Thursday, 12 September 2013

Review: Slow Hand Quickens - Allie Mathews

Reviewer: Bex
Rating: 4 out of 5 Fairies
I enjoyed Slow Hand Quickens thoroughly. It was a deeply moving, yet uplifting coming of age-story, focusing on abuse, friendship and love.

The style and the pace of the novel worked successfully to allow the reader to follow the drama and Kristen's reaction to the situations she found herself.

This is a book that left me in tears. My heart broke on many occasions for the main character and for Chris. For such an array of sensitive and emotive subject issues that the author bravely broached, Allie Mathews did so with careful craft and consideration.

The graphic and sometimes disturbing scenes, the author especially handled well. She was sensitive, yet still enabled us to see the rawness and vulnerability of her characters. She held back just enough.

I particularly like the ways in which the main character, Kristen, grows and develops, especially when forming her tentative friendship with her bff, Mila.

Slow Hand Quickens is an inspiring read. Nicely done.
Slow Hand Quickens

Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Synopsis:
Growing up in an apathetic household with an abusive family friend, Kristen Weatherly doesn't know life can be better or that she even deserves it. When all your life you're told to be grateful for what little you have, no matter how awful, how do you know that your life can be more fulfilling?

Kristen's perspective begins to change her senior year in high school when she's befriended by Mila, a girl who shows Kristen that there are people in the world who care without expecting anything in return. Then comes Chris, a boy she's dubbed Mystery Eyes. She soon discovers that Chris' life is similar to her own in ways she never could have imagined.

Can the two get past their shocking and dreadful family histories together, or will their pasts come between them when it matters most?

This novel contains dark themes, sensitive issues and is intended for mature audiences only.

Snippet:
It all started years ago. Everything. Clara's apathy toward me, Travis' descent, John. It all came back to John. I wiped a hand over my face. What was I supposed to do? I was seventeen. I'd be eighteen soon enough, though not ever soon enough, but what good did that do me? I'd be eighteen, but still here trying to graduate high school. As much as I loathed my parents, they were still my parents. I couldn't abandon them. They hadn't abandoned me. As much hell as we put each other through, we were still there for each other. It wasn't like they'd kicked me out. I knew they could have. Not that I hadn't wondered, given how strained everything was between us. I wouldn't ask why they didn't.

This was my life. That was all there was to it. I'd grown up this way. This was how life was. It was hard, but it was a life. What other choice did I have? If I'd made it to my senior year in high school, I could make it through, too. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. This was the hand I was dealt, and I was strong enough to handle it. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I was going to make it out and it would be okay. I'd picture myself at a bus station, or a train station, hell, an airport, and I'd have a ticket in my hand. I'd look behind me and I wouldn't see anything. Because I was starting over. I was going to get on that bus or train or airplane and I'd get to be Kristen Weatherly. I wouldn't be Krissie. I wouldn't be someone's mistake of a child. I'd be my own.

I scratched behind my ear and looked out at the backyard. Empty, but it had life to it. Sort of how I felt.

Screw it, I wanted the chocolate chips. Who cared about peanut butter?

About the author:
Allie lives in North Carolina and works at a university bookstore. She reads and writes in her spare time, including lunch breaks. When she's not reading or writing she's usually watching something on television, whether a good show or movie; or she's hanging out with friends...also perhaps drinking. A small amount. Usually rum. She likes rum. Oh, chocolate! She also enjoys eating things chocolate-y. She's always open to book recommendations. She listens to music while she cooks, usually throwing in a few dance moves. Allie thinks random things at random times and writes them down, even when they don't seem to be in any sort of order. She is a work in progress.


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