Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: Trilogy - Review



When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.  
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.  
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever. 

**Summary taken from Goodreads** 

GUEST REVIEWED BY: Victoria

Thank you, Claire for letting me review on Sparkly! Never having written a book review before I'm not entirely sure how this will turn out. So here goes!  It's a collective review of all three books in the 'Fifty Shades' trilogy by E.L. James. The premise throughout the series is, boy meets girl. Boy wants girl. Girl wants boy. Boy wants girl on his terms. His terms being he wants girl as his submissive. Girl is sexually inexperienced and more so in the BDSM world. And so the story begins of them exploring this life together. In between falling in love there is dealings with jealousy and insecurities and A LOT of baggage and issues.. oh, and there's a subterfuge sabotage/kidnap/attempted murder plot thrown in for good measure too.

So, what did I enjoy from Fifty Shades? Christian Grey. Successful businessman, Dominant, tortured hero, was one of the few characters I liked. Most of the time. He was amusing, arrogant and had a depth that, loathe or love him, you'd remember him long after you'd finished reading.  He was just this side of arrogant and overbearing bossy that still had me liking him because his love for Ana was forever present in everything he did. Throughout the trilogy, the couple share many emails and I adored this aspect, they were short, romantic, angry, amusing, loving. This was when I enjoyed reading about them most. Such a nice aspect to add to a book to convey dialogue without the trappings of inner monolgue.

The secondary characters, on the whole, were an enjoyable mix to the stories. Both sets of parents and Christian's brother Elliot. I found all the rest just too much, like they were dumped into the mix for filler, there was no need for them to be there and just detracted from the main couple.

Ana is a mass of contradictions throughout the whole series. I had to keep telling myself she was young, inexperienced or I would have abandoned reading. It was only the sweet elements that kept me going, because as a heroine, Ana was TOO irritating to tolerate without something else holding me to the book. The inner workings of her mind; namely her subconscious and her 'inner goddess' we were privvy to were repeatitive and just short of insanely annoying. I dreaded seeing "My inner goddess...." it felt like every other page she was there, so much so both inner voices became their own characters. Three irritants all rolled into one. All her bouncing back and forth between what she hated and loved and wanted and didn't want and was outraged over and wanting to be with Christian and not wanting his lifestyle to provoking him into spanking her to hating being spanked. I wanted to yell for her to choose one emotion, one thought and just stick with it for an entire page. She made me dizzy and confused reading her. And a wee bit mad :P 

You can't review a BDSM book and not mention the actual sex. There is a lot of stirrings in the cyber world about this trilogy and how it's "mommy porn" I'm not sure if that's meant to be a derogatory term, mum's can't openly enjoy reading something sexier than a copy of "woman's weekly" ?  I'm neither a mother or a fan of porn so I wouldn't call these books by that term. I do read erotica so my range is quite vast to what was given in Fifty Shades. All the technical 'BDSM' terminologies were correct, yet the conflicting emotions from Ana made most of the 'Play' scenes in Grey's red room interrupted any enjoyment of what was happening on the pages. Christian gets kudos for his bondage skills, though.


Back to the sex. Was it erotic? at times. When both characters were on the same page of what they wanted. Which wasn't often. Ana changed her mind SO much. Was it shocking, disgusting, waaay ouy there? No. Even the most vanilla of readers in the erotica genre wouldn't or shouldn't be shocked or disturbed over it. Their sex without all the trappings of BDSM was more enjoyable, actually. Grey has a dirty mind and mouth and doesn't hold anything back in what he wants and when he wants it. That was another element keeping me reading.

Once I'd finished the third book, My overall opinion was in fact, they HAD been an entertaining read, the things I didn't like paled a little in the shadow of a really sweet endearing love story. And who doesn't love a love story? Boy meets girl and falls in love and has some hot sex. The end.

Too many phrases repeated over and over, an Inner Goddess I would have happily strangled with Grey's tie and a heroine full of contradictions, yet the underline love story of two characters coming together, overcoming a tortured past and being worlds apart in their beliefs and wants, was actually quite lovely.  Good or bad, I found it to be a compelling read.

“This is a man in need. His fear is naked and obvious, but he's lost. . . Somewhere in his darkness. His eyes wide and bleak and tortured. I can soothe him. Join him briefly in the darkness and bring him into the light.”  

“My subconscious is furious, medusa-like in her anger, hair flying, her hands clenched around her face like Edvard Munch's Scream.” 

Had to include a subconscious quote -laughs-

I would rate the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy: 3.5 out of 5. 

PS. I don't ever want to hear the phrase "Fifty shades of fucked up" again. Please and thank you. 

- Victoria.

9 Speak to Me:

Smith said...

Nicely done, Vic. I read all your tweets as you read these books, I may be curious enough to give them a try. Not sure if the heroine would keep me reading though, she sounds a pain in the arse.

Great review :D

Debs said...

Omg that inner goddess was annoying i almost stopped reading it too cause of that!!! adored the emails, simple and sweet and funny. now Im a fifty fan lol

Damaris (GoodChoiceReading) said...

OMG I am dying laughing here because everything you said at the end, and in your review, Amanda @ Good Choice Reading has been texting me while reading! LOL hahah Great review!

MamaKitty said...

I haven't read the trilogy yet in this form yet (although I did read it in it's fanfic form - Master of the Universe). Funny thing is, tonight one of my friends actually asked me id I'd ever heard of FSoG... and she's a book person! I have all three books queued up on my iPad, but other things keep popping up to read instead (books for review). I will eventually.

Minx said...

Great review Vic! I have heard lots about this book over the past few weeks and will certainly give it a try when my TBR pile has reduced, currently it has its own room!

*muah*

Shelley said...

I was annoyed at how Ana was always blushing. A 21 year old with no experience and a domineering man did nothing for this 50 year old woman. Why does the woman ALWAYS have to be an innocent???? Give me a real woman with some real experience!

9acd4c3e-bf2e-11e1-9fec-000bcdcb2996 said...

I think I may be the only one who actually enjoyed Ana's inner goddess XD I believe this is mostly due to the fact that every time it came up, as an anime fan, I couldn't help but picture Sakura's inner self scenes from the Anime series Naruto. While Sakura is shown calm, collected, and smiling in the outside, a little black bubble pops out from her subconscious containing "Inner Sakura", and she is usually fuming, screaming, or raving in adorable Chibi fashion, depicting her actual feelings on a situation. So in my imagination, Ana's goddess was just another adorable Chibi version of herself, raving and fuming and dancing alike. It made me smile every time I pictured it. Thanks Anime for getting me through that portion of the book smoothly ;) lol.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the first book of this trilogy in less than two days. I couldn't put it down. I loved it and enjoy every page more than the previous one. Yes, I agree at times it was a bit repetitive but I got so lost in the characters that those smaller details didn't distract me from the story. I also ordered the second book. Can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

The trilogy was great, the inner goddess and subconscious didn't bother me to much but I did get a bit fed up with holy shit, holy cow etc.
Ana came over as a fairly typical young person at first. Getting mad and acting impulsively as common in the young.
I loved the book and found it to be an absorbing, interesting read. I am a 65 year old great-grandmother. I came across things I didn't know existed.
The newspaper critics are just being snobs.

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