Fifty shades of Grey book critique

Fifty shades of grey E.L. James 2011 528 p. 100 million sale

Erotic romance novel written by British author E.L. James. The story traces the unconventional relationship between the naive college graduate, Anastasia Steele and the mysterious business magnate, Christian Grey.

The reader becomes the voyeur of this singular initiatory journey featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism. The author uses this taboo universe to explore basic themes such as: How far would you go for love, can love change someone, opposites’ attract.

E.L. James is placing her characters in uncomfortable situations: struggling with their emotions, fighting and finally compromising. The interest of the story lies on the conflict of sentiments between the two central characters. Besides all of their differences and deviances, they share a universal feeling: LOVE. That feeling cements their relationship and helps them to grow together and to explore new shades of their physical and emotional boundaries as the story progresses.

It could be a tale of love that triumphs over the odds. Unfortunately the characters are not believable and dialogues are dull. The author’s style is colourless and the plot is blindingly obvious.

Fifty shades of grey, despite all the leather and spanking, is pretty harmless!



This text is one of my assignments from creative writing class. I was asked to write a book critique in 200 words. I have picked “50 shades of Grey” first because I read it not so long ago (so I remember it quite well) and also because this assignment was scheduled in February at the exact time when the “steamy” film inspired from this book was released and everybody was talking about it for Valentine’s day… so I thought it could be interesting and fun to write my critique about it!

4 thoughts on “Fifty shades of Grey book critique”

  1. Hi (again) Virginie! I like your review of 50 Shades of Grey, even though I haven’t read it. However, if I may, I’d like to make a couple of recommendations to your writing style. I’ve really enjoyed the first three paragraphs, but the fourth one comes across as a little too mean. Maybe you should have introduced what you don’t like about the book in a “softer” way. You could have said something like “However, despite all of the above” or “However, all that glitters is not gold”, and then talk about the dialogues’ and characters’ faults using an expression like “at times”, which would make it more “politically correct”. I’m saying this because the fourth paragraph is a bit of a turn-off, despite the quality of the rest of the review. Hope I don’t sound too mean or anything. 😉 Keep up your good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your recommendation and actually thinking of it I have to agree with you! The reason the 4th paragraph looks a little bit too brutal is because I had to pack my critique in 200 words 😦 and I used too many words on the analysis in the previous paragraphs leaving me very little options to express my opinion… but I really appreciate your suggestions because there are softer ways to say things using expressions like you have mentionned: “However, despite all the above blabla” . I am glad you posted an interesting comment full of advice because it is helping me with my English but also other people like me struggling with this beautiful language, so thank you! My goal is to write beautifully, this is why I am following creative writing classes in order to reach 50 shades of English 😉


    1. I am glad you liked it! Don’t hesitate to have a look at the “school” category on my blog, there are some pieces I wrote as creative writing classes assignment that you might enjoy if you are into that!


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