Monday, May 28, 2012
50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Publication Date: May 26, 2011
Source: Purchased the e-book on Kindle
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?
This book received a lot of attention from the media, and after one of my best friends recommended I read it, I decided to give it a try.
I'm happy I read it so I can be aware of what the fuss is about. However, I do not understand the hype that surrounds this book. I didn't love it, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless they want to read it to be able to discuss their opinions with everyone else who is talking about it.
- I liked the beginning of the story: up until about 60% of the way through, I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
- The ending. I'm extremely happy with Ana's decision at the end. It was 100% the right decision, since she was in an abusive relationship and unhappy (even though her happy moments with Christian made her mistakenly believe she was happy, I do not think she was.)
- Katherine and Elliott's relationship. I wish I saw more of them.
- My #1 issue with this book is that so many women are going around declaring Christian Grey their "dream man." WHY would anyone admire him?! He is crazy, abusive, disrespectful of women, a control freak, and a stalker! NONE of those traits sound appealing to me. Also, throughout the book I wasn't even given enough information about his past to sympathize with him. I flat-out didn't like him.
Example: "I like the control [hitting you] gives me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don't, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire."
That is in NO way attractive. If in real life anyone says that to a person, they should get far away and get a restraining order.
It's not the BDSM lifestyle I'm opposed to -- it's not my cup of tea, but if both people participating enjoy it, that's their business. Ana was not enjoying it -- she tried putting up with it because she feared Christian would leave her if she didn't, and it was making her unhappy. I do not believe that is a healthy relationship.
- This story began as a Twilight fan-fiction, with Ana as Bella and Christian as Edward. In Twilight, the reason Edward is attracted to Bella even though Bella is average is because she is the one person whose mind he cannot read. This makes her extremely different from everyone else, and allowed me to believe their relationship. There was no reason given to me throughout 50 Shades why Christian would be interested in Ana, and I never believed their relationship.
- The length. This book was way too long, and needed more editing to par it down. When I reached the 70% point, I was ready for the book to end. It dragged on much longer than necessary.
- I wanted to strangle the "inner goddess." Did she really have to be mentioned so many times? Along with the subconscious, at points it sounded like Ana had multiple personality disorder.
I do not recommend this book, unless you are curious about the hype and want to be able to discuss it with others. There are so many other great books out there to read. This book glamorizes abusive relationships, and I did not support the "romance" in it one bit. I will not be continuing this series.