Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) should absolutely positively NOT to be judged by its c...(uh. um.) genre. If you do, you will miss out on one of the best series and the most endearing, interesting, polarizing, and passionate characters I've ever encountered. Having read many, many books, this is a profound promise.
First, let me get my disclaimer out of the way lest anyone thinks I'm into reading or writing erotica. Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) is not a book I would have traditionally purchased (certainly am not recommending for young adults) because - like the rest of the world - I had stereotyped it. Erotica is a genre I don't read. I read (and write) paranormal and fantasy romance, and I'm pretty exclusive with them.
Regardless of what you've read, heard, or assumed, you should always remember that this is a love story before it is anything else. Unfortunately, that very important point is overshadowed by the erotica and BDSM (I don't even know what that stands for and am afraid to look it up) categories prominently tagging the series.
I was hooked and intrigued when I saw Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1), Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2), and Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3) knocked Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay out of the top three places on Amazon's top best list.
As an author, I'm always curious about a book (series) powerful enough to blow past books like the Hunger Games Series and win the honors of the coveted best selling spots. With apprehension, I began my research and headed straight for the reviews. Most scathing. Others praising. The negative reviews were so passionate I knew the series had to have something within its covers to make these people feel strongly enough to take time to leave a review. Now, I know I was right. I was shocked repeatedly by this story line but never disappointed.
I can without question relate with some of the reviewers' complaints. There were things in this book that made me uncomfortable. In fact, I told my husband I wished there was a 'clean' version of it. But, my agreement with the people demeaning this book/author stops right there. Ana and Christian's story requires details, and believe me, the sex scenes are not just there to be there. Each and every encounter had a well thought out and beautifully told purpose. They bond these characters in a way nothing else could. E.L. James is masterful at what she does, and I'm in awe.
The ending of this book is such that I'm left saying 'What the heck?' and immediately downloading Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2).