148 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Nicole H. reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 46
read this in an afternoon as it is definitely light reading. Let's be honest, the buzz about this book is the sex, and it's all pretty vanilla. As far as the rest of it: dialogue, character development, story line....this is middle school stuff. The female protagonist utters the same dialogue over and over whether it is out loud or in her head and it is boring and tired by page 5. Christian Grey is the epitome of every girl's bad boy fantasy, typical and predictable. All that being said, I couldn't put it down and am headed to Target now to get the other two in the series. This is poolside reading, an afternoon's distraction. I will be adding the other two as soon as I'm finished as these are definitely not books I need in my library.
This book was terrible. It was written by someone who has zero command for a creative use of the English language. Repetitive - not very interesting - and not even very racy. If you want to read a book of porn, or a book that caters to the BDSM lifestyle, start somewhere else - ANYWHERE else.
This is one of the most annoying books I have ever had to read (thanks to book club). Read the reviews on www.amazon.com before you dive into this. It just is NOT worth your time - and you'll never get the time you waste reading it back.
Based on some reviews, I thought this book would be a thinly-plotted, loosely narrated jumble of sex scenes, but since I kept hearing about it everywhere, I decided to read it anyway; I didn't want to be the only human on Earth who hasn't. Boy was I wrong! Although there IS a lot of sex in this book (a LOT!), the main focus is the relationship between Ana and Christian. I'm not saying it's great literature--it's not, but I recommend this book to anyone who can handle (or likes) erotic writing--this one is definitely worth reading.
I managed to get about half way through the book. I cant finish it. one of the worst books I've ever... attempted to read and wont be finishing it. SO tired of her chewing on her lip, and her inner Goddess. In real life if someone hunts down ever bit of information on you, your cell number, wants to know everything your doing, mad if you talk to another male it's stalking. this dope thinks it's ok to do?? I dont understand the hype about the books to me they are just so horribly written I cant even struggle through.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. It has so many fans and glowing reviews. But after 3/4 of the book, I wasn't left with an understanding of why it has been so well received. Instead, I was scratching my head. I have a love for emotionally charged BDSM romantic fiction, Fifty Shades of Grey was not was I was looking for. To be quite honest, I found it boring and the narrator was so very annoying.
The author obviously has talent and a love of words, many, many words, some of which are misused and redundant. This book could have used a very thorough edit. It's overwritten, the protagonist is the epitome of a Mary Sue and the pacing drags. I found myself skimming to get to the meat of the story, hoping Ms. James would finally alleviate the boredom and give me something, anything, to keep me reading. Unfortunately, that never happened.
I know this book started its life as Twilight fanfic and it really shows. Ana was very similar to Bella -- banal, flaky and irritating with her endless maudlin ruminating. Christian was very like Edward if you simply changed vampire to dominant. He was also creepy, controlling and immature. Sound familiar?
As I said, I really wanted to like this and I'm disappointed I didn't.
This book is as sad and depressing as they come.
Sure, EVERYONE is reading it, but that's probably because no one wants to be left out from having something to say about it.
This is NOT a steamy, erotic romance story, like it's being advertised. It's domestic violence. Seriously. It actually hurt to read, partially because the writing itself is wretchedly un-adult, and partially because Ana is so stupid.
Christian is NOT a likable guy at all. His only positive traits are his wealth and his willingness to spend it on Ana. He is cold, shallow, uptight, possessive and a total @$$.
Ana is a pathetic dumb fawn who tragically mistakes physical attraction for love. Seriously. She does. He's hot, so she thinks she loves him, despite him being OCD-level obsessed with stifling her. He actually sells her car against her will because he doesn't like it. He buys her a Blackberry, and has it delivered to her at work, so he demand she talk to him whenever he wants. He follows her, against her wishes, on a vacation to visit her family.
It is a sad commentary on our society that this book is as popular as it is. If I'd known how pathetic this story is, I would have avoided it.
It is rare that I don't finish a book, even a bad one. I always have faith that it will grab me eventually and be worth my time. But this was so very poorly written I didn't make it past 50 pages or so. The characters lacked depth and were completely unbelievable. They seemed like caricature of a caricature. The innocent virgin turned vixen, the gruff, young, handsome billionaire that is inexplicably drawn to her. My inner goddess was rolling her eyes until I finally just gave up in disgust.
I can't believe this book is so popular. I bought it because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Christian Grey is domineering and it's not attractive at all. The plot and writing style are horrible. Read this book only if you are interested in the sex scenes. Definitely a book you can skim through....in fact, I got bored and didn't finish it.
This is one of the most poorly written books I've ever read. I'm frankly appalled by how many people think it's so wonderful. It makes Twilight read like a Pulitzer Prize winner. Speaking of Twilight, this book's roots, shall we say, I didn't think I'd find a more pathetic, self-loathing character than Bella. But, lo and behold, there is Anastasia. I got closer and closer to puking every time she marveled at how such a handsome man could fall for such a plain, boring, ordinary girl like her. Spare me...
As for the sex scenes, yes, there are many. They, too, are ridiculous. I've read a lot of erotica - both cheesy and/or poorly written as well as wonderfully sensual and titillating. This takes the cake for bad erotica. Want to read a more fascinating take on S&M? Read Nine & a Half Weeks. Want to read better, more sensual erotica? Read some Anais Nin.
I also did not understand why it was so popular. I couldn't even finish the book it was that bad. It was WAY to sexual for my taste, and had really no plot or purpose. The writing is average, nothing special. Don't waste your time reading it.
I wasnt disgusted by the sex scenes nearly as much as I was annoyed with the relationship between the two main characters, Ana and Christian. I felt like the book idolized a very unhealthy relationship between the characters. Their relationship was immature and lacked the qualities of a healthy connection. Maybe I am a bit biased due to the fact that I was a psychology major in college, but I was bothered by their constant back and forth bickering. The controlling aspect that Christian had over Ana worried me that some people may think this kind of dating situation is healthy. There are already so many broken marriages due to people not knowing how to work together or treat one another, so we dont need a book to glorify such an unstable relationship. The book just made it seem like this is okay and the way that a relationship should be.
I was also annoyed by the writing style the author used. The repetition got old fast!!
The story line was so unbelievable that I laughed at how pathetic it was.
Im not sure why I forced myself to finish it. Whats worse is that I have read the second book in the trilogy and am currently reading the third one, but its not because Im enjoying the books. I was just curious to see what the hype was about and honestly Im still not sure after having read 2/3 of the trilogy. My inner goddess will be angry with me if I ever read another book by this author.
This book is fantastically awful like a soap opera or any of The Bachelor franchise. It is just plain bad and over the top. Yeah, it's sexy, but the writing is terrible and the characters are nothing better than tragic. I know I have to read the next two, but if I read "my inner goddess," or "this control freak" one more time I swear I will throw up in my mouth. Yet I can't wait to start the next one- just like I can't wait until the next Bachelor Pad starts up. Really, really, I find it so fascinating that some of the most popular books over the last decade have been, at their core, about gender and power. Hmmmm.
If I don't like a book, I usually just set it down and move on with my life. In this case, however, I couldn't resist writing a review.
I'll admit--I was curious what all the buzz was about. I had a vague idea what this book was about, and I was totally ok with the idea.
But . . .
I couldn't make it past page 122. This book was horrendous. The writing was terrible (enough with the "Oh my." and "Holy $(&@." already). The main characters were terrible (I could go into why, but I don't want to write any spoilers). The plot line was terrible (the whole time I kept saying "realllly?" as I rolled my eyes).
Don't get me wrong--I get the appeal. But overall, this book was just terrible. It was degrading and pedantic. I am STILL shaking my head as to why it's a bestseller.
