Clutching Grey in My Hot Little Hands

 

Grey

I picked up a copy of Grey, and boy am I stoked to read it!

Psych!

No really, I’m not even looking forward to it an eensy weensy little bit. I have on good authority that it ends in the same place as the first Fifty Shades Book. What I’m saying is that there are pretty clearly going to be two more of these babies. And I am going to read them.

So you don’t have to.

I’ll start as soon as I lay the last of the original three to rest.

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Take a Cruise on the Rub Boat in Chapter 4 of 50 Shades Freed

Back on the Rub Boat Ana is booooooored! Cruising the French coast in a super awesome yacht gets old reeeaalllll fast. Apparently. Besides, Christian has been TCB for like a whole hour and hasn’t been available for either soap opera drama games or sex. Jerk.

Never mind that Christian is taking calls about the fire in his office, and whether it was you know, arson, all that matters is Ana and her boredom. So, she decides to stir up some shit. She goes off to find Taylor and ask him to give her the jet ski so she can go ashore for some shopping.

Knowing what a crazy weirdo Christian is, and knowing that his job depends on keeping him happy, naturally Taylor is reluctant. Ana tells Taylor she will clear it with Christian. She bursts into Christian’s office on the sea and forces him to hang up on whoever it is he’s talking to. She announces that she is going shopping and that it’s OK because she’s taking security. Knowing Christian will say no, she doesn’t bother to ask about the jet ski.

Ana then lies to Taylor about permission to take the jet ski and off she goes. We spend nearly 2 pages detailing just how delicious Ana’s illicit use of the jet ski is. Christian emerges on deck and is horrified to see Ana having, you know, FUN without him. When Ana finally gets to shore she can see from their faces that the security team has gotten an angry phone call from Christian.

Taylor tells her that Christian isn’t comfortable with her riding the jet ski. Ana is notably not sorry at all for getting Taylor yelled at, in fact she tells him off as well. Ana says she’s very fond of Taylor but doesn’t appreciate being scolded by him. Dude. The guy is passing on a message from his boss, who pays him to do such things. No need to be a bitch about it.

But in Analand there is always a need for drama. It’s like the need for speed, but with drama. She has a nama for drama. Then suddenly Ana rethinks her actions and feels sorry…for Christian. Why is she causing drama when he has other things to worry about?

Well honey it’s because you’re an immature, selfish, baby. You can’t help it, much like Jessica Rabbit, you’re just drawn that way.

Christian then calls her to cuss her out for pissing him off, but she acts all cutesy and whispery and begs him not to be mad. It works, and he tells her just to be careful in the future. Suddenly everyone is happy again and Ana’s off to shop.

But first! First! Ana needs to ‘fire up’ her Blackberry and fucking email Christian with whom she just got off the goddamn phone! Why the hell isn’t she using BBM? Why email when Blackberry has its very own proprietary instant message system? Or even text messaging for God’s Sake. What 20-something in the 2010’s uses email?
She thanks Christian for not being too angry, and his reaction is basically:

“His response makes me smile.”

Ana, once again, is happy at the results of kicking her own personal wasp nest. Mission accomplished! So now that that’s done, she realises she doesn’t actually want to go shopping. In fact she hates shopping. So this whole debacle was for the single purpose of making Christian angry because she likes it when he’s angry.

But now she’s committed to shopping so shop she does. She buys a cheap jingly ankle bracelet, to help her feel more connected to her white trash roots. She says, “This is me…” yeah, cheap and kinda crappy. The jokes, they write themselves.

Then Ana goes off looking for something to buy for Christian to take his mind off his problems. She has an idea! (I know, unlikely) Ana decides to call Jose for advice. She tells José how great things are, and like everyone in this book Jose is mad. They never really had a proper love triangle going, but José still acts like a jilted lover. Ana goes on to explain her plan which involves Christian taking naked pictures of her. I’m sure José just fucking loved that. But we’ll never know because we skip over the most interesting part of the conversation.

