Fifty Shades of Grey Review: Part One, where I embarrass myself at ANOTHER store.

Fifty Shades of Grey: The color blind artist who mistakenly buys this book is in for a big surprise.

Ok, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey. I heard about it because Cosmo magazine keeps referencing in their articles. In case you are one of those people who haven’t heard of it, it is an erotica novel, and apparently, a pretty steamy one at that. It’s not just a romance novel where the phrase, “His pulsing manhood” appears a number of times. Apparently it gets pretty kinky. EVERYONE has been talking about it.

I decided that since I am a young, hip woman of the world, that I would read this book, and review it for my blog. 

My mom decided that she would read it with me, since we both want to be in the know, and up on all the hip book gossip. So, the other day I casually said that I would go out and get it later that night. At around 8:45pm I remembered this, and I jumped up from the sofa in a dash. I couldn’t remember if Barnes and Noble closed at 9pm or not. I threw on some flip flops and raced to the door. At this point my dad asked me what the big deal was.

Me: “I have to run to Barnes and Noble before it closes and buy Fifty Shades of Grey!”

Dad: “Why?”

Mom:”Tara and I are going to read it. It’s the scandalous book everyone is talking about.”

Me: “And I’m going to write a funny blog review about it.”

Dad: “Oh, so it’s a funny book. Cool”

Me: “Well, no, it’s about Sado-masochism, but I’m going to try to be funny about it. Ok, gotta go!”

Dad:

So I dashed out of the house to go buy an erotica novel in the same way James Bond might dash off to disarm a bomb.

Quick! The bookstore just got the new harlequin!

I got to the store and felt like an idiot because it turns out that they don’t close until 11. Now, like many large cities, San Antonio has more than one Barnes and Noble. The one that I saw this table at:

BUY THIS EROTICA!!!

Was not the one that I went to to actually buy the novel. I walked into the store, and started looking around for the Fifty Shades of Grey table like they had at the other Barnes and Noble. I even told the sales clerk who offered to help me that I didn’t need any help, because I assumed I would stumble upon a table with dozens of copies at any moment. I didn’t.

Eventually I had to give up and go find help. Behind the help desk there was a woman, and a middle aged man. In the same way that I think it is less awkward to go to a female doctor, I figured it would be less awkward to ask another girl about sultry erotica. So I sort of, half hid myself behind a pillar, and tried to make it so that ONLY the woman would see me, and would ask me if I needed help before the man. But of course I’m 6’2, so everyone saw me. The man asked me what I wanted. Blushingly, I asked about Fifty Shades Of Grey. Then this middle aged man gave me a look that made me want to crawl under one of the book tables and die. Then he said, in a hushed voice, “Yes, just go up to the front and they have it behind the counter.”

Ok, so how come one Barnes and Noble has the book laid out where you can literally buy them by the dozen, but the other store makes me buy this novel like we’re exchanging naked magazines under the table?!

Then I blush again as a thought occurs to me: What if this book is steamer than I thought? I had innocently assumed that this was just a slightly sultrier romance novel, but what if it is more than that? I’m about to find out.

Shortly after this I think to myself, “Hey, why don’t I get a couple of romance novels? See what this whole thing is about? I’ll talk about several for my blog.” Obviously romance novels are still very much a popular phenomenon. You can find them at literally any place that sells books.

I didn’t buy any romance novels other than Fifty Shades. I went to my local library. I LOVE the library. If any of the dozen people who read this blog are from San Antonio and don’t have a library card, go and get one right now. They have EVERYTHING. I check out CD’s, movies, comic books, cook books, career books, and….ROMANCE NOVELS! They actually have Fifty Shades of Grey, but there are over 300 holds on it. That means that there are over three hundred people who would have learned all that book’s sexy secrets before me, and that is just unacceptable.

They had a large selection, but I noticed that there seemed to be several common, recurring themes. Here they are.

1.Girl meets, and for some important reason, must seduce rich man, who is often her boss. Even if it is forbidden/inconvenient/scandalous/dangerous.

2.Girl meets boy and has baby/loves man who has baby/has baby, and falls in love with new man who then loves her baby, even if it is forbidden/inconvenient/scandalous/dangerous. It turns out there are A LOT of widowed hotties looking for love in the romance novel universe.

