#21-23 A Review of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

As a book  blogger I think it’s VERY important to stay abreast of books that are causing a ton of buzz in the literary world.  With Twitter and Facebook it’s now easier than ever to spread the word about a book or books that you think are a MUST read.  As I was skimming the web the other day I noticed a ton of people in my Twitter feed talking about a book entitled Fifty Shades of Grey.  I didn’t think much of it, until I read the following NY Times article (Here).  I highly suggest you read that article before continuing on to read my reviews of all three books.  This review WILL have spoilers, so if you are planning on reading the books consider yourself forewarned.  ALSO – this is unlike my other reviews – there will be lots of snarkiness.  At the end of my review I’ve put together, with the help of my friend Tasha who runs the blog Truth, Beauty, Freedom, & Books, the “Fifty Shades Trilogy drinking game” (Note: not to be played by those who can’t control their liquor or are under 21.  We are not responsible for anything that happens to you should you play along.)

So, where to begin? Oh yeah – the plot.  All three books are really one story (where book one ends, book two picks right back up, etc) about the relationship between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan….I mean Christian Grey and  Anastasia Steele.  Yes, this story has MANY similarities to the Twilight series, but more on that later (again, sorry for the length of this review!).

Book one (Fifty Shades of Grey) focuses on the beginning of Christian and Ana’s relationship.  Ana is introduced to Christian when she interviews him for an article that will be in her college’s newspaper.  There are obviously sparks between them, but it isn’t until Christian shows up at Ana’s job a few days later that things start picking up.  A drunken phone call from Ana one evening sparks Christian into action.  He picks her up and brings her back to his hotel room, where he cares for her until the morning.  Nothing happens between them, but Christian tells Ana he can’t stay away from her. “Then don’t,” says Ana (oh hey Twilight…. how ya doing).  Fast forward a bit: Christian takes Ana on a date to his apartment where he proceeds to tell her about his secret sexual lifestyle, domination/masochism.  Ana is completely overwhelmed with this secret, but wants Christian so much that she agrees to try it out for him.  (This is probably a good time to mention that Ana is a virgin.  So really, her agreeing to be submissive to Christian isn’t weird AT ALL.)  A contract is drawn up between the two (you know, the standard contract you sign before you sleep with someone, stating they have full control over you – your clothes, grooming habits, what you eat, etc) and their relationship begins.  It’s difficult for Ana to get used to their relationship and all of Christian’s rules.  Book one ends with Ana leaving Christian after a particularly rough beating.  She makes Christian realize that his lifestyle is extremely messed up, and the fact that he gets off on causing her pain isn’t right.

Book two (New Moon… I mean Fifty Shades Darker) begins with newly broken up Ana and Christian.  They’re both seriously lost and depressed without each other.  When they get together to attend an art show Christian tells Ana that he has a new proposal for her.  He needs her in his life and is willing to try a normal relationship with her if she’ll learn to trust him and help him deal with his own issues.  She agrees and the two begin anew.  They begin a whirlwind romance that is a hybrid of their two lives.  Christian begins taking her on dates and loving her, while Ana attempts to take small steps at “fixing” Christian and understanding his sexual preferences.  Fifty Shades Darker also takes on a plot similar to Eclipse.  Ana begins working at a small publishing house that Christian winds up buying.  Christian fires Ana’s boss when he finds out that he is sexually harassing her.   Ana’s boss begins a vendetta against Christian that continues into book three, Fifty Shades Freed.  The main plot piece to take away from Fifty Shades Darker is that Christian is trying to face the demons of his past with Ana’s help.

Fifty Shades Freed finds Ana and Christian on their honeymoon.  This is probably a good time to mention that Christian and Ana got married after being together for about 2 months. I know, I know – why am I surprised?  Isn’t this a common love story?  Girl finds WAY messed up boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy can’t love girl because of his past, girl loves boy anyway, boy beats girl, girl and boy have lots of sex, boy begins looking at his past, girl still loves boy, boy begins telling girl he loves her, girl and boy get married, boy and girl live happily ever after. Blah blah blah – sex scenes – blah blah – throw in some Breaking Dawn unwanted/surprise pregnancy plot points, a happy ending, and you have the Fifty Shades Trilogy!

