Saturday, July 7, 2012

Had to do it again...

I had to get the second book - simply because I hate to be left hanging.  Yes, I downloaded and read Fifty Shades Darker by E L James.  :-)

I have no idea how long this book was (because I got the Kindle version and don't know how to look for page numbers on this thing) but it was a pretty fast read.  I can usually read a 400 page novel in about 3 days when I'm working, and this book only took me two.  So, it was either short or really easy to read.

My main complaint about the first book was that the writer didn't show us her true writing ability until almost the very end of the book.  I really enjoyed her style and the characters finally started coming to life.  I had to find out if the second book was going to be a continuation of not only the story, but the talent that this writer showed us at the end of the first book.  So, what I want to know is - why didn't the second book make all of the headlines instead?  It's so much better than the first.  Okay, maybe it doesn't have the same kind of sex in it that the first book has, but the story and characters develop and flow so much better!

Now, I don't have a fancy English degree, nor do I claim to be a writer of any kind.  I have my degree and work experience in accounting and can honestly tell you that this is the only industry I really know.  But I do know what I like and when I read, I do read my chosen books with a critical eye.  So, what I'm trying to tell you all here, is to not take my little rambles as a true critique or even review of these books.  Like the title says, it's just my humble ramblings and thoughts.  :-)  :-)

Fifty Shades Darker shows us our two main characters in a bit of a different light.  I still think they both need more help to fix their heads, but the writer shows us the playful and more normal side of Ana and her Mr. Grey.  I found it really interesting how much detail the writer put into the different types of therapy that Grey had gone through for his problems, and even though I really don't like to read or watch movies about mental illness, this impressed me and made me curious.  I may have to download a book about psychology next just because of some of the stuff that was mentioned in the book.  :-)

Now, at this point we all know that Grey has been see a shrink for some time to help him with his issues, but I wonder if Ana will ever seek the same type of help?  Now, yes, she is a fictional character, but I'm concerned with the type of impression that she may be giving.  In the time that Ana had started dating Grey, she had lost some weight.  She doesn't mind that she's lost that weight, but Grey and a couple of the other characters notice that she's gotten skinnier.  Even if Ana is not purposely starving herself, the fact that she always forgets to eat or that it if were not for the fact that Grey is constantly asking her if she's eaten, I'd think that she may have a subconscious issue with eating or food.  Most real life situations that I've known, when a person falls head over heals in love, they usually gain a bit of weight, not lose it.  Can it be possible that Ana is so addicted to sex now that she can no longer hear when her body is in need of food?

Okay, I'm going to write about my personal experience here which makes me think that  Ana, or any real life person with the same symptoms, may have some kind of food and/or eating issues.  When I was a junior in high school I started to work part time at a local retail shop in the jewelry department.  It was fun and I liked to have some of my own spending money.  I continued to work when senior year started and I added more to my plate by taking a calculus class at the local university down the street.  By this time I was working more hours and trying to save for college as well as trying to keep my grades up.  I pretty much only went home to sleep, and when I did sleep, it was never very much.  Because I was either in school or working, I hardly had time to do my banking, so it was rare for me to have any cash on me.  I got into the habit of drinking chicken broth that I could buy out of the coffee machine at work because of my lack of cash and most of the time that was all I could ingest in the short time I got for my breaks.

I was already a pretty light weight, skinny person topping the scales at a whopping 85 pounds.  I started losing a little bit of weight and noticed that my stomach didn't pooch out anymore and actually liked it.  I didn't weigh myself very often, but I saw that my clothes started fitting a bit more loose and that my almost 22 inch waist went down to a bit less than 20.  I didn't get the wake up call until the day I graduated from high school when I weighed myself after taking a shower.  I weighed 68 pounds and to my horror, I finally started noticing how my bones started sticking out of my skin.  I could see my ribs and my elbows looked huge and unnatural on my arms.  I realised that day that I was slowly killing myself and didn't even know it!!!  After that, I tried to make myself eat at regular intervals like a normal person, but I just couldn't.  Sure, food that I liked tasted wonderfully, but I just couldn't eat normal portions or on a regular basis.  I'd get almost a high when my stomach grumbled and it felt good.  I didn't really have an issue with the food itself, but with eating.  It took a long time for me to get over that and finally started eating again.  I was really lucky that I had met my husband at such a young age and he knew me while I was going through all of this.  It was his friendship and support that helped me get through this and later on in life when the tables turned and I found myself getting fat, it was his support that kept me from going back to those old habits.

So, I'll be really curious if this issue will come up in the third instalment of the Fifty Shades books.  For some reason I don't think it will, but I just really hope that some idiot doesn't get it in her head that losing weight by not eating and conveniently 'forgetting' to eat is normal.  We have enough of that shit in our society and really don't need a book like this to add to it.  I'm sure the chances of someone being influenced to try the whole dominant/submissive world will be more likely, but that is just sex - by two consulting adults.  When you get lost in your own head to make yourself think a certain way, well... that's more dangerous in my opinion.

What I did like about this book is how Grey's views on this whole dominant/submissive world changed when Ana left him at the end of the first book.  He learn to "make love" instead of "fuck".  Is there a difference?  Yes, and the writer shows that very well.

So, our wounded soul is starting to heal, but I'm sure that Ana and her Mr. Grey will have a whole other set of worries in the third book.  The last chapter gives a hint of what may be expected, and I can probably go ahead and give you a summary of what will happen - simply because some of these plots are so predictable.  I wonder... these authors that are lucky enough to get their stuff published -  is there a set of formulas that they follow that insures popularity?  Maybe that's why I'm starting to enjoy some of the really cheap or free books that are self edited and self published by new authors that are offered through Amazon?  Many of these do not have the usual plots, and even though some are written really, really bad, I'm sure that with a bit of coaching that the stories can be made into something spectacular.

I've spend more money on these last two books than I have on all 225 kindle books that I've downloaded in the past year (yeah, I read a lot).  I'm not entirely sure if I'll download the third book.  i still need to think about it.  I like the author and her writing.  The sex, as unrealistic as it is, doesn't bother me and is written just as well, but I know what the third book is all about already.  So why spend another $9.99 if I don't have to?

I'll read a few of my indi writers in the mean time and think about it.  It's not like I have a fan base to please.  :-)  :-)  ...and for the whopping three of you that do read my blog, you'll just have to wait.  :-)  :-)

Happy reading,

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