I like coffee. And paying for stuff (*cough* laptop *cough*). If you liked my read-along you can donate at the link below:
Any amount is appreciated. Thanks!
I like coffee. And paying for stuff (*cough* laptop *cough*). If you liked my read-along you can donate at the link below:
Any amount is appreciated. Thanks!
So, its pretty obvious I’ve been neglecting this site. I mean, Grey is a terrible book. 50 Shades was terrible, but it was arguably hilariously terrible. It’s hillarible. But Grey is not even that fun kind of bad. So that’s reason enough to never EVER open it again.
But…I also don’t have a computer. In fact I’m writing this on my phone. Stuff…sucks right now. But this site still gets a fair number of hits despite me ignoring it pointedly. So if any of you want to throw in to get me the dirt cheapest laptop out there, let me know. I’ll be so grateful I’ll finish reading and reviewing Grey.
And I’ll even do the other two forthcoming novels.
Edit to add: Something fun and inspirational from my also long -neglected tumblog Guiding Assholes:
Here’s a super short bonus chapter: Saturday, May 28, 2011.
Christian picks up his delighted and chattery younger excuse not to help Ana move, er, I mean sister at the airport. Mia chatters about France and cooking school and shopping and all manner of rich girl things. Christian has a flashback about Mia as a baby – which is moderately disturbing since he’s the one driving. Oh well, Mia just keeps on yapping and doesn’t even notice.
In the flashback Christian’s mother lets him hold baby Mia, and he loves her sooooo much that ‘Mia’ is his first word. The montage finishes up as Christian pulls into the driveway of his parents’ mansion, with Mia still talking. Phew! Everybody made it out alive!
Christian helps Mia carry her mountain of luggage into the house. Women! Amirite? Christian is disgusted by the maid, who makes ‘cow eyes’ at him. Women again! Amirite?! Huh? Huh?
Yeah, maybe Christian is just a gross asshole. It’s more than a remote possibility.
Christian goes to his personal trainer, goes jogging, and texts Elliot to find out Ana and Kate’s new address. He plans to send creepy stalker gifts to Ana, and presumably, dead animals to Kate, whom he hates with the white hot intensity of a thousand spoiled rich kids.
The riding crop, the one Christian ordered in the last chapter arrives. Did I mention that? Ana had a dream about a particular kind of riding crop so Christian ordered it as a surprise. Surprise motherfucker! He has the requisite Zapp Brannigan-esque thoughts, and then gets distracted by a phone call from Elena.
Now that he is totally not in love at all (it’s just an arrangement!) with Ana, for some reason he doesn’t want to talk to his old lover who’s been stringing him along all these years. Huh. Weird.
Then we skip to dinner with Mumsy and Dadsy at the mansion. The whole family gossips about who Christian’s new woman can possibly be. They giggle like school children at Christian’s expense. Gawd. No wonder he didn’t want to tell them about Ana. Elliot even exclaims loudly, “You know she popped his cherry?” Okay, Elliot is an adult man of nearly 30.
It’s also interesting that, not only did his family think he was gay, they thought he was a gay virgin. Soooo…okay.
Elliot tries to stir up trouble by inviting Ana over for dinner at the mansion. Mumsy Grace strikes like a hungry wolverine – she wants to meet this woman! Christian doesn’t really give an answer and excuses himself before things can get weirder.
And that’s all she wrote. That is literally all she wrote.
Friday is a long chapter but it’s mostly content free. So that’s cool. I guess. We ended Thursday on a low note: Christian had just returned from sexing Ana and was thinking everything was hunky dory when Ana surprised him with an email stating that she does not like him anymore. He is devastated. And confused. He’s confusedastated.
Turns out that Ana is just whining. Thusly:
You never stay with me.
And he doesn’t. Christian never stays with anyone, it is beneath him. Human contact is so…gross. But today is different. It’s an extra special red letter day so Christian drives as fast as he can to get to sweet sweet pure Ana.
