If you haven’t seen the books around, well here they are:
Still don’t recognize them? Then you’re of the lucky few who have yet to be swept up in this “phenomenon”. To put it simply, this trilogy of books started out as a fan fiction for Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, and ended up (somehow) as a bestselling trilogy of novels. I mean these books beat out Harry Potter in the speed of sales. That’s how crazy everyone went.
And here I am wondering why. Yes, I read the books but I never reviewed them, because they’re mainly for older audiences and I focus more on YA, sometimes even NA, novels on this blog. However, now that this series is being made into a movie, I have to toss my two cents in. (Be warned, there will be swearing in this post ’cause.. OMFG.)
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.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Let’s start off with the good points:
- The overall story line (’cause there is one, vaguely) is not THAT bad. The fact that this billionaire genius entrepreneur whatever is being sabotaged, harassed, and has had attacks against him and his company is a fairly solid plot.
- Christian’s “nice” moments were cute, but those were far and few, as in, like, twice in each book.
- The emails, ’cause they was honestly the most entertaining part of the books.
Now the bad points:
- The writing SUCKED. There are no words to explain how much it sucked. If I ever see the words “oh my” or “holy crap/cow/shit/fuck/moses/hell/etc” as a reaction to anything ever again, it’ll be too soon. These phrases are used excessively throughout the novel as a reaction to news, to a look Christian made, to the weather, EVERYTHING. This girl is a bloody literature major, you would think she’d be able to come up with other words to describe what she’s feeling at the moment. Not only that, but even the supposedly ‘erotic’ scenes were boring. Eventually, I took to skimming through them because they were the same thing over and over again. He kisses her, he moves to her breasts, then he continues “down there” ’cause apparently saying the actual words that describe female genitalia would be absolute blasphemy. Don’t even get me started about the ‘inner goddess’ thing ’cause I just can’t… IT’S SO BAD.
- THE CHARACTERS. BY GODS. I feel the need to repeat that Anastasia Steele is a LITERATURE MAJOR, and, so help me god, if I come out of university and think like/act like/end up as dumb as her, I’m marching over to my University’s board and demanding a refund for my time, effort, and money. This girl is about as dumb as dumb can get. She’s an absolute push over and has like never been kissed, is a virgin, and hasn’t even touched herself. I’m not saying that this is not normal, but I don’t even think she knew what a BDSM relationship was. This girl is also best friends with a girl who seems to talk about sex, etc. a lot so it’s really hard to believe that this girl has never thought of, done, or even KNOWS about this stuff. She’s also petty as hell. She gets jealous of her friend for looking pretty when she’s sick. Honestly? That’s your first thought when you’re best friend’s coughing up a lung. GOOD FRIEND. She’s crazy insecure, superficial, and just trots into this relationship with a psychopathic maniac ’cause HE’S HOT. There’s so many things wrong with her character that this ginormous paragraph doesn’t even cover the half of it. The fact of the matter is, she’s portrayed as this fierce, independent woman, and yet she succumbs to Christian’s every wish and comes at his beck and call. She thinks that his abuse is deserved and even finds his stalking her a relative turn on. LIKE GURL YOU OK!?
In comparison, Christian is psycho, controlling, but we all figured that out by now. He takes pride in his stalking abilities, and likes to invade people’s privacy and has OCD about girls eating. Now with Christian, I’m hot and cold about. On one hand, he’s crazy. LIKE BAT SHIT CRAZY. On the other hand, I give the author props for noting that just ’cause a girl’s skinny doesn’t make them attractive. AND EATING IS GOOD. But the fact of the matter is, Christian Grey is obsessive, controlling, often cruel, seems to be bi-polar, often rude, a stalker, AND LIKES TO -whites out (i.e. highlight to see)- BEAT GIRLS WHO LOOK LIKE HIS MOTHER -continues on- ‘CAUSE THAT’S HOW BLOODY INSANE THIS GUY IS. At this point, one would run away screaming and hope to never come in contact with him ever again. ANASTASIA STAYS, TAKES THAT SHIT IN, AND THEN IS JUST LIKE BBY I LUV U STYL ‘CAUSE U IS BEAUTIFUL.
