Monday, June 25, 2012

Abducted by 50 Shades of Grey

I know a lot of my friends were pretty shocked when they found out that I was going to read this one, but in my defense, I read it for my book club! I don't usually review the books I read for book club on my blog, but I actually had some issues with the books that I did want to discuss so I figured, why not?

The level of enjoyment a person takes in a book is directly proportional to what their perspective is going into the book. So here is mine. I have never read erotica before. And when it comes to my sexual nature, I am conservative at best.

Because this book has been discussed by so many people at this point, and is on so many peoples radars and review posts, I'm not going to spend much time summerizing the plot or anything like that. I'm just going to jump in and tell you my thoughts.

Everything I didn't like about this novel you have more then likely already heard. Yes, the writing was...well...let's just say it was a little rough around the edges. Yes, Christian is way too controlling. And Yes, Ana is way to naive.

But the worst part for me was that I was listening to the audio version!!! IT WAS AWFUL!!! The voice the reader used for Ana sounded like a stoned out valley girl. And the voices that she used for all of the men where just too ridiculous to even begin describing. Worst part was that there is a character named Jose (an unnecessary and barely recognizable version of the character Jacob from twilight) who she gave a really thick Hispanic accent to that made him sound like he had just crossed over the border last week. I couldn't stand it whenever his character came up and by the end of the book I really could not understand why Ana valued his friendship so much. But according to the other girls in my book club, he really wasn't that bad if I had been reading the book instead of listening.

Now, with all the negativity surrounding the book, was there anything positive to take away from it? Yes! I loved that for better or worse Ana and Christian had open communication. Okay, yeah, most of it only occurred via email, but still, at least they were communicating! I'm not kidding, read enough novels and you end up wanting to strangle the main characters for allowing all those misunderstandings to occur ONLY because they just wont be honest with each other!

Just the other day I was watching the season 1 finale of Downton Abbey and I was literally screaming at the television "MARY!!! JUST TELL HIM ALREADY!!!"

But, in 50 Shades, Christian quickly realizes that Ana is more upfront and honest when she emails him and from then on whenever he observes her starting to withhold feelings from him, he encourages her to email him. Wait, did I just say "encourages"? I'm sorry, I meant he Insisted. Demanded. Required. Ordered.

Regardless of how it came to be, they did communicate. Sure there were some things they withheld, we all have skeletons in the closet, but when it came down to the two of them and their relationship and what they wanted out of it, for the most part they were very clear. There were a few moments when Ana tried to read more into what Christian was actually saying, but I think that is just something us girls do!

The controversy of the book is all rapped up in this dominant/submissive lifestyle they are trying to work out but I really felt that particular issue was one of the things that aided their communication. Having Christian come to Ana with his list of "Hard Limits" and his idea of the relationship that he wanted so clearly defined, forced Ana to define what exactly it was that she wanted.

One of the things Ana kept saying was that she wanted "more". Which I think a lot of women, when they are looking at what they want from a relationship, would agree. But what is this elusive "more"? What is it that we want? In this book, Ana is faced with having to actually decide what she wants. Sure, some would say that what she ends up wanting is more or less whatever Christian wanted. But I think that is one of the places you have to extend your disbelief with the book.

I do have a spoiler section at the end of this post where I will give my opinion on the ending of the book. But for those of you who choose not to read the spoiler, I will go ahead and give you my rating of the book.

I gave it an abduction rating of

I honestly didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it either. I wont be reading the sequels and I don't plan on ever reading this book again. But I was able to find the good in it.

My thoughts on the ending...

The end of the book is when Ana tells Christian to show her how far he really does want to push the boundaries of their lifestyle and after he does this, she feels that it was too much and she leaves.

I was extremely uncomfortable with how far Christian's limits went. Even though a lot of my friends have said that they don't feel like what he did was considered "beating" because she asked him to.

Personally, I. Do. Not. Care. As far as I am concerned, he beat her!

And because it was more then she could handle, I felt that she should have left when she did.

Some people say that the ending was abrupt or not even a full ending. And I understand where they can see that, but I felt that if this book had come out on its own then I would argue that the ending was deserved. People would have read the book and seen the relationship as a catalyst to shape Ana into the woman she was going to become. It would have been a very sexy NC17 rated coming of age story.


fakesteph said...

I can't bring myself to read this book. I just think it is going to be so problematic and I'd rather be happy than annoyed or angry. Your review made me laugh. :)

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I think is probably the best review of Fifty Shades I've read (all the Goodreads ones either bash it or gush uncontrollably about it). I don't think you are missing too much by not finishing the series, especially if you were happy with the first ending.

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

Mandy challenged me - well, Double Dog Dared me to read this book as we were heading home after last book club. I didn't agree to it, but you know, Double Dog Dares are kind of binding... ;) I really don't think that I'll enjoy it. If you had absolutely loved it then maybe I would give it a chance... But I'm glad that you didn't hate it!

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