Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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's review
Jun 02, 2012

did not like it
Read from June 01 to 02, 2012

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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).

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Reading Progress

55.0% "Oh.this.is.just.awful.

"...every word a staccato." Oy."
55.0% 1 comment
01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 3,501-3,550 of 5,598) (5598 new)

message 3501: by Vee41dmb (new) - rated it 1 star

Vee41dmb I am less than half way. Each page is painfully boring.
I didn't want to read this, but got so tired of people telling me too. Thanks for the review. It's nice to see someone who has some sense.
Oh, how I loved Story of O, Submission, Exit to Eden, The Beauty Trilogy. Sigh. This is NOT new "risque" stuff people....

message 3502: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (Working for the Mandroid) This is the best review I have ever read. Thank you for your suffering.

message 3503: by Róisín (new) - rated it 1 star

Róisín This is a brilliant review...hits the nail on the head and I agree with you that it has set feminism back by decades...so many young women are going to read this and think this is the way they need to behave with men...depressing.

message 3504: by Burd (new)

Burd thank you.

message 3505: by Hava (new)

Hava This is one of the funniest reviews I've read in a long time. Thank you.

message 3506: by Natasha (new) - rated it 1 star

Natasha Burns Best review I have EVER read

message 3507: by Autumn (new) - rated it 3 stars

Autumn This review belongs at the top of the Shelf of Awesome. Totally epic.

message 3508: by Monica (new)

Monica Katrina, I've only actively been on GoodReads for a few days but a friend email me your review and it was simply amazing...I nearly rolled on the floor laughing while reading it and I mus say, you really captured everything of importance (or lack thereof) in this silly book: the borderline-abusive, misogynistic and just creepy personality of Christian, along with the wide-eyed and entirely unbelievable Ana, who slaps the label of "inexperience" on everything as a universal excuse for being bullied, beaten and embarrassed to death on every turn. keep 'em coming!

message 3509: by Megan (new)

Megan I thoroughly enjoyed your review! I thought I was the only one who thought this worthless piece of kindling was as diabolical! I have been "shunned" by friends' utter surprise at the fact that not only did I think it was the worst book I had ever read,that Christian Grey was a massive douchebag (I don't want to get into how much Anastasia annoyed me-I'd be here all week), and that I refused to buy the other two in the series!

I honestly thought my friends were better than that... Maybe time to do a bit of a cull? ;)

You are a comic genius & I fully intend on reading your reviews of the other 2- only so that I don't have to read them myself!

message 3510: by Jewel (new) - rated it 1 star

Jewel I haven't even read the book, wasn't interested before, certainly not now.
Your review is brilliant!!

message 3511: by [deleted user] (new)

I keep meeting people who love this book (even my MOM) and they're like "I've read FSoG", speaking in low voices, 'cause it's so hush-hush. And I'm like, "Hu... mmmh."
When I tell them I thought it was crap, because the writing, the characters, everything was dumb, they look at me like I'm dellusional.
Then I have to come here, read a review like this, just to know I'm not alone. So, thanks for this. Really.

message 3512: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Thank you! I feel like I've read the book, without actually having had to read the book.

message 3513: by Maggie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maggie WOW...tell us how you really feel!!!! Although I totally agree with you. Thank you for the laugh out loud experience!!!
Honestly how many 21 year old females wouldn't want to accept a new car?! Just with that, I thought this is so unrealistic.
It's just so sad that women are flocking to read this junk...do we really want our sex lives to be this selfish and boring. Not something I want. Give me a man that's not afraid to admit his short comings, or even his smaller penis(that he uses well, and I'm comfortable with)...yet is more willing to spend quality time with me, that shares his fears, hopes and dreams.
I thought Christian to be way to arrogant and selfish, and Ana way to ignorant and lacked class.
I belong to a book club, and felt I needed to complete the assignment...I'm so glad I've completed it, and have no desire to read the following books.

message 3514: by Lisa (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lisa Schreiber Your review was everything I failed to articulate due to being dumbed down by this piece of shit book.

message 3515: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline De Who ever said this book was a guide to how one should live?? Anyone who reads it for this reason should not be reading it. Nonetheless, characters like Christian and Ana do exist... Why not portray them in a book, and let the reader judge the book's characters, rather than judging the author or other readers'? If one only reads what they already believe, hell, why read?

message 3516: by Mary (new)

Mary Forbes Jacqueline wrote: "Who ever said this book was a guide to how one should live?? Anyone who reads it for this reason should not be reading it. Nonetheless, characters like Christian and Ana do exist... Why not port..."

