Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey's story

Fifty Shades Trilogy

By E.L. James

Book Blurbs:
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.  The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER: Daunted by Christian’s dark secrets and singular tastes, Ana has broken off their relationship to start a new career. But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and while Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Ana is forced to make the most important decision of her life.
FIFTY SHADES FREED: Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to turn Ana’s deepest fears into reality.

I have had the book, Fifty Shades of Grey on my own "To Be Read" shelf on Goodreads since August 2011. Having said that, I will officially admit that the main reason I've read the books now is because a lot of my non book reading friends approach me asking if I have read "those sexy 50 Shades books" yet. They want to know my opinion and when I tell them that I haven't read the books, they seem disappointed I can't share the juicy details. Wow these books have received so much attention! Even Ellen got involved. I am not such a "band wagon" reader. The only other time that I'd read a book because of an intense book buzz it was, The Help. I just like to read what I want, when I want. My blog reviews a lot of books that have been released for many years so I am definitely not a peer pressure or an ARC hungry blogger. 

Currently on Goodreads, Fifty Shades of Grey has 54,864 ratings and 10,861 reviews so what more could I possible tell you about the Grey books that you haven't already read or heard? 
So I'm going to just share things that I flat out liked, my experience and perhaps things you quickly want to know about the books. I am not going to rehash the synopsis. If you want that sort of review for these books, check out all the great feedback on Goodreads. 

My Rating
Right out the gate let me tell you I am rating a perfect 5 hearts all around. I loved them all. I couldn't put them down. I spent my entire long weekend lounging around reading them whenever I could. (football games, patio, red lights, drive thru at Tim Horton's) The first book, Fifty Shades of Grey ends on a cliffhanger so I was very happy to have book 2, Fifty Shades Darker readily available.  These are NOT stand alone books and NEED to be read in order. Save yourself the grief and just purchase the trilogy together. 

The "Naughty"
There was such a buzz about The Fifty Shades books being BDSM novels and that they were just so "naughty". These comments are to hard to judge because everyone's level of "dirty" is different. I personally did not find any of the Grey books heavy in the BDSM elements at all. There are a few scenes but they are what I would consider to be light BDSM elements compared to what I have read out in there in the erotic world of BDSM book choices. Now if you are not inclined to have read many (or any) erotic books, I could see where the popular Saturday Night Live Parody skit could have that reaction for you. It didn't for me.  (the SNL skit below is hilarious and if you can't view it, try to Youtube it because it is worth the giggle)

The "Naughty" continued
Where there may not be a lot of BDSM elements, there is quite a bit of sex. So yes, the book is erotic. Sex is a big part of Ana and Christian's relationship. They solve lots of their complicated issues through sex. There is kinky fuckery (as Ana & Christian call it) and even more vanilla. Regardless, it is all hot and I found it all very well written. 

The Book Titles & Art
There is such a smart play on the title "Fifty Shades of Grey". Christian's last name is Grey and the entire erotic format of the story is caught between the black and white. His eyes are gray and the book holds a lot of moody elements which leave you feeling very gray. There are probably a few more double entrendres if I analysed more. 
I love the art of the covers. Each book's cover art is relevant to the story and I am a fan of that distinction. 

The Characters & Twilight Fan Fic
Before I read the series, I did hear that Ian Somerhalder would love to play Christian. Here is that video:
So for me that is who I pictured as Christian Grey in the stories. I actually think he is quite perfect. 
I know that The Fifty Shades of Grey series is based off a Twilight fan fic but honestly, I did not imagine those characters at all while reading the Fifty Books. I did not think of the Twilight series at all. I never got any impressions what so ever about Edward and Bella here. I am noting that in my review because that is something that held me back from reading the books since August 2011. 

Well if you like tortured heroes, Christian Grey is going to become one of your favourites. The man is "fifty shades of fucked up." (another hail to the titles) Ana is like an angel delivered to redeem him. What what a ride she endures for being her first real boyfriend. Ana pushes to Christian's pull. 

One thing I LOVED about this series was Ana and Christian's parents. No they were not perfect but what a refreshing joy it was to read about a loving mom and a loving dad (on both sides). The exclusion to this statement is of course Christian's birth mother but I don't want to discuss that because this review will become thousands of words long. 

For those that have read the book, I have to mention that Ana's "Inner Goddess" is a character all on her own and quite probably one of my favourite parts of the books. My inner goddess was loving all of the references. 

Wrap UP
The Fifty Shades Trilogy was such an enjoyable read. I have heard a lot of people claim that is it full of grammar errors but I found nothing distracting at all. I loved the story. I loved the healing process. I loved that there were many climatic moments *rolls eye* (not meant as a double entendre but totally is) I was actively turning the pages and I would love to sit down and do a re-read right now because I know how it all ends. I'd love to go back and see what sorts of things I missed first time around. When a book does that to me, I have to give it a 5 hearts. 

Well am I the last person who hadn't the 50 Shades books yet? 


Margaret said...

I have not read them yet, but mainly because I haven't had time to read much of anything lately. I do plan to read them, though!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read them yet, but I probably won't. I read the first chapter on Amazon and it didn't really grab me. Since my TBR pile is so big, I moved on.

Jo K said...

Thank you for such a great review! I couldn't agree more with everything you say. Finally someone who shares my delight!

I loved that about the parents (with one exception) being good, too. I'm also the kind of person who likes the covers that correspond the content and these really do, perfectly so.

Unknown said...

Hey Margaret, the lovely thing about books is that they will be there for years. No rush right.

Scientist, I agree about the tower of TBR books. I had a ton and yet I still went and bought them. LOL what can I say. Addiction is a bitch.

Pepca - HIGH FIVES. Hey we are entitled to our own opinions. As I mentioned early on in the blog post, I am not a bandwagon reader. So if I love it, I love it. I never like a book just because everyone else does. Likewise if I don't like the book I still say so.
Thanks for commenting!

Julie said...

Okay Michelle, you know what? I've had my eye on these for ever. Like you, since before they hit big and since bloggers started reading them months and months ago. Yet I never picked them up. Then suddenly they are every-freaking-where and that has made actually not want to try them. Why? No clue. But you're reviews here actually make me curious about the books again. I'm still in shock that so many people are in shock about these books because erotica books have been around since the beginning of time really but I see from what you said and the amount of sex in the books...that would concern some, I'm sure.
I really enjoyed your review(s). Good job. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Julie. I am in shock too about how the media is treating these books. I think that is why a lot of bloggers were not in a rush to read them. We've read a ton of erotica type of books for years. Not a big deal to us.
What gets me is when I am at my son's football practice and moms who never pick up books are approaching me about this particular series. So if it encourages more readers to the romance genre, then come on over!

Unknown said...

50 shades movie
I am awaiting for the releasing of Fifty shades Movie.and i watch Ian Somerhalder's work it is pretty awesome to see on the screen...E L James We give thanks for the book