If you want a prediction on what will be popular then I would not suggest that you ask me. I always get it completely wrong. If I had read this back in 2011 when it was first released I would have said that there is no way at all that grown women will want to read this, maybe some dreamy, daft young girls, but not actual grown-ups who have had relationships and lived lives. Of course I would not have done that, because this sort of thing does not appeal to me at all, but let’s say, if it were for a book club, since that is why I have eventually read it. Anyway, it turns out that I know nothing about what the world likes because this novel and the other two in the trilogy have been hugely successful.
With that in mind, I will include spoilers, because I think I might be the last woman on the planet to read this. So, this is a classic tale of boy meets girl, girl and boy have lots of sex, boy turns out to have mental health issues, girl has self-esteem issues, so accepts abusive relationship for a little while, then she comes to her senses and dumps him. And that’s the end. I know there are two more books, but I choose to believe that they are about Anastasia’s new career, and perhaps her beginning a relationship with someone more appropriate who she is not scared of more than half the time.
I am truly baffled as to why this book has been so popular. Yes, there’s lot of sex, but our poor narrator does not even know if she likes it much of the time, and has a lot of annoying conversations with her “inner goddess” and even more very dull conversations with the hero, Christian Grey. I can appreciate the character of Christian, how someone could become like him, and the behaviour he displays. I understand their crazy, passionate relationship. I struggle to believe the character of Anastasia, though. She is an intelligent, physically attractive and personable 21-year-old virgin. She has barely even been kissed and had no boyfriends. There is nothing really wrong with this, I just do not believe the character, and I do not understand why she accepts the abuse from Christian. Yes, he is easy on the eye, but he might as well look like a troll if he will not let her look at him or touch him.
What a weird, and ultimately quite boring book. Nothing really happens beyond what I have described above. Apart from a lot of brand placement. Which is odd. The most interesting thing about it for me has been trying to work out what people like about it. It can’t just be the sex, you can get that in other books, or, I believe, the internet has some of it these days. It might the will-they-won’t-they get together storyline. It might be that some women like the idea of being pursued by an insanely jealous and threatening abusive pretty boy who can pilot a helicopter. I don’t know. I am genuinely looking forward to discussing this at book club, because I would love to hear what is appealing about it. There was so much fluff and pointless dialogue that my favourite thing about it was how quick it was to read.