Book 10 – The Third Day, the Frost by John Marsden

The Third Day, the Frost - John MarsdenThe third book in the ‘Tomorrow Series’! You can find the reviews for the first book ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ here and the second book ‘The Dead of the Night’ here.

So honestly I finished reading this book the day that I posted my review of the second book. Yes, at this point I’m actually reading faster than I’m posting my reviews and that says a lot. Because I don’t read that fast. Anyway at this point I’m already reading book four, and reading the books so fast one after another makes it kind of difficult to keep the details in check when I’m writing these reviews. So to make it easier on myself I’ve been making lists of keywords and short sentences. Which actually helped a lot in writing these reviews. So, with that being said, let me grab my list and get this review written. Before I finish the rest of the books before I finish this review.

What you should know about this book is that there are two different titles, I have no idea why … but there are two versions – English language versions I mean – the first one is called ‘The Third Day, the Frost’ and the second version is ‘A Killing Frost’.

Some people refer to this books as the ‘Cobbler’s Bay’ book and that is exactly what it is. In fact the title could have been ‘Cobbler’s Bay’ and it would have been perfect as well. Because in this whole book I can’t find the connection between the third day or the frost for that matter. Sure it’s getting colder, it’s the ‘winter season’ in Australia when this book takes place but that is the only connection that I can make to the frost.

At the end of the second book the friends caused a huge explosion in Wirrawee. They make it back to Hell – it’s still really strange to write that ‘going back to Hell’ – but the situation doesn’t really feel safe. It’s obvious that the enemy is still searching for them. The first couple of weeks airplanes keep flying over the area and they constantly have to make sure that they are hidden. Besides that they are all struggling with their feelings and the situation that they are in and the fact that they have been amongst themselves for such a long time. What seemed great when they first went on their camping trip, being able to do whatever you want without parents around to tell you what to do and what not is now weighing down on them heavily. Along with the pain of the friends they have lost one way or another.

After a while they know that they have to find something to do, a goal. They need to get themselves moving again. Homer makes the choice for them, Cobbler’s Bay. It used to be a small marina but now since the war started it has been one of the most important strategic points for the enemy. They have supplied their troops from Cobbler’s Bay and if Ellie, Homer, Lee, Robyn and Fi are able to stop them or at least make sure that their work is more difficult it could mean a great deal to the Australians. Who in some areas are fighting the enemy with the help of New Zealand – who are being referred to as the Kiwi’s. At least that is what they heard on their little radio that they are sometimes able to listen to. But unfortunately so far that is not in their area, so Homer figures that they have to make their own fireworks to let everyone know that they are still alive and free. And if they can harm Cobbler’s Bay in any way that is a risk they have to take. Of course with Cobbler’s Bay being used as a military facility it will be hard to get in and get out again. They agree that they will go down to Cobbler’s Bay and stake it out to see if there is something they can do but that they will pull back if it becomes clear that it is too dangerous. But let’s be honest here, you know that they are going to do something. They have to, there is literally no way they are going to turn around and walk away.

They make their plans and go on their way, on foot because it’s safer with all the farms in the area being colonized and the work parties around. By sheer luck on their way they find a huge surprise. Someone who can really help them figure out the perfect plan to make Cobbler’s Bay a target – their next target. Of course by doing so they put a huge target on their own backs at a cost which might just be too high.

I’m going to leave it at that, you might just have to consider reading the books yourself to figure out who they meet and what might happen. And why the cost is so high.

 

Morgen toen de oorlog begon

Morgen toen de oorlog begon

I was trying to figure out why this book was published with two different titles (I’m curious, too curious), and during my search – which didn’t give me any real results – I found the book cover of the book that I read when I was a teenager. The Dutch version of ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’. And I want to show it to you, because that cover along with the title was something that caught my attention back then. That was what really made me want to read it. I couldn’t remember exactly what it looked like but I did know that none of the images I saw at Google were the actual cover of the book that I read. Now I know that covers get changed a lot especially in twenty years time. But the second I saw this one I knew that I had finally found it. This is the book that changed me, it changed my view on a lot of different subjects. If it hadn’t changed me in some way it wouldn’t have stuck with me through all of these years. I read a lot of books in my youth, I always had a library card but not one book stuck with me as much as this one did.

