I've waffled between a 1-star and a 2 for the last two days, and I still haven't made up my mind, really.
This was just so absolutely trashtastic, evenI've waffled between a 1-star and a 2 for the last two days, and I still haven't made up my mind, really.
This was just so absolutely trashtastic, even more so than Fifty Shades of Grey, and I really didn't think anything could be trashier than that series. Well, color me wrong, because this series is just about perfect, as far as trashy novels go.
It's got everything: incest. Rape. Torture. Evil grandmothers. Evil mothers. Twins who don't grow. An attic jail. A freaking swan bed, with its own swan bed. Illicit love. Blue Lagoon-type sexual awakenings. Poison. A cute little mouse.
I felt like I was held down in a chair, bound hand and foot, gagged, with those nasty eye things from Clockwork Orange in place, forcing me to watch a train wreck. I just couldn't stay away---I just couldn't!---even though I had to put it down every so often, just to give myself some room. I know: it reminded me of the train wreck that is Miley Cyrus.
But each day, FITA just kept calling out to me: "Don't you want to know what comes next?"
"Don't you want to know how often Cathy'll parade her nubile body in front of her brother?"
"Don't you want to know how her grandmother will torture her and her siblings next?"
"Surely you can't stop there! The mom just showed up!"
"Chris and Cathy just kissed! OMG!"
"If Chris and Cathy are outside on the roof, why don't they just escape?"
And so on and so forth. I think FITA is the equivalent of Lay's potato chips, without the calories. It should come with a warning though: there is a high potential for developing a series of very unpleasant tics while reading!
Oh, it was so cringe-inducing.
And there were belly laughs galore (and not in a good way).
I am so ashamed to admit this, but I'm reading the second one. And then I need to stop. Because I'm killing brain cells here!...more
Things I have learned while reading the Fifty Shades series:
a. Stalking is good. (No, really...stalking is acceptable behavior! *rolls eyes*)
b. Being Things I have learned while reading the Fifty Shades series:
a. Stalking is good. (No, really...stalking is acceptable behavior! *rolls eyes*)
b. Being controlled is a turn on. (Free will? Freedom? Why would I want that? I want someone to control me! Well, sometimes, at least...because you know...there are benefits to being controlled. See below.)
c. If you have low self-esteem, it's perfectly okay to lose your virginity to a stalker, uber-controlling guy who gets off on kinky-f*ckery. Because, you know, you knew he was into kinky f*ckery (Ana's words, not mine!). You knew he didn't want the hearts and flowers and vanilla sex. And you know this because...well, you know...you embarked on this relationship after having signed a non-disclosure agreement regarding your relationship with said stalker-uber-control-freak, and after you've studied a contract regarding his kinky f*ckery and what he would do to you as his submissive. So you can't say that you didn't know what you were getting yourself into.
d. Once you've lost yourself to said stalker-uber-control-freak, it's okay to solve all your problems (and there will be many, mind you, starting with the fact that this guy you're having a relationship with is such a control freak and a stalker)...but I digress...it's okay to solve all your problems with never-ending-mind-blowing-kinky-f*ckery multiple times a day, every day. And the more problems and fights you have, the better. Because he gets off on when you're bad and you get off on his kinky f*ckery! And because by now, you realize that sex solves everything! That's the one thing you two have in common! You revel in it. Even if everything about you is being controlled such as what you eat, where you go, who you see, what you do, it's all okay! Kinky f*ckery solves all that lost freedom you once knew and enjoyed. And the best part? Everything's good because you've got a stalker-uber-control-freak who has accepted that you will not be a submissive. He worships the ground you walk on and loves you and can't live without you! (Psst...guess what...I think he's got lower self-esteem than you do! What's that? You think you're perfect for each other? Wow...I never would've seen that coming!)
