Let’s Talk About Outlander

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Many moons ago, I started watching Outlander. At some point in the process, I decided that I should read the book first as well, since it was based on a book, and a quite popular one at that. As of now, I have seen the first season of the show, and haven’t pursued it in ages – I don’t know if I ever will. And as of last weekend, I have finally finished reading the first book in the series. Just like the show, I don’t know if I will continue. Let me explain.

Disclaimer:

Overall I’m going to address aspects of the story that I found in both the book and the TV Show (first book and first season, since it’s all I’ve read/seen). If there are aspects specific to one or the other, I’ll just mention it!

And before I delve into things, I met Diana Gabaldon at the Paris book fair this year and it was a crazy experience because I still can’t believe I had in front of me this woman who had written so much, and who was so successful. And of course I was so impressed I barely manage to say anything.

Warning: Contains spoilers

Let me start by saying that I absolutely LOVE the concept of this story. I am a huge fan of time-travel, and it’s usually a genre that always works for me whether in books or TV Shows. And that aspect of the story really did work for me. I’m also a huge fan of both Scotland in general, and its history in particular, so again, I really liked that aspect of the story. I also think it’s rather well-written, and I really like the narration.

I personally listened to the audiobook for the most part, and it was narrated by Davina Porter who is an absolutely brilliant narrator, so that definitely added something to the story. I discovered her when I listened to The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, and now I simply want to have all my audiobooks narrated by her. She really brings something to the characters and the plot, it’s like she adds a dash of her personal magic and I LOVE IT.

hearts

But anyway, back to the story. For the most part, I felt like the characters were likeable. We feel bad for Frank, even if we don’t see him that much. We are scared for Claire, we empathy, and maybe we fall in love with Jaimie at the same time she does. She is smart and brave at the same time, and honestly the story would fall apart without her. She is one of the most strong-willed characters I have ever seen, and some part of me definitely wants to know what happens to her after book 1. But is it worth all the rape and abuse? I think not. And thus I transition to the things I found problematic.

⚠️ SO many TRIGGER WARNINGS for rape and abuse ⚠️

Yes, Jaimie seems very loveable at first, and very good looking on screen I’m not going to deny that. But there are several occasions, if I remember correctly, where he forces sex on Claire, and I am so not here for it. But that’s not even all. There is, about half-way through the story, this scene I will never forget, where Jaimie decides he needs to punish Claire for… I don’t even remember, but the idea is, if he doesn’t do it, his Scot buddies are going to make fun of him, so not only does he give her a beating – so much so that she can’t even sit down on the next day – but then he tells her that she’s going to enjoy it, like, please stop. What the hell went through your mind while writing this passage, Diana, I’m not sure I even want to know. But one thing I know is that I can’t forgive it. Every time I see/hear someone fangirl over Jaimie I just think of that passage and it stops me right where I am. It just killed the buzz for me.

Now, I know that Jaimie went through a lot. He is also very understanding towards Claire most of the time, like when she talks to him about Frank, and particularly when she explains how she ended up in Scotland in the first place. He barely escaped being executed, almost witnessed his sister’s rape, and saves Claire on countless times. BUT DOES THIS FORGIVE THE FACT THAT HE ABUSED HER? I THINK NOT. And yes I know, this was another time. Fair enough, though the idea of having a historical fiction book that doesn’t feature rape is something I can still fathom thank you very much. Yet, having rape or abuse featured in a book is something that I can handle (see Pillars of the Earth for example, which is one of my favourite books) as long as it is an issue that is discussed and portrayed as a bad thing. I know that may sound childish but the fact that it was 18th century Scotland doesn’t excuse his actions. What I really can’t forgive is the fact that this whole rape + beating thing is completely brushed over and romanticized. Just because Jaimie is a pretty face. Maybe Frank was boring, but at least he didn’t beat up his wife when she did something he disapproved of.

And behold, I’m not even done with the problematic stuff, because as you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t even mentioned Captain Randall yet. Some may say he is a villain you love to hate… That’s absolutely not the case for me, but, you know, feel free to like him if you do. It’s not even that I don’t like him (though I really don’t). That is not even the thing I hate the most about it, what really struck me is how dirty he was done. Hey, let’s write a villain for Outlander. First, he will have the face of Claire’s husband and be his ancestor. That is totally awesome in terms of the plot I have to say. But ooh… Claire met her husband’s ancestor! And he tried to rape her! I was already out at that point, but this was only the beginning. Not only is this something that comes up at several points in the story – oh we need a plot twist, let’s have Randall have to rape Claire, portray it as a total damsel in distress scene and have Jaimie rescue her at the risk of his own life – but then we have the great (almost) finale of the book where PLOT TWIST Randall wants to have sex with Jaimie. And not only does he physically abuse and torture him, he then blackmails him to have sex without resisting, and all in the meantime talks about his wife whom he also attempted to rape, and then he also cuts him, brands him with his personal seal, tells him he loves him and tries to have him say it back?

i can't even

I need to stop talking about this, because it’s getting me too worked up. But in case you didn’t get my point it was: why did you make such a horrible character and have to make him queer? That was pointless, and not the representation I’m here for.

