MR Taylor's Reviews > Sempre

Sempre by J.M. Darhower
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Nov 26, 11

bookshelves: not-if-i-were-dying

This was terrible as fanfiction and I'm assuming will be even worse as self pull-to-publish, just by the names.

ETA: Just to clarify, I read about 10 chapters of this when it was fanfiction and couldn't force myself to read on. I was simultaneously offended that the author thought that a slave/owner relationship could be anything but unequal in power structure and bored at the writing style.
The author's website says she has made large edits, which I applaud, and I want to point out that I have not actually read this book in its current form. However, I saw enough earlier that unless she started from scratch (unlikely, from the book description), I have ZERO desire to read it. And neither should you.

And just a little PSA to everyone: please educate yourself on human trafficking. There are a multitude of resources available to you. And it is NOT SEXY.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 68) (68 new)


message 1: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Found it.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Great review. I'm sure people are going to love to tell you that the slave/owner relationship was not treated disgustingly or irresponsibly but any "love story" between a slave and an owner is nothing but tawdry filth, not romantic or sexy. Quite likely people only felt this way because this is a fan fiction and "Edward can do no wrong." While I hope that the edits mean that this isn't the same story as before, you're right, the summary says otherwise.

I'm sickened that she's positioning this as some sort of educational look into human trafficking when it was really for sexual titillation. There is a lot of information out there on human trafficking. If you're truly interested in the subject and what you can do to help, not be aroused by it, look those up.


message 3: by Aimee (new) - added it

Aimee You really should educate yourself in the book BEFORE passing this kind of judgement in it. This is a really beautiful story about overcoming what life can do to you.


Adrienne Not sure how you can form an opinion on a book that hasn't been released. The FF was over 80 chapters, so saying you read it is a stretch.


message 5: by Georgina (new) - added it

Georgina I rarely respond in a way that solely contradicts someone's review, because an opinion is always only ever going to be an opinion. I respect that, I do. However, before you put other people off this book, I'd highly recommend you actually have a full understanding of the story. You only have to read the prologue to this book http://www.jmdarhower.com/index_htm_f... and it's already clear that some major changes have occurred. As you get to the end of the fanfiction itself, however, the story is so much more accurate. Please get your facts right, that's all I ask. This is NOT just another naive story about how a slave falls in love with her master. It's so much more than that. I can't truly make my point without spoiling some of the key plot but if you were thinking of reading this book and this persons review put you off. Please give it a go before coming to your own opinion, whatever that may be.


Naitasia I'm fairly certain there is no endorsement of human trafficking associated with either the fan fiction or novel. so, I think you should take a moment to educate yourself and stop making implied claims.


Sara Kind of want to rip out my hair you wrote a review on a story that you only read 10 chapters out of an 80 chapter fic this story is great you actually have to read to understand the details and how she became a slave in the first place why she was sold to her new owner theres are reasons as the WHOLE story why he bought her in the first place you can take out the love story which was not her owner and it would still be one of the best stories I have read . it's deals with organized crime and yes human trafficking modern-day slavery, which myself included didn't even know about until i read it & on that note A portion of the proceeds will go to Love146 and their Round Home, providing a safe house for survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking I would not care about your opinion everybody has one but I would hate to see people not give it a chance based on your opinion of a story you didn't even read.


message 8: by Lo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lo Something seems very fishy about this "review/rant." To me it looks like a personal attack and not just on the author, but anyone who chooses to read this book. I've taken offense to your odd takeaway of ten chapters of an unpublished story. Someone who clearly has blinders on about what they THINK the story is about is certainly not qualified to make anyone change their mind about reading it.

