Sunday, May 6, 2012

Semi-live blog reading of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Hi all! I'm writing here to say that I'm going to try to do the same thing with Fifty Shades of Grey that I did with A Shore Thing.  I'm going to be tweeting and trying to blog my reactions to the book as I read it. I will warn you, it's finals season so I might take a break for studying.

I have to admit that I've been curious about it, and how couldn't I? It's not just a fanfiction turned NYT bestseller, but it's a TWILIGHT EROTIC fanfiction. How can you really resist the urge to see thinly veiled depictions of Bella and Edward indulge in poorly written sex scenes? (Easily, but that's besides the point.) Where else can you flip through a book and randomly fall onto a page where our hero and heroine are discussing whether or not fisting will be part of their daily routine? (If you don't know what this is, please Google with caution!)

As evidenced by the remark above, this will not be censored and I will have to mention some sexual things in order to review and comment on the book. Please proceed with caution if you are easily offended by sexual gymnastics, anything BDSM related, or just by poor writing or blogging.

So it goes...

  • The book opens with Bella Anastasia being persuaded by her bestest friend ever to interview Edward Christian Grey, mega-zillionaire. But... isn't Ana a literature student? I'm not really sure that a lit student would really have the training needed to conduct a successful interview with an incredibly rich and powerful person. Isn't there anyone else in her friend's program that would be better suited? 
  • Oh, and Christian has "Grey House" written on the doors to his skyscraper, but it's OK because it's "discreet". Yeah. (Not that there's anything wrong with having this written on a building, but I'm more picking that it's called "discreet", being written above the doors of a huge building.
  • I just realized that if you put the names "Grey" and "Steele" together, you get "Steele-Grey". 
  • And of course there's a lot of stammering going on. If this were a movie, I'd imagine that Ana would have gnawed her lower lip off by now. 
  • Page 11: The first mention of beautiful, but not the first mention of how hot Christian is. 
  • ‎(facepalms) OK, so I just read that Grey rarely gives out interviews. And he's big and powerful. And *why* exactly did Kate insist on sending an untrained friend in her place? Oh, that's right. To give us a reason for the two to meet so that Christian can show Ana his "fifty shades".
  • And despite sounding like a dip, Christian decides to show her around. 
  • Oh look, it only took 23 pages for us to have a guy fall all over Ana, who could care less.
  • Line of the minute: "His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something."
  • Next line of the minute: ‎"I gasp involuntarily as I feel it all the way down to somewhere dark and unexplored, deep in my belly."
  • So we've had chapters 1 & 2, which comprise of our dynamic duo meeting, Ana eating, and the two finally re-meeting at Ana's construction store job. (Considering how clumsy she is, you'd think they wouldn't have trusted her with sharp objects.) Now for chapter three. So far there's plenty of bad lines, but no sex.
  • "I am restless that night, tossing and turning, dreaming of smoky gray eyes, coveralls, long legs, long fingers, and dark, dark unexplored places."
  • Yay, more scenes of Ana stammering and thinking to herself about how hawt Christian is. Well, this was a Twific originally, so I can't be too surprised. 
  • Nothing brings people closer together like someone almost getting hit by a swift cyclist.
  • Chapter 4: in which our heroine tells us that she's too much of a skinny, ugly freak to attract any guys. Seriously.
    • "And that night, I dream of gray eyes and leafy patterns in milk, and I'm running through dark places with eerie strip lighting, and I don't know if I'm running towards something or away from it... it's just not clear." (You're telling me?)
    • Ana has just drunk dialed Christian. He arrives just in time to keep Ana from the unwanted advances of a friend.
    • Christian Grey's monogram is CTG. What can the middle initial stand for? I'm guessing Tito. Who wouldn't want to be named after the dad of the Jackson Five?
  • Chapter 5: In which our heroine wakes up after drinking so much that she puked and passed out, yet has no real hangover to speak of. And has a sexy encounter in an elevator.
  • Chapter 6: In which Ana gets a ride (no, not that type, not yet anyway), signs a confidentiality agreement, and discovers that Christian doesn't "make love". He fucks... hard.
