H-Town and amberance read and review Fifty Shades Darker so you don’t have to.
Me: LET'S DO THIS
H-Town: I started at the very very beginning of the book
Because even her BIO is poorly written
"Former TV exec, wife, and mother..."
Is she a former wife and mother?
Me: haha yes, she was a wife and mother, but she quit
H-Town: also, on the copyright page
Did you see this part?
This was earlier serialized as "Master of the Universe"
Isn’t that He-Man?
He-Man should sue
Me: BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL
H-Town: BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULLL....I'LL WRITE A SHITTY NOVELLLLLLLL!
Me: oh shit, maybe that's why his name is Christian Grey!
Me: also explains why she never eats, she's obviously Skeletor
H-Town: Also, her pseudonym at that time was Snowqueen's Icedragon
Makes me want to burn a renaissance fair
It’s like she's just putting together every FAIRIE name
Also, we now know her editor's name is Janine.
People of England, get to it, find every woman named Janine and scream in their faces til you find the right one.
Me: I was so happy to find that out. It will be so much easier to track her down in September
H-Town: Janine Cantedit of Craptacular Publishing, Inc.
Me: "Thanks to my editor Janine, and congratulations on passing English as a Second Language level one!"
H-Town: ok, onto the actual book, I suppose
How hilarious is it that we can find stuff to destroy and we're not even in the text yet?
In the prologue to the book, Christian is having a nightmare about his childhood. He is hiding under a table and watching while someone beats the shit out of his mother while repeatedly screaming at her that she is “one fucked up bitch.” He wakes up in a cold sweat just as the man finds him hiding under the table.
Me: right, so, the prologue
H-Town: big ol' wtf
Me: Christian is having a dream about his childhood...in first person?
Who narrates their dream to themself?
H-Town: He's troubled, Amber, he can do whatever he wants.
CEO of Stupid Bullshit Crap
Note: In the e-mail volleys they send back and forth, Christian’s signature is on every single one of them. Except sometimes he changes words in it to suit whatever conversation they are currently having.
H-Town: I bet it's through the power of Greyskull that he can do that.
Me: oh shit, I totally meant to start this conversation by yelling at you "YOU ARE ONE FUCKED UP BITCH!"
sorry, my bad
That's like my coffee every day
I don't drink coffee, I just have you greet me
Chapter 1 begins with Ana’s first day at her new job, then quickly cuts to Wednesday after it’s been explained that she is the most sad girl ever.
H-Town: Her boss' name is Jack Hyde.
My notes: "Come the fuck on."
I'm surprised she didn't make his middle initial L.
Jack L. Hyde
SO MYSTERIOUS AND CRYPTIC
Me: It's only the first chapter, it might still happen
H-Town: my inner goddess is begging me for that to happen
So I punched her in the vagina.
And yes, I am enjoying the foreshowing
Oh no, he seems so interested in her, WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?
Me: I’m sickly pleased that it followed my first prediction that he would be a creepy mofo
H-Town: no men in this girl's life are uncreepy
Me: never go to Seattle, apparently it is full of psychos
She is super naive though, maybe it's just her. "This dummy will be an easy mark"
H-Town: true dat
"This girl never eats, I can offer her a carrot stick and she'll do whatever."
Me: seriously. It’s Wednesday. Since Friday night she's had: one cup of yogurt
H-Town: I know!
I eat all the damn time
I'm like a hobbit
I have elevenses and twelveses and all that shit
Me: I am eating a sea salt chocolate bar RIGHT FRIGGIN NOW
H-Town: Christian should've given her an app that just yells, "EAT A FUCKING SANDWICH" every hour
I like that when she goes home, EL James makes sure we know that Ana turns on her flat-screen TV.
Also, she then makes a statement about how she needs some noise in the vacuum.
THERE'S NO NOISE IN A VACUUM
Hasn't she seen the movie posters for Alien?
Me: you will eventually stop noticing that kind of superfluous detail because it happens so much
H-Town: Oh, and numb and feeling pain at the same time.
