Tag Archive: abuse


Review:


The Carolina Diaries: Belle

by Darlene Winters

The Carolina Diaries: BelleThe Carolina Diaries: Belle by Darlene Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know. This was hard to read. It is hard to review. It feels autobiographical. Though it–

I don’t do this often as I figure people will go read the blurbs themselves. But this and the reviews make me wonder if I read the same book.

“Her cousin wants to die. She has the whole roadtrip to convince her otherwise.

Darlene only knows of one way to help her cousin Belle after a life of disappointments–go with her on a cross-country road trip, head back to California where Belle was born… and where she intends to die.

But deep family resentments and drama rides with them across the country, shedding light on heavy themes like sexual abuse and depression, as well as religion and politics. Growing up in North Carolina, these cousins have a lot of stories to share: some sad, some comical, and some just down right disturbing.

If you enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine and Girl, Interrupted, you’ll want to read The Carolina Diaries with its unique blend of dark humor and even darker perspectives of life past, present and future; the real take-aways being how to cope and heal.”

I found no humor. I wish I hadn’t picked it up. It was exactly what I don’t want to read before bed. All the reality of our daily news lives during this pandemic. And though I agree with the author on a lot of stances, I couldn’t deal with it in my bedtime fiction.

My fault. I saw road trip, my first name, and didn’t read the description.

Maybe if I read it during the day I could see the humor in a suicidal cutter who had lived with so much abuse, of every kind, during a pandemic during the political turmoil of 2020. No. I don’t think so.

The reason I am not giving this a lower rating is the list of good books and ideas the author presents. Unfortunately, the way it’s presented makes me sure the ones who need the information will not see it. Still, there’s a chance I could be wrong.

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The Moonlight ChildThe Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sleep deprivation. I blame that if this review doesn’t turn out to make sense. Since I started reading this, I have been unable to stop reading to go to sleep. This morning, yeah, Christmas morning! I finished the book at 6 AM!

Mysteries are hard for me. They are mostly about murder. As if life wasn’t bad enough, why read about the bad people and the results of killing and lying. But this book wasn’t about murder. Okay, there is one, but it isn’t the focus and seems secondary to everything else.

One of the best things about this book is kindness. I loved all the characters, even the antagonist. And kindness is something each has as a factor in their part of the plot. I was sad to see the book end. It was satisfying, but I’m left wishing I could spend more time in the story and see what happened to each of them after.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, but after reading the blurb and wanting to read it, I found I already had 10 books in my KU account, so I bought the book. Well worth it! I may reread it sometime!

By the way, Merry Christmas!

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Bad to the Crone (A Spell's Angels Mystery, #1)Bad to the Crone by Amanda M. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was fun! I love the main character, Scout, and her sense of humor. Even in the worst of times, when she is trying to save a poor girl who needed to see love for once, that sense of humor plays it out.

There is a near budding romance that seems like it might never happen. But the two are fun characters separately or together.

Scout doesn’t know her own strength and is constantly surprised by what she can do. She just thinks she’s a witch. At other times she surprises everyone else and does what she knows. Most of the time she just tries to exist while trying to make the world a better place.

Okay, this review doesn’t say what I want to say. That is, I enjoyed this book. So much that I have started the second in the series where I am learning more about Scout’s background. Thank you, Kindle Unlimited for letting me read both books.

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A Clueless Woman (A Woman Lost, #0)A Clueless Woman by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book. I’m involved in writing NaNoWriMo, so it’s taken me a while to get the review. In between, I went ahead and read book one and am now involved in book two. I had already read the first and second book, and I remember really liking them.

I don’t know if it’s because how long ago I read them, or if it’s the Star Wars phenomena. Let me explain. I remember watching the first three Star Wars movies back in the 80s. They were fantastic movies. They were full of philosophies you could live by. The characters were strong, people you care about. But the prequels. I can’t give you words for this. I can only shake my head. Was it time between watchings? Was it the addition of new irritating characters? Need I say Jar Jar Binks? I don’t know.

It had been a while since I read books one and two. But I thought I remembered them enough to try to read from the prequel on. What I remember as a character I truly loved in my first read was a troubled, abused, weak character in the prequel. Would I have felt this way had I not read the first two books before? Had I started with the prequel before reading the others, would I have cared what happened to the character next?

Wait! That is not to say the character wasn’t appealing. That is not to mention the writing was not good. That is not to say this kind of warning for others who might find themselves in similar situations shouldn’t find their way out. Strong characters, personalities, can find themselves in abusive relationships. And I care for many friends who have fallen into these situations. They were still exciting, loving, deserving of love people. So maybe it is the fact that I remember a strong character from future books and can’t handle seeing her go through such pain.

Would I have handled it better if I read the prequel as an insert into the series as a flash-back? I think I might have done better that way. I don’t want this review to go against the author and her fantastic writing. So instead of rating this as a three-star grade, I will pull it to a four-star. It probably deserves more, but I have to be honest with my feelings about it, too. I do love the characters in this series.

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Pulse (Pulse Effex #1)Pulse by L.R. Burkard
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What if a solar EMP hit and all electronics, even in cars and landline phones stopped working and it was in the middle of one of our coldest winters? Good plot premise.

Three teen girls from the same clique at school can’t get to each other or school. Written in their points of view in their journals, first person. And not too much teen romantic angst.

