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 3,651-3,700 of 5,614) (5614 new)

message 3651: by Teddy (new)

Teddy Harp This is my new favorite review. Thank you for making this book bearable.

message 3652: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Stone Dinjolina wrote: "Kathryn wrote:HA Ha no I just meant she nailed it the "inner goddess" is the most irritating part ..."

Awww, you did not like the inner goddess? Don’t we all have a little split personality harpin..."

I agree

message 3653: by L.V. (new)

L.V. Sage Great job!! Very imaginative & hilarious! And sad, too, because of the realities that you point out regarding the unhealthy relationship between these two bottom-feeders. No, I haven't read this book. I rarely read Best Sellers (I have an aversion to sheep mentality). Thanks for the laughs!

message 3654: by Tim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tim The only reason I am glad I read 50 Shades is so I could read your review. Hilarious and dead on!

message 3655: by Meryana (new) - rated it 1 star

Meryana R This is the only book which in my 26-years of existence never had the strength to read pass page 3, trololo.. so I'm glad I didn't have to endure it. Because based on your review, it's just gonna give me a headache >.>

message 3656: by Linda (new) - added it

Linda *sigh* Thank you for writing this! I was screaming at the book the entire time I read this painful piece of crap. I couldn't really articulate the many "shade of shit" that was this story but your review pretty much summed it up. The main character in this book was so weak and delusional it drove me crazy - any woman with half a brain would have ran far far away.

message 3657: by Dana (new) - rated it 1 star

Dana Cheryl Love your review! Fifty Shades of Grey was the most painfully boring book I've ever read. I only got through it by counting how many time words like inner goddess were repeated. I tried reading it aloud to my friends but they cut me off after ten pages. Smart girls! I finished it and, sadly, I think it lowered my I.Q. :)

message 3658: by Nikij (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nikij Awesome review. I nearly wet my pants cacking my head off here. I read the book, but found I enjoyed it for all the reasons you listed. It was outrageously comical, and frankly i took the book from the perspective of a spoof, though I feel the same way about twilight too. I found I rather enjoyed it from that angle. To know someone else shared the same frame of mind tickles me, thanks for the images, they really topped the whole thing off with a bright red cherry. Fabulous job, and thanks for giving me a great big belly barreling laugh.

message 3659: by Genevieve (last edited Sep 11, 2012 07:54AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

message 3660: by Jo Anne (new) - rated it 1 star

Jo Anne Love Love Love your review! May I never have to read the words "inner goddess" again.

message 3661: by Aubrey (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aubrey I have never commented on a review before, but felt compelled to do so on yours. I laughed my ass off at work (which is difficult to do when trying to be quiet and inconspicuous). I actually enjoyed the books, but you shed some interesting and funny light on this book. Wonderful review - photos really helped capture the moment!

message 3662: by Janine (new) - rated it 1 star

Janine You have said everything I felt and thought about this "book"
Thanks for making me laugh

message 3663: by Kaye (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kaye sooooo funny. i think you'd be a better writer than EL James.

Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆ DAMN YOU! You're review makes me want to read these books just to see what all the talk is about. I'm not certain my mind could process it, though. D:

message 3665: by Tara (new)

Tara Today, at walmart, I saw a new magazine called 50 Shades of Grey. I wonder what the content is about? Hmmm. (And it was by food network magazine LOL)

message 3666: by April (new)

April Soler Anybody who claims fifty shades of utter bullshit is the best book ever insults the crap out of me. I have read hundreds of novels ( i started reading at 10 now im 27) and you can imagine how redundunt the stories are. Now after reading a lot, i get bored easily if the author has nothing new to offer. Fifty shades of fucking hell is sooo redundant, so unoriginal, so badly written and so stupid my mind gets blown up thinking how the hell this shit is so popular. Seriously people you make me sad :( This is by far the worst i have the misfortune of reading ans i have read a lot of crappy stories before.

message 3667: by Joana (last edited Sep 13, 2012 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Joana Girl, I am so grateful for your review. I was thinking I was the only one who disliked unhealthy relationships. I am very worried about how women idolize this kind of thing!
I didn't read this book. I don't know if I'm as brave as you. I just finished "Beautiful Disaster" and I was so depressed so disgusted about how the author treated a sick relationship like that in most natural thing in the world!
I don't know, but I think that I came from another planet! How I supposed to excite myself with psyco men? Just don't enter in my mind any of this!

message 3668: by EC (new) - rated it 1 star

EC I couldn't stop laughing, especially at the playroom gif. LOVE IT.

message 3669: by Caterina (new)

Caterina Haven't read the book, But I agree with all of it.
You have a lot of time on your hands.

message 3670: by Tamara (new) - rated it 1 star

Tamara Oh,I laughed so much because of this review:D Awesome job!Funny as hell but sooo true;) I really hate when people start talking about how romantic this book is.Really?Did we read the same book?Are we living on the same planet?!

message 3671: by Cyndi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cyndi Perfectly said.

message 3672: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Hank Scorpio = perfect ending

This is the best review of a horrible book ever! I cannot count how many times I fell over laughing reading this. I couldn't make it more than 60-70 pages through that fecal matter, and you read all three books! Bless your gentle soul. My boyfriend helped by reading it in Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice, or he changed the character's names to people from Sailor Moon. Almost made it tolerable. :)

message 3673: by Rachel (new) - rated it 1 star

Rachel Hahaha this cracked me up!! Im on page 200 of large print edition.

message 3674: by Eszter (new)

Eszter You might appreciate this little tale from Down Under

message 3675: by Jeremy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeremy Bates Can't wait to not see the movie. lol

message 3676: by Layna (new)

Layna Best book review ever. I am contrite that I bought this complete piece of Shite! What a waste. I kept thinking it had to get better. It is McDonalds for the Literary world!

message 3677: by Mark (new)

Mark OMG as they say....this is absolutely hilarious

message 3678: by Carol (new) - rated it 1 star

Carol I could not have said it better myself.

message 3679: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Very entertaining review! Validates my early decision to avoid these books like the plague they are. Bad fanfic based on stupid vampire sh*t full of dim-witted females and misogyny - count me out.

message 3680: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Perfect! I could not have summed it up better. Finally an honest review of probably top 10 worst book I have ever read. It was an extremely abusive relationship that only in my worst nightmares I would ever dream myself to be apart of, I only got schemed into reading it because all of the "good" press for it, shame on me. Horrible book, horrible story-line, I feel like my mind was violated and debased just for reading this trite piece of shit.

message 3681: by Orphic {Ally} (new)

Orphic {Ally} This is probably the funniest review I have ever read.

message 3682: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Bryant Respect for reading the whole book - I didn't make it that far, but glad you did, because it brought about this review! Well done!

message 3683: by Lubinka (new) - rated it 1 star

Lubinka Dimitrova Couldn't have put it better myself! You read the next one too?! You're too brave!

message 3684: by Lily (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lily Oh Oh man!i can't breath coz i was laughing so hard.. Katrina your review is awesome!!! your image & video selections are brilliant!

message 3685: by Barb (new) - rated it 2 stars

Barb ok I did find parts of this review quite amusing even though I dont agree with most of it. It is a fantasy fictions novel....lighten up already!

message 3686: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Maybe this was said before, and I apologize if it was, but what drives me NUTS is that I have been reading romance novels (of all types) for 20 years and been RIDICULED by the same women who are now reading this book and thinking it is sexy. THANK YOU for this review. I have read BDSM literature; this is not it. I have read erotica of all stripe; this is not it. THIS is misogynistic crap (poorly written and poorly categorized). I went to Harvard. When I was at Harvard I read erotica and romance. I wrote a thesis on sex in Victorian women's poetry, and read proper romance (by smart women, for smart women- like Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Susan E Phillips, Emma Holly, and too many to list) and the SAME roommates who thought I was silly are now reading THIS shit and saying it changed their sex lives. I just can't. This is ABUSIVE crap and it makes me worry for the state of feminism. Feminism is women taking charge of their sexuality, even if they are submissive. And there is SO much better literature out there about all of that.... and yet: THIS hit popular culture. I am sad.

message 3687: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Rentfro ABsolutely LOVED it! Great review! Thanks for making me laugh!

message 3688: by Fitz (new)

Fitz wow! I've read a ton of reviews but yours is the at the top! 잘앴어!

message 3689: by Carla (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carla Couldn't have put it better myself. This series is terrible.

Anna-Kathrin this is the best review i've read so far on this site. but somehow, you've made me want to read the book just so I can laugh at it myself.

message 3691: by Kirsty (last edited Sep 17, 2012 02:24AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kirsty Taylor Thank you Katrina, That was better written than the book and way more enjoyable!
I am struggling to finish this book, if the characters were hit by a bus I wouldn't care and after reading this I don't think Ill bother with the other books! :)

message 3692: by Joann (new) - rated it 1 star

Joann Buchanan Jennifer wrote: "Maybe this was said before, and I apologize if it was, but what drives me NUTS is that I have been reading romance novels (of all types) for 20 years and been RIDICULED by the same women who are no..."

I'm sad about it too and I didn't go to Harvard. I feel this book demeans women as a whole and the fact that it became as huge as it did is shameful. Thank you for your statement.

message 3693: by Susan (new)

Susan I can't believe how many people not only read this crap but also loved it! I was never tempted to read this book, and your review further confirms my fears and suspicions.

message 3694: by Shauntana (new)

Shauntana I think Katrina took this book WAY too seriously while (most) of us take it light and entertaining it's just like any other cheesy romance novel.Lighten up!

message 3695: by Kate (last edited Sep 18, 2012 09:46AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kate I want a word count on "beguile/beguiled/beguiling," please. I thought I would upchuck if I read that one more time. Enjoyed the review. I waited forever to read this book and now I wish I hadn't wasted my time. I agree about the sex scenes in the book. I have been way more hot and bothered by regular ol' Harlequin series romances! Anyway, Christian is a pig. Who the hell would want to be with someone who WANTS to hurt them? (And I'm not talking about a little slap and tickle. I mean, he said he wants to HURT her. Huh?) I don't get that.

message 3696: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate The gifs in this review were hilarious and I am almost finished with(actually struggling to finish the last 100 pages of this book) right now. Totally agree with you 110%!

message 3697: by Damir (new)

Damir Holy shit/fuck/crap/hell/cow/moses, this made my day. Well done.

message 3698: by Mudz (new)

Mudz Why didn't I see this BEFORE I read these books!?
Did you get a count for foil packet?
Ugh. *cringes*

message 3699: by Mudz (new)

Mudz Also, I LOL'd so hard at "50 shades of shit"
Off to read review 2!

message 3700: by Mandi (last edited Sep 18, 2012 03:01PM) (new)

Mandi Owen Thank God there are other sane people that hated these books. I thought I was on my own out there. I totally agree with every word Katrina wrote and said the same many times to anyone who would listen to me. What the hell is going on with the world that this drivel can become popular. Shaking my head here. Hated it with a vengeance

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