Tuesday, August 4, 2015

REVIEW - GREY (Fifty Shades #4) by E.L. James:

SERIES: Fifty Shades
AUTHOR: E.L. James
GENRE: Romance
FORMAT: eBook and Paperback
PAGES: Approx. 576

RATING: 4 Stars!

See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.  

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

REVIEWERS NOTE: I know I said I wasn't going to read his POV because I was scared it would change my lusty love of him from the first three books. I know I said I wasn't going to read it because there were so many people who were disappointed and I didn't want to be one of them. I know I said I wasn't going to read it because I loved the first three books so much, I wanted Christian to stay a mystery and this wonderful enigma of the way I pictured him inside my mind. And I know I said I was ONLY going to admire my two paperback copies of Grey on my bookshelf and secretly fondle them when no one was looking.

However, I. Have. Caved. 
Here is my review...

4 Love It or Hate It Stars!
Very Glad I Read This! 

The Review: 
I’m not going to write whole review for the book itself, but rather examine how I felt about this read. And I’ll warn you, it’ll be wordy.

I’ll admit, I was scared to read it. Not because I didn’t want to get inside Christian’s head, but because many times, getting a different POV of the same story can go one of two ways. Either you’ll love it and it adds to the original or you’ll hate it and see one of your favorite characters in a light you never wanted to see him in. It can change the way you originally saw him, change that love and devotion you originally had, and can change your perspective on him and the story as a whole.

I read the Fifty Shades trilogy before it was widely popular, but after it became more than fan-fiction. These books introduced me to a whole new world, opening a floodgate to reading, blogging, friendships and book groups. It was also my pathway into reviewing and I’ve loved every moment of the reading/blogging community since. So reading these books was more than just an erotic romance, more than just a story of a man who needed help in the most conventional of ways, more than just a simply written story of love conquering painful pasts and more than just a controversial read where I could weigh in my love or dislike. It meant more to ME, than just being a story. 

So with all that in mind and my love for the first three books so high, I was reluctant to read Grey. However, after having done so, I can honestly say, I’m certainly glad I did. I didn’t see Christian in a new light. It was more of a brighter reflection of the light that I already saw him in. This book gives you insight into his thinking, but because of the way the author describes the scenes with Ana in her POV’s, you already have such a powerful look into his psyche. This book just enhances that. It gives you tidbits you didn’t previously have and little snippets of the life he leads outside of his time with Ana.

I know there were complaints that there wasn’t really anything new. That there wasn’t all these revelations or in depth thinking, but I’m glad it didn’t delve too far off its original path. The original path was, for me, laid with gold, so to smear it with overthinking and over-analyzing would have tarnished its glow. The author did a phenomenal job letting us have “more” without giving us too much. And I appreciate that. I got what I wanted. I didn’t get what I didn’t want. It was an almost perfect rendition.

But... Yeah, there’s a But, but it’s Small... 
There are two things that would have made this a full five star read for me.

First, in the FSOG trilogy, I felt Christian was this powerful, forceful, intelligent, almost otherworldly character. He was this enigma and you really were sucked into his world because you didn’t know everything about him. He was a mystery and he was portrayed in this intelligent, sophisticated light. I hoped in his POV that we would see that brilliance he portrayed in the first books. And I know E.L. James isn’t this profound wordsmith, but I did hope that her writing had grown and that Christian’s intelligence would remain intact. That didn’t feel like the case in a lot of his thoughts. He spoke eloquently enough, but his thoughts left much to be desired. For all his polish and shine in the first books, the writing left me feeling just a bit underwhelmed. I still love him immensely though!

Secondly, I wished we hadn’t felt so keenly Christian’s reverent feelings towards Layla. I felt his connection to her and I didn’t want to, especially with me waving a Team Ana banner since the beginning. However, that’s probably also my own jealousy talking. I do think it was important to show how he interacted with other women versus how he yielded with Ana. I think once all the books are written and we have his whole side of the story, we’ll see a slow progression in his way of thinking. Whereas he once thought his life was in order and perfect, with Ana in his life, he now knows that his previous ways were lacking. He needs to see that for himself in order for us to see it through him. So really, I can’t complain. I still hate Mrs. Robinson though. She wasn’t in this story as much as I thought she was going to be (thankfully!) but what little we get, it’s even more obvious she felt entitled to Christian.

Now, with all that said, lets talk about the ending... WOW! Powerful and emotional are just descriptive words... but boy do they apply to this ending. Seeing it from Ana’s POV was heartbreaking. Seeing it from Christian's POV was heart shattering! And I loved every angsty minute of it

Love it or hate it? That seems to be the question. For me, it’s love. Plain and simple.

So in conclusion. Well done E.L. James! Well done! And thank you! I look forward to the next.

Buy the Book at Amazon | B&N
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  1. Hey Hazel, GREAT review. I was never afraid to read Grey after 50, darker and freed and was so psyched to read his POV and it was an eye opener for me. So many of the whaaaa moments I felt in the first three she answered. And after seeing the movie I further understood a look or gesture of Christian's. I gave it a 4 rating too, but not because of the reasons you mentioned above I actually relished seeing him human and vulnerable, he is after all only 28 with according to Flynn a mental age of a teenager so those revelations make sense to me. Just in case you want to I've linked my review -https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644601-grey?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr

    1. Thank you so much Debbie! And thanks for taking the time to read my review. I agree. I loved getting a more human feel from Christian. He was such a marvel from Ana's perspective and she thought so highly of him, he was different than most heroes we read. Getting inside his mind truly was a real eye opener. And oh my! His vulnerability was heartbreaking. I loved the angsts in this book. For that alone, the author did a fantastic job. I'm headed over now to read your review. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Feel free to do so again. I love talking about our guy! ;)

    2. I couldn't find it and the link takes me to the general GR's page. Do you have a perma link you can send me? I'd love to read your review...

  2. Try this Hazel

    1. Got to it! Thanks! I also commented and started stalking you on GR's, lol. Looks like you have some great reads on your list... some I've never read. I'm always looking for great new reads. <3


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