Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James
Yes, I read them – all three books: 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker, and 50 Shades Freed. I try to give everything a fair shake and I’m (usually) not above trying popular bestsellers because sometimes they’re worth it. So you know where I stand on popular fiction series:
- The Hunger Games – read the series, thought the action/idea was compelling, thought it would work great as a movie, wouldn’t read it again
- Twilight – couldn’t get past the first few pages, made my brain ache
- The Da Vinci Code – read about half of the book then put it down. I was too hung up on the poor writing and cheap plot devices.
- Harry Potter – Loved every horcrux-finding, Voldemort-hating, Dobby-serving, magical moment. HP = Awesome.
Since everyone has already dipped their feet in this titillating read, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m not too familiar with the erotica genre although I am sure that there is better smut out there.
It should go without saying that the writing isn’t good. The characters are thin, the plot is weak, and unrealistic drama lurks around every corner. Christian Grey and Ana Steele experience more drama in 5 months than I have in all my 28 years.
However, the book can be enjoyable under these circumstances:
Throw out reality for a few minutes. Clear your mind and purge all thoughts of realistic circumstances. Pretend that there is a man out there, in existence, who is perfect, or who is every woman’s supposed ideal of a man. This man is:
- Extremely good-looking
- Insanely rich
- The head of a company where he has plenty of time to run after you and doesn’t work a lot
- Was a poor, starving orphan (yes, really)
- A sex god
Then this man falls madly in love with you in a creepy, protective, dad-like way although you’re not particularly charming or interesting.
Submerge yourself in a world where this man exists. And he wants YOU. He is obsessed with you, wants to protect you from the world’s evils, gives you gifts including jewelry, a new wardrobe (where everything fits!), lingerie, kinky sex toys, your own room in his mansion apartment, rides in his helicopter and on his yacht, fancy wine, and more. And you didn’t do anything special to get him. You were just your silly, clumsy, uninteresting self, but yet, he loves you!
Come back to reality now. You can read it for the sex scenes only. They are kind of hot. The story as a whole is entertaining.
A few other points about the book:
- Ana has an ‘inner goddess’ (yes, she calls it that), that provides commentary throughout the novel. Ana’s inner goddess offers great, insightful thoughts like: “My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheerleading pom poms shouting yes at me,” and “My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”
- There are details that we don’t want or need, such as STD testing, birth control, Ana’s monthly cycle, and her gynecological checkups. We’ve already suspended reality enough to get through these novels. Let’s leave the gritty, unattractive details out of it.
- The supporting characters are ridiculously one-dimensional. Christian’s sister, Mia, could probably take the cake for the flattest character of all time.
- I may be on a soapbox about this, but 50 Shades is a horrible book for teenage girls. It portrays an unrealistic, borderline abusive relationship. Right now you might be saying, “teenage girls shouldn’t be reading erotica!” To which I think about what I read when I was 16 or 17, and I laugh at you.
- This is not a good book to read on the subway (although I did). You will be judged.
To summarize: Bored? Going on a beach vacation? Haven’t gotten laid in awhile? Read this. If not, read something else.