Tuesday, June 5, 2012

50 Shades of Suck: Real Talk Tuesday

I'm not typically one to follow the crowd, nor am I one who would attempt to read a romantic novel, but curiosity got the best of me when it came to this book.

I first heard about it on a local radio show when one of the DJs lost a best and had to read it and report back about it on the show along the way.

Then I saw a Saturday Night Live skit about Amazon and 50 Shades of Grey. I haven't even read the book but I had heard enough hype to understand the joke.

Then I heard it was Twilight fan-fiction and got REALLY confused. What? It's another vampire book? No.

A friend of mine scooped up the series and texted me for an entire week about the spicy book. But I was not going to give in.

Finally, during my trip to Atlanta, the novel came up yet again at the dinner table. Everyone who had read it was raving about how good it was.

I had to ask the question: Why?

Some call it a love story, but admit it's got a kinky spicy side. Others read it for that side and claim their husbands appreciate the... Uh, inspiration?

I was morally torn about this dang book, but a bit of peer pressure, a couple nights alone in a hotel, and my innate desire to get to the bottom of things got the best of me, and I bought the book on my iPad.

Mind you, this was after I read about 15 1-star reviews on Amazon, all saying how much the writing sucked and how there's no real storyline. I had nothing to lose... Ok, well just $10. Other than that I had nothing to lose.

Typically my style of book is historical fiction, or any kind of fiction really. Currently I had been reading the second Percy Jackson series--Heroes of Olympus. Sure, it's written for 13-year-olds, but it's written dang well, and it's captivating and exciting. I set that book aside to pick up 50 Shades... An entirely different kind of book.

I sped through the first five chapters trying to understand the story yet get to the good part. Immediately I noticed the inferior writing compared to what I'm used to reading. Words like "murmur" and "medulla oblongata" shouldn't be used more than once in a book, much less in the first seven chapters. I didn't think "bad writing" would annoy me so much but it annoyed me to the point of being unable to enjoy the story.

Some people say Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books weren't written well... They haven't seen nothin' yet.

On the flight back home the pregnant woman next to me pulled out noise cancellation headphones, and 50 Shades of Grey. I saw she was getting toward the end and couldn't help but ask her if it gets better.


"Same story different chapter" is what she told me.

I forced myself to make it through the first "hot" scene, but eight chapters in I was less than thrilled and decided to hang it up.

Maybe I'm giving the book a hard time. Perhaps if I wasn't thinking about it as being a professionally edited and written book--if I read it thinking of it as fan-fiction or a blog, I could enjoy it more. Either way, I decided to go back to my middle-school books involving Greek mythology and demigods because I'd rather read a good book for kids than a sucky book that reads like it was written by a kid.

I know I'm not the only one who doesn't get the hype, but it seems I'm in the minority. Every day I come across Facebook posts about the it, and SomeCards on Pinterest that giggle at their own obsession over these books. It seems as though everyone and their cousin loves it. To me it just felt like 50 shades of suck. Edited to add: For those who haven't read it, the first 7/8 chapters I read were boring compared to what I've heard was coming. I didn't make it far enough to get to any kinky stuff and the one steamy part I did read wasn't much of anything you wouldn't find in another adult book with a love story... Except with lame writing. Also, the fact that I'm semi-prudish may have affected my opinion. But trut me, from what I read, you ain't missin nothin.

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