Saturday, December 28, 2013

Love Actually Short Review

My rating: ♥ (6♥s)

Love Actually is one of these movies that do not belong in the pile of forgettable crap only because of the amount of heart put into it; as well as the performances by its amazing cast, who really do quite well.






However it is not enough to completely save it. For a romantic comedy, it is really light on the comedy (there are maybe 10 scenes overall that made me smile a bit and  3-4 that gave me a chuckle) and no, it's not just 'It's British comedy' - I usually get British comedy and I find it quite funny, this just... did not have enough.

My biggest issue with the film, however is the following: For a 135 minute running time (which is also too long, by the way) the movie has way too many  story lines  and cannot fully develop its characters. Some of them may have a personality quirk or a personality trait, but not really a personality. Out of the 9 or 10 stories (yeah, you read that right) at least half could've easily been cut as they were not that important and not that linked to anything else.

As far as the 'interlinked' motif of the film (this was the movie that introduced me to that idea and I've always loved such type of stories) it's barely there. Some of the characters are connected in a way, like the woman who is married to Alan Rickman is the sister os the prime minister, but mostly there is just a very feeble connection that's been stuck there at the end, if at all.

I watched Love Actually when I was a child for the first time (most of it anyway), but I didn't really like it, because I was too young for it. I watched it again on the 24th, and frankly I was right back then. While it has a lot of heart and it is an ok Christmas movie, it's not really that great. If you happen upon it around the holidays on TV, don't change the channel, but don't rent it or spend any money on it.

Happy New Year from me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching Fire (the movie): Review

Ok, so on Tuesday, I saw Catching Fire.
And what did I think of it?
Loved it! It was awesome! It upped the action, the sacrifice, the emotions, the stakes, the characters... This movie was amazing, it was much much better than the first one! Buuuut... it could've been better!


Ok, ok, let me elaborate: I am fangirl, of course 'll be unhappy about something, even if it's a nitpick (and most of them are). And of course - you are always welcome to disagree with me, and I'd love to hear it, but this is my blog and therefore - my opinion.

First, my rating:           (9 s)

SPOILER ALERT!!! (For both the movie and the book. If you haven't seen the movie/or read the book, you should probably stop reading)


Now, let's start with the good:

Well, most of it really. But I am not going to go into detail about what's so amazing in each and every scene, so I'll do this instead: I'll say what I liked in the movie better than I did in the book/the previous movie.

Now, have in mind I haven't read the book in a year, but I still have a good memory, so there it is: 


1. Effie

  I loved Effie and even more so in the films. Elizabeth Banks is amazing and she looks like she's having the time of her life. Ok, I like Effie equally everywhere, but I could really feel how much she cares here.

2. 'The Odds Are Never in Our Favor' 

    Damn that graffiti inscription on a wall gave me a geekgasm every time I saw it in the trailer and of course - so it did in the film! It was just the perfect motto for a rebellion in that universe.

3. Snow's granddaughter.

   It was mentioned that he had one in the books, but we could never get an emotional attachment, as we never saw her, Here we see here and... she's just a normal girl about Prim's age, despite obviously being fed the Capitol's propaganda - that's not her fault.

4. 'Someday, I'll volunteer like you did.'

    It was a very powerful scene when this little girl told this to Katniss in one of the districts. Very good commentary there. Katniss's face (screaming internally) was really the most powerful thing in the scene and it shows how amazing the visual medium can be - just one facial expression manages to convey so much from the books.

5. I understand Katniss a lot better.

     I thought that the first movie made Katniss a lot more (or at least slightly more) likable than she's in the books and it's the same with this film. For instance,  the scene where Katniss has to choose allies and she goes for the ones that seem the oddest of them all. In the book it felt like she was purposefully separating herself from the rest of the victors (which in a sense she is), but it just seemed that she  was being stubborn and an idiot, while in the movie, when I actually saw the rest of the victors/tributes, I really understood and sympathized with Katniss. In the long term it really wasn't the smartest move, but Katniss is an emotional person and often goes with her feelings rather than her brains.

6. Peeta (compared to the first film.)

   Now, when the first movie came out, it was around the time of the Twilight-clones, when movies were trying to look/seem like Twilight, to attract that crowd and if you look at The Hunger Games more carefully, you'll see it, especially with Peeta's character.They really wanted to play him as the tormented, but deep guy that no one understands and in the process turned him extremely emo and suicidal (aka Edward), which... he is not! There is so much more to his character! He is likable, accessible, friendly, everybody liked him (even Gale, who tried very hard not to), the cameras loved him, he wanted to rebel in his own way in the Games, he cares, he is a good person, he is talented... Yeah, he had (and did until the end of the trilogy) this emo side to him, but the first movie really wanted to play it as if this was his most major characteristic and it wasn't. This movie really felt like an apology in that sense.


Now the Bad.



First, let me start with the nit-picks  and the smaller things.


1. The info-dumps (Snow and Plutarch conversations & other things outside of Katniss's POV)

   Now, maybe I am saying this as someone who's read the books and these scenes were actually helpful for audience members, who only watch the movies, but... really? This movie really did a lot more telling than showing than it should have! In the first film, I felt the scenes outside Katniss's POV in the first movie were well placed and necessary, and even if they weren't they were at least way less in numbers, where here I felt beaten over the head with it. We get it, Snow's a bad guy, move on, please!


2. Missing scenes: 
    - Plutarch's mockingjay clock.
    This scene was a major plot point in the book! That's how Katniss is tipped off about the arena and that there is something going on and maybe Plutarch is part of it. They already added the dancing scene, would it have been that much of a bother to add like 5-10 more seconds of screen time, so he can flash the clock at her?!
    - The truth about 13.
     13 is the major source of revolution and it will be a very, very important setting in movie 3. Yes, they dump 13 on us at the end, like it's no big deal, but it is and Katniss figuring it out was important!
    - Katniss and Peeta bonding.
     Yeah, they talk about colors in the film, whoopty-do! They had a lot more real connection in the book. We get the scene where he stays to sleep next to her, which was pretty great, but we don't actually see them spend quality time together. 
     - Peeta's paintings of the Hunger Games and Katniss's reaction to them
       They show us Katniss's PTSD but what about Peeta - did he just went on unscarred by the Games? And like 10 seconds of screen time, where Peeta would've really benefited my previous point about the bonding.
     - Peeta and Katniss watching Haymitch's Hunger Games
       Yeah, it's not like that was important plot point in the book or anything and it's how Katniss decides to destroy the force field at the end or made the characters bond or the fans wanted to see it so bad, they made their own fan videos or anything... No, we can skip that 5-minute scene.
     - The bread that signified the plan for interrupting the games
       I am not bothered that much by this one, but it was important in the book, so I'd just like to point it out.

3. This movie could've benefited from (at least) two montages with noor almost no speaking:
     - Katniss and Peeta bonding/victims of the new regime in 12 montage. 
      This could've been great and both a happy and sad montages by showing katniss explaining plants to peeta and him painting them after she got hurt which also wasn't in the movie) and then cut away to the whipped people Katniss's mother and sister heal. It could've been a beautiful bit and it didn't need to be longer than 2-3 minutes.
     - Training/Film reel from previous Hunger Games montage 
       This was important! Yes the scenes where Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch face the idea of going back into the arena and Haymitch teaching them about the other victors were still pretty great, but they could've been better.

4. Games related pet-peeves;

     Why were some tributes shown and interviewed together and others not?! And did ya' miss a canon or two there (AGAIN)?!


