Caitlin Liveblogs Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter 14

[disclaimer: I don't own any of the gifs used in this post. If you see a gif that you created and would either like credit for it or would like it taken down, please let me know.]

So, I’m going to try a new format, where each chapter is a single post. This means that each post is going to be longer, but it’ll be easier to find individual chapters, and since I’m posting on WordPress and not on Tumblr (as I did the first time I liveblogged) the length isn’t a problem anymore. I know I’ve done this for short chapters, but I’m going to do this for all chapters from here on out! If you’d like me to go back to my old format (with chapters being broken down into 2+ parts), let me know. Basically I just want to make my blog easier to read for everyone!

Now then, let’s do this.

RECAP: Christian, Ana, and all their friends (who are literally just made up of Christian’s family and the people they’re dating/interested in dating, because Ana isn’t allowed to have friends that aren’t pre-approved by Christian) spontaneously go to Aspen, because when you’re rich motherfuckers you can just take off on random vacations, and you don’t have to worry about how to pay for it either, you can just take a private jet there! God I hate them all. They go to Aspen, and Elliot is acting weird, and Kate’s mad because Elliot is weird (and had a fling with Gia in the past so naturally Elliot is still in love with her or something, idek). Oh, also Christian is a controlling cock-bottle and won’t let Ana do anything (including SKIING. HE WON’T LET HER SKI IN ASPEN) for no reason other than he’s a controlling cock-bottle. The group separates by gender, and the girls go shopping while the boys go fishing (holy gender roles, batman!), except Elliot makes up an excuse to not go fishing. In town, while shopping for HILARIOUSLY overpriced bullshit (like shoes that cost more than I make in a year), Ana sees Elliot meet up with Gia, and it’s weird, but later she tells Christian about it and apparently it’s fine, because Elliot has “fucked half of Seattle.” I don’t even know anymore. Ana puts on a really short dress to go out to the club that night, and surprisingly Christian is okay with it! But first he has to be all sexy and finger her while she’s wearing the dress, to remind her that she’s his property and no one else is allowed to see her vagina, which is a rule that he apparently thought she needed to be reminded of. They go out to dinner, and suddenly at the restaurant Elliot gets on one knee and proposes to Kate. SO SUSPENSEFUL WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN OH MY GOD

Chapter Fourteen

Silence stretches like a taut rubber band.

Ugh. This simile is completely unnecessary. You literally couldn’t think of ANYTHING more interesting to compare the silence to? You picked a rubber band. Really. You’ve never heard of anything else that stretches. Like, okay, using similes and metaphors is great, it adds flavor to the scene, and it can give hints at the characters’ emotions and the atmosphere of the scene. Like, not to toot my own horn or anything, but one time I wrote a story about a young girl playing 7 Minutes in Heaven for the first time in a bedroom with a boy, and I said that the quilted, white bedspread had edges that looked like “alligator teeth.” My goal was to make the reader feel the characters’ anxiety and fear of the situation, to show that suddenly everything in the room was sinister and dangerous, because it’s REALLY SCARY to kiss someone for the first time. You can argue that this was a stupid idea, or that I didn’t execute this very well, but at least I didn’t say “the room felt scary,” or something equally mundane.

Here, E.L. James didn’t even try. What purpose does this simile serve? Does this even tell us ANYTHING about this scene, other than the silence felt long? Cool. The room was silent for awhile, or it felt like awhile. YOU COULDN’T COME UP WITH ANYTHING BETTER THAN A RUBBER BAND? I’d rather you didn’t even try to use a metaphor/simile here at all. You just wasted my time.

Holy crap, Kate! Put him out of his misery. Please.

Yup. Forget her feelings, she’s only MAKING ONE OF THE BIGGEST DECISIONS OF HER LIFE. “Oh, jeez, why are you taking so long to decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with this person? How dare you put him through this agony?”

Fuck that.

A single tear trickles down her cheek though she remains expressionless. Shit! Kate crying? Then she smiles, a slow disbelieving I’ve-found-Nirvana smile.

And then she pulls out a huge shotgun, pulls Ana to her feet, plants a huge kiss on Ana, and then shouts “HEY EVERYONE, THIS IS A STICK-UP! GIVE US ALL OF YOUR MONEY, NOW!” Ana and Kate collect all of the other customers’ valuables, Kate puts Elliot’s ring on Ana’s finger, and they snowmobile off into the sunset to go live on a tropical island that they buy with their new riches.

Ugh, if only it actually happened that way. Instead, we get:

“Yes,” she whispers, a breathy, sweet acceptance–not Kate-like at all.

Oh good. I’m glad the moral of this story is that Kate entirely changes who she is for a guy she wants to marry. That’s a lovely message to send. “When you find the man of your dreams, you should suddenly be demure and quiet! No more of that personality bullshit, it’s time to be the perfect, submissive wife that you’ve always been destined to become!”

Fuck that. Don’t tone yourself down for anyone, ESPECIALLY not someone you plan to marry. Kate’s whole character revolves around the fact that she takes no shit from anyone, she’s a hard-hitting journalist who gets what she wants, and suddenly she’s all quiet and sweet and crying?

nope train

The whole restaurant bursts into applause. We find out that the ring is what Elliot was getting from Gia, though idk why he had to get it from Gia? Whatever, I guess it’s not important. In fact, none of the rest of this scene is important, they all just drink champagne and congratulate each other and I could not give less of a shit.

But now we’ve decided to go clubbing! I’m sure nothing horrible will go wrong now.

They’re greeted at the door of the club by YET ANOTHER gorgeous blonde woman. The club is owned by Christian, which means that FUCKING EVERYONE IS GODDAMNED BLONDE. THERE PROBABLY AREN’T EVEN THAT MANY BLONDE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. CAN WE GET SOME PEOPLE OF COLOR AT LEAST? SOMEONE WITH BLACK HAIR? SOMEONE WITH DREADLOCKS? ANYTHING BUT BLONDE?! This is literally insane. How did no one call James out on this when this series was being edited. I know this whole series is “wish fulfillment,” but that doesn’t excuse the lazy bullshit writing where literally every woman is blonde except for Ana, Kate, and a few other exceptions. The men are all diverse! Why can’t the women be? Why are there only 2 ways to be beautiful in this book? Either you’re a blonde bombshell or you’re the brunette “quirky girl” like Ana who reads books and drinks tea and is SoOoOo original. Ugh.

