Review: Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Posted August 29th, 2012 in book review / 20 comments

Fifty Shades Freed

Book #3 of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

by E.L. James

Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House (Jan. 2012)
Genre: Erotica, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback (551 pages)
Source: Personal Bookshelf (Purchased)
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed.

Now, together, they have more — love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity, or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present.

Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, tragedy, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. ~ Add on Goodreads

At a Glance
I tried to stay away from the negative reviews of this series as I read it. I think I enjoyed the series more for that reason. However, before I started reading the last book, Fifty Shades Freed, I broke down took a peek at a few negative reviews. Sadly, it made this book less enjoyable. I started noticing things that bothered other people so they started bothering me, too. I still loved this book, but it did lose some of its flare because of outside influence.

The Good
Here’s the Story…
Christian and Ana have finally married. Now they get to spend their long honeymoon sharing their love and their bodies. But when they get home, not everything is perfect. Ana and Christian are still trying to figure each other out. Christian is still bossy to a fault and Ana is still too reckless for her own good. Now there is someone who is out to ruin their lives. Someone who holds a grudge and will do anything to bring pain upon Ana and Christian. Can their marriage last despite their stubbornness, despite the person set to destroy them, and despite the surprise that will change their future forever?

A Fifty of My Own…
The beginning of Fifty Shades Freed really got me excited for the rest of the book. Ana and Christian’s honeymoon was simply beautiful. It really made me want to find a rich, sexy, aggressive, bossy, controlling, effed-up man for myself. *giggles* I loved how the book started out alternating from the past and present. While on their honeymoon we get scenes of how the wedding was planned, the actual wedding, and so forth. It was done brilliantly.

The “Perfect” Couple…
Ana and Christian are up to their old antics. Their undeniable love for each other is so obvious in every page, but their low points are very low this time around. It made for an emotional read, watching Ana and Christan screw things up in their own ways. There is definitely things that they still have to work on. But even with those bad times, this book is lighter when it comes to the carefree romance and love Ana and Christian share for a good portion of the time. They are one of the cutest couples I have ever seen. They play, they laugh, they enjoy life, even when they are arguing they both try to find ways to lighten the mood. It’s mesmerizing to watch.

No Longer Fifty Shades, More Like Twenty. It’s Called Progress, People…
Many people don’t like how Christian changed throughout the trilogy. I am on the opposite side of the fence. His transformation from an emotionally messed up control freak to a still bossy but loving and caring husband is the best part of the series. He doesn’t lose his edge, he just becomes more well with himself. And Ana is there every step of the way. More power to her because I don’t know if I could have handled dealing with a man with these many issues. That’s why Ana’s sweet, innocent, but strong personality is perfect to help Christian deal with his problems in a healthy way. And yes, Christian’s past is completely explored and dealt with in this book.

The End…
I was very surprised by the unexpected “something extra” the author decided to throw into the mix near the end. It worked out perfectly, but I truly thought it would ruin everything Ana and Christian had together. Boy was I wrong. And that epilogue is the best part of the whole book. It wraps everything up. I walked away from Fifty Shades Freed with a big, goofy grin on my face. Most satisfying ending ever!

The Bad
Because I read all those negative reviews, I really noticed some annoying things this time around. The dialogue got really corny sometimes. The whole Mr. Grey/Mrs. Grey thing was so over done I wanted to punch something.

Ana’s major back and forth between exerting her independence and cowering to Christian was just plain confusing. I felt like Ana was a little bipolar in a lot of her actions. Same with Christian. I didn’t see them resolving much of anything until the epilogue.

The writing, as always, was not that great. It’s really just the story that is interesting. A lack of a solid plot like book one pops up once again. It’s a better plot than book one but less so compared to book two.

I would also say this book was the most melodramatic. And the repetition really got on my nerves. I so wish James knew how to write a little better because she has some great stories to tell.

The Snuggly
As always, there is mucho sex. We get a little more kink this time around with the whole butt-play, but it’s still not super over top, in my opinion. It comes across as a married couple sexually exploring.

Ana and Christian’s relationship was probably the most up and down this time around. There were some amazing moments where you can really see the love and adoration. Then there’s times when I wanted to slap both of them and tell them they may not be right for each other. But the chemistry was always there, and so was the steam.

I don’t know what to say. There are so many things wrong with the book, but I just love reading the story. Through my bouts of eye-rolling and laughing at all its hokey glory, I couldn’t put the book down. It’s like a drug. You know it’s bad for you but that doesn’t stop you from swallowing every last word. Highly recommended for those who can look past all it’s badness and focus on the yummy goodness.

“He makes me graceful, that’s his skill. He makes me sexy, because that’s what he is. He makes me feel loved, because in spite of his fifty shades, he has a wealth of love to give.” 

“My world was ordered, calm, and controlled, then you came into my life with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity …and everything before you was just dull, empty, mediocre …it was nothing.” 

