I admit, I was curious to see what all of the hype was about and, since I happened to have downloaded copies of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series by E.L. James I thought I would give it a go. I popped them into ibooks and dove in.
The first thing that struck me is that the writing wasn't great...it reminded me of something written for teens and I SERIOUSLY hope that was not the demographic they were going for with this novel. The inner monologue of the main character was inane and I found myself skimming chapters full of gratuitous and completely unnecessary sex scenes. I honestly think I may have enjoyed the book better if there wasn't a love scene every four paragraphs.
For me, the most disturbing about this phenomenon is the Christian Grey obsession. The man is a psychopath, a sadist, a control freak and, quite frankly, dangerous and should NOT be an ideal to which any young woman (or old woman as some of the followers of the novel have proven to be) should aspire. Period. We may have seen a softer side as the novels continued but I have felt compelled from halfway through the first book to issue a warning.
If you find a man, no matter how rich, handsome, sexy and powerful he is, if he stalks you all the way across the country when you tell him you need space that is NOT normal. If he convinces you that the only way you can be together is to do things that you are not comfortable with it is NOT healthy. If your boyfriend admits that he loves punishing you and hitting you you RUN away from that situation because you WILL get hurt, physically and emotionally. If they are so controlling that he tells you what and when to eat, who you can and cannot see, and goes to the extreme of buying the company for which you work just to be able to have control, that is a sickness and you will lose yourself in the process of making him happy.
The "heroine" Anastasia continually talks herself out of common sense. I'm all for exploring new experiences as long as you are in a loving and respectful relationship and have clear expectations. What I am not cool with is the glorification of the "kinky fuckery" as the book calls it ad nauseum. This girl had protected her virginity despite other advancements from nice, normal men but her resolve melted at first sight of Christian and was gone in minutes instead of the weeks and months it takes to build a mutually trusting relationship. It is not cool, not normal, and not healthy. Ana doesn't even get a chance to breathe before being pressured and smothered by her boyfriend. How is this even acceptable in our society?
Please, don't look for your own Christian Grey. Most women who get into relationships such as this end up broken, hurt, and abused. Shelters across the country are filled to brimming with women who fall in love, think that they need to sacrifice themselves and their morals to make a man happy and stay in the abuse because they are convinced that love is more about pleasing their husbands and boyfriends than creating a two way relationship. Just remember, the story doesn't always end with the power of love triumphing over deep seeded mental problems. Most of the time, the story ends badly.
I have one book to go but I have to cleanse my palate with a book that doesn't make me cringe constantly first.