Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

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There’s something very refreshing about an author who prefaces their book with an explanation of exactly WHY their story is different from the others of the same genre.  That’s a rare find in today’s world.

Catherine knows that it’s coming.  As sure as the passage of time, she’s certain that eventually her debilitating depression/bipolar disorder will rear its ugly head again. And because she knows it’s unavoidable, she has an escape plan.  No way is she going to be caught unaware like the last time things went south.  So she finds comfort in a shoebox. It’s here that she’s stockpiling an arsenal of medication sure to take her away from the pain for good.  She doesn’t see what she’s planning as a selfish act.  In fact, it’s her sacrifice to everyone she loves.  Only when she’s out of their lives can they truly begin to live again.

But something happens as she’s just passively walking through life.  She starts to care again.  First in the form of Michael, her first boyfriend.  And then along comes Kristal, someone who’s dealing with just as much as she is.  Still, she’s bound and determined to follow through with her plan when, not if because she knows it’s inevitable, the darkness once again comes for her.

This book was so very good for too many reasons to list.  The characters are real, raw, and flawed.  Everyone has something they’re dealing with, even if it’s not apparent at first glance.  And Catherine’s journey is difficult.  It’s not all nice and neat and wrapped up in a pretty package by the last chapter.  Real life is very much like that, and to pretend otherwise is not fair.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Weight of Zero

 

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Review: Etched on Me by Jenn Crowell

18143763Sixteen year old Lesley has had a tough upbringing, to put it mildly. After suffering years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father, she finally found the courage to escape after pleading with her mom for help, to no avail. She’s able to scrap by on her own for a bit, but with the help of a carefully constructed network of concerned adults she is able to eventually make something of herself.

The path to her success is not an even one, however. Dabbling in drugs and alcohol, cutting herself, a suicide attempt, time spent in mental health facilities…these are all obstacles she’s had to overcome. Things are looking bright for Lesley, however, even when she finds herself in the unexpected position of becoming a single mother. She’s confident that she’ll be able to handle it, with the help of the new family she has around her. But her luck takes a turn for the worse when she finds her ability to be a good mother being questioned by those in charge. The battle to retain custody of her unborn child will be her hardest ever.

This one’s a tough read, so tread lightly if you’re adding it to your list. But by no means should you avoid it, because the message within the author’s finely crafted words is just that powerful. She writes with such a wonderful expertise balanced with an attuned sense of storytelling. Add this one to your list!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:Etched on Me: A Novel