You have probably heard of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy written by E.L.James. After all, the commotion about these books was hard to miss.
The books are notorious for being 'poorly written,' yet they were an overwhelming success. Women everywhere fell a little bit in love with Christian Grey and his love story. I was one of them.
The appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey for me
Which isn't surprising because I'm a sucker for romance novels with scarred, tortured and lonely heroes. And Mr. Grey was definitely tortured. In more ways than one ; )
But all he really needed was the love of a good woman.
And I love that genre!
A sweet love story
So even though Fifty Shades was partly known for the explicit love making scenes, underneath all that, there's a really nice love story that tugs at the heartstrings.
And I think that's what made this trilogy such a success. In spite of the bad writing.
Anyway, I liked Fifty Shades of Grey, so I was very interested in reading E.L.James' new book The Mister. I've finished it, and here's my review.
The Mister: what's it all about?
The Mister tells the story of Maxim Trevelyan and Alessia Demachi. Maxim is a playboy who hasn't done a serious day of work in his whole life. He plays around, and has a different woman every night. Maxim comes from a rich, aristocratic family. His elder brother Kit ran the family business, but he died recently in a car crash. Maxim is quite shaken up about this. As well he should be.
Alessia Demachi fled from her home country Albania to escape marriage. Her father promised her to a very unpleasant man. Unfortunately during her flight she falls into the hands of human traffickers, though luckily she manages to escape. When you start reading the story Alessia cleans houses for a living. And one of those houses belongs to Maxim.
Unsurprisingly, because this is after all a romance novel, they fall head over heels in love with each other. Though they're hesitant to tell each other that. As is usually the case in romance novels, they encounter some difficulties which they then overcome and they live happily ever after.
Nothing wrong with that kind of story, though in The Mister I found it quite boring and uninteresting.
The Mister: why I didn't like it very much
I think one of the main problems was the character of Maxim. Sure, he's handsome and plays a mean piano, but apart from that. What has he done for anyone lately?! I'll tell you what. Nothing. After the successful Mr. Grey I found Maxim to be a bit of a loser. Which made me care less about him.
Alessia is alright I suppose, though I found all the foreign language a bit annoying. And how many times can one person fall into the hands of bad people I ask you! 'A lot,' is what Alessia would say.
So all in all, though The Mister follows the formula of a romance novel well, the story didn't touch my heart strings. I found it bland, and I didn't really care about the love couple.
Interview with E.L. James
Though I didn't like The Mister very much, I do like the story of E.L. James herself. She's just a woman who loved romance novels, and decided to write some herself. And then she became famous. She comes across as a nextdoor neighbour and seems very down to earth. I really like that.
I was disappointed after reading The Mister. I had hoped for a better story, and more sentimental value. I like stories that sweep me of my feet, that make my eyes stumble on the page because I'm so curious what happens next. I struggled to keep reading this story.
The love scenes are explicit but less hardcore than in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
Practical information about The Mister
The Mister is available on amazon.com for 7.17 USD.
What do you think of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and The Mister?
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