Last January, I started hearing buzz about a book that was creating much talk. I barely glanced at the author’s description having been burned far too many times to swallow that drivel. I thought the title, ’50 Shades of Grey’ with the jacket cover of the man’s tie slightly interesting but did not give it more than a passing glance. We’ve all been there hearing about the latest new best thing, movie, or book. This, I thought, was no different. Fast forward to May of this year. Let me set the scene for you. I was at my son’s and daughter-in-law’s house for something and she whispered to me,
“Have you read that book yet?”
“Um, er? What book?”
“You know, 50 Shades of Grey?”
“No, but I heard about it a few months ago.”
“Well.” said with a knowing look.
“Well?” I asked.
“It’s all about SBDM.”
I’m thinking, what the hell does she know about that? And a split second later, oh God, I think I know too much about my son all of a sudden; obviously jumping to the wrong conclusion. But wait. If I let her know that I know….she’s gonna be traumatized as well.
Get your minds out of the gutter.
“Ok,” egging her for a more thorough description so that I wouldn’t need therapy the next day.
She exclaimed, “I had to look some words up I’d never read before”.
My heart slowed down at that and I had to smile at her. She encouraged me to read the book, in fact, she was on Book Two. She wasn’t getting anything done at home; all she wanted to do was read these books. Then she told me that my daughter was reading them as well.
My baby? Reading about SBDM? I threw up a little in my mouth.
I really did laugh out loud on my drive home thinking about the girls reading this trashy novel with a dictionary handy.
I promptly went home, reached into my dishwasher and threw my back out.
Crapola and craptastic. When my back goes out, I can’t sit for longer than 5 minutes. I can’t stand for any longer either. The only comfortable position is laying flat on my back. I had to visit the family chiropracter (my son-in-law) daily. I couldn’t see my grandbabies let alone pick them up. I was at home, laying down, with nothing to do.
Please download 50 Shades of Grey.
My, oh my. I read all three books in 5 days.
It is so trashy and good. I could get all down on the main female character being so whimpy; I could call the male lead despicable. It’s all true but (spoiler alert) by the end of book three, Love Conquers All. Everyone is redeemed, their sex life is no longer about being a Dominant or a Submissive. It’s all roses and sweetness with a new baby, married to a bazillionaire, living in a mansion.
It is nothing but froth for a great beach read. It is not War and Peace.
I immediately let my co-authors know that there was a book that they HAD to read. RIGHT AWAY. Oh, and don’t leave it laying around for the kids to pick up out of curiosity either. They all read it. And the following is their views of the book.
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. But I cannot say that I was intrigued, curious, or in any other way moved from my first impression of disbelief and wonder at the insipid main character.
First off, I am one of those people who reads horror books and said, “Well, you deserve to die! You’re the one that went into the basement when the signs were telling you not to. Now I will revel in the glory that is your death!” And then I giggle. So it isn’t like I don’t appreciate characters who do stupid things. But Anna. Anna is just beyond dumb, and beyond naive, and borders on sociologically ignorant. Who the hell, in this day and age, sleeps with a man who has a PAIN ROOM? I mean, come on. She is a virgin and she wants to sleep with this guy who already told her his dark secret: he is a dominant. Did I mention she is a virgin? How does she even KNOW WHAT BEING SUBMISSIVE IS? It is laughable to take this seriously at all. Realistic this is not. Not even close.
I know what you are going to say: “Well, he’s really attractive and powerful and hot. And did I mention attractive?” I don’t see it. Not at all. I think he is a jerk, and mean to people. And that, to me, is actually the opposite of attractive. I mean, it makes sense: he is the dominant, so that is how he acts throughout his entire life. That kind of thing just doesn’t do it for me. Give me gruff, like Indiana Jones, or Han Solo (I have a thing for Harrison Ford, sue me) but rude and obnoxious? What a turn off. So when Ana can’t control herself around him, I just kind of think she is lame and needy. And the fact that she is annoyed at Jose who likes her makes me sick. Typical, typical, typical Valley girl who doesn’t like the nice guy but loves the bad boy. (I appreciate the bad boy…..but the bad boy with a good side, which I never saw in Christian.)
So, that all being said, I think you can tell I didn’t like the book. I acknowledge that I will now get hate mail from all of our followers and I am OK with that. I stand by my opinion. I hate weak female characters who have nothing better to do than sleep with rude obnoxious men who love to deal pain. I will paraphrase a quote I saw on Facebook from Karen Hawkins: “If a man comes at me with a spatula, it better have a pancake on it.”
