Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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did not like it

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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

June 1, 2012 – Started Reading
June 2, 2012 – Shelved
June 2, 2012 –
55.0% "Oh.this.is.just.awful.\n \n "...every word a staccato." Oy."
June 2, 2012 –
June 2, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 4,951-5,000 of 5,651 (5651 new)

andrea have sassy books to read ok look i loves this series but have to said it your review was so funny you made me laugh i can't! really sometimes i was like you when i read the book but ejoyed so i can say you made a smile on my face making fun of one of my favorite books really hilarious

Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring) That top gif is just perfect! I wonder if there's anymore like it...

message 4953: by Sandra (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sandra Raine Oh my! My review was nothing compared to this! You really put it out there. And here I thought I was the only one who was bothered by all the "holy-crap" and constant "murmuring". . .I did spell mumuring right, right??

message 4954: by Manasa (new)

Manasa Amazing review! I could not agree more!

Rachel (Confessions of a Book Geek) I have to say I enjoyed the book (hate me, I know) but I just had to praise you for your hilarious and brilliantly constructed review! I think I actually enjoyed it more than 50. Excellent.

Ann-Marie Best review ever! This perfectly expresses my disdain for this book- thank you!!!

Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring) That top gif is just perfect! Know anywhere with similar gifs?

message 4958: by Pamela (new) - added it

Pamela holy cow, you're awesome

message 4959: by Nora (new) - rated it 1 star

Nora Jean Could not have said it better myself. Bravo!

message 4960: by Cataluna6 (new)

Cataluna6 Love the review, wish I'd found them before I read the books.

message 4961: by Caro (last edited Oct 10, 2013 02:53AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Caro 90% of your review was reading my own thoughts, exorcised with a good laugh!

i can only add Christian's musical taste "SO eclectic". meaning Chopin AND Coldplay on the same ipod.

#¤%"¤&%####### MERCY.

message 4962: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer hahahahahahahahahahahaha...far more entertaining than the book! Thanks for the laugh! I couldn't finish reading this book because frankly it's really hard to read a fucking book when your eyes are constantly rolling.

message 4963: by Farwa (new)

Farwa thumbs up! now i dont have to read it

message 4964: by Ritika (new)

Ritika i read all four of your reviews and i have to say, even though so many others have said it before me, you are an amazing, insightful, no-nonsense critic and the sacrifice you've made of your brain cells will forever be appreciated.

i'm also honoured that these are the very first reviews i've read on Goodreads. (someone very recently sent an invite. had i known earlier that i would find treasure like this, i'd have jumped waaaaay before the Mayer-monster's wet-dream catastrophe!)

i'd also like to thank you for making me laugh for two straight hours, considering that my sides were hurting too much to continue every 7 words.

the best(?) that can be said for this travesty is that it is a lesson for aspiring writers about what NOT to write.
looking forward to more!

message 4965: by Kate (new)

Kate CHAPEAU to your brilliant review! Never wanted to read that crap and now I know I was right boycotting it... :-)
Still, how you could even bring yourself reading all three of those books is astonishing, to say the least.

message 4966: by Antaheen (new)

Antaheen Path Wow you had writen so good...........Exactly my thoughts regarding this book are same ............Really it has nothing.......not a passionate story neither a full fledged porn...... some depictions r very disturbing.........And I can't stand Anastesia......God she has no personality........always cribling ..........i hate these type of woman .....

message 4967: by Ursula (new)

Ursula Most certainly the most funny book review I've read! Bravo!!

message 4968: by Monica (new)

Monica DiNatale How creative! Love it! I like to read books after all the hype is over. Should I pass on this one?

message 4969: by Gin (new)

Gin Oliver What a fooking awesome review!!

Agree with you on Fifty Shades of Shit, picked it up at a friend's house a couple of times, read a few pages and had to put it down to silently mourn the trees that lost their lives to manufacture this shit. Grieves me even more that I was flicking through the Tesco catalogue and found that complex plastics are now being used to manufacture branded whips, flimsy handcuffs and little rubber men to push this crap. Though there is one positive . . . as a printed book it's weighty enough to knock some sense into any woman who thinks this is good for equality and/or is in any way romantic . . . though based on her ideals of romance, she'd probably fall in love with me and the dance card is already shut off.

message 4970: by Nilani (last edited Oct 10, 2013 11:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nilani Ohmigosh thanks so much for the review. I read all three books a few months ago because of so much hype going on about it. And to me if I cannot recall at least 20% of the book(s) after 2 weeks then it wasn't worth recommending to others.

Thanks also for setting the record straight about the underlying message the book gives. Women everywhere should read this.


ps: love the gifs..made my day LOL

message 4971: by [deleted user] (new)

This review was awesome!

message 4972: by Maja (new)

Maja G. Ha, haa! I'm never EVER going to read the book(s), but I absolutely enjoyed your review! Thank you!

message 4973: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie This review just made my day! Best. Review. Ever. Finally someone sums up this useless book series perfectly. Not only how it is the worst writing ever but more importantly the wretched message it sends to those who read it, particularly women. THANK YOU.

message 4974: by Dan (new)

Dan Skinner This was better than watching a comedy.. love it!!

message 4975: by Felicity (new)

Felicity Heaton This review made my day. I have never read the book and never will, not only because the writing is dire and childish, but because of the message it sends to impressionable women who might read it. The hero is abusive, plain and simple, and the heroine too stupid and caught up in his money and looks to realise. I've always said that if he wasn't a billionaire, women wouldn't be interested in this at all. If it was some plain Joe as the hero, earning average wages with average looks, people would be outraged by this book.

