Living With Don Johnson

50 Shades Review

Posted on: August 21, 2012

I finished 50 Shades of Grey on Saturday night, and I’m just now sitting down to write my review. I could, essentially, sum the entire book up in one sentence like I did on Facebook. 50 Shades of Grey is a pornified version of Twilight. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that it started as fan fiction. That being said, I’ve always encountered fan fiction that expanded on the story or the characters rather than just renaming the characters and retelling the story. I found several lines in the book that were pretty much copied directly out of Twilight.

I didn’t feel like there was any character development throughout the book. The female lead, Ana Steele, is a contrived stereotype of every classic literary heroine out there.  She’s a virgin, never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, and all of those other “good girl” qualities that we’ve come to expect. She can’t fight off the advances of an overly romantic friend, so she winds up being rescued by Christian Grey.

I found Christian Grey, the male lead [who the books are titled after], to be a compilation of both the hero and the villain. I don’t know if this was the authors plan, but I found myself annoyed by his, oh, let’s just call if a bipolar personality. He’s quick to go from one extreme to the other. Christian obviously wants to pursue Ana, but it is much more than wanting to pursue her. He wants to possess her and think for her. Due to the human sexuality class I had a TAMUCT, I’ve done some research on the BDSM lifestyle. (Yes, that was an interesting class. We actually had to read erotica and discuss what themes were going on and whatnot. It was actually an interesting class, and I learned a lot. But, I digress.) I know that in the Dom/sub lifestyle, there is a pattern of the Dom thinking and making decisions for the sub. I get that part of it. However, Christian decides that he wants to control Ana’s choices outside of their relationship.

The sex scenes I found to be just so-so. I think I’ve heard better descriptions of sex sitting in the ladies locker room at a gym. Although, I did read a section to Don, and he thought it was pretty decent. But, this is my review and my thoughts, so we aren’t going to include Don’s thoughts on the books. I understand stream of consciousness, and it has its use in writing. But, I don’t like it so much in these scenes. I feel like I’m inside the mind of someone with ADHD or a toddler. Things start to go in one direction, and I think “Okay, this has potential” and then all of a sudden she’s focusing on something else.

There were a few spots in the book where I thought the author was on to something, and I started to get intrigued. I wanted to know more. Most of those moments happened during the email exchanges between Ana and Christian. I think I liked those moments the best because they were playful moments, and they were moments where we started to have some character development. The emails were the only spots where I started to care about the characters. It’s the spots where James attempts to delve into what makes Christian tick that are the most interesting. I think that if she had pursued the book from Christian’s point of view and given us more information about Christian that the story would have been amazing.

Would I recommend the book? Meh. Perhaps if you had run out of cereal boxes to read. Was it worth the ten bucks I spent on it? Not really.

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