Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Audiobook Review: Grey (Fifty Shades #4) by E.L. James

Book Series: Fifty Shades, Book #4
Author: E.L. James (Twitter)
Genres: Erotic Romance, Realistic Fiction Erotica, 
Format: Audiobook (Amazon | Audible)
Narrators: Zachary Webber
Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
Release Date: June 18, 2015
See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

I really enjoyed this book. Like I've said before, Christian's character had way more depth, and deserved his own POV.

Having read this book, I know I understand why I didn't like FSoG as much as I could have; it had to do with Anna's perspective. Grey had a level of maturity that was lacking from FSoG. From the way that Christian describes things, to the way that the feels and processes his emotions, there's actual thought behind it. The whole story makes so much more sense. As an added bonus, you get to see the story play out but you get to experiences his motivations and know what he was thinking. 

Christian has a very stoic presence, so it was hard to relate to him. It was nice to see in his mind things were chaotic, and even though he comes off as very in control and secure, that he too even questioned his behavior. I'm not saying that this excuses everything he did, but at least he had more of a conscious than we saw. I think this story humanized Christian; it was nice to see that he was just as unsure as Ana was. 

I really enjoyed the rest of the series, especially FSD. I was really happy to learn what happened for Christian in the transitional days between the two books. I feel like throughout the trilogy Ana didn't really grow as a person, and she also doesn't really do much to move things along. I do believe that Christian meeting Ana was the best thing for him. I’m not really sure if it was her influence, or just that Christian was finally ready to change. 

I can't express enough how much I appreciate these retellings of stories from the male's perspective. I seem to always prefer the women in these tumultuous romances from the male's perspective. Ana doesn't seem as whiny or annoying from Christian's POV, and even her questioning everything made more sense. Maybe I'm giving her too much credit. Maybe it's easier to process her crazy as Christian has to, filtering through a more rational mind. 

Overall, I just liked the story told from Christian’s POV. It’s darker, it’s sexier, and I just love it so much more. Even way it was written was better. FSoG was so insular; Ana's world was too small. With Grey, you see Christian interacting with co-workers, his dealings with his business, his dealings with his families and how the relationships differ; his tragic upbringing and history, and most importantly, his introduction to the BDSM lifestyle with Elena. Even though the story pretty much plays out the same way, it felt new to me. I guess a change POV can do a lot. 

It's still my favorite guilty pleasure read. And, to everyone who wonders how I can like the FSoG trilogy, in Christian's words, because I can.

Zachary Webber is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Strangely enough, the second time he's retold a story from from the male's perspective. So far, he's two out of two; I definitely loved what he brings to the table more than both female narrators, Ana and Becca Battoe (sorry, not sorry). 

I love his delivery; it's silky smooth and sexy. You can also tell that he's done his homework. He becomes the character, and I feel like he became Christian. Dark, commanding and powerful without getting too much into  brooding.

My only issue is that Zachary pronounces Elena's name like "e-lane-ah" and Becca pronounces it like  "ellen-uh". The inconsistency bugged me a lot. 

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