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Book 9 – The Dead of the Night by John Marsden

The Dead of the Night - John MarsdenThe Dead of the Night‘ is the second book in the Tomorrow Series. When I reread the first book I couldn’t wait to finally continue the story. That was partly due to the fact that I am finally able to read where this story continues. I mean, if you’ve read my review of the first book you know that I literally waited twenty years for this. Through all of those years of and on this story came back to me. And of course also because the first book ended so abruptly and left so many questions.

When the first book ended I knew that there had to be more to the story – well anyone who read that book would probably feel the same way because there was no real ending, it was literally blown wide open – so many questions and definitively not enough answers. The war literally ain’t over, the families aren’t reunited and as long as that doesn’t happen in one way or another. The story isn’t over in my opinion and luckily I wasn’t the only one who thought so since there six other books in this series and then three more books which are also written from Ellie’s perspective. Other than that I have no idea what those books are about because I haven’t read anything about them. I don’t want to get spoiled so that’s all I know at this point. However if I’m not sick of this series by the time I reach the last book I might go ahead and read those as well.

The last part of the first book was a true roller-coaster ride, I don’t want to reveal too many details in my reviews because I want to get other people interested in these books – I really think they are that good. So I am going to try and write a review without revealing too much.

Ellie and her friends attacked a very important strategic point for the invaders. They are effectively crippling the way they have been working since the invasion. Due to the fact that the invasion was timed so perfectly and happened so unexpectedly, they never really encountered much resistance. Also a lot of the soldiers are young and unexperienced and it’s obvious that they are not by choice here.  The whole scene is written at a pace which is so intense – it reads so smoothly that it feels like you’re watching the scene of a movie,  it goes from nail bitting to extreme euphoria in a matter of sentences and when you think they made it all out, the most devastating part happens. And then it literally says ‘the end’.

This second book continues a couple of weeks after the first book ended. Ellie and her friends have returned to ‘Hell’ (the place they’ve been calling home, the camping ground surrounded by mountains where they stayed when the invasion happened). They are numb and basically spiraling into depression. The outcome of their action – as successful as it was in regards of crippling the enemy (or at least make things more difficult for them) there was a devastating outcome for the group.

Now with only six members left they need to find a way to get their steam back. Ellie was asked by the group to write down everything that they did so that if something happened to them someone might find it and know what they did. It was important to them and Ellie promised them that she would be honest. However when they read what she actually wrote they weren’t so happy. The whole situation combined with Ellie’s brutally honest report of the events have caused some tension in the group. And who could blame them, being in such a difficult situation. They want to be alone, or at least get away from one another. But there is no place to go and the six of them is all they got and that is going to cause tension sooner rather than later. Which is only natural.

This feeling of needing something different is what finally gets them away from Hell, they want to see what’s on the other side of Hell. The opposite side of Wirrawee, they hope to find more people who are free like they are. And hope that they can join them. The plan starts to form, however Chris decides that he wants to stay behind. The others plan on taking a trip which will last a couple of days but promise him that they’ll get back to Hell. Hopefully with some good news. The route they want to take is following the stream which runs through Hell through the other side of the mountains.

That is where they first meet a group of grown-ups who call themselves ‘Harvey’s Heroes’. The men in the group act like they are going to safe the country one run down truck after another and they are lead by an man named Harvey. The women are there to maintain the camp and make sure the men get everything they need. From the second they set foot in the camp the boys and girls are split up. And especially Ellie is offended by the way they are being treated. They treat them like they are little kids who know nothing and don’t believe that they were the ones who wrecked the bridge. Fortunately they don’t stay long – another huge event forces them to run for their lives and thankfully they all make it back to the entrance of Hell. But they have literally lost everything they brought with them and when they arrive back at their campsite they also find that Chris is gone. The campsite is in good shape so Chris obviously wasn’t taken by the enemy. Eventually they decide to go look for him in the most obvious places they can think of, their old homes and Wirrawee.

