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50 Shades of Fail: Chapter 2 yeah uh, I totally love DIY, yeah ha ha ha, this isn’t wildly inappropriate at all.

Yes it’s that time again.


Come with me and you’ll see a world of poorly written, abusive eroticaaaaa.

 Chapter two: yeah uh, I totally love DIY, yeah ha ha ha, this isn’t wildly inappropriate at all ha ha ha

ANA IS FREE! Hurrah, she has escaped the subtly constructed penis building, without falling over! I feel like giving the poor girl a hug already. Oh I may have spoken too soon, damn it.

“No man has ever affected me the way Christian grey has, and I cannot fathom why.”

What? Aren’t you just a bubbling puddle of those pesky ‘female’ hormones at the sight of him stroking those sinful lips and just, ugh, sitting there sexily. Nah it’s a mystery to everyone else too Ana, I can honestly say Grey is as flustering as a large yellow slug. It takes Ana two large paragraphs to calm her erratic heart and begin to “breathe normally again” (slight over reaction maybe? Maybe???).

Ana actually addresses that the whole hyper ventilating and collapsing against the walls of steel penis buildings may have been a little much. Alas this is 50 Shades of Grey I’m reading, so sensible introspections are not going to last. Ana begins to talk about how hot Grey is, so driven, so arrogant, I’m weak at the knees! Of course she defends his arrogance and feels perplexed over his cryptic answers to her interview (of all the people for Grey to find attractive, it’s the naive girl who doesn’t understand glaringly obvious innuendo).

We all know this book is ridiculous, but Ana has only just met this weird controlling dude and she’s “driving more cautiously” than she normally would because of the “memory of two penetrating gray eyes”. Firstly, I think the word penetrating is going to be played fast and loose throughout this whole story (give me strength). Secondly, he’s already controlling her?! How on earth is having what could be the most awkward interview of all time a grounds for sexy shenanigans, let alone some sort of odd connection which means Ana is already following his orders.

Interestingly enough as Ana gets further away from mount penis she is cheered to be away from Grey and drives a bit faster, perhaps a reflection of his relinquishing control with distance? (I know, I’m giving James too much credit.) Alert, alert, we have an explanation for Kate’s car and lifestyle! Her parents are rich, which means they bought her an apartment that Ana pays “peanuts for rent” to share with her. If only I had a rich friend, university would be a mite less stressful.

Ana has arrived back at her apartment to her poorly friend Kate who apparently annoys her from the tips of her pink bunny pjs to her head. Kate seems loving and friendly, but Kate’s questions about the interview are referred to as “the Katherine Kavanagh inquisition”. Ana’s a shitty friend. Again, Kate why did you send this incompetent lump to do the interview? Why are you even friends if Ana finds you so bloody annoying?

Ana struggles to come up with an answer to the question “what was he like?”. Lets offer an answer shall we? Well Kate my loins were alight with the fires of mordor as his piercing gaze looked into my very soul and I’m pretty sure lighting struck when I touched his hand. Too much? Nah. Ana reiterates that she’s glad she won’t have to see him again and complains about not being given some background info on Grey, blah blah blah.

Now Ana’s running off to her part time job at a DIY store, but ironically she’s rubbish at DIY! Who’d have thunk it?! Shockingly enough Ana’s more of a “curl-up-with-a-book-in-a-comfy-chair-by-the-fire kind of girl” (what’s with all the hyphens?). What’s a better way to forget about that penis waving ape man than to stack some shelves? Nothing, absolutely nothing, I bet Ana’s glad she has that job.

Ana’s shift is over and she’s feeling the burn, the exhaustion burn that is (im sorry I don’t even know anymore). Again she laments about…him.

Ana is an awful friend and decides to distract Kate from questions about Grey “with flattery, always a good ploy.”, seriously who treats their friend like an empty headed Barbie doll? Despite this Kate insists Ana did a good job, especially considering her lack of preparation for the interview, Kate, what a sweetheart. Ana is yet again forced to answer more questions about Grey, oh damn you Kate and your inquisitive nature! Damn you to hell!

