1,221 of 1,328 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance ... or maybe it's just so bad that it's good
There are life's guilty pleasures, and then there is the guiltiest spectacle of them all: the Fifty Shades of Grey spectacle. It's time to review this precious pearl of literary genius, so I'm going to dive on in. Hold me.
When we last left our romantic icons, Ana Steele and Christian Grey, they were newly engaged and facing (a) Ana's ex-boss, Jack Hyde, whom...
Published 18 months ago by cupcake
322 of 347 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Shades Fre- ajnfkf Oh God why am I still reading this??!!!
What a treat this book was. We get to experience their dreamy wedding, including a totally inappropriate scene in front of the minister and all their wedding guests, in a series of flashbacks. They are on a dream honeymoon and already Anastasia is afraid of her husband's temper. It's never a good sign in a relationship if you are afraid of your partner or have to walk on...
Published 17 months ago by C. Odell
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1,221 of 1,328 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sheer brilliance ... or maybe it's just so bad that it's good,
This review is from: Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)There are life's guilty pleasures, and then there is the guiltiest spectacle of them all: the Fifty Shades of Grey spectacle. It's time to review this precious pearl of literary genius, so I'm going to dive on in. Hold me.
When we last left our romantic icons, Ana Steele and Christian Grey, they were newly engaged and facing (a) Ana's ex-boss, Jack Hyde, whom Christian fired in a fit of jealous pique when Jack made a pass at Ana and (b) Christian's "Mrs. Robinson," the woman who initiated him into his life of BDSM. Can these two crazy love birds find happiness and contentment? Thank goodness E. L. James doesn't keep us hanging and gives us the GIFT that is Fifty Shades Freed.
The tale opens just after Christian and Ana's wedding, as the two bask on their European honeymoon. They bicker, rock the headboard, bicker some more, and have make-up rocking of the headboard. While enjoying their romantic interlude, Christian learns that someone apparently tried to sabotage part of his building. Enter the "plot" portion of the festivities. The threat to Grey Enterprises increases, and we are meant to be on the edge of our seats in anticipation of how this AWFUL THING will transpire. There also continues to be friction in the Grey marriage. These two argue about the same damn thing all the time, followed by furious headboard rockin'.
So there's your story.
While this one shares certain similarities with Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker, in Fifty Shades Freed, James actually attempts - gulp - style. There are flashbacks, seemingly set at even intervals, but then mysteriously dropped. Until, that is, the epilogue, where they show up again. Clearly E. L. James realized that we don't read these books for STYLE. I mean, really.
Let's get to the good stuff, shall we? Because, let's face it: we also do not read these books for their plot. Please. There are more important things to anticipate.
THE BUTT PLUG SHOWS UP!!!!!
I know some of you have waited in breathless anticipation, and you will not be denied! We also meet the flogger AND the cross is used AND the grid. Insert jumpy claps here. Christian and Ana continue to Know Each Other in the Biblical Sense in different locales, including - but not limited to - an airplane, a yacht, a couch, a shower, a bathtub, a picnic blanket and - thank GOD - the red satin bed in the Red Room of Pain.
But you know what is not used in any romantic situation whatsoever? The grey tie! I am bereft with grief. I got attached to that tie, and while it makes a brief appearance, it does not do so wrapped around anyone's appendages. It's a tease, and I am not amused.
Also missing: any sign of a competent, coherent editor. What IS present is the same repetitious writing. It takes less than three pages for the first smirk to appear. And this time? Christian and Ana aren't the only two who smirk. Other characters get in on the action. I suspect that E. L. James is f-ing with me. We also get bitten lips, rolled eyes, lips pressed into a hard line, frowns and sighs.
But a new play has entered the repertoire: Christian rubs his nose down the length of Ana's nose.
Naturally, this being E. L. James, he does that A LOT. Almost as often as one of them says, "Hmmm." Clearly the message is that in the absence of the ability to write dialogue, insert a breathy moan.
And now, an excerpt. Feel free to use this as an interpretive dialogue:
Hmm ... my Fifty wants to tumble.
"Don't bite your lip," he warns.
Compliantly, I release my lip. "I think you have me at a disadvantage, Mr. Grey." [They call each other Mr. and Mrs. Grey ALL THE TIME, as if they forgot their first names.] I bat my lashes and squirm provocatively beneath him. This could be fun.
"Surely you've already got me where you want me?" He smirks [!!!!! - of course he does] and presses his groin into mine once more.
Ah, language. Its mellifluous use is a lost art, isn't it? Thank goodness E. L. James is here to reinvigorate writing.
