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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

50 Shades Freed


50 Shades Freed

Let me start by recapping what happened in the last book. I do this because I generally don’t want to spoil your experience if you’re reading the book; since you’re on the 3rd one, I can talk about in detail of the contents of the previous book. If there are no surprises, then there’s less excitement in reading the book.
Caution: There are spoilers all through my review about the 2nd (50Shades Darker), and the 3rdbook (50 Shades Freed). If you don’t want to know what happens in the book, I think you should first read the book then read my review. Just a suggestion.

The 2ndbook 50 Shades Darker begins with Christian and Ana getting back together again. Their chemistry is so electric, so palpable, you, as the reader can feel it through the book which is one testament to the book’s success. For instance, Christian becomes very expressive and loquacious when it comes to conveying his admiration, feelings when he and Ana get back together, though he is such a self-deprecating person, he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her love, or anyone’s for that matter. It’s hard to believe for him to be loved by anyone, though even the Bitch Troll (sorry, Mrs. Lincoln) knows that he’s in love with her. .....

We just can’t move on without talking about their hmmm… first union, to put politely.  Ok, here’s what happens. Christian vowed to not to make love to Ana until she begged. Well, that is too hard to avoid when the two get together because the electric is so palpable between the two. After Christian picks Ana up from work, they go to her apartment for a change. At that point there is more than one emotion thrumming between them other than yearning, lust, love, passion. That’s anger (from Ana). She’s just learned that Christian purchased SIP.  But they manage to pass that with Christian’s sexpertise. He manages to get close enough to her, but doesn’t even kiss her. He wants her to tell him exactly what she wants.  Here’s the thing:  Christian can pack a lot of hotness, feral passion, love and pleasure into simple words and make Ana swoon just with his words and with one look. For instance, Ana is all shy and asking him if he would like a drink. Simple enough, right? After saying no, but thank you, he says back to her, “what would you like to do Anastasia?” Softly but with all his passion packed into it, “I know what I want to do”. 

Even when he later leans down to her, he won’t kiss her, because he wants her to tell him what she wants. He’s asking permission. He wants her to spell it out. It’s not just what he says, but it’s how he says it. It’s in the way he uses and utters his words, the body language, it’s in the confidence, in his knowingness of what he’s doing (not like an amateur who confuses the difference between his elbow and you know… his ass.) He asks, no, actually he breathes into her ear if she wants him to kiss her. She’s all “Yes”. But he’s taking no prisoners. “Where?” he asks.  She says “everywhere.” But, that’s not enough; he wants her to be more specific. He wants her to beg and tell him what to do. She begs please. (Take note people…)

Please what?” he says. She wants him to touch her. Of course, that’s still not enough, “where, baby?” Right there!  In these two words he packs so much intoxication, connection, communication, the demand of “get past your inhibitions and talk to me explicitly” i.e. the said significant other, and a lot of love, passion, lust... In just two simple words! If you can manage that, kudos to you!

Even after all this passionate exchange, they don’t make out, yet. She’s hungry, and he wants her to eat, and so they start preparing stir fry. But Ana is about to combust, so she innocently brushes her arm, her derrière, her elbow, you name it… she’s trying to get his attention, and she succeeds. They won’t be able to cook with all the passion that’s palpating between them, and he can even make the “Put the chicken in the fridge” to sound sexy and desirous because they won’t be able to eat right then. He breathes to her “What do you want Anastasia?” This question is enough to make her gasp, “You” she answers.  He’s ready to take her on the kitchen floor, but he wants her to specify where she wants to make love. She says ‘the bed’. He scoops her up, and carries her to the bedroom and sets her on her feet. He softly coaxes out what she wants him to do. Spell it out. She wants to make love. He wants her to tell him exactly how. You see up until this point, no kissing occurred, and no making out, nothing. Just words! Words are sensual, it builds expectation. His words are Alive. Palpable. Building expectation. And expectation is half the fun.  Unlike the comedian Ron White telling his fresh bride “I have log ride here!” (See my review on 50 Shades of Grey).  This is what women expect (not the log ride, but sensuality, love, and desire). End game may be the same for the layman such as the likes of the log ride providers, but there are rides, and then there are rides.

It’s like the Renaissance Festival we went a few weeks ago. They had certain rides there for people. Swings and a huge swan ride where kids and adults alike were seated inside and two girls stood on each and using their own weight made the ride rock (it looked like a giant rocking chair); a similar one was a giant rocking horse or the swings which were Medieval version of a carousel ride were swung by two burly men. And in comparison to these imitations of a ride, there is of course the Six Flags Magic Mountain (the Batman Ride, Colossus, Dive Devil, Apocalypse, Scream, Ninja, Goliath… you get the point. Oddly, up until this minute, I never thought Magic Mountain rides had sexual connotations until I entered the names of these rides. Dear God! I can never go on those rides without blushing anymore.). Kinda dwarves the medieval rides, do they not? Magic Mountain makes the Renaissance Festival look like themed swap meet.  If you want to get on the Apocalypse ride, you might want to ditch the swan, or the fake carousel rides. See in order to get better experience from your ride; you have to have better rides.
At that point Ana spells out what she wants, where she wants to be kissed exactly. And that’s what Christian wants to hear. He knows how to take charge with confidence, but also gives her control, lets her participate, make decisions; he’s a good leader, but empowering. And the rest is history as I’m sure you’ve read it…

I had to write this section on the 50 Shades Darker here, because, I want people to take notice that closeness in a relationship doesn’t happen without communication. Throughout the book, we see Christian pushing for clear communication. That’s what I like the best: Communication is extremely important in a relationship. Remember Dr. Randy Carlson’s callers? (From my 50 Shades of Grey review).  Those men expected their wives to be accommodating, and giving and doing God knows what they want them to do, because I sure don’t, except they are saying “I’m starved for affection!” to the good Doctor. Take a note guys… Build anticipation. Because you can’t just be the recipient, the receiver and the expecting party. Tango is done in pairs. You can possibly do it alone but, if you know how to dance it, there is nothing like it; incredibly sensual, close, better than, well, you know… just know that solo won’t feel the same. Since this book is written by a woman, she’s expressed so clearly how to make a woman beyond happy.

Ok, moving on…
There are a few major troubles: Christian has an emotionally disturbed ex-sub who is stalking them both. Christian wants to get her the help she needs, but Leila (who looks similar to Ana) doesn’t understand why “master” wants Ana, and not her. She’s broken into his apartment, came to Ana’s work, and finally despite the security, Leila has broken into Ana’s apartment toting a gun. Ana goes back to her apartment to let Kate’s brother Ethan in, or to check in on him, and he wasn’t there, but Leila was. Christian who happened to take a phone call was in his car while Ana goes into her apartment. All hell breaks loose when she goes in as she meets a disturbed young woman. Ana stays calm, and when Ethan shows up outside, Christian and Taylor rushes in realizing someone else opened the door for Ana. There stands Leila with a gun in her hand pointed at Ana, the love of Christian's life. He needs to quickly make a decision to save her, and the expression in Leila's face gives Christian an idea. Her demeanor indicate him that he just may  be able to get through to her if he reassumes his role as her Dom like he was in the past. That actually was a sad scene for me, and I think I was sympathizing with Ana who was shocked getting a glimpse of how he behaved in the past. Then he ordered Ana out; though in his mind he was trying to protect her to what was going to ravel, and she was frozen. Finally Christian made Taylor carry her out of the apartment while he tended Leila's needs. Here’s the crux of the things: This scene brings out all of Ana’s insecurities. Because she can never be a submissive; not like these other girls. She then has this crushing realization that she may not be enough for him. That he may miss that lifestyle which she’s unable to provide to the extent he’s used to. She goes out to a bar with Ethan teary eyed across from her apartment, and sees Christian carry Leila out wrapped in a blanket. (We later find out that he also had given her a bath, which he explained as compassion from one human being to another as she really was very dirty, unkempt), but nonetheless, that doesn’t make Ana feel any better. Feeling the 50 Shades of Fuckedupness yet?

