May 3, 2012

50 Shades of Grey, by E.L. James

You guys, I don't think we could be considered a legit book blog if we didn't review this book. Or, maybe we could call ourselves "above it", but I know I at least am not above a little smut now and again.

So, Fifty Shades of Grey. One day, I'd never heard of it and then like lightening it was everywhere. I mean, literally, it was overnight. And it all happened about the time I was trying to decide what to load on my Nook for my tropical honeymoon. Given the plot, this particular book seemed quite appropriate -- and it didn't disappoint.

Plot: Let's face it, this won't win the Pulitzer for its plot line. The book is basically sex in print, with the occasional side line in between. But, there is a common plot line that is every so slightly superior to your run-of-the-mill erotica plot. And it doesn't even involve a sexy secretary or hot pizza delivery boy! Already it's a step above the rest.

Anastasia is on the cusp of graduating college and being on her own. As a favor to her roommate, she conducts an interview of a local CEO, Christian Grey. Intrigued by him, she is surprised when he pursues her. Over the course of the book, she learns Christian is hiding a dark secret and she must make the decision whether to fall down the rabbit hole with him -- or rise above and move on with her life.

See? It's not a totally lame plot! There's lots of agonizing on Anastasia's part, and how Christian finally hooks her is interesting enough to entertain me between the really good parts that only serve to get you hot and bothered. (Like I said, PERFECT honeymoon/vacation read.)

Characters: Shockingly, I actually liked the characters. Anastasia intrigued me. Christian intrigued me. The two of them together and their interactions (the non-sexual ones!) intrigued me. Who woulda thought?!

Overall: I'll be honest. It's not literary genius. You pick book this up for the wow factor. It'll make you simultaneously cringe and think "hmmmm..." You pick this book up to add a little excitement to your life. And it will. But, you'll also enjoy the underlying story, however faint it may be. 4 stars.

P.S. -- I was pretty clueless on the premise, so when Christian starts talking about his "dark secret", I was afraid this was going to be another vampire book. After all, it started out as Twilight fan fiction. But, I promise you, no vampires make an appearance. At least not yet, there are two more books I have to read.

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  1. 4 stars??? really?? You give it 4 stars? I'm amazed at the response of this book. I had an elderly woman tell me "it was a little spicy". Really? There's so much better literature out there that no one will ever read. It makes me kind of sad.

  2. Hi Janet! When I rate my books, I don't use a consistent rating system -- because every book is different. I evaluate the book for the kind of book it is and determine whether it succeeds in being that book.

    You're right, this book is not high-minded literature. But it's not supposed to be. So I really wouldn't compare it to some more serious books. And yes, some of the writing is pretty dang cheesy. But, for the kind of book it is (fun, carefree and spicy), it fits the bill.

  3. I absolutely adore the Fifty Shades trilogy and Fifty Shades Darker - the second book in the series - is my favorite. There is just so much going on in this book; it keeps you turning the page, anxious to know where it's going to take you next! From the crushing sorrow of their break-up, to Ana and Christian's romantic reunion, to the creepy anxiety of crazed ex-subs stalking them, to the excitement of the elegant masked ball. And that's all just in the first few chapters! The romance definitely gets kicked into high gear in this one - as does the action (erotic and otherwise) - and we see both Ana and Christian grow emotionally as their relationship deepens.

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