I’m a bandwagon jumper. It’s true. The driving force behind my decision to read the Twilight series, The Hunger Games trilogy and my choice to watch The Voice was that everyone else seemed to be doing it. I am, unfortunately, not a leader but a follower. I wish I was a leader and I have been on a few occasions, but I tend to follow the crowd. I have an overwhelming need to know what is going on and I hate not being able to contribute to a discussion. I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie. Shocking, I know. But there is one bandwagon I haven’t yet jumped on and I have no intention of ever doing so. I do not care about reading 50 Shades of Grey.
I know most of you are sitting there gobsmacked that I, Monique, consumer of all things, has not read one of the biggest things in pop culture right now. I can hear you all “but Monique, it’s so addictive“, “you may think you won’t like it, but once you start reading it, you’ll love it“, “it’s not THAT badly written“, “Monique, why didn’t you order it from the Book Depository instead of buying even more John Green books?” I hear you all, I really do, you aren’t the first people to try and convince me that I simply MUST try 50 Shades of Grey by EL James. But I don’t want to. There isn’t some huge reason as to why not that I rattle off to people whenever they ask me, it’s really quite simple: I have no desire to read soft-corn porn, not matter how amazing you tell me it is. I am a prude and I know that I will feel uncomfortable reading this.
I don’t want to read something that will make me uncomfortable. Life is too short to read books out of obligation, it’s why I never finished Frankenstein or Jane Eyre and just downloaded the chapter summaries instead. I have plenty of other books I would rather be reading thankyouverymuch. And from some of the more scathing reviews I’ve read, which I’m sure I enjoyed much more than I would actually reading the book, I’m really secure in my decision to give the whole 50 Shades crap a miss.
One of my favourite “reviews” was written by the wonderful Cate Pearce on her blog I’ll Think Of A Title Later. Her thoughts on the saga in Fifty Shades of Unmitigated Crap, which were absolutely hilarious, and just further cemented why I have no interest in reading this trilogy. She says, in part:
I found the writing style atrocious. I really struggled with it. The whole badly-written-first-person-present-tense thing was extremely off-putting. Some have likened it to creative writing projects they did in school. Like, when they were kids. Sentences starting with “I scowl with frustration at myself…” and “I roll my eyes in exasperation…” were clunky and annoying. And they were both in the very first paragraph. I probably got used to it by about page 513. Did I mention there are 514 pages in the book? It was also full of utter corn, ridiculous terms, and clichés which were repeated over and over, but I’ll get to more on them later.
And then drives it home:
Considering this book is erotica, or soft porn, or BDSM for mummies, or whatever you want to call it, this character referring to her genital area as “down there“ on every second page was just comical. So was the continual usage of the term ‘my sex’, as in “he runs his hand over my sex.”
Reading this, and confirming with others that Anastasia actually says this, makes me think, ‘oh honey, if you keep referring to your lady parts as “my sex”, I’m pretty sure you’re not mature enough to be engaging in it’. But seriously, just read Fifty Shades of Unmitigated Crap because I think it sums up the whole thing nicely.
For those unaware, the whole 50 Shades saga started as erotica fan fiction for the Twilight Series. I’ve heard comparisons, but the most starling one was that Twilight looks really well written against 50 Shades; well I may as well just start banging my head against a wall considering I want to “edit” a copy of Twilight and send it back to Stephenie Meyer with a note saying “This is what your editors should have done”. Is that too far? Maybe it is, but I stand by my remarks (and yes, I am aware I’m not the perfect writer).
Despite ranting on about my choice not to read it, I don’t judge others who do and I totally understand that this kind of book would be appealing to some people, it just isn’t appealing to me. End of story.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I know this seems really rant-y, but it’s not directed at anyone.
Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? Did you enjoy it? Or are you like me and don’t care?