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E. L. James' 'Fifty Shades of Grey': A Review

Updated on July 1, 2014

Pages: 514

Rating: **

Let's be honest here. I like to read dirty and raunchy sex scenes as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean that they should be poorly written. While I don't necessarily search for smutty books, I'll definitely take an interest in it if I come across one. Truthfully, I didn't give the novel more than a second glance until I read an article saying that sex toy sales were on an all time high since the release of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and I must confess that my interest suddenly spiked. I'm glad that E.L. James is enjoying success with the novel, but I definitely will not continue the series. As steamy as some of the scenes are, there just isn't enough substance to keep my interest.

When Anastasia Steele volunteers to interview rich, young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her college newspaper, she just thought she was doing a favor for a sick friend. What she ends up finding is a dashing man with a dark and lustful secret. Naive Anastasia knows that she should leave Grey alone, but her body tells her otherwise. As she returns to her normal life, her every thought is centered around the mysterious Grey. Just the thought of him are awakening desires within her that she just can't silence. As she catches glimpses of the man around every corner, she decides that she can't fight the feelings anymore and surrenders herself to Grey. Meanwhile, Christian makes no attempt to hide his desires for Anastasia, and presents her with a proposition that will shake her to the very core. Can she surrender herself in ways she couldn't fathom possible before? Or are the boundaries pushed too far past her limits?

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey Series)
Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey Series)

I know a lot of people with disagree with my opinion, so please read the book and draw your own conclusions.


E.L. James is getting some great praise for her work, but I don't see how she deserves it. The story is sickeningly slow. Imagine trying to run through a pool of quicksand with no shoes on. The story moves just a little more slowly than that! The characters are flat. All of them. At no point did I really identify with anyone or see anyone beyond a single dimension. Granted some of the inner quarrels between Anastasia's conscience and 'inner goddess' are chuckle worthy, but these moments are few and far between. Anastasia and Christian don't even come close to coming alive until they start emailing each other. For some reason, the honesty and playfulness of the emails are the only part of the entire book that I truly enjoyed. Sure there are some hot love scenes, but that doesn't amount to much. I'd gladly sacrifice half of them for some better story telling. My advice for E.L. James is to focus on erotica short stories. A great love scene or two with little need to expand on characters or settings, as her characters fail in full length novel form. I don't want to crush anyone's dreams, but with ample room for improvement, the rusty bed springs of this disaster only warrant a flaccid two stars.

I'm just curious. Did more men or more women read this book? Which group do you belong in?

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    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Interesting! I almost picked up this book to read the other day!