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April 30, 2012


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I agree with the grammatical issues - really blocked enjoyment for me. However, once I start something, I have to see it through, so I read the remaining 2 books. He's not a vampire. From what I understand, this was Twilight fan fic, but it's been changed to make it more palatable to non-sparkly-vampire fans. The no-chest-touching is a part of the abuse storyline, which was understandable. However, the fact that he's got 400 years of knowledge crammed into a 27 year old brain wasn't really explained. Bottom line for me: this was a vacation read - a book that was mindless, and didn't ask for much out of me. Nothing I'd read again, and nothing that stayed on my Kindle past the first read (and this is coming from someone who's read Sense and Sensibility over 100 times). :)


LOVE the Anne Rice "Sleeping Beauty" Series.


i haven't read 50 shades because my friends tried to sell it to me by mentioning the twilight fanfic aspect. i've read enough fanfics in my days to know that most are horrible. and i really hated twilight, so as a selling point, i never wanted to pick it up. also, i love (and own) the sleeping beauty trilogy, and i had a feeling that after reading anne rice's erotica, i wouldn't want to go backwards in terms of quality and content by reading 50 shades of grey.


I didn't find out it was Twilight fan-fic until after I read it (yeah, I was that much out of the loop). Had I known that going in, I probably wouldn't have read it.

I did enjoy it, despite the fact it was not good literature and poorly written. (I really hate dialogue that includes the endearment "Baby", as in "Laters, Baby". It hardly ever comes across well.) I enjoyed it the way some people enjoy reality TV--with a bit of shame over my less-than-sophisticated taste. :) The sex scenes were hot--the first few times. And then it was just more of the same...I ended up reading the sequels much faster than I read the first simply because I could skip 4 or 5 pages of redundant sex at a time. (Seriously, I've been married 15 years, and our sex life isn't that redundant! Just because it had elements of BDSM-lite doesn't mean it wasn't boring at times.) What I enjoyed was the unbelievable soapy-ness of it, the cliché of good-girl-redeems-bad-boy-they-live-happily-ever-after-ness of it. But I'm a hopeless romantic and I like cheesy romances. And soap operas.

One last thing--I don't think they took his sexual abuse lightly. Ana is clearly disturbed by it and tries throughout the trilogy to get Christian to confront what happened to him. He doesn't see it, and believes he was a willing participant. This is a pretty common victim mentality, and I think it's the one way that the author tries to show just how damaged he is. I was actually more disturbed by the subplot of how much he likes to hurt women that look like his mother. Though the author kept hammering into our heads that he only went as far as the woman told him to, and never caused "unpleasurable" pain, there's still that niggling little thought in the back of my head that if Ana hadn't come along when she did and "rescued" him, he'd end up on a "Criminal Minds" episode.



You wrote your review!! Yay!

There's a really interesting (and important, IMO) review of the book on BlogHer that talks about how the book is a really poor primer for people unfamiliar with BDSM, because the important points of care and trust just trampled by both Ana and Christian. I won't litter Kit's comments with links, but it's worth seeking out.

And the Beauty Trilogy was an eye opener back in day. And literate, yay!


Oh, yes, Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy was phenomenal!


When everybody got so excited about this book/series and how "erotic" it was, I could not help but remember that I have been reading an erotic vampire series that is not romance and have loved it for years! Laurell K. Hamilton's books are amazing and the sex is even better. Granted, during the Anita Blake series, she lost sight of the plot for about 6 books, but she seems to have regained it in the last few books. It is NOT the corny paranormal romance that is so popular right now and it is so hot.

Melissa Stevens

Finally!! Someone who feels the same way I do about 50 Shades of Stupid. I prefer my characters to have personalities.

I absolutely the Anita Blake books, she may have gone off plot for a while but her characters still had their personalities and their lives.

I liked the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy as well... it was my introduction to BDSM and Erotica, and what an eye opener it was!!


I first heard of this on GMA and was intrigued, but not sold immediately. I don't typically buy into the hype of 'best sellers' or 'book club suggestions' unless they are really well written. I like content and characters that are complicated and real. However, curiousity got the better of me and I bought it on my Kindle. I can honestly say, I have read better erotica that has had characters with much more depth and the sex was far more inticing.
My problem with Ana/Christian is how her character unfolds after having sex for the first time and considering she is suppose to be intelligent and has wiated, I find it hard to swallow (no punn intended) that she would be so taken with his character so quickly. It's just so cliche. Now I am going to have to cyber stalk you and read some of your material....

K Jones

Thank you for this review!! I thought I was the only person on earth who wasn't impressed with this book and didn't think it was "hot." Great review!!


Everyone keeps telling me how fantastic this book is. And, I am not gonna lie, I really wanted to pick this book up when I first heard about it, but the reviews are making me not want to read it. I am pretty sure I will pick it up at some point in my life.

However, this Sleeping Beauty trilogy you guys speak of does sound interesting. I will be checking that one out ASAP.


