Juliana's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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Apr 23, 12

bookshelves: 0-own-as-an-ebook, romantica, romantica-contemporary, 5-plus-stars, 5-stars, 4-to-5-stars, favorite-books-of-all-time, best-romance-books, best-romance-heroes-ever, best-romance-heroines-ever, 0-wishlist-buy-in-dead-tree-form, 0-reviewed, 2011-aug-reads, 2011-reads, contemporary-romance, 2011-reads-my-favorites-of-the-year, challenge-2011-wllk-august-all-a, cr-a-little-on-the-naughty-side, cr-class-difference, cr-delicious-hero, cr-hero-businessman, cr-hero-famous, cr-hero-mid-to-late-20s, cr-hero-recluse-loner-mysterious, cr-hero-rough-haunted-tortured, cr-hero-very-bad-boy, cr-hero-abuse-trauma-rape, cr-heroine-bookish-smart, cr-heroine-good-girl, cr-heroine-not-confident, cr-heroine-poor-background, cr-heroine-somewhat-wallflower, cr-heroine-shy-quiet-wallflower, cr-instant-attraction, cr-sizzling-chemistry, cr-sad-or-emotional, 2011-reads-my-supremes-of-the-year, challenge-2011-wllk-aug-spell-out, challenge-2011-2012-nbrc-women-type, challenge-2011-nbrc-all-about-you, all-time-best-romance-heroes-ever, cr-hero-super-alpha, cr-heroine-early-to-mid-20s, cr-opposites-enemies-attract
Recommended for: everyone and their mother ... hmm, that last part could end up being awkward
Read from August 16 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Post Script on May 8, 2012
This book has exploded since I first read it and it seems to be one that is either loved or hated. I'm actually very thankful that I read it before any of my GR friends or anyone I knew, because I feel like if I read it now, after hearing all the hype, it would probably disappoint.

People have very strong reactions to Fifty Shades and just to put in my two cents: you read different books for different reasons. In my opinion!!! ...: Was this book a great piece of literature? No. Were these characters ones whom you could write grad school theses about? No. But you know what? I loved the romance, I loved the chemistry, and I enjoyed myself tremendously while reading it - it had me grinning ridiculously for hours. That's what I wanted from this book, and that's what I got, so for me, that was enough.

Post Post Script on October 9, 2012
I greatly appreciate all those who have defended my review in the comments section - especially those who completely disagreed with my opinion of the book. For those making hateful comments: you don't like the book, people who did are apparently driving you crazy, so my advice: stop reading all the positive reviews!! Age-old rule: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Sincerely, Juliana

* Actual Review Begins Here *

5+ stars. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I still feel somewhat under the spell of this book. I'm so ... beguiled by it ;-) (book allusion). It was honestly an amazing read - and one which I meant to just skim a few sample pages of, but ended up buying and then staying up the entire night to finish. I wasn't even sure I wanted to write a review, because it seemed too difficult to put into words everything that moved me about this story and to try to do it justice.

This ended up feeling like one of the best and most authentic romances I have read. In some ways, I feel conflicted like Anastasia when I say that: my instinct is to say that can't be, because of what their relationship revolves around / how it's constructed ... but somehow it can be and it's true. Anastasia, Christian, and their relationship are all so honestly and openly written and shown to us that there is no other way for me to feel. Even though its counterintuitive, I can't help but feel that their relationship is one of the most beautiful, complex, and emotional ones I've read in the romance genre.

It's one of those books that makes me want to go back to the last few 4-5 star books I read and knock down their ratings half a star, because when put on the same scale they don't compare. I had a ridiculously foolish grin on my face throughout the entire thing, both because I was on one of those this-romance-is-unbelievably-fantastic highs and the book had some surprisingly good humor. I had a pleasant feeling of anticipation as I read, but I was also extremely nervous, because real BDSM sub/dom books are not my thing, and so while I was falling increasingly in love with Ana and Christian with every new page I read, I was also terrified that I was going to be jarringly yanked out of it all and the whole experience ruined for me by some kinky and needlessly over-the-top BDSM scene. Thankfully, that never happened, and it remained an amazing read right up until the very end.