Now Ana is magic. Or has some shitty novocaine
I like how she said her cycle of life thus far was "wake. work. cry. sleep."
I wrote in my notes that that is how you probably described your life while reading the first book in this series.
Me: it is, it is
Except I ate food more than once a month
H-Town: Also, line of the chapter: "His mom, the crack whore?"
Me: my source tells me she's pretty much always going to be referred to as the crack whore
H-Town: How many friggin times did she use the word "murmur" in the first chapter?
8 million, that's how many.
Speak up, dammit.
Christian sends her an e-mail at work reminding her that Jose’s gallery opening is tomorrow and offering her a ride to Portland.
Me: the premise of how they get back together is only slightly more plausible than how they met in the first place
H-Town: I was surprised it happened so quickly
I thought we'd be stuck with boring whiny chapters for a bit before she finally took him back
Me: well, there is NO depth to the character at all, so it had to be that way
Otherwise it would have been multiple chapters that just said "wake. cry. work. sleep."
H-Town: two pages of WAAAAH
Then a page of "NOW WE'RE TOGETHER! BODYWASH! 50!"
Me: I am also crazy annoyed that she STILL is surprised every time he finds her
"How did he get my work e-mail?"
H-Town: Magic, Ana. Magic
That's how the internet works
There's a snowqueen and she has an icedragon who's good at IT
On Thursday, Christian and Taylor pick her up from work so Christian can fly her to Portland in the helicopter. They also argue about food since it’s obvious she hasn’t eaten in nearly a week.
H-Town: Oh my god, I was so excited when I found the first reference to bodywash
I felt like I'd officially arrived in the world of shit that is this series of books
and I notice we both wrote "avuncular"? (The line was “He gives me a warm, avuncular smile that makes me feel safe.” DICKS. EAT THEM.)
Me: NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT
H-Town: EL and a thesaurus, sittin in a tree
first comes infatuation
then comes conflaguration
Me: then comes me, with a butcher knife and so much rage
The part where they're starting up the helicopter and he's checking everything first. She thinks, "He's just so competent."
I wrote in my notes
Holy shit, he's flying a helicopter, I HOPE SO
Me: Also right there, "Desire pools dark and deadly in my groin."
You should probably get that checked out
Deadly? Like syphilis?
H-Town: nothing should really be pooling down there
Me: oh do you like how the helicopter is called Charlie Tango?
H-Town: No, I do not like it.
Me: "This needs to have a helicoptery sounding name....Spinny Blade Thing? Go Fastintor?
Oh I know, Charlie Tango"
Which I think is what Dancing With the Stars is called in Vietnam
Yeah, it's a radio call sign for the letters C and T
Let's pretend it means something else, like Cunt Taco
Oh, there is one part of the book (so far) that literally (yes!) made me laugh out loud.
A-Town came downstairs to find out what I was laughing at
I laughed for 5 minutes
"Desire explodes like the Fourth of July through my body.”
H-Town: I was almost in tears
A-Town threatened me if I woke up [the baby] with my laughing
First of all, EL, you're British.
Second of all, I just pictured a bunch of really tiny fireworkers, like sparklers.
Me: "Desire explodes like the Fourth of July through my body and I look down and realize I've blown up my fingers with a bottle rocket like a dumbass."
H-Town: Those are my notes for Chapter 1
Me: I had a few more from Jose’s art show
The centerpiece of Jose’s art show is seven enormous close up photos of Ana in various displays of candid emotion. She wasn’t warned about this at all, and Christian is absolutely enraged when he sees them.
H-Town: GIANT PHOTOS OF ANA
Me: Right. How could she possibly not have known he was taking pictures of her all up in her face?
