5 Reasons to Read “50 Shades of Grey”!

Surely by now you’ve heard of the steamy book trilogy, “Shades of Grey” by E.L. James, right? The books tell the story of Anastasia Steele, a young girl fresh out of college, who has never had a boyfriend, who meets the stunningly-handsome and quite-filthy-rich Christian Grey. The chemistry between them is obvious from the start- Anastasia finds him gorgeous and smart, and can’t imagine why he would ever be interested in someone like her. And Christian finds Anna to be young and beautiful and innocent…. and wonders if she would be interested in pursuing a relationship with him as his “submissive.”


Okay- clearly this isn’t your typical boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy marries girl, and they live happily ever after kind of story. No, this is a love story with a decidedly different kind of a twist. Anastasia is very attracted to Christian and definitely wants him to be her “first”…. but she has to contend with the fact that Christian is looking for a very different kind of relationship with her. He does not “do love”… he just does sex. And he enters into relationships with women in a very business-like manner- complete with contracts outlining the limits of what he and she will and won’t do (all of the points are up for negotiation of course!). So what’s a girl “in lust” to do? THAT’S what the book is about and why I want to share 5 Reasons to Read “50 Shades of Grey”:

1. Anastasia wrestles with the same decision that every girl does in a first relationship…

How much of herself should she give up or change in order to stay with this new boyfriend? Granted, the situation that she is contemplating is quite complicated. She’s horrified… yet intrigued. She’s appalled with the idea…. yet excited. But to enter into this relationship, she has to examine what it is she values and what she has to give up in terms of what she ideally wants (someone to love her) in order to be with Christian.

Okay- it’s not exactly the same as your 10th grade boyfriend wanting you to quit cheerleading in order to spend more time with him….. but the core of the matter is still- what should a girl compromise with herself in order to be in a relationship?

2. You don’t have to be personally interested in the “dominant-submissive lifestyle” to enjoy the book!

Okay- I really knew pretty much nothing about dominant/submissive relationships in general before reading this book, (other than in puppy training when I was supposed to be teaching my puppy that I was the boss….. and yes, at this I failed) and even after enjoying the trilogy I still am not personally interested in this as something for my own life…. but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t quite interesting to read about!

Personally I love reading about and learning about all kinds of things…. non-fiction stories about climbing Mount Everest, accounts by people who lived during the time of Chairman Mao or the Rwandan genocide…. fiction books about mothers and addiction or women who cheat on their husbands. Just because I read about these topics and enjoy the books does NOT mean that I wish to do any of these things!

Before purchasing”50 Shades of Grey” I read several negative reviews that talked about this book being demeaning to women…. but now I have to wonder- were these reviews written by people that even read the book? The character Anastasia constantly questions whether or not she wants to continue this strange sexual relationship. She is never forced to do anything- she is able to define limits (hard limits, soft limits) in terms of what she is and isn’t willing to do. She has “safe words” to use to stop whatever is currently going on entirely. The relationship is defined and consensual. Different, yes. But demeaning? In my opinion, no.

3. Anastasia’s character is warm and relatable

One of the things that I loved best about Anastasia was her constant “inner dialogue” as she works through her decision-making about this relationship. Her “Inner Goddess” gives her high-fives, ducks and hides, stretches out on a lounge chair dreamily…. I loved all of these visuals and I loved how it made Anastasia seem supported by her subconscious. And while most of us will never be in the position of contemplating a dominant/submissive relationship contract… watching how Anna talks herself into thinking through it was very entertaining.

I also really loved how Anna seeks to understand Christian but doesn’t focus on how she can change him. She doesn’t think that “well… if I do this for awhile then maybe he will fall in love with me and we can have a “normal” relationship”. She accepts that he offers what he has to give, and her job is to examine that and decide whether or not it is worth accepting.

4. Christian’s character is dark and mysterious

Yeah- even with Christian being all formal and dominating and stuff, as a reader you are not afraid of him. You are intrigued by him and want Anna to keep seeing him…. to find out what she learns about him next. And while, I had many cringe-worthy moments about how his early childhood abandonment led to his unique sexual lifestyle (as an adoptive Mom it was hard at times for me to set aside my own feelings about this part of the storyline), as the trilogy progressed we see that this was just one of several influences that shaped Christian into the person he grew to become.

