As promised, here is my entry for my current book addiction: E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
After my successful attempt to persuade my colleagues to get a copy and try to read The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, I was thinking of the next series that will captivate our attention. We have watched the movie adaptation of the first book, but we were disappointed in some ways. We need to move on. Fortunately, one day, a colleague sent me an e-mail on our possible next target. “Another THG in the making?”, she queried. I was intrigued. I downloaded the epubs attached in the mail and promised to get a glimpse on the first installment, as it appeared to be a trilogy, too.
When I had the free time, I opened my android ebook reader (my trusty Aldiko) and scanned my bookshelf for the Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s the first book, and I found myself reading the author’s biography and acknowledgement, which I rarely do when I read. I guess it’s because I was somehow curious about the author since I have heard many positive feedbacks regarding her writing.
The story started with the heroine complaining about how to put her hair into submission. Oh no, another teen fiction? Meg Cabot, anyone? I know I was a bit judgmental, so I tried returning my focus on the book. It’s light in the start, just the usual – a girl rambling about her physical appearance, unfairness of life (er, regarding her roommate’s condition), and God knows what else, poverty and global economic meltdown? Still, I gave the novel a try. I have been too enamored with my English literature set in Regency era, and I want a breath of fresh air. Perhaps this book will do.
After a few chapters, I got surprised. I was hooked! The story is like a modern Cinderella type. Witty but innocent woman who came from an average family falling to a young, gazillionaire rich, and amazingly handsome man. The story seems real, unlike my favorite dukes and earls. I went on reading, trying to tear the virtual page as I leafed through my ebook. The plot was intoxicating.
DON’T SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DO NOT WANT A SPOILER.
THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO STOP SCROLLING DOWN.
Well, if you are reading this sentence, it means that you did not heed my advice and shouty capitals (smirks). Well, here it goes:
Anastasia Steele, an English literature student, was volunteered to do an interview for the school paper since her roommate and friend, Kate Kavanagh, was ill. She drove to Seattle to interview one of the most eligible bachelor in the state, Mr. Christian Grey. He was incredibly young, yet had amassed a lot of companies and industries already on his own. Sexy as a Greek god, no wonder Miss Steele was easily attracted to him in the first place. On the other hand, Mr. Grey found her innocence and frequent blushing (her occupational hazard, she admits) quite refreshing and slowly realized that he, too, was attracted. However, what he had in mind for her was something that Miss Steele cannot even imagine. What he only wanted from her was to be his submissive, his sex slave, but what she expected was hearts and flowers – all those romantic gestures she learned from her literary heroes and heroines. She wanted more, more from his offer. More of him. So… the story… begins.
Enough of storytelling.
Yes, the novel introduced BDSM in the story, and I daresay that I was somehow culture shocked with the details mentioned in the book. However, the good thing was that James deviates from other BDSM and erotica authors by focusing the spotlight to the plot and its characters, and not the sexing.
The characters really grew into me. They are like normal people, unlike the current trend in supernatural vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels. Though I won’t go as far as to say that they act normal, as the hero, more than once acted anything but. I meant who would give an Audi as a graduation gift? Or fly to Seattle using a helicopter and pilot it? (Spoiler, I know.) Both the hero and the heroine enchanted my heart and made me feel like I really know them in person. And that perhaps is one of the reasons why a lot of people can’t stop talking about this trilogy. James have done an exemplary technique that not many authors can – capturing the readers’ attention and heart by giving them characters, who are not perfect and have a lot of flaws, to love. I guess appealing to the audience’ humanity by making the characters susceptible to faults and sins makes the readers relate to them somehow. And for that, I am giving James a two thumbs up, and toes, if I could.
Taking everything into account, I daresay that this is one hell of a masterpiece. It was very inspiring to note that Fifty Shades of Grey is James debut novel. I am in awe of her for making a successful series that will forever leave a mark in my heart. I don’t know where to go from here. Reading books with the same genre would feel weird, as I know deep in myself that nothing would compare to Christian Grey, his intelligent, no nonsense attitude; possessiveness and stalker tendencies bordering to insanity; unconditional love; and kinky fuckery (?). This novel definitely raised the bar for its genre. James proved that novels in this category have meat (and heart, too) and not only about sex and stuff. I commend her for this.
Well, I guess this write-up is getting too long. I can go on writing about the series as I am, in doubt, smitten with the story as Grey is with Steele. And as I finish writing this, I can’t help but wonder when will my own Christian Grey, my dear Fifty, will come. Or will he ever come? And then, as if I have won the state lottery, got the cure for cancer, or had the three wishes from Aladdin’s lamp, I smiled. Who knows? Like me, Anastasia Steele met his Grey when she was 21. Like me, she was also working in a publishing company. Hmm. The possibilities…