Since Ana left her things in the car, she’s unable to get back to her apartment, but walks to Christian’s. He’s by then so concerned, so livid, so scared that he thought she ran. This single incident is very crucial to the story. Because this is where we get a glimpse of what Christian had been like: a true Dom. The sight of it is not pleasant. Not to Ana, and certainly not to me. But what happens after she gets back is even more important. Ana’s fears of not being good for him comes right back up on the surface. Because she sees a girl, namely Leila who is a true sub. Who just submits to Christian’s will with just one look. One frigging look people! Geez! That’s not in Ana’s character to do what Leila would do for him. So, this is where the chips would fall.

Then later comes the confrontation: She spills all her insecurities about how she’s not good enough for him, and that he’ll get tired of her. Christian is exasperated. He tells her he loves her in desperation. He feels she’s about to run. He’s panicked, extremely panicky, looking for almost a divine intervention, anything. He loses it, and it happens: He drops on his knees, head bowed, his fingers spread out on his thighs, and stops moving.  Ana is confused, bewildered asks him what he’s doing. No answer! She commands in panic “Christian, look at me!” and he does, serene, and expectant; he became a sub.  Reading this section was very emotional, because if you already loathe this sort of life style, it just breaks your heart to see someone who will do anything to receive your love. Just completely heartbreaking! (Poesession by Sarah McLachlan) 

You see, right here, you realize that he loves her that he will have her any way, any capacity she’s willing to be with him. Ana realizes that this is so wrong, and so disturbing, and she thinks she somehow broke him. This is also where we realize that Ana needs to be expressive of her thoughts and feelings instead of just taking off and running away. This incident allows her to do that. She goes down to his level, on her hands and knees and tells all her fears, concerns, and of her love to Christian, and brings him back out of his undesired state of submissiveness.  When he comes out, he tells her that he was so scared. So scared that she would die because of him. He says that it was like dying a thousand deaths when he saw Leila holding a gun to her. He tells her of his exasperation with Ana because he wanted her to be gone so she wouldn’t get harmed.  See what happens when you communicate people? You discover your misconceptions, clear the air, and start a fresh. He admits that Ana is his lifeline.

Ok, by now, the shrink in your head is screaming “co-dependent”! Paging Dr. Drew!  Shut that shrink up! (Sorry, got caught in the moment L) Just because the majority of the world is experiencing a mere existence with no strong attachment to their significant other, doesn’t make this wrong. I would take this over any other kind. Because life must be lived fully, not barely. What better way to do it if it’s not with one person who gives meaning to your existence?

Some of you might say, he’s overbearing, controlling, fucked up (let me remind you that women too can present such behavior excessively). And please don’t you get your inner feminist moving in on me; I'm not interested…I will gladly hand her an eviction slip. This sort of thinking would be giving very little credit to Ana (yes, you're a lot smarter than her, you would never fall for a man like Christian Grey - after all, you've been around the block more often than the Good Humor ice-cream man, whereas she's only 21), or to the intelligence of other women that they can’t handle the characters quirks of men as we women have them as well. It's in our biology. Honestly, I think a man would be too dull if he wasn’t a little jealous, a little controlling, a little overbearing (don’t overdo the spices though). You, as the woman, are the measuring cup. You let him put just the right amount of that. Not too much, or not too little. Learn the art of it that your predecessors perfected. Ana does that beautifully, and Christian responds, and reciprocates and responds positively. That’s where the beauty of this relationship lies. They’re perfect compliments to each other, but you wouldn’t know that in the first book; they teach each other that ~ it’s a learned and perfected behavior which gives hope to the rest of the people who can manage to do that in their own relationships. Then again, relationships take two people; there is no one size fits all. What makes you happy may not make someone else happy. By the same token, Christian is a good match for Ana, but he wasn't for 15 other women. Just keep in mind that this is a love story, a fiction in a very unexplored context (at least in the first book). If there was no sin, there would be no need for redemption. Because, we'd all be in heaven.

 
During this “bring everything to the surface and air your darkest parts of your soul” time, Christian confesses to Ana something very dark about himself; he believes he’s a sadist and tells her he likes to whip little brown-haired girls like her because they all look like the crack whore, his birth mother. I just about died when I read that. See the enormous dark elephant in the room no one can ignore? That’s the last piece of big crappy secret he’s carrying inside, and it’s all out in the open now. He’s basically exorcising all his demons for Ana. He explains how his worldview has changed after she left; her love was a revelation for him. Ana knows how to confront him, and go toe to toe with him. She loves him, and he’s scared that she’d run. She’s mad at what she heard but she won’t run. He’s not sure of that. She asks him, how she could make sure that she won’t run though she’s mad. He says “marry me.” She won’t say yes or no, well for one, this isn’t the most romantic proposal. (He’ll make up for the deficiency – see even if he’s inadequate he learns quickly and corrects his mistake very well.) It sounds like I’m shortchanging you here, but you have to read the book, because, there is so much more to talk about still.

2nd big incident…

That’s aboutJack the boss, a.k.a. the blackmailer. We learn that Jack, Ana’s boss is trying to blackmail Ana – after reading her outgoing steamy e-mails to Christian to get into her panties. She kicks him in the family jewels and runs out of the building (this occurs right before she leaves for work) and collapses outside. Christian and Taylor rushes to her side, and Taylor beats the crap out of Jack and in short he’s sent packing after Christian gets his due. We find more about this in the third book, but Jack sabotages Christian’s helicopter Charlie Tango. Luckily Christian manages to land it with difficulty. But until he gets home, the news of him being lost is everywhere, and a devastated family and Ana wait for the news of his well-being. When he comes home all dirty and ragged, it’s the most welcoming sight to everyone which makes Christian realize that his family does love him (he who feels unworthy of love.)

Most important event..

Ana accepts to marry Christian, and her answer is his birthday present. Of course the bitch troll is sooo unhappy about it when she hears this news during his birthday party, and corners Ana to scold her because she isn’t good enough, and calls her a “gold digger”. Ana pours her drink on Elena’s head, Christian walks in, and confrontation begins. To top things up, his mom walks in and hears what Elena had an affair with her son, and slaps the bitch child molester and kicks her out of her house. (Thank God! Being a parent, that’s my favorite part.)

Now, we can properly begin talking about 50 Shades Freed:

The third and final book on the series begins with Christian and Ana’s honeymoon in Monte Carlo. They were married in his parents’ house, and they consummate their first night as a married couple at 35,000 feet on Christian’s private jet on their way to London a first for both of them, joining the mile high club. Of course when we read about these, Ana was dreaming about it reliving the experience at the beach where she kinda went topless face down, but when she fell asleep she turned over and was exposed to all to see to Christian’s shock and anger. You know what that means; he’s going to punish her someway, and that usually ends in the bedroom, because that’s his coping mechanism. He sort of goes primal on her, and marks her with hickies which she doesn’t realize till the next day, not to mention the marks left by the hand and ankle cuffs which greatly upsets Ana although at the time she likes how they did the uhm… act. She just didn’t like being marked like an adolescent, and rightly so. And she lets Christian have a piece of her mind. What you realize here is that Ana is not afraid of him; she may be intimidated by him at times, but she can let him have an intimidating piece of her mind, and she’s a force to be reckoned with. She knows how to hold her own, and knows how to stand up for herself (some of you girls need to learn from this! Namely to stand up for yourself…) So, that was the result of the punishment uhmm fuck  (I hate to keep using this word,  but that’s what it was & had been rectified by a makeup love session which just shows that he’s mercurial but willing to correct his erroneous ways. You just have to read it; I’m not spelling out for you.)

We also learn along the way that Carrick, Christian’s dad wants Ana to sign a prenuptial agreement, and Christian is really pissed at him for bringing it up. Ana, knowing she’s not bringing anything into the relationship is willing to sing, but Christian is mad as hell, and adamant that she’s not to sign anything. She tells him, that she isn’t bringing anything in. In the event that she may do something exceptionally stupid, or that cross some imaginary line he’s drawn, he may not want her. He tells her “if you leave me, you might as well take everything.   You left me once before…” He closes the subject never to be rehashed again.

During the honeymoon they learn that someone tried to set fire to Christian’s company’s server room; another added concern to the Charlie Tango incident. Christian keeps as much of the details as possible to not to worry her, but he’s ever in control via his Blackberry. He’s larger than life, that guy.

I want to skip this because we’ll deal with this later in the book, but bring you to a different subject: Intimacy. It’s not what you think thought. You’d be happy to know that ever the science loving persona in me conducted a limited survey among my gal-pals recently. What’s more intimate, a kiss or sex? And the consensus was unanimous: a kiss was more intimate than sex (don’t take this as with strangers. My friends are all either married, or had been in a steady relationship for quite some time.)  So, even for married couples, a kiss was more intimate. I then asked the question what would be even more intimate than a kiss, and they couldn’t think of another aspect. Then I asked “how about getting shaved?”

“You mean shaving your legs?” one of my friends blurted.

“No,” I said embarrassed, “your privates...” I said as calmly as possible.

Considering some of these women go to a beauty salon to get those bits waxed, I found that this one act was too intimate to share with a guy who knows your intimate parts better than yourself. Even the most seasoned ones were shy about it. That’s what Christian did for Ana. She tried to shave herself but didn’t do a very good job, and Christian told her “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly,” and wanted to shave her. Ana too was extremely shy about it even though she’s done more things with him in a few weeks that many people didn’t know was doable in a lifetime.  

I was just testing whether this was plausible (how intimate of a feeling being shaved was), and it in fact was: The women in my acquaintance agreed last week that it is a very intimate act – letting your privates shaved by your significant other.  I would have never thought about it, if it wasn’t in this book. Live and learn people, live and learn

The things I do for the sake of science… And shut up, it is for science! I value learning, and as Christian said, if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly! It’s not the easiest thing to ask a roomful of women who are having a tea party talking about their jobs, kids, hubbies, and recipes… “Girls, let me ask you a question. Which of these two things is more intimate for you: sex or kissing? Pass the sugar please…

“What?” blurts my best friend.

“Just answer, I know you have no reservations expressing your feelings.” She gave me a knowing smile.

“Kissing, undoubtedly.” She said, and others chimed in the same manner, and went on why it was going on with their experiences over the years.  She then calls her friend in North Carolina who is dating a new guy and she too wants to be in on the conversation, so we’re having this surreal impromptu book club meeting – though it wasn’t the initial intent of the tea party.  And this other lady I’ve never met in N. Carolina also agrees that a kiss was more intimate. I then sprung up the shaving question on them.

My friend gives me a sly smile, and says, “Ok, what the hell’s going on? Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?” (I’m very private in public, even with my best friend; see what this book does to you? I’m now talking to strangers here… Savor this people, because this is not an everyday occurrence for me.)

I told my best friend, “This is my version of a science experiment, so just answer the damn question, I’m writing a book review, I want to be through!” I scold her. That she gets, because she knows I read a lot, and in a strange way, this is right up my scientific alley.
“Trust you to make a science experiment out of intimacy…” she laughs but answers.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that, it’s too intimate,” she says shyly. By then I’m gaping at her.  My best friend is blushing and getting shy? Because she talks about doing the deed, oh… in the pool, the Jacuzzi, on top of the washer, in the ocean, oh I don’t know many other surfaces she’s been to. And she thinks this is intimate? I’m surprised, but other women agree. Too intimate, they all chime in. This answer comes from a group of women who’s been around the block at least once.  So, there you have it people; this can be a sensual experience for those who dare to put it in practice.

Ok, I digress… Christian and Ana get back home after a wonderful honeymoon to the problems awaiting them at home. The first visit they pay as a couple is to Christian’s family. After their visit, Christian allows Ana to drive his beloved R8 which is ensued by a car chase; the person who is threatening their lives and livelihood is chasing them! Ana is on the wheel, and the security detail on the back. The excitement climaxed when the car nearly gets very close to them, and they manage to pull into a parking lot; the un-sub drives away losing them and C&A have their first car sex in the parking lot. What? You expect me to spell out how they did it? You have to read it yourself. There’s a lot more to talk about in the book.  Moving on…

They’ve also purchased a home and remodeling it by this time. The architect, a friend of Elliott’s is another woman who is ready to lie under Christian if he would have her, and making subtle passes at him which bothers Christian. When Taylor calls Christian to discuss something, Christian tells Gia, the architect, that he’s given Ana free reign to do as she wishes with the house, so she’s the boss. The first order of work Ana has on her plate is to straighten Gia (good job!!) Ana tells Gia that she will fire her if she doesn’t stop hitting on her husband, as it is her job hangs by a thread! (I patted her on the back a lot for this confrontation), and she learned to give an impassive face like Christian, and realize that “impassive” is actually very intimidating. I have to keep that in mind. And that snaps Gia back to her place, and she will not make a pass at Christian again.

Here’s another crux for you girls: Christian and Ana were on the same side, and actually he was upset about Gia’s passes. He actually was happy and  proud in the end that Ana was branding him as her own, as he would in a pissing contest with other guys. I tell you girls this because if your guy is not giving you this free reign he’s not giving you himself 100%. It’s a red flag. You can lie through your teeth to yourself, but it doesn’t change the fact. Men likes to declare their territory with their women, it’s only fair that we would get to reciprocate. I don’t mind if my man is declaring his territory, and I’d do the same for him. He knows he’s mine, why should I be passive if some other woman is making a pass at him? We like to be assured, and that’s my assurance to him.

There is one thing in the book (oh, when it comes to that there is a lot of things) that would rile up the feminist in you, or the shrink in you if you don’t have one already. You see, Ana decides to keep her own last name at work without telling Christian. Well, he sends her an email which bounces because she hasn’t changed her last name. He sends the message to her old email back again, and an argument ensues over the last name. Ana doesn’t want to pursue it, so, she goes on with her daily work, and Christian just shows up at work along with her boss (since Christian is the boss’ boss’ boss.)  When they’re alone, emphasizing on Miss Steele, he tells her that he was checking on his assets, and he realized that some of them needs re-branding!  (I can already feel your itchy fingers typing messages to me, giving the women wrong message. Ease up. Give women credit, we can handle it!)She has her reasons to keep her own last name, but he thinks she’s embarrassed of him. He uses his perfected negotiating skills and she finds herself giving in to him. Those of you who thinks that this is overbearing, I Strongly Disagree!

Yes, he wants her world start and end with him. That’s what people who are in love do. I think it’d be a waste of life to be around with someone who values you any less. If you don’t love someone, if you have no feeling for your significant other you’d be recalcitrant, but when you’re in love, boy, the sun rises and sets with that person.  The best thing I can wish for you is a person whom you love and loves you back that way.  There is no feeling like it on earth. You feel alive! 

As for the last name thing, I’d just keep it just so he comes and asks me to change it, because there is fun in the being asked, reaffirmation of being wanted, needed, desired, and claimed. Because personally, unity is very important to me, and I’m on the same page with Christian on that, and if you think otherwise, it’s your opinion, not mine. I’m just as entitled to mine as you are. He loves her; he wants the world to know she belongs to him. Some of you may think of it as proprietary, but it’s not, not the way he does it. Admittedly there are those people, who are that way, but Ana handles Christian well, and they always compromise – both of them get what they want to both of their satisfaction despite the arguments which results in them resolving their issues no matter how difficult.

When they get back to Seattle, they discover – thanks to Ana that it was Jack who broke into Christian’s company and set fire.  The already tight security tightens even more. Christian has to take a trip to New York for business, and Ana’s best friend Kate comes back from vacation, and wants to go out for a drink. Even though Christian wants her to come right home from work she goes for a drink anyway. We then discover that Christian’s home was broken in by none other than Jake who was going to attempt to kidnap her. Ryan fights and captures him, and when Ana comes home she find this mess, and the cops are called. Christian who finds out that Ana went for a drink disobeying him despite the security threats flies right back leaving business negotiations hanging. When he’s in the air, Jack is captured, and he comes home to find the mess, and things can in fact get out of hand crazily no matter how hard you try to be a control freak. He’s confronted with his demons of losing her. He’s mad at her, mad at everyone, at himself. He’s angry; he’s short, mono syllabic. Even his anger is palpable, touchable; tangible out of the book, you can feel it so solidly. They ride this incident slowly, but it’s looming over their heads.

