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So it isn’t the greatest when you’re dating a semi-sadist…

“Nobody loves anybody properly, do they?”

Wise words, and certainly not extracted from this novel. I shall get back to that quote later on but for now, I need to get this book over and done with because I have an actual writing gig that needs my attention. Not that this hasn’t been enjoyable, but it’s taken six months. It hasn’t taken me that long to read a book since I was four; I was one of the fastest child consumers of Harry Potter in Scotland; Deathly Hallows took mere hours for me.

Six months is a death sentence.

Anyway, three chapters to go. Chapter twenty-four opens with Ana waking up on the day of Christian’s “surprise” and finds the man himself “holding a bowl of strawberries” and “gazing intently at {her}”.

*Snort*

Strawberries…now just where does he think they’re going?

Luckily they are for breakfast purposes only but that’s the downside of this story; every inanimate object mentioned has you flinching as you can’t help but imagine where Mr Grey would like to put it. Ana is still sleepy however and declines his invitation to eat, preferring to roll over and go back to sleep. Grey, having none of this, turns the lights on and then says, “I want to chase the dawn with you”.

I. Want…to chase…the dawn. with. you.

Are they pirates now? God, I wish they were. If this was set on a pirate ship, I would be so much more content. They might as well be on a boat in the ocean drifting aimlessly to land for all the plot there is.

He reminds her that he wants to surprise her, so she eventually gets up and he demands that she eat breakfast before they go. Then, something inexplicable happens. I read it and wonder if I’ve actually missed something. Ana says she only wants tea but asks if she can take a croissant for later and Christian frowns and responds with this:

“Don’t rain on my parade, Anastasia.”

?????????????

funny girl

Don’t quote “Funny Girl” or Barbra, Grey. You’re beneath them both.

For some odd reason, Ana doesn’t find this weird. They get in the car, where Grey starts playing his opera and Ana, unsophisticated nitwit that she is, has never heard of La Traviata. No, I’m not being sarcastic; no knowledge of opera is a disgrace. Anyway, he changes it to “toxic” by Britney which is even more shameful than her ignorance of classical music.

He takes her to an airfield, whereupon they strap themselves into parachutes (damn!) and go gliding. Luckily it’s too compact and dangerous for them to officially initiate themselves into the mile high club so it’s a sex-free soaring splendour.

After it’s over, the go to have pancakes. Christian says, as they sit down, “I know what I want” to which Ana responds, “I want what you want”.

No, Ana. No. You want what you want. You make a decision for yourself as a grown woman for what you truly want, you don’t blindly agree with someone else. You are losing more feminism points than a Kardashian at this stage, and you really can’t afford to.

After silly foreplay between them (the verbal kind), Ana reveals yet another disturbing bit of information. She tells Christian that she’s afraid that he’ll leave her if she doesn’t agree to his demands.

WHAT? WHAT THE FUCK, E L JAMES? THIS IS NOT ROMANCE. MORE POINTS LOST.

He eventually drops her off at her apartment but after they’ve said goodbye, sorry if you were hoping for some plot or to see Ana interact with another character, they begin emailing back and forth once again. In these emails, it’s revealed that Christian had lunch with his ex and that Ana said something in her sleep that he liked the sound of, but he won’t tell her what it is.

“Please treat me like crap in bed because you have weird, phycological fixations about dominating women because of your negligent birth-mother and her drug-use?”

I doubt it’s that, but I’m pretty sure that’s the “secret” Grey won’t reveal. He keeps saying that if Ana knew his reasons for beating her–sorry, disciplining her during sex, she would run. It’s to do with his mum, I’ll wager, just like all real issues deep down are.

The chapter ends with Ana fretting about whatever it is she said. Yawn.

now, back to the first quote of this blog post. Uttered by none other than the lovely Sid from Skins, part of the greatest love story British television has told in a long time.

When I was growing up in Scotland, a lot of my friends were into “The O.C”, a show that I hated then and would probably still hate today. I also hated “One Tree Hill”, “Hollyoaks” and any form of reality television so I couldn’t really join in with the form room chat when it came to telly.

Then came “Skins”. Or rather, then came Cassie; the first time I remember seeing a fictional character in tv and going, “Yes. I get her. I know that”.

She and Sid were perfect; he hopelessly romantic and virginal, she confused, eccentric and a little “fucked up”. She raised awareness to mental illness; gave it a face and a voice for teenage girls and the two of them experienced real, mature and diabolical love.

Cassie is a well-written character, Ana Steele. And, as she beautifully says in the scene below when critiqued by the boy she’s crushing on, she has the courage to say “But you see, it’s, like, nobody’s fucking business”.

And ain’t that the truth.

Until next time!

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