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Book Review: 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

To read or not to read...

Image via Amazon

Well, most of you have undoubtedly heard of this series before. Admittedly, I have a love/hate relationship with this series, and it's caused a lot of controversy, as well as memes. Even if you've never actually read the books or watched the movies, I'm sure you've seen the images across social media for years now. Well, now it's mostly memes, but still LOL.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, it's a story about a young woman name Ana who finds herself in the sexual crosshairs of a very domineering CEO named Christian Grey. Along their journey, they discover a lot about themselves and each other. But this isn't your typical love story. To spice things up, E.L. James throws in stalkers, attempted murder, and a dose of BDSM.

The writing overall wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly great either. I feel like the characters themselves were really poorly written and weak, while the plot saved it for me. Although it's your typical "average girl meets extraordinary boy and she saves him from himself" plotline, I feel that E.L. James was able to make it her own despite it originally being a fan fiction piece. It really took me awhile to get into the book because I could tell what the plot was before I even got into the book, but once I pushed through the first third of it, I was able to get into the story and ignore the weakly written characters—and even ignore all the ridiculous character "flaws." Seriously, why is it that all female characters are "plain, uncoordinated, and nothing special." I get that writers are trying to be inclusive, but it's starting to feel a little overdone to me. I digress.

"Why don't you like to be touched?"
"Because I'm fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia."

The bad: First and foremost, I feel that it should be said that this is not an accurate representation of a BDSM relationship. This is the part that bugs the most, and why I gave it a lower rating. Not only is this a reflection on her research skills, but the BDSM community has seen a swarm of interested people who are grossly misinformed about the lifestyle. If you are interested in this lifestyle, I suggest research. There are many red flags in this story that would not be accepted in the community and are a sign of abuse. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Now I'll get off my soap box and move on (haha).

The good: What saves this book for me is that I love the changes that we see, in both Ana and Christian. Character development is an important part of any novel, and to me, E.L. James does this well. Another aspect that saves this book for me should be pretty obvious: The sex scenes. They were all very steamy and played with a lot of fantasies that a lot of books don't go near. Even erotica books. Gotta admit that this is the number one reason most of us picked up the book at all.

So tell me, what did you guys think about this book, or the series as a whole? Love it? Hate it? Did you go see the movies? (I didn't watch the movies, I rarely watch the book-to-film adaptations because they usually mess it all up, but I've heard these were good.) I do often wonder how they pulled off the VERY explicit sex scenes though...

Let me know!

Overall rating: 3/5

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Book Review: 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
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