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Look at me, posting things on time! Amazing!
RECAP: Ana finds out from José that her step-dad, Ray, is in the hospital after getting in a car accident while on a fishing trip with José and his dad. Ana rushes out to the hospital in Portland, where she holds José’s hand (which seems like a PHENOMENALLY bad idea when you’re married to Christian), but then Christian shows up and is actually…kind of fine? They find out that Ray is in a coma because he’s got potential brain damage. Christian has his mom come out and help with Ray’s treatment (except she doesn’t really? she just is there? for some reason?). Ana spends a whole lot of time reminding us that her step-dad is a very important father figure in her life (she calls him “daddy” like 30 times. WHY). Christian makes a bizarre pop culture reference that makes no sense. They go back to the hotel and go to bed (withOUT having sex, shockingly).
Hopefully chapter 18 is less exciting than 17 was. I don’t know if I can handle all of that action.
Ana wakes up, and for a moment she forgets where she is and why she’s there. And then she remembers, in the most unnecessarily dramatic way possible:
“Shit! Daddy!” I gasp out loud, recalling with a gut-wrenching surge of apprehension that twists my heart and starts it pounding why I’m in Portland.
Jesus H. Christ. That description would be more fitting if she saw her dad get LITERALLY STABBED in front of her. Also that sentence structure is convoluted as FUCK. Like, pick ONE description of how you’re feeling here, you don’t need THREE OF THEM.
Ugh. I’ve seen actual 8-year-olds write better than this.
Christian immediately comforts Ana, and tells her he already called the hospital and found out that Ray’s doing fine. Other than, you know, being in a coma.
OH, also it’s Ana’s birthday. Christian gives her a small box with a tiny gift card that says: “For all our firsts on your first birthday as my beloved wife. I love you.” Ugh. Gag me.
Oh my, how sweet is that?
Uh, not very sweet? It’s honestly a pretty standard thing to tell your wife that you love her on her birthday? Ana, you’ve set the bar so low that Christian literally can just step over it.
Uggghhhhh he got her a charm bracelet, and all the charms represent things they’ve done together (including a vanilla ice cream cone, in honor of them having “vanilla” sex. You disgust me).
I fondle the last two charms: a letter C — oh yes, I was his first girlfriend to use his first name. I smile at the thought. And finally, there’s a key.
“To my heart and soul,” he whispers.
I’m literally going to vomit all over myself. HE ALREADY GAVE YOU THE KEY TO HIS HEART AND SOUL, IT’S CALLED YOUR WEDDING RING AND YOU’RE WEARING IT RIGHT NOW.
Like wow, cool, you love each other. NO ONE CARES. That shit is only romantic if you’re like 14 and it’s Valentine’s Day.
Maybe I’m just a cynical asshole, but like…come the fuck on.
They eat breakfast and Ana goes to brush her teeth before heading over to the hospital.
A memory springs unbidden to my mind. I used his toothbrush after I first spent the night with him. I smirk and grab his toothbrush in homage to that first time.
Okay, I just want all of us to look back on one of my favorite terrible moments from this shitfest of a book series. This is from Fifty Shades of Grey, Chapter 5:
I want to clean my teeth. I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm…Glancing guiltily over my shoulder at the door, I feel the bristles on the toothbrush. They are damp. He must have used it already. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double-quick time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.
YUP, THAT’S A THING THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
The weirdest part is that, when compared up close like this, the writing actually IS a lot better in book 3 than it was in book 1. Which is sad, because the writing in Freed is still AWFUL. At least E.L. James has finally learned how to use a variety of sentence structures. It only took her 2+ books to learn that lesson, so impressive!
They get in the elevator and start referencing the first time they kissed, and honestly, it is kind of a funny throw-back? But that’s because that kiss was literally one of the only well-written sexy things in this entire series. I give credit where credit is due, and that elevator kiss was pretty excellent…at least until their tongues start doing a “slow erotic dance” (direct quote, I’m not even kidding).
Oh good, now Ana and Christian are recreating that elevator kiss.
