The first novel introduces us to Anastasia Steele who has just finished her degree. She is sent to interview Christian Grey, a huge billionaire business mogul, on behalf of her friend Kate who is ill.
Anastasia has an effect on Christian, who is a secret Dominant (yes, the sexual kind) and wants Anastasia, a virgin, as his next Submissive.
Throughout this novel, basically, Christian seduces Ana and they try to figure out the Dominant/Submissive relationship. Christian is 'fifty shades of fucked up' and hasn't had a girlfriend. He hates being touched and likes being in control. Ana tries to break through the barriers and wants more. A normal relationship. She falls for him. I won't spoil the ending.
It's a good book, nothing groundbreaking, and when my sister told me that it originally began life as a Twilight fan-fic (not sure how 100% that information is) I can't say I was surprised, there are obvious parallels. It's completely absurd and ridiculous, but a fun read. Oh, it's also full of sex. Seriously. I'm not a person that is overly affected by sex in novels, but this is pure filth.
Fifty Shades Darker is the second novel. I previously said that these novels are ridiculous, and I still stand by that, but there is something captivating about them. I finished the first novel at about 2am and immediately bought the Kindle version of the second installment so I could start it straight away. This sees Christian and Ana try to work through the aftermath of the ending of the first book. Ana starts her new job, where her boss is a sleaze. A real, solid relationship commences, not a Dom/Sub pairing. Christian continues to struggle, slowly opening up to Ana. This novel is basically Ana and Christian working through their issues together. Not as exciting as the first installment
Fifty Shades Freed is the final, and weakest (for me) installment. It's more of Ana and Christian working through their issues. It is tedious. The writing is repetitive, it's almost as if the author has run out of steam. The sex scenes are thrown in wherever possible. There is a scene in here which basically mirrors a scene in Breaking Dawn, making it boring. I enjoyed this volume the least, but I can't leave a series unfinished. Ana has successfully changed Christian, who is still controlling, but also more accommodating and less selfish. The growth in characters is quite entertaining to read I guess, but it just felt forced to me. I didn't really know where it was going. A few scenes seem to be included for the sake of it. Definitely the weakest book. The ending is cute, if completely predictable.
Overall, the books were ok. I'd recommend them if you could get them cheap like I did (two for £7 in Tesco), but I wouldn't say rush out and buy them. The writing is infinitely better than Twilight, but the relationship of Christian and Ana mirrors that of Bella and Edward, but with a lot more kinky sex, to put it bluntly. I read all the books in about 4 days, which says something. They were a good, brainless read, which makes a change from the usual novels I go for. Although, they did irk me slightly, if I read through a feminist lense, as the sexual themes, even after Christian relinquishes being a Dominant, are unequal. And I'm all for equality, but I could go on about that forever, so I won't.
Let me know what you thought of the books if you read them.
Thanks for reading x