Thursday, December 27, 2012

50 Shades Darker Chapter 3

So I am with my family as I write this chapter. Which means I am reading 50 Shades Darker with my parents and siblings in the same room while they watch TV. On the up side it means that there is already a drink in hand! LET THE AWKWARD GIGGLING AND GROANING COMMENCE!

Last chapter Ana and Grey agreed to get back together and reset the rules with a grandiose gesture of him forcing the gifts she had given back onto her again, along with an iPad loaded with a mixed tape and a shit ton of books. Now they're dating like normal people who happen to have kinky sex, no rules, no punishment, and Ana still isn't allowed to touch him. He also revealed his Dark Tragic Past TM in more detail in that his Mother was a crack whore who didn't protect him from her pimp and killed herself in front of him leaving him alone with her corpse for four days.

This chapter opens with Ana levitating from the force of her sheer glee, glad she no longer owns a car because it means that she can listen to the iPad on the bus on the way to work! As she happily levitates into the office, her boss naturally notices she seems... different.

“Good morning, Ana. You look . . . radiant.” His remark flusters me. How inappropriate!

He then politely asks her to do some work. I've got mixed feelings on this one. I don't think telling an employee that they look nice is inappropriate, per say, but I also think she is well within reason for being uncomfortable with him saying such. It isn't like he's leering and saying "nice shirt" or anything, but telling her that when she looks happy for a change she looks radiant. I kind of wish Ana would say something to him at this point. This would be a safe point to speak up, I think? Nothing has had time to become established, so it will just seem like "nipping this in the bud" and not be a big dramatic thing. "I know you're being nice/mean well/etc but it makes me uncomfortable when a boss offers compliments on my appearance. I know you mean well but could you please try and tone it down?" Maybe I'm just too broken by kitchens when smacking someone in the ass with a spatula is totally fair game, so what do you guys make of Jack Hyde? I anticipate he will become a caricature of the sexually abusive boss, offering Ana raises in exchange for blow-jays, but who knows. I got a pretty big shock last chapter when Grey offered to reboot the whole relationship, I'm not confident in myself anymore on making these calls.

So Ana is at work, and like anyone who just got a break in the publishing world, which isn't known at all for being competitive or something like that, is spending a fair bit of her day e-mailing her boyfriend, from her work account. The usual banter/nagging ensues, down to talking about making each other beg about sexeh timez later. I work in a kitchen. The fact that I have a work e-mail is bizarre, and there is a tag in my work email, a little message that warns me that my emails are monitored. When I get emails from The Boy from his work account, there is an automated signature that says it is a monitored email address and everything I get from it is confidential. The same thing with his old email from his old job. I get that Ana doesn't computer, but I don't remember ever not knowing that work emails are monitored. Which is why I am so miffed at Ana for using it to send cute/sexy emails about being bored and wanting to jump his magical unicorn boner over her work address when she has a blackberry that can send emails.

I get that writing characters a very different age than you can be hard, but has she not met a 21 year old at all ever? Or have no cultural awareness? Or... done even a little bit of research on it? Like, read Cosmo or something? Made any effort at all?

Naturally Grey needs to point out to Ana that her emails are probably monitored, because there wouldn't be things like tags and signatures or a legal mandate that she be alerted of such things. Grey needs to explain to the little wimmin how email works! Ana's response was to go and delete all the inappropriate emails, because that will make them all magically go away! I half expect Jack to come and harass her about it because there was some sexual over tones to the emails and it would be an easy lead.

So Jack tells Ana that the ominous drinks he invited her out for is a weekly group thing, and Ana goes outside to have a random disheveled woman in a designer trench coat with slit wrists starts to talk to her.

I turn expectantly, and an ashen young woman approaches me cautiously. She looks like a ghost—so pale and strangely blank.
“Miss Anastasia Steele?” she repeats, and her features stay static even though she’s speaking.
She stops, staring at me from about three feet away on the sidewalk, and I stare back, immobilized. Who is she? What does she want?
“Can I help you?” I ask. How does she know my name?
“No . . . I just wanted to look at you.” Her voice is eerily soft. Like me, she has dark hair that starkly contrasts with her fair skin. Her eyes are brown, like bourbon, but flat. There’s no life in them at all. Her beautiful face is pale, and etched with sorrow.
She laughs, a strange, discordant sound that only feeds my anxiety.
“What do you have that I don’t?” she asks sadly.

