July 08, 2012

Book Review: FIFTY SHADES TRILOGY by E.L. James

Book: Fifty Shades Trilogy
Author:  EL James
Publisher:  The Writer’s Coffee Shop
Category:  Erotic Fiction

I finished reading all three books a few days back but have been procrastinating in writing a review.  Mostly because I am torn.  I don’t know if I like, love or hate this trilogy.  But that’s what I appreciate about Fifty Shades, it brings out a gamut of emotions that you can’t help but read them again for clarification.  I know millions have read these and more are considering to.  So before you do, read this review.  To start, here are the book descriptions:

Fifty Shades of Grey

“Anastasia, you should steer clear of me.  I’m not the man for you.”-Christian Grey

“I have rules and I want you to comply with them.  They are for your benefit and for my pleasure.  If you follow these rules to my satisfaction, I shall reward you.  if you don’t, I shall punish you and you will learn.”- Christian Grey

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.

Fifty Shades Darker

 “This is me Ana. All of me and I’m all yours.  what do I have to do to make you realize that? To make you see that I want you any way I can get you.  that I love you.”- Christian Grey

“You are so precious to me Ana. I was serious about marrying you. we can get to know each other then. I can look after you. you can look after me. We can have kids if you want. I will lay my world at your feet, Anastasia. I want you, body and soul, forever.”- Christian Grey

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

Fifty Shades Freed

“I want everyone to know that you’re mine.”- Christian
“I am yours. look.”- Anastasia
“It’s not enough.”-Christian
“What do you mean?”- Anastasia
“I want your world to begin and end with me.”- Christian

When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.
Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.
Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

**********SPOILER ALERT**********SPOILER ALERT**********

I have heard Fifty Shades of Grey being called Mommy Porn and even Twilight with BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism).  Both are very apt descriptions as the book and its 2 sequels are full of kinky sex.  In fact every few pages have the two protagonists Anastasia and Christian going at it like rabbits.  Reading it, I felt like a kid peeking through my fingers while watching a horror movie. The sex scenes in these books are such that an ordinary person will either be fascinated or disgusted. 

Of the three, Fifty Shades of Grey was the hardest to read.  it took me a total of 3 days to finish the book.  It’s not that the writing was bad.  On the contrary, E.L. James’ reference to different books and use of uncommon words (hoplophobe, priapic…) shows that she is well read and highly informed. Her descriptions though border on repetitive: nose touching, Christian’s hard body, his happy trail blah blah blah… it does get ridiculous, especially since these are recurrent in all three books.
Author E.L. James
Another point I didn’t like are Anastasia’s Inner Goddess and Subconscious.  They are referred to so many times it seems like they are the 3rd and 4th main characters in the story and It made Ana look like she had multiple personalities. it was disturbing.

The characters of Christian and Anastasia are so similar to Twilight’s Edward and Bella in everything except for the BDSM.  Both Christian and Edward are over protective, jealous, possessive, rich and extremely gorgeous. Ana and Bella are both awkward, from a middle class family, insecure, hard headed and constantly in awe of being the object of the irresistible man’s affections.  Sometimes I just want to bang her head against the wall for being so weak….or both of them.

Now, on to the positive.
Yes there is a reason why these have become a phenomenon with millions of copies sold all over the world.
Believe it or not, it is surprisingly sweet. 

In trying to assess my reaction to both Twilight and Fifty Shades, I see that it’s not just the characters that are similar.  It is its core, which is TRUE LOVE against all odds.  In both series, the protagonists are very open and vocal about their emotions.  I can’t even count how many times “I love you so much, you are my life…” and the like are scattered all over the books.  So naturally women swoon because it is every woman’s fantasy (or at least the majority) for a man such as Christian (without the kinky stuff) to be in love with her.  He is almost the perfect man.  And to be the object of such intense protectiveness and love just doesn’t happen in real life.  So yes this tickles women’s imagination. Plus it grips on women’s natural inclination to help and heal those who are wounded and needy, which is exactly what Christian is. Add to that the very graphic description of their sex life. WOW.  Most of the time I didn’t know if I was supposed to close my eyes or just skip the “good” part. Fifty Shades is like Twilight on steroids.

This is a Feel-good trilogy (double meaning? Um…yeah!) because every single thing just works out in the end.  Including the other characters’ lives like Kate (Ana’s Best friend) with Elliot (Christian’s brother), also Mia (Christian’s sister) and Ethan (Kate’s brother).  Plus the ending of Fifty Shades Freed has complete closure so no questions need be asked. Everyone is happy and healed.  Again, this touches on women’s need for a happy ending, or at least my wish for it.

