I feel should start with a disclaimer though…I haven’t read any of the books in the first trilogy (from heroine Anastasia/Ana Steele’s perspective). Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I do know that I won’t have my review filtered through the first book — since this is more or less a re-write of the events of Book 1 from Christian Grey’s POV.
I picked this up because it was written from Christian/the male’s perspective. And because there’s only one book (as opposed to the original trilogy). Also I’ve got sorta a background in erotic romance, so I’m not going into this entirely unaware.
Now on to the review.
Well, it took me 12 days to read it. That should say something in and of itself. I paced myself, just because Christian could be a bit too much sometimes. The thing is the book read like a journal. We get detailed descriptions of how he goes about his days (and nights) for about three weeks (from May 19 to June 9).
Let me make this simple for all of us:
What I couldn’t stand:
He’s pushy. Christian Grey doesn’t know the meaning of privacy, and his autonomy is all encompassing. Like other people, namely Ana, don’t have a say for how their lives should be, or even simply how one should be able to spend their evening (*cough*outwithfriendsgettingdrunk*cough*)
For a business man, he’s really in-eloquent. If he was he wouldn’t be sending all these mixed signals to Ana. One second he’s all “I’m not a hearts-and-flowers kinda guy, Ana” and the next he’s getting his driver/all-around-ninja, Taylor, to make a slow round through Ana’s new neighborhood.
He’s rude. There’s no filter. Really. It hurt to read how quickly he would cuss out those he didn’t like: I’m thinking of poor Olivia*, the gynecologist that checked out Ana, and Jose. And as the reader I was stuck in his head. -sigh-
What I liked:
Ana sets Christian straight several times. She’s actually a really strong character in Grey. She knows what she wants, and she wants to explore what Christian is offering at her own pace. Haha, girl kept it together when Mr. Powerful Billionaire could not.
Christian is a layered character.
(Okay. Maybe not that layered.)
Even if the prose was annoying, the conflict was strong, and though the book’s length could have been pared Christian’s motivations/conflicts were solid.
I know lick of the business proceedings mentioned in the book, but Christian Grey wasn’t (entirely) useless. I mean he did stuff, even if honestly his business proceedings were mostly like journal filler — if E.L. James had connected it back to Ana somehow, or even his past (she sorta hinted at Detriot being ground-zero for Christian’s troubled past) I could be happier about it. But it’s something, at least. I mean wouldn’t it have been stupid had be been this big hotshot CEO and he did nothing to prove it on page.
*Spoiler: Olivia gets fired. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I really felt bad for the girl…especially as I think she was originally represented as Jessica Stanley from Twilight.