By the time they reach Wirrawee – they still haven’t found Chris – it has become obvious that the invasion was aimed to allow settlers to come to Australia and now that the area is seemingly under control they are moving into the farms. Which makes it increasingly hard for Ellie and her friends to move around. Also more parts of Wirrawee are now being used again. One of them being Fi’s old street, since this is the street where the biggest houses are situated in town they are being used by high ranking army personnel. And they make a great target for their next mission especially when Ellie sees Harvey walking around like he owns the place. He’s obviously a traitor.

I love how John Marsden allows these teenagers to do great things, real action hero stuff and at the same time also allows them to feel all the emotions. They aren’t just running around like headless chickens from one place to another. There is time where their emotions play a huge part as well – good and bad both get a time. And I love how each character brings something different to the table, their own set of skills and their own habits – as strange as they might be. At times they get along and at other times they don’t and that is fine because that is what life is, that is how teenagers – all people even – are. Ellie’s group is smart and resourceful and they can truly take care of themselves but they long for a grown up to take over from them.

I’m behind on my reviews! This one should have been posted a while ago, I finished reading the book June 7th. And I’m almost done with the third book in the series, only 20 pages to go at this point. 

Book 8 – Travels in the scriptorium by Paul Auster

travels-in-the-scriptorium-paul-austerUsually once a year – the first weekend of November – there is a book fair in the city that I live in. It’s a great place to find new books especially since most books are cheaper there than they are in the regular stores, especially the English paperbacks. I always go there but I try however to stay on a certain budget, I don’t want to spend too much money at one time.

This year, much to my surprise there was an extra edition, I have no idea why but I couldn’t really stay away. So I went there for a little while and looked for something interesting. I had an idea of books which I wanted to purchase, but I couldn’t find those. Not in English anyway, so I continued my search to see if I could find something else which got my attention. And I did. I bought four books, by sheer coincidence I have two books by Paul Auster ‘Travels in the Scriptorium’ and ‘Man in the Dark’. The other two books are ‘Labyrinth’ by Kate Mosse and ‘New Moan’ by Stephfordy Mayo.

The last book is a parody on ‘Twilight’ and like I have stated before I am not a fan of those books or the movies. Yet, when I saw this book I really couldn’t pass it over, it sounded hilarious to me, just the sheer fact that someone would go out of there way and write a parody. I just had to see what they did with it.

This book caught my eye, the cover especially but also the tittle. And when I read the back I was sold;

An old man awakens, disoriented, in an unfamiliar chamber. With no memory of who he is or how he has arrived there, he pores over the relics on the desk, examining the circumstances of his confinement and searching his own hazy mind for clues.

Determining that he is locked in, the man–identified only as Mr. Blank–begins reading a manuscript he finds on the desk, the story of another prisoner, set in an unfamiliar, alternate world. As the day passes, various characters call on Mr. Blank in his cell, and each brings frustrating hints of his forgotten identity and his past.

From what I gathered Paul Auster is an author who uses his characters in more than one book. Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read it is hard to understand his stories without ever having read the other stories. Or at least that seems to be the case with this book ‘Travels in the scriptorium’.

Of course since I haven’t read any of the other books yet, I can’t really say whether or not that’s true. What I do know is that this book really intrigued me. I wanted to read and It was really interesting experience. The story was good, yet there are a lot of unanswered questions. And a lot of things which never really became clear. As stated previously the old man doesn’t know who he is and in the end of the story you still not really sure who he is. Or why he’s in that room and that is kind of annoying. And it seems like there is no real closure to the story and I really hate that. At the same time I find it really difficult to determine what I actually think of this story.

Maybe it’s an writing style which I need to get used to because it certainly is different that anything I’ve ever read before. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that I just can’t get used to these short stories. I have no idea to be honest, so I’m just going to leave it as this for now. Maybe I will reconsider this review once I read the other book by Paul Auster.

In short; interesting story but too many questions and not nearly enough answers.

