Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1) Fifty Shades of Grey discussion


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Hyped up books that don't deserve the hype, or let you down

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message 1: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara I wanted to start a discussion about highly popularized books that did not live up to their hype. This is just an opinion discussion, I am honestly curious. I do not want to start any arguments :)
For me one of the big ones was 50 Shades of Grey. It was recommended to me frequently, most of my friends & family read it. Personally, I have read much better romance novels. I thought that Ana's character was completely unrealistic. She did not know how to use a MacBook, even though she'd just graduated college. The author was an obvious amateur, who re-used the same words and phrases consistently.
I felt very let down by this book after psyching myself up so much to read it.


message 2: by Sandy (last edited Nov 13, 2014 12:34PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy Absolutely. I finally gave in to peer pressure (my book club) & read this. I had no problem with the content other than a spineless heroine which is kind of my personal kryptonite. My issue was just how poorly it was written. Again, like you say, just my own opinion. Another one of late was "The Gold Finch". Much loved by the masses but I couldn't wait for it to be over. Luckily, there's something out there for everyone.


Nuran FSOG didn't live up to the hype at all, but I found it so bad it was entertaining for me. Usually bad stuff is just dull for me to read, but FSOG made me laugh so many times.

I've quoted the scene of how Ana describes an orgasm being like a "washing machine coming apart at the seams" so many times. A washing machine is the least sexiest thing in the world so to use it to describe an orgasm was so bad it was funny. I don't want to be reminded of housework when I'm supposed to be reading something erotic.

I was disapointed by the 2nd and 3rd one because there weren't as good gems of funnies in them.

And the whole tampon scene, so gross it was like car crash t.v. I just had to keep on reading.

FSOG didn't live up to the hype but damn it was entertaining in a way it wasn't meant to be.


message 4: by Iris (new) - rated it 1 star

Iris This was a let down. But it was the author's first novel put together from her amatuer fan fiction. Also I think "The Fault in Our Stars" was a bit of a let down. So much hype to a book I thought was average in every way. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" I didn't like. "Of Mice and Men" was okay. The list is endless.


message 5: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Haha Sandy, I totally agree! It's one thing to have a bubble-headed main character in a romantic comedy; but, a bdsm contract is pretty serious business & Ana was just an educated college student parading as a ditz.


message 6: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Iris, I still haven't read The Perks of Being a Wallflower yet because I had a feeling it wouldn't be as good as everyone claimed it to be.

I thought James Patterson's "The Quickie" was a let down. Quite a few people recommended it to me because I typically like his books. It was completely forgettable.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I read the Fifty Shades books because people in my school kept recommending them to me. I didn't hate the books, but I didn't love them. There was a lot of potential and a lot more that could have been done with the trilogy.

I can't say that I don't think they deserve the hype or any other book for that matter, mostly because it's the preference of a large number of people, but that doesn't mean I don't disagree with all of those people.

The plot was there, but it could have been explored more. Then some of the words she used in the sex scenes just threw me off of what she had written. Like, I'd be reading, and all of the sudden that one word comes up and makes me think, "Why in the world did she choose that word?". Then the same phrases were used over and over, which didn't bother me a great deal, but did some.

My biggest problem was the fact that some of the scenes were just to far out of reach when it came to being realistic. I understand erotic novels aren't supposed to be totally realistic, but sometimes when it's all in one story, I just can't get over it. And, the fact that she doesn't have much of a personality in the books; well she had a personality, but not nearly as much of one as her inner goddess.

But, I did like the books, if not for the major potential I saw in them.

So...that's all for my long discussion thingy. Sorry for the length, and if it doesn't make sense, I blame it on the fact that I have not sleep since the night before last.


message 8: by Somerandom (last edited Nov 09, 2014 09:10PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Somerandom For me four books so far fail to live up to the hype. (Not including Twilight as that's a bit too cliche and I'm more neutral on it these days.)

First the "classics."
I love classics, but I have yet to finish Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I can see it's worth and why it has so many fans, it just sort of lost me half way through.
Huxley's Brave New World. Which I actually legitimately liked and has stayed with me afterwards. But half of the plot is a bit boring and despite being impressed by the prose, I just didn't outright fall in love with it like 1984 or something along those lines.

Now the "New Agey" books.
The Fault in our Stars. As someone who actually grew up knowing someone close to me with cancer, I thought this book might be a cool "I'm not alone" type deal for me. But again I just lost interest. The main character, although I could understand her actions, just annoyed me to no end. The romance was without that "aww teenagers" charm and I don't know it just wasn't that interesting for me. Sorry to all the Green fans out there!

And 50 Shades of Grey. Where do I begin?
This one was recommended to me by literally every person ever! Everyone was reading it. My boss was reading it, my workmates were reading it, my aunts and nieces were reading it. I wouldn't be surprised if I had caught my dog reading it!
And I just couldn't get past the second chapter.
Anna was a twit who sounded more like an insipid teenager than a freaking 20 something college student, Christian was creepy and the writing looked like the editor went out to lunch and just gave it a pass so as to get to lunch quicker.


Leanne I already knew Fifty Shades was going to be bad because by the time I read it it had already had plenty of anti-hype. I can somewhat understand the hype, though(Twilight fanfic that got popular-> fans followed it when it was self-published-> told all their friends to read it, plus maybe by then it already had some negative hype-> mainstream publishers took noticed of the sales and published it-> people heard about the self-published erotic novel that made it big and assumed it must be amazing-> cue a mix of positive and negative hype that caused even more people to buy the book either because they either heard it was good or to make fun of it-> hence all of us who hate it are kinda responsible in part for it being a best seller). But despite all that, of course it was anything but deserving all the hype it continues to get, much in the way Twilight did before it. One can only hope that as happened with Twilight, it will finally die down once the movie comes out.

