…or would that be 51 Shades of WTF?!… anyway. So I finished another chapter tonight and in turn have more observations of my journey through a national sensation. Or epidemic.
Again I was struck by the Young Adult quality of the heroine. For those of you that have not read 50 Shades (all 5 of you), the main character is Anastasia Steele (whose actually named that anyway?! WTF?!), a woman in her early twenties who is about to graduate from college. So why is it that all of her “inner subconscious thoughts” seem to be coming from the head of a 16 year old? Now I understand that we’re supposed to get that she’s this untouched flower and the author is playing up her innocence. But phrases like “double crap” just really take me out of the story. It confuses me, as a reader, because I can’t get a good picture of Ana. I’m seeing her as my 16 year old goddaughter, not a grown woman. We’re also supposed to believe that Ana is an English Lit major. My sister, Lucy Blue (author of My Demon’s Kiss among other things), holds a master’s degree in English. More specifically, in Literature. Anyone that’s ever spoken to her would agree that she has a tone that exudes sophistication and intelligence. Most people that would study such hefty subjects are academics. Academics have an arrogant wit about them that our Ana clearly lacks. They’d also have enough foresight to read interview questions before blurting them out (i.e.– “Are you gay, Mr. Grey?”).
Anyway, I don’t mean to rant constantly about how horrible this book is. It isn’t horrible. Obviously it’s done something right, as it’s sold millions of copies. The story is intriguing and I find myself wanting to read more. Which I suppose is the mark of a good book right?
Well folks, summer is nearly upon us and I hope to be able to give more of myself to you, my faithful minions… I mean… readers. Anyway, last weekend I finally broke down and bought a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Just like everybody else.
So it’s only fitting that I document my humiliation with a blog post. Pardon me, postSSS. That’s right, dear reader. I’ll be giving you the play by play of all my random thoughts and WTF moments as I read. Well tonight, I made my way through Chapter One. At first I was expecting the writing to be just horrible. It wasn’t. Clearly the woman has somewhat of a grasp of the English language. All the periods, capitals and commas are in the right place. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t have made much difference if they weren’t. The problem I had with the first chapter was that the writing seemed very stilted. It just seemed as if I was reading a young adult novel that all of a sudden is going to have some sex. The readability is pretty juvenile and that worries me once it gets to the explicit parts. As an erotic romance author, I’m a firm believer that the writing has to be solid from the start– not just when you get to the dirty bits. Otherwise, no one’s going to care. And right now… I’m not sure I care.
Of course, I don’t have only bad comments! I thought the introduction of Christian Grey was quite good. His dialogue intrigued me and I can understand why he’s so sexy. Edward Cullen would be proud. I hope that Ana’s character is going to grow a little more in the telling. I’m so sick of the “mousy girl gets attention of the hottie” routine. It’s so… so… so Bella Swan. Can we have an interesting heroine please? Where are the romance writers that actually like women?? *sigh*
So there’s my rant. Stay tuned for chapter two….