Friday, June 29, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: A Review

My friends wanted me to provide a review. I've been making cheeky little comments while I've been perusing the novel and calling it Fifty Shades of Smut, Fifty Shades of Barf, etc. However, E.L. James is laughing all the way to the proverbial bank after penning a wildly successful trilogy. (I've been working on my first novel for awhile-- it's an endeavor, so I respect the process.) So, really, who am I to judge? The writing is fair, and I do respect her for her success.
The book is a dark love story between a young college graduate (Anastasia Steele) and a mysterious billionaire (Christian Grey). The story revolves around the theme of dominance and submission. And since it's a book about erotica, there is a lot of sex. (Keep a bowl of dark chocolates ready.) I think there is a reason why the characters are very young, as Anastasia is 22 and Christian is 26 (or 27). Otherwise, characters my age (40+) may not have survived some of the scenes (unless they are fit). Pop your aspirin! Also, characters my age would make their own money so they wouldn't have to be bribed with cars and money.
Here's what I liked about the story:
  • The setting: Portland and Seattle
  • Good attention to detail and setting
  • Anastasia's character: clumsy, down-to-earth, intellectual
  • Anastasia's friends and family (except the one that hit on her)
  • Anastasia's old hippie vehicle
  • The sex scenes (some of them)
  • The email banter between Anastasia and Christian

Here's what I disliked about the story:

  • Christian: he needs hospitalization and pharmaceuticals
  • Spoken dialogue: went back and forth with the formal and informal. Seemed stilted.
  • Violence: there were a couple of scenes that bothered me.
  • Ending: I like all stories to be self-contained, even in trilogies Although it is clever marketing, I think it is disrespectful for the writer to leave the reader hanging. (As an impatient person, I don't like it.)
  • Layout of the book: editors! We need more white spaces, please.

I hope this helps you make an informed decision about checking this book out! Here is a link to her website:


Jenn Heidt said...

I have to say I agree for the most part your review. If a book allows the reader to lose themselves for a bit then the writer has done a great job. I will have to say that I thought she did a great job with Christian, I hated his attitude at times, I felt sorry for him at times and I cheered for him at times. He was an emotional/mental wreck who was hurt more by Mrs. Robinson and Anastasia was there to help in ways that his therapist couldn't. I enjoyed it as a fun way to get away from real life, which is why I read to begin with.

Lori said...

Good observations, Jenn! Perhaps I've been too hard on poor Christian. I'll give him another chance in the bext book. (Yes, I have it on reserve.) <3

Kendra said...

Very nice review, Lori! I especially think your teaser review with a link to your blog on Goodreads was very clever. :)

The aspect that kept my attention the most that you kind of hit on was the mind boggling phenomenon -- intelligent women who seem magnetized towards very bad men. It dumbfounds me in real life too, but at least in fiction no one is hurt.

Lori said...

Thank you, dear Kendy! I appreciate your feedback. <3

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