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Jenny Reads Fifty Shades Of Midnight Sun: Thursday, May 26, 2011, part one or “I don’t care how much tuition you paid! Don’t you dare enjoy your day!”

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In Fifty Shades news, the movies have apparently wrapped principle filming. Did you hear about that? Neither did I. Does anyone else find it comforting that we’re not getting the breathless daily updates from mass media the way we did when the first one was filming? A few blogs have mentioned “anxiously awaiting” the next film, but I don’t see people being anywhere near as jazzed for it as they were for the first movie.

Anyway, let’s recap this.

We start the day in a dream. Christian Grey doesn’t have nightmares about being naked at school, or just plain confusing dreams about sentient plants or something like that. No, Christian Grey dreams exclusively of his childhood trauma and his frequently absent mother:

I’m hungry. I eat the cheese. There is cheese in the fridge. Cheese with blue fur.

This paragraph is all out of order. Put it in the correct order, like it’s a word puzzle. It’s lots of fun.

My favorite place is in my mommy’s closet. It smells of Mommy. It smells of Mommy when she’s happy.

American preschoolers aren’t likely to say, “it smells of”.  Anyway, the gist of this whole dream sequence is that he’s left alone a lot as a child.

I wake with a start.

Of course you do. There’s no other way to wake up in this series. Fifty Shades of Grey exists in an alternate universe where waking up is always an unexpected event, and people are routinely startled by it.

I hate my dreams.

That makes two of us.

My nightmares have recently become more frequent, and more vivid. I have no idea why. Damned Flynn–he’s not back until sometime next week.

So, I’m supposed to believe that Christian Grey is super smart, but he can’t make a pretty simple psychological link between his suddenly vivid memories and the fact that he’s obsessively stalking a woman who looks just like his mother? I mean, I’m no Dr. Flynn, but I feel like desperately wanting to bang someone who looks exactly like your mom might be something that’s been addressed by the psychiatric field.

So, how does Chedward deal with all of this? You know the answer to this one! Everybody sing along!

Go for a run, Grey.

Underline = italics.

So, he goes for a run, but of course it doesn’t help:

I know I’ll see her at the graduation ceremony.

But I can’t leave it.

Before my shower, I send her another text.

Call me.

I just need to know she’s safe.

Safety always seems to be the number one concern of some abusers. “I need you to drop everything you’re doing and call me right now, so I know you’re safe.” “I think I should go with you to [place or event], because it might not be safe.” “You don’t need to leave the house, it’s not safe.” “You can’t be friends with those people you’ve known all your life because they’re not safe.”

Safe is such an amazing word with its power to manipulate.

Chedward is going to be the speaker at graduation, but he’s sure that he’s going to see Ana. Like, yes, probably when she comes up to get her diploma, you will definitely for sure see her. But he’s banking on actually seeing her, speaking with her, probably about the contract, at her college graduation. She has so many other things to do and people to visit with, but he, a guy who doesn’t want anything from her except sexual submission, feels he’s entitled to take some of her time? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha no.

After breakfast there’s still no word from Ana. To get her out of my head I work for a couple of hours on my commencement speech.

I want to make a dig about how he’s only just now working on the speech and the graduation is that morning, but it would be hypocritical of me to pretend like I’ve never scribbled notes on a half-finished presentation during that presentation. However, there’s still this lack of awareness that Ana could, on the morning on her college graduation, be preoccupied with things unrelated to him.

I shrug it off as I rewrite. Sam, my VP for publicity, has sent a draft that is way too pretentious for me.

Holy shit, how pretentious was it, then? I mean, if it was too pretentious for Christian Grey?

Nine thirty and still no word from Ana. Her radio silence is worrying–and frankly rude. I call, but her phone goes straight to a generic voice mail message.

I hang up.

Show some dignity, Grey.

I think dignity flew out the window after two emails and a text within two hours of her asking for space, then another text in the morning, but your mileage obviously varies.

I’m sorry, I still can’t get past this notion of Ana being rude for not responding to his barrage of demands for her attention on the morning of an important milestone in her life. She’s probably getting ready. She’s probably with friends and family. She’s probably excited that she’s graduating college. And you, the man who wants nothing more from her than just a fuck toy, think you should be her priority in that moment, merely because you want to be?

No wonder fans of the original series were disappointed in this one. It takes the man they viewed as a perfect, tortured romantic and reveals his “torture” to be lack of respect for another person’s boundaries. Christian Grey isn’t an emotional prisoner of his past, he’s an emotional prisoner of his own ego and the expectation that he is the main character of everyone else’s story.

He does get an email, but it’s not from Ana, it’s from Mia, his sister and the other suspiciously-named-after-the-“cute”-nickname-for-an-eating-disorder character in the book. Mia mentions Christian picking her up from the airport (which like, again…they’re a rich family, can’t they afford a car service?), and Christian’s new girlfriend.

Oh hell! My mother’s big mouth. Ana is not my girlfriend!

If she’s not your girlfriend, why do you think you’re such an important part of her life that you should take precedence over everything she does? Because you’re an egomaniacal little shit, that’s why, Chedward.

At 9:45 I get ready for the ceremony. Gray suit, white shirt, and of course that tie. It will be my subtle message to Ana that I haven’t given up, and a reminder of good times.

Right, the good time that you went to her apartment for sex after she gave you the brush off. What a good time, to have a man you’ve just said no to show up in your room demanding sex. And how totally not full of yourself you are, trying to make an important day in Ana’s life all about you and your sex wants.

This book would be so much better if someone set Christian Grey on fire.

A minor quibble here, and it’s something I’ve noticed in a lot of books. Hell, I might do it in my own without realizing. But the style with which times are noted seems to be all over the place. Earlier it was “nine thirty”, but here it’s “9:45”. This is something a copy editor needs to be on top of, so that it stays consistent. Writers should also be aware of it while they’re writing, but really, the copy editor is your last line of defense here.

Christian calls Ana again and is frustrated when he goes to voicemail again. Why doesn’t Ana break the fuck up with him? Seriously, why doesn’t she go out and get a PPO? If she’d been allowed to talk about any of this to Kate, or if she even valued Kate’s opinions in the first place, none of this would be happening.

Taylor shows up, they talk about Taylor’s daughter, and they discuss the Audi being delivered to Portland. Then they leave for the graduation ceremony. At the venue, this happens:

There, in the greenroom, academics, administrative staff, and a few students are having pre-graduation coffee. Among them, to my surprise, is Katherine Kavanagh.

“Hi, Christian,” she says, strutting toward me with the confidence of the well-heeled. She’s in her graduation gown and appears cheerful enough; surely she’s seen Ana.

Yes. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s graduating from college, which is a huge achievement for most people. It’s definitely because she saw Ana.

“You seem baffled to see me here,” she says, ignoring my greeting and sounding a little affronted. “I’m valedictorian. Didn’t Elliot tell you?”

“No, he didn’t.” We’re not in each other’s pockets, for Christ’s sake. “Congratulations,” I add as a courtesy.

“Thank you.” Her tone is clipped.

Gee, I wonder why her tone would be clipped.

Christian asks if Ana got home the night before, and when Kate tells him basically, duh, of course she did, he thinks:

I’m relieved that Ana is in one piece, but pissed that she hasn’t replied to any of my messages.