And the woman wanders off with leaving Ana with an ominous feeling that she has something to do with Grey! I'm wondering if this is his ex Dom Elena or an ex sub who he left ruined. Considering this woman (who we are given no gauge of how old she is. Young woman to me is anything under 35, and we're never given a real gauge of how old Elena was supposed to be) knew Ana's name, and where to find her I'm going to guess Grey's ex/friend who he still talks to/woman who molested him as a child/business partner. I don't think he still talks to any of his old Subs, and if he does I don't think he'd have told them about Ana/where she works.

Ana wanders into the bar, forgetting the whole thing, and starts chatting with her co-workers and Claire starts to ask casual chatty questions. This is Ana's response:

My patented distraction technique works and I’m saved.

She's saved from having to talk about herself at all. We get some details about Claire, has siblings and isn't from around there. What I find interesting about this is that Ana is constantly seeing people trying to get to know her or asking how she's doing as super invasive. The most innocent questions are seen as an inquisition. She's actually a very private person, to the point of being guarded and closed off. I don't think we're supposed to take that away from the character, because we don't see her doing that with Grey, but she does it with literally every person she encounters. Her Mother, her best girlfriend, her Dad, her best dude friend, people at work she thinks she can be friends with, she keeps her cards close. I suppose this plays more into Bella Swan, the character she's based off of, also being a rather private person, but I don't think we're supposed to get that from Ana. People say how she's smart and generally wonderful but she actively avoids talking in conversation. She has a patented method to turn the conversation onto the other person for just that reason! So I'm surprised that Ana's actions all scream "I AM A PRIVATE AND QUIET PERSON" but no one ever interacts with her in this way.

So Ana keeps chatting with her new coworkers and drinking and I am once again frustrated that we don't get to see any of these conversations. We're just told that Ana talks to her coworkers. Some are named, some aren't. And on it goes. Until she interacts with someone who has romantic interest in her, or who will talk to her about Grey.

Jack then corners Ana at the bar and proves my point because we see this conversation.

“Ana, think you made the right decision coming here?” Jack’s voice is soft, and he’s standing a bit too close. But I’ve noticed that he has a tendency to do this with everyone, even at the office. My subconscious narrows her eyes. You’re reading too much into this, she admonishes me.

Alright, so, trigger warning time: Sexual assault, normalization, lack of agency!

I was ranting that James wouldn't handle the topic well, but this actually rings very true. You do try to normalize things, "He does this with everyone" "I'm the one who's making a big deal out of it." and the reason you try to normalize it is because it's dangerous and risky to speak up. You don't want to be a shit disturber. You don't want to cause trouble or drama. The fact that many women have stories of trying to speak up against sexual harassment in the work place and end up getting fired for it means the fear isn't unfounded. In the face of sexual harassment you're going to try and normalize it, because you don't want to be a victim. If it isn't sexual harassment then you're not a victim and nothing is wrong! You don't NEED to speak up!

“Do you live far?”
“The Pike Market district.”
“Not far from me.” Smiling, he moves even closer and leans against the bar, effectively trapping me. “Do you have any plans this weekend?”


Who hasn't seen this dude at the bar? This is the point where Ana should say "Antiquing with my boyfriend" instead she, shockingly, feels trapped and scared! It has taken me years to train myself to actually say shit like that when guys start to edge in on me, because it is terrifying when they do. What if they don't react so well? Maybe I should just seem scared and polite and hope that they get the hint and think I'm boring and move on? Maybe if I mention my boyfriend/fiance he'll move on? So Ana's terror here is... about right. The fact that this is her boss trapping her in a corner, commenting that she lives really close and hey by the way what are you up to this weekend? SUPER CREEPY AND INAPPROPRIATE! If he really is like this with everyone, why has no one else commented on this, or warned her, or or- aerfkhe.