I understand Ana’s discomfort with admitting that for the first time she finds somebody attractive, it’s a big deal, I mean up until she met Grey she could well have identified as asexual. Yet somehow I think James is going for the old ‘soulmate’ angle rather than exploring sexuality. Anywho, we get the reason for the infamous ‘are you gay? ‘ question, which is almost funnier than Grey’s reaction (drum roll please), “he never has a date”. Ah yes, if you’re a single rich bachelor  you must be gay, it’s the only logical conclusion. The thrilling conversation ends with yet another self deprecating, he could never like a girl like me Kate, you’re being ridiculous!

Ana finally gets to work on that essay she keeps talking about which focuses on ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’. I’m trying to remember what other popular book series employs this technique of using another story to illuminate your own, twi- something? ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ is a fairly disturbing choice to illuminate what is meant to be a ‘romance’ novel. I think poor Ana is in for a fairly awful time, aside from the actual writing that is.

Now we get introduced to a new male character, are you excited? I know I am. José is the first friend Ana made when she came to Uni,  he’s so dreamy with those dark eyes and a passion for photography. After some dreadful dialogue and some cursory congrats hugs, as his photos are in an exhibition of some sort, it’s revealed José has an unrequited thing for the irresistible Ana. Ana reiterates that she has never been attracted to someone before despite wanting “those trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly, sleepless nights”.  I have never experienced this, nor do I want to, sounds rather unpleasant. I quite like the idea of those healthy relationships where you love and support each other. Maybe that’s just me, but not being able to function because of my emotions isn’t something I have ever enjoyed or  longed for.

Alas “NO!” Ana must not feel the feelings she’s feeling! Forget the luscious dreams she has been having about Grey, she asked if he was gay! The horror. She begins describing how hot José is, he also has “burning dark eyes”, I’m getting a distinct feeling this whole series is about Ana’s secret infatuation with Sauron’s gorgeous orb[s].

Ana is back to the grind (no not in that way you pervert *irony*), she’s back at work in the DIY shop and who could just happen to walk in? Grey’s back and he’s causing extreme reactions in Ana, well one reaction in particular, “Heart failure.” (yes that is a direct quote and yes I’m crying with laughter).  There’s some more intense gazing and poorly integrated descriptions of Mr Mc’ Hottie Pants whilst Ana continues to lose function in her brain (is she actually having a heart attack?).

What a coincidence huh, that Grey would drop into Ana’s work place, it’s a small world when the guy you like is a stalker. Now this is when I would be seriously reconsidering my attraction to this guy, those creeper alarm bells would be going off, but wait oh lordy his voice “is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… Or something.“. There’s another paragraph where heart pounding, brain not working and blushing happens, again.

Once Ana has recovered from seeing Grey it’s time to help him go shopping. So begins possibly the most innuendo laced shopping trip of all time and that’s including most shopping trips with me. First on the list is “cable ties” an obvious allusion to bondage in the worst possible way. Now I’m going to deluge into some safety tips  for anyone interested in some healthy bondage play, DONT USE CABLE TIES.* There’s more blushing, an unnecessary description of Grey’s hand and the information that Ana’s subconscious is located at the base of the medulla oblongata, Ana wonders if he has come to see her. Instead of being horribly scared that a practical stranger has sought out where she works just to see her again she’s too focused on the fact that Mr manly man would never like a girl like her!

Or maybe this really is a coincidental emergency DIY shopping trip he had to make after visiting a research project he is funding. There have been stranger coincidences, right? Well Ana’s subconscious (a separate entity?)  thinks so and is apparently “loud, proud and pouty” (why am I reading this trash?). Ana can’t even watch the guy pick some REALLY BAD IDEA cable ties out “for some inexplicable reason”, is the reason that you are a human failboat? Or perhaps instincts other than ‘let’s bang’ are screaming that cable ties are suspicious? He makes his selection with an “oh-so-secret smile” what does that even look like? Why is it hyphenated? Why is Ana blushing? Oh yeah, because this is damn inappropriate.

Next on the list is “masking tape” Ana asks if he’s redecorating to which Grey of course smirks, because he’s a douche bag who is already  involving a non consenting individual in his sexual fantasies. There’s more gazing and a weird couple of sentences about her school girl self  being out of place etc etc. They ‘accidently’ brush hands during the exchange of thick masking tape and lightning strikes again right into “somewhere dark and unexplored, deep in [her] belly.” (buries face in hands).