But ok, all of those are as I said nit-picks, which forgive, but here are my two actual problems with this film:

5. Johanna Mason is hilariously miscast
      I am so happy with the casting in this film, everyone just fits their role perfectly!  Well, except for my favorite character - Johanna Mason. She is a tough character to cast and I was especially worried when I found out they were casting one of the girls from Sucker Punch. Yeah, great choice there, director!  Jena Malone wasn't even convincing in that stupid movie (SP) as the smart-assed bitchy sarcastic one of the group (and there it was all an act, because inside she was actually a dreamer inside), let alone here.
    Now, in all fairness I think that the writers and director did a decent job with her character and the actress god-bless her does her best, but... she just looked like she was trying too hard. Whenever I saw Johanna on screen... she just looked like an angry teenager acting out, because her mother grounded her for a month, and now she was going to miss prom and not like someone who's every reason for existence has been slowly and painfully taken away from her in constant, in attempts to shatter, but instead turned her into a weapon for the rebellion. I mean, Katniss seems much more hurt, rebellious and hardened and sarcastic than Johanna and no one she loves has even been taken from her yet.

6. 12A (UK)/ PG13 (USA) Rating
   This as an adaptation of a book focused around teenagers killing each other and people dying on daily basics how does that not get at least a 15 rating?! It's filled with violence and heavy theme and because of that stupid rating we got to see none of it! It was either:
1. cut away from through ridiculously fast editing 
2. my 'favorite' shakey-cam technique was used. 
Also Johanna's cursing was actually censored! I... no, just no!

To summarize: It may seem like I am bitching a lot, but I always do that, so do not be fooled: I loved the movie, I thought it was awesome, I did not feel how the time passed by and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Peace out,
Thea K

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prologue

I read this twice, in case you were wondering. I was deeply confused by the first reading and I am only about 30% more certain of what I read after the second one. And that's probably due to the second-language thingie.

Ok, there is a strange phenomenon going on in this book in the sense that it seems to be both not written by Stephenie Meyer and written too much my Stephenie Meyer.

What do I mean by this?

Well, first of all it's not Smeyer's usual 5-line incredibly-literal-symbolic/metaphoric meaning prologue. It's about 3 pages long and it does insert us into a setting and plot too.

It's also not told from the heroine's point of view, though I am still unclear as to who our main protagonist is supposed to be - is it wanderer the soul or Melanie the human? And I can't believe that I am saying this, but: no spoilers, please.

Also it's not um... bad. I am not sure that it's good yet, it's too early to tell from the first 3 pages, but so far it's kind of interesting.

Ok, let's get this out of the way right now.
My Rating for the Prologue is: 


Moving on:
What I mean by that it's written too much by Stephenie Meyer?

Well, the purple prose of course! Where we would be without Mrs. Meyer's unintentionally hilarious rape of complicated adjectives and adverbs.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love me some pp (that does not sound as good as I thought out-loud, but I'm probably going to keep using it.) I think if applied right (in the right places and the right amounts) it can achieve great things in all genres of fiction, but in particular YA and romance, which this is both. It can be used from parody and satire to poking fun of thropes to actual genuine (albeit clichéd) moments of insight into someone or something.

However when it's used it creates a sort of artificial feel of the text and it may take away from the story, because you'd be trying to focus too much on certain details, instead of you know - the important stuff. I've been reading Angela Carter for school lately, and I have to say my head hurts from all the fluffed-up writing.

Anyway, getting to the actual issue at hand:

Dr. Ford something-something (I am sure he is not important so I won't be bothered to remember his full name) is a Healer has healed a girl and is now preparing to do a procedure called 'insertion', which is apparently so run-of-the-mill that literally anybody can do it. No, not just any healer he says:
'any soul on the street street could perform it'
I don't understand the healer's job in such case. Ok, he also says 'in an emergency', but really what is the difference? An emergency would actually be more stressful. Also - soul emergency? Please, clarify, Meyer! No? Nothing? Ok, moving on.

Here's also another one of Mrs. Meyer's patents in writing - the nonsensical description.
Because he was a soul, by nature he was all things good: compassionate, patient, honest, virtuous, and full of love. Anxiety was an unusual emotion for Fords Deep Waters.
Irritation was even rarer. However, because Fords Deep Waters lived inside a human body, irritation was sometimes inescapable. 
What? How can it be so rare, but then also be inescapable? How does being in a human body affect all these emotions anyway, having in mind that human is (obviously) not there. Why are souls 'good by nature'? I cannot...

Ok, so all of his students are excited about seeing a 'wild' human for the first time. Oh, and let's not forget the 'You know this, but I'll repeat it to you, anyway' cliché compulsory to all sci-fi and fantasy.
They've never seen a grown human before,” Darren said.
Fords raised one eyebrow. “Are they blind to each other's faces? Do they not have mirrors?” 
“You know what I mean–a wild human. Still soulless. One of the insurgents.” 
There's some explanation about how they look the same, because the all wear humans. Ok, the text doesn't say 'wear', but that's how I interpret it.

There's also some whispers about the soul Dr. Ford is going to insert in the girl's body and they are all... Well, they sound like legends. You know like all these awesome things that hero did, but it can't be him, because no one is that awesome? And it most probably isn't him. But, well, I just have to post it:

 “She's been almost everything. A Flower, a Bear, a Spider –” “A See Weed, a Bat –” “Even a Dragon!”
 This is my first actual WTF moment so far. First off:



She can live as a flower, a bat a spider and a seaweed? Than why the fuck would you want a human body? That seems like jackass thing to do, really!


Also - A dragon? Are you fucking kidding me?! I think you are mixing up your genres here, Meyer, because sci fi isn't the same as fantasy (yes, I make a distinction).

And before that we have some brutal name-dropping about some Seeker, who is looking for some information  and something about this soul (obviously they are talking about the soul) being put through some challenge, which is actually an assignment that may or may not be for the greater good. It's kind of confusing, really and knowing Mrs. Meyer it'll either never come into play or it will be something stupid, so I am not delving too deep into it and I am not posting the text.

So the insertion procedure, which is described rather bizarrely takes place - half of the time I can't understand what is going on, thanks to Meyer's word-choices mostly - and the obligatory purple prose when the soul is described. I am not posting it, because it's actually kind of weird and it's just bad foreshadowing about the specialness of character, obviously.

Than something even more bizarre happens. The doctor feels bad after the procedure. I don't...

I mean - why? It can't be for the human girl, which will be destroyed now that the soul is in her body, because these souls obviously view humans just as animals, but good hosts. Maybe he feels bad for the soul - he does wish her luck in the end.

Oh, also - Darren is in this chapter. He's the Healer's assistant. We don't know much about him besides that. Wait no - he also has gray hair and hasn't changed his name from his human's host name. How did he know his human host's name, since the human dies the moment the soul enters his body and why would he need to is beyond me, but hey I'm guessing he'll never show up again either, so I won't be too bothered with any of this.

We don't know much about this characters, apart that there's a clear hierarchy and respect in their relationship, but in my head canon they ate both moderately attractive men in their early fifties with cockney accents, who spend their time having middle-age-crises sex, walk around in their bathrobes, drink tea and discuss politics and those pesky kids. Dr. Ford something-something is obviously the respected, calm neighbourly Healer with conservative views, while Darren is relaxed, friendly and the cool-uncle all those med students never had, but it's cool, because he he is the link between them and their a bit stiff, but good-hearted teacher.

Oh, my god, I bet that's more awesome than anything that happens in the actual book. Someone write this please!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Head Canon

What is Head Canon?
 It's when a writer writes the canon in their head and it one way, but when they actually put it on paper it looks like something entirely different.

Example:
I have done this a lot. One or two prime example that come to mind are from my old fan-fictions (they were RPFs, so I won't be mentioning names).

Fiction 1:
I. Head-canon: The heroine was really fun and likable, but her life was crumbling before her and that made her tragic.
Real canon: The heroine was wangsty and annoying and possibly had bipolar disorder.
II. Head canon: The hero was a real romantic.The heroine was one of the few most important things to him.
Real canon: He was insecure buzz-kill, douche-canoe, whose entire life and personality a revolved around one (bi-polar) piece of ass.
III. Head-caonon: The beta couple were foils to the alpha couple because they weren't into all these "romantic crap", but they were totally cool and in-sync.
Real canon: The girl was basically the rule 63 version of the guy.


