If I could sum up this reading experience in one sentence it would be: "It's like reading Berenstain Bears with a sadomasochistic twist."
The thing that will turn most readers off isn't her limited vocabulary, it's the repetition of words/phrases that she's confined herself to.
"Holy crap." This is mentioned about 23 in the first three chapters.
"He cocked his head." One time, this is used three times on the same page. If he cocked his head anymore, it would snap off.
"Dios mio!" Her knowledge of other languages is frightful - and overused.
All this mixed with a writing level aimed at young adults made it really hard for me to finish this book. At the start of the novel, she thanks about 5 people who contributed to the book. Did none of them tell her that it was like reading a children's book?
on May 9, 2012
I obtained this book under the advice of someone who just raved about it and told me how it was such a hot seller. After having read through 88% of, I just had to stop and question the sanity of the person who advised me to get this nonsense of a book. To say that this book was disappointing is a gross understatement. I went into this anticipating a nice little steamy/erotic book (the word "porn" was actually used when the book was recommended to me)that I could let myself be absorbed in for a brief time. What I ended up getting was not only an insult to those within the BDSM community but an insult to any adult reader. Many people have commented on how it seems like this novel, nay series, was written by a couple of teenage girls that sat down and decided to write some steamy books. I agree with that sentiment, except I'm not so sure even teenagers would write this badly. All the author seems to do is repeat the same thing over and over again throughout the entire book when it comes to gestures and expressions. I didn't bother doing an actual count, but several other reviewers have actually taken the time to count up how many times the author uses the same exclamations again and again. Still, if it were only this repetitiveness I could almost forgive the author and allow my immagination to pick up where the lack of writing left off.
Unfortunately, the repetitiveness is only the tip of the iceburg here. To be blunt, the characters have absolutely zero depth, and the attempts at depth make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The plot just drags you along kicking and screaming, and not in any kind of a good way. I deffinately got the sense early on that this author A) Looooooooves product placement, which has me wondering just who is signing her checks, and B)Has absolutely no idea how to properly write about the very products she's placing in the story. On what planet is this woman living on where the main character recieves an Apple Macbook Pro laptop that has 1 TERABYTE of hard drive space, 32 GIGABYTES of RAM, and an integrated SIM card/transmitter (that last part isn't actually said but when the delivery guy says she can use the laptop anywhere in the world it's pretty much a given). Add that to all of her references to Blackberry and Audi and you can practically see the company logos plastered all over the front of her book like a NASCAR racer.
I would also love to know where she got her reference material from in regard to the BDSM material. Other than the very basic fact that there is the presence of bondage, domination/submission, and physical punishment in BDSM, this author displayed that she has absolutely no idea how a BDSM relationship/partnership actually functions. The manner in which this author has the male lead "introduce" the female character is insulting to the BDSM community and the level of trust and respect that is actually present in a REAL BDSM relationship/partnership. One thing that truly stands out amongst a whole laundry list of issues that is just too long to go into is when the female character has essentially gone into "sub-space" (a euphoric state brought about by an intense release of endorphines in response to pain) during her first spanking. The author inadequately describes it as simply orgasmic and leaving the girl completely exhausted. What truly bothered me with this scene is that the male character, a supposedly experienced dominant, recognizes that his submissive has just been in "sub-space" and instead of simply holding her, keeping her warm to prevent her from going into shock, and replenishing her fluids, he tosses her onto the bed and has crazy sex with her again. The fact that this author makes the character out to be an experienced Dom and blatantly makes him anything but that is a grave insult to people actually involved in BDSM.
Honestly, I could probably write pages upon pages of material detailing just how badly written and organized this book is, how there is zero character development, how so many different aspects of the characters make absolutely no sense whatsoever, and so very much more. In the interest of saving time and page-space, I will simply make this strong reccomendation to anyone considering purchasing this book:
If I could, I would give this book a rating of zero stars and I would seriously call into question the motivations and competence of everyone who was involved in writing, editing, publishing, and promoting this book to the level it has grown to. If this is indeed what we the public can expect to recieve when a book is touted as being wonderful by the media, then it might be best if we just stuck to the free stuff you can find all over the internet written by actually talented authors who are passed over for publishing to give hack writers like E L James tons of money and publicity for something a sixteen-year-old could have written better.
on May 25, 2012
This was quite possibly the worst thing that I've ever read - and I read a lot.
Besides being repetitive, unbelievable, and possessing characters which are absolutely and extremely annoying, the writing style in general is terrible and the story appears to be a cross between Twilight and something you would read about in the crime section of a newspaper. I didn't even make it past the mid-way point of the book before I was a myriad of emotions including disgusted and appalled that I spent my money on something so ludicrous.
