Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm Feeling 22

This was one of those weeks where I barely had time to pee, let alone read. I worked two jobs, I went out socially every night, I had some volunteer stuff to get done, and as always, I had two very busy kids who still needed to be ferried about, fed, bathed, read to, etc. On top of that, my car died and needed to be towed (twice), and instead of conversations with my husband, we have held a series of short, schedule and logistics meetings during which one of us is either just climbing out of or just climbing into bed.

That sound you hear? It’s the world’s smallest violin playing a concerto just for me.

While it is slim picking on the book blog, I did post a bonus movie blog, so I think it all evens out in the end.

#22 – The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
Recommended by: ES

The person who recommended this book is a childhood friend and his joining the list was a wonderful surprise, especially because he chose a book I had never even heard of, let alone read. It was 1970s science fiction, so as of its time, it is heavy on the science, relatively light on the characterization, and heavy on the misogyny. Where else but 70s sci-fi do all the women have to engage in nightly orgies? Strangely enough, that is really a minor quibble in what turned out to be a fascinating look at war, sexuality, military thinking, and the future.  The protagonist in conscripted into a war against an alien force, but fighting it requires constant jumping through wormholes. So while he only ages a few years in chronological time, he moves through over a thousand years in quantifiable time. I could have done without the paragraphs filled with physics (a running theme in any of my reading), but this book should definitely be required for anyone who is a fan of Heinlein and Bradbury. It spends just enough time defining the world before jumping right into it and does what any good book should do, which is leave you wanting more. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

50 Shades of Nay

I haven’t laughed that hard in a movie in a really, really long time.

At one point during 50 Shades of Grey, I was laughing so hard that I was wheezing and crying at the same time. Considering it was when Christian had just told Ana he was going to fuck her into next week, I hardly think I had the response the filmmakers intended.

I don’t even know where to begin. Was it the wooden acting, the stilted dialogue, or the least erotic sex scenes since Monty Python? When the movie ended, one of my friends who had not read the book and knew little about the movie was actually shocked Christian was supposed to be seen as sexy at all. She thought he was supposed to be a little boy lost. Honestly, poor Christian looked like he was going to weep when he had to flog her and that wasn’t acting. That was just Jamie Dornan cringing at his career choices. He looked absolutely mortified at the words coming out of his own mouth. In fact, when he had to utter one of the signature lines of the book, “I’m 50 shades of fucked up,” he couldn’t even face the camera. That is a man who went home and took a chemical shower after shooting every day. Was he a good Christian? Well, if you like serial killers, sure. Every line came out so flat and absent of any emotion, I thought the red room of pain was going to turn into Dexter’s kill room. Maybe the Irish actor just couldn’t pull off an American accent, but maybe the director should have screen-tested for that before they cast him? I’ve never seen more than a commercial for Sons of Anarchy, but from those 30 second bites alone, I can tell you that Charlie Hunnam would have left us all wanting more. Jamie Dornan just left us wanting.

Moving on to Ana – she was fine. In fact, she actually managed to breathe some life into the caricature that is the written Anastasia Steele. She was cute and funny and pretty to look at, which is great since we spent 90 percent of the movie in extreme close up of her face and various other body parts. From where I was sitting in the movie theater, I thought her nipples were going to poke my eyes out. I will never understand why a movie meant for women spent so much time showing me a naked woman. If I want to see boobs, I’ll look down my own shirt. (It must have been a very cold movie set because that poor woman had nipples that could etch glass. One fellow movie buddy actually wondered if she had a nipple fluffer because they never flagged.) Why am I spending so much time talking about her nipples? Because the movie Never. Stopped. Showing. Them. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they were in the end credits. How many shots of Christian’s naked ass did we get? One. One measly second of male nudity, but enough lingering shots of Ana that I could tell you Dakota Johnson’s most personal grooming habits.

