Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One - erotic fiction by Vintage Books - review by Ayumi

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Fifty Shades of Murky Water

Besides all the other things that are horrible in terms of plot and character development, this text is just poorly written. It isn't worth a breath or an eye banter, and it should not be recommended to anyone else when there is so much more available. I wish I could give half stars.
Published:
Pros:
Good light fictional text for new exploration.
Cons:
BDSM contract violations send mixed messages.
Rating by reviewer:
1
useful review
There was no way I could escape the hype, when my boyfriend handed me a magazine interview with the author of "Fifty Shade of Grey," E.L. James. It sounded exciting, but as I read the interview, it sounded more and more like she was a bumbling author who stumbled upon accidental fame, admitting that she was mostly a blog writer and did not expect to get published. Her husband seemed to want nothing to do with the whole matter, and I wondered if I should take his advice. Unfortunately, both my mom and sister were reading this with two varied opinions. My sister, really liking it, but my mom, not so much.

Despite my reading tastes being more similar to my mom's, I decided to take a stab at it and was atrociously disappointed. The only good thing I discovered is why it has been referred to as "mommy porn," which is because most of the women who are responsible for E.L. James' fame were stay at home mom's and wives who had never explored a BDSM aspect of their sexuality, or had never voiced their wishes to their husband's for fear that they would be considered "sick" or "weird."

Although, Fifty Shades is quite Vanilla, the only Grey in here is the poorly portrayed issues of consent with Anastasia's character. Most people familiar know very well the intricacies of the contract and safety words and willingness. I feel that the way her character was developed, it can cause even more confusion for those who are interested in BDSM but have never tried it, or for men who already think they know what women want. The portrayal of Anastasia is very communicative of the "yes means no" dilemma (SPOILER: Grey takes her virginity before she signs the BDSM contract) and I am afraid that someone might try things with a partner who then takes advantage of them if they say they do not like something and really mean it. I'm afraid of the instance in which the partner ignores a safety word and many other things.

Suffice to say, the cons outweigh the pros.

I hate that this book has become so popular so fast.
Follow-up commentary
I am not sure what to say in my follow-up, except that I still do not like this book or this series and hope to never pick it up again. Since first writing this review, I have had the opportunity to exchange conversations with people who both liked and disliked this book. I certainly respect any reader's opinion whether or not their opinion is the same as mine, but I do hope that anyone is making informed choices about what they do with the material moving forward. Again, I will reiterate that this book is by no means a tutorial on certain practices and I would encourage curious minds to look up more material.
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My Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • Features
    [ ? ]
    What kind of features does this product offer?
    • Travel friendly
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Book
    • Erotic fiction
    • Fiction
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Comments
  • Wonderstruck
    Wonderstruck  
    Thanks for the review. I keep hearing good and bad things about this and can't make up my mind whether I want to read it or not.
  • Ayumi
    Ayumi  
    Of course. Generally speaking, I feel that people should make up their own minds about what they prefer to read and do not prefer to read, but this is in it's own right, a pocket disclaimer. Save your money. If you really want to check it out, there are other ways of doing that without having to spend anything.
  • CuteDee
    CuteDee  
    Great review! I wanted read this book but not really sure now... ; )
  • RomanticGoth
    RomanticGoth  
    Thank you for the review.
  • dorky23
    dorky23  
    I'm kind of in between about this book, I hear good things and bad :/
  • Ayumi
    Ayumi  
    I think it has been split half and half in terms of opinions. I mean ultimately you should decide what most convinces you. I think it's ironic that the ambivalence in the audience reminds me of the ambivalence in Anastasia.
  • Izzaba
    Izzaba  
    Thanks for the review
  • SubReiSkyeM
    SubReiSkyeM  
    Fully agree - the actual BDSM aspects are terrible and it isn't even that kinky to begin with. The writing is painful to read as well. Great review!
  • 123joy
    123joy  
    i'm reading this one its okay but i'm just started
  • GirlOnGirl
    GirlOnGirl  
    Thanks for the review and for pointing out the issues regarding consent.
  • Mikemanz
    Mikemanz  
    my wife loved it
  • Ayumi
    Ayumi  
    Mikemanz, in general I am not surprised. I really think it has been half and half. Otherwise it would not have been such a sensation. This of course, is only my opinion.
  • malantha
    malantha  
    Thanks for the review
  • TheirPet
    TheirPet  
    I've heard similar stories about this book. It frightens me that someone might make personal mistakes on the behavior in this novel.
  • skeeterlynn
    skeeterlynn  
    Thank you!
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