Rachael Wade's Reviews > Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
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Oct 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, crack-books
Read from January 17 to 20, 2012


***Read my interview with E.L. James here at RachaelWade.com.***

Unconditional love and forgiveness.

At the heart, this is what the Fifty Shades trilogy is all about, only readers don’t see this at the onset. Instead, most of them hear about all of the steamy sex and BDSM scenes. The appeal of this series—which can be compared to the addictiveness of the Twilight series—is certainly the scorching hot lovemaking. There’s no doubt about that. This is romance at its finest, with a healthy side of kink. The steam is a perfect blend of erotic and romantic, Ana and Christian’s chemistry so palpable and sexy that you cannot stop turning the pages, no matter how hard you try to set the book down.

But the underlying theme and how it is executed in this series, and in this final installment in particular, is what mesmerizes readers from page one. It’s what makes those sexy scenes so effective, spellbinding, and utterly intoxicating. That theme is unconditional love, something Ana has for Christian and continually demonstrates to him no matter how unsure she is of herself or the situation. Through demonstrating her faith in him, she eventually shows him how to forgive and love himself again, and how to love others again, too. She teaches him that he is not “a husk of a man” as he believes himself to be, but is instead worthy of real love because of who he is on the inside. And James spins this theme so well, so profoundly, and so vividly, that you have no choice but to be completely emotionally attached to and invested in the characters.

In my opinion, this is her gift. She knows how to connect readers with her characters, how to acquaint them with Ana and Christian so intimately that readers develop a sort of dedicated kinship with them. When Ana and Christian make love—kinkily or otherwise—you feel the same earth-shattering intensity they feel. When Ana cries, you cry with her. When Christian aches, you feel it to your core. When Ana grieves for her “lost little boy,” you empathize with her compassion and want to rescue them both from their plights. The steam is steamier, the love is lovelier, the heartache more potent, all because your experience with the characters is so emotionally charged. To top it off, the humor and wit is off-the-charts funny. Be prepared to laugh to the point of tears.

Freed in Comparison

Without sharing any spoilers, I will just say that this final installment in the series shows all of the above in a really satisfying, bittersweet way. Compared to the first two installments, Freed is just as captivating, but it’s overall lighter and less taxing. There is still enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but Ana and Christian’s relationship is much more carefree. Ana still has a smart mouth, but she’s even feistier, more mature, and much more comfortable with her role in the relationship. She really is the strong one. Like the first two books in the series, Freed shows the couple constantly trying to figure out how to compromise for one another. It’s as endearing and heartwarming as ever.

Many people have mentioned being unhappy about how much Christian has changed, but I feel the exact opposite—he’s still his bossy, Fifty self, only a million times more swoon worthy. His transformation comes full circle in this installment. To me, that transformation is what made the series so beautiful and the third book so satisfying, especially after spending the journey with Ana and seeing all she went through to help him get to that point. The “Fifty’s First Christmas” bonus material at the end just made me fall in love even more with Christian and all of his fifty shades.

Final Thoughts

It is so rare to come across a romance series that moves you the way this one does. It will be on my "favorite" shelf for years to come, and I cannot suggest it highly enough if you are a diehard romance fan who loves emotional, raw, character-driven storytelling. This trilogy has fifty fun shades of kink, but I encourage you to look under the surface and discover and appreciate the beauty in the trenches as well. When you get a glimpse of the real essence of this story, the fantastic sex scenes are just icing on the cake in the grand scheme of things.


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Reading Progress

01/17/2012 page 33
5.99% "Ha! I absolutely love Ana in this one. So feisty! Finally!"
01/18/2012 page 100
18.15% "*Swoon*"
01/20/2012 page 337
74.0% "This is NOT happening. Please tell me this is not happening."
03/21/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-40)




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Kelly I'm soooo jealous lol


Rachael Wade Kelly wrote: "I'm soooo jealous lol"

If you ordered the paperback, you'll probably have it very soon. ;) Loving it so far...


message 38: by Cyp (new) - added it

Cyp Aw man, I'm jealous too! Haha. Can't wait to see what you have to say about this one!!!


Midsummer ❁◕‿◕❁ 2 more days to go!!! I can't wait!


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson OMG you got your book???????? I am waiting I ordered mines weeks ago and I hope to get it soon so I can see what happens to my Fifty Shades of Fuckupedness!


Rachael Wade @Cyp, I'm already looking forward to writing my review, and loving it so far. It's killing me to not talk to anyone about it yet. I don't want to spoil anything! :)

@Midsummer Happy reading! I'm only a few chapters in, and definitely not disappointed...

