Five Things Bodice-Rippers Have Taught Me About Love

I’m ashamed to admit (obviously not enough to not publish it on the internet), but I have been reading a lot of bodice-ripper romance novels lately.  I have always spurned romance novels for the somewhat more respected chick lit genre.  There is a difference.  Sort of.  Chick lit is typically more substantial in length, plot, and price (popular titles include the Shopaholic series, Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones, etc.), where romance novels are like candy: cheap, quick, and easy to gobble in one bite.  They’re ridiculous and I am the first to admit it but, like everything that is bad for you, they are so addictive!  Especially if you get wrapped up in a series, as I now am.

To their credit, they have taught me a lot of (mostly erroneous) things about love and I thought I would share my findings with you, our dear readers:

9 rules1) The best mates are reformed rakes – Romance novels have taught me that bad boys/rakes/scoundrels/rogues make the best matches.  They are passionate, dashingly handsome, and only you will be able to make them finally ready to settle down.  Now, they are probably going to have some sort of inner turmoil that you are going to have to help them overcome (family drama, financial trouble, issues with commitment, etc.), but just power through!  You and you alone were brought to Earth to make him believe in love!  Now get to it!

2) You don’t have to be the most beautiful girl in the room, but you need the sharpest tongue – Once you meet your rake, he is going to acknowledge that you are not the most beautiful woman that he has ever met, but if you prove to be a worthy opponent in a verbal sparring, he will become putty in your hands.  Every arched brow and “infuriating woman” just means that he is falling in love with you.

3) If you get brought out onto a balcony, you are going to get kissed.  Well, probably more than kissed. – Balconies may as well be brothels.  Seriously.  The things that happen there!  It’s enough to make this girl blush.  So depending on what you want out of your evening, stay away from balconies/run out to a balcony.

Julia-Quinn-When-He-Was-Wicked-julia-quinn-6686007-603-4714) Eyes really ARE the window to the soul – These people can not shut up about eyes.  If you don’t have good eyes, you may as well just give up on anyone ever loving you.  Questions to determine if you have good eyes: Would your eyes be considered icy blue?  Could anyone ever see something more in your eyes than just eyes?  Do you eyes ever appear to be different colors than they actually are?  If you answered no to all of these questions, you are going to die alone.

5) If one of you could get sick/injured, that would really help move things move along – There is nothing like a medical trauma to bring two people together, apparently.  If you have to nurse him on the sickbed or visa versa, you may as well set the wedding date because a lot more is going to happen on that sickbed once he/you has recovered, if you catch my drift.

There you have it!  You are now fully prepped to go out and catch your rake!

Ellen

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The Book Was Better: 10 Books to Read in 2013

When I was kid, my mom used to try and get me to read (age-appropriate) books before their respective adaptations came out. This is how I read Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and The Baby-Sitters Club.  While I recognize that some of those are more respected than others, I still like to maintain that rule.  This is why I have compiled this list for both my sake and yours, dear reader, so that we can be ahead of the game.  Together.

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Warm Bodies (February 1) – As you can tell from previous posts here, we are pretty intrigued by this one.  Also, I happen to have just finished reading the book.  The film looks like it will be more comedic than the novel was, but I will be intrigued to see how much of the fairly deep commentary on death and life they maintain here.  Especially deep since everyone is wanting to compare this to Twilight.

Beautiful-creaturesBEAUTIFUL-CREATURES-poster1Beautiful Creatures (February 13) – As you can tell from this list and in case you haven’t already noticed from the general climate in pop culture, Young Adult novels are all the rage. It seems that no book or series can do even remotely well without getting snatched up.  Not that I am complaining, because even though my young adult days are technically over, my bookshelf is still full of them.   I have just started reading this one and have heard generally good things about it, so maybe I will write a follow-up. 

tumblr_lyu0lbflJz1qdop7jo1_r1_5002936Romeo and Juliet (February 14) – No, seeing one of the several dozen adaptations does not count.  Maybe you read it in high school, maybe you didn’t.  Either way you are going to feel so pretentious reading this in your local Starbucks.  Then think of the delight you can get when you tell all your friends the ways in which this adaptation is sure to stray from Shakespeare’s original tone.  I have to say, I am excited to see a Juliet that is actually close to 14.  

TheHost478The-Host-PosterThe Host (March 29) – Hold the phone.  I already know what you are going to say.  Yes, I realize that this is written by Stephenie Meyer.  Yes, I realize that she also wrote Twilight.  But I’m going to tell you to give this one a chance.  I found it to be a pretty compelling sci-fi/romance that was set in an interesting and unique world, so maybe try it out before the movie (potentially) makes it worse.  

gatsby-posterGatsby_1925_jacketThe Great Gatsby (May 10) -Did you read this one in high school, too?  Did you hate it/not get it?  I am going to suggest that re-visit it before Baz Luhrman’s behemoth colors your perception.  I have my high school junior research project to thank for my attachment to this novel.  Nothing like pouring over academic journals discussing green lights and yellow cars to endear me to Fitzgerald.  

leaf-men-william-joyce-paperback-cover-artepic_movie_poster_1The Leaf Men (Epic) (May 24) – The only picture book to be featured on the list, this was a family favorite when we were wee children.  It makes me upset that they felt that they needed to change the title and distance  the movie from the book, because it implies a certain lack of fidelity.  I also understand, though, that it is hard to maintain said fidelity with picture books (see Where the Wild Things Are, Cat in the Hat, etc.)

World_War_Z_posterWorld_War_Z_book_coverWorld War Z (June 21) I have the opposite problem with this adaptation.  I read this book some time ago but there is no way that this movie is going to stay true, seeing as how I don’t recall Brad Pitt (or his character) being in the book at all.  In cases such as this, I just wish that they would call the movie something else entirely and admit that it is a stand alone zombie movie.  

City_of_Bonesmortal_instruments_posterThe Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August 23) -This is another one that is sitting on my eBook shelf awaiting me.  I know that a lot of people love this series, but I have to admit that the trailer is not doing a whole lot to get me excited about delving in.  Maybe someone who is a fan can tell me if the movie seems like it will be capturing the book that you know and love.

Enders GameMV5BMjE0Mzk0Nzk1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTA2MDU4OA@@._V1._SY317_CR128,0,214,317_Ender’s Game (November 1) -I do this weird thing where EVERYone tells me that read this book, see that movie, or watch that TV show, and it just makes me want to do anything but do that.  That is my current relationship with Ender’s Game.  My New Year’s resolution is to get over my weird thing and read Ender’s Game before November 1 and maybe watch Gilmore Girls.  But that’s a big maybe.

Catching-Fire-PosterCatching_fire_c-330The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22) – If you haven’t already gotten on board this bandwagon, there is nothing that I can say that will sway you otherwise.

Did I miss any that you are excited about?  Anybody want to convince me to read one sooner than the others?

-Ellen