I’m not even sure where I should begin my discussion of the trilogy.  (Serious thoughts first)  I’ve lately learned that these novels started out as Twilight fan-fiction.  This I think is where my problem begins.  When I first read the Twilight novels I really enjoyed them.  Did I think Bella was a really wimpy heroine? Yes.  Did I think that Edward was a creepy stalker?  Yes.  But something about the story just….worked.  It’s now been 3 to 4 years since I’ve read the series and honestly I don’t think I could do it again.  I look back and think, Bella is the WORST role model for girls.  She becomes addicted to Edward and unable to live without him, as evidenced in New Moon.  The Fifty Shades trilogy elicits the same kinds of problems.  Ana has NEVER been in a relationship pre-Christian, and Christian has never been in a dominant/submissive “entanglement” before.  She finds herself attracted to him and is thrust into this world of messed up shit because she wants his approval and his love.  I’m sorry but being terrified of your significant other is not a good sign of your relationship.  Yes, Christian has serious issues, but who doesn’t?  His character is honestly the only believable thing in the entire series.  He has good reason for being the way he is and treating those around him the way he does.  He needs someone kind and compassionate like Ana, but at what cost?  Ana literally fears being beaten by him.  His temper and his sexual preferences become so intertwined that Ana cannot tell when he’s turned on or angry.  There is literally a line in one of the books where Christian tells her, “I wanted to beat the shit out of you.”  Ah…true love.  Man I wish someone would say those words to me.  I guess this is the crux of what my biggest problem with the series is.  The entire relationship is 1,000% unhealthy.  The first two and a half books have Ana and Christian deal with every problem by just having sex. (I’m not kidding. It’s like every sixth page they are having sex.)  I’m not shy with books that have sex in them, but this was just freaky.  Direct quote from the book, “you should see what I can do with a cane or a cat.” A CAT?! WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!  Shit is cray cray.

Ok take the sex out of it, there were still 1,000 other weird things about the book.  Ana’s Spanish friend Jose – randomly popping in and out of the story blurting out Spanish phrases.  The weird expressions that are used – I know the author is British, so some of the expressions are expected to be a bit out-of-place, but they really just threw me off sometimes.

I really really really wanted to root for Ana and Christian, especially after you find out his whole back story, but part of me couldn’t condone the relationship with Ana being frightened of him a good percent of the time.  I’m not really sure how you go from being scared the guy is going to beat you to suddenly agreeing to marrying him.  BIZZARO.  Or maybe I’m the bizarre person here?  Maybe I’m the freak who doesn’t think stalking is hot?  AHHH.  This series elicited strong reactions from me, more so than anything I’ve read recently.  Sure there were some really great parts (Christian’s secret planning of Ana’s birthday party, the care he gives her after her accident, etc) of the trilogy, but unfortunately not enough to outweigh all the weird shit that was going on for me to give them great reviews.  I will 100% admit though that something drew me to them.  Will I ever re-read these novels?  Probably somewhere down the line because honestly they made me laugh SO MUCH.  Although I may have laughed a lot more due to the Twitter conversations Tasha and I had over the course of my reading the three books…..  However, there is no denying that they are a guilt pleasure for sure.

Regardless of everything I’ve said above – if you read these books know that there is some freaky shit going on and prepare yourself for it.  You may like them, you may hate them, but you WILL have an opinion when you finish.  I can 100% guarantee it.

