Francine's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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Apr 30, 12

bookshelves: chick-lit, modern-lit, romance, omg-what-am-i-reading, beyond-trashy, kindle
Recommended to Francine by: Emilie Connors, Alessandra Tay, Tina Romano
Read from April 27 to 30, 2012

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 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.

Well, on to the second book.
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Reading Progress

04/27/2012 page 85
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Joy (new)

Joy O . . . Wow . . . some of my friends who like books like that said they wouldn't read that in a million years. I hope you don't go crazy by the end . . . maybe even like it? *cringes*


Francine I had five -- count 'em -- FIVE -- people bugging me for the last oh...I don't know...month? I kept saying I didn't want to read it because it had gotten bad reviews as a really poorly written novel. When my friend Kathy-Ann (who's an even bigger writing snob than me) actually said she read it, I was flabbergasted.

I will say this: it is very poorly written, but it's readable as long as I focus on the "You knew what you were getting into when you started!" And I haven't gotten to any of the naughty bits yet, and I can see how this definitely started as Twilight fanfic...so...we'll see. The thing that I'm dreading is the whole needing to read all three. Everyone has said you won't be able to NOT read all three because of how the stories end.

We'll see. Will you read it?


message 3: by Joy (new)

Joy I . . . actually have no one who will read it and hear nothing but bad reviews. I don't like love stories so I'm thinking not . . .


Francine Love? I'm thinking this is about as far as you can get to a love story. It actually makes me quite angry right now, how debasing women can turn some people on. This is not my kind of love story.


message 5: by Joy (new)

Joy You made it! And also I wouldn't call it a "love story" either, I was just trying to come up with a way to categorize it :-P


Francine That's the thing. SO many people did call it a love story. I know the peeps at work have been saying it's one of the best love stories out there! :-? Really?

I did think that the e-mail exchanges back and forth were cute. That was a love story. :-)


message 7: by Joy (new)

Joy O.o wow . . . I haven't read it but from what people say I can't see it being the best love story :-P


Francine It really isn't not unless you like twisted stuff! ;-)


message 9: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday this book... i dunno. it makes me stomach hurt to think that it is so popular. and i like the twisted stuff!


message 10: by Francine (last edited May 01, 2012 04:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Francine mark wrote: "this book... i dunno. it makes me stomach hurt to think that it is so popular. and i like the twisted stuff!"

mark: I know you like the twisted stuff (although you'd be waaaay disappointed at how not kinky the "twisted" stuff in this book is)! I would never have considered reading this because of all the horrible reviews it got (and they were spot on, too!), but I did, so I have no one to blame but myself. It sorta scares me to think of how many twisted desperate people there are out there, who actually buy into the fauxmance in this book.

I'm reading the second one right now, and it's a disaster. If I had an actual book, I may have thrown it at a wall, but I don't want to break my iPad so...(*virtually tosses it against a wall*)... ;-)


message 11: by mark (new) - added it

mark monday don't break the precious ipad!! even virtually tossing it against the wall could hurt its delicate feelings! its hyper-sensitive inputs are even aware of when you are thinking mean thoughts about it!


Francine I will *try* to stop my "inner goddess" from virtually throwing the ipad! (Methinks my inner goddess should have a heart-to-heart with the ipad's hyper-sensitive inputs and if that doesn't work, maybe she can give it a good spanking.) ;-)


message 13: by Joy (new)

Joy I like the term "fauxmance" ;-) and I agree protect the iPad and like your last comment a lot Francine!


Francine Thanks, Joy! It was your idea to get in touch with my inner goddess. :-P


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