Roxanne Reads

How I gave up on 50 Shades and you can too!


There are so many things wrong, no let me start again… There are so many things about 50 Shades of Grey that don’t work for me. Frankly, it’s still very hard for me to believe this book has gone so far – and taken on such a life of its own. And I am not just talking about its literary value, but also the book’s content. For me, it leads to bigger questions… about society, about power, about women’s sexuality, about alternative lifestyles and about taboo (a Google search of “why women are reading 50 Shades of Grey” turned up 21,200,000 hits in 0.28 seconds). But I’m going to step away from all of that and just focus on the book itself.

The fact is I couldn’t finish it. I tried. I tried very hard (that’s what she said). I made it a full 8 chapters, which is a little more than 100 pages, and then called it quits. I filled the book with post-it notes to mark passages where it seemed like James really didn’t understand what it was she was trying to say; places where words were misused or where I found awful and/or strange metaphors. I noted that Anastasia bites her lip 15 times, her ‘inner goddess’ speaks to her three times and the tectonic plates moved at least twice. I completely lost track of how many times she blushed, got flushed, or turned pink, red, scarlet or crimson.

It took me more than a month to get through the pages I did and I stuck with it because I really wanted to experience at least one of the sexual episodes. Unfortunately, I imagine the event I read is probably the tamest of all of them. And (unsurprising spoiler alert) Ana is a virgin. Christian is surprised by this news, but of course this doesn’t stop him from having sex with her, twice, and making her orgasm at least three times (yep, I know, it’s fiction). It was a huge disappointment. I wasn’t turned on, I found myself rolling my eyes a few times and I even laughed at a couple of the passages.

So I am going to stand by my original opinion, 50 Shades of Grey is not a good read and if you haven’t read it yet, DON’T. And don’t bother with the movie either (even on Netflix).

Here are a few links to some fun articles/videos I found inspired by or about the 50 Shades phenomenon that you might actually enjoy or find interesting:

A Book Critic’s Hilarious Response to E.L. James as “Publishing Person of the Year” in 2012.
Seriously? People, wash your hands…
The best reading of 50 Shades of Grey I’ve heard (and seen)…
A Letter to My Children About Fifty Shades of Grey


There are fantastic, erotic, ‘naughty’, sexy books out there, and it doesn’t need to be high-end literature like Madame Bovary or Lady Chatterley’s Lover either. If that’s where your interest lies, here are a few lists with some great options:

Ten erotic books hotter than…
9 Erotica books that should be…
The 10 best erotic novels to read…


In fact Anne Rice has a new book coming out on April 21 (that’s today), which will be the fourth in her Sleeping Beauty series that she originally wrote under the name Anne Roquelaure. I read these back in my 20’s and they are sexy as…! And I am looking forward to reading Beauty’s Kingdom (you can read an excerpt here).

So, I am done with 50 Shades of Grey, and I have re-donated it back to the thrift store I bought it from. I even decided to leave the post-it notes attached (it’s okay, they were hot pink).

Just like sex, quality matters.

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