Forget everything you know about fairytales. There comes a point in a woman’s life when she realizes not everyone gets a happy ending.
And no one knows this better than Lillian Shaw.
The safety of a small southern upbringing and a happy normal family couldn’t keep life from chipping away at her.
And nothing leaves its mark like the bite of a broken heart.
Blow after blow, Lillian tries to stay optimistic, but when faced with a choice that could destroy her future, she gives in to the temptation.
When your first true love comes crashing into your happily ever after, you’re supposed to walk away. Not fall back in love.
But saying no to Leo was something Lillian could never do…
Once lines are crossed is there any going back?
Or is the risk that Lillian Shaw takes going to leave her broken again…
And this time be enough to make her A Woman Gone Mad?
***Warning: This is not a shy and tender fairytale love story. It’s a raw, tragic, and gritty story inspired by true events. This book is not for the faint of heart, it contains graphic language, sex, violence, and drug use. MATURE Audiences Only. Not intended for young adult readers.***
What the hell is up y’all?! I’m Kimber, and I really freaking hope y’all enjoy AWGM! If you get a chance, throw me a review up on my FB page, www.facebook.com/AWGMbyKimberDawn or Goodreads if you loved it! I am a whore for reviews.
Ahh… let’s see, what can I tell you about my self… Well, first of all I’m a straight up whore for many, many things. I’m a wine whore, some would say I’m a functional alcoholic, and I’m totally cool with that title. Now the day my cheese completely falls off my cracker and I lose the functional in that title, well yeah never mind. Even then I’ll deny that shit. I’m a whore for Victoria’s Secret, no seriously, like my VS Angel’s Credit Card stays maxed out, hey, they got cool shit. I have a whole lot of hats, meaning I can be called a billion different things, daughter, wife, mother, labor unit nurse, I sell pussy on the side *coughs* that would be persian kittens, thank you you dirty minded scoundrel, I’m also compulsive blackjack addict, book blogger, book pimp, book whore, Jack Daniels is my favorite boyfriend and my biggest dream, the day I’ll acknowledge that I’ve succeeded in life and can a die a happy woman is the day I get to go two stark naked hour round sexual bouts with Jason Statham. *Sighs* I started writing poems and short stories very early in my life, you know for the Michael’s and Leo’s and Nick’s in my life. I’ve been a book hoarder since I was eleven years old, but then a couple years ago something wonderful happened! The 50 shades of Grey craze brought to life my inner smut whore where I commenced to read anything and everything smut affiliated. When reading wasn’t enough any anymore and I noticed that so many of the authors of my favorite books weren’t getting the exposure their work deserved I turned it into a mission, starting my own blog, buying their books and reading them one by one, I then wrote my reviews for my blog and didn’t hold back in writing them. I’ve never done a single thing in my life half way, I always go all in. After the success of my Blog, and the insistence of one of my bestest friends, my sister from another mister, Trina Taylor of Bad & Dirty Books I was ready to finally take the plunge and write the story that’s been restlessly clawing to get out of my head and onto paper for a VERY long time. I’m a southern girl to my core, a self proclaimed smut whore, and I guess now we can add aspiring author to my hat collection as well.
Tattooed across my ribs are the words I have always lived by ‘Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi’ Latin for: If I can not find a way, I will make my own.
Received in exchange for an honest review.
MATURE READERS ONLY! 18+
Note: May contain spoilers…sorta…I tried to keep them out!~
FIRST REVIEW OF 2014!~
Give me a minute to compose myself before I write this. I don’t know how other bloggers do it but I like to try to write my reviews directly after I finish reading the book. The problem with that is you’re still buzzing with the raw emotions that hit you just after you finish reading that you don’t know what to do with yourself. At least that’s how it is for me. If you’re sitting there wondering why I don’t just wait to settle in before writing it’s because that raw emotion inspires me to write, gives me motivation and gives me this odd sense of honesty. I let the words flow from my fingers when I review, because I know if I over think what I’m writing I’ll probably end up erasing the whole thing. THE POINT OF ALL THIS is that A Woman Gone Mad was so…DEVASTATING EMOTIONAL that I’m almost stumbling upon words as to what to say without giving away too much.
