50 Shades of Grey by E.L James book review

Review of 50 Shades of Grey by E.L James - Michalah Francis

This week is all about 50 Shades, so I’ll be posting reviews throughout the week with my book reviews.

Each book is no less than 500 pages so they look really intimidating, but they’re not. All the book are really easy reads, with simple language, drama and intense scenes to help you fly through.

50 Shades of Grey Synopsis:

Standing in for her best friend, Anastasia Steele makes a head first entry, when she literally falls into the office of business mogul Christian Grey, the entrepreneur she is about to interview for the local varsity paper. Ana is convinced that the moment she left Mr. Grey’s office he forgot about her, but he soon shows up at her part-time job asking her on a date.

But public persona Mr. Grey exudes for the world, is not the same persona he oozes in the bedroom. Mr. Grey wants to lead Ana down the road of BDSM but is that lifestyle for her? Or will Mr. Grey’s lifestyle drive innocent Ana away?

I read 50 Shades of Grey when it was first published, the trilogy was gifted to me and I had no idea what it was about. To be honest I had not even heard about it, but the book blew up very soon after. This was also one of the first new adult books that I read, and I do not regret the book that lead me down the path of new adult love.

My Review:

Overall Story: I’ve read 50 Shades a few times and each time I enjoyed the overall story. Very simply put, it’s about a guy trying to convince a girl to have a BDSM relationship with him. Christian has secrets about his past that he refuses to share with anyone, and his disturbing past plays a huge role in why he is the way he is, and why he has chosen the form of BDSM as his preferred style of relationship. The BDSM aspect in the story adds a twist everything. Ana needs to speak a certain way and act a certain way, all ways that Christian is willing to teach her, and then reward her #Wink.

Characters: In the first book there is very little character development. Throughout the story Christian is trying to convince Ana to sign a contract and commit to a consensual BDSM relationship. And throughout the book she says no, she wants ‘more’. The reader sees the two playing cat and mouse with changing strategies.

Story development: Very early in the book it is clear that Ana means more to Christian than he admits. It’s clear in what he says and does for her. When I read the book it kind of felt like I was just waiting for Christian to stop being stubborn and admit that he more than ‘likes’ Ana. That was one of the annoying elements of the book.

Writing: If you are a style lover, do not read this book. E. L James has a distinct writing style, chatty, simple language, but it’s not very developed. A lot of phrases and sentences are repeated throughout the book. Sometimes I thought I was re-reading a page, but I wasn’t, James just did not know how else to phrase certain things, so she repeats herself. While I was reading I was editing as I went along, and that made it okay. Ana repeats phrases like “holy cow” and “holy crap” at least once every two pages. Now I’m not sure if that is a character thing, but it reads like it’s a writer thing. It read as if James wasn’t comfortable using other phrases and terminology. So she subjected her character to the same discourse.

BDSM: The 50 Shades Trilogy has received a lot of bad rep about the ‘amount of abuse’ in the book. I never read about abuse once. Everything about their relationship is consensual. Over and over Christian asks Ana if she’s comfortable and okay with what he is doing, and over and over again Ana’s response is “yes”.

Side note: watching 50 Shades, the film, was compared to supporting domestic violence, I disagree. I wrote a response to that statement, you can check it out here.

Overall experience: I’m definitely not ashamed of having read 50 Shades, it’s not hidden on my book shelf or anything. I rather enjoyed the BDSM aspect. Having now read more new adult books, I have not come upon a couple who engage in a BDSM relationship, so that aspect of the book kept me intrigued. I also kept reading because I was intrigued about how Ana would react to the full BDSM experience, this only happens towards the end, the last couple of pages, so I needed to wait a long time. But then, she responds in an extreme way, then that peaks my interest in the second book.

What are your thoughts about the 50 Shades of Grey book and movie?  Loved it? Hated it? Indifferent to the experience?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.