I like every other woman on the planet has read the 50 Shades of Grey series. Everyone keeps asking, "when are you going to post about this one?" Well here it is. I wanted to write something in response to the negative reviews that I have seen regarding this book series. First let me say that the author E.L. James is a fantastic writer. Her ability to write in first person (a style I'm not all that fond of) is nothing short of astounding. In the same style as Stepanie Meyer and the Twilight series, Ms. James captures the thoughts and feelings of one individual and takes it to a whole different (and certainly more R rated) level. I also have never wanted to know what another character was thinking more than I did with Christian. Her little teases at the beginning of each consecutive book as well as the bonus chapters at the end of the third were titillating (pun intended) to say the very least.
All in all I really enjoyed the books. The email correspondence alone was hilarious and incredibly sexy at the same time. *twitchy palm* and my husband and I now say goodbye with "Laters, baby". But what about the "risque bondage and sex" that everyone is spouting about this book? Honestly, although the sex is very hot (and I mean very very hot) it's really nothing that's not already out there, it's just written much better than most. I think due to it's great marketing it has found it's way to women who haven't ever read this kind genre of romance novel and believe me this BDSM stuff is out there and in some very good book series that I have already read. The Hell's Eight series that I have blogged about before makes use of toys and bondage and these are very well written books. My favorite author J.R. Ward and book series, Black Dagger Brotherhood has a character who's sole focus until he meets his HEA is bondage and dominance (ahhh Vishous still so damn hot). Again another very well written series. Unfortunately with the vampire angle this type of book is geared toward a very specific group of people so it doesn't get to be mainstream. I hope that will change.
Christian Grey is of course sexy as hell but it's not the sex that got me. It was his dialogue and his banter with Ana that made my breath pant. To have someone who is capable of taking care of every need (both in bed and out) is really very sexy. The idea that some people view this book as a glorification of an abusive relationship is ridiculous. First of all Ana LITERALLY asks for the spankings and other things. There is something to be said for a good spanking. Also, if it were a truly abusive relationship Christian would have done more to isolate Ana from her friends and family, but he never does (even though he's not fond of Kate or Jose). Yes he is possessive, but again I say, read most romance novels and the guy is always possessive. I can tell you that in every book I've read somewhere the guy growls "Mine". Believe me when I say that although I would never want a guy who isolates me, a guy who wants to possess me (both body and soul) and wants me that badly is a total arousal waiting to happen. And guys I'll let you in on a little secret, most women want this (at least in bed).
Christian is the epitome of the Lost Boy. The one all women want to hold, protect and save (not to mention have wild, crazy, kinky fuckery with). He's scarred and flawed yet perfectly beautiful and commanding both in the board room and the bedroom. Not to mention he's loaded! But it's really his vulnerability that slides into you and makes you pant. I for one was nearly laid flat when Ana was finally able to "touch" Christian. There was no sex in these books more erotic then the first time Christian actually allows her to touch him. I know the stereotype that most men see is a woman wanting a knight in shining armor and for the most part this is true. Only it is more that we want the guy to be able to fight for us with passion but more than that, I think (well I know I) we want to be able to do some saving too.
There is much talk about turning this book series into a movie (and with all the hype this is a very real possibility). I don't know how I feel about this. First of all in all the books I read, I of course picture myself as the main woman (so in my head I am sooooo totally Ana). I am too often disappointed in the adaptation because they rarely consult with the author and then they go and change so much of the dialogue (which is what I love most about a book). And then there is the casting. No one ever agrees that they picked the right person because everyone has a different picture of what Christian looks like in their head. Many actors have said they would love to play Christian (but have they really read the books). As most of you know I have a majorly bad case of lust for Joe Manganiello (who has said he would play Christian Grey)and as much as I like to picture me as Ana and him as Christian (on the boat outside Monte Carlo with two sets of hand cuffs..mmmm ... where was I? oh yeah..) and as much as I believe he could play the part and play it well, he just doesn't LOOK like Christian to me, no unruly copper colored hair and no intense gray eyes although he does definitely have the body. I know all this can be fixed with contacts and hair color but I don't know. Again this is the downfall of adapting books into movies... there is honestly no one who I know of who looks like what I picture (which is a sort of mash up of different people's attributes). Maybe this is my hang up but I love this character and I would hate to see it chopped to bits by writers and producers. And I'm pretty sure most women would hate whatever actress they got to play Ana, because like I said we all picture ourselves in this role with Christian.
I liked this book series a lot and would be interested to see follow-up stories from Christian's point of view as well as the stories behind Christian's sister and Kate's brother and Kate and Christian's brother. I'd really like to know Christian's brother's story. All in all I think it's a great story and even my mother-in-law has read them and it's actually given us something to talk about which is cool (not so cool for my husband though). BDSM aside the story is poignant and sexy and a truly great read and if they make it into a movie and do cast Joe, I'll be the first one in line to see it. Hell, I'll be in line to see it no matter who they cast in the role.