20 July, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Author: E.L James
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

FromGoodreads: 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 Ana’s 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 a 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?

What I thought:
So there was just too much hype about this book to not read it, especially when I was hearing so many mixed reports about it – another one of those love it or hate it type books – and I will admit the “sexy content” had me interested. So what did I think – not good, not good at all.
I have several issues with the book – the first being simply how badly it was written. I can see the bare bones of an ok book in this, but it needed a damn good editor willing to insist on some major changes. In fact much of the book reads like a first draft to me. Characters, especially Ana’s friends Kate and they guy who has a crush on her (can't remember his name!) are incredibly two dimensional where they could have added so much to the story line. Their concern for Ana and her confusion, bouts of tears and sadness seem incredibly superficial and not in line with the type of friendship Ana claims to have with them.
As for Ana....I am truly at a loss as to how she goes from sweet innocent, never done a thing virgin to a full on multiple orgasming creature. I know there is a high level of fantasy in this book, but seriously, at least try to maintain some sense of reality. Her repeated catch phrases of things like Oh my...My inner godess...my subconscious...Lord knows I can’t blame Christian Grey for wanting to slap her, I sure as hell wanted to! And while I have no problem with her willingness to try new things, I do have an issue with her doing things she is obviously uncomfortable with.
It should come as no surprise that I’m not enamoured of Christian either. Another two dimensional character with a fetish. Yes, yes, it’s lovely that he has a contract drawn up and is willing to negotiate it, but the handsome, ridiculously wealthy, self made man who has a dangerous side – please, can you get any more clich├ęd!
Apart from the bad writing and the flat characters, I have a huge issue with yet another portrayal of an unrealistic relationship where the girl is seemingly unable to think for herself and allows her life to become controlled by a man. I just think it is such the wrong message to be sending to women of any age, but especially young women. I know how this ends, and how it could be perceived as Ana growing a backbone and standing up for herself, but from what I understand from conversations with others who have read all three of the books, it doesn’t stay that way. I may be wrong, but I’m not going to read the other two to find out. In the end this is one of those books where I am going to end up disagreeing with many people about it. It's trash, through and through. It's popularity is completely due to the controversial nature of the story line. Anyone looking for a recommendation from me would be told to stay right away and not to waste their time.

Challenges: eBook Challenge