From my limited reading of the story based on the fact that I couldn't even force myself (see what I did there?) to finish it, I would like to suggest that you have some self-respect and leave this one in the bookstore unless someone is paying you a lot of money to careen through repetitive drivel between an abusive stalker and the world's most naive woman. I wish that I could get the last hour of my life back and utilize it to place the trilogy in the garbage and set it on fire.
on May 15, 2012
While I understand that this book was written for a bit of fun, that still doesn't excuse the fact that the writing is absolutely terrible. I wrote better stories in high school. I was able to finish the book, but almost gave up a few times. I actually found myself having to put it down and take a break from it after a few chapters. The main character is a moron and the writer has no idea what the word 'murmur' means because she uses it way too much. The characters are completely unbelievable and shallow. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone and really don't understand what the hype was about. There is much better erotic literature out there. Don't believe the hype - skip this book!
on February 6, 2015
I can't believe more reviews don't emphasize the sheer amount of ABUSE in these books. Christian is not a hero or a romantic anything, he's abusive. He's not a responsible dominant in a consenting BDSM relationship, he is just ABUSIVE.
This book was not sexy, it was an insult to domestic violence victims everywhere.
When a woman says no and a man doesn't stop, that's rape.
When a man threatens a woman with violence, that's abuse.
When a man stalks you, and your family, that is beyond creepy.
When you tell a man it's over and he still won't take no for an answer? Obsessive, abusive, and creepy.
These things are happening to real women every day and they are not finding it sexy. This is scary stuff when we are letting this writer teach our daughters that abuse is romantic.
I'm not a prude. I love erotic lit. I love an assertive male hero. But there is a difference between assertive and abusive and Christian Grey crosses that line all the time.
Stay away from these books.
on April 3, 2012
This novel (and trilogy) is getting a lot of press and a lot of word of mouth advertising. A friend recommended it to me, so I checked it out. If you like subservient, naive, clueless women then this female protagonist is for you. If you like pushy, creepy, dominating men then this male protagonist is for you. If you enjoy graphic sex scenes set in the world of domination without the sweetness of love (stand here, don't look at me, always wear this, don't do that, you will say nothing as you are chained to the wall...) then this book is for you. If you enjoy books that are poorly written, and while I love that more and more people are reading I so wish they would stop rewarding garbage, then this book is for you. It's terrible, handsdown the worst I've read in a very very long time.
on May 9, 2012
I decided to read this having not a clue what it was about, just because a friend (who *normally* enjoys the same types of reads) said it was amazing and she couldn't put it down.
from now on i will always judge that friend's taste in reading and sexual preferences.
as others have already said, the writing is repetitive to the Extreme! it's literally as though E.L. James thought of 5-6 phrases and used them whenever she couldn't think of what to write next. If anyone's "Breath hitches" ever again, i'll shoot someone.
what's worse is that you would think an EROTIC novel would be exciting, right? not in the slightest. the characters are annoying, whiny, self centered and entirely unlikable. i got through about 200 pages of book 1 mostly by skipping many of the repetitive, boring and predictable encounters between 2 of the least interesting lead characters in a book EVER, and i have NO clue how a person could sit through 3 books of this writing.
Dont waste your money, go download a porn instead!
on August 31, 2014
What you're in for: Explicit content. An extremely innocent girl (who has never even held hands with a guy before). A rich and powerful man (who is the opposite of innocent). Sex. Rules. Limits. Punishment and rewards. Control. Power. Domination. BDSM. Multiple personalities?? Annoying main character. "Red room of pain" (a.k.a. the "playroom").
There are so, so many things I hated about this book. Ugh, it was just not a good read for me at all. I have had many conversations (more like venting moments) with others about this book. Do I ever have a lot to say! I will try to make my review as concise as possible and try not to ramble, but it will be hard!! I'm also going to try not to make it sound like I'm bashing the book, because I really don't want to do that. I'm just giving my honest opinions!! Here we go...
Christian. I had very mixed feelings about Christian Grey. He seems to have a sensitive side, considering what he did/how he seemed to feel when he found out Ana was a virgin.
I honestly feel like Christian has multiple personalities or something. That's the only thing that makes sense with this character. I mean, he wants to control Ana in pretty much every way possible, and he wants to physically punish her when she does something as minuscule as roll her eyes in front of him (by the way, that scene -- I would think that would totally mess a person's head up about sex. Think Pavlov's dog/bell conditioning). Then, he's this sensitive guy who smirks and teases Ana and wants to meet her dad and wants her to meet his mom and OMG he's totally changing his ways for her. Except NO! Newsflash! He's not changing. He still wants her to sign the contract. He still wants to control her in every way imaginable (if he had it his way). But then he takes her suggestions into consideration and changes parts of his contract...aww isn't he sweet? And then he physically abuses her and doesn't even bat an eye until it's over and he asks her if she's okay, she says she is, and he leaves only to return awhile later to her crying and then he comforts her............
Doesn't this sound like two completely different characters????? Does he have multiple personalities????
