So I’m ashamed to admit it but I caved in and read the damn book. For those of you who don’t know (I don’t understand how you’ve managed to avoid the subject) 50 shades of Grey is the best selling novel by writer E L James. It is quite truthfully what everyone’s been talking about and after being bombarded with it, curiosity got the better of me and I bought myself a copy.
The book wasn’t bad but it definitely did not live up to its name. God knows why it’s been given so much praise and attention. Screw turning me on this book annoyed me more than anything else and I’m sure that’s not what Mrs James’ intentions were when writing it.
The thing that annoyed me the most was the fact it was fan fiction. I have no issue with fan fiction at all but when it becomes a best seller and is more talked about than the book it’s based on? well then for me it becomes irritating. I read the first two books in the Twilight saga and I have to admit I am not a huge fan- maybe that could play a part in my disappointment? I guess you gotta be a fan to appreciate the fan fiction.
I was quite wary about reading the book seeing as I usually cringe at sex scenes on tv but this was only because I was expecting the book to be a lot more raunchy. Most books have scenes of a sexual nature in them and yes, this book was a lot more explicit but I expected it to go into a lot more detail and be a lot more shocking. Having said that, a friend of mine bought the book before me and couldn’t finish it because she said that the sex scenes made her feel to awkward.I was not phased by it at all, E L James does portray a rather vivid picture of what goes on behind Mr Grey’s doors but if you’re searching for a super dirty, saucy book I’m pretty sure there are other books that can fill that need better.
Then there’s the matter of the characters. When reading Twilight I was indecisive on whether or not I liked Miss Bella Swan and when the film adaptation came out I decided I very much disliked the socially awkward, obsessive and plain girl. As Anastasia Steele is based on Bella Swan I rather expected to dislike her too. As a protagonist I found her rather pathetic (but this is mainly due to the storyline) I think I’ll have to read the other books in the trilogy before forming a fair opinion on her. Then there’s the elusive Mr Christian Grey- the ideal man eh? I have to give it to her, E L James did succeed in creating a desirable male lead in her novel but only because she thrust together so many qualities that the women readers would have to be attracted to at least something of his personality! I mean he’s handsome, rich, sexy, mysterious, generous, successful… we are intrigued by him and I guess that’s essential to the story- we learn about him alongside Anastasia.
The blurb describes this novel as romantic. Ha. Sex is obviously a big part of relationships but Mr Grey and Miss Steele’s ‘relationship’ is a far cry from the old fashioned romance that is flowers, hand-holding and kisses on her doorstep. The novel seems to use sex to distract from the appallingly poor, basic and cliche storyline. I also think that the novel is too forced, It’s as if I kept being told “you should find this sexy” and “isn’t this so risque and exciting?” when in reality a girl like Anastasia would never even consider being a part of Grey’s disturbing and damaged world. This novel is far from believable and if you’re a fan of well-written intellectual books than I’d leave this one at the book store.
Finally, the worst part of it all- the ending. Cliffhangers may work in soap opera’s but I think that ending the book in such an abrupt manner is just a tacky way to sell the sequel.
This is just my humble opinion of course, if you are intrigued or just want to see what the fuss is about then I suggest you read it, if only to satisfy your curiosity but as you are probably aware by now-I was left quite dissatisfied.