Wednesday, April 18, 2012

discovering new books

{photo by alison frank}

about a month ago i was watching the today show (as i do every morning) when the topic of the controversial new book "fifty shades of grey" came up.  usually my morning routine is rushed, due to my unwillingness to get out of bed when my alarm first goes off, so i'm often just listening to the today show from the other room while i am curling my barely-there eyelashes.   but once i heard them talking about a new york times best selling book and then the words "women are obsessed," (that one always gets my attention) "guilty pleasure," "sexual dominance"  --  sexual dominance?  well, that made it pretty easy to drop my mascara and find out more.

british author e l james (and mother of two) has written a trilogy of books centered around college graduate anastasia steele and her erotic relationship with entrepreneur and control freak christian grey.  from what i heard on the today show, this book has become a polarizing topic, as many women view it as an indulgent fantasy and others are 100% mortified that this book is being celebrated by women, as they suggest it condones violence towards women, especially since christian grey is an older man exerting his dominance over this naive girl.

i should state that i have never once read a romance novel and am no way interested in erotic literature, but i was curious what all of the drama was about.  for research purposes only, i decided i should read this book while on vacation.  of course, since i was reading it while on a disney cruise i chose to buy the kindle edition, as it isn't really the book you want to be seen reading poolside.

my conclusion?  while this is most definitely a page turner, the writing leaves a lot to be desired and if i never read the words "my inner goddess" again i will be one happy lady.  i think what intrigued me most was the build up and having no idea what exactly was going to take place here--- just what were they going to do?  could i handle it?  the critics had placed a lot of emphasis on the age discrepancy between the lovers, which to me would have made the disparaging feedback more understandable.  they describe mr. grey as a much older man, but as it turns out she's 22 and i believe he's only 28.  that just seemed odd to me.  what i found most annoying though was that she tricks you in the end, setting the last page to roll directly into the second book, "fifty shades darker."  all that being said, i've already purchased the second book for my kindle so i'll keep you posted on how that one goes.

would you read this book?  have you?  ***please note, i am working on getting comments on my blog and i'd love your help.  my goal is to get ten comments today. let's make it happen!


  1. I haven't read it yet but I read some interesting comments on FB yesterday where women were either totally obsessed or completely bashing the terrible writing. A couple of women chimed in and said that they have female erotica that blows this out of the water. Not sure why this one seems to have taken off as opposed to others that are supposed to be so much better. I usually get curious about things with this much hype but so far I just kind of don't care.

  2. I just finished the series! I can't believe I actually, willingly, read all three books. I will be happy to never read "Oh, my Fifty!" ever again.

    You could stop after the second, but the third book was actually pretty readable and I even teared up at one point. I'm so emotional!

  3. Let's not forget the overused "clench", often paired with "belly". And "inner goddess"-gag.
    And yet... still reading.