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“And now for something completely different”, as John Cleese would say. I’m well aware of the fact that book reviews aren’t part of my usual repertoire, but why not switch things up once in a while? Over the past years E.L. James’ notorious Fifty Shades trilogy has unleashed an enormous “must read” trend wave, not to mention millions of sales. However, not without being criticized to the max. After having read (nearly) the whole trilogy, I would love to share my personal opinion on this blog.

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Picture via The Telegraph

For starters: I’m not the biggest bookworm. In fact, I hate reading books. There – I said it. With the exclusion of school/ college books and the like (of course), I believe I once accidentally read “Harry Potter & the sorcerer’s stone” and called it a night after 10 pages – lazy, I know. So here’s the funny part: Never before have I heard of that many bad reviews targeting a certain book or book series. Nevertheless, coincidentally, my mother ordered the Fifty Shades trilogy online and read them within a month. She told me she loved them, and as I was packing for my trip to Greece, I thought it couldn’t hurt taking part 1 with me – you know, just for pretend, maybe I’ll get bored. Turned out, I actually finished it within a couple of days. My curiosity lead me into part 2 and further into part 3. Currently I’m half way through the last one.

Now, to be honest (and without getting too deep into the delicate topic of BDSM – no worries!): I do support some of the critiques and comments provided by various publishing houses, magazines, writers & co. The trilogy features poor literary qualities and the plot seemed quite dull, featuring loads of repetitive scenes as well as awkwardly placed loanwords. However, I did enjoy reading how Anastasia’s and Christian’s (the main characters’) relationship developed over time. Besides: Here and then, every woman enjoys herself a little romantic bed time story – let’s be frank, ladies. Even though the Fifty Shades novels are set around an unusual, perhaps uncomfortable genre (which prudes try to stay away from), doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining to others. Especially in the case of curiosity and trend watch. To put it in a nutshell: Despite all the negative publicity, I sort of liked the books and I’m glad I read them.

But most importantly: Don’t ever listen to reviews nor let them influence your opinion (not only in terms of books, but almost anything in life). Allow yourself to be skeptical only once you yourself have read the first pages. Beauty – and in this case criticism – is in the eye of the beholder. (I guess this post unintentionally turned into a moral preachment. Oh well.)

Have you read any of the Fifty Shades novels? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Take care & read you soon – xoxo,

Soph

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