Still a Better Love Story Than Ch. 14 of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Chapter 14 of 50 Shades…In Chapter 14, Anastasia gradulates.

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courtesy of cakewrecks.com

That’s some hot sexy gradulating action. No, not really. For ‘mommy porn’ there’s an awful lot of story and not a lot of porn. Excuse me waiter, there seems to be a story in my porn. Can you get me a fresh one?

The chapter starts out with Anastasia having the female equivalent of a wet dream. She expresses surprise, saying, “I didn’t know I could dream sex.” Well, you could fill an alternate universe with the things you don’t know, honey. She does know tea though, and she heads off to the kitchen to make some, and to avoid telling Kate anything incriminating.

Ana’s step-father arrives to take her to the graduation ceremony, and I’m thirty shades of bored already. Her stepfather is a caring everyman who’s chuffed as chips to see his little girl gradulate. Except he’s not even really her dad. He’s one of her mom’s creepy exes who has taken Ana under his creepy wing. Bleh. I think I just gave myself the jibblies. Ana’s mom BTW can’t come to the ceremony because her current husband twisted his ankle. And poor, gullible Ana buys this without question.

At the university, Ana is super nervous because Christian has been asked to give a speech and confer the degrees. She gets seated alphabetically between two girls who spend the whole ceremony talking across her. This was the first relatable incident in the whole book. On page 234. The same thing happened to me during my call ceremony. It was annoying. So I am just like Ana! Only without the crazed millionaire stalker guy. Oh well, the LSUC hall was waayyyy cooler than any generic university auditorium, so there’s that. I guess.

Christian appears on stage and Ana is shocked and turned on to see that he is wearing their special bondage tie (the one on the book’s front cover). Oh Christian, you devil! Wearing a tie with your suit. The annoying bookend girls notice Christian too, and Ana pipes up to tell them that he is gay. This. Is. Not. Funny. Let’s drop the gay thing right here. Shall we? It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I need to cleanse my palate…with some Link/Lord Ghirahim ‘shipping.

Still a better love story than 50 Shades of Grey
with my tongue!

Ha! You saw it. You can’t unsee it.

Where were we? The metaphysical implications of the statement, “I am not here?” No, huh? Oh yeah. That damn book. Christian gives a speech where he reveals to all that he has, “known what it’s like to be profoundly hungry.” Suddenly it becomes clear to Ana – poor Christian raised by some neglectful crack-whore before being adopted into money. Poor baby. Isn’t his pain sexy? I gotta say, not really. If only because so far there has been nothing likeable about his character.

When Ana finally goes up to get her degree, Christian is all, “why haven’t you emailed me. Wah! I’m a whiney baby.” Or words to that effect. Ana responds that they are holding up the line and goes back to her seat. Then Ana gets to show up the bookend girls when Kate comes out to tell Ana that Christian has asked for her backstage. How catty is that? They mentioned his name and now she’ll show them! Ha…okay. Whatever. Any reader who got satisfaction out of that exchange is hereby banned from reading for life (I’m the book Nazi. No books for you!”).

Once she gets back stage Christian locks her in a room with him and…nope. Not what you’re thinking. He reprises the why haven’t you emailed me bit. Wow, that’s tiresome. Finally they go out to schmooze with friends and family, and have a few drinks at the reception which is apparently in some kind of enormous rent-a-tent.

Kate introduces Christian as Ana’s boyfriend, and Ana is inexplicably furious. Whatever. She makes no sense to me. Everyone is appropriately wowed and Ana’s father gives his approval. You know, for a book that’s supposed to be all kinky sex and liberated women, it has some pretty deep roots in lame sexual stereotypes. You’re dating a sick fuck? It’s Ok! He’s dad approved. She’s a virginal virgin? He’s a freakish BDSM millionaire running from his past? Jeez, all they need to do is fight crime.

