Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read. I love books, especially fiction and fantasy, and I love to talk about the books I read. And I know you've all heard about the super popular erotic novel (can a book be erotic and YA? If so then that's this book), 50 shades of Grey. It was hugely popular a couple years ago when everyone started reading it (and loving it) and now the moving is coming out on Valentine's Day so everyone is all hyped for it again. And so far this blog has been about cooking and sewing and things like that, but I figure its a blog about my first attempts and I want to talk about my first attempt at reading 50 Shades of Grey.
A little background: I have been adamently against this book from the start. As I said, I love reading. However, I do not enjoy reading graphic sex scenes and I especially wouldn't enjoy reading an entire book full of them. So, during the first surge of popularity, when everybody and their mother was reading this book, I really couldn't see why normal people would like it so much. I was disgusted. I was right up there with all the Christian/Feminist bloggers who hated the book and everything it stood for. And I definitely never thought to read it.
Flash forward a few years to last week. I've had a lot of time on my hands lately and since I've spent so much time on TV and the internet, I've seen a lot of 50 Shades of Grey advertisements. I'm also married now and things tend to shock me less. So, I just decided that I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I thought I'd give 50 Shades of Grey a try.
I am just going to tell you right now, I did not make it all the way through this book. I don't even know what chapter I was on when I stopped reading, but I can tell you the exact moment I gave myself a good look in the mirror and asked "Why are you still reading this?" I knew from the start that I probably wasn't going to make it all the way through. Again, I'm not a fan of sex scenes. But I wanted to give it the ol' college try.
My First Attempt at Reading 50 Shades of Grey:
Anastasia Steele is a graduating senior at Washington State University in Vancouver. She is traveling up to Seattle to conduct an interview for her best friend, Kate, who is supposed to be interviewing a young business tycoon for the school newspaper. However, Kate is sick and asks her roommate, who is not on the school paper, to do it for her. (At this point I'm actually pleasantly surprised because I'm from Seattle and I didn't know it takes place in Washington). So, "Ana" drives to Seattle, trips into this guy's office, and conducts the interview. Of course, the young tycoon is Christian Grey, our hero(?) and of course, he's absolutely beautiful. In fact, he's so beautiful that Ana will use every other sentence to talk about how beautiful he is for the rest of the book. From the start she can hardly look at him and feels electric shocks when they shake hands. She interviews him, gets the impression that he's an egotistical control freak (oh, if only she knew) and leaves.
Back at college, Ana goes to work at a hardware store and who should show up, but Christian Grey? He asks for an odd assortment of materials such as straps or tie downs or whatever while acting very cryptic and Ana gets the feeling he's laughing at her. They end up setting up a photoshoot for the newspaper article.
The next day after the photoshoot, he takes her out for coffee. It doesn't last long and he doesn't seem to like talking about hsi family. On their way back, Ana trips and almost gets hit by a biker, but is saved by Christian Grey. While in his arms she wills him to kiss her, but instead he says, "I'm not the right man for you." or something like that. And she goes home and cries because a man has never made her feel this way. Even though he's apparently not the right man for her, Mr. Grey can't leave Ana alone and sends her some first edition books. She thinks its inappropriate. It is.
Fast forward, Ana and Kate take their last exams, are done with college and go out to party. They go to a bar with Ana's friend Jose and get wasted. Ana decides to call Christian Grey and drunkenly ask him why he sent her the books and he just says that she's drunk and he's coming to get her. She doesn't tell him where she is and goes outside to get some air. While out there, Jose tries to kiss her because he's always been in love with her. She tries to fight him off and is subsequently rescued by Christian Grey. But how did he know where to find her? He traced her cell phone, which isn't stalkerish at all. Ana blacks out. Grey whisks her back to his hotel where they sleep. In the morning Ana finds herself in his bed without her pants on. He assures her they didn't do anything, but that they did sleep in the same bed, which is a first for him. He's bought her new clothes, including underwear, which fit perfectly. He's also ordered her everything on the room service menu and gets mad when she doesn't want to eat it all because he has a problem with wasted food. Intriguing.
Long story short, they go on a date that night where he helicopters her to Seattle, they go to his apartment, and he makes her sign a non-disclosure agreement. She can't talk about anything they do. He then shows her a room where he has a bunch of BDSM toys, handcuffs, hooks on the ceiling, and a bed. There's other stuff, but you get the picture. Then he finds out she's a virgin and obviously they can't jump into the kinky stuff if she's never done anything before, so he leads her to his room and takes her virginity. This is the first sex scene. They do it twice. There's a lot of sex. You know that from now on there's going to be a lot of sex. The rest of the stuff I read consists of him trying to convince her to be his "submissive" to his "dominant" which basically means that she spends every weekend with him and has to do everything he says, sexual or otherwise. He can do whatever he wants to her, whenever he wants, wherever he wants, and she has to accept it happily or she will be "punished". He sends her a contract with all of this in it. She spends a lot of time considering this because she doesn't want to lose him since no man has ever made her feel like this before. But she also knows she wants a real relationship. Finally, he wears her down enough that she agrees to give it a try. And even though she hasn't signed anything yet the first thing he does is spank her 18 times because she rolls her eyes at him and he told her not to.
This is where I stopped.
Whew! Sorry that was so long. Check out Part 2 to hear my views on the book.