{Review} Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

February 17, 2015 Book 21 ★½

{Review} Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Women, Erotic, Fiction, Love & Romance
Series: Fifty Shades #1
Published by Vintage on May 25th 2011
Source: Own
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one-half-stars

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 intended for mature audiences.

WARNING: The following review includes few spoilers for the end of this book and beginning of the second one, plus great amounts of cursing and rants. You have been warned.

 

Since 2010, more or less, I’ve read all kinds of books and fan fiction, which some of us know that a lot of them hold smut scenes. Yet in the last five years I hadn’t read a book as traumatizing as this one, sexually and grammatically speaking.

Grammatically, this book was a total nightmare. I don’t know which person should hold the blame: the author, the editor, the beta readers, the publisher, ANYONE? NO ONE? EVERY BODY? I don’t know. I mean, I try to be emphatic in some way and think that shit happens and it’s okay. Even I make mistakes. Maybe you’ll find a few in this review. But please… someone enlighten me and tell me… how can you use a word in the place of another with a whole different meaning? The accused word here is confounded. Not to be confused with the word confused. There were a few others but I was so bored of them that I just decided to ignore them altogether. The other thing were the over-searched words which I bet were fished out of a thesaurus. Both Ana and Christian loved sounding very posh and confounding with their old-fashioned English words, which some of those are not used nowadays.  

But hey, this is just me being a complete bitch about something that shouldn’t be completely relevant to the plot. However, these things combined with the slow, droning pace in which Anastasia thinks and all… is horrible. My main and only motivation by 15% of the book was that if I finished it, I’d be able to argue against it in the future because knowledge is power.

Now onto the trauma-inducing parts. The sex. The sex was repulsing and not at all romantic like everyone likes to say. It’s full on animalistic fuck. I don’t recommend anyone younger than 18 years old to read this book at all costs unless you want to have your brain washed with bleach afterwards. I felt that, other than these scenes being disgusting, they were the only thing that could hook the reader into the story. The story would start getting boring and BAM Mr. Grey was all “sexy and hot and dominating” going about to fuck hard Miss Steele. Lots of sex scenes were thrown about just to hook you in a bit more to finish reading it. Or at least I felt like it was like that.

And Christian… his character was extremely manipulating on the reader. He is an abuser, a stupid control freak billionaire bastard that, even with his weird stalker traits and over all NO flashing signs, you liked him. Which was a turmoil I had within me. He was sexy, yes, but I do not support his ways and actions. The thing is, in this book, he often says that Anastasia had the power between them even if she was a submissive because she could say no and he would stop. They were going to have a fucking contract (hahaha pun) and then they would get on with the kinky stuff. They don’t sign anything. They do it. Ana doesn’t want to but is defenseless against the charms of Grey. *gags*. Yeah Christian, complete control my ass. You are a sick, twisted individual. He’s a stalker, he has control issues, he’s menacing, violent, abusive, jealous, but HEY IT’S ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD because he’s super hot and rich and he’s respected. Yeah. Sure. Whatever. It’s not like he could be a serial killer or something. (In the TV series The Fall with Jamie Dornan you have a GREAT example of how people can be deceiving…)

Now it’s my turn with Anastasia Steele. She’s so stupid she makes Shakespeare’s Juliet look like a Physics Scientist. She’s the epitome of naivety, of stupidity, of ignorance with zero percent of malice to know that something is definitely wrong with this dude. Okay, I understand the beginning how she’s interested in him and he in her, but Ana ignored all the bells ringing inside her head telling her that he was bad news. And the only thing that she did good in the whole book was leave him, and that was at the end, just to have her back with Christian fucking Grey in five days. After she screamed that he was a monster and ran off on him. Pfft. Talk about this being a bunch of baloney fiction.

Me as a woman would not allow a man as Christian to make a step towards me, no matter how hot he is or rich or philanthropic or smart. If he’s going to stalk me, buy the place where I work, dictate what I eat and how much of it, if I should exercise and with whom I might relate, control every second of my day, he’s out. The only people who can tell me what to do are my parents and that’s because I am under their roof until I graduate college and move on with my life. And God because He’s God. And as such woman, I find the thought of Christian so ugh… I’d be the one spanking him if I were into that stuff, but no.