The messages. Of course. There were, what? Five? Because I’ve honestly lost count. But you’re pissed that she hasn’t replied to any of your messages? Any of the five messages you’ve left her since 11 PM the night before her college graduation? What right have you to be pissed off about that?

In a moment of weakness I try Ana’s phone once more. It goes straight to voice mail, and I’m interrupted by Kavanagh. “I’m looking forward to your commencement address,” she says as we walk down the hallway.

They are on the way into the graduation ceremony. Ana is later revealed to be already in her seat in the auditorium. And he expects her to take his call.

It’s not an emergency.

She is in the middle of one of the most important milestones in her life.

And Christian Grey expects her to take his call.

Remember, he wants to talk to her so he can get her answer about whether or not she’ll be his weekend sub. After she asked him for space hours before. He wants her to drop everything on the day of her graduation to give him this answer, because he has decided she’s had enough space (while he relentlessly called and texted and emailed her) and time to make her choice.

I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly furious this entire set up makes me.

They go up on stage:

Once the chancellor begins his welcome address I’m able to scan the room. The front rows are filled with students, in identical black-and-red WSU robes. Where is she? Methodically I inspect each row.

There you are.

This reminds me of fanfics where Zayn will somehow spot the OC from the stage and instantly fall in love with her.

In the original book, Ana says she’s seated with other students whose names begin with S, but that she’s in the second row. I don’t know exactly how WSU does their commencement ceremonies, but I’m guessing that they have more than two or three rows full of people graduating. Also, the few commencement ceremonies I’ve been to, the students aren’t already seated when the chancellor and president come in. But that’s nitpicking.

She’s alive. I feel foolish for expending so much anxiety and energy on her whereabouts last night and this morning.

Is he resenting her for being alive?

Yes, I’ve found you. And you haven’t replied to my messages.

Again. You have sent. At least five messages. In twelve hours. Before her college graduation.

A bunch of the messages he sent were in the middle of the night or in the early morning, too. So if she had answered them, he would have just gotten mad that she wasn’t sleeping, anyway.

She’s avoiding me and I’m pissed.

It takes more than twelve hours to avoid someone!

Really pissed. Closing my eyes, I imagine dripping hot wax onto her breasts and her squirming beneath me.

Hey, what do you know, another bad Dom red flag. “I’m angry with you outside of a scene and I want to physically hurt you because of that anger, but that’s okay because it’s sexual.”

Nope. Run in the other direction, potential subs.

Kavanagh gives an inspiring address about embracing opportunities–yes, carpe diem, Kate,–and gets a rousing reception when she’s finished. She’s obviously smart and popular and confident. Not the shy and retiring wallflower that is the lovely Miss Steele. It really amazes me that these two are friends.

What kind of mental Slinky tangle do you need to make in order to neg on someone for positive qualities? Smart and popular and confident, yuck. Nothing “lovely” about a confident woman people respect, right?

Christian gives his speech, a longer version of what was presented in the first book. He ends with:

“I’ll leave you with a quote that has always resonated with me. And I’m paraphrasing a Native American saying: ‘Only when the last leaf has fallen, the last tree has died, and the last fish been caught will we realize that we cannot  eat money.'”

LET ME TELL YOU WHY THIS PASSAGE MADE ME THROW MY KINDLE ON THE FLOOR. First of all, that “Native American saying” is a quote attributed to Alanis Obomsawin, a Canadian filmmaker. It took me one Google search to find that out, from the first search result.

The second Google result is GoodReads, which ATTRIBUTES THE QUOTE TO E.L. JAMES.

So not only is “a Native American” given anonymous credit for the paraphrased quote when that credit belongs to a Native American who isn’t anonymous, readers who have their heads so far up their asses they can see the backs of their fucking teeth have decided that the brilliant mind who gave us “down there” and “I wake with a start” 98,000 times in a single fucking book came up with it.

Shut. It. Down.

As I sit down to rousing applause, I resist looking at Ana and examine the WSU banner hanging at the back of the auditorium. If she wants to ignore me, fine. Two can play at that game.

Two can play at what fucking game?! Are you kidding me?! Is the game “not calling in the middle of the night, when you’ll scold me for being awake,” or “not answering your call DURING MY COLLEGE GRADUATION?”

This is sick and disturbing. This is just a gross, gross book.

They start handing out degrees, in alphabetical order, which, again, I’ve never seen it done that way, but whatever. Maybe that’s what they do at WSU. Maybe they also let the commencement speaker hand out the degrees, because that’s what happens here:

“Congratulations, Miss Steele,” I say as I give Ana her degree. We shake hands, but I don’t let hers go. “Do you have a problem with your laptop?”

She looks perplexed. “No.”

“Then youare ignoring my e-mails?” I release her.

“I only saw the mergers and acquisitions one.”

What the hell does that mean?

Her frown deepens, but I have to let her go–there’s a line forming behind her.

OF FUCKING COURSE THERE’S A LINE FORMING BEHIND HER! Are you kidding me with this bullshit right now? There is NO TIME for this long ass conversation on stage during a graduation. They announce your name, you shake hands, you take your degree and you GO. If there is a line forming on stage, that’s calling attention to the fact that you’re standing there talking to Ana for a long ass amount of time. How embarrassing, and how dare you embarrass her on HER day! And you’ve now made her once-in-a-lifetime moment about your sexual wants. GREAT.

The thing that really horses my radish about this is that Christian is the one handing her the degree. It’s symbolic, even if it’s not meant to be, that she has nothing in her adult life that hasn’t involved him.

I’m in purgatory by the time we’ve reached the end of the line.

Purgatory is supposed to knock all the dings out of your soul so that you can go to heaven. As you have no soul, Chedward, I will assume that you will never be in purgatory for real and will instead be banished to the deepest fathoms of hell, where you will be forced to listen to this series on audiobook while watching the movie on a constant loop for all eternity.

I’ve been ogled, and had eyelashes batted at me, silly giggling girls squeezing my hand, and five notes with phone numbers pressed into my palm.

Oh no, girls squeezed your hand! It’s almost like they were, I don’t know, shaking it. The way you do when you get your degree. Interestingly enough, no guys did any of that to Chedward. If he’s so powerfully, magnetically attractive, why aren’t dudes lining up to bang him?

In the corridor, I grab Kavanagh’s arm. “I need to speak to Ana. Can you find her? Now.”

Kavanagh is taken aback, but before she can say anything I add, in as polite a tone as I can manage, “Please.”

Her lips thin with disapproval, but she waits with me as the academics file past and then returns to the auditorium.

Gosh, I wonder why she would look at you with anything resembling disapproval. You only physically grabbed her, then barked an order at her, then had to “manage” a polite tone.

Why do women love this guy? He is a super mega weapons grade shit weasel. Christian Grey is the literary equivalent of accidentally putting your hand on cold semen in a gas station bathroom. Christian Grey is the human version of medical waste being dumped on a playground. Why are we supposed to be manipulating our genitals in a self-pleasuring way to this dude?

Kate finds Ana:

Ignoring her, I take Ana’s elbow and lead her through the first door I find. It’s a men’s locker room, and from the fresh smell I can tell it’s empty. Locking the door, I turn to face Miss Steele. “Why haven’t you e-mailed me? Or texted me back?” I demand.

He takes her into a room and locks the door so she can’t leave. So. Fucking. Romantic.

Hey, let’s look at it from Ana’s perspective in Fifty Shades of Grey, shall we?

