Book Review – Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James

by Maryse on September 27, 2011 · 44 comments

in Bad Boys & Rock Stars

Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
09/26/2011 20:03 – I’m delirious with both love for this series, and lack of sleep. Actually, I’m zombified. As much as I love to sleep, I apparently love to read more, and I’m starting to equate exhaustion with happiness.

09/27/2011 19:15 – Hehe. That was written last night (after I finished reading this book). I immediately “fired up” a review, ’cause I was so excited to tell you guys about it. But, it wasn’t going well. I kept backspacing everything. Nothing sounded right (except for that part, so I kept it). The book (or both of these books) are now at the top of my favorites list!! How could this not be the easiest book to review, since I loved it so much? But I shrugged and put it aside, and decided to cozy up on the couch and reflect on the book, instead. I was good with that. More “imaginary” time with Christian Grey.

And my brain fatigue was confirmed, when my husband pointed something out to me, as I was speaking to him a bit later. He couldn’t understand what I was saying. I realized I was mumbling. So I repeated. After a few attempts he requested I stop, and articulate each word carefully.

“Ahhh” he said. “Finally. Real words.”

What!!? Noooo! Come on! I was talking good! (tee hee! I know, you’re cringing at my grammar, but that was about right for my brain function, last night). I told him I had been saying that same thing the first three tries, but he insists it was all gibberish at first. *Woops*. Maybe I did need some sleep, after all? Imagine writing a review in that “mode”? Well, at least I tried ;)

But I’m all better now. And I’ve been having fun all day, with my Facebook bff’s, all in a “Grey” frenzy. They’re each at different stages of the books, and I can’t wait to go over every little detail with ‘em. It’s all spoilers right now though, so Mum’s the word. I, myself, experienced quite a few *shocks* in book #2, and they were SO worth it.

So… the big question. Was this book as earth shattering as it’s predecessor? Many told me book #2 would be better.

Jessie said: “I loved FSoG but book 2 is even better!!”

Lori said: “1/4 of the way through Fifty Shades Darker and so far I think he has me even more hot and bothered.”

and Tina, the one who kicked off this weekend’s book frenzy by recommending the series said  “the second installment Fifty Shades Darker is even better”

I was doubtful that anything could be better than #1. How could it keep up with that angst? All the “what will she accept?”, “what will he accept?”, all the scary “firsts” (and there were TONS of them). Just plain exciting, thrilling, nerve wracking but soooooo romantic in a yearning kind of way (and yearning, pretty much, for the impossible). After all, Christian Grey is no ordinary man. No. He. Is. Not.

I didn’t think book #1 could be beat, but I was simply thrilled my Christian Grey journey didn’t have to end so soon. I already loved book #2 just for that fact alone. But it also had a great start, various, unrelated, iffy situations that kept presenting themselves, and eventual snowballing for each and every one of ‘em. Something had to give. This book was as good, for sure, but I still didn’t see “better”.

And then… I did.

OMG. I died. I totally did, all “book-reader-style”. You know… when something that you are afraid is going to happen, or you don’t expect to happen… does? And you think your heart just stopped.

You suddenly start reading in slow motion. You can practically hear your heart beating. Your breath catches. You can hear tiny, forced… gasps. That’s you, isn’t it? Shallow breathing? Your mouth is slightly ajar, and you don’t even perceive your actual surroundings. And then, your world does a weird closeup focus zoom-in thing, right to the words in your book. That whole movement, around you. Your walls. Your “real-life” surroundings… everything around you sorta blurs and moves to the direction of your book… to what is happening. Your realization that what just happened, did. You’re not here anymore. You’re THERE. You know how that is. You’ve done it before.

I’ve done that. I LOVE when it happens. When that happens, it’s a sure-fire way to practically guarantee a book will end up in my top list. But I’ve never “died” like I did in this one. My heart skipped a beat. I re-read that paragraph three times, just to be sure I was understanding correctly. Yup. It was what I thought it was.

And then I facebooked my friends:

“OMG… Reading book 2 of Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m about halfway through and something so shocking just happened… I didn’t see it coming, and then all of the sudden I knew it would, and then… it did. Oh wow. My heart…”

I emailed Tina (she read it before I did, so she knew where I was coming from):

“I saw it coming, I was all oh God no… Whatever chapter this is… Just officially made this book better than the 1st. What sad, gripping, loving, emotional intensity. WOW”

and then another email:
“This chapter is relentless… My heart just keeps breaking over and over again. How bad does it make me to admit that I love this book even more because of it?”

