You’ll have to forgive my tardiness. What’s it been, two weeks? I can just imagine how deprived you all must have been without my humor, intelligence and above all else, modesty. 😉
(WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS IN THIS BLOG!)
Anyway, while inactive I spent some time reading…the Fifty Shades series. Yes, I admit it. I was interested and intrigued by this “mommy porn”. And the confession doesn’t end there, I actually had quite a hard time putting the books down (which sucks when you need to be studying). Please don’t hate me! Allow me to explain myself first…
As some of you may know, I have a guilty pleasure for cheese. The cheesiest of the cheese too, cheddar oozing. There are of course exceptions – off the top of my head, I saw Snow White and the Huntsman last weekend and I hated it. It was cheesy, but there’s a time and place for cheese and that was not it – but typically I enjoy a good predictable romantic comedy, or a gore and boobs horror film, or a teen fiction novel complete with obvious title. Example: Love on the Lifts, Labor of Love, Suite Dreams. Oh, Rachel Hawthorne how I loved your books. I really can’t explain my cheese addiction; you just feel good knowing people end up together or that massive piranhas are attracted to silicone. Or perhaps, it’s the consolation that if these morons can make movies and write novels than I too can make movies and write novels! Whatever it is, I’m a huge cheese lover.
That being said, Fifty Shades is terrible. It’s terribly written. I didn’t realize until half way through the first book that it was originally Twilight fan fiction, which suddenly made so much sense. My thought process until that point had gone a little something like this:
“Wow, she seems like someone I know…”
“That’s odd, so does he…”
“Oh! She’s like that annoying Twilight b*tch!”
“Ohmygosh, and he’s like that sparkling freak!”
“What the f*ck?! Isn’t this Twilight?!”
“Seriously? This is just Twilight with whips and chains”
“Holy mother of…I swear to God if he says he’s a vampire…”
“WHAAAAAAT?!?!” Haha, just kidding.
So finally after realizing this was in fact based on Twilight, I could better understand the author’s uh…thought process. Sort of.
There is so much wrong with this series. The fact that it’s based on Twilight being just one of them, but also the lack of character development, the obvious objectification of women – and I don’t mean the obvious in the bedroom! -, the terrible writing which was clearly thesaurus based, and the redundancy. Not to mention, I heard everyone talking about how sexual and erotic this book was, and without sounding like a pervert…seriously? I don’t even purposely read erotic novels and these books are nothing special to the genre. It’s a little embarrassing for the women who call this “mommy porn” and clearly haven’t read a good book with a decent sex scene.
Oh God, I hope my Grandmother isn’t reading this.
The main characters Anastasia and Christian are embarrassing specimens of the literary world. Anastasia being weak, naive, desperate, and pathetic all for the sake of being ‘innocent”…oh wait, that’s because she’s Bella Swan. Christian is demonic, yet extremely good looking and rich, so it doesn’t matter. He’s controlling, jealous, bitter, secretive, angry, and abusive. Any man who wants to hit a woman after she has misbehaved (contract or not!) is abusive. There is a brief overview of what has caused Christian to become such a person, however, given E.L. James lack of ability, it’s weak at best. Here’s the thing that confuses me, this guy is 27 and loaded…sure it’s possible, but highly improbable. And typically men who are in such powerful positions crave discipline and control from others outside of work. It’s typically men who are at the bottom of the chain who become control freaks in the home. Right? I’m sure there are the exceptions.
The whole series is redundant from the lack of character development to their catch phrases (I know what the book is called! Can you please stop using “fifty shades” every chance you get?!) to the consistent fighting. Anastasia being the inexperienced child that she is, has to be stubborn and fight about EVERYTHING. And Christian being the control freak that he is gets angry about everything. “You’re not eating?!” “That guy was looking at you!” “You drove to work without a body guard!?” “You went out with your friends?!” “What do you mean I have to wear a condom for a week!?” Seriously. You guys are grown folk, handle your relationship as such.
Christian’s control issues are exactly the start of what I’d expect to see on Dr. Phil. You know what I’m talking about. Typically the control doesn’t start until after marriage, but luckily this dude has a handy dandy contract! The control was what angered me the most while reading. I mean, I can kind of understand the kinky sexual relations, and wanting control in the bedroom (because he’s got the penis, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da), but the fact that these books are FOR women and yet they objectify women…just doesn’t add up. And then I understood…
This isn’t “mommy porn” for the sex. It’s “mommy porn” because of the idea that a woman can change a man. TA-DA! Woman have been trying this FOREVER. And this book is supposed to be proof that it’s possible. I mean think of it. This guy has been demonized in the most effective way, everything that intelligent women are supposed to flee from. But this guy is Greek god hot and richer than Bill Gates so it’s worth trying to see if you can fix him, right? Despite only being interested in BDSM and non-relationships, for some reason he actually falls in love with Anastasia. Even despite his unfortunate psychological issues, he’s become a (almost) completely different person! This is what’s so appealing.
Remember that guy you dated who was gorgeous and had a great body but was a total asshole? And you tried desperately to make him into that sweet, caring guy? But it didn’t work because that doesn’t happen. Or remember when you realized your life would be perfect if only the hot, dumb guy at your school could be combined with your smart, and comical guy friend? Well that wasn’t going to happen either, because that technology has yet to be designed. Fifty Shades tells already married women that that husband they settled for can still be changed into ‘Mr. Perfect’! It’s never too late.
Haha, I’m just kidding. It’s too late if you married him.
What E.L. James has done has created the perfect idea for women every where…MEN CAN CHANGE! What’s sad is, this is porn for women. And what’s more, this is UNREALISTIC. We can’t even have a good erotic sex story with an average guy. That’s what I want to read! Enough with pop culture deceiving us already! I’ve pretty much come to terms with the fact that the attractive, funny, smart, caring guy doesn’t exist so just give me something realistic to work with!
That being said, I fell for this stupid idea. There I was grinning like an idiot, thinking, “Oh boy! She’s tamed the beast!” or more fittingly “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb”. It took me until book two to realize what the hell was going on. I hate being deceived, so thank you Mrs. James.
So after trashing this book in the most professional manner – I’m not kidding when I say it’s absolutely terrible from both a writer’s point of view, and just someone who values quality literature – I’ll reiterate my point of enjoying cheese as to explain why I wasn’t able to stop reading the series. I’m halfway through the third book and there’s something rather enjoyable, I suppose.
I’ll admit I can’t help from cringing at almost every page, but that feel good “Oh, every girl will end up with a sexy, rich man despite trauma or psychological issues” really keeps me going. I mean, really, why else would I get up each day?
If you were actually interested in using this review to decide for yourself if you should give the series a try, I’d recommend the following quiz:
Do you like Twilight?
Do you enjoy being deceived?
Do you enjoy feeling stupid?
Would you consider the Twilight series to be the most original, romantic, and insightful pieces of literature of this generation?
Do you hate reality?
Do you enjoy a cheesy chick flick (i.e. She’s All That, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping)?
Have you really been reading this quiz?
If you answered yes to ANY of the questions, definitely give this fine piece of literary excellence a read.
Have a great day!