“Thank you,” he says, and before she can reply, he takes my elbow and steers me into what looks like a men’s locker room. He checks to see if it’s empty, and then he locks the door.

Holy shit, what does he have in mind? I blink up at him as he turns on me.

“Why haven’t you e-mailed me? Or texted me back?” He glares. I’m nonplussed.

Wow, she seems so not-threatened by him, doesn’t she?

Meanwhile, in Grey:

“I haven’t looked at my computer today, or my phone.” She seems genuinely bewildered by my outburst.

No shit? Because she realizes that it’s unusual for people to do so when they’ve got other shit going on.

How can she not have checked her phone or e-mail.

Because–let’s all say it again, like we mean it–

IT’S HER FUCKING COLLEGE GRADUATION.

I close my eyes. All this time I thought she didn’t want to talk to me. “I’ve been worried about you.”

“Worried, why?”

“Because you went home in that deathtrap you call a car.”

And I thought I’d blown the deal between us.

How. How on earth could someone write such a perfect, text book depiction of an abuser, from inside an abuser’s head? How could James have looked at all the criticism of her series, thrown that huge Twitter tantrum about it–anybody remember “READ THE BOOK!”?–and then turn around and prove every single critic right? Remember when we read the first books, and every time Christian would say he was worried about Ana, I would be like, no, you’re not worried about her, you’re worried about not getting to fuck her? Right here we have confirmation, from inside his own head, that Christian Grey is not worried about Ana being safe. He’s worried about Ana being available.

Ana bristles. “What? It’s not a deathtrap. It’s fine. José regularly services it for me.”

“José, the photographer?” This just gets better and fucking better.

Further proves my point. If Christian truly cared about Ana’s safety, he would be pleased that someone takes care of her car and that it’s not a deathtrap. Instead, it sounds like he’d be happier if her car was unsafe, just as long as no other man is around her.

This is not addressing the fucking elephant in the room.

“Anastasia, I need an answer from you. This waiting around is driving me crazy.”

You have been waiting less than twenty-four hours.

I have never in my life wanted so much to cause physical harm to a fictional character. Not even Theon Greyjoy.

What the fuck is it with “Grey” and “Stupid Dick” that they go hand-in-hand in fiction?

Chedward tells Ana that he wants her answer by tomorrow, and she tells him he’ll have it then. He tells Ana he wants to meet her stepdad, which is like, come on, dude. You don’t want her to meet your family, but you want her to introduce you to her stepdad? Whatever.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” she says darkly, as I unlock the door.

What? Why? Is this because she now knows I was dirt-poor as a kid? Or because she knows how I like to fuck? That I’m a freak?

Oh wow, now we’re just gonna call it like E.L. James and her readership and the guy who plays Christian Grey in the movies really see it, huh? BDSM is for freaks. Be ashamed.

Why the fuck does Christian think that’s going to come up in conversation with Ana’s dad, anyway? That doesn’t even make sense. I have never once in my entire life had a conversation about my sexual preferences with my family. I even came out as bisexual in a passive-aggressive Facebook post. I would say that most people do not introduce their partners to their family with, “This is my new romantic partner, and they like to spank me.”

Also, the whole thing about her knowing that you grew up poor? You’re the richest bagazilljillionaire in the world, so why the fuck would that be a negative? Also, her dad already knows. He was in the audience.

I open the door and follow her out but stop when I reach the chancellor and his colleagues. As one they turn and stare at Miss Steele, but she’s disappearing into the auditorium. They turn back to me.

Miss Steele and I are none of your business, people.

Considering they just saw you come out of a locker room with a newly graduated student, yeah, it kind of is their business. Maybe they won’t have you back as a commencement speaker if they think you’re banging chicks in the locker room after your speech.

HA HA just kidding. They’re a university and he’s giving them money. He could have fucked a giraffe on stage and they would still kiss his ass. They’d have held the damn stepladder.

Christian hob knobs with the important people before going to find Ana again. Kate asks him if he’s going to bring Ana to dinner at his parents’ house on Sunday, but their conversation gets interrupted:

I spot Ana.

What the fuck?

A tall blond guy who looks as if he’s walked off a beach in California has his hands all over her.

So, in Christian’s perspective, this guy is pawing her. This is what happens in Ana’s POV in Fifty Shades of Grey:

“Ana!” I turn, and Ethan Kavanagh scoops me into his arms. He twirls me around, without spilling my wine–some feat.

“Congratulations!” He beams down at me, green eyes twinkling.

What a surprise. His dirty blond hair is tousled and sexy. He’s as beautiful as Kate. The family resemblance is striking.

In her POV, Ana is not only happy to see Ethan, but she doesn’t mind him touching her or being near her. They go on to have a friendly, enthusiastic conversation.

I should note that her description of Ethan and the conversation that follows it is probably the healthiest interaction with a man that Ana has in the entire series.

Anyway, back to Grey. Kate introduces Christian to Ana’s stepdad as Ana’s boyfriend:

We shake hands; his grip is firm, and his fingers and palm are rough to the touch. This man works with his hands. Then I remember–he’s a carpenter.

A carpenter, and definitely not, under any circumstances, the chief of police in Forks, Washington.

Then Kat introduces Christian to her brother:

I mutter his name as we shake hands, noting that they are soft, unlike Ray Steele’s.

This part is so great, because it perfectly highlights Chedward’s lack of self-awareness. He’s making a moral judgement here that Ethan is a bad guy because his hands are soft and he’s taking too many physical liberties with Ana. But Chedward touches Ana all the time himself, and how rugged and manly and calloused are his palms? The only work we’ve seen him do is talk on the phone and fire some people.

Rather than actually peeing on Ana to mark his territory, Christian chooses to play along with the “I’m her boyfriend” angle.

“Ana, baby,” I whisper, holding out my hand, and like the good woman she is, she steps into my embrace.

Like the good woman she is.

LIKE THE GOOD WOMAN SHE IS.

She’s discarded her graduation robe and wears a pale gray halter-neck dress, exposing her flawless shoulders and back.

Two dresses in two days. She’s spoiling me.

Or (and I understand why this may be difficult to believe), she wore a dress because it’s a kind of formal occasion and it has nothing to do with you or what she thinks you’ll like. In fact, Ana might (and this is entirely hypothetical) have a life that goes

Christian and Ray talk about fishing, which is totally because Ray is a very original and not-at-all-ripped-off Twilight character, while Ana talks to Kate. In Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana is talking to Kate about Kate calling Christian her boyfriend, and the fishing talk is just a footnote. I think she says something like, “they go off, talking fish”. Something like that. Now, from Chedward’s point of view. we have to read the entire fishing conversation, including a mention of José, giving us another opportunity to read about Chedward’s jealousy.

Oh, and again, just because this is totally not ripped off from Twilight:

“Sure do. Annie’s friend José, his father, and I sneak out as often as we can.”

Yup, good old CharlieRay, just fishing with Bella’sAna’s friend JacobJosé and BillyJosé’s dad.

I know that we all know the stolen roots of this story by now, but I can’t help but continually point them out. Stephenie Meyer deserves justice.

Anyway, Ray tells Christian that Ana is a “gentle soul” as a warning, and Kate and Ana come back. Ray goes off to the bathroom, a photographer gets a picture of Ana and Christian together,  and then Christian decides that the reception for Ana’s graduation, with her family and friends and other people she knows circulating in the crowd, is a great time to try to seduce her:

With my fingers, I trace the rosy flush that appears on her cheek. “Oh, I wish I knew what you were thinking, Anastasia.” When my fingers reach her chin I tilt my head back so I can scrutinize her expression. She stills and stares back at me, her pupils darkening.

