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Fifty Shades #1

Fifty Shades of Grey

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2011)
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

356 pages, Paperback

First published May 25, 2011

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About the author

E.L. James

51 books56.2k followers
All you need to know should be on here:

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Profile Image for Wigs.
80 reviews1,234 followers
December 14, 2015
You know, I was beginning to wonder if I needed to change some of my two star books to one star. I was thinking that I might not ever personally read a book worthy of one star, and I was messing up my scale by giving some of the more lame books I've read lately two stars instead of one.

Thank you E.L. James, for proving to me there was something worth waiting for. Something that truly exemplifies the meaning of terrible.

Now hold up, all you would-be defenders. I read this whole thing. I did not skip anything, I did not skim, I read every word. I bought this book with the intention of giving it the benefit of the doubt. You see, I love erotica, and I'm not ashamed to say that I both read (as you see on my 2012 books I've already read two others) and write it myself. So I was thinking to myself, oh, maybe there's a possibility that even though this is a twi-fiction rewrite, and even though everyone makes fun of it, it could still be a fun little guilty-pleasure read that I can laugh along with.



This book is NOT:

- erotic/sexy
- funny, even ironically
- endearing
- full of sexual taboos

This book IS:

- repetitive
- plotless (well, you knew that)
- painful to get through
- depicting manipulative, controlling, and self-destructive as desirable
- how to not write a novel
- how to gain success by using other people's characters, barely changing them and then laughing all the way to the bank

Most people know about the twilight matchups so I'm not going to go into too much detail, but it was actually quite sickening, how lazy she was to change ANY story details:

Bella Anastasia, a clumsy girl who grew up in Arizona Las Vegas with her mother, then moved to Forks Vancouver, Washington where her dad stepdad lives, while her mother lives with her new husband in Florida Georgia. She has a younger friend named Jacob Jose with a crush on her, and whose dad is friends with her dad, because they are fishing partners and police force army buddies, and who gave her his old truck VW beetle.

Edward Christian, who is adopted and has a sibling named Emmett Elliott and a sister named Alice Mia, also adopted, who live with their parents Carlisle Carrick (really? CARRICK? We couldn't even change the first three letters?) and Esme Grace. Their father mother is a doctor.

Rose Kate and Jasper Ethan are also siblings in this story, but have been changed to be friends of Anastasia, since in Twilight they already have a convenient different last name than the other Cullens.

Also, he 'dazzles' her.

I can't even function over the fact that upon preparing this book for publishing she couldn't change one fucking thing to make it even remotely different. That was too hard. TOO DAMN HARD. The similarities in character are so untouched that I am sincerely appalled that she thought it 'different' enough to publish as is. It's quite disgusting.

Alright, continuing on, and once again, I'm sure you've heard this already: this book is terribly written. Most notably the lack of ability to describe anything other than the few choice phrases she knows how to type. He ran his hands through his hair. I bit my lip. He told me not to bite my lip. Oh jeez. He grabbed me by the chin to make me look up at him. Holy crap. I peeked up at him. Lather rinse repeat. Over. And over. And over. For 500 pages. Then there's the case of multiple personality disorder, where she hears the voices of two distinct other pieces of herself in her head. The subconscious, the one telling her she's not good enough, and the inner goddess, the one that's all into the sex. It's strange because I'm also currently reading a book right now, Deadline, where the main character hears a voice in his head because he is literally insane, and it's written almost the exact same way, he talks back to his voice, who presents herself in italics, just as Anastasia talks back to her two italics voices. It's funny because she's supposed to be completely normal, and yet shares the same schizophrenic tendencies as a book about someone who is completely insane.

This is sense.

Check out this awesome short paragraph from chapter 24:

“Through the haze of light, I squint and see Christian leaning over me, smiling. Amused. Amused at me. Dressed! In black.”

What are these fragments, four in a row. What is this punctuation. GASP AT HIM BEING CLOTHED. Is this supposed to be poetry?

Let me add some line breaks for poetic interest:

Through the haze of light, I squint and see ,
Christian leaning over me,
Smiling. Amused.
Amused at me.
In black.

That's almost better.

Let's have another, shall we, from chapter 24 once more:

“I didn't put that song on my iPod,” he says casually, and puts his foot down so that I am thrown back into my seat as the car accelerates along the freeway.
What? He knows what he's doing, the bastard. Who did? And I have to listen to Britney going on and on. Who...who?
The song ends and the iPod shuffles to Damien Rice being morunful. Who? Who? I stare out the window, my stomach churning. Who?


Okay and now, maybe even worse than the writing (oh hell, nothing's worse than the writing, nevermind) is the lack of plot. Now once again, you already know this. Do I even need to tell you nothing happens? Seeing as it's based off of a book where nothing happens, you can be guaranteed that as we go one step removed, even less happens.

Here is the part where I apologize to Twilight, where I said, in my page by page commentary below, that 50 Shades was more entertaining. I was at the very beginning. I was young and naïve. I didn't realize. I'm sorry.

You know how The Office kind of got bad after Jim and Pam got together, because there was really nothing you were waiting for after that? This happens by like...chapter 2. You're like...okay....what, now we jut have to watch them whine as a couple for the next zillion pages? Okay.

I can't even fathom that there are two other books written about this couple. I literally want to open the window and invite birds to eat my eyes out as punishment for buying and reading this book.

And now for a bit of tiddlybits, I'm going to share some information on storywriting that you guys might find interesting, and will help show exactly why 50 Shades has zero plot.

I went to school for film, and we had story development classes. One thing we were beaten over the head with about is something called the 7 Sentence Story. This will help for any writers that are writing their books to be cinematic or would like their novel to be considered for film purposes (this is by no means a rule, but a really helpful guideline). First, you need a problem, a conflict. A reason to tell a story. Once you have that, your plot should be able to be described in seven sentences thusly:

Exposition: we are introduced to the protagonist and/or main characters
Inciting Incident: something happens that kicks off the conflict, the whole point of the story
Plot Point 1: because of the inciting incident, character sets off to do something/correct the problem, etc
Midpoint: here in film you might see a montage, but it's a place where either plot point 1 is resolved or there is a transition in the characters way of thinking
Plot Point 2: often an even bigger issue arises, or a twist that changes or accelerates the conflict
Climax: final showdown or decisions needed to be made
Resolution.: everything comes to an end, the conflict is settled in one way or another

Basically, if you can tell your story in this way in seven sentences, you'll know that A) the main point is clear, B) that your story doesn't wander too much in different directions, and C) that you actually have a plot to stand on, that you can justify there's enough substance there.

And since that's a lot of vagueness, we'll go with a classic captive/dominant story to show how one tells a story in seven sentences: Disney's Beauty and the Beast. First, the main conflict:

Conflict: The prince has been turned into a beast and has only a limited time left before he is trapped forever as one.

And the seven sentence story:

Exposition: Belle is a smart girl who rejects the advances of Gaston, as she doesn't want to be stuck in a mundane life.
Inciting Incident: Belle's father gets lost and captured by the Beast in his castle.
Plot Point 1: Belle trades her freedom for her father and is prisoner in the castle.
Midpoint: Belle starts to experience feelings for the Beast and is complacent.
Plot Point 2: Belle's father is sick, and the Beast decides to let her go, even though he's giving up his chances of being with her.
Climax: Gaston comes with an angry mob to destroy the Beast.
Resolution: While Beast lays dying, his love for Belle turns him back into a human and he can live with her happily ever after.

Simple, right? Of course, other things happen, but no doubt you can communicate the main story with just these sentences.

Okay, so let's try 50 Shades, which, hilariously, has had its film rights bought already.

Conflict: Anastasia must decide whether to be with a guy who she thinks is super hot but also scares her (This fascinating decision, I tell you what.)

Exposition: Anastasia is a literary student at WSU.
Inciting Incident: Anastasia meets Christian on page 7, and thinks he's hot and mysterious and also frustrating. It is clear they both have chemistry.
Plot Point 1, which is sloppy and all over the place: Christian chases her down, brings her to his house and shows her he's into S&M. Also they have sex.
Sorta Midpoint, but kind of squished close to Plot Point 1: Anastasia must decide whether to pledge herself to him via contract if she wants to continue seeing him.
Plot Point 2: Nah, she's still deciding and whining about how he's kind of scary but continues to have sex with him throughout this whole time. There is no plot point 2.
Climax: Well there isn't really one, it's just kind of an all over the place ending...either the more complicated sex scene at the end with the hymnal music or him hitting with her with the belt the next morning, one of the two I guess...
Resolution: She says he's too weird and ends it.

What a complex, thrilling, and incredible plot full of depth. SHOULD I HAVE CUT THAT FOR SPOILERS? OOPS? Did you even care? If you've gotten this far, nope.

But guess what. We know that there are two other books and they get together and lesson isn't really learned so AWESOME, COOL. I guess that's how she gets people to buy the next ones because hot diggedy I can't wait to see them get back together and whine some more.

And let's talk about the sex for a moment. Nothing forbidden actually happens that you'll be like ohhhh how scandalous I want to try that. For the most part it's pretty much all basic stuff or basic toy play, because basically he's taking it easier on her since she's inexperienced. Except for the belt part at the end, I guess, which just doesn't sound fun.

And you already heard about the tampon, so like, that's not even a surprise (although imo it's not a big deal anyway. Out of all the women having sex on their periods regularly, I can guarantee you there are quite a few men that are tasked with taking the tampon out and throwing it aside.) I was actually more upset about the fact that she is sleeping completely naked in a hotel room bed on day two of her period. As if that isn't going to be a mess in the morning.

Okay lest I go on as long as the book, you get the point. If you want to see more, my commentary while reading it is below. However, a few things:

-I cannot stand how much the author being middle aged shows from the point of view of this 21 year old. “I'm gonna buy plane tickets...on the Internet.” ARE YOU NOW? WHOAOOOAOAOA. Don't get crazy on us, I might be too overwhelmed by this turn of events. “I fired up my email.” BLAZING SPEEDS REQUIRED.

-They actually do the “you hang up” “no you hang up” “no you” that gross couples tend to do. And it was, expectedly, gross.

-Someone on ONTD who liked this book yelled at me because I said that Christian is not a dominant (they also said I wasn't 'experienced enough to understand,' lol okay, like you know who I am, anon.) I still stand by that statement. It's not what he's doing, it's how he's doing it. He is deeply troubled, whiny, and manipulative, and while he does love control, it's for the wrong reasons. He was abused as a child, and sexually abused as a 15 year old and vastly denies it, and because of this he justifies his activities as personal preference when he is in fact a bit too fucked up to currently have a relationship. He ends up making the naïve Anastasia batshit crazy because he continues to string her along, trying to convince her they want the same things, instead of getting himself some help.

-He gives her the illusion that she has the choice to back out, but then turns around and says ha-ha I'm joking but I know where to find you by the way. She goes to visit her mother because she needs a break from him to think, and what does he do? Flies out there, using his roundabout stalker way of finding information about where she's at, like he always does, to meet up, have sex with her and take her out with him. She's supposed to be visiting her mother and having time to think, yet he can't stay away and makes this about HIM, taking her away from time with her mom whom she hasn't seen in 6 months. I can't at this selfish fucking bastard because he just can't stay away.

It makes me mad just thinking about someone that clingy. Which is another thing that pisses me off, almost everything about their whining and relationship conversations reminds me of everything I've hated about past relationships I've had. How does ANYONE enjoy this book? How does anyone think that this is sexy, that this depicts something they want?

I can't even.

I cannot.

(Also I should never have imagined Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl as the main characters. Now everytime I see a commercial for Gossip Girl, rage courses through my body.)

I'm bored. Someone get me out of here.

P.S. Did you know that James recently stated she's set the bar for writing pretty high?


Please, do yourself a favor and go buy a book of much higher quality plot and writing, ohhhh like....Modelland.
Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,780 reviews12.8k followers
July 26, 2014
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What in the hell just happened? Did I really read that? Oh, my god, I did. I did read that.

Meet Anastasia Steele:
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Ana is just a giant mess of a human being. She's insecure to the point of it being laughable, 'klutzy' (even though she only trips twice in the entire book), and a complete ditz. She's a virgin (of course) who's never taken any sexual interest in anyone before. Right. I'm fairly certain there hasn't been a woman this naive since 'round about 1954. At one point, she thinks putting her hair in pigtails will keep her safe from Christian's lusty advances. Fuckin' really? She "flushes" constantly, and on several occasions referred to her hoo-hoo-naughty place as "down there."

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Next, we have Christian Grey:
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Christian is a misogynistic, self-loathing, abusive piece of shit. Apparently, his only redeeming qualities are, in this order; his ridiculous good looks, his money, and his giant penis. The only time Ana seems to like him as a person is when he's being "lovable", and those times are few and far between. Most of the time he's serious, brooding, and threatening. How charming.

I knew from the very first line this wasn't going to be good.

"I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror."

It was cemented that early, my deep, deep dislike for this moronic, simpering asshole. Your hair won't behave? Guess what?

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My suspicions were confirmed a few pages later when Ana admits that any "sympathy" she feels for her sick friend is "unwelcome". Unwelcome, apparently because her friend is beautiful, even when she has the flu...? What a petty, jealous cunt.

