D-Reading It: Guilty Pleasures

Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James

“He cocks his head to one side, running his index finger across his lower lip…oh my.”

Really though? Touching his lip? You have to refuse the urge to roll your eyes a lot of the time, but it is oddly addictive. Even if Anastasia Steele has blatantly stolen George Takei’s catchphrase, her general Bambi approach around Christian Grey is endearing if a little annoying after nothing really happens. Everything’s so painfully drawn out. Drawing stuff out doesn’t make it sexy though E L James, it just makes it annoying when we have to take three sentences to get through one action. Considering all the hype about Fifty Shades of Grey as erotica, there just wasn’t any saucy stuff for ages.

Indeed, the first 50 pages of the book are dismal, but it’s still addictive. I don’t tend to like first person narrative, but somehow Anastasia Grey’s gushing about Christian and the Rom-Com style development of their relationship draws you in. There’s also the sense reading it that E. L. James was just bashing away at her laptop and just putting down whatever she felt like was a natural, if massively cliche, plot development.

I wouldn’t use the word “trashy”, since “trash” can often actually be quite good in a tongue-in-cheek-way. Fifty Shades is terribly written, James’s style is amateurish, but because of the hype I felt at least partially obliged to trudge on.

It’s written in such a terrible, “keep reading,” style that you can’t actually put it down. You do end up giving over to the inner monologue of Anastasia Steele…or at least I did as long as I could last in the book before I got to something truly hideous-sounding.

The action rather spookily centres on having to do an interview for a Student Newspaper…unfortunately none of my interviews have ever ended in a kinky love affair…but if I ever land Channing Tatum, who knows?

50 Shades in brief: Sticks and stones might not break Anastasia’s bones, but chains and whips come to excite her.

First thing said: “I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror.”

Random Horrific Line: “And that night, I dream of grey eyes and leafy patterns in milk, and I’m running through dark places with eerie strip lighting, and I don’t know if I’m running toward something or away from it…it’s just not clear.”


In the Name of Love – Katie Price

in_the_name_of_love_mainI used to be obsessed with chick lit, but when you study English Lit, you kind of forget how to read for pleasure. I recently started reading girly fiction again, seeing as I loved Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy, which parodied LC’s own expereinces on reality TV shows The Hills and Laguna Beach: The Real OC.

On that basis, I decided to to give another reality show star turned author a go and try In The Name Of Love by Katie Price. Admittedly my eyebrows were raised a little bit since Price is well known for having most of her books ghost-written, but I gamely took on the challenge anyway.

Reviews were promising, with Cosmo and Glamour, my favourite magzines, giving the book the thumbs up. But as soon as I read the blurb, I began to have doubts about the supposedly incredibly romantic story of sports presenter Charlie and “brilliant rider” Felipe Castillo.

There seems to have been a lot of care and attention on Price’s (or her ghostwriter’s…) part to putting her own life experience into the book. It not only echoes her own well known love of riding, but also her multiple exotic and commonly papped holidays.

I didn’t get very far. By that, I mean I didn’t even make it past the prologue. From the first line, which described the air as “a warm caress on [Charlie’s] bare arms”, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take this book seriously. I read on, struggling to concentrate.

By the end of the prologue, Charlie’s in hospital because she’s fallen off her horse, and she decides to never ride again. So by the third page, I’ve already worked out the “dark shadow from her past,” which prevents her from falling for Felipe to which the blurb alludes. With the big reveal out of the way before the story even started, I completely lost interest. Even the constant ellipses were not enough to hold my attention, so, with nothing left to hook me, I gave up on In The Name Of Love after three pages.