*DISCLAIMER* This blog post will contain mild spoilers and sexual content (written, not visual). *END DISCLAIMER*
So a couple days ago, I heard about this trashy romance novel that was sweeping the nation called Fifty Shades of Grey. It just suddenly popped up everywhere I went. My relatives talked about it, one of my favorite comic strips, Girls With Slingshots, did a bit on it, etc. Then yesterday, I was in Barnes & Noble buying books I actually care about – the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, the next Alpha and Omega novel by Patricia Briggs – when I see this book on the shelf. My curiosity got to me. I bought it. I have not made it through the entire book. I am only at chapter nine. But here are some things I’ve observed about it.
1. It is uncomfortably close to Twilight in many ways. Here is the list. If you haven’t read Twilight, take my word for it that these things are contained within it:
- The male love interest is described as an “Adonis.”
- The main character, Anastasia, has a harebrained mother who has recently remarried.
- Anastasia sees herself as awkward and ugly when apparently everyone else sees her as beautiful.
- Anastasia has multiple male suitors (two so far) that are interested in her, attractive, and friendly, but she is not interested in them. The only one who catches her eye is the perfectly handsome Christian Grey.
- Anastasia blushes a lot, and her biggest flaw seems to be that she is clumsy. Worse, it seems her klutziness is supposed to be endearing. Why oh why is this a thing all of a sudden? I get that the female is supposed to be all meek and need Mr. Sculpted McChiseledJaw to keep her safe, but this is getting kind of ridiculous.
The list goes on. Anastasia doesn’t believe she is worthy of Mr. Perfect-Ass WashboardAbs because he is so much better looking than she is. She dreams about him every night after meeting him, yadda yadda.
Here are some other things.
2. Anastasia’s last name is Steele. And the male love interest’s last name is not WashboardAbs, it’s Grey. So we have Steele and Grey. Steel Grey. This is too perfectly constructed to have been an accident. (Just like it was no accident that the main character of Twilight was named “Beautiful Swan.”) On top of that, Christian Grey has gray eyes, and his hair is supposedly “copper,” though to be fair, Edward’s was “bronze.”
3. The author, E L James, is English. I knew this after reading the second sentence in the novel (“…damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill…”), and then I checked the About the Author to see if I was right. I was. I knew because she kept saying things like “My roommate is ill,” and “I must not do this,” and “I looked smart” (As in she was dressed well). I have nothing against the English, but it took me until she mentioned driving from Oregon to Washington to realize that the narrator is, in fact, supposed to be American. The problem is, no editor stopped Ms. James for a moment and said, “I’m sorry, but American people don’t talk like this. We might need to change a few things.” It takes me out of the book entirely every time she says an Englishism, and I’m afraid I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough.
4. I haven’t even gotten to the sex. (Here’s where the spoiler comes in) Mr. Christian Grey tries to stay away from Bella, er, Anastasia as much as he can, but he just can’t because he is so in love with her clumsiness. So he gives in and takes her back to his place and shows her his big, dark secret: He’s a vampire. No just kidding. It’s worse. He’s really into kink. He has an entire room dedicated to the most extreme forms of S&M. He tells Anastasia that if she wants to be with him, she will have to be his Sub while he is the Dom. And she’s like, “Well, you’re hot, and I really want to have sex with you, so okie dokie!” Or rather, “Well, you’re a fine-looking fellow, and I must say I cannot resist you any further.” Something like that.
So obviously I don’t really like this book so far. This post was long, and I’m sorry. I’ll probably give a full review of the book once I finish it.
Word of the Day: Sadomasochism (n) – interaction, especially sexual activity, in which one person enjoys inflicting physical or mental suffering on another person, who derives pleasure from experiencing pain.