Thursday, April 24, 2014

Amanda reviews 3 books that were absolutely terrible

I would like to start this post off with a disclaimer, which will remain in place for any and every subsequent post where I review a book: It takes balls to put your work out there for people to criticize, and I appreciate that. Everyone is talented in their own way, and they should let their writing flag fly if they want to, it's their choice. But it is also my choice to criticize said work if it sucks and is terrible, especially if I paid money for it.

That being said, I went ahead and reviewed three books I read in the last year that I hated so much and that made me so angry I wanted to rant about it on the internet. I'm still considering posting these to Amazon, because all three of these books got major 5 star reviews on there and it makes me question the intelligence of humanity in general. Here we go (in no particular order):

1. Taking Chances, Molly McAdams

Synopsis: Harper heads off to her first year at college and immediately falls in love with two guys - Chase and Brandon. She then proceeds to jerk them both around for the majority of the book. While Brandon, who she has "officially" made her boyfriend is away, she succumbs to her overwhelming passion and has sex with Chase. She gets pregnant. Chase dies really, really unceremoniously. Since Brandon is still so in love with her, he is able to forgive her for cheating on him and getting pregnant by another guy, they get back together. They live Happily Ever After, including getting married and having another child before this girl is out of college.

My Take: I hated this book. Now that that's out of the way, I can tell you why. First, I have a thing about super annoying female protagonists. Harper whines about being in love with Brandon, and then she whines about Chase, and then she just continues to whine until she gets pregnant. Then she decides that OMG BEING WITH CHASE IS THE ANSWER even though I still kind of love this other guy, who has been nothing but a totally fantastic boyfriend for the entire book. Sometimes love triangles work. Usually they're just an annoying plot device, but if done right, I can understand them. In this book, it seemed like the author wanted a love triangle, and then wrote herself two fantastic guys that the protagonist couldn't choose between. Instead of having her character make the hard choice (re: Katniss and Peeta; yes, I went there), she kills one of the guys and BAM her problem is solved. Harper mourns Chase for like ten seconds, and then immediately realizes that Hey, Brandon is who I wanted all along anyway, so this worked out perfectly for me.

And then, instead of maybe naming her child after his dead father, she names it after her new boyfriend's dead father. I hate pregnancy as a plot device (especially in teenagers/college students) and this is just the icing on the cake for me. Harper is needy, co-dependent and indecisive and has managed to woo the shit out of three hot guys? Whatever. I think I almost threw my Kindle while reading this book and I really, really love/have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle.

Did I mention that the book ends with Harper, who is a teenager - actually, she could be 20, I can't remember how old she was when it ended because I skimmed the last half - married with two kids. That's a HEA if I've ever seen/heard/read it.

2. On Dublin Street, Samantha Young

Synopsis: Joss moves to Scotland after her entire family and best friend are killed. She refuses to form attachments of any kind because of this, resulting in only one friend who literally knows nothing about her. Joss then moves in with Ellie and meets Ellie's super hot brother, Braden, and tries to pretend he's not perfect for her or whatever. They embark on this stupid not-relationship and she refuses to admit that she likes him for basically the entire book. After Ellie gets really sick, Joss decides she shouldn't have any emotional attachments for realsies, and she completely abandons everyone, including her sick friend. Then she and Braden make up and get married.

My Take: I skimmed the last 50% of this book, too. Joss is selfish, ridiculous and completely unsympathetic. I have never experienced personal tragedy on the level this character has, and I know it's different for everyone, but Joss literally refuses to make any friends because she's afraid they will leave her. I mean...okay, then. That's fine. But the author tells us this mindset for the entirety of the book. She mentions it on every other page, and it makes me like Joss less and less as the story goes on.

That aside, I didn't think Braden was all that swoon-worthy. If I'm reading a romance novel, or an erotic romance, I want the male character to be swoon-worthy, and this guy just didn't do it for me. Not to mention that he wouldn't he listen when she tells him to go away like nine thousand times? I know some guys are persistent or whatever, but don't you think he'd get the hint and just find someone else? Joss isn't that fantastic. The writing also left a lot to be desired for a book rated so highly - half of the time I was reading, I was screaming in my head about how terrible the writing was. And then I was remaking the sentence so it sounded better and so I could continue on without stabbing myself.