Ana buys the camera and heads back to the boat. She finds Christian and has a brief pang of fear because he looks mad! I have to say that if you are afraid of your significant other every time he or she is mad then maybe that’s not love. I’m just saying.

Christian unwraps the present and is confused because he already has a camera. Ana has to spell out that it is a special camera. For taking portraits. Of Ana. Naked.

Christian is horrified! Naked pictures?! Of Ana?!

Christmas Christmas Eve animated GIF

“Why do you think I want this?” he asks Ana. He is seriously, genuinely confused. He gapes, looks, pained, scrunches up his eyes. I think the over reacting in this scene has given me cancer.

He whispers, “I’m so confused.” Suddenly Ana is whispering too. Christian explains that when he takes pictures of women it is so he can objectify them, and he doesn’t want to do that to Ana. Do actual people ever talk that way? I suspect that they don’t. And if they do they should stop doing that right now. Because it’s fucking weird.

There’s more wailing and gnashing of teeth, until Ana gives up trying to understand it which is probably for the best. She tells Christian that she is going to objectify him and starts taking pictures. Then for no apparent reason they have a tickle fight and crazy unrealistic makeup sex.

Then all logic and reason, and storytelling get thrown out the window. Not just thrown out the window, but also stomped on and possibly set on fire. For no real reason they snuggle and recite their wedding vows. The whole thing. People do that all the time right? Then Ana starts crying, also for no reason. Then Christian decides now is the time to reveal that THEY are after him, and THEY may in fact be after Ana too. Who the fuck are they?!

Then Christian also reveals that he has gone to the police about the fire. Holy fuck this is serious, dudes, because Christian has dealt with every other problem personally, even the time when his ex tried to kill Ana.

Then suddenly they are at Versailles and Ana makes sure to insult Christian by pointing out that this is the sort of thing ‘despotic megalomaniacs’ do for their wives. Hint hint. She isn’t doing so well keeping herself rooted is she? Get this woman another cheap bracelet, STAT.

Then they are back on the boat, and Christian has work to do. I am fucking amazed because Ana has discovered Skype chat! She can talk to Kate without freaking email! She did it! I’m so proud. *sniff*

Their exchange doesn’t seem to have any point. I’m not sure why it is even there. Kate asks about the fire, and Ana can’t talk about it and she tells Kate as much. No. Not really. She changes the subject and calls it her “patented distract-tenacious-Kavanough technique.” Kate is sooo tenacious in her quest for answers that she can’t be bothered to ask again. But Ana still thinks to herself, “Trust Kate to be on the trail of this story.” Yeah, that was some next level investigative detectivising that Kate just did there. Asking about a thing. Once. And then dropping it. Yeah.

And then we are at Versailles again. Christian tucks Ana’s hair behind her ear and then walks away all emo-like. As he is leaving Ana notices he has NO REFLECTION. Like all magical…um…billionaires. Then Ana wakes up. For fucks sake it was a dream. In case you weren’t clued in by Ana waking up, Christian turns over and tells us it was a dream.

It was a dream, people! A dream!

We end chapter 4 in bed, having woken from a dream. Maybe this whole thing will have been a dream? Maybe Ana will wake up into a well written story? We’ll find out in chapter 5, when I read 50 Shades so you don’t have to.

Chapter 3 of 50 Shades Freed is So Fudged Up I’m Not Even Mad, I’m Amazed

We left off in chapter 3 with hickeys. Ana’s chestal area is covered in hickeys and she is mad as hell. But not just hickeys, also bruising welts on her wrists and ankles from the handcuffs. Ana wonders how she didn’t notice Christian doing this. Here’s her answer:

“Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me.”

Soooo…his penis has fine motor skills?

I’m not mad, but Ana is mad, whoa baby is she mad! In all the time they have been together, Christian has never given her a hickey. Well, of course not because you aren’t pimple faced teenagers. You would think. Apparently Christian is a vindictive baby. Ana knows that he has given her these hickeys to punish her for going topless.

