Spoiler Alert: There may be comments in this review that you would prefer not to see if you plan to read the books.
Ok, first no judgments please! I was coerced into reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, forced! My neighbor offered me the book and I declined. Then I found it on my porch. This happened last summer. Then she asked me several times if I had read it yet. After six months I decided to peruse it so I could return it and let her know if I liked or disliked it.
My neighbor loved it. She loved the whole trilogy. She is older than I am. My thought was holy cow what’s in this book!
It’s an easy read especially if you are older. That is because you breeze through the sex parts. If you are young you may want to read them twice. It’s the same old plot. Girl meets guy who is perfect in every way except one and she struggles with whether she can change him. Guy meets girl who he thinks will fill his sexual fantasies period. Not all that unusual (except for the fantasies part).
The writing is terrible. The phrases are redundant and repetitious. I read a few reviews and some writers did word counts which are hilarious.
The heroine if you can call her that is either dumb or naïve or a combination of both. Ana is a 21-year-old virgin (yeah, really hard to believe) just graduating from college. Christian Grey is drop dead gorgeous (of course) and obscenely rich. It’s almost like reading a Danielle Steel book (with a little extra kink and worse writing) where everyone is perfect except for that one thing.
Ana’s vocabulary is limited although she is supposed to be very bright. Her favorite words which you find on every page include “crap,” “down there” (do I have to explain that one to you?), “inner goddess” (which is located down there) and “oh my.” She blushes at least once on every page even when there is no sex going on. She chews on her lower lip constantly which causes Christian to want to “boink” her on the spot (wonder what her dentist thinks of all those lip sores?). There are many (ad nauseam) “sharp intakes of breath.” I also was astounded at how accomplished she was at sex for being a virgin.
I only read the first book. There really wasn’t an end and I think that was purposeful. No closure will get you to read the second and so on.
Having had enough of the poor writing, I decide to Google the title with spoiler. That gave me reviews that are a synopsis of the other two books. They look like more of the same with some progress. They get married, have children, deal with bullies and past partners but there isn’t an ending or resolution. Does she ever change him? Does he really love her? Why are they the way they are? Can they keep their hands of each other’s junk?
It’s not the Kama Sutra but I must say that I did learn some things. Thank God for Mr. Google. I had no idea what a butt plug is but you can buy them on Amazon. I know what vanilla sex is and safe words.
Hidden under the banality of the novel were glimpses of a classic “abuse mentality” that I didn’t like. It seemed to me that Ana took responsibility every time Christian became angry or unhappy. That made me uncomfortable especially since he often threatened to spank or beat her in some way. Others have said that they felt differently since it was two consenting adults and the violence was just active foreplay. Ouch!
I am not a prude but this was not my cup of tea for more reasons than the sex. However, the writer is a genius. She found a way to sell three poorly written books with the probability of more in the making. Cha-ching, cha-ching! Why didn’t I think of that!
(Note: There is no judgement on anyone who enjoys this stuff either.)
Art credit: Image is the book cover courtesy of Wikipedia. That tie is used to tie up Ana for some of the sex scenes!