When a dear friend and author (@carolgalusha/twitter) texts you in the middle of the night imploring you to beg, borrow, or steal E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, my interest was piqued. The next day while at my friendly village library, I think I blushed (my friend warned me of the novel's amorous effects) when I requested the librarian perform a search for the trilogy in question. Hearing there was a lengthy wait of 60+ requests for book one of the series, I graciously denied the request to be added to this list. Knowing this was a read that could not wait, I caved and downloaded book one onto my phone.
Va, va, va, and voom! Not having asked Ms. Galusha details, I took her at her word not having any idea what to expect (deep breath). Reading definitely surpassed any expectations. Complex characters with intense needs quickly unfold in book one. Delving further into book one, I found similarities between Twilight characters and Fifty Shades characters, but far from the young adult genre. With similar themes of tortured souls overcoming dark pasts, starry-eyed, opposites-attract lovers, and the happily ever after, E.L. James had me at page one.
Consumed by the far-from-black-and-white (grey) story, I immediately downloaded books two and three at the conclusion of book one. Instead of being disappointed by weak, redundant, cookie-cutter sequels, I was grateful for the interjection of more complex storylines and found books two (especially) and book three to be more engrossing reads.
For the purposes of book club, a Grey-Themed Party is definitely a must. Have "bookies" come dressed in their favorite shades of grey (fifty of which to choose from) and provide masks to allow anonymity when answering discussion questions. A prize, perhaps handcuffs, can then be given to the participant unanimously deemed "best dressed in character."
Finally, after all of the meals have been eaten in their entirety, send book club members home with a goody bag containing cable ties and the like.