It's a good book, but it's not my Typee...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fifty Shades of How Did This Get Published?!

Oh, Fifty Shades of Grey, that rampantly popular, scandalous hit.

This is the kind of book people love if they can't read anything longer than a Slim Fast nutrition label without getting bored.

This book is badly written, has terrible characters, and does not live up to its hype in any way. It is a confused romance novel for women who have never grown up and want to read something "edgy" and "exciting" before drifting off to sleep on their Justin Bieber pillow case.

If you read Fifty Shakes of Dray (or whatever) looking for smut, you will find it. But it's probably not the type you're looking for unless you are one of the above mentioned Bieber case owners. If you read it in the hopes of being outraged because in this day of modern, feminist, blah, blah, blah, you will probably be disappointed. Because Anastasia Steele is not a heroine who trades her self-respect for being kicked around by some jerk. I'm pretty sure she's a member of the Babysitters' Club who happened to wander into the wrong book and was too "klutzy" (read Bella Swann clone) to find her way back out.

I gave it two stars rather than one because I never actually threw the book across the room in frustration or yelled at the author while reading it.

I'm glad I read it to see what all the fuss is about, but I was expecting something at least marginally better. I don't know why. It seems that most of the time a book is popular with the masses, I end up being very disappointed in the taste my fellow human beings have in reading material.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Craving Grace

Last summer I participated in the Tyndale House Summer Reading Program. One of the books I read still stands out:

~Craving Grace~
One of the best Tyndale books I've read  was Craving Grace by Lisa Velthouse. This second book by the author of Saving My First Kiss is a memoir about finding God's grace where you least expect it.

Velthouse is a young woman whose heart is in the right place but seems to have enormous trouble finding happiness. Throughout the book she strives for Christian perfection, professional perfection and a relationship with a man that lasts beyond the second date. The format of the book is at times confusing since her story jumps back and forth in time. Each chapter is appropriately labeled, but the reader can still easily get lost among the many similar emotions and situations Velthouse describes over the three year period the book covers.

I found Velthouse endearingly and charmingly flawed. At times I wanted very much to meet this woman who holds herself to such impossibly high standards. She makes me want to comfort her. Readers will want to place a hand on her shoulder and say, "Relax."

By the end of Craving Grace, most people will be so fond of Velthouse that the hint of a possible romantic interest towards the end of the book will have them cheering.

When I finished reading this book, I loaned it to a young girl who was going through a very difficult period in her life in the hope that the author's struggles would show her that everyone makes bad decisions, but that doesn't hold you back from making better ones in the future.