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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy,…

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy, Bk 1) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by EL James

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4,741480989 (2.98)5 / 258
lit_chick's review
I succumbed (poor word choice, perhaps!) to Fifty Shades of Grey because I was curious about the hype and craved an escape read. The novel scored on both counts. First, the hype: sex, check; more sex, check; romance hookup, check. Second, escape read: a disarmingly gorgeous billionaire with an outrageous sexual appetite, a dysfunctional past, and a penchant for control falls hard for a virginal college student and rescues her from reality in an all-consuming assault of lux-living and sensuality. Check.

Yes, Anastasia Steele has finally fallen for a man. Christian Grey is a “hot, sexy billionaire.” (Ch 6) He is charming, and “His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.” (Ch 2) He has “beautifully chiseled lips” (Ch 2 ) and he repeatedly reduces Ana to “a quivering mass of raging female hormones." (Ch 2)

In case it is not already painfully obvious, there is no literary merit to Fifty Shades of Grey. That said, I’m planning to read the next in the trilogy, and probably the third. How to rate such a train wreck, then? Well, I can hardly give it less than one star while planning to read more. And “obsessive diversion from report cards” is not really a legitimate criteria. The writing, um, speaks for itself ... ( )
6 vote lit_chick | Jun 9, 2012 |
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I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, turns out it's just mainstream porn. Better written than those that are hacked out for a few hundred each - maybe. Girl gets her cherry popped & finds lust with a kinky guy into dominance. Whee. Not my cup of tea nor is it particularly new.

Something about the hysteria this book has wrought kept tickling an old memory. Like the junk drawer it is, finding stuff takes a while at times, but eventually it turns up. Back in the 70's, I remember a similar outpouring over [b:Story of O|40483|Story of O|Pauline Réage|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1344368703s/40483.jpg|2462307].
It's similar in a lot of ways, although the author was a chick & it was supposed to be better written. There's also a lot of similarities to some of the [a:Marquis de Sade|6156306|Marquis de Sade|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1342901975p2/6156306.jpg]'s stuff. I don't much care for the little bit of his that I've read, although he does have a funny short story. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
I cannot process the mass hysteria that has swept the nation with these books. To each his own, sure, but WTF is appealing about a creepy, rape-y douchebag with a pen and a contract?

Please sign your vagignity (vagina/dignity) away here. And here. There. There as well. Congratulations. You are now the proud owner of nothing. Allow us to retire to my creepy, rape-y rape room.

I'm far from a prude, so it isn't the thought of "taboo" sex that repels me. It's the thought of any form of sex with a nasty, pompous, creepy, rape-y loser like Christian Grey. I don't like slippery snakes like him. Not in RL and not in my books. That women across America (including some of my own close friends - *shame*) are falling over themselves for this filthy bastard of a character, makes me extremely sad. I'm also embarrassed for them.

Additionally, I hated Bella with a passion, so why the fuck would I like Ana who is just the older, more idiotic version of that TSTL character? And why the fuck is she always biting her lip? The bitch is also clearly schizophrenic, as she spends a lot of time talking with, being talked to, and being chastised by her "inner goddess" and her SUBCONSCIOUS. That's right, folks. Ana has a conscious subconscious. So, just to make sure that this is clear as day: Ana, Ana's inner goddess, and Ana's subconscious act as 3 separate entities. They all converse in her head. Just do the world a favor - slip, fall, and die AnaBella.

What's worse is that the sex in these books is CORNY! It's so amateurish and silly when it isn't downright disgusting and dirty in the germy way, not the good way.

I cannot fathom why women everywhere are fanning themselves over this crap. I'm not a huge erotica fan, but even I have read some amazing erotica that will leave you wanting more. It's out there ladies. No need to condescend to rape-y douchebags to enjoy it.

Rather than finish reading this pornographic drivel, I have been religiously reading this author's blog and following her daily chapter-by-chapter recaps. Fucking hilarious.

