Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Trilogy #1
By: E. L. James
Published By: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Release Date: May 25, 2011
Buy it at 
Source: Provided by Publisher
Audience: Mature (18+) Audiences Only
Erotic Fiction Containing Themes of BDSM

My thoughts:
I am rendered speechless, my mind reeling. I have read this story before, and yet I am still overwhelmed by the depth of emotion and staggering thoughts I have about this book. Having just read the last line, I sit here trying to wrap my mind around what I want to say, and my only coherent thought is....Wow! I am not new to this story. I have been a fan of Ms. James for quite some time now. I first read this story as Master of the Universe, a Twilight fanfic. I was one of the readers who eagerly anticipated each new chapter post, craving my next dose of our dear, beloved 50 like an addict craves that next fix. I was one of the readers cheering when we got the announcement that there would be book published, and crying as I read the last line of the conclusion. So why am I left in this state after reading Fifty Shades of Grey? I have only one answer - Ms. James has woven a tale so wrought with emotional undertones and characters that embed themselves in your heart that it is impossible to ever be truly prepared for the ride that this story takes you on, no matter how many times you read it. Master of the Universe fans want to know - Is it really the same story? My answer to you is - Yes, but it is also so much more. To those of you who are new to Ms. James and 50 Shades, I say to you - buckle up your seat belt and get read for the ride of your life! But be prepared, because you will not leave this story without experiencing a whole range of emotions and... 50 shades... of life, love, anguish, desire, and your darkest, wildest fantasies brought to light.

Fifty Shades of Grey is an erotic fiction about a troubled young man, Christian Grey, who has accomplished amazing things in his 27 years. He is every girl's dream - breathtakingly beautiful, sexy as all get out, successful, and rich beyond imagination. Anastasia Steele is every girl. She is just graduating from college and ready to embark on a new life. She isn't super model gorgeous, but she is beautiful in her own right. She is self conscious and insecure, but she's also smart, witty, sarcastic, and strong. It is easy for the reader to become Ana, because she could be any one of us. Ana is shocked that a man like Christian is interested in her. What she soon finds out is that having a relationship with Christian means allowing herself to be taken down a deliciously dark road. Can she meet his demands without losing herself in the process? Will he be able to give her the "more" that she needs?

I won't lie and say that 50 Shades of Grey is an easy book to read. You will feel every emotion and then some. Christian makes you swoon, he makes you angry, and he breaks your heart. One minute you want to slap his face, and the next minute you want to hold him and rock him. As a very strong-willed, independent girl, I had a difficult time reading parts of the story my first time through. Some of what I read turned my stomach and made me want to shout for Ana to run for the hills. But like Ana, I was drawn to Christian and could not stay away. The more I read, the harder I fell for Christian.

As emotional as the story is, Ms. James does a fantastic job of inserting humor throughout the book. Some of my favorite examples of this humor are Ana's subconscious and her inner goddess. Like the angel and devil on her shoulders, they are often at war over Ana's thoughts and decisions. One of my favorite goddess moments: "My inner goddess has stopped dancing and is staring too, mouth open and drooling slightly...". Every girl needs an inner goddess like Ana's. Since reading 50 Shades, I have let my inner goddess out to play a bit more. Another of my favorite parts of the story are the e-mails between Ana and Christian. As someone who communicates best through writing, I totally get Ana's use of e-mail to honestly and openly share her thoughts and feelings with Christian. I loved watching the subject lines and signatures change through their conversations, and I adore the playful side of Christian that we see through some of his responses and the changes he makes to the subject lines and his signature line. Ms. James could have made many changes to the story in the publishing process, and I would have been fine (ok, maybe not fine, but I would have dealt with it). Had I lost the inner goddess and email conversations, however, I would have been very sad. I was childishly excited to find these two aspects of the story intact. In fact, MotU fans will be pleased with how much of the story is the same; somehow even better.

Fifty Shades of Grey is all-consuming, in the best possible way! From the very beginning, Ms. James' writing, her well-developed characters, and the story that she wove, drew me in and and would not let me go. I could not put this book down - I couldn't step away from it the first time I read it as MotU, and I wasn't any better this time around. Even though I know what comes next, the ending still left me in stunned tears. I am waiting on pins and needles for Fifty Shades Darker, the next installment of the story. Thank you Ms. James, for once again fueling my 50 Shades addiction.

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


  1. I read this book on the suggestion of a co-worker. I was absolutely swept away. I couldn't put it down! I loved it the other two books in the trilogy and loved them all.

  2. I agree 100% about the emails, Ana's subconscious and inner goddess. I laughed right out loud....perhaps cackled is a better word.
    I also cried tears through the heartbreaking parts.
    Totally surprised by the books. Hope there will be others by this refreshing author.

  3. I read. And read. And read some more. I felt foolish, so wrapped up in this book. And in 3 days time, I finished the trilogy. And am left with sadness, like after a bad breakup. I didn't realize how CONNECTED the writing makes you to the characters. I didn't read/see Twilight, and started reading this, the trial two chapters of Amazon, with the mindset it would be stupid. I was VERY wrong. I hope there will be more.

  4. Like the previous poster, I DEVOURED the whole series in 2 days while on holiday. I loved the fantasy and exploratory sexual stuff. I really loved the flirty email humour, the inner goddess/sunconscious dance, and the character development was most satisfactory!

    I must have been living under a rock since I didn't get the twilight references or that it was originally a Twilight fanfic- I knew nothing about this series when I started reading it. However, having later found out that the author was fantasising about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart while writing this really threw water on the flames for me, sadly. Despite that, It was still SCORCHIO!!

    For a good laugh, have a look at this blog about living with Christian Grey in real life

  5. Wow! so im not alone i just finshed book 3 and feel so over whelmed with emotion i feel so blahhh - glad to no its actually normal! I loved the books also hoping there's more :)


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