When he gets there he is surprised that Kate is not happy to see him. He isn’t super perceptive is he? First off Kate hates him. We know that; he knows that. It isn’t a surprise. Second, Ana has been sobbing her eyes out since he left leaving Kate to assume (rightly) that it is because of something Christian did.
But lovable, everyman Christian lives in a world where no one gives a shit about anyone but themselves. He storms in past Kate, saying nothing but inside his head he calls her a harpy, thinks he shouldn’t have to put up with her shit and tells her to fuck off.
Christian manages to get into Ana’s room and demand to know what the hell the problem is. Ana blubbers like a…uh…something blubbery and Christian feels…bad. He doesn’t normally feel this kind of feels. He’s confused.
Ana tells him how much she didn’t like it, and how gross it made her feel even though it *was* kind of arousing. Christian tells her that it’s nonsense and obviously she liked it and she just needs to stop being a stuck up prude.
Despite having all the delicate finesse of a bull in a china shop, Christian eventually calms her down by agreeing to stay the night. Christian drifts off and has an alternately horrible and wonderful dream about apples, delicious aromatic horrible stinging apples.
Yeah. Christian has a lot of oddly strong feelings revolving around apples.
They wake up the next morning and Christian and Professor Cockington Junior discuss just how radiant Ana looks in the morning. I have to say Christian’s penis is a lot more personable than he is, and is a lot more agreeable than Ana’s alternate personalities who mostly berated Ana for enjoying life in any way.
Suddenly Christian realises he’s late for a meeting and practically flies out of Ana’s apartment. Turns out everyone else is later than he is anyway, so it doesn’t even matter. He spends the whole meeting pretending to care and pretty openly emailing back and forth with Ana.
Ana is finally convinced that she might have actually liked being spanked, despite no actually having any enjoyment and despite still feeling totally gross about it right now. Christian feels that this is a positive step. He tells her she ought to listen to her body. She responds that her body is telling her to get as far away from him as possible. Christian scoff that he’s filthy rich and would just hunt her down.
After the meeting Ros (his business partner) gives him an earful about fucking paying attention in meetings and tells him he may have just cost them a huge contract. Christian gives an offhand sorry/not sorry kind of answer and then goes on with his day.
He orders Ana a gynecologist, a blackberry, and a personal shopper. They email some more and agree to meet on Sunday at 1pm. Which is weir because Ana is moving Sunday, so one would think she would be busy. Then he orders wine and balloons as a housewarming present, in lieu of you know, helping them move, or ordering his minions to help her move.
The day seems pretty good, except Ana is not responding to his many many phone calls texts and emails. He starts to freak out and get angry. He emails Ana to tell her that when she says she will call when she gets home from work, he means THE SECOND SHE GETS HOME FROM WORK.
Then for some reason Christian gets all sad that he can’t help Ana move. He is the one who refused! He said no, and not even nicely. So I don’t know what he’s on about now. Just as Christian gets ready to put on some emo music and slit his wrists Ana finally calls.
Christian is furious to find out that Ana finished packing and had Chinese takeout with Jose. You know, the guy actually helping her move? That guy. And not even alone. Kate was there for God’s sake. Then they actually play the “You hang up game.” Like 14 year olds.
It’s totally gross, but at least it ends off the chapter.
I have no desire to summarise this chapter at all: it’s full of high quality uncut nope. It starts as Christian wakes up from one of his many nightmares where he is left alone by his mother and has to eat mouldy cheese.
I hate my dreams, Christian informs us, just in case we were morons and didn’t understand THE POINT.
He checks frantically for email from Ana but she hasn’t sent one. He goes for a run, but still no email. He sends her some frantic texts. He has breakfast: no email. He’s freaking the fuck out.
Never mind that he’ll see her in just a couple of hours at her graduation ceremony (he’s the guest speaker) he is convinced that she is dead. DEAD. Okay, she went home, slept, and then had to get ready for graduation. She’s probably a little bit busy. But since Christian can’t think farther than his own dick, he just doesn’t get what is happening.
