Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of NAUGHTY

Listen, I have some bad news. I - the English major, literature loving wordophile - have read Fifty Shades of Grey. If you haven't heard of these books, you are a boy or on Mars. Or a boy on Mars. Anyhoozle, let me describe what these books are.

These books are porn. For women. 

Yup. They're dirty. They're naughty and I'm embarrassed to have read the first one. I'm ashamed of myself for reading the second. I read the third one, too, but I have no bad feelings about that. I always finish what I start.

It all started on a dark and stormy night. I couldn't sleep because the thunder woke me up and I was scared (true story). After watching Alyssa Milano talk about using Wen hair products TWO TIMES on TV, I decided to do some reading. Fifty Shades was on the cover of my other intelligent pastime - Entertainment Weekly - so I decided to check it out. I did not know ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT THESE BOOKS WERE.

I got, oh, 15 pages through before I was like "Ohmygod, this book is the worst-written book in all of history. It's so bad it's funny. Like the Twilight movies. It's like when I eat peanut butter sandwiches dipped in blue cheese dressing. So very wrong and bad, but I'm okay with that."

So I kept reading.

Then came the porn. 

I put the book away for a few days, ashamed that I had gotten sucked in to some middle-aged woman's erotic fantasy life. But d@mmit if Anastasia and Christian (the main characters) didn't get me hooked. So I went back to reading. I didn't tell anyone. I told people I was reading an Ayn Rand book. But I finished the first and, spoiler alert, it ends with a giant cliffhanger.

So I HAD to buy the second book and keep reading. Then, duh, I bought the third.

I'll explain the hype to you guys. These books are about a 27-year-old billionaire gorgeous dude named, appropriately, Christian Grey who can have any woman he wants. He's, uh, a little "off" but we don't know why yet. Then we meet Anastasia Steele. She's 21, a brunette, and a mousy-but-perky journalistic independent virgin who has two left feet. But darnit if there isn't something Grey finds intriguing about her. He falls for her and we learn that Grey is, let's see here, totally messed up in head. He's into bossing girls around. Like, you know, DOMINATING them.

But guess what! Anastasia can't be dominated. She's too clever and independent. Blah blah blah, there's loads of sex and loads of questions about whether or not Anastasia can ever give Grey what he needs in a woman. They bicker and make up constantly.

So the author is British and not 21 or 27 years old. Her references to pop culture are juuuuust far enough off to be pretty funny. Also, even though she's writing PORN, she's still proper, miladies. She'll be talking about some crazy scene in the Red Room of Pain (yes, it's exactly what it sounds like) and then she'll be all "Anastasia's bottom was smarting." Literary gold. I can't help it. I have a serious soft spot for raunchy Brits.

I just finished the last book and I talked about it with a couple other girls this week and we were all blushing and fumbling while trying to explain how we could read that smut. Turns out, though? I think chicks like some smutty books from time to time. And if it's written by a proper British woman who gets that she's not a good writer (it's true...she thinks it's hysterical that people are actually reading her crap), I'm all for it.

So, there you have it. My review of - and defense for reading - all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Have any of you guys read these books? What did you think? I know my friend Madeline, who is a librarian and basically a professional reader, HATES these terrible books and will never read them, but maybe this awesome book review will change some minds. Will any of you guys read them?


sarah ABT said...

EEEEEKKKK....Yes...I read all three... I am not quite sure what makes a GOOD writer or a Bad writer....I have heard many people say this. BUT...if she is such a bad writer..why is it so talked about..? why can't you put these books down. I think it was a new twist on reading...I had just finished Hunger Games!! I thought it was sort of fascinating...that good ole smut never lets you down...please repsond to why you think it was bad writing...thanks

sarah "smut lover" abt

Anonymous said...

I tried to buy the book when you, Prinna and I were at Barnes & Noble and you said "NO MOM, don't buy it. It's porn!" So I bought a cookbook instead."

Pharon Square said...

@Sarah She repeats the same 30 or so phrases over and over and over. She gets stuck in her own plotlines and sex-scenes her way out of them. I'm not entirely sure anyone edited these books, either. This is not a slam...a not-so-strong writer can have serious appeal if the subject matter is juicy enough. Also? HUNGER GAMES IS NOT SMUT.

@Anonymous - MOM, you can't BUY this book in public. With your DAUGHTERS. You buy it secretly on your kindle so no one knows you have it and read it under your covers.

Madeline Solien said...

That isn't totally true! I never talk smack about something without reading it! I have read enough clips to know its written like total CRAP but I will at some point read at least the first one so I can have a real opinion...same reason why I can full out claim my dislike of Twilight cause I read it!

Anonymous said...

I would love to discuss all three books over drinks and all its kinky ******* when I move to MN. Laters Baby.

Pharon Square said...

OMG, Marissa!! I am laughing HYSTERICALLY at the "Laters Baby" rule. Come back here very very soon!