So I do this thing, where if everyone starts reading something, I want to read it to. I was an early Harry Potter adopter, but since then hopping on the bandwagon has led me to things like the Hunger Games, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Twilight. (I’m not saying all of these things have been good.) I just can’t help it. I want to join the conversation and see what the fuss is about, and I want to be able to knowledgeably explain through experience why Hermione is a better role model than Bella Swan. (There are lots of reasons why).
I am also interested in how women are portrayed in the popular novels and I’m thankful that there are badasses like Katniss and Lisbeth to balance out the insecure boy-crazy Bellas of the young adult literary world.
So when I started 50 Shades of Grey, I fully expected to hate it and the characters. I learned that it began as fan-fiction story based on Bella and Edward of Twilight. But then once it grew, they changed a few details, expanded on the story and made it what it is…which seems to be a sexy harlequin novel for the ladies who lunch.
So I expected the terrible character traits from Twilight + sex. But by the end of the book, I actually liked Ana, the main character who falls for a sexy billionaire. SPOILER ALERT—there are spoilers in the following lists, that is, if a trashy harlequin novel can be spoiled.
Reasons she is better than Bella:
- She has a job
- Her mother says that a man she dates should be worthy of her, and she agrees and takes this to heart
- She is independent. For real, she has an after school job, gets an after college job, does her homework, packs her house, and gets to where she needs to go all on her own.
- She says no to the hot billionaire trying to swoon her—she doesn’t give him everything he asks for and she takes time to think about what she wants to do
- She decides she wants love, and when Hot Billionaire can’t give it to her, she leaves (ok, I’m fully aware that in the next few books I’m sure they won’t be able to stay away from each other and they’ll get back together. But let me have this one time where she decides she doesn’t have to stay in a relationship that won’t give her what she needs)
- For the record, this only applies to Ana. I find Hot Billionare to pretty much embody all the terrible things Edward also embodies: crazy, controlling, controlling, and controlling. Though I guess Hot Billionaire does listen to Ana and respects when she says no, where Edward does not. So, plus one very small point for HB.
Other surprising things I am ok with in this book:
- They encourage open and honest communication, even (maybe especially) about sex. They talk about what they like and don’t like, what they are comfortable with and birth control and STD tests. Granted, this is on the premise of forming an S&M relationship, but they apply these open and honest discussions in every part of their relationship (and the S&M is overplayed and doesn’t really get that weird.)
Ok, this might be the end of that list. But really, among all the expected terribleness, I was very surprised to find that there was things that young women could take out of this book besides bad writing and sexy sex with a fantasy man.
I read this on my kindle for two reasons: I love my kindle, and no one can tell that I was reading it. Need your own kindle and reading accessories for any embarrassing or non embarrassing books in your life? Check these out on my store at Etsy: