Thursday, December 29, 2016
When Universes Collide by Laura Phillips book thoughts
"When Anna starts volunteering at a homeless shelter in June, she has no idea that her life is about to be turned upside down.
Anna spends most of her summer with another volunteer, Lara, and the connection is instant.
But is it just infatuation? A crush?
When September comes, Anna discovers that she has a lot more to worry about than her feelings for Lara.
How can these two women overcome the odds when universes collide?
Lesbian romance 18+"
I really don't even want to write this review but I suppose I should, to get it off my chest. Also I DNF'd it at 29%.
First of all i'll talk about the stuff that wasn't that big of a deal, that I wouldn't have really held much against it or cared about. The writing left something to be desired but it wasn't horrible or anything. There were a few typos here and there. The main character Anna was a bit annoying but not in a bad way, in a goodie-two-shoes kinda way but that might be pushing it a little bit. She was a nice girl.
The reason I DNF'd it? A fire. I wasn't aware there would be a fire in the book, and it's not that it was there, here me out. I was in a house fire over 4 years ago. It took my house, everything me and my husband owned (he was at work at the time), our 3 kittens, and gave me fire-related ptsd. I have it for other reasons as well from before that happened but that isn't the point here, it just added another thing. We were homeless but thankfully we had a tent and some nice friends. They didn't have the room for us inside but had a yard, the tent we had was in the garage, the only thing that survived besides our cat and dog that were outside at the time it happened. I was asleep. I woke up to the smell of smoke, I couldn't hear the only working alarm as it was too far away. I was trapped in the bedroom. I went to the window where some neighbors were looking at the house and saw me. We lived in the middle of nowhere, a small town, and while the fire station was on it's way it was taking awhile, because of distance. I had called 911 on the phone before it was cut off..cell phones didn't work there (except in the middle of the street and the attic..no idea why) and managed to get out the address and that I was trapped upstairs. I have hemangioma on my leg and it's big, the second story jump would have killed me, I just had to hope they got there in time. Someone said they'd catch me but I don't think that would've worked and I was too scared. Smoke was in the room and it was hard to breathe. A neighbor saw once I got to the window (I might be going a bit all over the place here it's hard to talk about) and yelled asking if someone had a ladder.
He took a ladder, put it to the window, came up and got me. It was more complicated then that. I couldn't think straight, was only worried about the fact I was naked minus underwear (he took the sheet off the bed, wrapped me up in it, picked me up and shoved me through the window because I couldn't think myself or comprehend at this point what was really going on and we couldn't see much. I could see his feet, that was it but it wasn't dawning on me at the time that ment the room was filled with smoke. The lack of oxygen, trauma and shock don't let you think real well. After I got down the ladder and oxygen was making it's way to my brain I was able to start thinking clearly again. My BP was through the roof (and I never have issues with it). Shock, trauma, nightmares and panic attacks followed in time. I am currently still on Trazadone so I can sleep. Drowsiness is a side effect but it's for more than that. The nightmares are much fewer now than they were 4 years ago. I am better than I was but I am not perfect, not sure I ever will be. I know I got lucky, i'm still here thanks to my neighbor. The firemen said the way it sounded I was about to pass out from the smoke when he shoved me through the window. After we got out, barely, actual fire blasted through the window. Eventually they got it under control but everything was destroyed. It wasn't until after we got out that the firemen arrived. If it wasn't for my neighbor, who was not a firefighter, I would not still be here. But that doesn't mean i'm unharmed just because I made it out physically intact. Also friends helped us get back on our feet.
Here is a link to an article about it http://www.nj.com/cumberland/voices/index.ssf/2012/09/picking_on_tara_the_rest_of_th.html
In regards to the book, the fire, an incident that happens to people everyday and is obviously trauma-inducing, I don't know the statistics but I know i'm not alone, it was used as a plot device. No justice was done to it, it wasn't believable, obviously not researched, there was that kiss shortly after used in such a way that was blatantly offensive. Using an incident that happens to real people and will obviously be traumatic in a such a way, as a plot device, with no research done to it to make sure it's done well, is just not right. I can see now why people hate rape being used as a plot device, this is the same way.
I'm not against these things being in books, they happen and books should reflect that. I'm against them being used as a plot device in this way with no thought to the people who go through this stuff in real life and not making sure it's done well. Take the extra time and effort to get stuff right and done with justice, not just as an offensive plot device. With the internet it's easier than ever. Think when you're writing traumatic incidents. Research, talk to people who have been through it, make sure it's not just a badly written plot device. This goes for a lot more than this one thing. If it can happen in real life and does, and can obviously cause trauma in people, please make the extra effort. It will be worth it.
Not to mention that the love interest was much older, married and unaware that it was the MC's 18th birthday, she shortly apologized saying she shouldn't have kissed a minor. She didn't because birthday but she didn't know and felt bad until the MC told her. No idea if she felt bad for cheating on her husband, I didn't get to that part. I am assuming she did and maybe the rest of the book is alright, I have no idea as I can not push myself to finish it. I tried, I really did but I just couldn't take it. My chest was hurting and filling me with rage, I had to DNF it. 1 star because I can't give it less.