Wednesday, April 1, 2015

50 shades Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James | Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

See, the thing about hype is that it rarely lives up to expectations for most of its audience. And let me tell you: this book obviously has some serious hype to back it up and its fanbase is massive. My ex-girlfriend was one of those people — completely obsessed with this novel and the remaining books in the trilogy.

Naturally, she had me sit down and read the first book. And by sit down, I mean she essentially forced me to read it and as a good girlfriend, I did.

I knew three things when I started it and the facts were these (okay — I’ll admit it now, the reason I’m writing it that way are because I just had a Pushing Daisies rewatch and seem to think I am the narrator. Sorry!): it was at one point a Twilight fanfiction, it is an erotica lovestory and it features BDSM. I often got the fanfiction confused with another Twilight fic with similar themes called The Submissive -- which, admittedly, as a horny teenager I read eagerly and waited patiently for each update. That being said, I never could get into this story even in the fanfiction days.

So firstly I want to say that it was really, really badly written. I found myself physically cringing on more than one occasion while reading. And normally, these sorts of books — this genre, things aren’t always written that well anyways. People don't read erotic novels for mind blowing writing; they read it for fantasy. But this reached beyond that in terms of really awful writing. It was repetitive and though there were many details in it they just weren't that captivating for me, personally.

I wanted to like it. Really, I did. 


It was all just so boring and cliche and embarrassing and unhealthy. The main relationship you’re meant to root for? Disgusting, in terms of treatment. Unhealthy, like I said… and when I say unhealthy, I do NOT mean BDSM. This sort of thing — your preferences and experimentation in the bedroom? That’s all well and good to have that. Have your kicks, do as you please and embrace whatever it is that makes you feel good so long as your partner isn’t completely uncomfortable with it.

But there's a fine line. And for me, it was crossed.

The way you try and control them in real life? That’s another story entirely. And the controlling nature in our male lead in this story is meant to be attractive, romantic — when really all it does is make your skin crawl because it’s rather disturbing. This is his inner dom and for me, it just didn't feel... well...

As for characters they were all underdeveloped to a certain degree and that’s to be expected. In order for novels such as these to succeed, we have to play into the fantasy first and foremost. But with the angle the author was trying to go for, she probably could have done much, much better at the end of the day. Because you can tell she has writing skills -- but you can also tell that this was a fanfiction in terms of its format.

I can’t really say much else, because as readers you’ve probably heard it all in terms of complaints and praise. There's no real even ground when it comes to this series. I’ll just leave you with this book isn’t going to be your cup of tea if you don’t enjoy that sort of “romance” or if you’re picky about the quality of writing like me. I rarely say this sort of annoyance or distaste when writing a review but: I hated this book.

That’s all there is to it.

I wouldn’t recommend it, personally, to my friends or readers.

But you should always read into something just to test the waters and see if it is for you. After all, if it gets you reading and makes you feel something: that’s all that matters to me. And if anyone reading this has loved the trilogy and feels annoyed with this review, I’d like you to know that this isn’t attacking you or your love for the novel.

Keep on reading, keep on loving.

It's okay to see the beauty in this if you do. It's okay to not. Either way, keep on doing you.

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