You didn't think I left the blogosphere for good, did you? Good, 'cause y'all would be wrong. :) It's been a while since I posted, but I've had a year full of excitement, all sorts of different experiences and keeping a book blog just couldn't fit in it. And how I've missed it! So I'm back now and I hope to catch up with all my favorite bloggers and authors ASAP.
As for one of my recent reads (more reviews coming soon, of course): It's the book on everyone's lips, a book that I think has been making the rounds so much, everyone is sick of it, regardless of whether they've read it or not. It's Fifty Shades of Grey, otherwise known as mommy porn, a feminist's wet dream, a feminist's nightmare, a book that will change your life, a book that shouldn't have happened...
What's important is that it's the best-selling book of all time. Period.
(And if you've read the book, that last word will surely have another layer of meaning for you.)
The Fifty Shades trilogy is a story of one Anastasia Steele, who gets involved with one Christian Grey. It's actually a smorgasboard of every known romance
Oh, and if you just called Ana Bella, and Christian Edward, you'd be about right, since Fifty started off as Twilight fanfiction. In all fairness, while it's easy to spot certain similarities while reading Fifty, it is its own book entirely.
The truth is, it's a page-turner. While she certainly doesn't come close to such chick lit icons as Sophie Kinsella or Hellen Fielding, E. L. James certainly knows what to sell. And while Anastasia Steele is not a particularly interesting heroine (in fact, she's more of a caricature of a chick lit heroine), the dynamics between her and Grey, both in and out of the bedroom, sometimes border on truly fascinating. I can honestly say that I groaned and rolled my eyes, but finished the book in record time. Take that as you will, but keep in mind that page turners sell, and if that's anything to go by, it's one of the factors of this book's success.
Also, there's the sex. Quite simply, this is erotica, and if you've read erotica before, I'm sure that nothing here will shock you (although there is one particular scene, hinted at above, that I'm sure is contrary to most erotica submission guidelines). There is sex, and lots of it, and more often than not, it does not serve the story. I say more often than not, because there are certain sex scenes that are crucial to the plot, and when this happens (mainly the loss of Ana's virginity, as well as the very last scene in the novel), they are truly gripping. Also, when the sex scenes serve the story, they escape the trap of being pornographic, which is a slippery slope for James, who tends to write as if her life depended on the next orgasm, of which Ana experiences an extraordinary amount.
All in all, it's a book more interesting to me as a pop culture phenomenon and the fact that it's outselling even Harry-freakin'-Potter means that there is something here that the world wants to read. And whatever you feel about the book, you cannot deny that it's (become) relevant. I just wish it wasn't as terribly written.