Fifty Shades of GreyAuthor:
Horror... at least, it's a horror how bad this was!Rating:
This is not my typical review... just a warning... Bad books tend to make me verbose.
I'd actually pretty much managed to miss most of the controversy surrounding 50SoG when I first picked it up (because I've been living under a rock apparently) but a friend recommended it to me and as I generally like the same books as this friend, I thought I would give it a shot... Now I wonder what I ever did to her to deserve this...
Let me make it clear - I do not, as a rule, mind books that were originally fanfics. Some fanfic takes place in alternative universes, and work perfectly well as books in their own right. Some of these have fantastic writing, and deserve to be published as original fiction.
This is not one of those books.
This book is quite possibly the worst book I have EVER read. It even surpasses The Christmas Wish by Karen Farrell Jaworski
, something I would never have thought possible. In fact, the only reason I finished it was so that I could get to write this scathing review since some of you have said I'm too nice in my reviews and never pick books apart. Don't say I don't make any sacrifices for you ;-)
To those of you who have been living together with me under that rock, 50SoG is a very, very poorly disguised Twilight fanfic which takes all the worst aspects of Twilight as seen by Twilight-haters, magnify them beyond recognition, and put them back together in this alleged "homeage" to Twilight. Yes, that's right. An avowed Twilight fan has done more damage to the reputation of the series than all the arguments from all the rabid haters I've ever read. I never found Edward and Bella's relationship abusive in any way, and I hate the way it's being sullied by this comparison to Christian and Ana. *shudder*.
Seriously, I'm reading this book so you won't have to. Do yourself a favour and trust me on this. You do NOT want to read this book. Don't let my sacrifice have been in vain. I can't BELIEVE this drivel is being made into a movie!
Ana is ridiculously naive and "innocent" to the point of being completely unbelievable. She's a 21-year-old with the sexual maturity of a young 12-year-old, and has managed to complete college without owning or even having access to a computer, and without having an email address!!! Yes, you read that right. And this is a contemporary book we're talking about, so we're talking the 21st century... Not the early 1990s. Okay, I know I was an early adapter, but I've had my own email address since I was 13 and stopped sharing Dad's...
Oh, but despite not having a computer, she does
have an iPod... make of that what you will...
Ana hates everything and everybody - up to and including her roommate and presumably best friend, and of course herself. She's got a wet noodle for a spine, yet claims that she'd "never do anything she didn't want to"... Except that's basically her trademark throughout this book. Ah, but "thing she doesn't want to do" becomes "thing she wants to do" when Christian offers sex... Or even just sexy talk... as a reward. She knows
Christian uses sex as a weapon... yet she still agrees.
Christian is abusive in the worst way. He's a master manipulator and manages to make Ana second guess herself by being cool and stand-off'ish when she voices her pefectly reasonable doubts and apprehensions. But of course this is HER fault and not his, because he's so worldly and experienced, and she hasn't even ever held hands with anybody. He's seriously bad news, and if this turns out to be one of those books where "a bad boy just needs love to be reformed" I think I may just scream. I'm not even sure I'm old enough to be reading this, and there is no WAY I'd allow any teenage daughter of mine to be reading it. Not even so much because of the sex (which is actually fairly tame - at least compared to what I had expected), but because I do NOT want her to think that neither Ana nor Christian's behaviour is in any way, shape or form acceptable or healthy.
I mean... just check out this quote: "I am so not backing down on this. No one is going to dictate to me what I heat. How I f*ck, yes, but eat... no, no way.
Does anybody else see how absolutely and completely FUBAR this is? And that's just one example. I can provide more:
... As Ana considers whether or not she wants to sign the contract, she's upset by the lack of relationship. Then that night she has a sex dream about Christian, and suddenly it's all honkey-dorey.
... Stalking is bad... unless it results in the person being stalked getting good childed champagne, then it's A-OK.
Seriously, Christian is MESSED UP! He's a creepy, manipulative, abusive (mentally and physically both) stalker! And he
is the Prince CHarming we're supposed to sigh after? That is the scariest, most harmful, most messed up thing I've ever seen an author do. She's actually presenting herself as a spokesperson for abusive relationships. Yeah, that'll help people get out of them sooner.
Oh, and if you have any qualms at all about reading erotica, stay far, far, FAR away from this book! I don't mind erotica when sex futhers the plot, but when the plot is just an excuse for sex, I'd just rather not. Parts of this made me feel like bleaching my eyes.
This is one time where I'm happy to say that I read an illegally downloaded copy of this book. I would have hated for EJ to get any kind of monitary benefit out of my reading this drivel. Even getting it out of the library would have been too good for it. I'm appalled that Stephanie Meyer didn't get out all her laywers to go after her.
I will admit it wasn't all bad - I'm not enough of a masochist to suffer through 514 pages with out some sort of pay-off. There are some sweet moments between Ana and Christian - especially later on in the book where the sex started being less gratuitous and they actually started TALKING! Character development - who'd have thought it was actually necessary! Those scenes were few and far between unfortunately. And of COURSE the book ended with a cliff-hanger of the worst sort, so now I'm even more annoyed with the book, because I want to know what happens next, but am not sure I can stomach another 500+ pages of this crap...