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

by EL James

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5,037499895 (2.98)5 / 266
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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It's twilight fic, so it was never going to be great. I'm not really sure how to even rate this, as the writer is a novice and it's badly in need of editing and someone to write real dialog.
  echoindarkness | Dec 17, 2014 |
*Sigh* I knew it was going to be bad, I even read an excerpt and it confirmed what I already suspected but my damn morbid curiosity got the better of me. Also I wanted to avoid the "well you can't say anything bad about it because you haven't read it" bullshit, as if the one page of garbage wasn't proof enough. So without further ado..

What in the actual fuck?!

I seriously cannot wrap my head around why this piece of tripe is so popular. The writing is terrible, the editing is terrible and the oh so hot (sarcasm if you can't tell) sex scenes are- guess what- TERRIBLE. Someone please explain to me how someone going oh jeez, oh jeez every two seconds during sex is hot? And what 20 something year old refers to her vagina as "down there"? I seriously expect her to giggle after she says that. In closing, this garbage fan fiction deserves zero stars.

Oh and if you're one of the 50 shades cultists coming to attack me for having a different opinion, you can go on ahead and fuck right off & we'll have to agree to disagree, you're entitled to your opinion and i'm entitled to mine. ( )
  reigningstars | Dec 4, 2014 |
Received this book as a birthday gift as I kept hearing good reviews. Also, I wanted to read the book before the movies come out since most often the book is more enjoyable then the movie. Sadly, I am very disappointed. To me, Ana reminds me of an older version of Bella (Twilight). I did enjoy some of the Freaky Sex parts but after a while the book becomes too overwhelming. I had a hard time believing Ana's character and by the end of the book, I'm like "Really". ( )
  momei | Dec 1, 2014 |
I read this because I was wondering what all the buzz was about. Still wondering ... ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 21, 2014 |
You've got to be kidding me. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
I finished reading it and my brain felt just full. I don't know how to being to process this. I had read plenty of reviews and news articles on the series but nothing quite prepared me for it. This wasn't my first erotica. So the sex and graphic nature of the book didn't disturb me; I just don't know quite what to think. ( )
  cmlasky | Oct 20, 2014 |
Alright I can only say I am glad that is over! I refuse to read the rest of this trilogy! Aside from the bad writing I site the supremely disturbing tampon sex scene! I have no idea how this is a best seller! You can really tell this started as a twilight fan fiction because it is as just as badly written as those books were!

Ana is annoying and stupid, Christian is a total douche-bag asshole with serious issues and the book is so repetitive.

I have no problem with the mommy porn aspects or the BDSM. However I have doubts the writer did much research into dominance and submission. I am no expert by any means but I have read several articles and books on the subject and Ms. James really missed the mark! If you are really interested in the genre there are better authors who are more knowledgeable. Check out Cherise Sinclair, Leah Brooke, Sophie Oak or Chloe Lang if you want stories about BDSM that are well written and not a ridiculous affectation!

( )
  grapeapril75 | Oct 18, 2014 |
I read the work that went on to become the Fifty Shades trilogy when it still existed as a work of fanfiction. Yes, I have to confess my guilty pleasure here -_-

This review is more for the series as a whole than any specific book

In any case, while I enjoyed the work as a fanfic (which, honestly, you don't go into expecting much), I was hoping for something a bit more polished in the published version.

The original fic wandered along in that way that long and popular fanfic series do. With a heavy bit of editing, this series in general could have worked better. However, it feels as though there was little more than copy editing and name replacing that was done to it.

I'm giving it 2 stars rather than one because I DID enjoy (sometimes rather guiltily) the story in its original format. I imagine that if this were the first time reading it, I would have had a slightly higher opinion ( )
  zephyrsky | Sep 30, 2014 |
Every writer I know hates this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's pretty hot. And I can't be in an elevator without thinking about sex. Thank you, E.L. James. ( )
  imaginationzombie | Sep 28, 2014 |
I can't understand how a book such as fifty shades reached high popularity. I'm a book geek and I adore books, but I've read this book and couldn't believe what I had just read .. It is utterly repelling and completely unrealistic.

Let's start with the book cover, It looks dark and matches the title of "grey." I just realized a few hours ago, the word is actually "Grey" who is one of the protagonists and it wasn't the color gray, although it does relate to each other. He's one black&white kind of person. Silly me but I love the title. Moving on, the tie there makes no sense to me, handcuffs would have looked more convincing.

I decided to read fifty shades when everyone was raving abut it and said its a "great book." I thought I might like since it happened to be quite popular and it happened to be "good."
So I purchased a copy.
BIG MISTAKE.

My $12.98 wasted. I was left with complete shock and this book screwed my mind over.

