Fifty Shades of Grey – E. L. James
my rating : 2/5
genre : adult, erotica
goodreads rating : 3.67
I would like to start this review off by saying that I am in no way trying to belittle or insult anyone who enjoyed this novel. I understand that the author wrote this for herself as fanfiction and never expected it to gain the fame it has today. These are purely my opinions and I really hope that no one feels offended by this review.
The first few things I want to get out of the way quickly. The writing in this book is not good, at all. This novel reads like fanfiction, at some points in the novel I found myself saying “Did a twelve year old write this?”
And second, I will go into this a bit more later on but, the relationship between Anastasia and Christian is not healthy in the least.
This trilogy has sold 125 million copies worldwide (June 2015) and has been translated into 25 languages. So naturally you can understand why I felt inclined to read it, right? I’ll admit that I was curious, I tried to read it a few years ago and could only get roughly 6 chapters in before I gave up – the writing is bad guys! But, because the second film was coming out this month the first film was on TV. I hadn’t been planning on watching it, heck, I didn’t even know it was on! ( I really don’t watch TV at all) But my mum really wanted to watch it so I decided to watch it with her!
I’ll be honest I didn’t hate the film – don’t get me wrong I certainly didn’t love it, but it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. And, to be completely honest I’m probably going to see the second film this month.
ANASTASIA STEELE & CHRISTIAN GREY
“Anastasia,” he says as a farewell.
“Christian,” I reply. And mercifully, the doors close.
I am so conflicted about this woman. At points I heard myself saying “You go, girl!” Ana was not meant to ever be a *Sub – she’s not good at obeying orders and doesn’t really like being told what to do. Naturally, she gets into the most complicated relationship known to man, with a *Dom.
Ana is a complicated character, on the surface she seems quite weak and quiet but, in reality, yes she’s quiet a lot of the time but by the end of this book she really comes into her own. Ana starts off the book not really knowing what she’s doing, having never been a relationship and just sort of drifting by.
Ana is a college student, she is days away from graduating and that’s when she meets, the one, the only: Christian Grey. And from then on her life tips upside down.
My inner goddess glares at me, tapping her small foot impatiently. She’s been ready for this for years, and she’s ready for anything with Christian Grey…
I don’t hate Ana as a character, in fact I really have very little to say about her but I have to mention the thing that bugged me most about her – something that i think alo bugged a lot of other readers. Her inner goddess. Excuse me while I barf! This whole thing completely freaked me out – her inner goddess is to my understanding, her subconscious. I really didn’t like these parts of her character at all, not only did it serve to make her character seem even more immature than she already seemed, it also made her come across as a bit ditsy (at least in my eyes).
“Not having… sex.” There – I said the word. I blush – of course.
Oh, and that reminds me – Ana’s immaturity was a big no, no for me. Ana has landed herself in this relationship that is completely new to her, in every aspect. Constant sex, constant – why the hell won’t this girl talk about her body parts? On one level, I get it, okay everyone get’s self-conscious but this chick says stuff like “down… there.” I just don’t understand how a 23 year old can still to be able to say the word vagina or sex, even in her head.
Ah, yes this fellow. Now, what can I say about this man that hasn’t already been said?
Mr. Grey is an interesting man – I would not like to meet him but I think he would be a gift to any psychologist who could tolerate him. This guy has some baggage, he was brought up in a horrible environment up until the age of four, until he was rescued by his adoptive mother, Grace. Later on in his life, around the age of fifteen he got ono the wrong path in life and that was when he met the legendary “Mrs Robinson”. Shoot me in the leg, this woman sexually abused him from a young ge and then into his early twenties.
The thing that is most upsetting about this whole scenario is that Christian does not see it as child abuse he sees it as something he needed and as something that saved him. If I do a review of the second book I will expand on this because we really don’t learn too much about him in the first novel.
*Sub – Submissive – ready to conform to the authority or will of others; meekly obedient or passive.
*Dom – Dominant – having power and influence over others.
Okay, so we’ve finally made it. The relationship. Oh, boy, what a doozie! I have a lot of problems with the relationship between Ana and Christian, particularly in this first book.
