Fifty Shades Freed: Chapter One
Happy Saturday! As the world rumbles towards an apparently inevitable doom, it seemed about time that I return to my pit of despair, my white whale- yes, that’s right, it’s finally time to take on the final part of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. With the next movie only a few weeks away, it’s prime time to throw myself at the mercy of the world’s sexiest writer once more. And hope this time she doesn’t force me to read about getting hit on the clitoris with a horsewhip. If you’re new to the blog, catch up on my recaps here; if not, once more into the breach, dear friends- or, indeed, into the bleach, which I imagine I’ll want to chug a litre of by the time this is done. To the first chapter!
Well, actually, the book opens with a dumb prologue where Christian has a bad dream about the fact his mother died in front of him and then Ana wakes him up to make it all better. The actual first chapter opens on Ana enjoying their honeymoon in France
“I stare up through gaps in the sea-grass parasol at the bluest of skies, summer blue, Mediterranean blue, with a contented sigh. Christian is beside me, stretched out on a sun lounge. My husband—my hot, beautiful husband, shirtless and in cut-off jeans—is reading a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking system.”
Blue. Did she mention blue? Also, an old favourite returns as Ana finds nothing good to say about her husband other than “he’s really fucking hot, you guys.” From my experience, when that is the only thing someone has to say about their partner, there’s a good reason for that. And that reason is that they are flaming bags of dogshite in the personality department. It’s been said about me enough times that I’ve finally gleaned the hidden meaning, trust me.
Ana drifts off and thinks about them planning their wedding, and Christian surprises her from her reverie by coming over and muttering at her;
““You’ll burn,” Christian whispers in my ear, startling me from my doze.
“Only for you.” I give him my sweetest smile.”
I actually yelled “fuck off!” at the room when I read this, and it surprised the cat and made my boyfriend lose his page in his book so I hope EL is happy. Every time I come back to these books, I’m surprised by how fucking terrible the writing is. But, onward, maybe the next sentence will be-
““Yes, you would and you do. Often. It’s one of the many things I love about you.” He leans down and kisses me, playfully biting my lower lip.
“I was hoping you’d rub me down with more sunscreen.” I pout against his lips.”
How can she speak and pout against his mouth if he’s got one of her lips between this teeth? Was there…has an editor ever even looked at these books? Like, even a perfunctory glance?
Christian obliges, and “coats her in suncreen”, which is just the best way EL could have put that. Ana asks how Christian is;
““Displeased,” he says without hesitation. “I’m not very happy about you wearing so little right now.” He leans down and whispers in my ear. “Don’t push your luck.”
“Is that a challenge, Mr. Grey?”
“No. It’s a statement of fact, Mrs. Grey.”
I sigh and shake my head. Oh, Christian … my possessive, jealous, control freak Christian.”
NO. BOO. HISS. I hate this bullshit every time I see it, whether it’s in Fifty Shades or one of the numerous “asshole chic” romance novels that have come out in it’s wake. Jealousy and possesiveness are not cute, they are not to be dismissed as a personality quirk. This is just the tip of the fucking iceberg of all the shitty things Christian will do in this book, in this series in general, but god-damn. Nice start.
Christian orders them drinks, and the waitress- who dares to be blonde, the whore- walks away with her ponytail swinging “provocatively”. Look, I hate to get my slash-fic feels all over everything, but with the constant references to how sexy ladies are around her…did EL mean to right Ana as a closeted gay woman, or was that just a terrible mistake? Because all that abusive stuff slipped in there by accident too. How careless. How very, very careless.
Christian carries Ana into the see and they snog a bit in front of some sunbathers, and Christian’s like “ooh no, not gonna fuck you here, no siree”, which annoys Ana. So, what does she do to get back at him? Take off her bikini top, so she can sunbathe topless like most of the other women on the beach.
Ana thinks back to her wedding day, where Christian whispered dirty shit to her at the fucking altar in front of all of their friends and family and within a few feet on a man of the church. Which…hot, I suppose? Ana watches her mother and her stepfather dance and worries that Christian will leave her; meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed. Also, Jose is at the wedding- this is kind of a surprise, since Christian hates him so much and, oh, you know, that time he forced himself on Ana while she was drunk and unconsenting. Maybe since she got with Christian she re-evaluted that behaviour as romantic? There’s more wedding talk as everyone tells Ana how beautiful she looks and how happy she’ll make Christian and what an amazing wife she’ll be, blah blah, blah, she’s a Mary-Sue, we get it already. Christian whisks her away from the wedding and on to a private jet, where they eat and Christian tells her he’ll be taking her to London. And then, our first Hannigram line of the book so far:
““Good,” he murmurs. “I’d rather planned on having you for dessert.””
Then, of course, they bone-Christian stares at her “greedily”, Ana blushes, he reaches the “apex of her thighs”, “everything south of her waist” convulses at his touch…basically, a rundown of all our long-treasured Fifty Shades Sex Cliches. If someone wants to make a bingo card, I’m all ears. He doesn’t begin to “move, really move”- I assume she’s saving that doozy for later in the book. Something for us to look forward to, no doubt.
Back on the beach in France, Christian is less than impressed because Ana has her boobs out on, may I remind you, a private yacht adjacent to a beach where many people are doing the same-
““WHAT THE HELL DO you think you’re doing?” Christian shouts, waking me from my very pleasant dream. He’s standing all wet and beautiful at the end of my sun lounge and glaring down at me.
What have I done? Oh no … I’m lying on my back … Crap, crap, crap, and he’s mad. Shit. He’s really mad.”