Oh and of course this blonde flirts with Christian too. Because every blonde in this book is evil. Did some blonde girl shit in E.L. James’ cereal when she was a kid? I don’t understand all this animosity towards a specific hair color.

I ALSO don’t understand the constant “women flirting with Christian” thing. Yes, he’s attractive and rich. But he’s also STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HIS WIFE, WHO IS HOLDING ONTO HIS ARM. HE IS CLEARLY TAKEN. I’d argue that the majority of women would see that and go “oh, okay, he’s not available, I will not flirt with him and will instead treat him like a human being because WHY THE FUCK WOULD I TRY TO SEDUCE SOMEONE IN FRONT OF THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHER.” People don’t do that! Or if they do, they’re pretty rare creatures who are obviously bad at social cues.

The people in this book are ridiculous and I hate E.L. James for writing them. They just uphold all these bullshit stereotypes about women, about how women are “homewreckers” and all that bullshit. Ugh. So done.

Ana and the girls go dance on the dance floor, and we get a bunch of paragraphs about how happy Ana is and how being with Christian gives her the confidence to dance at all. Blehhh I don’t care.

Christian comes up behind Ana and starts dancing with her, and she wiggles her butt on him, and then OH GOD IT’S NOT CHRISTIAN. OH GOD.

Mia is gaping at me in horror. Shit…Am I that bad? I reach down to hold Christian’s hands. They’re hairy. Fuck! They’re not his. I whirl around, and towering over me is a blond giant with more teeth than is natural and a leering smile to showcase them.

 spit take ellen

OH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

“Get your hands off me!” I scream over the pounding music, apoplectic with rage.
“Come on, sugar, it’s just some fun.” He smiles, holding his apelike hands up, his blue eyes gleaming under the pulsing ultraviolet lights.

disgusted

Oh ew. That’s so gross. I don’t think anyone ever actually talks like that, but maybe they do, and either way this is gross as hell.

If there’s one thing that E.L. James can do almost sort of well, it’s write a really disgusting male antagonist. Ugh.

Before I know what I’m doing, I slap him hard across the face.

YEAH, ANA! DON’T TAKE NO SHIT!

Except it sounds like she might have injured her hand…oh well. She then tells the guy she’s married, and he kind of shrugs it off? What a pile of trash.

WOOPS AND NOW CHRISTIAN’S HERE.

“Keep your fucking hands off my wife,” he says. He’s not shouting, but somehow he can be heard over the music.
Holy shit!
“She can take care of herself,” Blond Giant shouts. His hand moves from his cheek where I’ve slapped him, and Christian hits him. It’s like I’m watching it in slow motion. A perfectly timed punch to the chin that moves at such speed, but with so little wasted energy, Blond Giant doesn’t see it coming. He crumples to the floor like the scumbag he is.

FUCK YEAH. This is another of those rare times where I actually sort of like Christian. Except he’s still an abusive nightmare of a husband who deserves to be punched himself… It’s just fun to see any douchebag get punished in this book, even if it’s not the douchebag I want to see get punched.

The blond guy retreats and tries to say he didn’t mean any harm. Christian asks if Ana is okay, and she says she is, but her hand hurts.

My hand is throbbing. I have never slapped anyone before. What possessed me? Touching me wasn’t the worst crime against humanity. Was it?

HE TOUCHED YOU WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT, AND THEN REFUSED TO LEAVE WHEN YOU TOLD HIM TO STOP. HE INSTEAD CALLED YOU SUGAR AND TRIED TO BELITTLE AND IGNORE YOUR FEELINGS.

THAT IS NOT OKAY.

WHY THE FUCK IS E.L. JAMES SPENDING ANY AMOUNT OF TIME TRYING TO DOWNPLAY ANA’S VERY REASONABLE REACTION.

Oh god. It gets worse.

Yet deep down I know why I hit him. It’s because I instinctively knew how Christian would react seeing some stranger pawing me. I knew he’d lose his precious self-control. And the thought that some stupid nobody could derail my husband, my love, well, it makes me mad. Really mad.

god fucking dammit

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, E.L. JAMES?! YOU ACTUALLY FUCKING WROTE THAT PARAGRAPH? AND NO ONE FUCKING TOLD YOU HOW FUCKING HORRIBLE THAT PARAGRAPH IS?

HEY LADIES, IF SOME GUY TOUCHES YOU INAPPROPRIATELY OR DISRESPECTS YOUR BOUNDARIES IN ANY WAY, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY GET MAD AT HIM! BUT DON’T GET MAD AT HIM BECAUSE HE DISRESPECTED YOU, YOU SHOULD GET MAD AT HIM BECAUSE HE DISRESPECTED ANOTHER MAN’S PROPERTY, AND THAT MIGHT MAKE YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND MAD! HOW DARE HE TOUCH YOU WITHOUT YOUR OWNER’S PERMISSION!

OH, YOU’RE SINGLE, OR NOT IN A HETEROSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP? WELL THEN I GUESS YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO GET MAD, BECAUSE YOU’RE NO ONE’S PROPERTY, SO HE CAN TOUCH YOU OR DO WHATEVER HE WANTS! BECAUSE YOUR OPINIONS DON’T MATTER! BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS MEN’S WANTS, NEEDS, AND OPINIONS!

natalie portman chair

If someone touches you or does anything that you aren’t comfortable with you SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SAY NO. You don’t need to give them a reason, you don’t need any reason other than YOUR OWN COMFORT, SAFETY, AND FEELINGS. And if you feel the need to defend yourself in any situation that you deem threatening (such as a guy refusing to leave you alone at a club even after you clearly told him how you felt), YOU CAN DEFEND YOURSELF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN YOUR OWN PERSONAL NEEDS.

