Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reading is the most fun a girl can have without lying

So. #21 on my list is to Read More. I set a goal of reading at least two books a month and last month I did just that! Here are the two books I read (sort of.)

The first book I read I'm going to be a bit vague about. It was self published by guy whose blog I follow and he's kind of a whinebag. He's been known to go on blogs "defending" his book and I don't want that all up in here. I'll say that the title is "Timmy" but with a J. Anyway, the title character is an angsty high school kid that ends up kidnapping multiple girls at his school. It was pretty terrible in multiple ways. Not because it was too gory, or too extreme, or too much for my delicate sensibilities to handle. Oh no. It was poorly written, and contrived, and I ended up skimming most of the last bit of the book because it was just that godawful.

Have you seen American History X? You know the scene where Eddie Furlong's character turns in a paper on Mein Kampf? Then, when he gets called into the (black) principal's office he sits back all smug and cocky and is all "Well, you told me to write a paper!" chuckle chuckle look at how edgy I am? Yeah. It's like that, in book form. There's a difference between shocking people in order to grant them a new perspective or understanding and shocking for shocking sake. A way to push awareness into their brain or showcase how horrible something might be. Sometimes shock is the most effective form of communication. Apocalypse Now was shocking and brutal in highlighting the horrors of war and what it does to man. This is not that. It's shocking *just* to get a reaction. The author is under the mistaken impression that a negative reaction proves that he's "doing his job right" and that obviously if you don't like his book you are just 2 square.

Except for the part where your plot, dialogue, characters, setting, and everything else were just poorly written. I couldn't find a single good thing to say about the book other than good on him for finishing it? I am  not a delicate flower. I have Seen Things and Read Things a thousand times worse. I am not offended or shocked by the events that happen in the book. I am offended and shocked by books that bore or frustrate me. It is *badly* written. That's why I don't like it.  And that's okay!

Second on the list is Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. You've heard about this by now and probably watched the tv show. In case you haven't though, here's a brief breakdown. Yuppie girl meets Drug Runner Girl. They fall in love. Yuppie (Piper) smuggles some of the money around. They break up. Fast forward many years later Piper goes to jail for this, leaving behind her (male) fiancé. She spends a year in prison. The tv show was entertaining, but only similar on the surface.

In the book not a lot happens. She does her time and everyone she ever meet seems to love her. That's not really a criticism, just a statement. The world loves White Privilege Piper and while she seems *aware* that she views the world through that filter it still (heh) colors her writing some. I would be much more interested in learning the story of basically anyone else she did time with. It's not a bad story though, and it's a pretty quick read, but it just lacks much conflict. Something will get worked up to be a big thing and then nothing will happen. I guess that's a lesson to learn. Sometimes things aren't as bad as you expect and sometimes something that seemed like it could be life ending actually ends up quietly disappearing into a puff of mist. The is the way the world *doesn't* end. Not with a bang, but with. well. Nothing.  It was worth a read, but not a purchase. SO, thanks Library e-book lending!

I'm currently reading something for book club in addition to a Dan Savage book. Not sure what I'll read after that. Still got a few weeks to make up my mind!


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