I’m not kidding. This book rocked my world. Oh I know. You’ve heard me say it before, and it’s always been true. But this one… *shakes head and grins*

All of this, and I haven’t even really told you what the book is about, now, have I? Okay so *SPOILER ALERT* to all of you who haven’t finished Grey#1. Walk out now!!! Okay and those of you who have only JUST started Grey #2… you guys gotta go, too. Sorry. Love ya’all, but I don’t wanna break the books for you (and you remember how book #1 ended right? ). Get through the first quarter, at least, then you’re good to come back.

You must experience each and every moment clueless, so you can have all that crazy slow motion zoomy stuff happen, in full effect!! Are you gone? Are you sure? Come back when it’s time!

Okay, so this one. You know how #1 ended, right? ACK!!! How horribly heartbreaking?!

He was all, “Nooooo! I need you!”

And she was all “Nuh uh! You crazy! Buh bye!”

So fun, but pretty much the gist of it. Of course, much more eloquently worded, and a few swear words to boot! I felt her though. Totally did. I mean, she asked for it, but… I think that would have been my reaction too.

But it’s her secondary reaction… THAT too, reflected my sentiments, exactly. The pain of missing him being so much worse then… well. You know.

I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity.

I wrap my arms around my body, hugging myself tightly, holding myself together. I miss him. I really miss him… I love him. Simple.

And then, they try again. He’s come to a realization, and one that fits her “more” perfectly. He wants her so much, that he’s willing to forgo what he knows… what he likes, to be with her. Awwwwww LOVE HIM!!!!

His tortured expression haunts me. I remember he didn’t want me to go, which was odd. Why would I stay when things had reached such an impasse? We were each skirting around our own issues – my fear of punishment, his fear of… what? Love?

But how long can that last? Is it just shell shock from losing her, that he drops his “normal” for hers.

“I’m anything but fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days, Ana. I’m in perpetual night here.”

I’m winded by his admission. Oh my, like me.

“You said you’d never leave, yet the going gets tough and you’re out the door.”

“When did I say I’d never leave?”

“In your sleep. It was the most comforting thing I’d heard in so long, Anastasia. It made me relax.”

My heart constricts and I reach for my wine.

“You said you loved me,” he whispers. “Is that now in the past tense?”

I mean, he’s learned a seriously strange coping skill, to overcome his horrific past. It’s been working for him (wonderfully in terms of his success), however, does what she offer him, make his life better, or will it come crashing down later?

“No punishments.” He shakes his head. “None.”

“And the rules?”

“No rules.”

“None at all? But you have needs.”

“I need you more, Anastasia.”

Those are her worries. They were mine too. Are they still? Ah-ah-ahhhhh. Not telling. This is literally as far as I’m going with the story telling of this review. There is SO much to contend with in this book.

      1. Her independence and her “normal” remaining intact.
      2. His “new” attempt at her normal to keep her in his life.
      3. His past coming back to haunt him (past torments, past lovers, past needs to overcome his anguish).

Dangers to them both! Dangers? After all, this isn’t a paranormal book. What could be so dangerous? Trust me. Stuff happens. Lots of it. Okay, so no sexy fanged bitey-guy tries to steal his girl (or does one?! Tee hee!!!). Maybe he doesn’t have to fight some dark creature in an alley over a power struggle… but he has enough “dark” in him for both of them to grapple with, along with *other stuff*. Let’s just say, they are both still… haunted.

Christian’s “Fifty Shades” come to life in true technicolor in this one, and Ana’s ability to decipher and deal with his every facet made me love her even more. Oh she makes mistakes, but I could truly relate to her thought process (when she trying to be logical), and her instinctual reactions (when she was going on feeling, alone). She may know better, but sometimes, she lets her emotions get the best of her. After all, they are both only human. Come to think of it, I’m really getting a kick out of all these humans I’ve been reading about. Who knew mere mortals could be so addictive?! ;)

And I’m going to leave it at that. THIS BOOK ROCKS (in a rock-your-world kind of way)!! No rock stars, but Christian Grey is a rock star in his own world, and he’s certainly a bad-boy after my own heart!! Has he become my #1?

