I'm a stay at home mom, and an avid reader! I recently started my own "Book Blog" as a hobby. I was constantly repeating myself recommending books to my friends, and thus my blog was born! I'm not a professional or hardcore 'reviewer', but if I like it, I'll be blogging about it!
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Smashwords book reviews by Irene
- Factory Bride
on Aug. 08, 2012
** spoiler alert ** When I first agreed to review Factory Bride, I was under the impression based on the description of 'adult themes' that like most, this book was going to be another steamy historical romance. I was wrong.
A few excerpts from my blog review.
"I have read alot of emotional works of fiction, and by far Elizabeth's story is one of the saddest I have read in recent memory. She struggles to move on with her life after an indiscretion has left her unwed, pregnant and in search of her uncle who 'may' be able to help her after she has become an outcast. (An impulsive move to say the least) She's a naive, unworldly, frightened and desperate girl who just ends up in one awful situation after another. Ever the dreamer, Elizabeth proves strong in the face of adversity and is determined to make her life better, no matter what it takes. Even if that means taking to the streets as a 'Lady Of The Night'.
Factory Bride tackles some of the most disturbing and emotionally draining subject matter you can read. (abuse, rape, molestation) The sad truth that hangs over your head as you read, is knowing these circumstances are just as rampant today as was back then. There are deplorable people out there.That particular knowledge makes the book that much more tragic.The author has set out to create awareness and discussions through Elizabeth's tale."
Factory Bride has enormous potential.
I did have a few key issues that I felt could raise this book (IMO) from a 3.5 star (I liked it!) to a 4-5 (I loved it!) star rating.
**I wish the ending was slightly different. I did quite enjoy the full circle ending and confrontation with her former lover, however I didn't want it to be 'The End'. I wanted some more 'happiness' just to balance out the story a bit. Perhaps a Epilogue where in 10 years she and Conner Fitzgerald are married with more children.
**The novel was heavy on the foreshadowing. While I don't mind it at the start of a novel, there were a few instances along the way where I didn't feel it was needed. Examples are: when suddenly the story fast forwards and she is a prostitute and than it flashes back to how. I would have much preferred the tale to continue fluidly without the back and forth, forth and back....
**I didn't like when the book jumped and all of the sudden Elizabeth and Conner are in a romantic relationship. You see it coming in the story, but when it jumped forward and boom they were together I felt a bit cheated.
**I also wouldn't of minded some headings about the date and location where the story jumped around.
The good news is that personally for me, it didn't ruin the story for me or irritate me to the point of setting the book down. I wanted to find out what happens to Elizabeth and the story kept me hooked. I just wanted to see her finally catch a break.
I think the author did a great job capturing what life would have been like back than for a girl in Elizabeth's position, and captured her attitude and surroundings well. Like I said, with some tweaks, this book could go far!
If you are expecting some fluffy romantic read, than you should know this story is not a romance in any way, it is raw and it is gritty.
For more of my blog review, please see my blog at http://reeniediva.blogspot.ca/2012/08/factory-bride-by-elayne-chantrell.html
- Allesandra's Bequest
on Aug. 26, 2012
The following is the review as written on my blog!
What drew me to accept the review for Allesandra's Bequest was not just the subject matter, but the added element of music! The chapters actually revolve around song lyrics that author R.M. Fraser had written for a concept album. Color Me Intrigued! When I think of albums that go along with a story, my mind flashes to the Pink Floyd album 'Dark Side of the Rainbow' and how if you play it along to the movie 'The Wizard of Oz' the music matches what is happening on screen. (If you haven't tried it, you must give it a go! It's cool!)
When it comes to the story of Allesandra and Izz, it is hard to explain without giving the plot away. So here is the gist: We meet the two characters and follow a tragic story about love, loss, suicide, abuse, depression. Dark topics, but with an ending that puts the whole story into perspective. (I loved the ending!!)
Allesandra's has had a lot to deal with in her life and constantly struggles with those emotions. She and Izz have a deep love and connection, but underneath the surface is love enough to help her heal?
As it is a short, it skims the surface of the story, we the reader know what is needed and that is that! The amazing part is, it's still a captivating and deeply emotional read.
With it being so straight to the point, I wonder if the impact would have been the same had it been a lengthy novel with even more insight, character development, plots, and dialogue? I can honestly say, I don't know if it would. Usually my biggest complaint is that 'I want more story!' and I 'could' say that here, but for once I wont. Why? Because I like how 'in your face' and clear the message is. It isn't diluted by all the extras. I feel like this story is a lesson people should read and learn from. The ending is aptly titled 'Only Now Do I Learn and I loved how the author wrote the scene. It was unexpected and I felt it to be a home run as far as delivering a message. It may be a work of fiction, but it really illustrates the point that suicide isn't the answer and explains why.
On another note, I think that R.M. Fraser needs to put these lyrics to music, record and sell the album alongside the book! (Peer pressure) The fact that the reader can create their own tune in their head as they read is fun, but I'd love to hear the author's interpretation.
If you are interested in an fascinating concept and an interesting short. I think you should give Allesandra's Bequest a try!