Now, without further ado: The Fifty Shades of Grey Drinking Game!!  Here are the rules!  You must drink when the following occurs:

  • Every time Christian stalks Ana
  • Every time Jose says something in Spanish for no reason
  • Every time someone bites their lip
  • Every time there is sex
  • Every time Ana’s subconscious does backflips or is mentioned
  • Every time Ana calls Christian “Mr. Grey” or “Fifty”
  • Every time Ana doesn’t realized another man is attracted to her
  • Every time there is a Twilight similarity
  • Every time it seems weird Ana doesn’t know how to use basic technology
  • Every time Ana rolls her eyes and Christian wants to punish her for it
  • Every time Christian nitpicks Ana for not eating
  • Every time Christian says “What are you doing to me?’
  • Every time Ana thinks about leaving Christian
  • Every time “SHOUTY” capitals are used
  • Every time the phrase “laters baby” is used
  • Every time there are “sparks” in an elevator
  • Every time the unborn baby is called “Blip”
  • Every time Christian is totally overprotective
  • Every time “Mrs. Robinson” is mentioned
  • Every time  Ana says “Holy ____”
  • Every time the word “more” is used
  • Every time Ana says “crap” or “double crap”

If anyone out there has read/decides to read the trilogy I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.  Tasha’s review is here and is much funnier than mine!  Whether you opt out of reading this trilogy or not, read Tiffany Reisz’s The Siren instead. (Here’s my review)  It showcases what a true BDSM lifestyle is like when both partners are willing and trusting.  (It also doesn’t hurt that the book is written 1,000 times better than Fifty)

Trilogy Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

This is my seventh completed review for the Around The Stack In How Many Ways Challenge

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Knopf Doubleday (2011)
eBook: 384 pages
ISBN: 9781612130293

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Knopf Doubleday (2011)
eBook: 394 pages
ISBN: 9781612130590

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
Knopf Doubleday (2012)
eBook: 451 pages
ISBN: 9781612130613

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80 thoughts on “#21-23 A Review of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

  1. Good grief! Sounds like I’m going to need therapy after reading those! I’m with you, I’m not shy about books with sex in them. I read romance novels all the time and some of them are a bit more erotic than others. I like to watch the transformation of a relationship in those books, not just the steamy scenes. However, I never got the concept of pain being a turn on. You are correct when saying it is basically Twilight except as the article goes more for older women. I don’t know. Haven’t read them myself, but by the plot line and as you stated, “the wimpy heroine”, it would probably leave a bad taste in my mouth. I love your drinking game! I can’t drink, but I will def. suggest it to my friends who can and who are reading buffs! Great Post Kim and I didn’t mind the length. You captivated me all the way through so I didn’t notice!

  2. Now I get why everyone was talking about lady porn in combination with these books *moment of realisation* I love myself a bit of Twilight, though, hmmmm… To buy or not to buy is the question, I guess!

    • I enjoyed Twilight when I first read it, not so much anymore. Fifty shades trilogy takes everything abnormal about Bella and Edward’s relationship and puts it into a relationship of “normal” (non-vampire/supernatural) people and tries to make it ok. The stalking? Not ok. The “you’re the only person ever, even though I’ve never been with anyone else”? Weird.

      But yes, it’s definitely lady porn LOL

      I say read it. If for no other reason than it will make you laugh!

  3. If it’s the same story as Twilight, with more sex and no blood-sucking (maybe?), then it’s not fanfiction. It’s a ripoff. I hate Twilight (I read the first 4 pages and wanted to tear my eyes out, then I was forced to watch the first movie and almost burned my sister-in-law’s house down), and I hate this – will never read it.

    BDSM only works if both parties are into it and know what they’re doing. This is just an abusive relationship. The fact that women are gushing over it and some feel it’s injecting a sexual spark back into their marriage is sickening.

    Sorry if I sound judgmental, but I’m not sorry if I do sound judgmental.

    That drinking game sounds dangerous and like it’d end in an ER visit for a stomach pump and saline drip. 😉

    • Haha no blood sucking here!

      And yes – this is an abusive relationship because of her reluctance. If anyone is looking for an intriguing look into BDSM I suggest watching the film Secretary. Much better than this plus the transition of submissive person to “one and only” makes a LOT more sense.

