Saturday, August 18, 2012

A hypocrite no more!

Okay, it's confession time.

I read Fifty Shades.

WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Before you click "unfollow", change your Summer on the Short Bus Good Read's status to "NO FREAKING WAY", and scrub your eyes with Comet, let me explain myself.


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of joining some dear writer friends *waves* in Vegas for a long weekend. Within the first few hours of our meet n' greet, Fifty Shades came up in conversation--though it wasn't because it was an orgasmic literary experience we had to share with one another. It was because we simply couldn't get away from it.

Some of us were surrounded by fellow Southwest Airlines flyers too engulfed in the deep prose ...  throating ... um... *scratches chin* Okay, some were just too engaged by the book to catch the bag of courtesy peanuts thrown at them, while others of us were bombarded by emcees of the 80's bar inside the Venetian hotel who, upon learning we were authors, asked if we'd read Fifty Shades, OR, find something to hang on to, questioned if our book was anything like Fifty Shades. (I can still taste the bitter taste of vomit in my mouth from that one.) Somehow E.L. James had taken down Celine and Wayne Newton and had complete ownership of Vegas--the chick was everywhere.

Like the good, professional, talented writers they are, none of the girls I was traveling with had read Fifty Shades, including me. But I do have a couple of pals at work who have read it, and knew more or less what the story was about. Because I'd heard plenty of negatives from the work crew, and am fairly active in the blogosphere, I knew darn well what people were saying about this book, the author, and the writing--which is why I had no problem poo-pooing it to anyone who might mention it to me. In Vegas or at home.

Then something happened about a week ago that changed my mind and I decided if I was going to bash Fifty Shades, I should at least read it first.

You see, a writer pal of mine got a bad review--thing is, their book hasn't even been released yet. The reviewer NEVER READ THE BOOK! My claws came out, my hair grew even bigger--I was MAD, y'all!! HOW DARE THEY SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT A BOOK THEY'VE NEVER EVEN READ!! And that's when it hit me--like a hoof to the head. "Hi! I'm Rookie and I'm a hypocrite."

It pained me to do so, but I bummed a co-worker's Nook account for a week and actually read Fifty Shades. was as bad as everyone said it was.

Obviously there's an audience for this book (HELLO! 31 million copies sold!) but for my time/money I can think of millions several books better suited to me and my tastes. (If you're interested in well-written, steamy books check out JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series.)  That said, I didn't write this post to review a book. I wrote it because I don't want you to make the same mistake I did. (Yes, Rookie's paying it forward--Fifty Shades style.) (Oh, yeah...that's bad. Just swallow the bile and move on.)  You see, I love you, Fan Club, and I don't want you to be a hypocrite like I was. Please, please, please, read something before you review it--then you have liberty to say how amazing it was, or how completely, utterly, horrifically, terribly awful it was.  As authors we owe it to each other.