As is obvious by the title, I started reading the Fifty Shades trilogy
since it's been getting so much attention lately. I recently finished the first but even before I did, I started reading some reviews of it on Goodreads
. It seems like everyone who reads this book/series falls into one of two camps. The first camp are those who love the book and think it's amazing, likely (imo) because of all the sex. The sex scenes in 50 Shades of Grey are very detailed, which I guess many books don't have, unless you get a straight-out erotica novel. And those, unless you're Zane
, don't get you on the besteller's list. The second group seems to be people who are like, 'What? This is shitty fanfiction getting published. What bullshit!'. This group annoys me more than the first mostly because this group is filled with people who write
fanfiction. If you write fanfic and you don't like the novel, fine, but why crap on it just because it was fanfiction? I think we should be happy whenever a fellow fanfic writer gets published; maybe there's hope for the many others who want to, as well.
There are some people who fall into third category who didn't like the book because it was erotica and they don't like erotica. My question to them is, why the hell did you pick up the book in the first place?
Me, personally, I thought the book was okay (a fourth category?). I actually do like Christian Grey because he's an interesting character. He has just the right amount of mystery to make me want to know more about him. From the way he's written, I wouldn't do him (which it seems most people in the first category would
) but it was cute and often embarrassing to read about him from Ana's point of view, because she does
want to do him.
...Or at least it was interesting until about 200 pages in. By that point, I feel like the novel just got bogged down with a lot of unnecessary sex scenes and too little development. I think James made a mistake that a lot of mediocre fanfic writers do: she dropped too many threads of plot and forgot to pick them back up.
One is the contract, which despite being brought up numerous times, was never signed before Grey began BDSM - or at least non-vanilla - sex with Ana. Another is the thing about him not liking his chest touched and the marks he has there. Even when Grey offers to answer the question after a trade, we don't get a straight answer, so it just drags on.
This also has the effect of hinging the cliffhanger on the Christian/Ana relationship, which, if I don't care about them (which I kind of don't), won't make me read the second book. It does seem to have worked just fine for James, though.
Overall, I think I just read this book like a fanfiction instead of an actual novel. You know how you'll read some fics and you'll think, Wow this author should be a published writer!, and others you're just like, Well that was a good fanfiction. The difference lies in character development and plot and the way the story flows. James's Fifty Shades just doesn't quite cross that line for me.
Basically, a 2 out of 5.