Also, if you want a taste of this monstrosity, check out this hilarious shit right here:


A parody that will bring you to "orgism" again and again. ( )
1 vote JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Waste of time ( )
  sorinbiriescu | Aug 13, 2014 |
I spent the weekend rereading this lovely book. Spending time with Mr Grey is always lovely. Lol ( )
  Tiffy83 | Aug 11, 2014 |
well what can i say about this book.... i´ve heard everyone talking about it so i have to give it a try... this is the first erotica type of book that i ever read an i really liked it. this is not just a story about sex ( altough it does have a lot about it) but it really has a good love story. christian has some serious problems about himself and some really weird ways to kind of let himself go but i actually felt in love with the character.... as you go through the book you really get to understand him and you want to learn more about him... in the other hand anastasia is really new to everything and at some point it really anoyed me with her inner goddes thing!!... what ups with that?!! i didnt get it at all!... apart from that i really liked the book it has an interesting story line and very good characters ( )
  angie.arciba | Aug 9, 2014 |
I don't know what to think, as much as I'm repelled by this book, I also couldn't put it down. ( )
1 vote meggarrett0609 | Aug 6, 2014 |
OK, let me just clear some things up. Yes, I am currently pursuing a PhD in English. Yes, I agree that this series of books is totally terribly written and is just weird Twilight fan fiction smut. No, there's no real plot, and yes, the erotic scenes are so painfully unsexy that when I read a page out loud to my partner he begged me to stop so we could talk about something safe instead, like cooking.

I don't care, I still read all three.

Why? Because it's a bizarre descent into a psychedelic world where a girl in her 20s can still be 100% unironically in love with Jane Eyre and not know how to use a computer. A world where a girl in her 20s says (and thinks (constantly)) phrases like "holy cow! I'm gonna meet his folks!" A world where a 28-year-old guy can spend exactly none of his time running a company that does, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing at all, and make three million dollars a day or whatever. A world in which that man says about two different vehicles (one of which is his own personal helicoper), "It has the highest safety rating in its class." A world in which everyone drinks Cristal (for the discerning palate) and wears Converses with Ralph Lauren while listening to Toxic by Britney Spears on their iPod and chatting away on their BlackBerry.

I don't know where this world is, but I can't get enough of it. Sue me, I'd rather have fun than get the PhD anyway. ( )
1 vote joceloon | Aug 5, 2014 |
This book was a pleasant surprise. I feel like I’ve heard so much about the book, and most of it not all that good. There are so many reviews out there about the bad writing, that it’s too juvenile, that the story is too weak. Or on the other side, so many people said the book was too grossly erotic. I think this book was pretty good actually, and can’t understand why it got so many negative responses. Actually I can – it’s topic, BSDM, is almost taboo isn’t it? And a lot of people have a hard time accepting what they’ve been told all their life is evil, unmoral, or unnatural. I did not think this book was that erotic. I’ve read much worse myself. I also did not think the book just about sex alone. There was a good story behind the sex. Maybe the writing wasn’t very loquacious but again, I have read so many books that are at this level which received high ratings. Again, I think the problem a lot of people have with the book is the BDSM. It’s not something I think a lot of people really understand. I didn’t see erotica here, I saw romance. I saw two people trying to make two different lifestyles work. I enjoyed the honesty I found in this writing. I have to applaud the author for writing this. Trust me, this could have been much worse. I think the book deserves much more admiration than it’s received. More superficially, the book does end on a semi-cliffhanger. I am eager to get to the next book sometime in the future. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 1, 2014 |
Loved This Book! Couldn't wait to start the next. ( )
  Debbie97462 | Jul 16, 2014 |
How is this lauded for any literary merit.I can't even conceive of how many books have been sold. I understand the romance aspect, because I am an avid romance novel consumer myself. It is the worst romance novel I have ever read. A pitiful attempt at literature; it is an incoherent diary entry of a stupid girl who is probably schizophrenic. The most vapid nonsense I've ever read. ( )
1 vote aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
22-year old Anastasia is just finishing her degree when she meets Christian, a 27-year old, extremely wealthy businessman. It's obvious from the start that Christian is a control freak, but Ana is drawn to him, anyway. Though Christian initially tries to dissuade Ana from her interest in him (and tries to deny his own interest), it doesn't work. What Ana (who's never had a boyfriend) doesn't know is that Christian is into BDSM. That's all Christian wants, no “relationship” for him, just kinky sex, agreed upon with a contract, but Ana wants more.