This isn’t the love story you expect it to be. There’s drama, pain, hurt, and one too many broken hearts, but one thing his story is, is honesty. Honesty of the hardships of life and of love and how it isn’t what you expect it to be. Lillian Shaw’s simple life spirals out of control the summer she meets Leo Phillips. Only sixteen years old and already head over heels in love with this eighteen year old bad-ass grunge boy. Suddenly everything comes crashing down when Leo disappears and Lil’s life spirals out of control. Change is inevitable and Lil goes from persona to persona, trying to find her place in the world, trying to figure out what she wants, and when she think she’s found her happily ever after, the world comes crashing down again. Just when her world has gone into the toilet, who happens to reappear in her life when she needed him the most? Leo. And they practically picks up from where they left off, sharing in the happily ever after they wanted for each other. Even though she has the man she’s always wanted, and the life she always dreamed she’d have, reality still has ways to mess with her.
The first thing I noticed is the voice of the story and how it was being told. It reminded me sort of like a Memoir, like a diary Lillian has written over the course of her life and now we get to read it. Stories like these seem to have so much more depth and are so personal, I can’t help but wonder if part of the story is real or not. Then again, they say there’s truth to every story, you just have to find it.
What I found quite funny and that related to my own life situation which in turn made the book more personal to me was how the characters spoke. If you’ve read the book you’ll know what I’m talking about, but essentially I admit to talking like freshman Lillian and her friend April. Given the people I’m talking to and the conversation, yes, I swear at least three times in every sentence. And my point to all this is I like the REALISM of the book, where the conversations feel like an actual conversation people would have in real life. It’s not fluffy and cute because I swear people don’t talk like they do in romance novels… and we expect guys to and I think we build up to unrealistic expectations. I can’t provide any quotes because of the amount of swearing, but I just picture young bad-ass girls, talking and swearing as if they know everything. I’m sure you’ll get where I’m coming from.
A word I would use to describe A Woman Gone Mad is THOROUGH. It’s long enough that you’re not sitting there, wishing the book was longer, or wishing it would end sooner. The time skips are reasonable and justified, and you’re not wondering how far you’re reading into the future, wondering what you’ve missed in Lillian’s life. If you’re going to go through someone’s life story you better be prepared to sit through the long ride it’s going to take to learn it all.
Another word I would use to describe this book is POWERFUL. And I don’t mean OVERWHELMINGLY POWER THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER sort of powerful. But a book powerful in its beauty and simplicity following Lillian’s hard and somewhat tragic life. At the end of my read I literally sat there for a few minutes and just stared into space. That feeling where you’re like, “I don’t know what to do with myself now…” it’s a very curious thing when a book does that to you.
“I specifically remember reading Cinderella’s happily after and they never mentioned child birth, stretch marks, graying hair or wrinkles not ____ once. The shoe fit, and they lived happily ever after. But what about after the shoe fit?”
And I swear, just when you think nothing bad is going to happen or that there aren’t anymore surprises left….it happens. And when it does, it hits you SO HARD that you’re in just as much shock as Lil is. I think that’s another thing about this book I enjoy, or I’m just cynical and masochistic, but this book is like torture. It’s happy, then sad, then happy, then sad, and you feel like YOU KNOW IT’S COMING and can’t stop it from happening…
Although Leo isn’t my TYPICAL choice at a fictional boyfriend, I would have to admit that I’ve grown QUITE FOND and ATTACHED to him. I think it’s his mannerisms that do it for me. The way he flirts and teases Lil, even after all the years they’ve been apart. And his DEDICATION to her is uncanny! He’s loved her for so long that he filled for divorce because he still loved her more than his own wife!
“Lil, I meant what I said, I will make you happy, I promise you I’ll make it up to you. I’ll fix what they stole from us, baby. No matter what it takes, or what I have to do. I can’t make it better tonight, and what they broke is too far broken for me to fix it by tomorrow, but I will fix it.”
Overall, the best parts of the book were the end. Not because of what was written, but what happens during those last few chapters. There’s a whole lot of truth in this book and what to expect out to life. All the BS and the happy parts mixed in with all the hurt, the drama and hardships, but what’s more is that life is always going to be a struggle and being with the person you love for the rest of your life is GOING to be hard. Harder than the romance books we read make it seem. A Woman Gone Mad is just a bit of a glimpse of a possible future in store for us; just a bit of an insight on the realities of what happens when we think we’ve found our happily ever after. In the end, there’s sort of a happy ending…but it took a long way just for Lillian to get there.
4/5 Hearts of Love