They banter about the tie during this, but I’m skipping it.

“You look lovely, Anastasia. This halter-neck dress suits you, and I get to stroke your back and feel your beautiful skin.”

Her lips part and her breath hitches, and I can feel the pull of the attraction between us.

“You know it’s going to be good, don’t you baby?” My voice is low, betraying my longing.

Seriously. They are in a room full of people doing this shit. And there’s a photographer roaming around. Remember how later in the series, he’s furious about the paparazzi that stalk him for no realistic reason?

Ana tells him that she knows the sex would be good, but she wants more than just that. He tells her it’s not going to happen, and this is the moment when Ana settles. She tells him she’ll try the submission thing.

In Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana feels this way about the interaction:

I gasp, and I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s the serpent, and I cannot resist.

So, whatever.

Ray comes back.

Reluctantly, I release her. I’m on top of the world!

Deal done, Grey!

Then, Ray invites Christian to go get lunch with them.

For a moment I’m tempted, but Ana’s anxious glance in my direction says, Please, no. She wants alone time with her dad. I get it.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. We’re supposed to believe that Christian Grey knows what it means for someone to need space and “alone time”. Like we don’t all know that if Ana hadn’t given him the answer right then he would have gone to lunch to strong arm her into accepting his proposal.

We’re going to break right here, because it’s another thirty-plus page chapter I’m going to have to dissolve into smaller chunks in a bathtub full of acid in the basement.

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106 Comments

  1. kati
    kati

    Yeah, at my graduation this past May, I kind of ignored my phone while I was getting ready, lining up, robing, and definitely while I was walking into the ceremony. Most people are kind of busy on commencement morning, why does Christian not know this?

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Because he didn’t graduate, because he was too smart for Harvard.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
  2. Earthed Angel
    Earthed Angel

    “She’s in her graduation gown and appears cheerful enough; surely she’s seen Ana.”
    I don’t think this was supposed to imply Kate was cheerful -because- she’d seen Ana, but rather it was an aside that should’ve been its own sentence. “She’s in her graduation gown and appears cheerful enough. Surely she’s seen Ana, and I’m glad of the opportunity to inquire as to my little vixen’s whereabouts and bodily safety.” (Y’know, like how young Americans talk!)
    Excellent recap as always! Chedward is such an abusive creep.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Monica
      Monica

      I don’t think it means she’s happy because seeing Ana made her happy. There’s really no good way to read this though, either He has an impression (after meeting her once or twice) that Kate is always unhappy but here on the morning of her graduation is “cheerful enough” or she’s “cheerful enough” because she’s not worried about Ana. I think it’s the second, Ana came home, all is well and so Kate doesn’t appear worried. It’s all about Ana, ugh.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
  3. mydogspa
    mydogspa

    “Christian Grey is the literary equivalent of accidentally putting your hand on cold semen in a gas station bathroom.”

    That is SO disgusting and hilarious at the same time! I was “EWWWWWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!”

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Jen
      Jen

      I cringed like crazy when I read that, and then immediately laughed at how accurate it was.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
    • Noel
      Noel

      I’m trying to decide whether accidentally putting your hand on cold semen in a gas station bathroom is better or worse than accidentally putting your hand on warm semen in a gas station bathroom.

      It’s a great line, regardless. XD

      August 27, 2016
      |Reply
  4. Laina
    Laina

    I gotta quibble more:

    “a quote attributed to Alanis Obomsawin, a Canadian filmmaker”

    “the paraphrased quote when that credit belongs to a Native American who isn’t anonymous”

    Also not really a Native American if Canadian. First Nations or Aboriginal is what’s preferred from most people, as far as I know. Alanis Obomsawin is specically of Abenaki descent. So she’s just. Smushing all indigenous people together into one group. That’s not racist at aaaaall…

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Gotcha! I thought that Native American worked for any indigenous North American. Now I know!

      The quote is often misattributed to the Cree, too, which I found out going down the rabbit hole of frequently unattributed quotes yesterday.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
      • Jilliterate
        Jilliterate

        I don’t think anyone would take too much offence to “Native American,” because American culture is so prolific here that any Canada would get the intent, but it’s not part of the official language here.

        In Canada, ‘First Nations’ refers to anyone descending from the peoples who migrated into North America across the Bering Land Bridge about 15,000 years ago (Typically what you would call “Native Americans” in the United States). ‘Inuit’ are those descended from the Thule people who expanded into northern Canada about 1000 years ago. ‘Métis’ refers to the children of French or English settlers and First Nations people, who developed a unique culture in Canada starting in the mid-1600s. Together, these three groups make up Canada’s Aboriginal or Indigenous population (Lately the federal government seems to be pushing more for ‘Indigenous’).

        Like the history of any group of people (and humans in general), the terminology is sometimes fluid and complicated and marred by centuries of racism and prejudice. I wouldn’t expect you, or even the superior Christian Grey, to instinctively realize that we use different terminology up north, especially in regards to the Abenaki, who span both Canada and the United States.

        But then I realize that even if it were obvious and simple to understand, E.L. James would have made no fucking effort and would have just written it through the muddy lens of a 50-year old British woman anyway, so I will continue to hate her.

        August 26, 2016
        |Reply
          • Jilliterate
            Jilliterate

            Oh, legit. You just know she specifically went looking for a “Native American” quote to try and make the book seem more “American.” I just can’t decide if she herself found it misattributed and took it at face value, or if she specifically found Obomsawin’s words and then decided to repeat it as a vague “saying” to make Grey seem deep.

            Sort of like how, from now on, I’ll be claiming that “…like the good woman she is, she steps into my embrace” is a British proverb.

            August 26, 2016
  5. Mana
    Mana

    QUOTE: What the fuck is it with “Grey” and “Stupid Dick” that they go hand-in-hand in fiction?

    I sure hope this isn’t an absolute or my MC Grey is gonna be trouble.

    Love the recap. Chedward is so gross.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Laina
      Laina

      *raises hand* I’m grey ace/aro. Sometimes known as greysexual or greyromantic. Just… I’m just gonna put that out there and let everyone else wince with me.

      August 28, 2016
      |Reply
      • anon
        anon

        Grey identities are tough to explain to people to BEGIN with, and now I bet a basic google search for info on them is going to be contaminated with a bunch of 50 shades of shit links.

        (Also, yes, sorry that your perfectly valid alternate ID makes it sound like you’re into Christian “buzzkill” Grey. If virtual hugs are okay, I’m sending a whole bunch just for that.)

        August 29, 2016
        |Reply
        • Laina
          Laina

          I feel so bad for the little babies aces out there who have to deal with this 🙁

          Thank you for the hugs. I appreciate them!

          August 29, 2016
          |Reply
  6. Scoots2
    Scoots2

    I’m a professor in real life, and this chapter makes me so mad! Students work so hard for graduation day, and he wrecks it: not just for Ana, but her dad, Kate, the faculty, and the other students. Holding up the line is unforgivable. You’re slowing down the ceremony, dude.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • mydogspa
      mydogspa

      Actually, why would there only be ONE graduation? When I went to a little college (Stanford) they had multiple graduations for every individual college, e.g., the engineering students wouldn’t be going to the graduation for the arts majors, business majors, and vice versa. There must’ve been over 20 ceremonies altogether, each with their own valedictorians and speakers. How did Grey manage to land up giving the speech for AnnaBella’s college?

