2012: Best in Books, Guilty Pleasure

Let me start by saying that I know many of you will roll your eyes, possibly declare me insane, or stop reading my blog altogether by what I’m about to reveal. It’s no secret that I like to get lost in all kinds of stories. I’ve already reflected on my favorite fiction and non-fiction books this year, and not to brag, I have pretty decent taste as you can see. Usually. Sometimes. 🙂

Let me further say, before I get to the point (it’s coming), that this series was by far the WORST written and edited books I think I’ve EVER read. These certainly weren’t the best representation of superior writing in modern day literature. Embarrassingly, for whatever reason, this didn’t bother me enough to stop. (What is wrong with me!?) I hadn’t read such a page turner, if ever, like this. I was so entertained, annoyed, turned on, turned off, and turn upside down by my favorite guilty pleasure read(s) for 2012…

Fifty Shades of Grey1-2012-12-10_08-27-022

Fifty Shades Darker


Fifty Shades Freed


E.L. James (2012)

It started out as a book club selection to read the first novel only. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up the first book…and then the next…and the next. I spent two weeks in June trapped in the web (or rather the Red Room of pain) created by the alluring Christian Grey.

Synopsis: Anastasia Steele stumbles (literally) into Christian Grey’s office mere weeks before her college graduation to help out her best friend by conducting an interview for their college newspaper. Christian Grey is a 27 year old, gray-eyed, intensely flawed, but ridiculously hunky CEO and billionaire of his own self-made empire. He’s also pretty darn kinky. He extends his kinkiness to Anastasia. She agrees. He learns she’s a virgin, immediately has a fit, and gets over it. They have crazy sex. Engage in a little BDSM. Fall in love. More crazy sex. Fight. Break-up. Make-up. Fight. More hardcore BDSM. Some terrible sub-plot about stalking ex-girlfriends and Anastasia’s insane boss enters. More crazy sex. More BDSM. Bomb drops. Bomb resolved. More crazy sex. The End.

The Fifty Shades novels introduce its reader to a story, a mystery, and a fantasy that draws you in on page 7 and holds you captive for the next 1,500 pages. It opens you up to another world that is quite fascinating, complex, beguiling, at times extremely upsetting, but above all highly satiating and entertaining. You resent the characters, then you like the characters. You reject the situation, then you open yourself to the situation. It’s quite a roller coaster of emotions that E.L. James takes you through.

Admittedly, the characters and the given situations chronicled are quite unbelievable, unrealistic, and un-everything. (Pardon my bluntness, but a girl cannot have THAT much sex and not have even one yeast infection come up throughout the entire story. Oh, and she also happens to orgasm every. single. time.) Furthermore, I realize that themes in these books scream violence and promote what seems to be the ultimate unhealthy co-dependent relationship, multiplied. I also realize that despite these themes and this lack of reality, I interpreted the series as simply being fantastical and what E.L. James did best: she used her imagination (regardless of how twisted one might think hers must be to come up with this stuff!).

The Fifty Shades Trilogy is not for the squeamish at heart, nor the the conservative of mind. It can be, however, an interesting and ever so sweet escape.

“Laters, baby.”