Since the beginning of time, similar things have always been compared to each other: Pepsi or Coke? Lemon or Lime? Boxers or Briefs? And books are no exception!
Throwdown Thursdays: On the first Thursday of every month I play the ultimate game of “Would You Rather” with books that are inevitably compared to each other. After 3 rounds, I pick my winner. Feel free to join in by commenting, making your own response (just link back) or vote in my poll! Here is this month’s match:
Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day | Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy by E L James
Round 1: The Hero
Mysterious, Tortured Millionaire vs Mysterious, Tortured Millionaire
Both Gideon Cross and Christian Grey are top dogs in the business world but who wins the hearts of readers?
I’m not a fan of alpha males so I really don’t care for either Gideon or Christian. Their constant need to “own” their respective love interests nauseates me. I’m all for confident characters but these guys are extreme.
I never warmed up to Gideon Cross. I never got his appeal and his intensity was just WAYyyy to high for my tastes. He actually scares me in his intensity and it makes me question the relationship he shares with Eva.
Christian on the other hand, I grew to like. While his intensity was strong in the first book, I really felt like he made some significant progress as the series progressed. Given his past, I understood why he acted the way he did (for certain things). I just felt like he took things down a notch instead of amping up like Gideon did
Winner: Christan Grey. While Christian is intense, he never took things to the extremes that Gideon did.
Crossfire: 0 | Fifty Shades of Grey: 1
Round 2: The Heroine
Experienced, Flawed Woman vs Inexperience, Flawless Woman
Who compliments their male counterpart the best? Eva, equally damaged woman or, Ana, the naive student fresh from collage?
What I initially liked about Eva is that she wasn’t a naive virgin. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just seemed so cliche in Fifty Shades. Eva has a dark past and I liked that it made her think more about starting something with Gideon. She was also very independent in the first book but that quickly changed as the series progressed. She got wayyy to dependent on Gideon and it became nauseating to read. She quickly fell from a favourite contemporary heroine to one of my least.
Ana on the other hand I always liked. Sure, she was naive and her attributes are so cliche they serve as the definition of contemporary romance tropes BUT, I felt like she really grew as a character (well, as much as she could in a contemporary erotica romance). I appreciated her ability to stop when certain things were going to fast and that she wanted to be an independent woman and not get everything handled for her. I guess I just
Winner: Ana. I just found her to be more consistent in her character delivery.
Crossfire: 0 | Fifty Shades of Grey: 2
Round 3: The plot/Romance
Learning to Love vs Learning BDSM
Two people trying to love each other despite the many obstacles in their way and their own personal demons.
The Crossfire series is definitely more of an erotic romance than anything else though it has its suspenseful and dramatic moments. The best part is that these elements are present from the first book whereas Fifty Shades doesn’t really start until the second. And these books really have a darker element to them as things escalate. Unfortunately, I think this series suffers from over popularity, resulting in the series being 5 books long instead of the 3 or 4 books it was supposed to be. I really feel like the plot lines are being stretched thin and the characters are suffering from it. I haven’t enjoyed the last two books very much (I actually haven’t finished the latest one yet).
As for their romance, I find it to be extremely unhealthy in the later books. It’s a shame because I really saw why they would work together earlier on and I liked them together. However, their dependencies on each other and the extremes they go to later on makes me very uncomfortable. It gives me the heebee-jeebees and it’s really turning me off of this series.
It was the opposite with Ana and Christian in Fifty Shades of Grey. I started being a little creeped out by Christian’s intensity to be with Ana after only briefly meeting but as the series progressed, I was really rooting for them. I felt like their relationship evolved to be more than just BDSM experimentation and Ioved that (no pun intended). Is it a completely healthy one? No, but it could have been a lot worse.
It’s also no secret that the first book of the Fifty Shades Trilogy is basically just sex scene upon sex scene (I think all but two are not described). I’m not a BDSM fan so I really didn’t enjoy exploring this side of sexuality. I definitely liked the later books that focused more on uncovering Christian’s past and other dramatic events and those are the highlights of the series to me.
Winner: Crossfire. While I really don’t like the direction the series has moved, I feel like the earlier books were more fine-tuned when it came to balancing the sexy-times with the more dramatic elements.
Crossfire: 1 | Fifty Shades of Grey: 2
Ultimate Winner: Fifty Shades of Grey
Final Comments: Love it or hate it, Fifty Shades of Grey has done a lot for the contemporary erotic romance genre. Other authors have taken the basis of the trilogy and upped the ante with better writing, more dramatics and hotter romance. So it might not be the greatest novel ever, but, I still enjoyed reading it and appreciate that it never tried to be more than it was (well, the movie tried but that’s a whole other review 😉 )
What are your thoughts: which one would you rather read? Leave a comment below!
The Unbeatable christian grey. He is so good at winning.. though i still wanna read BTY..just about to read it. Letting those books overwhelm me ha ha
Haha it’s true! He knows how to get what he wants.
I hope you enjoy the Crossfire Series!
Actually, I’ve read BTY back when I was in high school. It was one of the books that was foreign in my library (e-book library), and since before, I’ve liked the first book. No, not just the sex….y scenes but the whole story itself, I like how it shows how two completely fucked up individual try and make their relationship work. It actually made me wonder how people who’s been abused, make their own relationship work. Like, how to they live with their demons creeping up behind them.
Now, for Fifty, It actually made me make an in-depth research about BDSM. I’ve known about it long before reading it , so going through the jargon from the book was easy as pie for me. But it actually made me wonder a lot of things even about my own preferences.
Anyways, if I had to choose, I’d still choose both. Since these books revolves around different lives, background and choices that I’m looking forward to reading.
(I’m still trying to save up money to buy the series, and so far, I’ve been able to buy BTY , and it’s newly bought) 😀
One of the things I liked about Fifty Shades and the impact it had on popular culture was the discussions it started. It got people talking about sexuality in a way that had never really been discussed in mainstream media before. I think without it, a book like BTY might not have been as successful as it was.
These two series and right now I’m wondering who copied whom.
I was far too intimidated when Gideon Cross bluntly made it clear to Eva that he wanted to get into her panties. To be honest, he scared me off and I’ve tried hard to think how could someone possibly find that a turn-on.
I don’t find Anastasia’s character interesting because she dwells too much on digging up on things when she should silence down and give Grey some space. But I adore Ana’s love for Christian…she loved him through thick and thin and through every peeling layer of secrets.
Both books are just cliched and so typical of all romantic fictions. I literally cringe when I think there’s a greater chance of you dying while you eat sushi than running into a rich and handsome businessman who’s looking for love.
There are definitely a lot of similarities between the two but I feel like that sometimes comes with the territory of contemporary romances.
And sure, the odds are slim of running into a handsome billionaire who will immediately fall in love with you but isn’t part of the fun of fiction the idea of exploring that possibility? 😛
I definitely think Crossfire was much better than Fifty Shades. Gideon is too intense? Christian feels abusive in the third book. I enjoyed the love scenes of Fifty Shades, I might like the sex better, but I like the characters more. I think Eva is a stronger heroine than Ana, but I do like Ana’s perseverance when it came to her relationship with Christian. She was quieter and calmer, but she didn’t have the dark past that Eva had. The characters of Crossfire are all flawed, which I appreciate, it makes the series feel so real. And sure, Cross goes to five book. Fifty Shades got three books… and then two of the same books haha
I know when I first read Crossfire, I really appreciated the fact that the characters were both flawed and had their issues. It created a different dynamic. But it was a dynamic that evolved into something I didn’t totally love in the later books because it got almost too intense.