I did not like Christian's character. I did not like him one bit. I don't care how much other people love him or whatever. He's a controlling d-bag. So what if he is kind of changing his ways for her? He still wants to control her and abuse her and treat her like she is an object, not a human. All the time. Okay, I get that people do the whole role-playing thing sometimes. But, this is not that. This is complete domination and control of another person all the time (or, at least, that's what Christian wants it to be). This is not acceptable behaviour. Especially if you care about someone. Argh!
Ana. I found it completely unrealistic that she would agree to such a thing as a virgin. I mean, how can someone who held onto her virginity for so long and someone as innocent as Ana ever think that entering into this arrangement would be a good idea? I just don't see it happening like that in real life.
Annoying main character! God, did she annoy me with her thoughts and her actions. For example, look at how she perceives something Christian says early on in the book:
"Do you have a girlfriend?" I blurt out. Holy crap -- I just said that out loud?
His lips quirk up in a half smile, and he peers down at me.
"No, Anastasia. I don't do the girlfriend thing," he says softly.
Oh . . . what does that mean? He's not gay. Oh, maybe he is! He must have lied to me in his interview.
Ana's reaction here is so freaking dumb. I don't care how much experience you have with men. If a guy says that he doesn't "do the girlfriend thing", honey, he's not gay. That phrase is a warning! It screams: Warning! Warning! Dude's a player! He likes women, but does not do relationships! How do you not get that? How do you get gay from that? ARGH!!
Writing. The writing is extremely poor. The descriptors are bad and there are tons of repetitions (and not in a good way...just in the way that the author couldn't think of any different words to use). The words and phrases used just aren't good for a novel. They are distracting and constantly jerked me out of the story (when I even was able to get into it). Sometimes, it honestly seemed like the author was just trying to sound smart by choosing bigger words; it just didn't feel natural and didn't flow well.
The author needed HELP! The writing felt very unpolished. It was like I was reading a manuscript draft (not a first draft, but maybe second or third). Which means that the editor/publisher did not do their job! I think you know how much things like this frustrate me by now. Grr!
Story. The story sucked. There really wasn't much of a story at all. It was difficult to get into (which was partly because of the poor writing). I don't have much experience with reading erotica. I think the only other erotica novel I read was Tears of Tess and it was much better than this (and not nearly as popular).
Overall. I don't get it. I do not understand all the hype. I do not understand why so many people have even read this book or how it became so popular. There is nothing great (or, really, even good) about this book, in my opinion. It should not be in the spotlight as much as it is. It's just not good. I will not continue the series. I'm not sure whether I will see the movie, either. I mean, there is no freaking story, so how can they make a movie off this book? It will basically just be a porno. Don't you think??
on July 3, 2012
I just don't understand why people seem to like this book. She's a horrible writer, uses repetive irritating phases throughout the book. How many times can this woman blush when she's just been spanked and tied up and screwed? You'd think she's lose this by the second time around. The characters are just plain silly. He's so hot and sexy and rich, yet emotionally he's just a little boy trying to find love in his empty heart. And at one point I wanted to slap her "inner goddess" silly until she wandered off into the street and got crushed by oncoming traffic. When I read that he had been seduced by an older woman and her name was Mrs. Robinson, I laughed outloud. Really? You couldn't come up with a more original name? That Mrs. Robinson really gets around. I'm just glad I bought it for my kindle so I could whip though the pages fast. I just can't help but wonder how this book got so much media hype? There are other books with better stories and steamy sex scenes (try Spice novels). She must have had the editors and publishers in her "red room" tied up to the wall without food or water until they offered her a contract. And there are two more. Let me guess, Grey is all healed because of the love of ...what was her name again? And he becomes the ideal, wonderful guy that she knows he could be. She just had to be degraded and rejected for awhile so the pay off was pretty good. And even though she is subjected to all this, why is she always crying? Boo hoo, Grey doesn't love me. Did she even read his rules he sent to her? I think in the end they make sweet, innocent love and she actually gets to touch him. And then...poof! he disappears because there couldn't possibly be a man on earth so amazing as this guy. So she spends the rest of her life with a frog. Oh, and for me, it was less than a star because I wouldn't even pass it along to a friend. Unfortunatly because of all the exposure it's getting, people are still reading it. And some are even enjoying it. Weird. Although what entertains people can be surpising. Afterall,there are tv shows about storage lockers, bad tenants, rich women fighting all the time and a guy who goes and exterminates things (too bad we couldn't call him up for this book) so, maybe people will read just about anything.
on August 24, 2012
This series is an exercise in speed reading. Do I really need to know how many times and how many places bodies get licked every couple of pages? I counted an 8 page speed read and I missed nothing! The mush in between is like a bad Harlequin novel. Too bad the author did not build around her character plot and tell a better story. I am glad I bought my books in Costco for $9.99 each and not $17.95. If you or any of your friends are curious about his book, and feel you must read it, share the cost, then use the books to light a nice winter fire.....................But if anyone needs a good marketing team then find out who looked after this trilogy............................ What a big, big, disappointment. I will be avoiding this author in the future.