Poor, poor Caroline Storr. For years, she suffered through a physically abusive marriage with an alcoholic, afraid to ask for help because she lived in a small town and the scandal would have killed her mother-in-law. But when Peter starts hitting her little girl, Kelly, Caroline decides she’s had enough and whisks herself and her daughter away to London. Cut to three years later and everything is coming up rosy. She had stumbled upon a copy-writing career and with the help of a small inheritance from her father, was even able to buy a house. She hadn’t heard from her drunkard swine of a husband since she’d left him and she and Kelly are doing just fine.
And then comes the asshole in the Porsche. Nick Holt, her husband’s cousin, was a painful reminder of her one emotional indiscretion—she was secretly crushing on him while she was married to Peter. Peter, of course, was a jealous, insecure psycho, and tended to “J’accuse!” Caroline of cheating on him with everyone from the mailman to the kindly town doctor. He also loved to cry his heart out to Cousin Nick and talk about what an amoral, selfish, cheating slut Caroline is. Nick, who was also secretly crushing on Caroline and felt very guilty about it, was at first unable to believe what his cousin has been telling him, but quickly changes his tune, when—say, on a lark—he makes a pass at Caroline by kissing her and she KISSES HIM RIGHT BACK, the dirty harlot! Peter was right! Ever the avenging-angel-slash-hypocritical-asshole, Nick takes it upon himself to hire a private detective to find Caroline, marches his self-righteous ass to her front door, and proceeds to tell her three things: 1) Peter is dead, 2) Peter’s mom is dying and wishes to see her granddaughter, 3) Caroline has been judged and found guilty of harlotry, and Nick himself will be her executioner. Oh, and could dirty, amoral whore Caroline and her little moppet uproot their lives, pack up everything, get into the goddamn Porsche, and go see Grandma before she croaks.
Oh man, time to get sex-ay! Before I got down and settled with this book, I broke open a box of Franzia, cued up “I Want to Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd, and pulled on my comfy sweats, the one with the hole along the ass crack. That’s just how the playaz roll, son.
Look, everything under the sun has already been said about “Fifty Shades of Grey” and at this point, anything I say will just be construed as dog-piling or jumping on the bandwagon. That said, I promised my sister I was going to read this book—and honestly almost any book that gets my sister reading gets a thumbs-up from me—and I wasn’t going to read it without blogging about it. I like to do a little book report after each one I read because if I just talked about it out loud to anyone who’ll listen, I’d probably get maced in the face. Anyway, there’s a little note on the copyright page that says, “The author published an earlier serialized version of this story online with different characters as ‘Masters of the Universe’ under the pseudonym Snowqueen’s Icedragon.” What that little handy note doesn’t tell you is the “different characters” it’s referring to are Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from Stephanie Myer’s “Twilight” series. This book started out as fanfic. As I’ve said many times in the past, I have no problem with fanfic (would fanfic based on “Fifty Shades of Grey” be hella meta?). Zero. I think of it as honoring the writer and the work itself. But when you’re making money from characters you directly lifted from another writer’s work and all you did was Find + Replace the names so your ass doesn’t get sued, that has to be… what’s the word I’m looking for… illegal? Is that the word? I don’t know, I like to defer to my good friend and ace reporter/actual lawyer Jane of Dear Author in matters like these. In fact, she does a spectacular side-by-side comparison of “Masters of the Universe” and the “Fifty Shades” books on her website. Check it out, if you haven’t already. No, seriously. Go now. Just don’t forget to come back and hang out with me. I’ll wait. *looks worriedly at watch*
Welcome back! With all of that preliminary stuff out of the way, let us dive into the literal fuckfest that is “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
This was not a fun book to read for me. Have you ever read “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult, which was later made into a movie starring Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz? It’s the one where Cameron Diaz has a daughter who is dying and needs new organs, but there isn’t a donor match, so the doctors suggest that Cameron Diaz has another child so they can harvest the organs they need from that child. Whoa, right? Yeah, it’s like “Sophie’s Choice” without the Nazis. How would you like that for a tagline? “It’s like ‘Sophie’s Choice’ without the Nazis!” And yet the story was oddly compelling—never mind the heroine who, at times, seemed to be stubborn for the purpose of being a deliberately obtuse pain in the ass— and I devoured it in one sitting. And the whole “He doesn’t love me” and “She doesn’t love me” shenanigans went on a little too long, but the hero is a nice guy (albeit boring) who isn’t an alpha asshole with a testosterone overload problem for once and I liked the soft, quiet moments between the two leads. It’s a Marriage of Convenience and Miracle Baby story in one!