As I typed that, I mistakenly wrote "goddess," rather than "goodness." That brings me to another repetition: Ana's subconscious, complete with the half moon glasses and disdain, shows up again. The inner goddess is not as present, but that subconscious school marm sure is. Oh, lucky us.
So is Fifty Shades Darker worth the read? OF COURSE IT IS. You can't stop at their engagement! You need to read about the wedding and the honeymoon and the corporate intrigue and the early months of their marriage and the in-laws and the Evil Ex-Employee and the Evil Ex-Dominatrix. You can't stop at the second one! You must read this!
Oh, it's awful. Don't get me wrong about that. It is just as badly written and edited as its predecessors. But, as I have said before, it is literary crack. So bad for you, but so addicting.
A plus: at the end, we get a brief glimpse of Christian's point of view. And then - AND THEN - E. L. James says, "That's all ... for now."
OH MY GOD - THERE WILL BE MORE! Please let it be. For the love of Mark Twain, PLEASE LET THERE BE MORE.
This review originally appeared on cupcake's book cupboard.
322 of 347 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Shades Fre- ajnfkf Oh God why am I still reading this??!!!,
The descriptions of her subconscious and inner goddess and what they are doing get oddly more specific with each book, to the point where it's just bizarre and annoying. Her subconscious at one point looked up from reading `The Complete works of Charles Dickens', to give Anastasia an admonishing look no doubt. It's not cute anymore. I usually have to put the book down after reading one of these gems and take a deep breath before I throw it. Oh, and her Inner Goddess reads Jackie Collins, in case you were wondering
In all three books now we are treated with the `No you hang up!' barf fest.
Jealousy, jealousy, jealousy. It's like all these two know is sex and jealousy. Every woman is jonesing after Christian all the time. And it's ok for him to get so irrationally possessive he buys her company, but if she shows a hint of jealousy with him, it's all *Tsk-tsk*
It is never romantic when your husband says he really wants to beat you. He says that lovely line after someone broke into her home. Victim blaming, anyone? I don't care if he is mad, which is totally misplaced most of the time. All of the time actually. He gets angry because she disobeys orders. He gets angry if she has a disagreeing opinion. He gets angry cause she wants to work. On top of that, she has to ask his permission to do anything. To go to work, to drive her car, to see her friend, to have fun. She is a grown woman. Does she know this is not how marriage works? That this isn't the 18th century anymore? And can I just say wow, at his reaction when she tells him she's pregnant. I'm surprised she didn't divorce him right then and there. But then again, she is always making excuses for his atrocious behavior. This relationship disgusts me.
Once again, the plot is more of an afterthought, which I should have known better by now. It takes forever to get there, and when it does, it's so stupid it's laughable. And then all is well in Ana and Christian Land and they live happily ever after and we have to read a terrible epilogue anyways, filled with pregnant sex. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. I knew I should have stopped reading at the end of the book. And then we are treated to this delightful little nugget: "I think she likes sex already." Yup. That's them talking about their unborn child right after they had pregnant sex.
You are welcome everybody.
Now I need to go read something good, or at least marginally better to get rid of the taste this awful book left in my mouth.
636 of 714 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fifty more disturbing shades of an abusive relationship,
This review is from: Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)Does this review mean I'm envious of the author's success? Nooo!...I just think if you're going to toss your hat into the ring of erotica..you ought to at least make an effort. I mean try to have more than just sex as the foundation. Some of us like great characters and witty dialogue too. Or is it just me? I figured I read the last two (Call me curious; I like to read everything I can get my hands on and wanted to see what all the fuss was about) I might as well give the third one a whirl. Glad I didn't have to pay for it, otherwise I'd demand my money back!!! Let me start by first getting some things off my chest..no pun intended. This has got to be one of the most disturbing relationships in literary history! There are so many things wrong with this series I thought I should list them in no particular order:
1. It's poorly written: the author is constantly repeating herself. Yes, apparently Christian is hot. We get it. I don't need constant reminding about how sculptured his lips are or how his pants hang from his hips in whatever way. There are so many repetitions of how lovely his face is, how turned on Ana is, how he wants to bite her lip (hello? He bites it so much how can she even apologize to him?) Not to mention the annoying inner goddess and Mrs. Robinson.
2. British slang creeping its way into a book supposedly narrated by an American! Huh? I counted many. Nursery, parcels, pram, carousels, 'to hospital' instead of the hospital or ER, there was even a "me" instead of my in there somewhere. Hire a Yankee proofreader and you will go far!!
