These past few weeks it seems there are people scouring AO3, fanfiction.net and a couple of other venues discovering fanfic of shows they haven't ever watched. Must be so, because I'm suddenly getting likes, comments and kudos for stories which have been out there for quite a while and no one ever was interested, because I like obscure media.
For anyone who would like to help, GRNW and the YA LGBT Books GoodReads group are partnering together on a Young Adult LGBT Book Drive for the Seattle nonprofit LGBT youth organization Lambert House.
Lambert House is a wonderful nonprofit organization that provides a safe, welcoming place for queer youth 22 and under, and hosts lots of fun activities, support groups, and meetings as well as programs to help develop leadership, social, and life skills.
Their library really needs YA LGBT books, and we thought it would fun to help out.
If you want to learn more about the drive, we have an info page here: http://gayromancenorthwest.wordpress.com/donate-a-book/
If you'd like to buy a book off our YA LGBT book gift registry on Amazon, our registry is here: http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/1JVPZ9901JBAA
Any books bought off the gift registry are sent to us, and we'll deliver it to Lambert House after the drive ends on December 15.
(Amazon only has gift registries for babies and weddings. So, we're having a baby book drive. ^_^)
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped out so far. (Already 7 books off the gift registry have been bought! Thank you!)
A straight 5* and that inspite of the fact that the author was on the short side of hit and miss for me twice before. But as the saying is, third time is good!
And it is bloody good! A real first-class tearjerker, with well-expressed male emotions, the (mainly S&M) BDSM got entirely right and beautifully expressed, especially the pain part, a fabulous inner dialogue at constant counterpoint and written out subtext to what is spoken, repressed guys--what more do you want? Nothing for me, that was perfect!
Recommended for everyone seeking some insight into BDSM and fucked up emotions. :)
ETA: In hindsight and looking at "The Last Rebellion" at the same time, it is a pity that this one isn't getting the love it should. Curiously, as some may find, I consider it far darker and infinitely more touching and intimate than the torture story. Well, the reason for that is easy: this is fully expressed emotion as it takes place, by a man suffering for it because of himself.
The first thing to say is that at the time I felt very sorry for Jo *Smut-Dickted* that her prompt hadn't been filled. So learning that Lisa took that prompt, and wrote her the story she wanted, is quite fabulous!
The next thing I have to state is that this story is very well-written, hits the points asked for in the prompt at an inordinately high degree and is well-constructed. Going by Jo's reaction to it, it's pretty much exactly what she wanted.
Still, I can't rate this. If I want to stay true to myself, it would end up with a much lower rating than this deserves as wish fulfillment, as a well-written story and as a freebie. Can't do that. Now let me explain why ;). No it wasn't the rape or the torture at all.
Within moments of starting to read this I disliked Rho so much I was gnashing my teeth. It didn't get better either, I never came to like him, I did not respect him, at times I wished he'd die already, so it would be over and done with. Yes, that's really not the reaction to have towards a torture victim!
I do know of course why my reaction was what it was. I'd already noticed this in the prompt, but when put into writing it became exactly the thing I can't abide: bullshit masculine "values" straight from the American masculine box. I can't say how much I loathe the mindless, useless, idiotic macho stance as displayed by Rho without getting too far into lavatory language. To me there is nothing heroic or admirable in the way he behaved. It's simply a sign of his distinct stupidity and lack of self-awareness, as well as a complete absence of solid values or intelligent reactions.
As a result I disliked him, couldn't latch onto why Miller was fascinated and attracted, and was rather unmoved by the story itself. This, I need to state again, has nothing to do with the writing, or plot. It's just that I can't admire someone like that, or even just like him or empathise with him.
I found Miller the easier of the two characters to relate to. He's an apparatchik almost straight out of the text-book, endowed with enough cold-blooded sadism to be most useful to any totalitarian society. You know the sort: they tortured political prisoners in the cellars of the Lubyanka, and managed concentration camps like Dachau or Auschwitz, being all good citizens.
The story itself did nothing for me, I'm afraid. I didn't consider it erotic, it didn't tickle any of my kinks, the non-con was far too mechanical and repetitive to reach me, and turning someone against their will needs to be accompanied by emotions to move me. And again, I was far too exasperated by Rho and his lack of logic and consequence to attach myself to the victim. Miller got what he wanted and that was that.
