The 50 Shades of Grey Phenomenonby Cypher Lx on 06/12/12
12 June 2012
Yes. I went there. This is a phenomenon that has been sweeping the world. I know this for a fact, because I have internet friends from all over and the craze has taken hold everywhere. It is just as big, if not bigger, than Twilight. This shouldn't come as a surprise to me since it is Twilight fanfic with changed names. So why am I shocked? Because I'm still trying to grapple with why Twilight became so popular. I read all four books and watched all but one of the movies, and still don't get it. What is so cool about having a stalker boyfriend who watches you while you sleep and gets jealous at the drop of a hat? Not to mention the unrealistic clumsiness of the main female character. Some have said that Twilight lets girls put themselves in the place of Bella and allows them to dream of the perfect man. Huh. Yeah, I still don't get it. Are we trying to reverse everything we worked for as women by allowing men to control every aspect of our lives through YA romance? And don't even get me started on the need for a thesaurus in each of these books.
That, of course, brings me to 50 Shades of Grey. No. I haven't read the trilogy. Nor do I intend to. First, let's just look at the cost. When I first looked it up on Kindle, it was $12.99. Thirteen dollars for an ebook?!?! Are you kidding me? For that price, I want a paperback at least. The price has come down a bit, but I still refuse to buy it. However, while I was there, I decided to read the reviews. And there are a lot. In fact, the bad reviews nearly equal the good ones. I started with the good reviews first, thinking that perhaps someone would be able to give me some insight as to what is so great about these books. I was disappointed. Almost all of them had to say the same thing. The male character is hot and the female character falls madly in love with him...or something. They all started blending together after a while, basically saying that it was a very sexy story. Okay. So now on to the bad reviews. Here's where I hit pay dirt. The story is basically the same Edward-stalking-Bella scenario (of course the names were changed), but now add in a poorly researched BDSM relationship. And apparently, that is the whole plot. Of course, there was also the obligatory complaints of the need for a thesaurus as well as an editor. Again, I won't go there, because that will just open another can of worms.
Now, I figured there are probably some biased reviewers on both sides. I then sifted through many articles and blogs written on this very topic. Basically, what I have learned is that the same Twi-moms that read Twilight and devoured it are reading 50 Shades. That says something right there. 50 Shades had a built-in fanbase. Not only that, but from all that I've heard and read, the BDSM relationship as it is written, is not how it's supposed to be. Apparently, those that give glowing reviews to this trilogy haven't read much romance beyond YA. Those that are familiar with BDSM have said that it is "vanilla" and insulting. Why insulting? From what I gather, 50 Shades doesn't have a balanced dom/sub dynamic. When compared to the Beauty Trilogy or Exit to Eden, 50 Shades doesn't hold up to critique.
So the question is, will I ever read it. I can't say never. Especially since I swore I wouldn't watch Titanic. I did watch it, by the way. But I didn't enjoy it and only had any kind of interest when the ship finally sank. However, I will say that I probably won't read it unless it's free or someone pays me to do it. I don't want to lose precious hours of reading something that has as many people hating it as loving it. I'll stick with the stuff I know I will like. Right now, I wait breathlessly for the release of the first book of the Angels of the Dark series by Gena Showalter. That's a book I know I will enjoy reading. Until then, I will finish editing Christmas Evil and finish writing The Cold of Night.