Friday, March 16, 2018

Review: A song for Josh by by Susan Rodgers

Hello readers,

a while ago I was offered a free copy of A song for Josh by Susan Rodgers in exchange for an honest review. A song of Josh is the first book in the Drifters series.
It was marketed to me as an angsty, new adult romance. So that was what I expected to get.

A song for Josh tells the story of Jessie Wheeler who early on in her life looses her father, becomes a runaway and later a famous singer and actress who seems to heal through her music. She is engaged to famous actor Charlie Deacon when she one day meets Charlies old and troubled friend Josh, who she will later on work with on the set of Drifters.
Both Jessie and Josh have troubled pasts and somehow seem to connect over them. Will they manage to resist temptation?
And then there is also an unsolved murder?

First of all this book has a lot of trigger warnings, such as addiction, abuse and rape. So it might not be for everyone or as it was for me simply too much of it, especially towards the end.
As mentioned tells this book the story of Jessie Wheeler, which shows in the writing style where you mainly are told things instead of shown, which for me made it hard to connect with the story and relate to the characters. I simply felt as a spectator of the story which was even further encouraged through the ominiscient narrator. The switches of perspectives are usually appreciated by me, but with this type of narrator and happening really often it was confusing most of the times. When it comes to the writing it was overall not for me. I know some people like this style of writing, it is just not for me.

The story itself came of as a hopeful romance with some depth to it due to Jessies troubles past as well as Joshs addiction problems and his own troubled past, but I soon felt it was more womans fiction than a new adult romance.

For the majority of the book I couldn`t relate to Jessie and didn`t really like her character, that however changed towards the end of the book once I had a deeper understanding of her character. I  did like Josh and his character and could understand him a bit better right from the start.
As for the rest of the story I felt there was simply too much darkness, too much bad things happening, it got very depressing for me and I several times thought about DNFing it because of the constant stories about abuse, rape, etc. it just wasn`t for me. I missed some lightness, especially regarding the romance.

Overall I feel this could have been so much better with a little bit of more balance. More balance when it came to darkness and lightness, more balance when it came to telling and showing. More structured switches of the perspectives.
I was intrigued and I definetly enjoyed parts of it, but there was definetly too many things I wasn`t happy with so 2 out of 5 stars from me.

As usual I am interested in your thoughts on this book, so please let me know in the comments below how you enjoyed this novel or if you are planning on picking it up.
I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Guest Post: My Inspiration for the Ocean Liner by Marius Gabriel

I came across the story of the SS Manhattan's dramatic voyage while researching for ideas in newspapers of the period.

The idea fired my imagination: a magnificent luxury liner, the largest ever built in the United States, pressed into service to carry hundreds of desperate refugees from the war in Europe to safety in the US, and having to make the perilous Atlantic crossing through submarine-infested waters.
On board were almost two thousand souls, some of them penniless Jews, leaving Nazi Germany with no more than a suitcase, some of them rich and celebrated.

Among the famous were the great composer Igor Stravinsky and the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini, both of them at a crisis in their lives. Both were marked down as enemies, and either man would have been killed out of hand by the Nazis, if captured.
Arturo Toscanini

Igor Stravinsky
Also on board were the children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, including Bobby, who would be assassinated on his way to the American presidency in 1968, and Teddy, whose own presidential ambitions ended at Chappaquiddick in 1969.

Teddy and Bobby

Influential newspaper owner Lord Beaverbrook was another passenger, on a top-secret mission to see his old friend President Roosevelt, and hopefully talk him into supporting Britain in the war against Germany.
Show-business figures were also on board, including 7-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, on her way to America for a screen test with Paramount, which would launch her on a glittering career. At the other end of the scale was fading beauty Fanny Ward, a star of the silent screen, now in her 70s, and still clinging to her soubriquet, "The Girl Who Wouldn't Grow Old."

Young Elizabeth Taylor

Fanny Ward

It fascinated me to imagine these vivid characters interacting with each other on the long, dangerous voyage; and the opportunity to introduce some fictional characters of my own, and see what happened, was irresistible.

Writing the book was thrilling. I tried to keep each character, real or fictional, true to their identities. It was part reconstruction and part invention. I spent many months of board the Manhattan, and I will never forget them!

The Ocean Liner by Marius Gabriel is published by Lake Union Publishing on 20th March