Category Archives: There is no there there

Real by Katy Evans

Once again I’m left wondering if I somehow managed to read an entirely different book than everyone else. I don’t get it. I mean, what the fuck is this book? Is it for real? It can’t be for real. Is it Beautiful Disaster fan fiction? It sure reads like it: poorly written story about an underground fighter who is god’s gift to women, quickly becomes unhealthily obsessed with speshul snowflake heroine and throws a fit or twelve. Except this time Bipolar Disorder serves to excuse the distasteful Alpha behavior and up the stakes. And remember how everyone wondered how Travis could stay so in shape when he never worked out? Well, THIS GUY works out for NINE HOURS AT A TIME. So he earned that EIGHT PACK, okay?!

Oh, Brother.

I’m trying to think of a single thing that I didn’t completely loathe about this book and am coming up short. There is nothing remotely good, nothing remotely sexy, nothing remotely REAL about Real. Reality has no place in that world. Like the so-called sexual tension that everyone is raving about? Off the charts stupid. Who even acts like that? From the moment Brooke and Remington meet, they’re just doing THE MOST. This is what happens, basically:

Brooke: I can’t believe you dragged me to this underground fight to see some guy you want to bone, Melanie.
Melanie: I’m such a whore!
Brooke: Everyone is a whore except me.
Melanie: I know! You’re so classy in your frilly collared shirt and perfectly presentable high-waisted pants! I’m nothing compared to you!
Brooke: Cool. That’s what I was going for.
Melanie: Look, there he is!
Brooke’s vagina: Oh, CLENCH!
Remington Remy Riptide RIP Tate: *looks*
Brooke: Yep. ME.
Brooke’s vagina: Sloppy wet clenchity CLENCH!
Remington’s Eyes: Glimmering amusement. Warm, unbearably intimate things.
Remington’s Eyes: Lust. Want. Need. Claim Mate.
Melanie: Good thing your OCD makes you much too classy to hit that.
Brooke: You’re a slut, Melanie! I’m leaving!
Remington: Psh, TOTAL K.O. Gotta go see about a girl.
Brooke: Who’s sniffing me?
Remington: *growls* NAME.
Brooke’s vagina: SPLOOGE. CLENCH. SPASM.
Melanie: Her name is Brooke Dumbass Dumas! Here is her phone number! I’m really invested!
Remington: *marks her while panting and growling and sniffing* You Brooke. Me Remington. Bye.

This is the entire BOOK. They hardly ever spend any time apart and so it’s scene after scene of him speaking in this husky, thick, hoarse, rough, guttural voice (lust!) and wearing low-slung sweatpants while she rubs his anterior deltoid or whatever, girl parts clenching (71 mentions of clenching in this book! SEVENTY ONE!). Or they’d be telling each other secrets with their eyes while they play each other songs that have Deep Lyrics that are Hella Trite (songs like Iris and Anyway You Want It? What? First of all, STOP. Second, who are these 24 year olds? They never listen to anything from the past decade!). Remington pants and salivates in her presence, and is always smelling her and his friends tell her how wild she makes him, prostitutes tell her how they’re really bad at their jobs because they can’t even get him hard because his dick only responds to HER now, he saved her from an egging and carried her off to loving nurse her “wounds”, he gets his fans to buy her red roses (GAH), and STILL she whines about how he doesn’t like her afterwards and how maybe she’s fat. GTFO. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?

Brooke: “Am I pretty?”
Everyone: YES!!

All of the secondary characters serve as foils for Brooke and Remington. The women are constantly re-affirming how classy and beautiful and smart Brooke is by giving her approving looks and constant compliments. They’re all described as sluts or whores except for one or two. No man is as big and muscular and hot and desirable as Remington. None of the fighters he goes up against, and certainly not any of his friends. Like Pete, Remy’s soul brother personal assistant.

“Do you have any brothers, Pedro?”
My eyes widen and I can’t believe this little guy is going to surprise me again. “He’s your actual brother?”
“Not blood brother, hell, we don’t look anything alike! I’m like a book and Rem’s a bull! I don’t have blood brothers … my soul brother is Rem.”

MY eyes widened when I read the words “little guy”. Seriously? Why was that even necessary? I could’ve sworn he was described as tall initially. But OF COURSE Remington dwarfs him. And then, because everyone has to bow down, Pete has to chime in and talk down about himself? What?! He’s a…book? I don’t even understand what that means, to tell you the truth.

