Previously, in Fifty Shades of Grey:
“You’re sexy and wear loosely fitting pants, which hang sexually from your hips. Take my virginity?”
“You bite your lip and are an English major who does not own a computer or possess an e-mail address. I want to fuck you, but I don’t make love.”
“Holy shit! I had three orgasms!”
“I want you to be my sub, and I will be your dom. Also I have a mysterious past and a huge penis.”
“Holy crap, you are so creepy but so sexy. I’ll think about it! No. Yes. No. Yes. No. YES!!!”
Congratulations, you’re now ready for more fun and excitement!
Ana goes for a run, which she assures us is out of character and truly a testament to her inner turmoil. She proves this to us by angsting a lot about her Decision.
Then Ana sends Christian an e-mail, that she claims is a joke, but it’s a joke that neither he nor I comprehend:
Okay, I’ve seen enough.
It was nice knowing you.
Okay, so before Ana tells me this is a joke, I think the obvious: that she’s telling him she’s not interested and that she doesn’t want to know to him anymore. But then she says, “I press ‘send,’ hugging myself, laughing at my little joke.” Ha very ha? I don’t understand if there’s a pun in here or something I’m missing, but the way Ana describes her reaction to her own joke makes it seem like she’s already in the loony bin.
She suddenly begins to realize it’s not that funny, or that no one else will get the joke, “Will he find it as funny? Oh, shit–probably not.”
He doesn’t respond to her weird e-mail, and she pouts and packs until we get a scene that completely and totally reminds me that we’re reading something that used to be Twilight fanfiction:
I don’t know why I glance up, maybe I catch a slight movement from the corner of my eye, I don’t know, but when I do, he’s standing in the doorway of my bedroom, watching me intently.
It’s totes like when Edward used to just show up in Bella’s bedroom and watch her sleep! One great thing about Buffy and Trueblood is that they bypassed this creepy bullshit with the age-old rule that a vampire can’t come in unless you invite him. But I guess since Christian Grey is Definitely Not a Vampire, it wouldn’t matter in this book anyway–he’s just a financially privileged stalker this time around.
Ana does what any normal girl would do under these creepy circumstances–lets her stalker tie her up and have sex with her. Also, this terrifying thing happens:
He leans down and kisses me, pouring a delicious, crisp liquid into my mouth as he does. It’s white wine…It tastes all the more divine because it’s been in his mouth.
First of all, this would only be acceptable if Ana was a baby bird. Second of all, I’d like to point out that this is not the first time Ana has expressed arousal at having something in her mouth that has been in Christian’s. There was that whole incident where she used his toothbrush and got a lady boner from it. Gross!
During sex, Christian keeps asking Ana if “this is nice”, which baffles me. I’m not sure why this word winds him up so much, or how this e-mail has snowballed into such a Big Deal. Afterwards, they agree to discuss more of the terms of the contract during the week, and Christian leaves, but not before saying, “God, I’d like to give you a good hiding. You’d feel a lot better, and so would I.”
For those of you wondering, Ana is now upset because Christian asked if she wanted to meet a previous sub and ask her questions. Ana is understandably like, “Ew, no…I don’t want to meet your ex and shoot the shit with her.” I wouldn’t normal feel the need to say that I paraphrased that last bit, but the writing in this is such that honestly that could plausibly have been something Ana said. Especially with the ellipses. From now on I’ll let you exercise your own judgement when it comes to real dialogue or paraphrasing.
For some reason Ana cries after Christian leaves. I’m not really sure if it’s because she’s going to miss him (which happened after he dropped her off at her house the day they boned for the first time) or because of her Decision. Whatever the reason, it is lame and annoying.
She sends him an e-mail with some of her comments and concerns about his contract, and they’re actually pretty sensible. Oh, look, there I am going all Stockholm on your asses again, sorry! But seriously, she tells him she doesn’t want to be there every single weekend because she wants a life outside of their arrangement, no fisting, she asks why she can’t touch him or look into his eyes, says they can have a one-month trial period not three, and takes issue with obeying him in all things. See? Actually, shockingly reasonable. Watch her see his pants hanging off his hips and have her be like oh, never mind, I’ll go along with anything you want!
