Fifty Shades of Grey is the new sensation following in the footsteps of the Twilight and Harry Potter series. Statistics show that, at least in the UK, the Fifty Shades series has outsold the Harry Potter series even though Harry Potter still leads when it comes to international sales. Fifty Shades of Grey began as fan fiction; its original characters were Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. The author, E. L. James, took these characters and rewrote the story as one that had no supernatural aspect but that contained elements of BDSM—bondage/discipline, domination/submission and sadism/masochism.
Fifty Shades of Grey might have begun as fan fiction but it wasn't long before it took on a life of its own and E. L. James renamed the characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Anastasia or Ana is an inexperienced young college student who meets billionaire Christian who is only 27 years old. The two are immediately attracted to each other but Christian has issues with intimacy and a predilection for kinky sex. The book is the story of how Ana learns to enjoy sex with Christian but, at the same time, also reforms him, forcing him to accept his intimacy issues.
In some ways, Fifty Shades of Grey is a typical romance where an inexperienced young girl is swept off her feet by a successful man. She must come to terms with her sexual awakening and, at the same time, bring him to emotional maturity. The only difference between this book and a lot of romance novels out there is that it involves BDSM and contracts are signed between the two protagonists about how their intimate relationship will work. Overall, Fifty Shades of Grey is readable, entertaining, titillating and just a tiny bit shocking.
E.L. James is the pseudonym for British writer Erika Leonard who studied History and then worked as a studio manager’s assistant. She started writing Fifty Shades of Grey under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon and was as surprised as anyone else when it became a huge success, its fame spreading on social medial websites and by word of mouth. She also wrote two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
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"Very exciting book, in fact all three of them were fun, exciting, & addicting!!! Once I started the first one I could not wait to finish them all! Loved the end...would love to have more! It may not be the best well writen book, but the excellent dialog took care of that...really enjoyed having a new electrifying romance with the here and now!!! "
Tina, from OH (5 out of 5 stars)