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My Take On ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’: You Aren’t Going To Like What I Have To Say

First of all, this is the first time that I’m actually seeing the cover of this book as I purchased it as an e-book on Amazon last week. Holy hey now!! That’s THE TIE.

Anyway, I am going to be the absolute minority here and I am fully aware that I actually might upset a few people with this post, but I have to talk about this read.

Two weeks ago, I attended a child’s birthday party and every woman in the room was bursting with excitement about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘. I’ve recently dove into the world of romance novels and have obsessively been reading one book after the other for the last few months. Not because I am lacking in that department with my husband, but because when I want to learn about something I submerge myself into whatever it is. So many of my friends ONLY read romance books and I had to understand WHY.

I’m a bit obsessive like that. There will be a day when I decide that I’ve had enough and will never look back. However, that day has yet to come.

So, there I was –  on a plane back from Italy looking at 9 hours of airtime sandwiched between my two children.  I took a deep breath and whipped out ‘Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One‘. From the start, I decided that I like the tone of the book. I LOVE when authors write the thoughts of the main characters in italics in between sentences and this author does that which made me smie. It’s the little things, right?

The first few dozen pages have me locked in. When Mr. Grey tells Miss. Steele that he wants to bite her lip… I just about lose it on the plane. In these few moments (specifically with the above tie) I am happy, happy, happy.

But then you get into who Christian really is – a beautiful, successful, but horrifically broken man – and the book is suddenly no longer erotic for me. Instead, it is… sad. Very, very sad and I find myself crying more than anything else. I KNOW this isn’t what others are feeling. I’ve spoken to at least 15 women who all claim they wish their husbands were more like Mr. Grey. And now, having read that first book, I can’t understand WHY that would be.

This character is shattered. He presents himself as being very put together. He has an amazing job, is well kept, and is very much in control of his life (and that’s an understatement). But inside he is irrevocably broken – so very, broken. And I feel so very sorry for him because I know what that charade looks and feels like.

During the last few pages of the book, when Mr. Grey and Miss Steele are in the bath and she begs for him to let go of her arms and he then begs for her to not touch him… I just LOST IT. I was hysterical on the plane next to my two children. Crying so hard that my children thought I hurt myself. Because behind all that sex and that passion is something that is weak, abused and damaged. But I know that a million other women read that scene and found it to be satisfying because if you remove what’s behind the curtain, it was certainly a fun time.

If I had known that this book was going to affect me the way it did, I wouldn’t have read it. I don’t pay to cry – not in books, not in movies, and not in TV shows. It’s not my thing. But now that I have gotten to know Mr. Grey a tiny bit, I need to know more of his story. Which is why I am moving onto book number 2 and then 3.

I’m curious – did you read these books? Did you feel the same way I did? Or was it really more about the sex for you? I feel like I need to find at least ONE person who responded the way I did to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘.

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Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.

Comments

  1. Desiree Roundtree : April 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I will say first, I liked what you had to say. It was honest and I felt the same way when I read it – I wanted Christian to get better, to love Ana the way she loved him from what seemed like the very beginning. And I cried as well, more than once.

    This story, sure it’s filled with sex, possessiveness, jealousy but it is also a love story. And they love each other, in their own crazy, obsessive way. They embark on a relationship that is out in the open, explained and fair. She chooses him, to be with him, whatever that entails. And he loves her in the only way he knows how. And that’s enough for her. It is actually all she needs.

    I agree also that I wouldn’t want my husband to be “like” Christian. But there were thing about the character that did remind me of husband – Christian is galant, heroic at times and above all else, human.

    Thanks for the great review. Now I want to read them again!!

  2. It sounds like maybe you just needed a good cry and that was your outlet…Crying is a sign that we are humans with hearts. Animals dont cry. They say whenever we cry our angels or loved ones on the “other” side get even closer to us just being compassionate. Bet you felt really good after.

  3. I also agree with you. I loved these books. I did not think they were erotic at all…only kinky. I think of this book as a really sweet love story.

    I don’t get the Christian Grey I want him to be my husband love. I LOVED Christian, but he IS a fictional character. Gosh, if he was real I think I would kill him. I could never live with a Christian Grey.

  4. I read the first one and have renamed it Fifty Shades of Boring. I didn’t think it was erotic in the slightest.

  5. I think it is a HORRIBLY written book with TERRIBLE dialogue. But, with that being said, I’m in the midst of book 2. There’s just something about them that’s riveting. And it’s fun to imagine who they will get to play in the (much, much toned down but still R-rated, I’m sure!) movie version. Hmmmm, Ryan Reynolds?

  6. I agree 100% but I also think Christian is a complete and total bastard. I hated him at the end of the book. I refuse to read the trilogy. I read this for our book club. I don’t even want to discuss. I’m over it.

  7. Vera, great point. While I didn’t have the same emotional reaction that you did (I don’t think the writing was strong enough to evoke that in me), it was disturbing to think that this man’s sexual control issues were a result of trauma and abuse.

  8. Thanks guys for commenting! I’m happy to read that people have different takes on this book. I found so many people over the last few weeks thought it was entirely sexy and romantic. I obviously did not walk away with that emotion!

    Appreciate it!

  9. I felt very similar to you about the book in the beginning. I don’t usually read these types of books but I heard so many good reviews I decided to try it. I agree with another comment that it was not well written. It’s too repetitive with mentions of “flush” and “inner goddess”. I’m not done reading the book but I feel like it’s a chore to finish it.

  10. It didn’t affect me emotionally as much as it did you, but I can see where you were coming from! The writing isn’t great, that’s true. But the author does get you invested in the characters & makes you want to know what happens next. There were times when Ana annoyed the hell out of me, Christian moves so far outside of his box for her & she still pushes him hard to accomodate her w/o seeing how damaged he is. I get that’s how the plot keep moving, but jeez – it’s been like 2 days, give him a minute!

    Also, I agree that there are too many sex scenes. You’re eyes start to glaze over after a while, especially after the consecutive third scene she’s linked together. By that point even I’m feeling chaffed! But there are still plenty of good scenes that get it back on track again.

    The next book is better, they’ve come to some understanding of how they will work together – I think it’s a little hotter with the groundwork already “laid” – if you will.

    Best part is my husband is now reading them too. Again, not Tolstoy – but the conversation around the house has been a little steamier and that’s not a bad thing! 🙂

  11. Vera – SAME reaction. Only I’m not continuing on. I got to 70% and had to quit – it was just too upsetting/abusive IMO. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    • As a male who read the book…I am somewhat surprised at the sympathetic treatment of Grey..a lot of women I know would put thier foot up his rear end…my feeling is that men should not have to use these “props”..to get a woman aroused…but I seem to be in the minority on that view..very intereting to hear the opinions on this subject.

  12. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but there is a genuine love story there. Ana brings out feelings in Christian that he hasn’t ever experienced with someone else.

    As crazy as it sounds, I have a lot of hope for these two and I am eager to read the next installment.

  13. Animals do cry, actually…and I love your review! I have not read the books and don’t plan to…not my cup of tea. I’d rather read your blog!

  14. I’m a lil late, just spent my entire week reading all 3 books.
    And yes, I felt the same, I thought I was crazy to be tearing up over it. I was anxious to know what happen to his childhood but at the same time, the more I know, the more I feel for him. I was really upset realizing how broken he was. I felt it was a love story instead of some erotical [as long as i skipped through those paragraphs], and I’m a hopeless romantic so I stay engrossed, staying up till 4am to read until my eyes can barely.

    I really loved the ending of the trilogy. I don’t usually love the cliche happily-ever-after but he surely deserves it.

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