I resisted the pull of E L James's Fifty Shades trilogy for several years. The fact that it began as Twilight fan faction was a big reason for my aversion. To be clear, I read Twilight, all four books, and enjoyed reading them while at same time recognizing the many, many flaws contained within those four hefty volumes. The thing is, despite the repetitive writing, the sparkling vampires, and the at times disturbing nature of Bella and Edward's relationship, I wanted to know what happened next. So when Fifty Shades of Grey came out I said no because I didn't want to get pulled into another questionable, quasi-romantic trilogy about a young woman with a tendency to find herself in need of rescue and a controlling man.
Although I had not read Fifty, I did enjoy reading the reviews and criticisms of the trilogy. This series has inspired some truly great reviews. I half wanted to be able to participate more fully in the discussion surrounding the series, but kept finding a dozen other things to read instead. Then came the movie, which was unexpectedly funny. Favorite scene - Ana's phone call to Christian outside the bar. But I wasn't sure if it the comedy was intentional. I decided it was time to read the source material and find out what the fuss was all about.
As luck would have it, my mom had bought the audio version of the book a few months earlier, but she couldn't get through it. So she gave it to me. I couldn't get through the audio book either. This was partly due, no doubt, to my general apathy towards audio books. (Yes I know millions of people love audio books. I am not one of them. Not that I am unwilling to try again, perhaps something non-fiction.) The woman reading the audio was fine, but I kept wanting to speed through the slow parts but there is no way to do that with an audio book that I know of. I made it through one CD before giving up and checking out the paperback from the library.
Now I was prepared for repetitive writing about how cute Christian Grey was (inspired by Twilight remember). I was prepared for inner goddesses, the red room of pain, and sex that was always orgasmic and fantastic (even Ana's first time). What I wasn't prepared for was boredom. I'm all for trashy romance and erotica, so long as its hot. I'm all for books that offer little more than mindless fun, laughter, and pleasure. Fifty Shades of Grey gave me none of that. There are a few passages in the book that are funny, even warm but not enough to justify 500 plus pages. I was so bored with Fifty that I began and finished four other books before I finished this one. I remember after finishing a book in the Twilight series and thinking something along the lines of, "badly written, needed a better editor but can't wait to read the next one." There is no worry about that happening with this series. I will probably watch the next movie, but won't read the next book.