Well, if he can be an immature dolt, then so can she! Ana stamps out of the bathroom, through the bedroom, and into the walk in closet. Ana decides that isn’t immature enough. When Christian tentatively asks if she is alright she throws a hairbrush at him. I guess you’d call that the tat for tit approach?

Chuggaaconroy by IndieTimber

Please forgive me, Oh Lord of Bad Punnery!

Ahem.

Ana decides to take the reasonable, grown up approach and storms out of the room, out onto the deck and off to the other end of the yacht. Eventually Christian follows her to see how mad she is.

Ana says, “On a scale of one to ten, I think I’m at fifty.”


Christian responds the way any mature adult would, by sneering that at least Ana will have to keep her top on now. Well, no. No she doesn’t. In fact wouldn’t it be nice if Ana went topless sunbathing and the paparazzi that they are so wary of took pictures of all the bruises? But of course Ana doesn’t think like that. Or at all.

She retorts that leaving marks is a hard limit. Well, if she is going to be that way, her going topless (at a topless beach) is a hard limit for Christian! And surprisingly, Ana thinks that is a good deal. But if she thought for a minute or ever at all it would be obvious that those aren’t the same thing. Ana’s hard limit is he can’t do a certain thing to her body i.e. leave marks. Christian’s hard limit is that Ana can’t decide what to wear or not wear.

But she doesn’t think. If she did, maybe she would compare them to the scars on his own chest, and suggest that marking other peoples chests, especially out of anger (and not because Ana wanted him to), is not OK. But this isn’t that kind of book. What kind of book is it? It’s the kind of book where Christian lamely apologises and then Ana scolds him.

“You are such an adolescent sometimes.”

Then as soon as the words are out of her mouth she remembers Dr. Flynn’s warning that Christian is emotionally stunted and that she just has to put up with it because he’s broken and ill and such a poor baby. And that makes it all A OK.

ok-flanders

However for good measure Ana reminds Christian that she is an expert at throwing and shooting, so he had better watch himself. Nice, so not only is Christian making threats, now Ana is too. This might be the healthiest relationship ever. They should teach this book in health class as the ideal relationship. Equality kids, the place where both people threaten to shoot each other!

So no one is angry anymore, and they waggle their eyebrows seductively for a bit, and then decide to eat gazpacho instead yadda yadda yadda. Then there is crème brulee which we are assured is ‘delicious.’ Wow, that description! I feel like I’m eating it myself.

By way of crappy small talk, Ana asks why Christian always braids her hair when they have sex. Have I mentioned it? Because he does. It’s such a small puff of swamp gas in a vast sucking bog of whatthefuckery that I may have missed it.

Christian answers blandly that it’s so her hair doesn’t catch on anything. Then suddenly he goes all emo and distant – he’s clearly having a montage. If this scene doesn’t lead to a montage of some hapless sub being accidently strung up by her hair and the subsequent scenes of hiding the body, then I will be a simian’s half aunt twice removed.

Ana quickly changes the subject and asks why she wasn’t allowed to pee before sex last night. Or today. I forget. Christian claims that having a full bladder makes orgasms more intense. Yeah, I’m skeptical about that claim, but whatever. Ana is so flustered by this answer that Christian changes the subject.

They finish their meal, dance for a bit and then yadda yadda through the makeup sex. Afterwards, Ana reflects on how much she loves sex with both Angry Christian and Sorry Christian. She can’t decide which one she likes better. She doesn’t mention Happy Christian. He sucks.

Ana follows Christian into the bathroom to watch him shave and suddenly we are having a flashback to that time when Ana shaved her vag but didn’t do a good enough job to satisfy Christian so he held her down and did it himself. Remember that? Good times.

Okay, he didn’t hold her down the whole time…he just nagged until he got his way and then let go. But still, he doesn’t have a good sense of “things that are not OK” and that this is one of them. And really, why is Ana still such a massive prude? At one point in the argument she tells Christian it is “wrong” for him to shave her. But Christian finds it hot so it happens anyway.

Then we are back in what passes for the present in this book where Ana is going to punish Christian for shaving her vag by shaving his…face. Goddammit! I demand my money back! I want some hot ballsack-shaving action and I want it now!