  4. I laughed long and hard when I read this review (thank you for that!). A few days ago, my sister mentioned she’d just finished this book, and she said it was “…interesting…” (conversational pauses implied by ellipses). She lent it to me and said that I should read it but that it was pretty weird. Then I saw your review. I think I’ll read it even though it sounds absolutely terrible. I’m hoping it will be like the book version of Mystery Science Theater 3000…

    LOVE the drinking game, by the way (do I have to take a shot for using shouty caps?).

    • HA I’m so glad you enjoyed the drinking game. Should you use to play, please make sure an ambulance is standing by. I keep telling everyone to read it so that I can discuss and laugh with them about it!

      “…interesting” is the perfect way to describe this book. Pregnant pauses are 100% necessary when discussing it.

  5. Okay, Kim, I am freaked out. I appreciate your detailed review, but … yuck. It was obviously entertaining enough to keep you reading through 3 books, so… I am puzzled why you kept going? I am amazed that you did, considering it only rated 2 stars. You are very honest and generous reviewer when you love a story, so I hope it was worth it for you. I would not read a 2 star book again, so you are a stronger woman than I.

    Customers have been asking at work about this series for the past week. Random House will be publishing it on April 3rd. I think it was self pubbed before that. The eBook is still available. How did it hit the radar and why is everyone talking about it? Sensationalism? It’s classified in romance, and it sounds quite provocative and weird. I agree from your description that it sends a wrapped message. Does it have a positive ending to redeem all the weird stuff?

    • LOL yes, lots of yuck. I stuck with all three because books 1 & 2 don’t really have “endings” – like book one ends abruptly, leading me to continue on to book two. By the time book two ended I was invested enough to need to know the end of the story to figure out if it was worth it. That and the fact that it made me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed at a book before. (There is a running commentary through all three books about Ana’s subconscious and how it’s doing the lambada and a full Olympic gymnastics routine that is just ridiculously hysterical – the longer the books went on the harder I was laughing at that part)

      Apparently it started out as Twilight fan fiction that was posted chapter by chapter on the web. Enough people enjoyed it and a small indie publishing house in Australia picked it up. As people started reading it they were recommending it, leading it to the NY Times bestselling eBook list for 3 weeks in a row. I heard about it from some friends, Twitter, and also the NY Times article I linked to in the review above.

      It definitely fits the romance category, but is filled with submissive/dominant/sadist/masochistic sex. There are definitely things that happen in the book that I’m like – whoa, that’s enough of that – with.

      There is a happy ending, but the whole journey to get to that moment was filled with confusion. I say everyone should read it, just to play my drinking game with it – HAHA

  6. I stumbled across your review of the Fifty Shades trilogy last night when I was trying to find spoilers to the series because I wasn’t sure I actually wanted to read the books. Then I saw your drinking game and shit got real. I cracked open a bottle of vodka and got to work. Long story short, I woke up this morning out of vodka. Also, I still can’t find my kindle. I don’t know why I thought I was fit for the task since I normally average 4-5 drinks a year, but all in all I would say it made for a pretty amazing Monday night.

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  8. A “cat” is a cat of nine tales, a type of whip that the Edward character mentioned in the first book as having in the red room of pain. These books diss appointed me so. Wish I had my $$ back.

    • Can I tell you how much I love you for explaining the cat comment?!!? I was SO freaked out when I read that. I was like a cat…I don’t even want to know. Now that I know what it means I feel a LOT better!

      As much as I’d like my money back the book gave me too many laughs to be upset about!

  9. Hilarious review! Just spent this wet and grey holiday weekend reading the first two books and wondered what it is about this caveman type of male/female relationships that is so popular! You got it spot on!!!

  10. Might I add taking a drink every time she thinks “crap” or “double crap”? I nearly stopped reading just because of that and the constant references to her inner goddess. It definitely read as fanfiction but that’s what I went into it thinking so I wasn’t disappointed.

