communication apart from e-mail, perhaps Christian and Ana should explore them.

8. College is about more than studying towards a degree, it’s about finding out more about yourself and your life. If Ana can make such a dire mistake after college, she hasn’t learned anything.

9. If you are mature enough to do BDSM, you are mature enough to buy your own bloody birth control.

10. Having an older woman sleep with a teenager is not normal – Christian is obviously screwed up if he thinks it is.

There you have it. I think if I put my mind to it, I could find 50 things wrong with this book. If you don’t want to read the equivalent of a never-ending horror show, I suggest you return the book.

Salem Falls review

 

“Salem Falls” is probably the last Jodi Picoult novel I plan on reading for a very long time. Of all three books that I have reviewed, I would have to give this one 2 out of 5 stars, and here is why.

First of all, I didn’t understand why she chose to switch back and forth by year. It was extremely difficult to follow, and so many of the flashbacks were unnecessary. Take the one back to 1969 when Jack was born as an example. That subplot had absolutely no bearing on the story. Picoult crammed too much into one story, and it made me wonder if the book was really worth finishing. I would recommend that readers skim the flashbacks, but pay close attention to story happening in Salem Falls, and prior to that when Jack was a teacher.

Secondly, teenage witches? It almost seemed as though she was inspired by an episode of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” The topic of false accusations and rape made such a good story, I wish she had more realistic teenage characters so the story could be more logical.

On the plus side, I give Picoult 5 stars for effective research on DNA testing. It was obvious she knew what she was writing about, with all those tables and complicated scientific explanations during the court case. Also, Jack, Addie, Roy, Catherine, Jordan, and Selena were so three dimensional, and so perfectly described, the reader almost feels like they know the characters personally.

Final verdict: Salem Falls is worth a read if you are patient enough and like a good thriller.

Books that are recommended that really shouldn’t be

We’ve all read that book with high expectations because everyone we’ve talked to has raved about it. Then we read it, and kick ourselves for not spending all that time more wisely. This list goes from the bad books, to the absolute worst. Please, feel free to disagree with me.

Ok fine, so I’m not a “true” literature fan, but only because I thought I would die before I finished this book. I remember falling asleep while reading it, and waking up not remembering what I had just read. I don’t even remember enough of the story to expound on it here. Let’s put it this way: if I was a teacher, I would not inflict pain on my students by making them read this book.

 

 

 

I loved the books at one point too, but that was before the TV series came out. In retrospect, the books were boring compared to all the drama that the upper east siders stir up on TV. Some complained when the TV series aired that the characters did not look anything like the way they were described in the book (Jenny’s boobs and Serena’s face to be specific). The point is though, Taylor Momsen made Jenny edgier, which added to the drama. As for Serena, it’s impossible to find a woman who literally looks like a goddess. Blake Lively’s long blonde hair and height does the trick…over time.

 

I thought I would break the rule, and save the worst for last. I realize this was a number one  New York Times bestseller, but if you read deeply into the subliminal messages she sends out, you will realize that she was just really pretentious and dramatic. In the beginning, when she is describing how she feels about her marriage, and creates this whole scene of her sitting on her bathroom floor and talking to God. I disagree with how she went about her entire trip, because I didn’t fully understand why she had to give up everything for it. It was supposed to be a tell all book, but then why didn’t she disclose why she was unhappy in her marriage?  Her story is pretty common; many women travel to get away from the insanity of married life. If the author of Eat, Pray, Love deserves to be titled as a “best selling author”, then so do all those other women. Seriously, watch the movie. Julia Roberts is as fabulous as ever, even when she’s scrubbing floors…

LA Candy Review: Not So Sweet, LC

I was never a huge Lauren Conrad fan, but I was a loyal viewer of “The Hills”. I suppose this how LA Candy sparked an interest in me, and to be honest, I kind of wish it hadn’t.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The first 3/4 of the book had so many trivial details, such as what Scarlett and Jane (the main characters) were wearing and how their make up was done. I felt stupid as a person reading these details , and was dying for her to hurry the hell up before my IQ dropped too low. But then you get to the last 1/4 of the book, and it becomes so intense. I kept reading frantically, so excited to find out what happens, then there’s a cliffhanger. OMG!!! (she uses texting language a lot…and parentheses). Now, I have been forced to read the sequel, “Sweet Little Lies”. I guess LC knew that without keeping the readers guessing, nobody would buy the sequel. This is based on the assumption that the sequel is as poorly written as the first book.

Actually, I’m wrong. Poorly written does not even begin to describe the paragraph formation and the detailing in this novel. Many were quick to assume that a ghostwriter had written this for Conrad, but the truth is, I could practically hear her narrating the story as I read it. Aside from the irrelevant details, most of the characters were extremely bland, with the exception of Scarlett. I kind of wish Conrad had made Scarlett the star of the show “L.A. Candy”, and not Jane, simply because Jane was so boring. Honestly, if I was Madison Parker, I would be pissed off that Jane was the star of the show as well. I suppose in all fairness to Conrad, Jane was a reflection of herself – and I never found Conrad remotely interesting.

