This was, by no means, the book of the century. It was never written with the intention of being the literary worlds’ next big thing, or make some kind of unbreakable statement, like books such as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or ‘Frankenstein’.
But what it was intended to do, it does very well.
Fifty Shades was a fun, easy read, with some scenes and moments that quite frankly had me smiling like crazy or fanning myself with the book. It’s hot! What’s more, it is a hot book without pirates or dukes bodice-ripping women on the front cover, so at least you get that illusion that you’re reading something that isn’t, in the end, deliciously smutty.
First warning–don’t read this book if you expect a book to be a pillar of morality! The fact is that books weren’t meant to be that, and especially not fiction. People in stories break the rules–that’s where the action, the conflict, and the plot all stem from. This isn’t hum-drum reality. This is the moment when something changes for a character, and their lives go off-script a little.
Yet still, at the heart of it is what I think is a very legitimate love story of realistic complication. (All right, ‘realistic’ might be stretching, but come on people, it’s fiction!) While some might sally forth into Fifty Shades with a skewed idea of what they’re about to read, ready to jump on the slightest infraction, it’s very much a book where you just need to go along for the ride. Believe it or not, there ARE people out there like Anastasia Steele–she’s not as impossibly unreal as you might think. And I have no doubt that, excepting the billionaire-status, there are men out there like Christian Grey. (At least I sincerely hope there are! A girl has to dream.)
I don’t think this book portrays anything unrealistically, or at least not beyond the realm of believability. It does make the BDSM world come off a little foreboding, but this is to be expecting, since we’re seeing it through the eyes of a relatively innocent young woman who isn’t aware how far the culture goes. She is open and willing enough, however, so that I don’t think the book has anything close to a condemning message for those practices. The crux of the book is that Christian wants her (or at least she thinks he does) to be something she’s not–something they both have to work through and explore. And who among us hasn’t been in a relationship where they felt they had unrealistic expectations for their partner, or vice versa?
Not the entire book is deep, however. Sometimes it really is just a sweet story of two people trying to make it work. The scene where the couple goes gliding is fun and sweet, and I laugh aloud almost every time that they have extended e-mailing scenes, because the best of their playfulness tends to come out (as well as their seriousness–but that’s okay.)
I guess what I’m saying is that Fifty Shades of Grey is not the best book ever written, nor does it consider itself that way. It just wants to be treated as any other book, and given a chance. Don’t over-analyze it, as Ana is so wont to do. You’ll get more enjoyment out of it that way, if you aren’t constantly digging under the surface to find ways to tear it down. Christian never does anything Ana doesn’t want him to, and is constantly reminding her that she has the power, and that he will stop if she wants. He tries to warn her away for almost the entire beginning of the book. But the fact is, humans rarely do what we know that we should–and sometimes we’re the better for it.