Some books seem to capture the attention of millions of readers, and I hear about them constantly. A few years ago one such book seemed to be everywhere at work, and now that I’ve read said book I cannot believe all of those women were reading that at work! I was blushing reading it at home, so I can’t imagine reading it in public.
For my reading challenge I had to select a book that seemingly everyone has read. Since I received 50 Shades of Grey by E L James as a present previously, I thought this was the perfect reason to get it read and done with. I honestly had no intention of ever reading it before… I’d heard so many things about it since it had first come out that I was sure it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
But read it I did. I certainly read it fast – from start to finish in a single day – but as to whether I enjoyed it or not, I think not. This book was mediocre at best, and while some parts were definitely written better than others (I still can’t believe the editors missed the use of “beguiled” in two consecutive sentences), the fact that this writing is incredibly simplistic is partly why I was able to read the whole book in a day. So, yay?
What I did like was that the “vanilla sex” (as they refer to regular sex within the book) was mostly well-written. As someone who doesn’t read a whole lot of this type of literature, and therefore has very little to compare it to, these scenes were mostly captivating. Also of note is, despite what I had heard, there were very few dominant/submissive sexual scenes in the book; this was what I was least looking forward to reading, and having less of them was great.
The thing I absolutely didn’t like about this book was the glorification of the need for control over another during sex. I can sort of understand why the dominant/submissive sexual lifestyle would appeal to some, and I have absolutely no problem with two consenting individuals doing whatever they want, but Anastasia Steele doesn’t actually agree, throughout the entire book, to this sort of treatment by Christian Grey.
Not only that, but he treats her horribly outside of the bedroom as well, by ignoring her concerns, demeaning her in front of others, and making her constantly worried of having made him angry; then he “makes it better” by trying to buy her off at every opportunity. It was disturbing for me that she was often left crying as a result of these intense ups and downs. Because of one scene in particular where she is left crying herself to sleep, I can’t help but wonder why so many women (in particular), thought this made for good, or “sexy,” reading.
So I read it, and I’m glad it’s done, but I certainly have no intention of rereading this or reading the two sequels anytime soon. This was indeed not my cup of tea.