This is how I imagined Joss
Also, the sex was hot for the first two times, and then it was repetitive and after I read each scene I couldn't help but think, "people read this and think this is good sex?" Totally baffling.

AKA the most relevant image ever
3. My Favorite Mistake, Chelsea M. Cameron

Synopsis: Hunter, a "blue-eyed bundle of charm" moves into Taylor's dorm room. They talk and then fight and then have a sing-a-long and Taylor generally acts like a crazy person. Then they make a bet: Taylor will either prove that she truly loves Hunter, or that she hates him, and if she can do that he'll move out for good, which is what she really wants because something shitty happened to her and she is afraid of all men, and loving men, and whatever. They fall in love. She gets over the really shitty thing that happened to her in like 2.5 and they do it, and HEA ensues. Also, something bad happened to Hunter too but I can't remember what it was because I skimmed 75% of this, and then only because I paid for it and was being stubborn.

My Take: Taylor is batshit crazy. Like, an actual psycho. She is mean, spiteful, hateful, bitchy and just an all around unlikeable person. How does someone like this have any friends at all? She was a huge douche to everyone for no reason, and yet Hunter still pursues her because she was "different." If by different, you mean fucking certifiable, then sure. It baffled me that a guy who is supposed to be super hot, and was not an unlikeable character, would continuously pursue someone who was such a douchenugget. She was violent for 90% of the book, and then they have sex and suddenly they love each other? There is one scene in which she literally physically assaults him, and he's totes fine with it. I mean, no. Just no.

Harper. All the time.
Aside from the totally unrealistic plot lines (I doubt a college would ever place a guy in a dorm room with three girls), terrible characterization and just all around suckage, there was one small thing that bothered me more than almost anything else about this book. Typically, when authors add a detail into the story, it's for a reason; that detail will come back and become important later on in the book. Well, not in this case. One of the glaring examples of this is when, at one point, Hunter and Taylor go do something I can't remember and she is walking up some stairs and is suddenly SO TERRIBLY AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. I mean..okay fine, be afraid of heights. But maybe have some other indication that she is afraid of heights at any other point in the book. It's literally mentioned one time and then never heard from again and it really, really bothered me. The author, and Taylor, make a huge deal of out of it for an entire chapter and then it just generally means nothing, which I guess can describe the majority of the things that happen and characters in this book.

So, there you have it. More to come.

Just in general.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lint, and other things that happened.

Last night my husband Drake lint rolled his black pants during an NBA playoff game:

People are talking about it - it's on Twitter, Sports Illustrated, the entire world. My question is: Who doesn't keep a lint roller in their pocket/purse for immediate lint needs? Lint is a burden we don't have to shoulder alone, and he just so happened to want to look good for the camera. Can you blame him?

Not quite Jimmy Brooks.

Other things that are happening/have happened/won't stop happening: 
  • Justin Bieber is still an idiot
  • Kimye wants Beyonce in their wedding (honestly, who wouldn't)
  • Some social media professionals don't know how to use social media (looking at you US Airways)
  • Someone wrote heinous 1D fanfic that literally burned my eyeballs (more on that)
  • The Royal Baby and his chubby cheeks attended a playdate and it produced amazing GIFs
  • LindsLo can't keep her facts straight
  • Taco Bell still wins at everything
  • Tila Tequila is having a baby and I'm officially worried for humanity
  • Another sorority girl email was leaked and it was just as insane as the last one and we all care how insane it was
  • Selena Gomez unfollowed people on Instagram and IT WAS A THING THAT HAPPENED, YOU GUYS
  • James Franco maybe hit on an underage girl on Instagram as a publicity stunt, maybe was a creepo (we still love you no matter what, James)
  • Everything Beyonce is the best thing ever, and always will be
  • Snooki is pregnant again and it better be as cute as the first one

I put off reading After because I was afraid of it. I read Fifty Shades and, heinous writing aside, enjoyed it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I Christian Grey fangirl-ed out, because I did proudly jump on that bandwagon. I'm a reader of romance novels, the kind of books you would never see in your basic college English course (as an English major, I always preferred this type of reading to the classics, which would have gotten me stoned by my classmates). I have a "don't knock it 'til you try it" motto when it comes to the new thing in books.