Just, first off, this is Ana’s first ever relationship and holy crap did she dive into the deep end first! So, Ana meets Mr. Grey and is all like holy cow what a superb man of character (I actually don’t remember what she said and I can’t be bothered to look for quotes). Anyway, so she’s gushing over him and then a few days later he just randomly turns up at her work (WHAT A COINCIDENCE) and decides “hey I’m on a random business trip don’t mind me while I stock up on some ROPE AND CABLE TIES” and Ana’s all like “he’s so dreamyyyy, what a hunk”.
At points in the novel Ana is made out to be a really intelligent character with a fantastic GPA and yet she doesn’t see the oh-so clear signs that she should keep away from this guy? He’s dominating, creepy and he kinda seems like a serial killer (wink wink to The Fall).
THIS RELATIONSHIP IS NOT HEALTHY.
“I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything you couldn’t take.”
- I’ll get into the stalking aspect of this later but let me tell you, I was not a fan!
“Please don’t be angry with me,” I whisper.
“Please don’t hit me,” I whisper, pleading.
His brow furrows, his eyes widening. He blinks twice.
“I don’t want you to spank me. Not here. Not now. Please don’t.”
- Ana is not fully on board with the BDSM aspect of their relationship. Whenever she tries to make conversation with Christian or get him to talk about himself he completely shuts down the conversation with sex. He essentially manipulates her with sex in order to prolong the relationship.
- Ana is afraid of Christian, and I’m not just saying that – she probably said it once every chapter once you got to the middle of the book.
- She is not comfortable with the “punishments” Christian inflicts upon her and this only fuels her anxiety and recklessness around him.
- Her roommate comments at some point through the book that Ana never cries and guess what? What do we see Ana doing when she’s not at work or having sex? Yep! You guessed it, she’s crying. I wonder why?
- Christian never respects her boundaries, he takes her tampon out (BY THE WAY, BOYS NEVER EVER DO THAT) and then proceeds to shove (literally) himself right on up there in her personal space. He takes it upon himself to fly down to see her when she’s visiting her mum. Like, excuse me Mr. Look-at-me-I-own-a-plane she took this break to get away from you. Wtf are you doing? Not only that but on separate occasions throughout the book when she just needs a second to herself he proceeds to completely ignore her wishes and have his wicked way with her.
“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls.”
- He feels entitled to her – like he owns her.
And so it begins, the section of the review that I’ve been pumping myself to write for hours. The stalking of Anastasia Steele.
I would like to preface this by saying that I do not find Christian Grey’s behaviour in any way romantic or compelling. I find his reasons childish and invasive.
I belatedly realise he’s not asked me where I live – yet he knows. But then he sent me the books, of course he knows where I live. What able, cellphone-tracking, hellicopter owning, stalker wouldn’t.
- Earlier on in the novel Christian sends Anastasia some supermegaexpensive books – yaknow because he’s rich ‘n shit.
- It doesn’t even really phase her that he found out her address.
- Like, I’m sorry but if someone did that for me I’d be in another country by the morning (or at least I’d call the cops).
“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’m sorry, what? Because it’s him, you don’t mind? *proceeds to rage*
Okay, I’m back now.
- This whole thing concerns me. When she’s not referring to him as her Fifty (Shades of Fucked Up) she is referring to him as her own personal stalker. There is something very wrong with this.
- He tracks her cell like it’s nothing. And again, because he is the Christian Grey he gets away with it, because it’s him.
- This sends a terrible message to younger readers, or any readers in general to be honest. This book basically says that it’s okay for someone to completely ignore and invade another person’s personal life and boundaries just because they want to.
WILL I READ THE NEXT BOOKS?
*coughs* I’ve already read the second book. I am currently reading the third book – I can’t say I’m too fussed on it. So far, the writing style has completely changed and Christian Grey is annoying me more than ever.
I just discovered, also that along with her rewrite of the first book – Grey, E. L. James will be releasing another book, which is a rewrite of Fifty Shades Darker only in Grey’s pov – WHATTTT. NOOOOOO. PLEASE STOP JAMES!! This leads me to believe she is going to complete the entire trilogy – what a waste of trees.
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