Friday, May 18, 2012

'Fifty Shades' of Holy $#!& (Not a Book for Prudes)

I'm trying to think of something intelligent to say about E.L. James' "Fifty Shades" trilogy.

But the simple truth is that it really just makes you think of sex ALL THE TIME.  Like, seriously.  All the time.  I think my IQ dropped for the 2 days I spent reading these books.

Some people are calling these books "mommy porn," (which is a dumb name in and of itself because, I mean, are mommies not allowed to watch regular porn?) and I get that -- it's pretty graphic stuff wrapped up in romance and dominance and submission and a hot male lead character and unconditional love and all the other stuff women generally crave in romance novels.  But there are also some funny moments in the books (I smile whenever the heroine's subconscious or inner goddess pops up, and the emails exchanged between our lovebirds kind of make your toes curl), some heartbreaking moments, and yes, some moments where I'm hiding the pages I'm reading from everyone around me because God I'd die if they knew what it said.

There are things in these books that just make you blush.  You won't be able to help it.

They're saying these books are akin to Twilight and I agree and disagree.  I agree because Fifty Shades started out as an alternate universe Twilight fanfic -- and those of us who grew up writing fanfic realize that this is the dream: to get published.  There are similarities, of course: both series are PNW-based, with a rich as sin, troubled guy and young, innocent girl.  Both are written in the first person (and the writing will not score either of these series a place in the halls of great, classic literature).  Both actually feature classic literature as a theme -- though this dies off in Fifty Shades.  And both are pretty addicting.  Like crack, according to a friend of mine who, incidentally, is a mommy.  But these books are also so much more adult than Twilight (mainly because I would seriously question anyone who let someone under 18 read them -- they are definitely rated NC-17).

I also don't want to smack our Fifty Shades heroine (ha.  hahahaha.) the way I wanted to smack Bella half the time.  So that's an improvement.

But with that all said, will I recommend these books to my mother or sisters? No.  Emphatically, no.  I'd rather poke my eyeballs out or have the ground swallow me up in embarrassment.

Would I recommend these books to someone who's looking for something deep, something well-written, something...well, quality?  Probably not. The first 20 pages or so are pretty challenging to get through, even for someone like me, who could care less about writing quality so long as I'm highly entertained.

I will, however, recommend this to my lady friends who are just looking for a lip-biting good time.

Read at your own risk.  Not for the faint of heart of prudes.

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