After hearing about this book, I was intrigued. So once I received it I could not wait to begin reading. It was hyped up to be an erotic tale, "mommy porn", if you will, but that was no where close. The book has two main characters, Christian and Ana. It is a dark, hollow depiction of the life of Christian. Sadly I feel like a great story has been lost the the over zealous need for sexual satiation of the readers. It is a beautiful story of how one woman not afraid of being true to who she is and her needs of a true love help a damaged, shut down Christian entertain the notion that he just might be able to love back for the first time in an intimate relationship. I strongly recommend that the readers, read between the lines on this one, as you will miss a beautiful love story if you don't.
I have read this trilogy, and to me it is nothing but porno. Not much of a story, and way too much graphic sex. I prefer inuendo, and my own imagination, when it comes to sex in a book. Not the hard, graphic, down to detail descriptions that these books offer. I read all three hoping to finally get to some good story line, but it really never happened. My impression is that these books were written simply for shock value, and to see just how graphic one could be when describing sex acts. Also, the S & M involved turned my stomach.
I guess if you are in to this sort of stuff, then these are for you, but I still like the sweet, romance for romance type books.
I enjoy reading books with strong female lead characters and this is definitely not one of them. The writing is juvenile as is the story. Plus Christian Grey seemed way too young to have all that power and control. I do not recommend this unless you don't care about the story and plan to skim through to check out the S&M parts.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, I almost didn't read this book because there was too much hoopla about sex and having read paranormal erotica most of my adult life, I figured it was much ado about nothing. But this book isn't about sex and although nothing in it surprised me, what did was how I could relate to it. Although I've never been into S&M, we all have our limits and to be in love with someone who asks you to go beyond, well, which is greater? The value of your limits or the value of your love, that's the real question. Can't wait to read the next one.
Fifty Shades of "Crap," blushingly said, as I bite my lip....., July 14, 2012
This is my review from amazon.com:
This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)
Oh ye of little faith.....Ye have said it all before me! This was one of the most hilariously, poorly written tomes that I have ever read! And I'm only up to the infamous contract! I will admit, I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so I received this book as a trade from Paperbackswap.com. No cash outlay. As a high school teacher, I do feel that this could be a naive teenager's fantasy of a relationship- the inexperienced virgin, who blushes constantly, murmuring "Oh, crap" so convincingly. The male protagonist- devastatingly handsome, billionaire, concert level pianist, accomplished pilot, but with one fatal flaw....he's totally into the BDSM scene. As my students would say...."booooo-ring." Whatever. LOL.
I gave in to the hype and borrowed this book from a friend. I got about 150 pages read and had to give it back. This is a very bad romance novel. I have no idea why there is so much hype about this book.
Ana is so not believable. How can she be 22 and still be a virgin and then she lets a man that is into some very weird and kinky sex to be the first guy she goes to bed with...I don't think so. And she is always putting herself down...why??? Is she that insecure about herself??? I wanted to slap her and tell her to grow up.
The back cover of the book says that it is a Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist for best romance. I have read some romance in the past that were a whole lot better then this piece of garbage. I don't know what they consider a good romance but this is not one in my opinion. I am sorry I every borrowed it...glad I didn't give in and buy it because I would have wasted my money.
Anyway I am not going to finish this book much less read the rest of the series.
An amusing story that is horribly written and gets more predictable as it goes on. Character development is lacking, and despite the author's attempts at making Grey unpredictable, he is anything but. The author is in desperate need of a thesaurus. By the end, I fully admit I was only reading it for the sex scenes. If erotica is what you're looking for, this is passable. Barely.
Ellen O. (elleno) reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
I have to agree with the other reviews.
I cannot even believe they are making a movie of this.
There are far better books that could be made into a Movie (I.E. Laurell K Hamiltons Anita Blake Series, or Sherrilyn Kenyons Acheron).
This book, wow. It's like it was written by a teenager.
awful, just awful.
This book has claimed the most annoying book I've read this year title! Poorly written and disappointing. I can't believe this thing was on the best seller list and people are goofy about it. It is not even erotica. I began wishing for zombies or vampires to show up and kill the main characters, of course nothing that inventive occurred.
This book is a disservice to erotica, BDSM, and the English language.
This is a poorly written book designed to create as many sexual episodes as possible without any redeeming literary value. I read it to the end believing that the author would make some reasonable attempt to make a novel out of it and was greatly disappointed. If you want to read about a selfish man who believes that the only way to relate to a woman is to "ef" her and beat her then this is the book for you. I am ashamed of myself for having been conned into buying the thing and was happy to be rid of it.
Of course I jumped at the chance to read this book after so much hype. I was even more intrigued when I read it is going to be a movie. The book is Ok, I've read better but it's not bad either. I like Ana and Christian. They do have good chemistry and it did keep me wanting to find out why Christian is the way he is. Ana was at times annoying but I did like Christian's character. There are times when I hated him and loved him at the same time. It did keep me wanting to find out more about their story and see how Ana could put up with Christian's dominant ways. The writing is nothing fantastic and there are certain words that are so over used and Jeez is one of them. I can't wait for the second book.
Good story, terrible writing, decent smut. Anastasia is really annoying but there is definitely something about Christian Grey that is very intriguing though. I really don't get all the hype surrounding this book but I did find it fun reading about Portland/Vancouver and Seattle since I live here. I'll probably go on and finish the other two but glad that I'm getting these for Kindle via the public library and not actually paying anything for these books or I would have been sorely disappointed.
Having been in the BD/SM community for a few years already, I'm missing the hype that this series of books has brought on. But then, if I look at the regular, vanilla society where this type of sexual play is "taboo," then I understand why all these women are going goo-goo gaa-gaa for it...and their partners for the after effects. For me, I found it to be rather irritating most times because of the lack of honest and open communication between the two main characters, which is a MUST for this type of sexual and emotional play. In addition, I was bored and it didn't get my engines running like all my vanilla girlfriends promised, but they didn't know I've already been in the "scene," which is why, I'm sure, I was bored with this book. I'd say for the masses, it's wonderful that it's bringing something taboo out in the open - I just wish that if the author was going to do that, she would have also felt more responsibility to slip in the extreme importance of open and honest communication, paid more attention to limits (both hard and soft), and stressed the importance of a healthy emotional state of mind and trust for the dominant before beginning this type of play.
Because of all the hype, I thought I should give this book a chance. What a waste of a credit! I thought it was trash, at least the bit of it I could read. I was hoping to feel some sympathy for the characters, even if I did not like what they were into, but I couldn't at all. This is actually my first review, I usually only rate by stars, but I just want anyone in doubt about this book to not waste a credit!!!
Without question, one of the worst books I have ever read. Absolutely horrid. I could not get past 100 pages. As so many others have noted on these pages and other reviews, it is an ASTONISHINGLY POOR READ. This is the deal: this book was written as fan fiction and was not supposed to be published. Someone got it to an editor and here we have this vapid mess foisted onto the world. What's worse than the appallingly bad writing is that so many adult women ate this up -- a fact that is truly scary to me. This book reads like a 16 year old wrote it as fan fiction for another 16 year old. I was not so much insulted by the shockingly poor writing but more so that they -- the author, editor, and publishing company -- think so little of american women that this crap passes as fiction. Please don't waste your precious time and money reading this crap. There are so many other talented writers out there who are much more deserving.
Started to read this book & began to laugh. So much hype & not worth the trees destroyed to print this mess. I could go on & on but life's way to short. Just a terrible piece of crap. Trust me there are much better books out there....
Ginny H. reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I heard about it was curious. She proceeded to torture me with her writing. The first two chapters were just awful. Hoping it would get better, I did continue. The characters were entertaining but this is very much _not_ a keeper. The story is rather tedious and a compete fantasy. Horribly unbelievable and badly written.
