Monday, May 2, 2016

Bibliovile: T&A- Tacky and Awful

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Think Like a Billionaire, by Donald J. Trump and Meredith McIver

              What is there left to say about Donald Trump? He’s all over the news, for awful or worse, and everyone has an opinion on him. As a white man who is free from increased hostility and violence wrought by his summoning from the Third Hell, it’s not too awful for me to watch our entire system begin to eat itself. As if the Body Politic has an autoimmune disorder.
              However, I read a book by Donald J. Trump, Think Like a Billionaire. (Think Like a Billionaire has been the GOP’s call to all poor people concerning tax cuts for the wealthy). The crazy thing is that this book was written in 2004, after his go at the Presidency as a member of the Reform Party, in 2000.
              That is not brought up in the book once.
Me getting ready to read this book
              Instead, this book focuses on life advice in the realm of buying things and hiring people, something that Donald Trump has done a lot of. Lots of the advice is not so awful-- Don’t compromise on a cheaper house if you don’t like it, the percentage of your wealth left in cash should be the same as your age, get a prenup, marry supermodels—all of this makes sense, I suppose. The biggest things that stand out during the advice sequences are his examples of income and wealth usually start around $100,000. For instance, if you are 25, you should only keep $25,000 of your very-possible-for-a-25-year-old wealth in liquid forms. The rest of your $75,000 that most 25 year olds keep around should be in stocks, bonds, and other portfolios. Donald Trump sees no problem with starting assumptions at $100,000.
              Coming from 2004, there are a couple odd reminders of how far back that year was. That’s 12 years ago now, folks. Things have changed. Weird things. Bottled water is described as a new, exciting market. You might say it’s just being “tapped”! Heyo. The first season of The Apprentice is mentioned about forty times per section, and even hold its own entire section that I declined to read, never having seen or cared about it before. Now, of course, that show doesn’t exist anymore, thanks to its figurehead being a racist bigot running for president who very obviously hates his own supporters.
              In 2004, Donald J. Trump asserts that there is no economy so bad that you should keep your money in your mattress. Four years later, in 2008, millions of Americans enter dire financial straits as the real estate market, something Trump is quite familiar with, implodes, thanks to money-hungry, unscrupulous investors who probably were busy prepping for a third presidential run based on dog-whistling racists and avoiding answering questions.
              The book is split into sections, as I mentioned, and each one is about three pages long. Some are barely three paragraphs. The longest section in the book was an intolerable hour-by-hour breakdown of Donald Trump’s week. You wouldn’t believe what famous people call him all the time to tell him how great he is!
              In addition to the sections of barely-there advice, there’s not one, not two, but THREE sections of pictures. The first two are full color and glossy, focusing on Donald Trump meeting other rich and famous people, like the type of pictures that restaurants have when they are visited by a celebrity. The third section focuses on his workers and is presented in black and white, grainy, and on normal paper. The second section should be highlighted for the curious inclusion of his then-third-fiancĂ©e Melania, who looks openly contemptuous of being in every single picture, confused and afraid of how she was roped into this arrangement. It looks like she's just finished saying "Are you f**king serious?" right before the picture is taken.
Ugh, which one am I married to again?

              Like I said, there’s not much more I can say about Donald Trump these days, but there is something that I had never noticed before. I couldn’t put my finger on it in these contemporary times, what with the personal attacks, encouragement of violence, and contempt for most American ideals, but reading this book has really brought it to the forefront of my mind.
              Donald Trump is the biggest shill this country has ever seen.
              He’s constantly talking up anyone that will give him the slightest positive attention in return. He hawks products that pay him money at every turn. One section is literally just things he likes to buy. It’s titled “Stuff”. His favorite suits? The brand whose suits are given to him on The Apprentice. His favorite shirts? The ones from the suit company. His favorite jeweler? The one that created a cufflink and named it after him. The best credit cards are Visa, because he was in one of their commercials, and American Express, who rents space in his building. The best books are the previous two by him (don’t worry, he refers to himself in the third person).
Don't remind me, he does that in the bedroom too.
              A lifetime New Yorker, he loves the Patriots because Bob Kraft will pay attention to him, over the Giants and Jets. He loves the work of chefs if they agree to be in his hotels.
              He claims to be all about straight talk, but if major elements of your personality are based on who is mildly nice to you, that’s not being a real person, that’s being a tacky gold weathervane.
              He didn’t talk about politics at all, because he doesn’t care about politics. He cares about Trump Tower in NY and suggests it be a tourist’s first destination, then references the Statue of Liberty as the world’s greatest landmark. The UN is kinda dumb, he says, not because he’s an isolationist, but because they paid too much for their renovations.
              He only believes the last thing he’s heard from a person someone else has said he’s supposed to believe. He admits that “five or six times a day, someone says something that leave [him] looking at the world in a new way” which is, frankly, disturbing. He hated NBC till they gave him a job. He refused to accept a call from Rick Reilly, a sports journalist, because newspaper critics said Reilly’s book wasn’t very good. He got in an argument with a chef at one of his restaurants about the interior decorating, but now that the New York Times raved about the food, the decorating is fine. He has a Greek friend, so he likes Greek philosophy.
              There’s no one I’ve ever seen that thinks less for himself.
              It was all very dumb.
No, really, she's happy to be here
The Accidental Werewolf, by Dakota Cassidy

