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Sunday, August 12, 2012

50 Shades of Grey by E.L James


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My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Ahhhh… 50 shades of Grey. It seems like this book has been the subject of many reviews, both positive and negative in recent months. In fact, you can hardly ask anyone to recommend a book these days without having this particular trilogy brought up. And, being that I’m only human, I could only take the temptation for so long……

Now as I get into my review of this book, there are a few things you need to know about me:

1. I am a fan of the Twilight series. In fact, I read all four books in three days. So I was stoked to find out that 50 shades started out as a fanfiction of Twilight. I’ve read so many great stories over the years, that I was intrigued immediately. How much detail had she changed? Would the books beginnings be obvious? Unfortunately… reading this book reminded me too much of Twilight. Like Ms.James was trying too hard to be Stephanie Meyers. For example, her main character Anastasia ”Ana” Steele, called herself “one of the most uncoordinated people in Washington State”. Which as we know, was a title Bella Swan also held. In Washington State nonetheless. At one point Christian Grey even says “I’m breaking all the rules now”, which to me, was even more of a direct a reference to his humble, Twilight beginnings.Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fanfiction. I always have been. But should we really make someone a “best selling author” for characters she’s taken from someone else and altered?

2. I am not familiar with the dom/sub lifestyle. So reading this book was a real education for me. I’m not sure how much of it was taken from the actual lifestyle, but their interaction was enough for me to determine that its just not my cup of tea. And being that he was Ana’s first sexual partner, I somehow can’t see her just going along with some of the things she went along with just to please Christian.

I felt that there was a definite lack of character development. There was so much untapped potential for Ana and Christian to take on more of their own personality. To go less from their twilight “inspiration” and become more their own people, their own characters. The sex scenes took away from the plot instead of adding to it. Yes, I understand this is an “Erotic” novel, but I stand firm in my belief that not only were there too many scenes of a sexual nature, they were laughable. Too many “Oh” and “Ah” for my tastes. Although, and maybe this should go under “positive”, Christian Grey has some amazing stamina.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ana’s “inner goddess” musings. Where at first they seemed like pointless thoughts to add to the word count, they became downright amusing at times.

All in all…. parts of this book flowed smoothly, and were enjoyable, and parts of it were incredibly hard to get through. I did enjoy the ending, probably one of the only times Ana shows any kind of backbone at all. It also left the series open to hopefully be better!

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