  11. It was so refreshing to read your take and if I followed your drinking game I would have been passed out before I got through the first third of the first book. I am not exactly sure why after reading the first one I read the remaining two because I couldn’t hardly get over the awful writing, truly awful, and the relationship was f’d up. I couldn’t decide if I wanted them to be a successful couple or not. I mean what self-respecting woman would act like her? You are completely right Christian was the only character that made sense and he was supposed to be the broken one, go figure. Awful like a car wreck, horrific site yet still attracts the eye.

    • HAHA, yes the drinking game could be deadly if played with the entire book. I kept reading after book one because the trilogy was written as one long story, which was then cut up by the publisher into three books. I felt that in order for me to give the story a true chance I had to read the whole thing. Of course there was a ton of hair pulling to get through it, but I’m glad I read the entire thing. People can’t accuse me of just giving up!

      The more and more I talk to people about this series the more and more I dislike it. The whole tampon scene, the ending of the first book and Christian’s reaction to her response to it; ah it’s all too much.

      Glad you enjoyed my review 😀

  12. Hey!

    I have to say, that I am very satisfied with your review. You are the only person, which seems to mention the many things that popped into my head. Every review that I have read, has been gushing over how perfect they are for each other, and how poetic this book is.
    I almost yelled “YES THANK YOU” when I read your review!

    I just finished reading the second book, and I did write a review to the first. I had wayyyy too much of an opinion on it to not write a review. And will probably write one for the second as well. Just wanted to say that your review made me smile- because everything you wrote is SO TRUE!

    Thanks!

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  15. Hey! Awesome review by the way…and soooo true! I just finished the first book and I was checking out reviews and spoilers because I honestly couldn’t be bothered to read the next two. There’s definitely something that makes you want to read on, but I don’t think I can stomach another two books of spankings and WTF moments 😛 thanks for the review tho, told me all I wanted to know about the whole trilogy 😀
    PS the subconscious and inner goddess made that book!!! I think there should be a spinoff solely devoted to them!
    PPS my inner goddess is doing a solo conga at the thought of the drinking game while my subconscious has already passed out behind a sofa!

  16. I just finished the second book, and so far I’m hesitant to continue. I knew about the book starting as “Twilight ” fanfiction about halfway thru the first book and the similarities had me laughing. I like to read erotic novels and from the ones I have read they may only have 2-3 sex scenes on average. So with the first “Fifty” novel I was like yeah more sex,but by the end of the second one I was tempted to skip the sex parts. Really? Show me a Guy with that stamina without viagra.I’m not sure if I want to read the last one.
    Another rule to your drinking game whenever you read the word “more”.

  17. If u read between thee lines and over the sex, this is really a good romance novel! All the comments below reveal how ana wasn’t a submissive! Exactly that’s the moral of the story! She wasn’t meant to be and brings Christian to ” the light”! Everything Ana does in this relationship is consensual, even the beating she took that made her leave! She consented to it… She may not be a submissive as he hoped but he is willing to try anything once! As far as it giving girls a false of what a relationship should be, if u can’t be a big girl enough to know when u r in a bad relationship then u shouldn’t be old enough to read such dirty words in this book! I am starting the third book and myself would rate it 4 out of 5, missin it’s last star for all the pain and torture I went through trying read this grammar nightmare!! Where was the editor here! Jeez!!

  18. Hey Kim- Great review. I found this book difficult to read because I couldn’t connect with either protagonists. To me Ana seems weak (first relationship and doesn’t know anything) then there is Christian who appears to be an ass. The whole time I was rooting for Jose just to hear more random Spanish phrases “Que pasa Chica?” I’m really glad that E.L James put her Spanish dictionary to good use for this book. Not only was the plot terrible the writing was worse. I can appreciate a bad plot if the writing works but I felt as though I was getting dumber reading this. I am with you on the whole reading what is trending just so I can form my own opinions on the novel but I am so often dissapointed. I think you really hit the nail on the head with this series. Again good analysis here!

    • Thanks!! Yeah both protagonists were cray cray. I don’t understand how Ana was graduating college and never had an email address or a laptop? And had no knowledge of sex whatsoever. It’s fine that she was a virgin, some people save themselves, but the fact that she was completely clueless about it all was so unrealistic.

