Snarky Brides

50 Shades

I just finished the first two books in the 50 Shades trilogy, and am having a book club discussion next week.  How did everyone else feel about them?  Any thought-provoking points I might have missed?

Re: 50 Shades

  • I thought they were so badly written that it was embarrassing. The characters were weak, stock types, the plot was ridiculous and the overall idea was silly, not liberating. The goddess thing was maybe the worst...

    I remember thinking that it was funny seeing so many people talking about it on fb - saying things like, "I never read books, but couldn't put this one down ..." or "your husband will love you reading this..." and kept thinking how silly it sounded. But my need to know got the better of me, and it's several hours that I'll never get back.

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  • I enjoyed them for what they were. I tend to alternate my serious reading with 'brain candy' like that. I guess a discussion point I would consider is: how could reading books like this affect the younger generation's view of what love is? To me, as I was reading, I kept thinking 'wow, this is a really unhealthy relationship' and the co- dependence of it all really got to me by the end. I guess I just worry about young women who think that's the way to be in a relationship.

     

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  • It was initially written to be Twilight fan-fiction. I think that really says it all.
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  • Koda- hahahahahahaha!  I will totally be mentioning this at the book club, as two of the girls went to WSU.  I went to UI, and hung out WSU fairly often but I'd never heard that.

    Jenny-  Even though the books were close to 500 pages, I finished them each in a couple hours.  Nothing in them challenged me in any way.  I also recently read a book called Beyond Heaving Bosoms, that kind of delves into common tropes in romance novels and talks about how absolutely ridiculous some of them can be.  It was written by the ladies that run the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog, and it is hilarious and well researched, definitely reads more as a literature analysis than a fun book, but I loved it. The entire time I was reading I was just imagining how much the authors of BHB would be tearing into 50 Shades, calling Christian an Alphole (alpha-male-@sshole) etcetera.

    Angel, that's a really good point.  I feel like both Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey prominently feature absolutely horrible, borderline abusive relationships.  I have a 15 year old cousin that wanted to read Twilight, and I flat out told her no and found her some other paranormal romance with healthy relationships and no sparkling.  I don't understand the draw of codependent romances, and I don't understand why books that make them seem not only an option, but a desirable one suddenly became so popular.

    Was anyone else bothered by the bait and switch with the whole D/s aspect of the relationship?  In the first book the author made it seem viable and enjoyable, and I thought since the books were so popular readers would re-examine their feelings on BDSM and it would become more socially acceptable.  But then in the second book the author just took that all away, made Christian only be into D/s because of his severe psychological issues and as soon as he fell in love he no longer desired any of that.  I felt like the author was taking away the validity of a super-kinky relationship, saying that it only worked when the people were majorly messed up in the head and not in love in any way.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    I agree with PP about it being enough said that it was originally Twilight fan fiction, and yes, the Ann Rice Sleeping Beauty series is a far better choice. 50 shades is like BDSM for soccer moms to me and kind of an insult to the BDSM community and to writers of real erotica. 
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  • I'm with you, Addie. And the fact that it started as fan fiction does say it all!

    I'm usually a fan of anything that gets people reading, but I can't even say that about this.

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  • In Response to Re: 50 Shades:
    I enjoyed them for what they were. I tend to alternate my serious reading with 'brain candy' like that. I guess a discussion point I would consider is: how could reading books like this affect the younger generation's view of what love is? To me, as I was reading, I kept thinking 'wow, this is a really unhealthy relationship' and the co- dependence of it all really got to me by the end. I guess I just worry about young women who think that's the way to be in a relationship.
    Posted by Angelface225
    I haven't read 50 Shades and don't plan to, but I will totally agree with this about Twilight (aside from the poor writing). I knew it was a completely unhealthy relationship, but I worry that younger girls reading it will not. Unfortunately I think it's a pattern that many young women in their beginning relationships fall into. And it doesn't help that these types of books perpetuate it. 
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  • I read it for the 'everyone else is and i want to be able to understand and talk about it' perspective (same thing i did for twilight). I couldn't finish book 3, and I probably never will, it just got too rediculous for me.

    I found the first book (in particular the contract writing portion) to be useful to share with people new to the BDSM world. I have a friend who was in an abusive situation with someone she called her dominant, in reality he was using and abusing her, she had no limits and no safeword. Sharing the book with her helped her see the situation for what it was. 

    Other than that section though, the book is a bunch of hogwash to me. I can't stand what she does in books 2 and 3 to the relationship that looked like it was going to be a healthy D/s Dynamic, something sorely missing in mainstream media. 

    The thing that hurt the most was her continued use of the term 'red room of pain' when she had so much pleasure in that room. Some of the scenes were really thought provoking (the music timed flogging in particular) but the rest of the books were bland, boring and far too tame for me to understand what everyone was going gaga over.
  • I've only read the first so far, as something to numb my mind some between writing papers or when I just needed to quiet my mind before bed. I enjoyed reading it, and am going to read the other two if/when time allows. I've got to finish college first (graduating in 2 weeks!)
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  • I read all of the books. Initially I was completely against them, but I eventually gave in. I'm not a big reader (used to be), so FI was more interested in me putting down the book and hanging out with him. I don't get the part about "your significant other will thank you" that's just dumb, I think. They were fun, trashy reads though, I thought. I also think the idea of them making a movie out of it is a joke and really I'd have no interest in seeing it.
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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago
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    I cant believe how many people were talking last spring, when the book first became popular, that there would be a "baby boom" because of the trilogy.
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  • In Response to Re: 50 Shades:
    I cant believe how many people were talking last spring, when the book first became popular, that there would be a "baby boom" because of the trilogy.
    Posted by KatWAG
    Apparently this may have actually happened at a hospital in Windsor, ON, and maybe others (that's the only one I've heard about). The birth rate there spiked a little over 9 months after the book came out. Probably just coincidence, but it was big news a couple of weeks ago.
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  • In Response to Re: 50 Shades:
    I thought they were so badly written that it was embarrassing. The characters were weak, stock types, the plot was ridiculous and the overall idea was silly, not liberating. The goddess thing was maybe the worst... I remember thinking that it was funny seeing so many people talking about it on fb - saying things like, "I never read books, but couldn't put this one down ..." or "your husband will love you reading this..." and kept thinking how silly it sounded. But my need to know got the better of me, and it's several hours that I'll never get back. Try Anne Rice.
    Posted by jennylee813
    Ditto! 
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  • I have a thing where if I start a series, I HAVE to finish it. I knew getting into 50 Shades that I would have to see it through no matter how much they sucked... and they do suck. I've been reading the third book for two months now. They are just so poorly written and there's not all that much that goes on. I could forgive bad writing if there was a great plot, but there isn't. Even the sex is blah, and it really is the same sex scene over and over again.
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  • In Response to Re: 50 Shades:
    I thought they were so badly written that it was embarrassing. The characters were weak, stock types, the plot was ridiculous and the overall idea was silly, not liberating. The goddess thing was maybe the worst... I remember thinking that it was funny seeing so many people talking about it on fb - saying things like, "I never read books, but couldn't put this one down ..." or "your husband will love you reading this..." and kept thinking how silly it sounded. But my need to know got the better of me, and it's several hours that I'll never get back. Try Anne Rice.
    Posted by jennylee813
    THIS, a thousand times!
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