@Tee Yes ma'am, just came in the mail today. I'm sure you'll get yours soon if you ordered a few weeks ago. ;)


Tee loves Kyle Jacobson OH MAN I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am dying to ask you what happened but since you have not said you burned the book per our agreement if there was a bad ending and you know what I am talking about so I take it is was GREAT!

I hope I get it tomorrow because I am putting everything down and reading it all night if I have to :)


message 33: by Cyp (new) - added it

Cyp Rachel, don't kill yourself! TALK TO ME! I want to be spoilered! Haha. Mannn, I wanna know what happens..:(


message 32: by Lily (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lily How did you get it so soon!!!! I am so jelous


Rachael Wade Sophie wrote: "How did you get it so soon!!!! I am so jelous"

I preordered the paperback weeks ago and I guess it just came a few days early. :)


Bella I need to check out this series!!


message 29: by Rachael (last edited Jan 18, 2012 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachael Wade Bella wrote: "I need to check out this series!!"

Oh Bella, this is one that life gets put on hold for. Seriously, you won't be able to put it down, and you'll have to go from one book to the next. Move this on up your TBR pile!


Rachael Wade Cyp wrote: "Rachel, don't kill yourself! TALK TO ME! I want to be spoilered! Haha. Mannn, I wanna know what happens..:("

Cyp, no way! LOL Where is the fun in that? I can't ruin it for you. ;)


Christine OOO so jealous....1 more day to wait....1 more day to wait!!


Bella Rachael wrote: "Bella wrote: "I need to check out this series!!"

Oh Bella, this is one that life gets put on hold for. Seriously, you won't be able to put it down, and you'll have to go from one book to the next...."



DANG IT girl dont say that!! LOL:))) Ok Iam getting ASAP!!;)


Rachael Wade Christine wrote: "OOO so jealous....1 more day to wait....1 more day to wait!!"

Yup, almost! :) Happy reading...


Christine ahhh another classic line...A Christain Grey Fifty Shades Punishment F...K I really must misbehave more often!


message 23: by Halyna (new)

Halyna I was saying the same words at this stage of the book and I thought, that my heart willl jump from my chest...


Rachael Wade Halyna wrote: "I was saying the same words at this stage of the book and I thought, that my heart willl jump from my chest..."

Oh talk about anxiety...I was crawling out of my skin around 70%. So intense and beautiful.


Rachael Wade Christine wrote: "ahhh another classic line...A Christain Grey Fifty Shades Punishment F...K I really must misbehave more often!"

Haha There are just way too many lines--between comments from Ana's inner goddess to her e-mails and dialogue with Christian--that I bookmarked until I couldn't keep up anymore. ;)


Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog Well....I'm dying to know what you think. Still processing? Need some tissues? It's so bittersweet, right?


Rachael Wade Tessamari wrote: "Well....I'm dying to know what you think. Still processing? Need some tissues? It's so bittersweet, right?"

Yeah Tess, still processing. It's emotionally exhausting....in such a fantastic way.


Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog Rachael wrote: "Tessamari wrote: "Well....I'm dying to know what you think. Still processing? Need some tissues? It's so bittersweet, right?"

Yeah Tess, still processing. It's emotionally exhausting....in such a ..."


Indeed it was. It was a story that was brilliantly told. Now the post-Fifty funk begins...again :(


Fathima Awesome review doll !! And yes i soooo agree with unconditional love and forgiveness being the main theme of this book !!!


Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog Love your review, Rach. It makes me miss them even more :(


Rachael Wade Fathima wrote: "Awesome review doll !! And yes i soooo agree with unconditional love and forgiveness being the main theme of this book !!!"

Thanks, Fathima. :D


Rachael Wade Tessamari wrote: "Love your review, Rach. It makes me miss them even more :("

Thanks, Tess. I know what you mean. :(


message 13: by Fabiana (last edited Feb 18, 2012 04:24AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fabiana Perfect review. Yes, it's absolutely about "maturing, unconditional love and forgiving". It made me upset that people read some negative reviews on the third book...you know why? Because "they" didn't get it...this series is NOT about ONLY kinky sex, it's so much more...it's how people mature in a relationship, how they learn to compromise.
Without Freed we wouldn't ever see that!! Christian did not change people (grrrrr..they made me mad!!)!! He's still bossy, domineering...BUT..he's learned that if he wants Ana, he HAD to compromise..and yes, he can change from being a damaged Dom to an almost normal, free- from- his- past - soon- to- be a well loved man. This relationship, Iike ANY long term one, understands that love is NOT enough. You've to have uncondional love, tons of patience, respect, commitment and trust to make it work, which at the end of the trilogy is EXACTLY what they have. Love it. My fave books. Ever!


