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Cynically Sweet (Booklikes)

I'm not the most active user here on Booklikes. In fact, sometimes I forget that it even exists. However, I endeavor to come back and post more stuff that I enjoy.

My reviews aren't guaranteed to be something you agree with and my perspective on books isn't something most people generally want. However, I still hope that there's something you can gain from them and you don't feel as if you've wasted your time reading them.


Don't just take my word for it; read the books yourself and form your own opinion!

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Life Blood

Life Blood - V.M. Black I received a free copy from the author in return for an honest review. Though, it's available for free on Amazon anyway. This review will likely contain spoilers and will be cross posted to Amazon and Smashwords.

I really feel that Cora was kind of... unbelievable. She was essentially kind of stupid and it didn't seem at all as if she cared about her potential death. From the very beginning, I could have understood that she was just remembering things about herself, being that she'd already dealt with those sorts of things. However, she didn't seem at all upset about her life span being even more shortened when the first doctor informed her of the news. Later on in the appointment, the doctor informs her that they've made a referral to some new doctor. After this, Cora goes and immediately makes another appointment. Only that this new appointment, they're instructing her to go outside and then later get into a car. She texts her friend the last number she'd rung and what was going on. This was a particularly stupid thing to do in my opinion, despite it meaning for her to look smart. Realistically, any decent hospital would have security cameras overlooking the emergency room entrance and car park. Not to mention, phone records would searched if something were to happen to her, finding that very phone number. The police would find out soon enough, regardless of the message she'd sent her friend. It just made her look stupid; she knew that these people were suspicious and there was a danger by getting into the car. If she really did feel that something were to happen, she likely wouldn't have gotten into the car. Later on, after the car ride, she meets Mr. Thorne and can't take it seriously at all. This is a life changing decision and all she can think about is how good looking the man is. Umm... What? This is life or death! It kind of seems as if she's oblivious as to medical happenings as well. She finds it "unconventional" to have her blood drawn in an office. It's not that uncommon. Many doctors have examination areas within their own offices and it's not uncommon for people to be examined or even have tests (or samples for testing) taken in their offices. I guess that the author was trying to add an air of mystery, but it really just seemed like a stupid comment to make on the part of the character. Surely, after all the medicals tests she would have gone through in her illness, she would know better... As the blood test goes on, she continues more about how good looking her is, begins thinking about his cologne and his age. It just seemed like she didn't care at all about her condition.

Lisette, the friend Cora has texted earlier with the phone number, doesn't seem to care either. As soon as Cora gets home later, they begin talking. Through the conversations they go through, it just doesn't seem like Lisette has any feelings either. She supposedly text and tried calling Cora multiple times in the time that she had been at the appointment. Yet, when Cora gets home, she's a very casual person. Though they have a conversation about the day's events, Lisette is very bland about it, doesn't question Cora very much. A little later, Lisette makes the suggestion that they go and watch movies or play games. I guess that this was meant to seem as if she were distracting Cora from the illness. However, to me, it just seem like she didn't care and she wanted to do something interesting.

Next, Cora waits for her test results from Thorne. There's about a page and a bit of Cora considering the upcoming results. Yet, it just seems like a portion of useless text as it's pretty obvious that she'll be allowed into the trial. Weirdly, she decides to dress up for the appointment, something I don't quite understand as she'd been dressed regularly for her first appointment with the man. She goes on to explain that her Gramma had "used to break out her heels and her full palette of makeup whenever she had an important meeting at work or with the school." Though, surely if Cora were to follow the same philosophy, she'd be wearing really nice cloths to every single one of her appointments as any of these meetings might be life changing to her. It just seems, to me, as if she's being pretentious. Mind you, it's just as well that she dressed up as they ended up going to what the author thinks sounds like a really nice restaurant. Yet it just sounds like just about any other restaurant. Dorm food is somewhat cheap if you spend your money wisely, by the way. On that note, making a reservation one month in advance is pretty common. A wait list for a really, really, super nice restaurant would be months in advance, sometimes even a year. Mr Thorne is a pretty unprofessional person. It's meant to be a medical consultation and any information they would need to discuss would be private and not the type of thing to be discussed in a restaurant. I'm sure the other diners would not appreciate hearing about some random woman's illness, either. It's yet another portion of unnecessary text and I rather felt as if it were meant to seem like her was splurging, spending his money on her and being somewhat generous. Really, he was being generous enough to offer to treat her in the first place.

After this meeting with Mr. Thorne, Cora comes home and all her friends are now worried about her well being, after being gone for only four hours. The boy from before, Geoff had seen Cora get into a strange car and this worries other people. Yet, earlier when Cora had texted Lisette that she was getting into a strange car with complete strangers, Lisette was completely uninterested when Cora got home. Sure, she had texted Cora multipl times during that event, but she didn't seem scared for her friend at all, or even relieved when Cora had gotten home. Four hours is not a long time to be gone. Especially considering that they're in school, it would be entirely possible that Cora could have gone to a bar, the library, shopping or even to see a movie during this time. It seems as if Lisette's personality has changed within the week and she's unnecessarily worrying when her friend hadn't been gone for such a phenomenal amount of time.

Overall, I think the author needs to pay more attention to the characterisations. Any feelings expressed in the story just seemed unreal. Many actions from the characters expressed unintelligence, even when it was meant to seem as if they were being smart. I was quite surprised when reading this story to find most of the people or scenes to be completely illogical considering the prior information or actions introduced to us. In retrospect, it took me far too long to read it. Originally, when entering to win it through a Goodreads giveaway, I thought that it sounded pretty interesting. Yet, I found the overall story to be poorly rendered. The author had a good concept, yet it was poorly rendered. I think that, with a little bit more work and practical thinking, the story could be improved.

I rate it at one and a half stars. I wasn't impressed. I likely will not be reading more stories by this author in future.