You will notice that Karen also says it is poorly written (repeating same ol' too) - that is the author's problem I would say. And if you can't stand the main characters it is difficult to waste your time reading the book. That is just my opinion.

message 3517: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Nicola I hope you got a college credit for this review! Genius. I have not read any of the Grey books, all it took was to read that sales of whips went up after they became popular and now, your review seals the deal. Thanks for a great job.

Basia Rose Jacqueline wrote: "Who ever said this book was a guide to how one should live?? Anyone who reads it for this reason should not be reading it. Nonetheless, characters like Christian and Ana do exist... Why not port..."

Yeah. A book review site is probably a stupid place for people to Review The Book.

message 3519: by Sharon (new) - rated it 1 star

Sharon I am trawling through the third book at the moment, as I am suffering from a nasty winter bug. The question that keeps coming up, (so to speak) is why doesn't this stupid little character Ana ever suffer from COCKBURN? This alone renders the book to the crap pile!

message 3520: by Dixon (last edited Aug 22, 2012 06:04AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Dixon Ticonderoga Jacqueline wrote: "Who ever said this book was a guide to how one should live??"

You mean besides the women proclaiming that this book is "the instruction manual for women" the sex shops giving "50 Shades of Grey" classes and Adam & Eve who spam my email with "50 Shades Kits" every other day?

Nonetheless, characters like Christian and Ana do exist...

As do rainforest deforestation, global climate change, spree killers, racism, African warlords and right wing, White men who believe that Jesus was pro-Murder.

Doesn't make it right.

Why not portray them in a book, and let the reader judge the book's characters, rather than judging the author or other readers'?

As mind-blowingly, I needed a cigarette afterwards good as this review was...it can't actually stop people from reading the book. It is, in fact, a reader judging the book's characters and only has as much weight as you give it.

message 3521: by Gary (new)

Gary Hoover Thank you for making my morning!

message 3522: by Bisi (new)

Bisi Adjapon What a hilarious review! I had already made up my mind I wasn't going to read that book because of sado-macho stuff. Now I won't even be tempted.

message 3523: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Applause!

message 3524: by Carolynne (new)

Carolynne Love it, love it, love it. Standing ovation! I am only a quarter of the way through the first of the trilogy - surprised you missed the constant "biting lip" bit - I was soooooooo looking forward to the clip you might have for that. Well done you. Look forward to the rest of your reviews :-)

message 3525: by Taneshia (new)

Taneshia *stands and claps like a loon for you* This review is epic! I swear t's like you're in my head. I can't add anything to this because you covered it oh so well. This book is total crap and I read the fan fiction version. I applaud you for making it all the way through. I couldn't get past page 87 because of the number of times I read "oh my" at that point. I almost through my iPad across the room. Ana aka Bella was just a sad character that I could not relate to. I felt the fan fic "University of Edward Masen" aka Gabriel's Inferno was a much more gripping story.

message 3526: by Nicole (new) - rated it 1 star

Nicole Glass It's like you are in my head...

message 3527: by Miss (new)

Miss I love your Review! :) <3

message 3528: by Miss (new)

Miss Nicole wrote: "It's like you are in my head..."

Agreed! :)

message 3529: by Natasha (last edited Aug 23, 2012 05:46AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Natasha Burns Deanna wrote: "Great review. I wish you included a word/occasion count on "breath hitches", "you smell divine", and "biting your lip". LOL"

Hi Deanna,
I just popped those words into a search on my ipad, and "breath hitches" comes up 15 times. (One good example is "my breath hitches, and I flush" - kill me please...)

I also searched "biting" (omitting the "your lip" because it limited the search) and got a count of 27.

