FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, BY E.L. JAMES
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“When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready to puke from reading that blurb alone.
But let’s dive in anyway, shall we?
I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair – it just won’t behave, and damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal. I should be studying for my final exams, which are next week, yet here I am trying to brush my hair into submission.
This is our first introduction to Anastasia Steele, one of the worst characters ever written. We’ll get into why she’s awful later, once I’ve plowed my way through the rest of this awful book.
One of the biggest problems with writing a book in first person point of view is that right off the bat you’re giving yourself a tough job of trying to describe the main character. Of course, you could just do what good ol’ E.L. did and have your main character look in a mirror, which is probably one of the most boring things you could ever have your narrator do. Wow! Anastasia is looking in a mirror! WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!
I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up.
Ughhh I’m not even a full page into this and already I’m bored out of my mind. Aren’t you supposed to…I don’t know…hook the reader somehow? Make them interested? All the main character has done is stare into a mirror and gotten upset about her hair. I do that EVERY DAY, I don’t need to read about it in a book.
Kate is my roommate, and she has chosen today of all days to succumb to the flu. Therefore, she cannot attend the interview she’d arranged to do, with some mega-industrialist tycoon I’ve never heard of, for the student newspaper. So I have been volunteered.
WOW HOW DARE YOUR ROOMMATE GET THE FLU. THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE.
Also, are we seriously supposed to believe that a journalism student (which Kate is) is just going to force her roommate (who is NOT a journalism student) to do an interview for her? Interviewing is HARD, you don’t just wake up one day and go “Wow, I think I’ll go do a super important interview today, no pressure!”
So Ana has to do this interview with the “enigmatic CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.” who is some big-shot entrepreneur and donates all kinds of money to the university Kate and Ana go to (not sure what that University is, but whatever). Apparently this interview was really hard to get and is a really big deal and all that.
“Ana, I’m sorry, It took me nine months to get this interview. It will take another six to reschedule, and we’ll both have graduated by then. As the editor, I can’t blow this off. Please,” Kate begs me in her rasping, sore throat voice. How does she do it? Even ill she looks gamine and gorgeous, strawberry blonde hair in place and green eyes bright, although now red-rimmed and runny.
Clearly Ana has a giant crush on Kate, but apparently we’re just going to ignore that. Also, Gamine? Seriously? What does “Gamine” even mean?
GAMINE, n.: A girl with mischievous or boyish charm
Well. That answers that question. Although how you look like that when you’ve got the flu, I have no idea.
[$20 says James used a thesaurus to find the word Gamine. Who the fuck uses that in everyday conversation, seriously]
We’re HONEST TO GOD supposed to believe that the EDITOR OF A MAJOR STUDENT PUBLICATION would have NO ONE ELSE TO CALL TO DO THIS INTERVIEW?
Apparently Kate runs this student newspaper all by herself.
So Ana leaves (finally) and gets in the car and drives off.
It’s early, and I don’t have to be in Seattle until two this afternoon. Fortunately, Kate’s lent me her sporty Mercedes CLK. I’m not sure Wanda, my old VW Beetle, would make the journey in time. Oh, the Merc is a fun drive, and the miles slip away as I floor the pedal to the metal.
DO PEOPLE EVER ACTUALLY SAY “PEDAL TO THE METAL” IN REAL LIFE?
IS THAT A THING THAT HAPPENS? REALLY?
Ana sounds like a 50 year old woman, not someone in her 20’s.
I WONDER WHY.
In an effort to make these posts manageable and not 40 miles long, I’m splitting up the chapters into multiple parts. These are my splits, not E.L. James’s, just to clarify.
Thanks for reading!
ON TO PART TWO