I finally dragged myself through all three books of the Fifty Shades series, after an intriguing start.
Here is my review of the much sold and much read trilogy of kinky romance.
Book 1: Fifty Shades of Grey
This book started with some promise. I thought it would be a breezy read in spite of expecting all the cheesiness most romantic novels abound in between their covers. I started off finding myself reflecting some of the feelings of Anastasia Steele, the female lead of the book and was further intrigued by the character of Christian Grey, the male lead who had a striking character resemblance to someone I happen to know quite well… of course, sans the “kinky-fuckery” of which I am not so sure and the billionaire CEO tag (He is more a millionaire investment banker).
The whole attraction to the book in my eyes was the dynamics of the relation between the lead characters, the intellectual exchange which was interesting in the beginning because it closely followed a path parallel to my life but then the book took a dive into the world of kinky and seemingly twisted sexual practices which frankly was fine if limited to a few scenes. The book soon got in to this really repetitive routine of Ana (Anastasia Steele) swooning every time Grey as much as looked at her, followed by lots of sex.
Ana’s personified subconscious with her school-marm(ish) get-up and attitude to match and her Inner Goddess, the sex diva were silly and seriously irritating additions to the flow of the story. Actually, there is no story… the flow of events would be a more apt description.
The kinship I felt with Ana in the first few pages quickly evaporated as her character dissolved into a naive, easily subdued, almost spineless young girl who got to be annoying pretty soon with her repeated “Oh my…”s… like the taped laugh-track of a sitcom!
Christian Grey… young, accomplished CEO, arrogant, with a control mania- that was interesting.
Christian Grey… Greek god, Adonis, exquisitely beautiful, “pants hanging like they did”-Just did not do it for me.
It did not help that Ana’s mantra throughout the book was his “burning eyes” “looking at me in that way” is “making my insides tighten/coil/melt” etc. Seriously… get a grip, girl!
By the end of Book 1, my opinion about Ana wasn’t too favorable making me feel that her last decision was unbelievable and did not go with her character.
Because of the somewhat parallel paths the initial story takes with my life… I did ask my version of Grey to read the book… and he came up with a scathing review of it… and of course, flatly denied any resemblance… but then who wants to be compared to a control-freak, let alone be called one. 😀
Though, I agree with most of his review… I do not accept that Grey could not have been smitten with Anastasia. That didn’t really seem so forced considering, sometimes, shit happens… and he should know!
Book 2: Fifty Shades Darker
Even though by the end of book 1, I had realized there were no fifty shades to it, just this one shade of sex… not even that kinky if I might add… I still decided to give the next book in the series a go. After all, I paid for the whole set.
I was hoping the there would be a semblance of a story shaping up with one more book to go. Let’s just say the author might have made a less than half-hearted attempt in the few moments when she was bored with describing all the sex scenes to make up something of a plot on the fly.
Ana keeps getting worse in this book. Her reactions and her lines of dialogue, her response to Grey… everything is the same page after page after page.
After reading “my fifty”, “the way those jeans hang on his hips”, “the way he cocks his head”, “how can he make me *melt/drool/lose control/long/yearn-synonyms* with just a *word/look/touch*” and more of the like… and her super annoying “oh my” in the most obvious situations… it really got to the point that I wanted to call up the editor of the book and give him/her a piece of my mind for not throwing a book of English phrases at the author’s head! Every now and then, say in every 50 or so pages, the author would insert a long and sometimes unusual word as if she had picked it up from a handy thesaurus and it would be extremely conspicuous as the characters themselves seem surprised at the use of the word!
Grey’s character also starts to unravel in this book… from a strong and capable man to a man unsure of himself and someone who simply uses sex to cope with anything that possesses half a challenge. But then this character change (or development if you will) is intentional and so I don’t have too many complaints about him.
Anastasia on the other hand completes her transformation from being ‘almost’ spineless to someone utterly lacking self-respect in this book. There are times I wished she were real so I could slap her face and tell her to stand up and face him without her knees knocking with fear and desire. Sheesh!
Book 3: Fifty Shades Freed
Wanting to be freed, I set about completing the trilogy so that I could pack the books away in some hidden corner of my shelf and stop berating myself for spending on them.
Book 2 had a couple of moments that were different from the ‘Eat-sleep-fuck-will you fucking eat?-roll eyes-kinky sex’ routine which continues in to Book 3. We do see more of the family getting involved in the story line. And at times Anastasia showed some sparks and I kept hoping she would redeem herself. She almost does in some rare moments and when I got all my hopes high… it just went downhill when she is again enticed into Grey’s bed making her forget all else. Again, I had this urge to punch her nose in and tell her go fuck Grey… so that she could get over that too.
When finally, Ana actually does something remotely successful in improving her lot as a believable character the book is almost at its end. And here I kept hoping it would end sooner… but it nevertheless dragged a further 50-70 pages or so more with nothing to offer except… naah… seriously nothing at all!And… there are some other weird plot-holes… but then like I said, the whole plot seemed to be a filler for all the sex!
All in all… am so done with 50 shades of madness!
© Surya Murali