Of course, not every day is fun and leisure for everyone and that certainly is true for Christian and Ana. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a normal life. Ana receives a phone call that her step dad had been in a car accident where the vehicle he was in was hit by a drunk driver. She rushes to be at his side, and as soon as he can make it so does Christian. They spend the week until he is awake and they decide to move him to Seattle so they can keep a better eye on him. When they were in Portland, it was also Ana’s birthday, and Christian surprises her with flying her mom and her husband out in his private jet, and calling all her friends to a birthday party, and buys her an R8!

When the father was in the hospital in Seattle, Ana gets a phone call from her OBGYN who gave her a birth control shot which ran its course out, and the doctor catches up with her at the hospital. To Ana’s shock, she discovers that she’s pregnant! And here’s the big big fear of anyone who first discovers they’re pregnant unexpectedly. Parenting is a life changing event, and it really is scary even if you are prepared. She’s unprepared, and scared of Christian’s reaction. It’s actually a hell of an event to break the news to him. It’s almost the climax of the book. Because Christian flips! He’s had a bad start in life, and he has no trust in himself that he’d be a good father, and he doesn’t want to share Ana with a baby. So, in anger he leaves to get drunk, and runs into none other than the Bitch Troll, and they drink together, and Ana accidentally learns about it, when he comes home all drunk and she’s putting him to bed, and his Blackberry falls down and she reads her text message “you’ll make a great father”. Ana is mad thinking he ran to tell her about their issues instead of discussing with her. Rightfully so. Wouldn’t any of you? (Of course that wasn’t how it happened but when in anger, and there’s misunderstanding things have a potential of going from bad to worse.)  When she finds that out, she spends the night locked in the Play Room. The next morning she finds Christian and the security detail frantically looking for her thinking she ran. They think she ran, because Ana forwards the text from the BT to her phone and replies to the message to her husband if he would like her to join them to discuss that message; that way it will save him running to her afterwards, signing it ‘your wife.’ 

The fact is that Christian is worried that Ana would choose the baby over him, and finally Ana tells him that she would choose a defenseless baby over him which is something his mother should have done with him. But now that he’s an adult, he can take care of himself, but a baby doesn’t deserve to be aborted or ignored. I love her even more for that. She knows how to stand up for herself and for what is right. She can hold her own.

But one thing she does wrong, and that’s my own personal principle: never go to sleep without resolving your problem, or leave the premises. She does that. She goes to work angry, and hurt. When she comes home, Christian is not back from work, and he hasn’t called her, but called Mrs. Jones to tell her he’d be working late. Mrs. Jones a compassionate woman tells Ana to be patient with him, because he was frantic when he thought she left him. He was beside himself.

Next day also goes on with little interaction and he flew to Portland for business. Ana goes to work. She gets a phone call from her sister-in-law Mia. But when she answers the phone it wasn’t Mia; it was Jack! He somehow got released on bail, and kidnapped Mia. Now he wants Ana to bring him 5 million dollars within the next two hours. Though she doesn’t have access to that kind of money. She rushes home pretending to be sick, finds checks that are made for her and Christian’s name, puts on her sweats on, and eludes Sawyer, and runs to the bank to withdraw money.

This particular part is very climactic because many emotions are tumbled in here. Jack told her that he would first rape and then kill Mia if she called the cops, her husband, or the security detail, as he would know it. So, the only defense she has against him is the pistol Christian confiscated from Leila. She goes to the bank to withdraw this rather large sum of money. The bank manager calls Christian to make sure, because it’s out of convention to withdraw that much money the same second you ask for it. Christian tells him that she has Carte Blanche, but he wants to talk to her. The manager hands Ana the phone, and Christian asks her if it was always about the money. I think to me that’s the most heartbreaking question. He knew she always loved him, but having doubts about your own self-worth would bring this question out. And of course that’s not what it was about, and Ana tells him that. He assumes the worst of course, thinking she’s leaving him. He tells her to take everything. He too is heartbroken, and this chapter really was soo emotional for me to read. Because you can feel the pain in every word; the heartbreak, the doubt, the loss of a loved one, and the confusion.  The fact that Ana can’t tell him that she’s trying to rescue his sister, his words stabs new wounds in her. When she hangs the phone up, she’s spent with emotion and worry.

She borrows the bank manager’s phone, and goes out back to avoid Sawyer, and guess who comes to pick her up? Her boss Elizabeth from work who was also blackmailed by Jack to do this. Elizabeth tosses her phone (the bank manager’s phone, but she doesn’t know that), and goes to meet Jack to rescue Mia. At that time Christian learns that Jack was released on bail, and he has a hunch that this might be the reason why Ana is acting this way. When Ana finally sees Jack, he gives her a good beating and kicks her around, but before she passes out, she shoots him. The last thing she sees as she falls down is Christian running to her in agony.

By this time Ana had saved two of the Grey children from hurt and destruction one way or the other; both Mia and Christian. Ana is taken to the hospital where she spends days in the ICU unconscious. Christian doesn’t leave her side one minute, always watching out for her. That is the pinnacle of their love and their connection. Because, you can’t think of one, without the other. Individually they are not complete. They only make sense together. Nothing really makes sense if they’re not together.  I love that aspect of it. If you still think its Co-D (codependent), eat your heart out, it’s better than to be with someone who is ok to be with anyone (you or someone else just as easily).  I’d rather have someone who completes me, not a separate unit.  Here's one of 50's favorite songs and his personal anthem, “Every Breath You Take” by Police (just click on the name).
During her rise and fall in her comatose state, Ana hears that the baby is ok, and she hears the relief in Christian’s voice to its affirmation. He fights and argues with his family as well as the nurse to not to leave Ana’s side. She also hears Christian talking to his mom, and hears his regret about arguing and leaving over the baby that day. When she finally does wake up, Ana is badly in need of using the restroom, and Christian will not have the nurse take her; he wants to take care of her. I don’t know why some women are like that. She lets him fuck her (excuse the pun) 7 shades of Sunday, but why won’t she let him to take her to the bathroom to pee? He compromises (always compromise), and waits by the door his back turned with semi-privacy.

Christian tells Ana that both Elizabeth and Jack back in custody. Christian explains that after the bank called he thought his world had just completely fallen apart. Ana scolds him that she was hurt that he would think it was about his money, it never was, and in fact she put her own cell inside the money bag so he could track his money. Christian and Ana spend the night holding each other in her hospital bed she hooked up on IV and machines, but that’s the only way they can feel complete.  The next day they air out how he ended up seeing the Bitch Troll, and she finds out that he hasn’t told her she was pregnant, but that she wanted to have children. But of course he’s completely regretful and that was their final meeting anyway; that was a decision that was made that night.

Ok, by now Christian’s parents know she’s pregnant (Grace read her chart and told her husband, and of course she’s had a talk with Christian).  They’re very happy about it. Ana leaves the hospital to go home in a few days, and Christian learns that he has lived with Jack as foster children. That he’d been on the wrong side of the tracks, but got a scholarship went to Princeton. Likes rough sex. So, this makes Christian upset, because he feels they’re cut from the same cloth. There’s a huge difference between Christian and Jack. Jack has no remorse; he’ll use women any way he can. Christian on the other hand is compassionate, he loves Ana, and he’ll go to any extent to protect her. They’re not cut from the same cloth.
Christian later finds out that it was Elena’s ex-husband who anonymously paid for Jack’s bail! Christian who had purchased his timber company for a day like this, sells and liquidates the company: Tit for tat. Lincoln fucks with him and his family to the extent of aiding and abetting to the kidnapping of his sister, extortion from his wife, and near death of his wife and child, the guy deserved far worse.  He ruins his company only instead.

The story continues when Ana is pregnant… with her second child. The first one, their son Ted is about 2 years old. They’re moving on with their happily ever after. Christian is ever protective of his pregnant wife, loving, playful and attentive to their son, and now living in the big house. Perfect happy ending! Just the way I like it!!

I think it'd be also noteworthy to mention that Elliot proposes to Kate in Aspen when Christian and Ana takes them all there for a vacation together. In the end they too are married, and have a baby girl, Eva. See how happy everyone is? So cool!

I loved all 3 of the books!!

