Fifty Shades of Grey (E. L. James) – Chapter One

The book starts out with our heroine staring in the mirror, frustrated because her hair doesn’t just hang about all lackluster and because her best friend Katherine is sick.  And her frustration here doesn’t stem from the fact that her friend isn’t doing very well, but that she now has to help her out.

DAMN THOSE FRIENDS! ALWAYS NEEDING HELP WHEN THEY’RE SICK!

After that charming introduction into the mind of Ana, we also get a look at her:

I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up.

Let me see, current beauty standards are light skin, light eyes in combination with dark hair and big eyes. And you have light skin, light eyes in combination with dark hair and big eyes. What exactly are you giving up? Trying to convince us that you’re not pretty?

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Fifty Shades of Grey (E. L. James)

I probably don’t have to introduce Fifty Shades of Grey since everybody is talking about it. But let me say a couple of words on why I’m reviving this blog for this book:

I recently celebrated my 2000th post on my other blog and told people that they got to choose things I should review and the format in which I should review them. And one of my friends challenged me to read Fifty Shades of Grey, leaving the format open to me. When I read the first page of it, I knew that I couldn’t just do a normal review. I had to go about this bookbitching style. And here we are.

You can buy the book practically anywhere, but also here.

The Description on Amazon

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Just a Small Sidenote

I’m pretty certain that Ana’s “independent spirit” will turn out to be a sham, but I can’t judge that yet.

What I can say already, though, is that I find the “trappings of success” as stated here a bit, well, huh? I mean, multinational business and wealth I can very well accept as a sign of success, but a loving family usually has very little to do with that, doesn’t it? Also, where exactly is the trap in a loving family?

I guess, we’ll find out. Let’s do this.

In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Conclusion

After the strong (bad) opening, In Too Deep went on to be rather mediocre, which is kind of sad. The story was too predictable and a little hurried, the resolution a little too quick. [I've been telling myself for 10 years that I can't stay in one place for long, but I can change that behaviour in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee? Yeah, right.]

But the most delicious thing about it were the clichés. There’s something you can really sink your teeth into.

Open Questions

If they don’t make a pregnancy scare thing out of it, why the hell was the unprotected sex necessary?
What happened to the neighbor and will she ever learn that Elvis is, in fact, a pig?
Will Newerth ever find the courage to tell his boss that he would like to go home to see his grandson?

Eternal Truths Learned

Getting drunk breaks down class barriers and thus helps the communists win.
To show you really mean it, plant a plant in your lover’s garden!
Epiphanies will happen through random strangers at truck stop diners. If you seek enlightenment, spend all your time there.
Alcoholism is strongly hereditary.

As usual, you’re very welcome to add to this list in the comment section.

In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Chapter Eight

4 hours after the events in the last chapter, Alannah is sitting in a diner waiting for her bus (going to Denver, as she just realizes) to continue driving and for her sense of adventure to return. But she can’t really muster the enthusiasm she usually feels for her new destination.

A woman and her daughter squeeze past her and Alannah has a sudden epiphany:

Alannah felt suddenly dizzy. Could her own actions, moving from place to place, be a manifestation of what she hoped her mother would have done? That even if the three of them had to be constantly on the move, at least her mother would still be alive? That they could have still been a family? [Uhm, you and your sister are a family, aren't you. That doesn't change because your parents die.]

Anyway, Alannah decides that she is now strong enough to face her demons after realising she was running from them in the first place.

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In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Chapter Seven

Alannah had planned to be gone already and is determined to refuse Ben when he shows up. We finally get an explanation on why she’s that on the run:

the only way she could battle the demons was by keeping ceaselessly on the move? That the challenge of finding a place to stay, designing new landscapes, digging her fingers into the rich earth provided her a sense of peace she couldn’t find elsewhere?

While I still don’t understand completely what one thing has to do with the other, I can accept this as Alannah’s coping mechanism.

Anyway. Instead of explaining any of this to Ben [because that would make their relationship easier], she tells him that Elvis is gone. Elvis has left the building, so to say. [Okay, I know that that's a pathetic crack, but I just couldn't resist.]

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In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Chapter Six

***Trigger Warning***

Ben asking Alannah to stay immediately transports her back in time to her father beating the shit out of her mother. [Holy Crap, this woman has issues.] Only that he beats her with a shotgun and finally shoots her and then himself while Alannah and Kyra watch in terror.

And then Alannah wakes from the nightmare and Ben is holding her and tells her that everything is going to be fine.

It had been years since she’d had the nightmare. Since she’d thought about that time at all, even though it was always with her, stuck to her like a tattoo. [That doesn't really work. Marked by a tattoo would be a good metaphor. But tattoos don't stick. I should know. I have one.] She reasoned that Ben’s passionate request earlier that day had brought the terrible memories back, reminding her why she had never returned home. Reminding her why she had to keep moving. Reminding her why she had to say goodbye to Ben one final time…

I honestly still don’t get it. I don’t get why she has to keep moving. Maybe I’m just utterly insensitive, but “because her father killed her mother” really doesn’t explain it for me.

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In Too Deep (Tori Carrington) – Chapter Five

When they’re done sexing, Ben grabs his stuff and practically runs from Alannah.

If she were the sensitive type, she would have been stung by what amounted to his rejection after being so intimate. [Dude, no matter how insensitive you are, when somebody runs away after sleeping with you, I bet you that stings.]

Alannah washes Elvis, then goes into the kitchen to find Newerth there. Who refers to Ben as Master Edwards [of course] who has been called to a meeting. And now Alannah is upset because Ben didn’t say goodbye.

So, in Alannah’s world running after sex is not as bad as not saying goodbye when you have to pop out for an impromptu meeting? Is that only me who finds that weird?

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