Now, what you're here for. I got married almost a year ago (eep) and as such I expected this book to be all wedding planning and anticipation and excitement over THE BIG DAY. I was accused of being too easygoing and relaxed as a bride, and even I got swept up in it all. My own wedding planning experience was atypical, it was pretty smooth and low stress. I only got pushback on a few little things, there were no big fights or family drama*, and because I picked the off-season had vendors competing for my business. The day itself had no real snags. Despite that, I can off the top of my head think of a lot of opportunities for tension and drama and over the top fights with intense make up scenes because weddings and wedding planning brings out weird stuff in people. You know, what EL James thrives on. So, I'm confused. The wedding is skipped over almost entirely, and we get only a few little blips of wedding planning. EL James instead skips straight to THE HONEYMOON! Sort of. I will give her credit, she's learned at least one new trick between the second and third book, and that is how to write in non-linear time. We see the Greys on their honeymoon, but it's spliced with flashbacks to montage us from the engagement to the present.
“How would you feel if I went topless, like the other women on the beach?” I ask.“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
Yeah Ana, don't push your luck on doing what you want with your own body! And think it's cute when you're treated like you belong to another person, not yourself. I get it, referring to someone as "Mine" or being someone's is all so terribly romantic. It's not supposed to be about ownership, it's about love and passion etc etc etc. But it isn't here. Time and time again, we see Grey treating Ana as his property. He dictates how she dresses, how she eats, he gets angry when she goes out with other people and wants her to stop working. He especially dislikes Kate, who called him out on being so controlling and being concerned with how he was treating
The above bolded text isn't a cute challenge like the book will try to treat it, this is a command. And when Ana disobeys (she starts laying on her stomach but in her sleep rolls onto her back) he gets mad. HOW DARE OTHER PEOPLE SEE HIS WIFE'S BOOBZ! You know, ignoring the fact that they were making out in the water in plain sight so intensely people thought they were about to bone right then and there like ten minutes ago.
Now for the wedding. It takes place six months after the end of the last book, is held at Grey's parents place, and everything is white pink and silver, which is surprising to me because neither Ana nor Grey strike me as the pink type. I guess it was his Mom? The wedding is rushed through (K, you may now kiss the bride. Cool lets party. Kate says some vague snarky but supportive stuff, Jose basically reminds us he exists by telling Ana if Grey pulls anything he's here for her, silently implying he means with his junk, just, you know, a friendly open offer). As Grey drags Ana off before she wants to leave, insisting she stay in her wedding dress (her's at least sounds moderately comfortable? Like, no mention of bodices and corset boning jabbing into her ribs) we get a quick exchange between Ana and her Mother (with Kate hovering around for reasons?).
“You didn’t promise to obey,” she reminds me tactfully. Kate tries to disguise her snort as a cough. I narrow my eyes at her. Neither she nor my mother have any idea of the fight Christian and I had about that. I don’t want to rehash that argument. Jeez, can my Fifty Shades sulk . . . and have nightmares. The memory is sobering.This is going to be A Thing. Ana didn't promise to obey in her vows. Grey's response was to, like a mature adult, sulk.
“I can’t believe how grown-up you look right now. Beginning a new life . . .Just remember that men are from a different planet, and you’ll be fine.”I giggle. Christian is from a different universe, if only she knew.TEE HEE BECAUSE ONLY ONE GENDER ARE REAL PEOPLE! Men are bad at feelings and women are irrational! Wimen maek babies and menz kill bear! Have I gotten regressive enough to keep up with this book yet?
So they bail on their own wedding party to go onto Grey's private jet (uggghhh) because they're on their way to Europe! All of it! Apparently there's a private room there where they bone. The sex scenes are somewhere between funny and boring to me now.
Leaving my breasts bereft he runs his hands down my stomach, over my belly, and down to my thighs, his thumbs skimming my sex.
Ana, you're a married woman now. You can say vagina. You could before, too. Here, try it with me: v-a-g-i-n-a. Vagina! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP CALLING IT YOUR SEX.
“This is like unwrapping my Christmas presents.” He smiles up at me through his long dark lashes.“A present you’ve had already . . .”He frowns in admonishment. “Oh no, baby. This time it’s really mine.”He says to the girl whose Mother has been married three or four times. I don't even know what to do with this scene. If I were her editor I think I'd just send it back with a bunch of question marks scribbled on it. It's a lot of tongues invading and U MAEK ME THE HAPPIEST 5EVAR type thing and it's just--why is all of their sex like this? Even when they're being kinky and weird it comes back to ILY type things like all of their conversations and fights do. They just spend a lot of time saying how much they LURVE each other and I just--what else? You say you love each other and make each other happy, but short of sexy flirting they don't really talk unless they're fighting. This may be EL James' worst case of telling-not-showing.
His lips find mine, his hands curling around my head, holding me, stilling me as our tongues glory in each other.Do you think she has a thesaurus collection? I bet she has a thesaurus collection.
He stands swiftly and in one efficient move dispenses with his pants and boxer briefs so that he’s gloriously naked and looming large and ready over me.It's even funnier if you imagine the music from 2001 Space Odyssey playing here.
It turns out we were getting this flashback via Ana napping on the beach, rather than EL James embracing that not all story telling needs to be perfectly linear (still an improvement!) and she's woken up riiight before she gets the D by Grey coming back to find her topless and on her back and he is PISSED, and that's the end of chapter 1! Tune in next time to find out what punishment Grey dishes up for Ana not listening to his orders which are totes only for her own good!
Oh, right, they've been calling each other Mr and Mrs. Grey or "wife" and "husband" non-stop. It's awful.
*Ok, my Grandmother straight up CAMPAIGNED against me on the "no kids" thing over one cousin, but she has yet to figure out that the second I realize someone is trying to guilt trip me I stop caring, so, eh. NBD.