Monday, April 30, 2012

Fifty Shades Darker ~ E.L. James

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having had a long list of problems with the first book in the series (but still managing to devour the book greedily), I am very happy to say that many of the issues that I had with Fifty Shades of Grey were at least some what rectified in this book. Certain phrases (Don't bite your lip. Oh my... etc) were still present, but not nearly in such a maddeningly repetitive way here. Also, while Ana will never be one of my favorite heroines, her bipolar mood swings were also toned down in book 2.

The best aspect of Fifty Shades Darker was that the focus was more on Christian and his past. James delved into some of the reasons why Christian is the way he is. And for someone who made such a mess out of the 'plot' of the first book, she handled CG's problems in a very believable and convincing manner. Her writing definitely improved with this book as well.

One of the most compelling and brilliantly done scenes involves Christian falling to his knees in submission to Ana in an attempt to keep her from leaving him. It is a scene that all Grey-sessed fans know quite well, and it is easy to see why it is a favorite among the series.

This was by far my favorite book of the trilogy and with the exception of the very last scene (which honestly felt tagged on in order to qualify having a third book), Fifty Shades Darker was about as close to perfect as a dark erotic romance novel can get.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

God, this book was emotionally exhausting to read.

I had so many issues with this book, and yet I could not stop reading it. I likened it to a bad car accident on the side of the road that you know you shouldn't look at...but you just can't help yourself. And yet, with all the problems I have with FSOG, I still ended up giving this a 4 1/2 star rating. I know that sounds insane, but i will do my best to explain how I ended up doing so.

Let's start off with what I didn't like about the book.
First and foremost - Anastasia. In a word, her character was insufferable. I understand that she was intended to be a very wide-eyed, innocent girl who is overwhelmed by both Christian and his lifestyle. But, instead of innocent she came off as just plain childish and bratty. I have a very hard time taking a character seriously who is unable to refer to her own body parts as something other than 'down there.' Also, her mood swings were unbelievable. One minute she is gushing about how much she cares about Christian, and how he makes her feel special, and that his 'kinky ways' were hot...and the next she's whining that he frightens her, he's a stalker and a deviant, and she needs to run to the hills to get away from him.

Being that the POV is from Ana's perspective, there is much focus on her struggle to understand why CG wants to "hurt" her. And while I get that his lifestyle was overwhelming, he did warn her in the beginning that she probably couldn't handle what he wanted from her. And the fact that she continually changed her mind about entering into the Dom/sub relationship, only ended up hurting Christian, and f'ing him up even more than he already was.

Other issues that bugged me:
* A lot of repetition. Be it the mantra of 'Don't bite your lip.' or Ana's constant 'Oh my'. By the end of the book I had learned to ignore them, but was annoying.
* We all know by now that this started out as a Twilight fanfic. Which is fine, but sometimes the similarities were just glaringly obvious (Ana being so clumsy, CG being indescribably beautiful, the Washington/Seattle setting...some of the situations, even some of the dialogue was close to what was said in Twilight)

Having said all that...

In all my years of being a voracious reader, I can not remember the last time I devoured a book with as much intensity as I did Fifty Shades Of Grey. And then there is the fact that I absolutely adored Christian. As f'ed up as he was...he was still an amazing, and very captivating character.

Some readers have claimed that there were far too many sex scenes in this book. My reaction to that is, "Are you kidding me?" The whole reason most people are reading this book is for the sex, so don't try and get all prudish while reading a book about an admittedly watered down version of a BDSM relationship. :P

It might make no sense to anyone else...heck I'm still confused by how much enjoyment i got out of this book, despite the long list of problems I had with it.

I guess I can call Fifty Shades of Grey a guilty pleasure. And while I will no doubt be wanting to throttle Ana in the remaining two books, I still plan on diving into them with earnest.

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

She lives!

I know it's been a while.

Things have been....hectic. And crazy. First i went on vacation out to California, then i came back and was working like a madwoman, then I fell into my expected post-vacation slump/blues...add to that the fact that I have not been in the frame of mind (or really had the time) to do a lot of reading. I am hoping that over the next couple of weeks i will be able to get back into the swing of things.

I really hope you guys are willing to stick with me as i work through some things. I promise I will be back to my bookish ways very soon.

*hugs all around*