How were the sex scenes? Mediocre at best. One friend spent the sex scenes worrying about a mole on the actresses’ arm. While I will admit that my theater filled with women did seem to spend a lot of time squirming in their seats during the sex scenes, it was mostly because they were so uncomfortable to watch. She was all gasping and writhing while he just stared at her with dead eyes, no smile, and a flogger. He wasn’t come hither, he was creepy. And not to be overly graphic (but there is almost no way to avoid it), no one ever had a happy. This is a movie about sex. When they aren’t having sex, they are talking about sex. If you excise all the scenes where they do neither, the movie length shrinks to that of the average Super Bowl commercial. The characters had to finish at some point. I mean, they were always shown either sleeping or playing the piano (fully dressed) afterward, but did they get to make an O face? Did they reach their happy place? We’ll never know because the director never showed us. The audience was blue-balled.

The biggest problem with the book remains the biggest problem with the movie - their relationship is disturbing. He would say something that would make any sane women run screaming into another room, and she would just smile. A guy who tells me to “EAT!” on a coffee date? Or who basically breaks into my house, steals my car, follows me across the country, makes me sign a non-disclosure agreement so that I have no legal recourse in the event of any abuse, and tells me that I’ll need a safe word on the first date? RED FLAG! RED FLAG! If he was some mid-level manager at a big box store, with a slightly receding hairline, and who drove a Toyota? She would have called the cops on him the minute he just shows up at her place of employment asking for zip ties, duct tape, and a length of rope. His behavior screams murderer not lover. Run! RUN!

And then, just when you thought the movie couldn’t get any worse – it does.



When the movie ended, abruptly, in what appeared to be the middle of a scene, in what should have been roughly the second act, I actually yelled out loud, “Where the FUCK is rest of the movie?” And I was supposed to have given up cursing for Lent too. But honestly, what the hell happened? The movie ending was the equivalent of finding out your book chapter ended in the middle of a sentence. It didn’t so much end as just stop playing. One of the ladies behind me (not in my group) stated that she was not leaving the theater until the rest of the movie finished playing and I could understand her frustration. I know that this is supposed to be a trilogy, but I’m pretty sure that means there should be three separate plots over the course of three separate movies, not one plot that just stops mid-scene and continues two years later. This wasn’t just a girl interrupted in the middle of her thoughts, this was just girl. She didn’t get far enough in the story to have thoughts.

I knew this movie was going to be stupid. The source material was stupid. I knew it was going to be ridiculous because the source material was ridiculous. However, I still expected a full-length motion picture. This was a short-film stretched to the point of breaking. Am I glad I saw it? Yes, I don’t like to be ignorant and if I am going to argue about something, I better damn well know what I am talking about. Also, I had a great time with my friends I think you would as well. So, grab a handful of your best buddies (leave the husbands at home) and go to the show. It’s worth it. Everyone needs a little release and I assure you, you will laugh so hard that all the tension will absolutely melt away from your body, leaving you with a warm, satisfying finish. 

Don't want to see the movie? I'll sum it up for you.

Meet cute
Him - I can't be with you, but I can't stay away from you.
Her - Um
Him - This is how I have sex. I want to have sex this way with you.
Her - Um.
Him - Can I do these things to you?
Her - Um. Maybe.
Him - I want to do these things to you.
Her - Why do you want to do these things?
Him - Because I like to do these things.
Him - Can I do these things?
Her - Let's discuss these things.
Him - Can I do them Now?
Her - Sure, but only some.
Her - Ok, do the worst of those things to me.
Him - (Does worst)
Her - Oh, ow, that hurt, why did you do that to me?
Him - Baffled.
Her - But why would you do those things to me? What you make you ever think you could do those things to me?
Him - ?????

Move ends. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Love, Twue Love

How much love is enough?  

#20 - Time Traveler's Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Recommended by: MJ

Many years ago, I was discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my college roommate. She hated it, I loved it. When I asked her why, she said, in what has become an infamous quote in my household, “Well, it would have been fine except for all the vampires.” I can assure you there was much sputtering and ridiculous pontificating on my part because obviously, vampires were the whole goddamn point! Right there in the title – VAMPIRES! She and I remain the closest of friends, mostly because we have agreed to disagree on almost all forms of popular culture.