He groans into my mouth and cups my head, cradling me as we kiss–really kiss, our tongues exploring the oh-so-familiar but still oh-so-new, oh-so-exciting territory that is the other’s mouth.
This whole scene is suddenly oh-so-vomit-worthy. Congratulations.
My inner goddess swoons, bringing my libido back from purdah.
Just when you thought the “inner goddess” bullshit was gone forever…
Also, in case you’re ignorant like me, here’s what “purdah” is referring to: “The practice among women in certain Muslim and Hindu societies of living in a separate room or behind a curtain, or of dressing in all-enveloping clothes, in order to stay out of the sight of men or strangers.”
Okay, look, E.L. James. You’re writing a book populated ENTIRELY by white people and horribly stereotypical people of color (of which there are LITERALLY TWO). You DO NOT get to just throw out terms like “Purdah” and think that’s ok. It’s not okay. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t know anything about Muslim/Hindu culture, so you don’t get to just fucking use the word “Purdah” like you know what it means. It doesn’t make your book seem “cultured,” it doesn’t make your writing look clever, it doesn’t even make that line fucking INTERESTING. All it does is make you look like a piece of shit who appropriates parts of other cultures that you don’t even understand.
“Purdah” has a long history, and a lot of depth and details which YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU TOOK TWO SECONDS TO LOOK AT EVEN JUST THE WIKIPEDIA PAGE. I highly doubt that’s a term that’s okay to use when talking about your character’s inner sex machine??? The FUCK is wrong with you.
They get outside and SURPRISE, Ana’s rich bastard of a husband bought her a car. Whoop di fucking doo.
My face splits into a huge grin, and my inner goddess does a back flip off the high dive.
uuuuuUUUGGGHHHHH STOP IT.
ARE YOU GOING TO GO FUCK IN THE CAR? PUT YOUR GODDAMNED “INNER GODDESS” AWAY.
They get in the car and Christian immediately starts criticizing Ana’s driving. Great. Just what I wanted to read about.
They finally get to the hospital, and Ray’s condition hasn’t changed. Apparently Christian’s dad is a lawyer and is suing the drunk driver who hit Ray’s car. Cool.
A bunch of hospital stuff happens, the nurse checks on Ray, they await some scans, things like that. None of it is very exciting or interesting.
Ana realizes she hasn’t heard from her mom in awhile, and her mom doesn’t know about Ray. Her mom also hasn’t called to wish Ana a happy birthday, which is kind of rude. Ana calls, but her mom doesn’t pick up. That seems like something Ana should be more concerned about, but she’s pretty whatever about it?
Ana and Christian start talking about Christian’s “Taiwan thing,” for his mysterious business. Again. VERY boring. Ana asks him why he works so hard all the time (which it doesn’t seem like he does, but ok).
“I don’t want to be poor,” he says, his voice low. “I’ve done that. I’m not going back there again. Besides…it’s a game,” he murmurs. “It’s about winning. A game I’ve always found very easy.”
Oh, gee! All you have to do to become a multi-billionaire is just decide to not be poor anymore! AMAZING! It’s just a game! Wow, who knew it was so easy?
Literally just shut up right now.
Ana talks about how much she loves all of Christian’s different personalities (philanthropic Christian…megalomaniac Christian…control-freak Christian…just to name a few). Then she calls him “Fifty Shades” again, which apparently is supposed to be exciting or clever or something, but really it just feels EXCEEDINGLY forced.
They leave the hospital, and Christian lets Ana drive (shocking). They go grab lunch at the place they went after José’s photography show in book 2. Apparently this is some kind of montage episode bullshit. Yeah, I get it, I’ve read all three of these fucking books, trust me, I REMEMBER EVERY PAINFUL SECOND OF IT.
They go back to the hospital. Nothing has changed. They leave again.
Godddd I can feel my brain fucking liquefying.
They go back to the hotel, and Christian has planned a fancy dinner at the hotel restaurant, and had Taylor go buy Ana a fancy dress and shoes. Great. He ALSO had Taylor go buy fucking BLACK, LACEY LINGERIE FOR HIS WIFE.