Our crappy couple finally get a moment alone together and Ana mentions the tie. He chuckles (seriously. It’s in there) and says it is now his favourite. For some reason, Ana decides that in the middle of a huge crowded reception is the right time to tell Christian that she wants more out of a relationship than just binding and spanking. He basically says, too bad for you. And for some reason she agrees to the whole thing anyway. In the middle of a huge crowd. Have I mentioned that? Things she was too shy to say in private or through email she was totally ok with announcing in the middle of her graduation reception. Sure.

Ana and her father leave the reception to go to dinner. Christian begs off but by the time Ana gets home he’s already emailed her twice. Kuh-reepy. He invites himself over to finalize the contract, and Ana agrees. And that’s where chapter 14 leaves off. Holy hell, there needs to be some kind of support group for people who have to read this crap. I think I have PTSD. There at least needs to be a unicorn chaser at the end of every chapter. Here’s one now. Look at the pretty horsey! So pretty. Ahhh. Better.

It would be the last unicorn on earth that appeared on my blog…

You Won’t Have to Think Too Hard About Ch. 13 of 50 Shades of Grey

Chapter 13. Lucky 13. Not so lucky. After all, I had to read it and nothing much happens. The short version: facepalm, facepalm, facepalm, facepalm. I still don’t give a rat’s ass about Ana or Christian: neither of them is particularly likeable. The sex is not very good, and not very often. I don’t need a book if I want bad, infrequent sex. That’s what real life is for! Why couldn’t it be good and plenty? Dark and lovely? Bed, bath and beyond? Wait. I’m channelling the Homestarrunner. Let’s watch Homestar instead.

Okay, okay. Back to Fifty Shades…here’s the exhilarating action: Ana calls her mom, then reads her email. Woo hoo! I was on the edge of my seat! In the last Chapter our crappy couple made a plan to meet Wednesday for a round of contract negotiations. The edge-of-your-seatery continues as  Christian emails Ana a definition of the word ‘submissive’. Ana responds by emailing him the definition of the word compromise. Look. We get it. You both know how to use dictionary.com. Enough already. Now send him a cat video. That’s what the internet is all about. The dynamic duo then exchange seven (seven!) emails to confirm that they will meet at The Heathman Hotel at 7pm. Gripping! Then Ana calls her dad. Could this get any more boring?

Yes. In fact it could.

Ana goes to work where she turns down the boss’s brother, Paul,  who asks her for a date. Paul does not believe she has a date.  He outright accuses her of lying about it (nice guy – why does she keep turning him down again?).

Then the gripping drama continues as Ana has a shower! Then blow dries her hair! Then gets dressed! She decides it’s a good idea to wear stiletto heels, even though she falls ass over teakettle in flats. Much is made of her clumsiness but no comedic payoff is forthcoming. Come on! She doesn’t fall over once. Or even teeter precariously. Hmph. I want my money back.

Then it’s finally time for the whole point of this pointless chapter – the negotiation meeting. They are taken to a private dining room where they are fed mixed nuts and some olives. Seriously? The swankiest hotel in Portland and they give you mixed nuts and olives? Are they really swanky mixed nuts at least? There’s just no way to know as James never describes them. I know I’ve harped about this before, and I know food isn’t the point of the book but if Ana is so overwhelmed by the Richie Richness of Christian’s lifestyle, she’d notice the details. And the point of the book, any book, is to use description to make you feel like you’re really there. I feel like I’m in a Motel Six.

Christian has already ordered, and Ana is secretly glad that she doesn’t have to think anymore. Its pretty obvious to all parties that Ana and thinking don’t mix. Christian tries to sell her on the contract based on the fact that she won’t have to think anymore if she is his sub. IKR? Ana has already had to choose between two sets of clothes that Kate laid out for her. That’s all the thinking she can do for one night apparently. More and more I get the feeling that Kate really isn’t her ‘roommate’. At some point I’m fairly sure it will be revealed that Kate is actually Ana’s personal care attendant.

