S.M. Stevens's Reviews > Stay Mad, Sweetheart

Stay Mad, Sweetheart by Heleen Kist
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it was amazing

The line in Kist's bio that she has been "ordered to smile by random men" throughout her life would have been cause enough for me to pick up this book. As a girl, I hated it when men would tell me to smile as I passed them on the street. Once I dove into Stay Mad, Sweetheart, I found much more than a sense of author-to-author camaraderie, though.

This novel is hugely entertaining and thought-provoking. We see the three main characters evolve throughout the book and, as in real life, it is not a straight trajectory. I admire how at the end, all three are not in agreement about the right course; the easier, pat route would have been for all three women to choose the same path. Instead, we get a more realistic ending, very appropriate to the characters' personalities.

Although one plot line wraps up in a slightly unrealistic, extremely coincidental way (I won't describe it as it would constitute a spoiler), overall Kist does a beautifully even-handed job developing the story and bringing the protagonists to the point of seeking revenge, in a measured way that keeps the story from sliding into farce or parody.

In the end, we see fault and questionable behavior on both the victim and perpetrator sides. While this will displease those who claim #MeToo supporters think all victims are right and all accused are guilty, it is an accurate representation of real life. As the book's description says, it's a fine line between justice and revenge. And, I might add, that line differs for every individual.

This is a great read and I highly recommend it.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 4, 2020 – Shelved

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