I really enjoyed this book. I've read this one and the second and about to start the third. I was a curious to see what the books were about after all the hype. Frankly, I was expecting them to be much worse. I've read books much more sexual than these. Sure there is sex involved but it focuses more on how each character handles and reacts to the other characters sexual past, from innocent to over the top. *SPOILER*So he has a thing for BDSM and a playroom, but by book two they've only used it twice. Ok there is more sex than that but normal relationship, in a bed kind of stuff and not as descriptive as I've read before. If you are the type of person that only enjoys reading romance without the steam, this isn't for you. But if you enjoy romance with just a little flavor then I'd recommend this book to you!
E.L. James has a great love story. You are rooting that love overcomes all obstacles. She brought to reader's attention kinky sex, but didn't go into more detail about the world of it. She left me wanting more information.
I gave in. Okay, I read it...
The way everyone I know ranted and raved about this book (trilogy), I guess I expected more. This book is tame compared to some others I have read and it's not very well written. Maybe I have lead a more exciting life than I thought...but really....the whole book is "vanilla". I think my favorite part was Ana and Christian's emails back and forth...they made me giggle. Give in to the temptation...read it...maybe you'll like it....I liked it, but I'm not interested in reading the other two installments in the trilogy.
Laters, baby. ;-)
I admit, I like it a lot. Actually, despite what is said about it, the erotic content is really quite tame compared to a lot of books out there, mostly due to how they are written. That being said, its origins as Twilight fan-fiction are quite obvious while reading, despite the changes made, as it is very much along the lines of the same writing style and level. Thus, it's rather poorly written but fun to read, just as I've always said about the Twilight books. So, if you like those, you'd likely love this one as well. If you get past the sex scenes, which get a bit repetitive after a while, and read for the core storyline, it's shaping up to be truly quite good as a trilogy. I'm quite interested in learning more about Christian Grey, and so the books have definitely successfully hooked me. This will never be considered great literature, but I think it can be fairly considered good entertainment for a certain audience, and sometimes that's exactly what you're in the mood for.
Funny how I agree with most of the reviews I've read about this book: the good and the bad! Like everyone, I wondered what all the fuss was about. I've read Ellora's Cave and Aphrodesia books, so I wondered what make this book such a big deal. Not the BDSM because that actually plays a small role in actuality. On the bad side, the writing was very middle-school level and there were times (esp in the first book) when Ana was a little annoying. But I couldn't put it down! Yes, the sex was hot, but not overly explicit like you find in the books by EC and Aphrod. Also, in the EC and Aphrod books, you mostly have 50 pages of sex followed by a couple of pages of loose plot, then more sex. Not so here. Yes, there is lots of sex, but it actually has the emotions, feelings, and plot to carry it. And Christian is the ultimate 'hero' that we romance readers love to read about. He's hot, sexy, flawed, alpha, masterful, and did I mention HOT! On that level, he would fit right in with Ward's BDB. However this was brought down to a more realistic (if you can believe that someone so young can amass such an empire) level, and it's the evolution of Christian that takes center stage throughout the three books. Why he is like he is and how Ana gently helps him heal is beautifully woven into the story. By the end of the third book, I didn't even notice the writing style that had annoyed me earlier (most of which probably has to do with the author's journalistic background), and I was very sorry for the books to end. In my opinion, the first book sets up the story, but it's the weakest of the three. I really liked these books, and for a totally different reason than I thought I would when I picked them up!
Hated it, hated it, hated it. Poorly written, monotonous and repetitive dialog, and I didn't care about the characters AT ALL. I have no problem with the sex, but I did have a problem with the heroine's willingness to humiliate herself because of her lukewarm interest in this "bad boy". I've never written a review before, but was moved to do this one if I could spare just one person from wasting their time with it.
Kimberle M. reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Amazing. I laughed, I cried and I was angry. I was emotional through this book. I would recommend this for any ADULT to read. You when read E L James' books you have to read them in order or you will not know what is going on. The second book picks up right where the first ended. As is the same for the third book.
This book is horrid. The writing is just soooo baaaad. It made me laugh. It was so badly written it made me laugh.
Onto the bdsm aspects. This is not an example of a healthy bdsm relationship. Not even a little bit. You have to gain the trust and respect of your sub before you push hard limits. Otherwise it's just abuse and mind-fuckery.
Christian is an asshole and Anastasia needs to wake the fuck up.
Make sure you have all 3 books in your possession or at least the first 2 with third in buying/ borrowing range. They are rather lengthy books about 500 pages. I found the climax in book 1 came on the next to last page and was happy I had the 2nd book so I could start reading immediately.
Fifty Shades Trilogy
1. Fifty Shades of Grey
2. Fifty Shades of Darker
3. Fifty Shades of Freed
Meet Anastasia she is a simple girl getting ready to graduate from College and start her new adult life. She has lead a very quiet life. Her roommate asks her to do her a favor and interview some rich billionaire for the school newspaper. Sparks fly between Ana and Mr. Grey. Mr. Grey is dark, secretive and controlling. Will Ana be lead into Temptation?
Had to read the books because everywhere I turned people were talking about it. I was a little disappointed. Yes, there is sex on almost every page but unless you are into that kind of Sex it will do nothing for you.
I kept screaming walk away. I found her too weak and him too controlling. My mental picture for Mr. Grey was Robert Pattinson. I found out later that the books were fan fiction, based on the Twilight characters.
I really enjoyed this book! I have even read the second one in record time! I love the way the story line is written...I find it very explicit and detailed, but really found the book to be more about the evolving relationship between the characters. Its very much a love story and the connection that develops between two very different ppl-you know what they say "opposites attract!" Happy reading!
Oh my, where to begin. If you read the first book in the series, you must read all three. They could have been shortened into two, with all of the redundanccy. On the Dr. Oz show all the women talked about the eroticness of the book, but only one woman spoke about what I saw. The controlling behavior, the stalking, etc. I saw the very dark side of this man and his memories of his childhood and teenage years. I now feel that there may be lots of this behavior, some controlled, and some out of control that lands people in jail. If this man had not been wealthy, good looking and mesmerizing, it would not have been a good story. I'm sure this was written for the awakening of sexuality, and it certainly does that. I'm glad I read them to find out what everyone has been talking about.
oh geez, what have i have gotten myself into???!!!!! the book was amazing. it shows the real side of BDSM, not the side that makes people think it's all about beating and pain. I fell in love with christian and ana right from the start. even with all of their differences, i think they are made for each other. i can't wait to start part 2!
I picked this book up to see what all the fuss was about. It is not greatly written and the first 2 books lack plot. It does have lots of sex scenes, but I found myself skipping some due to there repetitve nature. Also the author used words over and over and over... I understand the fuss over the book because of the S&M scenes, but it was far-fetched at times and annoying the rest.
Book 3 was my favorite. It at least had a plot, climax and resolution.
WOW! is right! I loved this trilogy. You need to read all three to really judge the story. I agree---not for the faint of heart, but the characters pull you in as they develop in book two. My heart ached for them both at times and I laughed out loud at some of the texting and emails. If you can read without judging the lifestyle, you'll enjoy the books----but read all three.
I really liked this book. I know alot of people have mixed reviews and I get that after finishing this book. The book has its ups and downs but I did like it. I however did not like the ending. I know why it ends like it does (no spoilers here) but I still wish it ended differently. On to Fifty Shades Darker.
I just finished all three "Fifty Shades" books and I really cannot write a review about the books individually, so my review applies to entire series, which I consider to be one story.
I had heard so much about this series that I was almost afraid to start reading it. It seems like people either really love it or hate it. I, for one, really loved it!
