Ch. 24 of 50 Shades Freed: Ana and Christian and the Running out of Plot Points

Chapter 24 starts as Ana drops the devastating news that the baby might be a girl. Christian actually panics for a minute. Ana goes back to her breakfast and spends some time wondering why Christian is so scared of being a parent. I agree! It makes no fucking sense. I mean, sure he had a crack whore for a bio-mom, but he was raised from the age of four (4!) by rich, loving, attentive parents.

Ana decides it must be because of Elena (whom she fondly calls ‘the Bitch-Troll’) and the illicit relationship they had when Christian was 15. Personally, I think he is worried because *something* has to drive the action in the last few chapters of the story, and we’re running out of options. The sex has totally petered out, and in any case Christian is now “fixed” so all he needs or wants is normal boring sex anyway. There isn’t a mysterious saboteur to find; all the stalkers have been contained; the shock of the pregnancy has worn off.

Since sooomething has to happen, Detective Clark shows up to question Ana about the blackmail incident with Jack. Christian is angry but allows it. It might be super thrilling, but we’ll never know because we fade to black. We fade back in just as he is leaving – Christian asks who posted Jack’s bail last time, and if it will happen again. Of course, Clark can’t tell him, but Christian has his suspicions DUN DUN DUN! Everyone exchanges a knowing glance, but nobody feels like they need to tell us what the fuck they mean.

Perchance

The doctor arrives and we fade out again for a “thorough examination” after which Ana is cleared to go home. Christian stops the doctor in the hall and asks if he and Ana can resume sex immediately. He comes back into the room having gotten the only news he cares about. They can have sex again! Yay!

success-kid

Before they leave the hospital Ana insists on visiting Ray to tell him about the baby. Christian reminds Ana that Ray gave him permission to spank her AND that Ray offered to do it himself. It was gross the first time, and even grosser the second time. Why keep harping on this? It hurts me!

Ray is just relieved to see his little girl safe and alive. Ha ha! Not really. He has a massive spaz out on Ana, and ‘berates’ her for being irresponsible. He insists that Ana call her mother so that he doesn’t have to deal with her anymore.

Ana’s mother. The one who couldn’t be bothered to visit.

And Ana apologizes. She apologises for getting injured by a crazy violent lunatic. Ray calms the fuck down, and then Ana and Christian sneak out the back of the hospital to trick the paparazzi, because no one would ever think of that. They are brilliant!

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Mr. and Mrs. Einstein have a dramatic moment in the car when Christian reveals that Welch needs to talk to him. Nothing good ever comes of needing to talk to someone. Ever. Welch is the security guy, if you don’t remember. He has found some info on the Detroit connection, whatever that is. Whatever it is, Christian is super mysterious and dramatic about it.

They arrive home and Ana breaks down into hysterical sobbing as they get into the Amazing Sexy Feelings Elevator. She’s so overcome that Christian has to carry her into the house and deposit her into the bathroom. He convinces her to take a shower because that’ll cure what ails her. Ana sobs how sorry she is – sorry for saving Mia.

Christian breaks down too and allows that it is at least partly his fault. They get in the shower and after sobbing for a good long time Ana has a revelation. She is a nag! She keeps expecting Christian to talk about his problems instead of getting mad and walking out to party with his ex. She has been so wrong! Why didn’t she see it before? She needs to let Christian be Christian and live life on his own terms.

After the shower comes another dramatic reveal – Evil Elizabeth From Work isn’t evil, she was being blackmailed by Jack too! He had BDSM sex tapes of all his assistants. Christian wails and gnashes his teeth over how similar they are – men with power who like to abuse women. He’s a monster! A monster!

Monster

Well, it’s about time somebody said it.

Christian is about ready to scratch his own eyes out when Ana assures him that he is nothing like Jack. She insists that his emo wailing is nonsense – everyone loves Christian.

They get dressed and Christian makes sure to hammer home that Kate is also angry at Ana. Soooo angry. We’ve just about gone through the list of everyone Ana knows. Ana finally snaps and tells him to zip it because she actually did save Mia who was in actual factual danger. Christian responds by threatening to spank her, and reminds her AGAIN that Ray has given him permission.

