As many of you out there I kept hearing about 50 Shades of Gray, and how great it was. I knew the basics, it was based off of Twilight (fanfiction) and that it was very much a erotic novel. So I gave it a try thinking it would be a mindless but good read.
Unfortunately, the author really disappointed me with her lack of originality when it came to her plot and characters. I posted a link on my Facebook from a blog I came across that spoke about the ethical issue of turning a fanfiction into a for-profit book.
After receiving a few comments from friends, it seemed that I had to explain why I disliked the story and the book. So I wanted to share it here with you and see what your thoughts are.
I don't like the fact that the story (plot and characters) are literally stolen from another author.
The books (50 Shades of Grey) started out as fanfiction for Twilight. The names originally used were Edward/Bella and so on. When the author decided she wanted to publish a book because she got such a great following on fanfiction (20k+ comments) she took the original story off the internet and only changed the names of the characters.
It's fine if she wanted to leave it as fanfiction, and I applaud her for getting so many followers. However, when she went to publish the story, she should have changed a great deal so that those of us who have read Twilight don't make the obvious connections.
Here are a few examples:
- Both Edward and Christian were adopted by wealthy and loving families
- Edward/Christian have a deep dark secret that makes them dangerous towards Bella/Ana
- Edward and Christian have stalker tendencies and are domineering
- Edward/Christian are both very handsome with reddish hair and a great physic
- Edward/Christian like to give extravagant and expensive gifts
- Edward/Christian both play the piano, and it’s always sad classical music
- Christian has two siblings Mia and Elliot who are just like Emmet and Alice. Mia is a happy and energetic fashion lover and Elliot is the frat boy always up for anything.
- In both books the couple are initially attracted to each other, the hero tries to stay away but the heroine wants the relationship anyways. They end up breaking up because one of them believes that they are in danger. (this is the end of book 1).
- Both stories are set in the state of Washington.
- There is another male who is good friend with the heroine (Jose/Jacob). Ana/Bella thinks of him as a brother while he wants a relationship with Ana/Bella.
- Ana is Bella. She talks like her, she acts like her, she says things that Bella would say, she is clumsy and uncoordinated, beautiful but doesn’t see it.
- Bella/Ana have an eccentric mother who lives away from them with a different husband. Bella/Ana live with their father/stepfather whom they love dearly
- Charlie/Ray (fathers) love to fish and watch sporting games. Charlie is a cop while Ray is ex-military.
I’m sure I’d find many more similarities if I went through the book with a fine toothed comb.
That being said. I don't have a problem with the book having sold a million copies and the author making money. This is not the first book or the last that will catch on with a given group and sell like wildfire.
However, the above is my honest opinion. I have a hard time not finishing books, so I finished the first one but wont be reading the second or the third.
This is by no means great literature, and I did not go into reading it thinking it would be the next Wuthering Heights. What I didn't expect was to find a copy of Twilight with a bit more adult thrown in. If it wasn't for the fact that the plot and characters are someone else's, I'd gladly read the next books and support the author.
To add on to my comment. I have an issue with the fact that the author tried to use Tess of the D’Urbervilles as the classical book that Ana loves (Bella loved Wuthering Heights) and fails miserably and making it tie into the story. She just throws it out there to make herself seem smart. Yet, it’s just something else she stole from S. Mayor and Twilight. At least Mayor was able to incorporate the classic better into the story.
Please let me know what your thoughts are on this. I will not be offended if you do not agree with me or have other thoughts.
Again, I am not annoyed that the book is an erotic novel, in fact that’s part of the reason I wanted to read it. I’m annoyed that there is no originality to the story. It’s just Bella and Edward in human form.