Friday, June 8, 2012
Book: Fully Loaded Thrillers.
Author: Blake Crouch
Recommended To: Short story fans and horror/mystery fans.
This was a collection of ten deliciously creepy short stories. Some were so short that they were about a page long and the description before the book was at least triple the story itself.
I had never read anything by Blake Crouch before I picked up this book as an Amazon Daily Deal. Crouch is a good author. He creates suspense with scenes and descriptions, which in this reviewer's opinion is the proper way to write good books. Let me warn you, some of these stories were so creepy that I found myself thinking about them for days afterward.
For example, in one story a husband and wife get a pocket dial telephone call where they hear someone killing another person. The story twists and turns and ends up with a very shocking ending. It was deliciously and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Without giving too much away, there's also a very compelling story about a serial killer hitchhiker and serial killer ride-giver who meet. The result is horrifying and definitely keeps you guessing.
I liked this book. I liked being a little creeped out by the stories and the characters. I also liked that these stories were so short, I could nearly get through one on my train ride to the city.
I definitely recommend this book to people looking for something well written and off the beaten path.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Book: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: EL James
Recommended To: People with red editing pens
This book should be called "Fifty Shades of Red Editing Ink" or "Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar" or "Fifty Shades of Abuse." You choose.
I occasionally read books that get a lot of hype. Part of me knew that this was going to be bad, especially when I heard there were hints of Twilight. (Not sure how the vamp books relate, because there aren't any sparklers in this book, but I didn't read Twi, so who knows.)
There are just so many issues in this book. First, these two people meet and they are instantly attracted to each other. He is described as basically the hottest man in the world, without much description at all. The author says his "pants hang off his hips." Which is...attractive? What does that even mean? Are they sweatpants? Are they so loose that they actually HANG? What terrible and unattractive imagery that sentence invokes. The female lead is an innocent virgin who is in college in 2011, doesn't own a cell phone or a computer and apparently doesn't have an email address. But! She has an ipod. Pretty sure her ipod has no music at all, since you need an itunes account and oh, a computer. She's also 22 and has never been drunk. These types of inconsistencies are irritating, to say the least.
Either way, these two people are instantly attracted to each other. You can't see me, but I'm rolling my eyes. Then, shit starts to get real. Christian Grey, the man with the hanging pants, reveals that he's got this secret room with whips and chains. Weird. But, at least the story isn't so lame. Until this idiot author ruins that too. I highly doubt the obviously-pen-named-author has ever been in a BDSM relationship and the book honestly feels like she googled some stuff, picked the most shocking things and then plopped them into the book. This reviewer is not amused.
The author tries so hard to make these characters deep that eventually it just gets sad. Ana is in such turmoil about being in a relationship with a man who actually wants to inflict physical punishment on her when she does follow his arbitrary rules. Christian apparently has issues with food since he had a "crack whore" mother. These themes are not developed, they are only repeated over and over again. It is exhausting.
Christian's character is also disgusting. He's controlling, abusive and in general an unattractive asshole. Ana is equally disgusting because she falls in love with him after five minutes and then puts up with literal physical beatings because he's the only person she's ever slept with. I simply cannot relate to these characters at all. I do not know anyone that acts this way. I'm dismayed that a book that is this poorly written and this poorly researched actually has such a following.
If this is what Twilight is like then I'm so freakin' happy that I didn't read it.
This is a lesson learned in following my book-instinct. Popular opinion was seriously confused and wrong about this book. The over the top sex scenes do not make this a literary miracle. Save your money and save your time and do not read this trash.
Happy Reading, people.