I’m so tired of these books that are nothing more than ruminating on how HAWT SAUCE the hero is. And it’s like every book tries to one-up the one before it. Oh, that guy was sexually abused? Well, if you think that’s sexy and tragic, wait until you see THIS guy! He’s BIPOLAR! Just line after line and page after page of descriptions of how mind-blowing his eye color, physique, penis, facial hair, cheekbones, etc, are. The guy can’t just be hot. He has to be SCORCHING. Every woman must melt at the sight of him, their panties sliding to the floor. None of these men have personalities, by the way. Everything is so centered on how good-looking they are and how fucking virile they are. Men want to be them, women want to be with them. Not a moment goes by that their magnificence isn’t remarked upon, it’s so draining. SO DRAINING.

So Remington’s a bull, eh? Well, now he’s a LION:

The man eats for three fully grown, hungry lions.

He has a blast up on the ring, and makes it appear like he’s a lion, and his opponent a mouse, and he’s just playing with it.

He scents the back of my ear. Then I feel his hand, scraping down my hair, softly petting me. His tongue follows, lightly lapping the place on my neck he bit in the shower. He drags it along the curve of my shoulders, my ear, awakening every inch of my skin. I feel like he’s a lazy lion, bathing me with his tongue, licking and nuzzling me.

Lions ain’t shit. Guy eats for THREE OF ‘EM. Take that! Seriously, why is this dude constantly smelling and licking her and saying things like, “You’re my mate and I claim you.” WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Not cute. I’m sorry, did I not notice that I was reading a paranormal romance? Is Remington Tate a fucking werelion? It sure would explain his constantly changing eye color which is supposedly because he’s Bipolar? Nope. You’re dumb. The way that mental illness was fetishized in this book was so disturbing. Absolutely shameful.

I’m not even going to get into the dwama with her baby sister and Remington’s foe, Scorpion (check my updates).
Or how horribly parents are depicted in this book.
Or the incredibly dumb ending that involves Remington in a hospital bed and Brooke writing him a sappy letter, telling him that she’ll alway think of him when she hears the song Iris.
And WHO edited this thing?

I’m gonna stop typing now because there’s just too much. Too much to talk about.

I’ll just leave you with this song:


Every guy here’d love to be you, Riptide
Even when taking your lumps
There’s no man in town as admired as you
You’re everyone’s favorite guy
Everyone’s awed and inspired by you
And it’s not very hard to see why

No one’s slick as Riptide
No one’s quick as Riptide
No one’s neck’s as incredibly thick as Riptide’s
For there’s no man in town half as manly
Perfect, a pure paragon!
You can ask any Pete, Coach or Riley
And they’ll tell you whose team they prefer to be on

No one fights like Riptide
Douses lights like Riptide
In a boxing match nobody bites like Riptide!
For there’s no one as burly and brawny
As you see he’s got biceps to spare
Not a bit of him’s scraggly or scrawny
That’s right! And every last inch of his face is full of hair!

-2409840938204320943423409832048320480932840932840932840932009228304928320943209840932840932840932093284320984098320932840932 stars

P.S. SRSLY, THIS IS THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. It’s so offensive! I judge everyone who likes this, not even going to lie. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.

City of Bones

Fifteen year old redheaded Clary Fray lives an ordinary (you could say mundane) kind of life in the not-hip-at-all neighborhood of Park Slope with her secretive single artist mom. Her father is dead, but she does have a sort-of uncle named Luke. She also has a male best friend named Simon who she insists on hanging out with, but then promptly ignores. Naturally, he is in love with her. Since she can’t be bovvered to pay attention to his bespectacled bottom unless another girl does, she doesn’t even notice. That rock solid friendship will be tested by Clary’s strong attraction to another boy. Oh, and there’s some stuff involving kidnappings and nephilim and demons and vampires and werewolves and warlocks and a million other things in there too.

The story opens at an all ages club that neither exists in this world nor any other world within a world. Anyway, it is at Pandemonium that Clary reaches clarity and jumps into the Fray. She sees Jace Wayland and siblings Isabelle and Alec Lightwood fighting demons! They are SHADOWHUNTERS, members of the Clave who are lead by a Council who sign Accords with Downworlders…okay, so I don’t know if it’s because it’s the first book in a series, but the amount of infodumping and otherworldlyness in this book was beyond. Oh, and boring. CoB is filled with embarrassingly awkward conversations in which someone casually monologues an excerpt from the Mythology Encyclopedia. Take this conversation, for example:

“Blackwell, don’t touch that-it’s valuable,” Luke said sternly.
The big redheaded man, who had picked up the statue of Kali from the top of the bookcase, ran his beefy fingers over it consideringly. “Nice,” he said.
“Ah,” said Pangborn, taking the statue from his companion. “She who was created to battle a demon who could not be killed by any god or man. ‘Oh, Kali, my mother full of bliss! Enchantress of the almighty Shiva, in thy delirious joy thou dancest, clapping thy hands together. Thou art the Mover of all that moves, and we are but thy helpless toys.'”
“Very nice,” said Luke. “I didn’t know you were a student of the Indian myths.”
“All the myths are true,” said Pangborn, and Clary felt a small shiver go up her spine. “Or have you forgotten even that?”