Well, after this gratuitous shower pic… what do you think!?

And hey! They took LOTS of showers in this book, and one very touching scene occurred during a shower, and this remains my “Christian Grey”, so it fits this book perfectly!! It’s just a bit suggestive, right? Not much. Just a bit ;) *blush*

P.S. I told you guys I’d find us another one! Remember, in a recent post, when I promised to continue my quest for another crazy-awesome book? I told ya’all… I got this! And I did good, didn’t I? Well… actually, Tina did good ;) Now on to find our next frenzy-inducer. Think we can top this one? Oh and! Guess what! It’s a trilogy so there is a third book to go!!! I don’t know the release date yet, but as soon as I do, you know I’ll announce it!

UPDATE!!! I just saw on the author’s Twitter page – she answered someone’s question in regards to the release of #3:

“The third one? Should be in January. :)

What a way to kick off the new year!!!!

5 stars!!!

Interested in the series? —> E.L. James – Fifty Shades Trilogy Reading Order

Get Free Email Updates from me :)

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Tess Eyre September 27, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Best series EVER…..
Christian Grey *sighs*…..
Cannot get over how much I loved these two books!
Thank-you Maryse, if I didn’t religiously check your blog everyday I would not even know about half the awesome books I’ve recently read….
Do you know when number 3 comes out??
Oh & that picture in the shower is a perfect Christian too…

Christina September 28, 2011 at 1:02 AM

seriously, if you find another man that tops Christian, I may faint. It is now Wednesday and I am still with Christian, daydreaming. Ugh. If anyone knows of a Christian like character that we havent already read, helllllllllooo!! Share!!! And it is crazy to think FSoG came from Twilight Fan Fiction. Ohhh wow.

patricia nesbitt September 28, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Oh sweet jesus…………..I am so going to hell for this one……..I don’t think there is any amount of hail marys that will get me out of this one……..crap…….

Ivie Sparaco September 28, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Christian……wow………<3
For the first time, I just can't move on to another book. I caught up to you. Help Maryse!!!! I need more!!!!! After I catch up on some way overdue sleep, I may have to read these books again (my husband won't mind ;-p )

Maryse……you have made this book addict very happy. Thank goodness for your blog. More please!!!!

Melissa September 28, 2011 at 9:33 PM

This is a first for me. I started reading them on Monday…finished today…and have already started them over again. I’ve never re-read a book (as much as I swear I will) I can’t get enough of Fifty! And Ana reminds me of myself too much. God I love these books, Definitely tops my list and can’t wait until January….

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Awwww you guuuysss!!! Just the sweetest bunch! I’m so glad you found me too! Now I never *squee* alone.

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Tess!! Book three looks like it will be coming out in January. So far away, I know… but at least now we have a better idea!

He’s gorgeous right!? That stare was SO easy to imagine in the book, and that picture was the perfect example of Christian for me… Kinda the “dom” version of Fifty ;)

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Christina… I don’t know how I’m gonna top him (LOL!! I said “top” him! Tee hee!!!!)

okay… I gotta stop giggling like a school girl ;)

Anyway, I’m still on it guys. This book frenzy can’t end! I won’t let it ;) It’s my personal mission to keep us always a little (ok… a lot) book crazy.

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Ivy,

I’m still catching up on sleep. Literally 4 days of a few hours a night, and then all day of obsessing over these books. And then… the reviews! So much fun! I had the best weekend ever.

More please? Your wish is my command. I’m on it!

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Melissa… you know, re-reading sounds like a GREAT idea. I’m not really ready to move on so soon from Fifty. I love all of him, and for now at least, I fear any new others will pale in comparison.

So guys… 60%? Huh!? Huh!? How badly did you freak?

Maryse September 28, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Patricia. I’ll keep your secret!!! LOL!! *hug*

patricia nesbitt September 28, 2011 at 10:06 PM

FYI for anyone who has not bought Fifty Shades of Grey yet. you can get it from the publishers web site for 7.99 a little cheaper plus if you have a nook….

patricia nesbitt September 28, 2011 at 10:11 PM

And that publisher would be………the writers coffee shop. Sorry darn man hands…….

sarah m. September 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM

I cannot find these books on the nook. I’m so bummed! I wanna read them! Does anybody know if these are offered on the nook? BOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Patricia September 29, 2011 at 5:53 AM

Sarah I have a nook you can go to the Publisher and buy them ( http://www.thewriterscoffeeshop.com/publishinghouse/authors/detail/21 ) for 7.99 each. Have fun…teehee

Christina September 29, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I’ve been trying to read Darkness Unbound which I’ve been patiently waiting for a while now, and I just can’t seem to get into it because of Christian Grey. This.is.not.good!!!

