Search This Blog

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fifty Shades by Stacy

I did it.  I'll admit it and I'm not ashamed.  I just read all the books in the "50 Shades" series AND I even liked them okay.  “50 Shades” is a series that completely describes most women's number one fantasy, and I'm not talking about The Sex parts.  No--the fantasy that we wish were true and that is so well portrayed in these books is that a woman can change a man from what he is into what she wants him to be.

In this series, E.L. James writes of a man named Christian Grey.  Through the three books, you learn that his very sad past has resulted in Christian's inability to have a typical relationship.  Through the devotion of Ana, a fairly average 23 year-old, Christian learns he can in fact have a loving relationship.  

Much has been made about the novels' dalliances into the darker side of the bedroom.  In fact, some libraries refuse to carry the book; however, except for a handful of scenes, that "darker side" is not really a part of the couple's relationship.  Ana actually is not super crazy about most aspects of Christian's "interests" and refuses to take part in most of it, which is when Christian realizes that he was substituting his "interests" for a meaningful relationship.

Now don't get me wrong, there is a major amount of The Sex in "50 Shades," to the extent that it becomes repetitive and rather boring after a while.  But, The Sex was not the objectionable part of the book for me--it is the part that tells young women (and young men, or even old women and old men) that you can change another person if you just keep after it long enough. 

But, as long as I think of the books as fantasy fiction, I’m not bothered so much.  The writing and story are no better or worse than the young adult trilogy upon which “50 Shades” was based, and it has been fun seeing the frenzy of articles about who should play the very distinctly characterized role of Christian Grey in the movie version. 

Who's Christian Grey?
So, as a librarian, if you ask me whether you should read the book or not, I’ll have to say: Sure—it’s ok (only just ok)—but remember!!!!!!--unlike Ana, you still have NO hope whatsoever of getting the Old Man to load his dishes after he eats!

Stillwater, OK.


  1. Some "older" ladies are saying "Wifey" by Judy Blume is comparable. Have you read it and how would you compare them? Not giving you homework, just curious.

    1. I read Wifey in late high School or early college, so I can't say I remember all that much, but the obvious big difference is that 50 Shades certainly contains much more and more explicit sexual content.

      However, on the important issues--Blume's writing is significantly better than James' writing. I do not think that James is as bad a writer as many people are saying, but it is sometimes laughable.

      James wins hands down on characterization though. I do not think there is a much more vividly described character than Christian Grey. I sort of wish the books had been told from his POV, rather than Ana's.

      50 Shades is also way more intense than Wifey--I think because of Christian's intensity.

      I don't think it would necessarily have occurred to me to compare the 2 books, but I can definitely see a comparison in the controversy--a super popular children's writer writes a fairly "adult" book vs. a VERY adult book is written which is based on a super popular young adult series. Either scenario is a nightmare for librarians! :)

  2. Which young adult book was Fifty Shades based upon?

  3. The author wrote and posted some of her Twilight "fan fiction" under the title "Master of the Universe.

    Supposedly, the characters were an alternate version of Edward and Bella.

    You can certainly see the similarities in that both Edward and Christian have control issues and Bella and Ana are supposed to be fairly regular young women who totally captivated a very beautiful man.

  4. Kristen Stewart has finally responded to rumors that she's a favorite to play The Movie Fifty Shades Of Grey.I m excited for the 50 Shades Of Grey Movie.i cant wait for releasing date
    50 Shades Of Grey Movie

  5. Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more....
    Charlie Hunnam