Thursday, October 9, 2014

Charlotte Stein - Beyond Repair

When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.
However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem is—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.
And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.

Comment: I've got this book to read since I saw this post in Sonomalass' blog. As it happened with the other title she mentioned there, which I've read, I also had to read this one. The blurb seemed interesting enough to captivate me.

Now, I am aware of the huge issue about this book's publisher currently on the on line community conversations. I can't say I'm much into the subject and the only things I know I've read in blogs by people whose words I follow. However, I do agree the publisher isn't acting correctly and how that is sad and wrong and unfair to the writers who have their work published there. I got this book before the whole thing came out on force and I have several other titles published by them on my TBR list. I won't stop reading them in case I feel like it, because in the end it's the author's work and effort there, but it's indeed sad this is happening and I won't buy from them from now on. It's just so unfair to the writers...

So, this title. I was really curious to see how the author would present this story. This book's about an actor being found passed out on a young woman's house. She helps him and she realizes he attempted suicide. After helping him recover they start a mutual supporting relationship based on talking, sharing and just their thoughts. But then Alice's weirdness starts to be too obvious and despite the good front, could there be something wrong with her?

I think the style of this story's development was very different from what we see. I almost feel the loss of a more traditional structure and at first I was finding the constant mystery omissions too much. There's something behind Alice's fears and phobias and although we get to imagine what could be, the reality is so much more different.
Still, I think the way this was told, whose goal I assume is to be different and provocative and to emphasize the actual relationship in the moment, still felt too focused for my taste. I mean, I wouldn't have minded a bit more setting, more moments outside the actions in the house to create a better atmosphere. I guess I imagined this to be developed like usual and couldn't get past that totally.

There's a lot of dialog and they share a lot about themselves, about what's like to be them and what expectations Holden knows other want from him, and about Alice's fear of leaving the house. There's a certain sexual fantasy layer too, due to their attraction. But that was hard to accept logically because I can't imagine someone who had such a trauma reacting that way, but...people are different in everything, why not this too. Still...

In the end, both of them learned a lesson and took their feelings for each other as a way to deal with personal demons. They got support in the other. Holden decided to be someone better and to face what troubled him. Alice told the truth and after his bravery, she also showed a huge amount of courage to take a chance on love. I never doubted their feelings were right and true, only the way they acted on it before admitting it was rather weird.

The whole story has a weird b«vibe but the main plot is unique and was done lightly all things considered but in a very emotional way. I liked it but there were many aspects I struggled with, therefore the lower grade.
Grade: 6/10

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