3. The relationship progresses at a frightening rate. Only five weeks between book 1 and 2. Yikes!!!! What kind of relationship progresses at that speed? Not to mention Christian's issues!
4. Christian's mommy issues! There are plenty: he's a human wreckage of child abuse, child molestation, and at one point I'm sure he's suffering from PTSD and that would explain why he swings high and low. The guy is so Jekyll and Hyde you wonder where the syringe with Thorazine is hiding so Ana can inject his ass and have some peace and quiet from all that apologizing (she's constantly apologizing in all books). It's sickening. Without intending to, she has become the submissive. She lets Christian walk all over her. Christian needs more than one dose apparently.
5. The abuse--yep, there's an abusive relationship masquerading as romance! Who says romance is dead? I mean, as long as he's hot and handsome and every woman wants him, it's perfectly okay if he ties her up and spanks her. Ana is so traumatized afterward (in book 1) she turns into a blubbering mess. Well, she's a blubbering mess in all three books too. The abuse in book 3 takes the cake when he goes postal over sunbathing topless. He later handcuffs her and disfigures her breasts with hickeys just to make sure she doesn't do it again!!! See, romance isn't dead. Ana forgives him of course. There's also a disturbing scene of orgasm denial that borders on just plain malicious. She's a mess afterward.
6. Christian's temper tantrums. This guy is unhinged to the ultimate power! But the author and Ana are constantly making allowances for his disturbing and often callous behavior. He was abused! He was abandoned! He has issues concerning subjugating females and inflicting pain with devices surely meant for the likes of characters in movies such as "Hellraiser" and "Saw"! Oh, and in the 3rd book, poor Ana gets knocked up, tells her hot hubby, and is immediately called stupid, accused of getting pregnant on purpose, and is literally abandoned by the a-hole so he can go get drunk. Nice guy huh? He's a keeper!!!
7. The villain. There's supposed to be one? He's a caricature of all villains. He's too over-the-top nasty and vicious and it's apparent who he is at the end of book 2. Next time..try to surprise the readers!
8. The sex. There's too much and often it's make-up sex. All they do is argue and have sex. It's exhausting. No one has sex that many times a day..unless you're a porn star or high on something or are just really super obsessed with your significant other. Poor Ana...she just wants to please him.
9. Ana's need to apologize. Why should she? He's the one with the problems. Yet she is constantly on edge with him. She's afraid of saying the wrong thing. She's afraid of making him mad. She's constantly questioning herself and quite frankly, you begin to wonder what Christian has done with her spine. She's quite stupid and constantly gives in to him because you know--he's lost and he's been abused! So? Since when did that become acceptable to be abused and then subject the person you supposedly love to the same abuse?
10. Ana should have walked. She did at the end of book 1 but then he makes her feel guilty (classic abuser tactic)
for walking out after having thrashed her with a belt. Excuse me? He should apologize! Five days later she's back for more insipid whining, groveling apologies, and meaningless sex.
11. Book 3 is disturbing on so many levels. They're married within months of meeting and it shows. They're constantly fighting, whining about insecurities and doubts about the other, they're constantly using sex as a way to communicate and solve their issues and it doesn't work. Ana is a complete and total mess by the time the villain gets to her. Of course, Ana has to some how find a way out of the hell that is Christian Grey. Some hero...she's bruised and battered by the time he comes along for the rescue. No not a rescue, she does that herself. Where was he? Sulking like a child as usual and leaving poor Ana to pick up the pieces. But that's okay, he's rich, handsome, hot, and great at sex and domination. He's the perverted husband every girl wishes she could marry. Um---no. Ana would have been better off with Jose I'm sure and saner for it.
All three books should be used as a manual about avoiding abusive relationships. Yuck!!! Wish the villain had taken Christian down so Ana could finally breathe poor thing.
191 of 218 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Awful,
This review is from: Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Paperback)This book is just so bad I can't even put it into words. I was really excited to read the series based on the fact that many libraries were banning it, I thought it HAD to be good! Nope, they probably banned it for horrible writing and not the "kinky sex" which really isn't so kinky.
I'm half way book 3 and stopped to write this review after finding myself literally skipping pages and pages of repetitive crap to get to some type of plot. Ana has to be the single most annoying female character of all time, saying she's bipolar doesn't even cover it.
Seriously don't waste your money on this series, borrow it or wait for the lifetime movie.
