Adrienne Enriquez's Reviews > Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James
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's review
Jul 10, 2012

did not like it

I admit to some embarrassment at having read even the first of these books, let alone all three. When I started, I didn't know they were Twilight fanfiction (though I'm not sure it would have made a difference in my decision to forge ahead). What I did know was seemingly everyone was talking about them. Even my well-read friends were talking about them. And, frankly, I've been left behind on the pop-culture train before, and I don't much like feeling the out-of-it dunce. So I've learned that sometimes it's worth dredging through the schlock to understand references in every day conversation. Besides, I'd heard that our local Heathman Hotel is featured in the novels and had started offering a "Fifty Shades" package but wasn't saying what all that included. I figured reading the books might offer a clue.

I still can't quite believe I read all three - but in my defense ... the first ended so abruptly that downloading the second felt imperative. I don't care for stories with no resolution. By the time I finished the second, I had ridiculously unrealistic hopes that somehow, someway Anastasia would come to her senses and end the whole thing. So I picked up the third with delusions that I'd see the resolution I sought. (Note to self: again, if I'd known these were Twilight fanfiction, my mind wouldn't even have gone there. Must research the history of books before indulging?)

In any case, I don't understand the allure. I keep hearing the descriptions of "mommy porn" and I've had a few friends say the sex scenes make them blush. Huh? I'm not a mom, so maybe I can't speak to that demographic. But nothing about the scenes was sexy or titillating to me. I suspect there are a number of things that contribute to that - Anastasia's naivete - the "virgin girl meets experienced man who teaches her everything she'll ever know about sex" storyline angers me more than it turns me on, the "inner goddess" crap - WAY too much of that, the "down there" references - really? The playroom scenes might have held some promise as offering something new and different to my imagination, but they weren't terribly descriptive. I found myself wondering if the author had any experience with BDSM because those scenes felt underdeveloped to me. (And my only "experience" with the lifestyle is having read Whipsmart by Melissa Febos, so it's not as though I've got any expertise, but there were times when I was reading that I felt like I had more background than James does.)

So it's non-erotic erotica, eh? Mostly though, I left the books feeling sad and angry that they've become so popular. Sad and angry that so many women think the books are fantastic. Sad and angry that the media is pimping them out as a way to bring sex back into marriages. It's not because the books are poorly written - though they are. It's not because I feel for couples whose sex lives are so dull that the mere mention of "down there" can spice things up tenfold - though I do. It's because these books portray a controlling, abusive relationship as one of love, and NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT. And I'm not talking about the whips and chains - I'm in favor of people having consensual sexual relationships that suit their needs, and if that includes a little "kinky f*ckery," as Christian & Anastasia call it, who am I to object? I'm talking about the stalking, the distrust, the lying, the controlling. This is not a healthy, loving relationship, and I am sad and angry that we seem to have elevated it to the height of romance and allure.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
July 10, 2012 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Carol I am with you a million per cent. And as far as the first book ending abruptly: it was just a cheap, calculated trick to create a second book when it should have been just a continuum as the next chapter. But then, it would have ended up just being a tortuous loonnggggg piece of trash. I'm so saddened by the fact that many of my friends that I had previously considered intelligent thought this was a great read. And a book doesn't have to be "literature" to be a great read. This was just pure, insipid drivel

message 2: by Gwen (new)

Gwen Couldn't agree more!! I have totally given up on the third book. Not going to waste my time and insult my own intelligent!!

Rhonda Agreed! I felt the whole time that Christian was way too overbearing for my taste! I kept thinking, she's a woman not a child! Then again, was she? Her behavior didn't always exhibit that of an adult. She was childlike in many ways. Even so, something just wasn't right...

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