Newest Review: ... sex or no sec, but its execution is poor. Maybe it has since been corrected, but my first edition copy had several spelling and grammar ... more
Fifty Shades of Boring--Spoiler Alert
Fifty Shades of Grey - E L James
Member Name: Meggysmum
Fifty Shades of Grey - E L James
Advantages: Quick to read
Disadvantages: Dreadful writing
Although I am a 40 something mother of two I still enjoyed reading the Twilight series. I wasn't really the target audience but who can resist a good love story. A little while ago I heard mention of Fifty Shades of Grey. I saw it in Waterstones and it was positioned near the Teen fiction. Having heard that this was based on Fan Fiction related to the Twilight Saga I thought I would give it a try. I decided to buy it for my Kindle as it was cheaper that way. I also downloaded the second book in the series too as I had only heard positive comments.
I like Science Fiction and over the years I have read quite a bit of Fan Fiction based around the Blakes 7 series. This was usually really well written and I loved the twists on a theme so I expected to be impressed with what a fan had produced around Twilight.
Anastasia Steele is just about to Graduate and move to Seattle with her best friend Kate. She has never had a boyfriend although she isn't short of admirers but they just don't seem to be her type. Whilst doing a favour for a friend she meets the secretive, young, multi-millionaire Christian Grey.
Christian is immediately drawn to the awkward young lady but she seems oblivious to how he feels although she is immediately taken with him.
The story progresses as a rather predictable love story until we start to find out a little more about Christian and his lifestyle. Suddenly the story takes a dramatic twist and we wait to see what Anastasia makes of her new discoveries regarding Christians background and tastes.
The first thing that struck me with this story was the dreadful writing style. The author E.L.James is a mature married woman but the limited use of language, the constant repetition and the poor grammar make this read like something a barely literate teenager would write, it just seemed terribly juvenile. It has obviously got to the top of the Amazon chart by the hype but I think many readers have been disappointed with the readability. I got the feeling that if I read the phrase "Oh my" again I would scream. The constant lip-biting and jeans being worn "in just that way" became very boring very quickly and I found myself skimming through the book at speed. The author also uses lots of e-mail messages between the characters which means that some pages have very few words on at all so this book is a fairly quick read.
The two main Characters seemed extremely two dimensional. Christian has many of Edwards tendencies so I can see the Twilight influence; he is very protective, secretive and obsessive when in love. Anastasia has Bellas annoying way of not realising that she is attractive and of being a bit stupid about her own safety. Their behaviour was predicable but not necessarily believable. The other characters that feature are so poorly described that they really have no personality at all, about the only person who seems a little rounded is Ray, Ana's Step-father.
What I hadn't realised before I started reading this (and probably my own fault for not researching it) was that it was erotic fiction. I don't have any problem reading erotica but I hadn't realised some of the themes that run through this book. I am not comfortable with BDSM and I found parts of the book a bit disturbing. I have now noticed that Fifty Shades has been moved in Waterstones and it is now in the adult section. I am sure that most parents wouldn't want their teenagers reading this. I don't have a problem with them reading sexy scenes; I remember as a teenager that everyone had a well-thumbed copy of Lace or Riders lying around. What I found distasteful was that it was being seen as expected that Ana would be quite happy to stay with a man that she was actually seeing as abusive some of the time. It was the old story that she could "change him" and that is a dangerous idea for young girls to have in regards to their self-esteem and with the increase in relationship violence amongst teenagers. Also any virgin reading this may have rather high expectations of their first lover, obviously they should expect several earth-moving orgasms on the first night or he just isn't worth his salt!
I think that Kindles have led to an explosion in people reading erotica as no-one else can see what you are reading but I wasn't even aware that was what I was buying. Entertainment Weekly said it was "in a class by itself", I now realise that this may not actually be a compliment. I didn't read the entire blurb on the back when I saw it on sale, if I had read it all I may have realised what I was actually going to be reading.
I quickly became very bored with the story. By about two thirds of the way through I was finding it quite tedious as the same phrases and descriptive sentences were used again and again. Most of the "vanilla"sex scenes were also rather repetitive, I always seemed to know exactly what Christian was going to do next before he brought out his "foil packet", I started to be desperate for the author to use the word condom just for varieties sake!
I rarely give up on a book so I did read this one o the end. I was very shocked when I read other reviews saying that this was the best book they had ever read, I presume that must have been written by people who have never read another book. The theme wasn't really my cup of tea but I could have ignored that if the writing had been great but it was the childish nature of the use of English that really started to wear me down as I read. I did finish it and as I have said it is not a very long book. Since I have already downloaded the second book I will probably read that too as I would like to see what happens to Ana and Christian but I am just hoping that it will be a huge improvement on this first book
Summary: A dull piece of erotica