I've never read erotica before, but I was surprised how much I liked this. It had a good story, I thought, and moved quickly. Though I mostly hated control freak/stalker Christian, I felt for Ana. I will definitely be reading the second book in the trilogy. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 8, 2014 |
After hearing nonstop about this book for the last million days (or at least so it seems), I managed to borrow a copy of this book and read it in a very short three days.

I'm nervous to write anything but a rave review about this book since there are so many people--women--who would defend this book to the death. But it is difficult to write highly of it. Before I picked it up, I asked my friend, "Does it have a plot?" Eagerly she responded that it did...but I'm afraid I didn't find a very strong one. This is the first romance novel I've ever encountered, so maybe that is just the way they are?

I'll plan to read the rest of the series, but I am not holding my breath for anything incredible. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Honestly, I didn't want to like this book. And I didn't expect to, either. I thought I'd read it and just dismiss it as banal fluff. I can't lie -- the writing isn't great - E L James uses "jeez" and "oh my" in what seems like every other sentence - and I would be absolutely floored if she wasn't a huge gan of Stephenie Meyer and the "Twilight" series. In my opinion, if you subtract the supernatural elements and add in lost of sexual tricks and descriptions from "Twilight," you'll end up with "Fifty Shades."

Now, that said, I did end up liking the story. In fact, probably about a quarter of the way into the book, I acclimated to the amount of steamy scenes included and really started to get pulled into the story. And the story between Christian and Ana is a romantic one. Very lush and sweeping and memorable.

The characters themselves are seemingly physically perfect, of course, but that's true in a lot of novels. Some aspects of their relationship are certainly unrealistic, but, again, I could say that of a lot of stories and novels. Bottom line: I liked the book. And I am looking forward to reading the next two in the trilogy. ( )
  Jenna.Czaplewski | Jul 3, 2014 |
Estes es sin lugar a dudas un libro completamente descriptivo que despierta los sentidos más profundos de una mujer y hace ver la realidad de algunos hombres en cuanto a deseos y placeres sexuales. Es sin dudas un libro erotico lleno de pasión.

Christian Grey el hombre rico, seductor, joven, dominante, protector, posesivo, y la cliché Anastasia Steel, la mujer bondadosa, virginal, sencilla, tranquila, pasiva y sumisa. Ambos se conocen en una forma muy creativa, ella una joven estudiante casi graduada que le hace una entrevista por casualidad al hombre rico y bien establecido benefactor de la universidad. Grey inmediatamente Anastasia entra en su despacho reconoce que ella es una mujer sumisa y se obcesiona con conquistarla para que ella sucumba ante sus encantos y retorcidos deseos sexuales, pero a medida que se conocen Grey no sabe y Anastassa no le revela que ella nunca antes ha tenido un encuentro sexual con un hombre, esto es entonces el detonante para que ésta relación sea diferente de las que el Sr. Grey ha tenido antes con otroas mujeres sumisas.

Grey un dominante natural tiene ahora todo el control de Anastasia él la posee completamente, él ha sido su primer hombre y esto alimenta el alter ego de Grey, solo él la ha poseido,solo él puede ser quien la posea. Grey es monógomo en sus relaciones una vez el reconoce a una sumisa que se abstiene a sus deseos, solo ella es parte de su vida sexual.

La vida de Grey y Anastasia está condicionada por un contrato de confidencialidad de una relación de sadomasoquismo, Grey el dominante y Anastassia la sumisa que bajo ninguna circunstacia debe comentar nada de lo que ocurre en la relación. Anastassia deberá ejercitarse, comer saludablemente y no entre comidas al menos que sea fruta, usara la ropa que el dominante le provea, además se abstendra a los jueguetes y acciones sexuales comunes del masoquismo. Nunca debera tocar al dominante entre otras cosas, pero esto estará por verse.