I have not yet read the published form, but if the core of the book remains, then this book will open people's eyes, and make people want to know more about human trafficking and how they can help. I also did some exploration on mafia families, which mostly had been limited to Americanized Hollywood style. This is fiction but I felt so strongly after I read the unpublished form that I went out on my own to read & research more about the real-life themes. So yes, people have/will educate themselves or will come with their preconceived notions, just like I did, and want to know more. I call that SUCCESS. I'm really excited to see the changes in the book and hope that of all the recent ff self-published books that are out there, that THIS is the one that will blow them all away. It truly deserves it.


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I hope all the people who are whining about a negative review based on the original fic are also moaning at the people who have left positive reviews based on the fic (not the book, which has not yet been released for them to read).


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Also, it's quite clear this book is going to be marketed as a romance, right down to the cover design. Will anybody be getting critiqued on their review when all they do is squee about the love story?


Naitasia I didn't see any other reviews. However, I agree that a book should not be reviewed or rated unless its been read. And reading it in fan fiction form doesn't count. I guess no one has heard of not judging a book by its cover. If people (both sides) actually read this or any other book before saying how awful it is or how great it is, I wouldn't give a damn how they expressed their opinions. And the whole subversive movement of putting books that were previously fan fiction on these grotesquely named Goodreads book lists is pretty immature. Why are people even wasting their energy? That's a rhetorical question, because I don't actually care.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Michelle wrote: "I hope all the people who are whining about a negative review based on the original fic are also moaning at the people who have left positive reviews based on the fic (not the book, which has not y..."

Of course not, sweetheart. The logic train left this station a long time ago with very few passengers.



message 13: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Not so sure if it's whining so much as defending a story I know there will be people who will not like the hate it that's fine but to tell other people not to read it because she had read a few chapters is just upsetting at least read the whole story why give such a harsh review she didn't even Get to the plot I would hate to see people turn away from this story based on her review which is pretty much the first one you see that's all.


Angela Vanburen everyone has the right to review, AFTER, the book has been read. I can say that I hated Edward in EP often and he did lots of wrong. he also was never her "owner" and the story behind why she was "bought" by Carlisle Cullen took more than 10 chapters to figure out. For all I know I could miss EP and hate the new one... but I can't say that until I read it. Who knows, it could also be amazing. I also do not think that human trafficking is sexy after reading the fanfiction.


Angela Vanburen why is everyone rating a book that isn't released yet? lets stop reviewing EP and look forward to something new based on the familiar...


message 16: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Birbeck I don't normally comment on these things, but I have to say, having read the 'edited' prologue, I have absolutely no desire to read this. I counted double figure errors in the prologue alone, which speaks very loudly to how the rest of the book will play out. Right down to the author using site instead of sight. That is a simple error that should have been picked up on a proofread, and yet is there on the site (which is the correct use) for all to see. I can't argue that the book will be good or bad, but I can say that if the rest of the book is anything like the prologue, it is in desperate need of editing before it is released, which given that it is set for release this month, most likely will not happen.


message 17: by Linsey (new) - added it

Linsey I got bored reading this as a fanfic. The excessive amount of chapter and the constant retelling of the same events from alternative points of view was unnecessary, I found myself skimming often.

Honestly, I didn't finish it as a fanfiction.

This book would need to have been severely overhauled to make it readable and even on that promise I'm not sure I could willingly pick it up...


Sandra After having read this review and all the comments, I can only agree with the person who said that books shouldn't be rated or reviewed until they've actually been read. You are all basing your opinions on the fanfic (which I didn't read but which is quite infamous in the fandom) and that's a very narrow-minded approach to take. I also think that based on what I know of the author and have seen of her on Twitter, that she does not condone human trafficking in any way.
In the same manner, I think that the people who have left 5 star reviews based on the fanfic are just as misguided as the people who gave a 1 star review. Why not read the book and then judge it, based on its own merits or faults?
Perhaps I'm too optimistic for this world...


message 19: by rameau (last edited Dec 15, 2011 08:34AM) (new) - added it

rameau Sandra, I wish I had a link for you but I don't. I've read a blog post by another author where she commented this very fact, that Goodreads allows books to be rated before even any ARCs have been released. As I remember it, Goodreads had replied saying that people use ratings to indicate their excitement level of an upcoming publication and that they don't have any intention of revamping the rating system or to introduce another system to gauge the excitement level.

