Tuesday, 2 June 2015

With Angel's Wings (DNF Review)

Hi there!

Title: With Angel’s Wings
Author: Stephanie A. Collins
Publisher:  A Flair For Writing Publishing Services.
Published Date: 27th November 2013
Rating: DNF
 
*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

Synopsis: With Angel's Wings is the true story of Laura, a young wife and mother of a
three-year-old daughter. Her husband, Kevin, a marine, is deployed overseas,
leaving Laura to give birth to their second daughter and handle the
two young children on her own.

Thirteen days after the birth of her youngest, the pediatrician detects a heart
murmur. That leads to just the first of multiple diagnoses for both
of her daughters, sending Laura on an unexpected and emotional journey into the
world of parenting medically-fragile, special needs children.


Right when Laura fears she will break under the incredible pressure, she encounters
the beauty of true love, in a most unexpected and unconventional way.

Review: I think the reason I DNFed this at 38% one was partly because it wasn’t for me, but then also partly because of the book itself. I am also feeling very guilty about critiquing this because it is a true story and I do understand that this has happened to them. I am no way judging the story when I mention the negative points – but more so the story and the way it was written. And I did scan through the rest of the novel so I know what happens and can talk about it as a whole.

Reasons it wasn’t for me:

-       This book is about pregnancy and marriage and I am a sixteen year old girl. I am not saying it means I am not able to read it, but I probably won’t be able to connect to this one as much as let’s say, a mother would who is married.
-       This is a memoir. This goes both ways, actually. I do like reading memoirs, I really do! About anything really – pregnancy and other stuff that is way over my head. I am curious about all of it, especially if it is a true story. But sometimes memoirs can be hard to write right, and if it’s done wrong I am quick to put it down.
-       I misjudged. I thought Hannah – the child struggling in question would not remain a baby in the novel but grow up as well. But she didn’t. Hannah remains a baby and well, I was not expecting that. One of the reasons I picked this up was also to see her development and progress as a child too.

Reasons it might not be the best written book:

-       Laura gets whiny. I think she has every right to panic. She doesn’t have a supportive husband at all and she is dealing with a child who is going through severe issues. But after 38% of hearing the same thoughts continuously swim through her mind, it started to get bothersome and I couldn’t enjoy the book as much because it was too repetitive! When it comes to writing a memoir I do think it is important that we hear the main characters thoughts. But when it comes to being the same, we don’t need them again but we need a simple sentence like ‘the same worries continued plaguing her mind’ or so. Or maybe a situation in which we see her worries being acted out, instead of having to read through them again. What I can appreciate about Laura is that she does try to think positive, no matter how dire her situation sometimes becomes.



-       It was predictable? If a memoir can be? With saying this, I don’t mean the situation with Hannah. Because I had no idea how that would end (which was why I continued to scan through the novel.) But when it comes to things like her marriage and love it was pretty predictable.
-       The main characters were basically the two kids who can’t say much for themselves, Laura, and Kevin. And when I say that was the cast, I mean THAT’S IT. The nurses usually didn’t have names and well, the main nurse was there just to give information. There were basically no secondary characters that continued to really appear.

BUT I would like to say this was a meaningful story. I wish more people had support from their families in situations like Laura’s, and I do think writing a book is a good way to get the word out involving rare diseases/syndromes.

I am sure other people might enjoy this one more than me :)

Olivia’s Question: Do you know anyone who has a physical disability or genetic disorder?


Olivia-Savannah x 

32 comments:

  1. I think this review was very well done, especially since it was a DNF. The topic doesn't really speak to me but I guess there are people who would enjoy it. Interesting review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even though it was a DNF I did want to give it a worth review! And yes, this topic might not be for everyone...

      Delete
  2. Wow, you've highlighted all the negative points! Well-written review Olivia! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am glad that you can pinpoint why you don't care for a book and then call it quits. There are too many books calling our name on our TBR piles to read something that we aren't enjoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I am going to DNF one, then there really does have to be a good reason for it and I need to know it myself! And yes, too many books to linger on ones we aren't enjoying.