If someone touches you and you’re not comfortable with it, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE SEEING SOMEONE. YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE OR UPSET ON THEIR BEHALF. THEIR FEELINGS DON’T MATTER. WHAT MATTERS IS HOW YOU FEEL IN THE SITUATION.

GOD DAMMIT.

This makes me SO SO SO SAD, and ANGRY, and downright FURIOUS, because Ana so clearly doesn’t respect herself as a separate human being. Her opinions and feelings are almost never validated unless Christian agrees with her. She doesn’t even have enough self-respect to slap someone ON HER OWN BEHALF. No, she has to slap him because it’s what CHRISTIAN would want.

THIS IS SO FUCKED UP I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THIS.

I COULD RANT FOR ANOTHER 40 PAGES AND WRITE AN ENTIRE DISSERTATION ON THIS BUT I’M GOING TO STOP BECAUSE I’M LOSING MY MIND.

So. Back to the story.

…Oh good. Ana and Christian are going to solve their problems by sexy dancing with each other. Yup. This definitely solves all the problems. This solves Christian’s anger issues, this makes the potentially traumatizing experience that Ana just had go away. What the actual fuck.

He makes me sexy, because that’s what he is. He makes me feel loved, because in spite of his fifty shades, he has a wealth of love to give.

THIS ISN’T FUCKING ABOUT HIM. THIS IS ABOUT YOU.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND SEXY IN YOUR OWN RIGHT, ANA. YOU DO NOT NEED CHRISTIAN TO “MAKE” YOU SEXY. YOU SHOULDN’T NEED CHRISTIAN TO MAKE YOU FEEL LOVED. YOU SHOULD LOVE YOURSELF. I KNOW IT’S HARD, BUT THAT SHOULD COME FIRST.

Ana is such a tragic character, particularly in this last book. She’s in all these situations where she acts kind of awesome, and stands up for herself, but she always does it FOR CHRISTIAN. Ana has never done anything for herself, she’s so goddamned concerned with what Christian will think, and what Christian will do. She went out for drinks with a friend, and when Christian got mad at her, SHE APOLOGIZED, AND SAID SHE WOULD ASK HIM BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.

YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER EVER BE WITH SOMEONE WHO FEELS THE NEED TO CONTROL YOUR LIFE THIS MUCH. YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN PERSON. YOU SHOULD RECOGNIZE YOUR OWN STRENGTHS AND LOVE THOSE PARTS OF YOURSELF.

YOU HAVE VALUE ON YOUR OWN. YOU DON’T NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO “MAKE” YOU VALUABLE.

Christian and Ana finish dancing and go sit down. Ana starts asking what would have happened if there had been press at the club to see Christian’s actions. Christian, in maybe the best example of white privilege I’ve ever seen, replies: “I have expensive lawyers.” You’re a rich white guy, Christian, you’d never go to jail. Ana tries to say that he’s not above the law (which is a lie in this country. Rich people don’t go to jail for very long, if they do at all.), and she says she had the situation under control.

His eyes frost. “No one touches what’s mine,” he says with chilling finality, as if I’m missing the obvious.

People are not property, Christian. This is not romantic. You are a controlling psychopath with a laundry list of misogynistic tendencies. You are a nightmare.

I think I should clarify something here. It is NOT sexist to try to defend a woman using bodily force. That reaction is perfectly fine if you recognize that a woman (or anyone, really) is in a threatening or uncomfortable situation that they are unable to get out of due to their size or other limitations. However. It is very sexist to defend a woman (or anyone) because you see her as your property. People are not property.

Ana is not an expensive, sexy vase that you keep in your house, Christian. She is a person, with feelings, and how DARE you suggest that she belongs to you. She’s your wife, not your fucking dog. If you defended her because she was CLEARLY in a threatening situation and was unable to effectively defend herself without breaking her other hand, FINE. It is NOT fine that you punch someone who was assaulting her FOR THE SOLE REASON THAT HE WAS TOUCHING SOMETHING THAT YOU VIEW AS YOUR PROPERTY.

THIS IS SO FUCKED UP. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY.

Please, someone try and argue that this series isn’t horribly sexist. PLEASE. I’d love to hear it. I’d love to hear someone try to desperately grasp at straws while defending a man who LITERALLY REFERS TO HIS WIFE AS HIS PROPERTY.

“But it’s romantic to call someone ‘mine!'”

It can be romantic to feel that kind of security in a relationship. I’ve said that to my current boyfriends, and to past boyfriends. Saying “you’re mine” can be fun and playful and, yes even romantic, as long as it is clearly accompanied by the knowledge that your partner is a separate person with just as much autonomy as you. Saying “you’re mine!” and kissing someone is fine. Saying “you’re mine!” while ignoring a person’s wants, feelings, needs, or opinions, while directly contradicting their personal autonomy…that is fucked up.

You do not “own” your partner. Stop it. That is controlling, and scary, and NOT OKAY.

But Ana doesn’t say anything. She just thinks Oh… and sips her water. And Christian continues his campaign of controlling every aspect of Ana’s life, and Ana continues to have such low self-esteem that she believes this is love. And it’s all very, very sad.

The group decides to leave the club. Kate asks what happened with that guy, and Ana brushes it off. Kate makes a comment about Christian being “hot-headed,” but it’s said like it’s a personality quirk, rather than a really problematic personality trait.

Apparently Ana is “wrecked,” and needs Christian to take her shoes off for her (I don’t even know how she’s walking in them, if she’s that smashed), and Christian also removes her make-up for her, which I guess is kind of sweet, but I’m so disgusted by him that nothing he does will ever be sweet or nice or sexy ever again. Ugh.

Oh, wow! Christian doesn’t try to sleep with Ana tonight, because she’s drunk (although suddenly she only seems a little tipsy?), and tired! WHAT A NICE GUY.

Christian doesn’t go to bed, though, because he has some “Calls to make.” On a Saturday.

