Reading: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
This is really not what I expected it to be. It was much better. I thought I was getting myself into a fun but ultimately tepid space romance with a pretty cover. Instead this was a (sort of realistic) love story set in a survival situation.
Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the most powerful man in the universe and Tarver Merendsen is a soldier, a war hero son of a teacher and poet. In other words, not nearly good enough for Lilac in her father’s eyes. But when Lilac and Tarver are the only survivors of a ship disaster that leaves them stranded, alone, on an unfamiliar planet. Struggling to survive the two come to depend upon each other and soon form the blossoms of love, but it’s soon evident that the planet is far different from either of them could ever have imagined.
I can truly say that this was a very original story. There were genuinely points where I had no idea where this was going and I was never disappointed in a plot twist. The other books in the Starbound series apparently deal with different characters, which makes sense because this story is a complete one, so I wasn’t sure that I felt the need to continue. But upon finishing this book I am interested to see what else these authors can come up with.
Watching: House of Cards, season three
I’m about halfway through the season (due to my lack of time) but I managed to make it through season two in less than a weekend. I love me a political drama, and this is a stylish one. It follows the political career of ruthless Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). Initially the House majority whip, passed over for Secretary of State, a position he felt promised, Frank deceives and connives his way up the political ladder. At his side is his equally devious wife, Claire (Robin Wright). After two nearly flawless seasons I’ve heard the third has some issues, but I’m still curious to see what it has in store. House of Cards is based on a British series of the same name from 1990. I’ve only seen the first installment but know there were two more. Perhaps that’s where the American version should leave off, but Netflix has a hit on its hands and is understandably loathe to let it go. It’s already been renewed for a season four. And, really, since we’re getting it, I have faith that the writers can come up with a compelling fourth season, no matter where season three leaves off.
Taylor Swift 1989
So, this CD is fucking good. It haven’t really stopped listening to it since it dropped like three months ago. I liked her country(ish) albums, but honestly how far was that going to go? Swift is a pop artist at heart and this album only proves it. Her tunes are impossibly catchy and her lyrics are far better than anyone gives her credit for as they dismiss her as a girl who can’t keep a boyfriend. There isn’t a single song on this album that I would classify as a dud.
In embarrassing news, I went with my friend (who’s name will be left out of it lest she should die of embarrassment) to see Fifty Shades of Grey.
There was really not a point where I wasn’t going to see this movie because there was a point where I had every intention of reading the books. I feel, as a pop culture addict living in this time, that I have to experience cultural phenomena. Like Twilight before it (awful but oddly magnetising) and Harry Potter before that (luminescent, obviously) [and leaving out all the Hunger Games (posted about that a long time ago, here) and Divergents in between] Fifty Shades is something liked by so many people that I feel like I need to have an opinion. I also feel like unsubstantiated opinions are bullshit. I was gearing up for a vacation a couple years ago that was going to involve a lot of driving and I thought it might be a good time to experience Christian Grey and his closet full of whips and restraints. As I was transferring the audio CD to my iPod I had the misfortune of hearing a thirty second snippet. It sounded like it was written by a mentally disabled middle schooler and I just couldn’t. I was waiting for the movie. And now I can fully report that Fifty Shades of Grey sucks ass. But, it sucks in such a way that makes it rip roaringly hilarious. Miss Steele has very little personality and Mr. Grey is a bundled nerve of contradictions. The film is so prevailingly… gray that my companion leaned over early on and said “No wonder he falls for her, she wears color!”
And really, we couldn’t stop whispering to each other the whole time. For awhile I burst out laughing and literally could not stop. This pile was achingly unromantic and decidedly not very racy. I was actually surprised by how vanilla the sex was. But then, this isn’t a story about BDSM as I have so often been told, it’s about the ordinary girl who normalizes an emotionally damaged man who’s into BDSM. Or… something.
On a more serious not, there are those who claim the story features an abusive relationship. That’s tricky, but on a whole I do disagree. This relationship is not healthy. Anastasia does not get the emotional connection she craves, and Grey is a controlling asshat but I don’t think he’s abusive. And I found Anastasia to have a lot more backbone than I was expecting. Nothing physical happens without explicit consent and he is upfront about his emotional issues and what he can and can not provide in a relationship. His controlling nature, which I think is the main issue, is problematic, but not, to me, abusive.
So, yes,it was awful, but pretty amusing too. Afterwards my fellow viewer and I went to coffee and found ourselves wondering about what happens in book two. Soon we looked it up on our phones and were in peels of laughter as we read the synopsis. Stalking, vendettas, cheesy marriage proposals… we actually high fived in amusement at one point because it read like a bad episode of Law and Order. But, you can bet your ass I’ll be seeing the movie.