I’ve decided to half cannonball on this, the worst of all the books I’ve read this year. Mainly because that’s how it’s come up in my giant back log of reviews, but also because it somehow feels fitting after the way this year has gone.
I read the originals a year or so after they came out. They read like what they are: poorly written fan fiction based on a not particularly good original story. They’re problematic for all the reasons that have been discussed in zillions of online forums and think pieces. They’re also problematic for all the grammatical errors, the amount of suspension of disbelief that the reader needs to employ, the truly atrocious writing, and the fact that the reader is expected to believe that a college student in the year 2011 does not own a computer or a cell phone.
Grey is problematic for all the same reasons, but it’s also problematic because it’s extra rapey and stalkery, which I know are not actual words, but whatever. Language evolves. Although I’m not sure that E. L. James knows that, because she only knows about a dozen words. (Hmm, sound like someone we all know?)
Summary: Christian Grey is a tortured kazillionaire of indeterminate age, but I’m guessing mid- to late-twenties. Like all millennials, he owns, among other things, a penthouse apartment in the sky, a helicopter, and a fleet of vehicles.(Note to Chris: you aren’t Ranger, so stop it.) Also like all millennials, he has made all his money in some mysterious company called GreyEnterprisesHoldingsCompanyLLCIncorporated. (Note to Chris: you also aren’t Roarke, so stop it.) Chris meets Ana, the dull-looking, brown haired, twenty one year old college student virgin who doesn’t own any technology but does own a vintage VW bug, and wants to boff her. Actually, scratch that. He wants to tie her up, humiliate her, torture her, and then boff her. And then, and this is the most important part, he wants to discard her. Christian has Mommy Issues. So after much hand wringing and temper tantrum throwing and stalking and food policing and birth control controlling, they do those things. And then Ana freaks and goes to Savannah to see her mom, and Christian follows her, and then aoidjnwmfslkkjfpo;lawr.d
Sorry. I fell asleep. I don’t care any more. You don’t care any more either. You know the story. The story sucks. The story is boring.
Anyway, I know that the originals are rapey and stalkery and not at all representative of a healthy BDSM relationship, but I either forgot how bad it was, or, and I think this is more likely, Grey is actually WORSE than the originals. And then it just…ENDS. Like, practically in the middle of a word. Which made me CRAZY because the part of me that hates to leave things unfinished really wants to read the second installment, Grey-er, or whatever it’s called. But part of me is scared to do that, because look what happened to Katie when she tried to read it.
AND STOP WRITING IN PRESENT TENSE. I HATE THAT WITH THE POWER OF A THOUSAND SUNS. IT’S JUVENILE. AND STUPID. AND I HATE IT. A LOT. IT’S STUPID. AND UNIMAGINATIVE. AND STUPID. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT.
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