50 Shades Darker by E. L. James

cover Title: 50 shades darker
Author: E. L. James
Length: 532 pages
Genre: Erotica, Romance, Fiction
Format: ePUB
Rating: 4/5
Why I read it: Sequel to 50 shades of Grey

Once more, with most sequels, the book starts right where the first left off. Ana has just broken up with Christian, and feels her world is falling apart. Meanwhile, she has started her new job as an assistant to a book editor in a publishing firm. Also one of Christian’s ex–subs has gone crazy and is out to get Christian. Or Ana. Or both. Maybe. And a whole lot of other drama ensues.

The good: It’s nice to see that Christian is really giving a “real” relationship with Ana a try, even through their jealousy and self-esteem issues. I even like that although much is the same as the first book, there are still new sides to Christian to see.

The bad: Much the same as the first book. Add in the fact that Ana complains about Christian’s moods changing fast, when she is the same, and the fact that they are either fighting or flirting, and then patching it up, or ignoring the issue with sex. Also, at one point in the book, I had to stop and point out to my husband, that Ana getting a promotion from personal assistant to publishing editor after a week of working is just too unrealistic, even for this book. Christian just suddenly getting over his fear of being touched is another thing that is unrealistic. And adding drama on top of drama that is supposed to span over the course of two days. It seemed like James had a lot of ideas for conflict, but couldn’t decide, so just went with all of them.

Although the “good” section is considerably shorter than the “bad”, I did thoroughly enjoy reading the book, even at its most unrealistic and unbelievable parts. I found it entertaining, and it honestly had me laughing out loud at some points. It makes me wonder what happens to Ana and Christian in the third book, and I can’t wait to start on 50 shades freed. And, yes, I would still recommend the books to anyone who asked, and I would still unashamedly admit to reading them and loving them.

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50 shades of grey by E.L. James

coverTitle: 50 shades of grey
Author: E.L> James
Length: 528 Pages
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Erotica
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Recommendation. Satisfy curiosity.

The book is about Ana Steele, a college graduate who meets and falls in love with Christian Grey. Christian is a multimillionaire business owner. When Ana interviews him for her friend on behalf of the college magazine, she is instantly attracted to him, though she doesn’t admit it and at first downright hates his control issues. However, after numerous encounters and his persistence, they begin a relationship. Christian tells her he likes BDSM, and draws up a contract for Ana to sign giving him control over every aspect of her life. But Ana soon realizes his need to control comes from somewhere much darker.

The good: Although critics and most media focus only on the hot and heavy sex, and the BDSM in the book, it is deep down a love story. Ana does genuinely fall in love with Christian, and I although he never lets on, I believe he feels the same for Ana. James is not writing about sex just for the sake of sex, she is ultimately telling a love story. Another point that critics and media like to point out is that Christian draws up a contract that basically has Ana signing her life away to him for him to control. But what they fail to mention is that 1. they negotiate the contract for her to be happy with. 2. Ana never actually signs it. While Christian is controlling, and uses spanking and sex as punishment at times, he is trying to have a more conventional relationship with Ana, and for Ana.

The Bad: I went into this book knowing full well that it was originally fan fiction based on twilight, and I was not able to forget it, especially when it came to Christian. Knowing that James is from England, she had a habit of switching from English mannerisms of talking to American ones. and while they may be tiny to some, or go unnoticed, me being the anglophile that I am, I noticed it a lot, and it bothered me. I know Ana was a reader, but her and Christian both simply do not talk as normal everyday people most of the time. It’s like James put words in simply because she knew them and she wanted to show off. I know Ana was a virgin when she met Christian, but her character was bit too innocent, talking of her inner goddess and her catch phrase of “Oh My” on every page.

Overall, I don’t think that the critics have been very fair about this book. Dubbing it mommy-porn or porn on paper. True, it had a lot of hot and heavy, extremely graphic sex scenes, but it’s an erotic romance novel. True, it has the theme of an older man seducing a young girl and showing her the world of S&M. But on the S&M, just because it is not something that is widely talked about, does not mean that it is as bad as people make it out to be. In fact there could be a lot worse in this book, and as far as the S&M goes, there was very little compared to what Christian called “Vanilla” sex. Ana and Christian didn’t indulge in anything illegal. And on the point of Ana and Christian both being insatiable when it came to sex, well, of course Ana was, she had just lost her virginity, and Christian is acting like any other hot blooded man. Bottom line, it was a good book and people are taking it way too seriously. The fact is that sex sells. You get sex in all forms of media, but once it is out there as unashamedly as it is in this book, then people start yelling about it being inappropriate. Personally I’d started reading it because of the bad reviews, but after reading it, I like it. it’s not nearly as bad as the media would have you think.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. Like I said, it’s a real story, and a good read. The old saying goes don’t judge a book by its cover, and I believe wholeheartedly that if you are curious about this book, read it. ignore the critics and make your own decision about it. Would I reread it? Yes. and I would defend it again.

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

coverTitle: Silence
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Length: 405 pages
Genre: YA, Paranomal, Romance
Format: ePUB
Rating: 3/5
Why I read it: Sequel, on my book list

The book starts out with Nora kidnapped after the events of Crescendo, and with no memory. Or more accurately, she finds herself in a cemetery after having escaped being kidnapped. As the book starts we learn that her mom has started a relationship with Marcie Millar’s dad, Hank, who is consequently is Nora’s biological dad and kidnapper. As Nora tries to regain her memory, she, with the help of Patch, discovers that Hank is gathering together a nephalim army to go to war with fallen angels.

The good: Unlike it predecessors, this book was not a copy of twilight. It was actually entertaining and not quite as cheesy as the first two books.

The bad: In the first book, Vee was made out to be the best friend who Nora told everything to, and the two were stuck to each other like glue. But as the series progressed, Vee became more and more forgotten. And Marci was made out to be an evil bitch, and despite a small starring role in the second book, also became forgotten. You would think that with Nora’s mom dating the father of her “mortal enemy” she’d be forced to spend more time with Marci than she did, then running to Vee to bitch about it. The writing was still just as choppy and inconsistent as ever, and even major characters to the story (except Patch and Nora) were forgotten. One minute Scott was being abducted by Hanks men, but you didn’t see him again until the last chapter of the book. Where was he during the previous five chapters? Also, there were scenes that bordered on downright erotic, but for all the build up, it gets torn away. I’m not saying that there should be a graphic sex scene, but why all the build up if it’s not gonna happen? And as with the previous book, Nora seems a little too eager to shift suspicion to the next available person. Patch is supposed to be the person she trusts with her life, but she seems extremely determined to second-guess his intentions the second another woman is in the room.

Will I reread it. Probably not. Not if I have to sit through the first two again, it’s not worth it. Would I recommend it? I do think this one had potential, but again, not worth sitting through the first two, so Probably not. Will I read the final book in the series? Yes. If only to say I finished a series, and to finally get some closure on the books and be done with them.