Before falling asleep, Ana runs through the events of the day, such as being on the plane, Christian worrying about her liking the house, having sex in the afternoon, taking a bath, his reaction to her dress, the whole incident at the club, and then finally him putting her to bed. And then the chapter ends with her saying:

Who would have thought? I grin widely, the word progress running around my brain as I drift.

I don’t…what? What progress? What happened today that makes you think you’re making progress?

More importantly,

WHY DID YOU MARRY SOMEONE WITH THE HOPE THAT THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY CHANGE FOR YOU.

Granted, Christian is slowly becoming slightly less of a shit-stain (although he will eternally be a shit-stain, so it doesn’t really matter) as this series goes on. He hasn’t hit Ana in several chapters, I think! PROGRESS! But none of this matters, because you should never be with someone in the hopes that they’ll change who they are. You should love someone exactly how they are, and you can get frustrated by some of the things they do, some parts of their personality may be annoying, but you should be with them in spite of (or even because of) these things, because that is WHO THEY ARE, and you can’t expect someone to change for you.

End of Chapter Fourteen

Ugh. I need to go make myself a good, stiff drink. This might be the most infuriating chapter to date. Well…that’s not true. But it’s up there.

The problem with this chapter is that the issues are relatively sneaky. The first time you read this shit, you might not catch how horrible and controlling Christian is. But then if you look closely, suddenly you see it EVERYWHERE.

It’s chapters like this that remind me why I’m doing these liveblogs. I just want to point out these super problematic elements sot hat people can see them and understand them. I’m so sick of hearing this book referred to as “romantic,” when it isn’t. It’s really, really scary. And Christian is abusive, and anyone who says otherwise needs to take a closer look.

It’s just so scary to me how many people think these books are romantic. If you can’t recognize the problematic, abusive elements in Ana and Christian’s relationship, how on earth are you going to recognize those same elements in your own real-life relationships? If this book makes you think those elements are what “love” is, how on EARTH are you ever going to realize how dangerous and negative this kind of relationship is?

I just want everyone to love themselves and respect themselves enough to know that they are not someone else’s property, and to know that their feelings and opinions matter just as much as someone else’s.

Anyway, thanks again for reading! Let me know what you think about the one-chapter-one-post format; if you want me to go back to the old format, just say so! Seriously, I love hearing from you guys who read this blog. You’re all wonderful :)

Caitlin Liveblogs Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter 13

[disclaimer: I don't own any of the gifs used in this post. If you see a gif that you created and would either like credit for it or would like it taken down, please let me know.]

I’m actively avoiding blogging about this book now. I know what happens, and I know how frustrated I will be each time I read a chapter, and it’s the worst. BUT I KEEP ON TRUCKING. Because I have a guilt complex the size of the moon and I hate leaving you guys hanging D:

SO. Let’s talk about chapter 12.

RECAP: Christian and Ana talk about things, like about how his issues stem from his childhood (all 2-3 years he was living with his “crack-whore” mom and her abusive pimp), and that’s why he wants to beat Ana (also he’s just a fucking nightmare of a human). Ana says she’s “stronger” than Christian’s mom, which I somehow doubt, but whatever. They go to bed. Christian has a nightmare, wakes up, and then Ana tries to “heal him” with sexy times (the only “healing” he needs is a goddamned sledgehammer to the dick). Christian finishes, Ana doesn’t (which has LITERALLY NEVER HAPPENED to her before), but Christian goes down on her, and then they have sexy times again, because Christian’s boner has a regeneration time of less than 2 minutes apparently. They go to bed, but then Ana wakes up and Christian’s gone, NO WAIT he’s just playing the piano because he’s so sensitive and deep (lolololol), and they talk some more and we don’t learn anything new (as per usual). But then they wake up again and SURPRISE they’re going to Aspen! Because they’re insanely rich for no real reason! And Christian invited the only friends that Ana has, half of which are just Christian’s family members. They get on a plane, and it’s boring, but there’s something weird happening between Kate and Elliot? I guess we’ll find out.

NOW THEN.

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO.

Chapter Thirteen

Apparently the plan landed well. I don’t know why this is even included in the chapter, because there’s literally no reason for us to know this information. OH WAIT I do know why it’s in here, it’s because E.L. James has no idea how to transition between scenes, and instead just writes down every. single. tiny. detail. Much writing. Very wow.

They get in their rental car, which is a big VW minivan, I guess.

“Want to make out in the back of the van?” Christian murmurs to me, a mischievous gleam in his eye.
I giggle. Who is this man, and what has he done with Mr. Unbelievably Angry of the last couple days?

WOW. IT’S ALMOST LIKE HE HAS TERRIFYING MOOD SWINGS AND IS PRONE TO DANGEROUSLY UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIORS. HUH. WEIRD.

Blah blah blah, we get descriptions of the Rocky Mountains. Cool. Ana thinks about how filthy rich she is now because of Christian. Woop di doo.

Ethan (Kate’s brother) asks Ana if she’s ever been to Aspen. She hasn’t but Ethan and Kate apparently used to come skiing all the time.

“I’m hoping my husband will teach me how to ski.” I glance up at my man.
“Don’t bet on it,” Christian mutters.
“I won’t be that bad!”
“You might break your neck.” His grin gone.
Oh. I don’t want to sour his good mood, so I change the subject. “How long have you had this place?”

what the fuck kane

Christian literally won’t let Ana go skiing. An activity that CHILDREN DO ALL THE TIME.

You know what else could break Ana’s neck? Crossing the street. Walking in general. GETTING INTO A HELICOPTER OR A GLIDER WITH CHRISTIAN GREY.

THIS JUST IN: IT IS NOT ROMANTIC FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER TO PREVENT YOU FROM DOING THINGS. EVEN IF THEY SAY IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR WELL-BEING.

I mean, I guess if your SO tried to prevent you from doing drugs, that’s fine. But like…skiing? You won’t let her go SKIING. In fucking ASPEN. A literal SKI RESORT. What the fuck is wrong with you?

