I am now officially two chapters and 34 pages in to this book. I’ve been taking notes along the way with a handy feature on my Nook Color (product placement!!) Most of my notes are short and rather repetitive, just like the text. Stuff like “Creepy” and “I get it” and “I GET IT” and “ZOMG I GET IT ALREADY PLEASE STOP TELLING ME ARGHHHHHHH!) I’ve never read a book for adults that reminded me so much of an episode of Dora the Explorer.
Her first use of repetition comes from her descriptions of Christian. Now I wasn’t a fan of Meyer’s writing in Twilight, but you have to admit that while she spent way too much time describing Edward, she did at least actually describe him. As in features like marble chest, topaz eyes, blah blah blah. That’s better than what James does, which is simply to tell us that he’s attractive. Just take her word for it. Take it several times.
I used the search feature on my e-reader, a handy little thing. Many people would protest doing this, because hey, it’s a long book, someone is bound to repeat a word or two here and there. Here’s what I’ve gotten from a search of the word “attractive” used with Christian. So young, and attractive, very attractive. (Ch1 p.13) Okay, so he’s very attractive. (Ch2 p. 21) Attractive control freak Grey. (Ch2 p.33) I find him attractive, very attractive. (Ch2 p.34) Keep in mind that I’m only using the “attractives” that refer to Christian, and only those mentioned in the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS. The only real details we get of Christian are his grey eyes (get it?), the bizarre misplaced modifier tie with unruly red hair (I’m guessing she meant Christain has unruly red hair), and hands with long fingers.
Speaking of that, what IS her thing with hands? She constantly mentions Christian’s hands and their fabulous fingers. Is this some sort of a fetish? Maybe it’s because my husband is a mechanic, and so his hands are not exactly pristine after an oil change; but honestly, I have never noticed a guy’s hands much. His touch, yes, but his hands? And the long fingers – that just sounds creepy, like something from a horror novel. At one point she even describes Christian’s finely manicured hands. Manicured? If I met a guy who went to the trouble of getting a manicure regulary, I’d probably figure he was batting for the other team. But that’s just me.
Next, let’s damn everything to hell! Damn my hair! (ch1 p. 9) Damn my roommate! (Ch 1 p. 9) Damn her extra-curricular activities (Ch1 pg 9) Damn my clumsiness! (Ch1 p.13) Damn Kate and her curiousity! (ch2 pg18) Damn Katherine Kavanagh! (ch2 p.21) Damn that woman was in the wrong place. (Ch2 p.25) Damn she’s inquisitive! (Ch2 p.24) He’s pretty damn bright. (Ch2 p.26) Damn, he’s handsome. (a two-fer) (Ch2 p29) Damn! Try to be cool,Ana! (Ch2 p.29) Damn . . . have I offended him? (Ch2 p.34) Damn, that’s a lot of damns. Good thing she intersperses plenty of “Crap!” and “Double Crap!” for variation.
You should know that there is a lot of sandstone in Christian’s lobby.
She also wants to make sure you know the names of her characters. It is important that when you first introduce a character, you point out his or her full name, if he or she has one. It is not necessary, however, to do this over and over again. I know Kate, Christian, and Ana’s last names. Please quit giving out their full names. There’s no set word count you have to make.
In case you didn’t realize it, E.L. James is British. We see her first British-isms in these chapters. I don’t get it. If you can’t grasp the difference between British and American English, here’s an idea. Set your story in freaking Britain. Hell, Harry Potter was set in England, and its sales were fairly good. So why did she have to make the story take place in America when she knew so little about it and didn’t want to research that much? It really wouldn’t have made a difference to the story where she had it take place. From what I’ve heard, most of it involves sex in various places that are usually indoors.
Still haven’t gotten to the sexy times. We did have a fascinating scene in the lobby (the sandstone lobby) with secretaries. They offer water. They bring her water. They hop out of their seats. They open the door. They tell her to go inside. They direct her to Grey’s office. Etc. Oh, and they are all blonde, and this bothers Ana, because she has a pathological fear of blondes. I guess.
Ana has a lot of issues, actually. She’s not only clumsy enough to qualify for a handicapped permit, she suffers from other medical ailments too. Heart failure, rapid eye blinking, belly muscles clenching, inability to access a very tiny underused part of her brain (James’s description, not mine, I swear), heart pounding, jello-legs, and heart attempting to escape mouth. At one point she speaks of feeling a current “all the way down to somewhere dark and unexplored, deep in my belly” (Ch2 p.30). Yeah, Ana, I’m thinking you’re feeling that somewhere south of your belly.
Finally, we begin to see the creepiness that is Christian. He starts making connections too quickly. He offers her a job apparently based on her ability to fall into his office, stammer, drop her tape recorder, and ask him embarrassing, poorly researched questions. Considering Ana’s descriptions of various types of heart failure, he has to know that he is making her uncomfortable. And he keeps doing it. He asks her personal questions (“what IS your thing, Anastasia?) He gets angry when another male talks to her – and they’ve barely met. He makes references to taking off his pants in a hardware store. If that wasn’t enough, he goes to Ana’s workplace with a wacky grocery list. Cable ties, masking tape, filament rope, some coveralls . . . what no lime, Christian? It’s so convenient when your future victims help you pick out your supplies!
I can’t wait till Chapter 3. Will we get to see Christian torture Ana and bury her in a shallow grave? I can’t say I would be totally opposed to that idea. Except that I’d like Christian buried with her. Ah, well, I guess I’ll just have to read on and find out.
I’ve decided to quote a favorite line at the end of each entry. This may be my favorite quote of the entire book:
“His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel . . . or something.” (Ch2 p28)