Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. JamesReleased: April 3, 2012
Format: Trade paperback
Publisher: Vintage

Series: Fifty Shades #1

Source: Library

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.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Everyone and their dog has been reading the Fifty Shades trilogy so I thought I should see what all the fuss was about. I didn’t have high expectations since it started out as Twilight fan fiction and the reviews really run the gamut but I figured it was time to form my opinions.

I have to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. I figured it would be smex scene after smex scene with little characterization but it wasn’t. There was actually some good writing in it. Also some really terrible writing like the whole “laters, baby” business but I enjoyed getting to know Ana and her world much more than I thought I would. There were some nice moments between Ana and Christian and I really liked Kate and Elliott, two of the secondary characters in the novel. In fact, I actually liked Kate best of all of the characters in the book. She seemed the most realistic to me, while Ana and Christian were a bit more generic. It felt like they were a bit limited, maybe because they had to fit into the BDSM relationship that is the centre of the story.

In terms of the more traditionally romantic side, I did like it. I wanted Ana and Christian to be happy — and happy together. I can’t speak the authenticity of the representation of the BDSM community (which has been called into question all over the Interwebs) but I could feel the attraction between the two of them. I could understand why they were drawn to each other, though I couldn’t help but feel that Christian Grey is not the greatest guy since he sort of coerced Ana into the relationship. I know there are a lot of people who love him but I have really mixed feelings about him.

Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t the best book I’ve ever read but it’s also not as terrible as I anticipated. I’d be happy to never read “laters, baby” ever again but I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it wasn’t a completely one-dimensional book. The ending felt a bit abrupt but there are two more books to go. I’m not certain I’ll read them but you’ll know if I do!

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