Keeping up with…50 Shades?

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I’m not really one to eschew trends in reading or in books just because they’re trends. The Hunger Games? Read it before anyone even thought about a film adaptation. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I bought book number 3 in that trilogy from Amazon UK because it hadn’t yet been released in the U.S. and I was itching to get my hands on it.

The Night Circus?

The Help?


I was totally that annoying person going, “Omg, you HAVE to read this book! It’s AH-MAZING!” I will absolutely claim my role in making these books those books you never wanted to hear about again.

I’m absolutely a plot driven reader. Character development and language is important to me, but I am mostly motivated by a great plot. Sadly, a lot of trendy books are pretty plot-centric as well, and I run into some not great books that are on everyone’s radar. But I’ve never understood readers that dismiss books because they’re trendy. Lots of people like something? How is that an indication that it sucks? Sorry, but I’m not nearly hipster enough to get away with that. I mean, I tend to show enthusiasm by jumping up and down and clapping my hands. I don’t do “too cool for school.” I will fangirl all over a book, that is how little I care.

What I do care about however is avoiding trendy books that actually ARE bad. Full disclosure: I did read Twilight, and I thought it was an awful piece of crap. And because I read Twilight, I had zero desire to read fan fiction based on that awful excuse for Young Adult literature. Thankfully, I have friends that are willing to denigrate themselves for you.

Over at Book Riot, Greg and Rebecca both read Fifty Shades of Grey and then posted their conversations about it. Part one is here and part two is here.

Notable excerpts:

RJS: I read the first 30 pages before bed last night. Okay, actually, I read the first six pages, then my husband started bugging me, so I re-read them aloud to him. And things like this happened:

Me [reading]: “As the editor, I can’t blow this off.”
Husband: Oh, I bet she can…

We made it through three pages before the whole thing devolved into that game where you add “in bed” to the end of the statement that came inside your fortune cookie. (My inner 14-year-old interjects here to say, “I’ll put a fortune in your cookie!”)

GZ: Beyond all the obvious errors (a MacBook Pro with “thirty-two gigabytes of RAM”?) and preposterous plotting, after a while, everything just started to feel so repetitive — even the sexytime scenes got unflinchingly dull. He “pushes into her.” She comes, and she’s always shocked that she has. I gotta say, getting tired of reading sex scenes is something I never thought would happen. But here we are. And the descriptions are brutally repetitive (apparently all wine is crisp, fruity, and delicious), too.

And then my friend Lexa spent the last couple weeks live-tweeting her own Fifty Shades adventures under the hashtag #FSofG. You can see her entire stream here. And then she was awesome enough to summarize/review the book in this awesome post.

Notable/hilarious excerpts:

So, a bunch of crap happens, but basically Christian is a complete stalker and finds out where Ana works and lives and sends her highly extravagant gifts.  Because you can buy women, amirite? She gets shit can wasted off of half a drink at a party, and Grey appears all white knighting it up and saves her drunk ass.

[Y]es, lots of boning and it is the most banal sex ever and it leads one to worry the state of the sex lives of modern women that so many of us purchased copies of this book.  I have been hard up, but I have never been inclined to swoon over a man controlling my every move, down to my sexual health.

See? Why do I need to read this crap when I’ve got such great friends who will do it for me?

Do you read books that are trendy? Or do you tend to stay away from It books?

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