I decided for my vacation, I needed to take a new book with me, and wanting to see what all the fuss was about, I decided on Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’d heard a bit about the book and was curious. The last time I heard a big fuss about a book, it was Twilight……and that was possibly the greatest disappointment to literature to say the least. Those who have known me well/long enough undoubtedly remember my scathing review of the book that I posted in my facebook notes on my personal profile. (I remember I made some people angry…..and others quite happy. Lol) I was hoping Fifty Shades would not be the same. According to what I have been hearing about the book in the news lately, it seemed much more interesting–especially after I heard it was to be banned from libraries due to its erotic content, and had been dubbed “porn” and “smut” by some communities.
Banned books with erotic content? Oh yes, that catches my attention.
So I bought the book and read it over the course of my vacation and I have to say it is quite a read. I don’t want to spoil too much, but it certainly lived up to its notoriety.
The story follows Anastasia (Ana for short) Steele and her tumultuous affair with the millionaire (or is it billionaire? I don’t believe the book ever clearly states exactly how rich he is, though it is clear the guy is loaded) CEO Christian Grey of Grey Enterprises and Holdings. Christian has interesting sexual tastes, to put it mildly, and introduces Ana to the world of S&M, pain and pleasure, subs and doms. Christian requests that Ana become his submissive; and though Ana is inclined to do whatever she can to remain with Christian, her inexperience and fear of him make her hesitate. Even once Christian begins to lean more towards what Ana desires, she is nervous about his lifestyle and what darkness lurks in Christian’s past that molded him into the person he is.
That’s the basic summary, without giving away too much. I hate giving spoilers, but the book is quite addicting and can be hard to put down. There are S&M themed scenes but they are quite tame in my opinion…..but then again I have read books like The Story of O and Exit to Eden, so I have read things far more outrageous than Fifty Shades.
I do have a few problems with the book, minor as they may be. I can guarantee you for one thing that by the time you complete this novel and are ready to move on to the other two in the trilogy, you will be utterly sick of hearing about how Ana rolls her eyes and bites her lip, and how Christian cocks his head to one side. Though the author added to characterization of these two people by introducing these interesting quirky gestures, it simply got annoying to read for me. Hearing about Ana rolling her eyes every couple of paragraphs was enough to make me want to roll my eyes. Like I said, it was an interesting quirk to add in these typical gestures for each character; it certainly made them seem more “real”. The repetition of said gestures, however, can get nauseating.
The extreme level of amazing that Christian is in the book is also kind of out there. Seriously, I know the guy is a CEO and everything, but he is simply too wealthy. Also, he’s described as being a “greek god” and an “Adonis” and every female that encounters him blushes and gets nervous around him. Luckily his dark past and controlling and overbearing tendencies balance out his character some, making him a little more… believable….? I don’t know, the stalking was a bit irksome. He kept tabs on her to a point where it really wasn’t healthy and Ana even acknowledges this.
Ana, on the other hand, has the one flaw that all writers seem to instantly instill into their female leads: she’s clumsy. Come on, seriously? Everyone seems to go with that flaw when they develop the heroine. Also, she rarely dresses up and every dress she wears is a dress she borrowed from her best friend/roommate another classic flaw in romance heroines. Why couldn’t it be something else? This is a PSA to all authors out there: stop making your female lead a clumsy girl who rarely dresses up. It’s old and worn out, please come up with something else.
Despite those complaints, I did somewhat enjoy the book. The sex scenes are ultra hot, and I was compelled to find out what happened to Christian Grey to make him the way he is. Ana could be an interesting character and I was eager to see how a girl like her would react to this dark world she was introduced to. The first book had a perfect logical ending, one which in my opinion seemed realistic, believable, and true to the characters. There are two books which follow Fifty Shades of Grey though: (as I mentioned earlier, it is a trilogy) Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. I hope to read both of these very soon, and find out what the next developments will be with Christian Grey and Ana Steele and how their story ends.