Monday, April 30, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Title:  Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E L James
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Fifty Shades #1
Main Characters: Ana and Christian
Release Date: April 2012
ISBN: 9780345803481
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever

My Review:
I don't plan to write a really long review because I figure most of it's already been said about this book. Before we read this book, we were discussing it at my writers' meeting and someone said they heard it actually wasn't written all that well. When I first started the book, I had to concur. There is a stilted, awkwardness to the writing, but the entire book is told from the heroine, Ana's, POV and she is a stilted awkward person in a lot of the circumstances that she finds herself in. As a result, the style of the prose really works. I'm not sure if it was done on purpose or not, but the entire book is entirely compelling and riveting.

The hero in the book, Christian Grey, is such a scarred person. There are just hints at what his childhood (i.e. formative years) involved and those glimpses are horrific especially when you consider his proclivities. And they are definitely the reason that he is the way he is...extremely controlling and domineering. He's young...only 27 years old and I like that fact in this story line. I'm not sure I would like him as well if he were older. There are moments when his youth shines through and you get to see the man he might have been if he hadn't had the childhood he did.

The heroine of the book, Ana, is a different case. There are aspects of her that are completely unbelievable. She's graduating from college and completely the point that she's never held hands or kissed a man before (at least that's what this book basically said...later books say differently...a minor inconsistency). I could deal with the virginity, but I just can't believe the other two aspects especially since she has no particular hang-ups about sex. It's just a little too outside the realm of believability for me with an attractive college-age girl.

Like I said before, this book is incredibly compelling and I think that all comes down to these two characters. They both are written brilliantly. Within the book, we live in Ana's head so everything is skewed from her point of view. She's enthralled by Christian, but more than a little horrified by what Christian is proposing and that she's even considering it. In case you haven't heard the hype from this book, he is very into BDSM...not a mild thing for an inexperienced girl. Her reactions are so honest and genuine....I loved her observations of the world and the split personality she sometimes develops between her inner goddess and her subconscious.

The book ended with a cliffhanger and even though it was midnight, I immediately had to download book #2 and read the first few chapters simply so I could sleep. The first book was amazing and I am pretty sure I will be reading the next two today. Eyeing the review pile which is going to suffer for it, but these books are so good. I simply can't resist....much like Christian Grey himself.

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