              The Accidental Werewolf is a book about a woman named Marty Andrews, who is annoying.
              Marty works for a door-to-door cosmetics company called Bobbie-Sue, which is a straight ripoff of Mary Kay, right down to the pastel-colored vehicle that top sellers get to drive. Bobbie-Sue apparently operates on the assumption that every person has a set of colors that look best on them, and only by buying hundreds of dollars worth of Bobbie-Sue products can you determine what those colors are. Marty has definitely drunk the Kool-Aid at Bobbie-Sue, because ninety percent of her conversations in the book include the words “season-of-color,” “color wheel,” “color chi,” and “color aura.” She also expresses all of her emotions through use of the word color, with really exciting phrases like, “color me doomed,” and “color me curious.” The author declares within the first few pages that Mary has been unable to “cultivate meaningful female friendships” because of her drive and ambition... to be a door-to-door cosmetics salesperson.
              This book just starts. There’s no preamble, no character introduction, nothing. BAM, right from sentence one, Marty is arguing in her living room with a hot guy who tells her that he has accidentally turned her into a werewolf (hmmm, I wonder if there’s going to be a love interest in this book). We’re treated to a brief flashback of that fateful night when Keegan (said werewolf and love interest) was so intoxicated by Marty’s scent, that he had to follow her while he was in wolf form, and he accidentally bit her. Now Marty’s life is kind of a disaster. Her hair is getting darker, she has to shave her legs three times a day, and when she gets angry, she starts sprouting a tail and fangs. Keegan tries to explain these changes and Marty thinks he’s crazy. But she also thinks he’s crazy hot.
1.21 Gigawolfs!?

