Fifty Shades Trilogy, by E.L. James

Fifty Shades Trilogy, by E.L. James

*NOTE: Minor spoilers appear herein.

Okay, I’m a little embarrassed to even admit that I read these books. But, after a lot of thought, I did. After all, one can’t really express an opinion on books without having read them, right?

Before we begin:

  • I did not know, when I started the first book, that these books were originally fan fiction based on Twilight.
  • I did know that they were *ahem* racy.
  • I was inspired to read the first book by this podcast from Books on the Nightstand.
  • Prior to this, I had never read a book from the erotica genre.

The basic plot is this: Anastasia Steele, virgin and soon-to-be college graduate, meets Christian Grey, billionaire and sexual Dominant.  She’s in search of love; he’s in search of a Submissive sexual partner.  Let the fun begin.

Okay, my thoughts:

  • This is NOT for the feint of heart.  It is Racy with a capital “R.”  But not as racy as I imagined.  Most of the sex scenes are “plain vanilla sex,” not BDSM.  Oh, and there is quite a bit of swearing.
  • After a while, the sex got boring.  Really?  Another sex scene?  Why?
  • There are catch phrases throughout the trilogy that got old.  Fast.  (Some non-explicit examples: “my Fifty Shades;” “twitchy palms,” “we aim to please,” “another first,” “flying too close to the sun,” “good point well made,” and “don’t bit your lip.”)
  • The Twilight connection.  Yep.  Christian is an Edward – ridiculously controlling.  And Anastasia is a Bella – naive when convenient, clumsy, and often annoying. But it was fun, especially in the first book, to find scene and character similarities.
  • I love the covers.
  • The email sparring back and forth between Ana and Christen were my favorite parts.
  • I was very amused by Anastasia’s two internal selves: her subconscious and her inner goddess.

“My subconscious glares up at me over her half-moon spectacles, distracted from volume two of the Complete Works of Charles Dickens, and mentally chastises me. Leave the poor man alone, Ana.” Fifty Shades Freed

“My mouth goes dry. He’s letting me drive his car? My inner goddess whips on her leather driving gloves and flat shoes. Oh yes! she cries.” Fifty Shades Freed

  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Romance story.  Lots of sex.  Parallels to Tess of the d’Ubervilles. Abrupt ending.
  • Fifty Shades Darker: Wedding story.  Christian is excessively controlling.  Lots and lots of sex.  Some parallels to Rebecca.
  • Fifty Shades Freed: Pregnancy story. Christian is uber-controlling.  Lots and lots and lots of sex.  Kind of a hot mess of cliches and sex scenes.  Abrupt and somewhat unbelievable ending.

The bottom line?  I was entertained but really nothing more.

Fifty Shades Trilogy, by E.L. James [rating:3]

Have you read or reviewed these books too? Feel free to jump in with your thoughts or leave a link to your review in the comments.