Spidey

Ana responds by wanting to have sex, and cook Christian a meal, even though she just got out of the hospital. Christian insists that she eat and then go to sleep instead, and she does. Zzzzzz…

boring

Then the big BIG reveal comes – Ana wakes up to Christian acting super emo and talking to himself. It turns out that he and Jack lived in the same foster home and all these years Jack has been jealous that Christian got adopted by a rich family while Jack, um…wasn’t. It is heavily implied that Jack has spent his life trying to get back at Christian for being adopted.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for…uh…the fact that he’s basically a bumbling idiot.

The best part is that Christian doesn’t even remember being in the foster home, so this thing Jack has spent his life stewing about is not even a vague memory for Christian.

haha

Christian is still super upset about it though and Ana insists that he invite his parents over for a heart to heart chat. Christian calls them up and they show up with Kate, Elliot and Mia for an impromptu coming-home party at which they expect Ana to cook. Even though Ana juuust got out of the hospital AND the fact that Christian has a goddamn housekeeper to do the cooking.

Kate is (surprise!) mad at Ana and chews her out spectacularly before announcing that she is getting married to Elliot and that Ana is to be the matron of honour. Ana is upset because the baby is due at the time of Kate’s wedding and she will look bad in a dress. Classy.

They drink to the various events and Ana is angry because Christian takes her glass of wine out of her hand. She’s mad that Christian won’t let her drink while she’s pregnant. Here’s a direct quote for God’s sake:

“I narrow my eyes. Dammit. I want a drink.

moodswing

Ten out of ten! Parent of the year!

Everyone eventually leaves and Ana is ready to sex it up. But Christian has something better in mind! He’ll pour out his feelings and memories of his past! Suh-weet! But thank badness we are spared that until next chapter.

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Clutching Grey in My Hot Little Hands

 

Grey

I picked up a copy of Grey, and boy am I stoked to read it!

Psych!

No really, I’m not even looking forward to it an eensy weensy little bit. I have on good authority that it ends in the same place as the first Fifty Shades Book. What I’m saying is that there are pretty clearly going to be two more of these babies. And I am going to read them.

So you don’t have to.

I’ll start as soon as I lay the last of the original three to rest.

Ch. 23 of 50 Shades Freed: Anastasia Steele and the Hospital Room of Boredom and Forgiveness

Ana wakes up in the hospital, as we all do from time to time. Well, sort of. She goes in and out of consciousness as various people come to visit, and talk about Ana as is she wasn’t there. The doctor visits and tells Christian Ana is “fine” and will wake up when she’s good and ready. The baby is also fine, and Christian is ecstatic because he now loves the baby soooo much.

Christian’s dad visits, and Christian repeats over and over how stupid Ana is for trying to save Mia who, it turns out, actually was in danger. Ray visits, and tells Christian to give Ana a good spanking or he will do it himself. That’s…gross. And of course Christian is all…

thatsmyfetish

The detective visits insisting that he question Ana who is still unconscious. He tells us that Evil Elizabeth From Work is singing like the proverbial canary. He says that. Maybe she’s getting a plea deal in exchange for testimony? We’ll never know! Legal matters are confusing!

Christian’s mother visits and tells him that its normal to hurt the people you love. Yes. Normal.

OctodadNormal

Then she proceeds to tell Christian off for being such a cold asshole and walking out after Ana announced her pregnancy. We’re treated to scintillating snippets of Christian wailing and gnashing his teeth because WHY WON’T ANA WAKE UP ITS MAKING ME SAD!!

Then Ana wakes up for realz this time. And she has to pee, but Christian refuses to let her out of bed until the nurse gets there. He calls the nurse and then refuses to let her do anything. So why even call her? It turns out Ana has a catheter. Ana is grossed out and Christian demands that the nurse remove it so that Ana can go to the bathroom.

The nurse says no but Christian insists. Nurse Nora relents but asks him to leave while she removes the catheter. He refuses, and after a standoff with nurse Nora he finally gives in after Ana begs him. Begs. She has to beg. Christian gives Nora exactly 2 minutes to remove the catheter (he both ‘snaps’ and ‘hisses’ at the nurse) and then bursts back in at exactly 2 minutes. Yeah. He’s a bit of a control freak.

Mario

Nora starts helping Ana to the bathroom but Christian freaks the fuck out and insists on carrying Ana to the bathroom. Once there, he refuses to leave the room while she pees. Again, Ana has to beg him to stand outside the door and he only agrees if he can leave the door open. I get that it is supposed to show us how concerned and protective Christian is, but man, it sure comes off as pathologically overbearing.

He carries her back to bed and the nurse gives them both the hairy eye. The nurse conducts an ‘exam’ which mostly consists in asking Ana how she feels. Ana says she is hungry and Christian lights up. He loves cramming food into Ana. Ana asks for soup but the nurse tells them they have to clear it with the doctor.

But Christian is filthy fucking rich. He doesn’t have to do what any ‘doctor’ tells him. Who cares about Ana’s health? No him, he’s just thrilled to get the chance to stuff food in her facehole. He sends Taylor out for soup.

While they wait, Christian gives Ana the 411 on what’s happened since the parking lot: Mia is fine; Jack and Elizabeth are in jail; and its now Saturday (the attacking having been on a Thursday). Ana is glad that Mia really was in danger, so that all her effort wasn’t wasted. Yeah. That’s how she thinks.

Christian makes sure to reiterate just how stupid Ana was for trying to help. Then they laugh briefly over how angry Ana’s nurse is now. They get all lovey-wovey-pookums for a minute, and then Christian ruins it by reminding Ana how fucking angry he is AND how stupid she is.

“What you did was monumentally stupid. Bordering on insane.”

Bordering? Bordering? Shit dude, that’s the geographic centre of Insaneville, USA.

workwithme

The doctor breezes in and gives Ana an even more perfunctory exam than the nurse. She forbids Ana from eating anything but broth. She tells Ana she’ll send along some pain killers and breezes out again.

Of course, Mr and Mrs Richard R. Rich don’t have to listen to any common peasant doctor. Taylor returns with a tureen of cream of chicken soup in a gold and black box, complete with basket of bread rolls and picnic accessories, which Ana eats, even though the doctor just said not to. She even eats the rolls. Christian not only encourages it, he insists on it. What the hell does some doctor know about health?

Peasents

Ana wants to know what happened after she passed out and Christian insists that he won’t tell her unless she keeps eating. Ana stops eating long enough to emote strongly at Christian. She is mad (MAD!) that Christian asked if she was just after his money. How could he believe that of her? After, you know, they had a huge fight and she asked for a divorce and 5 million dollars. Christian is insulted! He growls at Ana to watch her language and just keep eating. She just woke up from a head injury for God’s sake. Now he’s already being a dick again?

Ana then asks how Christian found her in the abandoned parking lot. Well, obviously, Christian had a tracking device installed in her car.

Like every attentive husband.

Let’s just let that sink in.

He had a tracking device installed in her car.

But it gets better. Ana smiles fondly. It makes her all warm and fuzzy inside to know that she can never make a move without him knowing. In fact, she tells us that the cell phone she threw out in the last chapter was one she borrowed from the bank manager. She put her own phone in the money bags BECAUSE SHE KNEW HE COULD TRACK IT. And she’s not just okay with that. She’s happy.

Cray

Well good. You’re both horrible people and you deserve each other.

Nurse Nora comes back with the pain killers and tries to throw Christian out. Again, he flat out refuses, and nurse Nora storms out. They both get a wonderful nights sleep crammed into the little hospital bed like some kind of thing that crams into small spaces, and wake up the next morning to a furious nurse Nora.

Christian brings Ana the world’s biggest breakfast and Ana wolfs it down. Christian is thrilled to watch her fill her face, because that’s his fetish. Well one of them. He isn’t allowed to do the other ones now because he is fixed god dang it! He doesn’t need deviant bad-people sex anymore. So all he has is food.

That’ll end well.

Christian mentions how happy he is to watch Ana eat. Christian looks at him like he’s stupid and say, “It’s because I’m pregnant, Christian.”

Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that baby. Seriously. Ana is one month pregnant. The baby is a few cells, tops. She isn’t hungry from the baby. Oh well, sensemaking was never her strong suit. Christian either: despite not wanting a kid he muses that if he had known Ana would eat so much, he would have knocked her up earlier. And that’s not just me being crass, he uses those words.

They both suddenly get big eyed and emo – what kind of parents could they possibly be?! They wail and cry and reassure each other that they will try their best and that’s all anyone could ask. They smile and float away on a bed of clouds carried by six gleaming angels singing into the sunlight.

lovecute

Or something like that. I may have stopped paying attention.

 

Mission Ana-possible: Chapter 22 of 50 Shades Freed

Ana is dumb.

We’ve established that. But the only way that this chapter makes any kind of sense AT ALL is if you keep that fact at the forefront of your mind.

yerdumb

Ana is dumb.

If you don’t remember anything else, remember that Ana is dumb.

At the end of chapter 21 Christian was on a plane to Portland, so he’s gone now. Ana got a phone call from Mia, or showing Mia’s number, and dun dun dun! It turned out to be her old boss and nemesis, Jack Hyde.

Jack calls Ana all kinds of awful names, and tells her he is going to make them all pay for their misdoings. He claims to have Mia as a hostage, but interestingly we never hear Mia in the back ground.

Clearly channeling Doctor Evil, Jack demands 5 million dollars from Ana, gives her 3 hours to deliver, and instructs her not to tell anyone that she is doing it. Think about that for a moment: Christian is worth billions. He’s a billionaire. Jack is basically asking for chump change.

Then, when Ana finally thinks to ask Jack to prove that he even has Mia, Jack hangs up on her. And, fearing for Mia (who we haven’t yet established is in any kind of danger) Ana decides to go along with it.

She calls out of work sick, which is awesome and totally OK since she’s just the head editor and owner’s wife so, you know, she has no important work to do. She tells Sawyer to take her home as she isn’t feeling well.

Ana goes home looking for Christian’s cheque book, and finds Leila’s gun instead. She tucks it into her pants where it will be totally safe. Safe. Ana does eventually find the cheque book, but she isn’t sure it is the right one. Despite the fact that Christian insists that it is her money too, Ana really doesn’t know how much money they have, or in what bank accounts. She isn’t even sure she can just write a cheque for 5 million dollars but she is sure as hell going to give it a try. She gets a duffle bag, and then another to carry the money. She isn’t sure how big a bag she needs to carry 5 million dollars.

Armed with a cheque book and a gun, Ana just needs to sneak off to the bank without alerting anyone to any funny business. You’d think the easiest way to do this would be to have Sawyer (who is basically her babysitter) drive her to the bank. He wouldn’t need to know how much money she was taking out OR why. He’s a servant.

But no, the obvious plan is not so obvious. I guess. First Ana changes into her stealthy sneaking clothes – jeans and a grey hoodie. That’s what sneak-thieves wear. Right? Then it’s time for a distraction. She calls Sawyer on her phone telling him she needs help and that she is at the other end of the house. Ana waits until he is upstairs looking for her and then makes a run for the door but gets stuck waiting for the elevator.

Sawyer comes screaming back down the stairs, but the elevator gets there just in time. Ana beats Sawyer out to the garage and tears off in her Saab. Just as she’s leaving she sees Sawyer tumble out of the service elevator and it’s pretty damn clear he knows that something is up.

This couldn’t be any wackier unless Yaketty Sax was playing in the back ground. Honestly.

Well, Jack told her not to ‘tell’ anyone, and she’s been as good as her word. She’s sure as hell let everyone know that something is up, but she never told them.

So Ana gets to the bank. She makes it clear that she has never once gone to the bank since her marriage. She has no how much she can withdraw or even what the process is. Ana decides to go the direct route – she heads to the first available teller and says:

“I’d like to withdraw a large sum of money.”

She’s suddenly very conscious that she changed into her sweaty sweat-sweats, because the teller doesn’t even believe she has an account at The First National Bank of Snooty Tellers.

Ana gets mad and name-drops her husband, because that’s the only way to get anything done. Ms. Snooty Teller leaps into action and escorts Ana to a private office where Ana asks to withdraw 5 million dollars. The teller calls the manager and asks Ana for ID.

The manager shows up and tells her she needs to give notice when withdrawing large sums of money. Ana hands over her ID, and of course it says ‘Anastasia Steele’ and not Grey. Ana is acting all weird and shifty, so the manager wants to call Christian to confirm. Ana insists that he not do that and digs out some other ID. The manager is still suspicious, so Ana threatens to tell Christian herself.

The manager claims to have some paperwork he needs to fetch and sneaks off to call Christian. He returns and hands the phone to Ana.
Now here’s where everything goes completely batshit insane. I mean, it was stupid before, but now it’s off the chain insane.

Ana takes the phone and Christian sobs into her ear, “You’re leaving me?

They did just have a knock-down drag-out days long fight. So I guess that’s a justified assumption. But here’s the crazy part. Ana thinks about Jack, and Mia, and how she’s not supposed to tell anyone what is going on.

And then she says YES.

insanememe

Ana tells Christian that this is it: she wants a share of the money and a divorce. Christian flips out but ultimately authorises the withdrawal. As Ana is leaving, Sawyer appears in the bank. Ana ducks back into the office and calls Jack, telling him she’s been followed by Sawyer and doesn’t know how to escape.

Jack claims to know exactly what’s going on, and tells her he has a car waiting at the back of the bank. Ana just needs to get there.

dumbidea

Ana asks the bank manager to sneak her out the back, which he does. This has probably been a weird day for him. Jack has an appropriately black SUV waiting to collect Ana. The driver is some random lady from work, Elizabeth, who I’m sure we’ve met, but who apparently wasn’t all that memorable. She stuffs the bags of money in the back of the SUV.

Now, remember how I said Ana is dumb? Because Ana is dumb. She’s now alone with Evil Elizabeth From Work. EEFW tells Ana to hand over her cell phone and get in the car.

And Ana does that.

EEFW already has the money. That’s done. The transaction is over. Ana gets in the car and EEFW throws her cell phone into the trash as she drives away. Yep. Ana is that stupid.

Stangif

EEFW gets a bit chatty on the drive and tells Ana that Jack, “wants to thank you in person.”

So…kill her. He wants to kill her.

Ana still doesn’t try to escape. They drive to an abandoned strip mall and Jack comes out to greet them. He makes sure to call Ana some nasty names, and beat her up a little bit. Evil Elizabeth tries to talk Jack into at least torturing Ana in the privacy of the abandoned stores but he’s having none of it.

Ana is on the ground but finally FINALLY remembers that she has a gun in her pants. She shoots Jack in the knee and as she passes out she hears Christian calling for her.

Chapter 21 of 50 Shades Freed Gives You the Cold Shoulder

Last chapter:

Ana announces she’s pregnant; Christian goes batshit crazy and leaves; he comes home drunk and gets a text showing he’s spent the night with Elena.

This chapter:

Ana ‘gapes’ at the text like the slack jawed yokel that we all know she is. She gets her bearings and has a total fucking (but also totally silent) meltdown. She agonizes for 2 whole pages about Christian and how he has betrayed her by talking to Elena. There’s so much wailing and gnashing of teeth, that I’m not sure how Christian keeps sleeping right on through it. He must be really drunk.

Using her usual Vulcan logic Ana tells us in one sentence that it is always (always she says) one step forward and two steps back with Christian. In the very next sentence she tells us that they “move forward, inch by inch”. Those two things are opposites. The entire point of the one step forward cliché is that you are ultimately going backward.

These words, you keep using them…

Inigo

Then Ana has a brief moment of clarity. She’s a mother now (mother of a half dozen largely undifferentiated cells but let’s not nitpick) and she can’t let Christian keep ignoring her clearly set boundaries, like “stop associating with a woman who tried to kill me.” Wait. Did Elena try to kill Ana? So many people have tried to kill them I’ve lost track.

Let me check. Here’s something to keep you busy while I wait:

Ok. Elena did not in fact try to kill anyone. Hooray! Way back at the end of book 2, Ana and Elena and later Christian had a giant shrieking fight at Christian’s birthday party, after which Elena was forcibly ejected from the Grey mansion. But still, you’d think that would be enough to keep Christian away from her.

But you’d be wrong.

Ana has been betrayed (she tells us that like a million times) and she is going to make Christian pay. Even though Dr. Flynn said she should let him get away with being a whiney douche. Ana ‘hatches a plan.’

She forwards Elena’s text to her own phone, then proceeds to go through all Christian’s texts, and then, for good measure, all his emails. Ana’s Inner Goddess approves all these actions, and is today garishly dressed in jade-green silk. What that has to do with anything is beyond me.

dafuq

Ana finds nothing interesting from Elena, and she almost seems disappointed. She comes across an email form the IT guy regarding Jack Hyde and the files on his computer. Ana doesn’t know what to make of it so she shrugs and gets back to her plan. Her plan of sending Christian a nasty text and then locking herself in the playroom. That’s the whole plan. She’s going to insult him and then give him the cold shoulder. That’s…that’s genius.

sarcastic

Ana gets a spare duvet out of a closet and locks herself into the playroom to sleep. She thinks how odd it is that she finds the room comforting considering all the bad times they’ve had in there. Yeah. That *is* odd. But whatever. She sends Christian a text in crazy all caps asking if he would like Elena to be present when they discuss the text so he doesn’t have to go running to her afterwards. She turns off her phone and falls asleep to an elabourate fantasy that, instead of freaking out Christian falls on his knees with joy upon finding out that Ana is pregnant.

She plans to give Christian the “it’s her or me” talk in the morning.

The next morning Ana sneaks out of the playroom to find Christian frantic to find her. He has all his servants gathered around him and is shouting orders at them. Ana strolls through, ignoring Christian, and tells Sawyer that she will be ready to leave for work in twenty minutes. Ana makes an elabourate show of ignoring Christian as he follows her around demanding answers. Eventually she tells him that she isn’t interested in being married to someone who goes running back to his ex every time they have a fight. Which makes a surprising amount of sense.

But of course, as Ana makes clear to us, she doesn’t mean it, she’s just using the threat as a tool to manipulate Christian. It’s pretty gross. Christian sees it for what it is and turns on the extra strong sexy-vibes to try and break her resolve. Ana doesn’t break and it infuriates Christian.

Crazy
Ana rebuffs his advances. I’m going to quote it directly because its just that nutty all on it’s own:

“Don’t even think about it, Grey,” I whisper menacingly.

“You’re my wife,” he says softly, threateningly.

“I’m the pregnant woman you abandoned yesterday, and if you touch me I will scream the place down.”

His eyebrows raise in disbelief. “You’d scream?”

“Bloody murder.” I narrow my eyes.

“No one would hear you,” he murmurs, his gaze intense…

So yeah, he just totally implied that.

 

Creepyguy

They spend the next three pages insulting each other and generally not actually talking about the problem. Ana heads off to work crying and talking to the almost-not-even-there baby. Kate calls and Ana tearfully insists that there’s nothing wrong but that they can talk later.

After work, Ana goes home but Christian isn’t there. Two can play the Cold Shoulder Game. Apparently. At 9 pm Ana calls to see if Christian is with Elena. She says that. Right to his face. He hangs up on her. Ana briefly considers getting an abortion, but dismisses the idea within one sentence.

She sleeps in another room again, and when she wakes Christian has left the sexy-times silk tie on her floor, but has already left for work and still isn’t talking to her. That is some grade A, extra fancy creepiness right there.

watching

Christian sends Ana a terse email at work announcing that he is flying to Portland. And is furious and locks herself in the bathroom crying. Her assistant, Hannah, gingerly tries to get her out as Ana has a godamn business to run. She’s probably wondering just how long the company is going to last under Ana’s skilled leadership, and if she ought to be putting out resumes. Hannah finally extricates Ana from the bathroom because she has a freaking meeting to attend.

Ana claims that she manages to keep it together until after lunch, which, I doubt. The tension of the chapter is just ratcheting down a little after all the screamy emotional feels-a-thons when Ana’s phone rings. Ana doesn’t want to talk, but it’s Mia so she feels obliged. And it’s not Mia! It’s not Mia at all!

It’s Jack Hyde!

A Sigh of Relief Too Soon: New 50 Shades Book this June 18th

Just yesterday I was thinking: “Only 5 more chapters and this mess will be done. Huh.”

Then this news turned up on my Facebook feed today:

Grey

E. L. James is writing, or rather has already written, the story of 50 Shades from Christian’s perspective. I’m actually kind of interested, since I like alternate perspective type stories. It will be interesting to see how James plays the same scenes from inside Christian’s head, and also to see how her writing style has evolved. As noted here before, Fifty Shades Freed is a very different book from the first two installments of the series.

Grey is to be released on June 18th, 2015, and I’m certain it will sell a bazillion copies – considering how well the originals still sell. You can preorder it at Chapters or  Amazon.ca. if you want to follow along with me, or if you just plain actually want to read it.

Holy Crap!

Right?

Via: Bookriot