By the time 9:30 am rolls around he is angry, decides Ana is just being rude and starts calling her. No answer. He checks his email again, but only has email from his irritating sister, who he has agreed to pick up at the airport next Sunday. He calls Ana again.
Still no fucking answer!
Christian is furious now. He puts on the tie, the sexy tie. He is going to send a message to Ana. A sexy message.
We cut ahead to the graduation ceremony, the sexy graduation ceremony, where Christian runs into Kate with whom he has the standard cold reaction. He hates Kate. Hates her. For no real reason either. He pumps Kate for information about Ana, and it turns out she’s not dead after all! Thank God.
However, this just makes Christian angrier. I mean, if she was dead at least that would be a sort of excuse for not responding to his copious emails, texts and voice mails.
I just want to stop right here and point out that it has been less than 12 hours since they parted for the night. And Christian has already gone full batshit.
He gives a drawn out speech about eradicating hunger and arable technology. It’s super boring and almost entirely content-free. Afterwards Christian sulks his way through handing out the degrees so he can finally confront Ana during her big moment. No one, BUT NO ONE has moments except Christian.
Christian holds up the line, and the S through Z graduates jostle each other impatiently while Christian demands to know why Ana didn’t answer him sooner. Ana gives him a non-answer and eventually he has to let her go, since everyone else is waiting. He informs her that they are going to continue this conversation later.
After the ceremony Christian tracks Ana down and locks her into a locker room with him. Then he demands to know why she hasn’t answered him. She tells him she hasn’t checked her phone or computer, what with her graduation being today. He’s still mad, but now he pretends to be mad about her car. He starts screaming about how unsafe it is. Just like any non-crazy, concerned boyfriend might do.
Christian finally lets Ana out when she mentions that her stepdad will be looking for her. But he lets her out on the condition that she sign the contract or not by tomorrow. No more thinking about it. Thinking is hard! And not sexy.
Later at the reception, Christian charms Ana’s stepdad with talk of fishing. For a whole page. We get to hear about fishing for an entire gripping page. It’s interesting to note that Ana’s own mom couldn’t be bothered to show up for her graduation.
When Ray heads up the yellow brick road to take the whiz, Christian and Ana play a little grabass. Christian wheedles some more to convince Ana into the relationship he wants. Ana tells him she wants “more.” Christian refuses. No romance, no boyfriendy stuff, no hearts and flowers. But Ana doesn’t know if she wants that kind of relationship.
“You don’t know much.”
That’s Christian’s response.
But I guess it works because Ana reluctantly agrees. Christian, having gotten his way, is suddenly all business again, and goes off to do all the obligatory handshaking and socialising required by occasion. They agree to meet that very night to seal the deal.
Once on his own Christian despairs that every sub he ever had falls in love with him and wants to set up household in his life. It’s sooooo tiresome. But Ana is different. She’s such a pure, good Madonna-esque figure that Christian just might consider being a nicer person just for the privilege of basking in her light.
Ana emails and they agree to meet that very evening to discuss matters. Christian zooms over with booze and condoms in case he ‘gets lucky.’ Ana is surprised that champagne can be pink, and gives Christian the hairy eye.
She knows I’m plying her with alcohol.
Yup. It’s nice that he can at least admit it.
They make small talk during which Christian lies about being too busy to help Ana move on Sunday. He would totally help, but he’s just got this thing to attend to…it’s super important.
So they get wasted and talk terms. Christian threatens to spank Ana. Ana vetoes nearly everything in the contract but Christian only allows her to make fisting a hard limit. Every time Ana says she doesn’t want to do whatever thing it is – anal sex, bondage, being gagged – he assures her that she really does want to do those things but she just needs to work up to it. It’s a good thing Christian knows what Ana wants because Ana sure as hell doesn’t seem to know.
