Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy

In light of the upcoming release of the second movie in EL James’ movie and book blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and my own morbid curiosity, I recently read the full series.

Now, I am forced to eat my own words. I thoroughly and shamelessly enjoyed the ever-loving shit out of this series. As someone with two higher education degrees in both the study of publishing and creative writing and library sciences, it is almost painful to say just how much I enjoyed the series. The writing is poor, Anastasia is the most annoying basic bitch I’ve ever read and Christian, whilst plagued with mental issues including but not limited to a 1950s mentality and some serious control issues tickled me in all the right places.

Oddly enough, I didn’t take too much issue with any of Christian’s actions throughout the books, I was fully anticipating my inner feminist to come rampaging out at any moment (surprisingly my inner goddess showed up instead!😜)

But I feel like I should qualify my slight feelings of fluffiness towards the series. I do have a multitude of problems with a multitude things.

  1. The writing is without a doubt the most awful rubbish I have ever read.

  2. Anastasia had everything fall into her lap way too easily.

  3. These books needed about five more edits. EACH. Before they would have been at a publishable standard. They still aren’t what I would consider complete.

  4. They are heinously predictable.

  5. The narration of the audiobook editions by Audible and Becca Battoe get slightly better with every volume, but don’t result in an amazing listening experience.

Without further preamble, below are my reviews for each instalment of EL James Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy:

Fifty Shades of Grey


Where to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, paperback, $19.99Audible, audiobook, $14.95 or 1 credit

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What can I expect: erotica, attempted BDSM, laugh out loud ridiculousness, a decent storyline despite the horrid writing.

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more. But Christian is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view…

I liked the story, everything else was poor.

I’ve spent a lot of time hating on this book, and while I didn’t love it and there were many, many aspects of the book that were creepy, disgusting, poorly written etc the story itself is good, had a better writer gotten hold of the idea and 1997363680 more edits done, this could have been an amazing book.

Mostly though, it was creepy and gross, and particular to the audiobook, the narration was horrible. That being said, I read it so fast I think I enjoyed it on a shadowy level of my soul and I didn’t hate Christian nearly as much as  thought I would, in fact, I actually hated Ana.

I found myself eye-rolling constantly, which is apparently punishable by spanking. To stop or not to stop? I didn’t experience any kind of sexual revolution so that kind of bummed me out a bit, and the writing was shitty, not sure what I was supposed to actually like

Final rating: 3 stars

Fifty Shades Darker


Where to buy it: QBD the bookshop, paperback, $19.99Audible, audiobook, $14.95 or 1 credit

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What can I expect: erotica, attempted BDSM, laugh out loud ridiculousness, a decent storyline despite the horrid writing.

Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a US publishing house. But desire for Grey still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades than she ever thought possible. But while Grey wrestles with his inner demons, Ana must make the most important decision of her life. And it’s a decision she can only make on her own…


It’s truly a delight when a book surprises the pants off you. The second instalment of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has definitely done that, pun intended.

I’ve seriously spent so much time hating on this series that I had fooled myself into thinking I wouldn’t like them. And whilst you will never catch me saying the writing is good, it’s not, and the books are repetitive, unrealistic and extremely over the top, I have very much become obsessed with the storyline.
And possibly with Christian.

In this volume, we follow Ana as she pieces together her life after the events of book one, only to discover that there are still so many more shades to unveil. I have to say, Christian’s big secret was a huge let down. I mean, on some level, a lot of people who participate in BDSM activities would possess sadistic tendencies but it was the wording of this particular revelation when it happened that made me question my love for him, I don’t even care about how Ana felt. When he said ‘I like to f**k little girls with brown hair because they remind me of the crackwhore’ or something to that effect, I was like ehh wrong wording there EL James.

Ana grew up a lot in this book and I liked her a lot more, even though she still annoys the hell out of me when she does things that I know will annoy Christian, but at least she’s learning.

The ending threw me a little, that little epilogue part, in Jack’s voice… I knew that fool wouldn’t go quietly. How convenient for him to have a photographic memory too.

I’m looking forward to the next book, I’ll wait for my audible credit to renew and read it then.

Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are by how much I’ve enjoyed this series so far…

Final rating: 4stars

Fifty Shades Freed


Where to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, paperback, $19.99Audible, audiobook, $14.95 or 1 credit

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What can I expect: erotica, attempted BDSM, laugh out loud ridiculousness, a decent storyline despite the horrid writing, a surprising amount of suspense

When Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged entrepreneur Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them had anticipated. Ana must learn to share Grey’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity or independence; and Grey must overcome his compulsion to control and lay to rest the horrors that still haunt him. Now, finally together, they have love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities. But just when it seems that they really do have it all, tragedy and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true…


The best of a bad bunch.
Let’s face it, this is not an amazingly well written trilogy, but god damn the storyline is addictive.

We see Anastasia and Christian come full circle in this book, dealing with all manner of grown up issues.

The pregnancy was transparent and really ruined the story for me, I’d have been much more interested if she had lost the baby when Hyde attacked her and they had to rebuild their relationship.

It all got a bit cheesy and lame with the mile high club sex, the picturesque meadow scenes at the big house which I’m sure we’re filled with sunshine and daisies.
The child, Ted, was irritating from his first appearance.

I’m still not overly interested in Ana and her story, mostly because she’s let her personality and freedom simply fade out to make Christian happy. Sure she can get mad and manipulate situations but she’s not a strong character.

I’ll continue with Grey and finish up the series, I don’t feel I’ve wasted time reading these, but they are a joke, an absolutely ludicrous contribution to letters and where have all the bandwagon readers disappeared to now? Well, I’m here I guess, but I’d love to know what you’re reading now if you were one of those people that jumped on this craze when it first took off

Battoe improved her narration tenfold in this volume. Well done to her.

Final rating: 4 stars

So with all that said, I can give you one word to describe my overall experience in reading this series over the course of the last 3 months – it didn’t take me that long to read them, I just wasn’t paying extra through audible!- and the word would be:


I can also give you a picture to sum up my experience:


To put it all in perspective though, my average rating for the entire series is 3.6/5 stars. For me, negative ratings are under 3 stars, so this is essentially a positive review, despite the fact that I’m still in disbelief that something this horrible could actually be published and loved by millions.

-Sam, xxoo




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