Seeing as today sees the hotly anticipated release of the movie ’50 Shades of Grey’, I thought I’d refresh you all on one of my earliest book reviews.
This is the review that kind of kick-started my reviewing life, earned me a co-writer spot on ‘Liz Loves Books’, and gave birth to my ‘pulls no punches’ reputation… It is also one of the harshest reviews I have ever written (and that’s saying something!) – although I am always honest, I’m not usually quite so mean…Hmm… well here is the review anyway. Let me know whether you agree or not!
Published by Vintage
Source: Purchased Copy
When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.
The irony of rating these as a 1 star (the author could spell) and yet having read all 3 books is not lost on me. However, being hit bestsellers, you find yourself willing them to get better and anticipating that you will indeed be rewarded for sticking with them…well it turns out I’m never going to get those days back!
The leading (ahem) ‘lady’, Anastasia Whatsherface, wasn’t the best modern role model for young women – and no I don’t mean because she liked it rough in the bedroom! Fill your boots love! – but because she was probably the most pathetic lead character I’ve ever come across; needy, snivelling, and presumably with a very sore bottom lip.
And Christian Grey was spoilt, childish and manipulative – hardly charming or sexy in my opinion.
I suspect James had a word count quota beyond her capabilities – hence the ridiculous amount of repetition, for example ‘Oh my!’ showed its face perhaps every other paragraph. And Anastasia biting her lower lip in order to seduce Mr Grey at every opportunity was my own personal torture!
I don’t like to give such negative reviews, and kudos to James for making a huge buck out of essentially one page of writing and some extensive copy and pasting, but I just cannot comprehend the success, and am even embarrassed to say that yes I’ve read ‘those’ books – and not in a naughty, flushed face kind of way.