The only thing that made the first 4% of this book tolerable was the fact that I read it aloud to my younger brother, and his frequent commentary was amusingly distracting. Once he gave up, however, I had to travel the rest of the road alone. What a painful journey it was.

My first impressions of Ana were bad (deservedly so). What were my first impressions of Christian? Well...

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That's how I felt about Christian Grey. From the beginning. Any time an author tries to sell me on a character's "charm" by waxing hormonal about how "ridiculously good-looking" he is, I snicker inwardly. I can't think why....

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Anyway, after reading about the description of Christian's building (hello, first penis metaphor), I had to sit through the awful dialogue between these smarmy idiots and hope beyond hope that something, anything, would distract me enough to see me through to the end. Turns out, I found something about 15% through. I went back and counted, and kept track throughout the rest of the book, and do you have any idea how many fucking times Ana said "Oh my" in this monumentally bad missive? Do you? I'll tell you; 79! 79 motherfucking times. "He pulled me back against his chest...oh my." "He began kissing a trail down my belly, oh my." "He's an insufferable douchenozzle, oh my!" (I'm just thankful that neither lions, tigers, nor bears were brought into this mess at any point.)

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About halfway through, I wished I'd been keeping track of the word "crap" because Ana is constantly saying/thinking it. Crap, Holy Crap, Double and Triple Crap, Oh Crap, This Crap, That Crap, any and all Crap. Speaking of crap, if I ever, ever ever have to hear/read the words "inner goddess" again, I'm going to construct a pyre out of tampons and maxi pads, light it, and toss unsuspecting women into it.

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^My inner goddess will cap yours in the face if you don't shut the fuck up^

I'm sorry, I just couldn't take any of this seriously. His playroom. His playroom? Really?

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Or how about his weird-ass issues with food? He wants the girl slim and in shape, yet he won't stop trying to force her to eat!

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I simply love the attempt E.L. James made at giving these pathetic shells personalities. Ana wears Converse, drives a vintage car, and likes classic British lit. *Yawn* haven't heard any of that before. And Christian; we know Christian's super deep and sophisticated because he plays the piano and listens to obscure classical music. This is how we know Edward Christian is really just a lost soul in need of love; his love of music. Everyone knows that no one threatening listens to music. Music lovers just aren't capable of doing anything bad.

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^Surprise! Psychos like music, too.^

Since this is considered nothing more than "mommy porn", I will attempt to pander to that particular demographic for a moment. Were the sex scenes well-written? Well, none of it was particularly well-written. The sex scenes could be kind of...honestly, they were kind of boring. I've had more exciting sex myself, so I guess reader response to the sex scenes is dependent on reader experience. There's nothing revolutionary here, and a lot of it is just plain unrealistic. I mean, come on, he pretty much jackhammers her hymen and she walks away with nothing more than a passing, pleasant soreness? Riiiight. How about the time he gives her a handjob with a soapy washcloth? Hello? Apparently neither one of them has ever heard of a urinary tract infection. Oh, or we could talk about her first time giving Christian a blowjob, during which Ana established herself as some kind of Queen of Deepthroat.

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Anyone wanna hear about the tampon scene? Oh, you've already heard about the tampon scene? Yeah, same here, although hearing about it and reading the actual scene are a bit different. For some reason, you imagine it being worse than it actually is, while at the same time, reading about it is more horrifying than you could possibly imagine.

"He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string...what! And...gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet."

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Look, I'm not against sex during menses, but a guy plucking out a girl's tampon? Yeah, gross. I'm not a prude, but there are certain lines people just shouldn't cross. What makes it worse is that Christian is just thrilled that Ana's raggin' because he hates using condoms.

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Apparently, Mr. GinormoDick doesn't know that a woman can get pregnant while on her period. Which is hilarious considering all the teaching and training he's doing to remedy Ana's sexual ignorance.

Sexual dependence, thy name is Anastasia Steele. We're supposed to believe that this girl has gone 21 years neither having had sex nor masturbating? Hm. Well, Christian's supposed sexual prowess makes a bit more sense now, as does Ana's assertion that he has a giant bologna wand. She has absolutely zero experience, and she's never once had anything "in there". Thing could be the size of a baby carrot and she'd still be like, "Oh, my glob! How is it ever going to fit?!"

It's good that she stockpiled all those potential orgasms, though, because now she's capable of having like, 15 a day or something. It's ridiculous. Come to think of it, Christian's obsession with her eating habits makes a bit more sense now. She was probably beginning to look like something out of a horror movie.

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Seriously, though, are we going to take the word of a girl who is apparently so undersexed she's never even masturbated? I guess I can sort of understand this obsession with some kind of an awakening, but...really? "Oh, he's soooo good in bed!" How the hell would she know?! She has absolutely nothing with which to compare, not even her own damn hand!

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Now I'll be totally honest, the biggest issue I have with Fifty Shades of Shit is neither the sex nor the horrible writing. It's the plot. Thin as it is, it's still there, its core message being that, given enough time, you can change someone. While I don't have any problem with this if all you're trying to do is help them to lose weight or quit smoking, when you're talking about an emotionally and (dangerously close to) physically abusive relationship, sending that kind of message is ridiculous and irresponsible. Christian is controlling, possessive, condescending, and cruel. He doesn't allow Ana to behave as she normally would, and Ana just puts up with it, insistent that if she can give him what he wants, when he wants, as often as he wants, she can eventually begin to pull his strings. Will it work? In the books, probably. In real life? No. Almost never. How many misguided women are going to waste their lives on some emotionally retarded prick because they've read shit like this and think this kind of fucked-up fairytale will come true for them? I've known women with this mentality. "Oh, he's so dark and dangerous and threatening, but he's got a sad, lonely side, and if I could just figure out what's wrong, I could change him!"

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Wake the fuck up! He may be hot, he may have a huge dick, he may even be rich, that doesn't make him a good person. It doesn't even make him a potentially good person. Quit.Being.A.Fucking.Idiot. (Look, I can make my words Staccato like Christian. Now hold still while I choke you until you pass out...)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic ^Ana and Christian^ - "I said don't roll your eyes at me!!"

Christian stalks Ana (which she turns into a fucking joke), and whispers things to her "threateningly". She's constantly afraid he's going to beat the crap out of her, and with good reason as he, on more than one occasion, tells her he's going to/wants to.

Potential rape is downplayed. Ana's friend, Jake Jose, starts pushing himself on her rather vehemently when they're both drunk. Ana repeatedly says no, but Jose just keeps trying to go in for the kill. Admiral Chaps busts on up with his riding crop, however, and saves her. Ana (understandably) avoids Jose for a while after that, and when her other friend asks her why, all Ana says is, "He made a pass at me." Later on, she and Jose are friends again, the "attempted kiss" forgotten. *Sigh*

Rapists appear to be a theme. Christian tells Ana that he gets off on having complete and total control over another person. This is not just in the bedroom, but in Ana's overall life. On several occasions, he fails to yield when Ana says no, plunging on regardless, assured she'll like whatever he does, anyway, so why bother stopping?

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And there are women out there who think this is romantic.

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I wish you the best of luck, ladies. Just keep in mind that while you're fantasizing about abusive, misogynistic assholes like Grey, there are a lot of women dealing with the horrors of actually living with men like him. For all you ladies bustin' out your toys while daydreaming about Hunky Mr. Grey, I want you to do something for me. It'll only take a moment. Close your eyes. Think about all the things Christian Grey does in the book. Not just those supposed sweet things, but really, everything. His condescension, his control, his insane jealousy, his threats.....and now....imagine he looks like this:

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Still turned on?

The end of the book was absolutely hilarious, with Ana fleeing in emotional tumult because Christian can't give her what she needs (love! *sniff*).

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And we're treated to her alternately being angry about the pain and humiliation she faced at Christian's hands, and chastising herself for being a failure and for being mean to Christian. It really is classic abuse mentality. Yet I see her being touted by some as "strong and independent".

It's this kind of ignorant trash that sets feminism back decades. Women who defend this book are, however unwittingly, participating in some of the most blatant misogyny I've ever witnessed, giving the impression that some women enjoy being debased, abused, and controlled (outside of a consensual Dom/sub relationship). This is not a book about BDSM, this is a book about one sick, abusive man and his obsession with a young, naive invertebrate. It's a book about a girl who has absolutely no sense of self, who sacrifices any pretense of individuality in order to hold onto a man who doesn't even show her the faintest glimmer of respect. It's about two attention-starved individuals with the emotional maturity of toilet paper convincing themselves that their relationship is 'like, the best thing ever, OMG'. It's trite, insulting, and dangerous. I fear for any impressionable young women who read this and think that this is how an ideal relationship should operate. If nothing else, it should be issued as a guidebook to mothers around the world to show their daughters the kind of man to avoid at all costs. This book does good men (and indeed, all of humanity) a disservice.

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A bestseller. They're thinking of turning it into a movie....I can't....

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Word Count:
"Oh My" - 79
"Crap" - 101
"Jeez" - 82
"Holy (shit/fuck/crap/hell/cow/moses)" - 172
"Whoa" - 13
"Gasp" - 34
"Gasps" - 11
"Sharp Intake of Breath" - 4
"Murmur" - 68
"Murmurs" - 139
"Whisper" - 96
"Whispers" - 103
"Mutter" - 28
"Mutters" - 23
"Fifty" - 16
"Lip" - 71
"Inner goddess" - 58
"Subconscious" - 82

Click here for my review of Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2).

Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
December 5, 2013
Introducing an even more abusive and disturbing TWILIGHT! Now with whips and chains!

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Fifty Shades of Shit

Haters, please exit stage left.

I'm not sure what possessed me to pick up Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought I might genuinely like it before I started, but all I was left with was one hell of a mindfuck. Whatever it was that brought on this knee jerk purchase seems to have mercifully left me with enough common sense to say I will not be continuing on with this series.

Recently I discovered one of my favorite publishers, Random House, has picked up Fifty Shades of Grey and made this statement:
"An orig­i­nal work, and said to us that James had war­ranted the books were, indeed orig­i­nal. Mes­sitte added she was “aware of the nar­ra­tive that [50 SHADES] started as dif­fer­ently titled piece of fic­tion, but that they were and are two dis­tinctly sep­a­rate pieces of work."

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call bull shit on that. Fifty Shades of Grey and Master of the Universe (the original fan fic) are essentially the same thing. The biggest difference being Edward and Bella's name being replaced with Christian and Anastasia respectively. And I would know this because I have both and while I was reading, I would occasionally switch back and forth between the two without difficulty. I'd go through and give you examples myself, but other people have done it already here and here. So if you must read this book, do yourself a solid and find the fan fic online. You even get the second book too!

I know some people claim this has no similarities to Twilight and got dammit, I'm allergic to all the bull shit. Do I really need to point this all out? Because it looks pretty obvious to me. The mannerisms of the characters are exactly the same. They even say similar things the original characters say. The whole "dazzle" line and Edward asking Bella to trust him. Her mother being remarried with the same inability to maneuver her way around a kitchen. Bella is still trying to save Edward from himself due to his troubled past. Edward still stalks and controls Bella, only now he gets to hit her when she gets out of line.

*facepalm* Shall I beat them both? Yes?

I struggled to come up with a proper review for this book and couldn't figure out why I was feeling rather uninspired to write one. And then I figured it out. I was left so disgusted by this book that I wanted to purge the memory of its existence from my mind. With a rusty nail. Every time I thought of the book my brain cells would go on strike, yelling obscenities at me.  Anyway, I thought Bella and Edward's relationship couldn't get anymore fucked up than Twilight. I stand corrected. If I were to describe FSoG in one sentence it would be this: Fifty Shades of Grey is like Twilight on steroids, high on ecstasy, in a dirty little corner. A very dirty corner. With badly written sex. Lots.


Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of the beautiful (but of course she doesn't know it), naive virgin, Anastasia Steal after she is suckered into interviewing the Greek god, Christian Grey. Of course, sparks fly and for some unknown reason he can't seem to stay away from this incredibly, unremarkable girl.  Ana discovers Christian is into BDSM and desires her as his submissive fuck buddy.

There are a myriad of problems with this novel, many of which ironically can be found in Twilight. Never saw that one coming! Christian/Edward is still a controlling bastard, only now he hides behind his BDSM practices to camouflage his abusive tendencies. However, Ana doesn't see it that way. She thinks of him as a broken person and it's her duty to fix him. Even when he says things like this:
"I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything you couldn't take."

Can you believe she let's him beat her after that? And please don't even bother to tell me that it's just BDSM. No, just fucking no. Ana is genuinely afraid of Christian and is never entirely comfortable with the "punishment" aspect of their relationship. But Christian just manipulates her with sex to continue the relationship. And that's what really gets me. I just have a hard time believing a virgin would somehow become a sex goddess overnight, because that is exactly what happens. When she first is introduced to his kinky lifestyle and tells him she is a virgin he immediately tells her he needs to handle that "situation" before they could continue. What?! Since when is your virginity a "situation?" But, that's not really the kicker. Oh, no, because that is when we are introduced to Ana's two best friends. Everyone say hi to:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Anna's inner goddess, who always cheers her on when Christian wants sex or wants to punish her. She's also quite annoying, doing back flips at the mention of anything sexual related. Simmer down. Where did she come from exactly? Ana is in her twenties and has never felt the urge to have sex with anyone until Christian comes along with his whips and chains?!

