Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christianâ€s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees. Â Now, Ana and Christian have it allâ€”love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future.Â But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate.Â Ana must somehow learn to share Christianâ€s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past. Â Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Anaâ€s deepest fears turn to reality.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
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1139 of 1243 found the following review helpful:
Sheer brilliance ... or maybe it's just so bad that it's goodMay 23, 2012
By cupcake There are life's guilty pleasures, and then there is the guiltiest spectacle of them all: the Fifty Shades of Grey spectacle. It's time to review this precious pearl of literary genius, so I'm going to dive on in. Hold me.
When we last left our romantic icons, Ana Steele and Christian Grey, they were newly engaged and facing (a) Ana's ex-boss, Jack Hyde, whom Christian fired in a fit of jealous pique when Jack made a pass at Ana and (b) Christian's "Mrs. Robinson," the woman who initiated him into his life of BDSM. Can these two crazy love birds find happiness and contentment? Thank goodness E. L. James doesn't keep us hanging and gives us the GIFT that is Fifty Shades Freed.
The tale opens just after Christian and Ana's wedding, as the two bask on their European honeymoon. They bicker, rock the headboard, bicker some more, and have make-up rocking of the headboard. While enjoying their romantic interlude, Christian learns that someone apparently tried to sabotage part of his building. Enter the "plot" portion of the festivities. The threat to Grey Enterprises increases, and we are meant to be on the edge of our seats in anticipation of how this AWFUL THING will transpire. There also continues to be friction in the Grey marriage. These two argue about the same damn thing all the time, followed by furious headboard rockin'.
So there's your story.
While this one shares certain similarities with Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker, in Fifty Shades Freed, James actually attempts - gulp - style. There are flashbacks, seemingly set at even intervals, but then mysteriously dropped. Until, that is, the epilogue, where they show up again. Clearly E. L. James realized that we don't read these books for STYLE. I mean, really.
Let's get to the good stuff, shall we? Because, let's face it: we also do not read these books for their plot. Please. There are more important things to anticipate.
THE BUTT PLUG SHOWS UP!!!!!
I know some of you have waited in breathless anticipation, and you will not be denied! We also meet the flogger AND the cross is used AND the grid. Insert jumpy claps here. Christian and Ana continue to Know Each Other in the Biblical Sense in different locales, including - but not limited to - an airplane, a yacht, a couch, a shower, a bathtub, a picnic blanket and - thank GOD - the red satin bed in the Red Room of Pain.
But you know what is not used in any romantic situation whatsoever? The grey tie! I am bereft with grief. I got attached to that tie, and while it makes a brief appearance, it does not do so wrapped around anyone's appendages. It's a tease, and I am not amused.
Also missing: any sign of a competent, coherent editor. What IS present is the same repetitious writing. It takes less than three pages for the first smirk to appear. And this time? Christian and Ana aren't the only two who smirk. Other characters get in on the action. I suspect that E. L. James is f-ing with me. We also get bitten lips, rolled eyes, lips pressed into a hard line, frowns and sighs.
But a new play has entered the repertoire: Christian rubs his nose down the length of Ana's nose.
Naturally, this being E. L. James, he does that A LOT. Almost as often as one of them says, "Hmmm." Clearly the message is that in the absence of the ability to write dialogue, insert a breathy moan.
And now, an excerpt. Feel free to use this as an interpretive dialogue:
Hmm ... my Fifty wants to tumble.
"Don't bite your lip," he warns.
Compliantly, I release my lip. "I think you have me at a disadvantage, Mr. Grey." [They call each other Mr. and Mrs. Grey ALL THE TIME, as if they forgot their first names.] I bat my lashes and squirm provocatively beneath him. This could be fun. "Disadvantage?"
"Surely you've already got me where you want me?" He smirks [!!!!! - of course he does] and presses his groin into mine once more.
Ah, language. Its mellifluous use is a lost art, isn't it? Thank goodness E. L. James is here to reinvigorate writing.
As I typed that, I mistakenly wrote "goddess," rather than "goodness." That brings me to another repetition: Ana's subconscious, complete with the half moon glasses and disdain, shows up again. The inner goddess is not as present, but that subconscious school marm sure is. Oh, lucky us.
