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4.4 out of 5 stars
Fifty Shades Trilogy Shrinkwrapped Set (Deckle Edge)
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1,664 of 1,773 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
My husband heard about this trilogy on a morning radio show and recommended I read it. I looked it up, read the product description, and decided that it didn't sound like "my kind of book." Over the next few weeks, several friends mentioned it to me. A very close friend told me, "It's about bondage. But keep an open mind. And JUST READ IT!" So I downloaded it and began doing just that...

The first few chapters of book one set the scene...naive, bookish girl meets attractive, billionaire CEO and lust ensues. The rest of book one was sex. Explicit sex. And at first it was "steamy." But I quickly found myself wondering when it would end. I read it all, though in reality, I could have skipped entire chapters and really missed nothing.

Books two and three got more into the actual story line and made me glad I stuck with it. I quickly realized that the descriptive sex scenes in book one were necessary to fully develop the two main characters. On the exterior, Christian is a powerful, worldly man but through his interactions with Anastasia, the reader begins to see his immaturity and "damaged" side. And Anastasia's oblivion over the fact that every eligible bachelor in her life is fawning over her betrays her presentation of herself as an ordinary, bumbling recent college grad. It was exciting to see the evolution of Christian and Anastasia throughout the trilogy.

To say that this is "a book about bondage" is wrong. Yes, there are a few select scenes that depict sex with restraints or spankings or floggers. But in the grand scheme of things, they were isolated, fleeting events. Instead, I would say this book is a love story. It's about the concessions we will make for the one we love and the "hard limits" that keep us true to ourselves. The author has created two very memorable main characters and a laundry list of amazing supporting characters, including "the inner goddess" who honestly was one of my favorites! And I especially liked the last chapter (following the epilogue) which was told from Christian's perspective. I would have liked to have had more of his point of view sprinkled throughout the books.

What's interesting to me is that these books have received such a wide array of ratings by Amazon users. Clearly the author has done her job of presenting a controversial theme and getting readers talking. I notice a few unifying comments from the reviewers who did not like the book (or gave it a low rating)....

1) The ebook is too expensive. - To this I say that it's unfair of readers to low ball their rating of the author's work simply because they're unhappy with the publisher's price. As a consumer, you have the option to buy or not to buy. You also have the option to buy hard copies rather than ebooks. If you don't want to shell out the extra few cents to buy the trilogy instead of the three individual ebooks, then don't. If you'd rather buy the paperbacks, then do. If you'd rather borrow a friend's hard copy or check it out of the library, go for it. But don't hold that against the author!

2) There was no story line. - To this I say, "You must have stopped reading at the end of book one."

3) There was too much repetition. - To this I say I think Anastasia's inner dialogue includes a lot of "holy crap" and "oh my" for a reason. Despite her personal and professional evolution, she's still a bit unsure of herself and her ability to adapt to her new lifestyle. No matter what, she's still young, naive Ana on the inside.
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556 of 648 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I finished this book last night.. and now I know the saying of "I feel like i've lost a friend". I won't say these are the best written books out there. They aren't suppose to be. I had so much fun reading them every day. I love books that go day by day. It makes it seem more real that way, like I know what they're doing every day. I never in a million years would have thought I would like these books.. let alone LOVE them! This is why I think everyone should give any book a chance.. it might surprise you. I love how this book played with your emotions. One minute I hated Christian and the next I loved him. You could totally feel the emotions through this book. I'm not sure what i'm going to do with myself now that i'm done. They were my first 5 star books of the year and I know I will have a hard time thinking about anything else but these books. So glad my book club suggested them.. otherwise I would have missed out on this wonderful trilogy.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I put spoiler alert in my review name, but honestly, if you read the first couple chapters of the first book, you'll spoil the rest of the series for yourself anyway.

I don't usually write really harsh reviews unless a product has seriously disappointed me (see Simply Shabby Chic blanket review), but after spending $30 on this trash, I feel like this is that white blanket all over again. I hope this review will save someone their time and money.