They finally start talking about the contract. Christian has brought Ana’s emailed list of objections. They manage to talk about the food and sleep provisions. Ana refuses to sleep or eat. She tells Christian that no one will dictate what she eats! Odd, since she’s been perfectly happy to let Christian order every meal they’ve eaten together. Ha! But he can’t make her actually eat them! Passive-agressivey goodness!

They don’t talk very long before they get all hot and bothered. Christians eyes, “burn molten silver with compelling need.” Molten silver is actually orange. His eyes are orange? Holy Fucking hell, is he the GD devil?! We never find out, because instead of having sex, Ana bolts for the door and then goes home and cries. Again. Nothing says healthy relationship like incessant crying.

The chapter then closes with another gripping email. Ana laments that Christian can’t have a proper relationship because this is all he knows. Okaaaayyy…keep telling yourself that, sweet cheeks. I’m pretty sure he’s well aware of how a normal relationship works. He just isn’t interested in normal. That’s not the same thing. Ugh. Will either of our crappy couple ever normal up? Will they do the right thing and never speak again? Will Christian have Ana killed and dumped in the ocean? Probably not. But you’ll only find out by waiting for the next gripping email filled installment of I Read 50 Shades So You Don’t Have To.

Chapter 12 of Fifty Shades of Grey Contains 100% of Your Daily Intake of Creepy Creepers

After the contract debacle that was chapter eleven, this book could only get worse if Christian and Ana spent the whole chapter eating live kittens. Fortunately this does not happen. In fact, as I started off chapter 12 I was pleasantly surprised.

Anastasia Steele decides to go for a run to clear her mind. Easy peasy, her mind is practically empty anyway. She should have been jogging all this time – it apparently brings more oxygen to her brain. Because all of a sudden Ana starts thinking like a mature adult. Sort of.

She points out to no one in particular that she has researched this type of contract, and knows it’s not enforceable. Hooray! Ana knows a thing! I was worried there for a moment.  Ana decides to go through the contract, line by line, and set out exactly what she can agree to. Excellent. Then Ana plans to email Christian and give him a piece of her mind (but just a little piece honey, there isn’t much of it).

Not bad for the first page or so, eh? It’s as if E. L. James looked around and said, “This book makes no effing sense. What was I thinking?” How could this chapter possibly go wrong after such an auspicious start?

What? I’m just saying.

And then everything goes all face-palmy. Ana suddenly gets all why-is-he-so-broken, and wonders vaguely about his messed-up early sex life. And just as suddenly she forgets about it. Who cares? That’s his therapist’s problem, amirite?

She jogs home and for no apparent reason emails Christian to say she never wants to talk to him again. What. The flying. Fuck. Is she on crack? “Okay, I’ve seen enough,” she writes. “It was nice knowing you.” She seems to think that this is a fun joke to play on an overly-serious control-freaky creeper. This would be a much better book if she sent that message and actually meant it. Because Christian is about to sink to a whole new level of douchebaggery.

Ana hits ‘send’ and minutes later Christian walks into her bedroom as if from nowhere. Ana thinks, “Damn Kate for letting him in here with no warning.” With a guy this rich and crazy to boot, Ana ought to be thinking more along the lines of, “what has he done with Kate’s body?” But Ana seems to have no inherent sense of self-preservation. Or anything else. Sigh.

Christian is wearing his grey flannel pants and white linen shirt. The same ones he wears in every goddamn scene. For the love of Mike, E. L. James, he’s obscenely wealthy but he only has one outfit?! Is he really a ‘toon in disguise? Does he have a closet full of identical pants and shirts? What happens if you sing Shave and a Haircut? This?

Ana, you’d better keep a vat of Dip on hand. Just in case he goes all Merrie Melodies on you.

What actually happens is much crappier. And creepier. It’s cra-eepier. Turns out, Christian is upset at Ana’s email, and has come to remind her how much she enjoyed the hawt secks they just had. And to let her know that unless she agrees to his terms, she won’t be getting any more. Classy!

