Monday, July 30, 2012

why i will never read 50 shades of grey.

I've had this post sitting as a draft for a week now, unsure of whether or not I wanted to publish. I've ranted about this book to friends and co-workers for weeks now, even online elsewhere, and I'm still standing my ground. I refuse to read it (aside from the two pages I read in the bookstore making fun of it with J) let alone contribute any monetary funds to E.L. James or the publishers. I've talked to enough people who have read it and also read enough about the story, characters, and plot, plus enough excepts to know that it's garbage. (Some of my favorite posts include Red Lemonade's series, here's Vol I to get you started, this post by Profashional, and also this amazing Goodreads review with GIFs.)

Do I care that it's about sex? No. Do I care that it's about S&M? Nope. (If you want to read a book about these topics I actually suggest Suicide Casanova. If you want to read about screwed up relationships I suggest any Palahniuk novel or The Fuck-Up.) Now, do I care that women are swooning over a physically, mentally, and sexually abusive asshole and fantasizing about their own relationships comparing to that of Christian and Ana? That, I care about.

If you're a 50 Shades fan, I suggest you stop reading here, same goes for Twilight fans because that comes up too. I'm not personally attacking anyone, I'm just putting my thoughts out there regarding something that is all too relevant to current pop culture. I'm well read and highly opinionated, something I value, but I am not here to argue.

Anastasia Steele, whose name sounds like that of a porn star, is not realistic, at all. A twenty-one year-old virgin who knows nothing about kissing, sex, or seemingly guys in general? Who attended college but is clueless about email and doesn't own a computer? That's enough to make me think the author is a moron and those are just basic things about the character. On top of that there's the way this girl talks, especially her repetitive phrases, and how she's supposed to be adorably clumsy... she's not. How have people not been annoyed enough to stop reading only a couple of chapters in?! Then there's the whole subconscious and inner goddess nonsense. Ugh.

Let's not forget about Christian! So dark and troubled because of his past, boo hoo, and the way he expresses himself is through being a completely abusive control freak. Dear female population - if you encounter creepy stalker men with S&M dungeons, who are constantly trying to control your life, and who insist that you sign a contract to sleep with him the first time you even encounter him in a non-professional setting, run away and never look back. I don't care how rich, good looking, or how long his fingers are. (If you've read the books or any reviews, you know what I'm talking about.) The majority of things I've seen quoted as said by Mr. Dark Sexy Brooding Grey says are completely awkward, unsexy, and laughable at best. Of course Ana doesn't notice, she's a moron. But seriously, how could anyone want to get naked with this man?

Terrible writing irks me to no end and it makes my stomach turn that this book has become a best seller. That coupled with the fact that Ana is such a disgustingly weak and pathetic excuse of a woman, just kill me now. These are the exact same problems I have with Twilight. Oh, and I did read the Twilight series, all of them. I had so many friends that wouldn't stop talking about it that I gave it a chance just so they couldn't keep saying "But you haven't even read it!" and with every page I turned my original thoughts were confirmed - another awful story line carried out by some know-nothing writer who cannot even stick within their own original plot lines and written rules. (Vampires do not have bodily fluids, Meyer stated that early on. Therefore, Renesmee Cullen, with her cringe-worthy first name, cannot exist. It was just one more thing to drive the plot and make people over romanticize the story and you guessed it: buy more books.)

No teenage girls/young women/women in general should be reading these books and fantasizing over these unstable relationships. Bella turned into a shell of a person when Edward was away and ultimately tried to kill herself to get him to come back. She's not a role model, she's the worst kind of girl for any others to look up to. Her entire being depends on a guy. A GUY. She has nothing else to live for? Nothing else to care about? Please, spare me. Sound familiar? Ana is Bella, not surprising since James was formerly a writer of Twilight fan fiction. She and Stephanie Meyer could fill books with the things they don't know about young adults, sex, society, and oh wait - they've both already done that.

Anyway, Ana spends so much time convincing herself that Christian is a dreamboat that she never truly acknowledges all of his problems, and boy has some problems. I mean, it should be a dead giveaway when he obsesses over her eating habits from day one. His sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies are so prevalent. Ladies - these things are not sexy. Neither is his insane, uncontrollable jealousy.

Even overlooking Christian, why would any woman EVER want to be compared to Ana?!

None of this is romantic, it's not love. It's also worth noting that Ana has NEVER been in any kind of relationship before, how the hell would this twit know what love was anyway? Relationships are something to genuinely have to work on and take time to develop, especially adult relationships. Emotionally Ana is sixteen-years-old, at best. She's had no interaction to develop her social skills, emotions, feelings, or basic relationships. How could the author expect any of this to be believable!? No one should be buying into this!