I was expecting something much darker and, while there are certainly elements of BDSM in the story, the focus is on the growing relationship between Christian Grey - a very rich businessman with LOTS of baggage - and Ana Steele - a college student turned recent graduate with a surprising inner strength, who refuses to lose herself to his will.
There were a couple of scenes in the entire series where I almost hated Christian for reacting in certain ways, but overall, I really liked both characters throughout the books. Both were flawed to various degrees and had to work and compromise with each other around those flaws to grow as individuals and as a couple.
I certainly wasn't expecting the humor I found in the books. Some of my favorite parts were Ana's internal dialog with her "subconscious" and her "inner goddess" throughout the story. I also really liked the emails exchanged between the two main characters.
You absolutely have to read all three books to get the entire story and I HIGHLY recommend having "Fifty Shades Darker" on-hand before you finish "Fifty Shades of Grey". Trust me - you will want to go straight from the first one into the second one.
In addition, at the end of the last book ("Fifty Shades Freed"), there is an extra short story that re-tells the incidents of their first couple of meetings from Christian's point of view. (They were told from Ana's point of view in the first book.)
All in all, I am very glad that I read these books and that I had all three on-hand before I started reading the first one. I rarely give books 5 stars, but these books get a perfect rating from me because they drew me into the story to the extent that when I finished the last book, I felt a sense of loss because I will miss these characters. In my opinion, that is the mark of a great story-teller and a great story. I look forward to future works by Ms. James.
Fifty Shades = that B movie that critics panned and bombed at the box office, but has a cult following. It's so unbelievably bad, it's good, kinda.
The excessive use of I also irks me. Ana's clumsiness also seems a tad overdone.
Christian= creep. He tracks her using her cell phone! Hello stalker!
I don't like how the author made Ana asexual (I get the virginity thing- that's popular in books, but never masturbated, really??) and then she meets Christian. Then, all of a sudden she can't stop thinking about it?! She also doesn't run in the other direction when she reads the rules/contract. I thought Ana showed some spine at the very end.
I'm tired of reading how Christian is so handsome, complicated, etc. I get it. Then there is Ana's "inner goddess" and Ana's "subconscious."
I didn't like how it was implied the those into BDSM = broken and need to be "fixed."
Overall, while I had issues with the book, it was entertaining in it's own way.
I read this book for my book club. The story line was weak, but what really irked me that there is so much hype about this book that is so poorly written! I would hate for the youth of our country to get such a devalued view of sex. Very few people in my book club saw very little value in this book!
'Holy Crap' how many times did Ana say this in the course of this book? Every time I went to work, I shared the awfulness of the writing with my co-worker and we laughed and laughed. I am usually all caught up in the books I read, but I seriously had to force myself to finish this one. Had to, just to see if it got better (it didn't). I have the other two books in the series (through paperbackswap) don't know if I can get through them or not...
I decided to get and read this book because of all of the hype about it and an alleged movie based on the book being considered.
The book was well written. There is an interesting story line along with copious amounts of "soft porn". It does give insight into the 'taboo' subject of BSDM, but it also allows us some depth into the main characters.
I liked this well enough that I ordered the other two books in the Trilogy. I've finished book 2 and am reading book 3. At this point, the sexual escapades have become a bit overkill for my preference, but the plot of the characters sustains me and there is a suspenseful side story in book 3 (Fifty Shade Freed) that I'm enjoying.
Don't be afraid to read this book if you're open-minded enough to grasp that missionary style sexual experiences aren't all there is in the world. The characters of Ana and Christian and their discoveries about themselves through the trilogy make an absorbing read.
Well, I am "behind the times" & just now finished reading this, when the rest of the world read it 2 years ago, I was intrigued enough to order book 2. I did enjoy the relationship part of the story...many things about this man are appealing, although dark. I agree with past reviewers about much of the dialogue between characters is annoyingly unrealistic for supposedly educated, intelligent people. Especially Ana's constant thoughts of "holy F***" really? who talks that way? Some disturbing parts...I think she is childish with relatively low self-esteem, & that bothers me. When her guy expresses the desire to hurt her..& she allows it....well, it makes me want to slap her! The voyeur in me wants a peek into this dark, weird world.
After reading the other reviews, I find myself agreeing with two of them. I almost did not get this book because I actually thought it was just going to be a lot of porn and no plot. A friend recommended it so i figured i would give it a try. It had a number of sex scenes, probably some that many will feel are over the top, but the story was engrossing enough that I wanted to find out how it would play out in the end. If a book can cause you to have varying emotions and keep you reading and buying the sequels, it can't be all bad. Even those that downgraded it for various reasons had to buy and read the final books. Unlike one reviewer, I do not intend to read this series again, but like others I enjoy it enough to have already bought the final two books. I will let you know how that works out. I knew and may still know nothing about the odd sex that is described in the book. Sometimes you feel like ringing Christian's neck but you can see that his upbringing caused much if not all of his emotional problems. Have to say I was surprised I liked this book. Fast summer read......give it a try.
I am not one who usually reads romance novels, especially ones with sex in them. But at the rate everyone kept going on and on about this I figured oh what the heck. All I can say is pass a fan please. Wooo! This wasn't the super detailed romance novels you find that makes you go can we get any more detailed? This was kept at a nice pace so that there wasn't 25 pages of sexual details going on. Instead it was nicely written and not so bad that you needed to excuse yourself from the crowd on the bus because you felt dirty even reading it. I really did like this book and I look forward to reading the next one. The story line was well done, the cliff hangers are still there, and it leaves you wanting more.
I loved this book !!!! Finished all 3 a few weeks ago & ot is still with me. YES the book can be erotic Not my thing, but I enjoyed the story, liked the characters too
not going to see the movie if it ever comes out, but sure is an addictive story.
Due to all the hype, and because I'm usually not into 'trilogys,' I didn't have much interest in reading this book. When I saw it posted I added it to my Wish List, figuring that with the hundreds of people wishing for it, it would take a while to be offered to me.
I was surprised to have it offered to me so quickly, and so I accepted it. I thought this book would be a little 'smutty,' but the story line grabbed me right from the start and I found myself not being able to put it down! This book is VERY well written! And I am definitely going to check out book 2 and 3! :)
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Anas quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - 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 adoptive family Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever
A slow erotic dance......
I picked up this book because of the amazing reviews and the book groups that keep starting solely to discuss this trilogy. So I just had to take the leap. It is a slow dance between Ana and Christian. His world is something she has never walked thru and her innocence draws him like no other has. But Christian has baggage, lots and lots of baggage, that he keeps controlled behind his sexual tastes. The sexual component to this story is not to overwhelming, not as dark as some I've read. But you still have to keep an open mind, it is still dramatic. And watching the two of them come to life together is amazing. I don't want to go in to too much detail about this book, each reader should experience it anew. But it is not a quick read, it's a slow detailed erotic dance as their relationship develops. The pace of the book builds the story in amazing intricate detail. But I am definitely happy that I picked it up, I'm starting book two this afternoon.
My four-word description of these books is as follows: souped-up Harlequin romances. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy a well-written Harlequin romance. But these aren't particularly well-written. The sex portions become boring after a while, and I found myself skipping through them. Really, yet another sex position that requires extreme flexibility doesn't interest me.
I did enjoy the premise of the characters and situation. And every girl loves to fantasize about falling in love with an incredibly wealthy man who loves her back and can give her literally anything she needs and wants.
Bottom line, I would really like to see a much better writer take the premise and the characters and see what could happen.