{ Not What I Expected }
I'm not normally a BDSM book reader, but this was so, so, SO much more than just that. I don't think that I have read one that is so beautifully and (seemingly) authentic. I write seemingly because I have no personal experience, so no idea, but to me it read that way. It was not done as a space apart in the book where the writer could insert random hot sex scenes. Instead, it's woven throughout, showing us how it impacts and affects both characters. Ana and Christian remain Ana and Christian in those scenes, in the sense that it doesn't feel like out-of-character gratuitous sex scenes are at every random turn just to satisfy some quota. I'm not even sure I want to categorize this book as erotica, because that seems so limiting. (There was hot - intense - chemistry, don't get me wrong, and I definitely had some turn-the-AC-up moments).

{ Loved our Heroine: Anastasia / Ana (21) }
Anastasia was one of the best heroines, because she felt so real and her reactions each and every time were so normal! Not over-the-top for effect, but not understated because the author wants to be able to put lots of sex scenes. She's a virgin, has no experience with men, and didn't know anything about BDSM, so of course she's going to be questioning this and unsure of whether it's "right" or it's "wrong" or if she even feels comfortable doing it. She also is very attracted - and eventually in love - with Christian and wants to be in a relationship with him. Ana feels a connection to him that she has never felt with any other person and she wants him in her life; he makes her happy. Her attempts to balance these two forces is wonderfully depicted and I could easily imagine myself reacting in those exact same ways, thinking those exact same things, and feeling those exact same conflicts.

Ana is strong - she's somewhat shy and quiet, but like all real people, you cannot fit her into only one category: she may seem reserved and quiet, but she can also stand up for herself and really knows her own mind - she is not the ideal sub Christian first thinks she might be. Ana examines her motivations and feelings when she's confused or unsure - not only about what she should do, but about what she wants to do and what Christian wants from her. The story is told in first-person, which is sometimes iffy for me, but it worked well here; Ana's tone as narrator is smart, self-aware, and immensely likable.

{ Adored our Hero: Christian (27) }
Christian is one of the best heroes. He's intense and dark and I know some people still see him as mysterious and the dark force in all this, but I actually found him to be so accessible. There are still things we need to know about his history, obviously - I have some guesses, but don't know anything for sure. Nonetheless, he also felt like the most authentic BDSM dom I could ever read because he's not just that - he's a man who has that part of himself incorporated into his life, personality, and mannerisms, so that it's integral to his character, even when we see him around other characters who don't know about this part of his life.

Christian is possessive, a little stalkerish, domineering (no duh), authoritarian, elusive, mercurial - all of those things and more. He is also one of the most tender, tortured, and sensitive heroes I've ever read. His despair and his need for Ana is his life are like living, breathing things and they jump off the page. He also has a deep understanding about himself and his desires, though he discovers and faces new things through Ana's questions and confrontations. He needs to dominate and control his partner, but he also needs Ana, so he is willing to compromise and not only tries to give her that "more," but ends up wanting it himself as well.

{ An Unbelievable Connection and Relationship }
From the first page of their encounter, the chemistry between Anastasia and Christian was off the charts. It was one of the things that convinced me to buy the book after reading the sample - it was so intense. Their connection throughout feels so strong and despite the fact that they're coming from such different places, you can see the constant back and forth of them trying to fit together, trying to understand what the other wants, what they themselves want, etc. The dialogue, the emails, the EVERYTHING between them is a m a z i n g !!! I had such a ridiculous grin on my face for most the entire book. This goes back to my first point, but I was just so amazed by how realistic their relationship seemed, despite the BDSM sub/dom factor, which to me seems so foreign. It was complex, difficult, lovely, distressing, uplifting, intense, hopeful.

{ This Book Felt So Honest }
And I mean this in multiple ways: the main characters, their relationship, and the subject matter. Reading this book feels like an intimate act, because Ana and Christian are truly laid bare for us; yes, there are still things about his past we don't know, but who they are, their essentials, are revealed to us. Their relationship is so honest, and I mean this in two ways: within the book and how the reader sees it. Within the book, I so, SO loved that they both try to be open with one another about their feelings and their doubts, that we see them trying to work through this relationship and feel each other out, figure out what this is between them. Loved, loved, LOVED it! Also, for the reader how their connection is shown, both in terms of man-woman and sub/dom felt very, very honest. It wasn't porn-like or gratuitous or kinky for kink's sake - it was built off of who these two people are and how they connect with and need one another.

{ Overall Fantastic }
Surprisingly funny and sweet! Fantastic secondary characters. No evil guy or superfluous subplot - the obstacles are within themselves and their relationship and that is more than enough; anything else would have ruined the book and taken away from their story. Subtle but sizzling chemistry and sexual tension. Complex characters. Etc, etc.