There are people who have reservations against Christian’s strong character. He’s dominating, he’s larger than life, he’s a force of life, demanding, possessive, full of sexual desire and prowess, and it’s a lot to take on for an ordinary person. Of course there is his former "persuasion" of lifestyle. He needs his equal to take on him. Ana is that person. She’s just as strong, she can match wits, strength, and wills. Christian’s personality is not for weak women. You must be able to go toe to toe with him without fear. But living in a society where certain norms are expected, anything out of the ordinary is shunned. I’m not talking about his previous lifestyle. That’s out of option for most people including me. I’m a life force of my own; I’d never submit to anyone. What I’m talking about is that the society now expects men to be docile, flat, and almost submissive; just like trying to medicate normal children who are hyper with Ritalin (I wonder if there is a husband version of this medicine… Something to search about.)  He just has rough edges, and Ana is the best panacea for him. She shapes him up and he doesn’t have to give up his personality.  
 
If Ana was never to be with Christian, she’d have a mediocre existence with someone like Jose, or Ethan, or someone else like them. But neither of those individuals have the fire, the life force Christian has. He is truly alive. You feel the life oozing out of him, and it is such a draw. When Christian feels something, he really feels it, and expresses it with his words, his action, his love making, his music, his dance. How much more expressive can someone be… It’s an amazing personality, you can actually visualize him without having an image. Like seeing someone’s soul, it’s that clear. And there’s Ana. I love her character. She’s just as alive as Christian, but level headed. She’s ready to explore herself, she knows what she wants from her life, from her relationship, and that girl can set her priorities.

And the biggest draw about Ana is that she demands respect for her own, and she gets it. She sets her lines clear, and has a good idea what is right and wrong. She’s monogamous (heck, Christian is the only guy who’s been in her life), lucky for other guys too, because Christian would have beaten the shit out of them even if it was in the past. But she doesn’t have a past that needs overhauling as Christian’s is enough for both of them.

I end my reviews with this: Now these three remain, Faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.

"La passion est toute l'humanité, sans elle, la religion, l'histoire, le roman, l'art seraient inutiles." said Honoré de Balzac; "Passion is in all humanity, without it, religion, history, literature, and art would be rendered useless."
May you all have love, passion and excitement in your lives as deep and strong as Christian and Ana.

 

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of the books. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read them at all because it would have been so easy for Ana and Christian to be drawn and presented as flat, two dimentional characters. Your blog helped me understand that this wasn't just sex-ploitation trying to pass as literature, but that these books were worth reading; that Ana and Christian were compelling people that drew you into their lives. You could care about them and want to see and understand them. As for the feminists out there, why are you bitching about Ana? She may be a "sell out" or a "disappointment" to you, but from what I've read, she is one of the strongest literary female characters to come along in a long, long time. She may not have made the same choices you would have, but isn't that the point about being "pro-choice"? Because in order to have choice, there needs to be more than one choice to choose from, otherwise it isn't a choice at all.

ArtfulLee Designed said...

I found your blog yesterday and have read the first 7 chapters of Christians POV (which I just love) and now your review here. I read the Fifty trilogy in 4 days and then re read it immediately taking my time and feel that I could read it again and still find more in them. Your review here has so beautifully described why I am so drawn to these books. I also see Ana as strong and independent exercising her right to choose. I certainly don't want my husband to be docile and uninteresting. Their relationship and how it develops is so emotional. The emotions of the characters were so palpable. A lot of people have said that it is not well written from a literary point of view, but I think people look too hard sometimes instead of just releasing and letting themselves sink into the story as it unfolds. This is my sort of romance and I thank you for so eloquently putting into words the reasons why I love them so much. I have been trying to express this to my friends so I might direct them to read your blog and they will understand.
thank you
Lee

Anonymous said...

Well said cowboyland.....I thought I was done and desire in me was not existent until I read the books and your review.... I was wrong. I am a woman and I deserve so much better. Thank you for taking me out of the dark.

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading the trilogy after a 5 day self imposed "lock in". Once I I started reading I couldn't stop, with each book being better than the last! I must admit,I too am sad that this series has come an end but so happy for the way it ended, perfect for the reader. I wouldn't want James to write another, in fear of ruining the happy ending. Have not been attached to series like this in many years. FOR ME, I kinda pictured Christian like Halle Berrys baby daddy, lol. This will be a hard movie to make in order to really capture the true spirit of the story line, which I look away as Love overcoming all. Some say it has been hard to get past the kinky fuckery in the first book, however, I believe the author has to take us there in order to see how truly far Christian (and Ana) have come. I feel like I've lost a friend today, I should have read slower, lol <---------fan forever

Louise said...

Thank you so much this was great!

Anonymous said...

I could not stop reading. When I had to go to work I just kept reading...I really couldn't stop!

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Hi everyone!
Thank you all for coming and reading my blog! I appreciate your presence here!
I think it may be safe for me to assume that it's your first or second stop on my blog if you're reading my review on the last 2 books. A big majority of people who read my blog are the fans of the 50 Shades trilogy or those who wish to learn more about the book. I want to sincerely thank you again for taking your time to read it.(✿◠‿◠)

A very minor fraction of those who come to read (though it is there) are the haters of the series. I’m addressing that fraction now:
It is beyond me why anyone would go further reading about this trilogy if one really truly hated the books – I mean you read Book 1 and hate it, but then you go on reading Book 2 and 3 and then you go on searching the fan sites to further fuel your, uhm...OBSESSION... At least we fans know and admit we like it.

As far as tastes go, everyone is free to choose what inspires them. We live in a world where there are more and more people are watching TV, playing video games, indulging in alcohol and drugs, unsafe sex, getting into gangs, youth hurting each other; so few people are actually ever picking up a book and reading. But of all the problems that are actually plaguing our society, you picked the 50 Shades Series to be a dangerous one! The intelligence behind that though is just mind-blowing(!)

I admire any writer who can inspire people to read more. There was a time when JK Rowling published Harry Potter series, and a preacher spearheaded a book burning ‘ceremony’ for these books for being blasphemous. How are you any different than that preacher? Just because you’re liberal, are you any less of a bigot?

There is nothing like imagination-books fuel that. Every genius knows it:
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
Dr. Seuss

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
Michelangelo


Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
A. Einstein

If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.
Walt Disney

Books are my passion...simple. I learn to put myself in the shoes of someone else, and immerse myself in otherness. We’re not truly educated individuals if we can’t learn to check our prejudices at the door, and understand what the point of view of someone else is.
We are in the 21st century. People meet each other different ways; socialize differently, most the time people don’t read anymore because they have less time... Everyone is one a tight schedule, even the children. What hasn’t changed in time is the concept of LOVE. In a way, we love to see people redeem themselves. We root for the underdog; we like to see people right themselves, because deep down in our hearts, we all want heaven, well, I do.

I congratulate EL James who self-published her book (possibly with money out of her own pocket on her own meager budget, and very likely not having a known editor hence why people sink their teeth in dissecting her book sentence by sentence, trying to find repetitions, a missing comma someplace, or a grammatical error. Get over it!) and achieved the impossible for inspiring people to read. People love it, not because it’s devoid of errors but because it addressed issues in society no one dares to speak in the open, yet that thing you try to sweep under the rug is the cause of breakups in relationships all over the world – communication, and meeting your significant other’s needs (emotional and physical).

In a nutshell: Don’t like it, don’t read it, and hate has no place in my blog. I will delete it. And kindly accept Melvin Udall’s parting gift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgz5-8chSlk

Anonymous said...

i have only read the first two books so far but i am dying to read the third one.. i read your blog and i have decided that i'm going to get the third book ASAP ... the bit that gets on my nerves is that all my friends who have read the book seem to think that they are just about sex but if you really read them you understand that it is so much more then that... there's love, pain, hate, agony and so much more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for exposing what happened in the second and third books! After reading the first which took up the whole day and till 5am next morning- I didn't want to "not be able to stop" again because I have work to do!
Now I don't have to read the others- or knowing what happens I can go slower and read it in a relaxing and digestable, not so all-consuming way, so desperate to know what happens next!