And... Ana's sub-conscious, who hides behind couches when it comes time for her beating. When it comes to Ana having sex with Christian, well, her sub-conscious only has one thing to say,

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

So after the "situation" is handled, Ana has to sign a "contract" agreeing to his sexual demands and also outlining things she won't do. It was pretty pointless considering he still got what he wanted and she never signed the damn thing. He exploits her, stalks her and abuses her! She cries after sex. She is afraid of him being angry! Even when he is angry at something else, she thinks it's her. Her reasoning for allowing him to hit her as his therapy is because she's afraid to lose him. That is not a reason for agreeing to a BDSM lifestyle! In fact, that's not even really "consent!" These quotes just scream domestic abuse to me:
"Please don't be angry with me," I whisper.

"Please don't hit me," I whisper, pleading.
His brow furrows, his eyes widening. He blinks twice.
"I don't want you to spank me. Not here. Not now. Please don't."

Yeah, he's a real catch, that one. Barf. No, excuse me. That's not right. The barfing came when the little ass-wipe PULLED HER TAMPON OUT AND RAMMED HIMSELF INSIDE OF HER. OMFG. Yes, the caps were totally necessary because that was the most disgusting thing I have ever had the misfortune of reading. That is not sexy, that's foul.

Whenever Ana thinks about leaving him, he comes over to her apartment unannounced pounds into her (literally) and her inner goddess does a fucking happy dance, forgetting her urge to kick his sick ass to the curb. They fight, they breakup. They kiss, they sex up.


Christian: "Do you still want me gone Ana?"

Inner goddess: *growl*

Sub-conscious: ...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Dance, puppet. Dance.

The writing is a shitty mess too. I mean, if I had to sit and read Ana saying "Holy, shit!" or "Holy, Fuck!" or "Oh, my!" one more time, I was going to lose it. I wanted to take my red pen and have at this "book" so badly. It was the little things like Ana's roommate saying over and over, "You never cry Ana," and what do we find Ana always doing? Crying. I'm not sure where the hell the plot was. *smacks forehead* How silly of me! Didn't I mention this was a Twilight retelling? Why was I expecting a plot? And another example of poor writing: for these characters to be American, they sounded very British to me. They used phrases that Americans don't use.

And now I'm trying to figure out why this book is so popular. Why do so many women love this book? I get the appeal of the bondage even though it's not my usual cup of tea. Whips? Chains? Sounds exciting!


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Abuse? Not so much.

Fuck my life! Zero stars!

Eh, I'm off to read a good book now and possibly to bleach my brain.

More reviews at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Kruti.
113 reviews305 followers
December 16, 2017
In the words of Miss Steele, "You need to sort your shit out, Grey!" Good day, sir!


Fifty Shades of Grey, more like Fifty shades of fucked up nonsense *rolls eyes* I should get a medal for just finishing this tripe.

I honestly do NOT feel like revisiting this book and writing a review. I’d rather spend the time searching for ways to remove this utter nonsense from my memory. However, this book is so bad that I feel the need to warn others from this drivel. Luckily, I did not buy this garbage. I do not even know what overcame me to read it and I can only blame a momentary lack of judgment on my part.

What baffles me is the scary fangirlgasm following this book. So what’s causing it a hit? I can only come up with ‘twilight’. Doing some research, this book was originally posted online as a twilight fanfic! Yes, a twilight fanfic. The fact that this book’s source material isn’t a good piece of literature just shows what you should expect from this book. And dubbing it a twilight fanfic and promoting it as such is no doubt raising the bar on the sale figures. What has the world come to? *headdesk* Whatever’s causing its success; I can safely say it can’t be the book itself.

Everything you could possibly imagine is wrong with this book! The execution and the characters. And the writing. And the plot (wait, was there one?!?)

Firstly, it has been said a countless number of times how abusive Bella and Edward’s relationship was. And it is arguably the most anti-feminist portrayal of any relationship. FSoG simply continues this unhealthy view and promotes an even more abusive and degrading relationship towards women, targeting older women (and possibly even teenage girls who know no better). Oh dear god, I hope teenage girls do not jump on this disturbing bandwagon.

Surely, it is degrading to ask a woman to sign a contract where ‘she is now the property of the Dominant, to be dealt with as the Dominant pleases’ and ‘submitting [herself] to any sexual activity demanded by the Dominant…without hesitation or argument’ – especially when you take into consideration the fact that she would be signing up to something she has not yet experienced and knows little about as she is still a virgin. This is not something that should be promoted as desirable or idealistic. This book cheapens what feminists have fought for years! Don’t get me wrong I wouldn't deprive women of their right to express themselves sexually, nor to act upon their desires but I shudder at the thought of women aspiring to a relationship where she will take part in various things that she is not comfortable with and at times, even when she’s genuinely in fear of taking part, simply because she finds the guy ‘hot’.


The plot - I’m not even sure if there was one. 50% of the book is spent talking about sex/the contract and the other 50% is made up of clumsily written sex scenes.

The writing is dull and unimaginative. It reads more like a diary – he did this, I did this. The constant repetitions are enough to make someone suicidal! I hope I never have to see the words, ‘my subconscious’ and ‘my inner goddess’ ever again or so help me god! The sex scenes were terrible and frankly a little disturbing to put down on paper – an incident with the tampon springs to mind.

The characters are simply absurd in this book.

AnaBella SteeleSwan Anastasia Steele irked me quite a lot and reading this book from her point of view was no picnic in the park. Finding out that she is 21 years old was a shock – she reads like a dim-witted 12 year old, who’s vocabulary doesn’t extend further from ‘jeez’, ‘oh crap’, ‘damn’, ‘oh my’, ‘holy cow’ and even the constant reference to her vagina as ‘down there’. I found nothing remotely interesting about her. She has most of Bella’s traits and then some – she’s boring, clumsy and downright bitter, even towards her best friend, Kate. The only other word I can use to describe her is a ‘scrounger’ – can’t she afford her own clothes?

She’s too gullible and a hypocrite. She’s weak-willed and succumbs so easily for my liking. And I’m pretty sure she suffers from some form of mental disorder – schizophrenia perhaps? She constantly refers to what she calls her ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’, who either cheer her on when there’s an opportunity for sex or take opportunities to call her a ‘dirty hoe’!

Kill me now!

I swear Kate was a much more interesting character and would have made a better female lead, but like the other few characters she was mentioned only for the sake of a story. A real shame.

Christian Grey…where do I begin?
From: Kruti
Subject: Your issues
Date: April 18 2011 23:15
To: Christian Grey

Dear Mr Grey,

You sir, are a pompous asshole! And frankly, you are in need of much help. Perhaps, I can direct you to the nearest mental hospital? Or better yet, accompany you to the nearest police station? It's the least I can do.

In response to your email, I think you have that the wrong way around, sir. It is I who would like to hurt you til you’re fifty shades of red!

Laters, baby.

On Apr 18, 2012 at 23:00 PM, Christian Grey (christiangrey@ihaveissues.com) wrote:

"I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything you couldn't take."

Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.


There are simply so many things wrong with his character that I don’t even know where to begin. What’s unacceptable is how his upbringing is used as an excuse to cover up his abusive tendencies. NO!! That does not give him the right to exert control over her and abuse her. Ana constantly tells him how uncomfortable and afraid she is with what he wants and all he can say is 'That’s a Dom/sub thing. You’ll get used to it.'. Hell NO! That's not BDSM.

Okay children, let's explore the definition of BDSM:
"form of personal relationship involving the consensual use 
of restraint.."
Consensual being the key word! Don't tell me we have two consenting adults here. No, Ana is just a child trapped in a woman's body. She has no true idea of what this lifestyle entails and is at most times in fear.

If you're still not convinced about how unhealthy this relationship was, this probably will convince you. To ensure he gets her to do what he wants, he manipulates her with promises of a relationship if she is willing to try his way of lifestyle. And, Ana being the fool she is lets him beat her thinking 'Oh my, holy cow he's hot' and 'It’s what he wants...after all he’s done, I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs'. So in her mind, his need to control her and beat her is a form of therapy? No! That's not BDSM either.

I have absolutely nothing more to add. I'm taking my inner goddess elsewhere and grabbing a good book.

Extras: Honestly this is what I imagined Christian to be like. If you have a facebook account, you should definitely visit this link.

Click here for my review of Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2).
Profile Image for Mel.
84 reviews239 followers
May 7, 2012
Garbage. Absolutely horrifying, utter trash. A waste of trees, bookshelf space and precious, oh so very fucking precious braincells. Honestly, why is this even published? Every single book store in Sydney is promoting this tripe, claiming it to be some kind of awesome romance novel. Are you absolutely shitting me? There is nothing romantic at all about this 'book'. And I don't mean the BDSM erotica themes, I mean the fifty levels of abuse in this friggin' thing.

In fact, that's what this book should be called. 'Fifty shades of absolute-fucking-insanity-and-abuse'. I know at least every one star reviewer has taken the title and created their own pun with it, but fuck it, I'm jumping on the bandwagon too.

Before I decided to read this (God help me), I kept seeing it everywhere I went, and the book store where I work was involved in the promotion among other book store chains. Typical. All me and my co-workers knew that it was smut, and a hell of a lot of it too. We even turned the book into a drinking game, and it goes as thus: Flip to a random page of the book. If it's something dirty, take a drink. I do not recommend this game, for one could die from alcohol poisoning within the first round. But if you're feeling adventurous... by all means. Glad I could be of service to your crazy party ideas.

But anyway, let's cut to my opinion of this abomination of literature. I decided to read it because it sounded like garbage, and I haven't written a review about garbage in too long. I owed something to the people who actually found me worthwhile to follow on Goodreads. So I decided hell, I'll review this.

Brain cells I will never, ever, EVER, get back.

This is literally the worst book I have ever read, and I say that about many books. But this is the worst book for a damn good reason. Let's talk about what I hated about this book. The bottom line is I hated absolutely everything. And I'm not saying that to be funny, I'm saying that out of all seriousness. I didn't find a single redeeming quality in this book. With the Hush, hush series we at least had the unintentional hilarity and the awesomeness of Marcie. In Twilight we had that chick who wanted to kill Bella and Tyler's van. Fifty shades of Grey has no such redeeming qualities. The characters are bland and merely props to set the stage for fucking weird BDSM-ing, and the plot was lost somewhere in the vagina of the author's wet dream. (Believe me, I feel weird for even typing these words.)

Not to mention, even though everyone already knows this, this was originally a Twilight fan fiction called 'Master of the universe' or some shitty, stupid title like that. How did such a thing get published? What, Twilight wasn't horrible and abuse-glorifying enough, so we had to kick it up a notch with publishing 'Master of the universe'? Are you people serious? Why is it that dumber and dumber things are getting published? Quality is almost non-existent. Fucking hell.

But before I rant on for hours about that, let's talk about the characters. Oh, I mean props. Yeah, props is more appropriate. Why? Because the characters, for all the personality they had may as well have been props.

Our first main prop is Ana, aka Bella Swan. The plain, virginal wallflower who thinks lowly of herself whilst everyone around her just seems to freaking worship her. She is also clumsy, reads books, has divorced parents, doesn't get along with her step-father, and is a brain dead moronic twat. Remind you of anyone? I wonder who you're thinking of. That is a humdinger, isn't it? I'm amazed how many women are not pissed off with her complete lack of sense and self-respect. She lets a man abuse her physically and emotionally, and allows him to satiate his ever-growing need to control her completely, passing it off as some cute obsessive habit. And even if she has doubts and runs away, she comes running back to him only seconds after. How are people not pissed off about this? Seriously? Not to mention she has zero personality, zero brain-cells, and zero common sense. Her character serves no purpose other than becoming some abusive asshole's sex toy.

And let's not forget our second main prop, Christian Grey, aka Edward Cullen, aka creepy-stalker-sociopathic-megalomaniacal-abusive-horrifying-asshole. The fact that he has fangirls in the real world has pretty much ruined my faith in mankind, and the new generation. Christian Gray pretty much pushes the limits that Edward Cullen, Patch, Daniel and others have yet to push due to their PG ratings, but fuck does Christian Grey push those fucking limits. He physically abuses Ana, and it somehow gets excused on the account that she was briefly aroused by it. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE?? SERIOUSLY?? Fuck my life. He also decides what she should eat, what she should wear, how she should act, speak, communicate with him, where she can and can't go or what she can and can't do, threatens her constantly even with physical violence, and the list goes on. I kid you not. He even has this set out as a contract (which by the way is repeated at least 5 times in the fucking book). Here's another example of how romantic this mother fucker is:

"I like the control it gives me, Anastasia. I want you to behave in a particular way, and if you don't, I shall punish you, and you will learn to behave the way I desire."