All this sexy talk gets Christian all turned on, and he tells her to hurry it up so they can screw. Ana is reluctant but Christian dangles the possibility of “more” in front of her like a carrot to urge her on. If she agrees to be his unwilling sub for several days a week, then he will be her unwilling boyfriend perhaps one night a week.
Before they have sex Christian takes Ana outside and gives her a new car. She’s furious and demands he return it. Christian explicitly tells her that if she wants him as a pretend boyfriend one day a week, then this is the price. They both head to the bedroom angry.
Then they have sexy sexy sex, which is kind of gross but whatever. Ana is a little afraid of Christian, and Christian is, I don’t know, just plain nuts. Christian’s first act as a Dom is to let Ana do whatever she wants, and take control of the situation. Is…is that…usual? I don’t even know.
Christian then spends some time crowing about how all Ana’s orgasms belong to him. That’s the wording he uses. Ana shamefully admits that she had an orgasm in her sleep. She is afraid that Christian will be angry at her. For something she has zero control over.
Christian gets up to leave because sexy time is over. Ana threatens to string him along by not officially signing the contract. Christian threatens to kidnap her and keep her as a sex slave. Because he’s filthy rich and who is going to stop him?
Christian is mad and turned on now, and uses a flimsy pretext to spank Ana and have sex again. He mentions how mad he is that she asked (waaaay back in chapter one) if he was gay. He’s going to beat her for that. Like any sensible person would. Obviously.
How gross is that? Who thinks that sentiment is okay?
Then they have sex and all appears to be well as far as Christian can tell. He goes home and they immediately start the email train back up. Choo! Choo! Suddenly Ana gets sullen and tells Christian that she doesn’t like him anymore.
And that’s how we end the chapter.
Wednesday is mercifully short. For the first time, we aren’t forced to follow Christian through his exercise routine, or his blandly ambiguous business meetings. And thank God for that. It’s boring and oddly nonspecific. In the Fifty Shades books Christian was making a wind-up cell phone for the those poor third world countries over there, which then morphed into a solar powered cell phone presumably because somebody clued Christian in to how ridiculous that was. Now he’s making a solar powered tablet.
So whatever. The point is that everyone in all those poor countries “over there” will soon be able to share cat pictures and memes thanks to Christian!
This chapter covers the contract “negotiation”, if you can even call it that. We rejoin Christian just before 7 pm as he waits for Ana to arrive at the hotel. The one he’s staying at so he can be closer to Ana. He orders a glass of wine which I trust is super expensive but since I don’t care for wine I really have no idea.
Ana finally appears at the door of the hotel bar. Christian is stunned into silence because she’s all tarted up for the evening and apparently she cleans up well. Christian makes a mental note to buy her some diamond earrings so that she’ll look properly put together next time. He also makes a mental note that she is wearing just the right amount of makeup – not too much.
I guess she remembered not to set her makeup gun to “whore.”
Christian thinks back to the first chapter and remembers how ordinary Ana looked. Except that’s not what happened. I flipped back to check. Christian calls her attractive, delicate, intriguing and even EXTRAordinary. That word actually gets used. So no, he didn’t think she was ordinary. At all.
They stay in the bar and have wine, olives, and mixed nuts. Christian makes a big show out of licking and sucking on them, while Ana tries to talk terms. Ana is upset that Christian led her to believe that the contract was legally binding. Christian is astonished that she didn’t know better, but is glad that she figured it out for herself.
He tries to explain that the contract is not about Rules and terms, but rather about trust and honesty. And man, oh man, Christian is all about trust and honesty! And respecting limits!
Ana tells him she would prefer to remain in public for the negotiations. Well, too bad! Christian has a private dining room booked so that’s where it’s happening. Christian spends the evening using all his manly wiles to derail the discussion and wheedle Ana back into bed. That’s how much he values honesty and limits and trust.
It’s weird, because he’s the one that made it all about the contract. The one who encouraged Ana to think it over, research the lifestyle, and to discuss her objections.
