Showing posts with label neurodivergent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neurodivergent. Show all posts

Monday, November 7, 2016

[Review] Unnatural Deeds - Cyn Balog: Secrets and Murder Told in Retrospective





In UNNATURAL DEEDS, Victoria meets drop-dead gorgeous Z, who is too cool and beautiful to be interested in her - but he is. The problem is that Victoria has a boyfriend. 

What intrigued me: I've liked other books by Cyn Balog and the cover is insanely beautiful.

Unique concept

UNNATURAL DEEDS is the illegitimate child of DON'T LOOK BACK and WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. It's just as dreamy and keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. UNNATURAL DEEDS is a story about obsession and love, and the fine line between the two.

Told in retrospective and with little interview snippets and coroner reports, it's based on an undoubtedly very creative idea. The writing is unique as well, and might not be for everyone. 

Balog tells the story in second person singular, Victoria narrates it to her boyfriend Andrew, whom she feels she betrays by befriending Z. I'm not a fan of second person in general and feared that this would ruin the experience for me. I struggled with the first couple of chapters but quickly got the hang of it. Balog is an incredibly gifted writer, she effortlessly pulls it off, which I salute her for, that really isn't easy.

The Charmer vs. The ... what's his name again?

The main conflict of UNNATURAL DEEDS is the love triangle. And I have to say, I really did like it. I fell absolutely and utterly for the love interest Z, a charming snake with tons of secrets whom you can't help but be fascinated with. Their romance is absolutely epic, twisted, and fascinating. Memorable.

Boyfriend Andrew on the other hand remains rather bleak, I felt like their relationship wasn't explored sufficiently to even give the reader the opportunity to have an opinion about them. Balog does tell the story to him, but most of the information we're given is via telling, not showing, which I'm personally not a fan of.

UNNATURAL DEEDS is built upon mountains of secrets and it's so, so fun. I love trying to figure out the story as I go along and I have to say, I didn't expect that ending. It's certainly a strange twist that nobody will see coming, and I wasn't really satisfied.
Highlight for a light spoiler. I can't tell you about the ableism without being a bit spoilery.
Mental illness is used as a plot twist in this which is incredibly ableist and also really just bad writing. It's not even specified which makes it even worse.

I found it too easy of a solution concept-wise because the rest of the story really doesn't make sense anymore after that ending. With a different ending, this would have been a solid five star read, because I genuinely frantically turned pages and didn't want to stop reading.

I'm a firm believer in giving the reader an opportunity to guess the ending, a hint, anything, even if it's very small. Balog really just did a 360 and left me confused and upset. If you like a drastic plot twist, this is absolutely, positively a book you don't want to skip.


Rating:

★★☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

The ending really spoiled this book for me. I was expecting more, a more satisfying conclusion. Yet this in no way negates the fact that I had a lot of fun reading this and enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery. It's surely worth the read if you like guessing games.



Additional Info

Published: November 1st 2016
Pages: 288
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA / Thriller
ISBN: 9781492635796

Synopsis:
"Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.

And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her."

(Source: Goodreads)



Do you like books told in retrospective?

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Introducing #DiversityBoost: I'll be promoting and boosting #ownvoices and #diverse Authors! | Blog News




As you might know, the topic of diversity in publishing is very close to my heart. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I came up with the concept of #DiversityBoost. Basically this feature will mainly consist of book recommendations and content promoting upcoming and recently released books.



#DiversityBoost will solely focus on boosting and spotlighting recently released and upcoming books that either are diverse or are written by diverse authors.

That may include:
  • Authors of Color, no matter their gender
  • Authors who are otherwise marginalized (e.g. disability, lgbtq*, non-christian, illness)
  • White Authors who write about diverse characters

I'll be offering different opportunities for those periodically. The first post for #DiversityBoost will go live on August 25th and focus on exciting new and upcoming YA by Black women. Many more posts including many more marginalized voices are to come. I'm looking to make this a monthly feature, to be published towards the end of the month respectively.

You will be able to find all those posts starting from August 25th here, and I will be periodically announcing submission calls and opportunities for authors to get featured. 

How you can help:
  • Authors
If you are a diverse author and you'd like to be featured, follow me on twitter, the only place where I'll be announcing those submission calls. Any and all #ownvoices authors can submit guest posts to my blog anytime, as long as the topic relates to diversity and publishing. Contact me here.
  • Readers/Bloggers
If you'd simply like to help out, I'd love for you to participate. To do something similar and start reading diverse books only or to launch a feature just for that! Contact me here or leave a comment linking your feature.

Do you have a similar feature? I'd be happy to collaborate on something to help diverse authors out.

If you have a specific request on what you'd like to see, I'm happy to take suggestions anytime.

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