Anyway, I was reminded of this conversation upon reading this book. I’m not a fan of time travel (excluding Doctor Who, of course). Well, to be clear, the entire thought of being stranded Captain America-like (or Buck Rogers for the retro nerds) in the future, without friends, or family, or skills, or money, etc., is my worst fear. Rip Van Winkle is not a child’s fable, it is a horror story. The other problem with time travel is that it is a Mobius strip of inconsistency. This happens because that happened, but can’t happen until this happens, which only happens because that happened. And so on. I just can’t get on board with such nonsense. However, the redeeming part of the love story was actually, strangely enough, the actual love story. The characters never do or say what you would expect, so it was really interesting to see how they would react to whatever life threw at them. I think they were so strongly written that the plot device could have been war, or famine, disease or disaster and the relationship between the two lovers would have been just as fascinating. I really loved Clare and Henry. I loved everything about them. But the time travel, man, the time travel just killed me. Ugh.

#21 – A Question of Attraction – David Nichols
Recommended by: MJ

Sadly, this was the first swing and a miss for me. I found myself skimming through, just trying to get through to the end. That’s never a good sign. I could see why MJ loved it, and reading it reminded me of her, which is always lovely as we never get to see each other anymore and I always miss her. The book just didn’t resonate with me. I tried.

#53 – Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by: LA

Yes, I do realize I just jumped quite a bit, but I had to read this one for book club this month. I liked it, but didn’t love it. Everything you need it know about it could be found on the back cover. It read like a screenplay, not a novel and in fact, is already in development as a movie (with Daeneryrs from Game of Thrones and Jamie from Outlander as the leads). It has all the makings of a movie – the plucky, funky, sheltered young girl and the asshole, damaged, worldly multimillionaire slightly older man. The fact that he is a quadriplegic is a huge part of the story, as is the debate about his right to die, but it still felt like well trod ground. Just once, I’d like one of these characters, the Christian Greys and Will Traynors of the world to be slightly overweight, or have a receding hairline, or to be barely middle class. Once again, though, I will recommend it as a book club choice. I realize I do this a lot, but there are some books that there isn’t much to say beyond whether you liked it or not. You can read it and enjoy it silently, without sharing. It can still be a great book, but it doesn’t allow for much discussion. This book will bring forth a LOT of discussion. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oscar Bait

I love the Oscars. I always have and I always will. Some years, I have movies and actors I am actively rooting for and other years, I’m just there for the red carpet. I am an active watcher – I am on Facebook, Twitter, and texting. I set up a command center and sit, surrounded by electronics, to enjoy the show. This year, I’m going low-tech and actually inviting a friend to watch with me instead of just texting her from across town. Let’s call her Bubbles. Recently, she invited me to an Oscar Movie Marathon being held at a local theater. All eight best picture nominees were being shown. We see a lot of movies together, so we know each others tastes and candy preferences. Once we cleared it past the husbands (because really, going to one movie is no biggie, but basically abandoning them with their own spawn for an entire freezing cold, indoor-only weekend does require a little finagling), we were off. Upon arrival, we were given our very own laminated pass on a lanyard and were escorted to the smallest theater in the building. We then chose our favorite seats and settled in for two days of the fun. So here they are, in order:

The Theory of Everything

This is the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. I know very little about Professor Hawking. In fact, I purposely didn’t ask a very dear friend for his book recommendation for my list due to my overwhelming fear that he’d make me read Hawking’s book and I’d be faced with hundreds upon hundreds of pages of physics. (As punishment, he picked Cormac bloody MacCarthy.) Their love story was beautiful and surprising and touching, but what was riveting was Eddie Redmayne as Hawking. I frequently get annoyed with Oscar movies because everyone seems to be trying so hard to act. It is all very showy, very “look at me Ma, no hands!” This one has an accent, that one isn’t wearing makeup, the other guy lost weight. It’s just so obvious. There was nothing obvious about the acting in this movie. The actors WERE the roles. It was really incredible afterward to realize how much emotion, how many thoughts and feelings were being revealed while the actors said very little. This was a master class in inhabiting a role. I will be royally pissed if Redmayne doesn’t win Best Actor because he had to act and emote and show us how he felt without being able to move at all. That being said, I also think Felicity Jones, who played his wife, had just as difficult a role. She had to be human. Not a saint, or a sinner, not just a wife, and not just a woman, but a fully realized three-dimensional character that we the audience could understand. The whole movie is not really about his descent into his illness, but their relationship throughout it.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

This movie was everything I hate about Oscar movies. I will grant that the cinematography and art direction in the film were really exceptional, but the fact that I noticed both things shows I was bored by the plot and character. I am not into Wes Anderson. To me, his movies are an epic eye roll and this was no exception. Does Ralph Fiennes deserve an Oscar for this? Hell to the no. Look, I know comedies aren’t my thing. I am well known for my lack of sense of humor when it comes to slapstick, low-brow, physical humor, and anything with Vince Vaughn or Ted McFarlane. This movie was just dumb. It passed the time, but that’s about it.