Rachael Wade Bia wrote: "Perfect review. Yes, it's absolutely about "maturing, unconditional love and forgiving". It made me upset that people read some negative reviews on the third book...you know why? Because "they" did..."

Thanks, Bia. I hear you. Unfortunately, most people (myself included, I know I pass books up sometimes that I judge based on the cover or one or two reviews)have read the synopsis and certain reviews and just ruled out the idea of reading it immediately, which is a shame because the series has real heart. You're so right--it's all about compromise, which in my opinion, is what love is all about. Relationships are hard,and you have to both work at the relationship and learn where and how to bend for the other person without giving up your identity if you want it to last. It's a balancing act, and that's exactly what Christian and Ana go through. You made some great points.


Fabiana Rachael wrote: "Bia wrote: "Perfect review. Yes, it's absolutely about "maturing, unconditional love and forgiving". It made me upset that people read some negative reviews on the third book...you know why? Becaus..."

Exactly my point..oh! E. L. James sent me an email responding to my question if she intended to write from his POV...her answer: " never say never..." Aghhh! I wrote her back, saying I truly hope you do it..all of us, fans of your Fifty trilogy would go on a Frenzy...*sighs*.. Hoping she does it...lol.
Thank you for your kind words..your review IS amazing...
Hugs

Bia


Susan Griscom Great review, Rachael. I'm sure Christian and Ana are smiling somewhere in all our minds.


fiftyshades i can't believe that u guys waited 4 the paperback i got mine on kindle i am quite lucky cuz i discover the books 1 week after fifty shades freed come out so i read all 3 in bout a week really worth the time :d


Fabiana Figuranta wrote: "i can't believe that u guys waited 4 the paperback i got mine on kindle i am quite lucky cuz i discover the books 1 week after fifty shades freed come out so i read all 3 in bout a week really wort..."

I know right? I bought the first two on iBooks but FSFreed wasn't on iBooks and I couldn't Pre-order...ackkk..thank God Amazon/Kindle had it, and I downloaded..it sucks because now I have 2 books n my iBook library, and Freed on the kindle app..but it's worth it anything.,I read it in one night..lol..amazing books! Love Fifty


fiftyshades Bia wrote: "Figuranta wrote: "i can't believe that u guys waited 4 the paperback i got mine on kindle i am quite lucky cuz i discover the books 1 week after fifty shades freed come out so i read all 3 in bout ..."

i keep going back and read again and it's like i read it the first time just leaves me smacked gob every time i read it


message 6: by Fabiana (last edited Feb 18, 2012 04:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fabiana Rachael wrote: "Bia wrote: "Perfect review. Yes, it's absolutely about "maturing, unconditional love and forgiving". It made me upset that people read some negative reviews on the third book...you know why? Becaus..."

Rachael: it's exactly it. You know, E. L. SHOULD try to change from "Erotica".. A LOT of people don't read books based in covers or synopsis...sighs...they WILL miss this trilogy though...normally, I wouldn't go looking for books in "Erotica" too! I'm glad a friend recommended...and YOU are right... Love only..it dies without all the other stuff..I've been married for 23 yrs ( married younger than Anna, by choice!) and relationships are NOT a fairy tale. You have to have love, TONS of patience, mutual respect, including respecting boundaries, Trust, and above all...Commitment. Whithout that..it's a disaster or divorce.lol...


Suzanne You wrote everything that I feel for this book! It is about SO MUCH more then just the sex! I keep trying to tell people that it really is a beautiful love story!


Tina Fantastic review. Its refreshing to read a book full of heart and soul. I never felt so much emotion reading this trilogy. Its quite overwhelming.


Rachael Wade Tina wrote: "Fantastic review. Its refreshing to read a book full of heart and soul. I never felt so much emotion reading this trilogy. Its quite overwhelming."

Thank you, Tina (and Suzanne! I just saw your message now). :) I agree. I really believe that's why it's doing so well, because of the emotional intensity readers experience over the course of the 3 books. Seeing Ana and Christian so intimate, then torn apart, then back together again, then intimate again....the roller coaster is overwhelming and you just want to see them get their HEA.


LeeAnne if you think the sex scenes in these books are fantastic you must not have read any other books besides these and Harry Potter....


Deborah Wow you described this love story so well,you do have to look beyond the kink to see the real story.I fell in love with characters and didn't want it to end..Very well said.


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