I’m sure that most of you have heard something about Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, whether good or bad– you have heard of it. I felt like I have fallen behind the times. To tell the truth, not working at the library any longer, I never know what is current or popular anymore. But I did find out about 50 Shades of Grey and because of the mixed reviews out there was a little leery of reading it but so intrigued by it at the same time.
After receiving the book in my hands, I was curious as to the sudden popularity since it was originally out in 2011. E.L. James self published in an E-Book format for the masses in 2011. However it wasn’t until this year when the books were picked up by Heritage, a division of Random House Publishing, that they became popular and controversial. These books have, in fact, become so popular that they knocked the Hunger Games series out of the top spots on the USA Today’s Bestseller List after an eighteen week reign. Now the first three spots are taken by the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.
So after hearing all this information and knowing the controversy around it, I was amazed to find myself in possession of a copy after asking about it. I got down to the business of reading it and was surprised, thrilled, and desperate to get my hands on more.
This story is about a wealthy young man, Christian Grey, who accidentally meets Anastasia Steele. Ana is a college student who is going to graduate, and does. In the story line, she steps in to help her roommate with a once in a lifetime interview for the school paper. From the very first meeting, sparks and tension seem to fly right off the page. Grey is interested in Ana and begins a very tentative relationship at first.
As the story line progresses, you see that the characters are flawed, intense and have varying needs. Christian has a dark side that is hinted at from the beginning of the book, but he is the most flawed of the two main characters. He is a very intense man, has had a harsh upbringing until he was adopted, and now has a darker passionate side that controls his relationships. Ana, on the other hand, is very self conscious, her one major flaw, but has had a relatively normal life. She’s somewhat naïve but has a very sarcastic and independent personality.
These two seem to be so dissimilar at first; the clumsy college student and the powerfully successful businessman. But, these two are inexorably drawn to each other for different reasons and make compromises to be part of the other’s life. There are heartbreaking stories connected to Christian Grey that remain mostly a mystery. The funny, quirky sense of humor that both characters display, as well as, a first love romance is exceptional.
The wit and humor that is written throughout the book are absolutely delightful and make the characters more personable to the reader. Most people have that tenacious best friend that would love to tackle any challenge for you or your own flawed perception of your own self image. Everyone has insecurities, everyone has been in a situation where they wonder how exactly it came to be, and everyone has struggled with tough decisions.
Now I know many reviewers have stated that this is an incredibly erotic book going so far as to claim it unsuitable to read. Yes, the book is erotic, but the whole storyline as a whole is no worse than other romance stories. The only difference is that this dwells on the dominate side of sex with one person submitting to another and not the overly flowery glossed over version found in most books. This book glosses over nothing, neither emotions or actions.
This book will not appeal to everyone, but it is a very worthwhile read. Because of the erotic nature of the book and unfavorable reviews, not all libraries have accepted this book and some have seen it banned. I am a firm believer that no book should be banned, and this book definitely deserves to be on the shelves for any adult to read. This book is so much more than meets the eye and so much more than what the synopsis lets on.
I personally will be looking forward, and desperate, to begin reading 50 Shades of Darker and 50 Shades of Freed, which continues Anastasia and Christian’s stories. I am looking forward to the character development that is hinted, and I know will be coming.