24 August 2015

Shattering Stigmas: A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell
Release Date: February 1st 2015
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Add it: Goodreads 

This book is aptly named. It was a small book and it drove me mad reading it (and not in the "ohmygodthisbookiscrazyawesome way either").

I picked this up as part of the Shattering Stigmas event hosted by the lovely ladies mentioned in this post. After reading the vague description on the back and seeing it had contacts for Beyond Blue and other helplines for pregnancy and depression,  I didn't really have any idea of what to expect from this book, but it sounded interesting and seemed to fit the bill for what I was after. After skimming some reviews, I was expecting great things from this book but oh, how very wrong I was. This book was a fucking drag. I may have finished it in a couple of days, but this is because it was pretty easy to read and only has about 250 pages.

Basically, a teen girl falls pregnant to her boyfriend and they don't want to keep it. That's it. I understand what the author was trying to do, I really do. I appreciate that there was attempt to explore the importance of how teen pregnancy can affect different parties, that sometimes it can produce very negative results and how the mother in particular can be mentally affected. But, the execution was an utter fail. 

The writing was an absolute bore to read, not to mention frustrating. You know those books that switches point of view every few paragraphs and it can get a little bit annoying if not done correctly? Well hold onto your seats because this book switches viewpoints every freakin' paragraph. I shit you not. Sometimes it even switches from one sentence to the next. I was just getting vaguely interested in what one character was thinking or doing and then it would just switch and throw me off completely.

Speaking of the characters, I despised all of them. I get that the two main characters (Rose and her boyfriend - can't remember his name) experienced something pretty horrible and terrifying, but you would think that something like that would make me care about them. Nope. Rose and whatshisface were so wrapped up in eachother they had no other characteristics that made me give a shit. Rose's bestfriend Liv is probably the only character I liked and she was the "school slut". Rose treated her like crap and Liv was constantly belittled by Rose's boyfriend and the rest of the character cast as well. We are CONSTANTLY reminded that Liv is a slut and it's implied she has daddy issues too (wtf?). Liv's mum was a sweetheart and I loved her but the rest of the parents were such arseholes to their arsehole children.

Now right around here I'd normally mention something to do with the plot, but there was no plot. I was so fucking bored. Rose fell pregnant to Michael, she doesn't tell her parents etc (understandably, it's kinda a scary situation), gets severely depressed about it, and the "twist"? Rose gives herself an abortion when she's almost due and then gets done in by the cops because her and her boyfriend buried it. Oh, and her depression is pretty heavy shit, but those important things are kinda shoved away to the side for a lot of it and instead we focus on how much of a slut her best friend is and when she's going to see her boyfriend next.

I did enjoy one thing about this book, and it was how it didn't gloss over the gory details. Like how bloody and painful a miscarriage might be and how teenage pregnancy can completely and utterly affect somebody still in high school. But it wasn't enough. The heavy themes were there and this book could have been so much more had the writing not been terrible and the characters weren't all scum.

Apologies for the swearing and ranting, but god, this was a waste of my time and money and I'm so angry.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you disliked this so much! When this released I'd heard people ranting and raving over it and am glad I didn't spend my money. Hopefully the ranting helped a bit and your next book will be much more pleasant! I vote you read Simon - he'll make everything better! Funny thing though? I could actually hear your voice in my head as I was reading this review...


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