{ Ending of the Book / Series } (no spoilers)
*Important to know that Ana and Christian's story does not end here.*
The ending is jarring, though I had ruined it for myself by having already read the next book's summary ( Fifty Shades Darker , due out September 15). I think the buildup should definitely have been extended, because it did feel pretty out of the blue to me.

As little a thing as it is, the fact that the end says "End of Part One" and this isn't viewed as Book 1 and the next as Book 2, really made a difference to me. Gives more of a sense of continuity and makes this feel like an intermission. I love where the book / series titles come from, lol (Christian's remark to Ana that he's "fifty shades of f*cked-up"). Note: All together, there will be three books.

For those interested but unsure, Google has a relatively long sample section you can read to get a sense of whether you'll like the book or not: http://books.google.com/ebooks?id=wR7...

(Written August 17, 2011)

My review for Fifty Shades Darker
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Reading Progress

08/17/2011 page 218
61.0% "Wow, have been wearing a ridiculous grin (in between hot flashes) since I started this book. It's so good. Wow. It's one of those great reads where you feel like the past few 4-5 stars need to be downgraded, because compared to this they don't measure up. Thing is, this is not usually my type of book - it goes farther than I normally like to ... So I almost want to stop now. What if I don't like what happens next??" 2 comments

Comments (showing 101-150 of 465) (465 new)


message 101: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane Midsummer wrote: "Jane wrote: "Tariel wrote: "You should be ashamed of yourself for giving this book five stars and being turned on by a man BEATING a woman then RAPING her."


beating and raping????????????? have y..."


I have seen the exact comment from Tariel on a couple of reviews of fifty myself.......I don't even think she read the book, Probably just listening to the media hype.

I find it so frustrating when I hear things like 'MommyPorn' and 'erotica' in reference to this series. None readers of the book seem intent on highlighting the BDSM and defining the novel by that content only, when for me it is so much more than that. It is Christians vulnerability and insecurities that make him so lovable and keeps me going back and re-reading.

I'm fed up of the media insinuating that we are a load of sex crazed women with fetishes!!


message 102: by Stacey (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stacey You must be kidding me. That is all I have to say.


message 103: by Sarah (new) - rated it 1 star

Sarah Dudley Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High.


message 104: by Searock (last edited May 11, 2012 10:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

Your comment makes me wonder what you could possibly hope to gain by being cruel to another reader. I would rather read anything than the ill-intended words you have written.

Juliana, I think you are amazing and beautifully well-spoken. Your book choices and so varied and unique and I for one appreciate your curious mind and romantic heart.
Love the new post scripted update.

(if you'd like to delete the last comment, I'll delete mine as well or edit it to remove the quoted text).


Alana ~ The Book Pimp Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

Your comment makes me wonder if you have any friends other than people related to you. How rude!


message 106: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

clearly from such an immature comment you never did!


message 107: by AH (new) - added it

AH Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

I never understood why someone would go to the trouble to go on someone else's review and insult the reviewer. Do you not have anything better to do with your time. If you didn't like the book, go on your own review space and write whatever you want. There is no reason to be rude on Juliana's review.


message 108: by Jodie (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jodie There are so many great books out there, why would someone (even one that clearly has loads of time) waste valuable reading time trolling people's reviews it opposite opinions to their own? Weirdos. I for one adored this series, and think it's safe to say that it's my favorite.Ever. Oh, and in case you are wondering, I made it past Jr High...

I love your review Juliana. It shows you have out so much thought into it, nothing less than it deserves. I think it's safe to say the other 163 people that have liked it agree with us :))


Stephanie She is a book snob...I wish there was an ignore button!


message 110: by AH (new) - added it

AH Did you look at her profile? Member since 2009 but only 1 book rated.


Stephanie And she works at a book store, where she states she will give her opinion of the book. Sorry unless I ask, I don't the sales person opinion. I just want to know where I can buy my smut!


message 112: by Jess (new)

Jess Really? How is it one of the "best and most authentic romances"? Seriously? Did we read the same book?


Stephanie Jess wrote: "Really? How is it one of the "best and most authentic romances"? Seriously? Did we read the same book?"