129 of 147 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars fifty shades of boring,
I downloaded it and started on the journey. The first few chapters were poorly written but I gave James the benefit of the doubt and ploughed on though the banal descriptions of how hot Christian is (we get it, don't mention it on every page), ploughed on through the cringeworthy factor of a so-called dominant ...or really anyone over the age of 13 saying "laters, baby". Ploughed on, like a champion, through the excruciatingly boring emails (you're using emails to drive the narrative? Really?) and ploughed on through the lip biting and obsession with food and repetitive phrases, too numerous for a published author (for the love of God, get a thesaurus!), all with the promise of knowing that Chapter 8 would make up for it. An hour or so later I randomly checked my progress and realised I was at Chapter 10. Apparently I'd already read through the "hot bit" and didn't even know it!
Be under no illusions Dear Readers, this book is terribly written. It makes Twilight look like Anna Karenina and that is saying a lot since it started as Twilight fan-fiction (if that isn't enough to put you off then you cannot be saved, good luck to you). I've read stories by 5th Graders with more character development and narrative drive than this. I can't believe that it's actually a published book! Bad writing aside, this author also makes the rookie mistake of not knowing anything about her topic. It was not believable at all. A dominant would never behave so erratically or less like a dominant! I mean, he can barely control a 21 year old, it's embarrassing! I have a problem with him being only 27 as well. How can we take a 27 year old dominant seriously? Oh that's right, we can't. Not even Bella..I mean, Ana can. She is the worst, most annoying, uninteresting submissive ever written.
I have nothing good to say about this book. The characters were boring and unbelievable, there was no real drive in the plot, the vocabulary was repetitive and droll, the sex scenes were pretty much vanilla (not kinky at all) and these two characters together make up the worst examples of dominant and submissive I have ever read in "literature". In fact, I have read Facebook posts with more substance than this book. I despair for Pauline Réage, The Marquis de Sade, Anne Rice and other brave authors who have written about this topic in the past. This book is fifty shades of badly written banality.
160 of 184 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Shades of Lame,
i was hoping for some good bdsm fiction, but this is maybe a step above vanilla, it completely mis portrays the lifestyle, but any gripes about how unrealistic everything is from describing super posh *pink* champagne (wth) to the fact that mr grey apparently never needs a refractory period....it's just really really really terrible writing wise.
seriously, it's written at maybe a 5th grade lever with occasional instances where the author abuses her thesaurus and ends up making somewhat incomprehensible sentences. But typically she is repeating five phrases over and over again:
1) holy f***
2) holy c***
3) holy s***
4) stop biting your lip you know what that does to me
5) laters, babe
to the point where it goes past funny and just into painfully repetitive. the first three are almost a constant running theme in our narrators internal dialogue which becomes increasingly depressing when you realize she's supposed to be this intellectual who loves literature. the latter two belong to our dashing male lead, but once he came out with "laters babe" i was just lost in a fit of laughter.
so this is sort of like a literary version of Showgirls. It's awful and awkward and trying WAY to hard to be sexy and hardcore and while it fails miserably at all those attempts, it still manages to be kind of enjoyable in what a wreck it is.
73 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid, Awful, Cringe worthy...and MISLEADING,
I will give the author kudos for one thing though: she's laughing all the way to the bank. Gotta give her credit for whatever she did to get books published that would make any decent high school writing teacher vomit.
86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money,
Ms. James also seems to think that all submissives are weak, overly-dependent, child-like creatures who will break at the slightest bit of wind. She portrays this by having Mr. Grey confirm to Ana over and over again that she is much too strong to ever be his submissive. Ms. James goes so far as to have the only two submissives we meet in the book be extremely weak characters, one of whom attempts suicide and then is found stalking Mr. Grey and Ana. The brief conversations between Ana and Leila (the submissive in the books) show Leila to be a very fragile creature that is to be handled with extreme care because she is so emotionally unstable. The very fact that Mr. Grey would choose a character like Leila to be his submissive speaks volumes to me about what kind of a "dom" Mr. Grey was.
Another thing that royally pissed me off about the Mr. Grey character is his overwhelming jealousy. Someone in his position, with as much power and control as is needed to be the leader and CEO of so many different companies, would not be an easily jealous person. Jealousy is a sign of weakness and weak people don't run companies for long, they wind up getting eaten alive by people much stronger than they are.
At several points throughout the book we are told that Mr. Grey is more of an adolescent than a man, at least emotionally. Even his therapist tells Ana this at one point. I am appalled that Ana continued to date and eventually marry Mr. Grey after learning so much about him. Yes, she certainly has unconditional love for him, but in my honest opinion, her love shouldn't be unconditional. She is not his mother, she is not his sister, and she does not deserve to be walking on eggshells for the rest of her life worrying that Mr. Grey is going to lose his stuff over one thing or another.