Do I wish that people would stop rating books they haven't read or even tried to read? Yes, of course I do. But if there are people willing to rate a book five stars simply because it sounds like something they really want to read, then people should be allowed to rate it one star to indicate they have no intention whatsoever of reading it ever.

Or maybe Goodreads should just add another universally exclusive never-in-a-million-years shelf next to the read/to-read/currently-reading shelves.


Angela Vanburen If a person has no intention of reading a book, why comment or rate it? Why would a person want a shelf full of books they will never read? This all seems like making drama for no reason. I've read the entire FFn but I have no plans to rate THIS book until I have something to go on first.


Sandra Rameau, I agree with you on all of the above. I think it's ridiculous that GR allows rating and reviewing on books that aren't even published yet. And I know the author you speak of. I wrote to GR myself about this practice, and got the same exact answer.

By the way, you can make any of your custom shelves exclusive by clicking on the checkbox in that column. That's how my 'never in a million years' shelf became exclusive. Then again, I do not normally rate or review any of the books on that shelf, though I have made an exception for a couple but those were actually published at that point.


message 22: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Angela, sometimes just knowing the story behind the book is enough for a one star rating. Sometimes.

Sandra, I've figured out how to make exclusive shelves, that's why I have my warned-off there. And I'll continue shelving all the books I know I should avoid but might forget why when confronted by a pretty cover. If I didn't suck at remembering author's names so much I wouldn't need that shelf... if I didn't suck at remembering, I wouldn't need Goodreads to help me find good reads.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) rameau wrote: "Angela, sometimes just knowing the story behind the book is enough for a one star rating. Sometimes..."

Yes, I know that some people don't think that P2P fan fiction is wrong, but I do. If it was a fan fiction, it has no business being promoted as a "book." It's not a book. So that alone is enough for me to rate something one star (though I still won't rate it if I haven't read any part of it, which is why I haven't added this).

That said, I do agree that no one should be able to rate a book before it has been released. You don't need to give a star to express your excitement, you're allowed to review without rating. I have a few books I'm super excited for and I have left a review to that effect without giving a rating. Between this and the 'people are too stupid to have the choice to give half-stars' I have to wonder what is wrong with the people who run Goodreads.

But, either way – before or after (as long as Goodreads persists with this system), there are plenty of people who rate these "books" positively based upon what they read as a fanfic or their relationship with the author, and I think it's okay for people with the opposite opinion to counteract that.


message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Birbeck For the record, I was basing my opinion not on the fanfic, but the 'edited' prologue I read on the author's site.

That being said, though Goodreads allows books to be rated before they are released, they also allow ratings to be changed, allowing readers to perhaps comment on how excited they are for a book (ratings pre-release) and then change that if the book does not live up to expectations.


message 25: by Linsey (new) - added it

Linsey In the essence of being fair, I've now read the prologue.

I still stand by what I said earlier. As a P2P fanfic this would have needed a serious overhaul to become readable as a 'real book.' Even at only two pages the prologue felt like pulling teeth.

I haven't rated it as I haven't read the book in its entirety and I won't; simply put it's not fair to rate something that's not yet available and not been read, nor is it right that people who know the author are rating it 5 stars just to promote it.

That said, I'm still entitled to my opinion based on the experience that I have had so far with the 'draft' (fanfic) version and the author up to this point.


Marika If you've only read 10 chapters out of the 80, you're in no place to judge. This story truly is incredible and VERY touching and if you bothered reading at least a few more chapters, you would be just as in love as the rest of us are.


message 27: by Linsey (new) - added it

Linsey Marika wrote: "If you've only read 10 chapters out of the 80, you're in no place to judge. This story truly is incredible and VERY touching and if you bothered reading at least a few more chapters, you would be j..."

