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on March 15, 2013 :
I loved the first story, didn't like the second, and liked the rest. Bit depressing though. There isn't one cheery revenge story here.
(review of free book)
on Oct. 18, 2011 :
My Reading Experience
I loved this book so much for so many reasons, some of which I will try to articulate. It took me a while to even sit and write this review because I was so unsettled after reading the book.
I find myself at very odd times thinking about the characters in those stories and wondering what was going on in the author's mind when she wrote that. How do you explain how you enjoyed a book so emotionally dark and disturbing. Don't get me wrong, it is not heavy or violent in anyway but the stories did affect me emotionally and have definitely had a lasting impact on my mind.
After all, abusive relationships are not lighthearted topics, this book makes you think and wonder about those around you who for example, like Celia in Conditional Surrender, are trapped in loveless, abusive relationships as a result of their own ill-informed choices and even worse the choice she makes to exact get justice feels like anything but justice (which just broke my heart) or the two little girls in Sudden Emancipation, victims of the selfish and amoral acts of those meant to protect them.
I commend J.L for her uncanny ability of capturing life around her in such wonderful detail that in transposing it to " paper" she has you feeling as though it is you experiencing what the characters are going through.
I found Don't Get Mad...Get Even to be a thoroughly engaging read and an imperative addition to any library worth mentioning. Let me also say that as short as the stories in this collection are, they are in my opinion the personification of this well known adage: Dynamite comes in small packages.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 01, 2011 :
I whipped through these highly readable stories with a vengeance - just like the main characters! These tales, by author J. L. Campbell, each feature protagonists who are keen to right a wrong. From the exotic setting to the unique cadence of the dialogue, you can't help but be transported to another place.
Each one packs a punch! Definitely worth a read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Tina DC Hayes
on Sep. 29, 2011 :
"Don't Get Mad…Get Even" by J.L. Campbell is short story collection that is well worth the read. Set in Jamaica, each story features a unique new cast of characters who've been wronged in some way and, like the title suggests, they're dead set on getting even. The lilt of the dialogue brings alive the sound of Jamaica so I could almost hear the conversations in my ear as I read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If pushed to pick a favorite story, it would be 'Sudden Emancipation', an emotional story about two young sisters in a bad situation. Or maybe I'd pick 'Entrapment', with the obeah woman and a cool supernatural twist. Okay, it would be hard to decide on the best one because all five of these stories were so engrossing.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 20, 2011 :
Rich with darkly satisfying twists and filled with the perfect amount of Jamaican slang and patios, Don't Get Mad ... Get Even is a collection of five highly memorable short stories.
The eBook opens with intensity as a woman, who is seven months pregnant, and her three young children must barricade themselves inside their home for the duration of a hurricane. With them is the woman's abusive husband, and Rita has suddenly had enough. Will one of them go too far tonight? The second story also features a surprising twist to an abusive marriage.
In the third story, a young couple uses the secrets of obeah to control one another and their relationship. Some of J.L. Campbell's best writing ever is in this narrative, and the other two stories are equally compelling. This is not a read you'll want to miss.
An added bonus for me was the incredible cover designed by Tirzah L. Goodwin.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)