Fifty Shades of "Really, Guys?" This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 20, 2013
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When I was in middle school, Twilight was all the rage. If you did not read Twilight, you weren't cool. Alas, I read the first Twilight book in 7th grade and was extremely disappointed. The storyline of Twilight did not impress me one bit, and neither did Stephenie Meyer's convoluted vocabulary. For example, "diminutive municipality". Really, Stephenie Meyer? Couldn't you just say "small town"? About a year or so later, I saw the first two Twilight movies against my will, and my dislike for the series grew stronger. The movie was not sexy or an even remotely decent love story. Rather, I found them to be boring, self-indulgent, and bloated. The fact that these movies were huge blockbusters will always remain a mystery. Twilight fever was going around like the plague, yet I never really caught it.

Fast forward a few years, and the new book du jour is the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy. Like Twilight, Fifty Shades is a crooked love story between a controlling male and a naive female, but the latter introduces the concept of BDSM and contains unabashed explicit sexual content that many people would find offensive. While the sales for this trilogy have been excellent, the book has been critically reviled. Many people I followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr lamented how awfully written Fifty Shades is. In fact, one of them posted “even the parts in this book that are not about sex are bad”. Right then and there, I knew I had to see for myself what Fifty Shades of Grey is really like, I knew if I bought a hard copy of the book, I would get a major lecture from my rather conservative parents, so I found a PDF file on Google. I was a little nervous reading such taboo material at the time. Needless to say, all the anxiety and excitement was for naught.

For countless people, their problem with Fifty Shades is its pornographic nature. My beef with the book? When I read it – and by “it” I mean the parts I could stomach – I felt like I was reading the perverted diary of a teenage boy with an overactive imagination, not a believable novel. Additionally, the style of writing and usage is rudimentary and painful to read. I swear E.L. James used a grand total of three verbs to indicate dialogue: “orders”, “murmurs”, and “whispers”. Not only that, but her descriptions of sex were laughable, and at times I felt like I was reading about a woman getting sexually assaulted due to lack of consent between the two parties.

I will never understand the hype Fifty Shades is causing. Not only are millions of women everywhere fervently reading and discussing these books with their girlfriends over mimosas, wishing Christian Grey would spank them, but the popularity of these books has started to bring about wave after wave of awkwardly written filth. If the mere fact that this trilogy sells is not enough, I went to Target recently, and I passed by a display rack of novels with a huge claim on the front reading “CAN’T GET ENOUGH FIFTY SHADES?” This just goes to show erotica is the next best thing in literature. Granted, I have no problem with erotica, but there’s erotica, and then there’s immature and obtuse nonsense.

Sure, literary fads are normal, but could we at least make them worthwhile? Please, no romance, no vampires, no handcuffing people to beds, just a good story with some substance? I can’t wait until a book comes around that is very well written and has a story worth following. That day may never come but I think I’ve learned something from the Twilight and Fifty Shades crazes: the reason that the crap is talked about and sells is that the good stories that are actually worth your time and money won’t appear right in front of you, the quality stories need to be discovered.

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babygirlxcookie said...
Jan. 14, 2014 at 10:49 am
My sister made me read the 50 Shades triliogy. The repeated words really got on my nerves. The whole time i thought, "Can you choose better words, these are too annoying." The story line isn't as bad as the Twilight ones. If you go through and avoid all the sexual activity they endure it's a little more to it than just the BDSM. I find it creepy. But otherwise, these books will not get any better. Listen to how people talk now. They have to find a way to interest today's au... (more »)
RyleeNixon said...
Feb. 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm
You are right, I don't know why people get so caught up in these books that clearly aren't very good. I read the Twilight sereis and honestly I didn't mind them. But they definitly weren't the best. I have to say that the Harry Potter series are by far the best series I have ever read!
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