Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

29 August, 2014 / 6 Comments

book review

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

My Copy: Paperback, 514 pages
Publication Date: May 25, 2011
Publisher: Vintage
Source: Gift

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.

My Review

What you’re in for: Explicit content. An extremely innocent girl (who has never even held hands with a guy before). A rich and powerful man (who is the opposite of innocent). Sex. Rules. Limits. Punishment and rewards. Control. Power. Domination. BDSM. Multiple personalities?? Annoying main character. “Red room of pain” (a.k.a. the “playroom”).

My Thoughts:
There are so, so many things I hated about this book.  Ugh, it was just not a good read for me at all.  I have had many conversations (more like venting moments) with others about this book.  Do I ever have a lot to say!  I will try to make my review as concise as possible and try not to ramble, but it will be hard!!  I’m also going to try not to make it sound like I’m bashing the book, because I really don’t want to do that. I’m just giving my honest opinions!! Here we go…

Christian. I had very mixed feelings about Christian Grey. He seems to have a sensitive side, considering what he did/how he seemed to feel when he found out Ana was a virgin.

I honestly feel like Christian has multiple personalities or something.  That’s the only thing that makes sense with this character.  I mean, he wants to control Ana in pretty much every way possible, and he wants to physically punish her when she does something as minuscule as roll her eyes in front of him (by the way, that scene — I would think that would totally mess a person’s head up about sex.  Think Pavlov’s dog/bell conditioning).  Then, he’s this sensitive guy who smirks and teases Ana and wants to meet her dad and wants her to meet his mom and OMG he’s totally changing his ways for her.  Except NO!  Newsflash!  He’s not changing.  He still wants her to sign the contract.  He still wants to control her in every way imaginable (if he had it his way).  But then he takes her suggestions into consideration and changes parts of his contract…aww isn’t he sweet?  And then he physically abuses her and doesn’t even bat an eye until it’s over and he asks her if she’s okay, she says she is, and he leaves only to return awhile later to her crying and then he comforts her…………
Doesn’t this sound like two completely different characters????? Does he have multiple personalities????

I did not like Christian’s character. I did not like him one bit. I don’t care how much other people love him or whatever. He’s a controlling d-bag. So what if he is kind of changing his ways for her? He still wants to control her and abuse her and treat her like she is an object, not a human. All the time. Okay, I get that people do the whole role-playing thing sometimes. But, this is not that. This is complete domination and control of another person all the time (or, at least, that’s what Christian wants it to be). This is not acceptable behaviour. Especially if you care about someone. Argh!

Ana. I found it completely unrealistic that she would agree to such a thing as a virgin. I mean, how can someone who held onto her virginity for so long and someone as innocent as Ana ever think that entering into this arrangement would be a good idea? I just don’t see it happening like that in real life.

Annoying main character! God, did she annoy me with her thoughts and her actions.  For example, look at how she perceives something Christian says early on in the book:

“Do you have a girlfriend?” I blurt out. Holy crap — I just said that out loud?
His lips quirk up in a half smile, and he peers down at me.
“No, Anastasia. I don’t do the girlfriend thing,” he says softly.
Oh . . . what does that mean? He’s not gay. Oh, maybe he is! He must have lied to me in his interview.

Ana’s reaction here is so freaking dumb. I don’t care how much experience you have with men. If a guy says that he doesn’t “do the girlfriend thing”, honey, he’s not gay. That phrase is a warning! It screams: Warning! Warning! Dude’s a player! He likes women, but does not do relationships! How do you not get that? How do you get gay from that? ARGH!!

Writing. The writing is extremely poor.  The descriptors are bad and there are tons of repetitions (and not in a good way…just in the way that the author couldn’t think of any different words to use). The words and phrases used just aren’t good for a novel. They are distracting and constantly jerked me out of the story (when I even was able to get into it).  Sometimes, it honestly seemed like the author was just trying to sound smart by choosing bigger words; it just didn’t feel natural and didn’t flow well.

The author needed HELP! The writing felt very unpolished. It was like I was reading a manuscript draft (not a first draft, but maybe second or third). Which means that the editor/publisher did not do their job! I think you know how much things like this frustrate me by now. Grr!

Story. The story sucked. There really wasn’t much of a story at all. It was difficult to get into (which was partly because of the poor writing). I don’t have much experience with reading erotica. I think the only other erotica novel I read was Tears of Tess and it was much better than this (and not nearly as popular).

Overall. I don’t get it. I do not understand all the hype. I do not understand why so many people have even read this book or how it became so popular. There is nothing great (or, really, even good) about this book, in my opinion. It should not be in the spotlight as much as it is. It’s just not good. I will not continue the series. I’m not sure whether I will see the movie, either. I mean, there is no freaking story, so how can they make a movie off this book? It will basically just be a porno. Don’t you think??

1.5 stars blue

Looking for more opinions of this book?

5/5 rating from Bookfever
3.5/5 rating from Novel Heartbeat
3/5 rating from My Little Pocketbooks
1/5 rating from Nose Graze


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Posted 29 August, 2014 by Sam in Book Reviews, Books / 6 CommentsTags: , , , , , ,

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6 Responses to “Review: Fifty Shades of Grey”

  1. I agree completely with everything you said! Unfortunately, due to all the hype about this book/series, I ran out and bought the trilogy. I literally had to force myself to read on after only a short while (and this was the first book – there were 3!!) but since I had spent the money, I felt compelled to finish! ug and double ug! WASTE OF MY TIME! I don’t get the hype either, I really don’t!

  2. This was really interesting to read as I haven’t read the book (nor do I plan to). Your review supports my theory that the books really aren’t popular for their writing content but more for their, uh, *other* content, if you know what I mean!

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