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
      • Nanani
        Nanani

        Because twilight.
        That was about high school, where one small graduation for everyone makes sense.

        August 26, 2016
        |Reply
        • Suzy
          Suzy

          Ohio State graduate here. There us just in REALLY big graduation every semester. In the spring it’s held in the football stadium. The only people who sit close enough to be seen are med school and doctoral candidates. Everyone sits with their respective colleges. Its like 4000 people graduating. Everyone gets their actual diploma. And you are warned not to hold the line up!

          August 28, 2016
          |Reply
          • Xebi
            Xebi

            That sounds like no fun to sit through if you are one of the last!

            August 29, 2016
          • Suzy
            Suzy

            Especially as the graduates sit outside in the blazing sun or pouring rain in their lovely black robes! It was fun though. We pull some cool speakers…like President Obama. And we all talked and joked with each other during the more boring moments.

            August 29, 2016
      • Juniper
        Juniper

        It might be different at a bigger school, but my college had just one ceremony. Each department had their own little party and handed out their own awards, but the actual official graduation with diplomas and caps and gowns and so on was for everyone.

        August 26, 2016
        |Reply
        • SamBeringer
          SamBeringer

          Graduate from a state college here. Can’t speak for Washington State, but the University of Illinois has seperate graduations for each of the colleges, with the last (and biggest) one being for Liberal Arts and Sciences, which Ana and Kate would have been in.

          August 26, 2016
          |Reply
          • Jamie
            Jamie

            I graduated from WSU Vancouver, which is much much smaller than the main campus in Pullman. We had one ceremony but it was broken up by departments not everyone in alphabetical order. There was only one Valedictorian and diplomas were certainly not handed out by the commencement speaker.

            August 27, 2016
          • Indigo
            Indigo

            I attended a mid-sized Canadian university and convocation took place over three days, with I think a total of six ceremonies. It was divided up by faculty but the smaller faculties shared – my degree is in Fine Arts but we had our ceremony at the same time as Engineering.

            August 28, 2016
          • Amelia
            Amelia

            Which then raises the question of why they got an industrialist to do the speech for the liberal arts and sciences graduates. Sponsor or not, they usually get someone from the same field at least.

            August 29, 2016
        • Khristle
          Khristle

          Fresno State had a ceremony for each School where you got to walk on stage and get your “diploma” handed to you. There was also a big school graduation where everyone sat in the football stadium, and the School would just stand up in their spots to signal they were graduating.

          Junior college, on the other hand, had the entire school walk at the same time

          August 29, 2016
          |Reply
      • anon
        anon

        I graduated from UT-Austin as an engineering major in 1997. My graduation ceremony was department-only, and not actually that big a deal.

        88888888888888888888888888888

        LIKE THE GOOD WOMAN SHE IS.

        Every chapter further in I want to kill Christian Grey more slowly and inventively. (I’d *settle* for killing the idea too many people have that he is in any way a good Dom or a romantic hero, though.)

        Jenny, you are a rock star for continuing to slog through this toxic bilge.

        August 27, 2016
        |Reply
      • ella
        ella

        When I graduated, all the schools were there, and they announced each school (ie business, education, etc..) to hand out diplomas, they had no time to read off names like in high school.

        August 27, 2016
        |Reply
      • Hollykim
        Hollykim

        My tiny little school (and it was a College, not a University, so fewer programs anyway I believe) had just the one ceremony. I finished up mid-year and had to fly back in May. We still all fit into one of the gyms.

        August 30, 2016
        |Reply
    • Amelia
      Amelia

      What is he even doing even giving out the diplomas? In all the graduations I’ve been to the commencement speaker does their little speech and then they sit their arse back down and stay there until the end of the ceremony. It’s the dean of studies who reads off the names and the chancellor hands out the diplomas and shakes hands. It’s pretty much the only meaningful interaction with students they have beyond taking their money. It’s their job. Why would Chedward do it? Why would he want to do it? Graduation is dead boring for anyone who isn’t actually in it anyway, why would he do that if he didn’t have to? Did he go to rehearsals for this? Because I feel like he should have.

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
  7. One of the (many) things that led me to cut ties with my mother was that she would *always* manage to call me during class. Even after I told her my schedule. Even semesters when I only had one class all week. Or only night classes. She would ALWAYS call during it. And she’d always be upset that I didn’t call her right back.

    Sooooo I find this chapter even more upsetting than the previous ones. To be fair, I’ve been saying this about every chapter so far.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  8. I feel like this line
    “Ana bristles. “What? It’s not a deathtrap. It’s fine. José regularly services it for me.”
    “José, the photographer?” This just gets better and fucking better.”
    was meant to express that he thinks Josè as a photographer is not able to to this. I understood this part as a critique on Ana trusting Jose with her car, not (again) Jose beeing with Ana.
    But maybe I’m wrong, English is a second language for me.

    Anyway, I feel like this was a extraordinary infuriating and stupid chapter. Thank you for reviewing it just as awesome as always!

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Tetra
      Tetra

      I think that everything that has to do with José pisses Grey off. The fact that José fixes her “deathtrap” car gives him another opportunity to hate him because it means that José doesn’t care enough to buy Ana a new car instead.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
      • Aldi
        Aldi

        Hahaha, stupid Jacob/Jose! You nailed it!

        August 26, 2016
        |Reply
    • English is my first language and I have no idea if she meant because a photographer can’t also know about cars or if it’s because it’s Jose or both.

      She’s just a crappy writer.

      August 30, 2016
      |Reply
  9. Anon123
    Anon123

    This one started off so funny…then you brought up how “safe” is a word used to manipulate, and everything’s sad all over again. D-:

    “I have never in my life wanted so much to cause physical harm to a fictional character. Not even Theon Greyjoy.”

    You know, you could channel those energies into writing a crossover fanfic where Chedward gets tortured by Ramsay Bolton. Do it, Jenny. Make the world a better place. 😛

    “Tell me your name,” Ramsay commanded.

    Chedward’s will buckled, and he shook as he replied. “My…my name is… This F***ing Guy.”

    “That’s right,” Ramsay nodded. His smooth, sinister smile broadened. “Now, for the first time in my life, I’m going to act as a humanitarian. There’s only one way I know of to make the world a better place. Let’s chop off your dick.”

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Bunny
      Bunny

      Awesome!

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
    • Aldi
      Aldi

      Hahahaha, yes it has to be done and now!

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
      • Cherry
        Cherry

        haha, me too! This is great.

        August 31, 2016
        |Reply
  10. Laura
    Laura

    I continue to be baffled at the fact that anyone could read this book that is mainly about a grown man throwing multiple tantrums like a petulan preschooler and think, “Wow, this is the sexiest and most romantic book of all time!”

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Laura
      Laura

      Obviously, I meant to say petulant. Fail.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
    • “mainly about a grown man throwing multiple tantrums like a petulan preschooler”

      Preach.

