The Problem With Grey Morality

         I'm starting a series on this blog, it's called The Problem with ____. 

         In these posts I'll obviously be talking (writing) about the problem with a stereotype, character arc, or story line in young adult, so that should be fun. I've already written a post in this series without even realizing it, and it is called The Problem with Bad Boys if you haven't read it yet.

                   Grey morality is when something is neither fully good or bad, or something that is debatable on whether it's good or bad.

                    Now, I am a conservative homeschooled Christian, so one would think I wouldn't like grey morality at all, but I actually sort of do. 

                    I like to be conflicted, I like it when characters are complex. Real people aren't simply good or evil, so why should characters be? 

                    So why am I writing a post with the title The Problem with Grey Morality

                    Because I think it's being taken too far. 

                     A good example of this is the Avenger's movies, now the Avenger's franchise gets edgier every movie, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Avengers, but they do love grey morality. 

via: pinterest, I do not own any rights to this image, all credit to the original artist.**

                    It works for them too. Avengers is edgy, but not too edgy for the majority of more conservative families, while still being out there enough to not be considered "prude". 

                    In some ways I read and watch stuff like this and I'm okay with it, but sometimes things still stick out to me and make me re-think. 
                    The problem is, we blur lines between good and bad too much. True, not everything's black and white, but at the same time, not everything is grey either, and thinking that everything and every sin is debatable is, frankly, pretty foolish. 
                   I remember this quote from The Series of Unfortunate Events, even though I haven't read that series since I was around nine: “People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” 

                 This quote really stuck with me, because the main villain used it to argue his case and to turn people to his side, I remember being disturbed at how reasonable he was when he stated it and how people found themselves agreeing with him and thinking that it's okay and normal to be a little evil. When in reality it's not.

             There's no real excuse for evil, in the end it is something that shouldn't be glorified. I liked how the book showed how dangerous it is to see only the grey areas. 

                 The literary world is full of grey spots, as well as in real life, but at the end of the day there is a line between light and darkness if we look for it, and it's a line that really shouldn't be blurred without care. 

                  When it is blurred there is always more trouble and conflict than necessary, and we as writers shouldn't forget that when creating worlds. 

What are your thoughts on grey morality in fiction?

Happy Writing,


Book Review: First Impressions by Debra White Smith

                Hello, so I’m not totally back from my break, but as I said in my last post there was the possibility of me reviewing a book on here this month, and I did get a free book in exchange for a review this month, so here I am! 

                First off, a big thanks to Bethany House and the Baker Publishing Group for giving me this opportunity! Although, this book was free in exchange for my thoughts, my opinions are entirely unbiased.

           I was super excited when I got the email that I was one of the bloggers accepted to receive a copy of this book, I love Jane Austen, I love Pride and Prejudice, and I adore contemporary, so the three together sounded AMAZING. I mean, a contemporary re-telling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? I AM ON BOARD.

            The book took a while for me to get into. I didn't like the writing style, it had a lot of purple prose and was very flowery, for example here's a gem I found in the first chapter that honestly made me dread continuing for a hot second:

           The curtain of rain in the peach orchard oscillated as a snakelike tail, white as cotton, dipped from the sky, stirred up a cloud of debris, and hurled peach trees into the air. Eddi dropped her plate and water bottle. A gurgle exclamation parted her lips as the funnel zipped back into the clouds. (pg. 21)

           But it either got better or I got use to it, because it didn't bother me as much as I went on, although I remember thinking, "IF IT DESCRIBES HER SKIRT AS "ELEGANT" AND TELLS ME HOW IT REACHES HER "STRAPPY SANDLES"ONE LAST TIME, I WILL SCREAM. TEST ME, DAVE, TEST ME". 

           It did get better though, and I found the read really pleasant and enjoyable, which I am super glad of because I really wanted to like this book. 

                Despite the rougher beginning I had with this book, I really liked it. The first chapter was kind of hard to get through, but after that I was kind of sucked in. The book was a fast, easy read, and it had a lot of twists and turns to keep me engaged. 

                Anyways, let's nitpick this book Gray Marie Style, shall we?
-The pacing. The pacing was really good (not so much in the first chapter, but the rest of the book), it wasn't too fast or too slow, and I found myself easily caught in the story. 

-The story line. Despite being a re-telling, this book was pretty original and kept me guessing, I like how Debra took a step out of the usual re-telling box and took the liberty to add a few more themes and side plots. 

-The show of how sin equals consequences. I like how the character's downfalls weren't glorified, and how the book showed them having to deal with the aftermath of their bad choices. 

-The theater aspect. A PLAY ABOUT P&P IN A RE-TELLING OF P&P??? GIMME. 

-How Eddi and Dave quoted lines from P&P, when arguing. It was priceless, I loved it. 

-They didn't butcher southern accents! They did the twang really well, except for the fact that they excluded "y'all", but I did see 'em, pale, and bless your little heart a few times, so I was pleased. 
-The writing style/the purple prose. I know some people like this, but it's just not my thing. It's one of the reasons I read contemporary so much because I like the writing short and sweet and not flowery. So reading it in a contemporary threw me off at first.

-The inner dialogue the characters had at times. Half of the time it was okay, but the other half of the time I couldn't help but wonder, "who thinks like this?" 

