The ranch manager was as dried out as a stick of jerky and just as tough, but he knew more about cattle than any man Dana had ever known.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
I feel like I start out all of these with “no, really, it gets worse” or “this is the beginning of the end” but … seriously, this one is the absolute last of the Hurtling Rapidly Towards The Cliff part of the series. We’re encroaching on Lock Up Your Daughters Along With Your Will To Live territory. With all speed.
The Killing Dance is also a turning point for the series in several other ways:
Anita has accepted being Jean-Claude's "declared human servant" at the beginning of the book.
- Anita and Richard form a vampire triumvirate with Jean Claude, accepting the first three "marks". In addition, Jean Claude and Richard announce that they are allies within the supernatural community. Taken together, these changes make it impossible for Anita to completely separate her life from Jean Claude or Richard.
- Anita kills the werewolf lupa Raina and the wereleopard leader Gabriel in self-defense, resolving some unsettled conflicts from The Lunatic Cafe.
- Richard becomes the Ulfric, or leader, of his pack.
- Anita and Jean-Claude become lovers.
- Richard eats Marcus
Thursday, April 21, 2011
What I have been reading is The Mercedes Thompson Series, which is kind of like AB:VH but without all the rage-inducing miasma of suck. It’s about this lady who fixes cars and turns into a coyote. And was raised by werewolves. And gets into shit, like, a lot. Her vagina is not magical, which has become my top priority when being introduced to any protagonist in any work of fiction (or um, I guess non-fiction as well). There is no fucking; some implied romancey bits, but a WIDE departure from orgies every twelve pages. Refreshing! A story can be worth following without graphic sex! WHO KNEW.
Obviously everyone knew. And don’t get me wrong – there is a time and place for graphic sex. The world would be a duller place without it. But the entire premise of your book should 1) not rely solely on fucking, because that makes it porn, and lets call a spade a spade, shall we, and 2) not count on fucking to get you out of a plot hole, because thinking that people will forget the illogical clusterfuck you’ve just given us because of the whirling dervish of dicks and tits we now have to deal with is, frankly, insulting.
ANYWAY. Hello, tangent stick.
I realize I owe a recap of whatever godawful soul-numbing AB:VH book is next on the roster, and I’ll get there. Eventually. I swear.
Snuggles and kisses.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The DUFF (Designated.Ugly.Fat.Friend.) is the first novel by Kody Keplinger. She was 18 when this was first published! How exciting!
Bianca Piper is a senior in High School and her friends are very pretty. She HATES Wesley Rush (our requisite Hot Guy with a Bad Reputation). At some teenager-club, Wesley tells Bianca the she is the Duff in her group (see above) and if her (very pretty) friends see him talking to her, they will see that someone is paying attention to their (homely) friend and think he is all sensitive and then they will have sex with him because they will be overcome with gratitude at his chivalry.* This makes Bianca feel not-so-great about herself and then her home life starts falling apart. One day, overcome with (extreme!) emotion, she has hate-sex with Wesley because Escapism. While Bianca and Wesley have secret hate-sex that turns into secret maybe-not-hate-sex, Bianca’s home life continues falling into the crapper, she discovers that Wesley’s home life is also crappy and maybe he is not such a bad guy after all, she starts falling for him, cliché, cliché, cliché…moral, The End.
The dialogue is well done, but stylistically, the rest of the writing wasn’t always so great. It was occasionally stilted and a little awkward (like “I have a thesaurus and I am going to USE it” kind of thing) but I’m confident that as Ms. Keplinger continues writing, this will fix itself. My big problem is that there were so many Real Life Themes covered that I felt like I was being hit in the head by The Hammer of Harrowing Experiences. Low Self-Esteem! Divorce! Alcoholism! Neglectful Parents! Promiscuity! Pregnancy Scare! I liked that Bianca figured out eventually that EVERYONE feels like the Duff, at least sometimes, but it came off a bit like WHAM! HAVE A MORAL! Here, have TWO! Oh, wait! Here’s ANOTHER! That is not so nice. On a positive note, I thought it was great that teen sex wasn’t demonized and Bianca and Wesley used protection every time they hooked up (the sex bits are allusive rather than explicit). I have read a lot of novels where adults forget to do that, so it’s refreshing to read portrayals of people being (at least partly) responsible when it comes to sex. Also good, her friends aren't portrayed as shallow or vain despite being the potential plot trap of pretty=vapid and Bianca herself is a bit of a smart-mouth.
Overall, there was a lot of potential here and I’ll try more by Kody Keplinger, but I think this one can be skipped. I would like to recommend it, but the ending was so trite that I felt more than a little let down. For a first novel, it’s decent but there’s definite room for growth.
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger