Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James

When I picked up this book, I expected it to be dirty, smutty sex. And I was right. But I didn't expect to love it. The book, I mean, not the sex.

Honestly, the sex didn't do anything for me. It was there. In heaps. Like, as in, a lot of sex. Tons in each chapter. I really don't think people can do it that much and not break themselves somehow. But Ana and Christian manage. And yes, the sex was hot and graphic and ...unusual? But still, it didn't do anything for me.

What I loved about the book was learning about the characters. I want to know more, especially about Christian. Why does he do what he does? I have my thoughts. Probably it's about his mother. He definitely has some mommy issues to sort out, and I think Ana can help him. 

I love that she stands up to him and makes him reconsider things that he's so firm about. I expected her to be this submissive waif, and she's not at all. At least, not when it isn't sexually gratifying for her. She lets him know that she wants to be independent, and I think that means a lot to him. It's refreshing. 

I already hate Mrs. Robinson. And as bad as it sounds, it's not because she took advantage of Christian, but because he can't see that she took advantage of him. How can he have any respect for this woman? She's horrible and I hope she dies a horrible death.

Kate, on the other hand, is wonderful. She's brazen and fun. She's the best friend that everyone wants to have. 

The story centers strongly around Christian and Ana, and given that it's a romance/erotica, I can accept that. Normally, I need a side story, but not so much here. As long as they can keep it fresh, their back and forth is good enough for me.

What made this book a 5 star for me was how it made me feel, and not in a sexual sense. You could take all that out, and I'd be fine with it. I feel Ana's humiliation and self-doubt. I feel Christian's anger. I'm laughing at Kate and fuming at Mrs. Robinson. 

Fifty Shades is a wonderful surprise.