Fifty Shades {No Spoilers}

I finished the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy last week. I know you are all going to kill me for this, but I didn't really like it. I wasn't even going to read it because, well, it's porn. I'm not a prude at all, but I've never read a romance novel, let alone erotica, and I never would have thought I'd be reading anything about BDSM! But after reading a few articles about it, hearing that the books will soon be movies, and seeing fellow bloggers dive into the series, I had to see what the fuss was about.

I thought the first book was good, but as the series went on, they got worse. Most people felt the opposite. While their lives and the chaos around them got more interesting, I think I enjoyed the beginning of Ana and Christian's relationship more than the rest of it. Although the "kinky fuckery" slowed down in books two and three, their relationship got more and more fucked up.

Let me start with the basics: it's poorly written. Like, really terribly written. And E.L. should have got herself an American editor or just let the story take place in England. Americans don't talk like that. Also, if you're constantly writing about sex, shouldn't you have the balls to use the correct terms for genitals? Have you ever heard of a vagina being referred to as "my sex"? Ana might as well say, "then he touched my private parts".

On to the characters. Ana and Christian were so freakin' dramatic with their "I can't live without you," "I'll never leave you," and "I died a thousand deaths worrying about you" every fifteen pages. Calm down! Their banter was annoying. Their constant use of "Mr." and "Mrs." was annoying. Ana calling Christian "Fifty" in nearly every sentence was annoying. And their lovey dovey post-coital discussions gagged me. (I have an ex who talked to me like that. He was such a sensitive girl and it was not sexy at all. The compliments turned into lines he thought he was supposed to say and they lost all meaning. I know some girls eat that stuff up, but I guess I'm not really into "hearts and flowers".)

There's no way Ana was so good in bed when she was a virgin who can't drive. (Oops, wrong story. Name that movie!) She was so beautiful and alluring, all of these guys were falling at her feet and she was never interested in anyone before Christian, yet she was a sexpert at first fuck. Um, no. The first time with anyone is awkward, no matter how experienced you are. (At least I think. I've been married for 5 1/2 years. Am I wrong?) The inner goddess thing got old fast. The sex scenes also started to bore me. I ended up skipping over most of them in the last two books. It was so hard to read, not because I was uncomfortable (some of it was h-o-t!), but because it was so badly written. The way they talked to each other made me want to smack them. And there was just too much of it. They almost always went for round two immediately after. That can't happen in real life unless he's 18! I think Mrs. Monologues said it best: "Unless this girl was a porn star in another life no woo haa could handle doing the dirty dirty that many times in a day. I get a bladder infection just thinking about it."

While I loved (and wanted!) Christian in the beginning, he was so controlling, irrational, and obsessive that it made me stop liking him. As hot, rich and sexually experienced as he was, his behavior was such a turn off. Telling Ana when to eat, what to wear, and where to go infuriated me and I was even more mad at her for taking it. She had zero self-respect or self-confidence. She was a brainless idiot. And if you bite your lip that often, it's going to be bloody all the time. It was hard to feel engaged because I just wanted to scream at them. Fight and make up, fight and make up, fight and make up is not a fun, quirky, passionate relationship. It's total dysfunction. She was afraid of him throughout the series. That is not sexy!

Whoa. I just picked that apart, didn't I? Now you know why I don't read romance novels. I can't get lost in a story when the characters are so annoying and fake. Nicholas Sparks does nothing for me. Except for when he casts super-hot guys in his movies.

Speaking of movies, I don't know how these won't be X-rated. Does that still exist? Ok, NC-17. The second and third books will be easier to make because there was much more of a storyline, but the first book is all sex, all day. I will definitely see them though. I gotta see the train wreck! But won't it be awkward going to see a porno with a bunch of friends?

As far as casting goes, I'd be happy with the some of names that have been thrown out for Christian: Alexander Skarsgard, Ian Somerhalder, and Chris Pine. But I pictured Chace Crawford while I was reading just because I'm in love with him at the moment.

And please, please, pleeeeease don't let Kristen Stewart be Ana! I know she IS Ana, but that girl drives me crazy! I've heard the rumblings of Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, and Emmy Rossum. Eh. I was honestly picturing Rory Gilmore the whole time. Not really even Alexis Bledel, but Rory. Haha! She's an awkward, mousy, klutzy, timid, embarrassed, naive, good girl. If you've seen her on Mad Men lately, you can see that she could definitely work in the movies.

So tell me, what did you think? Am I really the only one that didn't love these books?
And tell me who you want for the movies!

I'm linking up with Katie and Heather for Book Club Friday!


Cassandra Henri said...

I have not read the books yet. I'm not into romance novels really. My mom borrowed it from my aunt and she's to embarrassed to take it out in public! She threw a book cover on it so that she could read it in the dentist waiting room without getting embarrassed! Now I'm suspicious of anyone with a medium sized book with a cover on it.