Ana, and the reader, are saved from Jack by Grey turning up. Ana can sense Grey enter the bar (no really) before she sees him. She knows he has entered because she gets a spontaneous lady-boner. "Hmm, I have started to gush like a fire hose. Must mean Grey's in the room" see? Further proof that he is in fact a warlock using black magic glamor.

Christian drapes his arm around my shoulder in a seemingly casual display of affection—but I know differently. He is staking a claim, and on this occasion, it’s very welcome.

I want to snark this, but honestly? I've been there. "Oh thank god meat shield." Still, shockingly, I'm still irked that Grey is going to the THIS IS MINE! thing.

I can’t help but feel relieved, safe, and excited with his arm around me. He draws me to his side, and I glance up at him while he stares at Jack, his expression impassive. 
Jack shuffles back uncomfortably.


“I’m the boyfriend,” Christian says with a small, cool smile that doesn’t reach his eyes as he shakes Jack’s hand. I glance up at Jack who is mentally assessing the fine specimen of manhood in front of him.
“I’m the boss,” Jack replies arrogantly. “Ana did mention an ex-boyfriend.”

Ugh. This reminds me of the Firefly episode where Mal and Wash basically start fighting over who Zoe likes better. Wash, her husband, or Mal, her old war buddy/boss/good friend. The whole episode is a little icky on this one. The whole "I'm her boyfriend" "Well I'm her boss!" "NO YOU BIGGER!" childish and creepy. The fact that Jack is tossing out "she mentioned an ex" has stripped him of any potential credibility. It's grossly inappropriate, simply because you don't say that to a person you think may have just gotten back together with their ex. You don't say that to the boyfriend of your new employee, or any employee. What if they had just gotten back together, or were a new couple? There's no way to take this that isn't grossly immature and inappropriate. I bet Jack thinks he's a Nice Guy and girls just always go for big jerks like Grey, too.

Ana gets no support from her new work buddy, Clair, as these two start basically fighting over Ana, because she's too busy dripping at the sight of Grey. Grey then declares it is TIME FOR THEM TO GO EXIT STAGE LEFT! Jack isn't too pleased.

“Why did that feel like a pissing contest?” I ask Christian as he opens the car door for me.
“Because it was,”

This will be interesting when Ana goes back to work on Monday.

“Your boss, Jack Hyde, is he good at his job?”
Whoa! That’s a sudden change in direction? I frown. “Why? This isn’t about your pissing contest?”
Christian smirks. “That man wants into your panties, Anastasia,” he says dryly.

“That’s the point. He wants what’s mine. I need to know if he’s good at his job.”
I shrug. “I think so.” Where is he going with this?
“Well, he’d better leave you alone, or he’ll find himself on his ass on the sidewalk.”

This is interesting to me. Grey has decided that any man who talks to Ana wants in her pants, and has been... not so nice to these men simply because he believes they want into Ana's pants. In this case, Jack does obviously want into Ana's pants and given Grey reason to believe that he can't be trusted to act professionally. Him declaring "I WILL RUIN HIM IF HE LAYS A FINGER ON YOU!" is... ridiculous, but for once, I am totally on board with the fantasy that is being sold here. Grey goes on to point out if he's acting inappropriately that she needs to tell him because it is sexual harassment and that is bad. When I try and talk about my experiences being sexually harassed in the work place, I'm met with a lot of "They were just joking/you're reading too much into it/etc". If I had told someone, and they believed me without question or comment, I would count that as a huge fucking win. If they didn't doubt me and could do something about it? Oh, god, the giant pile of baked goods they would get from me.* So while I think this is ridiculous and awful that rather then giving Ana the tools to deal with it herself or offering support he is simply screaming "I WILL SLAY THE BITCH!"

Ana however points out that Grey doesn't have the ability to fire Jack. OR DOES HE?

“You’ve bought it. SIP. Already.”
He blinks at me, warily. “Possibly.”
“You have or you haven’t?”
What the hell? “Why?” I gasp, appalled. Oh, this just is too much.
“Because I can, Anastasia. I need you safe.”
“But you said you wouldn’t interfere in my career!”
“And I won’t.”