I can't speak for anyone else in this feed but I read over 60 chapters of this as a fanfic and stopped reading because of the poor writing style—namely the overlapping retelling of the story from multiple points of view.

I don't object to a MPOV storyline but when telling a section of the story you should decide who's POV portrays events the most effectively. Generally speaking readers don't want the same information twice with a slight adjustment to the prose. That's what made me skim most of the final chapters that I did read.

If you can't decide who's POV tells the events best, then don't write in first person—write in third so you can make the prose more flexible.


message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Marika wrote: "If you've only read 10 chapters out of the 80, you're in no place to judge. This story truly is incredible and VERY touching and if you bothered reading at least a few more chapters, you would be j..."

If you keep having to force yourself to read (when you're already thousands of words in) then the story has failed. The writer's to blame for that, not the reader.


message 29: by Sara (new)

Sara This is not the place to review the fic, as you should know. So why did you? A bit unfair if you ask me.


message 30: by Linsey (new) - added it

Linsey The review section is not the place for a review? Thusfar no one has stated they have read the actual book, certainly, but they are still entitled to write relevant opinions, especially if the book that is being published is based on a previously available work of fanfiction that they have read.


message 31: by Sara (new)

Sara Linsey wrote: "The review section is not the place for a review? Thusfar no one has stated they have read the actual book, certainly, but they are still entitled to write relevant opinions, especially if the book..."

Did I say that? I Just said this isn't the place to review a FANFICTION. It doesn't matter to me really, I just thought it ridiculous to judge from the fic when this is suppose to be different.


message 32: by Jenn (new) - added it

Jenn I don't understand rating books that you haven't read yet, especially basing it off of the FF. I did read this entire fic. I liked parts, found parts repeatitive, and flat out certain disliked parts. Will I read the book? Probably not, just because I have yet to read a book that was orginally a FF that still didn't feel like a FF.

I do agree that Goodreads shouldn't allow rating until the book comes out, but seriously, that probably wouldn't stop people from rating before reading. This is just one person's opinion, If you don't agree with it, you don't agree with it. Leave it at that. Calling someone stupid because they don't agree with your opinion just makes you look stupid. (And I'm using "you" generally and not pointing at anyone specifically.)


Nusrat khan actually if you'd READ the book/fanfiction you'd see that the authour does talk about human trafficking and she does talk about how its not 'SEXY' she even raised awareness of it on her blog. the ojbective of the story was to also talk about how people change. maybe you should read the book then come and comment


message 34: by Linsey (last edited Apr 04, 2012 02:15PM) (new) - added it

Linsey Sara wrote: "Did I say that? I Just said this isn't the place to review a FANFICTION. It doesn't matter to me really, I just thought it ridiculous to judge from the fic when this is suppose to be different."

Apologies, but you weren't very clear about distinguishing between fic (short for fiction) and referring to the fanfic with your previous comment.

I've not been personal with my comments, merely saying that my experience with the fanfic wasn't a good one. The writing needed a lot of work and would have benefited from a strict editor with a sharp eye.

I've read the prologue/sample on the author's website and, to be honest, don't see that much of a difference. It still seems a lot like the fanfic and less like an original piece of writing (something I've not read before).

I, just like anyone else, am entitled to my opinion. If the author doesn't want people to comment then she shouldn't be publishing her work, or opening herself up to review/scrutiny. I would certainly avoid publishing a reworking of a fanfiction story—this is after all (technically) a breach of intellectual copy write.


message 35: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Sara wrote: "Did I say that? I Just said this isn't the place to review a FANFICTION."

Then, tell me, why do people add fanfics as books on Goodreads?


