Saturday, June 23, 2012

50 Shades of Meh

It wasn't until I read that libraries were banning the books that I had even heard of the 50 Shades trilogy. In scanning the May article the phrase "mommy porn" caught my attention. So, the book was supposed to be popular with middle-aged women? Apparently I had missed the "all read" memo.

Two weeks ago I was attempting to take advantage of a "Spend $75, get $10 off" Target coupon. My purchases were running about $10 shy, so I headed to their Books section, intending to the get The Vow. On display were the 50 Shades books. Recalling the article, I decided to get the first book instead. In using the coupon the book was basically free and I thought, "What the hell. Let's see what all the fuss is about."

I didn't dive into the book right away as I was reading another book at the time. I did ask a co-worker if she'd heard about the book. She'd heard there was controversy surrounding the book, but didn't know much else about it. Chad said all the teachers (female, of course) at his school were reading the books. Apparently the characters had sex all the time.

I started the book on Tuesday and I was pissed after the first chapter. Holy crap. Really? What college graduate says that? This book, and in essence this dialogue, is supposed to be popular with middle-aged women? I suspended my disbelieve and read on.

I quickly realized that the book is not specifically written for middle-aged women, as I had originally thought. (No wonder there was no memo.) The repititous dialogue and extremely weak storyline make this more of a young adult novel. The first sex scene is highly descriptive; after that it's highly repetitive. (Yes, they do have sex. All the time.) With each turn of the page I wondered why I continued to read. It certainly wasn't for the sex or BDSM. (Mommy porn? Oh, please. Don't make me laugh.) Ana is a ridiculously naive twit and Christian is a despicable control freak.

I held on almost 400 pages with the hope that Christian would develop some redeemable qualities. It didn't happen. I am relieved that Ana never signed "the contract" and made the right choice. Though with two more books, I know she won't stay true to herself or her convictions.

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