Author: E.L. James
Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Series: Fifty Shades
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing (2011)
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.” GoodReads blurb
This was one steamy read! If you are offended by BDSM descriptions, then probably this is not the book for you... But if you don’t mind, I’d like to recommend it because it had so much more going on.
The plot is fairly straightforward: Anna and Christian meet and the attraction there is undeniable. But of course, it can’t be that easy! Christian is not exactly after the most conventional of relationships, and even though what he feels for Anna goes beyond anything he has felt before, he’s not ready to let go of his deeply ingrained ways. Anna believes herself in love with Christian, but she has no experience in relationships and certainly Mr Grey is not a wide choice to start with. But still, the enter a tug-of-war game, both trying to stay together, both trying to make the other conform to what they need in a couple, and while it seems obvious how it’s going to end... Well, it’s not.
The characters are the great strength of this book and what make it move beyond most romance novels with a rich, hot guy and a happily ever after. Anna might be innocent and untested, but she is far from being easily pushed. She has a core of iron, if you will, that make her stand for what she wants, for what she believes in, even in front of overwhelming Christian Grey. I liked her because, even though she was the one being “wooed”, she was not prey (contrary to what might seem). Her character grows a lot through her encounters with Christian and I’m looking forward to what might happen after the explosive ending we have got ourselves in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Christian, on the other hand, might be the dream of any woman – educated, intelligent, incredibly hot and obscenely rich. On the outside, that is. His inside is dark and twisted, and while we are free to wonder why, the real reason that shaped him up is still to be revealed. But he’s not evil: he knows there is something not right with him, but he is too weak to triumph over his inner “demon”. For now, at least. Anna is slowly showing him to care for a person and not a property, to treat with tenderness and not possessiveness, to love and not pleasure. And he tries to learn, really... But.
Please note that I’m not familiar with the kind of sex life that Christian is leading and so I might be saying something ridiculous here, but I think this book had some deep themes beyond all the sex and the humorous banter and the sweet romance. I think it talks about what it is to love someone, and what lines should not be crossed for love. It talks about the “victim dream”, the “I’ll change him”, or the “I’ll help him” that is so common among victims, and it works through that one moment where love and self-respect are warring and something must give. It talks about an “attacker” that is not a monster, that believes he truly loves, but who is not able to stop. It talks about jealously and communication and, yes, violence.
Or perhaps I’m wrong and it does not talk about anything like that at all.
But it made me think.
I think you should give it a shot.