  • Chapter 7: In which our heroine explores our hero's S&M playroom, loses her cherry, and goes over a contract for complete domination.
    • I guess the new "third date" rule is that you can now take your potential lover to your "red room of pain" and go over an extensive slave/dom document that allows the dom to do whatever they want. Just getting laid is for wimps.
    • Chapter 8: In which our heroine finally gets a good hard dicking and we get some of the most memorable lines of the book.
      • ‎"The muscles inside the deepest, darkest part of me clench in the most delicious fashion."
      • ‎"Two orgasms... coming apart at the seasms, like the spin cycle on a washing machine, wow.
      • Chapter 9:In which our heroine learns the fine art of soaping and we are re-told that Christian is a big boy.
        • ‎"I want you to become well acquainted, on first name terms if you will, with my favorite and most cherished part of my body. I'm very attached to this." Very attached, indeed.
          • How big is this tub? Despite the fact that both of them (I presume) are still sitting in this tub, Grey is so big that his erection is "above the water line".
        • ‎"My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves."
        • "He's my very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle."
        • So Anna's gotten her some popsicle and is now getting tied up with what I can only assume is the tie from the cover of the novel.
        • And Christian loves her smell. If you thought dirty things, then your head is in the right place. Apparently, so is Christian's.
        • Chapter 10: In which our heroine meets the mom, does some really boring stuff, and does something really rare: eats something. Other than a Christian-Grey-flavored popsicle.
          • OK, this chapter really hammers something in here, and it's not Ana. No, it's that Ana's pretty much an anorexic. She rarely eats. If I were doing a drinking game based on the amount of times Ana eats enough to count as a meal, I'd never get drunk.
            • I think I'd have taken all of two drinks by now.
          • Here's something I raised an eyebrow at. We're told that Christian had his first sexual encounter at 15 with a friend of his mom's. It's BDSM sex and Christian gives no signs that the sex was anything other than consensual, but Ana immediately considers it sexual abuse. (Not that I'd be hard pressed to argue with her, but I'd have like to have seen her muse over it and have the two talk about it for a while.)
          • (Upon talking about the term "vanilla sex".) "I thought it was chocolate fudge brownie sex that we had, with a cherry on the top."
            • BTW, if anyone's curious, vanilla sex is ordinary sex with no S&M elements involved therein
        • Chapter 11: In which we learn the details of The Contract.
          • In a nutshell, this pretty much states that while Ana is free to back out of the contract at any time, she can set limits, have a safeword, and that it'll only be for set periods, she's ultimately owned by Christian. Now I need to emphasize that stuff  like this is actually pretty normal for relationships like this, although I'm not sure at the whole "making it into a formal paper contract" part.
          • We also get a section for food and self-maintenance, which to be honest... Ana needs. She doesn't eat
          • There's also discussion over what the limits will be. Fisting is brought up. (If you're not aware of what this is, be aware that Google searching this will have a steep learning curve.)
          • "The only man I've ever been attracted to, and he comes with a bloody contract, a flogger, and a whole world of issues." (Ana Steele, putting it mildly.)
          • Awww... Christian gave Ana a Mac. (This will either be terribly sweet or be the worst gift ever, depending on what your feelings are for Apple products.)
        • Chapter 12: In which Ana goes running, tries joking (and fails), and sets some limits.
          • And gets laid.
        • Chapter 13:  In which our heroine has yet another guy fall all over her, natch.
          • "It slips down my throat, all sea water, salt, the sharp tang of citris, and fleshiness... ooh."
            • Now the first time I had oysters, it wasn't anything like this. It was less fleshiness and more along the lines of "oh, they didn't clean all of the sand out of this thing".
        • Chapter 14: In which our heroine has a wet dream involving a whip, graduates from college, and learns something new about Christian.
          • "I didn't know I could dream sex. Was it something I ate?"
