Fifty Shades of Grey Live Blog Wrap-Up, Part 2: The End.

All right, for my final post on the 50SoG topic, I’m going to actually acknowledge that some people, for some reason, enjoyed this book. I think that’s just weird, but hey, it takes all kinds, and if everyone only liked snooty high-falutin’ lit-er-a-toor, just think how boring bookstores would be.

So, here are a few suggestions for further reading for those of you who actually liked this ridiculous mess of word-barf based on the appeal factors I’ve identified.

From among the following statements, choose the one that most closely resembles your reason for reading Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. I read it to learn more about BDSM.

Try The Original Sinners series (The Siren, The Angel, The Prince) by Tiffany Reisz.

The Angel cover art

The BDSM in 50SoG is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, compared to the Original Sinners series. Binding, collaring, underground clubs, knife play… It’s all here. However, this series isn’t all whips and chains. Strong plots, character development, tight prose? Check, check, and double check! That’s right, these babies get the Infinite Reads seal of approval. They’re definitely not for everyone, as we’re talking multiple sexual partners and other non-mainstream lifestyle elements here. There’s also a May/December relationship that pushes the bounds of the law. However, these books are suspenseful and funny, and they feature a plucky heroine who lives on both sides of the ropes. Oh, and did I mention there’s a sexy, naughty priest? There’s a sexy, naughty priest, and he makes that priest from The Thornbirds look like a choir boy. I just finished the second book, The Angel, and cannot wait to start book three, The Prince. Remember, I’m squicked out by BDSM, and I still can’t stop reading these. Definite recommendation. In fact, I think this entire post is just an excuse to talk up this series. Start with book one, The Siren, or you’ll be totally lost.
2. I read it for the sex.

Try Bared to You by Sylvia Day.

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1)

If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey strictly on account of the boinking, have I got a treat for you. Try the Crossfire series by Sylvia Day, beginning with Bared to You. I have only read the first book, but wow. Real people would never be able to have so much hot sex. They’d die of dehydration or exhaustion. While this series’s detractors complain that it borrows too heavily from 50SoG, I’d like to point out that 50SoG itself is not an original work so much as it is a bastardization of Twilight, so fans shouldn’t be raging against Crossfire as too derivative. Also, since Day is an erotic romance pro, her series reads an awful lot like how 50SoG might have if someone had, I don’t know, EDITED the damn thing.

Anyway, sex, sex, sex, everywhere. And then…more sex.
3. I read it for the relationship drama.

Try Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

If you enjoyed all the angst, pouting, and temper tantrums of Christian and Ana, then hoo-boy, have I got a book for you! Try Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. It’s nothing but an emotional roller coaster of arguments, foot-stamping, and codependency. If you enjoyed Christian’s obsessive need to control Ana, you’ll be instantly drawn to the emotionally abusive Travis. If you thought Ana made the right choice by trying to work out a future with psycho-stalker rather than ditching him and getting a sane boyfriend, you’ll find Abby adorable. One caveat: If you’re really going to enjoy this book, you need to have the ability to turn off the part of your brain that says “This would never happen!” Of course, if you actually liked the relationship aspect of 50SoG, you’ve obviously mastered that skill.
4. I read it to see what all the fuss is about.

Great, I’ve been looking for you. Would you please read Gone Girl and tell me if it’s worth my time? Thanks! You’re a doll!

5. I read it because I’m a feminist/novelist/kink fan who happens to have a “know your enemies” policy.

Rock on. I assume you’re pretty darn good at choosing your own books, so go forth and make merry!

This, at long last, concludes the Infinite Reads Fifty Shades of Grey experience. Thanks for reading!