She never shaves him anyway – they kiss and Christian suggests they go ashore and pick out some art for the new house. Ana thinks about the new house and is consumed by jealousy when she remembers the architect that Christian hired to remodel the house is a woman. And the brazen whore has been talking to Christian! About the house! As if that were her job!

In fact, she is so mad that Christian notices. She distracts him by lying and saying she’s hungry because she knows how much he likes to force her to eat meals. I’m not sure if they actually eat, but they do go ashore and look at art galleries. Ana is disgusted by artsy pictures of disgusting nudes. Instead she picks out a five thousand euro picture of peppers.

They eat lunch, and on a full stomach Christian dramatically reveals that the REAL reason he likes to braid Ana’s hair is that he used to braid the crack whore’s hair. You know, when he was 3. Plausible. Ana thinks it is not only plausible, but positively adorable. She tells him he must really have loved his birth mother. Christian, of course, is furious. He tells her he doesn’t want to talk about ‘that shit.’ Except, you know, he brought it up. Ana was content to go with his ‘so it doesn’t catch on stuff’ answer. But somehow this is her fault.

This couldn’t get any more screwed up, right? Wrong. Oh God, sooooo wrong. While Christian steams silently, Ana reflects on how sooper hawt it is that Christian will never be over his abusive childhood. She is attracted not so much to his beauty, but to “his fragile, damaged soul.” That’s in there. Let me repeat that: she doesn’t want him to get better because being all busted is so hot.

Sweet Zombie Jesus! These two need to run far, far away from each other and never look back. But then it gets even worse. How, you ask? Well, Christian calms down a bit and notices the bruising on Ana’s wrists. He feels bad and feeling bad feels bad. So he buys Ana a thirty thousand euro cuff-style bracelet to hide it so he doesn’t have to feel bad anymore.

The last bit of the chapter is, I guess, supposed to be dramatic or suspenseful or something but it fails to be either. They drive back to the boat, and Christian gets a phone call telling him his server room has had a small fire. There isn’t much damage, and it was easily put out, but we are clearly supposed to think it is sabotage.

Will next chapter see the craptastic return of Half-Assed Avenger Jack? Will we forget about the incident entirely? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. And neither should you.

I Join Team Asteroid-Death-From-Space in Chapter 20 of 50 Shades Darker

We have another short chapter and I count that as a win. A win for Team…umm. Not Team Ana or Team Christian. Team Cyborg-Asteroid-Death-From-Space maybe?

I don’t know anymore.

Sooo…last chapter Ana morphed into Scrooge McDuck and agreed to marry Christian in lieu of buying him a birthday present. It’s like Ana thought to herself, what’s the cheapest thing I can get? Oh wait, it’s me! Is that the cheapest shot I could take? Yeah, probably, but I stand by it.

This chapter opens with Christian being very surprised. Very, very surprised. He’s so surprised, in fact, that he forces Ana to state explicitly that she is hereby agreeing to marry him. You know, for the record.

They kiss and spin around like they are doing the Safety Dance. Ana reiterates that she thought Christian was dead. Oh well, who cares what Ana thought? Not Christian that’s for damn sure. He’s all of a sudden angry. Wait a minute, he realises, Ana gave him this surprise gift BEFORE they went to see Christian’s therapist. So that means he has been worrying all these days for no reason.

So he’s mad and then happy because “retribution is in order.” He means sex by the way. Sex is in order. Ana takes a step away from him. She’s pretty sure he is teasing but feels it’s necessary just in case he isn’t. It’s charming how Ana can never really be sure if Christian is going to hit her. And by charming I mean disturbing.

Christian hoists her over his shoulder and drags her squealing to the shower and drops her in with the cold water on full blast. Ana giggles like a mad hyena, and all this leads to another bout of weird creepy shower sex. Ana makes a huge show of washing Christian’s chest even though she knows he doesn’t like it, and he’s repeatedly asked her not to.