Sounds like my kind of book.

If it had stayed with the above status I would have loved it.

It was a political anti-everyone that isn’t them propaganda. Gun carrying prolifers–only ours, no one else’s counts. Judgemental as all get out.

I believe the best Christians are humble and caring for others. No matter whether they think or look like me or not. ‘We are all made in the image of God.’ ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The christians in this book represent a lot of people who pick and choose which verses to preach believing it makes them more holy.

Stepping off my soapbox now. There were plenty of different scenarios in how folks are dealing with this new world. In real life right now, we are going through a very cold snowy winter so a lot is believable.

Hunger is the first and biggest problem in this story as there are no stores or ways to get food. As abhorrent as a lot of the book is, the writing is good and I didn’t throw it across the room because there are all kinds of people in this world and this story is from one kind of view.

Which is why I felt shooting that many people, thinking they were in the right and others who were hungry were wrong… was wrong.

What would I do if I lived through the situation our main characters were in? Is there a way as we prepare for such as this that we try to share our abundance. As we prepare we have to remember that our case of food is kept in our car or home and the catastrophe is an earthquake, volcano, or fire and that case of food is destroyed. When we are prepared but but end up the hungry ones, how would we like to be treated? I have rarely missed a meal. I can’t imagine being that cold, tired, and hungry.

Regardless of politics, I’m glad I read it. I won’t bother with the rest of the series. There are a lot better sci-fi’s to see the post-apocalypse through a more open-minded prep and love.

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Any Man: A NovelAny Man: A Novel by Amber Tamblyn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am still torn as to what to say about this book. I finished listening a couple of days ago. Yes, this was an Audible version. It was narrated by Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, Michael Crouch, Ben Foster, Marc Maron. Very well acted out. Kept me awake even after I closed the Kindle and crawled under the covers. For that reason, I give the trigger warnings. Rape is the topic. The only difference is it is a man that is raped. Somehow it reads the same regardless of who is the victim. So pain and torture are somewhat spelled out. It doesn’t matter the perp’s gender either.

This could easily help those in the right frame of mind. It seems a therapy of sorts for the author. I do suggest if you get the chance and feel up to it to listen to the Audible version. Meanwhile, it is read at your own discretion. I love Amber Tamblyn. I saw her on a talk show and loved what she has to say about the #MeToo movement and feminism. I’m glad that men showed their support by acting out this story.

I hope this book gets a lot of readers. I think it can help many people. Just be warned.

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Cyrus LongBones and the Curse of the Sea ZombieCyrus LongBones and the Curse of the Sea Zombie by Jeremy Mathiesen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

You wnt boys to read? Keep the action going. Want girls to read it? I wouldn’t. The action is fine. But here’s the female line-up:
An abusive step mother
A zombie water witch
a girl-sister(?) who needed rescuing

It seems you want to grow heroes but don’t want them to be female. And don’t care to teach inclusiveness in any way.

Sorry. All that action was boring to me and I wouldn’t recommennd it to boys or girls for what it doesn’t teach.

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The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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Review: Pas by S.M. Reine


Pas (War of the Alphas #4)Pas by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given this 4-in-1 series book free for honest review.

So here goes! This is the only one in this series I haven’t read before, yet it seamlessly followed the others. At least I knew when this one began as suddenly new stuff was happening that I didn’t recognize.

Diedre Tombs is a mixed up, abused person with addictions and is trying to get it together now that she is attempting growing up and gaining responsibilities. She is hard to love as a character, but when has Sara Reine written characters that are Suzy Sunshines? Yet the abuse she endures and the addictions she continues are hard to read about. And her misguided thoughts about our old friend Rylie hurt.

Then Rylie shows the stuff she’d made of and all is well.

This is a great finisher book. All the threads are nicely tied up and you feel their universe will go on without you.

One of the problems I have with this book, and it may be that it was explained and I missed it with my text-to-speech reading, why is this called PAS? It makes no sense.

I’m glad to see that Ms. Reine has more for us from this LONG bunch of series. Another point of view will be written about soon. Yay!

By the way, because of the adult content this is better to be read by new adults and older. Maybe mature teens will get some of the issues involved here but even this old lady finds it hard to look at some of these issues. Still, it is well worth the read.

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The Ugly DaughterThe Ugly Daughter by Julia Legian

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why do I read? I read to travel to other places. I read to get inside other people’s lives and or minds. This book certainly satisfied all of that.

Reading about Julia Legian’s life made me grateful I didn’t have to live her life. Reading about her part of Vietnam made me grateful to be raised in Southern California and in the USA. Yet, I did feel enriched by reading about her young life.

Though it was a quick read, after all the author is still alive, the writing was done well. I was sorry to see the book end, but I think there may be more to come. No cliffhanger. Just as the family seems to be in a safe place, the book ended. I do look forward to reading more about the rest of Julia’s life.

Oh, I guess I should tell you that Ms. Julia wrote to me to inform me that she was giving a Christmas gift of the book. Thank you. By presenting it as such, I felt no pressure to read it right away. Nor did I feel there was an expectation of a great review. I try to be honest even when that happens. By the way, it is only $2.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited.

Oh, maybe I should warn you of the abuse that could have triggers for those who have been through similar things. And this is post-war Vietnam so life is far from safe even in the best of circumstances. Still, it was nice to get to know her through her story.

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