-Since we're talking about inner dialogue let's talk about Dave's. Now, I liked Dave, he was most definitely my favorite character, he was one of those more complex characters and I loved that about him, but his inner dialogue would sometimes ruin that. He's a really sweet guy at heart but then he starts randomly thinking about how plain or unflattering girls' hair and clothing choices are?? I'm not a guy, but it just seemed strange, who really gives a care about how a girl puts her hair up, Dave? And don't describe a girl you barely know as "colorless in personality", it makes you look hypocritical. 

-Also on Dave, he kept talking about how amazing and elegant Eddi looked, and I get it, he's attracted to her, but it just got tedious because every other paragraph would be about her simple, "elegant" beauty. 

-I found out that Eddi and Dave were Christians halfway through the book. And I'm not mad that they're Christians, but I found it disturbing that I didn't know this. The only thing they did in the beginning was go to church one Sunday, but most people go to church in the south, that alone doesn't tell me anything. 

           There wasn't a conviction. A prayer. A bible verse in a character's mind. Nothing. And then halfway through the book Eddi says something like, "I'm glad God means something to you, because he means a lot to me." 

             Are you sureeeee about that, honey? Dang, you must be the most lukewarm Christian ever. Anyways, I just don't think a characters religion should be a plot twist like that. 

              And then it went from zero to a hundred way too fast, the characters went from normal joes to devout Pro Life Christians, and there's nothing wrong with that on it's own, but the story had already developed without that, so it all felt randomly thrown in.

         This is either a new adult book or just an adult book, so it's definitely more grownupish in its themes:

-Drug abuse. A few of the side characters struggle with bondage to drugs. 

-Alcohol abuse (another side character). 

-Premarital sex and pregnancy. A side character basically chooses to kind of sleep around and then she forgets to take birth control and finds herself pregnant. It doesn't show any of the scenes, but the lust and unhealthiness of her current relationship is shown, since the guy is clearly only using her. 
 Three and a half out of five stars. 

          I did enjoy this book, and I am glad to welcome it to my bookshelf, I think I might re-read it in the far future, because I did like it when I got into it. 

           I would recommend this to people who love more flowery writing or just people who are fans of Jane Austen's works and love re-tellings.

         The book is pretty unique in its idea, I haven't read a lot of Jane Austen re-tellings, so that was cool. 
Have you read this book?
Will you?

Also, thanks for all of the sweet comments on my last post, I am feeling much better, so I might be back a little early. I'm not fully sure yet, but thank y'all for sticking it out with me, I appreciate the support. <3 

Happy Writing,


au revoir

        I've tried so hard to put this off, but I think it's for the best.

       Guys, I feel like I've fallen apart this year, and I just need time to put myself back together.

        I need a break. Blogging is something I enjoy so much, and I love it and y'all a lot more than words can express, but I'm tired and sad. I'm washed-up and burnt-out. I need to get away from my computer and I think it would be wise to take a small break.

         I'm not sure how long, or how disconnected I'll be (I haven't even replied to the newest comments on my last post and I'm honestly not sure if I will). There are posts I hope to read, and things I hope to be here for, so I might pop up a few times this month, who knows?

          For sure I'll be writing the May wrap-up post for Rebellious Writing, and I might even post a book review sometime this month, but overall I need a break. And I'm sorry. I tried so hard to avoid this, yet here I am.

           Thank y'all so much for everything, you guys really do make my day brighter and I consider y'all as friends.

            I'll be fully back once I feel better, I wish I could give y'all a date, but I don't have one.


             Gray Marie <3


The Problem with Bad Boys

            I don't like "bad boys" in fiction... at all.

             My two least favorite bad boys in YA are Tobias and Edward Cullen.

             They're tough. They're cool. They have a troubled past. And of course, they're super hot.

              Oh, and they're all complete jerks, who are abusive.

               Y'all might be slightly confused, after all, I've said in the past that I like bad boys. In fact, I am writing a more tough character in my current wip, but there's a line between troubled and hurt and abusive and a total jerk.

               Please, stop romanticizing the latter. 

  • Being emotionally abusive isn't hot
  • Being a sociopath isn't hot
  • Being a jerk 24/7 without even P.M.S. to blame it on isn't hot
  • Being void of any morals whatsoever isn't hot

                It's scary that emotional abuse and unhealthy teen relationships (and any age relationships for that matter) are shown and glorified in this light. 

                The bad boys are all the same, just with a different names... 

             "I can fix him." is often an excuse used in these types of books, or a form of thought that our MC has throughout the book.

               It annoys me, because first off, YOU CAN'T FIX HIM.
               Secondly, WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU WANT TO FIX HIM?
                Thirdly, YOU CAN'T FIX HIM.

                Also, the angst. So. Much. Angst. Because, dang, it's got to be tough to be a player and a total narcissist.
               There are SO MANY other types of guys, and yet, this is the type we choose to put on a pedestal. Why?
               Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't write troubled characters, or even characters who are struggling with being a bad person in retrospect, but can we please stop glamorizing it?

                It's not hot.
                It's not fun.

                Let's let the girl see his flaws as they are. Let's let him struggle to escape his destructive ways.

               Let's glorify recovery.

             People are messed up, and it hurts. It hurts others and themselves. This isn't a cutesy game. This isn't true love at first glance. This isn't being intoxicated by an eye color.

             Stop dumbing it down to meaningless stereotypes.

What are your thoughts about this? 

Happy Writing,