Alright, I should have done this years ago, but since the meme is still not dead, I think it's not too late.
I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm going to write this as I read it, rather than finishing and going to the end, so you're getting my first reaction here. I'm also going to put this all behind pagebreaks, so I can go on as long as I like and not shit up my main blog with glorified Twilight fanwank.
Let's begin. God have mercy on our souls.
I should be studying for my final exams, which are next week, yet here I am trying to brush my hair into submission.
Get it? Get it? Do you get it?
Therefore, she cannot attend the interview she’d arranged to do, with some mega-industrialist tycoon I’ve never heard of, for the student newspaper. [...] the enigmatic CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.Oh, those mega-industrialist tycoons. Always devastatingly handsome and in search of the one woman who can really understand them, am I right?
I guess all the cowboys, surgeons, firefighters, and anachronistically gentlemanly pirates were busy when the casting call went out.
The roads are clear as I set off from Vancouver, WA toward Portland and the I-5. It’s early, and I don’t have to be in Seattle until two this afternoon.I-5 (it's not "the I-5") goes right through Vancouver, and if you're going toward Portland, you're heading the opposite direction from Seattle. This is a pretty minor thing, but I used to live in Washington State, and the setting failures in this book stick out to me like "I set off on the Brooklyn Bridge toward the island of Boston, heading east into the setting sun."
“I’m here to see Mr. Grey. Anastasia Steele for Katherine Kavanagh.”Anastasia Steele. Her name is Anastasia Steele. That's excellent. I can't get over it. There are literally tears in my eyes. Anastasia Steele.
The elevator whisks me with terminal velocity to the twentieth floor.The terminal velocity of a human being in freefall is about 125-200 miles per hour. The terminal velocity of an elevator moving upward is THAT IS NOT WHAT TERMINAL VELOCITY MEANS.
I push open the door and stumble through, tripping over my own feet, and falling head first into the office. Double crap – me and my two left feet! I am on my hands and knees in the doorway to Mr. Flint Ironstag’s office, and gentle hands are around me helping me to stand. I am so embarrassed, damn my clumsiness.See, a good romance author doesn't describe the narrator character in too much detail, so the reader can picture her however they want, or, in this case, as Kristen Stewart.
Also, for my own amusement, I am replacing all mentions of "Christian Grey" with the fake names from that one MST3K skit.
So young – and attractive, very attractive. He’s tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly. It takes a moment for me to find my voice. “Um. Actually–” I mutter. If this guy is over thirty then I’m a monkey’s uncle. In a daze, I place my hand in his and we shake. As our fingers touch, I feel an odd exhilarating shiver run through me. I withdraw my hand hastily, embarrassed. Must be static. I blink rapidly, my eyelids matching my heart rate.I love scenes like this in books, because it plays as all sexually charged and stuff inside her head, but can you picture the scene from the outside? She's stammering and flustering and twitching because a cute guy shook her hand. It's less "lust at first sight" and more "do you need to lie down?"
I suppose that's one way to make the Designated Harmless Flaw for romance heroines into an actual flaw--exaggerate her clumsiness and awkwardness to the point where the reader stops going "oh, so cute" and starts actually worrying about her.
Apart from the paintings, the rest of the office is cold, clean, and clinical. I wonder if it reflects the personality of the Adonis who sinks gracefully into one of the white leather chairs opposite me.Don't you mean the perfect marble-hard sparkling Adonis? For shame.
“You sound like a control freak.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them.“Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele,” he says without a trace of humor in his smile. I look at him, and he holds my gaze steadily, impassive. My heartbeat quickens, and my face flushes again.I'm supposed to be making more helpful comments than just "oh God I'm laughing too hard," here. I'm supposed to be witty and penetrating and stuff. But oh God, I'm just laughing too hard. This is the kind of innuendo that would embarrass James Bond. It would embarrass Roger Moore James Bond.
“Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things,” he continues, his voice soft.Dooooouuuuchebaaaaaag.
And seriously, this is just a puff piece for a student paper. You're supposed to spend fifteen minutes giving a PR-brochure history of your company and talking about how you value education and... don't value... not-education. You're not supposed to reveal what you whisper to yourself at night.
“Well, to ‘chill out’ as you put it – I sail, I fly, I indulge in various physical pursuits.”Why does Buff Hardback talk like a vampire? Not even an Edward Cullen vampire, either. Like a Dracula vampire.
“Are you gay, Mr. BlastBody?” He inhales sharply, and I cringe, mortified. Crap. Why didn’t I employ some kind of filter before I read this straight out? How can I tell him I’m just reading the questions?I remind you that this is all for a one- or two-page profile in the student paper because he's presenting the diplomas.
“Mr. PlankChest, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes.”
“We’re not finished here, Andrea. Please cancel my next meeting.”
Andrea hesitates, gaping at him. She’s appears lost. He turns his head slowly to face her and raises his eyebrows. She flushes bright pink. Oh good. It’s not just me.Doesn't Andrea work with him every day? You'd think she'd be used to his megahot hotness by now, or at least a little better at controlling her reactions. Does she get all "whoaaa... sexy... wha..." every time he asks her to make a phone call? That seems like it would get old.
Also, something about the "we're not finished here" makes me want to remind Anastasia to make sure not to let Crud BoneMeal get between her and the door.
When I turn to look at him, he’s leaning against the doorway beside the elevator with one hand on the wall. He really is very, very good-looking. It’s distracting. His burning gray eyes gaze at me. “Anastasia,” he says as a farewell. “Dirk HardPec,” I reply. And mercifully, the doors close.Aww. It's like the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
"I loved our brief, awkward, and completely inappropriate interview."