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4.1 out of 5 stars
Fifty Shades Darker
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2012
I have read the whole trilogy and love the trajectory of growing intimacy between the main characters. Yes the books could have done with a careful edit but the conversations, sex scenes and how the relationship develops are written really well. In fact 50 Shades Darker is better written. EL James herself says she gets better as she goes on. I continued to care about the characters. Christian and Ana were so bereft at the split in the relationship and learnt a lot from it and are both determined to do whatever they have to do to make the relationship work. They both strive for honesty and clarity. Ana must voice her inner thoughts and even though this often causes tension and strife, it is best in the long run. Ana challenges herself too- could Christian love her if she didn't remind him of the kind of woman he wanted to be sadistic towards? Christian's therapist John Flynn picks up on this and I would have liked to see more of her inner development in this regard. The sex scenes continue to be innovative and intimate. The billiard table scene with its lead up of engaging banter between Christian and Ana is thrilling and must be in my top three of sexy scenarios in the trilogy and of anything I have read elsewhere. Brilliant book 2 and you have to read the trilogy to get the overall picture of how more truth between two people leads to greater intimacy and trust.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2012
The second book in the Fifty Shades series, in my opinion is not quite as good as the first.

I still enjoyed it and I'm still looking forward to reading the third one but I just felt that it was missing a little something. And I also became a little exasperated with the two main characters.

What I did like about this book was the extra characters and storylines that are brought into play. The first book was very much about Christian and Ana getting to know each other and so it generally just focused on the two of them. And although the story in Fifty Shades Darker is also focused on Christian and Ana, there are other storylines and characters introduced too. Such as the evil `Mrs Robinson', and Ana's rather inappropriate boss. And it was great to have more chapters with Christian's family in them.

I think these extra side plots gave some great dimension to Ana and Christian's already hectic relationship.

Another compliment I have for this book is the character development of Christian and Ana. By the end, they are hardly recognisable as the same two characters we were introduced to at the beginning of book one. The author has done a great job of letting them develop and grow and compromise with each other and portrays a very realistic story of two very different people falling in love gradually. This was so refreshing.

Therefore, I am a little sad that I didn't love this book as much as I wanted to. My problem was mainly the exhausting ups and downs of the relationship. I understand these arguments and `make ups' had to happen for Ana and Christian to be able to move forward but, it just happened so often! Like, every day there was a new drama that would cause them to fall out dramatically... and then make up `dramatically'. It felt like being on the `big dipper'!

So ultimately, if the third book can take the excellent pacing of the first book and marry it together with the character development and relationships of the second book then I will be very happy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2012
As the title suggests, the trilogy takes a darker turn in this book. The story picks up from where it ended in book 1. Anna starts her new life and new job in Seattle after leaving Christian. However, destiny brought them back together and it's time for both Christian and Anna to face Christian's dark past.
It was a fantastic read and I could not put it down. Unlike the first book, it's packed with action, drama and crime thriller elements, and overall it was like a rollercoaster ride. Off course, there are some steamy sex scenes-but I have to admit some of it gets a bit repetitive. However, in my opinion, the main theme of this book is really about Christian's past and what made him the way he is now. We also get to see how Anna and Christian evolve beyond the sub-dom relationship as in previous book. Anna has definitely changed Christian's life. Seeing Christian coming out from his shell and led to the light by Anna is so beautiful.
The end of this book also gives us some clue as to what's going to happen in the next book. There will definitely be happy ever after but it seems there are some obstacles that they have to come across first!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2012
Childish, immature, pathetic, sick (what is E L James' obsession with fingers in orifices!) Apparently these are her fantasies conjured up in her mid-life crisis! I hope the world opens it's eyes and a backlash against these ridiculous books gathers pace. They are completely ridiculous, but also with a nasty side to them that leaves a very bad taste in the mouth!!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2012
I read the first book, and it was ok in it's limited way. Quite readable.

Then I started on this second book and it soon becomes clear than 90% of this book is a rehash of the first book. All the same phrases, all the same sex scenes. It just becomes boring.

Now, I like sex as much as the next red blooded person but you do find yourself skipping over the sex scenes in this second book, mainly because they are exactly the same as the first book.

