Which shall henceforth be known as Fifty Shades Better.
It is shockingly, amazingly better than the first. Better written - I didn't feel a need to keep a list of the very worst quotes just to maintain my sanity - and its depictions of independence, bodily autonomy, and gender roles are far less horrifying, even approaching rational. It turns out that reading only the first book is the worst thing you could do (sadly, I think most people only do read the first book). A lot of the necessary criticisms about the unhealthy relationship idealized in the first book are addressed, even reversed, in book two. It became clear, partway into book two, that the trilogy was conceived as a single book, much like Lord of the Rings, such that splitting it up is not only unhelpful but downright deceptive. Perhaps I'll even read the third book to see where the truly dreadful first book was originally aiming.