Fifty Shades of Grey is a contemporary romance by E.L. James. Some may classify this book at BDSM or erotica but in the end, after reading the entire trilogy I think it’s more of a love story than it would be about BDSM or true erotica.
More than 100 million copies of this book have been sold worldwide. It is for that reason alone I felt I mind as well get around to reading it and writing up my own review. I mean, if that many people are reading it, I have to see what all the fuss is about.
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. This book is intended for mature audiences.
- Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
- Raina Rating: 8.5 out of 10
- Genre: Contemporary Romance – New Adult Romance – Erotic Fiction – BDSM
- Author: E.L. James
With everyone talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, I knew it was only a matter of time before I broke down and read it. I don’t really read a lot of erotic fiction and I’m even less interested in the subject matter of BDSM so that’s why I’ve held off on reading it until now. The first thing I found interesting about this book is that about 10,000 people rated this book with 5 stars at Amazon and yet almost an equal amount of people gave the book a 1-star rating. That’s a very strange mix. Normally a book is great and gets a ton of 5-star reviews with a few 1’s mixed in because let’s face it, not everyone likes the same thing. Or a book is horrible get a ton of 1-star ratings with a few 5 stars. But this book is unique … there seem to be just as many people that absolutely love it, that also absolutely hate it.
Genre-wise it fits into many categories. It is a contemporary romance novel, but it also fits nicely in the New Adult or Coming of Age category Anastasia is only 21. Of course with the heated sex scenes one might be tempted to put it into the Erotic Fiction category but quite honestly I’ve read far more erotic lovemaking scenes in romance novels. But then there is the BDSM aspect of the book and as a result, that pretty much automatically puts it into the erotic fiction genre, because bondage in any form is considered kinky or deviant behavior.
While I haven’t read the other books in the trilogy (so this might change) but based on this book alone, I would say it is most fitting in the New Adult or Coming of Age category.
Now let’s talk about the things that bothered me ….
The first is that her mother couldn’t come to her college graduation. HELLO?! Your kid just graduated from college and you have to stay home to care for your husband who is on crutches because he fell and twisted his ankle. Seriously? Let the jerk fend for himself for a few hours. College graduation is a big deal. What kind of mother would do this?
Next, I have the issue of a man who is to perfect. I hate when authors won’t risk giving their characters any real flaws. Someone posted this on Amazon about Christian Grey and I had to admit, it so perfectly summed up the problem.
About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old’s fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he’s not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he’s never working. Every second is spent having sex or texting and emailing the female character. His billions seem to have just come about by magic. It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their “dream man” and came up with Christian Grey.
It’s okay to want an amazingly sexy, strong lead but it will make him a better character to give him at least some realistic characteristic. This guy is just far to unbelievable and surprisingly most people who read fiction like that sense of realism. They seem to like to think that COULD happen …. Okay probably won’t, but hey it COULD.
Next, there is the issue of Christian Grey losing his virginity “at such a young age”. I hate to break it to the author, but it’s not uncommon for 15-year-olds to be having sex. That’s not really that young of an age. If she would have said 12 or 10, THAT would be young, but not 15, especially for a boy. And having sex with an older woman doesn’t make him a victim of abuse. Just ask Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Do you really think he felt abused banging Demi Moore, the older woman? Do you think he felt taken advantage of sexually? Of course not. Just because she is a virgin at 21 doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. That’s just silly and short-sighted.
My next complaint is about the emails. While I have no problem with the emails in general, I am annoyed that she includes a signature line. Seriously annoying. Is she paid per word or something? I bet if she took stupid email signature out it would cut the word count of the book down by like 5,000 words. Why did the editor to stay in the final draft? That just makes no sense.
Now that I’ve gotten the parts that annoyed me out of the way, it’s time to talk about the good.
Despite the few little annoyances, I thought it was a good story overall. Despite the subject matter, it wasn’t heavy on the kinky side. It was really just a love story between a powerful business man and a naive virgin chick he falls for.
This is at heart a love story between a rich, powerful man and normal girl. It’s not a book about the crazy sexy they have or his control issues. It’s more about the issues a couple has in a new relationship, trying to find out what works for them.