Liisa's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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May 29, 12

bookshelves: kindle-books, trilogies-and-series
Read on May 28, 2012

I have discovered that there are two types of people – those that loooooooove “Fifty Shades of Grey” and … well, me.

Always reticent to read a book with major hype, I was intrigued when I read how one woman ripped her book in half (ripped a book? Sacré-Cœur!!) so she could finish it and her friend could start it (hello? Buy a second copy) and then I was given a free copy. What could it hurt (excuse the pun!)?

Ugh. Mental eye rolls. A disbelief I was actually reading this sh…err, schtick! Although I hadn’t read anything this poor in quite some time, it felt familiar and then I realised. A poor man’s “Twilight”. Echoes of Bella and Edward woven in the story.

Yet it is an insidious little beast. Somewhere around the middle of the book, right at the point of putting it down (or throwing it in the bin), it ensnared me. Enough to see it through.

What I liked about ”Fifty Shades:

1. The emails between Christian and Ana – the only witty moments in 528 pages. These were the turning point for me in continuing on rather than calling it a day.

Yup. That was it.

What I disliked about ”Fifty Shades:

1. Easily the first that springs to mind is Ana’s ”Inner Goddess”. I am groaning as I even recall it.
2. Ana’s cavalier and often schizophrenic reaction to being dominated and feeling “debased” (her words). I couldn’t help but think of the damage this could be doing to vulnerable women and impressionable teenagers.
3. Christian. Sigh. Part of me really liked him (especially the part that imagined he looked like Ian Somerhalder). Part of me loathed the author for making him a one-dimensional caricature. Towards the end of the book I swear I saw hints of two-dimensions creeping in but maybe that was my hope for character redemption.
4. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. The same phrases. The same scenes. The same drama. Over and over and over again.
5. Ana, 21 going on 12.
6. The cliché, poorly-researched, potentially damaging portrayal of degradation and domination. This is not about the lifestyle but rather glamourizing abusive, degrading behaviour towards an insecure and vulnerable woman. A woman with no self esteem and a desperation to do anything for some semblance of affection. Throw in vague mentions of child abuse and you pretty much get ”Fifty Shades of Grey” in a nutshell.

Perhaps I am a hopeless optimistic. Perhaps it’s the mere hope that there will be redemption by the author, characters and storyline but I have started the sequel. In my opinion there is nothing about this book that warrants hype. Yet I know, somehow it will find its way to your bookshelf. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think of it.
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