So anyway, aside from these few points that definitely disturned me to say the least, I have to say that Outlander as a fascinating world build-up that combines time-traveling and strong ladies (Claire obviously, but also Gillie Duncan, Jaimie’s sister who is a total badass, and many of the ladies from castle Leoch), something that I definitely appreciate. And I can’t deny the fact that I am totally in awe at Diana Gabaldon for writing such a big chunky book with a restless plot, but for then taking it to the next level with many sequels. And I will probably never read those sequels, but I can’t help but wonder, and there’s no denying the fact that I am amazed by this universe.

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Books I Want To See Adapted As Movies Or TV Shows

I swear I’m trying to post more often than once a week, I’m working on it… In the meantime, I just uploaded a new video on my channel where I talk about books I want to see adaptated as movies or TV shows, which is basically one of my favourite things to talk about!!

Thoughts on The 100 S5E03

I’m trying this thing where I post a video about the latest episode of The 100 every week, because I absolutely love this show, and this season is honestly much more promising than the two previous ones so far, so here are my thoughts on episode 3 if you are interested!

Life and Reading Update

I will supposedly be presenting my thesis in about a month, and then be finished with my studies, so life is a bit crazy right now, in between my few classes left, yoga classes, my job, strikes everywhere in Paris right now, and of course the whole studying thing!

I still managed to read some books in April, here’s a wrap up video:

Books I read in April:

Marie Curie by Demi ★★★★☆
Marie Curie: The Radium Fairy by Chantal Montellier and Renaud Hyunh ★★★★☆
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante ★★★☆☆
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare ★★★★☆
Beloved 
by Toni Morrison ★★★★☆
Wires and Nerve vol.2 by Marrissa Meyer ★★★★★
Wonder Woman vol.5: Flesh by Brian Azzarello ★★★★☆
Carrie Fisher Biography by Chris Dicker ★★★☆☆

Books I’m currently reading:

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
My Brilliant Friend #2 by Elena Ferrante


In case you weren’t aware, my favourite TV show aka The 100 is back with its fifth season, and here’s a video of my thoughts and feelings on episode 2!

Thanks for watching!

Spoilery Thoughts On Riverdale

I have so many thoughts on what has been going on lately on Riverdale, I need to get it off my chest. Tumblr hashtags are not enough to talk about all I have been feeling

It’s going to be a bit all over the place I’m afraid, and of course there will be spoilers, so beware. (I am fully aware that this article is a mess, but I wanted to share my thoughts so feel free to share yours, and I am also quite aware that I probably haven’t covered everything I wanted to mention, but as you wil see, this article is long enough…)

First of all I am delighted to see Toni and Cheryl together – I have been a huge and loyal fan of Toni since she appeared on the show – but if only we could actually see them together, that would be great. That being said, Toni’s outfits in the latest episode was SO ON POINT, I feel like I have been blessed. (And on a side note, my hair is not pink enough!!!) The CW is known to do his lesbians/bisexuals dirty (#clexa #the100) but I’m really hoping they won’t let me down here.

And while I’m talking about my queer babies, I was pretty sure that Kevin and Fangs were dating but apparently I was wrong considering Fangs admitted he was seeing Midge before she died, which both makes and doesn’t make sense in my opinion, I have many thoughts on that. Midge was dating Moose who was closeted, so I can imagine their relationship was not enough for her or whatever. And when Moose admitted he had figured out she was cheating on him, everyone believed that he did not kill her (though her cheating on him would be a motive, no matter how harmless this dude looks). However when Fangs says he didn’t do it, everyone seems to not believe him (mostly the Bulldogs but whatever, I’m pissed) while THE GIRL HE PROBABLY HAD FEELINGS FOR WAS JUST MURDERED FOR GOD’S SAKE AND HE DOESN’T EVEN EVEN HAVE A MOTIVE YOU DUMMIES.

Anywho. The more I watch this show, the less it makes sense. Don’t even get me started on the whole Chic (Chick?) was a fake and actually killed Betty’s real brother who by the way was also Jughead’s brother, and is no one bothered by the fact that Alice maybe doesn’t want her daughter to date Jughead because she used to date his father and for some reason in the small gossipy town of Riverdale no one seems to know about this, I don’t have words for how confused this show makes me feel sometimes.