Some of my friends loved this book and raved about it, which is how I ended up buying it. But after reading a book and a half, I think the writing is tripe, to say the least, and utter garbage if I'm being brutally honest. First she rips off the Twilight series (the only possible reason she could want to rip off this series is mileage out of those characters for money in her pocket). It also rips off 9 1/2 Weeks, Pretty Woman, and pretty much every "heaving, throbbing, pulsing...romance" "novel" I've ever heard about. It also had a weird American Psycho feel (without the murders) to it as well, but maybe that was just me. The whole high-rise apartment and flashy this and ritzy that, had a very 80's vibe.

I gave it one star because I couldn't give it negative 5 stars. I have no problem with kinky sex and I think what happens between two consenting adults is their business. But this money-making formulaic isn't about either of those things. The main character, Anastasia, is the typical "doesn't know how beautiful she is, but every boy loves her, whiny, infantile, moronic..." Well, picture Bella with a butt plug. I can't stress enough how lacking in character this "character" is. And those that claim this is a story of retribution or someone letting go of their abusive past because love opened their heart...meh. That part of the story line was just as weak as the rest. There is NOTHING original or fresh, or even an original and fresh perspective on anything, presented in these books. It's all rip-offs.

The two main characters are almost IDENTICAL to Edward and Bella. And Jose, the "best friend who is already in love with main character", is a latino Jacob. Anastasia describes her mom as having "the attention span of a goldfish", and quips that she hopes she didn't mortgage her house on her latest scheme, (paraphrased), but you get the idea. Anastasia's mom is almost EXACTLY like Bella's mom. And Ray is Charlie...quiet, soft-spoken, loves to fish...well, you get the idea. She's got Stephenie Meyer's formula down pat. The piano sex scene is EXACTLY like Pretty Woman, right down to the soft tinkling as her feet slide across the piano keys. And so on, and so on. Maybe she thought people wouldn't remember since that movie was from the 90's...?

Other reviewers said there should have only been one book, that the redundancy of the sex scenes just got plain ol' boring after a while. I agree, but I think they're being generous. I could have done without even one of these rip-offs.