This movie was a revelation. It was brilliant. It was stunning. The sum total of what I knew about the movie was “it is about a musician and his teacher.” I was both right and so very, very wrong. First off, I think Miles Teller was robbed. This is a two man show. You need both actors to make it work and rewarding one while ignoring the other is just foolishness. This movie is about talent. Who has it and who doesn’t, how do you measure it, support it, feed it, and demolish it. It is about the complex relationship between teachers and students, between the self and the audience. The actor up for the Oscar plays the teacher and I will spoil nothing in this movie other to say being a character actor is an underrated skill. J.K. Simmons is a Hey, It’s That Guy! You’ve seen him in everything. But you’ve never seen him like this. This movie did it for me. This is the exact type of movie I think deserve Oscars. There were no grand set pieces, action sequences, costumes, lighting, or technical bullshit. There were two actors doing what they do best. Period. It was a small story. It wasn’t historically important, or true to life, or the type of Oscar movie that feels like homework. It was a joy to behold and when the credits rolled, I felt like I had been through an emotional roller coaster and all I wanted to do was get back on and ride it again.

American Sniper

I am not good at being politically correct so I am not going to try. Bubbles and I were so far back in our seats trying to get away from the movie screen, we were practically in the next row. I just barely managed to avoid gouging out her thigh muscles by remembering, at the very last second, that she was not my husband and would not enjoy being mauled during the movie. (She later admitted she almost took off my arm.) This movie was tense. It was violent. It was also bullshit. I wasn’t watching a movie, I was watching war propaganda. Chris Kyle was a Navy Seal with the highest recorded number of sniper kills and I am barely exaggerating when I say that if he was credited with 160 of them, then we watched roughly 159 of those shots in adoring, close up, slow motion detail. Did I need to see a real-time account of a child being tortured to death with a drill? No. Not ever. However, I’ve seen enough war/action movies to recognize talent in directing. The action was clean. You knew where everyone was in relation to one another. Hell, the final battle was so lovingly rendered that I could have recreated it, from memory, using Lego pieces and toy soldiers’ days later. Bradley Cooper was unrecognizable as Kyle and really disappeared into the role – but he also made Kyle relatively one note. Kyle was raised to be sheepdog and protect everyone, so he did, which caused problems at home. Yawn. That part of the story wasn’t original, or exceptionally well told, or anything other than filler to show that this ultra-macho warrior was human. The whole movie felt cheap to me, as if I was being sold patriotism with my popcorn. The Kyle we see onscreen is a whitewashed Hoo-rah version of the real man and while the real man wasn’t perfect, I think he would have been far more interesting than the one we were shown.

The Imitation Game

This was a really good movie, no more and no less. This script had Oscar Bait stamped in gold filigree on the front cover. It was filled with an A-list cast doing A-list acting – but that isn’t enough for an Oscar. It shouldn’t be. That should be the median, the average, and the expected. These people are paid stupid amounts of money to play pretend on screen, so if they want an Oscar, then I better forget they are pretending. This movie didn’t do that. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that while Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly were very good, I’ve seen them both do better. He is better as the fictional Sherlock Holmes than the real Alan Turing and she was what she always is – a strong, steadfast, beautiful Brit in period clothing. I don’t mean to damn the movie with faint praise – it was excellent and I highly recommend it. But it isn’t Oscar-worthy. It also took a really odd third-act turn away from a standard spy thriller and into a gay rights movie that was not only unexpected, but a little jarring.  


