Title: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
Author: E.L. James
Source: Bought through Amazon
Genre: Erotica - Light BDSM
Format: ebook - 380 pages
Release Date: May 26th 2011
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - 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 adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
This is the first time I have read a book in this genre but after reading so many great reviews I couldn't resist and succumbed to the allure of Fifty Shades.
First I have to point out I was worried I would be disgusted by what I may encounter due to the nature of the genre, but I was extremely surprised. The book was not too gratuitous with the BDSM, but focused on the developing relationship between Christian and Ana and Christian's fetish was more of a backdrop into his personality. That said I had difficulty accepting the "need" to punish and hurt someone. I may understand the hows and whys (being a professional counsellor), but it is still difficult to accept.
This book really pulled me in tremendously because I found the emotional highs and lows so powerful that many times I had to fan myself because of how sensual and smouldering sexy Christian can be and crying at the heartaches. Many times I had to put the book down just to work through in my mind what had happened in the book. Seriously it left me sad and contemplating even when I wasn't reading it and trying to get into Christian's mind.
The author did a phenomenal job of creating characters with so much depth that they came alive and jumped off the pages. I found myself emotionally committed to both Christian and Ana and tried hard to understand them both.
As I continued to read the book I tried to understand Christian and why he would have turned towards the BDSM lifestyle and his need to control and punish. The one thing that popped out for me was how hollow he truly is inside with no real sense of purpose. This lifestyle somehow provided for him with a sense of purpose and completion while as the book progresses the opposite starts happening to him.
Ana, on the other hand, has come from a loving family with people who care for her unconditionally and where she has never been hit or had corporal punishment leashed on her. She feels complete, fulfilled and happy for the most part until she enters his world and tries to be part of it. As the story moves along you start to see changes in Ana as she starts feeling empty emotionally (yes the sex is mind-blowing), thus having an opposite effect upon her then what Christian thought it would.
It is never explained in detail, but the reader is aware that Cristian has endured some kind of childhood trauma where he doesn't want to be touched. He wants to control and has a need to punish that gives him a sexual high. It seems apparent that Christian grew up feeling he could couldn't please anyone emotionally and he was unworthy. It seems that in the BDSM world he learned he could please and be rewarded for pleasing to the point he wanted someone to please him. Somehow he developed the notions that hitting or punishing (and someone taking it) reinforces that the person wants to please him, in this case, Ana. Since Christian can't deal with emotional connections, the connections are reinforced in a physical way. Somehow it is almost as if he thinks if she can take it (physically not emotionally) he is worthy of attention and being wanted. Though as the story unfolds Christian starts to see glimmers of hope and possibilities as Ana tries to "bring him into the light".
One thing I agree with Ana is I also hate Mrs. Robinson because as Ana put the question out there "what would Christian have been like if he never met her." Christian's beliefs are contrary to Ana's and it is sometimes frustrating to see Christian justifying them to Ana. The book ends on a cliffhanger so make sure you have book 2 ready to read right after you finish this one.
One of the most mind-blowing books I have read in a long time that had me thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it!