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I’m a funny, free-thinking girl who loves philosophy, disco dancing to 70′s music, going on spontaneous adventures, and living life to the fullest. I love dogs and have an inexplicable affection for elephants. I know who I am and I know what I want out of life.

Fifty Shades of Grey: An unapologetic review of this hot new novel

I felt that out of the 514 pages in this book, 73 were worth reading. For your convenience, I have listed all worthwhile pages here (Yes, they’re the dirty ones. You’re welcome):

113- 122

134- 142

191- 196

263- 268

273- 276

318- 329

348- 350

362- 366

371- 372

428- 430

437- 438

479- 480

484- 492

So what were the remaining 441 pages about? Well, mostly Anastasia Steele (the craven virgin turned freak-in-the-sheets slash victim of domestic abuse) entertaining mind-numbingly irritating dialogue between her subconscious and her “inner-goddess” (don’t get me started…ahem “my inner goddess is doing pole vaults.”), conducting constant and painstaking analysis of Christian Grey’s facial expressions, and biting her lower lip.

What you will not find in these 441 pages is anything surprising. What was surprising was to hear this book so frequently touted as being groundbreaking for women. Believe it or not, there is nothing groundbreaking about women being submissive. In fact, historically it has kind of been the norm. So is this book really a beacon for the women’s sexual revolution? Let’s review, shall we?

It starts off with Anastasia Steele, a sexually clueless, virginal girl-next-door from a broken home. Virginity caters toward the male fantasy. I would be hard-pressed to find a female fantasy that involves re-losing your virginity, or banging a sexually inexperienced man. It also reinforces the archaic but persistent ideology that a women’s worth is tied to her chastity. Also, can we talk about the fact that virgin-Ana refers to her vagina as her “sex?” I’d say that’s on par with calling it her “baby-maker.”

We are then forced to endure approximately 120 pages of Ana’s crippling insecurity (“I’m too pale, too skinny, too scruffy, uncoordinated and my long list of faults goes on.”; “why would this beautiful, powerful, urbane man want to see me?”). Are you feeling empowered yet, ladies?

Soon after, the older, wiser, richer and more experienced Christian Grey (read: father figure) “rips through [Anastasia’s] virginity.” Because nothing says feminism like daddy issues.

Christian then introduces Ana to his “wicked ways” by implementing corporal punishment when she dares to roll her eyes at him. Following spanking, or, you know, felony battery, they engage in satisfying sex which he then tries to use as proof that being hit actually turns her on. This logic is clearly fallacious. If you ate a hamburger prior to having satisfying sex, would it follow that you are sexually aroused by beef? Well, maybe. I don’t know you’re life. Anyway, the formerly stable Ana then quickly becomes unbalanced and overly emotional; crying basically all the time and falling victim to her own increasing anxiety regarding her “relationship” with Christian. Once her emotional intelligence has been reduced to that of a temperamental child she is forced to rely on Christian for all of her emotional and sexual needs. Complete and total dependency is not enough for Christian, though. He also wants to own her. He repeatedly says throughout the book that she is his, and that she belongs to him, to which Anastasia initially responds by saying that her subconscious is “doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his.”  And with that, feminism was dead. Dead!

If you are to get anything out of this book (other than a handful of Google searches for terms like “flogger”) it should be the realization that it is important to be honest with yourself about your sexual wants and desires. A woman being able to freely and honestly express her sexual desires is groundbreaking. A woman submitting to a man who will then have his way with her is passé at best.

The interplay of sex and degradation is rarely black and white; there are many shades of grey in between…perhaps even fifty.

xx,

K.

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46 Comments on “Fifty Shades of Grey: An unapologetic review of this hot new novel”

  1. MJ, Nonstepmom July 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Thanks, havent gotten around to this yet – my inner goddess is busy & appreciates your taking the time to highlight the ‘worthwhile pages” !

  2. caitliniam July 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks for the honest review. I haven’t read the book but people keep insisting I should. I’m going to take this as more evidence that it’ll be like giving in to Twilight. A thoroughly dissatisfying experience. Though maybe I’ll check out the worthwhile pages 🙂

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      haha, yes- I would be surprised if you found those particular pages dissatisfying LOL xx

  3. Bruce July 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    A clever review. I’ve forgotten the title already but I definitely won’t be buying it. Books like this remind me of skin-flick movies (umm, I heard about these when I was a bit younger). The padding between the covers is used to justify the only content of interest if it exists; most likely the 73 pages you mentioned above. Sex still sells. Funny thing; I read some old books here and there; throw away novels for quick and light entertainment; they were written in the days when the man knew best and the wife was dependent on his wisdom, discipline etc. Did he want a wife, a young girl, or a mixture? Lucky that guys were so incredible then and women so totally dependent. The cycle continues it seems and I find it a little embarrassing. Bruce

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 8, 2012 at 4:16 am #

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I couldn’t agree more!

