** Review Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog**
- Rating 3.5 of 5** It contains spoilers**
Review: After so long of postponing it I decided it was time to jump to the bandwagon and get it over with. So many things have been said about this series, some things are positive and some are negative. But putting all that aside I am going to give you my POV on the series. Like a train wreck that you can’t help but watch unfolds, I just couldn’t stop reading it. For some weird reason, I wasn’t able to put the books down, it was a long and exhausting read, filled with sweats & laughs that had my head spinning.
I think the story was nice. Though the idea of finding such a handsome control freak man may not be every woman’s dream, it certainly gives us women a perspective of what we really want from a man or how we sort of “picture” our man to be like. Christian’s need for control adds a sort of bitter sweet to the story. The story is about Christian’s awakening and how he learns to relent control, which in terms teaches him how to show and embrace his feelings that will help him maintain equilibrium and a sense of normalcy in his life. For Anastasia, it is a story of first love & sexual awakening. Christian is charming, his looks, his attitude, his power, and his sense of control and confidence are traits one may considered attractive yet they can also be disturbing when associated with his sadistic side.
“Yeah, Yeah, Baby it’s just a face, and the beauty is only skin deep ”
As far as the characters in general, they could’ve been better. I am not a huge fan of Anastasia, just because it is just not possible that in today’s society there can be a woman/character like her. Her ingenuity is sweet yes, her beauty normal under today’s standards yet her personality was totally lacking. After considering all that, one comes to the conclusion that, it was just that what Christian needed. Even for us regular folks, there are times when we scream for normalcy. For Christian, Anastasia was the normalcy he needed and craved. I am not over analyzing this; believe me I was taken aback a few times by the unrealistic situations presented in these books.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder & looks can be deceiving, that’s pretty much describes Christian. I am not being judgmental, stories such as that of Christian and Anastasia happens in life more often than you think. There are many women meeting men who are good looking, charming, controlling and totally paranoid. Christian’s character isn’t as different from any other characters we read in genres such as paranormal romance. More times than not, the main male character is a total Alpha male. He is dominant, controlling, over protecting and overbearing. Yet, we seem to be overcome by Christian’s over protective, controlling and dominant characteristics, why is that? Are we being biased or letting our judgement overshadow our ability to enjoy different characters traits and personalities?.
“It’s about control, Anastasia. How helpless would you be if you were tied up and couldn’t speak? How trusting would you have to be, knowing I had that much power over you? That I had to read your body and your reaction, rather than your words? It makes you more dependent, puts me in ultimate control”
Considering what I said above, it is also safe to say, men are just as fifty shades as women are. We all suffer from mood swings; we all wish we had more control over our lives and things in general. We all wish our lives were a bit kinkier (sexual and otherwise). These are just normal things in today’s society that not many of us are willing to accept and/or ready experience. I am by no means justifying Christian’s character. But I do understand that even the strongest; the most rational person in the world would experience some sort of irrational behavior after experiencing neglect, abuse and lack of compassion as a child. Ha I totally sound like a psychologist. What I got from reading the trilogy is that after his childhood experience and life changing events not everyone can grow up to be “normal” – that definition varies based on our personal understanding of what’s normal.
I think if you put Anastasia into perspective, any 22 year old woman these days is not as “innocent” as Anastasia’s character was, especially in terms of sexuality. I am not saying it isn’t possible, I just think it is a bit unrealistic. Though I would like to think that in these days there is still some innocence left in the world and that women such as Anastasia still exist.. Anastasia inexperience made her boring, when that should’ve been her charm. I think the way the author presented her wasn’t the best. There should’ve been a lot more to her than just her docile & innocent demeanor.
“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.
I frown. Holy cow! Do I do that deliberately? My subconscious removes her half-moon glasses and chews the end, pursing her lips and nodding. I ignore her. This is confusing— I’m his wife, not his submissive, not some company he’s acquired. I’m not the crack whore who was his mother … Fuck. The thought is sickening.
At times I found the main characters interaction disturbing, unrealistic but it was quite funny at times. I enjoyed their email exchange, their sweet talk and their sexual interaction. There were times when I felt their sexual interaction was forced because there was a need to fill out the pages and not necessarily because the moment called for it. Again I am not being judgmental, I read with an open mind and let the possibilities drive my reading pace but I would’ve liked the characters to be more seductive.
Ah the writing style, yes I know. We have heard & read all kinds of things about E.L. James writing style. For me, I’ll just say it was distracting.
It seems these books have regenerated broken marriages, regenerated lovers self esteem and have helped plenty of women get back in the game. I don’t necessarily care for the way Christian & Anastasia’ sexual encounters happen, it lacked romance but the sex was steamy.
I feel numb. I want to curl up in a ball and withdraw. I blink, trying to hold back my tears as I gaze into his harrowed eyes. I take shuddering breaths, my eyes not leaving his. What am I going to do with this controlling man? Learn to be controlled? I don’t think so…
Overall, I enjoyed the series. I think the characters as well as the story could’ve been better. I think adding more drama other than each characters personal demon would’ve given this series the necessary spark to make it awesome. Yes, some of us enjoy the sex in stories, but it can’t always be the prevalent theme. Even sex can get boring after 100 pages. Readers need more substance; we like drama, conflicts and not so much “freakery fucking”. There was a lot of repetition, and I have never really read about a character gasping as much as I read in this series. I think aside from spanking Anastasia needed a good slap and a 10 hours straight lecture on sex LOL.
I recommend this series if you do not mind repetition, if you enjoy a hot main characters with Dom tendencies & sadist behavior, with a kinky and charming side, with a high libido, very rich and giving, and well educated. If you do not mind a bland, innocent 22 year old woman who doesn’t know about self pleasing and gasp every time she sees the man she likes. Enjoy it, it is worth reading – just don’t buy the books. Get them from the library.