Fifty Shades…yeah, I went there.

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Words
Tags: , , , , , ,

This is where I admit something I have managed to keep from all but two people up until now.

I have read Fifty Shades of Grey. I have also read Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Yes, the whole trilogy.

I did not buy it, so determined I was not to contribute to sales figures that have continued to allow it a place on the bestsellers list, but I did read it. As an avid reader, a writer, and a 24-year-old woman, how could I not? People were talking and despite my best attempts I just could not help my curiosity. I know what you’re thinking – curiosity killed the cat. Lucky for me, then, that I am not a cat.

I am going to start by saying that I have studied creative writing to an extent, but by no means do I think that puts me in any position to consider myself an expert in the field, particularly within the category into which this trilogy falls. However, as a past creative writing student and a writer myself, I am entitled to an opinion on the matter. So here it is.

Is the trilogy well-written? No. Absolutely not. The first paragraph of the first book had me questioning my decision to give it a chance, which was not a good start. Still, I persevered and would like to make it known that from a technical perspective the writing did improve considerably by the end of the third book. Unfortunately there are only so many ways you can describe two people taking each other’s clothes off before it becomes boringly repetitive. Which brings me to the, er, ‘juicy bits’.

I can understand two people having an intense physical attraction to each other, to the point where the slightest touch in the right place can instil an incessant need to rip each other’s clothes off. But let’s be honest: outside of the fictional world in which these books are set, who actually gives in to this kind of desire every, single, time?

I know the series is erotic fiction. I know that this entails a wide range of descriptions for a wide range of sexual activities. Personally, though, there were so many sex scenes that I became immune to them after a while, even the BDSM elements. By halfway through the second book I found myself skimming pages thinking ‘and there they go again…and again..and again’. I think even in erotica it is possible to include too much sex, especially when it is all much the same.

If you can get past the poor writing and all of the sex – my god there is so much sex! – there is, surprisingly, quite the compelling story-line. Even I, the cynic, found myself drawn into Christian and Anastasia’s bizarre relationship rollercoaster. And I loved it. Despite the fact there were a number of parts of the story that were incredibly far-fetched, it was intriguing and surprising and heartfelt. I can barely fathom the amount of time and resources that would have gone into the research for this trilogy, let alone the time spent actually writing it. So I have to give credit where credit is due – E.L. James, you sure as hell know how to captivate an audience.

  1. Hi! My name is Jackie and I work for I recently saw that you blogged about 50 Shades of Grey. It happens to be that our next trend is all about 50 Shades of Grey – the trilogy. It’s my job to find some of the best blogs out there talking about this book so we can involve them in our next trend of 50 Shades of Grey. We are only selecting and featuring the top 50 blogs and and products and we selected you. Since you seem to know much about the series, we would love for you to pick any product that you think relates to the book and 1 or 2 sentences explaining why. Your blog will be featured on with your blog name, link and picture to help you bring additional viewers to your blog. The photo will be near the product of your choosing as well as the link to your blog. This is only through November 22 at 14:00.

    Hope to hear from you soon. My e-mail address is
    Have a wonderful day,

  2. michelle says:

    Hi Tracey,

    You are the first person that I know who admits to (a) reading the book and (b) actually liking it! I haven’t even SEEN the book myself (I am in Eastern Europe) but I have of course heard all the hype….

    • Tracey says:

      I know, it’s crazy but it’s true!
      Can’t say I am surprised the hype has made it to you though. There’s talk of a movie…not sure how I feel about that!

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