The 3rd book of the Fifty shades - trilogy is yet another page turner, but certainly continues to disappoint with regards to writing style. I was curious for this 'hype', but am disappointed about the level of literary accomplishment. To me all 3 parts really are just one book - there is no real ending to the first 2 parts. There were things however, that I enjoyed, and the epilogue was a pleasant surprise - a perfect icing to hide a suboptimal cake. The epilogue made me give another star, and I am writing this review because I just can't get the book out of my head - a good sign.
The 3rd book is still about Ana's and Christian's stormy relationship, and it describes how reality hits, and how they manage their difficulties and differences, without the eternal swooning of the 2nd book. The writing style does not improve however, there are still numerous repetitions, and the 'oh my' exclamations don't cease. The erotic scenes become a little more variable, not every single one is described into minute detail, and Ana even uses the safeword once, which makes it a little more believable.
I am not familiar with the world of BDSM, but I found it reassuring that the ultimate control lies with the submissive, and don't feel (like other reviewers) that Ana degrades herself by partaking in this. She actually appears to enjoy these experiences. I also don't think that she should stand up for herself more - I think she sets the boundaries that are important to her, and that she is trying to find the balance between sacrifice for the good of the relationship, and 'hard limits'.
The book explores the issues of character formation in the first 3 years of life, and whether the effects of those first years can be reversed. It also explores dealing with reality when having gotten married in the first 'head over heels in love (or lust)' - phase. It explores how much change for the other partner is possible, and how much is just not achievable. It doesn't explore these into the depth that it could have, but it is nonetheless interesting to read. I myself are familiar with a relationship in which the parties come from very different worlds, and I think that 2 people can love each other enough to make quite significant sacrifices in order to be together.
I quite enjoyed the 'Bridget Jones' style email exchange, which continues into the 3rd book, albeit to a lesser degree.
The changing of the main characters over the 3 books appears only superficial to me - Ana is still naive and worried about making Christian mad, and Christian is still mercurial and moody by the end of the trilogy. The other characters don't change significantly at all - very disappointing.
There are plenty of unrealistic aspects to this book unfortunately, I found it impossible to suspend my disbelief. To me it feels that if Christian was just a little less rich, a little less handsome, his parents a little less perfect, if Ana wasn't so new to relationships, so new to email, if she was maybe a little tempted by all that money, and if she occasionally had a disagreement with her mother, the same trilogy would be much more believable. Cutting out 1/3 of the erotic scenes, making some of them a 'less than perfect' experience, and changing the eternal repetition of 'oh my', 'he's so breathtaking' and 'will I always love him so' would have made a vast difference as well.
So even though the book had me turning pages till late at night, made me think about a few things and informed me a little about the world of BDSM, and had me very impressed with the epilogue, overall I was probably more annoyed by the writing style than pleased by the good things. It did get under my skin though - days after finishing the last part, I am still thinking about it a lot. 3 stars.show more
by Karen Redpath