I’ve done it. I’ve given in to the fad. I’ve just finished Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in the trilogy by E. L. James, and I must say, I’ve fallen in love.
When the books first came out, I downloaded the free preview available on my Nook – a little over a chapter; maybe two chapters – and I was highly disappointed. I am an avid reader. I read a lot and I read a lot of different things. My first impression was that Fifty Shades was horribly written: far too many colloquialisms to be taken seriously, many of which are simply out of date; terribly contrived scenarios that are completely unbelievable; enough eye rolling to make me roll MY eyes… *sigh* “People are actually READING this?!” But people were reading it. A lot of people. And people are still reading it.
I soon gained a subtle appreciation for the books. After all, people are READING. Anything that can get people reading is positive, in my mind. And what’s more, people are talking…not just about the books, but about their own sensuality and their own sexuality. People are thinking out of the box and fantasizing about their own limits and their own desires. People are discovering parts of themselves they’ve never considered existing. Perhaps due to my line of work, or perhaps due to my social consciousness, my then subtle appreciation quickly became not-so-subtle, and I became curious.
Then, Passion Parties announced that our summer catalog would be called Shades of Summer, would be outlined in chapters, like a book, and would feature new products and collections mirroring the themes of the trilogy. (No, we don’t have belts and cable ties. We do still have to keep it mainstream. And, yes, we are well within copyright law. No infringements here.) So, my curiosity expanded into my business and became a research project. And I downloaded the books. I gave in to the awful writing and situational contrivance. I looked past all that to gain an understanding and be able to relate my companies’ themes to what my clients are reading and experiencing.
And I loved it! Every second of it!
Once I got past the fact that I’m reading something intended for the masses, not necessarily written for literary scholars, and allowed myself to get to know the characters, I fell for them. The raw emotions and raw behinds not only intellectually and emotionally stir within, but sensually. The reader can physically experience the essence of the book. (Should I pluralize that, since this is a trilogy? I haven’t yet read the other two. I stopped as soon as I finished the first one, to write this.)
There is sex. A lot of sex. (How on earth are they going to make these films?) And the descriptions of the sex are all very detailed, but that detail branches further into every touch. Never before have I read something that got me so in touch with my body while reading, and I assume it’s this way for the majority of those who have read or are reading the books, which is probably why they have become so popular. Not only do these books allow you, as the reader, to get to know the fictional characters, but they also put you more in touch with yourself. (Pun intended?)
While this may not be something I would “normally” read (I’m not the romance novel type,) I appreciate what it’s doing for our oh-so-shut-off culture, and have, surprisingly to myself, thoroughly enjoyed the first book. I look forward to beginning the second book…in about 30 seconds. Do I recommend that you read them, if you haven’t yet done so? Absolutely! Even if you hate the books, you’ll surely learn something about yourself during your read. 😉