novel

Mad Love – Colet Abedi

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“‘I don’t share, little girl,’ he whispers into my ear, his voice cold. Little girl?”

“I’m good with a bottle of champagne from Trader Joe’s. And P.S., they have really good champagne.”

“Do you know what sacred is? Sacred is buying this b*tch tampons at two a.m., because she’s bleeding like a double homicide crime scene and can’t make it to the pharmacy. Sacred is waxing her armpits and bikini line so she wouldn’t look like a beast as the high school graduation beach party. Sacred is driving her ass to Jerry the Fairy’s and waiting down the street, in a goddamn rose bush, with thorns in my ass, by the way, just so that she wouldn’t be alone when she dumped him.”

“‘I don’t want anyone else thinking those thoughts, Sophie,’ he said rather possessively, as his gaze raked my body. ‘You belong to me.’ ‘I’m yours,’ I agreed, nodding my head.”

“‘Talk to me Goose,’ Erik demands as I suck in the night air trying my hardest not to act so obvious…. ‘I don’t mean to take away from what’s obviously a serious situation but Sophie is so not Goose. If anything she’s Maverick and you’re Goose,’ Orie breaks the silence.”

Mad Love by Colet Abedi is a difficult review for me to write. I want to be honest about how I felt about it, but I don’t want anyone to feel as though I am passing judgment on them if they enjoy this kind of story. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance novel, especially to read while relaxing on a sun-drenched beach somewhere. It’s an escape, and that’s awesome. What I don’t like however is a love story where the female protagonist is as naive, insecure, and easily malleable as the main character in this book, Sophie Walker, is. Additionally, I also don’t enjoy when the love interest is possessive, brooding, jealous, and controlling, as is Clayton Sinclair. What’s even more frustrating is that she seems to straddle (no pun intended) a fine line between understanding the way that Clayton order’s her around isn’t okay, and owning up to her knowledge of that, but then going along with it anyway. What I did love about this book is Sophie’s two best friends, Erik and Orie, a fantastically hilarious gay couple whose dialogue and relationship is both witty, yet completely realistic, and what’s even better is that no one, I repeat, NO ONE in the book makes a big deal about the fact that they are gay. In fact, there’s basically zero acknowledgment of it being any different from a hetero relationship at all, from any character, even snotty, entitled teenage boys.

Now Mad Love doesn’t come out until March 10th, so I don’t want to say much more here and possibly spoil anything for anyone. This book ends on a pretty brutal cliffhanger, and includes a snippet of what is sure to be an interesting sequel. However if I had to summarize it, I would say it’s got a similar vibe as Fifty Shades of Grey, except at a beautiful resort in the Maldives, and without a red room of pain.  I could see it being as successful as the Fifty Shades trilogy as well, if it gains the right momentum after its release. That being said, I do have to acknowledge my dislike for love stories where the man is eerily possessive and domineering, and the woman who seems incredibly smart and independent, (I mean, she quits law school, and breaks up with her long term boyfriend at the same time much to her parents dismay, to find out what really makes her happy) so easily throws away her backbone when a good looking guy wants to sleep with her. I find it insulting, and it makes me so desperately wish there were romance novels out there that this wasn’t the popular relationship dynamic. However, some people like this dynamic, and would enjoy reading it. If that’s you then please go out and buy a copy of this as soon as it comes out. It’s a fun and easy read, and Erik and Orie’s interactions will have you laughing your ass off.

One final note, because I feel an obligation to put it out there. Men? Trust me, this is not the way any woman deserves to be treated or spoken to. Please do not become disillusioned that this is in any way “romantic”. Ladies? If he berates you and then gives you the silent treatment because he doesn’t like the dress you’re wearing, leave, and find a man who respects your opinions and independence enough to let you live your life the way you want to, and supports you in that unconditionally.

Happy reading my loves! Until next time,

xo

OMPP

What Falls Away – Mia Farrow

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“I discovered that whatever your losses, you can still for the most part choose your attitude. If you have your health, a little courage, and imagination, then you have the internal resources to build a new life, and maybe a better one.”

“In New York City, Dali had accumulated an eclectic assortment of companions, including a beautiful hermaphrodite, a ballet dancer, a scientists, a woman who resembled George Washington, a dapper little man who managed some aspect of the Dali’s affairs – el Capitan as he was called – who had an accent, wore a uniform from no known place, and was usually accompanied by an ocelot.”

“I have respect for life in any form,” Frank said at that time. “I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, and everything I can see. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. I don’t believe in a personal god to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice. I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.”

“… how cavalier we are with time, as if it were not irreplaceable.”

“The last time we spoke, I told Woody I thought that something in him must have ruptured. I don’t know why I bothered saying again how much he’d taken from all the kids, and maybe from Soon-Yi even more than from Dylan. When I begged him for the children’ s sake to stop the publicity circus, he told me “he hadn’t even begun; that I was already the laughing stock of the country” and that “by the time I’m finished with you, there will be nothing left.” When I howled at him that in court he wouldn’t be able to say things that weren’t true, he replied, “It doesn’t matter what’s true; all that matters is what’s believed.”

This book was an interesting choice for me, as I never really was a big fan of Mia Farrow, and to be honest knew very little about her life. But that, in addition to her son Ronan Farrow’s recent tweet after the Golden Globes this year in which he stated “Missed the Woody Allen tribute — did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”, had me really curious about what exactly the real story was.

I have always been a huge fan of Woody Allen’s movies, even dressing up as Annie Hall for one of my character classes when I was still living in LA. However I, like most people, do not take allegations of child abuse lightly, and felt a weird juxtaposition of emotions concerning the man, and his art. I began this book not knowing if it would give me more of an opinion on the situation.

What Falls Away is an interesting and very personal look into the lives of many of Hollywood’s “greats” during a golden era. Born to famous parents herself, Mia was brought up playing with Bette Davis’ daughter, spent a great deal of time with Salvador Dali as a father figure, went to ashram’s with The Beatles, married Frank Sinatra, a man very much her senior while still a teen, and was even toasted by Dean Martin with, “Hey, I’ve got a bottle of scotch that’s older than you.” Her twelve year relationship with Woody Allen ended after thirteen movies together, and what would remain a lifetime of controversy.

Many of the anecdotes Ms. Farrow discusses are interesting, even inspiring. I especially enjoyed the story of Dali showing up on her 19th birthday with a beautifully painted glass container that held a rat consuming a lizard, stating that it was “violence in a bottle.” I found myself eager to know more, even if I found her writing, at times, to be simply too eager at sounding poetic, resulting in a convoluted attempt at masking the prosaic. That being said, this happened infrequently, and didn’t alter my experience reading the book. Additionally, while I greatly admire Ms. Farrow’s humanitarian efforts, and the fact she has raised 14 children, most of whom were adopted and special needs, I found her diction concerning these adoptions a bit perplexing; are you searching for a new member of your family or playing ‘eenie meenie miny moe’ from a catalogue of the third world? If any of you read it, you’ll see what I mean.

Even doing my best to remain objective and take everything I read with a grain of salt – after all, there are always multiple sides to every story and Mr. Allen was never convicted of molesting his seven year old daughter, I must say that What Falls Away made me take a step back and view both him, and his art in a very different light. Even if he didn’t molest his daughter, he did most definitely carry on a sexual relationship with his nineteen year old step daughter while he was still in a relationship with her mother. Historic movie genius, or sick and twisted child abuser: it’s a weird dichotomy to say the least.

Check it out folks – it’s an interesting read.

Xo

OMPP