Monday, 16 April 2018

Book Review: The Juliette Society trilogy

I know, it's odd for me to write something about another writer other than myself. Just to show that I am not as narcissistic as some of you think I am, I am reviewing somebody else's books for a change.

Honestly though, this trilogy is a really good read. I admit that I was drawn to the books because of the author, Sasha Grey.

For those of you living under a rock or who go to church regularly, Sasha Grey started her career as an adult film star. She was a ground breaker, envelope pusher, who performed at the extreme end of the porn scale. Her beauty and fame got her appearances on Oprah and other talk shows. She was definitely outside the mold of the standard porn industry actress with a high IQ, no shame attitude, self acceptance, open minded approach. Since leaving porn behind her, Sasha has been in mainstream movies and TV shows. She is also an artist, musician, and DJ. When Sasha added writer to her resume, I was intrigued.

I was always a fan of hers so I bought her first book, "The Juliette Society". She had bragged that her book made Fifty Shades of Grey look like a teen romance. After all, Sasha knows what she is talking about. There is something to be said for an author who knows her subject matter from first hand experience. After reading her book, I had to completely agree with her. The story is a first person tale of a girl who falls into a private, exclusive sex club. Her experiences teach her about her self and her desires. I don't want to give away any plot spoilers so I'll leave it as a summery. Her main character, Catherine, is lead down the rabbit hole by her friend Anna to explore a strange new world. When her friend Anna goes missing, Catherine puts herself at risk searching for her. Meanwhile, Catherine tries to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend who may not be on the same page as her sexually.

The book is very character driven. Sasha often goes into stream of conscious ideas that Catherine thinks about, which is usually very sexual. One entire chapter is dedicated to her ideas about come. Stories written in first person are ideal for this type of "inside her head" writing. At first, I was put off by some of her grammatical no-nos like jumping between past and present tense, starting sentences with prepositions and verb free sentences because I am a bit of a grammar nazi myself. However, it started to grow on me as I realized that it was intentional on her part as the story was told from Catherine's lips and Sasha wanted to make her human, relatable and believable. It did help the story flow.

More importantly, the story made me want to keep reading. It was hard to put the book down. Even more, as soon as I finished reading the Juliette Society, I bought the sequel, "The Janus Chamber". Book two continues Catherine's tale as she explores the demise of a maligned artist named Inana. This draws Catherine back into the Juliette Society at a secret location. Catherine is once again lead into the temptations that help her figure herself out which also puts a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend Jack as they seem to be going in opposite directions.

Reading the second book, I was more prepared for Sasha's writing style. She let's it flow from Catherine's mind. The character, much like the writer is intelligent and strong. She uses references that may make a reader do some research but paints a picture clearly. Once again, the sex is very hot and very X rated. I love that stuff as anyone who has read my books and stories knows. Her style is unique to most other writers though and it definitely worked to get me going.

Once again, I found myself craving more and had to wait until the third book was released just a month ago to read the final installment. Book three is called the "The Mismade Girl". The story of Catherine continues as she finally accepts herself for who she is. She has to deal with some suspicious and malicious individuals on her own. No more spoilers. After reading the book, I felt like the first two were just foreplay. The conclusion really delivers. I found the sex in book three to be the best yet. I read it cover to cover in just a few days.

One of my favourite parts of the third book is a side character who gets involved with Catherine. Sasha Grey spends several pages describing and painting the character out as a total douche bag but never once uses the word douche bag. She does it so well, it is very easy for the reader to picture him.

I wasn't sure what to expect from a fist time author but I imagined that it would be sexy. I was pleasantly surprised. These stories are not porn novels. They don't just loosely connect sex scenes. This trilogy is a story about a woman's adventures, growth, and relationships. There is plenty of hard core sex in them which help the stories and completes them. I highly recommend them. I give her author to author respect. ...and yes, they do blow the 50 shades books out of the water. Just saying.

1 comment:

Sally Bend said...

Oooh, thanks for the recommendation, hon - I will have to check this out. I had no idea Sasha was writing!