As an employee of the book industry, I sometimes follow the lead of sales and hype when choosing the books I read. This is how Water for Elephants and The Help, two books of which I wouldn’t have likely picked on my own,became two of my favorite reads. This is also how I got sucked into reading the first book in the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James, an erotic romance novel about the relationship between college student, Anastasia Steele, and handsome billionaire, Christian Grey.
For months, I boycotted reading this book for two reasons: 1) I have been preoccupied reading parenting books and would have felt guilty putting those aside for an erotic romance, and 2) The basis of the relationship between the two main characters does not interest me…at all (if you need more explanation on their “relationship,” Google it). And then family vacation happened. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law were raving about the trilogy, and I was beginning to feel like I was missing out. So, I set Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child aside (I’ll get back to it!), and jumped on the Fifty Shades bandwagon and read the first in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey.
Does it live up to its hype? Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s certainly an original concept for a book (at least compared to the books I normally read), so I give it points for that; it was “educational” to my naive self; and it was a decent love story among “the other stuff.” But, the ending was disappointing, the writing is average at best, and for some reason, I’m not clambering for the next in the series like millions of other readers.
Help, fellow Fifty Shades’ readers! Should I keep reading or move on?