A Play by Play Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey, Chapter Nine

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL JamesI've been trying to avoid sugary beverages. I failed at this yesterday. I went out with a friend and indulged in a Dr. Pepper with dinner.

It was freaking glorious. I also had a sorbet for dessert. Yep, it was glorious too. Don't ask why we went to Baskin Robbins when it was far below freezing out. We live in Canada. We can handle it, okay?!

I tried to make up for it by eating healthy rabbit foods today, but I undid my efforts by smothering the greens in garlic Caesar dressing. Yes, yes it was also glorious. I even added spicy Portuguese chicken to it.

That means the only thing that's helping me get through Fifty Shades of Grey today is a cup of Earl Grey tea.

This is not going to end well.

Yesterday, we endured Ana losing her virginity to Christian Grey. As far as losing virginity fantasies go, Ana made out pretty well. And now I feel really dirty and want a bath.

I just realized there is an entire bag of cookies next to me.

This is not going to end well.

I'll limit to three cookies, okay? Just three. I'm taking them out and I'm setting them next to my tea. I am moving the bag of cookies far out of my reach. In the kitchen. Because if it's in the same room with me during this, I will lose my dignity and eat them all.

Okay, the cookies are safe in the kitchen. I might need to rethink the title of the book. “Fifty Ways RJ Lost all Self-Respect and Dignity.”

Fifty Shades, Fifty Ways… close enough, right?

Anyway, Ana has identified that Christian is domineering and sad. I guess there are two elements of his personality? This makes me wonder if Ana is establishing what Christian's characteristics are because she doesn't have any of her own…

Chapter Nine

The writing in this book is so terrible. I've already nibbled at a cookie in order to get through the first paragraph.

Share in my misery, those of you who are reading this in order to spare yourselves from some of the more frightening elements of this book:

Light fills the room, coaxing me from deep sleep to wakefulness. I stretch out and open my eyes. It’s a beautiful May morning, Seattle at my feet. Wow, what a view. Beside me, Christian Grey is fast asleep. Wow, what a view.

Dear fans,

If I ever write a book at this level, please take measures to ensure better quality. Draw pictures of me covered in gasoline and lit on fire. (Please do not cover me in gasoline or light me on fire, whether or not I have been doused in flammable liquids first.)

Then again, I do not write erotica. I often avoid romance in my stories, too… although Blood Diamond has romance. And things like kissing characters. May I suffer spontaneous combustion if I do not earn a ‘Still a Better Love Story than Fifty shades' badge.

Ana is now worried about Kate, because she hasn't checked in.

Ana, you dipshit, you are an adult. If you want to fly to Seattle and be bed buddies with someone, you don't need to check in. Really, you don't. Free country and all. Be bed buddies with whomever you want. I mean, you spent the past few chapters plotting and scheming to get into his pants no matter what.

Enter really long and tedious section where nothing happens. She explores Christian's space while he is sleeping, and decides her next big thing in life is to make breakfast.

At this point in time, her subconscious is having a conversation with her, and I'm seriously wondering whether or not it might be time for one of those responsible people in her life (wait, there aren't any) to make a phone call to a good shrink.

I mean, this woman has an Inner Goddess, after all–there's obviously something not right going on. Maybe she started with four brain cells, and the other three got together and committed murder, leaving her sanity permanently checked out of residence…

Why are there only two cookies left?

Apparently at some point Ana started dancing in the kitchen while wearing one of Christian's shirts, and thus gives him an ass wiggling show, but I somehow missed it amid the lifeless descriptions of the state of the art kitchen. Which is described, simply, as a state of the art this and that, leaving me to mourn for the injustice done to this kitchen.

At least use an induction range–or something. Something. Come on already. I feel like I've been robbed, and I've spent some two pages reading about her making pancakes, bacon, and eggs.

Christian is awake by the time she's done doing some of the things she's doing in the kitchen. I'm suitably impressed that she isn't numbering among the things being done in the kitchen at this point, frankly.

Ana, of course, wants more sex. I'm sighing over here.

And there goes another cookie. Damn you, book. Look what I've done, I've devoured that defenseless but delicious cookie. But hey, you didn't make me do it, I chose to do it–and that's the difference between fantasy and reality. Things in one's head versus being done.