Someone else wrote in a review that the author should buy herself a thesaurus, and I would agree. The same words and phrases are used time and time again. Perhaps it's the fault of the editor not to have picked up on this, but it does become annoying and, yes, BORING!
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2012
OK, here's the thing. I don't ask a lot from my books. Just to have a half decent story and be reasonably well written. I read (and quite enjoyed) the Twilight Saga for Pete's sake! That's why I wasn't exactly expecting a literary masterpiece from the 50 shades book, but I admit I'm a bit of a sheep and wanted to see what the hype was about.
I genuinely don't understand how anyone of average or above intelligence can see these books through! The repetativeness of it is actually shocking. If the constant oh my, whoa, or holy crap/cow/moses didn't have you wanting to tear out your own eyes I don't know what will.
Cocking heads. Think back to the last time you ever saw someone actually cock their head. Poor Christian must have whiplash the amount of times that guy cocks his head in a day! Moving on, calling each other by surnames. Who actually does that? Yes it might be comical to call the other half by their surname when being formal now and then but every day? Really? Go home tonight and start calling your partner by their surname and see how long it takes them to ask you why your being "weird".
Next, the sex. I admit I was looking forward to this bit having no experience of bdsm myself. For a book that is supposed to be about something so taboo, you would assume the author would figure that the audience would be over 10 years old and would therefore refrain from referring to Anas vagina as her "sex". I'm willingly reading a book about bdsm. I think I can handle the word vagina.
I get that Mr Grey is the hottest guy alive. I was told every page in the first book his eyes are smouldering gray (ah, and his name is Grey, look how that worked out!) But I don't care who you are, it is impossible to have earth shattering orgasms every time a certain man looks at you.
Oh the fullness! Whatever love.
Finally the sickeningly lovey love in the second book. I love you, I love you too, dont leave me, I won't leave you, you might leave me, well you might leave me, I'd die without you, well when we broke up (for 5 days ffs) I nearly did die, please don't leave me, I will never leave, you own my body and soul (because people actually say things like that) always, I love you always. I think I threw the book at the bus driver at this point.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2012
Well, what can I say! I was one of those who bought into this hype. I read the first book, and found it informative (not my cuppa, but each to their own); I was more interested in the romantic element of the plot. I must admit, the first book left me very curious as to whether they would be together in the subsequent books. (SPOILER ALERT) Suffice to say that after finding out that Christian does love her and wants to marry her, that was it for me! For me, that is the end of a love story!

There isn't enough substance in the plot to keep me interested after that. As for character development - it is quite unrealistic. I supposed I was looking for a simple love story a la Steele or Collins, but really, I should have just bought Steele or Collins, at least there is more intrigue, the language used is more varied, unlike EL James' ubiquitous 'Oh my'. It is extremely irritating!

This book, for me, fails at quite a few levels that a good book should be at. First, the plot is thin, as it doesn't really develop in this book. It goes around in circles. Second, I don't care about the characters. Third, the language used is quite juvenile, almost insulting the ability of its readers. Lastly, if it trying to explain BDSM, it probably introduced it in the first book as this book offers nothing new. You are better off 'googling' it.

I was too hasty in buying the last book as well. I find myself not able to pick it up. Alas, I don't think I will read it. This should not have been a trilogy. It should have ended at book one.

I've wasted my money - don't waste yours! Go and read The Hunger Games - much more entertaining!The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, despite what everyone said about the repetitious nature of the prose and the parlous dialogue. All of which was true. The story however, was fresh and interesting and sexy enough to keep me intrigued. I liked the fact that Christian and Ana's relationship was quite complex, and psychologically reasonably interesting. I finished the book and immediately bought the two sequels because I really wanted to know how Christian and Ana's relationship played out.

I wish now that I hadn't. The sex is slightly less vanilla in this book, but that is all that has changed, and what was intriguing has now become dull and predictable.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2012
This is easily the worst book I have ever read (Amazon did not permit me to submit zero stars - it really is that bad!). I read all three in the hope a story, a plot, a twist, something would emerge; but there simply is no story; the characters are weak and have no substance; it is supposed to be saucy, but after reading the 50th sex scene with the same couple it felt very much like watching an old couple shagging; the use of alternate and naive words used to describe the body, to less offend, became annoying; not to mention the continuous reference to an inner goddess.

I have seen a reference to Jane Austen, clearly an insult to talented British writers - her characters held essence and knew what was expected to survive in that day-and-age; however, she herself never married in the knowledge it would not make her happy.

I think the author must have lead a very sheltered life if this is what she thinks turns women on - I might have enjoyed this book when 12 years of age, even as a teenager I would have considered this purial. Looking at the number of reviews it seems there are thousands of unhappy unsatisfied women out there. I would otherwise not waste my time writing a review but I fear this type of tat and dribble encourages a new generation of young minds to waist their life waiting for prince charming. Women who banked all their hopes on men only to end up stuck with their kids, scratching around to make ends meet; in loss of their precious youth, when they could have been pursuing their `real' dreams - we all know them.
I was annoyed that I spent my money on this book, but in retrospect I thinking the author needs every penny so perhaps she can finally get a life.
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308 of 348 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2012
I have read the whole trilogy and none of the three books have delivered for me. I agree with a lot of the other reviewers, Ana's identity lurches from American to English as we read, it just isn't one thing or the other. Ok there's plenty of sex in this but to call it a Romance is rather stretching things. I had it in my mind that Ana would be Christian's salvation, that they would end up having some great emotional connection. Instead it seems she became his 'thing' enjoying what he did to her, greedy for it in fact! Then there was the eye rolling and lip biting, the sooners baby, the e-mails, the detail in the contract he expected her to sign. All of these just began to annoy after a while. But worst of all was the thin, predictable plot and how can a young girl share a flat with a friend with a healthy sex life and not know ANYTHING about sex??? I really wanted to enjoy this, but found it totally wanting.
Of course, many readers are posting reviews saying how great these books are and in the end it's all down to indivudual taste. Sadly for me, I thought the story had great potential but this seemed to be lost in page after page of descriptive sex. Sorry but it has to be said, this whole thing is a triumph of hype over substance.
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