I fucking hated this movie with a passion filled with great vengeance and furious anger. If you take away the central construct – which is that the movie was filmed over 12 consecutive years with the same actors – then what you are left with is the fact that you just wasted three hours watching a movie in which people age. Thrilling. Bubbles kept checking her phone. I kept looking around to see if anyone else was as bored as I was. At first, I was mildly entertained by the Reality Bites Back: The Troy Dyer Years vibe. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what Ethan Hawke was thinking too because he certainly didn’t make any great strides in character here. I am baffled, nay dumbstruck that Patricia Arquette is being recognized for anything in the way of acting as her “character” seemed to change with her hairstyles. The longer the movie played, the more labored the scenes became.  The actors might have aged 12 years, but watching them do so took decades. We were in the theater so damn long I thought there would be flying cars by the time we finally got out. And remember, this is coming from a woman who spent a full day in the theater previously. In fact, all five of the above movies combined didn’t feel as long as Boyhood. God, I hated this dumb, pretentious little movie. Hated.  

So, that’s where we stand so far. Six movies down, two to go, plus I’m going to try to catch some of the best actress nominees as well. (Riddle me this Batman, why are women most often the only actor singled out for a movie, but male roles are almost always within Best Picture, Director, or Writing nominations?) If I’m really lucky, Bubbles and I will be able to see all the shorts (pictures) as well.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Occupy and Overcome

The book list has gone to war. I actually wanted to read The Book Thief as well this week to get all of the war books over with in one fell swoop, but I didn’t have a copy. In retrospect, I think this was a good thing. This was a lot of war. A lot of bloodshed, heartbreak, and writing about non-fiction in a fictional way that in no way lightens the original facts. If you pray at all, I think you should pray that war never, ever comes to your door. 

#18 - Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa
Recommended by: GP

This book was hard to write about because it was hard to read. It was a fictionalized account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as told from the point of view of a Palestinian family. It went through their exile, the refugee camps, the wars, and the aftermath of it all in unflinching detail. I will admit, freely and with much embarrassment that I don’t follow politics. The more I see and read, the less I want to know because it always ends in blood. In the movies, we root for the cowboys, but in the history books, we root for the Indians. One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter and I believe that God must weep for every person slaughtered in his Holy name (whichever one that may be.) I am lucky that I am entitled American who has never slept through gunfire, has never had to worry about water, or food, or medicine, and that I live in a place where tolerance is so prolific that even the Redskins are now just that Washington football team. So this book was horrifying, terrifying, and flat our paralyzing in some sections. But in others, I found it curiously empty. As always, I don’t do spoilers but the third and final section of the book enraged me. I feel like wheels flew off the narrative bus. You know how in a movie, the same ten people always keep running into each other and are always in the center of the plot? Or when the movie does a fast-forward in time and location and suddenly no one acts the way they acted in the first half of the movie? While I might tolerate that in a Hollywood action movie, I find it intolerable in what would have been a truly moving piece of literature. In fact, the final chapters pissed me off so much I almost couldn’t believe they made it past an editor. Should you read it? Yes, but with the caveat that someone else should read it at the same time so that you have someone to discuss it with when you finish. I believe that discussion will be lively and passionate and filled with emotion, as all good book discussions should be.

#19 – The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
– Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Recommended by: MG

I read this book a few years ago and didn’t think much about it afterward. The first time through, I found it slight and trifling, enjoyable, but overly sweet and instantly forgettable. It was the literary equivalent of a lemon meringue pie. I put off rereading it for a few days until this morning when I started it, and now, this evening, after finishing it, I realized how hard it is to have such a light touch on such a heavy topic. The German occupation of the Channel Islands is not a breezy topic, and the horror visited upon the people of Guernsey is not to be taken lightly, yet the tone of the book is filled with joy and delight. The book shows how high the human spirit can rise, how people can band together to find the light in the darkness and how books, blessed books, will always help show you the way. The love of books is the central theme in this book and how it doesn’t matter what type of book, be it cookery or philosophy or romance, as long as it means something to the reader. While I am not usually a fan of letters as a form of storytelling, the different voices of the characters really comes through in each of their writing styles. This is a very quick read – I reread it in a few short hours. I don’t think you should rush right out to buy it, but when you see it in the library, or the book store, or the book sales, pick up a copy. Treat yourself to a well baked literary confection. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll

Not necessarily in that order.

#13 - The Little Prince – Autoine de Saint Exupery
Recommended by: RD

I don’t get it. I tried, I really did, but the whole thing was just insane. I read the first few section to my son and not only did he ban it from our bedtime routine, but he referred to it as “that weird book.” Maybe my translation was bad? Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind? (Though, I’m pretty sure the only true mindset would require some illegal drugs and possibly a black light.) Whatever the case, this book was not for me.

