Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Review from a Mom: 50 Shades of Grey Reaction

 I was talking with a friend of mine and she mentioned that she read 50 Shades of Grey. She began to tell me all about the plot and what she thought of the book but I stopped her to say, "Write this down and I'll post it on my blog!" Knowing I would never read this book and that many people would be curious how a mother feels about the book, I am posting her review. She wishes to remain anonymous, so I will not post her name.

Note: This book is VERY ADULT in nature and very different from what I usually blog about.

Since this was originally a Twilight fan fic, it does tie into the YA culture (sort of... okay I might be stretching). 
Please let me know what you think.

50 Shades of Grey
E. L. James
528 pages

Book Jacket Summary
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Her Thoughts
I realize this book has probably been reviewed to death by now but as a Mom in the target audience of this phenomenon I thought I’d offer up a slightly different reason to be offended by these books.

Yes the sex is graphic, I get that, but it’s not very different from what you’d find in any other smutty romance novels. Yes, the world of dominant/submissive was shocking but honestly after the first scene I was laughing my ass off. I became less amused when the scenes quickly became redundant and found myself flipping through them. Blush/spank/ouch!/OMFG/mind blowing orgasms three times a day every day for weeks?  Really? It’s that easy?

The Twilight similarities are blatant and I’d fault the author for that but it was written intentionally as fan fiction so I’d say she was right on the mark. As in Twilight, the author has the leading male fall hopelessly madly in passionate all-consuming love for the female instantly. For Bella it was because she smelled good. For Anastasia, it was because she asked a rude question and Christian Grey wanted to spank her. The obsession is immediate. This is where I start to get offended.  We as readers are given no character development, no build up, no real reason for this love. The author is lazy and cuts right to the chase. The leading males do not see these women for who they are; they don’t identify what makes them special, amazing, or unique.  And I’m offended that the authors think that this is what we, as women, want.  I have a daughter and I don’t want her hoping for a drop dead gorgeous billionaire to fall from the sky and sweep away all her insecurities.  I want her to be confident in herself and secure enough to share how amazing she is with others. This is how relationships are formed.

But apparently the story line of ”beautiful but meek girl meets dominate, bossy, and shall I label it as father- like man to take away all of her control of life” is exactly what we want to read and it’s evident in the mind blowing sales of these books. They’re right. We’re lazy. We want immediate gratification. You got time to read a book? Alright, here’s your billionaire, the sex, the light suspense, all delivered in simple sentences and poor grammar. Now text your friends about it instead of calling them.


  1. Love that last line and love this review, thanks!

  2. Thanks for that review. Agent Scott Eagan published a rejection letter for the book, but he had to take the post down. A very controversial book! Have you read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire? Some people associated the two books.

  3. Ha! Love this review. I did post recently a similar review on my blog, if you wish to read few more thoughts :)


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