Make some room for whips & chains! This is what it is "in" nowdays!


The beginning was good. I'm not going to spoil it for you, not my style. It was interesting so I continued reading it but then it went down hill.. This was basically a dirty, pornographic novel with more erotic scenes and a poor storyline. The story line was missing. I don't really understand what this whole obsession with BDSM is - I don't see anything wrong with it though, it's perfectly normal if it's mutual consent.

However, I feel like the character Christian Grey was manipulative and extremely selfish. He was not a dominant, that's an insult to dominates if he was. He was a sadist. He literally abused Anastasia Steele He whipped her and spanked her to the point where she started crying. That crosses the line of BDSM, that it not normal. This was not a healthy BDSM relationship. That's abusing your power now. Way to make this consensual lifestyle look wrong James. I don't see why Anastasia couldn't be the dominant either, from what I have read about BDSM - both partners can portray the roles of either dominant and submissive, however Grey over here only wanted to be dominant. What does that say about him? He considers women inferior and wants them to submit to him? Sexist. He never physically forced anyone, I'd give him that, but he does emotionally manipulate Ana. That's just wrong because her feelings are much stronger than his lustful ones so obviously she will listen to him. His kinky fantasies are sick. He's sick.


Anastasia seems like a nice girl but some of her choices declare her as an idiot.

The mental and physical trauma he puts Anastasia through is terrible, but she's even more idiotic for still wanting someone like him. Her subconscious HIDES when she gets beaten up but disapproves of the sexual relationship she has with Grey? Ana reminds me of a puppet, in fact she is a puppet. They break up, they kiss up, they break up, they make up .. Confused "couple."

Also, someone please explain to me how a virgin had multiples orgasms in one night and was such an expert in fellatio? That is .. just the most dumbest thing I have ever heard. It is impossible. It's extremely rare a virgin even orgasms on the first time, much less has multiple orgasms. First times are supposed to be messy and awkward. She was completely pure, never kissed and never even masturbated before. It wasn't supposed to be like that, this book is unrealistic - it portrays the wrong messages.

These type of concepts lead to unrealistic expectations especially in teenage girls. I've seen Girls with Instagram bio's saying "I want my own Christian Grey." Like child, how old are you again?? o.O Why do women like this sick stuff anyway?

Girls under 18 saying such things repel me, concentrate on your studies instead. I wouldn't recommend this book, I didn't even bother to read the rest of the series. Not wasting my money and time. This book or series is a fail. There's many great books similar to this and much better with an actual great story. I would recommend you check out these two amazing books:

1) Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet Series) by C.J Roberts - book about a girl who gets abducted. It is similar to what BDSM portrays BUT the girl is forced to submit and bonds with the kidnapper(not normal!) This book makes Fifty Shades look like kids play. This book is real.
2) Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas - Girl abducted and forced to play mind games with food and torture.

Fifty Shades of Grey utterly disgusted me, not because it contained BDSM but because that's all it had! Where was the actual story?? The characters are the two biggest idiots ever. I'm not going to bother watching the movie either. This has to be the worst book I ever read. I can't believe I could ever say that about books, and books are my love :( ( )
  benishkhanx | Sep 26, 2014 |
“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.”

I don’t normally read these kinds of books. Erotica isn’t my forte and I admit it, I’m a bit of prude. I don’t particularly like reading sex scenes, because I find them awkward and kind of mechanical. In any case, 50 Shades of Grey was super popular when it came out in bookstores. Mom’s bought them, teens bought them, SNL did a spoof on it, and the amount of articles written about it was crazy.

So I was curious. I knew that this was a Twilight fan fiction turned novel, which isn’t really that big of a deal for me because I liked the first Twilight novel. It was a cute teen love story where a vapid, shallow, live and die for my man, type of girl falls in love with a guy who considers her to be food. It was good, not amazing, not earth shattering, but it was good. Fluffy, but good.

Knowing this, a grown up Twilight didn’t seem all that bad. Only, it kind of was. It wasn’t so much the erotica that bothered me, mainly because I didn’t get that far. And the writing was bad, while bad, wasn’t the worse thing I’ve read. That honour belongs to Sleeping Roses.

The problem I had was that Christian Grey sounded like a psycho. This didn’t make me side eye all the people who love this book, and are eagerly anticipating the movie, but it did make me annoyed and kind of angry. It wasn’t the book, but just what Christian represents. Seeing all of these women saying how they want him and desire him made me question why. Why would someone want someone so controlling, so overbearing, and so threatening in their lives?

"I will punish you when you require it, and it will be painful."