The main dynamic of this relationship seems to be stoically putting up with the annoying, even triggering, things your significant other does for the sake of not being alone, and also getting regular sex. Sure, I’m betting lots of real life relationships are exactly like this, but it sure isn’t my idea of an ideal fantasy. Why can’t they both actually like each other? And enjoy doing things that are mutually enjoyable? They don’t actually have any COMMON INTERESTS. I just don’t get it.

Wouldn’t a fantasy relationship involve meeting a person who actually likes the same things you do? Or introduces you to things you like even better? Because 50 Shades isn’t written that way.

Christian makes a show of washing Ana’s hair, and then Ana makes a show of washing Christian’s penis. Ana exclaims, “Oh yes! It’s so arousing.” That dialogue…it’s so…stilted. I’m fairly sure a person who talked like this would fail the Turing test. But! now they are both squeaky clean. Like Tupperware. They proceed to have eeky-squeaky shower sex, I soo hope the movie includes appropriate sound effects, because that’s how I imagined it.

Listen!

Ana takes time out from the sexy times to interact with her Inner Goddess personality and point out that  it…she?…is wearing Harlot Red lipstick. There’s just so much wrong with this passage. So every time they have sex, one of Ana’s personalities shows up dressed like a whore? Because harlot is just a mildly nicer word for whore. So she’s a whore for having sex with one partner ever, in a monogamous relationship? That’s just stupid. And honestly why do I care what her multiple personalities are wearing today?

They lay in the shower for god knows how long after the sex, because they are too lazy to even stand up. Eventually they get out after serious pruning starts to set in. Christian tells her she looks beat. And they make a whole beat = beaten “joke” that doesn’t manage to be even a little bit funny.

Christian finally admits that there was some serious danger happening in that whole helicopter fiasco and they get all emo for a while. Ana chides Christian for being too jealous of José and Ana being together to stop and call anyone after the crash, and Christian waves it off again.

They finally go to sleep, and the next morning Ana gets up early to make Christian breakfast in bed, even though he has a maid who does that, and Ana can’t cook. José is already up and makes the obligatory jokes about Ana marrying Christian because he’s rich. This brief interaction makes Christian’s douche sense go off and he comes out to act all possessive and strut around.

my douchebag senses are tingling

The menfolk then talk about their manly pursuits: fishin’ and huntin’ and killin’ things. After breakfast José leaves and Christian makes a huge deal about him wanting to get into Ana’s pants. Ana tells him to cut it out and he gets all defensive. He’s all, Whoa I don’t want to fight. Except that *he* brought it up out of nowhere to lord over Ana. So let’s just say I’m skeptical.

Ana gives Christian her second present. A wooden model helicopter with solar powered rotors. Christian is as excited as a five year old with a bag of candy. He is apparently lost in wonderment that the blades can spin all by themselves.

“Solar powered, he murmurs. “Wow.”

Then:

“Look at that,” he breathes, examining it closely. What we can already do with this technology.”

Yes. Sweetie. We can make pretty toys. I…I don’t even know. He doesn’t seem to be humouring Ana, but he is way too taken with something that mundane. The guy is supposedly an expert on alternative power sources so this shit ought to be quite old hat for him.

Then Dah Dah Dum! The third present!

Ana cryptically remarks that she isn’t sure whether the present is for her or him and Christian is predictably intrigued. Inside the box is a card asking Christian to do “rude things” to Ana. Honestly. Okay. Rude things, huh? You look really fat in that nightgown. And you’re kind of a bitch too. Also I’m going to make plans to meet you for dinner at eight and then not show up or even call. Rude enough?

Inside the box is the tie from waaaayyyy back in Book One when they used the Red Room that one time. You know, when Ana broke up with him because she didn’t like it? Well, it’s his birthday so she is going to damn well put up with it for him.

For some reason Christian is anxious, even though he’s the one who likes it. And Ana is eager to get it on even though she doesn’t like it. Ana ends the chapter thusly: “Finally!” My thoughts exactly, Ana. My thoughts exactly.

Finally!!!!!!!!

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Chapter 19 0f 50 Shades Darker is Mercifully Short and Sweet

Fucking finally, a short chapter. Halle-frikken-luiah!

