Trina's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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Jun 17, 12

bookshelves: erotica, fiction, 2012, 1star, adaptation
Read from April 29 to May 05, 2012

So after thinking and rethinking and talking about this book with friends, I've decided to lower the rating to one star out of five.

There are spoilers, but I don't want to hit that "hide" button. So I definitely have a lot to say about this book, probably more than I've had to say about any other book I've read/written about.

I did a youtube review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVqQbU... and I'm sure it'll contain everything I write here (if I remember everything!).

I'm giving this book three stars because ultimately I enjoyed it, but the negatives were too much to make me give it more stars. The things I enjoyed and the things that annoyed me about this book pretty much evened each other out.

Firstly, I found the sex scenes to be very lacking. I don't know whether the author wrote them to come specifically from the naive, inexperienced nature of Ana, the main character, or if she is just bad at writing dirty scenes. This is erotic fiction, so the sex scenes should be written holding nothing back. The vagina, a key body part in straight erotic fiction, was only called a vagina once. Mostly it was referred to as "there", or "my sex", and the first time I read "my sex" I just wanted to put the book down and never pick it up again. That is not how you write sex scenes in an erotic novel. The language regarding the sex scenes was, in my opinion, very lacking. This could have been a very good novel if the writing was better.

The first half of the book had me seething about the traditional gender stereotypes. Christian Grey was very man in charge, traditionally handsome, strong, and of course, dominant. Ana seemed to be very naive, inexperienced, shy, meek, and very damsel in distress. I think that these stereotypes diminished as the novel progressed, and Ana came more in to her own holding her strength against Christian. In this regard, the novel didn't follow the predictable path I thought it would. Yes, Ana fell in love with Christian (who didn't see this coming?), but in the end she realised that she couldn't be what Christian wanted and he couldn't be what she wanted, so she left. Of course, following the predictable pattern, she must go back to him given there are two more novels in this series. I will read those, and I do think they will eventually follow a predictable pattern (either they continue as they are fighting against each other with differing wants and needs, or Ana will get to him and "save" him from his "fucked up" past, both predictable).

My favourite part of this book was the email exchanges, because I feel like they offered a break from Ana's constant narration about how hot and amazing Christian was and how much she wanted him but couldn't be what he wanted. The email exchanges were witty, smart, and revealing, better, in my opinion, than the whole rest of the novel.

All that said, I did enjoy this book, and I do think it's a good story line. It just could have been done so much better. I think with it being thrown in to the spotlight of mainstream fiction and the popularity it has (very similar to the popularity of Twilight, of which this novel was originally fan fiction based on), I may have had high hopes that were quite disappointed. I did still like it, I just wish it was better. The language, especially in the sex scenes, were what bugged me the most. Given that it's marketed as "erotic romance", the sexual language should have been much more up front and unabashed. That, in my opinion, is the biggest downfall of this novel. I will read the next two, but I won't be expecting anything better than this was. I'm just intrigued to find out which path the novel and relationship takes. Will she try and try again and ultimately be completely broken by him? Or will she persevere, and will he crack, and will she "save" him from himself and his seemingly destructive sexual lifestyle?
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Reading Progress

04/29/2012 page 81
16.0% 7 comments
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message 7: by Mish (new) - rated it 1 star

Mish Very good review Trina. I just put up my review so you're more than welcome to have a look.


Trina Mish wrote: "Very good review Trina. I just put up my review so you're more than welcome to have a look."

I read it, I thought I'd comment back here cause there's 40+ comments on your review and I didn't want my comment to get lost in it! You obviously liked it less than I did, and I agree that the writing was terrible and the sex scenes boring and predictable. I found myself not getting turned on once, and isn't that what erotic fiction is supposed to do?! I think we differ that I kind of enjoyed the broad storyline, but you didn't. Are you going to read the next two?


message 5: by Mish (new) - rated it 1 star

Mish Spot on Trina. Romance and Erotica novels are my escape from my general fiction. And yes…when I do read these novels, I expect to be turned on/blushing by the sex scene and find the male hero to be hot, irresistible and treat a girl with respect. I may be old fashion but Grey didn’t have the qualities that I like in a male hero.

Even though friends of mine have also said the 2nd & 3rd are better, I don’t think I’ll read them. I’m afraid that I’m just going to feel the same towards Grey & the sex.


message 4: by Mish (new) - rated it 1 star

Mish Hey Trina, I might read this instead Fifty Shames of Earl Grey ;) lol!


Trina Mish wrote: "Spot on Trina. Romance and Erotica novels are my escape from my general fiction. And yes…when I do read these novels, I expect to be turned on/blushing by the sex scene and find the male hero to be..."

That's fair enough. I read the second because ultimately I liked the storyline, even though it could have just been so much better. I'm not really sure about my opinion on Grey as a character, apart from the fact that everything in this novel seems completely crazy, and the only thing that seems real enough in my opinion, is the issues that Grey has, which is elaborated more on in the second book.

And I've seen that Earl Grey book around! I might check it out, I seem to be noticing a lot of parody books around (I never noticed them before!). Is this one only in Kindle format though? I haven't bothered myself to own an e-reader yet.


message 2: by Mish (new) - rated it 1 star

Mish Trina wrote: "Mish wrote: "Spot on Trina. Romance and Erotica novels are my escape from my general fiction. And yes…when I do read these novels, I expect to be turned on/blushing by the sex scene and find the ma..."

It is only on Kindle format for now. I've heard that it will eventually be released on paperback but don't know when.


Trina Mish wrote: "Trina wrote: "Mish wrote: "Spot on Trina. Romance and Erotica novels are my escape from my general fiction. And yes…when I do read these novels, I expect to be turned on/blushing by the sex scene a..."

Well I will just have to wait!


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