However, I'm really happy that Jo finally got her story!
It *is* better written than FSoG on the prose level, so that's why it earned itself 1 star on top of FSoG.
Else this is just another plagiarism of The Book Which Shall Not Be Named. In fact down to little idiosyncrasies, the state of utter immaturity of the MCs, the tics and spleens. Everything and everyone is the stereotype of the trope of what they might be.
Just saying, but why can't there be--just once--a friendly secretary of a CEO? Why do they all get painted bitches?
Why do people behave on first meetings as if sex was a throw-away article? Not just that this isn't very erotic, but I wouldn't want to be with someone treating sex like eating a hamburger (or rather less so, I guess these characters would take greater care choosing a clean restaurant).
I'll not even go into much further detail, I was quite simply bored. And annoyed. Irritated even.
What do readers say about The Administration?
Click here http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/490aa75669794f89 if you want to play with the words.
“I have gotten one question repeatedly from young men. These are guys who liked the book, but they are honestly confused. They ask me why Melinda was so upset about being raped.
The first dozen times I heard this, I was horrified. But I heard it over and over again. I realized that many young men are not being taught the impact that sexual assault has on a woman. They are inundated by sexual imagery in the media, and often come to the (incorrect) conclusion that having sex is not a big deal. This, no doubt, is why the number of sexual assaults is so high.”
-- Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak, on the question “Have any readers ever asked questions that shocked you?”
"Read that again. Read it again, and again, and again. Over and over guys have asked her why Melinda was so upset about being raped. This is a girl who went to a party with friends. She was thirteen. She had a drink, because everyone else was. And a senior held her down and raped her while she was too drunk to get away.
And guys don’t understand why she was upset.
Read that again and then come back and tell me again why I should just shut up and take a joke when a comedian blows off rape as a big deal, or women’s bodies are casually treated as commodities in media. Remind me why I shouldn’t care about the very real harm that society’s treatment of women and sexual assault does."
I wish sometimes I could reblog things back and forth between BL and tumblr. So this is a fake-ass reblog, pretend it's the real thing.
Apropos the conversation lately about young women reading YA "romance" and getting skewed ideas about healthy relationships, they aren't the only ones with no damn clue. The consequences are frankly a little terrifying, and as my youngest is now 14, reading this quote from Anderson punched me in the gut.
It's Friday. No sense worrying about productivity today.
Okay, this was bloody brilliant. What did I expect?
Review to come. I need to digest this.
2% Why is R. Lee Smith so brilliant? I'm fucking green with envy! I tell you--fucking bloody squeaky green. O.o
4% Brilliant writing.
7% Against how Smith tortures her characters I'm a babe. O.o
27% Damn, yeah, and now I'm in love with a lizardman! Meoraq is simply adorable! <3
48% A real plot, lots and lots of meaty, wonderful plot, and woven into this a romance, and aliens, and dammit a female main character who is just pure brilliance, and a lizard to fall in love with--wonderful!
57% Bless you, Ms. Smith! No one writes alien sex better, or with more humour ;)
70% Smith is one singularly mean cookie! She creates enemies so loathsome that you want to spitroast them, slowly that is, and then forces you to become ambivalent about them and see their positive sides. Never black and white, always shades. Brilliant writing.
89% "This is a human mating technique, is it?" Meoraq asked uncertainly, watching her peel away his loin-plate. "Do I take my boots off or do you remove them for me?"
...an edit button!
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"Keeping Sweets," by Cate Ashwood is part of our free November Tweetaways! Available for an hour.
No, I don't like it. I don't exactly hate it either, I'm between "really meh" and "bored to tears". I also do not at all and that is emphatically not at all, get the hype this book is getting.
I'll be frank, please don't bite my head off!
Firstly, it's a rip-off. It's a rather badly disguised concoction of:
1. LaMont Cranston (Lucien and Crane? Even the same initials) is "The Shadow". Which used to be a pulp novel series in the 1930s, was then put on radio (Orson Welles cut his teeth on it), and then made a movie in the mid-nineties with a still very cute Alec Baldwin as Cranston. An American ex drug-lord, ex-junkie, ex-criminal, ex-smuggler chief of mafia-don standing, stationed somewhere close to or in China, who gets abducted by a "tulku" (shaman) and turned into a good person through magic.