Since the chapter is so short, it has to dramatically step up its tedium factor. I guess. Does that make sense? No? Welcome to 50 Shades! We start with an epic pages long montage detailing all the cloying, insipid things Cristian has ever said to Ana. Ana has clearly already pegged Christian as dead and is just waiting for confirmation.

She has somehow gotten back to Christian’s apartment and dragged all of Ana’s friends along for the ride. Christian’s family and staff are all huddled around in little groups waiting for news, and not you know, OUT LOOKING. They are watching the news and talking with ‘the authorities’ about Christian’s disappearance.

Ana begs God for Christian’s life and promises to go to church faithfully if he survives. I am eager to watch this not happen at all. Ana stares into the fireplace like a lobotomized manatee and waits for something to happen.

And then Christian just shows up.

Are we gonna see this again in ORAS?

There’s shrieking and hugging and then anger and accusations. Instead of getting up or moving or anything Ana stays in her chair and stares some more. She thinks about how much Christian’s family loves him and how he just doesn’t know it.

Ana finally gets up to hug Christian, and then she and Christian’s mother alternate between relief at seeing him alive and fury that he didn’t bother to call anyone. Christian tells them his helicopter engines both started on fire; he made an emergency landing and then hitchhiked home. No problem.

He stops to be briefly jealous that José is present and then says, “What’s with the welcoming committee?” He has no idea why his family is there. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Back in chapter 15 Christian sent Taylor to check on Ana at work because she didn’t reply to his emails quickly enough, yet in this chapter, Christian has no idea that he ought to call somebody, anybody to let them know that he is in fact not dead. He was gone long enough that not only were the police involved in a search, but also long enough that the search had been called off.

In all that time it literally never occurred to him to think about anyone else’s feelings for even one second. HE knew he was okay, so what’s the big deal? He’s that asshole who doesn’t use his turn signals because *he* knows where he’s going. He actually starts to get irritated by all these people feeling feelings at him. The nerve!

Christian settles in and tells the long version of his story. Ana gets confused, stops paying attention and describes his watch instead, “an Omega with three small dials.”

It turns out that Christian was taking a detour, and flying extra low to show his passenger the sights on the way back. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to land quickly enough to get the fire out. So he very nearly almost died. From the number of times Carrick (Christian’s soap opera-themed father) mentions the engine fire and how odd it is, it is painfully clear that we are being primed to find out that it was no accident.

Are we about to tangle with Evil Ex number 3? Will there be an epic battle of the bands culminating in a vegan-mind-power boss fight? Here’s a hint Ana: if she has a giant glowy eye attack it with the arrows. You’re welcome.

Christian then apologises for not calling. By way of explanation he claims that he was in too much of a hurry to get back home to stop and call. Then he glares meaningfully at José. Ana fills in the gaps for us – basically Christian was sooo jealous at the thought of José existing at Ana he couldn’t be bothered to call them.

Or, maybe he didn’t call on purpose to make sure it ruined Ana’s night out. It wouldn’t be out of character, considering all the stalking and interfering he’s done up to this point. I mean, he bought the company where Ana works to spite her for refusing to work for him. Soooo yeah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The party breaks up and everyone goes home, except for José who is stuck at Casa Awkwarda for the night. José heads for bed, but not before making an off colour remark about being available next time Ana’s Richie Rich boyfriend goes missing. Ana knows some real class acts, I must say.

Ana goes after Christian, who has gone off to find some supper. Christian makes sure to emphasise how much José is still in love with Ana. Because that’s what’s important right now. Christian reluctantly admits he had a few scary moments landing Charlie Tango, and that all his thoughts were about Ana.

Ana then realises that it is past midnight and technically Christian’s birthday. She gives him the first present. The one she bought in a tourist shop. It’s a keychain. A cheap, crappy keychain. But!!! It says “Yes.” Her birthday present is agreeing to marry him. Way to cop out of buying a gift, Ana!

And that’s it. Super short. Super sweet. Super insipid.