Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book Review: Forget You by Jennifer Echols

synopsis (from goodreads):

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them?

Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her.

Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

My thoughts:

To outside, Zoey's life seems pretty good; she is the captain of the swim team, she is a high school senior, she is going out with Brandon - a totally hot football player. She has friends, she is popular. But deep down things are stirring. Her parents have divorced because her father got his 24 year old employee pregnant. Since the divorce her mother has been a wreck and finally attempts suicide. In order to keep her mother's mental health a secret, she makes sure she keeps up the appearances. But there is someone who knows about what happened to her mom- Doug, hot but mysterious guy from the swimming team who has been on Zoey's back for a while.

On a normal Friday night, after the swimming team has crashed a football team's party, Zoey crashes her car. The morning she wakes up she remembers nothing from the time between the football game and the crash. She only remembers that Doug was there, pulling her away from the crash. She has no idea what has happened, but when Doug starts to act very attentively and when Brandon is no where around, Zoey understands she has to start to investigate what really happened. 

The week after the crash is full of surprises as Zoey starts to hear what really happened. Does she want her life to go back to the moment before the crash, to the moment she does not remember, or does she want to keep up the appearances and pretend that nothing happened. 

I really enjoyed 'Forget You', even though there were some things that bothered me. To begin with, Zoey seems like a bitch, especially at the beginning of the novel. When you get to know more about her, you realize it is just an act in order to keep up the appearances. Doug, of course is perfect, but I wish there would have been a bit more about this life (the issues with his father etc). But since the story is mainly about Zoey, I completely understood Echols's decision not to include Doug's background to a larger extent. Zoey's friends also seem like airheads, but I liked the fact that this was acknowledged in the novel. 

The way the relationship between Doug and Zoey is built is done very well. Zoey expects herself to be over the moon with Brandon, but as he is never present and Doug is there all the time, she starts to realize that maybe she is with the wrong guy. But since she does not want to cheat on Brandon, she has some figuring out to do. I liked Zoey's honesty- even though she wants to keep up the appearances, she does not want to be a liar. I think this is something we all should think about.

All and all, 'Forget You' was an entertaining, fast read and really made me interested to read other novels by the author. I recommend this novel to everyone who loves YA romance!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

The main reason for me picking up this novel was my curiosity. I am a avid Pinterest user, and during several occasions, while I was browsing the dashboard, I got face to face with references to Christian Grey and Fifty Shades of Grey. I did not have any idea to which these where related. Of course I googled it and noticed that the novel is a New York Times Best seller and opted for a film. I think this was the point in which I decided I need to get this novel into my hands asap.

Anastasia, the "heroine", is shy, unexperienced and a bit clumsy when it comes to relationships. She is highly intelligent but at the same time very innocent. When she meets super rich and handsome Christian Grey, she starts to experience feelings she has never felt before; graving and lust towards someone else. She is still a virgin and she has thought that she will remain as one until she meets someone special. The moment she meets Christian, she starts to think that maybe Christian is the one she has been saving herself for.

With Christian, Anastasia is open for new experiences... but is she ready for what Christian wants? Soon enough Anastasia notices that Christian's sexual needs are very specific and "out of ordinary". Christian has a past he does not want to talk about, and he has a very specific, contract bound activities in mind. Anastasia's conscience tells her to stay away from Christian, but on the other hand she keeps hoping that he will change and open up for her. From the moment they first time engage sexually, this whole whirlwind of emotions begins to form and grow bigger and bigger as their relationship develops.

Fifty Shades of Grey was first "erotic" novel I ever read. At points, it is plain porn and at parts it made me question Anastasia's sanity. I get that Christian is totally hot and charismatic, but I don't think I would anyone persuade me like that. There is nothing wrong with sexual fantasies, but I feel like they are bit over the top in this novel. I got annoyed about the repetition of several things: Christian's need to spank Anastasia every time she rolls her eyes, the constant emphasizing of the size of Christian's penis, the whole situation with Christian not wanting to be touched. I feel like the writer clings too much to these issues without explaining them properly (well, the penis size does not need explanation, I guess it is just mentioned several times to make Christian seem even more glamorous).

I must say my curiosity was filled and I now get what all the fuss is about. I feel like this novel has made "erotic" literature familiar with a wider readership and it has also showed that reading something like this does not have to be "embarrassing", even though I probably would not tell my mom what type of novel this is.

I won't even get to the writing. All I will say that it is not the best. But the point gets through and the novel in itself is very character driven; places are described to the reader, but the main emphasis and attention is one the characters and their actions.

What I am curious about is how this will be turned into a film in a way that the essence of the story, the kinky, a bit sick sex is included. What do you think? Who do you think should play Christian Grey?  I know Ian Somerhalder is interested about the part; I would not mind seeing him as Christian, but I feel like his Christian would be a lot same than his Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries. I think my pick would be Matt Bomer, he is tall, dark and can be both serious and funny. And he is HOTHOTHOT!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review: Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

This review is straight from my other blog, which you can find from here!

I really enjoyed the first Carrie diaries novel. So you cannot imagine what a disappointment this one was. I don't even know from where to begin. 

First of all, why is Carrie so fucking annoying? In Carrie Diaries, she is funny and the type of person I would love to have as a friend. The moment she gets to New York City and some writer shows some interest in her, she turns into a complete asshole. She is so annoying throughout the whole novel that at parts I just felt like throwing my book to the wall. She is inexperienced, young and in a new place, but still it seems that she thinks that she knows everything. She is also clingy, pathetic and full of shit. I was so disappointed with the portrayal of Carrie; I don't think she is anything like that actual Carrie we know from the show.

Even though the characterization of Carrie was the most annoying thing in this novel, there was also something about the way Miranda and Samantha were portrayed which made me clinch. Miranda is this feminist, standing in front of the Saks trying to get signatures in order to stop pornography, or something like that. Samantha already works in advertising and she is about to get married. Miranda first preaches how she hates sex and men, and then she becomes this pathetic mess when it does not work with someone. Samantha is planning a wedding, which of course, is so not something you would expect Samantha to do. Still, despite everything, Samantha is the most likable character out of the three "main" characters; at least she reminds herself a bit.

I know I am getting way too into this character thing, but since I love the show so much and I love all the characters of their different sides, I hated reading this type of shit about them. I know the novel is by the same author as the actual Sex and the City novel, but still.... the actual Sex and the City novel, in my opinion, is crap as well. The show is what is amazing!

I seriously advice everyone who LOVES the show not to read this novel. The first Carrie diaries installment was funny and witty, this one was just torture. I think the fact I had to read this in Finnish also added my pain.

Does anyone share my thoughts about this novel, or am I alone with these negative thoughts?