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

I know I read chapter two earlier today, but I'm taking a most-of-a-day off, so I'm doing things that amuse me–including reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

Despite the painful quality of the writing, I'm actually having fun writing this play by play review. I write exactly what I'm thinking about. I'm not worried about making it pretty, artistic, or useful for readers. It's not my standard review.

While I was challenged to do it, I'm having fun.

So, for those of you new to this review series, this is meant to be fun and funny–I'll talk about real issues toFifty Shades of Grey by EL Jameso, though, as they crop up. I'll probably pun and make bad jokes, too.

I'll also make comments on whether or not I feel the story is abusive. Your opinion will not be my opinion.

Chapter Three

The start of chapter three seriously confused me. At the end of chapter two, she mentions needing to phone Kate. The chapter opens up with the phone call, and there are absolutely zero cues on how she's doing this phone call. It isn't until later I learn Ana actually has a cell.

Damn it, would it have been so terribly difficult to set up the scene? Gimme a break. I want to know what's going on, not try to figure out how she's getting in touch with her roommate.

Things like this annoy me–I like knowing where I'm at in a scene, how characters got there, and so on. This stuff throws me right out of a book. She could've been on a pay phone for all I knew, or standing right next to her boss.

Oh, well. Anyway, that is something that always bothers me when I read–when an author skips these little details. I like them, okay?

At this point in the story, there are three contenders for Ana. I guess this is a common enough fantasy, wanting to be the center of a bunch of romantic attention, wanted or otherwise. So far we have Boss Guy, Nice Guy, and Christian Grey. Boss Guy doesn't seem too bad, pushy, but eh. Whatever. Describes most of the men I've known who have flirted with me that I didn't marry. That is, all of them.

I obviously attract the wrong sort. Good thing I double-dog dared my husband to propose to me. Challenge accepted, right?

Next up is Nice Guy. He was friend zoned not ten words after he showed up in the book, so what can I say? I might attract the wrong sort, but she doesn't know what the right sort is.

Christian Grey is the stereotypical good catch, except a bit bad boyish and sleazy, which some girls do consider a good catch.

I can't say I'd want any one of these men, except as potential eye candy.

So, off this crew goes for a photo shoot. I'm just shaking my head. Christian Grey has a press media kit, complete with photos, because mega money. So many plot holes, so little time.

Maybe I should give up trying to make sense of this. Let's just forget how the real world works! Squee! Bye, real world, bye!

José, Travis, and I are traveling in my Beetle, and Kate is in her CLK, since we can’t all fit in my car.

You're an ass, Kate. I've been in a car just like yours, and you can fit five or six damned comfortably, plus fit a pony in the trunk. Why the hell didn't everyone go in the Mercedes? You know, to impress the must-be-impressed Christian Grey?

“I’m fine, thank you, Mr. Grey.” She shakes his hand firmly without batting an eyelid. I remind myself that Kate has been to the best private schools in Washington. Her family has money, and she’s grown up confident and sure of her place in the world. She doesn’t take any crap. I am in awe of her.

Duuuuuuhhhh. If she owns an executive's Mercedes, a $500,000… she came from money. She's a bossy, rather unlikable so-and-so, who throws the incompetent under a bus. How much more telling must I put up with? Sigh.

RJ, accept it. Accept it, accept it. This is not going to magically change. Pretend you're not going to be talked down to the entire novel.

Kate, I don't suppose you can go and maybe get hit by a car on the next page, could you? You could have driven the group to the hotel in your Mercedes instead of making everyone else ride in the Beetle.

I guess not, eh? Damn, just my luck.

“Ana, there’s something about him.” Her tone is full of warning. “He’s gorgeous, I agree, but I think he’s dangerous. Especially to someone like you.”
“What do you mean, someone like me?” I demand, affronted.
“An innocent like you, Ana. You know what I mean,” she says a little irritated. I flush.

Okay, Kate. I'm giving you a get out of death free card. You have half a brain. That said… you've been stalking this guy for how long to get the funding and interview? And you're just figuring this out?

Maybe I won't give you that get out of death free card. You should know better–you should have known better in chapter two.

Come oooooon, is it too much to ask for a consistent character?

You, dear cast, all have more holes than my mesh pot strainer. I think Christian Grey is the only character who is consistent at this point, and he's arguably the bad guy!

Come here, Richard. Mommy needs you again. Yeah, you're such a good little Alpha Fenerec. Yes, yes, you are…

Ahem. Excuse me.

I think I have upgraded Kate from being tossed under a bus to hoping for a good defenestration. I will amuse myself by fantasizing how to end their lives in the pages, directly related to how much they annoy me. The more elaborate the plan to kill them, the more annoyed I am with their existence.

