I was a little late getting into the game but I have finally finished the 50 Shades trilogy. I’ve had a lot of opinions on it since beginning the first book back in November and they’ve been reshaped over and over again since I worked my way through the three. Of course, I’ve also had a few fairly judgey people have comments about the fact I was reading…let’s call it smut for now. However, that’s not what it is. The idea that these books are nothing but porn is fairly off the mark.
Okay, yes, there is a good bit of sex in all three books but once you make it past the first one, things are very subdued. I would say that there’s not much more sex in the second and third book than some of those “romance” books with Fabio and sexy ladies on the cover that are deemed fully appropriate. The only thing that makes it any worse than those books is that Ana and Christian like to experiment with the kinkiness of their sex life and you know what? It’s really not anything normal people don’t try in the second and third books (with a few exceptions like those silver balls and whatever they do on the cross…that’s stuff’s kind of weird). Also, if I’m being completely honest, I really didn’t read read those parts. I knew what was coming so I skimmed over them but moved on to when the actual plot was occurring. Because that’s not what the plot is about…in the second and third books (I will keep reiterating this).
The first book actually made me want to puke. There was sex stuff that was just way too much for me (Like, I did not need to know how painful it was for her to have Christian take her cannoli). But I was very intrigued by the characters. I hated the fact that there was still some serious editing that needed to take place because there were improper spellings of words and very many commas needed (I might be the grammar police and hate people who don’t understand how to use a comma). Nevertheless, Ana and Christian were two people that I wanted to keep reading about. I wanted to know what made them like they are…especially in Christian’s 50 shades of screwed up way. I wanted to know what made him become a dom and a sub and what made him need these weird relationships and just what made him think the way he does.
Our dear author, EL James, did not let me down in that aspect (though I’m still killing myself over the fact she wrote this originally as Twilight fanfic. I really hate myself for that). I think I’ve learned everything I wanted to about Christian and I really know who he is as a person (because character is not the created person but the way he acts when no one is looking or when put under great pressure). We get this insight into his psychological problems that really makes him almost feasible as a true human being (Hey, if you’ve watched True Life: I have a fetish, then you know that there really are people out there with these kinda of lifestyles). Maybe it’s just me and my whole love for psychology thing, but it was just awesome. I loved the way she gives the information, too. She has Christian tell it very brokenly, learning a little bit at a time because he has issues talking about everything from the past and accepting what happened. It’s how things would go in real life. No one is going to sit there and tell their entire story if they have gone through the crap life that he had prior to becoming a Grey. Slowly and scared, he tells Ana everything from the crack whore mother to how he wouldn’t talk until the Grey’s brought home Mia to how Elena became his dom and how he became one. Maybe it was just me but I just couldn’t stop reading about his life.
The epilogue was a very nice way to finish the series. If we had just had the ending where they tell each other that they love each other, it would have been a bit anticlimactic considering we just had Ana just saved Mia, the big fight over the pregnancy, and Christian telling a good amount of his past. Fast forwarding two years, when the baby is born, there’s another on the way, and they’ve moved to the other house, it just made everything feel complete. We know that they’ve worked through everything and they are happy. Christian is a good father, which he was scared about, and Ana still is working, which she was scared about. However, what I love more is the part where we see things from Christian’s point of view. We see how he thought as a child when the Greys adopted him and why the name Lelliot was used earlier in the book and how he reacted to Ana the first two times they met (which was different from how I thought he was thinking when I originally read it). Of course, for those of you who loved the Twilight series as I did back in high school when it was still new and I hadn’t read Vampire Diaries (Team Salvatore all the way!), you know that Stephanie Meyer wrote Midnight Sun, Twilight from Edward’s point of view. She never published it because she was upset when it got leaked but she did put a hefty amount of it on her website. I may have been a huge nerd and read it during my aiding periods back in high school but hey, I was young and stupid. But I will say that I liked seeing things from his point of view and I like seeing it from Christian’s. I enjoy having the ability to see how both main characters were observing and how they were acting and thinking during the timeline of the books.
The one thing I see more reminiscent of the original Vampire Diaries than of Twilight is the writing style of EL. When I read the first trilogy of Elena’s journey the initial time, I was emotional. L.J. had written so beautifully and descriptively that I felt like I had gone through everything Elena and Damon and Stefan and the other characters had gone through. I was in a bad depression from it for a while that was only worsened when I finished the books. I felt similar with 50 Shades. The last book was so emotional that I was feeling depressed when I sat down to read it because of what Ana and Christian were facing. If only she could have forgone the spelling and punctuation errors….
Okay, that’s it. That’s my opinions on the huge trend. I’m not overly obsessed with it like some people but I am looking forward to the movie (especially if my dear Ian Somerhalder is going to play Christian. I think it’s sweet justice having Damon playing a character that was originally Edward because well, Damon could kick Edward’s butt). And, when I went to begin Beautiful Creatures the a few hours after finishing the series, I had an empty feeling that I was no longer reading about Ana and Christian. I’ll leave you with this. I know there’s a lot of controversy and judgments surrounding this because people think it’s porn (and that women freak out when men watch it but have no qualms about reading it in public, as I was told so lovingly) but you should really read it before forming an opinion. And, now, I’ll step down from my soapbox and keep reading the thousands of pages I have stacked next to my bed now that the holidays are over.