In general, if you take all the sex and other irrelevant stuff, and the stupid inner goddess that I want to strangle, the book was okay. Not the best thing I’ve read, but (so far) not the worst. I could say it’s mostly a matter of preferences, and this is not in my avenue of books I like. At all. Like a person I have in Instagram wrote in a comment, Fifty Shades of Grey is crappy writing but the plot is interesting, and I agree completely. It has a certain appeal, even more in the second book that even had me giggling at some parts (further thoughts on Fifty Shades Darker for its future review). One good thing I’ve found of this series of books is that my few friends who have read it are now more interested in reading other types of books and any book that opens your hunger for words is good to me in that sense. So read at your own caution, and I hope you can enjoy it more than I did.

Rating: 1.5 stars

 

PS. I apologize to anyone who read this who loves the books that feels offended. I don’t judge you or your tastes. I love weird stuff too, like Twilight, so it’s okay. I respect that and cheer you on to keep filling your head with books you love no matter what others think 🙂

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  • Your thoughts totally echo mine about how aggravating everything was, from the inner goddess, the writing and the abusive relationship between two absolutely ridiculous characters! It was pretty much porn in a book, let’s be honest. Gosh, I gave it 1 star too, just couldn’t stand it.

    • jmmbookworm

      Omg I didn’t see I had comments, sorry! And Yeah, it was aggravating and horrible… I still wonder how I managed to read it all. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

  • I can’t even begin with this book. You’re spot on ON BASICALLY EVERYTHING. The writing was horrid. But putting that aside for a minute: the characters were horrid. Christian was the most abusing P.O.S ever and it makes me disgusted to think women find that type of man and this type of ‘relationship’ something to desire

    • jmmbookworm

      In all honesty, while I read the book I didn’t notice most of his weird… things other than the abuse, but when you stop and think about it, it’s really horrible. And It frustrates me to no end when some of the readers don’t think about those things and give excuses about how it’s okay because of his horrid past and blah blah blah. I have 17 and 18 year old friends who wish for a Christian Grey and I’m bewildered at WHY. I just hope these women only desire them in the literature way rather than real life, because that’s what gives way to real abuse, not kinky sex. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • I applaud you for finishing the book! I couldn’t continue reading it after their first meeting, the interview thing. Like you, I wouldn’t want someone like Mr. Grey in my life. Stalker, controlling, etc. No amount of money and hotness can make me run towards a man like him. I don’t think I will try reading it any time in the future.

    • jmmbookworm

      I still wonder at how I managed… Reviewing was my source of power and resistance! lol Money and hotness can be tantalizing, but real relationships need a stronger foundation than that of abuse. Please don’t read it… unless you want to discuss it, save your neurons from a horrible fate xD

  • I read this book a few years back when it was buzzing all over the blogosphere, and I’m ashamed to admit that I actually enjoyed it! The writing & the editing weren’t the best, and it was the only Erotic Contemporary title that I’d ever tried at that time, so I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. I saw the movie with my husband on Sunday. It won’t win any awards, however it was good entertainment. I understand why it didn’t do it for you though, it’s not for everyone.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    • jmmbookworm

      Oh no! You shouldn’t feel ashamed of liking it. We all have our dirty pleasures. And I totally respect your opinion on the subject and applaud you for not being swayed by the people like me lol. Not for everyone, true, but still something that keeps you thinking after reading it, be it for good or bad. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  • shootingstarsmag

    I never read these books but I’ve heard so much about it, that I just can’t. I don’t understand how people DO NOT see that Christian is abusive. It just freaks me out when people talk about wanting a guy like that. I guess they just mean all the sex or something, because in general, he’s super manipulative and a stalker and just, an abusive guy in various ways.