Kelli September 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Ok, can this get any better, I am seriously reading at redlights when I have to leave my house! This is the most intense series, whoa! I was tingly all over and laughing and astonished and crying, omg it is so good.
I looked the author up, but no mention of when third book will be out. Can you use your super famous book reviewer mojo and find out? I am dying to know when I can have more!

Maryse September 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

I know right!!?? Oh and for the release date of #3….already done Kelli ;) 3rd book is expected out this January ;) I know… a few too many months away. Hopefully I can keep us occupied until then!

bookster September 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

oh my gosh after that review I have to go buy it NOW (thank God for kindle) and read it all the way through!! Everybody sounds so excited about it!! I need a good series :)

Lauren September 30, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Oh thank you for recommending this series. I am lovin me some Christian. I read them both in 2 days – I can’t wait for # 3. This has become one of my favorite series.

Kelli September 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I have complete faith in your ability to keep us reading to our hearts content. You are seriously a goddess in my domain! haha I just lent the book to my sister and I am already begging (haha) for it back because Christian is just too far away! lol I guess January is better than nothing. I was really hoping she was a fast writer! I can’t imagine where she will take us next.

patricia nesbitt October 2, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Well it is offical….I. heart Fifty…..and I want some “vanilla” ice cream. I find myself speecless and wanting more*******crap*********January is tooooo long of a wait.

jasmine October 3, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I am SOOO happy you put a post on fb about this book. I bought it right away and read both in 2 days. I LOVED IT! Thank you for writing this blog! I look forward to what you recommend! THANKS! Grey is awesome!!!!

Maryse October 3, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Jasmine, Patricia, Kelli and Lauren. Thank you guys so much for joining in my Fifty delirium!!! Wasn’t it SO fun!?

Now to find another like it.

Bookster – don’t delay!! You’ll wonder why it took you so long to get to ‘em. My friend Tina had been recommending them for about 2 or 3 weeks before I finally settled into the first book. And once I did, I couldn’t believe I had taken my time considering how crazy happy (and frenzied) it made me. Those books were EXACTLY what I had been looking for.

Tina UK October 6, 2011 at 5:32 AM

Well here I am in my post FSD depression wondering if I can climb into the shower on my computer screen and listening to a cd. Ahh the cd actually – I tore myself away from FSoG long enough to raid my Thomas Tallis collection of one – so I’ve panted and giggled (those emails!) my way thru FSD to a chorus of soaring angelic voices. Spem in Alium may never sound quite the same. Loving your recommendations and enjoying those with playlists or obvious “sound tracks” – its great that authors of these mind blowing reads have such taste in music – and don’t think I’m a classical music snob I had to tear myself away from Pain/Three Days Grace Jace Seymour’s theme in my Backstage pass playlist.
Must go and download Love Unscripted from your after BD list before the withdrawal symptoms get too much. Tina UK

Maryse October 6, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Tina! I do that!! I totally hear certain songs for certain books and characters… I’ve thought about including my own playlists if a few songs have really “matched” a book for me. Oh! ANd Love Unscripted has it’s own playlist too – I love her “ringtone”. You’ll see ;)

Clover October 10, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Hi

I just started on book 2 of the trilogy and really love the emails going btw Christine and Ana !! :)

Now I am in the dilemma of whether to continue reading book 2 or wait till release of book 3 :(

Not that i do not like the story, but i don’t like the feeling of waiting for the next book cause i know the story will just get better… ooohhhh….

Corrina October 11, 2011 at 8:20 PM

OH. MY. GOD!!! I can’t believe I waited as long as I did to read these. i guess because I just KNEW it would ruin other books for me for awhile. And now I’ve got to wait for the 3rd? Man!! I have to say not only did I just love their e-mailing back and forth but her Inner Goddess and Subconscioud just cracked me up:) January, pleeeaassse get here I need more of my Grey!!!

