Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James

Reviewed by Kim

Anastasia is a 21 year old virgin who is finishing up her senior year at college at the end of which she hopes to get a job at a publishing house. As a favor to her best friend who is sick, she takes over her assignment which is to interview 27 year old wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey. Despite a rather strange and uncomfortable interview the two develop an attraction for each other and begin a relationship. The problem is that for Ana, there is a lot more to the enigmatic Mr. Grey than meets the eye and the relationship does not exactly go smoothly. The question is can these two make the required compromises that are needed to make this relationship work?

I’m going to try as best as I can to not drop any major spoilers in this review. First of all, I have to admit I picked this book up mainly out of curiosity to see what all the hoopla was about. I was also interested in that it started out as “Twilight” fanfic, and that it’s a trilogy (I love trilogies, usually), and that there is already a movie deal in the works. “Holy Moses” I really wanted to like this book. But alas, I can now honestly say “Huh?” This is one of the worst books I have ever read. It has nothing to do with BDSM or erotic literature because I’ve read books before that have those themes in them and had no issues. It was the juvenile repetitive writing and frankly annoying characters which I found unbearable. The only things positive I can find to say about this book is that the cover is nice and it does move quickly. The latter is thanks mainly to the fact that about halfway through the book much of it turns into a series of emails between the two characters, thus taking up much of the pages. So, let’s start with the plot. For me there is absolutely no resemblance to “Twilight” whatsoever, so fans of that series beware. Instead it is boring and predictable and you can see what the “cliffhanger” ending is going to be a mile away. The characters are equally dreadful. Ana is incredibly immature, even for her young age and could give lessons in moaning, whining, self-centeredness, and “Should I or shouldn’t I” to Stephenie Meyer’s Bella. Christian as a supposed “Dominant” just isn’t believable. We’re supposed to believe that he has this incredibly strong and domineering personality yet he’s left gasping at the most mundane things such as Ana wearing his underwear. (Insert eye roll here). For a book that is being billed as Erotic Literature there really isn’t very much passion going on between these two. I actually caught myself yawning through some of the supposedly steamier scenes. Mr. Steele is also kind of creepy in a stalker sort of way. And then there’s Ms. James rather limited vocabulary. Words and phrases I NEVER want to hear again:

  • “Oh My!”
  • “Holy” anything.
  • “Inner Goddess”
  •  “My Subconscious”
  •  “laters, Baby “
  • “Jeez”

And there’s probably some others that both my subconscious and my inner goddess have blocked out. Ate the rate Ana kept referring to these I was thinking she might actually have Multiple Personality Disorder! The aforementioned list of words appeared on practically every single page! What happened to the editor for this book? Finally, for anyone who is new to this genre and found this book to be be as distasteful as I did, please know there are other better written novels out there. And I’m sorry. My inner goddess and I just can’t think of anyone who we would recommend this to.

Kim is the former Assistant Head of Children’s Services
Read her full Read This profile: kimb8

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4 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James

  1. Nice review! I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to read this or not and I’ve seen a couple of reviews similar to yours that help me make my decision to say no to this book. I’ve just heard that the writing is not very good and for me personally, even if it’s a great story, I can’t really handle bad writing. It kind of ruins everything for me. Along with some confusing relationships not backed on good knowledge, it just seems like it’s not for me. Thanks 🙂

  2. I read it because it was a book club pick. I showed up with Post-it notes sticking out all over with problems I had with the writing, the story and every time I found a blatant connection back to Twilight. Now I’ll admit it wasn’t completely horrible and if it wasn’t for being a book club pick I probably wouldn’t have picked it up, but now I want to read the other 2 just to see how the story ends.

  3. Great review, Kim! I’m still laughing. Thanks for reading and reviewing this so none of the rest of us has to. I think it’s called “taking the hit for your friends”. Will you still be sending in the occasional review from afar?

  4. Hi Everyone,
    I really did feel kind of guilty for writing a bad review. I’ve never done that before. Usually if I don’t care for something I just refrain from reviewing it. In this case however given the publicity and the number of holds on it at library I felt I had to warn unwary readers. Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone. I would love to send in reviews even though I’m no longer working at my beloved PIL. I’ll ask the Powers That Be. Thanks for the idea Julie.

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