Review for Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3) by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Freed by E L James

TITLE: Fifty Shades Freed
SERIES: Fifty Shades #3
PUBLICATION DATE: January 19, 2012
PUBLISHER: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
PAGES: 551 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 3 stars

This book was definitely a rollercoaster ride. There were ups and downs and loop de loops and I think I enjoyed it for the most part. I am going to start off with the things that I found wanting in hopes that it will get it out of my system and then move on to the good bits.

Now, I realize this is an erotica novel. I went into this series knowing that and in the first 2 books, it didn’t bother me at all, but it did in this one. These 2 literally go at it three or four times back to back. They have sex and then 2 seconds later they are ready to go again (and again and again). Then the next night is the same thing. At this point, I just felt like, “hello? Ana? Maybe you should go to bed and get some sleep so that you’ll actually be on time for work in the morning? No? Well, it was just a though!”. Ana’s character flaws really started to show up in this novel. I don’t know if anyone else noticed it because the whole series is focused on how fucked up Christian is, but Ana is no cake walk. She is seriously a completely irresponsible character. I won’t give away spoilers, but some things happened (that I totally saw coming) and I just wanted to scream at her “How could you be so stupid? No, you can’t blame this on your assistant because it was your responsibility!” I really started to feel like she was completely unworthy of Christian.

Now, for the things I enjoyed. For this whole series, I loved watching Christian grow and change and mature. Yes, he may be fifty shades of fucked up, but he is trying to change, and in the end, that has to count for something. His & Ana’s storyline plays out a little predictably, but it still good and engaging (for the most part). I also loved all the minor characters, Kate and Elliot and Mia and Taylor and all the characters you don’t get to see much of because Ana is too wrapped up in Christian to really notice them. It’s not bad, necessarily, it’s just yet another thing that irritated me. I hate it when girls suddenly get a boyfriend and it’s like nothing else matters. You know, those friends tha stuck by you when everything was falling apart and will still be there should this fall apart too? Yeah, they aren’t so important apparently.

Dammit, I was trying to focus on the good. Apparently I can’t. Look, despite all my issues with this novel, it really was good and I do recommend it for anyone who won’t have a problem with graphic sex.

Review for Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Of Grey by E L James

TITLE: Fifty Shades Of Grey
SERIES: Fifty Shades #1
PUBLISHER: Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc
PAGES: 515 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

I first decided to read this when I read somewhere that Ian Somerhalder had expressed interest in this role should a film be made. Now don’t quote me on that because I most likely read it on some gossip site, but regardless, I wanted to read what had sparked so much internet chatter and Ian’s (possible) interest. After reading it, all I can is YES, PLEASE. Even though Ian doesn’t quite match up with the verbal description in the novel, I had this pretty mug:

In my head as Christian Grey. I think another reason I picture Ian is because alternative is picturing Robert Pattinson and no offense to the rabid Rob fans, but he just doesn’t do it for me. I also went into this knowing that it started out as a Twilight fanfic and because of that, for the first 50 or so pages, I kept picking out the uber-Twilight things and tried to line the characters up. I am also insanely addicted to a well known fanfic called Wide Awake and I kept comparing it to that as well. Was this the wrong thing to do? Definitely. Did I do it anyway? Of course. How did it measure up? Well, it’s not quite as simple as that. Once I got past the first 50 or so pages, the comparing part of my brain shut off and the story took over and I’m left with no real point of comparison between these different works. For those looking for a comparison, this is nothing like Twilight so it’s not worth even talking about. To Wide Awake, it’s very different. Christian definitely reminds me of dark Edward, but he has manifested his issues in a completely different manner so the comparison ends there. That is the only big similarity.

Anastasia Steele is a seemingly normal college student getting ready to graduate and Christian Grey is a millionaire with deep-seated issues. When Ana is forced to conduct an interview with Christian for a sick friend, her world changes and not necessarily for the better. Christian shows obvious interest in getting to know her better even though he repeatedly warns her away claiming that he “isn’t the man for her”. Ana, far from understanding his cryptic warnings, pursues the relationship further only to be completely shocked to discover that the type of relationship Christian desires to have with her is something not even her wickedest fantasies could conjure up. Her world is thrown upside down when he hands her a contact outlining exactly what he wants. In the simplest terms, he wants to be her master….in all things. Ana is beyond shocked and scared by this but she wants a relationship so she swears to try. Meanwhile, Christian is having to redefine what he really wants because he knows he wants Ana and that she doesn’t fit into the role he wants her in. He values control over all things and that precious control seems to evaporate whenever she is around. Will she play the submissive to his dominate? Will he change his mind and settle for a normal relationship? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out since these days I’ve striving for spoiler free reviews.

I think I was blown away by this book. The characters are so well thought out and the novel has so many ups and downs that you really don’t know what is coming next. I loved that Ana really thinks hard about this relationship and negotiates the terms, staying firm on the things she absolutely will not tolerate and caving on the things she thinks he has to have. I felt like this was really a struggle for her, as it should be. It wasn’t just “oh, he wants to torture me in his red room of pain….well, I don’t want to but I really wanna fuck him so okay”. I also like that even though this is all through Ana’s perspective, you can see Christian is struggling to please her. It’s obvious to everyone but Ana that he is smitten with her and will almost anything to keep her. Kate (Ana’s best friend) was also a great character. She is fiercely protective of Ana but understands that she should back off when Ana wants.

And the smut. Jesus fucking christ, the smut. I read romance novels on a regular basis and this damn book had me fucking blushing. Not an easy feat. I guess that’s what I get for reading a book labeled “erotic fiction”. I felt like I was watching a BDSM porno in my head….which brings questions to mind of how they really intend to make this a film. The director is going to have to a genius with camera angles is all I’ll say.

And the ending. I really want to be angry with the ending, but I find that I can’t. Maybe because it doesn’t feel like and ending to me ****SPOILER****or maybe it’s because I know their separation won’t last long.****END SPOILER**** But either way, I was irritated but not upset with it. It truly didn’t feel like an end. It felt more like the author sat down and wrote the entire trilogy and then since the publisher’s are keen on 1500 page books decided to break in down to 3 novels and this was a logical stopping point. Did anyone else feel that way or was it just me?

Anyway, it was a really addictive and enjoyable read and I’ll be going out this afternoon to pick up the sequel. I recommend it to those brave enough to try it, it’s not for the faint of heart.