Sunday, March 14, 2010

Book Fail

So, I have a little confession.

I used to like the Anita Blake vampire series (by Laurell K. Hamilton).

I blame my friend for getting me hooked on the series. She gave me the first two books in the series for Christmas one year. Now, for those of you that know me, I'm a book fanatic. Seriously. When people ask me what my drug of choice is, I usually tell them "book."

Okay, I'm lying. Nobody really ever asks me what my drug of choice is. Wouldn't that be kind of creepy? But if someone ever DOES ask me what my drug of choice is, I'm ready with my witty answer! Yeah. I'm cool like that.

Witty or not, reading has occasionally been a big enough problem in my life that I've had to take short breaks from it, just to prove that I can. Non-readers don't seem to understand that reading can actually be just as destructive as any other bad habit. If I played video games 7 or 8 hours a day, people would stage an intervention. However, if I spend 7 or 8 hours a day absorbed in a book, people smile and encourage it. A lot of people don't understand the narcotic effect of a good book. It can suck you in and leave you helplessly enthralled until you finish it. With a really good book, things like eating, or sleep, or even going pee stop being necessary bodily functions. They exist only as annoying interruptions that come between you and the next page.

Readers, you know what I'm talking about. It's 4 in the morning, your alarm is set to go off in two hours, your eyes are hot, gritty, and feel like they've been sand blasted... But you just want to get to the next chapter! Surely the next chapter will have a stopping point! You slip out of bed, book three inches from your nose, hand trailing along the wall as you feel your way to the bathroom. You may have to pee, but that doesn't mean you have to stop reading! The trip takes 5 times longer than it needs to, because you're trying to figure out ways to rip the toilet paper with only one hand. (Voice of Experience: Pull out more than you need and use your elbow to hold down the toilet paper roll to rip.)

Yeah. I like books. I like books the way heroin addicts like their heroin.

So when my best friend handed me two brand new books, I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. When she told me she'd bought me the books because the main character reminded her of me... Well, it was like throwing gasoline on an already raging inferno.

For those of you who haven't read the Anita Blake series, I am here to tell you that you're probably better off. Don't get me wrong--- if you look past the unnecessary sex, the series is fun, in that turn-your brain off, fun-fiction kind of a way. I mean, any book that is filed under the "Paranormal Romance" section of a bookstore isn't going to be good for the brain. Still, I found the first few books fun to read, and doubly so because my friend said the main character reminded her of me.

I mean... COOL.

Anita Blake is a vampire executioner, necromancer, who is tough as nails, witty, doesn't take crap from anyone, beats up the bad guys she doesn't just shoot, and still has every guy panting after her for her hot little body!

Just like me!


The problem with the Anita Blake series is that somewhere around book three or four, the focus shifts. They go from centering on Anita Blake, vampire hunter to Anita Blake, BDSM porn star. It's a gradual, sneaky shift. One day you're enjoying scenes of killer zombies and police shoot-outs with the occasional mention of a sexy Master vampire or alpha werewolf... and then the next day you have an ah-ha moment and realize...Huh. I'm pretty sure I'm reading porn. There's no real plot here, and everyone is having unbelievably disgustingly graphic BDSM sex with every one else in the name of furthering the non-existent plot line... wait a second! Why am I reading this trash again?

Sigh. What a waste of a series. I really recommend NOT reading it.

So, now that I have warned you that I DON'T recommend it, and you AREN'T allowed to judge me for having once filled my head with this trash...

I have a funny little story about it.

I was about 30 pages from the end of one of the books, totally absorbed. It was one of those climactic endings--- everyone is about to find out whodunit, and why.... The bad guys have kidnapped some of the good guys, and have sent their representative with a little box containing a chopped-off pinky finger. (Ewwwww.... Cooooool.)

Anita and her posse have decided to fight fire with fire, and are going to chop off the fingers of the representative, one at a time, until he gives up the information on where they are keeping the kidnapped victims. (Ewwwww! Double coooool!). Anita has just realized that she can't ask anyone to do what she's not willing to do herself. She steels herself for the task, asking one of her team to hold out the man's hand. She grabs the knife, setting its edge against the man's finger. She asks him for the information one last time, and when she refuses, she...