This is just exhibit 1230943 of Christian Grey being a controlling dick-smoothie. I don’t know why I’m even surprised at this. Of course he won’t let her go skiing at a ski resort, why would he ever let her do anything? Oh, but this is soOoOo romantic omg, be still my beating heart. I can’t wait until I find a man to date who won’t let me go out in public like Christian Grey, I mean, that’s the dream, right?

They continue the drive to the vacation house. Kate seems weird, and Ana thinks it might be because the vacation home was designed by Gia Matteo (the girl who tried to make a move on Christian) and rebuilt by Elliot, and I guess Elliot and Gia have history. This might have been covered in a previous chapter, but I don’t care enough to look, so I’m just going to assume that Elliot and Gia have boned in the past.

They get to Aspen, and it’s cute and full of rich people. What a shocker.

Christian is worried about Ana liking the house? And even says that he hopes she likes it, because if she doesn’t he’ll immediately sell it and buy a new vacation home somewhere else. But no pressure, Ana. The fate of a million dollar house is only in your hands. Don’t worry.

They get there, and Ana seems to like it (of course), and they meet the staff that takes care of the place. Please, PLEASE tell me this is where this book suddenly becomes a crossover with The Shining and everyone gets killed by a creepy naked ghost woman. I would pay so much money for that book, you have no idea.

We get a tour of the house. Nothing to report, really. It’s big and expensive and full of modern art and dark wood. Cool. Also there’s a billiard table, and Ana blushes, obviously remembering the time when Christian spanked her with a ruler on top of a billiard table. You guys remember that, right? That time when Ana literally was thinking about how bad it hurt to be spanked with a ruler, but she dealt with it because she loved Christian and he “needed” to do it?

#Romance.

They continue on the tour, and Ana is getting overwhelmed by all of Christian’s money. It must be so hard to deal with suddenly being rich. Poor Ana. I can’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly not have to worry about paying off my student loan debt, or rent, or food, or clothes. Such a hardship. She must be struggling so much.

sarcasm sherlock

Ana mentions Gia, and mentions that Elliot had a fling with her.

“Elliot’s fucked most of Seattle, Ana.”

UM? WELL OK THEN.

Ana is of course shocked by this, because Elliot is blond and blue-eyed. Because blond-haired, blue-eyed people are obviously forbidden from ever having sex outside of marriage. Or something. Anyway, Ana is shocked, but then she suddenly switches to thinking about everything with Jack Hyde, and now she’s sad. I don’t even know how we got from point A to point B, but okay.

Ugh, then they start spewing romantic bullshit at each other.

He grins. “Am I that much of a prize?”
“Christian, you are the state lottery, the cure for cancer, and the three wishes from Aladdin’s lamp all rolled into one.”

so incorrect

I don’t even…I literally can’t come up with anything sarcastic to say. People really think that Christian is that great. That is an actual thing that people believe. They read this series, read about all the times when he emotionally abuses Ana, the times when he stalks her, the times when he LITERALLY won’t let her out of the house (or the boat. or in her own car. or at her job by herself.), the times when he goes from being happy to suddenly being sad and angry, the times when he takes his anger out on this woman that he claims to love…people read all of those things and they STILL think Christian Grey is the human equivalent of a cure of cancer. That is an actual thought in a LOT of people’s heads.

I just…I don’t know what to say to that, other than WHY. Ugh. If you think Christian Grey is the ideal man, I’m going to need you to take a good, hard look at your life and your choices, and I want you to take another look at this book series and realize that YOUR IDEAL MAN IS AN ABUSIVE RIVER OF NIGHTMARES.

Anyway. Ana keeps trying to convince Christian of how great he is, because he has self esteem issues that I really don’t give a singular shit about. Then they decide to go eat lunch.

After lunch it starts pouring rain, so instead of going for a hike, the boys decide to go fishing, and the girls decide to go shopping. Holy gender roles, Batman! And Ana clearly doesn’t want to go shopping, but when Christian offers to stay at the house with her, she says “something dark unfurls in my belly at his tone.” I don’t know what that means. Is she scared of him? Turned on? Both? Probably both. But Kate wants Ana to go shopping, so Ana says she’ll go, and tells Christian to go fish because he “needs boy time.”

Christian says that Taylor will go with them, which Kate isn’t happy about (“We don’t need babysitting”). But Ana says that no, Taylor should come.

I smile timidly at Christian. His expression remains impassive. Oh, I hope he’s not mad at Kate.

Christian is literally mad at everyone all the time. Maybe if he just FUCKING EXPLAINED HIMSELF, Kate would understand why Taylor would have to go with. But no, Christian has to treat everyone like a child, because they’re not bright enough to handle knowing the truth of the situation. Even though literally everyone there already knows about the Jack Hyde bullshit. So I have no idea what Christian is even mad about.

Elliot is weird, and says that he has to pick up his watch in town. Christian says to take the Audi, and then they’ll go fishing when he gets back.

Cut to the shopping scene. Everything is expensive and designer and I can’t help but think of my own student loans, and of the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE AND CAN’T AFFORD TO FEED THEMSELVES, but oh yes, go ahead, buy all of this designer bullshit that’s silver and really really short. Oh, yes, you should DEFINITELY buy that super short dress for Christian, he’ll definitely enjoy seeing you in a short dress, especially because the last time you tried to leave the house in a short dress, he was livid. What a great idea this is.

While Mia and Kate are trying stuff on, Ana sees Elliot out the window talking to Gia, and then he kisses Gia on the cheek and leaves. Ana feels weird about the encounter, but doesn’t tell Kate.

Uuuuugh and then they go and buy ludicrously expensive shoes that cost literally more than I make in a month. I seriously can’t handle this. This is obnoxious.

They finally get back to the house, and Kate and Ana have time alone. We learn that Elliot has been distant lately.

“And I think I’m in trouble for getting you in trouble.”
“You heard about that?”
“Yes. Christian called Elliot; Elliot called me.”

are you fucking kidding me draw

CHRISTIAN WHAT THE FUCK.

