Book Review: Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James

Book Description (from Goodreads):

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences

My Thoughts:

This book has been waiting around my shelf to finish it for a month now. And I couldn't. Fun, right? And everyone else loved this book so much that it became a bestseller. Why, oh why? Where is the reasoning behind that, I will never understand. And why am I using “oh’s” now in my sentences. That’s Anastasia’s word. Seriously, there just too many of them. But, let’s go from the beginning.

First of all, the writing style. The simplicity of the language made me want to pull my hair out (and this book just didn't deserve it). E. L. James seems to be having the vocabulary of a middle schooler, hence her preference toward the exuberant use of Present Simple, and Subject-Verb-Object sentence structure. The sentences that are that short seems only as an incoherent listing of clipped speech. Furthermore, there is just too much of repetitions written into the story. The characters do not know anything except gasp, blush, say oh, my!, cock their heads to the side, bite their lips and tell people to stop biting their lips because that makes them horny. Poor baby, that Christian Gray!

The story. What little there is of it, is as classic one, as there was ever created. The book is absolutely boring. So, it revolves around a 21-year-old college virgin who falls for an older businessman, who has a scary, crazy secret. *gasp* He’s a Dom. Oh, get over yourself. As if it was never written before. Let’s be frank. Most of all was already written, and we are now reading the same stories with some different perspectives and with different twists. And sometimes not even that. What was never written (at least I haven’t read it, and I have read my fair share of erotica and BDSM) is that the female character (in a 21st century novel) knows very little, almost none about sex. I mean really? This makes the whole story even more disappointing and the storyline less plausible than the bad writing you can enjoy if you actually decide to read this book.

Also, the characters are poorly described; we don’t get much information about them, any real insight into their personalities, but seem as just the names on a piece of paper E. L. James has decided to publish into a book. And it became a bestseller. What a sad world we live in today. (Just making my point. ;) Not trying to pay any disrespect to anyone.) It makes me wonder who the heck allowed James to even publish this book.

All of Anastasia’s - Miss Steele’s, to be politically correct - gasping, and Oh my!'s are really just there to make the book explain why it is described as "mom porn" when even that it is not. Oh (see what I did there?), and don't forget her inner goddess (wtf?)! And Christian Gray - with his fucked up persona that is almost interesting. ALMOST - is maybe the only good thing that came out of this book. Or it would have been, has he been written by almost anyone else but E. L. James. Well, have you read this book; you could have learned some sex vocabulary also. But, you know, you could have just googled it yourself and saved yourself wasting time on a non-extraordinary story and some unskilled writing. But that’s just me.

There is just something so empty about this book that it doesn't seem worth opening it beyond the cover page. This book, I assume, may be satisfying for that male reader who has… I don’t know for what reason decided to read this book… maybe wondering what would be like to have someone to submit? If that, really. Or maybe they are just into a completely degrading portrayal of women in 21st century, if the persona of Anastasia is any measure. Do people like that really exist? *facepalm* I shudder at the thought that any woman of today would lower herself to loosing self respect just because the guy is hot. It's completely obvious from the first the beginning that dominance is not something Anastasia can do, and E. L. James forcefully makes the character seem "a puppet on a string" just waiting to be pulled in a certain direction. Sad, nothing more.

And mind me asking where is the erotica and suspense in this book, hence it is described as such? Grew legs and ran? Probably.

The best things about writing this review is having it done with, so that I do not keep the book on the stand by; swallow my pride and finish this “sad read”. Now I am finally free of the “stupidity” of the story and a writing style that I never thought was possible to come from an author's pen. And you? Well, decide for yourselves.

Disclaimer: This is only my opinion. You don’t like it? Deal with it.
P.S. I don't think I'll be reading the other two books.

Links to the author:


  1. Yep, this is the book that sold more copies in UK than Harry Potter. Sad world we live in.

    1. Ha, I did mention "sad" a lot in this review. ;)

  2. Amen! I only read the first few chapters. It was so stupid. Horrible writing. No authenticity in plot. Worse than Meyer.

    1. I know! I real can't understand what everyone sees in it. Gah. I remember tweeting that even Twilight was a better writing.

  3. I love this review. I've only managed to read some excerpts of this book and I have to say I just don't get how all my friends kept raving about it on facebook & trying to get me to read it. I feel sad that so many women love this in this day and age...

    1. Thank you, Micheline! It was hard to not finish the book, but I made myself read. Even I don't know how. Just to be able to write this, even though I could have managed that without torturing myself with the book. Because that's all there was to it. Me torturing myself.


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