The following was the conversation I had after I read this:


Time Lord: ...
That can't

Ana is, shockingly, furious. He didn't tell her- he wasn't going to either, I imagine, that he had bought the company she worked for simply because she worked there. So Ana is now going to have to be super careful no one finds out that she's dating the owner of her company- or that he bought it because she worked there. Everyone would be terrified to so much as look at her. She would never be able to get another job elsewhere, because that is the sort of thing that spreads. She also needs to try and wrap her head around how obscene this is. He bought the company she works at. To keep her safe. If they get in a fight she now needs to worry about what he might do. In trying to give Ana more power over her environment he has effectively stripped it all away.

Ana, still pissed as hell, gets out of the car and starts to storm to her apartment. Grey follows, and tries to explain that he was going to buy SIP anyways so really it's all cool. Ana doesn't agree.

“Technically, I’m your boss’s boss’s boss.”
“And, technically, it’s gross moral turpitude—the fact that I am fucking my boss’s boss’s boss.”
“At the moment, you’re arguing with him.” Christian scowls.
“That’s because he’s such an arse,” I hiss.

He actually just tried to pull the "You know you work for me now" card. I don't even- I- Wha- No. Just, no. However Ana calling him an arse is just soooo cute that he bursts into giggles and the two of them move on from being pissed off at each other.

“As ever, Miss Steele, you are unexpected.” He leans back and gazes at me, his eyes dancing with humor. “So are you going to invite me in, or am I to be sent packing for exercising my democratic right as an American citizen, entrepreneur, and consumer to purchase whatever I damn well please?”
“Have you spoken to Dr. Flynn about this?”
He laughs. “Are you going to let me in or not, Anastasia?”

Augh. Once again, he weasels past Ana's legitimate question.
"This action is grossly inappropriate and I think you should talk to your therapist about it"
"Are we fucking or not?"

I am still mad at him—his stalking knows no bounds, and it dawns on me that this is how he knew about the e-mail being monitored at SIP. He probably knows more about SIP than I do. The thought is unsavory.

Or he knew about it because 9 out of 10 large companies do it.

So Ana watches him stalk around her apartment, annoyed as all hell at his blatant disregard of boundaries. Until his black magic glamor washes over her and she remembers she loves him and they're back together and then she's back to feeling pretty good about this relationship. Then comes the sex! Hooray!

He leans down, and again I think he’s going to kiss me, but he doesn’t.
“Do you want me to kiss you, Anastasia?” he whispers softly in my ear.
“Yes,” I breathe.
“You’re going to have to be a bit more specific than that. I told you I am not going to touch you until you beg me and tell me what to do.”
My inner goddess is writhing on her chaise longue. I am lost; he’s not playing fair.

"I won't fuck you until you start to give me instructions" isn't unfair, it's fun. Or forcing you to actually consider what you do and don't like in the sack. Neither are bad things.

I reach up, and immediately he steps back.
“No, no,” he chides, his eyes suddenly wide and alarmed.
“What?” No . . . come back.
“No.” He shakes his head.
“Not at all?” I can’t keep the longing out of my voice.
He looks at me uncertainly, and I’m emboldened by his hesitation. I step toward him, and he steps back, holding up his hands in defense, but smiling.
“Look, Ana.” It’s a warning, and he runs his hand through his hair, exasperated.
“Sometimes you don’t mind,” I observe plaintively. “Perhaps I should find a marker pen, and we could map out the no-go areas.”

Ana is just a bitch here. He has yesterday revealed he doesn't like being touched because of a history of specific horrific abuse to explain WHY he didn't want to be touched. Her response is to ignore it and try to push for him to compromise on it. I don't think she's wrong to point out that "there are some places that are and are not okay and I would like to know what is and isn't okay" but when she sees him looking alarmed and scared, it means you table that shit and come back to it later. I just- augh. If she can't respect his boundaries how can he respect hers?

Grey then declares that there will be no sex at the moment, they must eat first!

If only my seduction skills were better, I’d know what to do, but not being able to touch him does hamper me.

