Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

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Synopsis from Amazon:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

First, if you haven’t read this book and don’t want to be spoiled don’t read this review.

Overall, I kind of hated this book. Actually hated it. Or rather I hated the characters (except Kate who’s the real MVP). Let’s begin with Mr. Christian Grey who likes to be referred to as sir and if you don’t comply you may get punished. Wait, what?

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Going into this novel I knew it was for “mature audiences” and there was going to be some freaky stuff going on. What I wasn’t prepared for was an absolute control freak who is for all intent and purposes is abusive. I’ll allow it to be said that he’s not physically abusive since Ana voluntarily signs up to be abused but he’s verbally abusive. First of all, if Ana doesn’t want to eat he makes her and he tracks down her address, her work address, and her mother’s address because he can. He also likes to know where she is at all times and gets angry when she doesn’t inform him of her whereabouts.

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Of course we do get some insight into where his controlling tendencies and weird sex fetishes come from but sorry that’s not enough for me. First of all he neglects to see that this Mrs. Robinson person sexually abused him (at the age of 15) and what she did was wrong. I personally would like to have a chat with his psychologist, Dr. Flynn who has yet to make it evident to Christian that this was unacceptable.

Instead Christian is still friends with this woman and more than that they’re apparently business partners. Huh?

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Yeah. Also he honestly doesn’t get why Ana’s so hesitant about his “playroom” and spankings. Sorry, Christian but this isn’t really a normal lifestyle. Like at all. Instead Mr. Fifty Shades wishes Ana would enjoy in the fun he feels of causing her pain. Yeah, no.

But our very innocent protagonist goes along with this all the way to the end of the book. She willing goes along with his BDSM and let’s him speak to her any which way and does make sure she keeps in contact with him on a regular and feels both fearful and very apologetic when she doesn’t. The whole book I wanted to knock Ana upside her head and ask her what’s wrong with you? Thankfully, her best friend Kate was there to do that. Though I’ll admit Kate crossed the line sometimes she was looking out for her friend, as she should.

However, despite all this, what kept me going in this book was Christian and Ana’s emails to each other which were actually cute. They had funny, witty banter that made me smile and laugh and think:

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If the book focused more on that relationship and didn’t make Christian so messed up I definitely would’ve enjoyed it more. I understand that Christian has a messed up past and Ana’s here to change all that and blah blah blah they’re in love, etc but I don’t believe in the idea of changing someone. Both Christian and Ana are attempting to change the other to become what they desire in a relationship which causing friction and absurdity.

I constantly found myself angry at both characters: Christian for his behavior and Ana for putting up with it. Overall I don’t recommend this book. It’s not well-written (although the author does use big words so congrats on that) at all. For example, this whole thing that Ana does with her subconscious versus her “inner goddess” was so stupid. Anytime she referred to them I started skimming. It added nothing to the story. And the rolling of the eyes bit was so annoying. If you know Mr. Cray is going to spank you every time you roll your eyes and you don’t want to get spanked stop rolling your eyes and especially stop talking about it. It was like every five pages someone was rolling their eyes. I’m surprised they didn’t get stuck up there.

Also, it seems like E. L. James is trying to make it seem like Ana isn’t actually all that submissive but that’s crap. First of all if she wasn’t that submissive she wouldn’t have ended up in the situation she was in with Christian in the first place. Ana stands her ground occasionally in the most minuscule ways. For example, maybe twice in the book she said no to sex and it isn’t until the end of the book that she resists a spanking but even then she gives the Christian the go ahead to do his worst to her. I had trouble believing Ana was anything but a weak woman who saw a hot guy, immediately thought he was the love of her life, and was too chicken to stand up to his crazy ways and too wrapped in her first sexual relationship to leave him.

And the idea that Christian is some kind of loving guy with a tortured soul? Yeah, okay. It was so far fetched and it seemed like there was two different Christian Greys. There was no need for fifty shades, there’s only two: nice, sweet emails Christian and Christian in real life. When he was nice in real life he quickly switched it off and refused to let himself really love Ana in any healthy kind of way. I found it very hard to sympathize with him and his bad childhood wasn’t enough to convince me he needed saving.

Even so, and I hate myself for it, I’m so curious to find out what happens next I’ll probably read the next book because that’s what makes E.L. James such a successful author. She writes terrible books that hooks you in and you can’t help but wonder what happens next. She literally ended the book with Ana in a car going back to her place. The ending is just so abrupt I feel like it’s missing a last chapter. Therefore I’ll probably read the next one because it’s at the library so why not?

Don’t let yourself fall into this trap however. It’s not worth it. Believe me.

Favorite Line:

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.”

Stars: 1 out of 5. I only give this a one because it’s just good enough to make me keep reading. E. L. James does a good job of making me want to know what happens next even though both of the main characters infuriated me.

Borrow or Buy: BORROW! Do not pay for this book. Just don’t.

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Also in case you haven’t already heard there’s going to be a movie. Check out the trailer below.

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