Tag Archive: rape


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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Carefree Black Girls: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular CultureCarefree Black Girls: A Celebration of Black Women in Popular Culture by Carefree Black Girls Zeba Blay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Carefree Black Girls, Zeba Blay addresses many of the issues in our world today through her life’s story. Far from being ‘carefree,’ this is a social statement of what some females must live through. I am not necessarily privileged, being a 71-year-old white woman on social security (which isn’t enough to live on.) But granted, I am not black, nor of the current generation with social media that is out to crush anyone they can.
As with every autobiography I read, I must leave the statement of lack of judgment. I can’t in any way decide if this book is good or bad. It is Ms. Blay’s story. It is interesting and awakening and empowering and angering. I wish I could hug her through her hard times. I wish I could beat up those who hurt her. I wish there were no such thing as bigotry or hatred of those whose bodies are not perfect or whose sexual lives don’t reflect the norms.

As with other autobiographies, I did appreciate a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes. As uncomfortable as those shoes might be for her or me. It made a hard read for bedtimes. It wasn’t easy to find a calm or happy moment to stop reading on a positive note. But I suppose that had me finishing the read faster.

I hope others will take the time to read about a life that isn’t your own. This one is not only well-written but highly researched to make sure her facts are traceable.

I want to thank Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oops! I nearly forgot to review this one. I just moved into the next read (a library book).

I really wish I would have read this before the series on television. I liked the rhythm of the story better. I like the viewpoints presented here as Clair’s rather than Bree. It is different not having the information that comes with the daughter making the voyage back in time and back to America.

I think we got into Roger’s head a little more, too. It doesn’t take away from the show. It is actually interesting the take the directors and actors took the storyline without losing the story.

No spoilers here. Just glad I read (listened to the Audible) it and can’t wait to get into the next one!

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SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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Priest of Skulls (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #2)Priest of Skulls by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always excited to read another of Sara Reines ARCs. I must admit that I am happier reading about the old characters, like visiting with old friends. But I’m sure I am mostly alone in that. I think others prefer to have something new and exciting to read. Well, this one is for you.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this and the first book in this offshoot series. Ms. Reine was able to bring up some delicate and scary subjects in a fantasy setting and make some important points. If you get the chance to read this one please take the time to read the notes at the beginning of the book. There are warnings of what you will find inside. There are uncomfortable situations, even triggers if you will for folks that have had sex forced on them, rape. But it is worth the read for the empowerment given.

On an aside, there are, also, some very different forms of erotica that are — fun to read. Not what we’ve expected from SM Reine. But so different that, well, you know how the fae are! I can’t wait to read the next one!

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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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BluffBluff by Lenore Skomal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Even now, several days later, I have a hard time letting this one go. And still, I can’t think of how to do it justice. I’m giving it 4.75 stars. I can’t even tell you why I don’t want to give it five I will remember it for a long time. No cliffhangers, strong fem main character–though she is in a coma.

It may be the extra people that came in about 50% in. I know their perspectives helped move the plot forward but at times that was jarring. The other thing is something that would be a spoiler that I don’t want to show.

Still, a lot of heavy topics got discussed from differing points of view. None of them are easy topics, no easy answers. The reader may or may not agree with the answers given.

Okay, okay. I’ve decided it is worth the 5 stars. Read the blurb then read the book. Let me know what you think of it.

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Olivia's Trek (Olivia Carter, #1)Olivia’s Trek by D.M. Sharp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I picked this up from BookRooster for review for free.

First of all, I need to warn you that there are probably triggers in this book for those who might have been through rape or self-harm or addictions.

Second of all, there are a lot of typos. The book needs a good editing.

The saving graces of this book, at the story, and the characters. But many times it turned into a counseling brochure and became just a little bit unreal. Another saving grace, though, were a few of the tricks that the counselor teaches the patient. I actually had them help me a couple times since I read this. So it’s worth the read.

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