Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed

By E. L. James

In the first book of this incredibly popular trilogy (more than 2200 holds in CLEVNET!), we meet Anastasia Steele, a young woman close to college graduation who is preparing to go into the field of publishing. Due to her roommate’s illness, she agrees to interview the wealthy, powerful, and attractive Christian Grey, owner of Grey Enterprises, for the school newspaper.

From the first moment, Christian is enthralled by Anastasia and must have her as his own. She quickly learns of Christian’s “alternate lifestyle” in the area of masochism and erotic “play”. Ana is faced with the decision of whether she should pursue this relationship (as one in a long line of Christian’s contracted submissives) and see where it leads, or to run in the other direction. Ana decides to continue the relationship, but defines many of her own rules. Throughout the trilogy, we witness the blossoming love between Ana and Christian as Christian battles to overcome his tortured past.

Despite all of the erotic and dominant/submissive elements and hundreds of creative usages of the “f” word, this is basically a love story. I found myself rooting for the characters to overcome their many obstacles: Christian’s early childhood trauma which leaves him mentally and physically afraid of true intimacy; his beginnings as the submissive of a much older woman (and family friend); those set on vengeance to hurt Christian; and Anastasia’s innocence and desire for true love.

I will not give away the ending, but it follows the basic formula of a love story: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. While this is not my usual type of reading material, I thoroughly enjoyed this series.

~ Paula

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