Save your money. Re-read Harry Potter. Go buy all seven books if you don't own them already. That series is worth much more than what you'll pay for it. If you don't like Harry Potter, read ANYTHING by Stephen King. All of his are worth much more than their retail as well. I could name a bunch more actual authors that are worth their weight in gold, but I don't want to be redundant. I'll leave that to E.L. James.
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1,663 of 1,994 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Why so much for this Trilogy? I would love to read this set, and I love my Kindle. However, I am not willing to pay this price for a simple download. There is something not quite right when it is cheaper to purchase the actual paper books than the Kindle editions. Publishers need to re-think their pricings if they want dedicated customers, in my opinion.
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1,091 of 1,317 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I agree with other critic. As much as I want to own this Trilogy, they've set the Kindle edition price far too high.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Everyone & their mother was talking about this series so I thought I'd try it out. What a waste of time! First of all it was over $18 for the kindle trilogy, holy moly that's expensive. I breezed though these 3, they're super easy read, but they could have made this into 1 book, it just drags out on & on. The characters have no substance & they're kind of annoying, especially Ana's inner goddess, ugh I wanted to strangle her. It seems as though the author had to google definitions of S&M, contracts, & toys. Then she tends to get lazy & I think she just started copying & pasting things she'd written previously. For example: "his skilled hands," "he cocked his head to the side," "Ana bit her lip" seriously count how many times she says that. I don't know what all the hype is about, its a "smut" novel but its not even that risque or good, the sex isn't any big deal. Stupid, waste of time, expensive, lame. If you still want to read it, borrow a friends copy or get it from the library, don't waste your money!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was anticipating a great reading experience from everyone talking about this triology. The female protagonist "rolled her eyes" three times in the first five pages. When she started also biting her lip I thought I was going to have to stab my eye out. This book is horribly written and no amount of sex scenes can motivate me to read one more letter of this drivel. The author occasionally throws in a "big word" but it feels so contrived. I can literally imagine her there with a thesaurus trying to throw something in there to make it look like literature. I am so disappointed that so many people are going crazy over these books--what's becoming of us? This is the first review I've written about a book--I felt it was my duty to do my part to stop the madness.
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146 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I've heard a lot of hype about these books and thought I'd try them out, not knowing what they are about. Now, I am certainly not opposed to a little slap and tickle, but I am opposed to mediocre writing styles and cheesy descriptions. How many times do we have to hear about Miss Steele's "internal goddess" and how many times did I want to shake her and tell her to grow a spine and brains and not to get involved with Mr. Grey? These books hurt my soul. I bought all three, but I can't do it anymore. I stopped after the first chapter of Book 2. They annoyed me too much.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
As the title says, I am deeply ashamed to admit that I read this trilogy. There we so many people raving about them that when the first book was awful, and the second book was awful, I had to read the third in hopes that it would redeem itself. Sadly, I was wrong. The books are comprised of a high-school level writing with a sour plot in a lonely woman's unrealistic fantasy. I really feel like a thesaurus should have been given credit as the co-writer in these poorly published novels. I knew going in to this that these books were pure fifth but I suppose if I'm going to read filth, I want to know that an adult wrote it and these just felt like a child composed them. I also felt like the author was constantly putting the characters into situations (which were not very detailed) where they would want or need to have sex. And although the sex scenes were at times graphic, they were almost always the same sex scenes described in the same way. IE- The way his pants hung off his hips, he tied my hands together with his tie, I shattered into a million pieces, etc. By the third book, I was mostly skimming through these sex scenes, I had already read dozens of times in the first two books, and praying for it to end quickly. There also is not very much S&M in these books since Ana doesn't like it and the bondage they occasionally use is quite tame. I recommend these books to no one and will be recycling my copies very soon.
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160 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Can't lie, I bought it after the hilarious SNL spoof. The first book was pretty thrilling in terms fulfilling cliches that all girls thought about since middle school--handsome rich guy, elusive and mysterious, determined to pursue you at all cost, suddenly showing up at places unannounced to take your breath away, etc. She loves him and keeps saying so, he keeps brooding and telling her to eat. I know I didn't get into this for literary rewards, I just want to fantasize about Christian Grey because guys like him are as real as a tap-dancing unicorn (seriously, an Adonis billionaire at the age of 27? Please, even Mark Zuckerberg has a pot belly).

However, I would strongly advice you to stop reading after the first book (especially if you enjoyed it). I get that this is based on Twilight's fan fiction, but man does it get annoying very fast. The first book I read through in two days, the other two (though trying hard to like it) could only be skimmed over with a snort. I pressed the Kindle refund in no time. What started as a sorta believable narration from a 21-year old morphed into the voice of the author's inner old cougar. This is clearly her middle-aged fantasy and she is not modest about deploying every cliche.

It seems like E.L. James has literally ran out of ways to shake up the vocabulary and sentence structures from the first book. In fact, it started mirroring Twilight's simpering speech of "he's too good for me, he is so handsome, I can't believe he's mine, oh I love him so much" prose to ad nauseam. If I closed my eyes I would have sworn two 13-year old girls got together and compiled a super list of the perfect guy. Christian is handsome, rich and glowers a lot--that is as complex as his character gets. Ana, though charmingly stubborn and somewhat smart in the first novel, has become an idiot lacking in the simplest of common sense. I am a woman in my 20s, college educated, and I find Ana's growing stupidity very out of touch and aggravating. This is what the author thinks 20-something year olds do versus understanding how we really operate. Ana gets herself in trouble in not-so-cute or sympathetic ways while Christian growls and suddenly shows up everywhere at the drop of a hat (doesn't a man like that work?). Christian also needs a new pair of pants because he's wearing the socks off of those flannels for the past three books.

The s*x? Let's not even go there. Ladies, we can all agree that unless you are in the adult film industry, a big "o" every s-i-n-g-l-e time is just acting. Not even good acting because we at least pace it out (don't lie, we've all been there). Perhaps Mr. James should take notice. It repeated like a bad porn formula from the 90s after the first book...curious, does the author watch lots of those? It sure sounds like it, you old minx.
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