Fiction 2 (this one, more recent - about 2 years ago):
I.Head-canon: The guy was persistent and chasing after someone who excited him. He was a grim-realist. This made him reliable and romantic.
Real-canon: He was creepy, rape-y and cynical.
II. Head-canon: The best friend-cousin was in-the-clouds, spoiled but likable for her innocence, naivety and good-heartedness.
Real Canon: She was annoying and acted more like a 14-year old then an 18-year-old.
III. Head-canon: The heroine was tough and a grim-realist, but down-to-earth. She's had a tough life and just didn't want to repeat her mother's mistakes. She has issues with emotional vulnerability but she can love.
Real-canon; She acts more like a cynical 30-year old, who's longer relationship was 2 months, then a 21-year old with at least one really serious relationship (over a year). Also she was a cold, heartless bitch.

Have in mind head canon, can not only happen to characters, but also to storylines, dialogue, inner monologue, scenes... pretty much anything.

For instance recently I wrote this sex scene and in my head it was incredibly hot, but when I re-read it sometime later, I was like: "meh!"

How To Avoid Head-Canon:
Beta readers - trust me, they are the best thing that can happen to your fiction.
You can ask them questions too. Not only for stuff you want them to pay a particular attention to, but other stuff as well. Like if you ask them "Do you think this character/scene/dialogue etc. is A or B?" and when they say they thought it was "C", than you know you are in trouble.




The Host: Chaper by Chapter Deconstructions

So, dear imaginary readers, I have decided to read the Host.

Let me elaborate: I have heard a lot of controversy surrounding the Host. People who said they loved it, people who said they hated it and most importantly: people who said that they hated Twilight, but loved the Host.

What? Something by Stephenie Meyer that may actually be good?

I  questioned the existence of such miracle for a while, but it seemed to be going around. So after years of avoiding Smeyer like the plague and unsuccessful movie (which is pity, but for other reasons. To understand those I will refer you to this video.) I have decided to form an opinion of the Host all on my own by  detaching myself from the world of Goodreads reviews and doing my own reading.

And since it is Stephanie Meyer, who is a popular author  and I am looking for something to crap all over (in dept!) I have chosen the Host.

And yes, I am preconditioned to believe that The Host is crap. I mean it came from the same woman who wrote Twilight in all of her seriousness. I just can't imagine it being good, sorry.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Christian Grey Vs Seto Kaiba or How an Action-Anime for Kids Did It Better!


Previous post: 50 Shades of Realism: Ana Steele VS The Modern Virgin


So Christian Grey, right? He is so awesome and dreamy and perfect.
Wait no, he isn't! He is an abusive douchebag.
Ok, sorry about that. Let's go by what the book TELLS us about him, not what it SHOWS.

So then Christian is super successful, he build a great empire in no time by dropping from college by a lended money. He is intimidating, likes fast/monstrous cars (again what we are TOLD), he likes big displays of wealth, social status, ego-strokes. He is selfish, a bit of a jerk and certainly a control freak.  He has a broken childhood including an abusive situation and a dead parent-figure. He is amazing at his job and has cartoonish bodyguards. He loves his siblings. He is incredibly young. He is hot and is into BDSM.
NO! Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey is NOT Christian Grey.
It's was the only realistic version of Grey that I found, though. I am so sorry, Matt.


Hmm, I can think of one very prominent character a bit like that and no one from any erotic fiction (though I and lot of females did have a major fictional-character-crush on him). It's:


Oh, Snap!

Ok, so for those of you who weren't kids/tweens ir didn't have kids/tweens in the early 2000s, Yu-gi-Oh was action-manga for kids (boys mostly, and I am sorry but I forgot the Japanese word for that genre), later adapted to a anime, the rights to which were bought by 4Kids in 2001.

It was about... adults playing a children's card game. Really, I can't explain it any better. This game is like the official sport in their world and most people play/want to play and the good ones are worldly-recognized. It's like Quidditch in Harry Potter except for the whole freakin' Western world. Also it's about ancient magic of dead civilizations. Go figure!

Seto Kaiba (or Kaiba as the show referred to him and as I will for the purposes this article) was the antagonist... except when he wasn't. On multiple occasions he'd help the main heroes, but usually for a selfish reason. He is basically everything that I said about Christian Grey and more. Well, except for being into BDSM, but I believe it was heavily implied. (Seriously, though - it's a kids' show.)

Unlike Grey, however whose personality is the same color as his eyes and name (see what I did there?), Kaiba was um... how do I say this? Interesting.

Besides the things I already pointed out, he could also pilot planes and helicopters; was a world-class hacker, a bit of a pick-pocketer, pretty proficient in martial-arts, a great escape-artist, amazing chess player and world-chapion of that card-game. Also - he was incredibly badass.

Not to mention, that what we are told about Kaiba is the same as what we are shown. This guy was a workaholic! And not a made-up workaholic like Christian, who while somehow being extremely rich and successful, can blow-off important business meetings on a whim; never ever works on a weekend; has all the time for lavish vacations; and basically makes his business decisions based on who he is fucking right now.\

Also, the reason Kaiba is so ridiculously successful  is not only because he was a kid-genius, but he also had his father's money and his company that he just re-build (not build from nothing).


He was never a bad or a good guy per se (except for the first two episodes), but was an egotistical jerk and the show jokes about that. However, he loved his brother more than anything and would've done anything for him, which showed he also had a soft side. He had good parents who died, then he went into an orphanage and was adopted by a rich abusive jackass, so no wonder he grew to be a cold and selfish overachiever.

Also, did I mention that he was really hot!



I am not kidding here, but I think I had my sexual awakening thanks to him. Ok, not really obvs, since I was around eight or nine when I first watched the show, but... he was so cool...

Sorry, I got distracted there for a minute. What I meant to say is that I loved this character and yes, - I totally romanticized him.  I think that's why to today I am always attracted to the jerk-with-a-golden-heart (thorpe) both in media and the real world and usually have it in my own writing.

And yes, he was totally into BDSM. And he was a Dom.
Oh, my...

Ahem. Anyway, basically what I am saying is  - when a kid's show centered around a bunch of teens and adults playing a children's card game, a show that included NO ROMANCE* (even by kids' shows' standards) has a sexeier, more realistic enigmatic-CEO-jerk-with-a-golden-heart character than the most successful book ever (and certainly the most successful erotic romance), something is terribly wrong.

Not to mention - in 50 shades Christian is THE MAIN character and the scenes without him are glossed over. Kaiba was a supporting character. There were many consecutive episodes without him and he was still my favorite guy (in show full of guys - it  had three girls as main characters and even that is stretch).

Seriously? When a kids' show has a sexier character than the lead of an mainstream erotic romance, you just have to rethink the universe.

Be ashamed, E.L. James. Be thoroughly ashamed!

*Well, we had two guys fighting over that one girl, but she ended up going out with neither. There was also an obvious attraction between two more couples (in the canon!), but neither let anywhere.

Well, that's for now from me, expect my first Supernatural tematic review in the coming month.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ana Steele VS The Modern Virgin or Why Ana Sucks

Alright, I have a lot to go through, but let's start simple. Ana is not the most realistic character, everyone knows that. Yes, there are more introvert women that prefer quiet and books than parties (I fancy myself one), but Ana's uninvolvement in life and... the world is, um... ridiculous.

To create the ultimate weapon of naivety and virgin perfection EL James had to make Ana so detached from everything, she seemed a different age in a different century.

1. Not having a smart-phone, laptop or email.
I... There is no WAY in hell Ana didn't have an email before Christian both her that Mac. You literally must have one, so you can apply to university. Not mention, once you arrive there the university makes one for you. Not having a laptop can happen, I guess - you could go to the computer centre - universitis always have one, but... well, from the moment I arrived at uni what pretty much everyone has been saying is,
'You can find/do everything you need online, my little lambs.' 

I have to go online to prepare for class, to do research and I need laptop to do my assessments. For god's sake I have to go online to do my laundry! No I am not kidding - you get a card, then you register in this website, put money in your card and then you can do laundry). I won't be able to survive without a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection in uni.

