Novice author E.L. James has the literary world turned on its head, but what exactly is it about her Fifty Shades trilogy that has everyone talking? I held out as long as I could to read the new Twilight fan-fiction, but after a while, the resounding buzz had me curious.
The plot follows Anastasia Steele, a recent college graduate who meets and falls in love with the beautiful, accomplished business mogul and self-made millionaire, Christian Grey. The two embark on an intimate relationship as Mr. Grey recruits the virginal Anastasia into his world of Sadomasochism. Not surprisingly, the relationship turns tumultuous as Christian pushes Anastasia past her physical limits, while Anastasia longs for romance.
As far as character development, you can bet that you Twilight fans will experience Déjà vu; Anastasia’s constant self-deprecation becomes overwhelming- she is adored by every relevant male character without understanding why (because good-looking people usually don’t know that they are…). However, the rich, powerful, and handsome Christian Grey offers much more depth than dreamy vampire Edward Cullen. In fact, you might start to wonder why he does in fact fall for the beautiful Anastasia Steele, since her character will undoubtedly remind you of the unlikeable Bella Swan (or maybe I am just thinking of K-Stew).
After overcoming my hesitation of picking up the first installment of the series, Fifty Shades of Grey, I was not surprised to find the book extremely entertaining. Although the intimate scenes may offer the reader discomfort at times, the overall sexuality of the book is definitely not too much for a college reader to handle. Being new to erotic fiction, however, I wonder if all books of this genre offer the same monotonous intimacy occurring over, and over, and over… Additionally, E.L. James’ writing style is less than stellar; she tends to repeat the same descriptions, cliché and corny lines, and makes constant reference to the narrator’s “inner goddess,” doing back flips and flip flops, which kind of weirds me out.
Here is my advice:
This book is extremely similar to the Twilight Saga, and if you enjoyed the budding romance of Edward and Bella, you will definitely enjoy this. Though this book offers little intellectual stimulation, it is a good summer read, and it will most certainly appease your curiosity. Get your hands on the first book and enjoy. But heed warning, E.L James ends on a cliff-hanger that will have you driving to Barnes and Noble within minutes of finishing the book, while the second installment is nothing but a continuation of the same exact scenarios and offers little entertainment.
Also, buy a book cover because society is definitely judging you for reading this.