Review: Broken Girl by Gretchen de la O
Note: This ebook was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
Broken Girl is a standalone new adult (NA) novel from author Gretchen de la O and is about a twenty-year-old young woman named Rose Newton who survives a childhood of repeated molestation and abuse only to be left with no other option but to sell her body on a regular basis to earn a living. She may no longer be a child but within her lives the nine-year-old innocent girl whose life was irrevocably torn apart. She's broken, and while she may claim that she isn't looking for anyone to fix her and she knows it's foolish to even contemplate thinking she'll find a man who will accept and love her, Rose has fallen into that trap already once before. But once is more than enough, right? She's learned her lesson and now she knows better. She's a whore. She engages in sexual acts in exchange for money. No man will ever look at her like someone they dream of spending the rest of their life with, what more creating a family with. Then she encounters Shane West. Her life is anything but simple, but Shane is persistent. With him, that seed of hope, that possibility of something more, blossoms, no matter how much she denies its existence. When Shane learns the truth, will he still want Rose or will her past and present kill any kind of future with him?
We get a front row seat to Rose Newton's life and there's no sanitizing it. It isn't pretty and the fantasy of a prostitute like her winning the heart of a wealthy man really is limited to the movies. Did and does she have options? To be honest, I think so, but in times of desperation, we often decide to go with the option that brings us the quickest fix to whatever's broken, and in Rose's case, it was all about not living in squalor. There is no pretending that life as a prostitute is glamorous. Gretchen de la O gives us the nitty gritty of it, but thankfully, she doesn't get overly graphic. We get the idea right away that Rose does what she does because money is a necessary evil and she does her best work on her knees or on her back...or so she thinks. You see, Rose is a character with many complexities. For all her toughness, she's a girl ready to crack under the right sort of emotional pressure. She wants a different kind of life but in order to have a chance at that life, she believes her only option is to keep doing what she's doing until she's saved up enough money to move on. Falling in love is bad for her business, but she isn't immune to it and while she may not need the trappings that go along with it, she does bask in the care and affection she does receive.
This is really Rose's story and she tells it like it is. When Shane comes along and does whatever he has to in order to get and keep her attention, a part of her that she refuses to believe existed comes to life. Her moments with him are what I would consider stolen since they aren't what her reality really is. She keeps her job as a streetwalker a secret and the revelation of it to Shane plus the revelation of his knowledge of said secret both come as a surprise to me. How Shane and Rose are intertwined was also something I wasn't expecting. For all of its harsh honesty, I will say that there's a point near the end of the book where I felt the story took a turn--not for the worst, but more of it heading into a more fantastical, very romanticized direction. Now, I'm a romance reader so I certainly don't make it a habit of complaining when a book is peppered with romantic notions. However, with the way the book was going, I just felt that it veered into the usual fairy tale-ish ending you come to expect. I was already gung-ho about giving the book a five-plus-starred rating because of its unique and real voice, so I ended up dialing it back a bit with that final chapter. However, Broken Girl remains a novel so worth reading and one I'm giving five stars to. ♥
Date Read: 15 June 2016
Learn more about Gretchen de la O.
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