5. Will she or won’t she? Will he or won’t he?

You can’t put the book down because you just want to know! Will Anastasia sign the relationship contract? Will Christian decide he wants more than just a dominant/submissive relationship with Anna? Is he capable of falling in love? Is she capable of not falling in love with him?

Momof6 rating:

Are you ready for this….. (6 out of 6 stars!)


Now to be honest, I also plowed through and enjoyed the next two books in the series “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”, but they were not nearly as good or as complex as the first book. However, the first book leaves you with such a cliff-hanger that you immediately dive right into the second book (trust me on this…) to see how it turns out. And now you might as well consider yourself sucked-in and committed because if you read the 2nd one, you’ll want to just finish the series!

Think It Should be a Movie?

Then check out these 5 Best “50 Shades of Grey” Movie Trailers created by fans of the series who are also video-editing geniuses! And vote for your favorite!

Want to see more? iVoices Celena Gill and I talk about reading”50 Shades of Grey” in this iVillage video!

So have you read “50 Shades of Grey” yet? Are you going to?

Most often at Momof6, I write about stuff like….how to organize your household, how to develop family routines, and how to plan a great birthday party for your kids…. so if that interests you- please Like Momof6 on Facebook so we can connect there too!

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  1. says

    Not only did I bust through the series during Spring Break, I currently have 5 friends IRL reading it which is going to make for one outrageously fun GNO when then movie comes out! What’s funny is I suggested they read the book before I knew anything about the sub/dom stuff, so of course I was cringing at what they were thinking about me and my book tastes once I read it. But so far, they are all happy readers. Phew!
    Christine@TheAums recently posted..How To Get Kids To Help With Laundry…Seriously.

    • says

      I just don’t know how they are going to make a movie out of this with all of the explicit stuff….. I am guessing that it will only give the hint of what the book went into at some parts! But I am sure that it will make one awesome girls night out some day!

  2. Amy says

    I wasn’t going to read it – but after that review, I just had it sent to the Kindle – I can’t wait!

      • Kelly says

        I am reading the books now. I am on the second book. All I want to know does it end up ok? I hate to read a series and then think I just wasted my time reading all these books, like watching a bad lifetime movie?

    • says

      The only reason I was able to get through all 5 books was because I read them while we were on our Spring Break vacation in SC! On the way home during our 15 hour drive, I read non-stop!

  3. Amy says

    I came across this blog to see what others thought of the books. I just finished the last of the trilogy, I too could not put these books down once I started reading. I had no idea about the books until recently watching the Today show and listened to all the debating going on. So, I wanted to see what all the talk was about. Yes, at times I was blushing while reading some of the explicit scenes but I have recommended this to all my girlfriends! It is a must read and I have to be honest and say that while some “scenes” sparked my curiosity I really fell for Christian’s story and the connection between him and Anastasia. It gives my 28 year old single self hope. 😉

    • says

      I am so glad that you left a comment with your take on the books! I think most people are surprised to find how much they enjoyed the books… and how they couldn’t put them down until they read all 3 books in the trilogy. Even if this isn’t the type of book you think you’d normally be attracted to…. they are pretty compelling once you get started!

  4. Anonymous says

    I began reading this disgusting thing you call a good book. If you are into deviant sexual behavior then this book is for you but not for me. There is no romance just a deviate psychopathic individual who takes advantage of weak minded individuals. I WOULD NEVER READ ANYTHING BU THIS Sutherland AGAIN”!!!!!!!.

    • DogGirl says

      Amen Sheila. Got it because of the hype. Seems like I’m in the brain of a giddy not-as-bright-as-we’re-to-believe teen. She says “oh my!” or crap again… Eesh. My friend is a male dom so it’s not a foreign concept but this book was given to my 14 year old step-daughter… By her mom. The woman who thinks using a tampon will make her want a penis in there. Im the former crazy one nighter chick and i think this is inappropriate for her. Reading about intense orgasms, oral, etc works better for me than a tampon!

      Half way through first. I could drop the book, go to my friend’s scene clubs and read something cerebral.