#15 – I am Ozzy – Ozzy Osbourne
Recommended by: AR

This book is the reason I did the book project. Lots of the books on the list were already on my shelf, or would be read eventually through a book club, etc. But I assure you, as God as my witness, I never in a million years would have picked up the autobiography of an aging rock star whose music I had to Google. When I shop book sales, I don’t even go to the autobiography/biography table, that little do I care about other people’s real lives. My sister-in-law (Brunette) knows this. She knows what I like and what I don’t like as we frequently recommend books back and forth. Brunette is fully aware that I have never listed to heavy metal or that I think most rockers need to be disinfected, possibly with a chemical shower. Sure I watched an episode of The Osbournes when it aired, but all I remember is Ozzy trying and failing to line a trash can with a fresh bag and thinking, “this is just depressing.” I know who his kids and his wife are, but I don’t really pay attention to them other than to yell at my TV screen every time Kelly tries to “host” a red carpet. However, if a Black Sabbath or Ozzy song came on the radio, I wouldn’t know it and I’d probably change the station. So let’s be clear, if this book was the only one sitting on the coffee table of the dentist in Hell, I still probably wouldn’t have picked it up.

Boy, would I have missed out on something special. This book is absolutely delightful.
Within five pages, I texted Brunette to thank her for the recommendation and within ten, I had to excuse myself from the lunch room at work because I was laughing out loud. Reading this book was like running into Ozzy in a pub and having him tell stories over a couple of pints of bitters. He has a really down-to-earth way of speaking with a wicked sense of humor. He knows he is a magnificent fuck up. He is well aware that he should be long dead, that he has made some monumental mistakes, and that he has done things that can never be forgiven. He’s humble and crazy and his level of drug and alcohol addiction is epic. Yet for all that, he is just a guy who has lived a crazy life defying all the odds.
“Now, I’m generally not cool with horses – they don’t have brakes and they’ve got their own brains. But I was bored of going to the Hand & Cleaver [pub] on my lawnmower, so I went to see a dealer and said, ‘Look, can you get me a horse that’s a bit on the lazy side?’”

The set up to him explaining why he (accidentally) bit the head off a live bat onstage was as follows:
“The gig was going great. The God-like hand [that flung meat and offal at the audience] was working without any hitches. We’d already hung the midget.”

The page that discusses the male appendage of Tommy Lee is so dirty, I can’t even begin to share it here, but it is a must read. I laughed until I cried. Then I read it again and laughed some more. Dear God. Actually every section with Tommy Lee was hysterical. That man knows how to be a rock star. (Etsy, if you haven’t read this yet, do so immediately.)

I could quote this book until I’ve practically rewritten it for you. It is just insanely funny, yet Ozzy never lets go of the central through-line which is that he is an alcoholic and drug addict who has ruined almost every aspect of his life with his choices. He is very, very aware of that fact. He never tries to apologize, or explain away, or in any way try to deflect the things he done by blaming the drugs and drink. He owns up to everything he has ever done. You have to respect that, even if you don’t respect his lifestyle.

So, thank you Brunette, for choosing something I never would have read.

“Like a baby’s arm in a boxing glove.”


#16 – Object Lessons – Anna Quindlen
Recommended by: TD

This book was fine. I know that is damning it with faint praise, and yet, I can’t seem to work up any more emotion about it. It is a perfectly acceptable book, a quiet, genteel book that in no ways matches the fiery description on the back cover. I think this was just another case of the reader not matching the book. I have no doubt that the author and this book are a favorite of many, but I can’t say that I am one of them.

Then a funny thing happened and I couldn’t get the book out of my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, and the choices, and how every decision in the story, every choice always started with sex. The opposite sex, when to have sex, the unfortunate results of sex, sex within marriage, sex outside of marriage, sex that leads to kids, and sex that doesn’t. It wasn’t obvious, and it wasn’t a constant orgy – in fact, there is very little actual sex in the book yet it is always there, looming. This book isn’t a tidal wave of a story, more of a gentle rain that you barely notice until you are soaked through. I certainly didn’t think anything about it until I couldn’t stop thinking about it.