I started writing this review somewhere last month but I didn’t really find the time to finish it. In fact I’m three books behind in my reviews, so I better get my groove on and get some writing done.

Book 7 – Tomorrow, when the war began by John Marsden

Tomorrow when the war beganThe last book I reviewed was ‘Fifty Shades Darker‘ and before that I wrote ‘Fifty Shades of Whatever‘ which was about the first movie based on the trilogy. And I was sure that the next book I would be reviewing was going to be ‘Fifty Shades Freed’. Well, it’s not as you can see by the title of this post.

This is a series consisting of more than two books … but that’s about the only comparison I can make between the books. I’ll get back to the ‘Fifty Shades trilogy’ once I’ve finished reading it, though that might take a little while. I kind of got bored … by the books, there is a reason why I don’t usually read these type of books I guess.  Okay, so let’s talk about ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’.

This books is a young adult book, it came out back in 1995 (at least the dutch translation did, I’m pretty sure that was the version I read back then). I was thirteen in 1995 and looking back I think that I was thirteen or fourteen when I read the book for the first time. At the time I had a library card and every few weeks I would go there and get a couple of books. I was an incredibly slow reader at the time but I loved it nevertheless. Venturing into other worlds, envisioning all types of adventures is a great way to spend some free time especially as a way to escape the real world.

At the time I had no idea who this author was, the thing that really got me interested was the tittle. I mean ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ that is an awesome tittle. There is so much suspense in it. I just needed to know what that meant.

Since that time give, or take twenty years have past and to this day this is one of the books that always stuck with me. For some reason – probably because the library never had the other books – I’ve only read this one and only recently figured out that there are six other books in the ‘Tomorrow series’ and even three books following that called ‘The Ellie Chronicles’. Back then you couldn’t just go on the internet and order the other books or download them for that matter. Looking back at the ending of this book however there is no way that I could have missed that there wouldn’t be a sequel, I had to have known but I probably just didn’t have the resources to find the other books.

But let’s not be hasty let’s start at the beginning. ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ the first book in the series. This time I read the English version and the first thing I noticed was the way it was written. This probably sounds weird especially for Aussies who might read this. I know that they use a lot of words which are only used in Australia, however I never realized (which is pretty ignorant, I admit) that books written by Australians would have a different feel to them as well. They use words that I’ve never heard in English before – I’ve heard them in the tv shows I used to watch – but also sentences are actually build differently. It’s probably not something anyone ever thinks about, but I certainly did while reading this book. I can’t really explain it or show you an example, but belief me it’s different than any American or British books I’ve ever read before.  reading this book, the fact that it was writing in Australian English gave it more authenticity since this takes place in Australia. I’m glad that I now choose to read this version, I can’t really compare it to the dutch version because it has been so long since I read but the one thing that I figured out when I was doing some research for this review is that for the Dutch translation some of the names have been changed. I hate it when they do that. Does it really matter if a person is called Ellie (Australian) or Ellen (Dutch), Corrie (Australian) or Carrie (Dutch).

The story

A group of teenager decide that they want to go bush for a while before they have to return to their regular life which means school. They decide to go for a week – while the town is busy with the preparations for some type of memorial day. Their parents allow them to go if they follow some basic rules. Ellie gets to borrow her parents car if she’s the only one who drives it. They are allowed to go if they also take a couple of kids who are responsible and know how to take care of themselves. Hence the reason why the group consist of such different people.

There is Ellie, the thinker and a writer – the story is told from her perspective. In fact, she’s the author of the story, she tells everything they go through as the story develops – she’s asked by the others in the group to do so when they realize that they need to write everything that happens down so that people will know what they did and what happened to them. Corrie who’s Ellie’s best friend – together they come up with the plan to go bush – and her boyfriend Kevin. Homer – who’s Ellie’s neighbor and her ‘brother’ – is a total goof-ball who thinks everything in life is a joke. I think his character grew the most throughout this book. Well honestly it’s a tie between him and Fi. When Fi is introduced into the story she’s basically asked to come because she’s the only person they know who has class. She’s the least likely person to go bush but she does it anyway. There’s also Lee, a talented hardworking pianist who helps out in his parents restaurant whenever he’s not going to school or playing the piano. And then there is Robyn – a very religious girl but intelligent girl.