      August 30, 2016
      |Reply
  11. Tetra
    Tetra

    I don’t really understand how E.L. James could write a character like this and still be able to picture a human being in her head. How can she think that it is in any way romantic that a person is unable to accept the fact that his romantic interest has had a life before him? E.L. does her very best to make Ana the most boring person alive but unless she’s in to child molesting, there is no way were she can create a character that has no friends or family. Maybe she should have written fan fiction on Sleeping Beauty were Chedward is the witch instead of the prince.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • mydogspa
      mydogspa

      Because EEL writes only what she knows. The reason she writes Chedward so well as a control freak is because EEL is a control freak. If you don’t believe me, ask Sam Taylor-Johnson. EEL romanticizes rape & dysfunctional behavior because that’s all she knows. Clearly she has ripped off Stephanie Meyer because EEL has no sense of original creative thought whatsoever–she just copies whatever Meyer did and then added her (EEL’s) own thought processes to Grey thinking this was “normal.”

      But why people around the world flock to this and believe it is something altogether ever more scary.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
      • Tetra
        Tetra

        But even at some rare points in the book Ana points out Chedwards awful behavior against her. Ana is a paper thin character in the first three books but that is nothing compared to Grey in this one. Maybe she just read a lot of really bad porn instead of writing this book and then she noticed that her deadline was two days away?

        August 26, 2016
        |Reply
        • mydogspa
          mydogspa

          Grey and Ana are EEL’s true personality written on the page. It’s what newbie writers do because they haven’t learned to decouple their own thoughts from their characters’ thoughts. You are seeing EEL’s inner mind at work.

          August 26, 2016
          |Reply
    • moviemonkey
      moviemonkey

      That book got written sort of. Ann Rice wrote the erotica version of sleeping beauty. It features lots of bondage and rape.

      August 30, 2016
      |Reply
      • Mandi Rei Serra
        Mandi Rei Serra

        But Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy wasn’t marketed as a how-to with branded toys and a Valentine’s day release to hammer in the whole, “this is what love looks like, now emulate!” aspect.

        September 1, 2016
        |Reply
  12. Brian
    Brian

    It may be my ASD literalness speaking, but am I the only one bothered by “her pupils darkening.”? I thought pupils were black to begin with.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • mydogspa
      mydogspa

      Pupils aren’t really black, they just don’t reflect anything as they’re designed to let light through. In reality the PUPILS dilate and give the iris the illusion that the IRIS darkens.

      August 26, 2016
      |Reply
    • Noisyninja
      Noisyninja

      I hate this turn of phrase too, I find it hard to picture accurately! Easier to say her pupils dilate, because that’s more appropriate to her reaction than her “expression darkening” which is what is usually used. Eel is mixing up her literary devices here.

      September 3, 2016
      |Reply
  13. Bunny
    Bunny

    Mega weapons grade shit weasel? I must use that in real life! I think I dated a few. This chapter pisses me off. That day is about Ana, asshat!

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  14. Aldi
    Aldi

    I just hate this stupid “book”. You don’t want to know how many arguments I had with women in my family, that just looooove Christian, he’s so perfect etc., bleh! Now I just gave up, I don’t have enough nerves for this sh*t. They all think that I’m a prude, and this is the clue of my “unjust opinion” about this.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  15. Rosa H
    Rosa H

    That whole “deal done!” thing is really disturbing too. Grey is totally the kind of douche bag who think that consent, once given, can’t be taken back. Not that he cares all that much about consent in the first place…

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  16. XLC
    XLC

    ” And you, the man who wants nothing more from her than just a fuck toy, think you should be her priority in that moment, merely because you want to be?”

    I’ve noticed this about a certain type of person: they consider want and need to be essentially equal. If they do something that bothered or hurt someone else, they would use wanting to as an excuse for why they did it. Or, if you ask them not to do something, they use it as a reason they should be allowed to. Etc.

    That kind of deeply embedded entitlement is troubling and I I see it in a LOT of people.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • sempercogitans
      sempercogitans

      Well, my 6-year-old does that. If she wants something, it doesn’t matter to her if it’s hurtful or upsetting to someone else, especially when it comes to violating others’ boundaries.

      Thing is, she’s SIX. And she’s on the spectrum. But she’s already, in her short life, been able to work past some of that and I have no doubt that she’ll get it eventually. Also, she’s SIX.

      This is not okay for a late twenty-something who has to interact with people on a regular basis.

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
  17. Jess
    Jess

    I think it’s implied in Ana’s narration that this is the graduation for just the English Lit grads, so it isn’t the entire university. There’s no way in hell that Christian would be or should be giving the speech. He’s donating to the science departments – nothing to do with English. At my graduation for history, with had the author of Girl With A Pearl Earring speak – she specialises in historical fiction, so it makes sense. Chedward’s appearance is just fanfiction contrivance gone bad. Why bit just say the science and English ceremonies were on the same day?

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Suzy
      Suzy

      Then why is Kate giving a speech? She’s Journalism.

      August 28, 2016
      |Reply
      • Noisyninja
        Noisyninja

        Bad writing?

        September 3, 2016
        |Reply
      • Sheila
        Sheila

        My college didn’t have a separate Journalism department. It was in with English, if you were studying journalism, you were considered an English major. You mostly took writing classes, there were only like three specific journalism courses, you got the rest of your journalism education via work study and actually producing the school paper.

        September 3, 2016
        |Reply
  18. Ilex
    Ilex

    We’re only up to Ana’s graduation? Good grief, how long is this freaking book? I bow before you for keeping on with this, Jenny!

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  19. Kora
    Kora

    Perfect and succinct:
    “Christian Grey isn’t an emotional prisoner of his past, he’s an emotional prisoner of his own ego and the expectation that he is the main character of everyone else’s story.”

    On an unrelated note, I purchased ‘The Stranger’ and read it in one sitting. Thanks for writing another sexy, kink-positive story with characters who are real human beings. I think of the Sophie/Neil books as the anti-Fifty Shades, in all the best ways.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  20. zeee
    zeee

    “Christian Grey is the literary equivalent of accidentally putting your hand on cold semen in a gas station bathroom.”

    oh my god i literally gagged. i wish i could leave you with a gif that sums up what this quote made me do.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  21. I have been waiting for this chapter since May.
    My school didn’t have a valedictorian (but I can’t speak for other colleges), and there was only one ceremony, but it was a small private school. Most big universities have graduations by departments. We went alphabetical order by department, but once again I can’t speak for other schools.
    Graduating is exciting. Graduation is not. That being said, it is really depressing that Ana spent her entire graduation day fixating on creepy Christian. It is a really emotional time, and for EL to think it was appropriate and sexy for that creep to make this day all about him. That scene on the stage is hilarious. We actually had graduation practice the day before, and imagining the guy who hands them out trying to have a conversation without getting shit from the faculty is almost impossible.
    As much as I love your commentary, these are hardly funny anymore because the writing is atrocious and insulting. It makes me sad that people read this gas lighting and abuse and can’t tell that there’s anything wrong. I don’t expect people to be able to instantly recognize the signs of abuse (especially if it’s happening to them) but this is not subtle.
    Side note: a guy I went to high school read the 50 shades trilogy and actually recommends it to people (as in, not jokingly). So now he’s gone and written his own novel, and while it’s not similar in subject, the writing style is VERY similar in some places. And there’s an abusive relationship depicted, in an insulting but still not as insulting as these books way.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  22. Chris
    Chris

    “Or (and I understand why this may be difficult to believe), she wore a dress because it’s a kind of formal occasion and it has nothing to do with you or what she thinks you’ll like. In fact, Ana might (and this is entirely hypothetical) have a life that goes”

    … but goes where, only Jenny knows :p

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  23. Nocturnal Queen
    Nocturnal Queen

    I always hoped that there would be a twist in the end where it turns out that Christian has dug up and kept his mom’s dead body somewhereat at home . I mean, the dude likes to beat up women who looks like his mom and has 16 pictures of the most famous and generally considered most perfect mom ever. In my opinion he is not as much the romantic hero E.L James try to make him out to be as he is Norman Bates.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • Jo
      Jo

      That would be fantastic, and so in line with his character oh my gosh

      August 30, 2016
      |Reply
    • Mandi Rei Serra
      Mandi Rei Serra

      25 Shades of Felonies

      September 1, 2016
      |Reply
  24. Jenny, you are in fine form in this recap. It’s truly something how your recaps can make such mind-numbingly boring material hilarious and entertaining.