You're allowed to touch his junk. Just tell him to turn his head and cough! She doesn't and they go off to the grocery store because Ana has absolutely no food in her apartment. Oh, joy, more delay to the hilarious sex scene. EL JAMES YOU KNOW WHAT I AM IN THIS BOOK FOR WHY YA GOTTA BE LIKE THIS?!

Two women coming in stop and stare. Oh yes, eye my Fifty Shades, I think despondently.

My precioussss!

So they get back to her place and she muses how she doesn't know him that well despite the fact that he has been inside of her. He then tells her he'd like to help with dinner but OH NO HE'S NEVER TOUCHED A COOKING IMPLEMENT IN HIS LIFE!


“I’d like to help.” His expression is sincere.
“You can chop the vegetables.”
“I don’t cook,” he says, regarding the knife I hand him with suspicion.
“I imagine you don’t need to.” I place a chopping board and some red peppers in front of him. He stares down at them in confusion.
“You’ve never chopped a vegetable?”

How were you planning to help not knowing how to cook? My parents made damned sure growing up that I knew how to take care of myself. I knew how to cook, clean, and launder growing up because otherwise they were counting it as a fail. I understand that many people don't feel the need to make damned sure that their kids can cook and such, but he went off to university. Did he not learn even the most basics there? I have some friends who's ability to boil water I am suspect of. However I have for some masochistic reason still let them into my kitchen and help out. How can you not know how to cut a vegetable? I just- I get that as a Food Wizard these things are more basic to me than many, but really? He's never even cut vegetables?! My liver. It hurts.

Ana shows him how to chop a pepper- sexily. That is going on the list of sentences I never expected to write but have. Because of this book. Ana bats her eyelashes- a shit ton- and innocently keeps rubbing her ass on him as they start cooking. BECAUSE THAT ISN'T OBVIOUS AT ALL!

“If you do that again, Anastasia, I am going to take you on the kitchen floor.”
Oh, wow. It’s working. “You’ll have to beg me first.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“I think we’ll eat later,” he says. “Put the chicken in the fridge.”
This is not a sentence I had ever expected to hear from Christian Grey, and only he can make it sound hot, really hot.

Yay hilarious sex scene time! Disappointing that EL James missed an opportunity for sexy kitchen times, or sexy chicken times. Maybe they'll bust out the chicken suit later?

Mmmm. Yeah you do.

Also Ana I'm glad we have both encountered a new turn of phrase today. I feel we're bonding- which is strange because you're a fictitious character and (as far as I know) I am not. Also Grey made a biiig show about "NO WE MUST EAT FIRST" but the second he's got a bigger boner it's go time? Diiiiick!

So they stand there staring at each other before licking the inside of each others mouths and heading to the bedroom. Again, why NOT the kitchen? They're alone in the apartment. Right there on the counter! He also carries her to the bedroom with NO EFFORT AT ALL because Grey is super fit and strong and manly and perfect. 

Holy crap. “Undress me.” I am panting already.
He smiles and hooks his index finger into my open shirt, pulling me toward him.
“Good girl,” he murmurs, and without taking his blazing eyes off mine, slowly starts to unbutton my shirt.

I've noticed this before, but it seems if you're wearing a a button up shirt in fiction your odds of getting laid triple. Which makes me more sad that I can't wear them. The girls, they are too mighty to be restrained by buttons. So what I'm saying here is if you really want to pick up, wear a button up shirt. That is what media has taught me. 

“Tell me what you want, Anastasia.” His eyes smolder and his lips part as he takes quick shallow breaths.
“Kiss me from here to here,” I whisper trailing my finger from the base of my ear, down my throat. He smoothes my hair out of the line of fire and bends, leaving sweet soft kisses along the path my finger took and then back again.
“My jeans and panties,” I murmur, and he smiles against my throat before he drops to his knees in front of me. Oh, I feel so powerful

"And next do my laundry and clean my toilet with a toothbrush. Your toothbrush. And let me ride on your back like Yoda while you do"
Oh, he’s taking no prisoners. Embarrassed I quickly point at the apex of my thighs, and he grins wickedly. I close my eyes, mortified, but at the same time beyond aroused.

Why are women so embarrassed about speaking up and saying things like "Please bend me over the sofa, slather maple syrup all over my body, pick an orifice and go to town"? 

