My recent reviews have all been for vaguely chick flick-esque novels, and this one is another that fits into this category. I really wanted to take some time off of 'serious' reading, and read a few things that I could just kind of glide through with ease and comfort. Having said that, I've now started A Tale of Two Cities, so I'm back to getting the ol' cogs whirring.
Anyhow, if you have a Kindle, you can pick up Shattered Rose as a free ebook, and as free ebooks go it's really not all too bad. It's the first part of a trilogy, which I'm currently considering forging through after my current tome. However, unlike many free e-books you don't get half a story here, so that you basically have to go out and buy the second installment to actually understand the plot somewhat. Here we're given a full, stand-alone novel, with romance and some serious issues at stake.
TRIGGER WARNING - eating disorders
I'm so pleased that more and more authors are tackling serious mental illnesses, but I am honestly looking forward to a time at which there are warnings for triggers in a blurb, or at the start of a novel. Although it adds to the suspense I guess, there's nothing worse than suddenly coming across something that you didn't expect in a novel which can suddenly put your own mental health or recovery at risk. Avery, the protagonist of the novel, is under a great deal of pressure at college, and engages in a number of concerning behavioural patterns as a result of this. She tells no one at the college about her eating disorder, and grows more and more isolated as her recovery worsens.
The novel tracks the toxic impression that people can have on someone struggling with an eating disorder. Avery begins to fall in love with her roommate's cousin, Jake, and the happiness that comes with their relationship means she becomes less and less reliant upon her eating disorder in terms of controlling her life. However, she also falls behind on college work. When Jake ultimately breaks her heart and she is alone once more, the stress of how behind she is piles on to her feelings of being unwanted: her eating disorder becomes worse than ever. I was a little disappointed to find that it improved once more when she finds a new man that her loves her; the author really seems to suggest that the 'cure' to an eating disorder is having a man to support you. I think this gives off a truly worrying impression to readers, especially young teenage girls (this is after all a young adult novel), as it indicates that being single makes you 'less worthy' of recovery, as Avery feels, when in fact this is not true.
Have you read it? What did you think?