If you are currently reading, planning on reading and don’t want me to spoil the story, then stop reading this now.
The good part is, it is a fun read and if you are looking for something like a Danielle Steele novel with more sex, then this is the book for you. I picked up these books because there was so much hype. But, it turned out, that it was nothing more than a playful love story with lots of sex thrown in. Lots of sex, probably sex that is pretty different for some folks…I heard that in some places they even band this book and after having read these books I find that just silly.
Yes, the book touches on some BDSM stuff. Big deal. BDSM has been around for some time now. Lot’s of regular folks throw some of that in to spice things up. I think one of the things I liked about the book was the main female character, Anastasia, actually had the balls to push back on Christian (the male lead character who never know real romantic love, only BDSM…only the kind of relationships base on control). That part of the story was good and positive that he could actually change and open up and grow into a true nurturing kind of love.
What I did not like about the book was that is was not very believable and perhaps too much of a female fantasy of sorts…starting out with the bright but clumsy college graduate Anastasia, who is a virgin at the time of her graduation…a rarity at best. There is nothing wrong with that but I found it difficult to believe she would so easily be deflowered in the way she was, going not only past third base but into oral sex like a pro and loving it. For most demure women, it takes time. Each step is like a stepping stone to another, no matter how beautiful the partner may be. It was fun to watch her be swept up by a rich man, where money was no issue, to ride on helicopters, and private planes, and to be showered upon with every gift.
I found it both painful and endearing to watch her have to untangle his twisted, controlling mind…to switch him from the man training a sub to one who truly care for her, and eventually actually falling deeply in love. In a way, she was truly more in control, which was interesting to watch unfold, but again a reach.
There were some twists and turns with the appearance of a demented previous sub, run-ins with his previous DOM “Mrs. Robinson,” and a boss that eventually tried to kill Christian, Anastasia, or any member of his family for revenge. You got to have conflict.
As a curious person, I wanted to see how BDSM was handled in this story and I am not sure if the author knows much about it or only bits and pieces. I do not practice it, but I find it curious at best. I felt that the author was trying to paint it as a dark practice at best. I tend to feel that folks who dabble in it were abused in life and confuse pain and pleasure. The author did paint it in that light and the book was basically about the undoing of Christian Grey and moving him from his abused past into the first loving relationship of his life (his loving parents and siblings aside). This was all good, but not sure how often this happens in real life, that people actually change? One quote in the third books sums this up pretty well..talking about Christian, " If you grow up with a wholly negative self-image, thinking you're some kind of reject, an unloveable savage, you think you deserve to be beaten" I have wondered myself if the roots of this practice grow from this.
The sex was fun at first, sure a great escape. But honestly, I found it too much about the middle of book II. Too much of any good thing is too much and trust me I am no prude. There was nothing too new or earth shattering revealed on that topic either.
I read all three books over the last week. It was an entertaining fun read, but honestly there is way too much fuss over this book. I would say Lady Chatterly’s Lover was way more intense, even with less graphic love scenes.