So, tomorrow, I’m handing in the final project of my university career. And that’s all kinds of awesome; I’m sure I’ll do some tipsy nostalgic post about university nearer graduation. But, for the time being, that leaves me with a project-less hole in my life. A space that needs filled. And for the last few months, I’ve had this nagging feeling that there’s something I need to finish…
Yes, that’s right- even after the pure, unadulterated torture of recapping Fifty Shades of Grey (for the lucky/uninitiated, you can find my recaps here), I’ve decided to take on the rest of the series. Maybe I’m, like, some kind of masochist or something. I should look into BDSM; I’ve heard it’s pretty neat. So, I’ve got my copy of Fifty Shades Darker, and I’m ready to take on the rest of EL James’ magnum opus. I just need some appropriately epic music to get me started:
Yes, that should do it. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO!
The book starts with a prologue told from the point of view of young Christian about how terribly he was abused, and it’s badly written and blatantly manipulative in that it’s trying to justify Christian’s abhorrent treatment of everyone around him as a defense mechanism. We jump straight into Ana’s POV for chapter one, as she tries to survive after the recent death of her entire family. Oh, wait, no, she’s just trying to get over the break-up of a month-long relationship, not that you would know that from how she describes how she’s feeling. Some highlgihts:
“The void in my chest…a painful, hollow reminder of my loss.”
“I am numb. I feel nothing but pain. How long must I endure this?”
“I cannot bear to hear any music…even jingles in commercials make me shudder.”
I’m less than ten pages in and this is already even worse than Fifty Shades of Grey. Mainly because at least that had the abusey leading man to keep things interesting, if not pleasant or entertaining or romantic; now we’re left with Queen of the Mary-Sues to carry the plot, the whole thing crumples in on itself like so much wet cake. She doesn’t eat for FIVE FULL DAYS. This couldn’t be more overblown or underwritten.
But oh, we don’t have to wait long for the man of our dreams to join us once more! Christian emails Ana to remind her that Jose’s art show is soon, and offers her a lift, since he sold her old car and she gave the one she purchased for him to replace it back. She agrees, and then realizes that all of her calls have been getting forwarded to Christian since their break-up. She assumes he threw away her phone, but trust me, he did not. She also wonders how he got her new email (oh, yeah, she’s started her new job at a publishing house and her boss wants to nail her) ,but let’s not go down that path when there’s pussy-moistening to be had! Note: these recaps will be at least eight times as explicit as the actual sex scenes in the book, be warned.
Ana gets ready to meet Christian, and we get this belter of a line:
“I wish I knew how to use make-up. I apply mascara and eyeliner […]”
Which, wow. Whoever edited this probably just went “fuck it, I’m out” after the first book. That’s the only explanation for this line, where she says she can’t use make-up and proceeds in the next sentence to use make-up. She goes outside to meet Christian, and the first words out of his mouth are “When did you last eat?”. Ana replies that it’s nice to see him, and he scolds her for her “smart mouth”. Fuck, this is almost too easy. Christian is immensely rude and controlling, and he’s not even ten lines in yet.
She laughs at him- one of the few times mine and Ana’s reactions would match up- and tells him she last ate when she was with him. He tells her she’s lost “five pounds, maybe more”, because got forbid we forget how SKINNYSKINNYSKINNY Ana is.
Christian asks how she’s been, and then pulls her onto his lap and shoves his face in her hair, which is weird and creepy and- oh, wait, this is Christian Grey we’re talking about, isn’t it? Carry on. They arrive at a helipad, and Christian straps Ana in. She actually says “Oh, my” out loud- actually try saying that to yourself without sounding like your trying to cover up your surprise at the size of someone’s unseasonably large penis. See? Can’t do it.
They talk about her new job, take off, and Ana thinks about how she’s Icarus again. Does EL James know what…I mean, has she ever read that story? Someone dies. Icarus dies. Spoiler alert, EL. They stroll down to Jose’s art show, and Ana feels the need to mention that Jose is just a friend. No reason, none at all, certainly not that the man she’s with has proven over and over again that his jealousy and temper are usually barely in control, if at all.
Jose greets Ana and he’s super excited, and Ana thinks about how he’s realizing his dream, then immediately returns to thinking about how Christian wants to put his dick in her. She goes to look at the paintings, and Christian comments on how the wine is shite. Oh, fuck, I forgot how nothing but liquid velvet could pass by the lips of Christian Grey. God, he’s so sexy and cool and alpha and not at all some cunt I would NEVER take for a sesh down Spoons.
Ana and Christian turn a corner to realize that part of Jose’s collection is seven enormous pictures of Ana’s face, because she’s sooo pretty and skinny with curves in all the right places and double-Ds and…oops, sorry, my Mary-Sue-O-Meter went into overdrive there. But yeah, Christian gets angry, then buys all the portraits BECAUSE HE’S SO NOT CREEPY AND POSSESIVE AND THE THOUGHT OF ANOTHER PERSON EVEN LOOKING AT ANA ISN’T A SERIOUSLY DISTURBING CONSIDERATION FOR HIM.
Christian and Ana banter some about how she doesn’t want to be a submissive, and he wants her to, and blah blah blah fuck, I thought we’d resolved this already. Christian orders Ana to say goodbye to Jose so she can leave, which I’ll just let you mull on for a second. She hugs Jose extra-tight to make Christian jealous, so he takes her outside and shoves his tongue down her throat because jealousy makes EL James wet, I guess? He informs her that she belongs to him, and she practically swoons into a puddle of indistinct slop. Then he decides they’re going to dinner. Are you seeing the theme here? It’s Christian doing what Christian wants while never consulting Ana, and it’s going to be a running theme in this book, I’m sad to say.
Well, that’s all for this chapter; join me next week when I begin to regret my decision!