Adele Jonsson said...

first of all, I'm sniffling. I had to take several breaks during this blog to wait for my tears to go away so I could see again. I read the first and second book and have just been waiting to get the third. I've got everyone at my office to read them because I've been sitting here crying, haha. Anybody who doesn't read the books are crazy- probably the best books ever written. I've never been so emotional over ANYTHING in my entire life. haha

Second of all, I absolutely love your personality. I'm glad I had a couple laughs in between my sniffles. I am going to be LIVING on your blog from now on (:

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Dear Adele!

Thank you so much! I love the series as well, and that's why I began writing the fanfiction on the series. You're welcome to come and visit anytime!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your summary of the books. I read the first book and just wanted to know what happens next. The books were so poorly written that I couldn't imagine wasting several more hours of my life just to find out what happens next. Better to waste 20 minutes skimming your reviews. You might consider proof reading your work. And perhaps leave out some of your personal activities as people who don't know you are unlikely to care. Thanks again.

Ashley M said...

Took me 2 days to read the first book and one day to finish the 2nd book. I'm in love with the characters and the author. I can't wait to read the last of the trilogy and thanks to you it made my heart race!

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

You will definitely love it Ashley! I love all 3 books. The last one is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.

Anonymous said...

YAY! Thank you for writing this!!! I'm very grateful for your plot summary AND analysis - which I also enjoyed thoroughly.

I read both Books I & II and was totally engrossed in them. Unfortunately by the end of Book II, though, I was scanning & skipping through much of the repetitive action in search for development, which I also found deeply moving to the point of pain! Book III seems that it contains all that I would wish for since I also enjoy a happy ending. Though book is like an annoyingly overplayed pop song - first addicting then tormenting, I will probably read the 3rd book when I'm ready to deal with (ignore) the distractions & boredom caused by the author's writing style. In your ability to finish all 3, you have more tolerant and inquiring spirit than I do! :) -SLK

Anonymous said...

thank you for this blog!! I was afraid to start book 3 because I loved the ending of book 2! I had to know that I would be "ok" reading it since the 2nd book was very intense and emotional. And thanks to you, I was assured book 3 was going to be worth it!

Anonymous said...

the 4th book should be titled "50 Shades Deeper" no pun intended :)

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

LOL! I love the title. Very fitting :)

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

I had to delete a presumptuous comment here. It's cute that how some people assumes that this book is liked only by stay at home moms (with the following fallacious assumption that they're also uneducated) has not ridden in a NYC subway watched professional women read these books. Recommending me to read Tolkien, Rowling, King.. That's it? That’s all you can come up with? Children’s and horror flick authors? (All of which I read, and loved of course, but I don’t limit myself to any single author unlike some other people who somehow thinks they can dominate what I get to read).
Let me list you some writers that I recommend you to broaden your narrow horizons. The world is not a tiny place after all. I have also written reviews on ancient literatures and historical figures: The Odyssey, Sophocles, The Iliad, Paradise Lost, Divine Comedy, Dante's Interno... Oh also, on Çalıkuşu(Reşat Nuri Güntekin), Kar (Orhan Pamuk), Avrupa Risalesi (Mustafa Sami Efendi), De la démocratie en Amérique (alexis de tocqueville), Le Pere Goriat (Honorei de Balzac), L'Assommoir (Emile Zola), Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe),Traité sur la tolérance & La Princesse de Babylone & Socrates by (François-Marie Arouet), Theory of Relativity (Einstein), War and Peace, Poor Richard's Almanac, Ruba'iyat (Omar Khayyam), Agamemnon (Aeschylus), Ajax (Sophocles), The Children of Heracles (Euripedes), Plutus (Aristophanes)... I have written extensively on Alexander the Great, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (that’s Caligula to you), Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Voltaire, Abraham Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Spartacus, Emperor Commodus, Hadrian, Titus, Flamma, Marcus Attilius, The Medicis, and did I mention that I read them in the original language? I'm a linguist. I read in multiple languages. My taste in books is diverse. In short my dear negative critic, when you are confined within your little world of one dimensional view, I’ve been around the world, and actually played around the ancient sites where my ancient favorites written and walked in the ruins where their plays were displayed in ancient theaters. I’ve read the stone relics where the ancient gladiators fought. Our bedtime stories were French poetry, and ancient literature in my household.

Of all the things I've written, translated, you've come across the one I wrote within the romance novel category. It's odd that people tag in the end "because it was “only” morbid curiosity, I had to read the summary of the second and third book." Hmmm hmmm. Sure it was :)

As a reader and someone who translated 14million words in multiple languages (visualize it as 114 units of 350 pages of books), and written linguistic software (my name is right in the products); in fact, I may have translated the software you're using to read this very comment to criticize my taste in romance novels, remember this:

You are in no position to tell me what books to like and dislike. I have amassed a large collection of books in multiple languages to make that assessment on my own. This is a romance novel category. If you’re not interested in reading romance, by all means, don’t. What you read here is the list of reasons why “I” myself liked the book. I’m my own person. I decide. You may disagree in my choice, but no way in hell, I’ll give anyone the option to tell me I ought not read something. No one can tell anyone what to read, what not to read. What makes your opinion more valuable than mine? I’m not going and presenting my opinions in lets say as an employee of a publishing house, or a magazine, or a newspaper. I’m writing it in my own “PERSONAL” blog. Tastes are tastes. Not one size fits all.
The fact that you're here, reading about a romance novel is that you too are curious: Morbid or otherwise. The fans at least acknowledge this. Within the category of romance novels, I did like the series, A LOT and I will read more should the author decide to write other books. It’s diverting. Sometimes that’s what people need.

Anonymous said...

I loved the books and reading your post! Amazing. I really hope we can expect and 4th 5th & 6th book of there happy life and maybe teds story! I am certainly going to read them for a second time!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your blog.... I finished the trilogy and read your blog after the fact. Thx for sharing your thoughts and bringing back the events in this story. Loved the characters Loved the storyline and the captivating events....I loved Anna and Christian....their romance, their will of trying, their understanding for each other physically, mentally and emotionally. The fact of Anna's true values and innocence strengths her will of what she believes in.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what he does that shows his Dom side or tell me the chapter where she is held at gun point I really want to read it.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

That happens in the second book (50 Shades Darker). Chapter 12 Leila breaks into Ana's apartment. Chapter 13 she holds up a gun; CG catches her w/ a gun, and all hell breaks loose.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I read your blog, cuz now I don't have to read the other two books. It sounds like a great story, but I can't get past the repeated phrases and the authors poor use of the English language. If you eliminated all the needless words, you could consolidate all three books into one story I bet. Plus Ana's constant self dialogue.. It got old.

YenPating18 said...

I really loved all of the 3 books. It takes such a mature and keen reader to fully understand that the book is not about sex. :)

Anonymous said...

I was dissapointed in the third book the endin was rubbish i expected more an i would of liked to of had more on the actual wedding and her pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

hi found your blog after reading book II and was saddened by how it ended. had to take a couple of days before reading book 3 to make sure that neither Christian or Ana died -- hence read your blog before i read book 3. I did audio book and i was wondering what chapter did he (Christian) know that it was Eleanor's ex that bailed Jake i do not recall that in my audio book. Please help locate the chapter.
thank you --

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

That's in Chapter 25 page 409-410 on 50 Shades Freed.

It's easy to miss it, because he learns that from his security man on the phone. I recall most everything by heart because I've read each book so many times, and I might still find something that I didn't remember before.

But if you read/listen to CH 25 you'll hear it. Hope this helps :)

Ess said...

One thing did just strike me about Christian, and, while it is a criticism of the book, wait a sec, it's one that hopefully hasn't come up before! :D

You mention the bit about Elena's ex and what Christian does to his company -

Tit for tat. Lincoln f*cks with him and his family to the extent of aiding and abetting to the kidnapping of his sister, extortion from his wife, and near death of his wife and child, the guy deserved far worse.  He ruins his company only instead.