ANA WENT OUT FOR DRINKS FOR ONE NIGHT AND IT ENDED UP POTENTIALLY SAVING HER LIFE YOU GIGANTIC PILE OF ROTTEN DICKS. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU. YOU GOT MAD AT ANA AND AT KATE? THEY’RE GROWN. FUCKING. ADULTS. YOU’RE HORRIBLE. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh FUCK THIS BOOK.

Anyway, they light a fire, Ana goes looking for firewood, runs into Elliot, who’s kind of weird and offers to take Ana out riding on these two dirt bikes, but Ana says no because Christian wouldn’t like it, to which Elliot replies “You always do what he tells you?” I can’t tell if he’s hitting on her…it’s a very bizarre interaction.

Christian comes back. He’s naturally weird about Elliot wanting to take Ana out on the motorcycles, but he seems…kind of pleased? maybe? that she said no. Then Ana and Christian decide to go take a bath. Oh, also Kate is mad at Elliot for some reason, because he was out in the garage talking to Ana I guess?

NONE OF THESE INTERACTIONS MAKE SENSE.

It’s almost like the characters don’t make sense either.

WHAT A CONCEPT.

Thankfully, we don’t have to read about their pre-bath sex. They get in the bath and start talking about stuff, about how Christian’s money belongs to both of them now and Ana shouldn’t feel weird about spending it, about what Ana bought in town, blah blah blah. Ana mentions that she saw Elliot and Gia. Christian says the two are just friends, and isn’t concerned at all.

Later, Ana gets dressed in the clothes she bought. She wants Christian’s approval before leaving, though, so naturally she emails him??? Like you do????

He comes up and is blown away by how sexy Ana is, and then makes a big deal of showing her how far her skirt is from showing off her vagina, and then he starts…fingering her?

“This is mine,” he murmurs in my ear. Closing his eyes, he moves his finger slowly in and out of me. “I don’t want anyone else to see this.”

…Just pee in a circle around her, Christian, jesus. That’s basically what you’re doing anyway. All this possessive bullshit isn’t as cute/romantic as you think it is. In fact, it sounds more like trust issues/controlling bullshit than like anything else. But hey, par for the course, right?

But surprisingly, Christian approves, as long as Ana doesn’t bend down.

Then they all go out for dinner. Everyone is having a good time, except Kate and Elliot are being weird.

But then……….

Elliot proposes to Kate?!

That’s nice but…Kate is supposed to be with Ana. They’re clearly in love. You’re only getting in the way, Elliot. Of course, this just sets up Ana and Kate ditching Kate’s wedding and riding off on the back of a motorcycle together. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN, OKAY?

BUT THEN….

THE CHAPTER ENDS.

End of Chapter Thirteen

Oh man, so suspenseful! What’s going to happen! OH MY GOSH!

loljk Kate’s going to say yes, obviously. The plot of this book isn’t very complicated.

Anyway, there’s chapter 13! Who knows when chapter 14 will happen…maybe next week? I’ll do my best, guys. No guarantees.

And thank you so so SO much for continuing to read all my blogs! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Y’all are the best :)

Caitlin Liveblogs Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter 12 [Part 2]

[disclaimer: I don't own any of the gifs used in this post. If you see a gif that you created and would either like credit for it or would like it taken down, please let me know.]

So then Ana wakes up in the playroom to Christian having a bad dream. Ana wakes him up from that, and he immediately rolls over and pins her to the bed and starts making out with her, and clearly wants to have sex?

I mean, usually when I wake up from a nightmare, my first thought isn’t “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO HAVE SEX RIGHT NOW,” but maybe that’s just me.

But Ana has a different reaction (as she so often does), and is immediately turned on by this whole thing, and starts thinking about how she wants to “heal him,” and have him “heal” her too, and I don’t know what that means, but it sounds an awful lot like she thinks that having sex can fix the problems they have in their relationship, which is a pile of laughable bullshit, but whatever.

They have sex, Christian cums, but Ana doesn’t, and this is practically devastating to Ana. She’s literally never had to deal with a sexual encounter that didn’t result in her orgasming (the last time, and only time, it happened was when she safe-worded, and that doesn’t really count), so I guess this must be pretty shocking to her.

Christian, to his credit, immediately notices that she didn’t finish, and starts going down on her. This may be one of the only (if not THE only) redeeming quality he has. So that’s nice, and that page-long encounter is one of the few actually sexy parts of this book. Well…provided that you completely ignore the two preceding chapters, and Christian’s entire character, and just imagine that a sexy man is going down on a sexy lady…then it’s sexy. But once you realize that it’s Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele…the scene loses its luster.

And then…oh, they just immediately start having sex again. Because apparently Christian only needs to wait literally 5 minutes to get a new boner. Is that kind of turn-around time even possible for dudes? Maybe for a small minority of men, and probably only very rarely, if at all. I…I don’t think Ms. James actually knows how penises work, to be honest.

They both finish, and then they decide to go to bed in their actual bedroom, not in the playroom.

Suddenly it’s 3:20 AM and Ana wakes up to find that Christian isn’t in bed.

dramatic chipmunk

SO SUSPENSEFUL. WOW.

Ana hears the piano playing in the other room. She goes to find him, and he says he’s really shaken up by the whole situation.

“A deranged asshole gets into my apartment to kidnap my wife. She won’t do as she’s told. She drives me crazy. She safe words on me.” He closes his eyes briefly, and when he opens them again, they are stark and raw. “Yeah, I’m pretty shaken up.”

I’m so glad you put “Ana doesn’t do what she’s told” in the same category as “Jack Hyde attempts to kidnap my wife.” Those two problems are definitely of equal severity.

Christian seems to be FAR MORE upset that Ana went to the bar without his permission than he is about Jack Hyde breaking in. Which is pretty fucked up.

Christian then says that he dreamed that Ana was dead, which I imagine would be a pretty horrifying dream, but it doesn’t make me feel bad for him in any way because he is literally irredeemable in my eyes. He’s a manipulative, abusive asshole, and no amount of sad nightmares will make me forget that.

They go back to bed, and wake up much more peacefully. Unfortunately, that means that Ana wakes up and has plenty of time to reflect on things, which means I’m in for an exceedingly boring couple of pages. Ugh. I hate when Ana has time to think about things, nothing she says in these parts is every interesting.