Christian then gets mad she’s still awake. At midnight. I wish I could choke this book and every character inside it.
Oh, also Ana’s mom can’t make it to her daughter’s graduation because Bob hurt himself somehow. Oh, Bob, you crazy.
Ana spends a lot of time telling us about shaving her armpits and putting a dress on. It’s all very compelling. She goes to meet Christian at the bar in his hotel, and there he proceeds to give her a lecture about trust in their relationship:
He frowns. “You’d think I’d coerce you into something you don’t want to do and then pretend that I have a legal hold over you?”
What the what? So she really does think he’s totally and completely horrible, but is still leaning towards going along with this arrangement? Anything goes when you’re a sexy billionaire! God, I hate the world we live in.
The weirdest part of chapter thirteen isn’t the conversation between Ana and Christian about the arrangement, it’s Ana’s reaction to oysters. “‘I’ve never had one.’ Ever.” She tells us she’s never had one with the kind of dramatic flair you’d tell someone you’d never stolen a car. Ever.
Then, “It slips down my throat, all sea water, salt, the sharp tang of citrus and fleshiness…ooh.” Again, gross!
Christian makes a big speech about starting slow and giving the three months a chance and fully earning her trust.
Okay, I lied, the weirdest part of this chapter is Ana giving oral sex to asparagus, “I gaze at him and bite my lip. Then very slowly put the tip of my cold asparagus in my mouth and suck it.” In one chapter, the book has ruined oysters and asparagus for me.
But wait, “I bite off the tip.” Are Lorena Bobbit jokes still understood by the wider public? She cut off her husband’s penis after he raped her. Shit just got dark really fast. So let’s talk about Ana crying again! That’s always comedy gold.
Ana flees dinner because she is so conflicted, then cries in her car. “If I do this thing will he be my boyfriend? Will I be able to introduce him to my friends? Go out to bars, the cinema, bowling even, with him?” Girl just wants to get her bowling on. Come on, Christian, have a heart.
She reads an e-mail from Christian again telling her he hopes she’ll choose to try this out. So then she cries some more. “His e-mail makes me weep more. I am not a merger. I am not an acquisition. Reading this, I might as well be.”
So I’m wondering what’s going to change her mind, and then she has flashbacks to all his previous warnings, but then ends the chapter with, “This is all I know, too. Perhaps together we can chart a new course.” Wait, what? I can’t even. How did that turnabout even happen? Sure can’t wait to find out what happens next (she wrote with defeat and dread).
Notes ‘n’ Quotes
-I’m aware that I’m still in my sweats, unshowered, yucky, and he’s just gloriously yummy, his pants doing that hanging from his hips thing.” Readers, you have yet to take me up on my plea to explain this odd observation that Ana makes in nearly every chapter about Christian’s pants hanging from his hips. It’s really starting to ruin my enjoyment of the book. Just kidding, the book is ruining my enjoyment of the book.
-“For the first time, I’m wishing he was normal-wanting a normal relationship that doesn’t need a ten-page agreement, a flogger, and carabiners in his playroom ceiling.” …so go find one. Solutions!
-“‘I’ve never collared anyone.”
Oh…should I be surprised by this? I know so little about the scene…I don’t know.”
-“Finally, my medulla oblongata recalls its purpose. I breathe.”
-“‘I don’t remember reading about nipple clamps in the Bible. Perhaps you were taught from a modern translation.” You know how they came out with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? I wish someone would write The Bible and Nipple Clamps.
-“Desire–acute, liquid, and smoldering–combusts deep in my belly.” Sometimes I swear James just throws random “fancy” words together whether or not together they create anything sensible or sexy.
-“No one is going to dictate to me what I eat. How I fuck, yes, but eat…no, no way.” The lines she draws will never cease to be a mystery to me.
-“My frown deepens. How can he tell?
‘I can tell because…’
Holy shit, he’s answering my unspoken question. Is he psychic as well?’ Would Christian being psychic make this book more interesting? Would anything make this book more interesting?
I realized sometime in chapter thirteen that the only thing I approve of in this book is how much white wine gets consumed. That I can get behind!