Don't Throw Stones in Target...

There were two major factors that will impact the frequency of my blogging/romance project (whatever this is):

1 - The insane work project (duration of six months) is now "launched" (or under control and wrapping up quickly);  This means no more bringing work home or staying in the office until 8:30 p.m., so I'm hoping to "ride out" the rest of the year... *knock on wood*  (JOY!)

2 - My older paperback romances are now sitting on my book shelf, so my original romance collection feels a tad bit more "complete", although I still have two or three books I need to repurchase.

I can breathe a big sigh of relief, and I am hoping that this means no longer going four weeks between posts!  My main focus now needs to be developing the site more; an actual blog title and "look", etc.  I want to commit to posting at least once per week.

Regarding the follow-up on Fifty Shades / Bared to You in the middle of a Target...  This has to be addressed.  My closest friends (and yes, even my own mother) already know how disappointed I am with the quality of writing in the Fifty Shades trilogy.  BUT I cannot truly judge (yet) because I haven't even finished the book.  Abandoned at page 25 on my nook (now in the "archived" section).  Since I can't give the honest critique, I'm just a genuine hater.

Here's my conflict:  Part of me is very glad that readers are now embracing this romance sub-genre (even if they're calling it "erotica" when it's basic "erotic romance fiction" ... and it should be in the romance aisle of the bookstore, but that's only my $0.02).  Another immature part of me feels miffed that so many "new-to-the-genre" readers can pick this up and suddenly declare such a fanatic appreciation for the trilogy - when I feel like they don't even understand a good romance - or what makes the romance novel so great.  And every detail involving the success of this series (or this "erotic awakening") is being analyzed to death:  Is it because the cover is so "tasteful"?  Is it because a friend recommends it, and then the reader can preface any discussion with, "I normally don't read these books, but a friend recommended this to me"?  Is it "safe" to read because it's on the bestsellers list?  (And by the way, it belongs right next to the romances, you know - in that section of the bookstore that you never frequent, full of all those books you make fun of or don't read...)  However, I have realized that society is taking their Fifty Shades all sort of serious...  I've even had colleagues at work bring this up... but even the most bizarre Fifty Shades experience I've had so far - when two random strangers started a discussion in Target (at the book section):

Lady 1: [Staring at Fifty Shades and picks it up to read back cover]

Lady 2: [Picks up Beautiful Disaster, and sees Lady 1 staring at Fifty Shades]

Me: [Walking over to the books and mentally telling myself, "Don't buy any more books.  Don't buy.  No books.  Ok, just look.  Really quickly."  Notices Lady 1 and Lady 2 and the books they're holding.]

Lady 2:  [to Lady 1 in a low voice]  "That's a really good book.  I just got done reading all three."

Me:  ["Oh, shit, Jena - Do NOT say anything.  Do not tell them how you couldn't get past page 25.  It's a free country; people can read whatever they want.  Don't be rude.  Maybe she's not even buying it for herself, it could be a gag gift *no pun intended* for someone else..."]

Lady 1: [with a slight accent] "Is it easy to read?  English is not my first language, and I am trying to read more.  Everyone is telling me about this book, and I see it is very popular."

Me:  ["Ok, never mind.  She's looking for smaller uncomplicated English sentences that a third-grader could read through.  The shallow prose in Fifty Shades will work..."]

Lady 2:  "Oh, you'll love it!"

Me:  [Looking up and slightly turning towards the other two ladies, pointing to Bared to You]  "Um, I heard that Bared to You book is pretty good, too... It has some similar elements like Fifty Shades, but it's supposed to be a little more... in-depth, with better writing... but I haven't read them yet..." *shrug*

Lady 2:  "Really?!  Wow - I'll have to check it out.  I just devoured the Fifty Shades trilogy!  I could NOT put it down... [back to Lady 1] it is really graphic, and there are a lot of racy sex scenes, so if that's not your thing-"

Lady 1:  [promptly puts the book back, picks up the HUGE shrink-wrapped trilogy box-set, and drops it in her basket without blinking]  Oh, that's okay then.  I am European.  I buy all three now.

That unforgettable look of self-confidence on her face.  As much as I dislike Fifty Shades, I'm really hoping that Lady 1 at least enjoys it (and then enjoys a real and well-written romance novel).

Bottom Line: If someone picks up Fifty Shades of Grey and then decides to read any other romance, then I'm happy... but alas, maybe some readers ONLY like Fifty Shades.  (I mean I LOVE the Fire and Ice saga, and I'm not running out to grab every other best-selling fantasy novel that hits the shelves.)  So if the consumer likes just the book, but not the genre - fine - I'll have to accept that.  Heck, if anyone is picking up Fifty Shades, just to read a frickin' book, then I'm glad.


1 comment:

Adria said...

Hey there! I'm just popping by to check out your blog. I really liked this post about Fifty Shades. I have a WHOLE essay about the series going on in my head. I would love to in the future read about encounters like this, perhaps you can even open up a discussion post. One great blogger you have to check out (and learn from) is my buddy Danielle over at Book Whore Blog.