It's her opinion, just as your opinion is that is was not the "best and most authentic romances" that you've ever read. So stop trying to pick a fight and move on. You don't have to agree but don't ask inflammatory questions on someone's review. It's not right and doesn't add to the conversation.


message 114: by Terri Lynn (new)

Terri Lynn Actually there IS a bad guy. The bad guy is the "hero" Christian who is a woman abuser, psychopath, and enjoys hurting others.


Juliana Jenny wrote: "Juliana, I just wanted to compliment you on the way you responded to that commenter. It was very classy and well-worded. Tastes in reading material are as different as our tastes in food and clothi..."

Thanks so much Jenny! :-)


message 116: by Juliana (last edited May 17, 2012 03:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Juliana Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

Stacey wrote: "You must be kidding me. That is all I have to say."

What is up with all the hostility?! Honestly.

It's no Plato's Republic but guess what - it's not supposed to be!!! It's to be read for pleasure, and I enjoyed it while I read it. I understand that some people don't like the story and that is absolutely fine. I'm not going to criticize you for your opinion; please don't criticize me for mine.

And Sarah, for the record: yes I did, and I also graduated with Honors from The Johns Hopkins University, but I appreciate the concern.


Juliana Searock wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Your review makes me question if you made it past Jr. High."

Your comment makes me wonder what you could possibly hope to gain by being cruel to another reader. I would rather read a..."


Thank you Searock!!! I wasn't too hurt or offended by what they wrote, but your comment still made me feel a lot better :-).

I haven't been on GR much recently, so had not seen those remarks till today. As another person pointed out in a previous comment, the internet gives people a feeling of anonymity that makes it much easier to be cruel and bullying.


Juliana Stephanie, AH, and Jodie: Thank you! Appreciate the support :-)


Juliana FREEBIRD wrote: "While this book didn't float off the table for me, I did enjoy the read! It was actually your review that made me want to read it! You are one powerful reviewer. I finished the trilogy, and I'm ..."

Thanks!!!!! :-)
Seriously, I appreciate it.

Before the book went global and people started acting all crazy about it, there was a lot of interesting back and forth between people who liked it and people who didn't. It was all extremely civil though and was done more because it was interesting how the same component would have such different reactions, than because anyone wanted to argue about it.

As much as I raved about books 1 and 2 ... I actually have not read 3 yet!! I know, I can't believe it - it's even the first one I bought the paper copy of instead of the eBook version. Hope to finally get around to it soon though!


message 120: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane I really didn't want to read book 3 because I knew my time with Christian would be over, so since I downloaded it in January I have done the descent thing and re-read the whole trilogy twice!!!!

I love these books for what they are, an escape into a world full of romance, and if other people don't enjoy it that's fine. I'm sure they enjoy a lot of books that I wouldn't like


♡Karlyn P♡ Those comments are waaaaaaaay out of line. I personally hated this book and gave it a one-star rating, but I would never bash another person for their interpretation of it. Your review is excellent and better worded than most in this site of Amatuer reviewers. Just because I don't feel the same way, doesn't make your opinion any lesser than mine. Grrrrr... Some people have no clue.


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Juliana wrote: As much as I raved about books 1 and 2 ... I actually have not read 3 yet!! I know, I can't believe it - it's even the first one I bought the paper copy of instead of the eBook version. Hope to finally get around to it soon though!

Book 3 has been gathering digital dust in my ereader since it released in January. My bff, who just discovered the series a couple of weeks ago, can't believe it remains unread. LOL

Maybe we can do a buddy read in the future. We'll say oh, no, use shouty capitals, and pass around the misting fan during the kinky fuckery. LOL


message 123: by Betty (new) - rated it 5 stars

Betty I, too, felt under it's spell. This book is extremely well-written. The author takes us right into Ana's head throughout the book and we are witness to the transformation of the relationship! Amazing to watch Ana "beguile" Christian. People who don't like this book are not "getting it." An amazing ride! LOVE it!


Juliana Jane wrote: "I really didn't want to read book 3 because I knew my time with Christian would be over, so ..."

I do think because so much time has passed, when I get around to it finally I'll start by first rereading the first two. It's really just one long book anyway, since no time passes between them.


♡KarLynP♡ wrote: "Those comments are waaaaaaaay out of line. I personally hated this book and gave it a one-star rating, but I would never bash another person for their interpretation of it. Your review is excellent..."

Thanks KarLyn! :-) Yeah, I even completely understand why some people hate it and there are some things - like the writing - that I'm actually surprised did not bother me at all. *shrug* Because of all the news about it now and because the book is so hyped up in my own memory, I'm really curious as to what I'll think the next time around ...