    “This reminds me of fanfics where Zayn will somehow spot the OC from the stage and instantly fall in love with her.”

    I must be really old because I immediately remembered this trope in BSB fanfics.

    Also, I keep getting Elliott and Ethan mixed up, probably bc ELJ did something a lot of novice writers are advised not to do, which is giving minor characters names that start with the same letter and are somewhat similar. Doesn’t help that most of the minor characters in this are about as memorable as sawdust, anyway. (I know they’re based off Twilight characters, but unlike the latter, they never actually do anything and their only defining characteristics are the ones that line up with the Twilight characters).

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
    • zesty
      zesty

      I feel really old too because I know BSB but have no idea who Zayn is. ;D

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
  25. Carolina West
    Carolina West

    Ugh, how is it this guy still manages to keep getting creepier? There’s got to be some kind of limit!

    Also, I can’t help but wonder how EL James hasn’t been arrested or something yet. No doubt teenagers (and, god forbid, preteens) are reading these trash heaps and getting completely wrong and warped ideas on what relationships are, so there’s probably some kind of “corrupting minors” charge that could be levied against her. Not to mention she’s basically facilitating and encouraging abusive relationships, and if there’s not any kind of charge for that, there freaking should be.

    August 26, 2016
    |Reply
  26. Ali
    Ali

    Oh my god, just reading this recap made me want to find EL James and projectile vomit all over her. I hope you have some super self-care routines in place to get you through this book.

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
  27. Roslyn
    Roslyn

    Jenny, you’re on fire today! 😀

    From:

    “I mean, I’m no Dr. Flynn, but I feel like desperately wanting to bang someone who looks exactly like your mom might be something that’s been addressed by the psychiatric field”,

    all the way through to:

    “Like we don’t all know that if Ana hadn’t given him the answer right then he would have gone to lunch to strong arm her into accepting his proposal”

    this recap was pure gold.

    I consider the fact so many women seem to think that this turd is a romantic and desirable man to be one of life’s great mysteries.

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
  28. Rhiannon Thomas
    Rhiannon Thomas

    I think the graduation in alphabetical order might be a UK university thing – although the ceremony is still organised into degree type/faculties. At my graduation, the keynote speaker handed out the degree certificates too.

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
  29. Laura
    Laura

    Having graduated from an English uni, we did get called up in alphabetical order and our ceremonies were by department. So i think that’s probably where she got it from.
    I wonder why EL didn’t just write this set in England, it would have been much easier for her. Ana could have gone to UCL/Imperial or somewhere and Chedward could have been a millionaire businessman based in London. Also, it would have removed her slightly more from the source material. (Plus we’ve got the rain!)

    “Two dresses in two days. She’s spoiling me.” – I can’t get over the gross sense of entitlement in this line. No no, she just wears different clothes from one day to the next.
    A part of me would like to burst his bubble and tell him that technically i think Kate saw Ana in both dresses before he did so really Ana’s done it for Kate. Because it makes about as much sense as Chedward’s logic and would probably lead to a better story.

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth

      I totally agree! I work at a university in the UK and see a lot of graduation ceremonies like this one.
      I think she’s set it in America because she thinks it’s a more glamorous location and like twilight. But Jenny has pointed out loads of examples of where she’s attempted an Americanism and got it completely wrong. She’s clearly not done her research…

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
  30. It’s so great to see you pointing out each and every instance where this shit stick is complaining to himself about Ana not answering him, how often he tries to contact her, how much he expects to he central to her life and thoughts after such a short time even though one of the most important moments of her life so far is coming up. And that after she said she wants space on just the previous night.
    It’s so easy to just skim over this when reading , because you think ‘right calling again, read that already a few lines ago’, but then it doesn’t settle in how OFTEN he actually does this. I expect that is one of the reasons lots of people don’t fully recognise how abusive this relationship is and how utterly awful this fucker is. These books are so repetitive, I think loads gets skipped in readers’ brains. But you pointing every instance out, makes you really realise how disturbing this character is.

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
  31. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth

    ““You look lovely, Anastasia. This halter-neck dress suits you, and I get to stroke your back and feel your beautiful skin.””
    That dialogue. I can’t decide whether he sounds more like a robot or like Buffalo Bill. “It rubs the lotion on its skin…”

    “Christian Grey is the literary equivalent of accidentally putting your hand on cold semen in a gas station bathroom. Christian Grey is the human version of medical waste being dumped on a playground.”
    I once blew off an internet creep by saying I was just so busy, I had to go and clean the cat litterbox. Translation: I’d rather pick up cat shit and piss than spend another minute hearing your bullshit. I can confidently say that if Christian Grey was real, I’d do MUCH worse than picking up cat shit to avoid interacting with him. Maybe volunteer to clean up said cold semen or medical waste (*shudder, heave*).

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
    • drmaggiemoreau
      drmaggiemoreau

      Coincidentally, I was thinking the other day- “I wish Christian Grey had a cat. Then hopefully the cat would barf and lick him immediately after.”

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
    • Amelia
      Amelia

      Hey wait a minute, forgive me if I’m wrong, but she should still be wearing her gown, shouldn’t she? Did she get changed out of during the part that Jenny cut out of the recap? And if so, why the hell did she get changed out of her gown before getting her photo taken? Is he just, sticking his arm down the neck of her graduation gown to “feel her beautiful skin”? Cause that ain’t exactly inconspicuous. Even if she took it off, why would she get changed out of the gown so quickly? The feeling of wearing that thing is one of the best parts about graduation, I didn’t take mine off till the last minute, most people did, and even after that, you still got to keep the mortarboard and you can bet I wore that damn thing home. You think she’d at least get the photo taken before taking it off.

      August 31, 2016
      |Reply
  32. Mental Slinky Tangle is my new favorite term. I might need to start a band just to name it that. Our debut album will be “It Smells of Mommy” and our first single will be “Gas Station Semen.”

    Is it just me, or is this whole commencement scene highly reminiscent of the climax of a slasher film, with the psycho killer relentlessly chasing his victim through the house?

    August 27, 2016
    |Reply
  33. Crystal
    Crystal

    Re: consistent time notation

    EL (or the copy editor) is in the right here. “Nine thirty” begins a sentence, so replacing it with “9:30” would be horrible. On the other hand, “9:45” occurs in the middle of a sentence, and writing it like that is correct, according to the style guides of several national (UK) newspapers. Spelling it out would be needlessly long and clunky.

    If you want to spell out numbers every time in your own work, knock yourself out, but there’s nothing wrong with the way “Grey” handles it.