Since Ana has trouble saying no to anyone, she lets Christian get her naked and tie her to the bed. Then Christian strips down and goes out to the kitchen to chat with Kate. They do eventually have the hawt secks. If by hawt, you mean creepy and emotional-blackmail-y. Which I do. Afterwards, Christian actually talks to Ana, finds out she was joking, and promptly leaves. But not before creating an icky aura of neediness. He’s breaking all his personal rules for her, dontchaknow?. Her ultra goody-goodness is warming his old husk of a heart.

I. Want. To. Barf.

Ana goes back to her room, has a good cry, and then emails Christian with her thoughts on the contract. Mostly they consist of “you want me to do X. Why? Whhyyyy?” To her credit Ana flat out refuses the list of prescribed foods. That is, in her own words, the dealbreaker. That’s the dealbreaker? Not the genital clamps? Or the anal fisting?  You sure must like you some food Ana. Whatever.

Chapter 12 is at least mercifully short. I paged ahead and realised I’m not even halfway through this train wreck. Oh. My. God. And it contains the most unintentionally funny exchange so far. Ana tells Christian that she thinks his ego is just fine. He replies, “You think?”  I know! It was a surprise to me too, Christian. It was a surprise to all of us.

So. On to chapter 13. Any minute now. Watch me go. Hooray.

Chapter 11 of Fifty Shades is Full of Hot, Sexy Contractual Action

No, not really. You should know better by now.

Sooooo. Chapter 11. Yeah…

Chapter 11 is the goddamn contract. Because you know what makes gripping, unputdownable reading? Contracts. I can’t tell you how many blissful hours I’ve spent reading contracts in all their rich pageantry. Oh wait, yes I can. Zero.

There’s a reason no one ever reads contracts, even when it is in their best interest to do so. Because contracts are boring. You can’t even sex up a contract with, well, sex. What can I say about the contract that isn’t dead boring?

Not much.

Despite being in full-on scaldingly boring legalese, the contract doesn’t SAY much of anything. No one is contracting FOR anything. When you make a contract, each party gets something. For instance if you and I contract to sell my house: I get money, and you get my house. Money. House. Exchanged. See? Here nothing is exchanged. Sex for sex? That’s like having a contract that says “I’ll hand you 20 bucks and then you hand it back.”

Which is basically what happens here. Its an agreement, and a set of guidelines, it’s a laundry list of BDSM dos and don’ts, but that’s not so much a contract. Ana, “the Submissive” agrees to submit to a whippings, canings, sexual servicing. Christian, “the Dominant” agrees to dominate in various ways using the aforementioned whips, canes, and sex. It even includes appendices (!) outlining required sleep, permissible food, and required exercise.  Zzzzzzz…

I just have to say: it must take special talent to make BDSM seem so freaking boring.

(The only thing really interesting is this: Ana agrees to be the property of Christian for the duration of this little picnic in the woods. But guess what? You can’t agree to that. You can’t own a human being. Nice try though).

Ana’s poor little brain is completely overloaded by all this. Although I expect contemplating the menu at McDonald’s would be similarly short-circuiting for her. If she was an android, her head would start to smoke right about now. You might want to back away. Just in case.

Then we’re back in to the searing hot sexy action as Christian sends Ana a laptop. Because, I may not have mentioned this before, but Ana does not have a computer. And then Ana uses it to email Christian long, torrid, sexy emails. Ha! Not really. They send curt, and frankly boring emails, which I’m assuming are meant to be playful.

Then, for no apparent reason, Ana is all buddy-buddy with Jose again. So much so that he doesn’t even believe it. They go for lunch, and walk arm in arm. Run Jose! Run for the hills. The crazy is strong in this one. Though I guess we can’t expect Ana to remember everything that happens to her? There’s only so much room in her little, cobwebby brain.

She goes back home, and exchanges more dull email with Mr. Grey. Christian finally insists that she google BDSM. Sometime later she’s confused and scared and horny. And she’s not really sure why. She “needs time to think.” No honey, you need a brain to think.

And that’s Chapter 11. The whole damn thing.