How to I even begin to describe the issues? First off, it offended me as a writer because it was so horribly and clumsily written. As a sexual submissive I was offended by the awful portrayal of BDSM relationships.

As a reader I was offended by how unrealistic so much of it was. I understand that having the main characters meet in a contrived way is basically a hallmark of romance fiction, but come on, it's like she didn't even try! Shouldn't Kate, the editor of the student newspaper, be able to find someone to replace her? And how many articles does the editor write anyway? Shouldn't a regular staff writer just be doing it? And why couldn't they get the staff photographer to come with and take pictures? Also, her portrayal of college students in general just sucks. Ana's a 21 year old senior who doesn't own her own computer and only ever seems to communicate with her boyfriend via email? She doesn't own any interview-appropriate clothes? She's never been interested in any other guys ever? What? She expresses this childlike wonder and confusion at every new thing and it's completely baffling to me.


message 10: by Bobby (last edited Nov 13, 2014 08:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Bobby Karmakar There are books that deserve the hype. This one I don't think should be because it let me down. Big time. I have never felt so disappointed and especially after reading the entire trilogy, and being a huge Twilight fan, realizing it started as Twilight fan fiction. This I feel is wrong to be overly hyped as it will disappoint more people, including myself.
For those who aren't Twilight fans, I don't think that's overlyhyped and I believe it deserves it. For one thing, it inspired me in writing, and also led me to Anne Rice and Kelley Armstrong. Another thing is, Ms.Meyer's Twilight Saga didn't begin from someone else's characters, but rather a dream. Applause applause for originality! Other hyped books include The Hunger Games, Divergent, Harry Potter, Cassandra Clare. I haven't read any of them but I believe they deserve it.
On EL James however, if she continues to write that's fine. Publishing, I hope she has her original ideas then. But I can't guarantee I'll be reading it right away or ever. Her husband's YA, Niall Leonard and his Crusher series, I however love! That I would recommend checking out and he was very much worth the risk :)


message 11: by Toni (new) - rated it 1 star

Toni Jo Sara wrote: "I wanted to start a discussion about highly popularized books that did not live up to their hype. This is just an opinion discussion, I am honestly curious. I do not want to start any arguments :) ..."

To be more blunt, this book sucked major socks, for lack of better words. Her writing style was atrocious. It made me want to swallow my own teeth.


Mochaspresso Leanne wrote: "As a reader I was offended by how unrealistic so much of it was. I understand that having the main characters meet in a contrived way is basically a hallmark of romance fiction, but come on, it's like she didn't even try! Shouldn't Kate, the editor of the student newspaper, be able to find someone to replace her? And how many articles does the editor write anyway? Shouldn't a regular staff writer just be doing it? And why couldn't they get the staff photographer to come with and take pictures? Also, her portrayal of college students in general just sucks. Ana's a 21 year old senior who doesn't own her own computer and only ever seems to communicate with her boyfriend via email? She doesn't own any interview-appropriate clothes? She's never been interested in any other guys ever? What? She expresses this childlike wonder and confusion at every new thing and it's completely baffling to me.


Totally agree with most of what you said. Just commenting on a few things...

1) Kate could have gotten another staff writer to do it, but then she may not necessarily have been able to take full byline credit for the interview. That's why she sent her friend who isn't affiliated with the paper. Also, within the context of the novel, an interview w/ Christian was supposed to be high profile and a major coup for a college paper. That's why she didn't pass it off to someone else on the paper.

2) I've known quite a few people of all ages who actually don't own clothing that's suitable for an interview, church, a wedding, a funeral etc.

3) I assumed that she used Jose to take the pictures because he's also a friend and was a much better photographer than the ones who worked on the paper.


message 13: by Mes (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mes Cross Of course, Twilight was targeted toward teens, but there was no scope of romanticism that I was expecting. I am typically interested in Sci-fi versions of Romantic Harlequin novels. Essentially, I am interested in Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series. Very well written series.

I felt that the authors of the below listed could have just as equally fulfilled the romantic story without becoming repetitious with love scenes, keeping it overly G rated, or making 1 dimensional characters:

-Twilight
-50 Shades
-Hacker Series by Meredith Wild

I will start in that order. I wanted to see all of the hype about Twilight. The books were decently written, but the characters were flat. They had the pulse of a comatose patient. The love scenes (obviously not sexual) seemed dry. I didn't feel intensity when I read it. And of course, the PG scenes of sexual advances fall short of touching one another. They hardly even kissed.

50 shades was highly repetitive and the female character was a doormat. I don't intend for all female roles to be filled with a heroine, but I surely can't stand her being a doormat. Christian was stock full of personality, but the female role was spineless. The sex was interesting, but hardly considered anything more than vanilla. But more importantly, the scenes ended too soon and were repeated too frequently. I would have been pleased with one, drawn out, intricate sex scene, with the rest of the book laced with small excerpts.

Finally, the hacker series was great on book one. I had seen it advertised on Facebook. Some friends boasted it. It was supposed to be more kinky and intense than 50 Shades. I had to see the hype. I was hooked. I can honestly say it was thrilling. Then come book two. I got stuck. Kept pushing through chapters. Reading became a chore. I felt like I was reading the same thing from book one. Different story but same context. I lost interest and couldn't make it past that.

The best series I have read were Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series. I haven't read her other books, but I plan to. It seems that the books that make the public eye end up getting more credit than rightfully deserved. I think I will stick with books that don't hit the New York Best Seller Listings because I honestly can't see the attraction. I will stick with recommendations from this site, because they are much more accurate.


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