Review ~ Jessica: The Autobiography of an Infant

I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book. As a mental health advocate and with first-hand experience as someone living with mental illness, I have a soft spot for memoirs involving psychology. The idea of someone being able to recall one’s own birth and infancy was something new I had not heard of, and it definitely piqued my interest.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Von Ghlan’s memoir about Jessica. I found myself empathetic and  saddened by her anxiety and unique ways of seeking help — something I can definitely relate to. I also found myself cheering for her throughout her recovery and at each breakthrough. At the beginning of this story(and, in a way, joining Jessica on her journey into her own psyche), I was touched at how much Jessica’s first appointment reminded me of my own first attempt in therapy; I relived that anxious feeling of not knowing how to express myself.

There were a few parts, sparsely, that I found myself fighting to not skim through. One particular scene is most prominent in that aspect. It is an early scene that describes Jessica’s morning routine, down to eating breakfast, brushing her hair, moving quietly through the house. I somewhat understood, later on in reading, how this scene shows Jessica’s pre-therapy personality; but at that point in the story, I didn’t really feel like I understood or felt like I knew her well enough at that point to care (for lack of a better word) about being walked through every step she took. I felt like I was being lulled along by her backstory as a teenager until the part in which she went to the movies, came home, and didn’t not speak to anyone for several days.

In the end, however, I was glad to have picked up Von Glahn’s memoir. I am all too familiar with being on the other side of the psychology fence as a patient, so I enjoyed reading it from his point of view as the psychologist. His first-person POV felt genuine, and I discovered myself feeling and thinking some of the same things during Jessica’s therapy sessions — wishing I could shout at her, “Why?! What do you mean you don’t want your ‘me’ back!” or wanting to cry for her.

All in all, a very good read. I highly recommend Von Glahn’s memoir if you have any interest in psychology, whether as a patient or an expert.

You can check out Jeffrey Von Ghlan’s memoir on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

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Rave Waves Radio Interview 1/10 @ 1PM EST/12PM CST

This Sunday, 1/10, I will be on Rave Waves Radio @ 1PM EST/12 PM CST to chat about my Contemporary Romance novel, Waiting for You. You can tweet your questions with hashtag #RRBCTagTeam2*4*5 and join in on the conversation! And, as always, feel free to tweet me @AlliW_writes!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub

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Review Opportunity – Xpresso Book Tours

Review opportunity! (In other words, you get a free book. Who doesn’t love free books?)

First, I want to thank Brittney Sahin for recommending Expresso Book Tours! If you’re looking to do the whole shebang of a big tour, a review query, or just a cover reveal, I highly recommend xpressobooktours.com.

My contemporary romance novel, Waiting for You, is available for review:

http://xpressobooktours.com/2015/12/01/review-opportunity-waiting-for-you-by-allison-williford/

You can receive a free copy (file types available are mobi, epub, and PDF) in exchange for a review.

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Review: Sinners and Saints by Chelsea Ballinger

You can check out Sinners and Saints by Chelsea Ballinger here. Here is the review I posted on Amazon:

Note: I received a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

To begin, I felt the story itself was good. I enjoyed the dark side to it. It had some good twists. The characters were engaging, and Hugo had a very nice development by the end. I was intrigued from the beginning by Gabriel’s suicide, and was not disappointed by the end. It had me asking questions from the very beginning. The story works well in first person POV — the voices are strong enough in first person, although I did feel each character who had a POV sounded a little too similar. I did feel that there were a few too many different POV characters; some of them could have been cut from the story. Jordana, Poppy, Kelly, Cody, Rebecca, Patrick, Margaret, Chad, Noel — they all had POV scenes that didn’t really seem to add to the story, or could have been told from Hugo’s, Juliet’s, or Scarlett’s POV. There also seemed to be a lot of unnecessary plot points that didn’t add a whole lot to the plot itself or move the story forward. I felt there were some scenes that could have been cut, and the story could have been a bit more concise and not quite so lengthy.

I don’t know if it was just the file I received, but there were quite a few grammatical and punctuation errors that were a bit distracting while I was reading. Some of the formatting was also off. It was a bit jarring at times. It gave me the feeling that this could have been edited better — some sentences had two spaces after a period, missing quotation marks from dialogue, missing commas between clauses, just to name a few. On dialogue, also — at times, it was a tad confusing who was speaking. More dialogue tags could have been used to clarify which character was speaking at times. There were also a few inconsistencies here and there; for example, most of the time, Juliet is described as having blue eyes, yet in one passage it says she has green eyes?

Overall, I enjoyed the story as a whole. Scarlett was such a bitch — I loved hating her. A few of the minor characters felt a bit flat, like Ms. Eleanor and Poppy; they seemed more like caricatures than well-rounded people. Again, I’m not sure if it’s just the PDF file I received, but it could use another round of editing for grammar and punctuation, and to clean up the formatting.

I’m all for supporting indie authors. Have a newly published book and need reviews? Hit me up!