Review: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

July 23, 2013 2 - 2.5 Stars, E.L. James, Gross Guys, Horrible Heroines, New Adult, Nonsensical, Offensive, Stalkers Are Not Sexy 8 ★½

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Series: Fifty Shades #2
Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House on September 15, 2011
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 394
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

“You are a pervert.”

“I know.” He raises his eyebrows and his grin broadens.
“My pervert,” I whisper.
“Yes, yours.”

This is actual dialogue between Ana and Christian, the narrator and her billionaire boyfriend. These books have conflicted me. The dialogue, plot contrivances, and most of the characters are completely ridiculous. And yet, for reasons I don’t fully understand, I am on book three of the trilogy. I guess I want to see what happens with these characters, even though every page makes me cringe and/or laugh. Starting with Christian, the billionaire…who is also incredibly hot…with an insatiable sexual appetite…and he pilots his own helicopter…and he’s a philanthropist…and a concert-level pianist…and an expert dancer…and of course, he’s completely head over heels in love with Ana. I am fully expecting that he will find a cure for cancer by the end of the third book.

Fifty Shades Darker introduces a new character who is a sexually harassing villain. He serves no other purpose in this book than to attempt to abuse Ana. We all know sexual harassment exists in the workplace, but E L James beats us over the head with it. The harasser is SO over the top, and it’s stated that he’s a habitual offender; it’s hard to imagine he could exist and prosper in a real world workplace. But then, men like Christian don’t exist either, so at least James is consistent.

On a side note, the most shocking part of this trilogy’s success is that the movie rights just sold for $4 million. I will be very interested to see how these books could be turned into a successful movie franchise. I don’t envy the screenwriter who, no doubt, will need to rewrite every word of dialogue.

All this said, congrats to E L James who has made a ton of money from a bad series of books and who has gotten me to read all three, despite myself.

Laters, baby.

Review posted at Goodreads and Amazon


8 Responses to “Review: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James”

  1. Lizzy

    I was actually talking about this over Twitter. Here’s my idea on how to do the trailer: Have a hundred women in the audience in massage chairs and video tape them watching the movie. It will be just like the trailer for Paranormal Activity, only with mommy porn instead of Horror.

    • Stephanie K

      LOL – that’s not a bad idea. They actually got a respectable director for the film, so who knows how this will turn out. I can’t imagine the finished product will bear much resemblance to the book.

  2. Kristen Williams

    Not sold on ever reading these–I think I’d be more angry than amused. But, people seem to love them so I can’t blame you for reading to see what it’s all about. I imagine it’s so bad it’s good? I can’t believe the dialog…sigh. Just so bad. well, I am all about people reading so happy this book got some to read that normally wouldn’t. haha

    • Stephanie K

      My cousin read it just to see what the fuss was about, and it infuriated her.

      I would not call it “so bad it’s good” – that’s giving it too much credit. But yet, I read all three, so what do I know???


    Ha! I agree, they’re fairly awful — terribly written, unbelievable events and characters… and I also read all three of them (cringing all the way) because I had to see how it all wrapped up. My pet peeve, of many, about the books? Christian is a billionaire CEO of a very successful company — he should know better than to send ANY of the thousands of explicit emails to Ana over company email systems. Just a dumb move, especially for a CEO. One of many…

    • Stephanie K

      James is some kind of genius just for getting people who laughed at her writing to buy her books. (Although I would not buy them – thanks to the library!) But I guess she’s laughing all the way to the bank. 🙂

      That’s a good point about the e-mails. And also, I wonder how that will work in the film. They can’t have these two just sending e-mails to each other during the entire film!

  4. Robyn Jones

    I chuckled when I saw the title of this post. First thing I did was check how many stars you gave it. Have you read any of the reviews on Amazon? There’s one for the first book that is really the funniest review I’ve ever read written by an older man. I guess Grey and Vick can go suck it then.

  5. Kim

    You are a braver person than I am. I’ve never been able to pick up this book. It’s just … not my thing. Though I’ve always been interested. I did read the Twilight series (up until the end, the last book made me cringe way too much, I couldn’t get through the wedding). I love your review though, it made me laugh to hear that Chris is probably going to find a cure for cancer. Sounds like that’s about right. And that dialogue? Ha.

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