Why 50 Shades Of Grey Is One Of The Worst Books Ever Written

My first personal blog post of 2013, and this one will be a doozy! So I recently read ’50 Shades of Grey’ by author E.L.James and I have a fair bit to say about it. I don’t know about any of you ladies (or men) who have read it and disliked it but I am really interested in hearing your opinions.

50shades book

Before I read the book, I was told the story started out as a blog by E.L.James in an attempt to create an adult sexy version of the ‘Twilight’ saga. Knowing this in the back of my mind I could easily see the parallels when I started turning the pages on my e-book. The language in both the Twilight and Grey book were very teenage-y and after a while did my head in. Oh My…

But that wasn’t my biggest problem. My problem came about when my stomach turned in knots after every reading session of the book. I soon realized why. As a young woman who has had her share of relationships, crushes, let-downs and heartbreaks it makes reading a book like this just too weird and uncomfortable. It also made me feel for the Anastasia Steele’s out there who are young, desperate to be swept of their feet by a Prince Charming, but somehow get themselves into a destructive negative situation with a man.

Now, I have never myself experienced the whole S&M domination thing and soon realized my own prudish conceptions toward it, but it was the underlying relational struggles of this book that, essentially, broke my heart.

The story of a 21 year old nervous bumbling college grad Anastasia Steele falling for 27 year old billionaire sex-crazed tycoon Christian Grey was fraught with far too many scenarios where I found myself thinking what an awful example of relationships, courting, men and women it was. Christian grey is a dark mysterious business man who pays for everything for Anastasia, and wants her to sign a 3 month contract so she can exclusively be his submissive sex slave and board in a room at his mansion every weekend, purely for his sexual disposal. While he is careful to point out to Anastasia he will never physically hurt her, it’s the emotional and psychological damage it does to miss Steele which made me balk.

She is the kind of girl that falls in love with a very handsome rich young man. He shows interest in her and she mistakenly thinks he wants to be her boyfriend. But he does also point out he is not a “hearts and flowers” type of guy.

Toward the end she realizes her mistake in thinking if she gives him everything he wants (while trying to figure out his messed up childhood and background) he will then give her the love and romance she is looking for. Wrong!

While I know this is purely a work of fiction, it is a very influential piece of modern literature and will continue to be for a few years at least because the novels are being turned into feature films.

The media in 2012 kept focusing on the fact that many middle-aged women, young mothers and married couples attributed the book to improving their sex lives and relationships in general. Barbara Walters named author E.L James on her 2012 Most Fascinating People list purely because of the book’s viral success.


That’s all well and great. But what about the young women out there who are still struggling with their own identities and venturing into the relationship world looking to a now cultural staple like this for some guidance? I find a book like this so damaging to the self-esteem of a girl. There were times when I would be reading Anastasia’s pain on the pages and feel for her.

I have felt the sting of heartbreak and it’s not the type of ideal anyone woman should want to have. The fact that this Christian Grey uses language like “I want to own you” and “you are mine Anastasia” is frankly disgusting, controlling and downright creepy. I have a close friend who has unfortunately been in a few abusive relationships and I know she feels the same. But you don’t have to have gone through this to be turned off by this book.

Good on the author for her quick success and fame, but at what cost? I strongly feel she is alienating a generation of women who are searching for something real in life. We are the generation of girls who don’t want to settle for second best in relationships and many organizations exist to nurture empowering qualities in young women. 50 Shades of Grey seems to unravel all that hard work in a page-turning frenzy.

There were many times while reading the book I found myself getting angry at Christian Grey for being so pompous, arrogant, controlling and in some cases mean. I wanted to punch him in the nuts, hard. It made me think of all the girls and women out there who are possibly right now in an abusive relationship of some sort and upon reading this somehow romanticize the notion of a submissive role which is not to their benefit.

I believe submission should only ever be entertained where there is love and respect. It’s not about giving up who you are just to please the other person. It’s a mutual understanding of meeting the other person’s needs in a selfless way, knowing they are doing the same for you. Give and take. Not take, control, dominate, trample and abuse.

The all-t00-perfect way this Shades story played out made me even more angry knowing that this is not real life. Repeat after me, this is not real life. men who want to trap you into some sort of exclusive submissive relationship do not respect you, they will never love you, they will possibly never even like you as a person. They are just sick, creepy individuals who haven’t got the right psychological help yet and don’t place any value on you as a human being.

Do these traits sound familiar? Do the words ‘rape’ or ‘against my own will’ come to mind? Reading 50 Shades just before the horrific story of the Indian girl raped in New Delhi last month actually made me a little depressed. On one hand the world is in an uproar about an awful crime of a sexual nature, yet we celebrate a book like this and overlook the dangerous, damaging messages it holds over its readers. It is well known there are links between the sexual messages the media constantly puts out (no pun intended!) and domestic violence.

The UK-based End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) has repeatedly highlighted the sexualization of women in the media and popular culture as a ‘conducive context’ for violence against women. There is a point in the novel where Christian spanks Anastasia so hard that she starts to cry and that is the turning point for her. She realizes in an instant this is not what she wants in a man, and promptly ends their bizarre relationship/agreement. The only part of the book that actually made me smile.

If I had kids, especially daughters, I would do my best to shield them from ever knowing about the book or getting their hands on a copy. Mothers I urge you to do the same if you value yours and your daughter’s future. if you have any hope of them one day being in a healthy, committed, respectful, loving, caring relationship, stay away from 50 Shades of Grey.

Ladies, men who want to control you are NOT attractive. Don’t buy into the sexualized hype of this book. You are made to live your life to the best of your abilities, pursue your passions and discover your true beauty. Settling for second best just because it is in front of you and you don’t have any better offers right now is not acceptable. Please tell yourself this daily.

If you are single, embrace it and focus on your life and your goals. If you are in a relationship build and nurture it with admirable qualities you would want the other person to shower upon you.

If you have any thoughts or opinions you would like to share please comment below, whether they are for or against my views.

Asha K 2013

Asha K signature


  1. I’ve not read it but I think its just like another ‘Mills and Boon’ novel and meant to be fantasy and not to be confused with reality. Apparently females prefer porn to be in literary form rather than on video like many males do. I hope people don’t take the book seriously just like people shouldn’t take porn movies seriously

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  3. I´m actually listening to the audio book and it is driving me crazy. I was absolutely sure that the author was a man because no woman could write such crap. I mean all this ” Oh Christian” and the quivering and biting the lip, is just too much for me But the I´m 45 yrs old and this is way too teenagy for me. I totally agree that this book is not something I want my daughters to read because all this crap about owning a girl and having her sign a contract is creepy and I would never want them to think this is romantic in any way.

    • oh please. i’ve never read the book. will never read the book. but as a man i love it anyway. my 46 yo gf loves the books. i never realized she was into role play but this book helped her to talk to me about what she wanted. her 17 yo niece read the book about a third of the way through, then put it down in disgust. this tells me that most very young girls are NOT going to read it. the book is aimed at mature women. oh, and dirty old pervs like me. get those furry handcuffs on girl and daddy is going to spank you!!!!!!

  4. Angelicasg says:

    Haha omfg so everyone talked about that book “OOOH FIFTY SHADES OF GREY THIS FIFTY SHADES OF GREY THAT ” And I’ve decided to read it, no i ain’t that dumb to buy a book with so many negative reviews, so I’ve just downloaded an app to read the book. Okayyyyy so here goes my opinion: It’s the worst book ever on this planet called Earth, and if there are books somewhere else in the galaxy, than it’s the worst book ever in the whole galaxy. At first, it’s just bullshit. Second, it’s really fucktardish bullshit. I mean c’mon, why? It’s not ligical at all, why would you do ab interview and after all he wants to fuck you like err’where and he wants you to sign a contact and yeah she finds it okay, i don’t even know. Fine, to be honest, there were some entertaining parts to, like she always talks about her “Inner Goddess ” HAHAHA FOR EXAMPLE “My Inner Goddess hides under a blanket behind the bed… ” Or something like that, omfg bitch, do you have some mental problems or something? She definitely has some issues.C’mon what the actual fuck. Oh and there was another funny part in the book to, so basically, she said “My tears were rolling into my ears ” AHAHAHA I WAS LAUGHING FOR 10 MINUTES STRAIGHT, c’mon, what’s that for, are yoy serious? Since when do tears roll into your ears? Maybe her tears are that fabulous and they decide to roll into her ears. Fine, the booj is crap. That’s my honest opinion.