  5. says

    I just finished these books (I totally fit the stereotype for the target audience) and I have to say that I was sucked into their relationship from the get go and ripped through the books in a matter of days. And I laugh at the comments about how it’s demeaning to women because my take is that – ultimately – Anastasia WASN’T dominated. She didn’t become his submissive – she made him realize he wanted more and ultimately got the relationship she wanted, so I’d say she’s the winner here. 🙂
    Deb recently posted..Escape from reality….

  6. says

    I’m so disappointed by the number of women who find value in this book. So many women have spent years trying to convince society that we have value that is beyond our bodies, and that we value much more in a man than good looks and a fat wallet. At times, our “hero” in this book refers to our “heroine” in ways that degrade her as a *woman* and in ways that place her back into the category of helpless adolescent. Does this not strike anyone as a form of pedophilia? He admires her pigtails, her innocence, refers to her as “sweet.” I purchased this book thinking I was getting a great literary work about an alternate, taboo lifestyle. Instead, I got unrealistic characters, degrading commentary, and an implication from the author that people who practice anything except “vanilla sex” must have some psychological abnormality. Is no one else disturbed by any of this?
    TLHickman recently posted..Is Facebook Destroying Our Friendships? 8 Glitches in Social Media Communication That Are Negatively Affecting How We Interact with Our Friends

    • Jenna K. says

      Come on. Stop taking things so seriously. No strong woman is going to read these books and think “wow, I want a man to control every aspect of my life”. Any woman who goes along with this type of relationship has issues of her own or on the flip side is extremely healthy and confident in who she is as a woman and enjoys this type of sex. Why does everybody have to read so deep into things.? It’s a work of fiction, it’s entertaining, it’s not a how-to or self-help book. Pedophilia is not at all part of his likes nor does anyone say anybody who has vanilla sex is psychologically abnormal. There is nothing demeaning. It’s all her choice and at her request. Even my 19 year old little sister knows it was a fun read and has no effect on how she thinks or feels about herself.

    • DogGirl says

      TL, I’m not getting into the pedophilia or all that but I agree, I don’t like so far that the implication is that this is all he knows because there was some traumatic childhood event and he’s psychologically abnormal. I haven’t finished the first and I fit in a lot of reading with an unsedentary life but I googled to see if I was the only one who thought the writing was more “teen novel” than good writing (juvenile is the word i keep using).

      If it were well written, I might be turned on. As is, it’s like that Twilight crap with bdsm. Guessing… Wouldn’t touch that.

  7. kt2u says

    C’mon folks! This book is pure entertainment. “Great literary work”????? Didn’t you read anything about this book before picking it up? It is escapism from trying to fight our way for equal pay and glass ceilings, blah blah blah. Read it and enjoy your sig.other like mad!!

    • says

      Amen to that! I certainly didn’t read this for it’s literary value – I read it to be entertained and to escape my problems for a while 🙂 And yes – my husband enjoyed the books every bit as much as I did although he didn’t read them – ha!
      Deb recently posted..Escape from reality….

    • says

      No, I’m ashamed to say this is the first time I have ever purchased a book without looking into some background information. I had heard about it from The View, The Today Show, and friends online. None of these sources gave any information about the background or the terribly poor writing. Typically, a book that flies off the shelves like this brings offers something new and great. I never would have guessed that online fan fiction written for Twilight was actually being *sold.* If I had known that, no, I wouldn’t have purchased it.
      TLHickman recently posted..Is Facebook Destroying Our Friendships? 8 Glitches in Social Media Communication That Are Negatively Affecting How We Interact with Our Friends

      • says

        Certainly no one is going to hold this book up as an example of great literary fiction. But I think that many of us find it to be a good romantic-yet-definitely-unique-and-interesting with a spicy twist. I think it’s fine for us to enjoy it and share the reasons why we loved the characters and the story with one another.

  8. says

    I had held off on reading this but dove in and finished them all within a few days! The writing itself is arguable, but it is a fast and easy read that keeps interest. Personally I love the books for how it is allowing for women to open up their minds and communicate more thoroughly with themselves and their partners about what they like/don’t like/want to try. I’ve even had quite a few requests for themed Passion Parties around the 50 Shades of Grey books!