So they set off for their trip, to this place called ‘Hell’. In fact it’s the opposite of hell, it’s a beautiful place surrounded by a high rock formation which can only be entered on foot. Upon their arrival they have to think carefully of everything they want to take with them because going back up to get stuff they forgot is going to be a long trip. Finally they descent into hell and find the perfect spot for their camp. During one of the nights some of them are woken up by planes flying over them, at first they don’t think too much of it because it is the same night that the country is celebrating that memorial day. So they think it’s part of the military shows. When the days of their camping trip are up and they return to their homes they first find Ellie’s place abandoned, the working dogs are still attached to their chains but they have perished. The telephone lines are cut and the radios aren’t working either and her parents are nowhere to be found.

From there on out they find little clues of what’s going on and at night they make their way to their own town guerrilla style. Most of Wirrawee is dark, only the hospital and show ground are lit. They go into the town in small groups to figure out what’s going on, Lee and Robyn go to their own houses to see if their parents are at home. Fi is joined by Homer – he always wanted to visit the big house on the hill – where Fi lives. At the same time Carrie, Kevin and Ellie go to the show-ground. There is a high fence placed around the show-ground, tents are in the middle of it and sentries on the look-out and it seems (according to the cars parked around the show-ground) that most of the people from the town and the surrounding area are there caught by surprise on when the troops arrived.

They have to come up with a plan to keep themselves safe and fight back whenever they can. And that is when the real interesting part of the story starts. But I don’t want to give anything away because there is no use in reading the story

The movie

In 2010 a movie was made based on the first book, you can view the official trailer since it’s at the bottom of this post. I know that a lot of times the movies based on books suck especially for the fans of the book, but this one is a good representation of the book. Of course not everything in the book is used, but they are pretty accurate I got to give them that. The only thing were they really get away from the book is the last two big events. Instead of it being two separate events they make it one big thing, probably a choice made because of time management. It’s great, it does work however it doesn’t give some of the characters the credit they should get. And by that I mean that most of the credits go to Robyn and Chris (who joined them later in the story) while they should have gone to Fi – who now ends up screaming in a ditch while bullets fly over her head.

Now that I have reread the first book I want to read the other books too. And belief me I will read them.

Do you have books from when you were younger which always stayed with you for some reason?

Camp Nanowrimo, the last couple of days

Okay, so the month is almost over, which means that Camp Nanowrimo is almost over.

Writing is something which I’ve been doing for years. I’m always on th look out for ways to improve my skills. It’s strange how something which I love to do so much, can be so frustrating at the same time. I guess – no let me rephrase that, I’m sure that everyone who writes knows what I’m talking about.

Writing stories (probably any type of writing) can be frustrating as hell. It’s all about choosing the right tone, the perfect words for whatever it is you want to tell the person who will ultimately read it. No matter what you write – unless it’s your personal diary – you want someone else to read it. If that is not what you want to do with the story why even bother writing it in the first place.

You have a story you want to tel or a topic you want to write an article about and I there are a million ways to do that. And also a million different ways to go about it. What works for me might not work for someone else. Every story line you think of  but you can mold it into any type of story you like.

The reason why my writing suddenly has been going so well is simple. I was reading some articles about writing when I came across one which really grabbed my attention. It was an article written by John August way back in 2007 on his blog JohnAugust.com. The article I’m talking about is the one called ‘How to write a scene in 11 steps’. It’s really helpful and since I had some trouble keeping things interesting my attention was grabbed and I wanted to know what these 11 steps were. And see if I would be able to use them as well and improve my writing.

I came across this article this past Sunday and after I read it I immediately started using it. I have been using it to go over the scenes which I had already written. Trying to figure out what I can do to improve on them by simply answering the questions. As soon as I started working on the old scenes I realized that I could still improve a lot on them. It’s really simple.