I mean sure, what he did was awful, and probably criminal if he knew what he was doing, but I felt a bit queasy at this - ruining the whole company's just going to hurt a whole lot of ordinary people who worked there, putting them out of a job etc, but it seems like this is an acceptable loss to get back at one guy. It also fits in with a whole lot of other stuff about Christian which I was a bit worried about - setting aside the whole 'is he controlling' issue, I always felt a bit queasy when the story segues from his massive philanthropic projects to his pretty extravagant spending on Ana and all the luxury goods he buys for her. I'm not expecting him to go all hair-shirt on us and devote all his money and effort to worthy causes - and sure, he does superficially seem to support them, like the solar powered phones etc - and there's a good psychological reason for it too - having experienced deprivation, he's going to want to surround himself with kinda gross levels of materialism/consumer culture - but it still gives me a slightly sick feeling, the way he's just so profligate in his own life. I dunno, what do you think - are we meant to uncritically accept the fact that Christian seems to have a slightly stunted sense of social responsibility? What did James want us to think about it?

If I was being uncharitable, I might suggest that the (largely off-screen) philanthropy he engages in is just window-dressing to make him seem like a better/more attractive guy - it's fairly peripheral to his character, and the main story of their relationship is barely affected by the tokenistic gestures of 'oh he's making this new house environmentally efficient', etc. On the other hand, if I was being charitable, I might read it as part of the way that he's damaged - something we've just got to accept about him along with all the rest of his eccentricities and foibles.

Hmm.

Anonymous said...

hi - Emine, thank you very much going to reread the chapter again....
plan on reading the books again......... darn CG

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I've read the first and second book, but found the second one to be far more interesting. It's nice to knw what the third one is going to be all about. I'm quite excited to read it for myself! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm in absolute awe of the 3 books. I’ve read them all in a week and trust me I’m not a big reader. I’ll admit I started reading the first book because of the sex aspect but I love the story line that develops and entwines you. I’ve herd people say that its mommy porn and aimed at women in there 30's but I’m 25 and could read it over and over again. Also my partner is listening to the audio books and his just as excited as I am and his 21.

Thank you so much for your blog because it’s interesting to see how another person explains the story line and I love your point of view.

I don’t know if any of you have herd but the 1st book (fifty shades of grey) is being made into a movie. This both excites and scares me. I have herd that there cutting half of the sex scenes out for the movie but I feel (emphases on I) that you need all the scenes to understand how Christian and Ana grow into the people they are. Each encounter uncovers another shade of Mr Grey .I just hope that the movie can do the book justice. What do people think? Do you think it could be portrayed properly as a movie?

Jessica Park said...

i was read 50 shades of grey and that's awesome. thanks for your review.

Jessica Park said...

i was read 50 shades of grey and that's awesome. thanks for your review.

Magic of Reality said...

Hi and thanks for your great reveiw! To be honest im not a fan BUT i did read the whole of the first book, i put it down a few times but picked it up again as im on holiday then by the end of the second chapter i must admit I WAS interested to know what happens! I also came on line with the intention of finding out what happens in book 2 and 3 and thats where your amazing reveiw comes in THANK YOU! So although i wont be reading books 2 and 3 i did want to know what happens next so i guess thats a huge positive, even more so as i am in general, not a fan of fiction (and i finished the whole book!)

Anonymous said...

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Rans said...

Thanks to your blog! I am currently reading the 2nd book -- merely half of the pages. I don't mind reading your blog -- including some spoilers. Rather, it made me more excited. (^-^)

Faith, hope, patience and LOVE. That are the best things to make two people find their own happiness. Have a good one!

joylovely said...

This is the 2nd post that I have written. It disturbs me geatly to read all of the negative comments about the author as well as the posts that have been written about the trilogy, therefore, I shall no longer waste my time reading what those negative people have to say. the author of the books and the the author of the posts, have do an excellent job. I have started the trilogy for the 7th time and the posts for the 2nd time. I just can't get enough of this wonderful love story that is nothing short of life changing. It is wonderful to truly understand what goes on in one's mate's "insides". All of us have demons who/which we have to face and even though this is a work of fiction, it does make one take a look at their own relationships and what can be done to improve them. I wish that I could have read this book 55 years ago when I got married. It would have helped me to understand a great deal. Continue your good works Ms. E. You and Ms. J have done an excellent job showing what true love can develop into.

Anonymous said...

You know I personally had reservations about this series, but thanks to your blog it shows me just how deep this book dives past all the sex. I normally jump on the bandwagon late, it happened withHarry Potter & Twilight, I think its just part of who I am. Thank you for enlightening me with your well-written blog.

-Shyanne

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michie said...

well written,i love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with the 3 books and never wanted it to end. I lost my husband 7 years ago and this story brought up so many memories of my husband as he was much like Christian in that he came to me somewhat of a broken man. I have shed many tears while reading the book, never wanting it to end. when I found your blog, I was thrilled and couldn't stop reading it. I hope that you are going to finish book 2 and blog book 3.

Thank you for your time and effort

Anonymous said...

There is a book on Christians pov?

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Not other than fanfictions (this being one of them). If you look at the left column of this blog, you can find the completed chapters and/or books here. There are others that some other fanfiction author has written; but what you read here would be my vision.

Soso said...

Hi,
I'm really glad I found your blog about this! I loved the first book but I was so sad at the end and I thought it would be all over between Ana and Christian.

Jhobell Kristyl said...

Hello there.

My name is Jhobell Kristyl, a book review blogger. I just want to say that this post has been a refreshing change from amidst all the seemingly negative opinions about the 50 SHADES Trilogy. I loved your post because it mirrors my reactions very much. In fact, I liked it so much that I featured it on my blog's GREAT POST TUESDAY. Every Tuesday, I feature posts from fellow bloggers that I thing are awesome. I thought yours is awesome so I featured it. Check it out at http://bookmavenpicks.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/50-shades-freed-by-e-l-james-a-walk-in-the-clouds/

I followed your blog via Google Friend Connect. Take care and thanks again for your wonderful post.

Best,
Jhobell Kristyl

Jhobell Kristyl said...

Hello, there!

It's me again, Jhobell Kristyl from BOOK MAVEN'S PICKS. I just want to let you know that I've nominated you for the "Liebster" blog award. I hope you don't mind. Check it out at http://wp.me/p2G1Zh-vC

Thanks & take care.

Best,
Jhobell Kristyl

Anonymous said...

Great blog...
I love the series, it holds many truths for many people. It delves into the deeper side of feelings and lays emotions out in the open for us, the reader, to experience.
Very cool.
I think somewhere, deep down inside where we never let anyone in, we all want/need a play room.... In the most positive sense.
Laters

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone! Can someone tell me, how ends this trilogy? Thank you

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

In the 3rd book Christian and Ana marries. Ana gets pregnant, Christian freaks out. They have a spat. Meanwhile Jack Hyde kidnaps Christian's sister and calls Ana to extort money. If she tells anyone, he's going to rape and kill Mia. This is the time Ana and CG are a little sore because of the baby thing. Then Ana gets the 5 million from the bank to rescue Mia. The bank calls CG and he think Ana is leaving her. He's devastated. He tells her to take it all. She can't tell him she isn't leaving because she doesn't want him to jeopardize Mia's life or his.

So, Ana's boss Elizabeth co-conspires with Jack Hyde and she takes Ana to Jack, and jack beats the crap out of Ana. Ana, after falling down shoots Jack Hyde with Leila's gun CG confiscated. CG tracks Ana's phone to locate her. He finds her on the floor passing out. She's in the hospital for days. The baby is saved.

Then the book fast forwards to Ana's 2nd pregnancy. The first baby is a boy. CG is a great dad, the second one is a girl. Kate marries Elliot, they have a baby daughter, Taylor marries Mrs. Jones and they live happily ever after in the big house they bought :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your review of the series. It wasnt my taste of book but I learn so much more to enjoy the read after going through your words.
I'm just about to reread the series.

Anonymous said...

