Normally, I would not have purchased and read these books, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was when the libraries started banning the books that I really got upset about the whole thing. I think we are past the time of needing to ban books. If libraries think a book is of a sensitive nature, then they should put more controls in place. But don’t ban it outright. Especially when you’ve had them on your shelves for almost a year (the first book was published in May 2011)!
For the sake of full disclosure, let me say that all three of these books were gifted to me.
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First, I’m getting a little tired (a lot really!!) of the female lead character that is always tripping over herself or running blindly into traffic when in the presence of a man she desires. The constantly-needing-to-be-rescued thing is exhausting and I really hope men don’t actually fall for that crap. But then again, I was told by one guy I dated that I didn’t seem to need him enough. Maybe I should have tripped in front of him a few times so he could attempt to catch me. And if the character is naturally clumsy, they need to be that throughout the book. It really comes off as fake and manipulative when the character never trips or falls after getting the man.
The story contains a lot of British speak, spellings, etc. I’m okay with this as a lover of all things British but the half-done American scrub gets a little confusing when you all of a sudden hit words that are not common in American speak. All was understood when I Googled the author and found out she is indeed British. This does not, however, give any passes to her American publisher.
The main character likes to sneak speaks at men through her lashes. I don’t know what image this puts into your head but this idiot is squinting all over the place in an attempt to be coy. That or she has extremely long lashes that curl down instead of up like the rest of us. Every time I read this, I wanted to throw the book across the room. But I did another Google search and found that phrase appears a lot in romance novels. I’ve even since seen it in another book I am reading. It’s a ridiculous image and I wish people would stop using it, but it seems it is now part of the romance-book-writing culture.
After a while, you get bored with the sex scenes. Half way through the second book, I started skimming the sex scenes and only stopped at dialogue or at point where it look like something new would be learned. I did the same in book three. You get so wrapped up in the plot and you are excited to see what will come next and you are immediately interrupted by a lengthy sex scene. The problem is the characters communicate and learn more about each other during sex so you can’t just cut them out completely.
Book three introduced a new story telling method, the flashback. Rather than going through the wedding and followup scenes from book two, the characters reflected back and brought in the necessary resolutions. This was okay for a couple of scenes, but then it became distracting. I skipped the last few flashbacks in the book because it just wasn’t helpful.
Had the Grey story been dissected and reconstructed properly, the author could have made a really good series out of these books. As they stand now, they are one long book that was cut into three pieces.
On the positive side, the books were very well researched. I know knew nothing about the BDSM lifestyle, but it seems the author is quite the authoritarian.
The author really excels at the email conversations (book one especially). I quite enjoyed the emails between characters. The changing subject lines and signature blocks added humor and wit to the conversations.
The best thing about this book series is the soundtrack. There is some great music mentioned throughout the story line. I take it this is really important to the author as she has a section of her website and a YouTube page dedicated to the music. Take a listen. If nothing else, you have to admit the author is fantastic at music.
90% perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head. -Jon Acuff, Quitter
I think this quote really speaks to the frustration so many people have with the Grey Series. It was rushed to publication and has many cultural translation and editorial issues, but it clearly struck a nerve at less than perfect and has garnered a huge readership. I think the story line was good and has a lot of potential. I can also say I think the author has a lot of potential. Depending on the genre of her future books, I may check them out. I’m a little tired out on the romance right now though.
I can say I recommend this series to the more open minded of us, but should it become a movie??? If you have to take away or tone down the BDSM discussion to make this a feature, it will take away from the storyline. But I can say, mainstream America is not ready to learn about butt plugs.