Oh No: Fifty Shades Darker Chapter Fourteen

As Ariel mentioned yesterday, last weekend we were part of a gender-bending How I Met Your Mother group costume, and, guys, it’s just so awesome I have to share it with you again even though she already did.

Also note how our Ted is totally pulling off the red cowboy boots.

And you want to know what’s even MORE awesome? One of our friends couldn’t go to the party we were wearing this to until way later, so she was the mother. She showed up at the very end with the yellow umbrella, and EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME.

It was legen- wait for it- actually, wait, no, this joke is too obvious. I can’t do it. Sorry.

Ahhh I’m still freaking out about how awesome all of that was. Sigh… okay, I can’t put off Fifty Shades any longer, can I?

Chapter Fourteen

We rejoin our heroes (or Christian and Ana) after Christian resolved the issue of Leila breaking into Christian’s apartment with a gun entirely off-screen and Ana went to a bar instead. They met up, fought, and now Christian’s crying and shit.

The vague alcoholic fuzziness I’m suffering from evaporates in an instant and is replaced by a prickling scalp and a creeping sense of doom as the blood drains from my face.

Ah man, taking a week off from reading James’s writing really put me off guard. What the hell is “prickling scalp”? Who the hell worries about someone and thinks “man, my scalp is so prickly in response to this”? This doesn’t even sound like a headache either. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.

Oh fuck. My poor Fifty.

I can’t decide what’s worse. James trying to write someone’s thinking eloquently, or trying to write someone’s thinking naturally. They’re both just so terrible.

Compassion, loss, and despair all swell in my heart, and I feel a choking sense of desperation. I am going to have to fight to bring him back, to bring back my Fifty.

Remember how Ana says something about how she doesn’t know Christian Grey very well? Like… every chapter? Because she doesn’t.

“You never give me any time . . . time to just think things through […] We barely know each other, and all this baggage that comes with you”

Case in point.

Maybe I’m just gonna pretend Ana and Christian are fish and that’ll improve this book.

Christian’s still not really sure what to say, and Ana tries to talk through her feelings. Again. So we hear the exact same thoughts about Christian’s sexual past, about Leila, about how Ana doesn’t understand why Christian likes her or finds her attractive, and UGHHH we’ve already read this a million times.

But then something new happens when Christian finally starts talking.

“Seeing her in that state, knowing that I might have something to do with her mental breakdown . . .”

This is, amazingly enough, a side of Christian that we haven’t seen before, and this could be genuinely interesting. A psychologically tormented character who’s spent his whole life trying to get better suddenly faced with the psychological damage he’s inflicted on someone else? This could actually be interesting to read.

“you weren’t responsible for her being in that state, Christian.”

No! Fuck off, Ana! If the man’s going to torture himself anyway, let him at least torture himself over something I haven’t read a billion times!

He gazes at me intently. “Anastasia Steele, you are the most stubborn woman I know.”

God dammit, Ana! And then we move onto the forbidden zones where Christian can’t handle being touched (again) and Christian’s gonna let Ana touch his chest (again) and Christian’s visibly anguished by physical contact with these places where he was abused as a child but he has to do this (again). Ana the wordsmith describes the visceral emotions involved in this intense situation.

Holy cow.

Okay, to be fair, she does actually try to describe it.

He opens his eyes, and they are gray fire, blazing at me. Holy cow. His look is blistering, feral, beyond intense, and his breathing is rapid. It stirs my blood. I squirm under his gaze.

So it’s not that badly written. Except for that holy cow part. I mean, seriously. Holy cow? The fuck?

WRITING TIP: If you’re having trouble describing intense emotional scenes, subtly make your reader think about cows!

Ana kisses him on his chest and it’s too much for him and he starts crying. Then Ana subtly changes the subject.

“What is this secret that makes you think I’ll run for the hills? That makes you so determined to believe I’ll go?” I plead, my voice tremulous. “Tell me, Christian, please . . .”

And then Ana is the dumbest person ever.

He gazes down at me, and he looks utterly desolate. Oh shit—it’s bad.

“My boyfriend has a secret that he thinks will make me leave him. I wonder if it’s bad?” = literally 235 pages of this book

Ready for shit to get really fucked up?

“I’m a sadist, Ana. I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore —my birth mother. I’m sure you can guess why.”

Ready to be moved by the power of words?

My world stops. Oh no.

No, seriously. This is legitimately one of the most fucked up things I’ve ever read, and Ana’s first response to it is “Oh no”. Let’s pretend Kafka wrote like this.

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.
“Oh no.” He thought.

Ana’s concerned this means that she can’t give Christian what he needs, and he responds by telling her that because she’s the first person who’s ever said that she loves him (which I find suspect, given his super loving adoptive family and the crazy stalker exes, but whatevs), he doesn’t need the sadism anymore. Then he, much like the reader, wonders why Ana is still talking to him.

