Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James Review

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.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


*Sigh* Where do I start with this review? I should probably start with my reason for reading this book in the first place, because this BDSM stuff isn’t my normal reading material. 

Okay, so the movie is coming out early next year and, at the insistence of my cousin and a few of my friends, I finally decided to just read the darn book because we’ve all made a girls’ date to go see this flick. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that I’ve attempted to read this book at least twice already, and have put it down after a few chapters with no intention of ever picking it up again. I seriously just couldn’t get past all the contract stuff involved with their potential relationship and why on earth anyone would let someone hit them for pleasure. Anyway, I borrowed the book from my cousin, FINALLY read the WHOLE thing, and now I’m going to share my thoughts. Here goes…

I’m sure you all know the story by now (seeing as the book has been out for some time, and is quite popular) but just in case you haven’t, I’ll fill you in. The entire novel is written in first person point of view from Anastasia Steele. Ana is college student who covers for her roommate and interviews billionaire businessman Christian Grey. He’s absolutely gorgeous and intimidating, and Ana can’t help but be drawn to him like a moth to a flame—or Icarus to the sun, as was used multiple times throughout the novel. And Christian is drawn to her too, although Ana doesn’t understand why (she has trouble wrapping her head around the idea that someone as beautiful as Christian Grey can like someone like her who is clumsy and not very attractive—pretty much her exact words). Even though she feels this way, she can’t help herself when it comes to Christian, and finds herself entertaining the idea of his sexual lifestyle even though she is very inexperienced (she’s virgin when they meet). You can pretty much guess where the rest of this story goes from here.

So, now for my personal thoughts about this novel. 

I will admit that when I started reading this I really, really disliked it. I could not for the life of me force myself to like Ana. I found her annoying and a little immature. And now that I’ve finished the novel, I’m still not sure how I feel about her. She’s a confused person, that’s for sure. She loves Christian, but doesn’t love his lifestyle choice. She wants to be with him, but doesn’t want to be with him the way he wants to be with her. I feel as though she went into this “relationship” with the intentions that she could change him—that she could turn him from his wicked ways and into the man she wants him to be. Not a good start, in my opinion, for a successful relationship. Christian was an interesting character, and I found myself wanting to know more about him and why he is the way that he is. He has that whole dark and mysterious thing going on, and I really wished that we got to find out more about his past in this book. As for the book itself…it really was just a lot of sex—and not even good sex, if I may be so bold to say so. I did not feel a real sexual connection between Ana and Christian until the end of the book when they actually make love and not f*ck (as Christian Grey would put it). It’s also around that time that I started to like the book because I finally started to feel like there was something more than just sex between them and that they could be a real couple.

Now for pros and cons—or likes and dislikes, as I’m going to call it. Let’s start with the some of the things I disliked about this novel…
- The fact that Ana never had any interest in anyone before Christian—never had the burning desire to kiss someone or be kissed. I just found that a little hard to believe. Not once in her pubescent years did her hormones make her have a tiny little crush on anyone?
- The constant reference to her “inner goddess” and subconscious. 
- How Ana likes to get brave and piss Christian off, knowing darn well what’s going to happen when she does this—and then she gets all nervous when he makes to come through on his threat/promise.
- When Ana describes Christian’s pants “hanging in that way around his hips.” WHAT WAY, woman?
- How Christian had to announce that he was going to “take” Ana, or “have” her. Every. Freaking. Time. She might be innocent, but I think it’s pretty clear when all that kissing and touching is going on that they aren’t going to bake cupcakes—so no need to say your intentions out loud, dear Christian.
- The whole hitting for pleasure thing. TMI maybe, but I’ve never experience this so I don’t get it. I associate hitting with pain. Two of the things that I have strong opinions about are rape and men hitting women. So the fact that he likes to hit her just really set me off.

Okay, now for the things I liked—and yes, I know it’s a shorter list.
- How Christian was when he loosened up. He’s a very interesting character, as I said before, and throughout the novel he’s mostly dark and demanding. But when he lets go and releases his playful side he’s actually quite charming, and I did find myself swooning just a little.
- When Ana finally grew a backbone and confronted him about things—even if it were through email.
- Near the end of the novel when Christian surprises Ana while she’s visiting her mother. The whole showing-up-unannounced thing wasn’t the greatest, but it’s a few scenes after that where I finally started to believe that they could be a loving couple. 

Overall, the book was just okay for me. Am I glad I read it? Sure. Would I read it again? Nope. Am I going to read the next book in the series? Yes. I need to know why this man is the way he is, and I’ve been told I find out in the next book. In all honesty, if this book were written from Christian’s point of view instead of Ana’s, I think I would’ve actually liked it more.


3 out of 5 Stars

*This book review is my own READER opinion. This book was loaned to me for my own reading enjoyment. I was in no way compensated for this review. These thoughts are my own and are no way influenced by others. Thank you! *

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