And as far as smartphones go, yeah, technically you can do without them fine, but people use them for everything! On the first event I went in for freshers' week I was asked: 'Do you have a smartphone?' Also, I am sorry but I refuse to believe that Ana has spent 4 years in university and never learnt how to google stuff. I wouldn't have survived high school without that ability, let alone uni!

So then why has EL James made our heroine so detached from the world?

Well... the internet is a place of all information. I'm still a virgin and yet I know... everything there is to know about sex. I probably know more than some people who are actually having it. Ana with internet connection will not be that same ridicilously-innocent Ana that we all know and hate.

2. Never having mastrubated/had any sexual fabtasies and desires of any sort

This one, I cannot explain better than the ladies at 50 Shades of Green (or if you are more interested in there other project, the pale brunette is also known as Nostalgia Chick.) Like Nella explains: "The reason why Ana has never had any sexual fantasies before she meets her Twu Luv is not so people would relate to that, because no one would, it's that they'll relate to the fact that they think that's how it should be."

And while I agree with her, I have to call bullshit on this type of thinking - sex is one thing, love is another! Yes, often love may include sex and sex leads to love, but one certainly does not equal the other.

3. Not knowing basic things about sex.

There's a lot of time you just have to roll your eyes at how clueless Ana is. Like Erika said - there's no way she'll be that clueless after 4 years in university. It's impossible, especially in the 21st century.

So again - the reason EL James wrote it in, is because she needed someone really innocent to be the foil of Grey and his sexuall-liberated/ 'dark' ways.

Except... James has a very broken idea of innocence. She thinks that being innocent means a naive, conservative, clueless idiot.

Look, it's not that I mind the virgin thorpe - ok, I do. It's stupid, cliché and way too over-used, but everyone's sexual awakening has to start somewhere right? So what I am saying is - I wouldn't mind Ana Steele as much if she was a Modern Virgin (aka still without sexual experience, but educated in the theory, confident and familiar with her own body), not the ridiculous stereotype of one.

Here's the chapter where Ana loses her virginity, re-capped by this awesome author, whose recaps everyone should totally read. I can personally find at least 5 inaccuracies of the top of my head. There's also an audio version of this one, read by Kate Davidson.

Next installment in 50 Shades of Realism expect: Christian Grey VS Seto Kaiba (or how a kid's show did it better)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Supernatural: Thematic Reviews

Alright, so I started doing an episode-by-episode reviews of Supernatural, but they weren't umm... interesting. So I decided I'll divide the show into themes to talk about, instead. There's not a lot to say so far, but I'll have one done possibly by the end of October at the least.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

1.Marked - Chapter 1 or Meeting two horrible people

We start off meeting our heroine and first person narrator Zoey in school with her friend Kayla. She sees a 'dead guy' by the lockers  that no one else seems to see, except... wait a minute! Vampyres aren't dead. They are Changed. And it's not like humans don't know in this universe, so why is this here at all?

Also, yes, this is exactly how we (the readers) are dropped into this universe. Now, I know that 'acting like everything is normal' is a method of writing and seems to be a good one, too.

I can see why, considering how info dumps are always clumsy and awkward. Often times, I am like 'Wait if all of this is common knowledge, why would this characters repeat it to one another, except to introduce the reader to this information?'

But I still want a hint, at least. Well, to the credit of these authors, they actually do explain this (pretty much the way I did), but not before you had the time to ask yourself 'What the fuck?' at least three times.

Kayla is talking about this guy named Heath, who 'didn't get that drunk after the game and Zoey is being harsh on him' (later we find that Heath is Zoey's no-good almost-boyfriend.) Except our heroine isn't really listening but thinking that she is feeling out of sorts.
 Then I coughed. Again. I felt like crap. I must be coming down with what Mr. Wise, my more-than-slightly-insane AP biology teacher, called the Teenage Plague. 
If I died, would it get me out of my geometry test tomorrow? One could only hope. 
This is literally 1/3d into the first page and Zoey is already being horrible. Dying is better than geometry?! Ok, that's not fair, I've told myself the exact same thing. Moving on.

Next comes the everyday teenage drama. The only important detail, I want to mention is that Zoey doesn't seem to like her step-father, and she even calls him Step-Loser.

They keep talking about how Heath only got drunk because he was celebrating his American football win. Also, yes I'll keep calling it American football. I am from Europe and I believe that for a sprt to be called 'football'  it should include FEET and a BALL. Neither of which are prime elements in AF, so yeah, suck it, Americans. Soccer is the only sport that deserves the title football (and I am not even sports fan).




Yeah, they keep talking about Heath. Zoey hates the fact that he drinks so much, Kayla defends him. Also, she (Kayla) is shallow because she thinks he is hot.

OH, THE HORROR! Surely no teenage girl (or a woman, period) has ever been into a guy simply because he is HOT. She may be interested in loads of other guys for loads of other reasons, but if she likes ONE guy, simply because he is hot, she is just just a horrible, shallow person.

Unfortunately, Kayla is just our token shallow-friend to show how deep, smart and incredible our protagonist is. And by the way I just want to point out how Zoey thinks this is shallow. Just remember it for now, I promise it'll come in play later.

Then I saw him. The dead guy. Okay, I realized pretty quick that he wasn't technically "dead.” He was undead. Or un-human. Whatever. Scientists said one thing, people said another, but the end result was the same. There was no mistaking what he was and even if I hadn't felt the power and darkness that radiated from him, there was no frickin' way I could miss his Mark, the sapphire- blue crescent moon on his forehead and the additional tattooing of entwining knot work that framed his equally blue eyes. He was a vampyre, and worse. He was a Tracker. 

Yeah, there's no darkness. At all. Ever. From anyone. Except villains. And not even all of them. I...

Also yes, because I didn't explain very well, here: This guy is a Tracker. Trackers are the Hunters, who take teenagers to vampyre school and turn them into fledglings (students, vampyre-trainees). They will one day turn into full vampyres. Or die. No, I am not kidding. And I am not making fun of the series either. The only two options after you are Marked are to go through the change or to die. And dying happens quite a lot, too.

So the Tracker marks Zoey with the vampyre mark (for a fledgling that's the outline of a dark blue crescent moon on their forehead, for a vampyre it's filled in, too.) Also, we find out that Zoey is a bit of a random idiot (but a cute idiot, she just says the most ridiculous/strange) things! Yey, characterization!

And just if you are wondering, that's the verbal equivalent of 'clumsy', so you can guess that it's the most common 'flaw' for leading protagonists. Oh, I forgot - Zoey is bad at math too. If you guessed that we have a Mary Sue on our hands, my dear, you'll be most certainly right.

Zoey's friend is very upset that Zoey has been Marked. So much that Zoey has to be the one to calm her down, and I have to say - I really hate Kayla here. She is not being a friend; she is being a selfish jerk.

And she automatically cringed, and moved away from me. 
I couldn't believe it. She actually cringed, like she was afraid of me. She must have seen the hurt in my eyes because she instantly started a string of breathless K-babble.
"Oh, God, Zoey! What are you going to do? You can't go to that place. You can't be one of those things. This can't be happening! Who am I supposed to go to all of our football games with?”

I noticed that all during her tirade she didn't once move any closer to me. I clamped down on the sick, hurt feeling inside that threatened to make me burst into tears. My eyes dried instantly. I was good at hiding tears. I should be; I'd had three years to get good at it. 

So yes, this thing is obviously Kayla's normal behaviour, so much that Zoey doesn't even notice. Also, our heroine is tortured - she had to hide her tears!

So yes, Zoey is Marked and has to deal with that. Also she has a stupid Barbie-clone sister. Is her sister really stupid and a Barbie-clone? I don't know. We never meet her and after this chapter she seems to drop out of existence, because no one ever mentions her again. Was she taken from the Aliens, who also deleted anyone's memory of  her? Well, it's as good of an explanation as any.