You follow the steps and try to answer the questions you’re being asked. You don’t have to write elaborated answers. It kind of depends on the question. In my opinion these questions really help especially because it requires you to think outside of the box and sometimes that might help. I have already figured out some things which I want to change about the scenes that I have already written. And I am sure that it will make them that much more interesting because it adds some extra conflict to the beginning of the book and that in turn will make the story less dull.

My absolute favorite question is the one where you are being asked to write the most surprising thing that could happen in the scene. Question one is of course the one where you are asked what you want to happen, by the time you reach the fifth question you already know the what, where and the who. And the most important thing, whether or not this scene could be omitted. The most important things are already answered and then it’s followed by the one that asks you to think outside of the box.

And for me that certainly was really what I was struggling with, that my story was too mundane so thinking outside of the box is really helping me. I had never thought of it like that before. I just went through the motions of writing the story I wanted to write but one little scene can of course have the biggest impact you can imagine if it is well executed.

Now I know that this might not work for everyone and that it is a lot of extra work but if it makes my story better in the end it’s definitively worth the time I’m putting into it now. Besides that I do think that it will also make the actual writing process go faster since I now have a better idea and understanding of what it is that I really want. Where I want my story to go and what it is that I want to tell in the process. Also there is the fact that there is still nothing set in stone so I can still change every aspect of my story.

Also answering these simple questions will help you keep better track of your characters since you are also asked who’s in what scene. I know that continuity is one of my biggest pet peeves and at the same time also something I – like a lot of writers – struggle with. I hate it when the continuity in television shows, movies or books doesn’t make sense. Honestly it really bothers me and at the same time I have also experienced while I was writing how hard it can be to actually keep track of everyone.

Especially if you have an elaborated cast like for instance the cast of Game of Thrones, I have no idea how anyone can keep track of that many extremely well written and amazingly executed characters and story lines.

Anyway the article really helped me to up my word count over the last few days and now I’m actually in the home stretch of reaching my 10 000 words. I can do it. I still have tonight and tomorrow … and about 1800 words to go. That’s doable.

How are you doing? In the homestretch as well or did you already reach your goal? And is Camp Nanowrimo something you want to do again in the future?

Book 6 – Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

fiftyshadesdarker-eljamesLike I stated in my previous post related to this subject, this would be the next book I was going to review so here it is. I actually finished the book on April 5th, however I wasn’t able to find the time to write this review since it’s pretty elaborated.

The movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is what got me back into actually reading this book. I read the first book back when it came out because I was curious, like so many other people. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I’m not going to repeat myself here because I have already  stated why I was so curious.  And the reason as to why I wanted to read this story is already explained in the post ‘Fifty Shades of Whatever’.

In that post I also stated why I had trouble finishing the first book. It was a visualization problem, I am a very imaginative person and when I read I visualize everything. Knowing that this was originally a ‘Twilight fanfiction’ didn’t work for me at all in fact I’m pretty sure that it worked completely against me. I’m really not impressed by the acting skills of the Twilight cast and imagining them in the roles of Anastasia and Christian really didn’t work.

After seeing the movie – and especially the top notch acting skills of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan I wanted to read what else was in store for these two and in the following movies. Curiosity, right?

Honestly, personally I thought that this book was more interesting than the first one. Now, I’m not one of those drooling fangirls, who thinks that it is an awesome book – the best they ever read but I can’t deny that it is quite entertaining. Like I said better than the first one. In the first book the focus was on the sex, the BDSM and all that kind of stuff. In my opinion the focus laid too much on that part and not enough on the rest. In this second book there is more character development. There are reveals made about Christian’s past, which partly explains his way of reasoning and the way he reacts the way he reacts to specific situations. And I think that there is still a lot more to learn.

The story

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ continues immediately after the end of the first book. Ana has just left Christian after that whole ordeal in the Red Room which was supposed to show her what it this whole BDSM thing is about. Ana is a wreck, just like Christian. Both are miserable. Of course you know that they’ll get back together again,  I mean there is no reason to write the book if they wouldn’t.

