Friday, March 6, 2015

50 Shades.....{book review}

{Dad, don't read this.}
Ok, so when the first book came out a couple years ago, I had zero interest. None. Hadn't even heard of it until the craze set in. Then EVERYONE was talking about it. Still, no interest. I didn't even know this was a trilogy. Even when the movie came out this Valentine's Day, I still had no interest. The world was going crazy over the books and movie, and I thought it was just a touch ridiculous. But then I started seeing all of these reviews, posts, and articles about it - from both sides. People who loved it. People who absolutely hated everything it stood for. People claiming it will do nothing but ruin your marriage. People claiming it was straight porn and porn is the devil. Then I started to gain some interest. Not because it was being classified as porn, but because it was becoming quite controversial and I wanted to form my own opinion.
I read several debates from people who work in the psychology field, specifically dealing with victims of domestic and/or sexual violence/abuse, who were basically calling out this book and the author as condoning violence. I knew at that point I must read these books. I must find out for myself why there is such a craze, why so much controversy, and decide for myself how I feel.
Having said all of that, and before I recommend this book to anyone, know this:  it's not a romance novel. This doesn't just dabble in a few romantic scenes here and there throughout the book. This is a book filled with "kinky fuckery" (Christian Grey). The two main characters are Anastasia (Ana) Steele and Christian Grey. Ana is working through her last semester of college and Christian is a self-made billionaire. Ana is a follow the rules, doesn't step over the line, virgin. Christian has quite the ego and is very entrenched in a BDSM lifestyle. If you don't know what that is, feel free to look it up. This is what takes the book beyond your typical "romance" novel. I loathe trashy romance novels. I read one a very long time ago and the cheese factor was just too much. Maybe that's why I stayed away from 50 Shades for so long....thinking it was a lame romance novel. Anyway, Ana and Christian's paths cross and the rest is history.
To say I got hooked on these books is an understatement. I read all three in a matter of nine days. I was THAT into them. And when the author decides to get hot and heavy, she doesn't mess around. These are very much ADULT books. I've heard people saying they let their teenage daughters read them and my mind was blown. No way in HELL should a teenager be reading these.
Getting back to the debates regarding abuse.....there is no abuse in these books. Granted, that's one person's opinion. But I didn't see it. I never got that feeling. I never got the feeling that Ana was beaten or mistreated. She consented to a relationship with Christian, they experimented, there were safe words to be used (again, look up BDSM) so that the "pain" remained for pleasure versus punishment, as well as rules on soft limits and hard limits. These books were very much about finding a healthy compromise between a "vanilla" sex life that Ana envisioned for herself, and the "kinky fuckery" that Christian had always experienced with his dominant/submissive "relationships", without either person really losing themselves to the other. And yes, Christian has quite a bit of back-story that led to him being the way he is. I'm glad the author dove into that back-story as it really made Christian more vulnerable and relatable.
There are some major bumps and twists and turns in these books (obviously why I remained hooked), and overall, I'm thrilled with how the whole story ended. I'm now intrigued to see the movie - I'm not sure how they were able to make the first one and only keep it "R" rated. I know they considered the NC-17 rating, which really would have been more appropriate, if the movie truly follows the book.
Having said ALLLL of this, I'm not sure how to recommend these books. Obviously they aren't for everyone. Obviously. Know what you are getting into before you read this book.  E. L. James is not the best author out there. There are some incredibly annoying things about her writing. I was able to overlook these and focus on the bigger picture. I found some stark similarities to another book series, but that bothered me for about 45 seconds before I was over it. It's a dark book, as far as material. It's dirty. It's funny at times. You will get hot and bothered no matter where you read it. Go for it! And no, it won't ruin your marriage. If a book is all it takes to "ruin" your marriage, you have bigger issues.

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