3.Girl meets Cowboy. Sometimes she encounters some of the difficulties in themes 1 and 2, but this time they happen on a ranch!

4.Girl meets boy, but one of them is a vampire/werewolf/ghost/alien/secret government operative.

“Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors”. Already I can tell that this will be deeper than Twilight.

5.And finally, Girl meets boy, but it’s extra scandalous because it’s in the old days where people wore hoop skirts and waved fans seductively. As in:

“Lady Rosaline Elizabeth Margaret Thompson Esquire must seduce Lord Duke Prince Reginald Edward Darcy William Redbook Redwood Wayne….even if it is forbidden/inconvenient/scandalous/dangerous.”

Accordingly, I tried to find a book from each of these themes. Incidentally, at the same time I was looking at romance novels, a man in a wheelchair rolled up and started telling me his Christian conversion story. This would have been fine under normal circumstances, but I felt weird talking about Jesus while I had Savor Me Slowly in one hand and To have the Doctor’s Baby in the other.

So, the books that I ended up checking out were, in no particular order:

Savor Me Slowly, by Gena Showalter. Which is either about an alien woman, or a robot woman. The description on the back left me confused. The cover of this one informed me that that she is the bestselling author of: Enslave me Sweetly.

I bet “Enslave Me Sweetly” wouldn’t have been bestselling if they had used this screenshot from Gone With the Wind as the cover art.

The Cowboy’s Convenient Bride, by Wendy Warren. This one hits a lot of the different themes. Not only do we have our cowboy, but the girl is a widow with three children. Also, the cover is confusing.

Those are bread racks in the back. So… he’s a cowboy who is also a baker? Also, she’s supposed to have three kids. Since when does anybody’s mom wear a halter dress on a farm?

To Have The Doctor’s Baby, by Teresa Southwick. This hits on another sub-theme that I didn’t touch on. Doctors. Much like Cowboys, they evidently have a lot of appeal. “We’re falling in love…but this time it’s at a hospital!!”

Taming Her Billionare Boss, by Maxine Sullivan, and The Billionare’s Contract Engagement, by Maya Banks. These both seem to run along the same lines, so I guess I could have just picked one, but the cover of the first book was just too strange to pass up.

I mean, what an awkward way to be embracing someone. It looks like she’s about to start eating his tie, and he’s just letting it happen.

Seduction, by Amanda Quick. The title doesn’t give much away, but this one DEFINITELY fits the description of my “Romance in the olden days” theme. The back of the book tells us of Julian, Earl of Ravenwood, (ding ding ding!!!) finding a new wife in the “tawny-haird lass” that is Sophy Dorring. Whether she will indeed be able to, “teach the devil to love again”, as the back of the book claims, I will have to find out for myself in part two!

Make sure to read my next blog, where i’ll give you all the juicy details from Fifty Shades, and show you some of the romance novels that didn’t make it into my list of reads.

What do you guys think this one is about?

Later!

-Tara

P.S.

(This is probably a good time to talk about the sort of tone that this blog will  take. Look, I never plan to be filthy on this blog. I’ll curse occasionally, but not frequently, and occasionally I’ll post some off color jokes.  And you know what? I’m not really offended by people that curse more than me, or make more offensive jokes than I do. They are people too, and it takes all kinds to keep the world spinning. The point is, we are all adults here. One of the reasons I’m reviewing this book is that I feel like it should be ok for adults to discuss sex and issues pertaining to it. I’m going to review this erotic novel, in a mostly funny way, along with some other, tamer romance novels. Now, if you feel you are sensitive to topics concerning sexuality, I would suggest that you read part one, where I buy the book, but maybe skip part two, where I discuss the text in depth, and hopefully you will not think less of me for discussing topics that you yourself might not. That ends the serious part of this blog, now hopefully I can start making you chuckle again.)

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2 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Grey Review: Part One, where I embarrass myself at ANOTHER store.

  1. I am intrigued to read what you have to say about Shades of Gray. My girlfriends and I were going to read it in a “let’s make fun of bad books” sort of way, but then when one of them read it she was so disgusted she was too embarrassed to hand it over, for which, truthfully, I’m rather grateful.

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