.hello.grey- A Shades Trilogy Review

Let’s be candid, can we be candid here? Is anyone even reading this? Hm… Well, let’s start by saying this is pg21, no one over the age of 21 needs to read it. There, it’s out there, mature audience only. And no family. None of my family needs to read this.  Oh and SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the books, and you don’t want to know what happens, don’t read this. I’m not planning on going into major plot points but I am covering my thoughts on all 3 books.

I read Fifty Shades of Grey (and Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, once you pop, right?) . I am not less of a woman. I have not demeaned my sex, and I’m pretty sure my religion wasn’t affected. Now that I think of it, no, it wasn’t.  In fact, I had fun, and I giggled, and I actually felt pretty and sexual for the first time in years. Yep, I read smutty trash and I feel like a better woman for it.
When I heard all these talks of Fifty Shades of Grey, at first I rolled my eyes (which now gets me excited, giggly, and a bit twitterpated if you will. *teehee*) and thought that an erotic novel, ESPECIALLY one about BDSM would never be for me. I love to read but I’m also very frugal so instead of spending $16 plus tax to jump right into the genre, I decided to test the waters online when I found The Claiming Of Sleeping Beauty which I heard was much more well written and a better story and GASP it was about a fairytale character! I love fairytale characters; actually children’s lit is my preferred reading of choice, so that would be perfect right? It is also a BDSM novel so this would give me the chance to see what it was all about. OH NO! I got 2 chapters in and I was thoroughly overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Pony play. That’s all I’ll say. Eeep! That ended my desire to know any more about BDSM, much less read any books about it. It was simply too much for me. I’m sure there are plenty that would interested in that book, and from its amazon book reviews, for its genre it’s genius, for me, it was scary. A friend of mine started reading Fifty and when I asked her to clarify she said, while she blushed a lot, and put her Kindle down even more, it wasn’t too rough for her. So, being the kind of person I am, if she can do it, I can do it! I went out to Books a Million on a Monday, sold out. What?! I suppose that has something to say for the book though. They told me it would be back in on Wednesday when they got their next shipment, so on Wednesday I went back, still no books until later that night. Wednesday night I went back and I finally achieved my goal. Book in hand, I set home to read and find out what all the fuss was about, and find out I did! I stayed up all night reading and was well over half way done by Thursday.  I will say EL James is no literary genius, but she does know how to get you to turn a page, in fact I finished book 1 Friday morning at around 7:30am and I waited in the Books A Million parking lot until 9am when they opened to get the second (and I went ahead and bought the third just in case). * Just a recommendation, the first ends with a cliffhanger, go ahead and get the first two so you aren’t stuck like I was!*  And today exactly one week and one day since I got the first book, I finished the third, and I can’t help but feeling sad and wanting for more. I actually would have finished much earlier, but I had a company over the weekend and my husband has been fighting the flu for 5 days or so now.  So, now that you know the back story, let me actually review the book and tell you what it’s done for me.

Like I said, EL James is not going to be the next JK Rowling, she’s no Jane Austen, but she gets you turning a page. Well, she did me anyway. The read was easy and breezy and although I did have to pull out the dictionary a couple of times (no judgments!!) the books were fast to get through and I could get wrapped up in the story line.  If you took out all the sexual activity, there is still a plot, and they’d still love each other in the end. I like that.
In case you haven’t heard, it’s based off Twilight Fanfiction. Yep. That was a total turn off to me at first because I didn’t want to perceive the characters and ones I’d seen before. I wanted new people to fall in love with and I didn’t want to ‘precast’ in my head. Now, I’m not knocking fanfiction. One of my best friends is a fanfiction writer, and I dare say she’s the best of the best.  Could she change out some names and publish a book from her work? Absafreakinglutely! She’s good. She’s great! (Go check out her stories, and if you like True Blood, read Blood of my Blood. She wrote it for me, so it’s kinda really my favorite!) So I know my fanfiction about as well as anyone who doesn’t write it can know it. The one thing I love about fanfiction is the thing I love about this book, what you want to happen… HAPPENS! You want them to fall madly in love!  You want them to be together forever! You want them to have a family and a normal life! AND THEY DO! It’s a happy ending! The great thing about fanfiction is that you don’t have to have conflict just for the sake of moving the plot, but this book did have conflict (a lot of conflict!), and the plot still moved forward, but you got your happy ending! Hooray!  She didn’t change the characters a great deal. I could still pick out every character in her book in relation to the character in the twilight books (accept Bella, thank GOD Ana was different enough from Bella for me to actually like her. She had girl balls. I respect that.) but she did put her own spin on them. Honestly, if she hadn’t being confined to the Twilight characters, she probably could have had more wiggle room and done more with the characters she created.
That being said, as far as Christian and Ana go, I loved them. It sounds odd, but when I wasn’t reading, I missed them, wondering what was going to happen with them next. I personally found a connection with them. It’s nothing new for me to get emotionally attached to characters though. The rest of the characters were strained to me, but the main two had a flow that was perfection. My one HUGE complaint, these two should never be able to name children. Seriously. Their baby names. Ugh. Personal opinion of course, but ugh.

