Joint review with Lou originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2012/01/29/joint-review-giveaway-fifty-shades-freed-by-el-james/
Lou: We started our first discussion about the Fifty series in our past book discussion here. Each of us felt that the series was like crack, but there were obvious faults within the series such as inconsistencies, and way too much content that should have been cut in half. With how the second book ended, I thought how could the 3rd finish it off. What was there left to tell? After reading Freed, I can’t think of a single reason why this story was published. It had no plot that brought the story together. It was just more of Fifty and Ana drifting along with no purpose. And because of that I’m a angry reader because I don’t know why a book would be released that had NO purpose to it whatsoever. It’s not unknown that this series was originally fan fiction. And guess what. With this final entry, it felt as if nothing had changed and it did read like fan-fiction. A very very bad one.
MinnChica: I loved the first two Fifty books, and I thought that James left enough loose ends that the potential for a third story was there. I wanted to find out what more would come from the Mrs. Robinson character, who the person was trying to kill Christian and the romantic in me was hoping to see more of a deeper connection between Ana and Christian. But like Lou said, this third book felt pointless, seemed to have no direction and – in my opinion – was poorly written. I think this series could have been wrapped up in two books, and don’t feel as if there was any decent resolution to the story.
Lou: I agree, Minn. There wasn’t any decent resolution to the story, and I felt as if this book was more of a gravy train ride. What annoys me so much is that this book felt as if it was a first draft of a story. In most books, there is a plot driving the story along whether it be external, internal, or both. There was none of this in Freed. It was just more of Fifty and Ana fighting, and the first part of the book was such a snore fest because as far as I was concerned, it was just blocks of writing. There’s not much to explain about what the plot of the book is and how it played out because there isn’t one. Mrs Robinson’s character just blew away quietly in the wind without any real impact. We have a subtle secondary storyline with Ana best friend, and Fifty’s brother but that drifted away also. And Fifty was just a total and complete arse in this book. How he treats Ana after she reveals she’s pregnant, I thought it was despicable of him in his treatment of her.
MinnChica: In the first two books it was obvious to me that Christian was damaged, he had some serious emotional problems, but with the end of the 2nd book I honestly thought that he would be given a chance to really grow up emotionally in the third book. Boy was I wrong! If anything, it seemed to me as if Christian became even MORE emotionally stunted. He was a total jerk at every turn, he never once seemed to look at things in a second way, and quite honestly his behavior in this story ruined the whole series for me. I don’t want to read about someone who takes one step forward and then about twelve back. It was disappointing.
Lou: It was like Fifty had to go back and be his damaged self to add tension to a lack lustre story. I just didn’t get this book at all because I still can’t find a reason for the actual story. Fifty gets treated of his dominant and BDSM tenancies by the cure of Ana. The way in which Fifty got into the BDSM scene was so incredibly messed up that I honestly thought it was safer for him not to be practising it. It’s still a horrible message to send out though that Ana cured him of that. The ending of the book just made me laugh so hard because it was like a Harlequin ending, but one that was outdated so many years ago: Babies! The ending is that Fifty and Ana become a normal loving family and raise babies together and they are all super duper loved up.
Talk about how to kill your story as far as I’m concerned.
MinnChica: In regards to the BDSM, I didn’t see it as Christian getting “cured” by Ana, because they still partook in some “kinky-fuckery” but I was more upset that during their few BDSM scenes, Christian didn’t seem to have any care for how he treated Ana. He was cruel and mean and in it for his own f-ed up agenda. It was hard to read… I thought the end was a bit of a cop-out as well. I wasn’t very impressed at all on that front. One of the other things that constantly drove me NUTS during the story was that Ana’s assistant Hannah was constantly having the spelling of her name changed. Half the time it was Hannah, and the other half it was Hanna. Little things like that just reinforced my thought that not a lot of time was spent on the editing and cultivation of this book. =(
I will admit though that there were a few scenes that I enjoyed in this book. There were tiny snippets into Ana and Christian’s life that I was pleasantly surprised by. Ana giving Christian a haircut, some of their moments on their honeymoon, the few times Christian would play piano for Ana. For me, those small scenes just showed me that the potential for a wonderful story was there, but the execution lacked.
Lou: It’s like the British slang that was used throughout the book, despite it being in an American setting. It’s obvious no decent editor had gone through this book, and it’s something that the author should have picked up on. Fifty was very cruel to Ana, and he came off as abusive that left me with a sour taste in my mouth. After reading this final book, I wouldn’t recommend this series at all now. When you release a book, you make sure it’s the best as it can possibly be. I don’t want to read or pay for a book that looks like it still belongs in the fan fiction world. If I want to read fan fiction, I’ll go to their sites. All in all, what a cock up of this book was. I can’t recommend this book because it is crafted poorly.
I give it a F.
MinnChica: All in all I was horribly disappointed in this book. I was expecting the same level of wonder and excitement that the first two books in the series gave me, and instead I found myself constantly frustrated and annoyed while reading. Christian came across as a spoiled and spiteful child and Ana never seemed to grow a pair enough to stick up for her basic right to be treated like a decent human. Like Lou, I can’t recommend this book to anyone. I think the first two books will still hold a special place and are worth the read, but the third book is not worth the ridiculous price.
I give Fifty Shades Freed a F.