See? Romantic as freaking Mel Gibson. And by the way, the women who find this guy romantic need some serious therapy. Seriously. Harsh I know, but finding this guy romantic is like like excusing the actions of a child-molester because he has nice hair. This is not romantic. This is ABUSIVE and WRONG on sooooo many levels.

I don't know why they decided to plant this book in the general romance section. This is not romantic. And don't give me the 'IT'S MEANT TO BE BDSM, SO IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ALL DOM VS SUB'. This goes way beyond the good ol' BDSM theme and just ends up treading into abusive territory. Christian takes these aspects into the relationship where he ends up not only controlling a woman sexually, but also emotionally, and deliberately moulding her into not just a sex partner, but an ideal of what he wants her to be and leaves her no room for her individuality and instead brands it as 'punishable'. That's not part of the BDSM jig. I'm sorry, but it's not. Why people even call this romantic is beyond me. I already mentioned the abusive aspects of this so called relationship, but other than that it was a relationship built on air. Since neither of the characters had any personality outside their sex drives, they had nothing that they saw in each other. They couldn't relate to each other, they didn't share any common interests, they didn't do any good for each other, outside the sexy stuff. And at the end they want to pass it off as though the two are actually in love? Give me a break. Watching people get swooped at by magpies is more romantic that this garbage.

The plot? There was no plot. Seriously, I could not find it. ANYWHERE. I searched and searched but alas, my search has left me unrewarded. Let me explain in a quick paragraph how this book goes:

'Girl meets some guy. Some guy is hot. Girl thinks some guy is hot. Hot some-guy shows up where girl who thinks some-guy is hot works. Hot some-guy asks out girl, takes her virginity. Stuff happens. Hot some-guy introduces girl (who thinks he's hot, by the way) to his BDSM sex dungeon, and the next half of the book is spent pondering whether or not girl (who thinks some-guy is hot, in case it wasn't mentioned enough in the book) wants to indulge in hot some-guy's fantasies. Also the hot some-guy takes complete control over girl (did I mention she thinks he's hot?) who seems to be totally okay with it. More stuff happens. Girl gets spanked too hard, breaks up with hot some-guy. The end.'

That's it. That's the whole book. And the whole 'Ohhh Christian has secrets' bullcrap in the blurb? Bullcrap. His secrets are mentioned in only 5% of the book and drive the plot nowhere. The book is only about how some asshole wants to control some stupid girl. The other characters are barely relevant. They were just more props whose only role was to be interested in the 'relationship' between Ana and Christian. They didn't seem to be interested in anything else. They could be buttering toast and thinking 'I wonder how hard Christian is fucking Ana right now.'

An absolute waste. The media might be promoting this tripe as the new hero of literature, but this is and always will be just another wart on the ass of literature, along with Twilight and all its' descendants. You know what they say, you can polish a turd, but it will still be a turd.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
May 11, 2012

I have finally made a decision about Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, I know, my review of this isn't really needed, everybody's talking about this book, everybody's got the general gist of what it's about. But I've spent quite a long time thinking about this novel, the characters, and the relationship portrayed. I've been thinking about all the reasons people hate this so much and love it so much. I need to confess - for those who missed it - that I originally reviewed this first book immediately after finishing it and before I started (and finished) the other two books in the trilogy. I gave it three stars, I expressed all that Fifty Shades of Grey had made me feel: annoyed, frustrated, confused, and also entertained. I have since then felt like I have much more to add.

The reason I personally think that opinions differ so greatly on these novels is not because people have different sexual tastes. For some, yeah, this will come into play. However, I think the main reason is that this book and the characters send out a confusing mix of messages. When I finished Fifty Shades of Grey, I had no idea what kind of book I'd just read. Was it BDSM erotica? Or the tale of a man's childhood abuse and how this impacted on his sex life later on? Were Christian Grey's sexual tastes supposed to be erotic or wrong? Let me tell those of you who haven't read this: it isn't clear.

This book appears to be an erotic BDSM romance at face value. But Ana makes it clear early on that she doesn't want that kind of relationship, that Christian is "fifty shades of fucked up", that the way he behaves isn't right, but is actually the result of an abusive upbringing. Ana later contradicts her early decision and gets all pouty when Christian won't play kinky with her... and yet the previous time he'd done it she spent the evening crying and feeling sorry for herself. Some people seem to see Christian as the big bad man who abuses a weak young woman. This is not the case. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that happens between the two of them that Ana doesn't give consent to. Sure, she may whine about it afterwards, or use the excuse that she doesn't want to lose him, but she makes the choices, she holds the power.

Here's what I think is the ultimate problem with Fifty Shades of Grey: Ms James' terrible writing. It's nothing new, she even admitted it herself, but that is why we all can't figure out what it is about this book that makes it some parts entertaining, some parts annoying as fuck. Because I'm trying to categorise this so I can begin to understand it, so that I can form my opinion and write my review accordingly. But we cannot understand what doesn't make sense. And James' characterisation does not make any sense at all. She writes Ana as a naive student at the mercy of Christian's abusive past, then she writes Ana as a sexual manipulator who actually likes BDSM. Is Christian sexy or a victim? I'll tell you: he's both and neither, because James cannot create characters and relationships to save her life. She contradicts herself, she changes her mind without logical reason. This is why it is pointless analysing the relationship between Ana and Christian. One minute it's sexy, the next minute it's fucked up. One minute it's BDSM, the next minute it's abuse. How do you accurately review a book that changes its mind every two minutes?

I also feel I need to say something about BDSM. Any more than a small amount of kinky doesn't really interest me, but it doesn't bother me either if it is between consenting adults. However, there are two things I can say about this matter in Fifty Shades of Grey: 1) it really isn't that kinky, and 2) for the most part, this isn't really a BDSM relationship (I don't think the author actually understands what one is). I can't say that I'm experienced in visiting those kind of clubs down the dark allies of Soho, but I've done not a small amount of reading on the psychological aspect of BDSM relationships. I have a keen interest in feminism and I have often wondered if something like this is nothing but a hindrance to the progress of women and equality. I would conclude from my reading that it is not.

Firstly, BDSM relationships are about give and take. The dom and the sub each give one another what they want/need. It isn't about abuse, it isn't about selfishly taking what you want, and because these relationships involve relinquishing control to another person, there is a deep amount of trust required. Also, it is important to note that the power of the dom is an illusion, the sub holds all the power, they say how far it goes, when it stops, what is too much. The key thing is that both of them get something out of it. Which is why the relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey can only be called BDSM when Ana does an abrupt u-turn on her opinions and decides she wants a bit of spankiness. The parts where she is upset about the relationship Christian wants - that is not BDSM. The parts where she reluctantly allows him to get his way - that is not BDSM.

I think there is nothing wrong with BDSM erotica. I think there is nothing wrong with doms, subs, sex slaves, whatever... if that is what the person wants. But Fifty Shades of Grey is about 10% BDSM relationship and 90% bad writing that just fucks with your head until you're not sure what the hell you're reading. Ms James has created one mess of a book, whether you'll look at her mess and see something entertaining or horrific, well that's kinda just like looking at this picture and asking whether you see a rabbit or a duck.

Profile Image for Kiki.
197 reviews8,524 followers
February 27, 2016
Head's up: If any of you fuckers comment at the bottom of this review and say, "You don't understand BDSM" I will hunt you down and make you eat your computer, plus the mouse, plus the keyboard, plus any other internet-connected devices in your home, including but not limited to iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, games consoles and ereaders. This book is not an accurate or healthy portrayal of a real BDSM relationship between two consensual and enthusiastic parties. Thus, by defending it as such, you are doing a disservice to the actual culture of BDSM (no kinkshaming). So don't fuck with me and try to pull that shit.

Oh, also, there will be a substantial amount of cussing throughout this review. If you care about the sanctity of your virgin eyes then shut down your computer and go do something else. We are all grown-ass adults and this is the internet. If you're going to come over and here and lecture me about swearing then I'd advise that you PIPE the fuck down and stop being so bloody delicate.

Alrighty, then. You guessed it, guys: it's story time.

When I was thirteen, I decided I wanted to be an author. For years I'd chattered away about being an architect or a vet or what have you, but who was I kidding? All I ever wanted to do was write. So I sat down, and I did. I did write.

I'm actually not shitting you. I thought it would be as easy as sitting down and writing some crap on Wordpad (alright, calm down, this was the noughties) and I wrote a lot of crap: I tried to write a play, and then I tried poetry, and then I wrote short stories, before eventually expanding into novels.

Novels is a stretch. I wrote about a hundred single-spaced pages and to my present-day horror, made my family read it. And they actually did. Remember all those embarrassingly awful school projects you did when you were thirteen? Or even just those embarrassingly awful things you did in general when you were thirteen? I feel the same level of shame when I think of my little preteen self, handing this pile of shit over to my sister and thinking I actually had something.

About a year later, with zero knowledge of how publishing works, I posted it straight into a bunch of indie publisher's slushpiles. A vanity publisher replied to me and told me they didn't want my work, and I did the undoable: I argued with them.

As I write this, I'm practically convulsing with embarrassment. Vanity Publisher, if you're reading this, please forget I ever existed. But if you can't do that, at least give me an alias when you tell all your friends about that dumb kid who sent you the book about pyromania without having done any research.

In some ways, having read this book, I finally feel like I identify with that vanity publisher: I read someone's irredeemable shit and hated it, but then they tried to defend it and I got so mad I broke a window with my face.

(Peeps, if you think E.L. James hasn't tried to defend this shit, then you need to get on YouTube and watch some pleading vids from the publisher.)

I just...

I haven't read a book this awful since Revealing Eden (but let's not open that can of worms). It was like an acid trip. Am I reading this, I thought? Is this actually a published book? Are people actually parting with money for this slab of steaming garbage?


I feel like this book insulted me, really. I feel like it spat in my face, because what reader-respecting author would create a protagonist this redundant and awe-inspiringly dense, expecting an audience to love and respect her? It's as if someone took an ice-cream scoop and relieved Ana of her brain. How could you...? Why would you...? Why is she...?

I just...

I have no words. I have no words to explain this protagonist. None at all. I have more to say about the love interest, who's like a more threatening Charles Manson but with only one brainwashed follower (Ana). This guy goes to the hardware store and buys like chains and lime and shit and Ana doesn't think this is weird?

What the fucking fuck?

And of course there's the whole "inner goddess" shit and Ana thinking that it's sexy to wear a chunky knit sweater and be strapped into a vehicle, and then using the word "vagina" during a sex scene.

"Oh, he touched my vagina".

Yeah, excuse me while I tame my boner!

I felt so uncomfortable reading this book. Now, let's be honest here: I read porn. Of course I read porn. Anyone over sixteen who says they've never looked at or read porn is talking out of their ass. But this book made me feel uncomfortable, and here's the kicker: I read it alone. I was reading it alone in my living room, and I felt uncomfortable inside my own head. What the fuck does that tell you?

I don't want to start yammering on about the way this book is written. It's written like horrendous fanfiction. There are spelling and punctuation errors, stupid turns of phrase, random asides, stilted dialogue, awful physical descriptions, weird pacing, and I don't know, like a thousand instances of brand dropping and band-naming which gives the book this bizarre cheap and dated quality that really takes away from what little redeeming features it might have had.

What are the redeeming features? I don't know. The blurb sounds interesting. That's about it.

But what is it about this book that's captured the attention of so many millions of people across the world? The absurdly stupid protagonist? The pushy, obsessive, totally unrealistic love interest? The relationship in which only one party is actually interested in BDSM, and the other is incredibly resistant to it, but is forced into it? The terrible writing? The awful cover art? The cheap, thin binding? A story so convoluted, so ridiculous, so totally immature it could only ever have been born from Twilight?


There is nothing enjoyable about this book. This book is garbage. There are no two ways about it: it is shit. Awful, awful shit. And I'm not sorry for saying so. This is my fucking opinion, and I'm damn well going to voice it.

This book can kiss my ass.

Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,870 followers
July 10, 2015
0 stars. DNF @55%. Review edited February 12, 2015

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“Sex is more than an act of pleasure, it's the ability to be able to feel so close to a person, so connected, so comfortable that it's almost breathtaking to the point you feel you can’t take it. And at this moment you're a part of them.

- Author unknown -

I've had a rather long list of issues when I decided to abandon ship. FSoShit is garbage and if I had read a paperback I would have burned the fucking offending thing. It's a total mystery to me why this book ever saw the light of day because, let's face it, the writing is incredibly juvenile. The story and characters are extremely poorly written and I couldn't for the life of me connect with the dumb, clumsy, naïve and immature heroine.

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Also, the slimy whacko didn't deserve to be called hero. Christian is a highly manipulative, abusive and stalker-ish asshole. His whispers didn't endear him to me either. He came off as a total creep. I honestly don't understand what Ana saw in him, yet on the other hand, I didn't get it why Christian would stalk that bland and vapid wallflower. In any event, these two deserved each other and Ana obviously enjoyed Grey's blunt and crude approach.

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The whole contract business was pretty much mind-boggling. I don't believe that a healthy and consensual Dom/sub relationship could be based upon such crappy and ridiculous rules.