So yeah, a bunch of unnecessary details. Also Zoey is afraid that  she'll become a stereotype.
Do vampyres play chess? Were there vampyre dorks? How about Barbie-like vampyre cheerleaders? Did any vampyres play in the band? Were there vampyre Emos with their guy-wearing-girl's-pants weirdness and those awful bangs that cover half their faces? Or were they all those freaky Goth kids who didn't like to bathe much? Was I going to turn into a Goth kid? Or worse, an Emo? I didn't particularly like wearing black, at least not exclusively, and I wasn't feeling a sudden and unfortunate aversion to soap and water, nor did I have an obsessive desire to change my hairstyle and wear too much eyeliner. 
Don't worry, Zoey, you are already your own stereotype. You are the perfect-in-everything protagonist that everyone (who counts) likes and is attracted to, even though she is actually awful.

Oh, Kayla's here. Hi, Kayla, I had forgotten you about you for a while. Actually that may have been for the best, seeing as how Kayla continues to act horribly. She doesn't  even try to hide that she is afraid of her friend. Then this supposed best friend leaves Zoey in her time of need to go home with her  boyfriend.


And the Award for the worst person ever goes to...


Really, Kayla, the elitist-Zoey, who is already well on her way of becoming the biggest Mary Sue in published fiction since Bella Swan is nice compared to you. Come to think of it, that was probably the point... Well, to her credit she does ask Zoey to 'call her later', but it just like she is actually saying 'we'll never talk again'.

So Zoey is contemplating her choices:
The problem, of course, was that turning into a monster was the brighter of my two choices. Choice Number 1: I turn into a vampyre, which equals a monster in just about any human's mind. Choice Number 2: My body rejects the Change and I die. Forever. 

Yes, Zoey that's how dying usually works. I mean personally I believe in the whole being re-born philosophy, but since you have no memories of previous lives anyway, it's all the same.


Now... oh, the hell with it.



          So the good news is that I wouldn't have to take the geometry test tomorrow.

The bad news was that I'd have to move into the House of Night, a private boarding school in Tulsa's Midtown, known by all my friends as the Vampyre Finishing School, where I would spend the next four years going through bizarre and unnameable physical changes, as well as a total and permanent life shake-up. And that's only if the whole process didn't kill me. Great. I didn't want to do either. I just wanted to attempt to be normal, despite the burden of my mega-conservative parents, my troll-like younger brother, and my oh-so-perfect older sister. 

What did they say about these authors trying not to use info-dumps? I apologise profusely.

Also, a brother?! Well, that's the first time I hear of this and I have READ THE BOOKS BEFORE. So trust me when I say this - if Zoey's sister is mentioned twice, that'll be the only time we'll ever hear of her brother. And I am tempted to use a meme again.

Damn it! Ok, meme, you win:





Now that was being taken away from me, too. 
Wait is that? A protagonist complaining for NOT being able to live xir horrible life?! I don't even... WHERE DID THIS TROPE EVEN COME FROM?!

Seriously, correct me if I am wrong, but if you lived in a horrible and/or abusive environment and had to deal with awful and boring stuff all the time and then something/someone changes that, will your first reaction really be: 'Oh, gosh golly, I can't live out my extremely boring/horrible life?! I hate you, magical life-changer that all ordinary people dream about!' I mean, maybe it's just my genre-awareness speaking, but am I really the only one who thinks this is stupid?!

Anyway, Zoey rushes towards her car.

But I stopped short of going outside. Through the side-by-side windows in the institutional-looking doors I could see Heath. Girls flocked around him, posing and flipping their hair, while guys revved ridiculously big pickup trucks and tried (but mostly failed) to look cool. Doesn't it figure that I would choose that to be attracted to? No, to be fair to myself I should remember that Heath used to be incredibly sweet, and even now he had his moments. Mostly when he bothered to be sober. 

I actually like this. I mean it's a little stereotype-y, but every girl has had this moment, when she realizes that her crush is crap and she's like 'Oh, why do I have to be attracted to that guy?' Also, as someone who's read the other books, I can account to the fact that Heath is actually not at all a bad guy and him and Zoey have the only real connection, she has with any of the other boys she dates (well, not entirely, but... we'll get to that). Also, he is definitely somewhere in my top five characters.

Then we get some slut-shaming, which is very uncool in my book (ok, 'uncool' is a very weak word to describe how I feel about slut-shamimg, both in fiction AND in real life, but I am going to talk a lot about it throughout these series and I don't want to use-up my rage card, just yet).

Now Zoey is afraid of judgement over her scar, so she can't go past her almost-boyfriend and his clique to her car, because in high-school, having no nasty rumors about yourself floating around is more important than staying (literally) alive.

I just... no, I am not going to touch this one. Truth is, I stopped caring for what people say about me long time ago. Or I'd pick life, I don't know.

I already knew too well what they'd do. I remembered the last kid a Tracker had Chosen at SIHS. 
It happened at the beginning of the school year last year. The Tracker had come before school started and had targeted the kid as he was walking to his first hour. I didn't see the Tracker, but I did see the kid afterward, for just a second, after he dropped his books and ran out of the building, his new Mark glowing on his pale forehead and tears washing down his too white cheeks. I never forgot how crowded the halls had been that morning, and how everyone had backed away from him like he had the plague as he rushed to escape out the front doors of the school. I had been one of those kids who had backed out of his way and stared, even though I'd felt really sorry for him. I just hadn't wanted to be labeled as that-one-girl-who's-friends-with-those-freaks. Sort of ironic now, isn't it? 
No, not even tempted to go over all the aspects of elitism, stereotyping and typical not 'what-actually-happens-in-high-school', but 'what-everyone-who-isn't-in-high-school-thinks-happens-high-school' of that quote.

Or maybe it does happen. Maybe I am just more open-minded than most people. But it sucks. And our heroine sucks for buying into all of that bullshit. However, she is Marked now, so I guess this is her journey to enlightenment and open-mindedness? Well, let's see how that goes for her then.

Zoey goes to the bathroom and stares at her scar, feeling like she's looking at a stranger. Oh, hi, overused trope! I expected you back in next chapter, at least.

We also get a physical description of our narrator. Basically, she's pretty (but not too much), brunette and part Cherokee. Because it sounded exotic-enough, I guess? Ok, that's not fair, this actually plays a sort-of a part in the plot (also: I am not very familiar with the Cherokee culture, so I will not comment if it has been misrepresented here. I am just not competent enough).

From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment―just an instant―I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother's people rejoiced. 

Even with the context from the other books, I am not really sure what this means, but I like it as an excerpt on it's own.

So, that my dear two readers, is chapter one from book one of the House of Night. Basically all that happens is that we meet one horrible character (that will be dropped very soon) and one semi-horrible one, who gets better, if memory serves. Oh, and a title drop. There's a lot of those.

I hope you like this re-cap and I guess I'll do another one soon, if I see any interest at all, The best way to that - comment!

                                                                                                 Have a great weekend!

















Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hey, I am doing the deconstruction thing too!

 Hi. This is me. So I’ve seen a lot of people are doing book series deconstructions and it looks both really fun (though a bit painful) and since this is the perfect way to start uploading regularly to my blog - I decided why the hell not? The question was: which series are the perfect target?
50 shades is out of the question as so many people have said their piece, I really don’t think I have anything to add, not to mention I’d always plan this to be more YA-concerned blog. Same (even more so) goes for Twilight. I thought Divergent, since there’s a movie coming out next year, but really that’s a mostly good book (even though it definitely has flaws) so re-caps of that won’t be nearly as fun/painful. And then I figured it out: The House of Night series. These are both popular enough AND have upcoming movies. Also, I actually started out liking these series (though I was very young when I started reading them), even if I admitted that they had flaws, but now that I have been pointed out a few stuff I may need to take a better look. Anyway, I still don’t think they are the worst thing out there and I sort of had fun once around, so why not?
Now, I have very mix feelings of the series. but let’s start with:

The Good:
1. In these books have a way moire realistic take on teenagers. Finally! I love seeing YA lit, where teenagers swear, have sex and deal with things like drugs and eating disorders (well, kindda) and it’s fantasy! Cool!
2. Gay people - Again, I love to see the YA genre expanding and finally admitting the existence of queers. 
3. Original take on vampire-genre - If you have not heard of the House of Night it suffices to say that they didn’t took the Twilight route of brooding immortal monsters. Yes, the idea of supernaturals going to magical school  is not that new  (don’t expect me to be reading that any time soon, well unless I like the movie, so if there are similarities I won’t be commenting on them), but this one I believe is it’s own thing. Also, vampires (or vampyres as they are mortal) are  not monsters. They are good and very connected to nature etc.