After reading an article on Jezebel about the new One Direction fan fiction serial that was getting all of the attention, page views and movie rights, I went ahead and read it to satisfy my own morbid curiosity. Two chapters in, I nearly gauged out my own eyeballs. But I kept reading because who am I to judge? I soldiered on for three more chapters before giving up. Here is something Anna Todd said about her "novel"..
"I barely ever reread the chapter before posting because I overthink things and I feel like overediting or trying to use too many words can ruin the story."
Listen, I have no problem with people putting themselves out there with their writing, for putting the stories they have bouncing around in there heads down on paper for all of the internet to see. It takes balls to do that. Even if your writing is bad (and the writing in this is so, so terrible), I still say: YOU GO GURL.

However, in this case, I can't detach from the horrible characters enough to think that way. Aside from Tessa being possibly the most annoying female character ever written, Harry is also, for lack of a better term, portrayed as a douchenugget. Jezebel says it best: "Harry behaves at best like a prick, at worst like an abusive boyfriend in the making." He's borderline abusive and a total jerk and I can't ever see a character becoming a BBF with a personality like that. Points to Anna for putting her story out there, but I can't help but wonder if younger girls reading a story like that will think that it's okay for a guy to treat them that way.

If you want a recap, Jezebel described the story in one sentence and its really all you need to know: "Their romance progresses in fits and starts, but mostly: Harry is standoffish, Tessa is attracted but determined to stay away, Harry gets drunk and lets his guard down, they engage in some sexual act and repeat ad infinitum." I would also add "Tessa is a moron" to that, but that's just me.


Also, I'm going to start reviewing books because sometimes I read a book I really love and want to tell the WWW about it, and sometimes I read something I loathe so much I need another avenue to complain aside from my poor friends whose ears are probably bleeding because they really, really don't care.

Anyway, this:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fifty Shades of...Taylor Kitsch. Because what else is there?

If there is one thing an avid reader like myself hates in this world, its the book-to-movie adaptation. In an ideal world, I'd be able to see all of my favorite characters come to life right before my eyes looking  - BAM! - exactly as I imagined them in my head.

Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world (am I married to Taylor Kitsch? No?) and in the real world casting directors and writers alike decide to cast girls like Shailene Woodley in that coveted leading role. I would just like to say this: Shailene Woodley is going to singlehandedly ruin the movie adaptation of not only one of my favorite books of all time (The Fault In Our Stars, duh), but also of the book series I most actually wanted to see turned into a movie (Divergent, duh).

Let's go with no.
He nearly saves it, but still no.
She is potentially one of the worst actresses I have ever seen - The Secret Life of the American Teenager was not only the worst show ever, it ranked Number 1 on my roster of shit to make fun of several years running, which is notably hard to do. She is going to ruin Tris and Hazel Grace for me, and I will be crying during the Fault In Our Stars film for an entirely different reason than I cried during the book. I also really don't like the guy they cast as Augustus, but whatev.

I was pleasantly surprised by the first Hunger Games movie (okay, okay - I loved loved loved it) and didn't hate the last Twilight film (emphasis on didn't hate), so I have relatively medium-sized hopes for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

Let me just say this: there was never going to be a casting decision that anyone was happy with. Repeat after me: the movie actors are never as you imagined them in your head. NEVER. Matt Bomer is not Christian Grey (really?? no.). Alexis Bledel will forever and always be Rory Gilmore, and I do not want to see Rory Gilmore get spanked. Admittedly, I was more invested in the casting of Christian (no actress could be worse than the written version of Ana for me) and was pleasantly surprised by the choice. I have never seen Charlie in anything, and therefore his slate is clean in my book.

I mean - hot, but no.
Hey girl hey
While I am busy picturing him with some ice cream and other assorted implements, I would like to mention that he is also HOT. While not the Christian prototype, they will undoubtedly change his appearance to fit the book, lest the millions (billions?) of fans rage against the casting machine. I could never have seen Ryan Gosling, or even Alex Pettyfer, in the role. There was one guy who I saw that was perfect, but I'm not even sure he was an actor - perhaps just a model, since a long-ago googled search netted him as "copper haired hottie." I could have maybe handled Ian Somerholder (duh), but even he wasn't the right type of hot (who knew I could even type that sentence about Ian without bursting into flames).

According to the Daily News, there is even apparently a petition to instate the aforementioned Alexis and Matt into the roles - honestly? I can't even comment on the stupidity of that.