Nicola October 12, 2011 at 3:48 AM

.I love love love these books and the amazing Grey…thank you again! ;0) Nx

Lucia October 20, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Hi. This is my first time commenting on your site, but I’ve been a long time stalker…I mean reader. :) Just wanted to say I loved both of 50 Shades books, and have since suggested them to 3 other friends who are now fanatics. Great suggestion, and I love your page. You never disappoint. So, Thanks!

Maryse October 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Lucia!

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I LOVED 50 Shades SO much. I can’t wait for January. Have you checked our my ‘What to Read After Beautiful Disaster” page? Those suggestions work just as well for those looking for what to read after Fifty…

http://www.maryse.net/books/my-favorite-books/what-to-read-after-beautiful-disaster.html

Donna November 30, 2011 at 2:08 PM

I loved these books so much! I can not wait till Jan to read the last book of the trilogy and it comes out only a few days after my birthday…. hehehe. Happy Birthday to me; Thank You E.L. James!
Can’t Wait ! ! ! ! ! !

laura December 29, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Holy cow! Blown away! I am in love! Please let freed be as good as the first two! Totally infatuated to the point my palm is twitching! xxx

Melinda Seitz March 7, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I have to admit that I normally do NOT read romance books, but I too stayed up all night reading FSoG! There are myriad grammatical errors, and I had to refrain from getting my red pen to make editorial corrections/suggestions—but these characters and the story immediately sucked me in. I could NOT stop turning the pages! I bought the other 2 for my Kendal and can’t wait to find out what is going to happen these characters.

Maryse March 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Melinda… I can’t wait to hear what you thought of this one. THIS was my favorite in the series.

Maryse March 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Donna: Here’s hoping your birthday reading was everything you were hoping it would be!

Laura, your twitchy palm is making me laugh!

Mint April 4, 2012 at 5:16 AM

Maryse, I found your blog while I stumble through the internet searching for Fifty Shades darker. Oh man, I’m so late.. I started reading Fifty Shades of Grey only this weekend. And now I’m too late for the pdf version of book 2 and 3. And they’re out at book store either. O_o

I’m so dying to read in detail what’s going to happen!

Your few lines from the books was a relief for me. But only temporary. Oh I need to read it soon!

Mint April 4, 2012 at 5:17 AM

*they aren’t*

Maryse April 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Hi Mint!

I know that they are available on Amazon via the Kindle app. Maybe you can download the Kindle app for your computer (I believe it’s free) and read it on your computer?

Mint April 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Yes. I figured that out after I sent you the note. I wasn’t aware that while the books weren’t available, the kindle versions are!!!
I tried it and it was just a matter of a few clicks. I already had Amazon account and credit card record so all I had to do was click. And since I purchased it on my iPhone, Amazon suggested I install ‘Kindle for iPhone’. And there, just another click and I had to dance!!

Now if you excuse me, I’d very much like to continue peeking look at the vanilla ice cream in Ana’s naval.

Man, I think I should store some vanilla ice cream in the freezer and thank my Hubby again for a hundredth time forgetting me this awesome iPhone4s. It’s become very handy. ;)

Thank you too for your reply
X

Donna Patten April 22, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Yes Maryse, my January Birthday reading was great! Actually 2012 Reading has really started off with a BANG!!! Mostly UF and PNR and some YA books. Not so much Badboy/Rockstar books yet, but I have been itching to re-read BD. I did re-read this trilogy prior to book three when it came out. I really love this series!!! Man I have been busy. Thanks to all the audiobooks out there. Really saves on time when I read on the go… which is often! Multi-tasking at its best and most enjoyable! ; )

Lisa May 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I just found your blog…LOVE!…Darker was by far my favorite!!! I could not agree more with what you wrote…I felt like I was reading my own words!! LOL Life will never be the same after Christian Grey!!!!

Kristen Thomas August 6, 2012 at 8:45 PM

My FAVORITE of the series by far!!!! I fall in love everytime I read it (which has been more than a few times) The need Christian has for Ana makes me swoon (and also wonder why in the hell did I not marry Christina Grey) I love how much the character of Christian grows in this book, I guess I am like Ana on that part always eager for more information. Usually I am not a fan of series but this by far was not a disappointment.

Angie McLain June 1, 2015 at 6:50 PM

OMG! You totes rocked this review *Boob Smash*!

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