Mis citas favoritas.

Anastasia ya ha sucumbido a las expectativas de Christian. "I am drift from reality. I am in this fantasy apartment, having fantasy sex with my fantasy boyfriend." 257.

"So young- and attractive. very attrative.He is tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly. It takes a moment for me to find my voice."position 98 kindle.

"You should find me intimidating," he nods. "You are very honest. Please dont't look down. I like to see your face." position 731 Kindle.

"For the first time in my life, I want to go to bet with a man. I want to feel his hands and his mouth on me." position 1054 kindle.

"Eat," he says more sharply. "Anastasia, I have an issue with wasted food...eat." position kindle 1151.

"He takes full adavantage, his tongue expertly exploring my mouth. I have never been kissed like this." position 1191 kindle.

"You're a sadist?"
"I'am Dominant." his eyes are a schorching gray, intense."

"Well... I've not had sex before, small. I peek up at him, and he's staring at me, mouth-open, frozen, and pale-really pale." position 1633 kindle.

"Your situation. Ana, I'am going to make love to you, now." "Oh." The floor has fallen away. I'm a situation. I'm holding my breath." position 1658 kindle.

"I'am going to fuck you now, Miss Steele, " he murmurs as he positions the head of his erection at the entrance of my sex. "Hard," he whispers, and he slams into me."position 1761 kindle.

"My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves." position 2027 kindle.

"No, Anastasia, I'm not. I am monogamous in my relationships. Oh... this news." Posotion 2360 kindle.

"The Dominant may flog, spank, whip or corporally punish the Submissive as he sees fit, for purposes of discipline..." position 2549 kindle.

"He has beautiful eyes-captivationg, intelligent, deep and dark, dark with dominan secrets." position 2651 kindle.

"I will fuck you, any time, any way, I want-anywhere I want. I will discipline you, because you will screw up. I will train you to please me. But I know you've not done this before." position 3269 kindle.

"Because I'am fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia." position 3977 kindle.

"I am grateful for your inexperience. I value it, and I'am only beginning to understand what it means. Simply put...it means that you are mine in every way." position 4333 kindle. This part right here is the point that makes a turn oil in the story, it will set what will happens in the rest of the story. Of course he will fall in love with her after that.

"This is mine," he whispers aggressively. "All mine. DO you understand?" He eases his finger in and aout as he gazes down at me, gaugin my reaction, his eyes burning. position 5129 kindle.

"He's not a hero, he's a man with serious, deep emotional flaws, and he's dragging me into the dark. Can I not ghide him into the light?. position 5231 kindle. This always happend to women, we want to save people an change man also.

"Frankly I'm in awe of you, that one so innocent would be willing to try. That says more to me than you could ever know. You fail to see I am caught in you spell, too, even though I have told you this countless time. I don't want to lose you." position 5874 kindle.

"I did try to stay away from you; I knew you were inexperienced, though I would never have persued you if I had known exactly how innocent you were- and yet you still manage to disarm me completely in a way that nobody has before." position 5878. He is finally in love with her.

"You todl me you were a virgin. That's the biggest shock I've ever had." position 6449 kindle.

"...opens the door, and still grasping my arm, grabs what looks like a belt from the rack beside the door, the leads me over to the red leather bench in the far corner of the room." position 7381 kindle.

"I don't think I can be everything you want me to be," I whisper. His eyes widen slightly, and he blikns, his fearful expression returning." position 7446 kindle.

"I have had my eyes opene and glimpsed the extent of his depravity, and I know he's not capable of love - of giving or receiving love. My worst fears have been realized. And strangely, it's very liberating." position 7467 kindle.
( )
  Pamelangeles | Jul 3, 2014 |

My full review can be found at my blog here.

