These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Review: Just Listen

Just Listen Just Listen by D. Breeze
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always tentative when I enter books dealing with mental illness. There’s a very fine line between making a great story that is realistic and writing a story that is insulting to those who living with such illnesses. I find this becomes even more problematic when the storyline is based around romance – so often it seems as though the mental illness in question can be fixed just because someone loves them. Such is not the reality of mental illness, and this book does so much to highlight that.

As my first D. Breeze read, I can certainly say the author surprised me. It wasn’t that I was expecting a bad book; merely the aforementioned tentatively left me feeling a little bit nervous about what I would be receiving. This is such a raw emotional read, one I loved so much more than I’d imagined I would. It’s such a short read – one I managed to read in the space of a couple of hours – but the impact of the book is long lasting. In fact, the processing of the story and coming to terms with your feelings will take longer than the reading of the story – such is the pure emotion to be seen in this book.

It wasn’t a case of emotions being thrown at us at every given chance, simply that the book is emotionally charged. The way in which the emotions are expressed is actually extremely simple when I compare it to other books – but there’s just so much depth to them. The emotions are expressed in such a way that we don’t really understand just how much we’re absorbing. Then, upon finishing the book, you realise just how hard the story has hit you – you realise that every word had a deep meaning, everything that happened was part of the journey to leave a lasting emotional impact. Honestly, it was so well done. It all seemed so simple throughout, yet this is one of those situations where the story telling was very deceiving.

Honestly, I’m having trouble trying to put my words into some kind of coherent review – such is the impact this book has had upon me. Ergo, I apologise if this review spirals into a rambling mess.

I know I’ve already stated that this book has a romantic storyline, but it is so much more than that. The story works to open your eyes when it comes to depression, showing us how apparent understanding and true experience can differ. With two alternating perspectives, it doesn’t matter which category you fall into, as this story will open your eyes to what it is like for both sides. Both the individual dealing with depression and the individual who loves someone with depression are shown in this story, both allowing us to see so much. Emotions are pure and true on both sides, showing us how so many different things can influence events.

Honestly, the author does an amazing job of showing both sides of the story. With our male main character, we get to see inside of his head. Often, this can be hit and miss. Fortunately, with this one we get to experience his depression without the negative labels that could be attached. We’re not forced to feel pity. We’re not left feeling sorry for him. We’re not made to judge him. We experience it with him, we understand what is going on, and we are made to understand the choices he makes. We’re given understanding; we get an insight into how difficult it is to live with such emotions. With our female main character, we get to understand the difficulties she faces. She’s not simply someone there to create a romantic story. She is her own person: she comes with her own flaws and problems. She’s a complex character; well-rounded enough to give us a real example of how such a relationship will play out. She doesn’t always say the right thing, she makes mistakes, but her heart is in the right place and her love is pure. The two together are wonderful, showcasing so many different aspects of life. From the mundane to the complex, from issues pertaining to living with depression to the simple moments in life that everyone experiences – we truly get to see so much.

I really did love it. It’s a paradox of simplicity and complexity rolled into one, creating a wonderful story that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. There is no doubt that this one will stay with me for quite some time. It really is a powerful read, filled with more emotions that I thought you could put into such a short story. It’s sensitive yet honest; it is eye opening without being brutal; taking you on an emotional rollercoaster from the first to the last page.

I would have been happy if this was a standalone read, but I’ve found out it’s the first in the series. I cannot wait to see what comes next; I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here.

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