Don't devour defenseless but delicious cookies without their consent. (It consented the instant it came home with me. And I paid, fair and square! These cookies are proper prostitutes. Don't judge us!)

Christian, apparently, jumped right into dominance without a single instance of vanilla sex. I have one cookie left. I'm deliberating whether or not I want to eat it or throw it across the room in general frustration.

This is just a fantasy, this is just a fantasy…

I want to light all of the characters in this novel on fire. Does this make me a bad person?

Ana wants to talk to Kate about sex, Kate is screwing Christian's brother, so Christian isn't exactly cozy with the idea of that. I can't blame him. He doesn't want his family to know he's into bondage, apparently–real issues, yo. Because how awkward?

Note to self: Leave the fuzzy cuffs and leather straps out where my mother can find them next time she's over. Plant a camera, wait for the fun. I bet her expression will be priceless.

(Hi, Mom!)

Anastasia, you’re a very beautiful woman, the whole package. Don’t hang your head like you’re ashamed. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s a real joy to stand here and gaze at you.”

This is one of the saddest things I've read in this book, because it's so true to life. How many women do you know who really just want someone to tell her that she's beautiful? This is the sort of fantasy that should be a reality–and people are so stuck up on their fucking media perceptions and stereotypes that pretty girls are told they're ugly because they don't wear a 34 B bra, fit into a size zero pair of jeans, and have a body fat score over zero.

How many of us ladies and men hang our heads because we are ashamed we don't fit the perfect image society demands we fit?

Yeah, I understand that one–and people tell me I'm pretty fairly often, but I can't see it.

All I see is my chubby little belly and my big butt. (My husband, however, disagrees with my personal assessment. I'm also fortunate enough he's fairly frequent in his disagreements, even when I'm complaining that I might need to get new jeans soon…)

I'd like to make a note that I'm actually complaining about needing new jeans because they're developing holes in inappropriate places. He doesn't mind.

I wonder why.

Note to self: I need a bath like Christian Grey.

At this point, they're taking a bath together because Ana decides she wants to go forward with basic training. Christian decides to take it easy on her because she's probably sore. There's sex. I'm cherry picking a few interesting tidbits for presentation to my spouse… if we ever end up in a bathtub large enough to accommodate such deliciousness.

What? Did you seriously think I wouldn't be snapping up the few good ideas from this book? You've got to be kidding me.

GAH, the inner goddess is back, and she really enjoys oral. I did not, ever in a million years, want to read that. I need brain bleach, and I need it right now.

And of course, being an erotic fantasy, Ana is apparently good at her basics. Personally, I was waiting for her to get startled and take a bite, but I guess that's not really all that sexy, is it?

At this point, Christian has asked her again to be his and agree to the contract. At this point, she has nodded to his inquiry with an added ‘trust me' attached.

They have sex (of course)–Christian states it's her reward for her taking such good care of him…

… and then his mother decides to visit.

Of course.

Because the super millionaire Christian Grey can't manage to keep his mother out of his house. Sigh.

There is a reason you shouldn't give your mother your house keys. This is one of those reasons. That, plus once you let them in with their own set of keys, they will never leave.

I love my mother dearly, but I'm not giving her my house keys. Sorry, Mom!

The erotic is, as expected, poorly written. There are some cute things I might be interested in trying, so I'm not walking away completely traumatized. That's something, right?

Also, this is a fantasy, and please do not judge any of the bondage (or light bondage, as the case currently is) by this book. It's pretty wrong.

Also, Ana's a terrible submissive. I can't tell this now. (That's part of the Dom / Sub thing, if you're wondering–there can be terrible doms, but there can be terrible subs, too… and outside of negotiations for a scenario, submissives who don't do what they're supposed to are… not good submissives. The whole point of being the submissive is to be obedient to the dominant. Ana's already shown she's going to have problems with this element of the relationship in their opening. She gets excused this time, though… because she's still learning. For some reason, I don't expect her to fulfill the submissive's part of the relationship.)

But, this is Ana I'm talking about here… I shouldn't have any expectations at all. Geeze, stupid me.

I ran out of cookies halfway through the chapter, by the way. My tea has seen better days, too.

I'm going to go mourn for my emotional purity, which has been thoroughly violated by this book.

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