    August 28, 2016
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      See, if that’s UK thing, I get it from E.L., but not from the American publisher. That said, so many publishers ascribe a different house style than from style guides. I get AP and Chicago mixed up, but I’m pretty sure both of them advise to not start a sentence off with numerals, and to reword the sentence in that case. Which to me just sounds like they’re being lazy: “Hey, I’m not sure how to fix this problem of numbers at the beginning of sentences. One way looks weird, but if we do it this other way, it creates an inconsistency.” “Okay, well…tell them to reword the sentence. It’s their problem now.”

      It’s not necessarily whether or not it’s grammatically correct that bothers me, but the consistency, which I feel pretty much everyone is letting slip. I feel very strongly that whether it’s personal or house style, stuff should be exactly the same across the board. I may have to start my own style manual and slowly convince people to use it. Bribes might work.

      That said, AP says to always use numerals to indicate time, and they can bite a cheese. I will have a character speaking numerals in dialogue over my dead body.

      August 28, 2016
      |Reply
      • You wouldn’t use numerals to begin a sentence ever. Crystal is correct. This isn’t a consistency issue unless we’re comparing times written diferently in the middles of sentences.

        August 30, 2016
        |Reply
        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          That’s only until I manage to conquer the world with my own style guide full of my personal preferences, Renee. Then all shall kneel before Zod.

          August 30, 2016
          |Reply
          • Please do. It would make life simpler if I could begin sentences that way!

            August 30, 2016
    • Elisabeth
      Elisabeth

      The grammar and editing courses I took in college said to always spell out times in descriptive text (as in a story).

      August 29, 2016
      |Reply
  34. Hollykim
    Hollykim

    “My nightmares have recently become more frequent, and more vivid. I have no idea why. Damned Flynn”
    Oh no, Chedward! If Flynn is the shrink that Hugh Dancy’s playing….then I think I know why your dreams are getting worse! Switch doctors before you cough up Bella’s….
    ..
    The hell am I saying?! Nevermind Grey, you’re fine

    August 28, 2016
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      I could not stop laughing when I saw that Fancy Dancy is playing Dr. Flynn. Like, was Mads unavailable to reprise his role as the shitty psychiatrist?

      August 28, 2016
      |Reply
      • Hollykim
        Hollykim

        Oh, that would have been some wonderfully distracting stunt casting! And Grey’s manners are quite terrible…

        September 4, 2016
        |Reply
  35. Nunyabizz
    Nunyabizz

    Alanis Obomsawin is a Native American. She is of Abenaki descent. What other qualifications does she need for her words to count as a “Native American saying”?

    August 28, 2016
    |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      The problem isn’t that it was called a Native American saying, but that it was framed as if the source were unknown.

      August 28, 2016
      |Reply
  36. Nunyabizz
    Nunyabizz

    “Ana, baby,” I whisper, holding out my hand, and like the good woman she is, she steps into my embrace.

    Like the good woman she is.

    LIKE THE GOOD WOMAN SHE IS.

    Me: I know, right? What a compliment! He called her a woman and not a girl for once!

    BTW how was this sentence supposed to end? Or was there an image? Because all I see is a blank space between this and the paragraph that follows it:

    In fact, Ana might (and this is entirely hypothetical) have a life that goes

    August 28, 2016
    |Reply
  37. Grace
    Grace

    I love how it’s absurd that Kate thinks Elliot might talk to Christian about her, “We’re not in each other’s pockets, for Christ’s sake.” but is actively angry with her for not knowing Ana’s every move.

    I also think EL James just keeps throwing his poverty and abuse history in there 1. as a really badly written attempt to “justify” his obsession with Ana and 2. (almost the same) to appeal to some part of the reader who will go “Oh that Kate, yeah, she’s one of those spoiled little rich girls, she doesn’t get poverty like Christian does and I do.” Like how the reader is supposed to hate Taylor’s ex-wife for annoying Taylor. No substance just ‘Search for the stereotype inside yourself’.

    August 29, 2016
    |Reply
  38. AS
    AS

    Right now, I’m just amazed at how Grey manages to be creepier than so many characters in my category of “people who should never have a romantic relationship. It’s even more striking because I read recently a plot about a person with a pretty abusive childhood (he doesn’t remember his father giving him more than beatings and verbal abuse about how he was so fucked up from birth he would never be anything else than a CRUEL monster) and even the worst version of his plotline manages to be much healthier than this.

    (Then you have his other version in which he seems to be recovering from his shitty childhood because he got friends and good influences at 12 years old, but let’s leave that one aside)

    August 29, 2016
    |Reply
  39. “I have never in my life wanted so much to cause physical harm to a fictional character. Not even Theon Greyjoy.”

    Theon Greyjoy has daddy issues and layers. I have sympathy for Theon. He even has guilt and remorse for his actions. I think a better comparison might be Ramsay, but I’d say he and Christian are pretty equal.

    “He tells Ana he wants to meet her stepdad …”

    But she’s not his girlfriend. (And am I the only one hearing Sheldon Cooper’s voice in my head with that line?)

    August 30, 2016
    |Reply
  40. Desolace
    Desolace

    I googled the quote… and Goodreads is now the first search result 🙁
    (maybe that’s because I just came from this page and google knew and wanted to give me the result it thought interested me most…?!)

    August 30, 2016
    |Reply
  41. Julie
    Julie

    I just want to say once again how sorry I am that you had to read these. I also thank you because I dont have to read them. 🙂

    Also, does anyone else get a Dexter vibe from this absolute train wreck of a series?
    Reading Chedward’s POV reminds me a lot of Dexter’s Dark Passenger.

    September 4, 2016
    |Reply
  42. kate
    kate

    “You look lovely, Anastasia. This halter-neck dress suits you, and I get to stroke your back and feel your beautiful skin.”

    My face stayed in a grossed-out expression for so long after reading this that it might be permanently frozen like that.

    September 13, 2016
    |Reply
  43. kate
    kate

    Fifty Shades was at least funny. This is just boring and infuriating – it feels like it must be so hard to make this shit even remotely funny. I want to rip out Christian’s larynx and scrotum already and we’re not even halfway through the book.

    September 13, 2016
    |Reply
  44. Baltazar
    Baltazar

    At the beginning I was really perplexed about the worry Christian expresses in his thoughts about Ana’s safety. It almost seemed comical. She lives in Portland, not Honduras and she’s not alone. She has Kate and – since it’s her graduation – her family. Okay, you can always get mugged, die in a car accident or have a piano fall on your head from the top floor, but all of those are pretty unlikely. When I call someone and it goes to voice mail, I think that maybe their phone’s battery is dead or they turned it off for some reason, not “OMG, THEY MUST BE DYING SOMEWHERE OUT ON THE DANGEROUS STREETS OF THIS STABLE FIRST WORLD COUNTRY!”
    But of course in the end it falls out that he only worries about not being able to coerce her to consent to being a submissive. Christian Grey could be Asshole of the Year 2011.

    September 22, 2016
    |Reply
    • No kidding. A friend of mine actually did pass away suddenly and unexpectedly two weeks ago from an undiagnosed brain tumor (she was only 36). Another friend mentioned that she had sent a text message to her and hadn’t heard back and wasn’t concerned, figuring our friend was busy and just forgot. That she had died was the last thing that anyone thought and it had actually happened.

      September 22, 2016
      |Reply

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