When they do – it becomes obvious that Christian has done some thinking. In fact he seems to be a changed man. He promises Ana that he can give her what she needs and that he doesn’t need her to be a submissive. It’s hard to believe that a man is able to change what has been a huge part of his life for such a long time. At the same time he himself has been on either side of the line being a submissive as well as a dom, he knows what it’s like. And he wants Ana in his life and maybe, just maybe that is enough for him. At least for now.

It’s not the best book I’ve ever read or anything but it’s entertaining and it’s not as bad as some people claim, neither is it as explicit as some people claim. Comments like that always make me laugh. If it’s not your cup of tea don’t read it or don’t watch it, no one is making you after all. And if you decide to not read or watch it refrain from commenting as if you know what happens. In most cases it’s pretty obvious to the people who have read it and seen it that you haven’t and it makes you look kind of …. (please fill in the blank yourself).

The Inner Goddess

There is one thing about the books though that really annoys me … so much so that I really needed to address it here. I can’t believe it, I actually forgot about it. How is that even possible?

I’m pretty sure everyone has that inner voice, cautioning you for something that might turn out badly or whatever. Or maybe it might be just me who has that inner voice of reason and the joke’s on me. But seriously calling that voice of reason an Inner Goddess just sounds over the top and unnecessary.

Here are some examples of said Inner Goddess;

“My inner goddess has her pom-poms in hand — she’s in cheerleading mode.” <<< Right, that makes sense … perfect sense.

“My inner goddess has a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the outside of her room.” <<< WHAT??? It might be time for a padded room …

“My inner goddess is doing backflips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.” <<< Sure, why not … she does everything else.

These are by the way examples from the first book, not the book I’m talking about here but still the same thing happens in the second and since I’ve read the first 123 pages of the third book I can confirm that she’s around for the third book as well. You can not believe how happy I was when I didn’t see this in the movie. Because that would have been bad … really bad.

I was kind of curious if it was just me who was annoyed by the Inner Goddess and turns out I wasn’t the only one, not by  a long shot. There are actually complete blog posts devoted to the Inner Goddess. Here is one that really cracked me up, it literally states every single thing the Inner Goddess does. And it’s ridiculous!

Here is a small little disclaimer, that blogpost on Cosmopolitan is where I took the examples from. I didn’t look them up myself.

Fifty Shades of Whatever!

fiftyshadesofgrey-movieSo this is kind of going to be like that blog I wrote about The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale. A lot has been said about the Fifty Shades of Grey, the books and probably even more about the movie (this one and the upcoming movies – which no one has seen yet!). No matter how you put it, there is a lot to say about it. And there is also a lot I can say about it. I personally feel that the people who scream the loudest about the story have probably not read the books nor seen the movie. And that ticks me off, how can you have an opinion about it if you’ve never read it or seen it? I try to read and see things with an open mind, everyone has their own opinion of course but at least make sure what you’re saying is based on what happens and not your general opinion on the topic.

The origin

For me, the way this whole journey started has been quite interesting from the perspective of a fanfiction author at least, because ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was originally a fanfiction story. It’s not that I think that any of my fanfiction stories could be this successful, however you do put a lot of time and effort in it and I guess that everyone somewhere in their hearts hopes to one write that story that’ll change the world. Otherwise why would you put that much effort into learning the art of writing. Fifty Shades of Grey the story was part of the Twilight fandom. Now I am not a member of the Twilight fandom, nor will I ever be. I have not read the books, but I have seen some parts of the movies. Well I tried watching them but I couldn’t get through them. I literally fell asleep – and that never happens to me, never. But since this was a fanfiction story it sparked an interest in me. The fandom had been buzzing for quite a while about this particular story of course back then it was not named Fifty Shades of Grey, but by the time I heard about the original fanfiction story the books were already coming out.  The success was just incredibly overwhelming and fast, the trilogy of books took the world by storm. And there was no way that there would not be movies in the future.