As far as was it a good BDSM book? Well, I really don’t know, as I know nothing of the subject, but I do know it was starkly different from the Sleeping Beauty book and that was well known BDSM. Maybe it was BDSM lite? Diet BDSM? He was sweet and gentle with her too and didn’t do much of anything I probably wouldn’t try with my husband (okay, that’s not true, but I’m much braver in blog than I am in real life!). Was it a good erotic novel? Well, I can’t really help you out much there either. The closest I’ve ever come to erotic novels was that wedding planning series by Nora Roberts, and who didn’t love those? They really got my goose. (Is that even a phrase? Pretty sure I just made that up.)

Here’s what the book did for me. It made me feel pretty again. Confident. Much like Ana’s character, the further the books went on, the better I felt about myself and the more self assured I got. You see, Christian gloats on her throughout the book. We get to see how attracted he is to her, see the sweet things he tell her that make her feel more attractive, to let her know he wanted her. I’ve heard those very same things from my husband. In fact, there were several things in the book that Christian did or said that I can very clearly hear my husband saying, see my husband doing, and it made me realize- I have that affect over someone too. I move someone like that as well. It was a glorious feeling. It made me want to be better for him. To be more attractive for him. To try harder. And I have. And he’s noticed. 😉

I’m not going to lie or sugar coat this. My life in the bedroom has most always been strained. This is by no fault my husbands. Unfortunately, due to health and body issues beyond my control, I just can’t do what other girls do without being in a severe amount of pain, and it sucks. When it’s always painful or when you can never relax or when you feel so self conscious about what you can and can’t do, you begin to degrade yourself to not want to do it at all. Let me just say, I started reading this series one week ago and I lost count after our 11th time by Friday. Yep. Sorry for the TMI, sorry for my candor, but yep. And I’m pretty darn proud of myself! J My husband asked if these kinds of books made women more adventurous. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say I feel like it gives women a safe place to explore. We can read in detail about a specific act, see how it affects a character we’ve grown attached to, roll it around in our brains for a bit and decide if it’s a right fit for us or if it’s something we’d be willing to try.  There were things in the book that after I read it, I knew straight away I wouldn’t want to do, and then there were things I’d never thought to explore and those perked my ears up. The benefit was that I got to read what to expect and know if the outcome was something I’d be interested in. That is how I see it anyway.

Just a quick little “this can’t be normal, but it’s my life” moment- My Mother in Law told me she hoped this book got me pregnant and I should only read it when my husband was home from work. Yep. Said it. To my face. This automatically makes my mother in law better than anyone else’s. But we have been trying for 2 years and she is obviously ready for grandkids so maybe this will happen-

So anyway, I personally give this book 2 thumbs up, not for having perfect writing or being the masterpiece of our generation, but because it was a fun, flirty novel that gave me a wonderful week of adventure and promise of ‘more’. If you want to try it out I say, borrow it, read the first 8 chapters, then decide. You’ll know after that if you’re going to like it or not. I’ve been recommending it to all of my friends. I’d love to know what you thought about it, good or bad! Was there anything Christian did that you decided you wanted to try yourself? Leave it in the comments! Laters, baby! 😉


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