H-Town: because her eyes are so sunken
She can't see
Me: and then Christian being all NO ONE BETTER LOOK AT PHOTOS OF YOU EVER
IMA BUY ALL OF THESE SO NO ONE CAN LOOK AT YOU EVER AGAIN
H-Town: I hope he puts them in the dungeon so they can stare at them during sexy naughty time
or play a fun at home game called, "Pin the food on the non-eater"
In Chapter 2, they leave the art show after only half an hour at Christian’s insistence because he is furious at Ana for hugging Jose. They go to a restaurant to eat and talk about their relationship, where Christian orders the waiter around like the complete asshole he is.
Me: oh and I didn't write it down, but that kiss in the alley
H-Town: he had to put his hands on his knees, it was SO INTENSE
Me: like he just ran a marathon! (James’ description)
H-Town: I'm surprised he didn't order Taylor (god help me, I know their names) to bring an oxygen tank and have it at the ready for such passion
Me: speaking of Taylor
He picked her up at work before the helicopter ride in in Seattle, and then he shows up to drive them around in Portland?
H-Town: yeah, that is bizarre
Taylor has a magic carpet
a 70tb Mac iCarpet
I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT, AMBER
I'm so upset that you didn't know that, I will now enter this phase:
wake, sleep cry, work, cry, pee, work, sleep, pee.
Me: we'll come back to Taylor
First, the dinner
H-Town: I hope the waiter spit in his food.
Me: "fuck the menu, bring me a steak and a goddamn salad"
H-Town: He probably would fuck the menu.
Well, after first passionately kissing it and becoming out of breath.
Me: he has issues with menus. His mommy was a Denny’s menu
I meant that he has to be in control.
"Hello sir, welcome to our restaurant."
"WHERE ARE YOUR MENUS?! I WANT TO FUCK IT INTO BRINGING ME A STEAK!"
Me: All problems can be solved by fucking them
So she hasn't eaten in five days, and now she's on her second glass of wine
H-Town: Something tells me Ana isn't very smart
UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR
Me: well and why isn't Mr Control ALL the Things ordering her a damn water?
H-Town: he's too busy fucking the menu and wearing bodywash
Me: so, why didn't you use your safeword?
An entire page of her thinking "Gee, I wonder if maybe this was all a misunderstanding. Maybe if I’d used my safeword, none of this would have happened." YOU THINK?
H-Town: HURR DURR
Me: and then her steak comes and she's like "oh yeah, I’m not that hungry I can only finish half of this”
If I didn't eat for five days I’d be like "fuck some steak BRING ME AN ENTIRE COW"
H-Town: I would've been gnawing on Charlie Tango
Me: he wouldn't have been able to fuck the menu, I’d have eaten it immediately
After dinner, Taylor picks them up to drive them back to Seattle. They haven’t finished talking about their relationship, so Christian asks him to listen to his iPod while he drives so he can’t hear the conversation they’re having.
Me: so back to Taylor
What kind of a jackass puts headphones in to listen to their iPod while they're driving?
H-Town: someone who wants to get into an accident
Me: and Christian’s all "no it's cool, he can't hear anything." GREAT IDEA
"I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul"
H-Town: then he took a myspace-angled photo and uploaded it
Me: OH MY FUCK HOW ROMANTIC WHERE DO I FIND AN EMO STALKER I WANT ONE TOO
H-Town: *turns on Linkin Park*
Also, Christian needs to stop running his hands through his hair
Me: no. He can never ever stop. His hair is like angel pubes, it is the best hair ever
H-Town: angel pubes
They decide to get back together because of course they do. Since they already have a driver listening to music with headphones on, it doesn’t seem that unreasonable when Ana undoes her seatbelt and climbs into Christian’s lap in a moving car. He explains a little bit about his childhood, specifically that when his mother killed herself, he was alone in the house with her dead body for four days before someone came and found him there.
Me: hey, do you think the bodywash thing and the stinking four day old corpse of his mom are related?
Well, she was a crack whore
Have we mentioned that?
Me: he's like Lady Macbeth, he washes and washes but the putrid never comes off
H-Town: that simile is so far beyond EL James
Also, at this point, I think EL James has just created a big wheel of similes and she spins when she needs one.