Thank you
I read the first two books and was beginning to get bored with the repetiveness. In fact I thought I would scream if I read one more description of the "twisting and elongating of nipples" type of paragraph. Towards the middle of the second book I had started speed reading and skipping a large percentage of the "read it all too many times now" passages.
I wanted to know how it all ended but without the hard slog of ploughing through more of the same.
I have never felt like this about any trilogy .
Again, thanks for filling me in and saving me from the tedious task of reading the third book.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree, Ana seems more like a selfish spoiled brat when she doesn't get her own way & there's always the threat that she will leave him again, although she doesn't imply it, it's still there nonetheless. And when she found out she was pregnant instead of SULKING and hiding in the red room, she should have talked to Christian and told him Mrs. Robinson was a hard limit right then, I mean she pushes & pushes him to talk & either gets angry when he tells her the truth or gets angry if he doesn't talk to her, he can't win either way but it's okay for her to shut him out...I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

I didn't read the books when they were first published. I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Now a friend has loaned me her kindle and said read! (How Christian of her!) But what has drawn me to these books is the character development. I feel like such a part of their lives. I can see in full color Christian dragging Ana onto the dance floor or off the beach. I can see Ana taking a stand and saying (and meaning) no, I will not just sign this damn contract without reviewing it no matte how much you glare at me with those dreamy grey eyes. To be honest, there were times when I skipped all the kinky fuckery descriptions and just wanted to see what happened next in their relationship. So to those who get up on their high horse and think I don't want to read porn, you're missing a story about two good-hearted young people trying to figure out a suitable relationship for the two of them. And that's something I think we can all relate to.

Kim Anh Vu said...

I read your review, and now I enjoy the third of 50 shades, as until now this book is published in Vietnam. Individually, I think Ana's characterity is strong and unruly....anyway, I love it....except sexual scenes I think this story is fairytale...this is the firrst book I can't stop reading until the end. Thanks auther b/c of fanstatic book...I love it, I love Chris and Ana...

Emma Lavoie said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Thank you so much.
Fifty Shades

Anonymous said...

Loved the first two books so intriguing and suspenseful with every turn of a page. I borrowed. The first two books from a friend, and then went purchased the trilogy. In freed there is 2 endings. Which one is real????? The ending with Ana and Cristian being together, or the one where she is stabed by Leila.

Anonymous said...

Loved the first two books so intriguing and suspenseful with every turn of a page. I borrowed. The first two books from a friend, and then went purchased the trilogy. In freed there is 2 endings. Which one is real????? The ending with Ana and Cristian being together, or the one where she is stabed by Leila.

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

Ana and Christian stay together; that's the real ending.

Leila is in Hamden, CT getting treated, and staying with her folks. It's a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

Have you written reviews of all these other books you've written? I'd be interested to read your comments on Ataturk, Caligula and the rest, but when I searched for you on Google all I could find was your fan fiction based on Fifty Shades.

Thanks

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

You can't find it on Google because the groups I belong to are closed groups. If you check it under Yahoo Groups you'd have found some. Some of our groups have moved to Facebook because of its ease of access, and quite a few linguists, historians as well as archeologists are members to these groups.

These are groups that are either linguistic groups researching or sharing research the historical aspects of languages (ancient languages, I'm specifically interested in mainly Ural-Altaic languages), evolution of languages, Sun-Language Theory - see the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Language_Theory

Historical groups specializing particularly in the civilizations based in Anatolia, the Balkans, Eastern Europe & Mesopotamia.

There is only one article I have here on Freedom as a review:
http://eminethe1st.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-misused-word-freedom-is.html

Eminé Fougner @ Cowboyland said...

I consider Ataturk as one of the biggest statesmen of the 20th century. He's not only a military genius but the one of the best leaders the world has ever seen in the same caliber as Abraham Lincoln or George Washington. It's not just Ataturk’s survival skills at a time where uprisings, riots among religious sects and different religions were paramount, but also coups, exile, execution/assassination attempts, abundant number of authoritarian rulers, and not to mention the allies descending on a dying empire to divide into pieces he was trying to salvage. A Muslim empire whose marks are still all over Eastern Europe in fact all the way to the doors Vienna, an empire that is the cause of all 4 of the Crusades.

In most basic terms, we can say that Ataturk created a country where nothing was going for him and everyone was against him. A 600 year old empire (if you count the time the first time Turks step foot on Anatolia which would be 1071 after the Battle of Malazgirt, Turks have had nearly 1000 year old presence in Asia Minor) was being torn into pieces. Of course the land was spread over 3 continents contained multiple religions, cultures, ethnic groups, races and ruled by Sharia Law (we must also take the Constitutional Monarchy or Meşrutiyet which came into effect in 1876 by Abdulhamit II but suspended in 1878 due to the Russo – Turkish War into consideration. But thanks to the Young Turks (where Ataturk was a member) it was reinstated a second time in 1908). But the reinstatement was only due to a revolution and not because the Sultan was willing to provide the freedoms to the public.

Ethnic animosity is nothing new in the Balkans, and the Balkan Wars broke up (a precursor to WWI). You can have a problem with one, two or three variable & still solve it. The perfect storm requires unknown number of variables and catastrophic conditions. Ataturk existed in such a time. Ottoman Empire, the Sick Man of Europe was dying and everybody was at the wake before the man himself expired.

Ataturk was not just a military hero of Gallipoli (he brought the motto that said: Çanakkale geçilmez) but a western-leaning progressive-secular man who brought this dead empire like the proverbial Phoenix out of its own ashes, from the age-old Caliphate which was already disintegrating (useless Sunni leadership where the Sunni Arabs murdered Sunni Ottoman officers and soldiers alike in Al-Quds or Jerusalem) and went on to Establish a republic, a democratic nation from a largely illiterate apathetic nation and brought forth science and reason over superstition and dogma, diligence and stature over ethic roots and religious background.
Ataturk could simply declare himself another dictator, but he has not done that. He integrated schools for both boys and girls, brought science in the forefront, opened a nation’s eyes to what can be. No one ever accomplished what he has done in that time frame and that effectively. The man has been dead for 75 years, and even his memory is scaring the shit out of the religious leaning AK Party leaders. I can talk about his political reforms (abolition of the sultanate, constitutional republic , multi-party system, abolition of the caliphate), Women’s rights (equality of sexes, equal rights and participation, and workplace rights), Legal reforms (adapted the Swiss civil code, western penal code, and legal system), Social reforms, Educational reforms (Beginning of the 19th century the literacy was about 2-3% and at the end of 19th century it was only 15% coeducation and bringing the Roman Alphabet abandoning the Arabic letters… Ottoman Empire used Persian and Arabic as legal languages and they weren’t even Turkish), Economic reforms, industrial reforms, and finance and banking in 10 short years. That’s never been done! Ever! I completely admire Ataturk skills of leadership, military prowess, not to mention he was one hell of a tango dancer. He’s simply a spectacular man who also had movie-star good looks, spoke French, German, Farsi, Arabic and English. A charismatic genius.

Anonymous said...

If you like series with arrogant and passionate but flawed heros, you might like "The Lymond Chronicles", by Dorothy Dunnett. It's historical fiction, wonderfully researched, set in 16th century Europe, but the main character is fictional, and a romantic hero in the old-fashioned sense of romantic. The final book in the series is the most wonderful love story I've ever read.

Another great book is "Venetia", by Georgette Heyer, in which the heroine wanders unwittingly into the path of "bad boy" Damerel, with brilliant results!

Anonymous said...

I loved this trilogy. A friend of mine let me read the first book which took me two days to read that I went and bought the whole set. The second and third books took three days to read I couldn't put them down. I love the tug and pull relationship that Ana and Christian has. I plan on reading them again. I would have liked more of Christians point of view at the end. All and all I'm glad my friend had me read 50 shades of grey.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that you have converted me to the books and I can't wait to read them. I gave up very early because I am really not a fan of the sex and I thought it was a very poor text for women.

Now I see the opposite. The sex is incidental to me. I know the major encounters happen for a good reason in the plot and not just to put in some sex. I may not read those parts attentively but I can enjoy the rest of the plot now. It is a masterclass in what women want- intimacy, not sex, communication and that very specific non-sexual, emotional kind of intimacy which men don't always seem to regard as importsnt but it's crucial to a woman. As someone who is not particularly sexual at all, that kind of intimacy is super important to me.

I love the character of Christian as you have shown him to me. The seduction scene entirely in words, becoming a sub, the way he handled Leila and giving her a bath. The confession. I love it all. I can't wait to read it for myself.

Just to add another perspective on the taking his name thing, I look at it differently to him branding me as his. To me, I am branding him as mine because I am taking his name. I get to use it and no one else. It's proof that he finds me worthy of him and wants the world to know he loves me.