Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James - Review

I know what you're thinking... this is a young adult book blog, you like young adult books, why are you reading/reviewing a very non-young adult book? To be honest, I don't really know why I picked this book  up. I've been in sort of a funk lately in regards to reading YA. I've had a hard time getting through the books I've been reading and so  I picked up Fifty Shades of Grey and dove in, hoping for a change of pace and a renewed vigor for reading.

I'm not going to do too much of a synopses for this book because I think that one of the big draws for this book is it's mystery and so I would like to not spoil that for any future readers. When I picked Fifty Shades up, I really didn't know a whole lot about the series. Sure, I was aware that it was based off of some raunchy Twilight fan fiction and that there were sex contracts and lots of sexy scenes, but other than that, I was completely in the dark. Basically, you need to know that our two main characters, clumsy and innocent  Anastasia and rich and dangerous Christian Grey (hmmm does this sound familiar?) get wrapped up in what becomes a very different and risque relationship. Their pairing is different from any relationships that they've previously had and both are in over their heads.

This is one of those books that I can't really make up my mind if I liked to or not. It's been a while since  I've been so into a book that I stay up until 3 in the morning reading. I actually contemplated calling in sick from work to keep reading, but I think that's just because I became addicted to the story and I had to read more!

One of the really weird things for me was that it's got a very predominant Twilight feel. Now I know sometimes you see similarities to the Twilight theme and I know this story as based off Twilight fan fiction, but Fifty Shades hits every single plot point...near accident, the "I'm not the guy for you", the "you dazzle me", the "I can't hide from my nature and I'm not telling you about my past", the "lion and the lamb" etc. (insert eye roll here). Literally, every plot point in Twilight was reflected in Fifty Shades. I can't say that this made me not like it, but it made it easier for me to not take this book too seriously. I read it with an open mind and a light heart. Rather than expecting this to be a masterpiece, I was expecting Bella and Edward... but with bondage. And in all honesty, that's what I got.

There were some problems that I did have with the story. It really wasn't well written. I felt that James tended to lean too heavily on the Thesaurus in an effort to make Grey and Ana sound more intelligent and cultured like Bell and Edward. Also, I found the story to be repetitive at times. For example, I'd read a paragraph and then have to check my kindle to make sure that I didn't get bumped back a few chapters... which was a bit confusing and frustrating.

The sex was explicit, obviously, and did catch me a little off guard at first as it's not your normal "Vanilla sex" that they have. At times, with Grey's background and the sex described, I did feel like I may have been reading Law & Order SVU episodes... where was detectives Stabler and Benson when all of this was happening? I don't love the characters, but they fit with the story and so I deal with their annoying tenancies.

All in all, Fifty Shades of Grey is not a book for everyone, but it's one that I couldn't put down. While it's plot is familiar, you become addicted to their fifty shades of f-ed up relationship. This book has a definite NC-17 rating, I would say anyone under 18 shouldn't pick this book up (which Im' sure most of you very well know). Welp... on to book 2.

6 out of 10

Happy Reading :)



  1. "Bella and Edward with Bondage" I LOL'd. I don't know if I'll ever read this series. I'm mainly interested in YA books and this one just seems a little too adult for me, even though I'm 22. Ha ha. I've read a few other reviews and I still just don't get the big OMG over it.

  2. Honestly, I don't know if I get the big OMG over the books either, but there is something about them that is subtle additional. If you can read them with an open mind, they are quick reads that by book 3 will have you falling in love. I'm about your age as well and some of the things happening did shock me, but after book one, they start to read like a normal romance novel, just a little bit more kinky :)

  3. Subtly addictive... not subtle additional... auto correct!!!