And so, finally, we finish the read-along of the Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James. After book 2, I had my doubts that I'll be able to get through another book filled with all those scenes involving just two persons. But patience is indeed a virtue. And the rewards for finishing the trilogy manifested in the very interesting discussions that we had in our private online Facebook group.
Yes, there were a few who didn't finish the trilogy despite having signed up for it. And yes, most of the gentlemen in the group were quiet in the discussions. Women, after all, are the target readers of this erotic trilogy. But kudos to us who have actually finished! The books in the trilogy were, well, wanting in several aspects. The writing was terrible in some parts (some would say in all parts). The minor characters were just that—minor, no character development at all.
So what did come out of the read-along? For one, we now have an understanding of what makes these books so popular. Sex, romance, a wealthy and handsome suitor, a woman willing to be dominated, a Hollywood ending. All these apparently make for bestsellers, regardless how awful the writing can get. Another is the tremendous amount of information (physiological, personal, criticisms) that the read-along members shared. The discussion threads were very eye opening indeed.
Our read-along schedule
It's been a fun-filled 7 weeks!
On the last day of the read-along, 31 August, we decided to do a face-to-face discussion to share our thoughts on the trilogy as a whole. All in all, it was a wonderful Friday evening and I would like to believe that every one had a good time. What a delightful way to cap the read-along!
These loot bags were done by one of the members, Ajie, who unfortunately couldn't attend the meet-up.
At first you'll think that these are charming, but wait till you get a peek of what's inside!
Thank you so much, Ajie! These were awesome!
Not much testosterone in the group, no?
I was really hoping to hear the opinions of some of the gents from the online group.
How did I find the trilogy? Well, I found it not that bad. I had no strong feelings for book 1, Fifty Shades of Grey. Somehow, I did find it surprising that I enjoyed book 2, Fifty Shades Darker. That book delved into some of the issues Christian has. And you feel that there's hope for Christian and Ana after all. But the 3rd book, ayayay! Fifty Shades Freed, was a mess. I felt that E L James was just rushing to complete the series, throwing weak subplots to make the story more cinematic and engaging. These minor story lines just appear to be sloppily written.
And what's up with the long epilogue? I think the ending was fine as it is. Apparently, James feels otherwise. We get a few pages where the scenes are set several years after the last chapter. Then there are a few more pages that show us Christian's point of view when he first encounters Ana in the first book. Sheesh. Enough.