Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
After five years of hearing just how bad this book is, I decided I wanted to see for myself. It’s the most famous piece of Twilight fan fiction and I felt I might as well read it, since I missed the “My Immortal” train in the Harry Potter fandom.
Honestly, it surprised me. It was a quick and easy read, probably because it was originally fanfic. With fanfic, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on exposition; you can just jump right in to two people falling for each other. Another thing that surprised me was that it was obviously Twilight fanfic. Usually with Twilight all-human AUs, the plot is so far removed from canon. Fifty Shades, however, actually does incorporate lines and plot points from the Twilight.
Obviously, Ana and Christian’s relationship is problematic, but honestly a lot of what happens in Fifty Shades happens in other books too. Often this book is framed like it is the Only Book Ever to have these issues. The thing that shocked me most was that Christian got into BDSM at 15 because of his mother’s friend and as an adult, he’s still friends with her. I don’t remember anyone ever talking about how Christian experienced statutory rape.
Total “inner goddess” count: 54
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
I had hoped that Maas’s writing style from Empire of Storms was a one-time thing, but it carried over into ACOWAR. The choppy sentences really frustrated me, especially toward the end. Honestly, I skimmed over a large portion of the final fight because I couldn’t be bothered to read through it. I wish this book was edited again to smooth over the choppiness. Example:
“The Weaver had waited. Hiding here. Until we arrived.” <- This literally did not need to be broken up like that. If it was a one-time thing, it wouldn’t have bothered me so much. Choppiness can add to the effect, especially in an action-heavy scene. But stuff like this happened all throughout the book.
Despite this, I did enjoy the characters. Rhysand addressing his court before the final battle made me cry. The relationships of Rhysand’s court are really what saved this book for me.
I think I am done with Maas’s worlds for now. I might get Tower of Dawn from the library when it comes out. We’ll see.