He kisses me and unleashes his tongue, his joy-inspiring expert tongue.

When Grey is feeling particularly philanthropic he just walks down the street sticking his tongue out to inspire joy in everyone he walks past. 

So Ana stands up, points at her junk, and then the bed while grunting loudly that it is MOTHER FUCKING GO TIME!

He stands and gazes down at me, and his lips glisten with the evidence of my arousal.

Or saliva. 

So now it's Ana's turn to strip him down to his skivvies, well, his underpants. Shirt stays on. Because taking it off means touching, I guess?

So she gets down on her knees to take his pants off- because THAT'S MORE SEXY! NOW SMELL HIS PEENY WHILE YOU'RE DOWN THERE!

Very tentatively, I put him in my mouth and suck—hard. Mmm, he tastes good.
“Ahh. Ana . . . whoa, gently.”

I've never understood the phrase "She could suck a gold ball through a garden hose" being a good thing. That just sounds... painful.
“Please what?” he murmurs between my breasts

I like to think he's talking TO her breasts to be honest. I can't be the only person who has to deal with that, right? "DAMN IT MAN THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO FOR DINNER THEY DON'T HAVE A MOUTH AND THE ABILITY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS OR EAT!"**
So then they fucking, reaaaaaaal slow until Ana begs for him to pick up the pace.

He gazes down at me in triumph and kisses me hard, then really starts to move—holy cow, a punishing, relentless . . . oh fuck—and I know it will not be long. He sets a pounding rhythm. I start to quicken, my legs tensing beneath him.

Ow? I mean, I get that sometimes that is exactly the way to go about it, but Ana seems to consistently just need to be hammered away on and BLAM ORGASMS EVERYWHERE! Must be... nice?

His words are my undoing, and I explode, magnificently, mind-numbingly, into a million pieces around him, and he follows calling out my name.
“Ana! Oh fuck, Ana!” He collapses on top of me, his head buried in my neck

I'm picturing a broken marionette on a pile of broken glass. I mean, Ana must be made of glass if she keeps shattering so often.

And that brings us to the end of this truly insane chapter. I just- have at this shit in the comments, I'm out of pineapples. Till next Tuesday dear readers!

*This is not code for anything. I would bake them all of the things
**Totally a thing that I've had to say. Frequently. 


  1. "He's never even cut vegetables?!"

    James makes it really hard to feel bad for Christian, because he's just SUCH a privileged asshole. I bet he's never done the dishes or vacuumed his room either. This book would be infinitely better if he hadn't been adopted by a wealthy and kind family. Hell, or maybe choose just one thing: rich but awful, or kind but dirtpoor. Rich and kind is such overkill. And then Christian still is an asshole, but he'll be "healed" by Ana. Which, again, would work much better if Ana actualy was a nice and wonderful person. Like Toru from Fruits Basket, for example. Whether one likes her or not, it's undeniable that she's absolutely kind and selfless. Ana is just the worst. A selfish, mean-spirited, hypocritical golddigger. How does she bring someone "into the light"? I just can't with this book and these characters.

    1. BTW, "golddigger" doesn't even refer to her dating Christian here. I'm talking about her friendship with Kate. For someone who is supposedly ~sooo uncomfortable~ with money and expensive gifts, she's more than happy to stay at Kate's top-notch place for a lower rent, and use her clothes and other things when she pleases.

  2. her features stay static even though she’s speaking

    How does this work? O_o I'm not entirely certain this strange woman isn't a ghost at this point. I...I...suppose it could be a botox overdose, but just try to talk without your face moving. I certainly can't do it. Hell, modern video games recognize that more than just your lips move when you speak - their animations make subtle changes to the rest of the face because, you know, muscles and stuff.


    There is not enough DO NOT WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on the planet for this.

  3. Oh, yes, J. Hyde livres up to all the implications of his name before all is said and done, according to the person who actually read all the books that regaled me with a summary.

    Based on their shared inability to respect boundaries, Grey and Hyde would normally be besties, but since they want to horn in on the same girl, clearly there will be epic penis-fencing. And since Grey has more money than Trump and more black magic power than Faust, we know who's going to win that one. The man decides to buy companies because he thinks it will keep Ana safe. His offshore accounts must be huge.

