Newest Review: ... of his past. The storyline in this book was almost as predictable as the previous instalment but I did think that this time the auth... more
More Grey please, I'm British!
Fifty Shades Darker - E L James
Member Name: Ladyboosh
Fifty Shades Darker - E L James
Advantages: Romance and flowers.
Disadvantages: Lack of variation in writing style makes it hard to read.
So, I've just finished reading the second part of THAT book, Fifty Shades Darker, and as promised, I am giving you my honest opinion of it.
After reading the first book, I wasn't expecting too much from this next installment. Fifty Shades of Grey has proven to be a true "Marmite" saga, with people either loving or hating it, the only general consensus being that the sex scenes are quite shocking.
I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised as I began the second book to find it much more romantic as the two lovers come together again (excuse the pun).
At the end of book one Anastasia has fled the home of her sadistic lover and we now find her immersing herself in her new publishing job in an attempt to put the past behind her. It isn't working, Ana is miserable, and her life seems dull without her Mr Grey.
After a few agonising days, Christian makes contact out of the blue and offers to take her to her friend Jose's art exhibition. Now, Ana is a practical girl and as she returned the car Christian bought her when she ended their affair, she accepts gratefully but is understandably nervous about seeing Christian again.
After whisking her away in his private chopper (sorry, just can't help myself!), he allows her to speak briefly to Jose, buys all the artwork Jose has done featuring a younger, more carefree Ana in what appears to be a jealousy-fuelled, willy-waving competition with his rival for her affections, and then reveals that he too has been inconsolable since their split.
During a touching heart-to-heart at his home, he offers her a new deal. He is willing to "go vanilla", to use a term from the book, meaning that he will try to give her the loving, normal relationship she craves.
Naturally Ana is delighted. She has fallen for this stern, domineering man who seems to be transforming under her influence into boyfriend material. But is he really?
Sadly, once the novelty of this dramatic turnaround began to wear off, I found myself getting a bit annoyed at the repetitive way the book is written. The author uses the same few expressions constantly and I began to wonder what on earth Christian sees in this naive, whiny child who is so insecure that she questions everything. I even found myself skipping over some of the bedroom stuff with a yawn. Once the shock factor is gone the sheer volume of amazing-every-time sex is, frankly, boring.
Ana reminds me of a Disney princess, with her incessant cries of "Oh my" and her petulant lip-biting.
I suspect that even Ms James was aware of the change in pace because she suddenly throws a curve ball in the shape of Christian's psychotic ex-submissive Leila, who is stalking the happy couple armed with a gun. But the threat never seems real. It's like when you take young children to the cinema and the film is rated PG but they warn at the start of "mild peril", you know that nothing bad is really going to happen.
Christian enlists a whole team of security experts to work alongside his trusty personal bodyguard and driver Taylor and, after Leila manages to get into their bedroom unseen, he and Ana flee to a hotel, where Ana is virtually imprisoned while they search for the gun-wielding crazy lady.
Now, by this time I'm shaking my head in disbelief. I'm pretty sure that if this were "real life", there would be a Ana-shaped hole in the nearest exit and not even Taylor would be able to contain this irritating girl against her will.
But no, she stays put until she has to return to work and eventually the inevitable happens.
By this time I was willing Leila to shoot someone, anyone, to inject some life back into the story. It had
flat-lined and needed a jolt of electricity to bring it back from the brink.
This is when our friend the author puckers up and gives her ailing book the kiss of life.
During the second half, the story picks up pace and we meet some interesting new characters.
Ana's boss Jack is an intimidating sleazeball, whose lustful advances towards her turn sinister once he learns of her relationship with Grey.
Ethan is Ana's friend Kate's brother, who returns from a holiday to stay at his sisters apartment. It is obvious that he has the hots for Ana, which triggers more willy-waving from Christian.
Ana also begins to learn more of Christian's depraved childhood during candid sessions with his shrink Dr Flynn, and slowly the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together, giving a clearer picture of why her boyfriend cannot bear to be touched.
Although the style of writing continued to annoy me, I did find the latter part of the book moving as Christian struggles to deal with his fear of losing Ana and his need to control her.
By the end of this book I got a sense of how much they had both achieved in a very short space of time, but a final twist makes me want to tackle the last book in the trilogy and find out if they can make it work.
Stay tuned for the next review.
Summary: You'll want more.