Christian, the rich Superman (sarcasm), deflowered our wallflower in a way that's not even worthy of losing any words over that pathetic fuck. So, you did guess right. I neither found the sex to be hot nor erotic. At.All. Thus, I'd better buy him a ticket to the next Mars expedition stat. That would ensure that Mr. Grey would not return to our cozy place called Mother Earth.

FSoG lacked depth and emotion big time. Except of disgust and anger I felt nothing towards these pathetic main protagonists and their fucked up trip bored me to tears.

The winking smileys irritated the hell outta me and all that inner goddess shit made me almost blow a fuse. Jesus.Fucking.Christ. Would you give me a break already? I've read a variety of erotica books and I do enjoy great smexin' that comes with some kind of depth and great characterization. However, I'm not sorry to say that FSoG is ranking among the worst erotica books I've ever read.

What's seriously bugging me as well is the fact that the general public thinks that FSoShit provides almost every woman's erotic fantasy. I don't criticize readers who loved this book but I'm criticizing the media coverage. I don't appreciate it when these people claim to know that's what a general majority of women love to read and want in real life (or in the bedroom for that matter). Seriously? Never. Ever. FSoG is bad erotica. It's bad BDSM too.

When people say FSoG is “empowering women in their sexuality,” then I think something is seriously wrong. Never ever could this story empower me in my sexuality. What in God’s name is on their minds? I can do it all by myself with my very healthy hand, and I can gladly say that my boyfriend is empowering me just fine and is taking care of my needs. Thank you very much. BTW, my boyfriend is not an abusive and manipulative stalker. Oh, yes, now it dawns on me…my boyfriend is real.

Bottom line, the barely there plot and the characters were overly shallow, underdeveloped, immature and boring. The amateurish writing killed any desire to read anything else by this author in the future. And last but not least, my inner goddess was so fucking relieved when she had to quit eventually. It was a very tedious and crappy experience and I wish I had never bought this book, let alone attempted to go through this rubbish. I was in dire need of bleaching my brain.

Christopher Hitchens said…

Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that's where it should stay.

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As a side note

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Profile Image for Anzû.
238 reviews1,106 followers
June 10, 2023
I didn’t want to start this book. Many people are praising it but I’m simply not into erotica, it's just not my vibe. But this book got way too famous so I guess I'm too curious for my own good.

Christian Grey. A hot dude that melts a woman’s panties off with just one look. The perfect sex toy set out to conquer an innocent girl. Grey (the sick f*ck) is considered one of the hottest characters in romance. Really? This guy?

Anastasia is an immature insecure desperate idiot who wants to become a true woman. She just wants to listen to her inner goddess (?!) and have hot monkey sex with Grey. She has no personality nor will whatsoever, she gets excited over the smallest and most idiotic things you can imagine and even though she sees how wrong Grey is, she still goes for it. Gurl, your inner goddess should work on giving better advice. She’s always mooning over Grey like he’s some kind of god that she’s supposed to worship. He tells her that he doesn’t want a serious relationship just sex and she’s still ok with it. Why? Just because he’s hot. And rich. He hurt her the first time they made love, she was a virgin of course (and I don’t buy the crap with it being perfect, surely she surely got hurt after that), and is treating her like a slave. Even though he’s a successful businessman and he’s rich and famous he still can be a psychopath. Just watch American Psycho and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Now: THE CONTRACT. Signing paperwork in order to have sex with him? Is he a natural hazard or what? I get the whole Hey look at me I’m badass, I have my own company and helicopter gig ‘cause the guy is stinking rich but a contract??? I guess a suit can't help the instinct, must have paperwork for everything.

“Why would I do that?”
“To please me”

All women want to please him. Of course. Because he's so hot and rich. And a complete beast in bed. Of course.

“I have rules, and I want you to comply with them. They are for your benefit and for my pleasure. If you follow these rules to my satisfaction, I shall reward you. If you don’t, I shall punish you, and you will learn,”

“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you.”

Meanwhile everyone else:

Question for all the people who loved this book. If Grey wasn’t so hot would you have still enjoyed it as much?

Profile Image for P.A. Lupton.
Author 2 books402 followers
December 2, 2012
Those of you who have had the privilege of reading Fifty Shades of Grey will appreciate the context in which this review was written. For those of you who have not read the book, well, you’ll have to buy a copy to understand the inside joke.

Dated this day 28th day of October, 2011

P.A. LUPTON (reader, and fan, Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James)

Readers can expect to find within the pages of this book a flawless rendering of the internal, psychological struggles of a novice submissive in a BDSM relationship. Anastasia Steele is an innocent to sexual relationships, let alone BDSM relationships. E L James captures perfectly her fears, confusions, insecurities, and internal conflicts as she deals with falling in first love with a man who epitomizes the meaning of dominant.

The reader shall discover within this novel two of the most well thought out and in depth characters. The hero Christian Grey admits that he is “Fifty shades of Fu*#&ed up,” which makes the reader want to delve in and learn about each of those fifty shades. The heroine Anastasia Steele is a study in contradictions: smart but naïve, innocent yet sensual, independent yet submissive, and these paradoxes keep the reader captivated and eager to learn more.

Upon signing this contract, you (the fan) agree to proceed to your nearest bookstore, or e-book retailer, and immediately purchase a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. I (PA Lupton) warrant that upon reading said copy a multitude of emotions will inevitably ensue. I further warrant that disappointment will not be one of the aforementioned emotions. Your signature on this contract further indicates your accord in following the rules set out in APPENDIX 1 to this agreement.



1. Please ensure that you have Kleenex prepared when you read this novel as build up of emotions will unavoidably lead to the inadvertent shedding of tears.
2. Make certain to schedule ample time for reading as once you begin you will be unable to put your book down. Be warned: If obligations force you to cease reading prior to completion, for long periods of time, it will inevitably lead to impatience and frustration.
3. IMPORTANT: Cold liquids, ice, cool cloths, or any cooling equipment such as central air or electric fans should be close at hand. Reading the romantic (i.e. sex) scenes in this book without these cooling devices will certainly lead to overheating.
4. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Colleen Hoover.
Author 76 books678k followers
May 24, 2016
I read this book back before E.L. James even wrote it.
I don't brag about a lot of things, but my review skills are one of the few things I will brag about.
E.L. James read my review on this book and she loved it SO much, she decided to go ahead and write the book. Here is a word-for-word copy of our email exchange from that day.
E.L. James: Hello, Colleen Hoover! I saw your book review on Fifty Shades of Grey and I loved it so much, I decided I would write the book. I'm already finished writing chapter twelve. I just wanted to say thank you. Without your review, I would never have found the inspiration for this book.

Colleen Hoover: You're so welcome. I'm great at this reviewing thing, right?

E.L. James: You are. Take care.

Colleen Hoover: Laters, Baby.

E.L. James: That's brilliant! I might put that in my book if you don't mind!

Colleen Hoover: If you do, don't give me credit for it. I don't like attention. I get SO much already. Someday when you finish this book, you'll know what it's like.


A few months following the above email exchange, Fifty Shades of Grey released and E.L. James became a sensational author. If you're a reviewer, make sure you pre-review books before they are written. Procrastination is for losers.
Profile Image for Abbi Glines.
Author 111 books85.7k followers
March 15, 2012
Okay… I realized by people's comments that I never said exactly what I thought about this book. Well, I loved it. I've now read it four times. Christian Grey ranks right up there with Travis Maddox in my book boyfriend world. This series is addicting. When I need a good read this is my "go to" series. I didn't know what to think about this because I wasn't sure how I felt about BDSM… but this is sooooo much more than that. One of the BEST love stories I've read to date.
Profile Image for Molly.
94 reviews6 followers
December 3, 2013
Really.. blah, blah. On & on. No purpose, no plot, meandering for meandering's sake. I didn't finish it because, quite frankly, the 'heroine' got on my last fucking nerve. The writing style is atrocious and I can't fathom how or why so many people love this tiny slice of interweb fan fiction garbage.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,977 reviews1,989 followers
September 12, 2019
Real Rating: negative sixty septillion stars

It's National Book Lovers Day! A day to bask in the amazing power of books to inform, amuse, educate, and alter our views and viewpoints.

Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 14, 2018
OOOOHHH the movie opens TODAY!! now, i'm not likely to ever see the movie, but i will say it's pretty ballsy to cast the romantic lead - a character who ties up ladies for erotic enjoyment - with the actor that many people only know as the character who ties up ladies for erotic enjoyment ... and then kills them.


now hear me out, people. i liked it, but i didn't like it-like it. the writing is shitty, it is, but i am a sucker for enthusiasm. and you can tell she has it. at the reading of hers i worked, she didn't come across as some fame-hungry monster -she seems as baffled by her success as i am. it's like people with ugly kids. they know what they have brought into the world, but they love it regardless, and they're just happy when the other kids play with it on the playground. and it's not that i think she's ashamed of it, she probably thinks it is quite good, but she knows it isn't high lit or anything.

and yeah, it started out as fanfiction, but i was informed rather tartly last night that she always intended to publish it and was just using the fanfic community for feedback, so any grace i was going to give to her on the grounds that "this was intended as a tribute not initially intended for publication and so we can't judge it on the same grounds" has been undermined. but i will keep it at three stars, because it was okay, for what it was. i rolled my eyes a lot while reading this (and in terms of this book's rules, my ass would have been so sore) but there was something about the author's dopey-puppy earnestness that i found endearing. so, final verdict: not terrible,(okay, a little terrible) but not worthy of a ny times bestseller when there are so many genuinely good books out there. onto...

the sex

and those of you with a knee-jerk reaction to bdsm - because i have seen comments on threads for this review that this book is about rape and beatings etc. etc. - just know that this is very hot topic bdsm - by which i mean the subculture fashion store at suburban malls, not that it is very topical and jodi picoult will write a book about it. although she probably will, now, now that all the ladies are reading this and wanting to spice up their bedroom lives with their schlubby husbands.i myself am not into the lifestyle, but as far as people i know who are, i know wayyy more female doms than male doms. let's face it, female doms have hotter clothing than female subs. and bdsm isn't about rape. it isn't about abuse. it is about trust, as dana so aptly put it last night (she is also not part of that scene. to my knowledge) but it is an arrangement. it is an understanding. there are safewords and precautions and for some people, that's just the way they are wired: top, bottom, straight, gay, dom, sub... and i hate it when people get all high-handed on the internets about kinks they don't understand.

"i got an open mind so why don't you all get inside"

but as far as this book goes, this is the most vanilla bdsm i have ever read. she's a virgin when they meet, and he is respectful of that, which was one of the better scenes in the book. but like any relationship in this fetish, they work out the details beforehand and determine their boundaries. and honestly, she is a shitty, shitty sub; she says "no" to a bunch of things that even i have done and i am not even kinky. and he isn't interested in things that many typical bdsm relationships would include, which ditto for that. (by which i mean i have looked a man in the eye - you don't need to know my life.) so it's very tame. if disney were going to make a bdsm movie, they would use the same contract.

because real suspension??

it looks more like this:

or this:

or this:

what they do is what teenagers do when they are still in their experimentation stage. okay - so that's out of the way - this is bondage-lite.

moving on to the rest of it, because this had a lot fewer scenes of erotic journeying than i had feared. there are still plenty, but the first scene isn't until after page 100, and after that, it isn't taking over the whole book. but there's still enough for you people who aren't reading this for the articles.


there is a lot of debate about whether this reads like twilight, because it started out as twilight fanfic. some people say "yes" some people say "nooo." i am here to break that tie.


are you mad?? ALL the twilightisms are there: the "i'm bad for you" speeches, the emphasis on smells, the ineffable attraction of a perfect and wealthy man to an underdescribed, clumsy and tongue-tied female who is all "who, me??" with all of the self-doubt and self-esteem issues, all the "how can such a perfect specimen fall for li'l ole me??", the seeecrets and the endless endless repetitions.and those repetitions make the book so frequently annoying.but that's not her fault, not if that is what she is going for. it's actually quite remarkable that she was able to mimic meyer's style to that extent. sure, it's irritating as hell, but as an homage, it's quite accomplished.i have decided to interpret her linguistic quirks as homage, not as weak writing. feel free to disagree - it's just my take on it. (although the writing is frequently weak in other areas as well. i am just feeling generous.)


first of all, e.l. james is british. and yet - because this is twilight fanfic, she had to set it in washington state. but no one told her how we talk. pssst - we use our present perfect tense differently than you do. yes, even those of us who are/were lit majors. when americans say things like "i've not been there" etc, it sounds pompous. sorry to you americans who do talk like that, but it does. it sounds affected. especially in erotic fiction set in washington state.


there are so many gasps in here, it may as well have been titled the great gaspy. i personally have never heard a man gasp with lust in response to something i have said. how do i do this? does he have a breathing disorder? why are his eyes always darkening? i have never noticed this phenomenon, but it is a staple of romance novels. i was not aware this could actually happen. biting of the lips, linen, inner goddess, subconscious, medulla oblongata, blushing, control freak... get used to these words. there are at least 50 occurrences of these words on every page.


i do not understand his attraction to our heroine. she never says anything interesting, except in her emails. those emails are the best part of this book. she shows more personality there than in any conversation, and that's just odd, to me. i'm not sure why i was expecting much more from a character whose favorite book is tess, because you know how i feel about that book, but i was glad to see thomas hardy pop up frequently, even if it is my least favorite of his books.

and christian is also unstable and mercurial and full of anger towards peccadilloes. and - god - his food issues. even without his sexual needs, this guy is a piece of work. i'm not sure i could put up with someone so changeable, even if he was an uncommonly gorgeous billionaire who wanted to buy me old and expensive books... gotta draw the line somewhere.

plus, once i saw the leather bed, i'd be outta there. that's just gross, all sticky and germ-encouraging.

i don't know - i wanted to write a much better review for this book - there was so much i wanted to say, but i am feeling lazy right now. i feel weird giving it three stars, because there was so much about this book i didn't like, but the three-stars here is more of a "i thought it was going to be so much worse than it is" and my deeply charitable heart which overlooks weaknesses in favor of an author's zeal.

but here, enjoy this link of gilbert gottfried reading this book aloud:


and here are three other options, if you'd rather giggle:

fifty shades of grey pussy cats
a coupla shades of taupe
fifty shames of earl grey

come to my blog!
3 reviews9 followers
November 15, 2011
I only bought this on Kindle because I was curious to see whether a professional edit made it any better than the original fanfic (which I abandoned once I realized the plot wasn't original enough for me to suffer through the cut-rate writing). Paging through this "published" version makes me more embarrassed for the author than I was when it was in the fanfic domain, and it DEFINITELY made me lose respect for The Writer's Coffee Shop.

