50 Shades of Meh
Written by Heather Foley
Like 97% of the female population old enough to rent a car, I was sucked into buying a copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. What can I say? I’m a sucker for hype, and this friggin book is everywhere! Morning shows, magazines, every mode of public transportation, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting this book. I’m pretty sure that even if you had the luxury to hide under a rock during the last six months you would still have heard of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. And boy do the ladies go crazy for it. I was even asked by a group of older women at a bar in Aruba if I had read it. So as a culture vulture, I had to read it, right?
Well, I read it, finished it yesterday; any idea how long it took me? Only four months. Yes you read that right, four months. I can fly through a 1000 page “Game of Thrones Book” like nobody’s business, but this harlequin romance novel took me over four months. Why? Oh, I’m so glad you asked - because it's effin terrible. I knew two pages in I was going to hate this stupid book, but I kept going. You see I can be a bit of a contrarian (I know you all find that hard to believe, but it's true), and sometimes I worry that the only reason I don’t like something is just because everyone else loves it and tells me I will love it too. I thought maybe this was the case here, I thought “How could millions of bored, lonely, middle-aged beige housewives be wrong?” Well, I don’t know how, but they are, and they are way wrong. For the record I’m far from a literary snob. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed my fair share of ridiculous books (oh, hello Sookie Stackhouse and Stephanie Plum), but there are limits.
First of all has this broad never heard of a thesaurus? The repetition is excruciating. I didn’t exactly keep track, but I’m pretty sure the words and/or phrases "murmur,” “inner goddess,” and “my sex” in almost every sentence. Maybe I’m a little sensitive to it because I’m a writer (haha, no seriously guys) but that kind of laziness drives me bananas.
And the story itself? BORING. This nerd spends the whole book waffling about signing a non-enforceable S&M contract? Does she have a complete breakdown when it comes to signing something legally binding? She whines and whines about wanting more from Christian Grey, but is she happy when he tries to giver her what she wants? Whoops, spoiler alert. Of course she’s not happy! She nags him about old relationships, what a harpy! And she doesn’t want to accept gifts like a laptop, new car, and closet full of clothes? What’s the deal with this clam?
Now some of you might be asking “But Heather, isn’t the sex enough to make up for what a shitty, shitty book it is?” The answer is no, not at all, not even close. If you haven’t read it yet and think the nookie will be enough to keep you interested, think again. One woman’s perversion is another woman’s vanilla, so just because the ladies in your knitting circle think it’s the hottest thing since pro wrestler Chyna’s sex tape (hey, if that’s your thing) doesn’t mean you’re going to dig it. And maybe it’s just me (it can’t be just me) but I don’t think there could ever be enough sex to make up for what an obnoxious whiny little protagonist Ana is.
Because I firmly believe in giving credit where credit is due, I will say the book is not completely without merit. I think a three-month contract at the beginning of a relationship is an excellent idea. Just a little something outlining grooming and upkeep expectations (like don’t get comfortable and get all hairy and chubby) and bedroom limits. There is nothing worse than taking the time to fall for someone and finding out he’s not comfortable with a spreadbar, or so I’ve heard.