      Delete
  4. Hi, Olivia - Sounds like it had potential, but I'm not in love with repetitive phrases or thoughts in books either. I think we all need to DNF a book now and again. Not every book is for everybody.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did have it, especially as it was a true story as well. But I really just couldn't push through this one.

      Delete
  5. I'm sure that this is a hard read and I'm sorry you had to DNF it. To answer your question, yes I know someone with a genetic disorder. My sister suffered from seizures from birth until about age 9-10. Back then, the doctors wrote it off as epilepsy. Come to find out, she has a rare disease called Transverse Myelitis, or TM. It's hard to detect and we aren't sure what really caused her onset back in March, but she went through so many tests before they figured it out. She has multiple lesions on her spine and her brain, so she's partially paralyzed but getting some of the feeling back in her legs. She's been in the hospital now for almost a month and she has to stay there at least 3 more weeks. It's tiring and stressful for all involved, especially her husband and kids. If my mom was still here, I'm sure she'd be freaking out about her baby girl being sick again. They basically lived in the hospital when she was younger. I'm not sure I could read such a sad and emotional memoir such as this one. Kudos for giving it a go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand how a sad memoir like this one could be to get through for you as well! It does sound like the situation with your sister isn't going too well lately, and I sincerely hope she recovers from it plaguing her as soon as possible. I will be praying for her over here. It's great the support that you are all giving her although yes, I can imagine it being pretty taxing on her children. :/

      Delete
    2. Lekeisha, I'm sorry about your sister's diagnosis. It sounds like you guys are struggling with some really rough days. My heart goes out to you, your sister, and the rest of the family. I wrote therapeutically as I was going through similar rough times. It was at the urging of nurses and therapists that I published, as mine is actually a story with something of a "happy" ending (with the message that happiness CAN be found, even when fate hands you challenges). I will be sending positive thoughts as your sister continues with her prolonged hospitalization, sending all my positive thoughts! ~Stephanie

      Delete
  6. Dear Olivia,

    I need to apologize. When you requested a copy of my book to review for your book blog, I naturally assumed you were an adult reviewer.
    Had I known you were a minor, I never would have sent a copy. I'm actually thankful you stopped reading when you did - that you weren't exposed to later sections of the book containing more mature themes (sexual content, scenes related to severe depression, discussion of euthanasia, etc.). While it is always difficult to read a critical review of my story, this situation has spurred me to ensure I clearly categorize my book for readers aged 18+. I would hate for other children to purchase/request this book, as you did, and find themselves reading a book not appropriate for them. Happy future reading.

    ~Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Stephanie,

      If I am completely honest, the later scenes you mentioned I am perfectly comfortable with and do not mind because in general I do read some pretty mature books. I was aware of what I was getting into :) And I did scan the rest of the book and I did like the story in general and was happy with the outcome of it. It just didn't include the aging of Hannah in it which was something I had expected and was a bit disappointed to find was not going to happen.

      But thank you for commenting,

      Olivia

      Delete
  7. What I can't understand is why a reviewer would attempt to read a book that is not for her, and then give a bad review afterward? The blurb you posted clearly states what the book is about. As a writer, I feel this is unfair. I read and review books, as well. I know what I like and don't like. I always read the blurb before considering a book to read and review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always good to try and read outside of your comfort zone, but that isn't why I chose this one. This is usually my kind of book - I have a disabled little sister and therefore am always reading books centered around diseases and disabilities because I can relate to being a family member around the one this is happening to. I had read the blurb.

      What didn't work out for me was that Hannah always remained a baby. I noticed that about 30% into the book, and scanning ahead I realised it was completely like this. I wanted to see her grow up and see if there were any trials with her becoming a toddler and growing into a child -- and was sad that this didn't happen.

      I write DNF reviews mostly because the author did give me a copy for review so I am going to review it. It still gets their book some attention because I pin the cover of every book I read, and hopefully readers who would like this one might find it. That's why I post DNF reviews too!