So is Fifty Shades Darker worth the read? OF COURSE IT IS. You can't stop at their engagement! You need to read about the wedding and the honeymoon and the corporate intrigue and the early months of their marriage and the in-laws and the Evil Ex-Employee and the Evil Ex-Dominatrix. You can't stop at the second one! You must read this!
Oh, it's awful. Don't get me wrong about that. It is just as badly written and edited as its predecessors. But, as I have said before, it is literary crack. So bad for you, but so addicting.
A plus: at the end, we get a brief glimpse of Christian's point of view. And then - AND THEN - E. L. James says, "That's all ... for now."
OH MY GOD - THERE WILL BE MORE! Please let it be. For the love of Mark Twain, PLEASE LET THERE BE MORE.
This review originally appeared on cupcake's book cupboard.
224 of 245 found the following review helpful:
Fifty Shades Fre- ajnfkf Oh God why am I still reading this??!!!Jul 10, 2012
By C. Odell What a treat this book was. We get to experience their dreamy wedding, including a totally inappropriate scene in front of the minister and all their wedding guests, in a series of flashbacks. They are on a dream honeymoon and already Anastasia is afraid of her husband's temper. It's never a good sign in a relationship if you are afraid of your partner or have to walk on eggshells around them. But it's alright. He has lots of money and is super beautiful and perfect, as we are reminded yet again on every single page, so as always with her, it's fine! He's just damaged! Her damaged dark little fifty. Ugh. Where's a shotgun when you need one?
The descriptions of her subconscious and inner goddess and what they are doing get oddly more specific with each book, to the point where it's just bizarre and annoying. Her subconscious at one point looked up from reading `The Complete works of Charles Dickens', to give Anastasia an admonishing look no doubt. It's not cute anymore. I usually have to put the book down after reading one of these gems and take a deep breath before I throw it. Oh, and her Inner Goddess reads Jackie Collins, in case you were wondering
In all three books now we are treated with the `No you hang up!' barf fest.
Jealousy, jealousy, jealousy. It's like all these two know is sex and jealousy. Every woman is jonesing after Christian all the time. And it's ok for him to get so irrationally possessive he buys her company, but if she shows a hint of jealousy with him, it's all *Tsk-tsk*
It is never romantic when your husband says he really wants to beat you. He says that lovely line after someone broke into her home. Victim blaming, anyone? I don't care if he is mad, which is totally misplaced most of the time. All of the time actually. He gets angry because she disobeys orders. He gets angry if she has a disagreeing opinion. He gets angry cause she wants to work. On top of that, she has to ask his permission to do anything. To go to work, to drive her car, to see her friend, to have fun. She is a grown woman. Does she know this is not how marriage works? That this isn't the 18th century anymore? And can I just say wow, at his reaction when she tells him she's pregnant. I'm surprised she didn't divorce him right then and there. But then again, she is always making excuses for his atrocious behavior. This relationship disgusts me.
Once again, the plot is more of an afterthought, which I should have known better by now. It takes forever to get there, and when it does, it's so stupid it's laughable. And then all is well in Ana and Christian Land and they live happily ever after and we have to read a terrible epilogue anyways, filled with pregnant sex. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. I knew I should have stopped reading at the end of the book. And then we are treated to this delightful little nugget: "I think she likes sex already." Yup. That's them talking about their unborn child right after they had pregnant sex.
You are welcome everybody.
Now I need to go read something good, or at least marginally better to get rid of the taste this awful book left in my mouth.
551 of 620 found the following review helpful:
Fifty more disturbing shades of an abusive relationshipMay 29, 2012
By write1 I figured I read the last two (Call me curious; I like to read everything I can get my hands on and wanted to see what all the fuss was about) I might as well give the third one a whirl. Glad I didn't have to pay for it, otherwise I'd demand my money back!!! Let me start by first getting some things off my chest..no pun intended. This has got to be one of the most disturbing relationships in literary history! There are so many things wrong with this series I thought I should list them in no particular order:
1. It's poorly written: the author is constantly repeating herself. Yes, apparently Christian is hot. We get it. I don't need constant reminding about how sculptured his lips are or how his pants hang from his hips in whatever way. There are so many repetitions of how lovely his face is, how turned on Ana is, how he wants to bite her lip (hello? He bites it so much how can she even apologize to him?) Not to mention the annoying inner goddess and Mrs. Robinson.
2. British slang creeping its way into a book supposedly narrated by an American! Huh? I counted many. Parcels, pram, carousels, 'to hospital' instead of the hospital or ER, there was even a "me" instead of my in there somewhere. Hire a Yankee proofreader and you will go far!!
3. The relationship progresses at a frightening rate. Only five weeks between book 1 and 2. Yikes!!!! What kind of relationship progresses at that speed? Not to mention Christian's issues!
4. Christian's mommy issues! There are plenty: he's a human wreckage of child abuse, child molestation, and at one point I'm sure he's suffering from PTSD and that would explain why he swings high and low. The guy is so Jekyll and Hyde you wonder where the syringe with Thorazine is hiding so Ana can inject his ass and have some peace and quiet from all that apologizing (she's constantly apologizing in all books). It's sickening. Without intending to, she has become the submissive. She lets Christian walk all over her. Christian needs more than one dose apparently.
5. The abuse--yep, there's an abusive relationship masquerading as romance! Who says romance is dead? I mean, as long as he's hot and handsome and every woman wants him, it's perfectly okay if he ties her up and spanks her. Ana is so traumatized afterward (in book 1) she turns into a blubbering mess. Well, she's a blubbering mess in all three books too. The abuse in book 3 takes the cake when he goes postal over sunbathing topless. He later handcuffs her and disfigures her breasts with hickeys just to make sure she doesn't do it again!!! See, romance isn't dead. Ana forgives him of course. There's also a disturbing scene of orgasm denial that borders on just plain malicious. She's a mess afterward.
6. Christian's temper tantrums. This guy is unhinged to the ultimate power! But the author and Ana are constantly making allowances for his disturbing and often callous behavior. He was abused! He was abandoned! He has issues concerning subjugating females and inflicting pain with devices surely meant for the likes of characters in movies such as "Hellraiser" and "Saw"! Oh, and in the 3rd book, poor Ana gets knocked up, tells her hot hubby, and is immediately called stupid, accused of getting pregnant on purpose, and is literally abandoned by the a-hole so he can go get drunk. Nice guy huh? He's a keeper!!!
7. The villain. There's supposed to be one? He's a caricature of all villains. He's too over-the-top nasty and vicious and it's apparent who he is at the end of book 2. Next time..try to surprise the readers!
8. The sex. There's too much and often it's make-up sex. All they do is argue and have sex. It's exhausting. No one has sex that many times a day..unless you're a porn star or high on something or are just really super obsessed with your significant other. Poor Ana...she just wants to please him.
9. Ana's need to apologize. Why should she? He's the one with the problems. Yet she is constantly on edge with him. She's afraid of saying the wrong thing. She's afraid of making him mad. She's constantly questioning herself and quite frankly, you begin to wonder what Christian has done with her spine. She's quite stupid and constantly gives in to him because you know--he's lost and he's been abused! So? Since when did that become acceptable to be abused and then subject the person you supposedly love to the same abuse?
10. Ana should have walked. She did at the end of book 1 but then he makes her feel guilty (classic abuser tactic) for walking out after having thrashed her with a belt. Excuse me? He should apologize! Five days later she's back for more insipid whining, groveling apologies, and meaningless sex.
11. Book 3 is disturbing on so many levels. They're married within months of meeting and it shows. They're constantly fighting, whining about insecurities and doubts about the other, they're constantly using sex as a way to communicate and solve their issues and it doesn't work. Ana is a complete and total mess by the time the villain gets to her. Of course, Ana has to some how find a way out of the hell that is Christian Grey. Some hero...she's bruised and battered by the time he comes along for the rescue. No not a rescue, she does that herself. Where was he? Sulking like a child as usual and leaving poor Ana to pick up the pieces. But that's okay, he's rich, handsome, hot, and great at sex and domination. He's the perverted husband every girl wishes she could marry. Um---no. Ana would have been better off with Jose I'm sure and saner for it. All three books should be used as a manual about avoiding abusive relationships. Yuck!!! Wish the villain had taken Christian down so Ana could finally breathe poor thing.
