Daily Archives: April 13, 2015

While It Lasts by Abbi Glines My rating: 2 of 5 stars As I mentioned in my reviews for Breathe and Because of Low, I had been boycotting books by this author until recently. I hoped that maybe I had unfairly judged Abbi Glines and her books. I figured out with Breathe that I wasn’t wrong. And I figured out that Because of Low followed the same pattern of book badness. Still, I thought that maybe I hated Because of Low so much because it featured a more misogynistic male lead. I thought that maybe womanizing Cage would be a bit more compassionate and less of a hate-filled horror show. I was wrong. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I don’t think that fully covers it. This book inspired me to re-define insanity: Insanity, n.: reading book after book by a particular author and expecting to make it through one without some level of degrading comments toward a particular gender, biological sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, level of ability, class, etc. In other words, this book is so degrading toward women that I seriously started to worry about all the hate being shared. What if this sort of writing inspires more internalized misogyny? How does that help anyone? There is some serious hate going on toward Eva and all female characters. For example, the continued usage of the term “female” or “females” to degrade any woman in the book. It is used specifically and generally. No similar usage of “male” or “males” exists. What’s so bad about “female”/”females”? It’s a scientific term that reduces an organism down to sex. It dehumanizes women by classifying them only by their reproductive organs, it excludes the trans community and those who are not biologically female, and is used solely as a way to speak negatively about one or more female characters. There’s also the grammatical faux pas of using female as a noun; it’s an adjective. That’s why it is 100% cool for me to say “female characters” and 0% okay for a writer to say things like “with the females”–which was actually used in this particular novel. Cage, who I semi-respected in Because of Low, is a misogynist in this book. He makes his first ignorant observation on the tenth page because she doesn’t respond positively to his flirting. I don’t know why this kind of behavior is presented as acceptable for a male love interest to exhibit, but it really isn’t. If a guy treats you like crap in the real world, get away from him. He’s a bad dude. And if he hangs out with a group of extreme misogynists and does not call them out on it, get away from him. Quickly. This sort of thing isn’t sexy behavior. He doesn’t respect you, he hates you. Eva was okay. She was a bit judgmental towards all other women her age. Her cruelty toward her female friends was appalling–even in the instances where it was exhibited solely through the narration. There was very little respect for her personal issues that resulted from the loss of her ex-fiancé. Her grieving and behavior was presented like most of the other mental health issues that Glines tackles: like it’s a character flaw. That still bothers me. And it should bother others. Any writer who suggests things like depression, grief, anxiety, trauma, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, etc. are simply signs of personal weakness is promoting ignorance and stigma. That makes struggling with these issues harder on the real patients who have them. I did have a least favorite minor character. Eva’s ex-fiancé’s mother, who is also the mother of Eva’s best friend, was condescending and I could not sympathize with this woman. She is so self-serving. She tears the relationship between Eva and Cage apart, which I would have supported if it had been based on legitimate factors–not Cage being poor and having a DUI. (Poor-shaming behavior is another thing I’ve come to expect in these books.) It strained not only Eva and Cage’s relationship, but the relationships that Eva has with other individuals. The writing in the book is horrible. Aside from the continued grammatical issues and the choice of uneducated rural phrasing, there are fact issues in this book that I would think an NCAA fan would have picked up on; especially one who is an SEC sports fan. The premise of the story is that Cage is on Eva’s dad’s farm as punishment from being picked up on a DUI. Who bailed him out? His baseball coach. A baseball coach, a booster, or any individual associated with the university cannot give money to a player, nor can they use their money on behalf of a player. Doing so would lead to an NCAA investigation and could lead to fines, loss of eligibility, a coach being terminated, and other not-so-great things. This flaw in the premise lowers the overall quality of the book. And, as you can probably tell, the quality was not high to begin with. Another issue with the book is that there is a lack of depth to the story. You have a bad boy who seems like he can’t hurt a fly and a good girl who is sexually and emotionally inept. In other words, you have the same exact two leads that you’ve had for the previous books in this series. Reinventing the wheel is pretty lazy. The shallowness of the story, as well as it’s predictability, makes it so freaking boring that I was often looking for things to distract me from reading. Readers should be headed toward a book to ease boredom, not headed away from it. I’m confused about why the Sea Breeze books are classified as Young Adult. They are quite sexually explicit. They’re very descriptive of anything and everything sexual in nature. They also promote some mistaken beliefs about female sexuality: (1.) that the first time always has to hurt, […]

Review: While It Lasts

I went to see the Infectious Disease specialist today. I told her about the month of strep throat and the two months of fever. She was more concerned about the fever; she said strep could sometimes take two or three months to go away. She’s prescribed Keflex 500mg two times a day, which is related to two of my drug allergies.1 I have to take it for a month, unless it kills me before then.2 The ID doc also ordered lab tests. One was a blood culture,3 which required two bottles4 per arm. The other tests were rapid plasma reagin (RPR)5; a “sed rate”, which is short for erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)6, Immunoglobulins A, G, & M (IgG)7, CD4 and CD8 tests8, HIV (types 1 and 2), complete metabolic panel (CMP), C-reactive protein (CRP)9, and a complete blood count. Luckily, the person who drew my blood today hit it right off on both sticks. I’m a little flustered by all of the STD tests, but since the doctor doesn’t know me or my sexual history, and the tests seem to cover more than just the STD it’s usually used to diagnose, I’m not upset by them. While I wait around for the test results, I get to maintain a fever diary. I have to measure my temperature randomly once a day and record it to see what my temperature is doing throughout the day. I have an appointment to go back next month to see if I’m getting better and to report the findings of the fever diary. Fun stuff, right? I still haven’t heard back from the throat culture test yet. I’ve also noticed that the negative result on the the second rapid strep test has been removed. Its date and result have been changed, which seems quite sketchy to me. The summary report from that appointment have also been altered. Again, this seems sketchy. I wonder if they’re trying to cover their asses or what. I think I’m actually more worried about my chart being altered than I am about waiting on the blood test results.10 Ceclor and Penicillin ↩If I have a reaction, I’m supposed to go to the hospital and to let her know. ↩Blood cultures are used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood, to identify the type present, and to guide treatment. It can also identify septicemia/sepsis. ↩one for anaerobic bacteria and one for aerobic bacteria ↩It’s a syphillis screening test, but a positive result can occur with Lyme disease, pneumonia, malaria, pregnancy, lupus, other autoimmune disorders, tuberculosis, or IV drug use. ↩It monitors inflammation and can be used to diagnose various autoimmune disorders. Accuracy can be impacted by anemia, pregnancy, high cholesterol, and kidney problems. ↩IgA, IgG, and IgM are types of antibodies. Levels can be used to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis and immunity status on diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella. They can also determine if you’re immune deficient or have an infection, autoimmune disorders, cirrhosis, chronic inflammation, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, nephrotic syndrome, protein-losing enteropathy, kidney failure, diabetes, and some fairly rare illnesses. ↩They are most often used to monitor HIV. They can also be used to diagnose lymphoma and blood cancers. Levels can be off in people with Sjögren’s, vitiligo, type I diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases. ↩It measures inflammation levels; and it can indicate an infection or an autoimmune disorder. ↩I have the notifications set so that I get an email every time that something in my chart changes. Oddly, I didn’t get an email when it was changed. ↩

Not Dead Yet