Book Trends….How Fifty Shades of Grey is the Best and Worse Thing for “Romance” Books

20 Jun


I’m an avid reader, since I could always remember.  Then two years ago as a Christmas present I got a Kindle. It was the best and worse thing I ever received. The last few years I have tended to lean towards romance, romance comedy and of that genre books.  One of my favorite authors is Jennifer Cruise, I’ve rad all of her books out and that’s a nice collection.  I’m not really a snob when it comes to romance,  it just has to hit the right cord to get me to read it.

I ended up reading Fifty Shades of Grey before it became a huge thing.  I heard about it from my boyfriend who read an article in his Men’s Health Magazine that suggested it for their wives/girlfriends to read.  So I did a quick search and click on Amazon the first book was mine.  I will admit I ate it up, with all it’s faults (bad writing and editing) I really enjoyed it. It was all about the fantasy, the idea of a dark and twisty handsome man bringing out the “inner goddess” (that line just makes me cringe now lol) in a shy girl is very appealing.  Then I read the second, not as bad, then the third and I just wanted it to stop.  And this is where my observation begins.

Since Fifty Shades, every book I have read there after (or at least the vast  majority) has had the same story idea.  Handsom guy (preferably with a dark past that has left him scarred), broken or young girl who is just as scarred or shy, crossing sexual boundaries, and an on going series.  I love the fantasy of this, but when you read as much as I do it all becomes a blur.  I have two series going right now that I can’t remember what is what sometimes and mix them up when I’m trying to discuss the book with a friend.  I really understand that if something becomes a phenom then everyone will want part of that pie.  But this has gotten out of hand, every book is the same thing, and trilogies as well.

I will give E L James this, her story sparked the romance community.  It started a trend for couples reading to enhance their sex lives as well as just doing something as a couple.  It started a world wide trend and became so huge it immediately became such a big sensation that the rights were bought to make the movie.  You can call this the Twilight Phenom for grown ups.  I can’t fault the women who wrote this books because she wanted to write something that she would like to read while she was taking the train to work.  She made it big on an idea that she started writing on her phone.

But with the good the is a flip side of this. Fifty Shades created an identity crisis for romance authors, making no story or writer distinguishable.  Adaptation after adaption, it’s the same and the book series becomes longer trying to beat out the next person. The fantasy portion is all the same, bondage and boundaries.  It has made all romance books lose any type of originality they once had.  Why does it have to be a series? Why does it have to connect? Why does it have to have bondage?  Why do all the men have gray eyes?

Now I do understand that I am buying these books and ranting about it. But I buy them out of hope that one writer just has a light go off when they were writing and make the story something completely different.  Maybe have a little more story then the unrealistic amount of sex some of them write (even I got physically tired of reading the insatiable appetite of Grey and Anna), give me a joke, or maybe, just MAYBE give me only ONE BOOK!  I kid you not the series I am reading now I thought I was on the last book and surprised 2 more are coming, I’m seriously thinking of stopping it after this once since I’m having such a hard time reading the lack of any emotion and neurotic nature of this, it’s just not enjoyable (but I have to get thru it since I paid $10 for it).

I’ve really given up on series, even if they look good I refuse to buy them. I am starting not to buy the books in the line of Fifty Shades, in fact I’ve bought a few nonfiction books to try to get away from the commonality.  I just can’t justify reading the same book over and over again. I just wish these writers would romance me with something different.

Have you read Fifty Shades? Or any like it?  What do you enjoy reading?


4 Responses to “Book Trends….How Fifty Shades of Grey is the Best and Worse Thing for “Romance” Books”

  1. Kayla Sanchez June 20, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    I’ve found that I shy away from series now as well; each book has a tendency to get worse but I have this compulsion to finish the story so I end up spending far more than I wished on sub-par books.

    • Jenn June 20, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      That is exactly my problem too. I now feel obligated to read this and finish it out.

  2. Sam June 20, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    I read the first chapter of 50 Shades of Grey, and I found it pretty bad to be honest. I have a very very very high standard for books, so the level of writing has to be pretty high to convince me to keep reading. I think the book market has become very saturated with crappy writing as of late. Publishers are pumping out genres/themes that sell, but the quality of the novels is going down. To be honest, it has kind of killed a lot of my desire to read these days. If I see one more book about a dystopian society or vampire/werewolf/human relationship, I’m going to lose it.

    • Jenn June 20, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Exactly. Its either a version of Fifty Shades, Hunger Games or Twilight. I know there is a big movement where people are cutting out the middle man and self publish amd go thru like Amazon to do it. I am not sure how good the editing is if any on sites like that. So everyone is publishing something. Now I think thats a great outlet for writers to have because I know how hard it is fo even get a publisher to even consider looking at your book. But there needs to be something to where the editing and substinace has to be better. Some of those serial books on Amazon are atrocious. Some of the writing looks like it was from a grade schooler.

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