Note (1): This post is not intended to be read by those under eighteen due to some language and an adult topic. It also contains mild SPOILERS for Fifty Shades Trilogy.
Okay, I've had it! For the past few months, ever since I read Fifty Shades Trilogy, I've been hiding under a rock, not wanting to add fuel to all the controversy raging out there, afraid of being metaphorically stoned for my opinion. But, enough is enough. I've reached my limit. There are things being said that make me VERY ANGRY, so here's my take on some matters concerning Fifty Shades Trilogy.
1) First thing first, let it be clear: I love Fifty Shades Trilogy. Now, stone-throwers, begin! Or read my review first.
2) No, I don't think everyone should read it. Actually, read it or don't read it, I don't care. Nobody is forcing you either way.
3) Yes, it's erotica (although I think of it more as a love story with strong erotic elements). But. It is NOT THE FIRST erotica ever written. Why such a fuss?
4) Speaking of erotica: if you are still giggling at the thought of sex, or if explicit sexual content makes you uncomfortable, then DO NOT READ IT! And please, use common sense, considering it's classified as erotica, it's obviously not meant for young adults (although the blame here is also partly on some book sellers who, in pursue of profit, push it alongside Twilight – while I'm at that some parts of the latter are not suitable for YA readership either in my opinion, but that's another topic).
5) Yes, everyone has different tastes. Everyone's take on a book depends on their personality, experience, and many other factors. You may like it or hate it, and you may voice your opinion in either case. But, if you hate a particular book, you still don't have the right to insult people who like it and make them feel like shit.
Now, this brings me to the heavy stuff being held against the trilogy and, consequently, people who love it:
6) Bad writing. While I admit Fifty Shades books are not a pearl of 'haute' literature, they are, according to my definition, NOT badly written. There might be a typo or two, or an awkward phrasing, but generally the writing is solid. More than that, the books read smoothly, without any need to pause because of any confusion due to the writing (cf. the post linked to above).
If you don't get the humour or British grammar and vocabulary, that's not the books' fault. If you need to use a dictionary to understand a word or two, well bummer, no one knows all the words. Or do you want only basic vocabulary in the books you read?
7) No story/mediocre story. If you can't read between the lines or perceive the greater issues under the seemingly trivial surface, or if the topic is just not your thing, that's not the books' fault, either. Maybe it's too difficult for you to grasp the meaning beyond what is written and do some thinking on your own. Although, I concede you need some personal experience with suffering or at least an ability to empathise to have a greater understanding of this story.
8) Originality. Or the Twilight issue. Some people out there even dared to call Mrs James a plagiarist (which she is definitely not).
First or all: I think there is no such thing as an original story anymore. All the stories have already been written (and I didn't come up with that, I've heard and read it more than once). Everything is recycled, reshaped, retold. And there is NOTHING WRONG with that. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a retelling of an older story, too. Dare call him a plagiarist? Oh, wait, they did so, back in his time (although perhaps not on this particular work but on his other works).
Next: yes, there are a few (or a lot, depends on how you look at it) similarities to Twilight. But, hey, I bet I can find some similarity to Twilight in any other book. Even more, give me any two random books and I'm sure I can find a similarity between them. See the previous paragraph.
And lastly, it is a well-known fact Fifty Shades Trilogy started as Twilight fanfiction. So what?! It has grown way past being a fanfiction. Again, read the paragraph above.
9) It's unrealistic. Newsflash: it's FICTION! Unrealistic is the whole point of it. If you want realistic, there is plenty of non-fiction to read out there.
10) 'Mommy porn'. This term is insulting. Especially the 'porn' part. It insinuates moms/women read it for (and only for) the sex scenes. Some of them might read it partly for this reason. Hell, I read it PARTLY for that. But if I wanted to read it JUST for that, I could just go online and read porn for free. There is much more to Fifty Shades books than sex. (Again, cf. number 7) and my review).
11) Statements such as 'I can take any book and write better stuff based on it.' Good for you. Please do that. I'll buy it. I'll read it. You'll be a millionaire. Wait, why haven't you this already? Oh, maybe because you can't .
12) Underestimating and downplaying the readers' intelligence. I've seen a lot of that kind of things said. Anyone who likes Fifty Shades Trilogy has surely 'not read much' (a comment from Goodreads), can barely read, has no taste, can't handle anything difficult, etc... Obviously, you must be brainless for liking theses books. I beg to differ. I am an eclectic reader. I read everything from the classics to science fiction, crime, romance, and everything else, although I might have a stronger preference for some genres than the other. Modestly estimating, I have read around 1,000 books (about 50 books per year) in roughly 20 years of reading. Oh, and I'm grateful these people can't take away my BA in English, although they probably think they should because I like Fifty Shades.
Which brings me to:
13) under whose authority do people who are trashing these books decide they are so bad? What makes them entitled to say 'away with these books', 'this garbage should be burnt', etc. Who gave them the right to judge the people who like the trilogy? The 'I'm-so-high-and-righteous' attitude of these people is what makes me down right mad.
The silly thing about the haters is:
14) the outrage about the number of copies sold in spite of everything. This is probably the most ridiculous of it all. Don't these complainers and haters realise that they help it sell every time they mention it? Yes, it's all on them. Don't want it to sell? Ignore it. Don't contribute to keeping everyone's focus on it. The sooner it fades in the background, the better for their cause. One would think that these people would have figured that out by now, since they are so intelligent (in comparison to those who like the books, of course – mark the irony and sarcasm, please).
15) I realise some of the people trashing the trilogy are intentionally being provocative to gain traffic/readers. Perhaps they have nothing better to do then start up arguments over a book like the word depended on it. Hello, there: the world DOES NOT DEPEND on Fifty Shades Trilogy, neither on how many people like or dislike it. Well, the only thing they provoked me into by putting me down is me unfollowing their blogs.
Hence, I'm done with:
16) self-censorship. I'm sick and tired of censoring myself from expressing my love for Fifty Shades Trilogy because of being afraid people would judge me by it. I love it, and if anyone has a problem with that, it's their problem and not mine.
There. I'm done now. I apologise for my rant to those who are not to blame. I just had to say my fifty (pun intended!) cents.
Note (2): I'm not linking to any of the reviews and comments that angered me because a) I am going to be a better person by not pointing them out and b) I don't want to drive traffic to them.
Note (3): The term 'you' is used generically and is not aimed at any specific person reading this post.