Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Review{s}: 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy

If you've been blog hopping with the Book Club Friday link-up, you know that this series has been making its way around. A fanfiction story {Twlight, no less} turned into three novels, this story has now hit {and topped, no pun intended...or maybe it was} The New York Times bestseller list. Y'all, even some of my family members are reading this trilogy.

We follow two main characters, Christian Grey, a kinky, rich, commitment-phobe and Anastasia Steele, a young twenty-something who has just graduated college. When she meets Mr. Grey, Ana is a virgin and Mr. Grey is not even in the same zip-code with his sexual past. What's more, Mr. Grey has never had a romantic relationship; rather he has always been in a D/s {Dominant/submissive} "play" relationship {Lauren's note: it is possible and common to have D/s romantic relationships. Probably you know at least one couple who is, and even more couples who are kinky in some way. Of course, they're not going to tell you!}.

Prior to Ana, any woman he was with has signed a contract entailing all the things that he's allowed to do to her, and all the things she's required to do. There's no love, not much physical affection, and a whole lot of distance. Until, of course, Ana steals his heart and he has to re-think the entire process and face his past so that he can figure out what to do with a woman who doesn't share his sexual preferences.

Ana, for her part, has to figure out the whole communication thing and come to terms with the idea that sex is not just what they teach you in sex ed, and that there's no normal. She's understandably spooked and instead of talking about it, she runs.

Later in the series they endure a whole host of dramatic events {attempted rape, interference by an ex-partner, attempted murder, etc.} and fall madly in love. Christian and Ana explore her kinky side and they all live happily ever after, in a nutshell {I mean, that's kind of a spoiler alert, but in novels like these, did you expect much else?}.

Next week I'm going to post a mini-series about some of the things I've noticed being said about this series {i.e. That BDSM is dangerous/abuse, That it is anti-feminist, that only folks who have been abused would be interested in this kind of sexual relationship} so I won't go into a full commentary on those things.

However, I will say:

I. loved. it. I couldn't put it down. My obsession ranks right up there with when I read Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. This saga pushed ALL of my buttons {yes, THOSE buttons}, and despite some verbiage issues {"inner goddess?" are ya kidding me?} I enjoyed the storyline. In reality, Ms. James could have used a good editor {"Oh my" is used in every other sentence}, Ana could have been less angsty about the whole "my boyfriend/husband has a sexual history/there are other women in the world" thing, and Christian could have been written to be less controlling. In that sense, the characters were predictable and unrealistic {especially toward the end of the series}.

But, make no mistake: this is NOT your typical steamy romance novel. This is straight-up porn, IMO. I'm not entirely sure that normal people can have as much sex as these two have, simply because one of them wouldn't be able to walk after awhile. In addition, there are all kinds of escapades in here, some of which I guarantee will squick you if you've never wandered into a sex shop or owned a pair of fuzzy handcuffs. In fact, if you've never delved into the BDSM portion of the web {and especially if you don't know what that acronym means}, the contract and mentions of riding crops, needles, and breath play might {will probably} be enough to send you running for the hills.

What you should know {and what I'll be talking about next week} is that there are people out there who find this stuff arousing {yes, every single thing mentioned in the contract is arousing for someone}, and although you must be careful, it is absolutely possible to do most of it safely. However, from what I gather from the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, this is one of those love-it or hate-it kind of series. It does it for you or it doesn't. You get it, or you don't. As a connoisseur of this kind of fiction {did I just admit that?}, it pushed my buttons and I was impressed. But then, I knew I would be. I highly recommend that before you pay for the series you seriously consider whether you would enjoy the novel.


  1. It's funny I tend to avoid books that are all the rage ... and then a couple of years after all the hoopla I might pick it up and read it. I think this might be one of those...

  2. I am trying hard not to get sucked in to these. I am afraid that I am getting closer to starting them though. Everyone loves them!

  3. Anonymous11:37 AM

    I'm reading them now..

    They are pushing my buttons, THOSE buttons, too! ;)

  4. I loved every minute of it. I couldn't put it down!! It definitely pushed those buttons, but I'm okay with that haha

  5. I'm almost done with the first book now...and I'm loving them. Sad but true!

  6. I feel like I would hate this.

    I have gathered that it's a "love it or hate it" kind of thing. I might check it out just to see what all the hub-ub is about, though.

  7. Just now reading this! So glad you finally decided to pick this trilogy up! I agree, it's not for everyone, but for those who do like it, it's totally addicting! I just got a co-worker sucked into this trilogy and she's LOVING it! Besides, I have a tendency to think those that are calling it "mommy porn" just can't grasp the whole concept of that kind of relationship & the amount of trust & commitment that goes into it!

    Glad you loved them!!! :)

  8. I think this is the first review I've actually read about the book (haaaaaa) cuz I've been ignoring it. I think I shall read it this summer. It sounds VERY interesting.

  9. This book is everywhere lately. And even though it is out of my normal comfort zone, I still hope to pick it up soon.

  10. I read the first book and was so uncomfortable the entire time!