I’m going to start this review with a direct quote from the book:
“Wouldn’t you rather have a cup of tea?”
The answer to that is, of course, yes. Yes I would much rather have sat and drunk a thousand cups of tea than go through the mental torture that this book has inflicted upon me, but alas, I didn’t.
If you weren’t around over the summer months, or if you have a memory like a sieve, then you might not know that I put myself through the
burning, soul destroying mental torturefest challenge of reading the hottest book in the world at that time, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. You can find my write up of that experience right here: Click at your own peril – includes Fifty Shades content! Seven months on, I felt like I was ready to take the icy plunge into the cool steel gaze of multi billionaire CEO, philanthropist and deviant, Christian Grey.
*DISCLAIMER: THIS CONTAINS “SPOILERS” BUT THE BOOK ISN’T THAT GOOD ANYWAY, SO I’D JUST READ ON IF I WERE YOU, REGARDLESS.*
Picking up 3 days after the absolutely nail biting climax of the last book where main character and instantly irritating shrew, Ana, stormed out on Christian after deciding he was too weird for her, we get to see how Ana completely fails to deal with her recent break up. Like any cliche, Ana stops eating and starves herself, forcing herself through the motions at her new job, which she never seems to do any real work at but we’ll get to that later. Ana spends a lot of the first chapter moping about how much she misses Christian, even though she was the one who stormed out and left him. EL James, the
horror architect author also keeps swapping the way she spells “gray” flipping between a and e throughout the book. I feel like a proofread was needed here.
Anyway, in true doormat form, Ana sees she has an email from Christian, asking her if she wanted to go to her friend Jose’s art show with him. You know Jose? That character that suddenly disappeared halfway through the first book? No? Don’t worry he flits in and out of this one too! Anyway, Ana accepts and spends the next 4 pages or there about worrying about seeing Christian. Quite frankly, what are you doing Ana? You’ve been broken up for like 4 days, this is not healthy. Grow up and get some common sense.
Skipping through vast swathes of this book. Ana and Christian get back together, they email a lot when Ana should be working (seriously, she does nothing other than email her boyfriend ALL day! How has she not been fired?), Christian buys her extravagant gifts and the most pointless sub plot of his crazy ex-submissive coming after Ana and him gets introduced. Honestly I don’t think there’s been a more forced strand to a story in a long while, possibly ever in fact!
After a few chapters about a charity ball, which pass in relative obscurity we end up with Christian going top-notch super crazy and asking Ana to marry him (yes I’m skipping a lot. you would too if you had to write about it.). Obviously, she says she needs time to think as she’s only known him for 5 weeks and he is nuttier than rat crap at a pistachio factory. He then goes super mental and becomes a submissive, asking her if that’s what she wants and the whole book takes a turn for the odd.
Anyway, skipping forward again, we get treated to the absolute JOY that is the return of “the tenacious Katherine Kavanagh” possibly the worst supporting character in a novel ever. If only she had been written out permanently. On the bright side though, Jose returns for a few chapters before disappearing into obscurity once again.
There’s a helicopter crash, a lot of crying and a birthday party and then we find out that Ana was being cruel by not giving Christian’s proposal a real answer because she gave him a present that he wasn’t allowed to open until his birthday, which turned out to be a keyring with a big YES in flashing lights on it. Talk about torturing a guy!
Anyway, the book ends with Christian giving Ana a truly romantic proposal, then we get a small epilogue section featuring Ana’s old boss, who Christian violently assaulted with no repercussions whatsoever and who caused the helicopter crash, contemplating murder again and foreshadowing the next book. So you know it’s going to be a light-hearted finish to the trilogy!
In summary, it’s more of the same but at least James is trying to give Christian some depth, which he needs as Ana has so little. I felt that the book picked up a bit in the second half, after we got rid of the boring, crazy ex sub-plot. That said, I wouldn’t hurry to read it again. In fact, I doubt I’ll ever think about reading it again.
I’ll probably get around to reading the last book at some point, I’ve come this far so it seems silly not to. I wouldn’t hold your breath and expect it any time soon though…
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to read something mentally stimulating, not mentally crushing.