Saturday, March 18, 2017

Review: Loner

Loner Loner by Teddy Wayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was unsettling and yet masterful. The entire tale is triggering as a woman who has endured the self entitled "I'm a nice guy, I'm your friend, I'm not an asshole like that guy" culture where you've been followed home by someone, stalked in the grocery store aisles, and know instinctively that you have been watched. I didn't walk into this thinking that it would be any other way. I read the reviews, the NPR articles and heard about the story first. I was prepared, and yet, I was not prepared for the masterful prose of Teddy Wayne that should be required reading for examples of character study.

I had such a hard time with this book because of the subject matter. It's really hard to push yourself out of a situation, especially if you are unprepared for what is to come. We read books where the adoration of the male/female protagonist is called out as love rather than obsession. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE PEOPLE!!! There is a difference between love, attraction and obsession. What David Federman feels for Veronica is an obsession, it is not determination or love, it is obsessions to the point where he believes he sees a connection with her when she has made it clear that she is not interested in a romantic relationship. The depths and levels that he falls to, the flat emotional connections and the loner personality that is presented to us where he is the outsider and doesn't seem to connect or feel anything like most other people do is used to show us that this depth of feeling is wrong ; this depth of feeling is out of character for David, and the whole tale is not just the horrific stalking and attack of a woman, it is also the study of the depths of mental illness.

The ick factor, the skin crawling icky gross feeling that you have when you read about his trip in to New York... standing on the street and watching her home. That depravity where he doesn't see anything wrong with what he was doing, but he knows that others would. He knows that society would deem him wrong and his behaviour wrong but he does it anyway because to him it is not is not the daring proof of love many people misconstrue it to be.

This happens every day. This happens to millions of women EVERY DAY and unlike many other reviewers I have seen here, I do not see Teddy Wayne doing anything but marking the disgusting truth of the world around him. I think my question for him would be, who was it in your world who was so brutally attacked? Who do you know who was hurt, who was wronged and their attacker received suck slack consequences?

If that isn't the case, it is a man trying to show the world the disgust at these injustices. He's trying to open your eyes, open the eyes of society, that there is no real justice for these kinds of betrayals. I think that is why (view spoiler) rocks the reader to the core. The violation that you feel, that you almost feel betrayed that the author allowed his creation to do this, to get this far... And then that this is what happens every day. This is what happens in the world and the hypocrisy of "justice" that is metered out is heart breaking and against what you feel should happen. (view spoiler)

This was a masterful character study. It was an in depth perspective that makes you question your own thoughts and beliefs. It reminds you of what you should do... What we should all do.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: Love's Shadow

Love's Shadow Love's Shadow by Nichole Van
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This one was tough to get hooked on, it started a little too slowly for my liking but the end was rewarding enough to warrant a decent review! I've never read any of the other parts in this series, and I don't know that I would read any of the others, this one was enjoyable. There's a lot going on, some that I felt I was missing without having read the first in the series (although without reading that I can't tell if there wasn't an adequate enough foundation built for the historical references in the first place!) and sometimes I felt lost because of it.

This one really did have a little bit of everything - intrigue, romance, forbidden love, preternatural powers... I sometimes had difficulty keeping up with the changing tracks - and keeping things straight. Again, please remember that I did not read the first book of this series and so my investment with these brothers is not as great. I may give this one a shot again when I have read the first of the series as well and will edit my review accordingly.

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Review: Paper Love

Paper Love Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Awwwwwwww! This story was absolutely precious! Joss and Ben's love story was something beautiful; an honest and sweet connection in a crazy world.

This is a Christian romance to an extent, but it was not preachy as many others I have read have been. Joss Palmateer is the eldest daughter of two missionaries and had grown up far away from the US in remote tribal villages where there was an incredible sense of community. They return to the US and after a time, her mother who was their carefree spirit and so full of joy, passes and Joss buries her grief to be strong for her father and sister. When Ben Montgomery, the brother of Joss's best friend Becky, comes in to her life Joss is shattered by the grief she's been trying to bury and the heartache of a cheating ex.

I love how their relationship starts - friends, and nothing more, for thirty days. After that time, they'll reevaluate and if she wants to pursue the relationship they will, otherwise they will remain friends. Granting Joss the agency and control of the shape of the relationship was key in giving her a way to trust him and come to know him without romantic overtures. The best relationships are those of friends who become something more, and this is one where the month passes and they just know. They'd been taken with eachother from the start and it was nice to see them finally come together and Joss begin to deal with her grief at the loss of her mother with so much love and support.

The only complaint that I have is that this tale was so short! I would have loved even more about Joss and Ben and their month of friendship. That part was very much glazed over, but the sweetness and the heart warming tenderness of the two of them together made it a wonderful tale!

Four stars and two thumbs up for this quick, sweet read!

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