But anyway, Ana makes a petty jab about him shopping at Submissives ‘R’ Us, and he makes a jab about her refusal to eat. Then they are led off to the private dining room. As they go, Christian notices that every man is ogling Ana, and he doesn’t like it, no siree! But for some reason I can’t fathom, he doesn’t order them all killed, and they make it to the dining room without incident.
Alone, Christian imagines Ana in various states of undress before pulling himself together and pulling out Ana’s email. Finally! The contract.
Christian agrees to redraft the bit about the contract being for Ana’s benefit. Christian also agrees that they can just take each other’s word that they are healthy and free from STDs. He swears he’s clean. Honest! And so does she.
Christian addresses several of Ana’s points by reminding her that she can leave at any time. But, and this is a big, threatening but, if she leaves they are done forever. It’s my way or the highway. He thinks to himself.
No. Second. Chances. Ever.
Considering how he’s into honesty and trust, you’d think he’d say that out loud. Nah! She’ll figure it out.
The waiter shows up with oysters, and of course they make a big sexy show of eating them. They make much ado about ‘swallowing’ and ‘tasting of the sea.’ It’s just as gross and contrived as you would imagine. They get all worked up, and then Christian turns back to the contract, because that’s the kind of guy he is. He wants Ana nice and muddled so she just agrees to whatever.
They turn to the subject of obedience and discipline. Ana isn’t interested in being hurt. It’s not her deal. Christian reassures her that it’s just role play and that honestly truly really it is super enjoyable if she would just go along and do it. Ana grudgingly agrees that she could try it.
Christian is relieved. He reassures her again that she can quit anytime if she doesn’t like it, and pressures her to accept the 3 month trial. She can cancel any time! It’s a forty dollar value!
They start on the main course and start discussing the Rules. Ana won’t agree to either eat, or sleep. She won’t agree not to touch him, but he says no and quickly changes the subject to masturbation. He pours on the
vampire billionaire charm to distract her.
When that doesn’t work, Christian scolds her over not eating. He’s paid for all this expensive food and she only ate 3 oysters, 4 bites of cod, and one asparagus stalk. HE’S BEEN COUNTING. Ana is shocked. And now that she’s feeling off balance, he offers to peel her out of her dress.
His tactic fails. Instead of being super turned on Ana is upset.
“Christian. You use sex as a weapon. It really isn’t fair.”
Shit! She’s onto you! Abort! Abort! But our Christian doesn’t react in any way that’s sensible, oh God no! He’s kinda turned on by this, so he doubles down on the crazy.
“You’re right, I do.”
He then spends the next page or so trying to pressure Ana into having sex right here in the dining room. Ana refuses, but on a whim decides to fellate an asparagus stalk. Huh. I thought the waiter had cleared their plates already. Christian is sure Ana is about to give in when the waiter shows up. Well, that guy’s on the ‘to kill’ list.
Ana tells him she needs to leave. Christian is frustrated and angry. He tells Ana:
“I don’t want you to go.”
“I could make you stay.”
When Ana refuses, he mentions that she would probably make a crappy sub anyway. Still he’d like her to stay and become one. He doesn’t know any other way to love! This is who he is! Can’t you see how broken and vulnerable he is, Ana?! Why are you such a cold bitch!?
He tries to make out with her again, and when she refuses, he calls her ‘impossible’, but agrees to walk her out. He gives her his jacket even though she is only going to be outside long enough for the valet to get her car. He has a minor fit about Ana’s car, which is a bit of a beater, and infuriates Ana further by offering to buy her a new one.
Ana storms off, and Christian doesn’t know what he’s done wrong. He waits until he thinks she is home and the emails her. Then texts. Then emails some more. You know, like sane non-stalkers do…
You know what’s not funny?
I’m just saying.
Once again, we get to watch as Christian pretends to work. He does business things with business reports and computers while he waits around for Ana to email him. He considers the merits of building his new business factory in Detroit. It’ll have tax incentives!
