TITLE: Fifty Shades Of Grey
SERIES: Fifty Shades #1
AUTHOR: E L James
PUBLICATION DATE: April 3, 2012
PUBLISHER: Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc
PAGES: 515 pages
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.