Joanie's One Page Reviews
Michael and I would like to make literature reviews a regular feature of the blog, because, well, we read an awful lot, and at the behest of the internet, I read awful an awful lot.
I can't seem to help myself...when there's a book that garners response from fanatical praise to The Oatmeal's take on Twilight
there's something in me that says, "well, guess I should see what the fuss is about" even though I know I will inevitably be disappointed.
I read Twilight in one day while I was sick...it actually made the fever worse. When Michael got home from work and asked how I was feeling, I replied, "Stupid." I actually think that book made me lose IQ points.
Now, One Page Reviews does not mean it's a one page review of the book. It means that the book was so terrible that I could only get through the first page before fits of vomiting start.
So here's the first, with more to follow. I welcome your suggestions for other terrible literature, and I might be persuaded to read past the first page if paid in large sums of cash, or cookies.
50 Shades of Stupid
Oh, is that not the title of the book? Because much like Twilight, I lost IQ points after reading for ten seconds. The main character is a vapid, self-centered nincompoop. Alright, to be fair, I read all the way to the 6th page. I tried. I quit as she described a non-essential character as "the latest blonde." While that sounds like a great band name (I used to play bass for The Latest Blonde) or a witty Steve Martin novel about an artist with a penchant for dating young, attractive women with the best hair color.
Michael calls it my hair "flowing locks of gold." Suck it, brunettes.
Now, you may be wondering where I read this. Well, I didn't want it in my Amazon "things you might like" and the Target shrink wraps it like it's some kind of food, so I looked up a sample on the trusty ol' Intrawebs. Honestly, it would be really disappointing to tear off the shrink wrap and find that mass of tree pulp littered with unintentionally hilarious overly descriptive flowery crap instead of a treat filled with corn syrup, which, in my opinion, is much healthier than reading such [expletive deleted] books.
See, I too, can write run-on sentences with 37 adjectives that do nothing to advance the story.
And I found myself thinking, this shouldn't be censored because of sexual content, it should be censored because it's stupid. Michael's mom refused to let him watch Heman as a kid. He found out years later that it wasn't because the show purported inappropriate messages of violence, it's because it was stupid, and she didn't want him to be stupid. (Thanks, Susan, from your daughter-in-law).
The result of young (and not so young) women reading novels about vapid, self-centered, talentless individuals, is that they then don't aspire to anything more than being vapid, self-centered, and talentless.
With no literary models to live up to, a la the sisters of Little Women, or Laura Ingalls Wilder, we'll be content to stay as we are--or worse, emulate the whiny yet expressionless women thrust upon us because their lack of substance was deemed attractive in some Hollywood boardroom. I'm sure the evil politicians that don't care about women's rights are rubbing their hands with glee...I doubt Twilight girl even thought about political parties, let alone that she had a right and responsibility to vote. That might detract away from Edward's perfect something or other, I don't know, insert body part, but not a dirty one, cause then the book might go somewhere.
Which leads us back to 50 Shades of Stupid. It adds to its sad, uninteresting heroine the kind of sex that most married couples look at, shrug their shoulders, and yawn at as blase. Don't let this appear to be a TMI insight into my sex life, which is inapporpriate for this blog because my mom reads it. Icky. Don't go there, readers! No, rather, it is the lack of intimacy and a making up for that with cheap (and weird) tricks. I refer you again to Gilbert Godfried's reading.
Because it's somewhat depressing to end a book review with an enormous thumbs down, I will end instead with a recommendation for something actually worth the caloric effort of turning the pages. If you've not read The Night Circus, but Erin Morgenstern, I highly advise that you add this to your "to-read" list. It's fun, romantic, has intrigue and magic, and more importantly, lacks the dissatisfied below-average achieving insipidity found in 50 Shades.