Yeah. Um....I'm not going to ask if you've heard about the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. You probably have. But have you read it? I've been seeing posts and blogs about it for a while, but to be honest - erotic romance? Not really my thing. I love my urban fantasy. I love paranormal romance (as long as its heavy on the story). But erotica...well, there was that time in the 80's in college where I subscribed to Playgirl *blushes furiously*...um...never mind. Fact is, I don't have the patience for stories that are all sex and no substance. Plus, trying to read smut in front of my 17 yr. old son & husband -- well... No. Can. Do.
But all the talk about Fifty Shades had me curious. Why the hell was this book getting so much promo? I decided to look it up on Amazon and read the excerpt. And...shit...I was hooked. I had to buy it.
It came Friday. I finished it this morning. (To be fair, I'm also reading two other books - a feat I don't recommend. It makes me scattered.)
I'm going to say one thing -- I've already ordered the next two books in the series AND I'm sitting here trying to convince myself I can wait for them to come in the mail. Honestly, I want to order them for my e-reader too, because I don't WANT to wait.
Fifty Shades of Grey is more than erotica. Yes, there's some racy hot scenes in it that will make your hair curl (and perhaps raise your blood pressure *clears throat*). Yeah. It's something. But that's NOT what makes this book phenomenal. It's the story. And, good God, it's a fantastic story.
Anastasia is just about to graduate from college when she takes her roommate's place interviewing businessman Christian Grey. Christian is ...oooh boy. Hot. Dangerous. Fascinating. Damaged. Just like Anastasia, I wanted to know his story. What makes him the man he is? How damaged is he? It appealed to that part of me that loved Jane Eyre and Rebecca and all those Victorian era stories with the innocent young girl trying to figure out the enigmatic older man who's fucked up. Yeah, except with a very modern twist, because Christian? Well, he's seriously fucked up.
They're not equals. Sexually, she's a total innocent. Romantically, he is. Emotionally? Well, he's rigid and stunted and in desperate need of learning that not everything can be controlled. And she's so unsure of herself in so many ways that she appeals to his need to control. She's light. He's dark. She makes him lighter. He makes her darker. Can they find a balance? A way to come together in a healthy way?
The story is very clever in that some of the most amazing conversations happen in emails which are both clever and funny. They lighten up what would otherwise be a dark dark story. The book ends on a cliffhanger that left me emotionally drained and desperate to know more. I'm invested in these characters. I need to know if they're going to work it out. And how they're going to work it out without Ana destroying herself. Can she find a way to accept Christian and his ... um ... unique likes?
This book has a heart. It has a soul. It has a story to tell. That's what makes it so good. And that's why everyone is talking about it. Do I recommend it? YES! But only if you can handle bondage scenes. (Trust me, there aren't that many and they're ... um .... interesting? enlightening? well written? *turning beet red*.) Shut up. And don't laugh at me. I'm a good little Catholic girl. ;P
I'm kind of shocked to say this, but this may have been one of the most enjoyable books I've read so far this year. Go forth and buy. You may wish to invest in something to fan yourself while you read. And don't blame me if it's too much for you. But you can definitely thank me for recommending it if you love it.