Juliana Anna wrote: "Maybe we can do a buddy read in the future. We'll say oh, no, use shouty capitals, and pass around the misting fan during the kinky fuckery. LOL "

YES! Let's do it! I'm totally for it - I have yet to do a buddy read and this would be a fantastic book to do it for, lololol.

Because so much time will have passed, I'm thinking I'll probably reread from book 1 - you going to go straight to #3?


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) Juliana wrote: YES! Let's do it! I'm totally for it - I have yet to do a buddy read and this would be a fantastic book to do it for, lololol.

Because so much time will have passed, I'm thinking I'll probably reread from book 1 - you going to go straight to #3?


Yay! I'll go straight to book #3. There isn't any rush. :o)

I have to share this with you! Last weekend, my bff, who hates books with too much sex, asked if I'd read Fifty Shades of Grey. She loves it! Then, a couple of nurses at my childrens' pediatrician's office were talking about reading book 2. This happened earlier today! LOL

So, do you think a decent movie could be made of this trilogy? The movie would probably be rated NC-17.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Juliana wrote: "Before the book went global and people started acting all crazy about it, there was a lot of interesting back and forth between people who liked it and people who didn't. It was all extremely civil though and was done more because it was interesting how the same component would have such different reactions, than because anyone wanted to argue about it.
..."


I loved the discussions I had with you on this book. You are a force! I actually like disagreeing with you on books because we have some fun discussions. However, no one should disrespect you like they did in the comments. I think you are great!


message 128: by Sarah (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah Dozor Thank u for the great review. I am not great with words and have been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about this book. U nailed it. So thanks again :0)


Monique Yeah, that's a very good way to put it, like they said in the book, beguiled:) I am still in shock and speechless...Wow...


message 130: by Nikki (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nikki You have got to be kidding me....best and most authentic romances? This must be the only book you've read. PLEASE read something like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It will change your LIFE.


message 131: by Searock (last edited May 23, 2012 11:05AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Nikki wrote: "You have got to be kidding me....best and most authentic romances? This must be the only book you've read. PLEASE read something like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It will change your LIFE."

Nikki, if Juliana wanted your rec's for reading what you enjoyed, she would probably go to your profile and search your reviews. Going to her review to make "are you kidding" remarks is just bad etiquette.

If you have energy that you need to let out about this book, why don't you go to a thread/chat where people are discussing or arguing about this book?

Coming to this review to vent your feelings is not nice, not normal and not cool.

Outlander was great, but it didn't "change my life". That said, it doesn't make me want to run over to your review and say, "you have to be kidding.... changed your life?". What kind of world would GR be if we all did that to each other? Yuck.


Stephanie Or how about something like..."Hey Juliana, if you want to read a book that may very well change your life, you might try ..."

I have decided that it is not that others don't like this book or write parodies of it, but it's the blatant disrespect for the fact that I or others like it. Please don't question my sanity because I like Christian Grey. That is not what this site is about.


message 133: by Jane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jane Stephanie**Whats the steam factor** wrote: "Or how about something like..."Hey Juliana, if you want to read a book that may very well change your life, you might try ..."

I have decided that it is not that others don't like this book or w..."


Well said Stephanie, I find it strange how people feel the need to personally attack others for their opinions of a book. I had someone challenge one of my reviews once and it almost made me stop writing them. At the end of the day everyone enjoys different reads, we all have our favourites and they are not all the same book.... And just to be clear keep your hands OFF Fifty, he's mine LOL


message 134: by Nikki (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nikki Meh,I felt it was necessary to inform the reviewer that this is NOT the best romance ever written (IT'S JUST NOT) and I am content with the way I did it :) And Jane, I personally attacked her? There are a lot of ways I could have written that would have been considered a personal attack and honey, that wasn't one ;)


message 135: by KarenH (last edited May 24, 2012 01:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

KarenH Nikki wrote: "Meh,I felt it was necessary to inform the reviewer that this is NOT the best romance ever written (IT'S JUST NOT) and I am content with the way I did it :) And Jane, I personally attacked her? Ther..."

"You have got to be kidding me....best and most authentic romances?"

Great, your personal opinion. Thank you for the contribution.

"This must be the only book you've read."

Yeah, that was personal. Your snarkiness isn't appreciated here. Go away.


