Showing posts with label PTSD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PTSD. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Life After by Katie Ganshert – A Review

"22 Lives Lost.
One Survivor.
It could have been anyone.
Why her?"

Autumn Manning is far beyond survivor’s guilt. Her whole life’s purpose has become an obsession with the twenty-two passengers who lost their lives a year ago—the day a bomb blasted through the “L” train she boarded in Chicago. With no husband or children to need her, why did God choose to spare only her? And why was Autumn even aboard the late train? When she awakens in the hospital, she has no memory of the blast or the immediate hours before the disaster, nor does she know the reason she was even on that late train. Will Autumn be able to fill in the blanks and make sense of the situation?

As the one-year anniversary of Tragedy on the Tracks approaches, Autumn contacts a family member of one of the victims. That one regrettable action opens a Pandora’s box of emotions and events as grieving souls try to move forward with their lives.

Family members want their loved ones to be remembered—all but one. Paul Elliott wants to shield his children and safeguard his career and let the past stay in the past.

Such tragedies bring some closer to God, while others turn their backs to Him. Will Autumn and Paul be able to restore their weakened faith and return to a fulfilling life among the living?

This book has been on my want-to-read list since before it was released in April of 2017. I hadn’t got to it yet, so I’m glad it popped up on NetGalley’s site.

I’ve read a half-dozen of Ganshert’s books, so I expected good writing. I wasn’t disappointed. Kudos to the editors. The story moved along at a good pace. Ganshert did a great job of getting me into the characters heads, filling me with compassion for them. I wanted to read it straight through.

This book gives an authentic glimpse into PTSD and survivor’s guilt. You walk with the characters as they battle the demons birthed the day of the disaster. You cheer for them as they baby-step away from the chains that have bound them since that fateful day. You cry for joy as Autumn achieves each little success.

NO SPOILERS: The ending of the story was perfect. Not the happily-ever-after of a romance, but it’s oozing with hope and healing. This story has a very strong inspirational thread and rates a zero on the blush factor. A perfect read for a teen or her grandmother.

I give this book FIVE stars because that’s the max.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from
WaterBrook & Multnomah via NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks – A Review

Murphy Anderson is looking for answers. She’s also running. From the past. From an escaped murderer. She’s changed her name, her looks, and her hometown. Will Kodiak, Alaska bring her the answers she seeks about her twin? Or will she be pulled into a dark mystery that threatens the thread holding her sanity?

As an artist, she is called to draw a ten-year-old crime scene from the memory of a dying man—a crime scene that has ties to secretive experiments of World War II. But soon, people involved in the investigation begin to die by not-so-natural causes.

I liked the unique storyline. The author has knowledge to sprinkle into the details to give it belief. The plot was thick with potential suspects. There were lots of twists and turns to keep the pace going.

I was sympathetic to the main character. I was also surprised by revelations about her personal story that eventually come to light. The ending tied everything up nicely.

I did find it a little difficult to keep track of the characters and the details in the beginning. This is a book you should read in chunks—not bits and pieces—or you risk getting lost.

I give this book four stars, and would read more by this author.

Available for pre-buy now, Formula of Deception releases on July 3, 2018.

I received a complimentary copy of this 
book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. 
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Review of Saving Jason by E J Hanagan

Before I discovered free (and hugely discounted) eBooks, I could count on my hands how many times I started but didn’t finish a book. Since freebies, I’ve lost track. On the upside, I’ve discovered many new authors with amazing stories to tell. The trick is sorting the good from the bad.

I always read reviews before downloading a book. While looking through my Kindle library this week, I stumbled upon Saving Jason by E J Hanagan—a book I had picked up back in 2014. (It’s now $3.99 for Kindle.) It promised to be “an emotionally-moving look at PTSD” and had a 4.17-star rating on Goodreads and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon. It was a story about a war veteran’s best friend/ex-wife and his current love interest, and the relationship that develops between them following his life-threatening accident. Sounded like a nice contrast to a sweet story I had just finished. I downloaded it to my iPad.

I struggled through 17% and then gave up. The next day, I logged into my Goodreads account to post a review. I thought it would be my very first one-star review. I had never posted a review unless it was at least a three-star. Momma always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” I’ve since decided that doesn’t apply to book reviews. After all, many people base their purchasing decisions on reviews, and a lot of reviews come from friends and relatives of the author. Doesn’t seem fair to not give them an unbiased heads-up.

So anyway, I log on and skim the other reviews. They said things like ‘well written’ and ‘character development’. What were these reviewers thinking? Did I miss something? And then I did something out of character for me—I logged out, opened the book and continued reading, deciding to give it another go. I mean, almost fifty people LOVED this book. (True, there were over ninety great ratings, but I know many of the Goodreads’ reviews were duplicated on Amazon.) 

I finished it. It wasn’t that great. It wasn’t even good. The biggest problem was the lack of editing.

First, I really missed having scene breaks. The chapters were divided up by the two POVs of the ex-wife and the girlfriend. That was it. No other division. No extra spacing or fancy curlicues. At one point, the author even changed scenes in mid-paragraph.

Hanagan’s descriptive writing was nice, however, it seemed when she had a several ways to say something, instead of picking the best, she used them all. Maybe that’s her personal style. It didn’t work for me. In a few places, she used the exact same words over a sentence or two later.

There were a number of spelling and grammar errors that should have been easily caught, as well. 

As for character development, there was no real depth to the women. I didn’t dislike the women, but really didn’t feel anything for them except sympathy for their situation.

Most of all, it was a whole book of back-story. Don’t get me wrong—I love back-story. I have a problem controlling it in my own WIP! But this author has more back-story than front-story. What happens from day one (although, it takes place over a seven or eight-month period) to the end is about two chapters worth, if that. It’s all about their memories. I'd have enjoyed seeing a little more develop in the present day story—more showing and less telling. A young pregnant woman whose boyfriend is in a coma has a big area to explore.

Giving it a second chance did cause me to raise my rating to a two-star. I didn’t hate the book. I just didn’t like it. With more story development and some severe editing, this could be a really good book. It just wasn’t ready to market, in my opinion.

I wondered, while reading the book, if it was self-published. I checked and found it was published through Booktrope. I went to their website and found this:

 I'm wondering if this book is an example of why...