Marika I'd just like to state that as the author herself stated, the book is quite different from the original story. The first ten chapters did not include the complications. If you think, even for a moment, that a slave falling in love with her master's son is the only 'complication' in this story, then you are sorely mistaken. There is SO much more to it than that. If you've read the entire thing, THEN you'd know. But you don't. So your argument is invalid.


message 37: by Linsey (new) - added it

Linsey Marika wrote: "I'd just like to state that as the author herself stated, the book is quite different from the original story. The first ten chapters did not include the complications. If you think, even for a mom..."


My comments, and most of the others in this thread, have focused on the authors writing style, not the story contents exclusively. This won't necessarily change with the adjustment of the original storyline. What's required with this author—regardless of the published work in question—is a good editor, one who can identify what needs cut from chapters and one who can correct mistakes.

I've not stated that the story idea was poor, merely that the writing structure needed work. If the author has an exceptional editor on board then good luck and I hope this effort is better than the first.

All I'm saying is that having read her work before, and being unimpressed, I won't be reading any more. It would be the same with any author.


Mandi I am not a fan of the author and I read the fanfiction as it was written. I am currently reading this ebook. But speaking about any book, shouldn't you read the story before you rate it? The fanfiction was 80ish chapters long, so the 10 chapters you read can hardly give you a fair assessment. So as I read this ebook I am already relieved that a major major editing process was made. As for the names I will have to say that saying the story will he bad because of the character names is just ludacris. Also having Italian heritage where some of these names exist in my family that's a bit of ignorance on your part. I'm not here to bash, just to debate the fact that you are knocking a story before you've actually read it. For that is unjust.


Mandi Sorry I forgot to add my 2nd point! Silly me. Just so you know Carmine is NOT a slave owner. If you READ the story you will realize the he MFC was SAVED. So again making assumptions makes the non reader look Redicilous.
Read it THEN rate it that's all.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Mandi wrote: "Sorry I forgot to add my 2nd point! Silly me. Just so you know Carmine is NOT a slave owner. If you READ the story you will realize the he MFC was SAVED. So again making assumptions makes the non ..."

Can you translate this to English and repost? I'm interested to know what Edward is if not a slave owner.


Adrienne Alicia wrote: "Mandi wrote: "Sorry I forgot to add my 2nd point! Silly me. Just so you know Carmine is NOT a slave owner. If you READ the story you will realize the he MFC was SAVED. So again making assumptions ..."

Carmine is a child. He is 17 years old. He does NOT purchase Haven. Therefore he is NOT a slave owner.

I'm not sure why there is any confusion... It's pretty self explanatory.


message 42: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Mandi wrote: "The fanfiction was 80ish chapters long, so the 10 chapters you read can hardly give you a fair assessment"

Reading those ten chapters qualifies this as a DNF review and those have a value of their own. Knowing why someone flounced is just as important and enlightening as someone suffering through the whole horrid mess and then providing a detailed description of it.

Adrienne wrote: "Alicia wrote: "Mandi wrote: "Sorry I forgot to add my 2nd point! Silly me. Just so you know Carmine is NOT a slave owner. If you READ the story you will realize the he MFC was SAVED. So again maki..."

The fact that he's underaged means he isn't/can't be a slave owner? Try telling a teenager whose parents provide him with his clothes and various gadgets that he doesn't own those.


message 43: by Adrienne (last edited Feb 03, 2012 09:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adrienne rameau wrote: Adrienne wrote: "Alicia wrote: "Mandi wrote: "Sorry I forgot to add my 2nd point! Silly me. Just so you know Carmine is NOT a slave owner. If you READ the story you will realize the he MFC was SAVED. So again maki..."

The fact that he's underaged means he isn't/can't be a slave owner? Try telling a teenager whose parents provide him with his clothes and various gadgets that he doesn't own those.

Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow.

Ok... then i'll spell it out some more. Carmine doesn't KNOW she is a slave for quite some time. He is actually beside himself that someone would own another person and his entire journey through this story is to free Haven and share a life with her.



