Sunday, 27 May 2012

To Review or Not To Review.... Fifty Shades of Grey

*WARNING* : As most of you will know already, this is about a book that should not be read by a younger audience. I am only marking this with a warning for the benefit of my younger followers and fans.

*I hereby award this trilogy 5 wings!*

This isn't really a 'review' as such - more an outpouring of my feelings on the subject that is Fifty Shades of Grey....

When I first heard about this book, I will be honest, I was not impressed. I have never been the type of person to buy into book hype. In fact, it usually does exactly the opposite for me that it does for most people, it sends me running for the hills. Why? I'm not altogether sure. I'm like it with songs in the charts too, you overplay something and I am going to get sick to death of it and avoid it like the plague.
It's only when the hype surrounding such things eventually quiets that I decide if I am willing to give something a try.

I have always been the kind of girl who buys a book based on 2 key factors (i) An aesthetically pleasing cover (yes, I know I'm shallow - so sue me) (ii) A decent sounding storyline. 
I don't generally buy books or avoid books based on other people's reviews. Yes, I'll read reviews, I'm nosy and like to know what others thought. But at the end of the day, I buy a book because it looks good to ME not to everyone else. I am a believer in forming my own opinion. 

So what was different this time round? Why was I not impressed by what I had heard, to the point of not ever wanting to read this book? And what made me cave in, in the end? Stick with me here and I will tell you...

I had heard of this book due to everyone causing such a stink. I have heard so many differing things that it has lead me to believe that this book is like Marmite. You either love it or you hate it.
I read people's negative reviews and was seriously put off by what I read. As I said before, I usually ignore other people's opinions and form my own - usually differing from their opinion at the end too. 
But it was a few key things that captured my attention and had me turning away in disgust. To name a few of these things: He [Christian Grey] beats her [Ana Steele]. He rapes her. He flogs her stomach whilst she is pregnant. He brutalises her. He does a wide variety of very sick, perverse things to her (that I am not comfortable rehashing here on my blog - but feel free to roam places like Goodreads if you must).

As you might imagine, I was sickened to hear this and resolved that the Fifty Shades trilogy would NEVER enter my house. It wasn't poor reviews, it was the sick and disgusting things I had no reason to want to go near. 

So why did I change my mind? 

2 reasons. Their names are Ann and Laura. My friend Ann had read the trilogy and said she totally loved it. I found myself texting her and saying "Oh please do not tell me you read these books?" To which her response was "Yes I did and I loved them" - I was shocked. How could she love something where the guy we are as a reader meant to 'fall in love with' tortures the girl? So she told me that the things I had heard were all lies. She said she had no idea why people would say such things and that if only I would give it a chance, I would see for myself.

My other friend Laura said that she was in the middle of reading the first book and was loving it. I asked her if she had come across any of the things I had heard about. She too, said no. It wasn't that I didn't trust Ann was telling me the truth, it was just that I needed a second opinion.

My friend in Canada, Ada, sent me a message saying that her aunt had just bought the trilogy and that we should read them together. Until I had confirmation from Ann and Laura, I couldn't agree. I had the books sitting waiting for a giveaway I was planning - I had bought them with it in mind to hold a competition on my blog for them. However, after what I heard from the girls, I decided that I didn't have a right to judge unless I had read them for myself. Who am I to put myself on a pedestal? I can live high up in my ivory tower if I so wish, but am I just being a martyr for no apparent reason? It would seem so, as I was about to find out!

This book is, as we know, an erotic novel. I have utterly no problem with erotica, in fact I rather enjoy it and am reading more and more just recently. I was sitting here aghast at the fact that it was BDSM and sounded like it was going to be very heavy, full-on - all sex and no real storyline. How wrong was I?!

The reasons I thought I would hate this book have come to be the reasons I love it. To each their own. We all have personal preferences in what we like to find in a book and what we would discard after reading merely a few pages. But for me, I ended up loving this book big time. I can't wait to read Fifty Shades Darker, starting tomorrow.

The fact is, there is plenty of sex in this book, not all of it 'vanilla' either. There are some seriously hot scenes that had me sated, yet desiring more almost straight away.
But it isn't just sex. There's a real storyline here. It's something unique and in it's way, quite beautiful.. 

Christian is a guy who has a tailor-fitted mask over the parts of his life that he would rather the outside world didn't see. On the outside he is Christian Grey, CEO of Grey Enterprises holdings, Inc. He's good looking, suave, sophisticated. Every girls dream. Though few could ever truly obtain said dream. But behind closed doors, he has unique lifestyle. He is a Dominant. He wants a woman to be his submissive.

This is where my first issue arose. Not the Dom/Sub thing but the fact that he wanted her to sign a contract and when I read the things it contained, I wanted to find Christian Grey and laugh in his face. To tell him no woman in her right mind would sign such a thing. 
But within a few pages, I could see why Ana would be second-guessing and why her resolve about it would be lessening. 
Christian is a very enigmatic, charming man. He gets under your skin even when you don't want him to. It really was disarming to find that I, myself, was falling for him hook, line and sinker. 

It was at this point that I realised that whatever other people had put in their reviews, I was going to love this entire trilogy. In spite of the alarming things I had heard, I had picked it up, given it a chance and it had won my heart.

Is it a great piece of modern literature? Probably not. But is it worth the read? More than!

I was a little annoyed in the beginning because I felt that the authors vocabulary didn't stretch very far. However, as I got further in, I knew I was committed to seeing this story through whether her vocabulary was extensive or not. As it happens, I felt like it either (a) did get more extensive or (b) I just didn't notice nor care any longer. It's possibly a combination of both.

I decided I couldn't in the end give it any less than a 5 wing rating because I had fallen for the characters, the story and instantly wanted more. 

So all in all, I vow to keep reading books I like the look of and forming my own opinions, not just deciding not to touch them based solely on people's scathing reviews. I should have known better than to do it this time, but I am sure it was a momentary lapse in my judgement. 

Should you read Fifty Shades of Grey? In my opinion, most definitely. Don't be put off by people spouting nonsense. For those of you who still don't want to read it, that's fair enough. I personally think that you'll be missing out - but not everyone likes the same things, else the world wouldn't be as diverse as it is.

Thank you for coming by to read my thoughts.

Laters, baby ;)

(a reference you will only get if you've read the book)

Side note: If you are taken by the need to leave a comment, feel free to do so. However, I implore you not to leave vicious comments because you are on the 'I Hate This Trilogy' bandwagon. I don't mind that your opinion may differ from mine, but no matter how much you argue, I will never concede the point. I loved this book - that's for me to decide - none of what might be said will sway me.
Thank you! x


  1. Ooooh, sounds exciting. I am glad there is a storyline there and not just sex. I love it when I finish reading a book and have fallen hard for a character(s). I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing, Keren :)

    1. Oh Carly, the storyline is definitely one of my favourites. Everyone says ooo it's BDSM it won't have a plot - well let me tell you it does - it's just a GREAT story with some hot sex scenes!!

  2. People keep recommending this book to me and I plan to check it out soon.

    18 or older? I was reading adult romance at 14. ;)

    1. Ah but were you reading BDSM novels at 14? It's not strictly Adult Romance - it's Erotica - I mean Kinky As All Hell!

    2. Ah, I see your point.

      My brother and sister do love to make fun of me though because all my old romance novels automatically open to the sex scenes. Must have really worn down the spine to open right up to those pages. LOL

  3. Thanks for that I have this book but did't get to it yet I read all the great review but sill didn't pick it up lol will come around to it


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