It’s the book women talk and giggle about over by the office water cooler, huddled around lockers before class, and in the gym. It’s a story every woman from young girls to elderly women is reading, hidden behind the latest issue of Heat Magazine or an Emily Bronte novel. It’s a book you ask sheepishly if others have read (and are shocked when your Nan replies yes!). This is the book that every woman has read, is reading, or is dying to read so naturally I didn’t want to be the only woman who wasn’t. I needed to know what all the hype is about.
I’m not a fan of romance novels (especially those written by women). They’re far too soppy and vomit inducing sweet, so it takes some serious hype or movie adaptation (soppy FILMS I don’t mind) to get me to read it.
Fifty Shades of Grey was the former and I wish I’d never succumb. It turned out to be the most cringy, soppy, sap, everything I had hoped it wouldn’t be; the only difference between that and the countless romantic Mills & Boon-esque novels is Fifty’s ‘Red room of pain’ and an annoying heroine who you have to endure for three books instead of one……
Yet somehow I’ve managed to read all three. (I just can’t leave a book unfinished.)
The story beings with book #1 (surprisingly), Fifty Shades of Grey which to its credit does start out with some semblance of an interesting story. Intelligent, beautiful but shy college graduate stumbles in to the arms of heart-throb billionaire with a messed up history and a penchant for BDSM. Instantly and completely out of character he becomes infatuated with Miss Anastasia Steele (after a few chapters you’ll just keep thinking why?) and changes everything about himself to be with her. And people say women only go out with men they can change/fix!. This all happens quickly, with in the first third of the book, and with out so much as a ball gag or paddle whip being brought in to it. That comes a bit later, eighty or ninety pages later, and for a few chapters the novelty of it makes it a page turner. Some of it is actually pretty hot. But our heroine Anastasia is inexperienced and vitos (says no) pretty much every sexual and slighty kinky advancement Christian Grey (Rich, beautiful billionaire) suggests. By the second third of the book I was bored by Anastasia’s constant crying (literally anything will set her off), moaning, and regular appearances of her inner Goddess (whatever that is). There’s very little to Anastasia’s character, she’s one-dimensional with no depth, little background, and she’s waaaaaaaay to needy.
The only saving grace of the story is Greys character who as the author EL James puts it “is fifty shades of fucked up.” This is the only intriguing aspect of the story and for a while it had my attention, being drip fed tiny drops of why he is how he is way into the second book, Fifty Shades Darker. But like everything else in the story, including lots and lots of “vanilla sex” I lost interest. However, I’m not one to leave a book or trilogy of books unfinished. So I powered through like a trooper and made it to the end. And believe me it was tough. By the third book Fifty Shades Freed I was skipping through all the sex, which saved me a few pages, and just read the rest of the sappy mush. I have honestly never read a book that made me squirm so much. I had vomit in the back of my throat the entire time I was reading. Ii would have been so much more ‘enjoyably’ had they not cried or whispered sweet nothings to each other every time they have sex. How unrealistic and … dull. I should have just read it’s Wikipedia page and saved myself the nausea. Also NOT MUCH HAPPENS. The first book charts about 3 weeks of them getting it on, the second book is them trying to prove who loves the other more and a few crazy ex submissives show up, and in the third book some guy is out to sabotage their relationship, because apparently every man is infatuated with Miss Steele and every woman with Mr Grey. That’s how it is in real life right?
I would like the several days I spent reading this book back please.