As anyone who has seen my Goodreads updates on this will know, I've been having a REALLY BIG PROBLEM with this book. I should have known better; I tried to read this months ago and almost threw my kindle across the room (where, oh where is my "wallbanger by proxy" paperback when I need it?!). To be kind, let me just say the "similarities" to FSOG were just too much for me.
Well, since then, even more FSOG
rip-offs sorry, homages have been released, and I've made the mistake of reading those too. I've got so many young, hot, gazillionaire dominants, wussy, clumsy "oh I'm not beautiful" heroines, messed up roommates (male, female, straight and otherwise) fucked up parents, traumatic childhoods, impossibly successful careers, spankings, cunnilingus, drenched slits, beautiful cocks, and endless bouts of shower sex running around in my head I can't keep ANY of these fucking books straight anymore.
The biggest thing this subgenre had going for it, and the reason I was sure it would eventually go the way of other "of the moment" books, was that they are all being written by unknown first-time authors. Self-pubs, too. These silly books won't be here 2 years from now, I figured. There's still hope for us.
And then Sylvia Day threw her hat into the ring, in an obvious attempt to ride the tsunami that was FSOG.
Of course, the writing is better - more polished, and you can tell that someone who can actually write has done this - but the story is the same. Same, same, SAME. So much the same that for anyone who has read that stupid book that started it all it is jarring. What's even worse is that about a third of the way through the book it veers away from the FSOG checklist and becomes (sort of) it's own story.
Unfortunately, it doesn't last long, and what is even more disappointing is that it becomes almost an "opposite" FSOG. It's like the author took the that book, then deliberately made her book opposite. "Hmm. Ana was so not submissive, so Eva WILL be. But she won't KNOW she is. Yeah, yeah, that's it!" and "Ana bit her lip and it drove Christian crazy. So in MY book, Gideon will LICK his lip and it will make her sex clench. Ha! No one will know!"
I had two major streams of thought while I was reading this:
1) Oh, for fuck's sakes, are you KIDDING me???
2) Sylvia Day, you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.
The first thought is self-explanatory. The second is probably going to get me in trouble.
I can't help it. Why would an established writer throw out an obvious re-write of FSOG and NOT ADMIT THAT IS WHAT YOU'RE DOING. That's what really has a bug up my ass.
If you want to have a go at the trope, be my guest. But don't try to feed me a line of hooey about how you published yours first. Do you think we're all STUPID? Here's a quote from an interview she gave to InD'Tale Magazine, published in their September issue:
IND: Now, that takes us right back to when we visited last April for a few minutes. You were on the verge of publishing a book independently, “Bared to You”, and you were very excited about the fact that it would be indie! Tell us what happened?
SD: Yeah, well........ WOW! I think it struck a chord with readers and it struck that chord because it was personal to me. It was written just for myself, with only myself in mind. Had I written it for a traditional publisher, there are some elements in there that they might have toned down or not included so it could be considered as commercial as they need. I think readers responded to the rawness, though.
IND: How do you react to those who say you are just riding the coattails of “50 Shades..” with this book?
SD: There really is no way to respond to that. I don’t get defensive over it. If people take the time to look at when things are released, how long it takes to write a book, things like that. They would understand it would be impossible. By the time “50 Shades” made its first appearance, my book was already on shelves. It’s just one of those freak things.
Anyone who reads romance knows that there are particular tropes that are common and these two books do share some of those tropes. If someone has only read these two books, then I understand how they could get them mixed up but once they start reading more and more romance books, they will find that there are a lot of tortured millionaire heroes, a lot of heroines who have just graduated from college.... so yeah, they’ll see with any genre of fiction, there are certain elements that are pretty much transcendent through that particular genre. That’s why it is a particular genre - there are recognizable features.
A couple of things she said stand out: I think it struck a chord with readers and it struck that chord because it was personal to me.
Huh? Personal to you in that you figured you could build a better widget, you mean.
Oh, and I love this one: If people take the time to look at when things are released, how long it takes to write a book, things like that. They would understand it would be impossible. By the time “50 Shades” made its first appearance, my book was already on shelves. It’s just one of those freak things.
C'mon, lady. I'm looking at the copyright on the $30 paperback I bought in December 2011, when FSOG came out in vanity press. Don't think your self-pub was out yet. Not to mention the fact that MotU (FSOG before it was pulled to publish) was around for AGES. That's just sloppy.
I call bullshit. And her answers make me think she thinks I'm not smart enough to figure out she's bullshitting me. (Whoa, sorry about that. My brain hurts from re-reading that sentence.)
Ok, now I'm just really pissed off.
I will NOT be reading any more of this series.
On a go forward, I will NOT be reading any more of Sylvia Day's work.
I am SO disappointed in her.
There. Rant over.