REVIEW: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) by E. L. James

WARNING: Not for kids younger than 18.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Romance/ Erotica (Mommy Porn), Pages: 528, Level: Easy

Book Description:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too- 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 family- Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is basically a love story… okay, with a bit of a twist.

While it is not likely to be a Nobel Prize or Pulitzer winner, it is not an unintelligent book. There is no dumbing down of the vocabulary and the exchanges between the characters are witty and playful at the same time.

There is some repetitiveness in the book. Ana constantly questions how Christian can have this affect on her. Christian constantly rubs his finger on her lower lip and is turned on when she bites her lower lip. The eye rolling thing gets a little repetitive. They are little things but enough to elicit an eye roll from the reader every time they occur. The most annoying part to me is when he calls her baby, especially while having sex.

There is a lot of sex in this book and it is told in such extreme detail, it made me blush at points, and that’s hard to do. The topics of dominance and sado-masochism are also in this book. And the dominance extends to all aspects of the relationship, so there are parts where the feminist in you may be screaming. And if there is no feminist in you, it will likely develop.

For those of you old enough to remember, this first book is basically 9 1/2 weeks in much more detail. If you are too young to remember that movie, you can stream it on Netflix. Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger in their prime! Apparently the movie was based on a book with the same title and there are many similarities between it and Fifty Shades of Grey, although to my knowledge, no one has accused James of stealing the idea.

Let’s look at the similarities between Shades and 9 1/2, the movie: 1) The female lead drinks tea, not coffee. 2) The male lead with his grey suit and white shirt with the top buttons unbuttoned. 3) The extrovert roommate. 4) The boathouse. 5) The spanking. 6) The riding crop. 7) The female lead’s smart-alecky attitude. 8) “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” And there is so much more. But James takes the story much further than the movie does. I haven’t read the book Nine and a Half Weeks so I can’t compare the books. One comment on Fifty observed another more personal similarity that I don’t wish to mention here.

So if you enjoyed this book, maybe Nine and a Half Weeks would be a good book to read.

Despite the central theme of Fifty Shades, the characters are believable and I liked them immediately. Even the peripheral characters were well written. I think most books have ups and downs and I am guilty of sometimes skimming through the downs of books. In Fifty Shades, I was interested in the slower parts of the book as well because they answered some of the questions lingering in the back of my head or gave you more insight into other characters. For example, one of Christian’s employees is so enigmatic and I am thrilled when there is a scene with him in it, hoping that James reveals a little more about him.

I understand how some will find the whole story implausible and think that in real life, Ana would immediately walk away. But what kept me locked on the book until the wee hours of the morning was the question as to why she did not and if she eventually would.

So I do recommend this book- to some people.

Reviewed by Christina

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