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Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker,
& Fifty Shades Freed
by E.L. James

Unless you live under a rock (and hey, no judgment if you do), I’m sure you’ve heard of the E.L. James best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed, respectively). After having finished reading In the Garden of Beasts, I was searching for a lighter read. A fluff book if you will. Then my roommate asked me if I’d ever heard of a book called Fifty Shades of Grey. This was a couple of weeks before the phenomenon had really hit and I admitted that I had not yet heard of said book. She said it was a pretty good book and she was enjoying it so far but then she lowered her voice a bit and admitted “It’s a bit dirty though.” Dirty you say? Do go on. She told me her cousin’s wife turned her onto the book (hah, turned her on, no pun intended I swear. It’s almost too easy!) and that parts of it were quite raunchy. And so, I decided to give it a shot.

Let me first start off by saying that these really aren’t good books. Did I enjoy them? You betcha I did. Are they a great literature? Absolutely not. But that’s just the thing with these books: you can’t go into them expecting great literature. You have to go into them expecting lots of dirty sex, romance, and an entertaining story. That’s all folks. If you set your expectations higher than this, you’ll come away disappointed.

There are so, so many things that actually frustrated me about these books. For starters, they’re completely unrealistic. If you expect me to believe that a 22 year old girl living in this day and age does not own a computer and somehow managed to graduate college then you must take me for some sort of moron. Oh and let me just walk on down to the bank and withdraw a couple million dollars in cash. No big deal. C’MON. Do banks even have that much cash in them? I mean maybe they do but I’m sure they can’t just give it to you at the drop of a hat even if you do have that kind of money to play with (lucky bastard whoever you are). Also, the nicknames: Anastasia’s tortured Fifty, her “sex” (it’s called a vagina) and little baby Blip. I laughed multiple times throughout the course of the books just at the nicknames!

And yet, with all the frustrations, I couldn’t stop reading. If anything, in some sick and twisted way it made me enjoy the books that much more! I found myself saying “so what they’re not well written!” and “so what they’re completely unrealistic!” because honestly, everyone deserves to have a little guilty pleasure. And for millions of women everywhere, their guilty pleasure was or still is Fifty Shades of Grey. And yes, I do hate using the word pleasure to describe any part of this book, but moving on…

These books are fun. If anything, I love talking about them with all of my girlfriends while our boyfriends sit and listen to us with a sense of confusion and at the same time, slight interest. “What are these kinky books my girlfriend is reading? And who the hell is Christian Grey? What does he have that I don’t have?” That would be what is called the Red Room of Pain. Or hey, maybe he does, like I said at the beginning no judgment here.

So kudos to you, E.L. James. I’m just mad at myself that I didn’t try to write something like this first. If I had, maybe I could have tried withdrawing a cool million from the bank just to see if I could!

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