Michele said...

So i honestly think youre the first person ive heard say they didnt like the books! what?!?! haha! i will agree with you that the whole "inner goddess" crap got old..quick. but i loved them! i was one of those stay up all night reading them just so i could reread them...yes, the writing was not up to par, but its mommy porn. thats like critiquing debbie does dallas ;-) haha! i do agree with you about the rory gilmore thing...my christian was mcdreamy (patrick dempsey) but not as patrick, but actually as early on, first years greys anatomy mcdreamy. kwim?

Katie Price said...

I love your picked-apart review of the trilogy! To be honest, I was too caught up in (& shocked by) what was happening to really get mad at the characters. I agree with most of your critiques though. This is definitely not good literature, but it did have that 'I've gotta keep reading' quality.

p.s.Thank you for not giving away the end of #3.. I'm not quite there yet!

tara said...

Lol. This made me laugh!! I did love the books even though they were horribly written and there were some parts that annoyed the crap out of me. I might die if KStew plays Ana. Ugh.

ErinMSW said...


I haven't and won't read them. I have no desire to sit on a public train and read porn (my train commute is the only time I have to read). Not to mention, every review says the dialogue is terrible and the grammar and spelling are atrocious, which would drive me totally bananas.

Nikki said...

Ok so I think it was an okay series although I am having a hard time getting through the last book because it is now just so repetitive. Ya know?

Claire Kiefer said...

I'm in the middle of the first book right now. While I'm admittedly captivated by the story, I'm disgusted by how HORRIBLE the writing is. I went to graduate school for an MFA in Creative Writing, and THIS WOMAN is making billions off this drivel? OMG. I swear on everything holy, I cannot put up with "stop biting your lip, Ana" throughout three whole books. Please tell me that stops.

Rory would be perfect! How the F are they going to turn these into movies? I've heard that too, and I just can't conceive of it. Straight-to-DVD-porn?

Lauren {Adventures in Flip Flops} said...

I agree with you. I found myself really wanting the sex from book one in the second and third books.

I did actually love them, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this came from fanfiction (it was based on Twilight), and I already read fanfiction. So, I think I'm used to the pitfalls and the traps that the authors fall into and I just ignore them and look for the juicy bits.

There are certainly other novels with "kinky fuckery" in them that are written better (I have a list up on my blog, if you're interested) and I could do entirely without the whole inner goddess and dramatic overreaction stuff. She could definitely have developed her characters more.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I haven't read them yet. I am a cheap ass and check books out at the library because when I buy a book I never read it :/ BUT I added this to my list so long ago. It's taking me longer to get this than any of the Hunger Games books.

I'm glad to hear your side because people are so obsessed their blinded. Like The Hunger Games. Don't get me wrong, I am obsessed with the books. But I didn't like the movie all that much. I felt like people liked it because they were "supposed to".

And I have no idea how they are going to make this into a movie. It's porn. That's awkward lol. BUT I don't care how bad it is, if Ian is in it I will watch it. And it better be X rated hahaha! ;) God, I love that man. And Chase. But his busted lip on GG has been bothering me!

Shoshanah said...

Everyone seems to be posting about these books today! I haven't read them yet, but want to. With all the hype I feel like I need to have an opinion on them. Plus I want to read them before the movie comes out.

Heather said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't have said it better myself!!! I only read the first book and I'm not even going to review it...

Sarah @ Simply Sarah said...

Yes! Oh my God, I totally agree. I have to admit that I was into the "kinky fuckery" in the first book, but I am putting off reading the second book because it is SO BADLY WRITTEN.

Also I 100% agree about the American Editor. I kept thinking to myself, "No one in America talks like that, it just doesn't make sense."

I feel like Shades of Grey is just Twilight for grown people, honestly.

But who am I kidding? I will probably read the last two books.

hotpants™ said...

Even though I'm enjoying them, I couldn't agree more. I hope to finally finish them this weekend. I just haven't had time.

The one part I hated the most was how great the sex was her first time. For God's sake, virgins aren't sexperts. But the writer did make me fall in love with Christian. At first I pictured Josh Duhamel. Now, I really want Ian from TVD to play him since I know he wants to. I think he'd be perfect. I also think Christian Bale would be perfect even though he's too old. I'd like to see Alexis or Emmy Rossum play Ana.

Jen said...

I've been debating about whether I should read this series or not. I'm still on the fence. Oh and the movie you referenced was Clueless! Love that movie :)

Wendy May said...

Haha, I know I'm over a year late in commenting on this, but this made me laugh hysterically! You've written this perfectly. I too read all three, and felt the same. I only read all three because I had to finish what I started. Oh brother! So silly.

Loving your blog!! Nice to meet you!