THAT’S TOTALLY NOT FUCKED UP AT ALL.
“I look forward to taking this off you later.”
HER DAD IS STILL IN A COMA YOU PIECE OF SHIT. MAYBE SHE DOESN’T WANT TO DO KINKY SHIT WITH YOU RIGHT NOW?
But of course she will. This is Anastasia Steele we’re talking about, after all. If Christian wants to have sex, she’s not going to tell him no.
They head down to dinner, and every woman they pass shoots Ana envious glares because Christian looks so attractive. Because, in case you forgot, the natural female state is “jealous bitch.” Except for Ana, who’s a “cool girl,” who’s “special.”
God help me, I want to shoot my eyes out.
They get to the table and find Kate, Elliot, Mia, Ethan, Carrick (Christian’s Dad), and Grace (his mom), José and Mr. Rodriguez, and Ana’s mom and her husband, Bob.
Okay, now this is ACTUALLY a really sweet thing to do. The charm bracelet thing was pretty bogus, but this is like, a super great surprise for someone’s birthday. Well done, Christian. It feels weird not to get mad at you.
We get literally like 3 pages of all these people greeting Ana, and I’m not even going to recap it because it’s horribly boring. Ana gets a cake with candles and wishes for her dad to get better.
Finally everyone leaves and they go back to the hotel room and sex is implied, but we don’t have to suffer through it, thankfully.
The next morning, all the Greys and Kate and her brother return to Seattle in Christian’s helicopter (I have no idea who’s flying it though…). Honestly, I kind of want the helicopter to crash, because literally NOTHING bad has happened this whole chapter, and it’s SO GODDAMNED BORING.
BAD THINGS HAVE TO HAPPEN IN STORIES. CONFLICTS HAVE TO HAPPEN. OTHERWISE IT’S NOT A STORY.
Ana and Christian go back to the hospital. Ray still hasn’t woken up. Ana’s mom comes with, and they have heartfelt moments where everyone cries. Ana and her mom have a heart-to-heart about her mom’s relationship with Ray (which ended because she just couldn’t live with him, apparently?), and they talk about Ana and Christian.
“You look so good together, Ana. So happy.”
“We are, I think.”
You THINK? What a vote of confidence for your marriage, Ana. Real promising start.
“Getting there, anyway. I love him. He’s the center of my world. The sun rises and sets with him for me, too.”
LITERALLY STOP. Loving him is great, but “love” should not mean “MY WORLD WOULD FUCKING END IF I LOST HIM.” You should be your own person, Ana. Come on.
“Make sure you tell him. Men need to hear that stuff just like we do.”
AH YES, LET’S REINFORCE THE GENDER STEREOTYPES A LITTLE MORE IN THIS BOOK. EVEN THOUGH MEN ARE EMOTIONALLY STUNTED SACKS OF TESTOSTERONE, THEY STILL NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU LOVE THEM!
Literally what the fuck, Ana’s mom.
…also I can’t remember for the life of me what her mom’s name is. If only someone had made some kind of character list to keep track of everyone in these books….
(P.S. her name is Carla. I just had to look it up. Thank god I made that character list, seriously, it’s so hard to keep track of everyone in this trash heap.)
Carla and her husband leave, and Ana and Christian leave then too. They come back at the end of the day, and they find that Ray has been taken off the ventilator and is breathing on his own. Ana starts reading the sports page to Ray, so he can hear the soccer scores.
“And the final score, Sounders 1, Real Salt Lake 2.”
“Hey, Annie, we lost? No!” Ray rasps, and he squeezes my hand.
FASCINATING. Totally didn’t see that coming. What a shocker.
End of Chapter Eighteen
Please, for the love of god, MAKE SOME ACTUAL FUCKING CONFLICT HAPPEN IN THE NEXT CHAPTER.
I’M SO BORED I’M GOING TO CRY.
Anyway, thanks again for reading! I’ll try and get the next chapter up next week, but as always, no guarantees.