Tuesday, August 21, 2012

50 Shades of Grey - A review

It's my first time.

I can't say that without pretending to be one of those coeds in the Girls Gone Wild videos.  If a girl says it's my first time while flashing her boobs to a middle aged, sweaty cameraman, I'm gonna guess she's fibbing.

But that's just me.

It is my first time writing a book review though, that's the truth.  I guess I've never felt so compelled to pick something apart before.

Or maybe I'm going stir crazy being holed up in this house with my pneumonia and injured husband and read way too much into the book.

Either way.

I have to confess that I knew that the book was of a, ahem, sexual nature before I read it.

You know what this means.

I had high expectations.  HIGH.

Suffice to say, those expectations weren't met.

I got blue balled.

If you haven't read the book yet and you want to, you might want to skip the rest of this post.  That is, unless you want to laugh your ass off.  Then, you should definitely keep reading.  Besides which, I'm not really spoiling much.  Mostly because there's not much to spoil.

The wild success of this book has been brought to you by Kindles, Nooks and e-readers of all varieties.  Without the inconspicuousness, the secretiveness, the fact that you can be reading erotica and no one around you know that, I can promise this book would never have become a best seller.  If you had to carry around an actual book that screams to the world I'm reading smut!!!, most women would be a little more hesitant to parade Christian and his naughtiness around poolsides, parks and school parking lots.

I was talking to a friend about this book last night.  She hasn't read it yet, but she's read just about every other book ever written in the history of time.  I was telling her that I think the book is confused.  It's not sure what genre it is supposed to be in. It's a poorly written Harlequin romance book cleverly disguised as a real novel.  Amazing what cover art can do.

If it's supposed to be a real novel, it's sorely lacking in plot and character development.  You never really learn anything about any of the characters - just get to read the same mediocre sex scene over and over and over.    If it's supposed to be smut, it's not good enough.

If Ana is supposed to be in her early 20's and a virgin, there is a reason.  Women don't get to their 20's without having sex unless there is a reason.  Period.  And women with a reason don't jump into the world of S&M for their first time.  Make her a girl who had some wild escapades in college and I might buy it.  But a virgin?  Nope.  That right there made me think that maybe a man actually wrote the book.

If it's supposed to be a book about racy sexual escapades, bondage, dominance and s&m, it is a dismal failure.  If you've ever watched that scene in Eyes Wide Shut, you've seen more than this book offers in it's entirety.  If you haven't seen Eyes Wide Shut, go.  I'll be here when you get back.

If you want to get a bunch of middle aged, married moms fired up about sex, you've got to do more than this.  If you write about an entire room dedicated to bondage, it had damn well better be put to good use.  I'm not the most adventurous person in the world, but I was bored.

I may not be dangling from the ceiling covered in feathers, but dammit someone should be.

Entertain me.

If you want to turn on women and make them want to keep reading, you can't have the devastatingly handsome man beat the shit out of the girl just to get his rocks off.  Sorry, there's nothing sexy about that.  Spanking, sure.  I can get behind a good spanking just as much as the next person.  But, beating?  Hell no.

If you want to sell the idea of having sex while on your period, he cannot just do a reach around and take out her tampon.  Oh my god.  There is no touching of the tampon!!!!!   WTF?   Just, just, W.T.F.?

If you want to keep my interest, you cannot honestly expect your readers to believe that this completely sexually inexperienced woman can be brought to orgasm within seconds.  That's just fucking ridiculous. Fiction can be fun!

I don't need the same exact description of him opening the condom every.single.time.  I get it.  The foil ripped.  I read that already, just like 3 pages ago.  And then before that.  You're using protection.  Yay for that. For reals though, this is boring.  The member is sheathed.  Again.

I don't honestly think the word penis is in the book at all.  Or if it is, I stopped paying attention.  No vaginas either.  What the hell?  This is supposed to be an entire book dedicated to sex, and not a single term for either of the tingly parts?  Call them what they are.  It's a penis.  A dick.  A cock.  Something.  We KNOW what it is.  You can use the words.  Really.  This isn't a 5th grade health class.  I'm reading this book because it's about sex.  I'm prepared for an occasional naughty word.  Honest.

As if the lack of proper penis mention isn't enough, she can't come up with anything to call her vajayjay than my sex. I literally laughed every single time she talked about her sex.  Come on.  We are adults here.  Call it something!!!  Hell, secret garden would be better than my sex.

