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Book vs. message board

Today I came across a link to a You tube video with an interview with J.R. Ward, which annoyed me quite a bit. I am a big fan of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Stupid name for a series, but nothing compared to the even more cheesy names of the brothers. It is not surprising that they usually refer to themselves as V., Z. etc. But that aside.

The book titles suggest a romance and that always is part of the book. However, in the last few books the emphasis has shifted from paranormal romance (the brothers are vampires) to urban fantasy. The storyline is very good, there is a war raging between the vampires and another group, and a lot of characters are recurring in every book. If you like vampires, urban fantasy and a story arc that stretches over the whole series, rather than independent books, this is for you.

However, J. R. Ward has a message board and a huge, enthusiastic fan base for whom she writes on her board as well. As long as those stories and texts are stories irrelevant to the content of the books, fine with me. Whether Jane or anybody else carved her name in R.’s back is of no importance to anybody, except some hard core cellies. What I don’t get at all is that there is vital information on the board that would be good to know. If you don’t frequent the board, though, you are left in the dark.

The last book in the series is book no. 6, “Lover Enshrined”. In that book a character appears for the first time, Lassiter. Never heard of the guy and neither has anybody else who only buys her books. On the other hand, if you are a message board reader you will find out tons about him. As J.R. Ward puts it in her interview: “Lassiter comes back…”….”as readers of the series know who are members of my message board…”. As far as the mere readers are concerned, he is not BACK, he just appears for the first time and they know nothing about him.

I find it quite disrespectful towards people who fork out money for books to make information available only to a limited number of people. And don’t come up with stuff like, you could become a member of the board…There are people who don’t go on the net (yes, I’ve heard they exist), there are people who hate message boards, there are people who don’t want to go through a trillion posts on a message board of one author to find some infos on a character in a book. These people still would like to know those things and they have a right to know, too.

For me, if something is not in the book, it doesn’t or didn’t happen.

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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I would never have thought that I’d read a book for young adults. I resisted Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series for quite some time, but since the 4th book came out and the discussion started to become lively again, I just had to give it a try. I was told you either hate or love the book(s) and I wanted to find out what it was for me.

Well, obviously times have changed since I was a young adult. Where young girls nowadays are reading Twilight (and go totally nuts about it) I was reading the O’Sullivan Twins by Enid Blyton, LOL. I don’t know whether I’d like my early teen daughter – if I had one – to read Twilight. Even though there is no sex in the book, for reasons other than the couple wouldn’t love to have sex, it is quite a sensual book.

The story is about a new student in Forks, WA, Bella Swan (what a name, can you get more obvious?), who falls in love with a fellow student, Edward. He and his siblings are outsiders in their high school, and Bella is intrigued by him. When Edwards rescues her with superhuman speed and power from an accident she suspects he’s more than meets the eye. You guessed it, he’s a vampire. They fall in love, face some adversary and come out on top – for now. Bella wants Edward to turn her into a vampire, but he refuses and they come to an impasse over this.

I don’t know what to think of Bella. She is a total klutz, Edwards continuously has to rescue her from one accident or other; how she survived her first 17 years is a mystery to me. She has no life whatsoever, apart from Edward. She has no hobbies. Since she is new in Forks, she only made a few friends right at the beginning, but neglects them very soon after she gets entangled with Edward and his vampire "family". Her father, who she lives with now, uses her as a housemaid, she cooks his dinner every night, tidies up, does the laundry…..Excuse me? He has been living alone for a number of years and now that Bella is here he doesn’t lift a finger any more?  I really hope that young girls don’t read this book and think that this is how a girl’s life should be.

I am a sucker for boring books without a lot of external interference and with a lot of internal monologue, so this book was written for me. I enjoyed reading it a lot and got the other three books in the series as well. I loved Edward, even though I could have done with a bit less Bella gushing over him. How often can you say that someone is gorgeous and perfect without being repetitive? I get it.

Oh, and about the glitter part that everybody is so up in arms about. Yeah, ok, Ms. Meyer’s vampire glitter when they go out in direct sun light. So what? Every author makes up their own little vampire world, and if for her, they glitter, what is it to me? Edward and the others have to be able to walk in daylight in order to make the story work. If she’s thrown in a little glitter without explaining why, who the hell cares? After all it is book targeted at GIRLS, and we all love glitter, LOL. I don’t want to read a scientific essay about the reasons for it.

The book is told in first person from Bella’s point of view, which I usually don’t care for. I’d rather see both sides. Stephenie Meyer had planned to write another book about the same story from Edward’s point of view, Midnight Sun, but some thief stole and posted the unfinished manuscript on the net. The book is on hold for now. Ms. Meyer has posted that manuscript now on her own site so interested readers can read the first 250 odd pages.

Want to read more reviews?
This book has also been reviewed at Literary Escapism.