50 Shades of Grey

I finally finished the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy by EL James a couple of weeks ago. Have you read it yet? Did you know that it started out as a self-published, fan fiction finalist? It’s her take on Twilight. Isn’t that crazy? The whole time I was reading it I was thinking that it reminded me of the Bella/Edward love story…and then I found out that it was based on the Twilight saga. For those of you who are like me and don’t know what fan fiction is, it’s when fans take a popular story, like Twilight, and write their own twist and story based on the main characters. Isn’t that wild that her books have taken off like that?

Here’s what I didn’t like about the books:

1.) It’s weird. Really weird. Grey is weird and strange and scary. The whole idea of a man being a dominant like him and women volunteering for the job was really weird to me. I almost stopped reading the first book because I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I had to know what happened so I kept reading.

2.) I didn’t think it was particularly well-written. She uses the same words and phrases over and over again and that got annoying. But that might just be a quirk of mine; maybe it wouldn’t bother you. But there were times while reading that if I heard “bite your lip”, “foil packet”, “twitchy palms” or several other terms, I was going to scream.

3.) I thought Ana was kind of annoying. Sorry to those of you who loved her. Her whole “I haven’t eaten all day…whine, whine, whine” got old for me. I do think that her character became more likeable as the trilogy progressed. She was a little to petulant and sappy for me.

4.) It bothered me that the author’s British roots came out in her American story. Even though none of the characters are British, and it’s not set in Britain, she would use British phrases like “He was wearing a smart suit”. Things we don’t say in America and it just felt out of place. That’s probably just a quirk of mine too.

5.) Christian’s controlling nature was really scary. I can’t imagine a 22-year-old virgin who’d never been in a relationship before going for that. No matter how hot and rich he is. I found that unbelievable. Of course I thought it was weird in Twilight that Bella would date a vampire, so there you go.

6.) I couldn’t read it at breakfast. I love to read over a cup of coffee on the weekends. But this is definitely a nighttime book, if you get my drift. I felt weird reading it around the kids and if I read it during the day it got me all revved up!

Here’s what I liked about the series:

1.) The sex. Duh! It’s very erotic. I’ve never watched a porno or read erotic fiction before and I have to say, I liked it. There’s a lot of sex. All the time. And some of it is freaky. Very freaky. It’s a big turn on.

2.) Ana’s roommate Kate. She is spunky and level-headed and the only one that thinks it’s a little strange that Ana is so taken with Christian.

3.) The love story. I’m not a huge fan of love stories, but I liked this one. It progressed naturally and with drama. I enjoy drama.

4.) The author did provide some intriguing plot twists. I don’t want to tell you too much, but it’s not just a love/sex story. There’s more to it and that’s what makes it such a good read. That and the sex.

5.) The author did a great job with her supporting characters. Taylor the bodyguard, Ms. Jones the housekeeper, Ana’s parents and Grey’s family were all well-developed and enjoyable.

6.) It was different than anything I’ve ever read. Very unique.

7.) Did I mention the sex?

It’s definitely worth the read. I couldn’t stop reading which is a sign of a good book. I’d love to know if you read it and what you thought!!

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22 responses to “50 Shades of Grey

  1. I’ve only read the first one and I hated it. I hated it for all the reasons you disliked it. I couldn’t stand the Christian character and Ana was beyond annoying. I do agree, the sex was, well, sexy but Christian was beyond creepy. I liked the ending of the first book so much I can’t bring myself to read the other two.

    It took me about a month just to finish the first book. I started it, hated it so much, had to take a break here and there (I read all three of the Hunger Games trilogy during that break) and went back to it because I hate to start a book and not finishing it, even a book I hate.

  2. I’ve had several friends remark on the horrible writing, since I tend to get hung up (haha pun) on bad writing, I don’t think I’ll be able to read this and enjoy it. ): But the sex? AHHHH! Maybe I’ll have my husband read it to me so he can edit all the icky writing.

  3. Melanie Sheppard

    I got bored with the first book – but I really enjoyed how the story progressed in books 2 & 3. Hated the same phrases over & over but loved the characters – all of them!!! Laters, Baby ;)

  4. I’m not a huge fan of fan fiction. It’s a good writing exercise, but for me at least, the lack of originality is a turn off. I haven’t read the Grey books, nor any of the Twilight trilogy, and probably never will.

  5. I only read the first book. I didn’t like much about it, and agree wholeheartedly about the repetitiveness of her phrases. She used the word “clamber” approximately 239048324 times. And I agree that I didn’t like Ana at all, but that’s not surprising considering she was really Bella, who is also awful. ;)

  6. Tiffany – I think your review is spot-on. I definitely enjoyed the last two books more than the first one. I also grew tired of reading the same phrases throughout the books but, sometimes that’s how people talk too. I knew this series grew out of Twilight fan fiction but I didn’t realize that Ana was based on Bella. I enjoyed the Twilight series much more.

  7. I don’t know if I’m grown up enough to read it… hehehe! I do love Twilight though so of course I’m intrigued. This is definitely where the Kindle comes in handy – no one can see what we’re reading! ;)

  8. See, I’ve never read or see the twilight series, so i was taking this on blindly in that aspect. I absolutely LOVED the books. I have never, ever been so sucked into a book (no pun intended!), especially a series! While i did notice the repetition of phrases, I thought it was my little secret with the book b/c i knew what they were talking about, and it made it familiar. I would have never guessed the author was British either! like i said, totally was just reading it for what was on the page. The sex was very sexy for sure, and def. weird, but i thought the author did an incredible job of making me think it was ok. i totally accepted christian for who he was and loved his sexy side! oh….and i can’t wait to see the movie!!!

