Fifty Shades of Grey

Written by: E.L. James

Published By: Vintage

Reviewed by Dorothy Doremus

                I had no intentions of reading this novel...literally none!  One day, I was having lunch with a group of friends who could not believe I had not read this book.  The shock on their faces was like something out of a horror movie.  I was waiting for the screams next. 

                I reluctantly downloaded Fifty Shades of Grey on my Kindle so others wouldn't see what I was reading.  I did not want the fanfare of giggles and finger pointing that I have seen at the local bookstore when someone would be perusing the aisle in which the book could be found.  So imagine my surprise when I started to read what is considered to be a middle-aged person's soft porn novel and found a lot more.

                The story begins with Anastasia Steele, a young lady ready to graduate college, who is assisting her sick friend.  Anastasia reluctantly agrees to go to an interview with the elusive billionaire Christian Grey for her friend.  From the moment these characters first meet, they embark on an amazing cat and mouse game. 

                Readers will notice that while Christian Grey has some very interesting hobbies, there is another side to this complicated character.  I have heard that many people found Christian Grey to be horrible...just not a "nice man."  I did not come away with the same impression.  I am not saying that his taste in intimacy is comfortable for most people - it isn't, which is why some of his actions can be considered cruel - but there are flashes of who he really wants to be that come through, such as when Anastasia joins him on a ride in a glider plane.  It's kind of funny, but in some spots, I could almost relate it to a Pretty Woman were it not for the S&M.

                Granted, I do not want to sugar coat this read.  It is filled with really explicit material and is not for anyone using a pacemaker.  I really think if you can get past a lot of the explicit material and get to know the characters, you will find this book enjoyable.  If I believed all of the negative opinions I heard about the characters in Fifty Shades of Grey, I would have most certainly skipped this book and missed out.

                If you can handle the subject matter and the very x-rated material, you can be pleasantly surprised by this novel.  The chemistry created between the characters by E.L. James is amazing and beats anything I have ever read in any Danielle Steele novel, even without the explicit scenes.  Some of my favorite parts of the novel are the banter takes place between the characters in emails. 

                So, please, don't make the mistake of missing out on this Fifty Shades of Grey because of its reputation.  Take a chance.  If you are on the fence about it, just download it to a device so others can't tell you're reading it.  If you don't agree with my love of the characters, you can at least enjoy the explicit scenes while sipping from a glass of wine.


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