    Also, blackberry. And iProduct. Both of which would easily be useful for sexting or sexy email. Ana, have you not been properly prepared for the workplace with your collegiate experience?

    Blargh. And then there's this mysterious woman, who could probably just Facebook-stalk Grey and follow some paparazzi Twitter feeds and get Grey's (and therefore, Ana's) location at all times. That said, based on how Grey has behaved toward Ana, shouldn't the response have been "Sucks to be you, sucker! Enjoy the ride while it lasts!"

    1. There are so many amazing turns of phrases in this comment. Well done. I am also going to skeeve "penis fencing" when it next comes up if that's okay.

    2. Oh, absolutely. Can't remember where I picked it up from, but it describes the situation so very well.

  4. I am enjoying the hell out of these reviews.

    I'm on a quest to see if I can finish the books myself, so far.. I can barely get through page one of book one. The writing.. It's so bad! I may have blacked out once or twice during the first three lines.

    I don't understand why a lot of these authors seem to think that a girl devoid of all self-worth, and is living off of rat droppings for dinner, is attractive or even capable of being related to by readers. Give me some fire in her crotch! Some pent up rage because her mother never bought her a my size barbie when she was 7. Give me a reason to cheer for her when Christian finally decides the stick up his ass isn't worth having. I mean, that is what he has, right? Or did I miss some crucial point in the story? Sigh.

    Maybe it gets bet.........
    I think my brain exploded.

  5. Who starts panting before shit even gets good? No, seriously, I wanna know. I lost my virginity to my (eventual) husband, and in the beginning stages it was more like a guilty pleasure to see him naked. Does EL James remember what it's like to be a virgin or was it so damn long ago she doesn't remember? Cuz I have yet to hear of a chick getting so lady bonered-up that she starts panting like a damn dog. I mean, she's not even getting choked!! **WAAIIILLL*
    Sigh... "(Name). Oh fuck, (Name)!" is more tiresome than the buttoned shirt cliche. I'm sure that couples everywhere (except for me) do it, because I mean.... it had to come from somewhere, right?? And also, I cannot say this enough: Ana just sucks. She sucks as a sub, and she sucks royally as a dom/pseudo-dom. She has no people skills despite the fact that everyone appears to be falling over themselves to be in her life. She doesn't want to talk to people, she doesn't like being hit on, she doesn't like NOT being hit on. Ugh.
    Now for the slightly more serious part-- this whole sexual harassment bit she wrote up? It's too neat. Little red flags were waving from day one? Before he even said/did anything legitimately creepy? Oh, how silly of me, this is Angel Ana: "Good morning, did you have a nice weekend?" "I NEED AN ADULT!" And being cornered in a BAR?? I know that to people who are not used to the big cities that Seattle's night scene can be intense, but who the hell gets cornered in an obviously uncomfortable situation without someone butting in? Or is this before happy hour? I love Seattle at night, I love Frontier Room and the Owl and Thistle and those two bars that I hit up before going home on the ferry (whose names I am always too sloshed to remember). And while I know this must be uncomfortable for Ana--- it just seems too easy to get out of, yknow? he's not going to throw you across the barstool and take you. You're in public and there are bouncers. I had a coworker follow me into the freezer in the back kitchens at a truck stop I used to work at in Spokane to WHISPER IN MY EAR that he was going to tickle my belly button ring from the inside. That shit was creepy as hell. I was luckier than a lot of women out there, though-- I was the only female back there and 19 at the time (sometimes being the "little sister" is awesome). So when I told my other coworkers this guy was creeping me out, they all went up to him and threatened to beat the shit out of him if he ever bothered me again. I was never terrified of this guy-- but I was terrified of how disgusting he made me feel.
    Why doesn't Grey get Ana some kind of Israeli Martial Arts classes so he can stop having to teleport to wherever her dumb ass is and save her from getting hit on? If Ana is such an antisocial sourpuss, why does she even leave the house? Why didn't she fake a stomach bug or say she had a date or something? The flowers were a great excuse to be all, "these are from my boyfriend/fiancee/gay lover!" to get that guy off her back. One time I had a customer repeatedly asking me out and couldn't take no as an answer. So I took him aside and said, "Sorry, it's not you, I just don't dig dick if you get what I mean."
    okay, okay... sorry. I went off there a bit. There is just so much incongruity in her character. She has such a hard time maintaining that spine, but she manages it sporadically against a man threatening to spank her with a cane-- why does it turn into a noodle when she's NOT around those with warlock powers? How is Ana any kind of role model for women who are in that sort of situation? "Honey, you're just a woman. Sit back and let the men piss it out. What's that? No man present to save you from unwanted flirtations? Damn. Well, i guess you have to go home with that flirt-- he could fire you and then your billionaire wannabe boyfriend might have to bail your ass out yet again."

