Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
Paperback, 532 pages

Published 26th April 2012 by Arrow 
(First published 5th September 2011)

My shelves: 
abuse, books-i-own, currently-reading, erotica, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, series-or-companions, too-much-hype
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:
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.

Buy this book:

Okay... I wasn't going to read this. After reading the first few chapters of the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, I told myself that I wouldn't continue the trilogy.  Obviously I lied to myself - I went out and bought the second and third book only days after finishing the first. I'm not sure why, but I can't help but want more - maybe it's because I've never read anything like this before - it is something new.

At the beginning of this book, I was absolutely cringing. Not because of the sex scenes, but because of the writing. Some of the phrases used in this book are seriously cringe-inducing and I found myself grimacing when our main character, Ana, was talking about her 'inner goddess'. However, once I had adjusted to the writing and just concentrated on what was actually going on, I did find myself getting lost in the story again, flicking through pages at top speed. This book certainly had more of a plot than the first one - rather than just sex scene upon sex scene, there was actually an alright story behind it too. We get to learn a lot more about Christian's past in this book which was all quite predictable but still quite interesting. There were certainly more serious issues addressed in this book. There is actually so much packed into this one that it'd be hard to mention everything. I do think that some of the issues/situations should have been explored more as I felt a few felt casually dismissed.

I think that although the relationships and actions of the characters aren't entirely realistic, they are somewhat interesting. Once again, both Ana and Christian had their faults and certainly weren't totally likeable characters. Like many others, I do find Ana to be quite pathetic at points, her actions sometimes childish. To be honest, I can live with her though - she may be a pushover, but I'd imagine that a lot of people in her situation would react the same way. Christian is ...Christian. He's still charming, mysterious, seductive and attractive despite his sometimes scary attitude. He doesn't seem to be as controlled by his 'sadist' feelings, but they are clearly still there. I thought it was good to see him work through his psychological problems - it was nice to actually have more of a focus in this book rather than just all of the sex scenes. Of course there was plenty of steamy sex scenes again and more visits to Christian's playroom.

I am giving this two and a half stars because that's simply what I feel that it deserves overall. The writing is certainly not great and I'm not a fan of the whiny main character. Despite that, it has still managed to get me hooked. Some people will be charmed by Christian and some will find him simply abusive. Some people will find reading about a BDSM relationship uncomfortable. Like all books, some people will like it and some people just won't. I have mixed feelings yet I still want to read more...


  1. I gave this a two star as well. I didn't even get to the third one cause I couldn't stand them. I felt like I wasted my time reading these. I just don't get it.

  2. Great review, Stephanie! I'm glad to hear there is more of a plot in this one, rather than sex scene after sex scene. These books aren't for me however so I doubt I'll ever be picking this up.

  3. See now, I read these before the hype was built up around them (that's not meant to be an 'I got there first' type of comment, I just had it recommended to me pretty much as it came out) and I enjoyed them. You have to just accept them for what they are, a few cheap thrills and a bit of fun. I appreciate that they've revitalised the book market a little too! We've had lots of people who don't usually come to our bookshop coming in for them which is nice!
    (When you get to the third one, stick with it. It gets SO slow for a good few chapters right in the middle but it will eventually pick up again...)
    I love that you've reviewed this! Too many people have been like 'I can't be bothered'. =]

  4. I gave it a 2 stars too. Couldn't believe I went back for the second and third books - maybe because I was horrified and wanted to know what could be written poorly next! (Same thing happened for me with Twilight, I don't think it's a coincidence).

  5. mmm interesting.
    I don't feel like reading the book but it sounds like it's a very addictive type of read -in that it's different and keeps you hooked.

    To me, the books just sound to long for me to bother, since mostly I've heard that the writing isn't very good.

  6. I haven't read these books and I certainly won't read them. Ever. The whole idea freaks me out and from what I've read on the internet, Christian is just an abusive, manipulative creep who hides behind his abusive past. So, no thanks. I don't mind erotic scenes and I don't have anything against porno books, but I don't want to read anything about abuse.

  7. I can name a hundred heart-soaring, heart-rending and breathtaking moments in this book. There are many favorite scenes that I am already looking forward to re-reading (Portland to Seattle, anyone?). I am a fan, what can I say? Although British-isms still abound, there are typos, and a couple of the mini-plots are duds, I don't care. It's imperfect, but it's so very unique in its style, its structure and its content. I adore it and highly recommend it!


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