Sure, its fiction and people can dream about whatever scenario they wish to dream about. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with that at all. My issue is that as a Muslim female, I’ve read article after article about how I’m oppressed because the males in my life are controlling, overbearing, and threatening. I can’t wear what I want, because my dad (or husband, or brother, or uncle, or son, or whatever male in my family) tells me what to do. I can’t do “normal” stuff, because my life is restricted to what they want. If I make a wrong move, then I’m punished.

This isn’t true for most Muslim men, but just like any guy in the world, there are a few bad apples. Humans, in general, are kind of cruel, stupid, and horrific if you look closely enough. It doesn’t matter if they’re religious or not, if they’re male or female, cruelty has no boundaries. Of course, to paint humans like this would be stupid because there are many wonderful things about them too.

But the stereotype is there and so while reading 50 Shades I started to question why anyone would like someone like this? I mean, everything he’s saying is classic signs of an abuser. As I read more, I then had my answer.

Hot Guy Syndrome

Hot Guy Syndrome is when a male MC is incredibly handsome, so much so that he can get away with murder, abuse, and possibly even rape, and it would be okay because his eyes are dreamy and his lips are simply to die for. Hahaha, this is the reason why I don’t like New Adult novels by the way. Too many of the male MCs are exactly like this.

"How did you find me?"

"I tracked your cell phone Anastasia."

Oh, of course he did. How is that possible? Is it legal? Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that's still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it's him, I don't mind.


I had to stop reading this before I started to break things, because really now. Really?!?!?!! Just like how the stereotypical Muslim man is considered an abusive douchebag, Christian Grey would be in the same league as them. You don’t meet someone once and then say, “Hey, you know what would be fun? To place a tracker on her phone and then chastise her when someone she considers as a friend tries to make a move on her.”

That’s a guaranteed restraining order right there. GUARANTEED, no questions asked. I wouldn't smile and wish that he kissed me. I'd run away, dropping my phone in the process.

Once again, this behaviour is seen as charming, when it's scary. Mad scary in fact.

The stereotypes for Muslim men are just that, stereotypes and gross generalizations. I don’t deny that there are men out that who use religion to abuse their wives, but I also know that they don’t represent the religion. Never have and never should. Men abuse women everywhere (and women abuse men too) and no group is free from that sadly, but to paint men from a religion that encompasses so many different races, cultures, and places, like this is just ignorant.

Sadly, in the case of Christian Grey, he is described likes these Muslim men and then some. He’s controlling, he’s stalkerish, and he likes to tell women that he’ll physically hurt them before he introduced his fetish to them. The only differences is that rich, handsome, has a freakishly large index finger (think ET), and has a dark moody past that makes you want to protect him. Other than that, there's no real difference. At least, none that I've see.

Overall: I don’t get the fascination with 50 Shades of Grey or with Christian Grey for that matter. I resent that he is considered a god sent to women while men from my religion get bashed to high heaven for being perceived in almost exactly the same way. This may be a stupid reason for hating a book, but it is what it is.
( )
2 vote pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
LOL ... Okay so this is definitely a series I have to start reading soon ... Although these books are not in stores here in Belgium, they did make it in the news today! Apparently, they're such a success in the US and Australia, that all stores have run out and can't keep up with the demand! Damn, now I'm curious ... :-) ( )
  Tinne.Joosen | Sep 8, 2014 |
This series is literally the worst I've ever read, and I've read a lot of books. The writing is lackluster, there is zero left to the imagination, words are used and re-used. I skimmed the first 100 pages, got to a sex scene, and those weren't even worth all the hype. To put it directly, if you're on the fence, don't cross to the other side. Not even remotely worth the time. I gave it 2 stars because there is a slight story behind all of it, so it's not all sex, sex, sex. But, if you're looking for erotic stories, there are better out there than this drivel. ( )
  pennylane78 | Sep 6, 2014 |
Wow. More than I imagined. Now that's it's morning and I don't need sleep, let me review this a little better.

When these books first came out, I was told (by another author) that the story line came from the Twilight series. I read the first 2 Twilight books and 1/2 of the 3rd one before I called it quits. I couldn't handle it, didn't like it so there was no way I was attempting these.

Since their release, there has been so much hype and I'd heard enough that I decided to take this book with me on vacation ;) - yes, for that reason and I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it - even if her "inner goddess" annoyed me at times. The only two similarities I could even come up with between Twilight and Fifty Shades is that apparently both Edward and Christian are perfect and Bella and Anastasia are both completely obsessed.

