Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

*Warning – This is an honest review. Read at your own risk.

Title:  Fifty Shades of Grey

Author: E L James

Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0345803485

ISBN-13: 978-0345803481

Rating: 1 Star (Only because I have to give it a rating.)
Blurb:  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.

Review: After being bullied into interviewing handsome billionaire Christian Grey in her friend’s stead, college student Anastasia Steele becomes enamoured with the enigmatic man. Grey seems to be unable to resist his own attraction to the young woman and soon brings her into his world of dark sexual fantasies.

I have so many issues with this book, I’m not sure where to start. Let’s take the technical writing aspect for example. This book is classified as erotic romance, which in most cases would heat up very quickly. Yet, in the first hundred pages of the book nothing much happens. Considering there is no HEA or HFN, it should be classed strictly erotica. An erotica that starts slow and ends an excruciating five hundred, twenty-eight pages later. It’s written mostly in first POV which keeps the reader from delving into Christian’s thoughts and motivations. Some portions are writen in third POV, but definitely not deep third. The dialogue flow is choppy and unnatural. Extreme overuse of first names and full names. Reader Inclusion. Repetition. Not too mention one of the worst opening sentence hooks I have ever read. Every thing writers are taught to avoid has been done here and what might have been a interesting premise if done right suffered greatly for the lack.

As for characterization, the author failed to make me care anything about the characters. They don’t grow, change or redeem themselves in any way. Anastasia is a weak and whiny little child of a woman.   She allows Christian to run all over her, rule her existence and then pouts when he does. She’s supposed to be some little innocent virgin, yet has excellent beginner’s luck in the bedroom? Seriously? Please. Let’s return from fairy land, shall we.

Ana is supposed to be young, just graduating college, yet her internal thoughts are spoken in correct grammar completely opposite of her outward dialogue. Then there is her “inner goddess”. I vehemently hate her “inner goddess” and the constant holy f-bomb cursing diatribes. I wanted to slap this character so many times. No wonder Christian wants to beat her with various objects. She’s annoying.

Christian is another story. He could have had the makings of a good hero. Could have. He’s brooding, good-looking, impossibly rich (no really, he never works) with a flawed past which pushes him to act the way he does. Except, we never see this side of him. Never see any kindness or concern for the physical welfare of his partner during their sexual interactions (which are unrealistic). Instead, he’s the rich guy weirdly obsessed with food and inflicting pain on his women.  He is a masochistic jerk, brutal in his treatment of Ana and she is constantly forgiving him for it.

Instead of depicting a BDSM relationship where both parties  gain something from their experiences that might not have been achieved otherwise, Fifty Shades comes dangerously close to condoning violent abusive behavior. Because what Ana and Christian call a relationship has crossed a line no one should. There is a difference between submissive play between consenting adults and what happens here.

I could go on, but I have given this book far too much time already. On to brighter reads.