Entry level is being tossed under a bus. Defenestration is level two.

A girl's gotta have fun somehow.

Here is a play by play of my reactions to this text:

He’s still holding my hand. I’m in the street, and Christian Grey is holding my hand. No one has ever held my hand. I feel giddy, and I tingle all over.

  1. Quick inhale.
  2. A quiet, pained groan.
  3. Keyboard is shoved back.
  4. Forehead is smacked into the desk once, twice…
  5. Several long-suffering sighs.

Note to self: Smacking one's forehead into an Ikea desk with two inch thick wood surface is painful.

Okay. Sigh. She's how old again and she has never had her hand held? She's supposed to be in university. This would work if Ana was fourteen. I hate unrealistic things like this. Is she some hardcore religious fanatic? Why has this character never held hands with someone?

Jose and Paul have been hunting her. Men will sometimes take hold of a girl's hand even when she's not…

Just like this.

Also, if you're in the street, maybe you should crawl out of the pavement and get on the street instead. Gaaaah.

This hurt me on some deep level.

Richard, Mommy needs you again…

I have to get away from him. I walk forward, and I trip, stumbling headlong onto the road.
“Shit, Ana!” Grey cries. He tugs the hand that he’s holding so hard that I fall back against him just as a cyclist whips past, narrowly missing me, heading the wrong way up this one-way street.

All I can think is ‘Why aren't you dead, Ana?'

Defenestration while on fire, to land in front of a speeding bus.

Christian Grey gets points for saving the idiot Ana from herself. Maybe I should start tracking the number of times she should have died from her clumsy ways. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

Being fair, I love when I'm reading a cheesy romance and one of the pairing rescues the other. I really don't care if the boy rescues the girl or the girl rescues the boy. I eat that stuff right up. I love it. I love the whole cheesy rescuing of damsels and manlings. I love it, precious. I also love when characters rescue themselves.

But this? This stuff just hurts me. At least give me a scenario where ‘I am so incompetent I can't walk' isn't the reason for a rescue being needed.

Why don't we just put her down on her knees clinging to his leg in the classic romance cover. At least then there'd be some general satisfaction. I love this sort of stuff in a cheesy romance, but this is just a sad, sad example of it. It's so sad my cheesy-romance-o-meter isn't even budging from empty. I have a ‘high-pitched squeal' marker on the cheesy-romance-o-meter. This sort of thing usually triggers it.

Sigh.

Give me a break, book. Just one break. Come on. At least make her need rescued because a drunk driver is weaving all over the road–or someone is so sky high from pot that he can't control his car. Not because she can't handle walking.

:Insert heartbroken wailing here.:

And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed. I want to feel his mouth on me.

Don't hurt yourself, little girl. You barely graduated from hand holding. Heaven forbid you upgrade from hand holding to kissing in the same chapter.

Ana, please. Come on.

I understand the lure of wanting to be involved with someone–to be rescued when rescue is needed, to have nice, strong, sheltering arms. Nice, muscular, toned arms… mhmm. Oh husband person! Your wife lady requires your sexy arms~!

Ahem.

But being serious–yeah. This is a common fantasy. Damsel in distress being rescued by someone who wants her? Yeah. I'm in on that. Shamelessly so. I'm especially into when the men need rescued. Because hooooooooooot.

But that's what this book is about–that's the appeal. It's touching bases with very common fantasies. There is nothing wrong with that.

Here's my Verdict on Chapter Three

No abuse. No stalking. Possessiveness? Sure, it's there in high amounts. But frankly, he's your stereotypical bad boy–a bad boy with a taste for bondage.

He's a fantasy–and he's a very common one, especially among women who have not come from an abusive relationship. Let's face facts here. It's very common for women, especially sheltered ones–or ones who are treated well by their partners–to think about things like this. To be wanted to the point of possessiveness. It can be a turn on, it can be kinky.

In the real world? Not healthy.

But there's absolutely nothing wrong with a BDSM scenario like this. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a guy or a girl to like reading this material. Will it trigger people who have been in abusive situations?

Definitely.

But does that mean there can't be an audience who enjoys this sort of thing? Absolutely not.

:Shrug.: Read on, ladies. Christian Grey is a fantasy–and so long as he stays a fantasy and BDSM scenario, carry on. Carry on.

If this were the real life, this would be potentially very, very dangerous. But it's not.

It's a fantasy.

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Hendrik Boom says February 19, 2015

Also, if you’re in the street, maybe you should crawl out of the pavement and get on the street instead. Gaaaah.

It this was set in Quebec, I’d just consider it a bit of Franglish.

— hendrik

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