The Bad:
1. The characters are really kind of two-dimensional (not 1D, but still not quite 3D either) and that distracts, because these books could’ve been amazing.
2. Very Sexist or all kinds of -ist characters. You’ll see what I mean later.
3. One of the biggest wish- fulfilment stories ever. Yeah, it’s bad, especially in the first book where the plot and the characters and pretty much anything is as fanficcy and cliched as possible. It’s a really bad Mary Sue saves all story. The good thing is the other books kind of fix that as we find that Zoey isn’t exactly perfect and all the characters are a bit more deep than that one dimension they are given at first.
4. Mary Sue-ism to the end. Book one mostly, but really throughout the series.
5. Atrocious pacing. Yeah, one book develops in a matter of days! DAYS!


Really, I don’t hate those books, I just think they could’ve been great and as they are now, they are mediocre at best. Re-caps will start sometime this week, :D but have in mind I most likely won’t be deconstructing the novellas. Also, I’ll be giving my ratings to each chapter and once I am done with one book, to the book as well. I wanted to do them twice a week, because there are a lot of books and the chapters aren’t incredibly long, but I am going to study in the UK, so I’ll be settling in for a while and I don’t think I’ll be able to do more than once a week. Hopefully (if I get traffic, especially) I’ll do them more often later on. =)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Criticism - The Bad VS The Good

So, I was on vacation in Mexico, with my dad and my step-mother and my two little siblings, who are just the cutest by the way.
Ok, that was just to show off. Now, the real deal: the topic of critics and criticism came about (because I often quote critics) and they (well, my step-mother anyway, though she claims that my dad's opinion as well) said that (they) don't like critics and criticism and think they are losers. Why?

The Bad:

    1. Critics feed their ego-s by bashing someone else's work, but in reality they are just talentless pricks.
    Ok, that's not really what she said but it's what she meant*. Critics take quick satisfaction by poking at someone else's work, because it's easy. Why don't they do something original if they are so smart?
   And while, there is truth to that, here's my counter-argument(s):
    1. That sounds like a lot like a fan-fiction defense.** "If you hate it so much and find so many mistakes with it - do better!" The thing is, it's not about being able to do it better (even though if you had the money, the time and the desire, you probably could)! It's about being free have a taste to express opinion. If someone doesn't agree with that opinion, that's also fine.
    2. Most of them are doing or have tried to do original work. Maybe their original work isn't/wasn't as successful, but that doesn't mean
      a) they are talentless hacks
      b) they haven't seen what it's like to do the actual work.
      c) their original work also sucks.
While one or all of these may be true, usually they are not. It's just means that business is competitive. That's why some people are multi-billionaires, owning 3 private jets and golden toilet seats (yeah, this is a thing) and some starve to death and die of pollio.*** And everyone knows, that just because something is famous, doesn't make it good.


   2. Criticism gives quick satisfaction and makes you feel smart, but brings about a lot of negative energy long-term.

My counters:
   1. Yes, negative criticism, maybe just like most negative things in life. But just because someone is a critic or "reviewer" (if you prefer that word because it's more neutral) doesn't really mean everything that comes out of their mouth has to have negative connotation. Sometimes a critique is positive, sometimes neutral, sometimes it's just light-hearted humor.
    2. If something offends you personally or intellectually or in any other way, how is keeping your outrage over it healthy for you? Lashing out lowers your blood pressure and helps you move on to more positive things. You may get an ulcer, if you don't say anything. Malcolm in the Middle had a great episode about that.
     3. Yes, it does produce some unhealthy energy, but if you have a fanbase that is entertained and eager to listen to you, why is that not a good thing?

  3. Critics can make (push-over) people biased and take away their ability to see the product with fresh eyes.
   1. First of all every person's opinion will be influenced one way or another. How strong that influence is, is a whole other subject. My opinions are constantly influenced, but I am 19 and still pretty much forming as a person.
   2. Just because you may find flaws with something doesn't mean you won't necessarily like it. You can still like something and acknowledge its flaws. Plus, everyone is different, everyone likes diffrent things.
   3. If those people are so easily influenced - why are they listening to critics? No one's making them.


The Good:

   I. I respect the hell out of anyway who can come out and say an honest opinion about something, especially if that something is popular and the said opinion is negative. It takes courage to do so, you may get attacked by the fanbase and fanbase-s are crazy.

  II. Pretty much all  humor is born out of some form of critique.

   If you think about it most jokes are critique of something. Irony, Sarcasm and satire are big parts of humor and they are basically critiques in their nature (satire even means a critique of something).

   III. Critics are the editors of the industry.

   This one is pretty straightforward - everyone needs someone (something) to oppose them. It's the third law of  Newton: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If no one talks about how trashy, trashy products are, and get people not to buy them, no one will stop producing those producs.

    IV. The media and entertainment today affect our lives and sometimes there are more important things to be pointed out than simply "This product has a bad quality."
           Racism, Sexism, themes of abuse etc. when they are not put there ON PURPOSE (or even if they are subtly into the meaning) or the opposite themes are good examples of that.

    V. Like Doug Walker says:
What a critic should do is challenge someone's point of view. Even if you don't agree with it, just give some different outlook or point of view that perhaps another person hasn't thought about before.
       
* By the way I respect and love my step-mother and my father a lot. but I certainly don't alwsys agree with them.
** Which I didn't tell her. because then I'd probably have to explain what fan-fiction is.
*** Sorry for the downer.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Racism VS Creeping

  This is totally random, nothing to do with any form of art, just something I have been wanting to talk about for a while.

  I am a starer. I stare. For a long periods of time. Not in a subtle way. I can stare at people and make them so incredibly uncomfortable that they may wonder if:
a) Am I a spy that's incredibly bad at her job?
a) Do I maybe have a physical disorder that literally prevents me from turning my head away

  And I stare at different people for a lot of different reason - a guy I have a crush on; a girl I think it's pretty and am jealous of; someone I hate; someone that wears something strange and/or incredibly ugly; someone I think is cool; someone who does something strange/interesting... the list just goes on. And because I am a writer (kind of, sort of) I like watching people - how they behave, consider what they may be thinking etc. I especially love watching people... that are new to me.

  I however am not a racist. To me that means - I don't think that the white race is somehow in some way better than any other race. When I see a colored-person, I do see a color, but I don't think of the people in terms of color, rather them in terms of well... people. True, I don't find black guys as attractive as white guys, although I might if they are multiracial.

  However, where I live there are not a lot of colored people. I have come to notice quite a few Asians, so when I see one, I naturally... stare. And here's what goes in my head during that time:

"Oh my god, they think I am racist for staring at them like that. But I can't they are so new-y. Ok, just look away, look at any other direction, just don't look at that person. Oh, great now they must think I am racist, because I won't even look at them. Well, I can't look now, that'll just be creepy..."

And yes, intellectually I understand that most people probably have better things to worry about than whether that stranger has anything against them, because of their skin-color, but it's my problem and I can't solve it.

As I said - in Bulgaria, doesn't really matter, but I am leaving to study in UK in September and I am sure there will be more variety there and I want to make a bunch of international friends, because it's always cool to have new friends that are different then you, and'll be able to teach you something new.  And I don't want them to label me 'racist' and refuse to talk to me, because I stare at them awkwardly.

My point is that some people are narrow-minded bigots and some are just weird and awkward and I am the second type. I am still unsure which is worse, because if I were racist, I won't care about their opinions of me. Now, I am just sort of... stuck.