      OMG Jose was hysterical. You’re right – the Spanish dictionary got some great use HA!

      You make a good point about how good writing can sometimes help along a bad plot. I tend to agree with you here. Fifty was bad plot + bad writing = a nightmare. Yikes.

      Thanks for your comments!

  19. I have found that the people who didn’t like the first book didn’t really make it though it all. If I would have stopped reading like I wanted to then I wouldn’t have realized that he changes for her. The BDSM yes I am not a fan of and quite frankly discusts me BUT that was his old life before ana and he is willing to stop for her which you quickly learn in the second book. I will say their dire need for each other is rather annoying they are always feeling the need to cry about how much they can’t live without each other and that type of co dependent relationship is not attractive. Neither is his over protective, stalking, self consious and bossy self. That being said even with those Annoyences I found the books interesting and worth reading. Would I read them again? Probally not. Would I Reccomened them to a friend? Depends on the friend haha if someone is looking for a book to test their relationship limits and a book that’s Definitally going to make them have something to talk about then sure 🙂 but it is weird that these 3 books are selling like wildfire… I think more people are reading out of curiosity over all the hype than actually because of the story line.

    • I felt that in order for me to give it an honest assessment I needed to read all three. (Damn me for being so anal HA!)

      My experience with BDSM prior to Fifty was from a film called Secretary. (I highly suggest it) Anyway, having knowledge of what that relationship is/could be like is what made me have such a strong reaction to the BDSM in Fifty. It’s truly not consensual. Ana is a virgin and has NO knowledge of what the relationship between pain and pleasure is like. Her saying yes to the playroom should not have been taken as her acceptance. How can you accept something without truly knowing what it is? Words on a contract are meaningless without the knowledge behind those words. Christian should have eased her into that lifestyle slowly, not thrown that cray cray contract and been like boom – sign it!

      Their dire need for each other is over the top. Ana knows nothing else besides Christian! How are his thoughts and opinions the only ones that matter all of a sudden?

      The wildfire sales absolutely baffle me. I think you’re right though with it being driven by curiosity. I know that’s why I read!

      Thanks for your comment!

  20. I agree with your feelings towards the Twilight Saga. I, too, was drawn in by the story… So much so that I even ignored the fact that Bella was so spineless and Edward was a pedophile. But after about 6 months I realized what a shitty series it was. And now, 3 years after that dreadful mistake, I have never regretted something more. Thanks for the heads up though! I still kinda wanna read Fifty Shades… At least the first book just to see what everyone’s been on about. But I know not to set my expectations too high! Thanks a lot! I love your blog! First time commenting though! 🙂

    I started a blog about books as well… I’d love it if you would be kind enough to give it a read! 🙂
    http://themorbidreader.wordpress.com/
    Thanks!

    • Andrea, thank you for your kind words! I wish you well on your new blog too!

      I totally agree with you about Twilight. Looking back I go, “UGH” and then continue on with life HA!

      Fifty Shades is worth reading for the laughs alone. The inner goddess monologue is so hysterical. Backflips, the lambada, etc. She can do it all!

      Good luck if you read it!

  21. Thanks for the review and especially the drinking game. I could see getting some friends together, with drinks, and reading Book 1 out loud.

    I’m also grateful for your review so that I don’t have to read the other two books. There wasn’t quite enough plot here to justify spending a whole day reading it. But I was curious.

    And I have to say that I’m glad to see BDSM in mainstream literature, and especially glad to see the explicit emphasis on its consensual nature. The refreshing thing about the BDSM community is the negotiation that (when things are done right) takes place before anyone touches anybody. That said, tying Christian’s proclivities to the broken parts of his personality does a disservice to the kinky activities in general. Lots of people who are not sick or damaged in any way enjoy this kind of power exchange, and it can lead to very deep emotional intimacy when it works well.

