Innocent girl meets billionaire boy with some serious issues; they fall for each other anyway, but is attraction enough to overcome his need for control and her need for independence?
Anastasia Steele interviews local business magnate Christian Grey for her college paper. Despite her misgivings on his control tendencies, Ana is attracted to him, and shocked to learn the feeling is mutual. Overwhelmed by his seductive presence and staggering wealth, Ana still chooses to enter into a confusing emotional and physical relationship with the enigmatic billionaire. Grey is a tormented, damaged hero, and Ana feels out of her league dealing with his frequent emotional distance, and his sexual need for control and dominance, especially given that his attraction to her stems from her down-to-earth personality and independent spirit. Through Grey she explores her own awakening sensuality, but finds herself unwilling to enter into his darker passions, all the while growing more and more attached to his companionship, his powerful charm and his desire to overcome his demons. On the heels of Twilight (literally and figuratively, since Fifty Shades was originally conceived as Twilight fan fiction), James has concocted the latest controversial mega-bestseller targeted to the female reader. Considering the cultural impact this book has made, you’ve likely heard of it, and possibly already read it. So here’s the straight scoop: this book is not particularly well-written, nor is it hard-core porn that’s going to burn your socks off once you open the pages. Neither is it a piece of fiction that will take the women’s movement back 60 years. It’s fan fiction and fantasy fiction. Hundreds of thousands of women are reading this book because it’s the type of scenario that never happened to us, will never happen to us, and is one from which we’d likely flee as fast as possible if it ever did happen to us—wouldn’t we? That’s the point. It’s intriguing, conceptually, to wonder “what if...?” This book is not for everyone. It could have used a good editor. If you want great characterization, perfect construction, or if the repetition of words or phrases bothers you, probably best to not pick it up. However, it was more entertaining and compelling than expected.
While the book is not especially well-executed, James has tapped into a female sexual and psychological curiosity that can be disturbing if taken too seriously, but is somewhat fun and entertaining in the imagination stage.