    • Would I want my daughter to read it…No. Did I get rid of the books after reading them…Yes. I sold them for cheap, just as cheap as the books were. To me they were boring. I expected more from all the hype. I was let down quick. The parts that repeats over and over are tiring in its self. Those parts were very Teen related. I found my self able to skip several parts just due to the repeat. Did I find my “Inter Self” reading this…Um No, Far from it. I found it a easy way to put me to sleep. It took me months to finish all the books. I should of stopped from the get go, but once I start something I finish it to the end no matter what. The Kinkyness is not all that great in the books. I guess there is only so much you can put into books. I`ve read many more hard core books than these. This book series is MILD!

      Do I think this portrays girls all over the world? NO! If you are in a bad relationship than you should do something about it. I don’t buy into the fact that you cant leave a bad relationship. If you don’t its your own damn fault. In all the girls that do the BS are not treated awful, they enjoy it. Its their cup of tea. Its not up to us to judge what women all over the world want or need.

  5. Surprised to discover it actually set out to emulate Twilight. I’d already made the comment that it read like “Twilight Fan Fiction.” The writing was so bad it hurt my feelings..

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  7. http://www.shadowedrealm.com/medieval-articles/exclusive/griselda_story_chaucer_clerks_tale

    Thanks for this article and any others that deconstruct fifty shades! This link is on the many retellings of the Grisselda story a very popular medieval story, in some recounts of this story Grisselda’s husband grows tired of her and marries there own daughter..(a lovely comment on the ‘consumption’ of female sexuality and the supposed unquantifiable value of the hymen…As a woman on the matter of the value of my hymen is private!IBut for medeival liniage your hymen meant money in the form of marriage, Unfortunately due to the proliferation of paedophilia in popular culture it still does, what a shame?Grisselda is very much a horror story of its time,in the same vein as fifty shades, and both much scarier than any horror film! what is so wrong (or threatening?) with female sexuality that it must be mangled into these horrific stories?.

  8. I only got a bit into this book and discovered this is not for me. My 13 year old daughter said one of her friends mother said oh daughter you must read this, it’s a good book. So i thought okay you can read it, a short time later she said oh mom, I can’t read this. I said okay but leave it so i can see what it’s all about. I wish i would have just deleted it. Very Gross Book. So glad my daughter had sense to not read it.

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  10. It’s painful to read, painful. I couldn’t hack the beginning – I just skipped randomly through and both times stumbled on a sex scene. Two weird, poorly-written sex scenes I might add. The dialogue is so unrealistic, so unnatural, it makes you wonder if the author has ever conducted a normal conversation with another human or if she’s just watched porny melodramas. The ‘writing’ itself might earn a fifteen-year-old a D in a narrative essay. Might. The characters are so obviously Twilight rip-offs. Christian Grey…every time he had a line, I cringed. I cringed for his very existence. 50 Shades of Grey fails to even be sexy. I’m not a prude, I’ll read erotica if it’s well written. 50 Shades of Shite, as it has been appropriately nicknamed, is not remotely well written.
    In summary: it’s just not right.

  11. Francoise Jean says:

    Maybe everyone needs to look up the definition of fiction- Yes the book could have been edited better, so could most of mine- I am willing to bet everyone who purchased this book knew what it was about. The reality is a good book is one that sells thousands or millions of copies. It my never be assigned to a college literature class, but I don’t think that is what this author was going for. If it was not entertaining, people would put it down half read and not go back to it. Criticize if you will, but the fact is you would not have read it if you didn’t want to- and just maybe you are trying to subdue a little guilt by giving this book negative reviews.