Mandi I'm still trying to figure out where in the Fanfic or book the story comes off as giving the idea to the reader that "slavery is sexy" the point is it does NOT. At all. Read the story, or not. But dont judge the story with out know what it is truly about. Also may I add that all the proceeds made form this book is being donated to a charity that is trying to fight modern day human trafficing.


message 45: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Adrienne wrote: "Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow."

Slave
noun
(especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them:
he killed the natives or turned them into slaves
*a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation:
by the time I was ten, I had become her slave, doing all the housework
*a person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something:
the poorest people of the world are slaves to the banks
she was no slave to fashion
*a device, or part of one, directly controlled by another:
[as modifier]:
a slave cassette deck

Compare with master1
Source: Oxford Dictionaries.

It's not just me, it's the English language. The definition of slave is being property of someone else.

And are you seriously telling me that ignorance is bliss? That not knowing makes it okay? Sorry, I call bullshit. Helping to free her might be a good thing he does, but is he doing it for her or for himself? It sounds like he's ensuring she feels indebted to him and that's why they end up together. As a slave she or a recently freed slave she doesn't, couldn't, know what it is to choose for herself and the only right thing for him to do is to walk far away from her and fast. Not share a life with her.


Adrienne rameau wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow."

Slave
noun
(especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey..."


Your response is the most perfect example of why you should read a book before you state an opinion on it.

This is actually just a good way to live life. Educate yourself before you speak of things you know nothing about.

I am fully aware of the definition of a slave. You reciting it here, however, does not support your argument that Carmine owns Haven. She is not his legal property and he does not control her.

If you read the book you would know that.


message 47: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Adrienne wrote: "rameau wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow."

Slave
noun
(especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is..."


You were asking why I was comparing humans to ipods and clothing, I answered.

The fact that Carmine/Edward doesn't own Haven/Bella doesn't change the fact that she is owned. She is controlled. She is forced to act in a certain way, to be in a certain place. She's not free to be herself and she's not free to love. And that implies that Carmine/Edward isn't in love with her. How could he if he doesn't know who she is? How could he when she doesn't know who she is?

I still don't feel any inclination to read this book, but keep trying. Maybe you'll find that magic word or argument that'll change my mind.


Adrienne rameau wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "rameau wrote: "Adrienne wrote: "Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow."

Slave
noun
(especially in the past) a person who is the legal property ..."


Again, you are just proving my original point.

You didn't read it. Having read the book, in my opinion, your argument holds no ground.

All your statements are addressed in the book. You could come away with the same opinion if you read it. At least then you would be able to back it up.

I am in no way trying to push you towards opening your mind and reading this. You've made it clear you are unwilling to do that. This story is about discovering yourself and fighting for what you believe in. It sounds like that concept doesn't interest you.

P.S. Everyone is free to love. Love is an emotion, not a right.


message 49: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Adrienne wrote: "P.S. Everyone is free to love. Love is an emotion, not a right. "

At no point did I say that love is a right, did I? Sorry, if it came out that way. What I meant to say that a person who isn't free to be herself (or himself) doesn't and can't really know herself well enough to recognise her true feelings and act accordingly. In that way, she isn't free to love.

True, love is an emotion, but a healthy relationship needs more than just love. The imbalance of power isn't one of those things.

I'm not obliged to pick up and read (and enjoy) a book that appears to romanticise an unhealthy relationship, just as you're not obliged to scold people for shying away from such a concept.


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Wow... so now we're comparing human beings to clothing and ipods...? Wow.

That. That right there proves just how much you people don't get it. Your indignant attempt at a straw man argument shows how people don't understand what slavery is. Rameau didn't compare anything, and it is obviously not her view. That is what a slave is. The fact that something so basic eludes you, it is no wonder that none of you understand why a "love" between master and slave (even one who is 17 and apparently so slow-witted he somehow doesn't realize the girl is a slave) cannot work. Regardless of whether or not he knew, SHE knew.


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