Monday, May 21, 2012

Everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey

This book has hit the NYT best seller list and has been talked about in the media.

I waited until the books were available in print, pre-ordered them, and when I got them sat down to read them wanting to figure out what the fascination about these books were.

If you're going to read the books, don't read past here.  I don't want to spoil the books for anyone.

First off, these books are not what I would classify as Erotic Romance.

And the reason I see why these books took off is: Christian is every woman's fantasy.  He's a man who wants to take care of his woman, give her anything and everything she wants, he wants to cater to her every wish.

Once you get past the, shall I say, bad writing style, the books actually aren't bad.  As a reader, I read them looking for what was making them a hit in the media and with other readers.  As a writer, I cringed at the repeated word usage, the writing style and the lack of editing.

Christian is one tortured hero, and most romance readers love hero's like that.  Ana is a heroine who will stand up to him and throws him for a loop because she does.  He's arrogant, domineering, and romantic.

He's the classic 1980's romance hero we use to read about before romance writing went politically correct. The hero's were arrogant, domineering and wanted nothing more than to take care of the heroine over her objections.  The books were written from the female point of view only, very little male point of view if any.

This is a total woman's fantasy, a man who wants nothing more than to take care of her.  And this is not a bad thing.  I'm not saying it is.  It's okay to want to have a man who will treat you as the center of the universe.

I can hear the chorus of "no we don't" echoing right now.  Notice I didn't say, a man to take care of you, but treat you as the center of the universe.

As women we're caretakers, we take care of everyone else, but ourselves.  Sometimes, and I do mean sometimes wouldn't you just like to give that responsibility over to someone else and have a day for yourself.  A day where you're the center of the universe, where your every whim is catered to.

I know I would.  But then again, that's why I write what I write.  I write alpha males, who are domineering at times, arrogant at times, but always looking after the woman in their life, no matter what.

It may not be politically correct, but my hero's want the heroine to understand that she is cherished and he will protect her until he dies.

The sex in Fifty Shades, get repetitive, is not a true representation of the BDSM world.  And I found the ending very disappointing.  The author treated the BDSM aspects of Christian's behavior as something that could be cured, BDSM is a lifestyle, not a disease.  While it is hinted there is still a hint of spanking in the books, the hero just suddenly gave it all up, deciding he didn't need it, all because of the love of the heroine. It just didn't ring true for me.

What I did like was at the end of the third book the author included some scenes from Christian's point of view, which would have been nice to have been incorporated into the books.  It showed his fascination with Ana and would have given the readers great insight to his personality.

All in all, the Fifty Shades books gets a C minus from this reader.


Vonnie Davis said...

I'm about a third of the way through book one (I stopped to read a book that needed a review). I, too, find the writing amateurish and unedited. Still, there's something about the darn thing that's kind of engaging. I've not reached the sex scenes yet, but thanks to an online group who've educated me in the BDSM lifestyle, I'll be reading it with eyes wide open. Great post, Marie.

Marie Tuhart said...

Hi Vonnie,

Thanks for the comments. Once you get past the writing, it does flow. I really didn't find the sex scenes all that BDSM'ish. Not compared to what I write anyway. There is a bit more in the second book I think.

Casey Dawes said...

I've finally accepted I have to read these books to understand what the fuss is about. Marie, I so agree with you -- when is that darn man on the white horse coming to take all my troubles away??? There's something in these books that appeals to women and maybe, as a writer, I'm missing that mark. Writing is a constant education. :-)) Trillium,

Marie Tuhart said...

Hi Trillium,

Writing is always an education for me too. I had to dig deep to figure out what in the books appeals to women and that was the only thing I could find. The white knight syndrome.

Thanks for stopping by.