    -lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

    • jmmbookworm

      I read it mostly to see how abusive he was, and I was not disappointed to see that in fact he was abusive, and much worse than expected. A lot of my friends have commented how they want someone dominating, hot, with that quantity of money, and all the sex, but to me that is simply not appealing. Money, sure, we all need it, but there are ways to things. And while I understand that tastes differ, this is ridiculous how they over idolize the pure image of violence and psychological problems such as his. Oh well. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • A lot of people say it’s kinda like rape or something LOL someone tweeted that to EL James, the tweeter was a victim of rape and then MS.James replied very rudely telling her No rape in this book then there was a gif attached of her throwing a book and telling her to read it. It received a lot of negative responses 🙁

    http://www.lite-rate-ture.om

    • jmmbookworm

      Well, in that case, in the most blunt way possible, those people are ignorant. That’s why I read the book, because knowledge is power! lol While there’s abuse and many other things, rape is not one of them. He manipulates Ana, yes, and basically lies to her when he says she has control of the sex, she eventually consents to him because she wanted the sex as much as him. If she had been stubborn enough, she might have left the room, and if he still persisted while she didn’t want to, it would have been rape. But that didn’t happen so far I know. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ah, this is hilarious! I picked up FIFTY SHADES a few years ago, and was so bored by the whole thing that I skim read after about five chapters. here was absolutely NOTHING drawing me in, and I was like wow this is just sex with a barely there plot. And then i skim read the third one (completely skipped the second one) and w o w. I can’t wait to read your review for THAT piece of *ahem* XD

    • jmmbookworm

      I started this book about two and a half years ago and left it at chapter 9. I picked this again for some miracle, really xD Honestly, Harlequin KISS books have more plot and is more intriguing than these, and the sex, in terms of literature, is better. Not that I have experience in the matter, but yeah. THAT is pure cheesy and sexy romance without the “BDSM” put in this book. I liked, overall, how the second ended. It could have been one of those stand-alone romances, so I don’t really have the need to read the third since I know a lot of the spoilers. But we’ll see if I change my mind in a moment of pure boredom and masochism HA xD

  • Your review is very helpful! I wanted to read this one just because of the popularity but now I know I realllllly shouldn’t, ha. I know I would get so frustrated. I might get stuck going to see the movie with my friends though D:

    • jmmbookworm

      Well, if you’re really interested, I guess is worth a shot at your own risk. But if you get easily frustrated by the things I mentioned in my review, best is to just watch the movie lol. I’ll try and see it sometime when it’s on Netflix or satellite xD Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Karen

    There are so many reasons why I won’t read this. Several of my friends have and would text me large portions and GAH!!

    My two biggest reasons for passing though are that James is pretending that this is original material when it’s really Twilight fanfic. Which is fine but give credit where it’s due.

    Second is the fact that any reputable publisher would pick this up – continue the farce that it’s original – and then publish it without editing, and charge full price, shocks me.

    I’ve read a lot of erotica/BDSM but from what I’ve seen of this book it’s abusive, controlling behavior – not a mutually consensual relationship.

    I won’t be giving James any of my $$’s

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • See, I actually do read erotica from time to time so the sex wasn’t a big deal for me. I do agree with the writing, and to be honest, I ended up not finishing this book because Anastasia annoyed the heck out of me. I mean, is she a Disney princess? Actually, that’s an insult to smart Disney princess characters! And as much as I enjoy an alpha male from time to time, Christian Grey was just too unrealistic for me. Kudos for finishing this, even I couldn’t!

    • jmmbookworm

      Actually, Anastasia is from Fox, not Disney xD But I know what you mean. I love alpha males when done properly, and even those have a sense of respect towards the girls sometimes! This man though… ugh. Kill it with fire. xD

  • Benish

    AAAAH.. NAILED it with your review<3 This is one of the most ridiculous books I have read, and I really do feel that it gives a wrong message out to society. Anna was a dumb heroine, I agree with you on that.Love the honest review! Benish | Feminist Reflections

    • jmmbookworm

      I understand how some books are not always a specific message to society, but this one crosses on to the line in which women look up to this as a GUIDE no less and think that if a man like this crosses their line of vision, that they should take him because he’ll be like Christian Grey so sexy and rich… It was ridiculous, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that way. And thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! <3