Fifty Shades

So, books #6, 7, and 8 in my 12 book challenge for 2012 were a trilogy. Are you surprised to hear that I was reading the ever popular Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy?

I’ll be honest: the allure was too strong and my curiosity was piqued after seemingly every woman in the world was reading these books. I was feeling flashbacks to a few years back when the Twilight series was taking the nation by storm. Oh, those books were terrible (no offense if you like them, but I’m just not a fan), but did I read them? Yes. Sometimes when it comes to these cultural phenomenons/crazes, I feel the need to follow along so I have an informed opinion. How can I possibly say I dislike the character of Bella Swan if I haven’t read the books? Anyway, I felt the same way about the Fifty Shades trilogy. I had heard they were easy, fluff reads, so I decided to take the plunge.

I’ll spare you the details of the story, because I’m sure at this point you’ve heard some of it. Instead, I’ll give a few thoughts – and keep in mind these are my thoughts (and if you feel differently, that’s totally fine!).

These books are fun, summer fluff reading. They are rather poorly written, so if you’re going to read them, be aware of that fact. The author seems to have had a thesaurus by her side as she was writing and she inserted whatever word was listed as a synonym…even when it didn’t necessarily make sense. The plot has some pretty ridiculous flaws: I mean, I’m pretty sure that if you were in college in 2011, the school would require you to have your own computer. How in the heck Ana never had a computer (or an EMAIL ADDRESS) before meeting Christian Grey is so ridiculous it made me want to throw my book out the window. And a 28 year old who has somehow amassed millions and millions of dollars without a college degree, flies a helicopter, yadda yadda yadda (insert eye roll here)? TOTALLY believable. Cough cough.

And, yet again we are met with a female character who seemingly has a hard time having a mind of her own. Don’t get me started with how her food intake is monitored, or how she is always worried about doing things (like going out for a drink with a friend) because of how Christian would feel about it. Heaven forbid she have a life of her own! E.L. James attempts to give Ana some moments where she is independent, but honestly they seemed rather hollow to me. But whatever, like I said: it is all summer fluff reading, so I take it with a grain of salt.

I know there are some skeptics out there who are of the mindset that people are crazy to be reading these books. To that point, I just have to say this: you’ve got to take these books for what they are. They are NOT literary works of art. They are fun. They’re a little scandalous. If your life is changed because of reading these books, then perhaps there’s a problem to be addressed. But for me: they were just a bit of fluff to enjoy during the summer months. I’ll be moving on to books of a different quality now, but I don’t regret taking a few hours of my life to read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. And if you’re looking for some easy summer reads for the beach/pool, go ahead and get yourself reading them as well.

And more importantly, who do you see as the actors being cast in these movie roles? My money is on Ian Somerhalder in the role of Christian Grey. What are your thoughts?

via Fanpop

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  • THANK YOU! Someone who understands what I have been thinking since I started the first book.

    I agree, 100%. Wouldn’t even be interested in watching the movie if it came out.

  • So, I agree with you for the most part. But I’d like to add what utterly fascinates me about this series (and feel free to yell at me if you disagree).

    The thing is, the entire trilogy is just garden variety smut. Which is, in fact, nothing new as smut, even BDSM smut, has been around for ages. What fascinates me is how the author has been able to convince millions of women that this is something other than garden variety smut and somehow make it mainstream. I think the author’s accomplishment is less in her writing and more in her marketing.

    But then, like you, I read it because it was a sweeping sensation and I had to know. I’m not sorry I did either. So I guess it worked on me too. πŸ˜‰

    • Haha – I don’t disagree with you at all! You know, I walked through Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago, and I found myself wandering over to the “Romance” section of shelves. And I’ve never actually read any of those books, but after only a few moments of looking around at the covers and titles (and flipping through a few pages), it is very clear that Fifty Shades of Grey (and the other two books) is nothing that isn’t already on the shelves…and this author just got realllly lucky that a book she only wrote as an e-book is now a printed best seller and is taking the world by storm. I mean, power to her…can you imagine the first book(s) you write blowing up to that proportion?

  • blech. i don’t care who plays him EXCEPT for Ian. i just can’t see it! i vote for matt bomer or alex pettyfer or henry cavill.

    i also have no idea how they’re going to make these movies without them being X.

    agree with you: bad writing, but easy reading. total fluff.

    • Haha! By any chance, did you see Magic Mike this weekend (I ask b/c of your suggestions for Alex and Matt)? I think I was busy watching The Vampire Diaries right around when I started reading the books, so I kept picturing Ian because his character seems similar in some ways. Funny how the brain works like that. I think the casting thing is going to be weird b/c of the age thing. A lot of the guys I would picture are too old for the role. And yeah – I wonder how they’ll make those movies…perhaps they’ll have to be creative with how they shoot some scenes so it can actually have an R rating instead of NC-17 or something like that.

  • Haha, funny that you mentioned Twilight before talking about Fifty Shades of Grey! Apparently Fifty Shades was a Twilight fanfiction, before the author pulled it off from the fanfiction websites, and published it (basically keeping it the same, but changing Bella to Ana, Edward to christian, Jacob to Jose, etc etc).

    The more you know!

  • Ugh, are they seriously making a movie of that crap? I read the first few pages and decided not to waste my time. I like summer fluff that is fun, not that makes me roll my eyes every 10 words!

  • I haven’t read the books, but your opinion seems to go along with everyone else’s that I’ve heard…so I was with you until you said this: “If your life is changed because of reading these books, then perhaps there’s a problem to be addressed.”

    yikes. that’s a pretty bold statement. if the spark in someone’s relationship or marriage was reignited because of these books, I’d say that’s life changing…and not problematic at all. i just felt like that was a pretty judgy thing to say because you never know what books will totally change someone…and that’s the beauty of literature… the experience of it is quite different for everyone!

    that aside, I think I will continue to opt out of reading these…I could barely get through the Twilight books because of the poor quality of the writing, so no need for me to put myself through that pain again πŸ™‚

    • I think you might have taken my comment out of context, and perhaps my joke/bit of sarcasm came off as more serious to you than intended. I don’t judge anyone for reading the books, and everyone’s thoughts on them are different (with this series, it does seem to run the gamut). All I meant is that they are a fun read, and that there are a lot of people out there that I’ve seen bashing women for “reading that trash” (and other comments like that). I merely mean to say that “hey, if you want to read them and you like them, that’s great. They’re fun books.” I read them myself. πŸ˜‰ And I guess if that inspires you to…try some new things perhaps…then power to you! I just will be shelving the books and moving along…they were an interesting/fun few hours of my life reading them (and sometimes eye rolling)!

  • I am half way through these books. And unlike other trilogies- Yes, I’ve read them all- I am not sure that I actually like the characters. I actually don’t want them to end up together. And at the half way point, I am sick of all the smut- aka sex scenes.

    That said, I hope I don’t stay up too late reading it tonight!

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