Christian wakes up, and SURPRISE they’re going to Aspen. Because when you’re a rich bastard you can just wake up and decide to go to Aspen. Over-privileged dick.

They get to the airport and find out that Christian has also invited Kate, Elliot, Mia, and Ethan (Kate’s brother). That was nice of him. It’s also nice that none of them have jobs that don’t allow them to take vacation time. I mean, I read a lot of fantasy novels, and I’m pretty good at suspending my disbelief, but the level of sheer absurdity that takes place in this series is astonishing. I think Westeros is a more realistic world than the one in this series, to be honest.

The plane ride is largely boring, with Kate interrogating Ana and Christian about the Jack Hyde business, and how apparently Jack Hyde might have been working with someone else. Ana asks if it could be Elena (formerly known as Mrs. Robinson), but Christian dismisses the idea. There seems to be something weird going on between Kate and Elliot, but we don’t know what it is yet.

End of Chapter Twelve

Well, at least this chapter wasn’t as horrifying as the last two. So there’s that. This one was pretty routine, mostly boring, with a few sentences thrown in to remind me exactly why I hate Christian Grey so much.

I have no idea when the next chapter will be up, but hopefully it will be next week sometime! No guarantees, obviously, but I’ll do my best. Thanks for reading! You all are seriously the best.

Caitlin Liveblogs Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter 12 [Part 1]

[disclaimer: I don't own any of the gifs used in this post. If you see a gif that you created and would either like credit for it or would like it taken down, please let me know.]

I literally had to take a leave of absence from this blog because the last chapter made me so furious that I couldn’t see straight. But I’m back! Because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I also blog with renewed purpose, because now that the 50SoG trailer is out, interest is going to start escalating, and I want to give all of you the knowledge that you need in order to successfully argue with the poor people who’ve been sucked into the nightmare that is these books. Hopefully, by reading this blog, you have all the information you need to destroy anyone in an argument about these books. And you don’t even have to read the books to get that information!

I, however, DO need to read these books (and am in fact reading them a second time for the sole purpose of accurately and adequately liveblogging them), so let’s get started.

God help me.

RECAP: Let’s make this fast, kids. So Christian is still mad at Ana for going out without his permission, so she gets home from work to find him all sexed-up in his ripped jeans, and they kind of have a conversation about their issues, except Christian doesn’t seem to actually listen to Ana, and is all caught up in the bullshit idea that HOW DARE SHE LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT ASKING MY PERMISSION. Ana pretends like she knows Christian isn’t going to hurt her (“physically, anyway”), which is bullshit because THEY LITERALLY STARTED DATING BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BEAT AND FUCK HER SO BADLY but I mean whatever. Then they decide that Ana needs to eat, even though they haven’t really resolved any problems, and Christian starts sexy-feeding Ana and spitting wine into her mouth (and literally nothing could be less erotic than spitting a drink into someone else’s mouth, but whatever). Then they head over to the playroom, where more sexy stuff ensues. Christian keeps trying to make this whole thing a metaphor for how Ana makes him feel, so he plays with her nipples and teases her lady-bits but won’t let her orgasm. He does this several times, until Ana realizes that he’s doing this out of revenge, not out of love, so she says the safeword (“red”) and begins sobbing.

Christian, to his credit, does immediately stop, and unties Ana and holds her and stuff, but then he tries to act like he didn’t do anything wrong, and says that “orgasm denial is a standard tool” in BDSM (which is bullshit because you know what else is standard in BDSM? INFORMED. FUCKING. CONSENT.) and he also basically says that this is all Ana’s fault for not obeying him or some shit, which is a literal pile of garbage and I can’t even get into how actually insane this whole relationship is. And then GUESS WHAT! ANA STARTS APOLOGIZING FOR BEING SELFISH AND GOING OUT TO THE BAR WITHOUT CHRISTIAN’S PERMISSION. FUCK EVERYTHING. But then they go back to talking about the thing with Jack Hyde, and it’s revealed that Jack Hyde is from Detroit, which is also where Christian was born, and we’re supposed to gasp in shock at this, but I can’t find it in me to give a singular shit about that plot point because WHAT THE FUCK, CHRISTIAN GREY IS A GODDAMNED NIGHTMARE-MAN.

GAH. STILL LIVID. FUCK.

Anyway.

Chapter Twelve

The chapter opens with Ana and Christian still discussing Jack Hyde. We learn that Christian and Elliot were both adopted in Detroit, but then the whole family moved to the west coast before Mia was born.

boring me back to death

I don’t have words to describe how little I care about everything that they’re saying.

And then they start talking about Christian’s childhood, and Christian tries to say that “that part of [his] life is done,” which it clearly isn’t, because his childhood is allegedly (according to him) the reason why he feels the need to beat women (and just because he has a “reason” doesn’t mean he has an excuse for his actions, because it’s never okay to beat anyone. End of story).

“I know it’s why you feel the need to control me. Keep me safe.”
“And yet you choose to defy me,” he murmurs baffled, his hand stilling in my hair.

SHE CHOOSES TO LIVE HER LIFE LIKE A GODDAMNED ADULT, WHICH MEANS SHE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GO WHERE SHE WANTS, WHEN SHE WANTS, WITH WHO SHE WANTS, YOU PSYCHOTIC PUDDLE-OF-FUCKS.

“and yet you choose to defy me” BY GOING OUT WITH HER FRIENDS, YOU VOLCANO OF DILDOS?! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU.

And Ana isn’t even mad about that! She’s just like “omg do I do that on purpose?!” I don’t care if you do it on purpose, Ana, what I care about is the fact that your goddamned husband won’t let you go out with your friends without his permission.

“Christian, I know you loved your mom, and you couldn’t save her. It wasn’t your job to do that. But I’m not her.”

