July 19, 2012

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by: E L James

Fifty Shades of Grey by: E L James
Publisher: Vintage
528 pages
Genre: Steamy Romance

Summary: Anastasia Steele, soon to be college graduate, has to interview a young entrepreneur by the name of Christian Grey. The meeting, although interesting, doesn’t go that smoothly. They run into each other later and their “relationship” begins. Ana discovers that Christian, although rich, has some very dark secrets. She must decide to follow his rules and give in to his controlling personality, or let go.

Review: I have no idea where to begin with this review. I have mixed feelings about this book. I can tell you that out of curiosity I ended up reading all three of them. I wasn’t even going to read this book because of the reviews I have read that say how horrible it is to women. But I gave in because some of my friends kept telling me that I needed to give it a try. I don’t regret reading them, although they shouldn’t be as popular as they are.

These are not the best well written books. I also want to note that I can kind of see the similarities between Twilight and how some people call this Twilight for adults. Read this book if you want a raunchy story and a quick thoughtless read, if you know this before starting the book then you won’t be disappointed.

Just like I’m sure you have heard about in the news, this book is very sexually graphic. This book isn’t for the faint of heart or the person who doesn’t like a lot of sex in their books. Although this doesn’t really bother me when reading I can say two things about this book in particular. One, some of the scenes were a little too intense for me and was a little too kinky and domineering. Second, there was so much sex that at times I would skim over those passages just to get to the plot of the story (the plot in the second and third books are better and actually interesting and exciting, the first one is more of an introduction type book).

 Now let’s focus on Mr. Grey himself. Does he treat women like slaves? Yes. Does he have to be in control in the bedroom? Yes. Sometimes are his actions nauseating? Certainly. On the other hand, Mr. Grey is one messed up guy. The reader won’t find out how completely messed up he is until book three, and this may be one of the problems people have with this book. I’m not saying that what he does is okay just because he had a really bad childhood that wasn’t his fault, but it helps us understand his actions a little better. It was hard for me to like Christian, although he sounds like he would look pretty hot, that is all he really has going for him, oh and maybe that he is a billionaire. He does get better though and by book three I actually really like his character. He has his moments in the first two books where you can't help but swoon after him, but it isn't until the third book when you can stop hating him so much.

Ana is up next. I’m going to say that I am not a huge fan of her in this book. She comes off as spineless and annoying. I will tell you that she gets better in the other two books but you have to make it through the first one to find out. I ended up reading the next two books out of curiosity.

If you are looking for quick steamy summer read, then check this book out. If you make it through the first one you will want to read the other two, which I guarantee are better than the first. If anything I couldn’t put these books down no matter how bad they may be.

Rating: 3/5
July 5, 2012

Review: Bitterblue by: Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by: Kristin Cashore (2012)
Publisher: Dial Books
547 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary:  This book takes place 10 years after Graceling when Bitterblue first took the crown when her dad was murdered. Her dad, King Leck, hade a Grace which included mind control. During his reign over the kingdom he abused, killed, tortured and more to the citizens of his kingdom. Bitterblue is trying to restore order in her kingdom and finally give people they peace they need. She encounters many hardships while trying to discover the truth of her father’s reign and become the queen she was always meant to be.

Review: I really enjoyed this book, but I still feel like it could have been better, but that may because I had to wait 3 years since Fire came out and my expectations may have been too high.

There are many people that say this is a stand-alone novel and you don’t have to read Graceling to be able to follow what is happening, but I slightly disagree. Although you can follow what is going on in the book I think you would enjoy it more and understand it more if you read Graceling first. It has been a couple of years since I read Graceling and it was frustrating at times when I had to wait to get things explained to me because I couldn’t remember what happened in Graceling. In the end it helps to have read Graceling first.

 I enjoyed reading about Bitterblue’s struggle to become a good Queen after her horrible father. I found her character to be frustrating, loving, caring, funny, and exciting. I enjoyed following her midnight excursions out in her city outside of the confines of her castle. I also found all of the different puzzles she has to figure out to be entertaining, because as the reader you will be trying to put together the puzzle pieces on your own and hoping to solve the puzzle before Bitterblue. There were good surprises, although some of it was pretty easy to find out before they happen.

There are only two things that I had a real problem with. One was that was that this book wasn’t as full of adventures and battles, but I like books that have a lot of action. I also want to give you a heads up that this isn’t really a romance book either. Although Bitterblue does have her first relationship it isn’t an integral part of the book. I don’t need there to be a lot of relationship stuff in my books but I do enjoy more than this book gives you. On the other hand you get to see a strong young woman grow it into a Queen, and it is always nice to have young adult novels with strong female characters that don’t need a man or anyone else to tell them what to do. After years of just doing what everyone tells her to do Bitterblue finally starts taking control of her own life and gets a handle on running the kingdom.

My favorite part about the book is that they incorporate and bring back the characters from Graceling and Fire. The book wouldn’t have been as good without the presence of Katsa and Poe and their all around awesomeness.

It is definitely worth your time to read this book; especially if you are a fan of Kristin Cashore’s other novels.

Rating: 4/5
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