So I admit it...I caved to Pop Culture. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I hemmed and hawed...hemmed and hawed...and then, when I was invited to join a book club that was currently reading Fifty Shades, I decided to just go for it.
Well....it was interesting. If you aren't familiar with Fifty Shades (in other words if you live under a rock) it's a current best seller that was originally written as a fan fiction piece based on the characters from Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. (And if you haven't heard of Twilight you probably are living under a rock, and therefore not reading my blog because you don't have internet access.) The controversy/appeal/subject of the book is a BDSM relationship between the innocent Anna Steele and the dashingly handsome, zillionaire sadist, Christian Grey. And yes, I had to look up what BDSM stands for. (Bondage & Discipline Sadomasochism) *Please feel free to stop reading here if that weirds you out. And you're welcome for the heads up in case you were thinking about picking up a copy and that weirds you out. Everyone else...read on...
So here's the thing. It's pretty graphic. And pretty weird (Kinky Fuckery anyone?). But it wasn't as bad as I had expected. Before I read the book I watched a discussion about it on the Today show and they were talking about the positive effects it has on women and empowering them to take control of their sex lives. And I can see that, it certainly is...um...moving(?). But all I could think, the entire time I was reading it, was "Wow. This is JUST like Twilight." By which I mean that the storyline is "eh," the characters are "eh," and the writing itself is "eh." (Funny fact, the author is British and the characters are all American, but they often speak in "British" so it seems like they are coming from a 19th century British Romance.) What strikes me though, is the relationship between the characters. It is EXACTLY like the relationship in Twilight. Completely Unrealistic. It bothered me when I read Twilight, and it bothered me when I read Fifty Shades. The all consuming, you are my universe, only you can provide my happiness, I am nothing without you, relationship isn't realistic. Call me pessimistic, but I'm pretty sure real love, real relationships, real marriages are a balance of love, compromise, hard work, passion, cooperation and independence. It bothered me more with Twilight, since it was written for a young female audience, but I hate to think that people reading these books think that all relationships are like that and that they are a failure if they haven't found someone like Christian Grey of Edward Cullen.
At the end of the day, I'll say this: If you are looking for a quick, steamy (ok, it's more than steamy) read to spice up your love life, grab a copy, and prepare for some really late nights. If you're looking for something well written, realistic and filled with meaningful messages and insight...pass. Pass right by.
(Confession...I didn't just read Fifty Shades of Grey over the last few days. (sigh) I read the whole trilogy. So don't get the impression that I didn't enjoy them....hehehehe)