15 October 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

SYNOPSIS: 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.  

REVIEW: There's no point putting a single star here, it doesn't even deserve a star. A tiny photo of a garbage bin would be fitting.

I'll just say this straight on - I regret getting on the bandwagon. It was like I was blinded by the idea of a Christian Grey that I failed to see, at first, how incredibly ridiculous this book is. Now I'll be dissing the book in the form of a review (trust me I'll do my best to be constructive), so if you're a fan well... hello there. 

*Awkward silence*

Okay let's get down to business.

Reasons why I read the book in the first place:

1. I was curious - my friends were raving about some Christian Grey.
2. I got on the bandwagon and fell asleep so I missed my stop and failed to get off on time (which then led me to reading the other two books but I'll discuss that in a separate post)

But thankfully after some time I came to a realization that it's merely a hype and that a lot of people are blinded, sadly.

Enough of that. Here's the "constructive" part of my review (I will try. Promise.):

Reasons why I didn't like the book

1. Plot

Simply put, the plot lacked substance. Honestly if you take out all the erotica in it you could easily see how incredibly shallow the story is. Well... even if you don't, it's still shallow. You just have to get over how "hot" Christian Grey is to see how mindless it is. I feel like it only gained popularity because of how vulgar the sex scenes were. Sex sells, spot on.

2. Characters 

There wasn't much variety in the characters. At some point I felt like everyone was all too perky and perfect (especially Christian's family) that it seemed like Kate, Anna's bestfriend, was the only believable character. More importantly, Christian's deep rooted psychological problem could have potentially contributed to his dynamic personality but in the end I just felt scared of him. A lot of the characters lacked grounding, I think.

3. Writing 

One of my biggest issues with this book is the incredibly sloppy writing. I can't help but feel like the publisher was so in a hurry to ride the hype that it was enjoying in the world of fan fiction that they allowed the writing to suffer. A lot of big words were repeatedly used and sometimes it seemed out of place. Descriptions were lacking in important narrations and were in excess in a lot of unimportant narrations. I've never felt so annoyed at how scattered an author's writing could be. Ever.

4. Fan Fiction

Initially I had no idea it used to be a fan fiction of Twilight. A lot of the similarities in the book gave me the feeling it resembled Twilight and I was only able to confirm it when I did a bit of research via Google. When I found out though, it explained a lot - and I mean plenty. Now I know there's nothing new under the sun but to read something that greatly resembles another popular series? Turn off.

5. Every Girls Dream (?)

Am I the only one who feels like the story's filled with the author's secret desires? Nevermind that the idea's originally from Twilight. I'm just saying, everything's too good to be true. It's almost as if the writer put all of her frustrations into one book. Seattle's hottest, youngest billionaire bachelor falls madly in love with an ordinary college grad. Yup. Okay.

That's about it. So much for immersing myself in all sorts of genre. Pleh



E.L. James

I’m a former TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in the leafy suburbs of West London. Since January 2012 my life has taken an extraordinary turn with the runaway success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. From an early age I had always dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with – and my dreams have come true, thanks to you guys. Now that life seems to have settled down a little, I want to crack on and write my next novel – another adult, provocative romance. I do hope you will enjoy that too.


  1. Yep. Glad I never jumped on that crazed bandwagon. There just seemed to be way too many things wrong with the whole picture that I knew I would not like it. Plus, my friends and such were so into it that their obsession was driving me insane. "A garbage bin would be fitting" LOL!

  2. You are not the only one!