              The writing style used in this book is infuriating to any person who understands the proper use of adjectives and sentence structure. The two phrases that best describe Dakota Cassidy’s writing style are “trendy” and “trying too hard.” Examples of this include the phrase, “This was a case of cosmetic cruelty by color wheel faux pas in the first degree.” Honestly? What are those words, and why do you need to use them. Other phrases that I found irritating include, “Eyeball deep fed up with it,” and “her Richter scale of sanity.” Turning into a werewolf causes the normally mild-mannered Marty to become a bit of a potty-mouth, but in addition to numerous f-words, she also tosses out some gems like, “freaky-deaky Dutch,” “God save the queen,” “Jesus Christ in a miniskirt, “big fat wankers,” and “I don’t give a flying Dutchman.”
              Also, this woman uses SO MANY METAPHORS. They’re unnecessary and they don’t make any sense. Examples include, “His intense gaze... deep, dark, twin pools she feared she might get lost in.” “Rubbing her eyes, she realized she hadn’t taken off her mascara last night before she’d fallen into bed like she’d just fought and won the Third World War singlehandedly.” What.
              Keegan is the alpha male of his pack. Because of course Keegan is the alpha male of his pack. The fact that he bit Marty and turned her into a werewolf is going to cause some problems for said pack and their business, a rival cosmetics company (GASP) called Pack Cosmetics (get it? ‘Cause they’re werewolves!). Spoiler alert, it’s also going to cause some problems for Marty, but you won’t find out what those problems are because THE WRITING IS SO BAD THINGS ARE LITERALLY INDECIPHERABLE.
Marty... Werewolf... IT'S ALL COMING TOGETHER
              Honest to goodness, there are important events in this book that occur, but you can’t even tell what’s happening because the writing is so bad. Try this one out for me: “A smudge of a black figure, quick and skulking, followed by the unyielding pavement her head crashed against were the last things she saw.” I had to read that sentence half a dozen times before I could identify the subject or predicate. Turns out, Marty got smashed in the head with a heavy object, got stashed in the trunk of a car, and is now in the middle of nowhere with two hit men. First of all, this is New York City. How did nobody notice this?
              Fortunately for Dakota Cassidy’s characters, plot points aren’t very important, so Marty manages to get away with little fuss by KICKING HER WAY OUT OF THE TRUNK BECAUSE SHE’S A WEREWOLF. She of course calls hot Keegan the alpha male, and he whisks her away to his mansion upstate to keep her safe.
              From here, sexiness ensues! This is fortunate for us, because the sex and sexual tension scenes give us some of the best/worst writing in the entire book! Not only does the author refer to Marty’s lady parts as “her femininity,” “her core,” or “her sex,” but she describes Keegan in all sorts of delightfully tacky and awful ways, including paragraphs dedicated to his “lip-smacking butt,” “his big, strapping, rippled, cut, sculpted body” (yeah, all of those adjectives in a row), and his “ass-tastic derriere.” At one point, Keegan and Marty are sitting on the couch together, and we’re treated to this amazing sentence: “The crunch of the leather beneath his yummy butt crackled in her ears.” HIS YUMMY BUTT CRUNCHES AND CRACKLES. EW.
Some lipsmacking butt right here
              We’re apparently not too worried about the fact that Marty has already been kidnapped once and a second kidnap attempt has been made, because the majority of the book is her lounging around in Keegan’s giant house (which has “the cushiest of beds evah!”), fantasizing about getting into his pants, being angry at the werewolf council for not letting her and Keegan get hitched, worrying about not being able to fully shift (turn into a werewolf), worrying about losing her precious Bobbie-Sue clients, and being jealous over another werewolf who wants to be Keegan’s life mate. All completely valid things to stew over, I’m sure, but shouldn’t we get to the action sometime soon?
              OH WAIT NO THAT’S WHAT THE LAST THREE CHAPTERS ARE FOR. Not even kidding, all of the action in this book happens between chapters twelve and fourteen. In this short span of time, Marty runs away from Keegan’s house in a stolen car, is immediately kidnapped by a man named Terrence WHO IS THE SON OF BOBBIE-SUE, MARTY’S MAKEUP STORE BOSS, and winds up in a basement in Queens, being threatened with a knife. Marty gets her attacker talking, like you do in any good murder scenario, and she finds out that SHE IS HIS HALF-SISTER AND THEREFORE PARTIAL HEIR TO THE BOBBIE-SUE FOUNDATION. Terrence’s dad had an affair with Marty’s mom back in the day, after all these years he’s figured out who she is, and now he wants to give her part of his shares of the company. Terrence is not having that, so he kidnaps her and tries to kill her, because naturally that is the best way to solve this situation.
              THANKFULLY SHE’S A WEREWOLF THOUGH. Magically, Marty has learned how to shift since two chapters ago when she cried over not being able to shift, and now she turns into a werewolf and Terrence is rendered incapacitated from fear. Then Keegan magically shows up because I don’t know how, and he takes Marty away and JUST ASSUMES THAT NO ONE IS GOING TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HIM BEING A WEREWOLF. All of that in three chapters. For all of the useless detail that she includes throughout the rest of the book, you’d think the author could have given us a little more here? Must be because, in the words of Marty Andrews, “Violence is so ugly and un-babelike”
              Anyway everything is fine now, the mean ex-girlfriend went to jail because she was somehow involved in the whole kidnapping bit, Marty has begun an excellent relationship with her long-lost father, the werewolf council actually didn’t give two shits about Marty and Keegan getting married, so that’s fine, and NOTHING AT ALL WAS DONE ABOUT THE GUY THAT KIDNAPPED MARTY AND THREATENED HIM WITH A KNIFE. THEY ALL JUST LET IT GO.
              Page two hundred is entirely made up of sentence fragments.

              The best and most ridiculous part is the last few pages when Marty and Keegan go to visit her two old friends from Bobbie-Sue. Their names are Nina and Wanda and they want to be important to the story, but they’re not. Anyway, Marty gears them up to make this big huge announcement about something life-changing that has just happened, and Wanda thinks that they’re going to announce a major business deal, but no, it’s even bigger than that. Keegan has given Marty...... a keychain. A keychain shaped like a ring with an actual diamond on it. Which apparently they are going to have remade into an engagement ring when they decide they’re ready to be engaged but for now it’s just a keychain because this book is insane bye.

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