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Second Chance Book Club: THE MISTER starts Tuesday

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Everything old is new again. After is in the news and E.L. James has a book coming out.

You asked.

I humbly answer your call.

The Mister, James’s first non-Fifty Shades of Grey novel, is out tomorrow. When it hits my Kindle tonight at midnight, I’ll be reading it and, yes, recapping it here. But rather than make it a selection of the Jealous Haters Book Club (which already has a current resident), I’m giving it a second chance. It’s going to be the Second Chance Book Club, for a few reasons.

Though it seems like only yesterday, Fifty Shades of Grey was published eight years ago. That’s eight years for James to have grown and evolved as a writer, and as a person. Maybe she doesn’t find intimate partner abuse as spine-tingling and sexy as she used to. Sure, she wrote Grey and Darker in that time frame and they somehow turned out more disturbing than their source material, but those actually give me some hope for The Mister; instead of writing how romantic and wonderful Christian Grey was from his own POV, she made him the abusive monster critical readers actually saw the first time around.

In any case, when James was writing Grey and Darker, she was yolked to the Fifty Shades of Grey storyline. She couldn’t change anything about the plot, characterization, or dynamics. On top of that, Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t even really hers. Everyone and their mother will argue these days that plagiarism isn’t really plagiarism until it happens to [redacted cattiness], but the fact remains that while Fifty Shades of Grey might belong to James materially, the story and characters are not hers. In The Mister, she’s going to have to show readers what she can come up with on her own, without taking from another author. Considering my own fanfic background and the fanfic backgrounds of other authors, I’m actually really excited to see what happens to James when the training wheels come off. Fanfic communities tend to breed good authors. Maybe a book with characters and events that weren’t stolen from someone else for profit will turn out better than Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels did.

That’s why this isn’t going to be a Jealous Haters Book Club event. I plan on busting through this one with shorter, more frequent recaps, the way I did the first Fifty Shades of Grey recaps before I hit the wall of, “What am I reading? Is this real life?” and the whole thing spun off into 3,000-5,000 word installments of me gnashing my teeth and wanting to slap women in public. Expect to see the pace pick up here at the blog in wall-to-wall The Mister posts for a while. Everything else is going on hold. We are entering a Trout Nation state of emergency.

Everybody limber up.

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24 Comments

  1. Oh gosh. This is going to be awesome. Looking forward to reading it!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  2. Amy
    Amy

    I was at work in the middle of fixing a book when a coworker quietly lowered the book in front of my vision and I went, “Oh god…”

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  3. Gretel
    Gretel

    I ‘m beyond excited!
    I read an excpert on GR and it was catastrophically bad so I have absolutely no hope for this to be good or even mediocre. I cannot wait for your recaps. 😀

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Gretel
      Gretel

      I can’t edit so here comes a short PS

      When’s your new book, Where We Land, coming out? :O I’m giddy with excitement.

      April 15, 2019
      |Reply
  4. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    Were the yolks at least cooked when Leonard was yoked to FSOG?

    And besides, isn’t this story about the guys over in the produce aisle who keep the water sprays on the veggies going to keep them from going limp? (among other things . . . . )

    🙂

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I was SO hungry when I wrote this.

      I still ham.

      April 15, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        That is a quality pun, and you should feel proud of yourself 🙂

        April 15, 2019
        |Reply
  5. Emerald
    Emerald

    This is excellent news!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Avery (formerly known as Skylar)
    Avery (formerly known as Skylar)

    *stretches, cracks knuckles* I’m ready. Let’s see what James has for us this time. Here’s hoping for personal growth!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  7. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    Yay, I’m so excited!
    In general, I (of course) want books to be good, but for the purpose of enjoying myself during this – super sympathetic (but doomed to fail?) – Second Chance Book Club I’m rooting for The Mister to be as epically awful as FSoG. Again: yay!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  8. Chelsea
    Chelsea

    I applaud your open-minded approach to this, though having read an excerpt on Goodreads, I fear it’s doomed to fail. I can’t wait to read your recaps!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Sarah Dorrance-Minch
      Sarah Dorrance-Minch

      I can’t say I have high hopes for this, and I wouldn’t have my hopes up even if there was positive feedback on Goodreads (and I have not yet seen any feedback, because Jenny’s announcement was the first heads up I received that this new book even existed).

      I applaud Jenny for being willing to give E L James a second chance. I’m kind of hoping the second chance turns into a scathing review, though. I have a number of grudges against E L James for her Fifty Shades of Abuse and Assault, not least of which is that her claim that the book described actual BDSM makes dominants like me look bad.

      I do hope E L James submitted to editing, this time. Her prose in her other efforts was bad enough that a drunken giraffe banging away randomly at a Smith-Corona could have done a better job.

      April 16, 2019
      |Reply
  9. Everly
    Everly

    I’m so excited!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  10. Chris
    Chris

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Tami Alexander
    Tami Alexander

    I, for one, am anticipating all the puns that will come of this (e.g., she had a second chance but it “MISTER”).

    As an aside, did you ever see the YouTube series of “Alex reads ‘Twilight’” (or whatever it was called)?

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Carla
      Carla

      Wow, I had completely forgotten about Alex Day. I really liked his YouTube videos until it came out that he used his platform to sexually assault young women.

      April 16, 2019
      |Reply
      • Tami Alexander
        Tami Alexander

        Oh my gawd, I had no idea Alex did that. What a piece if shit.

        April 16, 2019
        |Reply
  12. Maria
    Maria

    i’m so excited!

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
  13. WuBomei
    WuBomei

    I don’t want to spoil anything or break anyone’s heart, but when I was unpacking it at my store, I opened it to a random page, and the “mister” was force feeding banoffee pie to the love interest.

    April 15, 2019
    |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      Please tell me you’re joking. Banoffee pie is a cute little plot moment in my next book.

      April 15, 2019
      |Reply
    • WuBomei
      WuBomei

      Actually, I suppose it’s more accurate and fair to say a man was force feeding banoffee pie to a woman. Maybe they were random side characters role playing, I have no context.

      April 15, 2019
      |Reply
  14. Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (but not Jenny Trout)

    Squee! I’m not holding my breath, but I’m kind of curious about the book. Not enough to read it, though. As someone who couldn’t read Master of the Universe when I was hooked on Twilight fanfic, I’m not as optimistic as you, but I cant wait for the recaps.

    So excited!!!

    April 16, 2019
    |Reply
  15. Trevelyan? *side eye* Trevethick? *guffaws*

    And you may not be up to policing fictional characters’ grief, but I sure am!

    April 16, 2019
    |Reply

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