    Thanks too for recommending Secretary. It kind of makes the same mistake of tying kinkiness to people who are mentally disturbed in some way, but aside from that it presents sexual freedom in a very positive and engaging light.

    Great review

    • HAHA! That would definitely be a party!

      Secretary is a great film! I hope you enjoy. I’d also highly recommend The Siren by Tiffany Reisz as well. FAB rendition of a what a consensual lifestyle is like. It even helps those who are not into that lifestyle (aka me) to understand it a little more.

      Thanks again for all your kind comments!

  22. Really bored with Shades trilogy. Barely made it through first book. Second one I skimmed. i can’t bear to read the third. Why? Not even because of his psycho controlling behavior but because they are always mad at each other! They are never happy and it gets soooo old to read about it. The witing is not that great and too much “flush”. I have no idea what that means and I am sick of it. The sex and passion would be oh so much better id hey really enjoyed each other’s company. I see divorce in their future. What a waste of a read.

  23. I totally agree with all the above comments but with addition to a few more irritating quotes both of the characters say a ridiculous amount of times including; >I love u don’t ever leave me > I love u I will never leave u > twitchy palms > ana wondering if she will get used to being rich >your mine/im yours >how hot he is in that top/those jeans etc etc etc. I really liked the underlying ‘story’ (if it really has one?) and I could have been so much better, by why on earth the author felt a compulsion to repeat the same quotes so many times is beyond me! I was so bored by book two when things started going too lovey lovey and the sex got BORING and again repetative I also didn’t like how most of the characters are rip offs from twilight and how they got married and he didn’t want a pre-nup after a few months but despite all this I didn’t put the trilogy down for 5 days and felt totally compelled into reading it all…..????

  24. I read all three book in just a few days ( sad I know) A friend of mine told me that they were good books and I would love them ! After reading them I told her she is lucky I love her enought to still be friends with here!!!! I agree with your review on the 3 books! It’s very much like an adult twilight but written A LOT worse !! The book never REALLY follows the bdsm

  25. Just one comment. Though I agree with the opinions on the characters., the plot etc. , you probably should have been more educated about the BDSM lifestyle before writing this particular blog. The comment on “You should see what I can do with a cane or a cat.” If you had been in the know about the lifestyle, you wouldn’t have made such a blatantly ignorant remark on it. The “cat” is not referring to an animal, but a cat-o-nine-tails. Which, for lack of a better term, is a whip. It is a long, plaited whip that generally has nine leather strands on the end, sometimes naked or beaded.

    • I don’t think it’s ignorant to not know every veiled reference in this book and how it relates to the BDSM world. Most people I know reading these books aren’t familiar with all BDSM toys and practices either. In my opinion these books aren’t a good representation of the lifestyle anyway. Since reading these I’ve spoken with erotica writers and readers who 100% agree with me. I’d be ignorant if I instead choose to never read erotica again, or never try and learn about the terminology for future readings. Books are about learning and growing both intellectually and personally and I feel that by continuing reading erotica I’m doing this. Thanks for your comment.

      • That cat comment was also confusing to me. I thought he was talking about a real cat! Am glad that wasn’t the case. I did spent quite some time looking for the meaning of it in the internet, searching for “sadists and cats.” Now I can move on with my life! Thanks.

  26. But P.s. The drinking game is hilarious. It touches on every point that made me grit my teeth, eyeroll, and just plain snort at the pure ludicrousy and ridiculousness of the writing.

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  28. “Cat” probably refers to a “cat-o’-nine-tails,” a type of whip. Catwoman used to carry one in the comics, I believe. I have no intention of reading *Fifty,* but I enjoy reading blogs that make fun of it.

  29. Are these books literary masterpieces? No. Would I want my daughter reading them? Heck to the No! Did I get a kick out of having a conversation about the books with a gaggle of over 60 + ladies at the gym? Heck yeah.

    Honeslty, these books are written for women like me. Been with hubs 10+ years, busy working mom, just turned 40. I have recommended them to the moms,I know as a way to spice things up. Ladies, don’tudge me too harshly. 🙂 But somedays, the thought of someone telling me what to eat and what to wear sounds kinda nice.

