50 shades of grey. A confession. A review.

5 May

50 shades of grey is everywhere these days. I heard about it while listening to the radio. The announcers were talking about the book and people were calling in telling tales of their moms holed up in bathrooms for entire weekends.

Sounds like my kind of thing.

Admittedly, I know very little “actual facts” because that’s how I roll, but I have heard that initially the author was writing Twilight fanfic and then “adapted” 50 shades into “other characters” and sold it solely as an ebook until she hit the motherload (pun totally intended) and now it’s an actual book book, in stores and everything.

Not being one to not jump aboard a pop culture trend, I immediately hauled myself to Indigo with a friend and our sons under the guise of “playtime”. While my son read Starwars the lego version and played with Thomas the train, and my friend contemplated various ereaders, I pulled 50 shades of grey, unapologetically, off the shelf and began to flip through the pages.

I get why it’s called mommy porn.

Now, using myself as  the sole subject of comprehensive research, I believe that when a majority of women view consenting adult pornography, they want to see a “plot”.

Like, leave 101 cum shots for “another time” boys.

Even if the plot of the movie consists of a guy in the shortest shorts humanly possible “acting” as though he is a furnace repair man and the girl is wearing what can only be described as a “yoga outfit” for a nudist retreat and the dialogue goes something like:

Hey lady, I’m here to “service your furnace”.

Oh good, because it looks like you have the tools to restart my pilot light.

And then fucking.

… I’m ok with that. Because… plot.

So I think that women dig 50 shades of grey because there is “plot”. Right?

Except I can’t get past the fact that even though these people have different names and aren’t vampires, they are supposed to be originally sort of based on Edward and Bella and like… WTF? Edward? Bella? Nooooooooo.

So I’m at the bookstore and I flip through the book to no less than 5 separate locations and each spot has totally gratuitous sex.

Don’t get me wrong, I like gratuitous sex as much as the next woman, particularly when the sex is with the hottest guy of all time, but where is the plot? Do these people talk? I need something more. Like good writing. 

Backtrack to two weeks ago and I’m with a friend and she is munching on her lunch and reading on her ereader.

Yep. You guessed it. She’s reading 50 shades of grey. And liking it.

So she tells me about a scene where the guy is spanking the girl 9 times. HARD. Like real hits. Because she rolled her eyes at him.

I roll my eyes and wonder if the hottest guy in earth is going to jump out and spank me.

Ok. People like that kind of a thing and the girl in the book signed a contract and stuff. So I heard. Because I still haven’t read the book.

Again, I want to be a part of this worldwide trend but I cannot bring myself to actually get the book. Then on twitter, one gal who is awesome and cool, tweets about it and I think, “Ok. Enough is enough”, and I read the sample available online.

And it’s SO BAD.

First of all, there is no sex in the sample, which amount to the first few pages.  I guess it’s setting the scene between the girl and the hottest enigma of a guy, but the writing is beyond bad.

When I was home at Christmas, my mom pulled out these “books” that I “wrote” when I was around 8 or 10 called “best friends”. My writing was totally stilted. THIS books is like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally fantasize about writing a hunger games fanfic with peeta and katnis and gale and then changing the names and calling it “I’m gonna shoot an arrow through the bun in your oven” and making millions of dollars. 

But 50 shades of grey, which I have not read except for the excerpt, random flipping, various quotes on websites, Ellen on Youtube, my friend talking about it, and the radio, SUCKS.  I want to like it. In fact, I may still read it because I hate not being up on pop culture, but what the what?

What am I missing?

Lest anyone think me a horrible snob, I will confess my deep secret.

I too like mommy porn. My mommy porn is known as “historical romance novels”.

Hot, “bad boy” heroes? Check.

Lots of sex? Check.

Happy endings? Check.

But there is plot, and dialogue, and just… more.

Because I am so benevolent, I will recommend two of my personal favourites that, incidentally, are well reviewed on amazon and goodreads and seem to be popular.

1. The Devil In Winter – this is part of series, but totally a stand alone.  The hero, Sebastian, is a tortured asshole who is super sexy and into sex and gah. SO GOOD.

2. The Viper – also part of series that is totally worth reading, but can be read on its own. The hero is sexy and bad and mean and sexy and sexy. GAH.

I think my husband really benefits from my love of these books because they really are “mood enhancers”. 😉  

So. Yeah.


7 Responses to “50 shades of grey. A confession. A review.”

  1. Chrissi May 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    OK, Jenn, since you once recommended “Pilgrim” to me (which is on my short list of all-time favorite book), I’ve just added your 2 suggestions to my Amazon wishlist. I just got my copy of “50 Shades” yesterday, and haven’t readed it yet, but must due to the “pop culture” thing you mentioned! BTW, E L James got her big break due to Goodreads. Your cousin is on Goodreads too! 😉

  2. Chrissi May 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    BTW, sorry about my above typos!

    • jexalt May 6, 2012 at 10:36 am #

      Just to clarify – neither of the books I recommended are even remotely close to Pilgrim, but, for their genre, they are good. I feel like I should know, because I have read so many that are really, really, really bad!

      Devil In Winter is a regency and the Viper is set in the time of Robert the Bruce in Scotland.

      I love goodreads! I check goodreads and amazon for reviews on everything. I actually need to get an account though I think. Do you use it for more than reviews? Besides the whole published author thing!!

      • Chrissi May 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

        I use Goodreads mostly for the networking “author thing,” ha ha! But as an avid reader, you would LOVE it! In addition to reading and posting my own reviews of books (which you would probably love to do on the books you’ve read), there are groups where you can “talk” to other people who are just as into the books you enjoy as you are, and it’s just a lot of fun to network with other readers, to see what they are currently reading, and to post what you are currently reading, it’s just a totally book lovers/authors website! They call it “Facebook for readers and authors!” It’s really easy to join. Just go to the goodreads site, click on become a member, and type in a very basic profile. They never send any spam or useless e-mails. You’ll only get e-mails from the people you become “friends” with or a “fan” of. If you join, don’t forget to look me up!

      • jexalt May 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

        That really sounds like my kind of thing! I will be sure to join! 😉

  3. sandraeamor May 6, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    🙂 I love that I can always rely on you to keep me up to date on trends. lol.

    I only just heard about this book from one or tweets I saw and this post. It reminded me I have to get back into the Gena Showalter Lords of the Underworld series. Amazing writing, amazing plots and plenty of heat. You won’t get a sex scene every 5 pages, maybe two or three really good ones per book, but the anticipation building up to it, added with an excellent plot (it’s a whole series, and each book has new and exciting adventures, but builds on the previous books instead of repeating like other books sometimes do.) I think I have the first 4 or 5 in the series, you can borrow them if you like 😉

  4. jexalt May 6, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I may try the first one! For some reason, I really only stick to historicals, and even holding to just Regency, some post civil war westerns, and medieval. I haven’t been able to bring myself to paranormal or anything like that, but I can’t say no to a good book!

    Were you reading those books a few summers ago at the cottage?

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