That said, I guess I need to start Fifty Shades Darker. ( )
  Sharn | Sep 6, 2014 |
I really hats that I want to read the next book. All I can think as I read this is I want to throw a thesaurus at her face! I'm glad I didn't purchase them but I already have the second book on loan from a friend. ( )
  pennylane78 | Sep 5, 2014 |
When Anastasia Steele walks into Christian Grey's office, her world tilts, literally. A strong minded man, a naive woman, what could possibly they see in each other? Christian wants to very much introduce Ana to his world, but on his terms. Ana just wants to get to know this enigmatic man. And what lies behind closed doors, well, that's only a plus in her book. ( )
  Wendy_Nettles | Sep 4, 2014 |
Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
Wanted to read this book when a book I loved written by DJ Wilson was compared to the female counterpart of this author.
Starts out with Anatashia and she has to step in for the editor and get an interview with Grey who runs a huge company.
Christian Grey is under 30 and has fascinated her. She knows nothing of him but has the interview questions to ask him.
He runs a teleco company and is in charge of many people and loves the power. Chapters alternate between the two of them.
The agreement has many rules and she must obey them. I found this to be a bit over the top, it's just not normal to me, being whipped, tied up etc.
Grey has an erotic taste and a dark background full of demons. Hard to follow at times as I'm listening to a book on tape. not sure when it's a thought or if it was spoken out loud.
Like the back story more as it's about her working in the publishing field. Surprised at the ending as it goes into the next book.
. ( )
  jbarr5 | Aug 27, 2014 |
What the hell did I just read.

...seriously. I'm making a inhuman effort not to curse this book with swear words because, after all, I have already read worse things, but I can't imagine what makes people like this book so much. I mean, I understand why Twilight is so popular among teenagers. It's not such a nice book, but it has mystery, it has romance and some sort of fantasy. This one? It has annoying characters and lots of sex scenes.

I can't even properly think of what I have to say about this book. "Boring" is not exactly the word. I admit it, I read it non-stop, but the motivation was more like the eagerness to finish reading it as soon as possible so that I could move on to a better book without having a guilty conscience. The impression that I get is that Fifty Shades of Grey was written for those women who thought that they had found their prince charming, got married and now that their prince charming is fat, bald and lying drunkenly on the couch, can't find another way to consummate their innermost desires other than reading cheap erotica. Only that can be the reason why this book is so exhaustively repetitive. Remember the "oh Edward perfect eyes perfect body mysterious smile yaddle yaddle yaddle"? Replace the sparkling vampire for a ridiculously rich CEO and there you have it. Fifty Shades of Grey in all of its glory.

The worst part is that I almost liked the book in the beginning. The main character, Anastasia Steele, was slightly silly (and which youngster isn't?). The hot guy, Christian Grey, was handsome, powerful and rich. What kind of woman wouldn't want this kind of man in her life? The beginning of the book is almost cute: girl falls in love with guy, guy shows interest for the girl, gives her all the expensive gifts a girl would ever want, guy appears to be a knight in the shining armor. But beware, for he has a secret, dark past! Ooh, shivers.
Nah. That's just the initial feeling. After the first sex scene, the same mood shifts just keep repeating over and over and over again. In the middle of the book I felt the insatiable urge of just abandoning the book. I felt like I was reading the same thing a hundred thousand times. There are no interesting conflicts. Christian's story is barely told properly. Anastasia doesn't know what she wants. And the deepest conversation they had was a meaningless boyfriend/girlfriend chit-chat. Gosh, just... no.

I find no purpose in this book. It doesn't really seem to have anything to tell me. But again, this is the first official "erotica" book that I ever read, so I don't have any grounds to make any comparisons. People who like cheap romances in the best of Twilight's style will probably love it. This is definitely not for me. ( )
1 vote aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
With an ending like this, I would usually be sad, devastated or something along those lines. However, one star goes to this one because instead of leaving me in tears, I laughed. It is beyond silly. That never happened before. It is not a case where a reader hates where the characters are going. I don't give lower ratings when that happens, but I don't like when a heroine is this stupid. It isn't about the big picture at all (what she allowed or did not allow, that doesn't matter). It is about her reactions, thoughts and comments to the things she saw and experienced.
( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
Worst piece of poop I've ever read. I knew this wouldn't be my cup of tea. Going into it, I thought there had to be something behind this hype but NO. The only thing I can take away from the experience is the social question of why did so many people like this book? What an enigma? Even people who enjoy romance novels, myself NOT included, would know this is the worst written book out there. Maybe, the hype revolves around the fact that the book is so horribly written? It could go down in history as such. The characters suck, the plot is hardly there and the book is so predictable... along with the writing, I stand by my first statement. I've read many "beach" books and enjoyed them so my issue is not with an enjoyable guilty pleasure book. This book is FIFTY SHADES OF CRAP!

Oh, and I never read the last 40 pages... I couldn't, just couldn't. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 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 |
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