Buckle up girls... this is going to be a LONG one!
To start, I'll say that when I started reading Shades of Grey, I was doing so with the idea that it was a paranormal romance. Where I got that idea I couldn't tell you. I kept reading and reading waiting for the other shoe to drop and reveal something other-worldly, but it never came. It may have turned out to be the polar opposite of what I THOUGHT I was reading, but I couldn't be happier! Before we go any further, I will throw out 'the warning' .. this book contains EXPLICIT sex, language, some violence, sad reflection of child abuse, and a SMBD theme. For those of you like me who don't know what SMBD means.. I'll sum it up - bondage, submissive/ dominance relationship, etc. This was a whole new world for me and I'm not ashamed to admit that I couldn't put it down!
First, on the non-sex parts of the book... Ive often laughed out loud while reading, but E.L. James had me running to the bathroom before I had an accident many times! I also shed more tears than I could count, and WAY too many nights were spent by myself awake, alone with only the light of my e-reader to light my way until the sun came back up!
This story is told from the point of view of our main character Ana. However, the author has this magical way of not only incorporating the play-by-play of what's happening, but shows us a look into the main characters mind.. by telling us all about the thoughts of her subconscious and "inner goddess" ... Basically a metaphor for Ana's shoulder sitting angel and devil. The "Inner Goddess" Is my favorite and I will carry that concept with me for the rest of my life!
This story is fantasy, fairytale, and heart breaking reality all rolled into one! How many stories are there about the plain, poor girl with nothing special going for her who gets swept off her feet by her knight in shining armor and whisked away to live in a palace with all of her hearts desires available for the rest of her life? Well, switch that into the 21st century, make the knight in shining armor an insanely wealthy CEO, and give him some SERIOUS demons, and there you go!
That's really all the further I can go without incorporating "the sex" into this review, because it's such an intricate part of the story! I'll be honest - there's a LOT of sex! Some of it is just for the fun of the read. (Don't be embarrassed ladies) However, this story could not possibly be told without it! As I said, SMBD is the theme here. Don't be shy... who hasn't fantasized about a little role-play in the bedroom? The point that I'm probably failing at making is that the sex tells a story! Our main male role Christian has a LOT of issues. His "lifestyle" in the bedroom is an expression of those and a coping mechanism, therapy if you will for the brutal early-childhood he suffered through. This works fine for him until he falls for the very virginal, very vanilla Miss Anastasia Steele. As for Miss Steele, not only has she never had sex, but a VERY indecent proposal from this easy on the eyes man is just too much for her! She, her subconscious and her "inner goddess" set off to see if this is a life she could ever really get involved in. What's meant to be a black and white formal agreement between two consenting adults becomes 'complicated' as feelings and emotions evolve. The black and white blur into "Fifty Shades of Grey" for all involved.
Shortly after finishing this series, I caught a segment of The Today Show calling this series many things from "Women's secret fantasy" ... to a "Slap in the face of the women's movement" and stating that the "Violence on women" was appalling! Obviously in my opinion, those people are morons! The only violence on women in this book is 100% consenting adults and in the bedroom... it's fantasy! It's the whole pleasure/pain thing. Mind you, we're talking about spanking here... not domestic abuse! So let's just put that to rest right now! The famous television personality "Dr. Drew" admitted on air to having NOT read the series right before he threw it under the bus stating that anybody who takes pleasure in that type of activity is often the victim of child-abuse. Well, DUH! Our male role Christian is fifty-shades of f#$%-up because of what happened to him as a young boy! This is how he has come to deal with it.. but Ana is there to help him work it all through even more and heal his inner child! Ugh! That television segment made me SO angry because it painted this series in the wrong light! They made it seem like only lonely, horny women or sick puppies could enjoy this book... as though it were some sort of perversion. It's NOT! It's a wonderful tale of love, lust, complications, and growth!
Many women would feel embarrassed to admit that they read and enjoyed such a racy series. NOT ME! I will admit that I was a little shocked though. If you don't believe that a story with a lot of sex can have real emotion- just ask my husband who saw the tears fall down my face! This beautiful, amazing tale was written by a WOMAN for WOMEN and I'd go as far as to say every man should read it too!
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.