Most distracting is the schizophrenic voice of the main character, Ana. In one paragraph, Ana's words sound like those of a quasi-literate teenager; in the next paragraph she uses uber-literate words like "gamine". Are we supposed to believe that she's naive or sophisticated? Un-self-aware or articulate?

Add in culture confusion: Ana is supposed to be American, but the author (who is from the U.K.) keeps having Ana use Britishisms! Her roommate isn't "sick" like American people are, she's "ill"; Ana doesn't "grab her bag" before going out the door, she "gathers her satchel". Ana's voice fails to consistently ring true for an American girl.

Yet, the worst literary crime is the outright misuse of language. Says Ana at one point: "The elevator whisks me with terminal velocity to the twentieth floor." Um...terminal velocity occurs when the downward force of gravity equals the upward force of drag, and it can't be reached by a controlled-speed mechanism that draws an object upward (such as an elevator). Even if the author didn't know this, the editor should have caught it.

The problems don't end there. From cliches (without a lick of irony or humor, Ana is described as putting the "pedal to the metal" as she drives), to awkward sentences, to nonsensical metaphors, this work is amateurish. There's nothing wrong with being an amateur, but there IS something wrong with charging people money for something that hasn't been professionally edited. If this author wants to be taken seriously, she should take the time to learn about writing craft and align herself with an editing house that will turn her writing into serious work.
Profile Image for Inge.
348 reviews893 followers
July 1, 2016

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Well, I think it’s safe to say that I’m buying myself a chastity belt and am joining a nunnery. This book has put me off sex for ever and ever.

I know I said I was never going to touch this with a ten-foot pole, but then this happened:

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Basically, my co-blogger dared me to read the books after a joke about the author, or I was never allowed to diss the books again.

… the joke wasn’t worth it.

This piece of shit, this sorry excuse for a book is without a doubt the worst piece of literature fanfiction I have ever read. I have never suffered so much in my life. This book has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Normally I’d add a short summary of the plot, but there is no fucking plot. Boy meets girl, boy is a fucking psychopath, girl does as she’s told, lots of sex, lots of whining. The parts that didn’t have sex bored me out of my goddamn mind, and the parts that did have sex were so absurd and revolting that I couldn’t go on reading without raging on Goodreads about it.

I seriously cannot wrap my head around the fact that this is a bestseller. That women all over the world adore this book, and adore Christian Grey. The man is an abusive stalker and the fact that women are fantasising about this fuckwit sets our society back about 500 years. Thanks for that, wankers.

Reasons why you should run away from Christian Grey and possibly shoot and castrate him

Oh boy, where do I start?

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* He tracks her fucking phone. Strike one.
"How did you find me?"

"I tracked your cell phone Anastasia."

Oh, of course he did. How is that possible? Is that legal?
Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that's still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it's him, I don't mind.

Because it’s not stalking if the guy is hot!

* “Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.�� Strike two.

* “You should steer clear from me.” Strike three, and he should be out. Go home, thank you for playing.

But the list goes on.

* Christian’s endless commanding and controlling Anastasia. “Sit.” “Come.” “Eat.” Like she’s a fucking dog. Worst of all, Anastasia would happily wag her tail and roll over for him.

* More stalker tendencies: he knows where she lives without her telling him. When Kate and Ana move house to Seattle, he again knows where she lives without her telling him. And then, when Ana flies to Georgia to escape, not only does he know where her mother lives, he also knows her mother’s last name, knows which flight Ana is on, and follows her to Georgia. Without her permission. And he happens to stay in the hotel she’s having dinner at. Fucking hell. If that’s not an alarm bell, I don’t know what is. This guy is fucking insane.

* Bipolar tendencies. One moment, he’s all nice, the next, he becomes dark and cold. Just the mere mention of another guy gets him angry. He becomes all moody when there’s another male presence around Ana. It’s sickening.

* He gets a thrill out of how young Ana looks with pigtails.

* Not only does he tell her when to eat, he also orders her drinks and food for her, without taking into account what she wants.
“Is this what our err… relationship will be like?” I whisper. “You, ordering me around?”

“Yes,” he murmurs.

The BDSM contract is the perfect example of this:
“The Submissive will ensure she achieves a minimum of seven hours sleep a night when she is not with the Dominant.”

“The Submissive will not snack between meals, with the exception of fruit.”

“During the term, the Submissive will wear clothing only approved by the Dominant.”

“The Dominant shall provide the Submissive with a personal trainer four times a week in hour-long sessions.”

"The Submissive shall accept whippings, floggings, spankings, caning, paddling or any other discipline the Dominant should decide to administer, without hesitation, enquiry or complaint.”

“The Submissive shall not touch or pleasure herself sexually without permission from the Dominant.”

“The Submissive shall submit to any sexual activity demanded by the Dominant and shall do without hesitation or argument.”

“The Submissive shall not look directly into the eyes of the Dominant except when specifically instructed to do so.”

Not only that, but you will undergo any beauty treatment I tell you, wax whenever and wherever I tell you, and be available every weekend. I really hope I don’t need to explain how sick this is.

* The guy is an absolute control freak.
"You've not eaten very much."

"I've had enough."

“Three oysters, four bites of cod, and one asparagus stalk, no potatoes, no nuts, no olives, and you’ve not eaten all day.”

He’s keeping a fucking inventory of the things she eats. He also keeps track of how many orgasms he’s given her. And he gets angry when Ana decides to go away for a bit, even if it’s just to visit her mother. “Palm-twitchingly mad.”

* He doesn’t give two shits about what Ana wants. Ana has mentioned a dozen times about how she doesn’t want Christian to buy her things. So he buys her 14,000-dollar-worth old books, a Macbook, a Blackberry, and a fucking car.

* He’s obviously a creep. He gives her grades like she’s a bloody school girl. Worst of all – she’s proud of it too.
“Swallowing semen… well, you get an A in that.”

I flush, and my inner goddess smacks her lips together with glowing pride.

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Just.. yikes.

He also says he’d “pay good money” to see her consult with a gynaecologist. What the fuck is wrong with you?!

And he has rape tendencies:
“No one’s ever said no to me before. And it’s so – hot.”

* He doesn’t like it when she asks personal questions, yet has no qualms with invading her privacy three times over.

* He wants to own Ana. He wants her to be his possession. Like she’s a fucking car.

Even more alarm bells:
1. “You scare me when you’re angry.”

2. He spanks her so hard that she can’t sit down from the pain. “Holy fuck it hurts.”

3. About the spanking: “During the whole alarming process I felt demeaned, debased and abused.”

4. To which he replies: “I am tempted to drive back over there to ensure that you don’t sit down for a week, rather than an evening.”

5. Ana never cries, until she meets Christian. Suddenly, she cries all the time.

6. “Take some Advil – this is not a request. And don’t drive your Beetle. I will know.”

7. “If I listened to my body, I’d be in Alaska by now.”

“Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you. I can track your cell phone – remember?

8. “Will he ever give me a break? He is suffocating me.”

9. “He’d probably like to beat seven shades of shit out of me.”

10. “Holy cow. He wants to hurt me… how do I deal with this? I can’t hide the horror on my face.”

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Right, I think there are enough examples here. This is beyond fucked up.

On to the writing. It was horrible. Every single word was overused. I am going to shoot someone if I ever have to hear “oh my” or “holy cow” again. If I have to read one more mention about how she bites her lip, or how s/he gasps, or how their breaths hitch. Worst of all – “down there”.

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You’re already being racy by writing BDSM. At least use proper terms. Vagina. Pussy. Vulva. Lady bottom. Muff. Vajayjay. Hoo-ha. Bojingo. Box. Cave. Clam. Flower. Coin purse. Cooch. Cunt. Twat. Dragon's lair. Slot machine. Taco. Fanny. Beaver. Gash. Honey pot. Sausage wallet. Venus fly trap. ANYTHING.

The subconscious/inner goddess shit annoyed me to no end.
“ I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious - she's doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his.”

“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”

“My inner goddess jumps up and down with cheerleading pom-poms.”

“My inner goddess is doing back flips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.”

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It was like the author was desperately trying to make Anastasia sound intelligent, especially when she used terms such as “medulla oblongata”. When we all know she’s a dumb cunt, because she signs contracts without reading them. The fact that she keeps running back to Christian also signifies that she has an IQ of a garden gnome.

There was also the constant need to remind us that Christian Grey is good-looking. Seriously, every time she saw him there was mention of how hot he was, and every time she thought of him, as well. “Adonis”, “Michelangelo’s David has nothing on him”, someone pass me a bucket.

Then there are the inaccuracies. Anastasia has to be some kind of Superwoman. No hangover after drinking tequila for the first time. She’s never been drunk in her life, yet she can wolf down a massive breakfast easily the next morning. Then, when her virginity is absolutely destroyed by Christian (literally – “he slams into me” / “as he rips through my virginity”), she comes twice and is happy to do it again right away. She has no pain whatsoever. She’s also perfectly able to take it doggy style after just losing her virginity, because why the fuck not.

On top of that, she's instantly exceptional at everything. Must be great, to be a natural. No awkwardness whatsoever.

At one point, she gasps and swallows at the same time. I tried to do it. I don’t think it’s possible.

Things that I think were supposed to be sexy but really weren’t

“The walls and ceiling are a deep, dark burgundy, giving a womb-like effect to the spacious room.”

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“Two orgasms… coming apart at the seams, like the spin cycle on a washing machine, wow.”

“He slowly inserts his thumb inside me, rotating it round and round, stroking the front wall of my vagina.”
After which he sticks his bloody thumb in her mouth.

“I pull him deeper into my mouth so I can feel him at the back of my throat and then to the front again. My tongue swirls around the end. He’s my very own Christian Grey flavour popsicle.” Not only is that disgusting, but I find it hard to believe that she thinks giving blowjobs is a turn-on. I find nothing sexy about testing my gag reflex repeatedly.

As if Christian read my mind, he goes, “Don’t you have a gag reflex?” Words every girl wants to hear.

“My heated blood pools low in my belly.” Is she on her period?

“Stop biting your lip, or I will fuck you in the elevator, and I don’t care who gets in with us.” Whoa there, cowboy.

“I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia.” What, you’re going to put a flag up there?

The tampon scene.

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Things I learned from Fifty Shades of Grey:

* If your future mother-in-law practically catches you having sex with her son, don’t worry – she’ll be delighted to meet you, because it means her son is not gay.

* Find someone who’s willing to be your Dominant. That way, you never have to make any decisions again! He’ll decide what and when you eat and drink, when and how long you sleep, what you wear, what you drive, when you exercise… easy!

* Your first time will not be painful, even if you’ve never masturbated before. Not even if he slams into you! You won’t feel a thing. In fact, you’ll like it and you’ll come twice. Then you’ll want to do it again straight away!

* You look plain. That’s okay. You’ll still have three hot guys fighting over you.

* When a girl you barely know is drunk, it’s probably a good idea to take her back to your place, take off her trousers, and sleep in the same bed as her.

* You can’t get pregnant when you’re on your period. (Honestly, I’m surprised this fuckwit hasn’t knocked anyone up before Ana)

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Christian Grey, I hope you get a blowjob by a motherfucking shark. You sick son-of-a-bitch.

