After I wrote the 50 Shades of Grey review, I realized that I forgot to mention a few things, but they still hold true for the sequel. But first, a quick recap of 50 Shades Darker.
I’m not sure what is “darker” about this sequel. We do find out more about Christian Grey’s dark childhood and the reasons behind his sexual tastes. (He is, truly, “50 shades of fucked up.”) But the series up to this point isn’t actually about an innocent young woman getting ensnared by a handsome, rich control-freak that likes kinky sex. Instead, it becomes the story of how is starting to change when he’s with her, realizing that he wants different things from life. (If you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, you know that Ana leaves him at the end. I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that they get back together in this book. It happens only a few pages in.)
But besides the ups and downs (and there are many) of Chanastasia’s relationship (ok, my attempt at smooshing sounds kind of awkward) and all the sex, which there is also a lot of, 50 Shades Darker does have more suspense and intrigue than the first book. We get to meet Elena Lincoln, a.k.a. “Mrs. Robinson,” the woman who used Christian as her submissive starting when he was only 15. Ana is also stalked/harassed by one of Christian’s ex-submissives, Leila, who looks disturbingly similar to Ana. Meanwhile, Ana also has to fend off her lecherous new boss, Jack Hyde. Although the book starts off a little slow, midway through it picks up with a deliciously dramatic confrontation between Christian and Ana, and from then on I couldn’t stop reading. Also, most of the sex scenes are really hot, although a little overdone. Every ten pages it’s like “they’re doing it AGAIN? REALLY?!” I do not need to be jealous of book characters.
I should have also mentioned for my first 50 Shades review tha I enjoy E. L. James’ personification of Ana’s subconscious and “inner goddess.” Although I don’t think she’s that great of a writer, I thought that this was pretty clever. I also can’t help but love the emails between Christian and Ana. Too. Adorable.
A few grievances about the writing: Why does Ana think Oh my every freaking time she’s turned on? Oh my! OH MY! Just…just stop. It’s also impressive that E. L. James can describe characters without really describing them at all. All we really know about Christian is that he has copper highlights in his hair, gray eyes and is super effing gorgeous. Which I guess covers it, except it really allows her to avoid using actual writing skills to really describe him in detail. Same with Ana, really. She’s a slim brunette with big eyes. Um, ok. Also, sometimes the expressions/phrases she uses sound odd, both in the narration and in the dialogue. In fact, they sound British – I mean, I know E. L. is British, but she should be a good enough writer to make her characters sound more American since they, uh, kinda are.
I REALLY liked that she incorporated some dialogue between Ana and Christian’s shrink, in which Dr. Flynn asks her why she doesn’t think she’s worthy of Christian. Thank you Dr. Flynn! Although they don’t delve into it here, I hope they do in the next book. Maybe Ana will transform into a strong female character, which would be nice.
Finally, I’ve started listening to and am currently pretty obsessed with HIM, and I’ve decided that “Right Here In My Arms” reminds me of Chanastasia. The music video is below – enjoy! Laters. 😉