Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Well, we all knew I had to review this novel at some point, and there’s no time like the present. Especially now that the movie is coming out in February, 2015 (PS: February is supposed to be the worst month for movie releases, just so you know). I know people will think I’m a hater, but I honestly do not understand why this book got so much freakin’ hype. Why did I read it you ask? Simple. I thought it sounded like the dumbest idea for a book ever! However, I figured it wasn’t fair to judge before reading it, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Let’s take a look, shall we?Fifty Shades

Alright, here is the shortened summary: girl meets boy; boy propositions girl; girl and boy have sex; girl discovers that boy has a secret red sex room where he employs toys, spanking and bondage to get off. Now doesn’t that just sound like the greatest plot for a love story since Pride and Prejudice?! I mean when you get the girl you are seeing to detail all of her hard limits before having sex, you just know it’s going to be a fairytale romance.

So the guy is into BDSM, and apparently so are most housewives all over the world. Believe it or not his out of the ordinary sexual preferences aren’t why I disliked the book. One of the ways I always say you can tell a good romance novel from a bad one, or one that is just meh, is to actually take away all the sex and smut and see what you’re left with. If you do that with Fifty Shades of Grey then you really don’t have much of a plot to work with. When you take away the red room of pain you basically just have a rich billionaire who meets a college student. No real suspense or intrigue. Nada. There are some hints to the fact that something may be going on behind the scenes, but we don’t find out about that until the second book. So, be sure to stay tuned for that review. Hint: it will be much more positive.

Now if you put the BDSM back in, that’s the whole plot. The big secret, the huge twist. The guy has a secret fetish. I don’t understand why this fact alone made the book sell millions of copies, or why a movie franchise had to be created because of it.

Alright, now for the smut. This was actually the first book I ever read which contained elements of BDSM. Honestly, when Mr. Grey first showed our “heroine” (you can’t even use that word for this book because she doesn’t do anything) his little red room of pain I actually laughed out loud. If I were her, I probably would have been like, “Oookay, see ya later buddy. No freakin’ way are you getting me in there. Thanks for dinner, but I’ll show myself out.” My version may not have been as sexy, but I feel like it would have been a bit more realistic. She was all like, “Oh, I wonder why he has this, it’s so mysterious, blah, blah freakity blah.” But rest assured that every spanking, sexual romp, and panty dropping activity is revealed in lurid detail.

In my opinion the best part of the book was the ending, and not just because it finally ended. Rather it’s when something actually happens! But I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Another positive is that it’s a very quick read. I think it took me about 2 days, so you don’t waste much time reading it. As far as the writing goes it’s nothing special. Pretty elementary actually, which is ironic considering the details of the book are anything but. It’s basically like Twilight, but with lots of sex.

Series: Fifty Shades trilogy, book 1 of 3

Should you read it: Meh! I didn’t think it was worth the hype, but you might want to find out what everyone’s been talking about.

Smut Level: Hot damn! Don’t read this sucker in public, or else you’ll be as embarrassed as Kristen Stewart at an awards ceremony.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here

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

  1. I heard the book actually started as a Twilight fan fiction and that’s way they’re so alike. It’s not really worth the read. By the time I finished the series I couldn’t stand either Ana or Christian, not a good sign considering they’re the main characters.

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  2. Yea it did start as a Twilight fan fiction then when being published it was changed a bit. You can find it somewhere online. I believe it was on fanfiction.net but not sure if still is. I actually tried to read FSoG and didn’t get far in before it just got left behind. I might read it again but it’s not a priority. I just didn’t find anything to grab me. I do hear it gets better later on.

    Good review though. I completely agree.
    -Amanda @ Within Pages

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  3. Okay, you’re right. I’d be out of that room in a shot. But reality aside, I thought the fact that Ana never signed that damned contract showed she had some brains. The second book is better in that it gets into the why and how of Christian.

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  4. Haha loved this review. “Now if you put the BDSM back in, that’s the whole plot. The big secret, the huge twist. The guy has a secret fetish. I don’t understand why this fact alone made the book sell millions of copies, or why a movie franchise had to be created because of it.” Describes my thoughts perfectly.

    Also, thanks for the follow!

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  5. I have not read this book yet…or rather…I probably won’t read it. I agree with you totally about how well a story is written after you take the sex out of it. The plot and the romance are what it is all about. Otherwise it is just erotica or porn.

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  6. I read the book when it first came out and think it’s one of the WORST books ever written! Between the repetitive phrasing, and weak, annoying characters I was grinding my teeth by the time I finished. I wouldn’t have read the full book except that I had promised a review of it for my library. There are so many excellent books out there in the erotica genre that I just don’t get why this has become the “it” book. JMHO

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  7. Nope. Haven’t read it. And I don’t think I ever will. I just can’t bring myself to do it. The plot doesn’t appeal to me, its origins are a complete turn off.. and I’ve heard people quoting it etc.. and it doesn’t sound like it’s the best writing either. Nope. Nope. Nope.

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  8. I agree completely. I actually read this when I was in college as the Twilight fan fiction.. Then when the book came out I got a page in and could SWEAR I had read it before. After that I could not get the image of Edward spanking Bella out of my head so I had to stop reading. I have no desire to read lady-porn. Well, more than once.

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  9. I am so glad that we agree on this book. I also wondered if Ana would have been so understanding and so loyal with Christian the plummer for example in his secret room. It left with the impression that 1. No way anyone can have that much sex (sorry) 2. The girl took a lot of these things thanks to the money and fame not because of the guy.

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  10. I also read it because of the movie and because, as I bookseller, I thought I should have read it to be prepared at a possibly advice for a customer. Clearly, I found this book pretty bad. Poor writing, poor ideas but a HOT character let’s face it. I’m just disappointed by the others books and their sweet side. Too much carebears for an SM story. 🙂

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  11. Like you, I read it because I was interested why people were so into it. The writing wasn’t pretty good either and some lines were like stolen from twilight or just paraphrased. Sometimes, I found myself thinking that Ana got what she deserved for not having some sort of self respect.
    However, I thought that, stripped of all those red room of sex/pain, etc, it was like your typical teen romance. You know, the ordinary girl gets the attention of the handsomest hunk in school, notwithstanding all the other gorgeous girls around. It’s almost like some sort of (twisted) fairy tale in that sense. I suppose that’s why it clicked with a lot of people.
    I do agree though, this or the other books in the series should NOT be read in public.

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  12. Hahaha I totally agree; the writing style is A LOT like Stephanie Meyer’s, so much that it sounded like Twilight minus the vampires. And you’re right, there really isn’t a plot without the sex, but I guess that’s the point of the book; sex.

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