Comments will be appreciated. =)

Note: I feel racist just talking about color. I apologize to all non-white people, who may be reading this, I hope you are not offended.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

37 Reasons why Twilight Is Better Than 50 Shades

  Yes, this is happening. The book(s) that everyone bashed for it's plotlessness, abusive relationship, one-dimensional characters, unrealized antagonist and Mary Sue-ish main characters, stupidity etc. I am now going to defend as being better than something. Oh, don't get me wrong, those are still incredibly bad books, but at least they are not 50 Shades.  Brace yourselves.

1. Twilight is unintentionally hilarious. 50 shades is either dull or aggravating.
Yes, there are boring parts in Twilight and loads and loads to get angry about, but mostly you just revel in the stupidity. 50 shades is either a snore or so bad it makes our head hurt, for trying not to explode with anger.
    ("Aren't you hungry?" he asked.
      "No," I didn't want to mention that my stomach was already full - full of butterflies." See - hilarious! It's gems like this that make Twilight worth it.

2. Twilight doesn't slut-shame.
    Bella has many problems (that Ana copies), like being a selfish, superficial, bitchy, elitist and just overall unpleasant, but at least she doesn't slut-shame -herself or others.
     Ana (and her subconscious) on the other hand is constantly blaming herself or other women for enjoying sex.

4. Ok, this one is going to hurt, but... Twilight has a somewhat, coherent, sensible, sort of threatening plot, which actually affects the characters and their relationship.
     Yes, all the plotlines in Twilight are stupid and they go away almost as quickly as they show up, but they... kind of affect the characters and their relationships.
       50 Shades on the other hand is just filled with over-the-top drama and villains that in the end don't affect Ana and Christian's relationship or affect it too little. And while some people may argue that in a romance novel the plot is the relationship; this arc is mostly filled with Christian being an abusive douchebag and Ana loathing and doubting herself. And even with all that the inner-conflict is pretty much finished by the middle of book 2, so book 3 is just over-the-top drama.

5. Stephenie Meyer doesn't hate her (good) characters.
    While Meyer may a misogynist and a racist and what-not, she's those things only subconsciously. Not that this excuses her, but she does not openly hate The Native American characters. Jacob in particular is pretty nice and likable character, when he starts out (until Meyer realized that he was much cooler than Edward and performed a character-assassination). 
    James on the other hand goes out of her way to make sure that José is stereotypically brown Hispanic, and then has him almost date-rape Ana in chapter 3, to make sure that we don't like him and he is no competition for Grey.

6. Twilight is at least based on something cool.
    Vampires and werewolves and vampire-turf wars? Awesome! Dull-ly written, but awesome.
     I am not saying that erotic romances can't be interesting, but... the way that 50 shades makes us follow every - single - little - thought that Ana has, weather it's important or not... grrrrrgh, just shoot me already!

7. Twilight has a, er... philosophy?!
     Ok, that's a stretch, but the part where Bella says 'You can't always be Superman and I - Louis Lane.' was kind of smart. Also the souls thing, that was ok, I guess.
     50 shades has 'BDSM is bad for your relationship', and that's just stupid.

8. Twilight doesn't gloss over scenes without Edward in them.
    Ok, maybe the first book does. It's a romance, they've just met, it's normal... but later on we get some really cool scenes with the werewolves and the other vampires and even a few "human" scenes. We even get Jacob as a narrator for a while and we learn more about the werewolf-pack dynamics, this was pretty cool.
      50 Shades on the other hand, feels that if Christian isn't in the picture, it's not interesting or we don't care. But actually, I spend every moment wishing he would go away.

9. Super awesome intended characterisation - Twilight haz it.
    Jacob, Carlisle, Rosalie, Aro, Jane, Leah, Sam, Renesmee, Riley, Allistair -  all these characters have either amazing backstory, or amazing character traits, or/and are forced with actual mortality or life choices. Pretty much every one of them (especially Carlisle) could've had a book written all about them - Bree actually does - and in the hands of a skilled writer... oh, the possibilities are endless. And I am hoping that if someone does do something Twilight-connected now, they'll tell us more about any of those characters (and hopefully, it won't be written by Smeyer).
    Who does 50 shades have? Tayler, I guess, but... not enough!

10 . Actual morality.
       Twilight may handle everything it talks about badly, but at least tries to actually pick up morality and teach kids a thing-or-two. I'm talking about the consciously written-in parts of the books - the ones about souls and equality and "Don't have sex or the first time, unless you really love that person" and learning to love and accept yourself and forgiveness...  Sure, it fails miserably, but at least it tries.
       What does 50 Shades teach us? BDSM is bad an abnormal, and only "vanilla" couples are ok? I am sorry, but.. no.

11. Actual tension and conflict in the relationship.
      Yeah, yeah, everyone knew that Bella will end up with Edward. But Jacob was still a very viable option, what he offered was tempting, even for her. Even she thought (though for a very short moment) that she may go for the guy that genuinely makes her happy. And the whole human/vampire thing kind of presented a problem for Bella and Edward.
       There was no such thing for Ana and Christian, being together was the only choice. He had no competition whatsoever (well, who could compete with the Alpha-est of Alpha males?!), despite the emotional connection Ana may have been sharing with José or Kate (yes, I believe Ana is lesbian-in-denial (for Kate), and Kate is at least bi-curious). It doesn't matter. Grey has looks, brains (supposedly, I never really got that impression) money and has Ana under his black-magic spell.

12. Twilight can be intentionally funny too.
      Occasionally, the books will have a joke that really works. For instance, I enjoyed the bit in book 4, where Rosalie and Jacob had the bitch-dog argument and she bent a bowl to look like a dog's bowl, but he didn't care and ate the food like a dog, even licking the bowl, just to infuriate her. That bit was funny. There were others too. Now, of course, even the ones that work are not as nearly as good  as say the intentional humor in Harry Potter, but the are not too bad.
      50 shades tries to write intentional humor, but is all either clumsy, annoying or inappropriate. Like when Ana jokes with Christian that he needs more therapy. Really, Ana? Really? Ana's inner goddess does a bunch of stuff, yey! (sounds of drowning kittens). The only good humor from those books, comes from the ridiculous writing or the re-caps other people do.

13. The Author.
      It's just so easy to make fun of Stephenie Meyer, she acts like a twelve year-old writing fan-fiction. Her refusing to accept or respond to criticism; her brother checking her email and deleting every email that doesn't praise her... and my favorite - her proudly claiming that she's done NO RESEARCH WHATSOEVER and that she DOESN'T EVEN THINK about what she's writing. :DDD
       James on the other hand claims to have done a ton of research, including people who are actually INTO BDSM telling her about it, yet she so blatantly misses the point. And with her bullshity premise (that I've already talked about)... I just pity her, honestly, I do.

14. All the jokes.
      Twilight has so much to offer us to joke about: sparkly vampires, whiny teens, the protagonist that sits back and lets her boyfriend save the day, all the "Still better love story than Twilight" jokes all the "shirtless werewolves" jokes, clumsy purple prose, Kristen Stewart's acting - it's just an endless source of humor. 50 shades, despite maybe it's hilariously misguided sex-scenes and awful writing, it only really gives us topics to rant about.

15. Villains/antagonists
      Twilight has them and they almost affect the plot and characters. 50 shades doesn't and they affect almost nothing.

16. Semi-feminism in secondary characters.
      Twilight has Rosalie, Jessica, Leah, Kate, and Jane. People hate Leah, because Smeyer presents her as  a bitch, but her only real fault is that she doesn't bent her head to the men. Anyway, all these women are interesting and a little feminist. The all face and have faced hard lives and try to overcome that. They are interesting, cool, crazy, funny and every single one would e much better protagonists than Bella.
      50 shades has Mia (Alice) who acts more like 11, than 21 and Kate who is so incredibly inconsistent, she might as well have a Multiple Personalities Disorder. All the other women in the series are either antagonists; not mentioned enough or trying to "steal" Christian from Ana.

