Last night, Christian Grey kept me up very late. Past midnight. I’m very tired this morning.
I first stayed up to finish Jennifer Armintrout’s recaps, chapter by chapter, of 50 Shades Darker, the second book in the 50 Shades of Grey series. I finished reading her recaps of the first book on Tuesday night.
Before I get to my point, I want to make some clarifications about my experience with this book. Because of the hype about it, I downloaded the free previews — the first two chapters — of each book to see if I could even stand to read them. Set aside the fact that E.L. James couldn’t write herself out of a paper bag, I got really, really, really bored and decided it wasn’t worth the torture to even try. Then I read Katrina Lumsden’s reviews of the books on www.goodreads.com and they were so funny that I kind of wanted to read the books just to laugh at them. But the thought of spending actual money and adding to the fortunes of the publisher who stooped so low as to publish this drivel was too much for me. So, if someone wants to lend me a free copy of the series, I’d appreciate it. 🙂
So … with that said, let me take you all through a couple scenarios:
Imagine, if you will, a 19-year-old girl sitting in a mall food court with a man. They’re having a conversation and once or twice something catches her attention out of the corner of her eye and she glances in that direction, finds nothing of particular interest and looks back at the man she’s with and continues the conversation.
And then …
He accuses her of staring at a man who was in the general direction of where she’d turned her head to look. She tells him she didn’t see anyone, but he doesn’t believe her. Of course, this “staring” she did in the split second during which she turned her head means she wants to have sex with a man she didn’t see. An argument erupts and in the end, they make up and move on.
A few months later, this same teenage girl and the same man are in a restaurant having dinner. By now, she’s learned to keep her head down in public, lest someone with a Y chromosome wanders into her line of sight. They get up to leave and she notices that there are three men sitting in a booth towards which she must walk in order to get out of the restaurant. She is careful to cast her eyes to the floor and not look at them at all on her way out.
And yet …
The man screams at her for hours about how she was “staring” at the men in the booth.
Every time she’s in public with this man, she gets a sick feeling in her stomach. He calls constantly and demands to know who she’s with and what she’s doing. He attempts to separate her physically and emotionally from her family and friends she’s known her entire life.
Put billions of dollars in his bank account and make him “hot” (as in good-looking, not with a fever) and I present you with Christian Grey, the man millions of women are “in love with.” The man millions of women compare to their own boyfriends or husbands and find their real-life partners lacking.
Let me tell you right now, Christian Grey is not a catch. He is not a good person. He is not someone you want to be involved with. He is most definitely not romantic or heroic. If someone you cared about was in a relationship with him, you would be afraid for her life and begging her to leave him.
Prior to reading Armentrout’s blog, I was mostly just annoyed that a publisher picked up the books. The writing is horrible. The theme and plot barely exist. This thing with Leila? I’m not even sure why James bothered. Take out the sex scenes and these books are the ideal romantic relationship that might spring forth from the not-quite-formed psyche of a ten-year-old girl. But they came from the clearly stunted psyche of a woman who, based on photos I’ve seen, is in her thirties or forties.
To the women who look at Christian Grey and see the ideal man, I ask: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??? I know I’m going to offend some people, but seriously, you need therapy. Intense, serious, deep therapy.
This book would have made more sense and been a more honest story if it was a thriller about a young, innocent woman who fell in love with a billionaire who turned out to be a psychopath (because that is absolutely what Christian Grey is) and she has to somehow escape him. Hmmm … perhaps this should have been Sleeping with the Enemy fan fiction. It’s closer to the reality. One of them will have to end up dead in the end because that is how this kind of thing ends.
I know plenty of people are going to comment here about how it’s “just a book,” but it isn’t. I can understand that the sex scenes maybe turned you on. I can get that you maybe even enjoyed the story. But what I don’t understand, the thing that should concern any of you who think this way, is why you believe this is a romantic story? Why do you think Christian Grey is the man of all your dreams? Why in the holy hell would you want to even know someone who won’t even allow you to choose your own food or when you will eat it?
Here’s a tip: If you enjoy having every last detail of your life micro managed, commit a crime and go to jail. You’ll have more autonomy that way.