I really loved the storyline and the characters. I really do love a dark and brooding male lead with an overly romanticised past. At first I was a bit put off by all the sex scenes and I didn’t think the book really needed them. When I’d finished the first one I was sort of annoyed because I really liked the storyline and it’d be going along and the characters would be having an intense discussion about their issues and all of a sudden they were having sex.

I suppose its because it was fanfiction. And to be honest, you can tell. I wrote and read alot of fanfiction back in the day so I recognise it for what it is really; it’s written much better than the majority of fanfiction don’t get me wrong but there is a certain style that goes along with it that marks it out for what it is.

Another thing that kind of irked me that the suggestion that only people with abuse in their past are likely to be into BDSM, this is just not so. I don’t partake myself but I know of people that do and to suggest that BDSM stems from abuse is just wrong. It’s a very trusting relationship actually and any pain/punishment that takes place is entirely consensual. I would have been very annoyed if it had ended with Christian reverting back to pure “vanilla” sex once he’d dealt with his issues. But, as it was, the ending satisfied me.

Well, that is, if you don’t count the ode-to-midnight-sun chapter from Christian’s perspective at the end. I get that in a fanfiction situation this would have been a gentle jab at Meyer’s failed book but once it goes to print, I think they should have left it out, It added nothing to the story and I’m not really a fan of retelling from different perspectives. ( )
  Jayne.Winn | Jun 26, 2014 |
Boring ( )
  peter.zagar | Jun 24, 2014 |
It’s not often you read a series of books where the author’s writing style is less than polished and well-edited, but you discover the material itself rises above the presentation. These books, the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, are one of those exceptions on many levels. Populated with essentially flawed and larger than life characters, the books nonetheless compel the reader and keep you turning pages with avid curiosity, and that more than anything else is what has made this set of books the focus of so much attention and interest.

There has been much discussion about the sexual content of the novels, and the amusing part of that is apart from the standard and frequent use of the word “f**k” there is almost no other language to be objected to–unlike standard erotica and erotic romance, which is well populated with graphic and detailed description. Here, the psychological and emotional responses are more the focus, and in my opinion, it’s what is drawing people in and holding them enthralled by it all. The author is clearly well read and intelligent, and does not talk down to her readers.

Christian Grey, the hero of this tale, is a messed up man with more money than god, and it gives him all he needs to explore the darker facets of his soul. His past haunts him and he’s a natural Dominant who enjoys his BDSM lifestyle–partly because it’s safe for him in emotional terms, and partly because he doesn’t know any other kind of relationship. I know there are those who have huge issues with the way this lifestyle is presented here, but in retrospect, now that I’ve read the set, I’d have to say it’s not the lifestyle that one should be focused on, but the characters. This book is NOT about a BDSM lifestyle, it’s a love story. Christian is a man who is often adored, but rarely loved.

Anastasia Steele, the heroine, is equal parts strong woman and total idiot, it has to be said. By the time we get to the third book, you’re going to love her or want her head, really. I do think she’s the weakest part of the story in many ways. She doesn’t really outgrow her fear and loathing of Christian’s darker side, instead she wants him to be her white knight, and he moves heaven and earth to be all that she needs. What gets overlooked in this mix is that Christian is the one who is forever trying to meet her expectations and needs, and she is starry-eyed in love with him one minute and the next she’s terrified of his moods. It’s an ever-changing, constantly shifting roller-coaster with Ana, and it makes her damned annoying.

There are scenes that have made readers screaming mad, and those that have made them sigh, so if emotional response to the story is anything to go by, it’s worthy of the attention it’s been getting. Movie deals and hype aside, I think ultimately this is a book series you have to read with a very open mind, and embrace what is good about it, while you overcome your gag reflex for other things. The ending is ambivalent, and clearly leaves the door open for a revisit, something I’m sure many people will want to see happen. For me, I’d like to see Ana grow up a bit, and Christian’s emotional needs be addressed not as a “sickness” but as part of his innate sexuality. Initially I can accept Ana’s innocence as a potent lure to him, but her endless fear of him is a real turn-off.

