By Christina Nicole
I have to admit. I originally had zero interest in picking up overly hyped-up Fifty Shades of Grey; book one of a 3-part series by E. L. James. I’ve never been one to get sucked into mega-popular book series and am proud to say I’ve never succumbed to reading Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. But after months of chatter swirling around me about Fifty Shades and finding out that all of my closest girlfriends had fallen victim to the craze, I figured it was time to find out what all the buzz was about.
I expected to be hit with one shocking moment after another at the onset of this erotic novel, but the first few chapters are actually quite mild. The reader is introduced to college graduate Anastasia Steele, a bright and focused young woman living in Washington. When her roommate falls ill and can’t complete an interview for the student newspaper with billionaire business tycoon Christian Grey, both of their worlds collide. Within moments of conversing and discovering an undeniable attraction to each other, Grey almost instantaneously claims Steele for himself. What Steele doesn’t realize is that the unfathomably handsome Grey is about to make Steele his submissive and expose her to a twisted world of involving bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (also known as BDSM).
Grey soon claims Steele’s innocence along with her virginity and puts her up to signing a restrictive contract and nondisclosureagreement where he controls nearly every facet of her life and dictates all sexual practices. Instead of running for the hills, Steele’s infatuation for Grey grows as she learns small inklings of his tormented childhood (which the reader learns is his own account with sexual abuse he experienced as a teenager).
By the end of the novel, Steele’s infatuation turns to full blown love for a man that admittedly claims he is not able to love. Steele is forced to decide if she will accept this seemingly dangerous situation for what it is or if ending it is the best decision for her health and well being.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) is followed by second and third installments, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, respectively. Fifty Shades of Grey has sold around 20 million copies worldwide, and set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time surpassing the Harry Potter series.The novel has topped best-seller lists in the United Kingdom, U. S. and around the world.
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