02/12 - Contemplation after the hype...I often tend to end up somewhere in the middle when it comes to these extreme love or hate books. When I first read Fifty (back when it wasn't all over the media networks), I found it to be a bit different/off-kilter from other erotica/BDSM that I'd read and thought it would be a fun book to discuss. Parts of the book annoyed me, while other parts intrigued me. As a BDSM book (comparing it to others in the genre), there was nothing inside that stood out as being overly extreme when it came to the physical aspect. This was more about a mental game than anything. I actually do find it interesting that most people into the BDSM scene (in real life) have shunned this book big time. I guess if you walk the walk, you're going to notice behaviors that don't jive with the lifestyle.If this book wigs you out because of the physical and mental dominance, then this might not be the genre for you. This is a very specific type of book catering to a specific interest group (a.k.a. smut readers), which is where my review was targeted to start, never assuming that the hype would reach so far out into the mainstream reading world and into the hands of non-erotic book readers.I completely understand why this book is not for everyone. I also understand why not all erotica fans were feeling Fifty. There are other books which showcase a more loving and trusting relationship inside of the lifestyle. The BDSM genre has many comfort levels to it, catering to all types of interests.In a way, I'm a bit sad that this book has somehow become the new poster child for the BDSM lifestyle if it's causing people to think that anyone who lives this way in real life, or enjoys reading about or observing others who live this way, are unbalanced. Christian Grey's story is about a person who suffered abuse and had to learn over time through trial and error how to function normally in a relationship, inside and outside of the bedroom. His fictional story is not representative of a group of people as a whole. Engaging in BDSM practices or having a fascination and/or desire to learn more about BDSM practices does not make someone any less normal than another person who has absolutely no interest in this lifestyle.Although, I will say that whatever made me keep reading did diminish with time because I didn't like book 2 all that much and I was downright bored with book 3. I guess such is life. Can't win em all, right?