I won’t, or honestly can’t rate this book. There are aspects of it technically that would warrant a one star, and other parts that warrant a five star. So, I’ll conclude by saying again, an open-mind is needed to tackle this story, and a suspension of any pretence of reality–it’s a romantic fantasy more than it’s anything else. It’s NOT hardcore erotica, or porn as so many have labelled it–at least in my assessment. (I write erotic romance, I know what it entails.) The books need to be well-edited and tightened up a little, so if you stay with it past those weaknesses, I think you’ll enjoy a very compelling look at two very different people and their struggle to make love conquer all.
  DenyseBridger | Jun 12, 2014 |
Recently, with ALL of the attention that this book series has garnished, I felt I HAD to read FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Yes! I finally succumbed to the peer pressure and joined the ever-growing waiting list at the library for the entire book series. After waiting several weeks for the library to call with the great news that my name had finally been reached on the list, I threw on my tennis shoes and ran right on over to the library to pick up my little piece of literary gold. (True story, as I live dangerously close to the library. Spend way too much time there.) FINALLY....I could join the rest of the world and dream about the charming Christian Grey.
Seriously, I am having a VERY difficult time getting involved in this story. PLEASE, please forgive me FIFTY SHADES fans!! I am not taking a jab at anyone personally, I'm just struggling with the story line. Normally, if I enjoy a book, I am done in 3 days. TOPS. I began FIFTY SHADES of GREY on the 26th of Feb. and I've just reached the fifth chapter. Let me just say that I do not have one specific genre that I read. I read whatever happens to appeal to me. So....it's not like I'm reading something entirely outside of my "likes". I just find what I've read so far a tab bit unbelievable. I know. I know. Just fiction, right? But...I like my fiction with a little "believe ability". Would this powerful, sexy man find Anastasia one bit attractive in real life? Uh..no!! Ana is a total goofball. She doesn't have an interesting bone in her body. Am I to believe that Mr. Incredible drives 165 miles to a rural college town to see this plain Jane? Maybe I have to give it more time. Obviously. Like I said, I'm only on page 65. However, when I've reached the fifth chapter of any prior book, I usually know if I'm going to like/love/hate what I'm reading. Hmmm...perhaps I will have better things to say with my next review. I hope I eat my words. I really WANT to love this book. Besides, my name is on the waiting list for FIFTY SHADES DARKER and FIFTY SHADES FREED.

*Update edit*

Holy crap! Oh my!! My subconcious, my inner goddess and I have finally finished this book. My opinion has not changed. I still find this book lacking just about everything a great book should have. I think I failed to mention that I must have been one of the only women in the world who did not know what this story entailed. I only knew that every woman was talking about Fsog and when one would, I would stop them by holding my fingers in my ears and do the "lalala" thing. Therefore, I had probably been warned and just like clueless Miss Anastasia Steele, I plunged ahead with something that I shouldn't have. I'm going to make my latest review as quick as I can. First, where was the plot? There was a plot, right? Like Ana's resolve, plot=weak. And...while Mr. Grey did sound glorious to look at, he also sounded like a serious headcase who found it sexually fulfilling to abuse women. Eat this. Wear this. Go/don't go here. Talk/don't talk. The list of his cruel demands goes on. Did I find him sexy and charming? Uh..no! I found Christian to be a man I was very familiar with. My ex. By the way, I left that relationship running for the hills. Can you say STALKER? Secondly, as the storyline progressed I expected the characters to evolve, too. Ana remained as dumb and immature as she was from the moment she tripped her way into Grey's kinky world. Christian Grey. Why would his character evolve during the course of this poorly written novel? He brooded about when Ana suggested "more" so I just knew he wasn't going to change for me. However, I would like to add that I did come to realize why he found Ana, the virginal, boring, pitiful pint of "Vanilla" so fascinating. Grey discovered she was a virgin. What man wouldn't want to mold her into his love slave? Hello!! Ana is an absolute ditzoid when it comes to ANY knowledge of sex, vanilla OR 31 flavors. WTF? Has this girl never discussed the tiny details of sex that ALL girls discuss and giggle about with their close friends and roomate? She and Kate are supposed to be so close but they've never had these "girl talks"? Unrealistic, especially since Ana informs the reader that Kate doesn't take bull from men. Once Ana's sexual "situation" has been "remedied" by Fifty, Ana is all of a sudden a natural born porn star. Um...yea..no. Does the plot ever thicken? No to that, too. Ana and Grey's relationship consists of a bunch of goofy ass emails and even goofier phone calls: Ye ole, "you hang up. No! You hang up." And this man is a CEO. (Rolling my eyes and I don't care who sees me do it.) The sex? Wasn't even that exciting. Of course, Ana claims Christian is an expert lover. Compared to who...her? HOW does she know he is the "greatest"? Oh, yea. Beacause he is training and manipulating her to believe that he is the best lover, like, ever. (Again, rolling my eyes.) I (I'm entitled to my personal opinion)feel this book was so poorly written. So, there ya go. Like it or not, that's it. I'm done. Just one more thing,like Anastasia Steele, I just can't seem to learn my lessons. I feel the need to punish myself further because I am going to proceed onward with my relationship with Fifty. Turns out, I must enjoy torture, too. ( )
8 vote MaryEvelynLS | Jun 1, 2014 |
Read this trilogy when they came out. I am a long time and avid reader of fanfiction, and this really read like a pretty decently written piece of fanfiction to me. For anyone who doesn't already know, this series began as fanfiction for the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer.