I give the girl an A for effort, because the plot really did have potential. It’s just unfortunate that she wasted so many pages on useless detail. Having said that, I am guilty of currently reading “Sweet Little Lies”, the sequel.

I recommend “L.A. Candy” to: girls ages 13 and above, or girls who are mature enough to understand that the chances of them living a life in reality TV are slim to none.

My Sister’s Keeper review

Once again, I am a bit behind on the program, but I just finished reading “My Sister’s Keeper”. Similar to the last review I wrote on “Sing You Home”, I think it’s only fair to find the downside to this seemingly touching novel.

*Warning: this review contains spoilers. If you want to read the book or are currently doing so, do not continue reading. If you don’t care, then carry on.

Picoult addressed many important issues in this novel, such as family life, battling cancer, and being sued. There is no doubt that she researched oncology effectively, but how she rambled on and on using complex medical terms was ridiculous. At one point, I began to wonder if she even understood all that vocabulary herself. This is not the only unnecessary thing in this novel. Picoult added in so many characters, that made absolutely no difference to the story. Take Jesse, the brother as an example; he would have made a difference if his parents noticed him, but they didn’t! He was setting houses on fire, and they didn’t care as much as they should have. We know that Brian and Sara are pre-occupied with Kate’s illness, so please, give them one more child to ignore. Izzy, Julia’s sister, is another character who’s presence was completely irrelevant to the story. One would assume that she was only there to support Julia through her drama with Campbell, but their relationship drama should not deserve enough attention to add another character in for it.

Then to top it all off, she kills off Anna. If you read the interview at the end of the book, Picoult claims this was the only ending that made sense to the medical issue at hand. It might have made sense to her, but as a reader, I felt cheated. Anna went through all the trouble to sue her parents so she wouldn’t have to give her kidney to Kate, and in the end, Picoult kills her off and takes her kidney anyway. It would be disrespectful to force someone do a favor that major against their will when they are alive, but it is despicable to take something that they fought so hard to keep when they are dead. Honestly, between Picoult and Sara Fitzgerald (the mother), I’m not sure who’s a worse person.

While I thought that overall, “My Sister’s Keeper” was a heartwarming story, it could be cut in half and it would be exactly the same.

“Sing You Home” review

“Sing You Home” was the first of Jodi Picoult’s novels that I read. After hearing rave reviews about her other novels like “My Sister’s Keeper” I decided to give her one of her newer ones a go. I must say, I was very impressed with how easy it was to read, and how many facts she managed to intertwine into the story. Having said that, as my blog is called on the flip side, I think I have to comment on the flip side of this novel.

Picoult addresses many controversial issues such as gay rights and the church’s opinion on them, and I admire her for this. However, I must say that overall, she did not fairly explore the pros and cons of of each topic. While I absolutely support gay rights, I feel like the whole concept of the story was very bias towards them. She didn’t put the church in a positive light, and I can understand how this would offend some readers. What Picoult failed to address was that even in our time, some people are less open minded and more orthodox. These people do not support gay rights, whatever their reasons may be. I think she didn’t respect their opinion enough, and painted their characters in such a negative way. In all fairness to both parties, there was no “right or wrong” person to get the embryos, but Picoult wrote the entire argument in such a way that only the church could be wrong for disagreeing with modern day practices. This is hypocritical- if the whole point of the novel is to respect people for who they are, then why was she not respectful of the church’s opinion? There are people who follow religious teachings, but are not extremists. Had she added some characters like this, the novel would have had more depth.

Overall, this is a great feel good read;it sends an encouraging “don’t give up” message. If you haven’t already read it,I highly recommend you do and form your own opinion.

Romantic stories on repeat

Water for Elephants was a beautiful story, and I think everyone who read it enjoyed it. I really loved it, but as I was analyzing I realized that this book has a recurring theme that we have seen before in romantic stories. The girl is rich and engaged or married to someone, the guy is poor and persues the girl knowing that she is, in fact, unavailable. Then, the girl and guy get really close, the girl’s fiance or husband gets jealous, and somehow, the girls leaves her fiance or husband to be with the guy. This is the exact same plot line as Titanic and the Notebook. Yes, they do vary in certain degrees, but the basic theme is the same.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a good love story as much as the next person, but I can’t help but wonder why there is this recurring romantic theme. My best guess would be that readers want to be comforted by the whole “true love exits” theory. Why they are is probably rooted in a philosophical/psychological theory that I have not studied deeply enough to analyze.

Perhaps that is an idea for my next project…