Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review - Etched On Me

Title: Etched On Me.
Author: Jenn Crowell.  
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Atria Books.
Year of Publication: 2014.
Format: E-book.
Pages: 336.
Source: Publisher | NetGalley.
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Women-Fiction, Adult-Fiction, Psychology.
Blurb: Here.

My Thoughts:
I'm trying to form the right words to describe this book. Etched on Me is not an easy read. You can't just sit on a comfy chair and read it with a million other things in your mind. Trust me, the pages won't turn. This book demands your undivided attention. Reading this book is painful. A book which does not shy away from the all too real problems. Etched On Me is about the journey of a young girl, Lesley Holloway. Her life is anything but normal. Being subjected to repeated sexual abuse from a parent to whom a child is most vulnerable is a beyond doubt horrifying. This knocked the wind right out of me. Many a time I had to close the book, take deep breaths and urge myself not to be terrified by the rawness of the book.

Lesley lives with her abusive father and her mother who turns a blind eye to these horrors! With a trembling resolve she decides enough is enough, takes a huge scary step and runs away from her house. To my complete relief, after Lesley escapes from her house she finds herself with a wonderful support group. An empathetic teacher Mrs Kremsky, her case worker Francesca who fights for her case to name a few. The author does not present Lesley as a perfect girl. To cope with her abuse, she starts self harming which lands her in a rehab center. Here, love blooms for young Lesley in the form of Clare. It's not rose petals from there on just in case you thought, this was the happy ending. The writing, thankfully was not too graphic. The little the author did describe left burning welts in my heart. The writing is very realistic to say the least. It's like the author is shaking you by the shoulders and demanding you to listen.
I loved every bit of Lesley. I wanted to hug her. Everything about her made the book come to life for me. It rarely felt like a story. If the author had portrayed Lesley as a perfect person who jumped right back to normal, the book would sounded pretentious. Instead Lesley makes mistakes. Sometimes she is ungrateful and bitter to the people who are there to support her. Sometimes, she dwells in self pity, aching for her old bedroom and its familiarity. 
An unexpected pregnancy takes Lesley by surprise. Now the same people who saved her from her abusive father have become her enemies. What would happen to her unborn daughter and Lesley? 
Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that this book is unapologetic, emotional, dark and ends with hope. It will make you cower in fear along with Lesley, it will make you bask in the warmth of Mrs Kremsky's love. It will make you cry with joy.  If you like flawed characters who had to go through hell and still rise like a phoenix from its ashes, then this book is for you. Personally I feel every woman should read this book.

 My Rating:
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  1. Whew, this sounds like a heavy book. The thing I hate (but am also grateful for, I guess?) about these types of books is that they remind me how life can be really horrible for people out there. Once that thought gets into your head, it's pretty damn hard trying to get it out.

  2. Thank you so much for your beautiful review of Etched On Me! i'm so glad it moved you.

    1. I loved your book, Ms Crowell. Thankyou for visiting my blog. I wish you all the best for all your future endeavors.


Make me a happy bunny, would ya? :D