Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Book: Twilight
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Like/Don't Like: Dear Stephanie Meyer, Please edit. EDIT! EDIT! EDIT! Love, Rachel

Alright. I get it. I see why every single person on the planet has recommended this book to me. The story is interesting. Edward is dreamy. I wish I could fall in love with a vampire. Now will you please leave me alone?

It's not the story I have a problem with, it's the writing (okay, maybe a little bit of the story, but they're minor points and mostly because of the writing so I'm not even going to touch them) Which means that this is purely a technical issue I have with it and if you're not like me and certain writing styles don't ruin a book for you then by all means read it and love it. I'm not judging you at all. I want you to love this book. Really. I have a load of friends who love this book and I don't want to offend any of them so I hope the "it's not you, it's me" excuse flies here.

How about I talk about what I did like? It's quick and easy. The perfect book for summer. And it's romantic. And interesting in that I've never read a vampire book before. But it's not actually a vampire book, it's a romance book. A big fat romance book. You should keep this in mind.

Which leads me to what I didn't like. You remember that friend of yours who started dating a guy and for the first month or so they couldn't stop cuddling and whispering and touching each other and every time you were with them you wanted to gag and you would talk about them with your other friends, like, "For crying in the mud! We're in the middle of church and they can't stop massaging each other!"? That is totally this book. It's like I was stuck on a very long road trip with Bella and Edward and all they could say was, "I love you," "I love you more," "No, I love you more." "Uh-uh. I love YOU more." "Schmoopy." "No, you're a schmoopy." "But you're my schmoopy." "Stop it schmoopy!" "No, you stop it schmoopy!" Cuddle, cuddle, snuggle, snuggle, gaze longingly into each other's eyes. Gag! I'm totally fine with a page or two of that and I know exactly how true to form it is, but 200 pages is ridiculous.

And enough with the descriptions. The book never shuts up. It is never just, "'Blah, blah, blah,' said Bella." Instead it's "'Blah, blah, blah,' whispered Bella as she looked deep into his golden eyes and touched his perfectly sculpted hand." Every, and I really do mean every, conversation went on like this.

You see, I'm a less is more girl when it comes to books. I like to use my imagination a little and this book never lets you. It tells you everything. Every class Bella has, the path that she takes at school, the friends she sees in the hallways, what she cooks for dinner, the clothes that she's wearing, the gas mileage her truck gets. I know that this is a common flaw in a lot of first books but it's not one that I deal very well with. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't get in the way of the story but when 50% of the book is describing things like how gorgeous Edward is, I get a little annoyed.

And now for some examples of things that nearly made me give it all up.

She would not stop talking about his eyes and so I started jotting down a few of the descriptions: ocher, deep golden honey, darker than butterscotch, deep gold, burning gold, blazing gold, dark golden, and - my personal favorite - liquid topaz. LIQUID TOPAZ!

How about this one: "The light of the setting orb glittering off his skin in ruby-tinged sparkles." Are you kidding me?

Or..."I didn't feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full -- of butterflies."

And do people really gulp when they're taken aback? Because Bella was always gulping, as in, "He touched my arm. I gulped." Really? Like she's some kind of old-timey cartoon.

If I were in a Stephanie Meyer book right now it would go something like this: "Rachel sighed and rolled her grass colored eyes, tossed the weighty licorice black book to the side of the couch and sarcastically whispered, 'Looks like someone found her thesaurus."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Baxter

Movie: The Baxter
Like/Don't Like: Really like. (It's already been 2 days since I've seen it. This means that I've passed into the "All I remember is that I like it" Zone, from which there is not return. But you should take my word for it.)

You know those guys in movies who are left at the alter when the main guy bursts into the wedding and steals the main girl away? Those guys are Baxters and this movie is about one and how he ceases to be one.

So, even though it's been a few days since I've seen it (I'm really not kidding when I say I don't remember movies. It's been less than 48 hours and I can't remember any of the characters' names.) I can remember a few things:

1.) I reminded me of the Apartment. Mostly because Michelle Williams has a bit of the Shirley MacLaine in her (especially with her cute short hair) and Jack Lemon is the ultimate Baxter. But also because, like the Apartment, it's clever. I love a clever movie.

2.) I loved the music and the costumes. I know that there was a Rufus Wainwright song on there, which I always approve of. And the clothes were well thought out. I particularly liked What's His Names hats. Elliot! I remember his name is Elliot. Because the other guy, the one who swoops in and steals the girl, keeps calling him L-Train or Elbow Macaroni.

3.) There were surprise cast members that I love. Paul Rudd and Michael Ian Black (although he wasn't a surprise. He and the guy who played Elliot are in a comedy group together.) and Peter Dinklage, who delivered the line, "And I would like an apple juice," in a way that made me nearly fall off the couch from laughing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Robin Hood

TV Show: Robin Hood on BBC America (the second season just ended so you're going to have to Netflix it)
Like/Don't Like: Who doesn't love merry men?

Did you like the A-Team? Don't answer that. Everyone liked the A-Team. And if you didn't I'm not sure I want to be your friend. So, we've established that you like the A-Team. That means that you'll like Robin Hood. Because it is totally Medieval A-Team.

There's a band of outlaws, back from war and on the run from bad guys who are suppose to be good, and in their spare time they help out the poor by staging daring and elaborate rescues and not once getting nicked by an arrow. There is an underlying plot that runs throughout the series but this is basically the premise of every episode. And that may sound kind of dull but it worked for the A-Team because the characters where funny and, well, there's just something nice and familiar about it. Like your favorite breakfast cereal, how you keep going back to it over and over again because you know it's always going to be good even though the flavor never changes. It's the same here. There are funny characters and a few witty lines and sometimes they mix up the formula and kill someone off but for the most part it's just fun to watch.

And, it has the added bonus of Richard Armitage*. He's a bad guy, which makes it all the more intriguing. You want to hate him but you just can't.

*I was just talking to some friends the other day who have not watched North and South yet. I'm not sure how this is even possible because I thought I was pretty clear that everyone needed to watch it. I'm not just talking about sometime in the distant future but RIGHT NOW. GO TO BLOCKBUSTER RIGHT NOW AND GET IT. Do not make me get all Queen of the Universe on you.