Friday, April 8, 2011

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY Open Me by Sunshine O'Donnell

Open Me by Sunshine O'Donnell
ISBN: 978-1-59692-236-5
Published: June 22nd, 2007

Historical Note

In 1999, a seventeen-year-old girl from suburban Philadelphia was the last person in the United States to be arrested for being paid to cry at funerals. The officers who charged her never knew her real name. In all of the reports available, she is referred to only as Mirabelle, Wailer.

-- Pre-Chapter 1

Imagine living your entire life waking up each morning and being forced to cry. Imagine the worst words anyone has ever said to you and imagine they said them for the soul purpose of teaching you how to cry on command. Imagine that your one and only job as a human being was to cry for people you never knew, never met, never saw.

This is "Mirabelle's" life. She doesn't exist in the normal world. She was born and raised for the sole purpose of crying at funerals. She doesn't exist, but, she's wanted more than anyone and the people that want her are willing to pay top-dollar for her services. These services just happen to be against the law.

And what happens when Mirabelle finally sees how the rest of the world lives? Will she attempt to get out of her profession? Will she make it? Or is she stuck wailing for the deceased the rest of her life?

In Sunsine O'Donnell's debut novel, she creates what could easily be a historical fiction masterpiece if Wailing was real. And who knows? Maybe it is. I read this book cover-to-cover in one night because I just couldn't put it down. It was as if I was watching the entire history of Wailing unfolding before my eyes and I would miss an important development if I looked away for a moment.

Between each chapter lies a key document in the history of Wailing ranging from ancient appeals to goddesses to newspaper articles to senate bills. These snapshots of time such as the quoted one at the top of this review make an already fascinating book even more so.

The characters are so... raw, is the only word that fits them, I think. You'll either love them or you'll hate them. Except for Aunt Raziel, she's just weird in the quirky sense. If you're anything like me, there are a couple of characters you would love to reach through the book and slap and a couple you just want to hug and hold onto forever, protect them from the world's evil.

The only real criticism I have for Open Me would be that I hated the ending. It was an abrupt plot twist so large that it left me confused until I read it three times over. I felt like so much work went into the entire book, then the end was just pushed out as fast as possible. I didn't care for it at all.

Overall though, the book was AMAZING and highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys this genre!

Winner to be announced next week. 

Now, I don't have a brand new copy of Sunshine O'Donnell's book to send off to somebody, but, I want at least one of you guys to have the chance to read this! It is -that- good! So, I'm giving my copy away.

ONE paperback copy of Open Me by Sunshine O'Donnell

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This contest is open internationally!

Giveaway ends April 13th.