  9. Allison says

    I really loved these three books! The story wasn’t derogatory to women at all. In fact, it was the opposite. This is an exquisite love story with all the elements thrown in. Ana is one of the strongest characters I’ve become attached to in all of my reading. I love to read and found these books to be the most enjoyable books I have ever read. It’s interesting to me that 99% of the critics didn’t read the entire story. I hope she publishes more books from Christian’s point of view.

  10. lesikar says

    i LOVED the books. I read them and even ordered the audiobooks. I really dont see the problem everyone is having with it. I think its very good. i cant wait for the movie and i hope u writes it from Christians side I enjoyed that tease from him

  11. Bill says

    Momof6, AKA Sharon, excellent job with that review. I agree wholeheartedly, though I’d like to add something.

    For me, it wasn’t just the unique elements of a dominant/submissive relationship and the “kinky you-know-what.” (I about spit my coffee out laughing when Christian let loose with that gem). Those elements were fascinating, don’t get me wrong, but there is another point to be made. The storytelling.

    Fifty Shades was another brilliant example of the author getting out of the way of the story. All of Stephenie Meyer’s work would be the other examples. The author’s ego is, thankfully, absent in this series. This author stuck with Anastasia like glue throughout the series, rather than opting for long, poetic paragraphs of setting that make a reader stop reading the story so he/she can admire the prose. No breaks from Anastasia’s POV and internal dialogue. No obvious pandering to politically correct views, or common mainstream sensibilities. She simply let Anastasia tell us her story, the good, the bad, and the ugly right along with the rest. That is so rare. It lets the reader really experience the story from the character’s POV, in my opinion.

    Hopefully, other authors will figure out this storytelling approach and give readers more of it.

    I go by my pen name, J. B. William, on Facebook. I’ll put in a friends request soon. Again, good job on this review.

    • says

      Wait… you mean Anastasia wasn’t a real person?…..

      I agree with you- the reader definitely experienced the story from Ana’s point of view- which is one of the reasons that the story was so relatable to women. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jason Strong says

    Has anyone read the Marketplace Series by Laura Antineou or Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice. These have plenty of bondage, sex and dom/sub and master/slave. The books by Nancy Friday on women’s fantasies reveals that a lot of women have submissive and dominant fantasies. They are all fun to read and many couples have d/s as a part of their sex lives.

    • DogGirl says

      Jason, great reminder. Anne’s series was intense and how about the classic Story of O by Anais Nin? That book is a classic but influenced me (eh hem) for a long while. As Ana says so often ” oh my”

  13. Anonymous says

    thank u so much for this… everyones telling me not to read this book but i wanted to hear someone say good things about the book… now im goong to read it because ur reasons trumped all of the criticism:)

  14. says

    I admit it. I read the book. And I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The main character continually questions if she should continue in the relationship. She is never truly dominated by what some reviewers have called “the sick individual.” The scenes themselves are not nearly what I expected after all the hype – in fact, there are plenty of “paranormal romance” books I’ve read where it gets much more graffic.

    And, like you said, I flew through the first book and wish I had the 2nd on hand already.
    OneMommy recently posted..Fairy Garden House

    • says

      I am glad you shared this with us…. it’s been awhile since I read Anne Rice or other paranormal romance books…. but I do remember them getting pretty graphic too!

  15. says

    I have read all three books and THOROUGHLY enjoyed them for their ENTERTAINMENT value. This trilogy much like soap operas is designed to ENTERTAIN you. I had a BLAST blazing through ALL THREE books in less than a week. I think the books are a fast read and a GOOD time! They are not meant to be serious reading! If you want a serious read purchase WAR & PEACE for goodness sake! Enough said………………

  16. Kim says

    I am not a reader of books by nature…as a matter of fact, I am lucky if a Cosmo or Glamour can keep my attention. I was told about this book from my niece and decided since I had an IPAD and I travel every week for my job, it would be a good way to kill some time on the plane. I could not have imagined that I would actually be engulfed in this book. I could not put it down and one night stayed up and read 800 pages to finish the first book. I was completely upset at the end thinking this was how the book ended until I found out it was a trilogy and quickly ordered the rest and am on book 2 now. I found myself really feeling for Anastasia but even more so, being drawn in by Christian and his charm. I didn’t find the other erotic stuff that bad and found it entertaining and adding to the story. So many people deal with things in their relationships that make them second guess or yearn to know someone better and this is a prime example of the emotions both sides go through, his and hers. I think all these people dumping on the books are either prudes or need to understand reading is a pasttime and if you don’t like it, don’t read it but don’t be so negative with your thoughts.