At 2 minutes after 12 Ana finally emails and Christian is peeved that Ana is still awake. Despite the fact that he was up specifically waiting for her to email. She is 22 FFS, but he doesn’t feel it is appropriate for her to be up this late.
Ana sends him an itemised list of all the issues she takes with his sexy sex contract. And there are lots of them! Christian is pleasantly surprised to see that Ana has actually read the thing seeing as how she signed the NDA without having read even one word.
Christian pulls up his copy of the contract so he can cross reference Ana’s comments to the actual paragraphs and sections. The actual contract is long and boring, but the main thing to take away here is that there is not one clause in this contract that Ana responds to by saying, “Yes, please! More of that.” She is either grudgingly willing to accept them for the sake of getting with Christian or she is opposed to them entirely.
And Christian is like, Hmmmm…okay. I can work with this.
No. No you can’t. There is nothing about this contract that she wants a part of. You should both just walk away. But of course they don’t because the whole point of this book is that Ana shows him exactly what’s wrong with his deviant dysfunctional lifestyle and heals his inner hurts. Because only a broken weirdo could actually like any of these things.
Ana asks him to clarify where they are meeting and when. Christian is just relieved that Ana has not called off the negotiation meeting. But really what is there to talk about? She doesn’t want to DO any of the things.
She doesn’t want to get tested for drugs or STDs. In fact, she seems to think that Christian should just take her word for it. She refuses the 3 month trial period; she refuses to commit to every weekend. She doesn’t want to be disciplined in any way or for any reason. She won’t agree not to touch him, she won’t agree to eat or sleep on his schedule, and she won’t wear clothes that he buys her except when they are together. She refuses to follow any of the capital ‘R’ Rules set out in Appendix 1. She isn’t interested in any of the props or toys, and doesn’t even know what some of the terms mean, despite having just said she looked everything up on the internet.
Her response is a relief.
There’s hope for our relationship
Is there? Is there?!
Christian orders Ana to bed, because somehow he thinks that’s OK, and then he continues emailing her to try and catch her out in case she hasn’t listened. He then has a second look over her ‘issues’ and then emails her the dictionary definition of ‘submissive.’ Clearly she isn’t getting it.
She’s dumb. But Christian is supposed to be smart. And yet he acts impressed that Ana has problems with the terms. He even remarks that no one has ever bothered to negotiate with him about the contract. It’s kinda hawt. But really, why would they? That’s the arrangement they were looking for. It’s entirely possible that they were up for all the things in the contract. Enthusiastic for them even.
As they should be.
It’s kinda gross. The book, I mean, not the enthusiasm. Christian wants a sub, but he is willing to use romancy flowery sex to get it. Ana wants romance, and is willing to trade bdsm to get it. Why don’t they just pursue people who are into the same things?! I know it sounds crazy.
Christian finally goes to bed. He dreams about beating up Elliot as a young child. Somehow, Christian is still the victim in this scenario.
The next morning (or later that same morning really) we follow Christian through a business meeting about “the prototype.” They study the schematics and praise each other for the amount of good this latest gewgaw will do in the developing world. Then we narrowly escape a meeting with the president of WSU. Thank God.
Christian’s mom calls and asks pointedly about Ana. Then Elliot calls and also asks pointedly about Ana. Christian blows them both off. He actually hangs up on Elliot. Gripping, unpputdownable shit!
Ana finally replies to Christian’s email re: the definition of submissive. She sends him the dictionary definition of ‘compromise’. See? I really don’t think these two get it. They are talking past each other. Ana wants no part of being a submissive, and Christian wants her to want, well…the opposite of that. And yet they both act like this whole thing is still ON.
Then they argue over whether Ana will drive herself to the meeting or Christian will have her picked up. It’s boring. Be Glad you didn’t read it. After a grueling exchange of emails, Ana signs off with a kiss.
Christian is over the moon! Cynical, romance-hating Christian is over the moon! His heart has already grown at least a half a size.
Ana sent him a kiss!