Curiosity got the best of me and I finally read Fifty Shades of Grey. What did I think? I found the story's flow to be smooth. I liked the characters. And it was very interesting, no scratch that H-O-T! Apparently this is a "love it or hate it" kind of book. So I guess I would fall into the first. Looking back now on some of the reveiws I read I am confused. A lot of people that read this book must have assumed it was going to be a profound thought invoking peice of literature with a complex plot. That it is not. It is what it is. A smut book with a BDSM driven story that was originally intended to be twilight fan fic until it was reworked. I could definetly see the similarities between the characters of this book and Twilight. That was fine for me, because I loved Twilight. E L James writing style is similar to Stephanie Meyers, but the context is vastly different to put it mildly. Would recommend to fans of Twilight that are old enough to read these books. Prudes steer clear this book is not for the faint hearted.
Written well enough to keep my interest wondering about the next scene and its dramatics between characters. BUT was very dull and predictable in too many parts. I actually skimmed through parts and a good book will never allow the reader to be able to skim through. I read it because of the media hype. Better authors are not given this hype.
I only read this book because of all the hype. And boy, am I glad did. While there certainly were aspects of the book that I found unbelievable or implausible, it's still a nice "escape" book and I like the way the inner monologue of the main character is written. The backstory for Christian Grey is one of the unrealistic parts of the book, but it's necessary so you don't totally hate his character. I'm planning on reading the rest of the series, but am curious how they're going to turn pure physical attraction into a serious relationship. I wish the writer would have worked more to take one of the underlying themes and make it a main theme - that at our core, all humans want desperately to connect deeply and intimately with another human being, but we're also absolutely terrified to do it.
I can't wait to see the movie version next year as well. Charlie Hunnam will make an excellent Christian Grey!!
I read this book because I knew lots of people were reading it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I would say that it was pretty disappointing. I didn't care for the writing style, some words that she used annoyed me consistently, and I found the main character annoying and boring. And OBVIOUSLY it's the most unrealistic book ever written: plain jane bookworm virgin college graduate meets mega-rich, mega-handsome man who becomes completely enamored with her, spends tons of money buying her gifts and introduces her to his fetish. The sex scenes were somewhat entertaining but aside from that, just not a great book.
I love this book. It is such a touching story. I know most people think the BDSM is the focal point, but it is not. It's so wonderful to see these two people find each other, and over come their differences little by little. You see the trust grow, and their love and respect for one another. There are parts that you laugh,cry,smile and root for this couple. I will reread this series in the future.
I too had to read it, since hearing all the hype...it is very graphic and the writing is middle school level at best, but, I could not put it down! Go figure! Now I must read books 2 & 3 just to see if this all works out between them. It's silly, really, but a nice diversion...
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the fact that the specific content wasn't advertised so it was definitely enticing just based on rave reviews without elaborating on the story itself. A little slow to capture my interest initially but I think that was because of the age of the primary characters. Once the storyline picked up, I was hooked. It was a different perspective on life and written in such a way as not to be offensive or promoting certain behaviors but simply allowing the reader to feel the intensity of the characters' emotions. Excellent job.
I really enjoyed this story....It's a little different than the Urban lit that I'm use to ...but it had a nice little story line with it...I could definitely see the message behind this...I'm glad I read this, instead of listening to the mixed reviews about it...I recommend to anyone interested in reading this book ...to judge for yourself...I thought it was a good book! I can't wait to start book 2...
Check your attitude before you start reading this book. Had avoided it for a long time because of negative feedback about the content. However, I disagree with the view that it is about abuse. It's about a couple learning to enjoy each other in their own way. Absolutely gripping. Loved it; did not want to put it down. The characters are so well crafted and their relationship is like an intense, beautiful dance.
I couldn't put this book down! The characters come to life easily. I will admit this book has very "adult" scenes and you won't want to leave in lying within reach of kids. This is a more mature version of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast in my opinion. I LOVED this and have added it to my library collection.
This is the first book in a trilogy and should be read with that in mind! I wish I had bought the other two books at the same time because I didn't want the book to end. I am excited about reading the next two and I believe this will be an exploration of love, forgiveness and an in-depth look at two characters who couldn't be less alike but I think their journey will be a good one.
stubbytate reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Truthfully, not my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong - I have an open mind. I think this could have been a better story if there weren't so many annoying "hitches" and Harlequin-esque scenarios. The main characters fence-straddling and the hero's deep, dark hidden self was hard to take. I hope the next book is better and has more secondary characters that provide more balance in the storyline.
I was a little hesitant to read this because erotica is not my thing and the reviews were not favorable but I have to say that I loved this book. I think some of the reviewers are over analyzing. She was a virgin and had no idea what to expect, to be honest I would be thinking some of the same things. I loved the story line between Christian and Ana and how they learned to trust each other. I would recommend this book
If you want a shocking S&M book, try The Story of O. Not
only was that book one of the first of its kind to be written by a woman, but it actually engages the reader, unlike this crap. This book pales in comparison, and reads like the author was trying too hard to be unconventional and erotic. I am baffled that not only did this book get published in the first place, but that it had 2 sequels. Just plain bad.
Sarah M. reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
This book has no real literary merit. I read it and found myself laughing at the odd choice of words, like, "he cupped my sex." What?? It's like it is written for someone with the understanding of fifth grade language, but is supposedly an adult book. There is no real plot or character development, and overall was a mess. I understand the hype because of the sexual content, but that's it. You could get more excitement from watching late night cable.
My reading passion began when I was old enough for the Dick and Jane series and such began my interest in relationships between the sexes. Plus I usually use my public library to reserve the NY Times Best Sellers, so reading Fifty Shades of Grey was a must because everyone seemed to be talking about it...... Because the trilogy was so popular the last, Book 3 was available weeks before Book 1, so I knew the married life of the couple before I knew what prompted their initial introduction. Frankly that is how I would advise readers to read the trilogy. It is a series of books outlining a "modern" couples intimate life and the metamorphis of this particular male's sexual development. Frankly I have read racier novels, for example Delta of Venus, which are much more graphic..... this trilogy need to be read as such and not taken entirely as a complete story in Book 1.
Actually this book is basically a re-telling of the Beauty and The Beast tale ─ the characters are archetypal, the story is an old one out of legend. One of the tales from 50s' literary past can be traced to "The King and the Beggar-maid," a Medieval romance which tells the legend of the prince Cophetua and his unorthodox love for the beggar Penelophon. C. S. Lewis often used Cophetua and the beggar girl as an image of God's love for the unlovely. In The Problem of Pain, for instance, he writes, "We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that [God] could reconcile Himself to our present impurities - no more than the beggar maid could wish that King Cophetua should be content with her rags and dirt..."
50 Shades story is a strong & familiar one, of redemption through love. Of putting another's life first. Above all, it is about Sacred marriage the joining, often of opposites, which restores peace.
P.S. Our heros name, not coincidentally, is Christian.
Jennifer W. reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
I honestly dont understand what all of the fuss is about this book. I was so tired of hearing the words "my sex", "inner goddess" and "down there" that i just couldnt enjoy the book. The main character is so childish its boring. The entire length of the book I just wanted her to make a darn decision and stick to it!
With that being said, i did find this to be an easy read and I liked the way it ended, so I wont be reading any of the other books.
I wish I'd read the mix of reviews before reading this book. I am not yet finished & currently debate whether to finish or not (probably will just to see if it maybe DOES improve but not sure I have the time to waste). I really picked it up more because of the buzz than anything else. This book doesn't deserve the buzz.
As noted by a few others, it rivals Twilight for it's poor writing, repeated phrases ("my inner godess" might make me puke if I hear it again) and lack of imagination. I've read a lot of "erotica" in the form of romance novels over the years and most of those were better than this.
I was incredibly disappointed in the relationship that develops between Christian and Ana that glorifies control issues that some people have. I "get" that some relationships in the bedroom do use this as their "fun" but when it leaves "the bedroom," it becomes abusive. I don't see good fiction as glorifying an abusive relationship.
