Book review: Grey, by E.L. James.

A book entirely about one of my all-time favourite characters, obviously I have a lot to say. Unfortunately, not many of those things are positive.

Like with the other Fifty Shades books, E.L. James’s writing is nothing short of awful. Everything: the style, the flow, the structure – it is all terrible. And, because the writing does not at all suit the character of Christian Grey, the foundation of this book seems rather flawed.
Not only does she write the entire book by spoon feeding every piece of information to us, exactly as it happens, leaving nothing for the reader to imagine or think about, she also drags out her descriptions with pretentious words and phrases, repeats the same lines over and over throughout the book,  and uses an uncountable amount of clichés.
On another note, which could be considered both good and bad, is the simplicity of her writing. On the one hand, it makes the book very easy to read. On the other hand, it is less appealing to a more mature readership, which would be perfectly okay, if it were not for the mature themes and obvious adult target demographic.

James does redeem herself with the actual content of her writing, as opposed to the writing itself.
Her stories and characters, minus the parts played purposefully with clichè, are original and captivating, and bring a lot of new things to a lot of readers. I personally feel the love story, while unconventional, is indeed a good love story. Although, it is often what is different that which we find most exciting.
The story is more complex and creative than so many people give it credit for. I feel there is great progression throughout this book, and all the others, for the characters involved. Grey emphasizes upon this by showing us Christian’s point of view.
The character of Christian Grey is one I strongly identify with, and allowing me a deeper look into him is very interesting to me.
However, one factor regarding the book’s content that let itself down is that Grey only shows Christian’s views on the first book. Whether or not James plans on bringing out another two follow-up books, I do not know. However, currently, I feel a bit cheated by this book.
A second thing that let the content down is, as I have said, the version of Christian we get in this book is not the same as the one we read about in Fifty Shades of Grey.

There is little-to-no empathy to feel with this book. Whether that is because it is basically rereading Fifty Shades of Grey or James has simply made worse work of this one, I actually teared up whilst reading the original book, but with this one, I barely felt anything. I was not sad, I was not happy, I was not laughing. Nothing.
What makes this seem even worse on the author’s part is that because Christian is one of my favourite characters and I feel rather strongly about him, the fact that an entire book about him did not make me emotional definitely makes a statement.

As disappointing as it is for me to admit, this book is quite a failure. Even without all of the negative points I have already given, the books essential purpose is not reached. The goal with Grey was to give us a deeper look into Christian Grey’s mind and character. Instead, it basically just recounted Fifty Shades of Grey with a switched view. We did not learn anything new about Christian, and it did not give us anything new to think about in regards to him.

I honestly feel the only reason I enjoyed this book as much I did is because I love the Fifty Shades series and Christian Grey. Although the book seems like it is written for eight-year-olds, it is clearly for a more mature demographic. However, given how bad the book is, from an objective point of view, I feel only people who really enjoyed the other Fifty Shades books should read this.

From a subjective point of view, I love the book in spite of all of its flaws.




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