I have read much, much worse fanfiction (I've not *continued* reading it, but I've read it and I know it's out there.) I have also read much, much better written fanfiction. Some fanfiction I've read rivals some extremely talented published authors... and some talented published authors I've read come from the fanfiction ranks, so I don't consider this comparison an insult at all. That being said-- this is an ok read. It's enjoyable, distracts from daily worries and I actually found it to be much less annoying than Twilight. (Bella was a total "Mary Sue" character with no real personality of her own, who people in the book adored for no discernible reason. At least the heroine of these books stands up for herself occasionally. And while "50 Shades" could use a bit of time with an Editor, "Twilight" REALLY needed it desperately. It seems that publishing houses don't do Editing before they publish anymore?)

I don't see any reason for the ruckus over this series as far as to be banning or censoring. It's nowhere near as explicit as other books I've read, (One name: Laurell K. Hamilton, 'Nuff Said.) and it is a relationship between consenting adults who are in a monogamous relationship. The exploration of the idea of bondage or a Dominant /Submissive lifestyle is only explored very, very superficially and it is done in one of the more responsible ways I've seen in writing (contracts, actual discussion ahead of time, limits and then there is actually very little actual D&S in the book afterwards...)

While the writing is not the best, and I won't be reading it again I don't regret reading it. It was an enjoyable couple of hours.

( )
  Clare_M | May 25, 2014 |
Believe it or not, I read this book for a literature class. As I started reading, my brain was so prejudiced by the negative hype surrounding the book that it criticized every little detail. And there were a lot of details deserving of criticism. But once I convinced my brain to go with the flow, and read a little less closely, I found that the book, whilst not a creative masterpiece by any means, was not actually a disguised torture device.

Now, on a superficial level, the thing that draws negative criticism to this book, is Anastasia (and the author's) annoying little habits.
Let's begin with Anastasia. She has some horrifically un-sexy catchphrases and terminology. The biggest culprits> "Oh my" "Holy cow" "behind" "down there". Whilst perhaps these terms were meant to signify Ana's innocent lamp-like nature, I simply found them very jarring, and not at all aesthetically pleasing. Especially during the sex scenes. Also, the constant use of "fifty shades" to describe Christian and all his habits. Perhaps there was an excellent, witty back-story to this phrase, which I totally missed. In any case, it seemed a little nonsensical, and thus annoying, to me. The author was also very repetitive with other phrases, which has been painstakingly documented by reviewers, so I won't give a tally of them.