705 of 796 found the following review helpful:
How did this EVER get on NYT's best selling list?Apr 26, 2012
By AliCat10 I don't usually review books but with all the hype surrounding this trilogy, I felt compelled to do so. With all the grammatical errors, lack of editing, repetitive phrases, and overall teenage writing style, how could this series possibly be on the New York Times best selling list? There's so many errors that I found myself searching for the next one instead of staying connected to the storyline. For all this you have to pay $10 for each of these books? Really NYT? I am SO thankful I was able to read this for free on my friend's kindle. EL James and the publishing house should be ashamed of letting this series go to publication, as is, let alone charging so much.
As far as the characters, I'll start with Ana, the heroine. Or should I say the immature, weak, doormat. If you love a strong heroine or one who eventually becomes one, you will probably hate Ana as much as I do. She is seriously nauseating! Her thoughts and actions are those of a pre-teen, NOT a college student. I kept reading this series in hopes that Ana would grow up and find a backbone. By the end of the third book that never happens. To make matters worse, eventhough she and Christian have sex in every position and way possible, at the end of the third book she's still shy around him. Are you kidding me??? If I wasn't reading this on my friend's kindle I would have thrown it across the room.
I can see why everyone loves Fifty. Who doesn't love a handsome, rich, and tortured alpha male? What other reviewers found irritating about the constant reminder of Fifty's good looks, I applaud James for keeping it in the foremost of our minds. In most books, I forget what the hero/heroine looks like after the first chapter, but James makes sure we never forget and I think that's why we love Fifty so much.
However, my love for him totally disintegrated on the last chapter (before the epilogue) of the third book. That he still considers Mrs. Robinson a friend after all she did to him makes me sick and disgusted with the ENTIRE SERIES and all the hype surrounding it. What has happened to our society that we accept and embrace a series based on a pedophile who abuses and uses a fifteen year old, and teaches him the ways of bdsm? I'm not talking about the bdsm lifestyle. For consenting adults, that's great. But for a thirty-something year old to do this to a fifteen year old? WHY haven't I read anything about this in other reviews and WHY is the media pushing a series that thinks this is not only acceptable but sexy? Have we traded our morals for a hot guy and hot sex? James would have been better off ending the series after book 2. At the end of book 2, I was left with the impression that Christian realized the harm caused him by Mrs. Robinson (as it should have been.) Instead, all the growth that I believed happened was not only destroyed but reverted backwards in the third book.
So, if you like elementary level writing, no editing what-so-ever, weak heroines, and pedophiles who are written as heroines, you will love this series. Personally, I'm skeptical of trusting NYT's best selling list and I will NEVER read anything by this author or publishing house again.
116 of 128 found the following review helpful:
fifty shades of boringMay 27, 2012
By Marianne I heard a segment on the radio about Fifty Shades of Grey being a good Mother's day present. Women rang up and said it was really racy and gave it rave reviews. All of them sited "Chapter 8" as being the most amazing sex they had read. After that I just had to read it to see what all the fuss was about.
I downloaded it and started on the journey. The first few chapters were poorly written but I gave James the benefit of the doubt and ploughed on though the banal descriptions of how hot Christian is (we get it, don't mention it on every page), ploughed on through the cringeworthy factor of a so-called dominant ...or really anyone over the age of 13 saying "laters, baby". Ploughed on, like a champion, through the excruciatingly boring emails (you're using emails to drive the narrative? Really?) and ploughed on through the lip biting and obsession with food and repetitive phrases, too numerous for a published author (for the love of God, get a thesaurus!), all with the promise of knowing that Chapter 8 would make up for it. An hour or so later I randomly checked my progress and realised I was at Chapter 10. Apparently I'd already read through the "hot bit" and didn't even know it!
Be under no illusions Dear Readers, this book is terribly written. It makes Twilight look like Anna Karenina and that is saying a lot since it started as Twilight fan-fiction (if that isn't enough to put you off then you cannot be saved, good luck to you). I've read stories by 5th Graders with more character development and narrative drive than this. I can't believe that it's actually a published book! Bad writing aside, this author also makes the rookie mistake of not knowing anything about her topic. It was not believable at all. A dominant would never behave so erratically or less like a dominant! I mean, he can barely control a 21 year old, it's embarrassing! I have a problem with him being only 27 as well. How can we take a 27 year old dominant seriously? Oh that's right, we can't. Not even Bella..I mean, Ana can. She is the worst, most annoying, uninteresting submissive ever written.