Friday, August 14, 2015

Review of New Adult Romance SAY SOMETHING and my rant on sex in books!

So, I know it's been a while. That's probably because last week we were in full-mode move swing, plus we finally closed on our old house (it's officially sold!) and are getting ready to close on the farmhouse, so I had little time to write, but a LOT has happened since we last chatted. We have the two other bathrooms in the farmhouse put together. The one just needs a door and paint, and the other needs tile and paint. That's it!! Plus, due to demands from the appraiser we have gotten a jump start on the siding and are having the garage portion of the house done, as we speak!! We have to wait for the rest of the house until the windows we ordered come in and are installed. Plus, we need the rest of the roof done first, but that wee bit of siding gives me a glimpse of how awesome the house will look once it's done. And. I. Can't. Wait.

Anyhoo... I didn't just bring you on here to blab about siding. I have a new book review! Note: the review will be followed by a mini rant below. Pssst.. Don't miss the rant. It involves sex.  :)

So, here's a bit about the book:


Twenty–two-year-old Ari Munoz prefers to keep men at an arm's length. So when her best friend Vonne guilts her into going to a frat party, she couldn't think of a worse way to spend her night. That's until she sparks the interest of love’em and leave’em Ben Rodriguez. She knows she shouldn’t trust him, but the electricity she feels when they lock eyes is something she's never felt before. 

Twenty-two-year-old Ben Rodriguez has it all, and his senior year marks the beginning of even bigger things to come. He's a football star, fraternity president, and his endless pick of beauties makes him the envy of all of his frat brothers. So why is a pair of long legs and hazel eyes making him want to throw out his rules? 

Ari has her secrets.

Ben has his rules. 

What happens when both your pasts threaten your future? 

Say Something... 

*This novel contains adult themes and language. 18+ please. This is book one in a series and contains a cliffhanger. 



This book was a bit of a disappointment to me. Although, I do give it 3.25 stars, I'll tell you why. First, more about the book.

You have Ari, the female MC. She's the typical, not-so-typical, college aged character, who's different because she's not super into partying and is normally pretty reserved and conservative. She doesn't date much, nor does she have a huge interest in finding love, until she meets Ben. Enter Ben. He's your typical, frat, player who dates and sleeps around, but never forms a solid connection with anyone and is completely uninterested in any sort of commitments or attachments. Until he meets Ari, of course, and all that changes.

So, it sounds like your typical plot, right? It is. But it wasn't the predictability of the plot, nor the fact that it has been done already, because, hey, people do read the same plots and themes over and over. We like them, even if we say we don't (most of us). Those themes are universal for a reason. I'm okay with books that have been done before. Pretty much everything has. What counts is whether the voice is great and if they can put their own spin on it. I feel that, for the most part, this book did have it's own spin that it offered in the issues surrounding Ari. I don't want to say what they are. I'll let you read, if you're interested to find out.

The beginning of the book (though a bit cheesy) really drew me in. It did hook me 100%. Here's what dissapointed me: After the first few chapters, the conflict just fizzled out for me. I don't know. There was conflict brought in by Maria, a girl Ben had been messing with that tries to sabotage his new relationship with Ari, but it just felt...trite. It just wasn't enough to provide the tension needed. And there were like 3 scenes from her POV, which I thought was weird and unneeded. Quite frankly, I didn't care why Maria did what she did, and I feel the book/writing would've been stronger had the author showed this in the scenes with Ben. We didn't need her telling us through Maria

Some things happen, like Ben's grandma getting sick and his mother disliking Ari, but they all missed the mark for me. None of them added the conflict to the story that it lacked. Because of this, the story fell a bit flat. Also, it made the fact that (IMHO) there was too much sex and not enough depth to the characters' relationship. There were times when a sex scene ended, just for another two in a row to follow, with little in-between. I call this erotica, not romance. Maybe erotic romance would be a better genre for this..? I realize that part of New Adult and a continuing theme is sexual exploration, but this shouldn't be the ONLY thing that happens. A great example of someone who did hot sex, yet had an emotionally gripping plot, is Jessica Park, with LEFT DROWNING. Great book!

Anyway, I gave this 3.25 stars and I do still recommend it for huge fans of NA, despite the things I said because I think you'll like it.

Now for the rant....

Let's see. What shall we call it?


Okay, so this rant is coming about because it occurred in the above book and annoyed me. Plus, I have seen it in other books, as well, which irritates me, just a bit. :)

First, the frequency of sex. Shall we discuss this? First of all, I am not a prude. I am not one of those readers/people that dislike sex in books or think that it should be glazed over. I feel that sex should be added to a book if it is NEEDED. First of all, isn't that point of everything in a book? All content in a book should be content that is crucial, in some way, shape, or form, to the novel. That doesn't mean that every scene needs to be some super suspenseful, mind-boggling plot twist or discovery of some sort. It can be minor things too. It can something as simple as an old memory, or some small scene with friends at coffee shop that reinforces their bond. As far as sex goes, it can be needed for different reasons... Maybe to show that character has violent tendencies, or has been abused in the past. Sex can even be needed, quite simply, because it is the natural progression of the couple's relationship. It would be bizarre in a lot of cases for the reader to not see that the characters have taken their relationship to the next level. But when it is scene, after scene, after scene, with hardly anything in-between, to me is gratuitous in anything BUT erotica or erotic fiction. For example, if I pick up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, I expect (not just because of its reputation) that the book is loaded with sex scenes. If I pick up a copy of a book in the romance genre, such as, Nicholas Spark's latest, or Susan Mallery, or Nora Roberts I can expect some sex, but I know that there will be much more to the book than the sex. Do you get what I'm saying? I have no problem with books that are 350 pages long and 275 of those pages are sex, but label it so!!

The other thing that annoys me is some of the terminology used during these scenes. I realize that if you have 150 pages of intercourse, you're going to have to get creative with your words. I understand that you have to mix it up. After all, no one wants the same boring scenes. But the word "nub" and "mound" are two, in my opinion, that should be banned from sex scene use. In case you were wondering, this is referring to the female anatomy. Mound isn't as horrible though as *gasp* nub. And I have actually seen nub used in more than just the above book.

I mean, "nub"? Really? To me, a nub is like my pinky toe, NOT that little, important piece on a woman's anatomy. (Ahem, you all know what I'm talking about? Begins with a "C." If not, you really need to study an anatomy book.) In the dictionary, "nub" is defined as "a lump or small piece" and even uses a piece of coal as an example! Really, people? What in the hell kind of "nubs" do these women have? Are they like super human? Are their internal sex organs monstrous also? I'm going to assume not, since most of these books don't result in pregnancy. We need some better word choices here, authors! Please! I'll even help ya out and give you an example. I'm currently reading a book--that admittedly used "nub" once, but I really like this author and series, so I'll look past it! All is forgiven Tessa Bailey!--and she used a word for this same part of the female anatomy that I loved. "Bud." Isn't that great?! It's feminine, and sweet and conjures the image of something tiny, and delicate (as it should be!) A much, much better word choice.

So, authors, I know, it's difficult. In fact, I can't even think of any other terminology off the top of my head for you to use. But the next time you're typing away and are tempted to used the word "nub." Don't. Just don't. Replace it with "bud." Because, remember, "nub" is just one tiny hair away from the word "stub" and that's just creepy.

Until next time ;)

1 comment:

  1. i definitely agree with you that some books are totally over sexed. Thank you for sharing and really sorry you didn't enjoy this book.


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