Tuesday 27 August 2013

Review ~ Fear of Falling by SL Jennings @MrsSLJ

Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 big fat emotional stars

“…the real monsters aren’t stalking in the shadows with masks and butcher knives. They don’t have fangs or claws. They’re all round us, hiding in plain sight. That’s what’s scary.”

WOW, emotional, extremely emotional…I have read two tear jerkers this weekend and I am sure my tear ducts must now be empty, I have never cried so much over 2 books in my life…and both for entirely different reasons.

If you do not like reading books about abuse, this may not be the book for you. However, please do not let that deter you from reading a truly amazing book. SL Jennings has tackled this subject beautifully (if it can be beautiful), tactfully, it is in no way gratuitous, just a breathtakingly moving story. You can’t help but be moved by Kami’s life, her insecurities, her beliefs, whilst some may struggle to associate with how she dealt with her “life” once you fully got her back story which was told throughout the book, you could understand, you could relate and you just felt so so so bad for her….her parents…what a total waste of space. She had such a tough life from the minute she was born and her insecurities had been bred into her like a mantra and if you tell somebody the same thing over and over and over again, constantly, they suddenly begin to believe it…now it was up to Blaine to try and undo the damage that had been done, was he the man for the job?

“You don’t have to be afraid of falling. Just close your eyes, let go, and know that I’ll always be here with arms outstretched, ready to catch you.”

Blaine….OMG, he was just perfect, truly perfect. What is that old saying…..”never judge a book by it’s cover”…well that applies to Blaine Jacobs. He may have had the bad boy exterior, tattoo’s, piercings, been in trouble…but he had such a big heart and it was a heart of true 24 carat gold. Always putting others first before himself, which had led him into untold heartbreak in the past, yet he still soldiered on trying to save the world. Whilst he wanted to save Kami, it was not out of some sense of necessity, they both had an instant attraction and whilst Kami vehemently tried to fight hers, Blaine was sucked in hook, line and sinker. He was blinkered to her, he wanted her so badly, despite all her hang ups and problems and she had a Boeing 747 full of problems, but he persevered, he bided his time, he said the right things, did the right things and slowly but surely tried to get in under that shield that Kami had put up…but was it truly penetrable?

Kami lived with her two best friends, Dom and Angel. All 3 of them had their own problems, Dom, like Kami was abused and they had met whilst children and had gone through therapy and life together, they were each others crutch. Angel, she was brilliant, she had been disowned by her prejudiced parents for being gay, so she was also a reject. She lived her life to the full and brought some truly “LOL” moments to this book. Although all 3 were damaged in some way, together they were a fighting a force, they were a family, they looked out for each other, were there for each other and supported each other NO MATTER WHAT! Although they may have looked odd to others looking in, their dynamic was truly amazing and beautiful. Yes it was weird, yes it was unusual but it worked and it got all three of them through a real shitty life.

Kami meets Blaine at a bar where he is a bar man or so she believes, their paths eventually meet again when she goes to the same bar for a job. Blaine thinks all his birthdays have come at once and that it is fate that has brought her back to him. Blaine makes no secret of his feelings and desires to Kami, he knows he wants her in all ways, Kami knows he wants her, Kami really wants him, but she feels that she is unloveable, incapable of giving and feeling love and for that reason, she should not be with him or with any man for that matter.

“I’m not afraid of love, Blaine. I loathe it. Love is cruel and unforgiving. It beats you. Tortures you. Smashes your face into a mirror and tells you that you’re disgusting and ugly. That no one else will want you. Love whips you with a belt until giant red welts are left on every inch of your body, leaving you too sore to even sit for days.”

This is what Kami believed “love” was, it wasn’t pretty and sadly enough, she truly believed it, it would take a lot for the damage to be undone.

Kami fights their relationship constantly, always trying to push him away, sometimes it works but Blaine always comes back, he knows what she is trying to do and will not let her, he knows that he just has to pick the right moment, and when she is ready so will he be.

“I won’t miss you anymore.

Loving you is what caused all this.

It’s what ruined us.

I’ll forget you.

I’ll stop loving you.”

I can’t say too much as it has to be read to be believed, yes as I said, it is not pretty, it is emotional, it is intense, bad things happens, good things happen, but it is one amazing story and one that has to be read and devoured. SL Jennings has captured a truly heart wrenchingly, dark, disturbing, emotional and sometimes unbelievable tale and turned what should have been the ending around on its end. The bad and ugly does not have to win, some people are stronger, some people have the fight and the guts to continue, life does go on but it just takes that special someone to guide you through and be there for you when the going gets tough. This is extremely tough, I cried a lot, those big fat ugly sobbing so you can’t breathe tears, yes it was that emotional and that is a true testament to this authors writing. Only a few can do it, and SL Jennings delivered.

It is a must read, one of my favourites of this year.
Amazing job, well done SL Jennings!

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