Fifty Shades Trilogy:
Book #1: Fifty Shades of Grey
Book #2: Fifty Shades Darker
Book #3: Fifty Shades Freed

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20 Responses to “Review: Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James”

  1. Marian LOL

    Oh. Just… uh, yeah. Now I really am having mixed feelings about this series. -__- I’ve been reading lots of negative reviews about it but I’ve seen it at the top of the bestsellers’ list in my favorite bookstore. I mean, just… confusing. And now, your review. I might decide to read it because of your persuasiveness. 😐 Then again, I could just skip the whole series entirely, my point being that I’m too young to be exploring such stuff. -_____- Arghh. I don’t know. I think I’ll just go have some coffee or other. Awesome post, as usual, Jennifer!
    Best regards, Marian

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      LOL. Hmm, it is hard choice. I always read controversial books, so it was an easy choice for me. I think almost anybody can enjoy the story. Just be prepared for some bad writing, not horrible, just annoying. But I would recommend this series to almost anyone who isn’t too uncomfortable with erotica. I actually just bought it for my best friend for her b-day and she is not really a reader.

    • Marian LOL

      Oh crap. Now I think I might just really pass on this. -___- I don’t wanna be super grumpy and become biased when I do the review. So, I’ll do the passive mode.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, btw. I made a reply (letting you know cos I’m betting you don’t lol)

      PS: I can relate to friends who are, let’s say, uninterested in reading erotica, or any piece of reading in general, for that matter (enter traumatic high school English class experiences and you get the picture).

      Have a good day!

  2. Sarah Elizabeth

    I have to agree with what you said about negative reviews spoiling this for you. When my book club read this I was the only one thar liked it, while 12 other people hated it with a passion, and kept trying to make me hate it too! I still don’t get why so many dislike this book, but I think it’s often best to start reading something with an open mind ☺ glad you still enjoyed it ☺

  3. Annmarie

    Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed the book but I have to agree about outside influences. I think I enjoyed this series so much because I didn’t read any reviews while I was reading. People are always trying to find faults in books that become popular and then soon you start seeing them too.

  4. Elisa

    I try to go in with an open mind as well. That is why I will have to wait before I try these…because I know I will once they fall off the list for a while. Lovely review too by the way. Sounds like they are enjoyable and really hit you emotionally. I always have a hard time rating books that technically aren’t all that, but really hit home and resonate for some reason, or just act like a drug you can’t stop means there is something irresistable there – right? I love those these days. 🙂

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Me too. They are my fav kinds of books. I can usually rate bad writing, good story books because I no longer rate based on specifics like bad grammar and stuff. I only rate based on how much I liked it overall. It’s made rating a lot easier now. I just make sure to mention the bad technical stuff though so people are prepared.

  5. Kristin @ My ParaHangover

    Awesome review, girlie (I’m doing my reviews soon). I got caught up in the whole, “ugh, terrible writing, blah, blah, blah” but my curiosity got the best of me and you know, I loved the books for what they were – pure entertainment! It’s like watching reality tv – you know they’re not good tv but they are sooooo fun to watch and you get lost in them for a bit. These books reminded me of the Twilight series, which got me into PNR/UF (and reading in general). And if you look back, no one thought the Davinci Code books were written well either.

    Every book has it’s place, I say!! And you’re right, not much plot in this one but still a fun soap opera 🙂 I’m glad I read it…

    Uh, in short, I agree with Brandi, too 😀

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      YESSSS, this series is like reality TV. A perfect analogy.

      Did you know that James actually wrote the first book with copying the idea of Twilight? It was fan fiction based on Twilight that she changed up to be more erotica and no paranormal.

  6. Sarah (saz101)

    Heh. He uses ‘temerity’ in dialogue? Seriously, I would LOVE to meet someone who says ‘temerity’ out loud IRL 😀


    I’m sorry the negative reviews soured it a bit for you! Such a shame, but I’m so SO glad you enjoyed it, still. I so get what you mean about loving the book for the story, not the writing. Awesome review ♥

  7. KrisC

    Ok, here it goes. Please don’t hate me for my bad writing. I loved the books. Here is my take. The books had some writing issues but nothing is perfect. I did not allow myself to dwell on those things as the story kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. As was said by a few of you I took it for what it was. In doing this, I allowed myself to get lost in the story. Great review Jennifer. I love your blog. KRIS

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Is this you, Kris?? LOL. I can’t believe you’re commenting on my blog. 🙂 I am smiling all big now.

      Yup, pretty much you just have to take it for what it is, an enthralling story.

  8. Liesel K Hill

    Yeah I haven’t read these, but I’m not sure they’re for me. I think they’re the kind of books that, while you can’t doubt they’re successful, are still on the trashier side of literature, and I generally don’t care for that. Glad you had fun reading it though. Thanks for the review! 😀

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