Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Colorless - Review of Fifty Shades of Grey

Sin is so boring.

Honestly, sometimes Satan uses all his powers to tempt you and you realize it in time ("aha! I see what you're up to!") but it really draws you. Sometimes, he uses things that a child would see through. ("Honestly, I'm supposed to be lured down a dark alleyway for that?! Get real.")

That's what I think of "Fifty Shades of Grey". Get real.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

After 2 chapters, I'd rather read "Twilight" - better character and plot development. Temptation, try again!

View all my reviews
Similarity to Twilight

Have I read through the entire book? No, but enough chapters to know that Twilight author Stephanie Meyer surpasses this writer in plot and character development. Google Preview is an amazing tool!

Firstly, there's the Beautiful Alluring....Male. Secondly, there's the appealing Girl Next Door who's a bit clumsy, awkward and unsure of herself. (This one happens to be at university.) She's drawn by some sort of animal attraction she can't explain, he's the hunter and she's the hunted, and she barely escapes from initial contact with her soul intact. It's a downward ski slope from there.

Writing Ability

There are some smut authors who really can write. Take Anne Rice (pre-Christian days) or Francine Rivers (also pre-Christian days) - they produce characters of intrigue and mystery that make you want to turn pages, to find out what happens next. Honore de Balzac would be another - just because you're a classic smut author from days gone by doesn't make the material any better.

"Fifty Shades" is a normal writing ability, not anything out of which New York Times bestsellers should spring - unless their quality has seriously fallen off in recent years. But it's almost as if the author took a tutorial from Writers Digest on romance novel-writing, plugged in various adjectives for "attractive", and decided that the last names ought to really twist things up and yet co mingle perfectly. ("Grey" and "Steele", get it?)


By chapter 2, it seems that Ana Steele's inner good sense has been overshadowed by pair of grey eyes. (How on earth can someone have 'bright grey eyes'? Grey is the color of clouds and confusion.) It's obvious she has Daddy Issues - any two-bit psychologist can see that her mother is a serial monogamist with 3 ex-husbands, rather like Bella's mother Rene in Twilight. Ana is all seeming pragmatic stability on the outside, but a seething cauldron of subconscious fight-or-flight responses that would be easy to tap by the right source. It's a build-up to the need for Christian Grey (why did the author pick that first name?) to dominate, and her need to be dominated. Scene set. Lights, camera, action.

There's no more explanation as to why Mr. Grey is so alluring than the eternally overprotective Edward. Sure, he's rich, he's built up a fabulous empire with a great deal of workers at a young age....Business Tycoon meets Secretary Type. It's no more apparent here than in Twilight, why Mr. Grey - with all of his power and influence - is drawn to Ana Steele than why Edward is drawn to Bella. Normalcy? Overcoming her feeble resistance? Who knows.

Temptation, try again.