Fifty Shades in Fifty Days, or a Booknista writer’s descent into one of the bestselling books of all time
With Grey, of Fifty Shades fame, already making waves, we here at Booknista thought we’d revisit the original bestselling train wreck. It was fun, in a horrifying sort of way, and all I can say now is I came out to have a good time, and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.
Chapter One: Your Decision-Making Skills Seriously Need Some Work
Fifty Shades Chapter one starts out with Anastasia, our main character, helpfully listing all the reasons she should not be doing what she is apparently about to do. Let’s recap, shall we? Anastasia has no idea who the person is she’s supposed to be interviewing (It’s Christian Grey). Anastasia does not even work for the school newspaper that is running the article based on her interview—in fact, she doesn’t even know how to work the voice recorder, and has no idea what the interview questions are. Anastasia has to work at her own job this afternoon. Anastasia has finals to study for and an essay to finish. But Anastasia is neglecting all of that to do her poor, sick roommate a favor. I guess the newspaper had no other reporters, and no one was interested in volunteering to talk face-to-face with someone who’s obviously a pretty big deal. I’m sure she’ll probably do fine on her exams, though. And it’s not like she really needs the income she’s getting from that part-time job, amiright?
Next, we find out that, on top of having gotten through most of college without figuring out how to deal with her own hair other than shoving it into a ponytail and hoping it looks fine, Anastasia also does not know how to dress for a formal interview—and in retrospect that hair thing makes a lot more sense now. We would call her fifty shades of dumb. She’s made an effort, though! She’s worn her only skirt to the affair. (Someone needs to tell this girl that if she’s not comfortable in skirts, they do make ladies’ professional slacks.) She even smirks at her own obvious unprofessional dress. I’m not sure why she’s feeling so smug about that, but I guess she’s just really glad to have her assumptions confirmed by all the blonde, judge-y people in suits.
While waiting in Christian Grey’s fancy office building, Anastasia regrets not getting the dude’s bio, since she doesn’t know what he looks like. I’m more concerned with the fact that she didn’t think of this earlier, like when she accepted the job from her roommate. Also, how does she not know who this guy is? I’m two pages in and he seems pretty damn rich and famous.
As she interviews Christian, Anastasia discovers more and more reasons to dislike him: he’s arrogant, a control freak, he strokes his lower lip irritatingly, and he makes her very uncomfortable.
Apparently, these are all turn-ons. (There are a whole lot of condescending jackasses in the world wishing more girls would follow Anastasia’s lead). She goes on to ask a number of questions that she’s really uncomfortable asking, and seems to not remember them being on the list after reviewing it not five minutes before. She tries to get around some of them by asking her own un-researched questions, which, unsurprisingly, do not go over well. “If I’d known I was doing this interview, I would have done some research,” she says. And now I’m confused all over again. Fifty Shades of confused? Perhaps. Unless her roommate came down with the plague sometime during the night and woke Anastasia up to beg her to do the interview, she’s known about this long enough to at least google the guy. How did she get through college with a procrastination problem this big?
Then the interview gets flipped around, and Christian begins questioning Anastasia (this is supposedly only fair, since she got to ask him questions first, and since we’re running on Christian Grey’s manipulative interview rules). While not actually one of the questions (though I really wouldn’t have been surprised if it was), we find out that Anastasia basically doesn’t know where her vagina is (probably another thing she should google), and doesn’t know what arousal feels like. Where is she from—Texas?
I give this chapter of Fifty Shades a D for despair. My own despair.
His gaze is intense, all humor gone, and strange muscles deep in my belly clench suddenly. I tear my eyes away from his scrutiny and stare blindly down at my knotted fingers. What’s going on?
Well, running on my assumption that you’re from Texas, I’ll explain. For me, that would be an accurate description of fear. On you, with your (frankly alarming) turn-ons, I’d take a guess that those are not stomach cramps. You are aroused. Those muscles are attached to your vagina. Please go read a sex-ed book.
Moving with lithe athletic grace to the door, he opens it wide.
He is walking. Like a normal walking person. Stop with the adjectives. Your “show, don’t tell” is failing. I cannot visualize any dude in a suit walking five steps with “lithe athletic grace.”
As our fingers touch, I feel an odd exhilarating shiver run through me. I withdraw my hand hastily, embarrassed. Must be static. I blink rapidly, my eyelids matching my heart rate.
It is not static. It is a shiver. You have obviously never felt static before. How you managed to avoid it, I’ll never know. In other news, if your rapid blinking matches your heartrate, you’re either normally a really slow blinker, or should be rushed to the hospital.
And thus ends chapter one of Fifty Shades in Fifty Days. Check back next Friday for Book Babe’s take on chapter two.
If this Fifty Shades review just makes you want to read the whole series or the new book, Grey…have at it below.
And if you love this Fifty Shades post, check out one of our favorite sites Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for the Top 13 Terrible Lines From Chapters 1 & 2 of Grey.