So do I recommend Fifty Shades?  Depends.  If you have the stomach for Kinky F*****y, why not.  Once you survive the first book, chances are you will be desensitized enough to like and even appreciate Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.  But do beware, read this at your own risk…. And away from kids. You REALLY do not want them to peek into the world of Ana and Christian.

The Fifty Shades trilogy is an assault on your senses so think hard and deep (pardon the pun) before buying. Fair Point Well Made? Yes Sir Christian, I think so.
Laters baby....


  1. Sounds good to me.
    I think, I'm gonna read it one of these days.

  2. Hindi masyadong na describe ang mga character. Just grey eyes. Ulit ulit ang mga words. Pag nabasa mo na yung una, paniguradong babasahin mo na lahat.

  3. my assessment was. It's an erotic and book version of "Pretty Woman" yun nga lang hindi prosti si Anastasia. I found Anastasia's inner goddess funny though. It made me laugh/giggle a couple of times. Curiosity made me buy this book because of all the hellavaloo and I don't regret buying it. I admit though that I have no idea what it was about. If I have known though, I would have bought the book secretly. Lol. Love your reviews. I would like to see your review on the Chaos Walking series. Take care!

  4. My thoughts exactly :)
    I've read somewhere here in the virtual world po na originated sya as fanfiction for twilight, that's why may pagkakapareho yung characters nya.
    Love your reviews! ;)

  5. i am reading the three books for the second time now....at first i was anticipating a gruesome description of the bdsm but when i read the books they're not that brutal....i love their e-mail bantering.....the book is very entertaining for me and my sister *giggling*.....if you have read harlequin romances like blaze, temptation and desire it's not much different.....a little bit kinkier that would tickle you fifty shades of red....:-)....what girl wouldn't want someone with christian grey's stature to compromise and set aside his ways to show you are far more important...that would indeed elicit a gasp and a lot of oh my's :-)))....laters......

  6. nice review...i agree! i read on some reviews also that it's not really a 'literary piece' i so agree. i read the trilogy...i was curious on what the story was about. i wanted to finish it coz i really want to know Grey's 'deep' character...and it wasn't deep enough for me. yup, u have to read this away from children! i love the first chapters of book 1 wherein there's no sex yet...kileg! i also like their email exchanges...hihihi! anyway...at least we all read the book..i just don't know how will they make the movie...i can say they can squeeze in the 3 books in 1 movie...whatyathink?!

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  8. I read all three books, and I honestly did not like them. I heard so much about them i decided to read them. But what really killed it for me, was her use in words. Too much repetition, many times i felt i was re-reading the same page. And yes kinkery romance was a bit to much.
    But it maybe a great book for others.I wont consider or recommend this book to ppl. The friends who have also read them feel the same. I can also agree with the simalirities of twilight.I almost felt this author was discribing Bella. I really dont know much about this author but she seemed like she couldnt think of her own charaters and used BellA and christian as a blueprint. I wont even bother with any other of her books. If this author plans to make more.

  9. I loved the book Fifty Shades Of Grey. I am so glad i enjoyed Christian and Anastasia's story. I like
    Anastasia Steele

  10. Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Thank you so much. You are a great writer...EL james

  11. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. and i watch your work it is pretty awesome to see on the screen the movie fifty shades of grey

  12. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie.i cant wait for releasing date of fifty shades movie

  13. So Christian Grey! He should definetly play Mr.Grey in 50 fifty shades of grey.
    christian grey

  14. Alexis Bledel as Ana
    With Ian Somerholder as Christian
    THat is the best fit!!
    Fifty Shades Movie

  15. I can't wait for the movie. I loved the books. I should agree these are the best written books.
    The Movie Fifty Shades

  16. I wish robert pettinson would cast as christian... and am also excited to see this book on reel.
    50 shades movie

  17. Great review!!!
    Thanks for sharing..
    You are a great writer EL James.....
    the movie fifty shades of grey

  18. Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Thank you so much. You are a great writer... EL James.
    Fifty Shades

  19. Without the kinky stuff? Haha, no. I loved the kinky stuff. It was more than vanilla but very far away from being bdsm, which is why so many bdsm lovers are opposed to it. But then again, christian may be a good Dom but he never showed it as anastasia was inexperienced. That point was made clear in the book. And once you get past the sex, there is so much more going on in the book. The evaluation of the characters, their love, christian's concern. Indeed, what kind of a woman won't want the exact concern and the feeling of being the first priority of their lovers? I loved fifty shades. I was very upset when the book ended.