Yes. I have already recommended this thought provoking young adult novel to several friends, some teens, some adults. It is guaranteed to hold the interest of any reader or listener who gives it a fair chance, regardless of age. It is well written and follows all of the "rules" for YA fiction, while not talking down to the reader. It raises questions regarding current social issues without being preachy.
The scene in which one of the teenagers is "unwound." It is explicit but not gory. I had a very hard time listening to it, and wondered about its appropriateness for teen readers, but it was exactly what the story needed. Without it, the story would have lacked context.
Initially, I questioned the choice of Mr. Daniels to read a YA book. He started out almost in a monotone, but it quickly became clear that his style was exactly right. He did a great job of giving voice to the various characters, while using an almost deadpan tone to deliver some passages that might have been very difficult otherwise.
A frightening ... and plausible ... view of a possible future.
Adult readers might have difficulty accepting some pretty implausible coincidences, especially toward the end of the book, but they aren't jarring.
Exceptionally undiscerning romance novel fans. Apparently, fans of the much better, though still awful, Twilight books, and their evil fanfic spawn.
No. Once was quite enough, thank you.
Yes. As I said in the title of this review, I don't think any narrator could have saved this awful book. The writing was terrible. The dialogue was insipid and extremely unrealistic. By halfway through the book, I wanted to kill the protagonist's "inner goddess," but that isn't the narrator's fault.
I suppose it would be cheating to say "all of them," but there were no major characters I didn't find unrealistic and annoying. Anastasia is remarkably naive, but suddenly knows words she shouldn't know, and understands concepts that should be well beyond her junior high level understanding of the world. She often tells us about her high GPA, but is actually amazingly stupid. Of course, no review can leave out Christian Grey, the 29 year old billionaire, who is gorgeous (Ana tells us this on almost every page), a sexual dynamo, flies his own helicopter, altruistically feeds the poor ... it goes on and on. I had no problem with the dungeon in his apartment; that was the most realistic part of his character! I did wonder who cleaned that room, since the housekeeper didn't seem to know about it. And then there's Ana's filthy rich roommate, who was Valedictorian of her college class, editor of the student newspaper (and apparently still running said publication post-graduation). The closest thing to a realistic character was Grey's driver, who had only a minor role.
This is a truly awful book. I have to assume it was put on the bestseller list by people who don't typically read books, but are more likely consumers of movies and reality TV. Unfortunately, people like me who ignored the reviews to "see what all the hype is about" contributed to these numbers, thereby feeding the problem of semi-literate people writing and publishing books. Next time, I'll listen to my "inner god," and not waste my money.
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