Review: 50 Shades of Grey

Every now and then, there is a cultural phenomenon that no one can ignore. The rise of the novel 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James into the consciousness of the nation is one such phenomenon. When Waterstones kindly offered to send me a book to review, which other could I choose but the most talked about book of the year?

50 Shades of Grey Review

I’m going to be perfectly honest – I wanted to hate this book. I wanted to be controversial and say how over-hyped it was, how shallow it was for my deep love of literature. But I can’t – it was one of the most addictive books I have ever read.

Yes, it is incredibly graphic. INCREDIBLY graphic. I’m no prude, but at times I did wish they’d give it a rest. Why? Because the characters and storyline are so enchanting that the shock value really wasn’t necessary for the most part.

50 Shades of Grey Review

I’m not going to include any spoilers in my review, I really hate reviews that give things away. I’m sure that most people reading this review will be wanting to know one thing – should I believe the hype? As much as I wanted to say no, the book really lived up to it for me.

I do think you have to be an open-minded person to read it, and it is definitely an adult book, but if you look past the overly-sexual nature of it it is a wonderful novel. Admittedly, I was a bit embarrassed that my mum was reading it at the same time as me, but tried not to dwell on that!

50 Shades of Grey Review

If I had any criticisms, I would note that the writing style was a little repetitive at times – this is hard to describe, but you’d pick up on it upon reading. I also fail to see why anyone describes the book as ’empowering to women’ – I was a straight-A English student and know how to read between the lines, but even after exploring alternate interpretations this angle is weak at best. Nonetheless, it is incredibly interesting and well-formed, and well worth a read.

Have you read 50 Shades of Grey, or any of the sequals? Without leaving spoilers, what did you think of it?

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

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3 Comments

  1. Petra
    July 5, 2012 / 8:06 pm

    I recently read this too. I actually finish the whole series. I had the same thoughts. I was totally addicted, couldn’t stop reading. There were graphic parts but I actually though the more graphic things were found in the things they didn’t do but possibly could. However, after I settled from my addictive read through the series I realized a few things. There really isn’t a lot of plot, and what little there is predictable and would never really happen. The characters are really under developed, and your main guy shows key features of the start of an abusive relationship. The writing, as you say is repetitive and there is a lot of filler in the story. Also the erotic, is actually more like a repeated extended sex scene when you think about it compared to other erotic. Also the expectations of sex are insane. Not every sexually encounter a couple has is insanely mind blowing with your “inner goddess” doing cartwheels. I do know why it appeals to women; it totally indulgences our fantasies, just not the ones you think. We want to change the poor broken, but incredible hot guy, who’s also really good in bed, and want him to need us. Also being rich is a huge plus. I know this started off as Twilight fan fiction, but other than similarities between characters I didn’t notice much similarity. However I got the same feeling after the first time I read Twilight however many years ago. It was great, until my own created hype wore off and I thought about. I still think its ok for a good read, though I wouldn’t really classify it as erotica, thus people calling it mommy porn. However, if you turn of your brain a bit and just go with it, the books can be quite enjoyable during reading.
    One good thing I can say about this series is what it has done for women, particularly those semi sexually repressed. Women are much more comfortable discussing sex with their partners after reading this book and are more open to discovering their own sexually identities. A BDSM relationship is not for everyone, but everyone should feel comfortable communicating sexually with their partner.
    Sorry about my rant. If you want to continue in the series, it’s probably worth the read, but not the hype.

    PS: In my opinion the first book is the best. It’s the most realistic of the series.

  2. July 6, 2012 / 10:47 am

    I completely agree with you. I’m not a prude either, but I did find it a bit out of place and I actually preferred the build up in the first two chapters. I actually haven’t finished it because it hasn’t gripped me, but what I don’t understand is the world’s obsession with Christian – everyone loves him, but to be honest I find him a bit twisted and creepy :S

  3. July 6, 2012 / 11:11 am

    I just bought it and was planning to read it during the summer holidays. I was quitte interested in the book, since everyone seems to like it so much.

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