October 18, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Trilogy by E.L. James

"Discipline. There's a very fine line between pleasure and pain Anastasia. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other. I can show you how pleasurable pain can be. You don't believe me now, but this is what I mean about trust." (Christian Grey)
-from 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've at least heard about 50 Shades of Grey, the three-part series by E.L. James about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele; what kind of mainly contemporary book review blog would I be if I didn't review this? You've also probably already decided if you're interested or not because of the strong sexual content and subject matter. I want to emphasize that if this series is not your cup o' tea and you feel strongly about not reading it, I totally respect that. It's definitely not for everyone. Having read romance novels {not erotica} in middle school, I'm open to books like 50 Shades of Grey but the genre is not necessarily a favorite or something I would insist somebody read. I agree with many opinions that this series is not necessarily "good" for your real life relationships and respect a lot of the debates regarding this book. However, I did read it and it was a cute book and addicting love story, but important to not take too seriously.

In case you didn't know, 50 Shades of Grey is the story about how innocent but smart Anastasia Steele meets gajillionaire Christian Grey, an emotionally and sexually damaged man who experiences pleasure through BDSM with contracted submissives. When Christian meets Ana he pursues her to be his latest submissive, and while Ana is intrigued by the idea and enamored by Christian, she wants more in a relationship. Through each of the books in the series, more of the many shades of Christian are revealed and both become more challenged in their unconventional relationship with each other. 

I read the trilogy in about a week back in March and I'm very torn with promoting it and tearing it apart. On the one hand, the series consists of three books when it very easily could have been condensed into one. There is so much repetition and so little conflict that coupled with amateur writing makes me feel guilty for admitting I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and story {seriously, my inner goddess is hiding in shame right now}. That doesn't even cover the fact that Christian Grey is a selfish, arrogant, controlling sex addict and to this day I question my sanity loving his character so much. While it's important to note that 50 Shades of Grey completely promotes monogamy and safe sex, it's also a book that might make a woman think, "Why can't my husband be more like Christian Grey?" in the same way a man might wonder why his wife doesn't look like Kate Upton. For all of these reasons I truly feel awkward for enjoying this series.

On the other hand, James creates a story with a superficial sounding synopsis, but the development of the characters and the way they approach their relationship so unconventionally paints a relatable picture of ever-changing humanity. Through Anastasia the reader can experience venturing into the unknown without any past to hold her back; through Christian the reader can experience venturing into his fear because of his past. Despite Christian's controlling demeanor, his love for Ana trumps all as he maneuvers through his fear with compromise and honesty. I think what makes 50 Shades of Grey so powerful is how transparent and vulnerable both Christian and Ana are with each other which makes them more concrete to the reader.

Bottom Line: The characters and content are addicting, but I've seen a lot of bloggers with better writing. Read this if you want to get swept away by romance because you will definitely get wrapped up in the world of Christian Grey. ★★★/5

And for the record, since everyone is casting this one for fun, my choice actor to play Christian Grey is and always will be Ian Somerhalder. I had to become addicted to The Vampire Diaries a few months ago to make that choice, but I really think Ian would be the perfect guy for the role!



  1. Ian would be perfect for the role!



  2. Ian Somerhalder has finally responded to rumors that he's a favorite to play this role.Christian Grey


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