I hadn't heard of 50 Shades until people started reviewing it. And a fan fic that got published? Hmmm. Even weird for a Twilight (book) fan like me. Yes I admit it. :)


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy - read it the 1st time over 10 years ago...50 Shades got me to bring them out again, at least it was good for that!


I should have known this book would be shit when my prudish friend was the one to tell me about it breathlessly. In her words it's "porn for chicks". Regular porn is porn for chicks. We don't need a subgenre.

Jester Queen

I'm in the 'can't bear to pick it up' camp. I'm not a sparkly fan. I have an alternate personality named Madame Syntax. And, quite frankly, I'm a rampaging feminist. This book violates all three principles.

I think it's so popular because a whole group of sexually repressed women can read it and pretend not to be all into sex. And I absolutely agree - if sex was less taboo, we'd be a much better culture.


I agree with your comments about the ridiculous writing, stupid storyline, etc. However, I think that this series specifically appeals to women as opposed men, which is why you didn't get it. A man writing a review for these books is like a woman writing a review of a power tools how-to documentary. I don't think it appeals to women because we're sexually repressed. In fact, a lot of women I know who've read it, no names here, love to have sex. Like a lot.
With regard to sparkly vampires, et al, there are no vampires in 50 shades. The books were loosely based on the characters of Edward and Bella as a way of exploring their sexual frustration.
Sometimes its fun to look beyond the stupidity and just read for fun. I'm sure, yes, that there's better erotica. For sure, and absolutely, there are better books, but 50 shades is popular because its FUN, its a bit ILLICIT, and it feeds a bit of fantasy into our boring lives. Nothing more, nothing less.


Read The Story of O


I won't be reading this.

but I do have to say, John. Coming of Age is an actual literary genre called Bildungsroman...and it's legit. Don't call this piece of shit coming of age, well unless it is.

Little Women, Great Expectations, shit, even Catcher in the Rye are "coming of age."

Bildungsroman involves a young person experiencing a conflict that causes them to learn and change.

This doesn't really sound like that.

This just sounds terrible.


Everybody has seemingly been talking about this book. Being completely turned off by the Twilight fan fiction aspect of it I haven't read it. Just this past weekend after hearing yet another person talk about it I finally ordered it on amazon and its en route. Reading this review... I sort of wish I hadn't.

julie gardner

I'd rather read blogs.


My "wine palate" extends to- is it under $10/bottle? And it doesn't burn, right? (HATE dry wines.)

And financial worrys,,, oh yeah...

So, that would be the MAJOR problem for me reading that book...

Jenny Lyn

John, I'm disappointed you didn't comment on the "tampon scene". O.O

Full disclosure, I haven't read it and I have no intention of doing so. I've read enough about it online and I sampled the first few pages on Amazon - not for me. There's tons of well written erotic books out there if someone's looking for a hot read. The fact that it's getting attention for the "kinky sex" alone makes me want to cry at the injustice. Aside from that, there's just too much WTFuckery going on between its covers. I'd probably burst a blood vessel by Chapter 5.

Thanks for sharing your link though, John. Now I have someone new to stalk, er, follow!


"However, I think that this series specifically appeals to women as opposed men, which is why you didn't get it. A man writing a review for these books is like a woman writing a review of a power tools how-to documentary."


It would be easy to say, "I'm a woman and I know plenty of women that think these are stupid, stupid books" but that's sort of a cop-out. Really: books targeted towards women shouldn't be critiqued for literary value because, oh, it's for women?



Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU for your review.I almost bought this book but I paused and asked myself, "Is a self published, fanfic based on Twilight really going to be in the same league as Sleeping Beauty?" A quick "50 Shades vs. Sleeping Beauty" search brought me here. I'm off to buy a new copy of Sleeping Beauty.


I have been ignoring this book, but I heard it reviewed by Elaine Charles on her radio show (www.bookreportradio.com) yesterday, so I thought I better find out more. Thanks for your great review. I now do not need to feel guilty about not reading this book, but I probably will anyway because sex also gets my attention and I need to be able to follow what everyone else is talking about.

Julia Lowcher

I didn't read these books with anything in mind more than an escape from my often mundane stay at home mom duties. Thankfully it provided that & and has opened up many discussions with other moms like me who don't take the time to read much anymore. It was hot, plain & simple! I'll save the well written, great American novels for the empty nest years, thank you very much!


I tried a few things after Fifty... but the Realtors Series by Liz Crowe was the one thing I found that was as captivating! The relationship between Jack and Sara will draw you in... and ladies Sara is a successful woman with her own career. The other characters in the book are developed over the series, it is enjoyable to watch them all interact.

Here are the Amazon links for this highly recommended trilogy ...

Book One: Floor Time - http://amzn.to/IqDXde

Book Two: Sweat Equity - http://amzn.to/KhcDvf

Book Three: Closing Costs - http://amzn.to/JDXFoD


Curious - did you read all 3 books, or just the first one? I managed to get through all 3; they were rough, but I thought 2 was the best, and 3 really wrapped up the "story" and answers a lot of questions that you had.


Yes! Finally someone writes about femdom.

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