    • The cry of “it’s just fiction and everyone knows it!” is as credible as when rapey footballers and rappers who write violent degrading lyrics go “don’t judge me, I’m not a role model!” People WILL and DO take 50 Shades seriously no matter how much people regurgitate that line. That’s the point of the complaints, and why people are concerned about the portrayal of abuse as a positive and exciting relationship.

      Anyway, content aside, E.L James could have written about absolutely anything and it would still be tripe. The characters are one dimensional, she repeats the same little phrases CONSTANTLY, the dialogue is forced and wooden and boring as hell, she writes things that make no sense, absolutely none of it is absorbing or believable in any way. “Suspension of disbelief” only goes so far and I’m not able to believe that the characters she wrote are anything like real people.

      It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t going for a literature class. Awful writing is awful writing, and it equals an awful book.

      As for why people read it, it’s not exactly rare for creative trash to become popular. Ever heard of “lowest common denominator”? There are plenty of people that consume crappy books/music/TV on the regular. Doesn’t mean it’s good, it means it successfully pandered to the kind of people that would buy it.

      Also, suggesting that people are trying to suppress prudish guilt by criticising the book is a cheap shot. And wrong. Please, go to your local library and ask for something genuinely worthy of success.

  12. Maybe everyone needs to look up the definition of fiction- Yes the book could have been edited better, so could most of mine- I am willing to bet everyone who purchased this book knew what it was about. The reality is a good book is one that sells thousands or millions of copies. It my never be assigned to a college literature class, but I don't think that is what this author was going for. If it was not entertaining, people would put it down half read and not go back to it. Criticize if you will, but the fact is you would not have read it if you didn't want to- and just maybe you are trying to subdue a little guilt by giving this book negative reviews..

  13. I haven’t read it. I don’t normally criticize things without actually reading them, but this one has been talked about enough, I feel I can make an exception. What I’d really like to know is if Mr. Grey being a billionaire is all that integral to the story? Would all these female fans be nearly as excited about it if he were instead Billy Bob from the trailer home down the road? If it does make a difference, why?

  14. I read the 3 books and I agree. Actually I didn’t much like either of the main characters. Christian is an Ass and anastasia just didn’t make me want to love her. She needed to tell mr. Grey where to go and how to get there. The storyline that was stuffed in between the sex scenes wasnt that great either. It was mediocre. It took me 6 weeks to read all those books.. And they were only okay…not really gung ho to see the movie…

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  17. I only read the first book and hated it. Thank you for your blog and I agree with everything you say, but I’m confused. When I point out certain harrowing details in the book to friends and colleagues who absolutely adore Christian Grey, they always have an excuse why he does certain things. They don’t seem to see the stalking, controlling and abuse I see. They say it’s a love story! I wish I could see what they’re seeing. Now that the new novel is out from Grey’s POV, I swear that if he turns out to be a paedophile, some women will say, “Ah, bless, what a lovely man. He likes children.”
    I give up!

  18. I attempted to read this book a few years ago. I got maybe 10 pages in before I gave up, due to the horrible writing. I also hated Anastasia and her naive, bordering on stupid, personality. I don’t understand the hype or following of this book at all. I decided to watch the movie on Amazon this past week and was as equally disappointed 🙁

  19. Cynthia Cynthia says:

    This book is the equivalent to a train wreck, people can’t help but look.
    The volume of people reading the book doesn’t make it a quality read, it just means many people enjoy sex or the idea of sex much more than they would publicly admit to.
    I personally dislike the book very much. I read about 15 pages because my friend who read it asked me to. She wanted my opinion on it. I randomly opened the book at a page and proceeded to read. I figured 15 pages should give me a feel of what the book is like. And what I read, I disliked. It is a poorly written book.
    The story seems boring and the way it was written made me feel as though a teenage kid with a superficial crush wrote it. I haven’t watched the films, and currently, there is 3 films made from that book trilogy. Just because it was made into film does not mean anything other than it can generate money from the idea of sex. Which is to say, is nothing new, sex will always sell. Hollywood will continue to make films that will make money, and make no mistake, the trilogy has made studios lots of money. These books remind me of cigarettes, readily available but a true waste of time. Anyone reading these books are only looking for a form of escapism. Cigarettes are highly demanded and very profitable, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

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