  4. JC July 8, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m writing a post about this soon. I haven’t read it yet, and probably never will. I just don’t think it’s all that shocking! Most of the stuff I’ve heard about is what I currently do anyway (Yikes!) haha 🙂

    However, I did hear about the “contract” and one of my boyfriends and I may be working on one of those soon…

    So yea, I’m dirty sometimes haha

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 8, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      more power to you!

    • Andre May 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      Yes, the older I get, the less I care what people think about how I dress. That’s why I still wear my Converse shoes. 🙂 She is bold and those shoes with the red skirt are just out of this world. Way to go Christina!

      • Jaclyn May 17, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

        Hi John, pleasure meeting you today at Pa87#cia&it21r;s. I am interested in taking the Writing Intro next Saturday. I will not speak for Jenny, but I think she is also interested. I will pass the info on to my fellow massage students. Thanks Joseph

    • Dmitry May 6, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      Welcome home! I’ve read fifty shades of Grey, wish i lived in your area would join in your dsuscision..our library here in north fla. won’t have it on its shelf..but a friend of minw gave me the book ot read and she has book 2 and 3..I enjoyed it but some of my friends thinks thats its not proper reading material, thats their opinion, I have read a few others authors that i enjoy alot more,like Lora Leigh and Margie Church and a few others. This guy friend who name Trey took it home wioth him, he’s on the road alot so I can’t wait to hear on what he thinks about we talk on the phone and he keeps telling me wait until I see you thats been over 3wks. so will see what do you think about this book? My sex life sucks at the moment so books like this keep me dreaming but then I’m quite happy with a man like Ty you have no problems have a Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Fatma October 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Wow, I think you will be a great OB. It seems like you have a real love for children, fmielias, and people in general. Sad to say that those qualities are rare traits in todays world. I believe not just anyone should be in just any job because you could be in a job that you hate and end up making everyone who comes in contact with you at work miserable. You have the joy and care to be great at your job and effect those you will be working around not only by your knowledge , but by your love for what you do.

    • Tadalafil March 13, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

      If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enlightenment.

  5. kelsgonebush July 8, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    I just started reading this book and while I like it because its a bit different to the ‘chic lit’ I usually read , Anastasia truly shits me to tears !! I want to slap her myself half the time 😉 I don’t think this is a very realistic love story anyway .. but I will probably read all the books now I have started , I’m bad like that .. also I hope u don’t mind , I nominated you for one of those bloggy awards , if you want to check it out here is the link .. http://kelsgonebush.com/2012/07/08/ooooh-my-first-blog-award/ Xx Kel

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 8, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      thank you so much!! I’m honored! 🙂 xx

      • Minnie May 17, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

        92 3-6-12 spune: cel mai probabil e de la driver-ul placii video. instaleaza din nou si daca face la fel, instaleaza alta versiune a driuur-elvi +53V-a ajutat acest raspuns?

  6. jensine July 8, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Think i will just photo copy the good pages so

  7. Offer July 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Dear K, thank you once again for a terrific post! It’s interesting that, while there’s definitely a place for easy-reading fiction, longevity comes from a solid base. Good writing, good story-telling, and characters that we can care about! This appears to be much ado about nothing, save the steamy bits. Thanks for dissecting so clearly, & as always saying things so thoughtfully and so well. Glad to read you! Cheers.

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!! I have been enjoying your blog as well! 🙂 xx

  8. evea192 July 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Yip, 50 shades of gray. So one has to choose, more shades or more grays.

  9. versipellusfenris July 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Rarely am I disappointed by the lack of a “double-like” button, but this is one of those times. Nothing says feminism like daddy issues and “ripped” virginity…

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 9, 2012 at 12:03 am #

      hahaha thank you!! That is quite the compliment! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 xx

    • Martha May 17, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

      Awo is not Ojukwu, he is a civilian just coming out of prison while Ojukwu is a combatant soldier and the governor of the southeast and also the sit of the gonernmevt was in Lagos and a military man in sit. Honestly, it will not take time before Awo found himself back in the prison yard if he ever tried that. Also Gowon freed him from prison and that alone won Gowon the sympathy of not only Awo but most yorubas.