Here are three I wrote down from Chapter 2 that were within 3 consecutive paragraphs
"anxiety Richter scale"
"shrouded in Oregon darkness" (notsomuch a simile, but awful)
"like a computer crash"
"like a huge bowl of dicks that EL James should eat."
ok, I made that last one up myself.
Oh, I forgot to say this, but when Christian said, "You told me you loved me in your sleep" I wrote in my notes
"She said that in her sleep, ass."
Man, if people held us to what we say in our sleep, this world would be a purple monkey dishwasher
H-Town: Also from my notes, when she says to him "You're just like an island state."
The rage, it boiled.
Me: He is a rock
He is an iiiiiiii-iiiiiiilaaaaaannnd
which is part of the Menufuck Archipelago
on Planet Bowlofdicks
Me: the Crackwhore Atoll is just across the bay
H-Town: Crackwhore Atoll
My coworkers are staring at me now
Me: when we are done talking about this I might try to draw a map
H-Town: oh my god YES
In a completely out of character move, Christian has Taylor drop Ana off at home and doesn’t stay with her or get all rapey. Before she goes he gives her a “mysterious” package that is only a mystery to Ana. In it is all of the things he’d previous bought her, plus a new iPad. The iPad has a note attached telling her the reason for the iPad is that he’s put a playlist of songs together that will tell her how he feels - Jeff Buckley, Thomas Tallis, Snow Patrol, Nelly Furtado, and Coldplay are among his selections. She fixates on the Coldplay song while she contemplates whether or not Christian wants to have a relationship with her, even though he did nothing but tell her he did over and over again for the entire first two chapters of the book.
Me: so she gets all her stuff back...plus a new iPad
Now, is this because EL James doesn't know what a thumb drive is, or is it so we can be absolutely, positively sure that Christian has more money than god?
The book became an Apple advertisement for a few pages
You know what would have been awesome instead of that? It would have made the whole book worth it
H-Town: oh my god yes
Me: If she had checked out the playlist and it started with Making Love Out of Nothing at All I would have loled to death. TO DEATH
H-Town: that would've been so awesome
Me: and then some Meatloaf
H-Town: Aaand I would do anything for love...
Oh man, imagine if he'd put this on there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvGY-dUyMfU
I would've exploded like the Fourth of July
Me: "He would do anything for love? Does this mean he wants to be with me?"
H-Town: "And does it mean he'll drive a motorcycle through the wall of a huge mansion?"
Me: I think he has to. It is his destiny
H-Town: the scent of bodywash floating behind him
Me: with his angel pubes flowing in the wind
H-Town: Apple hardware crashing down around him
With Charlie Tango being flown by Taylor and a steak in the background
Me: he drives it through the wall with all the giant Ana photos
IT'S A METAPHOR
H-Town: that she would then explain
And Ana still wouldn't get it
And then Ana would say she feels like someone's been watching her lately. It'd be Jose, and he's been two inches from her face with a camera.
Me: And then Christian gets off the bike and stabs him over and over in the face screaming DON'T EVER LOOK AT HER
H-Town: He would stab him with Taylor's 70tb Apple iCarpet
and as Jose died, an app would pop open and remind Ana to eat a fucking sandwich.
Me: ......and scene
*wins multiple book awards*
it should be a graphic novel, though
all that deserves to be drawn, not IMAGINED
Me: no doubt
H-Town: Anyway, this is the crapfest I was looking for.
So to summarize, in the first two chapters of the book, Ana's boss is as creepy as everyone else, she still never eats anything and cries constantly, Christian is still a possessive stalker, and James is still very worried that we aren't convinced Christian is rich or Ana is a self-depreciating nitwit. You know, I could swear I've read this book before...
p.s. Please bear with me as I'm still working on the format for these reviews so that it will both give you the plot and illustrate that H-Town and I are BFFs because we are fucking mental. And please enjoy this map I made you of Menufuck Archipelago (sorry about my handwriting, I'm a lefty and also on three hours sleep):