17. Edward has other companions. Christian doesn't.
      Edward has Jasper and Emmett. True, they are more brothers than friends, but he spends time with them and seems to enjoy their company. It also makes sense for him to be kind of a loner, because - vampire - duh!
      Christian has one brother Elliot (Emmett) and he isn't very close to him at all. He has no other friends guys or girls, besides his molester Mrs. Robinson and that doesn't count. Every guy needs guy-friends and every girl needs girlfriends.

18. The dad.
      Charlie was awesome - at least in the movies.
      Ray was... in two scenes and then in a coma. Umm... relative to something, I guess?

19. The mom.
       In the movies at least, Renee might have been absent-minded and flighty, but she was also sweet and caring and sort of a hippie-bohemian, which was awesome.
       Carla is just sort of... not all there. She is also super misogynistic and when Christian shows up in Georgia, she basically tells Ana to go f*ck him, while they were spending time together (conversations that will never happen) instead of  "He followed you to Georgia without your invitation or knowledge, after you specifically told him you want time away?! Ana, honey, call the cops, call them now!"

20. No tedious email-exchanges with unnecessary subjects and long signatures in Twilight. 
     Twilight may have felt like it was happening more in the early 90s than the beginning of the 21st century, but at least it didn't treat us to incredibly long and dull email-exchanges with TO: FROM: DATE: SUBJECT:, unlike those other books.

21.  Twilight has hilarious made-up science.
      Oh, Twilight, you fail at so many things, so miserably and yet so epically... One of those things (and in my top 10) - instead of just explaining away the vampires with "It's magic!" Meyer tries to bring in biology, chemistry and physics in it, and... oh, it's glorious! Nothing like that in 50 shades!

23. "This is the skin of a killer, Bella!" *sparkles*
        Nothing, absolutely nothing in the entire universe can ever top this moment. I watched the movie again with a friend of mine sometime ago, and we both burst out in such fits of laughter on that line, we almost choked.

24. 50 shades is extremely homophobic, Twilight just pretends gays don't exist. 
      Now, I am not saying the pretending an issue doesn't exist in the grand scheme of things is ok, but a lot of YA fiction never addresses this, as if teens or tweens don't know about it, or as if they are not supposed to read about it (I'll talk about this bullshit another time, though if you want to hear my opinion, you can watch this video. It basically sums it up). Not having gays in your work is certainly better than what 50 shades does, which is:
       Addresses the fact that homosexuality and bisexuality exist, but acts like this is the worst thing you can be. "Elliot has slept with men?!Well, it's a good thing Kate doesn't know, cause that'll be a  huge deal-breaker." Or my favorite: "Christian may be a self-loathing abusive asshole, but at least he's not gay! Bleh!"

25. The end.
       Yes, Bella and Edward pretty much get a Happily Ever After, but there are a lot of other unfinished stories, other characters to care about and the treat of the Volturi in the future isn't completely eliminated. So you know Happily Ever After... until one day. :D
       50 Shades is pretty much Happily Ever After... in your abusive relationship. Pray for a zombie apocalypse, Ana - pray for it. God punishes abusers during a zombie apocalypse, as we all know. :D

26. Stephanie Meyer was passionate about her story until the end. James hated it by the time the third book came around.
       Yes, everyone agrees that Breaking Dawn was a huge epic fail, even by Twilight standards, but hey, at least Smeyer still liked the story and the characters. James hated 50 shades and everything about it at that point. Do you know what happens when you start to hate whatever you are writing? You get lazy about it and your writing starts to suck (if hers didn't before).

27. Twilight inspired literacy.
      Twilight came in the perfect time after the Harry Potter phenomenon was over and after reading so many words, teens and tweens discovered the wonder of books.
       True, after reading 50 Shades many people discovered the wonders of erotica, and that's awesome, but it can't compare to having an entire generation of literate girls (sort of).

28. Bella doesn't feel the compulsive need to always be the prettiest girl in the room.
      She may often feel bad that she isn't as pretty as the vampires, but she isn't constantly obsessed with it. Ana on the other hand has almost compulsive need to compare herself to any other woman in the room, even in a situation where people are worried/grieving and looking good isn't the first thing on their minds.

29. The play baseball in Twilight.
      This is just an incredibly hilarious scene, both in the book and the movie, not to mention that awesome Muse song "Supermassive"! And the hilarious explanation of why vampires can only play baseball in a storm. Because everybody knows how high-contact sport baseball is. :DD
      I know that's not being entirely fair to 50 shades, because there are no movies yet, but I doubt there will be a sport-related scene in there that will top the baseball scene in Twilight. Unless they added an incredibly hilarious scene of Christian playing golf with his business partners in his white-rich-man-country-club (which you just know he has a membership to) and Ana just stands aside bored. .

30. The beta-couples in Twilight are established and make sense (by Twilight-standards).
       The only reason certain characters are together in 50 Shades is because they were together in Twilight (and 50 shades was fan-fiction). We never get any insight into Mia and Ethan's relationship, for instance.

31. Edward isn't entirely unrealistic. Christian is.
     What I mean is, yeah, Edward is quite dull for someone who's spent 107 entirely in his own company - you'd think he would've developed a personality for all that time.  Yet, he is somewhat realistic - he often acts and talks out of his time; he knows a lot more than an actual 17-year-old; his reaction to his feelings for Bella make sense etc.
      Christian on the other hand left college to start a business; manages to become a billionaire in 6 years or less, yet constantly blows off work to go to a near town and stalk a girl (for days); or make scenes at his wife's work-place and then take her home; responds to personal emails instantly; goes on long vacations and all in all... never really seems to work. He's made what - three business calls in the whole trilogy so far?!  Oh, and also, 27, yet calls a 36-year-old man "a boy". I know this is from when he was supposed to be a vampire, but... no, just no.

32. Bella fights for what she wants (sort of). Ana doesn't.
      Bella wants to be a vampire and she'll do anything to get it. Yeah, it's stupid, heat-of-the-teenage-hormones-moment, misogynistic, psychotic blah-blah-blah, but at least she does it. Ana just sort of bends to Christian's will (and not in BDSM sort of way, but in abusive sort of way).

33.  Twilight at least attempts symbolism, while 50 shades completely misses the point.
       Don't really have anything to add to that, moving on:

34. Bella and Edward (sort of) share things in common. Christian and Ana, have nothing, except maybe sex.
      Bella and Edward have dull music and classic literature in common.. Ana and Christian have um... Kings of Leon?

35. Twilight had real editors. 50 shades didn't.
      Because Twilight was published through the "normal" channels, it had actual editors. I am not sure their opinions were respected enough, but I imagine it could've been a lot worse.
      Because 50 Shades was self-published first, and it made a lot of money like that this author (read her books, by the way, they are amazing) suggests  - and I agree with her - that 50 Shades did, in fact, have editors, but because it had already made a lot of money, they didn't put great bunch of effort into, well... editing it.

36. Bella actually shares a bond with the Cullens. Ana just sort of... tolerates the Greys.
      Bella actually likes the Cullens and they her, and she likes spending time with them.
      Ana never really expresses any kind of feelings towards Christian's parents and she sort of... tolerates Mia and Elliot, while she doesn't like his grandparents at all. Really, Ana?! Really?! Unless they are super-racist or sexist Nazi-lovers or just... evil, there's no reason not to love other people's grandparents. And Christian's are pretty nice.

37. The names (of the main characters). 
      Bella Swan may be incredibly contrived and self-indulgent in meaning, but it does sound like an actual name - so does Edward Cullen.
      And while Christian Grey isn't the worst name, except when James constantly uses it to point out that he has grey eyes, wears grey suits and ties (and also has a grey personality - see what I did there? xD) Anastasia Rose Steele is just... gahg! Really? Really? It sounds like the name of porn-star, who specializes in fairytale-based porn!
ould be that interesting.

P.S.: Feel free to correct me in the comments, if you think I am wrong.
P.S. 2: I was actually shooting for 50 reasons, but c'mon, guys. It's freaking Twilight!