Summertime and everyone is talking about the Fifty Shades trilogy. What? You have not heard of these explosive paperbacks sitting atop the New York Times bestseller list. Crawl out from under that rock and join the discussion centered on three romance books that belong in the sub-genre of erotica.
You should know by now that I am a loather of romance books. I will pick them up in desperation and then throw them across the room for being contrived. For example, two humans meet and do not like each other then something happens and they do like each other, but then something else happens to tear them apart and in the end they are reunited and all is unicorns and rainbows. Blah!
Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in the series does not have a happy ending! This is one of the reasons publishers say non-romance readers are lured into the series. I can think of another reason – the sex – or is that too obvious?
From an article in Publisher’s Weekly, I learned that this series is one of the best digitalized reads to be published. Along with many a romance, it is less likely to be picked up by your teenager or overseen by your nosy neighbors, if it discreetly resides in your Nook instead of propped open on the kitchen counter.
This claim sounds a little hokey. All three covers are in shades of gray, white and black and sequentially feature a man’s tie, a masquerade mask and hand-cuffs. Where is the shirtless, body-building heart throb to tip off those random guests? To me the covers scream mystery, but Avon is already changing the covers of new releases to look alike, calling them “Shades of Avon Red.”
My explanation centers more on the demographics of the series which Publisher’s Weekly calls “suburban moms.” Many a mother probably got a Nook or Kindle for Christmas making it easier to upload digital books than climb into the family minivan for the local bookstore. Make sense?
Shades author, E. L. James, is a nice English mother of two about to join J.K. Rowling’s social circle. The trilogy film rights have sold and all across the internet people are trying to guess who will play main characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
I am looking forward to getting my hands on the first book in the series. Friends have promised me I will not throw it across the room, but I might turn fifty shades of pink. Oh, and carting it out of the library in a brown paper bag.