    • says

      I was telling a friend about the book this past weekend, and I told her that it wasn’t even the steamy stuff that made the book so compelling… it was the storyline about the two characters and how they were feeling and the push and pull of what should Anastasia give up about herself in order to pursue this relationship.

  17. says

    Also, I vote for Jessie Pelveka in the role of Chrisian Grey if there is a movie. He is ridiculously handsome, if he has an acting bone in his body he should be cast in this movie. He is DROP DEAD, AMAZINGLY, TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY, GORGEOUS!!! Sound familiar? Google him and see for yourself. Eye candy at it’s finest!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. lynzie says

    omg…i just looked up jessie pelveka…and if they just get his hair a little more strawberry i think his looks can pull the part off…don’t know about his acting skills. whoever is chosen will need to step up to the plate though, because although a fun read, it has the threats of becoming a B movie if done poorly. oh and btw, if you can’t see how this book empowers women, then you are reading with a very narrow eye.

  19. karoll says

    Are you serious???
    Thosr books where terrible, the writing was appauling, the plot none existent and the characters flawed beyong repair. I have no problem with the sex scenes, however this woman has a very limited vocabulary and dragged what should have been a 500-600 page book into a trilogy. Yes he has hot, yes she had a great GPA. How many women would allow a man to control them in the way Ana let Grey?
    Overall a terrible book. I stuck it out because I am stubborn .a.d kept wishing it will some how be worth my time…

  20. Deanna says

    Pelveka… wow. Darken his hair a bit, and that is just how I pictured him.
    I too hope they pick the right characters for movie. Will be interesting to see how it goes. 😉 Thanks for writing a good blog post about it as literature. I see many who totally dismiss it and haven’t even read it. If you read it and still hated it, well, ok. You gave it a shot. I too didn’t think it was all completely well written- got sick of hearing so many of the same ‘words’ over and over describing things… especially the word ‘murmured’… but I still enjoyed the whole series. Great plots and twists and hot stuff! 😀 My husbad read it with me and we have had a lot of fun through it. I think more men should open up to it with their spouses. Could truly bring some good conversation to your marriage.

  21. Anna says

    I think that those that are making bad comments about the book have not really read the trilogy. Though the writing itself is not fabulous I liked the way the author developed the characters. And yes, Ana was in control. This was not a book about subs and doms, it is a book about a relationship. You need to peel the layers and it is a very good read. I suggest you READ THE BOOKS before you make assumption. Or better yet don’t read the book if you are not open minded enough to GET IT!

  22. Anna says

    I think that those that are making bad comments about the book have not really read the trilogy. Though the writing itself is not fabulous I liked the way the author developed the characters. And yes, Ana was in control. This was not a book about subs and doms, it is a book about a relationship. I suggest that you actually READ THE BOOKS before you make assumptions. Or better yet don’t read the book if you are not open minded enough to GET IT!

  23. Shelley says

    My boyfriend got me the series for my birthday. The woman at the books store told him to get me to read them backwards (50 shades freed first etc.) So I am reading that one now and he won’t give me the others until I finish this one. Do you think it will make a difference in my enjoyment of the story? Just curious, I’m enjoying the book so far, just started it last night.

    • says

      What? Shelley- that seems crazy to me… why would you read a book series backwards? I would not read them that way…. it would not be nearly as enjoyable!

  24. Sbelle says

    I don’t get it. I forced myself to read the first one – then gave the 3 away.
    I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Fanny Hill instead – great stuff!

    • says

      Shelly I don’t understand why you were told to read the books backward. The story progresses and the characters develop in the order that the books were written. I personally wouldn’t be able to make any sense out of it reading the books backwards…….what an ODD suggestion.

