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Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
‘Peace? I haven’t known peace since Miss Steele fell into my office.’
There’s no doubt about it, we are complete Fifty Fans! We loved the books and the characters and they will ALWAYS hold a special place in our hearts, especially our tortured man himself, Christian Grey. When reading the original books, the thought crossed our minds at times….‘what is really going on in Christian’s head?’ Did we really want to know or would it be too sad, too raw because in Fifty’s own words he’s pretty f***ed up. Then…..EL James added that brilliant Christian POV chapter at the end of the final book that left us reeling! Christian’s voice was so potent, so heart-breaking it left us desperately wanting to get inside CG’s head.
Now, we were among the many (over a million to be precise) who couldn’t press that 1click button fast enough to pre order Grey. Christian’s words….are you kidding us! Yes, we wanted to hear them. Then release day came, Mr Grey arrived on our Kindles and all of a sudden, we were hit with a thought. There was so much mystery that surrounded the Fifty Shades Trilogy – CG himself being somewhat of an enigma. We knew him through Ana’s eyes but did we really know him? Christian as a character was so vulnerable, so domineering, so messed up but through Ana’s eyes we saw the pain and the enlightenment he felt through her. We ‘were’ Ana if you like and we felt so protective of Christian in many ways, just as Ana did. So we were faced with this conundrum. Do we lose that mystery to see the man underneath? The man in his words – or do we allow him to retain that air of mystery that made him so appealing. We discussed it a length, and this is what we decided – we needed to read this book!
‘She’s too young. She’s too inexperienced, but damn, I like the feel of her hand in mine.’
So, we eagerly began reading and we were hooked. Unlike many companion POV’s we’ve read, we have to say this is one of our favourites as this was clearly not a cut and paste job; this felt well re-written and well executed. However, despite the initial excitement and emotion, our reading momentum began to slow down and overall the first half of the story began to drag. Yes there were moments of new and exciting as we heard the why’s and how’s and inner thoughts and dreams from the man himself. However, it felt as though we were treated as new readers which yes being in CG’s head we were in some respects, however, through the majority of this story we were seasoned Fifty fans so already knew the contract details, emails etc. off by heart and had read many scenes uncountable times. In our opinion Grey almost began to cater more to new readers rather than readers like us who know this trilogy inside out except for the workings of CG mind. We really would have loved for this book to have spent more time analysing his past and how he came to terms with the person he is rather than covering old ground, because the scattered parts of enlightenment really shone through. Yes, we knew to some degree this book would cover old ground but we didn’t realise the extent of it as the synopsis led us to believe we would obtain a greater insight into Christian’s behaviour and causes. We guess, we just hoped for more original material however in saying that, the glimpses we did get we enjoyed immensely.
‘She’s my dreamcatcher. She keeps my nightmares at bay.’
Christian comes across almost younger and more confused emotionally in Grey. He feels more his age here. It’s as if he himself doesn’t quite understand his actions. It’s clear to see from his POV the extent of Elena’s hold and her almost brainwashing his emotions as an impressionable boy which has extended into his adulthood. She turned his heart into something it is not in the guise of saving him.
“I don’t know any other way, Anastasia. This is who I am.”
Our favourite scene became firmly cemented still as such. Nice, NICE, NICE? Yes, yes it was! The sex scenes had a different feel to them in CG’s eyes. They didn’t feel as mechanical as they did through Ana’s eyes. We really felt the sense of Christian’s devotion and adoration for Ana, and the surprise he felt at the extent of his feelings which were all so new, raw and shocking to him and we experienced those feelings in Grey.
‘She’s entranced – lost – under my spell. She’s already mine. It’s intoxicating.’
Oh and we have to mention how CG showed a surprising humorous side – his inner musings were quite witty and he gave us a good giggle. For such an intelligent man he was also quite clueless at times. Another aspect we truly enjoyed was the insight into CG’s life away from Ana. This was something we particularly loved with these scenes being some of our favourite.
‘Sometimes it’s just fucking great to be me.’
Through the flashbacks to Christians childhood we had an insight into what made CG the man he is today and we desperately wanted MORE of these! More ‘past‘ Christian ‘pre‘ Ana as these were the times we felt the vulnerability and truth of this man. THIS is what kept us picking this book up and hoping there was more to come. Oh and surprise….Christian Grey actually works!! Yes, through CG’s eyes we were privy to a day in the life of this high flying executive and unlike the Fifty Trilogy, whilst CG does spend a lot of time mooning over Ana he’s also very productive away from her. On this note, we really enjoyed the interaction we experienced with Christian and his staff/friends. He always seemed so socially awkward (he still kind of is) however in Grey, his devotion to his staff was apparent and so very heart-warming. We LOVED these interactions!
“Raising the ordinary to extraordinary.”
Now, we have to be honest and say the last 15% were our absolute favourite. We read with tears in our eyes, our hearts racing and breaking equally. If anything – between the snippets and ‘the afters’ of ‘you know what’ wow. THAT!! So, yes we are chuffed to bits we got to hear Christian’s side and we’re glad we stuck with it; we just would have loved more. But as you all know – we’re greedy like that!
‘I push the strange swell of emotion that gnaws at my insides. It’s not like the darkness, but it’s something to fear. Something I don’t understand.’
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THE FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY by E L JAMES
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Pictures in collage copyright Universal Studos