Hope that helps ;)

message 3530: by Kaitie (new) - rated it 1 star

Kaitie The best review I've seen of this book (or any book, for that matter). Spot on.

message 3531: by Erin (new) - rated it 1 star

Erin I'm crying I'm laughing so hard. SO spot on.

message 3532: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Standing O! No pun intended. Well said...well said and thank you for not freakin' murmuring.

message 3533: by Eclectic1 (new)

Eclectic1 Fais Funny review, thanks for the laugh, it was just what I needed after a long day at work :)

message 3534: by Meghan (new)

Meghan W Thanks for this! It can be difficult sometimes being such a bookworm because I naturally want to give a book everyone's talking about a try, but it's...this. I really don't plan on wasting my time with these books. I'll stick to Jane Austen, thanks.

message 3535: by Amanda (new) - rated it 1 star

Amanda This is the most hilarious review I have ever read!

message 3536: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer TOO FUNNY!

message 3537: by Jan (new) - rated it 1 star

Jan Your review is excellent. I could not agree more. I am going to post this on my book wall. It is the best. %0 shades of crap wasted an entire section of my life and silly bloody fool me, persevered. It insults women by the hype it creates as they all set off to buy and read, what does the author think we are? Sex sells, this is like a smack in the face with a wet fish, infact that may be more exciting than the sex here. Your review has made my day and I shall highlight it to my friends. Well done

message 3538: by Martita (new) - rated it 2 stars

Martita Amazing review. Really... what is this book going to get? Poor little things if they think THAT'S love :S

message 3539: by Candice (new)

Candice this review Made.my.day. lol in total agreement!!

message 3540: by Vicky (new)

Vicky Alonso I have heard so much hoopla about this book. Haven't read it & am NOT going to. Looked it up Amazon and read the sneak peek and just that did it for me. Don't care for 1st person writing to start with. Then the writing in this book sounded so juvenile I wondered how anyone could manage to read the whole thing, much less two more books in the series. Sounded too juvenile for me and the crazy girl a complete NUT!!! Grey did not sould like any man I would put up with for a second, much less fall for. No, others can go crazy about this book all they want but I will not waste my time with it. If I want truly good sex scenes I will read Christina Feehan & others. Thanks for your enlightening post/review though!!

message 3541: by Sandra (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandra Loved your review! I got the book from the library to see what all they hype was about and didn't get past the first few pages!

message 3542: by Susie (new) - rated it 1 star

Susie That was the funniest review I have read so far today. I loved it :)

message 3543: by Antara (new)

Antara Bhatia lol!!! awesome review. I kept BITING MY LIP . (to keep from laughing out loud though). I mean, what is that about???? I am soo sick of Ana's stupid lip. And her frustrating inner goddess who wears boas, roses between her teeth, narrows her eyes....godawful!!
Guily pleasure though- I enjoyed the sex scenes:)

message 3544: by Sigourney (new)

Sigourney Best review. Ever.

message 3545: by Prami (new) - rated it 1 star

Prami I enjoyed reading this....The book's seriously crap. I've just read about 16% and I'm seriously done with it!!!

And yeah Best.Review.Ever!! Hats off!

message 3546: by Kate (new)

Kate This is everything I wanted to say about this book, so thank you!

message 3547: by Ashley (new) - rated it 1 star

Ashley Genaway best review of this book ever! The author pretty much copies twilight by just replacing the names of the characters and Edward with a sick sadistic freak. I couldn't get past the 5th chapter. I downloaded the audiobook and listened to it on a 4 hour car ride and my friends and I were shouting "double crap, triple crap, holy cow!" the whole way home. You also should have counted "Get a grip/it together Steele!" LOL hit it on the mother fucking nail!

message 3548: by Raven (new) - added it

Raven Lmfao. Hahahahhahaha. You're BRILLIANT.

message 3549: by Cari (new) - rated it 1 star

Cari This is exactly how I feel! I stoped reading after Grey pretty much said he was raped by his mom's older friends and that's the way he is. I am in horror that women want a man like this in there life. It's so unrealistic.. seriously a virgin have 3 orgasms during her first sexual experience??? SERIOUSLY 3!!!This book made me sick, not because I'm a prude, but I'm just appaled by the reaction society is having to this psychopath.

message 3550: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Amen, Girlfriend, Amen!

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