There are so many red flags raised by Mr. Grey's character that I wound up resenting him and Ms. James' portrayal of BDSM. She has one messed up viewpoint on the whole scene if you ask me. Please understand, healthy BDSM relationships do not look anything like that of Mr. Grey and Miss Steele.
177 of 208 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All frosting and no cake - but oh, what frosting!,
Most people may focus, wrongly in my view, that sex is the only element of these books. Don't get me wrong: there's a lot of it, it's well-written (a rarity), and it will probably introduce a lot of readers to BDSM-oriented romance. For what it's worth, I'm more offended by Grey's taste in classical music than I am by his handcuffs. Ignore the pearl clutchers and read the trilogy if you're interested. It's handled responsibly.
But it's Grey and Ana's highly emotional connection that drives their relationship, and the book. It has to. There's little plot or character development. To compensate for this lack, Grey and Ana emote in a way that is simply breathtaking. Ana cries, shakes and goes off her feed at the slightest whiff of trouble. Grey storms about in anger, professes love and talks about sex in a straightforward manner that modern men rarely do - and I suspect, readers wish they did. Some romance sub-genres get away by turning up the emotions to level 11 by making the stakes high - the fate of a clan might hang in the balance in a historical romance, the death of a "one true mate" or the end of the world in a paranormal. But by placing this romance in modern time and not creating a substitute reason for the drama, the emotional toils, the alpha male posturing and the female responses (Ana rarely drives the action, or the cars) all become melodrama.
Simply put - the stakes are never high enough to justify the high emotions, despite Ms James frantic attempts to tell us differently. The reader is well aware after just a few pages of the first book that Ms James would never put her heroine in anything resembling true harm; she seems to have a hard enough time putting Ana in a bad dress. Grey is never in any danger of losing his business empire, his loving adopted family or Ana.
The conceit of a great romance is for a reader to know the ending will be happy but for the writer to be so wily as to make us forget. Not so here, where my major concern was whether Ana will twist her heel in her new Christian Laboutins or have sex in boring place, like a bed.
By making the stakes low and love a foregone conclusion, the resolution - such as it is - by book 3 feels as cheaply held as the string of Audi and Saabs Grey buys Ana. (Yes, name brands have a starring role here, along with the handcuffs.) Ana's personal evolution seems as empty. Forget a bad dress, Ms James doesn't even let her experience the ordinary awkwardness of the post-college phase or enjoyment of simple pleasures. Ana goes straight from a delayed adolescence - at 22 she is a virgin and socially awkward and un self-aware - to professional success, a warm social circle, and a sartorially-adept adulthood in a few short months.
The sex and wish fulfillment make it fun; the dearth of story makes it empty. There are better romances out there, but if you want pure frosting and fluff, this is about as sugary as it gets.
141 of 165 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A small suggestion for this couple,
This review is from: Fifty Shades Freed (Paperback)When you two are done having sex which is about 23 hours of the day, and if Ana can still walk, please seek professional help. And remember to leave all of the kinky toys and bondage at home. You two have too many weird mood changes to be normal. Christian, you are so hot, and so rich, that a majority of the reviewers just love you, and are willing to put up with anything you want to dish out. They consider you an Alpha Male and think it's cool that you like your women submissive. And to them, Ana is so sweet because she has no spine, and would do whatever dear hot Christian wants. Ana is the epitome of submissiveness! Poor Christian who had a terrible childhood needs a lot of TLC, so if he tells you to lay down and roll over, you do it because he is hot and rich! Oh, and if you decide to seek help you are going to have to learn words other than - Oh my, blushes, smirks, jeez, laters babe, my inner goddess, the 3 or more Holy's, mutters, whispers and all the rest, including HOT or they may want to commit you to a mental institution. And please don't constantly widen your eyes, roll your eyes, or bite your lip while you are there or it might annoy the person who is trying to help you.
As for the writing, I shudder to think of the grades I would have gotten from my English teachers/professors had I turned in papers with so many repetitive words. On the other hand, someone like Christian would have probably gotten away with it because he is so HOT! Had I not wasted enough money on these books (my fault for listening to the hot air publicity), I would have used it and bought a Thesaurus for both the woman who wrote the book and the publishing company. Unlike Ana, sex didn't leave me without a brain. And unlike the people who sold the books, reading all the sex scenes that were written did not damage my eyesight, therefore I was still able to see the words that were used way too many times.
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Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E. L. James (Paperback - April 17, 2012)