e. And if you're bad (e.g., you decide to visit with your friend, your mom, go to work, or heaven forbid, skip a meal), you will be found. He will show up wherever you are, even if you're on the opposite end of the country. And you will be punished. Harshly. With never-ending-mind-blowing kinky f*ckery. And with spanking (for those small offenses), flogging or whipping (for slightly larger offenses), or if you were really bad, you will be tortured with a vibrator and will not be allowed to have an orgasm. (Ummm...okay...) Oh wait...sorry...that wasn't the worst. If you're really, really bad, as in you go topless in a nude beach in Italy, your wrists will be handcuffed to your ankles and you will be "tortured" with more kinky f*ckery, which will inevitably leave you with chafed wrists and ankles as well as hickies, bruises and bite marks all over your torso, from your neck down, so that you can no longer wear a bikini. You have been marked. As the property of one stalker-uber-control-freak. So let that be a lesson to you.
f. But if you were said low-self-esteemed-innocent girl, then you will be okay with it all. Because you love the stalker-uber-control-freak. Warts and all. And isn't that what love is all about anyway? Looking past someone's faults and accepting them, and losing yourself in them, and trying to forge through all that pain and angst together? Because you two together can do anything? Right? That's what it's all about, right? And you will save him. From himself. From his sad, forlorn, horrible, abused past. From the pedophile who turned him onto BDSM. From all the craziness that is in him. You are his Messiah. You will free him of all that ails him. You are strong enough for the both of you. You have achieved a demented Goddess complex. You will agree to marrying him, even though you've only known him less than two months because you know that you two are yin and yang. You complete each other. He had you at "Hello."
g. And it will all be okay, because said stalker-uber-control-freak will give you an Audi A3, a Saab, an Audi R8, a laptop, an iPad, a Blackberry, 3 (count 'em, 3!) first editions of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (because one wasn't enough), a closet full of designer clothing and a multimillion dollar house. Oh, did I mention that he will also buy the company that you work for, so that he can control you, what you do and who you work with? No? Well, stalker-uber-control-freak will definitely buy your company.
h. After all that, not to mention the mind blowing kinky f*ckery, why, you have no recourse but to marry the guy! Otherwise, you'd just be ungrateful. And because you know that your life would lose all meaning without him, and his would be a dark chasmic miasma without you. (I know, I know...you're perfect for each other! You already said that. Shhh!) So you will accept his offer of marriage. You will accept him, warts and all (which includes all his baggage). Which will, of course, include one (or all) of the following: blackmail, BDSM pedophilia, the Red Room of Pain, arson, kidnapping, breaking and entering, stalker ex-girlfriends who stalk you/watch you while you sleep/point a gun at you, women who want your man, sexual harassment by your boss, multiple car chases, spying, 24/7 security, a helicopter crash, psychiatric evaluations, intense mother-hatred, extreme jealousy, heart attacks, unwanted pregnancies...phew, I'm exhausted.
The list is exhaustive.
Boy, am I glad I read this series. Because now I know what I've been missing! Silly me, to think that my life has been pretty good thus far. *shakes head* I need to ditch my all-too-vanilla hubby and find a stalker-uber-control-freak who will demean me and control me and make me a billionaire and repay me with never-ending-mind-blowing kinky f*ckery and absolute, all-encompassing (read: stifling, suffocating, totally unhealthy) love. Because that's why this series is so popular right?
So I decided to try something different with this book review. Instead of being all negative (like I was in my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, I figurSo I decided to try something different with this book review. Instead of being all negative (like I was in my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, I figured I ought to focus on the good things about Fifty Shades Darker.
1. I have finished the book. 2. I have finished the book.
Someone needs therapy. Really. Whether it's Christian Gray or Ana Steele or E.L. James...gosh, maybe even me, for reading this and not giving it one sSomeone needs therapy. Really. Whether it's Christian Gray or Ana Steele or E.L. James...gosh, maybe even me, for reading this and not giving it one star. Egads.
