50 ways to make 50 shades more interesting

Today in Sometimes I Read Things, I take a look back at the literary glory that was 50 Shades of Grey and add 50 ways I think it could be more interesting. If you need a refresher before you dive in, take a look at my thoughts on the book here. But you probably already know the gist of it. This list was compiled with the help of a fellow reader who also felt it was a little…lacking.

1. Christian’s secret is that he tortured and killed his mother’s pimp.
2. The charity he’s been donating to is actually a front for selling illegal arms in guerrilla warfare. I can’t decide if its better if he knows about it or finds out about it later.
3. Ana is actually kind of a ho and teaches Christian a few things
4. Ana gave a kid up for adoption before she met Christian
5. Christian is running a giant ponzi scheme
6. Christian is a pimp for expensive call girls that used to be his subs
7. Taylor, Christian’s live-in head of security, is secretly Christian’s biological father
10. Christian is an international gangster—that’s why he’s so rich
11. Christian opens a thesaurus and uses words for his mother that aren’t “crack whore”
12. Book is written from the perspective of Ana on the reality show “real girlfriends of Seattle”
13. Therapist Dr. Flynn falls in love with Ana and messes with Christians head in anger/jealousy
14. Taylor, the male head of the security team, and Christian had a secret illicit affair
15. Ana becomes a businesswoman and rivals Christian at work
16. I would also like to acknowledge that to receive an email on Ana’s blackberry, it would have to be sent to her personal email address, and for her to receive an email on her work computer, it would have to be sent to her work email address. These are different things. Also, does no one else ever send Ana an email?
17. Ana finds Viagra in his apartment
18. Someone at least once does something embarrassing during sex, i.e. falling off the bed, can’t get bra unhooked, etc.
19. They lived in a world where hangovers exist
20. They stopped arguing about how they don’t deserve each other
21. Christian makes $100,000 an hour? hahahahaha, please
22. Ana actually had a computer since, you know, she’s an A student and lives in the 21st century and has a job
23. The sex scenes were better. Yeah, I said it.
24. Ana was into dominating and Christian was not
25. Darfur seems to be thrown around a lot without anyone actually seeming to know why, so maybe we could pick a less trendy cause for Christian?
26. Christian has an older sister that surfaces
27. There is a hostile takeover of Grey’s company
28. Christian accidentally killed a submissive
29. Christian is a secret serial killer of pimps
30. Ana is already using birth control
31. Ana is a lesbian
32. Ana has a life-threatening disease that one of Christian’s research teams can cure…but she’s not telling
33. Ana likes being a submissive and later wants her own sub
34. Christian is gay
35. Christian’s real dad shows up and wants money
36. Christian’s real dad shows up and is also very rich
37. Christian’s real dad shows up and tries to kill Christan because he doesn’t want any other heirs around
38. Call the book 50 shades of red..amp up the sadism
39. Christian’s company sells the sex products and he tests them
40. Jose begins to stalk gray to do away with him
41. Kate feels she deserved Christian and goes after him
42. Someone starts blackmailing Christian…and it’s ?…Take your pick
43. Christian’s mom is still alive and is looking for him
44. Christian finds out he already has a kid he didn’t know about
45. Ana reads modern fiction/science fiction/anything other than romantic English literature
46. Ana likes make-up and shopping and realizes this does not make her any less smart
47. Someone at his work files a suit because he only hires attractive blonde women
48. Same story, half the length
49. Christian is ugly, Ana falls for him anyway
50. Everyone stopped saying the phrase “mighty fine” forever

Got your own ideas? Leave them in the comments!

I’ve since finished the 50 Shades trilogy and have moved on to better and brighter-titled literature Hot Pink by Adam Levin. It is just what I needed to cleanse my palate.

Keep up with me on Goodreads! And, as always, if you need a way to carry your trashy and not trashy books, check out Rae’s Days on Etsy!

P.S. I can’t take credit for this whole list, so my thanks to another 50 Shades reader who always has the time and wit to talk books.

books + fashion

So you all know I read 50 Shades of Grey and didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would (for my thoughts on the book, see here). And just to reiterate that you can use critical thinking and find inspiration in just about anything, let’s use the book to find some outfit inspiration. 

In the book, Ana borrow a purple dress from her roommate (you know, because Ana’s too smart to care about clothes and anything that’s not old English literature), and Hot Billionaire ends up quite liking it on her. Here’s how I might style a purple dress for Ana on days when she’s being a normal 20-something and not going on really expensive dates with the city’s hottest bachelor. I’d put her in flats because this girl just does not seem like she’d be comfortable in heels. And you know what, that’s totally ok. Play to your strengths and what makes you comfortable. These flats are from Madewell and I love them. Dress is J Crew, sweater is Jonathan Saunders, earrings are Dannijo (you know, she can’t completely give up glamour), and clutch is Rae’s Days. I think it’s so perfect for her because she loves to read and works in publishing. 

And for when she does have a really expensive date with HB? Why not hint at that sexy bondage stuff the book alludes to so much. Add a corset belt, shoes from Louboutin, bracelet from Asos, and McQueen lookalike clutch. Dress is L’Wren Scott. 

50 shades

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: