Review: Fifty Shades Freed

The time for me has finally come… the end of the Fifty Shades trilogy. As always, when I finish a book or book series, it’s bittersweet – I’ve finally reached the ending and all the loose ends of the novel come together (hopefully, anyway) but that’s it. The story’s finished. I’m glad I finally found the spare time in my day to finish this book since I’ve been on it for a good month and a bit.

Bye bye Christian.

Bye bye Christian.

The final leg of Christian and Anastasia’s story arrives in the form of Fifty Shades Freed. As always, if you haven’t read the first two books and intend to, I implore you to read no further than this. The novel starts off with Christian and Anastasia being happily married – or as happily as one could be married to someone as irritating as Anastasia. The novel follows the dramatic rollercoaster their lives take as they live as man and wife.

My first strong initial thought on this novel’s plot was that it seemed like it wasn’t planned. Most of the novel read slow and then voila! Action just springs out of nowhere. And then it goes back to its slow state. It’s as if the author was like “Hmm… nothing interesting has happened… let me chuck in a dramatic twist in the plot to keep readers entertained!” Those were my thoughts anyway. I would imagine an author like EL James had thoroughly planned out the final book in the trilogy.

Can I just say that the epilogue of the novel is adorable? Well, not the first part of it but the rest is #totesadorbs.

Christian and Ana’s relationship is sweet and unconventional. Yes, we get it. Christian loves Ana. Yes, we get it. Until the end of the book, nothing new had developed in their relationship and we were treated with the usual dialogue of “Ermahgerd, my Fifty Shades, my sweet Fifty Shades, I love you, why don’t you believe me?” The interactions between the two characters were so repetitive that it felt like deja vu. Luckily, in a form of saving grace, the storyline picked up by the end of the book and I saw some spark in Christian and he became… human. But Anastasia is still annoying. Nothing will ever save that. Ana, her subconscious and her inner goddess need to, like, leave.

I also felt as if some issues weren’t totally resolved… like Ethan and Mia? What happened with them? I know that Ana took note of them “holding hands” at one point, but then that was it. No further explanation. They could be in love just as much as they could be in their own S&M agreement.

The style of writing was the same. Not impressive but not bad either, with little tidbits of descriptive gold hiding in certain chapters of the book. One thing I thought was good and bad at the same time was the way. Sentences would. Read. Like this. I get that it adds dramatic effect and it makes you feel that Anastasia is, in fact, human, and humans do not think in grammatically correct sentences; at the same time, it got a bit tedious at times and it hurt my eyes. Only a slight exaggeration.

Solst-o-meter:
Storyline: 6.6/10
Style of writing: 6.0/10
Overall:  6.4/10

It was a decent ending but it wasn’t “ERMAHGERD HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT FIFTY SHADES IN MY LIFE” amazing. At least it gave me closure on their relationship with the beautiful epilogue and I feel as if I can move on with my own life without having that constant need of Fifty Shades in my life. Thanks for the wild ride, EL James.

– by The Black Widow

My Take on the Fifty Shades Movie

If you’ve been living under a rock or your mind has been too smothered by the whole political vote in Straya, then you wouldn’t know that the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey have officially been cast for the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. As a Fifty Shades enthusiast and overall lover, I have my own opinion on the cast and what I like and don’t like about them.

Anastasia Steele
Who they’ve cast: Dakota Johnson

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

I would imagine her locks would be dyed brown for the role.

Who I think they should’ve castMary Elizabeth Winstead

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

This was (the closest I could get to) my Anastasia.

I didn’t have a very high opinion of Anastasia to begin with and because, as a reader, you take her perspective, I couldn’t really get a clear image of what she looked like. What I pictured was a somewhat beautiful brunette who bit her lip way too much. Now, this isn’t a knock on Mary Elizabeth because the woman is stunning, no questions asked, but she is the closest I could get to what I thought Anastasia looked like. Now, when Dakota Johnson eventually dyes her hair brown for the role, I can actually see a bit of Anastasia in her, but I’m going to be perfectly honest – I couldn’t care less about the casting of Anastasia because the character is as dull as white walls.