THIS is Christian.
Right after the announcement came the rumor has it that Robert Pattinson was the top choice to play Christian. He doesn't play a horrible vampire, but this would have perhaps been the one casting choice that would have made me NOT see this movie - and I really, really, really want to see this movie. Robert Pattinson does not even remotely resemble the character, end of story.

In this category, Fifty Shades will so far have to live up to the best adaptation of all time for me - Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. While not my favorite movie or book in any regard, this adaptation is the best I've ever seen and perhaps, dare I say it, better than the book.

How can you resist his awkward cuteness?

Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack.

So I know I haven't written anything in about eight months, but I guess that's what happens when you get a real-person job where you work non-stop for ten hours a day. All the work stress kind of sucked the life out of my funny bone.

But guess what? It's back.

And now, I've had long eight months of funny things to build up to this moment. So much has happened in celebrity pop culture life that it's impossible to quantify it all. And soon it will all implode into the mother of all news: the Royal Baby. I am so overwhelmed by trying to decide what to make fun of that I just want to lay down:


In more interesting news, it seems the silver-fox George Clooney is single again - and one must wonder what all of these women keep doing wrong. Elisabetta Canalis, Sarah Larson, Lisa Snowdon, Krista Allen, Rene Zellweger, not to mention the woman he actually married, Talia Balsam - all doing something to drive this beautiful man away. That, or he's a playa who doesn't want to get out of the game. 

Either way, the man can't won't keep a relationship going for longer than a few years and is notorious for his "I will never marry EVAAAA" statement. The man is 52, don't you think that if he was going to settle down, perhaps he would have done it by now? It's a shame, too, because I would make a wonderful wife.


I did a post awhile back about stupid names celebrities (and regular people) bestow upon their children, so I feel obligated to quickly mention Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's infant, North West. Aside from the fact that we have yet to see an image of the child, I can't help but wonder what they were thinking. Which is, I'm sure, how the entirety of the country who cares about this kind of stuff feels.

Drake Bell FTW.

The only birth more anticipated birth this year is the Royal Baby. That baby is so famous, he/she/it gets a title case name and its not even born yet. The entire country (and I'm sure all of England) is waiting on bated breath for the birth of this child and all I have to say is: it better not be ugly. Or named Right Middleton. Or something. It also has an app, apparently. I'm 24 years old and I don't have an app: what is wrong with this picture.


Also, Sharknado is a thing that happened.

This movie reminds me that Shark Week and is therefore acceptable

Friday, September 28, 2012

Eric Dane. That's it.

In serious breaking news this week, Ke$ha claims to have met a ghost. This is a direct quote from the quasi-insane superstar:
"'It's about experiences with the supernatural...' she told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS FM radio show...'I had a couple of experiences with the supernatural. I don't know his name! He was a ghost! I'm very open to it.'"
She said that, in those words, on the radio. In real life. You know who else had some sort of relations with a GHOST? Anna Nicole Smith. That's all I'm going to say about that.

In real life, though, I kind of like Ke$ha. Even though her music is just as bad as Rihanna's, style-wise, I find it much more appealing and can't seem to garner the same hatred that I have for Ri-Ri.

Perhaps it's because she leaves the house like that and doesn't even pretend to apoligize about it. Gotta love it. And for the record - that trash bag dress looks better than some of the multi-thousand dollar dresses at the Emmy's.

No, January Jones. Just no.
Last night was the MUCH-ANTICIPATED premiere of Grey's Anatomy. I know that not everyone in the world watches that show, but if you don't, you should. It literally has everything you could possibly want in primetime TV, including hot male cast members. I'm not sure, with the exception of the new-old doctor, that there IS a male character that is unattractive. Eric Dane, if you're reading this, HAIIIIIII.

I love you.
I have been searching far and wide for as many people as I can talk to about the premiere last night. So many things happened that it's hard to even express my actual emotions about it, other than to say that I cried. Like a baby.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are back together. Aka YAWN. The only reason(s) I even care about this story: 1) I hate Kristen Stewart so much its almost insane and 2) I have to wonder what actually happened and how different the real story is from what we heard on E! News - I can't imagine there was the possibility of forgiveness if it the two are the same. Robert Pattinson, if you're out there, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

I just want to show you this amazing picture from the Emmy's (that I did not watch) this weekend:

If I looked even a little bit like that in real life I could die happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Queen Beyonce and the 107 year old woman..and butter.