I don’t…understand…what? He has told you that he enjoys beating women who look like his mom. That was his number one reason for dating you. I have no idea how that stems from the fact that he couldn’t save his mom. I also don’t know how all of these mental issues could come from the fact that he was abused by his mother’s pimp, and his mother’s early death, because all of that happened before Christian was 4 years old? And I know kids can retain a lot of that stuff, and it doesn’t surprise me that he has emotional issues because of that abuse/emotional hardship, but these specific issues don’t seem to make sense in that context. His trust issues, the fact that he has trouble being touched, that makes sense. The need to beat women? I don’t know, but I’m inclined to think that those issues come from his own fucked up brain, and his sad, broken childhood (1-2 years of which he wasn’t old enough to remember) doesn’t really account for (and DEFINITELY doesn’t excuse) his terrible behavior that results from those issues.

I also have no idea how on earth Christian even survived as a baby…also if his mom was addicted to crack…shouldn’t Christian have more health problems? How was he born so beautiful and perfect, without a single health defect, when he came from a woman (and presumably a man) who had so many health issues?

I just don’t buy any of Christian’s history. It doesn’t explain his personality. Maybe I’m just ignorant about how such a childhood could affect someone, but it seems REALLY far-fetched to me.

“I’m not her. I’m much stronger than she was. I have you, and you’re so much stronger now.”

Ana, you’re “stronger” than Christian’s crack-whore mother? Really? You don’t know anything about that woman’s life. You came from a white, upper-middle-class family, who, aside from having problems with divorce and things, could give you anything you ever wanted. You didn’t have to worry about going to school, or getting a well-paying job (even though you have a goddamned English degree), or having a place to live or food to eat. Christian’s mother could have been born poor, or other such circumstances could have driven her to do drugs. Maybe she needed to be a sex worker to pay the rent, to pay for food, to pay for basic necessities. And, since prostitution is still illegal in the U.S., she had to put herself in a very dangerous position, without the benefit of police, or adequate healthcare, or any kind of real support, just to make money. And then she got pregnant, and had a baby, and had to take care of that baby, and obviously she did a pretty okay job of that, under the circumstances, considering the fact that Christian is even alive right now. And then she was beaten to death by a man that she had no hope of escaping from, because she had no money without him, no home without him, no food without him, and she had a baby to worry about, and, as a sex worker, where else was she supposed to go? Sure, there are homes and places that will take people like that in, but what if her pimp found out that she’d run off? What might happen to her? So instead she stayed. And dealt with the beatings. And dealt with her own flaws, and her own shitty life, and then died at a very young age, alone and sad in a dirty apartment.

And you, Ana, you who have everything you ever wanted, you who has never wanted for anything in your whole life, you say that you’re somehow stronger than that woman? Really?

I call bullshit.

Anyway, so then Christian asks Ana why she safe-worded.

I swallow. “Because…because you were so angry and distant and…cold. I didn’t know how far you’d go.”

NOW TELL ME AGAIN, HOW IS THIS RELATIONSHIP NOT ABUSIVE?

If you’re in a situation with your partner, and you are literally terrified of them because you “don’t know how far they’ll go,” that is FUCKED UP and you need to GET THE FUCK OUT.

And then Christian says he’s “glad” that Ana safe-worded because he got “carried away” and he doesn’t “want to hurt” Ana.

I just can’t believe the literal fountain of bullshit excuses that is spewing from Christian’s mouth right now. I mean, really, it’s quite impressive.

But Ana just thinks this is all endearing and charming, and they talk about how much they need each other, how much they missed each other, how much they love each other, and then they go to sleep. Ugh. Vomit.

Caitlin Liveblogs the Fifty Shades trilogy: SPECIAL REPORT

So, as I’m sure many of you saw, a teaser trailer has been released for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie, that is set to come out this coming Valentines Day (in 2015).

Here it is, in all of it’s glory:

I tried to embed the video, but I am pretty historically terrible at doing that, so here’s the link as well, in case the above video doesn’t work:

So, as the resident expert on this awful, horrifying nightmare of a book series, here are my thoughts:

THIS TRAILER IS SETTING UP AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.

THIS TRAILER LOOKS LIKE A TRAILER FOR A MOVIE THAT’S ABOUT HOW A WOMAN FALLS IN LOVE WITH AN ABUSIVE MAN. IT LOOKS LIKE A THRILLER MOVIE ABOUT A BAD, ABUSIVE MAN, SOMEONE WHO IS CAPABLE OF STALKING, BEATING, THREATENING, OR OTHERWISE ABUSING/HARMING A WOMAN.

So, as far as I’m concerned, it actually looks pretty accurate to the books. And maybe women will see this and go “wait…why does he seem like he constantly wants to rape her?”

I mean, fucking jesus, look at what happens about :50 into the video. The elevator doors close, and the music swells, and the music doesn’t crescendo like it does in romantic scenes of movies, it crescendos the way it does when Wendy is trying to get out of the bathroom window in The Shining, right before Jack Nicholson axes the door.

I don’t see how this movie can be “romantic,” because it just screams “abuse.” And if the movie stays faithful to the books, it will LITERALLY just be porn. Bad porn.

However, the movie does have one really great advantage over the books: when you watch the movie, you won’t have to suffer through pages upon pages upon pages of Anastasia Steele’s god-awful internal dialogue. No “internal goddess,” no up-tight subconscious, no 20 pages of useless thoughts and opinions that don’t advance the plot or develop the characters in any way.

So, I guess there’s that?

I don’t know. I just keep thinking of the movie “Fear,” with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon, the one where it starts off romantic and then suddenly people are carving names into their chests and holding a family hostage inside their home. If there is any kind of truth in this movie, they will change the ending and show Christian Grey for what he actually is: a manipulative fuck-bucket who derives happiness and pleasure from causing pain (emotional and physical) to women, and who enjoys stalking people and preventing his girlfriend/wife from going out in public with anyone other than him. But I’m sure that instead the movie will try and make Christian seem like the “perfect man” that so many people think he is, and I will have a thousand more people to argue with about this bullshit.

What are your thoughts?

[PS: I'm working on the next chapter of liveblogs right now, so you can hopefully expect them later tonight, or tomorrow at the latest.]