I only picked up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James because of the hype. Usually erotica isn’t my thing, Twilight fan fiction is definitely not my thing. But I like to know what the hype is about when it comes to books, and I do enjoy reading erotica once in a while to get a good laugh.
But I’ve never, ever, read a book like this before.
People warned me that it was bad, but I had to see for myself. And it was pretty bad.
I don’t usually read erotica, but I consider myself an expert in romance novels. What I love about romance novels is being able to relate to the female lead character and fall in love with the male love interest. When they have sex for the first time it’s emotional and beautiful because they love each other and are expressing their feelings. Fifty Shades of Grey had none of that.
First of all, the writing is horrible. That’s one of the main criticism of the book. The main character Anastasia is supposed to be 21, graduating university, but the way she speaks it sounds like she’s sixteen. It makes sense, since the book started off as Twilight fan fiction. So when she and Christian are having this hardcore sex, it seems like this is a really young girl and that makes it so not sexy. The author is British, these characters are supposed to be American, but everything they say sounds British. I kept forgetting that they were supposed to be in Seattle and not London. And if I ever see the words “Jeez”, “Holy shit” and “Crap” ever again, I’ll scream. At least one of those phrases were on every page. Every. Single. Page.
Christian, the love interest, was so not sexy. I was more interested to find out what happened is his life to make him not want anyone to touch him or for him to enjoy torturing women. You know you’re reading a failed erotica novel when the sex scenes do absolutely nothing to you. Nothing at all. I read the sex scenes either laughing at how stupid they were or cringing at how gross it was.
It was disturbing that Ana didn’t even want to do all the things that Christian wanted her to do, but decided to do it because she didn’t want to lose him. She was weak and needy and I couldn’t relate to her at all. The characters were so one-dimensional (and a little stereotypical when it came to best buddy Jose Rodriguez) I didn’t care what they were doing. I didn’t want to read endless pages of emails between Ana and Christian. Is this what’s considered good writing now? If so, it’s a little bit scary.
At the bookstores, this novel isn’t even shelved under erotica. They put it in general fiction, which is crazy. I’ve heard women have read it three times and seen women spot it in the store and sprint towards it. I don’t understand the appeal.
If you wanna read it, borrow it from the library or a friend. It’s so not worth the money.