Ooh La La Review: “Fifty Shades of Grey”

By Amelia McLear

Like many of you (even if you aren’t confessing it!), I have recently become tied up in the world of Christian Grey and the steamy “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.

Basically “Twilight” with explicit sex scenes, “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its companion books, “50 Shades Darker” and “50 Shades Freed” by E.L. James, have become absolute literary phenomena– #1, 2 and 3 respectively on the New York Times best-seller list for the past nine weeks.

The best part is that the vast majority of these sales are downloads from e-readers. Not wanting others to know what they are reading, women are downloading the books on their Kindles and iPads at a furious pace, living vicariously through protagonist Anastasia Steele as she gets pulled in more and more into the erotic life of Christian Grey.

Set in Seattle, “Fifty Shades of Grey” follows college student Anastasia Steele as she meets Christian Grey, a handsome, rich and powerful man, with whom she feels an instant, sexual connection.  He pursues her obsessively, and she ends up wrapped up (literally and figuratively) in his arms, having crazy amounts of sex involving riding crops, hand-cuffs and other deviant play toys.

Feminists have been attacking the book for its S&M sex scenes, but my complaint has more to do with Anastasia’s character than it does with Christian’s sexual preferences

Here is a 21-year-old girl who just graduated from college, moves to Seattle with her best girlfriend, gets a job at a boutique book publishing house as an assistant and the one week later, ends up being promoted to editor.

That is on top of her fantasy life with Christian, who takes care of her every need, yet she still gets to be an independent, working woman. Of course, she’s also amazingly skinny and Christian keeps having to force her to “eat” even though, gee, she forgot she was hungry. Who is this girl??  She literally has it all.

Technically, the book’s genre is labeled “erotica,” but I think a more apt category would be fantasy!

Anyway, to confess, I actually haven’t finished the third book. I got kind of bored after reading all of the sex scenes and then just plain annoyed at Anastasia’s perfect life with Christian. So, I’d recommend the book for nothing more than being a part of the broader, literary conversation, but otherwise, wait for the movie!

EDITOR’S NOTE  – Tell us what you think about the book? Best thing since sliced bread? Or drop it for Twilight and Hunger Games? 🙂



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