That is all.
Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.6k followers
October 23, 2015
I feel like there is a deeper meaning behind Fifty Shades of Grey then just BDSM and sex but the huge downfall of this book was the writing. I can see both sides of the fifty shades argument. There are points in the book where I can see abuse but there are also points where there is none.
I just hate the fact that if people enjoy this book they are labeled as "pro-rape advocates" or "pro-abuse". STOP IT. Stop trying to belittle others, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You may not agree but don't hate, we are all readers here!
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,028 reviews925 followers
May 22, 2020
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.

Post Post Post Script on January 13, 2017
Almost 500 comments on this review, but none for awhile, so not sure why I'm coming back to it now. I started reading the most recent comments though and my own review, and frankly I wanted to delete some of it, but figured that was ridiculous at this point. I wouldn't write this same review were I to read it now, but that was what I thought that morning at the time right after I read it, so it is what it is. Finally watched the movie recently, which is probably what brought me round to this, and for the record: yes, Christian does f*cked up shit (they don't even get to all of it in the movie) and were this real-life, I would have advised her to get a restraining order, because wtf. But it's not. Anyway. I wrote what I wrote; I was in my early 20s; I liked it. Peace xo

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
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
Shelved as 'not-to-read'
August 11, 2015
Bad Book Is Like Other Bad Book Shock

At a standing-room-only press conference earlier today, top researchers from the world famous Goodreads Center for Bodice-Ripping, Bondage and Twilight Studies revealed that a bad book was quite a lot like another bad book.

"When I saw the final results of the data analysis, a cold shiver went down my spine," said the Center's director. "The chain of inference is long, and at first we weren't sure all the steps were watertight, but now we're confident enough to go public. Expressing it in layman's language, what we have here is basically that this bad book is similar to another bad book, which in turn closely resembles a third bad book. The implications are literally mind-blowing and we're still trying to understand them. Thank you."

In other news, E.L. James was briefly hospitalized after a pile of gold coins collapsed, partially burying her for several minutes. She suffered "minor contusions and abrasions" but was able to return home to her money-cave following a medical examination.

Profile Image for Holly.
434 reviews332 followers
September 26, 2011
Let me start by saying.... Wow! Just Wow!!

This book is 5+ stars for me!! It is my favorite kind of story. You know what I mean...just so intense that the characters get so far under your skin that you can't stand to be away from them for any length of time? Well, that was me while reading this book, I couldn't concentrate to get anything done :)

There are a lot of reviews on this book, and obviously the majority love it, so I am simply going to explain some of the reasons that this story grabbed hold of my heart and wouldn't let go.

First, I am a total sucker for the tortured hero and you would be hard pressed to find a hero more tortured that our own beloved Christian Grey. That said, the fact that he is a gazillionaire at age 27 is nothing to shake a stick at! Christian's intensity and focus is what really captured me in all this, I keep having to remind myself how old he is. The chemistry between Anastasia & Christian is just off the friggin' charts, I swear at times I could feel it coming right off the pages, from the moment she 'fell' into his office!! :)

I really enjoyed the BDSM element, it wasn't necessarily heavy but intense, especially listening to Christian tell Ana that he WANTED to hurt her and why. When he said he had never had to explain it before and knew he wasn't explaining well just melted my heart. There is such a vulnerable, sweet boy underneath that gorgeous domineering man!

Obviously you can tell I am completely smitten with Christian, but let me tell you a little bit about why I completely love Ana too. Even though she is an innocent, oh and I mean really innocent, I can't help but love her fire! Yes, just like the rest of the female population she has fallen completely under Christian's spell but she is not willing to just submit to his every whim - She's feisty but conflicted, I love the emotion!!

Now, I could wax poetic about this book all day long but I will instead say if you haven't read this and you enjoy a read that will stay with you for days after you finish it then I cannot recommend this enough!! GO GET IT - RIGHT NOW!!! That's right, shouty capitals!! LOL - I myself finished this one and jumped right into Fifty Shades Darker because like I said, I can't get enough!! Soooo..... Laters baby!!
Profile Image for Roohdaar.
165 reviews1,806 followers
January 15, 2015
Huh. Let's see how bad this book really is.

*reads some quotes from others' statuses*


This book is trash and I don't even want to finish the damn thing. The excerpts are enough. I will not be under the influence of this devilry! Not even for the snark! Not even to make fun of it! Not even!

And after seeing this:
And that has got to be the LEAST disgusting/creepy/nonsensical thing that slime bag has said. THE LEAST!

No effing way. I'm only seventeen-going-on-eighteen. I have a future to look forward to. And I need brain cells for that.

But you should watch this for the lolz.
And this
Profile Image for ♡Karlyn P♡.
605 reviews1,220 followers
July 27, 2016

Uh, wow. So this is IT?!! The book that the whole world is in utter fascination with?!! I think someone is laughing their way to the bank.

First, here is a mini review of this book in two GIFs:
About the plot:

About the writing:

Got that??

OK, now more of my sordid thoughts on this MASTERPIECE (**cough, cough**):

So I shamelessly caved and read this book after repeatedly swearing I never would, but the publicity and hype finally won me over. (I also got a free copy of the book, no way was I going to pay for this.) And while I now have a better understanding of the fascination, I still don’t get it. Sure, there were some hot sex scenes, and at times Grey and Ana were both likable characters. I eventually even understood their fascination with each other. And I liked them when they were away from the whole BDSM/punishment/discipline/control freaky shit. Grey even had the sexual stamina of ten horny rabbits put together! What’s not to like about that? (Dang, that man is always hard and ready!!)

But so much of this book was utterly disturbing! It primarily focused on Grey trying to coerce and manipulate her into being what HE needed, despite how much it would hurt her. He claimed to care for her and was patient, but it always boiled down to his need to punish and inflict pain. Outwardly he came across as a suave, polished and sophisticated normal person, but inwardly he was one sick dude. There were times they really were a great couple, but only when they were in a ‘normal’ environment. When the BDSM environment was involved, I wasn’t a fan of either of them.

Initially I couldn’t understand what the heck Grey saw in Ana. A clumsy, mousy naïve girl who face plants on the ground (TWICE!), and then pukes her drunken gut out. (Uh right, what guy wouldn't get hot for a girl like that?) His quick attachment to her had me baffled for nearly the first half of the book. If all he wanted was a submissive with no romantic ties, why chose her? By his own words he no problem finding consenting partners before.

After Grey reveals his proclivities, I figured Ana would run for the hills if she had a brain in her head. Unfortunately, she is a naïve virgin with no experience to even compare him to, and the poor girl is so blinded by how “OMG, he’s so HOT!” So when she actually entertains his twisted notions and begins negotiating terms of hard and soft limits, I wanted to scream at her! How stupid and naïve are you girl?!! WTF?? WHY?? She was too trusting, too unaware, and he was painting one rosy ass picture of how wonderful his lifestyle would be for her. Sorry, but signing over your free will into a sexual contract where you WILL get hurt is just F’d up, especially when your gut feelings are constantly telling you to flee.

I’ll give Grey bonus points for his honesty at being so upfront with Ana, but that doesn’t make what he is about any less of a predator. He was honest with her about not wanting a normal ‘hearts and flowers’ relationship. If she agreed, she would be his submissive and enter into TRAINING. All he has to do is brainwash her into believing she would actually prefer this life style over the normal one she dreamed of. (WTF??!)

Another aspect I did not get was how Ana repeatedly accuses him of having commitment issues, but throughout the book it was her that had one foot in the relationship and the other foot well outside of the door. He on the hand was far more committed, albeit with a strict set of ‘rules’.

Despite all the WTFery and the disturbing portrayal of a young woman being coerced into an unknown and unsafe world, I was fascinated with the overall story. Like watching a train wreck fascinated, and nothing to be proud of. I found myself wanting to read just one more chapter and then another. So yes, this book was hard to put down. It was also hard not to pitch it at the wall!

I honestly thought I would not want to read about BDSM, but surprisingly that aspect didn't even bother me all that much until the end . If this was about two mutual consenting adults who fully understood what they were getting into, I might have even enjoyed it. But the constant coercion and manipulation killed the book for me.

In the end this book really made me want to scrub myself clean with Christian's own go-to cure for all those bruising sore asses. (Oh, lovely!) Take some Advil. And rub on some Arnica cream to sooth ‘bruising, sprains and injuries’.

The writing is another issue with this book. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared, but the euphemistic inner dialogue drove me nuts. The book often read like a comic book script, not a serious contemporary novel. All of the Oh, my! GASP! whoa! What?! Kabam! Pow Pow! (OK, not the last couple ones, but the rest are real!) were tiresome and over-done to death.

Well…love it or hate it, this was one controversial and thought provoking book, just WAY too distributing for my personal taste. They say one man's trash is another man's treasure, and maybe in this case one woman's trashy mommy porn is another woman's hot treasured erotica. (Oh, Nora Roberts this is not!)

Profile Image for Nikki.
179 reviews54 followers
May 22, 2012
2.5 stars.

I don't think I've ever read a book that's left me quite as bemused as this one has. The writing left a lot to be desired, the heroine didn't impress me at all and yet I find myself wanting to read the next in the series.

After having a day to let this sink in I have to try and put my feelings succinctly into a review. How do I say this exactly......... Anastasia damn near killed me. There were just too many things about her that turned me off bigtime. I can understand how her vulnerability could make you warm to her, but it just made me frustrated more than anything.

The attraction between Christian and Ana was intoxicating and I was invested in it for sure, but the way that Ana was written really let her down in my opinion. She was an innocent young woman with no sexual experience but her immaturity and childish demeanor really astounded me. At 21 surely she would have had a bit more understanding of the way the world works. The whole "inner goddess vs subconscious" thing was so ridiculous and referred to so many times that I literally wanted to beat my head open with my e-reader. And also - pigtails. PIGTAILS on a 21 year old are so not okay. I'm sorry but what??

Her completely contradictory behaviour - wide eyed innocence and being totally petrified by Christian's sexual tastes but thinking it's hot at the same time. I validate her reasoning behind being nervous about it but honestly why go through with it? If that's the only way you're going to be able to have Christian - by signing up for something like that - then do it. But don't carry on about it for the entire book. You're either invested in him and the relationship or not at all. I'm sorry but I'm a realist.

Another example of Ana's immaturity and contradictory behaviour is how she got so angry at Kate for trying to rile Christian up and stoke his jealousy but then Ana did the exact same thing herself on the next page when she got the massage in first class and told him all about it. The game playing did not warm me to her whatsoever.

In my status updates and other comments I stated how I felt the writing was awful. I really did, at least in the first half. The first person POV didn't help matters either; the narrative was so stilted and had no flow. It read like, "I did this and then this happened and I walked here and I made my bed". The lack of structure was amateurish and painful and made me wonder if the book had been edited at all.

So now that I've got that off my chest let's talk about what I did like. A gorgeous multi-millionaire that becomes almost obsessed with you and wants to keep you for his very own? Any girl's ultimate fantasy right? That aspect of this story is what got me hooked. The fact that Christian had a particular method and structure with his relationships also really drew me in. A dominant hero who finds himself in lust (and maybe even in love) with an innocent is quite fascinating to me and kept me reading.

And then miracle of miracles, Ana actually grew on me towards the latter part of the book. I found myself very emotionally involved especially in the last 30 or so pages and it was interesting the way the chips fell. That is why I intend to read the next book in the series where no doubt I will be huffing and puffing about Ana all over again.

As an update..... I can't believe my review is getting so many likes 9 months after reading this book. I thought I should let y'all know that I haven't touched this trilogy since stumbling my way through this way back then.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
784 reviews12.5k followers
February 25, 2015
I was basically dared to read this, with the impeccable logic of 'How can you know it's that bad if you haven't had a chance to form your own opinion?'

What I *should have* pointed out in response to the dare would be that I know perfectly well that syphilis is a nasty disease without having the need to go and experience it myself.

Sometimes perfect retorts come too late, after several hours have been hopelessly wasted on reading this poorly written painfully plotted schmutz.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,917 reviews33k followers
February 9, 2018
 photo f76dc972-3336-4f0e-971c-32c252e6f30d_zps7a6ebfd1.jpg

I love the Fifty Shades trilogy! I've read this book so many times and each time I enjoy it as much as the last. It's one of those books that doesn't really need a review. Christian Grey will always hold a special place in my heart and on my list of book boyfriends <3

 photo d93b34f9-7283-4c13-a086-151c37f22f53_zpsf5915e36.jpg
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews577 followers
August 10, 2012
(This is clearly a joke, no offence intended to anyone mentioned. My thanks to Tumblr for all the gifs. If you know nothing about British politics, this may make this a bit difficult.)


ORDER! ORDER! 50 Shades of Grey review by the leader of the opposition. Mr Ed Miliband!

"Ed Miliband Reviews 50 Shades of Grey (whilst Ceilidh hopes this doesn't result in her party membership being revoked!)"

Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing us to have this emergency meeting in the House of Commons to discuss this incredibly important manner in a polite, democratic fashion. As many of you may know, the publishing house Vintage recently purchased the erotic romance series 50 Shades of Grey, written by E.L. James, for a seven figure sum, thus allowing her to benefit from the Chancellor's recent top rate tax cut. I'm sure he'll be delighted to take responsibility for that.

