Michele's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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Apr 24, 12

bookshelves: fiction, erotica
Read in April, 2012

I'm afraid I find myself in the distinct minority here. I truly did not care for this book. But before I come under attack by all the fans of this now-popular novel, allow me to explain why. It certainly was not due to the sexual content...sex was, after all, a primary component of this novel and it was both appropriate and necessary to the story. I found myself immediately unsympathetic with the main character in the novel. Without giving too much away, I can suffice to say that I simply could not believe that an intelligent young woman like Ana would actually make the relationship choice she did. It made no sense and felt very contrived. Similarly, while sex certainly has a place in many novels, here it seemed gratuitous - there just for the sake of shocking the reader instead of developing something of a storyline. We are asked to believe that this young, smart, recent-college graduate, innocent of any prior relationships, would divert from her previous behavior patterns simply because she felt a man was physically attractive. There was no development of any other emotion beyond wanting to get into each others pants. This was reiterated over and over and over, ad nauseam, as was (if I may be allowed a petty moment here) the word "gasp." That word happened to appear at least once per page (sometimes more). When I think of a person "gasping" I think of an audible intake of air. If the characters in this book physically gasped this many times, the whole world would think them slightly off their rocker. Okay, enough about my issue with one tiny word.

As to the plot. I felt it was highly, highly predictable. We all knew, didn't we, what Ana's decision would be? You could easily read to page 50, then skip to the last few pages and not have missed a darn thing, other than Ana's sexual escapades.

As I've said, sex can play a great role in a novel. But it won't fix what was, in my opinion, a weak novel. I've come to understand, through various conversations with others who have read this book, that it tends to evoke a "love it or hate it" response. Interesting when a book does that, isn't it? So for those of you who loved it, I think that's great. I wish it would have evoked that reaction in me.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Misfit Nice to see you back in my GR feeds. About damned time.


Michele ;) Now to get caught up on all this damned reading...


message 3: by Keri (new)

Keri Great review Michele. I haven't read the book at all and *gasp* :-) probably won't.


♡Karlyn P♡ Nice review. I read it recently too (finally caved with all the hype!) and was so underwhelmed. I found it disturbing, not exciting. Maybe if Ana wasn't so naive and the BDSM felt consensual (she capitulates, but it never felt consensual) I might have enjoyed it more. But it read as if Grey was a predator, not a romantic hero. In most romance books he would be the bad guy, not the main hero. Go figure. Too each their own, I guess. I'm in the 'hated it' camp.


Michele That's a great description of Ana (and one that eluded me)...you're right. It felt like she was being duped. And it is hard to sympathize with a protagonist that appears to be so lacking in intelligence and common sense!


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