          • "Unbidden, I recall my dream from this morning, and the muscles in my belly do the delectable clench thing."
            • Is it just me, or does it seem like most of Ana's muscle clenching seem more like she really needs to poo?
        • Chapter 15: In which Ana goes over her limits and gets a (cue Bob Barker voice) BRAND! NEW! CAR!
          • Unsurprisingly, she says no to the anal/vaginal fisting.
          • "I'll agree to the fisting, but I'd really like to claim your ass, Anastasia. But we'll wait for that. Besides, it's not really something we can dive into."
            • No, if you could dive into it then she'd probably have no issues with the fisting.
          • "Obediently, I turn, and my heart is thumping, desire instantly replacing unease, coursing through my blood and settling dark and yearning, low, low in my belly."
            • I'm not sure whether I want to hand her a bottle of Pepto Bismol or a glow in the dark dildo so that we'll stop getting descriptions of "dark places" and "dark yearnings".
          • "My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream."
            • It just struck me that for this inner goddess to be so well defined and for Ana to reference her so much, this might be considered a split personality.
        • Chapter Sixteen: In which our heroine gets a spanking and our author references the book title.
          • Ah, pillow talk... when you really get to know all about your partner, their quirks, their dreams, and in Christian's case, when your sex partner will be getting her period.
          • "My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid, desire. He gazes at me, waiting, eyes blazing."
            • If I had a dollar for every comma in that sentence, I'd be able to buy her some medicine for the liquid contorting in Ana's insides.
        • Chapter Seventeen: In which something inside of our heroine clenches and unclenches (again), she realizes that spanking can be done for debasement (um, you did google BDSM, right Ana?), and gets on Christian's whirly bird. (His helicopter, I mean.)
          • "Everything deep in my body uncurls and then clenches in delicious anticipation. The feeling is exquisite."
            • Seriously, I'm beginning to think that Ana either has the trots or an overly large tapeworm.
          • Ana emails Christian, saying that she felt humiliated by the spanking, to which he replies that it was meant to humiliate and debase her. 
            • While this is sort of something that she could've easily found by googling, is anyone a little irritated that Ana has to Google everything rather than sit down and talk things through with Christian? You'd think he'd enjoy being able to train someone from the start.
            • Or that at the very least, she'd have gone to her local Barnes & Nobles to find a "how to" book about BDSM? Or maybe gone into one of the internet forums out there and posted anonymously? Christian said that she couldn't discuss anything about him, but I imagine that if she did it anonymously, that could skirt around that rule.
          • "Butterflies flood my belly - as well as a darker, carnal, captivating ache as I try to imagine what he will do to me ..."
            • Gotcha. It's tapeworms. They have a pill for that, you know. 
          • "My inner goddess has her pom-poms in hand - she's in cheerleading mode."
            • And there's her split personality again.
          • We get a lovely description of bodily clenching again, which is just as good since now Christian has a gynecologist coming in to scope out Ana's naughty bits and put her on birth control. 
            • Ahh... romance!
        • Chapter Eighteen: In which our heroine gets gynecologically spelunked and then well... just spelunked.
          • I can't help but imagine how uncomfortable of a situation it must have been for a gyn doctor to see someone at their own home without any sort of stirrups to help their vision. 
            • Although despite his claims that he doesn't like any sort of gynecological products in his sex play, Christian strikes me as the type of guy to own a butt funnel
          • We get a long and extended scene of Christian whipping Ana with a leather crop, which is supposed to be sexy but only serves to remind me of how the book is beating the plot to death with the repeated usage of the word "clench" and descriptions of how hawt and sezzy Christian is.


        1. I like TWILIGHT EROTIC fanfiction. I'm expecting to read yours.

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        2. No no, there's nothing that I or anyone else could write that would ever top Fifty Shades.