  10. Ashleigh July 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Honestly, this is everything I thought about the books. Yes, sadly I read all three. It was akin to a car crash for me – I Just had to see how it played out (not well, if you were wondering). Thank you for this great post!

    • Deandre May 17, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

      If you’re reading this, you’re all set, paerdnr!

    • http://goanalyze.info/dlxww.com May 31, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

      Also ich persönlich halte viel vom viralen Marketing, da es ja zwangsläufig eine Einzigartigkeit besitzen muss, um überhaupt Erfolge erzielen zu können. Auf dem Buchmarkt finde ich es dagegen eher traurig. Ich will Dienstleistern wie natürlich nicht abstreiten, dass sie wichtige und gute Arbeit machen, aber ich würde gerne an die Kosumenten, dieses großen Schatzes unserer Kultur appellieren, dafür zu sorgen, dass der Markt für Bücher auch ohne zwangsläufiges Marketing am Leben bleibt. LG Katja

  11. Ashleigh July 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Reblogged this on Ashleigh With a "G" and commented:
    I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  12. tryingtoknowthyself July 11, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Luv the ending paragraph 🙂
    Personally I don’t think I’ll ever read this book, but for some reason I love reading the reviews. Yours especially 🙂

  13. Lorraine July 18, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I really respect this clear and level-headed review. I write recaps for one of my websites- SnarkSquad.com – and I started taking on Fifty Shades, and let me tell you, I very much hate this book. HATE. I don’t even think the sex scenes are worth reading, really, because the characters are just so hateful that it makes the sex uncomfortable and weird. GAH.

    I could never discuss it as calmly as you have here, but you raise so many great points, especially about Ana the Virgin and how this not quite groundbreaking as others have described.

    I understand that erotica is heavy on the sex while the plot is almost a way of getting people around from sex scene to sex scene. I could’ve forgiven 50 Shades for a fllimsy plot. However, in combination with poorly developed characters and straight up bad writing, the combined effect is pretty infuriating. To me, at least.

    If you are interested in the recaps you can find them starting here: http://www.snarksquad.com/2012/05/fifty-shades-of-grey-chapter-1-my-eyes-are-totally-rolling-in-exasperation.html

    Anyhow, I’m glad to have read this take on the book!

    Also: I found your site through 20 Something Bloggers. I’m about to approve your membership so welcome, welcome, welcome!

    Lor

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment (and for approving my membership)!! If your site is anywhere near as concise yet impassioned as your comment, I’m sure I will love it- can’t wait to check it out! Thanks again! 🙂 xx

  14. pharphelonus July 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Nicely done. I saw a guy reading it while working a concession stand at a baseball game. Said he was engaged and his wife asked him to read it. Lucky dude. LOL

    • sorryiamnotsorry July 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      hahaha. It is officially the end of an era. The expectation of a bouquet of roses has been replaced with a riding crop. sad.

    • Kayleen May 17, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

      Deep thinking – adds a new dienosimn to it all.

  15. Carolina Courtland July 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    I love how you conveniently list the good pages, so we don’t have to waste time with the rest of the book. LOL

  16. Lori King Books August 8, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    I’m not gonna lie, I liked the book, but I totally get your point. EL James completely buried “the good stuff” in the midst of Ana’s angst over her body issues, and imaginary resistance to being submissive. Either way, I LOVED your review, and might just have to reblog it!

    • sorryiamnotsorry August 8, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Haha thank you so much!! I’m really glad that you enjoyed it. Reblog to your heart’s content 🙂 xx

      • Lori King Books August 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

        Thanks! I just reblogged it! I know my readers will find it hysterical!

  17. Lori King Books August 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Reblogged this on Lori King Books and commented:
    Don’t get me wrong, I liked the Fifty Shades of Grey books, BUT, this review was SOOO hillarious and well written that I had to share it!

  18. shetraces August 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Yes, I agree with most of what you write here. Mention the amount of times she mentions her medulla oblongata, and I would have been rolling on the floor laughing. Something about her writing, though, is drawing people in…but I think your analysis is pretty on point.

  19. Sasha December 4, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    I read the first 2 chapters and stopped. Nuff said. lol

    • Christina May 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

      You’ve imreesspd us all with that posting!

  20. contemplatinglove January 10, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    Great review! The plot is seriously lacking, I couldn’t even reach the middle of the book I admit 😀

  21. Rachel skarsten April 21, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    Now we’re looking at a publication you ‘d
    be embarrassed to be caught book on the tube. Tiny routines start to
    grate: the method everybody consistently flares, chastens, smirks or murmurs as well as no one ever simply states; the method his eyes are regularly scorching,
    and she is constantly attacking her lip.

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