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Friday, May 11, 2012

Review & Commentary: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

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.

Note: This book and the following review is not for anyone under the age of 18.

This review is not intended to tell you whether or not to read this book because, to be honest, I never would have picked up this book had it not been for the hype and the generous offer from Danielle to lend it to me. Instead, with this review I hope to give you a clearer picture of what you'll be getting into if you decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

Let me start off by saying that this is not my preferred type of reading so it was a surprise to me that I liked it so much. No mater what anyone says, Fifty Shades of Grey is NOT a romance novel, it's not even an erotic romance novel. Honestly, to me it read more like a psychological thriller with very graphic and kinky sex scenes in it, which isn't a bad thing! It makes for a truly fascinating read! Psychology fans will no doubt enjoy analyzing and discussing the characters.

The similarities to Twilight are so obvious to those who have read and paid attention to the books and know the story behind Fifty Shades of Grey. The unbelievably attractive, brooding male and the painfully shy, awkward and plain girl who can't seem to sound remotely intelligent in front of said man. Did I mention that she blushes and whenever they touch there's like an electrical current that makes her gasp out loud? Sounds a lot like Stephenie Meyer's Bella Swan.

Unfortunately, what was endearing and familiar in Meyer's Bella, became borderline unbearable in James' Anastasia Steele. Why? She's not a teenager. She's around 21 for crying out loud and she's in college. It wasn't attractive in the least for Ana to be acting like a schoolgirl around Christian. I almost wanted to yell "Suck it up Ana! Stop being such a ninny around the man and act like a freaking grown woman!" Ordinarily this type of adult character would have made me close the book and forget about it, but by the fourth chapter, Christian Grey grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go.

Christian is a fascinating, albeit destructive and controlling character. From the beginning I wanted to know everything about this man. No, I didn't fall in love with him like I do with other fictional characters, despite his wounded soul (he's a little too wounded for me). I loved the complex nature of him. Just when you think you've figured him out, he surprises you with another side of himself.

For me Fifty Shades of Grey was not about a relationship between two characters, but rather what happens when a powerful controlling man who is accustomed to controlling every variable that comes in and out of his life is thrown a variable he wasn't expecting. It really is a book about Christian, his life and what happens to him when he meets Ana, even though the book is told from Ana's point of view. Again, a fascinating beginning of what is probably a long and difficult journey for Christian and Ana.

Ah but I mustn't forget the real reason people are so up in arms over this book and its successors.

The sex scenes. These scenes are not for the faint of heart or for the very prudish. These are not your momma's sexy times people! They're kinky as hell, a true Dom/sub relationship if ever I've read one. There, you've been warned. Read at your own peril. Or enjoyment, whatever you prefer. But if you're thinking that those very erotic scenes have no reason to be in the book, you're wrong. These scenes are very crucial to the story and to Christian and Ana's development as individuals and as a couple in the later books. So lascivious perverts need not pick up this book thinking it's just a book about kinky sex. I'm not going to say the scenes are beautiful or any other adjective one might use to describe sex scenes in books, but they aren't done in a way that makes a mockery out of what happens between two people who are attracted to each other. Different strokes people, just remember that.

Simply put, if kinky bed play isn't your thing then DON'T READ THIS BOOK! Don't get your panties into a twist, act prudish or go around preaching how "evil" this series or the author is. Trust me, you look and sound like a fool in this day and age.

Fifty Shades of Grey isn't for everyone obviously. You're either going to love it or hate it. I personally love it, though not for the same reasons everyone else does. My best advice? Borrow this book from someone before you go and buy it. If you like it then you'll have lost nothing, however if you hate it, well, I doubt you can get your money back after you've read the book.


Purchase Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James:


  1. Uh oh, now I'm scared to read it. Haha =o)

    1. Aww, I didn't mean to scare you Melissa :D My best advice is to find someone to lend you the book. That way you don't feel like you wasted money in case you don't like it. In my case, I wouldn't be opposed to receiving the books as gifts but I doubt I'll buy them right now because I have such a long list of books ahead of it on my shopping list.

  2. I love reading book reviews, and thanks for linking up and promoting Exposure 99% weekday blog hop.. Following back now and i look forward for your blog. Have a great week..

  3. I've been on the fence about trying this one. I'm sure eventually I will. It's just to controversial for me to pass up :)


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