Special Note: All posts contain non-affiliate links - I do not have an Amazonian Fancy Pants Affiliate Thingie.
Not-So-Special Note: My Reading Resolutions for 2012 can be found in this post.
Note: This review contains NO spoilers. If you would like to discuss specific plot points, we can limit those to the comments - here or on Facebook.
If you troll through my Goodreads list, you might notice there is not much in the way of Romance there since I generally do not enjoy reading Romances. I wish I could claim a higher literary ground whilst I loftily sniff my nose at the Romance genre, but I simply cannot. I enjoy easy reads and freely admit to my US Magazine subscription (in addition to my Grandma passing along her People magazines to me -- I come by my gossip rag addiction honestly!) And! I am even considering re-upping my Mad Magazine subscription under the thin guise of It's For the Children.
What I generally do not enjoy is reading romances. However, every so often, I will find myself in the mood for one. My book club recently chose E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" as this month's selection. To be fair, I voted for this selection - it sounded interesting and I thought it would be fun to read a selection which was receiving so much buzz.
So! I read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and rolled my eyes during the entire thing. Puerile writing! Infantile dialogue! Such an obvious rip-off of the Bella and Edward relationship from Twilight! Repeated use of the same phrases over and over (He's so freaking hot! Oh, Fify!) Too much ridiculous sex! I hated the ending and thought "What a load of crap!"
The next day, I downloaded the 2nd book "Fifty Shades Darker".
And finished it promptly.
Then, I downloaded the 3rd book "Fifty Shades Freed".
And finished it promptly.
I wish I could explain what it was about this book that made it such a delicious, silly romp because in the 3rd book I was still rolling my eyes while losing hope for some sort of plot to Happen Already, Dammit.
The much awaited Plot never unfolded, but no matter -- I still had fun reading this ridiculous trilogy.
I would like to discuss a few key topics that come up whenever this book is discussed:
1. The term "mommy porn"
I quickly grew tired of the ridiculous, over-the-top sex scenes and by Book Two, was skimming them. What rankles me about the term "mommy porn" is the tired use of the word "mommy" or "mom" to express a sneering derision toward something. Google the terms "mommy blogger", "soccer mom" or "mom jean" if you don't know what I am talking about. Overall, the Shades of Grey trilogy was just another romance series and I am calling bullshit on referring to it as "mommy porn".
Which leads me to.......
I recently Tweeted "When I publish my hot memoir of married life w/Manoj, I'm going to title it "50 Shades of Brown". No whips, but loads of curry. Spicy!" and later "Where BDSM means "Brown Desi Sexy Men ". Of course." Frankly, I thought the whole brouhaha about the BDSM aspects of this book were extremely over-stated and I suspect the hype was on purpose to draw attention to the book. Yes, there was a little bit of Bondage and a lot of Domination, but I did not see anything much Sadist or Masochist. I also found the sex scenes to be so boring that by the 2nd book, I was skimming them. The darkest parts of these books had to do with the control issues of Christian Grey and his childhood story. But honestly? Most of the Romance novels I have read had controlling men attracted to devilish minxes who resisted that control. Seriously, sound familiar? It should, if you are regular reader of romances.
3. Fan Fiction
This part I don't understand -- I did a bit of research and never found the answer to my question "What are the morals, ethics and legalities behind fan fiction?" I find it difficult to believe that Stephanie Meyer is not trying to sue the ass off of E.L. James and her publisher. When I began the Shades of Grey trilogy I began taking notes of the similarities to the Twilight series (Pacific Northwest location, Christian's mother is a doctor, Christian has a whimsical younger sister, Ana's relationship with her mother and father, the story of Jose, some minor plot points) . After awhile, I gave up taking notes because it was ENDLESS.
Overall? I enjoyed this series and I still cannot explain WHY.
Have you read any of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy? If not, are you planning to?