Juliana Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "I loved the discussions I had with you on this book. You are a force! I actually like disagreeing with you on books because we have some fun discussions. However, no one should disrespect you like they did in the comments. I think you are great! "

So funny Michelle, because when I wrote that I was actually thinking most specifically about our conversations and the back-and-forth we had. I enjoyed them so much as well and we never got anywhere NEAR where these people are going - of course, we were reading buddies beforehand, but still!!


Juliana Monique wrote: "Yeah, that's a very good way to put it, like they said in the book, beguiled:) I am still in shock and speechless...Wow..."

Sarah wrote: "Thank u for the great review. I am not great with words and have been trying to figure out how to express my feelings about this book. U nailed it. So thanks again :0)"

Thanks Sarah and Monique!! Glad you guys enjoyed it too :-)


Juliana Searock, Stephanie, and Jane: Thank you! You guys said it best and no need for me to add-on and respond to that comment. Appreciate it! :-)

(And Jane: do we have to take this outside ...?) ;-)


Juliana KarenH wrote: "Nikki wrote: "Meh,I felt it was necessary to inform the reviewer that this is NOT the best romance ever written (IT'S JUST NOT) and I am content with the way I did it :) And Jane, I personally atta..."

Lol!

What Karen said. :-)


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Juliana wrote: "So funny Michelle, because when I wrote that I was actually thinking most specifically about our conversations and the back-and-forth we had. I enjoyed them so much as well and we never got anywhere NEAR where these people are going - of course, we were reading buddies beforehand, but still!! ..."

Did you ever think when we originally had our discussions regarding 50 shades that it would blow up like it did?


message 141: by Juliana (last edited May 24, 2012 05:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Juliana Nikki wrote: "Meh, I felt it was necessary to inform the reviewer that this is NOT the best romance ever written (IT'S JUST NOT) and I am content with the way I did it :) And Jane, I personally attacked her? Ther..."

Nikki, by definition, there are very few things that one can definitively state are "the best" - because in most cases, "the best" is referring to a subjective opinion. Given that there are 6+ billion people on earth, there is no way that everyone ever is going to agree on something that is a matter of opinion.

And I'm sick of defending mine over a book - it's ridiculous. The entire time I read this book, I was smiling and enjoying myself and loving it. So you know what? I consider that a successful reading experience. I completely forgot about what was going on in my life and was wholly sucked into the story.

Is her writing comparable to Gabriel Garcia Marquez? No (in my opinion - key phrase there). Did her story affect me as deeply as Bronte's Villete? No. But that doesn't matter to me and it certainly shouldn't matter to you.

No one died because I wrote a positive review for this book. It has had no lasting effect whatsoever on the world!! I have no problem with discussion and different points of view, but believe it or not, your comment does not read like an overture for an actual conversation.

You disagree with my review? Fine, don't click the "like" button, move on to the next one, and you're all set. Thank you for stopping by.


Juliana Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "Did you ever think when we originally had our discussions regarding 50 shades that it would blow up like it did?"

Not AT ALL!! I mean, I enjoyed the book a lot - as we all know - but honestly, I'm surprised that it's gotten to the point it has without changing. I love the romance, love the story, love the characters, but before RH published it I would have thought they would edit and tighten it up, maybe make it into two books.

I think there was something rather informal about how I found the book - happened upon the page on GR, then bought the eBook from Google - that made it so that I didn't have as many expectations or such set standards as I would have had I been introduced to it as a "real" book (no offense, hope everyone knows what I mean).

It's crazy when I think about it - I actually interviewed E.L. James for Fiction Vixen ... and now she's a national sensation, articles about her on NPR, Wall Street Journal, etc. Craziness!!


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Juliana wrote: "Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "Did you ever think when we originally had our discussions regarding 50 shades that it would blow up like it did?"

Not AT ALL!! I mean, I enjoyed the book a..."


That is the crazy part of it all. I didn't see it coming nor did I expect this book to blow up like it did. It's fun to watch the non-reading world get interested in reading even if it is not the most in-depth or intellectually challenging novel.


message 144: by Searock (last edited May 24, 2012 05:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Juliana wrote: "Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "Did you ever think when we originally had our discussions regarding 50 shades that it would blow up like it did?"

Not AT ALL!! I mean, I enjoyed the book a..."


I feel your exact sentiment, Jules!!
There is a HUGE difference in expectation looking at this book now compared to the time we first discovered it (before it was published for me).
She was a neophyte writer.
The appeal of her writing is nothing short of a phenomenon and, I daresay, she never, ever expected it to show up in the spotlight the way it has been. Who could have possibly guessed that?