This is the only reason I might finish - to see if Ana figures out that her naivete has put herself into an abusive relationship because she doesn't know any better. I'm assuming though with 2 more books, it's unlikely that Ana will figure out how she's been used.
An interesting look into the S&M world, but honestly, the story line did catch my attention. The whole time I was reading it, I told myself that I wasn't going to read books #2 and #3, but by the end I had changed my mind.
Buried beneath the pitifully poor writing and the repetitive sex scenes is a story. I never thought I'd say it, but I do want to read the sequels to see what happens. What I don't understand is why an editor didn't tell this author what awful writing this is, and how to improve it... in fact DEMAND she improve it before it could be published. It's pathetic.
I was sceptical of this book as if erotica hasnt been around for centuries...what was all the hype? I have read more than my fair of this genre. I also had read that it was poorly written etc. It sat on my shelf for months. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!!! Once you learn to ignore the constant 'Er's and 'um's, is Ana really a college grad??? Anyhow, I thought the character development was excellent. and I can say that for all the players in the book. The author is exceptional at that. I adored both Ana and Christian and that rarely happens. Its usually the simpering female and the hard as steel male (no pun intended...well possibly).
In short I couldnt put the book down and I have actually read it twice desperate to receive the next 2 installments.
Brava Brava E.L.
This trilogy is a train wreck. Poorly written and at times you have to just tell yourself that it is trashy and light, so do not over think it because if you do, you will find the holes in the storyline. All that said, I was horrified that I could not stop reading the book. At least it was easy to read because I read all 1600 pages of the trilogy in the matter of days.
If you decide to read it, I apologize and recommend that you stay the distance even though the whole book must be the same cycle of violence on replay over 50 times. At least when at the end, it feels like you accomplished something while horrified that you stayed with it.
My belief is that woman are not entranced by the intimate partner abuse and pedophilia that the media mentions, but the idea that a man can and wants to change. Again, horrified and unable to stop reading.
I agree with the rest of the literary world that this book is poorly written. The inner dialogue of the female character is incredibly annoying and downright silly sometimes. And the sex scenes are not nearly as wild and crazy as I anticipated. That being said, the story is interesting enough to keep you turning the pages. Don't worry about "wasting your time" reading this book. It really won't take you that long to get through it. And if you are like me and like some thing light and easy to read between epic novels, this one will fit the bill. If you put your inner book critic aside and go with it, it's a fun read.
Irritated me to no end lol it was Twilight without the sex and the female lead seems entirely to unintelligent to be graduating from college. I did move on to the second book after my friends nagged me to pieces and it is somewhat better than the first. I will finish the series because it is my morbid curiosity to see how it all ends, certainly not because I am in dire need of Grey. I am married to a somewhat dominant personality so there was no appeal for me, Grey certainly didnt leap off the pages and good grief how many times does the woman need to repeat how handsome he is to everyone, everywhere all the time.
I waited a long time to finally read the trilogy, and perhaps that's the reason I didn't think it was quite what everyone made it out to be. Maybe I was anticipating more (even though you can only do "it" so many ways) but...
It's a very easy read, and yes, it is stimulating, but I'm not quite sure what all the fuss was about. I'm halfway through the second one and will read all three just to finish what I started. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the book(s) but don't understand all the hoopla it received.
Well, at first, I just couldn't get into this book because I couldn't relate to it and therefore I couldn't immerse myself into it. But then I stopped trying to relate and actually enjoyed it to some extent. I did however have a hard time getting around all the the crap that made me think..."yeah, right"...like that would ever happen...things like constant simultaneous orgasms (for a virgin no less)3 to 4 times in a row. Lets get real here. I just started skimming over most of the constant sex scenes because they were just about the same stuff. It is not the content that bothers me with this book...it's just the characters (such as the virginal college grad) just don't feel right. The "oh shucks" personality of Anastasia Steele just doesn't fit the tone of the book. This really wasn't my idea of a great book, but the whole set was given to me so I will read them all. I desperately hope they get better than this one.
I seriously don't understand the popularity of this book...the girl (Anastasia) was sooo annoying and it really was her character alone that made this book unbearable. This is what happens when you mess around with an inexperienced "girl", you get drama, whining, hypocrisy, and nagging. She's demanding so much in a relationship that's barely a week/month long?? Makes me not think very highly of a man who would put up with that kind of nonsense.
The interesting part was the history of Christian Grey which was only available in bits and pieces of which I had to tolerate Ana's whining to get at it...and there's two more books??? oh geez!
The sexual aspects of the book has me wondering how no one has even HEARD of this (dom/sub) before?!? People, you need to get out and read more...or even watch some cable tv! The sexual relations in the book really can't be whats driving sales is it? puh-lease!!! I've read juicier stories in a cheesy harlequin novel.
While I would really like to know what will happen in the other two books and if they delve into Christian's history or really in into anything but Ana's whining but I have serious hesitations in purchasing the next two books...maybe if someone lends them to me I will read them.
I may be the only person on the earth to mention this, but the writing is horrible, Oh Ana, you're hot Ana, Come on!!!! I made it to about 125 pages and I am sure that was 125 too much! I hated the book, it had nothing that made me want to read any more. The entire premise is crazy. I wanted to like it, wanted rave about it as others have, but I couldn't seespending anymore time with the book.
I guess I liked this, because the characters were new and interesting. I did get tired of the repetition. OMG, how many times can she say "Holy Crap"- it didn't sound like something a twenty -one year old would say. Also, while we're on that. I thought she made them two young. How is the hero a billionaire at 27! Ana 21, she is graduating from college okay may make since, but Grey should been at least 31 just to even things out. Besides, from a writer stand point it would've made him more believable as a domineering male. I had a hard time even believing he was taller than Ana. This book was good despite the bad writing and I too didn't want to be the only human on the planet that hadn't read this. Now it's coming to the stage and screen.
It must come down to what you're used to reading. This wasn't that edgy for chick porn. There is a lot more talk than action about spanking and bondage. The writing was simplistic but not awful. Knowing that the book is somewhat of a sendup of Twilight, I actually thought the writing was clever and well done. Even James's writing style is really a parody of Stephanie Meyers. Other reviewers complain about the repetitiveness of action and dialogue, same complaints can be made of Twilight. The similarities are subtle but the whole book tracks with Twilight. It was fun to look for James's interpretation of elements of Bella and Edward. I thought she made Ana more interesting than Bella.
Like many others, I read this book because of the hype. In fairness, I don't care for romance books and didn't realize this was classified as such.
I don't understand how this book is in a mainstream book store and not an adult book store. EL James leaves NOTHING to the imagination. I also found myself feeling angry....not only with the characters in the book, but also with myself for wasting my time reading it.
There's no story here folks, unless it's about a weak young girl with so little self-worth she's willing to do ANYTHING for a man; and a man who is very willing to take advantage of that young girl to satisfy HIS needs.
One aggravating thing I found in this book was Ana's request for more out of the relationship (more normalcy, more love, more respect, etc.) Grey's mantra of "I'm trying "more." I never once read him remotely trying to do anything for Ana's request of "more." Everything he did that he claimed was "trying" was done for his own needs, not Ana's.
Another is Ana always going back for more and making excuses for him. The end, while odd, was something that I kept hoping for throughout the book (which is why I kept reading.)
The relationship is one of the most abusive (physical and emotional) and unhealthy I've ever read. I shudder to think the message it sends to young women.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It has its explicit moments, but it also has a great story. The characters are well written and have depth. The repartee between Ana and Christian is very good with underlying meaning. The author writes very well. When you can picture in your mind the scenery and places described in your mind, it really makes the book come to life. I look forward to reading the next book!