If you didn’t think this whole situation was inappropriate before, now their voices are “breathy and husky” when talking about the next item on the list, “rope”. He selects ‘natural filament rope’ which depending on the type of filament can be suitable for bondage, but is highly subjective to the type of bondage you want to take part in so research accordingly. Ana cuts the rope without injuring herself, there’s some more awkward flirting where tectonic plates shift (as if their attraction to each other wasn’t over blown enough) and Ana’s subconscious further separates from Ana’s own mind.

Well if the line wasn’t already crossed, I think suggesting that you might take your clothes off to do some ‘DIY’ firmly sets the line on fire. If you’re still with me, we’ve reached the star simile of the chapter, drum roll please… “I must be the colour of the communist manifesto.”  I think the word Jame’s was looking for was red.If it wasn’t  apparent that Ana is intensely uncomfortable with Grey’s behaviour her response to a non-innuendo loaded question should make it clear. She grasps the question as if it were a “life raft” and idly mentions that Kate would like some photos of Grey for her article.

so pretentious

so pretentious

Surprise, surprise he agrees to the photos and Ana’s dark moody medulla oblongata is whispering seductively. There’s a strange bit where Ana smiles and the tectonic plates are moving about alongside the earth’s axis shifting. Then we’re back to creeper Mc’ possessiville when Paul, a guy Ana is friends with turns up and drapes a “possessive” arm over her shoulder which embarrasses Ana who notes that “he’s always been over familiar.”. Yet another man in her life who doesn’t understand boundaries, which is bad enough what’s worse however, is Grey’s reaction to Ana greeting Paul.

Grey’s demeanour has changed to “something cold and distant” which results in Ana trying to diffuse the tension in the air by introducing Paul to Grey. The scene that follows is another riveting episode of gorillas waving their dicks about (I feel like I’m being unfair to gorillas, gorillas are awesome). However once Paul realises who Grey is the testosterone levels drop and he recognises a true alpha in Grey.

Once Paul plods off to wherever he came from Grey maintains a cool attitude towards Ana. I imagine his internal monologue at this point is something along the lines of, “How dare you know a man other than me, lady that I’ve only recently met. You are the succubus from hell, a temptress of the worst order, have you no shame that in the presence of I, a strong manly man, you greet a friend?!”. Poor Grey and his poor man feelings. The eyes that once inspired dark feelings in Ana are now “unnerving” leaving Ana questioning if she had done something wrong. Alas, once again any sensible worries are banished from her mind when Grey’s “tongue caresses [her] name” (did he write it on some paper and lick it?) and Ana’s heart is thumping again.

Before leaving the store Grey switches from icy to business to all smiles again as he lets Ana know he’s “glad Miss Kavanagh couldn’t do the interview.”. Ana’s reaction is quite possibly the worst line of literature I’ve read in a while (discounting the whole communist agenda thing) Ana is left as a “quivering mass of raging female hormones”. I think I’m going to have to lay down and search the depths of the universe for why anyone would think that is a good line. James continues to stretch the limits of my psyche.

After all that, Ana finally admits to herself that she finds Grey attractive, but refuses to believe he is interested in her (*laughter devolves into disbelieving tears*).

Finally this chapter ends with Ana “grinning like a schoolgirl” in anticipation of watching Grey’s impending photo shoot.

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to thank you because this series is going to be a monster if you hadn’t already realised.

Now I’m going to go comfort myself with some hot chocolate.

*At the end of this series I’m going to write a far more comprehensive post about why no one should practice BDSM in the way this book portrays it and link to some far more reputable resources. Under no circumstances should you use cable ties as a form of bondage, they are unsuitable and can cause nerve damage. Don’t use them.

Image sources: http://wayne1020.pbworks.com/f/1349226086/29eb3_communist-manifesto-cover1.jpg

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Floatingmanatee also known as Alice, is a certified Zoologist living in Britain and has an unhealthy love of weird creatures. She's bisexual, a lover of books, TV, film and anything else that tells a story. Generally she's either angry or sad or both about the state of the world, but watching youtube videos of cute animals makes her feel better.

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