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I finished the Fifty Shades trilogy by E L James, and I am here to report back.

Between Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, I thought the latter was the better book.  The writing seemed improved from the first book. I liked the plot and the characters.  My biggest complaint is that I wish Ms. James had developed the characters a bit more.

Fifty Shades Darker is the bridge between the first book and the last.  Ana and Christian have some major differences that make you wonder whether they will stay together.  The book also reveals more about Grey’s past.

Although the story is told from Ana’s point of view, I didn’t really feel like I got to know her.  A lot of her inner monologues are childish and superficial, but I still thought she was a likeable character.  She wasn’t mean or snobbish.  She was a beautiful and down to earth person (with a kinky streak).  No wonder Grey loves her.

Ana experiences some rather significant mental and emotional transformations.   She is no longer the naive girl from the first book which is a good thing because you want your main characters to grow in some fashion.  Yet there was something wanting about her development. I realized it was because i read about her progress, but I did not feel it.

To a certain extent i felt the same thing about Grey.

Mark Twain said that “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”  Easier said than done, Mr. Twain.  I struggle with this myself so I don’t mean to sound overly critical.  After finishing the trilogy, I couldn’t help but feel like the characters had not been allowed to emerge through the portal and meet the reader.  With additional nurturing, their personalities might have emerged more compelling and defined.

Ironically, I felt like I had caught a glimpse of Christian’s true voice at the end of Fifty Shades Freed.

The last chapter of the book is entitled Meet Fifty Shades, and this time it is Grey who narrates what it was like when he first met Ana. Grey’s narrative is stronger, grittier and if you will pardon the expression, more real. I was immediately sucked in.

If you’re wondering if the rest of the trilogy is just as steamy and sexy as the first book, then wonder no more.  The answer is yes.  Do I see a grin on your face?

Those rooting for the couple will find the conclusion satisfying. Some might find it too saccharine, but I tend to be lenient on happily-ever-after endings.  I cry at the end of Homeward Bound, okay?

So there you go.  I finished the trilogy AND I got a new henna tattoo.  Here I thought I wouldn’t get anything done this weekend.

Have you read Fifty Shades? Do you think the characters were perfect just the way they were written or were you left with wanting more?

Now, to steal my favorite line from Mr. Grey–  Laters, Baby.