Opening Line: “I stare up through gaps in the sea-grass parasol at the bluest of skies, summer blue, Mediterranean blue, with a contented sigh.”
Plus there’s an actual story here; I mean stuff happens other than in the playroom. We get car chases, assorted stalkers, blips, kidnappings, bar fights, car accidents, drunk Christian, out of control Christian, raging Christian, playful Christian, needy fucked up Christian it was just such an all-out emotional journey and managed to leave me shocked several times. I also found it fascinating to watch Christian lose control and for Ana take it, not what I was expecting as all his shades finally made sense.
Ana’s hilarious inner goddess is still with us and I was happy to see the inclusion of more sexy, fun, playful or in this case argumentative e-mails as Ana tries to stand her ground against a very controlling and used to being in charge Christian. These things were part of what separated Fifty from the Twilight universe for me and also why James’ writing grew on me since that first book which felt immature, you could really hear her voice here and I now can’t wait to see what she writes next.
I also loved the ending which finally “freed” Christian and left me in a very happy place; it just felt so complete, like okay you guys are going to make it, thanks for the journey. Of course this could have something to do with the many assorted epilogues we get, my favourite being the inclusion of Christian’s Midnight Sun-ish POV first meeting of Ana. As a friend said, I would read the whole series again from inside his head -as fucked up as it might be. Laters.
“I need control Ana. Like I need you. It’s the only way I can function. I can’t let go of it. I’ve tried… And yet, with you…” He shakes his head in exasperation. I swallow. This is the heart of the dilemma -his need for control and his need for me. I refuse to believe these are mutually exclusive.”
“Do you want a drink?” I ask super sweetly. “No thanks” he says not taking his eyes off me, and I know that he’s helpless. He does not know what to do with me. It’s comical on one level and tragic on another.”