  30. Oops! If you want to just delete my previous (and this) comment as redundant, I’ll understand. But I thought the cat comment in your post was great, by the way.

  31. Pingback: Charlie’s Review of Meridienne Drake: Secrets of the Truth (Meridienne Drake #1) by Jessica Dragon Cheramie « Reflections of a Book Addict

  32. This was the best Fifty Shades Review i have read so far. Even though i disagree with your overall opinion of the book, i still enjoyed your review and it made me laugh so much, especially the comments about the cat! LOL!
    I agree that it might send the wrong message about women and their needs but you forget that Anastasia is intelligent and consenting. She is curious and deeply attracted to this guy with “stalking tendencies” and everything signals to her to say no but she still can’t help herself. I find THAT fascinating because i can relate to that emotional dichotomy (having lived it) E.L James described that emotional turmoil well and with a good sense of humor, redundantly maybe but it was still well written. So yes, I loved it and am a little embarrassed to say that i read it twice. Now i do admit that i love romantic novels from Jude Devereaux or Twilight but i also enjoy a good historical novel from Isabel Allende to other excellent novels from Jeffrey Eugenides or Anita Shreve. You claim to hate it but you had to find it somewhat entertaining enough to finish the trilogy and have such visceral response to it. I agree that it was too Twilight-like, cheesy sometimes, overly sexual and centered around negative social archetypes; HOWEVER, for some readers like me who sometimes wanna just a feel good experience instead of a brainy one, that was excellent. The way a good indulging cheesecake make you feel after a nice workout: you know it’s counterproductive but damn you want it and you deserve it. I loved it, recommended it, and might read it again.

    • Thanks for the comment, Fana! I wound up finishing the trilogy (even after disliking book one) simply because I was told that the book was written as one long story originally and that the publisher wanted to split it into three. I felt like reading all three would maybe make the story “better” or make it make more sense to me. I didn’t think book one was a completed book AT ALL. Like the ending left me with a big “huh?” I then thought ok maybe the publisher didn’t do so great of a job with choosing where to end the story for each book and that they really do need to be read as one big story. Unfortunately after reading all three that didn’t help change my opinion either.

      I still can’t 100% agree that the relationship was totally consensual. In the beginning it definitely wasn’t, I’ll grant you that it was later on. She was scared of that playroom and what he would do to her in it. In my opinion if your inner monologue is thinking “omg, holy crap what is this guy going to do me?” that isn’t consensual. That’s fear keeping you in a position you don’t really want to be in. Now if you were like ready to melt and quiver because you are super turned on, “omg, holy crap blah blah blah” that’s a different story.

      The more and more time that goes by and I think back on these books the more and more I dislike them. I highly recommend you read Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series instead. A TRILLION times better.

  33. Pingback: #109-110 Gabriel’s Inferno & Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard « Reflections of a Book Addict

  34. Your review of Fifty shades was hilarious and echoed my thoughts exactly. I’ve only read the first book but have a strong desire to read the other two ONLY so I can feel better about freely expressing my opinion on it because you can’t hate on the whole series if you didn’t read all the books. My best friend said she actually enjoyed the 2nd one so maybe there’s hope? Just kidding. Great review.

  35. I have to agree, best review I’ve found out here on the internet! Thanks for the laugh, I finished book one and thought I wasn’t going to read the other two, but I just finished two, and am starting three. Guess I need to see how this ends. I must say I feel like these were written by a teenager rather than a grown woman. I’ve come to the conclusion, should I want to read something “erotic” again, I will stick to what I know is an amazing trilogy, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure. 😉 Thanks again for the great laugh that is your review of the series!

  36. Pingback: Fifty Shades of Eh… | The Morbid Reader

  37. Pingback: Kim’s Review of The Marriage Merger (Marriage to a Billionaire #4) by Jennifer Probst | Reflections of a Book Addict

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