This series has seriously (haha) blown up! It has become so popular and to think that I did not know that it even was a series a month ago. I picked up the first book at Barnes and Noble before my San Fran trip because it looked interesting (and boy do I like my romance novels) and it is touted as a bestseller. Now, I keep my eye on the best sellers lists and these books never crossed my radar…alas I was very happy to try them out. Get ready for one of the best series you will ever read. Also here is my one warning: THIS BOOK IS FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY! There is sex galore in here and if you can’t handle that don’t read on.
Set in present day Seattle, Anastasia Steele or Ana to her friends, is a 21-year-old almost college grad with an English Major. She is doing a favor for her roommate and is interviewing Christian Grey for the student news paper at WSU Vancouver. Kate, her roommate and best friend, is sick and cannot complete the interview, but Ana goes instead and boy is her world changed. Ana goes to the interview and is completely unprepared for Christian. She goes through the interview, haltingly, but all she comes away with is that he is a control freak but oh so attractive. How little she knows…Christian from the beginning feels this pulsing attraction to her. He pursues her by showing up in Portland at her job etc. Ana doesn’t know what to make of this all out attack on her senses by Christian. She has never had a boyfriend but she believes that Christian could be a good fit. She agrees to a date (a date for Christian, billionaire that he is, is a ride in a helicopter. Sigh…) and this is when the book gets interesting. Christian takes her to his home and proposes a relationship with Ana. Now it is not your boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, it is a full-out dominant/submissive relationship that Christian wants. He has been hurt in his past and does not know any other way to have a relationship. Obviously, Ana is reluctant (especially 1. because she is a virgin (hello overload) and 2. she receives a tour of his “playroom” (or the red room of pain as Ana dubs it)), but there is something about Christian that makes her jump into this “relationship.” As the book follows their foray into the relationship of dom/sub, Ana falls hard for Christian and vice versa (although he can’t admit it). At the end of the book, Ana, forced to make a choice of staying with Christian in this half relationship or leaving him and exploring her other options, is torn. It is a tough decision (one that sets up the other novels ;)). So the book ends with a cliff hanger…
That overview of, Fifty Shades of Grey, probably falls short of grasping all the pertinent points of the novel, but I did not want to give too much away for the series. Also, I was going to write a review to the whole series, but I figured if you read this one you would read them all! That is how good they are. This book, hands down, is one of my all time favorite novels/series. I could not put it down and have become a lending library to all of my work buddies who want to borrow the book (shout out to my Holiday Inn buddies-Em, Des, Ronica!!!). The story and the characters are so engaging and so wonderful that I really thought I was a part of the story. Ana, truth be told, really is like me (not to toot my horn :)). When I started reading the book, I was like wow…she is me, who stole my life…I kid. All joking aside, I felt like I could be Ana or Ana’s best friend. She is the character that you love and want to see all the good things happen to. As for Christian (who for a fictional character) is super HOT! I love him as the male lead because he embodies all the ideals of a romance novel hero, yet has the real personality to back it (he is not just some hunk, he has substance). The two of them together are dynamite. You love them together and you want it all to work out because they are the couple that everyone wants to be! Their developing story throughout this novel and the series is really amazing because it follows all the structures of a romance (meet, fall for each other, tragedy/loss, get back together & happily ever after), but it goes beyond that. E.L. James explores these characters in-depth, creating wonderful story-lines and backgrounds, along with secondary characters. She weaves a great story of love, loss, friendship, family and overcoming all obstacles to be the person you most want to be.
I couldn’t be done with my review without mentioning the Sex (with a capital S)! Boy was there some steamy sex scenes in this novel (phew! fanning myself just thinking about them ;)). I have read plenty of romance novels, but these sex scenes blew all those out of the water. From “vanilla” sex to the S&M sex, E.L creates wonderful (in-depth) sexual encounters between Christian and Ana. The level of thought that went into these scenes is astounding and so unbelievably real. They felt real, not how some sex scenes in novels feel forced and fake. These embodied the personalities of the characters and explored sides of their relationship that needed to be explored. I love them. So kudos to you E.L. James, you craft some amazing sex scenes! Overall this book is worth your time, pick it up NOW and start reading one of the most amazing romance novels that I have ever read. E.L James is master at her craft and deserves all the amazing press she is getting for these books.
Rating: 500+pages out of 500!
Upcoming: On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens and maybe some other romance novels since I enjoyed writing this review so much. 🙂