The books

But with great success there are also people who want to complain and bitch about it. With an erotic novel, the ammunition is basically endless. And so are the people who are against it in some way, shape or form. I think of myself as an open-minded person, being bi-sexual I need to be, right? I want to be respected for who I am and not for my sexual preference. So in my opinion I should give other people the same courtesy. If someone feels comfortable with the whole sub/dom thing they should be able to live that way, have sex that way and hurt themselves or the other person for all I care. That is there thing after all, so who am I to judge. As long as both parties are consenting! That is the most important thing – well that and the use of a safe word, I guess. So whether or not this is something you want to experience yourself, it definitely shouldn’t change the way you perceive someone. Besides that there is no one forcing you to read the story or watch the movie either for that matter. If it’s not your cup of tea, take a step back and leave, close the book whatever you need to do. Do it. Anyway like I said, I was curious to read this story since it was originally a alternate universe fanfiction story. One of the few stories which started as fanfiction but ended up as a ‘real‘ book. There are enough fanfiction writers with a huge amount of talent but not many actually make it in the real world as a book selling author – definitely not with this much success. So I read the first book and while it might not be the best book I ever read, it was quite entertaining. Besides that my problem with the quality of the story might be that it was originally written with the characters of Twilight in mind. And since I already stated that I’m not a fan … in fact I am very unimpressed with the acting skills of the main characters. So knowing that they were the base for the main characters in this book. Gave me trouble imagining the things that happened in the book, in my opinion they would never be able to pull it off. Especially not the emotional roller coaster the characters of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele go on.

The movie

So when I heard that the actors were not actually going to be in the movie at all once again my interest was piqued. And then they announced that Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey, he was previously in Once Upon a Time (one of my favorite television shows). So I knew him from that and I really liked his role as the Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman even if it was a rather small performance in the grant scheme of things I thought that he was a very good actor. And no matter what you say he’s proven it in this movie as well. The movie actually came out on Valentines day. Huge groups of women went to the movie to see it. Lots of Ladies Nights were filled with women. Some love it, some don’t. That’s only natural. In the movie only twenty minutes are filled with the actual erotic scenes and in my opinion they were filmed in a very classy way. Of course I do not believe that when you bring out the whips, belts and gags that it’s going to be such a ‘clean and classy scene’. Let’s be honest here, there is no way. Especially not when someone who is just starting with this is involved and has never experienced it before. Of course we can complain about that fact but lets be honest if the scenes had been more brutal (and probably realistic) no one would go and watch it. This book/movie tries to make a bridge between one world and the other. Another part which people complain about is that she has not yet signed the contract which Christian gave her to state soft and hard limits and other important stuff. At first he says that he won’t do anything without that contract signed. But Anastasia keeps putting signing off because she wants to know what she letting herself in with before actually signing it. Eventually Christian gives in but he asks consent before he does anything and she knows the safe words. The best scene in my opinion is the very last one and the most brutal one. Where Anastasia asks Christian to do the worst thing he can do to her because she might never understand what this whole thing is all about without experiencing it first hand. There is so much emotion in that scene – it’s huge! She’s crying and in pain (both physically as well as emotionally) she’s hurt emotionally because apparently this is what Christian likes to see in women. He wants to hurt her for his own pleasure. He makes her count the times he hits her. At the same time he’s also able to see what he’s doing to her and you can see the conflicted emotion in his expression and in his eyes. He’s basically begging her to say the safe word of course he doesn’t say it out loud, nor does she use it. She allows him to finish. Let that be clear, she can use the safe word and it stops immediately. She doesn’t. And when he’s done with what he told her he would do he wants to help her. She tells him to never again touch her, she gets up by her own accord and says to him; ‘Don’t fucking touch me. Is this what you want? Is this what you want to see, do you want to see me like this? This gives you pleasure? Don’t you dare come near me.’ Then she walks away from him, away from the red room.

To me that was an extremely powerful scene and really after seeing this movie I could only do one thing. Grab that second book and start reading it. These actors in my opinion did a great job and I am now curious to see what these other two books, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed have in store.

And that brings this incredibly long post around to what will probably be the next book I’ll be reviewing in the 2015 Reading Challenge.