So, last night I was up until almost 3:00 AM reading smut. I had actually read chapter 1 of the book weeks ago and wasn't sure if I'd like it, so I didn't make a point to return to the book with any urgency. But then I was rearranging the widgets on my iPad Mini—which is what I use as an ereader even though it's probably terrible for my eyes, because I can have access to Apple Books, Kindle, and Nook all on the same book-sized device—and in doing so, I saw that I was still technically reading this book on Apple Books and decided to give it a second chance.
So I start reading, and realized that it is actually not quite as terrible as I remembered. I think because I don't read erotica often, if that's how this book can be labeled, it is always a major adjustment to get into the sexy talk. I end up rolling my eyes A LOT and otherwise feeling totally creeped out by the MMC's "sexy" behavior, which is why I stopped reading the book after the first chapter. I just don't think I was in the right frame of mind for it at first. I feel like I really have to suspend my belief when reading these books and try to appreciate them within the context of the story. Sometimes it is still too much for me (hello, Grey), but sometimes the author gets it just right. And I guess my brain felt differently about it last night considering I did not seem capable of putting the book down for hours and hours. On the one hand, I love that, because it reminds me of when I was a pre-teen and teen, and turning on my lamp after my parents went to bed so I could read waaayyy past my bedtime without fear of them waking up and finding me still awake. But on the other hand, I feel conflicted that it's the smutty book that kept me awake last night, and not, say, my paperback copy of The Girls by Emma Cline, which I'm also enjoying so far (though in a very different way).
I'm really liking The Girls, but I can spook pretty easily, so I think part of me is worried that the Manson-esque storyline will keep me awake afraid of cult murderers breaking down my door, as I am primarily a bedtime reader, which is just a very different thing than being kept awake by a sexy book. I might have to make The Girls a weekend read, so that I will have time to read it during the day, like in the morning, and then read the sexy book at night to take my mind off of Petaluma, CA and it's dizzying array of serial killers.
I've debated the whole time I've been writing this post whether or not I would name the sexy book, and I guess I will. It is Bared to You by Sylvia Day. OKAYBYE.
Actually, PS: What are your guilty pleasure reads? Do you actually think of anything you read as a "guilty" pleasure? I admit that enjoying this book has made me feel weird, because I know some people would totally shit on me for it, but at the same time we like what we like. I try not to be a book-shamer, writing as someone who used to be a little judgy and snobbish in her early-mid 20s (post-college) about what other people read. I was an English major and I definitely graduated with this heightened sense of importance and believing that literary works were the end-all, be-all. It's like what Roxane Gay said in a tweet or something once, and I paraphrase -- not all literary books are good books, a lot of them are bad, and there is a lot of genre fiction out there that is actually good. Now, I don't know what her thoughts would be on Bared to You (she may totally hate it and I couldn't even blame her), but the essence of that takeaway has stayed with me over the years. So I'm trying not to actually feel guilty about reading this, though I have yet to add it to my Currently Reading shelf on Goodreads. That is another debate I'm having with myself. To shelve it or not to shelve it?