Also annoying- Ana talks of not having found anyone she's interested in, and is annoyingly insecure, despite her awareness of all the men in her life that are interested in her. And then she is interested in Christian, who as far as I can tell is nothing special. One unwanted romantic interest might have been necessary for the jealousy angle, but three? They seem to be pointless AND contradict Ana's character.
This is kind of borrowed from Twilight, where Bella moves to a new school and finds many admirers. But the difference there is that Bella didn't have any admirers at her old school- thus making her insecurity and confusion at least semi-believable. And also, the attraction of Edward is obvious- he is mysterious, obviously more than he seems. And his bizzare attitude towards her would be enough to feed the curiosity of any girl. Christian is just an arrogant, handsome, rich, guy. Whilst obviously not undesirable, this description makes Ana's attraction seems awfully shallow.

On that note, I also found the links to Twilight disconcerting. I have read fanfiction before, and enjoyed the experience. But this seems to be the reverse of what I am used to. Rather than using character & universe, and twisting around the details, E.L. James seems to write completely different character & universe, yet borrow little details. For example, Ana's parents coincide with Bella's, and a few conversations Ana & Christian have are borrowed from Twilight. I feel like she should have removed all traces of Twilight before publishing this book, as it really wouldn't have changed the book much at all.

Now, the sex. The sex scenes weren't terrible, but they weren't great either. With a few exceptions, they seemed to lack creativity. I suggest E.L. James search out some erotica online, because there is oh so much more she could have done with those sex scenes.
The most problematic part of the book, is the representation of BDSM. Perhaps it was partially on purpose, representing Ana's misconceptions for correction in the sequels. But read as is, despite Christian going above and beyond to get Ana's absolute consent, and keep her comfortable, she equates his lifestyle as perverted, and something that could only come from abuse. Rather than as something to enjoy and explore, for her it is an unpleasant obstacle to overcome for his affections. It is supremely unhealthy, and though the book does not necessarily support Ana's view, her close-mindedness kind of ruined the reading experience for me. However, I do think critics have been a bit too harsh in judging this, as in the end Ana does realise how unhealthy/irrational she has been acting.

Now, I promised I found some merit in this book.
The writing, whilst having some annoying habits, is readable, and I found I could get through the book rather easily.
The topic of Ana's introduction to the world of BDSM is an inherently interesting one, which no amount of problematic prejudices could completely remove.
The sex scenes, whilst not mind-blowing, did stir up a little bit of lust.
I found that the relationship dynamics between Ana & Christian, whilst VERY problematic at some times, also worked quite well generally. The give and take of power and their equally strong wills worked well, and the playfulness of their emails and inside jokes was charming.

Overall- I feel like this would have been a nice first draft. It perhaps should have given a more balanced, less prejudiced view towards the BDSM experience, an editor should have gone through with a fine, fine, tooth comb, to remove all the annoying character/writing habits, and the Twilight references should have been destroyed. I also feel they should have developed the secondary characters a little more, and reduced the word count dramatically by removing the extraneous details that didn't add anything to the story. If these things were accomplished, it might have been an excellent story, worthy of its bestseller status. As it stands, I would rate this a 2.5-3 out of 5, and consider it a mediocre book. ( )
  Sweet_Serenity | May 20, 2014 |
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

This is not my usual Genre, but I heard so much "hype" about the book I decided to give it a chance. It is the story of Anastasia Steele (Ana) and Christian Grey. I will say the book was well written, I did feel what Ana was feeling, but I did not like Ana at all.

She was portrayed as naive and innocent, I found her to be unbelievably foolish and stupid. Christian, I did not like him at all. He was portrayed as arrogant and controlling, I found him to be a twisted sick freak. I did like Anas' best friend and roommate Kate, she was the only one who had any common sense. I don't do spoilers so I won't say much more (Although there is a LOT I could say)

I really ,really wanted to like this book, but it is just not for me. Those who like Erotica may enjoy this book. Those looking for a cozy warm Romance, won't find it here. I am sure there are some people who will like this, I did not. ( )
  SheriAWilkinson | May 14, 2014 |
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