Could Johnson play a good Anastasia? Maybe. I haven’t seen her in anything that I can remember but she has the look to be a “self-conscious and really annoying” character. You can bet your bottom dollar I will be critiquing everything when the movie comes out, and if she doesn’t step up to the plate as Ana, manure will be hitting the ceiling.

Now onto the more important role of the movie…

Christian Grey
Who they’ve cast: 
Charlie Hunnam

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Known from his role as Jax on Sons of Anarchy.

Who I think they should’ve cast: Jessie Pavelka

jessie_pavelka_interview_b

This is “my Fifty Shades”, as Ana would say.

While Jessie isn’t really known for his acting chops, I quite frankly do not give a damn. Buy the man some acting lessons if you must because when I pictured Christian in my head, he looked exactly like Jessie Pavelka – albeit a little less happy. So needless to say I was almost outraged when I saw Charlie Hunnam cast in the role because he is not what I had in mind. At all. Ask my parents how outraged I was because they got the brunt of my anger.

In Hunnam’s defense, he is an exceptional actor as I have witnessed on Sons of Anarchy and it’d be interesting for him to shift into the role of the calm and mysterious Christian Grey. If he lets me down, however… manure. Ceiling.

Christian is the main thing I like about the series and I will be absolutely devastated if they don’t get it up to my – and a lot of other readers – standards. So, Hunnam, you have got some VERY big shoes to fill. At the end of the day, I am anxiously waiting for the movie to come out because I am ecstatic to see the world of Anastasia and Christian come to life!

– by The Black Widow

Review: Fifty Shades Darker

After making yet another visit to Dymocks today, I stopped and calculcated how much money I’ve spent at that one book store in the past fortnight. I couldn’t get an exact amount, but over $100 sounds pretty accurate. I love that I’m getting back to reading because I love having my brain stimulated… it also gives me something to review!

RELATED LINKS: Fifty Shades of Grey Review

The second installment of the Fifty Shades series.

The second installment of the Fifty Shades series.

I’m back again, this time reviewing the second lot of shenanigans that Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey face in Fifty Shades Darker. If you haven’t read the first book of the trilogy and really, really want to read it, I suggest you don’t read this as it may spoil some parts for you.

In Darker, we are in Anastasia’s perspective again, starting off as an emotional wreck after the heartbreaking events between her and Christian at the end of Grey. This novel takes place straight after the first and follows the events of Ana’s and Christian’s lives as they ultimately find their way back to each other.

The quality of writing, or lack of quality, was more apparent in this one. There are some parts within the novel that are so irrelevant to the story that it feels like it’s just there to fill space; I get that Ana has a life outside of Christian and I’m eager to read more about her life outside of Christian, but I get absolutely nothing from reading five paragraphs about her day at work. These paragraphs are written so shortly and bluntly, it’s obvious that the author was just dying to get back to the action when Ana and Christian were together or were e-mailing each other.

Anastasia, as a protagonist, is annoying as heck. Her inner goddess and subconscious unfortunately reared their ugly heads in this novel and it bugged me no further. It served no real purpose other than filling space on a page. I find Anastasia to be extremely one-dimensional with no depth or character. Christian, on the other hand, I adore; as a self-admitted hybristophiliac (not really, I’ve just always had a soft spot for those that are troubled), I find him to be the most interesting character of the book, which, in all seriousness, is not hard to achieve. I enjoyed that we got to know more about Christian’s past and why he is the way that he is. I really felt for the fictitious gazillionaire.

