Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I can’t let a widely talked about and read book pass me by without giving it a reading of my own. Half of my book club is obsessed with Fifty Shades of Grey and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Billed as a grown up version of Twilight, and being a fan of said Twilight, I was intrigued.

My intrigue didn’t last much beyond the initial pages, but I did actually make it to the end. Anastasia Steele is a silly, very naïve girl, in love with a sadistic stalker, Christian Grey. He wants her to sign a contract allowing him to control her every move down to what she wears and eats, she does not want to sign. He likes to tell her what friends she can hang out with, and likes to show up where she is unexpectedly even if she hasn’t told him where she is. He likes to physically punish her, she does not like it. Romance made in heaven? I think not.

Besides my obviously lack of love for the plot and characters, the writing was terrible. If I had to listen to Anastasia talk about her “inner Goddess” or say the words “Crap” or “shit” one more time, I was going to tear up the book in frustration. Christian also had an obsession with talking about Ana biting her lips and not allowing her to touch him. I wasn’t sure what attracted the much accomplished Christian to Ana as she was never able to carry on a conversation, but he soon told her it was that he thought she would be easily dominated.

What was very sad was that Ana was scared that if she was going to do something wrong, Christian would beat her. Is this really the type of relationship that 21st century women are looking for? I really want to give them a nice Nora Roberts novel to let them know what a good romance novel is all about.

Ana’s “purity” was laughable. I have a hard time believing that a 21/22 year old in today’s age would have no idea what sex entails. I don’t think I was the only teenage girl laughing at lurid sex scenes in romance novels with my friends, or just turning on the TV to see promiscuity abound. I know she only reads classic novels, but has she never read Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Does she not realize the double entendres in many classic novels? Does Ana never pick up a Cosmo to read while she’s in a waiting room? Ana seemed more believable in 1912 than 2012.

Speaking of classic novels, the constant references to the far superior Tess of the d’Urbervilles were vastly misplaced and had nothing to do with the plot of the novel, unless Ana is a poor Tess being taken advantage of by Christian as Alec.

I think Fifty Shades of Grey gave me the wrong types of fantasies. I kept thinking how I would really like one of Ana’s friends to hire some thugs to beat the crap out of Christian while telling him that beating is not how you treat a lady. But Christian probably would have liked it.

I would not have had a problem with the book if Ana was into the S&M lifestyle. She obviously was not, and didn’t like it when Christian hurt her – which makes it very wrong.

Overall, I am not reading any more of this series. I like the end where it stands and I can hope SPOILER ALERT that Ana does actually stay away from Christian and find someone more worthy of her love. SPOILER END.

Book Source: Sadly I purchased it, but will be donating my copy.


  1. Yeah, I am not ever reading this book no matter how curious I am, I have heard to much about it to want :)

  2. Ana sounds like a sad character, while her stalker is a sadistic bully. I'm curious what makes this book/series so popular.

  3. Uh-huh! Yes, to everything you said!

  4. I am baffled as well. I know word of mouth got me to read it, but what keeps people reading the series. There are SO MANY much better books out there in general, and romance specifically that the obsession with this book leaves me puzzled.