Last week, I fell into that black abyss that is the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Everyone I know (minus my fellow book club-ers) were all shocked that I hadn't read it. Well, I initially hadn't heard such great things when the series first came out, so I had thrown it on the back burner...and kinda decided to not try it.
But, then one of my favorite girls from book club, Natalie, told me she had read it on her Kindle and said, "It's really just like Twilight, only the guy isn't a vampire, he's a sexual deviant." Umm, OK. Then, another girl, Karlin, came to book club bearing the actual physical copies of the books. And she LOVED them. At this point I thought to myself, "why not?" So, I borrowed them.
And, if I'm completely honest, I was a little scared. I actually held on to them for about a month before I worked up the courage to crack the first cover open.
And boy, was I in for a treat...I got totally sucked in. Let me tell you, Christian is so suave and appealing from the get-go, that I was smiling to myself after reading only 20 or so pages. And Ana? Well, Ana is very Bella. And Christian is very Edward...everything from the way he dresses, the music, his old-fashioned manners, etc. Yea. If you've done any research about these books, you've read that the author specifically wrote them for the adult women who love the Twilight series. And I can honestly say that she hit the nail right on the head. There's even a little bit of a Jacob figure...only he's not Indian, he's Hispanic and named Jose.
As you gradually get to know Christian, you begin to realize that something is not quite right. While he appears to have everything together...rich, well-groomed, articulate, shrewd businessman...you can tell there's a weakness there. And you see it, almost, from the very beginning. He doesn't like to be touched and he doesn't show emotion well. You learn as the books progress that Christian's way of coping with these fallacies (and the reasons behind them) is, indeed, this sexual deviancy.
I was so nervous as I progressed farther into the first book because I was just waiting for...it. I had heard about the infamous deflowering scene...thumb interlude and all. But, by the time I got to it, I was already so wrapped up in the two characters and what was going on, that it didn't bother me. That part kinda made me go, "ew," but, overall I was OK.
And, as for the rest of those kinds of scenes, they aren't that bad. Yes, they're pretty graphic, but have you ever read a real romance novel? Instead of there being 5 scenes the entire book, there's one every 20 pages (after the deflowering scene, of course). And while there's some pretty, umm, creative instruments that Christian likes to utilize...there's not anything I hadn't heard of through television shows or bachelorette parties. And there's not anything that could cause any real physical harm (i.e. no choking). With that being said, I don't get the whole obsession to run off to the hardware store...no. Even if E.L. James makes it sound good in the book...no, thank you.
Now...down to my real question. I LOVE and I do mean LOVE Ana's inner goddess and her subconscious. They are soooo hilarious. I'm just wondering if and how they'd incorporate them into the movie...because you know there's going to be a movie, right? I seriously don't know how it's not going to be rated XXX...but, we'll see!
One more point I want to make...I love it when books refer to classics. Duh, one of my goals is to read as many classics as possible. And when books allude to a particular work, I'm always more apt to move it to the top of my list (in the classics genre). These books talk a lot about Thomas Hardy and Tess of the D'Ubervilles specifically. These were Ana's favorites and I will be excited to pick Tess and Hardy's other works up soon.
I really enjoyed these books and the story that goes along with it. They won't win any great literary prize...but, neither will Twilight. In fact, the first time I read Twilight, I mentioned how after being 10 pages in I wanted to grab my red pen. If you loved Twilight, you'll love this. If you're looking for a hot, romantic page-turner, you'll love this. If you're looking for something that has a complex literary plot and really makes you think...this is not it.
OK, now I'm going to brush my hands and move on to my next book... And oh yea, I'll leave you with the funniest Pinterest board I've seen regarding this huge 50 Shades hoopla.