I feel like I’m saying that a lot these days. Every New Year’s I turn to the past year and scream BURN IN HELL YOU ASSHOLE and then turn to the next year like it’s going to be better. And then it’s not. Or it is in some ways, but worse in other ways. Anyway, this year is no exception. 2017 was long and hard and yet surprisingly short, and while I’m glad it’s over I also want to hit Pause for a few days because I am so not ready for 2018, y’all.
The Girlfriend, by Abigail Barnette (ie, Jenny Trout, my idol), is the sequel to the much-loved The Boss. I was lucky enough to win a copy in the giveaway she held in August. I read the first five chapters before Pirates and Faeries, and now I’m trying to ration myself on the rest of them. When I finished The Boss, I ended up scrolling to the left so hard it excited the ebook-reading app. Then I screamed JENNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYY as if I were Kirk and she Khan. Want to know a bit more about The Boss? Well, it’s free through
Full disclosure: I was given an ARC of this book on the condition I would review it. The Boss is one of those books that I didn’t think I’d get into all that much. Not because I don’t love Jenny Trout/Abigail Barnette. I do love her. I sort of hero worship her from afar and wish that I could be like her. I love her writing, especially on her blog. (Fun fact: every time I press “j” in the URL bar the first site that autocompletes is her blog.) Honestly, I’m just not that big a fan of erotic
Literary criticism is a good thing. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. We need to be able to criticize literature. We need to be able to discuss fiction. We need the freedom to do that in various ways, including fanfic. We need to adjust our thinking to accept that you can enjoy a work and still find it problematic. We need to see that the world is not black and white, 1-star and 5-star reviews. Something I’ve noticed a lot of people saying in response to criticisms of books is “If you don’t like it,
[content warning: description of: domestic violence, abuse, using BDSM as an excuse for abuse, rape] Some of you may be aware that I have a deep and abiding loathing for the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. At first, I was just pissed off that it existed — it was plagiarized from another book series (that is badly written and glorifies abusive relationships, with a fanbase that largely seems, well, pretty offbase most of the time) and yet this seemed ample reason to reward IceQueenSnowDragonFairyFartPrincess — sorry, EL James — with a publishing contract. Oh, and scores and scores of
Trigger warning: Fifty Shades of Grey is the romanticization of an abusive, rapey fucknozzle named Christian Grey, and I’m ranting about this shit. I try to be fair. I try to leave room for people whose kink is not my kink, and that’s okay. I’m, overall, not a huge fan of erotic romance, and even within erotic romance I’m not a huge fan of BDSM. This isn’t squeamishness on my part — I’m kinky myself — it’s just that most of the offerings I’ve read within BDSM erotica have not been to my tastes. (As Katje outs zirself publicly,