After months of hearing the blogosphere and tweeps talk about this breakout novel by E. L. James, I finally succumbed to peer pressure and got my hands on a copy. (What really did it was the fact that just about every intelligent woman I know who doesn't read romance has read this, and recommended it.)
Anastasia Steele is having a quarter-life-crisis. She's about to graduate from college, she's never had a relationship, and she's surrounded by casually wealthy people who make her hyper aware of her own blue-collar raising. And then she meets Christian Grey, and her world spirals out of control. Grey is a multimillion dollar entrepreneur with a harsh business reputation and eclectic sexual tastes. He's intrigued by Ana's innocence, assuming that she will make an ideal Submissive for his BDSM lifestyle. Ana is captivated by Grey, and while part of her thrills at their sexual exploits in "the Red Room of Pain" (her term for his playroom), her heart is fragile. Ana is falling in love with the unattainable Grey, and she needs to decide how much pain she's willing to take in pursuit of her heart's desire.
While I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series, this was a fast-paced summer read. I love a good trashy novel now and again, and this definitely fits the bill. For something that supposedly started as Twilight fan fiction, Ana is a slightly stronger character than Bella. Wounded, brutal Grey, however, is not my favorite romantic hero: not by a long shot. Still, this was a fun read with plenty of bedroom scenes and tension between the characters.
What's your favorite trashy summer read? Do you reserve "beach books" for the beach?