Adult novels: 50
This was a very interesting in depth look at fraternities across America and the increase of binge drinking on campus. It was pretty interesting until about 3/4 of the way and I felt like I had had enough of the statistics and the stories.
It was amazing that it seemed to be only one fraternity that was having the alcohol problems for the most part. As I never got the chance to go to college (I did take night courses), I pretty much requested it just to check it out.
A very informative book that you could tell the author did a lot of research for and interesting for the most part.
Thanks to Perseus Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
HARDENED HEARTS contains dark fiction stories connected by the theme of love-all kinds of love. This book's strength is in its diversity. It covers so many facets of the subject, there's something here for everyone.
The tales that stood out for me were:
Calvin Demmer's story WHAT IS LOVE. This story knocked my socks off and I will be tracking down more from this author!
THE HEART OF THE ORCHARD by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. This read almost like a warped fairy tale, and as we all know, fairy tales can often be quite grim.
PINK BALLOON by Tom Deady was my favorite story in the book. It totally broke my heart.
HEIRLOOM by Theresa Braun. I love tales about mirrors and this was an excellent example of why. This was my first experience with Theresa Braun's work and we are off to a good start.
THE RECLUSE by John Boden. Short and sweet, Boden always impresses me.
ClASS OF 2000 by Robert Dean. I guess the moral of this tale is not to mess with someone that can throw a baseball at 100 mph. It seems like common sense to me.
BURNING SAMANTHA by Scott Hallum. I had never previously heard of Scott, but he's on my radar now.
50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MONSTER LOVER by Gwendolyn Kiste. Here is another author that I haven't had any experience with but whose story was impressive.
Lastly, IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO by J.L. Knight. A heartbreaking story about love and loss. Poignant and dark all at the same time.
9 of the 17 tales resonated deeply with me and that's above average, so I rounded up my original rating from 3 to 4 stars. I have some new authors to follow and I think they are offering up original work which only improves the genre. Bravo!
Recommended for fans of diverse dark fiction!
*Thanks to John Boden for providing an e-ARC of this anthology in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*
Home author's name will be corrected
Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin
Book subject sounds interesting and I wanted to give this new author to me a try.
1993 wedding of Camilia and Tony.
Story goes back in time as it catches us up with the present day. Jackie and Gina on their way to the mall...jackie had once loved Tony and knows he's getting married...Tony is Gina's dad.
Tony's father stuck up for him no matter what bad things Tony had done.
Like how Jackie lives with the decisions she made in her life and have a bad feeling as to what really happened to her intended...
Happy to learn the grandparents want the child in their life...
Medical emergency gives them all a chance to stand back and think of what's going on and get it all in order.
What I like about this book are many things: music and lyrics of the time when I was growing up also, locations of places visited as I live or have been to the same ones-magical, the career Jackie decides on and why-so brave! So many hidden treasures: charms, needlework, picnics.
Unpredictable, scary, romantic, sex scenes, travel, just an all around great read. Can't wait to read more from this author as she gets her point acrss without a lot of drama. Love how it follows their lives through the teen to adult years and those older-well rounded family life. Feel so much closer to this author after reading her bio as we have gone through so many of the same things in life.
Received this review copy from the author via Goodreads and this is my honest opinion.
Took some notes while reading. Reporting back:
- The first 10% of the book is all about child birth. Not sure what's with refusing painkillers during 14+ hours of painful misery. I would rather be ready and alert for my babies and enjoy the experience. But to each its own. Not judging, just saying those 10% did feel like 14 hours.
- What I wanted when I started this installment was the evil doctor to come back. What I got was a hormonal gamma. like uber hormonal.
However, Paul hinted that there is hope yet! Abuse and torture and not a drop of epidural in sight! =)
- The second case of TSTL kicks in around 40%. I am disappointed. It takes away from pain and torture because - honestly - it's self inflicted :/ Someone needs to put a leash on Aden and lock him in a cage for his own safety. Oh, wait! The good doctor, it seems, is the one with the right ideas!
- Nate is "innocent"! Hahaha, good one! Almost killed one person, and intentionally at that, then shot and killed another, conspired with the worst most evil doctor evah, not to mention that shady business with his own mother, and yet he is "innocent". I am about to die laughing here!