Book number 26: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James, sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey and number two on the 50 Shades trilogy. I’ll never get tired of saying this so, thank you, Babe for the book. 🙂
What it is: The sequel is a revelation about the characters, “a simple, honest journey” or a growing up of some sort. It is actually one long epiphany coming from Fifty Shades of Grey. Actually, the first book could have been eliminated all together and simply incorporated into Fifty Shades Darker (and I’m guessing that goes the same for Fifty Shades Freed, but I have yet to read it to confirm my thoughts).
The central theme of the book is how everyone is “entitled to unconditional love“, how it is “the best therapy” and how it can change the “whole outlook of life“, even to the “self abhorrent” who has made a lifestyle out of “whipping and fucking women who look like [his] mother” as a means of deranged coping, but you have to let the love in first, with a little “faith and patience”.
What I liked about it: Compared to Fifty Shades of Grey, the sequel has more meat than meat. Fifty Shades Darker has more dimension in terms of action, character, and emotion. I’m very impressed flipping through it, as the prequel did not have as much breadth, very good indeed.
I adore the complexity of the build of Christian Grey’s character and how it was peeled in the narration of Fifty Shades Darker. He is right and wrong all at once, beautiful and broken, easy and difficult, strong and weak; reminds me of the depth of Noah from The Notebook, except that Grey is “beautiful, sexy as fuck, richer than Croesus and crazy with a capital K“… a memorable fictional character indeed. He is a far cry from the usual chick lit knight who is either too good, too bad, or too boring. I am similarly amused seeing the inner masochist of Anastasia Steele. Oh, the lengths women will go only for a smoldering hot guy… interesting.
Similarly, Fifty Shades Darker justified the behavior of the characters quite well and in a believable manner too (except the part where Grey mentions kids – he is tormented even by his lover’s touch for heaven’s sake!). It is an affirmation that even when peeling someone with as much as 50 shades or layers, it will be damn faster if you use a knife. 😉 The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey remains witty, funny, but this time, fast, tender, and begins at the beginning, unlike the prequel. I appreciate the symbolism brought on by the sailing trip too, as an emphasis on moving forward, which is highly stressed by the book. Fifty Shades Darker very much picked at the past but heavily outlined the future too, with all actions in the present, nice.
What I did not like about it: Though some bits are interesting, the repeated sex can be boring really. I did not like the idea that every other guy in the book is smitten with Anastasia too. I mean, in a book, one character who has caught all the physical advantages from the heavens is enough – two is overkill and quite annoying. Similarly, I find the Aphrodite comparisons very cheesy.
The fact that Charlie Tango got tampered with by the delusional editor that Grey fired is a tad far fetched for me too. C’mon, the guy has security protocols and full time staff, how the hell is that possible? Also when Anastasia refers to Christian as Fifty it makes me think of 50 cent the rapper, somebody help me out here. 😆
Finally, I really am not sure if this is entirely a bad thing, but everything I have foretold that will happen in Fifty Shades Darker, after reading Fifty Shades of Grey, proved to be accurate, so in a way it is predictable, but I honestly cannot think of any other way for the story to move along so…
Recommended for: Read Fifty Shades Darker if you want a more substantial chick lit and is willing to keep an open mind about it… and if you like sex, then waste no time, life is short.