By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the latest erotic, guilty pleasure “literary” craze that is the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Maybe you’ve read it, maybe you’ve mocked it. Maybe you’ve read it and mocked it. But you know you know what it is. If you haven’t read it, well, spoiler alert, it is damn near impossible to endure. It is a poorly written excuse for a novel that is offensive to literary appreciators and women everywhere. I am actually embarrassed to admit that I read it (well, some of it). But, for the sake of sparing you the pain through which I have suffered, I present you with the top three (of many) reasons why this book, frankly, sucks.
1. This book is NOT creative. Yes, not many people have written well-known books about S & M, but that doesn’t make this story original! Aside from the odd premise of the story’s central relationship, the plot is as cookie cutter as you can get. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy is crazy, and then, somehow, everyone ends up living happily ever after. Where have I heard that before…? How about every single chick flic and romance novel I’ve ever seen or read?!
Also, the girl’s name is Anastasia. Could you get any more stereotypically pornographic?
2. It is unrealistic. Sexually and otherwise. This girl has orgasms like I have coffee, frequently, quickly and unbelievably easily (I have a Keurig machine). Sometimes, she comes just from hearing the sound of her lovers voice. Umm… WHAT?! Does anyone out there actually believe that? As if that weren’t enough, she also says things like “oh my” to express her passion. I’m sorry, but the last time I heard of someone saying “oh my” in a fit of passion, I was watching the sex ed video in junior high. Get real, E. L. James. But I could go on about the sexual inexperience of this naive author for much longer than this blog post requires. If you want more examples, open the book to basically any page at all and you’ll have no problem finding them.
Anastasia, while described as plain, boring and unexceptional, still manages to attract attention from at least three different men throughout the first two books of the series. And one of them happens to be a sex-god quadrillionaire? Yeah, I believe that. Under that logic, I should be able to find one too, right? Oh yeah, that doesn’t happen in real life. I forgot.
3. It is a HUGE step back for Feminism. Anastasia is supposed to be an intelligent, responsible, proud girl. Yet she is still considering signing up for a dominant-submissive relationship? A relationship where a man will force to act a certain way and beat her when she doesn’t? Isn’t that what we’ve been trying to overcome since long before the days of suffrage? I’m all for sexual exploration and freedom, but this is about more than that. She is basically signing up for slavery, all because she finds this guy “dreamy”. As someone who considers herself a feminist – and as a woman in general – I am appalled. No woman should be so desperate for sex that she willingly gives up her freedoms. Ever. I don’t care who the guy is.
So, there you have it. Read at your own risk. You have been warned.