I was conflicted as to whether or not I wanted to write a review of this book. Generally speaking, I don't tend to do so, but after waiting a week and...moreI was conflicted as to whether or not I wanted to write a review of this book. Generally speaking, I don't tend to do so, but after waiting a week and allowing myself time to reflect on what I'd read I found myself needing to express my opinion. And it is just that; only my opinion. But I'm giving it because the story moved me and quite honestly, if I could write half as well as this author, I'd be overjoyed.
That being said, firstly, I must compliment the author on the choice of storyline. It was very bold and I appreciate an author that is willing to cross that line into subject matter that may make people uncomfortable, because the truth of the matter is abuse happens. It's nasty and it's ugly and it leaves scars; physical and emotional.
Secondly; overall I'm giving the book 4/5 stars because overall I enjoyed the author's telling of Tammy and Jamie's story. The writing was beautifully done throughout most of the book (I'll come back to this later), pulling me into what these two men were experiencing and the struggles they were having in regards to their feelings for each other, and within themselves. There were many scenes that had me in tears, and others that upset me enough to set the book down to come back on later. Both good things.
My gripes. And I only mention these because I feel as though this book could've done really well commercially if (as an Indie author myself, I can't believe I'm saying this) a professional editor/publisher had got their hands on it. (I'm making an assumption here. If there was a professional editor involved, I apologize. You can smack me next time you see me.) Bottom line; it pains me to see a book this well written being sold on Smashwords for a measly $1.99. (It was on sale when I purchased it.) But, in my opinion, this book would've benefited from an emotionally disinterested third party pulling it apart and putting it back together again. If I had to rate this aspect of the book separately, I would only give it 2.5/5 stars.
I'll start with the gripe that bothers me the most, being that, in places, I felt as if I were being preached to; politically. It's obvious that the author is passionate about the real world parallels that exist and I applaud that, but those parallels and their accompanying causes and the author's personal viewpoints on them were expounded to the point I ended up skimming. I hate being forced to skim as I know firsthand how carefully each word in a piece of text is examined and weighed by the author. And that leads me to my second gripe.
Far, far too long. There were large sections of what appeared to be hurried text amongst the beautiful pieces, which pulled me away from the story. Sections that were essentially unnecessary; repeating information we'd been told already, sometimes more than twice. And I think the author knew that, hence the discrepancy in style. Also, I got the impression I was being taken on a spiritual journey with the author as they tried to fully express everything they were personally feeling in regards to the disturbing portions of content as it was being reflected upon in later text. As an author myself, I can appreciate the emotional toll writing a book like this might take on a person, but I don't want to sense it in the writing. I prefer imagining a story just 'is' and wasn't written by anyone in particular.
All in all, I certainly hope this isn't the last book this author writes as I got the distinct impression they invested a lot of emotional energy into this one and may not have any more to give. That would be truly upsetting as I'd like to read more. (less)