Let’s just start by saying I did not want to read this book. Though I thoroughly enjoy romance in novels, I do not normally enjoy romance as a genre. And by romance genre I do mean the section in the bookstore primarily made up of books with half naked men on the cover, because that is where this book was located. It is where it belongs. I had seen the book countless times in the bookstore over the past few months but always passed over it. The back cover, which is always essential in my book searches, did not make the book sound remotely like something I would be interested in. So I had low expectations. I never would have even read this book if it weren’t for all of the hype surrounding it. I’ve learned over the years that though hype can be annoying, there’s no point in fighting it because it usually means that you’ve got something good in your hands. Finally I heard Ryan Seacrest talking about the book on his morning radio show and I caved. Luckily my local Barnes and Noble had just received a shipment of the books because apparently they cannot keep them on the shelves. As it was they only had one copy left of the first book in the trilogy.
The story begins as innocent Ms. Anastasia Steele, a literature student, is preparing to interview the mysterious Mr. Christian Grey, a successful young billionaire, for her school newspaper. After her first encounter with Mr. Grey leaves her rattled, she finds herself yearning for more of this man. Though he warns her countless times that she should stay away from him Ana cannot fight it. Mr. Christian Grey has quite a few secrets up his sleeve and soon Ana is exposed to one of his biggest. Even when she knows how she should feel about this discovery, its seems as though nothing can taint her affections for Mr. Grey. But he is a man of many demons while she is painfully innocent. Their relationship is absolutely an extreme case of the saying “opposites attract.”
The beginning of this story did drag for me a bit. It took almost 100 pages for James to get to the good stuff, though I was nonetheless drawn in to Anastasia’s story. For all of the hints dropped about Christian’s controlling demeanor, I was ultimately surprised when his first dirty secret was revealed and let me tell you, the hype surrounding this book is true. It is by far the dirtiest, sexiest book I’ve ever read (though I do tend to stick to YA books). James did not hold back. This book is filled with explicit sex scenes and they are hot! Yet behind all of the steamy sex is a love story about two people who essentially do not know how to love and be loved.
I truly enjoyed Ana’s refreshingly innocent point of view. On the other hand Christian for all of his stalker/controlling tendencies grew on me in a way that I did not foresee happening. The writing was smart and Anastasia was a character I could easily relate too. I especially enjoyed her inner struggle between her own thoughts and those of her inner goddess and her subconscious.
Fifty Shades of Grey has no doubt beguiled me and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. It was in no way what I expected it to be. I would certainly recommend this book to everyone (age 17 or older in light of all of the dirty sexiness!)
- Publisher: Razorbill (May 26, 2011)
- Length: 514 pages, Paperback
- Genre: Adult Romance