Well, I must admit, I was dubious about this book. I haven’t read a romance novel since high school, and really didn’t want to delve back into that genre. However, I was drawn in by all the hype surrounding it, and decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
If you can see past the copious amounts of sex, and the frequently used “F” word, then you will probably discover that Christian Grey is a fascinating character. I work with abused kids who have mental health issues, so I could really sympathize with him. I like the fact that he isn’t perfect. The love story is such a classic theme, love conquers all. Even if often it doesn’t work that way in real life, we like to believe that it can happen, and reading a story like that renews our hope.
There is an amazing side effect to this book, too. Your husband may offer to buy the next two in the series.
As I recall, the challenge was, “Let the speed reading begin.”
Well, between THAT gauntlet being laid down and the ladies from “The View”, which I admit to catching every once in awhile on Freeday Friday, being worked into quite a lather over this book, I HAD to see what all of the hubbub was about. And so, I placed my order; “Fifty Shades of Grey” was winging it’s way towards me via the magic of Amazon, free 2 day shipping AND a discreet brown carton. God knows I couldn’t walk into our local Barnes and Noble to make my purchase! On the day of the anticipated arrival, the UPS man knocked on the door, and smirking, said “Here’s your book; enjoy.” Red-faced, I scurried into the privacy of my bathroom, locked the door behind me and, with trepidation, ripped open the carton. Hours later, I emerged, scurrying to my laptop so I could order books two and three of this trilogy. My virgin journey into “Erotic Romance/Mature Audience” had begun!
Ok, all of the entertaining fluff aside, I will say this was the FASTEST I had blazed through a book in decades! I’d pick it up and two hours later, well, there’s no way to explain this passage of time at wharp speed… There were times that I had to set it aside, not just because the laundry basket was over-flowing or it was an hour past dinner and I hadn’t set foot in the kitchen, but because, honestly some of the never-ending-sex-sex-sex did get to be a bit much, as did my repulsion by some of the graphic elements of the bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism aspects of Christian Grey’s lifestyle. Ewwwww…reverberated around in my brain now and then. Did this stop me from picking it back up? Oh no. Within minutes I was devouring it, once again. The author really did capture my attention with these two very different key characters; how did Christian develop this “alternative” lifestyle and how were he and Anastasia going to cross this chasm between them; would she travel over to the “dark side” or would he throw away the key to “The Room” and develop a preferance for vanilla? I had to see where this was going to go.
I also found the peek into the lifestyles of the ultra-rich very interesting. Winging your way on an evening date from Portland to Seattle in your own helicopter? Reserving a private dining room at one of Downtown Portland’s finest restaurants? Having a personal shopper fill a closet with the perfect wardrobe? Waking up in a palatial master bedroom where the scene before you is the landscape of Seattle stretching for miles? Hmmm, the rough life. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years, now, the setting seemed quite relistic, I have actually been to or seen various landmarks described in the book. Not far from The Heathman, the scene of the private dining room, is The Benson, another ultra-famous, hotel/restaurant I’ve actually stayed at. The author has done her research, at least as far as Northwest landmarks. I can’t speak to her other “research.”
And so, devour it, I did, AND Fifty Shades Darker. I’m now finishing up Fifty Shades Freed. Will this make me “lust” for more Erotic Romance/Mature Audience reading material? No, probably not. I’m actually looking forward to a book where my initial thought isn’t “Are you KIDDING ME??? Again??? Aren’t you two worn out YET???”
And so, I give this, on a five star rating, a strong 3.5. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it is definitely entertaining, an interesting summertime/beach/vacation read.
I hear that there is a “Fifty Shades” movie in the works. Will I go see it? Probably not; I’m pretty sure the movie won’t live up to the hype and, honestly, I don’t think I want to see the contents of “The Room” in high-definition on a screen thirty feet tall. I have my own idea of what Christian and Anastasia probably look like and will be critiquing the director/producer’s choice of actor/actress to play these roles. In addition, I live in a relatively small community, I’d have to wear a disguise or travel to another city to see the movie. Hey, there’s an idea; the members of our “little book club” could meet up in Portland or Seattle for a showing!
Oh, and I had to show this. This is Fannie reading her copy of 50 Shades in the airport conveniently hiding it behind the latest People magazine. Her adult son was horrified.