I read the Fifty Shades trilogy over the weekend, and I wasn’t blown away. Full disclosure: I didn’t expect to be. Most of what I’d already heard from other authors wasn’t particularly flattering. To be fair, I didn’t hate the books, and I did read all three.
Here are my thoughts:
– Not surprisingly, the BDSM didn’t impress me. There were several reasons for this, from annoying things like capitalizing submissive to much larger stuff I don’t want to get into lest I give away spoilers. I’m one of those authors who thinks writers of BDSM have a responsibility about how it’s portrayed. Already there are so many misconceptions about BDSM and I fear Fifty Shades will not help that cause.
– Both the hero and the heroine needed slapping at times. Re: Ana- I think my dislike of her might stem from my dislike of Bella in Twilight. I remember thinking to myself, “WHY do all these guys fall in love with such a vapid creature?” and I found myself thinking that about Ana as well. Considering Fifty Shades is (or is thinly disguised) Twilight fanfic, it’s not surprising I’d have the same reaction.
Re: Christian- mercurial (what Ana calls him continually) doesn’t even begin to describe him. Holy cow – how could you deal with a person like that? If I was his employee he’d better be paying me a freaking LOT of money to put up with his crap. I know some rich people are really like that, but eesh.
And the way the two of them fight? Holy hell, as Ana would say. It sounds miserable. Why would you want to be with someone you can never predict (Christian) or you can’t trust to use common sense (Ana)?
– The writing itself left much to be desired. I joked on Twitter about Christian’s eyes blazing. If I was able to do a search without taking a ton of time I’d love to see how many times in the first book alone that man’s eyes blazed. It bordered on ridiculous and I wondered if it was some sort of private joke between the author and her editor. If not, her editor should be fired immediately. There’s no excuse for that. The rest of us use a thesaurus, why couldn’t she?
Also, both of them “breathe” dialogue. You can’t breathe dialogue. Try it – it’s impossible.
This might seem like nitpicky stuff, and I’m sure many regular readers don’t pick up on the stuff writers do, but those “rookie” mistakes very much diluted my enjoyment of the story.
– The storyline didn’t wow me. That could also be because I’ve read the Twilight series, but there was only one time the author genuinely surprised me. It’s near the end of the third book and I won’t spoil the actual incident. Other than that, after a while I thought to myself, “Fight because you don’t communicate, stomp off, come back, have sex! Repeat!” And it shouldn’t be like that.
Those are the four major areas I had trouble with in the Fifty Shades trilogy. Please do feel free to argue with me. As I said, I didn’t hate the books, but I really hope people who read Fifty Shades then discover the rest of us. There are some truly awesome storytellers out there!
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