Of course, billionaire hotties can get away with this sort of stuff and women around the world dampen their panties over it and think it's wonderful. I personally think it's wrong, sick, disgusting and too many women suffer in abusive relationships like this every day. We don't need to promote it to younger, impressionable women as a positive thing.

message 4976: by Kristy (new) - rated it 1 star

Kristy McRae This review is simply awesome! You put into words my EVERY frustration as I was reading it. I work in a bookstore, and the only reason I agreed to read it was because of the hype it was causing. None of the other employees wanted to read it, so I was the sacrificial lamb. So to speak. I lost count of how many times I laughed uncontrollably at the terrible writing, and how many times I felt like throwing the damn thing at the wall. Or in the trash. Needless to say, I warned as many customers as I could away from reading it! So, from a crusader against this absolutely horrid excuse for a book, a heartfelt THANK YOU!

message 4977: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth After suffering through the junior high book reports people pass of on this site as book reviews all I have to say is : you complete me. And after suffering through everyone woman in America flipping the bird at our struggle for respect and equality by worshiping this pile of shit , an intelligent female finally stands up and speaks the truth. Amen sister!

message 4978: by Kellie (new) - added it

Kellie I seriously cannot stop laughing!

message 4979: by Veronica (new) - rated it 1 star

Veronica Besides completely falling off my chair with laughter. You nailed what is the horror that is this book. Excellente amiga!! I hope your review will "enlighten" the poor unfortunate souls who have yet to embark on this literary assault. We are in deep trouble if this kind of garbage garners such wide success that it is. Yikes.

message 4980: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Williams I had heard a lot about this book, but this is by far the best "review" I have read. I think I'll pass on the books.

message 4981: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Anderson Best. Review. Ever!

message 4982: by Caline (new) - rated it 1 star

Caline thanks. it was a struggle to read through out for me on this one. constantly really want to stop reading too. after this review and ur reviews on the sequels, i'm not gonna bother. i don't want to spoil my love of reading.

message 4983: by Danny (new)

Danny Hart I actually had to make an account on this just to give you props for these reviews. These are amazing, great work and kudos for actually suffering through reading that tripe. You have done the world a favour, lol. These were a pleasure to read from start to finish and I've read them multiple times, never fails to make me actually laugh out loud. You should definitely be a critic, I think you've found your calling xD

message 4984: by Aneirys (new)

Aneirys this has been the most entertaining review I have read in here, girl you are amazing!

message 4985: by Mojca (new)

Mojca BRAVO!!!

Didn't read the book, never intended to, and never will.

But I loved this review.

message 4986: by [deleted user] (new)

Danny wrote: "I actually had to make an account on this just to give you props for these reviews. These are amazing, great work and kudos for actually suffering through reading that tripe. You have done the worl..."

I agree. It's brilliant.

message 4987: by Jackie (new) - rated it 1 star

Jackie Best. Review. Ever!

message 4988: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm glad I didn't read it. Feminism is great at moving 1 step forward and THREE steps backward.

message 4989: by Amy (new)

Amy i laughed. i cried. i'm sure this review was way more awesome than the book. i've read the Anne Rice series on Beauty. another bit of literotica to discuss the qualities of, but i've had no interest in reading 50 Shades and now i'm sure that was a sound decision.

message 4990: by Amy (new)

Amy i laughed. i cried. i'm sure this review was way more awesome than the book. i've read the Anne Rice series on Beauty. another bit of literotica to discuss the qualities of, but i've had no interest in reading 50 Shades and now i'm sure that was a sound decision.

message 4991: by Amy (new)

Amy i laughed. i cried. i'm sure this review was way more awesome than the book. i've read the Anne Rice series on Beauty. another bit of literotica to discuss the qualities of, but i've had no interest in reading 50 Shades and now i'm sure that was a sound decision.

message 4992: by Prince (new)

Prince Thank goodness I'm not the only one. It really bored me to the core but I still willed myself to finish the book because I was actually hoping for a climax but all I found was the "other" climax. Thanks for the review! It had so much fun reading it.

message 4993: by Faith (new)

Faith You deserve a medal for this review. Bravo, bravo! And I totally agree that 50 shades is indeed a heap of utter sexist shit.

message 4994: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Well, I didn't read the book but some friends did and all they can say about it is: WORST BOOK EVER.
Of course, with those recommendations I don't have the intent to read it.
Normally I don't judge a book before read it, but your review gave the strength to definitely not do it.
All I have to say is AWESOME WORK, I laughed a lot.

Kimberly Arend That's not a review, that's you wanting attention. Really, it was a better book than you give it credit for. There are a ton of romance novels out there that are far more contrived than this!!

message 4996: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Reed Kimberly wrote: "That's not a review, that's you wanting attention. Really, it was a better book than you give it credit for. There are a ton of romance novels out there that are far more contrived than this!!"

One word: Butthurt.

Kimberly Arend What is butthurt supposed to mean???

message 4998: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Reed Kimberly wrote: "What is butthurt supposed to mean???"

1. Butthurt
getting your feelings hurt, or getting all bent out of shape.
EX: He got all butthurt when she wouldn't give him a ride.

2 Butthurt:
A display of bruised feelings; usually over something lame.
EX: Buffy got all butthurt when Tyler held a seat for Brittney.

Kimberly Arend Hmmmm. You fit that more than me since you keep commenting

message 5000: by Ashley (last edited Oct 24, 2013 11:56AM) (new)

Ashley Reed Kimberly wrote: "Hmmmm. You fit that more than me since you keep commenting"

It has nothing to do with how many comments someone makes. You're the one who didn't like the review so you felt the need to say the person who wrote it wanted attention, instead of accepting that not everyone is going to like the book. I don't believe they wanted attention. I believe they just wanted to put their honest opinion out there. You're free to like the book all you want, just like others are free to not like it.

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