“Why? Because I might think you’re a sicko for whipping and fucking women who look like your mother? Whatever would give you that impression?”

Christian insists that her leaving him was the best thing that could have happened for them, because now he acts like a clingy seventeen year old.

“Don’t leave me,” he whispers.
“Oh, for crying out loud—no! I am not doing to go!” I shout and it’s cathartic. There, I’ve said it. I am not leaving.
“Really?” His eyes widen.

And then he suggests they get married. Ana reacts by literally falling backwards and rolling on the floor with laughter.

I lie back flat on the floor and surrender myself to the laughter, laughing as I’ve never laughed before, huge healing cathartic howls of laughter.

Which, understandably, hurts Christian’s feelings, and the way he reacts, I actually legitimately feel bad for him.

He gently wipes away a stray tear with the back of his knuckles. “You find my proposal amusing, Miss Steele?”

They agree to consider getting married later at a less traumatic time. Christian gets hungry.

He studiously ignores me as he ferrets through the enormous fridge.
“Cheese?” he asks.
“Not at this hour.”
“Pretzels?”

Who the fuck puts pretzels in the fridge?

“So what did you do with Leila in the apartment?”
[…] “We talked, and I gave her a bath.”

Ana’s response is a typical Ana: bizarrely understated.

What an inappropriate thing to do.

She yells at Christian and storms off to bed! Oh no! I wonder if they’ll make up in the next chapter?

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0 comments

  1. Chloe Reply

    But… why is she laughing at Christian’s proposal? Is it just inherently funny to be asked to spend your life with the man of your dreams who has basically crossed every boundary he has ever set for himself and opened in frankly terrifying ways to the most unfit person ever to do so to? Does Ana herself realize she is not suited for a relationship of any kind OR-
    Is she secretly fucking with Christian’s head and life altogether because she is actually a spy sent by an evil oragnization to rob Christian of his fortune and fame through marriage and it was all just too easy???

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  2. Ali Reply

    I just..I don’t GET this book. Was anyone else completely not shocked at the “I beat women who look like my mom” thing? Coincidentally, last week’s episode of Dexter had a killer that did the same thing.
    I’ve said it before, if that’s why you’re into BDSM, you need therapy. And we get it-Ana loves her fifty shades, but doesn’t really know him. But loves him, and is going to stay with him forever, but not marry him. Seriously James, pick up a fucking thesaurus.

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  3. Chloe Reply

    It was a sort of slap-in-the-face moment for me because it made me realize that James might actually be going somewhere with Christian’s/Ana’s relationship (though based on her record, doubt it). Using a BDSM lifestyle to cope with past trauma is EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY. And it doesn’t even help, just makes a person’s mental state/stability more fucked up. They sort of drift deeper into a psychological world that left them traumatized in the first place, ya dig? But Ana won’t let Christian hit her, she won’t let him have that outlet anymore. Now he’ll be forced to deal with his past in different, healthier ways. He actually has a shot at recovering with someone like Ana. Unless she keeps up her bullshit…
    Also he does have a therapist so I wonder if they have been telling Christian this the whole time?? That’s why he won’t let go of Ana, because she’s the first person he’s ever wanted a relationship with minus wanting to beat the shit out of her for reminding him of his mom.
    PS: this is all fucked up and James is not going to do it justice. It’s a game of cat & mouse to her.

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  4. bookbaron Reply

    As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.
    “Oh no.” He thought.

    I actually would be interested why Gregor would think oh no. It almost sounds like it’s leading into “Oh no. Not again.” In which case it would transform Gregor Samsa’s situation into something kin to the potted plant that fell down onto the planet in Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    Iunno. I probably gave all of that too much thought.

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  6. Irish Skye Reply

    He’s on his knees, he’s crying, he’s just told her the deepest, darkest part of his soul, and she…MAKES FUCKING FUN OF HIM?

    –Then he, much like the reader, wonders why Ana is still talking to him.

    “Why? Because I might think you’re a sicko for whipping and fucking women who look like your mother? Whatever would give you that impression?” --
    

    WHAT does he SEE in this girl? I don’t get it, And after this statement, he still manages to find the courage to expose himself to her rejection by proposing marriage, and she laughs at him. And he didn’t throw her out? This man is NOT a sadist, after all. He’s a masochist.

    And I’m sorry, but didn’t Ana JUST say that she loves him like 10 times and yelled at him that she is never going to leave him? Well, if you are never going to leave him, then why not fucking get married?? Oh right, because you don’t him that well (you REALLY don’t), you don’t trust him (at ALL), you are scared of him, and you think he’s a sicko (which, now, given his “reasons” for his BDSM, strike that, ABUSIVE lifestyle, he really is). And I’m sorry, if you call someone a sicko to their face, why the FUCK are you yelling at him right after that exchange that you are not going to leave him??

    I mean, wtf?

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