This review originally posted on BookViral.com
A powerful and gritty novella that plumbs the highs of hope and the depths of despair, Sick proves a genuine page-turner with Wojciechowski delivering an extraordinary read. With relentless momentum we are drawn to her narrative as intrigue mounts, feeling sure there is a twist coming but deftly misdirected as events spin further out of control. Mining the darkness of the hidden psyche to show us a glimpse of a reality few will ever experience to leave us deep in thought, it’s an ambitious theme to tackle in a novella but here it works in Wojciechowski’s favour. Her prose are tightly spun and characters are superbly nuanced with dialogue which brings an unrelenting sense of immediacy, telling her story in short staccato bursts that are just enough to bait us and keep us off balance as Susan grapples with the uncertainty of Johns downward spiralling health. Like most issue novels, this is not an easy read, but it becomes increasingly poignant and transcendent as Susan begins to see through the veil of deceit the real John has hidden behind.
Wojciechowski has clearly set out to write a highly compelling story that brings the trauma of Factitious disorder (formerly known as Munchausen Syndrome) into focus and her ability to tell a story that is so dark and full of pain speaks volumes to her talent as a writer. Highly original, it is recommended without reservation.
Thanks to Book Viral for their review of Sick Part I.
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The SICK Series has been dubbed as horror by quite a few bloggers and reviewers, but I’d never even read modern horror! I was curious, so one late night, I began investigating on the internet to seek out fellow female horror writers. That’s how I discovered author Carrie Green, who was kind enough to send me a review copy of her book. Here’s my review of her Top 100 Amazon Bestselling collection of short stories, Roses are Red.
Roses are Red
This book was like a dark chocolate sampler of Carrie Green’s writing. Each story is unique in plot and theme. Her writing is descriptive without unnecessary gore, and her characters are all too human, which is why they are so chilling.
Green gives us an impressive amount of information within the brief space of a short story without bogging us down with details. Not only does she cleverly reveal her characters’ flaws, we know exactly what motivates them.
A Long Distance Relationship starts off as a brutal murder, but becomes much more than a crime story. I found it tantalizing because you could view it as a ghost story or one where guilt executes the ultimate revenge.
A Lucky Human surprised me. I’m not familiar with scifi, and this turned out to be my favorite tale. Green’s vision of the future was realistic and believable, and the concept of the story was brilliant.
Cash Only focuses on one of my favorite themes, discovering the ugly truth about oneself and deciding whether or not to accept it.
What I found most charming about Carrie Green’s stories is the understated delivery of the denouement. It takes a minute for the complexity of the endings to sink in. When they do, you just sit back and go ‘Wow.’
Not only will horror fans love this collection of horror stories, readers of literary fiction will appreciate them too. I’m excited to read more of Carrie Green’s writing. It is a horrific pleasure to read.
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Hello dear readers,
I’ve been enjoying some great books lately and I thought maybe you’d like to hear about them. You might ask, why, Christa? Why so many druggy books?
Well, for one, I am in the process of revising my three part series of druggy books. And, number two, I’m now working within the addiction/recovery sector where I’ve been discovering amazing writers that you might miss out on if I don’t tell you about them.
Just a few years ago, Jason Smith was lying in his bathtub, the blood slowly draining from his slit wrists. Now he is here to tell us how he reached the point of suicide after his long, dark descent into prescription opiate abuse. The Bitter Taste Dying is a story of resurrection told by an author who has literally come back from the black grip of death.
Today’s junkies are not just on the street corner anymore. Big Pharma are the suppliers, and doctors are the pushers, cultivating (perhaps inadvertently, but that’s debatable) a massive population of addicts from all demographics.
After a severe car accident, Smith has back surgery and is given a perpetual menu of painkillers and muscle relaxers by his physicians. It doesn’t take long for the high schooler to realize that by taking more than the recommended dosage, he could obtain the warm, euphoric mental and physical comfort only opiates can bring. But all too soon he also discovers the pangs of withdrawal whenever his medication runs out.
If anyone has difficulty understanding what an addict feels like, Smith describes it with painful accuracy.
“You know that feeling of having your head held under water, the last of your oxygen depleted, where very fiber of your being screams at you to get to the surface for more air? That’s the feeling of needing more drugs…”
As Smith grows into a man, his addiction grows to mammoth proportions and he must go through heroic efforts to keep himself in pills and Fentanyl patches. Smith tells the story in an approachable, conversational tone that may have you laughing out loud at some parts. As horrendous as it is watching how far he would go and how morally low he would sink to get more drugs, it’s difficult not to marvel at his ingenuity and boldness.
Released July 6th 2015
At the same time, Smith writes with tender honesty and cutting unabashedness that is rare in any writer, much less any human being. The reader immediately feels very close to him, making his shocking confessions feel like blows.
The Bitter Taste of Dying is an important book that underscores the urgency with which society has to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic. It allows us to watch with uncomfortable closeness how easy it is to develop an addiction to pain medication and how quickly and mercilessly it can devour one’s entire life.
From aspiring football star to international criminal, Smith shows us step by step how opiate addiction can happen to anyone you know, and very likely destroy them. Most importantly, The Bitter Taste of Dying reveals the light at the end of the tunnel–even the most hopeless addict can make it out alive.
Jonathan Alter, former Senior Editor Newsweek, MSNBC, et. al. says, “This memoir grabs you by the throat on the first page and doesn’t let go until you’re done, in one sitting–gasping for breath because you know, finally, what it’s like to be a drug addict without having been one yourself.”
NY Times bestselling author Jerry Stahl of Permanent Midnight and OG Dad says, “Jason is a great writer who’s clearly done the life-destroying research that I can relate to. This is the voice of a new generation of drug addicts.”
Bob Levy, Executive Producer of Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl says, “Jason Smith hits the Zeitgeist bullseye like few other writers. I’m going to devour everything with this guy’s name on it.”
JASON SMITH is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, whose work has been published extensively in both online and print media. Jason Smith is also the Creative Director of TheRealEdition.com, a recently launched website that allows addicts, recovering addicts, and their loved ones to publish their stories of addiction. Jason currently lives in northern California with his wife Megan and two children, Jaden and Isabella.
The Bitter Taste of Dying is released July 6th, 2015 by Thought Catalog and available in Kindle, iBooks, and hard copy on his website.
Jason Smith is available for interviews, contributions, and appearances. To schedule a media event, order books, or request review copies, please contact me at christawojo at gmail.com.
Note from your blog host:
If you or anyone you know has experienced prescription drug abuse, I urge you to help us get the word out by sharing and reblogging this post.
According to the 2010 National Survey on Drugs Use and Health, an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time in the past year. This averages about 6,600 initiates per day, of which one-third are 12 to 17 years of age.
Thank you for helping spread awareness!
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