This book was a vast disappointment for so many reasons.  I kept waiting for some variety in the sex scenes.  I kept waiting for some character development.  Nope.  I've heard the later books in the series do both, but I'm just not sure I've got the motivation to keep going.  I need more stimulation.

This book is just a toned down, unexciting version of the romance novels we've been taught to be ashamed to read.  Ladies, take my advice.  Pick up one of those Harlequin books and forget Mr. Grey.

Unless Bradley Cooper gets cast as Christian in the movie.

Then you can bet your sweet ass I'll be watching.


  1. A virgin cumming on demand, it's ludicrous. And multiple orgasms just because he told her to. I wish my vagina was so magical. For reals.

    Laters, baby!

    1. This ain't a sex book....I think it's really more fantasy. We should all be so orgasmically gifted.

  2. I laughed out loud, Kelly. I have NOT read Shades yet but it is the January pick for my book club. I'm pretty sure, since I have read The Sleeping Beauty Novels (http://www.amazon.com/The-Sleeping-Beauty-Novels-Punishment/dp/0452156610), Shades would indeed be disappointing--if not laughable--so I don't plan on actually reading it. (Really, she can't say cock and clit?) Romance novels are cheap, porn is free, and modern women aren't nearly so sheltered as they admit.

    Great review :)

    1. Laughable is exactly the right word. I may have to download those princess books.....

    2. Sleeping Beauty are Anne Rice books (originally written under a pseudonym)> Puts Shades S&M to shame.

    3. I'm intrigued. Will check them out.

  3. Okay for anyone wanting some serious sex books...read Anne Rice's books...other than the Vampire ones, as a kid my mom had some and that was some serious stuff, like I had to put it down it was too much for me....or read Kushiel's Chosen by Jaqueline Carey...now that has some good S&M shit! And I liked the books. I have been reading smut since I was in middle school...can not get me to read 50 Shades...seriously, I have not read many Romance novels in the last 10 years as the sex scenes are boring.

    1. Hahaha....I will consider you my smut advisor from now on.

  4. HAHAH!!! "my sex".
    The word "cooter" is hotter than that.
    That settles it. I need to write a smut book. But first I need to read 50 shades so I can put it to shame.

  5. I have read the first two books... had to see why after he beat the crap out of her there would be more books. I would think that would be a done deal... nope. Don't waste your time on the 2nd book as it is extremely disappointing as the first one.

    1. Good to know....sigh. I hoped for so much better.

  6. i skimmed through the first book.. WAS not impressed.. i laugh when i talk to fellow readers and they are all ga-ga about it .. ho-hum.. i read better action in historical romances.. ;-)

  7. I have a very angry post in my head reviewing this crap novel. Very angry. I read over 500 Harlequins when I was a bored virginal teenager and you know what? Any number of them were a bazillion times better.

  8. Anais Nin would lunch EL James in face, write a 70, 000 word novel of that encounter and it would be sexier than that book. It's the Nickelback of writing.

    I loved your review.

  9. She didn't need character development. It was all done in through Twilight books. if Stephens Meyer was anything like J.K. Rowling, this would never have seen the light if day. The author/fan just wanted to see Bella and Edward get it on-the sweet Christian lady. Once it went viral it got picked up, she changed the names to protect the innocent and voila!


  10. Try the classic 'The Story of O' by Pauline Reage'. I've skipped 50 Shades because it sounds like it's trying to be a modern O. O is racy and disturbing at times especially considering the time during which it was written and published. And I also second the Sleeping Beauty books!

  11. I naturally don't plan to read this book, but I have heard other similar reviews. Just an FYI Bradley Cooper will not be in the movie but Charlie Hunam who plays Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy will be.

  12. The books were definitely boring and redundant, I made it through all three and it totally wasn't worth it. That being said, Charlie Hunnam (Jax Teller of Sons of Anarchy) was cast as Christian Grey so I will not be missing that. For anything. Yum.

  13. Amen to this! I felt similarly. Seriously though. All those magical orgasms?!?! It's a dangerous picture to go selling to inexperienced women, frankly.

  14. Whenever I read about 50 Shades I always think of the episode of Friends when Rachel wants to write smut, and she uses the phrase "she liberated his love stick from its denim prison".


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