Pushes her son down the street on his bicycle, marveling at the colors of the sunset, laughing in joy at the peace of the moment as she realizes how beautiful life truly is!


Rudely jolted out of the ether spell the book had put me under, I looked at the page I had just finished reading. Had I skipped a page? A really, really crucial page?

No, no.... There was Anita. Yeah, I remember that. And there was the bloody finger... yeah, yeah... And there was the knife, about to saw down and spray blood everywhere in a graphic, gory, totally awesome act of retribution....

And then right there on the next page, there was some random woman, with some stupid little kid on a bike, riding down some stupid little sunset-filled lane. WTH? I didn't want sunsets and happiness! I wanted my dismembered finger! Frantic, I flipped ahead the last few pages... and to my horror, realized that the rest of the book was about the stupid woman, her stupid kid, and her stupid happiness with stupid, placid little life. Glancing at the page again, I noticed that it was different typeset. A glance at the top confirmed my suspicions: Some publisher out there had printed 412 pages of Blue Moon, and then finished it off with 20 pages of Turtle Moon.

It was 1:30 in the morning. All the stores were closed, I was less than 20 pages away from the end of a 400 page book, and I couldn't finish the darn thing.

I was livid, pacing the floor of my apartment in my desperate need to know the end of the book. I tried to find it online, to no avail. I finally gave up, and lay down in my bed, setting my alarm to make sure that I had enough time to swing by a bookstore on my way to school in the morning.

The only thing that helped salvage the situation was realizing that somewhere out there there was a woman just like me... A woman who was about 20 pages from the end of her happy little book, smiling and teary-eyed at the beauty of the world.... only to turn the page and find someone's chopped off finger flying at her.

I guess if I had to choose I'd rather be in my shoes. That had to be one heck of a shock.

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Blogger Veronica said...

I suppose I'd rather be in your shoes too.

I wonder, did it finish with another BDSM scene, just to shock the happy woman readers?

Oh and I emailed you.

March 14, 2010 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger AareneX said...

Hahahahaha! I love your descriptions!

I've had this experience...and I'm a librarian...I've lived within 10 minutes of my library...and I have a wanna bet that I would go there in the middle of the night to find another copy of the book?

In my jammies?

Oh yeah, baby.

March 14, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous WarsawMommy said...

Oh, I dunno. I think that being startled out of Lala Land by a bloody flying finger during an interrogation would be quite an experience!

Congrats on the win at Sleepless Nights ;)

March 16, 2010 at 3:53 AM  
Blogger Fyyahchild said...

Great post. I haven't gotten into Anita Blake but there's plenty of other trash I fill my brain with. I like to pretend to balance it by reading one trashy zombie novel and then one classic or non-fiction book. long as I'm reading.

I wanted to let you know that you have an award on my blog. I hope you pick it up and participate. Its a fun way to learn more about you. :)

March 26, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Fyyahchild said...'s a link directly to the award post.

March 26, 2010 at 12:18 PM  
Anonymous RedasRubies said...

I carry two books in my purse: the one I'm reading and the one that I will begin as soon as I'm finished. Drive-thru lines and dr's waiting rooms don't push my patience button cause I've gotta a book!
It is pretty bad when life gets in the way of fiction though. If I'm in the middle of a really good book and have to go to work, I am less than focused on the job at hand to say the least.

March 27, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Bookmaster said...

I really need to pace myself with catching up on your blog--I am really ignoring the kids WAY TOO much. I understand all too well that addiction. Hi, my name is Joy and I am addicted to Becky's writing.

September 29, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Nicola Grimwood said...

so i love books like you love books my husband was sick of all the books cluttering up the house so he bought me a kindle :) 24/7 book shopping is dangerous on the other hand if i had bough tall the books i have on my kindle in paperback i don't think we would fit in our house :P

December 16, 2012 at 4:58 AM  

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