      Delete
    2. I can't understand your multiple complaints that Hannah "remains a baby". The book spans 6 years, and the epilogue (which I made sure you had access to) spanned the following 10 years. She "remains a baby" because of her diagnosis. She is now 19. She weighs 50 pounds, is non-verbal, non-ambulatory, incontinent, and has the cognitive ability of a 6-month-old. So...she's STILL a baby. That's simply a reality in this true story.

      Delete
  8. Oh sorry to hear this didn't work out for you... I'm not even sure if it would be something I would enjoy. My great-aunt had an ictus and lost quite a lot of abilities and ended up in a wheelchair. She's passed away now but just seeing how someone can go from doing everything to being basically in a vegetative state was quite a shock. I've also worked with children with different genetic disorders for my internship while I was studying Psychology at University. It was really hard indeed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shock of knowing how fast someone's condition can deteriorate can be really hard to got through, especially when it is someone you love as well. I'm sorry to hear about your great-aunt :( And it is so good for you to volunteer and work with children as well :) It might not have always been easy but you must have been making a change and been a helping hand.

      Delete
  9. As the editor of this book, I removed tons of material for a better word flow. I kept the inner dialogue to enhance the author 's raw emotions and honest feelings. Most readers have commented favorably. There is no book on earth that will please everybody. However, considering the amount of awards this author has received, she definitely should feel proud of her accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, not every book is for everyone, but it is great that the author is so accomplished! She should feel proud :)

      Delete
  10. Sorry to hear this was a DNF for you, but you gave clear reasons about why the story wasn't for you. I am sure this is a book that will help get the word out about the syndrome mentioned in the memoir. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this one. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the memoir does raise awareness about the condition! There are some diseases that need some more attention, in my opinion.

      Delete
  11. I think it's great that you gave this book a chance. I can see why the book made you feel ill at ease. Heck, I'm a 40-year old woman with two children who's wary of these type of reads. I read books to escape, so I tend to seek out books that gives me the warm fuzzies. Nothing against this book or the author, it's just something that I probably couldn't endeavour to read.

    Sorry it didn't work out for you, hun. And thank you for the honest review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not every read is for every person. Thanks for stopping by Joy <3

      Delete
  12. Amazing post dear!

    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/printed-sea-3880191

    ReplyDelete
  13. Whoa, talk about heavy subject matter. I am actually on the other end, and I don't know if it WOULD be any easier to read. I AM a mother, I AM married, I DO have a child with a genetic disorder and I have HEAPS of marriage issues. I tell you all that because even knowing some of that firsthand, it would be a very, very difficult book to read.

    I am quite lucky that my son's genetic disorder is not life-threatening, though he will most likely pass it to any child he has, and it has the potential to have more severe problems. It's scary, but I am thankful that it isn't the same situation that Laura went through.

    Also, as for the DNF review, you are entitled to your opinion, and you also stated WHY the book didn't work for you, and how it COULD work for someone else. This is your opinion, and you discussed it in a fine manner, with all the disclaimers. Please don't ever feel like you are in the wrong for sharing your opinion!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shannon! I did try my best when it came to sharing my opinion and mentioning that it might be for other people than myself :)

      This sounds like it could be a heavy read all around, whether you can relate to the situation or not! I am glad that it isn't life threatening for your son, and I hope those potential problems never do occur!

      Delete
  14. Kudos to you for even deciding to pick up a book that's completely outside of what you know. It's not easy at all doing DNF reviews, (trust me I know lol) so I commend you for not bashing the story or the author, and even though you highlighted some negative points, they still were done respectfully. Good job girl, and sorry you didn't enjoy this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Tika :) I tried my best!

      Delete
  15. So sorry this didn't work out for you Olivia! I would have to say, though, that this is a very well-written DNF review with both negative and positive points highlighted. You gave some valid points on why you DNF it but at the same time, you also gave reasons on why other readers may enjoy it. This is not for me either even though I'm already an adult, but I'm sure someone else will enjoy it for the same reasons you DNF it. Lovely review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I do hope someone else will enjoy it some more than I did.

      Delete