My thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James

So in50ShadesofGreyCoverArt honor of the movie adaption of Fifty Shades being released next weekend, I’ve decided to give my thoughts on the steamy bestseller.

I’m assuming most of the world has read this book by now, but I’ll give a brief summary anyway. Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic novel about a shy, “plain Jane” college student named Anastasia Steele, and a young, handsome, rich CEO named Christian Grey. Ana meets Christian when she goes to interview him and he is immediately interested in her. Christian is into the wild life of BDSM (Bondage/Dominance + Sadism/Masochism), and wants Ana to be his submissive  but she’s scared because she’s a virgin and doesn’t know anything about anything. Long story short, they fall in love but Christian’s emotional unavailability due to his “rough start in life” gets in between them.

Now, I have mixed feelings about this book and so does just about everyone I’ve ever discussed it with. On the one hand, I can definitely see why it made the bestseller list. Sex sells, obviously, and there are a lot of women who like to read or live vicariously through sexy novels, myself included. Who doesn’t love a good sex scene? But I think what was most appealing about Fifty Shades was the BDSM element. For a very long time, BDSM was considered an extremely taboo topic and people within that lifestyle were seen as freaks. With the popularity of this book, the BDSM lifestyle has become less taboo and more people have been interested in experimenting with certain aspects of it, which I think is a very good thing. It’s healthy for people to explore their sexuality.

On the other hand, I honestly had a hard time getting through it. I’m not a fan of the writing structure and style, and Christian and Ana have sex like, every other page which I thought was excessive. I believe the story relied too much on the act itself and not enough on the actual love and romantic feelings growing between the two characters. Even though the sex was frequent, it was fun to read about – and because of the ending, I did end up buying book  2…and book 3. I also feel like the characters were extremely one-dimensional. Both Christian and Ana and even Kate (Ana’s roommate), were very cliche. I feel as though, they could have been developed more. I’ve heard that Fifty Shades started out as a Twilight fan fiction, so I suppose I’m not too surprised by the character development.

I’ll admit my opinion of the book sounds mostly negative, but despite all the things I didn’t like, I would still recommend this book to anyone who gets a kick out of erotica. This is a great guilty pleasure read with a huge fan base. There are even Fifty Shades sex toys for those of you who feel a little brave after reading it. In addition to my opinion of the book, I have an even stronger opinion about the casting choice for the movie version, and I look forward to seeing the movie so I can see how the acting is, but that’s a post for another blog, haha!

Check out Fifty Shades of Grey at E.L. James’s website and grab your significant other for a screening of the movie, out February 14, 2015. I’m sure it’ll make for a steamy Valentine’s Day date night!

“Mr. Grey will see you now.” Happy reading! 😉