Archive for November, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m pretty sure this novel was one of my Borders’ closing down sale bargains. I remember going into the store in Brisbane city and feeling a mixture of sadness  and euphoria as the stack of books I was carrying around got bigger and heavier, while the shelves became barer and dustier. I think I walked out with 12 books  in total and only spent around $120. Definitely one of the best shopping trips I’ve ever had. But back to the book.

Twenty Times a Lady tells the story of Delilah Darling (some book characters have the worst names, don’t they?) and her bizarre search for her happily ever after. Delilah is 29-years-old, single and willingly admits that she is, well…easy – she has slept with 19 different men. Delilah reads an article in the newspaper that claims the average person has somewhere around 10 sexual partners in their life and this makes her feel like a bit of a slut, for lack of a better adjective. She decides that her twentieth partner is going to be her last, but then, of course, she jumps into bed with someone she definitely does not want to wake up next to every morning for the rest of her life and has quite the dramatic meltdown. Her altered mental state results in a most unusual road-trip across the United States in search of an ex-lover, which consumes the majority of the remainder of the story. And then, she gets her happily ever after…sort of.

From very early on – and I’m talking chapter two or three – I knew how it was going to end. If this happened in almost any other story I probably would have flipped to the last chapter to prove I was right and then given up reading it. But this story, Delilah’s story, was different. Despite knowing how it would end  I still found that I wanted to know how the characters got there. I wanted to see what happened on Delilah’s crazy adventure and how she came to be where she was, and with whom she was with, in the end. And it didn’t disappoint.

While I definitely enjoyed reading Delilah’s story, I didn’t find that it was the type of book I just couldn’t put down and I live for stories that keep you up at night while you tell yourself ‘just one more page’ until you cannot possibly stay awake any longer. But with this in mind, it’s definitely worth a read if you have a little time to spare for a quirky little paperback novel.

 

NEXT WEEK:
Pop-punk: the genre we love to hate…but still love. (Or at least, I do!)

Thanks everybody!

This is where I admit something I have managed to keep from all but two people up until now.

I have read Fifty Shades of Grey. I have also read Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Yes, the whole trilogy.

I did not buy it, so determined I was not to contribute to sales figures that have continued to allow it a place on the bestsellers list, but I did read it. As an avid reader, a writer, and a 24-year-old woman, how could I not? People were talking and despite my best attempts I just could not help my curiosity. I know what you’re thinking – curiosity killed the cat. Lucky for me, then, that I am not a cat.

I am going to start by saying that I have studied creative writing to an extent, but by no means do I think that puts me in any position to consider myself an expert in the field, particularly within the category into which this trilogy falls. However, as a past creative writing student and a writer myself, I am entitled to an opinion on the matter. So here it is.

Is the trilogy well-written? No. Absolutely not. The first paragraph of the first book had me questioning my decision to give it a chance, which was not a good start. Still, I persevered and would like to make it known that from a technical perspective the writing did improve considerably by the end of the third book. Unfortunately there are only so many ways you can describe two people taking each other’s clothes off before it becomes boringly repetitive. Which brings me to the, er, ‘juicy bits’.

I can understand two people having an intense physical attraction to each other, to the point where the slightest touch in the right place can instil an incessant need to rip each other’s clothes off. But let’s be honest: outside of the fictional world in which these books are set, who actually gives in to this kind of desire every, single, time?

I know the series is erotic fiction. I know that this entails a wide range of descriptions for a wide range of sexual activities. Personally, though, there were so many sex scenes that I became immune to them after a while, even the BDSM elements. By halfway through the second book I found myself skimming pages thinking ‘and there they go again…and again..and again’. I think even in erotica it is possible to include too much sex, especially when it is all much the same.

If you can get past the poor writing and all of the sex – my god there is so much sex! – there is, surprisingly, quite the compelling story-line. Even I, the cynic, found myself drawn into Christian and Anastasia’s bizarre relationship rollercoaster. And I loved it. Despite the fact there were a number of parts of the story that were incredibly far-fetched, it was intriguing and surprising and heartfelt. I can barely fathom the amount of time and resources that would have gone into the research for this trilogy, let alone the time spent actually writing it. So I have to give credit where credit is due – E.L. James, you sure as hell know how to captivate an audience.

Welcome!

Posted: November 12, 2012 in Sounds, Sunshine, Words
Tags: , , , , ,

The Sound of Music taught me from a young age that starting at the very beginning is a very good place to start. So here we go.

I was born into family of bookworms and music enthusiasts so it made sense that I would grow up to become these things myself. Since learning to read I have always had my nose in some book or another and I like to think my personal library is quite enviable, if only for its size rather than its contents. I am a sucker for young-adult fiction but I’ll give just about anything a shot, though I hate nothing more than being disappointed by a book. Book stores are some of my favourites, though I often have to drag myself away from them , knowing that if I go in I will buy something whether I can really afford to or not.

Covers catch my eye, blurbs peak my interest, stories capture my heart. Well, most of the time.

I hold my parents mostly responsible for my love of music, especially my Dad. He introduced me to music way back when I was a baby waking up in the early hours of the morning. Rage was his best friend back then and as I got older, music became mine. It was my security blanket and teddy bear – I could never sleep without it. I started my CD collection at eight, and haven’t looked back since. In fact, the only CD I can recall ever throwing away was Hanson’s Christmas album. Let’s just pretend I never owned that one.

Though my tastes have changed quite dramatically over the years, I can honestly say I enjoy most artists and genres, but of course I have my favourites. I have a special place in my heart, and my collection, for Australian artists trying to make a name for themselves. I support my local music scene and cannot wait to introduce you to some talented, but relatively unheard of, musicians. I spend most of my money on concert tickets and would spend every night watching live music if I could.

With all of this in mind, it made sense to me to start a blog where I could write about my life’s greatest loves – books, music and any other things I feel passionate about at any given moment.

So, welcome to Words, Sounds and Sunshine!