Review: Grey by E.L. James (@jessicadhaluska)

Posted November 13, 2015 by Jessica in Erotica, Jessica, Reviews / 17 Comments

Review: Grey by E.L. James (@jessicadhaluska)
Grey by E.L. James
Series: Fifty Shades #4
Published by Vintage
Published on: June 18 2015
Genres: Erotica
Pages: 559
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.
In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.
Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.
Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?
This book is intended for mature audiences.

ADULTSONLY kinky hot

SO. Right off the bat, I think we need to get this out of the way: YES. I read the FIFTY SHADES trilogy, and, YES, I liked it.

Guess what?

I liked TWILIGHT, too.

And THE HUNGER GAMES, and I bloodydamn love HARRY POTTER.

If you think that means I have crap taste in books, then good riddance.

If you think that means I love ALL the hyped-up books, you don’t know me, so who cares what you think?

I read what I want and heaven help anyone who tries to make me feel bad about it.

*steps down from soapbox* *orbit gum smiles*

Honestly, I’m not terribly worried about that in Rabid Reads space, b/c lovers of speculative fiction tend to be a less judgmental crowd.

But when the top dozen Goodreads reviews are all, “Hell NO, we won’t read this crap, and we’ll be (not so) silently judging anyone who does,” well . . . it makes me a little bit defensive.

That being said, I didn’t love GREY, which is basically FIFTY SHADES OF GREY verbatim, but from Christian’s perspective. I liked it well enough, and it definitely had me jonesing to reread the trilogy, but Christian direct from the source is a bit too much for me.

I need filtered Christian.

You know why?

B/c just like all the accusations that James knows not-one-thing about the BDSM community, guess what?


There’s a reason these books appeal to the WASP community at large: we are the opposite of hardcore.

We enjoy a FICTIONALIZED account of BDSM that ultimately concludes with a hot bazillionaire not being nearly as hard a case as he thought he was. #sorrynotsorry

A real, deep-in-the-lifestyle Dominant would scare the hell out of me. Not b/c there’s anything wrong with it, but b/c it’s so radically outside my own personal purview.

Clearly, I am not alone in this.

E.L. James capitalized on that, and I say good for her.

So ultimately, I don’t regret reading GREY, and if you also loved the FIFTY SHADES trilogy and think you’re made of sterner stuff than I am, then I say go for it. BUT. If Christian-filtered-through-Ana was about as much as you could take, then I’d skip it. It’s one thing to ogle him from a distance, but quite another to be inside his fifty-shades-of-fucked-up head. Recommended with qualifications.

Fifty Shades series:

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



17 responses to “Review: Grey by E.L. James (@jessicadhaluska)

  1. Guess what? I read and enjoyed Fifty myself. And I loved Twilight. And The Hunger Games. AND Harry Potter,too!! I have Grey sitting on my shelf waiting for me to blow the dust off and crack it open. I haven’t yet but only because, time. Not nearly enough of it. I’m glad you gave Grey a go, Jessica. And I’m glad you sorta liked it. 🙂 I’ll try to get it read sooner than later so we can chat about the scariness that is an unfiltered Christian Grey. 😛
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Blog Barrage Review ~ Marked by an Assassin ~ Felicity Heaton

  2. Victoria (aka zEmfIrKa)  

    Loved the review and go you! I didn’t read The Fifty Shades and have no wish to, but I read and re-read Twilight, Harry Potter and Hunger Games and I loved them all. I even liked the Twilight movies, especially The New Moon! 🙂 #sorrynotsorry

  3. Pili from In Love With  

    I looooved the Twilight books too!! And I probably would re-read them now and still love them!

    But I was not interested in the 50 Shades books and all the hype made me want to run away from them… and same with this one. *shrugs*

    As I always say, to each their own and I am by no means judging you at all Jessica! You know I trust your judgement and bookish taste a lot, but for once, I’m not adding a book to my wish list because of you! (about time too, you’re awful for my TBR pile, wish list and bank account!!). 😉
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes!!

  4. I loved Twilight and The Hunger Games, too, Jessica. I haven’t read either HP or Fifty Shades, though. I own all the HP books and will read them one day. The one reason why I don’t think I’ll read Fifty Shades is because it started out as fanfic… and I think fanfic should stay mostly that. But I’m really glad so many people have bought and enjoyed Fifty Shades! One of my friends how hadn’t read in years picked up the series, and she loved it so much she’s back to reading again – and that is awesome!
    Reading the exact same story from another character’s point of view can be awesome in some cases, and less so in others. I’m glad you enjoyed this even if you prefer filtered Christian!
    Great review, Jessica.
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Love Revolution – Michelle Mankin

  5. I loved the Fifty books and I enjoyed Grey. Thanks for posting your review and being honorable enough to read it before you commented on it. I wanted MORE from Grey than I received, but I still got enough to make me happy. You’re right about the BDSM being tamer filtered through Ana. However, I found it fascinating to discover things about Christian — just HOW MUCH he was obsessed by Ana and how it messed with his head, how he treated his other subs in contrast to how he treated Ana, and how very much he changed for Ana. The last part was wonderful — after she left him and how deeply he suffered and how that opened him up to the transformation that had taken place in him. That was all in Grey and that’s why I thought it was definitely worth reading.

  6. I totally admire you for this review Jessica! You totally put into words what I think reading is all about. Read what you want, and to hell with anyone who looks down on you for liking that.
    Yes, I am one of those people who doesn’t like most of the series that you kust mentioned, or just doesn’t want to read them, but so what? I also love lots of other series you do love.
    I will never judge someone on their taste in books. I was amazed at how many of my collegues who almost never read a book, read 50 shades. It was a total hype, and they wanted to know and talk along with everybody, but it got them reading! And that is what is important.
    Aurian recently posted…Nalini Singh – Archangel’s Enigma

  7. I enjoyed Twilight, and LOVED HP (still need to read the Hunger Games). However, I cannot bring myself to read the Grey books. I have seen too many cringe-worthy excerpts from it. I have known many on both sides of the fence and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I may watch the movie however. So, this one isn’t for me, but I’m glad you enjoyed it and now more curious about his character.
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Audiobook Review with Crafts: Half a War by Joe Abercrombie

  8. Danielle

    Not judging your reading choices. I’ve read FSOG, Twilight, Hunger Games and HP as well. And enjoyed them all, to varying degrees. But please don’t put lump them all together 🙂
    I was entertained by FSOG too, but it’s still crap with horrible writing and questionable consent. Hunger Games and HP are awesome 🙂

  9. Good for you for defending your reading habits. I don’t know why, but for some reason I am resistant to the biggies that everyone goes nuts over. Maybe I’m scared with all the hype I’ll be let down. I can’t explain it, I just avoid them. I did however, give in to my brother after weeks and weeks of pressure to read Hunger Games and my God, I was so glad I did! It still hasn’t helped me get over that avoidance issue enough to get the other ones in yet. I’m so weird LOL
    Tanya recently posted…Review ~ Dragon King by Donna Grant

  10. You are braver than I am, Jessica! 🙂 I fully admit I loved the first two books back in the days when they were the first thing I read in this genre, but since then I expanded and I wouldn’t be able to re-read the series and give the same rating now that I can compare it with other better written novels 🙂 Believe me I tried. Kudos to you, girl! 🙂
    kara-karina recently posted…Murder Mystery Fiction Review: Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew