Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
By E.L. James
Summary: Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from the library.
I did not really care for the first book because the writing was atrocious and Ana and her inner goddess drove me crazy, but I kept seeing the movie previews for the sequel and thought it looked somewhat more of a mystery with the added girl stalking Ana. I decided to borrow a copy from the library to quell my curiosity. It was kind of excruciating to read the book. I’ve heard about how much better the series gets with time and how it’s less about BDSM and more of a romance in the later books, so I figured it had to be better than the first book. I guess in some ways it was because there wasn’t a contractual thing, which always bothers me in billionaire romance novels. But it wasn’t really a better story and it pointed out the flaws in the first book and the character even more so.
I really don’t think Christian Grey is a good love interest. Now, I’m not much for billionaire romances anyway, which is part of the problem, but Christian is completely all over the place all of the time with some of the craziest mood swings I’ve ever seen. He makes no sense to me at all. The way he handled the whole BDSM in the first book was already somewhat incorrect. While I’m not a participant of the lifestyle, I have seen enough documentaries and such to know that whatever he was doing wasn’t at all an example of healthy. And while he gives it up for the most part in book two, I think the book shows even more flaws when it comes to the lifestyle. I think the author handles it completely wrong and turns it into a psychological issue, but she even messed that up by making it something that he was able to drop almost completely, which makes no sense if it was “that easy” if you know what I mean. Also, somehow his other issues were magically solved by Ana’s magnificent presence, like the fact that she could touch him after like 4 attempts and he’s cured. I mean, sex doesn’t solve relationship problems, but even more so, it doesn’t solve legit psychological problems. Ugh. It just shows me that the author did no research. It feels like some awfully fantasy dream that she made into a novel and didn’t seem to bother to work out the kinks or explore the topics in order to better write about them.
The sequel was like trying to fit a story with a ton of plot holes into an actual romance and it just didn’t work for me. Ana was a bit less of a doormat, but still completely annoying. I didn’t count the number of Oh’s, but it had to be in the millions. There was a bit less lip biting and inner goddess mentioning, but it was still there and still just as annoying. And then she started referring to Christian as Fifty, which just seemed weird. And WHAT WAS WITH THE last names?! They kept saying Mr. Grey, Ms. Steele all of the time. Who does that? Honestly, this whole thing just seems like a really really awkward fantasy. All of that dramatic eye contact just seems prolonged to the point of weirdness. The dialogue may seem ok in your head, but if I really sit and imagine it, I cringe with the awkwardness of it all.
Also, could she not use some synonyms for crack whore? It just seems so over the top for everyone to be full of SAT words and then throw out crack whore to describe Christian’s real mom and despite the constant references, no other words are ever used, like the author just doesn’t know what else you call those people. Again, it seems like an issue of the author simply not knowing or caring to know how to really write about that sort of thing. I mean, even the fastest writers at least jot down the overall issues and go out and research them a little bit. Even Stephenie Meyer researched how motorcycles worked for New Moon. Did E.L. James just think she was better than that?
The more I keep writing this review the more I realize that this whole trilogy is atrocious and I’m actually a little mad that this is so popular. It’s literal trash and I mean that as a person who has been known to enjoy some super messed up alpha romance novels, even ones with legit abuse. If you’re going to write a trashy romance novel, at least be good at it. At least make it descriptive in the right places. At least give me some realistic darkness if you’re going to make flawed and dark characters. I’ve read more compelling shampoo bottles.