Doh! Tell him what he forgot! It’s almost as if they know Clary’s eavesdropping! Drop those crumbs, fellas! Spin that world! “Hey Luke, have you forgotten what NEPHILIM ARE?!”

Everyone is constantly translating things: “Hugin,” Luke said softly. “Hugin and Munin were Valentine’s pet birds. Their names mean ‘Thought’ and ‘Memory.'” Oookay. Jace (Cool J Loves Latin) even translates “Mea Culpa” at one point for Clary even though I’m pretty sure everyone knows what that means.

So Clary’s mom is kidnapped by some guy named Valentine and all she can think about is how Jace looked like a fair-haired angel from a Rembrandt painting, except for that devilish mouth. (She’s an artist!) Ah, yes. The requisite love triangle begins to take shape (actually it’s more of a quadrilateral). Clary thinks Jace is totes hot and Jace is extremely jealous of her friendship with Simon and Simon is obvs into Clary and Clary’s extremely jealous because Isabelle is paying attention to Simon but she still manages to completely forget he exists at times. Alec is giving Jace longing looks and is really mean to Clary! Isabelle dances with Simon at a party, and at one point Clary notes that he’s now Isabelle’s “responsibility”. The whole thing is just played up to the hilt to ensure the most angst possible. Jace and Simon’s desires are evident in small physical tics that Clary always picks up on and yet still manages to be oblivious about (she does manage to pinpoint Alec’s feelings immediately, though). Conflict conveniently crops up in the middle of heart to hearts. I lost count of how many times Simon was cut off, or Clary was cut off, or Jace. It was excessive. Even when Simon and Clary have an uninterrupted conversation they just speak cryptically and lay back to back on a bed? Nope! No one really communicates, they just crack bad jokes like champs. Speaking of jokes, Jace sounded like Simon who sounded like Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I got a huge Joss Whedon vibe from this book (as well as a Harry Potter one, natch), and as usually happens when someone bites off a huge chunk of someone else’s schtick, all you get is trite shit. I just kept thinking, “Man, you’re trying SO hard!” while I was reading this book.

The dialogue made me want to claw my eyes out.
“Was it weird, hearing from Jace?” asked Simon, his voice carefully neutral. “I mean, since you found out…” His voice trailed off.
“Yes?” said Clary, her voiced sharply edged. “Since I found out what? That he’s a killer transvestite who molests cats?”
“No wonder that cat of his hates everyone.”


I wasn’t quite sure where the cut-off was as far as what the Shadowhunters were privy to regarding mundane culture. One minute they’re befuddled by slang terms like “shotgun!” and then the next they’re saying things like: “Enjoy that new carriage smell.” Nope! And Simon and Clary are using words like laconic and going to poetry slams and Clary’s quoting Blake because of the Doors?

“Then you’ll see the world as it is-infinite,” said Jace with a dry smile.
“Don’t quote Blake at me.”
The smile turned less dry. “I didn’t think you’d recognize it. You don’t strike me as someone who reads a lot of poetry.”
“Everyone knows that quote because of the Doors.”
Jace looked at her blankly.
“The Doors. They were a band.”
“If you say so,” he said.


Oh, Clary. She’s the most speshulest snowflake ever. She goes from living a mundane kind of life to living a semi-charmed one. She comes out of every fight unscathed, and picks up on things the Shadowhunters have spent years perfecting. I mean, fucking really: She’d never thrown a weapon before, never even thought of throwing one. The closest she’d come to weaponry before this week was drawing pictures of them, so Clary was more surprised than anyone else, she suspected, when the dagger flew, wobbly but true, and sank into the werewolf’s side. Alec echoed my thoughts when he tells Clary : “But with no training, no nothing, you’re still not much use, are you?” Because training is kind of essential when throwing daggers mmmkay? But she’s so special and so smart and so artistic, she just figures it all out. And sometimes she and Jace just happen to find (view spoiler)

Then there’s little things like Clary’s voice “rising to a scream” twice in the space of two pages, or her shivering in every single situation. Two people flushing on the same page. The fact that there are little to no adults in this book, it’s like the worlds are peopled with fifteen year olds. And worst of all, the INCORRECT depiction of a butterfly kiss: It was a…quick brush of lips on skin… WRONG.

Here’s a Latin phrase that kept popping into my head when I was reading this book: Deus ex Machina. What does it mean, Jace?

Not my bag.

P.S. The movie looks SO BAD.