The only people with a normal reaction to all of this is Ana’s best friend and Christian’s mother. If the people around you go ape shit ’bout this, YOU KNOW SOMETHING’S WRONG.
- I hate how the world is TRIVIALIZING this behaviour. The media is passing it all off like it’s normal and healthy. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. With character’s like Christian Grey, Travis Maddox (Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire), Patch Cipriano (Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick), and Edward Cullen (Twilight by Stephanie Meyer), these popular books are setting up ideals that are wrong on so many levels. In all honesty, I enjoyed Hush, Hush, and I found Twilight alright, but does that mean I think that what the characters are doing is the right way? Does that mean I find those types of things attractive? Yes, it is really swoon worthy when a million year old dead guy stares at you while you sleep at night… /sarcasm. So why am I so up in arms about Christian Grey, about Patch, about Edward, about Travis, and other characters of the like? Because even though I think that these guys are extremely mentally unstable, scary, and basically stalkers, not everyone does. This is the crux of the problem. These authors (whether intentionally or unintentionally) and media outlets are promoting such behaviour as normal, attractive even. In this book, Anastasia finds that she’s afraid of Christian sometimes, and doesn’t want to upset him. Does this strike a chord with you? It did with me. And the biggest issue is that even though she’s a “strong, independent woman” (emphasis on the not-so-air-quotes), she stays with him because he’s beautiful, rich, and has a large “package”. The other guys are written off in the same way. Patch is beautiful, therefore he’s the perfect boyfriend. Even though he stalks you every now and again and ALSO stares at you while you sleep like a creeper. And then there’s Travis, who’s so crazy that when his one night stand sneaks out, he destroys half his apartment. UM. NO. READ: THESE ARE NOT ATTRACTIVE TRAITS. However, girls today WANT an Edward Cullen, they WANT a Christian Grey, they WANT a Patch Cipriano, they WANT a Travis Maddox. The worse part of it all is that within three months or so, suddenly Christian becomes a changed man and no longer wants to have a submissive, who no long has the urge to GIVE IN TO HIS PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES THAT HAUNT HIM EVERYDAY. Again, not saying this is necessarily unrealistic, ’cause there is an off chance that this can happen. HOWEVER, it sets a standard and says that if a girl does happen to come into a relationship with a guy like this, they can change him around in a good three months. This also tells male readers that it’s OKAY to be POSSESSIVE, it’s OKAY to get JEALOUSLY VIOLENT, it’s OKAY to STALK GIRLS and ABUSE THEM, verbally and physically. In novels, like Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, we get a glimpse into a relationship that is like those mentioned above, however, the girl’s scared shitless. She’s afraid of other people finding out, she’s afraid of her boyfriend’s anger. SHE’S AFRAID AND WANTS TO GET AWAY BUT DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO. This is a NORMAL reaction to such a relationship. FEAR. Which seems to be something these “heroines” don’t have much of. I don’t care how freaking independent you are. If you are in an abusive relationship, or a guy is stalking you, YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID. YOU SHOULD BE RUNNING. Strip away their good looks and their billion dollar house and car, take away all the superficial and materialistic factors, and what do you have? A mentally unstable, volatile, man who stalks you on a regular basis and has access to your bank account, your friends, and you. Not so attractive now, eh?
These books are not horrible, but they are far from ideal. I do not think the messages put across are right and I do not think that such a series should be getting as much hype as it has.
To add to my disgust and my abhorrence to these novels, they are now being made into MOVIES. YES. YOU WILL GET TO SEE THIS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNSTABLE STALKER AND PROVERBIAL IDIOT ON THE BIG SCREEN where you can witness the stalking, the beating, the cruelty, the off-the-rail reactions when jealous, and the absolute WRONGNESS of such a relationship in theaters August 1st, 2014.
I don’t know how authors, publishers, movie companies, directors, or anyone, for that matter, can condone any of this to be publicized, advertised, published, and produced. I definitely don’t, and I sincerely hope that all the girls, and guys, out there do not play into all of this and if you do, I hope that restraining orders will be implemented soon after such discovery…