Okay, I know many women that I love and find to be brilliant and wonderful souls loved these books.
It took me nearly 2 months to get through the first book. I’m usually finished a book in two or three days tops. I just couldn’t read it. I forced it down like it was brussell sprouts.
And it’s taken me a while to write an actual review because I couldn’t really put my finger on what bothered me about it. I’ve given it a lot of thought and come to some conclusions.
1. I’m really fed up with the whole bad boy/good girl bullshit. I blogged about this before, as a warning to Lala & Loopsy. Seriously, women of the world, if a man TELLS you flat out that he’s bad news, guess what? He’s BAD NEWS! If you think that you’ll be the one to change him, you’re kidding yourself. Why do you want a fixer-upper man anyway? Blech.
2. Ana Steele is a hypocrite. She clearly enjoys everything Christian exposes her to. Clearly. But then she whines about it. He stalks her, oops, I mean shows up uninvited, buys her expensive gifts that make her uncomfortable, asserts control over her diet and health care and exercise habits, etc, etc. She is annoyed, but as soon as she is with him, she’s completely swept away and forgets she’s annoyed. That is, until he leaves and she remembers again. Ugh. Girlfriend, please! You LOVE it. All the control, the gifts, the red room of pain… You just don’t want to admit it. Enjoy yourself. Give in if you want. Why fight it? If it really bothers you, walk the fuck away. There are other fish in the sea, kid. Fish that don’t want to do you because you look like his crack whore mother.
3. Oh yeah, Christian’s a nutcase. I don’t mean because he’s into domination/submission. Kink is kink, everybody has their own flavor.. I mean because he doesn’t try to heal his wounds, but wallows in his 50 Shades of Crazypants Mommy Issues. (This isn’t really delved into in the first book, but I’ve heard about it in the other two). And he knows Ana is a fresh faced virgin, never even had a boyfriend before, and he’s apparently much older and wiser, a successful business tycoon. Yet he still thinks its okay to try to force her into his madness. A man his age, especially one who knows from the get-go that he’s “no good for her” should just freakin walk away!!! There are plenty of loony toons his own age, in his own “lifestyle” to play his games with.
4. There is no story. At least in Book One. They meet, they screw, they break up. Huh. That’s all ya got? No one grows or changes. There is no big revelation, no a-ha moment. Ana is basically the same insecure wishy washy chick on the last page as she was on the first page. Except instead of being frustrated that her hair won’t do what she wants, she’s frustrated that Christian won’t be who she wants. *sigh* Wah.
5. I get that the extravagance of his gifts and all of that is appealing. Who doesn’t want some rich, handsome man to buy them a car, a laptop, a blackberry, take her to the best restaurants, drink the best wines, take helicopter rides, go gliding as the sunrises… I get that the sex scenes are tantalizing in their own way. Most people don’t regularly indulge in that behavior, so reading about Ana & Christian lets them experience it safely. But really, all in all, I just don’t get why peeps love these books.
I won’t be reading the other two books. I prefer to imagine this epilogue:
Ana never hears from Christian again. She returns all the gifts, except for the books, just as a reminder of her first love affair.
She gets therapy to work out the mess that was left in her soul from her brief, passionate, hazardous experience.
She also gets that dream job in publishing, meets a mature, loving, generous man (One who freely gives her his heart and affection). They fall honestly in love (note I don’t say madly, I mean, come on now). She decides to finally sell those rare first edition books to pay for their wedding. They get married and have babies and grow older together, being the best of friends, and the most equal of lovers.
One day, she’s at a street fair with one of her daughters. They are at a used book stand, and out of habit, Ana looks for an early edition of whatever that book was.
“Mommy, there’s a creepy man staring at you across the street…”
Ana peeks up from the old copy of Northanger Abbey she’s been perusing and locks eyes with Christian Grey for the first time in 15 years. Her heart flutters a bit and she smiles.
He takes a step towards her, off the curb and barely misses being hit by a cab. He gets his bearings, heart beating, looks up and Ana is gone…
Ana walks over to where her husband and their other children have been watching some musicians perform.
“See anything interesting, babe?” He asks
“Nah. Not a thing.” She replies, taking his hand and kissing his cheek.