Friday, May 11, 2012
Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Author: E L James
Publisher: Vintage Books
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis: When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
Review: This is going to be a quick one since a lot of reviews have already been posted on this book and it seems like people tend to either fall into the "love it" or "hate it" camp where this book is concerned. Surprisingly, I fell into the "love it" camp.
What is most surprising about me liking this book are two things. The first is that before I even picked it up, I read a ton of reviews about it, especially the negative ones, and I went into it looking to hate it. The second being that upon starting the book, I could not help but correlate, in my mind, the character of Christian Grey to that of Patrick Bateman a la "American Psycho." When we see Christian buying rope and zip ties, the psycho alarms went off. When we heard about Christian's very clean, muted, sterile-feeling office and apartment, more psycho flags were waved. For me, Christian started at a negative 100 and worked his way up to about 50% on the "OMG WANT!" scale.
Christian, just like our protagonist Anasasia, was written really well - and I'm not talking about mannerisms, language, or avoiding cliches; there were plenty of those. For me, it was more of being able to understand why Ana was so confused about Christian, and why she struggled with what she wanted from him and their relationship. Unfortunately, it seems like the author is a little out-of-touch as to how a 21-year-old American college student would think, speak, and act - and that was a little annoying to read as someone who was, herself, once a 21-year old, English Lit majoring, college student. Like seriously, who uses "surname" in this day and age (in the U.S.)?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that the characters absolutely had their flaws - ones that had me eye-rolling (insert Christian spank), but those flaws did not make me any less emphatic to their situation.
Lastly, the book was undeniably a page-turner. I was held captive under its spell and I wanted to know more! Unlike other books I've read recently, I found myself wanted to read this whenever I had a free moment. The sexy scenes were sexy, but they didn't make or break the book for me. It was that longing to know what happens next that ultimately kept me coming back for more.
Overall, I had to give this three stars, in spite of all the problems it has because it did was a good book is supposed to do - it transported me directly into the story and made me a voracious reader. I'm absolutely going to be reading the rest of the series.