It's just mind-numbingly exhausting to think that this story has so many women obsessing over it. If your partner loves you, cares about you, and shows that to you without treating you like crap in any way then your relationship is about a million times better than the one carried on in this book, so sit down and shut up - THAT is a love story, not the sick, twisted, controlling garbage in this book. You don't need to be tied up, forced into sex, or have a collection of sex toys to have love. Maybe I'm especially frustrated because I have been in an abusive relationship with someone who seriously needed professional mental help, maybe that insight is what doesn't make any of the things in this book appealing. (No, he didn't have an S&M dungeon, but sweet lord he needed help.) The reality of any situation like this would not be acceptable. I really think if this book does make it to film, and if they follow the book exactly, people are going to be more disturbed by what they see than fascinated and more so by Christian's behavior than the actual S&M acts.
I wish people, women in particular, would pay more attention to the things they are reading and start processing those stories differently. This relationship is not a love story, it's an abusive relationship masked as a love story in an attempt to sell something erotic (oooh, so taboo!) to the masses. It's sad to me that it's succeeded, it's embarrassing. I encourage any woman who has stayed away from this literary atrocity to continue to do so and further more, I applaud you for refusing to succumb to bad writing, a moronic story line, and the glorification of abuse in the name of what's popular. I, for one, will never read this book.

If anyone has an good book suggestions about strong women, or at the very least real women who aren't bumbling idiots feel free to share them. Or, if you're looking for something new to read check out our new page above listing some favorites.

One more suggestion, if you're just dying to read a more realistic love story about a guy who is a total jerk and the girl who can't let him go, read Pride & Prejudice, at least there is a point there. (Even read Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies if you need a twist in your classics. Yes, I recommend zombies before 50 Shades.) Mr. Darcy is more than irritating for a good portion of the book, but at least he's worth liking in the end. It doesn't hurt that Elizabeth is intelligent and strong-willed either. Thank you Jane Austen for giving us a female character with some sense! These are the kind of characters we should be celebrating.


  1. I liked 50 Shades, but that doesn't mean I don't agree with your points here. I also enjoyed Twilight, but again - agreed with your points. They are by no means literary classics, they're fluff reading. In fact, I started 50 Shades as a way to fill time between books I actually wanted to read coming out! (That and the same reason you stated for Twilight - people saying it was a must read)

    I love that you published this! Good for you :) It's always good when you can put yourself out there and just say what you want!


    1. I know what you mean by filling time/between things you wanted to read! I'm currently watching TV shows I don't like while waiting for the fall line up to start. The one show that I'm really not crazy about: True Blood. It's so meh to me, but there's literally nothing else on so I decided to see what the hype was. The only character I like on the entire show is Lafayette, because he's funny. I sort of liked Alcide, but not so much any more. And I couldn't care less about anyone else. I think it's important to remember that what is popular is not always good, lol.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. well that makes 2 of us in the female friends are all reading this book..and their kids are reading this book...why?? they would laugh at the suggestion of Jane me enjoying a book where the main charter was abused by his prostitutes mothers patrons and so takes his struggle with abuse out on uncorrupted woman is not my fantasy.
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  3. Love this post! I read it, but I wish I could get those hours of my life back and will definitely not be reading the sequels.

  4. Amen sister! I read the first book. My husband can tell you, I was furious and yelling so often while reading. I kept saying, "this is domestic violence!"
    I really wanted to like this book. I took it for exactly what it was...trashy romance and sometimes I do like trashy romance. But this was just insulting to women. Such a step backward.
    Your newest follower ;)

  5. I actually read all of them and was not a fan. Like you said- all of the sex and S&M didn't bother me at all but the characters and the plot were terrible. I hated Ana, I found her incredibly annoying and unrealistic but I guess all the characters in the book were. Except maybe her step dad, he had some redeeming qualities. The reason I read them all is because I thought they would get better since everyone was talking so much about them- well they never got better. Not at all.

    1. I've heard that from a few people! I guess that makes you one of the good ones, a love of books, holding out hope that there will be some redemption! I'm sorry there wasn't. Seriously. I haaaaate when such crappy books are so popular and consume people's lives for absolutely no good reason. I hope whatever you read once you finished the series was AMAZING! :)

  6. I really enjoyed reading this blog post (as a person who is also strongly against the 50 shades series, partly also for the twilight fanfic reason, among others)

    as for suggested readings with strong female leads: anything by tamora pierce, coraline by neil gaiman (the book; the movie ending strays from the book's ending, though at least if you read the book first you know what you are getting into), and anything in the series the dragon riders of pern


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