**The content in this post is intended for mature audiences.**
My thoughts on the entire trilogy.
Here a bit about the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James:
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind – until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her – but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
This trilogy was an interesting mix for me. It started out interesting in the sense that it wasn’t that great, but it was like the car crash you couldn’t look away from. Throughout the entire trilogy one longlasting issue I had was the very anti-feminism in it. I was embarrassed for the main character – she exerts no control over her life once Christian has walked into it. I should have done a search and find to see how many times the phrase “You. Are. Mine.” are spoken on the part of Christian to Ana, it was just very uncomfortable to read about. She lets him decide she’s getting depo-provera shots for heavens sake, I thought that some things like that went a bit too far, and it was that that kept me from liking the first one and from really enjoying the second two. Also, the writing was not the best, to a point where it did lessen my view of the trilogy.
Fifty Shades of Grey – 2 stars: There has been so much hype and craze around these books in the past weeks, so I just had to know for myself what the craze was about. And I will admit, it did have an addicting quality, because I just needed to know what would happen next. As I talked about above, I had a lot of moral issues with this one. I didn’t need Ana to be the strongest female lead ever, but it was the lack of any sort of anything that bothered me. She just let him decide everything for her, and even in the instances where she did put up a “fight”, it was easily ended with a look or statement from Christian.
There were a few scenes that kind of grossed me out throughout this one, like the scene where Ana uses Christian’s toothbrush (hello, GERMS?) There was also the issue that there was hardly any build up to Christian and Ana’s relationship. She interviews him and already things are starting to hit it off. Then she drunk calls him, and that’s pretty much it.
There were some great moments throughout the book – most of them were the ones with the other characters of the book. Jose, Kate, Elliot, Christian’s family, they were all great, and were actually my favorite part of the book. They really were just awesome characters, and they sold the book for me.
Fifty Shades Darker – 3.5 stars: Reading the second installment in this trilogy, my biggest issue again was Ana and Christian’s relationship! Most of the things I had issues with in Fifty Shades of Grey were very toned down in this one, as their relationship became more “normal”, which was nice. The lack of Ana asserting any control over her life was probably the biggest fault of this one. I understand the way she was supposed to be characterized, but I felt like she felt very fake and not real in the way she is completely passive. There was a lot more substance to the story of this one. While there were things besides the relationship with Ana and Christian in book 1, there was a lot more of it in this one, severalof them being “aw” moments which is always nice. The characters remain one of my favorite things about this series – Christian’s family is too awesome. After finishing, I was super excited to see how the trilogy would end.
Fifty Shades Freed – 4.5 stars: What a long way this trilogy has come for me! Fifty Shades Freed was my favorite book of the trilogy. The story grew so much from where it started, and in this one there was so much else going on, that I felt like some of the focus on Ana and Christian’s relationship was scaled back. The one issue I had with this one was the random time jumps. You could be on one day, then the next sentence you were in a flashback or the next day, and it become really confusing. It would take me a minute to adjust to the fact that the time jumps were happening. I thought the villain was a bit lame in his motives, but his actions still made the book exciting. As ever, I really love the characters – they seriously are the best part of this series.
*Edit* A comment reminded me I completely forgot to comment on Ana’s “Inner Goddess”, who was obnoxious and while it was clever the first few times she made an appearance, she showed up WAY too much.