If I had an inner goddess, why would I: a. be okay with giving myself to a control freak who wants to control who I see, when I sleep, what I eat, etc.? b. be okay with being with an uber-stalker control freak? c. want to continue having relations with an uber-stalker control freak who gets off on torture? d. allow said uber-stalker control freak to buy me an Audi, $14000 first editions, a MacBook Pro and a Blackberry (in order of descending monetary value)? (Note to E.L. James: BlackBerry's going down the drain...the iPhone's the only way to go!)
I would think there was something wrong with my inner goddess.
In my mind, inner goddesses are supposed to be telling me the following: a. I do not have to settle, no matter how enamored I am of someone. b. I am worth it, and my man has to prove himself to me (and not make me sign contracts instead of having a relationship). c. I love myself and I should expect nothing less from the person I am with. d. I respect myself and whoever I'm with should respect me and prove that I can respect them.
Actually, inner goddesses would probably say the man I'm with should worship the ground I walk on, but I personally don't have an inner goddess (just little ole me) telling me these things, and I'm fine with that. I'm secure enough in and with myself that I can tell myself these things.
My point is...I can see why so many women L.O.V.E. this story. The romantic aspects are definitely there. The kinky stuff wasn't really as kinky as it was made out to be. Anyone curious about BDSM (or those who partake in it) would probably be disappointed with how much was actually part of the story. Yes, there was a lot of sex, but I kinda glossed over it towards the end as it got quite repetitive (and boring). Honestly, the one part of the book I truly enjoyed were the e-mails back and forth between Ana and Christian. I thought they were hilarious and about as close to reality as this narrative got. That part, I totally embraced. As someone who communicates better with the written word rather than by speaking, I really connected with Ana's opening up via e-mail, as well as the cute and witty exchanges between Ana and Christian. To me, that was the only real portion of the novel. They both came alive in these exchanges; they showed a different side, a more vulnerable side, a real side. And since I really enjoyed those parts, this was it's saving grace and saved it from being a one-star.
Again, probably in the minority here, but I really felt the whole story was so contrived, from the Jose-as-Jacob stand-in, the super rich perfect Grey family with one parental unit filling in the doctor role, to the Washington State setting. (By the way, if Kate's family is so well-to-do, buying her a duplex here and a condo there and she's driving a Mercedes, and owns designer clothing...why did she go to a state school? Nothing against state schools -- I myself went to one for both undergrad and grad school -- but couldn't she have afforded to go Ivy? Especially if she *ahem* graduated *ahem* valedictorian *aaaggghhh...furball* from college? [Note to E.L. James: that would be graduating summa cum laude.])
I understand that this is supposed to be a grown-up version of Bella and Edward's story, and from what I've read, I know that E.L. James was deeply moved by the whole Twilight series, that it touched her in a way no other series had, and that she was so inspired, she created this fanfic and it became very popular very quickly. That's great and all, but...
...is this how she really saw alt-Bella and alt-Edward? Was Edward, in her mind, really this controlling? If so...I'm scared.
I don't know. Whereas Stephenie Meyer (and I am not a fan of hers) wrote Edward as a real romantic hero, Christian, to me, is an anti-hero, and not really even a romantic anti-hero. You get glimpses of him where he's almost human, where you can almost like him. But then he's so messed up, and he admits he's messed up, that if he were a real person, I would grab him by the shoulders (even though he wouldn't like this) and scream at him and say "Get over yourself, buddy! You're messed up! You're rich. You've been seeing a shrink for years. You still haven't gotten better, so get a NEW, even more expensive shrink, someone who may actually get you through your crazy hang-ups and allow you to respect yourself so that you can lead a normal life with a nice girl you can bring home to your mom! And there's nothing wrong with vanilla!"
Having said all that, I can understand why many of my friends who read it really loved it. I have had five people jumping me for the last month, trying to get me to read this. And they are tenacious. They are rabid fans. One of them even re-read the series already, that's how much she loved them. And we see eye-to-eye on a lot of books, so...I gave in to peer pressure. And now that I've downloaded all three books (probably not a wise decision on my part), I have no choice but to move stolidly on.