Thursday 17 May 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey Review

“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 a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embark 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”

I am going to start this review with a warning. 
This is a very adult book and one that is aimed at over 18’s.  
This review does contain adult material and you have been warned.

So, I’m guessing that you’ve heard of a little book called Fifty Shades of Grey that’s rocketed its way to the top of both the US and UK fiction charts?  Nowadays of course, it’s infamous and there are even talks of a movie deal with Ian Somerhalder expressing interest (OH DEAR GOD, YES PLEASE) although really, this is not a movie that I’d want to watch in public ;)  By now, I’m sure you know that Fifty Shades is based on Twilight fan fiction and was written by a British TV Executive.  It was originally posted online as “Master of the Universe” and thank God they changed the title!

I first heard about the book back in March when there were some mutterings on Twitter from across the pond.  Oh and it just happens to feature BDSM which may as well have been the 'British Driver's School of Motoring' for all I knew.  You will be pleased to know that after reading the book, I am now quite well educated in BDSM (or at least what it is) and I even know what it stands for!  I’d read another review of Fifty Shades that basically tore it to shreds and so I initially decided against reading it but truth be told, one night I got drunk and was messing around with my kindle (Note: that is NOT a euphemism).  I was checking out the book and the device stalled so I pressed the button again and before I knew it, it said I purchased Fifty Shades.  I took it as fate that I was supposed to read the book ;)

I had no idea what I’d let myself in for and there wasn’t even any naughtiness for the first 80 pages or so.  Could it be that there was an actual STORY there?  Well dear reader, yes there is.  Besides all the hype about the erotica, there is a story, there is romance and there is character development.  There’s even a little humour thrown in for good measure with the flirty e mail exchanges (very Brigid Jones like) and I really didn’t mind the inclusion of Ana’s Inner Goddess who acts out every now and then.  I’m not going to say the book was perfect – there were some overused words and I got a bit sick of seeing “oh my” all the time (which incidentally reminded me of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz) but I didn’t let that interfere with my enjoyment of the story.

At first, I was embarrassed to tell people that I’d read the book as it was my own little guilty pleasure but now everyone’s reading it so what does it matter?  I’m not ashamed to say that I really liked it and as with Twilight, I quickly devoured all three books in a matter of days.   What I will say though is that if you’re going to read it in public, use an e reader although I tried and failed at that as I was convinced people were looking over my shoulder and questioning my choice of reading material!

I’ve heard Fifty Shades described as “mommy porn” which personally I find somewhat offensive as I am not a mother, nor do I think it is porn.  It’s also been parodied by Saturday Night Live and Ellen, and ripped to shreds by some bloggers and reviewers and yet I find the desperate need to defend this book, just like I did with Twilight.  Basically, if you didn’t like Twilight, what makes you think that you’re going to like something based on Twilight fan fiction?! I heard one blogger call the book tame and quite frankly, I’m not going to question what goes on in her bedroom but I think it’s a very sexy read.  I loved the book and despite his damaged past and his love of “kinkyfuckery”, I am in love with Christian Grey and I defy you all not to fall in love with him too.

Fifty Shades of Grey was published in April 2012.  To find out more about E.L. James, please click here to visit her website.


  1. I loved Twilight! And I am not afraid to admit it! So I darn well hope I am going to love this series too. If I can just reduce my darn TBR pile I will be there with you!

  2. I am reading this as you know and thank God they changed the name, that would put me off straight away. I think I like Christain Grey even more now you've made me think of Damon Salvatore :) drools

    I'm just under half way through, I'm liking it and yes have fallen for Christain, I'm not loving Ana yet. She's iritating, but I will wait and see. Good review. xx

  3. I'm still not convinced ;D Its the BDSM that is putting me off

  4. I tried to read it, but I was bored, hated the characters and could not deal with the awful writing. I decided that if I read it in full, it would be solely to right a scathing, judgmental review, which I decided against. Took the high road.

    If I'd read the whole thing, I probably would have enjoyed ti somewhat, but I think I could manage not to like Christian. ;)

  5. I heard Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood was expressing interest. Two actors known best for portraying vampires on tv after the same role! May the best vamp - ahem, man win.

    Hearing so much about these books that I'm giving in and buying them this weekend.

  6. I've been curious about this book for a long long time your review persuaded me to download a sample onto my kindle and I liked what I read! Might have to read this and see what all the fuss is about, also yes please to a movie with Ian! :P That I would LOVE to see!

  7. I've no desire to read this but I am kind of fascinated by reviews of it and all of the hype it's getting.

  8. I really enjoyed this book and I have just finished the second which I thought was even better.

  9. I Love this review Lynsey and I agree with everything you've written *Sniggers like a school girl*
    I read the entire trilogy over a weekend and have to say I love the Character development as the series progressed. Was it me or was their less "kinkyfuckery"( love that term) as the trilogy progressed or was I just de sensitised?!
    The email exchanges were hilarious and I would have been happy just to read a whole book of their emails- Actually no i wouldn't ;)
    I have to say If it wasn't for the constant references to it originating as Twilight fan fic I would NEVER have put the two together!
    I was totally for IS to play CG but if AS is in the running i'm totally switching mu alliance!
    I am less than impressed with the whole mummy porn label- its erotic fiction, if you want to call it porn fine but what's with the mummy label- are they somehow implying that only " sex deprived" mothers would read it??!!

  10. Hate Twilight but love this and I am in love with Christian.... if only he were real I would be his sub any day of the week.

    I agree with others though, this is tame, I have read a lot worse than this before.

  11. I feel sorry for people who actually think this book is very BDSM educational. It's not. James didn't research this subject well enough. It's not a guide to good sex. I do wonder if perhaps the reason some women are loving the BDSM(?) of this book is because they aren't getting it like they should. If they were, they certainly wouldn't need this as inspiration. Can housewives really be that bored and that dry? It's just repetitive trite. The sex is mediocre at best and all that blushing and lip biting? *Screaming*. This book could have been condensed into 1 if James left out the repetitive mess. Poor Ian. I hope he doesn't play Christian. He's sexy but I won't be watching the movie. Yes, I'm on the negative side because there's plenty of better erotica out there. This book is just a product of good PR, nothing more. Scary that this is what we're reduced to. Having crap shoved down out throats every day.
    Rant over.