Fifty Shades Darker - E. L. James (Review)

Summary: Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

Rating: 2/5

Review: Alright guys, I'm back for another round of Fifty Shades - DARKER EDITION. Taking me an abnormally long time to read, I have finally finished Fifty Shades Darker. While I clearly had a lot of negative things to say about the first book in the series, I read it incredibly fast. It was in terrible need of an editor, but the pacing wasn't too bad and I found myself (begrudgingly) invested in moving forward. I was very upset to realize HOW MUCH SLOWER this book was, in addition to being insanely repetitive.

According to what I've heard from a lot of women who enjoy the books, this one seems to be a favorite because Ana and Christian begin to move away from the BDSM theme and toward a more stereotypically romantic relationship. I appreciated the fact that there was a bigger focus on consent and discussion about making Ana feel comfortable but it began to get boring real fast for me. I'm not into gushy romance novels unless they are particularly well-written. This isn't even mediocre. It's horrible. The only way for me to excuse the child-like writing level would be to include a lot of drama and crazy sex, which is what I started even reading the series for (LETS BE HONEST) but that was all but taken out in favor of love and marriage and blahblah who gives a shit, am I right? Uninteresting characters put into a traditionally romantic plot. Sorry if I didn't find the mere suggestion of a full-time BDSM relationship which quickly dissolves into the past to be enough to really spice up the plot, but like .. at this point it has become meaningless. Perhaps it will come back in the third book?

If we wanted some concrete proof as an indication of James' laughably bad writing and voice for Ana, I HAVE SOME! I was struck throughout Book 1 by the amount of times Ana exclaims "Holy cow" (usually in italics, to represent her INNER MIND). I mean .. I think it's a weird phrase to use at all, let alone more than once. So I took it upon myself to count how many times she says it through Darker.


I don't even have funny commentary for this discovery. I think it stands on its own tbh. When is it ever appropriate to repeat a phrase THAT MUCH? Especially if it's as fucking stupid as "holy cow" which I have never ever ever heard anyone use in real life conversation.

She also used the image of "Icarus flying too close to the sun" three times.

There are just so many weird amateurish decisions in the writing, where James really thinks she is being funny and clever. They go to a bar called "Fiftys"?? Seriously though? That shit would only fly in fanfiction. I could see James self-satisfied smirk as she put that clever lil reference in there.. ew.

This is what happens when you type "self-satisfied smirk" into Google Images

More obviously fanfiction-esque interactions crop up anytime Ethan enters the picture. Since we are all obviously supposed to want to be Ana, we are consistently reminded of how even her male friends are HOT GORGEOUS SEXY CREATURES WHO ARE SUPER FLIRTY AND WINKWINK NUDGENUDGE WANNA FUCK HER TOOOO. When she comes to meet Ethan for lunch and he obviously has to exclaim "Wow! You look hot Steele!" How nonchalant and realistically they are interacting, it's not at all a weak attempt to remind us how cool and sexy Ana must be, because - author/reader self insertion, guys.

Am I the only one who gets really bad second hand embarrassment from these parts of the book? That just really give me bad flashbacks to reading 13-year old self insertion Harry Potter fics in which all the sexy male characters are totally just BUDS with the main character but constantly commenting on her sexy appearance in a "just best friends" kind of way? JUST ME? Alright, maybe I'm the only loser who has such an extensive memory of bad Harry Potter fanfic, but trust me on this - it's the same thing.


"Holy cow... this beautiful man wants me back and deep down inside me sweet joy slowly unfurls like a morning glory in the early dawn."

"… I mutter breathlessly, trying to suppress my high-school-cheerleader giggling. Though I was never a cheerleader - the bitter thought crosses my mind."
alright lady, enough of the special snowflake bullshit. this isn't even a plot point, why the fuck are you bringing it up right now?

When Ana is being creepily hit on by her boss and Ana tells Christian she can handle herself he responds: "I have seen how 'effective' you are at fighting off unwanted attention. I remember that's how I had the pleasure of spending my first night with you. At least the photographer has feelings for you. The sleazeball, on the other hand, does not."
First of all, I understand Christian's uneasiness about allowing Ana in a potentially dangerous situation, but UH this is all kinds of messed up. Yes, because obviously when men invade your personal space, she needs to be somehow held responsible for that by saying she wasn't "effective" in fighting him off. AND WHO GIVES A SHIT IF HE HAD FEELINGS FOR HER? How does that make the situation any better? I don't understand you Christian.

"'I hope you're not overly fond of these panties.' He tears through them with his adept fingers, and they disintegrate in his hands."

"'Good, Laters, baby.' 'Bye, Christian' I grin. Every time he says that, it makes me smile… so un-Fifty, but somehow so him, too."

"I know what I do to him, and it's hedonistic, liberating, and sexy as hell. The feeling is heady, I'm not just powerful-I'm omniscient."
Omniscient?? I think that's a BIT dramatic but idkkk…

Christian creepily springs the idea of them getting married and buying a house onto Ana AFTER they've already begun a tour of said house. While there Ana sees a meadow attached to it that the realtor comments may be good for a barn and horses. Ana responds by thinking: "To me the meadow looks like somewhere to lie in the long grass and have picnics, not for some four-legged fiend of Satan to roam."

EXCUSE ME? We get a half-assed explanation about her hatred of horses when they mention Ana took riding lessons and they didn't go well… for some .. reason. But .. just, what? This isn't at all a plot point and that's such a bizarre way to bring this up. Why is it even in here. What is this. Who made these decisions. WHO LAUGHED AT THAT JOKE?

And I will leave you with this information" to accept Christian's proposal she wraps up a weird flashing keychain that says "yes" that she bought at a gift shop or something. She says YES to a marriage proposal with a keychain.

Final Thoughts:If you didn't like Fifty Shades of Grey it just becomes more boring.

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