I am an admitted book snob. Very rarely do I read the popular reads at any given time (I didn’t read the Twilight saga until all the books were published and the first movie was near release). Other than my status as a premier book snob, as a librarian needing to suggest book titles, I never needed to hand sell a James Patterson novel or anything of the sort. Knowing similar reads to recommend to those who had exhausted the likes of Dan Brown or Twilight was more important.
I really just never been one to enjoy the formulaic type novel – change the city and evil religious sect and a new book in the series is born! Even as a kid I was a serious reader getting lost in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. I have always been a reader, not always as dedicated as I should be but a reader nonetheless.
With all the talk surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Friday I scored a copy at Target and 36 hours later I closed the back cover with a sigh as a “Wow” escaped my lips.
Grey is not a well written novel, think a small step up from Twilight, but it sure packs a punch! My book snobbery has kept me out of the Romance genre, bodice rippers just aren’t my thing. Please don’t misunderstand that to mean I am a prude of any sort, I just have different taste in literature. James’ novel goes way past bodice ripper into territory I am only loosely acquainted. None of the ultra graphic sex scenes were particularly scandalous to me but seriously, brutally hot.
The characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, are likable in different ways and I found myself routing for them to find a way to work as a couple. Steele is young, innocent and wants it all. I could relate to this bookish beauty who at 21 doesn’t have a true sense of who she is or the impact she effects on the men around her. Grey is impossibly handsome and wealthy beyond imagination – your basic dream come true. Except for the dark side.
Now much has been made about Grey’s alternative sexual lifestyle as one that is offensive to the BDSM community because it falsely perpetuates the notion that all who choose this path are damaged or have been abused in their past. I didn’t feel this was the notion that was being presented. The character just happened to have been abused as a child but his introduction to sex was explained as such that this lifestyle was all he knew. The readers are gently encouraged to keep an open mind along with Ana as she learns more about Christian and his wants/needs/desires.
The only time I felt restless was when the book tried to be more than it is and fortunately those moments we few and can almost be forgiven. It’s a guilty pleasure and I’m hooked. Maybe it’s because I’m bored from not working or exhausted from being just so damn serious but tomorrow I’ll be off to purchase the next 2 in the trilogy.