I also agree that it is crazy that they left it in an unedited form at this point.


Juliana Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker wrote: "That is the crazy part of it all. I didn't see it coming nor did I expect this book to blow up like it did. It's fun to watch the non-reading world get interested in reading even if it is not the most in-depth or intellectually challenging novel."

Lolol! Have been thinking exactly the same thing. In some ways, it's not great that this book is the representation of the romance genre, since in some ways it does satisfy a lot of stereotypes, but still - the joy of seeing articles about a romance book phenomenon in TIME, NYT, WJ, NPR, on and on - MasterCard priceless!! :-)


Juliana Searock wrote: "I feel your exact sentiment, Jules!!
There is a HUGE difference in expectation looking at this book now compared to the time we first discovered it (before it was published for me).
She was a neophyte writer. ..."


I'm so glad you wrote that!! I've kind of felt like a traitor as I've started to think that - especially since it's caused such divisions that I've been put in the position of defending the book!

I so, so, so believe that expectations play a large role in enjoyment - when it comes to a lot of things, actually, not just books. I think one of my GR friends had this on her to-read list and that was it, so besides for the Google excerpt I read, I had no preconceptions whatsoever going into this.

Were I to read it now for the first time, after hearing so much about it, I'm almost positive I wouldn't enjoy it as much, which is definitely a shame but makes sense to me.

I stayed up all night reading it - literally - so I'm never going to back away from or deny my initial reaction. I loved it and was on a total high from the book, no question about it. But it's funny to wonder how different things might have been had I read it now.

And YES, can't BELIEVE they didn't edit it! I don't have the print books but several people have said it's exactly the same. Boggles the mind, honestly. I can see them wanting to take advantage of the fervor, but still - there's something to be said for anticipation and quality is certainly worth it. Was also surprised that they put out all three at once ... though it's true they read more like one continuous book.


message 147: by AH (new) - added it

AH This is such an interesting discussion. I read it when it was a fanfic. It was ok for a fanfic because it was serialized - they seemed to keep that aspect as they didn't edit much.

I did a review in October of the 2nd book. I can't believe how many hits it has given our blog - it is mind boggling how popular it has become.

What astounds me most is that the media jumped on this and are acting all surprised that women read Romance. Why are they so surprised? Romance novels have been around for a long time. Is it because you can hide the cover when you read it on an ereader?

Oh, and guess what? I was at Costco today and there it was - 50 shades.....along with Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, The Jody Picoult books, etc. Had to chuckle at that.


message 148: by Searock (last edited May 24, 2012 05:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Kind of makes you wonder what was possible for the romance genre had they moved away from the clinch poses and naked silhouette covers eons ago.
In my opinion, the anonymity of e-readers has everything to do with the exponential growth of the genre.

I read paper books on the plane sometimes and find myself folding the cover over if its obviously a romantic or sexy book. I really don't want to have that conversation with my neighbor (and they always ask).


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) AH wrote: What astounds me most is that the media jumped on this and are acting all surprised that women read Romance. Why are they so surprised? Romance novels have been around for a long time. Is it because you can hide the cover when you read it on an ereader?

I think it's what Ana and Christian do in the bedroom that is getting the attention. A week ago at my daughter's pediatricians office the nurses were all abuzz about moving on to book 2. When I asked what book they were talking about it was Fifty Shades. A male nurse tried to delicately ask if the book made me uncomfortable or if the content seemed inappropriate. It's all about the kink/bdsm that seems to have people interested.

Btw, there was an article on the internet about increased sales of Ben Wa balls. Upcoming hot sellers should be handcuffs, men's ties, and masks. he he he


message 150: by M (new) - rated it 5 stars

M A Searock wrote: " In my opinion, the anonymity of e-readers has everything to do with the exponential growth of the genre.

I read paper books on the plane sometimes and find myself folding the cover over if its obviously a romantic or sexy book. I really don't want to have that conversation with my neighbor (and they always ask).

..."


Hi to Searock and everybody else! : )

LOL, Searock, I guess the grass is always greener (or the shade is always darker?) on somebody else's book cover.

I admit I am wistful about the "clinch cover" artwork typical of the 70's and 80's. Some of them were really imaginative and beautifully wrought, others were downright cheesy. I wish the ebook versions included copies.


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