Oh and I started talking about Kevin but I got off track. I feel like he has been really out of character lately to be honest. He seems like a genuinely kind person, and I’m still baffled by the fact that he is part of the wrestling team (doesn’t make sense? or is it just me?). And like, he was part of the Bulldogs/Dark Circle crowd in the last episode lately (or is it the Black Circle? I thought it was the Red Circle? what. the. fuck.) and that, again, seems out of character. I don’t know guys, I’m just confused. Also Joaquin is back out of nowhere and I just figured out how to write his name, let me tell you I didn’t expect that because that is so not how you would pronounce it in Frenche but anywho YOUR LOCAL BOOKWORM IS HOPING FOR A REUNION BETWEEN THOSE TWO.

What else did I want to complain about? Oh boy, what the hell is wrong with you Archibald Andrews, stop with the whole Hiram Lodge thing it doesn’t make goddamn sense like, this dude just got out of jail and wants to build a jail in your home town, this dude is a godforsaken crimminal and you just roll with his bullshit, he could be behind the Black Hood for all we know (fyi said blackhood is supposedly going after sinners, why not after the Lodge who are part of some kind of insane Mafia???). Archie is so confusing, I feel like he has become this new person that I don’t understand (gosh it sounds like we’re dating, he’s not even my type, Toni is my type in case you were wondering). WHATEVER. Just cut the crap Archie, this relationship with dangerously evil man crimminal Hiram Lodge has been going on for way too long. The whole “mafia” business just doesn’t make sense to me, unless we are getting Hiram back in prison by the end of this season.

Also what the fudge (sorry I’ve been watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt lately) is the deal with the Black Hood? I get that Archie thought he got the wrong guy, and admittedly, it seemed plausible though the guy who got shot also seemed guilty of some weird shit, but then we don’t see him for forever and just think this is all past us??? And then he’s back but different or whatever??? I am so confused by this show you guys I’m starting to wonder why I’m even watching (the answer is: Toni and Cheryl) (and I have to admit I also have a soft spot for Jughead). Who the fork (#TheGoodPlace reference) is the BLACKHOOD and what is their deal? Your girl wants answers!

About the whole “is Hal the Black Hood” thingy, this dude is fishy and I have disliked him since the beginning (btw Alice and FP together would be great, just sayin). We seem to have great proof against him. However there are also some facts that prove he may not be the Blackhood, for instance the fact that he was with Betty during the shooting. But maybe there are several Blackhoods. (I for some time thought that it might be the sheriff, but then again, probably not). I am also wondering, if Hal is not the Blackhood then who is? Also Betty clearly said she was with Cherly when they found the book in his secret hideout or whatnot, so it WOULD make sense that if Hal was the Blackhood he would go after Cheryl. But then, who is knocking on the door where Betty is? And did she figure out something that I missed? To be honest, after watching the next episode preview, I’m starting to consider the fact that Hal might be the original Blackhood, and maybe some other dudes started pretending to be the Blackhood just for the sake of destroying/killing people.

Great return of Mayor/Attorney McCoy in this episode, though where is Josie? I miss my girl. And while I’m talking about people we’re missing, are we going to know what happened to Chic? Will we ever see Polly and her weird-named babies? Also what the fudge happened to the boy scout who sold a gun to Archie? Is he secretly the one selling guns to everyone because oh boy, everyone seems to have guns in this show, what the fuck is wrong with you people, and why is it lawful in America to have guns like that (yes I know, that’s a whole other topic BUT CAN YOU NOT SEE HOW PROBLEMATIC IT IS). Who gave Reggie a goddamn gun, and also who pulled the trigger on Fangs???

Don’t even get me started on how nonsensical to have a whole musical episode, it doesn’t even make sense, but that was a while ago now, so let’s just forget about the whole mess that this episode was. It was even crazier than having Ed Sheeran on Game of Thrones, if you want my honest opinion on the question.

By the by, I am delighted to see that Vanessa Morgan – aka my queen Toni Topaz – will be a series regular in season 3! (However I did NOT LIKE WHAT I SAW IN THE NEXT EP PREVIEW)

I could talk for hours about what the fork is wrong with the Lodge family, and what the fudge are the Gullies, where were they, why are they back, why is this show leaving so much shit unanswered it’s just unhealthy but I’m going to stop. Thank YOU if you read this rant from beginning to end, you deserve the world! (And I hope next week’s episode doesn’t disappoint!)

See ya ♥

Life Update: Some Videos!

Hi bookworms! I realised I haven’t posted in quite some time however I did manage to post two videos on my Booktube channel, so if you’d like, here they are!

I have a Nerdy Post Box unboxing, featuring the Fantasy theme:

And a rant about the new premiere of The 100! Season 5 is finally here, after all this time, and I have some thoughts: