25. Fifty Shades of Grey

Book Reviews / Friday, July 20th, 2012

I got so sick of hearing about this book that I had to read it to see what all the hype was about.  It’s everywhere – You Tube, television shows, book reviews, etc  I’m living in France and Fifty Shades of Grey hasn’t come out here yet, but I’m sure when it does it will probably make just as much hoopla.  As always books that contain sex in small or large doses no matter what kind, in this case BDSM, always seems to make it to popularity.  Of course popularity leads to the New York Times bestseller list – combined print & e-book fiction and the paperback trade fiction and probably some others too.  Fifty Shades of Grey is number 1 and has been for 20 weeks, Fifty Shades Darker is number 2 and has been for 20 weeks, and Fifty Shades Freed is number 3 and has been for 19 weeks.

The book is said to be a love story and begins with Anastasia Steele taking her roommate’s place to interview mysterious, billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey for her college newspaper.  There is an immediate attraction between the two, an explosive “lust” at first sight.  Christian is extremely attractive, arrogant, controlling, and has a dark side.  He’s a dominant.  Anastasia however is 21 years old, naive, shy, and a virgin.  Together they explore and experience each other through Christian’s love of BDSM and the romance begins…

Now I’m not sure this book is for everyone and of course I’m talking about those of you over the age of 18.  There were things that annoyed me.  Firstly the writing wasn’t brilliant but I actually suspected that.  I don’t think I’ve ever read an erotic novel that was well written (not that I’ve read a lot of them). Suggest some below if you know any.  Another thing that bothered me were the constant repetition of the following words and phrases:  my inner goddess, eyeball rolling which everybody seemed to be doing in the book, Anastasia’s mother included and she was a minor character, he’s hot, he looks like a god, he’s so perfect, pants hanging off his hips, running fingers through his hair, biting her lip, I blushed/I blush/she blushes.  I had enough of those phrases because they were constantly repeated.  When Anastasia compares Christian to a god it reminded me a lot of Bella in Twilight, which apparently EL James read over and over and loved.  That’s what gave her the inspiration to finally put pen to paper.  There were also a few things that didn’t make sense to me.  For example I didn’t understand how Christian didn’t suspect that Anastasia was a virgin, since she was blushing all over the place and he hadn’t even touched her yet.  Not to mention, when he shows her his red room and how she doesn’t bolt for the door.  There are problems with realism although she seemed to do her research on the BDSM culture.  There’s a full list of  sex acts and toys to educate us all.

The good thing about this book is that it can play up to some people’s fantasies.  The sex is hot as Anastasia would say.  The story moves along and reads quite quickly and you do want to know how this unlikely duo will fair in the future.  For that you’ll have to read books two and tree.  The character analysis is a little minimal but the intensity of the relationship is well described.  The story takes place in Seattle which is not the sexiest city in the US but who knows with the success of the book it might get some attention.  I give this book 2 stars which means if you’re curious read it and if you could care less don’t.  It also depends on what you feel like reading.  In essence it’s a light fast read or even a beach read if you can avoid blushing in public. Oops I said that word again, as I roll my eyeballs…Arrghhh!  Otherwise don’t bother and wait for the movie.

12 Replies to “25. Fifty Shades of Grey”

  1. Hey di, I’m glad to get your input – I have a friend who’s reading this right now and she seems to recommend it – sounds like a perfect vacation read. Can I borrow your copy for vacation?

  2. Thnks for the honest review. My friends here are going crazy over this book, the way how they are talking abt it makes me want borrow their copies to read. I read snippets and thought the writing style was cliche so not suprised you found some of the narrative repetitive.

    1. Yeah cliché would b the best short description. Basically women are reading it for the sex which is hot but the pain is definitely not. This is oftenwhat happens when people write explicitly about sex. Take it to the beach, borrow it from a friend, or read it on your e-reader. Happy summer reading……

  3. I was waiting on you to review this book. I’m happy you had the courage to read it because I just don’t think I can. Happy to read a “honest” review of it though.

    1. It’s crazy the press these books are getting because there isn’t really much going on in the book. EL James has the potential to write better but I’m sure her next book won’t be nearly as popular unless it contains sex, unfortunately.

  4. I really didn’t enjoy 50 Shades. The repetitive language and parallels to Twilight were too much. I also became intensely uncomfortable with some of the BDSM aspects because I don’t think Ana explicitly consented in some scenes. I had to force myself to finish it. I don’t know why books like this get hyped and put on a pedestal and other meatier lit is overlooked. I don’t even consider this to be GOOD erotica, it’s below par…
    Great review though Didi, your written reviews are a treat 🙂

    1. Hi Mana welcome to the blog! Yes I have to agree. This was some of the worse erotica I have ever read. I waited a bit before picking these up. I wanted to know what all of the hoopla was about. What a disappointment! One thing that good writers have is an excellent vocabulary and if they don’t they use a thesaurus! The poor writing is what miffed me. How could these novels be praised so much considering, the excuse my French, the piss poor writing. The whole thing baffled me, and even more so when I heard it sold more books than HP. We have to do better people. smh….Thanks for commenting! Love chatting with everybody!

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