I thought the first book was good, but as the series went on, they got worse. Most people felt the opposite. While their lives and the chaos around them got more interesting, I think I enjoyed the beginning of Ana and Christian’s relationship more than the rest of it. Although the “kinky fuckery” slowed down in books two and three, their relationship got more and more fucked up.
Let me start with the basics: it’s poorly written. Like, really terribly written. And E.L. should have got herself an American editor or just let the story take place in England. Americans don’t talk like that. Also, if you’re constantly writing about sex, shouldn’t you have the balls to use the correct terms for genitals? Have you ever heard of a vagina being referred to as “my sex”? Ana might as well say, “then he touched my private parts”.
On to the characters. Ana and Christian were so freakin’ dramatic with their “I can’t live without you,” “I’ll never leave you,” and “I died a thousand deaths worrying about you” every fifteen pages. Calm down! Their banter was annoying. Their constant use of “Mr.” and “Mrs.” was annoying. Ana calling Christian “Fifty” in nearly every sentence was annoying. And their lovey dovey post-coital discussions gagged me. (I have an ex who talked to me like that. He was such a sensitive girl and it was not sexy at all. The compliments turned into lines he thought he was supposed to say and they lost all meaning. I know some girls eat that stuff up, but I guess I’m not really into “hearts and flowers”.)
There’s no way Ana was so good in bed when she was a virgin who can’t drive. (Oops, wrong story. Name that movie!) She was so beautiful and alluring, all of these guys were falling at her feet and she was never interested in anyone before Christian, yet she was a sexpert at first fuck. Um, no. The first time with anyone is awkward, no matter how experienced you are. (At least I think. I’ve been married for 5 1/2 years. Am I wrong?) The inner goddess thing got old fast. The sex scenes also started to bore me. I ended up skipping over most of them in the last two books. It was so hard to read, not because I was uncomfortable (some of it was h-o-t!), but because it was so badly written. The way they talked to each other made me want to smack them. And there was just too much of it. They almost always went for round two immediately after. That can’t happen in real life unless he’s 18! I think Mrs. Monologues said it best: “Unless this girl was a porn star in another life no woo haa could handle doing the dirty dirty that many times in a day. I get a bladder infection just thinking about it.”
While I loved (and wanted!) Christian in the beginning, he was so controlling, irrational, and obsessive that it made me stop liking him. As hot, rich and sexually experienced as he was, his behavior was such a turn off. Telling Ana when to eat, what to wear, and where to go infuriated me and I was even more mad at her for taking it. She had zero self-respect or self-confidence. She was a brainless idiot. And if you bite your lip that often, it’s going to be bloody all the time. It was hard to feel engaged because I just wanted to scream at them. Fight and make up, fight and make up, fight and make up is not a fun, quirky, passionate relationship. It’s total dysfunction. She was afraid of him throughout the series. That is not sexy!
Whoa. I just picked that apart, didn’t I? Now you know why I don’t read romance novels. I can’t get lost in a story when the characters are so annoying and fake. Nicholas Sparks does nothing for me. Except for when he casts super-hot guys in his movies.
As far as casting goes, I’d be happy with the some of names that have been thrown out for Christian: Alexander Skarsgard, Ian Somerhalder, and Chris Pine. But I pictured Chace Crawford while I was reading just because I’m in love with him at the moment.