Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gwendolyn vs. the Band of Barren Hearts by Mary E. Palmerin

Gwendolyn vs. the Band of Barren HeartsGwendolyn vs. the Band of Barren Hearts by Mary E. Palmerin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Writing: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★

Overall rating: 4.3
**** 4 "Stop the madness!" Stars ****
What I was reminded of while reading Gwendolyn vs. the Band of Barren Hearts, was that no matter how good a person is, no matter how well they were raised and how much love they had, that life shouldn't be taken for granted. It can change in an instant, in just one split second.

"A girl who has lost a lot. I lost who I was. My life. My parents. My memories. My hopes and dreams."

That is how Gwendolyn's life was. She had parents who were proud of her and loved her above all things. Then they were killed in a car accident, throwing Gwen into the foster care system where she slips through the cracks, and is afraid to speak up to her caseworker about all the horrendous things that are going on in the small trailer she shares with her foster parents and another foster child.

"The demons will soon come out to dance with the devil and I have front row seats to the show."

She tries to keep to herself, not wanting to be "friends" with the Welch, her foster brother. School is terrible, not only is she "the new girl", but she is singled out by Conner. A bully that takes great pleasure in making Gwen and Welch his daily targets, much to the delight of other classmates that don't want to get on his bad side. And there is Welch, constantly trying to talk to her, protect her, get her to trust him.

"Dysfunctional love at its finest, but it is us; true, real, always and forever. Nothing but death will change that."

Life at home is brutal. And I don't use that term lightly. Claude and Helen are the foster parents from hell. The terrible life they heap on Welch and Gwen is beyond abusive. When things reach the moment of truth for Gwen and Welch, they run from the inevitable result of their actions.

"I am his monster and he is mine. This is a flawless recipe for disaster that will equal deadly results."

Life on the run is dark and scary for Welch and Gwen. They have no idea where to go, and only a few dollars to get them there. They don't know if anyone is following them or if they were able to just slip away. The only thing they are sure of is their love for each other.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, except for the repetitive, constant, inner monologue in Gwen's head. Which is what brings this book down from a 4.6 to a 4.3 rating. I would have enjoyed being in Welch's head a bit more.

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