Fifty Shades of What the Hell Am I Reading (Part II)

I’m about three-fourths of the way done with Fifty Shades of This Is Easily the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read, and in the interest of maintaining my sanity through the rest of it, I thought I would take a break to share my thoughts on it so far.

Thought #1: This book sucks.

Thought #2: I mean, really, really sucks. Like, spectacularly, ludicrously, bafflingly sucks.

Thought #3:  Sucks.


1. The Writing


“My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe.”


On a similar note, I feel that someone needs to inform Ms. E.L. James that normal human beings do not invoke each other’s names in every single sentence they speak to one another.

A dramatization:

“Christian, I would like to say something to you.”

“What is it, Anastasia?”

“Well, Christian, I’m just so clumsy and beautiful and have three different attractive men vying for my attention, Christian, but I really feel that you, Christian, are actually the one for me, Anastasia, which is my name, just as Christian is yours.”

“Oh, Anastasia, that is correct, for Christian is indeed my name, and also my eyes are gray, and my name is Grey, and isn’t that interesting?”

“Oh, yes, Christian, yes! Ever so interesting, Christian! And my last name is Steele, which is like steel, which is gray!”

“Zomg, Anastasia, that’s astounding!”



2. The relationship


I’ve heard many a case defending Christian Grey because tragic backstory + rich and handsome = do whatever you want to women and still be considered a masculine ideal. But it does have to be said, I feel, that this is one messed up dude, and anyone out there (male or female) who is raising him up as something to aspire to needs to wake up and smell the restraining order. (Though I imagine restraining orders wouldn’t have any particular smell, aside perhaps from the scent of the paper they’re printed on, or possibly the ink. But you get the idea.)

Let’s revisit a particularly memorable exchange from the book, which occurs after Christian has stalked Ana, tracked her via her phone’s GPS, sold her car and exchanged it with one he feels is more suitable for her, freaked out when she didn’t answer his emails immediately, raged with jealousy over her associating with other men, sworn her to secrecy about their relationship (thus isolating her from family and friends), and drawn up a contract that not only discusses the sexual aspect of their relationship (which is by far the least disturbing thing in the book), but also requires her to wear what he wants, keep herself constantly “shaved and/or waxed,” and accept that she is now his “property.”

So, yes, after that, we find this gem:

“So why are you trying to change me?”

“I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” he says.

“But you want to punish me?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s what I don’t understand.”

He sighs and runs his hands through his hair again.

“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way.”


These are not the words of a dark, misunderstood hero who just happens to like bondage – this is a big ole flashing neon sign that screams, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. RUN THE HELL AWAY BEFORE THE CREEPY SERIAL KILLER MUSIC STARTS UP, ‘CUZ YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO ANY MINUTE NOW AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE WHEN IT DOES.”

Now, in the particular case of Christian and Ana, apparently everything turns out just gosh-golly great by the end of the series; this profoundly disturbed man is healed by the lovin’ of a good woman, and all is sunshine and rainbows. But I feel that the fans of Fifty Shades of This Book Is Seriously Awful need to remember that that is by far the least likely outcome to this sort of relationship. When one member of a couple demands total, unquestioning control over the other in all aspects of life, it generally doesn’t lead to anything good.

Also, for the record, I have no issue at all with the sexual aspect of their relationship – it’s everything else about it that disturbs the crap out of me.


Well, back to the book, then. Only 200-some pages to go…!


Weenie roasts and blogger recruitment

It’s a lovely sunny morning, I have nowhere to go and nothing I have to do (aside from housework, but that’s easy enough to ignore), and it’s just about time for my second cup of tea. Life is good.


Well, except for that whole thing about how very soon our country will be controlled entirely by a bunch of rich white guys who are determined to block any legislation that might help people who are not (straight, Christian) rich white guys.


In less soul-destroying news, the Chosen publishing process is moving along nicely. An artist has been commissioned to design the cover, and I’ve had a review copy of the book printed up so I can press my nose up to the pages and scent out any typos, errors, or gaping plot holes as of yet undiscovered during the writing and editing process.

This isn’t the official cover, but here’s the cover of the review copy:


Ooooh, (stock photo) fire.

In related news, I’m currently looking for bloggers or fellow authors who would be interested in writing review blurbs for the book. If you’re interested (or know someone who might be), drop me an email at I’ll send you a free electronic copy of the book, and your review blurb will be included here on this site (and also possibly on the front or back cover of the book).

In case you’re not sure what to write, might I suggest one of the following?


2. “So good that Jon Stewart should immediately call up T.J. Baer and ask her to come on The Daily Show and talk about it.”

3. “I was really depressed about Republicans gaining control of the Senate, but reading this book made me feel like life had meaning again. Thank you, T.J.!”

Or something to that effect.


Okay, not really. But any of the above will certainly get you a queen-sized helping of brownie points.

FGJ at Rainbow Reviews

Following Grandpa Jess300 dpiFor any interested parties, you can read a review of my book, Following Grandpa Jess, over at Rainbow Reviews:

A quote from the review, which was written by Lena Grey:

“A big part of the appeal of this book is its down-to-earth approach to family life. The writing is excellent and engaging without being sappy or over-the top. There aren’t any gigantic, earth-shattering events, but there are several that are, nonetheless, important milestones for Jess’s family unity. Each character is a piece of the familial puzzle which, even at best, may not fit together perfectly, but those whose greater purpose is brought into better focus with a lot of love, honesty, and introspection, all of which is achieved by remembering to follow the example left by Grandpa Jess. I recommend this heartwarming, emotional story to everyone who wants a good, thoughtful read, one which also reminds us of the importance of family love.”

News of the good variety

Just wanted to share the (somewhat belated) news that Following Grandpa Jess recently hit the bestseller list over at Huzzah!


The book was also recently featured over on Reviews by Jessewave, and if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to buy it, you can find a variety of thoughts on the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

I would write more, but my brain has turned to mid-afternoon mush and I can’t seem to string together a sentence that sounds even remotely print-worthy. THUS! I bid you adieu for now.


/reduction of caffeine not going well