It had the same style of sophisticated and annoying writing as the first which was neither good nor bad. There was a part in the book where it was describing a view and I found it hard to picture what the author was trying to describe because instead of using simple words like “blues”, “yellows” and “oranges”, it had something like “vermillion” and “cerulean”. To me, those are the names of cities in the first series of Pokemon, not colours used to effectively describe to a casual reader.

As I was reading and I progressed through the novel, there were parts where it felt as if the author was writing and thought “Oh, let’s throw in something here”. In other words, some of the major dramas in the book didn’t seem like they were pre-planned and were just thrown in there as she was writing it for extra oomph.

The storyline was easier for me to connect to this time around because it was less centered on BDSM and more on love, which I love. The feelings that Ana and Christian have for each other in this novel were strong and I could feel that – but it didn’t have to be every fourth thing they said to each other. Actions, not words.

Solst-o-meter
Storyline: 7.2/10
Style of writing: 4.8/10
Overall: 5.6/10

Overall, I was a bit disappointed as I was in the first one. It’s the style of writing and the lack of character of Anastasia that is letting me down – the character of Christian and the storyline are the saving points for me. These saving points were made evident as I could not put it down as I was stuck in bed for the weekend.

I’m giving myself a break before reading the final book of the trilogy. I have a couple of other books waiting for my attention before I delve into the final events of Ana’s and Christian’s relationship. Until then.

– by The Black Widow

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I know I’m about two years late on the Fifty Shades bandwagon, but I finally found the time and motivation to read it. It was always one of those things I was “going to get around to eventually”, except this time I actually got around to it. Anyway, I just finished it and am therefore going to review it.

Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in the series trilogy.

Fifty Shades of Grey, the first in the series trilogy.

If you are in the percentage that hasn’t read this book, allow me to introduce you to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, the female and male protagonists in this romance novel/series, although I’m not too sure if the word “romance” is the right word for it. Fifty Shades of Grey puts the reader into the perspective of Anastasia, a twenty-something just-about-to-graduate college student who gets thrown into an interview with the dark and alluring Grey which pretty much sets off the following chain events.

I’m just going to say it – I felt absolutely no connection with the characters whatsoever until the very ending, which I won’t recount in case of spoiling the events of anyone reading this. I found Anastasia to be really irritating and generic; I’ve read many o’ book of female protagonists who aren’t confident and aren’t “sure of themselves”. I also found her to be an unrealistic portrayal of a woman who falls in love with a man five minutes after meeting him. Anastasia brought nothing new to me in that aspect. When it comes to Christian, I think the general consensus was that the reader is supposed to swoon over him, but swoon I did not. I found him to be quite repulsive and if I were to encounter him, given he were a real person, I’d probably kick him in the pants.

The way it was written was both sophisticated and annoying. The use of language in this novel was smart and intelligent and sometimes even witty. The writing was engaging in that it kept me wanting more and more. In saying that, there were times when it felt like big words were used just for the sake of sounding smart and throwing big words into the mix. One thing that college has taught me is that, despite there being several words and ways one can write “She said, she said, she said,” it’s best not to stray too much. Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t follow that method, however, with a lot of uses of other words like cajoled, which was used several times.

One part of the writing that irritated me no further was the constant reference to Ana’s subconscious and her “inner Goddess”. At first, it was pretty funny seeing what both of these entities thought of Ana’s shenanigans, but when they were both brought up time and time again, it was a bit tiring.

The storyline was interesting to say the least. If I may make an Anchorman reference… “well that escalated quickly”. That’s the most I can say about that without spoiling too much so I will go no further.

Solst-o-meter
Storyline: 7.0/10
Style of writing: 5.4/10
Overall: 5.8/10

All in all, while it was a book I couldn’t for the life of me put down, I was pretty disappointed with it. I didn’t empathise with the characters and the writing wasn’t enthralling. The storyline was probably the saving light of this novel, it being the only really interesting part of the story. However, I will be eagerly hunting down the sequel as I am dying to know what happens with Anastasia and Christian next.

– by The Black Widow