  25. Shelley says

    Karen, I know! I kept asking him last night if he was sure that’s what she said and he said yes. He also heard it on the radio that people were reading them backwards. I think I just may finish this one, I’m almost done anyway, then start at the beginning and reread the third. lol

    • says

      Shelley, so you don’t get to see the characters develop and cheerlead them on. That would have RUINED it for me! Part of the fun was reading along and trying to figure out what was going to happen next……unfortunately you already know, too bad……….Hope you still enjoy the first two even though you know the ending :0(

  26. says

    Good Morning everyone!
    So I’m gonna tell you what’s happening. Okay so, I knew the trilogy was actually extremely graphic before I bought it, but still I was so darn curious! Anyway, I did it and start reading, all I could think was: “I am SO like Ana! I’m her lost twin (mentally)!” Then, when the graphic part started I was like “Oh, okay, fine” And now, I’m all so captivated by Grey I cannot (literally) keep my eyes from the darn books. I’m lacking sleep again (yep, shit) but that doesn’t really matters.
    I don’t see how this deserves bad critics. Before I didn’t know ’bout the sub/dom thing, and I’m really caught by the subject (in not a I-want-to-practice-it sorta way). I think is SO freakin’ different of everything I’ve read before is so… Amazing.
    Grey is just as you said so mysterious, and I just want him more with each page I read. Can this be possible? Geesh! I thought he was a psycho at first, but yeah with the abuse at his teenage years… I got to understand him better. It really touched me.
    I think I’m fonded (ohmygoddess) to the trilogy, and I won’t stop till I finish it! I’ll have the courage to keep going (won’t be so hard, though)!
    LOVE your critics!
    Jeeze! I have really to stop writing too much, anyway,

  27. JJ says

    My best female friend has all praises for this book so I have gone and downloaded it for a weekend of reading.

    Let me say first that I went into this book with a neutral perspective. I am not a bibliophile although i have my fare share of classic reading as well as fluff and have pored over pages of the “in between” type. Also let me state that my sexual preference is also of the inbetween type as I am gay. I think I am bringing a neutral perspective into this debate about this book being trash or treasure. But wading through the fifty shades of Grey, I find myself wondering what on earth do women find seductive about this material.

    First the prose is mediocre at best. The writer has very limited vocabulary to play with often using and reusing mundane phrases like “oh my” “under his long lashes” “Holy fuck” “making me blush”. also there are tons of mispells and grammatical error.
    Second, the book , all 28 or so chapters of it has been crammed with long explicit sex scenes one after another occasionally interrupted by snippets of events written as if they were just an excuse to usher in another throbbing sex scene.

    I am utterly baffled by how women find reading this book exciting at all. I honestly find the story line so girlishly elementary and predictable. i cant imagine how any woman with a decent sense of self can actually fall for a guy who looks at women as a property to claim. (“Just remember who owns you , you are mine”.) no matter how handsome he is!
    using this as a premise for a storyline is preposterous and insulting to even me, a gay man who would arguably so willingly bend over for a big hard cock.

    And then I remember this is a rehash of a book about teenage romance.
    I am left wondering, are women nowadays so utterly repressed of their sexual fantasies that they have resorted to reading trashy erotica and hailing it as the next big thing?I try my best to imagine this book has it’s value for the openness it brings on dark female fantasies.

    The woman has gone a long way since the dawn of cavemen where they are bludgeoned to submission for mens; primal lust. The fact that we are even perpetuating such sexual fantasies (even if ana herself falls in and out of interest for BDSM) makes me wonder how the modern woman has come a long way since then.

    But this is just me trying to intellectualize the book, and its reason for being so I digress and chill for a moment here before I summarize my thoughts.

    If I were watching a movie, I would categorize this a a triple x porn. For a triple x porn, I would grade it a C+ as it made me think and chuckle sometimes.

    all this said, I must add that if I were a woman, I would probably have a place for 5o shades in my boudior, and that would be beside the vibrator in the drawer!

    • Shelley says

      JJ, I also noticed the limited vocabulary and tons of mispells and grammatical errors. But I think the book is just a form of escapism for women. We read it for the same reason we pay to see cheesy romance movies. That said, I can guarantee you will hear a whole lot more about the movie than you did the books.

  28. JJ says

    cheesy movie? howabout triple x porno with a cheesy story? i doubt any actress worth her salt will take on the role. someone like lindsay lohan maybe?


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