Starza Thompson over at Windy City Reviews gave Bend Me, Shape Me a long and marvelous review today. Below are some of my favorite excerpts, but I really hope you will click through to read everything she had to say.
Bend Me Shape Me takes a deep and fascinating look into the world of teen homelessness in Chicago. Through the eyes of Snow Ramirez, Jo Sullivan, and Leonard Goldenhawk, author Debra Borys shepherds the audience on a terrifying journey of homelessness, mental illness, family problems, and murder.
This novel was chock full of nail-biting scenes and page-turning tension, making it very hard to put down. Throughout the book, Borys does an excellent job of painting a realistic picture of homeless youth and the struggle they have with mental illness, family, trust, and more. From the very first page of this novel, the audience is pulled into Snow’s story and her struggle to keep her brother and herself safe.
For me, this book was both entertaining and eye-opening. The plot twists and multiple narrators kept me flipping the page to find out what happened next, while the reality of Snow’s situation made me want to learn more about how I could make a difference in the lives of homeless youth. As someone who loves psychological thrillers and who is a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters, this book combined my interests in ways I didn’t think possible. I immediately wanted to know more about Snow and her brother and could have easily read a book twice as long on this topic.
Bend Me Shape Me is a chilling and tension-drenched thriller that will enable you to take a long hard look at the plight of the homeless. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers that make you think—once you pick up this book, you will struggle to put it down!
via Windy City Reviews – Book Reviews.
Jeffrey Miller, author of Ice Cream Headache, When a Hard Rain Falls and several other novels, gave Bend Me, Shape Me a warm 5-star review on Amazon.com. Here’s what he had to say:
I would like to echo the sentiments of the other reviewers here regarding how engrossing and riveting this book is. I was immediately drawn into the story by Debra Borys’ deft handling of the drama and the raw, gritty dialogue. She’s got a knack for capturing the futility of life as revealed in the characters struggling with their own demons and hardships. This is some powerful writing.
via Jeffrey Miller, author of Ice Cream Headache
I almost missed this 4-star review of Bend Me, Shape Me. Al is one of Amazon’s top 1000 reviewers and posted the review both on his website and on Amazon.com. Here’s what he had to say:
Although the story of Bend Me, Shape Me is an engrossing thriller and a satisfying read for that reason alone, what I found most interesting was the light it shines on the issues faced by homeless kids. Sure, the book has the normal disclaimers about not being about real people, and I believe that. But prominent in the author’s bio is her experience working with organizations that help such kids. I’ve got to believe the issues, experiences, and difficulties of runaways and throwaways are depicted accurately, even though the specific personalities and characteristics of the kids in the story are made up.
via Big Al’s Books and Pals
While I have been extremely pleased by all the positive reviews Bend Me, Shape Me has received, I have been waiting anxiously for the first unsolicited review to be written by someone who was neither a friend nor a professional reviewer first contacted by me. Someone purely a reader/fan, in other words. Today, it happened.
Not only is Sheri Wilkinson a prolific Amazon reviewer (a Top Reviewer Ranking of 7,354 is nothing to sneeze at!) but her profile states she is from Princeton, IL which I consider my home turf. I spent about fifteen years living twenty minutes away and was just there yesterday at the library getting some writing done. Princeton is also the inspiration for one of the settings in my current WIP, A Bull By The Horns.
Thank you, Sheri!
A nail-biting all night thriller. The characters were likable, I could feel what they were experiencing. I would love to read more in the Street Stories by Debra R. Borys
via Amazon.com: Sheri A. Wilkinson’s review of Bend Me, Shape Me (Street Stories).
I knew from an email Jill at IndieHeart sent me two weeks ago that this review of Bend Me, Shape Me would be a good one. Jill has experience working with troubled teens and so her accolades are high praise indeed. Please click through to read more, including a brief overview of the main characters that you should find interesting.
I found most of the characters in Bend Me, Shape Me to be well drawn. Alley is the perfect picture of a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome. Snow, who has been diagnosed as bipolar (like many traumatized teen girls with legitimate anger) is a strong and compelling character. You will find yourself pulling for her from the beginning.
The author also brings a high degree of craft to the elements that make the story an experience you can see, hear, and smell; she has a talent for both descriptive language and dialogue. The conversations between characters, in particular, ring true. If you want your street people to speak a polite, formal language, look elsewhere. This story is a story of the cold winter streets and abandoned squats of Chicago where survival is difficult and language is colorful. Ms. Borys paints a picture that makes you feel you are there.
via Review of Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra R. Borys | IndieHeart.
Tanja from Bosnia didn’t think Bend Me, Shape Me‘s plot twist related to the government was necessary, but does say that it was logical and the book was nicely done. She also prefaced her review on Jacitamati by admitting crime fiction isn’t really her preferred genre. 3.5 stars from someone who doesn’t usually enjoy suspense novels? I’ll take it!
Being a reader makes you discover different things about yourself. For example, I’m huge fan of tv-crime shows and I watched who knows how many CSI and Criminal Minds episodes but when it comes to suspense or crime books I tend to avoid them. They simply don’t do it for me, but maybe I will discover some book that will change my mind. This one was a nice and interesting read but it didn’t bring that epiphany, nor did I expect it to. It wouldn’t be fair to set my expectations that high.
via Ja čitam, a ti?: Bend Me, Shape Me by Debra R. Borys.