  9. If I may use a British phrase, your review is SPOT ON. Everything you said. Exactly. The most annoyingly overused terms to me: “my inner goddess,” and “my fifty shades.” but I can’t stop reading! I’m almost finished with #2.

  10. I also hated the first book. I am glad I didn’t pay for any of the series. I couldn’t stand Bella and I couldn’t stand Ana either. My favorite part of the first book was when it ended. However, I had to read the rest of the series, because I had started the series. Books 2 and 3 were definitely better. I totally agree with your review Tiffany.

  11. i noticed her using the same phrases over and over too. about the 3rd book it really started to bug me. the 1st and 3rd books were my favorites. the 2nd was kinda slow and predictable i thought. i agree with you that ana was whiney and needy and no way would she really be w/ a guy like christian. i liked her less and less as the books went on. i liked christian more and more. overall i really liked the books. probably bc of the sex! ;) btw- watch a porno!!!! :0

  12. Ok, so I just started reading it. I am only on page 50 but I already get what you don’t like about it. The author does use the same words and phrases over and that had already started to annoy me a little. One weird word that I cannot remember she used twice in one paragraph and I thought that was the first sign of bad writing. And I didn’t know she was British but I guess that explains why she keeps writing “unwell” when talking about how Kate was sick. No one in the US says someone was unwell!! That being said, I am enjoying the book so far and I haven’t even gotten to the sex yet!!!

  13. I’ve heard the writing’s bad and the sex is good. And I’m curious about the context of repeated “foil packet” mentions. Say what? Also … you’ve never seen a porno? Huh.

  14. I absolutely LOVED the books! I have never seen the Twilight movies or read the books so there that comparison was distracting to me. As far as the repetitive stuff; that’s how people talk. I know I have phrases that I use over and over, I think it makes the characters more believable. I have never been so addicted to a book let alone a series! I was def. hoping a Christian would knock on my door! Can’t wait for the movie!

  15. I absolutely loved all three books! I for one have not seen or read the twilight series that seems to be compared to 50 shades of grey. The characters were all made believable to the audience (speaking for myself). The character Christian was one screwed up dude but it made his role in the book much more interesting. Christian needed Ana in his life to make him a better person. As for Ana being Whiney and annoying…what can we expect from a 22 yr old inexperienced girl?I think she got sucked into his bs in the beginning but she definitely put her feet down with all the hard limits she wasn’t willing to participate in. And because she did that we saw her progress as a young woman. These books definitely kept my interest of course because of the sex! And also because there was an interesting story line. I know there are some tough critics out there but for me it was definitely worth reading and I hope there’s more interested readers out there.

  16. I’m just getting into book 3. I was waiting for your review before I started them – seriously! I completely agree with your review, by the way. Ana drives me crazy. Christian only made me crazy in the first book, now I’m ok. Of course I find it unbelievable that he changed his ENTIRE lifestyle in a matter of a few days…
    I’m impressed with her attention to detail. Her characters are well rounded. She doesn’t put something out there without addressing it again later in the book. I’m not disappointed that I read them. Sometimes a little smut is just what you need ;)

  17. This series wasn’t different and the plot twists weren’t surprising. Her phrases became monotonous and there were times I wanted to throw the f-ing book across the room if I saw another, “laters, baby” or “stop biting your lips Ms. Steele”. I am mortified that I read “fan fiction”. I remember this chick in my HS used to write Buffy Fan fiction and it was awful. I am angry that this book got so much hype and recognition when there are struggling writers out there with real talent. This book is for horny stay at home moms that have a drab sex life. There was TOO much sex in this book and not enough of a story line to keep me intrigued. The book was so terribly written that the sex scenes were even unbearable. None of it was erotic and I certainly wasn’t aroused. I had a hard time envisioning Christian. Usually the author paints a wonderful picture of the character and I immediately think of an actor that could suit the role. She describes Christian as having copper hair, a lean build and grey eyes. Yawn. I felt the characters were whiny, unlikable and annoying. I will not be reading the 3rd installment and I will not be reading anymore books this author produces.She’s a hack and need to buy a thesaurus.

  18. Erin VanDeusen

    thanks for putting that spin on the review…most people I have heard from either couldn’t stop raving about it or they absolutely hated it. I appreciate that maybe there are both sides. I only read the 55 page sample that I got on ibooks and didn’t buy it because from the get go I hated this Christian guy that friends were saying was “so amazing” I also thought the writing was horrible. I will say though that in 55 pages the book hadn’t gotten to any of the sex stuff yet and I am interested when you say it developed a bit more of a plot. Maybe I will give it a real chance this summer.

  19. I suggest that this will be a slow year for babies being names “Ana” or “Christian”

  20. Well i have not read them but my wife is halfway through the first book.
    And the bedroom gymnastics are so much improved i’m going to treat her to the other two.

  21. I read these after seeing your review and had to come back to comment. Yes the writing was awful, but I really enjoyed the books! And my boyfriend definitely reaped the benefits of me reading them, so I’d recommend anyone in a relationship to give them a try ;)

    One thing that bugged me about Ana was how “surprised” she always was when Christian flew off the handle. Um, he’s psychotic, what do you expect?! That got really old by the 3rd book. But I’d tell anyone to read them for the sex alone.

  22. Sorry that I am a late comer… Still in grad school and this was the first book of pleasure besides textbooks. The 1st book took time to get use to with that strange sex world and unstable characters. Nevertheless, the 2nd book was the best where love began to bloom and events got exciting. I am now on the 3rd book that has my head in a whirl with so many escapades; intriguing. As for the sex, call me dull, but I prefer the “vanilla” any day… I am just very, very disappointed that the movies isn’t using a true Black man as Christen.

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