Ever since I found out this book was causing controversy everywhere, I had to read it. Any book that challenges people or gets people talking is a must read in my eyes so I wasted no time ordering it from Amazon. Whilst waiting for it to arrive, I did a bit of research about the book and found extremely mixed reviews. It's almost as if there is a clear 50/50 divide down the middle. Some reviews were praising the book as the best thing they'd ever read, whereas others were calling the book ridiculous, with the female lead being stupid and pathetic! I also read an article about how the book was in some ways empowering women and helping them be more open with erotica and sex. Really, if you haven't heard of this book yet, where have you been?
The story was originally written as a Twilight fan fiction (a story based on the two main characters of the franchise) but was re-written with new characters. Although there are many similarities between the original first draft fan fiction and this published novel, don't let it put you off. The main characters were merely loosely based on the characters of Edward and Bella.
The blurb reads -
When literature student Anatasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.
Unwordly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.
But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view...
In the most simple terms, this is an erotic and romantic story about the relationship between Ana and Christian. It is quite dark in that Christian enjoys partaking in sub/dom relationships and wants to draw up a contract with Ana where, unlike a normal relationship, instead she agrees to be his submissive, meaning he, as the dominator, can make her do anything he likes and 'punish' (spank, whip, tie up etc) her if she steps out of line. As dark as it sounds, this book was absolutely amazing.
I really, really loved this book. I admittedly expected it to be so much different than it was. I knew what type of story it was so I knew it would be rude and I expected the character of Christian to quite frankly be a pervy, nasty old man. I thought the relationship between Ana and Christian would simply be about him forcing her to do stuff and getting off on it (sorry for lack of a better description!). I thought it would be very seedy.
It was NOTHING like I thought. For a start, this story was very passionate and romantic. I thought it was more about the passion and romance then it was about the sex. The darker side of Christian was explained that because of his past, he simply likes sex to be much more kinkier. This book was a lot ruder then I thought it was, it was very erotic, however it was written very well and went hand in hand with the romance part of the story. The character of Christian is actually represented as a young, attractive and sexy man who simply had some demons to deal with. In some ways, the relationship actually seemed ideal in that as you read the book you can understand that the characters clearly develop a passion for each other that is almost on another level.
It does of course have parts about sex being a bit darker so I would suggest an open mind when reading this book. I think it depends on your own thoughts about this type of thing ; to some people, punishment during sex is seen as demeaning - for others it's a turn on!
I really loved this book and the romance really drew me in. I read this book in two or three days straight, unable to put it down. This book really grips you and draws you in and in all honesty I think the author is an excellent writer. It's not easy to describe the type of passion or love you feel for someone, especially if it's a lot more than what you are used to, but this author got it spot on.
I recently read that the book is going to be made into a movie and Ian Somerhalder is being considered as the role of Christian. This is most probably a rumour but if you know his character in The Vampire Diaries then you'll understand why he may be being considered. His character in the Vampire Diaries is very handsome, dark and brooding - he's possessive and loves on a whole other level and he has a very dark side with lots of demons. The character of Christian is very much like this.
If you've ever been in a relationship where you've felt such a passion for someone that you've just wanted to give up all of yourself to them then this is for you.
I also love the cover for this book - I think it's both intriguing and even sexy once you realize what the tie symbolizes. As you read the story you'll find that the tie on the cover of the book immediately reminds you of parts of the book but as a whole the tie also symbolizes emotions within the relationship and more. It's almost like the cover of this book is to not only remind you of the erotic nature of the story, but also of what the story is actually about on a deeper level - i.e how it's not actually just all about sex. Personally I think that it's a smart and nifty little reminder as at times when you are not reading but you see the book on your bedside table or bookshelf, the cover immediately reminds you of parts of the book and draws you in to come back and read it.
I would without a doubt recommend this book to everyone - it is unbelievably gripping and has such a shock factor attached to it. Whether you're open minded or not I would recommend it but if you're quite closed minded I don't think you'll like it. If you are close minded you should read it none the less though, if even to broaden your mind a little bit.
This book is part of a trilogy and I have since purchased the second and third book in the series. I am reading the second book at the moment and it is just as gripping as this one! I'll also be typing up a review of both the second and third book when I get the chance to.