So, more pregnancy rumors again this week. This time, someone saw Beyonce with a "baby bump" that was probably a result of the excellent meal she just consumed. Everyone is confused about the state of Queen B's womb, but I can't imagine the baby, if it happens to be real, would be any less perfect than her current child.

Though the genetically and musically gifted parents didn't sell photos of their child (they didn't profit from their offspring?! Insane!) I'm sure they could have made millions off of that face.

The wonder couple also recently hung out with President Obamz a few days ago at a fundraiser in NYC. It made millions of dollars and blah blah but it also produced this photo:

 If you've ever seen anything better than two of the most famous people ever and the President (plus that guy I don't know) dusting their shoulders off, I'd like to see it.

A lot of people criticize the Prez for being too social and caring more about his golf game than his presidential campaign. I say BS to that nonsense. He made millions of dollars that night and got to hang out with Queen B and Jay-Z - aka the couple who makes money and fabulousness by simply waking up in the morning. You want to get in with an American population that cares more about the state of Katie Holmes' marriage than the State of the Union, then hang out with the President and First Lady of Life, is what I say. Good going, Obamz. Good going.
In other breaking celebrity news, Kim K got a cat - an event that, of course, received national media attention. As it should.

And then someone took a picture of the world's most adorable child Mason cuddling with it.

If that doesn't cue the "awwwwww" I really don't know what will. That cats face+Mason=cuteness overload.
A woman named Juliana Koo is about to be 107 years old. This woman was born in 1905. You know what has happened since 1905? A lot of shit. This woman witnessed The Titanic, MAD wars, JFK's assassination, Nixon AND Clinton, The Great Depression, and so many other things I can't even start a list. She was alive when women were granted the right to vote. I wonder if she was surprised by all the technological innovations she's seen in her lifetime. I also wonder if she always knew cars weren't going to fly in 2012 and is currently saying "told all you morons."

She was alive when bathing suits looked like this:

Not this:

Anyway, her probably ridiculously large family is throwing here a seriously rockin' party to celebrate this INSANELY RARE event. I would ask this woman a million questions about her life. The first one being, "how the eff do you make it to 107?" Does she follow the Jillian Michaels work-out-and-eat-healthy mantra or the Paula Deen butter-butter-everywhere-your-argument-is-invalid-because-butter recipe for success? She says,

"No exercise, eat as much butter as you like and never look backwards."

Butter it is! This woman is 107, I'm going to listen to  her and go have four cupcakes and some fried chicken. 

And also this shoe!

And finally, a man who can't play Jenga Mitt Romney, always good for a laugh:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ryan Reynolds. Your argument is invalid.

The speculation surrounding Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' surprise wedding has hit a peak this week with the BRAND NEW INFORMATION about a possible pregnancy. That would make it a shotgun wedding, ya'll.

Except for that her rep says she's not pregnant. DUH. Following reports that maybe she's eating a bit more than usual these days, a "source" claims those close to her are on "bump watch." That's what reporters gossip hounds are using as their evidence."Last night she had a cheeseburger and not a salad, so she must be preggers!" Really. That's it.

Instead, perhaps she got married because Ryan Reynolds is a COMPLETE STUDMUFFIN. Have these "sources" even seen him? I would marry Ryan Reynolds if he said so much as a hello to me, much less actually took me on a date. Or multiple dates. For a year.

Marry me? I don't care about your other wife.
Maybe we should stop speculating about who is pregnant (Princess Kate? I wish!) and just wait until they blow up to three times their normal size. I think that's good evidence, no?
Amanda Bynes is having a mental breakdown. And ya know what? I'm pretty sure she deserves it.
While I usually absorb celebrity news like a sponge the quality of news unsubstantiated gossip has gone down recently. I  miss the days where it wasn't speculation on who could maybe, possibly, be pregnant, but actual reporting unsubstantiated gossip about lying, cheating, scene stealing and Scientology. Either nobody is doing anything interesting lately or celebrities have hired themselves some kickass PR representation.

For example, Kristen Stewart cheats on Robert Pattinson IN PUBLIC and isn't really any worse for the wear.

And finally:

Real television.