Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)

Fifty Shades


When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.  (Summary and book cover courtesy of


This was a book I read quite a while ago, but I felt like I was missing something not to have a review of it up on my site.  This is a book that I STILL get asked about frequently so I’m finally writing down my two cents.  I am evaluating this only as a book and not as a book in the greater societal context because that opens an additional can of worms that I don't have enough space to discuss in a single review.

When I was a kid I had to take a ton of amoxicillin when I was sick a few times in a row.  For whatever reason, the doctor would only prescribe in liquid form so we tried anything thing to help me get it down.  We ended up mixing it with peppermint ice cream.  Gross, yes, but it mostly covered the taste.  To this day though, peppermint ice cream is ruined for me.  What does this have to do with “Fifty Shades of Grey”?  “Fifty Shades” is the amoxicillin of TERRIBLY PAINFUL writing covered up with minty fresh sexually explicit scenes.  And it ruined romance books for me for quite a while.

The reason this book went viral was because it has more varied sex scenes than the standard romance books (and, for the record, very unhealthy relationships - even in the BDSM context).  It didn’t matter that the writing was terrible or that the description of the scenes were awkward; it was something that many people had never been exposed to.  Combine something new with shock value and you'll always draw somewhat of an audience.

I know people have strong feelings on the book, but I find it very MEH.  The story was okay, the writing terrible: therefore two stars from me.  I almost dropped to one star because Anna is so dumb, but in fairness she’s not the WORST main character I have read.  I guess I can’t hold it against her for the author writing her as intellectually challenged.

Side note: Anyone else disturbed that the movie casting looks like the two main characters are 16 or so?

Warning: Contains repeated sexual content and BDSM.

Rating: 2 stars!

Who should read it? People wondering what all the fuss is about.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)