From the Trade Paperback editionFifty Shades of Grey by E L James
Published by Vintage, an imprint of Random House

I wasn’t even going to talk about this book on the blog. I’m almost embarrassed about the fact that I broke down and read it. I decided to read it on vacation when I was having an impossible time concentrating on the book I planned to read (The Shadow of the Wind, which turned out to be excellent, and which I’ll be talking about next week). I’ve told just about everyone I know that I refuse to read this trilogy, but I finally decided I should at least try to read the thing before continuing to criticize everything about it.

So I read it. In about a day and a half. I have to admit, it’s a quick read. Maybe that’s the appeal? I don’t know, but what I do know is that looking back I feel like I wasted my time on a poorly-written, badly characterized, and entirely too repetitive book.

Now I really don’t care about the sex scenes. BDSM isn’t my thing, so I can’t say I was turned on by all the spanking and other, ahem, interesting things that Christian is into, but these things don’t bother me. What did bother me, however, was the truly awful writing. I highly doubt it is necessary to describe in excruciating detail every single thought that floats through Anastasia’s head, or every single time Christian tells her to stop biting her lip, or every single second of their relationship – what he did, how it made her feel, how she reacted, etc., etc., etc. Too much. Way, way too much.

And also, Christian’s BDSM preferences aside, the guy is a complete and total creep. Maybe there are some women out there who like to be controlled, who like to be told what to do and when to do it, who to see and especially who not to see, but I am definitely not one of those women. If I had a daughter and she wanted to be with a guy like this I would have to beg her to stay far, far away from him. And again, not at all because of the sex – whatever, if that’s what he likes okay fine, if he can find someone who’s willing to comply. It’s the creepiness, the almost-stalking, the demanding, all of that. Yuck.

So no, I didn’t like the book. Admittedly, I couldn’t put it down. Which is hilarious because I was making fun of it the entire time I was reading, telling my mom how ridiculous I thought it was and how much of an ass Christian was, and how if I read the words “oh, my” one more time I would throw the book into the pool, but there you have it – I flew through the book. Like I was saying, maybe its ease of access is part of the appeal? Or maybe it’s the fairy tale like fantasy of having a guy with unlimited money and the ability to “take care of” you? I don’t know. I don’t really get it, and I won’t be finishing the rest of the trilogy.

Did you read Fifty Shades? What did you think?