This book, originally published online as Twilight fan-fiction, has angered many in the literary community, especially those who feel that the author exploited fandom and copyrighted material for her own personal gain. The people are angry, Mr Speaker, and since this complacent government won't take it upon themselves to listen to the will of the people, not the corporations, I decided to read the book myself to see what all the fuss was about. It was... enlightening.

Ed suddenly remembers he is supposed to taking this all very seriously.<br />PMQs 29/02/2012

First of all, it's heinously written. It makes the NHS bill look like a Booker prize winner. I can't help but wonder if the author was being paid by the ellipses. The British author just cannot write authentic American dialogue to save herself. It doesn't matter how many times the heroine gets called 'baby', that won't hide the frequent British anachronisms that any half-decent editor could have fixed. I won't even get started on the cringe-worthy nature of the dialogue itself. These characters read like teenagers, or at least how a middle aged woman imagines teenagers speak, which is worrying given they're all supposed to be in their twenties, but not surprising given that this is Twilight fan-fiction. A brief side note for the less internet savvy Members of Parliament present today. Fan-fiction are stories written by fans of an original work. Sometimes they're based on movies, songs, or in this instances books. And sometimes they're based on real people, known as RPF. During my research I uncovered a significant amount of RPF relating to me and various people of political interest. What can I say? What has been seen cannot be unseen:

Returning back to the matter in hand, the juvenile nature of the prose only serves to highlight just how ridiculous the content of the novel is. The characters are clearly Edward and Bella (don't ask me how I know this, I'm a Desperate Housewives fan so my taste in popular culture is suspect at best) with no editing or creative spin put on them to differentiate them from fan-fiction state to original fiction state. They're bland, predictable and entirely stupid. Mr Speaker, the so-called hero of this piece, Christian Grey, is nothing short of an abusive spouse, masquerading as a sexual dominant. He pushes Ana into a situation she has no real understanding of and never provides her with any real information on what she's been forced into. Once again, we're left with a nasty little man considered charming and desirable based solely on his looks, although I imagine his extreme wealth also has something to do with that. He's condescending, mean, classless, he stalks her and puts her in situations she clearly says she's uncomfortable with. How is it romantic or sexy to intimidate your girlfriend and have her constantly worry about upsetting you for fear of your twitchy palm? That's shocking, Mr Speaker! Shocking!

The hastily developed romance is not romance and it's more embarrassingly hilarious than sexy. This author has absolutely no understanding of what a dominant/submissive relationship entails. Christian's abhorrent behaviour is excused as a normal part of BDSM and D/S relations, which stem from his childhood trauma. Because, of course, only messed up people would ever want to mix pain with pleasure. This cheap, lazy mis-characterisation of an issue the author clearly knows less about than her readers only does a disservice to romance readers, real D/S relationships, and women full stop. It's bad enough that our society is sex obsessed without ever really discussing it, but surely women deserve better porn than this? I know my shadow Chancellor agrees with me.

I hear that over the christmas break, the two Eds have been perfecting their rhymes for their Rap Duo outfit ready to bust the PMQs scene this wednesday.  Ed M is spitting his flow while Ed B appreciates the rhythm with his all out intense head bob.  Gets even the most dormant of back benches moving.

It's not even that kinky! It's a sad sign of just how sexually conservative this world is when a little spanking is considered hardcore BDSM. Then again, the spanking in this book is rage inducing in how badly it gets D/S relations wrong. Threatening the heroine is not how it works! At one point in the novel, Christian says, and I quote, "I could threaten you." Mr Speaker, how is this acceptable? The author doesn't know what she's doing! The only time this could legitimately enters the realm of kink is when Christian yanks out Ana's tampon and proceeds to have sex with her while she's menstruating. Not my cup of tea, I must admit. However, the scene is so badly written, so immature in its 1st person narration of the scene from Ana's point of view, that the only natural reaction is to laugh, cry or enter a perpetual state of panda-faced bemusement:

PMQs Wednesday 80/06/2011

Now, I won't go into further details on that area here in the interests of parliamentary politeness, but rest assured that many more qualified people than I have discussed this matter at length. Maybe the Chancellor can help us out there again, yes?

Lashed to the mast, yes, Mr Chancellor?

Mr Speaker, nothing in this book rings true. It's lacking in tension, in strong characterisation, in decent prose, in readable dialogue, in consistency and in pacing. It's evident that this work is fan-fiction because it reads like fan-fiction, not only in content but in style. It reads like it was supposed to be read on a chapter-by-chapter basis the way fan-fiction is designed. There's no finesse to the text. I highly doubt its publishers, The Writer's Coffee Shop, bothered to properly edit it before churning out overpriced copies to be sold online. A simple search-and-replace on names seems to have been the maximum work done to the text, as evidenced by Dear Author's comparison between the book and the original fan-fiction, available on their site. Mr Speaker, I can't help but feel exasperated by this self satisfied smug complacency by James and TWCS.

It's not hard to see why readers are angry. Not only because of the more than suspect background to the story's origins and subsequent publication as well as the author's own behaviour. Not only because of the 7 figure publishing deal, the placement on the New York Times Bestseller list, and the rumours of a movie adaptation, something that could rival The Room in terms of midnight showing hilarity. Not only because of the mainstream media's complete lack of understanding on issues of fandom, romance novels, erotica and women's sexuality. Not only all of that, Mr Speaker. Readers have the right to be angry because this book is just plain bad. There is so much wrong with this book that just one Miliband cannot express it:

Mr Speaker, action must be taken, and I doubt it will come from this complacent Prime Minister. We need strong, informed and occasionally sarcastic action against this surge of pull-to-publish fan-fiction that threatens to fill the market. If not, we will find that we have dug ourselves into a hole that will be impossible to escape, as demonstrated by my shadow Chancellor:

A hole where creative copyright is diluted time and time again for profit, bypassing the copyright laws the way the cabinet evades the tax laws, never technically illegal but still morally suspect. Mr Speaker, where will it end? 50 Shades of Grey fan-fiction already exists - surely the Inception of fan-fiction - and what's to stop someone from taking that, changing the names and submitting it to TWCS or Omnific for publication? The media's lack of understanding of fandom can only hinder the discussions we truly need on this matter, so let us demand them and let us demand action!

anotherlgbtchat:<br /><br />fuckyeahpmqs:<br /><br />PMQs… NOW… GET TO IT!<br /><br /><br /><br />Glad my GIFs are being put to good use!

But the question is, will anything ever truly be done? Mr Speaker, I am sad to say that I doubt it will. Profit before creativity, money before ideas. The same old story from the same old Tories... I mean industry. Same difference. We await further developments of this case eagerly. Now, this is the first book in a trilogy, one that ends on a highly predictable cliffhanger, and I've been asked if I will read the other two. My answer is a short one:

Erm… no.<br />Wednesday 09/11/2011

Mr Speaker I yield the floor. I'm going to go look for that fan-fiction where I'm a vampire and I get to feed on bankers!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,274 followers
February 20, 2015
Ryan Gosling saying, ‘Hello, Miss Girl. Hopefully our readers don’t have a gag reflex either’

This was like reading a jackhammer.

This was like if Hannah Montana tried to write an erotica novel.

The popularity of this book makes me need to move to a different planet. I am making the assumption that it comes from people not actually liking to read, but liking to have their self-destructive cultural values reinforced. Girls don’t like to eat. If you do whatever he says, he’ll turn into a handsome prince. It’s not his fault he’s abusing you, it’s only because mommy was mean. To have good sex, a girl has to start out not wanting it. Women have to teach men how to be human.

If that’s not what it is, then maybe this book is an outline of a fairy tale and the sex scenes are what people are really looking at. Poor girl is asleep; rich prince is an asshole; they kiss and it wakes her up and turns him nice. We’re so used to the story that we don't need to hear any actual story again, but a shorthand is enough to awaken all of the comforting memories of being taught that if we stay with our abuser, he will change. It’s like this Jack Handy Deep Thought: “I remember the first time I ever saw a shooting star I said, ‘What the hell is that?’ But nowadays when I see one I just say, ‘What is that?’ I leave off the ‘hell’ part. Maybe when I'm old I'll just say, ‘Whazzit?’” Fifty Shades of Grey is the “Whazzit?” in a long line of stories about girls learning to be brainless to please their abusers.

So, maybe the Whazzit story has become so common that it is a neutral color and a reader who enjoyed this book would really be focusing on the sex scenes. But, then, is the sex really worth focusing on here? It uses the annoying euphemisms of typical romance novels and still manages to be even more prudish than usual about descriptions. I hate the “apex of my thighs” business, but that’s common enough. But, “he touched me There”??? That is just dumb. Another reader pointed out to me that if you search for the word "cock" in this book, it is never used to refer to a penis, but used about forty times to describe someone "cocking" their heads. It is used so much, and so oddly, that Ana even comments on all the head cocking that goes on. Not a super sexy use of a cock.

Also, the sex scenes are very logistically difficult to follow, which does not make for hotness in my book. I had no idea what happened during the one with the plastic tie. She somehow hooked her wrists on a bed post? Was she suspended away from the bed post? So confused. But, the weirdest one to me was the first bathtub scene. So, they’re in the bathtub, and she gives him the A+ blowjob, wherein we learn that she has no gag reflex. But . . . how much water was in the bathtub? How did this actually happen? Did they just have a couple of inches of water in the tub? That doesn’t sound very relaxing. If they had a normal amount of water, did she have to do an underwater bj? Did he have to float while she gave him the bj? Did he sit on the side of the tub??? If I don’t even know what’s going on, how am I supposed to consider whether it’s hot or not?

Even aside from being confused by the sex scenes, for me, most of this story was strikingly repelling. And I’m talking, like, I think even Pleasuring the Pirate was hotter. I imagine this can’t be true, but it’s possible that this book hits every turn off for me:

(1) “Baby.” Don’t ever call me a baby, unless I am actually being a baby. Also, never say “laters” before you say “baby.” The words “laters” and “baby” should never be used individually, and certainly not in the same sentence. Also, never say that like a million times and then discuss how original it is to say it. That makes me puke.

(2) Stick insects. Christian Grey appears to be some sort of stick insect with freakishly long tentacle fingers. I am not attracted to stick insects.

(3) Contracts. Not hot.

(4) Bossiness. I loathe bossiness. Why can’t people just do what they want to do, and also avoid being jerks? Why push everyone around? Unattractive.

(4) Boring snobbery. I just can’t abide it. It makes my skin crawl. If you want to be a snob, be a snob about something interesting, not wine and classical music and cars. Be a snob about stage makeup or teacups, or something. I don't know what. Be a snob about your own thing. Why is it cool to be a snob about boring things and nerdy to be a snob about something different? Wine/opera/cars snobbery is so expected. Plus, wine snobbery is impossible to listen to. I like wine, don’t get me wrong, but when people turn their nose up and start to talk vintages in a fake British accent, it is obnoxiously ridiculous. This didn’t actually do that, I imagine because James might ultimately know very little about wine, but it gestured at it as though she wished she could talk bouquets and oaks and vintages.

Those are the turn offs I can think of now, but I’m sure there are more. Oh, sitting in a bathtub of menstrual blood is, it turns out, a turn off for me. I knew about the tampon scene, and whipping a tampon out to have sex does not freak me out the way it seems to freak some people. One of my friends got totally freaked out by a part where something similar (though more clearly and eloquently, and also maybe a little more creepily, described) happens in The English Patient, and I remember finding it a little haunting and creepy, but sort of beautiful, there. BUT THEN, in Fifty Shades, SHE DOESN’T PUT A TAMPON BACK IN!! And they go and hang out in the bathtub for a little while. So, that’s disgusting and unnecessary. I am not in favor of hanging out in pools of things that come out of my body. Turn off.

Oh, seeing life through the POV of an anorexic – turn off.

Locality annoyance: say, “I-5.” “The Interstate 5”? Please.

I’m not even going to talk about the subconscious and inner goddess because that is just facially crazy talk. And annoying.


Ryan Gosling saying, “Yo, baby. ‘Enervating’ means ‘causing one to feel drained of energy or vitality.’ Is your excess energy really enervating? Always start with the Wiktionary

The only good thing about this experience was that it allowed me to vent my anger as above, with my Christian Grey Ryan Gosling tumblr.

Setting aside all of the distracting writing and the way my personal lady parts shrivel up and hide at all the details of this story, it really is the fact the relationship here that is the worst thing. People have talked this to death, but much of the sex and violence Ana experiences are sex and violence she acquiesces to because she’s too scared to lose a boy, not sex and violence she asks for because she wants them. That is very, very annoying to read about. It’s like listening to a nauseatingly long restraining order hearing while knowing the whole time that it won’t be granted. If you want to sacrifice your life with the hope that a man will change, it’s your life. But, don’t whine to me about your stupid choices.

Every single part of this book was terrible.

757 reviews2,349 followers
March 11, 2018
DNF @page 199

Nope I cannot take more of this bullshit. I'd rather eat a flaming dick than read this mother fucking shit.

I don't want to write a review. I don't want to look at this fucking book. Everything about this book is fucking annoying and disgusting and I hate it. Brb bleaching my m eyes. What a fucking piece of shit book.
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