I read Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross too quickly to actually have anything useful to say about them, other than that they were too long and rather meandering in places. I have a list of random bullet points sitting in a post draft that I’m never going to finish, so I guess I’ll throw it here so I have some context for this discussion:
So the trailer for the film version of this book came out recently, and after I watched it and screamed to myself because Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and Finnick Odair1 are the romantic leads and I love both of them, I decided to go home and start reading the book immediately, since I bought it a few months ago and then got sucked into Outlander2 and forgot about it.
I am so emotionally exhausted after finishing this book. This is not the kind of book you should read in four days. First, because it made me cry about fifteen times. Second, because there is too damn much going on, and now my brain is all blurry and even though I took notes about things I wanted to discuss, I’m probably gonna have to pull a SparkNotes on the last two hundred pages because I was too enthralled to write anything down!
As with the previous installment, let’s go over my questions from before I started the book:
First, I have to ask: how the hell did Diana Gabaldon crank out these books so quickly? Outlander was well over 600 pages, Dragonfly in Amber is roughly 740, and Voyager, the third installment, is 870 pages. This woman has a gift.1 Meanwhile, I can’t even finish NaNoWriMo.
Second, let’s address my questions from the previous post:
I actually kind of like Twilight.
You know how some people watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey or Keeping up with the Kardashians, even though they know it’s totally ridiculous? (Hi, mom!) That’s how I feel about Twilight. It is delicious, sparkly, neutered Mormon bodice-ripper abstinence porn, and I find it absolutely hilarious. Does it have damaging messages about self-worth and relationships? Absolutely. I am not here to defend Stephenie Meyer’s delusions about what constitutes romance. But do I love certain aspects of it a little more than one should “ironically” love something? You bet your sweet ass I do.
Dark Places is the second Gillian Flynn novel I’ve read, and I’m going to need to take a significant break before I give Sharp Objects a try, because this shit is dark. Do you want to explore the unfathomable depths of human depravity? Just go read some Gillian Flynn. She looks like such a nice lady in her author photos, but she writes such chilling, gory scenes that it makes me want to curl up in my sock drawer and sleep for days. I’m still never going to get over what happened to Desi in Gone Girl. I’m afraid, you guys. This is why I’m not allowed to watch true crime shows or horror movies. I can’t get it out of my head!
I’ve actually been dying to read this book ever since I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette back in the spring and loved everything about it. This One Is Mine is Maria Semple’s first novel, and it follows what is essentially the mid-life crisis of Violet Grace Parry, a former TV writer who lives in a gigantic house on Mulholland Drive in LA with her music producer husband and toddler daughter.
Semple, a former TV writer and producer, worked on shows like Mad About You, Arrested Development, and Ellen, so there is a ring of authenticity to Semple’s descriptions of lavish LA lifestyles. When you find out Violet has retired from TV writing to have a kid in her early 40s—another “can women really have it all?” narrative—you get the feeling that Semple really understands why this character would do such a thing. (Semple gave birth to a daughter in 2003, and hasn’t worked in TV since 2006, according to her IMDB page.) Continue reading