    1. I hadn't even considered how neat and tidy the sexual harassment plot was going along, I was too hung up on how ham-fisted it is, but you're right. It's like EL James took cues from those work place videos and Life Time movies. However I've been in the situation of being cornered in a bar, and while it's easy for the bold and fearless of us (which I suspect you are) to just tell a guy "No thanks!" and skip off those of us indoctrinated into the bull shit that is Nice Girlisim (which I think Ana is supposed to be) have a much harder time of it. What if he reacts horribly and starts screaming*? Am I reading this wrong? What if I alienate my co-workers because they've all known him for longer and see it as a missing stair** situation? Will that lead to me having no friends at work and blowing my big career chance? You're lucky that you got back up from that very creepy situation, but unfortunately many women would have been told they were being sensitive and that's just "what he's like"

      Also the panting/name thing drives me bonkers too. I've polled friends (because RESEARCH!) and the answer is mostly that it's a sometimes thing. So the fact that these two are incapable of orgasming without screaming names, shockingly, not true to life. I know, I thought this book was a documentary too.

      *I've had this happen when I told a very drunk guy asking to buy me a drink I was there with someone else. "I WAS JUST BEING NICE YOU FUCKING BITCH" etc

    2. Wow (in response to very drunk guy) what an ass. Yes, I was definitely very lucky to have backup. My understanding is not a lot of women do have that. I guess I can see the Nice Girlisms, since I used to be quite fluent until I started hanging out with Navy sailors. I'm also fairly suspicious that customer service had a hand in that. I'm mostly skeptical about the bar situation just because I'm in Seattle a lot :P Coincidentally, does EL James ever mention the name of that particular bar in the book? I may scope it out this coming weekend while I'm in Seattle and report back, lol. Maybe it's a dive after all.
      Were EL to actually put some ... I dunno, ANYTHING into her writing, she could have made the neat and tidy package more believable to me. I've been around people who set off all kinds of alarms to me and I would avoid them-- I was never sure why I felt icky when I was around them, just instincts I guess. With all the internal dialogue and Ana's multiple personalities, how hard would it have been to have "my internal goddess slunk behind that fucking chaise, which is likely unspeakably ugly, glaring suspiciously at the jackass" while "my inner critic or subconscious or whatever simultaneously shook a crooked finger at Goddess bitch, chastising her to be nicer."
      OMG. That took no effort at all. I have GOT to get crackin' on a book. ANY book. I'm going to be an effing millionaire. Anyways, something as simple as that would have been enough to convince me.

  6. I love your re-caps, but I don't think that Jack 'seems' like the sexual harassment type, but more the subtle-seducing one, until the weekend plans comment, anyway, he just doesn't get that she isn't into him. Yeah, he turns into a cartoon later, but i am leaving that shit alone for now. And I don't think Ana should say "antiquicking with my boyfriend", because that's also feeding into the rape culture, and I am surprise, because you totally caught it later - she doesn't need to belong to another man to feel safe and that her boundaries are respected. Also the girl- obviously not Elena, she sounds like a strong woman (not taking in the child-molester part) and this one looks exactly like Ana, but broken - obviously it's a crazy ex sub (which it is).

  7. "Penis fencing" is an actual scietific, technical term for... Well I'm just going to link it"

    Isn't invertebrate biology amazing? Seriously, more people need to know about this.