Natasha D. - reviewed Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1) on
Wanted to see what all the fuss was about with this one. But it was kind of a disappointment. Some parts were okay but all in all didn't much care for this one & really didn't like the ending. Not sure if I'll be reading the rest of the series or not.
Yes, it's kind of hot and steamy at points, but really it's kind of boring and predictable. So much of it was just so unrealistic (a college senior that didn't have her own email account, really?). At the end of the day, it was fun and better than I expected.
I have read all three books. Some parts were funny other parts annoying. Felt like the story dragged on a little too long. Some parts I felt like it built me up flat line. If you want a real BDSM book I suggest looking elsewhere.
Like so many others, I purchased this book on my kindle to find out what was so very exciting about this book.
Well, nothing. I actually read all three books. It was like watching a train wreck, I just had to know how bad it was going to get. It is completely unbelievable. Virgin college girl meets 26 year old self-made billionaire. He has an abusive background and is into S&M.
The writing is AWFUL. The character development is very poor. The sex scenes are boring. There is so much repetition in the book that it's shocking. The author has about 10 phrases and she throws them in the book as often as she can. Did someone read this book before it was published? I was reading some of this book out loud to my husband and we laughed at it because it was so ridiculous.
People, are you just now finding out about S&M and this is why the book is so exciting? This is the only thing I can think of why this book is so popular. This book is on several top selling lists and the rights of the movie are going for millions of dollars. WHY!? This is not a good romance novel. This is not good fiction. This is not even good erotica. People, save your money and your time and read another book.
I think I need to clear something up, before I begin. Fifty Shades of Grey is hardly BDSM literature; in fact, it's hardly erotic literature. It has explicit sex scenes and breaks readers into the world of sex toys and equipment, yes (for those of us who never knew what a Cat o' Nine Tails or kegel balls werepsh, amateurs)but if this is what people are being introduced to as "erotica," no wonder they've been severely disappointed. To those who haven't been disappointed, or have even been ridiculously enchanted by James's series: what. the. hell. is wrong with you??? Pornographic writing and a list of submissive rules/toys do NOT equate to erotica. Take it from me, who's read dirtier, sexier, filthier, and way more taboo than this. Please, just trust me on this one.
This book isn't evil because of its portrayal of an "unhealthy relationship," which is what I'm hearing from a lot of reviewers, or at least the conservative ones. The BDSM lifestyle has nothing to do with domestic abuse or inequality between partners; in a sense, it's power playroleplaying for pleasure, and is perfectly sane and perfectly safe. I've seen many D/s relationships (in real life and in other books) that are way more tasteful than in Christian and Anastasia, but I won't divulge because this isn't a lesson about BDSM. The point is, if you can't stand the idea of pain for pleasure, you shouldn't be complaining about the "unhealthy relationship" in the first place. As for me, I can handle whipping, I can handle tears, I can handle bruises, and I can handle pain, but what I can't tolerate, is the disgustingly unrealistic dynamic between Christian as a Domme and Ana as a sub.
James has committed no crime in writing about such a relationship; her only sin is glamorizing and falsifying it. It is a miserable portrayal of erotica and BDSM fictiona poor, inaccurate, and unrealistic picture of a D/s relationshipand I'm sorry if anyone who's never read erotica before has been unfortunate enough to be broken into by Fifty Shades of Grey. Anastasia Steele is a bad initiator, and if you're a smut-virgin, you deserve much better than this.
For starters, it doesn't even give you details of the relationship, aside from a list of hard and soft limits, a few unremarkable spanking scenes, some naughty usaes for gray ties (from a man named Grey with gray eyes... ooooh!), and ONE exceptionalI'll admitlove scene involving a flogger. But that's it. All 500-something pages revolve around Ana mulling about the non-disclosure agreement she's so afraid to sign... no juicy deets on what the contract will actually promise.
I'm not trying to kill the hype, here, because I actually wanted to like this book. You'll see my rating is way more generous than I feel it deserves, because I do get why people fell for this book, at least partially, and will explain more about this later.
People have said this is smut for smart women. No nO no No NO. This is the opposite of smut for smart women. These are presumably the same people who tell unsuspecting readers to "open up their minds" and give BDSM a try because it isn't all that smutty, it isn't all that bad. Well of course the fuck it isn't bad, because it isn't actually BDSM! You want real BDSM, real down and dirty kinky BDSM? Try Rachel Kramer Bussel's anthologies. Try Alison Tyler's. Try Carrie's Story, for Chrissakes, but if you've never tried erotica, do not read Fifty Shades of Grey; you will hate start off and end up hating the genre, which would be a terrible shame.
As for the characters... this is where I'll start getting nasty.
Anastasia is probably the dumbest narrator I've ever encountered in any book. I'm not kidding you. However, literally every man she encounters is smitten with her; she has multiple suitors throughout the book, which is inappropriate for her so-so looks and awkward, dim-witted, and terribly (and I mean TERRIBLY) naïve personality. I don't get it... even she doesn't get it. Which probably means it's just a fantasy on James's part, and perhaps even just an illusion! But I won't go there.
She does have slight relatable humor to her, but it's just that: very slight. That's the only good thing I can say about her. She contradicts herself (and not in that way that makes me sympathize) and apparently is an academic, though she doesn't sound at all intellectual, save her sporadic references to classic literature in comparison to her own life. This, and her poor attempts at self-deprecation ("my hair never behaves, ugh!!") make her even more dislikable. All in all, she says the stupidest things, does the stupidest things, and lets her huge doe-eyed crush, Christian Grey, get away with the stupidest things. No wonder he had such a strong urge to beat her all the time; I wanted to give her a good whipping myselfthat's how much I was irritated with her.
Christian Grey is also a problem. He's handome, rich as sin, oozes sex appeal, and cares for the ordinary and unintelligent Ana. Basically, he doesn't exist. He, too, says weird, uncharacteristic things that makes me wonder if he's an android (possibly) and is also kind of an ass. A self-proclaimed "fifty shades of 'effed' up" lives shamelessly and opulently... because he can. And I'm totally picking on him in this review because... I can. He's supposedly got a dark, alluring past that isn't ever fully disclosed. Thanks for telling us, but for not explaining, EL James. Really, thank you!
The only good thing about him is his attractiveness, which I guess is the only reason why Ana likes him. This shows how shallow the basis of their relationship is. I picture him to be sexy as hell; I mean, physically, Ana doesn't skimp on the details. I'm sure he's a babe. But otherwise, he sounds rather bipolar, creepy, stiff... more like a serial killer than anything. He actually stalks Ana at one point. I wanted to swoon over his good looks, but found it hard to.
To make matters worse, Christian finds Ana absolutely fascinating, but like I've mentioned, I can't see why. The relationship is even less convincing in that respect, and even less enjoyable to read about for 500 pages.
Long story short: the characters sucked. The romance sucked, because frankly, there wasn't really any.
Moving onto the next worst element of this book: the style. EL James's writing is simplistic (but not in the poetic way) with the occasional out-of-place SAT word thrown in for good measure. Ana's stream-of-consciousness first-person narrative is often difficult to followrather elementary in tone, like a middle schooler's diaryand I surprised myself that I even got through the whole thing. I think the quality of writing is some of the worst I've seen published, with lots of telling rather than showing (see my quotes below for references) and dialogue that's choppy, forced, and stilted.
Aside from the poor composition, James seems to have an affinity for foil packets, dry murmurs (how does one dryly murmur, anyway??), gasping, wide eyes, the word jeez, and the six holys (fu*ck, moses, hell, crap, sh!t, and cow, as in "I'm turned on. Christian is so sexy. Holy moses!"). If you can get through 500 pages of holy moseses, then be my guest.
I know this is only the first in a three-book series (I'll be reviewing the next two... don't know whether to be excited or to burst into tears), but the ending was what was fifty shades of 'effed' up; Mr. Grey himself doesn't even compare. It has this cliffhanger that doesn't leave me hangingthe absolute worstand it's almost as if James just wrote this huge 1500 page book about a stalkerish billionaire and a dumbass college student, then chopped it up into three to create a "trilogy." Oh wait.
There isn't much else I can pick on; in summary, the characters are weak, the dialogue is weak, the style is pitiful, and the plot is pretty mellow, nothing fancy. It doesn't live up to the hype at all, but eff me, I read the whole freakin' thing in two days.
See, this is where my review sort of does a 180 and I start praising it. You didn't see this coming, did you?
I think it's the storyline. Like in Twilight, there's an irresistible troubled herowho, I cannot emphasize enough, is really poorly portrayed and quite stalkerish/patheticand his uncontrollable compulsions for a girl who's wrong in every way for him. I'm a glutton for these kinds of stories, so yes, that is why I kept reading. Everythingthe style, the characters, the sexis weak, but the appeal factor is strong, definitely strong, and that's why I (unfairly) am giving this one 6 hearts: because I kept reading, and eff me, because I actually wanted to.
So let's put it like this: The characterization, style, dialogue, BDSM elements, and sex scenes deserve 2-3 hearts.
The intrigue factor, the fact that I kept reading and actually wanted to know what happened next? 7-8 hearts. I guess the story itself is good, but the poor writing and Ana's idiocy/ignorance creates this irritating shadow over the entire read. Even the sex, which you'd think would be the foundation of an erotic romance, is very mediocre... which is a euphemism for very bad. I don't think any of them were remotely arousing (minus the one flogging scene at the end SPOILER START which coincidentally, is also when Ana leaves Christian SPOILER END) because they were ALL THE SAME. And let's not forget the most absurd loss of virginity I've ever read in my life. I've definitely definitely read much better erotica. It's safe to say the love scenes aren't what make this book enjoyableI could've done without them. And considering this is an erotic romance novel, that's saying a lot.
Rather, it's the emotions, the overwhelming darkness, that keeps the story moving and Mr. Grey entrancing. There's a certain tenderness in getting to know him; he's got this dark, painful past, and she's got nothing. She wants to know him, but he won't let her, and this desperation is at once startlingly draining and hauntingly engaging.
So overall? I weigh the factors and give it 6 out of 10 hearts. I'm certainly not saying there's anything substantial, anything sexy, or anything I get out of this series. I'm just saying I liked it enough.
See why this is so frustrating??
I hated everything about the book, but I was so immersed in the relationship and the elusive Mr. Grey, that I actually ended up kind of liking it as a whole. It's weirdly addicting, like those powered donut holes you hate and know are bad for you, but keep eating anyway (as EL James would so eloquently articulate).
Pros: Grey is intriguing... while I don't understand Ana as a character, I do understand her attraction for him // I'm mildly curious as to what happens in the next book // Christian Grey weirds me out but I do feel sympathetic for him // Taylor, the bodyguard, is a total catch. I ship him and Ana // The emails between Ana and Christian are the only tolerable correspondence they two have... they're actually witty! But the in-person conversations... ugh. See "Cons" below
Cons: They fall in deep, desperate love in like, two weeks // Sounds like it was written by a ten-year-old // Unpronounceable vocabulary words randomly thrown in the middle of sentences // Unrealistic dialogue //Ana is probably the most dislikable protagonist in history // Grey is the creepies freak ever // Cookie-cutter secondary characters, i.e. the likable brother, the doting mother, the best friend who has it all, the guy friend who secretly has the hots for Ana, etc. // The "dark past" isn't really... dark? Sorry. I've seen worse // Ridiculous and inaccurate portrayal of a submissive lifestyle // BDSM just isn't kinky // Sex scenes are awkward or just outrageously underdone // Overall not arousing // Ana literally calls Christian "Fifty shades"..... ok // Ending is balls
Verdict: I have a manic love-hate relationship with this book and am awarding it a reluctant 6 hearts because Christian Grey, while unrealistic and overstated, is strangely hypnotic. I didn't like this book for the characters or BDSM or the romance, or even the sex; only for the story. I can't recommend this, especially if you're new to erotica; this is not the kind of book you want your first experience to be. I don't recommend this to you even if you read a lot of erotica, either, because you probably won't be able to finish it. So I guess I don't recommend it to anyone. It was a pretty entertaining read (more out of laughs, than anything) and I will be reviewing the next two books because I have to, but as it isn't particularly well executed, and often very frustrating, I suggest you spend your time and money elsewhere.
Rating: 6 out of 10 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back.
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Edenfantasys in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)
I intended to read Fifty Shades of Grey to understand it as a cultural phenomenon, but I found a compelling story beneath all the hype. Despite all the talk of kink, at best the adult scenes rate as a vanilla sundae with chocolate sprinkles. Anas battling subconscious (an egregious misnomer as she tells us all about her input) and inner goddess were hyperdeveloped (and annoying!) characters in their own rights, dance routines and all. However, style points aside, there is a sweet, desperate love story between two very inexperienced people. Christian Fifty Shades Grey might be rich, beautiful, and expert in the erotic arts, but he is new to affection and emotional intimacy. EL James knows which buttons to press to make him an intriguing character to me. I wanted to see the relationship from his perspective. I wondered if a poor, unattractive Dominant would be appealing. Although she might be perpetuating unhealthy stereotypes and lessons for young women along the way, this first installment of Fifty Shades makes for a nice guilty pleasure read that can also raise interesting questions, if you want it to.
I don't know what to think. I like a good romance/love story. This was a little over the top for me. I finished it and did get all three books but am hoping the plot thickens to more than just sex sex and more sex.
This book was the biggest disappointment.
Knowing that the author originally wrote this as a Twilight Fan Fiction, I got excited because I love Twilight and I love it when people make current characters their own and make their own stories.
This was a let down.
The sex was mediocre, Grey was nothing like Edward, even though Anastasia was exactly like Bella.
It lacked character development and definitely lacked a viable plot. I felt that too much went into the contract between steele and grey and that there wasnt enough give and take with them. it was mostly take take take from grey and no give from him. with Anastasia being picky as hell.
It was just annoying. Not the best read but definitely not the worst either.
I love this book. i like how the charterers come together. this book is a page turner. i wish she would write more books E.L. James. once you start getting to the third chapter then it gets really interesting and you cant put the book down. great book.
I managed to read all of chapters and was done.
Reads as if 4th grader who read a bit of porn wrote it.
Thankfully I got it for a buck at a yard sale. Donated it to the recycle bin not worth bothering with
Amazing Book. I was luk enought to read it and act it out when it was a fan fiction. I cannot wait for book 2 and 3 to come out. Once you start you will not be able to put this book down! Great Job SQ!
Written well enough to keep my interest wondering about the next scene and its dramatics between characters. BUT was very dull and predictable in too many parts. I actually skimmed through parts and a good book will never allow the reader to be able to skim through. I read it because of the media hype. Better authors are not given this hype.
this was a disgusting book with very little story and really no redeeming features. I got through half of this book and had to quite reading it was so awful. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless maybe you are a sex addict.
When I first heard about this book I couldn't wait to get it so I ordered it for London. I kid you not this was a huge mistake for me. I am NOT into S&M therefore I simply couldn't stand the book. Most people that I've talked to think that it's porn but I don't think that it is. It is twisted in that getting beaten up enhanced their sexual experiences. Somehow I don't think that bruises in hidden places is much of a turn on. Spankings that leave your skin bright pink don't appeal to me. And then there is the beating with a belt that really turned me off. Don't get me wrong I like a nice dollop of sex in my books just like anybody else but S&M just isn't entertainment to me.